Sunday, 25 November 2012

#silentsunday



Love All Blogs

Weekly weigh in: maintaining my weight

By George, I think I've got it. After achieving my weight loss goal this week, I've been switching over from 'diet' lifestyle to 'healthy' lifestyle and, this week at least, I seem to have struck the balance of food and exercise (and treats) just right.



Start weight: 9st 2lbs
Target weight: 8st 8lbs
This week: -2lb
Total loss: -10lb
Current weight: 8st 5lb
BMI: 21.58

And my total weightloss since May is:




Admittedly I've been off work for 4 days this week, so it's been significantly easier to put in an appearance at the gym. I've been 5 times in fact, each time cycling the 25 minutes into town and back just to go to the gym! I've done a step class, zumba, swimming and a tone class, aqua aerobics and another go at zumba. It's been loads of fun because I have no work stress and I'm spending my time doing what I want!

I've made lots of sensible food choices as well - making an incredibly healthy pumpkin soup with the last of our homegrown pumpkin for example. I've kept portions under control - having one slice of toast when normally I would have two and so forth. I've also been not behaving myself. I made a bakewell tart yesterday, I've had the odd glass of wine here and there. I've basically not been too hard on myself and I feel like I've made a real lifestyle shift. Let's hope so! I've decided that my best weight range is between 8 and 8 1/2 stone. Realistically I can go up to 9 and still be healthy, but that's really where I start to feel uncomfortable (I would think I was about 9 st 5 or 9 1/2 stone in the picture below for example).

And here's the dreaded before and after picture. I didn't dare ask The Boy to take a picture of me because it felt a bit weird, so hopefully you can make the comparison. Here's me on my holiday in Spain in March, looking at my post-smoking, blubbery best. I look weirdly pregnant, but it is pure crisps. And then me now...



Good luck and thank you to all my diet buddies who have supported me over the last few months. Check out their progress this week:
Cheryl
Jane
Mum Reinvented
And everyone else who hasn't posted yet this week!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

COMPETITION: Crystals and Gems Christmas Royal Pack

I hope you enjoyed reading my review of Crystals and Gems self adhesive gems. I've already had a lot of fun, making things sparkly ready for Christmas, and now you have the opportunity to win a Christmas Royal Pack like mine, all to yourself!


The Christmas Royal Pack, at the time of writing, is on sale for £7.99 and is plenty enough to add sparkle to 10 or more Christmas cards. All of the patterns are adhered together so you do not have to place the gems individually and you will get a perfect result every time. It's a lovely prize. Just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. If you have any trouble with it, try refreshing the page a couple of times, Rafflecopter widgets can be a little temperamental sometimes!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 22 November 2012

REVIEW: Crystals & Gems self adhesive gems

The exciting package I received!
I featured the Crystals and Gems studding equipment in a post a few weeks ago - big congratulations to Amanda for winning the competition! Now they have sent me a lovely set of self adhesive gems - a special Christmas set, which I was massively excited to receive!

Crystals and Gems are a lovely little company, the embellishment  part of Bijoux by Me, a jewellery making company who, amongst other things can help teach you to make your own Shamballa bracelets - all the rage right now!

I received a Christmas Royal pack of gems, a set of self adhesive stars and a pack of 6 silver floral designs. The Christmas pack is really cute, containing prancing reindeers, Christmas trees, snowflakes, holly, Christmas wreaths, "Merry Christmas" slogans and green and red gem strips. I was quite surprised that all of the gems in a design are all stuck together - I was quite looking forward to the challenge of recreating the design, but luckily Crystals and Gems are more progressively minded than me and have realised that I'd probably mess it up and take FOREVER if they didn't have the design ready for me to pick up in one easy step!

So, armed with my lovely gem tool with its attractive blue glittery handle, and feeling a little bit like an extra out of Thelma's Gypsy Girls, I got to glamming up my first project.* This was a little tutu that I had bought for a friend's little girl for Christmas. I knew I wanted to perk the plain black tutu up a bit to make it a better fancydress outfit, but I hadn't decided what to do with it. I added self adhesive stars and actually cut up the red and green strip into individual gems to give the tutu more coverage. The picture doesn't really do it justice, but the skirt has about 30 stars on, interspersed with green and red gems including one on ever single tassle along the bottom. It's really eye catching now and I hope the girl in question will love getting this as part of her Christmas box from us! I definitely enjoyed working on it too!



The process is really easy, just use the tool to lift the gem and its adhesive off the backing layer and add it to the required surface. You can add it to fabric, metal, paper, card, even skin! You know I am putting "Merry Christmas" somewhere inappropriate on myself this party season. No really, I really am.

In the spirit of the season, I pimped some other items so that you can get some ideas of the flexibility of these gems. Here's my prancing reindeer candle, great for the Christmas table:



Or making your Christmas cards that little bit more special this year:



I really think these are lovely. They're really easy to apply and the adhesive is very strong, so I really wouldn't hesitate to try these on any material. I give them an easy 9 out of 10 Extreme Points because they do everything I want, I would just also like to be able to get hold of a set of the small gems individually so that I could use them to make up my own designs. These are available in silver or multi colours so I think I will be investing soon. It's worth noting that of course, they have a much wider range beyond the Christmas stuff. 

What would you add a little sparkle to?

* As an aside I'd really like to point out that I absolutely love that the tool for easy application of the gems is called a 'pokey tool' on the Crystals and Gems website. That's what it does and therefore that's what it is. Makes me happy.

REVIEW: Sunrise Pro Electronic Cigarette

Advanced Sunrise Alarm Clock
We were sent the Sunrise Pro Electronic Cigarette to test out from Paramount Zone. Paramount Zone is a great little gift website which has some lovely gift ideas on it to suit all budgets. I had a little browse around and found many things that I would like as well as lots of things that will be great for Christmas gifts. Personally I would really like the Advanced Sunrise Alarm Clock as winter really makes me sluggish and grouchy so something that would wake me up more naturally would be a bonus, particularly for £19.99 which is considerably cheaper than similar products I have seen before! Paramount Zone also has uber desireable goodies such as the Dali-esque Melting Clock, the walkie talkie watches and the sub-£40 massage chair... Well, Christmas is coming up - I might as well get my hints in now!!

 As I quit smoking nearly a year ago (356 days in fact!) I wasn't able to test this product, but the Boy is still going on the rollies and was more than happy to give it a go as I think he's got bored with the whole smoking thing too, particularly since I am not sharing it with him anymore!


The pack comes with a cigarette style box which contains the two parts of the metal cigarette, two business card sized instruction leaflets, just the two pages, and the charger, while the little bottle comes with the refills which contain the nicotine.

Upon opening the pack, the Boy quickly read the instructions and charged up the cigarette. It comes with a black or platinum finish, and screws together easily with one of the little refills in the centre. It's really simple to operate. Once charged, you just suck and go! You can see the Boy's initial thoughts here:


His main feedback was twofold - that he would prefer a flavoured version that actually tastes more like tobacco, rather than the plain cartridges, which actually have no flavour. He also said that he would like some kind of carry case or pouch, which is not supplied with the pack. This would be useful to stop "pocket fluff" from getting on to it. The Boy assures me that everyone has Pocket Fluff and it's not just him. I will give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

Other than the flavour, it seems that the smoke was a little thin, but good. These products are marketed as a slightly healthier alternative to cigarettes that you can smoke inside, rather than a stop smoking aid, but I'm hoping the Boy will use his as a springboard to stopping smoking. I allowed him, as you can see from the video, to test it inside (normally he gets kicked out in the garden) so that I could see what the smell was like and to my surprise there was actually nothing at all. This apparently is vapouriser technology, rather than anything actually being on fire, so there is no smell to the smoke or left in the room afterwards.

The Boy scored it 7 out of 10 - taking into account the problems he noticed, but he actually quite liked it. Time will tell if it helps him to quit the regular ciggies. I hope so and if it does I will definitely give it a full 10 out of 10 Extreme Points for helping to give me a few more years with my lovely husband!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Psychedelic Afghan

You may have noticed that I have been a little quiet on the craft blogging front of late. That is because I've been 'immersed' in a single project. Well, not really or I would have finished it a lot earlier. It's basically taken me months on end to complete this project because I've not been devoting as much time as I should to it and therefore I'm way behind on my Christmas craft projects. No one to blame but myself though. Still, now it's done it feels like nine months well spent.

But after four evenings of sewing in ends (which I hate as much as all crocheters), my blanket is finally finished. Many thanks and all credit goes to Tracy St John who developed the pattern, which you can find here. I followed it faithfully, until I came to the finishing border, at which point I did my own thing.

This will be a Christmas present for a certain someone. I'm not entirely sure whether they will read this or not, but they'll not know until they open their present, at which point they'll have their present anyway. I guess it doesn't matter. I also wanted to show that I've not been neglecting my crafting duties and hopefully, more regular crafty blogness will resume from here.




Late Weigh In

Bit late in the day for my usual Sunday weigh in this week, due to being away visiting my grandparents at the weekend and generally having a bit of a nasty cold. So I wasn't really expecting miracles, but after attending the gym and a step class yesterday, I thought I'd jump on the scales this morning, just to see.

And what do you know?


Start weight: 9st 2lbs
Target weight: 8st 8lbs
This week: -1lb
Total loss: -8lb
Current weight: 8st 7lb
BMI: 21.99 (target 22)

I done it! I have reached my weight loss goal! Since beginning to lose the weight that I gained since quitting smoking I have been on a concerted weightloss journey for about 7 months. I have been enjoying the support of my lovely Diet blogger buddies for about 4 months (thanks ladies!) and in total I have lost 7 kilos since May taking me to my target weight (the start weight above was calculated when I started blogging about things).

I'm very pleased with myself. I've worked hard and I feel like I've made sustainable lifestyle changes - but not too many! I am sat here with a glass of wine right now actually, but I did cycle to town earlier just to go to zumba, then cycled straight back, so it all seems to be balancing out.

Now begins the true test, the bit that no-one ever really seems to blog about - maintaining a healthy weight. For that reason, I intend to keep going with my weekly weigh ins, at least at first, so I can track my progress. My healthy weight range is anywhere within the 8 stone region - so I am exactly in the centre at the moment. I can suffer to lose a couple more pounds, but not too many more. My goal now is to get myself more toned. Who knows, maybe even a crop top next Spring to celebrate my 30th birthday?

PS. Take that Fat Belly!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Vegetarian Chilli

Some people, crazy people, don't eat meat. This isn't normally much of a problem for me as we don't mix with their kind. Today, however, I foolishly invited one over for dinner. That'll learn me. I was also had too much on to spend as much time as I would have liked making a nice veggie Sunday Roast, so I knew in all practicality, I had to make a slow cooker special. Once again, calorifically, it is excellent for you - so hopefully some of you will enjoy recreating it!

Vegetarian Chilli
Serves 6 
(6 hungry people, this is a lot of chilli!)
Throw in the slow cooker...

Ingredients

2 onions
3 cloves garlic
2 red chillis
1 green pepper
200g mushrooms
1 cup dry green lentils
300g chickpeas
1 tin red kidney beans
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder or flakes
4 tbsp tinned spinach
After three hours...
1.5 tins worth of cold water
2 tsps cornflour, slaked with water
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Chop your onions, garlic, chillis, mushrooms and green pepper.
  • Put all the ingredients except the cornflour in your slow cooker.
  • Cook on high for five hours.
  • One hour before the end, taste for seasoning and add the cornflour to thicken.
  • Serve with rice, cheese on top, sour cream, some wraps or pitta, some shredded lettuce, perhaps some tomato - whatever you fancy really!


Simple as that!
The finished product, with four portions taken out!

The nutritional value per serving (assuming this recipe serves 6, but it could quite easily stretch to 8 with accompaniments) is as follows:

209 calories
1.3g fat
0.2g sat fat
39g carbohydrate
11.8g fibre
3.2g sugar
11.9g protein
38% RDA Vitamin A
55% RDA Vitamin C
10% RDA Calcium
23% Iron

Low calorie, low fat and delicious. Maybe add some wine during the cooking process and a lot of sour cream and cheese to make it more decadent!!


#silentsunday

Weekly Weigh in: Week 15

Well, it has been my first week off Jenny Craig, and I have had a lot of 'going out' type things to do which were always going to be slightly problematic. I made sure I get the week off to a really good start though, as you may have seen by some of my low calories recipes. Since then, I've had the wine, I've had the cake. I've also made sure I've walked, cycled, done zumba, swimming and yoga and so I am quite pleased that I have still managed a little loss this week! This week should not be so problematic, so maybe I will get to goal?


Start weight: 9st 2lbs
Target weight: 8st 8lbs
This week: -1lb
Total loss: -7lb
Current weight: 8st 9lb
BMI: 22.19 (target 22)


My total weight loss since I started using MyFitnessPal in May 2012

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Butternut Squash and Gungo Pea Soup

As the eternal quest to get slim continues, I though you'd all appreciate the opportunity to see what we've had for our tea tonight, as once again I am proud of the extremely low calorie and fat content. 

You could make it thicker or thinner with more or less water. If you do't have gungo or pigeon peas, I think flagolet or even kidney beans would work instead. I enjoyed this soup because it was spicy but still creamy and ever so slightly sweet from the squash. And of course, another vegetarian special. So here is tonight's offering:

Butternut Squash and Gungo Pea Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients

250g butternut squash, cubed
200g gungo peas (pre soaked and boiled)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 stock cube
2 tsp jerk seasoning
2 chillis, chopped
boiling water
salt and pepper to taste
50g light creme fraiche

Method

Lightly dry fry the onion and squash until softened slightly in a large saucepan.
Add the jerk seasonig and cook out for a short while.
Add the chilli, peas and fry lightly for another minute or two.
Add a pint and a half or so of water, to make a good amount of soup.
Simmer for 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is soft. Take the soup off the heat.
Add the creme fraiche and blitz the soup until smooth. 
Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

And the big nutritional information for this delicious offering?

Per portion (4 in this recipe) you get:
105 cals
2.1g fat
1.2g sat fat
18.3g carbohydrate
4.7g fibre
0.4g sugar
3.8g protein
70% RDA Vit A
16.9% RDA Vit C
4.5% RDA Calcium
4.5% RDA Iron

I was so pleased with this that I allowed myself a slice of bread and some spread to go with it!
Enjoy!



I calculate the nutritional values of my recipes using this website
I cannot be held responsible if this information is not spot on, it's only intended as a guide!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Rice and Peas

Since finishing my Jenny Craig trial I've been trying to find healthy meals to cook for us, as well as using up some of the vast stockpile of food in the dry cupboard. I soaked and then slow cooked the last of a pack of dry gungo peas (pigeon peas) overnight and while I was out at work today and now I am using a lot of them for rice and peas, the Jamaican classic. The rest I will make into a pea soup with other veg or perhaps a pea masala tomorrow. This is my rice and pea recipe, I am in no way claiming any authenticity. There is, for example, tinned spinach in my version, because there is a large open tin in the fridge, and we are running out of other vegetables today!

Lo-Lo's Rice and Peas
Serves 5

Ingredients

200g uncooked basmati rice
250g gungo peas, pre soaked and boiled until soft
1 tin of coconut milk
1 tin of water
2 large onions, chopped (I used one white and one red)
A few spoonfuls of tinned spinach
3 cloves garlic
2 chillis, chopped (or more/less according to taste)
2 tsp Jamaican Jerk seasoning (a cheat but worth it)
1 stock cube
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Chop your onions, garlic and chilli and soften in the olive oil until translucent.
  • Add the Jerk seasoning and stir in.
  • Add the cooked peas, uncooked rice to the onion mixture and fry lightly for a few minutes.
  • Add the stock cube, tin of coconut milk and same amount of water.
  • Bring it all to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes. I put it on low and covered with a lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  • Make sure it doesn't catch on the bottom.
  • When most of the liquid is absorbed, stir in the spinach and check the seasoning. Heat for a final minute.
  • Serve and enjoy! We had it on it's own, but you could use some more of that seasoning to make yourself some Jerk Chicken to go with it...

Nutritional Information per Serving (One fifth of the recipe)

172.4 calories
2.4g fat
0.2g sat fat
0 cholesterol
31g carbohydrate
5.2g dietary fibre
Negligible sugar
6.8g protein
42% RDA Vit A
13.6% RDAVit C
17.7% RDA Iron
7.7% Calcium

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Trialling Jenny Craig and weekly weigh in week 14

My last week of my 28 day trial of the Jenny Craig programme is now over. There are less photos of meals to post than other weeks due to there being more repetition this week. There are also some meals that I haven't tried yet, due to eating out and what have you. I've got a few days worth of food left to have and if I remember to photograph it, I will post about it next week!

Sunday
This was a porridge day. There was a lot of that this week. I was supposed to have sweet and sour noodles for lunch, but as I'm really not fussed on them, I swapped them out for the Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad and let the Boy have the noodles! Dinner was the Succulent Beef Casserole with Black Velvet Porter and Potatoes. I added some sweetcorn and chickpeas for my starch and a spoon of creme fraiche for a fat. It was a nice meal, although there weren't really any decent sized pieces of beef and I couldn't taste the Porter in the sauce. It was a nice, warming, savoury meal though. After this I finished the day off with a bag of JC crisps.
Monday
Monday was a chocolate wholewheat flake day followed by a portion of chorizo and mixed bean soup for lunch. All simple enough! For dinner, I made feta stuffed mini peppers, which you can read a little more about here. I served these with JC Mushroom Stroganoff, which tasted quite creamy, but was otherwise quite an unremarkable dish, with a slightly off putting murky grey colouring!

For my snacks on Monday I had a coffee with semi-skimmed milk (I usually drink black tea with a sweetner in so I don't bother recording that) and a bag of JC crisps.

Tuesday
After another porridge start, I had a pot potato with rosemary and croutons with the remainder of my stuffed peppers for lunch. This was a very tasty meal, but I had no opportunity to take a photo because I was having lunch at a different office.

For dinner was yet another Chicken Chasseur packet, which I wasn't really grumbling about as it is one of the nicest meals, if rather gloopy! I added aubergine, peppers, red onion which I roasted in the oven and also a tablespoon of sweetcorn which was languishing at the bottom of the tin and needed eating up. I also added some creme fraiche, even though I wasn't really supposed to, because JC has made me a bit addicted to adding creme fraiche to any goop-based meal to make it taste creamier!!

I had a cereal bar for my snack and did a Zumba class in the evening, so my calorie count for the day overall was very low.

Wednesday
There was yet more porridge in the morning, and then I had to have lunch out at another site. I had a tuna sandwich with pesto and lettuce, some orange juice, grapes and strawberries, which I thought could probably have been a lot worse if I put my mind to it. Then I kind of messed up the whole day by going out with friends and drinking a few glasses of red. I managed to resist the cakes which I was repeatedly offered, although I did cave in and eat a few of my friends chips. When we got home, I got back on the JC, having the Thai Vegetable Curry with water chestnuts. The Boy made this for me and added aubergine and a sprinkling of feta on the top. It was actually rather a large sprinkling. So that wasn't really a very good day diet-wise, but I did enjoy it! I had done quite a lot of cycling though.


Thursday
Yoghurt flakes for breakfast gave way to a pot potato with peas and carrots for lunch, to which I added chickpeas, chopped pepper and a sprinkle of feta. It was actually very delicious - I was feeling really hungry and I really enjoyed the meal. I think after my initial confusion at instant mash being considered a meal on JC, I have started to quite enjoy how nice and creamy it is. I might have to figure out how to recreate the flavour for an easy lunch without adding tonnes of dairy calories!!

I had a biscuit at work, an iced party ring, which I was delighted to discover was only 31 calories! I was pleased that I just had the one too... That evening, I joined a new gym. I've finished paying off my student loan now, so I'm using the spare cash that I will be getting each month for this. So, I went for a lovely swim in the evening and then cycled home.


For dinner, I had the beef tortellini in tomato sauce which I had been looking forward to since I first opened the Jenny Craig food parcel up at the beginning! I added aubergine (I got 4 aubergine's for £1 at the market at the beginning of the week, that's why I've been having aubergine with everything!) and some creme fraiche and while it was not an unpleasant meal, it was sadly not everything I had been hoping for. It was perhaps a slight step up from the 'tinned ravioli' flavour of the lasagne, but not much. I think the pasta dishes are the real weakness of Jenny Craig for me, perhaps because pasta is one of my favourites I find it quite disappointing! It was a bag of crisps for my snack and that was that!

Friday
This was my real bad day this week. It started off well with JC porridge. However, then I was at an off site meeting with a rather delicious buffet. I had 2 little sausage type rolls, tuna mayo, chicken tikka and egg mini sandwiches, some Tyrrell's crisps, and a rather tasty piece of Rocky Road cake. Ooops. That's pretty much my day's calories right there...

Then I got home and went to a friend's leaving do, where I drank rather a lot (although not as much as I would have done in the past) of red wine, ate cake and ate yet more crisps. The Boy also gave me some of his homemade curry and rice when we got home because I hadn't had any proper dinner. So that was pretty much a write off really.


Saturday
Back on the wagon, with chocolate wholewheat flakes for breakfast and the JC Pasta in Cream Sauce for lunch. To this I added a couple of big tablespoons of tinned spinach, which made it difficult to stir and make up, but tasted great because it was spinach flavoured with a hint of a creamy sauce in the background. Most satisfying.

I was very good in the morning, as I had been to the gym and done a zumba class followed by half an hour swim (which of course I cycled to and from) so I was feeling very virtuous. For dinner, I again stuck to the programme and had the Lamb Hotpot with added aubergine and spinach and a dab of creme fraiche. I love those big tins of spinach, I put it in everything and everything comes out spinach flavoured. Which meant I have no real idea what the JC hotpot tastes like, it certainly couldn't compete with all the veg I'd added. It was nice to have some pieces of potato in there though. All my meals for the next few days will be this slightly sludge green colour I think.


Because I'd been so good with my exercise in the morning, and because the Boy went out and had 4 pints after his rehearsal without inviting me, I decided I'd earned a small glass of wine in the evening. Conveniently forgetting all the crap I'd eaten on Friday, obviously. And so, it is no great surprise that I stood on the wii this morning and it told me I had stayed the same. Actually, there was a slight increase in my BMI, so I have put a little on despite all my hard exercise work. Serves me right.
Start weight: 9st 2lbs
Target weight: 8st 8lbs
This week: 0
Total loss: -6lb
Current weight: 8st 10lb
BMI: 22.43 (target 22)


Doing the Jenny Craig plan has been quite an interesting experience. It has definitely taught me quite a lot about where I was going wrong with portion size, but I'm not sure what else. I haven't thought much of the consultations, but I think that's because that kind of touchy feely American crap isn't really up my street. I think for the quality of the food that you get and the amount of fresh veg, dairy etc. that you need to buy to supplement it, it doesn't really represent particularly excellent value for money, however I really believe that if you follow the plan, it will work, so in that respect if you are willing to pay for results then it is worth it. 


#silentsunday

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Money Saving Expert?

I entered to become the UK's Smartest Shopper with Savoo and somehow, I was selected for the top 10. So last week, I was invited down to London for an interview and sadly yesterday I was told that I had not been selected. Gutted. Not sure who did win yet, I'm sure it will be announced in due course. But my congratulations to the winner.

I've been tweeting a couple of the finalists on Twitter and they are really lovely people. In particular I would recommend you check out Claire's blog, A boy with Asperger's. She's a truly inspirational woman and a great writer, so I'm pretty shocked that she didn't win either!

Me and the judges

It's been a weird week, the more I thought about the competition, the more excited I got about potentially getting a well promoted blog about money saving which I could use to share my hints and tips with the world.  And of course, there was a £10k prize, which I would have used to slash the mortgage and fulfil a life ambition by going to Rio Carnival next year. And getting a laptop that works. And more. Ah well, easy come easy go. 

Also a bit gutted that I wasted one of my precious days off with The Boy going for the interview now, but at least I managed to spend a couple of hours catching up with an old friend in London while I was there (obviously I'm not bitter or anything).

So, now you're just stuck with my blogging here. Ray Mears Extreme Housewifery lives on, with not a money saving hint in sight! I'm keeping them all to myself, mwuh ha ha haaaa! Nah, not really. Would you be interested in me blogging about ways to save money, slash your grocery costs, and never pay full price for anything? If you're interested then I can make it so, just let me know in the comments below.

I'm a poet and I didn't know it.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Online fame at last!

Woowee - Ray Mears Extreme Housewifery has just hit 150,000 page views over its existence! It makes me very proud. Thank you all so much for coming along and reading my garbled rubbish, it's very cool that you've stopped by. I feel like a legend in my own lunchtime. 

Indeed, today I discovered that I truly have hit the big time when it comes to internet fame. Nevermind the world record breaking toast mosaic, now me, The Boy and our friends are on Google Street View! I shit you not... Here's the proof!


Ironically, this was taken on the day I actually blogged about, if you missed it you can read up on my thoughts about Mem-Saab, Leicester here.

So once again, thanks for stopping by. Here's to hoping I can think of something vaguely interesting to write about tomorrow, and the next day, and so forth. Take her easy people.

REVIEW AND COMPETITION: The Cushion Union

I was asked to review some products for The Cushion Union recently, which I was very happy to do as they have some truly awesome designs! The Cushion Union is a relatively new business, selling high quality cushions, with contemporary (and darn funky!) designs. 

They do not supply their wares to any other website, so The Cushion Union Shop is literally the only place to get these high end designs. If you like kitsch, you'll love them. Vintage? They got it. Something cutesy for the kids? Come on in. Definitely worth having a look I would say.


Unbleached cotton
All the designs are printed and applied by hand on to 100% natural, unbleached cotton cover, with a polyester cushion pad inside. The Cushion Union is currently having a sale, so each cushion is £29.99 instead of £39.99 and this includes delivery. I was sent three of their cushions to have a good test and I have to say the quality is excellent. The unbleached cotton means that the cushions have a nice, off white and slightly uneven feel to them, although as you can see from my photos this doesn't show up from a distance. The cushion pad that they are supplied with is very squidgy and comfortable, in fact I spent this afternoon testing them out on my office chair and I can confirm that they give an extremely comfortable edge to even the most dull office chair like mine. I imagine on my sofa they would be more blissful, but I'm too lazy to take them home on The Tank at the moment.

The quality of the cushion cover's stitching is great. The three main seams are held together with an interlocked edge inside, and there is a neat, matching stitch to hold the zip in place. I am very confident that these would last well in any household. The designs are bright, bold and of robust quality without looking tacky or contrived. They are machine washable and will stand up to all sorts of punishment. 

As you can see from my pictures, the images on the website really are what you can expect to get on your cushion when you receive it. This cutesy toy deer design is adorable. I would imagine its aimed at little girls and this would add a really nice touch to a little girl's bedroom decor, but personally I know a lot of, shall we say, more mature girlies, who would be more than happy to receive this as a gift and have it take pride of place in their living rooms!!


I also had a looksee at the cheese plant leaf cushion and the retro telephone design, which is also on The Cushion Union logo. These are perhaps more adult friendly designed, but still with a real feel of kitsch cool about them. I can just imagine the cheese plant leaf design in a bright, airy conservatory. The vintage telephone is just so cool that it would fit just about anywhere - lounge, bedroom, any room where cushions are required (which is just about anywhere in the house if you ask me - I am a bit of a cushion addict!



So, that's my thoughts - I will happily award 10 out of 10 Extreme Points for these products. The quality is there and the designs are unique and desireable. And now, the moment you've all been waiting for... The chance to win a Cushion Union cushion of your very own!! They have kindly offered to provide a cushion and a goodie bag to three lucky winners. Get entering on the Rafflecopter widget below, and good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...