Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Christmas With UncommonGoods

Christmas this year is certainly going to be a different Christmas to all the others in my life time. I now have a feisty baby to watch over for the next 20 years and with the festive season lurking around the corner I am kind of not looking forward to it! The reason being, I often find Christmas shopping quite stressful when it comes to buying gifts - I always find people like my Dad for instance frustrating to buy for. Men are just difficult aren't they?

Going to the shops Christmas shopping with a two month old is pretty much a no go and I will do much of it all online. So what better timing than to collaborate with UncommonGoods for this post.

UncommonGoods is a US based company which offer a creative array of gifts at affordable prices. There is an unbelievable amount on offer and I don't think there is anything they don't have - something for everybody.

When I read about UncommonGoods mission it had me smiling and nodding my head at so many points. You almost want to fist bump them and say good on you. It is not very often you hear about companies who actually care about so many things.

They don't sell any goods that may cause harm to animals like leather and feathers for example. As someone who opts for cruelty free products, knowing that their mission is to protect animals had me touched. They also give back with their Better To Give Program where they donate $1 to your chosen no-profit organisation. You just select the who you want the money donated to at the checkout when your make your purchase. How cool is that?! I don't think there are many companies out there who care so much - I kind of wish I worked for them.

Now since out little one came along, I'm quite into personalised items with her name on. I was really taken by the cushions where you can get your babies details added to it. Such a personal touch and would also make a great gift be it a Christmas or a Christening. You can see so many options HERE for personalised gifts.

Our family are quite big fan of opening stockings on Christmas Eve. Lots of little presents, some of the fun and silly and some of them actually useful. If you need some ideas of what to pop into someones Christmas stocking this year - for instance a nice pair of earrings - there is a vast amount of options HERE up for grabs.

Every year I always find it difficult buying for my secret Santa at work. If you're clueless at what to get your secret Santa this year, you can take your pick at tonnes of gift ideas for under £20 - like this popcorn maker. There are lots of Christmas gift ideas right HERE for him and her - you'll won't know what to pick as there is so many choices!

I'm really glad I have been introduced to UncommonGoods and I'm really tempted to give them a whirl. Will you pop along and give them a look? I guarantee you'll find something for your loved ones! Oh just an FYI... as they are based in NYC, I would if you're planning to buy anything - get in there early. We all know what Christmas mail can be like lol!

Angela x

* This post is a paid collaboration with UncommonGoods. All opinions are my own as always!!

Monday, 23 October 2017

What's In My Yoga Bag?

Yoga is far more than standing on one leg, humming and looking ridiculous. It's actually a rather good work out - try it if you do not believe me!  I've been attending an evening class and
 I thought it would nice to share what kind of clothes I wear and what bits and bobs I take with me. So what's in my bag you ask?  

Let's start clothes...

The key thing with yoga is comfort. None of the positions you try to obtain should cause you any unnecessary discomfort and neither should your clothes you wear to class. You need to feel comfortable, nothing too tight or too loose it's falling down round your ankles.  I like to wear a skin tight work out vests - I prefer these to loose fitting flowy tops as there is no fabric falling in your face when you're in your downward facing dog!  The Nike Dri and the Adidas ClimaLite lines are one of my favourites as they are breathable and move along with you - almost like a second layer of skin.

For my bottoms I like my leggings and when I say leggings I mean work out ones, not those causal thin black ones.  The causal ones generally are a little thinner and can show your knickers off - keep that for the bedroom ladies!!!!!  I own a few nice pairs from USA Pro, which have good Lycra in them and are quite high waisted.  No falling down to my ankles!

Now ladies, when it comes to your boobies - please wear good support. Whether you are small, medium or large or even extra large in the bust department - you need support.  I wear my sports bra as I have mountains (as per Shakira - Whenever, Wherever).   The bras I use are from Active D+ range from Shocker Absorber, I love this kind I wear as they are high at the front so I don't fall out.  No awkward moments!

Okay on to the essentials...

You may not necessarily need any equipment to begin with.  If you're attending a new group perhaps message your instructor and find out if they supply matts at the class.  If you love it, want to make the class a regular thing, then you may want to buy your own.  The matt I have is from the Argos Davina McCall range.  I personally didn't want anything too fancy and this does the job perfectly.

On to blocks, these aren't a must - it is dependant on you really. Unfortunately I don't have long luscious limbs like a super model. With some of the yoga positions you need a little help and I certainly do. The two I picked up are from USA Pro (not being sponsored - promise). I've provided the link to an Ebay page as the blocks weren't on the USA Pro site - LINK.

The belt is next on my list to buy. I'm currently using a range of residence rubber bands I've collected over the years. These are great too if you aren't that flexible yet and need help reaching certain positions.  Link HERE if you want to browser at some.

I hope this helps any yoga newbies out there. Have you ever tried yoga? Do you have any yoga essentials recommendations?

Angela x

Friday, 29 September 2017

Tomato Butter Bean Cod Stew

It's officially Autumn now and as soon as it strikes I want to pig out of soups and stews. I always find them so warm and cosy and perfect for this time of the year. Usually I eat stews containing meat, but last night I opted to make mine with white fish as thats what we had in the fridge. This is nothing I've ever attempted before, so I was not sure how it would turn out. Eek!

The meal took no longer than 30 minutes to prep and cook and can easily adapted. If you don't have butter beans, you can use another type or don't have a green pepper - use a yellow one! So what you'll actually need for this is...

A fillet of white fish - I used cod
Cherry tomatoes
Butter beans
Green pepper
Salt, pepper, smoked paprika for seasoning.

I've given no measurements, as I am the type of cook who likes to wing it and throw in anything that I think will work. Luckily on this occasion it worked! So heres what you need to do...

Grab a big old frying pan and soften your chopped green pepper. Turn the heat down and then throw in passata, rinsed butter beans, the cherry tomatoes and your herbs and spices for seasoning. Let this simmer and give the passata a chance to thicken up. Just remember to stir now and again so it does not stick to the pan.

You can cook your fish any way you like, if you want to oven bake it or fry it in a shallow oil - then its up to you. I cooked mine in tin foil in the oven at the same time I was prepping and cooking the stew.  It was just easier than keeping an eye on two pans at the same time.

Once your fish is cooked you can now add it to the wet dish. Depending on your preference, you can either flake it, cut it into chunks or just lay it on top. Give it all a stir and let it sit for a while so the fish can take on some of the flavours and thats it. You're ready to dive in and enjoy. 

This is nice and healthy and not too stuffing like a classic stew. You'll certainly get your five a day with this dish.

Angela x


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