A Strong Coffee

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Foodie Gift Ideas For Fathers Day

We have been lucky to try lots of new products and Hampers, so I thought I would share the best with you if you are stuck for ideas for Father's Day.

1. Bordeaux and Artisan Cheese hamper.


Cheese and red wine are two of my favourite things and this hamper from Serenata did not disappoint. Worth noting that it doesn't come in a hamper though just a cardboard box. Still a lovely gift to receive.

2. Father's Day Tea

fathers's Day Tea

My husband really enjoyed this Father's Day ceylon leaf tea from British Tea Lovers. I liked the cute little strawberry strainers. If you sign up for their newsletter you can get 10% off and then you can use the discount code: DAD163 to get an extra 10% off!

3. Sip and Learn

sip and learn wine tasting

Sip and Learn is a wine tasting box that can be bought as a subscription or as a one off box. We tried a white box selection and enjoyed the wine as well as learning about it too.

4. Send Me Cakes

Send Me Cakes

Possibly the best cakes I have ever eaten. Every single slice of cake was moist and the selection meant that any cake lover you be happy.

5. Spice Kitchen

Spice Kitchen UK

If your Dad enjoys a bit of spice in his food then Spice Kitchen UK have a range of gifts to choose from. I loved the smell of my freshly ground spices and they taste great too.


Which would your Dad like the best?

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Heroes of the City Review and Giveaway!



You may remember that back in January 2014 we reviewed the Heroes of the City app. I can report back that it is still a favourite with middle man. He often puts it on his ipad on a long car journey. My husband has also often been seen to be looking in his rear view mirror for a police car when middle man has had the volume turned up too loud. Heroes of the City is a cartoon about rescue vehicles in a small town and is aimed at children 3-6. Middle man is 5 and really enjoys it.

Heroes of the City now have a You Tube Channel too! Here your little one can watch the movies, play pictionary type guessing games and watch crafty demonstrations. It is a great way of introducing them to the series and any Heroes of the City fans will like these added extras. Make sure you have spare toilet rolls and a glue gun for the craft demos they will want to do!

To celebrate, Heroes of the City have offered me a prize bundle to giveaway to one of my readers.

heroes of the city bundle

Just complete the rafflecopter entry below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ThePrizeFinder - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/heroes-city-goodies#sthash.L15jaCxm.dpuf


Friday, 22 May 2015

Are You A Hoarder?

Have a watch of this video. Does it ring true?



It certainly does with me. As you may know, I am a self confessed hoarder with a hoarder husband and three hoarding children. I am trying my best to change things.

Clearabee are an on-demand rubbish removal company and they have conducted research through Populus which has revealed that 8 out of 10 families hang on to items considered as junk. This represents 6% of the floor space in a modern 3 bed-roomed house.

Old clothes, books and magazines, and toys were most frequently cited as examples of junk stashed away by families. I am guilty on all counts here. Especially when it comes to the children's clothes.

So where do we hide them? Well the survey says everywhere! Lofts are the most likely place and I would have to agree. But sheds, garages and under stairs cupboards are all filled with junk too.

Rob Linton who is the operations director at Clearbee states that " In a nation where space is at a premium, it is staggering that almost one in three families are storing enough useless junk to fill an entire room. The cost in terms of lost property space is not fat off £10,000 per family."

I know for one that getting rid of the junk can be really hard. I attach emotions to objects which is why I struggle letting go. However, as I am continuing with my decluttering I am feeling so much happier. And guess what, I haven't missed any on the junk so far.

Not everyone can do the process themselves though and firms like Clearabee can help. In a matter of hours they can remove the junk and ensure it is recycled and disposed of properly.

Are you a hoarder? Do you have lots of wasted space due to keeping junk? Have you decluttered and feel better for it?




Sponsored by Clearabee


Hot Wheels Fashion And A Trackset Giveaway!

My boys are big fans of Hot Wheels. They have a number of large sets, a wall track and lots of smaller track that they like to combine together and race. They enjoy building their tracks and raceing their cars. Well now if you have a Hot Wheels fan you will be pleased to know that Hot Wheels branded t-shirts are now available from Zara.

Hot wheels t shirts

Middle man was excited to receive his t-shirt and got the Super Speed Blastway out to have a play.


We then decided to head to the park with Hot Wheels on hand. He played at racing them down the slide.

racing cars down slide

And was rather pleased everytime they went down! Apparently the purple car won a lot.


I like the t-shirt and it isn't a colour I would usually pick for him (mainly as I worry about him getting messy!) He came home from school today asking to put it on so it must mean he likes it too.

Hot Wheels have kindly offered a Super Speed Blastway set for me to give away to one of my readers. It is currently my boys favourite set and I have to say I enjoy it too! You can buy it from Amazon here but for your chance to win, just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck!




Hot Wheels Super Speed Blastway

- See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/hot-wheels-super-speed-blastway-0#sthash.o05kXQCc.dpuf

Thursday, 21 May 2015

10 Top Tips For Making Cupcakes

top tips for making cupcakes


A couple of weekends ago I had a morning with my friend decorating cakes - bliss! We had already been on a Cath Kidston inspired course with the company Cake Your Day, so this time we chose the vintage one. I was able to take in more of the tips than just worrying about how I was going to make them. So here are the top 10 tips that I learnt from the course for any budding cake decorators out there.

1. So your cupcakes are all the same size, use an icecream scoop to measure out the mixture into your cake case

2. If you want to make decorations like bows and flowers you need to make the icing dry hard. You therefore need to prepare it the day before with CMC. you need to add 1/4 teaspoon of CMC to 100g of ready coloured icing. You knead it in and then leave it overnight. You then knead again until it has a chewing gum texture and it is ready to use.

3. If you have any left over prepared icing you can make up decorations and keep them. Just put them in a cardboard box rather than a plastic one to stop them sweating.

4. Piping buttercream is much easier with large piping bags.

5. Using a Wilton 2D nozzle you can make a rose if you start in the middle and work out. If you start at the outside and work in, it is a nice swirl.

7. Use a small amount of Trex on your icing to stop them sticking to silicon moulds.

8. For a cheats way of making a lace effect use a sugar veil mat to make an imprint on the icing. Then brush with a mixture of superwhite and rejuvantor fluid.

9. Be careful with edible glitter. A little bit goes a long long way! I found this out myself. Also use it on the decorations before you put them on the buttercream.

10. Use sugar beads with edible glue for an easy way of adding beading.


Have you got any other good tips to add?

cakes in box



Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Marshmallow Pig Biscuits

marshmallow pig buscuits


These little pigs are easy to make and taste great too. Of course if you buy mixed white and pink marshmallows you may need to taste test the white ones whilst making the biscuits.

You will need (makes 8):

150g of plain flour
40g caster sugar
100g butter
Icing pen
Raisins
Pink marshmallows.

Pre heat the oven to 180C

Rub the flour, sugar and butter together.

making shortbread


Add a few drops of vanilla essence.

Roll into a ball. You will find this easier as it gets warmer. Roll out on a floured board and use a round shaped cutter to cut out 8 biscuits.

baking shortbread

Cook until brown which will be 15-20 minutes.

Allow to cool.

Cut the pink marshmallows in half. One half will be the nose. Stick this in the centre of the biscuit with using and add detail with the icing pen.

http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh625/louisefairweather/marshmallows.jpg


Then cut half of the marshmallow in half again to make 2 years. Add 2 raisins for eyes and a smile with the icing.

Pig cookies



Monday, 18 May 2015

My Little Pony Baby Cakes DVD Giveaway

Great news for any My Little Pony fans out there. Pinkie Pie finds herself in a bit of a predicament when My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic- Baby Cakes makes its way to DVD on 25th May. 

One of party pony Pinkie Pie’s favourite things to do is to play with twin toddlers, Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake. When Mr. & Mrs. Cake are in desperate need of a babysitter, Pinkie Pie volunteers as she could think of nothing better than spending lots of time with the twins. She soon realizes, however, that babysitting them is much tougher than she had thought. Despite doing her best to entertain the twins they keep ending up in floods of tears!

Whatever will poor Pinkie Pie think of to soothe them? Find out when Baby Cakes arrives on DVD and Digital Download, 25th May. The DVD is currently available to pre order from Amazon. I also have a copy of the DVD to giveaway to one of my readers. Just complete the rafflecopter below. Good Luck!



My Little Pony Baby cakes DVD


- See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/my-little-pony-baby-cakes-dvd#sthash.SKpIdG8M.dpuf

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