Tuesday, 30 September 2014

PG Personali-Tea Quiz








Are you a Strong character, or a bit more Mellow?  The cheeky PG Tips Monkey asked me to discover my Personali- Tea in a quiz running on Facebook and find the best tea that suits my personality.




As you can see from the postcard I was sent I am the 'Strong One' always around to help friends and steer them through a drama.

It certainly is close to the mark and along with the postcard they sent me they sent me the four teas  that make up the different personali-teas and some pampering goodies well because Monkey is a very kind chap

As they explained, "With so many different varieties available, it’s all about providing teas for every taste and finding the perfect tasting cuppa for your personality."

I just have to say when it comes to tea, I have been drinking PG Tips since I was a child I am a tea addict, it is the drink I would choose if I was only ever allowed to choose one drink for life. It would also have to be PG Tips, I have to have a cuppa, after a night out partying (not that this happens these days), I have taken my Pg Tips on every holiday, to every hotel I have ever stayed at. If I could choose one of the blends that suits my taste it would be the Rich one. I love Assam tea.



The Rich One
PG’s best ever blend. A fine mix of African, Ceylon and Assam teas. PG Rich has a bright golden colour, citrusy taste and rich aroma.  maybe it is that citrus flavour that draws me, as you all know this blog is full of lemony recipes, and me rattling on about it. PG Tips describe The Rich One as  like a hug in a mug. It sums it up perfectly.


The Fresh One
You guessed it; this is PG’s fresh tasting blend! This blend is made from 100% Kenyan tea. The unique pressing process, makes this one a tasty well rounded cuppa! It’s fresh & smooth tea flavour, aroma likened to ‘freshly baked bread’ and a deep red colouring, promises to provide an easy to drink cuppa. I love this tea, its the perfect afternoon cuppa, vibrant and very hydrating.

The Mellow One


The most smooth tasting PG Blend. A unique mix of decaffeinated and African teas ensures this PG variant is delicate and easy drinking. The light, bright & aromatic character of this cuppa ensures it has a clean finish, making it perfect for those who prefer tea with a softer tone. This suits those who like a mild, weaker taste to their tea, I like it last thing at night when I need my last cuppa but also need to wind down.

The Strong One
The boldest tasting PG Blend. Combining Kenyan and other African teas,  the perfect tasting cuppa to kick start your day. With a strong, bright red colouring, malty aroma, and thick tea character, PG Strong is definitely not a tea you will forget and this tea at first I felt was too strong, I drink really really well brewed tea, I have a dash of milk, no sugar, I was told by a builder recently " You have your tea so strong, you make builders tea seem like its for ballet dancers! I take this as a compliment!
This tea has grown on me over a few days. Its my go to blend for days when I need 'oomph' and certainly gets me knuckling down with my blogging!
Which tea do you think you would like, you can visit http://www.pgtipspersonalitea.co.uk/ to find out!
Disclosure : I received a box of goodies through the post as a thank you for taking the quiz.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Win £50 for Autumn!!!








All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey but we feel a little bit sunny still!!

This is an Autumn, we love you giveaway!

Summer may be over but some of UK Bloggers finest, are here to keep the heat with an amazing £50 cash sent straight to your Paypal/bank account


No real reason, no brands to promote, just a outpouring of love to the blog readers from


Sarah Bailey from Life in A Break Down
Helen Dickinson for Mummy To The Max


Psst we all have some fab giveaways running too!!



Autumn treats to see you through the colder months. Treat yourself to something cosy and warm.



Maybe the perfect night in, in front of the fire with a bottle of bubbly

Your choice as the £50 is to spend on whatever you want.

What will you do with the prize?





Freebie Friday 26th September



This day seems to come around so fast, this year is flying by. I hope your postie has kept you busy with sample deliveries and prizes.
I received the Nivea Moisturiser this week oh and finally won a Cadbury bar of chocolate on the Win A Banger giveaway, with a million to grab plus many other prizes, don't forget to try daily. The ones that stand out for me this week are the free meals from Little Dish and the O2  £10 off Rail Travel (no minimum spend)



Blogger Linky

Bloggers feel free to add your fabulous giveaways, blog deals and discounts. The giveaways are a great reason for my readers to come each day, you can add anytime as its open all week each week.

Plus  on the linky is a rather fab £50 Autumn giveaway hosted by myself and a few other lovely bloggers.
http://www.giventodistractingothers.co.uk/2014/09/win-50-for-autumn.html






Spotlight


I got an email this week to get new friends to join to Krispy kreme and receive a free doughnut, I get a thank you the email says,but if five friends sign I get a half dozen!!

So sign up grab the freebie and then you will get emails to get the free half dozen too.

I consider you my friends so have a Krispy Kreme on me





Freebies


Stoptober free help pack 

Stop smoking for 28 days and you're 5 times more likely to stop for good. There are lots of free support tools from apps to packs - we have all the help you need.

http://stoptober.webformregistration.com/m/stop-smoking/?_ms=74&_msai=1&PID=5678053

Free Disposable Contact Lenses 
(You will need to cancel if you do not wish to continue)
http://www.specsavers.co.uk/offers/try-contact-lenses-free

Little Dish meal 
http://www.littledish.co.uk/bountycampaignfreemealvoucher/

Dove Advanced Hair Series BB Cream

 http://www.doveadvancedhairseries.co.uk/trial

Gucci Premiere Eau De Toilette sample

https://www.facebook.com/GUCCI/app_389900094379503

Free Pint of Ale (700 pubs)

http://freedrinkpubs.co.uk/register

Bodyform New Roll Press Go 3 samples
https://www.facebook.com/Bodyform/app_276757335859722

 iphone 6/6 plus screen protector
https://www.endsleigh.co.uk/personal/gadget/forms/screen-protectors/

Free Krispy kreme for new sign ups (see Spotlight above) 

http://assets.fbmta.com/clt/krspykrmuk/lp/join/6/join.asp?RID=4303609472

SUN PERKS (Members only)
Free E-book Cecelia Ahern One Hundred Names 
Free Match Attax book and 42 Cards
Free E-book Mr Skip Michael Morpurgo


Worth A Go As So Many

1,000 Lily O' Brien Tasting Selection chocolates 18/10
https://www.facebook.com/LilyOBriens/app_336165313098148

200 L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes mascara (Need to login/register)
http://www.loreal-paris.co.uk/volume-million-lashes-so-couture/index.aspx#form

1,000 Stabilo Pens (Answer 30)
https://www.4music.com/competitions/win-amazing-tech-bundle-stabilo

100 Nuby Baby Product Bundles
https://www.facebook.com/nubyuk/app_707832515957504

Over 1,000,000 prizes (Cadbury, meals, music)
https://winabanger.cadbury.co.uk/



O2 Priority


Free £10 East Coast Travel eVoucher

 Available for the first 10,000.If you don't have O2 Priority Moments you can order an o2 sim card for free then place it in your phone and activate it.
Free Oil (Halfords)

Also if you have been with O2 Priority for a year, look around the app for the free £10 off Argos, no minimum spend or a £10 Debenhams E voucher!! Another reason I love O2!



Money Off
£1 0ff Boursin Shallot and Chive
£1 off Boursin

Ellas Kitchen Become a Friend for Money Off
https://www.ellaskitchen.co.uk/become-a-friend/

Word FREE image made from cubes,  mosaic pattern thanks to Shutterstoc

02 Logo thanks to Shutterstock



Spotlight image thanks to Shutterstock

Free label image thanks to Shutterstock



Thursday, 25 September 2014

Gnocchi With Spinach, Tomato and Basil Sauce




The final dish  I am making with the new Lake District Co Cooking sauces looks laden with calories, yet surprisingly worked out at 371 calories per portion.
A creamy cheesy gnocchi bake and less that a diet type ready meal. These sauces use quark, the wonder ingredient and adored by Slimming World folk across the world. 


I have been trying out a Spaghetti Quarkonara see here with the full review and the family favourite a Chicken Tikka Rice see here


The recipe was like the other Lake district Co suggestions,fast and simple. a great time saver and a chance to use my personalised spoon, thanks Lake District Co.



 Packed with spinach, the result was a creamy cheesy comforting dish. I thoroughly recommend you give it a go.
I would use low fat cheese next time, even swapping the gnocchi for pasta to make it even healthier.


The all-new Lake District Dairy Co. Cooking Sauce line-up will be found in the chilled goods dairy cabinets of supermarkets such as Sainsbury's nationwide this Autumn.

For more information please visit www.LakeDistrictQuark.co.uk - RRP £1.75 per 200g pot.

I received the ingredients in order to recreate the dish above.


Chicken Tikka Rice




This is the second post for the lake District Co new cooking sauces, I received a hamper with all the ingredients to try out the new low fat healthier sauces and of the three this Chicken Tikka Rice was voted our family favourite. 

Its also one of the nation’s favourites – a beautiful blend of herbs and spices for perfect curry dishes with minimal fuss and packing in a great taste but not piling on the calories the 200g pot which served three healthy appetites has 150 calories for the whole pot.

All the sauces are fab for those who are busy and of course the health-conscious, these naturally low fat cooking sauces are a great product to keep in the fridge for the nights you have not the time or inclination to cook from scratch but don't want to resort to a takeaway.

The sauces are made with quark, the natural dairy ‘wonder ingredient’, they boast half the calories and treble the protein of other stir-in dairy sauces.



The dish cooked in minutes, even less than the recipe card states as I used ready cooked rice and this made it a fast warming satisfying meal that pleased everybody. The creamy mild flavoursome sauce I would happily use again. I omitted the raisins and almonds further making the dish with less calories and next time I will add more veggies in to make it even more nutritious

For the full review see here and for the tasty Gnocchi Cheese bake see here 



Contains NO preservatives or artificial flavours.
Nutrition (per 100g):
75kcals, 4.5g Sugar, 2.6g Fat, 0.6g Saturates, 0.74g Salt

The all-new Lake District Dairy Co. Cooking Sauce line-up will be found in the chilled goods dairy cabinets of supermarkets such as Sainsbury's nationwide this Autumn.

For more information please visit www.LakeDistrictQuark.co.uk - RRP £1.75 per 200g pot.

I received the ingredients in order to recreate the dish above.

Lake District Cooking Sauces Spaghetti Quarkonara



 The star attraction and purpose for this feature are the new  The Lake District Dairy Co. Cooking Sauces that boast a healthier and convenient way to make meals. The new sauces, made by British Farmers, have already impressed food experts before they’ve hit the shelves, having just won at the World Dairy Innovation Awards.

 My readers of old, will know I lost three dress sizes in five months with Slimming World and quark was and is a SW muched used ingredient. Now with healthy eating still being on the agenda, I like to cook a majority of meals using low fat and sugar alternatives, that way I can indulge at certain times and not worry. Combined with a fast way to prepare a dish that will be tasty and feed a family I was looking forward to trying.


The Lake District Dairy Co. invited me to use the Cooking Sauces and their chosen recipes as an alternative to traditional dairy ingredients such as crème fraiche or double cream, to create a variety of healthy and flavoursome day to day dishes.

I had all the items sent to make a Spaghetti Quarkonara, a much healthier take on a Carbonara. Also the Indian dish usually one to avoid a Chicken Tikka Rice and finally one that you would probably steer clear of if you were weight watching a Gnocchi and Cheese Bake. 


One of my favourite meals is Spaghetti Carbonara and I make my own low fat version, I never use cream now, I use very low fat cream cheese, so i was interested to try this first. So impressive are the health credentials of the new range, that when making a creamy spaghetti carbonara using the Lake District Dairy Co. Garlic and Herb Cooking Sauce instead of cream cheese cooking sauce, the fat content was reduced by 28g – a staggering 88%, and the calorie content dropped by 227 kcal per portion too. The meal was easy to make, I found it very simple and dinner was ready in 10 minutes. I opted out of the nutmeg as not so keen on the flavour in savoury dishes


300g ‘quick cook’ spaghetti
250g The Lake District Dairy Co. Garlic & Herb sauce
150g flaked ham hock or finely chopped ham
4 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 

1. Bring a large pan of boiling water to the boil, add the spaghetti and stir well. Simmer for 7 mins or according to pack instructions.
2. Drain the spaghetti in a colander reserving 100ml of the cooking water. Empty the sauce into the
pan and gently heat until piping hot. Add the spaghetti, ham, parsley and 60ml of the cooking water
and toss to mix. All the spaghetti should be nicely coated in sauce, add a little more cooking water if liked.


3. Divide between warmed plates and serve garnished with more parsley. Serve with Parmesan cheese.





There were mixed reviews for this, Chris loved it, but then he is a mad fan of plain quark. Conor loved it more than my own recipe, he does not like cheese or cream cheese, so a great one for him. granny liked it and said it was really tasty. I was the only one who was not so keen, it seemed a bit bitter for my taste buds. maybe it had too much garlic, I could not put my finger on whether something was missing or needing adding. As you know I often tinker with recipes and adjust them, the fact that three people liked it means I will try again, and maybe add Parmesan to my portion before serving, also smoken bacon may be a great option.

I am adding the other two recipes to a separate feature as this is getting quite long.

Chicken Tikka Rice see here and the
Gnocchi With Spinach, Tomato and Basil Sauce here




The all-new Lake District Dairy Co. Cooking Sauce line-up will be found in the chilled goods dairy cabinets of supermarkets such as Sainsbury's nationwide this Autumn.

For more information please visit www.LakeDistrictQuark.co.uk - RRP £1.75 per 200g pot

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Autumn Fashion to Fall For



Yesterday was the first day of Autumn, time to pack away the shorts, sunnies and flip flops, booo!

But boo no more, its also a great time for kicking leaves, cozying up on the sofa and shopping for the Autumn wardrobe!
I am happy to present a wonderful guest post from Sarah, the owner of Life In A Break Down who certainly knows her Autumn/fall fashions!!
One of the best things about a change in season means a change in wardrobe and who doesn’t need to add at least one new outfit to their collection. A favourite plus size clothing haunts has to be Taking Shape; this wonderful store looks to cater for the larger lady, no matter what their tastes as they offer everything from bight, bold and fun to more subtle prints, allowing you to show off exactly who you want to be.
To bring some colour to an otherwise dull time of year, why not look at something like the vibrant Clay Pot Tunic, with its yellows and oranges it picks up on the changing colours of the leaves and while the splashes of purple and black make for a unique affect. Of course what’s not to be missed about this piece is the crumpled look, which comes with a ‘put that iron away advice’ – perfect. Mix it with something like the slim fit Kyoto Trouser in black, which offers a tailored, slim fit look and make sure you have a nice cardigan to hand and you are ready for a girl’s lunch out.
For a night out why not check out the wonderful Carley Dress, once again it takes it’s colours from the hues of this time of year, with flecks of burnt umber, as well as oranges and reds, showing through in this floral pattern. Team it with, some statement jewellery – try picking out your favourite colours from the dress with it, to make them shine through and these comfortable wedges to really help you dance the night away.

However don’t just wear your main piece in the same way each time – why not play around with it, as the weather gets colder don’t pack away your short sleeve tunics, try adding a long sleeve fitted plain t-shirt underneath. Love dresses, but aren’t so fond of your legs, then grab yourself a pair of leggings or slim fitted trousers and pop them underneath.
One of the beautiful things about fashion is you never have to stop playing and just remember if you love it and feel comfortable, well why not rock it.
What are you looking forward to wearing this Autumn?

*Pictures from Taking Shape

Monday, 22 September 2014

Win a “Grandma Rules” Kids Rule

image001 

I have teamed up with the lovely Sarah from Life in a Break Down and Lovestruck Interiors to bring you a fantastic giveaway. 

 Did you know that October 5th was Grandparents Day? A special day to celebrate those special people who give us those wonderful hugs, treat us to sweets and just shower us with love. Lovestuck Interiors are hoping this year to help one of you start a new tradition when it comes to visiting your Grandma - in the form of a beautiful Kids Rule - all ready to be hung at your Grandparents home. This white wash ruler, measuring over 6 feet tall and featuring the wording "Grandma Rules* is worth £135 and for one of you lucky people will be completely free! 

image002



 These gorgeous rulers are made of solid wood which comes from FSC approved timber that comes from sustainable sources only and each piece features its own unique details as, as with every piece of wood no two look the same. Starting at just 6 inches these rulers start at just above most skirting board levels so can easily be placed in most homes and make a wonderful talking point as well as a way to keep track of how your child grows across the years. So why not start a new tradition with your child's Grandparents and add this "Grandma Rules" Kids Rule to their home and then keep track of your child as they grow.

   

 The best thing is all you need to do to be in with winning the beautiful solid wood ruler is just enter via any or all of the options on the rafflecopter below.

Fellowes AeraMax Air Purifier




So how are the hay fever and asthma sufferers doing, the warm weather is still about and the grass pollen still affecting lots of people?  45% of people said someone in their household suffers from airborne allergies. This problem effects almost half of the population

We are very happy to report an immense drop in symptoms thanks to the Fellowes AeraMax Filter I have been reviewing and some other good benefits that I was not told about. It has been endorsed with the Seal of Approval from Allergy UK for 



For Paige it has been the usual nightmare, she has been to see a consultant regarding her symptoms, the nosebleeds have been horrific and he recommended a nasal op to widen the passage, but we seem to feel more pollen may get up, haha.



We had got together some useful ways to keep her suffering to a minimum, minimum  read as we are not even curing it, just lessening to very bad from horrendous. 




Enter the AeraMax Filter from Fellowes. I have had experience with dismal electrical pollen trappers that collected some but left greasy yellow stains on walls and surfaces where they were placed. I was a little apprehensive, my walls are cream, Paige's allergy far out weighs this though.





It arrived and was smaller than I imagined, think mini narrow radiator. Its a sleek modern looking appliance so for those who want it to fit in with a rooms decor it is pleasing to the eye. Another plus for me, being small its it is incredibly light in weight, as this filter is suitable for rooms of up to 18m²




OK it looks very technical but the instructions are literally a quarter of a page long. You remove the air filter from the bag, slot back into the machine,  turn on, the air filter senses the air quality and then if its polluted, its starts to filter the air.

The lights are blue for clean, amber denotes the air quality is poor and as we all suspect red for high levels of pollutants. Research shows that the air inside your home or office can contain up to five times more air pollution than the outdoors, therefore purifying the air can help reduce allergens and therefore hopefully help to manage allergy symptoms.



The Fellowes range use odour/gas sensors which are better for identifying the airborne pollutants that we can’t see ourselves. 
This can include various odours, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), gases, aerosols, fumes, outdoor airborne pollution and much more. 

The other type of sensor sometimes found in other brands of  air purifiers are optical, so they will detect larger particles and often need cleaning (at least every 3 months).


Four-stage purification system captures 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, including pollen and other allergens, dust mites, mould spores, pet dander and cigarette smoke



The unit goes into auto mode when turned on, the blue auto logo flashing for  around 4-5 minutes. The flashing auto light means it is calibrating.
The lights are blue for clean, amber denotes the air quality is poor and as we all suspect red for high levels of pollutants.




So after 4 minutes, we had an amber light, denoting poor air quality, we suspected this, recent new windows, the pollen at the first time we tried was particularly high.

So we sat watching for a while, but there really is not much to see, the fan foes into action, which you can hear 


Red was only achieved when I have sprayed polish or Paige has used hairspray when it has been on.

The good thing about the AeraMax apart from the filtering is being so lightweight we can move from room to room. I know you may think Paige would have this permanently installed in her room, however she was in Estonia for a couple of weeks, so we got to use it in other rooms to improve air quality  I felt that would be a good benefit and I found some known and possibly unknown benefits.

Cooking smells are dealt with, we have been using the Philips Air Fryer to make food and used it to cook lamb, this when put to high for the last few minutes of cooking, really let off odour, a nice yummy odour mind you. The Aeramax kicked straight in and the cooking odours are gone a lot quicker.

I have noticed less dust, again in an old house, and over the last two years we have had work done, so dust has been a pain, I have noticed less especially on the bane of my life glass shelf under the TV and the TV itself.

But the biggest bestest, I know  sorry a bit silly however this is my excited sentence!!!

It lessens snoring!!!!!

We used it it in our bedroom, to start,I feel I am sleeping better, the air I can only describe it as cleaner, fresher. But Chris is not waking me up with loud snores, maybe its a pollen thing, but then he snores in winter? I only know its quieter, I get up in the night with Granny. I know he is quieter as that is usually when I get back to bed and cannot get back off as his snoring is too loud and I get very grumpy.

I was not expecting this benefit, I am not sure Fellowes would use this as a selling feature, I only know that when its been out of use, after two nights the snoring worsens, bring back the AeraMax.

I am hard pressed to find anything wrong with it, the fan on low is silent so sits in the background and we have found you can sleep with it running on the lowest setting if you do want to run it all night, for people who have real trouble breathing, its quiet enough to use.

I read up on some of the benefits for other allergy sufferers and the info seems relevant for those. I have in the past used a dust mite spray, Chris had bad eczema and asthma when we first met and when we set up home, I knew the dust mites were a factor, they are small enough but its their poop that does the damage according to the Environment Protection Agency!!!

 437 grains of dust in our home contain nearly 42,000 living dust mites – with each mite expelling 20 fecal pellets every day.


Ewww!!



Each of the three machines in the AeraMax™ range features a True HEPA filter. This is an EU certified level of ‘High Efficiency Particulate Absorption’, which removes 99.97% of airborne impurities as small as 0.3microns.

That’s small enough to remove airborne particles including dust mites faeces (a common cause of allergies and poor health).

For us we have had a change. The air feels fresh, Chris is sleeping better, I am able to get back off if I do have to get up in the night.

Paige seems greatly better, I can only say that we hope to be looking forward to the start of spring and for maybe the first year in a while, she will be able to enjoy the new buds on the trees as a pretty sight, not with dread!



The Fellowes range of AeraMax™ air purifiers are available from Amazon from £149.99.


Disclosure. I was sent the Fellowes AeraMax D55 for the purpose of this review, I received no other incentive.




Family Fever