Friday, 8 August 2014

Life Got In The Way!

Well, it has been a while, hasn't it? I honestly had no intention of taking such a long break, or a break of any length really, however, life literally got in the way and here I am a month or so later wondering where on earth the time has gone!

As you may already know, both Ali and I were made redundant a while ago, so we have both been job hunting for some time now, between interviews (which have been like busses, none at all, then all at once) and with Ruby been off school for the Summer holidays, along with other family issues, time has simply flown by! I am so pleased that as a result of one of those interviews, Ali has finally secured a job, starting this coming Monday, so hopefully the only way is up from here on in!

I have really missed writing my little blog, and cannot wait to resume posting regularly now things have settled down!

I hope you, and your little ones are enjoying the summer holidays?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Lynette :-) x

Monday, 9 June 2014

Father's Day Gift Guide ~ 2014!

Father's Day is just around the corner and as there is no better time to show Dad's just how much we appreciate all that they do for us, I am really looking forward to treating both my Dad and my husband with gifts from myself and our children!

I personally prefer to give practical gifts, and find these are usually the most appreciated, items which I know will get plenty of use while providing enjoyment all year through.

I have compiled my gift guide in two halves to feature all of my top picks for Father's Day and including something to suit all budgets!

1. The Braun Series 3 Wet and Dry Electric Shaver is the perfect product for Dad's who prefer to take a shaving break over the weekend, but find by Monday morning the removal of the 3 day stubble becomes a bit of a challenge! The Series 3 can be used both wet and dry and can be even used in the shower to save time! Braun’s Triple Action Free Float System™ delivers high performance on cutting both short and long hairs while minimising skin irritation. Currently on special offer ahead of Father's Day. RRP £49.99. You can read our full review here ..

2. OtterBox defender series Ipad Mini Case - The smartphone and tablet cases from OtterBox mean you can give the gift of protection for the man in your life’s favourite devices! The rugged and protective nature of these cases make them perfect for busy on the go dads or for those who are more accident prone! The Defender series is available for the S4, Kindle, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad Air, iPad, iPad 2, iPad mini, with prices starting from £39.99. Find out what we thought of the iPad mini case here

3. OXO Good Grips French Coffee Press with GroundsKeeper  -Sturdy stainless steel housing contains a traditional glass carafe to ensure a pure brewing and serving experience. Soft, comfortable, non-slip grips on the handle and the top of the filter plunger make brewing and pouring easy. The French press holds 8 cups/1 Litre and would be perfect for coffee lovers this Father's Day! RRP £35 ... you can read our full review here 

4. The K2 Compact K√§rcher Presure Washer is easy to transport and ideal for any cleaning tasks around the house. The K2 Compact includes a trigger gun, 4m high-pressure hose, one way lance, detergent suction facility and dirtblancer lance. There is also a pressure switch control which switches the motor on and off when the ergonomically designed trigger gun is pressed and released for easy use. RRP £84.38

5. Jam Wireless Portable Speaker - This super small wireless speaker is the perfect device for all music lovers available in five different colours (red, blue, grey, green and purple) with incredible sound quality for such a small compact speaker. The speaker can connect wirelessly, up to 30 feet away from your Bluetooth® friendly device. So you can pair a speaker with a smart phone or tablet without the hassle. The speaker has a built-in rechargeable battery, which provides over four hours of continuous use. RRP £39.99 

6. The Heston Blumenthal Dual Precision Digital Scale by Salter - Perfect for Dad's who love their kitchen gadgets! The precision scale is the first of its kind, an original and innovative dual platform kitchen scale which can weigh ingredients from as small as 0.1g to as large as 10kg, giving you unparalleled precision in the kitchen. The convenient Add & Weigh function, allows for the measurements of multiple ingredients in one bowl.
RRP £49.99, available from John Lewis. We found this scale extremely easy to use, you can read our full review here. 

7. HoMedics Shiatsu Max Back and Shoulder Massager - This Massager is the ultimate in relaxation with 14 programmes so you can tailor the massage to suit your needs. Shiatsu, from the Japanese meaning ‘finger pressure’ is a style of massage that boosts rejuvenation and relaxation. Simply strap the massager onto any chair or even a sofa and adjust the height and seat for maximum comfort. With fully functioning remote control for easy use, the massager also includes a heat option to ease tired and tense muscles for a truly pampering experience. RRP £259.99

1. This Tatty Teddy Apron And Chefs Hat Set featuring an image of Tatty Teddy and the words 'Danger! Dad Cooking', is the perfect gift for budding chefs or kings of the BBQ. RRP £15

2. Personalised Premiership football from Your Sports iD - An ideal Father’s Day gift for you to let your Dad know that he’s number one this season. The website allows sons and daughters to enjoy choosing a football (either Premiership or non-club) and use the 3D tool to rotate it and add a name, shirt number, birth date or personal message, designing the perfect individual gift for all football fans. Footballs start from just £12. You can find our review here

3. Penwizard My Daddy Personalised Story Book - Your Child and their Daddy star alongside Peppa and Daddy Pig in this adorable new square hardback book in which Peppa and your child list all the things they love about their Daddies - including all their little quirks! This funny and heart-warming personalised Peppa Pig book includes your child’s name, hairstyle and colour, skin tone and eye colour and their daddy’s hairstyle and colour, skin tone, eye colour and the option for facial hair or glasses. There’s also an option to leave a personal message at the front of the book! RRP £14.99. See our full review here

4. Me To You Tatty Teddy With Tie - Every Me to You bear is handmade with love and care and this cute 6"  Tatty Teddy wearing a shirt and tie is sure to put a smile on your dad’s face this Father’s Day. RRP £10

5. These Tatty Teddy Open Back Slippers from Me To You are perfect for keeping your dad’s feet cosy and warm. The slippers feature an image of Tatty teddy and the words 'My Dad My Hero'. RRP £8. Our full review can be found here

6. Me To You Daddy Mug Treat your dad to his favourite hot drink in this Tatty Teddy enamel mug featuring an adorable image of Tatty Teddy and the words 'My Daddy My Hero' RRP £5

Thank you very much for taking a look at my Father's gift guide, I do hope you like my choices and that you have perhaps seen something that your Dad would love too! 

I would love to hear which gift you think would suit your Dad, or your Children's Dad best? 

Lynette x

Sunday, 8 June 2014

OtterBox iPad Mini Case - Perfect Protection for Dad's Gadgets this Father's Day! *Review*

With Father’s Day fast approaching it is often difficult to think of the ideal gift for Dad's who have pretty much everything! For those who love their gadgets including smartphones and tablets, OtterBox offer the ultimate in protection with their robust and rugged cases, perfect for busy dads on the go or for those who are more accident prone!

The cases look great while offering 3 layer protection which means you can be safe in the knowledge that with an otterbox case protecting your device it will withstand any drops bumps or shocks that may occur!

We were kindly sent an OtterBox Defender Series case for our iPad mini ahead of Father's Day, and as Ali is rather clumsy and our daughter is forever leaving sticky finger marks on the screen, I was eager to pop the ipad mini within the case and test it out! 

I am not sure if you can see from the image above, but the case actually has a built-in screen protector which is fantastic for keeping little fingers at bay, I'm almost too ashamed to show the amount of marks and little scratches which were on our ipad before of using the case, but here it is... 

Shameful, I know... I blame the man and the little one! 

The case was simple to put around the ipad mini, firstly there is a sillicone layer which you peel off, then the hardcase beneath comes in two parts, one for the back, and then the screen protective front, once they are both in place, simply replace the sillicone cover to the back and your ipad mini is completely protected. There are even port covers to keep out dust and debris and the case comes with a kickstand included too which is ideal if Dad enjoys watching movies or music videos on his device. 

The ipad feels extrememy secure inside the case and there is not a single part left uncovered other than the speaker and space for the camera. The flexible port covers are simple to move aside in order to charge when required so there is no need to take it out of the case at any point. The device does feel a little weightier now that it is the case but this has not posed a problem for any of us including our 5 year old, who can still handle it with ease.

 I am extremely impressed with our new Defender case and would definitely recommend investing in one to protect your smartphone or tablet if you are worried about them getting damaged or scratched in any way. 

My Dad is an electrician and often worries about dropping his iPhone while working on sites etc, he was so impressed by our case that it has given me the idea to purchase one for him in time for Father's Day, I'm sure it is something he would appreciate and get plenty of use out of! 

If your dad likes spending time on the slopes or in water, then the LifeProof range would make the ideal choice for him! The cases are dust proof, drop proof, snow proof and water proof. Check out the full range here

The Defender series is available for the S4, Kindle, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad Air, iPad, iPad 2, iPad mini, with prices starting at £39.99. You can check out the full range over on the Otterbox website.

Disclosure: I was sent an OtterBox iPad mini Defender case for the purpose of review, all opinions remain 100% honest and my own.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Heston Blumenthal Precision Scale from Salter *Review*

If the man in your life enjoys spending time in the kitchen, then this Heston Blumenthal Precision Scale by Salter would make an excellent gift idea this Fathers day!

The precision scale is the first of its kind, with an innovative dual platform you can weigh ingredients from as little as 0.1g right up to an impressive 10kg, giving unparalleled precision.

Having been given the opportunity to try out the scale for myself, I can honestly say that is by far the best I have used. The dual platforms make it easy to weigh different ingredients at the same time, and they can be placed directly onto the platforms or within your own bowl on the top. The smaller of the two platforms has a capacity of 200g and the larger has an impressive 10kg capacity! 
The scale's stainless steel platforms not only look great but are also hygienic and easy to wipe clean. 

I loved that The precision scale has a  Aquatronic™ feature allowing the measurement of liquids in either ml or fl.oz too, and the convenient Add & Weigh function is ideal for measuring multiple ingredients all within one bowl, which saves on preperation time and on the washing up afterwards too.

The large display with back lighting provides very clear reading with the weight being displayed almost instantly.

Operating on 3 x AAA batteries and with a 15 year guarantee, which is very reassuring, the scale is slimline and comes complete within a display case, inside of which is a step by step guide on how to use your scale. I found the case perfect for storing the scale away when not in use and it takes up very little space at all. 

Regular readers will already be familiar with my love of baking, so I'm sure can imagine my excitment about this fantastic scale, but how about the other half? How does he fair in the kitchen? Well in all honestly, Ali is rather a lazy cook and prefers preparing savoury meals to baked delights. On the one day a week when he does cook, he is happiest making one pot meals or roasts where he can simply throw in all the ingredients and hope for the best rather than following a recipe which involves exact measurements.

However since receiving this scale, he seems to have taken rather a shine to it, just like a child with a new toy, and we have been fighting for prep space in my our kitchen! For the first time ever he actually followed a recipe to the letter, it may have only been carrot cake, but it's a start and we might make a Heston out of him yet! 

Overall, we would both highly recommend The Heston Blumenthal Precision Scale for it's ultimate conveniece and accuracy, it has made a wonderful addition to our Kitchen! 

The scale is available directly from Salter and also from John Lewis, RRP £49.99.

Does your Dad or partner enjoy cooking? What are your thoughts on the precision scale? 

Lynette x

Disclosure: We were sent a Heston Blumenthal Precision scale for the purpose of review, all opinions expressed remain 100% honest and my own.

OXO GoodGrips French Press - Perfect for Coffee Lovers This Father's Day! *Review*

If your Dad is a big Coffee lover, then the Good Grips French Press With Groundskeeper from OXO would make a fantastic gift this Father's Day! For Dad's who like their kitchen gadgets this one is sure to impress, with a large 8 cup capacity, the press delivers perfect coffee every time. 

We were given the opportunity to try the press out for ourselves ahead of Father's Day and my first impressions were how sleek the French press looks, with it's stainless steel housing and inner glass carafe it would make a lovely addition to any Kitchen! 

The press is extremely simple to use and to clean, it has a 1L/8 cup capacity which is ideal for when you have guests. If you prefer a mug to a cup like myself, we made up coffee for 6 cups which was equivalent to a mug full each for Ali and I, while leaving enough for a small refill too!

How to make delicious coffee in just 5 minutes using the OXO french coffee press:
  1. Remove the lid and align the handle of the groundskeeper to the handle of the press then Place one tablespoon of ground coffee per cup into bottom of the carafe.
  2. Pour hot, but not boiling water to your required fill level
  3. Pop the lid back on to the Carafe, but do not press down the  filter plunger just yet
  4. Allow to brew for 4 minutes, push the filter plunger down completely, slowly and evenly.
  5. Serve, and enjoy! 

I was a little worried about how hot my coffee would be after the recommended 4 minute brewing time, however the press had kept it at the perfect temperature and the results were a delicious tasting hot cup of coffee. I do own a coffee machine too, but have to admit that overall I prefered the taste of the coffee which was brewed within the OXO french press, and Ali agreed with me on this too.  

I also loved how easy the press is to clean! I remember that the restaurant I worked in many years ago used to serve filter coffee and that the Carafe's were rather difficult to clean afterwards, thankfully that is not the case with this OXO press due to the silicone groundskeeper ladle which quickly and easily removes grounds in just one easy step. The whole unit is very simple to wash afterwards and it is recommended that all components are handwashed only and left to drip dry.

I would highly recommend the OXO french, which is available from good homeware stores and also at Amazon, The RRP is a very reasonable £35, but if you're quick, it is currently on offer for just £24.19, meaning you can grab a bargain and still spoil Dad this Father's Day! 

What do you think of the OXO French Press? Do you think your Dad would be impressed if he were to receive one this Father's Day? I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Lynette x

Disclosure: I was sent an OXO French Press for the purpose of review, all opinions remain 100% honest and my own.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Father's Day Gifts For Football Fanatics!

If your Dad is a big Football fan and you are looking to treat him to a sporting gift this Father's Day, I would highly recommend checking out Your Sports iD.  As the only website offering personalised official merchandise, they make it possible to create a gift that really does have Dad's name written all over it! 

Your Sports iD specialise in personalised footballs, both premiership teams and non clubs too, the ordering process is very straight forward, you simply choose the ball that you would like and then type your chosen name or message, you can even select the text size and colour too, and preview how your ball will look to ensure it is perfect before placing your order.

I was kindly given the opportunity to create a football of my own ahead of Father's Day and decided on a Tottenham Hotspur ball for my Dad, I chose gold lettering with "Dad" and the number "57" to represent the year he was born and also the age he will be turning very soon... shhhh!

I loved that I could see how my chosen text would look on the ball first and I was able to have a play around with the different font sizes and colours before finally opting for the gold. 

Although my Dad no longer plays football himself, unless it's with the grandchildren, he loved this unique football gift and I am sure it will take pride of place amongst his collection of Tottenham merchandise.

The Football and it's stitching are of very high quality, and it look great too! I think one of these personalised footballs would make a very thoughtful gift this Father's Day and that little ones will love the opportunity to add their own special message for Daddy too.  

Is your Dad a big football fan? Do you think they would be impressed with one of these personalised footballs from Your Sports iD? 

Lynette x

Disclosure: I was sent a personalised football of choice for the purpose of review, all opinions remain honest and my own. 

The Braun Series 3 340 Wet And Dry Shaver - Perfect for Busy Dad's this Father's Day! *Review*

If you are looking for a gift for Dad's who take pride in their appearance this Father's Day, then the Braun Series 3 340 W&D shaver would make the perfect choice! Awarded a Which? best buy award in 2013, the shaver provides performance and comfort with every single shave.

The Series 3 W&D brings Braun’s Triple Action Free Float System™, which makes the cutting of long and short hairs a breeze in just one stroke while also minimising skin irritation too. The shaver promises improved performance even on 3 day old stubble so for Dad's who like to take a weekend break from shaving, this would be the ideal shaver for them.

If that was not impressive enough, the shaver can also be used both wet and dry, so busy dad's can save time by using it in the shower with foams and gels for ultimate convenience.  

We were given the opportunity to try the Braun Series 3 3040 W&D for ourselves, so with the help of my (not so) glamorous assistant, we put the shaver to the test!

Ali's before and after shot, 3 days worth of stubble, and then looking much smoother and clean shaven following use of the Braun W&D shaver!

Included in the box was the Shaver itself, the charger stand and also a handy case to put the shaver in when not in use, which I'm sure would be very convenient for Dad's who travel too.

The shaver looks stylish with it's blue and black finish and it is relatively light weight for ease of use. It can be used either corded or cordless and is fully rechargable in less than 2 hours, however if you were in a rush, a quick 5 minute charge is sufficient for a single shave.

Ali usually finds that dry shaving irritates his sensitive skin and leaves a little rash, but we wanted to fully review the shaver so he tried using it in both modes.

Ali's thoughts:
He found using the shaver both wet and dry very comfortable and was impressed that after a dry shave his skin did not appear irritated in the slightest. His personal preference however was while using the shaver wet, he loved that he was able to use it in the shower and was pleased with how soft and smooth his skin felt afterwards, even on his 3 day old stubble!

Overall, for comfort, convenience and an all round close shave, we would highly recommend the Braun series 3 W&D shaver!

Available from both Amazon and Boots, the RRP for the shaver is £99.99. However, as it is currently Boots' product of the week, if you are quick, you could pick up a great gift for Dad at the fantastic price of  just £44.99!

Disclosure: I was sent a Braun Series 3 340 W&D shaver for the purpose of review, all opinions are 100% and my own.