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EasiYo Yogurt Maker

This week I was excited to receive another product to trial from Kidspot NZ Mums Say – an Easiyo Yogurt Starter Pack.

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I love yogurt – I’m not a huge breakfast eater and I’m wheat intolerant so tend to steer clear of bread. But yogurt, I love. And I’ve recently discovered Chia Puddings, which are amazingly delicious (once you get past the fact it looks a bit like fish eggs!).

But, it’s not all about me.

Princess adores yogurt, always has. BoyChild will devour chocolate dairy food but, until recently, has refused fruit-based yogurt. I say, “until recently”, because over the school holidays he tasted, and enjoyed, some thick strawberry yogurt. I really wanted to trial this yogurt maker, so I could test and play with different flavour varieties in the hopes of finding something he will eat. Goodness knows he could do with the calcium, and yogurt makers such as these have the added advantage that (a) you know what is going into your food, and (b) you have control over portion sizes. I say as I wolf down an entire bowl of the stuff. I’m in control what.

Now, BabyGirl is still allergic to dairy products, though we are slowly introducing different things for her. My goal with this yogurt maker, is to create a nice dairy free yogurt for her. I will keep you all posted on how I go, I think it will be trial and error combined with a lot of time (and maybe a few swear words along the way), but the end game is crucial – she loves yogurt, and Soy yogurt from the store is not cheap. I will also give her very small doses of the Easiyo stuff that I make, to test her reactions in a controlled way.

Right, so that’s my plan.

Getting home and finding a box on the doorstep always brings a mix of emotions – excitement, combined with “did I order something and can’t remember?!”. It happens, especially when you know your credit card off by heart and are often awake at 1am.

I quickly got onto making the yogurt, so we would have it over the weekend.

The starter pack came with the urn-shaped … um … thing that you put the .. um … other thing into. Don’t be jealous of my science-y terms. Right. Anyway.

I decided to make the strawberry flavour first, as it is more kid-friendly than Greek. I am going to savour the Greek until I can enjoy it. Alone. Mwa ha ha.

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It is so easy to use an Easiyo maker –

  1. Boil the jug
  2. Into the smaller container, fill it halfway (there is actually a line on the side, which I didn’t see until afterwards!) with tepid water. I used tap water. Add in the entire sachet of yogurt mix, put on the lid, and shake, shake, shake. Sing Taylor Swift’s “shake it off” if you like. Or, “Shake-shake-shake, shake-shake-shake, shake your booooooooo-tay”. Whichever you prefer. Or, pretend to be Tom Cruise in Cocktail.
  3. Once mixed, fill up completely to the top (there is another line marked) with more tepid water. Shake some more. Go on, Tom. Give it your all.
  4. Pick up the container that you just dropped due to over-vigorous, mock-cocktail shaking. In the bigger part (the bit that looks like a time capsule), there should be a “spacer” which serves to hold the smaller container inside. Once the spacer is inside and down as far as it will go, pour in boiling water until it reaches the top of the spacer.  Put the small container in (with the lid tightly on!) and put the main lid on.
  5. Leave it to sit for 8-12 hours. I did overnight.

Result? Amazingly thick, creamy, delicious yoghurt. SO good. SO easy. Yo.

See what I did there? Boom.

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I’m excited to use this a lot more, it’s a cheaper alternative, and I can’t wait to go crazy with sauces and toppings. FROZEN YOGURT OH MY GOSH IMMA MAKE FROZEN YOGURT.

Can’t. Wait.

For more info on Easiyo, check out their website. And, for NZ residents, they are currently offering the starter pack at a really great price. Well worth the investment, I say.

https://www.easiyo.com/easiyo-product-details/spso_nzonly.html

And, of course, for more reviews and review information, head over to Kidspot and their Facebook Page

 

Happy yogurt-ing!

 

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Diamond Pasta Footy Shapes Review

Kidspot is a great online resource for kiwi parents, and has a section called Mums Say, where parents are invited to be selected for product reviews. And we all know how much I like to review things!

Last week I was excited to receive a package of Diamond Pasta Footy Shapes.

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That’s right – pasta shaped like, well, rugby stuff. They are a-freakin-dorable. A little boot, a little rugby player, a sock and of course, a ball!

I think the only down side to these was their size – when I say little, I mean they are tiny, even when cooked. Nevertheless, the kids loved them. They were SO excited, particularly Princess, who did an “are-they-cooked-yet-are-they-cooked-yet” dance while they boiled away on the stove.

My kids aren’t big sauce eaters so I served the pasta as is, with some frozen veges and grated cheese (for Princess, since BabyGirl is allergic). The girls had a wonderfully creative game of “rugby” before giggling and chomping the pasta shapes down.

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Definitely a hit with the kids, and Princess asked me to make them for her lunch at school as well. So that’s a win, I say 🙂

For those of you who might be interested in more reviews like this, head over to the Kidspot page and sign up. It’s fun! And, for more information on Diamond Pasta, click here

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Snazzipants Modern Cloth Nappies

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I recently got given the opportunity to test and review some of these Snazzipants modern cloth nappies (or, MCNs). Now, Babygirl is still in nappies, but is on the tail end of it (self imposed toilet training – which really means, take off your nappy as soon as there is even the slightest dribble of wet in there. Which means, many, many wasted nappies). So, I jumped at the chance to trial a cloth nappy. Anything to save money!

I am no stranger to cloth nappies, I had some with the other kids, and we used them relatively regularly in the summer months, though I found the washing and drying too hard to keep up with in the winter. But the cost was certainly a major draw card. I had, however, handed these on to another friend when we made the move a few months ago, and regretted the decision!

I convinced BabyGirl to wear these Snazzipants (a job made easier by the gorgeous cat print!) by calling them her Fancy New Cat Knicker Nappies. Give it a fancy name and they are all over that! Babygirl wore this nappy on days when she just didn’t want to wear knickers, or on days when we had experienced accident #4 or #5 and Mummy just didn’t want her to wear knickers any more. She loved it. They are comfy and cute, as well as being absorbent and practical.

These nappies really are great – they come in three styles:

  • The All-In-One – easy to wash and dry, has an insert but this is not removable.
  • The Pocket Nappy – I think anyone who knows MCNs will find this one the most familiar – you can remove the insert and wash it separately, which makes drying time faster.
  • The Pul Cover – This essentially is just an outer, you use it with a cotton inner, folded on top. These are good in that you can change the inner, and continue to use the outer (unless you are struck with a poonami situation. Then the whole thing goes in the wash).

I understand that cloth nappies aren’t for everyone, but it’s one of those things that didn’t think I would be into, and surprised myself. I had myself pegged as far too lazy to mess around with these, but realised when Princess was a baby that it wasn’t as hard as I thought. Taking a pic of a two year old wearing a cloth nappy? Now, that is hard!

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Black Box – All Blacks Supporter Box!

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Yay! I was lucky enough to be sent another #blackboxnz last week – aptly named the All Blacks Supporter Box, because, as you surely all must know, we are in the midst of the Rugby World Cup. And, for those of you who don’t know, the New Zealand team (THE ALL BLACKS) are the current world champions, so we are getting behind them well and truly. Am I watching the games? Well, no. You see, I can’t handle suspense. I don’t like not knowing the outcome. So, I tend to hide while the games are on. But, Mr T is watching the games, and so this box was well suited to him.

In fact, it was practically made for him. It was as though the awesome people at Sampleco came here, sat down with Mr T, and asked him what all of his favourite things are. And put them into a box. And sent them to us.

So, here are the contents, and what I (or, Mr T), thought of them!

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Shapes Extreme – Salt & Vinegar Smash

These are Mr T’s absolute fav crackers, he asks for them everytime I go to the supermarket. So, naturally, he LOVED them. They don’t lie, these crackers – they are extreme in flavour! I’m not a Salt and Vinegar fan ordinarily (eating salt & vinegar chips is the best way to find a cut in your mouth that you didn’t know was there!) so I wasn’t too enthusiastic to eat these. They made me cry, they were so strong. So I did what any good parent would do – I fed them to my kids. And while BoyChild looked at me as though I were the most horrible person on earth, Princess and BabyGirl liked them. Little weirdos.

Overall, these are a win, because 3/5 of our family were fans. I really want to try the Chilli Charge flavour next.

Heineken Light

Another of Mr T’s treats – I’m not a beer drinker, but he likes the occassional tipple after a long day. He says this was a nice beer, one he “might buy again, I guess”.

Win? I’ve no idea. Mr T does “man reviews”.

Nivea Men Originals Refreshing Face Wash Gel

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While I describe Mr T as a bit of a metrosexual (shhhh, don’t tell him), he was a bit bemused when I showed him these products. “What do I do with them?”, he asked. “I don’t know!”, I replied – “read the label”.

Last night Mr T came out of the bath and rubbed his face against mine, saying “doesn’t it feel nice?”. Bit cute, really. He’d used this product, and he quite liked it!

Definite win, will buy again I think.

Limited Edition Powerade Black Storm

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Black powerade. I wasn’t sure – flavour non-specific on the package, so I was skeptical about the flavouring, not to mention the colour. As mentioned, we are a nation who support a team called the All Blacks, so there are a lot of black products around!

That being said, I liked it. I personally wouldn’t buy it, but the bottle was shared between Mr T and Princess, and they both adored it. So, they would buy it again!

Watties Spaghetti

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Mmmmm. A kiwi classic right here. Obviously, I’ve eaten a lot of this over my life – when I was a kid, mum challenged us to “invent” a recipe for dinner. Yes, I realise now it that (a) it was code for “I can’t be bothered cooking so I’ll make it a game for you kids”, and (b) my mother is a genius. Anyway, my invention was a spaghetti pie. I know, Masterchef in the making.

I was actually really excited about this spaghetti, and asked myself why on earth I don’t buy it more often. I need to.

And, on a night when I cooked possibly the most dreadful meal in history, Mr T was happy to chow down on a plate of spaghetti on toast. And loved it, of course. And, while I sit here typing this, I really feel like spaghetti on toast. Really.

Win. + craving.

Berocca Kick – with Guarana

Sounds like my kinda product. I’m an energy drink fiend, so this was a fun alternative on a day when I’d had no sleep (thanks, kids!). Gave me a kick and tasted ok too. Will I buy again? Maybe.

Kingaroy Gold Mexican Salsa Peanuts

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Oh my. These are just so freakin delicious. I don’t know what I expected, but wow. So addictive, so yummy. And they come in so many other flavours – Chilli & Lime, Honey Roast, Classic Sea Salt, and Sea Salt & Pepper. I think I will buy a new pack every week until I’ve had them all. The packet size wasn’t huge, but it was ideal. Any bigger and you would just keep on eating, they are that good.

Shick Hydro 5 Razor

Another product clearly intended for Mr T, and he loves it. It came at the perfect time, because his current razor was on it’s last legs. His assessment? “A nice, smooth razor, a nice clean shave”.

Yup. Win.

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Mr T wasn’t as keen on this, he said it left streaks on his face. Perhaps he might like to buy it again, but he says it’s not an essential product in his life.

Mi Sedaap Instant Noodle Cup

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I ate this, and I loved it. I really like the Mi Sedaap noodle range, so the cup just makes it convenient and easy to eat. Would definitely buy it again, if the need arose.

MegaNuts Coconut Rough

These muesli bars are DELICIOUS. So good. So good, in fact, that the packet was gone the day the Black Box arrived. Each kid had one, and I had one two. These are thick and full of flavour, so quite filling. And so yummy. Definitely would buy again.

Canadian Club

I had no idea what this was. It looks like beer, but isn’t. In fact, once I took the time to read the label, it clearly says it is whisky. That had me gone, I am not a whisky drinker, but curiosity got the better of me so I had a sip. Could I drink it? No, I don’t think so, but it’s not terrible. Mr T, on the other hand, while skeptical at first, was very much into it. He enjoyed it once the kids were in bed and he was able to sit and relax. And he commented, “we might have to get more of this!”.

Win.

And so, there you have it. It was actually a really well constructed #blackboxnz, fitted the tagline well. I can imagine many All Blacks supporters happily chowed through the box while watching the All Blacks and all the other teams fight their way to win the Webb Ellis Cup.

The All Blacks will win anyway.

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Kiwi Mummy Blog Review – Wattie’s Little Kids Range

One of the advantages to being a parenting blogger is getting the awesome opportunity to review products designed especially for kids. Through the Kiwi Mummy Blog site, Wattie’s have sent me a box of products to review from their Little Kids Range. And we all know how much I love getting stuff. And talking about stuff. Win win, really.

Now, funnily enough, Princess also loves getting stuff and talking about stuff. I got the carton in the mail and excitedly we opened it up and looked at the contents.

Not feeling 100%, I said that we would have a proper look in the morning. Sadly, Princess put the box on the bench and, true story, stared wistfully at it for a good ten minutes.

That night, I had the hideous misfortune of getting the Worst Headache in History. No exaggeration. I was out for the count. Husband had a small, early morning shift so was home in time to take Princess to school. When he got home, I was head down, bum up on the bedroom floor whimpering and Princess was dressed and ready to go to school. “I got myself ready” she proudly told her Daddy. “I even made my own lunch”.

Even from my death bed, my thoughts immediately went to that box of Wattie’s samples sitting on the bench.

Sure enough, once the multitudes of medication had kicked in enough for me to lift my head, I came out and looked in the box. Yup. Every packet open. I didn’t ever see her lunchbox that day but I can guarantee it was chocka block full of items from the Wattie’s Little Kids Range. It was.

And so, my review has added contributions from Princess, aged 6.

It would pay to mention as well at this point that, due to BabyGirl’s dairy allergy, Wattie’s were really good in ensuring that the majority of products were dairy free.

Heinz Little Kids Mini Corn Cakes – Tomato

These crunchy little corn cakes (kind of like mini rice cakes, but a bit crunchier) are really, really delicious. And that is me saying that! I really liked them. In fact, all three kids did. These are aimed towards the 1-3 year age bracket, they are ideally sized for little hands and aren’t over powering with flavour. They are crunchy without being tough, so ideal for little teeth. And they taste good, despite not having tons of flavouring. The tomato flavour is subtle so perfect for kids who turn their noses up at anything flavoured (I’m looking at you, BoyChild). Like I said, all three kids really liked them. Four, including me – I’d eat them for a snack quite happily!

Princess: I really liked these crackers. They are small and yum and I like them crunchy.

Heinz Little Kids Wholegrain Cereal Bars – Apple and Blueberry

These are little muesli bar-type things that, once again, are portion sized perfectly for little hands and little stomachs. But the age guideline is just that – a guideline. Princess put two of these in her lunch that first day, and asked me to buy more when they packet ran out. Again, the flavour was subtle, which is great for little taste buds.

Princess: These were so good oh my gosh Mum you need to buy these every day? Can I have some more? And the box made a good swimming pool for my doll?

Heinz Little Kids Fruit and Vege Shredz – Peach, Apple and Veg

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These were the clear winner of the day.

“They’re made from 99% Fruit and Vegetable juice and purees and are shaped and sized for little fingers to easily pick up, encouraging independent eating”.  –Wattie’s

It’s funny – last year I actually purchased some of these, with the plan of telling BoyChild they were lollies and seeing if he would eat them. Back then, he was terribly fussy and barely ate anything (he is considerably better now). He eagerly picked them up, shovelled them into his mouth, then looked at us with a look that said, “how could you? I trusted you” and spat them out. *shrug*

This time around, Princess took a pack in her lunch (they come in small bags, a great portion size for morning tea) and absolutely loved them. BabyGirl had a packet for her lunch as well, and devoured it. So, I thought, hey – let’s see if BoyChild will eat them. What do you know? He did. He didn’t go crazy for them like the girls did, but he ate them. Which, in his world, is a win-and-a-half.

Truth be told, the entire box of these didn’t last a day. When Princess came home from school, her and BabyGirl had another pack each, and then shared the last pack after tea.

Win.

Princess: I really really really REALLY love these. They are like lollies but not because they are good for me and have veges and are good for my teeth and I really love them. Mum will buy them again she said.

Heinz Little Kids Brekky To Go – Banana Oats with Cinnamon

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I wasn’t able to give this to BabyGirl due to it’s dairy content, and because of the “baby” packaging, Princess and BoyChild weren’t interested either. No worries – I called in the assistance of a little guy we will call Baby J. He is one of BabyGirl’s friends and a keen eater.

This was no different, Baby J loved this. These sachets are ingenious – we practically lived off them when the kids were tiny. They are a perfect shape and size for the kid/baby to feed themselves. They simply hold it and suck out the contents.

The great part about this particular product is that it is breakfast in a tube. They should make these in adult. Maybe they do? I’m not sure. But I would buy it. When I’m running around the house trying to get Princess to school and BoyChild to preschool, poor old BabyGirl often finds herself sitting in the car eating toast from a plate while we drive to the various drop offs. Or, carrying the toast with her while we take Princess to her class. Truth be told, yesterday both her and BoyChild had toast-on-plates-in-the-car. At least they had plates, right? My point is, a breakfast on the go thing like this would be handier (and considerably less crumby!) for those rare (read: common) mornings when I am darting about like a headless chicken.

Wattie’s Little Kids – Spaghetti Bolognese/Hearty Beef Casserole

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Spaghetti Bolognese is one of Mr T’s favourite meals, so we have it at least once a week. The kids tolerate it, so when I saw this tin I thought they might scoff at it, perhaps poke the noodles a little.

The girls loved it. I served it as their dinner when Mr T was working late, and we went through two tins between the girls. Once again, not overly seasoned and the veges were blended in well enough that super-sleuth Princess couldn’t pick them out. BabyGirl is (and always has been) a great eater, so she just wolfed it back, no holds barred, making me regret the decision to get rid of her bibs. A mess was made, that’s for sure. But they loved it. Definitely something I will consider getting again, especially for those cold winter nights when Mr T isn’t home for dinner (and, frankly, I can’t be bothered cooking a fancy, nutritious dinner for the kiddos).

The Hearty Beef, I was sceptical about, I won’t lie. Perhaps it drew up flashbacks of the baby shower game I once played where we had to try unmarked tins of baby food and guess their flavours. I did not guess Hearty Beef correctly.

That being said, I gave it to BabyGirl on a rainy, cold day for lunch. I needn’t have worried – she looked at it, poked it with her fork, tasted a bit with her finger, then it was all on. She devoured it!

These cans are certainly not appetising for adults, but they aren’t intended to be. They contain food and seasonings suitable for the subtle tastebuds and small tummies of little kids, and they really are ideal for that reason!

I’ve said it a few times, and I will reiterate – this Wattie’s and Heinz Little Kids range is perfect for its target market – kids aged 1 – 3 years. The portion sizes, flavours and packet sizes are ideal for little hands and little stomachs. I was impressed – it’s been a little while since I’ve looked at the toddler/baby food aisle and I feel like I’ve missed out on some ideal morning tea/lunchtime snacks for not just BabyGirl, but for the older kids as well. Will definitely be buying many of these again.

If you want more information, head over to the Wattie’s website  and have a look at the full range

And, have a look at Kiwi Mummy Blogs as well, for more reviews as well as access to lots of other blogs written by other Kiwi Mummies!

Finally, Princess has asked to have the final word:

I think that this is a really neat product. I liked the muesli bar a lot and I really loved the Shredz, they were like lollies but better because they are healthy. I love them.  Thanks, okay, bye.

Kiwi Mummy Blogs
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Black Box

What is a Black Box?

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Ah, the big question. What is a Black Box? A company called Sample Co. started up this awesome company – they send out boxes of full size samples to registered ‘customers’, based on personal profiles. That is, you register (for free) and complete a profile. They get a series of product samples, and send boxes out to a limited number of people whose profiles suit. Most boxes are sent out in lots of 5000, though this most recent lot was 30,000 people!

As I mentioned, it is free to register (though there is a waitlist now) although you do have the option of paying a small amount for “silver” membership, guaranteeing you at least one box per year, as well as other benefits.

You can find out more information at www.sampleco.co.nz.

Posting pictures to the Black Box facebook page, to their instagram, and entering competitions that they run, all give you more chance of receiving subsequent boxes, as does purchasing products you see in Black Boxes.

Product sampling at it’s best.

When the box arrives, the kids go mental. Literally, they ripped into the box. It was actually sent to the wrong address this time (the fault entirely of the courier!) so we had to walk and collect it. The walk alone clearly starved the kids beyond comprehension *eye roll*

I should mention here, I normally prefer to open the box when I am home alone. It’s more magical that way! Plus I can instantly hide the things that I want for me, that are mine-all-mine. None of this sharing business!

Product Review

And so, here is my review of this product.

In my Black Box, I received the following items.

Tasti Oaty Bake Bars – Almond, Lemon and Poppyseed

These were a nice change from normal muesli bars. Very oaty, as the name suggests. And lovely flavour. I ate far too many in the packet, that’s for sure. So, I’ll call it a winner. Would I buy it again? I think so.

Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion

I actually have some of this left over from a previous Black Box and the reason I haven’t finished the bottle is because I only use it on special occasions! I feel a bit fancy when I use it, to be honest. It’s a lovely way to soften my skin after body wash. However, that being said, this product claims to save time by allowing you to moisturise in the shower so you don’t have to when you get out. I still do it when I get out of the shower, that habit is too hard to break! Will I buy it again? I’m not sure! I’ll see how I go when I use up both bottles 🙂

Chop-Chop Chicken – Tandoori flavour

We are massive fans of this product in this house! I’m not a big tuna eater, so I make a lot of tuna-based recipes using these cans of chicken instead. Mr T will often take a can to work with him, using it to make a sandwich for his lunch. And a great, easy meal for us is a pasta bake, with a tin of this stirred through cooked pasta, then sprinkled with cheese and baked for 10-15 minutes. Yum. Will absolutely be buying this many, many times again.

Up & Go Light – Vanilla flavour, Choc Ice Flavour

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My kids are always asking me for Up & Go so the appeal of this particular product was the low sugar claim. It was nice enough, I guess. Pretty standard for what it is. I am not interested in buying these as a breakfast substitute (mostly because I don’t eat or drink breakfast) but I have a voucher for it now, so may well buy it again, if only to try it further.

Shapes Xtreme – BBQ Ribs Blast

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These were great! The certainly lived up to their claim that they are crisp, crunchy and flavourful! After the kids literally ripped the box open and tore into it, it lasted about ten minutes. Great flavour, I think I’d like to try the other flavours.

DB Export Citrus Beers

I’m not a beer drinker, haven’t been able to stomach it since a very *ahem* adventurous night when I was 18. So, for this I gave the task to husband. The verdict? “They are alright”. Ok! That, folks, is why I do the reviewing and not him! That being said, I did have a sip of both flavours (the lemon and the grapefruit), thinking that maybe the citrus would overpower the (bleurgh) taste of beer. It did not.

Charlies Honest Fizz – Raspberry

I freakin LOVED this. So tasty, not overly sweet like you would expect a raspberry drink to be. Oh, even writing this is making me want some. Might have to pop into the supermarket tomorrow, methinks.

I should confess – I told the kids we wouldn’t be having this drink. I went and put it in the fridge, and then hid in the fridge and gulped it back. Worth it? You betcha.

Charlies Straight Up Cola

This was pretty good, albiet very different to other cola drinks. This one tasted quite a lot like a cola lolly, or a cola flavoured ice block or something. Did I like it? Not sure. The lemon was a nice touch, and it certainly paired well with the Oaty Bake bars. Would I buy it again? Not sure, to be honest. Jury’s out on this one.

Watties Tomato Paste

This is a pretty standard product, made appealing because it comes in a pouch containing exactly 2 tablespoons of paste. This is great because so often we buy large quantities of something, only to use a smidgen and have the rest sit n the fridge until it grows a colony of it’s own. I was able to use the entire tube of tomato paste and then throw the packaging away with no waste.

I chose to use the paste in a different way so I made this Coca-Cola Beef. Very, very delicious!

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And so, there you have it. One Black Box, done and dusted. I received my online survey and completed that today – it’s really important that you do this, as it effects your eligibility for future boxes!

Can’t wait till I get my next email, saying another Black Box is on the way 🙂