Thursday, 26 March 2015

Review: March's Degustabox

This month's box was filled with lots of exciting products.. I say exciting because the majority were naughty foods, or foods that had flavours that sounded so yummy and completely up my street!

Lets take a closer look...

Jordan's 'Lighter' Granola (Strawberry & Blueberry) £3.69
First of all, Degusta must have read my mind. I only went food shopping last night and didn't pick up any cereal. I love Jordan's, and I love granola too, especially when mixed with a nice natural or fruity yogurt. This strawberry and blueberry flavor intrigues me as well!

Nativa Sweetner £2
This 100% naturally sourced alternative to artificial sweetner is right up my street seeing as though I'm on SW. I don't often have hot drinks but when I do I'm a pain for putting 2 1/2 sugars in, so this will help me to be a little more healthier. The sugar is in separate sachets (like you'd get in a café). There are only 10 sachets in here and 1 sachet = 1 teaspoon so unfortunately I don't think these will last me too long.

Kent's Kitchen 'Posh Noodles' £1.75
These low fat noodles are perfect for on the go. The flavor is spicy Szechuan so I can't wait to try a new flavor out. They only require hot water so are perfect for work.

Crabbies Fruit (alcohol) in Raspberry &Rhubarb, and Black Cherry - £1.50 each
Firstly, anything with Rhubarb in makes my ears prick up. I love the stuff. These flavours remind me how close summer is and I think they would be perfect ice cold, sat in the garden on a summers day... although I'm not sure I can wait that long to try!

Juiceburst (in Mango & Lime, and Cranberry) £1.25 each
I love fruit drinks. I live off these kinda fluids so I was pretty excited when I saw these, especially a drink with mango in (one of my fave fruits!). I'll be taking these to work with me to keep me hydrated throughout the day.

BBQUE - £3.99
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the uniqueness and quality of this bottle.. especially because its a sauce as well! I love BBQ sauce and yet again, only decided last night that we need some more and then this landed on my doorstep today. perfect timing! Because this doesn't have preservatives it has a fairly short life-span of only 3 months, although I'm sure due to the lack of preservatives this stuff is going to taste amazing! Best get dipping!

Brioche Pasquier Baked Bread Bites - 50p each
When I first opened my box, I ate a packet of these first. They reminded me BBQ/bacon flavoured croutons. Very nice for a quick snack and a great alternative to crisps.

Bassetts Jelly Babies berry mix - £1.48
When I first saw these I was beginning to wonder why a packet of jelly babies were included in this months box, after all, these have been around for years and years. Then I looked closer and realized they have released a new pack that is full with just the popular flavours of jelly babies (Blackcurrant, raspberry and strawberry). I'm not a huge fan of jelly babies but I thought this was a perfect idea and think they should do this with more sweets (fruit pastilles and wine gums, I'm looking at you!).

Lindor Assorted Mini Eggs £2 each
Degustabox were nice enough to include a few easter related items, and what better way to celebrate than with Lindt. This brand has got to be one of my favourite in terms of chocolate. The packs are full of dark, milk and white chocolate eggs, filled with that creamy lindor goodness that melts in your mouth every time.

Maynards Sour Patch - £1
I'm sure these have been around a while now, but nonetheless, everyone loves a sweet and sour sweet! Perfect for that sugar fix!

A perfect box for March and one I can't wait to try the products from.

For those that don't know, Degustabox is a monthly food subscription box delivered to your door. You receive 10-12 items and it allows you to maybe be a little more adventurous and try something out of your comfort zone... you never know, you maybe surprised! Not only that, but how exciting is it to receive a box full of unknown food to your door every month?! I get more excited about this than my beauty subscription!

Degustabox is £12.99 (inc P&P), however I have a £3 discount code that you can use at checkout to get your box for just £10! Code - TETO2


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

February's Degustabox

This blog post seems to have slipped the net - I honestly thought I'd wrote it .. I think those blogging fairies stole it in the night!

Anyway! For those of you that aren't regular readers of mine and have no idea what Degustabox is - It's a monthly subscription box that is delivered to your door, full of food! It allows you to sample the latest foods on the market and try things that maybe you wouldn't have purchased on your average weekly shop - I am definitely adventurous when it comes to food, and I'm not scared of saying 'yes' to new things,  however I know a lot of people are, so this may be a great box to help you step outside your comfort zone in regards to food..

I was massively impressed with Februarys Box. Probably because I was drawn to the naughty foods more than anything!

Lets take a closer look...

Shwartz Flavour Shots (in Spanish Paella & Indian Mild Masala Curry) - £1.40 each
 I'm going to be honest - These are getting a little bit repetitive now. Flavouring chicken and dishes is all well and good but when you start to see it in ever other box it gets a little bit tiresome. They are really convenient and add great taste so thumbs up to Schwartz, but thumbs down to Degusta for continuing to include them in our boxes!

Peanut Hottie Hot Drink - £3
Ahh I was so excited when I saw this - I've seen it doing the rounds on a few people's instagrams and it sounded like my ideal drink - I love anything associated with peanut butter, so I couldn't wait to give this a whirl. Although it tasted great (and definitely reminded me of Reece's pieces!) it was a little on the 'thin'/watery side in terms of consistency so the texture wasn't doing it for me. I may try add milk next time and see if that thickens it up a little.

Melba Thins - £1.39
I've had something very similar before and I find them really hard to work with in terms of filling, because they are so tiny you can only work with certain things... They are a good alternative to bread but I can't say I'd repurchase these.

Jack Links Beef Jerky - £1.39
I don't know if I've ever had proper beef jerky before - I always see it in the supermarkets and get a little intrigued. I ate this and I don't think I'd repurchase - it's not my ideal snack at all.

Beet It - £1.85 each
These sports bars are meant to lower blood pressure and improve sports performance. I think it recommended eating 2 hrs before a work out, which is what I did before I went to the gym. It looks like red flapjack in appearance, however I couldn't hack the taste of this unfortunately. After a few seconds the beetroot flavor really kicked in and definitely didn't tickle my tastebuds! I'm not one for protein based foods so I should have known really...

Laimon Fresh - £1.99
This is one of the first things I ate/drank from this box, and it didn't disappoint. It reminded me of a mint (non-alcoholic) mojito I had in Florida once. So freshing, a gorgeous mixture of lemon, lime and mint, and had a gorgeous almost menthol sensation going on at the back of the throat, but a pleasant one. Although I think for £1.99 this is a little over-priced. Albeit the price, I would definitely repurchase this.

Whole Earth Peanut Butter - £3.19
This is a different take on peanut butter, this time with sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds... I've tried this both alone and in a smoothie and to be honest I'm not overly keen, I much prefer original crunchy peanut butter!

Lily O'Brien's Cocoa Cookie Crunch - £2.60
Oh.My.God - These were SO good! Bite size pieces of gorgeous tasting chocolate.. I allowed Mike to have 2 of these and the rest? I devoured them myself within an hour. Oops. So moreish, leaving you wanting more and more!

American Muffin Company Chocolate Brownie Bites (Gluten and Wheat Free) - £2.50
These are really convenient to sling in your lunch box for work. All individually wrapped and the perfect size. Unfortunately, probably due to them being gluten and wheat free, although the taste was ok, it wasn't as good as I was hoping. Although if I ever did have to buy gluten/wheat free products in the future for myself (although touch wood I don't!) I'm sure I'd be very grateful for these giving me a chocolate fix! But for now, its all full-fat dairy please!


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Review: Appleyard London Flowers

Mothers day is only a few days away now and if you're anything like me you ejoy treating your mum as much as you can... my mum has 2 sons as well as a partner and I'm sure they'd be the first to admit that they don't put much thought into my mum's presents at all, so I often feel like it's down to me to make up for it.

I know flowers for Mothers Day is such a cliché item to buy, but spring is on its way,  and there's nothing like a fresh bunch of flowers sat in your home to welcome the change of season... even better if they arrive unexpectedly through the post!

Appleyard London have the most beautiful bunches of luxurious  flowers for all occasions, all of which are in a relatively affordable price range.  Appleyard have worked alongside well known companies such as Vogue and Bazaar, so this alone tells you the quality of the flowers.

I chose the 'Liberty' bouquet and requested the day in which I wanted them to arrive. They didn't disappoint, arriving well packaged in a huge box,  along with a water tub to keep them hydrated on their journey as well as the complimentary food solution to keep the flowers maintained.

The bouquet was beautiful, a good variation of flowers and colours to make them eye catching.  Unfortunately the lilies were a little slow blossoming despite me moving them into several positions throughout the house to catch some light.  By the time these began to open, the other flowers were looking a little worse for wear.  I simply discarded the wilted flowers but kept the lilies in a smaller jar to enjoy their presence and gorgeous smell a while longer. I've had the lilies 9 days now and they are still going strong.
Appleyard is a company I had previously been unaware of but now having worked with them I'll definitely be returning in the future!
If you want to surprise someone with a gorgeous flower delivery or treat your mum with some Mother's Day flowers or you've simply forgotten a special occasion or feel like someone's day needs brightening up, order some 'next day' flowers - place an order by 7pm and you will have a pretty bunch of flowers winging it's way to someone the very next day! All flowers via the post are free P&P, so no need to worry about any hidden costs!
If you've already got someone in mind that needs treating, perfect! I have a huge discount code for you! Use BLOG40 at the checkout and this will entitle you to 40% off all luxury bouquets (this excludes the 'flowers by post' range).

Whose day are you going to brighten?!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Exante Diet - Review

Never heard of the Exante Diet before?


Sunday, 1 March 2015

My Slimming World Journey - 2 Months In

It's that time again! My monthly SW overview!

Weight Loss/Gain

Week 1: Unfortunately this week I had transport issues so was unable to get to Slimming World. I was a bit gutted because 1. I have paid 6 weeks upfront so I technically paid for a session without attending. And 2 - I felt like my mission had been interrupted and it was out of my control. However, this week was 'Star Week' (that time of the month!) so I wasn't expecting a huge loss anyway (if anything!).
Week 2: -1.5 lbs
Week 3: Maintained
Week 4: -- Did not Attend

Total weightloss from start = 10lbs


Week one  Considering this was star week, I felt like I took good control over it. At Slimming World, they expect women to have the 'munchies' over star week - I can't say I've ever over-ate during this time of the month, but then because I always used to overeat no matter what time of the month, it was probably never distinguishable. I did feel however that I was slowly letting things slip. I was still sticking to my HEX B's for breakfast, and my free foods etc, but I was pushing it a little regarding the syns. Lunchtimes at work I noticed I was still feeling hungry after my fruit, so I'd have a Go Ahead bar (which needs to be syned), but instead of just having one, I'd then go back and have another. I never went massively over the top but I knew on a few days I definitely went over my daily allowance. I had another meal out this week but I chose wisely, and went with a jacket potato with chicken and BBQ bacon topping. The only 'syn-able' item on my plate was the BBQ sauce, so all was good. I also baked my first SW pudding - a carrot cake (see photos below) - It was actually really tasty and so moist - it kept for days and even Mike liked it.. bonus!
Week Two My first weigh in of the month and I'd lost 1.5lb in 2 weeks, so it's quite clear my weight loss is beginning to plateau due to lack of exercise, that along with letting things slip a little. This week I did however refuse a good ol' 'chippy from the chip shop. It was also Valentines day so ...... After my weigh in, knowing I had 2 weeks to lose 4lb in order to receive my 'prize' from Mike for reaching a stone (10 Lush bath bombs!) I tried a little harder than I had the previous week or so.
Week Three  As the weeks pass by in February I'm noticing I'm putting less and less effort into this whole weight loss thing. I have good and bad days. I'm not going massively over the top and I am still at the point of saying no to naughty take-away foods (i.e. chip shop chips, McDonalds etc), but regarding my syns, I'm not obsessively counting them.. I take a vague guess in my head, and I do attempt to stop when I think I'm at my limit however some days I just think 'stuff it'. I've noticed that I've been really hungry this week, which isn't good. I was that hungry at work a few days ago that I couldn't bare to just eat the fruit that I had bought with me that day, so I went to a supermarket and purchased a sandwich with a naughty filling, a Cadbury's crème egg and a giant bag of wotsits. Guilt then kicks in so I try and have a really good tea and then do some exercise. I haven't had a meal plan set up for the past 2 weeks which hasn't done me any favours, so I'm cooking things off the top of my head as soon as I get in from work, and that's where it starts to go wrong, so I know I need to go right back to basics next week and get all my SW books out and make sure I'm doing this properly.
Week Four I feel like this week has gone completely out the window in terms of SW. For the most part, I'm ok at lunch time because I bring my meals to work with me and if I do have to go to the shop for lunch, I've trained myself to buy fruit. However! I also got back on plan with a tea time schedule, and went back to basics and cooked a few SW meals from scratch, something that I had noticed that I had stopped doing. However a few days ago I got in from work and really didn't want to cook the tea I had planned, so I pigged out and went over my syns by quite a lot, simply because I was starving. I also went out for tea last night, and although I picked a healthy option, I also had a pudding and also a naughty treat at the cinema afterwards. However on the flip side, I have joined a gym! I have been against joining a gym because I didn't want to waste my money because I feel like I can do exercise at home. However my dad (of all people!) has been really insistent on joining a gym (he travels a lot so when he's back in the country I think he wants to keep fit) - Long story short - because he wouldn't let it drop, I ended up being talked into going. I'm about to go tonight for the 3rd time in less than a week, and I'm burning off approximately 250-300 kcals per session, so I'm good with that. Hopefully this will counteract all the naughty foods that I've been eating!

Meal Inspiration     - Here's some of what I've been eating this month...

Clockwise from top left - SW Carrot Cake - Fruit Salad at work - Jacket Potato with a chicken and bacon BBQ topping (stole this idea from a restaurant and tasted so good!) - One of my HEX B's - SW Caribbean Pepperpot Stew (This was also v.tasty).

Overall Thoughts/What I've Learnt

This month has been a lot harder than last month. My willpower is starting to slip in places, and by not cooking SW meals for nearly 2 weeks running, I've noticed it in the fact that my weight has maintained. However when I do cook SW meals from scratch, they've become a lot easier and less time consuming - practice makes perfect! In the last week of this month I took it upon myself not to attend my SW group, simply because I got on my own scales and knew that I had maintained, so I saw it as a waste of money. However I think a bit of this has something to do with the fact that I no longer go to group with my friend (basically she wasn't in the right frame of mind to do SW so quit). On a positive note, I've joined a gym - something which has never really interested me - I've been to gyms on and off for the past 6yrs and I'm never dedicated enough however because the gym I go to is huge and really laid back it encourages me to go (not to mention my dad who is pestering me to go every other day!). I'm trying not to set myself targets anymore because 90% of the time I never achieve them in regards to weight loss, however I will set myself a smaller and a lot more achievable target of wanting to have lost 1 stone by the end of March. I have a family party in a few weeks so that is this month's aim.

SW Journey 1 month in

Any Slimming Worlder's out there?! Get in touch or follow me on Instagram! - @kateld85
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