Tuesday, 12 June 2018

ROAR-some Dinosaur Toys to Celebrate the Release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

ROAR-some Dinosaur Toys to Celebrate the Release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

If your child is excited about the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the latest movie in the Jurrasic Park series then they'll love these dinosaur-themed toys and gifts!

#Stikbot Dino egg

#Stikbot Dino Egg

The multi award-winning StikBots have suction cup hands and feet which allow them to be posed in numerous different ways, these fab little blind eggs have an RRP of £4.99 and each contains a unique and easy-to-pose StikBot Dino, which have extra moving parts for easy animation and enhanced play value.

#Stikbot Dino egg velociraptor

#Stikbot Dino egg red velociraptor

A great pocket money toy to spark their imagination with educational value, kids can play with the dinos on their own as a fun fidget toy or download the FREE StikBot stop-frame animation mobile app for iPhone or Android and start making their own movies! 

#Stikbot Dino stop motion video making

Check out the mini Roarsome blockbuster my seven-year-old created here.

#Stikbot Mega Dino - StikBrontosaurus

#Stikbot Mega Dino - StikBrontosaurus

Just like the Dinos inside the Stikbot eggs but BIGGER! And with the added bonus of being able to choose your favourite Dinosaur. These retail at £7.99 so still a great value toy for any dinosaur fan. Check out the regular content over at Stikbot Central for ideas and inspiration!

#Stikbot Mega Dino - StikBrontosaurus

#Stikbot Mega Dino - StikBrontosaurus and velociraptor

2 in 1 T-Rex Buzz Wire from Brainstorm Toys

Always a favourite at fairgrounds, kids can now play this fun buzz wire game at home! This skilful game also comes with a dinosaur themed twist, Two dino shaped wires call for your cool head and a steady hand. Touch the wire and you set off the buzzer with a dinosaur ROAR!

2 in 1 T-Rex Buzz Wire from Brainstorm Toys

2 in 1 T-Rex Buzz Wire from Brainstorm Toys packaging

GLOW Stars and Dinosaurs

You can now bring Jurassic adventures into your own bedroom with this pack of 35 glow in the dark stars and eight glow dinosaurs including Spinosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, Ceratosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Dicraeosaurus, Stegosaurus and Styracosaurus, the pack includes self-adhesive pads to stick to your walls and ceiling for some dinosaur themed fun!

GLOW Stars and Dinosaurs

Aqua Dragons Jurassic Time Travel Eggspress

Aqua Dragons Jurassic Time Travel EGGspress Includes egg-shaped tank, eggs, food and feeding spoon, just simply add water and then sit back and watch them hatch within 2 to 3 days, then just make sure that you maintain them by feeding and taking care of your dragons. A great low maintenance first 'pet' for Dino-crazy kids! RRP £13.99

Aqua Dragons Jurassic Time Travel Eggspress

T-Rex Projector and Room Guard

T-Rex Projector and Room Guard

The ultimate gift for a dinosaur crazy child, this terrific T-Rex is not only a projector but can guard your bedroom as well. This daring Dino can project 24 images onto your child's bedroom wall, up to 1m wide, and features 18 species of dinosaur, including Stegosaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, Triceratops and many more!

T-Rex Room Guard

This mighty T-Rex roars into action with each unwanted visitor (or nosy little sister!) A trembler alert makes your Tyrannosaurus roar when picked up and a motion sensor detects movement up to one metre away. For curious dinosaur fans, there’s even a secret code to unlock fascinating online dinosaur facts.

T-Rex projector

Don't forget to join in the twitter party at 7pm on Thursday 14th June 2018 for some dinosaur chat and for your chance to win some ROAR-Some prizes! Just follow @Brainstormltd and the hashtags #stickbots #dinosaurs to find out more!

Sunday, 3 June 2018

How I'm feeling after 5 weeks on a meal replacement diet #Boostbuddies

Firstly I'd like to apologise for not updating you last week, there were a few reasons for this, as you know I was in Croatia (holiday spam coming soon!) until Sunday and my intention was to write my update on Monday, but after a day of travelling and with a mountain of washing to tackle all I wanted to do was relax with the children so I had a day in the park! I then got down to tackling the washing mountain and before I knew it I was back to work so I thought instead I'd give you an extended update this weekend...

There's been so much going on over the last two weeks that its tough to know where to start!

Family walking by the Sea in Croatia

I went to Croatia and was a little bit naughty food wise

I'd been looking forward to this break for so long that I really wanted to make the most of my time away and that did mean that there were days that just didn't fit in with two meal replacement shakes a day, so yes I had a few 'cheat' days. I ate a few ice creams and tried the local cuisine, but I also walked a lot, swam and ate salads as much as possible. One thing I have learnt so far in this diet programme is that when you are committing to something like this on a long-term basis, you have to let yourself have bad days and just start fresh the next day without beating yourself up. I realised that one or two days of enjoying myself wasn't going to have that much of an impact in the longer term.

I wore a swimsuit

I don't have a lot of body confidence, if I'm honest with myself I never really have, whatever size I've been (from 8 to 18). I am always uncomfortable revealing parts of my body that are usually covered up so for me wearing a swimsuit is a significant thing. However, I've been thinking a lot recently about how I view my body and how other people view my body. Two particular other people, in fact: my children. 

My children see my body in a completely different way to me, they see my back as something to climb on to see high than they can from the ground, they see my legs as somewhere to hide and feel safe if they are unsure of a situation, and they see my arms as somewhere to hold them tight, to lift them up and to comfort them. When I wear a swimsuit, all they see is their mum ready to get in the water and play with them, to laugh and splash and have fun together. 

So that is what I see when I look at this picture:

Wearing a swimsuit in the pool

I've lost 3lbs in the last two weeks

With everything going on I decided to be a bit kinder to myself and have combined week 4 and week 5's weight loss, which has taken me to a total of 17lbs down. Every pound is a step in the right direction and each time I see the number on those scales go down I get a little bit more sure in the belief that I can do this!

I've lost over a stone in the last 5 weeks and I'm feeling healthier, more confident and am feeling much more comfortable in my clothes.

For me, that's a win!

loosing weight with XLS Meal replacement diet

I joined the gym 

One of the first things I did when I got home from Croatia was to join the gym. I've seriously increased my physical activity over the last 5 weeks and am finding that exercise if helping me to feel happier and more positive in my outlook on life in general as well as supporting my weight loss goals. I'll be sharing more about my progress in the gym over the next few weeks.

Don't forget, you can check out my video diary over on youtube.  and catch up with me on my social channels; on InstagramTwitter and Facebook,, I'd love your support and I need the motivation!

I will be back to update you next week.

Disclaimer: I have received free product and support from XLS during my weight loss journey, but am not being paid. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Eating healthier when out and about with the kids

As part of my recent lifestyle change and weight loss journey, I asked blogger, Neil Walsh for some tips for eating healthier when out and about with the children. The following post is a guest post written by him, do check out his blog for more tips for mums looking to lead healthier lives. 

Child eating burger

Summer is almost here which means that it’s time to try and make the most of the weather
and venture out of the house. Whether it is a family outing to the seaside, a National Trust
property or the thrills and spills of Alton Towers then there will be food choices to be made.
Often on days out it is much harder to eat healthily than it is to do so in the comfort of our
own homes.

So how do make healthy choices (without having to eat wilted salad all day)?

First things first. Let’s be honest here… willpower is pretty unreliable. When faced with
unhealthy choices more often than not we are going to be tempted… and, actually, that’s
fine. A lifestyle and diet without unhealthy choices would be pretty boring and the general
rule of thumb is that as long as your choices are 80% healthy then you can be less healthy
with the remaining 20%. But be warned, it is better to be conservative with this approach as it is very easy to accidentally drift into a 50/50 balance or worse. Making a plan and being
aware is the key to success here.

The easiest way to plan is to take your own food. Pack healthy choices and control most of
what you eat. A healthy pack lunch for the family, a supply of snacks and buying an ice
cream from a van should not blow your calorific budget for the day. On the other hand,
buying a snack from the glass cabinet when ordering a mid-morning coffee followed up by a
calorific fast food lunch could have you over your calorie budget for the day before you’ve
even had dinner.

But it is also possible to eat healthily without bringing your own food. Again it just comes
down to a bit of planning. If you do happen to be going to Alton Towers (like Jen!) then food
choices are going to be limited. One of the options there is The Explorers Pizza and Pasta
Buffet. ALL YOU CAN EAT! If you have a weakness for pizza (which I definitely do!) and you
can't stop once you have started then this might be a place to avoid. 

Having this in mind before you go is crucial as on the day when you are hungry and in need of a rest than being faced with sitting down and offered endless pizza is only going to have one result!

Try these guidelines for making healthy choices when eating out:

  • Plan a healthy snack before lunch so you are not starving when you do eat.
  • Try to look at menus online before you go to help you plan a more informed decision. Try to avoid panic buying that ½ pound bacon and onion ring burger!
  • Don’t be scared to try something different / healthier. Notice I said “healthier”, not healthy. If you always order the same thing when you go out then there may be healthier options that do not involve a drastic change to what you like to eat. E.g, a Big Mac, medium fries and medium coke comes in at around 1,015 calories. Swap that for a McChicken sandwich, small fries and diet coke and even have a salad shaker too and you are still only at 644 calories, a saving of 371 calories. Small savings in calories can all add up to a significant positive impact on your health.
  • Know where the calories come from. Calories in a Big Mac = 508. How many in large fries? 444! So you could almost eat two Big Macs for the same calorific cost as a Big Mac and fries… and you will be much fuller after two Big Macs! Don’t accidentally order calories.
  • If you are unable to scope out a menu beforehand then a helpful rule is that simple is usually healthier. Meat and veg will almost always be healthier than processed and cheese sauce.
  • Don’t be afraid to be ask for what you want. When ordering, ask for dressings on the side, ask to swap fries for veg, ask for half portions, most places are very accommodating.
  • Drink water. Drink water all day! Drinking water will help to fill you up, keep you hydrated/feeling good and has much lower calories than sweet options. If you take your own bottle or ask for tap water then you can save money and reduce plastic waste too!

So there we have it. Don’t rely on willpower. Plan ahead. Drink water. Perhaps just as importantly, if it all goes horribly wrong and you end up having a 4,000 calorie day then don’t beat yourself up or give up on trying to eat healthily. Don’t turn one bad day into a bad week. We all have bad days. The best-laid plans will often not turn out the way we hoped… it’s part of being human. 

It is getting back on the horse again that makes the difference… not eating another horse the next day!

Neil Welsh knows how to get what mums want. Lose weight, encourage your kids to eat healthy food and create habits that last. To start now, check out http://neilwelshnutrition.com for more info!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

How I lost a stone in 3 weeks with #XLS meal replacements!

I won't keep you reading too long to find out how much I've lost this week as I did kind of give it away in the title!

I lost...

Not a great amount, especially in comparison to the previous two weeks, however, it is a loss and it does mean that in the three weeks since I've been using XLS meal replacement shakes, I've lost a grand total of ONE STONE!


How I lost a stone in 3 weeks

I've been trying to lose weight albeit somewhat halfheartedly for over a year now and in all that time I haven't come close to the weight loss I've achieved in the last three weeks.

I've been having an XLS shake for breakfast and one for lunch (usually strawberry for breakfast and chocolate or vanilla for lunch) and then eating a low fat, calorie controlled meal in the evening each day.

For the first week, I was extraordinarily strict with myself and didn't snack at all or touch a drop of alcohol, however that proved difficult to keep up and in weeks two and three I started having a healthy snack such as fruit or a handful of nuts in the afternoon and sometimes in the evening. By week three I'd also treated myself to a glass of wine or two. I've seen the amount of weight I've lost decrease when I've allowed myself small indulgences, however, I've also been upping my exercise game and I've been doing a HIIT workout twice a week (on my lunch hour when I work from home) and walking a lot further.

Walking further with FITBIT

Back in January, I invested in a Fitbit, but until the last month or so I'd been forgetting to wear it for half the week. Since I've started the #Boostbuddies programme, I have been making sure I consistently wear the step counting device and have been challenging myself to go above and beyond my daily step goals, it was hard at first but the more I've done the easier I've found it to do more; last week along I achieved over 100,000 steps, which included exceeding 20,000 on three individual days! If you'd told me a month ago I could do that I would have laughed in your face!

I find joining a weekday or weekend challenge and pushing myself to compete with friends has really helped me to go outside of my comfort zone!


Going Forward

I've been thinking about where I want to be at the end of this programme in five weeks time and I'd love to double what I've achieved so far and make it a total of two stone which will be the kickstart to my weight loss I've been looking for! That will mean losing 2-3lbs each week for the next 5 weeks, this coming week I'm on holiday so it will really be a challenge for me, wish me luck!

You can read more about why I want to lose weight and catch up on my first and second-week XLS #Boostbuddies diet posts.

Don't forget, you can check out my video diary over on youtube.  and catch up with me on my social channels; on InstagramTwitter and Facebook,, I'd love your support and I need the motivation!

I will be back to update you next week on Monday..

Disclaimer: I have received free product and support from XLS during my weight loss journey, but am not being paid. All opinions and thoughts are my own.