Wednesday 30 September 2015

WIN a Sensory Miffy Toy with Miffy's Adventures Big & Small *GIVEAWAY*

I'm a huge fan of 'classic' children's characters - by classic, I mean those from my own childhood - Sooty, Sweep and Sue, Rainbow, Button Moon, The Moomins, The Animals of Farthing Wood, The Racoons, The Riddlers...there are so many characters etched into my childhood, and one that is very special to me is Miffy. She was a character that I absolutely adored as a child. 

I vividly remember borrowing Miffy books from the school library and pouring over the wonderful colours, clear images and enchanting little characters. So when I heard that children's TV channel Tiny Pop were launching a brand new Miffy CGI animation show this Friday, I was mega excited! I am eager to tune in and introduce Bert to another character from my childhood...

Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small airs exclusively across the channel’s Freeview, satellite and cable platforms from 2nd October.

With Miffy’s 60th anniversary celebrations in full swing this year, the new series marks the first time the iconic white bunny has ever been seen in CGI. 

Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small has been developed by London-based animation studio Blue-Zoo, and features 52 x 7’ episodes. It is the animated sequel to the successful Miffy and Friends, the initial stop motion series which aired in more than 70 countries from 2003 onwards.

Featuring new children’s voices, plus new characters and locations, each CGI episode features Miffy exploring the exciting world around her, with simple narrative and cheerful songs to drive it along. It will be faster paced and have more expressive animation than the previous series, yet remains true to the simplicity and iconic style of Miffy’s creator, Dick Bruna.

Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small will become a key part of Tiny Pop’s evening block, Cuddle Time, which features gentle programming allowing kids, mums and dads to enjoy calmer family favourites before bedtime.


We can't wait to tune in for #miffytime, and to help get you even more excited, I have a wonderful prize of a beautiful sensory Miffy toy to giveaway to one of my lucky readers...
Just enter below using the Gleam app. 
WIN A Sensory Miffy Toy
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Uses of Coconut Oil...

Coconut Oil is all-the-rage at the moment. It's fashionable and trendy - it seems that everyone is using it, but what you may ask can you actually use it for?

It really is a wonder oil and it has so many varied uses from cooking to beauty.

I use my supply mainly for cooking  - it is such a healthy oil, it melts beautifully, and most importantly it tastes fantastic: mildly coconutty in flavour, but not too intense or overpowering at all - I use it in both sweet and savoury dishes alike. 

It is an extremely heat-stable oil, meaning that unlike unsaturated fatty acids such as vegetable or olive oil, it does not become damaged by heat. This makes it perfect for baking, frying and roasting. You can also use it as an alternative to butter/spread, add it to smoothies, or use it melted to drizzle over salads etc. 

Why is coconut oil so good for us then?

  • It has been proven to aid the loss of belly fat (YES!)
  • Shown to improve cognitive function (brain power!)
  • It has immune boosting properties due to its ability to disrupt bacteria, fungus and viruses. 
  • Coconut oil is high in lauric acid which protects against bone disease, strokes and cardiovascular problems. 
  • Finally, coconut oil is easily digested which means it gives an instant energy boost making it an ideal choice for very active people. 

I use coconut oil in place of vegetable/olive oil now in almost all of my cooking, and do you know what - my husband hasn't even noticed, which goes to show how mild its flavour is. 

It comes in at around 130 calories per tablespoon, so matches most oils in terms of its calorie content. 

What else can I use it for?

Coconut oil is also an incredibly effective moisturiser - you can use it to replace a face cream/night cream (best popped on at night so it has time to soak in), it can be used to make a fresh mojito body scrub, you can use it as a hand cream, and did you know you can even use coconut oil to clean your teeth? 

Oil Pulling

The process called oil pulling uses coconut oil to deep clean teeth by swirling a tablespoon of room temperature oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. It sounds really disgusting and I wasn't sure at first, but actually, it is not unpleasant at all. The oil melts within seconds of being in your mouth, and then its just as case of swishing around the smooth coconutty liquid for the allotted time and then spitting it out into the bin.

It is not a procedure that is intended to replace your current oral health regime (you should still brush with toothpaste, floss and mouthwash), but it is a fantastic supplemental therapy though - here's what the dentists have to say...

"As the oil hits your teeth and gums, microbes are picked up as though they are being drawn to a powerful magnet. Bacteria hiding under crevices in the gums and in pores and tubules within the teeth are sucked out of their hiding places and held firmly in the solution.
The longer you push and pull the oil through your mouth, the more microbes are pulled free. The oil needs to be swished around long enough for it to turn a milky white, which indicates that the bacteria has been "pulled" off. After roughly 20 minutes the solution is filled with bacteria, viruses and other organisms; at this point, the person spits out the oil and rinses thoroughly with water.
People that “oil pull” state that it has helped whiten their teeth, alleviate halitosis, and even reduce gingivitis. In many cases, people also claim that it helps “prevent” cavities, as well as relieve gum and tooth sensitivity."
(You can read the full article on Oil Pulling here.)
I first heard about oil-pulling from my friend Anwyn about three months ago, and I was really intrigued as it sounded like such an odd process! 
I decided to give it ago, and have now been oil pulling 1-3 times per week ever since. My teeth feel much cleaner and stronger and I love the feeling in my mouth after oil pulling, as a bonus it also leaves my breath feeling/smelling lovely and fresh too! I find it really easy to fit into my weekly routine - I just set a twenty minute timer and get on with checking emails or unloading the dishwasher while I do it. I will definitely continue to make oil pulling a regular part of my oral care routine, as well as using it on a daily basis in the kitchen. 
Which one shall I buy?
My coconut oil of choice is Monkey Nutrition's Organic Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil, and here's what they have to say...


Monkey Nutrition launches first product in its new Primal Foods range, 100% Organic Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil.

The list of health benefits that come from using a good quality coconut oil is exhaustive. It is known to protect the human body from a number of chronic illnesses, assist with fat metabolism and has antibacterial properties due to its high lauric acid content.

Made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s), coconut oil is heat stable, making it ideal for cooking.  Healthy oils such as olive oil are fantastic to use when cold, for example on salads. When you heat them at reasonably high temperatures or for prolonged periods, however, the structure of the fats is damaged causing them to oxidise. This can do your body more harm than good.

On the other hand, studies have consistently shown that the MCT’s in coconut oil play an important role in the fight against belly fat.

The sourcing and processing of coconut oil will also determine its quality as Monkey Nutrition founder, Chris Simon, explains: “We had a lot of boxes to tick to ensure that we were bringing the cleanest product possible to the market.

“We found a lot of the oil from nations such as India and Sri Lanka had a slightly smoky flavour that was a concern, so we instead opted for organic coconuts from the Philippines. We’re always hot on the processing causing damage to products too, so we made sure it was cold pressed, virgin, unrefined, which ensures solvents such as hexane aren’t used in the product.

“Finally, we chose a glass jar instead of a plastic tub which avoids the leaching of toxins such as BPA and phthalates.”

Monkey Nutrition’s 100% Organic Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil is available from and is priced at £10.99 for a 500ml jar.

For more info go to

Monday 28 September 2015

Health Conscious Giveaway

I'm starting my Monday as I mean to go on - full of healthy, clean, natural food choices wherever possible, plenty of water, not too much caffeine and a good long walk. 

After years of over-eating, and little exercise, I have learnt how amazing it feels in both body and mind when I nourish myself with good balanced, healthy food, and get plenty of exercise. These things are now part of my daily routine, and I don't feel like I have to work particularly hard anymore to ensure I'm leading a balanced life when it comes to my diet and the amount of exercise I do. 

In recent weeks I have been searching out new recipe ideas on my quest to put together a personal bible of 'clean eating' recipes I can rely on. Last week saw me try lots of new recipes from the likes of Deliciously Ella and The Kitchen Shed, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. They were tasty, filling, vibrant and interesting meals - and most of them came in at under 600 calories. 

I always cook the same meal for both Liam and I, however, I tend to bulk his out by adding meat or extra carbohydrate or garlic bread etc - so that he can still eat a good hearty portion which will keep him full, and provide him with the extra calories he needs. I am very aware that I don't want to dictate what he eats too much and don't want to force a super-clean diet on him. 

I've said time and again that I do not consider myself to be a 'clean eater' 100% of the time, heck, probably not even 75% of the time. I eat processed food sometimes, I have the odd takeaway - and as you all know I'm rather partial to a piece of cake. However, where possible I try to make clean choices, and strike up a good balance between clean foods and the not-so-clean. 

Today's lunch in at under 400 calories: a chicken, pesto, feta and avocado salad with lettuce and tomatoes plus a big bowl of steaming kale dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. So filling, full of goodness and totally clean and delicious. 

For me, leading a healthy lifestyle is all about organisation and planning (two of my favourite things, luckily). You won't be able to eat a good balanced diet without some planning and forethought. Each week I spend about an hour looking through recipe books and websites getting meal ideas for the week ahead. I plan seven meals (not necessarily on which day we are going to eat them) but I ensure we have seven balanced meals for the week - and then write my shopping list accordingly - checking the fridge/freezer/cupboards for what I already have, and what needs using up. 

This organisation means that a) we rarely waste any food at all and b) I don't go to the supermarket and wander aimlessly chucking random things in my trolley that may or may not make a meal. It means I am focussed, I spend less money on food and ultimately, we eat better as a family. 

Another key to a balanced diet is having a well stocked store cupboard - there are a few key products that I urge you start using if you don't already

-Organic peanut butter: it is so good for you, and is so filling and comforting. Great on rye bread for a speedy slow release breakfast, or even great for dipping fruit in as a snack. You can stuff medal dates with peanut butter and leave them in the fridge for a quick energy boost, and it is also used in many clean eating baking recipes. 

-Coconut oil: I'm planning a future post based solely on this amazing oil - but if you haven't come across it yet, then give it a go. It is so versatile - you can use it to cook anything you'd use olive oil for, it is great for dressings, perfect in clean baking, and even is an amazing moisturiser. 

-Fruit teas: If like me you could easily drink about 8 cups of tea a day, then a herbal alternative is well worth having in stock. I am now trying to limit myself to only 2-3 caffeinated teas per day maximum (which is a tiny amount for someone with a 5-6 a day habit) and so to replace my normal teas I have been trying lots of different herbal/fruit teas. They are cleansing and refreshing, but give the warmth and comfort of a normal tea. Try a few different ones to find your favourite brand/flavours, there are so many out there to try. 

-Wholewheat carbohydrates: Brown rice and pasta are infinitely better for you than their processed white cousins. They release energy slowly, keeping you feeling full up for longer, and ultimately preventing you from snacking on rubbish. I still weigh out my carbohydrates every time I cook as it is very easy to cook far too large a portion of carbohydrate - always follow the recommended portion size on the packet. 

If my readers are interested I am planning on putting together some clean food lists which might help you to make better food decisions and shop more wisely when you're in the this space...

Right, to inspire you all on this bright sunny Monday I have a fabulous giveaway for you - you could win this awesome 'Health Conscious' food bundle from Discount Supplements worth £25, just enter via the Gleam App below..


Mrs B


Prize includes: Bare naked RiceBare Naked NoodlesExtra Virgin Coconut OilYogi Detox Tea, Yogi Positive Energy Tea, Organic Smooth Peanut Butter.

This prize was provided by Discount Supplements

Health Conscious Giveaway

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Monday 21 September 2015

WIN a Family Ticket to Peppa Pig Live: Peppa Pig's Surprise

In just a few weeks time Liam, Bert and I will be heading to our local theatre to see Peppa Pig Live: Peppa Pig's Surprise and we are pretty excited!! 

The day we will be attending is my husbands 31st birthday (he's earning major Daddy points by agreeing to see the show on his birthday) but truth be told we are all huge Peppa fans, and I think it's fair to say that we are all looking forward to it. 

After our fabulous day at Peppa Pig World back in August, we feel confident that Bert will enjoy every minute of this live show - and we can't wait to see his reaction. 


The show will tour the UK & Ireland from autumn 2015 with dates currently being booked for 2016. Produced by leading children’s theatre team Fiery Light, in partnership with licensor Entertainment One, this brand new show marks the seventh consecutive year of Peppa Pig live theatre tours (first tour in 2009) and the fourth Peppa Pig stage production in total. PEPPA PIG’S SURPRISE will tour for over fifteen months throughout the UK and into Ireland. The show will have its world premiere at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford from Friday 23 October.

It’s a lovely day and Peppa is playing outside with her friends. Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig have got a surprise for her and her younger brother George but no matter how hard they try, they cannot guess what it is. In PEPPA PIG’S SURPRISE audiences will enjoy interactive fun, games and, of course, surprises. This charming, colourful new show features new songs and new life-size puppets. Peppa Pig’s Surprise promises to be the perfect theatre show for all pre-schoolers. Suitable for ages 3+.

Currently one of the most popular shows on the UK and Ireland theatre touring circuit, Fiery Light’s Peppa Pig live stage show experience has now gone international with a production running in Australia and another opening in the US in autumn 2015. There are also licensed productions of the show in Spain, Italy and Latin America

Peppa Pig © Astley Baker Davies Ltd / Entertainment One

I will be sharing our experience here on the blog after the show, so watch this the meantime though I have a fab giveaway for you...

One of my lucky readers has the chance to win a family ticket (4 people, minimum 1 adult) to see a performance of Peppa Pig's Surpise during its UK tour. The winner can choose their venue and performance time but please note that tickets are subject to availability and do not include the West End Christmas season.

To be in with a chance of winning, just fill in the Gleam App below.

Peppa Pig Live Giveaway

Terms s & Conditions
A family ticket is for four people, minimum one adult. The tickets are non-transferable and are subject to availability. There are no cash alternatives. Accommodation or travel are not included in this prize.

Good Luck everyone! 

Here's some images from previous Peppa Pig Live shows to whet your appetite...

George & Dinosaur

George Pig with puppeteer Luke Spencer

Daddy Pig, Peppa Pig and Mr Potato

Production images by Dan Tsantilis from Peppa Pig's Big Splash tour 2013 & 2014

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Sunday 20 September 2015

Win a Weekend in Paris with Leisure Jobs *COMPETITION* #PerfectParis2015

Those that know me well or follow me on social media will know that one of my hobbies is entering competitions - I guess I can be officially classed as a "comper" having regularly entered competitions now for two years. I love finding fab prizes up for grabs, and really enjoy hunting around for great prize opportunities. 

Since I began 'comping' in 2012 I have been seriously lucky with my wins - bagging everything from Kindles to £250 John Lewis vouchers, a £160 Sage Appliances juicer, stays in hotels with meals and shopping vouchers, a £300 Hotel Chocolat hamper, restaurant vouchers, toys, DVDs, clothes & shoes...even a 5kg turkey at Christmas! And so much more. It's a truly fruitful hobby that allows us as a family to enjoy so many wonderful 'extras' that we'd never be able to fund otherwise. 

After having so much success I quickly inspired my hubby to start his own comping hobby too - and now between us we try to enter as many awesome competitions and giveaways as we can manage with the limited free time that we have. 

We don't enter every competition we see (despite the jokes from friends/family that we do!) - generally, we only go for competitions where we would truly be excited to win the prize - or if we know someone who we think would love the prize on offer.

When Jessica over at Leisure Jobs contacted me about the fabulous competition they're running at the moment, and asked if I'd like to share it with you my lovely readers, I jumped at the chance...

Not only is it an incredible prize (a weekend in Paris for 2) but it is also a nice easy one to enter - all you have to do is share the pre-populated tweet/Facebook post/LinkdIn post with the hashtag #PerfectParis2015 and you'll be in the running. 

This really is the perfect competition for any comping newbies out there who fancy their luck...

Liam and I in Paris - Feb 2011 (looking slightly rounder to say the least!)

For Liam and I, Paris is a very special city - back in February 2011 Liam proposed to me atop the Eiffel Tower - we had a whirlwind long weekend exploring beautiful Paris - both of us on a euphoric high after our engagement - we loved everything about the magical city, and I would so love to return one day. 

Our magical trip to Paris - Feb 2011

If you too would love to visit the City of Love then I urge you to enter this brilliant competition - you've got to be in it to win it as they say! 

Here are the details you need to enter - GOOD LUCK! 


  1. What could I win? A weekend trip to Paris and a Michelin star meal! 
  2. What do I have to do? Share our competition hashtag #PerfectParis2015 via Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. 
  3. When does this competition close? Our Parisian Weekend competition is running until the 31st of October, 2015. The winner will then be chosen at random. 
  4. Who do I contact for further questions? Please contact Jasmine Freeman at jwf@sportsweb.comfor any questions that you have. 
  5. What next? Have you shared the competition via Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin? Good! Then cross your fingers and wait until the 1st on November to find out whether you have won or not :)
You can enter this fabulous competition by clicking here - you will find all the instructions and terms on this page. 

Best of luck everyone & happy comping!

Mrs B


PS. Do get in touch with your comping stories, I'd love to hear from you if you too have had some fabulous wins! 

Thursday 17 September 2015

Potato & Black Pepper Oatcakes from 'Baking With Vegetables' by Parragon Books *REVIEW* & *RECIPE*

BAKING WITH VEGETABLES - add kale to your cake and feel virtuous while you bake! 

This month I was sent another fab cookery book from Parragon Books to put through its paces. 'Baking with Vegetables' is a lovely full colour, hardback book bursting with inspiring recipes to sneak vegetables into the unlikeliest of foods. 

We've all seen beetroot in a chocolate cake and courgette in a loaf of bread, but how about potatoes in a muffin, sweet potatoes in a brownie or cauliflower in a cheesecake?? Sounds mad doesn't it? But this book seems to make it work - pairing fresh fruits, herbs and spices with complimentary vegetables that as if by magic just seem to sound 'right'. 

The book is broken down into chapters...

1. Cakes, Small Bites & Breads
2. Cookies, Bars & Slices
3. Pastries & Fancies
4. Pies & Desserts

There is a short introduction which covers why we should all be upping our intake of fresh vegetables, the vegetables vs fruit debate, how to source your veg, when to buy and what to buy. It also covers all the essential baking equipment you'll need to work through the recipes in the book - handy! 

I love the sound of lots of the recipes in the book, but not one to 'bake for the sake of it', I wanted to road test a recipe that would compliment a meal we were already planning to eat that week. 

Now that the nights are drawing in, we are falling back to our favourite autumn/winter recipes which are usually slow cooked stews, warming casseroles and the such. One of our favourites is a version of a campfire stew - a grown up, from scratch, homemade "sausage & beans" (like the tins from our childhoods'), if you will. It's nice and easy to make, uses up store cupboard ingredients, has a nice kick of spice - and best of all cooks all day in the slow cooker, filling your house with the most amazing paprika, smoked frankfurter sausage and tomato aromas. Usually we would have crusty bread to dunk in this comforting dinner, but when I saw the recipe for potato and black pepper oatcakes in 'Baking with Vegetables' I knew they'd be the perfect accompaniment. 


Homely mashed potato and a generous grinding of black pepper add the wow factor to these delectable oatcakes. Pleasantly chewy but crisp at the edges, they are equally delicious plain or served with butter. 

MAKES 9 (I found it make about 12)


10g butter, for greasing
2 floury potatoes (about 250g), cut into chunks
25g butter
¼ tsp salt
½ - 1 tsp pepper (depending on how peppery you like it!)
50g oatmeal
25g porridge oats
10g plain flour, for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 200℃. Line a baking tray with a silicone sheet or well-greased baking paper. 

2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes, bring back to the boil and cook for 10 minutes until tender.

3. Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pan and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to stand for 5 minutes to absorb the excess moisture. Mash until smooth, then stir in the butter, salt, pepper, oatmeal and porridge oats. 

4. Pack the dough together well and turn out onto a well-floured board. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5mm. 

5. Cut into rounds with a 7cm cutter. Lift the rounds carefully onto the prepared tray, using a spatula. Re-roll and cut the trimmings until all the dough is used up. 

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the cooking time, until the cakes are golden at the edges. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool on the tray until firm, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

T'ah d'ah! Finished oatcakes waiting for a slathering of salty butter and a dip in our sausage & bean stew. 

The close up! Oaty, peppery, potatoey goodness! 

Still a little warm, theres nothing quite like something savoury with melted butter! 

The perfect companion to a warm, smokey stew! Dip, dip! 

We really loved these versatile little oatcakes - not only were they super-simple to make, but they used no 'special' ingredients, and instead were a great way to use up the ends of packets in my cupboard, and the last slightly manky potatoes in the veggie drawer. 

Personally, I'm a massive fan of black pepper (I put it on everything!) so I would probably double the amount that's stated in the recipe. You could also really play about with flavours - adding herbs or spices such as paprika or cayenne - you could even add a little grated parmesan over the top for the last few minutes of baking...the possibilities are endless. 

I also think these little oatcakes would taste delicious with cheese instead of crackers, or covered in streaky bacon and eggs for a different breakfast option. 

The next recipes on my list to try from this fabulous book are:

Kale, Shallot & Blue Cheese Scones
Honeyed Carrot & Pecan Squares
Chocolate-dipped Parsnip & Pistachio Cookies and
Courgette & Parmesan Bread

Thanks to Parragon for another corker of a book, and watch this space for something truly indulgent and SUPER-chocolatey next month...

Mrs B


If you'd like to find out more information about books in the Parragon book ranges you can contact them via their social media platforms:

Facebook: Parragon Books
Twitter: @parragonbooks
Pinterest: parragonbooks
Instagram: @parragonbooks

Disclaimer: I received this product from the publisher for free. However, they have not paid me for this review, and they do not exercise any editorial control over my review or anything else on this site.