Sunday, 29 September 2013

Review: Boogie Wipes

Did the name of this product make you giggle? I thought it was quite funny when I was sent these wipes for review. Boogie Wipes are soft and moist with a saline solution for wiping little noses. I'd normally tend to just wipe V's nose with a baby wipe or tissue, but these purpose-made nose wipes are also soft and gentle and come in a variety of handy sized packs. They are not abrasive like dry tissue can be on sensitive skin. V usually objects to having his nose cleaned but he seemed happier to do it on his own with these wipes, which come in unfragranced as well as pleasantly fragranced options. We liked the grape!

You may find these handy packets of wipes useful for carrying around for your kids, or even popping in their school bag.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Thirty-one going on thirteen

Wearing this oversized checked shirt takes me back to my early teens and the grunge uniform of the early 1990s. Now I'm just missing the Doc Martens, angst and acne of those days! Okay, admittedly the acne has lingered a bit ;)

It's nice to reminisce about my youth and feel like a teenager again in clothes similar to what I wore then. Perhaps I should revisit those DM boots too, although I think I'd miss out the bright coloured shoelaces that my friends and I used to add to them back in the nineties! Is there anything you wore at secondary school that you'd wear again now, or do you think the trends of your teens should strictly be left to the next generation?

This shirt is from Zara, the dress underneath is H&M.

I'm linking with Fashion Friday:

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Naughty little winter treat: Raspberry Gin

Last autumn I made raspberry gin, and come our Christmas party it went down such a storm that I've decided to begin a festive tradition and make it again this year. It is very easy to make and just requires a long time left in a dark cupboard to develop its full loveliness.

I use 1 1/2 litres gin, 350g raspberries and 350g caster sugar. Frozen raspberries will work as well as fresh - the ones you can buy in the supermarket are usually surprisingly sweet and delicious once defrosted.

It is important to sterilise the containers you will be storing your gin in. I use a 2 litre Kilner jar and I actually sterilise it in a steriliser for baby bottles - it just fits! It's an easy way to do it if you have such a thing to hand.

Simply mix all your ingredients in the cooled sterilised jar then seal and put away in a dark place. Mine will hopefully stay (on a high shelf!) in a cupboard until Christmas, in three months time. I'll probably give it the occasional gentle shake every couple of weeks or so. Then you just need to strain out the fruit before serving. Small bottles of this make lovely gifts, or it will make a delicious cocktail when mixed with apple juice and soda water at your Christmas party!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Low carb eating: cauliflower rice

Do you see a pattern emerging with my food posts?! Eating a lower carb diet for a few days is something I like to do when I'm feeling a bit sluggish or when I've had a particularly indulgent weekend/holiday! I just discovered cauliflower rice thanks to Jamie Oliver's 'Jamie's Money Saving Meals' and it's a great, filling alternative to rice if you're eating a low carb diet or counting calories. For one portion, I used a couple of handfuls of cauliflower florets, blitzed to a 'ricey' texture in the food processor, then cooked on full power in the microwave for one minute in a covered microwaveable container. Your 'rice' should come out piping hot and steaming. This works really well as an alternative to rice when served with curries, stews, chilli con carne, etc. It tastes fairly bland so it's good when paired with with tasty sauces and bold flavours, just like ordinary rice. I fed this to my mum and dad with a curry and they loved it (at least that's what they said!) Have you tried cauliflower rice?

I'm linking up with Tasty Tuesdays:

Friday, 20 September 2013

Low carb treat: zucchini 'spaghetti'

Previously on the blog I've mentioned my new favourite kitchen gadget: the spiral slicer! Here's a little serving suggestion and a low carb alternative to a big bowl of spaghetti.

I simply slice a couple of courgettes into fine noodles using my spiral slicer, then fry in a generous amount of olive oil with minced garlic. I then season with dried chilli flakes, black pepper and Parmesan cheese. I love courgettes and I've become a bit addicted to eating them this way.

My Gefu Spirelli slicer appears to have now been discontinued at Lakeland, but they are still available from some other online retailers including Ebay.

I'm linking up with Tasty Tuesdays:

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Horrid weather!

Just for fun: here's me in a sou'wester I actually wore on a walk to the local shops this morning; the rain was so torrential! I'm sure my husband would have refused to be seen with me wearing this but luckily it was just me and V, who doesn't even care how silly I look. Yet ;)

What I Wore: Marks and Spencer Blush Shirt

The last week has been busy and full of distractions, hence the lack of posts. I'm pleased to say that there's a new baby in our family and I am the proud aunt to a beautiful baby girl! We are all so excited and happy about this wonderful little addition. Congrats to my brother and his wife who will make the most amazing parents :)

As a quick 'what I wore' here is a new shirt I wore at the weekend. I think I'm still undecided on this shirt but it caught my eye in Marks and Spencer and I ended up wearing it to a friend's birthday night out. I hope I will get more wear from this and it won't end up being neglected at the back of the wardrobe! The night out was great - we enjoyed delicious food, interesting cocktails and funny chat at Bar Soba in Glasgow's West End.

My shirt was just teamed with my Marc by Marc Jacobs crossbody bag, some black Dorothy Perkins jeggings and simple black court shoes.

I'm making a late link-up to What I Wore Wednesday:

And Fashion Friday:

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

What I Wore: Polka dots

The matching phone and skirt here are honestly not intentional!

Cardigan from Primark, tshirt from H&M, skirt from Dorothy Perkins, sandals from F21, bag from H&M, phone case by Kate Spade via TK Maxx.

The weather has been transitional/unpredictable lately but I think I'll have to put away the sandals soon! What are you wearing as the seasons change?

I'm linking up with Fashion Friday!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Make! Quick Asian-inspired salmon

A friend was telling me about a fish dish she made with lots of nice Asian flavours, and it inspired me to make this dish tonight with some salmon I had in my freezer.

I took a thumb sized piece of root ginger (peeled and roughly chopped), 2 cloves of garlic, the juice of a lime, a handful of fresh coriander and a glug each of soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil. I blended these all together in a mini-food processor to make my marinade.

I then spread the marinade over 2 salmon fillets, wrapped in foil (like a loose parcel but sealed all around) and left in the fridge for a couple of hours until I wanted to cook it. The flavours are strong so you could just cook it straight away.

When I wanted to cook my salmon, it was all ready in its foil parcel, so I just popped it straight into my preheated oven (170 degrees Celsius for our fan oven, add 10 degrees for non-fan) for 25-30 minutes.

I served the salmon with brown rice and spring onions, fine beans and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle the juices from your fish over the rice; it makes a delicious gravy.

I'm linking up with Tasty Tuesday:

Monday, 9 September 2013

The Green Smoothie: A PMS-busting breakfast?

Do you suffer from PMS? It's a horrid affliction but I've discovered that there are a few things I can do about it, and I've been experimenting with changing my diet around that time of the month.

Yesterday I was reading online that magnesium deficiency can be an aggravating factor of PMS, so I looked up foods with high magnesium content and decided that I'd try to incorporate more of these into my diet. Some of the top magnesium rich foods listed are spinach, bananas, yoghurt and dark chocolate - all things I love so I was happy about that! I eat these foods all the time so I'm not sure I can be magnesium deficient, but I will see if eating more of them helps me!

This morning for breakfast I made a smoothie as an easy way to cram in loads of magnesium rich food at the start of my day. Green smoothies are very popular at the moment so I figured that spinach in a fruit smoothie could not taste too bad (it was lovely).

My ingredients were one banana, about 100g Greek yoghurt, a few handfuls of spinach, a handful of blueberries and a splash of milk. I used my trusty hand blender to mash it all up.

My smoothie was really good! Even if it doesn't cure my PMS, at least it is still an enjoyable way to fill yourself with fruit and veg in the morning. Now I just need to get my hands on some dark chocolate...

I'm linking this up with Tasty Tuesdays!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Blogs and food inspiration

One thing I like to blog about is food. Whether cooking it or eating it; I like to tell you about it! I also like it when other bloggers share their culinary tips and I'm particularly up for trying anything that looks foremostly delicious, but also quick and simple. Having kids around restricts the amount of time one can spend slaving over that hot stove, plus it's nice to make things that the little ones can get involved with. V isn't quite baking with me yet, but he likes to help me with all things domestic and I know that he'll soon be keen to start making things in the kitchen too.

A lovely blog I've been following is Family Life at Number 2, and when Jill blogged about a chocolately treat she'd made I knew I had to give it a go. Check out Jill's blog for this lovely and easy recipe. These Nutella pastries were dished up to some mums and kids I had visiting the other day, and their rapid disappearance was testament to their success. If your kids are into baking this is a nice recipe you could do with them.

I dusted these with a little cinnamon and icing sugar. Very nice. Thank you Jill!

Hannah x

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Kitchen gadget obsession: The spiral slicer

This spiral slicer is my new best friend in the kitchen! I'd been wanting something like this for ages and I was so pleased when my father-in-law bought me this Gefu slicer from Lakeland. So far I have just used it for courgettes a few times and it's so easy to get these lovely long ribbons or 'noodles' using it. As a serving suggestion, I have used the sliced courgette like noodles in a stir fry - just chuck them in to heat through at the end of frying like you would with cooked or fresh noodles. Or serve them as a delicious side dish, sautéed in olive oil and garlic then sprinkled with black pepper and Parmesan cheese.

I also plan to use the spiral slicer for carrots and cucumbers to add some interesting texture to my salads. As one who gets excited by kitchen gadgets, I think this slicer is a useful little item and reasonably priced at around £10.

Do you have any unusual kitchen gadgets that you love? Please do tell me about them!

What I Wore: Date night

Another largely black outfit! This is what I wore for our recent date night. This kimono jacket has been on a couple of nights out recently - I like how versatile it is. The simple dress underneath is one I bought years ago for about £5 at Dunnes and have worn about a million times, so that was a well-spent fiver! It was even worn as a maternity top but hasn't lost it's shape.

Kimono jacket from River Island, dress from Dunnes, tights from Topshop, heels from River Island.

Linking up with What I Wore Wednesday:

And Fashion Friday:

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Eating out: The Finnieston

Discovering a great new restaurant is always fun, so for our last date night I asked around our friends for suggestions and a few people told us how gorgeous The Finnieston is. It's a bar and restaurant in Glasgow's West End, best known for its seafood and gin-based cocktails, which all sounded very appealing to R and I!

What we ate: natural oysters, beef carpaccio, lobster thermidor, surf and turf. All the food was delicious. We shared a couple of nice desserts but I always forget what pudding I've had when the previous courses have been so amazing! We also drank some very nice wine and the cocktails were pretty good.

This was a lovely romantic dinner in a cosy setting with friendly service and buzzing atmosphere. I'd certainly recommend The Finnieston to those living in or visiting Glasgow.

I am linking up with Honest Mum's Tasty Tuesdays: