Friday, 30 January 2015

Beauty - My Skincare Update

The condition of my skin has improved dramatically over the past few weeks.

I even went out the other day without concealer on... now that's saying something!

I just wanted to very quickly share with you what products I've been using that have seriously changed my life...

I've been raving about Merumaya Iconic Youth Serum and I've recently added in the Merumaya Luxury Facial Wash. I also purchased this Origins Super Spot Remover:

The combination of these products seems to have done the trick for me and my typically spotty chin has cleared up. It's still not perfect, but it's dramatically different to what it was like a few months ago.

I've included the evening skincare routine that I filmed when I was in Copenhagen at the start of the week and you'll find my previous evening routine filmed at home here.

What skincare products have you been raving about? I'd love to hear your firm favourites.

Sarah x

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Review - Donald Russell Ultimate Valentine's Box

When I was asked if I'd like to review the Donald Russell Ultimate Valentine's Box, I jumped at the chance. Yes please!!

For parent's it can be tough to get out for a nice meal, so the thought of being able to prepare a gourmet dinner in the house for Valentine's Day (or any other occasion for that matter!) really appealed to me, as I'm sure it will for many of you.

Donald Russell are Britain's leading mail order meat supplier, and they're based near Aberdeen, my home city. Only the best producers qualify to supply their meat and this was evident in the food that we were sent.

I received a box to my door that contained vacuum packets of fish pie, chateaubriand, potato rosti and chocolate brownies, kept cold with dry ice. I then popped these into the freezer until required. All of the items can be cooked from frozen except the steak. You'll need to remember to defrost this.

There are clear instructions on the website about preparing your dinner, and it really was quite straightforward. 
Starter - Fish Pie

The fish pie was baked for 30 minutes in the oven from frozen and it was presented beautifully in a scallop shell. The portion size for the fish pie was good (it's bigger than it looks!) and we both thoroughly enjoyed it (although Rick didn't eat his prawns - they were passed to me!). The mash was creamy and smooth and the plaice, scallops and prawns in the pie were delicious.

Main - Chateaubriand with Potato Rosti

Most of the time when I've attempted to cook steak at home it's been a bit 'meh'.

This time, I followed the instructions on the Donald Russell website for pan to oven roasting and we both were so impressed with the end result. Rick was a bit unconvinced on the 'resting' but we went with the step-by-step guide and rested the steak whilst we cooked the rosti (cooked from frozen in 15 minutes).

Wow, just wow!

This is without a doubt the best steak I've ever cooked at home. It just goes to show you that it is worth choosing a quality piece of meat. 

The rosti were also lovely and we added some broccoli for a bit of colour.

Dessert - Chocolate Brownie

The dessert was a chocolate brownie, and if I'd thought this through I'd have made sure we had some ice cream for serving, but we didn't so we had ours with custard. Fail on my part - oops! Again, this was cooked from frozen in about 15 minutes and it was seriously so good. Gooey in the middle and crispy on top. The portion size was really generous too.

I'm super impressed with the customer service and quality of food in this gourmet meal in a box. I think it's definitely worth it's price tag (£54.50). You can enjoy an amazing dinner in the comfort of your own home... no babysitters required! Ticks all the boxes for me :-)

We received a complimentary Ultimate Valentine's Box in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Interiors -

I was very lucky to win Charlotte's What My Home Means To Me competition, and in doing so I bagged a £200 voucher. Yay! I'm so chuffed. I have a few items from already in my house... my two-seater brown sofa and my plum armchair. Both of which are in my living room. I've been impressed with the quality and value-for-money, so I'm excited to see what I can buy with £200.

So now I'm faced with the tough decision... what to choose?

I could add a little more to get this - Arthus 2 Seater Sofa, Grey - £229

You can see I love grey, can't you!!

Austin Floor Lamp, Copper - £79 (also comes in chrome)

I need some help, what would you pick?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Review - Pizza Hut at Silverburn

Last weekend we were invited to try the new menu at Pizza Hut, Silverburn. It tied in very nicely with my birthday and the kids were super excited that mummy was having a 'pizza party'!

The staff knew we were coming but I don't think we were given any additional special treatment compared with the other diners that I could see.

Anyway, we were welcomed into the restaurant and shown to our table. Pizza Hut is really family friendly and we were given a pot of crayons and some activities packs for the kids. We were also handed some menus and given some time to peruse!

The kids went for the £3.99 meal deal which included a main, unlimited salad and a drink. Plenty of choice was available too - not only was there pizza but also pasta and chicken bites. The littlest added some fries for £1.50 which was actually quite a sizeable portion, and so these were shared amongst us all.

This salad bar is such a great concept, and it meant that the kids could help themselves to some healthy snacks to keep them going whilst we waited for the pizza to arrive. (You can also see that the littlest has made herself right at home by taking off her shoes!!)

The Salad Bar

I was excited to try the new Hamilton Beach Shakes strawberry-berry-nice milkshake (£3.75), and it didn't disappoint. I love a proper ice-cream milkshake. It was such a huge portion, served in a steel canister, that both Rick and the littlest got to try it too! 

I didn't seem to get any decent photographs of the juice bar, but for the kids and for Rick they could help themselves to juice, which was unlimited. Again, a great concept which allowed the kids to get involved in preparing their drinks and kept them entertained a little whilst the pizzas were made.

Thumbs up!

Rick had ordered a large pizza for himself - the New Orleans Cajun Sizzler (£16.75), and needless to say he didn't manage to finish it - it was huuuuuge! We did get a few slices to take home with us in a box (which we managed to forget as we left the restaurant - oops!).

The littlest's cheese, tomato & ham pizza
Getting stuck in!
The cheese, tomato & sweetcorn pizza was a huge hit with my son. He demolished the lot!

We tried a few of the new starters, which were brought out with our pizza (at our request). We had chicken poppers in a BBQ sauce and some garlic mushrooms with a dip. Both were really good. The chicken was boneless, so unlike chicken wings the kids were keen to try and my son loved it.

I went for the lowest calorie pizza, the Chicken Delight, which came in at 500kCal (£8.85). I have to admit that the base wasn't as good as a regular pizza and perhaps wasn't what I was expecting. The menu says 'thin and crispy' pizza, but it was super thin. This was obviously to keep it healthier and it was still loaded with toppings which was great. I really enjoyed it though and it certainly filled me up! 
I think next time though I'll just go for a regular pizza and skip the milkshake!

The kids had dessert - Ice Cream Factory of course - which was £1.50 each (unlimited too!)
This was my son's creation (helped by Rick!).

And you can see it was demolished too!!

The four of us managed to eat for just under £50, and we were stuffed by the end of the dinner. No return trips to the ice cream factory for us!!

Overall we had an amazing dinner. Definite thumbs up all round. The menu was good value for money, particularly the kids menu. The restaurant is ideal for families and well worth a visit. I don't tend to eat out that much with the kids, but of our experiences so far I think this one has to be up there. The salad bar was the big winner for me - no waiting around for food to arrive & we could get stuck in straight away. I didn't feel too stressed out, which can sometimes happen when I have to entertain the little ones as we wait for food! 

We received a £50 voucher for Pizza Hut, Silverburn in exchange for this review. As always, opinions are honest and are my own.

What's On - The Electric Gardens

Unfortunately I was feeling too under the weather to make it along to the preview of The Electric Gardens on Thursday night last week, but I have been sent some of the images that I thought I would share with you.

We've been to The Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry before and it was absolutely breathtaking. I'm guessing this is a similar type of light and sound event, but on a smaller scale. It's in the heart of Glasgow's West End; so it's very easy to get to.

The self-guided evening walk, which is part of the West End Festival, is open to the public from 23rd January until the 15th February, starting every half hour from 5.30pm until 8.30pm.

Ticket prices for the event are £10 for adults, £8 for children or £30 for a family ticket (for 4). Since going on sale in December tickets have been selling fast particularly for weekends, early booking is advised. It should also be noted that ticket sales for the same day stop online at 3pm. After 3pm, you can buy same-day tickets from Oran Mor (top of Byres Road) in the bar. Tickets can be bought online at or by calling 0333 666 3366. 

It goes without saying that you should dress for the weather - most of the event is outside. And I'd advise you go on public transport as parking will be difficult.

Photography by Julie Broadfoot

Saturday, 24 January 2015

What's On - Burns Night

For those of you that don't know, it's Burn's Night on 25th January and to celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns many Scots will be eating haggis and drinking whisky at Burns Suppers around the country.

Have you made plans to celebrate yet? I've got a few ideas for you...

Bairns Brave Burns Lunch at The National Piping Centre

Big Burns Supper in Dumfries just got bigger! It's the world's biggest Burns Night celebration. There are loads of events on up until 31st January including Hamish the Haggis's Mini Burns Supper for the kids.

Hue & Cry are also playing a gig on Sat 31st January. I grew up listening to the Hue & Cry brothers and vividly remember writing about them in one of my primary school jotters as we spotted them one weekend. I spelt the name wrong, and my teacher had to correct it! I still enjoy listening to 'Looking for Linda' every so often *sings* Never stop looking, never stop looking... Such good memories!

There is also a super handy Six Step Guide on hosting your own Burns Supper which you will find here. And there's also this post over at Life With Munchers with some food, decor and activities that you should take a peek at.

For other ideas on activities to try at home, have a look at an older post of mine on 30 Braw Things to do Before You're Three.

Giveaway - There's always time for tea!

Hello folks...

I've been a little quiet this week on social media as I've been working longer hours at my new job and trying my best to quickly get into a new routine. Things are a tad stressful, my house is a tip and I am coming down with a cold...not good!

Anyway, one thing that always makes me feel better is a nice cup of tea (I have one in my hand as I write this!), or even a hot Ribena and this week I've been on the Lemsip too! The littlest even likes a warm juice!!

I sometimes find that just taking a few minutes out to prepare a cuppa is enough to relax me a bit!! At my new work we have boiling water on tap, but I don't have that luxury at home...

I've been kindly offered a Breville Traditional Kettle in Vanilla Cream to giveaway to one of my lucky followers by House of Fraser. It has a 3kW fastboil element for a quick cuppa and 360 degree base for left- and right-hand use. House of Fraser have a wide selection of stylish kettles for your hot water needs whether it be for tea, coffee or juice!

All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below:

Good luck :)

Open to UK residents only
There is only one prize
No cash alternative
The giveaway ends on Monday 2nd February

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