Project 365, days 292 – 298

Another week gone by (where are the weeks going?!) which means another project 365 round up. 

Project 365, days 292 - 298

Day 292 – Today we had a lovely family day out at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth.

Day 293 – I do sometimes have to just stop, and appreciate what a gorgeous part of the world we live in.

Day 294 – Max was enjoying the autumn weather wrapped in warm in his gorgeous fleece top.

Day 295 – Max does seem to have suddenly shot up – he is a real, cheeky toddler all of a sudden!

Day 296 – CHUFFED to be back in the top 100 in the Tots Chart this week.

Day 297 – Jacob was poorly in the night, and so we had a very quiet day at home playing with the Plum Cookie Interactive kitchen – review to come soon.

Day 298 – We have been getting our craft on, and making some autumn leaf bunting and Halloween creatures.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

 

Samsung Food ShowCase fridge freezer – final review

You may well remember that a couple of months ago, we received the Samsung Food ShowCase fridge freezer – I wrote all about our first impressions, how the fridge looked and the basic functions that we were immediately impressed with.

We have now been using the fridge freezer for a couple of months, and I thought it was about time that I gave you all a little update!

Samsung Food ShowCase review

The styling is beautiful. It’s so streamlined, so sleek and ultra modern. The brushed stainless steel finish would compliment any kitchen perfectly – we have cream units and wooden worktops, but it would look just as home with black gloss, pale wood or even bright red! 

Samsung Food ShowCase review

It is big – please do measure up first if you are planning to order – but he space inside is so worth the slightly larger appliance. Inside the inner door you can keep your everyday essentials, such as milk, juice, butter – all the things you pull out over and over again during the course of a day. This saves you having to open the main fridge section all the time, and keeps the main fridge interior at the right temperature. 

I never knew how much I wanted a water and ice dispenser until I had one. It’s SO useful. It means the kids can make their own drinks without having to climb on a stool to reach the tap. It means that on an unexpected hot day when everyone wants iced drinks, there is always a supply of ice ready and waiting. Of course, you do need to be able to have the fridge plumbed in to be able to use these features. Our fridge freezer is on the opposite side of the room to our sink, and so we had a small pipe fitted from the cold pipe under the upstairs floorboards. This was a very quick job and cost very little, but again, do be aware of any fitting costs that you may incur before you order the fridge freezer. 

Samsung Food ShowCase review

I also like the fact that you can choose between cubed and crushed ice. The children prefer crushed ice in their drinks, while us grown ups love the clink of an ice cube in a glass of cider every now and then!

All the controls on the control panel are intuitive to use. The ice selection is a simple push button, and the rest of the control panel is touch screen. There are options for open door alarms, holiday modes for even more energy saving power and super fridge/freezer options for quickly dropping the temperature if needed.

The storage is ultra flexible, and can be adapted to your needs. The Slide & Fold Shelves slide in and out and can be easily folded up or raised and lowered to fit in any sized items, including larger bottles and tall or bulky containers. All this means that there’s no wasted space and you can enjoy a smarter and more convenient way to organise and store your food. It makes it a lot easier when you have a load of shopping to unpack – you can make the fridge fit your shopping rather than the other way round!

I am also a big fan of the deep drawers. We use them for fruit and veg, and they are super spacious. You can easily fit in a large cauliflower or a big watermelon, and still have plenty of space. In the freezer side, there are also 2 deep drawers – handy for storing loose items or open bags.

Rather than me waffling on any longer about how much I love the Samsung Food ShowCase, why not take a look at my video review?

 

I honestly can’t recommend this fridge freezer highly enough. Yes, it’s expensive but it’s a real investment piece. It is perfect for families, there is plenty of space and it looks the bees knees. If you are in the market for a new fridge freezer, you should definitely check out the Samsung Food ShowCase.

* We were sent this fridge freezer for the purpose of this reveiw. All thoughts and opinions are my own. *

Tots 100 Blog Camp #bcuk

Last Saturday saw me awake at the god awful hour of 5am in preparation for Blog Camp in Brimingham. I hopped on the train at 6.37am and looked forward top the day ahead. 

I haven’t been to many blogging events – Britmums Live 2014 was my first. I love love loved it all, but there is so much to take in, and for personal reasons I found it quite hard. Blog Camp looked set to be an altogether more relaxed affair, and having read through the itinerary, I knew there were several sessions I wanted to attend. 

On arrival in Birmingham, I met up with Colette, Jen and Jade and we headed for the venue.

Once in, there was heaps of relaxed, chatty time to catch up with old friends and meet some new faces – far too many to mention here, but I especially enjoyed meeting people I interact with regularly online – Jocelyn from The Reading Residence and Aby from You Baby, Me Mummy to name but two. It is so lovely to put names to the blogs you read day in, day out. 

There were some really inspiring talks, and some brilliant blogging tips from the people at the top. I especially enjoyed the brands session, which gave me an insight into what brands really want and expect from bloggers, and the portrait photography session, which taught me new ways to use my camera and ensure I am making the most of the settings! I love this picture of Colette I took during the session – it’s not the most technically perfect, but it just makes me smile, because I know we were both in fits of giggles!

Blog Camp

I had such a fantastic day, and it was lovely to be able to attend such a useful event – not only was it hugely beneficial in blogging terms, it was a great social occasion too, and I loved every minute. Plus, there was an amazing lunch and a regular supply of tea and cake – so what’s not to love really?!

Thanks so much to Tots 100 for organising such a fantastic event – I have been inspired.

Keeping your pets safe this bonfire night

5th November is so much fun – crackling fires, sparklers, toffee apples and loud, bright fireworks. 

Not so much fun if you’re an animal though.

Animals don’t understand fireworks – all they see and hear are the blinding flashes of light and the explosive bangs. It must be terrifying, and you can’t explain to them what is going on. To keep them safe and well, here are my top tips:

  • KEEP THEM INSIDE. I can’t stress this one enough. If they are outside and become frightened by the fireworks they could run away, bolt into a road and be hurt or end up getting injured by a firework or bonfire. It’s not worth the risk at all. Make sure animals are inside by late afternoon as the festivities tend to start early.
  • Give them somewhere warm, safe and comfortable to sleep. We love this self heating pad from Feedem – it is made from a soft faux fur with a super thermal insulating filler – a perfect comfort spot for a cold autumn night! Place the bed in a place where the animal will be comfortable. If you are home, they may be in the room you are in, and if you are out and about then pop the bed in a place that you know your animal is comfortable in, well away from windows and doors

Pets and bonfire night

  •  Consider a few new toys to distract your pet. Our 2 cats love their new activity play centre – it serves as a place to hide away when they need from space from the children, and the hanging toys provide active play when they are feeling a bit more lively!

Pets and bonfire night

We have also recently discovered the Kong range for cats. The Active Catnip Apple toy has a refillable catnip core, and it rolls when they scratch at it. It provides hours of fun and exercise, and might just take their minds of what is happening outside!

Pets and bonfire night

  • Try a DAP or Feliway diffuser. It works in the same way as a plug in air freshener – just plug in and leave it switched on. You can’t smell anything, but it releases a calming pheromone into the room that helps to soothe and relax fractious animals. It can be just the thing they need to help them feel more chilled on bonfire night.
  • If you are out for the night, leave a TV or radio on low volume. It comforts the animals, in the same way that humans enjoy background noise. It makes them feel less alone, and can also block out some of the bangs and crashes. Keep the curtains closed too, to help block out the flashes of light.
  • If you are at home, act as if nothing is happening. The more fuss you make, the more you reinforce that there is something to be frightened of. A scared animal looks to you for reassurance, and in their eyes, if you look worried and keep reassuring them, then there is something to be concerned about – you make the problem worse without realising! Carry on as normal, let the animal hide away if they want to.
  • If all else fails, and you know your animal will be beyond terrified, then see your vet. In extreme circumstances they can provide a mild sedative to help.

Flash competition: Win a Halloween party pack

WIN A POM-BEAR PRIZE TO TAKE THE HORROR OUT OF HALLOWEEN PARTIES

 Pom-Bear are giving my readers the chance to take the horror out of organising a Halloween party, with everything you will need from decorations to costumes and of course great tasting snacks!

With a full selection of things to make and do, this prize will keep your little monsters entertained from day break until sun set. The prize includes Halloween themed items such as, a children’s spooky fancy dress costume, face paints, eye patches, balloons, table decorations and more. Better still the prizes are packaged in a super spooky black witch’s cauldron, perfect for storing all your Halloween tricks or treats in.

Knowing that Mums and Dads struggle with ideas to make their terrifying gatherings both scary and fun, Pom-Bear has dedicated its website to offer hints and tips to cover decorations, fancy dress, games and of course nibbles for hungry witches and wizards to enjoy.

Whether you’re holding a monster gathering of friends and family or just getting into the ‘spirit’ of things at home, there’s something for everyone!

Halloween party pack competition

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions – open to UK residents. Winner will be randomly selected from all correctly completed entries and will be contacted by email. They must claim their prize by midday on Monday 27th October to allow time for your prize to be dispatched for Halloween. Prize supplied directly from Pom Bear UK.

Autumn and Halloween crafts

Autumn is firmly here in all its crisp, colourful glory, and Halloween is just around the corner. To celebrate the changing of the seasons, we have been creating some autumn and Halloween crafts using out latest Bostik craft pack.

Autumn leaf bunting

This is a lovely way to showcase the best of autumn. We have used fabric leaves from our craft pack, but you could use real leaves that you have collected when out and about. Simply make a small hole in each leaf and thread a piece of string or wool through. Alternatively, you can stick the leaves to the string using Bostik Glu Dots.

Bead spider

Spiders are all the rage at this time of year, especially in the lead up to Halloween. Invest in a small bead board and a selection of beads, and let your little ones take the lead – you might just be surprised at the amazing creations they come up with. We made a spider with spooky orange legs and big eyes. You could also make a pumpkin, a bat, an autumn leaf, a flower – anything you like!

Pipe cleaner Halloween friends

This has been my favourite craft this year. We wrapped foam balls in tissue paper and used pens, googly eyes and pipe cleaners to create Halloween friends. It’s so simple, but I think it is really effective! Secure the tissue paper with Bostik Glu Dots, push the pipe cleaners into the foam, and decorate to your hearts content! You could make anything you liked – you could even used the foam balls as heads and make a family of people. We have nestled our creatures on a bed of autumn coloured wool ready to scare the Trick or Treaters on Halloween night.

For other autumn craft ideas, check out these posts:

Autumn tote bag from Life According to Mrs Shilts

Autumn hand print tree and Pom pom spider from Emmy’s Mummy

Paper cut Jack-O-Lantern & bat and Turkey leaf craft from ET speaks from home

Autumn leaf peg dolls and Owl sun catcher from In the playroom

Do you have any autumn or Halloween crafts that you would like to share? If so, link them up in the comments below!

Supporting the small business

 

I really do try and support small businesses wherever I can. I buy fruit and veg from the local organic delivery service. I buy meat from the local butcher. I get bread for the baker in the high street. As a blogger, I also love reviewing items from small companies – it’s a great way of showcasing what people can do, what fantastic products are out there, and what treasures we can get if we look at the small guys.

I am not saying I never set foot in a supermarket – obviously I do. But for us as a family, when we can support a small company, we do.

My husband has recently set up a small company himself – Fever Pix photography is a new venture, and in the very early stages. Setting it up has been a lot of hard work, a lot of stress and has taken a lot of time. But it has all been worth it – we have recently had our first wedding booking, which is hugely exciting and a massive boost for us. Being able to display those first wedding photos on the new website, being able to show examples of our work to potential customers – that will be hugely beneficial. All because someone was willing to support a small business, just through word of mouth recommendations. That’s how small companies grow.

Do you like to support small businesses or do you prefer to stick the well known larger companies? I would love to hear your thoughts about why you make the choices you do.

This is a sponsored post.