Parenting

Keepy – Organize and Save Kids’ Artwork & Memories

1048257_651517224886880_1005599632_oI was contacted a few weeks ago by a lovely dad of two boys named Offir, who is the CEO and co-founder of Keepy. Keepy is an app for parents to save their children’s artwork, schoolwork, photos, videos and mementos. There is also an option to add voice and video narration to anything that you upload. You simply save your memories on Keepy and you’ll have a unique, interactive, family scrapbook to cherish for now, for later, and for ever.

Key Features:

_0001_2– Share your photos and videos with grandparents and loved ones.
– Safe and private, accessible based on invitation only.
– Quickly saves your family’s best photos, videos, quotes, videos, notes     and more.
– Easy commenting with text, high quality video and voice recording.
– Family “fan” invites that keep everyone in the loop.
– Easy to use cropping tools.
– Unique timeline for every family member.
– E-mail, web or phone notifications.
– Private Keepy website to view your family’s memories.
– Secure, private platform, accessible from all devices.
– Print mugs, T-shirts, greeting cards and more directly from the apps       store.
– Auto Sync with Dropbox.
– Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire and Web.

Screenshot_20170330-092344I downloaded the app from the Play Store on my Samsung and applied for the unlimited plan. The unlimited plan allows you to save more memories, without it you are limited to the amount of data you can upload. To go unlimited you can subscribe for €2.41 per month or €11 for the year. It will also give you 50% off products in the app store and allows unlimited keepy uploads. For €2.41 or €11, its a very reasonable price.

Personally, I think its a great app! You can easily tag and invite family members to the app so that they can all view the pictures you upload. I love how you can organise pictures by category and that you can save information like the who, what, where and when in the pictures.  The automatic notification through Facebook is great too if you’d like to share there. Even photos from years back on Facebook can be added through the Facebook ‘On This Day‘ section. There is also the Keepybot reminders in Facebook messenger. It asks if you want to save statuses, photos, etc to Keepy, which is a quick reminder to log things away regularly.

Its not just pictures you can upload either, you can take pictures or scans of your children’s art work and upload those too. Then you can go to the apps store and turn your pictures or artwork into picture mugs, photo-books, photo gifts, of which there are all kinds of options. Which would make nice gifts for mother’s or Father’s day and any other celebrations.

To learn more about this app or to download it, go to: http://www.keepy.me/

I was given the app, including the unlimited plan in return for this review.

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Birchbox – March Review

I have been getting the Birchbox subscription for nearly six months now. I was really impressed with them at the start, but sadly as the months have gone on I haven’t been as impressed. You get five items but they are nearly all always sample sizes. I have only ever gotten one or two full sizes (one per box). As it is an English company, there are certain items that cannot be shipped to Ireland and I sometimes feel that these items are replaced with random items. On their website you have the option to complete your beauty profile so that they can match their products to your beauty needs. I have filled this profile out but I find that the Birchbox I receive doesn’t always reflect this. This month there were only two items that I was impressed with, the rest were just Ok.

So what did I get in my March box?

1. BENEFIT – They’re real! Double the lip lipstick.

This was one of the items that I loved. I new it would be included in this months box as I recieved an email giving me the option to choose between two different shades – Lusty Rose or Pink Thrills. I choose Lusty Rose which turned out to be a gorgeous colour. This lipstick is like a lip liner and lipstick in one. It has a teardrop shaped tip, with a liner shade at the top and a long lasting lipstick at the bottom. It is a really vibrant colour and the two in one formula helps to create visibly fuller lips. I loved this. It has a lovely moisturising feel and lasts on the lips for long time. It is long lasting as advertised.

2. CAUDALIE – Vine (Activ) Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum.

This was the second item from this months beautybox that I really liked. The serum itself has a lovely texture and goes onto the skin like silk. My skin felt gorgeous after using it. It delivers anti-cell burn-out complex (whatever that is!?) which brightens dull skin and smooths fine lines. It is applied in the morning and at night before your moisturiser for some added protection.

3. BATISTE – 2-in-1 Invisible Dry Shampoo & Conditioner

This was something that I was really excited to see when I opened my beautybox. I had seen it in the shops and had been meaning to try it out. I am a big fan of Bastille products and like most girls, I have used them in the past to boost my hair a little if it is looking a bit flat. But as everyone knows, it can leave your hair feeling really dry. So when I saw that a 2-in1- product was out I thought it would be great. When using it, I applied it to my hair/roots and waited for a few minutes before massaging it through my hair. To be honest, the result was a bit of a let down. It definitely didn’t have the same result as the original dry shampoo and it didn’t even look like I had applied it to my hair. It even looked more greasy then it was in the first instance! I am not sure that I will use it again, but if anyone tires it and has a better result than I had, please let me know!

4. RITUALS – The Rutual of Sakura Foaming  Shower Gel

This is a nice product – it does what it says on the tin. A foaming gel wash that foams at contact with water. I have used many products like it. The smell is really gorgeous – Cherry blossom and organic rice milk. When using it, use a coin sized amount onto damp skin, lather up and rinse away.

5. BALANCE ME – Instant Lift Primer

This is a 99% natural blend of hyaluronic acid and acacia gum that tightens and diffuses for smoother and refined skin. I didn’t really like this, I found that it made my foundation look like it was sitting on top of my skin. The particular foundation that I used over this primer is a long wearing matte foundation, which on its own is genuinely long wearing and doesn’t look cakey on the skin. But unfortunately when used with this primer, looked heavy on my skin and went blotchy, which it normally never does. It might work better for other skin types, or even with a different type of foundation but, ultimately it’s not for me.

So, my thoughts on Birchbox’s March beautybox? It’s just ok. As I mentioned above, there were two out of the five items that I really liked and I suppose that the foaming gel wash was good too. And I liked the little bag that was in the box too. But I just felt like the items weren’t exactly in line with my beauty profile and maybe that’s because some items cannot be shipped to Ireland. But if that is the case, they should aleast include a replacement item that is going to suit you. I feel that some items are just added regardless, to make up the five items required. Maybe next months box will be better, but I am not 100% sure if I will get it next month. If you would like to try Birchbox’s beautybox’s out for yourselves, of to www.birchbox.co.uk.

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Glossybox – March Review


I am totally in love with Glossybox – for such a reasonable subscription price each month you get a lot of bag for your buck. Each month you get five products in total. In the March Glossybox I got four out of five full sized items! Amazing.  As well as the amazing products, as usual everything arrived in a beautifully packaged box. It’s such a treat for the eyes – it’s almost a shame to open up the packaging.

So what did I get in my March box?

1. oOlution – Eye Love (Full size)

I absolutely loved this. I am always on the hunt for a good eye cream and this one ticks all of the boxes. It absorbs really quickly into the skin. Every time I use it, I find that my eyes look really bright and awake. This eye cream is packed with a host of active ingredients. It uses 100% natural ingredients and is free from synthetic ingredients and palm oil. The result is a luxurious, hydrating formula that is rich in antioxidants. It helps to diminish dark circles and reduce puffiness. It can be used with in the morning or as part of your bed time skin routine.


2. IWHITE TEETH WHITENING – Whitening toothpaste (Full size)

I am big into teeth whitening  products. I have tried so many tooth whitening toothpastes and other products over the years and this is one of the whitening products on the top of my list. I have used IWHITE products in the past and I have never had anything bad to say about the brand. I love it. The toothpaste brightens teeth and can be used daily. It contains an active whitening formula that targets surface and deep tooth staining. This is so important for me as I drink far too much coffee which isn’t the best for keeping my teeth white! I loved this product.


3. SLEEK Makeup – Eye & Cheek palette ( Full size)

I love Sleek cosmetics products. This palette was one of the sneek peek products last month and I was really looking forward to receiving it in this months box. I was a bit disappointed with the colour scheme of the palatte. It wouldn’t have been what I would have chosen myself. I did receive a link where I should have been able to choose my own palette colour , as there were a few to choose from. But unfortunately the link wouldn’t actually let me choose anything ! Such a pity. But, putting that aside, it is still a great palatte. I really liked the eye shadows. There were four in total – two matte and two shimmer shades. I just found the bronze/contour shade a tad too orange for my colouring and the pink blush; although a really pretty colour, was a bit too pink. The pigments of all of the colours are brilliant though, really vibrant and long lasting.

4. THIS WORKS – In Transit Camera Close up

This is called the “Hero product”. I’m not too sure whether I agree with that. Apparently Victoria Beckham uses it…..is this why it’s called the Hero product, because a celebrity useless it? Just because a celebrity uses it, doesn’t mean its good. This product is a primer that balances, plumps and brightens the skin, leaving it “photo perfect”. I can’t say I found that it did any of these things to my skin. I found that it made my foundation really patchy and it made it look like it was just sitting on top of my skin. It might work better for other skin types, but sadly not for mine. It gets a thumbs down from me. If you do decide to use it, it is applied after your moisturiser or face oil, followed by your foundation.


5. GOT2B – Styling Primer (Full size)

I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m looking forward to giving it a go. We are all used to preparing and priming our skin for make up applications, but priming our hair can make styling it ten times easier. Something I could really do with as I have an awful time just trying to dry my hair, let alone styling it! The primer gives your hair grip and pliability, as well as lasting control. It is worked into damp hair and then style as usual.

My over all rating of the March Glossybox? I’m giving it a solid 8/10. Besides The THIS WORKS – In Transit Camera Close up Primer and the fact that I was unable to choose which Sleek palette I got, I loved this months Glossybox. Aprils sneek peek is the ModelCo’s Contour Stick. I am looking forward to giving that a go and colour looks gorgeous. If you are interested in finding out more about Glossybox or would like to sign up for a monthly subscription go to www.glossybox.ie.

Recipes

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a recipe that I cook regularly in my house. It’s the one dinner that I know Ruby will eat every time I cook it. I know everyone probably knows how to cook this already – with both the well known jars of sauce brands or sauces made from scratch. The recipe I am going to share with you is my own. The measurements of ingredients are only suggestions as I tend to throw ingredients into the pan and measure with my eye. You can add any veggies in that you fancy. I mostly add in  mushrooms and red peppers. Sometimes I chop up carrots really small and hide them in the sauce! I also chop up all of my veggies nice and small first before I start to cook anything. Then they are ready to pop into the pan when needed. Like everything that we buy, nearly all of the ingredients are from Lidl, where we do our weekly shop. Anything that we can’t get in Lidl we get in Tescos.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:

500g mince 

1 medium sized onion

2-3 cloves of garlic

60g mushrooms

1 red bell pepper (or yellow)

1 Carrot (optional)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes 

Tbsp worcestershire sauce

I beef stock cube

150 – 170 ml boiling water

Tsp each of dried basil and oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Pasta (brown or white)

Method:

1. Chop up the onion, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and carrot (if using).


2. Once this is done get the pan heated up and add your oil of choice (I use rapeseed oil spray from Tescos).

3. Add the onions and garlic (if using, add the carrots here too) and sweat for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the mince and cook until it turns brown. Boil some water in the kettle.

5. Add in the mushrooms and peppers and cook for a few minutes. At this stage dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water.


6. Once dissolved, add the water and stock cube, along with the tin of chopped tomatoes and worcestershire sauce to the pan. Add seasoning here too.

7. Lower the heat and simmer away for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce reduces down and thickens up.

8. While the sauce and meat are reducing get your pasta on (I assume we all know how to cook pasta?!).


9. Once the pasta is cooked and soft, serve it up with the bolognese and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (optional).

10. Enjoy!

Tip: If you are cooking this for little people, like myself, chop up the veg really small (they will also cook quicker). I often batch cook, cool, portion and freeze a lot of the food I cook for Ruby. If I was to do this with the recipe above, I wouldn’t cook the pasta until I needed it. I would let the bolognese cool and portion it into little freezer bags and freeze until I needed it. Then all you need to do is get the bolognese out of the freezer in the morning and leave in the fridge to defrost. It should be thawed by dinner time and all that’s left to do is heat it up and cook some pasta!