Friday, 29 August 2014

Freebie Friday 29th August

Hi Freebie Friday friends, this week seems to be a few beauty samples around, I know you are all beautiful enough, but its all I could find. Don't forget to tell me if I have missed any and hope you all manage to grab something good.

Bloggers feel free to add your giveaways, discounts and freebies to the linky!


Try me Free normally is a incentive for shoppers to buy a product and if they are disatisfied, they get a refund. Parazone  are offering you the chance to try the new 1 litre Parazone Plus for free, like it or hate it. Not bad at all!!

To apply for your refund, simply complete the form  in the link below and follow the instructions. 

**Both the promotional tag and itemised Tesco or Morrisons receipt are needed with the purchase highlighted on the receipt.
You will be required to post the receipt, tag and form to recieve your refund. One per household. The refund will be issued as a cheque to the person named, so please ensure all details are correct. Allow 14 days for delivery. All receipts must be dated between 28th July – 17th October 2014 ends 31st October 2014


Shisheido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate
Visit your nearest Shiseido counter

Lacoste Live Sample

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream 
(Ends 30th September or until stock runs out)

Free Arm and Hand massage at Molton Brown Stores (these feel amazing!)

 RNLI Beach Smart pack for children (not a charity freebie, but please note RNLI do need funds)
Includes a waterproof pen Identity Snapband and an activity booklet
They do the challenge to find out how beachsmart they are, really educational.

Worth A Go As So Many

1,000 Miranesse Velvet Skin powder products (open worldwide)

3, 000 Rimmel Mascaras First to fill survey or until 28th September

1000 Elizabeth Shaw Mint Crisp packs

17,000 Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream samples

500 Soft and Gentle 48 Hour Protection full size
Instant win can try hourly

3D Lifting Cream (Will need mobile to prevent spam for 3D)

 2,000 L'Oreal True Match foundation samples survey takes under a minute

02 Priority Freebies and Deals

Free Hotel Chocolat Strawberry Puddles ends Sunday 31st
45% off Alton Towers and Thorpe park
£1 meals on Mondays
Domino Pizza £1 on Mondays

Money Off Coupons and Clever Combining

Bold 2 in 1 Gel for £2 (Usually £5.20)
Asda offer £3 with coupon here £2

The Fruit Factory Sweets for 50p or free
Asda have the hearts and the starts on offer for £1.00 so free and £1. 50 for others so 50p
£1 off coupon here

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Oxo Salad Gadget Giveaway

You may have seen my reviews and recipes using these two products The OXO herb mincer and OXO's little salad dressing shaker.  I made a Creamy Chive and Thyme Dressing and a Balsalmic Garlic Mustard Vinaigrette

I found that I can mince herbs with ease and little mess, all without bringing the blade away from the chopping board with the  OXO herb mincer (RRP £12). 

Creamy Chive and Thyme Dressing

Then an easy peasy  shake of ingredients together, with the OXO’s little salad dressing shaker (RRP £10) which has a 236ml capacity,  great for making a big amount to use over a week, a handy pourer and pops into the dishwasher.

Have a look at the easy home made salad dressing recipes for a little inspiration and start to have a think about what you would make using either of them, because OXO kindly have given me this handy little set to giveaway to one lucky reader.

For more information and where to buy these and other handy kitchen tools visit OXO

Creamy Chive and Thyme Dressing

  • This creamy dressing gets some of my favourite flavours in a dressing to zing up my salads. made in large quantities, it becomes a dip, a jacket potato topping, a quick spoonful for me whilst making a salad.

  • I love sour cream and chives but this comes from a few times of adding another and another ingredient to try and make it better, my love of lemon makes it a key flavour and a trial of some thyme to see how it tastes raw in a salad and because I get a chance to use my Plantabox herb garden.

  • The Maldon seasalt gives a little crunch to the proceedings, if you got the free sample from my Freebie Friday a couple of weeks ago, try it in any salad for a lovely flavour.

  • The buttermilk to give a runny pouring dressing, then weeks later another try, the Filippo Berio olive oil to preserve it for longer use and give a nice flavour until I say "Nope that does not work! This is the perfect creamy salad dressing!" Chris said its the best salad dressing he has ever had. Praise indeed and possibly a slight bias.
 Though similar I cannot call it a Ranch Dressing as I used thyme, it just suits our taste like it so it works for us, I believe ranch dressing has parsley but I am not so fond of it, however feel free to remove the thyme and replace with parsley for a proper Ranch dressing in fact play with herbs to find your favourite flavours.

This can easily be transformed into a topping for baked potatoes or as a dip, just by removing the buttermilk.

I used the new OXO herb mincer I am reviewing (RRP £12) to make light work of the herbs, it was particularly good with the thyme, not so great with chives, its easier to snip those with scissors as you can see they are larger than I would have usually cut them. For woodier or tougher herbs like rosemary, oregano etc I will be using it a great deal. 

It features a lip at the front to gather up all the herbs which I found nifty and is easy to clean, just a quick rinse, the blade system removes so you can really clean.

I mixed it all up in the OXO Little Salad Dressing Shaker that I used for the Balsamic, Garlic and mustard recipe using just the shaker.

Fancy winning the set, keep your eye out as I am giving a set away shortly!

Its just heavenly drizzled over fresh salad leaves, give it a try and let me know, oh and please share your recipes with me?

**To make this as fat free as possible I would take out the buttermilk, use extra light mayo and half fat sour cream. Alternatively fat free Fromage Frais mixed carefully with the lemon gives the same taste especially if you are adding the herbs and garlic. That would make it very low fat. Also this recipe makes enough for several salads not just one.
  • Creamy Chive and Thyme Dressing
  • 50ml sour cream
  • 50ml light mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh or bottled lemon juice
  • 50 ml buttermilk (if using for dressing)
  •  Good handful of fresh chives
  •  3 small sprigs of fresh thyme 
  • 1 clove garlic crushed.
  • Dash of  sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Another tough method just add to the shaker or a bowl and shake or stir to mix all the ingredients together.

For more information, please visit and

Monday, 25 August 2014

Balsamic Garlic and Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe

I love good home made salad dressings, they are healthier, tastier and once you have made the initial purchases cheaper.
 It can be a bit of a faff chopping herbs and mixing ingredients so I decided to share  two of my my homemade salad dressing recipes a Vinaigrette style here and a  Creamy Thyme and Chive dressing here) using  OXO salad dressing gadgets I was sent for review. Follow the next two recipes and wait for a nice giveaway to win the set I am reviewing!!

 If you remember my Guacamole recipe, OXO made that much easier, I have a nice little range of their tools now,  my fave still going strong is the OXO  Y peeler 

To start I am using the  OXO Little Salad Dressing Shaker  (RRP £10) and some fab Filippo Berio products, the main basis for any vinaigrette is the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, this one is fab 

If you are looking for Slimming World salad dressings, as Extra Virgin olive oil is a Hex B it can be part of your daily food allowances and so using this in small amounts, healthy and a great way to eat lots of salad and veggies. 

Next up the balsamic vinegar. If you are not a fan of vinegar and have shied away from recipes using Balsamic, just consider this one, its a really good flavour for all sorts of foods and the mix here with garlic just is so moreish, you may want to eat spoonfuls of it. A basic oil to vinaigrette dressing is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil, I add more Balsamic as we love the taste.

The Filippo Berio olive oil has a unique and rich fruity flavour, and will complement the fresh ingredients in the salad. Combined with a  touch of the smooth and flavoursome balsamic vinegar gives a light sweetness to the dish.

For vinaigrette dressing recipes I previously used a bowl and whisk. I make in a largish quantity and store  in a clean jam jar in the fridge for weeks.

Its versatile, can be added to salads, drizzled over Mediterranean roasted vegetables and tastes fab as a marinade for roasted new potatoes.

My recipe is adapted for my taste as I am not overly fond or honey/sugar in dressings,  but on occasion I  use a mustard with a hint of honey, Maille Dijon is a nice one,  feel free to add the honey, to my recipe, I know a lot of people like honey mustard dressings. For this version I make the same recipe using wholegrain mustard, which gives a nice texture drizzled over the salad leaves. 

When you’re ready to shake your ingredients together, the measurement guide is on the side with cups as well as metric, handy if you like the US blog recipes. OXO’s little salad dressing shaker  has a 236ml capacity, and a wide opening to accommodate a range of ingredients, the lid has a spout to pour over what you need  and being able to pop into the dishwasher all makes for an easier, less messier way  to whip up a dressing.

 I made more for my recipe than the measurements beIow, so adjusted as you might just want to make a smaller amount.

Balsamic Garlic and Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe 


1 tablespoon wholegrain  mustard
1 tablespoon of honey if you like a sweeter salad dressing (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
50ml balsamic vinegar
120 ml extra virgin olive oil
OK sorry about the long winded method
2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped  less if you are not keen on strong garlic flavour.

Add all ingredients to the shaker and ...well shake!! ;)

For more information, please visit and 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

I had my first day of respite as a carer yesterday and just had to go to the place where Chris and I have fond memories. London. He first told me he loved me there and while we dated we went as often as we could, wandering aimlessly along the river, shopping at markets, and finding small parks. 

The only real tourist attraction we visited in past years was the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square to sit and stare at Van Gogh's Sunflowers. My favourite flower, a fascination with his life and a lovely cafe drew us there many times.

Just before I started to care full time for my Grandmother, we decided we actually ought to do the touristy trips.Places we see on TV, though we have been near them often, glimpsed them while walking, we avoided. Often just because of the crowds, however because we like to see lesser known places.

Last time we were there, we went to see Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Horse Guards and stopped at the Tower of London. All worth going to if only once, even to look at from the outside.

A few weeks ago I saw an article on the internet about the poppies being planted in the dry grass moat of the Tower Of London, to mark the one hundred years since Britain became involved in the First World War. They were being planted and were only a few hundred at that point. I said to Chris, we must try to get there and see it, poppies being another favourite and the obvious symbol of lives lost in war.

 I was aware that the aim is to plant 888,246 poppies by November 11th, the last one planted on that day at the 11th hour, I to mark each military life lost. A chilling figure when you think about it.

So our plan of wandering aimlessly yesterday and visiting antique markets had to include a look at how it was coming along. 

The poppies made of ceramic and created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, start by cascading form one of the Tower's windows, like a sea of blood! They are now a lot further along than the pictures I first saw and now go around the two sides of the tower. 

The aim is by December to cover the entire grass area, this takes many people all who are volunteers, not just by planting, but also assembling the poppies. Each night at sunset 180 names nominated by families of the Commonwealth services are read out and the Last Post is played

The poppies will encircle the entire grass moat all four sides, the first two sides are coming along well and when finished, will be a spectacular sight hopefully and planned to be for November 11th, I want to go particularly again around that time or in December when the display runs until. I imagine if it snows, it will be very poignant. 

When I arrived, the sheer beauty of the poppies makes an almost romantic look to the Tower, but then the incredible enormity of the lives they represent, caught me and the terrible sadness.For me the futility of the loss conjured by this crimson blaze, flowers laid for a loved one are a symbol, whether  on a grave, by a roadside or a memorial for lost soldiers, but here the sea of red and the blood lost from those hearts caught me and I grieved.

The Tower will be a location for a visible commemoration and I imagine personal reflection for many people who visit from not just the UK, but all around the world. It is my hope that these lives lost from 100 hundred years ago seen in such a dramatic way, brings not just remembrance but also a move peace and ending wars. A dreamers view I imagine, but I can hope!

You can buy one of these poppies that are making up the instalment when the display is over at a cost of £25 plus p/p, its a lovely chance to own a piece of history and the £25 will go to 6 charities helping servicemen in lots of different ways. 

I have purchased mine and will look forward to receiving in 2015. To find out more about the story and news and the history other Tower in World War One take a look here.
Follow #TowerPoppies on Twitter and Instagram for the latest photos documenting the evolving installation posted by our volunteers and visitors.

My Sunday Photo Silent Sunday August 24th


Friday, 22 August 2014

Freebie Friday 22nd -28th August

Hi money savers, freebie fiends and giveaway girls and boys. I hope you have been receiving a few freebies this week.

I was very pleased to get the Pantene Age Defy shampoo and Conditioner full size. This was featured way back in May and was for samples. I received an email to say  they were sending full size, I am not sure whether they decided there were not so many entrants or just very generous. I always go for the sample sizes as they are great to take away on holidays.

Lenor Unstoppables, which look like Millions sweets. Has anybody tried these yet, the apparently give a huge fragrance boost to your usual fabric conditioner?

Hope you manage to get something and don't give up hope, some as the Pantene proves can take months.

BLOGGERS I need your giveaways, I like to enter them but that would be a bit selfish if it was just me. My Facebook page readers tell me they look forward to entering, so it is worth adding them here. Its also for any blog deals and discounts.


Free Ice Cream Today Only
Grab the Sun newspaper and there is a coupon for a free 4 pack of Mars, Sickers or Twix Ice Cream bars, redeemable at Iceland

For our Uk friends we have a Deal on our Eye and Mighty Eyelash Curler. Get it for just £1.99 with our normal 100% guarantee.

Mighty Eyelash Curler. RRP £39 for £1.99 (thanks to Rhoda for a lovely find)

Freebie maybe coming your way with no forms to fill as ZEO deliver six-packs to doorsteps!

Adult soft drinks brand ZEO is delivering branded bags to homes in selected Tesco catchments then you can request a free six-pack of the drink the following day as part of the campaign. Hope you live in the area to receive one., lovely treat if you do.

 550 Vosene Kids sets PLUS two back-to-school kits every week.

Well its nearly time for the children to go back to school, all that hair tearing and head scratching is nearly over or is it? NITS, the word is making my head crawl and the itchy little critters may be back to inhabit your lovely child's hair.

Well Vosene have a Nit Watch map, now I don't really fancy watching them, but it is not that kind of viewing, its battle against head lice by registering your concern for head lice using the interactive Nitwatch heat map.
Everyone who helps will be in with a chance to win a Vosene Kids mini shampoo and spray set.  


Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum worth £24
Instore check here for nearest.

Join the Halfords Review Parents panel for free products

 Beaming Baby Nappy/wipes samples

Free Polar Bear use code AMF10

Hugo Man Fragrance sample

Escada Joyful Fragrance Sample

Free Ghost Eclipse Fragrance samples

Lenor Unstoppables (Received - another one here)

Aveeno Samples

Always Discreet samples

More Always Discreet samples

Free Almond Breeze Iced Coffee bottles at Tesco (Page 35)

02 Priority Freebies and Deals

Free Hotel Chocolate bag of Strawberry Puddles
Win 1 of 20 weekend stays at an SLH Hotel
Body Shop 40 % off
45% off Alton Towers and Legoland

Free Sunday Cinema Tickets (Purchase of chocolate, yum!) EDIT thanks to Steph at Miss Mamo's World The packs are £1 at Tesco's at the moment 

Codes in share bags Galaxy Counters, Revels, M+Ms, Maltesers, Minstrels, Twix, Mars Mix, Galaxy Bites and Magic Stars. They must have the Sweet Sundays promotion on them. Four bags give you 1 ticket for Showcase, Cineworld, Apollo and Movie House on a Sunday.

Free Royal Canin Cat food (400g!)

Clever Combining, Money off Coupons and Supermarket Deals

Gillette Venus and Olay Sugarberry razor for £3.48 (usually £11) 
Print out the £2 off voucher, Superdrug have these under half price for £5.48, Boots and Waitrose have it for £3.49 and Sainsbury £6, still a saving!!

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Milk for 25p (2nd Sept)

Pick up the Sainsburys free magazine this month there is a 50% voucher taking 75p off
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Milk, usually £1.50 however the milk is on offer at £1

Worth a Go As So Many

First 50 every day Personalised Photo Fridge magnet (28/08)

Money Off Coupons

Rowse Cooks Honey 50p off

Previous Freebie Friday links