Thursday, 25 September 2014

Graze Breakfast Win & Top 5

I am one of those people that never win anything.  I often enter competitions on blogs and websites but come away empty handed every time... Until NOW!

I entered a Graze breakfast cereal competition on The Witt Family blog and won.  I am a big fan of The Witt Family blog and also the You Tube channel.

So I received in the post the prize of every flavour of granola and 3 porridges.  

I find the portion size in each packet is generous, I am not left feeling hungry at all.

My Top 5 Favourite Flavours are:

  • Strawberries and Cream granola (below)

  • Chocolate Orange granola
  • Pecan and Walnut porridge
  • Honey Hunter (below)

  • and Summer Fayre

What is your favourite thing to have for breakfast?

Birthday Presents 2014

I recently grew another year older.  Not sure where the last year went!  Anywho I thought I would share with ya'll a small selection of the presents I received from family and friends.
  • An Abercrombie and Fitch bag in coral (looks pink in the photo but definitely more of a coral colour in the flesh).   I took this bag out with me for Birthday brunch.

  • I am a massive slipper lover as sad as that may sound.  I love these Me To You slippers I received.  The wording reads 'Tea and Biscuits' which couldn't be more apt for me.
  • I have a real affinty with the colour coral at the moment...coral nails, coral scarf with owls on, coral get the picture!  So I really like this make up bag from Next which features a coral coloured section along the bottom.  My old make up bag was rather old and tired looking so I cant wait to fill this one with my fave make up items.

  • Soul Cal & Co Pj set.  These are ideal for summer or holidays in sunnier climes.  I adore the cute flower print shorts.

  • The Girls Book of Secrets appears to be more of a joke/fun book.  
  • I have read 2 Jenny Colgan books in the past called Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe and the follow up Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe and really enjoyed them both, so I am excited to give Little Beach Street Bakery a read.  
  • Follow Me Home sounds good too as it features a dog and we all know how much I LOVE those!

Hope you all enjoyed having a nosy at some of my Birthday presents.  Let me know in the comments below.

New York Trip Plans

Woohoo SO excited!  I have booked a last minute trip to New York for next month.✈️ Ahhhh!

I have always wanted to go to New York, it has definitely always been right up there on my bucket list and I am finally getting to go.  Yippee!  I just thought I would do a quick post to share what I plan to do and my excitement with you all.

I am going for 5 nights and staying in a hotel near Grand Central Station.

Attractions wise my itinary includes Top of the Rock, American Museum of Natural History (and pretend I am in a Night at the Museum movie), Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square.  

Let's be honest there will also be a lot of shopping involved such as Macy's, Abercrombie, Apple Store, Bath & Body Works, Bloomingdales and Toys R Us.  I plan to keep my eye out for some nice Christmas presents for my family.

The absolute icing on the cake is that for the Friends 20th Anniversary a replica of Central Perk Cafe.  It includes memorabilia and you can have your picture taken on the famous orange couch.  This is on my 'must-do' list for sure!

There are all sorts of food that I am looking forward to like pancakes, bagels, pizza, cupcakes, Dunkin' Donuts, cookies, cheesecake, muffins, waffles etc.  Note that none of it is healthy!  Salivating right now.  I am sure I won't get to tuck into even half of that but still a girl can dream of yummy-ness if she so chooses!

Anywho I can't stop long I am off to hoover the spiders out of my suitcase and start some packing.

Anyone else been to NYC?  Any eateries, shops or attractions you recommend?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum Review

I was expecting great things from this little tube of Advanced serum if the advert is to be believed. I also read some reviews and most people seemed to recommend and concur that it worked.  I am not heavily into beauty products and generally just buy the cheap and cheerful essentials that I need.  Now I'm in my late 20s I thought it was time to buy something 'age defying' as prevention is better than cure as they say!  
These kind of products all seemed too pricey to me but I received a Boots voucher and decided rather than buying my normal essentials with it I would invest it in something that I would not normally buy.

So I opted to give the No7 Protect and Perfect Advanced Serum a try.  After I paid at the till they handed me a voucher for £5 off my next purchase of the product, Grr - bit late now!

I have religiously used the serum after cleansing in the morning and after removing my make up in the evening.  It needs to be applied before moisturiser so it can get down into the skin properly.  It claims to provide "Younger looking more radiant skin in just 2 weeks."

I have now made my way through the entire tube over the past few months.  I have sensitive skin and was pleased to find this did not irritate it all which was good. However I am sad to report it has made no difference to my skin.  It is not more "glowy" (quote from lady in advert), fine lines are not reduced and I can't claim that I look 'visibly younger'.

I really wanted it to work but safe to say I won't be repurchasing.

Does anyone have a different anti ageing moisturiser or eye cream to recommend?

This is my own personal opinion and no sponsored in any way.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Garden Redesign Progress

I am currently in the midst of sorting out the plant-less garden which we inherited when moving into this house.  I am no Alan Titchmarsh but would like the garden to have a bit of colour, be easy to maintain and look tidy.  The aim is to add a nice patio area for alfresco dining and the occasional BBQ, put up a new fence and add some plants to the borders.

We had planned to get the garden all sorted in Spring 2014 before summer began but that didn't work out, one of the longest delays was choosing the goddam patio slabs!  To have a slab that is eye catching or different you really pay a premium of like 3 times more than a normal slab.  So we settled for a normal 'buff' slab and my partner has designed an interesting pattern for them to be laid in to add some interest.

So here we are in September and it is still in the midst of being done, fingers tightly crossed that we finish it before winter 2014 now!

The patio was cracked and you were never too sure where you could step without being launched in the air by an unfixed slab.
Before: Broken patio

So we took it the old slabs up in preparation for a new slightly larger patio to go down.
Broken slabs removed

During the strong winds the rotted fence literally fell over in pieces so that was the first job.  We purchased 6ft fence panels and painted them in 'Autumn Gold' coloured fence paint.  We also painted the back of the neighbours fence (at the end of our garden) to match. My Dad then fitted the new fence panels and posts for us. 
Painting time
Today we had a delivery of the patio slabs, cement, sand etc so we have all the materials for  my Dad to put the patio down.  We are hoping to make a start this weekend.

I will keep you updated on the garden redesign progress!

What I Ate Wednesday No.9

This is the food I ate during last Saturday...

Breakfast: Graze strawberries and cream granola with a cuppa in my Mini Eggs mug.

Lunch: I was in town and had stopped off in a coffee shop for a drink.  I had a hot chocolate.  My partner also ordered a white chocolate caramel shortbread which we shared.  It was a tad sickly. As this was at 11:45am it left me not hungry for lunch.  So I ended up just having some toast and a cuppa at 2pm.

Dinner: Chip shop takeaway! I had pea fritter and chips but in my haste to eat I forgot to photograph!  Doh!

I then settled down to watch TV with a cuppa and some Cadbury caramel nibbles.

Not the healthiest day ever but hey!

'Nest' Product Review

What is it? 
I expect you are wondering what a 'Nest' is.  Well...put simply it is the next generation of heating thermostat that replaces your current thermostat.

My gadget loving partner discovered the Nest about 3 years ago when it was only available in the US and has patiently waited for it to be put on sale in the UK.  As soon as it was announced for UK release he put his order in.  It cost £179 direct from the Nest website and included free professional fitting (normally £79).

The fitter had a spot of trouble connecting it to our heating system as apparently it is wired up strangely but he got there in the end.

Now our old room thermostat was, to be fair to it, butt ugly! It was a mix of brown and beige and stuck out like a sore thumb on our cream walls.  The new nest has a ring made from aluminium which reflects the colour of the walls to help it blend in...a definite step up!  It lights up as you walk past it so you can see the temperature at a glance.

The Clever Bit
The Nest learns your normal household routine, so if you get up at 5:10am Mon-Fri (like I do!) then the Nest will ensure your house is heated to the temperature you like it (18.5c in my case).  It won't heat an empty home, it switches to away mode when you have not entered the room for a long period of time.
Each month Nest automatically send you a Energy Report that tracks how your heating use changes over time.
The Nest knows when the sun is shining on it and goes into 'sun block' mode so the temperatute reading inside the house is not incorrectly affected.
'True radiant' works out how the house gets heated and can turn heating off earlier and use the residual heat from radiators to get to the required temperature so that it is not on for a minute longer than necessary.
The 'time to temp' feature works out how long it takes to heat the house and tells you how long it will take for the house to get to the desired temp.
It also has a leaf icon that shows up when you are apparently being energy efficient with your heating, not really sure it is hugely useful. 

The App
I can use the Nest app at any time (and place) to see how warm my house is or turn the heating on so I have a warm house to come home to.  This is handy when you are out for the day at the weekend or have been away on holiday and you want a nice warm home to greet you on your return.  I have included a couple of screen shots of the app from my iPhone below.


Nest also sell another product called Nest Protect, a smoke and carbon dioxide alarm which, when triggered, tells you (literally, it talks to you!) what room it was triggered in...although you need 1 in each room make best use of it. It is something we may add in the future but at present we have a carbon dioxide alarm (in the kitchen) a smoke alarm in the dining room and a smoke alarm on the landing so it seems unnecessary.

This is a pretty cool gadget right?!

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

My Daily Beauty Essentials

Here is a round up of my daily beauty favourites for you all.

Lip Balm
Palmer's Cocoa Butter lip balm with vitamin E.  This is a constant repurchase and comes with me in my handbag wherever I go.  It is SPF15 so ideal for protecting you lips from drying out in the suns harmful rays.  It also helps prevent and protect chapped, cracked or wind-burned lips so great for all year round.

Daily Moisturiser 
Simple Kind to Skin protecting light moisturiser SPF 15 with UVA/UVB.  I use this every morning on my face and neck.  It is important to me that my moisturiser contains SPF.

I tend to use Simple cleanser in the morning and Garnier micellar water in the evening to remove my make up and cleanse.  Sometimes it's vice versa or the same cleanser twice.  All depends how the mood takes me!

Dove Invisible Dry 48hr
My armpits are sensitive so I have to be careful what deodorant I buy, it has to be labelled sensitive or 0% alcohol.  I seem to have settled on this one as I keep repurchasing.  

Do you use any of these products?

What I Ate Wednesday No.8

Breakfast: A special treat breakfast at Frankie & Benny's, Bath today before hitting the shops.  Three buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote and a scoop of blueberry ice cream.  It cost £5.  It did feel a tad odd having ice cream for breakfast but I soon got over that minor detail.  

I absolutely love pancakes, especially the ones my partner makes they are amazing.
F&Bs Blueberry Pancake Stack
Twinnings English Breakfast tea (unlimited)

Lunch:  No lunch as the pancakes were really thick and filling.  Water and cups of tea with a cheeky chocolate digestive biscuit were enough to keep me going until dinner.

Dinner: Old El Paso soft tacos filled with Quorn mince, Heinz fajita beanz (spicy chilli and coriander pinto beans with lime) and cheddar cheese.  Served with Uncle Bens spicy rice. 
Drink is Robinsons strawberry & kiwi squash.

Does any of this food take your fancy?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Baby Gear Wishlist

Firstly I will apologise for the randomness of this, I am not pregnant (or trying to conceive) but I was bored and so decided to do a 'Baby Gear Wishlist'!

I hope Mummys or pregnant ladies enjoy this post.  I like to think my blog has something for almost everyone.

So here goes, if I were having a baby these would be the items I would choose...

Out and About
The Mamas and Papas Sola City pushchair in either pink with silver chassis for a girl or blue with silver chassis for a boy.  

I would add the Aton car seat in Black Jack to make it a travel system.  I would not bother with a carrycot though, they just don't get enough use with how fast babies grow.

My changing bag would probably be the Mamas and Papas Ellis - Black Quilt shoulder bag.  I like the shape and quilted material.

Baby Furniture
Furniture wise I am likely to go for something like the Mothercare Lulworth 3-piece Furniture Bundle.  For the highchair I would purchase a Stokke Tripp Trapp in natural.

Now as I love home decor and interior design the nursery interior is a toughie.  I would probably find out what I was having, if possible, which may mean I could go for a pink or blue colour scheme.  However, I came across the unisex Timbuktales range and it looks so nice.  I just love all the colours and the star design that is incorporated in it.  It would be ideal if I then went on to have another as it could be used for the next baby regardless of sex.  I am not sure how I would choose between all the coordinating items, I love the LED Canvas Picture, the cotbed duvet and pillow case and the tab top curtains.

I would invest in a Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine, I have heard such good things about these machine.  They sound like the perfect item to make life with a baby that little bit easier.
I also think the Movement and Sound Monitors are a great idea for that extra piece of mind.

I would not like to even hazard a guess at how much I have just 'mentallyl' spent in this wish list! 

Eek is all this baby related talk making me a very tiny smidgen broody?! 

Would you buy any of these items for your baby?

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

Monday, 1 September 2014

Home Decor Faves No.2

Here is the second edition of 'Home Decor Faves'....

These wooden hanging block have a seaside feel to them.  I purchased them from Next and it is hung in my dining room.  The words are rather nice/inspiring.

My prized oven gloves!  My Mum gave me these for Christmas.  I love them because they are the perfect colour for the colour scheme in my kitchen and the wording on them makes them different to your usual boring oven gloves.

The Orchid plant in my kitchen which has recently re-flowered. I love the gorgeous colour!  It is in a purple coloured pot to compliment the purple colour scheme in the kitchen.

A present from my Mum.  It is teal and made to look aged/shabby chic.  She brought it back from her holiday in Cornwall, I am not sure what shop it was from though.  I think the words are really nice.  We have hung it on the landing so you see it each time you walk down the stairs.

Would you like any if these items in you home?