Looking Smart With House of Fraser

My husband always dresses smartly, I have days where I look scruffy, usually when I am cleaning the house. My husband is always well turned out. A well ironed shirt completes an outfit and can work well with jeans, casual trousers or a suit. House of Fraser is a great place to find shirts of all styles, from well known brands to smart and casual shirts. My husband was looking for a smart shirt to take him from the warmer summer days into the cooler days of Autumn. He chose this New & Lingwood shirt in a blue gingham pattern.

House of fraser shirtIt is a formal shirt but looks well teamed with a pair of chinos. The blue gingham pattern is stylish but not overbearing. The cuffs fasten with a press stud button which makes them look a little unusual. I think it looks really smart and would look great on an evening out. It would also work well for work.

House-of-frazerThe shirt looks good both when sitting and standing. The dog came to investigate what we were doing in the garden and was quite taken with the shirt as well. He had to pose with my husband to get his photo taken. I think he thought it was all a great game.

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house-of-fraser-4Eventually the dog got tired and went in allowing my husband to show off the outfit better. I think he has made a great choice and will get a lot of wear out of this shirt in the Autumn months. The shirt is 100% cotton so it will be easy to wash for me as well. It can be washed at 40C so I don’t need to do anything special, apart from make sure nothing red goes in the same wash.

house-of-fraser-3What do you think of my husband’s choice of outfit? I think it looks really smart.

Written in collaboration with House of Fraser.

Eggs Benedict

Poached eggs are not something I have ever mastered. I know the general idea, boil some water, crack the egg into it and leave it to poach. It should take about two minutes for a soft poached egg and done correctly they taste lovely. In theory it sounds good, in practice I have never been able to get it right. This weekend I decided I was going to experiment and try and make Eggs Benedict. I got the recipe from British Lion Eggs, who have a wide range of recipes for poached eggs. Eggs Benedict is one of those recipes you imagine ordering for breakfast in a smart hotel. It should arrive on a trolley under a silver dish, delivered by room service by a person in a smart uniform. The sort of breakfast you expect on a leisurely weekend when time is yours to enjoy.

Eggs Benedict

Poached eggs on toasted muffins with a slice of ham and a dash of Hollandaise sauce, it is an American dish. Americans love breakfast, I remember huge stacks of pancakes smothered with maple syrup and a side order of bacon, breakfasts served with strange sausages resembling burgers and eggs done as you asked. This is a much lighter breakfast but in a way much more decadent.
Eggs benedict

The poached eggs are delicious, with a taste all their own. A sprinkling of black pepper completes the dish and cutting into the egg it releases the yolk which mingles delightfully with the Hollandaise sauce. You can buy ready made Hollandaise sauce or attempt to make your own. It is simple enough to make but it is an idea to let the white wine vinegar cool before adding the eggs and melted butter. Mine tasted nice but looked a little odd, something that I will improve with practice.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is a special treat for a weekend breakfast. Other variations on it use bacon instead of ham or even smoked salmon for a more luxurious treat. It is a great way to start a lazy day and brings a feel of holiday to the day.

 

Eggs Benedict
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. For the sauce
  2. 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  3. 75g/3oz butter, melted
  4. 2 large British Lion egg yolks
  5. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. To complete
  7. 2 large British Lion eggs
  8. 2 slices ham
  9. toasted muffins
Instructions
  1. To make the sauce add the vinegar to a pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce by half.
  2. Get a small heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Add the egg yolks and vinegar in the bowl and whisk until trails are formed. Keep whisking as the butter is added gradually and the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Add some water into a pan and bring to a simmer. Crack the eggs into the water and poach for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Toast the muffins then add a slice of ham, poached egg and a little sauce onto the top.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/

 
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Orange Soreen Trifle

When you have a teenage boy you often find that the fridge has been emptied, like gannets they need to eat everything in sight. Our family loves Soreen, there is a variety to suit everyone. My husband loves the original malt loaf, I like the banana loaf and my son loves all the varieties. Soreen have just introduced a new Soreen Orange loaf, containing orange pieces, tangy fruit juices and sultanas. Soreen kindly sent me some loaves to try.

Soreen orange loaf

The Soreen orange loaf is lovely and squidgy and a perfect snack with a little butter. Containing only 84 calories a slice, it is a guilt free snack as well. You can currently find it in Sainsbury’s at RRP £1.25. From September you will also be able to find it in Asda. It has a lovely orange taste which the family all loved. It is perfect for Breakfast, a mid-morning snack or with an afternoon cup of tea.

Orange Soreen loaf

Eating it I had an idea to turn the Soreen orange loaf into a decadent Summer dessert. I thought that it would make the ideal base for a trifle. I mixed the Soreen orange loaf into an orange jelly made with mandarin oranges and their juice. Once this was set I topped it with a layer of cold custard and whipped double cream. Some cake sprinkles added the final touch.

Orange Soreen Trifle

It was a lovely refreshing dessert, the tang of the oranges mingled well with the sweetness of the custard and the cream. It would be easy to eat several bowlfuls of this, forgetting that it is more calorie filled than the original loaf. It is a great way to end a meal and is slightly more refreshing that a standard trifle, more suited to warmer weather. If you had a big glass bowl this would make an ideal centre piece for a party table, quickly scoped out into bowls to delight your guests. It was a big hit with my family and did not last long.

Orange Soreen Trifle
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Ingredients
  1. 1 packet orange jelly
  2. 1 tin mandarin oranges in juice
  3. 1 pint milk
  4. custard powder
  5. 220ml double cream
  6. hundreds and thousands
Instructions
  1. Make up the jelly, using half a pint of boiling water and dissolving it. Make up to the pint using the juice from the mandarin oranges and topping up with cold water. Pour into a bowl and add the mandarin orange segments. Leave to set.
  2. Make a pint of custard using the custard powder and leave to cool.
  3. When the jelly is set top with the cold custard.
  4. Whip the double cream until stiff and add to the top of the custard.
  5. Decorate with hundreds and thousands.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
Disclosure: I was sent some orange soreen in order to do an honest review.

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Body Drench Tahitian Monoi Oil Review

In the Summer I am always on the lookout for a great body moisturiser. Exposure to sun can leave my skin feeling dry and a good moisturiser counteracts this. It also helps prolong a tan, fake or natural. Recently Sally Beauty have introduced a new range of Exotic Oil Body Lotions from Body Drench and I have been trying out the Tahitian Monoi Oil body lotion. There are also two other varieties, Indian Neroli Oil and Moroccan Argan Oil.
Tahitain-oil
The Tahitian Monoi Oil body lotion comes in a 500ml bottle with a pump top making it easy to get the amount you need. The smell is gorgeous, making you think of the tropics with its mix of coconut and Tahitian gardenias. The smell lingers on your skin so you can go without perfume.

The login itself is white in colour and feels rich to the touch. It absorbs easily into the skin, without leaving a sticky residue. The Tahitian Monoi Oil body lotion contains cocoa butter, jojoba oil, vitamin E and coconut oil, all ingredients that are great for hydrating skin. My skin felt softer after application and with repeated use it is a lot less dry.
Tahitian-oil-2
In fact after some days of use my skin took on a glow and felt much smoother. This is an ideal body lotion for the Summer, helping skin retain moisture on hot days and stay soft. A bottle is RRP £9.98 which is great value.

I was sent a bottle of Body Drench Tahitian Monoi Oil in return for an honest review

Fuse Gelnamel Review

Recently I have been trying out Fuse Gelnamel from Sensationail. Fuse Gelnamel is a mix between a polish and a gel, to give you high shine nails with no chips in a one coat formula. It is applied like polish but is cured for 30 seconds using a little LED light that is supplied in the starter kit. I was really interested to see how well it worked, I find normal nail polish chips in days and gel nail polish is a bit of a faff to apply but lasts really well. Something that would provided the best of both worlds would be ideal.

Fuse GelnamelThe starter kit contains everything you need apply the Fuse Gelnamel. An emery board and minicure stick, lint pads and cleanser, a bottle of the gelnamel and a little LED light.  Application promised to be really simple, buff your nails with the emery board, cleanse with the cleanser, apply the polish and cure for thirty seconds.

Fuse GelnamelThe lamp is only big enough to do one finger or toe at a time which makes the process a little fiddly. If you are going on holiday though it would be much easier to pack this kit instead of a normal bulky LED light. Each nail had to be buffed, cleansed and painted one by one. The light was easy to use with a timer it turns off after 30 seconds.

I found the gel a bit thick to use, it was hard to get an even application. The result after one coat was a little patchy, this might have been because the polish I was using was a very dark colour. The shine was lovely though, very glossy. I think next time I would use two coats.

Fuse GelnamelThe polish did not last as long as normal gel polish, I found it was chipping off after two days which was a bit disappointing. It did last longer than normal nail polish and would be perfect to pack to take on holiday. It is a good solution if you are planing a night out and want a shiny look to your nails, but definitely apply two coats. The idea of a one coat gelnamel is great, normally I need to do at least four coats including clear ones to get a decent nail look. In practice it did not work as well I had hoped. The Fuse Gelnamel starter kit is RRP £35 and single nail polish from RRP £15. You can find more information on the Sensationail website.

I was sent the Fuse Gelnamel kit in return for an honest review.