Thursday, 16 November 2017

Homemade Jelly Sweets Recipe - feat. Titch & Cable*

I love sweet treats and chocolate and this time of the year it is hard to avoid the temptation. With Christmas right around the corner I have been looking at healthier alternative ways to get my sugar fix in and this is where my homemade jelly sweets came into play. I have been making these ‘sweets’ for a while now and they are fantastic if you want to save some calories (and your teeth!). Being on slimming world, this is a recipe that I have discovered over the years and tweaked to make delicious chewy sweets, keep reading to find out more.

I recently found out about a new company called Titch & Cable and I was surprised at the wonderful range of items available on their website. I found this mini jelly baby mould for just £7.95 and I knew it would be absolutely perfect for my homemade sweets, as well as lots of other things such as homemade chocolates and funky ice cubes that I know will be loved by people of all ages. The mould is made from a high grade silicone and is oven, freezer and microwave safe. My order arrived via DPD which is great for me as they text you when your parcel is going to be delivered so if you’re not going to be there you can then choose to have it delivered to a neighbour or DPD pickup point. Spend over £60 and next working day delivery is free if you’re in the UK.

2 Sachets of Sugar Free Jelly Powder
2 Sachets of Powdered Gelatin (Vegetarian alternative can also be used)
1 Muller Light Yoghurt
½ Pint of Boiling Water
Silicone Mould

Firstly add the gelatin powder and the jelly crystals to the boiling water and stir well. Pour half of this mixture into your silicone mould and pop in the fridge to set until firm. I usually give it an hour.

Once the first part has set, mix the remaining jelly/gelatin mix with your muller light and then pour this into your mould on top of the jelly. Pop back in the fridge to completely set. Once set you can then take these out of the mould. As the mould is silicone, the sweets are really easy to remove without altering them in any way. I couldn’t believe how perfect they came out. I used to put the mixture into a pyrex dish and then cut into squares which was so messy, however my new mould has been amazing and there was a lot less cleaning to do.

This whole serving made a total of 24 sweets and works out at just 3 syns for a batch (if following slimming world) or less than 250 calories for the lot. They last in the fridge for up to a week if you haven’t eaten them all by then of course.

Titch & Cable are passionate about providing their customers with a good experience and choose the suppliers that they partner with carefully to ensure products are ethically sourced. I thought the prices of the products were very reasonable and if you’re looking for a great Christmas gift there is something for everyone from kitchenware, tableware, linen and gifts. I think another amazing thing about this company is that they have partnered with Compassion, a Christian child development organisation. A portion of their profits are helping to build kitchens in Sri Lanka, ensuring children have safe, nutritious meals.

Overall, these sweets went down a storm with everyone who tried them and I cannot wait to whip up another batch. I am going to try chocolates next so keep an eye out for a future post on those. If you’d like to find out more about the products available from Titch & Cable, head over to their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

*I received this item free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

Monday, 13 November 2017

We Are Tea - Review*

Anyone that knows me well or reads my blog knows that I am a lover of all different kinds of tea. Whether that be black tea, earl grey or green – I am happy to try any new flavours that I come across. I was recently contacted by a brand called We Are Tea, who asked me if I wanted to try out some of their teas, of course I was happy to oblige.

We Are Tea are an independent award winning tea company based in Ladbroke Grove. This ethical company was set up by a husband and wife team Spence and Suzy. Their philosophy is simple, to ethically source exceptional whole leaf teas and hand pack them here in the UK. They focus on design, innovation and collaborations to bring their tea to a new range of people. They even created a bespoke blend for their chari-tea partner, Contact the Elderly. 

I was lucky enough to receive some boxes of Sencha Green Tea and Earl Grey Supreme Black Tea. These boxes of 15 are a reasonable £2.99 each. I love green tea so I was keen to try this one out first. I was really impressed by the quality of the teabag for a start which is made from biodegradable corn starch, and this brewed up like a dream. You can also buy this in loose leaf if you prefer. The Green Tea is full of super antioxidants so you feel really good drinking this. It's smooth and has a delicious flavour to it. This green leaf from the Anhui Province of Eastern China is a store-cupboard essential in my opinion. 

I also received a few different samples so it would have been rude not to try them out. The Sleep Super Tea intrigued me the most and as I sometimes have trouble falling asleep I thought I would give this one a go. This ultimate night time blend contains chamomile, lavender, rose and holy basil. Combined, all of these ingredients are the perfect combination for a great nights sleep. I felt calm and relaxed after drinking this and it even helped to aid my digestion so I could sleep comfortably. I also found the chamomile and peppermint teas were great ones to have before bed as well as I felt relaxed and calm. There isn't anything a good brew can't fix.

Finally, I tried out the Earl Grey Supreme Black tea, which also comes in loose form if you prefer. The aroma is gorgeous, I love Earl Grey and this one from We are Tea did not disappoint. It has actually received 4 great taste awards so you know it's going to be tasty. Milk is optional but I prefer to take this tea black, and really appreciate all of the amazing flavours such as Keemun, Darjeeling, Ceylon & Assam.

If you’d like more information, or to try some of these teas for yourself then please head over to the We Are Tea website. They offer free UK delivery on orders over £20. In addition to independent retailers, find these teas in Morrison’s, Holland & Barret and Ocado.

If you're a tea lover, or know someone who is then I highly recommend this brand. The boxes would be ideal for hampers or stocking fillers this Christmas. I also enjoyed taking the Tea Consultation to see which tea would suit me best, so feel free to find out what your perfect tea would be!

*I received these items in exchange for review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Five First Date Ideas on a Budget*

Dating can be expensive and when you first meet someone, you may not want to commit to spending a lot of money in case things don’t work out. I have come up with five ideas for dates that won’t break the bank, but at the same time give you the opportunity to really get to know someone. You never know, it could lead to extravagant meals in nice restaurants, but whilst starting out there is no harm in doing it on a budget.

Home Movie Night
I know it may seem a bit strange on a first date to invite someone round to your home, but some people may be comfortable with this. If you wanted a casual opportunity to “get to know someone” then why not invite them over for a home movie night. Get some popcorn in, maybe cook some nachos and stick Netflix on. You don’t have to spend a lot and you also don’t have to sit in silence like you would if you went to the cinema. You may also feel more relaxed in your own environment.

Games Night
Similar to hosting a movie night, you could also host a games night. You really get to know someone over a game of Monopoly – this is when true emotions are really shown. It can be a fun way to lighten the mood and if you’re nervous or run out of conversation you always have the games to talk about and keep you going. Ask your date to bring over any games they have, it could be a chance to get nostalgic with old favourites such as Jenga or Snakes and Ladders. Make it interesting by turning them into drinking games, loser takes a shot.

Walk in the Park
You don’t have to spend any money to go for a walk and if it’s the right time of year, a trip to the local park can make for a nice first date location. Choose a central location and meet up for a walk and maybe a take-away coffee. This is also a great idea for dog owners as you can get to know someone whilst also seeing what your dog thinks of them. Dogs always seem to be able to judge character I am sure of it. If you live near the coast, the beach is also a good option. A portion of chips and an ice-cream will cost you about £5 and you’ll benefit from the fresh sea breeze.

Pubs with Extras
The pub can make for a great first date location due to the atmosphere and the flowing drinks you’re bound to avoid any awkward silences. Choose a pub that has some extra facilities, perhaps a pool table or darts. You can then add a bit more fun to your date and also get a feel for how competitive they are. It’ll also help settle any first date nerves and help you to pace out those drinks so you don’t make a fool of yourself.

As strange as it sounds, I recently went to bingo and had an amazing time. It cost me less than £10 for my game and meal with a drink. You can get to know one another between games and generally have a good laugh. You may even win something which would be an added bonus! I didn’t win anything when I went but we still had a great time and a few hours’ worth of chatting can be just what the doctor ordered!

If you want to try some of these ideas out and want to go on some dates then why not visit senior dating. The great thing about these date ideas is that you can do them regardless of where you live including Aberdeen dating and Hampshire dating. There are some lovely pubs in Kent if you fancy Kent dating and for the perfect beach date why not try Norfolk dating.

What have you got to lose?

*Sponsored Post

Monday, 6 November 2017

English Provender Co.'s Cheese-Board-Tastic Chutneys Review*

The nights are drawing in and I can’t help but start to feel a bit festive. Christmas is my favourite time of year and I love everything about it from the crisp air to the pretty lights and especially the food. My Christmas eve revolves around food and I love putting on a big buffet to feed the family. One of the things that always makes the list is a cheese board, which everyone loves.

With just 7 weeks until Christmas, The English Provender Co have kindly sent me some of their new range of chutneys and pickles, an ideal pairing for my cheese board! I can confirm they were all absolutely delicious! I’ll definitely be serving these alongside my festive spread.

The range has undergone a bit of a makeover and I love the new packaging. The stunning watercolour labels are vibrant and each jar looks great with my cheeseboard or even wrapped up as a gift for someone this Christmas. I received three flavours, all of which I had to try out just to test them of course.

First up was the Caramelised Red Onion Chutney which I thought was going to be my favourite as it is definitely one I have tried before. This is best paired with a strong cheese like a mature Cheddar or something like Stilton. I personally love having this with a bit of Brie, on something toasted. I tried this on a toasted wholemeal bagel and my goodness, with the Brie it was absolutely amazing. The sweetness of the chutney paired so well with the cheese and I highly recommend you give it a go.

I also received the Sweet Tomato and Chilli Chutney which was also really good. The sweetness balanced with a bit of a kick from the chilli was a great combination. This is best paired with a mild Cheddar or a smoked log cheese. It would also be really good with Red Leicester and I think would be nice on crackers.

Finally, I received the Plum and Bramley Apple Chutney which in the end turned out to be my favourite, which did surprise me. This was really sweet and is best paired with Brie and other soft cheeses. I actually had this with some Wensleydale with cranberries and it was amazing. It tasted like the sort of cheese and chutney combo you would want to get on a cheeseboard for dessert as it was a real sweet treat.

Overall I really enjoyed giving these chutneys a try, they have really added a bit of zing to my cheeseboard and I know they’re going to go down a treat at Christmas. Know a cheese lover? I think these would make the perfect stocking filler! What do you think?

For more information head over to the English Provender Website.

*I received these items free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide - Collaboration with Contrado*

Ever wanted to create your own Christmas jumper or garment? Looking for a gift that would suit those who “have it all”? When I was contacted by the company Contrado, I was intrigued as to what they had to offer. The company Contrado is a creative customised printing company that collaborates with artists and designers.

I went on the website and saw that you can literally design and customise almost everything. From pyjamas to hoodies, jackets and leggings as well as home ware items such as tea towels. I thought it would be quite apt to design a Christmas jumper seeing as this product was going to be shown off in my Christmas Gift Guide. Contrado are experts at printing, especially on fabrics. I loaded up the website and couldn’t believe how easy it was to choose a design. You could change the colour of the arms, front and back of the jumper with ease. There was an option to add text, clipart or your own images to the garment.

Their products are sustainable and do not print using water. I decided to design my jumper using Photoshop. I simply cut out photos of my cat, added Christmas hats, snowflakes and then made sure the background colour matched the colour I had chosen for the jumper on the website then saved this as a JPG file. I then added the image to the jumper and cropped it to make sure it fit on the front. It looked amazing on the website when it was designed. This cost just over £50. When the jumper arrived, I was nervous to open it. I had hoped it met my expectations after seeing the preview on the website.

I needn't have worried as the jumper was even better than I expected. I have received many compliments on the jumper and when people realise it is actually my very own cat on the front they can't quite believe it! I have even had people say they want their own ones done with their pets! If you too are intrigued by what fantastic gifts you can create, head over to Contrado - you won't regret it!

*I received this item free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

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