Celebrating Coeliac Awareness Week with M&S Food | AD

*Disclaimer – the products featured in this blog post were gifted by M&S Food for the purpose of inclusion in this blog post. This blog post is in collaboration with Marks & Spencer but all opinions are my own. 

As this week is Coeliac Awareness Week, there’s a lot going on in the free from community and lots of brands are doing their bit to show their support to us Coeliacs!

One of my favourite brands for gluten free food that I speak about A LOT is Marks & Spencer and as always, they’ve been at the top of the game when it comes to bringing out new free from products.

I always say how M&S’ free from range is a little different to other supermarkets as they bring out products that are different to everyone else’s. They’re often the foods you didn’t realise you missed until you could have them again and that’s what makes them so special.

I recently went for a wander around my local M&S Food Hall, which is Handforth Dean and met the manager there, Lucy. We picked some of their new products and best-sellers for me to try, so I thought I’d do this little haul style blog post for you, showing you what I got!

Made Without Wheat Raspberry Bakewell Slices 

One of the newer products at M&S, I picked these up mainly with my mum in mind as she loves Bakewell slices, so I knew she was the perfect person to review these!

You get 4 in a box and they’re a really decent size. There’s a good layer of raspberry jam and a generous topping of almond flakes and according to my mum ‘they tasted just like the regular ones’.

Made Without Wheat Caramel Crispie Mini Bites 

I’ve spoken about these little gluten free cake bites before over on my Instagram because they are one of the tastiest free from products I have ever tried!

They’re similar to their other mini bite tubs (which M&S are well known for) but these are totally gluten free and safe for coeliacs! They’re a rice crispie square with a layer of caramel and a layer of solid chocolate… so good!

Made Without Wheat Shortbread Rounds

I love shortbread biscuits and actually think gluten free shortbread is really nice and these are no exception.

You can’t beat a plain and simple shortbread biscuit and these ones are super buttery and just the right texture too, perfect for eating with a cup of tea or serving with a creme brulee!

Made Without Wheat Triple Chocolate Crunch Cereal

Probably one of my favourite gluten free products Marks & Spencer have ever brought out, their Triple Chocolate Crunch cereal might be a little bit high in calories and sugar but it is so good!

It’s a mixture of plain granola clusters and pieces of milk and white chocolate and for a Sunday morning breakfast or a special occasion, it is such a welcome treat!

Made Without Wheat Lemon Cheesecake Dessert

I’m not usually a huge cheesecake fan but I do really like lemon flavoured things, so I was still intrigued to try this little Lemon Cheesecake Dessert pot and I’m glad I did because it was delicious!

The cheese topping was super creamy and not overpowering and the main flavour throughout was sweet lemon which I personally loved. The cheescake base was pretty loose and crumbly but it is in a pot so that doesn’t matter so much!

Made Without Wheat Lemon Muffins 

These were part of M&S’ newest launch of gluten free products and they were probably the thing that grabbed my attention the most as I have been on the hunt for gluten free lemon muffins for ages!

I could find lemon cupcakes, lemon slices, lemon cakes but not lemon muffins and persoanlly, I think they all taste different so I particularly wanted muffns and I’m pleased to say these did not disappoint!

I used to love the original M&S lemon muffins and these tasted pretty much the same, just a little smaller but they come in packs of 4, so you can always just have more than one!

Made Without Wheat Sourdough Pizza

I love pizza and let’s be honest, gluten free pizza is pretty hit and miss, so when a new one comes out, I’m always keen to try!

I’ll be honest, I was hesistant about trying this as it retails for £4.50 which is a lot of money but when I was given the opportunity to try one for free, I jumped at the chance and I can confirm that I will definitely be purchasing this myself again.

If you don’t like thicker base pizzas, you probably won’t like this as the base is quite thick and doughy as it is a sourdough pizza but I personally liked this as the base was super soft and had good flavour.

They only do the pizza in a simple margarita but there’s plenty of cheese on top and I think this works as a nice blank canvas for you to add your own toppings if you want to!

Made Without Wheat Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli 

I love these fresh filled pastas and used to LIVE off them when I could eat gluten, so when I got diagnosed Coeliac, I was pretty disappointed about the selection available – like there was none when I first got diagnosed.

Schar brought out their variety a while back but in more recent months, all the supermarkets seemed to have jumped on this idea and brought out their own free from fresh pastas, including M&S.

I have tried to proscuitto fresh pasta from M&S’ free from range before, so am super excited to give this one a go – they make for a perfect super quick dinner!

Made Without Wheat Spaghetti Carbonara 

I’ve spoken about the Marks & Spencer Made Without Wheat ready meals before both on the blog and on my Instagram because I really like them! I don’t have ready meals very often because as gluten free food goes, ready meals are some of the worst but these are actually good and taste pretty homemade!

My favourites are the carbonara and the macaroni cheese, so if you’re looking for a quick dinner, these are good options!

Made Without Wheat Mixed Berry Crumbles

Finding gluten free desserts that aren’t chocolate is actually harder than you’d think, so it’s quite refreshing to see these berry crumbles available in the free from fridges!

I haven’t tried them yet but they look packed with fruit, so hopefully they’ll be good with some custard or ice cream!

Made Without Dairy Chocolate and Caramel Sticks (Gluten Free Too)

M&S do also have a selection of dairy free products too including ice creams which are delicious! These chocolate and caramel magnum style dairy free ice creams are a long-term favourite of mine.

You can’t tell that they’re dairy free by the taste and they’ve got the gluten free logo on the front of the box too for extra reassurance when shopping as a Coeliac.

Made Without Dairy Chocolate and Vanilla Cones 

Another gluten and dairy free ice cream option at M&S is these chocolate and vanilla ice cream cones – very like a cornetto!

I love ice creams like this, especially when the weather is hot and as it is nearly impossible to get gluten free ice cream cones at ice cream vans or in those little ice cream freezers in shops, I like to have things like these in the freezer so I don’t have to miss out!

You get 4 in the box and they’re actually a really good size, these also taste just like normal ice cream!

So, they’re some of my favourite free from products at M&S but what do you love? Let me know in the comments!

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PMD Clean Review & How I Use

*the PMD Clean device was very kindly gifted to me in 2018 for inclusion in a gift guide. This blog post is not paid for or in partnership with PMD or any other brand, however, the product was gifted for advertisement purposes in the past. All opinions are my own. 

I’ve had bad skin my whole life and no skincare treatment has ever done anything about that.

I’ve tried tablets, creams and every skincare technique you can think of but they do not work, so honestly, I stripped my skincare routine right back to basics and stopped really paying any attention to devices and products that reckoned they could help my complexion.

I was so excited to be contacted by PMD in December, asking if I’d like to feature any of their products in my gift guide. I already had a PMD Kiss Lip Plumping device of my own, so I knew their products were good and I’d read some rave reviews about their face cleaning device, so I decided to include it in the gift guide.

I had a good look at the product and researched into it before including it in the gift guide but I never actually got round to using it until recently.

I was fancying a bit of a pamper night so I decided to run myself a nice bath, dig out my nicest body products and give the PMD Clean a go too.

I had makeup on when I got in the bath, so I removed most of it with a cleanser and muslin cloth and then put some more of my cleanser on the device and used the first vibration setting to massage the product onto my face.

You could see the makeup and dirt coming off my face and my face felt so smooth when I’d finished using and since then I’ve been hooked!

What Is The PMD Clean?

The PMD Clean is an electronic facial cleansing brush made from super soft silicone. A compact and lightweight device that is also available in a range of colours to match your bathroom, this brush has 4 vibration settings to provide different massaging and cleansing techniques for super soft, clean and glowing skin.

How I Use the PMD Clean

I definitely use the device slightly differently to how they recommend as I put the cleanser onto the brush and then massage into my face opposed to how they say to do it, which is to rub your cleanser into the skin first and then massage but whatever works!

I pair mine with the La Roche Posay cleanser for removing makeup or the Garnier Daily Facial Scrub if I want to exfoliate and get my glow back and wow – it really works!

This is now a daily essential for me and I always take it in the shower or bath with me. If I need to wash my face, this is going to being getting used, I can’t imagine going back to rubbing my cleanser in with my hands!

Once I have massaged the cleanser in using the first or second vibration seconds, I’ll then rinse the excess away with clean muslin or flannel and warm water!

I don’t really get much use out of the second two vibration settings but I guess if you want to go all out with the facial massage then they’ll come in handy!

My overall review of the PMD Clean would be that my skin has never looked as clear, bright and clean as it has since using this as part of my routine! I genuinely didn’t think skincare could sort my skin but over time, this is seriously helping keep my acne at bay as my skin is so much cleaner and I actually have a glowy complexion for the first time ever!

The PMD Clean is available to buy directly from their website for £89.00! They have now brought out the PMD Clean Pro and I can’t lie, I’m seriously tempted to upgrade!

Have you tried a PMD Clean Device? What did you think?

Surprising Our Best Friend | Bubblegum Balloons Review – AD

*Disclaimer – The bespoke balloon featured in this blog post was gifted to me by Bubblegum Balloons for the purpose of advertisement. All opinions are my own. 

I like to think I am pretty good as surprises. I’m a creative person in general so when it comes to special occasions, I always like to go all out to make the people in my life happy, so when it came to celebrating the one year anniversary of one of my best friends’ business, me and my other friends decided to go all out.

We decided to plan a little surprise get together at my house before heading into town for a night out and we wanted to make it as special as possible for her.

As well as going to the shops near where we live and picking up some standard balloons from Card Factory, a banner, a card and a cake, we knew we wanted to get her a personalised balloon with her business name on.

I was so excited when an email from the lovely team at Bubblegum Balloons dropped in my inbox asking if I’d like to check out their range of bespoke balloons. Now I always reiterate that I only ever collaborate with brands that are relevant to my life and that I think you guys will like, so this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time.

They’re inflated bubble balloons were exactly what we had been looking for as a surprise for our friend, so when the team at Bubblegum very kindly said I could pick one of the balloons to have sent out for my friend’s surprise, I was thrilled.

We had a look through the site and decided we wanted her business name writing on it, so we just had a look through all the designs, ignoring the text they already had on them and just chose the one we liked the look of.

This is something I really liked about Bubblegum Balloons, although the balloons on the website are designed for certain occasions, you can change the text on all the designs to suit your occasions, meaning you can have something really bespoke to you.

We were going with a rose gold and pink colour theme for the rest of the decorations, so in the end we actually chose one of the engagement balloons and had the text changed as this fitted our chosen colours.

The actual balloon was the ‘He Put a Ring On It’ balloon but we had ‘Kelly Gordon Fine Artist’ written on it instead. It’s a clear balloon with pale pink heart confetti inside and gold, pink and white hearts going down the ribbon.

Balloon 2Balloon 1

This balloon retails for £30 which given the quality and detail that goes into these, I actually think that is really good value.

The balloon turns up fully inflated and in a large cardboard box. We actually got the balloon out the box for our surprise but the box means you could easily surprise someone with it or do a reveal using one of their balloons.

You can get next day delivery if you order before midday and mine was delivered by DPD. I got a text in the morning with a one hour delivery slot and it turned up right on time.

I honestly could not believe how gorgeous it was when it turned up and our friend was over the moon with it. It has stayed inflated for days now and isn’t showing any signs of deflating anytime soon, making it even better value for money.

Personalised balloons are seriously on trend now for all kinds of occasions and they make great props for photographs, so if you’ve got a party, wedding or other kind of occasion coming up then I would highly recommend Bubblegum Balloons for your decor!

Anyone else kind of want a balloon with their name on now? Yeah me too!

(If you’re interested in checking out my friend’s business, she’s a digital artist and illustrator who works on commissioned pieces. She specialises in animal portraits and caricatures but is available for a range of design work. You can find her on Instagram @kellygordon_fineartist)

Horsham Gingerbread Review | AD

*these products were sent to me by Horsham Gingerbread for the purpose of review but all opinions are my own.  

I typically don’t eat that many processed gluten free foods anymore as I try to eat more naturally gluten free foods and as for treats, I like to make my own but when Horsham Gingerbread got in touch and asked if I’d like to try a few products, I jumped at the chance!

They sent out their classic gluten free gingerbread and their Spicy Sussex gluten free savoury biscuits, so I’ve had a try of both and thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

Horsham Gingerbread Bakehouse sell a selection of gluten free and original gingerbread tray bakes as well as a great selection of gluten free sweet and savoury biscuits. They make their gluten free products on separate days to their gluten-containing recipes and complete strict cleaning routines and gluten tests before production begins, so as a diagnosed Coeliac, I am happy that these products are at a safe standard.

The Gluten Free Gingerbread Tray Bake

When I think of gingerbread, I just think of gingerbread men and I love them! I really like the flavour of ginger in biscuits but have never really had it as a cake or tray bake like this so I was intrigued to give it a go!

The texture of this tray bake is quite dense and a little bit sticky, as you’d generally expect with ginger flavoured cakes, they’re usually that way, so I’d say the texture is pretty good.

The flavour is very intense, rich and a little bitter but in a kind of spicy way which compliments the ginger flavour. You only need a very small amount of this as the flavour does pack such a punch but I think paired with a little vanilla ice cream, this would make for a delicious dessert.

Spicy Sussex Savoury Gluten Free Biscuits 

Crackers and savoury biscuits aren’t something I have really tried a lot of so I was intrigued to give these Spicy Sussex gluten free savoury biscuits a try and I have to say, they’re delicious!

If I am really hungry and need a quick bite to eat, I will usually grab a sweet biscuit but these are a much better alternative for a quick snack. They say they’re spicy and they do have a kick but it is mild and more a hit of flavour than spice, so don’t let the word ‘spicy’ put you off trying these!

They’re quite a dense texture but easy to bite, not too hard or too soft and they’re delicious with a little butter on top! A perfect light lunch!

Overall, the quality of the Horsham Gingerbread Bakehouse is really good, the flavours are delicious and I would recommend giving them a go if you fancy trying products like these.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide | AD

*all products in this blog post were gifted for the purpose of inclusion but all opinions are my own. 

Mother’s Day is not too far away now (31st March), so it’s time to start shopping around for the perfect present for your mama this year!

Keep Her Cosy with a Hat and Neck Warmer from Buff

As some of you may know, we have two dogs in our household, so we’re pretty big into going for walks and seen as the weather is always cold round here, a hat and scarf/neck warmer is an essential bit of dog walking kit.

Buff are known for their high quality winter accessories, specially designed for outdoor adventures, so they’re ideal for keeping you cosy on a dog walk.

This beautiful matching set of a grey knitted bobble hat and neck warmer are priced individually but make a lovely gift set.

The Gift of Soft Skin From Aveeno 

The thing I love about gifting Aveeno products is that it’s a brand that works for all ages and mum’s with children of all ages. I’ll be gifting my mum some of the adult range, which comes in a green packaging as I know she loves the brand and uses it a lot but Aveeno also have a baby range which is a thoughtful gift for any new mum.

I think packing up a selection of Aveeno Baby and adult products in a gift box is a wonderful Mother’s Day present for new mum’s or maybe even for mum’s to be who will still be waiting on baby’s arrival on Mother’s Day!

Give Her Glowing Skin with Skin Doctors

I introduce my mum to a lot of skincare brands and love gifting her skincare products I know will help keep here glowing skin looking fresh.

Skin Doctors is a really lovely skincare range that is priced more at the premium point but comes beautifully packaged and promises to work.

They have a great range of anti-ageing products which is the collection best suited for my mum’s skin (not that she needs it) but they also do products to target other specific skincare complaints that are suited for other skin types.

The Collagen Boosting Duo is a stunningly packaged pair of products that feel luxury to hold and use, so a lovely gift to give.

Keep Things Personal with Gift Pup 

My mum loves a personalised gift. Is that a mum thing or just my mum?

She loves it! If she can put someone’s name on something then she is just all for it, so something personalised is a perfect choice for her for Mother’s Day!

Gift Pup do a great range of personalised presents for all occasions including these amazing handmade confectionery trees with personalised glasses holding them up!

This is the chocolate button tree and I had the glass personalised with ‘Love You Mum’ but they also do trees with liquorice all sorts, Malteasers, Haribo and more and you can have whatever you want put on the glass.

These trees retail for £24.99 which considering their handmade and personalised, I think that’s a great price!

(the centre of the trees DO contain gluten, so this is something my mum will be enjoying alone, however I highly recommend checking out GiftPup for personalised gifts, both foodie and otherwise!)

Flowers She Can Keep Forever From Ferris Heart Sloane

Whatever I buy my mum for Mother’s Day, I’ll usually get her a bunch of flowers too but they obviously die after a few days and it does feel like a waste of money, especially as she seems to spend her life buying new flowers for the kitchen window, so some faux flowers are a perfect gift.

Ferris Heart Sloane sell a stunning selection of premium faux flowers, such as the bouquet below which will last forever and don’t need any care! Simply pop them in a vase and they’ll look as good months down the line as they did the day you bought them!

The Gift of a Good Night’s Sleep from Scentered 

My mum just doesn’t sleep. Seriously, she struggles so badly to ever get a good night’s sleep, so I often gravitate towards getting her gifts that aim to aid a good night’s sleep like this beautiful set from Scentered!

This is the ‘I Want to Sleep Well‘ Gift Set and it retails for £27.99. This beautifully packaged (like stunningly packaged) set includes a candle and balm that are both scented with lavender and chamomile and they smell divine.

The scent is so relaxing and I can really see how it will help you get off to sleep peacefully, so I’m hoping my mum will love this.

Make It a Sweet Mother’s Day with Jelly Belly

Personally, my mum and I have a thing about prosecco flavoured sweets – we love them, so these sparkling wine flavoured jelly beans from Jelly Belly are perfect.

First of all, how cute is the packaging that looks like a little wine bottle? These don’t just look cute though, they’re also gluten free, dairy free, gelatine free, alcohol free, kosher, fat free and peanut free, so they’re pretty much good for everyone!

You can grab a super sweet gift set of the wine flavoured jelly beans direct from Jelly Belly for £12.00 that comes pre-boxed and wrapped to do all the hard work for you!

This Mother’s Day is Smelling Sweet Thanks to The Perfume Shop 

Me and my mum share most of our beauty products but particularly perfume. I’ll steal some of hers and she’ll have some of mine, so buying fragrance for Mother’s Day is basically a gift that will benefit us both (terrible I know)!

Marc Jacobs have brought out a new fragrance in their range of Daisy Perfumes and it’s available at The Perfume Shop now. Daisy Sunshine is available in a couple of different bottle sizes, ranging from £57.00 – £68.00, so it’s on the pricier side but a really thoughtful gift.

Handmade and Delicious Mother’s Day Treats From Fudge Kitchen

Handmade treats are always the best and these Cherry Bakewell Caramels From Fudge Kitchen are all handmade in Kent!

Labelled up gluten free and vegetarian, they’re range of fudge and caramels has something to suit every mum, whatever flavours she fancies but as my mum will never say no to a cherry bakewell, I knew these were perfect for her!

You can explore Fudge Kitchen and other local producers of handmade goods in Kent by visiting the Produced in Kent website!

So, there you have it, whatever your mum is interested in or loves to receive as a gift, there’s plenty of suggestions here for things to get her!

Have you got a special gift planned for your mum this Mother’s Day? Let me know in the comments!

 

My Top 5 Gluten Free Pancake Topping Combinations

*this blog post contains gifted products from Marks & Spencer, however this blog post is not paid for. 

Pancake Day is upon us (aka best day of the year) which means it’s time to get creative with those pancake toppings!

Now, I personally prefer Scotch pancakes to all others as I am not a fan of crepes and also find it’s easier to load this kind of pancake up with the toppings of your choice but these topping combos would work with all kinds of pancakes.

If you’re stuck for ideas of what to top your pancakes with this year then here’s 5 gluten free pancake topping ideas that might inspire you!

Pancakes with Strawberries and Chocolate Sauce

The classic chocolate and strawberry combination goes perfectly with pancakes and is ideal for those with a sweet tooth.

Chop up some fresh strawberries and drizzle with either melted chocolate or a chocolate sauce of your choice. Marks & Spencer’s Belgian Chocolate Sauce is naturally gluten free and perfect for not just pancakes but ice cream and other sweet treats too!

Pancakes with Sugar and Lemon, Gin and Tonic Sauce

My mum loves pancakes with just lemon and sugar but honestly I think there’s far more exciting things to be topping pancakes with but if you are going to go classic, mixing it up a little with the new M&S Lemon, Gin and Tonic sauce is the perfect option!

The classic taste of lemon and sugar with a twist of the nation’s favourite tipple, this makes your pancakes a little more grown up and exciting without going too crazy!

Pancakes with Vanilla Ice Cream and Sticky Toffee Sauce

A personal favourite combination because I am such a fan of flavours like toffee, caramel etc, topping your Scotch pancakes with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the M&S Sticky Toffee Sauce is just a dream!

Super sweet and definitely a dessert pancake topping opposed to breakfast, this is a treat worthy of being enjoyed on pancake day!

Pancakes with Blueberries and Greek Yogurt

A little more suited for breakfast and perhaps a little healthier, a dollop of Greek style yogurt (normal or low fat) on top of warm pancakes with a helping of blueberries or any other fruit of your choice is light and refreshing, perfect for Shrove Tuesday breakfast!

Pancakes with Crispy Bacon and Golden Syrup

For those with more of a savoury tooth, topping some Scotch or American style pancakes with some crispy strips of bacon and a drizzle of golden syrup is the ultimate sweet and salty flavour combo!

If you don’t usually have golden syrup in the cupboards and don’t want to buy it in for this occasion, adding bacon to the Marks & Spencer Made Without Wheat Golden Syrup scotch pancakes is a perfect alternative as the sweet syrup is already coating the pancakes!

So, what will you be pairing with your pancakes this Tuesday? Let me know your favourite gluten free toppings in the comments or on Instagram!

 

I’ve Got News – TEDx Bollington

Since my breakup in September, I have vowed to take every opportunity that has come my way and work myself silly to achieve all the things I’ve always wanted to do.

Becoming a published author on Huffington Post ticked a massive box on my bucket list but there was one equally as big thing I wanted to do and that was talk at a TEDx conference and well… it’s happening!

I am so excited to tell you all that I will be speaking at TEDx Bollington on the 16th June about how social media can be used to encourage face to face conversations about taboo subjects.

Ellie-Pool_RGB_1080px.jpg

That might sound a bit long but the short title of the piece is ‘You’re Not Alone’ and that perfectly summarises what I work to make everyone one of my followers on here and on social media feel, that you’re not alone.

I have chosen to share the lows of my life online in the most public of ways but have got such strength and confidence from doing so, as well as helping others and I am so passionate about educating other people to use social media in this way too which is what I’ll be speaking about during my TEDx talk.

I am one of a fantastic lineup of 8 speakers and the theme of the event is ‘The Art of Connection’ and all 8 of us will be speaking about totally different topics but all surrounding this theme, so it really is set to be a fantastic few hours.

If you’re local, tickets will go on sale mid-February and I’ll share the link to buy tickets once I have them but if you can’t make the event, my talk will be streamed online for you to watch wherever you are and it really would mean the world if you could tune in.

I am so so excited for the whole TEDx experience and i’m in the planning and early rehearsal stages now, so I can’t wait for everything to come.

Thank you for the support on here and online because it always means the worlds and really is the inspiration behind this talk.

Gluten Free Chocolate Orange Brownie Recipe

Before you start rolling your eyes because you’re gluten free and you just heard the word ‘brownie’, hear me out!

I get it, you’re fed up of bog-standard brownies. They’re samey, they’re overly simple and they’re just not filling you with excitement anymore but I guarantee my new chocolate orange brownies will reignite that love for the humble brownie.

Us gluten free foodies need to keep brownies fresh and interesting because let’s be honest, we end up eating a lot of them and I think adding orange makes for the perfect flavour combination!

Check out how to make these delicious gluten free chocolate orange brownies in under an hour:

Ingredients

  • 200g Galaxy Milk Chocolate
  • 200g Stork Baking Spread
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 280g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 50g Cocoa Powder
  • 150g Plain Gluten Free Flour
  • The Juice of 2 Oranges
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 1 Bar of Orange Flavoured Chocolate

Method 

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees (Fan) and line two square baking tins with grease proof paper
  2. Break up your 200g of chocolate and 200g of baking spread and put in a bowl. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water and slowly melt together
  3. Sift your flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and mix together quickly
  4. Once your chocolate and butter are melted, take off the heat to cool to room temperature
  5. In your main mixing bowl, add your golden caster sugar. Crack your 3 eggs in a separate small bowl. Pour the eggs into the sugar, one yolk at a time, allowing some of the white to go in too. Whisk with an electric whisk between each yolk to combine. Once all the eggs are in, mix until a light, almost bubbly consistency.
  6. Add your room temperature chocolate and butter mixture into the eggs and sugar and stir until equally mixed in.
  7. Next, fold in your flour and cocoa powder.
  8. You now need to squeeze the juice of 2 oranges in to the mixture and mix in. Once the juice is added, add the zest of one orange and mix in.
  9. Distribute the mixture equally across your two trays and evenly smooth out.
  10. Break your orange flavoured chocolate into pieces and press into the mixture, distributing them evenly.
  11. Pop in the oven for 25 minutes.
  12. Remove when cooked and leave to cool in the trays for a couple of hours before topping with icing sugar and orange zest and cutting into around 18 pieces.

These chocolatey and zesty brownies are a refreshing change to your standard brownie and are bound to reignite your love for a brownie!

The Single Girl’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide (ad)

*A selection of the products featured in this gift guide were sent to me as gifts from brands for the purpose of review and inclusion in this blog post. These products have been marked with a (*). All opinions of these products are my own.

There’s two options when you’re single for Valentine’s Day. You can either feel all mopey about it or you can embrace it, realise you don’t need a partner to be happy and simply treat yourself to a little V-Day gift instead!

This is my first Valentine’s Day single since 2016, so I’m not going to lie and say I’m thrilled about it but it is what it is and I’m not going to magically find a boyfriend in the next two weeks, so I’m just going to have to treat myself this Valentine’s Day!

I’m not saying I’m going to be buying myself a bunch of roses (might buy myself the box of chocolates though) but I think a new pamper product or something nice for me is the perfect way to banish any Valentine’s Day blues, so here’s a few products I think are perfect for helping to put a pep in your step when you’re single on the 14th!

*Seksy Fragrances – £35.00

I’ve been running out of perfume for ages, so I thought what better time to add a new bottle to my collection than Valentine’s Day?

I love having a good selection of fragrances to choose from because I think you can never have too many different perfumes, so I was super excited to add the ‘Entice’ perfume by Seksy to my collection!

There’s three fragrances in the new range and they retail for £35.00 each for  a 50ml bottle and £45.00 for a 100ml bottle, so a really affordable price point!

The bottles are really pretty and I think quite glamorous, so they’re a perfect treat to yourself… and you never know, if you manage to bag a date in the next few weeks, it’ll be perfect for that too!

*Tangle Angel Pro Hairbrush – £18.95

One thing I am so conscious of all the time is my hair looking ok. It’s become a slight obsession that I want to have a hairbrush with me all the time because I have such long hair and it just looks a real mess if it gets knotted or goes unbrushed for too long, so treating myself to a new hairbrush is always going to make me happy.

My hair kills hairbrushes like seriously, cheap hairbrushes don’t stand a chance against my hair, so I have to go for good quality and the Tangle Angel Pro is perfect.

I mean, it’s rose gold for a start so obviously it makes me smile but it’s also super durable and genuinely just glides through my hair and leaves it feeling so smooth and fresh.

There’s loads of brushes available in the Tangle Angel collection, including travel ones and just saying but they do matching ones for grooming your dog… I LOVE IT!

Skincare

*A Eucerin Facial with the Hyaluron Filler

There really is no better treat to yourself for a pamper night in on the 14th than some new skincare treats at Eucerin is an affordably priced brand available in Boots that has a number of different ranges suitable for different skin types.

They have a hydrating range, blemish prone range and anti-age range just to name a few and all of the products are at really reasonable price points, so ideal for a little treat to yourself if you’re staying single for V-Day this year.

I’ve been trying the Hyaluron Filler Night Peel and Serum which all though from the anti-ageing collection so does tackle wrinkles, it also smooths and refines skin texture and reduces pores, so is ideal for younger skin too.

*Skin Academy Sheet Masks

If you can’t pick yourself up a face mask to help you relax and unwind on Valentine’s Day then when can you?

Sheet masks are my favourite because they’re so quick and easy to apply and are usually pretty affordable!

I’ve been testing a few from the Skin Academy range and they’ve got so many to choose from to suit every skin type. Available to directly from their website or also available on Boohoo or Pretty Little Thing, so why not throw one in your basket when picking up some new PJs for a chilled Valentine’s Day night in!

Valentine’s Night In Top Tip – Run a bath, get your favourite candle lit, get all your favourite pamper products out and take some time making yourself feel amazing!

*Baking Kits from Creative Nature Superfoods

If you’re looking for something to pass the time on your Valentine’s Day night in then baking is a perfect option!

I usually bake from scratch but Valentine’s Day is a Thursday this year and I just don’t want to be starting measuring loads of ingredients out when I get in from work so a baking kit is a perfect treat to yourself to provide some entertainment for the evening and some tasty treats too!

The Creative Nature Superfoods baking kits are gluten free, dairy free, soya free, nut free, organic and packed with superfoods so they’re perfect for the baker who wants to avoid those key allergens!

I’ll be baking the chocolate and chia brownies but they also have muffin mixes and banana bread!

A Bottle of Your Favourite Drink 

Don’t wait for a man to buy you a bottle of wine to enjoy in the bath or in front of the TV, go and grab one for yourself!

Whatever your favourite tipple is, be it a bottle of wine, some bubbly or you’re more of a spirit and mixer kind of girl, or even a soft drinks fan, pour yourself a glass and cheers to a happy and single Valentine’s Day!

A New Set of Comfies

I live for loungewear and pyjamas and would wear those kinds of clothes all day everyday if I could, so I can’t think of a better gift to myself for Valentine’s Day than a new set of comfies!

I highly rate the pyjamas and loungewear sets from F&F at Tesco and have 3/4 pairs from there and they’re definitely my favourites and so affordable but if you’re in the mood to splash out on something a little more luxury, my mum got me some cashmere bed socks from The White Company for Christmas and they’re just a dream!

Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette – £42.00

I literally need no excuse to buy myself new makeup but if you need a bit more convincing to splash out on some new cosmetics, a V-Day gift to yourself is the perfect reason!

Sticking with the pink theme this Valentine’s Day, the Urban Decay Naked Cherry palette is my new favourite eye shadow palette and is packed with pink and purple colours which are perfect for the occasion!

I’ve posted a full review blog post on this palette, so check that out for more information!

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So, there’s no need to feel down about being single this Valentine’s Day when there’s so many great treats to buy yourself as a little pick me up!

Whether you’re celebrating with the girls or having a chilled night in alone, I hope you have a good Valentine’s Day and remember, it’s just a day made by retailers to sell more flowers, so don’t feel down for being single!

*The faux flowers used in the imagery were gifted by Ferris Heart Sloane.

Halo Top Ice Cream Review

If you ask any of my friends or family, they’ll all tell you that I am a big fan of ice cream. If we eat out at a restaurant, I will usually choose ice cream as a dessert and even at home, I just can’t help digging the ice cream out the freezer.

In general, ice cream isn’t the healthiest but recently, there’s been a bit of a wave of new low-calorie, high protein ice cream brands hitting the market, Halo Top being the original.

I tried Halo Top for the first time the other week and I could not believe how good it was! I got the salted caramel flavour to start with as it was gluten free and a pretty safe choice to start with as it is one of my favourite flavours.

I was very kindly sent a few tubs of Halo Top ice cream from the brand after chatting with them on Twitter, all gluten free of course, so I thought I’d share with you my thoughts on the flavours I’ve tried and some more details on eating Halo Top ice cream if you’re gluten free!

Halo Top Ice Cream Review

Sea Salt Caramel – Starting with the first flavour I tried, the salted caramel, this is seriously good!

It’s vanilla ice cream swirled with sweet but salty caramel sauce and it is just too moreish but at like 320 calories for the tub, you can kind of eat as much as you like!

Candy Bar – I really was not sure what to expect when I tried the candy bar flavour because I just didn’t understand the concept but it is so nice!

It’s chocolate ice cream with like a caramel chocolate sauce and peanuts and it is just not like anything I have tried before but it is again, so moreish! This one is 360 calories a tub so slightly higher in calories but still pretty low!

Peanut Butter Cup – I have a bit of a love hate relationship with peanut butter. I really like those Meridian peanut butter bars and I generally like the taste of nuts but I can get a bit overwhelmed by peanut butter flavoured things but this was really nice!

Also 320 calories a tub, it’s got a sweet, intense peanut flavour and as with all the others, I just find it so moreish!

Gluten Free Halo Top Flavours

I’d never really paid much attention to Halo Top as I just assumed they wouldn’t be gluten free but the majority of the flavours are actually certified gluten free and are labelled on the packaging as gluten free. However, there is a disclaimer on the packaging that they are made in a factory that sometimes handles wheat.

I have contacted Halo Top regarding this to clarify what this means for Coeliacs and how it can be labelled gluten free if there is a risk of contamination with wheat but I will keep you updated.

The flavours that are labelled gluten free are:

  • Vanilla Bean
  • Chocolate
  • Mint Choc Chip
  • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Sea Salt Caramel
  • Oatmeal Cookie
  • Birthday Cake (I couldn’t believe this was gluten free!)
  • Candy Bar

There’s also a whole dairy free range of Halo Top which are all gluten, dairy and soya free.

Where to Buy Halo Top 

Halo Top is pretty readily available everywhere you go. It usually retails for £5 a tub which is expensive but as a treat it is worth it and I’d rather have a tub of Halo Top than something like Ben & Jerry’s that is the same price nearly but far higher in calories!

Halo Top is on offer a lot in supermarkets for £3 or £3.50 a tub and you can get it in Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Co-Op, One Stop and Londis.