Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Printrbook | An Instagram Photo Book

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If you're anything like me you may be a little bit of an instagram addict. Instagram, to me, is so inspiring and the majority of people I follow leave me captivated by their little square photos. I love scrolling through and picking up tips on how to capture better pictures.

My instagram account is full of my favourite snaps from my day to day life. I like my pictures to be visually pleasing but to also capture the moments in my life I don't want to forget. Over the last couple of years I've built my photography skills by picking up tips from pictures I like and through lots of practise.

But what about friends and family who don't have Instagram and can't see your collection of favourite photos? Well this is where Printrbook comes in. Printrbook print Instagram photo books from your Instagram photos that capture your special moments and then ship them to wherever you are in the world!

All you do is link to your Instagram account straight from their site and choose the pictures you want to include in your book. You can choose between a book of 25 or 50 photos. You also get to choose the cover and have the option of including captions and adding text. 

I think Printrbooks would make amazing gifts, filled with pictures of happy times with friends and family close by, or sent to people who live far away who don't get to see you enough. They're really affordable and, at 10cm by 11cm, are small enough to not spend a fortune on postage costs. For me, I'm keeping mine as a mini coffee table book. Orlaith doesn't ever see my Instagram pictures so she loves flicking through this book and looking back at all the great times we've had. 

You can order your own Printrbook from their website here.
Use discount code xmas14 at checkout to get 10% off all orders until 5th December

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Wall Murals With 1Wall

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Today I'm teaming up with 1Wall to introduce their great range of wall mural designs.  I have quite a monochrome living room theme going on. Sometimes I throw a couple of colourful cushions on my sofa to add a bit of extra comfort and colour but sometimes I just like the simple monochrome look. When my apartment is cluttered my mind is cluttered so keeping things simple really helps me stay focused.

I chose the white loft brick wall mural for my apartment as I thought it would suit the style of my place well. I received the product with a sachet of wallpaper paste, which can also be purchased from the 1Wall website, however without any instructions I didn't really know where to start. I got online and watched their online video tutorial which helped.

The finished look is great and having a statement wall in the room adds so much character! I can stand back and enjoy the natural brick look a lot, and when I sent a picture to my friend she couldn't believe it was my living room. It's very realistic and I like the white tone they've used. However take a step closer and things aren't as great. 

Let's just say putting up wallpaper isn't as straight forward as videos make it look! Following the packet instructions of the wallpaper paste left me with a very watery mixture that wouldn't allow my paper to stick to the wall and left it permanently hard and wavey. When I got the paste to a thicker consistency the damage was already done to the mural and no matter what I did the paper ended up getting very creased on the wall. 

I wish I could keep the mural on my wall because when you're standing on the other side of the room and can't see all the creases it looks so good! But due to all the creasing I'm going to have to take mine down and repaint the wall back to it's original colour. 

I think, with a bit of wallpapering knowledge, this product would look great and I'm so disappointed that it didn't work out for me.  If you haven't the first clue how to wallpaper but you love the 1Wall murals, find someone with wallpapering knowledge and get them to help. 

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Depression | HelpStopMe

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Depression is such an ever present part of my life. I wish it wasn't and I'll probably never get used to the ups and downs that come with it. As you may know I've spent the past two years taking anti-depressants, triggered by a really low point while I was studying at university. The pills were a blessing during a time in need and made me balanced and... normal. Of course there were days where I wasn't balanced in the slightest but the majority of the time it just made life feel a heck of a lot easier.

While I think the pills helped me I want to stress that I tried so many things before I resorted to taking anti-depressants and I think pills should be seen as a last resort. I even turned them down the first time the doctor recommended them to me because I wanted to look for other methods of support. But, in the end, it was affecting my ability to look after Orlaith too much so I took the decision to try them out.

I've been wanting to come off the anti-depressants for a while and get used to dealing with stuff on my own without pumping myself with hormone balancing drugs. For some reason the doctor wouldn't lower my dose so after 4 months of trying, and feeling like I was totally ready, I decided to just stop taking the pills. In retrospect I should have started halving the pills myself instead of just stopping cold turkey.

Well, it's been two weeks since I stopped and it's been tough. In fact it's been a total emotional roller coaster and I doubt it's anywhere near over. So, one of the reasons I never got back to this space after I announced I was taking a 'short' break was because of that.

One supportive course I had the opportunity to try recently is called HelpStopMe Ltd. which is an online course using videos to help you, first, understand depression, then it helps you look at the ways in which it affects you and to discover your triggers, then it takes steps to give you different methods to deal with these triggers.

The great thing about having an online course is that if you have a connection to the internet and a set of head phones you can watch the videos pretty much anywhere. I found it really helpful to have a notebook and pen on me while I was watching to make notes about anything I found interesting or helpful to me.  Finding a quiet space where you can focus on the video without any distractions and getting comfy before watching is perfect to avoid distractions.

Of course I am fully aware that not everyone has money to invest in online material to help them feel better. And there is so much free online material which can be accessed to help people who suffer with depression. Below are a couple of resources (mostly free) that are worth checking out: 

-Headspace App: I love this app. I teaches you to take 10 minutes out of your day, every day to unwind. The first course on this app is called Take 10 and is free with a 10 minute audio guiding you through each day's session.

-Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are: Amy Cuddy fascinated me with this Ted Talk. 

-Depression Alliance which is all about connecting people and not feeling like you're alone.

-Hector And The Search For Happiness by François Lelord: This book is so cute and tells a really (really) simple story of a psychiatrist who goes on a journey to find out what makes people happy. It's written by a real psychiatrist and teaches you a really simple lesson about happiness.

-HelpStopMe Ltd.: The online course I mentioned above which is  a similar concept to face to face therapy sessions.


I was given free access to the HelpStopMe course. All opinions are my own and I was not paid for my review. 

Ilumi: A New Way Of Eating

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Have you ever had those days where you can't be bothered to cook or you just feel like a bit of comfort food? Ever feel like getting a takeaway or buying a convenience meal that will be ready with no hassle involved on your part? I know I get those days.

I recently discovered a great food brand called Ilumi. Not only is all their food additive free but all their dishes are also nut, gluten and milk free too! They have a huge range of food with lots of options available for vegetarians and vegans and they're passionate about creating food without certain allergy triggers but without compromising on taste. 

I have a dairy intolerance, but I still eat a fair amount because I'm lazy and it seems to be in everything these days. And very recently I've become aware of the benefits of staying clear of gluten. So to come across convenience meals that you can pop in your cupboard and simply heat up when you're having a lazy kitchen day without all the bad stuff in it is really comforting.

I was initially a bit confused as to how you are able store their food in a cupboard for months without it containing additives, so I went online to investigate and it turns out it's all in the way they individually prepare and package each meal. To find out more check out their FAQ section.

They have a huge range of food choices on their website and offer many different styles of dishes. I tried a selection of Chinese dishes which were really tasty. I can't wait to try some of their other dishes! You can check them out and order your own Ilumi dishes straight from their website: www.ilumiworld.com/


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Underground Cookery School

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Last week I was invited to an evening at the Underground Cookery School in Old Street with a group of bloggers. Even though I don't write a food blog I am really into my food and so I was pretty excited to try something new and eat some delicious food.

When I first arrived I was greeted with a glass of prosecco and plates of really delicious nibbles which I was trying very hard to eat slowly, however I may have scoffed a bit more than the rest (sorry ladies, I am a hardcore greedy guts).

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Our first task, after our nibbles were finished and we had fresh glasses of prosecco in our hands, was to shell broad beans and chop herbs.

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After everything was chopped and shelled we were split into two groups and prepped our pudding by making meringue and spreading it on a baking sheet to be baked for our roulade.

My group was then ushered to the fish station where we were taught how to fillet our fishies. Thankfully they were already gutted so it was pretty easy to do the rest with the help of our chef/teacher.

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We then moved to the chicken station where we had the privilege of debreasting a chicken each. This was my least favourite part of the evening but that's just because I'm totally squeamish. We had to do some pretty hands on stuff with this chicken carcass but I'll save you the details incase you're as squeamish as I am.

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Then we moved back to our pudding. We took the now baked meringue base we had made earlier and smothered it with cream and finally sprinkled it with chopped strawberries before rolling it into a log shape ready to be sliced and dished up.

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After all our hard work we sat down at the table again, by which time the endless flow of prosecco was getting to my head a bit, and our food was magically cooked, served and swiftly devoured.

The dishes were so simple and every one of them was delicious. I enjoyed my evening so much and had lots of fun getting to know the other girls there and getting stuck into the food preparations.

I would highly recommend the Underground Cookery School for group events. They specialise in corporate team building, private party, birthday and hen night events.

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Starter - Salad of Sea Bass, fresh Pea & Mint with Lemon Dressing
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Main - Roast Breast of Chicken with Salsa Verde, Broad Beans & Jersey Royals 
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Dessert - Strawberry Meringue Roulade
Weird disclaimer: I didn't eat the pudding because of my strange issue with berries but I did have a taste of the meringue and cream part, before passing it onto a fellow blogger who was more than happy to devour her second helping of it, and from what I tasted it was good! In fact most of the girls said it was their favourite dish. My favourite dish was the fish! And the nibbles! And the wine!

AkzoNobel Outspiration Social App

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I was recently asked to test out the AkzoNobel Outspiration Social App which is a new mobile application designed to help people discover the potential of their outdoor spaces. The app has some really great features like weather forecasts, promotional offers at your local hardware stores, a visualiser and more.

I decided to use this app to help me upcycle an old table I found into an outdoor plant table for mum's garden. It was really helpful having all the features in one place with the app and being able to find out the offers at my local B&Q before purchasing my supplies.

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I started my project by using wood glue to secure a wobbly table leg, and once it was dry I painted the table using Dulux Weathershield Exterior Satin. What I love about this paint is that it's durable, water based and dries really quickly. It only needed two coats and now my table looks great in it's new home in the garden.

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To celebrate the launch of the Outspiration app AkzoNobel is giving away a barbecue and a hamper worth £100 to encourage people to get outdoors and begin their Outspiration journey. To participate in the draw all you need to do is download the app and enter your details in the WIN section of the app. The competition ends on the 12th of May, so hurry!

You can download your AkzoNobel Outspiration Social App HERE!

{GIVEAWAY} How To Catch A Star

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Oliver Jeffers is an incredibly talented illustrator and children's book author. His art work has always inspired me and so I was thrilled when Harper Collins sent me a copy of the 10th Anniversary edition of his book, 'How To Catch A Star'.

'How To Catch A Star' follows the story of a boy who tries lots of different ways to catch a star and is complimented by simple and sweet illustrations by Oliver Jeffers.

Orlaith really enjoys reading the book with me and whenever we get to the end she asks me to read it again. We're really happy to have added this book to our collection and I think it will be one of our more frequently read ones!

I have one hardback copy of the 10th Anniversary Edition of the book to give away along with a 'How To Catch A Star' poster and a USB stick containing an Oliver Jeffers video and activity sheets. To enter simply use the form at the bottom of the page.

Alternatively you can pre-order your copy of the book here.

All entries will be added to the My Froley mailing list which you can opt out of at any time.

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{GIVEAWAY} Postman Pat DVD's

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Who remembers the original Postman Pat cartoons? Uh... me !!!

For the first time, you can now join Postman Pat and Jess the black and white cat in new digitally enhanced episodes from the complete 1980s and 1990s original TV series.

And I have 5 DVD's to give away !! The 1st prize is 3 Postman Pat DVD's and the 2nd prize is 2 Postman Pat DVD's.

This is a worldwide giveaway but please note that these are Region 2 DVD's so please check they work in your country before entering.

You can buy your own Postman Pat DVD's here.

All entries will be added to the My Froley mailing list which you can opt out of at any time.

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Recipe Challenge [part 2]

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Last week I went to Cabana Brasilian Barbecue in Westfield Stratford City to test their signature dish, the Spicy Malagueta Chicken and byyy god it was good! I then was challenged to go home and re-create the dish and choose which one was better, mine or theirs.

I'm going to make an admition here, I found the recipe online and used it, haha. But I also added some stuff to try and give the meal something else. Which one was better? Well, theirs was of course. I am not a chef and I don't own a barbecue. As I said in my review of my meal of Cabana, nothing beats the taste of barbecued food!

Although mine was still mighty nice. I ate it for lunch and dinner and it was also given a big thumbs up from Warren, who is a tough one to please. So I still recommend making this dish at home! Here's my version:

Ingredients:
(serves 2)

wooden/metal skewers or an oven tray (depending on how you cook it)
250g boneless chicken thighs or breast
1/2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into large pieces
1/2 yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped into large pieces
1 courgette/zucchini chopped into 1cm slices
chorizo, about 15 slices

For the malagueta sauce:

3 red chillies, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2tbs tomato purée
1/2tsp dried oregano
1tsp red chilli flakes
2tbs red wine vinegar
1tsp sweet paprika
1tsp salt
25ml groundnut oil

For the honey baste:

1tbs honey
1/2tbs cider vinegar
1/2tsp Dijon mustard


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and roast the chillies and garlic for 10 minutes. Meanwhile combine the rest of the ingredients for the malagueta sauce. Once cooked remove the chillies and garlic and blend with all the other ingredients using a blender (I use a hand blender).

Trim excess fat from the chicken and cover well with the marinade (you can either add all your vegetables into the marinade or leave them out)

If using skewers place on metal or wood skewers, interspersed with the peppers, courgette and chorizo and grill until the chicken is cooked. If using a baking tray put everything onto the baking tray and grill until chicken is cooked.

For the honey baste, combine all ingredients and mix well. Baste with the honey mustard glaze and cook until caramelised. Can be served on it's own or with plain fries or rice.


Quick Tip:

The vegetable and meat ingredients are totally up to your interpretation. Cabana only uses chicken and red pepper. The chorizo adds a bit of saltiness to the mix and the courgette is such a mild vegetable, and one of my favourites, it gives you a break from the strong flavour of all the other ingredients. But you can use whatever meat and vegetables you prefer.

Also regarding spice, if you are not a fan or spice reduce the amount of red chillies in the dish. I am actually not usually a fan of spice, and although 3 made it quite spicy, it was something I could handle. If you are super sensitive to spice I would recomend maybe using just one.

Enjoy x

Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair

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This weekend I went to the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair in Islington. Spread over 3 floors, and with over 400 stalls, it was certainly a busy afternoon. The Christmas Fair is the perfect place to pick up Christmas presents and decorations for your home.

As this is the first year I plan to have a proper Christmas tree in our home I was itching to pick up a few of the amazing decorations I saw for our tree. But as I'm on a tight budget right now it just didn't make sense to spend lots of money on luxury decorations. Definitely in the future I'll return and invest in some beautiful decorations. Orlaith was mesmerised by all the baubles and lights.

I loved that so many of the exhibitors were selling hand crafted goods, it's lovely that some magazines like Country Living like to celebrate and support small businesses and give them a platform to showcase their work.
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