Kiqplan Review and Giveaway

I first heard of Kiqplan when a friend told me she was using their fitness app to train for Race for Life (Kiqplan is RfL’s official training partner).  Kiqplans are 12 week training packs and there are 8 Kiqplans to choose from, I am reviewing Slim and Trim, which aims to help women of all sizes with weight loss and toning, I am very happy to report that six weeks in I have lost 6lbs (my goal is to lose 10lb) but more importantly, I’m thinking differently about me!

The Kiqplan syncs to your activity tracker to help you track diet, exercise and weight loss – syncing to Fitbug products, Fitbit products, Nike+, Apple trackers, Jawbone and more.  I am reviewing Kiqplan with a Fitbug Orb, which I received to help me write this review.  A nifty little watch type device that I have become rather attached to!

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Priced at £19.99 the app kick started me into a 12 week plan to help me become fitter, healthier and more aware of my personal goals. The virtual coaching model helps encourage and keep me on track.

Before I started I hadn’t used a fitness tracker product, I was fearful that I would hit nowhere near 10,000 steps a day but was pleasantly surprised by the activity levels I achieve in my daily car-free life, this was before my evening walk on a work day, so hitting 11,000ish was a pleasant surprise and told me that I’m not as sedentary as I thought!  Oh and don’t be alarmed, I do sleep more than zero hours, I just didn’t log it this day!

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Tracking my activity levels was great, but the really appealing thing for me is the food and nutrition aspect of Kiqplan, pre-loaded with lots of my usual Aldi products it was so easy to track my food intake, a pleasant surprise as I have struggled with this on popular lifestyle plans. Logging my daily water intake was useful, I’ve not done this before, but had my eight glasses once I got used to checking in throughout the day.

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The guided exercise videos made exercising at home easy, no excuses when you can log in and dive straight into a session, and they were so easy to follow that they quickly formed part of my evening routine!

I’m totally converted to tracking now, and would definately explore the other plans on offer when I finish up with Slim and Trim, I’m happy with the results and enjoying being a bit more mindful about how I eat, rest and move!

If you’d like to try the Slim and Trim programme I have a 12 week subscription to give away, just follow the Rafflecopter instructions to be in with a chance of winning!  The winner will get a Kiqplan pack worth £19.99 (you will need your own fitness tracking device as listed here, the prize is the code to access the app) – Terms and Conditions Apply

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received these review products to trial Kiqplan for 12 weeks, I will blog my progress and all views are my own

Wide Eyed Books: Nature’s Day

Wide Eyed Editions publish non-fiction books for children. Nature’s Day is the first Wide Eyed book I’ve seen, but it won’t be the last, it’s perfect for curious little minds and I was blown away by the attention to detail; from cover to cover it’s packed with facts and brilliantly detailed illustrations – some new creatures to learn (look at the gorgeous heron!) and lots of well known ones to shout out too!  J is just 3 but she has been enjoying a longer storytime for a while now, so introducing non-fiction books adds interest and opportunities to dip into learning too.

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Regular readers will know we are a family of nature lovers, Nature’s Day takes us not only through the seasons in the country, but in our homes and streets too, it really brings the great outdoors to life, and talks about bringing outdoors in too.  Spring is a firm favourite in this house, I love the speckled egg!

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There’s so much to look at and talk about on each page, J has always loved poring over books that give the opportunity to spot small details, so shouting out the characters on the cover was a fun start to the book!  The chickens were a firm favourite, so expressive!

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The cursive writing gives a nice touch, I think it makes this stand out as being a bit different, whilst this may be difficult for young readers it’s lovely for a book to be shared with a grown up; the hardback book and paper quality would make this a really special gift for a small nature lover!

Disclosure: I received this book from Wide Eyed Books for review purposes, all views are my own

Inkly Moments

During National Stationery Week we reviewed the Inkly cards service. Inkly recently added a new, free, feature to their app, called Inkly Moments, that is adding a little extra to my photos right now!

In the app you can upload a photo, add filters, text and choose from a wide range of stickers uniquely designed by Inkly to add a special touch to your photos, the fonts on offer are brilliant!  Here’s one I screenshotted before uploading to Instagram with #inklymoments

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Helpfully categorised into a wide range of topics such as ‘weddings’, ‘pets’ ‘birthdays’ and ‘baby and bump’ it’s quick and easy to find just the right sticker; you can then easily share your ‘Moment’ across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (or you can just save it to your mobile device).

I quite like those Instragram pics with text overlayed, you know the ones I mean? With inspirational words and quotes –  it’s easy to do with Inkly Moments – here’s a Birthday one I sent to a special friend this week, when I saw this poppy and photographed it I thought of her, so it makes a great birthday sticker!

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What will you create when you have your own Inkly Moment?

Disclaimer: I reviewed the free Inkly app Moments feature in exchange for Inkly card printing credits, all views are my own

Organic July Roundup

Welcome to July’s organic/health roundup! I have had the pleasure of reviewing some real treats this month!

First up I’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen thanks to Clearspring’s superb range of organic and vegan ingredients.  Browsing their site was a breath of fresh air, authentic Japanese and European ingredients and best of all products that I’ve struggled to source elsewhere like the jars of azuki beans and unsweetened baked beans!  I reviewed a selection of their products and am really impressed with the quality, the brown rice noodles are a big hit with our family (recipe and photos coming up later this month) and the miso paste was the best I’ve tried!  I urge you to take a look at the huge range on offer, especially if you’re in need of ‘free-from’ produce!

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Next up was new to the UK Grahams Skincare; Oz’s best selling natural skincare range for eczema and sensitive skin.  I loved the gloriously sunny packaging, what’s on the inside is great too; the shampoo soothed my itchy scalp and I loved the herbal scent, I found it to be a moisturising but non-oily shampoo which left a lovely fresh scent throughout the day, I generally prefer a ‘clear’ rather than cloudy shampoo and this gives a great wash.  The calendulis plus cream is a nourishing all-round moisturiser, a slightly thick consistency with a pleasant smell the cream sinks into the skin really easily and left my skin soft and comforted throughout the day, a great cream to get your skin ready for summer after the drying winter!

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A little bit of luxury came into our lives this month courtesy of the beautiful Little Butterfly range of baby / children’s organic certified skincare as seen in Vogue and Elle magazines.  I fell in love with the dreamy packaging, softly scented products and essential oil notes that evoked wonderful memories of baby massage and snuggly baby cuddles!  These products would clearly make a wonderful gift to a mother to be or newborn; they’re everything I look for in a baby gift with great attention to detail, the duck egg blue bottle tops and gorgeous product names (floating on clouds! – so evocative) are a case in point!  I absolutely adore the soft cucumber and nourishing buttermilk additions to these products, somehow they conjour up the smell of a new baby too, just divine in every possible way!

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Always on the lookout for new sources of organic clothing I was really interested to explore tinyleaf - small, local (Midlands based) and with a great ethos – 100% organic babywear with 100% water based inks and recycled cardboard gift tag even the packaging the products are sent out in is carefully thought through – 100% recycled bags keep your products wrapped up whilst inside the bag 100% recycled tissue papers and PVC free stickers mean there are no heavy pollutants or chemical toxins given off when incinerated. As you know I don’t have a tot small enough to fit into this super sweet cow print jumpsuit baby gro anymore but I wanted to see the quality of the cotton; they are supersoft and warm and the quality of the print work is brilliant, how fun is this cow design too! I really like the unisex prints; if you’re looking for a new baby gift that’s funky and eco-friendly this is for you!

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Back to skincare now with some great hair and facemasks, no photos of me wearing them (you don’t need to see that!) from the company formerly known as Montagne Jeunesse – now 7th Heaven. I used to spend my pocket money on these masks as a teen so I’m glad to see them going strong; with the addition of some vegan friendly and organic masks to the range this really appeals. The products I tried formed the basis for a perfect home spa evening, something I highly recommend, the coffee cocoa mud both smelled amazing and left my skin feeling reinvigorated!

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Last but not least something new on my radar in the form of Peau Naturelle‘s Organic anti blemish facial oil – organic teatree and lavender oils make this a relaxing treat for the skin and my stress breakout was lessened and soothed by the light blend of oils, just a few drops gives a smooth coverage and amazing scent – the oil is the brand’s flagship and at a great price (£9.99) this is definitely one to watch! (available to buy here)
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That’s all for this time folks – over to you – have you tried anything new that I might like to check out?