Category Archives: Food

Food: Easter Unicorn No Bake Rainbow Cheesecake!

Posted on April 14, 2017

Hi Guys!

I’ve had a lovely couple of weeks off for Easter with my son Freddy, and I know I don’t really do food on the blog, but I REALLY wanted to make a unicorn cheesecake and thought it’d be fun to share it with you guys. Moving forward I really want to include a bigger variety of posts sharing more of the things that I’m interested in, so I decided to give this a go – I think it came out pretty well!

Also – I’m not the best cook, so I love that this is super simple to do. So even if you’re not that great in the kitchen, there’s not much that can go wrong here! This is what you’ll need –

Ingredients:

  • 2x 280g tubs of Philadelphia or other brand soft cheese
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 100g Sugar (I used half granulated and half soft brown sugar)
  • 200g Digestive Biscuits
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • Vanilla Essence
  • Your Choice of Food Colouring

To Decorate:

  • Sprinkes
  • Mini Eggs
  • Anything else you like – e.g. mini marshmallows, sweets etc

First of all you need to make the cheesecake base. The easiest way to do this is to put your biscuits in a sealable plastic bag, and smash them up with a rolling pin. While you’re doing this, put the butter in the microwave to melt it (or do it in a pan on the hob if you prefer) then just mix the butter in a bowl with the biscuit crumbs until they’re well blended together.

I then grabbed my new Traditional Round Master (£24.99 from Delicake) which is basically a clear perspex ‘cake tin’ for making no-bake cakes and desserts. You just need to press the biscuit / butter mix into the base and try to make it as even as possible. You can always use a traditional cake tin for this too. Then just pop it in the fridge while you make the filling.

For the actual cheesecake, get a large bowl and add your soft cheese, sugar, and a couple of drops of Vanilla Essence and blend until it’s thoroughly mixed. Then pour in the cream and mix until it’s quite stiff nd stands up in peaks when you’re stirring.

Then you need to divide your mixture into smaller bows, and stir in your desired amount of food colouring into each bowl. I’d recommend starting with a couple of drops as a little goes a long way. You can always add more if you want a more intense colour.

Grab your base from the fridge and splodge in each colour randomly until you’ve used all the mixture up. Then grab a knife and spread it around, mixing the colours slightly whilst flattening it down against the sides and filling in any gaps.

Then you just need to add your sprinkles and toppings – I went for some cute edible iced flowers and of course mini eggs because Easter! In case you were wondering, I thought I’d include an exact list of the sprinkles and food colourings I used too. I got pretty much everything from eBay as I wanted specific colours that I couldn’t find in my local shops –

Then leave in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours to set, and voila! It was SO much fun making this, Fred had a great time and so did I, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It looked so awesome and also tasted amazing too!

I’d love to hear what you think of this, and if you’d like to see a bigger variety of posts on TSNC moving forward? Let me know!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

New Personalised Gifting Site: I Just Love It

Posted on October 1, 2015

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Hi Guys!

This post has been a bit of a long time coming – I had one of those #bloggerfail moments when I thought I’d deleted my photos before uploading them to my post, and by then the products had already been used. Luckily I found them lurking in a folder they had no business being in, so finally here’s my post!

I Just Love It is a brand new gifting site that specialises in personalised gifts. They kindly offered to send over some lovely gifts for my husband’s birthday. What a lucky guy!

The other half is basically into some very manly hobbies, such as eating, drinking and metal detecting. (Yes I did just say metal detecting) So I thought I could cover the first two bases very well with some lovely gifts from I Just Love It!

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My lovely husband does enjoy a fancy whisky – he also brews his own beer and makes his own wine. So I thought this Personalised Whisky Tasting Set (£38.99) would be a perfect gift for him.

Exclusive to I Just Love It, this Whisky Gift Set contains single malts from four of Scotland’s most famous whisky regions, with a limited release single malt from Wales’ award winning Penderyn distillery. Whiskies in the set include an Isle of Arran 10 year old, ‘Waves’ from Bruichladdich’s Islay distillery in the Southern Hebrides, Glen Garioch from the Scottish Highlands, Glen Moray from Speyside and Penderyn 41, the Welsh distillery’s international release.

I’m no expert, and I’m not sure what all this means, but apparently these are some pretty decent whiskies! They’re also presented in a beautiful hand-finished gift box with a personalised sleeve. Information & tasting cards in a hand-made envelopes, accompany each 30ml whisky, and a ‘how to taste whisky’ guide along with a tasting mat featuring a Scottish landscape provide the perfect way to enjoy the whiskies and record tasting notes.

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On the theme of alcohol, I thought this craft beer set would make a lovely gift from Freddy for his Daddy – Personalised D-A-D Set Three Pack Craft Beer (19.99)

The set contains three multi-award-winning pale ales. Not only are these crisp pale ales packed with American hops and citrus aromas, the labels can be personalised with a name and a message too if you wish. Mary Jane is an intensely refreshing pale ale created by Ilkley Brewery in Yorkshire. The beautifully balanced beer has good body for such a low abv and is the unique craft brewery’s best-seller by a country mile!

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And of course you can’t have a birthday without chocolate! I thought this Personalised Happy Birthday Chocolate Bar for Him (£5.99) would be fun!

We have one of those relationships where we constantly take the mick and mock each other. I thought ‘Happy Birthday Old Git’ would be a lovely gesture to include on this chocolate bar. You can have any message you like printed in it though.

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And lastly, the Personalised Inferno Hot Sauce (£12.99)

What is it with men and hot and spicy things? My lovely other half likes to drown 90% of his meals with some form of pain inducing chilli sauce, so I thought he’d love this one. The skull in flames on the front sold it for me.

This smoky chilli sauce contains the Naga Bhut Jolokia chilli pepper (commonly known as the ghost pepper) – this is the hottest in the world!

All these awesome gifts as well as many more are available now from I Just Love It. Definitely check them out if friends and family have birhdays coming up!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Check out The Little Beauty Guide for fantastic beauty posts and reviews.

Restaurant Review: Mabel’s Bar & Kitchen, Covent Garden, London

Posted on July 7, 2015

Hi Guys!

Here’s my second restaurant review of the day – Mabel’s Bar & Kitchen at Covent Garden!

After hitting Bill’s on my first evening in London, I knew Mabel’s was going to have a lot to live up to. So off I headed on Tuesday evening with my trusty Google maps in hand, and found it quite easily.

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The entrance to the restaurant had a small seating area and bar, and it also had an awesome ‘Love Made Me Do It‘ bright pink neon sign on the wall. The decor was fantastic and right up my street!

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After a while I was then seated in The Library, a small cosy area of six tables, made to look like a home library. I was being looked after by a lovely waiter I ordered a Tarte Tatin cocktail while waiting for my dinner date to arrive. The Tarte Tatin included Sipsmith small batch vodka mixed together with Calvados from Normandy, pressed apple juice and caramel syrup – sorry I don’t have a photo of this, I was pretty thirsty and it was gone before I knew it! 🙂

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When Lex arrived, we ordered a couple of cocktails and our starters. We were both feeling particularly healthy and went for Crudites with Mabel’s remesco and teatziki dips to start, and I ordered a Lavender Love cocktail. The Lavender Love is described as – An elegant and floral cocktail shaking Absolut citron vodka with white peach purée, a touch of lavender syrup and pomegranate juice – it was SO good but pretty strong!

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For our main meal, Lex went for the Rib Eye Steak, which included a chargrilled 8oz rib eye, vine cherry tomatoes, watercress and chips, and sticking with the healthy theme, I had Honey & Soy Marinated Salmon, Asparagus, Confit Potato, Beans, Peas and Seeds. Salmon is definitely my favourite fish to eat, and this was just lovely.

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For dessert Lex was very good and decided to just watch me eat mine 🙂 I had Jude’s Hampshire Ice Cream – regarding the flavours available, the menu said ‘we’ll let you know today’s delights…‘ and when I asked the waitress what the ice cream was she replied with – ‘erm, vanilla?’ which I must admit was slightly odd.

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I really enjoyed our evening at Mabel’s Bar & Kitchen – both the food and company was fantastic! I have to be honest though as there were a couple of negative points. The waitress did seem slightly off with me, I asked Lex if she agreed and she did, and we also had a wobbly table! When Lex sawed into her steak, my cocktail went everywhere! The waiter we had at the time was very apologetic though and put something under the table leg to fix the wobble. There were also no staff around when we were ready to leave, as I wanted to thank them for my meal which was a shame. The food really was lovely and reasonably priced though, and they have a fantastic selection of cocktails on offer too.

I hope you enjoyed my post! xxx

I was offered complimentary dinner in return for this review

Restaurant Review: Bill’s, Wellington Street, London

Posted on

Hi Guys!

Following on from my Life Update post last night, I have a couple of restaurant reviews coming up today. On my first evening in London I arranged to meet up with Rachel from Beauty Queen UK, and after a quick and rather excitable tour of Covent Garden, we headed off to Bill’s Restaurant (also at Covent Garden) unfortunately there was a slight mix up and we ended up at a nearby Bill’s about 10 minutes away at Waterloo Road.

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This was no problem though, and as you can see the restaurant was quite beautiful. On first glance, Bill’s appeared to be a tiny little quaint restaurant with a couple of booths and a bar, but we were then led around the back to the main restaurant which was massive! I loved the decor which had an industrial yet homely feel.

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For starters I went for a Warm Roast Red Onion and Gruyere Tart, with a salad of watercress, red onion, basil, parsley and pomegranate and a balsamic dressing. Rachel went for Chicken in a Jar, which was chicken liver parfait, with edible flowers (it looked like a purple pansy on top but I wasn’t sure!) Bill’s orange marmalade and campagne toast. I love cheese tarts, anything like gruyere or goat’s cheese and I’m there!

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I hadn’t eaten much that day and was super hungry, so I couldn’t resist a burger for my main meal. I went for a hamburger with montery jack cheese and skin on fries, and Rachel had the Beer-Battered fish and Chips. I devoured this in record time, and the burger was cooked to perfection.

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For dessert, we were very good and decided to share some Warm Mini Cinnamon Doughnuts with fresh strawberries and warm chocolate dipping sauce. After the burger I was pretty stuffed, and I love cinnamon so the mini doughnuts seemed like the perfect choice!

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Overall we had a fantastic experience at Bill’s. We were made to feel extra special, and I received probably the best service I’ve ever have had at a restaurant. The guy that was looking after us (sorry I forgot to make a note of his name) was super sweet and made us feel so welcome. I did say to Rachel that I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home, ha ha!

I should also mention that the prices were incredibly reasonable – bearing in mind we were in central London, the starters were from £4.95 and mains were from £8.95 which really is fantastic, also considering the food was of such high quality. If you’re ever in the Covent Garden area in need of a refuel, I’d highly recommend you check out Bill’s Restaurant!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

I was offered complimentary dinner in return for this review

The Slim Fast Blogger Challenge Results

Posted on July 2, 2015

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Hi Guys!

It’s been a good few weeks since I started Slim Fast Challenge, and actually a little while now since I finished, so I thought it was about time I gave you a bit of an update and let you know how I got on with the products!

Just to recap, for two weeks I took part in the Slim Fast 3.2.1 plan. This involves eating up to six times a day, including three snacks, two meal replacement products and one balanced evening meal – hence the name 3.2.1. Slim Fast have a massive range of products on offer including chocolate snack bars and savoury tortillas and pretzels. I actually loved all of the snacks available, there wasn’t one that I didn’t like! For meal replacements options, Slim Fast have ready made milkshakes as well as powder shakes that you mix yourself, as well as different flavour meal bars.

Again, I loved the ready made milkshakes, the banana, vanilla and strawberry ones were especially tasty. The meal bars were great too – though it would be nice to see some savoury options available in this range. Overall I love the convenience of Slim Fast – there’s no counting calories or points like you get with other diets, this is just super straightforward, and it will be especially suited to those with a busy lifestyle as there’s no preparation involved (except for the powder shakes) I found it so handy that I could just grab a meal bar or ready made shake from the fridge and head off to work!

Apart from finding this diet easy to follow, it’s also very effective – as long as you stick to the rules. As with any diet regime really, if you break the rules, you can’t expect to see the best results. Well I started off really well, then had a couple of, erm ‘blips’, then ended up having a couple of days off the diet for my birthday. so I could have done a lot better to be honest. I know my weight fluctuated throughout this but I still ended up losing three pounds over all! I know this isn’t amazing but it still makes me feel positive, and I know if I’d have stuck to the plan I’d have easily lost more weight.

I find it’s easier to stick to a diet if you have a set routine, but if you are on the go and have lots of events coming up – like I do this month, two hen parties and two weddings actually! It does make things harder but I’m just going to try to make better decisions with my food choices. It’s so easy to over indulge, especially if it’s what you’re used to as I am. I think being on the Slim Fast plan has made me realise I can eat healthily with not much effort, and see results quite quickly which is fantastic. I’m definitely going to start the 3.2.1 plan again soon and stick to my guns this time. I’ll let you know how I get on!

I’m now off to inflate the Thomas paddling pool, set the brolly up and spend some time in the garden with my boy! I hope you’re all enjoying the sunshine! xxx

The Slim Fast Blogger Challenge

Posted on June 8, 2015

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Hi Guys!

Ok so I’ve been on the wagon and off the wagon of late when it comes to my diet. Sometimes I’ve been really good, and others, well not so much. I started off really well then my anxiety flared up again, and apart from making my life difficult, it always seems to make me quite emotional and the urge to eat my worries away stronger than ever. In the last week or so I’ve started to feel so much better though, and while I’m in this positive mental zone I’m going to make the most of it and start the blogger #SlimFastChallenge!

The challenge is a 14-day trial of Slim Fast products following their 3.2.1 Plan – which includes meal replacement bars, convenient ready-to-drink shakes, meal replacement powders (so you can get creative with flavours at home) and plenty of snacks. So basically with the 3-2-1 plan you can enjoy three snacks, two meal replacement products and one balanced (600cal) meal a day, with the aim that you will gradually lose weight. Slim Fast also have lots of tasty recipes on their site to try out, to give you inspiration for your third meal of the day.

I love the fact that you can eat up to six times a day with this plan! And the Heavenly Chocolate Delight Snack Bars look amazing! Slim Fast give you the option to Create your own plan by picking the flavours you love or download their 7 day diet plan where you’ll find a week’s worth of meals and snacks planned out for you.

It’s so simple to follow, there’s no points system or calorie counting with these products – which really appeals to me. The idea is once you reach your goal weight, you can replace one meal with a meal replacement product (instead of two) to help maintain your new weight.

I’ve just started today having a shake for breakfast and lunch, and a banana for a snack and I’m feeling good! I half expected to be hungry but I’m not at all! Fingers crossed the 3.2.1 plan will work for me and help me shift some weight! Keep your eye out for my update post in a couple of weeks’ time! xxx

This post contains press samples

How I Plan To Lose 5 Stones

Posted on April 29, 2015

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Hi Guys,

Ok so I feel like I’ve come to a bit of a turning point in my life. I’ve been stuck in a rut for a long time now, suffering on and off with anxiety, and eating my worries away. This negative cycle has caused me to put on five stones in about a year and a half. Yes FIVE stones – half a person. I’m carrying around an extra half person on my body every day. No wonder I’m always tired.

Basically I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I’m down, or stressed or upset. I’ve been using food as a crutch, and even though the instant gratification felt worth it, the long term effects have really taken their toll on my health and well being. I constantly feel sluggish, my get up and go has got up and gone, and my weight gain has severely affected my confidence. I feel like I’ve turned into a different person.

The main reason for all of this was my job. Without going into detail I basically hadn’t been happy there for a long time. So not so long ago I decided enough was enough, and handed in my resignation. It was super scary but I’m so glad I did it. Funnily enough I was then offerered a different job at the same company, doing a completely different role, as well as working less hours. I felt a mixture of relief, happiness, and excitement, now I can really get stuck in with my new job! This also gave me more time to focus on myself in terms of my health and fitness, as well as my blog and my other freelance roles.

I guess I kind of feel like a weight has been lifted, I’m now in a much more positive frame of mind, and I’m ready to lose this weight! Here’s how I plan to do it –

1. Drink more water. This was actually a new years resolution and I’ve been pretty slack with it. I drink a lot of tea, which I don’t think I can live without, and I know it’s dehydrating which completely defeats the purpose. So moving forward I’m just going to have a glass of water with every cup of tea I make. Simples!

2. Cut out the junk. I’ve been in SUCH bad eating habits. Hence why I put so much weight on. I’m a grazer, and I literaly snack all day out of habit. I’d buy a multi pack of doughnuts / chocolate bars / cakes with the idea that I’d have one now and again for a treat, but I’d just scoff them all in one go. I’ve now completely cut this out and I’m going cold turkey. No treats, no snacks, nothing bad at all. And I’m feeling GOOD about it!!

3. Eat healthier. Apart from cutting out the obvious junk, I want to actively eat healthier meals that will help me to feel good and lose weight. I’m going for high protein / low carbs in general, and lots of veg and greens. I’m trying out some products from Exante at the moment, so for example I’m swapping my lunch for an Exante meal or shake, and swapping out my sweet snacks for their high protein options or fruit. I also have a few bits from My Protein to try out too – I’ll have an update with how I’m getting on with these shortly.

4. Exercise. Ahh exercise. This has also been my downfall. I just wasn’t doing any – unless walking to the loo counts?? I’m now using my Wii Fit to do stepping, hardcore super fast stepping! I’m doing half an hour a day at the moment, then when I’m used to it and not so knackered I’ll make the step higher (the other half has pimped my step for me!) and eventually add wrist and ankle weights too.

(I should point out that I’ve actually done all this once before. When I was pregnant I put on 4.5 stones and I lost it all the year after, so I know I can do it again!)

5. Monitoring my progress. As well as the Wii Fit, I also recently purchased a FitBit Charge which is fantastic for keeping track of how much exercise you’re doing, it tracks your steps, your sleep patterns, your heart rate, and you can also manually input your food intake so it can count your calories. I’m really finding this is helping me too, so I’ll have a separate post on it shorty.

Ideally I’d like to lose the weight by the end of the year, but for a smaller goal I’m aiming to lose 1 stone by my birthday which is 12th June. I think this is achievable! Wish me luck xxx