Friday, 20 June 2014

Make S'mores With Certainly Wood Flamers

We do love a spot of campfire cooking, here at The Syders. Usually we cook on our homemade campfire tripod in the garden, but as we are working on a bit of a change around out back, the tripod has been packed away until we have finished, so one chilly summer evening Papa Syder got our open house fire going.

He used Certainly Wood Flamers to get it started, which we had never seen before. They look like a small ball of scrunched up straw. Papa was really impressed how quick they got the fire going and very quickly we were toasting our marshmallows, then sticking them between two digestives biscuits and a square of chocolate. A yummy treat and everyone loves to toast a marshmallow or two.

Certainly wood Flamers are fine wood shavings that are totally natural and dipped in wax. You can buy them in packs of 24 for £3.49 or packs of 50 for £5.99. Great value and they get a Big Thumbs Up from The Syders!

* We were sent a Certainly Wood Fire Starter Kit free of charge for the purpose of this review. Our opinions are entirely our own.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Breathe - It's A Coastal Life For Me

Living on the coast is a necessity for me. The water beckons to me, it soothes me. The sound of the high tide gently flapping against the sea wall, the long grasses rustling in the breeze and the sound of hungry seagulls sweeping through the skies breathes fresh life into me every time I walk along my favourite path. The sounds and the smell of the coast invigorate me, energise and inspire me. I breathe in deeply, taking in as much healing power as I can. It works, you know, living on the coast, it really does heal all manner of wounds. I couldn't live anywhere else.

Friday, 13 June 2014

More Amazing Discoveries And Oddities For Kids At Camp Bestival 2014

"We’ve got all sorts of incredible curiosities coming to Camp Bestival this year. From off the wall circus treats in the Caravan of Lost Souls, LEGO and their brilliant Imagination Factory, and surveying the site with a camp-bestiscope in Oberon’s Observatory to the mayhem of Britain’s Not Got Talent and amazing experiments in the Science Tent, there’s loads of ace stuff for all the family to discover. See you at Lulworth Castle!” (Rob da Bank)

Caravan of Lost Souls - Circus fun with Igor Rasputin, an incredible ape-powered pop-up circus providing wondrous entertainment for your delectation and appreciation. Witness magic, contortion, hula hoop, mime, an amazing array of circus skills and more from this cabaret of curiosity, popping up in all four corners of Camp Bestival! 

LEGO Imagination FactoryA celebration of ‘free build’, this magical environment will immerse you in the LEGO belief in the power of each individual’s imagination. Doubters might see a pile of bricks and accessories but ‘we’ see a jet fighter, a beautiful flower, an alien monster, our dog called Spike or the skyline of New York. The golden rule of The Imagination Factory is that there are no rules – no rights or wrongs – just inspiration to let LEGO enable you to build anything that your imagination can conjure up. 

Oberon's Observatory - A ramshackle but beautiful edifice with a stargazer's viewing platform, there will be camp-bestiscopes for studying the curiosities happening across the festival and searching for the stars. Hidden in the heart of Oberon's Observatory is an old projection room where Camp Bestival will screen 21st century windows into other worlds, space and art. For the period of one lunation only, Camp Bestival invites you to come and explore this extraordinary building. 

Showmany Calliope -  Traditional fairground showman heritage, pyrotechnics, a full independently powered 4K sound system and a bowtop caravan themed stage, that will play host to the devilish Mosschops and Sidewicket’s Britain’s Not Got Talent. So, do you want to perform on the craziest stage of all time? Have you got a talent? Have you not got talent? We don't care, because we haven't; so anything goes! From Dutch didgeridoo dancing to skateboarding budgerigars; panpipe duets to five-year-old Frank Carson impersonators (keep it clean please), we need you! Terms and Conditions do not apply. 

Science Tent  - Certainly not for boffins only and is definitely not to be missed! It’s a glorious mix of science-based performances like now>press>play and Rock Guitar in 11 Dimensions, timetabled science including programming robots, 3D printing your favourite Minecraft designs, being amazed by a Rapsberry Pi and lots, lots more and drop in sessions where you can make video games with Play-doh, power an alarm clock with fruit, pre-programme a robot arm and so much more. There’s tons to stimulate and fascinate every age group! And that includes you mums and dads! 

All your circus dreams can come true at Camp Bestival - website, Facebook, Twitter. 

*We are being provided with tickets for the family to Camp Bestival. Our Views & opinions are entirely our own  

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Joules Clothing Review

As some of you know I have been on a juice fast. So far I have lost a stone and dropped a dress size. I'm totally thrilled and what better way to celebrate my weight loss than with a new dress. When I was asked to review a dress from Joules I thought it perfect timing as some of my dresses are a bit loose on me now. The Indigo Seagull Marilyn Jersey Dress is a classic vintage design, with a pretty nautical print of seagulls. Vintage and nautical are two of my favourite things so I love the style of this dress.

The fabric is a soft, stretchy jersey and is very flattering to my plus size shape. It is also lined and finished to a high standard. I love the little orange button at the back and the wrap over front makes my boobs look bigger. It is a little to low at the front for me so I wore a lacy cami underneath to hide my modesty. I'm 5ft 2" and the dress comes just below my knee, which I love because it means that I can team it with leggings, tights or go bare. As a bigger girl I don't like going bare legged when wearing dresses above my knee. Its a perfect length for me.

What I love most about this dress is, that I can give it many different looks depending on what I wear with it. A white cardi, white belt, bag and sandals would look nice or maybe spice it up with some orange accessories. The dress is also available in two other designs Taupe Posy and Blue Damask plus, over on their website there are lots of gorgeous tunic dresses from Joules .

Bottom Line - What do I think? Massive Thumbs up from me. I love the quality of this dress and as my weight drops I will purchase a smaller size. I really like the Joules pretty packaging too, it's gorgeous and feels like my product is extra special.

Available from Joules priced at £59.95
Camera bag - New Look £12.99

*I was sent a Joules dress free of charge for the purpose of this review. My opinions are entirely my own and unbiased.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Great Gifts for your Sports Mad Dad This Father’s Day

If your dad is into his sports then it’s a great source of gifts for Father’s Day but sometimes the choice can be a little overwhelming and you may be left stuck as to what to buy. If that’s the case then have a look below at some excellent gift ideas for your sports mad dad this Father’s Day...

Football stadium tour
If your dad is crazy about football then a stadium tour might be the perfect gift, especially if he’s a fan of the of the big football teams in the country. Most of the big stadiums, such as Old Trafford or Anfield have museums and tour guides who will take you round and show you all about the history of the club, its players and the trophies it’s won. Even if your dad doesn’t support one of the major teams, it’ll still be a fascinating day out.

Racing car track day
Many dream of being a racing driver of some sort, but very few actually achieve that dream. However, with a track day your dad could experience the next best thing and actually get to take an amazing race car around one of the top circuits in the UK, including F1 track Silverstone. This is a dream for any petrol head, and there are a number of different track days available for different cars so there’s plenty to choose from.

Sports photo gifts
If you’re on a budget but still looking for something unique and thoughtful then you could go for a sports-related photo gift. You could get an image of his favourite sports team or player, or maybe even a picture of him playing sports, and have it emblazoned across a variety of objects. You can get some great personalised gift ideas at My Photo Gifts including mugs, phone cases, mouse mats, and loads more that he’s sure to love.

Sports magazine
subscription Even though a lot of people get their sports info online these days, there’s still something special about reading a magazine and there are absolutely loads of sports magazines available covering a wide range of sports. From cycling and cricket to football and tennis and pretty much everything inbetween there’s a magazine for it. WHSmith is a reliable place to get them from and have a great selection no matter what sports he’s in to.

Tickets to a sporting event
There’s no quite like seeing a live sporting event live for excitement and thrills so tickets to a live event will always be appreciated. If he’s a football fan then tickets to see his team could be an option, and there are always big sporting events in this country every year. The Rugby World Cup is in England next year too and tickets to that would make an amazing present!

Fathers Day Gifts With Dove+Men & Radox

What type of Dad or Partner do you have? Is he an action man, playful, always on the go or a big softie? I'd say my Hubby is a bit of everything and he loves nothing more than to be pampered. I guess some might accuse me of being a bit old fashioned because I love to pamper my man and after a hard days work I have his dinner on the table and a bath run. His favourite is Radox because he finds it soothes his aching muscles.

Both Radox and Dove+Men offer really affordable gifts for Dad for Fathers day this year. Radox Muscle Therapy (RRP £2.31) is great for a relaxing bath after a day at work or grafting in the garden. Radox Stress Relief (RRP £2.31) for the bath does exactly what it says, or if Dad prefers a shower, Radox For Men (RRP £2.15) is a mood transforming shower gel, making sure Dad sets off to work in a good mood.

In the Dove+Men Daily care duo gift pack you will find a clean comfort anti-perspirant deodorant which combines 48 hr protection against odour and sweat, and a clean comfort shower gel with MICROMOISTURE technology to protect the skin from drying out. All great, last minute gifts for Dad on Fathers Day.

*We were sent some Radox and Dove+Men products free of charge for the purpose of this review. Our opinions are entirely our own, honest and unbiased.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

My Shelfie

On my shelves I like to display things that are mainly retro. A vintage camera, a pair of kitsch deer, my BIB award, a photo of my Boys when they were small and a special gift from my lovely Sister in Law. As I examine my shelves I realise that I really do like deer. Having so many wasn't deliberate, they kind of just appeared.

Anyway Tots100 have teamed up with Victoria Plumb and together they are hosting a competition to win £500 by sharing our shelfie photos with us @tots100 and @victoriaplumb on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #shelfie 

You can also win £250 on the Victoria Plumb website by taking the Victoria Plumb quiz and see what celebrity style is most like your personal style. I took the quiz and got Joey Essex, Glamorous style, which is all about velvet cushions and satin throws. I do like my cushions and throws so I guess its pretty spot on.


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Amazing New Areas At The Greatest Family Show On Earth - Camp Bestival 2014

*drum roll* Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, the team at Camp Bestival HQ proudly present for your delectation and wonder, a host of beloved and brand new venues! Please welcome to our circus arena the Travelling Barn, The Pigs Big Ballroom, Caravanserai and Project Wild Thing!
Our new venues are causing the family and I a huge wardrobe dilemma: we'll want camouflage face paint and explorer gear for the feral activities in the Dingly Dell with Project Wild Thing, cowboy boots and chaps for the all-family toe-tapping hoe downs in the Travelling Barn, dancing shoes and circle skirts to swing along to Greg's Greats in the Pigs Big Ballroom and vaudevillian circus outfits to explore Caravanserai! Can't wait to discover it all with the nippers and a different outfit on every half an hour! See you there.(RingMaster Rob da Bank)
Only 56 days until Camp Bestival and we can't wait. We are really excited to hear about the intriguing new areas to hang out, in true Bohemian style. They sound so fab!
Caravanserai - English and French artists, gypsies and beatniks who have set up an encampment for weary travellers and wanderers to rest and recharge. Here you can enjoy a tipple or two in a quirky, cocktail lounge built from old vehicles, curiosities and objects d'art they have found on their travels.
Travelling Barn - Enjoy a local real ale while listening to acoustic acts in the daytime and raucous, toe-tappin' hoe-downs in the evening. The whole family can really let loose on the dance floor here while the grown ups sup on a pint.
Pig’s Big Ball Room - an amazing dance arena dedicated to the memory of John Peel and his Pig’s Big 78 selections. Original R&B Dance Band, Swing, Skiffle, Jazz, African, Latin, Calypso, Rock-a-billy and Rock and Roll from live bands or played on authentic 78s.
 All your circus dreams can come true - Website, Facebook, Twitter.

*We are being provided with tickets for the family to Camp Bestival. Our Views & opinions are entirely our own

Monday, 2 June 2014

28 Day Juice Fast - The First 7 Days

I can't quite believe that I am writing this post, but for the past eleven days days I haven't eaten a thing, all I have consumed is freshly juiced fruit & vegetables, water and coconut water. "Why???" I hear you ask, "Don't you miss chewing? What about your calcium & protein? What happens when you start eating again?" The same questions I asked at first. Yes, you do miss chewing at first, but you soon get over it. There is loads of Calcium & protein in fruits & veggies, plus you can add Hemp protein powder to your juices if you wish. As for eating again, you ease yourself back in with a transition and continue with a healthy diet, as hopefully juice fasting will reboot your taste buds and cravings.

Anyway, Hubby had booked our flights to Spain for our summer holiday and I suddenly felt completely panic stricken. Desperate to lose a few stone before we go I wrote a facebook status about going on a meal replacement diet for the next few months. One of my oldest and dearest Friends commented on that status, telling me she had found something amazing, that worked...Juice Fasting.

Initially, I thought there is absolutely no way that my willpower is strong enough for something like that. Then another lovely Friend commented "Reboot With Joe!" I was baffled, What the hell is Reboot with Joe? Then she told me to watch 'Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead', which I did and it is one of the most inspiring films that I have ever watched. It is all about an Aussie business man, Joe Cross who was fat, sick and nearly dead. He travelled across America on a 60 day juice fast, losing 100lb and as a result was able to ditch his meds. I was amazed!

I want some of that. I want to detox, I want to lose weight, I want to get off my blood pressure tablets, I want a clean body inside and out. So I went straight out and bought his book and a juicer.

This is my experience of my first seven days juice fasting. I can honestly say it is one of the hardest things I've ever done and as I continue my detox journey I'm so Thankful that I found juicing and Joe Cross.

Day One
I'm really worried about how I'm going to cope without coffee for 28 days. I get so cranky without my caffeine fix, so I'm really not convinced I will be able to do this. I drink warm water with freshly juiced lemon & ginger instead and I am flabbergasted by it's affect on me. I feel so energised and I've cleaned the house from top to bottom, even sorted the sock drawer. I go for a long walk along the river and notice my nose is absolutely streaming, apparently it's a side affect of the detox. I keep peeing too, like every 30 minutes. All the toxins want to get out.

I managed to cope well with the Family heating up soup for their lunch, the smell did make my mouth water but I remained determined not to give in. I know this first three days are going to be really tough. I've prepared myself for that. 

After lunch I suddenly feel really chilly and sleepy, almost a little lightheaded so I take a nap. For the rest of the day I feel very hungry, my energy has faded and my willpower is being tested. I have an early night.

Day Two
I had a restful sleep. I don't feel as energetic as yesterday but I am determined to see this through. I don't actually miss coffee as much as I thought I would, the ginger really helps. I feel really unwell today, like I have the flu. I'm struggling and I so want to eat something. I actually feel more hungry than I have ever felt in my life. I know from my research that this is completely normal, so I spend the day on the sofa, under my blanket, watching the Nashville boxset. Today was a bad day so went to bed at 9pm.

Day Three
Slept in until 9.30am which is unusual for me, but I wake feeling really chilled out and I feel much better than I did yesterday. By the afternoon I feel fantastic and I even cope with the smell of the Family Sunday roast cooking. I start to flag in the afternoon so I have an apple & ginger shot which picks me up.

Day Four
Feeling great, I'm so glad I stuck with those first awful few days. I feel really energetic so attempt a river walk. I come over dizzy, s head home. My water bottle has become my new best friend, it goes everywhere with me. It helps with the hunger cravings. The rest of the day I take it easy.

Day Five  
Woke up with lower back pain which had kept me awake most of the night. I research and think it might be toxins still trying to get out so I up my water and drink a carton of coconut water hoping it will relieve the pain. I feel great all day. My stomach has shrunk, my double chin is disappearing, my skin feels like silk and I've lost half a stone already. I'm still craving junk food but I'm also looking up healthy recipes for when the fast is over.

Day Six
The lower back pain is excruciating so I ask for advice on the fabulous facebook page 'Thirst For Nature'. Someone suggests that it could be my body changing shape as I detox and lose weight and that maybe I should try some yoga. Later on that day I decide to do some Callenetic stretches that I remember from years ago. One stretch really stretches my lower back and I feel a click. Honest to God, it worked, the back pain eased!

Day Seven
The back pain is mild now, nowhere near as painful. I feel relieved. I'm no longer hungry even though I'm still craving junk. All I can think about is chip butties and I would kill for a fishfinger sarnie but I know I wont eat that stuff once the fast is over, because I crave a new way of eating. 

I feel so grateful that my two friends introduced me to juicing. I am now on day eleven and the weight is just falling off me. I'm energised and I have none of the old guilty feelings about the junk I was eating before. Cheers!

  • My juicer is an Andrew James = £35.00 from and ebay shop or £39.99 on Amazon.
  • Watch - 'Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead' & Jason Vale's 'Superjuice Me'
  • Buy - Reboot with Joe by Joe Cross or a Jason Vale book.
  • Join a Facebook support group - I joined 'Thirst For Nature' which is great.
  • Golden delicious apples are the best for juicing.
  • Ginger & Apple shots are a natural Red Bull.
  • If you struggle with a certain ingredient (mine is celery) then replace it with something else or just leave it out.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • If you go out, take a flask of juice. Stainless steel flasks are best as they don't leave a plastic taste. Tesco Direct have some for less than a fiver. 
  • Stay strong, Remain positive. You are healing your body after years of Toxic abuse!

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