Thursday, 24 March 2016

Easter 2016 feature

1. Famous Names Whisky Collection Easter Egg 240g.- £6.00

A luxurious dark chocolate Easter Egg with 8 of our Finest Liqueur Chocolates.

2. Monty Bojangles Flutterscotch Easter Egg 200g. - £6.00

 A delicious hollow truffle chocolate egg. This creamy milk chocolate Easter treat          is made withBelgian milk chocolate and packaged in a decorated box.

3. Honeycomb Bar - Peanut Butter 50g. - £1.79 

This delicious honeycomb fully enrobed in crunchy, peanut butter flavoured milk chocolate. 50g of pure Mighty Fine luxury to enjoy on-the-go. 

4. Milk Chocolate Harry Hopalot Model 250g - £7.00

 Easter wouldn't be the same without a trip from the Easter bunny. At Thorntons we have our very own Easter bunny Harry Hopalot. A great alternative to Easter eggs, our Milk Chocolate Harry Hopalot Model can be given as cute chocolate gifts to family and friends. Harry is one chocolate Easter bunny you won't want to share although you might find he's too cute to eat!

5. Dairyfine Buttons Medium Egg - White - £0.79
A tasty white chocolate Easter egg complete with chocolate buttons.
6. Haribo Jelly Bunnies 160g - £1 
Hop, hop hurray, HARIBO has unveiled Jelly Bunnies, a brand new sharing treat especially for Easter. Bringing together jelly bunny shaped pieces with the popular texture found in Jelly Babies, you’ll be hopping mad to miss this tasty, new addition. 
7. Easter Bunny - £0.65
This tasty milk chocolate bunny will make a great prize for an Easter egg hunt.
8. Chocolate Bunny - £0.79 
delicious white chocolate bunny, great for Easter.
9. Eggjoyables - £1.49 
These milk chocolate Eggjoyables from Aldi there are two differrent varities and come in a traditional egg box
10. Milk Chocolate Harry Hopalot Easter Egg (151g) - £4.00 
Harry Hopalot is busy delivering Thorntons Easter eggs and spreading happiness this Easter. And our Milk Chocolate Harry Hopalot Easter Egg is egg-stra special because it has been lovingly crafted with Harry himself on the front! As far as kids' Easter eggs go, no little one can resist one of our chocolate bunny eggs or models this Easter.
11. Milk Chocolate Football Fanatic Easter Egg (150g) - £4.00
Do you have any football fans in your household? Our Milk Chocolate Football Fanatic Easter Egg was made especially for those who love the beautiful game. Our football Easter eggs make ideal kids' Easter eggs or chocolate gifts for any footy fan. Approved and delivered by our very own Easter bunny, Harry Hopalot, this delicious milk chocolate egg will not disappoint.
12. Haribo Easter hunt tub - £5
Treating you to fun this Easter, HARIBO’s Easter Hunt selection includes Easter Hunt mini-bags, its first ever re-sealable Easter Fun Pouch and a super Easter Fun Bucket.
The Easter Hunt mini-bags are perfect as a portion controlled treat and are ideal for hiding around the garden or inside the home. Packed with mini bags there are certainly enough to share the fun with family and friends.
HARIBO’s first ever re-sealable Easter Pouch can be used to collect treats in once it is empty. Containing 28 mini bags the pouch will have your little ones jumping for joy when they see what’s inside.
13. Milk Chocolate Cupcake Easter Egg (149g) £4.00 
Crazy about Easter cupcakes?  This Milk Chocolate Cupcake Easter Egg is a perfect Easter gift for those who love to bake. Made of deliciously smooth Thorntons milk chocolate decorated with a white and pink coloured chocolate cupcake, these sweet little chocolate eggs are ideal for the baking mad family member! Our Easter eggs come in all shapes and sizes, these smaller eggs are the perfect size to give as little chocolate gifts this Easter. Lovingly made by Thorntons and given the seal of approval by our Easter bunny Harry Hopalot each of our chocolate Easter eggs offers something special.
14. Dairyfine Buttons Medium Egg - Milk £0.79
A tasty milk chocolate Easter egg complete with chocolate buttons.
15. HARIBO Chick'n' Mix Gift Box - £3.00
Chick ‘n’ Mix is the latest addition to the HARIBO gift range and features a selection of tasty jelly, foam and marshmallow treats – tweet, tweet! 

Cheerio Folks

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

My Superhero!

Before I got with Jade, I wasn't around children a lot at all, I'd see my nieces once maybe two times a week when they'd come round and that was it. I'd like to say that I'm a proud and doting uncle, my nieces love me dearly and I also feel the same, their smiles and greetings when they see me melts my heart, and I love spending Sunday's with them. When my brother became a father, I didn't feel jealous, instead I realised how hard parenthood must be, and it wasn't until the girls got a little older that I realised how special parenthood was, as well as it being a lifestyle change.

However, nothing really made me see a real insight into parenthood until I got with Jade, before we got serious, I'd ask her how her day had been, and it would always start and end the same, she'd wake up prior to Little Man, and go downstairs to put the heating on - making sure it was nice and warm for when he wakes up, she'd then go back upstairs and wake him up, helping him downstairs. Jade would put the tv on and give Little Man the remotes, although he mainly favoured having her phone!

Jade would then make Little Man breakfast, skipping the meal herself, then it would be time to go back upstairs, get Little Man's uniform (trousers, polo top and jumper), underwear, socks and a vest, she'd then come back downstairs, get the ironing board and iron set up, and then iron the uniform. Once finished, she'd help Little Man with his tooth brushing, and cleaning him ready for the day ahead, she'd then get him dressed which isn't the easiest of task due to his lack of concentration.

They'd then have a cuddle and read on the sofa before finally heading off to school, she'd drop him off, pop to the shop if needed, walk back home, let the dog out, tidy and clean up, then settle down to do some work. Before you know it, it's time for her to go back out and collect Little Man from school, a trip to the school and back, and sometimes a park trip too before they go back home, rest for a little bit and then walk the dog. They would then come back in, and Little Man would play with his toys whilst Jade prepared and cooked dinner, dinner time would soon come, then it was time to bath, read a story, do an activity, have pudding, finally before bedtime for Little Man.

Jade would then go back downstairs, clean for at least one hour, before doing some more work, bath herself and then stumble into bed around 1am every night, waking up at 6:30am every morning. That's just a normal day and it's excluding the washing that has to be cleaned and dried, then you get the shopping days, and the days when Jade needs to pop to town.

Then there's the various meetings and appointments she has to attend for Little Man, he's been under hospital care since he was born seven weeks premature at 33 weeks, he's had five operations and Jade's been there by his side all by herself, every single time, at every single appointment and meeting with the school in regards to his IEP and extra needs.

To be honest, I used to listen to her, but didn't think it was much work, that was until I started spending more time with her, and started to help her out where and when I could. You literally don't get no time to yourself, even popping into the toilet for a minute draws attention from a ball being kicked on the door, or the dog yelping until you come back out, and to say I've been left tired is an understatement.

Little Man is not my son, but I treat him like he's my own, even though I don't have any of my own, I just treat him how I would imagine me treating my own. He's a bundle of joy to be around, and a right little comedian, we have our own games that Jade isn't allowed to play - he calls it boys time, and we spend most of the game mimicking each other, it's the little things, but he loves it, and that's all that matters.

Recently, when cuddling his mum, Little Man has been inviting me in for a cuddle too, and I know from seeing it with other family members, that's very rare for him to do, I feel so privileged and I know Jade is so pleased we've bonded so well, she even let me look after him for a few hours on Sunday, which I know was a huge step for her!

Jade needn't of worried though, we had a fab time along with the puppy dog! First of all we had breakfast, as Jade left the house really early - still when we was half asleep, we then watched some Sunday morning tv before we got ourselves cleaned and dressed. We then went to the shop and got lots of munchies for an afternoon movie, and we got the dog a bone as a treat also!

We wasn't through the door even five minutes when Little Man asked if we could take the dog for a walk, so we got the dog lead and waited for Jezeppi to calm down from the excitement of seeing the lead and hearing the word - walkies! We went on a lovely hours long walk, and had a break at the very top of the hill, watching down on the town we call home.

It was time to go back home for some lunch, a movie and a kick around the garden, it was only when we come back in for the movie that I realised how tired Jade must feel everyday, and how she always has time for her family, her friends and myself. I call her Wonder Woman, but to be honest, she's Superwoman.

I cooked a lovely roast lamb dinner ready for when she got through the door, and sat her down to tell her how much I value and respect her for everything she does alone, and for so long! I know this woman is the best thing that's ever happened to me, and if we do have children together, I know she'll be the best mum to my children.

Do you have that one special person who is your Superhero?

Cheerio folks,

Friday, 26 February 2016

5 Top Tips on Learning to Play the Violin

Learning to play the violin can be a frustrating experience. Not only can it be time-consuming, it also requires a fair amount of dedication and patience. However, once you’ve got it right, it can be a truly rewarding experience, and one that keeps on giving as you improve.

First things first, you’ll need to get yourself the right equipment. Remember that your first instrument doesn’t have to be the best that money can buy and it should be appropriate for a beginner level. If you are unsure about what to buy, you may want to start with a rental violin, such as those available from Caswell’s Strings. You may also want to get yourself a beginner’s book, bow aids and a case.

To help get you started, take a look at these five top tips:

1. Get in tune
You’ll never get anywhere if your strings are out of tune, so the first thing you need to do is make sure your violin is properly tuned. If you don’t have the assistance of a violin teacher, there are a number of useful aids you can use to help you tune your violin, including a piano, a tuning fork and digital tuners. You could even watch an online video to help you hit the right note.

Generally, it’s best to start with an “A” string and then move down to tuning in fifths before coming back to finish with an open “E”.

2. Tape the fingerboard
Using tape on your finger board with the first four finger positions is one of the quickest ways to train yourself. Simply take four thin strips of tape and slide them under the strings towards the neck to mark off the positions, making sure the tape is in the right place for proper tuning.

3. Hold the bow correctly
Start off using the beginner’s bow hold. Do this by laying your fingers across the top of the bow and bring your thumb underneath so that your grip is between the silver ferrule and the strings on the outside of the bow’s frog.

If you’re doing it correctly, your fingertips should drape over the top of the stick and face slightly down towards the screw. You then need to work on your bow control, taking care not to clench it while making sure you guide it in a straight line up and down across the strings. This movement should be done from your wrist and elbow, not your shoulder.

4. Lose the crunching and squeaking
Making crunching, squeaking and scraping noises with your bow is all part of the learning process, and the best way to get rid of it is to work on your bow control.

If you’re making a crunching noise, try lightening your bow. If it’s a squeaking noise you're getting then you should check your bow’s position on the string and apply more pressure.

Practice, practice, practice
Once you’ve got to grips with your violin it’s vital that you practice as much as possible. However, instead of practicing for hours on end, it’s best to split sessions up into twenty minute chunks to make sure you don’t get bored or frustrated.

As a general rule of thumb, beginners should focus on the four following areas of violin playing: holding the bow correctly, balancing it right, playing posture and scales. Get these basics right and you’ll be well on your way to mastering your instrument.

Cheerio folks,

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

WIN - Drumond Park Sshh! Don't Wake Dad

Hello everyone I would like to inform you all of my first ever competition which is Drumond Parks Sshh! Don't Wake Dad board game worth £22.99! If you'd like to know what the game is all about, why not check out my review on the game here!

SSHH! Don’t Wake Dad!

Here’s a really entertaining new electronic board game from Drumond 
Park which the children - and the grandchildren – will really enjoy.  In SSHH! 
Don’t Wake Dad! (rrp £22.99, for 2 to 4 players, age 5+), the Main figure is 
a ‘Dad’ who snores loudly (yes, really!) throughout the game.  And wait for it… 
he jumps bolt upright from his bed when he’s woken from his sleep by 
mischievous children all racing to reach the kitchen fridge - where a slice of 
tempting chocolate cake awaits.

The young players make their hungry way along a truly hazardous route from 
their own beds around - and even right over! – Dad, who is sleeping in the 
middle of the board. But along the way they must avoid landing on the howling 
cat, the tinkling bell and the hooting owl… That’s because if one of them wakes 
the slumberous Dad from his dreams – Aaghh!!, he’ll rise up with a start and 
staring eyes… and send them scurrying back down the board!    

For stockists and to play games online, 

To enter the givaway, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

Good luck Gareth :)

Friday, 20 November 2015

Drumond Park - Sshh! Don't Wake Dad! Review.

Before televisions, game systems (such as Playstation and XBox's), computers, laptops and tablets, there was other ways to entertain children and families - there was board games. The oldest board game found, was 3500BC, in Egypt, and was understandably, completely different to board games that we play today. Board games have been modified over the years, with technology and the world advancing, it's no surprise that the board games you can play nowadays have advanced too!

I must admit, before I got with Jade, I'd not played a board game in years, I can't even remember how old I was when I last played a board game, but I know I was young and at school! However, Jade and Spud are massive board game fans, along with the rest of their family, and on family days round a relatives house, no matter whose house it is, you'll always find a box of some sort filled to the brim with a variety of games.

Spud and Jade both have their own board game boxes, and so all three of us was super excited when Drumond Park, one of the leading board game specialist gave us the chance to try two games out! I choose one game aimed more for children, and one family game, playable for the whole family, with the festive period coming up, its the best time to try some new to us, games out!

Sshh! Don't Wake Dad! kind of gives the aim of the game away in the game title, the aim of the game is not to wake dad! You need to be the first child to reach the chocolate cake, in your slippers without waking dad! However, with a whole heap of obstacles lurking in the way, and every move a possible risk, it's challenging, fun and exciting at the same time of being risky!

Starting at the side of Dad's bed, you have four pairs of slippers in four colours, for each child (blue, green, yellow and red), you need to get your child, from the slippers and to the chocolate cake in the kitchen! Each player picks a character, and the youngest goes first, so of course that's Spud! Each player is dealt cards, so between the two of us, we had eight each, as there is 16 cards! When me, Jade and Spud play together, we each have five cards whilst one card sits alone at the side of us.

Starting with Spud, it was time to spin the spinner, the spinner details are outlined below!

Land on a colour: The player moves to the nearest colour space that the arrow on the spinner has landed on, if a player is already on that space, the player moves to the next space of that colour where available!

Lands on a slipper: If a player lands on the slipper, they get to move one space in front of the leading player.

Lands on +: If a player lands on the plus sign, they get to take a card from another player.

Once the arrow on the spinner has stopped, you need to go to your place on the board, and most spaces on the board have an obstacle on them, meaning you have to press dad's alarm clock and hope he doesn't wake up! If a player wakes dad up, dad has to be reset back into his sleeping position, and the player who woke dad up, returns to the slippers of their child's colour! There are only four safe places on the board, however, two of them are on dad's bed, and if a player makes dad wake up when you're on his bed, then sadly you have to go back to the beginning too!

Obstacles on the board all are numbered differently, for example, the tv has the number two on it, meaning you have to press dad's alarm clock twice, whilst the fish bowl has the number four on it, meaning you have to press dad's alarm clock four times! The more times dad's alarm clock is pressed, the sooner he is going to wake up, which is what we don't want!

If a player lands on an obstacle, but they have the card for it, fortunately they don't have to press dad's alarm clock, as they're safe! If they don't have the card, and wake dad up, they then receive that card, to keep them safe for next time! So for example, if the owl wakes dad up, and you've not got the owl card, you'll return to your child's slippers and receive the card for safe keeping for the next time you visit the owl!

Both Spud and I, along with Jade love the game and have played it quite a few times! Spud finds it hilarious when me or Jade wake dad up, but isn't best pleased when it's him! Every time the alarm clock is pressed, we all make a sound, hoping dad doesn't wake from his snoring sleep!

We'd give this game a 4 out of 5 stars, only missing one star because Spud finds dad a little hard to reset without mine or Jade's help!

Suitable for ages 5+
For players: 2-4

Batteries required: x2 AA
RRP: £22.99

To find out more about Sshh! Don't Wake Dad! and to view more Drumond Park games, visit their website here.

I hope your all doing well,
Gareth :)

Thursday, 19 November 2015

My experience so far in the blogging world

I started blogging roughly around four months ago and I can truly say I love this side of life! The events I have attended, the friendships I have made and the support and knowledge I have learned have been brilliant!

Jade opened up new doors to me when we got together, I always remember her explaining her blog but I was very unsure what it was or even meant until she sat me down and went through everything with me, I was amazed on how much she had achieved and how much she had built up on her blog (Unique Young Mum), in the three years that she had been blogging for.

As I see Jade do more and more of her work I started to take more of an interest in blogging because I understood her line of work better, and that made me want to become more involved in this part of her life! Before I got with Jade, there was just Jade and Spud, Jade had a routine which worked well for her, she would work at night but now, being in a relationship she has started working in the day so we could have time to ourselves when I visit her, (something I am so grateful for) so when I saw Jade sometimes in the day, I was so curious and then it just happened.... I picked up the laptop and started to create my own blog!

I can recall the day very well, I spoke to Jade about it first as I didn't want to offend or upset her in anyway, but she loved the idea and welcomed it with opened arms, she even said she could help me get started! So we got a domain on Go Daddy for my blog, obviously this come after me needing to pick a name! Then we instantly started designing the blog, with Jade having a little bit of design knowledge she made me up a few designs and I choose the one I liked most, which is the one you're seeing now!

In due time, Drumond Park gave me my first review, it was not only an exciting time for me, but one that was special too, because they were the exact same company which gave Jade her first review opportunity also! I am  so grateful for their opportunity, and will have the product reviews up very soon, so keep your eyes peeled because I may even have something to give away ;)

Since Drumond Park's offer I've also had some more opportunities from companies, such as the Wellness dog food range which you may have seen already, and I have some more reviews in the pipeline, such as HomeSense and some movie titles!

I didn't start blogging for the fun side of things, although they're of course fantastic perks, but because like Jade, I wanted a place to document my life, my life together with her and Spud, and of course the puppy dog Jezeppi! I'm so glad I met Jade, because she's changed my life around so much, she's more than my partner, she's my best friend too! She has enabled me to open new doors in life, she's showed me the ropes and is always there to help when I do or don't need it!

I'd also like to thank all the bloggers who have given me a warm welcoming into the blogging community, I've seen how close Jade is to some of you, and it's lovely to see she has people she can talk to and trust in her life!

This is just the beginning of the new chapter in my life and I'm loving every single second of it! This time last year I was single, doing building work and partying all weekend! Now, I have responsibilities, I have my blog,and a dog and  a step son, a fiancĂ©e and a new outlook on life!

  Cheerio folks,
Gareth :)

Monday, 16 November 2015

Wellness Dog Food Review!

Back in March, Spud got a puppy for his ninth birthday after wishing for one every year! After moving to a house from a flat in November last year, Jade was able to make his dream come true. The puppy, who actually doesn't look like a puppy any more, (due to his size) is called Jezeppi.

A couple of weeks ago, not only was I offered my first review, but one of Jezeppi's first reviews too! Whilst I excitedly waited for the package to arrive, our canine companion had no idea what was in store for him! The package soon arrived, and Zeppi soon enough had his tail wagging! I placed the products on the floor unopened and let the excited pup have a sniff! 

As Zeppi's dad I knew straight away the food at least was going to go down a treat, I was however unsure of what Zeppi was going to be like with the biscuits (dry food) as this pup isn't the biggest of dry food fans. We waited until dinner time that very day and put two of the products to the test. We've now used all of the wet food, and still have well over half a bag of the biscuits left, read our thoughts on the products below!

Wellness the number one independent, family owned US brand of natural pet food, which has just launched here in the UK exclusively at Pets at Home! Wellness believe good nutrition is at the foundation of a pets well-being by creating wholesome healthy recipes which contain no wheat, soya, corn, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives 

Wellness Simple - Limited Ingredient Diet - 1.8kg - £11.00.

This is the first product of its kind in the UK, it has been specially formatted for dogs with food sensitivities, allergies or ingredient tolerances. Although Jezzeppi has no allergies we're aware of, we were and still are happy for Zeppi to have this product as Wellness Simple keeps dogs healthy with prebiotic fibre and guaranteed levels of omega fatty acids.

We were sent the Simple Grain Free Salmon with Potato Diet, but was unsure of what Zeppi was going to think as mentioned previously he is not a big dry food fan. We however had no problem getting Zeppi to try the biscuits as he loves them both alone and mixed in with wet food. The biscuits are rather small and although I cant personally comment on the taste, by seeing how well they've gone down, I suppose we should add them on to our list for the next time we visit Pets at Home! 

Wellness CORE Chunky Centers, Natural Grain Free Wet Dog Food;

This is a truly innovative wet dog food, it's a savoury pate filled with hearty meat cuts including turkey, duck, tuna and lamb! These grain free dishes are full of super foods such as spinach, kale and white sweet potatoes, insuring each bite is packed with wholesome nutrition. We were sent the following three variates.  

Wellness Chunky Centers -Flavoured with Lamb, Turkey and Kale - 170g - £1.75

Wellness Chunky Centers - Flavoured with Chicken, Chicken Liver and Spinach - 170g - £1.75

Wellness Chunky Centers - Flavoured with Turkey, Duck and White Sweet Potatoes - 170g - £1.75

The name (Core) is a big give-away in this product, with the core, otherwise known as the centre or the middle, being filled with fillets and small chunks of the ingredients, as you can see in the picture below.

As I mentioned before, Zeppi loves the biscuits both alone and together, and so we've been giving him alternative dinners, but his favourite has to be both wet and dry mixed together! If it's biscuits alone, he will leave a few in his bowl, whereas, when the products are mixed together, his bowl is licked clean!

I of course, had no problem whatsoever, in getting Zeppi to woof down these dishes, and with the ingredients involved, I can't say I blame him! I'm not even served up lamb, turkey and kale, though I wasn't willing to try out the food myself, with Zeppi's food being demolished in seconds each time with it reaching his bowl, I took this, along with his puppy dog eyes, as that was delicious! If Zeppi could talk, I imagine him turning into Oliver, and saying please sir, can I have some more?

The new Wellness dog and cat range is now available to buy exclusively from Pets at Home, in stores nationwide and online.

To find out more about Wellness, check out their pawtastic website here!

Gareth and Zeppi.