Degustabox | March

We were sent this box for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

It’s that time of the month again where I talk about all of the goodies sent to us in this month’s Degustabox. This month’s theme was Spring & Easter so I was interested to see what was in the box. You can get your first box for just £7.99 (usual price is £12.99) with shipping included. Just use this code WDGX9 on the website here (the code gets you a one time discount of £5).

With the theme, I assumed there would be some chocolate included and I was right. Here’s what we received in this month’s box.

Costa Signature Blend Coffee Ground For Cafetiere & Filter – £3.70

We don’t actually drink coffee in our house so this is going to a good home; my in laws. Nevertheless I have heard good things about Costa’s coffee.

Forest Feast Preda Fair Trade Mango 30g & Milk Chocolate Mango and Coconut Fruit Balls 30g – £1.29 each

These were a perfectly delicious treat. The perfect bit of indulgence without any of the guilt. These didn’t last long in my house at all.

Weetabix On The Go Strawberry – £1.49

We’ve tried these before although I am not sure if they were from a previous box. We really enjoy these so this was very welcomed.

Moose Juice Passionfruit – £1.59

We try not to have energy drinks too often in our house but sometimes do, Steve more than me. Steve liked this and said it was the best energy drink we have had in any of the previous boxes so high praise indeed.

Red Red Super Stews Black Eyed Beans & Tomato – £2.99

These are made with natural plant based ingredients and inspired by Africa. Unfortunately I could see that neither Steve or I would probably eat this so we are donating it to our local food bank rather than it languishing in our cupboard until it passes its expiry date.

Ballymaloe Original Relish 

Rich in tomatoes and made using all natural ingredients, this relish was definitely a positive addition to the box. We use a lot of relishes and chutneys, Steve especially, so he was happy to see this. It’s gluten free, suitable for vegans and tastes great.

Jubel Alpine Beer cut with Peach – £1.80

We haven’t actually tried this yet but were super intrigued to see it in the box. It is a lively lager with the zest of freshly ripe peaches, gluten free, naturally infused and vegan too. Can’t wait to see what its like!

Green & Black’s Praline bar and Truffle bar – 89p each

I never used to be a fan of Green & Black’s, I mostly associated them with dark chocolate which I wasn’t a fan of. As I’ve got older and my tastes have matured, I find myself enjoying dark chocolate more and now I also realise that Green & Black’s do milk chocolate too. These are made with ethically sourced chocolate and contain no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. These were absolutely delicious.

KIND Snacks Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt – £1.35

These are a tasty and nutritious snack bar which we were very happy to see in the box. These are gluten free and naturally high in protein and a great option to slip into your handbag or pocket for an afternoon snack.

Chum Fruit Bites Apple & Strawberry – 79p each

These are made with 100% fruit, high in fibre and vegan. These also did not last long with my two kids – they devoured these quickly and really enjoyed them. They are delicious and we will certainly be buying again.

Willie’s Cacao single state chocolate Passionfruit – £1.99

This slab of chocolate only just made it out of the box before me and Steve shared it between us. These are made using only natural ingredients and this was super tasty, a nice treat that we could indulge in that we didn’t have to share with the kids for once.

Overall I was fairly impressed with this box. There was a fair amount of sweet stuff compared to savoury but I’m not complaining. With the box retailing at £12.99, the boxes contents added up to just over £20 if you were to buy them all separately – a great saving, I think!

Which item of the box would be your favourite?

How to Choose a Crib Mattress for Your Nursery

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Among the best experiences in life is bearing a child. Once you have delivered a baby, you want to make sure that he or she feels the love you have on him. One of the best ways to do this is by purchasing a comfortable and safe crib mattress for the baby.

The problem is the fact that there is a variety of companies manufacturing these mattresses today. As a result, they are available in a range of brands and at a different price. Each of the products has unique qualities from others. In this way, selecting the best crib mattress turns to be a tricky exercise.

In consideration of this, we devoted our time to generate a guide on how to choose a crib mattress for your nursery. We aim to make sure that your selection process gets simplified. The followings are seven things that you should look out for when purchasing a crib mattress.

  1. Safety Standards

The first step to make sure that you are buying only the best is by considering safety standards. The federal regulations outline the rules of a full-size crib as well as the mattress. Understanding these regulations gives you a chance to buy both the crib-bed and the mattress separately. You’re sure that they’ll fit each other perfectly.

Such regulations ensure that there is no head entrapment between crib and mattress sides. Therefore, it helps to reduce any chances of the baby suffocating. You should make sure that the space between cannot fit two fingers stuck together. It’s a regulation that got enacted by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. This article will help you learn more about these regulations.

  1. Construction Structure

In the market, you will have a variety of materials used to make the mattresses. These include foam, innerspring, and organic mattresses. With foam mattress, they are less expensive in comparison to innerspring. Their thickness ranges between 3” to 6”. However, we advise that you consider picking a foam mattress that gets the specific design for babies. By doing this, you help to reduce the chances of SIDS or suffocation. Excellent foam made crib mattress should be firmer than softer.

An innerspring mattress is a better option than the foam crib beddings. You can evaluate the efficiency of the bedding by checking on the amount of steel used in the making. You can also consider purchasing organic mattresses. However, the materials used such as organic cotton and wool are expensive. In this way, this mattress type is more expensive in comparison to other mattresses.

With these types of mattresses, you’ll have a variety to consider. Therefore, you should spend time learning about the benefits of each brand. By understandings pros and cons for each mattress type, you can comfortably purchase a category of your choice.

  1. Weight

Another significant factor that you should consider checking is the weight of the crib mattress. For a foam mattress, consider picking a weight that ranges between 7 to 8 pounds. The density can, however, rise to 20 pounds. For the innerspring baby mattresses, you should run for something that ranges between 15 and 30 pounds of weight.

Charles 🇵🇭

  1. Double Side Mattress

It’s possible that you have seen some mattresses marked 2-stage while in the market. What it means is that one side of the bedding is firmer and the other one softer. You can use the firmer surface for infants while the fainter side will perfectly suit the toddlers. You, therefore, stand a chance to reuse the mattress as your baby develops in different stages.

However, whether to turn the mattress should not be a random choice. You should consider talking with a pediatrician before making the final decision. Also, before you can purchase the bedding, you should check for a tag showing which side is firmer and which one is softer. If the label is missing, ignore that particular product.

  1. Air Venting

When you purchase a mattress, you should consider buying one that has a proper venting. The cover should be in a position to ensure sufficient airflow throughout the bedding. The venting should also assure that the baby can adequately breathe without any complications.

There are chances that the baby will roll and sleep on their stomach. When such a situation happens, and the beddings lack proper venting, the baby can suffocate and die. A flawlessly vented mattress should consist of side vents to keep the air moving correctly.

  1. The Cost

The cost of bedding is also an ideal factor on how to choose a crib mattress for your nursery. You should consider a price that comfortably fits into your budget. From the statistics, a perfect quality mattress will sell at the cost of approximately $90 to $200.

It’s good to note that, higher prices means extra unique features incorporated. Take an example of someone shopping for an organically manufactured mattress. Or a cushion that comes with an allergen-reducing cover. Such a buffer will not sell for a price of less than $190. You can, however, find crib mattresses that cost as low as $40 but the quality is not up to standards.

The best thing to do when it comes to cost is not to consider saving money. If you want something that is perfectly comfortable for your baby, be ready to spend as much as possible.

  1. Crib Mattress certification

The first certification for a standard mattress is the Consumer Product Safety Commission certificate. If you’re purchasing the bedding in the US, you should also check if it passes the “American Society for Testing and Materials.” You can as well check on other certifications such as the Global Organic Textile Standards. The GOTS is a regulation that runs all organically made textiles. The procedures call for 70% organic fibers in the making of the product.

The Final Verdict

When you consider selecting a mattress, you should always think of the comfort and safety of your baby. For proper guidelines of safe baby sleep, consider these tips, which will help you make sure that your kid sleeps safe and out of possible injuries. Don’t worry about the cost of the mattress if the quality is your drive. Make sure to purchase the best to make sure that your baby enjoys the comfort of the bed. Also, make sure to check on the presence of all independent certifications if you aim to buy the best.

Using Shade Trees to Enhance Your Family Garden

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If you have the space to do so, planting a tree or two in your garden is a very good idea. Doing so will enhance your home as well as be good for the planet.

There are many different types of trees you could use. But, today, I thought I would look specifically at shade trees. As you can see here there are dozens of varieties for you could potentially plant. All you need to do is to select the right one for one of the projects below.

Create a shady spot in your garden

Unsurprisingly, most people use shade trees to create somewhere cool they can go and sit. To do that all you need to do is to select a variety that will grow in your climate, plant it and wait for it to grow.

Once it is mature enough you can build a nice bench around the trunk. This type of seating is surprisingly easy to create. It will great and this type of bench is surprisingly comfortable. There is something really special about sitting with your back up against a tree on a warm summer’s day. It is a great way to while away a couple of hours reading a book or perhaps resting a chessboard on the bench and playing a game with someone.

Hung Tran

Protect your home from the elements

Shade trees can do far more than just provide somewhere cool for you to sit. They can also be used to keep your home cooler in the summer. Provided you plant them in the right spot they will cast a significant shadow over your home, which will help to keep it cooler. Using this method it is possible to shave a significant amount off of your summer electric bill. You will rarely have to use fans or air-conditioning.

Create a tree house

If you have the space to plant some of the larger varieties of shade tree, in time, you may be able to create a tree house. These are a wonderful addition to any home. They have the potential to be used in lots of different ways.

Gone are the days where tree houses were only for kid. Increasingly, home owners are turning them into retreats for the adults in the family. They are an especially good place to meditate or sleep. There is something really relaxing about being as close to nature as you are when you are in a tree house.

Hopefully, you will like one of the above ideas and be motivated to plant a tree in your garden. But, before you go out and buy one, I suggest that you go online and do a little more research into the varieties that have caught your eye. There are a few things you need to bear in mind to make sure that you end up buying the type of trees that are suitable for your garden and family. It is really easy to find out what you need to know online, especially if you take that advice from local government websites.

House Hunting The Parental Way

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Any house hunter is sure to have a pretty long list of requirements about what they’d like to see in a potential property. Most of us only even agree to view a house if it ticks enough of our boxes to satisfy. Typically, lists like these include things such as outside space, off-street parking, and a set amount of bedrooms. You know; all the standards.

When you’re house hunting with kids in tow, though, your list of requirements may start to look a little different. Obviously, the above pointers will still matter to you, especially that outside space. But, you may also find that you need to take a whole load of other stuff into account as well. That’s not surprising when you consider how much your priorities change when children come into your life.

If you’ve only ever bought a house without kids, then, don’t think you can jump straight back into the buying process. Instead, make sure that you buy a family-friendly home by adding the following essentials to your list.

Room for growth

Even if you aren’t planning to have any more children, the ones you do have are sure to grow at some stage. And, when they do, you need to make sure that your house can accommodate the change. Even if you’re happy to let young kids share a bedroom, this arrangement might not serve once they reach their teen years. Two teen boys in a single bedroom is never going to work. Instead, make sure that your new house at least provides expansion opportunities. Simply check for potential conversions or extensions through companies like www.planningportal.co.uk. That way, you can guarantee that your kiddies will never outgrow that space.

Allen Taylor

What about the community?

A community is, of course, always important when it comes to house hunting. That applies whether you’re single or moving in the whole family. In fact, location is often top of the requirements list for this exact reason. Believe it or not, though, a community is even more critical where kids are concerned. That’s because any parent dreams of an area where their kids can play outside. Far from just checking crime statistics and such, you’ll also want to take a look at what’s going on in the street. Areas with high traffic and no visible kids could be a no-go. By comparison, moving into an estate like those built by redrow.co.uk pretty much guarantees a communal feel. That way, your kids can safely head out to play with your neighbour’s children anytime it takes their fancy.

Are there schools nearby?

When you don’t have children, living near a school is off-putting if anything. As soon as kids come into your life, though, proximity to a well-reviewed school becomes a real priority. The closer you are, after all, the more convenient the school run looks set to be each day. You may also find that close proximity helps your children focus by encouraging them into various after school activities and study sessions. While focusing your search solely around set schools may be a little limiting, it’s always worth checking if there’s a successful option within walking distance. You should find that there are many houses close to some of the best-rated schools you could imagine. You could even book up to view the school on the same day as you look around the house. Just to be on the safe side!

Is there plenty to keep older kids entertained?

When children are young, most of us can’t imagine anything better than life in the countryside or quiet towns. There are so many benefits to options like these. Countryside living can teach youngsters a lot about nature. It can also ensure they play outside without ever needing to worry about excessive amounts of cars. The trouble is that these benefits don’t often stand the test of time. As much as you would like them to, your kids don’t stay young forever. Before you know it, they’re going to be hitting their teen years. When that happens, the countryside isn’t going to suit. They’ll be bored, restless, and probably resentful about living somewhere like that. Make sure it doesn’t happen by considering teen entertainment from each house. Something as simple as a youth club or a cinema could be all it takes. These are small things which can see your teen getting out rather than staying in and driving you all crazy. Without them, no family home could last as long as you’d like.

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis | Review

I was sent an Advanced Reader Copy of this book for the purpose of review. All thoughts are my own honest opinion. This post also contains affiliate links.

After being offered an ARC of Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis, I was wondering if I should have read her previous book ‘Girl, Wash Your Face‘ {affiliate link}, especially as so many of my friends had been raving about it in real life and on social media. But I was reassured that wasn’t the case so began reading this book.

Described as a shame-free plan for embracing and achieving your goals, it sounded just like a book I needed. I’m always pushing myself and striving to achieve my goals but it is true that so many of us feel shame when trying to better ourselves which we really shouldn’t.

Written by #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author, business podcaster and motivational speaker Rachel Hollis, the book urges women to stop apologizing for their desires, hopes and dreams and instead to go after them. Rachel is a well known bestselling author and lifestyle influencer with a global social media fanbase in the millions and a loving family. I’d heard a little about her before starting this book but found out so much more during my time reading it.

I’ve never been one for self help books, I’ve never been one for non fiction in general but I have found myself leaning towards non fiction in recent months. I was excited to see if Rachel’s advice could help me in any way.

Something I loved about the book is that it was sectioned into different parts. For instance, Part 1 was Excuses To Let Go Of and it was separated into little ‘chapters’ which were titled Excuse 1, Excuse 2 etc. The book was formed in three parts – Part 1 which was, of course, Excuses To Let Go Of; Part 2 which was Behaviors To Adopt and Part 3 was Skills To Acquire. In each part, the author details the various excuses, behaviors and skills that people use and handily provides anecdotes from her own life where applicable to show that she knows what she is talking about.

What I really enjoyed in the book was that you can see how the author has grown over the years. She always knew she wanted a New York Times #1 bestseller but had to work for it and had to wait many years before finally achieving that goal. She also talks about her first TV appearance on local TV and her appearance on the Today show, something she’d aspired to be on for many years – it was eight years between these two TV appearances and had sent hundreds and hundreds of pitches for TV appearances in the meantime with only a handful accepted in that time. It goes to show that you should never stop working towards your goals, despite how long it may take to achieve them.

Since finishing the book, I have found myself going back to certain sections to remind myself when I am not feeling especially confident about my goals. I know that they are achievable and what to do to achieve them but sometimes find myself struggling and need a kick up the bum to get myself back into action. This book is the perfect tonic for this, reminding me that it is okay to falter and stumble sometimes – we all do it. It is important to get back ‘on the horse’ though, so to speak.

If you are a woman constantly working towards your goals who is in need of a little bit of motivation and inspiration, then Girl, Stop Apologizing {affiliate link} is definitely worth adding to your bookshelves. The author is like a best friend, reminding you of your worth and telling you about what she has experienced so you can bond. She’s letting you know that if she can do it, so can you – and I’m certainly going to keep trying.