Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Afternoon tea at The Ritz, Mayfair, London

As a treat, I took the Boy for a spot of Afternoon Tea at The Ritz last week.  We have done our fair share of afternoon teas but I think this is up there as one of the best! Not surprisingly I guess, as the world famous hotel is renowned for its sophistication and well, poshness!

ready to tuck in! 
doing my best posh pose
my afternoon tea outfit - white shirt & tulle skirt

Walking in to The Ritz, you are instantly met with an elegant decor. A gorgeous colour scheme of cream, gold and rose (one of my favourites actually) decorates the Palm Court where Afternoon Tea is served.

The whole place is so striking, with the high ceiling, decorated walls and ornate features. Even the ladies "powder room" was impeccably polished!  
I absolutely loved it. 

how decadent is the ceiling! 
gold statues, this must be posh! 
I had to take a photo of the powder room! 

Smart waiters in their tail-coats start the tea by bringing you your tea (there is a selection of 16). The Boy went for the English Breakfast, a classic, but I opted for an orangey one. There was so much tea as well! The tea pot was huge!!! Although I would advise that you don't fill up on tea before you get to the sweet stuff! 

In true tradition, the afternoon tea is served on a three tier rack with finger sandwiches (with the crusts cut off of course), a plate of tempting pastries and a plate of fresh scones which comes with a huge pot of cream and strawberry jam! 

cakes and finger sandwiches 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Morphy Richards "easy blend" smoothie maker

If you haven’t heard of the famous “nuti-bullet” then where have you been?!

The little blender seems to have taken over the “eat clean” world. Revolutionising smoothie making but at £99 a pop, this is out of my price range. 

However, after a little look around, I quickly discovered that there are loads of mimics on the market, including this one I bought...

pretty chuffed with my blender 

This little device allows you to whizz up your smoothie and pop on a lid and take it away with you, meaning no mess transferring liquids, no wastage and no time wasting. Perfect! 

bung it all in... blend... 

...and go! 

 I have never used the nutri-bullet so can’t compare, but this one from Morphy Richards is doing it for me at the moment and does the trick when it comes to making my delicious smoothies!

tasty chocolate concoction 

Like the nutri-bullet, you bung all your ingredients in the flask, screw on the blade, pulverise and switch the blade for a lid and you have a tasty and healthy snack on-the-go with no fuss.

The great thing about these smoothie makers too is that they can cut through anything! Not just the stalks of your kale and frozen berries. It will slice through nuts and seeds like a hot knife through butter! So you can really get creative and add anything you like!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Kettlebells for beginners DVD with Paul Katami

Got in to kettlebells yet? Well if not, why not! 

I got in to kettles last year thanks to my colleague who recommended it. Unable to make it to regular classes thanks to a sporadic work timetable, I decided to settle for doing it at home (or the park) by following a DVD. 

the leverage will add resistance 

New to kettlebell-ing (is that a real verb?) I bought a beginner's DVD and it's fab! I brought "kettlebells for beginners" with Paul Katami, a workout to get your fat burn on! 

The great thing about this DVD is that it is split into sections, starting off with a tutorial to guide you through the various kettlebell moves, such as halo holds and cleans. It is so important that you do this before you start using the kettlebell workout as you must get the moves right to prevent hurting yourself! 

side lunge and curl

this works your lats and triceps! 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

L’Oreal’s anti aging collagen wrinkle decrease filler: review

Ahh the quest forever maintaining our youthful skin. If it’s not on your wish list, it is certainly on mine. There are many factors that add up to skin appearing less youthful, including sagging skin, patches, sun spots and most commonly, wrinkles!!! 

Whilst there are many lotions and potions out there to prevent as many signs of aging as possible, sometimes we need a cream to help us reverse the onset of those appearing fine lines.

the wonder duo 

Whilst at dinner this week with a friend, she asked me what beauty products and creams I was using. Cue me going on about how much I love L'Oreal's Collagen Filler. I swear by it! This works! Cue me also having to blog about it. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

choc chip "cookie dough" raw and vegan protein ball snacks

Protein is where it is at when it comes to smart snacking, and as Women’s Health magazine stated in their May 2014 issue, “protein is the kryptonite to your fat stores”. I’ve been making quite a few recipes lately, getting inspo for new recipes online and on health magazine but also making a few flavours myself!

great recipe from WH magazine 

This recipe comes from Women’s Health magazine and is so easy to make. The almond butter on the recipe can help prevent blood sugar levels spiking (which happens when we consume sugary foods such as sweetened cereal bars and pastries). If you fancy something sweet after dinner (who doesn’t!) then these are perfect for giving you a little sweet treat without ruining your healthy eating.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Apple sauce cupcakes (made with less sugar)

I love a good bake sale at work as it means I get to try new recipes all for a good cause. This week we had our first one of the year and I made these tasty little apple sauce cupcakes (I also made some cupcakes with a wickedly sweet icing and jam in the middle). 

boxed up and ready to take to the sale 

Whilst the jammy ones were laden with enough sugar to give you diabetes, these need less sugar than a normal cupcake recipe thanks to the apple sauce which adds to the sweetness. With the combination of apple and cinnamon these taste a little like apple pies! Easy to make and the sweet smell of cinnamon will fill your kitchen as you make these. mmm

warm and cinnamony 

Here is what you need:
1/2 cup butter
1 egg (beaten)
1/4 cup sugar
1 ½ cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup/jar apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla essence

makes 12 large cupcakes

carefully does it! 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Sweet potato crust pizza

The whole hype of cauliflower pizzas have been around for while  now (check out my recipe here) but I had never heard of 'sweet potato crust pizzas' until I found this recipe on pop sugar.  Giving it a go at the weekend, it was actually pretty tasty and worked quite like a normal pizza crust. Who knew, but sweet potato and flour makes a good dough!!! 

sweet potato crust pizza 

This is a fairly easy recipe to make, and does crisp up quite nicely! It uses pretty simple ingredients too:

2-3 medium sweet potatoes (you need 1 cup of mashed potato)
1 cup of flour (I used wholemeal but feel free to use any kind) 
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tbsp of oregano or Italian seasoning
1 tsp of salt
pizza sauce and pizza toppings 

easy to make dough 
who doesn't like pizza 

Monday, 2 February 2015

Environ pre-cleansing oil: review

We've all heard the importance of cleansing, but what about pre-cleansing?

Last Autumn, I went for a facial at Harvey Nicks in Knightsbridge and was introduced to the concept of "pre-cleansing" which is exactly what it says on the tin... it is a cleanse before a cleanse. At first I thought it sounded like a waste of time, an extra step in my beauty regime that I didn't need. But since using a pre-cleanser, I am sold. 

pre-cleansing oil

I have been using this one from Environ. An oil based pre-cleanser, it helps remove that stubborn layer of grease and oil from your skin, leaving your skin refreshingly clean and clear. And because it is an oil based one, it doesn't dry your skin out at all (I thought a double cleanse would). 

the cleanse before the cleanse