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Christmas

Lidl Christmas Party Food

Party Food

Pardon my French but bloody hell #lidlsurprises. I’m the ‘chief shopper’ in my household which means I pick the clothes, the food and the appliances we buy. When it comes to our food shopping, my husband prefers we stick to the same place and for as long as I can remember, Tesco has been out go-to groceries store. However in recent months, I have tried breaking that mould and shopping around. We’ve occasionally done a ‘top-up’ shop at Sainsbury’s and get the odd bits from Aldi. With Christmas being such a special occasion, we go to Waitrose for that.

In all my years, never have I considered going to Lidl. The last time I stepped foot into one of their stores was when I was at secondary school and had a chocolate biscuit addiction. Mumsnet challenged me to buy party food from there. The Lidl Chrismas range were both great value and great tasting which left me pleasantly surprised.

To me Christmas is a time for family and a time to celebrate. I look forward to exchanging presents, eating my weight in food and watching an endless stream of Christmas movies. Since becoming a mum, I’ve found it to be even more important to me. I find new ways to make new traditions with my family and pass on old ones.lidl christmas

I dread slaving away in the kitchen so when I can, I slip out of having to make the turkey. Somehow, it always comes down to me. Maybe because my house is normally the central location where everyone comes to.  When I can get away with not making turkey, I go for whole chicken because everyone loves it. Well, except for the vegetarians. For them, I have a wide selection of party food and snacks to compensate.

With a £25 budget , I headed to Lidl to see how much party food I could get from the Party time range. With a packed basket I headed to the till thinking I’d be told I’ve exceeded that budget. Instead, I was told I was significantly below it and had to get more things. Here are the party food I got:

Partytime 60  Indian selection, £2.99
Christmas Hand Cooked Crisps
Premium Cracker Selection, 1,79
Partytime 12 Chicken Skewers, £1.99
Partytime 14 Vegetarian Spring Rolls, £1.99
Deluxe  12 Tempura Prawns, £1,79
Partytime 10 Gyozas, £1.99
Partytime 14 Duck Spring Rolls, £1.99

With all these food and not enough mouth to feed, I invited some friends and their kids for a girls night in. In the video below, I mention how eager I was to try the Deluxe Tempura King Prawns. My, oh my they were incredible and cost only £1.89! I left them in the oven long enough for the crispy batter coating to be really crunchy. The sweet chilli dip was slight runny but tasted AMAZING. So good, I dipped a few chips in there too. These Tempura King Prawns literally flew off the plate when they came out of the oven. I’ve had to promised to return to Lidl and get some more because even the kids liked them.

Another thing that was quite enjoyable were the Premium Crackers Selection. For £1.79, you get a selection of six multigrain, whole wheat and poppy seed crackers. My nephews who are super fussy and hate trying new things loved them. As they ran around the house, they’d stop to take some and eat. It was an absolute pleasure having everyone over. It truly felt like Christmas day with all the food and people around.

The least favourite from the Partytime range were probably the Indian Selections. I’m not much of an Indian food fan so maybe I should have cooked half and save the rest for another day. In hindsight, the 60 Oriental snack selection might have been a better option or perhaps even both seeing as they cost a mere £3.99 each. The snack selection of vegetable samosas, onion bhajis and vegetable pakoras were very pocket-friendly and definitely something to serve if you are expecting a lot of people.

I cannot tell you how happy I was that all the food cooked at the same temperature of 190C. I really hate cooking frozen food that require different cooking times. Everything went straight in the oven from freezer. In addition, even for the small price tags attached to them, they didn’t taste like generic frozen foods. Each item had enough flavour to have your taste buds dancing.

My nearest store was the Woolwich branch. After a recent renovation, it nice and clean. Things are pretty easy to find and when they are not, the staff are willing to help. As someone who prefers shopping online, I appreciate all the help I can get when I have to shop in-store. As previously mentioned, I was pleasantly surprised with my visit to Lidl and will definitely be going back to get the Oriental Snack Selection and Deluxe Tempura Prawns and maybe a few other bits.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post

 

Christmas Gift Guide for Women

Christmas Gift Guide for Women

Ohhh Christmas is coming. Only 24 days to go now and I can’t contain my excitement. I went shopping on Oxford Street last week and it really got me into the festive spirit. Last week, I compiled a christmas gift guide for kids and this week I have one for women. I know a lot of bloggers are doing these. Its a great way to find gift ideas. Majority of the stuff on the list are something I would definitely want someone to get me. It consists of lingerie, chocolate, wine and music. All the things that make my life fun! A couple of products on the list like Green & Black Chocolate, the Idea Radiance Trio and Spotify are things I can’t live without!

 Christmas Gift Guide for Women

  1.  This illy Francis Francis Y3 IperEspresso machine caught my eye because of the colour. It also comes in Orange!
  2.  Halo sport headband , created to help keep sweat away from the face are also fashion forward!
  3.  I really like these Sophie Anderson handwoven bags. Especially the bucket style one with orange pom poms.
  4. Lloyds Pharmacy stocks a wide range of celebrity perfumes like Cheryl Cole’s Storm Flower
  5. Lingerie is not just for valentine’s day. This set is from french brand Maison Lejaby is so pretty.
  6. Both Taylor Swift and Sam Smith released such amazing albums this year. Albumcards  is a personalised greetings card plus music gift, all in one!
  7. It’s no secret I love Timex watches for their stylish yet simplistic designs that us why I think they make great gifts.
  8. If it’s a present that lasts all year round you are after then I think a Baylis and Harding gift set is the way to go. The one pictured is the Sweet Mandarin and Grapefruit Slipper set from Lloyds Pharmacy.
  9. I still remember the first time I had Green and Blacks. It was this time two years ago and since then its been a love affair. They are the perfect festive season snack in from of the TV watching Netflix.
  10. For just £6.00, this Vaseline Make Up Bag collection is a bargain. It comes with a make up bag ( of course ) a Hand and Nail lotion and a Lip Therapy rosy lips.
  11. Yes, another lingerie set. This time by Edge O’ Beyond.  I really like the blue negligee.
  12.  Spotify makes a great gift for someone with an eclectic taste in music. They have gift cards that can be bought online or from selected retailers like The Co-operative, Homebase, Argos, Morrisons and Tesco.
  13. These Diva Pro hairdryers, are mesmerising. The colours are so vibrant.
  14. Michelin starred Kinloch Lodge Hotel Isle of Skye has a range of luxury festive food gift packages.
  15. A spa with a difference Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa also happen to do gift vouchers.
  16. From the Miranda Kerr for Royal Albert  teacup collection, this teacup is available to buy from House of Fraser, John Lewis, Selfridges, Fenwicks, and Harrods.
  17. Edinburgh Woollen Mill Headband 
  18. I have been using the Amway Artistry Ideal Radiance Illuminating Essence for about 6 months and now swear by it. I use it as a primer and the result is amazing. This gift set comes with a Moisture Cream and Spot Corrector.
  19. I have had my hair in its natural state for a few years and I finally know what works well for me. Anything with Argan Oil like this Creightons Argon Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner. 
  20.  Make up Eraser does the job of removing make up without the need of cleansers. Sounds like a life changing gift for make up lovers!
  21. Tictail sounds like the place to go if you are looking for creative and unique gifts like the pictured unicorn print cushion or Celine Earrings by Marina Celi.
  22. OMG doesn’t The Chapel Down Vine lease scheme sounds like it was set up for moments when a bottle of wine just isn’t enough? Either way it makes a cool gift for wine lovers.
  23. The Discovery Mixed Duo Gift Box by Laithwaite comes with two bottles. One red and one white for £20
  24. Chocolate Ecstasy Tour.
  25. Chocolate Boutique Hotel Hamper

Christmas Jumper Day

Christmas Jumper Day

This year, Christmas Jumper Day in on Friday 12th December. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is an annual fundraising day organised by Save the Children. There are a host of retailers including Ikea, Bulgari, Costa and George at Asda joining in to ‘make the world better with a sweater‘.

Save the Children are asking as many people as possible to join in by either customising and wearing an existing jumper or buying one . George at Asda have already launched their range of jumpers for men, women and kids with prices starting from £12. They are hoping to raise £750,000 to help Save the Children’s work in the UK. The full range is pictured but you can also view it here

Christmas Jumper Day

For Wonen

Christmas Jumper Day

For Kids

Christmas Jumper Day

For Men

There are also other ways to join in. Renowned knitter Sue Stratford has specially designed two knitting patterns. You can choose from a mini Christmas Jumper bunting pattern or a mini knitted penguin donning his own Christmas jumper to create a cute decoration to hang on your tree. There is also a christmas jumper card designs to try out or and Gingerbread recipe. All the fun activities can be seen here

It’s really easy to take part – all you have to do is sign up at christmasjumperday.org, get family, friends and colleagues involved, make, borrow or buy a festive sweater, wear it on Friday 12 December and donate! We’re asking grown-ups for a suggested donation of £2 and school children for £1, and to recognise your generous support, the government will double your money – matching every pound you give. To donate via text message, please text JUMPER or JTTW ( to add to my team total ) to 70050 to donate £2 straight to Save the Children.

You can share pictures on Twitter using #xmasjumperday or on Facebook www.facebook.com/christmasjumperday. For more information please visit Save the Children

Ella’s Kitchen ‘jingle belly’ Christmas Dinner

Ella's Kitchen ‘jingle belly' Christmas Dinner

Its no secret that I love Ella’s Kitchen! I blogged about there Weeny Weaning Restaurant that I attended with Amelia a while back.

This Christmas they making my love for them reach new levels with their jingle belly Christmas Dinner. Which essentially is a christmas dinner in a pinch suitable for babies aged 7months and above. This is the perfect way to include weaning babies in the christmas dinner tradition. The jingle belly pouch contains , carrot, parsnips, red cabbage, potatoes, sprouts, cranberry  and of course turkey! So they are not missing out on all the christmas trimming!

Ella's Kitchen ‘jingle belly' Christmas Dinner

For every pouch of the jingle belly christmas dinner sold, Ella’s Kitchen will donate 30p to Kids Company  in order to help them provide food for disadvantaged children and their families on Christmas Day. We all know how hard the christmas period can be especially for the less fortunate. That is why it is nice to see a brand trying to make a difference. To donate to Kids Company and help them feed thousands of vulnerable little ones this Christmas, go to www.kidsco.org.uk/donate

The Ella’s Kitchen ‘jingle belly’ Christmas Dinner costs £1.39 and is available from Tesco now. For more  information, visit www.ellaskitchen.co.uk

Food | Eat your heart out, it’s Christmas

Food for Christmas, Food Gifts

I don’t now about you but one of the things I look forward to during the festive season is the food. Its like an all you can eat buffet that lasts for days if not weeks. I love grabbing a box of chocolate and sitting by the TV with the family.

Food for Christmas, Food Gifts

1. Carluccio’s Christmas Festive Hamper ( £65.00 ) is jam packed with classic Italian foods like ragu, wheat pasta and even a bottle of prosecco.

2. Green and Black Connoisseur Collection has such a wide range to chose from and even comes with a tasting wheel which tells you which chocolate is great paired with something else.

3.Cadbury Roses ( £9.19 ) is one of the many chocolates I enjoy during the festive period. I personally like going through the tin and eating my favourites till what’s left is the flavour no one wants.

4. Black Vanilla have brought out 6 very festive flavour this season. They are Mince pie gelato, Turkey and cranberry gelato, Mulled wine sorbetto, Brandy Butter Gelato, Panettone Gelato and a Christmas Pudding flavour. The Mulled wine flavour does sound very tempting.

5. Fabulously Fox’s assorted biscuit tin and a cup of tea = perfection. My favourite is the Chunkie Cookie, then the Viennesse, then the… Ok ill stop.

6. We all know about Moonpig.com. But did you know they do even more cool stuff like this Personalised Beer selection with Tankard ( £20.00 )

7.Another great gift from Moonpig.com, a personalised Christmas hamper with a bottle of wine, cheddar cheese, fruit cake and more.

8. Some mouth watering  Chutneys from English Provender.

9. Shared these Thornton Christmas model ( £10.00 ) chocolate with my daughter last year and she loved them. Can’t wait to have them again this year.

10. Butler’s Christmas Chocolate collection is comes with a selection of 12 alcohol free chocolate truffles, pralines and many other flavours.