Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Greggs Sweet Mince Pies

Forgive me but I'm going back there again, yes, Christmas!! Those of you who personally know me (or follow me on social media) will probably know that I'm a bit of a sweet mince pie freak - I wait all year for them to grace our shelve and when they do, I simply can't get enough of them.

I have, over the years tried many brands and varieties ranging from the ridiculously expensive to the cheapest there is to offer and only one comes up trumps year after year satisfying this intense craving I have and that's Greggs.

Greggs sweet mince pies are the ideal combination of sweetness, fruitiness and flavour and are paired with a unique shortcrust pastry which compliments the filling perfectly. They come in a box of 6 and cost £1.50 - definitely worth every penny!

Okay, it doesn't take a genius to work out that there's a few missing out of this box but they're just way too yummy not to eat!

I'm gonna stick my neck on the line here and probably cause a bit of a hoo-haa but these pies are THE BEST SWEET MINCE PIES EVER!! So, if like me you're a lover of these seasonal treats, get yourself into Greggs and give them a try - you won't be disappointed!!

Feel free to pop back and share your opinions, I'd love to hear them! ;)

Quality Portraits by Princessa A S Paradiso

Okay, I know you probably don't want to hear this, but Christmas is only just around the corner and if you're anything like me, then choosing gifts can be a huge problem. Apart from the cost issue, it's always a struggle knowing what to buy, that will be sure to put a smile on the recipients face. I'm also terrible for leaving everything until the last possible minute which is when panic mode sets in!

This year, I was lucky enough to stumble across Princessa A S Paradiso on Facebook and was intrigued to find out more about her unique artwork. Whether it's a family pet or a loved one, she can create a wonderful piece of artwork from just one or two decent photographs. Unfortunately, this proved to be a wee bit of a problem for me as the subject I chose was none other than our pride and joy, Peppa, and would he heck as like stand still and pose!! Out of around 70 photos, only 1 was clear enough to use and here it is .......

Peppa - our Guinea Pig
I simply sent this over via private message on Facebook and Princessa got right to work.

I was really impressed with the way I was kept updated on the progress of my artwork and shown various stages of progress throughout. Princessa has a real knack of using spots to create the end look, but after trying with Peppa, she didn't feel that this worked too well so changed tactic.

Using the spot technique

I can see why she decided to change it but still think it's pretty cool!

Anyway, after this technique didn't quite work out, she started again using mixed media consisting of water, paint, pencil and ink and this was the end result ......

 Apologies for the slight glare but I don't want to remove it from the cellophane wrapper until I can get a frame to display him. She managed to perfectly capture the mischevousness in his eyes and the colouring etc looks amazing.
This portrait was provided to me in A5, and this size generally costs from £35 per portrait. You can also receive your portrait in A4 which costs from £45. You can choose either animal or person although it will cost £10 - £15 extra for each additional head in the portrait. You are also responsible for covering the post and packaging costs. Depending on how busy her schedule is, the portraits usually take between 1 - 2 weeks but you may need to allow a little extra at this time of year.

I was really pleased with the end result of my portrait and the sheer professionalism of Princessa, which is why I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. I find the prices to be reasonable for the time and effort taken to produce such a lovely keepsake, and really appreciated the extra little touch on the packaging .....

Check out Princessa A S Paradiso on Facebook where you can see more of her amazing artwork and simply send her a private message if you're interested in having a portrait done for yourself. She is really fast at responding to queries so you won't have to wait too long for her to get back in touch.

I received this portrait free of charge, in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Angel by LJ Ross

Angel: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries)Angel: A DCI Ryan Mystery by L.J. Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the author, in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Life for DCI Ryan is finally looking up. He's cracked a few high profile cases, found the woman of his dreams and is, for the first time in years, loving life. What could possibly go wrong?

When the body of a woman turns up on the morning of Good Friday in one of Newscastles' largest cemeteries, Ryan is quickly assigned to the case. Could it be that this was yet another ritual killing? The red-haired womans body had been positioned like that of an Angel with her top torn at the sleeves to appear like wings and a 'calling card' was also left at the scene with an absolution of sins written in Latin.
More bodies, more confusion and more danger lies ahead. Can Ryan save the day or is he just too late this time?

This is the fourth book in The DCI Mysteries and the one which left me guessing the most! Ross has a real talent for drawing you in and keeping you on your toes until the very last page. I picked this book up and from the first page, I struggled to put it down again. I love how Ross covers all angles leaving you believing that you have it all sussed and know who the killer is, then making you start your guessing all over again when you realise that you're wrong. This book has it all - humour, fear, grit, action, reality, and it's so fast-paced you'll be wondering where the pages went.
I absolutely loved reading this and each book in the DCI Ryan Mysteries just keeps getting better. I really hope that Ross has pen to paper for book 5 as I am DYING to know what happens next. Angel has the biggest cliff hanger imaginable at the end but I guess I'll just have to continue the guessing games in my head until the next instalment. Please hurry!!

View all my reviews

Friday, 17 June 2016

FNUG Nail Polish from My Pure

I received this product free of charge from My Pure, in return for an honest review. All opinions are based upon my own experience.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a HUGE fan of nail colour and love experimenting with different colours etc, so when I found this gorgeous FNUG nail polish I simply couldn't resist - especially since summer is finally putting in an appearance!

I have tried a few different colours from the FNUG range but this is my first try of their Neon colours. The main difference is that the neon dries with a matt finish compared to the nice glossy finish of the other polishes. As with all FNUG polishes, this comes with the perfect brush for application. It's the ideal size to cover most of your nail in one swoop, but not too large that it goes over the edges on smaller nails. It also holds just the right amount of polish so you don't end up with a huge dollop in one spot. I found this really easy to apply and it dried within a couple of minutes which is ideal if you're like me and seem to do everything last minute!
It is taking me a bit of getting used to as I'm not really used to this matt finish and am a little unsure whether it's really for me. I kinda like the high shine glossy look whereas the matt looks slightly underdone. I did apply a second coat which made it slightly shinier but I'm still a little unsure. The colour itself is gorgeous! It's bright, cheery and compliments any skin tone. Although this claims to be chip resistant and long lasting, I did find that it started to fade away from the edge of my nails within a couple of days - maybe I should have been wearing my marigolds or passed the job of dish washer onto my kids! lol If you're lucky enough to own a dishwasher, then you'll probably find that it's quite hard wearing and lasts waaay longer. I generally apply a clear gloss over the top but didn't want to ruin the matt effect without giving it a chance.

Although this matt polish isn't really my cup of tea, I would still recommend it as I have seen it worn by others and thought it looked really cool. I also love that FNUG polishes contain strengthening silica, vitamins A, D, E and B as well as caviar which brings the benefit of the high content of nutritious amino acids and minerals found in the amino acids. The ideal therapy for your nails whilst giving a delightful burst of colour.

FNUG Nail Polish in Front Page is available to buy from MY Pure and costs £12.00 for 8.5ml.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Hotter Shoes - Newcastle Upon Tyne

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Hotter Shoes Blogging Event in Newcastle and I have to say that as this was only my second event of this kind, excited was an understatement!
Situated inside Eldon square is a brand spanking new Hotter Shoes store filled with shoes to suit all tastes and ages - I felt like a kid in a sweet shop when we were invited to choose some and have fun trying them on. It was also really nice finally being able to meet a few fellow bloggers from around the North East - such a lovely group of ladies! We were given a little demonstration and provided with drinks and nibbles making it a very enjoyable and relaxed evening.

Hotter Shoes are a British company who have rapidly expanded over the last few years going from just 5 stores in 2010 to over 80 in 2016 - now that is an achievement! They are also the UK's biggest shoe manufacturer and manage to turn out a pair of shoes every 20 seconds. Their call centre is based in Lancashire where experienced staff are waiting to help customers from both the UK and the US so there's always somewhere to turn if you have any problems - which I'm pretty sure you won't!
Ladies shoes are available in sizes 3 to 9 and many come with extra fit options to make them uniquely adapted to the size of your feet. There are also wide fitting shoes available in many of the range for those who struggle with wider feet. some may think that the prices are a little steep, but when you consider the quality, the fit, the excellent service and aftercare as well as the comfort factor, they are definitely worth every penny.

Now, many of you may already be familiar with the Hotter brand but assume that they only produce styles that appeal to the older generation, well, I'm here to tell you that you couldn't be more wrong! Hotter have been working really hard in recent years to be more on trend and cater for you younger folk too, providing a wide range of shoes for both men and women. Here are a few examples of what you can buy.....

As you can see, there are flats, wedges and heels and some of the shoes even have matching handbags to help complete the look. The first pair of shoes I tried were the Antoinette Heels in white and black - and it was whilst trying these on that I experienced my Hotter Moment! I have NEVER felt such comfort. From the second my foot was in the shoe, I could feel the soft cushioning beneath my feet and the shoes simply hugged them making them feel uber comfy and like they belonged. I also tried on the Christie Shoes in red and wow, they felt sublime. Luxuriously soft and very flattering when worn, I really loved these ...but they weren't what I opted for in the end.

I simply couldn't tear myself away from these beauties ......

These are called Sandy Shoes and I fell in love with them the minute I saw them. They were available in 3 colours but I opted for Mauve Shadow/Pink as they're more my style. I actually wore these to come home in after the event, and despite having to walk to the metro station, then walk from the metro to my car, I felt no discomfort whatsoever, and that's a rarity for me when wearing new heels. The heel is just a nice size to add a bit of height but not too big that I was unsteady on my feet, and I know I could wear these for a good few hours without worrying about blisters or rubbing. For me, they were THE most comfortable shoes I have ever had the pleasure to wear and look fab with various outfits, including jeans. I also noticed that the shoes I wore to the event, had me impersonating an ice skater as I attempted to walk through Eldon Square but my new beauties helped me keep my dignity and walk with my head high and no fear of slipping.

Why not pop along to your nearest Hotter Shoes and see what takes your fancy! I have a discount code especially for my readers offering £10 off the total order value of any full priced items in the Hotter range (excluding shoe care products and accessories) plus FREE delivery! Minimum order value is £25 and this offer can not be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer, sale or factory clearance items or gift vouchers, and can only be used on 1st orders only. Simply enter code PPATEN at the checkout.
This offer expires on 30/06/2016

Hotter Social Channels: