Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Galt Bouncy Balls review

Tonight my children have been having loads of fun making the Galt Bouncy Balls Kit. It was sent to us to review by the lovely people over at
I just happened to be online at the right time and spotted a shout out for testers on their facebook page (check them out!) and i thought that is something my children will love to have a go with. Unfortunatly oldest daughter was having a bad hair day so didn't want to go on video, luckily my 9 year old adores the camera and bad hair day or not nothing would of stopped her reviewing this kit. She did make some mistakes on the fact her brother was in stitches *silent* laughing but i thought we would just use it anyway. I'm not into making our children seem word perfect on camera, mistakes are all a part of life anyway and it didn't take much away from the review.

The kit is really simple to make, the packets of crystals which make the balls come in a variety of colours and you just need to pour the crystals into one of the two included moulds (one small, one large) You can mix colours together for a nice effect. Then you put the mould into water and wait 2 minutes for it to set. Then you remove the ball from the mould and rinse it under a cold tap and wait for it to dry and then you have a fantastic bouncy ball. It says for age 8 upwards which seems about right, though i'm sure younger children would enjoy making them aslong as they were fully supervised.

Ours had loads of fun making them and bouncing them about afterwards, even my young teenage son. My youngest loved the fact that they glow in the dark and took great delight in turning off the lights in every room just to see them glow!

Giveaway Winners

I bet you had thought i had forgotten about announcing the giveaway winners. Well you are wrong. Thanks to joint pain/ swelling and eye pain i haven't felt like blogging. I was however very sad to see only four entries into the giveaway this month though and won't be doing another giveaway just yet unless i feel people want one. Please speak up if you do. I would also like to know what kind of thing people would like to win.

The winners are:-
Mark Brown for the 3 months supply of coffee
Plus Size Shopaholic for one of the charms
kohsamui14 for a charm
and as there were only four entries i have a surprise prize for Floss

If you could all email me your names and addresses i will send your prizes out ASAP. The email to contact me on is pickingoranges(at) Please take out the "at" and replace with an @. I do it this way to make it difficult for spammers.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Rubbish Car and Mouthy Art.

You remember i told you that some arse had damaged our car? well we heard who did it but don't have proof (this time!). I have been told that neighbours saw it happen but obviously they didn't feel the need to tell us in person so it really hacked me off. Though i strongly believe in Karma and know that one day it will come back and smack them in the face (Karma that is !) . It angers me even more that the person turns out to be a drunk adult and not a child.

Anyway while it's being repaired at my expense we have been given a totally cr*ppy and rubbish Vauxhall Agila. If you own one i am so very sorry, you have my sympathy. They must have given us the basic model, it has no central locking, no electric windows, no air conditioning. It feels like you are sitting up in the sky somewhere when seated in it. The indicator makes a loud noise/ tune that is just plain irritating and must be for those who drive while on their mobile phones or the music turned up full so they can hear that it's on and turn the annoying thing off. It's a really dumbed down car for Vauxhall to put their name too. Don't get me wrong i usually love Vauxhall cars, for example the Astra is a great car with a sound engine but the Agila?! It's like a very bad april fools joke and i can't wait till the hideous thing goes back and our car is back home where it belongs.

On to a nicer subject " Mouthy Art " The woman who runs this makes cute and unusual products out of fimo and i spotted a cute lunchbox charm bracelet and asked her if she would make two for my girls. Delivery was super fast and the product was much better than i imagined. I kind of thought it might be a bit flimsy and that i would be a tad disappointed on arrival but no, the bracelets are ever so cute and my girls love them.

She does custom orders so don't be afraid to ask her and if you have a picture of your pet she can make it out of fimo and they come out ever so good, she has some on her facebook albums that you can check out.

If you want to check her out on facebook for yourself the link is Mouthy Art

Anyway, that's it from me for tonight. Hope everyone is well! Chat to you soon X

Sunday, 12 June 2011

New Ryvita crackers and Ford Farm Cheese

I guess Ryvita is still seen by some people as a slimming food because when i mentioned to a friend how addicted i was to their new crackers the first thing she said was "are you on a diet then?"  Well no..i'm not. I have never actually dieted in my life. I just love Ryvita products, and it just happens to be a big plus that they are low in fat and high in fibre.

Two of the new crackers i tried were Black pepper and Golden rye. I had them with some gorgeous Ford Farm cheeses. Wensleydale with cranberries, double gloucester and blue stilton.  The Crackers are lovely, they don't fall into a thousand pieces like most crackers and the black pepper crackers had a nice slightly spicy flavour.

When i opened up the Ryvita crackers i noticed that they were nicely packaged with 6 crackers to each individual pack of which there are four in a box. The packs are easy to open and the crackers themselves are not as dry as other crackers and they complimented the cheeses wonderfully.

The Ford Farm cheeses are lovely too and nice and creamy. The stilton is by far the best stilton i have ever tasted and the Wensleydale with cranberries held together without falling to bits all over my cracker. The double gloucester was another hit and tasted lovely with the black pepper crackers.

I am really impressed with the new Ryvita products and i am really pleased i have found some new cheeses that i like. Here's hoping i don't have nightmares! :)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Has your photograph been stolen for use in a competition?

The majority of competitions that require the use of a photograph have in the terms and conditions "Each entrant confirms that the photograph is its own work"

Well today i entered the Birdseye competition which has the above statement in its terms. The competition involves you having to make a recipe with their product and photographing it and uploading it to the facebook page.  After uploading i realised a fair few of the photographs on the page are actually just pulled off the net. The reason i realised this was i had actually seen the recipe and photograph previously of one of the meals when browsing for ideas of things to make. The recipe it's uploaded for is Spicy Chicken Fajitas which you can see here. You need to click on Tasty Ideas for Dinner The photograph is also found here > Click continue to your destination to see recipe and photograph 
The meal is actually Chicken and Kiwi Taco's.
On the entry it says "me my girlfriend and my mate the camra specialist"  P.s. the spelling mistake in the quoted section is not mine.

I would say that this same person obviously has a fair few entries in this competition as i found several entries had just been "lifted" off of the net.

It really peeves me. For two reasons. 1) There are many (yes including me) who actually make the effort to enter correctly with their own work. 2) If someone had "lifted" one of my photographs for use in a competition and was passing it off as their own work i would be livid.

I really hope promoters of competitions actually realise that there are people about who would be more than prepared to cheat to get whatever prize is up for grabs at the time. Though going on some promotions i have seen it seems some companies are sometimes blind to the fact.

Although this doesn't spot and catch all the cheats the reverse image search TinEye can usually help some photographers find out if their images are being used elsewhere without permission.Tineye

Bathroom products i couldn't live without

Earlier i was thinking about the products that i love and would find it hard to live without. Especially as i see more and more products being discontinued.

I have compiled a list of 5 bathroom / beauty products that i really love and would find it hard to deal with if they suddenly disappeared from the shelves.

Top of my list would have to be 1) Aussie Mega Shampoo

It leaves my hair shiny, managable and smelling gorgeous. I have recently tried the miracle moist shampoo as the Mega one was sold out and i love that too. I started using Aussie shampoo through recommendation and the fact several hairdressers mentioned what they class as bad shampoo brands that actually coat your hair which is why it can make your hair look glossy for the short term but it can and frequently ends up giving you dandruff and very dry hair.

The next item on my list would be 2) Sanex Dermo-Sensitive Shower Gel

This is something i only discovered recently and with two children with eczema i always opt for sensitive shower gels. This shower gel has helped to hydrate their skin and has been one of the few shower gels not to cause an adverse reaction so it's staying firmly on my shopping list in the future.

Next we come to something the females in my family have used for years 3) Nivea Creme

The females in my family generally look much younger than they are and i'm sure it has something to do with the fact they use Nivea Creme. It's a perfect moisturiser and especially good for those with dry skin. I always remember my nan rubbing it into her skin each morning and evening and the smell of it nowadays is quite comforting and reminds me of her.

The next item is what i use to cover my panda eyes. 4) Max Factor Second Skin Foundation
Unfortunatly i have horrible dark circles under my eyes, not through lack of sleep but more to do with immune problems. It took me quite a long time to find something that would cover them properly and i wear minimal make up on a day to day basis anyway and i cannot stand caked on foundation. Max Factor Second skin covers it just right and leaves no marks or tell tale signs of it even being there. It blends in really nicely with my skin yet does the job of covering my panda eyes perfectly.

 The final item would have to come back to the Vaseline which i have blogged about previously.
5) Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa

It's handy handbag sized, perfect for softening dry lips,making your lipstick stand out more or the many other uses that Vaseline has. I am pretty sure i have become addicted to this little product that goes amazingly far considering its size!

Well that's the products i wouldn't like to be without. What about you? Do you have products that you love and couldn't see yourself parting with?

A 15 year old girl's bucket list

I saw this posted on a couple of places and thought i would add it here. It should come with a warning as it is without a doubt very sad to read and she is one brave and beautiful young lady (with a very cute dog!).

To get to the point young Alice has terminal cancer and is trying to tick off things on her bucket list and i hope her and her family manage to complete as many of them as possible. If anyone reading this is able to help her with ticking off something on her bucket list i'm sure her and her family would really appreciate it and her blog is linked below.

One thing on her list is :- To make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor
So the link to sign up is here

Alice has put "You only have one life... live it" in her blog title. I have to say that i agree with that totally. Everyone always thinks they will have time to do this that and the other but in truth our time on this planet could be much shorter than we imagine it to be. So grasp life with two hands and go and do what you keep putting off.

My love and prayers go to Alice and her family.

To check out Alice's blog click here > Alice's Bucket List

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Morrisons does it again! Party Cake Kit

I'm becoming quite a fan of Morrisons and especially the cake kits they now sell.

Today we tried the Vanilla Flavour Party Cake kit which serves 10. At the time of buying this last week there was some sort of offer on the Cake kits, i have a feeling it was 2 for £2 (My memory is a bit rubbish..sorry!) which really is a bargain and a couple of these would go down well at a party and i suppose if you wanted to decorate them with other sweets you have purchased then you could. The kits are quick to make, even easy for a child to do as long as parents supervise with the actual cooking. Mine have been making these kits each weekend and enjoying them afterwards!. This kit gets decorated with Dolly Mixtures and the sponge is perfect. Really light and fluffy and when it's iced it's sweet but not too sweet if you know what i mean. There is no artificial colours or flavours and they seem to have all the ingredients down perfectly. Usually with kits there can be not enough icing so the cake never looks like it does on the box but this was just right.

As an added bonus it even comes with it's own dispoosable baking tray so you don't have to worry if you will have the right sized tray at home. Something which i always find a bit of a problem when buying kits and then bringing them home. Don't get me wrong i also bake without taking the easy route of cake kits but as me and the kids bake on a frequent basis sometimes it's nice to have everything there and weighed out for you. I usually find it creates less of a mess in the kitchen too!

So ten out of ten to Morrisons with this kit. I will be making sure this is a regular on the shopping list.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Wallis Mill Pond - Little Known beauty spot

Sorry for the lack of blogging the last few days. The kids are on holiday among a few other things going on right now which means i find it hard to get motivated enough to put what i have done into words that people would want to read.

The other day we took two of our children over to Wallis mill pond and marker stone of which you can find out how to get there here Wallis Mill Pond It's a nice place, very quiet and peaceful. Last time we came here there were free roaming cows. This time we spotted a few goats near the actual mill itself. I quite like the idea of animals free to roam. We ended up coming home with a few tadpoles. When they have grown legs we will bring them back and "Free Willy" them. Yes that means we will release them back. The kids just like the fact we are bringing them up for a few weeks and at the moment enjoy looking at them. They seem quite happy in a big glass vase. When i was a child i remember collecting them in Jam jars and releasing them when they started hopping about.

On another note, our car got quite badly scratched the other day. So much so that someone would of known they had done it. It was done where we live and if i had to take a wild guess i would say it's children. It really annoys me that people don't seem to respect anything nowadays, especially someone elses property. I am going to purchase a CCTV camera because it will work out cheaper in the long run than the insurance excess. If anyone has tried and tested one and it's any good please let me know.