Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Aldi Outdoor Living

Aldi goes from strength to strength Aldi’s core philosophy is to offer high quality, brand-like products at everyday low prices that shoppers can trust. 

I shop there when I can, I love looking at the Aldi Specialbuys, we have picked up great cycling accessories four years ago and the quality means we are still using them now. I love the outdoor bargains and like to pop in when I can.

I have reviewed a lot of Aldi's food, but this time I was asked to feature the Outdoor living range that is also part of the Specialbuys this week.

Aldi's sent me the glazed ceramic pots, they are heavy real solid pots, in a sage green and modern black shade. 

I wanted to get them all potted up with shrubs to really showcase them however you may miss the bargains in Aldi this week!!

I am off to buy the gorgeous decorative iron trellis above its an amazing £4.99 with a 3 year warranty too, perfect for some clematis I recently purchased.

For those looking for a garden table and chairs, see below, I am just amazed at the prices.

The outdoor range is now on sale and will not last long. So why not take a look in your local store.

Pop into Aldi from the 13th April 2014 for a whole host of great value outdoor living furniture and accessories to make the most of your garden this summer.

Garden lovers can pick up everything they need including aluminium parasols, garden dining tables and chairs to make the most of the spring and summer sun.
This Aluminium Parasol (£24.99) will provide shelter come rain or shine and with a 16KG Parasol Base (£14.99) to match.

Al-fresco dining needn’t be the sole preserve of those living in the Mediterranean. Aldi’s Aluminium Glass Table (£49.99), matching Aluminium Chairs (£19.99) make an attractive option for those wishing to wine and dine while the sun shines

With a host of affordable options available to spruce up your garden, it won’t just be your green, green grass that’s the talk of the town. Aldi’s Decorative Garden Stake (£2.99), Glazed Ceramic Pot (£6.99), Iron Decorative Trellis (£4.99) and Topiary Ball (£8.99) will add a touch of style at just a snippet of the usual cost. 

Aldi’s Specialbuys Outdoor Living range is in stores nationwide on 13th April but don’t delay, as Specialbuys are only available while stocks last and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Vileda Spring Cleaning Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of their new campaign, ‘Floor Miles’, I’ve teamed up with Vileda, the UK’s leading household cleaning brand. Vileda is offering 2 lucky readers the chance to win a bundle of cleaning goodies to get their homes ship shape this spring. Perfect for busy homes, Vileda products are designed to last miles longer and make your cleaning miles easier!

Each cleaning bundle will consist of Microfibre Kitchen, Active Wave Non Scratch Scourer and The Sunsplash All Purpose Cloths which I have reviewed here: http://www.giventodistractingothers.co.uk/2014/04/vileda-cleaning-cloths-review.html.

For more competitions and to find out how to collect Vileda ‘Floor Miles’ and be in with a chance of winning a family eco-holiday, head to the Vileda UK Facebook page www.facebook.com/ViledaUK.

Fill in the easy Rafflecopter,  there is a question for this giveaway, please post the answer in comments here on the post.

ON A WICK & A PRAYER Candle Giveaway

I recently reviewed the gorgeous China Garden Ripe Fig candle see here http://www.giventodistractingothers.co.uk/2014/04/on-wick-and-prayer-china-garden-range.html
On a Wick are known as the  ‘The Candlemakers of Derbyshire’
Over the past 20 years On a Wick have steadily built a reputation for quality and innovative design. All the products are only made in the Peak District and use only 
British sourced products.

I love the fragrance and the glass is particularly beautiful, with a plum blossom design created by Wedgewood and Minton by I have since learnt that you can have the glass refilled when the candle is over.

On a Wick are  offering one lucky Given To Distracting Others reader the chance to win another beautiful China Garden candle, this time the fragrance is Crisp Cotton. 

Please fill in the Rafflecopter form and remember I do check all entries. You can do as little as just comment and follow or as many of the options as you like. Ends 14th May.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Freebie Friday 11th April

Welcome to #FREEBIEFRIDAY, I found some lovely freebies this week. 

Did anybody get any of the previous weeks freebies?

I  received the free tomato seeds from Heinz, (still running) the Max white toothpaste and a Wilkinson's razor. Worth doing the 'So many' section. 

Bloggers, don't forget to add any giveaways, please add closing date  to avoid disappointment if its closed.

Try the Benefit game out to win a free sample and maybe the big prizes. You have to balance your lady on a tightrope, get through all three levels to be entered into the prize draw, but if you tweet you get a free sample. Good luck I cannot get through all three levels, my balancing act was atrocious.

Any blog wins from the list would be nice to hear about, let me and other bloggers know.

My spotlights this week are the Babysham glasses, you just pop your name in once and they pick out 150 winners each month, there are 1,500 pairs of glasses given away to celebrate the 60th anniversary. 

Then the one I am very jealous about is this freebie from roboform, I love it and have the full version and you can too for a whole year too.

We want to be sure that everyone is safe on the web so today and tomorrow, in response to the Heartbleed bug, we are giving away a free year of RoboForm Everywhere to all new users! 
Share this with friends, family and anyone else you think could benefit from using a password manager:http://www.roboform.com/lp?frm=heartbleed-promo&affid=hrtbl
Current users- we aren't forgetting about you! Today and tomorrow, use discount code HRTBL to get 20% off your Everywhere renewal!

Free 300,000 Malteser Bunny with Tesco Find the Eggs
Free Samples

Free Robinson Squash'd samples 16/05

Free Benefit Easy Does it samples

Free Kallo Stock samples (6 pack) (allow popups to see the form)

Free Snazaroo Face paint samples

Free Newburn Bakehouse Wraps (White or Seeded)

Bvlgari Omnia Indian Garnet perfume sample

Nivea for Men Free samples
Fill in your address

Sun perks members.Free drink at AMT Coffee 13/04


02 Priority Freebies
Will need the app on your O2 device

 Free chocolate Egg on Toast ends 13/04
Free Millie's Cookie 26/04

Worth a Go as So Many

5,000 Berts Bees products 19/04
Answers 1 Bert, 2, Nature

1,500 Babycham 60th Anniversary pair of glasses
150 a month, I won!

Vileda Cleaning Cloths Review

Vileda, the homecare partner, has expanded its range of cleaning cloths to include specialist cloths for different aspects of the home.  I was sent some of the cloths to review, its a dirty job, but someone has to do it!!

The rebranded cloths have innovative microfibre design elements to help with the housework and make cleaning that little bit easier.

The new Microfibre Kitchen is an all-in-one cloth, for all surfaces, slightly different from other microfibre cloths I have tried.  

One one side is soft, great for collecting crumbs and removing smears and general cleaning. 

However on the reverse it has a stitched surface, it feels tough and deals with stubborn dried on food stains. 

Both sides easily tackle grease, it just has a lot more power yet gentle on your delicate surfaces. It worked particularly well after a mammoth cooking session, the cooker top was easy to clean. Not a single chemical needed at all, which is good for our environment, for those who like green cleaning or have allergies I would recommend it.

I also liked it for my stainless steel microwave, inside for tough spills and gentle on the finish outside.

I also tried the Active Wave Non Scratch Scourer. This is a product I know well already and use on my precious pans. As a foodie blogger, I have gradually replaced pans and invest in good ones, one for the look in a photo, but mainly as they produce better food. I now read a riot act each time I get new pans so that my family care for them too.

Which ones have to be washed by hand and which scourer can be used. Non scratch scourers are widely available but the Active wave is particularly good for gentle cleaning of non stick, 

Its also very good on bases of pans, the bit my family seem to forget and then I redo and often it takes more effort. 

The Sunsplash All purpose cloth is a general all rounder, great for bathrooms, dusting furniture I find it good for my leather sofas, its for wet use and for soaking up spills. 

I come now to the last product and my favourite, the Microfibre Dust Cloth, I don't mind dusting but my TV is the dust magnet, its the one I won, its like a large mirror in the corner and shows dust up straight away but has to be treated carefully, a soft cloth.

 I dust it daily and it is showing up dust  again within an hour! I have found the Vileda cloth picks up more dust and definitely lessens the time before having to do again.

With two hayfever sufferers in the house, I like to keep on top of the pollen that settles and this duster will help greatly over the summer.

In fact I am buying a few more as I really found it to be so good. Plus as a keen comper, the packs can be sent off for a chance to win a holiday. See below.

The Vileda duster has proved to be valuable, it picks up 40% more dust than an average cloth, so I am finding it more productive.


Win a holiday to Tenerife!

To be entered into the draw to win a trip for yourself and three family members* to experience eco clean living in Tenerife’s 4 star Sandos San Blas Eco Resort, you simply have to  send in your empty Vileda packaging along with a completed entry form. There is a simple question to answer.

Launched on Wednesday 19 March, 2014- 31/10/2014 which is also UK’s first National Cleaning Day - Floor Miles is an eight-month competition where every piece of Vileda packaging equals one entry into the prize draw. 

Quite simply, the more you send, the more chance you have to win. All Vileda products will be accepted.

The prize is for the winner and three family members to experience pure quality and clean living on a luxurious all-inclusive five-night break to the luxury 4 star resort. Set in its own nature reserve, the stunning resort combines sustainable amenities, eco tours and a variety of cultural activities for the whole family to enjoy.
There will also be seven monthly prize draws for £100 worth of travel vouchers and a second grand prize of £500 travel vouchers.


Disclosure: I was provided with the products in order to review, my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


My friends daughter has just been diagnosed with Colitis, she is 16 and its a life changing diagnosis, her whole diet must change, her Mum needs to look at every packet to check ingredients, this is very small compared to the pain and discomfort that she suffers so when I was asked to highlight #GETYOURBELLYOUT, it was an easy and hopefully helpful yes!!

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past month, you will have seen the widespread cancer campaign #NoMakeupSelfie which has been covered online, in press and on your TV.  
Women have been ‘sharing’ their natural skin selfies, in a bid to raise awareness for Cancer.

The amazing NoMakeUpSelfie campaign raised funds and awareness for Cancer sufferers and their families, it was admirable.   Following in their footsteps, a small team decided to do the same for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), namely Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis - both of these diseases are debilitating, sometimes life-threatening, often humiliating…..and very few people have heard of them or know anything about them.   

This was to change with the #GetYourBellyOut social media phenomenon!  

It all began on March 23rd, when Derbyshire based Marketing Manager, Sahara Fleetwood-Beresford decided she needed to do something to raise awareness of IBD, she wanted to make a difference.  

Along with some of the other members of the team working on this campaign, Sahara suffers with Ulcerative Colitis.  

This is a relatively unknown and ‘invisible’ chronic condition which affects the colon, the large intestine (bowel) and rectum, which often becomes inflamed, causing severe ulcers on the lining of the colon. 

It is an auto-immune disease which can trigger complications such as infections and long-term health issues.  Sometimes surgery is the only option, sections of the intestines are often removed, especially in regards to Crohns disease which affects the entire digestive system.  The symptoms are downright nasty.  Someone who has Colitis or Crohns can expect to spend vast amounts of time either searching for or being stuck in, a toilet.  Imagine the nastiest sickness and diarrhoea bug you've ever had and imagine dealing with that on a permanent basis, with the addition of blood loss so severe it can cause anaemia.  If you're lucky, doctors find medications to manage the disease and the symptoms become controllable - if you're not lucky, the only route available is surgery.  Often the medications have serious side effects that can be as upsetting as the disease itself.

Unfortunately these diseases are often confused with IBS which is a much milder and overall manageable condition. Colitis and Crohns Disease are totally incurable… to date.  Colitis issues can be eased if a colosotomy bag is used to bypass the bowel, although the malfunctioning immune system can still lead to further symptoms such as chronic arthritis, to name just one.

Crohns and Colitis is the UK association for IBD; providing information, support and guidance to sufferers and their families.  They also work hard to raise funds which they hope will eventually lead to a cure for IBD.  The problem is, how to raise funds for, and awareness of, a disease that so few people are willing to talk about because of the horrible nature of IBD and its symptoms.  Early in the campaign, Sahara decided it would need to be a campaign that got as many people as possible involved, and it had to be something that didn't involve financial outlay.  Small enterprises cannot afford huge expensive awareness campaigns.

We decided on something simple and effective.

Everyone from the IBD community was encouraged to upload a photograph of their ‘belly pics’ alongside the hashtag #GetYourBellyOut onto social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  They were also asked to text and donate IBDA99 to the dedicated number 70070 if they so wished.  The goal was to raise awareness and to support research into finding a cure.  People without IBD who had a passion to help find a cure and to tell other people about it, were also asked to join in.
A dedicated team of people joined Sahara and we have all worked very hard to co-ordinate this project.  Gemma Willingham, and Lorna Haymes both have Crohn's disease and Victoria Marie and Kay Wilkinson have Ulcerative Colitis. Despite the daily struggles we all deal with, we have fought on with the #GetYourBellyOut campaign and have helped so many IBD patients come together with a common cause in mind:  A cure for IBD and to tell people about what it's like to have Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Sahara says of the #GetYourBellyOut campaign, which has now gone global “What started out as a campaign to raise awareness of an invisible illness that so many people suffer with in silence – has now become a unifying and inspirational campaign!"

“So far we have raised over £2,000 which will help fund research to find a cure for these debilitating and so far, incurable diseases – Crohns and Colitis – as well as helping the community find a voice!”

You can help raise awareness too by visiting the Just Giving page or text code IBDA99 (Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness) as well as texting donations to 70070!  Here is the Just Giving link: http://www.justgiving.com/teams/IBDAwareness

Please join us in our efforts to raise money to find a cure for IBD and to raise awareness for IBD, upload a belly photo with the hashtag, post a blog, tweet about us, follow us on Twitter @GetYourBellyOut.   

Join us on the #GetYourBellyOut Facebook Forum - Link HERE : https://www.facebook.com/groups/262578540582917/

Friday, 4 April 2014

Plantabox Review

Last year I stayed at a Featherdown farm site and experienced glamping, a chance to have a little luxury but in a slow relaxed pace. We had a log burning stove and it kept us warm and we used it to make tea and cook. 

We had to collect our logs each day and the farm provided us with apple boxes to store the logs in. I fell in love with these rustic boxes and said to Chris they would look lovely planted up with flowers or herbs.

Recently I was contacted by Plantabox who specialise in personalised wooden apple crates that re-create the traditional apple crate or bushel box of yesteryear but  are made from high quality, sustainable F.S.C (Forest Stewardship Council) certified pine, the wood is treated for outdoor use and also has the option to be personalised with the wording of your choice!  

If you are hooked on Masterchef, the Invention test boxes this year, now a sweet and savoury box, these are made by Plantabox.

The Plantaboxes are sold in 8 different  shapes and sizes and 16 colours. 
I have an immense garden that is still undergoing some taming, so I opted to review a smaller version that would be great for herbs, and fit onto the windowsill, as you know I am often cooking and like to have fresh herbs. 

I ordered my box and chose my size, shade and personalisation and the box arrived very quickly.

What is lovely is that because I was planting up my box, I was provided with a liner and seeds to sow. Anxious to get my new baby on show I decided to use some pots of ready grown herbs, reserving a space for the basil seeds I received.

Do you like the shade I chose? Its called Shabby Blue. 

I love that my name is on it, the box is weatherproofed so can stay outside and I will do that for my herbs and then it will come in for winter so that I can still keep fresh flavours through the cold spell.

Firstly I recommend taking everything outside to work on, well I advise myself to as when soil and me get together its chaos.

The liner goes into the box and folds over the whole box, this saves it from getting in a mess too.
Then some holes need to be made that line up with the gaps at the bottom. 

Then I added some old terracotta crocks, this will provide drainage.

Then the messy soil filling, I did quite well and only covered myself!

Then the planting,  some lemon thyme for chicken dishes, chives and some sage,  the gap at the end has been saved for the basil seeds, its a summer herb and with some homegrown tomatoes and mozzerella I will be a happy bunny at lunchtimes!!

I really really adore this Plantabox, the quality and sturdiness is superb, the price is great too mine costs £28.95 the large storage crates are £35.95, reasonable especially if you are considering a unique wedding gift, house warming present etc!

I want to dot these around my garden, maybe a raised planter for Granny to tend to.

Chris grows chillis and this is ideal for Father's day

 I also am craving some for storage in the house too.
These Pink Roses Crates are perfect for my soon to be made over shabby chic bedroom.

The ideas for storage are endless, there are toy boxes,

pet beds, shelves, trugs, wine racks and plaques.

Which ones do you like?

The reason I ask is that I'm giving away a large personalised crate very soon, thanks to Plantabox!!


Family Fever


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