Nonabox – November

Receiving my November Nonabox delivery definitely helped to get me in the mood for December. I was also very happy to see some lovely sweet relief in there, this is great because up until then it had most definitely been one of those days!


Inside this months Nonabox:

Gumigem – Jewellery. O is already showing signs of teething so I’m getting my army of products at the ready. This necklace is great as it looks like a normal item of jewellery and means that I can have something permanently to hand for him.  The necklace comes in a variety of colours and designs.

Lindor – Milk Chocolate Truffles. Always a favourite with me. It was only a small box so the chocolates were gone fast (oops!). But a very nice treat.

Mumkind – Nutritional Bar. This is a nutritionally balanced bar for pregnant woman and mums. It was very tasty, it reminded me of a cereal bar, and didn’t feel too naughty.

Sleepytot – Baby Comforter. This item has been an absolute godsend! O has just started to show an interest in his dummy but gets frustrated when it falls out of his mouth. With the Sleepytot rabbit comforter he now has more control. He loves snuggling against the rabbit and can now take the dummy in and out of his mouth as he pleases. It is now his favourite toy!

Yoomi – 5oz Bottle. This is a bottle and warmer in one. It is a great idea but such a shame that the warmer needs to be purchased separately so I was unable to give it a whizz!

Ella’s Kitchen – Spinach, Apple and Swedes. It was great to receive a different flavour of these to try out.


Once again, there was a nice balance to this box and a good mix of old favourites and products that I’d never heard of. As mentioned above I was especially delighted with the Sleepytot rabbit and have already been recommending it! I worked out the approximate value of the box to be around £38. Nonabox is £24.95 a month, including delivery.

I was sent a selection of products for the purpose of review – all opinions are my own and honest.

Walkers Hoops and Crosses – a review

Today we had a trip to Nymans – it’s only 45 minutes from our house so one of the places I’d class as local to us – plus it was a gloriously sunny day (though I had my doubts when I saw black clouds and no blue sky until we arrived in the Gatwick area) – and it proved to be popular with us waiting to park for at least fifteen minutes!

Flying a kite with no wind at Nymans

Armed with a picnic we headed out to the largest grassy area to find space to play and more importantly, eat. It was hot so you don’t want things which are heavy on the stomach, you want light things such as tasty pittas stuffed with salad and for crisps we tried a pack of Walkers new Hoops and Crosses which I’ve been sent to review.

Actually, we were sent just the one packet, along with a toy monkey called Monty who H has formally adopted and allowed to enter the hallowed turf of her toy collection which is always a good sign!  Yesterday we were buying picnic supplies so bought a multipack in salt and vinegar flavour so we could all try.

Walkers Hoops and Crosses

I’m reminded of crisps I’ve tasted of H when she was little – you know those corn rings that Organix do? Sort of crumbly? Now imagine those for older people – you know, when you don’t want to look silly eating kids crisps – and let’s face it, since I’ve done WeightWatchers I’ve found there’s plenty of crisps out there which are lower calories – and this one qualifies coming in at two points. There’s 30% less fat in them (compared to everyday crisps), they’re made from 56% wholegrain and have no artificial colours or preservatives.

My main criticisms are the flavours on offer – I’d love a cheesy one (the ones on offer are prawn cocktail, roast beef and salt & vinegar) plus actually knowing if they’re vegetarian or not, I couldn’t tell (edited to add – it has since been confirmed they are suitable for vegetarians), Walkers didn’t put it on either variety we tried and checking the ingredients nothing jumped out so it looks like they are (there was plenty of dietary information telling you what it does contain which is good), but it would be nice to know for sure. The flavours we tried were nice – just not necessarily ones I’d buy for my lunch.

Walkers Hoops and Crosses sharing

Having a healthy range of snacks and them being Walkers ones is going to help with supermarket and meal deal choices as well – so many times there’s only one healthy option available, so with this being a big brand hopefully they’ll be everywhere…

Would we buy again? We already have… they’re handy to keep in the cupboard, and hopefully more flavours will come soon.

We were sent a pack of crisps for the purpose of this sponsored review, all opinions are that of us and H.

Tommee Tippee

I have been a massive Tommee Tippee fan, ever since my son Jacob was born. So, as I’m sure you can imagine, I was very excited to get the chance to review a selection of products for the company.

Tommee Tippee set






I was asked to test the Active Sipper, Active Sporty and Active Straw cups, the First Cutlery Set and Snack N Go pot. Tommee Tippee recommend these products for children 12 months onwards.

I’ve been thinking about getting Jacob a ‘big boy’ cup for a little while now and was very pleased when I saw these products. Firstly what struck me is how attractive the cups are, they are brightly coloured with really pretty designs on them.  All cups are available in ‘boy’, ‘girl’ or ‘neutral’ design. The Active Sipper is designed to help children practice open cup drinking, the Active Sporty, for the want of better words, is a child’s version of a sports bottle and the Active Straw has a nifty little flip-up straw. The Active Sipper and the Active Straw are insulated, which is great for on the go.

TT Green CupTT L Blue Cup







On the first day of receiving the Tommee Tippee products one was held hostage! My friends little boy came over and fell in love with one of the cups, this ended up with said cup being taken home and my friend desperately trying various methods of distraction to get the cup back to me… which, I believe, says great things about product desirability! The lids are interchangeable and the cups are very sturdy, which is great as a certain little person loves to throw his cups on the table once he has finished. As a result, this means we are always on the look out for items that can take a certain degree of throwing around and punishment. Jacob took to the cups quite easily, I expected him to have issues with the cups having no handles and the cup with the straw (as he’s used to tipping his cup up to drink) but he quickly realised how it all worked, which I was really impressed by.

TT Cutlery







Jacob has only very recently started taking an interest in cutlery. Before then he has developed a very efficient way of eating… namely by grabbing big handfuls of food and shoveling it into his mouth!

The Tommee Tippee cutlery is brightly designed and easy to hold. I have only just discovered that Jacob actually prefers metal cutlery so this is a very nice go between. This was his first time holding a knife, it seems very effective as a knife but also safe (which is great as he seemed to enjoy putting it in his mouth!). I found it really encouraging that he found the cutlery interesting, willingly picking it up of his own accord and trying to feed himself.

Now, the one product I felt a little unsure of was the Tommee Tippee Snack N Go pot. I’ve seen these before and have always been a bit confused by them!! Namely, how do they work and are you really supposed to put your hands through the little pointy looking bits? So I was very interested to try this product out and see if it was for me (and Jacob!). I duly cut up some apples and popped them in the pot. Jacob looked as confused as I was, however this was apparently all a ruse as I disappeared briefly to the kitchen (we’re open plan) and when I came back the apples were gone! I looked on the floor then at his mouth, which was full, and sure enough it seems fair to say that Jacob found it a very easy concept to grasp, even if I didn’t! Jacob is very good at throwing his food all over the floor so I have to say I love the idea of anything that will leave me with less mess!

All items, except the Snack N Go pot, are dishwasher safe. The RRP for these items is around the £5 mark, which I think is very good value.

We were sent the items for the purpose of review, all opinions are our own

Film Night

We decided to start having a family film night at home – we’ve Virgin TV so have a few movies on demand, as well as H’s collection. Last night was our proper first one – and to make the night easy for all of us, we ordered in our food from Domino’s.

Toy Story 2 was the film of choice for H, while we chose a pizza each, plus starter and a small dessert. Being vegetarian and a Weight Watchers Blogger Ambassador I managed to keep my points low (and eat half a pizza and be full) – I switched my cheese to a lower calorie version, so while I’ll still have used a lot of points it could have been worse!

Film Night Pizza from Domino's

H only likes cheese and tomato pizza although will try bits of ours – and Shaun picked the new Chimichurri pizza – Chicken breast strips, red and yellow peppers with a drizzle of Chimichurri sauce (parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano and white or red wine vinegar). He found it interesting (trying to work out what the flavours were) although wasn’t that keen on the taste of the sauce. The pizza itself wasn’t overloaded with topping, just the right amount of everything. I’ve since read that a member of the public won a competition on This Morning to devise a pizza – The People’s Pizza – and this is it.

Domino's Chimichurri Pizza

Thanks to my newly found wine knowledge we even picked a wine which went with the food which was pretty good (apart from when Shaun knocked his glass on the floor), and of course Toy Story 2 was great, even though H still asked what was happening all the way through.

One thing I really like about ordering with Domino’s is being able to choose your time of delivery – we opted for 6pm, so H was in her pyjamas and ready – and we were tracking the order online from being cooked to being out for delivery (she found it really exciting) – in fact our driver only turned up late because he was confused where we are (we’re on a main road, but off the main road) – otherwise it would have been with us by 6pm – though that wasn’t a problem as our pizzas were still nice and warm.

Domino's Pizza Countdown

Now we’ve started our Family Film Night, can you recommend us any films we need to be watching please? I’m thinking Finding Nemo is the next one!

We were reimbursed for our pizza for the purpose of review, all opinions are our own.

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash curry

Shaun made this last night, and oh boy it tasted good – it was spicy but not too much. It was adapted from one of our WeightWatchers cookbooks.

You need :

an onion (0 points)
half a butternut squash (0 points)
sweet potato (allow 70-80g per person) (2 points)
peas (35g) (2 points)
three carrots (0 points)
green beans (as many as you fancy) (0 points)

Quorn pieces – 40g (1 point)

passata (as much as you need)
Curry powder (as much as you need)
200ml bouillon stock (0 points)
teaspoon of cumin
garlic granules

oil for frying (ideally in spray)

basmati rice (allow 40g per person (4 points)

simple Vegetable Curry


Chop the onion and put in a pan with the stock (so it’s softened rather than fried) Lightly spray your large pan/frying pan add the quorn. Add the curry powder, cumin and garlic and cook gently until heated through.
Boil the butternut squash and sweet potato for five minutes until it’s soft but not too crumbly. Add to curry mixture and make sure it’s covered in curry powder
Cook the rest of your veg as you would, and add to the mixture.

Cook rice – one way with basmati is to put boiling water in the pan with rice (washed and drained), bring to the boil then turn off the flame. Put a lid on the pan and leave for ten minutes – your rice should then be perfect.

Add passata and the rest of the stock to the curry mixture and serve quickly.

It tastes pretty good too. We also added some Gourmet Garden Ginger to the curry which gave it a good taste alongside the herbs too – the preparation time was no more than five minutes, and overall cooking time was around ten.

Points-wise, I logged this and it came in at seven points, the bulk of it being the basmati rice. If you wanted to lower your points more, swap your rice for brown which may save you a few points!

What On Earth Is Aussiemite?

I was in my local Waitrose on Thursday and got to my favourite yeast extract section (I have a fine selection of Marmite, often referred to as ‘the archive’ in the cupboard, as well as Vegemite to keep Shaun happy), when I stumbled across a classy looking tub of the black stuff; Aussiemite.


I’ve never heard of it, so had to buy it for that reason alone, primarily for Shaun to try out and share his opinion, but also because I bet he’d never heard of it either, and well, he’s Australian you know – I like to help him feel less homesick.

It’s quite pricey – £5 (where Marmite and Vegemite are much cheaper), but needs must so off I trotted to the till and duly paid.

So – the taste test. It reminded me of Promite (which I’ve not yet been able to find in the UK) – a fruitier taste than Marmite, and less dull than Vegemite (I’m not a fan, though the song is good) – if you can afford it, I’d recommend you try it.

The big plus points? It’s GM-free, gluten-free and vegetarian too – also the nutritional information is identical to Marmite and Vegemite. (I’m not so sure about the website’s claim about Australia pioneering yeast based spreads, as Marmite came first, I thought? So Vegemite was a response? But that’s me thinking too much) Anyway, more importantly of all, Aussiemite is Australian-family owned and they want it to stay that way. Aussiemite has been sold in independent shops down under for around ten years, and was relaunched last year as a gourmet spread. It’s also not to be confused with a new spread launched by Dick Smith last year, for the record. Okay?

Anyway, it’s available over here now in all Waitrose and Selfridges stores so I’m officially going to declare it posh. It’s pretty yummy too, and gets the thumbs up from us – could it be the middle ground in the battle of the yeast extract in our house?

Souptastically Souper – a Minestrone Kind of Day

We hadn’t thought ahead as far as our evening meal goes – I’ve been coughing all afternoon and the last liquorice teabag had been used – we were all just lying low, a lazy day, resting. So it was with joy I spotted this recipe over at Thinly Spread and adapted it with what we’ve got in the cupboard – and it was so easy to do.

You need….

a tin of chick peas
small bits of broccoli
half an onion
a sweet potato chopped
six small baby potatoes, peeled and chopped
frozen sweetcorn (50g)
frozen peas (60g)
baby pasta (60g)
three heaped teaspoons of low salt bouillon

passata and some italian herbs and spice for the end

Stick them all in the Soup Maker pan, top up to the maximum level with water, set to the chunky setting and 28 minutes later is your almost-minestrone. I added some passata to cool it down (which was a good thing as H decided to stick her arm in Shaun’s bowl, so it wasn’t as hot as it could have been and she’s fine – phew) and make it more tomato-y which worked quite well, though overall there wasn’t much taste to it, though the veg was good – so if you wanted more, maybe add garlic or some chili.

It was nice and filling, anyway – and the first time we’ve tried soup with pasta all cooked in the pan. H ate all hers too which to me is a very good sign! I’ve not worked out WeightWatchers points yet, but I reckon no more than 2 or 3.

Minestrone Soup

Review – Popchips

If you read things on here regularly, you may have spotted I’m doing WeightWatchers. This has meant a whole lifestyle re-evaluation, cutting out things I don’t need and substituting them with things that are as good – my three biggest weaknesses being pizza, chips and crisps. I’m still working on the pizza as nobody seems to stock the vegetarian WeightWatchers ones, I’ve spotted some WW oven chips I’ve not yet got around to buying, and crisps-wise I’ve been looking at what’s out there that’s a low amount of points. More often than not I’m relying on WeightWatchers own brands, but I’m looking for more low-calorie tasty foods – and along came Popchips.

Currently you can only buy them in Waitrose, WH Smiths and a few other stores (but only Waitrose supermarket-wise), and the good news is that each pack comes in at a very nice and low 3 points – the salt & pepper one comes in at 2! So if you’re looking for snacks and weren’t sure what to make of what’s out there, try Popchips!

PopchipsThere’s six flavours in total – Original, Barbecue, Sour Cream &  Onion, Salt & Pepper and Sea Salt and Vinegar – plus there’s a brand new flavour we’ve not tried yet, Thai Sweet Chili (and I see America has some Sweet Potato ones). Oh, and they’re yummy too. Very yummy. Very very yummy. So much so I may be more than a little bit addicted.

So, what’s to know about them? They’re not fried, and they’re not baked – they start with the finest ingredients, add a little heat and pressure until they pop – and there you are – a popchip. After that the natural seasoning is added which makes the yummy flavours listed above.

Each pack has approximately 18 chips, and each pack is less than 100 calories. They’re less than half the fat of fried potato chips, there’s no cholesterol (which is something I need to be keeping care of), and there’s 0 grams trans fat.

What else? There’s no fake colours, no fake flavours, no preservatives and most importantly of all, no wiping greasy hands on your jeans (which I’m not so big on these days, though H is).

Popchips are good – check them out!

We were supplied a box of Popchips for the purpose of review – all opinions are our own!

Souptastically Soup Time

Well I said I’d share my soup recipes. Today I picked up a bag of Sainsburys Casserole Vegetables and some low salt vegetable bouillon. (pardon the photos, they’re from the iPod Touch)

Casserole in the Soup Maker

Tonight was one of those late nights getting home from picking up H – we finally made it through the door at 5.45 – so I went straight to my Morphy Richards Soup Maker as I fancied a kind of soupy casserole – I didn’t have time to chop the vegetables so put them all into the container; topped up the water to the maximum then added four teaspoons of the low salt bouillon. I also sprinkled in some paprika, although Shaun reckons it wouldn’t make a difference.

Ready to Cook...

I set the Soup Maker onto the chunky setting so the vegetables were left – and 28 minutes later our casserole-y thing was ready (and I got all that time with H I wouldn’t normally have!). I also made some brown rice to go with it.

So, the casserole-y vegetables were done, tasted good, but I felt needed a bit of chopping. So I replaced the lid of the Soup Maker and pressed the ‘blend’ button for about three seconds. Went to look again, and what was a kind of casserole was a soup – so those blades are good and sharp in there.

In the end I put the brown rice in bowls and added the soup mix on top – and H loved it! WeightWatchers wise it works out at around 4 points – the rice was around 40g (2 points) and the vegetables also came in at 2 points thanks to there being potato included. If you were to be less lazy and do it properly, you could get that right down.

My Casserole-y Soup

We added bread as the soup was quite hot, so points-wise I reckon this was 5 – and it’s really filling too – and really quick to prepare when you can’t be bothered to chop up your vegetables after a long day at work.

I suspect the next recipe will be pumpkin/butternut squash based, due to having loads of both…. any recommendations?

Giveaway – Kelly’s Of Cornwall Ice Cream

Kelly’s Ice Cream from Cornwall are launching a nationwide search to find the ultimate home-made pudding recipe to serve with Kelly’s ice cream.

BUT – the competition ends this week – don’t let that stop you from entering – you can buy Kelly’s ice cream from all major stores – our local Co-Op has a fine selection (and they’re doing a 2-for deal at the moment too) – or indeed you could gaze at the pictures here and concoct a recipe, and enter this competition which is your chance to win five tubs!

Do you make the most sumptuous sticky toffee pudding? Have you got the best bread and butter pudding recipe in the county? Then this is your chance to don an apron, bring out the rolling-pin and bake for the opportunity to represent Kelly’s of Cornwall online pudding campaign.

The lucky winner will be honoured on the Kelly’s of Cornwall website with their recipe professionally made and photographed. What’s more, the lucky winner will also be treated to a year’s supply of Kelly’s of Cornwall ice cream.

For ten runners-up, there is a months supply of Kelly’s of Cornwall ice cream up for grabs.

There are seven flavours of Kelly’s of Cornwall’s velvety ice cream to get creative with, so why not organise an evening in with great company, fun entertainment and a rather generous helping of your homemade creations for all to share and feedback.

It’s easy to enter, just submit a photo of your chosen pudding with a detailed description of the recipe, including the flavour of Kelly’s of Cornwall ice cream it matches perfectly with.

Enter online via the entry form at You must upload a picture of the finished pudding and a reason why your pudding is oh-so-perfect with Kelly’s ice cream. The deadline for entries is 2nd November 2012.

Members of Kelly’s judging committee will then judge all entries and one winner and ten runners-up will be selected, and announced on 9th November 2012 – National Pudding Day.

Kelly's of Cornwall Ice Cream

This Mum Friendly giveaway will finish on the 19th November 2012, so you’ve still plenty of time to enter – you’re just running out of time for Kelly’s own competition.

Now, a part of me says that doing WeightWatchers and promoting competitions like this would be a bit of a conflict – but on having the dietary information for a scoop of the ice cream, for an 100g scoop it works out at 6 points which, quite frankly, is pretty ruddy well good (this is for the clotted cream ice cream).

Kelly's of Cornwall Ice Cream

This is an easy entry giveaway via Rafflecopter – get clicking and entering!

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