Thursday, 24 July 2014

#RealMumsAllBran 5-Day Challenge!

I was one of a group of bloggers accepted to try out the All Bran 5 day challenge, a challenge about embracing your tummy, using the Kellogg's All bran range which have digestive health benefits to make you feel happy inside and out. Eat cereals for breakfast every morning for five days, not a hard challenge for me, I have often seen me have a bowl of cereals at supper time as well as I am quite a cereal lover.

The 5 Day Challenge, you could set tummy niggles aside and mark the start of a bran-new you in a truly delicious way. All we ask you to do is try the cereal for 5 consecutive days to see if you notice a difference in your general digestive well-being

Did you know that 90 to 95 per cent of the ‘happy’ hormone serotonin is made in the gut? A study* of 1,000 UK women found 52 per cent experience digestive complaints, such as bloating or gas, at least once a week. Eating fibre everyday is a simple remedy for happy tums. 

  1. Many people suffer from symptoms of digestive discomfort such as bloating and feelings of sluggishness from time to time. In fact, research estimates around 40% of the population suffer from bloating regularly.
  2. Fibre is an essential nutrient that our bodies need to feel good inside. Unlike others, it’s not digested, but acts as a lubricant to help make sure everything else is. So although it passes through the gut relatively unchanged, it’s the most important ingredient to getting rid of what we don’t need.
  3. Switching from a relatively low-fibre diet to one that’s rich in high-fibre foods can be uncomfortable at first, and may cause bloating. But don’t give up. After just a few days, the body will start to adjust
  4. Fibre can be broadly split into two types – soluble and insoluble (wheat bran is the insoluble type). Both types are important in a healthy balanced diet.
  5. Foods are 'high in fibre' when they contain 6g or more of fibre per 100g and a 'source of fibre' when they contain 3g or more per 100g. Checking food labels in the supermarket to compare fibre levels is a great start to achieving a higher fibre intake                             * source of information

I have to say if you said all bran to me I immediately think of the stick like bits of bran that taste like soggy cardboard once you add milk to them. (I have to say I don't take milk on cereals, I either eat them dry or with yoghurt on.) Well if your like me you need to think again. Kelloggs do a range of six different all bran cereals and two breakfast biscuits that come under their all bran range, so something to suit nearly everybody.  

I also have to admit that I do have tummy issues. For all I am fortunate that I have a bowel movement normally twice a day. Sometimes due to foods I eat (and that list grows ever longer) sometimes twice a day can be four, five, six times a day complete with huge discomfort if I am not careful.  sorry too much information.  Maybe the twice a day is because I eat a healthy diet high in fibre and drink far to much water.  

Anyway I digress, so I was sent out three boxes of different cereals, Golden crunch, red berry crunch and chocolate wheats. Have to say the first two appealed to me more than the last one did.  But the wheat ones were dead handy to take to work to snack on, dry, eaten with fingers in my break, much better than grabbing unhealthy crisps and chocolate. My favourite was the red berry crunch, but just because I like red berries. The cereals were crunchy, the clusters were a nice siz but broke up easily in your mouth and they did not soak the yoghurt in and go soggy at all. I have to say I thought the forty grammes was a generous portion size, and as I always do I added some sultanas to my breakfast which complimented the crunch nicely. 

But these cereals are for me a great healthy start to the morning, are packed with vitamins and iron that a woman of my age needs with nothing artificial added. I add a handful of sultanas which are virtually fat free, totally cholesterol free, but add fibre and potassium.

I also used some in a recipe; a handy snack now the school holidays are here, great for the children to make as well, no baking needed. 

chocolate crispy crunch

  • melt 200-400g of dark chocolate
  • chop a few figs, apricots and prunes
  • stir the dried fruit through the chocolate, and then stir in enough Golden Crunch to uncorporate all the chocolate
  • spoon into cake cases and refrigerate until set. 

So  having tried them for more than five days, all three boxes and finished with only me eating them, my tummy feels good, my bowels feel good and they are sustaining me through the morning. I cannot start my day without breakfast, and for me it needs to be a healthy start to the day, and these certainly fit that criteria. Why not try them yourself for five, or more days? 

This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Project 365 week 29 13th - 19th July


Not being at work and not feeling like going far the garden was as far as I got. This is the plant Bob bought Granddad for decorating his room for him. Sadly it has gone a bit brown, but if you look it up on t'internet it tells you only to water with rainwater, never tap water, and it was quite wet when we got it so not sure if the garden centre had watered it with tap water or not, will see how it goes over the next few weeks. Hopefully it will recover.


Had gone for a wander down to pick something up from daughters garage. Popped in to say hello just as she was going to bath them, so had to stay and help as best I could one handed. The two of them quite like a bath. When you have one child it is easy to hold them while you bath them and then lift them out, but not so easy when there is two of them, these seats have been a brilliant help.

one in pink, one in blue


The caterpillar has changed into a butterfly. Not sure what type, and this was the best picture I got before it flew away when I tried to give it sugar water.

my butterfly


Wednesday evening has always been babies round evening and just cos the Guides and Cubs have finished for the Summer they still come visit anyway. Minky can manage to crawl quite successfully now and is in to everything. Have to say I am not the type to move ornaments etc out of their reach, never did with my own, so he is being moved away from things he is not meant to touch. I know he is too young to learn but never seen the point in letting them when young to not allow it when they older.
Dinky is still quite happy to sit where you leave her, though we did try putting on her hands and knees and encouraging her but she not ready just yet. She is comical though can she can now blow raspberries, and if you blow one she blows one back and then waits on you doing it again.

Here she is turning round cos Granddad shouted her name.

you called me Granddad?


Was a very hot dry afternoon, and OH wanted to go fishing off the pier so we went along to play on the beach and in the beach park. It was heaving, hundreds of kids in there. Always amazes me in situations like that how so many children can play nice together and take it in turns to go on the pieces of equipment. We made a meeting so if either of them should get lost they knew where to go stand and wait as its impossible to keep an eye on both of them when it is that busy, and they are both old enough to go play themselves. They split up when they first went it, but later on they met back up ans played follow the leader up, on, under and round a climbing frame. Difficult to get pictures without other people's children in the way but got this without them knowing I was watching them.

follow the leader


OH goes out to feed the birds in a morning, and the sparrows and young starlings now expect it and sit on the fence and the shed roof waiting for him to go out. Here they are getting some brie that he had not eaten as well as their normal  bread. Its like something from the Alfred Hitchcock movie.

"feed the birds - tuppence a bag"


I did a bit of shopping on the way home yesterday needed to buy OH rolls and cold meat to take fishing with him today and while I was there I saw these and decided to treat myself. They were ok but wasn't overly impressed, were too strong flavoured for my liking.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Hot Wheels Zoom and Boom free days out

We are now into the third week of the school holidays and for many families trying to entertain children on a budget gets harder every year. The last thing parents want is for their children to be sat vegetating over screen time.

So I thought I would share this with you, a FREE fun day out organised by a big company.

Keep the kids entertained this summer and visit your free ZOOM N BOOM event!  See them become the ultimate TRACK MASTERS with an adrenaline-fuelled HOT WHEELS experience at five leading shopping centres.
Kids can get in the driver’s seat and RACE cars on awesome Hot Wheels TRACK BUILDER SYSTEMS with daring stunts to challenge friends with and become the masters of track design! 
Other fun-filled activities include a PHOTO GREEN SCREEN where kids can try on fun props and have their photo taken with family and friends against themed backdrops! 
Kids can also HAVE A BLAST with BOOMco and test out their BLASTING skills with the cool new AIR-POWERED BOOMcoblasters!  With colourful Smart Stick darts and targets, kids can see exactly where they nailed it as the tip of every plastic dart sticks like crazy to the targets! 


Dates & Locations:
  • 30th July-3rd August – Lakeside, Essex
  • 6th-10th August – Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes
  • 13th-17th August – Arndale, Manchester
  • 20th-24th August – Castle Court, Belfast
  • 27th-31st August – Braehead, Glasgow

Why not go and join in your local event?

Shame the Scottish date is after the schools have gone back.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Bloggers transformations with Dulux Bedroom In A Box

I was lucky enough to be one of a group of bloggers chosen to work with Dulux, we were given the chance to transform a room using their new
Bedroom in a box range.

In case you have missed my review you can find it here, where we went from this;

blue with very childish stickers

to this 

big, bright and colourful room with this fabulous mural, with our chosen Jungle Adventure Bedroom In A Box. This is great for Bob right now and will still be suitable when Minky is moved in with him in a few short months time. You can find others by using #asifbymagic to search for them, dont just take my word for it. 

They have various different themes at the moment available, from (sorry if I sound sexist) traditional Disney Princesses for the girls, to Avengers, Peppa Pig for the younger children as well as the jungle and Sea Adventures as well, they are planning on adding more to their range.

They have made a fabulous  video put together from clips of other parents and their children, here you can see their happy faces as well as the delighted parents at the results that can be achieved fairly quickly and very easily.

Dulux are also running a competition to win an Annual Merlin Pass, to enter you just need to buy A Bedroom In A Box from their website.  (terms and conditions apply). A great incentive to buy your box now. 

Disclaimer - I was compensated for this post but my findings are not influenced by this.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Mixed fun in the sun.

Had the children on Tuesday this week as mum and dad were away for the night. The weather has been brilliant and as the school holidays are well under way up here there was no really need for a set bed time so we popped off into Ayr to do a few things.

First off all we decided to do some geocaching. The children enjoy this and we not been for a wee while. We decided on a trail through the park that I have done before on my own. Cant find the first in the route and thought three heads are better than one, but we could not find this at all. We had taken some swaps with us so they could swap with something else in the tubs we found.

walking through the park

I had planned which way we were walking so that we ended up where we needed to cross a main road. This gave them the chance to carry on caching or play in the park that was there. Fifi is nearly twelve and goes off to secondary school after the Summer. Some times she is quite grown up other times she is eleven and is happy to play in the park. They opted for playing in the park.

The two of them played happily together on the tyre swing.

The slide built into the hill side provided lots of fun.

Fifi asked me to video her on the side. Dont get this opportunity too often now as she usually objects to being videoed, so when she asks I make the most of it.

At this point two other children came and played with them, and it was difficult to get pics of my two without one of them in so thats all we got.

One of the reasons we had decided on playing in Ayr was because a friend of ours was going fishing on the pier at high tide and we wanted to take Bob along to watch ( and maybe even have a go). So after the park we drove down to the beach.

Sitting in the harbour was the PS Waverley. I have always wanted to go on this ship, just because its the last passenger carrying paddle ship in the world, and it sails from the local harbour during the summer months. Sadly its approx £70 for the two of us to go for a day out on it so its never likely to happen. 

We were just going to wander down to the end of the pier when our friend came cycling over, the fish were not biting and so he was giving up. Not a lot of point in going to the end of the pier now so the children went to play on the beach instead. Fifi has to take her shoes off on the beach, so the two of them removed their shoes. Bob put his back on again within a few minutes as he hates the sand but has to copy his sister!!.

Bob on the sand, with his shoes back on

Bob on the wall

Fifi on the sand

and on the wall
By now it was nearly 9pm so we headed back to the car and home. The children enjoyed the variety of the evening, and again all for free and made all the more pleasant by the sun.

fun as a gran

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Project 365 week 28 6th - 12th July


When we had been on holiday OH had taken a picture of a heron that "resides" at one of the Historic Scotland properties we visited. They had said to him at the time if they got a good picture could he send them a copy, so we did, and got this lovely letter back from them.

Here is Henry, the picture he took that we sent them.


My broccoli plants have been savaged by caterpillars. So having seen other people watching them turn into butterflies I decided to keep a couple so the children and I could watch them change.  Here he is on day three. Love the way you can see the wings starting to develop.


Had the children tonight instead of the normal Thursday as their mum and dad were away having a Spa Day bought for them as a wedding present by daughter No2. They thoroughly enjoyed it despite the fact they took the twins. It was a lovely evening so we went and did some geocaching in a local park, followed by a play in the park and a wander along the beach.

walking through the park looking for geocaches


Was our visit day to Son No1 and so as usual with the weather being nice we did some geocaching while we were in the area anyway. We went round Gartmorn Dam, getting there bit by bit with finding all the caches, I would say one more visit would suffice but not sure I am going back there after the rest of this week. All will be revealed if you keep reading.

the view from the bird hide 


my pressie from A&E
While we were walking round the dam yesterday I got bitten quite a few times, nothing I noticed particularly at the time, but this morning they were a bit itchy. Normally a good scratch, pop the tops, they itch for a few days while they heal and nothing more. But not sure what bit me as the one on my hand went black and my hand swelled up that much I thought my skin was going to burst. The two on the top of my arm were different, but also swelled up and became very hot and very very itchy. By 7pm the swelling on my arm had spread from wrist to arm pit with my whole arm being red and unbearable so OH ran me to A&E. They have me high dose antibiotics and piriton and said had I left it till the morning I would have needed admitting for intravenous antibiotics.
the bites
They have no idea of what bit me but they suspected the two on my arm were horse flies, the one on the hand they have no idea.

Have been using a bag of frozen peas to try and take away some of the pain and itching.

These pics were taken this morning (Saturday) of the bites. Some of the swelling has gone done some. The hand is on the RHS if you have any idea, it had been black where it is now red.


When the children had been here the other day they had been playing with Morph that I had made for the twitter party I joined in with last week. They both designed their own model, Bob made a cyclops Morph and Fifi and unicorn rabbit.


When I was joining in with the Morph twitter party last week I had won a prize. My signed book turned up this morning.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday, 11 July 2014

Dulux Bedroom in a box - a review

We were offered the chance to get sent out a bedroom in a box by Dulux. We decided this would be great for Bob's room at home. The room was last decorated before my daughter moved in there nearly five years ago. So it was time for a makeover. We also wanted to get Bobs Playmobil and Lego up the stairs now Minky is mobile in the living room, so this was a great opportunity.

Bob chose the

Jungle Adventure

Dulux have teamed up with Walltastic to bring you the Bedroom-in-a-box. Containing an exciting colourful mural (and adhesive) and perfectly coordinating Dulux paints, it's the easy way to create the bedroom your child's always dreamed of.

What's in the box...

Jungle Adventure
  • A walltastic Jungle Adventure Mural
  • Dulux Matt 2.5L Willow Tree
  • Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood 750ml Jasmine White
  • Polycell Maximum Strength Wallpaper Adhesive
  • There was also set of perfect finish brushes thrown in  for free

The box contains enough product to cover a room that is 3.5m * 3.5m. 

So our starting point was preparing the room. I got Bob involved in helping me tidy his room and  pull off the stickers he currently has on his wall as well as take down his posters and such like. They left marks on the wall and peeled off some of the paint that was under them.

We knew Bob and Fifi were going to Oban to have a week of fun staying with Auntie T, so when they went of Sunday we cleared Bob's room into Fifi's, ready for the serious work to start. Now as Bob's room is 16 ft by 11 ft we knew one tin of paint would not be enough so my daughter went and bought another tin of the willow colour for the walls.

peeling off the stickers and preparing the walls 

The first stage was rubbing down and filling, Granddad and Grandpa Tom set to work. Grandpa Tom was happier doing the work from the ground so Granddad started by doing the edges. Then they painted the blue wall. As you can see this was quite a dark blue that was needing covered. The paint was easy to apply a great consistency and covered really well. The paint was fume free which made using it very pleasant. It dried remarkably quickly. The wall was given a second coat of paint as you could still see where a few of the stickers had been, but the rest of the blue had covered in the one coat. The edges were done with the perfect finish brushes that were provided. These made painting along the top and bottom much easier as due to their design there was no need to mask the ceiling or skirting boards to get  right to the edge, well impressed with them.

the painting begins 

Bob's cabin bed was moved across to this wall once the paint was dry, and the two end walls which were white were then painted and these also covered easily with the one coat. 

 OH and I were responsible for putting up the mural so the next day we made a start. The mural comes in twelve sections, six along the top and the other six along the bottom. The wall in Bobs room that it was going on to was nearly sixteen feet, so three feet at each end of the wall was painted in a coordinating colour ready for the mural to go up. 

We followed the instructions that came with the mural, you have the option of double sided tape  or wallpaper paste. The paste is supplied, and we decided that that was our preferred method. As the mural needed lining up at least with the paste on you have room to side it and line it up, we were not sure we could get it spot on first time if we used tape.  The mural is put up starting from the top left hand side piece, working cross and the the bottom from left to right as well.  It tells you that you have a six mm overlap as this allows for shrinkage. Each piece is marked with small squares in the corners and a few small lines running down the length of the pictures as a guide to lining up. The instructions say to expect  two to three hours to get the mural up. We got the top done in just over an hour, and carried straight on with the bottom, this took slightly longer to line up as it needed to be lined up in two different directions, so their two to three hours was spot on. 

bit by bit it went up and the edges were firmed down

 The finished effect is amazing, its big, bright, colourful and has a real "wow factor" as you walk in the room. It has a real fee about it with the 3D effect it creates, you feel you could walk into this and play in the waterfall.

the finished article. 

Bob absolutely LOVES IT, he is spending his days in his room talking to the animals. Those of us that did the decorating found it a pleasure to work with and would happily recommend them to anybody that is thinking of decorating a child's room.

We had a few thoughts on this product, and theses are our thoughts from having used the product. We cannot understand why the six mm overlap, ours did not shrink and if it was to shrink you would surely be left with the lines visible that are marked on the paper to allow for the lining up. We also felt that allowing for the fact you do have the overlap we should have put the bottom ones on the wall  first so that the visible line was facing down the way rather than up the way thereby being less visible.
The instructions also say to trim the mural once it is dry, but OH decided to trim it as we went along as he thought it would be easier.

We had a quality control issue with our mural.  We noticed there were slight difference in the colour between the top and bottom sections. But having discussed this with our contact at tots100 and Dulux they kindly sent us out a second product to use, and this one is spot on.

In regards to this Dulux tell me

 the reason there was a colour mismatch on your paper was because the papers you were from a special print run just for this campaign, and the first ever to be printed in those designs. This took place several weeks before the retail product was printed. The error you had was because of this short, one-off print run and wouldn’t be replicated for consumers 
So you can purchase yours will full confidence that this will not be an issue for you, and I would not let it put me off buying another one.

first lions and second lions

Lastly we have the unveiling of the room. Remember Bob has had no sneaky peaks as he has not been here all week. 


We were provided with a Bedroom in a Box for the purposes of this review by Dulux and Tots100. You can find out more about the Bedroom in a Box range on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Pinterest

( and a jar of honey and a potted plant off Bob for doing it while he was away. )