I’m Crackers for Ritz!

Crackers for RitzThis shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias We’ve been going Crackers for Ritz!

Crackers are a staple you’ll find in most food cupboards but they’re often maligned as plain or boring. The secret to their success lies in their versatility; top them with cheese for an after dinner digestif or load with various antipasti to create a simple starter. However the humble cracker is more than a base for toppings, some variants (cheese, herb, sea salt etc) can be downright tasty with just a slither of butter or eaten straight from the pack.Ritz Aisle

My family are massive fans of this crispy treat and my children request them almost daily. One of our favourite brands is Ritz because they offer mini snack size packs which are perfect for days out and picnics. We bought some from our local Morrisons supermarket and we’ve been coming up with fun and unique reasons why we’re crackers for Ritz! We’ve even made a hashtag #crackersforritz if you’d like to join in the fun. Here’s the top reasons why we love them.

I go crackers for Ritz in a chocolate spread tower!

Ritz Chocolate

My youngest son can be rather awkward when it comes to his food (think plain rolls and an absence of key ingredients normally seen on the dinner plate) but we can always rely on Chocolate Spread to make him happy. When asked what made him love Ritz crackers so much he said, ‘because I can have a giant chocolate cracker tower!’

I go crackers for Ritz while holding up trees!

Ritz Tree

My eldest is surprisingly strong for a child (I’m counting on his future abilities to open jars and hold onto our dog who pulls like a steam train on a walk). He told me, ‘food gives you energy, so I love crackers because they make me strong’. Admittedly this tree (while leaning dramatically) was completely wedged into the earth below but it still made for a great leaning post.

We all go crackers for Ritz on family days out!

Ritz Picnic

Crackers are an essential part of our picnic bag on most family outings, not just because of their flavour but for their ease of transportation. In my head I was going to take a beautiful picture to illustrate this, with my (well-arranged) family smiling sweetly on a recent springtime stroll. Unfortunately the kids were too busy trying to feed Grandpa their crackers while Granny was being stared at by a cracker loving pooch!

I go crackers for Ritz when I get the box to play with!

Ritz Dog

All these crackers were driving our dog a bit mad. He desperately wanted to eat them and so far had only managed a few that the kids had accidentally dropped. The truth though is that he loves playing with the cardboard box as much if not more than eating the contents!

Ritz Dog 2

We’ve had loads of fun coming up with new ways to enjoy crackers to their full potential and I think I’ve started a family trend, going ‘crackers for Ritz’. For myself I’m planning on a secret midnight feast when there’s no little hands to steal the cheesy crackers away from me. How would you go Crackers for Ritz? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #crackersforritz .

Fun with the PhotoBox app #shop!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias 

PhotoBox App

PhotoBox App

I love taking photos of my adventures with my family, often returning home with hundreds of lovely memories to look through on the computer. Digital cameras and quickly advancing technology mean that photography is no longer the preserve of the professional. Amateurs can also indulge their hobby while creating some lasting mementoes. However the act of uploading, cropping, printing etc. is often lengthy and somewhat boring. I would much rather just grab my iPad and click through an app. With this in mind I spent the weekend testing out the PhotoBox app downloaded for free from the Apple app store.

Photobox Sign in

PhotoBox Sign in

Having used PhotoBox on the computer some years ago I did manage to sign into my account to view past orders and any uploaded images. IMG_8485I wanted to print this lovely photo of my son taken a few weekends ago. From the beginning I found the app really easy to navigate.

Photobox Products

PhotoBox Products

The app offers a wide selection of product types and gifts as well as the more standard prints, I can imagine its popularity will increase near Christmas time.

Canvas Lite

Canvas Lite

I chose to order a Canvas Lite which is PhotoBox’s cheapest canvas option. The size I picked was 30.5cm X 20.3cm and cost just £10 (before P&P).


I pressed ‘Customise’ to choose my image and check the orientation and quality of my picture. There is also the option to wrap the image completely around the edges of the canvas. I chose the normal wrap option as the app indicated that the bottom of my son’s shoes were too low down for a full wrap, plus the unhappy smiley face suggested the quality would have been reduced.


Ordering was a doddle, I simply selected my payment method and off whooshed my order.

Photobox Checkout

PhotoBox Checkout

The canvas arrived really quickly. It appears to be very good quality and not lacking anything considering this was the ‘Lite’ option.  However some kind of miscommunication occurred between the app and the printing process. It had converted my image to landscape and caused bad stretching and an image that I couldn’t display.


It was a shame that no quality control checks picked up on this mistake. However when I contacted PhotoBox they were very apologetic and immediately reordered the canvas for free in the correct portrait mode. Their technicians are going to look into the issue so hopefully it shouldn’t happen again. For this reason I can’t fault their customer service, they provided a polite and speedy fix to the problem and I wouldn’t hesitate to order from them again.

I also wouldn’t hesitate to use the app again. The process was so quick and simple it’s almost too easy, I may end up with walls completely covered!!

A ‘Happy’ Halloween Party even if you don’t like Halloween!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

Halloween Pumpkin Party #shopEvery year in the UK Halloween seems to be gaining in popularity, but what if you don’t like scares or gore? Perhaps the idea of terrifying your loved ones doesn’t appeal or you feel that celebrating the kind of thing we’d normally avoid seems contradictory. Whatever your reasons if you don’t like Halloween do you have to avoid the season completely? Personally I don’t think so, I think it’s more than possible to have a ‘happy’ Halloween. I’ve never been a big fan myself and all my children are easily scared so I set out on a mission to make Halloween fun for everyone.

decorations #shopOne of the best things about autumn is the readily available supply of pumpkins, carve them, cook them, stick them in a pie and they are down right delicious! We bought three this year, two we carved and one became a bowl to hold sweets. I invited family and friends who are not Halloween fans to our Pumpkin Party and we set to work.

We bought most of our decorations and supplies from Wilkinsons and you can see how we got on with our shop by clicking here.

table #shopOur Pumpkin Party started with a whimsical meal squidged around a table, it was cosy! We ate Pumpkin Shaped gluten free biscuits (for the recipe see my last blog post).

Gluten free pumpkin shaped biscuits #shop

Gluten free pumpkin shaped biscuits

Yummy Spiced Pumpkin teabread and Pumpkin pie, all made with the pumpkin flesh carved from our decorative pumpkins.

Spiced Pumpkin Teabread #shop

Spiced Pumpkin Teabread

Toffee apples, which I was more than a little proud of. I’ve never got the toffee to stick properly before but apparently the trick is to place all your apples into a bowl and cover with boiling water for a couple of minutes before drying and dipping into the toffee. Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing, again this was made from our fresh pumpkins and they were absolutely delicious!

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing #shop

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

We all ate until we felt ready to burst and the light had dimmed enough to show our pumpkins (carved by my husband) glowing softly. The fun wasn’t over though, we had party games to play!

Leaf Design Pumpkin #shop

Leaf Design Pumpkin

Pumpkin Treasure Hunt

Party games can be hard at the best of times, but trying to find vaguely Halloween themed games which aren’t remotely scary or gross is particularly tasking. In the end I settled for a treasure hunt. Clues were hidden about the house written on pumpkin shaped notes and the final clue led to a chocolately prize! This seemed to go down really well and there was lots of giggling from adults and children alike.

Pumpkin Treasure Hunt #shop

Pumpkin Treasure Hunt

Pass the Pumpkin

Next we played a twist on pass the parcel. We’d hollowed out one small pumpkin until it could comfortably fit a bowl inside, this was then filled with sweets. The music played and the pumpkin was passed around until the music stopped, the holder of the pumpkin could choose one sweet. The music stopped ten times and whoever was holding the pumpkin on stop number ten won the entire remaining contents!

Pass the Pumpkin #shop

Pass the Pumpkin

Finally after much fun and hilarity we waved our guests off but not before they took a favour from our Halloween tree, small cones filled with yummy delights! This is an adaption on an earlier tutorial I wrote.

Halloween Favours #shop

Halloween Favours