Lambrini Summer Fruits Cider

I’m not sure if many of you know about BzzAgent but I am a member of the website and was recently given the chance to try out the new range of Lambrini ciders; I was sent some money off vouchers and a voucher for a free bottle to try. I don’t normally post about my Bzz campaigns on the blog, preferring to ‘bzz’ on various other forums, however I thought this may be of interest to some of you.

This Lambrini Cider* is absolutely gorgeous. I downed the bottle within an hour of opening it; it is refreshing and just perfect for barbecues and various other occasions. You may have seen me tweeting about it on the night. It doesn’t taste like alcohol, just like a sweet fruit drink. It is definitely going to become a staple in my fridge. 

Lambrini often has the bad reputation as the drink that most underage kids are seen swigging in their local parks, however with this range of ciders, I’m sure their image can only get better.

I am part of the BzzAgent campaigns and received a voucher for a free bottle of the product.

The Girl On The Stairs by Louise Welsh

I was recently given the opportunity to review The Girl On The Stairs by Louise Welsh*. As you may know, I’m currently undertaking a reading challenge and after reading the synopsis of this book, it sounded right up my street so I agreed to give it a go.
First things first, how beautifully haunting is the cover? I try not to let cover art trick me into buying a book but believe me, I would have been tempted to buy this even without reading the synopsis!

The Girl On The Stairs can probably best be described as a psychological mystery. The premise is creepy; Jane moves from Britain to Germany with her partner Petra and is often left alone in their apartment, heavily pregnant, whilst Petra goes out to work. Jane often encounters a girl on the stairs, Anna Mann – who is the girl on the cover in the red coat- and Jane soon finds herself immersed into Anna’s life in a deeply disturbing way. 

Jane suspects 13 year old Anna’s father of abuse and will do anything to prove it, even going to the police with her theories. She also believes that Anna’s mother, who disappeared when Anna was very young, met an untimely end and is certain that Dr Mann is involved in some way. You, as the reader, are often left confused as to how you are meant to feel about Dr Mann – he seems very likeable but Jane’s theories also seem very plausible too. 

I disliked Anna from the start – the way she acts when someone is trying to help her (although perhaps the help is a little unmerited) is baffling and I also found Petra, Jane’s partner, a cold and irritating character. Petra chalks all of Jane’s suspicions on pregnancy hormones and her continual isolation from the outside world, but offers no comfort or help when Jane seeks it. Her relationship with her brother is a little odd at times and I wish there had been a little more about her character.

The plot is a little slow at times, however it picks up towards the middle and turns this book into a fast-paced read…I read this in a day! This is definitely a must-read novel for fans of mystery or psychology, as the reader you constantly find yourself second guessing each and every move – sometimes willing Jane not to go ahead with something, other times urging her on.

Do Jane’s suspicions hold some truth or are her thoughts just the paranoid workings of a isolated, heavily pregnant woman in unfamiliar surroundings?

I’m still not sure. 
The Girl On The Stairs is available to buy from Amazon here for £9.85 hardback and for £8.99 on the Kindle.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

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My Mocktail: Woo Woo & Pina Colada

Back in March, I had the opportunity of reviewing some lush cocktails from the My Cocktail range (review here). I was recently contacted and asked if I’d like to now try the non-alcoholic alternative My Mocktail*.

These can be enjoyed alcohol free or you can add the alcohol you usually find in each cocktail to the mix too. We decided to enjoy these as they were and we loved them! We had a few friends around to try them and the majority felt that they could taste no difference to the alcoholic cocktails they had tried over the years.

The Woo Woo definitely has a strong hint of cranberries, just like the alcoholic version and I truly enjoyed this. Steve was a little unsure himself, not being a cranberry fan – yet he still managed to drain his glass. 

The Pina Colada is just as tasty – as a mum, I can’t drink cocktails whenever I feel like it and Pina Colada happens to be one of my favourites, so offer me a non-alcoholic alternative and I will be chomping your hand off at the bit to get to it! It also tasted just like the alcoholic version, as did the Woo Woo and I had to be quick, else Steve would have drank it all! Of course, it tastes primarily of pineapple but it doesn’t overpower and leaves you with a pleasant aftertaste.

I love the functionality of these mocktails. You can enjoy them alcohol free or with your favourite tipple, they are easy to store, great packaging and can be bought for as low as £1.97 at Asda. You can check out their Facebook page here

Are you a fan of non alcoholic cocktails or do you need a bit of alcohol in your tipple of choice?

Purity Organic Skincare – Part Deux

I recently posted a review on some of the lovely goodies Purity Organic Skincare sent me to try out (find the post here). I was incredibly impressed by the items I reviewed last time and thought that today I would bring you the rest of the products I received. I am constantly impressed by the brands blogger outreach – they work incredibly hard at maintaining a relationship with bloggers which I think is fantastic!
 FACIAL EXFOLIATOR* – £5.99
It may sound strange but I am not too familiar with exfoliators. I have used them on the odd occasion but having been slack with my skincare up until this year, I never really saw the point in them. Fragrance free, the exfoliator carries the tagline synonymous with Purity, ending in ‘less is more’ and also lists the ingredients in an easy to read type on the back. Containing coconut oil, sweet almond oil and aloe vera, I knew I would be in for a treat.

Claiming to give a deep clean, I applied this as the instructions suggest and what can I say? I could really feel it work its magic and it left my skin feeling softer than a baby’s bum after use. I’m considering adding this to my regular buys once I run out.
I have a vast array of cleansing products, ranging from lotions to creams to gels, so I was interested to  see just what this cleansing lotion makeup remover could bring to the table. When using this, I applied a generous amount to my face and gently washed off with a cloth. Slightly creamy in consistency, it did feel like it was doing something and when removed, had taken off my makeup to a reasonable extent. It  is a great product but I’m afraid it just isn’t going to knock other cleansers off the top of my list just yet – it was lacking that little something for me.

FACIAL WASH* – £4.99
Described as a combination of Sweet Almond Oil, Aloe Vera, Glycerine and a gentle Coconut & sugar based foam, this product is a winner for me! I have been using this night and day since I received it. You need only a small amount to let the wash do its thing; a pea-sized amount is plenty. I did experience a little tightness around the face for the first few days which I took as my skin getting used to a new set of skincare products, however this feeling soon vanished and I was left feeling super clean every single use.

Purity Organic Skincare products are available to buy online here and a number of Superdrug stores, a list of which can be downloaded from the Purity website.

What are your thoughts on organic beauty products?

Like A Kid In A (Cyber) Candy Shop

Scribbled out my address in Paint – don’t want it all over the internet, of course!
I must admit, I was getting just a tad envious of all the bloggers that I had seen sampling various goodies from Cyber Candy, so you can imagine my surprise and joy when I found a lovely email from the amazing Libby, asking if I’d like to review some of their wares…Well, I didn’t need asking twice…Chocolate? Yes please! 

Cyber Candy specialise in selling those cult confectionery products that are hard to get hold of here in the UK.Don’t be fooled though, they also stock extreme foods such as scorpion lollipops(!!) and cricket sweets for the more daring amongst us.
She told me to let her know what I’d like to try and she’d get some samples sent out to me.
This is where the first problem came in – Steve came to have a look too – and no word of a lie, he sat, browsing all the different items for ages before whittling it down to a shortlist of ten. That’s right, TEN.   In the end, I had to email Libby the shortlist and ask her to pick a few from the list, as we just couldn’t decide amongst ourselves! I was secretly hoping for the M&M Coconut flavour and I know Steve would have been happy with a packet of Reese’s…so what did we receive?
I’d heard a lot about Hershey’s Milk Duds* over the years, from various sources. Friends who had been to the US, various blogs and US TV programmes that constantly name check them. I was pleased to see them included, as these have always been on my to-try list. They weren’t unlike Rolos – just a different shape. Super yummy though!

Reeses Pieces* are one of those strange products – you can sometimes find them in the UK, other times not – I think it all counts on being in the right place at the right time, as I know these are extremely popular both sides of the Atlantic! These were Steve’s favourite out of the three, especially as he got to scoff almost all the bag to himself! As I’m not a fan of peanut butter myself, I was happy to let Steve munch his way through them but I did want to try just one to see what they were like. Considering I can’t stand peanut butter at all, these were actually quite pleasant. Definitely a must-have for peanut butter fans!
Yes, M&Ms Coconut!* As you can imagine, I was over the moon to see these included! They were absolutely heavenly, a real treat for a hot summers day. I definitely want to have these again, they are by far the best flavour M&Ms do!

I must say I am suitably impressed with everything Cyber Candy have to offer. Libby was extremely friendly and answered any questions I had efficiently and quickly. The service was quick, I received these within two days of sending Libby my choices and as you can see, they were packed well to prevent any damage! (I loved the colourful packaging, they themselves reminded me of sweets-perhaps that’s the point?) 

I am planning to have a little spree on the website over the next couple of days so I can have the opportunity to try out a few more of the products on my wishlist! All I have to do now is persuade Steve to let me use his debit card…do you think the promise of Reeses will sway him?

Have you ever tried anything from Cyber Candy? What did you think?