The Allergy & Free From Show 

The Allergy & Free From Show 

This past Saturday my mother and I went on one of our increasingly common outings. This time we went to Kensington Olympia to explore free from foods and allergy busters. 

When my mum isn’t buying me lunch (thanks!) she’s an incredibly hard-working and somewhat brilliant nurse working in public health and school health. She recently celebrated 40 years in nursing and is my go to for any ‘should I take this weird thing to a doctor’ query (lucky her).

We had free tickets because the event gives loads away every year – I will share the link for next July once I get it. I did however miss the blogger meet up because I was too busy sampling cakes, oops. 

I also failed miserably to take any photos of use, although I will include the entirely random few I did manage at the end. 

Seriously I blame all the free cake samples and the abundance of dairy free treats. I had a truly delicious magnum style caramel ice cream and got chocolate all over my white top – I shouldn’t be allowed out. 

We did stop for actual lunch too – the prices in the Olympia’s cafes are eye watering for two salads and two drinks. 

My mum became pals with an allergy nurse from a children’s asthma charity – discussing epipens and inhalers. Joy. 

I located the make up stand and got a bit of a makeover while I was at it – once a beauty blogger, always a beauty blogger  (this will be getting it’s own post so stay tuned). 

I even came home with not just a goody bag full of snacks but some little purchases including gluten free samosas, rocky road mix, vodka cocktails (mum and I split 4 between us, she enjoys the odd tipple and free samples) and a few other little bits and bobs. I also found some new and some familiar brands to add to my shopping list. 

There was some live music from the imaginatively named Thomas and Thomas who played cover versions of a range of songs that definitely had at least one fan – the little boy dancing away in front of them! They were actually quite good but the dancing was very entertaining and quite distracting. 

We were ambushed by the man from the WWF and spent the rest of the day not walking past him again. I know why charities rent stands at these events but I wish they wouldn’t. 

I managed to get us lost finding the cocktails stand when we decided to make our purchases before leaving, thank goodness we found them again! Maps are very much not my strong point, though I can scent a goody bag at 500 paces it seems. 

Anyway, it was really interesting to see how far the free from and allergy market has come along since I was a sniffly asthmatic kid with eczema now that I am a sniffly asthmatic adult with eczema. 

Me & the Mothership and a giant samosa
Thomas & Thomas doing Jessie J’s Price Tag
The Green Sisters’ amazing free from samosas
Book Tour: Trust Me – Gemma Metcalfe 

Book Tour: Trust Me – Gemma Metcalfe 

Today I’m hosting a stop on the blog tour for thriller Trust Me by Gemma Metcalfe. Read on for more. 

One phone call. Two lives. Their darkest secrets.
Lana needs to sell a holiday, fast. Stuck in Tenerife, in a dead end job, she never expected a response quite like Liam’s.

Thousands of miles away a phone rings. Liam never intended to pick up, he’s too busy choosing the quickest way to die. But at least someone should know the truth before he goes, even if that someone is a stranger.

As time runs out both are drawn to the other, expressing thoughts they never thought they would share.

When you’re about to die will your secrets even matter?
Find the book on Amazon and Goodreads

Gemma Metcalfe is a Manchester born author who now lives in sunny Tenerife with her husband Danny and two crazy rescue dogs Dora and Diego. By day, Gemma can be found working as a Primary school teacher, but as the sun sets, she ditches the glitter and glue and becomes a writer of psychological thrillers. An established drama queen, she admits to having a rather warped imagination, and loves writing original plots with shocking twists. The plot for her debut novel ´Trust Me,´ is loosely based on her experiences as a call centre operative, where  she was never quite sure who would answer the phone…

Find Gemma on Twitter

Read on for an extract from the book and an exciting giveaway. 

Lana, 3.47 pm

‘Are you still there, Liam?’ I ask, realising he has been worryingly quiet while I have been telling my story. I begin to feel ridiculous, sat here complaining about such trivial things when his life has been shattered into a million pieces. But of course my story is still in its early stages. The things that came after were anything but trivial.

‘I’m here, Lana.’ His voice travels down the line flatly, like he has already given up.

I sigh, my eyes lifting up into my head as I contemplate how to proceed. I want to get to the bottom of what has happened to him, why he feels there is nothing left for him, but I am doubting my capabilities more and more. I’m not a counsellor. I don’t know how to unlock people’s demons.

‘Is it because the baby died?’ I ask through pursed lips, my face so tightly squished up I can barely see. I hold my breath, wondering if I have got to the bottom of why he wants to die.

He laughs. A laugh so cutting it sends chills down my spine.

‘That was years ago, Lana. It was heartbreaking, and a turning point for me and Jess. Our relationship never really recovered. I always blamed her deep down, but what was I to do? I was married to her and I was desperate to keep her son in my life. He is the single most important thing to me.’

I hear Liam’s voice fracture down the line. I have an urge to go to him, to pull him close to me and make it all all right. But I can’t. I can’t do that because I can’t even enter the UK.

‘So what then? If not the baby, what went so drastically wrong?’

To celebrate the release of Trust Me, here’s a little giveaway for you. 

UK only. One winner will receive a Boots voucher, a copy of Trust Me and some surprise Boots treats. 

Enter Here and don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour. 


 

My BorrowMyDoggy experience

My BorrowMyDoggy experience

At the beginning of the year I signed up to BorrowMyDoggy – a service designed to connect dog owners with dog lovers who can’t have their own canine chum. 

Our flat is too small, we are both out all day and we don’t have a garden so having a dog is currently out of the question. 

I took advantage of a special offer on the price of the membership, otherwise it might be a bit pricey for some. 

I created a profile and messaged a few local dog owners (it gives you an approximate location) but nothing happened. 

A few weeks ago I got a reply from a lady who lives across the dual carriageway from me (about 10 minutes walk) – how lucky was that! 

I met Flick and her human, Susan, and we had a chat and a cuddle (Flick) and now Flick and I go to the park a few times a week for a walk and a play. For an older dog she’s very keen on running around the park and exploring the messages left my other dogs.

She’s a smart pup who goes into school to hear children read and help them build their confidence so she’s super friendly and gentle. Hopefully soon she’ll be coming over for a picnic and a sleepover. 

I’ve really enjoyed using the service so far and will be seeing if I can make any more doggy friends, they are great fun and mean I get outside for some fresh air and exercise, plus science says stroking an animal lowers your blood pressure and can help boost your mental wellbeing. 

The ratties don’t seem too bothered by the slight smell of dog on me after my park outings with Flick luckily. 

My pal Flick

How about you? Anyone used BorrowMyDoggy? What did you think? 

Wedding Wednesday 

Wedding Wednesday 

One of the most stressful things during wedding planning is working out what venue you want. It took us ages to decide how we wanted to do things and then find the right place to host it. 

Image from Wedding Wire
Wedding Wire got in touch about their fun quiz designed to help you decide. Now I don’t know about you but I love an online quiz and this one is quite fun. You can do it alone or with your partner (even if you’re not planning a wedding at the moment. 

Image from Wedding Wire
According to the quiz I should be having a vineyard Wedding, sadly North London is lacking in those so I’ll be sticking with the venue I’ve picked. 

Image from Wedding Wire

If you are planning a wedding or are already married, how did you pick your venue? Let me know in the comments. 
This post is sponsored by Wedding Wire but all opinions are my own. 

Happy Flair – plants are friends

Happy Flair – plants are friends

Happy Flair is a super cheery box of bits and bobs from the team at Punky Pins, one of my favourite indie jewellery and accessories companies. 

You can opt for pin only or full flair, which obviously is very me.  Each month’s box is themed and slipped through the letterbox by the postman. 

This month’s is full of all things green. I love my plants, mostly cacti and succulents, and clearly the Happy Flair team have the same taste in plants. 


Inside the box are stickers, a postcard, pin, necklace, patch and a note card. Each box is different but this may just be my favourite. 

Summer Lovin’ Tag

Summer Lovin’ Tag

The lovely Sal of Ummbaby fame did this tag post, so I swiped it. 

💄Favourite Perfume – this summer I’ve been turning to my beloved Chloe perfumes, today I’m wearing See by Chloe. 

💄Favourite Lip Colour – Revlon’s Ultra HD Matte in Devotion, real like it. 

💄Favourite Drink – I have been raiding Lidl for a gorgeous Cornish Elderflower Pressè – it’s a bit sweet for me so I dilute it with some water. Refreshing. 

💄Favourite Blush – recently I’ve been layering MUA in Cupcake with Benefit’s Highbeam – so I have softly glowing cheeks. 

💄Favourite Clothing Item- the maxi skirts are out in force at the moment but I found a gorgeous jacket in my wardrobe that I don’t remember buying (shopping amnesia anyone?) that looks great over a tee and skirt/leggings/maxidress/whatever!

💄Favourite Movie – I tend to watch more movies in the winter but I did watch 101 Dalmatians the other day. 

💄Favourite TV Show – we’re rocking the sci fi at the moment, with Dark Matter season 2 and The Killjoys due back on our screens in August. 

💄Favourite Food – squeaky cheese Aka Halloumi! On and in everything. Salads, sandwiches, paired with watermelon or cherries, drizzled with my favourite chilli sauce, just give me it! 

25 Food Tag 

25 Food Tag 

​Spotted on Sarah’s blog – food and tag posts, yes please. 

1. What’s your favourite breakfast?

🍇Probably because I rarely have it, toast with butter and strawberry jam. 

2. How do you drink your coffee?

🍏Coffee is yuk. No ta. 

3. What’s on your favourite sandwich?

🧀Bacon, halloumi, lettuce and tomato with mayo. 

4. Soup or Salad?

🍜Soup and a sandwich or salad and sushi. Depends on the mood. 

5. What’s your favourite cookbook?

🎂I read cookbooks like novels but rarely consult them for actual cooking. 

6. No more sweets or no more hearty foods?

🍭Having actually given up sweets in the past, I could live without them quite easily. 

7. What’s your favourite Cuisine?

🍳Mediterranean food every time, from Turkey and Greece to Italy and France.

8. What’s your favourite food movie?

🍿There was a 90s Sarah Michelle Geller movie called Simply Irresistable that I was quite fond of. Films about food make me hungry. My favourite book about food is Chocolat by Joanne Harris. 

9. What’s your most guilty pleasure?

🍟I don’t believe in guilty pleasures- food should be enjoyed not treated as though there’s something ‘naughty’ about it. 

10. What’s your greatest inspiration source?

🍞The contents of my fridge/cupboards – necessity is the mother of invention. 

11. Cooking at home or going out for dinner?

🍍Both, depends on the circumstance. 

12. High end or low profile?

🍒Am I feeling fancy? Then fancy it is. 😉

13. What’s your favourite restaurant?

🌽The Turkish place in town is my go-to as it’s local, has excellent service, reasonable prices and delicious food.

14. I do my grocery shopping at:

🍑Lidl has saved me a fortune, but I go to Sainsbury’s as well.

15. The tastiest food I’ve ever eaten was:

🍦There is a place called Chilli Charlie’s by Santa Monica beach in California that does amazing chilli burgers. They remain in my brain and taste memories. 

17. Coffee with George Clooney or Heston Blumenthal?

🍢Coffee with Clooney and my mum as she loves him. 

18. What should not be missing in your kitchen?

🍉Sea salt, good black pepper, quality olive oil and chilli in various guises. 

19. What is your favourite snack?

🍅Popcorn or sunflower seeds roasted in their shells with salt. 

20. What’s on your pizza?

🍤Chicken, chilli oil, those little peppers, tomatoes, cheese. 

21. What food do you really dislike?

🍌Mushrooms eurgh

22. What’s your favourite food blog?

🍐Does Nigella’s instagram count? 

23. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

🌶Snails – I really don’t get the hype 

24. What’s on your food bucket list?

🍱The perfect creme brulee 

25. I couldn’t live without:

🍬Diet coke – fuelled by it. Also cheese. 

BONUS question:

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

🍸Cheese – it improves any dish. 

If you want to do this tag, go for it, and let me know.