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I shower every day using shower gel but I am not loyal to a specific brand. On a recent shopping trip to Tesco they had a variety of there own brand shower gels reduced to clear so I took advantage and purchased a few including the Tesco wake up shower creme in the Mexican Lime fragrance.
I paid just 49p for a 250ml bottle of the shower gel which I thought was excellent value.
The shower gel comes packaged in a clear plastic top down bottle allowing you to see the bright green shower gel inside. There are labels on the front and back of the bottle which provides all the necessary information about the shower gel including ingredients listings and directions for use. It also states that the shower gel contains essential oils and is not tested on animals.
I would say that the shower gel is more of a gel than a creme as described. It has quite a thick consistency but is easy to dispense from the bottle by opening the flip top cap and squeezing. I used this shower gel on a body puff and found that I only needed a small amount to get a lovely lather. The gel smells fresh, zesty and gorgeous and really helped to wake me up in the mornings. My skin was also left feeling refreshed but also soft and smooth with a slight hint of the lime fragrance left lingering.
Overall I have been very impressed with this shower gel it leave my skin feeling great has lovely fragrance and was an extremely good price. Highly recommended.
I love fizzy drinks but try not to drink them all the time so I will often drink sparkling water instead to try and trick myself. One sparkling water that I often purchase is the Highland Spring one as it seems to be widely available in the small 500ml bottles.
I purchased my last 500ml bottle of the Highland Spring sparkling water from my local Tesco Express for 49p. This water is also available in large 2 litre bottles from all major supermarkets priced at around £ per bottle.
This water comes packaged in a transparent green bottle with screw top lid. The water is described as carbonated spring water and originates from the Ochil Hills in Perthshire.
You do need to be careful when opening this water as it is very fizzy and I have had a couple of spraying bottles in the past. The water is a little gassy but I really enjoy it as it has a nice clean taste and is refreshing when served cold. Also with it being spring water rather than mineral water I do not find that you get that chemically aftertaste. This water is also fantastic to add sugar free cordial too as then you certainly get the feeling that you are having a fizzy drink without the guilt of the sugar content.
Overall I have been impressed with this sparkling water, it's fairly good value for money, tastes good and allows me to enjoy a bit of fizz without the calories.
Since I have had a cat my home looks more like I have a child with toys littered around for her entertainment. In fact my cat seemed to be taking over my home including one of my kitchen draws for her food and treats but I recently came across this cute treat tin in my local B&M store.
I paid just £2.99 for this tin which is brown and cream in colour and made of metal with a hinged flip top lid and is decorated with little paw prints on the front and the slogan 'keep your paws off'.
I use this tin to keep all of my cats treats in to have them all stored in one place and to keep them nice and fresh. I do not empty the treats into the tin but keep them in there packets to prevent them from getting mixed up or the tin corroding inside. The tin is large enough to store several packets of treats in at once which I do as I like to give my cat a variety to prevent boredom.
So far I have been impressed with the tin as not only does it keep all of the treats together it also doesn't look out of place displayed in my kitchen for easy access to the always eagerly anticipated treat time for my cat! In fact Tinkerbell loves the tin so much I will often find her pawing it and miaowing at it to remind me that what is inside should be in her tummy!
I love cheese and not only eat it but cook with it frequently. Here are my two most made cheese recipes...
Cheese and Potato Pie
5 large potatoes
300g cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon English mustard powder
Splash of milk
1. Boil potatoes until soft then mash with the butter, mustard powder and as much milk as required to get a nice consistency.
2. Stir in 250g of the cheese.
3. Place mixture into a deep oven proof dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
4. Place in the oven and bake until lightly golden and hot.
Serve with sausages and baked beans for a simple, comforting dinner.
225g self raising flour
50g cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon English mustard powder
Pinch of salt
1. Pre heat oven to 220C or Gas Mark 7.
2. Add flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in 1oz of the cheese.
4. Add the milk retaining a little and use your hands to bring the mixture into a ball of dough.
5. Place the mixture onto a floured surface and roll out to around 2cm in thickness. Using a round cutter, cut out as many scone as possible and place onto a greased baking tray. Repeat rolling out the mixture until it has all been used.
6. Using the remaining milk brush it over the tops of the scones and sprinkle a little of the remaining cheese onto the top of each scone.
7. Bake for around 10-15 minutes until the scones sound hollow when tapped on the bottom then leave on a wire rack to cool
Serve sliced I half with just butter or add some ham or smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Like most people I love the food that is bad for me and this includes cheese! When I was growing up the only cheese I can ever remember eating was cheddar or occasionally a little red Leicester and at Christmas dad would have some stinking stilton! But now I am an adult and more adventurous with my food I have had the chance to try many different cheeses. Here are my favourite world cheeses:
Feta – I fell in love with Feta cheese on my first visit to Greece around 10 years ago. It is a crumbly cheese originating from Greece made from sheep’s milk and has a salty taste. My favourite way to eat this cheese is in a simple Greek salad.
Halloumi – This is a cheese I have most recently become familiar with and one that again is from Greece although also very popular in Turkey and Cyprus. This is quite a hard cheese and also has a salty taste but has a high melting point so is perfect to grill or fry. I especially enjoy this cheese grilled on grilled vegetable scewers.
Mozzarella – A very delicately flavoured cheese originating in Italy. This cheese is most commonly used for topping pizzas but also makes an excellent addition to a salad or with tomatoes on bruchetta.
Brie – Originating from France this is a soft cheese covered in a edible rind. This cheese is tasty eaten as it is, added to salads or baked in the oven and used as a dipping cheese.
Camembert – Another soft cheese from France slightly similar to Brie but normally a slightly stronger taste. This cheese normally comes in small wheel which again can be eaten alone or baked in the oven to use as a dip.
I love vegetables and will eat any. I do a lot of cooking from scratch and will always try and incorporate some vegetable into my main meal whether this is including in the recipe of as a side dish. One of my favourite vegetables although it is one hated by many is the good old Brussel sprout. I love them whether they are incorporated into a recipe or just boiled and served plain I think they are yummy. But one of my favourite things to do with Brussels is to make bubble and squeak with them which is perfect if you have left over sprouts especially at Christmas.
Potatoes peeled and chopped
Boiled or left over cooked Brussel sprouts
Salt & Pepper
1. Boil the potatoes until soft and mash with a little added salt and pepper (they don’t have to be extra smooth and no need to add butter or milk).
2. Chop the onion and bacon into small pieces and add to a pan with a little butter to cook.
3. Break up the boiled or left over sprouts and add into the mash with the onion and bacon and mix.
4. Shape the mixture into round patties and dip into a little flour.
5. Fry the patties in the same pan the bacon and onion was cooked in (you may need to add a little oil) until golden brown and heated through as this will give the bubble and squeak a lovely flavour.
I love bubble and squeak and remember my mum always making it after Christmas and serving it with the leftover meats and pickles. It is a lovely comfort food, a great way to use up leftover sprouts and is very yummy. I also like to serve it with pork and cider sauce. You can also use cabbage or half cabbage and half brussles or add other vegetables such as broccoli or carrots for a change and for vegetarians just omit the bacon as this is
I used to bake frequently with my mother when I was a child and one of the first things that I remember baking was flapjacks. Basic flapjacks are very easy to make and quite cheap as they only take a few basic ingredients but the recipe can be adapted to making all different flavour combinations.
800 kg porridge oats
200g cornflakes crushed
450g golden syrup
500g soft brown sugar
1. Pre heat oven to 160C or Gas mark 3, grease and line a baking tray.
2. Place the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a pan and heat gently until melted.
3. Place the oats and crushed corn flakes into a bowl, pour over the heated butter mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are evenly coated.
4. Pour mixture into the baking tray and spread out evenly. Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes.
5. The flapjacks will appear to be very soft when taken out of the oven but this is right and they should be covered and left to fully cool before being removed from the pan.
6. Once fully cooled the flapjacks can be cut into squares.
I love to add dried fruit to these flapjacks apricots or sultanas and glazed cherries work really well. You can also add chopped nuts, chocolate chips or even top the flapjacks in chocolate once cooled for a more indulgent treat. The addition of the cornflakes makes the flapjacks a little crunchy which I love but for a softer bake you can replace the cornflakes with more oats, either way they are delicious.
I love fruit and also enjoy drinking fruit juices and will occasionally make my own smoothies. In fact 4 years ago I made a lot of smoothies after I underwent jaw surgery and had to have a liquid diet for 6 weeks. Over that time I managed to come up with different smoothie flavour combinations and these were my favourites:
Strawberry & Banana
Mango & Banana
Half a bag frozen mixed berries
Pineapple fresh or tinned
Pineapple fresh or tinned
To make all of these smoothies you simply need to prepare the fruit by removing any skins or stones and blend the ingredients together for a few seconds in a blender. You can experiment with all different flavour combinations and use both fresh, tinned and frozen fruits or even vegetables like in the Green smoothie. To keep costs down for smoothies as soft fruits especially can be expensive I try and buy reduced fruit in the supermarkets as it is better to use very ripe fruit as it is easier to blend so making your own can be far cheaper than going to a trendy smoothie bar but just as nutritious.
Smoothies are also a great way of getting essential vitamins and nutrients but I am careful now to only drink them a couple of times per week as they also contain a large amount of natural sugars which are not so good for your teeth.
One thing you will always find in my bathroom and kitchen is a bottle of antibacterial handwash as I like to keep germs at bay. I am not brand loyal at all to a particular handwash but like to find one that has good germ killing properties and is good value for money. Therefore my last purchase was of the Palmolive hygiene-plus fresh handwash.
I paid just £1.00 for a 300ml bottle of the handwash from my local Tesco store where it was on special offer.
The handwash comes packaged in a clear pump action bottle allowing you to see the blue liquid handwash inside. It is very easy to dispense by pressing the pump which gives a blob of the soap perfect for washing your hands. There are no directions for use on the bottle but I think this is pretty self explanatory.
I have used this handwash frequently for the last 2/3 weeks and have been very impressed with it. Not only does it clean my hands thoroughly but also leaves them smelling lovely and fresh. I cannot obviously see if the anti-bacterial action works but have to take this for granted and trust that the product does what it states it does as I use this in my bathroom and in my kitchen to wash my hands before and during cooking.
Overall I have been impressed with this hand wash it cleans my hands well, leaves them smelling and feeling fresh. I have also had no skin irritation and my hand feel soft after use. I would certainly recommend this hand wash and would purchase again especially if it was on special offer as it makes it excellent value.
I do have quite a sweet tooth and I love chocolate, whether it is milk, dark or white I am just not fussy at all. There is always some form of chocolate in my home as I keep a draw in the kitchen especially for it.
On a day to day basis I tend to eat chocolate bars which there are many and non that I do not really like. This can be a mars, Cadbury or nestle chocolate bar as I will purchase what ever is on offer and class these as every day eating bars. But when I am feeling like something more luxurious I tend to enjoy Thornton’s continental, Lindor truffles or champagne truffles from hotel chocolate.
I also cook with chocolate and although some people would argue that the more expensive the chocolate the better quality when I am cooking I find that I get better results with cheaper chocolate. One of my favourite places to buy chocolate from for cooking is Aldi and although I make chocolate cakes and cupcakes one recipe that is so yummy and versatile is chocolate ganache.
600g milk chocolate (I buy the Aldi one which is 30p per 100g)
300 ml double cream
1. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a large bowl.
2. Put the cream into a pan and gently heat to boiling.
3. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and whisk with a balloon whisk until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is thick and smooth.
This Ganache can be used straight away as a pouring sauce which is delicious poured over a chocolate sponge or ice cream. It can also be refrigerated until firm and whipped then piped onto a cake or cupcakes or can be used to crumb coat a celebration cake before it is covered in fondant icing. You can also make the ganache with dark or white chocolate instead of milk. And best of all it is completely delicious!
After a rush trip to the dentist a few weeks ago fearing my filling had fallen out I was advised that I was actually suffering from some sensitivity. I was recommended to purchase some toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth and came across some sensodyne gentle whitening toothpaste reduced to clear in my local Morrison’s store.
I paid just £1.08 for a 100ml pump action tube of this toothpaste from Morrison’s and have since found out that this normally retails for around £4.00 so I got quite a bargain.
Sensitivity occurs when there is wearing of the tooth’s enamel which is caused by food and drink, brushing or gum recession. This toothpaste states that it contains all the benefits of regular toothpaste as well as ingredients to help strengthen teeth and prevent sensitivity as well as removing stains and restoring natural whiteness. The toothpaste also contains fluoride and has a minty taste.
The toothpaste I purchased came packaged in a pump action tube but it is also available in a regular squeezable tube too. I had no problems dispensing this toothpaste as one press of the pump gives you just the right amount you need. The toothpaste is white in colour and has a pleasant minty flavour which isn’t too strong. The only real criticism that I have for this toothpaste is that it doesn’t really froth up very much which makes it difficult to feel if it is reaching all around your mouth.
As far as the toothpaste goes for protecting against sensitivity I have been very impressed. The one tooth which was very sensitive I took my dentists advice to rub a little of the toothpaste directly onto my tooth after brushing at night and after only a couple of days of doing this and brushing morning and evening I noticed that the sensitivity in my tooth had subsided. I was also happy with the whitening aspect as feel that while using the toothpaste my teeth did look very slightly whiter.
Overall I think this toothpaste is excellent for reducing sensitivity and I felt the whitening worked but I am not sure I am a huge fan of the actual cleaning aspect. My teeth and mouth do not feel as clean and fresh as with other toothpastes and even with a good amount used it does not feel enough. I would purchase this toothpaste again if I found it on such a good special offer but it is expensive and although it works on my sensitivity I do like my mouth to feel as fresh as possible after brushing which I just do not get which is disappointing.
4 stars from me.
I try and keep my cat as healthy as I can and this includes feeding her a good diet. Obviously though just like me my cat loves treats and although I give her these in moderation her favourite are the Whiskas temptations.
These treats can be purchased from most supermarket or pet shops and are usually priced around £1.00-£1.20 per 60g tub.
The treats come packaged in a cute cats head shaped plastic tub and come in various different flavours including chicken and cheese, salmon and beef. The tub stores the treats perfectly keeping them very fresh and easy to dispense to your cat with its removable plastic lid.
The treats themselves are small oblong biscuits which have a gooey centre. My cat loves them and I will feed them to her out of my hand or use them to hide around for her to sniff out which she does very quickly. It is recommended on the tub to give your cat no more than 10 biscuits per day. I do try and stick to this amount as I am conscious of my cat putting on weight as she is an indoor cat but if she had her own way I think she would polish off an entire tub!
Overall I have been very impressed with these treats my cat loves all of the flavours, I adore the little tub they come in which keeps them fresh and they make excellent rewards for my cat. Also sticking to the recommend amount means a tub can last quite a long time as there are a lot of biscuits in each one.
There is nothing better in the summer than having a BBQ, outdoor cooking and a few drinks to me equals a perfect summers evening. I will admit that I will buy quite a bit of BBQ food ready prepared but I still like to make the odd item myself so here are a couple of my BBQ recipes.
500g minced beef
Garlic clove crushed
Salt and Pepper
1. Place the minced beef in a bowl and using a cheese grater, grate the onion into the mince.
2. Add in a pinch of chilli powder, the crushed garlic, and a some salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
3. Shape the mixture into patties and cook on the BBQ as desired.
You can all different herbs, spices and seasoning to these burgers. You can even put some cheese in the middle to make them into melt in the middle burgers or just cook them in the oven if it is not BBQ weather.
Chinese Pork Kebabs
1. Place ribs in a slow cooker or pan of boiling water and simmer on a low heat for 3-5 hours.
2. Once cooked and tender drain the ribs and cover in the seasoning.
3. Once the ribs are covered cook them on the BBQ to give them a nice char-grilled tastes.
This is a little bit of a cheats recipe by using the seasoning which you can find in most supermarkets or can normally buy from a local butchers but this makes fantastic ribs. By purchasing your own ribs they have much more meat on them and cooking them slowly first makes them extremely tender with the meat just falling off the bone.
I have always fed my cat Whiskas as this is the one food that keeps her tummy happy and settled. I usually by the Whiskas grilled variety packs but occasionally to give my cat a variation I will purchase the steamed fish selection which she also enjoys.
Most of the larger supermarkets stock the Whiskas steamed fish selection which comes in boxes of 12x85g pouches. These vary in price from £4.75-£3.00 if on special offer. I always shop around for my cat food as there is normally at least one supermarket with offers on at any one time whether this be a discount or multi-buy.
The steamed fish selection contains the following flavours, salmon, whitefish, sardine and tuna. It states on the box that this food provides a complete diet for your cat with the food containing all the vitamins and minerals needed. It also states that the food contains no artificial flavourings or preservatives. On the box you can find a feeding guide for your cat depending upon age and weight. My cat is female, 18 months old and around 3.5-4kg in weight. I follow the guidelines and feed Tink 2 pouches per day and 20g of the Whiskas dried food too. My cat seems satisfied with this amount of food and is maintaining a healthy weight.
The pouches are easy to store and open, I simply squeeze the food straight from the pouch into my cats bowl, I did use to break it up with a fork but my cat really isn’t bothered and too eager to just start eating. I wouldn’t say the food looks particularly appealing but my cat seems to really enjoy it which is the main thing and she eats all the flavours without any problems.
Overall I have been very happy with this food. My cat loves it, it keeps her tummy settled, she is maintaining a healthy weight, she is healthy and has bright eyes and a glossy coat and it in my opinion it is good value for money.
love cooking from scratch and try to make as much as possible myself. One recipe that I love to make is homemade fish cakes. To purchase good quality fish cakes from a supermarket can be very expensive and the cheaper ones just taste awful so here is my recipe for homemade fish cakes:
2 large potatoes
3 salmon fillets
1 tsp Parsley
1 tsp Dill
1 egg beaten
1. Peel and chop potatoes and boil in a pan until soft then mash.
2. Bake the salmon fillets in the oven for 5-10 minutes until cooked then break into flakes.
3. Mix the salmon, parsley and dill as well as a little salt and pepper into the potatoes.
4. Shape the mixture into 4-6 large fish cakes, at this stage I place a large cube of cheese in the centre of the fish cake which will melt when cooking.
5. Place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs on separate plates and dip each fish cake in the flour, egg then breadcrumbs for an even coating.
6. Heat some oil in a frying pan and cook the fish cakes until golden brown and heated through.