Snack boxes?

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Hi all - tasty snacks? We all love them. What are your favourites?

I have a weak spot for Graze. I get a box every other week and haven't found many of the snacks that I am not a mega fan of!

For those that don't know Graze, you can order a box of four snacks either weekly or fortnightly. There are many different boxes to choose from and they take dietary needs into consideration. You can go vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, nut free and dairy free.

The boxes to currently choose from are; the breakfast box, the nibble box, the savoury box, the protein box, the light box, the sugar count box, the boost box, the flapjack box, the chocolate box and the sustain box. These all range between £3.89-£3.99. There is also a share box which is £15. Even after selecting your box option, you can still specify your dietary requirements and you can still "bin" snacks that you don't like.

Currently, they have some other boxes that are a little more difficult to get hold of, but definitely worth keeping an eye out for!

I currently have the "light" box. This means that each of my snacks are under 150 calories.


Literally, not a single thing that was delivered was something I didn't like.

I LOVED IT ALL!

I requested the two soups to be sent soon as I LOVE Asian broths!



That is the Vietnamese Pho (and a cup of green tea) - how amazing does that look? Tasted it too!

If you would like to unlock your 1st, 5th and 10th graze box FREE - follow this link




Have you heard of EarlyBird?

Well, they are a new start up company that are a little like Graze. I have an equal weak spot for them as they have wowed me with amazing customer service from day one. After not completing the sign up process originally, I got an email from Ollie, the founder, asking what they could do to improve and make me complete the sign up process. He sent me a free box after I gave my views (none of which were negative, it was just the wrong side of pay day if you catch my drift!) and I enjoyed every snack.

With EarlyBird, a weekly box is £3.99, a fortnightly box is £4.99 and a monthly box is £5.99 (first box is £1, or free with the below code!). You get 5 snacks, a tea bag and a dip. The last tea I had was teapigs - so I was ecstatic! 

You can bin snacks on the website that you don't like and you can select diet preferences.

I get a box every fortnight and I am yet to have a single disappointing snack!

This week, I got the following:


One of the best things about this box? Teapigs tea!

To get your first box for free, sign up here and give the share code "rowan-4896".

What are your favourite snacks? If you are not from the UK, what snack boxes can you get where you are in the world?


Disclosure: all opinions stated in this post are my own. I only post reviews about products that I am passionate about and think you should all know about! Thank you for reading :)

Dear Diary...

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

I have recently ordered a personalised organiser - I am just waiting for it to arrive and I cannot wait (I will definitely do a post about it when it arrives - I worked with the creator to make it exactly how I wanted it)!

How many of you keep a diary? I have always tried, ever since I was little. It has never been a success. I think that it is important to keep some sort of diary to give to the future me (aka, my children/grandchildren!).

My lovely Granny penned her memoirs and unfortunately for me, never published them. Although I have the majority, I keep finding additional pages with my dad and aunty - hopefully one day I will find all of it. Even with only the partial memoirs, it feels amazing to be able to read what I do have. My Granny died when I was 5, when she was at the amazing age of 81. I wish I had got to know her better, so her memoirs make me feel that much closer to her. It gave me the opportunity to get to know my Granny, and even her mother, without them being here. I wish that I had the same for my other family members.

Anyway, these two books have solved my problems - a page a day per year, for 5 years!



"One Line A Day - A Five Year Memory Book" can be found here. It is just enough for two or three sentences a day - enough to jog your memory a few months or even years down the line. I cannot get enough of it!



"Q&A a Day - A Five Year Diary" can be found here. This one asks you a different question every day. It will be so interesting to see how my answers differ over the years. I just recently had to answer what the current buzzword was!




So far, these have been so much fun and I haven't (yet!) forgotten to write in either. I will definitely take them with me on holiday or away from home. Already, only a month into them, I look back on what I have written and laugh (and cringe..!).

For the parents out there wanting to record similar on behalf of their children, there is the "Q&A a Day - A Five Year Diary for Kids" that can be found here!

Disclosure: all opinions stated in this post are my own. I only post reviews about products that I am passionate about and think you should all know about! Thank you for reading :)

DIY Glasses - Tried and Tested!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Being the Pinterest addict that I am, I have seen many different DIY projects that I will eventually work my way through!

One that really interested me is using nail varnish to personalise glasses! The walk through that I originally found said that they are dishwasher proof and very durable - got to be worth a try, right?

At my last trip to one of the various pound shops, I picked up a set of 6 stacker glasses for (you guessed it) £1! One did get broken when I tried to save a spider.. So I have 5 to work with.


I picked out 6 5 nail varnishes that I liked the colours of and some cotton buds.


With my first colour, I dipped the cotton in the nail varnish and splodged it all over the glass in some sort of pattern.


It was very therapeutic and had minimal mess. The only thing that got covered in nail varnish that wasn't the glass was my hands!



I did the splodges in sections I didn't get covered!

This was the end result - I am happy!




I also tried this with shot glasses - I painted the bottoms of each glass - how cool does this look!?


So tried and tested - total success! Definitely not dishwasher safe though.. I tried it and the dishwasher removed half of the dots. I tested scrubbing with a sponge and hot water and the dots don't budge :)

HAND WASH ONLY!

Coconut Oil Facts and a Healthy Chocolate Recipe!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

I swear by coconut oil for food, my face, nails, feet, body and my crazy curly hair! When I started using it, it was not because I had heard of how amazing it was, it was literally because I LOVE coconut. Literally - I think it is the best thing in the world. If it is coconut flavoured, I want it! YUM!

When it comes to the price, you cannot cut corners. I have bought what I thought was a total bargain - 500ml of coconut oil for 99p! WOW! That is so cheap.. It was horrible. Not raw, not virgin, not right at all!

The best tip when it comes to coconut oil is - if it smells like coconut yumminess, it is great - all coconut oil should smell great! If it smells like anything other than coconut yumminess, throw it in the bin/take it back to the shop you bought it from.

Personally, I will only get raw, virgin coconut oil. The brands I have chosen have mainly been because the company is a good one (and I like the label and the price)! The four (yes, four!) brands I use are: 

+Carrington Farms (normally in Costco for £11-£13) check out their website here



I love the massive tub! I have bought a few other Carrington Farms products when they appear in Costco and I love them! The only thing I would change is that Carrington Farms did their full range of products in the UK and did their coconut oil in a glass jar! Other than that, I literally cannot fault them!


Biona (£5-£15 dependent on size, from Ocado)

Biona have such an amazingly wide range of products that I adore! My favourite is their Rye Bread - totally divine! 


Chi (I got two jars in Costco for £8-£10)



My mum will only use Chi and I love it too. Chi also sell coconut water and milk - YUM! I adore them!


+Lucy Bee (£9-£19 dependent on size, on Amazon) check out her website here 



LucyBee is fantastic to follow as she is a real person and just so lovely. Her recipes are amazing and she is just a genuinely nice person! On her website, you can get a free brochure (here) - I got one for me, one for my mum and one for a friend! It was just so incredibly informative, I keep it in my kitchen! I call it my coconut oil bible.

All of these brands are amazing - I have used all of them and I cannot fault them in any way. They are all ethical and just amazing companies and people. 

There are many other brands and I would try them - but we all have favourites :)

There is however one brand that I will not buy again. That is KTC. It smelled horrible from when I opened it, so I took it back and got a different tub. That tub also smelled horrible. It doesn't say that it is raw or virgin, but it did say "pure", making me assume it was okay. It may well be - but I prefer my other brands!


So, when it comes to coconut oil, many people I have spoken to are hesitant to try it. I get it - people don't like change - but this is so worth the change. I have had people leave my house with a little pot of my coconut oil to get them to try it!

I have had people ask how I cooked certain things to make them "so good"?! The answer is always coconut oil!

When looking into coconut oil closer, I realised that not only is the tastiest thing on the planet, but it is also one of the healthiest! Seriously guys - it is so good for you.

The Tokelauans main trade is coconut and coconut oil. Coconut products are over 60% of their calorie consumption. They rarely have any evidence of heart disease and are amongst the healthiest people in the world. On a whole, the Tokelauans have limited access to healthcare, having to travel to New Zealand for most of their treatment - but still, their average life expectancy is still 68-70 years old.

~FACTS~

~Did you know coconut oil is naturally a SPF 4?! How cool is that?!~
~~Coconut oil increases your energy expenditure, helping you burn fat!~
~The Lauric acid in coconut oil helps kill bacteria, viruses and fungi~
~It can kill your hunger due to how we metabolise its good fatty acids~
~The fatty acids convert to ketones, helping to reduce seizures~
~It improves blood cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart disease~
~The fatty acids boost brain activity and function in Altzheimers patients~

That is just a few of the amazing things it can do - and it tastes great!

For more info:
source-source-source-source


Now for a recipe! Who likes chocolate? Of course you do, everyone does! Now have you ever tried raw chocolate? This clean eating and paleo suitable recipe will get your mouth watering!

The great thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever you like to it. I sometimes add pecans, strawberries and even sprinkles!

You will need:


1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup of raw honey/maple syrup
1/2 raw cacao powder (coco powder will work too)
1/2 smooth nut butter (I use almond butter from Meridian Foods)
splash of vanilla
If you don't want them so dark, Add some coconut milk or almond milk :)
added extras can include: Raspberries/Strawberries and/or nuts! I used Raspberries for this lot.

Method:
Melt the coconut butter and mix all ingredients together. I use a spatula and mix like crazy - a Nutribullet would work too!



When mixed, pour into moulds - you can use a silicone mould like mine or cup cake cases.


Messy perfection!

Pop in the fridge for 2-3 hours or the freezer for 30 minutes.



Tah-Dah! Chocolate perfection!
They do melt at room temperature - so keep them stored in the fridge.
:)

Where did I get my info?

Disclosure: all opinions stated in this post are my own. I only post reviews about products that I am passionate about and think you should all know about! Thank you for reading :)

My Terramundi Pot

Friday, 20 February 2015

Hey everyone!

For my 23rd birthday, I got this great Terramundi Pot. For those that don't know, Terramundi pots have been used in Italy for over 2000 years. Traditionally, once the first coin is put inside, the pot must be fed until completely full. Then, to get the money out, it must be smashed whilst making a wish. When filled, they are supposed to hold £200 - £1000, depending on what you put in it of course. We decided to put just pound coins in.



After they are smashed, they should be replaced and the money should be spent on something great. They are supposed to bring good fortune!

So, as you know. Greg and I are getting married in September and funds are tight. Although our pot was not completely full, I thought it was about time we cracked it open to put towards the wedding. I had already bought a replacement as I think they are a totally fantastic idea.

Firstly, I walked around carrying it for a while.. I had literally no idea how I was going to smash this without making a massive mess! I got out my mini hammer and dinked the pot a few times but each time, I was too scared to use force!

I was also sad to say goodbye to it. It is so pretty and I have had it for two years..

Once I smashed mine, I thought I would look into it further, to see what other people have done with theirs - turns out that people normally smash theirs carefully and use it as a plant pot or something similar.. Whoops.

Eventually, I put the pot in a tea towel lined carrier bag and dropped it on the kitchen floor. Perfect - no mess!

The result? 


Not bad huh? £331.20 - I have no idea where the 20p came from..!

I also forgot I had put this in - I am glad I beat the target!


Do you have something like this? How do you save around the house?


Disclosure: all opinions stated in this post are my own. I only post reviews about products that I am passionate about and think you should all know about! Thank you for reading :)

Pancake Day!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Hey all :)

In the UK, we have Pancake Day, which is today! I cannot get enough of pancake day, even though every year I end up having a strop about not being able to make the pancakes right.. 

I did try to make pancakes for everyone at work but with the electric hob, I didn't succeed and I did give up in the end. My lovely colleague stepped in and made them perfectly though! YUM!

Shrove Tuesday marks the first day of lent (if you are religious!). More info on what Shrove Tuesday can be found here!

SO! About a year ago, just before we got the house, my Mum and I went to Costco and found this amazing pancake pan! Today was my first chance to use it!


I very lightly dabbed coconut oil on each section, not too much as it is non-stick! Then I made the batter.

1 cup flour
1 cup milk (I used skimmed but any is good)
1 egg

THAT SIMPLE! If it looks too thick, add a tad more milk.


As they started to cook, I flipped them (this was intense.. I was convinced they wouldn't come out of the pan.. But then...)


YAY! They are so much fun!



And the ones that didn't look so great? Well they made a great pancake stack!


I put some in a squeezy bottle to try my hand at a Minion pancake....


That is definitely a success - right?!

My favourite topping is lemon and sugar...


What is yours?

Valentines Traditions

Saturday, 14 February 2015

For us, Valentines day isn't really something we worry too much about. We have had the same valentines tradition since forever, and we love it!

Greg did however get me flowers delivered to my work - how cute!


And I did get him these adorable robot choccies from The Whimsical Cake Company


So, firstly, we get up - whenever - today it was 10am-ish! Then we have breakfast. I made us sausages, poached eggs, baked beans and bacon. I am the slowest cook ever, so it took an hour! Hah!

After dossing on the sofa for a few hours, we then go to Costco. We select one of their massive pizzas (pepperoni!) and a case of beer (I like Cubanisto rum beer and Gregs likes Budweiser) and any other naughty snacks along the way. Then we eat and drink for the rest of the day in the comfort of our own home.. No restaurants, no having to wrestle to get into town to have a good time. Home :)





Yum yum yum! Greasy goodness. Back to the diet tomorrow....!

I love my Greg :)


Greg's parents also put us together a bag of goodies! We got champers, sweeties, and some cute heart champagne flutes! And a card with a surprise towards our honeymoon - thank you! :)


What are your traditions? 

A-Z of me!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

As I am starting out, I thought I should do a little something to help you get to know me. 

This is pinched from a wonderful blog by Sarah Clarke - be sure to check her out!

A: Attached or Single? Attached
B: Best friend? Nikki Burris - best friends for over 10 years :) She made me the Godmummy to her gorgeous daughter, Raydi. I love them both very much!
C: Cake or Pie? Wow.. Tough one! Pie..!
D: Day of choice? Saturdays
E: Essential item? My phone or car
F: Favourite Colour? Purple and Red
G: Gummy bears or worms? Bears! All the way!
H: Hometown? Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK.
I: Indulgence? Chocolate or nutella (by the spoon...)
J: January or July? Tough one. I like January because it is the start of the year and July because it is warm(er)
K: Kids? Not yet, one day :)
L: Life isn't complete without...? My Greggy - soon to be hubby!
M: Marriage Date? 3rd September 2015 - not long to go now..!
N: Number of Siblings? One brother - Andy. Legend!
O: Oranges or Apples? Oranges. I like the idea of Apples more than I actually like them..
P: Phobias? Ha! Spiders and needles
Q: Quotes? 
R: Reasons to Smile? How fun my life is turning out to be :)
S: Seasons of choice? Summer when it is sunny, Winter when it snows
T: Tag 5 people: Check out my sponsors at the bottom of the page :)
U: Unknown fact about me? That is tough.. I got a tattoo of a bee on my back on my 21st birthday in Prague.. One day I will post a pic!
V: Vegetable? All of them, I love every vegetable going!
W: Worst Habit? Not listening.. But pretending to! Not because I am rude, just because I am pre-occupied with nothing on my phone...!
X: X-ray or Ultrasound? X-ray? I am not sure..
Y:  Your Favourite Food? I LOVE Mac n Cheese, Pizza, Chocolate, Indian Curry... I love food!
Z: Zodiac Sign? Pisces

Favourite Quick Meals

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Currently, the diet is difficult. Pizza seems like the only food in the world that will stop my hunger!

I have been trying to make foods that take no time at all and taste amazing - as well as being healthy and good! So far, I have two favourites..

My favourite breakfast at the moment is spinach and poached eggs. Seems simple enough huh? Well for ages, I almost craved it but didn't make it! It takes me about 5 minutes to make the whole thing and is so good! 

Here is how..

I put half a bag of spinach in a frying pan and add a splash of water. Keep the heat high until you hear a sizzle, then turn it to medium, constantly moving the spinach and turning it over until it is cooked. 

Boil about 2 inches of water in pan. When the water is fiercely boiling, drop in your eggs. Lots of poached egg 'recipes' call for vinegar - I have never used vinegar and always got perfect eggs! Take the eggs out of the water when they are cooked to your liking. 

I add some cracked salt and pepper to them at that is that! Done :)



For this easy egg fried rice...

First of all, pick your rice. I prefer brown but there is no right or wrong here! Boil your rice until almost cooked.

Then, fry off your chicken (I fry using pure coconut oil - so good for you and so yummy!) and sprinkle in one chicken stock cube. Don't over cook it! Add onions and your chosen veg to your pan (with no extra oil or water), with the chicken. Whilst cooking, add about 2-3 table spoons of soy sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes before adding the drained rice. Keep to a medium heat and keep it moving! As the rice is cooking, you may need to add a little water to ensure it cooks well.

Whilst this is cooking away, mix 3 eggs and a dash of milk in a mug. Make sure they are mixed well.

Once the rice is cooked, make a well in the middle and add your egg mixture. Turn the heat off and mix everything together, well. DONE!



Enjoy :)