Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Review: The Present Finder

The Present Finder is a family run business specialising in unusual and upmarket presents. It was started in 2000 from a shop in Sherborne, Dorset which is still open today. They pride themselves on the quality of products they sell and their exceptional customer service. They kindly offered to send me a gift to try for myself, and I was delighted to receive a wine handbag (it's as if they know me!)

The delivery was super quick and pretty much arrived a day after they contacted me.  The box included their latest catalogue, full of quirky and interesting gifts.  I love presents that are different and individual so I also took a look around their website.  They have categorised everything into sections, and I particularly love the "I'm completely stuck for ideas" option as it's full of random, weird and wonderful gifts. Anyway, back to the wine handbag!

Bottles can be heavy, easy to break and a pain to carry but the wine handbag tries to make life a little easier for you with the easy carry handle and handbag desgin. The wine box is filled with 1.5 litres of delicious Vernissage Chardonnay Viognier. It's a young, fresh and aromatic bouquet with hints of apple, citrus, pineapple and vanilla which follow straight through onto the pallet.  I think it looks great, but it's a shame that there's no room for me to put my belongings in as well! You can buy this online for £29.99 here.

There really is something for everyone available, so whether you are stuck for gifts for a difficult Dad or the friend that has everything, you're sure to find the perfect present for them here

L x

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Co-operative Food's Low Calorie Eating

Doing Slimming World is really easy when you prepare your food at home, but trying to find something when you're out and about can be a little tricky.  So far I have found it hard to find low calorie snacks and food that don't contain forbidden elements, like butter or mayo in sandwiches or salads laced with oil.  When Co-Operative food contacted me to tell me about their best low calorie products available in stores this summer, I really wanted to give them a try!

I really miss eating crisps, a standard 30g bag can set you back 8 syns, over half your daily allowance! Co-Op multigrain crunchers are only 80 calories per bag meaning only 4 syns! The multipack comes with 2 flavours- sweet chilli and sour cream & chive.  I thought that the low calorie count may mean low flavour, but I was wrong.  They are really tasty with a really light texture making them deliciously mourish!  I really like both flavours and take a bag to work with me for a low syn mid morning snack. £1.29 for a pack of 6

Buying pre packaged salads can sometimes be misleading as the dressings are often calorific and oily. The co-op super rainbow salad is packed with free and superfree veg and the dressing is separate so you can decide how much to serve. It is filled with tenderstem broccoli, roasted peppers, beetroot, mixed leaves, quinoa and creamy goat’s cheese with only has 282 calories.  I can honestly say that this is the nicest salad that I have ever eaten.  All the flavours marry well together and the goats cheese really finishes it off perfectly! £3.00

I really never ate yoghurt until I started Slimming World, now I find myself tucking into one daily! These co-op Greek Style yoghurts are totally fat free and 112 calories per pot (about 1 syn). They are super creamy and really delicious! I will definitely be getting these again, the lemon is my favourite because the flavour reminds me of a lemon meringue! 65p each

If you want something a little different then try the assorted baked bagels in salted and salt and pepper varieties.  They are delightfully moreish and at 110 calories, guilt free. They are crunchy, salty and the bagels are very peppery, another staple snack for me! £1.29 for a pack of 6

I love this range and there is plenty more on offer in stores.  Have a look at their website for the full range.

L x

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Week 8 Weigh In

This week has been a strange one.  I started a new job with normal working hours so had to readjust my routine.  I have been back at the gym and also walking 3 miles a day to work and back. At the same time though my eating hasn't been the best either, and I don't really have many pictures to show you!  On Tuesday, I had a Dominos pizza.  Previously I would get a large stuffed crust all to myself, but I went for a medium, thin and crispy base with half fat cheese and ate it over 3 days! The base was barely a cm thick, and that is how I made myself feel better.   The rest of the time I have been eating things like jacket potatoes and beans.

Garlic Chicken Breast

Co-Op Rainbow Salad

Spaghetti Bolognese

Steak & Chips

So, I got on the scales expecting a gain and was shocked to see a loss of 1kg!

Loss This Week-  1kg (2lbs)

Total Loss So Far- 11.3kg (1.7 stone)

L x

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Review: July Degustabox

I love Degustabox.  I really look forward to the end of the month when my box arrives and I get to see all the products included, however good or bad.  There is roughly about £20 worth of products included for just £12.

I love a good cider, so was please to see that 2 were included in the box. An American cider company from Hornsby recently launched in the UK. In the box was 2 blueberry flavours.  Both crisp tasting and had a really strong flavour.  Great chilled at a summer BBQ.  Alcohol isn't something that is always included in the boxes, so I appreciate it when it does.
I can't eat chocolate at the moment due to my diet, so Nick very kindly obliged here.  Lovely rich dark chocolate with a clean crisp taste of lemon from Green & Blacks.  A lovely little treat.
This is 100% all natural water based drink containing White Tea Extract and Peach Juice from Concentrate and is a rich source of antioxidants. Special Tea is the sister brand of The Berrry Company.
Zeo developed a secret blend from 32 different fruits and botanicals to create our very different formula. It is unlike your normal soft drink. Lightly fruited flavours with only 45 calories and free of artificial ingredients.
I love baking so the inclusion of Dr Oetker sprinkles was very welcome.  Even through I can't eat cake myself doesn't meant I don't have to make them! There were 2 limited edition flavours of Eaton Mess and Violet crystals. Perfect for my strawberry milkshake cupcakes

Frank offer honest snacking, and the blueberry and chocolate bar is 100% natural, gluten, nut and dairy free and a good source of protein and energy

Maggi make life really easy with their great cooking solutions.  They offer cook in the bag chicken, tray bakes and season packs.  They are really tasty and easy to make, with great results.   I recreated Nandos with the peri peri tray bake.

I have reviewed Portlebay popcorn before, the bacon and maple syrup flavour is my favourite, I just love salt and sweet together.  You can read my full review here

If you like trying new things then this box is for you.  You can use my special discount code- MF1EN for £3 off your first Degustabox box!

L x

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Recipe: Slimming World Superspeed Soup

This recipe isn't one of my own, but is all over the Slimming World Internet forums. It is packed with veg that is called "superspeed" as it is proven to speed up your weight loss.  I wanted any help that I could get this week so made up a big batch of this.  I wasn't expecting it to taste all that nice but I was actually pleasantly surprised with just how nice it is! I made a batch on the Sunday and having a soup a day lasted me all week. It is super easy to make as well! Syn Free

You will need:-

1 can mixed bean salad
1 can green lentils
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 can baked beans
Handful of split lentils
2 large leeks
1 large onion
4 large carrots
2 parsnips
Green, red or yellow pepper
2 beef stock cubes
Salt & pepper
Mixed herbs
Stock (enough to cover all ingredients)


Chop all veg and put everything in pan, cover with stock and bring to boil. Simmer on a low heat until veg are soft.

You can blend it or eat it chunky!

L x

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Week 7 Weigh In

It is that time again to step on the scales and see the damage!  I feel that I had a good week this week, alcohol was consumed but all within the syn limit.  Here are some of the meals that I have eaten this week.

Fruit and yoghurt

After an impressive loss last week I was worried that I would feel disappointed today!  The scales were good to me and I lost another 1kg (2lbs)! I am definitely very pleased with this.

Loss This Week- 1kg (2lbs)  

Total Loss So Far- 10.3 kg (1.62 stone)

L x

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Recipe: Slimming World BBQ Pulled Chicken

I love slow cooked, BBQ flavoured meat.  It was one of my fave things pre diet,  and I will happily eat it at every opportunity! This is a SW adapted recipe and is syn free on EE, cooked perfectly in a slow cooker.  I served mine with syn free coleslaw and slimming world chips.

You will need:- 

2 large chicken breasts
1 tsp mustard powder
5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
500g passata
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tbsp sweetener
Salt and pepper
1 red onion


Mix passata, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, mustard powder, garlic, sweetener and seasoning. Transfer to a small pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Chop a red onion and layer on the bottom of your slow cooker

Add the chicken and the BBQ sauce and leave on low for 6 hours.  Alternatively you can cook in the oven on a low heat for 1.5 hours. 

Pull the meat apart with 2 forks and mix with the excess sauce. 

L x