Friday, 25 July 2014

Ilumi-nate the world of Gluten Free food.

I am a seriously lazy cook. I can cook, but tend to pick the easiest quickest option so long as I'm not compromising on flavour, because to me that's what is important in every meal. Occasionally I eat ready meals whilst at university because a. they save time, and b. they can be fairly cheap, but on the whole I cook all my meals from scratch because they just don't compare to the packet mix.

It has always been easier at home to cook from scratch rather than faffing about with pre-made sauces, pre-made packet mixes when there's an allergy within the house because at least then I know exactly what is within the foods.

But we may have found a miracle.

Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Coq au Vin & Potatoes
Tender Pork with Suffolk Cider & Wholegrain Mustard
& Potatoes.
Sweet Five Spice and Chilli Pork with Rice
Vegetable Biryani
The wonderful people at Ilumi have made some pretty impressive readymeals that are always nut, gluten and milk free. Now this may not sound like a lot but generally gluten free meals aren't great - sorry, but its true - while Ilumi seems to be a vast improvement..

One of the only issues I had, when searching through the website for meals, I struggled to narrow all the meals down to 4... I could have worked my way through most of the menu.

And the final 4 were; Coq au Vin, Tender Pork with Suffolk Cider & Wholegrain Mustard, Sweet Five Spice and Chilli Pork & Vegetable Biryani.

Served in pouches that didn't need refrigeration and are cooked in a microwave or saucepan in minutes means that they are perfect for home (or even if you're camping or away from home...)

The meals were full of flavour, more than I thought that I would possible within a ready meal in a bag. The meat in the meals was tender as anything - except the tender pork, rather ironically, although I may have overcooked that one... The firm favourites in our households were the Sweet Five Spice and Chilli Pork which I paired with rice and the Vegetable Biryani which was already a complete meal. They were rich and saucy and thoroughly delicious.

Mums even begun looking online to try more in the future, so I'm counting that as a definitive success. And as for LS, the awkward allergy one loved the veg Biryani - she's even considering getting some of the meals for when she goes away for Reading Festival. As for me? I'm totally going to buy more and pass them off as my own... Noone will know.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. I received 4 meals from Illumi in return for a honest review. All views are truthful and fully my own.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

K is for Keys.

This photo is my entry to the #alphabetphoto Linky run by Charly over at

Things are changing in my world. It's time for a new house and a new start. And I cannot wait. My keys show everything that I have achieved within the palm of my hand; driving, moving out and a job. They're my little trophy of the past, and a reminder of whats to come.

Monday, 21 July 2014

#MagicMoment - Thunder&Lightening

It's not often that we have the beautiful weather that we've been having recently... or the storms that kept the whole of Britain awake for the last few nights.

I'm a massive fan of being curled up in bed with the curtains open watching the storms pass through but in this last storm, me and the BF sat at the top of Portchester Hill and watched the storms roll in from the Channel across Portsmouth.

It was powerful, intense and magical all rolled into one. And is definitely something that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Revlon Colourburst vs New CID I-Crayon

Lipstick. Liptint. Lipgloss. Lipbalm.

Above: Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm
Below: New CID I-Crayon Lip & Cheek Tint
I'm not even sure which of these is the best, or which brand is best within these products. I'm by no means someone who understands all the different types of makeup and knows what is exactly what looks best. I never have been, or never will be. I know that I just have my firm favourites and occasionally I'll try something new and push the boundaries.

One of my go-to lip products is Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Elusive. At £7.99, its the product that I know spending money on is well worth it because it goes with pretty much anything and is enough to make me feel all summery.

However, this week I bought the Cosmopolitan and the freebie was the New CID I-Crayon Lip and Cheek Tint in a really red shade which I actually really like. No idea how much its worth but the other New CID products seem to retail for about £15 so I'd hazard a guess that this is more expensive that the Revlon one.

Left: Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm
Right: New CID I-Crayon Lip & Cheek Tint
 I'll admit, I didn't think that anything I received free would compare to a brand like Revlon but I was pleasantly surprised. The red was bold, bright and totally something that I could wear on a night out. It didn't bleed like some lipcolours and it didn't stain my lips. (It came off with a baby wipe, which surprised me...)

I think that it's going to be a stiff competition between both these lipcrayons for me to choose which colour is best to face to day. Although I think that theres a fair chance that the Revlon could be demoted to the bottom of the make up bag...

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

J is for Jelly

This photo is my entry to the letter J Linky run by Charly over at

Jelly and Icecream. The perfect dessert for a traditional child's birthday party.
Prosecco Jelly. The adult's equivalent... 

You can't go wrong with the 'sparkle shots' from Morrisons. Sparkly prosecco jelly with raspberries. I can't think of any desserts that are any more perfect.

Monday, 14 July 2014

#MagicMoments - A New Beginning.

Things are making a change in my world. Everything is changing and for once, I'm struggling to find any negatives.

The year at university has come to an end and I have officially made it onto the course for next year.By some miracle. Lessons have been learnt and I cannot wait for the chance to give next year my everything.

My lease is up for this house at the end of the month and the contract for the new house is signed, sealed and delivered. I cannot wait for the new house, it is going to be so much more chilled out and there won't be any of the negativity that unfortunately we had this year, which wasn't fun.

And most excitingly of all, my boyfriend (often referenced on the blog as BF) is moving 100 miles to live with me so that we no longer have to be part of a long distance relationship with a 2 and a half hour commute each way. It's something that we've always wanted but never really thought would be the right thing to do until I finished university. Although a set of circumstances combined with fate have meant that this has happened now. Which is brilliant. I know that he'll miss his family as much as they miss him, but I'm sure they'll be down to visit before we both know it. Jake - just please don't leave damp towels on the floor....

It's a new start and a new chapter and I just cannot wait.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Oh help! Oh no! It's a Gruffalo!

"A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood..."

The weather had been just beautiful for the last few days and it seemed only right that I made the most of it all.

Local to me there is Alice Holt Forest, part of England's Forestry Commission, forest full of trails and pathways that can lead to hours of walking, biking or whatever takes your fancy.

Whilst there, I stumbled across a trail celebrating The Gruffalo's 15th Birthday. I know, I know, I'm a huge child, but I love the story of The Gruffalo.

The trail itself isn't too long. And the walk is broken up with the characters hidden just off the pathway, perfect to keep the attention of 'little people' (and me...).

These trails are all available around the UK (See the selected sites here), activity packs can be purchased to go with the walk, but we've found that you don't really need it. Best part is, that at the end of the trail there is a life-size Gruffalo (life-size in the way I imagined it...)

It is definititely well worth a visit on a warm day. Just beware, you'll never be sure who'll you'll bump into in the deep dark wood.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

H is for Harbour.

This photo is my entry to the letter H Linky run by Charly over at

Most regular readers, and those who actually happen to know me, would know that I'm studying for university at Portsmouth, the wonderful seaside city.

I love the hustle and bustle of being in the middle of a place where you can still order takeaway at three in the morning.. (and that has happened.) But there is nothing quite like Portsmouth in the summer. 

The blue skies. The beach. The sea. And shopping with the harbour at Gunwharf Quays in the Sunshine. It's practically perfect! 

If you happen to be in the area on a sunny day, it is well worth a visit!