Friday, 12 May 2017

Spy Game - Codenames Review and Giveaway

Initially I thought Codenames, an award winning card game looked a bit complicated, and wasn't sure if the kids will like it, but as soon as we had a go, we couldn't stop, and we almost over-ruled Clay who was planning to go out as we just wanted to keep playing to game!

Codenames is basically a word guessing game, where 2 teams of players have to work together to find out where all their cards are before the other team, avoiding instant death as they go. It's one of those games where you learn as you go, and you'll pick it up straight after the first round.

Read on to find out more.

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

Codenames (RRP £15.99, suitable for 10 years + and requires 2 to 8+ players) comes with:

8 Blue Agent Cards (double sided)
8 Red Agent Cards (double sided)
1 Double Agent Card (double sided)
7 Innocent Bystander Cards
1 Assassin Card
40 Key Cards
1 Card Stand
1 Rulebook
1 Timer
200 Codename Cards (double sided, ie 400 codenames)

The box also came with a few plastic resealable bags, which I assume are for you to store your cards.

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

Apart from the Key cards, the rest are all double sided. The agent and innocent bystander cards has a male on one side and female on the other. The quality of the cards are great too (click images to enlarge for a closer look).

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

To play the game (competitive mode), players are split into 2 teams, with 1 person in each team being the Spymaster and the rest Field Agents. The above picture shows the initial set up, with the edge of the Key card:

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

indicating which team starts the game first (this Key card wasn't the one used in the above set up. The edge would have been red instead).

To play the game, Spymasters take turn to look at the Key card to see where their Agents are. They will also see where the Assassin is (the Black square) and the Innocent Bystanders are (the beige squares).

Spymasters will then look at the Codenames on the table, and try to find a "Word" that will describe the Codename on the table, that is correspondent to their Agent.

For example, a Blue Agent (on the Key card) has a Codename Jet (on the table), so the Blue Spymaster have to say a word, for example "Plane" to his/ her Field Agents. The Spymaster will also tell them a number, indicating how many Codenames on the table that "Word" is related to. And then it's down to the Field Agents to guess the Codename, without helping the other team by choosing their Agent's Codename, or by choosing the Assassin to get an instant death.

You can play it with a time limit, but with younger children it's more fun without the extra tension.

This is how one of our game looked like:

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

That was a very intense game! After guessing the correct Codename, Field Agents had a chance to make another guess without any clues, which was quite okay to do at the beginning. But when there were less Codenames left on the table and we got closer to the Assassin, we all stopped doing our second guesses.

At the end someone picked the Assassin which ended the game (we were so close to winning!).

It was hilarious watching hubby the Red Spymaster telling Abby the Blue Spymaster off for giving a dangerous clue, leading to the possibility for me the Blue Field Agent a step closer to the Assassin, because none of us wanted to end the game sooner than needed!

So when I did a second guess on our first round in another game:

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

and got an instant death, I was told off by everyone hahaha!

You can also play a non-competitive mode where you work together as 1 team, and the Spymaster will reveal the opponent team's card every turn.

It might sound complicated at first because it's quite hard to describe each step, but as soon as you tried it, it's actually very easy to play, and very addictive too. With 400 Codenames and 40 Key cards that you can rotate, you can have plenty of fun without it getting repetitive.

For those who have younger children, Codenames also have a picture version - Codenames: Pictures. Do note that the age suitability have been revised (Codenames used to be suitable for 14 years+, but it's now 10+ on the new packaging, or at least the UK packaging. The new age suitability definitely makes more sense), and I'm sure Codenames: Pictures will be suitable for children younger than 10 (old packaging recommended it for 10+).

If you think this is you and your family's kind of game, here is a chance to win one! Simply follow the Rafflecopter's easy instructions and good luck! x

Prize: Codenames Game x 1

Giveaway ends: Sunday 28th May 2017 Midnight (where 00:01am is Monday)

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • The prize cannot be exchanged and no cash alternative will be offered.
  • To leave a comment, simply do so by either leaving it in this post's comment section (Disqus) or on Facebook under the giveaway's post. For Disqus, please make sure that you are not leaving comment as Anonymous, as I will not be able to check whether you've left one. If you have to comment as Anonymous, or if your Disqus ID is different from your Rafflecopter entry name, please add a means of ID on your comment that I can use to link it to your Rafflecopter entry. Unfortunately if I can't, your entry won't be counted.
  • Please make sure that your email account used to enter the Rafflecopter is active, and you do check the spam folder in case the email I sent you ended up there
  • All entries will be checked.
  • Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly
  • Winner will be announced by Wednesday 31st May 2017 on here, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Winner will have to respond to my email by Tuesday 6th June 2017 noon. A new winner will be chosen after the deadline.
  • The prize will be posted by the PR. I cannot be held responsible for missing parcels, but if you have any enquiry do let me know and I'll try my best to help
  • You can visit Di Coke's Rafflecopter Guide for Rafflecopter instructions
  • Please read Rafflecopter's privacy policy as well
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is also listed on:

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ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Crazy Creation with Num Noms Series 3

Have you been collecting the new Num Noms (series 3)? We had so much fun with these yummy smelling and adorable looking squishy collectibles! You can find our Num Noms series 3 and Lights series 1 launch post and what we did for Pancake Day with them (yum yum) in our previous post.

We've accepted a new challenge this time, to get inspired by the Num Noms series 3 and create a Num Noms Crazy Creation recipe! For the challenge, we've received:

Num Noms series 3 Lunchbox pack
Num Noms series 3 Marshamallows Starter Pack
Num Noms Series 3 Mystery Pack

to give us enough inspiration, as well as 2 chefs hats for the kids.

Num Noms series 3 collection, Num Noms Crazy Creation, Collectible scented toys

Num Noms series 3 collection, Num Noms Crazy Creation, Collectible scented toys

You can find our full review for the Num Noms series 3 Lunchbox packs through our series 3 launch and pancake day posts (links above). We adore the starter packs too, especially when they came into cute lunchboxes! These marshmallows looks divine, and it comes with an marshmallow Eraser Nom too.

We've received the Cheesy Burito Num from a mystery pack before, but the Nom is new to our collection. And here is our Num Noms series 3 collection, with a few missing:

Num Noms series 3 collection, Num Noms Crazy Creation, Collectible scented toys

We have plenty of inspiration for any yummy food, but it was definitely more challenging this time because we have to create something entirely new and obviously crazy! So I scrapped the original idea of a stir fry veg and Blueberry Ice-cream Banana Split (although this will be perfect for the kids to make), because although they will no doubt be delicious, it's just not crazy enough!

To make it easier, I limited the Num Noms ingredient I'll be using to Fruits only. And what goes better with fruit other than a savoury meat! We already know that ketchup and pineapple works well in the Chinese Takeaway Favourite - Sweet and Sour Chicken, and the French likes their duck with orange - Duck l'Orange. But what will be fruity, delicious yet crazy enough?

And we came up with...

Strawberries! With yummy ribs!

Unfortunately after doing a search online, it appeared that I'm not an inventor, and plenty of people have done it before! But hey! I did came up with it myself, and I also whipped up the recipe myself based on what I would do with other pork rib dishes. And it is crazy! So that counts for something right?

The result?

A finger licking good Strawberry Nom Ribs! (Funny how we kept missing the strawberry Nums from series 3, and only found half a strawberry Nom from the duo lip gloss haha)

You can more or less get the kids involved for this recipe too, by cleaning and cutting strawberries and preparing the strawberry glaze!

I think the Strawberry Nom Ribs is perfect for the meat and Strawberry season, its salty, sweet and sour flavours will work extremely well at a BBQ!

Here is the recipe:

Pack of Pork Ribs (ideally tenderised)

3 Tablespoon Light Soya Sauce
1 teaspoon Honey
1 teaspoon Salt
3 teaspoon Corn Starch/ Corn Flour

I didn't have a suitable liqueur, but if I do I would add a dash of strawberry/ rose/ lychee liqueur in here

Strawberry Glaze:
3 Tablespoon Strawberry Jam (the higher the fruit content the better)
2 Tablespoon White Wine/ Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dark Soya Sauce
1 teaspoon Light Soya Sauce
Salt and Sugar to adjust seasoning

Fresh Strawberries

1. Marinate the ribs, cover and set aside in the fridge for about 15 minutes

2. Mix the ingredients for the glaze, except the last one - salt and sugar

For Air Fryer users, set temperature to 180०C, and fry the ribs in batches for 8 to 10 minutes each batch (depending on how meaty the ribs are).
Otherwise deep fat fry until golden brown and cooked
Or place them on a barbie!

4. Transfer the ribs to a hot wok or large saute pan and stir fry the ribs with the strawberry jam glaze to give them a good coating. Turn the fire to the lowest and adjust flavouring according to your taste.

5. Plate up and garnish with strawberries. They will take on the meaty sauce without further cooking.

And enjoy!

Now what shall we try next, melon and chicken, or Vimto/ Ribena pork? Or even marshmallow fish?!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Getting Ready for Summer Holiday with Simply Be

Last year I've spent a lot of time getting fit, and although I'm happy with the result, this year I just don't feel like it. I've gained my weight back since, and have been worrying about what to wear when Summer is here.

Simply Be came to my rescue and offered me an opportunity to review something from their Summer Holiday clothes range, and I have found pieces in the selection that are both really comfortable and flattering!

Summer wardrobe 2017, ss17 fashion, Plus size fashion summer 2017

The items I went for are:

Pack of 2 Lace Trim Camisoles (Black/ Grey) - £20
Joe Browns Versatile Cami (Pink) - £15
Junarose Fringed Cardigan (Beige) - £38
Side Split Crop Trousers (Black) - £20

Summer wardrobe 2017, ss17 fashion, Plus size fashion summer 2017

And I also went for Tanya Burr By Eye Candy Nail Polish in Mini Marshmallows (£7), which I think is a really cute colour (it's like a light coral colour, perfect for this Summer), but a bit hard for me to apply.

Summer wardrobe 2017, ss17 fashion, Plus size fashion summer 2017

Summer wardrobe 2017, ss17 fashion, Plus size fashion summer 2017

Summer wardrobe 2017, ss17 fashion, Plus size fashion summer 2017

Although the 2 camisoles in the pack has the same design with a lovely lace trim at the top, the fabric used for the camies are different. They both feel lovely, but the grey is denser like a cotton t-shirt, and is more body hugging. The black is lighter, softer, and the fitting (loose at the right places) makes it quite flattering. It's definitely my favourite piece!

Summer wardrobe 2017, ss17 fashion, Plus size fashion summer 2017

Summer wardrobe 2017, ss17 fashion, Plus size fashion summer 2017

My pictures aren't doing the trousers justice! They came baggier and slightly shorter than I expect (probably because of the size I chose), but they are extremely comfortable! They are light and floaty, and because it's only elasticated at the back of the waist, the front doesn't have the folds normal elasticated pants do, making them look a lot nicer.

I think I'm going to wear this all Summer because it looks and feels really good!

Summer wardrobe 2017, ss17 fashion, Plus size fashion summer 2017

Summer wardrobe 2017, ss17 fashion, Plus size fashion summer 2017

I chose Joe Browns Cami because the colour is so cheerful! I can't possibly spend the whole Summer in black after all! The fabric is crinkly, slightly denser than the black cami above but still falls nicely in places so it's very comfy. You can also adjust the straps for an even better fit.

Summer wardrobe 2017, ss17 fashion, Plus size fashion summer 2017

You can't not have a cardigan with the British weather hehe. At the moment it's still quite cool at times, so this Junarose Fringed cardigan, which will match the tops above perfectly, will come in handy. I really like the design and the tassles, although I think with my body shape and height, a longer one (with shorter tassles maybe) will suit me a bit more, to make me look slightly taller.

Overall I'm really happy with the clothes from Simply Be. There are plenty of great quality choices from different brands, and considerate designs for plus size ladies. I'll definitely be shopping with them again!