Renna's Discoveries: May 2015

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.

Once you've added all your details, you can also choose whether you wish to tip or not, 5% up to 12%, so you don't need to carry any change at all. Your receipts are emailed to you straight away, so you can keep a record of your taxi rides for expense reasons.

Once you've ordered your taxi, you'll see how far away the taxi is and how long it will be. You'll also see the taxi drivers face in a photo and the registration number of the car. I love this, as then its easier to spot the oncoming taxi and you know you are with the right taxi driver. This is the safest way to travel, as you have all the drivers details before you've even entered the taxi. They do call you to ensure they pick you up exactly where you are aswell. So no one else can jump in your taxi.

GETT only use Black Taxis.  Black Taxis are always licensed, which means they have the correct training and all the correct paperwork. All black cab drivers train for 2-4 years. This ensures the shortest routes, and avoiding any known traffic hot spots. They know exactly where they are going without any use of a Sat Nav. Their training includes The Knowledge test which is one of the hardest in the world.  They have to know all major London roads, landmarks, hotels, places of interest, and how long it will take from A to B. You could ask a Taxi Driver anything about London, and they'll more than likely know the answer.

I am extra safe and screen shot which taxi I have and send the screenshot to a friend. As friends worry, when you're travelling alone, so this app gives peace of mind to all. I'd rather be safe than sorry. Gett drivers will ensure all lone females have entered their home or work place before driving off.

Gett taxis can also be pre-booked for after dinners or to the airport etc. Perfect, so no worrying about if you can get a taxi outside. this saves you waiting around, especially on your own.

Gett taxis are now in all major cities and are also abroad. So you'll be safe where ever you go.

Mini cab drivers do not need any training and go by Sat Nav alone. Sat Navs are not always correct, as I have landed on dirt tracks before trying to get through Someones farm. I sure wouldn't want to be in a back of a mini cab down a dirt track......especially if they have no idea where they are going.

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.
The cake comes in a cute tin that keeps it fresh.
All securely wrapped to keep in the freshness. When you open the box, the small is extremely overwhelming. So, for a sweet tooth, this will be the best present ever.

It's a cute size and as you can see, even my knife is bigger than the cake. So, for us greedies out there, you can literally eat the whole cake and not feel too guilty.
Its a lovely moist sponge but the chocolate is a rich sponge, so make sure they are chocolate lovers !!

I'd love to try the vanilla sponge as I have read so many great things about the flavour on other blog posts.

There is also, a large covering of icing, so dependent on your tastes, you can peel it off easily, if you prefer not so much.

All the cakes can last up to two weeks, although, I'm sure it would have been eaten by then.

BakerDays.Com can provide many cakes for a corporate event, and then can also add in candles for birthday cakes. If you order the medium and large cakes, you will also receive a Cake Slicer too.
So, the box will literally have everything you need for a great gift.

*Thank you to BakerDays.Com in sending me a cake to review. All views are my own.

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.
I have a wonderful friend of mine Miss E that insists that I try out certain creams for feedback reasons and also, just because she loves to treat me to new products. So although I still use Simple, I also use a range of other brands too.

Miss E has introduced me to Germaine De Capuccini, which, I have say is brilliant. It's delicate on the skin and feels great. The cleanse cream doesn't leave any greasy feel that I have found others do in the past. It's smooth to apply and just wipes off leaving no residue. The toner is really nice too. It doesn't leave anything on your skin and just disappears. Both smell really nice, its like a very mild fruity smell. I do really love Germaine De Capuccini products. See a previous post on their Time Expert serum.

Germaine De Capuccini produce many different products. I actually really like using oil on my
skin. I'm a lifetime user of baby oil on my skin after having a shower, and I like to put oils in the bath
to cover my skin. ( although I do have to say, that using oil straight afterwards whilst still standing in the shower is Not safe, especially for the next person ! I've certainly had a few slips in my time, and so has my hubs, so I only use oil once I'm out of the shower now!! ) I have a couple of Germaine De Cappucini oils. These include their highest selling product of Rose Hip Oil and also their Firming Body Oil. They both feel great and the Rose Hip Oil can be used on the face and body. Another bonus is they smell amazing. It's a very relaxing scent and is lovely whilst lying in bed. Plus there is no need for perfume if worn during the day.  It's a scent that you'll never tire of and the skin feels lovely and smooth too. The Rose hip actually improves the appearance of my skin, it seems to give something back, and it also protects your skin from those all those chemicals in the air.....especially in the cities. Rose Hip oil is recommended for skin that has been operated on to help with scaring, stretch marks and it's also great for improving your skin if you are having to go through chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
There are plenty of great oils that can reduce scaring, but this is apparently one of the best. I need to get loads more, as I know quite a few people that can be very self conscience of their scars. I'd love to test it to it's full potential. (However, please never be ashamed of your scars, all scars tell a story, that mostly have a happy ending.)
Read about Germaine De Cappucini here

Another Oil that I really like is Aromatherapy Associates. This feels great, goes on easily, and makes you smell like you've just spent all day in a spa! Its gorgeous and is great for the skin. I have been using the face oil under make up too. Make up just glides on and there is no after shine or greasy feel about it. It really is great.
I have quite a few Aromatherapy products that I use every now and then. This is definitely a brand that I associate more with spa treatments. So, buy, apply and relax !

One of my Christmas presents from Miss E last year was this gorgeous little set from Natura Bisse. It comes in a lovely bright box, which goes with the scent of Orange. This is a lively scent, as there is absolutely no mistaking that it is based on oranges along with the high content of Vitamin C. This is a skin firming set, and I'm loving it. This is my morning cream, it sure does wake me up. The Vitamin Splash is wonderful when I'm tired as you spray it onto your skin, so this also doubles up as a skin cooler if you get all hot and bothered.

They are also great sizes, so they fit easily in your handbag, or to take away with you. Natura Bisse can be purchased in Selfridges in London and online. 

Thalgo is another amazing brand. It suits my skin perfectly. Its a French brand and we all know that the French seem to age well. They have healthy lifestyles and clearly have amazing skin products.
This Comfort Cream for your face is something I personally use at night time if I can't get my hands on my night cream. The smell is very subtle, which my hubs likes, and its a good intense cream for your face. My skin looks radiant in the morning, so its a winner in my eyes. This set is for dry skin, so I use it, as I seem to have a patch that appears every now and then on my forehead .... although I can only notice it when I put certain foundations on my face.
I like the Collagen Eye programme for its Roll On (I've yet to use the eye masks that fill in your wrinkles) . It reduces dark circles and puffiness, so this is another morning product for me. I've always had dark circles, but, I do feel they are not as dark as they have been by using this product. Believe me when I say ..... I've tried plenty. If you have dark circles, I don't think any product will ever get rid of them completely, but they can certainly improve them.
Thalgo products contain natural algae ingredients from the sea, and helps with your elasticity of the skin and restores the top layer of skin. It sure does rehydrate my skin, and I'll be using this a lot in the summer when the sun attempts to dry my skin out. Thalgo is also great for skin correctness, like aged skin and scars. It also has no parabens so, if you are going through chemotherapy or radiation, this is another cream product that you can use safely and will not harm or irritate your skin. 

Lastly, Soap and Glory products are always brilliant. I use the body moisturisers for all over in the mornings or evenings or both. Most of their products smell like food to me. Especially breakfast foods. I cant explain why. I have used a lot of Soap and Glory products and I've loved all of them. I generally receive a huge bag of products at Christmas, which then lasts me for months. I do love their face cleanser too. If you ever wish to buy gifts, then you will never fail buying a selection of Soap and Glory. Its a fun brand and its British! They can be purchased in Boots.  They also produce make-up too.
I hope I've given you a few new ideas for products to purchase.

If you wish to purchase Germaine De Capuccini or Thalgo Products they are mainly sold in Spas. As they are used for specialised treatments. If you are in London, pop into Chuan Spa of The Langham London, as they have plenty in stock, or will be able to order them in for you. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Doisy and Dam Chocolates

Doisy and Dam have produced super food chocolate, all handmade in Norfolk UK. 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!
They produce 100g and 40g bars, so you can have one on the go and one to stay at home, or to share...if you don't mind sharing chocolate that is .......
I had four out of five flavours.
Red: ginger chilli flakes & hemp seeds
Blue: maca, vanilla & cacao nibs
Pink: goji & orange 
Purple: mulberries, chia seeds & spirulina 

They now have a new flavour of Coconut and Lucuma! This is in a green box. 

All the bars are organic, Gluten free and suitable for Vegans. 

Let's just have a run through as to why these are 'healthy' chocolates. 
Dark chocolate has 4 times as much iron as red meat, 5 times more calcium than milk, 20 times more fibre than spinach. It can also reduced bad cholesterol. 
Spirulina has 23 times more iron than spinach and 39 times more beta carotene than carrots.
Maca root powder provides calcium, iron and vitamin B12.
Cacao is full of antioxidants. 
Goji berries have 500 times more vitamin C than oranges and 20 times more antioxidants than spinach.
Hemp seeds are a fantastic source of protein and rich in minerals.

All proportions are gram to gram.

So, they really are super chocolates.

My favourite by far is the Purple One - mulberries, chia seeds and spirulina. 
The Red One - with Chilli and Ginger absolutely blew my head off. This is chocolate with a huge kick! Great for anyone who loves hot spices! It has a very intense flavour and you can actually see and chew on the chilli flakes. 
They come as single bars, but I think, they would gorgeous in a box all wrapped up for a gift. It is a very smooth chocolate and it 74% dark chocolate, it is very dark, which is perfect for your Chocolate 
fixes. Little bit at a time! 

If you see these, make sure you give them a try, as they are definitely not like any chocolate I've ever tasted. Posh Chocs! 

*I won these chocolates through a competition

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.
We've stayed at California Cliffs in Great Yarmouth, Valley Farm in Clacton on Sea, Warden Springs in Isle of Sheppey and Lower Hyde on the Isle of Wight.
The best way to enjoy a trip in the UK is to firstly use Sun Tokens. This is where you collect token numbers from The Sun Newspaper and then you can get your caravan for a huge discount. However, the online prices for Park Resorts are still extremely good value if you are unable to get the tokens. On certain weekends their weekends away start from £64.
I decided to stick with Park Resorts as, they have parks in perfect locations for us. They are all generally within 5-15 minutes to a beach and they are great bases to go touring around the region. I have noticed that a lot of families that stay just stay in the park instead of going out every day. Nearly all of the parks have swimming pools, crazy golf, play areas, amusements, restaurant, takeaway, launderette, a convenience store and a bar along with evening entertainment with Sparky the Rabbit or the Team Star Crew who dance and play games. So there is plenty to do onsite. They have classes throughout the day and different activities for the kids. If you go to a park, like Warden Springs which have Very minimal facilities, you can go to the other Park Resorts in the area for the entertainment and swimming pools. So when you book, it is best to thoroughly research the park and area, as a lot of them are also residential caravan sites. The cheaper the price, the more residents there are, which will obviously mean less facilities or not of the holiday type of facilities that you would expect. 
When we stay in a caravan, we always make up a picnic and then go exploring for the day and then go back for dinner in the caravan before we watch the entertainment. We take our own food and buy from the local supermarkets.
The parks have different standards of caravans : Bronze, Silver and Platinum. This basically means the caravans get slightly larger, you can get more appliances and heating, and an extra bedroom. For
our first two Park Resorts trips we stayed in the standard 10ft wide Bronze Caravan, but for Clacton, as we were there for four nights instead of three, I upgraded us, and I have to say, it was well worth it. We upgraded to the Silver grade which is a 12ft caravan with heating in every room.
When we walked in to our caravan, it felt very luxurious for a caravan. We all loved it, and the extra space really did make a huge different. Have a look at my photos, and you'll see why.
When we were in Warden Springs we had our new puppies with us, so we upgraded again to a Silver Plus, which had three bedrooms and the master bedroom was ensuite. The theory was to put the puppies in the third bedroom....but this plan fell through, as it wasn't suitable. So the puppies stayed in the lounge area in their crate.
This is our Warden Springs Caravan which is a Silver Plus. I wouldn't recommend Warden Springs for a family holiday but if you just need a cheap base, then its fine, but there's not much there. However, I would recommend upgrading to higher standards of caravans.

When park resorts make up the beds for you, its always white and very minimal. So if you prefer big fluffy duvets, you just need to take your own!!
I generally think of staying in a caravan as a warmer version of staying in a tent. Just take everything with you and get the heating on !!

This is our caravan in Clacton-On-Sea. This is a grade Silver upgraded caravan.

I will say, that if you expect five star cleanliness or even a B&B standard, then this isn't for you, but, if you don't mind cleaning the caravan up to your standards when you get there, then this is perfectly fine. It is clean when you arrive, but, it's unlikely to be cleaner than your house. So we like to give it a good going over and clean all the utensils, plates, cutlery etc before we use it. Don't forget to take all your cleaning bits, tea towels, towels, hair dryer and bed linen. You can pay extra for the beds to be made up, but you can take your own. If you book a Silver Plus, the beds being made up is included in the price.

I'm not sure where to book next, but I do love that after living in England forever, it's nice to see it for all its beauty. You don't need to go abroad all the time, you can relax in the UK for great prices and in beautiful surroundings. The kids love it, as we have to drive, so the travelling isn't that long and they get to do something different every day. We like visiting educational places for the kids aswell as just hanging around the beach.

Make sure you collect your discount vouchers for the local activities or start saving up your Tesco Clubcard points and use these for Days Out and for eating.

I would definitely recommend Park Resorts for many reasons. They have everything you need and it is fun for the kids, as that is our main priority. If the Kids are happy then so are we! However, plan ahead and make sure you have activities for each day.