My Family

My Family

Friday, 31 January 2020

We Made it to the End of January.

We Made it to the End of January.


Why is it that January seems to last forever? It could be that we're all totally broke after the big Christmas spend or it could be that we're all fed up of the cold and longing for Summer.

Whatever the reasons, I'm just so happy that today is finally the last day. Hooray!

January for us has been a month filled of ups and downs for us. I hate Winter so it's never a good month for me as the threat of snow is always in the air but luckily I've been busy planning the Wedding so It's not been too bad. Lily has been busy rehearsing every day after school for her School Production of High School Musical 2 in two weeks where she's been cast as Sharpay Evans. I think I may have a little actress on my hands. Ryan's has joined two new clubs at school and is now on the school's Football and Dodgeball Team. He loves his sports and enjoys being apart of the teams at school. He's pretty good at them too.

Healthwise we've all been under the weather a bit this month. I had a major toothache which seemed to last for a whole week and then Daddy came down with a cold (or Man Flu as he called it) with a sore throat. Lily seems to have come through the month untouched, luckily for her. Hiding away from us 'sick people' in her bedroom had some positive outcomes it seems. Poor Ryan has had it the worst though. He's had the horrible cold, the cough and the sore throat and if that wasn't bad enough, he managed to suffer from a little ear ache too. Luckily it wasn't too bad though as it passed in a few days with the help of some liquid paracetamol so ear wax removal at home wasn't needed and I'm happy to say, we're all good now. Everyone's feeling better and life is looking up. February is almost here and we're all ready to embrace it so goodbye January and Hello February. We can't wait to greet you.

February is a good month as it's Valentine's Day, Daddy's birthday and almost my Birthday (Mine's March 1st) so seeing as it's a Leap Year this year, I have to wait an extra day. 

This year I've decided to write a post about 'us' every month. Just a little update on what's happening in our lives. January's may be a dull but here's to hoping February is brighter.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Fine Dining at Gaucho with Red Letter Days #Review

Fine Dining at Gaucho with Red Letter Days #Review


It's a new year so I wanted to try some new experiences so Red Letter Days was right up my street. With over 30 year Experience and thousands of Gift Experiences to choose from, they were my go to place when I wanted to treat myself to a Fine Dining experience close to home this month. I've used Red Letter Days several times before but usually I pick a little luxury in the form of a Spa Day or a Beauty treatment so this time I thought I'd try something different and go for some fancy food. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I picked a romantic 3 Three Course Dinner with Glass of Prosecco at Gaucho for Two .

Leading the way in the world of fine dining, Gaucho is renowned for its contemporary and quality cuisines. Taking inspiration from Argentina, you can discover the wonders of a world class steak with a decadent three course dinner for two. Relax and soak up the ambience of it's stylish settings whilst tucking into a starter, a main and a dessert, all enjoyed from a superb set menu. From succulent steak cuts to coconut crumble with meringue, savour every rich and luscious bite with a glass of prosecco each. Choose from four modern city locations to satisfy a steak connoisseur and relax within a cosy ambience. Lucky for me there was one in my home town in Birmingham, just as short bus ride away. I was excited!

Originally this experience was meant to be a romantic meal for two for my Fiance and I but due to unforeseen circumstances, it became a Mother and Daughter treat for two instead which was still rather lovely. We got to dress up and enjoy a luxury girls night out. We booked our table with a lovely lady through email by following the Red Letter Days website instructions of how to book, which was all very quick and easy to do. We booked ourselves in for 6:45pm on a Friday night which was the perfect time for us, not too early that we'd be the first ones there but not too late that it would be too busy and we'd feel overcrowded.

Upon arrival we were greeted with a smile and our coats were taken by the lovely staff members. The place looked so fancy, everyone was all dressed up in pretty dresses and swanky suits. It was nice to be in a place like this for a change, it's not the sort of place I'd normally visit on my normal budget but as a one off, it was such a lovely treat to enjoy.

Our corner table made for the perfect view of the restaurant so we could see the whole room. The room was already buzzing with people and filled with laughter, chat and fun. We were talked through the Menu and our order was taken. Everyone was so friendly.


The Set Menu looked something a little like this:

STARTERS:

CHORIZO SAUSAGE Morcilla, romesco sauce
TUNA CEVICHE Avocado mousse, pickled radish, tomatoes and agua chilli dressing
BEEF CARPACCIO smoked, salt cured in juniper, mustard seeds and bay leaf, fire sealed over the grill, umami chimichurri.

MAINS: 

ANCHO 250g RIBEYE. Delicately marbled throughout for superb, full-bodied flavour
CHORIZO 250g SIRLOIN. Tender yet succulent with a strip of juicy crackling
FILLET OF SEABASS Grilled served with crispy and sautéed kale, burnt lime and tomatillo salsa BEETROOT RISOTTO Puree, roasted and crisp beetroot, toasted almonds.

DESSERTS:

DULCE DE LECHE FLAN Coconut crumble, meringue
COCONUT TRES LECHE Coconut flourless cake, pear sorbet
APPLE PANCAKE Caramel calvados, Nutella, dulce de leche mousse

Before our Starter had even arrived, we were surprised with an extra little treat of some delicious warm breads with a garlic butter and little pots of freshly grounded salt and pepper which was lovely. Our Starters were delicious too, we choose the Tuna for my Mum and the Chorizo Sausage for me. Both were perfectly presented and tasted so good. Mmm.


For our Mains, my Mum chose the Ribeye steak and I chose the Sirloin, both were served with a good sized portion of chips and a umami chimichurri sauce. Cooked Medium Well, they were cooked just the way we liked. You could have a side salad if you didn't want chips but the chips were delicious so I'd definitely recommend that you choose the chips. 


There was a slight change on the Menu with the Desserts as one of the original options had been replaced with a Sticky Toffee instead which we both decided to go for and were so glad we did. Again, the portion size was much bigger than we had expected for such a fancy place but it was so sweet and sticky, just as a good Sticky Toffee pudding should be. It did come served with a side of Clotted Cream which we didn't like too much but the pudding was good. We would have prefered a simple side of Vanilla Ice Cream or custard maybe.


Overall, we enjoyed a very pleasant evening at Gaucho Birmingham and would happily go again. The service was superb throughout and the food was absolutely delicious. 

If you would like to try the same experience, the Three Course Dinner with Glass of Prosecco at Gaucho for Two is available from Red Letter Days at 7 UK Locations and will cost you £100. It's Valid until 28 Feb 2020 so you need to be quick if this one's for you.

Please note that although your voucher is paid for, there is a discretionary 12.5% service charge that will be added to your final bill. I paid a an extra £12.50 for this service charge.

Disclosure: We received a complimentary Three Course Dinner with Glass of Prosecco at Gaucho for Two for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% Honest and my own.

Silent Sunday 26/01/2020

Silent Sunday 26/01/2020




Silent Sunday Linky

Friday, 24 January 2020

Wedding Planning - You won't get lost at my Wedding with my Personalised Arrow Road Wedding Sign

Wedding Planning - You won't get lost at my Wedding with my Personalised Arrow Road Wedding Sign.


How cute is this Personalised Arrow Road Wedding Sign from the UK Sign Shop?

It's a fun and quirky way to add a little more fun to your wedding, as well as making sure that your guests can find the wedding venue. We wouldn't want anyone to get lost now, would we? The hotel where my Wedding is has two function rooms which means there could be two Weddings on the same day so I need to make sure MY guests come to me. 

The sign looks so cool, I can't wait to hang it up outside our hotel on the big day now. It's been fully personalised to me, I chose the wording, the colour and the background. I even chose the way I want it to be mounted too, I choose drilled hole to fix it up with screws.

My sign is black on silver which really stands out. No one's going to get lost at my Wedding.

A good thing to note is the sign details are digitally UV printed onto the acrylic plaque making it 100% weatherproof so it won't matter if it rains which it possible could in October.


I really love my new Personalised Arrow Road Wedding Sign. It's so fun and fabulous!

It has several fixing options available:


Drilled holes & black cable ties
White screw caps
No holes or fixings

It costs just £20 which I think is a really good price for something so unique. It's going to make a great keepsake for after the Wedding too, as I'm going to love it forever. I am.

If you're looking for some personal touches to add to your Wedding, personalised signs could be the way to go. They're both pretty and practical, useful and fun. I know I love mine.

Disclosure: I received my Personalised Arrow Road Wedding Sign for free in return for an honest review. All opinions expressed within this review are 100% honest and my own.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Are You Ready for Valentine's Day 2020? Maybe My Gift Guide Can Help Out.

Are You Ready for Valentine's Day 2020?
Maybe My Gift Guide Can Help Out.


Valentine's day is fast approaching and will be here before we know it. Just 3 weeks away now, I'm already starting to panic about it. I never know what to buy my guy as he's so awkward to buy for. He doesn't want 'mushy' gifts as he's a 'Man' so that rules out like 90% of the gifts. I tend to look for more practical gifts, something he can use rather than keep.

If you're struggling like me, I've put together a little Gift Guide to give you some ideas.

For the man who likes hats, we have a gorgeous Frencis Black & Grey Montagna Beanie from Trendhim which costs £35 and could make a lovely Valentine's Day gift for you other half. With it's Danish design, it's made of a soft and warm blend of materials making it very cosy for these Wintery months of the year. It's available in a wide range of colours so there's a colour perfect for everyone. My man loves simple colours so this black & grey is perfect.


For the man who likes to snack, we have some Super Salted Caramel Crispy Protein Gnawbles from Creative Nature which cost £27.90 for a box of 18 packs of 30g portions. These Super Salted Caramel Protein Gnawbles are crispy little nibbles of pea protein coated in Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate are deliciously moreish. They're Free From all Top 14 Allergens, making them  suitable for vegans and allergy sufferers and with 43% less sugar than the market leading brand, you can enjoy your favourite snack without having to worry about eating too much sugar! They could be great for the healthy man in your life.


Sticking with foodie gifts for the man who loves a sweet treat of two, we have OGGS 2 Pack Chocolate Fudge Cakes which are Egg Free and Dairy Free. They're a cheap and cheerful kind of gift for the cake or chocolate lovers out there. They're a cute little treat for V Day.


One last treat for the foodie lovers out there are these Nim’s Valentines Apple Crisps. Because nothing says romance like sharing a big bag of crisps with the man you love. By popular demand Nim’s is launching a limited edition, crimson coloured, Red Love Apple crisps in time for February 14th 2020. These Great Taste award winning apple crisps are Valentine’s red all the way through to the centre and have a mouth wateringly rich apple aroma. Sounds Sweet! Available as a Valentine's Gift Box containing a pack of 2 for £3.95, they'll make a nice affordable treat for those who are trying to get healthier this year.


Sticking with treats though, we have the Limited Edition Rhubarb & Custard flavour White Hot Chocolate from Whittard. Take a trip to the halcyon days of vintage sweet shops with their Rhubarb & Custard hot chocolate, reminiscent of the childhood confectionery favourite. They've layered sherbet sweet flavours of rhubarb and creamy custard on a white chocolate base for a lip- ickingly luscious pink (yes, pink!) treat. It's a lovely little treat at £9 for a 350g jar and is now available online and in stores. It's definitely a little different but perfect for warming up your winter nights at home. Who wouldn't love a pink hot chocolate?


If you're looking for a more exciting gift, how about an experience gift from Red Letter Days? With thousands of experiences to choose from and an easy to use website, what's not to love. They have everything from Spa Days to Afternoon Teas, Bungee Jumps to Fast Car Driving experiences. I choose a gift which you can read all about real soon for us to try. For our Valentine's Day, we'll be treated to a Three Course Dinner with Glass of Prosecco at Gaucho for Two. I'm so excited, It's going to be so romantic and delicious of course. Yay!


This one's a little quirky but so perfect for the man who loves his trainers more than his mrs like mine. The Sole Mate Sneaker Cleaning Kit from Atlantic Folk costs £25 and comes with two bottles of ultra effective cleaning fluid in a cute little gift set tin. It separates dirt from footwear like nothing you've used before. It’s the perfect balance of effective stain fighting and kind on colours. It's a cute little gift that a trainer loving man would appreciate a lot.


Next up we have a really fun gift for the outdoorsy kind of men in your life. The Wicked Body Bubble Ball. You can crash, bash and smash with the winner of the Best New Outdoor Toy award at London Toy Fair, the Wicked Body Bubble Ball! The 4 foot inflatable protective bubble let’s you collide into each other in perfect safety thanks to the durable vinyl and multiple air chambers. Perfect for playing bubble football or bubble bowling, they’re great fun for everyone. The inbuilt safety harness stops falls and injury so you can bounce away without getting hurt. It costs £50 so it's not cheap but it's lots of fun. Be aware that you will need to buy two of them if you want to play a game together so that's a cost of £100.


Last but not least, something for the organised ladies in your life, the Makeup Train Case from Ellis James is a lovely luxurious make up case perfect for organising all your makeup. It has 12 Multi sized brush or tool slots, a large main compartment with 4 removable velcro dividers and a removable zip pouch for all your on the go essentials. Made of soft touch quilted nylon with a wipe clean interior. It's also nice and padded for even extra protection. I know if I received a gift like this for Valentine's Day, I'd be more than happy, it's so lovely.


So, that's it. Nine lovely Valentines' Day gifts perfect for the love of your life. I do hope you've had fun looking through my Gift Guide and hopefully you've even found some ideas or inspirations to help you find the perfect gift for your Mr or Mrs this Valentine's Day.

Disclosure: This Gift Guide includes Gifted Items which I received Complimentary but they were all hand picked by myself and all opinions expressed are 100% mine and honest.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Wedding Planning - Present Place Designs and their Beautiful Wedding Money Request Poems.

Wedding Planning - Present Place Designs and their Beautiful Wedding Money Request Poems.

Present Place Designs is a small, family run business that creates beautiful wedding stationery for your special day. Barry and Krystal, the owners, design and print wedding stationery for your big day. Krystal has an artistic flare and designs all of their products herself and Barry is the spreadsheet/numbers guy, together, they make the perfect team!

The big thing that I needed was a Wedding gift poem to put in with my Invitations as we've been together so long that gifts wouldn't really be helpful for us. We decided to ask for small amounts of money toward a honeymoon afterwards instead if they wanted to gift us with something. I'm not expecting everyone to give us money, it's just if people would like to. I myself, would just be happy with them attending and helping us celebrate our big day. 


It's strange really how the Universe works as the day I was actually searching the internet for my perfect poem, I received an email asking me if I'd like to try a product from the Present Place Designs website so naturally it was meant to be and I jumped at the chance.

This morning my beautiful Wedding Money Request Poems in Dusky Pink on Cream cards arrived and they're perfect. They're just what I wanted. For the small price of just £8 for 50 cards, I'm really pleased with them and now so excited to get them into my invites.


Present Place Designs have some lovely ideas of ways to remember your big day. They make Wedding Advice Cards where guests can leave little notes of advice for the Bride and Groom which is really sweet. They come in the form of cards or coasters which you can keep. They also do Song Request Cards where guests can pick songs from the DJ.


The Present Place Designs website have some really lovely ideas for your big day. I love my little poem cards and can't wait for my guests to see them. Seeing these this morning has got me all excited again as I'm actually getting married THIS year. Eeek. I can't wait!

If you're getting married this year or next even and want something similar for your wedding, why not take a little look and see if they have something you'll love as much as I do. 

Disclosure: I received my Wedding Money Request Poems (pack of 50) complimentary for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed within are 100% honest and my own.

Monday, 6 January 2020

#Win a Cadbury Thank You Chocolate Gift Set

Win a Cadbury Thank You Chocolate Gift Set 

Happy New Year everyone. I hope it's started off on the right foot for you? 2020 is an exciting year for us here as we're getting married! It's going to be a year of joy and celebration for us so I just wanted to share our happiness with a little giveaway to say 'Thank You' for all the support you've given us over the past few years. We do appreciate it.


One lucky reader is going to win this lovely gift set full of Cadbury treats delivered right to your door, paid for by me. It's the perfect gift to say thank you to you all! The Cadbury gift box is filled with a Cadbury Dairy Milk 200g bar in a special 'Thank You' gift sleeve alongside a Cadbury Dairy Milk and a small selection of your other favourite Cadbury bars. It looks great. I know you may have had enough of chocolate over the Christmas holidays - so sorry!

To WIN - Simply use the Rafflecopter Form below to complete as many or as few of the entry options as you like. It's completely up to you how many you do but remember, the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win. 1 lucky winner will be chosen at random after it closes on Friday 31st January  - Open to the UK Only - Good Luck xox

This is not a sponsored Giveaway - The Prize is paid for by myself.


Terms and Conditions: One winner will be drawn at random using the Rafflecopter App. 
This Giveaway is only open to the UK. The giveaways ends on Friday January 31st x