Friday, 2 October 2015

Baking At Home With Aldi - Review

Evan surprised me last week by coming home from school extremely motivated and excited! What on Earth could cause this, you may ask!


Yes, the yeasty risen goodness that is the humble loaf. He had been making bread and subsequently produced 4 wonderful, tasty loaves for dinner.

So when Aldi asked if I would like to try a bread maker from the new Home Baking range - I asked Ev if he would like to review it as a guest and this is his result!

Introduction to the equipment:

The process:


This Morning:


Aldi’s Compact Bread Maker (£39.99) has 12 programmes, with combinations including basic and french, whole wheat, cake, pizza dough and jam. Featuring a 13 hour delay bake timer and an automatic one hour keep-warm function, this bread maker allows bakers of all levels to return home to that delicious aroma of freshly baked loaves.

Measure your ingredients precisely with Aldi’s Digital Kitchen Scales (£6.99)

Vintage Retro Apron (£4.99)

And just because Mums can embarrass their kids:

The quality of this apron is amazing and I actually will be using it!

So with Christmas around the corner (only 12 weeks today so 11 Fridays !!) why not nip to Aldi and check out the entire range. With prices from as little as £2.99 you are sure to find that perfect gift for any budding Mary Berry!

We were not paid for this review but we did receive the products to keep. This is an honest review after using the items.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Body Shop at Home Review + #Competition

I had FORGOTTEN about Body Shop - seriously - forgotten the range, the packaging and the sumptuousness of it all.

In the 90's I was a frequent visitor to the stores and then, well everything became all a bit white musk and I ventured elsewhere for my bathroom goodness.

Recently I decided; after seeing a friend's facebook post, to book a Body Shop at Home party and last night together with a few friends had a really super evening looking at all the new Christmas gifts and being re-introduced to the brand.

It is super, really beautiful and the range of fragrances for body (and your home) is extensive. The skincare range is vast as are the cosmetics and it is right up there with any other company you can think of!

The Christmas Catalogue!

I was classed as the 'Host' and depending on your sales on the night of your party (from actual guests or pre-orders) you recieve offers that are quite frankly AMAZING. I spent £49 on my Christmas shopping but actually received £150 worth of goods! I'm still shocked with the amount of product I was able to order.
There are some awesome deals to be had - 3 for 2, special offers on spend amounts, free gifts - it goes on.
Why people don't do this is really quite simply beyond me!

Current HOST Offers!

I actually received all of Ev's smellies for Xmas completely free!

My Consultant is Karen and if you are interested in seeing the range in her group or contacting a local rep for your area - please get in touch with her. She is super helpful, and really knowledgeable about the whole product range if you have questions!

I am in complete #want #want #want mode for the Advent Calenders! They are just beautiful and no amount of horrid chocolate behind the doors will ever dissuade me! I unfortunately couldn't stretch to one for myself but for guys looking for 'THAT' gift - I think you would be on to a winner AND be in favour for the rest of the year!

Premium Advent - Worth £127 costs £80!

There  are numerous gifts that are ideal for stockings starting at only £4 - I especially love the little animal sponges in Owl, Robin and Bear! 

My favourite new scent is Red Musk which is deep, delicious and spicy! 


All three seasonal fragrances are really nice though, available in Frosted Plum, Cranberry and Apple!

So whatever you are after this Christmas, consider a party - you may bag far MORE than you bargained for!

Now you can win a Red Musk Body Lotion and Bath Wash worth £16.50!

Just fill out the Rafflecopter below!

  1. To validate the entry YOU MUST leave a comment answering the MANDATORY question!
  2. Over 13's ONLY
  3. UK and NI entrants Only
  4. Competition Ends Midnight November 3oth 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was not compensated in anyway for this post, it is my own honest review after having a party!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Ocean Finance - Bird House Blogger Challenge

I love making things, if I had more time I would be Dorset's answer to Ms Allsop and be completely dressed in hand sewn clothes, wearing jewellery designed and made, baking gorgeous goodies in my kitchen all whist making a macrame plant holder and have the pot roast cooking in the range!

Seriously though - art is a big fave of mine and always has been. Ocean Finance contacted me and asked if I would like to take part in the blogger competition run in conjunction with their Homeowner Loans department: 'Make a House A Home'.
It involved upcycling a basic wooden bird house and making it ... well fabulous!

We each got sent a bird house and a £25 voucher to spend at Buddly Crafts for items to use in the project. The selection is extensive and you can find everything you could possibly need for a craft project!

I chose:

Well this was a definite for me as I have one area left in my garden which I am hoping will be completed for spring. I am creating a fairy/magic garden area - with the only private area of my garden.
This gave me the basic idea of turning the birdhouse into a home for the most choosy of fairy guests!

So the first thing to do was to use up paint that I have in the cupboard and I chose a mint green and a mid blue and painted the house all over:

I then painted an old square cake board and stuck down a sheet of green felt to stand the house upon - this was to give a feeding area outside the house itself so as to get the birds used to the item - they can be REALLY fussy!

On to the roof - I keep everything that can be used for art and buttons are one thing I have a mass of, so I thought I would do a spot of tiling!

The leather flowers are just gorgeous and for centres I have used beads from my hoard. This huge bag was 50p at a boot sale!

Threaded onto wire then placed in the green 'grass' and glued into place!

So final touches included some paper mache mushrooms again from a booty for 50p and added the gorgeous paper butterflies in various situations - then a paperclip for a hanger next to the door and of course, what home could be without a key!
You can find old keys in second hand shops, sales, car boots and my loft!
 The stick on gems/flowers are from my craft box.

The only thing I couldn't fit on were the wooden cut outs but rest assured they will be utilised in my garden somehow!

Last but not least is the final item and this can't be added until the bird house is in place in my tree, I have fitted a small screw in hook under the board to hang a fat ball feeder - just so the  birds  fairies get used to their new home!

My favourite item that I bought with my voucher is the Collall Varnish Glue, it is just brilliant - dries REALLY fast and is suitable for most materials. I gave everything a coat after mounting and it is completely clear and varnishes wonderfully!

So with the help of 3 toothpicks, painted gold the welcome sign is complete!

Thank you so much for letting me participate in this crafting comp, it was awesome and as you can see - upcycling is so easy, cheap and fun! Have a go at anything you have - I would love to see your creations!

If you fancy a go at the bird house it sells for only £3.69! Details here but please browse as Buddly have such a massive range!

Managed to get it up in the tree this morning!

Song for this post HERE

VERY Public (Non) Relations!

I like my little blog
a place where I abide
It isn't very posh
but a place I've laughed & cried

I work with really nice people
and companies that are great
and sometimes I photograph 
the food upon my plate

I love my little blog
it doesn't draw a crowd
but if I've got something to say 
it lets me say it - LOUD

PR companies of which I have worked
are really always very cool
and rarely am I irked
or left feeling like a tool

So this morning when gmail called
imagine my surprise
a bunch of lovely emails
from the Devil in disguise

I had approached a company
a friendly little Hi
just to say do you use bloggers
and this was the reply

Her blog is awful
No way! they said
it's her I told you about
shall we send her a bed?

Absolutely not - her blog is really bad
I read on these emails
and it made me very sad

I wrote back and said STOP 
Do you not know you are sending them to me
BUT they carried on
and didn't listen to my plea

I looked up the company directors
and it actually came from them
I hope they don't discuss investors
or the company they'd condemn

How very unprofessional
don't get me wrong I can take NO
but to do it so personally
what a seriously bad show

So off I toddled to a blogger group
and amid the tears
I told them what was happening
and you could hear the jeers

It is not the criticism
or their response to my plea
but to not check that I'd been sent
their opinion of me

SO PR peeps please be aware
We bloggers we do mix
and situations like this 
are very hard to fix

Just make sure if you think
that this or that blogs' no good
DON'T email the blogger
and be PROFESSIONAL like you should.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Entry through the Hostile Turnstile - Dismaland Review

This way... C'mon hurry up! STOP SMILING, I MEAN IT - A smirk is a smile, STOP IT!

We had arrived, Ev was temporarily barred as 'NO Chavs allowed!' that made my day immediately! (his dress sense is, in my opinion awful - he was not born to the ghettos of the Bronx).

I was so excited when I got my tickets I couldn't wait to tell Ev we were going - only to be met with disdain, disinterest and I quote' What is the point if there are NO rides' - after an hour of me then going right off on one about art installations, political statements and provocative pieces of work - he REALLY wanted to go...NOT.

So we trekked of yesterday 80 miles to Weston-Super-Mare and arrived around 6.30pm. Tickets were for 7pm.

Dismaland sits on the Seafront on the old Tropicana site and looms miserably across the grassed prom setting.
Banksy and 58 global artists including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo are all showing their works of post apocalyptic, anti-consumerism and provocative themes in this dystopian world of doom and misery!

We were queueing in barricaded lines for around 40 mins and then after a bag search (a real one) we entered.

The 'staff' in the control room are the cartoon-esque characters they are dressed to be, suitably miserable and jobs worthy. I took the photo of the 'guard' above only for him to whip out his iPhone and start photographing me, to much hilarity (which we were the reprimanded for).

It sets you up for the thoroughly brilliant, wonderful, miserable, shit time!

First off we viewed the 'Shooting up Gallery' a visual call to drug use and normality - and also a need for the situation to be addressed sensibly no doubt.

On to the outside cinema - sitting in deck chairs we watched hilarious short films (very strong language) in the mud/chip bark whilst good old Dave gazes down upon us mere pieces of crap...

I am not going to go through all the individual works that we pondered over as there are so many. We didn't get to see all of it as we managed over 2 hours but were so cold in the end we just had to get back to the car!

What intrigued me was Evan's perception of it all, from not wanting to go, to pretend enthusiasm (which he admitted to on the drive back) to saying it is one of the best experiences of his life so far! He absolutely loved it and this morning on the way to school was talking about issues, acts of kindness and the NEWS! His creative juices are flowing; so BANKSY if nothing else you changed one teenager for the better..

If you can make it to see this incredible display please do, it is worth every single minute of your time.
I just wish it would be left open for a few weeks just for schools as my son didn't even know WHO Princess Di was! I couldn't believe it but then why would he?

Have a REALLY terrible day folks!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Silent Sunday 30/08/15 #silentsunday

Silent Sunday


Serenata Flowers and Gifts - Say it With Serenata!

Nothing quite like that feeling is there? You know THAT feeling; you get a knock at the door and there is a delivery, just for you - a surprise & totally unexpected!

I never get those type of knocks, mine are usually charity chuggers or electric meter readers but this morning I did!

This was on my doorstep:

Pink Phalaenopsis Orchid

A beautiful delivery of this Orchid and these chocolates, courtesy of Serenata Flowers (and my lovely son helping to choose me a gift!) I was blown away to say the least!

Salted Toffee French Dusted Truffles

I do love Orchids and never owned one so I am now thrilled to have such a delicate, beautiful specimen in my kitchen. It is 20" high (26" with the pot) and in a lovely pink ceramic pot as a gorgeous finishing touch. It comes with a gift card and printed care instructions - which is very helpful!

The chocolates... well, to tell you the truth I am SUPER fussy when it comes to the nectar of the Gods, second only to coffee as my ultimate favourite. I love milk chocolate - very rarely do I venture over to the dark side.
This is a box of chocolate magic, I actually cannot describe how they behave in your mouth! Willy Wonker has NOTHING on these guys! The flavour, consistency - the way they sort of evaporate/melt/disappear whilst leaving loads of taste and then little pieces of salty toffee behind is like nothing I've ever eaten!
Absolutely delicious and true decadence! A MUST for any human chocolate fan.

I apologise for not showing the heaving box full, Somebody broke in and ate quite a few before the photos were taken...

Having a look at the website you can just get lost in the array of flowers/plants/hampers/chocolates and wines there are on offer. Spoilt for choice really is all I can say. You can find something for anyone - just be prepared to spend a while as you can meander quite easily from one section to another, changing your mind frequently.
It is a very simple to use website and easy to navigate, so be prepared!

FREE next day delivery on orders made before Midnight too!

YOU my lovely reader now have the chance to spend FORTY yes £40 pounds with Serenata as they have given me the chance to hold a competition and the lucky winner gets to do just that!

So as the mandatory (and that means YOU MUST complete it) blog post entry - just tell me what you would spend it on from the Serenata website and for whom. It could be choccys for you or a beautiful flower for Auntie Mildred, just make sure you leave the comment below!
Fill in the Rafflecopter for extra entries and to validate your comment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is my honest review of the surprise I received and I was not paid to write this article.

Find loads more great competitions at UK competitions at ThePrizeFinder