I love to send unusual gifts to people and one of the places you can often find unique items are independent retailers. These used to be easy to find on the High Street but now it is getting harder to find them and involves more effort to seek them out. I was delighted to be asked to get involved with a blogger competition on behalf of MyHigh.st, which is an online shopping emporium that brings the high street into your home. It is a collection of small independent retailers which have been gathered into one place allowing you to find unique gift ideas and food, craft and home items. I love the idea of an emporium, it sounds exotic before you even look.
I went to have a look hoping to find some lovely gift ideas. I did find a lot but I got a bit sidetracked. Recently my mum and dad had been to visit and when we were all sitting round the dinner table I realised I was really short of serving dishes and serving spoons. When I first went into the site I went into the Christmas kitchen section and realised they had a selection of everything I needed to make my Christmas table perfect.
Before my guests get to the table I like to serve a selection of nibbles. I found these lovely Wooden Nibble Trays from Trowbridge Gallery that would look lovely dotted around the living room full of snacks. They are only £12 as well which is a great price.
Of course I would need to serve drinks along with my nibbles, it would be rude not to. This West Country Drinks and Nibbles Gift Box has a great selection of ciders and nibbles to complement the more usual drinks
When I get my guests to the table I can impress them with these festive napkin rings that should get them in the mood for Christmas food. They also add a bit of colour to the table, I love the happy smiling face on Santa.
For serving plates I found this lovely large Moroccan plate which has gorgeous colouring. It would make a lovely centrepiece to the table, possibly with slices of turkey on it.
I also found this spotted pie dish would make a really cheerful serving dish for stuffing.
If you are looking for food to save you cooking there is a great selection as well, I found this Mango and Passion Fruit Cheesecake that set my mouth watering.
I was really impressed at the range of things on offer at MyHigh.St and you can certainly spend a lot of time browsing this site. I think it is great that all these different retailers are under one internet roof and I had no problems finding lots of things that are now on my must have list.
Disclosure: This is my entry into the MyHigh.St Christmas Blogger competition
There is nothing I love more than a chance to play in polyvore, it is fun creating new looks and placing them on a moodboard. It has been a little while since I have ventured into polyvore so I was pleased to see a new blogger competition from House of Fraser. The challenge was to pull together a key denim look that you would love to show off. At heart I am a rock chick so I wanted to put together a look that would reflect that. The sort of style that would not look out of place in a bar if the Terminator walked in, edgy and hard but eye catching. The sort of outfit that screams don’t mess with this chick, but gets you noticed. I had a browse on the House of Fraser site and this is the look I came up with
I chose the Mint Velvet Indigo Zip Detail jeans as they are a nice dark colour. I also loved the zip detailing, it makes them a little bit more unusual and adds a bit of character. The Gestuz Sleeveless sequinned vest is a dark colour, but the sequins make it stand out and gives is a bit of rock and roll. This would also be perfect as a party top over the Christmas season. I added Dune Jagged-twisted cut out bracelet as the silver goes nicely with the top and I thought this would look quite dramatic snaking over my arm.
To complete the outfit I went for studded accessories, after all you can’t have rock without a few studs. The Ravel Maverick stud court shoes are really eye catching as well as being stylish and they go perfectly with the Kenneth Cole Reaction Raising the bar studded flapover crossbody bag. The added advantage of the bag is that it has a strap so you can leap onto a motorbike if you feel the need. The Mint Velvet lined leather jacket completes the look perfectly, the fur collar softens the look and is cosy for a cold winters night. I would love to know what you think of my outfit? Does it capture the look I am going for?
Disclosure: This is my entry into the House of Fraser Denim Blogger Challenge.
Can you imagine doing your shopping and moving a bag of crisps to find Gary Linekar behind them? What a surprise you would get. Even more of a surprise when he hands you a cheque for £1000. This is exactly what Gary has been doing recently in order to promote the Walkers Great Ingredient Hunt. You can see the video here:
Gary gets into some strange places and pops out from behind crisps, fizzy drinks and potatoes. I think that would make me jump when shopping. After seeing the video my son wanted to go to Asda to see if he could find Gary!
You also have to join the Walkers Great Ingredient Hunt and get a reward. Each packet has a promotional code which will give you a reward.Just go to walkers.co.uk, enter the code and play the game and claim your reward. All you need to do is to choose any three counties to uncover the lost ingredients. The combination revealed will determine the reward you win. You could win anything from free crisps to £10,000. Definitely worth a go.
There is also a daily prize of £1,000 if you can find Gary in the online game. You need to use clues from the Walkers Facebook page and Twitter feed. Search for the #FindGary hashtag to see the latest clues and tips.
Walkers crisps use British Ingredients so it is worth checking out the different counties their ingredients are sourced from. You never know it may give you the edge.
I have been thoroughly enjoying the lunch less ordinary challenges from Mission Deli Wraps and it has been great seeing what everyone else has come up with for the challenges as well. This week is the last week and it seems to have flow so quickly. I watched my mail box for this weeks challenge and excitedly read the email.
This week we had the following four challenges to choose from:
- For the artistic lunchers out there, create the most artistic lunch you can using only wraps and filling – the bigger the better! Whether it’s the Eiffel Tower or an Elephant we want to see it all! #wrapart
- Inspired by one of our Facebook fans -take £5 for the week to buy the essentials and we’ll send the wraps and you must complete the Storecupboard challenge – using up whatever you’ve got left in the cupboards, fridge and freezer to make your meals for the week.
- Tricky challenge of the week! Find and visit as many places as you can with food-related names that can be made into wraps and help us create a WrapMap! E.g. Cheddar Gorge
- Tick something off your bucket list! We want to see you go out and do something unusual – remember to take a packed lunch of wraps with you (let us know if you need any more!)
I am not very artistic, if you want to see amazing artistic wrapart have a look at The Lunchbox World Blog who did some fabulous art work for the tour of the world in wraps. I decided I was going to take on the tricky challenge and find and visit as many places as I can with food related names. Having decided on the challenge I had to find places with food related names. Britain has lots of food inspired places, Cheddar Gorge, Bakewell (of the tarts), Lincolnshire (sausages). In fact Madhouse Family Reviews went on a virtual tour of them. Unfortunately there do not appear to be many towns or villages with food related names near me. There are plenty of towns with interesting names like Pity Me or Crook but these do not really fit the challenge. I decided to think out of the box and find streets with food related names. The dog and I set out on our mission.
In Newcastle City Centre I found Market Street. This is vaguely food related, after all food comes via markets somewhere along the line. Also in town there is a street named Pudding Chare but I didn’t have time to visit it.
This is Greys Monument in the middle of Newcastle City Centre. It is a monument to Charles Grey who was the second Earl Grey. Now who hasn’t heard of Earl Grey tea? I think this is definitely a food related place.
We then walked the streets a little bit closer to our home. First we found Chicken Road which is a strange name for a road.
Strangely we had with us chicken and bacon wraps to help us on our food place related quest. These are made with chicken, bacon, red pepper and lettuce wrapped up in a wrap and are a very tasty treat.
Continuing on our journey we found Strawberry Gardens. I think that strawberries and a touch of cream and sugar would be nice as a summer dessert wrap.
Next we came across Orchard gardens which made me think of the perfect idea for a winter dessert wrap. Slices of apple pan fried in butter with brown sugar and sultanas and a splash of rum, wrapped up in a wrap. This would actually be perfect on bonfire night with a cup of hot chocolate.
Finally we came back to the more ordinary wrap ingredients with Wensleydale, grate this into a wrap and add some chutney for a perfect lunch time snack.
I think there is definitely scope for creating a wrapmap of Newcastle, I am sure there are loads of food named streets that I didn’t find on my journey.
Don’t forget to pick up a packet of Mission Deli Wraps, as well as making your lunch less ordinary they also have an on pack competition where you can win trips to have lunch at different destinations around the world or £10000 cash. You need to enter your unique code from the pack on the MissionWrapsUK facebook page. There are also runners up prizes including Rough Guide’s Make The Most of Your Time on Earth book and bespoke picnic hampers.
Disclosure : This is my entry for the Lunch Less Ordinary Blogger Challenge. You can find out more at www.facebook.com/MissionWrapsUKnofollow. I will be sent some Mission Deli wraps and have a chance to win some fabulous prizes for taking part.
Another week, another Lunch Less Ordinary Challenge from Mission Deli Wraps. Last week I accepted the challenge to make lunch for a week using tomatoes. The heat is on, the challenges are getting harder. I read this weeks email in excitement to see what the challenges were and watched as the email went on to self destruct in five seconds. Would be be mission impossible?
- Mini ‘wrappers’ – get the kids to make up the lyrics to a ‘wrap’ about their lunch
- Have lunch in a less ordinary location! Send us your photos collage at the end of the week – we’re looking for the most creative wrap lunches and locations!
- Have lunch in your own mini mardi gras – check out the images we’ve sent you as inspiration!
- Lunchtime less ordinary bus tour. Take some wraps and go enjoy the sights of your local area
I tried to sell my son on the idea of doing a rap, but he was not impressed with the idea and said he would look stupid. Apparently no one wears hats backwards any more and his hoodies were not right for rapping. I decided to take on challenge 2, have lunch in a less ordinary location. It also sort of combines challenge 4 as it shows some sights in my local area although I didn’t take the bus.
Normally during the week I have lunch at my desk. This week I ventured down to the Quayside to have lunch by our bridges. Unfortunately it was rather a grey windy day and it had been raining. I did manage to find somewhere to sit and enjoy my wraps though.
I love this location, it is peaceful and you can watch the seagulls passing by while you eat your lunch. Unfortunately the seat was wet so I ended up with wet trousers!
So what was on my wrap? I decided to create a local landmark using wrap art! Can you guess what it is?It’s the Tyne Bridge with a little sailing boat with a red sail passing by. Do you think wrap art could take off? My son loved this idea and this is his creation of a local landmark in wrap art.
Whitley Bay Lighthouse has had a bit of a makeover. We took our wraps and drove out to get a picture of it. We had to eat in the car because the wind was so strong.
It has given me inspiration to go round the North East in wraps. Angel of the North wrap anyone?
Disclosure : This is my entry for the Lunch Less Ordinary Blogger Challenge. You can find out more at www.facebook.com/MissionWrapsUK. I will be sent some Mission Deli wraps and have a chance to win some fabulous prizes for taking part.