Wednesday, 31 December 2014

What I Ate Wednesday No.18

The last What I Ate Wednesday of 2014 is here...


Graze Honey Hunter granola with semi skimmed milk.  Cup of tea.


A naughty treat consisting of 2 Sainsbury's Taste the Difference scones topped with strawberry jam.  With water and a cup of tea.  So yummy!  No pic I'm afraid as I was over eager to gobble it up.


New potatoes with garlic and herb butter, petit pois with a laughing cow light mixed in (recommended), rice, veg and cheese stuffed peppers.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

My Home @ Christmas

I thought I would share with you my festive home decor....

Here is my landing window, I have added a metal Christmas tree and a sprig of (fake) mistletoe to my Willow Tree ornament. 

A chubby little reindeer!  Isn't he the cutest?  He lights up too!  (I got him from B&Q a few years ago.)

My advent candle from Home Sense, I light it every night and it takes ages to burn down.

A little reminder of my recent New York trip features on my Christmas tree this year.  A large NYC bauble.  It is from Macy's, the Christmas decorations level in that store is awesome!

NYC souvenir 

My glittery teal reindeer which I got from Next, it takes pride of place on my windowsill.

Now for the piece de resistance...the tree!  I have introduced purple to my usual blue & silver colour scheme as I fancied a change.  It is a 6ft tree from B&Q with 200 white LED lights.  There is a multicoloured star which runs on batteries, I think the batteries are low though as its taken a sudden liking to the colour red and stops on that!

What is your favourite part of your own festive decor?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

My #Nextmas Wishlist

I am a big Next fan so having to choose only a few items for my #Nextmas wishlist was no easy task.  This could have been more of an essay had I not restrained myself!

One of my fave Christmas decorations is this glittery stag/reindeer ornament that I got from Next a couple of years ago (it may no longer be available).  It takes pride of place on the windowsill and matches my lounge-diner perfectly.

My hanging basket from summer is looking rather dire.  I have not got around to putting in any winter bedding plants this year.  So I thought this Christmassy hanging basket would be an ideal replacement.  It lights up too!

Image from Next website

These Chestnut slipper boots look so snuggly.  If i am honest I already have quite a slip collection.  The minute I get up in the morning I slip into my slippers and the minute I get home they are straight back on my feet.  I would certainly get some use out of these each autumn-winter.
Image from Next website

I love this glitzy watch, it would be great for wearing on a night out over the Christmas period.
Image from Next website

These pjs look so nice and are suitably festive without being OTT.
Image from Next website

I would adore to have this dressing table in my new bedroom.  It's great that it had loads of storage too.
Image from Next website

Hope you enjoyed my #Nextmas wishlist guys!  What would you put on yours?

This is my own personal opinion and not a sponsored post.

What I Ate Wednesday No.17

Graze Rocky Road granola with cup of tea.

Stopped off at a local cafe (whilst on a fairy lights bulb hunt) for cheese, tomato and mushroom toasted sandwich on granary bread with side salad.  It was so good, I just can't make them that tasty at home!  I also had a yummy pot of tea for one. 

I somehow refrained from tucking into 1 of the delicious looking millionaire shortbreads.

Oven baked potato topped with homemade 4 bean chilli with cheddar cheese on top. Simple and tasty.  Drink = water.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

What I Ate Wednesday No.16

Another instalment of What I Ate Wednesday...

Quinoa granola with zested orange and Typhoo tea

1 Quorn sausage, 1 poached egg, a potato waffle and half a tin of Branstons beans.

Wholewheat pasta with homemade cheese sauce, broccoli and topped with grated cheese. One of my fave winter comfort meals!
Served with Pizza Express dough balls and garlic butter (shared with my partner).  
Drink = Robinsons orange squash.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

What I Ate Wednesday No.15

Oat So Simple Original porridge sachet with maple syrup and crushed pecans
Breakfast Ingredients
Here is the combined result, washed down with a cuppa.
Finish Result!

Spiced carrot & lentil soup (homemade in the slow cooker) in my Sistema bowl.

Vegetarian stew with far too many potatoes (had some to use up so decided to cook the lot) so could not eat it all.
Homemade Quorn and mixed vegetable stew
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Recent Festive Purchases

I thought I would share some recent festive purchases with you all.

Slate Sign
This 'Wishing you a Merry Christmas' slate was £3 from Wilkinsons.  I am planning to put it on the wall in my little hallway.

Advent Candle
It is a tradition in my household to have an advent candle.  I love the shape of this particular one.  It was only £2.99 from Home Sense.  If I see another one in there I think I will get it to put back for next year.

Purple Baubles
I am going for a blue and purple colour scheme on my Christmas tree this year.  It took me ages to hunt down baubles that were the right shade of purple though, it seems the colour i wanted is not 'in' this year, there were lots of dark purple/plum around though. 

Cupcake cases 
I got these with some festive (disaster) baking in mind.  They were 99p for 48 cases from B&M.

I will do a 'My Home at Christmas' once all my decorations have been put up on 14th December.  

Check back soon!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

What I Ate Wednesday No.14

Graze maple and pecan granola with Tetley tea.

'Pizza Bread' which is toast with tomato puree and oregano, then topped with cheese and grilled, with a basil leaf on top for good measure.  Cup of tea and a glass of water.  
This was a quick lunch time snack to have in between decorating my bedroom!

Jacket potato with chilli couscous topped with cheese. Glass of water.

Dessert = Blueberry muffin topped with hot custard - Divine!

Nom nom nom!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

What I Ate Wednesday No.13

Porridge on the go, I took it into work with me to eat at my desk.  I just popped it in the microwave when I arrived and added some strawberries.  I had a cuppa before leaving home and had water with my porridge.
I used my new sistema pot which comes with a lid, love the colour and the fact it is BPA free.  I picked mine up in Sainsburys.

Porridge with strawberries

No pictures Im afraid but it consisted of a Tesco Cheese ploughman sandwich with a banana and a yogurt.  With some good old fashioned water.

Dinner: Homemade Quorn chilli with Tilda brown rice with Quinoa with half of the corn bread (from the fresh bread isle at Tesco) pictured on the right.  Water again.
Quorn chill, rice and corn bread

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

What Winter Means to Me

Here is a round up of what winter means to me...

I don't mind a cheeky bit of snow as longs as its a proper covering that stops me getting to work so I can spend the day building a snowman.  I don't like to drive to work in hazardous conditions though so none of this light dusting/slushy rubbish please!

Reed diffuser
This smells exactly like the hotel reception on my recent trip to New York. It is a great reminder but also a lovely Autumn-Winter scent.  I slipped it into my trolley during a recent shopping trip to Tesco, it cost £4.

Warm PJs 
It might sound random but on wintry evenings I love to pop my pyjamas on the radiator before I hop in the shower so they are roasty toasty to put on when I get out.  It is something my Mum use to do for me as a child. It's not just me that does this is it?

Hot Chocolate Gü
You have to try these, they are such a treat on a cold winters day, evening, pretty much whenever!  My fave is the Hot Chocolate one.  The salted caramel one was nice but I felt the salted caramel flavour came through better straight from the fridge rather than when it was warmed.

How can I leave out Christmas itself...l love spending time with my family that really is the best part.  It is the only time each year that we all have lunch together at someones house.  Birthday meals throughout the year are normally at a restaurant or pub.  
I have 1.5 weeks booked off work this year and apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day celebrations we normally hit the sales as a family once or twice during that time. 

What does winter mean to you?

The Christmas Tag

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s? 
Miracle on 34th Street, it's just not Christmas until I've watched that film.  Also love Elf & The Santa Claus!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? 
Christmas Morning of course :-s

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory? 
Probably all the little things to help bring the magic of Christmas alive for my much younger brother and sister.  Always loved watching their school plays too.  Kids are what Christmas is all about!

4. Favourite festive food?
Toughie...I love party food, chocolate yule log and crispy roast potatoes on my Christmas dinner. *drools*

5. Favourite Christmas gift? 
Nothing in particular springs to mind, I was always very spoilt if I'm honest and had many sacks to open on Christmas morning!

6. Favourite Christmas scent? 
Winter Spice, I have this diffuser on the go at the moment.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
It is tradition for us all to gather at my parents and watch The Polar Express with a takeaway or a party food buffet.

8. What tops your tree?
Silver light up star, every year it's a struggle to get it to stay up right!

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) you asked for but never got?
I can't recall not receiving something I asked for if I am honest.

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Sitting down to a lovely meal with my nearest and dearest and spoiling them all with presents.  Just spending the entire day with my family is a real treat and always good fun.

I tag anyone who has not completed 'The Christmas Tag' as yet.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Master Bedroom Redecoration Progress Vol.2

The master bedroom has finally been plastered.  Its all looking rather chocolatey brown at present!

The weather changed and got colder just after we had it done so having to have the window open to let the moisture out hasn't been easy.  Infact it's been downright freezing!

However over the past 6 days it has gone from this... this...

And now looks this and is ready to paint!

The paint is at the ready, I have gone for Crown Soft Ochre, a sandy coloured cream basically.  Who comes up with these weird and wonderful paint names!
The Wallpaper for the feature wall is Evita in Damson from Graham and Brown.

I have ordered some soft underfoot but hard wearing carpet from Carpet Right (called Timeless Luxury in Cashmere if you are interested).  So that will be fitted as soon as the decorating is done.  Currently on track for it to be completed before Christmas.

I am currently on the hunt for 2 bedside table lamps, either in gold, cream or purple/plum.

Here is my Master Bedroom Redecoration post which contains the 'before' shots of the bedroom.
You may also be interested in my Master Bedroom Decor Haul.
Croc print heart plaques

My next post on this subject should be the finished result!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

What I Ate Wednesday No.12

Another instalment of 'What I Ate Wednesday' coming right up!

Breakfast:  Porridge with strawberries and brown sugar.  Drink = tea.

Lunch:  Home made (in the slow cooker) spiced carrot and red lentil soup with a warm part baked wholewheat roll with butter.  Drink = water and Innocent Defence Super Smoothie.

Dinner: Tilda brown rice with Quorn korma (or Qorma as I like to call it) and a naan bread.  Drink = water.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Virgin Holiday to NYC

I thought I would do a quick review of the flight and accommodation we experienced during an amazing 5 night stay in New York City.  We booked the holiday at the last minute (3 weeks before departure).  We did spend some time shopping around and compare prices and found Virgin offered us the perfect package deal.  

I found Thomson do not fly to NYC, Thomas Cook was expensive and doing flights and hotel separately was super duper fall off your chair expensive.  We flew from Heathrow to John F Kennedy (JFK) airport.  I have never been on a Virgin flight or package holiday before but was excited to experience one.

Heathrow Airport

On the way the plane was a A330 which in economy has a 2-4-2 seat set up.  It had seat backs screens with movies, TV shows, music and games to keep you occupied whilst in flight.  It really helped to pass the time.

Coming home it was an old plane that is due to go out of service soon, the seatback screens were noticeably not as good quality.  We paid extra for exit seats for extra legroom.


I specified a vegetarian meal and was given mushroom fusilli pasta (so tasty), side salad, roll with butter, with a cinnamon and apple crumble.  It was unlimited drinks throughout the flight.  Extras included a mini pack of Love Hearts ready for landing, a mini Fab ice lolly.
For the return journey I had chickpea and vegetable curry with rice, side salad, fruit salad, hot chocolate.  Breakfast:  Strawberry yogurt, granola and blueberry muffin (this was the same for meat eaters too).

Coming home we were given a toothbrush, mini toothpaste, eye mask, pen and headphones along with the usual pillow and blanket.

The hotel we stayed at was the Marriott Residence Inn located in Manhattan/Midtown East.
The first thing I noticed upon entering the hotel was the gorgeous winter spice fragrance, followed by how modern and clean the reception area was.  All the staff throughout our stay were very helpful and friendly.

The room had more amenities than most included was a dishwasher, fridge/freezer, electric 2 ring hob, coffee maker, toaster, breakfast bar with 2 stools, TV with 60 channels and free wifi.

The bed was large and comfy with crisp white sheets.

Super King (in UK sizes) bed

The bathroom was clean with a very powerful shower that stayed at just the right temperature.  A nice touch was the Paul Mitchell mini shampoo, shower gel and body lotion which were included.

Hot and cold buffet breakfast was included and was seriously amazing.  There was so much choice and there were different things on offer everyday.  There was waffle machines to make your own fresh waffles, selection of cereals, muffins, pastries, fruit, bagels, croissants, yogurt, porridge (or oatmeal as they call it).  The hot buffet had sausage patties, potato cakes, breakfast rolls, burritos, scrambled egg etc.

If I had to state any downsides then I would say the air conditioning in the room was too loud for my liking, however 2 pairs of earplugs are included in the room.

I had the best trip ever, it was even better than I was expecting.  I would definitely fly with Virgin again and as we loved the hotel, its location and breakfast so much we would stay in that exact hotel again too.

Hope you found this review helpful.

Check out my New York Itinerary post to find out what I got up to! 

This is my own personal opinion and NOT a sponsored post.