Monday, 29 July 2013

Batiste dry shampoo strength & shine - Review

As part of the latest BzzAgent campaign, I was given a whole range of new Batiste product to try.

The first one was the Strength & Shine Dry Shampoo.

What does Batiste says ?

Who says you should be resigned to a bad hair day just because you’re between washes? The resident expert in dry shampoo, Batiste, has introduced a new range of products that keeps your hair looking fabulous on the days you don’t wash your hair. Quickly and conveniently give your hair the care it needs on with a little help from Batiste!
Check out the next page for more information on each of the products

  • Daily hair styling can cause your hair to become weak, brittle and tired looking. That’s why Batiste created the Strength and Shine Dry Shampoo, enriched with
  • L-Arganine – an amino acid known to stimulate the hairs follicles. A quick burst instantly refreshes your hair between washes and helps it to look and feel stronger, shinier and altogether gorgeous!

What do I think ?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Things to do with kids this Summer - Cutty Sark - Lower Hold - Greenwich London

Having a stay-cation or visiting London with the kids this summer ?
I will be posting 2 different series of this wonderful ship.
Let's start with  the Lower Hold :

Cutty Sark was built in 1869 and was one of the very last tea Clippers.
She was the fastest sailing cargo ship ever but steam power came  to replace sails.

Besides, with the opening of the Suez Canal in the same year Cutty Sark was built; steam ships enjoyed a journey to China or Australia cut by a huge 3,000 miles !

The main trade was with tea from China.
This is a stunning example of a tea Chest.

Clippers were racing to bring the tea back from China.
Betting on the fastest ship became a national sport ;-)

The ship bringing the first tea of the year would win a considerable bonus.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Favourite Holiday wardrobe from Phase Eight

What would buy from Phase Eight for an essential holiday wardrobe : a day dress, an evening dress and accessories to match both.
Despite the heat-wave, I am not forgetting to pack some sleeves for the cooler nights.

1. My first choice was the Newberry print dress 95% viscose and 5% elastane, it will keep you cool and won't crease too much in your suitcase. Currently reduced to £69 from £79, offering a saving of 13%.
Easy wash, easy care, easy iron and really pretty … a perfect summer day dress

Monday, 22 July 2013

Moroccan chicken and lemon tajine with Alassala - Organic Argan Oil (Healthy recipe)

A little while ago, I came across a press release for Alassala's distribution of Organic argan food oil in the UK.
I used to use Argan oil for Mediterranean dishes after I bought some in Morocco.
I love the nutty taste of it and it is a super healthy oil.
Unfortunately, I have never seen it in the UK.

You can now buy it online ;-) ;-)


As well as other products imported from Morocco : Olives, Olive Oil, Preserved lemons, Gherkins, Amlou paste, and cosmetic argan oil.

I will be reviewing the oil and tell you a bit more about the benefits shortly in a different post.

Back to our tajine :
I grew up with a Moroccan Nanny.
She was born in Oujda and came to my country after completing her history degree.
She used to spend hours and hours making delicious Moroccan pastries every time my parents were entertaining guests.
But on a daily basis, she used to feed me with the most amazing Moroccan dishes, all made in the tradition of the women in her family.

I will post the traditional recipe IN the tajine next week.
In the meantime, most of us do not have a tajine dish at home.
I have therefore twisted the technique to my own (Afwan Saliha ;-) )

I served it up with some Moroccan spiced carrots.

Update : 

Win your own Alassala's Organic Argan cooking oil and Alassala's olives of your choice soon.

A new competition to win the above will start on 20th August.
Come back to this site to enter through the rafflecopter on the competition post (Will be published 19th August)
See the range of olives here : Alassala's olive range


Feeds : 2 big eating adults or a family of 2 adults and 2 children
Preparation time : 15 mins
Cooking time : 30 mins to 1 hour (Depends on the size of the potato chunks)

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Lost in Translation 2 - Beijing - Photo album

This is going to be my very last post about Beijing (At least until I visit again)
These pictures were all taken at the Great Wall

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Caorunn Gin - A Sensorium experience and review

A few weeks ago, I discovered Caorunn Gin through a master-class at their Taste of London stand.
I have always been a gin lover from the classic G&T to the more fancy Gin Martini cocktail.

For many years, only Gordon Dry Gin with Schweppes tonic water would do for G&T's
(Fever tree since Schweppes got greedy and replaced some of the sugar by artificial sweeteners in all their drinks !)
Then I discovered Bombay Sapphire with Noilly Prat for dry martinis
Eventually Hendrick, Tanqueray, Plymouth etc in martini cocktails
As you experiment with different brands, you realise that gin, like whisky have many faces, each with its own predominant flavour (Juniper for Gordon, spices for Bombay, and cucumber for Tanqueray)

What does Caorunn say ?

Photo credit : Caorunn Gin webiste

What do I think ?

Caorunn Gin Sensorium in full swing at Taste of London
Photo from Caorunn's Gin Facebook page

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Win a pair of children's Holster Jelly shoes

I recently reviewed Holster shoes (Women's) during my last trip to the seaside.
See review and pics here :

Now is your chance to win a pair of these gorgeous shoes for your little one.
Winner can choose the style and size

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions
Superlucky blog - Competitions listing
Loquax competition forum and listing

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Beijing - Cooking class with a sustainable and ethical business

The class setup

Another company I had the pleasure to discover and work with in Beijing was Hias Gourmet.
I took one of their dumpling classes.

In order to respect my classmate's privacy (as well as mine ;-) ) all faces have been blurred / pixelised

All studious - A new way of mashing fish
Hias offers cookery classes : Regional Flavours, Traditional Dumplings, Dim-Sum, Noodles, Peking Duck, Fruit & Vegetable carving as well as cooking classes.

They also offer food-tours : Breakfast Farmers Market, Hutong Eats, Beijing Night Market and a Tea Tasting Safari.

All tours and classes can be custom made.

Hias also hosts a series of corporate events and team-building.

And finally, they have many connections with local caterers and restaurant. If you need to feed a group, Hias will be the perfect interlocutor to get you a deal and make sure your event runs smoothly

Friday, 12 July 2013

Holster Jelly Shoes - Review (+ competition for a children's pair on Thursday)

I am just back from a work trip in beautiful sunny climes.

I knew the city I was working in was near the sea and would probably take a few days off after the work-week to re-explore Spain.
But panic set up before I left : I haven't been to the beach in years ! And all my shoes are "city" shoes.

Fortunately, Holster Australia offered me the opportunity to try some of their shoes.
I set my eyes on a classic pair of black sandals with wood detailing.
Easy to match with much of my wardrobe and smart enough to go from beach to casual dinner.

Where are Holster shoes available from ?

Basically, all the fashion shops in Britain :  Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Harrods!
As well as some small boutiques across the country.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Chocolate chips, orange and vanilla cakes with The Lake District Vanilla Quark (0% fat) - Recipe

In France, as kids come back from school, they often munch on a piece of brioche, some marbled cake or other pastries in a "ritual" called "Le Goûter".
These little marvels are a typical example of what would be eaten at "goûter" with a glass of squash.

Slightly lighter than most French version (often made with yoghurt and oil), Quark will give you a good base with 0% fat. The only oil you will need is to grease the molds.

I found the texture was best the day after being made than on the day.

Preparation time : 15'
Baking time : 20 to 25'
Cost : Average

Ingredients for 12 cakes (in a regular muffin tins)

- 125g plain flour
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1 small bag of chocolate chips (about 100g)
- 75g sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 3 eggs
- 1 pot of Lake District Company Vanilla Quark

What do I do ?

Friday, 5 July 2013

Lost in translation 1 - Beijing

Shoe care shop in a Hutong

You Dirty Devil !!!
FAO, this is short for Beijing
This is a T-shirt shop in a Hutong
But can be found in any tourist shops in BJ