Sunday, 27 July 2014

Food: Gluten-free snacking

Like many people, I have a slight wheat and dairy intolerance. It's probably the most common intolerance people have, and some never even notice...others have to put up with more extreme side effects and therefore resort to eating gluten-free and dairy-free foods.

From my experience so far, gluten-free foods can be rather boring, bland and expensive, but with the recent 'health trend' came lots of new brands that are starting to offer cheaper options and more importantly they are actually starting to taste good. Problem is, I think most people don't know about these brands or just resort to what they find in their local supermarket which tends to be limited choice.

I've started to test out some of these exciting foods and will let you know about all the different (and delicious) options you can buy...this post is my second one and is mainly looking at snacks.


Oh.My.Goodness. These are some of the most delicious crackers I've ever had...what a pleasant surprise and exactly why I did these posts. Wellaby's (another brand I didn't know about before) have an extensive collection of chips for dipping, but also handy little boxes of Chips & Dips for on-the-go. The Lentil Chips are so yummy, perfect for snacking but definitely better with a dip as they can be a little dry if you eat too many (I had a whole bag to myself!). They have just the right amount of salt or seasoning and are nice and crunchy...also great for sharing as the bags are pretty big. I hope to see these in Tesco soon.

Lots of people are fans of these delicious raw Nakd bars...they're unbelievably yummy and take care of my 3pm sweet cravings. They are essentially made from natural ingredients such as fruits and nuts which are smooched together into a bar. To be fair, they are a little pricey but worth it as a healthier snack if you don't mind the natural sugar content. They're also great to take to festivals, flights or road trips.


What do you do when you are bored of the usual sweet & salty?! This Devon brand have got it nailed with some crazy hand popped gourmet popcorn flavours like Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup, Chilli & Lime and Wasabi & Sweet Ginger. They're not all gluten-free due to the flavourings but they're pretty good treats without overdoing it (their Sweet & Salty flavour is gluten-free). I have to say some of the flavours were a little too adventurous for me but I did like the Chilli & Lime as it was a familiar taste but something a little different to snack on.


When I first saw these bars, I thought they would be really sugary due to their exterior...but I was wrong. They genuinely tasted very healthy, fruity and nutty. They also contain seeds, and come in nine quirky and yummy flavours such as this Himalayan Goji Summit, Persian Pomegranate Summit, Polynesian Coconut Breeze, and Quebec Cranberry Carnival. 




Not lactose-free but containing very little of it, this quirky ice cream pots contain 22g of whey protein (equivalent to one chicken breast, supports lean muscle growth and recovery), providing you with a bit of a guilt-free treat after the gym. It really does taste sweet and flavoursome, so you get the maximum sweetness and flavour of regular ice cream without all of the sugar, fat and calories. Available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavours, each 150ml tub contains just 165 calories. Apparently David Gandy, David Haye, One Direction, Sam Warburton and premiership footballers are now all incorporating the product into their fitness regime, and it can be found at a few gyms, too.

Ten Acre Crisps (check out the story behind every crisp flavour)

Most crisps will probably be gluten-free, but not completely so they may not be suitable for people with coeliac disease. These quirky Ten Acre crisps are kosher, halal and vegan-friendly and come in eight variations including When Bombay Got Spicy and The Story of When Cheese Met the Onion! The packaging is really pretty and detailed, and the flavours really tasty even though they sound a little wild! I highly recommend them, my favourite is How Chicken Soup Saved the Day - it literally tastes of chicken noodles!!!!


You all know Pom-Bears! But did you know they are gluten-free? Score! :) Great for a guilt-free snack as they are so light, too.


These cute sweets are all natural, vegan and free-from certified. Using food technology which has taken 15 years to perfect they were able to remove the meat gelatine from the sweets whilst still producing a deliciously smooth and clear consistency. There are several delicious flavours and I loved all of them. The chewy texture is slightly different to what you may be used to, but taste is just as delicious.

I hope this has helped you widen your gluten-free snack choices :) Enjoy!






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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Food: Gluten-free brekkie

Like many people, I have a slight wheat and dairy intolerance. It's probably the most common intolerance people have, and some never even notice...others have to put up with more extreme side effects and therefore resort to eating gluten-free and dairy-free foods.

From my experience so far, gluten-free foods can be rather boring, bland and expensive, but with the recent 'health trend' came lots of new brands that are starting to offer cheaper options and more importantly they are actually starting to taste good. Problem is, I think most people don't know about these brands or just resort to what they find in their local supermarket which tends to be limited choice.

I've started to test out some of these exciting foods and will let you know about all the different (and delicious) options you can buy...starting with breakfast!




A lot of people are completely dairy intolerant, but most people are more likely to just have an issue with lactose (like me). I've been drinking this Lactofree milk and having it with my cereal for years now, and the best thing about it is that it really tastes like proper milk so you're not missing out! They also do cheese and yoghurt.


I love the popular honey puff cereal so when I saw this I was really excited to find that they are just as delicious. Gluten-free and wholegrain, these oats are drizzled with honey and nice and crispy on the outside, but soft enough on the inside to soak up the milk. They were also quite nice on their own as a little snack. Only downside is that one serving has around 8g of sugar which may put some people off (not me!). How cute is the packaging?


Udi's is a brand that I wasn't aware of before, but have recently discovered. Luckily, they make bread as well as these delicious flavours of granola!


Let's not forget bread :) Bread is probably the first gluten-free product to have been on sale, so fortunately there is a lot of choice out there. Most supermarkets sell loafs of bread, but it's difficult to find bagels or anything more interesting than plain flavours. Udi's is a brand with lots of gluten-free choices including these multi seeded bagels. Some other flavours they have are sundried tomato, chocolate chip, cinnamon & raisin, and plain. 


Warburtons do a great range of gluten-free loafs of bread, with several different flavours you can use to make sandwiches, pair with eggs or something sweet. Once toasted, the texture is slightly different to normal bread, and a little more stiff than usual which is the case with all gluten-free bread. Sure, gluten-free bread will never taste the same as your sweet white soft loaf, but this comes close for sure.




Genius is another great brand that produce cakes, treats, breads and even pies and pastries. You may not find them all on your supermarket shelf, but check bigger branches or simply buy online as you will be pleasantly surprised at the variety of choice on offer!

If like me, you don't have coeliac disease or an extreme intolerance, you can of course allow yourself to have a treat once in a while, but the above should help you day to day on your quest for a healthier life. You will feel much better and eating gluten-free will eliminate that annoying bloated feeling, too.

The next part of my gluten-free food series will be on snacks and then on lunch. Enjoy and I hope this helps you with your choices.



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Monday, 21 July 2014

London: Most beautiful beer gardens

With pub closures averaging twenty-eight a week, Cuprinol, the woodcare specialist, this summer launched 'Cheers it up' - a nationwide initiative to cheer up unloved beer gardens and encourage communities to support their local. And what a perfect time to do it while Londoners are finally enjoying a hot summer!

To launch 'Cheers it up', Cuprinol announced a nationwide search for an unloved British beer garden in need of cheering up. The winning pub was rewarded with a complete makeover, and as inspiration Cuprinol completely revamped the beer garden at The Avalon pub in Clapham, London. 

The makeover took a team of 12 four days to complete, using over 120 litres of Cuprinol Garden Shades and 140 litres Cuprinol decking stain.  

I went to check it out and loved the little area in the back with the fountain...so cozy!


Before the makeover

The garden after the Curpinol makeover


My favourite little area in the pub garden



If you are in London and have some time to enjoy the sunshine this weekend, grab a Pimm's and lemonade at one of these beautiful pub gardens...


People’s Park Tavern, Victoria Park
360 Victoria Park Road, E9, (020 8533 0040)


The Ship, Wandsworth
41 Jews Row, SW18, (020 8870 9667; theship.co.uk)

The Magic Garden, Battersea
231 Battersea Park Road, SW11, (020 7622 4844;magicgardenpub.co.uk)

The Junction Tavern, Tufnell Park
101 Fortess Road, NW5, (020 7485 9400; junctiontavern.co.uk)

The Eagle, Shepherd's Bush
215 Askew Road, W12, (020 8746 0046; geronimo-inns.co.uk/london-the-eagle)

The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park
19 Perth Rd, London N4 3HB (020 7272 5834; thefullback.co.uk)

Leather Bottle, Wandsworth
538 Garratt Ln, SW17 0NY (www.leatherbottlepub.co.uk)



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Style: /jhee-von-shee/

C'mon admit it...we've all pronounced at least two of these wrong! ;) Marie Claire educates us...


















That was fun wasn't it?!



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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Home Proud: Shoe/wardrobe inspiration

Whether you have a tiny cute apartment or a whole room to fill with your goodies (I feel a little embarrassed) there are lots of ways to make it your own, with a little more charm and chic. Making my closet look nice inspires my daily wardrobe choices, and I really enjoy changing the decor a little every six months or so to freshen it up!

Here is some inspiration for you too...

Mix items on shelves (Ikea's Billy series is great) to make it look more interesting

Hang your hats for extra drama (and organisation :) ) or even display your favourite items like in a store if you have enough space

Ikea have a great sturdy clothes rail that I use that's similar to this one...great for small spaces, excess clothes or coats you want to be able to grab quickly

If you're into the hippy vibes, use the items you already have to display jewellery

Having all your shoes on display will keep reminding you of your fab collection...so you don't forget to wear them!

Keep your most precious or delicate shoes in their boxes to ensure no dust gets to those pretty heels

There are so many ways to display jewellery, and it's easy to get lots of cute hangers on your wall and miss match them wherever you want. I also wrote about vintage vanity trays you can use for perfumes, like the one in this picture (Get them on eBay)

If you are able to install wardrobes in your home, it can be really space saving like this rail that has been bolted into the wall. Create a dramatic effect with a large intricate mirror

I love how this plain ladder has been used with the frames...you could also hang your scarves on a ladder

Another hippy home inspiration...funny how a little bit of organised mess can look so pretty

Get shelves like this in Ikea (Billy range) for really cheap and proudly display your shoe collection

If you are limited to space, use Ikea's hanging shelves inside your closet



I love how this display has almost been made into a piece of art or furniture!


You can use closets as shoe shelves, if you would prefer to keep them all out of sight

Another pretty display

A girl can dream...who else has a couch in their closet?

Another great example of an inbuilt closet (a very open on though) inside a bedroom

There are companies who specialise in creating the perfect wardrobe for you...whatever your space size or needs

So pretty



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