28 Jul 2010

Lands' End

To help beginner gardeners plan what to grow and where, the technical folk at Lands' End have created an easy-to-use widget.

The widget is a really handy little tool to help choose what plant is going to be right in different situations: in pots or in beds, in shade or in bright sun and so on.

Never again will you plant a full sun flower in a shady corner or a plant that likes to be cool in full sun :) handy hey!

Scroll down to give it a try and re-design your garden today!




















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21 Jul 2010

Heinz Salad Cream with Lemon and Black Pepper


Heinz Salad Cream with Lemon and Black Pepper

Heinz is an iconic brand, Heinz Salad Cream is world renowned as the best Salad Cream there is .. and I will agree,

I am one of these weird people who like to put Salad Cream on almost anything (obviously not ice cream!), my favourite is Salad Cream on sausages and people always look at me strangely when I am smothering my sausage bap in Salad Cream.

However ... Salad Cream isn't just for salad, now Heinz have proved this by bringing out a variety with Lemon & Black Pepper.

The new sauce is aimed at your regular favourite salads and cold foods, but also chicken and fish now play a role in the salad creams 'menu'.



video


The new flavour is the brainchild of Heinz Salad Cream Senior Brand Manager Lynsey Hurst, who came up with the idea whilst making a sandwich on a quiet night in.

Experimenting by stirring a squeeze of lemon and a twist of black pepper into some Heinz Salad Cream, she gave the sauce a tangy freshness she really liked.

Excited by her creation, the next day she brought it to the office for everyone to try. Less than a year later Lynsey is bringing the unique new taste direct from her kitchen to supermarket shelves everywhere for fans to enjoy.

Heinz Salad Cream Lemon and Black Pepper blends the freshness of lemon and the bite of black pepper with the great taste of this British favourite, adding a delicious and flavoursome twist.
Heinz Salad Cream with Lemon and Black Pepper goes especially well with chicken or fish.

Mix with tuna to perk up sandwiches, great served with salmon fillets or add to chicken quesadillas for a touch of citrusy freshness.

For more inspiration visit http://www.heinz.co.uk/ and discover a wealth of delicious recipe ideas to try that are perfect for Autumn, including wraps, pasta, meat & seafood - all featuring the distinctive flavour of Heinz Salad Cream with Lemon and Black Pepper.

Apparently I am not the only person to add Heinz Salad Cream to different foods, . During World War II, when many ingredients were in short supply & Heinz Tomato Ketchup was taken off the shelves, the nation reached for Heinz Salad Cream to add a tasty zing to the often bland ration food.

There are loads of recipes on the Heinz website to try out their new Salad Cream with Lemon and Black Pepper, here is an example to tempt you:

Creamy Lemon Chicken
Serves 4

Preparation time
10 minutes
Cooking time
35 minutes

Ingredients:
4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
250g shallots, peeled, trimmed and halved
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150ml dry white wine
200g half fat crème fraiche
200ml chicken stock
3 tbsp Heinz Salad Cream Lemon & Black Pepper
10g chives, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon

Method:
Season the chicken breasts and pan fry in a large non stick frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil until brown on both sides, and remove.
Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and brown the shallots.
Add the garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds before adding in the wine, simmer and reduce by half.
Return the chicken to the pan and whisk in the crème fraiche and chicken stock and gently boil for 20 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove and keep warm. Reduce the sauce to your desired consistency finishing it with Heinz Salad Cream Lemon & Black Pepper, chives, lemon zest, and seasoning.
Serve creamy lemon chicken with cooked Aunt Bessie's Frozen Homestyle Mashed Potato, tenderstem broccoli and carrots.


Heinz Salad Cream Lemon and Black Pepper will be available in all major supermarkets for a limited time only, from September 2010 - don’t miss out!

RRP: £1.15 - 295g Handy Pack bottle


15 Jul 2010

Harvest Cheweee

Harvest Cheweee Bars

Hands up how many of you get sick of putting chocolate bars into the kids lunchboxes? Who hates cereal bars because they are dry and rabbit foody?

Have you tried Harvest Cheweee bars? They are 'cereal' bars that contain 91 calories AND chocolate !!
The bars are moist and cheweee, not hard and grainy. They are full of wheat and oats so full of wholegrain goodness without you realising it.


Each box contains 9 bars which means one a day for the lunchbox and some to snack on at home as well (cool hey!) or if the kids raid the cupboards you won't have to scream "You'll be hungry tomorrow now!" as you will still have some left.

They are also individually wrapped so keep fresh and can be stored easily.





Harvest Cheweee bars contain:

  • Fibre
  • No Artificial Colours
  • Vitamins and Iron
  • and are from a Nut Free factory

Harvest Cheweee come with Milk chocolate chips, White chocolate chips, Toffee pieces and also Marshmallow.

I personally liked the milk the most, then the white but didn't like the marshmallow as they were quite sweet, I think I still have some lurking at the back of the cupboard so I am presuming Emma didn't like them either. I haven't tried the toffee and so can't comment on that variety.

Anyhow - good source of fibre, low calories, great for a snack .. all good stuff.

Available from all major supermarkets.

Camitz Vodka




Camitz Vodka

I'll admit, I thought I knew quite a lot about vodka (well I have been tiddled on it quite a few times in the past) but this 'sparkling' vodka has baffled me.

Camitz Sparkling Vodka is a unique and extraordinary 100% all natural and refreshing Sparkling Vodka made in Sweden.
They use only the highest quality grain from the celebrated wheat fields of Scandinavia. The water is sourced from Swedish ice-age springs which contain the perfect balance of minerals to produce such exceptionally superior Vodka.

Camitz Sparkling Vodka is 40% alc/vol and has been continuously distilled five times before its carbonation. The all natural source of carbonation is specially filtered for our use and is documented to be the cleanest gas of its kind in the world.

Camitz Sparkling Vodka brings a whole new meaning to the world of Vodka, and quite simply is an experience you will never forget.

But how do you drink it? neat? as a cocktail? like champagne? Answer: A three!!

Camitz Sparkling Vodka matches perfectly with delicate flavors like fresh seafood, particularly sushi and raw bar favorites such as oysters and shellfish, where the elegant bubbles enhance salinity while the natural sweetness of the vodka balances acidity, creating a truly sensational taste experience.
The vodka is also highly recommended with steak, salmon and foie gras giving those who really know their food a tasting adventure second to none.

Camitz Sparkling Vodka offers the ultimate shot, served straight or combined with your favourite mixer.

Camitz Sparkling Vodka is also a truly innovative mixological ingredient and, with the aroma release acting as a guarantee of the spirits purity, a high quality sipping vodka that will enhance the flavours in classic cocktail recipes.

Camitz Vodka Cocktail Recipe PDF *Click to download*

So do you have to drink it all in one go?
Well yes and no ... if you use a champagne stopper then it will keep bubbling for up to 3 days. Basically while fizzy drink it chilled and treat it as a Champagne - but serve like a Vodka.

When its flat do I have to tip it away?
No no no no no! Never waste alcohol!! ;) when its gone flat its just normal vodka, so use it as a regular vodka in your mixers etc...

Camitz Vodka comes in a range of bottle sizes: 200ml, 350/375ml and 700/750ml.

Available from a variety of stockists worldwide, please visit http://www.camitzvodka.com/ for more information.

Galler Chocolate


Galler Chocolate

Its that time of year again when the kids move up a year at school ... so you feel you should buy their long suffering teacher a small gift to show your appreciation of their work.

Galler Chocolate stock a wide range of chocolates that make excellent gifts, they have a good range of prices to suit all budgets and each gift will be 'tastefully' received.

I have been gratefully enjoying a tin of 'cats tongues' from Galler, priced at £3.50 the little tin contains 6 individually wrapped mini solid chocolate cat shapes. The chocolate is divine and melts in your mouth.

The tin would be an excellent gift for male/female/adult or child, its ageless and different.


A unique gift is Kaori - The Japanese Chocolate Calligraphy Set at £14.05
Kaori is a Japanese word meaning perfume, scent and fragrance. Jean Galler has developed a series of chocolates, based on traditional ink sticks and ink stones, which were used in traditional Japanese calligraphy.

There are 6 different chocolate sticks with flavours including Saffron, Vanilla and Coconut, Ginger... To create your very own combination, simply dip them into the exciting varieties of Orange and Cocoa Nibs, Matcha Green Tea and Poppy Seeds, and Kalamansi. With these elements you can create forty-eight different flavour combinations.

How clever is that!!

Another of my favourite products is their favor boxes, if anyone is planning on getting married take a look at Galler's selections. Galler stock a 2 chocolate praline giftbox for £1.84 now that is really good value!
I wish I had seen these last year when I was busy making my own boxes and filling them ... would have saved me a lot of time and trouble.

For more information please visit: http://www.gallerchocolates.co.uk/

JML EZ Combs


JML EZ Combs
Ever wanted a professional ponytail or 'up' style for your hair without having to book into your local hair salon? Well the EZ Combs from JML help you achieve posh hair do's at home.




OK, they are a bit tricky and to be totally honest it is something you would wear once then give to the kids to play with ;) but if put in correctly they do look quite snazzy.
Emma likes to wear them as she doesn't mind her hair looking wonky, even when I tried to put them in her hair the effect looked a bit naff but being a child her hair is quite thin and her head small. I found that if I twisted the EZ Comb a few times it shortened the elastic and it stayed in her hair for longer.
My hair was a whole different ballgame, I have very thick hair and it did stay kinda well, but I found that I had 'too much' hair and so most of it fell out loosening the slides.
With practice I will probably one day master it - but it is a 'faddy' item that I very much doubt people will wear more than a few times.

If you keep them for posh occasions then they will stay nice, but overuse causes the elastic to stretch and the slides go misshapen. Always put them back into the box as well or else they easily tangle and they are a nightmare to sort out.
Available in twin packs of: Black/Sandalwood or Caramel/Silver.
£14.99
Available online or from:

Hello Baby Direct - Vulli Sophie The Giraffe

Vulli Sophie The Giraffe

Hello Baby is an online store which sells everything you need for baby. The site is well laid out with most product pages letting you search by name eg.. prams/pushchairs.

Hello Baby kindly sent me a
Vulli Sophie The Giraffe - Blister Pack to try, its a great baby toy which is suitable from birth.


Sophie the Giraffe from Vulli was born in 1961, her success as Baby teether and toy is legendary in France. Made in the French Alps with natural rubber and non-toxic paint, Sophie Le Giraffe has been safely cuddled and chewed for nearly 50 Years!

She is soft, light, and easy to grasp and fits perfectly into Baby hands. Sophie is lovable and amusing. She even makes a happy laughing sound when squeezed. Babies especially love her bumpy head to soothe their teething gums.

Most importantly her flexible, renewable, natural rubber materials and non-toxic paint mean Sophie the Giraffe is a safe and all-natural teething toy for your Baby.

Parents world-wide trust the joy this classic toy brings to their babies. In today's world it is unusual to see a high production toy still made by hand: Sophie requires 14 manual manufacturing steps.

Her retro style has ensured that she has remained fashionable for over 40 years. Slender, flexible and soft, baby can squeeze and chew her in complete safety, and with great pleasure.

Sophie Le Giraffe from Vulli is Baby's first sensory development toy.

Stimulates each of baby's senses:
Hearing: Her squeaker keeps baby amused, stimulate their hearing and helps them to understand the link between cause and effect

Smell: The singular attractive scent of natural rubber from the hevea (rubber) tree makes Sophie the Giraffe very special and easy for your child to identify amongst all their other toys.

Sight: The dark contrasting spots all over Sophie the Giraffe's body provide visual stimulation and make her easily recognisable to baby. She becomes a familiar and reassuring friend.

Taste: Sophie the Giraffe is very flexible and has lost of parts for baby to chew, ears, arms and legs. She is perfect for soothing baby sore gums when teething and is completely safe. Made of 100% natural rubber and food paint.

Touch: She is perfect for baby's small hands. She is very light and her long legs and neck are easy for baby to grip. She is soft to the touch just like baby's mummy stimulating soothing physiological and emotional responses.

Features:
Comforting rubber smell.
Squeaks when squeezed.
100% natural rubber and non-toxic paint.
Easy to see provides visual simulation.
Easy to chew good for soothing sore gums during teething.
Great familiar and soothing Baby Toy.

To be honest although the toy has been around for 50 years, stimulates all babies senses without the need for batteries, its not really my cup-of-tea.
Its not a product that I would buy in a shop as it reminds me of a dog toy, however this does not mean I have a negative view of the Hello Baby site as I think their range of baby toys, gifts, equipment is amazing. The prices are fair and cater for all styles, tastes and budgets.
The store is amazing and I would give it 9/10 for layout, design and ease of use.
The toy ... hmm a hard one as it is a good teether and is great for baby, just not to my personal taste 8/10.

13 Jul 2010

[A'kin] Light Conditioner

[A'kin] Light Conditioner

This conditioner is for normal, fine and oily hair. It is a light conditioner so that it won't clog your hair and make it heavy and lifeless.

Containing jojoba and lavender the fragrance is mainly lavender which reminds me of old ladies. Unfortunately although lavender as a property is excellent for skin and hair the fragrance is very oldy-worldy and dated.

I love the bottle style as it is very traditional and different to our everyday off the shelf products, the bottle looks very posh in your bathroom.

The conditioner on the whole is very light and creamy. It spreads easily through your hair and you do not need much to condition your whole head. The conditioner also washes out really easily and does not leave your hair feeling slimy, just squeaky and clean.

Being a light conditioner is it good for oily hair, I did avoid my roots though as my roots do not need conditioner at all - the cream was easily able to be spread around the ends avoiding my root area.

After use the lavender does tone down a little and doe not clash with highly fragranced shampoo's. My hair felt soft and healthy after washing, after drying it had a slight shine which was nice.

225ml is £7.49 a little pricy but it is good quality, so you get a good product for your money.
http://www.mypure.co.uk/akin-hair-care-b2/jojoba-lavender--conditioner-p13

Lovea Bio Le Monoi

Lovea Bio Le Monoi

This body milk is very light and is absorbed into your skin very very quickly. I found it lovely and refreshing to use on sunburn, it soaked in instantly without having to rub my sore skin.

The fragrance reminds me of holidays, it has a coconutty sun lotion smell which stays on your skin after application. I found that applying it to small areas (like the tops of my arms when burnt) was just enough, if I applied to my whole body the fragrance would be a little overcoming.

After soaking in the body milk leaves a slightly waxy feel on the skin, it doesn't leave any marks or streaks and so can be used for everyday except that my clothing did stick to the moisturised areas a little.

The bottle is 200ml and has a pump action dispenser. I found it a little hard to open the dispenser pump ... but this could just be me as I am a nightmare at opening this type of pump.

My Pure retails this body milk at £6.99 and I do think the price is worth the product. It is a very good quality body milk with good moisturising properties, the cream goes a long way and my skin felt softer and calmer after first use.

For more information please visit: http://www.mypure.co.uk/lovea-b136/tahitian-monoi-moisturising-body-lotion-p1156

6 Jul 2010

family holidays website


Are you thinking of jetting off somewhere hot this summer ..... don't visit your local travel agent or spend hours trawling the Internet or teletext, check out the 'Family Holidays' website.

The layout is clear, easy on the eye and simple to navigate.
Simply click on your preferred destination, add your departure locations into the search box and your preferred flight dates and click search ... this is where the easy-to-use magic starts.



The website gives you two options via a split screen. Flights and prices or package holidays and prices. I searched for Tenerife and my choices of flights and hotel options were pretty good with a lot of choice.

The hotels featured where top hotel, not the back street 1* hovels that some sites churn out ... I was given the choice of 3/4/5* hotels with a range of prices to suit my budget.



A handy feature once you have chosen your hotel or flight is the transfer option. You can of course chose 'no transfer' but if you do require transport the website gave me a variety of transport options including 'wheelchair adapted vehicle' which I thought was fantastic.


The next screen looks after your car back home, a lot of people forget about 'how' they are going to get to the airport then get a nasty shock at the cost of leaving their car in the car park while they are away. Again I was offered a good choice of different car parking arrangements for my chosen airport 'Birmingham'. Obviously the website will offer your choices for your chosen airport whichever you chose to fly from.

At no point was I tricked into purchasing insurance for my holiday and no 'extras' were automatically added onto the final bill.

Family Holidays is a great. easy to use, comprehensive website, great for anyone looking to travel. Have a quick surf and see if they can find you a great deal on your dream break.

http://www.familyholidays.co.uk/

Oriflame Suncare

Oriflame Suncare Range

SOL Anti-Aging
Face Sun Cream 20 - Medium

The best bit I liked is that it is a good factor at 20, but its in a nice sized tube of 75ml. This was great for Emma's school bag as it was a high protection without being a huge messy bottle.
The cream smells lovely, not like sun cream at all more like a high brand face cream. Being sun cream for the face it sinks in quickly, a little goes a long way and it doesn't leave you looking greasy.
The cream has a slight shimmer effect to emphasize your tan and natural facial colourings, its not sparkly just shimmery.
I really like this sun cream and with the 'anti-aging' properties of Vitamin E I don't think you can go wrong. You could use this as a daily cream all through summer in place of your usual anti-aging or facial moisturiser.
Aimed at women, but suitable for the whole family.


This product really surprised me! When I first sprayed it on my initial thought was 'Oh no a greasy one!' ..... but it isn't!!
This spray is a clear sun spray, it is like a dry oil without leaving your hands/skin oily and greasy. I have just sprayed some on my arm, rubbed it in and then continued to type 'without' having to wipe my hands on anything. I am very impressed with this product.
Being a factor 10 and 'family' seems odd to me. I would promote 'family' products at factor 20+ and not a low factor, but it does state 'LOW' on the bottle so its really up to you and how you want to protect your families skin from harmful rays.
The spray gives good coverage and is really simple to use. Emma happily squirted it onto her skin and was happy with the feeling and protection.
The Sol Family 10 Clear Sun Spray is also water resistant, but please always re-apply after swimming or showering. The bottle also advises to re-apply every 1-2 hours, being so easy to apply I think most people will adhere to this advice.
For more information and to purchase Oriflame products please visit their website and choose your country.