Friday, 19 February 2016

Tsum Tsum Squishies from The Entertainer and Competition

This week I am down in Midsomer Norton, Somerset visiting my sister and my niece Lilly. When I got here Lilly showed me her collection of Disney Tsum Tsum Squishies which she has bought from her local The Entertainer store here in Midsomer Norton.

Lilly with her collection

Tsum Tsum Squishies are cute little figures of Disney characters from their various films over the years. At the moment we are on series 1 and there are 50 to collect. They are so adorable and sweet. The Entertainer has a huge selection to choose from. You can buy two packs where you get to see one and get a mystery one or you can buy the bigger packs. I think it's great that you can see some of them so you can aim to get ones you haven't got and then you have a chance to get a surprise too. Of course like most collectables some of the figures are rarer then others. You can also get other Tsum Tsum toy sets for them from The Entertainer. Check out their range online here

In The Entertainer Midsomer Norton choosing a prize for our competition. 

What we love so much about The Entertainer store is that they really care about their customers by doing various extra things that a supermarket or other shops we shop at don't do. In the case of the Tsum Tsum's firstly they have three limited edition Squishies to collect which are gold, silver and bronze. When you buy any Tsum Tsum you get a stamp for each one you buy. When you reach 10 stamps you get a bronze Olaf, when you reach 25 stamps you get a silver Elsa and when you reach 50 stamps you get a golden Minnie Mouse. So it's fun collecting and knowing you get a bonus one when you reach a certain amount. The Entertainer also ran a swap day for collectors to go in and exchange Tsum Tsum's and meet other collectors. These little touches from The Entertainer makes our little collectors very happy. You can also join their collector's club online here to receive offers and information about competitions. 

I wrote to The Enterainer about Lilly's collection and this blog post and they kindly sent her some more Tsum Tsum Squishies for her collection. She was so surprised and pleased to receive them. Here are the ones they sent to her. Her favourites are the golden Minnie and Jessie from Toy Story.

Tsum Tsum's The Entertainer sent us and our collection card


Lilly loves Tsum Tsum's Squishies so much that between us we decided it would be lovely to give one of our readers the chance to win her swaps (including a limited edition Bronze Olaf) and a pack from The Entertainer.

The prize for one lucky winner! 

Please enter through the rafflecopter widget below. This competition is only open to residents of the UK. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The Entertainer sent us some Tsum Tsum Squishies for Lilly's collection. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, 8 February 2016

Degustabox Review - December 2015

A knock on the door, a man with a box under his arm – it can only mean one thing. It's the arrival of our December Degustabox; so, with a, "Healthy New Year!" Let's crack it open and go ahead with the review.

As you can see - it's another wonderful selection from out friends at Degustabox,

Hip Pops - RRP £1.00 per pack

First out of the box is two packs of Hip Pops! These are healthier snacks than regular baked or fried snacks (we're talking about 98 Kcal per 25g bag and less than 11% fat). We were sent the Cheese and Onion and the sweet Chilli Flavour packs. (There are 6 different flavours available, 4 of which are gluten free).

I have to say – love the taste! They have a good balance with their flavours – the sweet chilli as an example having a bit of heat, but plenty of flavour. The fact that the snacks are 'popped' rather than fried or baked means they have a satisfying crunch to them too. Brilliant! Would love to try some of the other flavours in the future!

Fabulous Bakers Mango and Pineapple Bars - RRP £1.80 

These are nice! I wish there was more than four bars in the box! But wait, I've gotten ahead of myself. Next up we have a four pack of Mango and Pineapple bars from the Fabulous Bakers. These tasty bars are loaded with fruity flavours; texture-wise they feel a little like a popcorn bar – but made with real fruit and oats they are a high in fibre, slow energy releasing snack free of sugar or 'nasty' additives. Love them!

Nothing But - RRP £1.69 per pack

Next up – we have a couple of freeze-dried fruit snack packs from "Nothing But". One pack of Pineapple and Grape and one pack of strawberry and banana. Freeze drying seems to be in vogue at the moment (I'm sure I've said that before), but I'm not complaining! I'm a definite fan!

I've had freeze-dried strawberries and banana before; so obviously went straight for grape and pineapple. Obviously, you get a bit of a crunch (if you want to crunch it); but if you let it sit on your tongue and rehydrate a little you get that slight fizz and fruity flavour on your tongue.

Love these; and I think it isn't just for the novelty of it all either. I'm definitely a freeze-dried fan!

Barilla's Mediterranean Vegetable Sauce and Whole-Wheat Fusilli pasta 
- RRP £2.00 and £1.50 each

The Degustabox product of the month is next up; we have Mediterranean Vegetable sauce and whole wheat pasta from Barilla. We are pasta fans, but haven't gotten around to sampling this yet – it looks really tasty and a great combination – so we don't expect this to sit around of the shelf for long!!

The sauce is a combination of Italian tomatoes, courgettes, aubergine and sweet peppers with no added preservatives. The pasta gives you 20% of your daily fibre needs which is essential for body balance (I think that means it keeps you regular lol).

Crabbie's Light Ginger Beer and Red Square Toffee Vodka
- RRP £1.49 and £1.99 

Well, this is one of the first times we've actually attempted one of the Degustabox recipes; on the back of this months list was the "Crabbie's toffee mule" which combined ice, half the bottle of the red square toffee vodka and the majority of the Crabbie's light ginger beer to make Crabbie's Toffee Mule! Not bad (although probably better if I had ice to add).

The light Crabbie's is what you'd expect; a gentle ginger beer with an alcoholic kick. As a Ginger beer and alcohol fan I love it. The Red Square Toffee vodka though, that is something special. It's like a little bottle of alcoholic, liquid toffee. I can see why they only gave us a 5cl bottle – any more and this review would be a rambling drunken rant! Love it! (Probably far too much)!

Betavivo crispy oat heart cereal - RRP £1.00 

Almost every month in the Degustabox selection we get something breakfasty; this is a nice thing - it's good to have a little variation in our morning food selection. This month is no exception and we've been given a couple of packs of Betavivo crispy oat heart cereals. These heart shaped cereals are apparently good for reducing the cholesterol in your blood – so - it's a good healthy thing. I tried a pack with another of the Degustabox items, the KoKo coconut milk (which I'll talk about in a moment).

The cereal, it is heart-shaped; but I can't help but look at it and think "cat treats!" It keeps its crunch, even after sitting in the milk for a while; although, to be honest I don't see anything remarkable about the taste. To me, it tastes like it needs a little sugar adding – which probably would go against some of the good intentions. Saying that though, you would probably get used to it after a while...

Koko coconut milk - RRP £1.79

Now I know we've had a few milk alternatives in the past; and while some people are fans of them, a lot of people aren't. The problem I think you usually find is that you have pretty much a good idea of what milk should taste like, so when you see claims that "it tastes remarkably like cow's milk on breakfast cereals, cooking and hot drinks" you automatically have you sceptic's hat on.

In truth, this isn't bad. It is sweet enough. It is close to milk, but it isn't milk. You taste the coconut, which isn't bad; but it does taste coconutty. Which should be expected. You get both the sweet and that kind of dry taste that you get from dried coconut you'd use in a trail mix or recipe.

I don't mind it; it's probably an acquired taste – but – I could see for anyone wanting to have a healthy alternative to cow's milk – particularly for allergy related issues, this would be a viable alternative – and you would probably get used to it.

Love Kombucha Ginger - RRP £2.25

This is the Db discovery this month; it’s an organic drink filled with probiotics, organic enzymes and amino acids … and it's fermented... and I should like this... I should like this; I like ginger, and I like lime... but... this just does not do it for me. The problem I have with this is that the fermentation process leaves a bit of a "gone off cheese"-ness to the drink. The ginger isn't strong, and doesn't give it a nice kick or anything.

I managed to drink about half the bottle before giving up.

Which is a big shame, because this drink is packed so full of good stuff; there are three other flavours, Blueberry, Ginger and Lime and Original. It would be interesting to see how the others match up, but, for me – the ginger is a no-no. Sorry!

Complete Energy Bites - RRP £1.99 

These look really nice but Neil grabbed these for next time he does sports. There are two chocolate bites infused with 1 premium coffee's worth of caffeine in each.

I've not had any of these "energy things" before; so I was quite pleasantly surprised when I opened the packet and inside are two squares in a plastic seal. Ideal (I'd imagine) for keeping in a runner's pocket ready to munch on after a few miles.

Trying one square. It's a nice lemon/ chocolate mix. It's a little like a firm chocolate truffle, but not bad. Taste wise these can't be confused with chocolates you'd find in a box of milk tray; which is a good thing. The amount of caffeine might have made me a little hyper and a whole box might be disastrous!

Liked them though. Will consider using them next time I run a significant distance!

Drink me Skinny Chai Latte 

As a special gift, we have a sample sachet of "Drink Me" Chai Latte, Skinny Blend. Neil's a hot drink fan and really is a fan of chai – so I let him have this to try this.

He said that it had a pretty good taste; he needed to add a couple of sugars because he's got a bit of a sweet tooth; but it had a good chai taste. He'd have it again.

And there we have it – another Degustabox full of things; some of them have been added to our "new favourites" list – others – we have been glad to have the chance to try because it's something we probably wouldn't pick up. That's the beauty of these boxes – it is a selection of things you know and love, haven't heard of – but will love, and a few things you'll either love or hate. It gives you a chance to sample and expand your culinary range.

If you would like your own Degustabox, please go to their website. It costs £12.99 a box (including delivery) however Degustabox has given us a special offer code for our readers to get £6 off their first box. The code is:


We are very happy to recommend the service and selection they provide.

Disclaimer: The December 2015 Degustabox was sent to me for the purposes of this post. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Japan Candy Box - December 2015 - Review and Giveaway

Here we are again with a nice little box of candy making its way to us from our friends at Japan Candy Box

Like our previous boxes, this is a marvellously cute box filled with candy and snacks from Japan - I could go on, but let's get straight onto the review...

Popin' Cookin' Cake and Ice Cream Shop DIY Kit 

Love these DIY kits. Okay, they take a little more work but there is something incredibly fun about mixing and making and then eating; although, admittedly a lot of my creations are a lot less fancy than those on the packet. Lots of fun! Creative and tasty! 

Yaokin Sour Paper Candy - Apple 

I'm a big "sour thing" fan, so this was the first thing I took out of the box. It's a thin, translucent, green, gummy candy - covered in sour sugar. Not unlike a fruit winder ... once you unwind it. Tasty and sour, but not suck-your-face-inside-out sour. 

Tohato Anpanman corn rings 

These are interesting. I'm not entirely sure how to describe these. There is a subtle sweetness to these tiny corn rings - that look - a little like cheerios in shape and size, but not texture. In texture they melt like a wotsit or something. I'm not sure about them, but I can't stop eating them. And the packaging, like everything in the box, is hyper cute! 

Abe Seika Abekko Ramune Candy 

These are nice! It's a tiny, little packet of tiny, little round candies. They're grape flavoured and - I was expecting something firm, but; you stick them on your tongue and they just melt away in a fizzy grape-taste explosion. 

Lotte Pokemon Ramune Candy 

Pika-pika! Pika-pika! This candy, in a little pikachu themed bag is small, round and cola flavoured. It looks a little similar to the Abe Seika Abekko Ramune Candy, but doesn't fizz and melt. Instead it sits a little longer on the tongue, tempting you to bite. 

UHA Lemon Gummy 

Now these are interesting. If you think of English Lemon candies, there's usually a sharpness with a sweetness. These lemon gummies are more bitter with the sour, than sweet. The sort of thing you think, "I shouldn't like..." but yet, can't stop eating! 

Puccho Chewy Candy - Pink Grapefruit 

We've had this Candy from Japan previously - and loved it. There's something about the way this candy feels. It looks like a starburst but feels less yielding, like plastic or something. And then there are little gummy balls that escape as you bite into it and chew. The grapefruit flavour is good too; not a usual "English" flavour for candy. Nice - and cute little wrappers! 

Kabaya Hello Kitty Cookie Sticks 

Now these you'll have seen before; there are a number of these "biscuit stick things with a flavour on one end" you get over here now; usually it's chocolate, or something similar (I'm thinking Mikado style) - but this one, it tastes a little like a biscuit with a tasty, strawberry yoghurt coating. Nice, and tasty! 

Meji Petit Bubble Gum 

Now these we've had before and loved (Wish I could remember when we had it before!). Very cute, and very tasty! Nice to have a returning favourite.

Yaokin Takoyaki Snack Stick 

This is an interesting one; I know, my word of the review appears to be 'interesting'. This is a savoury corn-snack that tastes a little like... I'm not entirely sure what. I'd say it's a bit like if you had a seafood, slightly spicy chow mein flavoured, giant wotsit. Or something. Tasty, but a little odd.

And that's it - our ten wonderfully Japanese candy snacks and candy. We loved it as always and would highly recommend their service. If you would like to get your own box check out the Japan Candy Box website or try your luck in our competition below. 

*** Competition *** 

Japan Candy Box has kindly given us a box to give away to one of our blog readers. Please enter through the  rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open worldwide. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: The December 2015 Japan Candy Box was sent to me for the purposes of this post. All opinions are my own. The competition is being run directly by Japan Candy Box.