Category Archives: Review

#My99pSummer – A good old fashioned picnic!

I have to say I was quite excited when I heard about #My99pSummer, some of the 99p stores I’ve been in around the country are huge and have a lot of stock to browse through (and all obviously at one great low price) but sadly that’s not the case with my local one, it’s tiny! This doesn’t stop it from stocking a wide range of toiletries, household products and food/drinks but the seasonal items can be a little lacking and this was the problem I was faced with when I went along to use the £10 vouchers I was sent to do this challenge and see how much fun I could have with a 99p Summer!

After having a good look through all the summer items we decided we’d have to look elsewhere around the shop, the aisle was dedicated to gardening and had some really good looking items IF you have a garden, sadly ours can only be described as a car port on one side and a tiny piece of grass on the other, so this was not a good idea for us. After looking around we decided the only real option we could find was to have a picnic, now, these are always good fun and finding items that would make it more fun is always a challenge so off we went on a hunt and this is what we decided upon:

99p

Each of the sandwich boxes has 2 compartments so you can pack quite a lot into them and I love the easy closing snaps on them so I had to pick 2 of these up! Then I spotted the jelly moulds, I figured these would actually be great multi-taskers, not only can I make some nice jellies to take with us but we could also use them for dips, sauces and small snacks since they each have a lid. The last non-food item was in remembrance of what our summers are normally like, so something to have at home when it’s too rainy to go out but you still want that summer feeling – ice lolly makers! this 12 pack makes nice sized little lollies and you can make whatever flavour you want to, I feel some experimenting coming on here!

With the food we went with a ‘just add bread’ picnic. Sandwich spread seems to be a favourite in this house so a jar of that had to be included. We then turned our attention to the nice bit of any picnic, the snacks and treats! I just had to get Cadbury’s brunch bars as I love them, they’re so chewy and chocolatey they’re heavenly to me! Next into the basket was the mallows (sneakily followed by the clubs while I was off looking at other things) and then on to savoury snacks. We saw the offer for 2 packs of Kettle Ridge Chips for 99p so decided that would be a good way to go as they would be fun to share and different to the normal multipacks we get. After doing a quick add up we found we were 1 item short and looking around at first I couldn’t think what else we would need, then I realised I’d not thought about drinks! A quick scout around showed me they had some Robinson’s in stock so i figured a bottle of that would be great for many picnics (as would many of the other items as well) and we were set!

We took our picnic with us when we went over to the New Forest and ate it (with company) at Hatchet Pond

99p - Hatchet 1 99p - Hatchet 2

So thank you to 99p Stores for giving me the £10 vouchers to see how much fun we could have with My99pSummer, we did have a lot of fun and we can still have a lot more too since so many of the items are reuseable so there’ll be more fun days out to come!

A Higgidy Disappointment!

As you all know a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a picnic from Higgidy filled with lots of vouchers to try some products out. Well I decided to try the Little Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Quiche with my Higgidy voucher. When I ate it I found it to be lovely and cheesy, very creamy with a really lovely texture, it was one of the best quiches I’d ever eaten so when we were looking for a snack the next weekend I decided to get another for myself but my experience couldn’t have been more different. Each slice I took from it produced large stringy bits of onion stuck to the knife and there was even more onion still in the quiche itself. I don’t mind onion in a quiche but for me I prefer it to be either a hidden ingredient and cooked really well into the custard part or almost raw so it’s crunchy, I really don’t get any enjoyment from eating a stringy slimy piece of onion and so I wrote to them and asked which type of quiche was normal. They responded that my second one didn’t sound right but they could see nothing wrong from their end and offered me a voucher to purchase another product which I accepted and it arrived within a couple of days.

Last week Dave had a trip out with work so I planned ahead and used my voucher to get myself something (hopefully) delicious for my tea. I still felt a bit concerned about the quiche’s so I decided to try a pie and after reading the reviews on it I plumped for the Chicken Pot Pie with Ham and Leek

Picture

Sorry the pie’s not in the box but it’s only really after contemplating my experience that I’ve decided to write this and I thought I’d throw in a photo to break up all the text ….. it was either the box, or a cute one of next door’s cat!lol

Anyway, I cooked (or heated) the pie as per the instructions and have to say it smelled very lovely when it came out of the oven. Now I know I’m probably slightly odd here but I love the puff pastry tops on pies so I always cut them off and save them till last!lol But it was once the top was off I noticed just how much creamy leek was in the pie. I decided to fish about in the filling and came up with 3 small (about 1.0 x 0.5 x 0.5 cm) chunks of chicken and 8 tiny (0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 cm max – some smaller) cubes of ham and the rest of the pastry case was filled with leeks in a creamy mustard sauce.

I have to admit here that the pastry was gorgeous, the chicken (what little there was) was lovely and moist, the ham was a bit tasteless and just hard and the cream sauce was very tasty. The leeks themselves however were not nice, the few I tasted were not cooked well, they were kind of plastiky in texture but they filled up around 2/3 to 3/4 of the pie and so I found it to be mostly inedible and even Dave (who will eat most things) said he wouldn’t have eaten it when he got home and saw what I’d had to leave.

Now, I know and understand that there are always discrepancies when products are made, not everyone can be the same but when I purchase a CHICKEN pot pie, I expect the primary ingredient of the filling to be CHICKEN not leek and especially when they charge £3.50 for said pie. So for me, I’m never going to take the chance again, out of 3 experiences I’ve had 2 which were awful and even though the first was excellent, I really don’t feel like I have any trust left in the company and felt I wanted to share my experience and my opinions with my friends.

Shopcade – Have you joined yet?

I’ve been a member of Shopcade for a very long time and have been telling you all about it when I receive things from redeeming points or winning things with them right here. Well it’s about time I told you all about them now really isn’t it?lol

Shopcade is a Facebook app (soon to include Twitter and email login’s as well though) that claims it’s mission is  ‘To help you shop savvier while saving time and money!’ and they more than live up to it!

The main advantages to using Shopcade as I see them are:

Cashback and offers on your shopping – By simply adding items to your want lists and letting Shopcade know what you are interested in they can let you know when there are offers on the products you want so you know when it is the best (most cost-effective) time to buy and when you do buy, you get cashback too!

Trend Score – By interacting with the App (following people, adding items to your want lists, inviting people to join and shopping through them) you develop a trend score. The higher it is the better the rewards you can get from the site in addition to the ones mentioned above.

Points – You gain points from a variety of different methods. Logging in each day, following people, adding items to your wants, when a friend accepts your invite, when people follow you or add things you were the first to add and sometimes there are special games or missions which gain you extra points as well. These all soon add up and can be used for:

Rewards – Rewards are goods, vouchers and discounts that you can use your points to purchase, the higher the value, the more points it costs and also the higher your trend score would need to be to enable you to purchase it.

Competitions – You can use your points to purchase extra entries into their regular competitions. When it’s a draw you can buy extra tickets, when it’s a Lucky spin you can purchase additional spins.

So if all that’s not been enough to convince you to go have a look, maybe take a look here at the items I’ve redeemed points for over the last few months, if I can do it so can you too!

I have written this blog post with my own personal view of Shopcade but this blog post is a competition entry, you can see more details about this here and maybe join up and enter yourself too!

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,500 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Essentially-me perfumes

I was very lucky recently and was chosen as one of 25 people who would receive 10 samples from the lovely people at Essentially-me to test and review with one to be chosen to recieve the amazing opportunity of having their own perfume designed for them.

The 10 perfumes I recieved are: White Bloom, Kuan Yin, Chypre, Fauve, La Joupe, Classique, Amber, Tangos, Souk and Trade Wind. If you are interested in the different notes and tones used in each perfume then please feel free to follow this link to their website where there are details about this, my reviews of these will be about my opinions of them and how they react with me.

White Bloom

This really lives up to it’s name, you can smell all sorts of white blossoms as soon as you put it on and they all mesh together really well, it’s kind of like a walk in a monochrome garden, as it lingers it gets a bit warmer which is lovely, well, who wouldn’t enjoy a bit of spice in a beautifully fragrant garden 😉

Kuan Yin

I’m not really sure what to make of this one, it reminds me of something but I cant quite put my finger on it, I think it’s something from my childhood and whatever it is it’s making me smile so it’s nothing bad but it is incredibly frustrating! Anyway, it’s another lovely perfume which I’d be very happy to use any day 🙂

Chypre

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm is  all I can think about this one right now,  it smells just like parma violets on me and I love those little purple sweets! It’s nice and light, sweet and slightly floral and just makes me smile when I catch a sniff as I move about today 😀

Fauve

This one reminds me of medicine, it’s slightly spicy but under it all I can smell a medical smell which for me doesn’t really work well but as we all know perfumes smell different on everyone this might smell lovely on you 😉

La Joupe

When I put this on to me it smelled a lot like aftershave so I put it on D and it smells really nice on him, makes him very yummy! It’s a nice spicy scent and so very warming and somewhat comforting and there seems to be a hint of some flower under it all which is really nice 😀

Classique

When I first put this on, the only way I can describe it was as if some vicks vapour-rub had been out boozing all day & night, it was a strange mix of scents but as it developed and settled on my skin it mellowed a lot and although I still think it smells slightly of  vicks, it’s much more pleasant but on trying this on my ever obliging OH, we found it had a very strange scent, one I cant quite describe and both decided that this one really isn’t one we’d use again!

Amber

This is another memories one for me, when I first applied it I was hit with a ton of spicy notes but as they mellowed and the perfume warmed to me I found some almost fruity notes hidden away which round this one off very well, it’s very reminiscent of some of the incense that most of us have burnt at least once in our lifetimes!

Tangos

This I really like but only in small doses! I put a tiny amount on and really liked it so put some more on to wear it for the day and found it got a bit too overpowering for me, it’s nice but on me once it settled it was kind of like burnt spices which wasn’t very nice but when I wore a small amount of it I found it much nicer as other floral/menthol type scents came through more

Souk

This is another spicy fruit one and it’s lovely, made me smile just wearing it and as it developed more on me I decided I like this one more and more, there is something else there hidden behind the obvious scent but i just cant put my finger on what it is, whatever it is, it really works well and I have to say this is my favourite of them all so far, and only 1 more to go now! 🙂

Trade Wind

I really don’t know what to say about this one, as soon as the smell hit my nostrils my nose went into shock as it felt like they were being burned and I couldn’t smell a thing! I just really don’t like it at all. I asked D to see what his reaction was and he suggested it smells like “Grandma” and although we love his Grandma dearly, it’s not a good scent for us in a perfume …….. but it might be a great idea as to what to get her for Christmas! 😉

So thats my reviews, remember that all perfumes will smell differently depending on who they are on and as these are real scents and not chemically induced ones like many of the mass-produced perfumes they will not last as long on as you are used to but there’s nothing wrong with a little re-application now and again!

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