Perk Up Your Summer – Week Two

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Last week I told you about the mystery box I received from Perk!er as part of their Perk Up Your Summer Campaign, inside week ones box was a fun limbo set and some delicious Perk!er snack bars.

Today I’m talking about week two and what was in the mystery box. I have no idea what is in the mystery boxes until they arrive and I open them so it’s a lovely treat to receive the box and see what’s inside. Week two’s box contained a bottle of champagne, two cute glittery champagne glasses and two tubs of Perk!er snacks, Rock Road and Tiffin – Mmmmm.

The Perk!er snacks are great for picnics or for keeping in the cupboard for when you get peckish. The tubs contain bite size pieces of either Rocky Road or Tiffin. The great thing about the Perk!er snacks is they are gluten free which means they can be enjoyed by everyone, they tasted delicious and are great for sharing (if you’re feeling generous!).

I can’t remember the last time I had an alcoholic drink (it’s been a few years) so I was really looking forward to having a glass (or two) of champagne and spending a relaxing evening in the garden.

I decided to make the most of the lovely weather we have been having and decided to have a champagne picnic. I did some preparations the night before as I wanted to use the ice bucket so I filled around 20 ice bags (a tad excessive I know lol), almost 24 hours later and not all of the ice bags were frozen! Thankfully I did have enough ice to fill the bucket!

After filling up the ice bucket I laid out the picnic blanket (tartan – naturally!), got the radio out because what’s a picnic without some music and then opened the delicious tubs of Perk!er treats and had a good old natter with my sister Ashley.

We had a lovely evening, it was such a lovely way to relax and definitely perked up our Summer!

Check back again next week for week three’s mystery box!

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Perk Up Your Summer – Week One

I was recently asked if I would like to get involved with the Perk Up Your Summer campaign being run by Perk!er, it sounded like a lot of fun so  I jumped at the chance. Pek!er have been sending me a mystery box each week filled with fun and delicious items.

Unfortunately Royal Mail had other ideas and I only received the boxes this week but that did mean two fab mystery boxes in one week! So it wasn’t all bad!

Today I will be sharing with you what was in my first mystery box. Okay technically it wasn’t a box, but that’s a small technicality. Inside the package was a wooden limbo set and lots of yummy Perk!er treats!

I would be surprised if you haven’t heard of Perk!er but just in case let me tell you a bit about them. Perk!er is a new company that creates delicious gluten and wheat free food. There is a great range of products available including; porridge, cereals, bread and a range of delicious snacks.

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So back to the surprise ‘box’ and the super fun Limbo game that was inside. Limbo is a fantastic game and one that’s perfect for all ages, with the British weather being unpredictable it’s great that the set is small enough to be played indoors so the fun doesn’t have to stop if the weather turns.

Thankfully the weather has been amazing lately and I decided to take full advantage of this by setting up limbo in the garden along with the Perk!er treats to enjoy. My nephew Maxx and I had a lot of fun and lots of laughs playing with the limbo set. He thinks it’s the best thing ever and wants to play it all the time,  it’s a really fun game made even better with a couple of 5 minutes breaks in between games to enjoy our Perk!er treats!

I can see both Limbo and Perk!er making a regular appearance over the summer, with picnics, BBQ’s and days spent in the garden it’s going to provide hours of fun and help Perk Up My Summer!

The Perk!er treats I was sent are individually wrapped bars which are perfect for enjoying in the garden and great for picnics and lunchboxes. There are two flavours available, there’s the Tiffin bar which combines crunchy chocolate biscuit with honeycomb and raisins and covered in belgian milk chocolate and there’s the Rocky Road bar which is crunchy chocolate biscuit and soft marshmallow in a belgian milk chocolate then drizzled with white chocolate.

They are delicious! My favourite has to be the Tiffin bar where my sister and nephew both said they prefer the Rocky Road bar.

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A big thank you to Perk!er for sending out the mystery box. If you would like to Perk Up Your Summer head over the the Perk!er Facebook and Twitter page to keep up with the latest news.

Blogiversary giveaway with Jumbo

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I blogged about the fantastic Wasgij puzzle from Jumbo a couple of days ago which you can read here. The lovely people over at Jumbo have very kindly offered to provide some fantastic prizes as part of my Blogiversary celebration – yay! There will be 4 lucky winners who will each receive a Sofia the First puzzle (pictured above), perfect for those little princesses in your life.

Here’s a little bit of information on the puzzle up for grabs.

Disney Junior’s, ‘Sofia the First’ is an animated TV series that stars eight-year-old Sofia, the young girl who becomes a princess when her mother, Miranda, marries King Roland II of the kingdom Enchancia. Each episode features a cameo role from one of the Disney Princesses.

New for 2014, the series has been encapsulated by Jumbo Games into a range of magical puzzles for preschoolers. The new puzzles offer an enchanting opening into the fantasy world of Princess’, allowing every little girl to bring to life their favourite scenes while expanding their learning and development.

The Sofia the First puzzle would make a great Birthday or Christmas present and is great for those rainy days when you can’t get outdoors.  The puzzle contains 4×20 piece puzzles so little ones can have hours of fun building and rebuilding the different scenes. For your chance to win one of four Sofia the First enter the competition using the Rafflecopter form below.

You can find out more about Jumbo and view the full range of puzzles and games by visiting www.jumbo.eu.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Is insulin resistance hindering your weight loss?

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The latest information regarding weight loss connects the body’s fat storage rates and capacity to the levels of insulin in the bloodstream. This, in turn, is having an impact on how the experts examine diet and the way the body processes certain types of food. The information that weight loss and insulin are closely linked isn’t necessarily surprising to experts like Dr Joseph Ajaka:

“Insulin levels are very much related to fat cells and weight gain; whenever I perform liposuction on a diabetic patient, they will come back and tell me they have a reduced requirement of insulin.”

As a cosmetic surgeon, Dr Ajaka sees many patients who are struggling with the impact of weight gain, or the failure of weight loss programs.

Insulin and Weight Gain

Insulin is a hormone designed to regulate the body’s intake of glucose, or sugars. Insulin also stores fat very well. As the number one treatment for diabetes is insulin medications, weight gain often occurs during treatment for diabetes. This is because when you introduce insulin into the body, glucose is more easily absorbed into your cells. As a result of the glucose being stored in your cells, the glucose levels in your blood drop. For those suffering from diabetes that is good news. If your cells receive more glucose, or energy, than they need, your body stores this excess as fat. New research also indicates that the more insulin you introduce into your body, the more glucose your body stores. This decreases the amount of energy running around your body’s systems, actually causing feelings of hunger as your body sends out the biological signals for more fuel.

Insulin Resistance

Over time, your body may build up a resistance to insulin, something that certain dietary habits can make worse. Your body’s response is then to crave more insulin-high foods, in order to derive more energy from the carbohydrates your body is having trouble processing. The more fat-storing insulin hormone running around in your body, the harder it becomes to burn fat cells.

Weight gain as a result of insulin resistance has some specific indicators; difficulty losing weight is one. Any weight gain noticeably concentrated around the belly or abdomen is another. Extreme fatigue or tiredness, bloating, and sugar cravings are the other signs of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is also a precursor to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

Foods to Avoid

If you are trying to lose weight and you suspect insulin may have something to do with how difficult it is to shift those stubborn kilos, there are things you can do. Avoid highly processed carbohydrates, and while many know to steer clear of cakes and chips, keeping your body’s insulin levels under control also means reducing your intake of white rice, white bread, refined sugar, and even fruit juice.

With a specialised diet and exercise regimen, insulin resistance can be managed, and Type 2 diabetes staved off. It is very important however, to manage your weight as well as your diet and general fitness levels.

Do you know anyone with insulin resistance?

Wasgij Studio Tour Puzzle – Review

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I can’t remember the last time I sat down and completed a jigsaw puzzle, however something I do remember is how much I used to enjoy doing them.

I spend a lot of time working online which means having some down time away from technology is lovely, so when I was recently sent the new 1,500 piece Wasgij puzzle to try out I was really looking forward to getting stuck in and completing it. I had heard of wasgij puzzles before but wasn’t aware of the concept behind them, it certainly makes for a more challenging puzzle but a lot more fun too.

So what is the concept? Well with a traditional puzzle you have a picture of the completed jigsaw on the box to reference when building it, with Wasgij puzzles there are no pictures of the finished puzzle only clues as to what the finished puzzle depicts! I told you it was a fun concept!

Wasgij recently launched the first ever 1,500 piece Wasgij puzzle – Wasgij Original 22: Studio Tour (pictured above). The image depicted on the box shows a new tourist attraction being opened, you can see the tourists on the open top bus and the many tourists taking photographs of the attraction. The only thing you don’t see is what that attraction is, that’s your job as the puzzler to put together the puzzle and find out what the new attraction is and what everyone on the box is looking at.

Of course my nephew Maxx wanted to join in when he saw the puzzle and was shocked that it had 1,500 pieces. The first thing we did was to pick out all of the edge pieces and put the other pieces to the side so we could build the edge of the puzzle first – that’s how everyone does a puzzle right?!

So with a little help (thanks Ashley and Maxx) the edge of the puzzle was almost completed in around an hour, although I came across a small problem. I had too many edge pieces (how did that happen?), I knew that there weren’t actually too many edge pieces but I had obviously not completed the puzzle correctly and this is half the fun its trial and error. I had to find out where I had gone wrong and fix it.

I managed to fix the edge after much umming and ahhing but then I was on to the middle which took much more effort, I had to come up with a plan. I went through the box and found any patterns, signs or anything that had more than one piece and started putting those together and working on like that until I had completed the puzzle. It took me around a week to complete the puzzle spending a couple of hours on it a day (with a little help) and it really was a lot of fun to complete. I can’t share the finished puzzle with you as I don’t want to spoil it for others but the finished article looks great and I really enjoyed the challenge.

Not only did it give me a much needed break from technology but it definitely got me thinking and using my brain! Maxx also really enjoyed getting involved and I think a new Wasgij puzzle will be on my Christmas wish list for this year, I think I’m hooked!

The Wasgij Studio Tour puzzle has an rrp of £14.99. You can find news, hints and tips by visiting www.wasgij.com.

Fun Fact: Did you know Wasgij is Jigsaw backwards? Clever isn’t it!