Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Become the perfect Aperitivo hostess

The Aperitivo is derived from Italy, “beverage that is alcoholic which is consumed prior to a meal with the intention to simulating the appetite
This popular tradition comprises food and drink and who can resist, this should be a firm UK staple and a firm staple in my home so I thought I would share some tips and recipes on how to become the perfect Aperitivo hostess, complete with a shopping list to make life that little bit simpler.

Perfect time for Aperitivo: 
7pm - 9pm.

What to drink
The classic aperitivo usually includes a cocktail with a bitter base commonly using Aperol or Campari mixed with a great fizz, such as Mionetto Prosecco and I have some recipes that you can create with ease, so it won't take you away from your guests.

You could even put the ingredients on the side on a bar cart with the recipe and let everyone create there own 'Pimp your Aperitivo'
The Mionetto Aperol Spritz
A refreshing Aperol Spritz, perfect for a chilled drink in the afternoon under the sun to start your Aperitivo with friends.

  1. Grab a balloon or wine glass.
  2. Fill with cubed ice (in this weather it would be a crime not to have this in your freezer)
  3. Combine 75ml of Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso with 50ml of Aperol
  4. Add a splash of Soda
  5. Garnish with a slice of fresh orange
Arancia Spritz
  • 85ml chilled Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso
  • 55ml San Pellegrino Aranciata
  • 30ml Campari
  • Fresh Mint
  • Orange Slice

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a wine glass - leave the Mionetto Prosecco till the end.
  2. Add ice, then stir to chill.
  3. Top up with prosecco.
  4. Garnish with mint and a slice or orange.

Mionetto Italian Honeysuckle
  • 75ml chilled Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso
  • 1 slice of jalapeno 
  • 15 ml lime juice
  • 15 ml sugar syrup
  • 30 ml Blanco Tequlia
  1. Muddle the jalapeno slice and the lime juice.
  2. Add the sugar syrup, Blanco tequlia, ice - then shake.
  3. Strain into a glass, add the Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso
  4. Add a jalapeno slice to finish off your cocktail

Transport your guests over to Italy for your aperitivi and create some delicious nibbles. You do not need to go wild but put on a small spread of some different items and use your creativity. In Italy each bar presents Aperitivi in a different way so feel free to mix it up in any way you would like.

More fondly known as, ‘little toasts’ mine are the ones that come in a packet but if you want to go all out grab a ciabatta and baste in olive oil, garlic and roast some vine tomatos. 

Pasta Salad
In a large bowl, toss together fusilli pasta, mozzarella pearls, salami,
bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes and olives. Prepare a simple dressing with
olive oil, vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, parsley, and chilli fakes and add
to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate before serving.

Roasted Vegtables
To add some beautiful colour to the table use a range of vegetables, I went for courgettes and vine tomatoes. I just covered with a bit of olive oil, basil and
oregano. Roast for 10-15 minutes.

Olives and more olives
You can't go to Italy and not have olives so create a medley of them - you can't go overboard.

Italian Cheese and Prosciutto Board
This is always a winner, grab a wooden serving board and place a selection of regional cheeses (my favourites are Reggiano Parmesan and slices of Pecorino with some chilli jam) and lots of prosciutto.
The key is to make the afternoon as relaxed as possible and a bit of sun never hurt anyone. So simplicity will help you here, don't over complicate it - you're not hosting a dinner party and everyone wants a stress free afternoon and hosts also need to be stress free.
Choose great friends to join you to eat and drink your perfect Aperitivi with great conversation.

For the decor you can add some Italian vibes with greenery and oranges - my little trees are from Ikea, which add to the simplicity of the afternoon.
This post is in collaboration with Mionetto.
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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Master Bedroom: Update and new Leesa Mattress

So there has been a lot of movement on the home font in the past few months so I thought I would share a few updates starting with the bedroom. 

We moved rooms from the roof conversion room back downstairs, mainly because the temperature variation was a bit crazy from freezing to so hot you feel like you are melting.
Master_Bedroom_Update_and new_Leesa_Mattress
First of all we painted the walls in a cool grey, Dimpse from Farrow & Ball which we actually only did one coat maybe the colour came out the way it did because of the undercoat which was a vile purple like lilac - but I love the colour now. 
Master_Bedroom_Update_and new_Leesa_Mattress
We then sorted out the little store cupboard in the room which we are thinking could be transformed into a en suite bathroom at some point but for the moment we painted it in All White, from Farrow & Ball then added some pine shelves storing all my shoes and old school DVDs - more shelves will be added shortly.

The main focal point of the room is the bed and the bed I was looking for ages for a fabric bed and they were all over £800 but i managed to purchase a luxurious light grey one for £249.
Master_Bedroom_Update_and new_Leesa_Mattress
I also decided with the big move it deserved a new mattress I have seen everyone getting these ‘pop-up’ mattresses that get delivered rolled up in a box and had heard great things about them so I was excited for my Leesa Sleep mattress to arrive. I have now being using it for over a month and I am in love. The Leesa mattress starts from £399 and if you my code TIME2GOSSIP you can get £100 off and if you want to pay monthly they offer 0% interest. You get a 100 night risk-free trial, 10 year warranty and free delivery and returns - Leesa really believes you will love their mattress that they ensure you wont be out of pocket if its not for you.

Master_Bedroom_Update_and new_Leesa_Mattress
The Look: It is a one look fits all as this is the only mattress Leesa offer in a range of sizes. The mattress is really modern with a pretty striped grey & white design, its a shame I have to cover it up with a sheet.

The Feel: It was strange on my first night on the Leesa mattress you literally float on-top of the mattress as it molds around you from the memory foam layer offering significant support. The top Avena foam layer ensures that you get a cooler nights sleep so you can get cozy in your duvet. My sleeps are so much deeper, I am not waking up during the night anymore and I cant feel my other half moving around which is just fabulous.
Master_Bedroom_Update_and new_Leesa_Mattress
Making up the bed:

Bedding: Ikea, £17

Dotted around the room are some wicker baskets that have Paul the polar bear on top and also a bench from Ikea - which I think I may move out.

Our bedside cabinets are from Ikea (similar ones here). 
Master_Bedroom_Update_and new_Leesa_Mattress
I have my art pint from Brixton market but I need to work on some additional decor for the room maybe some prints above the bed.

The room is super cozy and I have a great nights sleep so its perfect for the moment.
Master_Bedroom_Update_and new_Leesa_Mattress
Do you spot the Love Island water bottle :-)
Master_Bedroom_Update_and new_Leesa_Mattress
Master_Bedroom_Update_and new_Leesa_Mattress
Master_Bedroom_Update_and new_Leesa_Mattress

This post is sponsored by Leesa Sleep Ltd
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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

If I could invent a Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar…

Cadbury and I have a love, love relationship since I was a young child. Flavours have come, and flavours have gone but the iconic Cadbury Dairy Milk bar still remains a strong kitchen staple in my home and this could be in any form of the family favourites such as my favourite, caramel, fruit & nut and whole nut.
If I could invent a Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar…
This month Cadbury have launched a new nationwide competition, so Cadbury and chocolate connoisseurs like myself can invent your own Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar. Even better your creation could become the newest addition to the Cadbury Dairy Milk range. Cadbury are always looking for new ways to create innovative new creations and this time they are after the people that love it the most to create it.

With 90,000 combinations it was a hard choice when trying to come up with my own creation but after hunting through fruity, nutty, sweet and wild food categories my three creations would be:

1.    Rosemary, Crunchy Caramel
I call this one ‘Kay’s Caramel’ and my own little herb garden inspired my creation and my favourite Dairy Milk Bar for the caramel infusion.
If I could invent a Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar…

2.    Raspberry, Blueberry, Chilli
I would call this one ‘Fruity Fire’ inspired by my love of spice and two of the best fruits.
If I could invent a Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar…

3.    Brownie, Sea Salt, gummy sweets (shaped like fish)
This one would be aptly named 'Taste of the Sea'; this flavour takes inspiration from one of my worst habits – eating sea salt raw.
If I could invent a Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar…

So those are my creations but what would be yours?

·  Choose up to 3 ingredients - here.
·         Give them a virtual mix
·         Name your new Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar
·         Tell Cadbury why your bar is a winner

Create your winning bar and be in for a chance to become the latest edition to the iconic Cadbury Dairy Milk range as a limited-edition bar. Three finalists will go head-to-head with the nation to become the bar that is sold across the nation, win a year supply of your creation and a visit to the Cadbury Chocolate Centre of Excellence in Bournville to work with chocolate experts to make your chocolate bar a reality.

The judges will be looking at not only taste but creativity You have until 31st July 2018 and the competition is open to everyone in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  
If I could invent a Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar…
If I could invent a Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar…
If I could invent a Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar…

This post is in collaboration with Cadbury.

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Thursday, 14 June 2018

10 things I have learnt from watching Love Island

Hands up if you are a love island fan! TBH if you love it or hate it I think pretty much everyone is talking about Love Island 2018.

Although Love Island 2018 is not as SEXY as 2017 e.g. less making out sessions and actual sex its certainly as juicy.

So here are some things that have been on my mind since watching this series.

1.       I still want to own a personalised water bottle
Those Love Island personalised water bottles are back and even though I have enough water bottles, one with Fiona in fluorescent pink writing just sounds dreamy but am I willing to fork out £15 for yet another bottle….probs not.

2.       Life is scheduled around Love Island not the other way around
It is not the same if you watch the day after – I repeat it’s not the same. You must be home at 9pm except for on a Saturday. You don’t need to watch the Saturday round up if you are true fan and watched every day!

3.       Whatsapp explodes at 9pm
I’ve never felt so loved since Love island started I have so many different convos going on #POPULAR

4. Every single human in the UK is skinny
If this was the only thing you had ever seen of the UK you would think every guy was ripped to some degree and loved the gym and every girl wears 5 inch think makeup and is the size of a twiglet – they all look great, don’t get me wrong but this is not a great representation of the guys and gals of the UK.


5. I want my garden to look like the love island garden
Not only my garden but my wedding! Festoon lights all around.

6. You need to have chat / game to get the girl.
All I have to say to this is Poor Alex – I believe in you but move on from Megan


7. No one ever eats
They just drink from their personalised water bottles. At least they are getting there recommend daily water intake.


8. Waking up looks like hell
I generally couldn’t cope being woken up by my blinds just opening – it makes me wince every time they do it.

9. The Villa needs a pet
A good old cat or dog would make the villa a happier place.

10 The trees won’t disappear after Brexit
WOW you do learn a lot from watching Love Island don’t you! Old Hayley made sure the UK knew that Trees would not in fact disappear when we leave the EU – it was all a bit of a shock but we will survive after being reassured by the rest of the gals.

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