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(Last updated: 22/7/2014)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Guest Post - Kate from Family Fever

Kate Fever, Family Fever Blog, Summer Berry Muffins Recipe

Yay! Abby is healing from her chicken pox! While I prepare our delayed holiday, several lovely bloggers has agreed to keep you company. Do check their blogs out as well!

Today, we have the lovely Kate from Family Fever, who hosts the Tried & Tested linky and blogs about birth stories, parenting, family lifestyle and recipes, sharing a yummy Summer recipe with you. Thank you Kate, I'll try it out as soon as I get the chance!

Summer berry muffins

During the last few hot and sunny weeks, we have paid a fair few visits to the local pick your own farm, collecting punnets full of strawberries and raspberries. As well as eating them whole (some of them before we even leave the car park) and mixing them into smoothies, we also love to bake summer fruit muffins.

You will need:
·        300g plain flour
·        3 teaspoons baking powder
·        125g caster sugar
·        50g butter
·        3 eggs
·        4 tablespoons sunflower oil
·        1 teaspoon vanilla essence
·        150g natural yogurt
·        100g chopped strawberries
·        100g fresh raspberries

How to make your muffins:
·        Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together with a fork.
·        Melt the butter and add this to the flour mixture
·        Add the eggs, oil, vanilla essence and yogurt and gently fork everything together until just mixed – don’t overwork the mixture. Gently stir in the berries.
·        Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cases and bake at 200*C for 15 minutes until well risen – the tops should be golden brown and starting to crack.
·        Leave to cool – although we love to eat them warm, with some icecream melting over the top. Delicious!

You could mix this recipe up by using different berries – blueberries and cranberries work well and always seem more of a ‘winter’ muffin. We have also experimented with using flavoured natural yogurt, which gives a much sweeter taste. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Reliable Delivery

When the Government announced that part of the postal service will be privatised, I sympathised with the Royal Mail. We do like our local postmen, and then there is Postman Pat. However, as more and more of my parcels sent to me through First or Second Class Royal Mail service has gone missing, I thought that privatising postal service is not such a bad idea at all.

As a blogger who review a lot of things and constantly work with brands and their PRs, reputation is fairly important to me. I always make sure that I will let them know that items has arrived and if there is a delay in reviews. They don't give me things for free after all, and it's my job to make sure that they get something in return, let it be a review or feedback.

But the amount of missing parcels (One PR had to sent a 3rd one on Signed For as the replacement went missing as well) has kind of ruined my reputation, and at least a couple of PRs has stopped working with me now because of Royal Mail's incompetent service.

When I told Royal Mail to investigate, because the missing rate for my address is ridiculously high, they told me that it happens (it never happens to Signed For or Registered Posts though), and if I want it trackable and guaranteed that they will arrive me, I should tell brands and PRs to post parcels through Signed For/ Registered Post (These will never fall off the shelf or the back of the van).

As they left me no choice, I have started doing that this year, while feeling totally crap about myself. Who do I think I am, to ask brands to send me samples through Signed For, or else there is a chance I won't be receiving (aka reviewing) them?

So obviously some of them has ignored my request and a parcel went missing. And then I had 2 PRs emailing me back saying that they didn't understand why it was happening as my parcel was the only one out of the lot (to other bloggers) that has gone missing. This can only mean 2 things, either someone at Royal Mail has marked my address as "worth stealing her parcels", or I'm the one hiding all these untrackable parcels and either not work for them or make brands send me a replacement so I can enjoy double the fun.

Can you understand why I'm so angry with Royal Mail?

The ideal case of course is that all companies post their parcels through reliable delivery companies such as TNT, but I can also understand that it's not worth sending a sample worth about £6.99 with a similar or higher priced service. So I'll just have to cross my fingers and hope that PRs can understand my situation when it comes to Royal Mail.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

LEGO Mixels Series 2

LEGO Mixels series 2, Mixels Frosticon, Mixels Fang Gang

Ever since Abby was introduced to LEGO Mixels (series 1 featuring the yellow Electroids, red Infernites and black Cragsters), she has been eyeing on the opportunity to collect the rest of series 1, while waiting for the launch of series 2 and 3, as they contain the colour sets she loves.

The day of LEGO Mixels series 2 launch has come in time for Summer and she absolutely loves them! We were sent the blue Frosticon - Lunk and brown Fang Gang leader - Jawg to review (series 2 also comes with the orange Flexers tribe), and Abby actually like Jawg more than the blue Frosticon she was waiting for!

LEGO Mixels series 2, Mixels Frosticon, Mixels Fang Gang

LEGO Mixels series 2, Mixels Frosticon, Mixels Fang Gang

LEGO Mixels series 2, Mixels Frosticon, Mixels Fang Gang

Abby has no problem at all putting the funky looking Mixels together. I really like the blue Frosticon, and I'm now waiting for series 3 to launch so that we can get our hands on the green and purple tribes to arrive! With each packet priced at an affordable £2.99, we don't mind at all to collect all 9 tribes, and let Abby build the bigger combined Mixels!

Lego Mixels are aimed at 6 years +, but I caught Clay fixing the "broken" Lunk! I was really impressed and used the other playsets that came with our LEGO Family Bloggers Summer box to see how far he can go. More about that next time!

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