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!

kiqplan

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!

kiqplan1

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.

kiqplan2

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

Zebra Z-Grip Pens Review and Giveaway

I was delighted by this bundle of goodies from Zebra; I’m really enjoying my role as a National Stationery Week blogger!

pens

I do a lot of handwriting when I’m writing up research reports and I colour code each theme as I read through my research notes.

These new Z-Grip Smooth pens are lovely smooth writers in a wide range of colours, violet is my favourite and I love having a wide choice for coding data.

These are a brilliant everyday pen, and if you want something a bit more fun look no further than the Z-Grip Funky Brights, with fun animal print barrels bring a bit of humour to your writing with something a bit bright and jazzy!

z pens

Zebra Z-Grip Pens Review and Giveaway

If you’d like to jazz up your pencil case and write with something a bit different I have a treat instore for you, I have eight of these great pens to give away to one lucky reader, just enter via the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NSWbloglogo2

Book Review and Giveaway Peg Conley: Imagine the Life You’d Love to Live, Then Live It

Peg Conley has been an artist all her life, her watercolours are beautiful. After being a part of the corporate world for 25 years, Peg had an aha! moment after telling herself, “Imagine the life you want to live, then live it. It’s that simple.” Along with her family’s support, she was able her to move to San Francisco to pursue art and start a business based on her artisan stationery.

ImaginetheLife-214x300

Now she’s written about making our goals happen; have you ever had the means to meet a goal or fulfill a dream but couldn’t find that bit of motivation to take that first step? Imagine the Life You’d Love to Live, Then Live It could be just the kick start you need.

Separated into 52 chapters that offer both small steps and huge leaps in growth and advice for each week of the year each chapter is carefully crafted to offer words of wisdom and encouragement in Peg’s quietly reflective voice.  I recently started journalling as a way to help me map some of my bigger life goals and work out the direction I’d like to take my working life in as well as our family life, I suppose doing this has helped me to be more mindful and work on my ‘presence’.  Peg’s chapter on journalling is a great way to get started and is probably one of my favourite chapters.

An inspirational read

Talking to friends about what I’ve been reading has sparked some really interesting conversations, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite lines from the book to give you a flavour:

There’s an exercise in the book about visioning – “imagine, what will your life be like in 10 years if you stay within your comfort zone? What if, instead you continually expand your boundaries from the comfort zone to the courage zone” – this exercise really helped me to set some solid goals for 2015, Conley includes quotes about courage to inspire and encourage and I felt re-energised after some very tough weeks at work where I felt I’d lost my sense of purpose.

There’s also a section on creating a calming space in the home that inspired me to reclaim our bedroom from toys, Conley asks “where can you find a physical space that can become a sanctuary for you to retreat to?” – I feel like my head can feel cluttered if I don’t have somewhere calm to think so this section really made me think about other areas of the house that I could keep less cluttered to release my mind from clutter too!

And finally another great chapter for the New Year is about doing something to discipline yourself, this appeals to me as I tend to procrastinate and put things off but I 100% feel great about myself if I kick a habit or manage to start a new one. Conley uses the idea that you can “do anything for 15 minutes” to shift the inner voice that says “I can’t”

Want to give the book a go yourself?

I have three copies of this brilliant inspirational book to giveaway, please enter using the rafflecopter form and read the T&Cs (UK entries only).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 Days of Christmas with Treat Republic

12 Days of Christmas

Welcome to the 6th Day of Christmas! halfway through our 12 day extravaganza and we’ve some brilliant treats lined up for you, and a few surprises along the way too!

Today’s giveaway comes from Treat Republic who have kindly given us a Children’s Fine Egyptian Cotton Bath Hooded Robe (size fits 3 years to 5 years) to give away to one lucky entrant!

Treat Republic pride themselves in bringing the personal touch to special occasions, who doesn’t love to see their name, or their little one’s name on that perfect ‘just for them’ gift?

treatrepublic
This is a gorgeous cosy robe which can be personalised with your little one’s monogram for a touch of luxury this Christmas!

fine-egyptian-cotton-bath-hooded-robe-child-size_per467-001.jpg

For your chance to win this fabulous prize simply complete the Rafflecopter below. Good luck. The winner will be announced on 13th December.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: We have not been compensated in any way for running this giveaway.

Giveaway: Getting ready for Christmas with 3M

I have some exciting things coming up on the blog soon, throughout December I’ll be running some amazing giveaways in collaboration with other bloggers and some top brands and bringing you great gift guides designed to take the stress out of present choosing!

Now that we’re in the run up to that period, we’ll need some supplies to help us with wrapping.  3M, makers of Scotch Tape, have kindly stepped in to help kick start the process!

I have started wrapping a few bits and bobs to send abroad and I’ve been using my new trusty 3M kitty dispenser to make wrapping a doddle!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

How handy is this little guy!  I don’t have to search for the rolls of tape and scissors in my kitchen drawers anymore and I can use it one handed too!
3M cat dispenser

You might remember this 3M craft post Joss and I wrote earlier this year, there are more uses to Scotch Magic Tape than wrapping alone!

Retailing at £8.99 this would make a sweet secret Santa gift for that stationery lover in your office, or a cool stocking filler to brighten up a desk space.

Giveaway: Getting ready for Christmas with 3M

The lovely folk at 3M have given me two dispensers in the range to giveaway.  Ralph the dog and this handy footballer will make your wrapping a breeze!  I’m giving away Ralph on my Facebook page here, and the footballer via the rafflecopter form below, so two lucky blog readers will receive their own dispenser for the holiday season!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

dog and footballer

T&Cs UK entries only, winner will be announced 24 hours after competition post closes and prize will be sent within 7 days of my receiving your address. There is no cash alternative.

Sugru review and giveaway

Merry Fixmas from Sugru! 

Sugru is a highly addictive mouldable glue, a crafter’s dream and a great addition to any home.  It’s a new wonder material that feels like play dough but acts like superglue and sticks to pretty much anything!

UA1Jqd3eSKu-2pTBsKLC

Sugru review and giveaway

I’ve spent this week with my Sugru multipack fixing and sticking; I started with a pack of black Sugru and fixed a hole in the sole of my favourite winter boots and patched the seal on our washing machine, then I hit Pinterest and saw some great ideas for using Sugru to make your own coloured key covers so I can now quickly find my housekey in vibrant red, and finally I set about making some fun stamps moulding strips of Sugru to form a shell shape and embossing then sticking to a bottle top for a quick crafty fix.  Left to cure for 24 hours the Sugru putty cures and becomes a firm silicone, completely waterproof.

Sugru review and giveaway

Each pack of Sugru stays mouldable for 30 minutes so you can really work the putty to form a firm bond and shape it to suit you.  I am delighted with the results, I thought my winter boots were past their best when the cobbler said they’d be over £30 to resole and they couldn’t be sure they could definitely do the job, they’re lovely boots and thanks to a spot of Sugru they’re fixed and waterproofed again.  I really liked the ideas on the Sugru website, especially using Sugru to colour code, fix or secure wires for cameras and mobile phones as these break really frequently in this house!

Giveaway

Sugru have introduced a new range of colours this Christmas (- available from 21 November) all packaged neatly into Limited Edition tins – a perfect stocking filler or secret santa gift! Priced at £9.99 each give your loved ones a Merry Fixmas with these great value sets exclusively available from Sugru.com  the lovely Sugru team have given me a tin containing five of the new colours to inspire some creative DIY in my readers!

Sugru review and giveaway2

From fixing broken toys to making childproofed corners and patching up winter boots, you’re sure to find something to Sugru!

To enter this giveaway simply use the Rafflecopter tool below, terms and conditions as follows; UK postage only, winners notified within 24 hours of the giveaway closing, responsibility for sending out prizes is with the press team associated with the brand, there is no cash alternative or prize alternative.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Natural ice lollies for babies with Nuby Fruitsicles

Nuby Garden Fresh

Nuby’s new Garden Fresh range gets a big thumbs up for promoting home cooking, designed for less waste so that home prepared food can be stored and frozen it prides itself on supporting Mummy Made Goodness.

We try to avoid processed foods where possible and I’ve always made home cooked meals for Joss so this range has big appeal taking you from preparing and storing through to serving up foods for your little one.  New products like the Fruitsicles for making fresh ice lollies at home join old favourites like the Nibbler and weaning spoons, the range is really versatile and comes in lovely bright appealing colours for kids.

We often meet with friends we met through the baby led weaning group I co-run, we get together once a month or so to share food with our little ones, we sometimes get joined by new mums who are interested in baby led weaning and share recipes and ideas for home cooking that the whole family can enjoy (it’s where the idea for these potato pancakes came from, saving leftovers to make something totally different!).

Natural ice lollies for babies

As we’ve been having a spell of good weather  I prepped a big batch of Fruitsicles for our meeting last week, as well as our famous fruity pack a punch toddler flapjacks! In keeping with the all natural theme we had bowls of blueberries and raspberries, yogurt smoothies and homemade houmous, yum!

The fruitsicles I prepared were jam-packed with fresh strawberries and two oranges that I had whizzed up in my blender, I kept it to a fairly thick pulpy consistency and then popped spoons of the mixture into the moulds.  Each Fruitsicle is filled with two teaspoons of pureed fruit and so they’re great for portion control for babies and toddlers, and the soft grip handles are perfect for little hands.

fruitsicles

We met in the park and started with the Fruitsicles before they melted, they were  a big hit, I had one too (for taste test purposes of course!) and these all natural ice lollies were really fruity and naturally sweet!  I later made up a batch using some of the leftover yogurt smoothies but they were so popular they were gone before I could get the camera out (natural yogurt, banana and raspberry if you’re wondering how they were made!)

fruitsicles 2

Giveaway time!

Nuby have kindly given me a bundle of Garden Fresh products to give away including:

  • Fruitsicles

  • Nibbler

  • Suction Bowls

  • Coverall Bib

  • Grip N Sip Cup

win a nuby weaning bundle

If you’d like to get your hands on this huge bundle of goodies simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget and leave a comment on this post

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT – WELL DONE EMMA!

T&Cs – UK entries only, there is no cash alternative, winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter and informed within 24 hours of competition close

Competition Time: The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women Reviewed

I have many books from publishing house Pinter & Martin, they “publish authors who challenge the status quo and specialise in psychology, pregnancy, birth & parenting and health”

The Roar Behind the Silence and Rediscovering Birth featured in my research dissertation and I’ve recently been given Kiss Me by a friend, these are books that appeal to my interest in health, wellbeing and loosely to attachment parenting too.

I was delighted to receive a copy of The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women by Lehla Eldridge and am happy to have a copy to offer to another Wonderful woman so do enter using the Rafflecopter, dear readers!

index

This book is essentially a gorgeously illustrated guide to seeking health and wellness for women, it’s full of ideas for treating yourself kindly and don’t we all need a bit of that from time to time? There were some suggestions that I found hugely appealing:

WP_004898

Others reminded me to take action, to call a friend and to take off my chipped nail polish and treat myself to a spot of pampering

WP_004897

The illustrations are beautiful:

WP_004902

I have one copy of the book to give away, enter using the Rafflecopter and comment on this blog post telling me about a wonderful woman you know

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you would like to buy your own copy do so from www.pinterandmartin.com and use code lbblog20 and you’ll get 20% off and free post and packing

T&Cs apply, UK entrants only, random choosing of a winner via rafflecopter will be announced within 24 hours of closing, P&M are responsible for sending out the prize, there is no cash alternative.