Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Halloween All-American Cookies with Pumpkin Seeds

Lately I’ve been getting back into baking, I find it to be a fun activity on days at home. My Mum reminded me we had a few ingredients to use up, so I started looking into my recipe books for something appropriate. Soon after browsing in my BBC Good Food Cakes & Bakes book, I came across some all-American chocolate chunk cookies. The ingredients included lots of chocolate (some for melting), crunchy peanut butter, peanuts as well as the typical things such as flour, sugar, and an egg etc. In my mind the recipe was too sugary from all the chocolate so I adapted the recipe a little. I added some chocolate but not as much, a bit of peanut butter, and to substitute some of the extra chocolate, I added pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped brazil nuts and a very small amount of chocolate raisins along with the core ingredients.

They didn’t take long in the oven to cook, the main thing was weighing out the ingredients at the start and the mixing/preparation. They came out well in my mind, they had that earthy, made at home vibe to them and the texture was lovely. I don’t often adapt recipes, but doing so on this occasion gave me a bit of confidence to do it again. I made twelve cookies and we freezed some of the spare ones, having a little bit each day for nearly a week. I think with having the pumpkin seeds in, it’s quite a seasonal recipe, perfect for Halloween maybe. As shown are a few themed photos, they have a Halloween séance style to them, they are a bit quirky, but hope you like them!

Are you going to bake over Halloween? 
What recipes are on your bucket list? :-) Xx

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Rowley’s Too Good Farm Shop Tour and Review

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, when visiting my Nan in Wigan, we often stop at the Too Good farm shop just near Wrightington. It’s ever so lovely, they do a wide range of organic food and drink, gifts and a bit of natural beauty products. Every time I go in, it feels like a treat, and I’ve been picking bits and pieces up, mainly for my snack diary posts.

The prices are actually really reasonable, and in comparison to similar shops, cheaper. My favourite part of the shop is the tea, chocolate and snacks area. They stock food and drink brands such as Clipper, Tick Tock, Doisy & Dam, Organix, Rude Health, Nine and some less known. In the beauty section they stock mostly Faith in Nature etc. 

I’ve taken some photos with my compact camera, so the quality isn’t as good as usual but you can get the idea from the images what the shop is like. From the outside there are beautiful flowers and plants on display, and on the inside the shop has a really cosy and welcoming atmosphere. I would recommend you visit or try something similar closer to you!

Does this farm shop look like somewhere you would like to visit? 
What have you been up to lately? :-) Xx

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Burt’s Bees White Tea Facial Cleansing Towelettes

Hi, how are you all doing? Following the last blog post, I decided to share with you these Burt’s Bees face wipes. I think these have been my favourite item in the gift set my friend kindly gave me. They are scented beautifully with tea extract and have a generous amount of moisture, leaving the skin satisfied. They feel extremely calming on the skin, perfect if you want to use them just before bed.

They are fairly pricey, on naturisimo.com, you can buy them individually for £6.49 here and there is ten wipes included. I also think it’s very odd a natural brand, on a natural website, and featuring a leaping bunny logo, are selling in China with their beauty product laws. I consider this to be a bit false-advertising. I enjoyed using these wipes very much, but it’s just a shame for cruelty-free bloggers.

Are you a cruelty-free blogger? 
I would love to hear your thoughts on buying natural! :-)

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean Lip Balm

Hi to you all, today I wanted to do a review of a lip balm, so keep reading if you want to find out more.... My good friend bought me a Burt’s Bees gift set for my birthday, with all sorts of handy products in there. You can actually buy the items individually, so I thought I would do individual reviews for the products I enjoyed the most. My existing lip balm was the Hurraw! lime flavoured one, and was an exciting purchase at the time, but I’ve had it a while now, so was happy to be gifted a new one to try.

From doing a little research this Burt’s Bees product comes in more than one flavour, but the vanilla bean sounded appealing to me, and after the first application, I was very pleased with the way it was scented. Vanilla is one of those that you can enjoy any time of the year too. The packaging is nicely made, and I love the mix of vibrant yellow against the navy and red. While using the lip balm, I enjoyed the smooth, gliding application which wasn’t greasy, and it felt comfortable on the lips, leaving them soft and moisturised.

The Burt’s Bees brand is known for being all natural, and on the Naturisimo website they are stated as cruelty-free, but with the loophole of being sold in China, a country which participates in animal testing as a law. It confuses me too! Despite that, I am happy with my new lip balm, along with some other bits from the gift set, reviews coming soon! Buy the lip balm here for £3.99.

Have you tried any products by Burt’s Bees?
What lip balm scents are your favourite? :-) Xx

Saturday, 7 October 2017

The Snack Diaries | Part Five

Twinings Cherry Bakewell Green Tea
(From Morrison’s, £2.00 for 20 tea bags)
I have to say I did enjoy this flavour of tea, it was quite unusual but tasty nonetheless. It’s a flavoured green tea, but the taste of cherry bakewell was there. I did add sweeteners into it as I do with all my teas for extra sweetness. It took me a while to get hooked on this beverage, but I would recommend you give it a try!

Nuts & Honey Breakfast Biscuits 
(From Heron Foods, £0.49 for 4 portions)
I was pleasantly surprised by this brand of biscuits, my brother works in Heron Foods so he picks up bits and pieces sometimes. I asked him about any healthier snacks, and he kindly bought this for me. The biscuits are super tasty but not too sweet, and great value.

Crispy Galaxy Chocolate 
(From Heron Foods, £0.65 for 100g)
This was another gift from my brother, Heron were doing an offer on Galaxy chocolate, and this particular variation has crispy bits in, which I found very appetising. Galaxy is a well-known brand which is widely available, and I much prefer it to Cadbury’s.

Raw Health Organic Fruity Coconut Balls
(From Boots.com, £1.99 for 3 portions)
I bought these online with my Boots points, and I was so excited to try this brand, the packaging is modern, and the fruity coconut balls were just as tasty as they look. They were probably my favourite snack from this haul, and were a real treat. They are a little pricey, but can see myself repurchasing with my Boots points.

What food brands do you gravitate towards for snacking? 
Would you like to try anything from this haul? :-) Xx

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

October Book Haul

I popped into a community bookshop in Wigan, offering free books, while we were visiting a relative nearby. The bookshop had a lovely, friendly atmosphere, I found three books that interested me and happily donated a small amount to them. I had a positive experience, and the books I picked up were in new or nearly new condition. Here’s a little bit about each book…

You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

A sparkling comedy, ‘What happens when the one that got away comes back?’ A story of Rachel and Ben who had been partners in crime and best of friends, bump into each other after many years apart. I enjoyed another book by the same author, so I picked this one up and although it’s an oldy, on Amazon there are thousands of positive reviews so I can see myself really enjoying this one, hopefully!

We Were On a Break by Lindsey Kelk

It says it all in the title really. Another romantic comedy, the story takes you on the journey of Liv and Adam who decide on a relationship break after going on a holiday together that goes pear shaped. I absolutely love the author, and from her previous books I knew the writing style would be for me. Lindsey Kelk makes me laugh out loud – I have actually finished this book so look out for a review coming.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

The story follows David, a high school student, his parents think he’s gay, he actually wants to be a girl. Leo, another student, stands up for David, one day and an unlikely friendship forms. I’m hoping I enjoy this one, it’s made its rounds online, and it sounds like it could be an interesting read. I will let you know how I get on!

Are rom-com books your thing too? 
What genre do you gravitate towards? :-) Xx

Saturday, 30 September 2017

September Primark Haul

Hi and welcome to a new post, today I wanted to share a few bargains I picked up in Primark this month. I went at the beginning of September, mainly to get onto my Christmas shopping, if you’ve been a reader for a while, you know I like to plan early. I had a really successful trip, I bought some Christmas presents for family, and bits for myself to go away to be wrapped up. So not to spoil the surprise, I decided just to show you the things for now, and I found some fabulous bits.

I’ve been more into buying loungewear lately, Marie Kondo from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying book mentioned having some investment pieces for general loungewear instead of just recycling old, and shabby items. I thought it was an idea that could work well for me, with being a bit of a homebody, and spending quite a bit of time in our van camping/travelling. When I went in, they seemed to have a lovely selection of hoodies etc., I went for two hooded sweatshirts in flattering and autumnal colours, and they are so soft/cosy.

I was in desperate need of some general wear socks, I picked up two packs in alternative prints. Other essential items included bobbles, they came in autumn appropriate colours, and the velvet ones are so pretty! My eyes were led to these gorgeous real leather gloves with a bow detail on the wrists. They came in different sizes, the medium fitted like a glove, ha! Their stationery section was looking good too, I can’t wait to use my lips design weekly planner and metallic notebook.

What I got:
Blue motif hooded sweatshirt £7.00
Plum hooded sweatshirt £7.00
Polka dot socks 5pk £2.50
Floral print socks 5pk £2.50
Pink bow detail leather gloves £7.00
Velvet bobbles 3pk £1.50
Plum colours elastic hair bobbles £1.00
Pink lips design weekly planner £2.50
Metallic pink lined large notebook £3.00

Have you been in Primark recently? 
What things have you been loving lately? :-) Xx

Sunday, 24 September 2017

An Autumnal Day In Saltburn: Chocolini’s Café & Wander

So last weekend we visited Saltburn-by-the-sea for a wander, my mum had heard good reviews of Chocolini’s chocolate shop, and café so we headed there first. We sat in the café, they had a range of drinks but naturally I opted for the hot chocolate with all the trimmings. It consisted of hot chocolate, mini marshmallows, then whipped cream and on top, chocolate buttons. It was really yummy, the chocolate buttons made it for me, which isn’t surprising coming from a chocolate shop. The prices were okay, and the staff were friendly and helpful.

I asked to take some photos of the shop and café for my blog, and they were very accommodating. We bought my brother a chocolate mouse, as a souvenir, which went down well. The chocolate shop was really nice, it has a cosy, inviting quality to it, as did the café area. We had a fun time, we sat in the café for a bit, with views of Saltburn town.

My parents had to do some errands, so I had a walk around the town centre for a little bit. I had my camera with me, and was aiming to document my day a little. While walking past Greg’s bakery, I looked into the shop window, and was excited to see mince pies were on sale, which made me smile! I didn’t go in though as I was full up on my hot chocolate…! They have a Teesside Hospice charity shop in the centre, so I popped in for a visit. I spotted a fur coat which was very stylish, and had a browse of the books. 

We had a lovely little outing, it was rather autumnal with having a hot chocolate in the chocolate shop. If you are looking for somewhere to visit this autumn, I would recommend you check them out! 

Have you been on any interesting outings lately? 
Let me know if you like hot chocolate as much as me! :-) Xx