Category: Food

Valentines Day: 10 gifts under £10 [for her]

chocIt’s cropped up again, yes that day that no one really likes but EVERYONE talks about… Valentines Day!

Couples hate it because its forced romance and it means forking out for a gift, and single people loath it because it reminds them the only love of their life waiting at home for them is their Netflix account.

HOWEVER I have some good news for you. I have created a guide of 10 fantastic gifts under £10 that are are awesome and also won’t break the bank either. So guys, either treat your lady, or women get sending links to your date, mate or even just buy it for yourself (you deserve it!).

These great items start with the yummy Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel chocolates (top right) that are guaranteed to have anyone drooling and are a bargain at just £3.75.

You can check out the rest of my V-day picks below…

Happy shopping & have a happy love day on Sunday please, whatever your relationship status!

Sam x

Vday collage

  1. Red Contrast Trim Lace Brazilian Briefs, New Look, £3.99 
  2. Pink Polaroid Photo Frame, New Look, £4.99
  3. Little Book Of Chat Up Lines Book, ASOS, £5.99 
  4. Valentines Glitter A5 Notebook, Paperchase, £7 
  5. Brushed Tartan Scarf, Boohoo, £4
  6. Happy Jackson Big Love Mug, Debenhams, £8
  7. Nails in Bittersweet, Topshop, £5
  8. Gold Arrow Ring, Urban Outfitters, £6
  9. Grow Your Own Birthflower, NotOnTheHighStreet.com, £7.50 
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Xmas Gift Guide: £10 and under

Xmas 10

Considering it is now December, it’s time to get buying presents for your loved ones if you haven’t already…

However, with grans, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, mums, dads and friends and colleagues to buy for, it can get rather expensive! This is why I’ve created this gift guide for 10 items at £10 or under to mean you can get more pressies for your money!

It’s also the perfect solution for all those secret santas you end up getting roped into!

Happy shopping and I hope you find something you like!

Sam x

1. ‘Dream Big’ neon notebook, Topshop, £3.50

2. Jack Wills mug, £9.50

3. Photomug, Mustard, £10 

4. Hot Cookie mug warmer, Mustard, £10

5. Snap fish eye lens, Topshop, £5

6. Korres Wild Rose Mini Brightening Kit, Debenhams, £8.50

7. 12 Portly Penguins, Hotel Chocolat, £7 

8. Cubic Zirconia Triangle Necklace, Miss Selfridge, £10 

9. Alphabet scented candle, NotOnTheHighstree.Com, £6.99

10 Pug Mug, IWWOT, £7.99

Coast to Coast Christmas menu preview event

c2c7I know it’s only October and you’re all still thinking about what to wear to Halloween, however Christmas isn’t as far away as you think so you need to get prepared!

Christmas is a time when you meet up with friends and loved ones who you don’t get to see as often as you like the rest of the year, so it is important that you do this somewhere special. With literally every restaurant around offering a Christmas menu, it’s hard to know which one to pick!

That’s why Coast to Coast have been previewing their festive menu to show what they have to offer this year and I was one of the lucky few who got invited down to test it out!

I went down to the restaurant’s Portsmouth branch to do this on Tuesday of this week (Oct 7). I was greeted at the door by the lovely staff and offered a cocktail of my choice straight away. I went for the Russian Spring Punch which was recommended to me by the restaurant’s top bar tender Joyce Brabban, which was really really good!

c2c11I didn’t really need a drink off the menu though, as straight away Joyce got to work making us all the yummy cocktails from the Christmas menu. Amongst these were the Chocolate and Orange Martini, which tastes just as good as it sounds by the way and a warm cider that will warm you up a treat on those winter nights. Next up came eggnog. Now, I know what you’re thinking, eww egnog, but seriously don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It was actually probably my favourite – creamy, smooth and perfectly festive – I will definitely be drinking that again! There was also a bucks fizz-style drink, which is a perfect lighter alternative if you don’t want to be too indulgent.

Next up came the starters. Executive chef Andy Hamilton, who is one of the stars behind the Christmas menu, brought us out a plate of Goats Cheese Bruschetta Bites – which were ciabatta topped with the goats cheese, pesto and the restaurant’s special bruschetta mix. Not being a fan of goats cheese or pesto, I skipped these, but they did look amazing and everyone else at the event certainly seemed to be enjoying them! There are also many other starter alternatives on the menu, including spicy calamari, BBQ chicken tenders, chorizo & mozzarella baked mushrooms and a Christmas tomato and cannellini bean soup!

After these were devoured, it wc2c14as time for the main event – Christmas dinner! As you’d expect, it is the classic turkey breast complete with cranberry sauce and all the trimmings including roast and mashed potatoes, pigs in blankets, pork and sage stuffing, Chantenay carrots and green vegetables. It will also topped in a rich gravy which was really delicious and elevated the dish even more.

If you are a bit bored of turkey come Christmas time however, there are other options available including baked salmon fillet, mushroom risotto and sweet chilli chicken skewers. There is also a maple bacon burger, which Andy brought us out to try, however I was just too full from all the dinner and cocktails already. Other guests at the event who tried it however were delighted with it – saying the maple bacon was gorgeous.

c2c12After all, I was saving room for dessert – which was an Oreo Cookie Cheesecake. I’m not the biggest lover of cheescake ever as I sometimes feel it can be too rich, however this was light enough that I ate the whole (generous) piece – even after that big Christmas dinner! Coast to Coast definitely don’t skimp on the Oreo either considering that the while biscuit base is made from Oreos and you also get some on top too. The cheescake also comes with Oreo ice cream, which has been made especially for Coast to Coast, and a good serving of cream!

After all that I didn’t think there could be anything more, however Joyce came over and brought us yet another Christmas cocktail to try – called ‘The Snowman’. This is an extremely creamy cocktail featuring liqueur and even comes complete with a snowman face made out of Oreos, matchmakers and a little carrot nose! This is the perfect indulgent treat at the end of the meal for grown ups who like to be a bit silly (like me).

And that was it! Full to thc2c1e brim with food and drink, my belly was extremely happy. I can honestly say that you definitely won’t be disappointed if you book a Christmas meal with your family, friends or colleagues here. The food is tasty, original, perfectly festive and there is tons of choice from just the standard options you would expect.

I am also a HUGE cocktail fan and I can honestly say that the drinks I had on Tuesday were literally the best cocktails I ever had, so even if it’s just a Christmas catch-up you’re after, definitely find you’re spot in the Coast to Coast bar for drinks!

If you are after the full Christmas menu, it will coats a reasonable £24.95 for three courses or £19.95 for two. The cocktails are around the £6-7 mark each, but great value for money considering the quality and work that have been put into them. So what are you waiting for? Contact your nearest Coast to Coast today and get your Christmas party sorted!

(Early) Seasons Greetings,

Sam x

Woman Crush Wednesday: Hemsley & Hemsley

hemsleyFor my #WomanCrushWednesday this week, I have not one, but two awesome females.

If you haven’t heard of them yet, sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, better known as Hemsley + Hemsley are the hottest new duo to hit the cookery scene.

The uber-talented pair, who are both chefs, have gained success thanks to their awesome healthy recipes, which they feature on their website. However, the health gurus have also gained fans thanks to their fun personalities, stylish fashion choices and excellent writing skills that can be seen thanks to their blog.

In fact, the two London sisters have impressed with their writing ability, food skills and fashion sense so much that they are now also writers for Vogue and The Guardian.

Being a blogger myself, I find it really inspiring that the pair have managed to achieve so much and that is why they are my #wcw this week!

You can buy the Hemsley sisters first book ‘The Art of Eating Well’ now and  can follow them on Twitter to keep up to date with their latest news. 

Diet Tip #3: Fage Total 0% Fat Free Greek Yoghurt

totalSo I haven’t written a diet tip for a while, but because I’m trying to loose weight again, I thought I would!

Basically, Fage Total O% Fat Free Greek Yoghurt was a revelation the first time I tried it. Unlike normal yoghurts, it has a really thick texture, instead of runny, so it feels you up a lot more. It is also packed with protein (10.3g per 100g), which again makes you feel full and aids weight loss. Also, as it says on the label, it is completely fat free!

It also tastes great and is extremely versatile. I often have it for dessert at lunch or dinner with fruit like I did today. You could also have it for breakfast, on its own or with some oats and honey  ormake it a healthy, but fun treat for kids by adding sprinkles to it.

You can buy the yoghurt in 170g (£1.00) or 500g pots (£2.39).

Hope you enjoy!

Sam x

 

Product Review: Frank ‘honest snacking’ snack bars

frank barsAs a nation, we are becoming more aware about our health and the food that we eat.

Considering incidents such as the horse meat scandal, people want to know what is going in their food and that it is good for them.

This is why I was so delighted when Frank food company contacted me about trying their new snack bars. These healthy treats are gluten, nut and dairy free, are suitable for vegans and are a source of protein. They also contain no ‘nasties’ – with the main ingredient dried fruit – so they basically couldn’t be more healthy if they tried.

As well as this, they come in an array of yummy flavours – ‘Double Chocolate’, ‘Orange & Chocolate’, ‘Oat & Chocolate, Blueberry & Chocolate’ and Strawberry & Chocolate’. As you can see, these all contain chocolate, which definitely pleased me, considering what a chocoholic I am.

But so they actually taste nice? Honestly my answer is yes. Considering this is my first vegan product that I’ve tried, I was extremely pleasantly surprised. Considering it is made from all healthy ingredients, it still feels like a treat. It also is a nice to not feel overwhelmed with sugar whilst eating a snack and have something that is more wholesome, but still tasty.

I would have to say that the ‘Blueberry & Chocolate’ ones are my favourite. To be honest, I didn’t think this flavour would work very well, but I was pleasantly surprised about how the two mixed and finished the bar in record time!

When it comes to the texture of the bars, I would say they a far more like a chocolate bar than a cereal bar because they are soft and crumbly whilst still being firm.

With huge celebrities, such as Beyonce, now endorsing the vegan trend, it makes products like these even more important for those who want to be healthy but still have a varied and tasty diet.

You can buy the snack bars online at Frank food company’s website, as well as Asda and other stores which you can check on their stocklist page here.

Let me know if you try the snack bars or similar products and what you think of them.

It is definitely a thumbs up from me!

Sam x

 

 

Mothers Day 2014

So today was all about the Mummies and I made sure I went all out to show how much I appreciate mine today.

I started off the day by cooking her some yummy (low fat, might I add) sausage sandwiches, then she got her presents, which included some Lindt choc, Hotel Chocolat goodies and some Sanctuary smellies. After that we took her for a countryside ride and for a pub dinner in Winchester.

It was quite packed over there and we hadn’t booked, so we found a little pub called The William Walker just around the main corner which was quite quiet. We all had a lovely chicken roast each that was extremely yummy. This came in at £10 per plate, with all the trimmings. After that, my Mum treated herself to some apple and Ameretto crumble with ice cream (which I sampled a bit of and can confirm was divine).

After this we returned home and cracked open a bottle of Prosecco to finish what was a lovely day off perfectly.

I have included some photos for you of my day below. I hope you all had fun with your Mums or loved ones and a special Happy Mothers Day to all the mummies that may be reading this!

Sam x