Thursday, 27 June 2013

My Cleaner Cleaner

I have been sent an AEG UltraCaptic to test out and review. So I thought you would all like to find out how I am getting on.

I admit that I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, and myself and my two boys were very excited opening the box and putting it all together. It has three different main heads which I found a bit intimidating at first as how would I know which one to use? However the instructions are really clear and helpful, and I soon got to grips with what would work best and where! It also has a three in one nozzle which is just fab.
Here is me having a quick go!
As soon as it was all set up, I got going. My two boys create plenty of mess on a daily basis so the UltraCaptic has had plenty of use since its arrival. One of our challenges set by AEG was to "spruce up our home in the quickest time" which I was able to complete with the imminent arrival of some friends. Just before my friends arrived I turned around to discover biscuit crumbled all over my sofa, rug and hard wood floor. I already had plenty to finish up, but after taking a deep breath decided this was the perfect opportunity to see what the UltraCaptic could do. Armed with my three in one nozzle (for the sofa) and my multi cyclonic suction end, I was off. Within minutes it was sorted. I am very impressed at this point! It was so easy to change the button on the head between the hard wood and the rug, and normally with our hard wood floors I can't access the edge of the room very well and I end up changing the head to the nozzle over and over again. But not this time. The UltraCaptic is great at getting right to the edge of the room with the main head. This is a huge plus for me! Mission complete in record time, minutes before my friends arrived.
In use as it sucks up the biscuit!
On another note usually when I put the vacuum on my boys make a huge fuss at the noise and my three year old storms out complaining its too loud. The UltraCaptic is quieter than our usual vacuum and I didn't have the normal storming out. Instead my three year old stayed to help, and plugged me in.

Over the next few weeks I will be continuing to update you on how I am finding the UltraCaptic. That way you get a real view of what its like and you can learn about each feature as I use it (without being too overwhelmed), so watch out for more posts.

I'm not an expert on all of the functions of the UltraCaptic, but AEG are so if you want to know more why not check out their website.



Shopcade

I am always trying to bring you new and exciting things and I believe that Shopcade might be just what you are looking for. I confess I had never heard of it until recently, but someone should have told me about it! I love a good deal and I am always hoping for a bargain particularly on clothes and shoes as, as much as I would love to spend lots on them, other things have to come first.

Shopcade is perfect for finding those deals, with millions of different products to choose from! It also does all the hard work for you, searching through finding you the best trending products. All you have to do is log in and have a quick look (as you use it it learns your preferences too). The best bit is that if you click and save items in your wishlist, when a deal comes up for that item it lets you know. It really does do it all.

Here are some key points you need to know about the site:

1. Create a wishlist and when a deal comes up for them it lets you know! Think of it as your personal shopping app! (By the way you can download it as an app on your phone too so you can keep track wherever you are)

2. It picks new products out for you that it thinks you will like, and shows you the current trends

3. With over 100 million products and more than 130,000 brands who wouldn't want to shop! Thats a lot of choice.

So here are somethings that I love from the site (and I have added them to my wishlist too)

Stripy casual dress

I love these shoes! 
I thought this might brighten up my bedroom
New Dress - Yes Please!

There is definitely something for everyone, and what a great way to get the best deals on your Christmas presents. All you have to do is save what you want in your wishlist and await marvelous deals! So what are you waiting for, head straight over to shopcade now.

This post is my entry for the etailpr blog competition to win a £200 Asos voucher PLUS a £200 voucher for a retailer of your choice on Shopcade!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

My Dream Dinner Party Menu

This is my entry for the Taylor Wimpey Dinner Party Competition. Where as the title suggests they are inviting people to come up with their dream dinner party menu. So here is mine.

Aperetif 
Twisted Gin & Tonic
A frozen Gin & Tonic slushy served with fresh lime and basil

Starter
Caprese salad served with a balsamic and beetroot glaze
The earthiness of the local beetroot is the perfect accompaniment to the Mozzarella, and the balsamic brings out the flavour of the tomato

Main
Lemon Sole served with roasted new potatoes, samphire and asparagus
This is a perfectly balanced dish allowing you to savour each mouthful

Dessert
Profiteroles with lavender infused cream and a dusting of popping candy 
The Norfolk lavender infused in the cream brings an added perfume to these delicate profiteroles whilst the popping candy brings you back with a zing. Weird and wonderful.

Accompanying Wine
Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 
A perfect wine for my perfect dinner

So that is my menu, I hope you like it. I had great fun putting it together and its all my favourite foods put into one menu!


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Hungry to Happy Challenge


This post is an entry for BritMums’ Hungry to Happy Challenge sponsored by Richmond Mini Meatballs, you can read more about it here on BritMums

We are always up for a challenge in our house and anything that turns my three and one year old from hungry to happy is a winner for us. As it seems that they are always hungry! In fact for me as a Mum, and I am sure you are all the same, from the moment I am up and sorting breakfast, I am also thinking about lunch and what I need to do to make sure dinner is served at the perfect time, catering for everyones individual tastes and wants! 

Time is precious in our house and I am always looking for, quick and easy recipes that are nutritious and tasty as well as enjoyed by both my two children and my husband. Thats no easy feat, but this one really worked well for us, using Richmond Mini Meatballs (which by the way you can cook from frozen in 10 minutes and they were designed with children in mind!), here is my recipe which served 4 of Tomato Sauce Meatballs and Rice. The meatballs cost £2 and most of the other ingredients are stock items that I keep in most of the time but it didn't cost me anymore than £5 to make. 

Meatballs! Frozen and ready to be cooked.
Tomato Sauce
Tomato Sauce 
1 red onion 
1 or 2 cloves of garlic 
5 closed cup medium sized mushrooms
1 red pepper
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Blob of tomato puree
Splash of tomato ketchup
Splash of Soy Sauce
Splash of Mushroom Ketchup
Splash of Worcester Sauce
Sprinkle of Pepper to taste 
Oil seed Rape or Olive oil 

Other Ingredients
1 pack of Richmond Mini Meatballs 
Basmati Rice (Or if you fancy something different it would work well with pasta too)
Cheddar Cheese

1. Chop up the onion and garlic and heat with a little oil slowly on a low heat until cooked and get your rice on and your meatballs in the oven!
2. Chop up Mushrooms and Pepper - this is a great step for little hands to get involved in and I assigned this to my 3 year old as both mushrooms and pepper tear really well (see the picture below). Then add to the saucepan.
3. Add in tin of chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, worcester sauce, mushroom ketchup and grind in a little pepper. Bring it all up to the boil and leave to simmer. 
4. Put your cooked meatballs into the tomato sauce and serve with your rice.
5. We love cheese so we just added a little bit grated on top for serving.

The finished dish!
This is Jake breaking up the mushroom ready
All in all this took me about 15 minutes in total to make and whilst cooking I had a three year old "helping", a one year old tugging at my leg and I had to take a phonecall as well! 

Whats more important is that everyone enjoyed it and my husband and three year old went back for extra helpings of the tomato sauce and meatballs, nothing says yummy mummy better than a cleared plate! So why not give it a go too! What I love about this recipe is that you could also make the tomato sauce earlier in the day and just bring back up to temperature later if you need to, or you can make it up really quickly without much preparation or planning if you are having "one of those days"!