Saturday 13 April 2019

LOVE Brownies

Hey everyone :)

If you've been following my blog then you'll know I love baking and everything to do with baking and cooking too. When Love Brownies popped up on my Instagram feed and I had a little wander through their Instagram - I followed them straight away - from the amazing brownie flavours and the pastel-esque coloured packaging I was hooked! 

I was really supposed to wait until I get paid at the end of the month but I was bored the other night so I did a bit of online shopping ... well okay ... lots of online shopping. This includes Lush's new Valentine's range - post soon, these amazing brownies and a few things on Amazon - help me and my bank account!

First of all, the packaging was amazing - we all know I love a little bit of packaging! The brownies came inside a lovely little box and inside wrapped in some gift wrap. I like little touches like that - make you feel special and not just like someone has chucked something in a box, stuck an address label on it and gave it to Royal Mail.

Love Brownies started in a little bakery in Ilkley in West Yorkshire. When describing the area they live in it sounds just like home in Scotland - rugged hills and thick woods and purple heather. Almost all of their ingredients are local to the bakery in Ilkley bar the cocoa as it doesn't grow well here - understandable. 

I'm one of those people who love a gooey brownie - straight out the oven with some cold vanilla ice cream - in other words, I'm picky and hard to impress but these brownies - wow! They seem a bit crunchy when you first bite into them but as soon as you've got a mouthful they melt in your mouth and are so soft and moist (I normally hate that word but I have to use it here). I don't like to admit this but I nearly ate the whole bag in one sitting - I had to stop myself. 

I picked up this bag from their website HERE and it was £8. I think P&P was a couple of pounds too. Well worth it - let me know in the comments below if you've tried them. 


Tuesday 12 March 2019

Mary Berry Quick Cooking: Romano Pepper & Herb Penne

Hey everyone :)

Crispy Parma ham, red peppers and fresh herbs is such a lovely flavour combination. Parma ham usually comes in packets of six to seven slices - use the whole packet. Swap the ham for thin rashers of streaky bacon, if you prefer.

Serves: 4 // Prep Time: 10 minutes // Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

275g penne pasta
6-7 slices Parma ham, snipped into little pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, chopped
150g roasted red peppers in oil (from a jar), drained and chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
200ml full-fat creme fraiche
1 x 30g packet of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 x 30g packet of basil, roughly chopped
30g Parmesan, finely grated

1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a high heat. Fry the Parma ham for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Add the oil to the pan, along with the spring onion, peppers and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
4. Add the creme fraiche and bring to the boil, then add the drained pasta with half the crispy ham, most of the herbs and some salt and pepper. Toss over the heat for a few minutes.
5. Add the cheese and a splash of the reserved cooking water if the sauce seems too thick and spring over the remaining crispy ham and herbs to serve.

This dish is amazing and I really enjoyed it - to the point, I feel really sick now that I've eaten so much!

Let me know if you've made it!


Sunday 3 March 2019

Final Fantasy XIV: Daily & Weekly

Hey everyone :)

In the game there is so much to do - I'll happily admit I have barely scratched the surface but now that I'm level 70 (which is the cap at the moment) I do my dailies and weeklies which I've made into a checklist. I thought it would be good to share on my blog in case anyone else was looking for something similar. 

Note: That this is correct as of patch 4.5


Allagan Tombstone of Genesis
Capped at 450 per week - this gets you ilvl 390 Scaevan gear and weapons. You can get a full set from Enna in Rhalgr's Reach. I normally manage to max this out by Friday or Saturday at the latest after the Tuesday reset by running the Main Story Quest duty roulette and the Alliance Raid duty roulette - each gives 50 - totalling 100 per day. You can do other roulettes to get more but I like to spread it throughout the week.

If you are a Eureka nut - and regularly do the FATE train then this also drops Genesis so you can get them this way too.

Grand Company Supply & Provision Missions
There is 1 request each for crafting and gathering which yields decent experience. Depending on your situation craft it/gather it/buy it from the Market Board and hand it in. Certain items with a star will give extra experience. Grand Companies are located in the main cities - Limsa Lominsa, Ul'Dah and Gridania. If you hand in HQ (high quality) items you get bonus XP.

Beast Tribe Quests
Located all over Eorzea - you can do beast tribe quests for experience, ventures and reputation which ranks up and then you can purchase good items from the vendors of each tribe such as mounts, minions, housing items, crafting material - the list goes on.

A Realm Reborn: Amalj'aa, Sylphs, Ixal, Kobolds, Sahagin

Heavensward: Moogle, Vanu Vanu, Gnath

Stormblood: Ananta, Kojin, Namazu

Adventure Squadron
If you have unlocked your squadron it's a good idea to keep sending them out on missions so they gain experience and level up. Squadron Rank 3 is also required for you to get a promotion eventually.

This might not apply if you don't have a house but I am currently cross-breading seeds in my garden so I have to tend to them daily otherwise they go purple and die. I check these daily for re-planting or watering.

If you use retainers - I do a few checks such as taking any Gil they've made while I've been offline, making sure everything they sell is the best price (as prices change so quickly), making sure they have 20 items to sell (the max) and if they are back from a venture making sure I collect it and send them back out again (this would only apply if you haven't maxed them out yet). You can also check what is selling good on the MB and get them to collect this and then sell it if you have time.

Daily Hunts
There are daily hunts and weekly hunts. These are located at each Grand Company, Ishgard, Rhalgr's Reach and Kugane. I try (not all the time) to pick up the daily hunts and do these as they do contribute towards your seals - which I use to unlock the speed boost for the mounts in each area. There are also armour, weapons etc you can purchase too.

The Manderville Gold Saucer
If you want MGP then this is the place to go ... you can do the daily 3 Cactpot scratchcards for a chance to win MGP. There are also GATEs (similar to FATEs) and plenty of mini-games to get MGP which can be exchanged for weapons/armour/Triple Triad cards etc.


Doman Enclave Reconstruction
I was oblivious to this as I didn't tend to venture to Doma after I completed the story but you can contribute up to 20,000 Gil each week (this changes after certain amounts are reached) to help with the reconstruction of the area. I have been keeping my Allagan pieces I get from my retainer ventures to donate as they are just exchanged for Gil anyway. There is also a gratuity available on the donation which starts at 120% and goes up again when certain amounts are reached so rather than selling items to NPCs - keep them for Doma.

Wondrous Tails 
Khloe is located in Idyllshire and each week you receive a new journal which requires the completion of old/new duties to get seals. Collect 9 seals and hand the book into Khloe for rewards. This is most popular after the Tuesday reset - if you check the party finder you'll see it will have lots of people looking for parties to do "Khloe" in the notes. I logged on just as the reset was happening and there must have been about 60 parties ... logged on the next week at 8pm after work and there was about 10 ... so easier to do if you're on around reset.

Weekly Hunts
I did mention above about daily hunts - but there are weekly hunts which you can pick up. Again exactly in the same place. I normally manage to kill (myself) level 50 and 60. Level 70 you might need help from some friends. These will get you 100 seals which help massively. 

There are three raids currently:

The Royal City of Rabanastre (introduced in patch 4.1)
The Ridorana Lighthouse (introduced in patch 4.3)
The Orbonne Monastery (introduced in patch 4.5)

For each raid, you will receive a coin which can be used to purchase items to upgrade your armour/weapons. 

The Manderville Gold Saucer
I did mention this above but you can also enter the weekly Cactpot lottery 3 times (different to the scratchcards.

Fashion Report
If you are also looking for a hefty amount of MGP then you can try out the Fashion Report each week which can get you around 60,000-70,000MGP if you get above 80%. You can try and figure it out yourself if you enjoy that or if you check Reddit there is someone who does it all on an infographic each week.

Challenge Log
The challenge log is a great source of experience if you need it, especially for Eureka if you are still at a low level.

I think that's everything at the moment. I probably have missed a couple of things - Custom Deliveries being one but as I haven't gotten to them yet I haven't added it to my checklist for the week.

Let me know though if you can suggest anything :)


Sunday 24 February 2019

Millie-like Cookies

Hi everyone :)

I've got a sweet tooth and that's not a secret! I'm trying so hard to curb my habit of just wandering into the kitchen and picking at things!

I wanted something really sweet a few weeks ago and our food delivery wasn't due to the next day so there wasn't much in the kitchen - however, my baking cupboard was full as I've not baked much in the last few months! I had a look, did a little search online and came across this Millie-like cookie recipe!

For those of you who don't know - Millie's Cookies are these yummy cookies we have in the UK - they are so good!

125g soft butter
100g light brown sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
225 self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
200g chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 180℃.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds or so until combined.
3. Add the flour, salt and chocolate chips and mix until it starts to come together and stop.
4. Take small amounts (similar to the size of a walnut) and roll in the palm of your hand into a ball and place on a non-stick tray or on a tray lined with greaseproof baking paper. Space out as they will spread a little.
5. Depending on how you like them - for soft/gooey cookies then around 7 minutes will achieve this. If you want a more crunchy cookie then 10 minutes will do.
6. Take out the oven and leave on the baking tray for 5 minutes until they set and then transfer to a baking tray.

The cookies are great warm and taste amazing. You can also store them in an airtight container!

Let me know in the comments if you enjoy making cookies or if you have made this recipe before and do you prefer crunchy cookies or soft-chewy cookies.


Wednesday 6 February 2019

Lush Valentines Range 2019

Hey everyone :)

I didn't get around to posting about last year's Valentine's range so I thought I'd definitely pick up a few things this year!

Aubergine (bath bomb @ £3.95)
A glittering blue/purple/green bath bomb with notes of bergamot oil and tonka absolute. Uplifting, sunny and sweetly scented describe this cheeky looking bath bomb!

Peachy (bath bomb @ £3.95)
My favourite - full of fresh peach juice, grapefruit oil, davana oil and elemi oil. A very uplifting and refreshing bath bomb. Makes the water a lovely glittery, orange colour too! That's always a plus!

Avacado Wash (shower gel @ £5.95 for 100g)
Full of fresh avocado which makes for a conditioning and moisturising wash. Also has bergamot oil which is uplifting, olibanum oil which is meditative and resinous and avocado oil which is nourishing and hydrating. It also smells great and is green! They should bring this out at Halloween too!

American Cream (shower gel @ £5.95 for 100g)
This reminds me of snow fairy ... gotta wait until Christmas though :( 
Contains fresh strawberry juice which is cleansing and brightening, fresh orange juice which is cleansing and rejuvenating, vanilla absolute which is sweet and soothing and clary sage oil which is sensual and soothing! While typing this I'm wondering why I haven't put this over ice cream and ate it yet ... YUM! (side note: I didn't do this and please don't do this - don't want you getting sick).

I also picked up the Eve's Cherry lip scrub which is amazing - I'm trying really hard not to eat it instead of scrub with it.

Let me know in the comments below if you bought any of the Valentine's range this year?!


Monday 21 January 2019

Milkman Razor Rail! Clear Shaving Gel for Sensitive Skin*

Hey everyone :)

Milkman Grooming Co. is an Australian facial hair company that provides products for your face whether it be - for a stylish mustache or a well kept beard - they have it.

I've got very sensitive skin - I blame my Dad! So when I was asked to try out Milkman Razor Rail Clear Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin - I jumped at the chance.

A huge advantage over this clear shaving gel to the usual shaving foam is that you can see what your shaving and where you are going with the razor and this was a big plus for me! You can see everything... if I was to compare the gel to anything I'd say it's like putting hair gel on your face. It's also full of hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera, menthol and rosemary oil which hydrates and moisturizes the skin.

Added benefits include using less water because the gel just wipes from your face and blade. You also don't need to worry about needing extra items like a bowl or brush.

The clear shave gel can be used for a variety of tasks such as a full face shave, bald head shave or just good old beard scaping.

The clear shave gel also smells amazing - it's one of those "wake up" smells for me and you come away feeling fresh and awake.

If your interested in a bottle of Milkman Razor Rail Clear Shave Gel then your in luck as I've teamed up with them to offer one of you lucky lot a bottle ... just enter below by clicking on the link and following the instructions - it's super fast and easy.

Win Milkman Razor Rail Shaving Gel #13

The clear shave gel is contains no parabens or sulfates, is vegan friendly and also not tested on animals.

Let me know in the comments below if you have tried any other products from Milkman.

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however, I did receive a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Sunday 13 January 2019

Tenzing Natural Energy Drink

Hi everyone :)

I first discovered this natural energy drink at work as one of our contracts started buying it in for their stores. We bought some from the local Tesco to try and it's amazing! If I could describe it - it tastes in my opinion like flat cider and smells like it too - yes I know that's a very odd description.

The natural energy drink is made with 7 ingredients:

Himalayan Rock Salt
Full of electrolytes and minerals that re-hydrate and replenish, the rock salt is sourced directly from the Himalayan foothills.

Indian Gooseberry
Packed full of vitamin C and rich in antioxidants, these powerful little berries help fight fatigue.

Green Coffee
80mg of caffeine from raw, unroasted beans for natural stimulation.

Lemon Juice
A staple on Everest expeditions because they are packed with nutrients that revive and refresh.

Sourced from the Amazon basin and known to improve concentration and increase alertness.

Green Tea
Picked in Kenya's Rift Valley, this tea is rich in amino acid L-Theanine that helps reduce stress.

Beet Sugar
For a hint of all-natural sweetness, we use energising beet sugar from bio-diverse farms of the Netherlands.

You can buy crates on Amazon in 12s or 24s and you can also pick it up in supermarkets like Tesco. EAT restaurants also stock the drink too.

Highly recommend it over other energy drinks. 

Let me know if you have tried it! 


Monday 7 January 2019

BN3TH Underwear Review*

Hey everyone :)

When I moved house last year I had a clean out and one thing that got culled was my underwear drawer - it spanned a full drawer and a pile at the side on the floor as the drawer at the time was exploding! I got very carried away and ended up with only 8 pairs left - probably shouldn't have gotten rid of that many. Anyway ... I've slowly been building my collection back up and when I was asked if I would like to try a pair of BN3TH underwear - I jumped at the chance!

The underwear is made with 95% Modal / 5% Spandex and this unique fabric is 50% more absorbent than cotton, extremely breathable, wrinkle and pill resistant. It's also the softest underwear I've worn - at one point I forgot I was wearing them because they feel so soft

What really interested me is the "MyPackage Technology (pouch)" - this is a 3-dimensional pouch which provides amazing support for your man parts and reduces the need for shifting or adjusting. I'll admit that it does feel odd to pop your bits into a pouch but after a while, you don't even notice it.

The fabric is also 190 GSM which means the underwear is very durable but still very weightless. The waistband is also 1 3/8 inch which is just the right size so there is no digging or discomfort.

Overall a great pair of underwear and I'm very impressed. My other half also told me my bum looks great in them so another plus!

I went with the classic charcoal/ink colour but there are lots of different colours on the website - more than I can count. If you are one of those people who loves colourful underwear then be sure to check it out.

Let me know if the comments if you have tried BN3TH underwear before or whether you've been using them for some time! If you are interested and want to check out the range available then click HERE.

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however, I did receive a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

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