Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Fun With Baking {Betty Crocker} - Our Package and trying the Cookie Mix

I was very happy to receive our package for the Betty Crocker Fun With Baking campaign.

The boys too were very excited and couldn't wait to get baking. Half Term was coming up the next week and the package came at just the right time.
Although I bake from scratch, I used to have so much fun using packet/box mixes and I knew that the boys would find it really fun to make goodies using a mix. It would also be quick and simple.

The package arrived and my youngest was so happy, dancing and whooping. The other two in age were also happy and the three of them unpacked the box with great interest (the older two were busy doing other stuff - teenagers lol)

The box contained:
• 1x Vanilla Icing
• 1x Velvety Vanilla Cake Mix
• 1x Chocolate Chip Cookies Pouch
• 1x Chocolate Fudge Brownies
• 5x Betty Crocker ‘Baking with Kids’ Recipe Cards
• 1x Campaign Guide (12-page)

For us to use and:

• 20x Activity Flyers
(to entertain the kids during the half-term holiday)
• 20x vouchers for £1 off all Betty Crocker products

For me to give away.

The boys decided that they want to bake the cookies first.

I thought I'd add some mini marshmallows and we got baking.

I followed the instructions and placed all the ingredients into our mixing bowl. I let the boys take it in turns to mix.

Next came the forming of the cookies - I chose the ball method and we flattened them slightly with the back of a fork.

I put them in the oven for slightly less than the suggested time as I wanted them to be soft and goey.

The results were indeed soft and goey and quite delicious if we say so ourselves ;)

The boys were very proud of their efforts and enjoyed tasting them, as did the two teenagers who unsurprisingly were no longer too busy - hmmmm

All in all it was a great baking time and the Brownies have been voted to be the next try out. I'll be sure to post when we bake them.

*** Please note that we were fortunate to receive the Betty Crocker package as part of a campaign. As always, my thoughts and opinions are honest and genuine (Not sure what protocol is but thought I'd add this in to keep all in the know xxx)

#FunToMakeUK  #TheInsidersUK

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Pescatarian Challenge

Hi there, I hope you are all well.

As you may know, I started a healthy lifestyle journey a little while after my healthy hair journey and have been doing quite well, I always look to push myself a bit harder and as I have mentioned a few (ok many) times, I love challenges to motivate and inspire me along my way.
For a long while I have been wanting to include more fish into my diet and I went through a time of only eating fish during the day and no meat.
I felt like I wanted to up it and remove all meats and poultry for 30 days so Pescatarian it was.

This was in July and I started my challenge in August. It was much easier than I thought and I got through August feeling great. I had a couple gatherings to attend including a BBQ (arggghhhh lol) but got by without too much longing for the yummy meat dishes.

The most difficult part of my challenge wasn't actually eliminating the meat/poultry or the cravings, it was purchasing ready made foods that were suitable for pescatarians and with no dairy added. I often just chose Vegetarian items but I noticed that these were often laden with cheese, milk and/or cream. I have often had to look for vegan foods to be "safe".

During August, my husband watched with interest as I did the challenge and the boys were very happy to taste my dishes. As August drew to a close, I thought about doing another 30 days and a friend who was going to join me at the start said she really wanted to try so I told her I'd go another month to keep her company The Hubster often spoke about how nice my meals looked and decided he wanted to try it also.
Now that was a big thing!! Hubby enjoys meat and loves chicken..... and that's an underestimation lol.
While I was happy for him to join me, I knew it would mean more work as I could just make do with whatever I had but for him I would have to prepare meals properly, that would mean two different meals and maybe three if his would contain dairy. I can have my meals with out fish at all, but I knew he wouldn't want that.

The second month for me was even easier and I have to admit I didn't miss meat and didn't crave chicken on a day to day basis. I missed certain dishes but I was fine. Hubby on the other hand found it very difficult bless him.

I tried to be creative with the meals but he really missed meat and chicken... A .... LOT!! He said I made it look easy LMBO!!! He found having me prepare his meals at home and sometimes his lunch was great but he found it hard to purchase food while out.

I am proud of his efforts and he did last the month.. hoorrahhhh!!! Now that he is able to eat meat and poultry, he has found that he chooses not to most days and that chicken tasted different to him.

I on the other hand have chosen to go another 30 days/month. I actually cannot believe I have gone 67 days being Pescatarian!!

I realise that I haven't posted about this whole thing on here till now...(oversight and busyness) But I plan on doing many more posts on my Pescatarian challenge with meals etc.

I would love to hear from any of you who have chosen to be Pescatarian or even Vegetarian (ooohh or Vegan) and your thoughts. Also if you have any meal ideas.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Review - Cool Breeze Aroma Diffuser

Hiya! I hope you had a great weekend.
I am still battling my allergies and now I have a 'detoxification' type thing going on from Oil Pulling which I started a couple of weeks ago (I'll be doing a post about it soon).

I have been using a few things to try and combat my symptoms, I received a Diffuser/humidifier to review last month and it came at the right time as my Hubby and eldest two were also suffereing from summer allergies and we all also had colds that made us feel horrible.

The Cool Breeze Aroma Diffuser is so cute. It has a dinosaur egg design that I find adorable, I love cutesy things so this is right up my street.

The lights change colour and you can leave it to run through the colour sequence or you can set it to stay on your desired colour. The way the lights are set out make them light up the room so nicely and reminds me of a light display myself and the kiddies had when younger.
My youngest can literally stare at it for ages when it's on.

The mist can be set to desired intensity.

The unit has a timer and auto shut off.

I put an oil blend to help the allergies and cold symptoms - Rosemary, Olbas, Peppermint and Frankincense. The blend really helped and smelled really nice too. I'd recommend you give this blend a try if like us you are feeling yucky.

A few blends to also try are:
Lemon and Rosemary - to freshen the room
Lavender and Rosemary - to freshen both room and my mood
Rose, Lemon and Frankincense - to uplift and give a lovely scent to room
Lemongrass and Cedarwood - for odour removal in the kitchen.

I am loving the diffuser so far.

I recorded an Unboxing and First Impression video:

**This is NOT a sponsored post, I was sent the Diffuser to review**

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Straight Hair - Using Beautiful Textures TMS

Hiya!! I know I promised to come back and do a follow up post to my Straight Hair Temptation post but time ran off as usual and I didn't get a chance.

I did however upload the video with a more in depth - read CHATTY - look at the TMS

You can see the Unboxing and Application here:

Here's the Blowdry, Straighten and the finished results:

I will be uploading a maintenance video soon. Bye for now xxx

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Review: Matcha Organics - Iced Almond Milk Matcha Latte

Hi everyone I hope you are doing well and enjoying the mild weather as we shift into Autumn.

The weather here is still warm for the most part and I have been enjoying iced beverages. I have been wanting to try Matcha Powder for ages but didn't get round to buying any so when I was asked to review some I jumped at the chance lol. I decided to try an Iced Latte and since I'm still having  dairy intolerance/allergy issues, I made it with some Almond Milk.

I have to admit, when the powder arrived, I was surprised at the size as I had seen big tubs in costco(well it's Costco after all lol) and this was a smallish pouch. I watched the video on their site and the lady explained how potent it was ans also gave some tips on how she liked to use it.

When I made a cup of Matcha Tea, I was actually shocked at the strength!! Potent is the word allright!

With this in mind, I decided to use less powder for my latte.

Almond Milk - I used Alpro unroasted, unsweetened
Matcha Powder.
Dairy Free Creamer - I used Walden Farms Calorie Free
Ice - lot's of it.

Pour some boiling water into a cup, add some Matcha and stir well.
Pour some Almond Milk in (I used it cold so it would cool down the Matcha so my glass didn't shatter when it had the ice in),
Stir, add a little non dairy creamer, stir again,
Place lots of ice into your glass (I used a bottle)  - about three quarters full - and poured the latte on top of the ice (if you are making your own iced beverage, please check temperature of latte as your glass may shatter/break it it's too hot when you pour onto the ice - a lesson I learned a while ago when making iced coffee).
I put a straw into my iced latte ( I love the paper ones) and gave it a stir as it can become watery on top - if you're not using a straw (why not? iced latte tastes so much better with a straw lol) then give it a stir.

 - Enjoy ;)

 **Please note this is NOT a sponsored post, I was sent the Matcha Powder to review, it is available    to buy Here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OJMI0CK
Download your Top 100 Matcha Recipes Here: www.matchaorganics.com/ebook

Saturday, 27 August 2016

90 Day Hair Growth Challenge round 2 - Starting Date

Hi Everyone, I hope you are all well.

Round 2 of our 90 Day Hair Growth Challenge is starting on Monday 29th August.

Here's the video with information about what I plan to be doing during the challenge and my starting length check.

Video's from the first challenge that you may be interested in:

First challenge video information:

First challenge final length check and why I stopped taking MSM:

First Challenge Playlist:

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Temptation Was Real - Straight Hair

straight hair up close

What can I say? The temptation to straighten my hair finally got the better of me. Butttt in my defence I have held out for nearly 2 years lol.

I had a Box of Beautiful Textures Naturally Straight Texture Manageability System sitting in my box for 2 years or so. I was too scared to use it after hearing/ watching horror stories of changed hair textures to damage. I have been asked about TMS systems in general and this one in particular and I always gave advice based on the research I had done and offered my box to two people for their daughters.
My poor box however went unclaimed and just sat there looking at me.

I had a wedding to go to of my two wonderful friends and had planned my outfit but was at a loss to the hairstyle, I had a few styles in mind but at the back of my mind an idea to break out the GHD's started to form and as the weeks got closer I was more and more tempted by the thought of straight hair.
I took my BT box out of hiding and Wahhhh!!! The box was squashed and the side had a big splotch mark on it, ugh something inside obviously leaked, I checked and it was the leave in and it felt like it was half gone.... I couldn't give it away now that the box was damaged and product half gone... That made my mind up about the straightening, I decided to try the TMS out as knew it would be a hot day plus I would be singing so humidity would be my enemy. I wanted all the help I could get and TMS is meant to have humidity defence.

Box crushed, open and damaged

I watched thousands (ok not quite but it was a lot) of videos, most were 2 years old as this was when it was released and there was big hype and prominent youtubers and bloggers were given boxes and attended special events etc. There were mixed reviews to be honest and I tried to get follow up posts and videos some did have them.... a couple scarily now had short hair after having to cut theirs due to heat damage (GAHHH) I did notice that these ladies used loads of heat at different times and had different treatments done so I decided to risk it,

I was very happy with the results, my hair was straight and flowy. I used to get straight results anyway but that was with relaxed and then transitioning hair. I wasn't sure how my natural hair would react to heat and as I wear it in it's curly state so much I know it had been "trained" to be curly.
straightened hair

It took quite a long time from start to finish but it was worth it.

Side Swoop (please excuse my expression lol)

The day of the wedding, I had a side swoop fringe/bang and put the rest up in a clippy updo type thing so the front puffed up by the end of the night. I was dancing a lot too at the reception so my edges frizzed up too (I didn't put too much heat on them in the first place though as I wanted to protect them) So I just put the front into two flat twists and clipped the back up again and kept it moving.

Please excuse picture quality, oh and my squinty face

It's now been 11 days since I straightened my hair and although my roots are slightly puffy in places and my edges have won the reversion battle, the length of my hair is still straight and that's where I feel the TMS has done it's part. I have been maintaining my straight hair and I'll do a separate post about that very soon.

I have been loving the quick styling and night time routine/ regime(men) that straight hair has given me and I can see why some choose to be "straight naturals" but I am all to aware of the dreaded heat damage.

I have to wash my hair today because my poor scalp is crying, I'm deliberating whether or not straighten my hair again, or maybe just blow dry it???. I'm curious to see how the system being in my hair will affect my wash and go's and may try it out..... hmmmmm decisions.....
From the instructions and reviews, blowdrying your hair is meant to be so much easier and your hair gets quite straight when using the maintenance products..... hmmmmmmm.

I actually can't decide lol. I'll be sure to let you know what I decided and also discuss how the maintenance products work/feel.

Have you tried this or any other TMS? How did it go? Are you thinking of trying one out?