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!!

Kids Movie Night with Sky Buy & Keep #shop!

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.Movie Night

Sometimes being a child can be a frustrating and challenging time. You’re full of ideas but curtailed by resources and means, full of energy and enthusiasm but forced to fit into a world of rules. Just once in a while wouldn’t it be great if you could take full control? That’s what we offered our three children with their very own movie night using Sky Store and their Sky Buy & Keep service. They could choose the films, the food, the time of day, even the clothing, everything was within their control and this is what we got up too.

Sky Store

Sky Store

First they took a tour of the Sky Store website to research which movies were available to rent/buy. They decided on two new films ‘Walking With Dinosaurs’ and ‘Frozen’. Next up the food!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

My eldest son wanted to make his own pizza with BBQ chicken on top. First he made a yummy BBQ sauce with his Dad and then he loaded up his plain pizza base with tomatoes, cheese and chicken.




We can’t have a movie night without Nachos! Layers of Tortilla crisps smothered in melted cheese, Guacamole, Salsa and Jalapenos on the side. My daughter wanted to make these and she did a fabulous job!

Chocolate Popcorn

The kids didn’t just want popcorn they wanted chocolate popcorn! First the corn is popped in the microwave or on the stove. Next smother the freshly popped corn with melted white and milk chocolate, spread out onto a tray and leave to set. I warn you though it’s very moreish!

Sweet Pizza Making

Sweet Pizza Making

Sweet Pizza!

When I was little I was a huge fan of sweet pizzas and loved making them with my parents. My kids have never been in control of the toppings before and this time they wanted three pizzas all smothered in chocolate, cookies, jelly babies and more! These are so sinful that they’re heavenly.

Sweet Pizza

Sweet Pizza

The Setting

The setting had to be just right and the kids insisted that everyone wore their pyjamas and snuggled up together on the sofa. The lights were turned off and the curtains closed, to give that cinema feel.

The Films

Walking with Dinosaurs was a clever mixture of story and documentary and the children were transfixed. From a parents point of view it’s always nice to think they’ve digested a film and actually learned something in the process.

Frozen was my personal favourite of the two movies. Highly amusing snow bound high jinx and catchy songs, pure Disney delight.

Sky Store

I’d never used Sky Store before and found it extremely easy to navigate on the TV. I set up a pin to prevent accidental purchases and then within about two clicks our films were ready to view. There’s a huge variety of movies starting from just 99p for a 48hr rental, even the more expensive offerings certainly make for an economical night in for the whole family. A trip to the cinema would cost us over £30 so there’s an instant appeal right there.

Plus with the Sky Buy and Keep service you can download your movie permanently to your Sky Box and the DVD is sent out to you seperately, which is brilliant if you want to watch it later in a house that doesn’t have Sky.


The kids had a fabulous night and have already asked when we can do it again. They loved taking control of the choices and it forced them to discuss and compromise with each others wishes which can never be a bad lesson to learn. All in all it was a wonderful night of family fun and the kind of stress free occasion that can seem rare when you’re part of a busy modern family.

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