Food and Drink

Bonfire party with Fentimans Ginger Beer and giveaway

For the last few years we have had a fireworks and bonfire party at our house. My Hubby loves fireworks displays and we go most years to the Fire Works Championships at Belvior Castle. We decided that while the children we young we would have fireworks at our house, saves all the muddy fields and the hour sat in the car waiting to get out of the car park after. We are lucky enough to have a large garden with plenty of space for the men folk to sort the fireworks out up at the top of the garden and keep all the children safe nearer the house.

We invite our nearest and dearest, cook up hot dogs for the children and a big chilli with jacket potatoes and cheese for the adults, then we have few drinks after the sparklers and fireworks have finished. I also this year made some very yummy cinder toffee and toffee apples. Not forgetting toasting the marshmallows… so many marshmallows.

Fentimans Ginger BeerIn recent month’s my Hubby has got the taste for rum, the perfect warming tipple for a cold November’s evening. So, when Fentimans sent us some ginger beer to help us celebrate our bonfire party, I knew that the rum and ginger beer would make the perfect combination for a warming drink for our fireworks party.

Bonfire Cocktail

When I think of bonfire night, I instantly think toffee apples and nice warm drinks. So my lovely bonfire cocktail is just that, toffee flavours and warms you up as your drink. It is very simple to make, with only a couple of elements.

Add ice into your glass, I used my gorgeous Moscow mule copper mugs. Then a measure of dark rum, be generous to give you that lovely warming feeling. Top it up with Fentimans ginger beer. I then added a shard of my toffee, which when dropped in gives sweet toffee flavour to the cocktail… yummy. Why not add a sparklier for the extra special bonfire party feel, just make sure you take it out before you drink it. The rum and Ginger Beer make the perfect bonfire cocktail.

Why not have a go at making your own Ginger Beer inspired cocktail?

The lovelies at Fentimans are giving you the chance to win your very own case of Ginger Beer. Just enter the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&C’s – UK entrants only, you must be over 18 to enter. Prize will be sent to you direct by Fentimans.

*This post was made in collaboration with Fentimans. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Beginning my weight loss quest with Shake that Weight

Since having my second child 4 years ago, I have struggled to regain my pre-pregnancy weight. So now instead of having baby weight to shift, I am just fat. With my first born I had lost all of the baby weight and a but more within about 6 months.

Shake That Weight

This year I had planned to sort myself out and get healthier and fitter and shed a few pounds. However sometimes life throws things at you unexpectedly and this year has really been one of those years that I have struggled with on so many levels and my weight has suffered because of it.

Recently Shake that Weight got in touch with me to see if I would like try out their weight loss plan. Having a good read about them I found they offer two different diet plans for women and two different plans for men. Depending on your BMI depends on which diet they recommend for you. As my BMI is quite high I full in the ‘Total food replacement’ plan. Which I thought would be perfect for me, for a couple of weeks I wont have to think about what I am eating, it will be there ready and waiting.

Total food replacement

With that total food replacement plan, you have an allowance of 600 calories a day. These calories come from shakes, soups, noodles, ready meals, porridge and bars. (Now I hate porridge so that was one of the options out for me.) You are able to have up to 4 of these a day, combined with light exercise to help with what Shake that Weight say is rapid weight loss. There is also the option for a low calorie snack each day, which is available on the web site.

Looking at the options for food, I thought I would go for a shake everyday for breakfast, a chocolate flavoured bar each day (I mean a girls got to have her chocolate fix… right?) then a soup for lunch, followed by either a noodle dish, rice dish or a ready meal for dinner. I also ordered 6 packets of the wafers just encase I need them. In total it came to £88.91. The 2 week plan states it starts from £70.00 but depending on which products you opt for depends on the cost, so if you went for shakes, soups and noodle dishes would you get the lower costs, the little ready meals are £3.99 each plus the wafers, which were the items that increased my plan costs.

Health advice

You should always consulate your Doctor before taking part in this diet. Shake that Weight advise that you remain on plan for a maximum of 12 weeks. While undertaking this diet there are a few side effects to look out for, headaches, nausea, and tiredness during the first few days. Then as you continue on the plan as your body gets rid of ketones you can get sweet, fruity smelling breath. If you are worried please speak to your Doctor?

For more details you can download the brochure to have a read about all the advise and guidance.

Starting my plan

I set the date to start the plan a couple of week ago, we have just arrived back from a family weekend in Legoland and I knew wouldn’t be possible to stick to plan while away. So today I am starting my plan and I am preparing myself for an awful headache. When you cut right down on carbohydrates you can end up with headaches, which is something I suffer with anyway, but I also know it only lasts a couple of days and I shall make sure I keep hydrated taking on lots of water.

I am going to let you all know how I get on with my 2 week plan, wish me luck.

*Thank you Shake that Weight for sending me out the products to try.*


Reason to boast as the host with the most

For a lot of people, one of the most stressful parts of life is hosting other people in their home. Unlike when you’re a child, having people to visit will often mean giving the place a clean, along with getting out the fancier items you own. Of course, though, the secret to being a good host isn’t in simply impressing people. Along with this, there are loads of other factors at play, and this post is going to be exploring some of them. With this in mind, most people will find it a lot easier to be the host with the most.

Host With The Most

The Host Mentality: To begin, it’s time to think about the mentality you have as a host. When greeting people in your home, they should feel welcome and comfortable to act as themselves. Along with this, they shouldn’t feel like there are strict rules in place, as this will make things feel far too formal. When choosing the best way to act in this area, simply considering how you’d like to be treated is a great way to start. For some extra help, though, the internet has loads of resources to give you some advice.

The Little Things: Once you have an idea of how you’ll act in mind, you can start to think about the little things you use during your guest’s stay. Carafes can add style to your dinner table setting and an open fire will make a place feel more homely. A lot of people will ignore the small touches which make their place whole. But, in reality, these are the things people are likely to notice the most. So, it can be worth making sure that you choose the best ones when being are over to visit.

Choice & Variety: Nothing will make someone feel more uncomfortable than having to eat food they don’t like. Unfortunately, this can be hard to predict, and most people will be reluctant to tell you if something is wrong with what you’ve prepared. Thankfully, getting around this doesn’t have to take too much effort, though. By providing some different options to your guests before they arrive, you will greatly increase the likelihood that they will enjoy something.

Keeping Them Entertained: Finally, it’s time to think about the entertainment you use while you’re hosting, and how to can impact people’s feelings regarding their stay with you. Watching television is a very bad way to connect with people, as it forces you to stop talking and concentrate on something different. Board games, on the other hand, are great, as they give you the chance to have some very intimate fun. Of course, though, like food, you have to make sure that people have some options here, or they might get bored.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to make your next hosting experience the best one yet. A lot of people will ignore this sort of area, choosing to simply go with through motions when they have people to stay. Giving people the best experience will take some effort, though, and you’ll need to get started long in advance.

Discovering drinks, why not try a new tipple

We all need to drink to survive, but it’s not the only reason we do it. Water is essential to stay healthy, but coffee, lemonade, and gin aren’t quite as necessary. We drink them because we like the taste and because they make us feel good too. Sometimes though, you can get bored of the things you drink. Maybe you always have the same orange juice, tea or wine. If you want to be more adventurous, there are lots of ways you can expand your horizons and try something new. Try some of these ideas to discover some new drinks you’ve never had before but could become firm favourites.

Go Out and Choose at Random

If you’re pretty open to trying new things, there’s no need to hold back. One of the best ways to discover something new is just to go for it and choose something that sounds good. Go out to your favourite pub, bar, cafe or just supermarket and choose something you’ve never had before. It could be a new brand of a drink you know you like, a different wine label you’ve never tried. Or it could be a completely different drink you’ve never had in any form, from the normal to the slightly more unusual.

Read Reviews and Recommendations

Sometimes, you might not be sure of where to start. Perhaps you’re slightly more wary of trying things at random, especially if you don’t want to waste your money. In this case, the best thing to do might be to find reviews and recommendations to guide you. Start by thinking of what you know you like and look for similar things. If you like Saké, you might find a Kikori whisky review that suggests you should try it too. As well as looking online, talk to your friends and maybe even ask an expert. For example, a restaurant’s sommelier (wine waiter) will recommend a good wine for you.

Look for Fun Recipes

Drinks don’t just have to be straight out of the bottle. Mixing and making drinks is a lot of fun too, and they don’t have to be alcoholic cocktails. Try looking for recipes you can try if you want to get creative. Start with an ingredient you like, whether it’s an alcoholic drink or a soft drink. Then look for recipes that contain that ingredient so you can discover new things to drink with it. From those new ingredients you find you like, you can explore even more flavours.

Go on a Tasting Trip

If you feel like a day out, a tasting of some new drinks is a great idea. You can visit a brewery or distillery to taste their drinks, or you can attend an event at a restaurant, bar or cafe. Tasting events give you the chance to try several different drinks and combinations to find what you like. Some of them come with food pairings too, which is useful for discovering what they go well with.

Don’t let yourself get bored of what you drink. Explore what’s available and discover something new.