Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Have a delicious Easter with Hotel Chocolat - White Chocolate 'Scrambled Egg'

When I received the Valentines Sleekster from Hotel Chocolat, last month, I also got a booklet which showcased the Hotel Chocolat easter range which I thought looked fantastic. As such, when I was asked to try out something from the range I was rather happy to say yes. 

I absolutely love white chocolate so picking the white chocolate 'Scrambled Egg' was very easy, especially as Hotel Chocolat make a particularly good white chocolate! The egg is, mostly, pure white chocolate but, as you can see, it has the fantastic looking milk and dark swirls worked in to the front (which is how the egg gets the name). The same design is used on the chocolates accompanying which really helps to make the set so complete; yet another example of Hotel Chocolat making the effort to focus on important little details. 

When I saw that the little box of chocolates were pralines I wasn't too sure how well they'd work, I felt that praline and white chocolate might not be the perfect match for me. As it happens I was wrong. These chocolates are really rather delicious, the white chocolate and praline, together, isn't too sweet (which was my concern), they balance really nicely and I could eat 20 of them, never mind 6!

And doesn't the egg look rather beautiful? I love how the design has a contemporary feel to it and it's quite different from the sorts of effects you get on the types of eggs you might, ordinarily, get.

The chocolate, itself, isn't too think but it's really crisp which makes for a very strong egg. I'll be honest, I really struggled to crack it open, it just did not want to break! Thankfully it was well worth all of the effort. The crispness of the chocolate gives it such a fantastic bite, which is something that I find is lacking from cheaper eggs, and the white chocolate is really creamy but not too sweet, it's possibly my favourite ever white chocolate. 

My concern, with the egg, was the dark chocolate swirls - I'm just not a dark chocolate fan. As it happens. though, the fact that the egg is mostly white chocolate really redeemed it. The milk and dark chocolates add a nice dimension to the flavour without, actually, overtaking the white chocolate. It is the perfect mix of the three and it's definitely made me try to remember that, in some circumstances, dark chocolate really can work. 

Sometimes blogging can be really tough. I had no choice but to take some time to sample this egg, and the chocolates, because I just had to in order to tell you all what they were like. I'm sure you can imagine how much of a hardship this was, but I did it just for you, haha! 

More seriously, though, I've always thought that £15 (which is how much this egg costs) is a crazy price for an easter egg but this offering has made me reconsider. Sometimes you want a hint of luxury in your life and, with this egg, that's exactly what you'll get. The chocolate is, clearly, of such a high quality and the chocolates are really well made. It might be more than an egg you pick up from the super market but it's well worth the additional pennies. 

There's a massive amount of other products in the Easter range, from hampers and extra thick eggs to Easter egg sandwiches and chocolate bunny selections - It's well worth checking out what the range has to offer as there's a good number of lower value items as well as the higher costing choices; you can suit any budget. There's items which would be ideal for an Easter egg hunts, hamper which you can treat the whole family to or bigger eggs which you can gift to your children or the one you love. 

I, definitely, need some more Hotel Chocolat white chocolate soon so I may need to pop in to store some time to find another chocolate hit! 

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Welcoming baby Oliver to the blog - He's here!

Ok, so I'm writing this a little after the fact. Oliver has, actually, been here for over three weeks already but, other than the odd picture on Instagram and Twitter, I've not announced him officially on the blog yet. I'm not sure why - A big part of me has wanted to show him to the world, but another part of me just wanted to take my time in posting. Which is why my post is only arriving now. I had planned on doing a lot more pregnancy related posts, but pregnancy was flipping tough so I struggled to get any sort of posts done - Which is why his updates have been so sporadic. But. here he is!

Oliver was born on the 19th of February, at 38 weeks and 6 days gestation, so he'll be four weeks old on Friday. 

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Easter Giveaway - Win £200 of Amazon Vouchers - Open Worldwide

I cannot believe that it's March, already, this year is disappearing before my eyes and I could do with it slowing down just a little. The good thing is, though, with March comes the impending chocolate-fuelled holiday that is Easter, and with Easter comes a fantastic giveaway! I've come together with a big group of other bloggers in order to offer you the chance to win a rather amazing prize.

So what is it you can win?

Would you believe it one lucky winner will be walking away with a fantastic £200 worth of Amazon vouchers, while one runner up will get £20, to spend on whatever they want - though chocolate seems like a good idea at this time of year. (If the winner is from a country other than the UK the prize will be delivered via PayPal cash). So who's helped put together this wonderful prize:

Emmy's Mummy | Hubby Helps | Missing Sleep |Mummy's Little Monkey | Bump And Beyond | Cosmic Kick | Julie's Notebook | Serenity You | All The Beautiful Things | Mother Distracted | Testing Time Blog | Wishful Wonderings | A Working Mum's Blog | Lucy's Mad House | Spanish Mummy | Hex Mum

Being Tilly's Mummy | Chilling With Lucas | Alice-Megan | Rambling Through Parenthood | Angel Eden Blog | The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess | Petit Moi - Big World | Precious Little Worlds | Dizzy Miss James | Ickle Pickle's Life and Travels | Cookies and Cwtches | Sally Akins | Odd Socks and Lollipops | Life in a Break Down | UK Bloggers

To enter all you need to do is answer the following question: What is the best thing about Easter?

*Please note that all entry options other than the question are optional, however it would be lovely if you could take a few minutes and support some of the bloggers who have helped make this giveaway possible. Good Luck!

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Monday, 15 February 2016

Is it worth completing online surveys?

Hi, I’m Emma and I blog over at From Aldi To Harrods, all about living cheaper and making extra money. One of the first things people consider when they are looking to boost their income is to complete online surveys. However, they can be tedious to complete and sometimes the earnings aren’t worth it. So is it worth completing online surveys?

Why complete online surveys

Companies are regularly conducting market research to help them design new products or market their existing products. This information is so valuable to them that they are willing to pay to get this information from all sorts of people. This means that there is the potential to make some extra money from completing surveys on your laptop, desktop computer, tablet and phone.

Is it worth the time it takes?

Some survey websites are notoriously bad for screening you out after you have already completed most of the survey, or paying very little for your time. There comes a point when you need to decide whether the time and effort involved is worth the payout for you. For example, if you can complete surveys on the commute to work or whilst watching tv, then you are making use of your time, but if completing surveys it taking you away from something that is a better use of your time (whether it is making money elsewhere or something something else entirely) then you might want to limit the number of surveys you complete.

Which survey website are worth registering with?

With so many survey websites out there, knowing which ones to trust can be difficult. There are some of my tried and tested websites for earning money from surveys.

Prolific Academic is my all time favourite survey website. They only show surveys that are relevant to you, so you don’t ever get screened out. The surveys themselves are really interesting to complete, and the payment threshold is just £5 via Paypal. However, you do pay Paypal fees on any withdrawals under £20, so I like to save my earnings until I have reached the £20 mark. I get a £20-£25 payment every month from Prolific Academic.

Swagbucks is not just a survey website, there are plenty of other ways to earn money, including watching videos and playing games. The great thing about Swagbucks is that there are plenty of ways to redeem your earnings - Paypal and Amazon gift vouchers are the most popular, but there are loads of other vouchers to choose from.

OnePoll have many short and sweet surveys to complete, so this is definitely more of a slow burner. The payout threshold for OnePoll is £40. This can be paid via cheque, Paypal or BACS (direct transfer into your UK bank account). OnePoll suggest that payments take up to 28 days to arrive into your account after requesting a withdrawal.

Mint Vine is another great survey website that has more than just surveys to complete. There is also a daily poll and offers you can complete, such as testing apps on your phone. You can redeem once you have reached 1,000 points, which is $10. Redemptions are made via Paypal.

If you complete online surveys then let me know in the comment below. Are there any companies that you recommend?


Thank you to Emma for writing this post for me to share with you all - I do some survey sites but only use one of these so I've learned from this too! 

Monday, 8 February 2016

Put a smile on their face with Hotel Chocolat this Valentines day - The Valentine Sleekster

It's that time of year, again, when people all over the country are wondering what to do with that day that we, customarily, fill with hearts and flowers. Of course not everyone celebrates Valentines day in the same way, but for those who like to buy gifts I can imagine it gets a little overwhelming when there's so much choice, so many options and so much space to get things wrong! 

I am a very strong believer that, in so many cases, chocolate is the answer to many ills. And when I think of luxury brands. of brands that you turn to when you Really want to make that extra effort, it's always Hotel Chocolat that comes to the forefront as the brand to check out when you want to spoil someone.