Decorating the Breakfast Table with Egg Buckets and Soldier Eggs

Egg & Toast Soldiers

You know how sometimes you have something to do and you put it on a list, then a new list, then a new list. And then you’re going to do it before you move, then after you move then after your holiday, and before you know it, something you were planning on doing in March finally gets done in June? Well, that’s me and these egg cups. I’ve been wanting to tell you about them for months! Hopefully after today I can enjoy using them without reminding myself I should write this!Eggs Bucket
Well, we received these bucket egg cups from Prezzybox.com for our Easter (oh, the shame!) table, and we loved them. They are steel, coated in a strong paint, meaning they don’t break when dropped and the paint (hasn’t thus far) chipped. The little handle is very cute too, and the ‘Eggs’ on it is a nice touch. Once you’ve eaten the eggs they only require a little rinse. If you forget them in the hot water, the black writing does unfortunately rub off, leaving only a shadow of the word, which is unfortunate, but not a deal breaker. They are still lovely egg cups. We also use them for mixing soy sauce and wasabi when we’re having sushi.

There’s also another fantastic little set which is ideal for children.

Soldier EggsIt’s a soldier egg cup and toast cutter, which is a plastic egg cup, shaped and decorated like a soldier complete with a hat and all. Along with that, the soldier-egg holds a spoon the child can use to eat the egg – although it’s too soft to crack the egg, so they’ll need help with that, but I tend to peel them for the kids anyway, saves on a lot of mess. There’s also a toast cutter that comes with it. Each piece of toast will cut three soldiers lying head to toe, but obviously you can turn them the right way round on the plate. They are perfect for dipping in a runny egg yolk.

My daughter loves this set, and it does convince her to eat a little egg yolk, though she wouldn’t normally. It’s very cute though and at only  £6.95 is a fab addition to our weekend breakfast table.

Something else Prezzybox sell, though I don’t have one myself, but will be buying it for a friend who has her own chickens, is the Personalised 1/2 dozen egg holder. I think it’s such a lovely thing for someone who collects their own eggs (and if you’re lucky they’ll give you some, because eggs from someone’s garden are soooo much better than any you can buy, free range or not!

Personalised Egg Box

  • I was sent these review samples for free to see what I thought of them. Opinions are my own. Links are affiliate links. It won’t cost you anything to use them!

Degustabox Food Subscription Box {Review & Offer}

Degusta Box Offer

Over the last six months I’ve been receiving a monthly Degustabox and for some reason I’ve never even written about it! So here’s me today, telling you about it!

As the title says, Degustabox is a food subscription box. You pay a monthly fee and the Degustabox is delivered to your door (I receive a text message the day before to tell me my box will be with me tomorrow, and on the day to tell me between what time and what time [1 hour slots] and they have not once yet been late, so that’s pretty impressive all on it’s own!)

DegustaboxEach month the Degustabox comes with a selection of goodies new to the market or that companies would like to promote. For some things you’ll receive a whole packet like you would buying it in the shop and for other things you’ll receive a sample – for example you might receive a large bag of crisps or a bag of 6 croissants, or you might receive a sample size biscuits or fortune cookies. There’s a good mix and match.  There will normally be enough of everything to allow two – three people to share one box, though you might not all get the same flavour, and not everyone will get one of everything. That’s okay – I hide the best stuff from the kids and eat it on my own 😉

The Degustabox might include snacks, food, juices or soft drinks and/or alcohol. Sometimes it contains parts for a meal – say packet rice or sauce for a slow-cooked meal, or stuffing for a turkey, so it’s a great mix that you can easily incorporate into your monthly or weekly meal plan.

May Degustabox
May Degustabox

In the Degustabox you will also receive flyers about some of the newer or more unusual products, and an information sheet that contains everything in the box, along with the prices you would pay for it in a shop.

In six months we’ve not had any serious breakages – maybe a biscuit here or there but no glass or anything as it’s all individually wrapped or packaged intelligently, which was a concern for me!

The Degustabox is a luxury item, I’ll admit. It’s something I really look forward to receiving because I rarely ‘break’ away from my shopping list and my grocery budget. I have a very fussy eater in my four year old, so sometimes I’ll just choose to not bother buying new things because I hate food waste. This way, I am able to test things in sometimes smaller portions, or just have things that I kind of consider as treats for myself. I have always been an adventurous eater, and opening up my monthly Degustabox is a very exciting thing!

Degustabox with Information Sheet
Degustabox with Information Sheet

Of course there have been things we’ve chosen not to eat in the box too, like a bottle of artificial sweetener or the occasional bar of chocolate from a brand we’re not keen on, but those we pass on or drop give away or whatever, and so far it’s been rare that we’ve not finished everything in the box!

Degustabox Offer

The Degustabox is £12.99 including delivery, and there are 10 – 15 items in each box. There are no contracts or commitments, if you want to cancel let them know before the 9th of the month. If you sign up to their newsletter or website you will also receive recipe ideas to accompany the contents of the box. Readers can use the code BLDEG15 o take a whopping £6 off your first box, making it just £6.99 delivered.

We love our Degustabox and hope you will too!

T.G.I. Fridays For Foodies {Review}

TGI Fridays Review

My family were invited to T.G.I. Fridays to try out their current menu and some of the new menu items. We didn’t have plans for Mothering Sunday so it seemed as good a time as any for a family lunch. I have to admit that I didn’t have much of an opinion on T.G.I. Fridays before this lunch and I don’t think I’ve ever been to one. I do know, however, that I will be back.

I find it really hard to choose just one thing off the menu, so we chose a lot of things and shared it between all of us, and we overate like crazy. Between us we had probably enough for two meals. It was a little over indulgent, I’ll admit, but it was so very good!TGI Fridays Review

As an American brand serving ‘American’ food, I’ve always disregarded T.G.I. Fridays as expensive fast food. I could not have been more wrong.

(Much to my annoyance, I swapped bags as we were heading out the door, and left my camera at home! So I had to take photos with a phone I’d had for less than 24 hours! Sorry about that!)  Continue reading “T.G.I. Fridays For Foodies {Review}”

Snackeez Snack And Drink Cup

Snackeez

Snackeez is a new product on the market – a snack pot and drink cup in one. It’s the kind of thing I can imagine was dreamt up at a cocktail party, when someone was holding their champagne glass and serviette of finger foods in one hand, while shaking hands and hobnobbing with their free hand.

I don’t think Snackeez will be taking over from Champagne flutes at posh events, but I do think it’s a super useful product for busy parents and active people. Snackeez

The Snackeez Snack pot is a three-part construction: the standard reusable drinks pot, that you fill up to the top of the cupholder, with a pot that fits inside. It has a flip top lid and a movable and removable straw – ideal for washing up.

The pot fits inside the cup, screwing tightly in so that there (doesn’t appear to be!) any leakage, unless you tip it upside down and liquid gets in the straw.

While the snack pot looks quite small from the outside, it holds a substantial amount of snackage. As you can see in the picture I had a fair portion of grapes and a whole clementine in there, and there’s plenty of room to spare.

When would you use the Snackeez Snack and Drink Cup?

I use mine when I’m leaving the gym. I go to the gym after dropping my children in the morning, so they’ve been up, gotten dressed, had breakfast and we’ve driven a half hour to anywhere, then I go to the gym and aside from coffee and maybe a small snack, I’ve not eaten anything yet. I finish in the gym around 10:30 or 11, and by that time I can be light headed and starving. It’s really hard then, to walk past the cafe (who decided it was a good idea to sell cakes in the gym? Is that their way of making sure you come back?!) and not buy something.

Now, I keep the Snackeez pot in the car with fresh water or smoothie and some nuts or other fruit in the snack pot.

The flip top lid makes it easy to get the fruit out while I’m driving, since I don’t have to take both hands off the wheel to open it.

My children also like using it for their pretend picnics – I guess it’s the novelty factor, but it means they’re drinking water and enjoying healthy snacks.

I think this would also be super useful if you were one handedly pushing a stroller or pushchair, and still wanted a hand free for a drink and snack.
Snackeez

What don’t we like about the Snackeez Snack and Drink Pot?

I love the flip top lid when I’m driving, but it does mean I can’t put the cup in my handbag and you can’t put it in the kids’ lunch box, because it doesn’t seal. If they could find a way to make it sealable, it would be superb for an on-the-go lunch idea.

It’s not suitable for hot drinks, so I can’t put coffee in it. I have a problem with anything I can’t put coffee in!

It’ll be good come summer though – iced coffees are so refreshing!

Where can you find the Snackeez Snack Pot and Drinks Cup?

There are a variety of distributors for Snackeez cups  – you can buy through Amazon, Argos, eBay or Character Online at the moment (£9.99) and they come in a range of colours too.

See Snackeez in action!

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Skenda Knives Ergonomic Kitchen Knife Set

Skenda Knives


I recently bought a (hugely discounted) Skenda Knives set from Amazon and I have to tell you I’m impressed. I guess it helps that I haven’t bought new knives in about a decade, and while my old set works pretty well, this new set has stolen pride of place in the drawers.

I think knives are one of those things that you become complacent with and you just accept that they are what they are, and it’s only when you use a shiny new sharp set that you realise what you’ve been missing out on.

That was the case here, for sure.Skenda KnivesThe Skenda Kitchen Knife Set is advertised on Amazon as a 12 piece set, but what they mean is that it’s a 6 piece knife set (as advertised on the packaging ) with 6 individual blade covers – making it a 12 piece set.

These antibacterial knives have a non-stick coating finish and antibacterial blades with ergonically designed handles. What all that means, really, is that the blades are coated which should prevent rust and make them easier to clean and they are comfortable to hold.

The set comes with a 3.5″ pairing knife – useful for peeling vegetables, – a 5″ utility knife, a 7″ carving knife, an 8″ bread knife, an 8″ chef knife and a 7″ Santoku knife, a Japanese knife best used for chopping, cutting, dicing and mincing.

First out the box for me was the bread knife and I was surprised by the difference between it and my old one. It sliced through the bread without squashing it! I’d almost forgotten what unsquashed bread looked like! (Yes, I’m ashamed of myself!)

Next I used a pairing knife to quickly rid a swede of it’s skin, and the chef knife to quickly and with minimal effort dice the swede.Skenda Knives

The blades do have a slight flexibility to them which makes them feel less solid, but it doesn’t affect performance, and if you look at the cost compared to a £100+ set, it’s understandable.

I think my favourite thing about these knives is the individual blade covers. Each knife has it’s own colour matched cover, and when you pack them away, you can cover them so that you don’t stick your hands in the drawer and have your fingers sliced open. Because of this – very real – danger (I’ll show you my scars some day!) all my sharp knives have lived on my kitchen counter, but now they can go in the drawer. I’m really pleased with this development in my kitchen!

Over all, I’m really pleased with the Skenda Knives Set. At the price I think they are really good value. I’ve only been using them for a couple of weeks, so I don’t know how long they will last, but so far, so good!

Are You Ready To Get Back To Basics?

1200x628Are-you-Ready

What is the Back to Basics Living Bundle?

A group fof excellent bloggers in the cooking from scratch, homesteading, preparedness, sustainable DIY, natural remedies, homeschool, frugal living, and simple living communities put together their ebooks, courses, and printables together and are offering them at a 90% discount.

The way it works is when you buy the bundle you will be sent a download link from where you can download most of the products as PDFs – those that can’t are things like a digital magazine, an e course and so on. The great thing about PDF’s is that you can download them onto your Kindle or e-reader or print them for personal use.

Click here to be notified when the bundle goes live

My favourites from the Bundle

As a contributor I was able to purchase an advance copy of this bundle and so far I have completed The Debit Card Envelope Budget which I found really interesting – it made a lot of sense and I’ve already implemented a few of the ideas from it myself.

I also thought From Dirt To Dollars: A Guide to Selling at Farmers’ Markets had some fantastic first-hand information for anyone looking to make a few pennies from their garden produce.

10 Minute Prep Freezer Meals  is great for this time of year – or for any time really, since my children can decimate a living room in the time it takes to prepare one meal!

Aside from that, the The Hearty and Grounding 7 Day Winter Meal Plan has given me the kick up the backside I needed to get back to healthy food after the festivities of the last month.

Click here to be notified when the bundle goes live

Back To Basics Living Bundle†Books

There are a number of different book categories here, so even if you only ever use one or two categories, the savings should be enough to make it worth your while buying the bundle.

The Bundle will cost $29.97 which is £20.62 or $42.93AUS

Cooking From Scratch

Cooking-From-Scratch

Homestead Cooking with Carol–Carol J. Alexander (Everything Home With Carol)

Whole Wheat Bread Making–Donna Miller (Millers Grain House)

Cooking with the Seasons: Winter Edition–Herbal Academy

Off the Shelf: Homemade Alternatives to the Condiments, Toppings, and Snacks You Love–Kris Bordessa (Attainable-Sustainable)

Bliss Balls for Beginners–Luschka Van Onselen (Keeper Of The Kitchen) (me!)

10 Minute Prep Freezer Meals–Shanti Landon (Life Made Full)

Oh Lardy’s Guide to Fermenting Fruits & Vegetables–Tamara Mannelly and Kelly Liston (Oh Lardy)

The Trayer Wilderness Cookbook ~ Homesteading The Traditional Way ~ Volume 1–Tammy Trayer (Trayer Wilderness)

The Hearty and Grounding 7 Day Winter Meal Plan–Tara Wagner (Sustainable Baby Steps)

Empowered Eating–Teri Page and Tatiana Abatemarco (Homestead-Honey)

DIY

DIY

From Dirt To Dollars: A Guide to Selling at Farmers’ Markets–Annie Coombe (Country Living in a Cariboo Valley)

Dehydrating Mini eCourse–Jennifer and Bill Osuch (Self Reliant School)

DIY Face Masks and Scrubs–Stacy Karen (A Delightful Home)

Frugal Living

Frugal-Living

The Beginnerís Guide to Zero Waste Cooking: How to Make the Most Out of Nothing in the Kitchen–April Lewis (An Apple a Day Wisdom)

The Debit Card Envelope Budget–Dan Carpenter (The Daily Prep)

Six Dollar Family (From Six Dollars to Six Figures)–Stacy Barr (Six Dollar Family)

Green Living

Green-Living

The 3 Gís of Kitchen Cleaning–Amber Bradshaw (The Coastal Homestead)

The Complete Guide to Natural Cleaning–Angie Holden (The Country Chic Cottage)

Sustainable Lifestyle Design–Emily Uebergang (The Urban Ecolife)

Homeschool

Homeschool

Easy Peasy Chores–Alina Joy Dubois (Good Old Days Farm)

Back To Basics Homeschool MP3 Collection–Amy Stults and Jimmie Lanley (iHomeschool Network)

My Color Coded Homeschool Planner–Jennifer and Bill Osuch (Self Reliant School)

Vintage Kids Modern World Planner–Kelsi Rea (Raising Vintage Kids)

Homeschooling Fundamentals–Tiffany Davis (Imperfectly Happy)

Homesteading

Homesteading

Urban Farming For Kids–Danelle Wolford (Weed ’em & Reap)

The Urban Chicken–Heather Harris (Homestead Hippy)

Habitat Housing for Rabbits–Janet Garman (Timber Creek Farm)

Tips For The Beginning Beekeeper–Karen Creel (Garden Chick)

Pickling Primer–LeAnn Edmondson (Homestead Dreamer)

The Little Series of Homestead How-Tos–Leigh Tate (5 Acres and a Dream)

Nigerian Dwarf Goats 101: Background & Basics–Lesa Wilke (Better Hens and Gardens)

Homesteading When You Donít Have a Homestead–Marie Beausoleil (Just Plain Marie)

Patio Raptors–Meredith Skyer (ImaginAcres)

Homestead Management–Quinn Veon (Reformation Acres)

Vegetable Gardening Basics–Rick Stone (Our Stoney Acres)

The A-Frame Pallet Planter–Shelle Wells (Preparedness Mama)

The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil–Susan Vinskofski (Learning and Yearning)

Ready, Set, Grow!–Susannah Shmurak (Healthy Green Savvy)

Natural Remedies

Natural-Remedies

Natural Herbal Living–Amanda Klenner

The Empowered Mother–Cara Comini (Health, Home and Happiness)

Cold + Flu Season – Are YOU Ready?–Carol Little R.H. (Studio Botanica)

The Beginnersíí Book of Essential Oils–Christine Dalziel (Joybilee Farm)

Homemade Beauty Essentials–Jessica Lane (104 Homestead)

How to Make Healing Herbal Salve and Lip Balm–Kami McBride (Living Awareness)

Natural Beauty From Head to Toe–Kelly Cable (Simple Life Mom)

Common Sense Home Remedies–Laurie Neverman (Common Sense Homesteading)

My Buttered Life: Personal Care Edition–Renee Harris (Hard Lotion)

The Mother magazine–Starr Meneely (The Mother Magazine)

Preparedness

Preparedeness

Getting Prepared–Angela England (Untrained Housewife)

The Every Day Carry Guide–Chris Ruiz (The Bug Out Bag Guide)

Prepping Crash Course–Dale and Lisa Goodwin (Survivalist Prepper)

The Complete Book of Preppers Lists–Joan Crain (Family-Survival-Planning)

Food Storage Made Easy–Jodi and Julie (Food Storage Made Easy)

Your Own 72 Hour Kit Plan–Misty Marsh (Your Own Home Store)

Wonder Oven Cooking Video–Meagan Smith (My Food Storage Cookbook)

Protein Power–Riley Carson (Pioneer Settler)

Simple Living

Simple-Living

Living A Rich Life As A Stay-At-Home Mom–Anita Fowler and Karen Jensen (Live Like You’re Rich)

Family Systems: How to Automate Your Housewife Life–Hilary Erickson (Pulling Curls)

Practical Simplicity–Rachel Jones (Nourishing Minimalism)

Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen–Stephanie Rose (Garden Therapy)

Household Organization Pack–Whitney Cornelison (Beauty In The Mess)

Click here to be notified when the bundle goes live

What should you do?

While you’re waiting for the bundle sale to start on January 18th, join me in this free email series 15 Day Back to Basics Living Challenge. You’ll receive free Back to Basics tips and printables right in your inbox!

Click here to be notified when the bundle goes live

Fun Halloween Misfortune Cookies {Review}

Halloween Misfortune Cookies Packaging

I don’t normally fall over myself to do anything special for Halloween, but when I saw these Mis-Fortune cookies, I pretty much had to have them.

They would make the most perfect after dinner treat if you’re doing anything on Halloween – or if you’re a closet Goth and want to bring your inner darkness to the table.

The box contains – obviously – an unlucky 13 misfortune cookies. Each is individually wrapped in a frightful wrapper decorated by frightened cats, ghouls and a teddy bear that’s seen better days, all in a style reminiscent of Tim Burton.

Halloween Misfortune Cookies Packaging

Inside the wrapper is a pitch black misfortune cookie, shaped like a traditional fortune cookie. Crack it open with a perfect snap, and inside you’ll find a black paper with your mis-fortune written on it.

My first misfortune cookie was so macabre, I had to laugh out loud: Your best days are already behind you. Well, I’d just spent the morning with two tired and grumpy children after an intensely busy week. How did the misfortune cookie know?!Halloween Misfortune Cookies Packaging

Well, on that cheerful note, I risked a bite of the cookie, half expecting it to be made of dried out black pudding or something equally unpleasant sounding and tasting. Fortunately the producers take mercy on your taste buds and provide a delicious tasting fortune cookie – but it is the only thing they take mercy on.

With messages like “Happy? It won’t last!” and “At least I believe in you. Me. A piece of paper” your guests will be served a hard dose of reality, but I bet they’ll laugh about it. This will be like Christmas, where everyone’s taking turns sharing theirs for everyone to groan and laugh over.

Whether as an after dinner amusement, or if you’re feeling flush and want to give them out to trick or treaters, these will go down a storm, I’m pretty confident!Halloween Misfortune Cookies Packaging

These Misfortune Cookies are made from wheat flour, sugar, glucose syrup and contain Soya Lecithins. They are coloured by carbon, rapeseed oil and also contain flavouring, salt and sodium bicarbonate.

You can find them at a number of retailers online:

Casdon Annabel Karmel Baking Range And No-Cook Coconut Ice Recipe

My children have always been fond of spending time in the kitchen with me, so when we were offered a review of the Casdon Annabel Karmel Baking Range, I said yes – we have a  ton of play kitchen stuff, but real kitchen goodies made for kids? Well, what’s not to love?

My brother has been visiting from Australia this week, and he mentioned wanting coconut ice, so I pulled up an old recipe from the Disney Cakes and Sweets series that’s fantastic to makes with kids, since it doesn’t require any boiling or cooking.

Disney Cakes and Sweets is a really fantastic magazine to subscribe to, and along with fantastic quality bakeware and silicone moulds there are step by step instructions and recipes for every Disney character you could imagine. It’s something else. You can find out more about what’s available in the Disney Cakes & Sweets Magazine subscription by clicking hereCasdon Annabel Karmel Baking Range

Most of our equipment came from the Casdon Annabel Karmel Baking Range and while it’s supposed to be for pastries and cakes, it worked really well for coconut ice.

We used the mixing bowl and mixing spoons to mix our ingredients together, and then we used the cupcake tray and silicone mini cupcake cases to add a layer of white and then a layer of pink coconut ice.
Casdon Annabel Karmel Baking Range

The kit is really great for little hands, strong and well made. It doesn’t feel at all flimsy or weak – in fact the opposite – it’s really well made and conveniently designed, down to the silicone ‘handles’ on the tray to make it better to hold out of the oven (that we didn’t use this time).

Casdon Annabel Karmel Baking Range

I am really impressed with the quality of this set – honestly I’ve had ‘real’ pans and silicone that haven’t been as good.

The ‘My Perfect Pastry Set’ contains 10 cookie cutters, a round baking tin, six measuring spoons, a silicone spatula, a measuring jug, a mixing bowl with an anti-slip base, a silicone handle whisk, a rolling pin, a mini tart pan and 10 recipes from Annabel Karmel – we’ll try those next!

No cook Coconut Ice

Casdon Annabel Karmel Baking Range And No-Cook Coconut Ice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 kg
Ingredients
  • 397g can condensed milk
  • 300g (11oz) icing sugar
  • 300g (11oz) desiccated coconut (we used organic)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • food colouring of choice
Instructions
Instructions
  1. Set out silicone cupcake cases or a baking tray, ready for use.
  2. I use an awesome brownie pan for most things, and the cupcake cases work well too.
  3. Pour condensed milk into a large mixing bowl and sift in the icing sugar. - I opened the tin of condensed milk and poured it out into the bowl to avoid the sharp edges.
  4. Add the coconut and vanilla essence or extract and mix together until well combined.
  5. Spoon half the mix into your baking tray and flatten out pressing down tightly. Add a few drops of food colouring, and mix well to combine. This is such a messy, fun job, the kids love it.
  6. If you're having two coloured layers, add the required colour to the other bowl.
  7. Mix well and add to pan, flattening till all the first layer is covered, and it's all flattened.
  8. Place pan in the fridge for six hours or overnight to set.
  9. Once set, turn out and cut the coconut ice into squares.
  10. If you use the brownie pan, cut it while still in the pan. This will make huge slices though, so use a knife to cut again.
For the Thermomix®:
  1. Make your icing sugar first, if you're making your own.
  2. Add all but the colouring and mix on speed 2 for 30 seconds.
  3. Split the mixture into two, put one layer in the pan and flatten it with a spoon or with your hand, then add the food colouring to the other one.
  4. Layer the next into the pan and leave to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
  5. Cut the set coconut ice into squares and enjoy.

 

Bahlsen Choco Leibniz – The Biscuit You Have To Try

I’m not a big consumer of commercial biscuits. The way I figure it, if I’m going to stock up on empty calories I’ll just go straight for the chocolates – which I do often enough. I can, however, walk down the biscuit isle in my supermarket and simply not be tempted.  Well, I could. Once. I fear those days may be over.

Let me introduce you to my new friend(s): Bahlsen Choco Leibniz Dark, and his cousins Milk, White, Choco Orange, and Caramel.

Choco Leibniz
New Kids In Town: Choco Leibniz Biscuits

We were sent a parcel full of biscuits to review (that’s just great post to receive, by the way!) and told to have ourselves a little picnic.  I’m going to interrupt myself here to tell you one of the major drawbacks to living on a holiday – island: whenever you go to the beach, your kids want ice cream and treats, because everyone else is on holiday, and having ice cream and treats. I’m the mean mum who says no! we aren’t on holiday!

When I emptied out these biscuits into a fetching plastic container, and took them along to the beach for our picnic, my kids thought Christmas had come. Thanks Bahlsen!

More Choco Leibniz please!
More Choco Leibniz please!

 

So, to the biscuits and why Choco Leibniz will make me do a double take in the supermarket: they may look like a biscuit, but they’re really just chocolate with a bit of crunch. And they are so delicious. I’m almost ashamed to say how many days it took us to finish all five boxes. Not many.

Milk: delicious creamy milk chocolate – proper quality, melts in the mouth.

Dark: these were scrumptious. Rich dark chocolate, bitter but balanced with the biscuit, a definite favourite. I had to fight my daughter for the last one.

White: now, these took me by surprise. I don’t like white chocolate, but these have a dark biscuit base that make for an amazing taste sensation. I’d definitely buy them again!

Orange: These, again, took me by surprise, because I’m not a huge chocolate orange fan. But after one bite, I pulled the half biscuit back to have a look inside. I thought it had a liquid or jelly layer, like jaffa cakes. But they don’t. They’re just really fresh tasting. Lush.

Caramel: I didn’t get to have any of these. My family demolished them before I got to them. I think that means they loved them too!

As you can see in that last picture of our picnic on the beach: my girl doing an Oliver Twist impression, “More please, Sir”. Doesn’t she look sad with her plate (an upturned frisbee!) all empty.

Yeah. That’s how we all feel, now the cupboard is bare.

(Oh, and there’s also a whole page dedicated to recipes using the Choco Leibniz biscuits. Sadly we ate them all before I realised that.)

*These were a free gift in exchange for an honest review. You can purchase Choco Leibniz biscuits from most major retailers. Right there. In the biscuit isle. Never to be walked by again.

 

5 Ways To Cute Up Your Lunch Box

My girls are pretty good eaters. We have our struggles, but for the most part, they’ll eat well enough, so I don’t go to much effort to make their lunch snacks ‘fun’, which makes it all the more fun when we do. I have boxes of cookie cutters and sandwich cutters and flags and all sorts of little bits to throw out those special treats from time to time.

Here are my top five gadgets for making snack time fun:

1) Sandwich cutters

Lunch Box Sandwich cutters

We have a few different sandwich cutters and while my other half moans about the wasted crusts, I am happier binning sandwich crusts before they’ve been chewed and dumped soggily back into the lunchbox to sweat and grow stale all day long. If I know they’re not going to be eaten anyway, I’d much rather bin them at the start of the day, leaving only the parts that will be eaten.

I love the variety of sandwich cutters available on the market, with dolphins, hearts, dinosaurs, puzzle pieces, butterflies and even vehicles to suit all themes and preferences.

I think it’s a fun idea to theme the sandwiches – like dinosaurs for a trip to Dinoworld, or butterflies when you’re observing caterpillars.

2) Egg and rice shapers
Egg and rice shape moulds lunch box

These are the kind of thing I’d normally roll my eyes at and say ‘Who has the time?!’ But actually, they’re super cute. When the eggs are boiled, pop them in the shapes, get the rest of the meal ready and when you’re done add the eggs.  These shape the eggs after they’re boiled, so if you put them in lunch boxes chances are they’ll re-form to their original shape again, so possibly leave them in the cases in the lunch box – but only if you have confidence that they’ll find their way home again!

These can also be used to shape rice for Bento boxes.

If you have the money and space, there’s also a chick-egg shaper* that comes with chick-feet instead of an egg cup, and a skull for halloween*!

3) Animal Impressions

Sandwich cutters lunch box

These are another simple idea for bread. You’re not wasting much, but they’re a cute way to add a bit of fun. The sandwiches are cut to size while the face impressions are superimposed onto the bread. The same happens with the sausage cutters, I think – they just cut the shapes in the ‘right’ way to make them into something cute.
Lunch Box Sausage Cutters

4) Fruit cutters

Fruit shapers

These are such a fun way to serve fruit. Perfect for a fondue, ideal for lunchboxes, you could even do vegetables for a BBQ skewer – whatever makes the kids eat their veg, I say!

5) Fairy Sticky NotesCapture2

And finally, some of my most treasured keepsakes are notes I found on my bed when I’d get home from school, written by my mother. These are even more special since her death. Who doesn’t want to hear how they are loved, appreciated and cared for? Or just to open a lunch box and find notes of encouragement for an exam, a tough job that needs doing, or any of the other obstacles life throws at us.

I have two girls, and they love all things fairy, so this combo fairy post it note set is a winner for us!

I hope these items will help you make lunch time a little more fun!

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Lunchboxes