My Top 5 Mel Gibson Action Films (includes ones I want to watch & a Competition!)

I have always loved action movies and used to watch Mel Gibson’s films when I was younger and thought they were great.  It’s nice to snuggle up on the sofa with some ice cream or chocolate and wine and watch a good action movie as they can keep you focused on the movie eyes glued to the screen so you don’t miss anything.  The fast pace stops them becoming boring in many cases and keep your attention on what is happening, ready for the next action filled scene.  I still enjoy watching action movies and do try to squeeze in a few here and there when I get a chance but time now is scarce so it’s a rarity.  Mel starred in a number of action films and these are my top 5:

Bird on a Wire


I loved this movie and won’t guesstimate at approximately how many times I have seen it in case I embarrass myself.  This combined action with a bit of romance and comedy and who doesn’t love that especially when Goldie Hawn is the leading lady.  Isn’t she fabulous!  Goldie did do some great movies.  Rick Jarmin (Mel Gibson) is a federal witness who goes on the run with his ex-girlfriend, Marianne Graves (Goldie Hawn).  This is one that I do still enjoy watching and comes highly recommended.

Lethal Weapon (there were 4)


If these were not on the list there would be something something seriously wrong.  These action filled movies were very popular when they first came out and I am sure that they were on each Christmas just like the Die Hard movies.  Mel’s character in the Lethal Weapon movies was fantastic.  You couldn’t help love the comical, daredevil character and Danny Glover was also good as his long suffering sidekick.  I loved that they used the same actors for all four movies as otherwise I think it would have lost its appeal and I think both Mel and Danny were irreplaceable.  The story line follows a pair of good cops that come up against all sorts throughout the movies beginning with Mel being a bit of a loner at the start when his wife dies to being an important part of Glover’s extended family by the end.  They come up against a drug lord, dirty cops and many more bad guys and make it through thankfully.  Watch out for Joe Pesci who as I recall was in the 3rd and 4th movie and adds even more humour to the mix.

Mad Max Anthology


I remember watching Mel Gibson in Mad Max years ago and thinking what a great movie it was.  There were more movies that followed; Mad Max 2, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and more recently Mad Max Fury Road which starred Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.  These too were pretty action packed and faced paced as I recall.  I think I might need to catch up on these again as it has been a while.  These films follow Max (Mel Gibson) and is set sometime after an apocalyptic war where police are fighting roving motorcycle gangs.  Mel’s wife and son are are murdered by one of these gangs he sets out to get revenge.  The story then develops from there developing into the other movies.

The ExpendablesExpend3_triple_bd.indd

I vaguely recall having seen the first of these a while back but can’t remember it so really must watch all three.  The cast alone sounds great and as I can get all three movies on one Blu-Ray (I found it on the HMV site for anyone else that wants one) it looks like I have at least one to two evenings worth of movies to snuggle up with hubby on the sofa to watch always a good idea now it’s too cold to venture even near the front door.  The films feature the adventures of a group of professional killers fighting bad guys.  Mel Gibson is a bad guy in the 3rd movie which I am looking forward to watching.



This is a thriller / action movie where Mel – Tom Mullins’ son is kidnapped and he tries to get him back by paying the ransom initially but then realising he may still not have his son returned he changes the plan by offering the money as a reward to anyone able to get his son back.  By doing so he puts the life of both his son and wife at risk.  I need to watch this again as it’s been a while and I did think this was a great movie.

Love action movies too?

You can find plenty more ‘here‘.

For all of you that loved the Mad Max movies I have a super competition for you.  One lucky winner will win a Mad Max Anthology Blu-Ray!

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

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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.

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Why the Fuss About Charlotte Tilbury Creams?

With the growing popularity of Charlotte Tilbury products I noticed over the course of last year everywhere I turned I would see them mentioned whether in an advert or a promotion.  There were staff in store beauty departments in London’s West End spraying copious amounts of the “New” fragrance onto passers by.  The promoters really did go to town making sure the products where almost everywhere.

I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

Are they Really that Good?

Having looked around the internet at various reviews it seems that people are pretty impressed by the products.  I had a small free sachet sample of the day, night and eye cream sent through the post and here are my initial reactions to the products.

Magic Cream


Although the sample size wasn’t very large I did get a good idea of the absorbency level and also the texture of the products and how they felt on the skin.  The Magic cream absorbed well and after application my face was left feeling silky soft without any dry patches.  The moisturiser is not too rich and did not leave a coating on the surface of the face or the hands.  It is a great base for make up and holds foundation, concealer and powder well on the skin.  The aroma was pleasant and not at all overpowering.

The cream itself contains a range of ingredients including plant based and is paraben free.  It claims to increase collagen production and also contains SPF15 and a UVA filter to help fight the ageing effects of sun (did you know chocolate can help prevent against some forms of sun damage?).

Magic Night Cream


The texture of the night cream was far richer and heavier than either of the other two sample creams that I tried.  It was similar to a vaseline like consistency and it left my hands and face feeling greasy to the touch.  It took a little while for this to be absorbed into the skin.  The cream had left the skin on my face and hands feeling silky soft in the morning and that thickness of cream consistency for me wasn’t an issue although I do know that some people don’t like the feel of this sort of cream texture on their skin.  The cream ingredients are well thought out as in the other products featured here and really are a good recipe for great looking skin.

Magic Eye Rescue


This too absorbed well into the skin well and leaves the skin feeling soft and moisturised.  The formula is slightly thicker and heavier than the Magic Cream but not as thick as the Magic Night Cream.  I thought the thickness of the cream was good as the skin around the eye area tends to need that extra little help.  This takes a little longer to soak than the day cream in due to the consistency but soaks into the skin all the same and makes a great basis for foundation and concealer if you are trying to hide dark circles.

This comprises of a range of natural ingredients and is said to be an “anti-ageing rescue remedy that works to slow down the ticking time bomb of ageing” on the Charlotte Tilbury website.  Studies have shown an improvement within 8 weeks of trials but having used this for just a few days I unfortunately cannot confirm this although with my skin being as receptive to these sorts of products as it is I am sure it would show an improvement sooner than that length of time.

The products seemed pretty good from initial assessment and my skin did not react to any of them.  I did have a healthy glow to my skin although that could also have been due to the fact I had been exercising and drinking lots of water.

If you want to buy all three you are looking at an investment of £215.  Don’t forget anything that will actually help give you a younger looking healthy skin is an investment for your future appearance and starting early will be something you are thankful for as the signs of ageing slowly appear or begin to wave manically at everyone as they progress.  The set can be found with a saving of £15 from the individual product size on the Charlotte Tilbury site which is good to know.  I appreciate for some this is still a bit steep so if you really want to try something from the range I would suggest going for the Magic Cream (day) at £70 and see how you go.  Even if you are not using all three products if the products do what they claim to then there should still be a marked improvement with continued use for two to three months.

Have you tried the Charlotte Tilbury creams before?

This is NOT a sponsored post.


You Have Got to See these Men Experiencing Labour Pain!

I was having a chat with a male facebook friend recently and somehow the subject of men experiencing the pain of labour came up.  I have seen numerous videos of men being attached to devices so that they can get a glimpse of what women go through.  Anyone that has given birth will know how excruciating the pain can be and how terrifying it is too.  Add in a few birth horror stories that we are bound to hear whilst we are pregnant and this intensifies the fear which of course men will never get to experience in the same way.  My first child was born in the Chase Farm Hospital labour ward which thankfully has since been closed down.  I must say that my first experience of having a baby was awful and I was literally lucky to get out of the hospital alive and that’s not an exaggeration.


With my first child I had the pleasure of the staff stopping the epidural part way through so where I couldn’t feel pain it hit me like a train full on, there wasn’t much easing in that’s for sure.  The experience was made even more fabulously frightening when we had a passer by pop in and notice after I had given birth that I had been sown up incorrectly resulting in my bleeding not stopping.  She corrected the mistake thankfully and if that lady had not been passing by at the time she had then I may not have been here today.  Am I exaggerating the story, I wish I was.  They had done exactly the same to someone else around the same time but not rectified the mistake and this resulted in her death.  An awful story I know but that is why I am pleased they closed the hospital as they didn’t have enough funding to make improvements and it was getting worse by the day.  Now we all know we need more hospitals and trained staff but that isn’t the focus of this post.  This post is to show you what happens when men are connected up to machines to help give them a small insight into labour pain.

I bet many of my female readers have a male that they would love to attach to one of these machines.  The guys in these videos are great sports.  Why not watch them and have a little giggle at their expense and share this with men that think labour is a walk in the park and women’s pain thresholds aren’t high!

This first video is great as they explain quite a bit about what happens in labour and the guys really haven’t a clue what they have gotten themselves into.  The guys get the full treatment with electrodes on their front and back so they can get as close to experiencing what women do as possible.

You have got to watch these.

I dare you NOT to giggle or cringe!

As you can see these guys have a whole new admiration for their mums and what they went through giving birth and they haven’t experienced a full labour.

Want more?

It’s like a horror movie, you don’t want to see but then you peer through your fingers or from behind your pillow to watch.  Here’s another.  This one shows two men experiencing the pain with their wives in the room with them.

They were asked: “Better than you thought it was?”  Their answer: “A lot worse!”

Good one guys for having a go.

Last but not least a doctor experiencing the fun agony of labour who want to see who has the higher pain threshold, men or women.

“At the beginning of this thing I really cared whether men had a higher threshold then women, right now I doesn’t matter!” – contractions at three minutes apart.

“This experiment is getting almost too much to bare!”- contractions lasting sixty seconds and at two mins apart.

His final words “Men of the world you have no idea.  Leave it to the women.   Forget the whole pain threshold debate, we have nothing, women win, men don’t. THE END!”

Well there you have it, the men have spoken.  So if you know anyone that thinks that women exaggerate the pain of labour then send them this way as this post will change their mind.  Failing that, plug them into one of these machines, video it and post to YouTube so we can all have a giggle at their expense!

Know anyone you’d like to attached to one of these machines?

Tangy Ginger Breeze Cocktail Recipe

As many of you know I enjoy getting creative in the kitchen.  I create all manner of foods both savoury and sweet and love to have time to just play and experiment with flavours.  Being a busy mum of three no make that four (forgot to include the hubby) I don’t get much time to do that but I squeeze it in once in a while.  Over Christmas I managed to get a few minutes of kitchen play time and decided to experiment making a new cocktail which features a product that I only recently got to try Spiced Ginger Beer from Fentimans.  This is just as lovely as their original ginger beer but with a more exotic flavour.

The ginger flavour was not as strong as in some ginger beers and I wanted to give it an added kick and also add a splash of lemon and lime as these flavours work well together.  With this in my mind I began experimenting and from there my Tangy Ginger Breeze was born.

fentimans3This recipe is so easy to make that anyone can do it and it features just three main ingredients which adds to the simplicity.

Serves 1


20-25ml Kings ginger liqueur

165ml Fentimans spiced ginger beer (half a bottle)

100ml 7up or sprite

Ice cube if required

A slice of lemon or lime to garnish


Pour the ginger liqueur into a tall glass.  Slowly add in the ginger beer and then the 7up / sprite so it does do not end up with a large head of foam.  If it isn’t cold enough add some ice cubes, garnish with a slice of lemon or lime and serve.


You might want to repeat the above as it’s super yummy , enjoy round 2!

Liked this recipe then take a look at my Ginger Beer, Vanilla and Cinnamon Jellies recipe.

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Top 5 Gift Ideas for Batman Fans

I grew up watching Batman.  I used to watch the tv series with my brother as a child and watched all the movies too.  I wouldn’t say I am a hardcore fan but I have enjoyed watching the range of movies and think I have probably seen them all to date from Batman and Robin featuring various characters like Poison Ivy and Bat girl to the most recent Dark Knight Trilogy.

batman1One of the items that I have seen and actually bought for a mini fan before is this great clock which has moveable arms and legs.  You can find these in John Lewis priced at £19.99.

This Batman mug is great and I think any fan would be delighted to have one of these.  It’s not too pricey either as it is on offer for £6.99 at The Gift and Gadget Store.

My next suggestion is pretty useful.  It’s a Batman Multi Tool for £6.50.  This bat shaped key ring is also a bottle opener and has crosshead and flathead screwdrivers in the wings.  If you want one make sure you check out The Gift Experience

batman3The Dark Knight Trilogy Box Set is a must for any Batman fan and can be found at HMV for just £14.99.  Forgot to buy your Batman fan one at Christmas ont worry grab it as a Birthday Gift, they will love it!

Last but not least is this super cool projection torch that no Batman fan will want to be without I know i’d love this it’s great.  Available from The Gift and Gadget Store for just £4.99.


Now I am sure many of you know at least one Batman fan, you might even be one yourself and with that in mind I am going to giveaway one Dark Knight Trilogy Box Set (check this) to one lucky reader to help you have one less gift to buy this year and as it’s January Blues time and I like to make people happy.  One lucky entrant will have their frown turned upside down when they win this great boxset.

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

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

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

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc.   I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

Enter here:

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Good luck x

5 Habits You SHOULD Introduce into Your Daily Routine

With the New Year here many of us are making resolutions and with any luck we will manage to stick to them for few weeks at least.  Yes, it’s the same story I’m going to give up this and change that and stop doing this and do that more, blah blah blah blah blah.  The fact is that most of us won’t manage to get very far with our resolutions unless we have made proper lifestyle changes rather than just deciding we will do the proposed task(s).  By mid February or by the latest early March the gyms which are getting pretty full at the moment will be much quieter, there will be an increase in the sale of alcohol and cigarettes, sweet and fatty foods.  It’s a trap many of us fall into year upon year.  We need to make actual lifestyle changes that we incorporate into our day to day lives in order to see a more long lasting and in hopefully many cases a permanent change.  Once we have made a habit that has been permanently incorporated into our lives then will we see a marked improvement in our well being.

Here are my Top 5 Habits that you Should Incorporate into your Daily Routine.

Yes, we hear it everywhere increase your water intake, you need to drink this much each day and then that’s it.  You are left to fend for yourself.  I am here to help you is establish a routine.  Once you get into a routine of drinking water you will notice that you increase your intake without much hassle.  You will automatically start to reach for the water at certain times of the day and this will help you in numerous ways.  Start with drinking 1-2 glasses in the morning when you get up, the same an hour before lunch and again two hours before bed.  The spacing is for obvious reasons but those unsure of why I have set those particular timings here is a quick simple explanation.


First thing in the morning – over night whilst you sleep your body loses water through breathing and also via evaporation from the skin and if it is hot you lose even more through sweat.  By drinking water first thing you replace this.  My advice keep a bottle (500ml minimum) next to your bed so you can easily replace water loss without forgetting and missing the time slot.  The water also helps kick start your organs into in a sense waking them up so use that to your favour.

An hour before lunch – the reason for the gap here is firstly you don’t want to drink water to close to having had the first glass or two.  The idea isn’t to over load the body and over work the kidneys.  Also importantly if you drink a bottle of water before eating you can help the body feel fuller for longer and it can help reduce snacking just before lunch.  You need water to carry out the process of digestion, you can also drink more water as you eat as otherwise the processes carried out digesting what you have eaten can dehydrate.  Some people say that drinking water with a meal will affect gastric acid by diluting it so that the body doesn’t break down foods sufficiently.  This would only be relevant if you drink too much water a glass of two with your meal shouldn’t affect your stomach acids too much.

Drinking water an hour and a half to two hours before bed; allows for you to further increase your water intake and also as it’s not too close to bed you will have plenty of time to process this and eliminate excess fluids (urinate) before bed.  It takes from a few minute to about two hours to process the water.

By doing this alone you help to flush out toxins, improve the functioning of various body organs and find that you actually feel better for it, your skin will look brighter and more plump, you might even lose a little weight and you will feel more alert too.  With all that just from making drinking water part of your daily routine it’s really a no brainer.

It’s not always easy to increase the amount of exercise that you do but getting into a routine of moving that bit more can make a difference.


Power walks at lunch time are a great way to do this.  Adding in a power walk into your daily routine even if it’s just for 20-25 minutes will really make a difference to your health.  It will help boost circulation, improve stamina, improve brain function and more.  Coupled with an increase in water intake it will really help to detoxify the body more efficiently.  Why not get a lunch time walking club together with like minded colleagues as this is a wonderful way to keep you motivated.  Add in some fitbits or something similar and you can get a bit of healthy competition going too.  Can’t fit it in during lunch, no problem a quick walk before or after work will do just as well, just get out there and pound that pavement!

I work on my own (I know it’s a lit lonely but that’s the nature of my work) and will walk on my own or with other mums.  I found a setting on the fitbit where you can do daily challenges and you can compete against friends wherever they are.  It does motivate me to get off my bottom and get walking and if I can’t go out I might go for a quick jog in front of the tv, the kids think it’s funny and join in too.

Want to do your exercise in the privacy of your own home?  Sure, why not it’s not always something we want to do with others if you lack the confidence to do so, just don’t make excuses not too, go for it.  Get your hands on a fitness dvd tailored to your level or even just pop some music on and have a  little dance, it’s fun and helps get you moving.  You can even find free fitness tutorial on YouTube.  Don’t forget to stretch and also if you suffer from any health problems that might be affected by exercise consult your doctor first.

Cut the Cr*p.  Eat Good Quality dark Chocolate


Yes, I am saying you can eat chocolate isn’t it fabulous!  Why on earth cut out the foods you love when you really don’t have to.  Chocolate can be good for you but you need to go for quality which in effect will reduce the quantity you will consume as it tastes so much better and seems to satisfy the craving much faster than the cheaper alternatives which are full of sugar, increas sugar cravings and addiction and contain vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter.  Chocolate can be great for you, it’s full of nutrients including, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper,  zinc, selenium and also fibre.  Chocolate contains antioxidants for a start which have anti ageing properties and can fight illness.  In some studies carried it has been indicated that chocolate may help lower LDL – low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol), raise HDL (good cholesterol) and prevent memory decline (and there I go reaching for some dark chocolate).  Finnish studied have show chocolate consumption can help reduce the risk of stroke by 17%.  It can also help prevent against some forms of sun damage due to its flavanoid content although I would still recommend wearing that high factor daily as for reasons I will explain a little later.

The Neuroscientist Will Clower believes that chocolate can help us eat less and lose weight.  Apparently if you place a square of good quality chocolate (dark chocolate) on your tongue and allow it to melt twenty minutes prior to eating and also again 5 minutes after eating to help reduce snacking.  How does this work?  Dark chocolate is more bitter than milk and white chocolate.  This bitterness is thought to have a knock on effect by slowing down the rate of stomach emptying by 30% for up to forty five minutes after a meal.  This helps regulate sugar absorption into the blood preventing too much insulin being produced and also prevents the blood sugar levels dropping dramatically up to an hour and a half after the meal.  The stable sugar level means you won’t crave a sweet snack.

So that’s a square before and after meals so don’t get too carried away and also take note it is suggested that you let the chocolate slowly melt on the tongue rather than chewing quickly and gulping down loads more which would of course defeat the purpose.  I think it’s more enjoyable to let it melt on the tongue slowly as you get to enjoy the flavour if only we had some chocolate left in he house that hubby and the mini chocolate monsters hadn’t eaten.

For those that say they don’t like dark chocolate if you really want to you can.  You can train yourself to eat dark chocolate by changing the chocolate you eat to one that is slightly darker than your normal chocolate, eat a little each day for one to two weeks depending on how sweet a tooth you have.  By that stage your taste should have adapted and you should be ready to go darker if you are not on a minimum of 70% cocoa solids.

Wear a Sunfactor Daily – That means in the Winter too.


In the Summer I wear a factor 50 it’s easy to do with the sunnier and warmer days as a reminder.  It’s not so easy to remember at the start of the winter but I sure do try my hardest.  I have made a point of keeping my suncream somewhere that will remind me to use it on a daily basis.  Once the routine has been set up there is no stopping me.  Why should you follow suit?  Were you aware the suns harmful rays can still cause skin damage anytime of the year whether it’s Summer or Winter.  Although UVB radiation isn’t as strong in the winter UVA is still there causing permanent damage to our skin and causing us to age faster.  Not wearing a sunfactor can result in freckles age spots, fine wrinkles appearing.  It can also break down your skins collagen and interfer with the formation of new collagen.  It also affects elastin in the skin resulting in the skin appearing loose and an increase in wrinkles.  Not sounding to good now is it.  I’m sure many of you are now reaching for the sunfactor or thinking of getting some in.  Don’t forget it’s not just the face that needs it.  Your hands if you don’t wear loves are also exposed to the suns rays so they will need it too.  I can hear some of you saying, “but it’s cloudy, we don’t need sun protection!”.  Unfortunately this isn’t the case.  Even during days when it is cloudy at least 80% of UV radiation can still get through so make it a daily routine and you will reap the benefits well into old age.  We know it’s good to be prepared well this is one of those times it really counts.

Eat Whole Foods as Often as Possible


Firstly why should you eat whole foods?

Whole foods provide a range of nutrients that are beneficial to our well being.  When we move away from whole foods a perfect example being juices an imbalance occurs.  In most juices fruit will be used to make this more palatable.  That’s not a good thing as the fibre which many of us don’t get enough of is removed and the sugar content becomes excessive.  High sugar levels result in a peak before they drop drastically resulting in very strong sugar cravings and the desire to snack.  We want to avoid this don’t we!

It’s said over and over that we need to eat whole foods and that we need a minimum of 5 pieces of fruit & vegetables a day.  As we get older and our taste adapts making this far easier.  The best way to increase your whole food intake is making this a regular feature for each meal.  It’s shocking how some do not include any vegetables or fruits in some of their meals.  My suggestion would be to make sure you have a minimum of two to three vegetables per meal and if you must snack in between (don’t worry it’s not a problem in fact it can be a good thing) make sure you have some vegetable sticks or fruit.  Personally I would remove juices from the diet and give preference to smoothies drunk in moderation. The addition of these will help improve your digestion and transit of waste from the body (yes that second part refers to to pooping), reduce the risk of sugar highs and lows which cause binge eating, help maintain your weight and even assist in weight loss, increase your energy levels and make you feel fabulous.

Now that wasn’t so hard was it!

These 5 simple lifestyle changes can have a dramatic effect on your life making you feel and look fabulous so what are you waiting for get walking with work colleagues after work or go to the school 20 minutes earlier with another mum or two for a brisk walk, don’t forget your whole food snacks and bottle of water and make sure you are wearing that sunfactor.  Remember you can have that little piece of chocolate before and after your meal so dangle that in front of you and pick up the pace and leave the old less healthy you from 2016 in the dust.

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc.   I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

Which of these habits if not all do you plan on taking up this year?

Love Ginger Beer? Here’s Your Chance to Win a Case of Fentimans New Spiced Ginger Beer!

I do love ginger beer as I love the taste of the ginger combined with the bubbles that make a gorgeously refreshing and thirst quenching drink.  Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to get the chance to try the Original Ginger Beer from Fentimans which was yummy so of course I was very excited when I heard they had a Spiced Ginger Beer!  The spiced ginger beer is infused with Eastern spices to create a delicious warming drink for the winter and a tasty and refreshing drink for the summer.

I was curious to see how much spice Fentimans had included but it isn’t too strong for the British palette to handle.  Great chilled, this delicious drink is gluten free and not too heavy on the alcohol at 4%.  Although great on it’s own this ginger beer is also great combined with other flavours.  I decided to have a little play with creating a recipe using ginger beer that used the flavour as it’s core instead of masking it and one that was easy make too.


 These jellies are simple to make and are a fabulous light adult dessert that isn’t too calorific and perfect for anyone that loves ginger beer.  My recipe uses alcoholic ginger beer but Fentimans also has a non alcoholic ginger beer (traditional) should you prefer or in case you are making this for children.

Not so keen on cinnamon no problem don’t add it in, recipes are not set in stone so get creative and adjust them to your taste.

This particular recipe can be made with or without the creamy vanilla and cinnamon topping.  The creamy topping can be kept runny or you can add gelatin to make it thicker, again you choose.

I made these in disposable plastic cups as it was much easier and help reduce washing after but you can use pretty glasses if you have any.

Ginger Beer, Vanilla and Cinnamon Jellies


Serves 8


For the Ginger Beer Jellies

1 330ml bottle of Fentimans Spiced Ginger Beer

150ml water

Water for soaking the gelatin

4.5 gelatin leaves

For the Topping

180ml double cream

a pinch of cinnamon powder

1tsp vanilla essence (preferably a good quality one with seeds)

1 gelatin leaf

Water for soaking the gelatin


For the Ginger Beer Jellies

Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for about 10 minutes.

While the gelatin is soaking gently pour the ginger beer into a jug as we don’t want this frothing.

Warm the water and once it starts to bubble a little remove it from the heat and set aside for two minutes.

Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and add this to the heated water and stir in, it takes seconds to dissolve.

Add the water to the jug of ginger beer, stir gently then pour evenly into your glasses / cups.

Place in the fridge for about 5-6 hours to set. I left mine overnight to be sure.

You need this part to set before starting the next.

For the Topping

Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for about 10 minutes.

Warm the cream and once it starts to bubble a little remove it from the heat add in the vanilla essence and cinnamon, stir and set aside for two minutes.

Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and add this to the heated cream and stir.

Pour this over the set ginger beer jellies and place in the fridge to set.  The amount is far less than with the ginger beer so it won’t take as long to set.

Place in the fridge for about 3 hours to set.

When this has set you can grate over a little chocolate and add any garnishes before serving.

What a slightly different version?

You don’t need to set the cream, instead you can skip the heating and the gelatin, add in the vanilla and cinnamon and pour over the top of the jellies.

Again add on any garnishes and serve.

Just a note, not all gelatin is animal based so you can still make this whether you are vegetarian or vegan, obviously minus the cream.


We all love a great giveaway so here is my first of the year.

One lucky winner will win a case of the Spiced Ginger Beer which you can either keep all to yourself or enjoy with friends.  Drink it straight up or try one of my ginger beer recipes the choice is yours.  Just a little heads up I have a Ginger Beer Cocktail Recipe coming up soon and it’s loooooovely!

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

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.

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc.   I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

Enter here:

Win a Case of Fentimans Spiced Ginger Beer

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck.

Contains Pr samples

Blogging Goals for 2017


This is my first post of 2017 so I would like to begin by wishing you all a Happy new Year.

Now it’s that time again that we are all making resolutions and setting goals for the year.  I have been thinking about what my goals would be for 2017 in relation to the blog.  My goodness there is so much I could write in this post but whether I would be able to achieve everything would be questionable due to time constraints.  Instead of writing a long winded post I though the best things to do was sum up my main goals for the year to give me something achievable to work too as I of course need to also allow for time with my lovely little family, friends, cooking, unforeseen circumstances, school shows, sleeping – I stayed up until all hours to complete blog posts in 2016 so need to learn to turn off the computer, and other things that may arise in my daily life.

One of my aims is to increase my daily views of the blog by bringing you all great content on a variety of subjects including recipes, fashion (adult’s and children’s), restaurant reviews, toy reviews, health and beauty posts and more.  I also hope to add some more great competitions as we all love these.

I would also love to increase the range of companies that I work with to bring you news about great new products (new to my blog at least).

I am also hoping to include guest posts from other bloggers as well as write guest posts myself where appropriate and haven’t really done anything like this so I’m not sure how it will work just yet.

I am looking forward to eating my way around more London Restaurants and tell you all about them or at least the good ones anyway.

I have been working on my photography but still want to improve this further.

I want to try and do video reviews on a more regular basis.

With these in mind and an inbox filling up with some interesting collaboration requests it’s set to be a fun and busy year.

Have you set yourself goals for 2017?

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc. I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

Feel free to leave a comment I try to respond to as many as possible.

Melanie x

Mummy B #BlogTipsNTricks Linky

Did you Cut your Spending this Christmas?

I have been reading all sorts of articles over the Christmas period from those about gift ideas for various members of the family, great party food ideas and more.  Some of these were found online and some I found in my inbox.  One that caught my interest covered spending over the Christmas season.


An online voucher company recently did a survey and discovered that 42% of those asked have tried to save money this Christmas.  It’s not surprising Christmas is an expensive time of year and it’s hard especially when you have little ones not to feel that you should get them the latest toy that they really want and have been on about for the last month and a half.  With our desire to make Christmas as special and magical a time as possible for children and loved ones some really do get a little spend happy it’s easy to get swept up in the Christmas buying frenzy that seems to happen and sometimes we might swipe the plastic a little too much it’s easily done as by not physically handling cash it can make you a little less aware of what you are spending resulting in quite a few cases in accounts being overdrawn as we venture into the cold January months.  I wrote a post in November titled ‘Save this Christmas and Enjoy a Happy New Year’ which I hope some of you managed to read and this gave some great tips on how you could save money for this Christmas as well as begin working on saving money for the next.

The company that carried out the survey that caught my attention was none other than My Voucher Codes which I frequently use and you can see the full survey ‘here‘.  The great thing about this particular company is that savings are not merely restricted to Christmas time although saving money at this expensive time of year is of course great.  These guys like many other voucher services allow you to save money on a whole array of products /  services from holidays, dining out, shopping for clothes, jewellery, beauty products, the list goes on.  I will be using vouchers to help save me money over the year and might even buy a few Christmas gifts on the way to reduce the load for next Christmas.  I’m quite excited to see they link to the offers on the buyagift page where I plan on making the most of discounts and go on a few of the experiences yet again.  The gift and occasion page is one to keep an eye on for those needing gifts over the year or want to get their Christmas shopping for the coming year finished early.  At the moment many of the stores they list are offering up to 50% off so if you want to grab some bargains why not go take a look.


Have fun shopping x

Do you use money saving voucher sites like these and which do you use?

A Cure for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, Erin’s Story

Many of us get distracted by facebook when we are supposed to be doing something else in many instances working.  That happened to me recently when i noticed one of my facebook friends had liked the MSN UK page.  I couldn’t see the headline at the time but was for some reason drawn to it and had to click on the link to see what they had liked.  The story that appeared before me literally had me in tears.

We have endless news that quite frankly isn’t of much importance so when you get a good piece of news like this it is not only interesting to read but also something we want to share to help give hope to others.  The story in the headline was about a young girl Erin Cross (age 6), of Chester, in Cheshire who was suffering with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.  After a public appeal £100,000 was raised to send her to Seattle to try a new treatment where T Cells (white blood cells that battle infections) from the child’s blood are reprogrammed to destroy cancer cells then reinfused back into the child’s blood.  93% of the children with relapsed Leukaemia that had undergone this treatment had complete remission.  So far this treatment has shown positive results for Erin too and today she was to go in to Manchester Children’s Hospital to have a bone marrow transplant which should prevent the Leukemia returning.  It’s not only an encouraging and positive story but it goes to show that progress is being made in regards to the fight against cancer which is fabulous news as let’s face it the odds are that many of us will either get some form of cancer or have a close relative that does.  Here is the light at the end of the tunnel, hopefully this treatment can be adapted to help fight other cancers too.

Want to find out more about this brave little girls fight with cancer?  Why not take a look at the video here:

I hope that all went well with today’s treatment and I am sure you will all join me in wishing Erin a speedy recovery from the surgery.  Let’s hope that this is the start of a flood of positive stories of people fighting cancer and winning.  We need more positive news in the media instead of hyped up headlines that don’t actually have much of a story behind them and are just to gain views and are total time wasters.

Please do share this story with friends and family and let’s end 2016 on a positive hopeful note x

This is NOT a sponsored post.