Friday, August 24, 2012

Garnier Body Tonic

I'm having quite a busy and very stressful time at the moment so my blog is lacking slightly but I am trying to blog whenever I can. This is just a quick post to update you on a new body tonic i've been using the past few weeks. Even with all of the body lotions and butters I have I still get tempted into buying new ones when I see them instore. This one particularly stood out to me as it was a "body tonic" rather than lotion or butter. I've never come across a body tonic before, so was excited to see what it was like.

I've been using this in the mornings after my shower, it's not heavy like a butter and it's even lighter and thinner than a lotion. I found that it sank into the skin really well and it immediately left it feeling hydrated for most of the day. This is something really different to other products on the market, and as you do with all creams, I wondered whether what they are claiming on the bottle would be true or not. I can honestly say i'm really impressed with this product, I've been using it mainly on my legs and the effect has been amazing, they haven't been as dry as they usually are. I quite liked the smell of it, but I don't think everyone would like it, it's an aquired smell. It's not overpowering, but natural with a touch of citrus. This is a great product for the summer as it's so light and refreshing.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Body Shop - Coconut Body Butter

I'm slowly working my way through the huge amount of body lotions and butters I have gathered over time. The first one i've started with is the Coconut Body Butter from The Body Shop. For a 200ml tub it costs £12.50, but The Body shop often have some great offers on where you can get some really good deals and discounts.

This is a nice body butter, sinks into your skin really well. The scent is lovely, I love the scent of coconut as it makes me want to be lying on a beach somewhere sipping a pina colada out of an actual coconut. You either like the smell of coconut or you don't. Thats pretty much what you get with most of the ranges at The Body Shop, for instance if you love the smell of coconut then i'm pretty sure you'll love every single product within the coconut range that they have to offer. Their site is really well organised and you can easily look through everything in your favourite range, the only problem being there is too many to choose from. I want them all!

My all time favourite ranges are Shea and Vitamin E but the Coconut was a lovely refreshing change to mix it up a bit. Luckily i've also got a small 50ml pot of this butter which I got in a gift set, so that will be perfect size to take on a weekend away, a holiday or to just pop in my handbag.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Pasta Three Ways

Today I thought I would share with you my three favourite three sauces for pasta, including a creamy bacon sauce, my mum's bolognese and what I use when I'm being lazy! I love pasta. It's so versatile and you can do so much to it. You can make a really yummy sauce for it or even just sprinkle some Parmigiano-Reggiano on to some plain pasta for a quick and simple meal.

Creamy Bacon SauceThe first of my sauces is my take on a carbonara, I don't use eggs in my sauce which is what makes it different from a traditional carbonara sauce. With this recipe you can change it around depending on how much bacon,cream and cheese you like in it. I use 2 bacon rashers each and a small pot of cream for 3-4 people.

Half a red onion
Half a tsp of garlic
  1. Fry some bacon in a pan until nice and crispy.
  2. To the bacon add half a teaspoon of garlic and half of a red onion diced, cook until softened and slightly browned.
  3. Add the cream to the mixture and heat on a low temperature, making sure not too boil the cream.
  4. Stir in four tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the sauce in the pan along with a little of the starchy water to loosen the sauce.
  6. Once the sauce has been fully mixed into the pasta, serve with another little sprinkling of parmesan.
Bolognese is a much loved dish by many and everyone makes it in their own different ways. It's one of my favourite dishes, I don't think I've ever tried two the same, even the ones I make always seem to vary a little. Apart from my mums Sunday roast her bolognese is my next favourite dinner and very hard to beat in my eyes. It's very different from the ones you get in restaurants or abroad, it's richer, beefier and so yummy.

500g Extra lean beef mince
1 White onion diced
1 Red Onion diced
2 Beef OXO cubes
2 Tins of chopped tomatoes
About 10 Mushrooms diced
2 Tsp of italian herbs
Worcester Sauce
Red Wine
  1. In a pan lightly brown the mince along with the diced onions.
  2. Add two crumbled oxo cubes along with the mushrooms and cook on a medium heat until softened.
  3. Then add the two tins of chopped tomatoes, italian herbs, a dash of worcestershire sauce and a generous splash of red wine.
  4. I find that the longer you cook it the better, I would recommend leaving it on a low for a good few hours, just gently bubbling away.  
  5. We sometimes double up on the recipe so we can eat half and freeze half so that we have a delicious dinner which is already prepared for whenever we fancy it.
...and for when I'm feeling lazy or in a rush and haven't got any of the bolognese already prepared in the freezer there is a sauce from Dolmio which I love.

Stir-in sauce for your favourite pasta, a lovely smokey tomato sauce with bacon bits.
Quick, Easy and Tasty. Enjoy.

Friday, August 17, 2012


I haven't done a post about films in the past few weeks as i've been so preoccupied with the Olympics that I haven't had the time to watch many movies! My Sky+ box has been so busy recording things over the past few weeks, it's taken me a week to catch up! Here's what I thought about a couple of movies which I have watched...

Money Train
This is quite an old movie now from back in 1995 but somehow i've only just heard of it. It was on Sky, I love it when they show you movies which you didn't even know existed! It stars Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson who are cops in NYC and are planning to rob from a cash transporting locomotive AKA the 'Money Train'.  I thought it was a really good film, it made me laugh, a film i'd definitely be happy to watch again.

Mr Poppers Penguins
Just the title of this movie made me immediately think it was going to be a rubbish film, even thinking this I decided to give it a go. I assumed it was going to be Jim Carrey (who I think is well past his peak in the world of movies) simply trying to grasp onto some sort of career. This film definietly isn't a classic like Carrey's Mrs Doubtfire or Liar Liar, but I surprisingly really enjoyed this film. It features Mr Popper (Jim Carrey) who plays a business man who's life is turned around when he inherits six penguins. His posh apartment looks incredible when it's turned into a snowy wonderland! A great family film which is well worth watching.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Olympics Round Up

So in the end we finished up with 65 medals in total, 19 bronze, 17 silver and 29 gold medals. What a fantastic Olympics it has been. It seems to have inspired so many people to take up sport. There are so many more people of the streets cycling, jogging and running.  However it does make me giggle when I see cyclists on their brand new shiny bikes, pedalling down the street thinking they are Sir Chris Hoy.
The London games were officially closed on Sunday at the closing ceremony at the Olympic stadium. The spectacular show included performances from The Who, Pet Shop Boys, One Direction, Madness, Muse, Jessie J and many more. Take That also performed their hit 'Rule the world'.  As they say "The show must go on" but I have a lot of respect and admiration to Gary Barlow for going ahead with the performance despite his recent personal tragedy when his daughter poppy was sadly stillborn. My favourite performance of the night was from the Monty Python star Eric Idle who sang his song 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' .

The night made me want to get up and dance in front of the television, A great celebration and a brilliant way to say goodbye to the Olympics for another 4 years. I never thought I would say this but I'm really missing them already, It was great to always have something good to watch throughout the day and to watch the amazing athletes compete in their sports. Bring on August 29th when the Paralympic Games begin!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My First Graze Box

Last week mum was given a voucher in WH Smiths for a free graze box, so she gave it to me. I had always heard good things about the graze boxes but had never took the time to find out how it really works. After looking on their website, I was amazed to find how many different nibbles they had to offer.

The great thing about graze is that you can have it delivered to any address in the UK which can receive post. When you sign up they put every item in the range marked as 'try', on each item you can set your own preferences from 4 different options. These options are 'try', 'like', 'love' and 'bin'. When you send something to the 'bin' this means you will never receive this product, I think this is brilliant as you are able to tell them what you don't like, so you'll never receive a box with something you wouldn't like to try.There is also an option for 'send soon' which is available on some products and they will try to include this in your next box.

They also offer gift vouchers in a range of different values from 3 to 50 boxes. This is a unique gift, a really great idea for someone who has everything, for someone who is hard to buy for and for anyone who likes yummy snacks.

What I think is great about Graze is that it not only is freshly prepared tasty nibbles but each box is tailored to suit each and every person with a little guidance from the person to help them pick the perfect options for the individual.

So after going through most of the products and rating them I couldn't wait for Wednesday to come. The day before my box was due I received an email telling me that my box was in the post, they also let me see what I'll be receiving in my box which was good. Morning arrived and my first graze box came through the postbox. Within the box it contained 4 individual snacks, a welcome leaflet and a personalised print out, showing me the best before dates and nutritional values of my snacks as well as some codes to pass out to friends so that they can claim a free first box.

My first four items were,

Summer Berry Flapjack
I have never been very keen on flapjacks but this one was really nice. Some really fruity cranberries are mixed into a buttery oaty mixture. Lovely with a cup of tea!
Cheddar Gorge
This was my favourite from this weeks box, I'm a lover of savoury things and cheese so this was perfect!
Billionaire's shortcake
This one was perfect for when you are craving something sweet, it contains milk chocolate, cranberries, fudge and almonds.
Smoky Gazpacho Dip
This was a nice savoury treat, and was something I had never came across before. A smoky, tomatoey dip with some wholemeal crisp bread slices. Yummy!

I was really pleased with my first box and I made sure to rate them again to let Graze know what I thought of them. I'm really looking forward to seeing whats inside my next box!  I'd recommend the Graze box to anyone. It's perfect for mid-morning or in the afternoon when you need a quick fix and something to snack on.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gu Lemon Cheesecake

I'm a really big fan of lemon desserts and when eating out I always tend to choose a fruity dessert over a chocolatey one when I have the choice. This week I tried the lemon cheesecake from Gu. Cheesecakes are often hard to get right, personally I think that they are usually made with too much topping and not enough biscuit. The key to getting the perfect cheesecake is having the right amounts of both topping and base. Up until this week I don't think i've ever had a really good cheesecake, well that was the case before I tried this Gu pud. It's by far the best cheesecake i've ever had, a lovely buttery base with a creamy and zesty topping. They come in packs of two, and make for a perfect end to a meal. They also come in little glass ramekins which you can wash and re-use.

If you are having a nice meal in or just sitting in front of the tele, Gu have a really wide range of puds and nibbles available which are perfect for a sweet treat, i'll definitely be buying those cheesecakes again! Try them for yourselves, you won't be disappointed.


Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Homemade Frozen Yogurt

Over the last couple of weeks i've done a couple of posts about some yummy frozen yogurts and sorbets which i've been testing out. I've become a little addicted to them, i'm constantly looking for new flavours or what different brands have on offer. This morning I had the idea to make some of my own. It's so simple, you don't have to be any sort of chef to put this one together! I simply blended a pot of low fat natural yogurt with a punnet of frozen berries and added a tablespoon of sugar. Pour the mixture into a container and freeze. I thought it was gorgeous, really refreshing and the fact that it was homemade and so easy to make made it even more appealing. I'll definitely be making this again and testing out some different flavours!


Sunday, August 05, 2012

Olympics Week 1

So we are just over a week into the proceedings of the London Olympics and what a fantastic week it has been. The athletes from Team GB have got us up to an amazing third place on the medals table. China are currently leading with 59 medals, USA have 56 and we have an impressive 36.

Amazingly 16 of our medals so far are gold. My favourite moment of the games so far was definitely Saturday night at the athletics. The night ended on a brilliant high with Mo Farah winning the Men's 10,000m, it was lovely to see his wife and daughter going to meet him on the track, didn't his wife look fantastic, so heavily pregnant but relaxed, calm and absolutely glowing. The best performance for me was from Jessica Ennis, what an athlete she is. I think it's great that she appreciates the crowds too, some athletes look very serious and aren't bothered whats going on around them but she always seems to be smiling and encouraging the crowds to cheer her on.

And here is the list of where the first 16 gold medals for Team GB came from -

Men’s Long Jump – Greg Rutherford
Men’s 10,000m - Mo Farah
Women’s Heptathlon – Jessica Ennis
Men’s Individual Time Trial – Bradley Wiggins
Men’s Canoe Double - Tim Baillie, Etienne Stott
Men’s Team Sprint - Hindes, Hoy, Kenny
Men’s Team Pursuit - Burke, Clancy, Kennaugh, Thomas
Women’s Keirin - Victoria Pendleton
Women’s Team Pursuit - King, Rowsell, Trott
Men’s Four - Gregory, Reed, James, Triggs Hodge
Women’s Pair - Helen Glover, Heather Stanning
Women’s Double Sculls - Anna Watkins, Katherine Grainger
Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls - Katherine Copeland, Sophie Hosking
Men’s Finn - Ben Ainslie
Men’s Double Trap - Peter Wilson
Men’s Singles - Andy Murray

In this next week i'm really looking forward to seeing Tom Daley in the diving, the men's decathlon and some more of the cycling!


Kenco Millicano

Last week I was given a sample of Kenco Millicano, I tried it and absolutely loved it. It's their first wholebean instant coffee, it contains a mix of finely ground beans and instant coffee so that you get the great taste of ground roasted coffee but with the added convinience of it being quick and easy to make. Personally I think with coffee you definitely get what you pay for, with some things the cheaper versions of them can be great but with a £1 jar of coffee from poundland you definitely don't get the quality you would by simply spending a couple of pounds more.

This coffee is a really good quality and a lovely smooth texture and taste. You can get it in most supermarkets for around £3.99 however it's on offer in Tesco for £2.99 until the 20th of August. Even at £3.99 it is a fantastic price, if you are a coffee lover I would recommend trying it. If you are all for being eco friendly they offer it in a eco refill pack too.


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Yog's Frozen Yogurt

So today is the first day of August, summer is here, the Olympics have started, and the sun is shining (some of the time). Last week I tried some amazing strawberry frozen yogurt from M&S, having ran out of that and M&S still not having it in stock I decided to try a different one.

There isn't a really wide selection like there is of ice creams but I think we will start to see more and more as they become even more popular. Even though there isn't a wide range, some of the flavours available are unique and more exciting than the ice cream flavours available. For instance, when I saw that Yog have a passion fruit frozen yogurt I simply had to get it. I absolutely love passion fruit, I usually blend mine into smoothies or mix into a fruit salad to give it a yummier and more tropical flavour.

I bought the Yog passion fruit. First taste, heaven. It is absolutely gorgeous, it's so refreshing, fruity and makes you want to be lying on a beach on a tropical island! It has a very subtle flavour which isn't over powering or sickly. The best thing about it, other than tasting amazing, it's fat free with nowhere near as many calories as ice cream. It's a guilt free pud that is perfect on it's own or with some fruit. I think I'll have to try the chocolate and pomegranate ones next!
Try it for yourself...grab a spoon and enjoy!