Gluten Free Brunch with Quaker Oats

So I have been sitting on this post like a proverbial hen for a number of weeks now as it has been so crazy busy with all things wedding. Now the bridal bliss has come and gone- far too quick I might add- I’m happy to be going through all the October/November news for you starting off with a Gluten Free Brunch with Quaker Oats.

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On the 6th October, the day after my birthday,  I had a brunch date at ETHOS with some bloggers and the MD of nutrition at Quaker Oats. The setting was fabulous, who doesn’t love indoor trees?!

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ETHOS is a great meat free spot for coeliacs, vegans and healthy food options- they cater for almost every dietary requirement!

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The restaurant partnered with Quaker Oats to create some great recipes for us to try out during the brunch. I was so happy to see such a variety of options as people can perhaps stereotype oats as a boring food. This brunch showed us that it most certainly is not boring!

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We started out with something quite easy which was make your own porridge- so I mixed mine with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, chocolate chips and honey.

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The next dish was very unusual and exciting. These are oaty croquettes made with oats, broccoli, cheese, eggs and seasoning. These were so tasty and I think I ate three! If you’d like the full recipe then reach out to me on Twitter or comment below!

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The next delight was a yummy zesty porridge cake. Baked to perfection, this had apricots and cranberries which sort of reminded me of an oatmeal and raisin cookie but way better.

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It is safe to say that Quaker Oats can go a very long way for any household, and I for one am very happy that these gluten free oats are now available in sachet packs or in the big 510g tubes shown below.

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510g Oats tube: £2.49

I loved my Gluten Free Brunch with Quaker Oats, and will definitely be making the croquettes in my own kitchen!

Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading, if you’re into all things festive and beauty then check out this post!

LAHENDO2016 PART ONE

I have been so excited about posting this post, as this will no doubt have everyone jumping up and down. The time is almost upon us (in 9 days to be exact), and I am here to share some great moments with you from my Hen Party weekend extravaganza! LAHENDO2016 Part One will cover the theme, the journey, the place and also some amazing surprises too for the party. I invited along 15 girls (one of which I have to mention was very missed 🙁 ) for the #LAHENDO2016.  So for those who don’t know, my mother owns a motorhome. This was decked out- much to my surprise- with designs on the back and sides to let the whole world know of course that we were having a hen party. My sister Evie was in  charge of the whole thing from start to finish as she’s my maid of honour and the one with the design skills! She expertly took the colour scheme of the wedding (dark red, white and light grey) to decorate the motorhome and used a font very recognisable to those Twilight fans out there. The wedding will be based around Twilight in certain areas (I’m not giving away too much) as Paul and I met at a Twilight event, so very fitting! lahendo2016_ lahendo2016_-2

So we set off from Ipswich and were headed to Manchester. We had booked a luxury stay in a gorgeous house through Celebration Cottages. The house we stayed in sleeps up to 20 people and was ideal for the kind of thing I was looking for in a hen do. I am not a party goer nor a fan of excessive drinking and so I opted for the girly sleepover sort of vibe instead which I wouldn’t change for the world. lahendo2016_-137

This shot was taken on the last day but it shows the artwork from the sides so you can see. Plus some more hens too!

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We stayed in a house called The White House, and as soon as we pulled up after our 6 hour journey I knew that we were going to love it. The front of the house was made of glass (similar to the Cullen’s house in Twilight) so that made me very happy! The house itself was beautiful. It had a stunning design, more of which you will see later, and it had everything we could possibly need from the marble kitchen to the cinema room. Now I had been working very hard on something for all the hens involoved. As a blogger I wanted to make the most of this beautiful location and this special occasion, and so I had a little help from some of my favourite brands.

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Each hen was presented with a bag full of a variety of things for the weekend and they loved it!lahendo2016_-13 lahendo2016_-14

So in their gift pack they found:

Premier Estates Wine

I love the Prosecco from Premier Estates. It is crisp and so light and delightful. We all enjoyed this Prosecco throughout the weekend and you can see more of them in Part Two! The bottles fit right in with the designer kitchen and our glasses were at the ready!lahendo2016_-61

Mr Stanley’s

Mr Stanley’s went above and beyond for the hen. Each hen had a glorious selection on confectionary from chocolate moustaches to fudge and lemon fizzies. This was so perfect for the hen party as we had vegetarians, coeliacs and lactose free requirements so there were treats for everyone. lahendo2016_-63

Amie Skincare

I took advantage of using the master bathroom for this shot! Equipped with television et al, we really enjoyed a selection of treats from Amie Skincare who I am a big fan of. We had the best micellar water for our makeup removing needs, moisturiser and a selection of their new face masks which I will be reviewing separately on the blog.

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Sass and Belle

Sass and Belle are one of my go-to brands for gifts and homeware. They provided us with the cutest notebooks for our games and quizes which I shall be talking more about in Part Two! Their designs were loved by the hen party as each couldn’t wait to open these up and take a peek inside! lahendo2016_-66

KIND Snacks

KIND Snacks are the perfect snack for a big sleepover weekend, especially when you have a lot of guests with different diets. KIND snacks kindly sent us a range of flavours for the weekend which are all gluten and dairy free. My favourite was the dark chocolate and cherry bar- so delicious!

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So the first day/evening of the hen was fairly chilled. We explored every inch of our quarters, chose our bedrooms and took a lot of silly photos as we waited for the whole party to arrive. I have to give 3 hens a massive applause who came from Wales, and the journey took them 9 hours in a small car! Every hour or so we would receive an update from them in the form of a dubsmash song 🙂 lahendo2016_-20

Here we are having fun with our chocolate moustaches!

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Stay Tuned for LAHENDO Part Two, there’s so much more to see including games, knickers and jacuzzi fun!

Saharasplash x Bride to be

 

Foodie Heaven from BoroughBox

I had the pleasure of meeting the BoroughBox team at the Big Blogger Expo last month. They had such a fab display that I was immediately drawn to them being such a foodie- it all looked so incredible! I got talking to the team who told me all about how it is their passion to connect foodies with the best producers (over 250 of them). So if you’re anything like me, I know you will enjoy the Foodie Heaven from BoroughBox too…

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They have a wonderful subscription service called the Discovery Club and you can also purchase individual items and gifts via the BoroughBox Marketplace here. But before you go and explore, I want to show you what you can expect from your BoroughBox delivery:
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It comes in a well-designed box with a rustic feel, and inside you have all your goodies nestled in a straw bed- it’s definitely got a hamper theme but in a modern way.
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My box was tailor-made to my gluten free diet, and I had a great time experimenting with some of the ingredients. BoroughBox have such a wide variety of products which cater for any allergy or diet:

Lamb stew using the Basil infused Olive Oil

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This made the perfect start to my dish as I splashed the oil in with some green peppers and onions

Mint choc chip sundae using the Pink Himalayan Salt and melted Mint Raw Chocolate Bar

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Baked chia seed loaf using Rana’s Artisan Bread Mix

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This crusted loaf went perfectly with some mature cheddar, alternatively dip into camembert!

 

My BoroughBox also contained a few more things which I cannot wait to try out and use to create something very soon!
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I love to help celebrate the independent food and drink businesses that BoroughBox offers, see what new things you can discover to create your own piece of Foodie Heaven from BoroughBox!
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Saharasplash x

I received this product for free for my honest opinion and review

BeBeautiful Lunch with Beauty Expert

I’m going to take you back a few weeks now, as this is something I have been working on reviewing for a while. Not only are you going to read about a fantastic place called the Ivy London, but you’re also going to learn about some top quality brands which you can get all in one place at the click of a button. This is my BeBeautiful Lunch with Beauty Expert.

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It was one of those impossibly hot July days in London as I made my way into the centre of the city to Covent Garden. There I was greeted by the team from Beauty Expert as well as some of the brands launching with Beauty Expert’s new collection- The Rose Edition.
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I saw some familiar bloggers at the event and met with some new faces too which is always nice. The tables were set out for all the bloggers with personalised place names and we each had a lovely rose waiting for us too accompanied by some Ren Skincare goodies.

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The Ivy London took such great care of us, and were happy to provide me with gluten free rolls and modify the dessert to make it coeliac friendly. We had the most amazing salmon starter, followed by chicken and corn purée, then strawberry sorbet and fruit to finish.

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It was lovely to be sat amongst other bloggers and representatives from the brands. After lunch, we had presentations from each of the brands involved to tell us a bit more about their key products and why they were included in this first collection inspired by roses.
Here’s what you can expect when you purchase the Rose Edition from Beauty Expert, which I must add here that it’s collectively worth £134 but is priced at just £50 for the whole collection!
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Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil (30ml)

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This BioRegenerate oil will help keep your skin looking so radiant. It is vegan and cruelty free which I just love to hear and it can help to cleanse and repair skin prone to irritation. I love using this twice a week in the evenings and I always wake up to brighter skin when I’ve used it.

Monu Gentle Cleanser (180ml)

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Ths cleanser contains Geranium, Rose and Aloe Vera to make one perfect gentle product. Also cruelty free, Monu are an inspiring brand which I cannot wait to discover more of their range. The lotion glides on smoothly with a cotton pad and I like to remove with a hot cloth so that it really opens my pores up for a deep cleanse.

Ark Body Beautiful Conditioning Oil (250ml)

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This conditioning oil is such a great all rounder. It comes in a very genrous size of 250ml so you will get a lot of use from this product which can be applied to your bath, body or hair. I love massaging this into my legs, hands and feet after a bath as it helps to destress and detox.

Balance Me Rose Otto Body Cream (200ml)

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The first thing I picked up when using this body cream was the scent of heady violets. It took me right back to my childhood and when I used to share a packet of parma violets with my nan, so I just love this product! I’d recommend only using small amounts as it is quite rich so again, it will last you a good while. It’s also 99% natural and made in the UK.

Korres Japanese Rose Shower Gel (250ml)

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Although this contains hydrolysed wheat gluten, don’t be deterred if you have a gluten allergy. A lot of coeliacs tend to stay away from cosmetics and beauty products which contain gluten but there’s no need. Unless ingested, you are completely safe to use this japanese rose shower gel, and believe me it’s so worth it.

REN Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift (15ml)

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This is by far my favourite product from the range. I have recently featured this wonder shot in my latest YouTube video- my August favourites. It has worked wonders around my eye areas in the past 3 weeks and the product gets to work instantly for immediate results.

 

The first collection from Beauty Expert couldn’t have been better in my opinion, it has a lustful range that will be coveted by most beauty addicts I am sure. Get yours today right here and let me know what is your favourite from the Rose Edition. I cannot wait to see what’s coming next, thanks ever so much for reading all about my BeBeautiful Lunch with Beauty Expert!

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Saharasplash x
If you liked my Bebeautiful lunch with Beauty Expert, you will love my gluten free afternoon tea!

Free From Afternoon Tea

This is a really big post which I am so excited about! Not only do I get to eat loads of yummy snacks, I can tick off one pretty big thing from my 2016 goals list, and that is to do a collaboration with Sainsbury’s! Sainsbury’s are without a doubt my favourite UK supermarket and I was so surprised to find this particular package waiting on my doorstep last week. The package in question sent to me was a massive bag filled with all the necessary equipment to have a fabulously free from afternoon tea in celebration of National Afternoon Tea Week.

For those living a gluten free lifestyle for whatever reason, I’m sure you have noticed the staggering changes in the free from market over the past 5 years. It is getting bigger and better with every launch, and Sainsbury’s have very recently revamped their entire range of free from products. I’ve tried pretty much everything out as I’m the type of coeliac who sees a new product and instantly feels like it’s my duty to buy it, eat it, and if it’s good then tell all my gluten free friends and family about it! I even went and bought the new Sainsbury’s birthday cake even though it’s not my birthday for months, no shame in admitting that one! So, onto the free from afternoon tea…

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I set everything up in my mum’s back garden as it was a beautiful and sunny day.

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My favourite from the range is defintiely the chocolate brownie! Before too long, the afternoon tea had a gate crasher…

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As pretty as my pooch is, he wasn’t getting any of it! It didn’t stop him having a sniff and licking his lips though!

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Thanks to Evie for the necklace loan for this shoot!

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These fantastic new treats are just waiting for you to try at your local Sainsbury’s and are all free from wheat, gluten and milk:

Rich Fruit Cake Slices

Fruity Granola Slices

Cherry & Almond Slices

Chocolate Brownies

Mini Bakewell Tarts

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What are you doing to celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week? Whether you have a food allergy or not, everyone should get to have some fun with a lovely afternoon tea this week!

Saharasplash x

 

PR Samples

The Real Greek Lunch

Just two weeks after my last day at my office job, I found myself heading for Westfield Shepherd’s Bush at 1 o clock on a Friday afternoon. I was so excited as this was to be my first blogger’s lunch and boy was I in for a treat! I’m sure you have all seen one of The Real Greek restaurants if you are local to London, there are 9 in total and I was about to experience The Real Greek Lunch celebrating the launch of their new book. This inspired cookbook is written by the restaurant’s consultant and expert in all things Greek- Tonia Buxton.  I was so surprised when the menus came round to see the incredible variety of things which I could eat as a coeliac. Over half the menu is gluten free and so I was thrilled to see what was going to be brought to us, ordered all by Tonia who looked after us so well.

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It was lovely to meet the Blink Publishing team along with Tonia herself and a handful of bloggers too. It was great to chat blogging and food while we waited for our starters to arrive.

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We tried pretty much everything from the starter menu, my favourite was the Melitzanosalata, an aubergine dish which I have recreated in my own kitchen and photos are at the end so you can see!

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We tried a range of wonderful mains too, a lot of the fish I didn’t eat just because I’m not a fan of things from the sea, but the others certainly enjoyed the dishes.

I had the most amazing greek salad and chicken skewers with peppers. The stand out dish for me was a vegetarian dish called Gigandes Plaki. Giant beans in a tomato sauce went down a treat.

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Speaking of treats, I tried something new which I had never even considered to be a dessert until this was put in front of me. It looked like yoghurt and mushrooms, but Tonia explained that it was candied walnuts. I tried one and fell in love!

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The sweet nut paired with the greek yoghurt was so moreish, it was lucky we were sharing this as I would have eaten the entire thing.

The tea was also a big hit, it’s a herbal blend called Greek Mountain tea and was so good, I have been back since just for this alone!

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What I discovered at The Real Greek Lunch, aside from the amazing tastes, was a new found repsect for Greek culture and the great importance food has for it. I loved how simple the dishes were and how we shared them out to try a bit of everything- this is definitely something I will be going back to with friends and family to show them the way of the Greeks!

As promised, here is a little something I cooked recently using The Real Greek cookbook. The Melitzanosalata recipe on p29 was so simple and easy to follow, I made the most amazing accompaniment that gave my turkey steaks and quinoa rice the perfect zing!

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Here is a little outfit detail for those of you wondering what I wore to The Real Greek Lunch:

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Boohoo crop and H&M skirt

The Real Greek recipe book is out now, buy it from Amazon here to bring some Greek style to your kitchen!

The Real Greek have posted all about our blogger’s lunch, so check this out here to see more photos and who was there 🙂

Saharasplash x