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Unboxing Day – Num Noms Series 3

Num Noms Review

As the mother of a 7-year-old girl, there are certain things I can’t run away from e.g playground squabbles with her classmate, tantrums when told to tidy up and of course major toy obsessions.

Thanks to the likes of Toy and Me on YouTube, Num Noms were what Santa was asked for this year. We were kindly sent a set which made Cece incredibly happy. For anyone who has no idea what they are, Num Noms are small, scented collectable toys. Today marks the release of the series 3 collection and Series 1 of the Num Nom Lights #unboxingday.

Kids playing with Num Noms

Though there is a dedicated starter pack, I think the different style sets is a better way to kickstart a collection. We were sent the Series 3 Lunch Box Deluxe Character Pack (Style 1).

The Lunch Box Deluxe Pack Series 3 contains 13 characters and a host of new and special edition characters including an Erase-it Nom, Peachy Stamp-it Nom and Orange Pina Gloss-Up. As with most toys, they are not suitable for anyone under the age of three.

When buying toys, one of the main things I worry about is storage. I was impressed the package recycles as a storage. However, my eager beavers opened the box in such a rush they ultimately destroyed it.

Num Noms Series 3 on the floor

Lidl Christmas Party Food

Party Food

Pardon my French but bloody hell #lidlsurprises. I’m the ‘chief shopper’ in my household which means I pick the clothes, the food and the appliances we buy. When it comes to our food shopping, my husband prefers we stick to the same place and for as long as I can remember, Tesco has been out go-to groceries store. However in recent months, I have tried breaking that mould and shopping around. We’ve occasionally done a ‘top-up’ shop at Sainsbury’s and get the odd bits from Aldi. With Christmas being such a special occasion, we go to Waitrose for that.

In all my years, never have I considered going to Lidl. The last time I stepped foot into one of their stores was when I was at secondary school and had a chocolate biscuit addiction. Mumsnet challenged me to buy party food from there. The Lidl Chrismas range were both great value and great tasting which left me pleasantly surprised.

To me Christmas is a time for family and a time to celebrate. I look forward to exchanging presents, eating my weight in food and watching an endless stream of Christmas movies. Since becoming a mum, I’ve found it to be even more important to me. I find new ways to make new traditions with my family and pass on old ones.lidl christmas

I dread slaving away in the kitchen so when I can, I slip out of having to make the turkey. Somehow, it always comes down to me. Maybe because my house is normally the central location where everyone comes to.  When I can get away with not making turkey, I go for whole chicken because everyone loves it. Well, except for the vegetarians. For them, I have a wide selection of party food and snacks to compensate.

With a £25 budget , I headed to Lidl to see how much party food I could get from the Party time range. With a packed basket I headed to the till thinking I’d be told I’ve exceeded that budget. Instead, I was told I was significantly below it and had to get more things. Here are the party food I got:

Partytime 60  Indian selection, £2.99
Christmas Hand Cooked Crisps
Premium Cracker Selection, 1,79
Partytime 12 Chicken Skewers, £1.99
Partytime 14 Vegetarian Spring Rolls, £1.99
Deluxe  12 Tempura Prawns, £1,79
Partytime 10 Gyozas, £1.99
Partytime 14 Duck Spring Rolls, £1.99

With all these food and not enough mouth to feed, I invited some friends and their kids for a girls night in. In the video below, I mention how eager I was to try the Deluxe Tempura King Prawns. My, oh my they were incredible and cost only £1.89! I left them in the oven long enough for the crispy batter coating to be really crunchy. The sweet chilli dip was slight runny but tasted AMAZING. So good, I dipped a few chips in there too. These Tempura King Prawns literally flew off the plate when they came out of the oven. I’ve had to promised to return to Lidl and get some more because even the kids liked them.

Another thing that was quite enjoyable were the Premium Crackers Selection. For £1.79, you get a selection of six multigrain, whole wheat and poppy seed crackers. My nephews who are super fussy and hate trying new things loved them. As they ran around the house, they’d stop to take some and eat. It was an absolute pleasure having everyone over. It truly felt like Christmas day with all the food and people around.

The least favourite from the Partytime range were probably the Indian Selections. I’m not much of an Indian food fan so maybe I should have cooked half and save the rest for another day. In hindsight, the 60 Oriental snack selection might have been a better option or perhaps even both seeing as they cost a mere £3.99 each. The snack selection of vegetable samosas, onion bhajis and vegetable pakoras were very pocket-friendly and definitely something to serve if you are expecting a lot of people.

I cannot tell you how happy I was that all the food cooked at the same temperature of 190C. I really hate cooking frozen food that require different cooking times. Everything went straight in the oven from freezer. In addition, even for the small price tags attached to them, they didn’t taste like generic frozen foods. Each item had enough flavour to have your taste buds dancing.

My nearest store was the Woolwich branch. After a recent renovation, it nice and clean. Things are pretty easy to find and when they are not, the staff are willing to help. As someone who prefers shopping online, I appreciate all the help I can get when I have to shop in-store. As previously mentioned, I was pleasantly surprised with my visit to Lidl and will definitely be going back to get the Oriental Snack Selection and Deluxe Tempura Prawns and maybe a few other bits.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post

 

What to Buy on Black Friday

Interior Laredoute

I feel like La Redoute is one of those websites that is always dishing out discount codes. If I recall correctly for Black Friday last year, they were offering 50% off everything – including sale items. This year, though they are only offering 40% off, their sale has actually started way earlier than Black Friday itself.

I’m always hesitant to buy clothes from them because the sizes are always off. Nonetheless, I have my eyes on a few items for my girls. However, what I want to highlight today are their homeware bits. I don’t think there is ever a time when I’m not decorating my home. I literally live in TK Maxx. I’ve found quite a few things on La Redoute that I was put off from buying due to how expensive they were. However, with this code, I think the price is finally right. Black Friday                                                   Round Gold Coloured Metal Tray | From £45 t £27

Black and White Rug | From £69 to £41.40

Black and Gold Bedside Table | From £99 to 59.40

Gold Mirror | From £55 to £33

Mesia Candle Holder | From £59 to £39.40 for the largest

Ikalo Two-Colour Metal Vase | From £35 each to £21

Zafi Cushion Cover | From £27 each to £20

 

Fashion Trends Spring/Summer 17

Reiss Dress

It’s always a bit weird attending preview events. Although the weather feels like -10 outside, I’m ooh-ing and ahh-ing at summer clothes. I recently attended a few S/S16 fashion press previews in order to get a better idea of upcoming fashion trends for spring/summer 17. I spotted a few trends which I think will be very popular for the coming season.

Saying this might sounds like the biggest cliche but I don’t follow trends. Instead, I let it inspire what I wear. There are certain trends I know just won’t suit my body type ( big butt and mum tum).

  1. Embroidery  – This began to trickle in for Autumn/Winter and from what I saw, it’s going to explode come Spring/Summer. Everything from denims to suede will carry a spot of embroidery. I saw a red floral embroidery on a striped shirt at Matalan’s press day and it was love at first sight.
  2. Off the Shoulder – I can’t even tell you how happy I am to see this trend will still be available come Spring/Summer 17. In this post, I explained how I thought it possessed a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that oozes sexiness and elegance alike.
  3. Athleisure/Sports Luxe  –  Comfort and style is all we fashionistas pray for ( aside from world peace of course). It was great to see even Reiss, known for their tailoring dipping their toes into this trend. I noticed a pair of suede trainers at their press day that I now need to have. This is definitely a trend any mum can wear. Especially on the school run. This leopard print trainers from  Marc Cain is also on my wish list.
  4. Rainbow  – At the Next S/S17 press day, I spotted a cardigan with a rainbow coming out of one pocket and into another and instantly noted it down as a must-have for Amelia! Moving on to the Alex and Alexa press day and it clear as daylight – rainbow is an upcoming childrenswear trend. It looks like Jools Oliver’s Little Bird collection may be the inspo behind this. At the Mothercare press day, I got a peak at her next collection. Let’s just say you’ll want it all.
  5. Prints – Who remembers that scene from from ‘Devil Wears Prada’ where Amanda Priestley goes ‘ Florals… for spring? Groundbreaking. That’s what this trend reminded me of. However, what makes it different is the types of prints. Aside from the usual florals, there are also geometric, stripes and various other style prints. My fave so far was at one I saw at the George at Asda press day.
Pink Converse

Converse at Alex and Alexa

Leopard Print trainers

Marc Cain

Spring Summer George at Asda

George at Asda

Rainbow Trends

Littlebird Clothing by Jools Oliver

Warm Stylish Coats for Girls

Winter Kids Coats

Using the word ‘freezing’ to describe the wether in London at the moment would not even be an exaggeration. I think because of how long the cold weather took to kick in, we all got comfortable. October felt so warm and many of us could still get away with leaving the house with no jacket.

Fast forward to November and things have changed. The crisp air came out of nowhere and slapped us on the face. Quite hard might I add. As a mother, one of my main worries during the cold season is ‘ how do I keep my kids warm?’ The ailments associated with Autumn/Winter is something I far too familiar with as I’m sure you are too.

Leaving the house when it’s cold is inevitable. However, if I had a choice, I’d stay coup up in my house all winter long. One of the ways in which I keep the kids warm when we do have to go out is by wearing them really warm coats. The same way I love buying coats and jackets for myself is the way I love to get some for the kids. Here are some of the warmest ones on the market right now.

Everything from fur liners to shearling collars, paired with the right accessories, kids are bound to be warm. No longer do you have to pick between style and practicality thanks to the like of Next, Boden and La Redoute.