Thursday, 28 February 2013

Brita Water Challenge Giveaway




This year I  am feeling very healthy. I'm regularly eating breakfast, eating well over my five a day, at my optimum weight thanks to Slimming World and feeling good.

However I do get energy dips and  I am aware my hydration is not what it should be.

BRITA  have kitted me out with a jug and a Fill and Go water bottle which filters water to drink on the go, and  challenged me to a month of getting my recommended fluid intake in filtered water.  

Well February is known for being a wet month! 


They were  interested in how upping my  filtered water intake makes me feel, firstly I wanted to get some facts to motivate me so I went on a search and  found some great facts from Brita and through the world wide web!

1. Water is a healthy drink, especially if filtered and contains no calories.

2. I know from my time eating with Slimming World that the brain sometimes will be sending out messages and we can mistake them for hunger messages,when in fact your body just might be thirsty. I have tried listening a bit more carefully and often having a drink will make me feel full again,especially if I am eating regularly.

Talking about the brain, when our bodies become dehydrated our attention and  concentration can decrease by 13%  and short term memory by 7%, so drinking water can increase brainpower. I certainly need it.

My results in at the end of the month are pretty convincing for me.

I feel better, more energy. I did find my sleep disturbed but sorted it out by drinking my water early morning.

Maybe too much information, but my wee is a lovely colour and smells less.  My bowels are running better.....(Sorry)

My skin looks better, plumper and more refreshed. 

I am certainly less tired, I even would say less crabby, life has been tough and busy here, but I feel I have more energy to ride things out.



All in all its convinced me to drink more. I love the taste of the filtered water, the jug has been great for the kitchen, I keep my water dispenser stocked and ice cold water is always at hand. The family are drinking more, down to the nicer taste.



The Fill and Go Bottle has been used while I was away,I love it, I stayed in a hotel this weekend and was able to have my own filtered water for the night and out and about. I can see this being really great in summer especially. 

Great news Brita have 10 Fill & Go Bottles  to lucky winners

You can enter via the easypeasy Rafflecopter.

Due to vast amounts of spam comments, I am afraid Anonymous comments have had to been disabled , for those that only enter this way, you can add a name only to the Open ID  area, no need to register to enter.

Spam, Spam Spam




Today I have had the record amount of spam on the blog to date. 294 comments in 20 hours since I last purged. While writing this post another 17 came through.

Not quite sure why this has started on blogger recently, I used to get a few a month.

I must admit some are quite amusing,some useful advice if I was particularly asking for it and some bizarre.

I have been getting quite an ego boost with some anonymous posters comments 

You are so cool! I do not suppose I've read through a single thing like this before. So good to find someone with some genuine thoughts on this subject. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that's 
needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!


I must say I could get used to the praise.

Todays distasteful one

 Urine and faeces are the body's way of getting rid of infection....

I won't put you off your cuppa by typing the rest.

The cheekiest has to be

Are you having problems with spam, need a solution, join my site....

The site title is for dog shampoo!!!

So as much as I am entertained by some, I have to stop it, sadly I am stopping anonymous posts for now. 

I really hate captcha, I know  people hate it as well, so I am not going to add yet.

I am sad as a few people comment anon and enter the giveaways that way, but I have not the hours to 'fritter' away (get it?) on spam!!! 




Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Fudges New Improved Biscuit Review.



I love Fudges biscuits, I am a fan already and could not really see how they could be improved, well apart from more in a box!! Well they must have heard me as there are more flapjacks in the new box, they also improved the taste and texture of those and three others in the range.






I have been happily munching on the range this week and I love the lighter cheese straws, the chewier flapjacks have a lovely sweet flavour, I loved them before and I love them more now.




The cheese straws are great with a glass of win, I cannot stop nibbling them though.

I like the more rounded flavour of the Marmite Biscuits, if you love Marmite you will adore these.

Well I was wrong they could improve the range!! Thanks Fudges!!




Hitting shelves in January, Fudges Flapjacks dipped in Belgian Chocolate (RRP £2.99), Marmite Biscuits (RRP £2.35), Cheese Straws (RRP £1.65) and Cheese Straws with Cracked Black Pepper (RRP £1.99) will be available from most major supermarkets, delis, farm shops and the Fudges online shop

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Cadbury Joyville Review






Cadbury asked me to try out their new gifting service. “Joyville Made” which enables you to design and personalise a wrapper with any word, message and even a photo! I love personalised gifts both receiving, I always feel that somebody has taken a little more effort. I also enjoy sending them as its a chance to make a gift more unique, adding a special message or photo to show I care and great if you have family or friends with more unusual names.



I had so much fun having a play around with it, even with my pretty limited techy abilities, I was able to create a bar of chocolate for Chris, personalised to him and even with a photo of us, albeit with a few funny additions I decided to add. You can also create a bespoke web link with photos, videos or albums that are special to your recipient, this will be great as a special treat for when Paige goes off to uni. 


Its a very simple process and takes a few minutes to create,  then order the bar, you can buy two bar sizes, 200g or 360g.  It can be for a special day or just to spoil somebody, you can even send one to yourself. 



My bar arrived 3 days later,  there is an option to choose a specific date, ideal for Mothers Day.

 

I think seeing his name on the Cadbury bar was such a pleasing moment for Chris and for me too.



He groaned at the hats, loved the heart. I loved his expression as he saw it, I think its a brilliant idea, The only thing is he does not want to open it, just keeps showing it off.

I will have to get him another so he will share this choccy goodness soon.

RRP  £5.25 for a 200g bar, or £7.23 for a 360g bar





Saturday, 23 February 2013

Are We Losing Touch With the Countryside?





One in four of us have never been to a river and one in 10 couldn't identify a badger, according to new research from the youth hostelling charity YHA (England and Wales).

Many of us look back fondly on youthful days spent climbing trees, exploring woodlands and looking for bugs in the great outdoors, however it seems many of us are losing touch with the countryside. With school holidays just around the corner, YHA is now urging families to get out and explore the UK countryside.

The *survey also found that nearly four in 10 UK adults have never climbed a tree, while nearly a quarter of respondents claim to have never even been to a lake and 16% have never been to a woodland!

As for flora and fauna, many of us have little idea what's out there. Eleven per cent of those polled believe they might bump into a wolf or a skunk on their ramble through the British countryside, while one in 10 wouldn't recognise a badger if they saw one. Additionally, 60% of UK adults are unaware our coastal waters are inhabited by sharks, whales and dolphins.

In total, 38% of respondents have either never been to the countryside or go only once a year or less - something that YHA wants to change.

YHA (England and Wales) Chief Executive Caroline White said: "This survey shows that a large part of the population are losing touch with the countryside - and missing out on so much. England and Wales has an abundance of things to explore and discover – better still; most of it is free or low cost, which, in the current economic climate, can only be good news.

“Giving people the chance to experience the great outdoors means more of us can find out all about what is out there and is also good for our health and happiness."

For more information about YHA, or to make a booking at any of its hostels, visit www.yha.org.uk.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Bio Oil Review



Bio Oil is the one product I was hoping was as good as the rave reviews I had already heard about.



I was sent two samples to try, one for me and my aging skin concerns and one for Granny who has recently undergone surgery to her face that has obviously left a scar.

The nurse who removed the stitches when  I asked her to recommend a product for caring for the scar,  mentioned a few products, then said if you want the best scar care, buy Bio Oil, it would not irritate the wound and would heal it faster and the scar would fade quicker.

As it is a pure oil that I was not worried about applying to her face. The great thing was that skin just soaks it up,its not greasy and doesn't sit around on the surface. Happy to say that after just 10 days off using the scar is really fine, fainter than I expected and I am convinced its the Bio Oil.

Update the scar is barely visibly a year on.


I have been applying to my hands and they really are loving the benefits, it softens and makes my skin look younger. 


I have used as a make up remover,it works really well,but I feel its a bit of a waste to do this but if you have skin that reacts to beauty removers and have Bio Oil, it works even on waterproof mascara.


Bio Oil for moisturising is fabulous. My face looks brighter, less tired and feels really good, no tightness. I like to add it at night to give my skin a good feed.



LOOK AFTER YOUR SKIN AT EVERY STAGE OF LIFE
Bio-Oil, the multi-tasking skin saviour!

Bio-Oil helps care for  skin through each stage of life, from the hormonal changes that affect our skin as teenagers through to wrinkles and sagging skin as we age and everything in between!

 Helping with a broad range of skin conditions, Bio-Oil is not just about pregnancy related stretch marks and scars, but has been clinically proven to effectively treat other skincare concerns including:

 Bio Oil for Dehydrated Skin: Helps replenish the skin’s natural oils, stripped away by factors such as extreme weather, water with high chemical content, frequent bathing and the drying effects of central heating and air-conditioning

 Bio Oil for Weight Related Stretch Marks:  Helps prevent formation of stretch marks during periods of rapid weight gain or loss and helps to improve the appearance of existing stretch marks

Bio Oil for Uneven Skin Tone: Helps improve appearance of uneven skin tone caused by hormonal fluctuations, skin lighteners or excessive sun exposure
ü  Ageing Skin: Helps smooth and tone ageing, sagging and wrinkled skin on both the face and body, including skin over exposed to UV light. Plus ideal for age spots and softening cuticles
ü  Daily Moisturiser: Helps moisturise the skin and can be used in conjunction with other skincare products as part of your everyday skincare routine. Built into a daily skin care routine, Bio-Oil can be applied all over the body, including the face, on its own or underneath a daily moisturizer, or as a night treatment. Great for dry patches such as dry elbowsheels and anywhere else that needs some TLC
Bio Oil for Scars:  Improves appearance of new and old scars whether from surgery, accidents, burns, insect bites, scratches and chickenpox

The Bio-Oil’s unique formulation combines some of the most important skincare ingredients, these include vitamin A and E with Calendula, Lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile oils. Plus unique to Bio-Oil, the ingredient PurCellin Oil™, to ensure they are easily-absorbed deep into the second layer of the skin where they can provide targeted treatment.  PurCellin Oil™ dramatically lowers the viscosity (stickiness and density) of the formulation to create a “dry” oil which is non-greasy.



What does Bio Oil contain?

Alongside the ingredient, PurCellin Oil™, Bio-Oil’s Key ingredients include:

  • Vitamin A – helps improve the skin’s elasticity, texture and tone
  • Vitamin E – The most widely used antioxidant in skincare products today, Vitamin E increases the moisture content of the epidermis, thereby making the skin softer, smoother and more supple. Vitamin E also assists in the maintenance of healthy-looking skin

  • Calendula Oil – Calendula Officinalis, more commonly referred to as marigold, has been used for centuries as a natural antioxidant and has the ability to clarify and stimulates the growth of new skin cells

  • Lavender Oil – Lavender oil is widely known for calming and soothing benefits

  • Rosemary Oil – Rosemary oil helps to invigorate and it has a mild antiseptic capabilities and thus eases congestion, puffiness and swelling of the skin

  • Chamomile Oil – Chamomile has a calming and soothing effect and is particularly beneficial for sensitive skin
Bio-Oil is preservative-free and is not tested on animals. Available from Boots, Superdrug,Tesco, Asda,Lloyds Pharmacy, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Savers, Bodycare, SemiChem,T J Hughes, Wilkinsons, and independent pharmacies nationwide. Also find out more at
https://www.facebook.com/biooiluk


60ml rsp £8.95
125ml rsp £14.95
200ml rsp £19.95

I was given samples to try in order to write this review, my opinions are my own.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Plum Taste Adventures Review





My little ones are not so little anymore, when I was introducing them to food, I  pureed my own food.

With twins it was far more economical to make my own, but the biggest reason was, I was reluctant to buy the tins of foods as there were often the odd health scare. I found I wanted to ensure they were getting home cooked natural food.

 I would make great batches of meals and freeze the portions, starting with simple vegetable purees,moving on to  chunkier versions, adding meat and as a real spice lover I needed my babies to have different flavours introduced early on. The faces they pulled with new tastes were priceless, and I remember taking the advice to not be put of the screwed up little expressions and offer the new foods again. It did work and my two happily ate and still do, a varied diet, with spice,herbs and will still try all manner of new dish.

I am quite jealous of the Mums today as brands such as Plum have been up there at the top providing organic baby meals that are as good as home cooked. I am very happy to talk about them on my blog as they make good baby food.

Their ingredients contain



  • No artificial chemical fertilisers
  • No nasty food additives
  • Use of pesticides is restricted
  • Routine use of drugs is prohibited
  • GM crops and ingredients are banned




Now I could just talk about Plum but I was offered two of the new Taste Adventures range for myself, I was going to get my little cousins to try,but I always tested my babies food when I was making it, also for the honesty of my reviewing, I needed to try it,  I decided to try them myself, especially as one of the meals was the new Sweet Potato and Peri Peri Chicken. I added it as a topping to a baked potato, and it was really good. 

They meals come in nice pots that can be warmed in hot water for your baby,they can be microwaved,but its advisable to check for any hot spots in the food before serving to a baby. They can also be served without heating,I often did this with my home cooked meals if out for the day and my two seemed as happy with that.


The Sweet Potato and Peri Peri Chicken is a lovely meal, a great taste of herbs, the delicate Peri Peri flavour is beautiful, I would happily eat this again, very tasty. The pieces of pepper were lovely and it would be a lovely recipe to introduce new flavours to your baby.

The other meal,was the new Super Greens,pasta and cheese,a great meal for adding some vitamin packed greens to your baby's diet along with cheesy pasta. Again it was tasty, fresh and not like the pots of baby food on offer when I was weaning my two.



Leading organic baby food brand, Plum, is adding to its top-selling Taste Adventures range of stage three (10+months) meals with two new recipes to tickle the taste buds of babies everywhere. Boasting a chunkier texture to encourage speech development as well as helping babies to chew, the latest additions to the globally-inspired collection are Sweet Potato & Chicken Peri Peri and Super Greens, Pasta and Cheese. They will be available in Asda and Ocado from February with all other supermarkets nationwide to follow, priced at £1.79 RRP for a 190g pot.
Super Greens, Pasta and Cheese is an Italian-inspired dish and is the first vegetarian meal in the Taste Adventures range.  Created in response to popular demand, the new addition combines quintessentially-Italian flavours such as basil with nutrient-rich green vegetables.  It will be available in supermarkets nationwide from February 2013.

Sweet Potato and Chicken Peri Peri has its origins in African cuisine, with a strong Portuguese influence.  Made with organic chicken from Wales, it combines delicious and authentic flavours which – like all Plum’s foods – are aimed at helping babies develop a broad palate and love of ‘proper food’ from a young age.  It will be available exclusively in Asda stores nationwide from February 2013.
With research from the University of Bristol* suggesting that the variety of tastes a baby is exposed to during their early years has a direct impact upon their taste buds later in life, the curry-to-paella Taste Adventures range is the perfect solution for getting baby off to a great start. Since its launch in June 2012 with four original recipes it has proved a big hit with mums and babies, making it Plum’s most successful product launch ever.   Plum’s Facebook site was flooded with comments such as, “My little one LOVES the Taste Adventures aubergine and lamb moussaka. I make a lot of my own food for her but don't eat aubergines but wanted her to try them. The smell is amazing and the taste is delicious.”

The existing Taste Adventures range comprises: Sweet Cape Curry with Beef, Chickpea and Chicken Tagine, Mediterranean Paella with Salmon, Aubergine and; Lamb Moussaka.
The Taste Adventures pot format is perfect for independent babies starting to use a spoon to feed themselves.

http://www.plum-baby.co.uk

Monday, 18 February 2013

GOSH Boombastic Review Giveaway



Yves Saint Laurent said 'The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy' 

I agree, I have a passion for makeup, eye makeup being a favourite. I think a great eyeliner and mascara does wonders for me. I would have them as my desert island must haves! I have tried all manner of mascaras, lengthening, treating, curly and volumising.  I find I go for the length as volumising can be a bit heavy for my lashes, but I like the look at night.


GOSH have been a major find for me in cosmetics as they come up with new products all the time that actually do what they promise at prices way lower than I would expect for the result.
When they asked me to try out the GOSH Boombastic mascara, I was very happy to oblige.

GOSH say this  mascara is for people who really want to build up extreme volume and length at the same time.The huge brush with its three giant reservoirs will store plenty of mascara and add the most precise accent on the lashes when applied. It will also separate the lashes without clumping the lashes together.
More than ever you can build up massive volume and in the same time the lashes will appear perfectly separated and long.

The brush is lovely and big, I found that for the first few times in use as with most new mascaras, I needed to wipe of the brush. It is a lovely deep black, and goes on easily with no clumping. The first coat immediately lengthens, I found that two coats gave the really full thick lash effect and a good curve to my lashes. Three coats still does not leaves clumps and would be great for a night out.

I am really very impressed and seriously hoping GOSH make a waterproof version as well.

GOSH have kindly offered five Boombastic mascaras to Given To Distracting Others readers.

Just fill in the simple rafflecopter.
GOSH Boombastic XXL Volume Mascara Extreme Volume and Length GOSH Boombastic Mascara is available from Superdrug stores nationwide or
www.superdrug.co.uk, £8.49
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 15 February 2013

Aldi Specially Selected Active 10+ Manuka Honey





I have just been sent Aldi’s Specially Selected Active 10+ Manuka Honey which will is a great sweet way to combat the effects of the cold weather which has set in again.

I was so impressed by the price first. When jars  are in excess of £10 in supermarkets, I was surprised to read that the Aldi version is £3.99.

Now I have read up on Manuka Honey in the past, a lot of us know its a 'super' or good health product, but I read in a survey that people do not always know why.

Nearly all honey has an  active agent, which is believed to aid good health but is easily destroyed when exposed to heat or light. 

Manuka honey contains an extra, naturally occurring active ingredient, which makes it unique from other honeys. 

This additional component is stable and doesn't lose its strength  when exposed to heat, light or dilution. 

This  quality is known as UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) and the higher the UMF,  the more potent the honey and its powers (it is widely agreed that you need a UMF of 10 or higher for the honey to be properly effective). 

It has antiviral and antibacterial actions, which is a good excuse for reaching for a jar and having a spoonful or so neat at the first sign of a cold or sore throat.

Manuka honey can also help relieve allergies, improve skin care and has properties that can aid with a good night’s sleep, so it’s perfect to use all year round.



OK now I am thoroughly convinced as to Manuka Honey being a real super health food. But have to say, it tastes bloomin' lovely on a crumpet. Now that is another super food!!

Aldi’s Specially Selected Active 10+ Manuka Honey is fantastic value, and will help keep all the family fighting fit in 2013


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Ask 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive oil



Ask is a place I go if I want good pasta, I love their dishes, the fresh ingredients and the atmosphere. If you want to go to a really fab Ask try the York city centre venue, its in an amazing building. We have a great one in Peterborough, its in a lovely Tudor building.

But the food is where it's at whichever Ask you choose from, its the search for great ingredients that makes the taste so fresh and special. Ask sent me a bottle of the new Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and after my Olive Oil tasting challenge last year, as soon as I saw the deep green oil, I knew it would be a good one. 

 Brothers Luca and Giuseppe Esposito, from Puglia in southern Italy are the producers. They insist on picking and pressing their olives within twenty-four hours of harvest. 

This mean that as much of the aroma and flavour is retained and the first grassy rich fragrance from the bottle confirmed it was fresh.



I poured a little on my risotto and salad and was really pleased with the taste, its fresh, peppery and so smooth. Its such a good taste it will be great for dipping chunks of Italian bread into.


Now all I need is for Ask to sell me their rosemary bread to take home and I will be in heaven dipping this lovely oil.


The new season 100% Italian extra virgin Olive oil has now arrived in all Ask restaurants! You can buy a bottle from  for £8.00.

http://www.askitalian.co.uk

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Beef Valentine







This beef dish looks perfect for Valentines Day, its been created by
Frederick Forster.
In 2011 Frederick won the coveted title Craft Guild National Chef of the Year

The recipes crafted by Frederick demonstrate the way in which Miele steam appliances can be used to create food that is not only delicious, but healthy as well.


By introducing steam into the cooking process, you preserve all the delicate vitamins, nutrients and minerals, as well as all important colour and texture. Cooked in steam, vegetables taste incredibly fresh and fish keeps all its natural flavours.  There’s no need to add oils or fats to food, during the cooking process, as the steam keeps all meats succulent and tasty.  Also, very little salt is required, as the natural flavours are retained.  

Miele was the first to pioneer cooking with steam in the integrated kitchen appliance arena. Their new range of innovative products signify a new chapter in cooking.  



Serves 2
Ingredients

2 x 180g beef fillets
10 ml vegetable oil
Salt/Pepper
150g beansprouts
15leaves coriander
5g fresh ginger
20ml soya sauce
100ml olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame
1 lime
150g micro salad leaves

Method

1. Heat Up a frying pan until very hot.
2.Season the beef, then panfry for about two minutes to colour all over
3. Once done,rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes
4.Transfer to a steamer tray and then cover with clingfilm, ready for steaming at 100 degrees for 10 minutes.
5. For the salad,simply mix all the ingredients together and season
6.Once the beef has been steamed, rest for 5 minutes and then thinly slice and place on two warm plates
7. Spoon some of the salad marinade over the beef and then place the salad on top





Frederick Forster has created a range of healthy recipes for Miele. Learn how to recreate them on one of the Creative Living Courses with Frederick. To book, call 0845 365 6610 or visit www.miele.co.uk/creativeliving




Chiquito Review



Chiquito have recently launched a sizzling new menu which sees delicious new dishes such as Goats' Cheese and Roasted Vegetable Salad, Blackened Salmon and Jambalaya added, along with some original favourites such as the Chiquito sharing platter. 

Chris and I were invited to try the new menu as its ideal to enjoy for a date night as even parents/carers need nights off once in a while!

We arrived on a Saturday night and the restaurant was full of diners. The outside of the restaurant was modern, inside still modern but with a real Mexican cantina feel, rustic wood doors, mismatched chairs and great chandeliers made from empty beer bottles.

While we waited for our table we were able to sit at the bar and decided to really indulge and have something a little special to drink.After a good look at the cocktail list I settled on a Cosmopolitan and Chris opted for a Dark and Stormy Gosling’s Black Seal rum mixed with ginger beer and served in a jam jar glass!
Mine was so good perfectly made and Chris loved the fiery taste of his.

We made our way to a table and began to look at the feast. While we browsed, our drinks were topped up and a bowl of really tasty savoury popcorn appeared on the table.

 The menu is really varied, grills, fajitas, salads and Mexican favourites. James our waiter for the evening who was brilliant the entire visit, recommended a few dishes and we decided to take him upon the starter recommendation.

We were so glad we did as the Hot cheese Bake was delicious, an island of cheeses, floating in a baked tomato sauce, Chiquito's own recipe, it was really good. The tortilla chips made a change from a bread side and helped soak up all the delicious sauce.

Chris went with James main course recommendation of Southern Fried Chicken & BBQ Pulled Pork  A succulent chicken breast topped with BBQ pulled pork and melted cheese. Served with skin-on-fries, corn on the cob, onion rings, coleslaw and BBQ sauce. He loved the flavours and something a little different from ordinary barbecued chicken dishes. 



I went for a favourite main course, Grilled Steak Fajita, I love dishes  that come to the table still sizzling 
This was  gorgeous a 21 day matured steak, cooked to my requirement,on a bed of peppers and onions.


I could order more tortilla,sauces and cheese but it was such a generous dish, I didn't manage it.
I would love to have shown you desserts, but the meals were so large, we could not eat another bite.

The night was lovely,relaxing, great food, service a little slow for the mains, but we were kept informed and James apologised and offered us more drinks.

It was a fabulous date night,a lovely atmosphere and one I would repeat. 

 http://www.chiquito.co.uk

We were given a voucher by Chiquito  for a date night out towards meals and drinks. My views are my own