Bring Me Sunshine – With a Sunshine Box!

In my LAST POST I told you about the wonderful subscription box for book-lovers, Wise Reads, which is run by Pebblewise. I told you I would tell you about their other subscription box, The Sunshine Box. So today I will 🙂

I had seen posts from Pebblewise on Twitter about this box. It was set up to send to people who suffer from anxiety and/or depression, as a way of lifting spirits. I thought that was such a lovely idea. It was a Twitter friend’s birthday recently and she writes about mental health issues, being an anxiety sufferer herself. I decided to send her a Sunshine Box as a birthday present. Her reaction upon receiving it told me that this was a very special box indeed! I decided I wanted to experience the joy it brought her myself, so I placed my order for August’s box.

On average you receive 5 items: 2 beautiful practical items, one luxurious self-care item, and 2 tasty treats. This may change from time to time though. We so often spend so much time looking after other people that we forget to look after ourselves, so this box is ideal to treat yourself. It also makes a beautiful gift to let someone know you are thinking of them.

Sunshine Boxes get posted out on the 3rd of each month. On the 5th, it arrived. The box was bigger than I was expecting. This is definitely not a box that fits through your letterbox. Luke, my son, was just as excited as I was to see what was inside. I opened the box and the packaging inside instantly made me feel happy. Each item was beautifully wrapped in bright sunshine yellow tissue paper, so it was like a birthday with presents to open! Each month a different positive-thinking poster is stuck on the inside of the box, and August’s was “look for happiness in the little things” on a background of sprinkles. Sprinkles always make me smile. They bring with them thoughts of cakes and ice cream. Ah, happy thoughts.

Luke and I decided to take it in turns opening a present from the box. His face was the perfect picture of happiness, especially with one of the items! This is what was in the box:

The part that made Luke happiest was the box of treats to make your perfect ice cream.

There was everything you could imagine for a scrumptious ice cream dessert, apart from the actual ice cream of course! That would have been a bit of a postal disaster! What was included though was gorgeous. There were 3 ice cream bowls and 3 napkins with sprinkles on, 3 spoons, 3 ice cream cones, strawberry syrup, maple syrup, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, 2 packets of sprinkles, 3 wafer rolls, and a packet of rainbow drops. Luke was really excited to make us a yummy ice cream treat, and he put a bit of everything on them!

I hadn’t had rainbow drops since I was a child, and I’d forgotten how much I used to love them. The activity of making the ice creams really made Luke happy, and this made me happy to see. He wants ice cream like this all the time now! The rainbow drops started a lovely conversation off about things from my childhood too. It all just made a wonderful evening.

Also included was a set of 3 beautiful rose shaped soaps. These are so pretty and delicate. It’s hard to believe they are soaps. Absolutely beautiful.

There was also a strawberry. But not just any strawberry! This one had a clever practical hidden secret. Open it out and it becomes a wonderful shopping bag! I shall keep this in my handbag at all times. So often I go out and buy something on a whim, but then have to buy a bag for it as I hadn’t expected to need one. Now I can just use my strawberry! It is small enough to hardly take up any space, so just perfect.

Next was a Konjac Beauty Sponge. I must admit I had never heard of these before. The packet says it is an ancient Japanese beauty secret. You just need to wet it so it expands and softens, and then massage your face with it. It is supposed to exfoliate, cleanse and moisturise your skin without the need for any soaps. It balances the PH of your skin and is said to be effective against acne-causing bacteria. Must admit, I love it and will be buying another when this one needs replacing in around 2 months.

Finally there was a wonderful little activity to do either on your own or with your family. There was a package which contained glue, magnets and glass pebbles. The idea is to look through magazines, brochures, photos, wrapping paper etc and find small pictures or a word that inspires you, and cut them out. Stick them on the back of the glass pebbles, then add the magnet. They look fantastic when they are made! Luke loved making these with me. We are keeping some and using some as token gifts and geocaching swaps.

I was hugely impressed with the Sunshine Box. Everything from the packaging to the contents just boosted my mood. It was lovely to have things I could enjoy with Luke too.

It would make a fantastic gift for a new parent who may be feeling tired and super busy all the time, or a baby shower gift so that mum-to-be can have something wonderful to help her through the exhausting preparation time for a new baby. Obviously it would be a wonderful gift for any other occasion too.

You can order a one-off box or start a monthly subscription. Either way costs just £15 a month with free postage in the UK. This one cannot be sent internationally, unlike Wise Reads.

EDIT 12/09/2018: Unfortunately, Sunshine Box has now closed down. 

 

Wise Reads – A Personal Subscription Box for Book Lovers

Recently on Twitter I discovered a lovely company called Pebblewise. They offer two subscription boxes: the Sunshine Box, which I will tell you about in my next post, and Wise Reads. I decided to try the August box of each of these and was massively impressed! Let me tell you about the wonderful box that is Wise Reads, a second-hand book subscription box.

I love reading. I love curling up in my favourite chair with a cup of coffee and a good book. More often than not though, I get so engrossed in what I’m reading that my coffee sits forgotten on the side. I love how books can do that. You can lose yourself so completely in the story that you also lose all track of time in reality. I get my love of reading from my father. He was a true bibliophile and he had literally thousands of books crammed into his house. They were everywhere! Each wall was lined with bookcases in every room except his bathroom, but that still wasn’t enough to contain the amount he had, which meant he then had piles of books everywhere too. And even though he had no room for any more, he couldn’t stop himself buying them! Before he lost the ability to walk easily, he used to love going to car boot sales and charity shops with the sole purpose of book hunting. He’d be like a child at Christmas telling me about all his latest finds. He used to tell me about the wonders of Hay-on-Wye, with its abundance of second-hand book shops. And there was a particular shop in Selly Oak in Birmingham that he used to go to time and time again. The owner, Stephen Wycherley, bought and sold rare and more unusual books, and he knew the types of books that Dad most loved, so kept them to one side for him ready for his next visit. I used to think that was such a thoughtful gesture. Every time I spoke to Dad about his new books or asked him what he was going to read next, he would always put on an excited voice and say “So many books, so little time.” Sadly, he had less time than any of us could have imagined, and so many of his books remained unread.

He would have absolutely adored Wise Reads! The people who run this subscription box also run a second hand book shop in North Wales. This helps with the individual service they offer. When you decide to sign up to Wise Reads (or order a one-off box) you are asked to fill in an online form in which you tick boxes to say what types of topics and genres you enjoy, such as crime, fantasy, satire, dystopia, coming of age, LGBT, quests, etc etc. There are so many options and you tick all that apply. You are also asked to list any favourite authors. This enables them to get more of an idea of what styles you like, but they also won’t send any books from those authors as they will assume you have most likely read them already. Finally there is a box in which you can type in any other information that might help them to find suitable books for you. I used this box to say what my very favourite types of books are, and if I’m honest, I thought my preferences would prove to be a bit too tricky for them to match. I love spiritual books, but not in a religious way. I am fascinated by past lives. I love thought provoking books with a message that stays with you long after you have finished the book. One of my all-time favourites is The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I struggle to find books that tick all the boxes for me, but I do find plenty that tick some. I thought Wise Reads would send me a book that ticks a few but not many. I greatly underestimated the care and attention that they take in finding books!!!

I knew that books get posted out on the 10th of each month so I was very curious to see what they would have chosen for me. Each book is beautifully wrapped in tissue paper with a hand-written label attached to it. I loved this detail.

I was very excited to open this beautiful parcel, and as I opened the layers of tissue paper to reveal the book, I was absolutely blown away by their choice for me. They genuinely couldn’t have picked a more perfect book. It ticks all my boxes and more. Their attention to detail and care in making their selections really goes above and beyond all expectations. The book was in brilliant condition too, with just one crease down the spine. Here is what I received:

I’ll tell you what the blurb on the back says….. Some stories cannot be told in just one lifetime. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, every time Harry dies, he always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes – until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. “I nearly missed you, Doctor August,” she says. “I need to send a message.” This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow. 

I started reading it on the night it arrived and I am loving it! It is EXACTLY the type of book I’ve been looking for. I went on to Amazon to look it up and it gets fantastic reviews. I really am over the moon with this subscription. I had ordered a one-off box just to see what type of book I would receive. I am signing up to it as an ongoing subscription now as I am so impressed.

Apart from the fact they sent me such a perfect book, they made me feel close to my father, who I miss and think about every single day. They wouldn’t have had any idea until now. I nearly missed it, but as I was picking up the tissue paper after I had opened my book, a tiny prettily wrapped parcel fell out from it. I opened it carefully to reveal a necklace, the one that is the main picture in this blog post. I instantly heard Dad saying it in my head in his excited voice. So many books, so little time. I will treasure this necklace. And then I picked up the book to have a quick flick through it, and it naturally fell open halfway through, coinciding with the crease on the spine. And this was the page it opened at…

I do. All the time. And I thank him for passing his love of books on to me so that I could discover the gem that is Wise Reads.

Wise Reads is an absolute bargain. It costs just £5 a month including postage! And they like to send a little extra something with your book, as I discovered. You can also choose to receive 2 books at a time, and that is just £7 including postage. They send books in as good a condition as possible, but their main priority is finding the perfect book to suit you. If they find a perfect book based on your preferences but it is in less than good condition, they include an extra book at no extra cost! Bear in mind though, this is a second-hand book subscription so don’t expect brand new books. I personally don’t think you can beat a preloved book. I like to imagine someone else sitting curled up reading it before me. That person has similar interests and I like that thought.

Wise Reads is sent out on the 10th of each month. You need to place your order before the 8th to receive that month’s book. If your order is placed on or after the 8th, your book will be posted on the 10th of the next month. Payment is via PayPal only.

EDIT: Wise Reads costs £5 a month with free postage if you live in the UK. They also send this subscription box worldwide, which is fantastic. Obviously though international customers will need to pay a little bit towards postage. Pebblewise only charge £2.60 postage for 1 book or £5.40 for 2 for international orders. A truly fantastic bargain!

UPDATE 12/09/2018: Unfortunately Wise Reads has now closed down 😦

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banoffee Cookies… November’s BakedIn Baking Club

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I’ll be honest, I wasn’t particularly excited about making this month’s Baking Club bake. I know, it’s a terrible thing to say but it’s the truth. The box arrived a couple of days ago, conveniently dropping through my letterbox so there was no waiting around for it to be delivered. The first thing that I saw was the lovely bright new packaging… a beautiful green which made it stand out from the boring brown envelopes which arrived with it.

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I get really excited to open this box each month to discover what wonderful recipe I will be baking. I am a huge fan of Michel Roux, so to receive all the dry ingredients I need to create one of his exclusive recipes is just a joy. I opened this box with my usual eagerness and after opening the lovely paper that the ingredients are wrapped in, I saw the one word I usually really don’t like… banoffee. I have a huge sweet tooth but I have never found a banoffee recipe of any description that hasn’t been disgustingly sickly and far too sweet. So, in all honesty, my heart sank a little when I opened this box.

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How silly was I? I should have known this would be different! After all, in all the time I have been subscribing to the Baking Club, there hasn’t been a single bad recipe. I can honestly say with my hand on my heart, these cookies are ridiculously scrumptious! The perfect amount of sweetness, not sickly at all, but bursting with flavour and texture. They contain fresh banana as well as dried banana chips for amazing flavour, and delicious fudge pieces for texture and indulgence. I like cookies to be chewy not crunchy, and these were perfect. Lovely and chewy and moist, with a little crunch from the dried banana on top. All finished off with a drizzle of white chocolate on top. They were delicious still warm from the oven, and they were delicious cooled completely. In a word… Heaven!

I have loved BakedIn Baking Club from the instant I received my very first recipe box, and this month I love them even more for introducing me to a banoffee recipe I can finally enjoy! I will be making these cookies again and again as we all really really enjoyed them. That’s the beauty of this Club. The recipes come with ingredients pre-weighed for you, but the recipe card clearly tells you how much of each ingredient you have so you can make them whenever you want to in the future too. I keep all my recipe cards from them in a folder so I know where to find them quickly.

I cannot tell you the amazing recipe that I used to make these treats, as it is exclusive to BakedIn and it wouldn’t be fair. However if you would like to join the Baking Club and receive these fantastic recipe kits for yourself, click HERE to receive your first box for the incredible price of just £1.99! After that, it costs just £7.99 per month which includes postage. Well worth every little penny.

Happy Baking!

October Degustabox …. The Taste of Autumn

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I absolutely adore Degustabox. A monthly box of food and drink items and you have no idea what you are getting until the day it arrives…. what’s not to like? The October box had an Autumnal theme and it was one of my favourites to date! It featured some brands I was familiar with but also some I hadn’t seen or tried before. I get really excited about trying new products, and Degustabox has led me to some fantastic items I have gone on to buy regularly. So let’s see what was in this box…

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  • ROBINSONS SQUASH’D… I received the Orange flavour of this super concentrated squash. We are already a huge fan of these in our house. They come in a range of flavours but so far this is our favourite one. They are sugarfree and only have 3 calories per 250ml serving so they are a healthier soft drink to give to your children. What I particularly love about them too is the fact that you can carry them around in your bag if you want to. If you have a water fountain at your place of work but you find water boring, keep one of these in your bag. A quick squeeze into your water and you have a lovely refreshing flavoured drink. Perfect for picnics too if everyone likes different flavoured drinks. Rather than make up several bottles of more than one flavour of squash which would really weigh you down, just take a bottle of water and a couple of these and you have a happy family. The RRP of these is £2.49, which is great value as you only need a tiny amount per drink.

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  • IAM SOUPER… These soups are high in protein, which means you feel full for longer. They have no artificial nasties, and are low in fat so perfect for people on calorie-controlled diets. I received Pulled Pork and Jalapenos, and Supergreens flavours. They were so tasty! I had the Supergreens one and my partner took the Pulled Pork one to work for his lunch. He said it was delicious, as was the one I ate. Chunky and satisfying and full of flavour. I love the name of them too… what a fantastic affirmation “I am Super”. Well you are, and so is the soup. The RRP is £1.49.

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  • MAGGI FUSIAN NOODLES… I received Aromatic Spiced Curry, and Fiery Sweet Chilli flavours, but you can also get Classic Chow Mein. These are super quick and easy to prepare and can be eaten on their own as they are packed with flavour, or you can add them to a stir fry. These are different to other instant noodle brands as these have a sachet of infused oil, seasoning and vegetables which you make up first by mixing with water, and then you add the noodles. That makes the flavour much more authentic. I have to say I was really impressed with these and will be looking out for these in the shops. The RRP is £1.39.

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  • JIM JAMS… I can’t tell you how happy I was to see this in the box! My son let out a little excited squeal, as this is now a regular purchase in our house thanks to being introduced to it in a previous Degustabox. I received the Milk Chocolate Spread, but you can also get one with hazelnuts to make it taste more like another big brand of chocolate spread. The first time we ever tried this we were knocked out by how good it was. It has 83% less sugar than the other brand, and is gluten free and diabetic friendly. We did a blind taste test last time, as at the time I had the other brand in my cupboard so we could compare them. Jim Jams came out on top for flavour, creaminess, sweetness… in short I honestly think this is the best chocolate spread you can buy. As a parent it is great to know it won’t rot my son’s teeth and cause all manner of sugar-related health problems too. I buy this regularly with no guilt and the other brand hasn’t been seen in my house since first trying Jim Jams. Mix it with hot milk for a yummy hot chocolate, mix it in buttercream for the creamiest chocolate cake topping, spread it on toast, use it to sandwich 2 cakes together, dip breadsticks or strawberries in to it for a grown up Choc Dip, the possibilities are endless. The RRP is £2.59. It is available in Tesco and Holland and Barrett.

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  • PASQUIER PITCH CHOCO BARRE… This is a French snack now recently available in the UK. We LOVED these! They are little brioche buns with a miniature bar of milk chocolate in the middle. Not melted chocolate, but an actual bar! The brioche was so soft and sweet and delicious, and the chocolate was wonderfully creamy tasting. Put them both together and you have an amazing treat! You get 4 in the pack and each is individually wrapped to keep them fresh. I could easily have eaten all 4 in one go they were so yummy, but I was good and shared them 🙂 I will definitely be looking out for these in the shops. The RRP is £1.40 per pack of 4.

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  • HERSHEY’S COOKIES’N’CREME… This was a king sized bar of scrumptiousness! Creamy white chocolate with crushed up cookies mixed in. Imagine an Oreo biscuit but with the cream on the outside and the chocolate cookie bit in the middle…. that’s what this reminded me of. It was sweet and indulgent and impossible to resist. There’s not much else to say about it really except is was sooooooo good and I need to buy more! The RRP is £1.00.

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  • YUSHOI SNAPEA RICE STICKS… This Japanese inspired snack is made from baked green peas and rice. I received the Lightly Salted flavour and absolutely loved them! They look like pea pods with a crispy rice coating, and that’s what they are! They have no artificial colours or flavours and are high in fibre and a good source of protein. Each pack contains 5 servings (unless you are a pig like me) and each serving only has 91 calories. I am not a fan of salt and sometimes find that even lightly salted foods contain too much, but these had the perfect amount. Just enough to taste without overpowering the delicious flavour of the pea and rice. I have since bought more of these from Tesco, I enjoyed them that much. The RRP is £1.99.

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  • LEVI ROOTS SMOKEY BBQ COAT’N’COOK SAUCE… I love this type of sauce. Ideal for busy days when time is limited to prepare a meal from scratch. No need to marinade, it provides instant flavour. You just pour it over chicken, fish or ribs, and pop it in the oven. Easy! I used it on chicken and it was delicious. Many of this type of BBQ sauce are mild but this one had more of a kick from Scotch bonnet chillies. My son likes mild flavours so this was a bit too hot for him, but my partner and I loved it. It has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and the sauce is suitable for vegetarians and vegans (obviously not if used on meat though). The RRP is £1.00.

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  • BELOVED DATE FRUIT HEARTS… These very nutritious snacks are made from raw dates and other natural ingredients. You get 5 heart shaped pieces per pack, and they count as 1 of your 5 a day for fruit and vegetables. They are gluten free, high in fibre and low in fat, and have no added sugar. They come in 4 delicious flavours: Simply Divine Date (100% dates), Rich Cocoa Date (98% date, 2% cocoa powder), Cocoa and Berry Date(97.5% dates, 2% cocoa powder, 0.5% freeze dried raspberry powder), and Zesty Orange Date (dates with a hint of natural orange flavouring). They were all lovely, but I am a huge fan of dates so these were perfect. They are suitable for vegans, and one pack of 5 hearts only contains 105 calories. Guilt free snacking at it’s best. The RRP is 75p per pack.

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  • HEINZ… I received Minions dry pasta shapes, and smooth tomato pasta sauce. The pasta in particular caused much delight when my son found them in the box! Everyone loves the Minions so making pasta in their shapes was a stroke of genius. Although Luke liked inventing stories on his plate and moving the Minions around for a while acting out the stories! Eventually the Minions left the story for one reason or another so that was when he was able to eat them. He loved the shapes and he said the sauce tasted better than the sauce in tinned spaghetti. The pasta is made from half whole wheat and half durum wheat and is suitable for vegetarians. The sauce has no added salt or sugar, and no artificial colours or preservatives. Great fun for children to eat. The RRP of the sauce is £1.55 and the pasta is £1.19.

As you can see, this box had something for everyone! Familiar and unfamiliar products, sweet and savoury. Degustabox usually costs £12.99 which includes free delivery via DPD. That is already a bargain, as the products you receive are worth around double that. However, the wonderful people at Degustabox are so kind and generous they are giving you the opportunity to try your first box for just £5.99! That’s less than half the usual price!

To get this fantastic deal, click HERE to go to the website and enter the code IA7K4 at checkout. You can cancel at any time, although once you have experienced the excitement of having a mystery parcel of products, I am certain you won’t want it to stop!

 

DISCLAIMER: I received my box for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t affect my opinions though and all views are my own genuine thoughts. I believe in honesty in all reviews and I would never say something was good if I didn’t believe that to be a true statement. 

 

Crafty Creatives… The Art of Papercutting

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Crafty Creatives is a fantastic subscription box which delivers an exciting craft kit to you every month. I love crafts and am keen to try out new ones, but the thought of buying loads of equipment only to discover I don’t like the craft after all scares me. That is why Crafty Creatives is so perfect! Every month you receive everything you need to complete a wonderful craft project, so you don’t have to spend a small fortune to see if you like it. I have to say though I subscribed around 6 months ago and have loved everything they have sent! Thanks to Crafty Creatives, I have made a fascinator, mosaic hearts, lip balms, a rolled wool trivet, and Hama bead coasters.

The October box was amazing! I have seen some stunning works of art made from papercutting and have admired their intricacy. I had wanted to try it but hadn’t known where to start! Luckily for me, this box gave me everything I needed to make 2 beautiful designs.

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Included in the kit were a self-healing cutting mat, a finger tip swivel knife, a picture frame, and the 2 designs to cut out along with the paper to mount them on. I was a bit nervous when I saw the swivel knife as it looked like it might be a bit tricky to get the hang of, but I was wrong thankfully. You hold it like a pen and it hooks comfortably around your finger, which makes it so easy to manoeuvre, and provides support when you move it around. The blade is what sets this knife apart from other craft knives. It turns smoothly as you change the direction of your hand! That means you can cut out any shape without having to move the paper or take the blade off the sheet. Fantastic! This box was worth having just for the knife!!!

The two designs were lovely modern ones…. words with a little symbol linked to the word. I cut out Star first as I knew I would prefer the Love one if my first attempt went wrong. I needn’t have worried though as they both turned out beautifully. I have kept Love in the frame provided and as my son is my little star, he has the star one in a frame in his bedroom.

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I definitely feel confident to carry on with papercutting projects, especially with this amazing swivel knife! It was such a therapeutic relaxing activity. Some crafts can take ages to produce finished pieces. This was relatively quick and easy, so great for people who like to see results fast!

(EDIT 12/09/2018: Unfortunately Crafty Creatives has just closed their subscription box). 

DISCLAIMER: This is my own honest opinion of Crafty Creatives. I receive no fee/discount/compensation and I pay for my subscription in full. All views are my own. 

September Degustabox …. A Whole Day of Healthiness

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I’m sure regular readers of my blog will know all about Degustabox by now, but in case you don’t, here’s a quick rundown. Degustabox is a monthly surprise food and drink subscription box which costs just £12.99 per month including delivery via DPD couriers. The products you receive are worth much more than that so it is fantastic value for money. It is a brilliant way of discovering new products and brands and encouraging you to try new flavours and recipes using the products. As you have no idea what you will receive each month, the excitement when the box arrives is huge! I am always really impatient to open mine instantly, but my son loves us to take it in turns reaching in and picking out an item at a time, which means if it arrives while he’s at school, I have to use every scrap of willpower I have to leave it untouched!

The September Degustabox was yet again packed with delicious products for the whole family. There were items to cover every part of the day, from meals to snacks and drinks. Let me show you what it contained.

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  • TEISSEIRE SIROP… I’m starting with my favourite product this month. This is a French cordial type of drink. I received the Sugar-Free Raspberry and Cranberry flavour but you can also get Pink Grapefruit, Lemon, and Grenadine varieties in the sugar-free range. You only need a tiny bit of the syrup to make a truly delicious drink. You can add it to still or sparkling water, or to cocktails. The fruity flavours are perfect, smooth and naturally sweet. I loved the aluminium packaging too. It gave it a really luxurious appearance, as did the silky thickness of the syrup. We all loved this drink and will be definitely buying this regularly now! The RRP is £2.99.

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  • HARTLEY’S NO ADDED SUGAR JELLY POTS … There were 4 of these jelly pots in the box, much to my son’s delight! I had Raspberry, Strawberry, Orange, and Tropical flavours. I am really conscious of the amount of sugar in so many products aimed at children, so these jellies are wonderful as they have no added sugar, and a lovely fruity taste. They are just the right size to fit in lunchboxes, and are perfect as an after school snack. The RRP of these is 50p per pot.

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  • GET FRUITY … I received one of these bars in a previous box but in a different flavour. This time I had Marvellous Mango, but you can also get Juicy Apricot, Orange and Ginger Bar, Moist Mixed Berry Bar, Scrumptious Strawberry Bar, Tangy Pineapple, Coconut and Lime Bar, and Radiant Raspberry Bar. Each bar contains pieces of real fruit and juice so carries the flavour perfectly. The fruit and juices are combined with gluten free oats and Virgin coconut oil to make a delicious snack bar, ideal for lunchboxes or on the go. I had mine as a quick breakfast on a rushed morning! The oats make them satisfying and stop any hunger pangs. The RRP is £1.

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  • CHIA BIA … I received a packet of whole chia seeds and a packet of milled (ground) seeds. Chia seeds are super healthy, packed with omega 3, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are perfect for adding to smoothies, yoghurt, porridge, salads, and in baking. Last month’s Degustabox contained Bircher muesli which introduced me to the joys of overnight oats. I’ve continued to make that for breakfast and have been adding some of the whole seeds to that. When the seeds absorb moisture they swell and go jelly-like but with a slight crunch (sounds revolting but it really isn’t I promise). I’ve loved that texture with the oats. If you prefer you can sprinkle them on just before serving so they stay super crunchy. The RRP of these is £1 per pack.

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  • CIRIO BORLOTTI BEANS … I love the Cirio brand, but had only had their tomato based products before. I have to confess I had never eaten a Borlotti bean until receiving them in this Degustabox. I received 3 cans of them so plenty of chances to experiment. The beans are picked, shelled and steam-cooked in their cans to maintain a tender texture. They are a great source of fibre, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates. In last month’s box I received some delicious Tobasco Barbecue sauce which I had used to make a barbeue chicken dish. I decided to make it again but to add some Borlotti beans, onion and pepper to the chicken in the sauce. My partner loved the beans so much he had a second helping! I used another can in a chilli con carne, but replaced the red kidney beans with Borlotti beans instead. That was delicious! I still have one can left but I will probably use them in another chilli as that was so good. The RRP of these beans is £1.89 for a pack of 3 cans.

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  • METCALFE’S POPCORN THINS … I have had these before and love them! They are available in dark or milk chocolate varieties. I received the milk chocolate which pleased my son as that is his favourite. They are kind of like a rice cake, except they use corn instead of rice. They are covered in a thick layer of Italian chocolate, and as you can imagine they taste soooo good. There are 2 thins in a pack. Again, perfect for lunchboxes (if your child’s school allows chocolate in them) or as a tasty snack anytime. The RRP is £1.

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  • EMILY FRUIT CRISPS … I received a packet of Crunchy Banana fruit crisps. When I opened the packet I thought they just looked like slices of dried banana so wasn’t overly excited to try them. When I did taste one though I realised they are much nicer than ordinary dried banana! These have the crunchiness of a crisp, rather than being just hard and dry, and they retain the banana flavour perfectly! Really full of sweet flavour. They have nothing added whatsoever, except a tiny bit of oil. The crunchy texture made them perfect to crumble up over yoghurt. The RRP is £1.75.

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  • SAY YES TO NO … I received a pack of Sour Cream and Onion Bread Chips. I love this brand and what they stand for. Say Yes to No means no added nasties and artificial flavourings, no false promises, no photoshopped images, no advertising lies, but yes to delicious chips. What you see is what you get, and I love that! These bread chips were scrummy. They tasted natural and were bursting with flavour. Perfect to eat as they are or with a dip. Or crumble up over salad. The RRP is £1.49.

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  • CAPE DRINKS … I received 2 cans of fruity sparkling drinks, Peach and Lychee, and Pineapple and Passion Fruit. These were amazing! So refreshing and light and fruity. They are made from Rooibos Tea, fruit juices, ginseng, natural botanical extracts, and added vitamins, and are packed with anti-oxidants. the peach and lychee was my favourite but both were beautiful. They contain only natural ingredients and have no refined sugar. Perfect for a healthy diet. The RRP is £1.59 per can.

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  • MRS CRIMBLE’S GLUTEN FREE PASTA WITH SAUCE … I love Mrs Crimble’s products. They are a fantastic brand for gluten-intolerant diets. I received Fusilli with a Gourmet Mushroom and Cream sauce. Sadly though I hate mushrooms, so couldn’t try this. I gave it to a friend who said she had it for lunch one day and it was beautiful. She said the sauce was delicious and she has recommended it to a friend who has to have a gluten free diet. The RRP is £1.99.

 

If you would like to try a Degustabox for yourself, click HERE to go to their website and enter the code BLDEG15 at checkout. This will give you a whopping £7 off the price of your first box, so your first box will be just £5.99! Absolute bargain. I hope you enjoy it!

 

DISCLAIMER: I recieved my box in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. 

August Degustabox….. It’s All About the Taste

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I was very lucky with the August Degustabox. It arrived in the school holiday (obviously) which meant I could open it as soon as it arrived rather than having to wait until Luke gets home from school! Having a box of mystery food and drink goodies arrive and then not be able to open it for hours is soooooo difficult. The urge to see what is inside is just too much for my lack of willpower. I have to say, most of this month’s box was things I had never seen before so it was even more exciting to try them.

This box was packed full of strong flavours. Here’s what was in the August box…

 

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  • DORSET CEREALS BIRCHER MUESLI… I am familiar with Dorset Cereals and I love their muesli and granola. I have to admit though I had never heard of Bircher muesli so I had to Google it to see what is different. It was originally created by a Swiss doctor as a way to get his patients to eat something more nutritious, containing fruit. He had jaundice as a child and was convinced that apples had cured him of it, so used fresh apples in the original Bircher muesli. What sets it apart from normal muesli is that Bircher muesli is soaked overnight in fruit juice. This makes it so much easier to eat if you are in a rush in the morning. Sometimes it can feel like you’re chewing normal muesli forever, but Bircher muesli is lovely and creamy so easier to digest. This one comes with raisins, raspberries, blackcurrants and apple in it, and soaking them overnight made them lovely and juicy. I mixed 50g of the muesli with 70ml of apple juice as advised on the box, covered it and left it overnight to soak. The next morning I added 50g of low-fat vanilla yoghurt, mixed it together and thoroughly enjoyed it! I have a lot of friends who are actively trying to lose weight and they all keep talking about the wonders of overnight oats. Now I can see why they all love this breakfast so much! It is creamy, full of flavour, and keeps you full for hours! And it is so handy being able to make it the night before. This is a breakfast I will definitely be continuing to have. The RRP of this box is £3.49.

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  • GET MORE DRINKS…. I had never heard of this brand before but will definitely be looking out for this again! Get More are a range of spring water drinks made with natural flavours, and fortified with vitamins and minerals to give your body everything it needs to stay healthy. There are 6 to choose from…. Get More Minerals is a still cranberry and pomegranate drink which gives you extra potassium, magnesium and calcium; Get More Vitamin A is a sparkling blackcurrant and blueberry drink which gives you 50% of your RDA of vitamin A per bottle; Get More Vitamin B is a still apple and raspberry drink which gives you 100% of your RDA of vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, B7 and B12; Get More Vitamin C is a sparkling orange drink that gives you 200% of your RDA of vitamin C, perfect for boosting your immune system; Get More Vitamin D is a still mango and passionfruit drink giving you 200% of your RDA of vitamin D and 15% of your calcium RDA, ideal for the winter months when you don’t absorb so much vitamin D from the sun; and finally Get More Multivitamins which is a sparkling lemon and lime drink that gives you 100% of your RDA of all the B and C vitamins and 25% of zinc and magnesium. This is the one that I had. I absolutely loved it! It tasted like lemonade rather than spring water and was extremely refreshing and delicious. These drinks have no added sugar and are made using natural flavours. They also do a range for children called A Little More Drinks. These are Vitamin D (mango, with 100% RDA), Vitamin C (orange, with 100% RDA), and Multivitamins (apple, with 60% RDA). A definite regular future purchase for my household! The RRP is £1.45.

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  • MAHOU CINCO ESTRELLAS…. My other half Del was very happy to see a bottle of lager in the box. This is a premium Spanish lager, first produced in 1891, and is now Spain’s number one beer brand. Del had enjoyed this lager before while on holiday so was keen to get it in the fridge quickly to chill it to perfect drinking temperature! I used to have a day job and an evening/weekend job, and my evening job was as a barmaid. I learnt what a perfect drink should look like (colour, depth of the head, how clear it should be etc) and this lager ticked all the boxes. Del said it was smooth with a perfect flavour, with an alcoholic volume of 5.5%.  The RRP is £1.20.

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  • FENTIMANS SPARKLING LIME AND JASMINE… I love Fentimans Drinks but had never seen this flavour before, so was really excited to try it. I love the little bottles these drinks come in. Everything about them says quality. I have to say though I personally wasn’t a huge fan of this flavour to begin with. It was absolutely jam-packed with lime which was so bitter it made my eyes water. After it had gone down though the aftertaste was really refreshing. I drank some more and Del laughed at the faces I pulled as I drank it, as the bitterness really is sharp! I gave the rest of it to him to finish, and after an initial eye twitch he gulped it down and thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the aftertaste but my tastebuds found the acidity too much as I drank it. I think most people would really enjoy it though and I know lots of people love sour/bitter products. The RRP is £1.20.

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  • TABASCO SWEET AND STICKY BARBECUE SAUCE AND MARINADE… This little beauty was my personal favourite product this month. The bottle suggests trying it on chicken wings or pizza. I usually only use barbecue sauce for pulled pork or ribs, but this time I tried something slightly different but extremely simple. I put 4 chicken breasts in an ovenproof dish and poured the contents of the bottle over them. I mixed them to make sure they were completely coated, put the lid on the dish and then left them to marinate for an hour. I cooked them in the oven at 170C for 30 minutes, then removed the lid, basted with the sauce and cooked for a further 15 minutes. I served them with a salad and spicy potato wedges and poured the leftover sauce over them. Stupidly I forgot to take a photo, but this was absolutely delicious. There was one chicken breast left over which I was going to slice up cold for a wrap for lunch next day, but Del enjoyed the meal so much he ate that one too!! This sauce is just perfect. It is mild but does have a very slight kick to it, which was fab! It is lovely and sweet and so full of flavour. I will definitely be buying this again! In fact Del said he could eat that chicken every day! I’m looking forward to getting more to try it in different ways too though. The RRP is £1.99.

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  • CLIPPER LIME AND GINGER GREEN TEA… I love everything about Clipper tea. The eye-catching packaging, the unbleached tea bags, the way they are foil-wrapped for freshness, the range of flavours, and the fact they are Fairtrade. I had never tried this flavour before though. I am conscious that I drink too much coffee so this was the perfect chance to try a new tea that would give me the energy boost I usually get from my caffeine fix. The instructions on the box said boil the water and let it pour over the tea bag while it is still boiling, then leave to brew for a few minutes. My kettle is one that lets you boil water at the perfect temperature for each type of hot drink, and the green tea setting is 80C, so that is what I did. I loved this tea! The flavours of lime and ginger were perfect, not too strong yet not too subtle, and I instantly felt refreshed and ready for the day. I will try more of the flavours that Clipper produce now too, as this was so good. The RRP is £1.59.

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  • NUTRIPOT…. I received 2 different pots to try, Moroccan Couscous, and Aromatic Thai Noodles. I didn’t try the noodles one as it contained mushrooms and I hate those with a passion! So Del had the noodles and I had the couscous. We both said they were very tasty, with lovely strong flavours. Apparently the noodles had a bit of a kick to them but not too much. These are ideal for people with little time to prepare lunch. Just add boiling water, stir and enjoy. What sets these apart from other dried noodle types of pots is the fact these contain 50% of all of the 28 vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. They contain no artificial nasties, no added sugar and are low in saturated fat. The RRP is £2.49 per pot.

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  • CAPSICANA CHILLI AND HONEY MEXICAN COOK SAUCE… I love Mexican food so was excited to see this sauce. Capsicana make a range of Latin American inspired flavoured sauces. You can also get Chilli and Garlic Mexican, Chilli and Lemon Peruvian, or Chilli and Coconut Brazilian. This chilli and honey one was gorgeous! I followed the recipe suggestion on the back of the packet, adding it to chopped onion, sliced green pepper and chicken strips, and then served it with tortillas and melted cheese. It has a slight kick to it but it is still mild. the flavours were just amazing. I will definitely buy this again too. It is perfect for people who don’t have hours to spare on cooking, as it only takes 20 minutes maximum, yet produces a really delicious satisfying meal. The RRP is £1.99.

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  • RAKUSENS SNACKERS… I received two packets of these mini crackers, one was plain and one was gluten-free. They looked really cute, with lovely little shapes, and they tasted just as you would expect a cracker to taste. We ate them with a range of different toppings including cream cheese and houmous, and we all enjoyed them. The gluten-free ones tasted no different to the plain, which was great. Each cracker has just 7 calories in, so you don’t need to feel guilty having a snack of a few of these. The RRP of the plain ones is £1.29 and the gluten-free are £1.49.

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  • GEETA’S…. I received 3 products from this brand, Tikka Curry Paste, Rogan Josh Curry Paste, and Premium Mango Chutney. Geeta’s is a well-known brand and I have tried these before. I always buy this mango chutney so I knew exactly what to expect with these. The curry pastes contain the perfect amount of spiciness and flavour, and are so easy to use, producing delicious curries very quickly. Del likes hot curries, so I just add a few extra spices for him. The mango chutney is lovely to use as a dip, and I use it when I make Coronation Chicken. The RRP of the pastes is £1 each, and the mango chutney is £1.39.

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  • OLOVES… I received a pack of Chili and Oregano natural green pitted olives. Unfortunately I can’t really comment on these as I detest olives. I gave them to a friend who adores them though and she said these were amazing. She loves them as a snack and she said she will definitely be buying these in the future. She said the flavours were beautiful. The RRP is £1 per pack.

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  • WILLY CHASE’S FIT CORN… The final item this month was this popcorn. I received the Salted Honey flavour which was absolutely scrumptious. You can also get Goats Cheese, Red Onion and Thyme, or Nearly Naked, or Chase Smoke Bloody Mary flavours. I’m glad I had the salted honey as it appeals to me most from this range. The blend of sweet and salty was perfect and the popcorn itself was beautifully light. They use honey from the bees in their own apple orchards and all other ingredients are locally sourced. I loved this and could easily have eaten the whole packet it one go, but luckily Luke helped me out by eating a huge amount too 🙂 The RRP is £2.19.

I really loved this month’s box. One of the biggest pleasures is trying new foods and drink, and Degustabox gives you lots of opportunities to do that. You can choose to not receive any alcohol if you prefer, and they will substitute it for another product. The normal price of this fantastic subscription box is £12.99 per month, and that price includes delivery via DPD. It really is incredible value for money, with the overall cost of the items you receive being worth around double the price you pay!

Just to show you how fantastic Degustabox is though, they are very kindly letting new subscribers try their first box for less than half price for just £5.99 including delivery! That’s a whopping saving of £7!

To get this wonderful offer, just go to their website HERE and enter the code BLDEG15 at the checkout, then sit back and wait for your first surprise box of yumminess to arrive. Enjoy!

July Degustabox …. Sweet and Savoury Summer Delights

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If you regularly read my blog you will by now know all about the wonder that is Degustabox. A monthly subscription box packed full of delicious food and drink items, many of which you will most likely never have seen or tried before. This month’s box was a mixture of familiar faces and completely new discoveries for me. Let me tell you all about what I had, and then I’ll give you a fantastic discount offer!

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  • My personal favourite item this month had to be BROOKSIDE CHOCOLATES… DARK CHOCOLATE WITH ACAI AND BLUEBERRY FLAVOURS. They were a new discovery for me but one I was soooo delighted to be introduced to. These were the most scrumptious treats, beautifully fruity centres covered in perfectly rich dark chocolate. They come in a resealable pack so you can keep them fresh. Slightly chewy, very moreishly addictive, I definitely need to find somewhere that sells these as my pack has long gone and I need my next fix! The RRP for these is £3.40. Well worth every penny.

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  • Another wonderful new discovery was CRACKER DRINKS…. PINEAPPLE, COCONUT AND LIME. The Cracker Drinks Co. prides itself on using all natural ingredients with no added sugar or anything artificial, “allowing the pure taste of the fruit to speak for itself”. This pineapple, coconut and lime drink was beautiful. When you first take a sip you get the sweet taste of pineapple but within seconds the creamy taste of coconut comes through along with the sharpness of lime, and the combination of all 3 together is just so refreshing. Perfect straight from the fridge on a hot day. A serving counts as 1 of your 5 a day, and has less than 90 calories! The RRP is £1.50. I’m looking forward to trying other flavours now!

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  • I had tried Apple and Mint REJUVENATION WATER in a previous box and enjoyed it, but this time I had a different flavour, Spanish Orange. I absolutely loved this! I drank it chilled on a recent hot day and it was so refreshing. There is something so different about this drink. There are plenty of flavoured spring water drinks out there, but Rejuvenation Water is unique. It is a natural spring water flavoured with natural fruit juices, but it is also enriched with amino acids which aids protein digestion, helps to build a natural resilience to stress, anxiety and depression, and fuels the immune system and central nervous system. It is also available in Ginger and Lime, and the RRP is £1.99. An ideal pick-me-up drink for a busy day!

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  • I received a jar of FELIX GHERKINS, sweet pickled and handpicked in Sweden. Gherkins are like Marmite… you either love them or hate them. Unfortunately just like Marmite, I hate them. Fortunately a good friend of mine loves them so I gave the jar to her. She ate one straight from the jar and said they were lovely and crunchy and she was going to enjoy the rest over the next few days and include them in a BBQ she was due to have. The RRP is £2.15. I have to say it was a big jar so brilliant value.

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  • I was pleased to see a bottle of SARSON’S BALSAMIC VINEGAR as I had run out of my previous bottle of another brand. I love balsamic vinegar and use it so often. It is great drizzled over a crispy green salad or gently drizzled on to olive oil to make a tasty dip for fresh crusty bread. My favourite way to use it though is to mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts caster sugar, pour over chopped strawberries, mix well until all the strawberries are coated and serve with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

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This Sarson’s vinegar was the perfect blend of sweetness and tanginess. The RRP is £1.99.

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  • Another new treat for me was ROWNTREE’S FRUIT PASTILLE INFUSIONS. Obviously I’ve eaten and enjoyed normal fruit pastilles before, but this was the first time I had seen these new flavours: orange and grapefruit, raspberry and pomegranate, and apple and elderflower. They were so delicious! All 3 flavours were equally beautiful. One serving is 7 pastilles. I would like to say we were good and stuck to that, but I can’t. Oops! One serving contains just 74 calories and no fat! They contain no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. We regularly have a 90 minute drive to Weston and we like to take a bag of sweets for the journey. These are perfect for that as we all loved each flavour. The RRP is £1.29.

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  • I have enjoyed BAHLSEN CHOCO LEIBNIZ biscuits before so was over the moon to receive 4 packs of 2 biscuits, perfect for taking out on picnics or days out. The milk chocolate is lusciously thick and creamy tasting, and the buttery biscuits are so yummy! The good thing about having these individual portion packets is that you aren’t tempted to keep having just one more, as there isn’t one more! Or is that just me who does that? Ahem. Moving on swiftly…. the RRP is 40p per packet of 2. Bargain!

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  • I was intrigued to try the ALO DRINK that I received. It is a drink made from real aloe vera, and because it is made from the pure plant, you get all the benefits that aloe vera delivers. It is gluten and fat free, and free from all artificial nasties. I received the mangosteen and mango flavour, but you can also get lots of other flavours. I found it a bit of a strange drink as it had chunks of aloe pulp in it which were rather jelly-like in consistency, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the taste to be honest, but my other half gulped it down. The RRP is £2.45.

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  • I received 2 packets of ITSU CRISPY SEAWEED THINS in sea salt flavour. I was a little bit dubious about trying these but I was very pleasantly surprised by the taste! They actually tasted really good! One whole pack only has 13 calories in, and they are jam packed full of zinc, iron, iodine, and vitamin B12, so super healthy. You can enjoy them on their own as a crispy snack, or sprinkle up over a salad, or do what I did with one pack…. sprinkle them into cream cheese, mix well, and enjoy slathered on a bagel with some fresh smoked salmon. Mmmmmm. The RRP is £1 per pack.

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  • Yet another tasty new discovery for me was this large sharing packet of SEABROOKS LATTICE CRISPS. I had the chorizo flavour but others are available. They were super crispy and full of flavour. They are gluten free and amazingly are suitable for vegetarians, as the flavour has been created using natural ingredients but not pork! Now that’s not something you see every day! I will definitely be looking out for other flavours in this range as they looked, felt and tasted such high quality. Delicious! The RRP is £1.99.

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  • I love muesli and am a huge fan of JORDANS as a brand already so was pleased to receive a bag of Swiss Style Muesli. It was full of scrumptious almonds, raisins, wheat flakes and oats, and was the perfect blend of crispy, crunchy and juicy. It is made with all natural ingredients, with no added salt or sugar. It is high in fibre and low in saturated fat so healthy as well as tasty. I love it with milk or yoghurt for breakfast, or sprinkled into a crumble mixture for added texture and taste on a heavenly raspberry crumble. The RRP is £2.79.

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  • I had never heard of BERRYWHITE ORGANIC DRINKS so was excited to try these 2 cans. I received Cranberry and Guava, and Lemon and Ginger. You can also get Pomegranate and Blueberry, and Peach and Goji Berry in the sparkling range, and all of these flavours are also available in still versions. I prefer sparkling so these suited me perfectly. They are award winning drinks made with all natural and organic ingredients, with no added sugar and 50% fruit juice in each drink. I drank these chilled on hot days and they were so refreshing. The flavours were delicate yet delicious. As well as being good for you to drink, they are also great for less fortunate people across the world, as Berrywhite donate 10% of all their profits to charity, which makes them even more appealing to me. The RRP is £1.19 per can.

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  • The final item I received was a can of QCUMBER. I have had this before, as I discovered them at a BBC Good Food Show last Summer. It is a lovely refreshing blend of sparkling spring water and natural cucumber. One 250ml can contains just 65 calories. If you don’t like cucumber you’ll hate this as the taste is fairly strong, but if like me you like cucumber, this is an extremely refreshing satisfying drink. I know a lot of people use it as a mixer for a gin based drink, but I have found it is beautiful mixed with a tiny amount of rosewater and served in an ice filled tall glass. I’m a big fan! The RRP per can is £1.45. You can also buy it in large bottles. (I have one in my fridge right now hehe).

 

So that was the July box.  As you can see it contained a whole range of tasty treats! Degustabox costs just £12.99 per month and that includes delivery via DPD (the best couriers in my opinion). The products you receive are in total worth around double that price so it is exceptional value for money, and gives you the chance to try new products you would probably not otherwise buy yourself.

The extremely kind people at Degustabox are so nice though that they want you to try your first box for less than half price! If you click HERE to go to their website, enter the code BLDEG15 at checkout and you will receive a £7 discount! That makes your first box just £5.99 including delivery! That has to be worth a try. Enjoy!

 

DISCLOSURE: I received this box for free for the purpose of giving an honest and unbiased review. This in no way impacts on my opinions. I see no point in saying something is great if I don’t feel it is. All views expressed are my own truthful opinions. 

 

 

 

June Degustabox … BBQ Time!

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June’s Degustabox was a corker! One of the things I particularly love about Degustabox is the way you get to try new food or drink items you might not ordinarily buy or even be aware of. This month’s box was no exception, and the items it introduced me to were just wonderful. The theme for this box was BBQ, so most of these products could be used in some way to enhance a BBQ.

Just in case you have no idea what Degustabox is (which is highly unlikely if you follow my blog), it is a fantastic food subscription box in which you get sent between 10 and 15 food and drink items, many of which will be new products on the market. You can’t choose what items you will receive so it’s a wonderful surprise each month. You can though choose whether you are happy to receive alcoholic items or prefer all non-alcoholic. It costs just £12.99 a month with delivery via DPD included in the price. The items you receive though are worth around double that price so it is excellent value for money. Degustabox have been incredibly generous this month and have given me a huge discount code to share with you. Keep reading to find out more about that!

Here’s what was in this BBQ box:

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  • The Product of the Month (according to Degustabox) was this BUTTERKIST YOGURT COATED POPCORN. I received a family sized sharing pack and an individual serving pack. We all love popcorn in this house so these were opened immediately. They taste so good. The popcorn is softer than usual popcorn and there were no unpopped kernels which was great. The yoghurt coating is delicious. This is a great snack for people on calorie-controlled diets as one serving only has 95 calories! I will definitely be buying these again. I love to include popcorn in desserts, and this would be amazing served as a cheesecake topping or even used in the base. Yum! The RRP for the sharing pack is £1.49. You can also buy a multipack of 6 individual serving packs for £1.69.

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  • My personal product of the month has to be SMOOZE! FRUIT ICE. Love, love, love these!!! They are freeze-at-home fruit ices made from coconut milk and fruit juice and puree. I think I can safely say these were my favourite item from any Degustabox I have ever received, and I’m so glad to have been introduced to them. I received the Coconut and Mango variety, which then led me to rush to Sainsbury’s to buy the Simply Coconut variety too. You can also buy Coconut and Pineapple, and Coconut and Pink Guava. All 3 of us absolutely adore these ices. There are only 67 calories in one fruit ice, and they are free from dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, preservatives, and artificial flavourings, sweeteners and colourings. Perfectly suited for vegans and anyone with food allergies. They are incredibly creamy tasting and refreshing to eat, and there are no words to describe how delicious they are, especially the Simply Coconut. I will have a constant supply of these in my house from now on. They are £2.50 for a box of 5.

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  • Continuing the coconut items, I had a can of AMOY COCONUT MILK. I love coconut milk. It is such a versatile product and can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. This particular one is sourced from plantations in Thailand and is made from fresh, ripe coconuts. I used mine to make THIS PANNA COTTA and it was absolutely scrumptious. The coconut milk tastes beautifully sweet and creamy with that delicious coconut taste. The RRP of this is £1.99.

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  • HAYWARDS MEDIUM AND TANGY SILVERSKIN ONIONS – I love pickled onions, particularly with a Ploughman’s lunch. They go perfectly with BBQ salads and cheese boards too, and I always have a jar in for Boxing Day tea! These ones were perfect. I’ve had some before that make your eyes water, they are so tangy. These have the perfect balance. They are tangy but still a bit sweet, and nice and crispy… just how I like them! The RRP for this jar is £1.89.

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  • No BBQ is complete without a nice juicy burger, so this SCHWARTZ GRILL MATES American Smokehouse Burger Mix is just perfect! You can also buy a Classic Steakhouse variety of this. I was hoping to try this with a BBQ but sadly, rubbish weather has meant the BBQ is still safely stored away. I did the next best thing and cooked burgers on my George Foreman grill instead. This mix is so easy to use. You just add it to mince, mix it together, shape it into burgers and grill! The flavour was amazing. The burgers were extra juicy. We went to Florida a few months ago and ate a lot of barbecue flavoured food. This mix actually reminded us of food we ate in one of the steakhouses there. Gorgeous! The RRP is £1.49, and the mix makes 4-6 burgers.

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  • A perfect addition to any burger or hot dog is BRANSTON SPICY TOMATO RELISH. This one has chilli and jalapeno in it for an extra kick. My partner loves all things spicy so he really loved this. We also used it as a dip for tortilla chips and Pringles crisps. It is spicy (obviously) but not overpowering and you do still have your tastebuds intact after eating it. You could also eat this as a condiment with a main meal. Another verstaile product! The RRP is £1.65.

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  • Yet another versatile product this month, SACLA CLASSIC BASIL PESTO POTS. I received a pack of 4 single-serve pots, perfect for adding to any number of dishes! I mixed some up with couscous and added chicken and vegetables for a yummy lunch, and I also added some to a tomato soup! Tomato and basil are fantastic together, and these pots are just the right size so you don’t end up throwing leftover bits away. They are made with fresh Italian basil, Grana Padano cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, and pine nuts. Pesto is great with pasta too, or mixed with cream cheese to use as a dip. The RRP is £2.79 for a pack of 4 pots.

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  • DESTROOPER-OLIVIER BELGIAN BUTTERS WAFFLE CRISPS – I had never seen these before but will look out for them from now on. They are delicious thin crispy waffle-shaped biscuits, with an amazing buttery taste. They are great with tea and coffee, but we loved them most of all with ice cream! Make any flavour sundae you fancy, and add one of these to the top. We put some ice cream between 2 of these to make an ice cream sandwich too. Really really good. The RRP is £1.10.

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  • Anyone who knows me will be cringing for me at the sight of this next product – BAKEDIN CHOCOLATE MUG BROWNIE MIX. I hate packet mixes for baking with a passion and never touch them normally. However I thought I would have to try this as it came in the box. Well, I can now say I hate MOST packet mixes. This one was amazing! You simply melt a bit of butter in a mug, add the mix and some milk, then microwave for 60 seconds. The resulting brownie was everything a brownie should be! Gooey, rich, very chocolatey, just perfect! It tasted just like it had come out of the oven after being lovingly prepared and baked for ages! Degustabox also included an invitation to try the BakedIn baking subscription club at a discount price, which I did. You can find my review of that HERE. Love this! The RRP is £1.50.

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  • If you receive the non-alcoholic box, you would have received MIRACLE NOODLES in this box. These are soya free, gluten free, cholesterol free, and have only 5 calories! Guilt free noodles! They are perfect for vegans. These were thick noodles, ideal for lots of different dishes. The only thing I don’t like about them is the smell when you open the bag. The water they are in smells terrible to be honest, but when you drain that away and you rinse the noodles well under cold running water, the smell completely goes and the noodles taste amazing. I had similar noodles in a previous box and made THIS CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP using them. You could easily use these noodles instead. The RRP is £2.49.

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  • If you received the alcoholic box (that sounds bad but you know what I mean), you will have received this WYCHWOOD KING STAR CRAFTED LAGER. My partner loves a glass of cold lager after a hard day’s work so he drank this. He said it was one of the best lagers he has ever had! It was refreshing, with a lovely strong flavour. He is looking out for this again in the shops. The RRP is £1.70.

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  • The final product this month was ZEO CLOUDY LEMON. This is a low calorie drink, with only 28 calories per 250ml serving. It is made with 98% spring water, blended with lemon flesh and oils from the skin, and a touch of sugar for sweetness. It is perfect for a hot day, straight from the fridge. It has a lovely balance of bitterness from the lemons and sweetness from the sugar. It was too sour for my son but my partner and I loved it. Very refreshing! The RRP is £2.75.

As you can see, you really get a lot more than £12.99’s worth of products! As if that price wasn’t incredible enough though, Degustabox are now giving you the chance to try your first box for just £5.99, with delivery included! That’s a saving of £7!!!

If you want to try it for this unbelievable price of just £5.99, click HERE to go to the Degustabox site and enter the code BLDEG15 at checkout. I wonder what is in the next box? I hope you like it 🙂

 

Degustabox Review…. The April Box

I love receiving Degustabox each month. The excitement of a box packed full of mystery food and drink goodies is just crazy! I am very lucky that my DPD delivery driver doesn’t tend to arrive with it until around 2.30pm, as my son Luke loves to be the one who opens it first, and we take it in turns reaching our hands inside to bring out an item. If it arrived earlier I would find it REALLY hard to not give into temptation and sneak a peek inside!

The April box had something for everyone. Luke was very happy with the treats he had from it! I used 2 of the products in baking too so that was a bonus.

Here is what was in this month’s box:

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  • CANDEREL SUGARLY… This is a new granulated sweetener that looks and tastes just like normal sugar, but it has zero calories! If I’m honest I didn’t really believe that it would taste like sugar. Sorry Canderel! By my past experiences with other sweeteners, they taste nothing like sugar, so the first thing I did was take a bit on a spoon and try it. Well, I was very pleasantly surprised to find this one does taste exactly like sugar. You can use it in all the same ways as you would use regular sugar… on cereal, in drinks, in baking, the list goes on. I used mine to make this fruit cake. If you read my fruit cake post, you will read how I learnt the hard way that you only need to use half the amount of Canderel Sugarly compared to normal sugar. A little goes a long way with this! I would definitely buy this in the future. RRP is £3.00

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  • PIMM’S CIDER CUP… There are a few different flavours of this drink, and I received the Strawberry and Cucumber variety. My partner Del drank this but I did try a bit before he gulped the rest down. It was a very refreshing Summery drink with a nice light fruity taste. It actually tastes more like Pimm’s than cider, so perfect for long Summer nights (if they arrive!!!!!) RRP is £2.29

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  • LEVI ROOTS COAT’N’COOK SAUCE… This easy cooking sauce is available in 3 yummy Caribbean flavours. I received the Jerk variety but you can also have Ginger Beer or Smokey BBQ. It is ideal for people with limited time to prepare tasty meals, as literally all you do is pour it over meat, make sure it has covered it all evenly, and then cook! No waiting 2 hours while it marinates. This is an instant marinade. I tried it on chicken. It was too spicy for my son but my partner and I really enjoyed it. I will be looking out for the other 2 flavours as they sound delicious too! Perfect for BBQs. RRP is £1.00

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  • POPCHIPS… There are lots of varieties of Popchips to try already, but they have now added 2 limited edition flavours to their range. I received Sea Salt, Garlic and Rosemary, and the other limited edition flavour is Sea Salt, Caramelised Onion and Thyme. I have had Popchips before and absolutely love them. They are a gorgeous flavoursome crunchy snack with half the fat of normal crisps. I have to be honest, I wasn’t a fan of this flavour. I feel bad saying that but I believe in giving honest opinions, and we can’t all like everything, can we? I do think I’d have liked the other flavour though, so this won’t put me off them. And I already know I love their regular flavours. RRP is £1.99

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  • REJUVENATION WATER… This was completely new to me. It is a flavoured spring water enriched with amino acids, which has been shown to help to build up your immune system and to build a natural resilience to stress, depression and anxiety. It is also a brilliant drink to have before and after going out for a few alcoholic drinks. It is available in 3 flavours… Ginger and Lime, Spanish Orange, and Apple and Mint. I received the Apple and Mint and really enjoyed it. It is probably one of the most refreshing flavoured water drinks I have ever tried. I will definitely be looking out for the other flavours. RRP is £1.99

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  • VEETEE… I received 2 trays of microwaveable precooked rice. One was Basmati Rice and the other was a Wholegrain Brown Rice and Quinoa blend. There are lots more flavours available, too many to list here. They are very quick and easy to prepare. Just 2 minutes in the microwave and they are ready. I ate the Wholegrain one with some fish and it was delicious. I used the Basmati one to make this coconut rice pudding. These are perfect for people with little time to cook, and a great way to cut down on washing up starchy pans! The Wholegrain Rice is £1.49 and the Basmati is £1.29

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  • NESTLE… Luke was very very happy as I received a sharing block of Smarties chocolate and 4 little bars of new Milkybar Milk and Crunchy. The Smarties one had little mini Smarties in the chocolate which was delicious. I was pleased to see Nestle have included the size of one serving on the pack, saying it is 3 pieces. Without that I think Luke would have ate the lot in one!!! The Milkybars were lovely and creamy with an added crunch. The individual bars are just the right size and perfect to take on trips out. I will be buying both of these again. The Smarties block is £1.29 and the Milkybars are £1.00

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  • BEBETO… These Mini Fruit Strings are wonderful! They have been awarded Product of the Year for their innovative use of fruit juice and for reducing processed sugars. They contain 85% fruit juice and are a source of vitamins A,C and E. They are also suitable for vegetarians. There are 7 packets in the bag, each with a day of the week printed on so children can have fun finding which pack they need each day. There are 4 flavours included… apple, raspberry, blackcurrant and strawberry. We all thought they were delicious. The strawberry ones taste just like the strawberry laces sweets you can buy, but these are obviously a lot healthier. I will definitely be buying these in future. RRP is £1.99

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  • PARLE… I received 2 products from this brand, Parle Rusk and Parle-G biscuits. The Parle-G biscuits reminded me very much of malted milk biscuits, and I really enjoyed them. They are filled with the goodness of milk and wheat, and they taste scrummy! I had no idea what to expect with the Parle Rusk. The packet said they were toast flavoured with cardamom, so I was looking forward to trying them. They suggest dipping them into a hot drink to eat them. I tried them as they were, and then dipped in coffee. I’ll be honest, at first bite I wasn’t sure if I liked them, but the more I ate, the yummier they became. They are incredibly hard and crunchy to bite, so if you have any loose teeth I would definitely advise dunking them in a cuppa first to soften them! They are really good value too. The biscuits are just 25p and the rusks are 89p. Bargains!

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  • GREEN LADY… This is a sparkling green tea infused with carob fruit, nutmeg and rose oil. I loved this! It tasted like rice pudding with a slight aftertaste of rose. And we all know how much I love rose! What’s not to like!? It was extremely light and refreshing and I will definitely be looking for some of this for the Summer. The RRP is £1.99

So that was April’s Degustabox. There really was something for everyone in there. If you would like to try a Degustabox for yourself, the normal cost is £12.99 per month including DPD delivery, which is amazing value especially as each box is worth approximately double that price.

However if you enter the code BLDEG15 at checkout you will receive your first box for just £6.99!!!! To go to the Degustabox website just click HERE 🙂 I’m already looking forward to seeing what’s in the next box!

 

DISCLAIMER: I received Degustabox at no cost in exchange for an honest review. The fact it was free does not in any way affect my review. I believe in honesty at all times, so all views and opinions expressed are truthful and unbiased.