Thursday, 26 February 2015

Mothers Day Gift Ideas!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

With Mothers Day just around the corner, can someone please tell me HOW on earth it's March next week? Wasn't it just Christmas? Ahhh, anyway, since having Abbie I now get to enjoy the occasion that is Mothers Day, obviously this means Ben taking the ropes and choosing me a few bits, but to be honest I am not really a present kind of person, just the day with Abbie and Ben would be all I need, anything else is just a bonus! I'm sure as I get older I'll enjoy the day more and be able to have some sort of lie in or a nice meal out somewhere!

I'm also one of those people who constantly makes wish lists, things I would love to have, material things, but things that would put a little smile on my face none the less! So I conjured up a little list of those bits and put it into a Mothers Day gift ideas collage for you, if you're struggling with what to buy your Mum's or you're thinking of something you might like, hopefully this can give you a little bit on inspiration! 
My personal 3 favourites are below!

Yankee Candles
Need I say more? In my opinion these are a bit 'too' pricey, considering they burn out and that's it, but somehow I can't stop myself from being drawn in by them, I don't think there's a scent I haven't liked so far, I don't know what it is, they just seem like a luxury item most people need in their homes and as much as I am a thrifty person, Yankee Candle scents are almost too good not to invest in! Even if you just buy a few smaller sized ones, have them around a lovely and hot bubble bath, pop a towel behind your neck for support and make it into a little at home spa sesh, they'll instantly change your mood and you'll probably find yourself addicted like I am.

Who doesn't love a big bunch of flowers? They brighten up any room in the house, they smell amazing and really aren't difficult to get your hands on either. You could order from a special online florist if you're wanting something bigger and more fancy, or even just pop to your local supermarket if you have to, flowers suit all budgets and are always guaranteed to put a smile on someones face! Some people like classic flowers like Roses or Lillies, others (like myself), prefer the more colourful ones, a mish mash of oranges, yellows or even pinks and purples, they'd definitely make my day :)

Millie's Cookies
I've said it before, and I will happily say it again, Millie's Cookies are one of life's best inventions, the most delicious, indulgent, dreamy cookies in the world of sweet treats! I'd not heard of them before last year but a friend of ours bought one for Abbie's birthday and I fell in love straight away! They say the way to a mans heart is through his stomach but I have to say, it's always the way to mine too, I love food, I love dessert, I love cake and I love cookies, buy me some sort of naughty treat and i'm a happy bunny! Seriously, all I asked for at Christmas was a galaxy chocolate hamper, no really. If you've not actually heard of Millie's before, basically they sell boxes of cookies, cupcakes, GIANT cookies and cookie cakes, COOKIES CAKES, what a fantastic invention!  You can then choose to personalise your giant or cookie cake with writing, with the colours you want, the shape you want and even the choice of added extras! All of which can be done at home and with next day delivery! Bliss!

What have you asked for, for Mothers Day?


Monday, 16 February 2015

Recipe | Sukrin Gluten Free Cake with Choc Chips!

Hello all!
As you can probably tell by my posts the past few weeks, i've been getting into baking again! I love it so much, literally I could bake every single day! Last month's Degustabox gave me a product I was pretty excited to get trying, we received the SUKRIN Cake Mix, a Free From mix which is sugar free, gluten free, wheat free and egg free too! It is also made with a sweetener, so you can create a delicious, moist and flavourful cake but with 80% LESS carbs too. Use it as it is or add your own extra ingredients for different flavours!

I've said this before but i've always been a bit wary of free from products, the few i've tried have usually been a bit bland, but I wanted to try this ever since it arrived, and since i've changed to a healthier lifestyle, I don't want to miss out on yummy cakes!

If you are wanting to keep it gluten, wheat and sugar free, make the recipe just as I have but without the chocolate chips! :). However, I know ASDA sell some gluten free chocolate buttons which would work too, just place them in the bottom of your baking tray before adding your cake mixture!

What you will need;
Sukrin Cake Mix
3 Eggs
150ml water
75ml oil - I recommend Rice Bran Oil but you can use veg oil!
Optional - White & Milk Choc Chips

Firstly put your oven on at 180 degrees!

Mix together your 3 eggs (or your choice of egg replacer), water & oil using a whisk

Add your cake mix and whisk together until smooth

Add chocolate chips too if using!
Pour into a greased 8x8 round cake tin and pop on the middle shelf of the oven for 30-35 minutes

It might feel a little soft on the top but prop a skewer or knife into the centre, if it comes out clear, it's cooked! Now leave to cool and to harden slightly! If you have added chocolate chips, they will sink to the bottom of the cake, so yummy! 

I cannot even begin to tell you how heavenly this cake is, without blowing my own whistle, it is easily the best cake i've ever eaten too, seriously, and i've eaten a lot of cakes. It was such a surprise, I wasn't expecting it at all, it was moist, perfectly sweet, fluffy and super tasty. Whether you're on a special kind of diet, diabetic or even just fancy something a bit healthier, this is so perfect, guilt free too!

Visit the Sukrin website for more delicious recipes and other amazing products!


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Valentine's Day Recipes!

Ok, i'm not going to lie, i'm not a romantic person, neither is Ben, so we've never celebrated Valentines Day, it saves us money and we can just order in a takeaway instead, February 14th means something different to us as it marks another year that we moved in together, so we celebrate not killing each other for living under the same roof for so long!

As i'm properly into baking now, I was thinking about making up some yummy treats for the day so had a good browse through Pinterest at what looks easy, yummy and maybe a little indulgent too! I didn't think it would be fair just to keep them to myself so I will share a few of my favourites with you, I have a few I will be making over the next few months, eek! To be honest I might start celebrating every holiday if it means I can bake yummy food for everyone!

When it comes to recipes i'm not one of those to use tons of ingredients, I would rather keep it simple, easy and cheap, so if I don't think I could make it, I won't share it with you! :)

Just click the link below each picture for the recipe!

Our Baby Blog

something swanky
Martha Stewart
Our Baby Blog
Cook Eat Paleo
Savory Nothings

What are your plans for Valentines Day?


Friday, 6 February 2015

Recipe | Oreo Cookie Crumb Bar

I can't quite contain my excitement for this post, I wasn't even suppose to make it till next week but I just couldn't resist! It's coming up to Valentine's Day now and you might be thinking about what you can do for your other half or maybe you just fancy something naughty! I found this recipe online after searching for few ingredient snacks and treats, this is what it gave me, I wasn't sure it would actually work but after testing it myself, it most certainly does and most certainly tastes like heaven too!

When i'm looking at baking and treat making, I want it to be easy and preferably cheap too, I don't mind buying a few ingredients but the less the better in my opinion! This is a great one to get the little ones involved in too, no matter their age, it's fun, so so easy and well, YUM!

Without further ado, here is what you need (prepare yourself)

280g White chocolate chips
4/5 x bags of Mini Oreos or a whole bag of normal sized ones

Yep, that's it.

What do you need to do?

1. Line an 8x8 baking tin with greaseproof paper

2. Empty 4 packs of your mini oreos into a bowl and bash with a rolling pin a little (you don't want crumbs, just in halfs really)

3. Measure out your chocolate chips and put into a microwavable bowl

4. Heat at 750w for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until you are left with a smooth melted chocolate! Mmm!

5. Now pour in your oreos and fold together until combined well

6. Transfer your mixture into your baking tray and flatten down until level.

Optional - Crushed another bag of mini oreos into crumbs and sprinkle over the top!

5. Place your baking tray into the fridge (uncovered) for around 30-45 minutes

6. Yes you can lick the bowl whilst you wait.

7. Remove from fridge and cut into squares, triangles, hearts, whatever you fancy, hell break it up with your hands if you're feeling rebellious!


Any leftovers (ha yeah right), should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, leave it out and it'll melt!

Yes it's sweet, yes it's a bit naughty but if you have a treat day coming up, or a special occasion, or maybe just a Saturday, these are perfect!

Do let me know if you make it too, would love to see :)


Review | Degustabox January

Today I will be sharing my opinions on this month's Degustabox with you all, Degustabox is a monthly subscription box that provides you with a surprise of 9-14 products from sweet to savoury, fresh ingredients to drinks, even brand new items you may not have heard of yet! 

I think one of my favourite things about this is the surprise of what you're getting, what I loved most about this box is how healthy it was, perfect for those who are starting the new year on a healthy eating plan, as this arrived after my treat day, I was motivated getting straight back into the normal routine without the little temptations! This box was packed full of products which makes the £12.99 price tag even more reasonable! I dove straight in and had a look at what we had..

Alfa One Rice Oil
I've never heard of this before but as I've said before I am always looking for healthier alternatives to the "normal" foods, olive oil is full of calories and really isn't full of anything too good, a little drizzle here or there is fine but if there was something out there that was  better, you'd choose it right? This is high in natural antioxidants such as Vitamin E and has been shown to reduce cholesterol absorption too! It is one of the healthiest and more versatile cooking oils making it perfect for any dish!

Koko Dairy Free
Growing up I was actually allergic to cow's milk, I always had Soya milk instead and as I got older I realised I actually really didn't like the taste of it at all! Back then, there weren't many alternatives so I just didn't drink milk at all until I was about 20, seriously, and even now I deal with it on my cereal but that's about it, I can't stand drinking it! Koko Milk is a unique alternative to cows milk made with coconut milk instead, contains less calories than cows milk, has 0% cholesterol and is allergen free too! I don't think i'll be drinking milk anytime soon but it is good to use in cooking so will be adding it to my scrambled eggs tonight!

Simplee Aloe
I'm always a bit nervous about trying 'health drinks' they tend to be packed full of sugar and can be a little well, weird. But I was pleasantly surprised about this one, when you think of Aloe Vera you probably think about the plant, then soothing medicines right? Don't worry though its mixed with grape juice and a squeeze of lemon to create a super tasty and healthy drink! Definitely a lovely smooth texture, almost smoothie like, and something I would buy in the future!

I used to always eat a huge bowl of Frosties for breakfast, I'm talking huge, but I decided to go for something a little different and swap to porridge about a week ago now, 30g of Ready Brek usually with a sprinkling of coconut, it's pure bliss and filling too! I gave these to Ben as he's really trying to start eating breakfast recently and he loved them, the nutella one especially! I think people tend to turn their noses up at porridge because it can be considered bland without sugar, I was one of those people, but you can top them with so many different things, there is bound to be something that will encourage you to have yours, whether it's a sprinkling of coconut, a spoonful of peanut butter, nutella or golden syrup, all those things can turn regular porridge into something more appealing, that's why I think Mornflake is such a good concept!

Clipper Green Tea
I never thought I'd be one of those people who would say this, but I LOVE green tea, I don't know what's happened! Ha, I used to find it disgusting but it's now something I reach for almost every morning with my porridge! It's refreshing, detoxing and makes you feel good too! After watching Kerry's vlogs over at Lived With Love, I was intrigued to get into it to see what the fuss is all about, and it's her fault that i'm now a bit addicted to it! Ha ha.

Finn Crisp
As soon as I read these out to Ben he straight away said how horrible Rye crisp breads are, so I was a bit reluctant with it, however I bit the bullet and went for it and was surprisingly surprised (I can use those 2 words together right?), they are only 22 calories per slice and are great as a snack or even as a lunch too! I've just had mine with tuna on top with a sprinkling of salad and beetroot too, and I can honestly say it was delicious! There's emoting about wholegrain that makes me belly feel more settled than say white bread, these are surprisingly (that word again, I know), filling too, 20% fibre and free from any sort of additives, there is nothing bad for you about these!


Sukrin Cake Mix
Another brand i'd not heard of before, but seeing as i've been a bit of a house wife recently with all this baking, I was so excited to see this in my box! Who even knew cakes could be healthy!? Ok it's not completely good for you but it has 80% less carbs than other mixes, plus it is sugar free, gluten free, wheat and egg free as well! I was intrigued to try this as I will admit, when I see something free from so many things I just imagine it'll taste like cardboard and be completely tasteless, but I will be baking with it next week and posting my recipe so I will let you know what I think!

Little Miracles
£1.48 each
I always love finding drinks in my box, up until recently the only thing i've been drinking is water, with the occasional orange squash too, so it's nice to try new drinks to quench my thirst! First things first, it has got a lot of sugar, 23% of your RDA actually, but that's pretty normal in terms of an 'energy' drink, sugar gives you a boost and that comes from the sugar mainly so don't think about that too much! The two flavours are amazing, never ever would I choose this if I was out and about, i'm more of a plain water person but I really really loved the white tea one the most, it was sweet, balanced, flavoursome and really did give me a little buzz after a crappy nights sleep! The Black Tea one was nice but I felt it left a bit of an aftertaste, so it kinda ruined it for me a bit!

Kabuto Noodles
A healthier pot noodle is the first thing I thought of when I saw this, and i'm not completely wrong, however the flavours were amazing, I added a tiny pinch of salt to bring out the flavours a bit more and it was much better, I felt like an American eating their chinese from a carton, just needed some chopsticks and I was there! I was surprised how fresh this tasted, I could tell exactly what was in it and didn't feel like it was processed or anything which I loved! 

Haywards Piccalilli
Last but not least, Piccalilli! I cannot remember the time I had this, it mustve been about 15 years ago, god now I feel old! My Nan would put it in a sandwich for me with some cheese, it was so yummy, I kinda forgot how good it was till I tried it again yesterday, literally scrummy, clearly not the most appetising thing to look at but don't judge a book by it's cover and all! It's great as a dip, on baguettes or even incorporated into recipes! It adds a tangy tough to lift your usual meals thats for sure!

If you're wanting to try a Degustabox, you can sign up here and use this code to save yourself some money too :) - GSSD9 meaning your first  box is only £6.99!


Introducing NowTV!

Today I am sharing with you the amazing tv service brought to you by NowTV!

We were super lucky over Christmas to test out their limited edition box and join in with the Winter Onesieland watch along! I have to say, this was one of the most fun opportunities i've been offered, we were each sent a onesie, with a huge hamper full of yummy goodies and had to watch along with The Muppets movie, such a lovely family afternoon stuffing our faces and snuggled up...pure bliss! 

We couldn't believe just how much was available for us to watch, there is literally something for everyone, the toddlers, the teenagers and the adults, with family favourites, new releases and the popular well known names! We hadn't ever really sat down together and watched a film as Abbie is far too wriggly but she happily danced along to The Muppets and couldn't stop giggling at Kermit, she thought he was brilliant! 

Setting everything up was super easy and quick, and we love love love our limited edition NowTV box too, such a funky little pattern! Who knew such a little box could bring so much fun? We have been using it at least a few times a week since we received it and can't remember what we did without it!

So what is NowTV? You've probably heard of it, and been tempted into it, but what does it actually do and mean? The NOW TV Box is a great way for you to get all that Sky Movies and Sports have to offer directly on your TV at home. All you need is a TV and Wi-Fi internet connection, no contract is needed! The little box simply turns your TV into a Smart TV!

With the Sky Movies Month Pass you can watch the latest movies you missed at the cinema. That means you can ejoy up to 16 premieres every month and there are over 1000 movies available on demand at the click of a button! Not sure if it's right for you? You can start a 30 day FREE trial of Sky Movies, then if you want to carry on,  it’s just £9.99 a month. No contract either so if you're a bit tight on money, you can dip in and out whenever you like.

With this package you receive 13 of the best pay TV channels that you won’t find on Freeview without a contract. Watch live, catch up on missed episodes or get stuck into over 250 box sets from the start (so addictive!) all for just £6.99 a month.

This is one of the main reasons we wanted to try out the contract, Ben loves his sport so this was exactly what suited him perfectly! You can get the biggest matches and events live on every single Sky Sports channel, unlike usual Sky you only pay for the days you want to watch as opposed to spending ££ per month when you only watch a few matches! No contract again and it's just £6.99 at the moment too!

Where do I get the NOW TV box from? 
You can buy the NOW TV box from the website directly and once delivered, simply hook up the your box to the back of the TV, connect to WIFI and you’ll be watching on your TV in minutes. Get NOW TV passes and catch up on the TV you love from BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. 

Don’t fight over the remote, register up to 4 devices and watch on 2 at the same time, including Chromecast, PS4™, PS3™, Xbox One, Xbox®360, Roku, YouView†, LG Smart TV, PC or Mac, Mobile*, Tablet and more!

Plus you can get even more value with our NOW TV Box packs too!

The Lifestyle Lens © . Design by FCD.