Friday, 28 April 2017

Second-hand Book Haul (And Stationery Item!)

Recently in my local town an enterprising bookshop has opened, which I discovered earlier in the year. It’s a charity run by volunteers and they provide free books. I’ve visited three times now, and have really enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and selection they have on offer. People can contribute books as well as take away ones they want to read; many people who come in such as I return them once they have been read. They also accept donations from the public, I think it’s a fantastic initiative, and hope they continue to succeed with it.

A little while ago, I picked up a few interesting books, and I was excited to see they had some titles I wanted to read. They offer loads of different genres, I gravitated towards a thriller, a classic, and a few contemporary novels, I was lucky to find a few brand new copies too. I’m currently half way through reading these, and I’m enjoying When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman. I won’t go into detail in this post about the plots etc. but you can be positive to hear all the specifics as soon as additional blog posts go up. 

I’ve included a list of the titles, if you are interested in talking to me further about book related topics, feel free to add me on Goodreads. Lastly I purchased a notebook from The Works, and I adore the message on the front. It’s A4 and has plain paper inside, I paid £3.00 for it and they had loads of other designs. Link to notebook here. Have you read any of these books yourself? Do you like my new notebook? :-) Xx

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Us by David Nichols
When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Candy and the Broken Biscuits by Lauren Laverne
Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Snack Diaries | Part Two

Nesquik Hot Chocolate
(From Heron Foods, price unknown.)
My brother gifted me this at Christmas, and I was pleased to receive it. I wasn’t sure what kind of quality to expect, but it was lovely. I suppose you can have it as sweet as you want by putting more powder in, the flavour was nice and a great budget alternative to the Whittard’s variety. For the best taste, I used all milk with it and heated it in the microwave.

Cadbury’s Mini Eggs
(From Poundland, £1.00)
What’s Easter without Cadbury’s mini eggs, they are so moreish too. I used this particular pack to decorate a baking project over Easter. There were a few left so I shared them with family and enjoyed them!

Jordan’s Frusli Juicy Blueberry Cereal Bars
(From Poundland, £1.00 for six bars)
These were so yummy, and a great healthier option than say a chocolate bar. The product appeared good value, the packaging was striking, and I can’t wait to try other flavours they were offering. They were juicy and moist, and perfect with a cuppa. 

Twinning’s Fruit Tea Multi-Pack
(From Co-op, price around £2.70 for 20 teabags)
Probably the best budget fruit tea I’ve come across, and each of the four flavours I loved including cranberry and strawberry, mango and strawberry, blackcurrant and blueberry and finally ST clements. The flavours were sweet and not sharp in taste at all, each as mouth-watering as the next.

What have you been snacking on lately? Do you have any Easter chocolate left? :-) Xx

Monday, 17 April 2017

Easter Weekend Photo Diary & Ramble

Happy Easter! Hope your weekend is going well so far. 
I wanted to share with you a few clips from my Easter so let’s begin…

Thursday > Star Buds Café

Our family traditionally watch the Grand National every year. We rarely win on bets but this year between us we came first and second. The winning total was about £8 so we put it towards coffees and cakes at our favourite local café, Star Buds. I had chocolate milk shake in a vintage glass and lemon flapjack. The café is part of a garden centre so we had a wander round and because I’ve been getting into gardening this past year I picked up a plant called a Hebe in pink paradise. As expected I took many photos from our little outing.

Good Friday > Baking

I wanted to take some time out to do some baking, after being so busy for the past few months. I made hot cross bun bread and butter pudding which went down well. Check out my previous blog post for all the details.

Saturday > Chill Time at Home

Saturday was a catch-up day, I did things like wrote and published a blog post, did a spot of gardening, watched some friends episodes and read some on my latest book, Chocolat by Joanne Harris.

Easter Sunday > The Stray by the Beach

We headed out early to a spot overlooking our local beach and I took some photographs, it was surprisingly quiet but I greeted a few dogs/dog walkers and managed a few pet portraits. My brother bought the Easter eggs this year from Heron Foods, they were doing some amazing deals, he got us all a Galaxy crispy chocolate bar for 65p each and a M&Ms Easter egg for £1.05 times two for me and him.

Easter Monday > Chill Time at Home

Today I will be catching up on errands, make an attempt to finish my latest book and a few other bits. :-)

How was your Easter weekend? 
Did you get anything from the Easter bunny? :-)

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding

Happy Easter weekend – and welcome to a new baking post. It feels like forever since I’ve had a baking session. Bread and butter pudding is one of my go-to recipes, so I adapted this simple recipe for Easter by adding hot cross buns, a dust of icing sugar and dotting the finished dessert with mini eggs. Most recipes I looked at had double cream, which I was lacking in the fridge, so I found this simple no fuss recipe using just mainly eggs and milk with a few extras. With the hot cross buns already having cinnamon and sugar on, I skipped adding the cinnamon and only added a dashing of extra sugar.

It makes a great Easter treat for someone who wants something tasty but not overly sweet. You can add extras like I did, adding chocolate such as mini eggs makes the dish extra special. A few things I picked up while creating this was when adding the eggy mixture to the bread, let it soak in for 10 minutes, and you’ll be surprised how much is soaked in. When putting it in the oven, as long as the eggy mixture has cooked, it should be done, I checked this by wobbling the dish until there was no liquid left. It can be served hot or cold, with fruit, or cream etc., the choice is yours. I got some approval for how it tasted too!

What are your plans for Easter weekend? 
Let me know if you are doing any baking! :-) Xx

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Rhubarb & Custard Shower & Bath Soak by Treat Me

I was browsing Superdrug the other day for cruelty-free beauty products to try and they seemed to have some new ranges available including ‘Paradise’ which has some fab gifting options such as bubble bars, soaps etc. and another range ‘Treat Me’ offering some affordable bath and shower soaks in some gorgeous scents. I was in need of a new shower gel, and was spoilt for a choice in the ‘Treat Me’ section. They had avocado and wild strawberry, salted caramel, raspberry and vanilla etc. I ended up buying the rhubarb and custard which as soon as I smelt, I adored and it's probably nicer than any other product I have tried in a while.

Superdrug seem to have upped their game on the cruelty-free front, and all their own brand products have the cruelty-free bunny logo on packaging. The ‘Treat Me’ shower and bath are 500ml for £2.99 although I’ve noticed offers ongoing and managed to pick one up for £1.99 which seems amazing value. The ingredients are not 100% natural unfortunately, and this particular item includes SLS. I’m often drawn to more artificial scents, although I know some natural scents can be gorgeous too. I would recommend this product, it lathers so nicely, and leaves a lingering scent. Great as either a shower gel or bath soak. See range here.

P.S. While I was doing my product photography in the garden, my pet chickens came over in an inquisitive fashion, and they put a smile on my face as they enjoyed being included!

What beauty/bath products have you been trying lately? 
Do you have any recommendations? :-) Xx