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Crock- Pot Express Cook Multi-Cooker Review

I love cooking - when I have the time, which is rarely these days. You kind of don't understand how much time kids take up until you have them. Before you know it, its 4.30pm and there are 2 kids who are hungry (well they are always hungry), tired, and arguing with each other  - and you are trying to think of something that is going to be as quick as possible to make for dinner, because any longer in the kitchen the kids are going to totally trash the house.
When I was recently asked if I would like to try out the Crock-Pot Express Cook Multi-Cooker, I was  intrigued to see if this would indeed make my life easier when it comes to dinner time.

Now, I am the first to admit that pressure cookers scare the heck out of me, I have never owned, let alone used one before, but I have heard horror stories about them, so have always steered clear of them, opting for my trusty slow cooker instead.

My Crock-Pot arrived, and I planned my meal (simple - slow cooked lamb - pressure cooker style). I got everything ready, and waited until hubby came home, so that he could release the pressure, because I was too scared. After watching him do it, and seeing how easy it is, I was super excited to test it out properly for myself - lets just say, I don't think I have turned the stove on in the last week.    

What I Love about it:
  •  From Sauté to Steam, Slow Cook to Pressure Cook it does it all - in on pot, quickly!
  • Its quick - I made spaghetti bolognaise in 15 minutes - in one pot (and it was so good). In general it cooks meals up to 70% faster thanks to its powerful cooking mechanisms inside.
  • I can just pop it on and walk away - it beeps when its ready, and then goes to warming mode, so it keeps the food nice and warm until you are ready to eat it.
  • Its great for entertaining, you can cook for everyone all at once (as it has a 5.7l non stick pot), and you can actually spend time with your guests and not slogged over the stove.
  • Its so easy to use, and not at all scary, if you have pressure cooker phobia - don't worry this will take your worries away, and will have you wondering why you never tried them out before.
  • It has 7 one touch meal options - so it does all the thinking for you, simply place you food in the pot - close the lid, press your desired setting, and press start.
The Crock-Pot Express comes with a recipe book, steaming rack (I have not tried this out yet), and serving spoon. The cooking pot is non stick, and so light and best of all is dishwasher safe. The recipes look super yummy - I based my lamb dish off the one in the recipe book, and it was absolutely delicious. 

It's honestly a must have for any household, you don't know what you are missing out on until you have one, it makes life just that little bit easier, and clean ups a breeze. It RRP's in NZ for $249.99, and in AUS for $149.99, which is a bargain when you consider all the things it does.

Be sure to follow along on my Instagram stories - as I have been and will continue to share my crock pot express adventures on there.

*we were sent the Crock-Pot Express Cook  to review- all opinions are my own.

PROTECT-A-BED - Protect - Your - Bed

When I think of mattress protectors, I think of those plastic fitted sheets that go on the mattress, and crinkle and make the sheets move around constantly - the kids loathed them, and I eventually chucked them away. So for the last while, we have not been using anything - which freaks me out in so many ways, not only because we still have the very occasional wet bed, but they are breeding ground for dust mites and dead skin cells - and these don't go well with my eczema prone kids.

Over the last while, my kids have been trailing the Tencel range of mattress protectors from Protect-A-Bed , and all I can say is WOW!
Both my kids are eczema sufferers - and even more so in winter, so when I saw that the Signature Tencel Range of protectors were recommended for Eczema and Sensitive skin - I was sold.
This is due to it having a super smooth fibre structure that is non irritating to the skin. Plus the miracle layer (which all the waterproof mattress protectors have) provides a barrier from those pesky dust mites (which are a known trigger and irritant for eczema).

We love so many things about about the Tencel Signature Series, and have listed a few below:
  • The SIGNATURE TENCEL, TRADITIONAL COTTON QUILTED, and STAYNEW COTTON TERRY protectors are all endorsed by the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ's sensitive programme -  and also supports the Eczema association in NZ. (this is due to their dust mite and allergen barrier). 
  • The miracle layer is SILENT, breathable, and super comfortable - I slept on it, and it made no sound! This layer is exclusive to Protect-A-Bed and is waterproof (don't believe me - see my video below).
  • The fitted sheet expands to fit extra depth as well as standard mattresses - plus you can machine wash and tumble dry them.
  • They are stocked just about everywhere, plus they have a vast range of products for everyone in the family. I have eyed out the pillow protectors as our next investment (we are all dribblers - so I don't even want to think about what is lurking and breeding inside those).
  • PLUS - they have a 10 year stain-proof mattress guarantee*
This range of protectors are made from odourless wood-based fibres, which stay cool in summer, and warm in winter. This range also displays the red nose (SIDS and KIDS) logo on the infant and single sized products.

Every Mattress Needs Protection - make sure yours uses a Protect-A-Bed

*we were sent mattress protectors to review- all opinions are my own.
#protectabedau #protectabed #protectabedaustralia

Jelly Belly Popcorn Clouds

School holidays are round the corner (this is the first time I have had to worry about things like school holidays- so need all the help I can get), so why not make use of some of these fab ideas for keeping the kids entertained.

Jelly belly has a range of recipes that are all kid friendly and yummy!!!!

Today I am sharing their popcorn cloud recipe combining 3 of my favourites - jelly beans , white chocolate and jelly belly’s.

It's super simple - and no lie, they lasted about 1 day in our house!
So to make your own Popcorn Clouds follow the below:

So its super simple - you make the popcorn, and melt the white chocolate, and the combine.
My helpers added the Jelly Belly's at this time too - but the recipe says to just add the popcorn and chocolate and then place on a sheet of grease proof paper. Once this is done push down Jelly Belly's, and then leave to set (this is the hardest part!!!).

These are honestly SO good - I can see myself making them on a regular basis.
They are great for the kids to help with too - as its only 3 ingredients.

Definitely check out the Jelly Belly website - its packed full of great recipes, and will keep the kids busy these school holidays! Another of my favourites is the Movie Night Snack Mix - I am all for sweet and savoury - and think this will be added to my must make list.

* I was gifted Jelly Belly's for this post - but all opinions are my own.

Munch Reusable Produce Bags

When looking for environmentally friendly products, I always try and support local businesses.
If you follow me on Instagram you will see that we are generally a family who likes to help the environment as much as we can. We don't use plastic bags - I have (no lie) about 10+ large reusable shopping bags in my boot at all times, and try where possible not to have to use the produce plastic bags. I used to have some reusable cheap bags for produce, but they were not very supportive and tore, so binned them.
Munch Cupboard reusable produce bagsMunch Cupboard reusable produce bags

I was recently sent some new Reusable produce bags to try from Munch Cupboard.
There are so many things that I love about these bags - besides the obvious fact that they are reusable. They are locally made, eco-friendly, and use a sustainable workforce ( by parents for parents).

Munch Cupboard reusable produce bags
 I took my 3 new best friends on my weekly shop, and was amazed at their stretchability - they managed to hold my giant bunch of bananas quite happily without looking like the bag was going to explode at any moment.The three colours are great too - because I can use them for specific fruits and veg (I tend to buy the same fruit and veg weekly) - it also helps me remember what I need to get if I don't have my list with me (which happens quite a lot).

Munch Cupboard has so many awesome products that are all eco friendly, so other favourites of mine are: The Bamboo Baby Spoons, Beeswax Food Wraps, and the Litterless Lunch bags (I need these for my kids). Their website is packed full on info and great products, so make sure to check them out when you hop on to pick up a pack of these bags :).

Munch Cupboard reusable produce bagsMunch Cupboard reusable produce bags
They are great value for money, long lasting (I have put them through the test) - easy to use, stretchy and great value for money at $19.99 per set of 3 - which come in 2 sizes, so handy for the big and small items. These little gems now have a place in my handbag - so I (a) don't forget about them, and (b) can make sure where ever I am - I have no excuse but to go plastic bag free!

* I was gifted a pack of these to try. All opinions etc are my own.
#organicproductbags #buynz #munchcupboard