Monday, 21 July 2014

I did it!


This weekend saw me running 5K in the Race For Life! It was muggy and hard going but I did it! I am very proud of myself and I have already booked a place for next year.

I now have the running and fundraising bug so I'm on the look out for my next event! I absolutely loved it - the atmosphere was amazing - everyone joined together to kick Cancer's butt. It was incredibly emotional and I am so grateful to Brioche Pasquier for both their donation and for asking me to run as part of their team. 

Thank you to my dear friends and family who have also kindly sponsored me; helping me raise (almost) £100 for Cancer Research UK.

Very, very happy :)

Friday, 18 July 2014

I'm raising some dough for Cancer Research UK #BriochePasquierSuperteam



As I have mentioned a few times previously (ahem..) I am running the Race For Life to 'raise some dough' for Cancer Research UK and thanks to Brioche Pasquier and their generosity, I have already reached my target (although I'd love to raise some more ;))

I received a lovely package the other day with some Race For Life packs of yummy Brioche where Brioche Pasquier have been giving people the chance to win donations to their personal Race For Life fundraising pages.


I have also sent a very cool T-shirt to wear on the day - I am a mixture of emotions at the moment; nervous, excited, worried....you name, it...I feel it!

Wish me luck as the weather on my race day is going to be a scorcher. I know I'm not going to be fast because of this, but I know I will do it!!!

Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored and supported me on my first charity run since I was a teenager!

If you would like to sponsor me, as little as £1 - I will be so very grateful! THANK YOU!



Thanks so much to Brioche Pasquier for everything too! You've been amazing!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights

*Review*

You will probably know by now that I am keeping active and trying to get fit. I am now a regular runner/jogger as I have been training for the Race For Life this weekend, but I was looking to do something else as well; I want to tone and strengthen all of my body so I wanted to do something else alongside running.

I have been a fan of the hugely successful Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred for a long time now, as it is still a favourite of mine, but I wanted to build a little muscle and strengthen my core muscles and upper body so I was very keen to give Jillian's latest DVD, Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights a go!

"Celebrated US Trainer and star of The Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels adds extra weight to her hard-core circuit techniques  for a total-body workout designed to burn maximum fat and lose up to 5lb a week."
I have only completed the DVD twice so far as life has been so hectic recently, but I already love it. It's very hard work but completely achievable as Jillian is joined by other ladies during the workout who show you how to complete the routines at every level.

You can use a single hand weight or a kettle bell during the workouts. I bought myself a light kettlebell to begin with as I have quite weak arms and back at the moment, so I felt that was enough for me and I hope to progress over the coming months.


The DVD promises to help you to build lean muscle and burn a lot of calories with two 30 minute boot camp workouts. Begin at level 1 and progress to level 2 for maximum body-shredding results. I am still on level 1 and intend to stick with this level for the time being. I can't comment on weight loss as I am running and eating fairly healthily too, but all I know is I sweat... A LOT.... so that has to be doing something, right?!!

I'll keep you updated with how I progress in my fitness update posts. But for now, I'll leave you with this - It's hard work;  it makes you want to lie down (or die...in my case). It makes you sweat like you've never sweated before; it makes you realise that you have muscles... EVERYWHERE..... but it is AMAZING and I feel so good afterwards.

Totally recommend it!

Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights is out now with an RRP of £12.99

Images from Lionsgatefilms.co.uk

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Nintendo Family Bloggers - Mario Kart 8 Challenges #1 and #2


We are a bit late to the party on these posts (I promise I will update you all with how everything is going with hubby; there just never seems to be enough hours in the day!) Anyhoo, to celebrate the launch of the fantastic new game on the Wii U; Mario Kart 8 we were set some fun challenges in order for the kids to get crafty Mario style!

Here are the first two challenges:

Challenge #1 Design your own (Mario) Kart

The girls love to draw so this challenge was all about the felt tips!  Little One did some doodles for prep, but I'm not allowed to show you those as they are top secret apparently! Between them, Middle Miss and Little One came up with the following super-dupa Kart!

Introducing..... THE RAINBOW MASTER


This colouring kart is a must for hardcore Mario kart fans! With a built-in periscope, drivers can always see where they are going, even underwater! Ink splats don't worry the user of this vehicle at all!

Scream if you wanna go faster!!! Wow!! The Turbo booster at the rear of The Rainbow Master, which have to in 1st place in no time!

Sneaky spikes and the front and sides keep competitors at bay - nobody would be brave enough to try and bump you our of the lead! Would they?

We love the bright colours of our design - Little One said, "it will make the driver happy because rainbow's make everyone happy!" - she is such a sweetheart!

Challenge #2 - Create your own racing track

We were limited on space on this one as we have builders working on the house and our original plan of creating a track outside was a washout - literally! (WHO ordered the rain???)

So... the girls got out their trusty felt tips once more and this is their creation - completely from the imagination of a 5 and 12 year old!

I give you...THE WATER GOATS TRACK!

Don't ask me where the goats came from.... I haven't the foggiest! ;) It was quite difficult to photograph, and this was actually created on 4 huge pieces of paper - kudos to my girls!

It's quite a detailed track, with lots going on, so I will talk you though each part.

AND THEY'RE OFF!!

The girls do love a party so 9 players can race together on this fabulously crazy track! It's not an easy ride though, as the first obstacle to tackle is just after the start line!

HOOPLA!!

One of the many obstacles on this track are the spinning hoops - use your kart to jump through them in order to gain coins!

WAS THAT A GOAT???

Those pesky goats have escaped from the farm again and they can be found wandering the track, so keep your eyes peeled! Avoid them or risk being slowed right down!

FLYING KARTS!

High bars have been placed throughout the track and there is only one way past them.... yes, you will need speed and bounciness on your side, as you will need to jump or fly over these!

POWER UPS!

Oh we do love a good power up - but do watch out for those sneaky fake ones that only give you nasties! No banana skins here please!! :(

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE!!

I'm thinking that The Rainbow Master might be a useful choice when racing this track, as there is a lot of water about.... and you will need to swim or float! Look out for the seaweed though, don't get tangles or you'll be there for some time! Jelly fish  will sting you for coins, so avoid them like the plague!

BOOST PADS!

If you're in need of a boost, look out for the brightly coloured boost pads that will give you some much needed energy and  a speed boost. HINT: These are especially useful near water as they make you fly!!

WOW! That looks like a fun challenge!! Look out for more challenges soon!!

What do you all think?



We were sent a copy of Mario Kart 8 and some crafting goodies in order for us to complete these challenges - Thank you Nintendo!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Beauty Spotlight: Tamed brows in minutes!

*Review*

Before I tell you about my current favourite beauty product, I have to tell you that I hate plucking my brows. I hate, hate, it. I'm not a person who feels comfortable going to salon's either.  I have longed for an affordable product that actually works and that I can use in the comfort of my own home.

At last, I have found it.

Nad's Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper (£10.20 in Boots). I have been very kind to you and let my brows grow to a rather unruly state so that I can show you a before and after photo - you're welcome. 

As much as I hate plucking my brows, I can't tell you the relief that my brows are now groomed once more.


Since my teens, I have used quite few products that promise salon results at home... others that promise no pain. They were all rubbish in all honesty, so I hold my hands up and confess that I was not expecting this to work at all.

But I was completely wrong.

The box contains individually wrapped cleansing wipes, waxing strips, and of course a tube of gloriously green hair removal gel (How Nigella did that sound??? )

Anyway, a few nights ago, I decided I deserved a bit of a pamper session; a Lush bath, glass of wine and well, a bit of time to make myself feel a little more human. 
 
The instructions on the box are dead easy to follow, with images of which direction to apply the gel and which direction to pull the wax strip away.

*gulp*

Nad's Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper is designed with a 'slimtip' precision applicator which makes application easy and precise. 

Now I won't lie. It wasn't completely pain-free but it was more of a discomfort than a pain and as you are removing more than one hair at a time, it is much quicker than plucking, so therefore much less painful (and less tedious!)

Yuck, I know. But it easily removed lots of hair in one go.
It did leave some redness so don't use in the morning or just before a date or night out! I did my brows just before bed and all the redness has disappeared by the morning. I have sensitive skin but the dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic formula did not affect my skin in any way (other than initial redness which was just due to the hair removal). 

BEFORE & AFTER. Sorry for different hues to the images. I took them in different lights.
The gel formula can be washed away easily so you don't need to worry about making a mistake during application like you would with a wax. I used the cleansing wipes in between each application and patted my skin dry with a towel.

It's also gentle enough to use on the upper lip, and other parts of the face. There is no melting or heating required; simply twist and you're away. 

I love this so much and will definitely be buying it regularly.

For more information, visit www.nads.co.uk

Nintendo 2DS and Mii Creation using Mii Maker


The children are very lucky to have been sent a fantastic Nintendo 2DS as part of their roles as Nintendo Family Bloggers.

It's brilliant and I have to say for me, the Mii Creation feature is a little addictive ;) Before I tell you about that, allow me give you an overview on the 2DS console.


The Nintendo 2DS is the latest addition to the Nintendo handheld family - a gateway to a world of fun and excitement through gaming, whilst being able to share and connect with friends and the Nintendo community.

The 2DS is a more affordable alternative to the 3DS and, in my opinion, more suitable for younger eyes due to it having no 3D display.

3DS users can start gaming with their 2DS straight away as you can play 3DS games in 2D. This is another big bonus for LO as she can play her older siblings 3DS games without worrying about her switching the 3D display back on.

The Nintendo 2DS is also backwards compatible, meaning you can play all your DS games too! This has pleased all of my children as they have games from years ago that they thought were now redundant.

The design of the 2DS is much different to the other members of the DS family as the dual screens do not fold and close. This is a solid, flat design that I really thought the kids would hate, but in actual fact they prefer it.

The console comes in 3 colours; white & red, black & blue and pink & white - all look amazing, but of course my girls opted for the pink & white which was no surprise!

What's in the box?

As well as the fantastic console, you also receive a 4 GB SDHC Memory Card and Nintendo 3DS AC adapter that can be used with Nintendo 2DS, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL -  I've already had to replace the adapter as I accidentally hoovered up the wire and broke it - but that's another story! Ooops! It does mean that the children can use the same adapter to charge all their DS consoles; which is useful.

Other features

As mentioned earlier, with the 2DS you can connect with other players; sharing data using StreetPass; automatically receive new game updates and news thanks to SpotPass and of course, play online with other players.

The console is also smarter than it looks, with the addition of unique controls and AR capabilities. A built-in motion sensor and gyro sensor helps players to  control gameplay instantly as "they react to the motion and tilt of the system."

The system also uses Augmented Reality, allowing users to bring a whole new dimension to gaming. Simply place an AR card on a flat surface, point the consoles camera at the card and then be amazed with what happens next. (AR cards either come with the system or can be downloaded and printed out via the Nintendo website.) 

We love it - it's actually my personal favourite of all the members of the Nintendo DS family and at £109.99, I think they are incredible value.

Visit the official Nintendo UK Store for more information.

Mii Creation

One of our favourite features of the 2DS is the Mii Maker feature. This essentially allows you to become part of the game by creating a mii version of yourself. These characters can be used in various games and within the Nintendo community via StreetPass.

The Mii Maker is a little addictive as I mentioned, simply because there are so many different characters to create - you on a good day, a bad day.... a crazy day? Perhaps you could recreate every member of your family? The ideas are endless and as they are so simple to create and save, players of all ages will enjoy having a go.

Here's some images of  us creating a few of our first mii characters.


What do you think? Will it be in your children's stockings this Christmas?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Pokemon Art Academy for 3DS *review*



My children have all grown up with Pokemon, so it's no surprise that my artistic daughter Middle Miss jumped at the chance to review the very new Pokemon Art Academy game for the 3DS/2DS.

Image ©Nintendo
Have you or your children ever wanted to be able to draw or paint Pokemon? Well, now you can with this fantastic new game from Nintendo!

Players take on the prestigious role of an aspiring artist who has enrolled in the Pokemon Academy in order to learn how to draw these magnificent Pokemon. Through exciting lessons, players will learn art basics such as shape and form, colouring and shading/blending, whilst learning to use the various tools available.

Game features
  • Learn to draw your favourite Pokemon. with over 100 Pokemon to inspire you.
  • Bring your artwork to life by learning how to use various artistic tools.
  • Create stunning images by following the 40 step-by-step tutorials.
  • Once complete, players can share their creations by posting directly to Miiverse, via Local Play or saving to an SD card and printing out.
  • It's a fantastic games suitable for all ages and skill levels.
Middle Miss absolutely loved this game and she spent many an evening creating some spectacular pictures of her favourite Pokemon. 

have a look:

All images created by us using Pokemon Art Academy on 3DS
I was so impressed too and she was thrilled with her creations. It is an easy way to get crafty and we 100% recommend it! (I'm even having a play when the kids are at school too! Shhhh...don't tell ;)

It is fantastic for long car journeys as it keeps the children occupied for ages! So much fun!

Pokemon Art Academy is out now with an RRP of £29.99. See www.nintendo.co.uk for more information.
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