Finding Dory Big Sleeve Edition up for review

Disney have just launched their latest collector’s item, Big Sleeve Editions, which are vinyl sized sleeves containing a host of bonus content and beautiful bespoke artwork for six movies; Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Guardians of the Galaxy, Aladdin and Finding Dory; with further releases planned next year. We were lucky enough to be sent the Finding Dory Big Sleeve Edition to review here on my blog.

Finding Dory Big Sleeve Edition by Disney up for review on top parenting blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

The sleeve opens up and inside there is the movie on Blu-Ray, DVD, a Blu-Ray bonus disc plus exclusive 12 inch art cards.

Finding Dory Big Sleeve Edition by Disney up for review on top parenting blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

We planned to go and see Finding Dory at the cinema over the summer holidays. It was pencilled in as one of our rainy day ideas but in actual fact, that rainy day never came so we didn’t get to see it so I can’t tell you how excited the kids were to have this on DVD. We were big fans of Finding Nemo so we were dying to watch this new movie and it did not disappoint. An instant hit with all of us and now it is something that we can watch over and again of course!

Finding Dory Big Sleeve Edition by Disney up for review on top parenting blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

The Finding Dory movie is just wonderful. In fact so wonderful that it made me cry! Big fat happy tears –  I’m such a sap honestly! Our old pal Dory suddenly remembers that she has a family who may be looking for her so she, Marlin and Nemo take off on a life changing quest to find them. They are helped along the way by Bailey a beluga whale who is convinced his biological sonar skills are on the fritz and Destiny a near-sighted whale shark and Hank the cantankerous octopus (we loved him!) It’s a fantastic undersea adventure filled with imagination, humour and heart. A must see for any Disney fan – young or old!

The new Big Sleeve Editions are available now and priced around £20 which is a snip considering that includes all three discs and the amazing art cards. I can certainly see why they are set to become a collector’s item, they really are great and would make a fabulous present for any Disney fan this Christmas.

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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review we were kindly provided with the Finding Dory Big Sleeve Edition by Disney 

Merry Christmas from Hotel Chocolat

Whether you are looking for that perfect table centrepiece, a gift for your loved one, closest friends, family members or cute stocking fillers, Hotel Chocolat have got something wonderful for everyone this Christmas. It really did feel like Christmas had come early when I was sent this gorgeous Classic Christmas Sleekster to review.

Hotel Chocolat Classic Christmas Sleekster up for review on top blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

I am a big fan of Hotel Chocolat (as you might already know if you are a regular reader!) and I always look forward to the new Sleekster every season because it’s such a great way to try out lots of different flavours. For me the Sleekster always seem to pick out the very best of new flavours and old classics. There is always something for everyone so they make an ideal gift – for yourself or someone else!

Hotel Chocolat Classic Christmas Sleekster up for review on top blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

This new Christmas selection certainly didn’t disappoint and was packed full of festive flavours such as mulled wine, champagne, mince pie brownie, clementine, cinnamon bun, praline and even my favourite Eton Mess has been given a festive makeover to become a Christmas Mess with subtle cinnamon and cranberry. I particularly loved the little solid chocolate characters. There was a dark chocolate penguin, white reindeer, caramel spruce and milk chocolate Santa.

The Classic Christmas Sleekster contains 30 chocolates in festive and favourite flavours and costs just £22.50. Or you might prefer the smaller Classic H-Box that contains 14 chocolates from the same variety for just £12.50. I can’t think of a more perfect gift for any chocolate lover!

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Disclaimer: I was very kindly sent the Classic Christmas Sleekster from Hotel Chocolat for the purpose of this review

November 2016: This month, I have mostly been reading

November 2016: This month I have mostly been reading - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog

I swear the older I get the quicker the time goes but the end of November has really crept up on me this year, I can’t believe that I’m writing this already?! Anyway, here is what I have mostly been reading this month.

First up we have Disclaimer by Renee Knight which has been sat on my bookshelf for some months now having been recommended by so many friends. But I’m afraid that it didn’t do much for me. I don’t think it’s the books fault, it is perfectly well written. I just think that I have read one too many of these types of stories in the last year or so. I think I am all thillered out. I found that it took me a while to get into it as I couldn’t easily differentiate between the voices of the characters as it swapped and changed to tell the story from different points of view. The characters just weren’t quite strong enough for me to care. There was a twist along the way – as is the norm for the big blockbuster thrillers these days – but it didn’t blow my mind I’m afraid. Still worth a try if thrillers are your thing though, I wouldn’t let me put you off.

Next came The Forever Girl by Alexander McCall Smith which I absolutely loved. I haven’t read many of his books but I have loved every one of them. He is such a brilliant storyteller and this book read like an absolute dream. It is ridiculously romantic and starts out by asking if the proposition that for each of us there is one great love in our lives, and only one. So of course I was hooked from the get go. This is something that absolutely fascinates me because even though it denies all logic, I do think it might be true. We first meet the main characters as children and it follows them through to adulthood on love’s unpredictable path. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Then I read Never Google Heartbreak by Emma Garcia which was a really good, fun read. There are broken off engagements, self-help websites and drunken declarations of love at extremely inappropriate moments. I found it really funny and refreshingly honest. I wanted to take the main character Viv under my wing and tell her that everything would be alright in the end. And it was of course because in true chick lit style, the love of her life was under her nose the whole time, she just couldn’t see it.

And last of all we have A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler which I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy much. Judging by the comments I received on social media, this is a bit of a marmite book. People seem to love it or hate it. Unfortunately it was the latter for me but I did plough on until the end. The story follows four generations of the Whitshank family but it was one of those books where not much happened at all. It just didn’t seem to gather pace for me. The annoying thing was that it seemed to brush over the few characters who did seem a tiny bit interesting and stick to telling the story of the main – and more boring – family members.

So that was me, what have you been reading this month? As always I love to hear your recommendations either here in the comments or over on social media. I would especially love to hear about any Christmassy recommendations you might have lined up for next month!

 

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Finding The One

My love affair with perfume goes back as far as I can remember. Even as a little girl I remember making the most disgusting concoctions of crushed up rose petals and water from an old bucket in the garden and trying to flog it as perfume to my friends. They were never too keen. Funny that. Then later of course came the scent drenched years of my teenagehood where I would spend far too many hours trying out any sample I could lay my hands on in Boots. More was more. The smellier the better. I seem to remember graduating from The Body Shop Dewberry to the sickly Exclamation! before moving on to my first ‘real’ perfume Lou Lou. Those were the days! I’m getting a headache just thinking about it!

Over the years I’ve had quite a few signature scents – Gio by Giorgio Armani (which I don’t think even exists anymore?) then came Jean Paul Gaultier Classique (although way back when it just called Jean Paul Gaultier by Jean Paul Gaultier. Remember back in the 90s when designers were name mad? Like, how many times can we fit the designers name on to one product?!) Then came the Chanel years with Allure, Chance and Mademoiselle Coco all taking their turns. Then for a long time I wore nothing but Daisy by Marc Jacobs and because I loved it so much people (very kindly) would buy me it as a gift so I ended up wearing it for years.

Finding my signature scent - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog

But in recent months, I have found myself switching and changing between the perfumes I have without really having a signature scent for the first time ever. I had Decadence by Marc Jacobs, Chance Eau Fraiche by Chanel, Paul Smith Women, Paul Smith Rose, Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana, Daisy by Marc Jacobs and a cheap as chips but really very lovely Zara perfume called White all on the go. It felt like time to find my new signature scent. Something completely new. Something a bit more grown up. And it felt like time to pop my Jo Malone cherry.

Finding my Jo Malone signature scent - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog

The problem (well, if you can really call it a problem) with Jo Malone is that I find the sheer number of scents they have completely overwhelming and that’s even before you go in the whole art of fragrance combining that they are so famous for to create your own bespoke scent. I loved so many of the fragrances that it really was difficult to choose one let alone think about layering combinations. After much sniffing though, I went for the Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne and treated myself to the bath oil too. Such a luxury. Jo Malone baths are my new most favourite thing.

I was hoping this modern classic could be my new signature scent. But after a few weeks of wearing it, as much as I love it – and I really do love it because it so unlike any other scent on my dressing table – it’s just not The One, you know?

So I’m back to square one. Still on the hunt for a new signature scent.

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We Are All up for review

Clothing and lifestyle brand We Are All are pleased to announce their launch into the European market. Having launched in Australia earlier this year, the brand’s debut collection is a children’s lifestyle range for boys and girls aged from 2 to 12 years old. The new collection includes 28 individual pieces and 4 styles of sneakers and sandals. We were lucky enough to be sent some gorgeous outfits for my youngest two girls to review here on my blog.

We Are All Australian brand launches in Europe - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog

The founders of We Are All, Rebecca Amos and Chantel Phillips-Hill, are well known in industry circles, having worked collectively worked on many of the best Australian and international lifestyle brands. The collection was inspired by 15 years of global travel for fashion and design by both women, who have used that knowledge to create an Australian owned brand with a global perspective.

We Are All Australian brand launches in Europe - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog

In fact, both women developed the idea of We Are All during an annual trip to Maison & Objet in Paris, so they say that for them, the brand was conceived in France but born in Australia. The brand’s connection with Europe is clear as Rebecca and Chantel’s desire to have a presence in this market.

We Are All Australian brand launches in Europe - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog

The grey Charlotte T-Shirt Dress as worn by my ten year old has a great loose fit and perfect for layering. She especially loves the metallic dragonfly print on the front. We Are All have a real focus on custom prints and the Loretta pants as worn by my eight year old are a perfect example of that in this bright pink floral design. They are a lovely lightweight material with an elasticated waist and cuffs so really comfortable to play in. The Fae T-shirt is a perfect match in pink with floral placement print. The clothes really are beautifully made too so not only do they look fabulous but they are very hard wearing too. Everything that you want from a kids clothing range I think.

We Are All launch in the UK with a new collection - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog

When I first saw the collection, my first thought was that it felt like such a breath of fresh air. I loved the bright colours and patterns. My youngest two are eight and ten so it is great to see a kids range like this that still cater for their ages. I don’t know about you but I often find that this inbetweeny age is sometimes a bit forgotten and I love that the range goes right up to age 12.

The launch collection is available through the We Are All with free shipping to the UK during the month of November using code FREEUK and if you sign up to their newsletter, you will receive 10% off your first order.

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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review we were kindly gifted the outfits shown from We Are All 

The one with the invisible monster #COAwarenessWeek

For this year’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, npower* has released findings from its annual carbon monoxide research to highlight how at risk the UK could be from CO poisoning. The results show there is a clear disparity between the UK’s awareness of CO poisoning and the UK’s actual understanding of what the symptoms are, which appliances can be a cause and also what people should do if they suspect they are suffering from CO poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is completely invisible, it has no smell and no taste, so the only definitive way to detect a leak is with a CO alarm but despite this only two-thirds of UK homes have one installed. Following the results from the research, npower has enlisted the help of six children to bring the risks of CO to life by drawing what they think the deadly gas would look like if it wasn’t invisible. A group of talented designers then interpreted the children’s drawings to create a series of illustrated characters to give the invisible gas an identifiable persona. You can take a look at the children creating their monsters in the video here.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week with npower

The research sheds light on how Britons could be worryingly underprepared to spot cases of CO poisoning. Despite 95% of the UK saying they know CO poisoning can be fatal, less than 6% are actually able to correctly identify the most common symptoms. Dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, tiredness and confusion, stomach pain, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms of CO poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week with npower

Further cause for concern is that 1 in 8 of us wrongly think that you can smell a CO leak and 1 in 10 Brits admit they have absolutely no idea how to identify a CO leak. Each year in the UK over 200 people are admitted to hospital with suspected CO poisoning and around 50 people die unnecessarily from it. This new research suggests people in the UK are unaware of what the symptoms of CO poisoning are, so the true number of people affected could potentially be much higher.

You can find more information here from npower about carbon monoxide and how to protect your family.

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*This post has been written in collaboration with npower 

Capsicana sauces up for review

There’s so much more to Latin American food than Tex-Mex and Capsicana is on a mission to get us all eating ‘proper’ Latin American food. I was sent some of their sauces to review here on my blog as well as these gorgeous little Guatemalan Worry Dolls. Like the sauces, they are genuinely Latin and legend has it that if you put them under your pillow while you’re sleeping, the dolls will take away your worries. Cute, huh?

Capsicana cooking sauces up for review on Mostly Yummy Mummy blog

Now the Latin American sections of our shops are mostly filled with the usual Tex-Mex fare of corny chilli con carne, gloopy guacamole and bland black beans. But Capsicana has launched three deliciously different Latin American cooking sauces. Chilli infused, they’re inspired by three different countries – Peru, Brazil and Mexico – and are perfect for the adventurous who want to quickly and easily enjoy authentic tastes from the region. Each pack features a pair of simple recipes that can be ready in under 20 minutes, with many more on Capsicana’s website.

Capsicana cooking sauces up for review on Mostly Yummy Mummy blog

Capsicana’s Chilli & Lemon sauce is based on Peru’s famous green chilli ‘Aji Verde’ sauce. This medium heat sauce is usually served with one of the country’s most popular dishes ‘Pollo a la Brasa’ – roasted chicken. Capsicana uses peruvian-grown aji amarillo chilli peppers for kick while the lemon juice provides a tangy citrus bite. I cooked up a feast for the whole family with this sauce. I fried chicken strips with red pepper and onion before adding the sauce and served it with sweet potato fries, freshly sliced avocado and soft tortillas. It was so good!

Capsicana cooking sauces up for review on Mostly Yummy Mummy blog

If you’re trying to keep the Brazilian feel-good factor of the Olympics and Paralympics alive, then it’s got to be Capsicana’s hot Chilli & Coconut sauce. It features frutuscens chillis and is based on the traditional seafood dish ‘Moqueca’. I kept this simple and served it with grilled basa on a bed of wild rice. The good thing with all of the sauces is that they are so versatile and all work well with meat, fish or vegetables.

Capsicana cooking sauces up for review on Mostly Yummy Mummy blog

If Mexico is where you’d prefer to start, then this Chilli & Honey will hit the spot. This sweet and sticky sauce has the mildest chilli kick of the three and is based on ‘Puerco al horno con salsa de chile ancho y miel’, a classic Mexican dish. It uses Mexican-grown chipotle and ancho poblano chilli peppers as well as honey. Honey has been integral to the country’s food since the Mayans who believed that a native stingless bee was a gift from god and a link to the spirit world. I used this sauce as a marinade for chicken legs and we had it with rice and corn. So yummy!

I have to say that I was really impressed with all three of the sauces and would struggle to pick a favourite. Three very unique flavours and loved how they can be used in so many different recipe ideas. The sauces really do taste authentic and have a kick to them that you just don’t normally find in shop bought packets. I’ve already been to Waitrose to restock which I think says it all really! But they are such a great sauce to have tucked away in the store cupboard to brighten up weekday dinners in a flash. Not only do the sauces work well with all kinds of meat, fish or vegetables but you can throw an amazing meal together in minutes.

You can find the Capsicana sauces in Waitrose, Whole Foods and Amazon for £1.99 per pack which serves two. Find out more at capsicana.co.uk or follow over on social media @capsicana 

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Disclaimer: I was very kindly provided with samples of the Capsicana sauces to try out for myself for the purpose of this review