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Get Fathers Day Wrapped Up In An Instant

11 Jun

Father’s Day is drawing closer so I thought I’d share some fun and funky treats that I think are awesome gift ideas for Fathers Day.

Here’s my top 5 contenders… I’m counting down here with number 1 being my top pick.

At number 5… A 12 Week Beer Subscription For Dad from BeerBods

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Price – £36 (12 Week Subscription)

Product – BeerBods offer more than just a case of beers to your door but instead an online resource (plus a case of 12 beers delivered at your door). The idea is for BeerBods to deliver dad 12 bottles of bear then for dad to drink and share (just one bear a week) with the online BeerBods community. Each week BeerBods tell dad what beer to drink and the story behind it as he drinks it. Dad then shares his thoughts with the BeerBods community!

A great gift for beer loving dads who are quite opinionated when it comes to a pint.

4) Personalised Silver Hand Stamped Word Ring From – Boutique To You

Price – £45

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Product Info – Personalised Silver Hand-Stamped Word Ring that comes beautifully gift boxed. The personalised silver word ring is made to order and you can choose whatever word you wish to be stamped on it. How about the name if his child? I thought it would be a great gift for Father’s Day if dad has more than one child. If each child buys dad a ring then these would equal a great stacking set!

3) Personalised Tax Disc Cufflinks From – Firebox

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Price £29.99

Product Info – What a fun and funky gift idea for any dad. Following in the great personalised apparel tradition of monogrammed hankies, and your Mum writing your name on the tag of your jumper, Firebox bring you these Personalised Tax Disc Cuff Links. I think they are Awesome.

2) Why My Daddy Is Brilliant (Personalised Book) From ‘Not On The High Street

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Price – £15.95

Product Info – More than a card, this beautifully illustrated twelve-page book is a wonderful way for children to show their love for daddy. From favourite hobbies to why they make them smile, the book has been especially written for children to say why they love the ‘superhero’ in their life. It even features blank frames for them to draw their own illustrations in or stick their favourite photographs in! Whether it’s as a family memento or a bedtime read, this book will forever be a reminder of a child’s love for their own ‘superhero’.

How can any daddy be anything other than chuffed with a gift like that.

In the number one spot it’s the gift I’ve chosen for that of my own father…

… 1) Dinner at one of three Marco Pierre White’s London restaurants (tasty 3 course meal for two and a cocktail too) Brought to us by ‘Buy A Gift

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Price – £50

Product Info – The personalised gift website lets you purchase an experience voucher, activate it and then from their you simply book your reservation with one of the three restaurants on offer, My choice being that of London’s Kings Road Marco Pierre white restaurant. Whats more this fantastic 4 star rated deal is currently on special offer, allowing costumers to purchase this yummy fathers day treat at just £50 instead of £101 making it just under half price for three courses of fantastic fine food.

Here’s whats included for that very special price…. The Kings Road Steakhouse & Grill is a traditional steakhouse in the heart of Chelsea, serving a mouth-watering range of classic steak cuts, as well as a wide variety of timeless English dishes – making it the perfect place to enjoy an indulgent meal for two! You’ll be treated to three courses from a menu including the finest quality steaks, roast meats and fish mainboards in the area, as well as a refreshing Champagne cocktail each

This is the perfect gift idea for the hard to buy for dad who has everything, or one who just appreciates a nice bit of steak (as I know mine does).

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write this by any of the above brands. I just wanted to share some great potential gift ideas with you all.

Little Man Gets Busy In The Kitchen

19 Apr

If you read the blog you will know that since little man has been attending his new special school, we have discovered his got rather good skills in the kitchen.

That’s right, his becoming a bit of a master chef and whats more he enjoys the activity of cooking and baking.

A few weeks back we were contacted by someone involved in the cooking with kids campaign creates by ‘The great british chefs‘ in conjunction with Tesco. The campaign is all about encouraging parents to cook with their children as a way of encouraging not only healthy eating but also food education. It provides the perfect bonding activity (unless you’re child’s like little man, not allowing you a single look in)!

There is a whole web page of child friendly recipes to create from yummy dinners to delightful desserts and cakes.

I suggested to the Little guy that we give it a go and as expected he was up for challenge.

Only instead of selecting a recipe requiring lots of ingredients, we opted for one of the more simplistic options available… so much so there was no cooking or even baking involved whatsoever! It wasn’t because we just wanted to speedily put together something simple… the recipe we chose was one that not only looked delicious within the imaging displayed on the Great British Chefs website, but something we hadn’t ever thought about trying before.

This was a recipe for strawberry sundaes, only slightly different from the norm, as these were created with yogurt and oats (Granola) instead of that of ice cream which we would always normally use when pulling together a sundae.

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The sundae recipe has been created by Gavin Brothers especially for the campaign which is running in conjunction with Tescos. The recipe introduction reads, “This strawberry sundae recipe is a fantastic breakfast treat, as instead of ice cream, there’s yoghurt and granola. Quick to prepare, even for little hands, they make a nice, healthy mid-day snack for children. Feel free to experiment with other seasonal berries and fruits”

So here’s the few ingredients needed to create this relatively healthy alternative to the traditional strawberry ice cream sundae…

160g of granola
250g of low fat strawberry yoghurt
150g of strawberries
20g of icing sugar

This is said to feed a family of 4 (sundaes served in a tall glass)

We however used our sundae glasses which look much taller than the ones used for this recipe, so we had to increase our ingredients slightly.

Here’s what you do …

Remove the tops from the strawberries and place in a bowl with the icing sugar

LIGHTEN IT UP
Feel free to reduce the sugar used in this step

2. Use a fork to lightly crush the strawberries

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3. Place some granola in the bottom of each glass, followed by some strawberry yoghurt. Top with the crushed fresh strawberries and serve

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We also sprinkled a little icing sugar on top of our finished sundaes for decoration purposes.

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Little man seriously took over (I swear he would make a great head chef… His bossy and likes to take charge). Although this recipe was really simple, he really enjoyed putting the sundaes together.

As for the taste, we all loved them! Just check out the toddler getting stuck in!

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The kids have now suggested having the yogurt sundaes more often. Alice even had one for breakfast this morning.

There are loads of recipes on the campaign page. But be warned… You may suddenly find that you feel the need to munch following browsing.

So why not select a recipe and get cooking with the kids!

You can access the Cooking With Kids Campaign page on the Great British Chefs Website by Clicking Here

Disclaimer: Please Note This is not a sponsored post! I Wasn’t paid to write this and didn’t receive anything for doing so. We joined in because we wanted to. Its a campaign we believe in and a great way to teach children skills in preparation for independence (especially those on the autism spectrum like little man).

Review – Chiquito Restaurant (New Menu)

20 Feb

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I was recently sent a voucher to give the new menu at Chiquito a try.

The thing was I had to agree to take another adult with me. What you mean not the kids? Well… Bring it on baby.

I needed a child free night and this would be my perfect excuse for an escape plan.

So me and my little sister hit the Chiquito located at the O2 London. I’d never been to this Mexican Grill before but being a lover of Mexican food I was looking forward to it.

We both found the restaurant lovely. Its located just outside the O2 and can be found with ease.

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Inside we discovered there was both an upstairs and downstairs eating area with a big bar serving up the yummiest cocktails. We chose to sit downstairs as it was late so rather quite. I love how you can see the chiefs cooking up a feast in the kitchen, and our order didn’t take long at all.

I ordered a Sizzler the Mexican Chicken Skewer (succulent chicken breast grilled on a skewer with mixed peppers and served over sizzling fajita vegetables). The meal comes on a hot plate so its actually still cooking as it arrives. I opted to replace my chips or wedges with a salad (dieting) and found my order to be extremely enjoyable.

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My sister was a tad more adventures than normal (yes she seems to always order a burger) this time she went with
‘The Border’ (strips of crispy southern fried chicken, lettuce, ranch dressing and smoky BBQ sauce wrapped and baked in a flour tortilla). She didn’t leave nothing but a couple of chips that come as a side so my guess is she liked it!

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I had a feeling the mains were going to be generous in size and not wanting to spoil my main we both decided to skip the starters. We were right to as following the huge main course we couldn’t even fit in the pudding. We did however grab a slice of strawberry cheese cake that my sister took back for mum. Lets just say she didn’t share it!

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One thing we did purchase additional to the main meal was that of a pitcher (Yes… Pitcher) of Sex on the Beach. For £17 you get 6 glasses of cocktail in the one pitcher so its fantastic value as most cocktails are priced at over £7 each.

We really enjoyed our meal at Chiquito we also really loved the decor we were dinning in! Seriously check out the fabulous upcycled beer bottle light shade.

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They even had this fab table leg shabby chic mirror in the ladies… Awesome don’t you think!

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Other delicious dishes on the new menu that may tempt you are the Goats’ Cheese and Roasted Vegetable Salad, Blackened Salmon and Jambalaya or one of the Chiquito sharing platters.

The new menu is ideal to enjoy for a date night or just a good night out with friends, as even parents need nights off once in a while!

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#silentsunday

27 Jan

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Spend Less Time Cooking And More Time With The Kids This Christmas

5 Dec

I absolutely hate peeling spuds, the whole tasks really grinds my gears. Not only does it somehow make the tips of my fingers sore but I also seem to lose half a potato to the bin by the time I’m done!

What a time consuming, boring task!

Over the years my peeling of potatoes hasn’t really improved despite the increase in family size. A great example would be Christmas Day… Its on this day that I seem to spend the majority of the morning stuck in the kitchen peeling veg instead of enjoying the festivities with the children. Yes… I do enjoy cooking but I’m not a massive fan on the preparations side of things.

But seriously, its not just about peeling potatoes, its more the issue of missing important family time to the kitchen.

The video from Aunt Bessie’s highlights my point perfectly. If anything I feel somewhat envious of the mothers ability to get dinner on the table so quickly therefore allowing her more time with the family.

With this I thought I’d have a go at sharing some of my ideas on ways to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with the family this Christmas.

1- Frozen & Ready peeled Veg – This year I’ve decided to do a mix of my own roast potatoes and that of Aunt Bessie’s. I’m also going to opt for some ready prepared veg. Given the child’s father is with us for dinner he will be doing the peeling and if I can get away with it, the cooking too.

2 – I will prepare the sausage meat stuffing for the Turkey on Christmas Eve. If I’m feeling really lazy I could just add some sausage meat to some packet stuffing! However, I do love homemade stuffing and given I don’t do it that often I’ll make to effort.

3 – This year I plan on not over doing it when it comes to the selection of veg on offer! I always do this and find I have it being cooked on all four hobs as well as in the steamer. I don’t know why I do this every single year, especially given there is always loads left over. I just never learn!

4 – I plan on making a really fancy dessert this year and will again make this on Christmas Eve. I’m planning for it to be a dessert that can be served cold so I’m not required to spend longer than needed in the kitchen come Christmas Day.

5 – the last few weeks I’ve seen the shelfs in the supermarkets filling up with treats. Some of which have been on offer and actually look incredibly tasty. These include nibbles and party foods that you tend to serve Christmas during that of the early evening. This year I will most defiantly be stocking up. Who wants to return to the kitchen to spend even more time preparing food instead of eating from a tin of Quality streets while watching the ‘Polar Express’ with the kids?

Oh… And like stuff isn’t stressful enough this year, but I’ve found myself needing a new built in cooker or replacement door as our cooker door has quite literally fallen off and smashed into a million pieces. So, unless I pull the pennies together and fast, Christmas dinner will have to be elsewhere…. Actually is that such a bad thing?

Whether your having the whole extended family over for Christmas or its just you and the kids, its important to remember that as great as Christmas dinner can be, its nowhere near as great as the time spent side by side with those you love.

This Post contains a sponsored video. However, all words are honest and that of my own.

Baker Days Letterbox Cake Perfect For The Festive Season

1 Dec

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My mum is a very special woman, not only because she’s my mum but simply because she’s a fabulous one. she has been there through all the struggles with getting little man diagnosed and statemented, plus she helped me through the tough discrimination case I ended up filing against his old mainstream school. That’s why I feel I could not possibly thank her enough.

When I was asked if I wanted to review a Baker days letterbox cake I couldn’t think of a more deserving recipient then my mum.

All I had to do was choose my design, flavour and message. Baker days did the rest and two days after confirming my order a beautiful Baker days letterbox cake that was so lovingly packaged in its own tin with a personalised card and mini party pack, popped through my mothers letterbox.

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Using the website was easy (except the fact I was spoilt for choice)! There are over 400 designs so it was never going to be easy. Baker days cater for all occasions and can supply party and cupcakes as well as the letterbox cake I sent to mum.

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Whats more they are able to personalise your chosen cake with your special message and even a photo if desired! Plus order by 1pm and they can safely deliver your cake the next day (normal delivery is free, however, next day delivery will cost more).

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Without the next day service, mums cake still arrived in an impressive two days. I was shocked but impressed when she called to thank me.

The letterbox cake supplies its recipient with 4 nice sized potions of beautiful fresh cake. Its cleverly packed to fit through the standard letterbox so you don’t even need to worry if anybody is home to take the order.

Mum loved her surprise letterbox cake the only problem we had was cutting it… It was just to pretty to want to spoil.

We eventually got over it… and the cake that was of course chocolate, went down pretty well with a cuppa.

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You can check out Baker days who offer free delivery by clicking Here

What does your cocktail choice say about you

19 Nov

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I seriously love eating at frankie and bennys. I’m addicted to their famous spaghetti and meatballs and think the desserts are to die for!

I recently took my younger sister along to the one in Greenwich London, for a cocktail tasting season (well, that and some spaghetti and meatballs of course)!

As always both the food and service was spot on. We had a starter of warm dough sticks with garlic butter (tastes great but be warned it sticks to the hips). And as mentioned a oversized plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

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Now, as lovely as the desserts are, with our tummies fit to burst we had to take a rain check. However, we did enjoy some rather fabulous cocktails before, during and after the meal… I know we kinda drunk like fish.

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Then again this is why we were here! Frankie & Benny’s has launched its new cocktail menu with the aim to encourage mums to take time out and sip on a delicious cocktail.

Personally, I just love the Appletini
Which is said to be a fun and flirty cocktail that is perfect for ladies who just want to have fun… And boy did I need some of that. The Appletini is Packed with Eristoff vodka, pressed apple juice and gingerbread syrup. This was a seriously tasty cocktail.

I also tried a number if others from the new cocktail menu. The Cosmopolitan again was fabulous, though I wasn’t that keen on the mojito which I used to love drinking when in Spain. I think this was because I could taste the tonic water which I don’t really like so this one was definitely my least favourite.

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So…. What does your cocktail of choice say about you?

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Mojito
Ladies who can’t resist a bit of spice will love this cool Cuban cocktail. Made with fresh lime, mint and sugar, plus a generous splash of Bacardi rum, a mojito drinker is sure to be the first on the dance floor, ready to spice up any night.

Appletini
This fun and flirty drink is perfect for ladies who just want to have fun. Packed with Eristoff vodka, pressed apple juice and gingerbread syrup, this delightful drink is sure to get the party started.

Cosmopolitan
A sexy and sassy Cosmopolitan is a great choice for those who like to keep it classic. This zingy and zesty drink comprises vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice creating a cool and crisp taste. Cosmo ladies love a bit of city glamour and always paint the town pink.

Classic Sour
For ladies who like to be adventurous, this quirky cocktail is available with Jack Daniels, Amaretto or Midori and finished with fresh lemon juice, egg whites for added smooth and is topped off with sugar. It’s the ideal choice for someone who likes to stand out from the crowd.

Espresso Martini
This rich and sumptuous drink is ideal for ladies looking for a classic cocktail with a twist. Fresh espresso teamed with vodka and a coffee liqueur offers an instant caffeine hit, a brilliant blend for any modern mum who is in need of a pick-me-up!

Gentle Breeze
A delicious non-alcoholic cocktail for those who like to behave rather than rave! This drink combines a delicious blend of apple juice, cranberry and citrus juices and is served over ice, offering the designated driver something delightful to sip on.

Bramble
For ladies with a mysterious edge, this deliciously dark cocktail is a tasty mix of Bombay Sapphire gin and black raspberry liqueur. An added kick of fresh lemon means this drink really packs a punch.

Well, given I’m more of a Appletini & Cosmopolitan kinda girl… Its said that my chosen cocktail makes me a lady who is crying out to have some fun and is up for painting the town pink! I gotta hand it to frankie & Bennys, I make them right!

For more information on the new Frankie & Benny’s cocktail menu please click HERE

#Win 1-up Cupcake Moulds

13 Sep

Guess what? Today is the 27th birthday of the much loved Super Mario!

You know… Super Mario? The little Italian guy in the red suit! Has a brother called Luigi and hangs about with a princess and a mushroom!

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I’m 30 now but remember my childhood and how Super Mario had a huge part in it. It all started off with my little brother, he had what is now referred to as a retro Nintendo console and one of his first games was Super Mario. I still remember frustratingly trying to beat what we referred to as the big boss man at the end! I also have strong memories of collecting the coins by jumping up and down under these brick like things that sometime if you were lucky contained a 1up mushroom that gave you an extra life.

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I’ve grown up with Super Mario in my life and it’s now become a big part of my children’s life too. As the years have pasted Super Mario has gone from strength to strength. My children love playing games like Super Mario Cart, Mario Olympics and more.

As to celebrate the Birthday of Super Mario, I’ve been given an awesome prize for my readers by the fabulous Just Mustard.

Win one of 2 sets of 1-up Cupcake Moulds.

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These fantastic moulds are based on the mushroom character from the retro video games. They will certainly give your cupcakes a really super edge.

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To win here’s how!

Compulsory actions

Follow clairelouise82 and @justmustard then tweet:

“It’s Super Mario’s b’day I want to win a 1-Up cupcake mould with @clairelouise82 and @justmustard http://bit.ly/TX5nx1

Then leave a comment telling us your twitter handle.

To gain extra entries here’s how…

1) Check out Just Mustard on Facebook and tell them you want a 1-up cupcake mould for Mario’s Birthday.

2) Follow @clairelouise82 on Instagram comment to let me know who you are

3) Follow clairelouise82 on pinterest and pin this competition comment to let me know how I can find it.

4) And use any of the share buttons below excluding email.

Important Leave a comment for each and every action you do. Please leave a contact such as a twitter handle or email.
Competition will close on the 1st October 2012 at 23:59 pm.

T&C: Winners will be drawn at random. Open to those in the UK only. Winners must respond to winning notification within 72hrs or winners maybe redrawn. The prize will be sent by the PR for Just Mustard, not A boy with Aspergers. All usual terms and conditions for A boy with Aspergers competitions will apply.

If events occur that render the competition itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of Just Mustard, Just Mustard reserves the right to change or withdraw the competition and/or prize at any time and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to Just Mustard or A boy with Aspergers as a result thereof.

Check out Loquax for more competitions

Get creative with a box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies

15 Jul

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but now it can also be the most fun.

I was recently sent a big box of Rice Krispies, only this box was slightly different from those you usually see on the shelves down at your local supermarket.

The difference is These boxes are customisable… Yes, your child can really put their own stamp on their cereal.

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There are 8 different special colouring packs of Rice Krispies available. Here’s ours designed by my daughter Alice-Sara age 9.

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Look at the concentration on her face… An artist at work.

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Alice-Sara uses many different colours, stamps, glitter glue and stick-on gems to design her ideal Rice Krispies box.

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Alice-Sara really expressed her creative flare with the use of her magical imagination.

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Colouring in the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies box was loads of fun and Alice-Sara is pretty proud of her creation… And why not, I think she did a brilliant job.

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Special colour me in boxes of Kellogg’s are Available to buy from all good supermarkets. Plus the guys from Kellogg’s Have created its very own Rice Krispies website sharing some super creative ideas to keep your little ones busy this summer, you can even download some pictures of the Rice Krispies crew for them to colour. However, If colouring isn’t their thing then why not try your hand at making one of the fab summer recipes with your Rice Krispies! Check out the cute mouse treats below.

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This post is our entry for the BritMums #ColourMeInRK competition, sponsored by Kellogg’s.

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Thanks to both Britmums and Kellogg’s for running a great competition.
K
Disclaimer: We were not paid to write this post but did receive a box of colour me in Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and a selection of colouring pens and pencils.

NuMe healthy eating range from Morrisons

19 Jun

So last week I got invited to a brilliant event by Morrisons.

The UK food retailer were launching it’s newest range, NuMe a healthy eating range that looks and tastes fabulous.

The range is designed for customers searching for healthier alternatives to their favourite meals and snacks who don’t want to compromise on taste.

I was invited by Morrisions for a tasty breakfast and introduction to the range that is already rolling into Morrisons stores all over the nation.

What’s great about the NuMe range is that it’s aim is to give customers healthier alternatives to their already favourite foods at great affordable prices.

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When thinking about healthy food, I usually think, boring, tasteless and expensive, the new range is none of the above! NuMe is all about the small steps needed for a healthier lifestyle, it’s not about dieting, yes it will help us drop the pounds overtime but it’s also about purchasing things that are better for us, making sure we get some of our five a day, etc. With its funky packaging with good clear labelling means customers are able to quickly see what it is they are buying, the calorie control whether it forms part of your five-a-day, or whether it’s low in fat or reduced in salt, explaining why each product is a healthier option.

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There was a few reasons I was keen to hear more about the NuMe range. One, I want to get back in shape, start making healthier choices for myself and family. Secondly, I wanted to find out how this range was “healthier” and whether this could be a range I could buy to replace some of the items currently on my shopping list therefore getting the children eating more healthy food (especially Little man, who’s diet is very poor).

As many know, little man has Aspergers syndrome. There are very few foods he eats. This is extremely worrying as most of these foods are not the healthiest, they are high in fat or salt etc.

Looking at some of the products in the range, you may ask yourself how some of the products are actually better for you. What Morrisons have done here, is remove some of the ingredients that are not all that good for us and replaced it with something else much more healthier. This could be anything from not cooking something in oil, maybe grilling it instead, reducing the salt content and adding other herbs or spices that are better for us. A great example would be the sausage breakfast I had. Doesn’t sound very healthy but it was healthier than other sausages available, yet still tasted awesome. It’s the last three letters in the word “healthier” that Morrisons have taken and used to create this delicious range.

It’s true, simple small changes can lead to big ones overtime. It’s not about quick fixes but maintaining a healthier lifestyle and keeping it.

The range has everything from ready made meals (frozen and refrigerated) to products from salad dressings to yogurts. They even have a huge range of yummy treats and snacks, such as crisps or cakes.

Looking at the range, I’ve discovered a number of items that the children eat that are significantly more healthy. Little man who refuses to eat anything remotely healthy could really benefit and I’ve already started to introduce the range into our home.

Lastly, can I recommend the Beetroot & Blueberry Salsa, may sound strange but taste amazing.

Disclaimer: This is a review post. I was not paid to write this review. I did receive a goody bag following the event. All opinions are honest and that of my own.

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