Renna's Discoveries: 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

Epsilon.Life Vitamins - Stay Healthy with Vitamin D3!!

Now its winter, we need to make sure we are extra healthy so we reduce the risk of becoming ill with infections and colds. So, we now need to eat as healthily as possible with extra vitamins to keep the sniffles away. To supplement your healthy diet, vitamin tablets are always a great thing. Especially Vitamin D. The sun is no longer around for long periods of the day, so we loose our Vitamin D intake, which our body produces with the suns rays. Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you think.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Kiehl's Ultra Face Cream with Tinie Tempah for HIV Awareness

Kiehl's began 160 years selling pharmaceutical products. They have always joined in with charity events and helped cure many people with their amazing products.
This year they have joined up MTV Staying Alive campaign with Tinie Tempah.
They will donate £2 from each sale of their Ultra Facial Cream in the 125ml sizes.

Coombe Abbey Hotel in Warwickshire

Coombe Abbey is an absolute must visit. The Hotel and the grounds are just stunning. The Abbey was founded in 1150 and was known as The Abbey of Cumbe. Inside the hotel it still has the original Cloisters which were built in 1509.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Get More Done When You Eat The Right Foods by Quill.Com

I came across this and I thought it was well worth sharing. Food is important and if we eat the right foods, we are a lot happier and get more done throughout the day, purely because you are fuelling your body with the right foods.
Have a read, its actually a very useful guide.

Jack Cherry And the Juicer - A story to over come the Bullies

The thought of my children being bullied in any way scares me. We all know young children say things that they don't really realise how much it will effect another child. Some take it very personally and others shrug it off. I'm obviously not talking about physical bullying, just mental bullying for now. (Because physical bullies can not just be shrugged off)
Mental bullying can really effect how a child thinks, and how they see others. It can ruin dreams and lives. It can make a child feel inadequate and that the world hates them. Bullying can seem very minor all the way up to when children don't even want to leave their own homes for the fear of being bullied.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Beauty Blogger Box - November Box

Monthly subscription boxes are everywhere, and with a complete variety of items in them. I'm going to tell you about the Blogger Beauty Box that I had the pleasure of receiving. This box is purely for bloggers. I thought that I'd give it a go and see what arrives. Each box is a surprise, and has a variety of beauty products that the makers would liked to be blogged about. The box I'm going to show you is the November Box. Now obviously each month is different and you wont ever receive the same item twice. The box costs £10 per month including postage..... yes, that's not a typo, it included the postage!!! Wow right ???
So here we are, what I have got this month?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Provena - Gluten Free Love

I recently tried one of Provena's products and loved it. Here I am going to let you know about their other products.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sausage Mash Pie - Quick Easy Dinner

I have a friend who always says that she can't cook...and it really annoys me, as to me cooking is easy. Yes, I did train as a chef for a year of my life alongside a Hotel Management course at college....and yes, I did work in a couple of kitchens as a chef of some sort or another in my first few jobs. But....I left all that behind to join the sale side of hotels. So, after years and years have gone by, my cheffing skills have pretty much diminished, plus I have to cook for kids, so its got to be quick, easy and suitable for them to eat.
So tonight, this is our dinner. I've already made it this morning and will heat it up later.
So, I'm going to write this as simply as I can, for those who say, they can't cook !!
Big Tip - Cheat!!!
I'm making Sausage Mash Pie - my style. This is completely off the cuff, I haven't followed any recipe, as I have a sachet !! (Biggest cheat ever!!) 

Neom Organic - London - Scent to make you Feel Good

I wanted to let you know about some fab Christmas Gifts that you can get from Neom Organics in London.
The founder of Neom, Nicola Elliot, who used to work for Glamour Magazine, decided to cut out the stress at work and start her own business, using scents that can reduce stress in women. Women have very busy lives, trying to get everything done in such a small amount of time. Yes, so do men....however, she initially thought of women, being a woman herself. Men can obviously enjoy all of Neoms products too.
She wanted to help improve sleep, anxiety, stress and energy. So after years of researching, she combined the right scents to create her products, whether it be candles, sprays or roll on oils. All of her products are 100% natural with nothing added, and all crafted in Great Britain.
They have an huge collection in different smells and sizes which you can see at their website, but for now, I'm going to share one of my favourite scents and a real Christmas Treat.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Black Farmer - Easy Roast in the Bag Pork Loin

I wrote about The Black Farmer last month in a post HERE, and about his story into starting up a business where he only produced Gluten Free Sausages. From sausages the founder, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones moved onto burgers and meatballs, and now.....may I introduce the ROAST IN A BAG Pork Loin!!!
Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds. This is the Sage & Onion flavour, the first flavour to be produced. There will be others, and if I'm honest they can't come soon enough. Now, the reason why The Black Farmer is also amazing is that ALL of his products are Gluten Free. So this Pork Loin flavouring is also Gluten free.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Loch Fyne in St Albans

I thought I would let you know about our trip to Loch Fyne in St Albans. I won a competition to have free starters from the new menu, so this was a great excuse to go out for a special treat. A pre Christmas gift if you like, and a family meal out. I didn't research the menu like I normally do before arriving, as I fancied a surprise. So, I was unaware of the prices.....
This is the entrance to Loch Fyne in St Albans. It's actually really lovely. I know.... I was very surprised, as I was imagining a white building with a small sign on the outside, but this entrance was big and bold, and you couldn't miss it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Flax Farm Linseed Flapjacks

Whilst we were at The Cake & Bake Show in London this Autumn, I met a lovely lady called Clare who had some amazing Flapjack samples. Now....I LOVE FLAPJACKS !! I love all kinds of Flapjacks. So I had to try them. These flapjacks included Linseed. To be honest, I don't know much about Linseed, apart from its one of the many Super foods also known as Flax Seed. It is sold in Waitrose and many health shops. I'm sure its sold in most supermarkets, but, to be honest, I've not looked for it that much.
Clare was selling her Flax Farm Linseed Porridge which is what she used for the flapjacks. I really enjoyed them, so I went for it and bought a pack.   
I love adding whatever I like to flapjack mixes to make them even healthier. So, here goes.....

Provena Gluten Free - Oat Bread Mix

In my last DegustaboxI was sent a packet of Provena Gluten Free Oat Bread Mix. I was excited to give this a go, as I'm starting to love certain gluten free foods. I do not have a tolerance, but, something bloats me out, so I'm trying new products, to see if it is a mild gluten issue.
I loved the packaging and I was very intrigued, so myself and the kids had a cooking day. I've been meaning to make bread with them for ages, so, this was the perfect opportunity.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

My Favourite Beauty Products At The Moment - October - Jojoba !!

Our world is full of plants that we use on a daily basis for our health, food, and beauty regimes. The Jojoba plant has many uses, however, it is mainly used on our skin. The beauty industry like to use the wax (not oil - although it comes out like an oil and is called oil, so we will call it oil in this post) for an all over body moisturiser. The wax is actually produced from the seeds of the plant.
Originally the Native Americans used to heat the seeds and then use a pestle and mortar to squeeze out and create the wax. Then they would then use this on their hair or to help heal the skin from cuts or burns or any other ailment.
It does have a kind of nutty smell to it, or if the oils are completely refined then it is odourless.
The Jojoba Company in Australia have produced quite a few products that are rich in Jojoba. The packaging is gorgeous and fun for all age ranges and styles. They cold press their seeds to get the highest quality oils. Lovely!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Messy Me Tunic for Babies & Toddlers

Kids get messy !! There is no denying it or hiding it. Even when they are wearing the nicest of clothes, and you ask them really nicely to try and be careful with the very expensive white dress or shirt, and not get it dirty.....its impossible.
My kids clothes have never lasted that long due to the amazing red stain that you seem to get from all baby food. So, the bibs got bigger and then tunics were bought. Cotton bibs are beautiful and soft, but, they last, a week, if that. I bought so many of the stupid things, I never learnt. So when they got bigger and they could wear Tunics, I bought loads. They are wipe-able and clean up really easily. The only thing with a lot of the ones I had, was that they couldn't go in the washing machine, due to the plastics used in them. So, I was forever wiping them down with sponges or giving them a quick shower to clean them.
Messy Me have sorted all of those problems, as they produce a tunic that babies up to toddlers can wear.  They are super cute too. 

The Black Farmer Sausages - All Gluten Free!!

Gluten free food is finally getting everywhere. There are so many people that unfortunately can not tolerate gluten. It can cause celiac disease and can be very painful. If eaten it can cause bloating, cramping, skin rashes and can damage your intestinal walls. So for many years anyone with a celiac diet had to just cut out foods. There were no alternatives.
These days however, everyone is joining in on the act, and even if people do not need to cut out gluten, they are doing so anyways, as they believe it is a healthier option for them.
Sausages have been around for centauries. Every country has their own special way of making sausages and are all very proud of their traditional sausages. Now a lot of butchers would add rice, breadcrumbs, oatmeal, and barley to cheaper cuts of meat to bulk them out. So they would make more money, but not necessarily thinking about the consumer themselves.
Now, here comes The Black Farmer - Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones. He was born in Jamaica and moved to live in the UK in the 50's. He worked in TV Food for many years, introducing us to many a famous TV Chef, that we have all grown to love and admire. Then, he finally followed his dreams and bought his own farm. He produced sausages from his farm and whilst visiting farmers markets, he met a lot of people who couldn't eat them due to having a wheat intolerance. So as he is a lover of sausages. He sympathised with people who had to give up The Sausage due to their intolerance, so he thought, he would make sausages that everyone can eat and enjoy. He wanted to make a gluten free sausage that was nearest to 100% meat and British meat at that. So in 2004, Here is born: 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread Test - What's the Best?

Chocolate spread is surely one of the amazing things in life. I don't know anyone who's never had it, however, I grew up in days when nut allergies didn't really exist. So everyone had Chocolate and Hazelnut spread....or in other words.....Nutella!!!
We used to have it in sandwiches, on toast, on bagels, on ryvita, in croissants, in rolls of any kind, on a spoon, it can also go on top of semolina, and now Nutella have a recipe book (Which I have !!!) So can make Nutella cakes, cookies, milkshakes, hot chocolate, cheesecake, mousse, meringues, pinwheels, tarts, soufflés, macaroons.....seriously you could include Nutella in any kind of dessert or pastry. A bakers popular way to have Nutella is inside a cake - because its as yummy as ...
Now as Nutella is so popular (as its literally the King of the spreads), other brands see if they can make a Chocolate and Hazelnut spread better, or at least the same.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Soulthing - Nutrients & Diet Supplements

Soulthing is a UK based company that produce nutritional supplements for a healthy lifestyle. Emphasise on the supplement !! These are here to join in with your food and give you extra goodness, not to take food away.
Some people have that misfortune to never feeling full up, or feeling empty earlier than others. This is where a protein shake could come in useful. I generally have a slump about 11am or 3pm, where I feel tired or really hungry, and lately I've been trying loads of different shakes to stop me from snacking on sweet treats. The shops sell loads of ready made protein shakes. The protein contents are not generally that high, so one that you can make at home have more goodness in them and make you feel fuller for longer.
Protein shakes are extra good for people that want to loose weight and it also helps with the build up of muscle. (But you do have to go to the gym to build muscle....don't think a shake is going to suddenly work miracles, it's just there to help you)

Soulthing's Shake Time is Vanilla flavour - so it goes with everything and can be mixed easily with fruit. Its suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and its also wheat, gluten and dairy free, So, its pretty much suitable for everyone. Plus is actually really delicious !!!

Monday, October 12, 2015

DotComGiftShop - Monday Motto!!

This is just a quick post, as I bought this from DotComGiftShop and I wanted to share with you all such an amazing Online Shop. This is somewhere where you could get completely carried away and buy loads, but as Christmas is coming up, this is actually a perfect website to use to get the small .... well actually......and some big presents.

Friday, October 09, 2015

SmartShake - The World's Smartest Shaker

Shakes are everywhere at the moment, well they have been for years, but I've seen a sudden urge in social media about protein shakes and their shakers.
I've always associated protein shakes with body builders or for people that have problems gaining weight. Protein shakes also keep you feeling fuller for longer, just like a high protein diet, therefore you eat less unnecessary foods. I did a high protein diet to help me loose weight a few years ago, but the diet didn't include any shakes. Wish it did, as it may have been easier to complete. Some people have to have protein & vitamin shakes, like Complan shakes to keep them healthy, as their bodies need extra supplements. Everyone is different, but a good protein shake is generally full of the necessary nutrients and more, so effectively, everyone could benefit from at least one a day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Find 4 You Accessories Perfect Christmas Gifts - Scarves!!

To continue with my fabulous finds from Find 4 You Accessories blog post yesterday HERE, I am going to show you the fabulous Scarves I bought for my family for Christmas gifts.
In case you are wondering, I am being sensible this year, and actually trying to get prepared so we are not completely skint in December. Therefore I am spreading the costs.
Find 4 You Accessories have a wide selection of scarves, and every time I look, I see another one that I like. The prices range from £8-£11 full price. All the ones I chose are really good quality and all beautiful designs. I personally love scarves, as they just finish off an outfit. You could easily be stuck in your ways and always wear jeans and a top, but put a gorgeous scarf to the mix, and tadah.....a gorgeous unique outfit.

Scarves are for all year round. They look wonderful with most outfits and can be neck warmers, shoulder warmers, sarongs, beach wraps....all sorts. They are incredibly versatile, that's why you can never have enough scarves.
Here are the ones I have chosen for now.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Find 4 You Accessories Perfect Christmas Gifts - BAGS!!

I love Twitter, as you get to see so many wonderful items in online shops. I decided this year, that, I would buy as many Christmas gifts as possible through Twitter. My first company is Find 4 You Accessories. Everything they posted on Twitter I instantly fell in love with. All their products have a quirky edge to them, and they are not items that I would look for in a shop. I would search for them in a crafts market or similar though, as I always like to get gifts that you can't find easily. We all like to be unique, and items that you are wearing can start a great conversation.
So, I went through everything they had in their online shop, and I mean everything..... They sell, bags, scarves, purses, watches, bracelets, cushion covers and other similar items.
I'm going to first show you about the bags that I chose for my family members.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Favourite Beauty Products at the Moment - September - Argan Oil

I'm trying out a lot of Argan Oil at the moment as it's been recommended by so many people. Argan Oil comes from the tree kernels of the Argan Tree in Morocco. It has plenty of nutrients in it which are perfect for your hair as well as your skin. My hair was starting to feel really dry lately, because I dye my hair with home sets, which I don't think has done my hair any favours. So I bought some Tresemme Liquid Gold from Asda. It can go on after washing your hair, so it get soaked into the hair. After towel drying you add a pump or two to your hands and comb it through before drying or styling. It's easy to use and actually its quite effective. My hair is shinier and softer than before and plus it smells nice and doesn't make it look greasy in the slightest. Bonus!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Which of Morrisons Dates are the Best ?

I've started eating a lot of dates recently. I don't know what started it, but, I just fancied trying them a couple of months ago, so I bought a snack pack from Morrison's. I then ate so many, that I had to Google what was the limit a turns out there's no limit, it just depends how greedy you are, but generally between 8-10 a day is OK. However, after reading a few Raw Diet forums, Dates are incredibly popular and they are also popular with people who have certain dietary problems as they are easy to digest.
So, after trying a few different ones from different shops, I thought I'd try out Morrisons selections. As its my local supermarket, and I can compare easily when they are from one shop. The Morrisons I go to very rarely have the Medjool Dates and I kept reading how amazing they were and I really wanted to try them. So when they finally had some in, I bought the Giant Medjool Dates, the Sticky Deri Dates and my usual Morrisons Date Snack Pack.
The Snack Pack do not state what type of dates they are....they are just Dates !!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Joe & Johns #PocketBags - Fashion meets Charity

A new clothing company called Joe & Johns is going from strength to strength. However, its not just a company, its also a charity which started in November 2014.
Joe & John, who have known each other for most of their lives decided to sell up and go travelling together. Their first stop was India. They were excited about taking in the culture and exploring the country. Whilst they were there, they also met a lot of homeless and very poor children. Which of course is heart breaking. Children should be safe in a home away from the dangers of the streets, and in school, so they can be educated to be able to work and make a better life for themselves. Joe and John wanted to help, so they volunteered within a charity whilst moving around India. Whilst on this journey, Joe remembered an idea he had designed a few years ago and was going to use it to raise money to help the children.
Joe had designed a detachable pocket, that could be placed onto any garment with the right attachments. Joe thought that "if for every pocket I sold I could help a child into education, that would be a start". So Joe & Johns and #Pocketbags was born and more designs starting flooding in.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Laura Ashley Hotel in Elstree - The Manor in Hertfordshire

Whilst I was looking at venues for my wedding a few years back. I visited The Edgwarebury Hotel in Elstree. It was gorgeous and I loved it, and was very close to keeping it in my top three when I heard that friends of ours had booked it for their wedding. was off the list.
I thought about the venue a lot, as it really was perfect for what I was looking for. Our friends wedding was amazing, and everybody had a great time.
However, the Hotel had been bought by Laura Ashley in 2012, and the hotel has had a complete re-style in all of her furnishings. So, myself and Miss E really wanted to go and have a look around.
Miss E surprised me and told me that we were going away for a night and she wasn't going to tell me anything else. Brilliant, I thought ! I love surprises!! You don't really get that many in life, so, even though she kept asking if I wanted to know, I said No !!
So, on a Saturday afternoon, she picked me up in her car and off we went. She had her map and I sat wondering where on earth we were going.
Now.....maps are great, when they work!!! I knew we were heading to Elstree, and I did wonder if were going, but I stayed stum. Then we / she got lost, I said ... listen if we Are going to Laura Ashley Hotel, as its around here, you're never going to find it. It is the most difficult Hotel I have ever tried to find. You can drive past the entrance so many times, and then when you find it, you can't understand how you missed it. So, I helped her find it. Five minutes later, we were laughing so much, as, once you know where it is, it really is easy !!
After driving through the long driveway, this is what greets you!! Stunning isn't it ?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Scheckter's Organic Energy Drink

Everyone gets a little tired spell at some point throughout the day, and we all need little pick me ups to keep us going. I like to try all kinds of interesting ways to keep me feeling perky as I do suffer from that lagging feeling about 11ish or 3ish depending on how early I have been awake for and how much I've done during the day. The 3.00pm lag is dangerous as its school pick up time then. I always seem to be tired at the wrong time of the day.....
So, with eating healthily and adding supplements, I can keep going.
I originally came across Scheckter's Organic Energy drink in a Degustabox Delivery and really enjoyed it. I was asked if I would like to taste the difference between their Original and their Lite version.

Derma Babies in London Products

When you are looking a perfect gift for a Baby, it's really hard. What exactly do babies need ? Apart from the usual clothing and things they can stare at, it's nice to give a gift that will benefit them in some way, and also looks good for Mum.
Well Derma Babies who are based in London have the most gorgeous gift set, which includes their Heavenly Baby Wash, Heavenly Baby Moisturiser and Heavenly Nappy Cream all packaged into a lovely bag.
They would also, post the gift direct to Mummy & Baby, as the way they wrap it up is amazing. Nothing like what you would expect.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cassiobury Farm & Fishery - Watford - Second Visit Update

I thought I would quickly post some pictures of our second visit to Cassiobury Farm following my original post of the farm HERE. We absolutely loved this little farm, which is right on our doorstep. Watford needs this. Its great for educating the children and adults alike. Its a place to relax and enjoy the noises, aswell, as fish and having a look at animals you wouldn't normally get the chance to see.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Oxhey Woods Sculpture Trail

I have been told by many people that I really must visit Oxhey Woods and do the Sculpture Trail with the kids. So finally.....we have managed it. And ...... now I know why. Its amazing. People have volunteered their time and their skills to add something special to Oxhey Woods.
This is by far a Must Visit - see the pictures, and you'll see why. Its super cool and the kids had a great time too. It makes 'walking the woods' a bit more special. I wish every town had a sculpture Trail or a Woodland Park. 

Cassiobury Farm & Fishery - Watford

In a town called Watford, there is a large park called Cassiobury Park. This is somewhere where everyone can go and enjoy the woods, as well as the open spaced areas which include a children's recreational area and a mini train through the woods. There is plenty of space for everyone and is a great place to walk the dogs too. Plenty of people have picnics in the nice weather and just stay and relax all day.
Cassiobury Park is next to the old Watercress Farm in which is part of Croxley Hall Farm. The Sansom family had been cultivating watercress for five generations in England, and one of the Sansom's opened his farm in Croxley Green on the River Gade - right on the border of Watford in early 1820's. The farm continued to grow Watercress until the 1980's where it was eventually closed. The farm has just sat there for years, and finally someone bought it. We, the public wondered who it was, and what they were going to do to the farm. People said he was going to start the watercress farming again, and we saw signs of a mass refurbishment of the whole area (as you can walk past the farm, but there was no-way in, as it is private property) Every time we walked past something was being built or land was being moved. It was a huge mystery.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Nutrifiz Wheatgrass Vitamin & Mineral Drink

Nutrifiz is Vitamin & Mineral Drink with the added Greatness of Wheatgrass.

Benefits of Wheatgrass:
There is a lot of talk about Wheatgrass and has been since the 1930's believe it or not, as this is when tests began. Some people state its a super food and others say its just as good as other vegetables such as spinach. However, either way, its Good For You!!

Pure wheatgrass in a liquid form is super healthy for you as it contains more vitamin A and vitamin C as many other fruit and vegetables. It also has all the vitamin B's, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and all of the essential amino acids. Which in-turn gives you an improved immune system due to all the antioxidants. All the essentials also helps you with tiredness and fatigue, as it keeps your body going. (Although I must point out that sleep is incredibly important and is more super for you than any food - so don't use supplements instead of actually sleeping).

Now if you're like me and not a scientist or a nutritionist and you just go by: if its healthy, its good for you, then you'll eat it or drink it, you must try wheatgrass.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Oloves Olives

Oloves Olives are a super healthy snack and they taste delicious.
Being half Greek, Olives seem to be everywhere. Where-ever I go, there are bowls of olives, green ones, black ones, pitted ones, none pitted ones, ones with a whole garlic clove pushed into the centre (who on earth sits there all day doing this??) Olives with peppers pushed through, Olives with all kinds of different dressing....basil, garlic, name it, an Olive has probably been covered in it, Olives can be found in your cocktail and crushed up put onto bread.
Olives can be used everywhere in everything and on everything, like pastas dishes, in bread, in salads, as a crust on meat.....oh the list is literally endless.
Oloves come in perfectly sized pouches. These are a great snack to take out with you for your lunch or just as a snack for the kids.  These small pouches are 30g each.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Inside The Berkeley Hotel Spa - The Bamford Haybarn

My birthday treat this year was a voucher to experience The Berkeley Spa, The Bamford Haybarn from Miss E. Miss M also joined us, as we all have birthdays close to each other. So we finally agreed a date that we were all free in July. Its always nice to have something to look forward to, and have a great girlie day out to catch up. We were all very excited, as we've all wanted to go to The Berkeley for a really long time.
I only ever have one issue when visiting a gorgeous hotel when you are visiting the spa ...... the way you're dressed !!! as you just don't need to dress up and look your best, I always feel like a tramp walking into such a grand hotel.
So we turned up with our jeans and flats, hair scrapped back and no make-up. We asked the smartly dressed Doorman if the spa had a separate entrance, which it doesn't, he explained where to go. So we entered the amazing hotel and made our own way to the Spa. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Amici's Cafe in Croxley Green

My friend, Miss E invited me and my little man for lunch, as she had the day off work, and it was a thank you for looking after her cat whilst she was away. We decided to go to Amici's in Croxley Green, as its one of our favourite local restaurants. It is located at the bottom of Baldwins Lane, in the small shopping parade. Which makes it fairly easy to park outside, or at least within a minutes walk.
You have to get there with time to spare, as most lunch times, it is full. So best to have a late lunch to avoid waiting for too long. It is a very popular café, for many different reasons. However, I'd say, apart from the food being great value and very tasty, the owner, is incredibly friendly, and really gets to know his customers. Amici's is a family run café with all the little tastes from Italy. You can see by the menu, that he pretty much covers everything a café should have and more !! Its mouth-watering just reading it.....what do you have ?? Breakfast ? A small snack? Omelettes? Burgers? Salads? Panini's? or a good ole pasta dish? I have had pasta on quite a few occasions in the past, and I've always had a great meal. So much so, that I am gutted he is only open in the day time. I would love him to open just a couple of nights a week for dinner and just serve pasta and burgers. He always has a great Italian special on too.   

Saturday, July 18, 2015

My Favourite Beauty Products At The Moment - July - Oils and Serums

I've been trying to be more consistent with my beauty products this year, as without continuous use, its difficult to see if a product actually works.
So once my previous products had run out, I started on my new beauty discoveries, that I have been sent to review. So for the last two weeks, every morning and every night I have been using a combination of the following:

Organic Anti-Blemish Facial Oil by Peau Naturelle

Monday, July 13, 2015

Love Chin Chin - All The Flavours Test

Following my previous Blog post about Love Chin Chin snacks. I was contacted by Love Chin Chin and asked if I would like to taste all their flavours and actually let the kids try them this time. I did feel incredibly guilty for demolishing the whole pack of Vanilla to myself, so I agreed. However, the kids were going to get first tastes. We regularly do "The Taste Test" at home. This encourages the kids to try and experiment with different flavours and different foods. So they were very excited when a box arrived with their names on.
I took the box of goodies to my parents so, we had a variety of opinions, as my parents always have guests around.
So, Love Chin Chin produce a biscuit snack that tastes like a crunchy cake. Its from West Africa and Mama Chin Chin's children loved her snacks so much, that they persuaded her to allow them to produce them for us to taste and fall in love with too. Mama Chins original flavour is the Vanilla, but her children wanted to add Chilli, Cinnamon and Lemon to the mix.  

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Love Chin Chin - "Join The Chin Chin Revolutuion"

At the Christmas Foodie Festival, we came across Love Chin Chin. We tasted them, and just thought .....oh wow, they won't last long in our house ! They were really scrummy. A West African sweet treat. I had never heard of a crunchy biscuit that taste like cake .... Never even really thought it. However ..... It works! We told the ladies, that we'd go back to get a few bags, but, then ran out of time, and didn't manage to purchase any in the end.
They were something I kept thinking about and then I saw a fellow blogger had written about them, and made me want them all over again ..... Well as I can be quite lucky sometimes, a Love Chin Chin bag turned up in my monthly Degustabox delivery. Bonus !!!
Well, last night I decided I fancied a small snack, so I thought I'd have A biscuit (yea right....just the one!!) and I found them in my biscuit box. So, I thought, oh yea, I'll have a few of those ...yummy.

I had one, then I had another, and then I had a handful, and then ...... this is what I left !!!
These WERE the Vanilla flavour ones, and they were too delicious and way to moreish. When I see them again in the shops, I'll be buying a lot more packets (as my kids didn't even get a look in, and I like them to try everything...whoops!!) These would be great for just an snack during the day, and also for sharing at a party or just with friends ..but make sure you get loads of packs!!!
They have several flavours, so there is something for everyone: Vanilla (Which is Love Chin Chins Mama's original flavour), Lemon, Chilli and Cinnamon.

They sell them online in packs of 24 bags for £17.99 inc. delivery. They even produce a mixed Hamper for the same price. So, as a gift these are great, and it will never be a wasted gift. Plus the packets are super cute and I love the traditional image they have used. Different colours, for different flavours.
So, if you do see them in a shop or a foodie festival....BUY THEM, as when everyone else finds out they'll be flying off the shelves.

Have a look at their website for more details

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bliss World Products - Lemon and Sage

Bliss Spa in New York has proved to be a huge success. It opened in 1996 and now they have 20 Bliss Spas and salons spread across the world including 1 in London UK. They concentrate on making you look and feel beautiful. This includes buffing, waxing, facials and full body massages. The Spa in London has eight treatment room, manicure and pedicure stations, alongside the shop filled with their amazing products. By looking at their websites pictures, it looks amazing and very relaxing. They even have a lounge area where you can relax in your room before and after your treatment. The colour scheme match their products, with a very relaxed earthy feel. These are happy colours, bright blue skies with a few clouds, whilst sitting relaxing in the park.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Alice in Wonderland in Waterloo Vaults

In the depths of Waterloo Vaults, by the Southbank in London, Les Enfants Terribles have staged the most awesome Alice in Wonderful interactive adventure.
I am used to be seated whilst watching a theatrical show, apart from one time in the London Dungeons show. This show has got to be the most weirdest, greatest, fun, I've ever had. Well worth the visit.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Adam Handlings Pistachio Cake

Being half Greek, I love pistachio nuts. I grew up with them everywhere, every family gathering there were always bowls scattered around and I would quite happily eat bowls of them. I just loved opening them so it made me eat more of them. Plus they are tasty!
I am a huge fan of Masterchef the Professionals, and followed Adams journey to be becoming a finalist of the TV competition. He deserved it from the start, and is incredibly talented. Adam is Head Chef of The Caxton Grill at St Ermin's Hotel in London - see previous blog post here.

Whilst looking through Adam Handlings new recipe book, I noticed how beautiful every dish looked, and I thought I'm going to have to try one of his recipes, so of course, I thought I'd start off with a slightly easy one. A cake!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Honey and Banana Flapjacks Recipe

Flapjacks are one of my favourite snacks. When I was pregnant I had serious Flapjack cravings, so I was cooking a new batch every other day. I had to give so many away as I would have eaten the lot !!!
I'm not very good at sticking to any recipe, so this time, I combined a few ideas that I found in my recipe books and online.
Flapjacks are not known for their huge health benefits, especially with all that sugar and butter, so I like to add healthy snacks to make them into Energy Bars. 

My flapjack recipe this time is :
175g or 6oz Brown Demerara Sugar 
175g or 6oz Butter
2 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Peanut Butter
2 ripe Mashed Bananas
Handful of Almonds (Chopped)
300g or 10oz Oats 

To start, preheat your oven to 160 degrees and gather all of your ingredients.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Meze Mangal Restaurant in Chorleywood

As I was wandering through Chorleywood high street, I noticed a new restaurant. Well, new to me anyways. I saw the previous fast food restaurant being stripped a few weeks before, so I knew something was coming. Well, it turns out that the most successful kebab shop in Rickmansworth high street was opening its first restaurant in the lovely quiet town of Chorleywood.
I saw a large sign outside stating 'bring your own alcohol' which a lot of restaurants are doing now. Ultimately, it is a take away kebab shop, but with a few tables and chairs for guests to sit and relax, and have the best kebab! So, we agreed to go for a girls night out and a belated birthday dinner to check it out.

Monday, May 18, 2015

GETT - Order your Taxi direct from your phone

When I'm out and about, I like to feel safe. I will use the trains as much as I can, but if I require a Taxi, I'll use my GETT App. I've mentioned GETT before. Previously known as Get Taxi.
Its an app that you download onto your phone to be able to book a Safe Black Cab.  The app asks you to enter your details and your preferred payment method i.e. Cash or Card including PayPal. You will need to enter your card details even if you wish to use Cash just as a back-up though.

BakerDays.Com Cake Review

Cakes by delivery is becoming big business. Its quick and simple to do it online and is cheaper than flowers. So if you have a friend that prefers cake, BakerDays.Com is for you. The Letterbox Cake is exactly that. Its small enough to go through your letterbox, so no need to wait around for a delivery, or any risk of Mr Postman leaving it outside when its raining (anyone else had this problem?) Obviously BakerDays.Com do have a selection of cakes from Cup Cakes to Large Cakes depending on the event and the gift. 
They have six delicious flavours: Chocolate, Vanilla, Half and Half, Fruit, Gluten Free and Dairy Free. So there is something for everyone. 
The best part is that you can personalise them. They have many different designs you can choose, or you send over your logo or picture and this can be printed direct onto the icing. Sounds great right?
I chose a Chocolate flavoured cake with their own Anniversary print, as it was our anniversary in March. We love cake so this was a perfect treat for the hubs.
The Letter Box cake comes well packaged and protected. They can also deliver the very next day if you order before 2pm. So if you've forgotten a birthday, this is a great quick option for you.

Monday, May 11, 2015

My Favourite Beauty Products At The Moment - May

Beauty products are everywhere, beauty bloggers are everywhere too. People are always trying to tell you what you should be using, what you shouldn't be using and at what age you should start using them. The thing I don't understand is they also tell us how many layers to put on your skin. When I was younger, it was just one layer and that was moisturiser. Now we are supposed to cleanse, tone, serum, moisturiser, eye cream and then primer all before we then layer with make-up. Sounds crazy when you write it down. I'm not hugely consistent when it comes to creams, I'll use whatever is in front of me, however, I do have my favourites.
I would happily use Simple products all the time, they are good for my skin and I've been told many times, that I do not look my age. They are easy to buy from any supermarket and I've never really felt the need to change my brand. They contain pro-vitamin 5 and vitamin E and there are No chemicals to damage my skin.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Doisy and Dam Chocolates

Doisy and Dam have produced super food chocolate, all handmade in Norfolk. The first thing that stands out is the coloured packaging, its so bright and really catches your eye. Now if you love dark Chocolate then these are definitely for you. The taste is amazing, and certainly different!

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Park Resorts UK

Holidays are expensive and they soon start to add up, so for our last few trips away, we've been staying at Park Resorts which are Holiday Resorts within the UK. They have a choice of accommodation, mainly Caravans and Chalets (either wooden or brick depending on location).
Park Resorts have 49 different parks and are all over the UK by coastal towns.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Adam Handling at Caxton Grill - St Ermin's Hotel

Excited is an understatement when my friend and I agreed to go to Adam Handling's Restaurant Caxton Grill in the amazing St Ermin's Hotel.
From watching Adam Handling on MasterChef UK, I was a fan. I knew from the start that he has skill and talent. He was incredibly focused throughout and delivered amazing food.
When he got to the finals, I was not surprised at all. My most memorable episode is when he couldn't get 'messy presentation' right. Adam really struggled with actually just messing up a plate and putting the food in an unorganised fashion. I agreed, if you are used to making food look like you care, then just throwing it on a plate is not going to work for you. If I owned a restaurant, I'd like each plate to go out like a piece of art. Food to me is art, and should be presented as such. I love the word Wow, and if you say that when a plate is put in front of you in a restaurant, you're onto a winner.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Quintessential - I Love Eve! Bags,

I wrote a blog post about a Scarf that I received from Quintessential a while ago See here and as I like to stay with the times, I look through my favourite companies websites. However, every time I go onto their website I fall in love with another new collection.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Liberation Fairtrade Nuts

Liberation - Nuts About Fair Trade

Liberation Foods are based in London and are joining The Fair Trade liberation.
It's amazing that all of our food products are not Fair Trade. The farmers and the people that harvest the foods that we eat should all be rewarded correctly and treated like our heroes. Without them, a lot of foods wouldn't be enjoyed all around the world.
How is it fair that the big bosses of companies earn millions and the producers earn pittance. It's disgusting.
So these nuts are completely Fair Trade and delicious !
The nuts are shipped from Africa, India and Latin America.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Natvia Natural Sweetner

Sugar Sugar Sugar ! We are all desperately trying to avoid eating or drinking too much sugar. We have been advised to use sweeteners, but for years sweeteners taste is just so bitter, it's not sweet at all, and the artificial taste has been incredibly obvious.
When I did the Dukan Diet a few years ago, everything on the diet consisted of meat, fat free yoghurt and sweeteners. So I managed to try quite a few to try and find the right one. I couldn't.
Then we were told the dangers of aspartame ..... Which was/in in a lot of sugar free foods and drinks.
So, now what? Then coconut has taken over from refined sugars, which is brilliant news, but, I couldn't put it in my tea as the taste took over the tea flavour, and I still can't get to the grips of using it in cakes.
I do look at labels and a lot of products I bought as a youth, I no longer buy or drink. Fizzy drinks from a can is like a luxury to me, as I generally use sparkling water instead with certain cordials or juices.
However, as much as you try, Sugar is everywhere.
Luckily, I may....just may have found my Tea Sugar option at last. I've yet to try it in cakes, but so far so good ..... Got to start somewhere!
Natvia came in my Degustabox delivery. It's Zero calories and No nasty chemicals. Going on taste alone, it's actually not bad. Obviously, nothing will ever be the exact same taste of sugar, but, this at least made my tea palatable. There was no dirty after taste and very pleasant.
I will definitely be buying this again, and I recommend you do too.

This is one sachet.
Natvia ! Don't forget the name ! Read all about them on their website

Thursday, April 23, 2015

BBQUE Stir Fried Rice Recipe

I like quick easy meals for the kids to eat. They also have to be healthy and flavoursome. Obviously cooking for kids, I don't add extra salt, so this means I can add sauces and I can keep the salt consumptions to a low.
In one of my Degustabox deliveries, I had a bottle of BBQUE. I like the black bottle as it made it quite mysterious. This is actually a BBQ sauce that can be used as a marinade as well as a condiment. It has a gorgeous smoky flavour, and I could pour it over anything, or just use as a dipping sauce. It is delicious !
I thought I'd try an experiment and combine it with a household favourite. Stir fried Rice!
I marinated 4 pork loin steaks which I cut into slices in the BBQUE sauce and left it in the fridge for a few hours.
During the school pick up, I steamed rice in the microwave. (It's how my mum always used to cook rice, as it's easy and quick). When I returned, I stirred up the rice and left it.
I scrambled five eggs and removed them from the pan, where I then added the pork strips and fried them off in just a tablespoon of oil.
Once cooked, I added sweet corn, peas, string beans along with the egg and cooked them through.
Then I added the rice and mixed the whole lot together. I also added more BBQUE sauce as I didn't realise how large my dish was going to get per usual, I got a bit carried away.

Dish Done And Dinner was served ! Empty plates all round (albeit rice always seems to fall in the floor). Extra bonus is, as I made so much, Daddy had dinner when he got home and he also had a box for lunch, and so did I.

We have also marinated chicken strips to have with rice too. The kids loved this and we all had to have more sauce out on our plates as it's just so delicious.
I would definitely buy this sauce and I'd love to try its other flavours. They have Grill & Beechwood, Honey & Mustard and finally Chilli & Horseradish.
BBQ season is coming up, so these would be great to compliment any meat or vegetarian dish.

Order you Degustabox for a selection of new foods for you try.