Renna's Discoveries: September 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Arthur Price & The Minions - Despicable Me 3 Collaboration

Buying keepsake gifts for children can be really hard. You want to be able to buy them something that they can keep forever, so toys are not always an option. So what kind of items would you buy ?
When I think back to my childhood and what I still have now ..... 20 to 30 odd years later, I  have plenty of soft toys that are now in my children's room, jewellery, that are either sitting in a box or my daughter has them and I also have a few plates. Now, plates is a strange one, but I'm still using them. Ok I use them for side plates instead of dinner plates, but they are mine and I have kept them. So, whilst thinking of keep sakes for my children I came across Arthur Price as they do special cutlery for children that will last a life time. Infact, all of Arthur Price's products are amazing. They have over 100 years of experience of designing the most exquisite cutlery for the family home as well as for hotels and other hospitality establishments. They are stylish and timeless, and will literally last a lifetime. They sell many different styles of cutlery and collaborated with the likes of Sophie Conran, whom I absolutely love.
So for the children, Arthur Price has many choices of cutlery sets that range from £14.99 to £49.00 or alternatively, they do individual spoons from £3.50. However, my little man loves the Minions, and thankfully Arthur Price have collaborated with Despicable Me.

I absolutely love this set. Apart from the fact that it is TOP QUALITY, it is super fun and will encourage any fussy eater to sit at the table and finish their food, just to get to the pictures. They are beautifully presented in their very protected boxes.
They are light to hold, so even little hands can carry these with no problem, and they really are of the top quality. This is fine dining for children! (Or adults.... its up to you)
You can buy these individually, or as a complete set, its up to you. The prices range from £8.95 to £24.95
The set is called 'Sea of Minions' as the items are literally covered in minions which any minion loving child will love.
The Sea of Minions 4 Piece cutlery set is £24.95
The Sea of Minions 2 piece set - Mug & Bowl is £17.95
The Sea of Minions 3 piece set - Mug, Bowl & Plate is £24.95
Or if you decide to go individually
The Sea of Minions plate is £9.95
The Sea of Minions bowl is £9.95
The Sea of Minions Mug is £8.95
I do have to say, that if you are buying for an adult, the plate and bowl is perfect for a breakfast collection and the mug is the perfect size for an espresso....

These make for gorgeous keepsake gifts and with Christmas coming up.... any minions fan will love them.

Have a look at Arthur Prices Website Arthur Price - Despicable Me 3 and also have a look at his other collections for other ideas.
They supply full sets, perfect for any new home or wedding gift too, or just because you love someone. Why Not ?

If you have an Amazon Account, there are quite a few Arthur Prices products on there. Click here to get your gifts quickly....remember its less than 100 days until Christmas !!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Saturo - Ready to Drink Meal

We all need to start making a huge difference with our food input and wastage. It's all over the television and media that we need to start eating healthier and in reduced quantities. So many people in the world are starving and then on the other side so much food is being wasted. I just can't get my head around the fact that it is the norm that every British household can waste up to £400 of food a year, and as a whole the Brits can waste up to £13 billion pounds worth of food. Now that's an unbelievable amount of food....that's also 7.3million tonnes of food. Disgraceful isn't it. We are supposed to be getting better but somehow it seems to getting worse. Yes we recycle more which is fantastic and the government have helped us by organising new recycling schemes and collecting our recycling to be separated. So I do think as a whole, recycling is so much better in Britain. A lot of countries are reducing plastic use and we have reduced shopping bags, which all goes to help the environment and our planet. So to help us further there are now quite a few companies that supply and produce food supplement drinks that can keep us full and healthy in the day, with very minimal food wastage. With drinks like these there is no cooking, minimal washing up and no food wastage. I've been adding more and more different types of food supplements to my diet and trying to keep my food wastage down. I do enjoy a good protein shake, and I've tried lots of different brands. I like to mix it up and make up my own flavours by adding fruit or other supplements. However making up a protein drink at home has it draw backs. I now have a draw in my kitchen of just protein shake shakers. I used my Kitchen Aid Blender so much, it has now died on me and so I had to buy a new blender. I have to shake up the drinks loads so there are no lumps, because, that is the absolute worst. Some protein powders just don't mix well at all, and others have bits in that you can't get rid of even in a blender. So...whats the best alternative?
Someone making it for you !! Here comes Saturo !! 

Saturo is already mixed and blended for you, and it's all ready to go in a bottle. Yes, it is in a plastic bottle, but they now have cartons too.
Each bottle is the equivalent of a quarter of our daily recommended allowance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals and should keep you going for at least 3 - 4 hours. So, it's perfect for that quick lunch when you're on the go, or if you have slumps throughout the day. Those 11's and that time in the late afternoon about 3 - 4pm where you start feeling hungry again. It's easy to carry around, as the bottles are very sturdy and so far I've had no leak problems in my bag, even after removing the foil seal under the lid. Another bonus is that, it doesn't have to be chilled. Most milks need to be kept chilled so I've always found it difficult and bulky when taking protein shakers out ready to mix with later, as I worry about the milk going funny in my warm bag. I do drink my protein shakes with water, but I do prefer a milk alternative instead. So I've had to come up with interesting ways of keeping milk cool in a car...... which, quite frankly is more hassle than its worth sometimes. Saturo is so convenient for grabbing and going. I do keep my Saturo in the fridge and in the cupboards, so I have a mix and it just depends on my mood whether I want a cold one or not. If I'm going out for the day I'll generally take a chilled one as it does stay chilled for a while in the bottles. 
Saturo comes in three flavours at present, but they are looking to expand in the near future and have all kinds of interesting flavours. Which is very exciting. I'm hoping for a really good strawberry flavour as I just can not find a good protein shake that doesn't taste artificial. Ooo or maybe even a Matcha Saturo. Oh yes, (Ok I admit I have actually made my own just buy adding some matcha to a bottle and shaking it up, its really good !)  That's the great thing about Saturo, they all taste REALLY GOOD already.
They have Original - or plain unflavoured, unsweetened, Chocolate and Coffee flavours.
The Original is not like other companies plain flavours, it's a flavour I still can not explain properly. It's creamy, with lots of flavours in it, although its unflavoured. I could explain it as, a bit malty, a bit vanillary, and some days, it reminds me of a unsweetened sabayon. It just depends on my mood. Its one that needs tasting for sure, but I do know that it feels lovely to drink and goes down well. It's smooth.....Really smooth and if you're like me and like experimenting, it can be mixed with whatever you fancy. Or alternatively use it for what's its made for and grab and go. One way I experimented with the original flavour that really worked was.....I made overnight oats with it. Just add a small amount in a small glass and then add enough oats so they are all coated, and then drizzle honey over the top and leave in the fridge overnight and eat for breakfast.

The Chocolate is by far my personal favourite and many people have agreed with me that it tastes just like a liquid chocolate mousse. It is absolutely delicious, so much so that I very rarely put the bottle back in the fridge for a bit later. It's gone in one gulp !! It contains organic cacao which is full of goodness like antioxidants, magnesium, all your vitamins and minerals and the healthy fats. So, its a meal in a bottle with plenty of added wonders in it.

 The coffee flavour is a favourite for that morning burst as it of course contains caffeine. The coffee used is fair trade organic coffee, so, it is the best coffee you can get. My husband who is a big coffee drinker absolutely loves the coffee flavour. It's just like an extra thick coffee latte which keeps you fuller for longer and has all the healthy benefits.
All of the Saturo flavours are Gluten Free and Vegan so it really is suitable for everyone. This also proves how sustainable Saturo is, as it is completely plant based and no animals were harmed in the making. More and more people around the world are eating and drinking Complete Foods, which are drinks or food bars that contain all the nutrients that our bodies require. They have completed a survey to show the benefits and which brands are included in the Complete Foods branding. Have a read HERE - Complete Food Survey for the results.
Saturo is still very new and actually the journey only began in 2016. They were designing ready to mix powders but in the end came up with the perfect way to blend all the goodness to make the smoothest healthiest convenient drink that people could literally buy in a shop and go. So, in March 2017 Saturo was born and the marketing began. People who have tried it are really impressed and I've read lots of different reviews and on the whole, people love it. It makes peoples lives easier, there's no rushing around trying to find a healthy lunch, no greasy foods, no stodgy foods, no heavy foods that make you feel tired after eating it. It's just easy....with no messing about, no long queues, no excess packaging. Just throw it in your bag and you're done. Saturo can also be consumed just before working out or exercising as it provides you with all your energy needs and makes you feel good.
Saturo can deliver straight to your door all the way from Austria. They are super fast, and it's all packaged with as less packaging as possible. (No need to wrap them all in bubble wrap, as the bottles are strong enough on their own.) They are delivered in trays of 6 bottles, so you can buy as many as you like and you can also mix and match.

Now as well as benefitting the busy working person who really just doesn't have time to cook or buy anything healthy Saturo is a food that can be purchased by charities to send to people who can't access food easily and as it's already mixed, there would be no added risks involved. These types of ready meals really can benefit the whole world and I do believe that it should be more considered to be included in benefit aid across the world where it is needed. There are people who are literally starving to death and they get sent rice and wheat to cook with, which is great, but why not add Saturo? It will store well, it doesn't need to be chilled and there is no cooking involved so if there's no access to fire or electricity at least they still have something to keep them going.

Have a look at their website for further details and get your orders in or alternatively contact the designers Hannes Feistenauer & Joerg Hauke to stock Saturo in your stores or gyms.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Isle of Wight Family Getaway

I absolutely love the Isle of Wight. We've been a few times as we have friends that live there, but every time we go, we do something new and I just wanted to give you a few ideas if you travel there.
Firstly, take a car, as it makes exploring so much easier. It doesn't take long to drive around the island and it means you can get to see so much more and plus you get to drive The Military Road which is a fantastic coastal drive along the bottom of the island. It stops at several beaches and has amazing views.
We've always used either Red Funnel or Wightlink ferries to travel over in the car. Tickets can be pre-booked or you can chance it and just turn up and get on the next ferry. (However you can get good deals online beforehand). Both companies are just as good as each other.
We have stayed in Park Resorts - Caravan Parks previously, however this year we stayed at a lovely holiday cottage in Yarmouth which we all fell in love with, and actually, it was completely perfect for us. There are loads of cottages and houses to rent for your stay on the island and I have to say, I found it very difficult picking one. So after a few enquiries, we went for Tap Cottage in Yarmouth.
I was so glad we stayed at Tap Cottage, it was a lot nicer than a caravan park as we had our own space and easy access to the sea and we just generally felt a lot more relaxed. Tap Cottage is right in the centre of Yarmouth but it's still only just over 100m walk to the pier, the shops and the restaurants. It's a lovely walk along the beach to Fort Victoria and you can walk around for miles and enjoy the sea air. There is so much to do in Yarmouth, we have to go back to finish it off. The cottage is fully functional with everything you need, yes, even a dishwasher and washing machine to use, and when you're staying somewhere for a week, that comes in very useful. We also had Wifi and plenty of spaces to park the car in around the cottage. Extra bonus is there were plenty of toys and books for the kids to keep themselves entertained with whilst we were milling around getting ready for our days out. Have a look at our cottage:

The good thing about staying in a cottage or caravan, is that you can take enough food for those nights in and sort out picnics for the day. We did eat fish and chips from town and ate in a local restaurant as well but it's nice to have that choice that you can cook your own food at 'home' as well.

Upstairs there is a good size bathroom with a large shower and a free standing bath!
The kids had their own room with a triple bunk bed in it and there is also another room with a high rise bed over the washing and drying machines, so there is plenty of room for all the kids.

We had the loft bedroom which was very nice. There is no hanging space upstairs so you have to use the wardrobe in the kids room, but that's OK. It just meant running up and down the stairs to get dressed.
So once you're all settled its time to go exploring. Take a walk to the pier and you'll pass Yarmouth Castle, so you can have a little wander in there. Better still , take your English Heritage Membership Card and get in for free. It's only a small castle, but its worth a visit for the views and well....its part of the town and the history, so you kind of have to.

This is a great map of the town, which shows literally everything. It even has a treasure hunt for you whilst you're walking around as you have to find the numbered historical items around the town.
Once you walk over the bridge you walk into Freshwater which takes you to Fort Victoria, the Country Park and The Needles which is well worth every step. We all loved it and we had milkshakes on the beach as well as exploring the history of the island and how they protected themselves.

One place I really wanted to go was Osborne House. This was Queen Victorias holiday hideaway. Similar to Queen Elizabeth having her holidays at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Queen Victoria would holiday in the Isle of Wight too. She loved it so much, so she bought a smallish house with access to the beach and over the years bought most of the surrounding land so they had more privacy and space for all the children to play in and explore, as well as expanding the house. Some of the land has been sold now, but it is still a magnificent building and walking around the actual house was really quite fascinating.  Even more so for me as I've been loving the series Victoria, and can not wait to see the film Victoria and Abdul - which was filmed at Osborne House. Judi Dench also played Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown, which was filmed at Osborne House as well. Queen Victoria was a fascinating lady, a young queen and very determined. A great role model for todays girls.

This is Queen Victoria's writing table in her room where she would go through all of her correspondence and write her replies.
This is the India Room and there is actually a whole wing of the house dedicated to India and her relationship to Abdul. The ceiling is magnificent and everything about the house is very detailed. They loved their statues, paintings and furniture, it is all very exquisite.
Queen Victoria was actually there on the day we visited which was really great to see and a huge honour.....obviously

We took a walk down to the beach for a paddle and an ice cream. You can see how the royal children learnt to swim, in a pool that Prince Albert designed out of a boat and you can actually sit inside Queen Victorias bathing machine, where she would be pulled into the sea so she could swim and then get changed in private after her swim. No, I have no photos for you, so you'll just have to visit and see for yourself. This is the view of the house whilst walking down to the beach.
You can also walk around the gardens, which are immense, and you can walk over to where the royal children spent a lot of their day at the Swiss Cottage and have a wander around the museum. So there is lots to do and lots of walking so a picnic is the best way for a day out.
Have a quick look at the trailer for Victoria and Abdul, and you can see Osborne House and Balmoral House where Victoria spent a lot of her time in her later years. I love the fact that Abdul is wearing a suit in the tartan that Prince Albert designed.
Another royal building to see is Carisbrook Castle. It is slightly connected to Osborne as Queen Victorias youngest, Beatrice lived here with her family after her mother had passed away. She had many fond memories at Osborne House with her parents and family but decided to live elsewhere when she got older. She built a small house within the grounds of the castle and had her own garden, which is a much smaller version than at Osborne. You can visit the donkeys, re-enact battles from centuries ago and wander around the castle walls. They also have a museum and chapel for you to go into. But hidden away is a really quaint tea room full of delicious cakes!!

The views from the castle walls are so beautiful. She was surrounded by farmland, which to be fair is the perfect place for a castle, as you can see for miles.

On our last day, we took a drive to the actual Isle of Wight Needles. You can see them from Fort Victoria's Country Park, but we thought we go and actually have a look around. Which I'm glad we did as they have a mountain chair lift that you can use to go down to the beach. So you get to see them from up high and from ground level. They do have boat trips so you can ride right up to the rocks, but I think we'll save that for another time.

Of course....there are stairs to walk down and up if you prefer.

So from the Needles, we drove the Military Road towards Ventnor and came across lots of beautiful beaches, where people were playing, surfing, paddle boarding. It was a truly windy day, so we didn't stay for long, but we did stop where we could so the kids could explore and run around for a bit.
By the time we had arrived at Ventnor we had missed lunch so we had a early dinner in a pizza restaurant and wandered around the beach. A perfect end to a perfect week.

Other places that I would recommend to visit in the isle of Wight is definitely Black Gang Chine which is all day play day for the kids. It's brilliant, just make sure you add it to your list of activities.  Another good one for the kids is Dinosaur Isle. Oh and make sure you give crabbing a go! I've never attempted to catch crabs from the sea, but it was a lot easier than expected, and we even attracted the seagulls. It was so much fun, we did it almost every night. Then of course, we had crab races. It was hilarious, and I promise no crabs were harmed.
I need to spend at least another week or two to visit everywhere I want to go to and all the walks I want to do. Sunken treasures, museums, the Victoria Trail, oh...there's just loads.

Have you ever been to the Isle of Wight,  do you have any suggestions for me, maybe something off the beaten track?
If you are interested in staying at Tap Cottage, please contact the owners through their homewear online shop Sansom Reed.