Chickpea and Dill Salad

Having made a hummus recipe recently it dawned on me that I haven’t used chickpeas much for a while even though they are a great addition to meals.  Chickpeas do not have an excessively strong flavour but are very healthy and are great to use in all sorts or dishes from salads to burgers.  Firstly I wanted to give you all a little information about the humble chickpea and you will see why I love it so much.

* Chickpeas contain phytoestrogens a plant form of oestrogen which is weaker than the oestrogen that we produce yet works wonders in the body.  These can help work against oestrogen dependant cancers.

* Contain selenium which helps detoxify some cancer causing compounds from the body.

* They also contain folate which helps prevent cancer cell formation.

* Chickpeas are high in fibre so they are great for bulking up stool, reducing blood cholesterol levels and helping balance blood sugars.

* Chickpeas are rich in nutrients that are needed to form and maintain healthy bones.

* Improve heart health by reducing the level of fat in the blood.

* Chickpeas help keep you regular and reduce constipation.

* Although high in calories chickpeas are a bulking agent so can help in weight management.

* Rich in iron these are great if you are anaemic (the iron here is not like that in meat but is a nonheme iron so it is best combined with vitamin C to help it’s absorption by the body.

* Chickpeas are a great source of protein.

You are looking at a cup serving of chickpeas per person for the best benefits.

Here is my simple Simple Chick Pea Salad

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Ingredients

1 tin chickpeas (400g)

1tbs dill

1-2 tsp lemon juice

40g Feta

70g cucumber

1 large tomato

Olive oil

1tbs dijon mustard

1/2tsp honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Strain and rinse the chickpeas and throw into a bowl.

Cube the feta and toss this in too.

Chop up the cucumber, tomato and dill and add to the mix.

In a separate bowl combine the lemon juice, Dijon, honey and oil and stir well until it looks like this:

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Add to the salad, stir and serve.

Enjoy.


Kaya Jewellery

I love to wear jewellery and so do my little ones.  Even Mr Squishy has been known to wear it in the privacy of our own home.  Jewellery isn’t just a fashion statement it is also a way of expressing oneself and I love pretty and dainty items.   I generally shy away from large clumpy pieces that are brightly coloured as they are really not ‘me’.

I also love to give jewellery away as a gift and bought lovely pieces for my two friends that christened my daughters.  My daughters love to receive jewellery and always have it at the top of their list at Christmas and for birthdays.

Recently I got in touch with a jewellery company called Kaya Jewellery who specialise in jewellery for babies, children and mums.  They have some great pieces and are the perfect site if you need a gift for any occasion including Christenings and Holy Communion and even bridesmaids.  On their site you will find matching mother and daughter bracelets and bracelets that cover 3 generations.

Kaya jewellery offer free engraving of their jewellery including names, word and dates.  All items are handmade in the UK and gift wrapped for free!

Kaya jewellery believe that they can make a difference ad have the responsibility to support people in need.  Because of this belief Kaya donates part of the profit to the Eduki Foundation who help underprivileged children in Africa.  Last year they donated €2,500 to pay for 10 children’s school fees, books, school dinners, shoes and uniforms.

Here are just a few of the lovely pieces you will find over on the site.

Girls Star Bracelet

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Mum & Me Bracelets ‘White Star’ with Silver Heart

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Sterling Silver Cupcake

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Silver Mum & Me Chains ‘Entangled Hearts’

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Mum & Me Silver Necklaces ‘Intertwined’

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Sterling Silver Star Earrings

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High Quality Bracelet ‘Infinity Pink’ with Silver Initial Charm

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3 Generations Bracelet ‘Princess’ with Heart Charm

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Don’t the pieces look great!

My girls and I would love most of these.

Would you like the chance to win a £40 voucher to spend on the site?

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In order to enter fill in the Rafflecopter form.

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Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

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Malibu Factor 50

I use a high sun factor on my face most of the year.  In the summer I am guaranteed to remember to apply my factor 50 but in the winter I will admit it is a bit more hit and miss.  The sun has finally decided to show its face and I have had to stock up on sun protection to have enough to last myself and the children and not forgetting the hubby the duration of the summer period.

As well as the level of sun protection I can also be influenced the scent of a product when making my purchase.  Last year I discovered Malibu had the most amazing scented sun protector offering UVA and UVB protection that is supposed to last for the whole day (8 hours), has a SPFof 50, is water resistant, has a dry feel and is photostable.  It is as if they have bottled the aroma of a tropical holiday, I simple do love it as do my daughters who now refuse to wear their children’s factor 50 in favour of this product.

I normally reapply every few hours if I am visiting a hot climate to make sure I have as much protection as possible.  It is also suggested that the product is reapplied after swimming in case any of the product has rubbed off.  The product soak into the skin well and gives a light sheen but isn’t greasy to the touch and leaves the skin feeling silky soft too!

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Do you use a high sun factor on your skin?


Tikal Bouquet from Prestige Flowers

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I really do think that is true.  ‘Prestige Flowers‘ the name indicates a product of high quality but many of us have all learnt the hard way that this is not always the case. The name in this instance is spot on!  Prestige Flowers pride themselves on providing great products and quality of service.  Their flowers are some of the most beautiful I have ever had arrive through the post.

I was sent the Tikal bouquet from their luxury range.

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The bouquet consists of rare mango orange callas, roses with complementary blooms, thistles and aspidistra.  What can I say other than it was stunning and it took pride of place on our mantelpiece. The flowers were long lasting too.  I found that the callas lasted about a week and the rest of the flowers in the arrangement lasted just over 2 weeks.  This arrangement was the focal point of the room receiving admiring comments and complements from guests.  There are various sized arrangements available and you can also add items to the order including a vase, teddy, balloons, chocolates or wine.
Many of the arrangements come with a free small box of Belgian chocolates.
There are numerous bouquets to cover all occasions. Prestige flowers even offers same day flowers, next day flowers, summer flowers and plants.

Here are just a few of the lovely flowers you can choose from.

This arrangement called Pandora is like a work of art!

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Arranged with bromeliad pineapple, brunia, leucosperman, lucodendron and cordyline this is just the piece for special occasions.

Sensational Sunflowers is another beautiful arrangement and makes a lovely gift.  They are the perfect arrangement to bring a smile to anyone’s face and brighten a room.

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Aptly named Grandeur this is exclusive to the luxury range and includes gorgeous large red roses, pretty foliage and is encased within gold orbits.

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The service offered by Prestige Flowers is quick and easy to use and my floral arrangement came on the day we had agreed without any problems.  The review centre has voted them the NO1 online florist and Trust Pilot seems to have quite a large number of 5* reviews for them.

As if that wasn’t enough Prestige Flowers is running a competition where you can win £500 and flowers delivered to your door for a whole year!!!!

How do you enter?

The team will be sending out A5 cards with select online flower orders.  All you need to do then is take a selfie of the flowers using the card and upload it using the hashtag #myprestigeflowers.  The competition ends on the 31st of August so get snapping and send in those flowers selfies.  For further information click ‘here‘.

Here’s my flower selfie!

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These guys are extremely generous, they have also said that I can give away one Tikal arrangement to one of my Fab Finds readers.

In order to enter fill in the Rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

    http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Make sure you take a look at my competitions tab for your chance to win more great prizes.

 Don’t want to miss out on any of my great posts or competitions?

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I was sent the fabulous floral arrangement shown in the picture for an honest review.


Homemade Batida de Coco Cocktail (coconut cocktail)

 

For coconut lovers everywhere this is one of the simplest, smoothest and deliciously refreshing coconut cocktails you could ever try.  We used to bring Batida de Coco Liquor from Spain when we travelled there but recently the last bottle I had of this gorgeous drink ran out. Cue the end of the world, ok maybe not.  I buy coconut milk regularly and also various UK versions of coconut liquor but I did miss the milkier version from abroad so I decided to combine what I had at home and it was clearly a small stroke of genius as it tastes yummy, has a smooth coconut flavor and can be made easily as and when I get the urge to make it.

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Ingredients

Coconut & Rum (you can use any brand this is from Aldi, mostsupermarkets have their own version, Malibu also works well) Chilled!

Coconut milk Chilled

Yes that is all!!!!!

Method

Quite simple combine your coconut liquor with the coconut milk and stir well.  I tend not to add ice cubes to this as they water down the flavour.  The Coconut and rum can be kept in the freezer should you prefer it very cold.

 

Tip: I keep both the coconut milk and liquor in the fridge at all times so it is nice and cool when served.

Want a richer creamier (more calorific) version then you can always add tinned sweetened condensed milk or coconut cream to the mixture but once you have tried my version you will be more than satisfied.

 

Enjoy!


Whole Wheat Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta

I love creamy cheesy pasta dishes and so I decided to make one for the first timing using ricotta cheese.  This is a cheese I do not often cook with as it has a very mild flavour and I need flavour in my food.  Not to worry though I achieved the desired result as I added in an additional cheese with a far stronger flavour and made this into a creamy, cheesy pasta dish that I plan to eat again very soon.  I love spinach and it is a great source of iron, fibre, Vitamins A, B6, C, E and K.  Spinach is useful in promoting skin, hair and bone health.

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The recipe serves 2 when accompanied by a side salad.

Ingredients

180g whole wheat pasta

1 chicken stock cube

120g fresh spinach

3 heaped tbs ricotta

70ml double cream

20-25g grana padano

Nutmeg (I was pretty generous with this when I grated it)

Freshly ground pepper (a fair amount)

Salt if required

Method

Cook the pasta so it is al dente (is cooked but still a little firm.

Place a pan on a medium heat, throw in the spinach and cover.  Leave for approx 5 minutes to wilt.  Strain out excess fluid.

Place the stock cube into a mug and add about 5-6 tbs of hot water.  Stir until it dissolves.

Thrown the spinach back into the pan and add 3-4tbs of the chicken stock, more if required as well as the cream, ricotta, grana padano, stock, some freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste.

Add a little salt if you feel it is needed.

Stir well then throw in the pasta.

Mix well and serve.

Enjoy!

 


VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch DX

We were recently sent a VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch DX to review.  What a great gadget.  This watch is fully loaded with fun games and activities which will keep little ones entertained for hours I should know it did a wonderful job of keeping my girls quiet and busy.  Very appropriate for children of this day and age the watch is great for taking selfies and videos.  This watch is so simple to use too which is wonderful so I didn’t need to get the children to show me how to work it!

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How to Use the VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch DX  

*The first thing you need to do is turn on the master switch on the back.

*Then fully charge the watch before you use the watch.

* Set the date and time first in the settings section (look for a picture of a screwdriver and spanner).

*Choose the clock face you like.

* Explore the various options on the phone.  You can set the alarm, play games, take photos and make videos, find your monster identity and more.

Good to Know

The screen is a 1.44 inch, colour touch screen.  You simply press the home button or swipe to move about to different features.

The watch has a 256 MB built in memory which is shared with the programme data.

Battery life really does depend on usage but if usage is heavy the watch will last for about 1 day.

The cable provided can be used to charge the camera as well as transfer files between the watch and the computer so you can save photos and videos and download more fun games.

You can chose from 12 types of activities.

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Camera & Video

There is a 0.3 MP camera and the watch can hold up to 1600 photos.

The length of each video is a max of 1 minute each.

Pictures and videos can be livened up with various effects, frames and filters.

Playback

Take a look at photos and videos you have taken and delete any you no longer want.

Voice Recording

You can record your voice for up to 60 seconds and then play around with this changing the sound of the voice.

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Games

There are 5 fun games; Jumping Eggs, Music Town, Tic-Tac-Toe, Super Snowboard and Super Boarder to keep the little ones entertained whilst they try to complete them.  Don’t forget you can download more games too.

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There are three great games here; Monster Identity (my girls love this and play it over and over), Silly Face Detector (great fun) and Sound Shaker.

Challenge

Includes 3 activities; Racing Run, Crazy Dance and Funky Dance.  These have been designed to get children moving whilst having fun.

Pedometer

Count how many steps you can do.  My little ones compete with me and my FitBit to see if they can keep up with my step count.  It’s great to encourage little ones to get moving rather than just sitting around all day.

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All these features are pretty self explanatory and thankfully simple to use.  The calculator can help with maths problems that contain two digit numbers.  In the settings you can of course change the clock time and date shown on the watch.

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Again the features here are pretty clear.  The Time Master is great to help teach little ones tell the time and I plan to make full use of that function over the summer holidays.

Included in the pack is the watch with a battery, this battery can be recharged but cannot be replaced.  There is a USB cable to charge the watch and a user’s manual.

My girls really loved playing with the watch and we had to practice our sharing skills!!!!  This is a great watch and the girls loved it so much we may get another so they can have one each.  Even if you have played all the games on the watch there are more to download so that children will never get bored of playing with it.

We were sent this super watch to review ad of course all opinions are our own.

Ps. If it wasn’t obvious already, we loved it!


Baylis & Harding Campervans

Festival season is upon us and very soon the school bells will ring to herald the start of the school summer holidays and the family camping and glamping season.  Whether you are festival bound or going camping or glamping this Summer Baylis and Harding have just the thing, his and hers super cute and colourful wash bag campervans full of luxury toiletries that will put a smile on his and her face.  For ‘Her’ the Baylis & Harding Beautiology Tropical Campervan wash bag.  Inside you will find a strawberry and Pomergranate shower crème, Pink Grapefruit and Raspberry shower crème, Mango and Mandarin Body Butter and Coconut and Lime body lotion.  Don’t they sound amazing!  I’d love to try them myself especially that body lotion as I have a great love of all things that smell of coconut.

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For ‘Him’ the Baylis & Harding Sport Campervan wash bag.  Inside you will discover Citrus, Lime and Mint aftershave balm, hair and body wash, shower gel and face wash.  These Baylis & Harding campervans make great gifts and are brilliant for taking away on your travels.  They are also reasonably priced with a well thought out selection of products.  The aroma of the goodies within the men’s campervan smell great and have a fresh masculine fragrance.

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Both sets are available to buy from Tesco.

Want to win for ‘Her’ Baylis & Harding Beautiology Tropical Campervan wash bag?

To enter just fill in the Rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

    http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Make sure you take a look at my competitions tab for your chance to win more great prizes.

 Don’t want to miss out on any of my great posts or competitions?

 You can subscribe here: https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=MelaniesFabFinds

 I was sent the items pictured in the video, all views are our own.


Get Your Hiking Boots On!

I’ve noticed a trend over the last few years.  Where as before people donned their trainers and headed off to the gym to partake in various forms of high energy activities in sweaty smelly rooms eeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggghhhhhhhh.  Recently there has been a shift towards getting outside in the fresh air swapping trainers for hiking boots and going on long scenic walks.

Although you can clock up steps / burn calories faster in a gym it can be far more pleasurable to go outside and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and fresh air.  In order to do this though you need the right footwear.  Going to the gym can be costly unless you join one with basic facilities but going out hiking can cost far less although you need to consider the weather.  Whichever you choose to do you still need to wear the right footwear so essentially going hiking can be far more cost effective and can ultimately save you money.

Choosing the right hiking boots is simple when you look at a good, well established company say for instance Hi-Tec.  They have a varied range of products offering the support needed to prevent injury.  I’ve searched through their site to show you my favourite 4 hiking boots.  Wanting to be fair to both sexes I have chosen 2 pairs for each.

For the gents:

The Ottawa II Waterproof men’s boot is a durable, leather, light hiking boot.  It has a Dri-Tec waterproof and breathable membrane keeping feet dry.  It has a reinforced toe cap and heel counter providing support and protection, and rustproof metal hardware.  The lacing allows for a secure fit and extra support.

The Multi-Directional Traction rubber outsole provides durability and improves grip on varied terrain.  This is a great men’s hiking boot no matter what the weather and trail are like.

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I also love the Storm Waterproof Men’s Light Hiking Boot.  This is great for hiking novices again featuring a Dri-Tec waterproof and breathable membrane and a suede and mesh upper.  The removable moulded insole keeps water away and provides cushioning and shock absorption to make the boot very comfortable to wear.  Again there is a multi-directional traction rubber outsole for durability and grip.

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There is a women’s version of both hiking boots shown above.

For the ladies:

The Altitude Ultra I Waterproof women’s hiking boots are lightweight.  They also have the Dri-Tec waterproof and breathable membrane and in addition i-shield water and dirt repellent technology.  This hiking boot offers the wearer great support and comfort and a secure fit making it a great ladies hiking boot.  The sole has a great grip and as with the men’s boots provide great grip whatever the weather.

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The Altitude V i is a great lightweight, waterproof, durable hiking boot.  Not only do they look great but they also offer great support and has i-shield water and dirt repellent technology.  The insole provides superior cushioning and the multi-directional traction rubber outsole will keep you grounded on varied terrains.

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There are far more hiking boots available than those shown here as well as a large variety of walking shoes.

I hope you like my choices.

Have you ever been hiking before?


Making Bathing Simple

I love having a soak in a hot bubbly bath the lights out, scented candles flickering in the background their delicate scent filling the room and the sound of silence.  Sounds like heaven doesn’t it but what if this wasn’t so easy to enjoy something as simple as bathing?  Forget the kids disturbing the peace I mean something more long term like an illness, disability or even old age.  My mum has a severe problem with her back (degeneration of the spine) and as a result getting in or out of a bath without assistance is somewhat impossible and the whole process can be very painful.  I have taken on the task of doing a little research into products that I think will benefit both her and my father who is now in his 70’s.

I had never really had the need to look into walk in baths in the past but as my parents are not going to get any younger I thought I had better do so sooner rather than later especially as the heat from the water would be greatly beneficial in helping to soothe mums back a little and dads achy muscles mainly brought on by gardening and golf.

I was quite impressed at the range of walk in baths and showers over on the Premier Bathrooms site.  Who knew there could be such a range of walk in baths available in varying sizes and styles.  There are full length baths, baths that allow for having both a shower and bath, low level access baths and even a jacuzzi.

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Their Momentum bath lift is a good idea which combines a full length bath with a powered seat lift to allow for easy entry.

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Premier bathrooms have the lowest access steps available making getting into and out of the bath easy.  The baths feature thermostatically controlled taps to provide a safe even flow of water preventing scolding.  The bath seals are guaranteed for life which is very reassuring to know.

The company appreciate that not all can fit a bath in their bathroom and although they do offer a bath that is half the size of a standard bath they also have a great range of showers available too.

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Like the baths the showers come with low level entry so you need not worry about access, they look great as you can see from the picture and have a thermostatically controlled cool touch mixer.  They feature a range of folding shower seats, a grab bar and the shower tray is slip-resistant.

I think my mum would love both options as she needs to be seated in order to be able to wash and both offer her the independence to bathe herself rather than to rely on others for assistance.  If my parents do decide this is something they want to look into further they can arrange a free no obligation consultation call.

Premier Bathrooms have earnt the Ease of Use commendation from the Arthritis Foundation as their products are beneficial to arthritis sufferers.  Premier Bathrooms is a company that also likes to give back so with every bathroom that they install they will contribute £100 to Help for Heroes trading limited.  They are also running a campaign at present, about breaking barriers in how we view old age why not pop over to their site to find out more (#BreakingBarriers).

Do you have difficulty getting in and out of your bath shower or know someone that does?