Archive for the Everything Else! Category

A Winter BBQ

On New Year’s Eve (or Hogmanay I suppose I should say, now that I am living in Scotland), we had family staying at our flat. With my messy cooking style, making dinner for just the two of us can be a challenge in our smallish kitchen, so we needed to find an easy way to cook something tasty for lots of people. That’s where the Teppanyaki Grill came in. It is essentially an indoor BBQ – a temperature controlled hot plate which lets you grill your food safely indoors in a more exciting way than using the grill in the oven! It was much more sociable than being tucked away in the kitchen but, be warned, it gives off enough smoke to set the fire alarm going! We decided to go for some simple marinated chicken as this was our first attempt at using the grill. We used some of the Tabasco table sauces as marinades which worked fabulously and the flavour really came through (on another note, the Chipotle and Bourbon Tabasco sauce makes a really tasty and easy flavouring for pulled pork…).
Domu Teppanyaki Grill
Domu Teppanyaki Grill


Teppanyaki GrillThe Teppanyaki grill was great fun to use and I bet we will be using lots more of it, especially during the summer as we have no garden to BBQ properly in! It is also super easy to clean up once you’ve finished coooking. We got our grill from Domu and at the moment it is on sale for an amazing £16.99! Definitely worth it!


Go Ape

Last weekend I visited Go Ape with a group of friends. The Go Ape site nearest to Aberdeen is in Crathes Castle, about 40 minutes drive from town.  After signing in at the centre and reading the rules of the course, our harnesses were fitted and we spent around half hour with our instructor Dave who showed us how to use the clips attached to our harnesses so that we would be safe on the course. We all climbed on to the practice course to make sure we could work the equipment and were then allowed onto the actual course. Go Ape Crathes CastleGo Ape Crathes CastleGo Ape Crathes Castle Go Ape Crathes CastleGo Ape Crathes CastleThe course was made up of a series of ladders to climb up into the trees, rope bridges, tunnels, Tarzan swings and zip wires. There were instructors watching from the ground but we were able to go at our own speed around the course which was good as I was able to take lots of photos without holding anyone up! The Tarzan swings and zip wires were a bit daunting as you have to just step off a platform into nothing (obviously you are still attached to the wire…) but it was brilliant fun! I’d love to go again and I think it is a great day out for all ages! There are Go Ape centres dotted round the UK in 29 locations  and it costs around £30 for the treetop adventure.

We went to Crathes Castle a couple of hours early to have a look around the castle first so here are a couple of photos….Crathes Castle Crathes Castle


Parrot Print Dress

A few weeks ago I came across a fabulous website called Not On The High Street.  They have so many lovely things from clothes and shoes to home and garden stuff.  I could so easily spend hundreds buying things for my new flat!  I’ve just moved into my first unfurnished flat so most of my stuff comes from Ikea – I would love to get a few of the bits from this website to make it a little more unique.  In the end, after hours of browsing, I couldn’t resist the cute Parrot Print Dress by Instant Vintage.  I’m always a bit nervous ordering clothes online as I often end up having to send things back because they don’t fit right.  Fortunately this dress fits me perfectly and I love it! Parrot Print Dress Instant VintageParrot Print Dress Instant VintageParrot Print Dress Instant VintageParrot Print Dress Instant VintageParrot Print Dress Instant VintageI will definitely be back on this website to pick up some little extras for my flat!

ps… sorry for the rubbish photo in the mirror – I live on my own and don’t own a fancy camera with a timer/tripod so this is the best I could do!


Snore Mate

This is a bit different to the products I usually write about on my blog.  I almost didn’t write this post but then thought that surely some of you also suffer from the effects of snoring?!  My boyfriend has snored for his whole entire life.  When we moved in together in September I was worried as when we used to see each other at weekends during uni I always struggled to sleep with his snoring.  He had tried throat sprays, nose sprays, snoring strips but nothing helped.  I kept hoping I would get used to his snoring when we moved in but it just didn’t happen!  I couldn’t get to sleep if he was asleep before me and he would wake me up countless times during the night as his snoring was just so loud!  It got to the point where I was falling asleep on the sofa in the evenings and being so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open in work.  I was also getting pretty grumpy from the lack of sleep!  Then he tried the Snore Mate by Helps Stop Snoring.  It is amazing – and that is not an exaggeration!  The Snore Mate is a mouthpiece which holds your jaw forward while you’re sleeping the keep the airways open.  You put the mouthpiece in hot water before you use it the first time so that it moulds to the shape of your mouth.  Nick found it a bit uncomfortable to start with and kept taking out in his sleep but within a week he was used to it.  The mouth piece hasn’t stopped his snoring entirely but it is now so much quieter than it was meaning he longer wakes me up during the night.  He doesn’t snore non-stop through the night any more either.  We are both sleeping a million times better since Nick started using the Snore Mate as I don’t keep trying to roll him over to stop the snoring!  This is the best stop snoring product and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with the same problem!  The Snore Mate costs £30.99 in Boots.



A few weeks ago I ordered a canvas from HelloCanvas who I hadn’t actually heard of before but they are apparently the worlds largest creator of photo on canvas prints.  I’ve been so impressed with them – my canvas arrived really quickly and it looks good.  I wasn’t sure that the photo I chose would work on canvas but I actually really like it.  It’s one of the photos we took in Thailand and it’s nice to have a memory of our holiday on the wall.  Not that it is actually on the wall yet – I’m going to give it to Nick for Christmas!

Our canvas is 50x70cm and cost £37.  HelloCanvas do lots of other sizes though ranging and the prices range from £13 to £99.  HelloCanvas remove red eye and dates for free which is handy and you can get different effects put on your photos.  There is also the option to get a frame.  I like buying gifts like this for people and will definitely use HelloCanvas again!


Bassbuds Headphones & Discount Code

My latest pair of headphones are from Bassbuds, just plain black but with Swarovski crystal on the back making them a little different.  The headphones give a really good sound quality and have a handy pause/play button towards the ear end which is good as you don’t need to keep getting your iPod/phone out of your pocket.  You can also use the headphones as a hands free as there is a tiny mic as well.  They come with some spare pairs of ear buds in different sizes and also a storage bag.  These headphones cost £34.95.  I’m really pleased with how good these are!Bassbuds are offering you lucky lot a £5 discount voucher to spend on their headphones, just enter the code BB38487.


simplehuman Sensor Pump

A bit random but I just had to tell you about my new simplehuman soap dispenser – I love it!  It has a motion sensor so when you put your hand underneath it dispenses just the right amount of soap depending on what volume setting your dispenser is set to.  It needs four AA batteries, holds 384ml of soap and is really easy to refill.  The dispenser costs £39.99 which is quite a lot so is probably the sort of thing you would buy as a gift for someone who has everything or someone who loves pointless gadgets!  It’s amazing!Do you like the look of this? Would you ever buy one?


Wahanda Spa Day

After finishing my exams a few weeks ago I decided to treat myself to a spa day. I bought a voucher from the Spa Days Cardiff section of the Wahanda website for a 2 for 1 Bannatyne Pamper Spa Day. If you’ve not heard of Wahanda before, it’s a website where you can buy vouchers for spa days and treatments at a number of different spas across the UK.  It makes it really easy to find a good deal as the information for the different spas is all in the same place! The voucher is emailed to you, so I was able to phone up the Bannatyne Spa booking line the same day to book my treatments.

The 2 for 1 Bannatyne Pamper Spa Day voucher cost me £65 and included a 30 minute facial or back massage for both me and a friend, a 15 minute scalp massage and use of the pool and gym for the whole day. I took my sister to the Cardiff Bannatyne Spa and we both went for the facial. Our treatments were so relaxing and our skin felt amazing afterwards. The therapists were lovely; they explained what products they used but didn’t hound us to buy them which happened last time I had a facial.

We arrived just after lunch so that we could spend a few hours relaxing by the pool before our treatments. The pool itself was nice enough, if a bit gloomy because of the dark floor. We were a bit disappointed by the rest of the spa day though. The bubbles in the Jacuzzi weren’t working properly and the steam in the stream room didn’t smell too good either. It might sound a bit silly but I always think of a spa as having relaxing music playing gently in the background and nice hand cream in the toilets, but the Bannatyne Spa didn’t have this. I’m not sure if anyone else has been to the Center Parcs spa, Aqua Sana, which is amazing? I think, after being there, I am disappointed when other spas days aren’t as nice! I think I also thought that the spa would have its own sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi but actually we had to use the health club. The health club looks like the perfect place to go if you want to keep yourself fit but it’s not really a “spa”.

I’d definitely go back to the Bannatyne Spa again for treatments and I think our Wahanda voucher was good value even if the pool area wasn’t what we thought it was going to be!

Because I hate posts without images, I thought I’d post some photos of gorgeous looking spas I found on Pinterest….





House of Marley Headphones

My last pair of headphones died a few weeks ago so I’ve been looking for a new pair since then.  I’ve finally found some and I’m very happy with them!  I’ve gone for a pair of noise isolating ones from the Marley Jammin’ Collection called People Get Ready.

I love how colourful they are and that they are eco-friendly.  They are made from recyclable aluminium, recycled plastic and wood.  They come with three different sized ear cushions as well which I think is a really good idea as sometimes I find headphones quite sore – I must have small ears!

You also get a little carry case with the headphones which I’m not sure I’ll actually use but might be handy for some people.  Obviously, it’s not just what they look like that is important, but don’t worry; the sound quality is brilliant as well!

These headphones cost £29.99 and you can buy them from Amazon.  I actually found these while I was looking for Valentine’s Day gift ideas which are different to the usual heart shaped chocolates.  They have lots of different colours to choose from and a range of prices so might  be worth thinking about!


Sainsbury’s Pots & Pans – Le Creuset Style

This might seem like a slightly odd post but I wanted to tell you about the new casserole dish and griddle pan I had for Christmas!  I enjoy cooking and ever since John Lewis opened in Cardiff a few years ago I’ve wanted one of the cast iron Le Creuset casserole dishes which come in some lovely colours.  They are really expensive though, with the smallest size £85.  Even in the Amazon sale they are still super expensive!

For Christmas, my mum got me a similar casserole dish from Sainsbury’s.  It is cast iron, a gorgeous teal colour and the only physical difference from the Le Creuset one is the lid.  The main difference between the two pots is the price.  My 3 litre pot cost £30!  So as long as you don’t care about having the brand name on the lid of your pot, you really may as well buy the Sainsbury’s version.  The range of colours isn’t quite as big but there is a big enough range to suit most kitchens.

My nan got me a matching Sainsbury’s griddle pan (also cast iron) which cost £20 instead of the £69 Le Creuset charge.  Both of the pans come with a 10 year guarantee as well!

Has anyone else got the pans from Sainsbury’s?  What do you think of them?

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