Monday, 14 September 2015

Liz Earle Superskin™ Face Serum

I was asked by Mumsnet in conjunction with Liz Earle to try their Superskin Face Serum. I am not one for using anything like this really as anything I ever use seems to make my skin greasy and cause a breakout of spots! I discovered witch hazel when I was pregnant and that has been brilliant at keeping my skin clear but I haven't used anything else.

Here’s what Liz Earle has to say, “Enriched with our most powerful naturally* active ingredients, our luxurious and fast-absorbing Superskin™ Face Serum is your new ally for truly radiant, youthful-looking skin. Add Superskin™ Face Serum to your morning regime to…
1. Even skin tone – with Persian silk tree extract to help fight the visible signs of fatigue, such as a dull complexion. 
2. Lift and firm – with pomegranate flower extract to help boost collagen. 
3. Plump and smooth – with rhubarb extract to help intensely hydrate skin". 
*Contains naturally active ingredients

I liked the fact it is full of natural ingredients and also the fact it was supposed to even up skin tone as my skin is a little blotchy.

So I have been using the serum once a day for a week, occasionally twice a day, Liz Earle's website does have directions for use but you can't view them on a mobile or tablet, you have to log onto a proper pc/laptop which is a bit annoying. I used the serum after applying witch hazel to clean my skin.

I actually can't believe how much difference it has made to my skin. It really has evened up the skin tone and also plumped and smoothed it. I never wear foundation and make up, never have, so this has really made a difference - my skin looks so much healthier! I always thought these things were a bit of a gimmick and never thought it would actually work but this does. 
Before (left), After a week (right)

It isn't cheap at £48 for 30ml but you do only need a little bit so I would think it would last you a while.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Cafe Rouge - Les Enfants

I love French food and have only ever dined at Café Rougeonce, only reason being that we don’t really have one particularly close, Birmingham is probably about 45 minutes on the train.  I also had never thought about taking Macy as it isn’t somewhere you really associate as being particularly child friendly, am not really sure why, you just don’t expect a nice restaurant to cater for children.  So when the opportunity came up to try their childrens’ menu via Mumsnet I was straight on to them to volunteer our services!
When we arrived at the Bullring restaurant for dinner on Friday night we were warmly welcomed and shown to our table, Macy was brought her highchair and straight away brought some stickers (which are her favourite things in the world!  Sorry the photos are a bit blurry she was just so excited!), a multi coloured colouring crayon and also the menu which doubled up as a colouring activity sheet.
The childrens menu is £6.95 for three courses and a drink which is good value, however for younger children like Macy it would have been nice to have been able to just have starter and main and drink for perhaps a couple of pounds less.  She just can’t manage three courses yet and dessert is normally the course she leaves the most of.  A spoonful of something we are having is enough.  So I do feel they could do with that option for perhaps under 5s.
There was a good choice of drinks, we always feel a little hard done to with things like this as Macy drinks water, she doesn’t have fizzy drinks or squash so when we saw milk on the menu we were really please, there was a good choice of juices and fizzy drinks also.  What we did like was that her starter was brought out straight away, before ours so that it kept her quiet and she wasn’t sitting there getting frustrated because she was hungry.  There wasn’t a choice for starter, it was artisan bread with cucumber, carrot, tomato and a tomato dip (the menu stated it came with butter but we didn’t get any?) – she loved it, she really enjoys little bits of different things so this was ideal for her and she polished it all off!

For main course there was a good choice of a couple of chicken dishes, burger, sausages and mash, fishcake, pasta, cheese toastie.  I didn’t feel it was a very French choice, would have been nice to have a bit of a better fish dish with some nice veg – Macy loves fish, it’s healthy and would have been lovely in some garlic butter.  We ended up ordering the breaded chicken because it was one of few dishes that came with some veg – in this case peas and sweetcorn.  However the meal arrived and there wasn’t any veg to be seen, only salad!  We spoke to the waiter and the bowl of veg arrived quickly. 
For dessert there was more of a ‘French’ choice including crepe, profiteroles, also fruit salad, ice cream and ice lolly.  It was a bit of a cold day so I didn’t fancy ordering any ice lolly or ice cream and she eats loads of fruit so we went for the very French profiteroles – also I knew she wouldn’t eat many and they are one of my favourites!  Lovely profiteroles filled with crème patisserie and a little dish to dip them into which was nice instead of drizzling the chocolate on top.  As I suspected Macy only really managed one so I had a couple and they were lovely.
I have to say they really looked after Macy, couldn’t do enough for her and our waiter was fantastic with her and she loved all the attention.  They brought her out her own cutlery on a napkin placed beside her and she thought that was great and felt very grown up!  The only reason I wouldn’t return is that she really doesn’t do the three courses justice just yet so I feel it is a bit of a waste, perhaps in a year’s time. 
An opportunity to learn a bit of French on the activity sheet

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network ResearchPanel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

While I am reviewing I will say that the menu for adults was lovely also:
Champignons a l'ail - mushrooms in a cepe & garlic cream sauce on grilled rye & caraway bread - really tasty decent sized portion with plenty of sauce.
Crevettes - king prawns in garlic & smoked chilli butter with baked in house baguette - really tasty but it was a little tricky de-shelling the prawns in a very hot sticky butter.
10oz rib eye - this was served with garlic butter and cooked as required perfectly, just could have done with some veggies or grilled tomato?
Boeuf Bourguignon - slow-cooked beef in red wine with smoked bacon, mushrooms, baby onions, green beans, carrots and herb mash - this was beautiful, so rich and tasty, the beef melted in my mouth, however there just wasn't enough beef, I counted about 6 pieces!
We had the chocolate ganache to share for pudding and did find the chocolate, chilli and lime sorbet rather vile!  We have eaten at plenty of nice restaurants with Michelin stars etc so are not unaccustomed to unusual flavour combinations but this was really horrid, the ganache was lovely though!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Smoby Tefal Super Chef Kitchen

One part of Macy's birthday present was a play kitchen.  We saw one in Early Learning Centre with a really good discount and it started us thinking and looking!  We decided we didn't want to spend any more than £100 as it seemed a waste to spend any more than that.  Our other criteria was that it needed to look realistic, a bit more classy and modern - a lot of them are really 'toy' looking if you see what I mean.  We didn't want anything like that.
 So we came across the Smoby Tefal Super Chef kitchen.  We would have liked a kitchen with a proper fridge freezer, storage drawers, oven, hob etc but for under £100 we couldn't find anything that did tick all the boxes.  This ticked a good majority though and really it was the look of the kitchen that made our mind up, it just looks fab and Tefal is a 'real adult' kitchen brand so it really does look the part.  We came across it on the Argos website who had it on offer at £90something reduced from £129.99.  However after a bit of googling we found it on the Smoby website at £79.99.  Although it promised next day delivery and we didn't get it till 3 days later which was a bit disappointing!
Anyway putting it together wasn't too difficult as it didn't require any tools, just simply clicked together.  So it's easy enough and didn't take too long, it comes with various cutlery bits and pieces as well as pans, toaster and food so that kept Macy busy while we put it together!
Items in the fridge shown here aren't included with the kitchen
  • Comes with play food, pans, toaster, cutlery so you don't have to buy extra like you do with most other kitchens
  • Hooks for storing utensils
  • Good amount of worktop space for 'food preparation'
  • Toaster
  • Coffee machine
  • Oven, hob and grill pan
  • Fridge
  • One hob ring makes noises
  • Fridge door doesn't close very well, as it is curved it sort of bends as it shuts and even then doesn't close well
  • Sink and tap is a bit flimsy and ends up getting knocked out of place a lot - could do with being clipped in, I don't want to glue it as it is good to be able to remove for cleaning purposes
All items shown are included with the kitchen
So all in all it is a fab kitchen, Macy loves it, I don't know whether it is good enough quality to justify spending £129.99 on it as it is a little flimsy, but certainly the £79.99 we paid for it makes it a good buy :)  See our video review below:

Monday, 6 July 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday Macy!

This year I decided to use balloons spelling TWO for Macy's birthday photos.  I did think about doing another chalkboard but I think that just using it for her first birthday leaves it as something special.  The balloons, they were a nightmare and I don't know why I had the silly idea lol.  It was so windy they just kept flattening despite being helium filled.  So Mark ended up putting them into the wind and tying them back on themselves so they floated.  A real nightmare, Mark is always there to come up with a solution and sort it out for me, wouldn't be without him!


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

West Midlands Safari Park

It’s Macy’s 2nd birthday on Monday and as she will be at Nursery and us at work we thought we would take her out for her birthday treat today while the weather was nice.  It turned out to be the hottest July day on record, when we got back into the car at 4pm it was still reading a whopping 32 degrees C!  Anyway she loves animals, so what better way to spend a day than to go to West Midlands Safari Park.  Under 3s are free but adults are £19.99 each however it does include a free return so really it’s £10 a visit – we are only 40mins away so it’s local enough to return again.

I was grateful to be in an air conditioned car round the safari otherwise it would have been too hot!  We bought a box of food for the animals for £3 and started off on our safari feeding some sort of deer.  It would be nice to have the different animals listed in order by the map as not all of them are.  Macy thought it was funny having a deer put its head through the window!
Then onto some cheetahs who we caught a glimpse of as they were hiding in the shade.  Some buffalos were cooling down in the water and some rhinos were in the same enclosure.  We couldn’t find the lions, they must have been hiding somewhere but we saw the white lions and the white tigers.  We didn’t see the wild dogs either, again they must have been hiding in the shade somewhere. 
We drove through the Zebras which you could feed and they were lovely, put their heads right through the car window and Macy thought that was funny!
On to the Elephants and we were in for a treat as there was a baby elephant playing ball in a pool, it’s mum came up to it to make sure it was okay, so sweet.
Finally onto the giraffes and we had saved some food for them.  They didn’t seem overly comfortable eating from the window with their big long necks so I decided to open the sunroof for them!  Macy thought this was hilarious and it was brilliant!  Such a fantastic experience, we loved that and Macy will talk about it for ages.
We even had two giraffes through at one point, you can only just see the nose of the other one behind the one.  The one giraffe loved it and kept following us to poke his head in lol.
We finished the safari just in time for the sea lion show which was great but we were a bit disappointed that we didn’t get splashed as the screens are too high, would have been nice on a hot day but I guess we don’t have many hot days.  There also wasn’t anyway shaded to sit so Macy did get a bit hot and grumpy so I can't say she enjoyed it that much - quite a few people with children left as they must have had the same problem.

Finally we had a wander round the rides and there was a little area with rides for the younger ones, there were probably about 10 rides for 0.8m and above.  When they get to a metre there is a lot more choice as to be honest quite a lot of the toddler rides are the same sort of thing - just different variations of things to sit in going round in circles.  I don't know whether she will make a metre before we go back but it would be good if she does as it means she can go on a lot more such as the log flume and rapids.  I hate rides that go round in circles as it just makes me feel dizzy!  You also had to pay extra for the rides so it could work out an expensive day, we bought 4 rides for £6 and you can buy wristbands which probably works out cheaper when she is older.
I was a little disappointed in the food choices, there was a restaurant that did sit down meals but it wasn't air conditioned and although there were fans in there it was very hot so we ended up eating burgers outside.  It would be nice if they had somewhere doing paninis or something like that - something a bit healthier than greasy food.

Here's a little video of the giraffe!

Monday, 29 June 2015

The Bengal Cat!

So the spotty one got out and stuck on top of a storage container but I took the opportunity to get some piccies of her using my husband's iPhone 6.  She pulls some strange faces!  Spice is an awesome cat, she has such a great temperament, she has never once hissed or scratched – considering we have a 2 year old who can get a bit in her face, I am amazed at her sometimes.  She is so playful and completely round the bend, so she is great to have around.  She is very skinny though and I wish we could put some weight on her as is such a tiny thing, bengals don’t mature until they are 2 though so she has still got time yet.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Vtech Toot-Toot Drivers

For Macy's first birthday she had lots of Vtech TootToot Drivers.  When I was a child I used to love my car garage and cars so that's initially what I was looking for.  The Vtech garage looked the best as there is a ramp, a lift, a helipad, barriers to lift up and down and it is interactive.  It seemed to have the most features out of all the garages on the market.  Then I discovered the rest of the range and decided that was the way I wanted to go as it is nice that she can add things to it.
So we now have the garage, some track which connects up to a fire station, traffic lights, service station, deluxe crash launcher, play mat and transporter.  I love the smart points on the track such as when you run a car up to the traffic lights it says 'hello fire engine.'  When she first had the set she enjoyed running the cars up and down the garage ramp and in and out of the transporter.  Now she is a bit older she can put the track together and run the cars round the track.  The pieces fit together really easily and we have taught her colours as well with the track.  There are so many different vehicles available too - police cars, racing cars, helicopters, tractors and more.

They also do an animals range as well which looks just as good, this came out just after we had got Macy the drivers set so we haven't had any animals.  For more info on the range click here.