Friday, 30 December 2016

Walt Disney World 2016: Part 4 - Day 3

birthday in walt disney world

Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy DISNEY birthday to me! 

There is nothing like waking up on your birthday in Walt Disney World. There is something seriously so magical about it that it just makes your birthday instantly ten time more exciting! Everyone should have at least one Disney birthday in their life! I wasn't exactly looking forward to turning 29, I don't know, I don't like the sound of the number, the finality of my twenties, it's....unplesant!

walt disney world birthday

I was up bright an early with no clue what had been planned for the day - I love surprises! All I knew was I had to be up and out by around 7am, and I had a Minnie Mouse tutu, birthday girl t-shirt, badge, sash, and a tiara to wear! Like I said, nothing quite like a Disney birthday! My room had been decked out in balloons and banners, I love a fuss!

We boarded a bus to the Magic Kingdom, I still had no idea what the plan was. I took a couple of guesses and was met with a ‘just wait and see’ from the family. I swear I was bouncing around on that bus more than the kids next to me! Once we pulled up to the Magic Kingdom, we jumped in the special events line and scooted into the Magic Kingdom just before it opened, making a beeline for Town Hall. 

I twirled in my tutu, I accepted dozens of well wishes, I danced into Town Hall. Yeah, I was already having a ball! Then, all was revealed. We would be spending the morning on a walking tour through the Magic Kingdom; Marceline to Magic Kingdom. I love anything behind the scenes related at Disney, it fascinates me. How everything works, the rides, the shows, how the whole place just manages to function so seamlessly and magically. 

walt disney world birthday

The tour was three hours walking through the Magic Kingdom, full of stories about Walt Disney and the events in his life that inspired parts of the Magic Kingdom. The absolute highlight of the tour was getting to go behind the scenes of the Haunted Mansion. We literally stood underneath the doom buggies as riders went by, seeing how one of the most infamous scenes in the ride worked. 

After a morning in the Magic Kingdom, we bid our tour guide goodbye, my brother bought me a huge balloon on Main Street USA, and I had some pictures taken with Rapunzal.

We headed over to Be Our Guest for lunch - I had the pork belly and it was divine! Hands down, it's one of the best places to eat in Magic Kingdom if you're on the quick service dining plan - all the perks of a table service restaurant but for quick service credits!

walt disney world birthday

And as if lunch wasn't filling enough. I ended up tackling a turkey leg. I've been looking at these monsters for years but never given in to trying one until the Mr insisted we had to give it a go. Cave-woman much? It actually wasn't too bad, a bit salty but surprisignly ok!

walt disney world birthday

We eventually headed back to the resort for an afternoon chill, a wander around, a drink and maybe a nap. I love wandering around Port Orleans Riverside, it's such a relaxing and picturesque resort! It's times like this I wish I was some sort of stylish fashion blogger because the backdrops, they're just so pretty!

walt disney world birthday

We headed back out for my birthday tea in Epcot! I’d picked Teppan Edo for my birthday feast, it’s a bloody fabulous restaurant! It’s one of those where you sit at the cooker and all your food is cooked on a hot plate that doubles up as your table too. I had the most amazing sirloin with mixed mushrooms, egg noodles, rice, veggies and lots of iced green tea. Just as the evening was finishing up, a chefs hat was placed on my head, clapping started and the entire restaurant burst into song singing me Happy Birthday - I’m not even going to lie, I flipping loved the attention haha! Who doesn’t want to be the star of their own birthday? 

walt disney world birthday

We finished the night with a couple of drinks around the World Showcase and watched the fireworks, Illuminations

walt disney world birthday

I mean really, could a birthday be any more magical

You can find the rest of the Florida trip report series here!

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

#BeInspired with Cass Art

beinspired cass art

During 2017, Cass Art want to inspire you to be your best, creative self. Crafting, painting, drawing, modelling, anything and everything, they want you, and me to give it a try. I’ve never thought anything creative or artistic was really my thing. Sure, I love creating words, but creating things? Physical objects for display? Hell, I can’t even attempt a bullet journal because I don’t feel artistic enough.

We are all creative. It’s not about being able to pick up a needle and thread and sew the perfect skater dress. It’s not about smashing up a ton of tiles and putting together a mosaic fit for a palace. It’s not even about drawing a face and it actually looking like a face. The act of creating is so much more than that. So what if the seams are wonky, the mosaic only makes sense if you squint and your portraits would make better fire fodder than wall hangings?

Cass Art believe we are all artistic. And if nothing else, mucking in and getting your hands covered in modelling clay and paint is just fun! We spend so much time these days in-front of screens or behind a keyboard, I’ve forgotten the last time I actually got really hands on with something! I actually loved art in school, even though not much of what I made ever really made sense, just the physical act of making something was fun.

beinspired cass art

With all of this in mind, Cass Art sent out my first #BeInspired pack so I’m here to share what’s inside it!

Das Modelling Clay 

When I opted for the craft pack, I wasn’t expecting clay! Me? Clay? Modelling? Well, this really is what the #BeInspired challenge is all about! This Das clay is brilliant as it comes foil packed to lock in moisture. Once you’ve modelling your clay you simply leave it to dry - it air dries! No kiln or oven required, just air! Much more home-craft friendly if you ask me!

Das Idea Mix (Red and Blue)

Well, this is just genius! It’s another air drying clay but it’s coloured! You simply roll this into the white clay and it should make a coloured marbling effect! Ok, that will officially be very cool if it works! I’m crap with paint so hopefully this will make my clay work look a little more colourful and exciting! 

Das professional rolling pin

Well, you can’t roll clay without a rolling pin can you? This has three different thickness settings, meaning it’s basically doing all the hard work for me - so can I really go wrong?

Das Vernidas Professional Varnish

I see what you did there Cass Art! I see! You’ve basically dummy proofed my entire package! This varnish is designed to bring up clay to a sparkling finish, and especially enhances the marbling effect the Idea Mix creates! It air dries and comes with a brush so I don’t need anything else!

I’ve been having a look online for some ideas of what I can create with my kit. I want something relatively easy, fool proof, usable and fun! Here’s a couple of projects I’ve got my eye on;

beinspired cass art

All of these look relatively easy and they all look like things I would use/make really cute Instagram pictures with! With the amount of clay I’ve got I’m hoping I might be able to tackle at least two of these projects! I’m leaning towards the bowls and the tea light, but I think the phone stand is super cute too! I’ll have to get rolling my clay out and see what happens!

Make sure you check out the hastag #BeInspired to see what other creators are coming up with over the coming months, you never know what will inspire you!

Do you plan on being more creative in the New Year?

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The Best New Year Planners and Diaries

There’s something so nice about physically putting plans on paper, ticking them off as they happen or scribbling them here and there as they change. I’ve never been a digital planner, besides, you can’t cover a digital planner in doodles and stickers can you?

If you’re looking for a new diary for the new year, rest assured, I’ve got you covered. These days a diary isn’t just about jotting in meetings and dental appointments, they’re personal planners, they’re  motivators, they’re habit trackers and game changers. So, here’s my top picks for the best diary to take you into the new year and beyond! 

best planner for the new year

Toad Diaries: Touch Edition (starting from £17.60) I was introduced to Toad Diaries earlier in the year and I absolutely love the concept of being able to design the planner exactly how you like it. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you get a diary and its full of either unusable pages or not enough of the pages you like! Toad is fully customisable, from it’s page style to it’s calendar length. You can even have your name put on it!

100 days Happiness Planner (£29) Do you make a whole bunch of resolutions and lose heart on them by the end of January? I know I do. Carry that start of the year positivity and excitement beyond the first month by committing to just 100 days. With check ins, reflections, goal settings, exercises and inspirational quotes, you will smash the first 100 days of the new year and beyond!

Travel Planner (£11.95) Leaving on a jet plane in the new year? If you’ve got a whole bunch of travel plans coming up then this travel planner is idea to plan, record and look back on all of your adventures! I love having everything in one place and when it comes to travelling this is more important than ever - I’m no spontaneous traveller that’s for sure!

best planner for the new year

Happiness Planner 52 week journal (£30) I have this and I can’t wait to get started. The 52 weekHappiness Planner is dateless so technically you don’t have to start on the 1st January but it seems kinda of fitting, especially with this being my 30th birthday year! Goal setting, self-reflection,  inspirational jump off points, prompts to discovering what makes you tick, what you want in life and how you plan on getting there. This planner doesn’t focus so much on productivity and getting things done, it focuses on you and your happiness

Greatness journal (£39.95) The Greatness Journal focuses on consciously creating your day. With it’s foundations in yoga, meditation and soul clarity, this is an appointment tracker with a deeper level. Worksheets, dream journalling, monthly check-ins and reflections, you’ll find more than your next hairdressers appointment in here!

The Happy Planner: Create 365 (£31) I spend a ridiculously amount of time that I refuse to acknowledge on watching scrapbooking videos. I love seeing how people can take a blank page, a week of little moments and create something seriously beautiful to look back on in years to come. If you’re the more creative type then this is the journal for you! I love the ‘pocket’ pages and how everything fits on small index cards, collaging up to make a complete page.

best planner for the new year

The Volt Planner ($40) If you’re looking for a planner that’s designed to make you more successful in life, then the Volt is for you. Sophistication, style, minimalist design, it’s very suave! What really sold me on the Volt was it’s 30 day challenge pages. Each month comes with a 30 day challenge table, where you set your challenge, how you’ll achieve it, and a day-to-day tick off box. 

Erin Condren Life Planner (from $50) Ah, the planner to end all planners…I have watched so many plan with me videos this year that I feel like I already have one (FYI I don’t but if there’s a PR out there who would love to send me one…). I think I actually love these more because of all the planner kits you can buy on Etsy, they’re what make the Life Planner something special! 

best planner for the new year

Deer Diary (£7) Of course, you don’t always need your diary to be all singing, dancing and goal setting. Sometimes keeping it simple can be more effective, especially when the cover is this darn cute! 

Copper Glitter Mini (£5) And what list of any kind would be complete without something glitzy and rose gold to finish it off? Stylish, shiny and planning made simple. Even the most mundane of appointments will look something a little special in this little budget beauty!

How will you be keeping yourself on track in the new year?

Until next time, 

Monday, 19 December 2016

Gin Festival Liverpool - 2016

gin festival liverpool

When it comes to Gin you don’t have to ask me twice but feel free to make it a double. When the folks behind the Gin Festival asked if I wanted to come along for a gin-filled festive afternoon there was only one answer I could give - and I’m pretty sure it involved junipers!

Set up in the belly of Liverpools Metropolitan Cathedral, or, Paddys Wig Wam as we call it, the Gin festival took over Lutyans Crypt. Considering I’m a scouter born and bread and live 2 minutes away from the Cathedral, I have never been inside the crypts before - so much so that it took me 20 minutes and a lovely tour of the Cathedral grounds to find the entrance *fail*. 

We made, it, we found ourselves going deep down under the city streets, where a balloon glass and hundreds of gins where waiting for us. I’d took my Gin-virgin bestie along in a bid to convert her to the wonders of fusions, flavours and botanicals. 

gin festival liverpool

With 100 gins behind the bar, cocktails, gin infused hot chocolate and a variety of mulled gins, all served up with a variety of FeverTree tonics, hot food, snacks and live music, it was going to be an afternoon to remember (or try to depending on how many we managed to get through!). After checking our coats we did a quick lap of the main bar-room. The gin bars are split into individually lettered bars, and each letter corresponds with pages in you gin book, the bible of the day, so you know exactly which bar will have the gins you want to try. There was a couple of brand reps set up too including Pinkster, Locksley Distilling Co and Poetic Justice. HUGE thanks goes out to these reps who were quite literally throwing shots of gin at me to try - and who was I to say no? But enough of the samples…I was ready for something much bigger. 

gin festival liverpool

First up, Ely Chocolate Orange (30%), an exclusive at the festival, this liquor was spectacular! Served with a Fevertree indian tonic water, it went down a treat! I love chocolate orange and this had a lovely citrus aftertaste that just really hit the spot. 

gin festival liverpool

Zymurgorium Sweet Violet (19%) was easily the most magical and profound tasting gin I have ever had the pleasure of tasting! When I was a kid I was obsessed with Parma Violets, a friend of the family would buy me dozens of packs at Christmas - and this drink brought back all of the sweet violet memories and more! Drank neat, it was pure pastel flavour, but mixed with FeverTree lemonade, it had a much more drawn out, subtle flavour. 

gin festival liverpool

It was at this point we found ourselves at the Striped Pig for a food stop - hog roast with melted cheese on a toasted brioche bun and a side of pork scratchings! Oh. OH! Was this good! The meat was so juicy and the pork scratchings were like nothing I have ever tasted before - crunch on the outside but not the break-your-teeth kind, with a chewy centre! Amazing!

Food finished. Back to the gin. Catching a couple more samples on our way back into the bar room too, I mean it would have been rude not to! 

gin festival liverpool

Tarquin’s Single Estate Cornish Tea Gin Ltd. Edition (47%). Another exclusive to the festival, so I just had to try it. A limited edition batch using locally grown Tregothnan tea, and paired with a Fevertree Indian Tonic, this gin was amazing. So smooth with no dry aftertaste that is commonly associated with gin. Plus I’m a sucker for anything that’s limited edition. 

We took some time out to explore the store where every bottle on tap could actually be bought and taken home - trust me, I could have come home with about 3 or 4 bottles of gin after everything I was tasting, especially those that are not readily available in the local Tesco! They also had funky Gin Christmas gifts, festival memorabilia and a selection of tees and hoodies! 

gin festival liverpool

As last orders came, I made a mad dash to the bar for one final G & T; Eccentric Citrus Overload (42%). Another exclusive to the festival (do you see my thinking here?). This delightfully sherberty sweet gin mixed with Mediterranean FeverTree tonic was the crowning glory of the afternoon. Plus I’m pretty sure the guy who served it to me had baubles in his beard - Merry Christmas!

I could have easily wiled away a couple more hours and there was more than a handful of Gins I really wanted to try!  The whole afternoon was a wonderful experience - and that’s not just the gin talking! My only regret is that I didn’t make it to the cocktail bar! But there’s always the next festival for that!

gin festival liverpool

Huge thanks to the Gin Festival for having me - you even managed to convert my bestie to the way of the Gin! 

Are you a gin lover?

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Christmas Hamper Ideas

I love a good Christmas Hamper. There’s nothing like picking out a few indulgent festive favourites to treat your loved ones, or yourself to, over the holidays. I’m all about Christmas themed caked, spiced teas, tinsel topped treats, all in a hamper and with a bow on top! If you’re looking to put a little hamper of Christmas treats together then I’ve got you covered! Here’s just a few of my festive foodie picks this year!

christmas hamper ideas

Chocolate Sprouts £9.95 For anyone who says they don’t like sprouts, how can they say no to these little chocolate delights? Give me a good sprout any day but I wouldn’t say no to these either!

Pig n Mix £20 These would make for the perfect Christmas movie marathon snack on Christmas Eve, or when you’re catching up with all the Christmas drama on the soaps over Boxing Day!

Salted caramel sauce £10 If 2016 was the year of anything it was the year of salted caramel! This salted caramel sauce looks absolutely amazing! This looks so rich and a real treat! I’m a sucker for salted caramel so sign me up!

Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate £9 Because what’s Christmas without hot chocolate? Tis the season to indulge every once in a while and nothing is more indulgent than Hotel Chocolats hot chocolate!

christmas hamper ideas

Cinnamon straws £3.50 I became addicted to cinnamon sticks on my most recent trip to Florida and these bad boys warmed up and dipped in the salted caramel sauce would be OHHHHH. Don’t worry, you can thank me later for my genius!

Whole grain crackers with sea salt £3 You can’t have a Christmas hamper without crackers! They’re just one of those things that people need to have in, they’re super versatile and Christmas is a great excuse to splash out and get some just a little more special than usual!

Salted caramel vodka £4 I’m a big fan of Hotel Chocolat’s Cocoa Gin, but this was a treat I just couldn’t pass up! A festive evening tipple or something to spice up your hot chocolate? 

christmas hamper ideas

Christmas eton mess £3.85 There’s nothing like a few festive themed sweet treats and these Christmas inspired Eton Messes are just the ticket. Cranberry, cinnamon, white chocolate mousse - perfection!

Christmas tea £5 How could there not be tea in a Christmas hamper? After all that festive cheer, running around with the family and frantic present wrapping, we all deserve to put our feet up at the end of the day and have a long, good brew! Why have a regular ol’ cup of tea when you could have a Christmas flavoured cup of tea?

Bettys christmas blend £10 Tea not your thing? Throw in a special Christmas blend coffee to add an extra shot of energy to any hamper and Christmas morning breakfast!

christmas hamper ideas

Trio of pate £15 Remember those crackers I added in earlier? Well, you might need something to go on them - and pate is always my go-to at Christmas. It reminds me of sitting up late with my dad watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, eating pate on ritz and trying desperately not to choke with laughter when the cat blows the tree lights!

Amaretti £8 Well, you need something to have with your coffee and a mince pie doesn’t always cut it!

Crackers for cheese £3.75 Some crackers are just crackers, other crackers are cheese crackers and these babies are fancy pants and then some! Plus, they will go great with…

Peri peri chedder £4.50 Cheese! You officially can’t have a Christmas hamper without cheese. It’s the law. I just decided. We bought some of this Peri peri cheese from the Christmas markets last week and it is amazing! Full of flavour and makes regular ol’ cheddar a regular ol’ bore next to this!

christmas hamper ideas

Drunken monk cheese £4.50 We sampled this one at the market and it was a tough call which one we took home with us. Caramelised red onion, mature cheddar and red wine…ok now I’m wondering if I came home with the right one?

Dark choc mint wafers £12 When the dishes are done, the kids are sort of settled, the cat’s finally took a break from terrorising the baubles, who doesn’t want to sit down with a box of mint thins? It’s tradition!

Choc chip cookie mix £14.95 I’m all about the DIY gifts this year, and I love the gift of baking in a jar! Why give someone a box of biscuits when they could make them themselves? It would be the perfect way to relax once the festivities are finally over!

So, what’s in your festive hamper this Christmas?

Until next time, 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Christmas gifts for the Gin lover

Gin-gle bells, gin-gle bells, with tonic all the way…

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the Gin lover in your life then your truly has got you covered and then some. I know I wouldn’t say no to finding a few of this gin-lightful treats under the tree this year, after all, Gin is the gift that keeps on giving…until the bottle runs dry.

gin christmas gift ideas

Under £10

Citrus Saw £4.50 Adorable and useful. Why chop your lemons and limes with a knife when you can saw them in half? I see the appeal and it would look very cute on the ‘pour your own’ side table over the holidays!

Glass Coaster £6 I can more than relate to this funny little quote. Pair this with a swanky personalised glass or a classic Gin balloon glass for a cute and functional gift. Miniatures essential. 

Mini Glass bottles £3 If you’ve gone as far as to actually infuse your own gin this holiday season (which is surprisingly easy to do!), then you can serve it up/gift it/party favour it in these adorable little cork stopper glass bottles. Is that Pinterest enough for you?

Gin Bath Soak £10 Well, who hasn’t thought about lounging in a bath tub of gin? No? Just me? Hmm. Well, just incase you have ever had that thought, then this one is for you! Pair it with some pjs, fuzzy socks and a miniature or two!

Gone with the Gin £7 I have this, I love this. For the budding at home cocktail making enthusiast, cocktails with a Hollywood twist! Ti-tonic, Sloppy in Seattle, Taxi Screw-Driver, West Cider Story, Close Enounters of the Slurred kind…movie night just got a whole lot more interesting! Also comes with movie themed bar snacks and drinking games!

gin christmas gift ideas

Under £25

Tatty Devine Coin Purse £14.95 Well where else would a girl keep her Gin money? This little coin purse is too cute and functional. I’m pretty sure you could sneak a miniature in there too…just saying.

Gin Botanicals £16 Any Gin drinker knows that a Gin just isn’t a Gin if there’s nothing floating about in it. This botanical kit is ideal for the Gin enthusiast that wants the perfect shot for Instagram.

Prestat Gin Truffles £12 Alcohol infused chocolates - need I say more? Prestat make some of the most delicious, decadent chocolates and truffles you’ll find, in the prettiest of boxes too - stick a bow on it, no need to wrap! And you know, a miniature or two would really help these go down a treat!

Hotel Chocolat Gin Collection £20 The Hotel Chocolat Gin is divine! Mix it with Cranberry juice and bam, it’s like a dark chocolate tasting, melt in the mouth, fruit filled truffle cocktail. I got one of these sets for my Birthday and it was a real treat from start to finish!

Hendricks Hot House £20 OK…so I killed my cucumber when I had one of these greenhouse sets but I’m not exactly known for my green fingers! That being said, the idea of growing my own little cucumber was going to make the Gin I would be putting it in all the more delightful! The cucumber didn’t make it, but the cucumber baller in the set is a very cool little bar addition!

Gin Botanical Cocktail garden £16 I love this. I love the ideal of a little herb garden on my windowsill that is entirely for the purpose of garnishing my Gin! Grow your own, it’s trendy, it’s organic, it’s practically one of your five a day, can’t argue with that!

Make your own lip balm kit £16.95 I think I have an obsession with do-it-yourself gifts this year! Grow it, make it, drink it, love it. I mean I’m sure you could throw them into actual food as well but…well, the Gin’s more fun!

gin christmas gift ideas

Under £50

Great British Gin Tasting Set £44.99 I like miniatures. I like trying new things. So a box full of new miniatures to try sounds absolutely perfect. Pair it with a glass, maybe the coaster from above, throw in the botanicals for an extra magical measure and BOOM you will win gift giver of the year 2016!

Gin and Tonic box £29 I tried one of these Microbar Boxes this year and it was fantastic! Any night can be a Friday night with one of these babies under the tree! Gin, mixers and snacks? All in one box? YES! Give the gift of a one off box or really spoil someone with a couple of months worth of their subscription service. 

And if all else fails? Skip the miniatures and go for a full blown bottle of the good stuff, wack a bow on the top and call it Christmas!

What will you be gifting the gin lover in your life this Christmas?

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Reasons to Smile #2

reasons to smile

Sometimes we just need a little reminder of how great things have been to see us through the crappiest of days. Here’s a couple of reasons why it’s worth smiling lately!

CarnLIVal was amazing - This past weekend, Katy and Sammy put together a little Christmas Carnival inspired event and it was brilliant! I had such a laugh, won myself a very nice bottle of Brockmans Gin, a bottle of Fentimans grapefruit tonic and a gorgeous Vendula London Alice in Wonderland inspired bag - how could I not be smiling?

Bloggers are just lovely - One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how wonderful other bloggers are, especially when you meet up in the real world. You all have this one thing in common and from that, you find about a million more things in common. It’s so nice to see and really get to know the bloggers behind the blogs, to get drunk with them or order a cheeky Deliveroo to the bar. 

Advent Calendars - Yes I’m 29. Yes my Mum still buys me an advent calendar every year. I love them. I love that nostalgic little cardboard window, peeling it back and popping out a sweet treat. It’s just one of those set in stone traditions with me. It just wouldn’t be Christmas to me without a chocolatey countdown!

reasons to smile

Santa Dash  - Now I know it’s Christmas! I think this is my third year of doing to Santa Dash 5k through Liverpool and I love it! Nothing beats seeing hundreds upon hundreds of red and blue santa suits running through the city centre - and being one of those red faced suited and booted santas is just amazing! The view as you come up onto the fly over to see a sea of Santas, the steel drum band, the snow at the finish line - as soon as I came home I had to put my Christmas tree up! 

Christmas tree - Oh Christmas tree! It took me about 2 hours to get the tree up this year, not forgetting the entire afternoon and evening I spent putting up my families Christmas trees too! I love decorating the trees, we have so many ornaments that have a personal meaning or memory behind them and it’s crazy how you forget each and every ornament until you see it again as it goes on the tree! Insert story telling, memory recalling, even digging out some photos that go along with the story behind the bauble, it’s such a cute and heart warming experience and totally sums up Christmas for me! Let’s just ignore the meltdown I had over the fairy lights though!

Christmas Markets - The Liverpool markets have been set up right on my walk to and from work this year so suffice to say I’ve already popped in a couple of times! It seems smaller this year but more intimate and there is a Gin Tin with my name on! Nothing beats a mulled cider and a freshly cooked Nutella crepe does it? I’d love to check out some other Christmas Markets this year but I fear I’m leaving it too late!

Instagram Best 9 - I love how everything becomes really reflective at this time of year! It’s interesting from a blogger point of view to see your numbers grow, to see what’s been popular this year across your feeds etc, but I love how looking bad on what have been my most liked pictures on Instagram this year bring back so many amazing memories from the year! Holidays, events, trips, it gives me all the feels!

reasons to smile

What’s been putting a smile on your face recently?

Until next time,

Monday, 5 December 2016

Foodie Faves #1

food favourites

Seen as though I’m forever either eating, thinking about eating, talking about eating or eating…I figured it made sense to have some sort of foodie round-up series, after all, if I write an entire post on a tin of soup…well, I know I wouldn’t want to read just about the soup so I doubt you do too! Whether your looking for some interesting new bits to add to the weekly shop or a change to your afternoon snack, here’s the munchies I’ve been loving and loathing lately….warning…you might not want to read this on an empty stomach!

festive foods

Marks and Spencers Christmas Soup

Yes. I’m starting with soup. Tis the season of warm blended up veggies with fresh thick cut bread smothered in butter! Fun fact - growing up I hated soup with a serious passion. My Nan gave me a really weird thick chicken soup once and it just turned my stomach - for about twenty years after that I was a total no-go-soup-zone. Eventually I grew out of that phase and cant stop slurping. So. Christmas Soup. Christmas. Soup. Turkey, pork, sage & onion stuffing, potatoes and parsnips. Why wouldn’t you want your Christmas dinner souped up? I had soup-er (sorrynotsorry) high hopes for this but it was so….blah. It was bland. And the stuffing was actual balls with a very I really don’t want this in my mouth texture. Nope. Fail. Moving on.

festive foods

Meridian Crunchy Peanut Butter

I don’t usually buy the posh stuff. Cheap, cheerful and crunchy does me just fine but this was on offer and I see it all the time over foodie feeds so I wanted to see the difference. Apart from it seeming oilier than the cheaper brands, taste wise, the cheaper brands taste just as good. It’s a nice treat because it looks fancier and it’s all branded and what not but I don’t feel like I’m getting anything different taste wise. It’s a super crunchy peanut butter with lots of larger peanut pieces in and ingredients wise, it’s got no added sugar, salt or palm oil so health wise, it’s definitely doing something more for me! Naughty treats without the unhealthy nasties thrown in!

peanut butter and nutella bananna bites

Jim Jams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

I bought this for two reasons. It was on offer. It has 83% less sugar than the leading brand. I never thought anything could replace the Nutella layered around my heart but this is just….it tastes exactly the same. Ask me to do a blind taste test and I won’t be able to tell the difference - and I’ve ate a lot of Nutella in my time. It’s so rich, thick and creamy! I don’t feel half as guilty when I smother it all over a breakfast bagel and lick the spoon! It’s also the bees knees over freshly toaste crumpets! Just saying!

Marks and Spencers Wildflower Honey

Clearly I’ve been feeling splurgy lately - this came in at around 4 times the price I usually pay but this is absolutely divineIt’s very sweet, with a strong toffee flavour. I have a honey/hot water mix every morning and this makes it taste so much sweeter. It’s also amazing in porridge! You can defiantly taste the difference with this one and I would totally buy it again!

disney jelly beans

Goofys Candy Co Gourmet Jelly Beans

Addicted. I’m addicted. I’m Saloca and I’m addicted to jelly beans. Like I’m having a handful almost every day - twice a day. Except for the licorice ones. Those are BAD BEANS. Moving on. I bought up bag fulls of these jelly beans when I was in Walt Disney World - we had a ton of snack credits to use so I literally brought back half a suitcase of sweets and biscuits! There such a quick fix of flavoursome delight. Each one on it’s own is full of flavour - and nice ones too (except the liquorice!). I’ve got a box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Jelly Beans to crack open over Christmas and I know there’s going to be worse things than licorice in there! EEK! I’ve been so many Jelly Belly gift sets out in the shops and I just want to find them all in my stocking this year!

chocolate cellar milk chocolate

The Chocolate Cellar

At last weeks Kilner Christmas Pop-Up, The Chocolate Cellar came down to treat our sweeter taste-buds with their amazing chocolaty offerings, as well as showcasing a selection of their Christmas chocolate gifts. They popped everyone's name on a delicious milk chocolate slab in white chocolate icing - of course I had to get a social media handle in there, how could I not? I managed to try their chocolate dipped Turkish delight too which was amazing!

What have you been munching on lately?

Until next time,