Friday, 18 April 2014

Review | Gousto - Chicken Escalopes with Taleggio & Leek Gratin


Hello again! 
Today I have a review of the second recipe from our Gousto Box, if you want to see the first one click here, it was a roasted veg penne with grilled mozzarella! For those of you who haven't seen that previous post and want a little more information about Gousto, read below :)

Gousto is an amazing service which provides you with a box full of yummy, healthy and nutritious ingredients for certain recipes, every week you get the chance to choose from recipes on the website, which are updated every week, ensuring you don't cook the same meal twice! The recipes are then delivered right to your doorstep once a week so you decide when to cook! From delicious pasta bakes to oriental stirfrys, with different cuisines from Italian to Chinese, Indian to Caribbean, with plenty of meals to choose from you'll find it easy to choose meals to suit the whole family! 

I've really been getting into my cooking recently, since I've started focusing on healthier eating I've discovered just how much I enjoy cooking and couldn't wait to get started with our box! I had a browse online and chose my 3 meals, I decided on 3 completely different cuisines and have taken pictures of the prep and cooking below, along with everything you need to know about how to cook them! Don't worry if you're not much of a cook, these are so easy to do and can be done by anyone, also there's no worry about using too much or too little ingredients, everything comes in the exact portion needed for you so no food waste either, perfect!


Recipe 2 - Chicken Escalopes with Taleggio & Leek Gratin


These are the ingredients needed to make this
For 2 people

1 x Leek
1 x Lemon
2 x cloves of garlic
2 x potatoes
Taleggio cheese
Parsley

I will start off and say I have slightly amended the recipe as Ben & I were both poorly last week and didn't end up cooking this on the day we were suppose to, so after preparing everything we realised the chicken was out of date, and of course there weren't any escalopes in the shops so we had to go for second best and buy them already breaded..if you are looking to do this part of the recipe, click here for the original recipe! 

Now, onto the recipe...


1.
Firstly cut the leek lengthways and chop finely! 


2.
Grate the zest of one lemon 


3.
Add the leek to a 4cm deep oven proof dish


4.
Chop up the Taleggio cheese into cubes (be warned, this is a rather strong smelling cheese!) Haha.

5. 
Season the leeks with salt and pepper, then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and mix together

6.
Add the cheese and sprinkle the lemon zest evenly over

7.
Put on the middle oven shelf & place your chicken escalopes on a baking tray on the top shelf


8.
Boil the kettle (will use in step 10)

9.
Whilst that's all cooking, peel and chop up your potatoes (3cm pieces should be fine)

10.
Peel the garlic and add to the saucepan with potatoes - Pour in the boiling water until potatoes are covered. Cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes or until tender

11.
Turn off the oven once cooked and leave everything in to stay hot

12.
Once potatoes are cooked, drain with colander and return to saucepan, add a splash of milk and some butter, mash it all together until no lumps remain

13.
Sprinkle with parsley

14.
And serve!!
Here is our finished product!


Look out for our third and final recipe next week! A Caribbean coconut curry with basmati rice! :)

Visit the Gousto website here

x

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Review | Soak & Sleep Pillows

When you become a parent, the idea of sleep is a dream come true, as soon as your little one starts sleeping even a few solid hours at night and you become a child at Christmas! For me especially, I look forward to my bed every night, running around after a toddler and playing/changing nappies/dealing with tantrums/having them climb all over you/taking them to the park etc etc, can leave you feeling pretty exhausted to say the least! Although it is pretty fun :).


So when I was contacted to take part in a review for Soak&Sleep, I jumped at the chance! If you've not heard of them, here is a little background information for you..

" In 2006 Charlie Hunt launched Duvet and Pillow Warehouse from his spare bedroom in Surrey. He had one simple aim: to provide great quality duvets and pillows at a fraction of the high street price. At a time when we all want quality AND value, Charlie tapped the market, and soon thousands of customers were on the website. First DAPW outgrew its modest HQ, then it outgrew its website, and now it has outgrown its name, to becoming the now well known Soak&Sleep!



To be honest, our pillows are pretty flimsy and pathetic right now, I don't think you actually realise just how much they 'deflate' over the years. We were sent 2 duck feather pillows and I know I say this in pretty much every review, but I was so excited to receive them, my neck has started aching at night with the lack of support so I was looking forward to an improved nights sleep (if Abbie lets me anyway) :).



So as soon as they arrived, I rushed upstairs to get them in place, I literally couldn't believe the different between the old pillows and these, instead of using 2 of the old pillows just for me, I can now comfortably use the 1! They have kinda transformed the bed into something you would find in a hotel, nice plump and soft pillows!




OH MY GOODNESS, these pillows have literally been sent from heaven, as soon as I put my head down, it curled around the rest of my head and supported my neck perfectly, I felt like i'd just popped my head on a cloud..no really, I know it seems dramatic, but take it from someone with a toddler who rarely sleeps through the night, sleep is my favourite thing in the whole world, so anything that is going to make it better deserves those words! Although they're not the softest pillows, they are so comfy!

Abbie was pretty intrigued in them too, as you know if you're a regular reader, we co-sleep with Abbie, she has her bed pushed up next to ours and sleeps in there for half the night or if we're lucky, all night! So on the nights she wants those extra cuddles, I thought it might be good for her to test them out too, you know, just incase she didn't like them! So I lead her down and she looked pretty damn snug to me! I asked her if she wanted to go nu nights and she snuggled onto her side and made a snoring sound..I take that as a pretty comfy pillow in toddler terms!

Soak & Sleep provide you not only with pillows, but duvets, nursing pillows, bed linen, mattress toppers, silk throws, slippers and towels to name a few! Whether you're looking for a new lighter tog duvet for the summer, a new pregnancy pillow or some fluffy new towels, all for a guaranteed lower price than the high street and all made to the highest quality, visit the Soak&Sleep website for it all!


Monday, 14 April 2014

Review & Giveaway | Mia Tui Handbag

Good morning all! 
Hope you are well and enjoyed your weekend?

Today i have a review of the gorgeous Mia Tui Sofia Bag for you, I was so excited to receive it as ever since I saw Kerry over at Lived With Love's red bag I have been pining for one! So when the opportunity to review this came up I knew straight away I had to go for it in red! I seem to have so many changing bags at the moment, which are all great and useful, but I haven't actually got a proper handbag, this is where the Sofia spoke to me, they ave a huge range of what they call 'mummy bags' which are all gorgeous! 

"Sofia is a hobo handbag that bridges the gap between functionality and fashion, and delivers a unique solution that will simplify your life."

As with all the Mia Tui range, the Sofia is waterproof inside and out and comes in a range of fabrics and colours including; Aubergine, black, chocolate, oyster, plum, blue & teal! You are sure to find the perfect colour for you! Whether you want to use this gorgeous bag as an everyday handbag, work bag or a stylish changing bag, its there throughout, for every need and every occasion! 




The inside is a gorgeous hot pink, with plenty of space and storage, as mentioned above it is also waterproof so no worrying about spilling your drink or having a sudocrem explosion, it is all simply sorted with a wipe down!

The unique interior also has multiple pockets, zips, clips and 2 extra bags, which means you never have to dig for a missing key or phone again! I currently use one of them as my makeup bag which works perfectly! With this bag you'll fit everything you need plus you'll stay looking stylish too!



The bag itself is made from faux leather with silver hardware, the Mia Tui logo is stitched perfectly on the front of the bag so everyone can know where it's from, the overall stitching detail across the bag is pretty and subtle too! Size wise, it's perfect, not too big you'll lose everything, but not too small you try and squeeze everything into it!


Whether you're a mummy or not, this bag will suit your lifestyle perfectly, why not start the trend and enter the giveaway below for your chance to win one! (in a colour of your choice!)


T H E   G I V E A W A Y


1 x Mia Tui Sofia Bag


How do you win?


Enter the rafflecopter below, the more options you complete, the higher your chance of winning! What are you waiting for? Read the T&C below and happy entering :)


T&C's


1. All entries will be checked and verified so please don't cheat
2. If the winner does not respond to my email with 7 days, another will be chosen! :)
3. Open to UK residents!


4. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Review | Gousto Box - Roasted Veg Penne with Grilled Mozzarella

Today I have a review of the fantastic food box by Gousto! What is Gousto you ask? Well..


Gousto is an amazing service which provides you with a box full of yummy, healthy and nutritious ingredients for certain recipes, every week you get the chance to choose from recipes on the website, which are updated every week, ensuring you don't cook the same meal twice! The recipes are then delivered right to your doorstep once a week so you decide when to cook! From delicious pasta bakes to oriental stirfrys, with different cuisines from Italian to Chinese, Indian to Caribbean, with plenty of meals to choose from you'll find it easy to choose meals to suit the whole family! 

I've really been getting into my cooking recently, since I've started focusing on healthier eating I've discovered just how much I enjoy cooking and couldn't wait to get started with our box! I had a browse online and chose my 3 meals, I decided on 3 completely different cuisines and have taken pictures of the prep and cooking below, along with everything you need to know about how to cook them! Don't worry if you're not much of a cook, these are so easy to do and can be done by anyone, also there's no worry about using too much or too little ingredients, everything comes in the exact portion needed for you so no food waste either, perfect!

So onto the first recipe..

Recipe 1
Roasted Veg Penne with Grilled Mozzarella


The above ingredients are what was provided for this meal, so if you're interested in taking part, you will need..

For 2 People

1 x Courgette
1 x Red pepper
1 x Onion
2 x Chestnut mushrooms
2 x Tomatoes
2 x Cloves of garlic
A bunch of Thyme
Parmesan
Mozzarella
400g Penne

Oven proof dish & tray


1.
Start off by chopping up all your veg according to the recipe card and put everything in an oven proof dish, finely chop the garlic and season to taste, drizzle over some olive oil and place in the over for 15 mins!


Looks so healthy, colourful and yummy already!


2.
Whilst you're waiting for the veg to cook, boil a saucepan of hot water, add the pasta and cook for around 10 minutes (or however you like it!)


3.
Whilst your pasta and veg are cooking, slice your mozzarella thinly and remove the leaves from your thyme, discard the stalks


4.
Grate the parmesan finely too!


5.
When the pasta is cooked, drain and add it to an oven dish, add the veg and mix together, 

6.
Sprinkle the thyme & place the mozzarella slices evenly across the top and cover with parmesan too! 

7.
Put back in the oven for 15-20 mins, or until cheese is bubbling, and...


Tra-la! 
A Yummy, healthy & declines pasta bake, one portion equals 5 of your 5 a day too and the kids will love it too! Abbie wolfed it down and loved the courgettes especially!



Look out for Recipes 2 & 3 coming next week!
Have you tried Gousto?

Level - Easy
Taste - 5/5
If you want to add different veg or perhaps add some kind of meat, you are welcome to make it your own too, maybe drizzle some honey on top for the last 10 minutes too for a little burst of sweet! I think next time i'll add some sausages and make it a little more hearty!


x

Friday, 4 April 2014

Review: Saviour Snacks!

Hello all!
Hope you are all enjoying your Friday! Today I have a review of a snack box by Saviour Snacks, as you may know if you follow me on Instagram, I recently started eating a lot 'cleaner' and basically started a much healthier lifestyle, I've always been a snacker but wasn't eating anything too nutritious between meals, I really wanted to try a range of snacks that were not only healthy but delicious too! This is where Saviour Snacks came in..

Saviour Snacks are a brilliant company who create snack boxes filled with delicious yet healthy treats for you and your family, inside you will find a mixture of fruits, seeds, bars and granola, all tailored to suit you, I used to be one of those people who would see a cereal bar full of seeds and turn my nose up at it, but now i'm on this healthy eating lifestyle I've welcomed new snacks into my radar, and my god have I been surprised, no longer am I needing to snack on crisps or sugary sweets, I can dive straight into the Saviour Box without feeling the slightest bit guilty!


Can we just take a minute to admire the packaging, I'm a bit of a sucker for nice boxes and decorative patterns as you all know! But I absolutely love this little box, with a pretty teal blue base and a chocolate brown border with white fluffy clouds for the extra detail, it is such a professional looking box, yet looks fun and inviting! Definitely made me more excited to see what was inside!




On the inside lid of your box, you receive a very clearly laid out chart showing you further details of each item, you can see what your Berry Granola bar is free from & how many calories! Because lets face it, sometimes it can be too much effort to check through the packaging! For example, we can see that the Berry Granola is wheat free, dairy free, suitable for vegetarians and vegans and is also high in fibre, plus it only has 137 calories too, super easy to read and so helpful! I love the last bullet point especially, 'ONLY real ingredients that you can spell', such a true statement!


Here are the contents of the box I received! As you can see, there is a huge range and everything is different from each other too, I was actually surprised how much was actually inside the box, definitely get your moneys worth!

So over the past week or so, Ben & I have been testing these out (and Abbie on a few bits as well) and rating them on a scale of 5 for different aspects, below I have marked down all the details of each product individually and how we rated them too. This box might not be for everyone, but check out the Saviour Snacks website for more options and an idea of everything else they offer!


Proper Corn - Sweet Coconut & Vanilla
I've never been a fan of popcorn, everyone I know can wolf down a large tub at the cinema, but i've never found the fascination with it, obviously the packaging of this drew me in straight away, plus I didn't even know popcorn can in any other flavours other than the normal butter, salty, sweet or caramel! How yummy does Sweet Coconut & Vanilla sound? Well, let me tell you, this is the YUMMIEST popcorn i've ever tried! It's kinda hard to explain, but it's smooth and creamy in taste, a balanced taste of both coconut and vanilla, what  I like best is that its rather filling too, after half a bag between breakfast and lunch, it had filled that gap perfectly, it is a bit sweet if you were to eat the whole bag in one go (in my opinion anyway), but definitely the perfect snack! 

109 Calories Per Bag


Clearspring Organic Brown Rice Crackers
I'm a huge fan of crackers anyway, so was super happy to see these in my box, as you can tell my the title, they are wholegrain japanese crackers made with whole sesame and rice, they are free from gluten and any nasties too! On their own they are pleasant but they go really well with some thai sweet chilli sauce too! 

176 Calories Per Bag


Garbanzo - Thai Sweet Chilli Chickpeas
These are so blimmin delicious! Anything to do with thai flavours and it's instantly a winner for me! I love chickpeas in meals but never even thought about eating them as a snack, I could happily eat the whole bag in one go if Ben didn't love them too! Damn! :). The sweet chilli was nice and subtle and nice and filling too!

88 Calories Per Bag


Oloves Chili & Oregano Olives
Neither Ben or I are fans of olives, so we gave these a miss, although if you're a fan of them here is a run down of them anyway..They are a healthy & convenient snack and stored in a fresh sealed pack to keep the flavours together, you can either have them as they are, or add them to pizzas and stews too, great for adding a little extra flavour to your favourite meals! 

53 Calories Per Bag


Organix Pumpkin-Snack Dark Chocolate
I haven't eaten chocolate for over a year now (those of you who know me personally will know how addicted I used to be), so I gave these straight to Ben who was in heaven! He said the balance of chocolate to the seeds were perfect and not sickly either, they are gluten free and really are the perfect treat if you are craving some chocolate but don't want to feel guilty afterwards!

260 calories per bag


Luscious Lemon Almonds
Wow these are sour! Ha, as soon as I put one on my tongue it made my face screw up, I'm pretty sensitive with citrus fruits and tastes, even orange juice affects me! But they were yummy still, the perfect snack for carrying around in your bag if you're out for the day, but also great if you fancy using them in cooking too! Making a lemon sponge cake (healthy of course ;)) . Ben really liked these a bit more than I did so took them off to work the other morning as his mid morning snack!

175 Calories Per Bag


Bounce Coconut & Macadamia Protein Bliss
I gave this one to Ben as i'm not really a fan of macadamia and he loved it, he said it just tastes like a chewy coconut bar (right on the money then!), he said it definitely gave him that boost needed after he'd just finished a long day at work, we tend to go for a walk a few times a week and he could feel the difference in his energy levels almost straight away!

160 Calories


Wild Trail - Berry Granola
This was one of my favourites in the box, I love bars like this, it is made from oats, fruit, nut and coconut oil, all 100% natural and even wheat and dairy free too! I shared this with Abbie and she wolfed it down like  I hadn't fed her all day, it's soft and fruity but fills that little gap in between meals, unlike a lot of other bars out there, definitely going on our shopping list this month!


Raw Bite - Raw Cacao
Ive only recently found out what Cacao is, its basically a healthy alternative to chocolate, perfect for me as I haven't eaten chocolate in over a year now! Packed with fruit & nuts too, its a balanced bar with nothing but yummy goodness whilst being completely nutritious too! I'll admit, I could only handke half the bar at a time as it was quite rich, but I guess thats better than wolfing it down then rushing for another! :)

Overall I am really pleased with the Saviour Snacks box! Everything was perfect for us and nothing went to waste, there are lots of different types of boxes on the website that you can choose from, including the Super Skinny, Ultimate, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, plus Vegan & Vegetarian boxes too!

"We guarantee the snacks you receive are healthier alternatives to regular junk food, made from ‘clean’ ingredients with no hidden nasties.
You’ll always receive 10 sweet and savoury, full-sized products from all natural energy-balls to raw chocolate, dried-fruit & nut mixes, corn cakes, baked vegetable crisps, popcorn and more! Here’s a sample menu card."

Happy snacking :)

x

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Review: Box Upon A Time

We recently received an email from Box Upon A Time, a new subscription box that is created specially for your little one! All you have to do is fill out your fashion profile by taking a little quiz, fill in a few details such as your little ones name and measurements (if you know them), their style and your favourite patterns and colours too! Your box will be handpicked by stylists who will get you the best deals whilst ensuring style and practicality! Each box is picked to suit your little ones age and keeps your fashion profile in mind!

So after filling in our fashion profile and setting up our order, we waited for our box to arrive..a few days later, a pretty looking box came through the letterbox and I couldn't wait to open it up and see what we received!...




We received this really pretty starry shirt next, the perfect top for all seasons actually, it can be layered over a baby grow and under a jumper but also great for the summer time over her swimming costume to keep her covered up from the sun a bit more! It's a pretty thin material but great quality none the less and fits her like a dream! I think it's probably my favourite item from the box, I almost wish they had an adult size!


The next item we received was this pretty pink Diesel jumper! It is a bit big for Abbie at the moment as it is 24 months+ but again, it's great for the cooler summer evenings coming up and hopefully it'll fit her into the Autumn months too so definitely value for money there! I absolutely love it, it's super soft and has a gorgeous fleece lining to keep her snug and cosy, but without getting too hot, it has the Diesel name embroider on the arm, 2 little side pockets and the jumper itself flares out at the bottom to make it that extra bit girly too! :)

The third item we received was a little bit different to my usual fashion picks for Abbie, it's a grey/purple off the shoulder shirt, we were sent it in age 2 years so it's a bit big for Abbie at the moment, the sleeves are oversized but light for the summer months and great for layering in the winter too! I have added a picture of it by itself below so you can have a little look! It's one of those items that looks better on than in the picture I think, it's not really my cup of tea in terms of style but I always like to try new things, I think it would look really cute tucked into a summer skirt with some sandals to match!



You will receive a selection of 3 to 4 high quality items from designer brands throughout Europe & the USA, all for £49 a month, but before you think 'Oh that's a bit pricey' (and I'll admit, I thought that too), but you're actually only paying around £10-£15 per item which would usually cost double, even triple that price originally! You get what you pay for really and you know you're only going to be receiving the very best and highest quality clothing for your little munchkin! 

If you're anything like me and every time you go to the supermarket or for a quick run into town, you can't help but buy a few bits of clothing for your little ones, not because they need it but because you're out and the clothes practically call you one by one to buy them..I end up spending too much money on clothes for Abbie and read a stat that us parents spend on average £63 a month on clothes for our children...why not save yourself that extra £15 and order from Box Upon A Time, where you know the items you receive will last a lot longer than the least pricey brands!

x

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