The Fellow (Pub) – King’s Cross

I am still working on what you could say is my New Years Resolution which is to eat my way around as many London restaurants as possible.  Recently I visited a Korean restaurant called Kimchee which was lovely and I really was taken back by the location as they really have done a great job on redeveloping the area.  On a visit to review another restaurant in the area I went to see the bird cage again but this time it seemed as if the swing had been removed which was a shame as I never got to have a go on it.  Goes to show you shouldn’t put things off but should seize the moment when you can.  There are numerous restaurants in the Kings Cross and my next venture there led me to The Fellow.  Grab a tea of coffee and sit back and have a read about my latest find.

The Fellow pub has recently been full refurbished and has a great new stylish look.  Along with the new look comes a brand new seasonal menu.  Venture upstairs and you will discover the Black Door Cocktail Bar and a secret rooftop terrace.  The pub is named after the Cheltenham Gold Cup winning racehorse and is a stones thrown from King’s Cross Station making it simple to get too.  It is popular with the locals and commuters and was pretty busy when I arrived at around 7 on a Tuesday evening.

We dined in the main ground floor bar area which has been designed with comfort and style in mind. There we discovered a mix of high and low tables, pommel-horse benches and wing-back leather chairs.  Service was quick as staff flitted from table to table serving drinks and food.  As one table became empty I noticed it didn’t stay that way for long.  The atmosphere is lively yet relaxed and patrons ages range too which is a good sign.

There was a very varied wine menu to suit all tastes and pockets and that included great descriptions for those that need them.  The food is also varied but the second I saw it on the menu I knew I had to try the:

Ox Cheek Mac n Cheese with a Horseraddish Crust (Starter)

Ox cheek is very popular with chefs as it is full of flavour and is something I have been wanting to try for a little while so when the opportunity arose I was swift to take it.  Considering the size of this and the amount of meat this is good value for money.  The whole bottom layer of the dish was packed with the meat and the portion was extremely substantial in its entirety.  This is very filling and to be quite honest accompanied by a side salad would be quite sufficient as a meal.  The crust wasn’t crunchy as one might expect and the horseradish flavour didn’t really come through.  The mac n cheese was nice and creamy and is a great contrast to the meaty ox cheek which had a strong flavour and is finely pulled so you don’t need to worry about facing ages chewing.  The meat has a rich gravy and there is more gravy at the side if you want it but I found this wasn’t really needed.  The dish is full of flavour and nice and moist.  The only criticism I would make is that the chef was a little too generous with the salt for the meaty part of this.  This is a nice twist to a classic dish and I did quite enjoy it although I was worried I might not be able to eat the rest of the food when I was close to finishing this.

Mains

Pan roasted Chicken, Pearl Barley & Suffolk Chorizo Stew, Squash Creme Fraiche

This was big!!!  It’s a great size if you have skipped the starters and have ventured straight over to the mains but combined with the particular starter we had chosen you need to be able to put away quite a bit to be able to finish this too.  There is a good mix of ingredients with generous sized chunks of chicken, squash and chorizo which make this a really tasty dish.  Again a little heavy on the salt but that aside a delicious and filling meal that you will find you will want to return back for.

Cheese Burger, Iceberg Lettuce, Gherkin, Ale Onions (plus Bacon and Avocado)

OMG this is a whooper!  When it first arrived I have to say I was a little concerned.  Firstly, how on earth was I going to get it in my mouth to get a bite of each layer and secondly how was I going to eat the whole thing.  I tried to squish the burger first of all but it didn’t go down much as it was enormous.  I knew I could never fit the whole thing in my mouth, well it’s simply not that big, although my dad might disagree as I can talk for Britain given the chance – probably why I took up blogging.

I decided to approach the burger in a different way and discarded the bun (well parents always say eat the meat and leave the bread if your starting to fill up – sound advice I must say).  The burger itself was nice and juicy with a pink centre.  The avocado went well adding its gorgeous soft smooth creamy flavour which was a great contrast to the saltiness of the bacon and the meaty burger.  The lettuce was fresh and crisp and there was a good amount of avocado.  The ale onions were yummy and added a great addition to the flavour of the burger.  This really did hit the spot as I had been craving burgers for a few days leading up to this visit and I was so much happier having had it.

I was quite enjoying having sparkling water with this meal but thought I might try and be a little more adventurous so decided to ask for a small glass of the Col Vittorio Prosecco Superiore.  This was one of my best decisions of the evening it really did go down well with its lovely sparkle.  The Prosecco was not too acidic and had a lovely green apple flavour.  I decided to stop after the one as of course it’s not easy to review a meal adequately if you have drunk too much and the perfectionist in me wouldn’t allow that.

Baked Vanilla Cheese Cake Rum Cream

My friend loves cheese cake so she wanted to try this.  The combination of the vanilla cheesecake and rum cream sounded very appealing.  It did work well and the cheesecake was smooth and creamy.  The rum cream was just right and not too heavy on the rum.

Blood Orange Chocolate Mousse

The mousse was in a word fantastic!!!  It had a gorgeous rich chocolate and orange flavour that comes through beautifully.  It was smooth, creamy light and moreish and a dessert you really should try.  If asked to find something negative to say about this I’d come up short it was that good!

I had a lovely evening at The Fellow and would thoroughly recommend it as the food and atmosphere were very good.

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Do you like to visit gastropubs?

Disclaimer: I was invited along to sample the food but as always all views are my own, I wouldn’t have it any other way x

Molly Monster

Stuck for ideas of things to do with the kids on the weekends?  Children love to have various forms of entertainment whether they are going out to the park, soft play, theme park or cinema.  We are always looking for something different to do to take a break from homework, get some exercise or transport out minds to different place full of fun, excitement and sometimes magical too.  Over the Easter holidays we went to see Beauty and the Beast which the girls loved.  We don’t go to the cinema often so it was a lovely treat and since then I began looking out for other fun child friendly movies to take them too.  I discovered one called Molly Monster which was released in theatres worldwide from the 21st of April by Enchanted Animation.  This looked like a movie we could all sit down and enjoy even Mr Squishy – who doesn’t love monster movies especially if they are animated!

This lovely animated movies is perfect for little ones and follows the sweet Molly Monster on an adventure of a lifetime.  This delightfully heart-warming and beautifully animated story is all about new beginnings so perfect for the Spring and also for children waiting to greet a new sibling.

When the mummy monsters lay their eggs in Monsterland it is the father’s job to keep them warm until it is time for the eggs to hatch (just like with penguins).  Baby monsters only hatch on Egg Island, so when Molly finds out she is going to be having a new brother or sister, she knows her family are off on a trip.  Everyone enjoys trips but Molly Monster is too young to join her parents on the journey to Egg Island which leaves her feeling very upset and disappointed.  Determined to be reunited with her family Molly sets out on a journey which is longer and far more difficult than anything she could have ever imagined.  She is accompanied by Edison, her best friend and toy.  On her travels Molly learns what it means to be a family and most importantly what it means to become a big sister!

The target audience is pre-school children although it is also enjoyed by older children too.  The movie teaches children about family bonding and friendship and is not to be missed so grab your little Monsters and head on down to your local cinema soon!

I discovered over on the Molly Monster website that there were some printable colouring sheets and thought that they would come in handy in the attempt to fight boredom especially on those rainy days so click ‘boredom stopper‘ and get printing.  Over on the site you will also find some puzzles to keep little ones entertained and help develop hand eye co-ordination as well as fine motor skills.

I also have an egg-citing announcement for all the little chocolate monsters out there.

One lucky winner will get their hands on 2 Molly Monster chocolate eggs and some colouring sheets.

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.

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Good luck x

Pairfum Reed Diffuser – Innocent Vanilla

Do you ever think about what goes into your home fragrances, perfumes, beauty products etc.?  Many of us are now looking more at natural products as we learn about the benefits of these and the detrimental effects synthetic products and some natural products can have.  This brings me on to a recent discovery of mine a company called Pairfum London.  These guys are specialists for perfume lovers.  On their site I discovered some gorgeous products including organic skincare, something that I am sure will be of interest to many of you, perfume, room sprays and perfumed botanicals to name just a few.

We are in the process of Spring cleaning.  I have been trying to collect clothes that no longer fit, toys that we no longer use and donating them to charity shops to help others.  By doing this I am hoping to make the house look more inviting and less like a 2.5 year old tornado has just hit (commonly referred to as Mr Squishy.)  In my efforts I am not just looking for a minimalist look I want to create a living area that is inviting, relaxing and beautifully fragranced.  In order to achieve this I knew exactly what to do having seen diffusers on the Pairfum London site.

Diffusers make a lovely gift and when correctly positioned in a home these can create a stunning centre piece to a table or focal point in a room.

Diffusers are NOT all the same and you can include air fresheners in there too.  There are many different scents to state the obvious, they are presented / packaged differently from bottle style to colour but also importantly they have different qualities due to the ingredients.  Not everyone gets on well with diffusers / air fresheners.  The oils / ingredients whether natural or synthetic can irritate those with asthma.  This is due to the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which are found in natural essential oils as well as air fresheners and diffusers in general.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds?

These are organic compounds that can change to gas or vapour form.  This means that at room temperature they can evaporate easily and quickly.  They can occur naturally and can also be man made.  Some VOCs can cause adverse health effects in humans and others can cause damage to the environment.  Not all VOCs are harmful some can help promote health and well being.  You can’t avoid VOCs as anything that has a scent contains them whether it is natural or synthetic.  Many man made VOCs are found in cleaning products, cosmetics, toiletries, paints, carpets, paint, wood, you get the picture they are everywhere.

In this country we spend a fortune on scented candles, air fresheners etc. but evidence is now showing that these can actually be quite detrimental to health.  The rise in sales of these products over that past number of years has also coincided with an increase of respiratory problems.  Formaldehyde for example which is found in products such as disinfectants, building materials, glue and also air fresheners has be linked to certain types of cancer after prolonged exposure, food for thought for when you next reach for that spray or plug in air freshener.  Air fresheners have been shown to trigger and exacerbate allergies and worsen asthma.

The USA has become very strict in regulating VOCs since California’s Proposition 65 (or prop 65) was introduced.  The UK and Europe on the other hand have no restrictions in regards to VOCs in home fragrances even though the research is there to demonstrate that they can cause many health issues, something we in the UK should be concerned about as the treatment of these increases the strain on the failing NHS that bit further.

  For those that want to experience great quality diffusers and have in the past found conditions such as asthma are aggravated by them and also of course for those that are health conscious and want to enjoy having a beautifully scented home without the negative effects to their health then Pairfum London is the company you need.  Not only do they pride themselves in producing fragrances that we will fall in love with they also use their scientific understanding to create more unique products than other brands and also aromas that will last.  Their reed diffusers which look stunning use a highly fragrant and natural non-VOC oil serum (non-toxic).  Now that you are all experts in VOCs having read my above explanation you will understand that this is much healthier for you and your family.  The scent of the diffuser lasts longer than the typical reed diffusers, you get between 6 and 9 months of fragrance.  The large diffuser provides enough fragrance to fill a room and each time you walk into the room you can smell the aroma as it fills the air.

My new Innocent Vanilla bell diffuser now graces our mantle piece and I must say looks stunning and makes the room smell really lovely.

What do you think?

This has had a few compliments already as it looks fantastic and it’s the first thing that catches the eye as you come into the living room.  I love the bell diffuser on it’s own as it looks so pretty and I think that the addition of the Ivy, large dish and pine cones really make this the main focal point in the room.

I love this diffuser and look forward to buying some of the other aromas that I discovered on the site when this one finishes as well as some of the other products I just need to decide what to try next, decisions decisions!

Do you use diffusers or air fresheners in your home?  If so were you are of the health implications?

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Are Supermarket Own Brands Always Cheaper?

Many of us will automatically assume that supermarket own brands will always been cheaper than branded products but is this always the case?

Well it used to be.

Years ago I remember seeing the supermarket own brand products being cheaper than all the others and I am not talking about their basics range.  It seems as if supermarkets are becoming a little bit more devious in the way they price products.

As the weather has been gradually improving and I felt the need to purchase various types of frozen lollies / ice creams for my family to help them cool off although come to think of it I probably should be making my own.  Anyway when I was looking through the frozen dessert aisle I noticed something that was of particular interest and I felt I must share.

Now this is the sort of pricing you might expect to see at a supermarket:

On the left is the shops own brand costing 22.7p per 100ml and on the right an almost identical product from Wall’s costing 55.6p per 100ml.  This is what one might expect with the supermarket brand being cheaper but as I mentioned this isn’t always the case.

Check this out:

The supermarket product is more expensive than the normal price of the branded product (It’s not even on offer) going to show that supermarket branded products are not always better value.  I have noticed this on numerous occasions over the years so I am a bit more vigilant when making my purchases.  The branded product in this case turned out to be 10.6p cheaper per 100ml.  When doing your own price comparisons make sure you check the product size as supermarkets try to present this also in price per kg to throw us off.

Another way supermarkets seem to mislead buyers is with the pricing of their larger products. You might find that a small bag of rice will work out cheaper per g or per kg than a larger bag of rice although one would expect the opposite.  The moral to the story is be vigilant, don’t assume and check prices and you could save ££££££’s.

Did you expect the supermarket branded product to be cheaper?

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Bunny Jump from University Games

With memories of Easter still in our minds and having recovered from any chocolate comas brought on by the copious amounts of these creamy sweet confections that we had consumed our thoughts slowly jumped back and forth reminding us of the fun filled weeks we had enjoyed.  With the Easter holidays now officially over and the normality of life setting in yet again were were pleased to bring with us something that all the family have had a chance to enjoy over the holiday period.  Okay, we might need to rephrase that slightly to include all except daddy as he has difficulty releasing his inner child where as mummy has the opposite problem of struggling to contain hers.  This bringer of fun and laughter takes the form of a game called Bunny Jump from University Games.  This was a recent addition to our toys collection (note how I said our!).

Bunny Jump is a fast paced game of luck that also tests reaction speed, patience and self control of those that are maybe not so great at losing (the least said about that the better).  We played this game for hours and hours and hours and have a fantastic time tugging at carrots and catching the cheeky bunny that jumped at us from its burrow when we least expected it to protect its carrots.  Watch out those as this little chap is pretty fast rather like our bunnies who felt that they should also make an appearance in the post.

This is such a simple game yet really great fun and it didn’t take long for the children to get into the swing of playing this.  They also became pretty good at catching that bunny when it decided to jump.  Mr Squishy also thought this was a great game and his giggles of laughter as well as the girls could be heard throughout the house.  Naturally I was in on the action too except for when I was taking pictures and a video for you guys so you can see how easy it is too play and how much fun it is!  After take 20 something we had a video that was acceptable to post – don’t ask how many days that took just be warned videoing kids isn’t an easy task!

We wanted to show everyone how much fun this simple game can be.  Here the girls will show tell you how to play and actually play the game too:

This was a winner with my family and something we play with almost every day!  The game is suitable for ages 4+ years and is for 2 to 4 players.  The SRP is £19.99 and this game can be found at Toys R Us, Argos, Tesco and Amazon.  I found this for £14.99 at John Lewis, Tesco Direct and Argos so I’d go with one of those to save a few pounds!

In an effort to share the fun as this really is a brilliant game I have one of these super toys to give away to one lucky reader.

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

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The Stable Whitehapel (Restaurant Review)

Pizza is one of the Nations favourite dishes.  There are so many variations we are spoilt for choice which makes it all that more exciting.  The only draw back is that some restaurants don’t offer a large variety and instead just stick to the well known options.  I was fortunate enough to visit a fabulous restaurant called The Stable in Whitechapel and it was inspiring to say the least.  I love to make pizzas at home as many of you will have seen from my own recipes that I post and I love to try combinations that you won’t get in your run of the mill Italian restaurant.  The Stable was perfect for that with their wide selection of pizzas to choose from.  Let’s face it it isn’t often you get to chose from a range of pizzas including one with marinated Dorset lamb or even jerk chicken.  For the not so adventurous don’t worry they have some basics on there for you too.  I’m sure I’ve got the attention of all the meat eaters by now but vegetarians and vegans don’t despair, the main menu also includes vegetarian options and there is even a vegan menu.  I should add these pizzas have sour dough bases which are something you really must try.

Having introduced a new menu in March these guys were keen to have me come and try their food and as the food sounded so good I simply couldn’t resist.

Along I went with a friend on a Tuesday evening, wow it was really popular.  There were quite a few people when arrived at 7pm and it was only when we looked at the menu I discovered they do a great offer ever Tuesday called Tuck in Tuesday.  This offer entitles you to a pizza from the menu provided, a side salad and a drink for just £10.

The main menu doesn’t only consist of pizzas, dinners can also select from a range of pies and salads.  Everything sounded so tasty and you can tell that the menu was put together by foodies who like to experiment and try new flavours and have a great understanding of flavours that work well.  This place isn’t just known for their food they also have 80 different types of cider.  For those that want to try a range of these ciders you can get a selection of 5 different ciders to try you just tell them what type you prefer, still, sparkling, dry etc.   The Stable are also child friendly with a children’s menu also available.  Ingredients are sourced as locally as possible and they work closely with suppliers to maintain great quality food and drink.  The venue in Whitechapel is nice and relaxed and appears to be a pretty trendy venue.

We wanted to do the cider tasting but as neither of us are heavy drinkers so we asked if we could try about 5ml of 5 different ciders from the range they had available.  The cider tasting normally includes 5 full little glasses of 5 different ciders and costs around £8 which really is a bargain.

Our tasting consisted of:

Okay so I know they were teeny tiny amounts but the staff humoured us without giggling and we had one of these each which was more than enough for us to get a taste of each of the ciders.  Normally I enjoy the sweet fruity ciders and don’t try any others but this opened my eyes to a whole new world of cider which I must admit I did really enjoy.

Cider 1

This was very easy to drink.  I loved the sparkle to it and that it was light and sweet.  You sure can taste the flavour of the apple and this was lovely and refreshing, a great one to drink with a meal.

Cider 2

The cider was still and had more of a sour apple flavour.  I really enjoyed this one too and could have quite easily filled up the cute little cup and drunk a whole one.

Cider 3

The cider was smooth, sweet and citrusy.  It had a lovely refreshing sparkle to it and again was extremely easy to drink.

Cider 4

This had the most fabulous aroma like an apple and rhubarb pie.  It was as if someone had dissolved some of those rhubarb and custard sweets into the cider.  It really was tasty and nice and sweet which I loved.

Cider 5

This cider had a strong colour.  It was sweet and fruity and very good.  This too was sparkling and had a smooth apple flavour that was not at all tart or very citrusy.

The ciders were all lovey and if I hadn’t felt so tired that day I might had considered having half a pint of a flavour I hadn’t tried yet.  The prices for the ciders were very good with half a pint costing just £2.50/££2.75 and a pint £5.00/£5.50.

The starter didn’t take long to arrive which was good as I had started sampling the ciders on an empty stomach, opsy.  Well I simply couldn’t resist.

Cured Meats and Cheese (shared)

This consisted of air-dried pork loin and coppa from Capreolus of Dorset with a selection of three West Country cheeses: Wookey Hole aged cheddar, Rosary goats’ cheese and Dorset Blue Vinney.  With pickled cucumber, tomato chutney and Peter’s Yard sourdough crackers.

The cheeses all had contrasting flavours and textures and the meats were both mouthwateringly tasty and went well with all the cheeses, the chutney and the crackers.  The chutney really does pack a flavourful punch with a mix of spices and a welcome sweetness.  You can tell from the appearance and taste that these ingredients are all good quality and we found the portion size to be fair.  The items gave a range of delicious flavour combinations.

Main Meal

Side Salad (shared)

Mixed leaf salad, cucumber and tomato, with house Dijon dressing.  This was fresh and the dressing was very light you couldn’t really taste the dijon.  It made a nice refreshing addition to the meal.

The Longhorn Jim

Marinated Longhorn ground beef, Bath Pig chorizo, field mushrooms, roasted red onions, tomato sauce and mozzarella.  Topped with West Country smoked ham.  A great mix of flavours that really work well together.  The texture and flavour of the mushrooms and beef add to the pizza nicely.  The pieces of chorizo are not too thin adding further texture and an additional burst of rich meatiness and you get a lovely creamy texture from the cheese.  The base also gives an additional flavour of its own.  There wasn’t much ham on the pizza but the over all amount of toppings was good.  The ingredients are clearly fresh and the pizza really was yummy.

The Blazing Saddle

Slow-roasted pulled beef, Denhay Farm dry-cured bacon, caramelised onions, roasted red peppers, tomato sauce and mozzarella.  Topped with sour cream and jalapeños (optional).  This Mexican influenced pizza combines ingredients that naturally go well together.  The pulled beef really works beautifully here.  The caramelised onions add a touch of sweetness, the bacon saltiness and the jalapenos a nice kick so the taste sensors are stimulated by various flavours with each mouthful.  This too is a great pizza that all meat lovers must try.

The pizzas were served with pizza cutters which made them so much faster and easier to cut a good thing if you are hungry and you will be once you see these.

We didn’t make it to dessert but might make an attempt to at a later date as we still have many more ciders and pizzas to try.

This is a great place to dine and visit for drinks with family and friends.  These guys clearly do make a great effort in their flavour combinations for their foods and the effort pays off as everything we tried was lovely.  Prices are reasonable and they have 17 locations around the UK so you are bound to be located near to one of them.

  If your in the area or have another branch you can get to easily you must try them out!  They also cater for various food intolerances so be sure to let them know if it applies to you as they are more than happy to help.

Have you visited The Stable yet?

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Gorgeous Day Dresses from Hobbs for Spring / Summer 2017

I had an email land in my inbox (personal email account) from Hobbs and I could resist sharing.  I will say from now I was overcome with excitement at some of the new styles of dresses that I saw.  I have an obsession with dresses as some of you may have realised.  I don’t know where it stems from but I would live in them if I could.  Maybe it’s because you can get so many different yet beautiful styles that look so feminine.  Dresses can suit just about anyone no matter what size you are.  I normally limit myself in relation to dress colour going for white or black, but mainly black but so many different coloured dresses seemed to call to me this year when I was on the site that I couldn’t resist including them.

From top left going clockwise is the fabulously feminine Ella dress in sand.  Isn’t it lovely, that colour looks great and the actual style of the dress is perfect to flatter the female form.  It’s a good length for day wear as you aren’t likely to flash the neighbour or passing traffic when you bend over to get the kiddies into the car.  (The least said about that story the better).  This dress can be jazzed up with a range of bright and bold or simple yet sparkly accessories, the choice is yours.

The White Gardenia maxi dress is beautiful with it’s butterfly design and flows nicely as you walk.  A great light dress for the warm weather and as it’s white it reflects the light helping you feel that bit cooler.  I love maxi dresses the are always a winner with me as I love to keep a range in my wardrobe to cover every occasion.

Plain white dresses will always be in and look fantastic on those brave enough to wear them.  Again falling just below the knee it is an ideal length and the waist tie can be used to create a wrap effect.  Alternatively you can tied it at the front or back for a more relaxed style.  This dress is also available in warm burnt orange as shown below it is just as lovely as the white and it really is eye catching.  Both dresses are perfect for day wear in the Spring and Summer provided the weather is warm enough.  They can also make great evening wear at a casual function with the addition of a cardigan.

The blue Kathy Twitchhill dress is simply stunning and you can get away with wearing it in the day as well in the evening.  It is a great design and the lower part floats well as you walk.  Made from soft cotton this will help keep you feeling cool and looking stylish and sophisticated.

How pretty is the final dress with the black base and white polka dot combination.  A dress that will always be in fashion and also look great anytime of day.  I love the sheen of the dress and this works well with a range of cardigan colours and of course a little sparkly jewellery a fabulous handbag and some gorgeous shoes.

Do you wear dresses often and what styles get you excited?

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The Therapeutic Effects of Teddies

Teddies make a wonderful gift for children whether you are buying for them for a birthday, Christmas or an alternative to sweets and chocolate for Easter.

We all love teddies whether we are young or old but eventually we grow out of them or at least we claim too and cuddle our teddies at night when no one can see.

It’s interesting that scientist have actually researched the therapeutic effects of soft toys.  We all know that they are great for children but they are also good for adults too.

They act as a comforter for both young and old and make a wonderful confidant for children as they will never tell anyone their owners secrets.  Adults can feel free to confide in them too although I must admit I’d feel a bit daft talking to a teddy myself but apparently it can actually help.

Teddies are great to hug and interestingly this can reduce stress.  Hugging reduces stress hormones and can also alleviating conditions such as anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Soft toys are also great for older children and adults by serving as a reminder of childhood and also of the person who bought it.

The appearance, colour of the teddy is irrelevant in terms of their healing benefits it’s all about the attachment formed by the individual to the toy.

Warmies a recent discovery of mine have added an additional benefit to their teddies – heat!

This makes them that bit more cuddly and welcoming.  They also help children / adults feel better when they have tummy aches, cramps caused by wind, menstrual cramps (stating the obvious – in adult females), muscular pains and more.  The application of the warm toy to the area increases the blood flow to that area which can reduce any swelling, relax muscles, reduce / relieve pain, discomfort, stiffness and much more.

Of course in cases where there is a condition aggravated by heat you are best to just use the teddy as a toy.

Warmies have a fabulously large range of these heatable teddies.  Their regular sized toys are just £14.95 which is reasonable for a cute, cuddly toy that can be microwaved.  They are super simple to use you literally pop the whole teddy into the microwave and heat for the time specified on the label attached to the toy, a well thought out toy clearly as the instructions are on the toys and there is no opening of the toys and parts to remove for heating which is a bonus.

My little ones love teddies and we have a mix of cuddly animals, probably enough to open a teddy zoo but their new warmies really did get them very excited.  See what they thought of the teddies here:

Naturally when we got ours that evening they mysteriously developed tummy aches and needed their teddy heated to cuddle in bed.  The teddies themselves are exceptionally soft, cute and very cuddly.  They are easy to use and clean – cleaning involves a quick wipe with a wet wipe or damp sponge.  They smell of French lavender and many of you will be aware that this is a relaxant, has calming properties and can even help gently induce and result in a deeper sleep.  These toys are long lasting so can see your children / you through many years as they can be reheated thousands of times.

Even Mr Squishy wanted one to cuddle as well as mummy to fall asleep (before being transferred into his cot.)

There are so many different teddies to choose from on the Warmies website you are simply spoilt for choice.  They have something for everyone.  I picked out a few that I thought you guys might like too.  These ones are all regular sized but they also have medium which are smaller and will be introducing minis soon too.  There are other heatable soft toys too so make sure you take a look at their website to see the full selection.

(dragon available soon)

Those young at heart or simply young will probably want to get their hands on one of these too so I have teamed up with The Intelex group the company that brought us Warmies and we will be holding a competition for one reader to win a regular soft plush teddy, winners choice (provided there is stock otherwise you might be asked to chose another option).

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

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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.

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Disclaimer: A sample of the product was sent for my consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kimchee Restaurant Kings Cross (London)

Kimchee have recently opened a branch literally a stone’s throw from King’s Cross and St. Pancras Stations, in Pancras Square, one of the city’s most exciting areas of urban re-development.  I’ve not been to King’s Cross often over the years but now I really do have reason to.  The area now looks great and there are some lovely looking bars and restaurants.  On my wonders around the area I even discovered an observation platform where you could see a few of London’s landmarks including The Shard.  If you visit at night be sure to check out the Identified Flying Object (IFO) so named by its artist creator Jacques Rival.  This was firmly on the ground when I visited but it did look pretty in with the colourful neon lights which emitting the energy it has accumulated during the day.  This first appeared in 2011 and on special occasions may be seen floating in the sky when it is hoisted up by crane.  This birdcage like structure not only looks pretty it also contains a swing which the public can use.

Kimchee was just around the corner and this Korean restaurant was holding a press evening where I was invited along to sample their food.  The entrance was lovely boasting a small yet beautiful zen garden and the bar area was pretty with glass boxes containing vases and bottles of various spirits.  Of course when you hear a place has a cocktail menu you simply must try at least one and that we did.  The Passion Fruit Frose came with a pretty garnish consisting of an orange slice and viola flowers (edible flowers).  The Lychee Love was appropriately garnished with a lychee both of these cocktails were pretty strong alcoholwise and deliciously fruity.  I managed my drink but didn’t feel brave enough to get a second and we both drank sparkling water for the rest of the evening.  For the location the pricing for the cocktails was good with them starting from £7.50.  The kitchen was busy, there must have been between 10 and 15 chefs that evening and the kitchen was open plan so we could watch them at work which I quite like as you can see the cleanliness of a kitchen easily that way too.

The starters came out quickly.

Mackerel Jorim

This dish has the most wonderful sauce which infuses with the ingredients and coats them.  The green and red peppers, mooli, rice cakes and mackerel combine well in this dish and we found the rice cakes although unusual in texture quite moreish.  The chilli gave it a great kick and the garlic was not overpowering.  This has a really interesting mix of textures making eating it that much more exciting.

Tuigim – Spicy Calamari

There were a few options for this dish including tiger prawns, tofu, vegetables, shrimp and crab but we opted for the calamari having seen the waiter walk by and serve one to a nearby table.  We were not disappointed the calamari was plump, bite sized and tender and the light batter was crisp and had been cooked in fresh oil.  The spicy sauce was not to the degree that you would burn your tongue and this portion vanished rather fast!  The dish was nicely presented in what appeared to be a giant prawn cracker.

Sides

Buns

We had the chargrilled pork and the chargrilled chicken.  These were both full of flavour and came in fluffy steamed buns.  Both delicious I’m not sure which was my favourite but I would not think twice about ordering these again.

Our waiter Decy insisted we try a side dish.  He was well trained and knew about all the dishes having tried them all it appeared.  We did take his advise for many of the options we went with and were very pleased that we had.

By the time we had gotten as far as this I was feeling kind of full.  I know crazy right but having already ordered the main I bravely soldiered on.

Mains

Udon with Chicken

There was also an option of tofu but the chicken appealed to me more.  This contained breaded chicken on a bed of udon noodles in a flavourful soy sauce with sesame oil.  The udon was very good and the chicken although simple was nice.  I was pleased that the sesame wasn’t excessive in the dish.  The sauce of this was delicious and really went well with the rest of the dish.  Try as I might I had to admit defeat and left some (crys at the thought of wasting good food).

Dolsot Bibimap

There were a mix of options here from beef, eel, tofu chicken and more.  The dish is served in a sizzling hot stone pot which contains rice, a mix of vegetables, sesame oil and on the side red chilli paste.  This is a great looking dish as you can see and you can adjust the spiciness of it by adding more chilli paste to the heat you require.  This enticing dish is a cross between a Chinese fried rice and a biriyani.  There is a fair amount of flavour to it too.  My friend did a fabulous job of finishing her meal although she did say she didn’t think she would be able to walk to the door after and we did sit a while chatting after we finished the meal.

Then it came to dessert.  Decy gave us his suggestions and my friend decided for the Baesuk with Ice Cream.  This consists of a whole pear spiced with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and honey for sweetness.  This is accompanied by an ice cream of your choice so my friend choose almond.  The pear was literally as it described on the menu and you could taste all the spices.  It  was quite hard so wasn’t very easy to cut with a spoon.  This unfortunately wasn’t anything to write home about but in contrast the ice cream was amazing.  The soft creamy velvety smooth almond ice cream was heavenly and contained pieces of almond.  The pair remained with a little missing and the ice cream vanished.  I’m sure the plate might have been licked clean if that was an option.

I opted for the Sagwa Choux.  This is a cream filled choux bun served with an apple puree and butterscotch sauce and topped with a sprinkling of walnuts.  Highly recommended by Decy I was confident I was onto a winner.  It was very good and I was very pleased with this.  I do love desserts and this one works well with its contrast of flavours.

We had a really lovely evening.  The staff were all very attentive and we didn’t have to wait long for anything.  The atmosphere was lively and it really did seem like a great place for people to visit after work for drinks or nights out for drinks with friends in a nice location.  The portion sizes are generous so wear expandable clothing and the prices are extremely reasonable for the location.  Just to give you an example the udon dish would have been £9.40.  Make sure you check the opening times though as I ventured back there on Sunday only to find it was closed, opsy I didn’t realise they don’t open Sundays.  My first taste of Korean food was an enjoyable one and I hope to try some more interesting and tasty dishes in the future.

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Have you tried Korean food yet?

Michael Kors Spring Birthday Party Outfit Wishlist 2017

Guess whose having a birthday soon! Probably all of you will know someone who will be celebrating theirs but I was actually talking about me.  Of course having a birthday is a great excuse to go shopping online for a fabulous new outfit and with Love the Sales having a sale on Michael Kors items I simply couldn’t resist taking a look.  Michael Kors always has gorgeous sophisticated clothing, drool worthy bags, beautiful shoes and and more!!!!!!!  Of course the best time to get these items is in the sale as you can get away with squeezing in some extra items with the savings you make – I do love the logical way my mind works.

Dresses are a must i’m not so much of a trouser or skirt girl when going out and the style will vary depending on the location of the party.

The Michael Long Length Evening Dress is a great dress for meals out at nice restaurants.  Black will never go out of fashion and you wouldn’t feel out of place in this dress that’s for sure with its sophisticated and elegant style.  This was £211 and is now £148.

Blue dresses seem to be catching my attention at the moment and this stunner really is a fun, pretty dress for a range of activities from a meal out to drinks at a trendy bar.  The High Woods V Neck Dress is a great length for showing off those toned pins (might want to use some tanning cream first though).  The leopard print looks lovely against this pretty shade of blue and the dress flows well as you walk thanks to the chiffon.  This dress is fully lined and the v top flatters the bust.  This is going to be a popular dress I know and it was selling for £165 but is now only £59 so it really is a great bargain.

Back to black but this time something a little shorter than the first.  This beautiful lace dress is an all rounder in terms of events it really is a dress for all occasions and flatters the female form perfectly.  I love the lace sleeves which add to its sophisticated charm.  It was originally £258 but is now available for £155 and worth every penny due to its versatility.  You can dress it up to give a different look with different types of jewellery, bags, shoes etc.

Again blue but a slightly different shade.  This Ottoman dress is for the body confident and really does look wonderful.  With the perfect accessories you can look like you’ve just stepped off the catwalk.  This is a great colour for the warmer weather but if you are naturally pale like me don’t forget the tanning cream on those arms and legs to make it stand out that bit more.  You make a massive saving as this was £215 and is now £79.

Of course whatever you pick you need to make sure you have the right shoes.  I do read your comments and take into consideration your preferences too on my various posts and with these in mind have selected some great shoes that will not only go with each of these dresses they will also look simply gorgeous and have varied heel sizes.  I must admit I took forever trying to choose the shoes on the site as there are so many wonderful styles, they really did make it hard to whittle them down.  I had so many pages open for options that I thought I might crash my computer!!!!!

Whether you want a shoe the same colour as your outfit or one that will standout I have it all covered.  I’m super excited to share these beauties.

They are stunning aren’t they!

The selection above will not only look lovely with my chosen dresses they will go with so many more and getting a few and mixing and matching works well as you can create a different look each time.  The mix of kitten heels and higher heels should suit many tastes and for for that prefer flats I selected these.

They look super comfy and are perfect for anyone that doesn’t wear heels whether it is for medical reasons or because they haven’t mastered walking in them.

Now a great outfit of course needs completing and what other than a stylish handbag to finish the perfect ensemble.  Prefer a large or small bag?  You are spoilt for choice either way.

I thought these two styles would look great with the various outfits what do you think?  You can of course chose one that is more colourful or just go for a purse but the where will you put your phone, keys, makeup bag etc.

We could go on, watches, necklaces, earrings and bracelets will add that bit of sparkle and shine.

These all make wonderful gifts too if you know the style preference and size where applicable of the person you are buying for.

Are you going to buy any Michael Kors items in the sale?

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