19 May 2010


Rachel's Organic

Whenever I go to food shows , Rachel's always has a really busy stand... people can purchase yogurts, chilled desserts and children's products then collect them in little chilled bags later in the day. Now I will admit that I always thought that queueing to buy yogurt was a little odd but now that I have tasted Rachel's products I can understand why people queue.Have you seen the adverts where they eat a well known cereal with different toppings everyday? Well whenever they use products other than milk I used to cry out "Uurgghhh!".

Rachel's have produced a 'Pouring Yogurt', its like a regular yogurt except it is slightly thinner and runnier ... this helps it to soak into the cereal (or whatever you want to pour it onto) and give good cover.

Now don't think that they have just added a bit more milk to make it so it pours, they haven't ... it still has a yogurt consistency and smooth punchy flavour.

Pouring yogurt is available in 3 flavours: Natural, Hint of Strawberry and Hint of Honey. All 3 flavours are low-fat and totally organic. The pouring yogurt has a natural sweetness in the 'hint of' flavours and so extra sugar or sweetener is not needed.

Rachel's Pouring Yogurt is available from Tesco, look out for offers.

Rachel's Organic Low Fat yogurts are creamy, filling and very very moreish. My favourite from the 6 flavours available is the mango, pineapple and passion fruit (see image above), it is very creamy and thick which surprised me, being a 'low-fat' yogurt I expected it to be a bit wishy-washy when it is a very fruity thick yogurt.

One word of warning though, if you have no self control buy the smaller pots (single serving) and not the large 3 serving size ... yes they are 'low-fat' but eating a whole pot to yourself in one serving and then feeling quite sick (own fault!) kind of defeats the object.

Some people eat a lot of Organic Natural yogurt, I personally do not like it on its own as a yogurt but I do like to use it in recipes. Rachel's organic natural yogurt was particularly good to cook with. The natural yogurt spooned out of the container easily and mixed well to combine with other ingredients.

Fluffy Yogurt Scones Recipe

The scones rise up nice and fluffy due to the yogurt. The golden raisins lend a touch of sweetness. Try experimenting with other fruits instead of the raisins such as cherries and blueberries.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

•8 ounces (225g) white all-purpose flour or fine wholemeal (wheat) flour
•2 teaspoons baking powder
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 ounce (25 g/2 tablespoons) golden granulated sugar
•2 ounces (50g) butter, cut into small pieces
•3 ounces (75g) sultanas (white raisins) (optional)
•4 to 5 fl ounces (125-150ml)Rachel's Natural Yogurt
•For the glaze:
•A little of the Rachel's Natural Yogurt
•Golden granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to Gas No. 7 (425 degrees F./220 degrees C.).

Line a baking sheet with silicone or parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (This can be done using the pulse action in a food processor, or in a mixer.) Turn into a bowl, stir in the sultanas, make a well and add the yogurt, then mix with a knife to a soft non-sticky dough.

Turn it out on to a lightly floured board and knead gently for 30 seconds to smooth the underside. Roll out the dough 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick and cut it into 10-12 rounds with a pastry-cutter.

Place the scones on the baking sheet and brush with yogurt. Scatter with sugar and bake for 12-15 minutes, until they begin to brown on the top. Cool and then eat or freeze (up to three months).

Yield: 10 to 12 scones

Rachel's Greek Style yogurt is spot-on when it comes to smooth, flavoursome taste. They come in different sized serving pots (single and 3 servings 150g pots), there are also 4 different flavours to choose from: Honey, Coconut, Cherry and Natural.

Emma loved the coconut yogurt, it has tiny bits of coconut in it with a light coconut flavour. I'm personally not that keen on coconut so I had a little taste, then Emma finished off the rest of the pot.

I did however tuck into the honey Greek Style yogurt, it was quite sweet and I literally only could eat a proper sized portion (unlike the low-fat variety).

All in all I am very impressed with Rachel's Organic Yogurts. They are tasty, filling, fruit and adaptable to different tastes and needs. They have differentiated their products to suit diets, styles, trends and even make products especially for children.

Rachel's have their own facebook page:

For more information about products and the company please visit: http://www.rachelsorganic.co.uk/

18 May 2010

Peugeot - Call to action competition

From 6 May to 5 October 2010, Peugeot will be inviting Internet users to give us their ideas for the car of tomorrow on the interactive www.new-peugeot.com website. In photos, texts and videos, the public can choose their own way of expressing their view of the automobile as a true space for living, sharing and feeling.
The best entries will win novel prizes including preview road tests of the 508 or VIP week-ends at the Le Mans 24 hour race.

Internet users will be asked to share their desires through six emotionally expressive themes:

Performance: powerful emotions are the best drivers of performance. By sharing their strongest sporting moments, Internet users will have a chance to win a VIP week-end at the Le Mans 24 hour race.

Environment: the most beautiful feelings inspired by the natural world will win Peugeot 200th anniversary Collector’s Edition bicycles.

Emotions: contestants are invited to describe memorable emotions inspired by creative design. Participants can win a road-test of the new Peugeot 508.

Movement: catching and communicating the vibrations of the city will give contestants a chance to win MU by Peugeot mobility units.

Connectivity: the outside world and its technologies have taken up residence in the car. Fans of unlimited connectivity will have the chance to win a customised iPad.

Vision: unusual holiday incidents, or fond memories of tender or hilarious moments, could open the doors to a VIP preview of the Paris Motor Show.

Lots of prizes and a great opportunity - enter now !!

(This is a sponsored post)

[A'kin] Hydrating Mist

[A'kin] Pure Rose Hydrating Mist

Suitable for all skin types the Hydrating Mist from [A'kin] is lightly fragranced and refreshing.
A great product for a quick pick-me-up mid afternoon, at the gym or while traveling, it hydrates your skin by spraying a light mist.

Some hydration sprays I have tried in the past seem to soak you, I am happy to write that this is a real 'mist', it makes your skin feel cool and then dries almost instantly. I'm not sure you can use it over make-up as I haven't tried, but as it is a very very light mist I would suggest that most base makeup will be fine.

The rose fragrance really does smell of rose's, however I find it a bit strong. It reminds me of linen water that you put into your iron. On use you can smell the rose long after spritzing your skin as it lingers, its not a bad fragrance but not my personal taste.

The hydrating mist is designed to revitalise, soothe, moisturise and tone your skin. It does feel cool on contact and great if you are flushed or have had a little too much sun. Ladies of a certain age will also benefit from the product to cool down 'hot flushes' and other symptoms that need a little TLC.

Containing aloe and vitamin B5 (the beauty vitamin) combined with Australian blends of bush flower essences they have put a lot of thought and research into the product. Not only does the spray do its job and dispense the correct amount the ingredients are all natural and certified organic where possible.

A great addition to your make-up bag, handbag, car glove box or desk drawer ... instant refreshed skin in a bottle.

RRP: £12.99

17 May 2010

Ebuzzing UK Launch

ebuzzing has been around since 2007 but has just started to become popular now.

They are a monetisation company that links bloggers like myself to big named brands; the brands hire Ebuzzing to promote their products/company/services and they pass on the information to bloggers.

For each article you write Ebuzzing will pay a certain amount, whether it be a set amount for the blog post (paid in Euro’s) or on a ‘pay per click’ system for videos.  However the amount is set, bloggers must state that the post is a ‘sponsored post’ in a disclaimer and if you post a video then the name of the advertiser must be visable to viewers.  Bloggers can also set their own price per article.

Ebuzzing helps you every step of the way with the information that is required for each article.  You can write whatever you like, but they give you the code for the links so that it all ‘works’ and you get credited with any funds that you earn.

There are two types of formats that Ebuzzing likes you to use:

Video Campaigns (dedicated players and banners) and Content creation campaigns (creating branded content).  They supply all the coding and give you help as to how to present the information on your blog.

So why should you join Ebuzzing?

Its an easy way to make your blog work for you, get ‘paid’ for the time you put into your blog while making friends and learning about new products and companies via the website.

The registration process is simple, free, and holds no obligation so if its not for you, don’t worry.

Ebuzzing also has a referral program where if you refer a friend with a blog and they complete at least 1 campagain you will receive a certain amount of money (price depends on the page ranking of your friends blog).  If you do refer anyone (or get referred by anyone) please email casey@ebuzzing.com to let him know.

Join Ebuzzing today to make contacts with more than 800 advertisers such as Coca-Cola, Intel, MTV, LʼOréal, MasterCard, Toyota, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, eBay, Canon, Diesel, Warner Bros, Philips and Studiocanal.

Sponsored Post

16 May 2010

Heinz Low Sugar and Salt Ketchup

Heinz Tomato Ketchup - Reduced Sugar & Salt

Heinz recently brought out reduced sugar ketchup and also reduced salt (different bottles), now they have brought out a version of their iconic tomato sauce that is reduced sugar AND salt. The image above is the old reduced sugar bottle .. as I couldn't find an image of the new style, but you get an idea.

Reduced Sugar and Salt ketchup is perfect for anyone who needs to control their sugar and salt intake for their diet (which in reality we all should do) and also great for kids!

It tastes near-on the same as the regular full sugar and salt bottle, there isn't much difference. I would probably say that someone who covers their food in Heinz Tomato Sauce would notice, but the regular dollop-on-the-side person wouldn't. Basically if you need to cover everything in sauce then you have a problem with your palette anyway ;)

Tomato Sauce is also included in quite a few recipes, particularly for marinades. I have always mixed together Heinz tomato sauce and Heinz salad cream to make a Rose Marie sauce for prawns which has always been quite tasty ... at least now I can make it healthier too.
You can actually buy a Heinz Tomato Ketchup Cookbook which using the lower salt and sugar version would make your 'homemade' food better for you.

Give it a try, having 30% less salt and sugar, no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners its a great Heinz product with a saucy twist!

For more information about Heinz products please visit the Heinz website.

Silver Care Toothbrushes

Silver Care Toothbrushes

Dental hygiene is very very important, my Mum drummed into me about keeping my teeth clean and mouth fresh and she was right, I am 32 and only have 2 tiny fillings.

I cannot understand how people can stand having that nasty filmy feeling in their mouth, I always clean my teeth in the morning and before I go to bed as I like the fresh clean feeling.
Emma and Andy on the other hand are the opposite and have to be nagged to go and clean their teeth.

Silver Care toothbrushes are a new idea using real silver. The bristles are encased in silver where they meet the plastic of the toothbrush. The makers claim that when silver makes contact with water it releases active ions which contributes towards continuous antibacterial activity ... thus keeping your toothbrush fresh and also your dental hygiene.

The silver ions work towards reducing Steptococcus Mutans which is a main part of cavity-forming bacteria. To be honest anything that reduces bacteria is a good thing, especially on an object that is used in your mouth or your children's mouths.

The toothbrushes come in a wide range of styles and sizes:

The Baby range has soft massaging bristles and a nice round end. The handle is long enough for parents to gently clean new forming teeth and it is non-slip to avoid mistakes.

The Junior range has a compact head that is styled to clean pre molars, yet avoid trauma to milk teeth. They have a gently curved handle which is perfect for little hands.

The Teen range is ergonomically designed for middle sized hands, they have medium bristles and a rounded end.

Adults are also catered for with a regular toothbrush and also a 'plus' brush where you can change the heads as they wear out.

Silver has been used in health care for years dues to how it repels and combats germs and virus's. The toothbrushes are the same as regular brushes, but they have an added silver element.

If you care about dental hygiene these Silver Care brushes could be worth checking out, more more information please visit: http://www.simplyvital.com/

12 May 2010

Logitech Portable Speaker S125i

Logitech Portable Speaker S125i

When I was a kid I had a walkman, it was a chunky thing that you could strap to your belt and look really cool. I had great big headphones as the little ones weren't exactly ergonomic back then and they wouldn't fit in my ears. My Walkman was a posh one :) it had a pretend cassette that was really a radio, I was the envy of my friends.
I also had a radio that was shaped like a packet of Chewits !! I have searched online and none come up, I bet it would fetch hundreds if I had it now.

Anyhow ... now-a-days its all about Ipod's. No sitting in your bedroom with your cassette ready to tape the top 40 on the radio, you just download all the tracks (that's 'songs' to us oldies) you like to your computer (or ITunes account) and put them all onto your Ipod.

Ipods hold hundreds even thousands of songs or albums, it all depends on which model you own and how big the memory space is. However you still usually need headphones to listen to your stored music ... or do you?

Logitech have brought out a 'ready to move, ready to groove' super snazzy small portable speaker. Its tiny but very powerful with great sound.
You simply plug your Ipod into the slot at the top and use your Ipod as you normally would do to listen to your music. The sound comes out of the speakers so that a whole room can hear (and not just you via headphones).

I prefer Emma to use a portable speaker docking station as I think that using headphones too much can damage your hearing. She already shouts "What? Can't hear you!" when I ask her to tidy her room so I don't want 'real' hearing loss to be an issue for her.
I can also listen in to what music she is listening too and so I can limit the use and know if she is listening to too many rude words or unsuitable styles of music for a 9 year old.

We have also recently brought a caravan, the Logitech Portable Speaker will be a great addition to the van. We now won't have to only listen to the radio (there is a stereo in the caravan) or take hundreds of Cd's with us ... we can pop an Ipod (we have one each) into the speaker and choose from thousands of albums to listen too.

The Logitech Portable Speaker S125i plays and charges your ipod (great if you can't find your charger), it has a bass boost and its compact size has up to 10 hours of battery life (4AA batteries required, not included).

The unit is literally tiny, it is about 8" long and 3.5", it weighs practically nothing! You can plug it in instead of using batteries (but then it isn't portable) and a lead/plug is included.

The unit comes with a universal docking tray to support all different types if Ipod, this means you can use your ipod classic 120gb, ipod touch 1st gen, ipod 5th gen 30gb. If you use an ipod that isn't listed then please us the tray that came with your ipod when you brought it ... as this will make it fit into the speaker.

But what if you have an IPhone?? You can use it to listen to music .. but not to make or receive calls. Basically you use your IPhone as an Ipod touch.

If you do not have an Ipod, do not fear. By using a 3.5mm male to male audio cable (not included) you can plug your MP3 player's headphone socket into the Aux-in connector on the back of the unit to listen to your music.

Full instructions come with the unit - so don't worry if I have totally baffled you!
Its a nice little speaker with a good clear sound, in my opinion one of the best portable docking systems on the market.

Available from http://www.logitech.com/ and http://www.amazon.co.uk/

Priced at approx £29.97 rrp.

5 May 2010

Astral Cream

Original Astral Cream
All Over Body Moisturiser

Astral Cream is what I call a 'real' moisturiser, not one of these new faddy runny creams that either sit on the skins surface and tighten your skin or sinks in to a matt finish but doesn't actually do anything useful.

Astral Cream is a beautiful pure white thick cold cream that spreads onto your skin. You can almost feel the moisturising hydrating properties sinking in through your skin layers reaching each and every part that needs attention.

Rich and luxurious the creams texture is almost fluffy, a little goes a long way and it is suitable for your whole body - top to toe. The whole family can also use Astral its great for Grans bunions, Dad's 'dry patch', Mum's hands, Daughter's face, Son's scabby knees and the Babies bum!

The cream is the original formula, they have had no need to muck about with the ingredients and change anything, even the packaging is the same as it was years ago. Astral Cream comes in three sizes: 50g handbag sized pot (great for your lips and moisturising on the go), 200ml pot (good for holidays or to keep in the bedroom) and a huge 500g pot (for the bathroom and all over body use).

For all FAQ about Astral please visit their site as they answer a lot of questions that I hadn't even thought of asking. Such as how the cream is tested and exactly what it contains, can it be used by Muslims and all about their unique perfume used in the cream (which smells very nice by the way).

My main negative point is that it is quite greasy, the cream leaves a greasy shiny film on the skin so its not the sort of cream you would slap all over your face in the morning. More of a night cream if you want to use it where people can see, or an underclothing cream only if you are using it on a small area. Don't cover your whole body and then put on your best silk dress! I would leave body moisturising till bedtime and wear a cotton nightie or pyjamas instead.

Apart from the greasiness I have been using it as a hand cream and my hands are getting lovely and soft. I suffer from cracked skin around my nails and using Astral has made a vast improvement to the dry skin and the areas are not so sore. I have been less tempted to pick at them (which is something I do when bored or nervous) as there is nothing to pick at.
I would seriously encourage anyone with dry cracked skin on their hands or feet to try Astral as it really is a good cream for hydrating and softening dry skin.

Available from all high street chemists and supermarkets.

2 May 2010

Loyd Grossman Sauces

Loyd Grossman Sauces

Once upon a time Loyd Grossman used to present 'Through the keyhole' on TV, he used to drawl "Guess whooo's hoouse thiis iis!" to which I used to try and mimic and fail miserably. Now-a-days Loyd Grossman is a food connoisseur, he could possibly have also been heavily into food years ago but unfortunately he wasn't famous for it.

These days Loyd pops up on the telly all the time commenting of these 'Britains best chef/dish/celebrity cook/team of amateurs from the Midlands/etc...' type shows and he always gives good constructive criticism. Not only does Loyd comment on their presentation of each dish he explains their choice of seasoning or lack of seasoning whichever the case may be, proving that he has a good palette.

Loyd Grossman has brought out a range of sauces, I was a bit dubious about how much say 'Loyd' has with the sauces but to be fair they taste really good, so I don't really care if its his 'personal' recipe or not!

Loyd Grossman Tikka Masala

This sauce is spot-on. Think of how a Tikka Masala sauce is from a quality Indian Restaurant and this is exactly how the sauce is. Its not too creamy, quite thick in consistency and very very tasty. I did think there was a little too much red oil floating on the top while it simmered, but it didn't affect the taste at all, if anything it added to the authenticity of the Indian style sauce.

As a family we loved it, all I did was cook some chicken and pour in the sauce when cooked. With white boiled rice and a nan each we had a very nice meal, even Emma enjoyed it as it wasn't 'spicy' but had good rich flavours.

Loyd Grossman Tomato & Chilli

We poured this over some cooked pasta and heated through, we only used half the jar as that was all that was needed as it has good coverage. Our pasta was used as an accompaniment to an outdoor BBQ meal for the whole family.

Luckily we tasted it before we gave it to the little kids as it certainly have the H-Factor!! Only using half the jar was a good thing as after each mouthful you get a good "Hhhhhhh!!!" chilli power kick. Great for chilli lovers this sauce is full of body and will certainly tantalise your taste buds.

This is a good sauce, just a little too hot for me but Andy liked it. My mother-in-law used the rest to coat chicken the next day, she said it was nice as she only used a little and so gave the chicken some ooomph without everyone running for water.

I also have a bolognaise and a pasta bake to try, I'll try these this week and I am looking forward to both of them.

On the Loyd Grossman website all the sauces are highlighted and all the nutritional and allergy information is listed for each product. There is also recipe ideas and menu planning (even for different occasions which is handy).

The sauces are available in most major supermarkets (this information is also on the website for each sauce).