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The Vintage Village at Stockport Market

July 20, 2014

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I really enjoyed The Vintage Village at Stockport Market on Sunday. It takes place on the second Sunday of the month, and people set up their stalls inside Stockport’s handsome Victorian covered market hall. All the stall-holders were very friendly and happy to talk about the items on their stalls, which included tea-sets, lamps, records, books, coffee tables, haberdashery, and clothing. And talking of clothing, some folk dress up in tea dresses or mod frocks or teddy boy gear but I just went in my usual check shirt and jeans.

There is a fantastic selection of food and drink too. I had a lovely slice of chocolate flapjack to sustain me whilst browsing the stalls.

I was looking for items that would be useful and practical, as well as attractive. I was very pleased with my finds, which were as follows:

  • Five Tupperware Plate-o-Bowls, bought from ‘Vintage Queen’, shown top right. These cost £12 for the set, and have barely a scratch on them. They will be great for picnics and are very child-friendly.
  • Some cotton lawn fabric, buttons and a cross-stitched scissor-keep, shown bottom left, bought from the ‘Vintage Clutter’ stall shown top left. £9.25 the lot. I will probably use the scissor-keep with some better scissors. The fabric will make a lovely lining for a small bag.
  • A sugar bowl (Elizabethan Fine Bone China ‘Fresco’) and a USA ‘F’ Heat Proof glass dish (similar to pyrex), shown bottom right, purchased for £10 in total. I really liked the patterns on both dishes, and the blues go nicely with my kitchen.

The prices seemed very reasonable in comparison to those charged by online vintage shops and auction sites, especially given that I could inspect the items and did not have to pay postage.

All in all I came out feeling very contented indeed and determined to go back to The Vintage Village at the next opportunity. My photos, originally shared via my nyssapod account on Instagram and twitter, have been included in the Visitors’ Gallery and I’ve been invited to be ‘Finder of the Fair’ on Sunday 14th September, which will be The Fourth Birthday Bash Fair.

I’m linking up with The Good Things at Margot and Barbara, which is a weekly linky celebrating all the things that bring us happiness!

The Good Things

CBeebies Magazine – with ‘Kids Go Free’ vouchers

July 19, 2014

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We love Cbeebies Magazine in this house. It the best magazine we’ve found for keeping Aled entertained. Each issue contains stickers, activities and simple puzzles, plus a couple of stories featuring Cbeebies favourites. And at only £2.99 per magazine it’s good value too.

And this summer Cbeebies Magazine is even better value! In every issue of CBeebies Magazine from 16th July until 24th September you will find two ‘Kids Go Free’ child entry tickets into a range of Merlin attractions. That includes places like Sealife, Chessington, Legoland and the brand new CBeebies Land at Alton Towers! Aled has already spotted the vouchers for Sealife Centres in the 16th July issue, which is out now. For further information, see the Cbeebies Magazine facebook page for grown-ups.

cbeebies kids go free issue cover

We will receive a complimentary subscription to ‘Cbeebies Magazine’ as a thank you for writing this blog post. All words and opinions expressed are my own.

Dove Men+Care (review)

July 14, 2014

Dove MEN+CARE

This blog post was written by my husband, who also took the photo.

We were sent the Dove Men+Care body and face wash to review, together with deodorant spray. These are from the Clean Comfort range. As you can see form the photo, the body and face wash has a standard size 250 ml container, and the spray comes in a compact 75 ml can that holds as much deodorant as the standard 150 ml Men + Care sprays. I thought that both products performed well. They had a clean and fresh scent which was pleasant and not over-powering.

I had been looking for a compact deodorant spray that would fit easily into a travel bag, so was pleased to be able to review the spray. It is one of the best performing sprays that I have come across, with just a small application proving sufficient for long-term protection during the course of the day.

The body and face wash was also impressive. It seemed to be a concentrated gel, with a small amount being sufficient. The product states that it is “clinically proven to fight skin dryness.” It certainly seemed to leave body and facial skin feeling cleansed, without the dryness sometimes associated with less gentle gels.

Please note that the products arrived in a presentation pack. However, I was keen to investigate the contents and forgot to take a photo before having opened and disposed of the pack. Oops!

We were sent these Dove Men+Care products for the purposes of writing this review. Photograph and words by DTH Williams.

Magpie Monday: Orla Kiely book cover and make-up bag

July 8, 2014

Orla Keily book cover and make-up bag

How did it get to be Tuesday already? Oh well, never mind, here’s a quick ‘Magpie Monday’ post with a couple of pre-loved Orla Kiely items.

This copy of ‘Excellent Women’ by Barbara Pym was chosen purely because it features the fab Orla Kiely ‘Striped Petal Print’ on the cover. I found it in Oxfam’s Online Shop  which is full of tempting second-hand treasure.

The make-up bag came from eBay, and is perfect for carrying a stash of mini make-up items for a minibreak.

I’m linking up with Magpie Monday at Me and My Shadow where people share photos of their pre-loved finds.

Eisberg alcohol-free wine (review)

July 6, 2014
Eisberg alcohol-free wine

Eisberg alcohol-free wine

 

I got out the habit of drinking alcohol when I was pregnant and then breastfeeding.

There are some advantages of not drinking. I sleep more consistently, and am less likely to snore. Plus it is really nice not to have hangovers. I think my skin looks better. And drinking fewer calories means I can eat more cake and chocolate without getting fat.

But sometimes I really fancy having a glass of wine, with the feeling of it being a ‘grown-up’ treat. And at parties and social gatherings, I don’t always want to have to explain to people why I am not drinking something that looks like what they have in their glass. So I was pleased to be offered the opportunity to review Eisberg alcoholic-free wine here on my blog.

I chose to try the Riesling. It tasted lovely and refreshing on a sunny day with my Sunday lunch. Perhaps a little sweeter than I would choose if I were buying normal wine, so I might try the Chardonnay next time.

They also do a Rosé and a red Cabernet Sauvignon. The full range is available in Morrisons and selected varieties are available in Asda, Waitrose, RRP £3.50. So cheaper than real wine too!

I was sent a bottle of Eisberg Alcohol-Free Wine for the purposes of this review. Photograph, words and opinions are my own.

Goats’ milk products from St Helen’s Farm (review)

July 6, 2014
St Helen's Farm goats milk products

St Helen’s Farm goats milk products

For over a decade now, I’ve been avoiding cows’ milk because it gives me stomach ache and digestive problems. So when I was given the opportunity to review a hamper of goats’ milk products from St Helen’s Farm, I jumped at the chance. St Helen’s Farm has a good reputation for producing goats’ milk products which taste lovely without being too ‘goaty’.

The only product I had previously tried was the mild Goats Cheese which is readily available in most supermarkets. This is lovely, creamy tasting cheese. The hamper also contained a block of the Mature Goats Cheese, which was extraordinarily good. Both cheeses can be grated or sliced or eaten in chunks. We used some of the mature cheese in a butternut squash risotto, which was absolutely delicious.

We were also extremely impressed with the Goats Butter. This was especially tasty on toasted crumpets and potato cakes. It seemed lighter and more subtle than ordinary cows’ milk butter.

The milk disappeared very quickly. So much nicer than soya milk, especially when used to make my porridge in the mornings. And it seemed to keep me feeling fuller for longer. It was nice to drink on its own, and my husband tested in coffee, where again it worked better than soya milk.

And the yogurts were yummy too. I particularly enjoyed the Blueberry & Rosehip and Mango & Lime yogurts.

I feel really pleased to discover that I can have real milk, butter, cheese and yogurt made with goats’ milk. It seems much nicer to have real food rather than artificial soya-based products. Also the goats’ milk products work better when heated.

So we will definitely be buying all of these products again, checking the ‘where to buy‘ table to see which supermarkets stock which items. Waitrose and Ocado do most of the range, apart from the goats milk which is available at Sainsbury’s and Tesco. I’m going to try the cream and ice cream as well.

I accepted this hamper of goats’ milk products for the purposes of writing this review. All words and opinions expressed are my own. The photograph was taken by DTH Williams.

The Good Things

Linking up with The Good Things at Margot and Barbara.

Tips for getting the most out of a trip to Knowsley Safari Park (review)

June 22, 2014

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We were lucky enough to be offered free admission to the Knowsley Safari Park in return for writing about the visit on this blog. We went on the last day of the summer half-term holiday and had a lovely time. I would recommend this as a trip out for anyone who loves animals.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of a visit:

  • Book your day tickets online in advance and get 10% off the admission price.
  • You can upgrade your day ticket to a season ticket, which will save money if you’re planning to make multiple visits. This is especially useful if you live within easy reach of Merseyside, where Knowsley is located.
  • Arrive early if you’re going there on a sunny day in the school holidays like we did. It was starting to get quite busy by early afternoon.
  • A camera with a zoom lens is useful if you want to get the best photos. I particularly liked the above photo of a camel strolling casually across the road!
  • Take the car friendly route around the Baboon enclosure if you want to observe the baboons climbing on other people’s cars rather than your own!
  • Bear in mind that cars with soft tops or vinyl sunshine roofs are not permitted to drive through the Lion or Baboon enclosures. Also, vehicles with PVC skylights will have to take the car friendly route.
  • Do not miss the Sea Lion Show - the Sea Lions clearly enjoy it as much as the audience and I now know the key differences between a sea lion and a seal.
  • There are educational talks about meerkats, elephants, giraffes, bats and bugs but these do not take place everyday and the times vary – check the website before you go for more details.
  • The restaurant is child-friendly but there are picnic tables available in the ‘on-foot area’ if you prefer to take your own food.

I was offered free admission to the Knowsley Safari Park in return for writing this blog post. Words, pictures and opinions expressed are my own.

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