Sunday, 23 March 2014

Silent Sunday 23 March 2014

Fabulous Foodie Degustabox

If you are a foodie or simply love trying new and exciting products, Degustabox is just what you have been looking for.

Now into it's third month in the UK, Degustabox is a monthly subscription service that offers subscribers the chance to sample 10 to 15 exciting new food products on a monthly basis.  Some of the products in the food box are new to the market and the joy of having a food delivery put together like this is that all the food products work out to be less than their advertised retail price.

The service is £12.99 per month which includes postage with no commitment necessary as long as you cancel before the 10th of the month.

One of the most recent boxes contained some delicious times from Dorset Cereals, Zico, Jules Destrooper, Amy's Kitchen, Alice and Oscar's, Go! Kombucha, Goody Good Stuff, Maggi.  What I loved about this selection is that there isn't anything in there that I wouldn't eat or give to my family.

I love that the majority of the products in this food box are focused on a healthy diet.  The Goody Good Stuff treats are perfect for vegetarians as they are gluten free and my daughter loved them.  Also having seen the Maggi SoTender cooking range advertised on TV I was intrigued and really wanted to give them a go and had the chance to do this (very yummy by the way!) because of the sample in my food box.  Fabulous!

Included in the box was a lovely card giving two delicious recipes using products in the food box itself.  The back of the card gives information about the products at a glance which is really handy when you are unfamiliar with a product and trying it for the first time.

The money off vouchers are a great touch too as they are relevant to products within the box as opposed to being for items which are completely unrelated which I often find a bit senseless.

Degustabox makes a wonderful gift, especially for those who have everything or for friends and family who just love their food.  It's also a great monthly treat for yourself.  Food boxes arrive at the end of the month if you purchase before the 20th or before the 8th of the following month if purchased on or after the 21st.

Happy discovering, eating, cooking and sharing!

Ally x


note: I was sent this box to review with all views being my own.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

What's your perfect day?

A friend of mine posted a link to a short film on Facebook recently featuring an acclaimed photographer, Jerry Ghionis.

Jerry poses the following question to a room full of photographers.  "What is your perfect day?".  A simple enough question to answer you'd think but if you actually took the time to mull it over, it's more than just spa days or track days, an extra few hours in bed or an hour to yourself in the day.  It comes right down to the root of who you are, what your needs are as a human being, what you want from life and what you want to achieve from it.

So after watching the video and then discussing it with a few friends over the weekend and telling them what I thought was my perfect day I actually stopped talking and started listening.  The day that I had described simply wasn't true to myself and was something that I could honestly do on any given day of the week if I wanted to.

I spent the best part of midnight to 2.00 a.m. having a debate with myself and then realising that as I was creating a story in my mind, seeing it laid out on the page, that the only person I was kidding was myself.  My perfect day isn't one where I'm being pampered and having a story book day with my family but one where I am by myself, where it is warm and the sun is streaming in through a window and I have my computer.

These three key factors all lead to one thing.  Writing.  I love to write, plain and simple.  It's a time where I can really be me with every thought being released out into the open through my blog.  How I choose to express myself is up to me and if people read and enjoy what I've composed that is an added extra but not the sole purpose of this creative outlet.  I find it cathartic with my blog being a small sanctuary; something that is completely mine that no one can take from me, that is never right or wrong and lets me be exactly who I am.

The big question that you are probably wondering is why then, if this is my nirvana, have I stopped writing for the past few months?  The simple facts are as follows:

  1. I'm now 23 weeks pregnant with my second child.  I've been kidding myself that my tiredness has taken over and actually stopped me from writing.  It just isn't physically possible be a working mum to one, a wife and be pregnant at the same time and then still have a life, or so I told myself.
  2. I think I should be doing vast amounts of housework as a spotless house (which will only look like a disaster area in a few hours) is the answer to all my prayers.  My husband knows all to well that this is one of the biggest lies I tell myself each day.
  3. For some irrational reason I've become afraid to write.  I see other blogs with people spurting out new and fresh ideas on a near daily basis which threatened me.  To be honest, I'm not trying to compete with anyone or win any awards so why should this bother me?
  4. I think that I'm being selfish by taking out a few hours at night or even on a Sunday morning like I am doing now.  I don't want to not spend time with my husband and feel even more guilty for shipping my daughter off to my in-laws just so that mommy can spend time on the computer, writing random and seemingly meaningless articles, putting them up on to her blog.  
  5. I felt uninspired; like I couldn't create with the pressure from some completely unknown source making me feel like anything I wrote would be worthless and not worth the time taken to push the publish button.  I was aiming to please a completely unknown audience but scared of the my posts being ridiculed or having some sort of bizarre backlash at what I'd composed.  This contradicted my views at every turn.
After thinking about all these seemingly stupid excuses (because that is all that they are) I stopped to ponder them again...   
  • If this is what makes me happy then surely I must be a better person to be around when I'm writing and being creative?  
  • Why should I feel guilty for taking time out from my family?  Before I was a wife and mother I was me, plain and simple.  Losing sight of that is probably one of the biggest makes I could be making.  
  • How can my daughter and husband respect me as an individual if I just give up on doing something that makes me feel alive?  I don't believe in doing things that are at the cost of others but out of the 168 hours we are given each and every week, taking 8 of those or less to spend time doing something you love is hardly a hardship.
  • Do I honestly care about competing with other people.  Do I want to be the same as all the other 'mommy bloggers' out there.  A simple answer to this is 'no'.
Well, here I am.  I'm writing and it has probably been the best 30 minutes of time spent so far this week.  Just me and my thoughts being poured out into my blog. 

I also often say that I'd love to write a novel but then push the idea aside thinking that there isn't much point as it will probably be a load of rubbish and no one would want to publish it anyway.  I've basically kicked the idea to the curb before I've given it a chance, making excuse after excuse after excuse to persuade myself not to do something that I've always dreamt of doing purely based on the fact that I think I'll fail before I've even started.   I'm not saying I'm going to start putting all the cogs in motion tomorrow but the time for excuses is now over.

Watch this video and take from it what you want.  It made me realise that I was the only person stopping me from having my perfect day was me and no on else.  No more excuses for why I can't allow myself to do what I love and allow myself the chance to be this person too.

Ally x

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