26 May 2015

Degustabox May 2015

A very odd Degustabox in May, especially after they were hinting it was a box we needed before the bank holiday. So I assumed it would be bbq themed but instead it is the oddest box I have had with no real theme but nevertheless a good box for me.
This is what I received:

Daelmans Stroopwafels (£2)
These are authentic Stroopwafels from the Daelmans family bakery. They are toasted waffels with a creamy caramel filling.

We have all fell in love with these and will be ordering more direct from the manufacturer. These are yummy caramel wafers that are so moreish that we were all a little sad when they were all gone. Need need need more.

Slim Pasta (£2.49)
These are lasagne sheets made from Konjac flour and oat fibre and are a low fat and carb free alternative to the traditional lasagne sheets.

I am really not to sure what to think about this item to be honest. I like lasagne and although the normal white lasagne tends to be high carb it does feel satisfying so I am not sure why I would rush out and buy this sort of product.
But I'll happily try it and see what it is like. 

Schwartz Marinade in a bag Red Wine and Garlic (£2.19)
This is a no fuss, no mess way to marinade your chicken.

These marinades in a bag tend to be no fuss no mess solutions to a family dinner time so I am happy to receive this item as this a good cupboard stable to have.

Sarsons (£2)
This is a full bodied balsamic vinegar from Modena.

I don't mind receiving balsamic vinegar as my husband will use it. I don't know how but as he is a better cook than me I suppose he will know.

Maggi (2x £1.49)
These are just add water noodles with oriental flavours from Maggi.

Noodles will always be eaten in this house as they are a quick and easy lunch and these look like they could be nice and spicy. Always a bonus for me.
They are in oriental 3 spice and singapore curry flavours and are both chicken noodles.
Definitely interesting to me but to be honest the rrp is a little high for me and I would probably not buy them at that price.

Green Coco (80p)
This is a kids coconut juice drink that is mixed with banana.

I get the basic premise of this as I know some people dislike coconut juice or coconut water but I like them so I thought I might like this. But I didn't and it seemed a little insipid and wasn't a pleasant taste.

Fuel10k Protibrick(£2.69)
These are the first ever protein wheat biscuits that will leave you feeling fuller for longer.

Before I had Edward I hated weetabix type cereals and then when I was pregnant I ate it every day as it was one of my cravings and unlike most of them this never disgusted me after (I will never drink ginger beer in any volume again).
But back to this item. These are protein boosted wheat biscuits and are really delicious. Really filling too so a great breakfast.

9Bar fruity(£2)
These are a fruit and seed bar topped with carob.

I have eaten these before and loved them before and love that these are in my box.
These are a mix of a seeds and dried fruit and are really yummy and filling. 

Sweet Baby Ray's (£2.99)
According to the leaflet this is the no1 bbq sauce in the states with a sweet and smokey blend.

The final item is another BBQ sauce, we received one last month, and I like that this seems authentically american. Also if it is as tasty as the one from last month it will be fab.

So, there is my degustabox and I will eat/have eaten it all.The only thing I haven't loved so far is the coconut juice and I have to admit that although it is an odd month I like this box as you get to try things you wouldn't normally buy.


If you would like to try out this service you can use my link here to get £3 off your first box or to just have a look.

25 May 2015

Popinabox May 2015

Popinabox is a monthly pop vinyl subscription service where you receive upto 6 mystery pop vinyls a months and you can hate a pop and never recieve it so it is slightly customised.

I have to admit that this month I am really less than impressed with my popinabox sub as I paid on the 1st and recieved it on the 23rd.
After seeing that other people received their pops a week or more ago and they were Marvel I got excited but instead mine stayed on packing for so much longer and then I received mine and to be honest I am not too sure how I feel about these two.

This month I have received Bender from Futuruma and BMO from adventure time. Both are fine and they aren't on my hate list but meh at the selection and the long delivery time.

I'm not really overwhelmed with excitement about this months selection to be honest, as you can see, and have reduced don to one pop for the time being.
I think that eventually I will quit this sub too.


More info on pop in a box can be found here.

22 May 2015

Family friday: I am a handwash addict

Time for another confession I suppose.
I have to admit that it is odd but whenever I see sweet/candy/soft drink scented hand washes I cannot help but buy them.
Although it is an odd I love that the handwashes are getting funky and I hope the trend will continue.

This obsession is a recent development and that is due to me finding that Cussons have created a sweet inspired hand wash line. The larger two at the front, fruit salad and jelly beans, were the two that started the madness.
The other front one is a superdrug own brand which was on sale and is strawberry scent but the cussons ones at the back are where the madness really took over.
These are in strawberry laces, bubblegum and cola bottles and all are true to the scents of the original sweets and even better after ashing your hands the scents remain.
These are also antibacterial and aren't drying so great for both little and big hands.
 I just wish I could find the chocolate orange one though.

These are currently available at Asda, for the strawberry laces, cola bottles and bubble gum editions, for 87p and the large ones may be available in shops like poundstretcher and poundworld as I think that they are  mainly in pound shops.
Great hand washes and would love for them to extend the range.


21 May 2015

Anatomicals botanical hydrating rose face mask

Whenever I get ill or I am overun with tasks my skin tends to suffer as I don't do the long skincare routine that I normally do.
So I have been trying to get my skin back to tip top condition and using masks and this will be the second mask I will review.

I have to say that the first thing that hit me when I used this mask is that it is a nightmare to open but it has nice colourful packaging.
Then immediately after that the next thing is that the ingredient list reads very chemical though as after water the next five ingredients are glycerin, betaine, pathenol, ammoium Acroloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer and Phenoxyethanol. Rose extract is the thirteenth of sixteen (if my counting is correct) ingredients.
Seeing so many chemical ingredients does make me worry about allergic reactions to be honest and it does irritate me a little that they promote that it contains rose extract when it is so low down the list.
It does have a nice scent of roses though.

The mask is made of quite thin cloth but it has lots of essence and has a lovely natural rose scent rather than being too synthetic in terms of scent.

The mask is large on my face and doesn't line up perfectly with my small face but it is nice and cooling on the skin.
It doesn't slip and slide though like some masks do and the scent doesn't disappear quickly, so if like me you like rose scents it's a good thing that the smell stays.  

After a minutes of use it dries out on the face and after it dried it felt tingly on my skin and on removal very little of the essence remained and my face felt sticky to the touch.

After use my skin doesn't feel hydrated especially and for me this mask isn't anything special and isn't as effective as the Korean hydrogel masks I have used in the past like those from Sally's box or even the mememasks.
I also much prefer the Korean cloth masks and will carrry on using those rather than buying ones from the anatomicals brand.
Very much a so so product.


20 May 2015

Premae extraction face masque

I received this in my premae box this month and really wanted to try it as I love clay masks and this is a lower price than my hg, glam glow supermud, and I also wanted to see if I wanted to get another before my sub runs out.

The first four ingredients seem to be beneficial to the skin and these are:
Water, which will help hydrate the skin.
Aloe vera leaf extract, which will soothe tired, sore and/or sensitive skin.
Kaolin, which will extract oil and dirt from the pores while the mask dries.
Cocoa seed butter, which will moisturise the skin.

Due to the high water content as well as the high levels of aloe Vera leaf extract this is quite a soft textured mask and it is easy to apply on the face and feels more like applying a cream to the face rather than one of the stiffer clay masks.

A little goes a long way with this mask due to the soft texture and on the face it does not make the skin feel extremely tight like some clay masks although as it dries it is tightening but as well as that has a lovely soothing and cooling effect, due to the aloe Vera. 

After some minutes though it does dry firmer as it needs to in order to extract any oil from the pores as well as any dirt so that you get a deep clean of your pores.

As you can see on drying the mask highlights all the pores showing that it is focusing on them to extract anything causing issues with your skin.
On drying it also feels powder soft on the skin.

Once washed off it leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and my skin doesn't feel like it has been stripped like some other masks may and I reaally liked the mask and I am really glad a little goes a long way as it means I get more uses per pot so it is very economical to use.
A great mask.


More info on the mask can be found here

19 May 2015

Okashiconnection May 2015

I fell off the no added sugar/healthy eating wagon quite significantly and this was the box that caused it.
Okashiconnection is a japanese snack box which includes both savoury and sweet snacks and generally includes both well known snacks, such as Pocky, as well as ones that are harder to get in this country/ out of Japan in general.

Oyatsu kids pack
This month once again had some great products and the first product to disappear was the kids selection bag. Edward claimed this as soon as he saw it and had a lovely time eating both the sweet and savoury contents.
The only item I ate from this bag was a boiled sweet as Edward doesn't tend to eat them as he doesn't enjoy hard sweets but other than that he happily ate the rest.

Peanut pocky (Glico)
I thought that I would enjoy these Pocky as in general I love them and love peanut butter and expected these to be peanut butter like but I don't really like them as they are a little bland tbh.

Lemon sour paper (Yaokin)
I love sour sweets and hoped this was going to be sour as some of the Japanese sweets are but it wasn't really. Rather like a lot of UK sour sweets. But maybe I just have no tastebuds and that is why I like extremely sour sweets.

Strawberry/green tea wafer bars (Furuta)
These wafers were okay and I enjoy the strawberry one but the macha doesn't really wow me as I am not a huge macha fan in general anyhow. So, I am probably not the best person to judge.

Disney Elise Blueberry & Yogurt (bourbon)
These wafer straws were ate in quick succession as these were so yummy. I am just glad there wasn't more as I couldn't stop eating them until they were all gone.
These are the sort of snack to slay my self control.

Veggie Taberu chips (calbee)
Vegetable crisps always do well in my house and these are delicious as they are light and full of flavour.

Aji Curry
There seems to be a lot of curry crisps in these boxes and although I like crisps I am not too sure of these.
Although on tasting, these have an authetic curry taste and I really like them.

Choco Shimi Corn Sea Animal Crackers (ginbis)
These are too yummy for words. These are a chocolate biscuit that are shaped like different animals with chocolate coating one side.

Bin Ramune
This is an icecream cone (shaped like a soda bottle) with what looks like sugar inside. Edward stole and consumed this fast and quite enjoyed it even if the sugar did go on his hands. The sugar is yummy too.

So, there is my Okashiconnection box for May and it will be my last one for a while as it is easier not to temptation in my house as it is there I find it hard to resist.
I have to admit I love these boxes though and are well worth the money for the sourcing and variety of hard to find Japanese products which they contain.
More info on the box can be found here.


18 May 2015

Kawaii monthly April 2015

Another non beauty box but I really like these Kawaii boxes. This one is called Kawaii monthly and is from the people at Oyatsucafe (who also run the snack box called Oyatsubox) and it is quite different from my kawaii box as you will see below, but I suppose that adds to the benefits of keeping both.
Here are the contents of my April box:

This is a Japanese capsule toy (gachapon) and I received what looks like a goose. This really is a cute goose and has sadly disappeared as Edward stole it.
I guess he thought it was cute too.

Next is this Sebon star item. This hexagonal box contains a small chocolate bar as well as a small piece of jewellery with a charm. This will probably be given to Edward as he will probably like it.

Next are the Cherry Coco sticky notes and these are going to really useful and are a lot more 'individual' than using a boring old post it note.

This item was packaged in a small paper envelope and is a Usavich screen cleaner. 
This is a bunny slipper where you insert you finger and then use the microfibre side to clean your phone/tablet/monitor screen.
Worked well on my ipad.

These pencils are definitely freaky rather than cute. These are pencils with a small charm on the end and we received 6 in this pack.
Scary mascot on them though so not sure how much I will use them.

The final item are theseSumikko Gurashi stickers and these add to other ones that I have that are very similar. 
These are from Sanrio Japan and are an officially licansed item with 27 stickers in this pack.

As you can see this is a different type of Kawaii than kawaii box but I like both and will keep both.
Roll on next month.
More info on this box can be found here.


15 May 2015

Family Friday: books for bedtime

Books, books everywhere in our house and although my own collection seems to grow on my Kindle, mainly due to lack of room, Edward's collection of books seem to be breeding on his bookcase as I find it hard to say no to the Bookpeople deals.
But these are our favourite books at the moment and most have been favourites of both Edward and I for a while.

This is the first of three Julia Donaldson books for this post. It is a food related rhyming book with animal characters.
One of Edward's favourite and an easy and fast book to read on a day that he wants three or four books. Gotta admit the last two pages are my fave with an alternative to washing up.

The Gruffalo is definitely a modern classic when it comes to children's books and I love the wiley mouse's adventure through the woods. Smart and amusing this is a rhyming book I read probably three days out of seven and never bore of.

Another Julia Donalson book and this one sees the Gruffalo's child setting out to explore the woods and meeting the mouse. Another sweet book from this author and a favourite in my house.

My personal favourite children's book at the moment is 'Betty and the Yeti' by Ella Burfoot. I love that this book is so effective at pointing out that although some people may be different they can still make great friends. 
Such a sweet rhyming book.

My mum read this to me and I read it to my son. It is the story of a big skelton, a little skeleton and a dog skeleton. This is a non rhyming classic that has a moment between a dog and a bench which amuses Edward.

Lots of sound effects in his book from lots of different animal which means I get to do lots of practice being a bear, a rabbit and a bear among other animals.

My final book is my favourite from the 'How do dinosaur' books. It shows typical toddler behaviour but with a dinosaur as the toddler. So in this book he displays all the ploys that a toddler may show to halt bedtime like one more story or throwing a tantrum.
So funny.

So, there are my fave bedtime books at the moment.
But with so many other great books out there I am sure that this list will grow in time.


14 May 2015

Premae beauty box

Since I fell in love with the triumph moisturising creme balm from Premae and have very good memories of using their harmony serum so I couldn't resist buying their Premae donna three month subscription when I had a coupon code to use.
It might cost £99 for the three months but if you have fallen in love with their creme balm and other products it is well worth it. 
Each month you get to chose three different products to try (all full sized) meaning that for your £33 that month you are buying upto £125 of goods for your money, so upto £375 of goods for your £99.

This month I chose:

Plush Therapy Extraction Face Masque. This contains ingredients such as aloe vera to soothe the skin, kaolin clay to draw out imperfections as well as cocoa butter to moisturise the skin.

It has a texture that is somewhere between a moisturiser and a mud mask and is applied to the face after toning for 30 to 45 minutes then washed off with lukewarm water.
This has a price of £25 on the Premae website and is 100ml.

The next item I ordered was the Harmony Serum. I tried this in a Glossybox a long while ago and really enjoyed using it then as the scent was really nice and the texture was luxurious and it was really moisturising on my skin. I look forward to trying it after my Triumph multi vit serum.
This has a price of £27.50 on the premae site and is 30ml.

The final item that I have chose for my Premae donna box this month is their Triumph Moisturising Creme Balm. 
Although it has a strong scent due to the Frankicense oil being the largest ingredient I really love it and it is the best moisturiser I have tried for a while and with a price of £51 for the 15ml it is well worth joining as you can get three of these in your membership and two of those cost more than the £99 for the three months.
Great if you fall in love with the moisturiser.

So, there is my first box of my three month sub and my goods total £103.50 in my first box and I am really looking forward to using it all and love that the products from this company are allergen free, vegan and are not tested on animals.
Can't wait for June.


13 May 2015

Wednesday Whine: PCOS

This is an extremely personal post.
Possibly the most personal post that I will ever write on here.
But I have to tell the truth of my life at the present (other than the fact that I am a klutz that falls down the stairs).
But here it is.

I'm 33 and I'm getting my butt kicked by PCOS.

PCOS is a medical condition that affects different women in different ways and because it is a syndrome it has a wide variety of symptoms that ultimately arise due to the fact that women with this condition grow small cysts on the ovaries (although some women don't have these visible on scans but have the condition).

These cysts in return play havoc with the hormones levels and cause emotional and physical issues that differ from woman to woman.
For me, at the moment, the issues are facial hair and weight, with body confidence issues relating to this issue.
But for a long time the huge issue from my condition was fertility issues.
Beany was the product of a very long fertility journey, eight and a half years, that had the root cause of my PCOS.
But that is a subject for another day.

But as for the weight issues I can only give my own story.
I have struggled with my weight since my late teens and my depression only made it so much worse but following Edward's birth my depression was mostly gone luckily.

I won't reveal my actual weight but it is now stable but is a lot higher than I want it to be. Which I know people judge me for.
Then seeing the press these last few weeks I actually feel amazingly angry at the people that so happily judge women that are overweight or obese.

A few years ago I lost a lot of weight but with my PCOS it was a struggle. I exercised for upto four hours a day and ate little but it was slow going and even when I did lose weight it was a few pounds a week and a few times I wanted to give up. I got to my 'target weight' though and stayed there for a few months and then promptly got pregnant with Beany. 
The irony that I had to lose all that weight to get pregnant with the baby that doctors said was impossible without fertility treatment isn't lost on me but it was worth it as I  have the child I  so desperately wanted.

As for the weight. 
Would I do what I did last time?

No. I'd rather be judged and fat than put myself through a exercise and food routine that left me crabby and grumpy.
But I am going to cut out processed food (mostly) and all added sugars and see what happens. 
Will I lose weight? No idea, but I have to admit that over the last week on cutting them I am feeling less sluggish.
Let's hope it helps and tames my PCOS a little as sugar can make it worse as it affects insulin levels.
More on PCOS can be found here.


12 May 2015

Kawaii box April 2015

Another day, another box and today it is my Kawaii box for April. Kawaii box is a box from Singapore that contains all things cute (Kawaii means cute in Japanese).
It costs $18.90 US (approx £13 atm) and is great value for the amount you get.
Here are the contents this month.

The first item is a little green cat plushie that can be used as a handbag charm if you use the chain attached to it. It is about two and a half inches tall and feels like it has soft shortpile plush.
So cute and a great addition to my collection.

The next item is a rillakkuma shaped notepad that contains pink pages and is ever so cute. Perfect for blog ideas or writing notes.

The next item is a kawaii sheep pencil case by sepovica. It is in a turquoise colour and I really like it as the blue sheep is just like a plush I have.

There are a sheet of cushioned stickers in this box. 
These are the 'love rabbit' stickers by Eaki and will look great as accessories on whatever you want them on. They are mainly rabbits but some look like cats and dogs too.
Very kawaii.

This is the food item for this month and these are Glico Collon (odd name and a little too close to colon for me) and these look like they may be Macha flavour. These look interesting but atm I am trying not to eat anything with added sugar so will not be partaking personally.

I have to admit I see glitter sets like these and I despair, especially as Edward spotted this set. This is just a glitter disaster waiting to happen when you have a three year old who loves crafts. Sigh.

Next is a squishy and this is a bag/ phone charm paw squishy. It would be great for stress relief and will be a great addition to my squishy collection.

I love hair accessories and this yellow and pink polkadot bow will definitely be used and is a nice addition to a box that has primarily female customers. This is also great as it will great in both short or long hair.

Jewelry Seal Cell Phone Stickers are the next item and this look like strings of pearls and I may use these on my Ipad.

The box also contains a pen with a flying pony (rather like a My Little Pony) clip. Will use that with my rilakkuma pad I think.

The final item is a tiny macaron pot and it would be great for beads or things like that or even washed out it would be great to decant moisturiser into if going away for a day or two.

There is my kawaii box for April and it is great value and again and I am so glad I have signed up for another three month sub.
Roll on May box.


More info on this box can be found here.