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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.

Shick Hydro Gel

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