Connecting with Connetix

[Post contains PR sample]

Despite our best intentions, Eliza has amassed a lot of toys in her (almost) two years on this earth. This means it really takes something quite special to hold her attention for any length of time as she is constantly flitting to the next thing, and the next. We were very kindly sent this 120 piece pastel creative pack by Connetix and both Bob and myself are amazed at just how many hours have been spent playing with this already- more than any other toy Eliza has ever owned!

Connetix tiles are great for so many reasons:

Engaging in creative play with Connetix Tiles promotes several benefits:

  • Encourages Creativity and Imagination: Children are encouraged to unleash their creative potential and let their imaginations soar as they design and build.
  • Develops Fine and Gross Motor Skills: Through hands-on construction, children enhance their dexterity and physical coordination.
  • Supports STEAM Learning: Construction play actively supports learning in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, fostering a well-rounded skill set.
  • Promotes Problem Solving and Perseverance: As children encounter challenges during construction, they develop problem-solving abilities and learn the value of persistence.
  • Open-Minded and Versatile: Connetix offers endless possibilities, allowing children to experiment, innovate, and explore various designs.
  • Spatial Awareness: Magnetic play helps children develop a better understanding of spatial relationships and geometry as they create and manipulate objects.
  • Magnetic Learning: Magnetic properties provide an introduction to the principles of magnetism and physics, making it an ideal tool for STEAM education.

We’ve spent many a happy hour constructing towers and buildings as a family. Eliza now has a well established career in demolition too! The tiles are also amazing for solo play, which means mummy can supervise from the sofa and drink a hot cup of tea!

Whilst the Connetix products are on the pricier side (this kit retails at £115) both Bob and I have agreed they are 100% worth it as the possibilities are endless and already we’ve seen huge improvements in Eliza’s colour and shape recognition, ability to build towers and problem solve with them as well as utilise her constructions with other toys for imaginative play. There are small packs available, as well as add-ons and we’ve got our eye on a couple for Eliza’s christmas list- the ball run expansion pack being top of that list (well, our grown up lists actually!)

Whilst this was a PR sample, and a product we probably would have been put off of purchasing due to the price, this review is 100% honest and we genuinely are blown away by Connetix and what it has bought to family play time. I cannot speak highly enough of the brand and I can promise you purchases will be made, soon.

Degustabox- September 2021*

Box gifted by Degustabox
This is a PR box, this means there will sometimes be additional flavours or products than you’d get as a subscriber, I will highlight this within my post.

This is going to be my last Degustabox review post for a little while as I’m going to take a couple of months off to settle in to life with a newborn (now there’s a scary thought!) so I was delighted that the September 2021 box was jam packed full of fantastic products, ensuring my final experience of the year was one to remember.

Prince biscuits are something I always seek out on holidays without fail, I bloody love them, so the fact you can get them easily (and cheaply) here now pleases me greatly. I was already familiar with the chocolate ones, but white chocolate was new on me and there is a part of me that wishes I had remained ignorant as I am well and truly obsessed. Biscuits have got me through this pregnancy, I suspect they will get me through the early weeks and months too! £1 per pack from Asda.

I don’t usually stray away from Pepsi Max or Diet Coke, but I really enjoyed Sumon Passion Fruit. It’s super refreshing with a maximum of 25 calories per 100ml. It also comes in Pineapple or Orange flavours, both of which I’d be keen to try.
Bob is the fruit juice drinker in this house so he sampled the Orange Algarve from Compal and rated it very highly. He said it was super sweet and nicer than our usual supermarket buy.
Sumol 99p/can and Compal £1.99/carton from Portugese stores and

I love noodles, more than pasta or rice so I always get excited when I see a new to me brand included in Degustabox. This month it was Katsuo Udon noodles from Kelly Loves. This is a huge, flavourful lunchtime treat with plenty of unami flavour, I could barely move after these! Available in Sushi Daily kiosks in Waitrose and Asda for £2.90.

Sometimes I like to snack on plain crackers. Other times I like them to dip in soup or hummus. Either way these Ciabatta Original from Carr’s, in handy snack packs do the job perfectly. I probably should try topping them in a more normal way, but why break the snack habits of a lifetime?
£1.59 from most major retailers.

Can you believe I’d never tried Toffifee before? I see them everywhere, all the time and always think they look so good, but never seem to get around to picking up a box. Well, now I can say I have tried them- and they are good, although they make me fear for the safety of my teeth. I’ll pick some of these up for the Christmas stash now I know they are as tasty as they look, they are perfect for sharing (or not!)
£1.43 from all major supermarkets.

I haven’t actually tried this Nature’s Heart almond, peanut and double chocolate protein bar yet- it’s been stashed in my extensive bag of snacks for when I go in to have the baby. It looks delicious though, and boasts 10g of plant protein…hence why I thought it’d be the ideal labour snack! These have an RRP of £1.59 from major supermarket chains.

I won’t lie, I’m not sure what the point of a Jonut is, but pointless or not, it is delicious! It is essentially a rather large Jaffa Cake with a hole in the middle…but it works and it’s a fun treat!
50p each in major supermarket chains.

I’ll happily snack on Brioche at any time of day. Brioche Pasquier is my go-to brand and they’ve just made it even better with the addition of dark chocolate chips for a more indulgent taste. Great with a decaf coffee mid-afternoon! £1.50 from major supermarket chains.

We haven’t tried these Fajita and Taco seasoning mixes from Santa Maria yet….Bob and I decided to keep these on hand for a couple of quick and easy dinners once baby arrives. We’ll share our creations if we get time though, I’m most excited for the tacos, way more excited than is normal to be honest!
£1.05 each from a variety of retailers.

This month’s product of the month was these tomato and basil hummus chips from Eat Real, and I agree. I often have these in the house, or the veggie straws and can’t get enough of the super crunchy texture and good, strong flavour. I never feel too bad about how many of these I eat, either as they are made with good, honest ingredients. Available in all supermarket chains for £1.80- I stock up when on offer!

If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim £5.00 off of your first box (making it just £7.99!) by entering the code XOQGC at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.

Posted in food, review


Degustabox – August 2021*

Box gifted by Degustabox
This is a PR box, this means there will sometimes be additional flavours or products than you’d get as a subscriber, I will highlight this within my post.

August already feels like so long ago, and I am later than usual with getting my post up this month; wedding planning has taken front seat with just two weeks to go! I’m also on the final countdown at work until maternity leave starts and life is just a little bit chaotic right now!
Thankfully the August Degustabox box, with it’s “Back to School and On The Go” theme has saved my arse with snacks on more than one occasion…this has been literally my box of the year so far!

Ok, so stock cubes aren’t a snack, and to be honest they seemed a very random addition to the box given the theme, but welcome none the less. We’re currently trying to batch cook ready for when we have a newborn so these have come in handy; personally I’m a salt addict but I can see the appeal of these for families and those a bit more careful about their intake of sodium! £1.49 from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose and on Ocado.

I think I said before how hard I resisted the salted caramel trend when it first arrived on the scene. I’m a now convert though, and despite trying to keep my caffeine intake to a minimum level I couldn’t not try one of these Nescafe Gold Iced Salted Caramel Lattes. So good for on the go, and a most welcome relief during the recent super hot few days! Will be stocking up on these! £2.98 RRP available online and from most major supermarket chains.

I think this Pågen Gifflar Cinnamon Rolls would have been delicious if I had got a look in! Somehow they vanished in to Bob’s belly before I got a chance, but c’est la vie, he enjoyed them and I’ve been asked to pick up more when I see them! £1.70 from Tesco, Asda and online at Ocado.

We have this Cirio Pasta Sauce earmarked for another of our batch cooks as some kind of pasta bake. Mushrooms and Sausage screams winter comfort to us with a tonne of cheese on top! This range of sauces looks great, made with 100% Italian meat and tomatoes plus extra virgin olive oil. There are three flavours in the range, the others being Beef, Pork & White Wine and Mushrooms & Grilled Peppers. I’ll share the results on social media when we use this.
£2.00 from Ocado.

I’ve got through various cereal fads through pregnancy and currently I’m firmly on a Shreddies kick thanks to this month’s box. This makes a real change from my usual sugar laden American Imports and I’m here for it. With 4 ingredients and less than 5% sugar…delicious with hot milk and some sliced banana. Or eaten by the handful from the box! Available at Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and on Ocado with an RRP of £2.50.

Tweek Sweets with Benefits certainly look attractive with their super pretty packaging. They are pretty good, and refreshing and obviously boast some health benefits- but to be honest, if I’m buying sweets I want the full whack of sugar. Still nice though and I wouldn’t say no to more and they are ideal for anyone trying to be a bit healthier! £1.99 from WHSmith Travel.

There’s not much I can say about Oreos other than I love them! Yay!

I really enjoyed these 5th Season Fruit snacks. They have an odd texture that goes from crunch to melt in the mouth, but I liked that, a lot. They were perfect for a sweet hit on the go and are made with 100% fruit and have barely any calories. Pricey at £1.50 per bag and only available at Sainsbury’s, The Good Club, Mighty Small, Amazon and but hopefully that will change soon, I sure hope so!

I skipped testing this clean energy drink from Virtue drinks because pregnant, but it’s something I would otherwise go for without a doubt! With Zero Sugar and Zero Calories, but the same amount of natural caffeine as a coffee or other energy drink it’s a winning idea for me. £1.50 from Amazon, Holland and Barrett, Crussh, Planet Organic and Ocado.

My personal product of the month! I love Skippy Peanut butter and this chocolate chip swirl one is exactly what my toast has been missing. Sadly it’s only available at Morrisons and on Ocado so I can’t fully indulge all of the time, but next time we do an Ocado order a few jars will be sneaking in! £2.65 and worth every penny.

Bob has been taking these Up&Go breakfast drinks when he has an early start and he rates them as good. Not as good as a Greggs breakfast, but acceptable and much healthier! The banana & honey flavour is right up his street, although I’d personally go for the chocolate one! £2.75 per multipack from Tesco, Morrisons and on Ocado.

I ate so many Clif bars in America, I love them and it saddens me they are so expensive and that you can’t actually buy these mini size ones over here yet (they are everywhere in the USA!). These are such a good handbag snack and my favourite protein type bar out there for the texture. The larger 68g bar is available at most supermarkets, health food stores and sports retailers for £1.69. I eagerly await the minis arriving over here!

If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim £3.00 off of your first box (making it just £9.99!) by entering the code XOQGC at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.

Posted in food, review


ModiBodi Maternity*

Where has time gone? All of a sudden it’s basically September, I’m 30+ weeks pregnant, getting married in less than a month and just a few short weeks after that will be mum to a little girl!

For the most part I am super organised with it all, I’m one of those people who micro-manage everything, and whilst it still feels like there is loads to do there really actually isn’t. One area I am definitely not organised with though is packing a hospital bag for both myself and for baby. I haven’t even made a list, I don’t even really know what to take! I might be super on top of things for what baby is going to need, but when it comes to Mum I am clueless. The only thing I have so far are some great little maternity products that I was gifted from cult period pant brand ModiBodi which I was kindly sent, these are sat next to my otherwise empty hospital holdall waiting to be joined by…well…I don’t actually know what yet!

I was sent the Breastfeeding Cami and Maternity Briefs, obviously it’s impossible to give a full review at this stage given that I’m not post-birth, but what I can tell you is how lovely they feel and how comfortable they are to wear.
The Breastfeeding Cami is designed to give comfort and support whilst absorbing up to 25ml of boob leak per cup, making it an more environmentally friendly alternative to disposable breast pads and something I’m planning to use especially in hospital when I want to be packing as little as possible (famous last words!)
You can also wear this pre-birth to deal with any leakage, I’m not quite there yet but I feel like it’s only a matter of time!
Another added bonus is it has an inbuilt sling to assist with one handed feeding; something I will surely find invaluable once Bob goes back to work.

The briefs certainly aren’t sexy, but arguably better looking than the M&S granny pants I’ve been living in of late. Much like the period pants these are designed to deal with bleeding, discharge, bladder leaks etc, the difference being these have a much higher absorbency than the period pants and are cut to suit an ever expanding bump/be comfortable on a post-baby belly. These are so comfortable and I’m definitely going to get a few pairs in stock for those first few weeks especially. I find regular pads uncomfortable so the idea of maternity ones fills me with dread! I also like how secure these feel once on, and whilst pricey they can be used as period pants once things go back to normal too.

It would be a bit extreme to say I’m looking forward to fully testing out these items, although it would mean to wait to meet baby is finally over! I’m just keeping everything crossed she doesn’t decide to make an early appearance at the wedding- or at least until I have my hospital bag packed!

Those who already have children, what were your must haves for your hospital bags? Both for yourself and for baby?

Thanks ModiBodi for giving me a jump-start!

Panda Sweets sweet box review*

How do you make a tired and slightly grumpy pregnant lady very happy? Easy, you send her a simple brown box and pack it FULL of pick and mix sweets!
I might have been off chocolate during pregnancy (slowly starting to be able to eat this again now, woo hoo!) but sweets have very much been on the menu, especially sour ones, so when Panda Sweets got in touch offering to send me one of their pick and mix sweet boxes to review both myself and my unborn child jumped for joy!

The box contains a massive 1kg of pick and mix sweets for a very reasonable £7.50. From my extensive late night browsing of similar products elsewhere I can tell you this is a really, really good price! The box is full of classic pick and mix favourites, and being the nice person that I am I offered to share with Bob so we could both give our verdict; he’s a real connoisseur of sugary treats.

We both agreed that the variety in the box was spot on, making it perfect for family movie nights, gathering with friends or a gift – or just as a treat to yourself! Being the pregnant one I got first dibs and picked out my favourite rhubarb and custard sweets, more than my fair share of the sour sweets and all of the marshmallows, and between us I think the box only lasted about 24 hours, oops!

We’ll definitely be placing future orders with Panda Sweets, they have us hooked- I’m already compiling a wish list from the liquorice section and I’ll probably treat Bob to another pick and mix box for putting up with my hormonal rages (he’s a saint!)

What’s your favourite sweet? Right now I’m obsessed with starburst (forever Opal Fruits in my heart) and haribo rhubarb and custards. Yum!

Between now and 31/10/21 there you can get 15% off of your Panda Sweets order with my discount code DAISYCHAIN giving you even more reason to treat yo’self!