Alphabet Photography Project: L is for …


Marsden rockRecently we visited Marsden, a village on the coast near South Shields which used to be a thriving pit village.  The hustle and bustle has gone now but it is a lovely place to visit for an afternoon. The beach there is gorgeous, a stretch of sand you can walk along. To reach it you need to climb down very steep stairs on the cliff edge, listening to the raucous calls of nesting gulls nestled in the cliff side above you. The cliff itself is made from Magnesian limestone but also on the beach is Marsden rock, a large rock made of limestone. Inside it there are plenty of caves and it is easy to explore at low tide. You can easily imagine smugglers working on this beach, dragging the boxes into caves on the shore to hide from the customs.

The rock used to be much larger,  at one point it had an arch underneath it and looked like a bridge. Victorians used to come to Marsden to climb the rock and they even had a choir singing on top of it. That must have been a spectacular sight. Sadly erosion broke the rock into two stacks, the large stack which you can see in the photo and a smaller stack which had to be demolished because it was unsafe. It is still a home for sea birds aplenty and you can see cormorants and gulls perched on top, ready to swoop into the sea to catch fish.

On the beach itself you will find Marsden Grotto, a pub which extends back into a cave in the cliff. It has quite a history and there are tales of ghosts haunting it. It is really interesting inside and you can stop there for a meal. It also has a lift up to the top of the cliff if you can’t face climbing up the steep stairs.

Linking up with the Alphabet Photography Project on PODCast, why not pop over and see what everyone else has photographed.

K is for ….

J is for …

Growling Tums Dog Food Review

I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is called Eddie. He is a lovely dog, really happy and loving. I recently saw a print that described the traits of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as follows; happy, affectionate, hardy, an amiable character, devoted and patient. That sums up my dog perfectly, but he also has a sense of mischief and fun. He loves to steal tissues knowing I will chase him and he might get a biscuit. He loves his long walks in the country and also falling asleep on my lap.
cavalier king charles spaniel

Eddie can be a bit of a fussy eater, sometimes he will not eat for a couple of days. He is not underweight but I do sometimes worry he is not eating enough. Recently Growling Tums got in touch and asked me if Eddie would like to try some of their dog food. I was happy to let him try it, hoping it might tempt him into eating more.

Growling Tums dog food

Growling Tums dog food is a dried dog food, made from high quality British ingredients that are designed to aid your dogs health. The ingredients are natural and hypoallergenic and contain no artificial colours and flavours. There are a range of products for senior dogs, adult dogs and puppies and they come in several different flavours. As Eddie is a fussy eater Growling Tums suggested he try the Scrumptious Salmon and Potato Dog food. The salmon should tempt even the fussiest eater and it also increases the skin and coat condition. I tried Eddie with a few of the pieces from the bag.

Growling Tums Dog Food

He went over to them and ate them straight away, seeming to really enjoy them. I have been feeing him Growling Tums dog food for a couple of weeks now and he seems to love it. Now his bowl is empty most days and I no longer worry about him getting enough food. His coat seems shinier as well. The food is available in 7kg, 12kg and 15kg bags. The 7.5 kg bag costs £27.99, which works out cheaper than the food I normally get. I am happy to get him a food that he loves, is good for him and save money in the process. We will definitely get Growling Tums dog food again.

Disclosure: We were sent some Growling Tums dog food in order to do an honest review.

#RealMumsAllBran 5-Day Challenge

Having fibre in your diet is essential for good digestion, it helps speed up the digestive process and prevent feelings of bloating and sluggishness. Most people do not get enough fibre in their diet but this can be easily changed by having a cereal rich in wheat bran for breakfast. When Britmums asked me to try the new All Bran cereals and take part in the 5 Day challenge I was interested to see if it would work. Eating more fibre for five days should make me feel revitalised and with better digestive health. I do have problems with bloating and was hoping this cereal would change it. When I think of All Bran I tend to think of cardboard tasting cereal, but Kellogg’s have added three new products to the range; Golden Crunch, Red Berry Crunch and Chocolate Wheats.

All BranI reviewed the Chocolate Wheats previously and my son loved them. I decided to try the five a day challenge with the Red Berry Crunch and the Golden Crunch.

All Bran cerealsI have to admit the cereals were really tasty, the Red Berry Crunch was bursting with fruit and was really crunchy. The Golden Crunch was a mixture of different cereals and gave the crunch without the fruit. Both of them had plenty of wheat bran inside. It was no hardship to eat either of these cereals, they both made a delicious start to the morning. My favourite was the Red Berry Crunch, the bits of freeze dried fruit made it really tasty.

All Bran Golden CrunchMy son loved both cereals as well, I caught him pinching handfuls out of the box to eat as a snack when he was hungry. I couldn’t object to this as it was a healthy snack but it meant the cereal did not last long.

Having tried it for five days it definitely made a difference to my digestive health, I felt less sluggish more happy and definitely noticed less bloating. Eating cereal is a quick and easy way to add more fibre to your diet and make a definite change to your health.

This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs


My Recipe Shortlisted For Cookbook

Sometime ago Intu MetroCentre were asking people to send in Regional Recipes for a chance for them to be included in the Intu Great Taste Cookbook. I decided to take a chance and submit my recipe for Singing Hinnies which are a Northumberland Fried Scone.

Singing hinnies

The scones are cooked in a frying pan rather than in an oven and you can imagine them being cooked over an open fire in pit cottages. I was very surprised to get an email the other day to say that my recipe was shortlisted along with five others and it was up to people to vote for their favourite recipe. The winner will be included in the cookbook. I would love it if you could vote for my recipe. You need facebook to vote and you can find the app on the Intu Metrocentre page. Voting closes on the 8th of August. It would be great if you can vote for my recipe. I would be over the moon if it was included in the book.


Walkers Crisps Announce Flavour Finalists

You may remember a while ago I told you about a competition that Walkers Crisps were running where people were invited to “Do Us A Flavour“. The idea was that people would send in their ideas for new crisp flavours and Walkers would choose six finalists. These six final flavours would then be made so we could try them and vote for the one we liked best. The judges David Walliams and Marco Pierre White have been busy testing flavours and have finally chosen the six finalists.

Walkers Crisps Flavour FinalistsThe flavours are:

  • Ranch Racoon
  • Chip Shop Chicken Curry
  • Hot Dog with Tomato Ketchup
  • Pulled Pork in a Sticky Barbecue Sauce
  • Cheesy Beans on Toast
  • Sizzling Steak Fajita


These are now on the shelves and you can vote for your favourite flavour at The person who designed the flavour that wins will receive £1million and the five runners up with win £10,000 each.

Walkers crisps sent me the finalist flavours to try out and see what I thought. I have to admit to being intrigued by Ranch Racoon. Racoon is not something that I have ever tried but the flavour is very tasty, you can really taste the ranch dressing. I can’t say how authentic the racoon taste is but I think this was my favourite flavour. My second favourite was the Pulled Pork in a Sticky Barbecue Sauce, it manged to combine the pork taste with a subtle hint of the barbecue in the background. My husband loved the Chip Shop Chicken Curry, he said it had a nice curry taste that was not overpowering. He was not as impressed by the Sizzling Steak Fajita though, he thought that was a little bland. My son took his job as flavour tester very seriously and decided that the Hot Dog with Tomato Ketchup was his favourite and the Cheesy Beans on Toast was his second favourite.

There was a lot of debate about which flavour was our favourite within the family so it will be really interesting to see which flavour is crowned flavour millionaire. Voting closes on 17th October 2014 so you have plenty of time to try all the flavours and decide which you like best. I may have to buy some more before I make a final decision.

Disclosure: I was sent the flavour finalists to try out in return for an honest review.