Tuesday, 31 May 2016

May Degustabox

May's Degustabox was a good mix of sweet and savoury and we loved the products.

First were Brioche Pasquier Croissants, 8 gorgeous buttery treats for a continental breakfast or a snack. Have them as is or my preference is to warm them up for a few minutes in the oven. £1.80
Brioche Pasquier Croissants Degustabox

Garafolo Fusilli Bucati Corti - basically corkscrew pasta! £1.99 Like a pasta you would pick up in a deli, nice textured when cooked. Made from quality durum wheat and was wolfed down with some pesto.
pasta from Degustabox

The Wonderful Company Almonds and Pistachios, 2 x 90p. I had these as a snack when I was out and about.

Pomegreat juice (see main picture) £1.49 This was delicious and I'll be looking out for it in the shops, a really interesting and pleasant taste. Aronia juice enhances the flavour (a super berry) and of course pomegranates are a great source of antioxidant vitamins.

Beloved Dates (date nectar) £3.50. This is an alternative to honey and sugar, it can be used in home baking or on toppings on pancakes, waffles etc. Made from 100% pure dates, it is gluten and dairy free too.
date nectar

Kallo Belgian Milk Chocolate Corn Cakes £1.29 and Kallo Yoghurt Coated Rice Cakes £1.69
I tried one of each and loved them but then Little Bird ate all the rest over the week. Since then I've been buying them as they're an ideal snack for him (and me if I get chance)
They're suitable for veggies and low calorie so having one with your mid morning cup of tea is a suitable treat without ruining the diet. 
rice cakes

Get Fruity is a fruit and oat bar (see main image) £1, contains gluten free oats, virgin coconut oils and has no added refined sugars. There are six flavours to try, great to pop into your bag.

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze £1.99 is absolutely amazing! It has so many uses, jazzing up sauasages and burgers, glazing any kind of meat and for roasted vegetables too. Such a great product that I totally recommend especially for summer barbecues.
Jack Daniel's Glaze
Pechkeks misfortune cookies, 2 x £1. These are black cookies with dark humour and ideal for parties. Snap them and take out the fortune.
Just Cry
If the journey is the real destination, what are you doing here?
Not a product I would seek to buy again but I suppose they would be good for Halloween.
Misfortune Cookies

Cranes alcoholic drinks 2 x £1.90 Original Cranberry and Strawberry and Kiwi, really refreshing and I loved the pretty bottles. 4% alchohol, just 99 calories with little added sugar. A perfect summer drink for the garden.
Cranes fruity drinks

Mrs Crimbles Classic Madelines, £2.10  a sweet tasty treat and gluten free too. Six individually wrapped cakes in each bag. 

Mrs Crimbles Classic Madelines

Morse Toad chocolates

This month there was also a lovely thank you of some chocolates from Morse Toad!

Degustabox is a monthly subscription box of new foods on the market, use the code  BLDEG15 to try Degustabox for just £6!!

*I received a box for the purpose of the review

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Cragside, tantrums and oodles of tulips

terraces at Cragside yellow and red tulips
It was a scorching day and we headed to Cragside in Northumberland which is a huge National Trust Estate, a Victorian delight and it really is massive. The walk over to the formal gardens had the dogs panting and a small child whinging. So much so that at the garden gate he erupted into the meltdown point of no return and I left him with his daddy and a rucksack of snacks. Ha, ha, off I skipped for some carefree mum garden viewing....until I realised I could still hear the crying across the tulip terraces. Cragside clok tower pink alpine plant Cragside house NorthumberlandReunited with the dogs, thank you National Trust for allowing them into here, I looked around at the formal planting - lots of pink daisies and perennials ready to burst into life. terrier dog and flowers pink and red flowers Cragside formal Victorian garden Orchard House glasshouse Cragside lime green plant wooden hut In the hut of tantrum by the gate of despair.in the glasshouse In the Orchard House of happy mother looking at figs and hoping the terrier wouldn't cock his leg up.deep red tulips Tulip inspiration, I must buy lots of tulip bulbs for autumn for patio pots and planting in the flower beds, I'd love a trough of them at the allotment too. tulip terrace tulip pots yellow climber Italian terrace Pink and yellow are a favourite combination of mine. pink and yellow primula fan trained fruit tree bellis in pink and maroon The Loggia Cragside red tulips A bit happier heading up the steps and tears wiped away - nothing a bag of crisps and a biscuit won't cure. Normally he loves the gardens but ah well, another time. Kids eh?garden dancing
Joining in with HDYGG?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Little coastal cottage

holiday cottage Coastal cottage charm - turquoise painted wooden chairs and a spotty oil cloth tablecloth with a welcoming lemon drizzle cake. Fun artwork of dogs on their seaside holiday and vintage lolly signs. dogs by the sea artwork cottage kitchen Lots of lovely seaside details like the whale chalkboard and fish decorations, cool look grey wood panelling as splashbacks and a cosy feel in the living space. Vintage granny blankets for cosying with a book and bookshelves filled with holiday reading material. coastal cottage kitchen coastal cottage living space Swedish horse decoration Fishy prints in the book nook and nautical details like a ship in a bottle and lighthouses - trinkets you can find in holiday gift shops and charity shops. Blue and turquoise are the main colour theme throughout the cottage, blue patterned curtains and sea blue accents in the bedrooms. fish print lampshade cottage style cottage bedroom submarine art
 I love a coastal cottage as they give so much inspiration and whilst on holiday I picked up some new home items to take the theme home, a bargain wooden seagull was my best buy from the tourist information shop.cosy cottage interior Hurricane lanterns for the salty nights with a tea light flickering.coastal cottage Finally, not coastal but I love the bright, cheerful bird mugs that I've seen for sale in a garden centre. They looked great on the dresser in the cottage and given that the garden was full of birds everyday, it was a nice touch to this cosy place we stayed.pretty dresser with mugs

Monday, 23 May 2016

Chocolate, snacks for every day of the week and the thirsty gardener

Degustabox April Degustabox April was a great selection, one of the best for variety and some particularly nice treats. Firstly thirst quenching drinks - Thor Dry Apple Spritz in an apple and a mint flavour. These were lovely for an afternoon drink in the sun out in the garden. 2 x £1.80Thor dry spritzers pretty glass Some products from Parle-G which I was intrigued with due to the kitsch style packaging. It's an Indian company that is the largest selling biscuit brand in the world apparently. The biscuits were ok and the rusks were just that, rusks. Nothing exciting in my opinion......(25p and 89p)Parle biscuits Parle rusks
Now these next products really did tick the boxes for me - Veetee microwavable rice, Basmati and also a most delicious wholegrain brown rice and quinoa blend. Gorgeous and so quick for putting together dinner. We took these on our holiday to Northumberland and used them with a curry and a spicy tomato concoction. I actually saw these in one of my regular shops recently and bought them again. (£1.49, £1.29)
brown rice 
Levi Roots Coat 'n Cook sauce, £1.00. A tasty and spicy marinade (that you can just pour on) for jazzing up meat, chicken, fish and I would use on vegetarian products too. We tried the Jerk flavour, a blend of the hot scotch bonnet chillies, spices and thyme. We like foods with a sauce on them so would look for this range again.
Levi Roots Jerk Sauce 
New Canderel Sugarly. looks and tastes like sugar but with zero calories £3. Can be used just as sugar, in hot drinks, in cooking and baking. We used this in a rhubarb crumble and it was just as a crumble should taste. 
Chocolate - hooray! My son ate most of this, Smarties Sharing Block, £1.29, chocolate with the usual colourful Smarties in it. Gorgeous.
Then we tried the new Milkybar Milk & Crunchy mini bars multipack of 4, £1.00, and these were delicious. Little man loved these and I'll be adding these to our regular treat list.
Smarties Sharing Block Milky Bar 
Popchips, £1.99 in Sea Salt, garlic & rosemary flavour. Also available in caramelised onion & thyme flavour. Less than half the fat of fried crisps, they are a lighter treat. I had these on a weekend whilst doing some work and thought they were very garlicky but very moreish. 
When I go to the allotment I take a drink to sit on the bench and enjoy after doing some digging. Green Lady is a tea drink using Green Darjeeling tea leaves to create a healthy drink. £1.99 a bottle, probably a little pricey for me to purchase as a drink at home but it was a nice change. 

We also tried Rejuvenation Water, Derbyshire spring water that is enriched with amino acids. A healthy drink that will appeal to some but we were not keen £1.99

I have to say that the healthy drinks are a little samey, add in some alcohol please Degustabox :) 
GreenLady Sparkling Tea 
My favourite product of the month were the Bebeto mini fruit strings, 1.99 for a 7 day pack. Each packet contains small packets of fruit strings made with 85% fruit juice. Well I thought these were fantastic and my son tried them too. A great snack for our days out. Bebeto Fruit Strings
The total of the box came to just over £20 which is a good deal as the box is £12.99 a month. You can try out Degustabox for a special price of £6 with the code BLDEG15

* I was sent a box for the purposes of the review, words are my own honest opinion.