Friday, 25 March 2016

#womaninbiz Spring Goodies

If you follow me on Twitter you will already know that I take part in #womaninbiz #wineoclock hour most weekdays. (6-7pm Monday-Friday)

I have met some really talented and lovely women in business and do my best to support them on and off line.

Here are my Spring buys from some of them. 

This has to be my favourite purchase this year and is from Spotted Zebra. (Twitter @SpottedZebra22)
I absolutely love it. I've noticed the pineapple trend in lots of homeware shops and this is a total bargain at just £14.99. The pineapple takes 3 AAA batteries to give it a gentle glow, personally I prefer it as it is!

Most of the ladies on #womaninbiz hour know my love for wine and this was recommended to me by Rae who hosts the hour. The personalised slate coaster is from Berry Unique gift shop. Twitter (@BerryUniqueGift)
At just £5.99 it would make a great gift for lots of occasions, I know plenty of ladies who would love this and may very well be purchasing more for friends & family birthday/Christmas gifts.

I also purchased some cute alternative Easter gifts for my nieces and nephew which included a lovely Easter themed bracelet from Belle's charms (Twitter @bellescharms) and some very cute chocolates from Love Little Treats (Twitter @LoveLittleTreat) 

I love all of my purchases and get a sense of well being knowing I'm supporting other women in business.

Have you purchased anything recently from the #womaninbiz ladies?

Ruthie x

Thursday, 24 March 2016

National Stationery Week

I have been a little bit obsessed with stationery since I was very young. I used to collect pencils (didn't all 8 year old girls?) and my obsession continues at 36. I have passed this love of pretty pencils (and notebooks & Paperchase) onto my 16YO stepdaughter, who recently said she loves nothing more than a cupcake shaped eraser!

National Stationery Week (25 April-1 May) celebrates the written word and all things stationery – the products which make it all possible, and give pleasure to so many people. Read more here 

So to celebrate National Stationery Week (who knew this even existed?!) here are a few of my favourites

I found this lovely notebook in TK Maxx - a favourite of mine for finding inspirational stationery (yes I do think stationery can be inspirational!) I have bought lots of stationery from TK Maxx as gifts for family & friends who are equally pleased by lovely notebooks

I have been using PaperMate non-stop pencils for as long as I can remember and always have lots of the go; always one in the car, my handbag, laptop bag, on my desk etc. 

One of my favourite places for stationery has to be Paperchase, my current favourites are from their Raindrops range

My 16YO favourite shop is Wilkos, and we have been known to spend far more time than is healthy down their stationery aisle. Everything is so reasonably priced that we just can't resist! I'm currently loving their Reminisce range with prices starting from 80p!

Even a trip to the supermarket isn't complete without a pencil case, notebook or folder falling into my trolley. I recently purchased this very cute desk organiser from Asda. (I can't find it online but they are still available in store)

So who else is a stationery addict? And where are your favourite places to feed your habit?

Ruthie x

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Easter Egg Challenge

When Jane from MumsClub asked if we would like to take part in an Easter Egg taste challenge it wasn't a difficult decision to make!

We are ALL huge fans of chocolate and Easter Eggs so were looking forward to getting stuck in.

Eggs being tested –
·         Thornton’s      
·         Bojangles
·         Aldi (Dairy Fine)
·         Tesco 
·         Skandikitchen
·         Sainsburys

·         Ruth (36)
·         Tony (45)
·         Jacob (17)
·         Olivia (16)


We all marked the packaging of the eggs out of 5.

Results - Average marks out of 5 for packaging

·         Thornton’s                   4/5
·         Bojangles                    4.5/5
·         Aldi (Dairy Fine)            2/5
·         Tesco                        2/5
·         Skadikitchen                 3/5
·         Sainsburys                   2.5/5

We were all familiar with the Thornton’s branding and were drawn to this one however both adults preferred the packaging of the Bojangles egg. Tony and myself both felt the Bojangles packaging would be more attractive to adults rather than children, it looked classy and expensive. We all agreed that we wouldn’t be drawn to the Aldi (Dairy Fine) egg as it lacked inspiration and felt the packaging was bland and boring, whereas the others used brighter colours. None of us were particularly draw to the Sainsburys one either, Jacob and Olivia described the packaging as boring and both said they would be disappointed to receive the Sainsburys or Aldi eggs. We all liked the look of the Skandikitchen egg, me and Olivia both said it was cute and would be drawn to it in a shop.

Taste Test

We now moved on to the best part of the task – the taste test!

I broke all the eggs up and placed them in bowls and numbered them so no one knew which was which egg.
We then rated the eggs on flavour and texture, ranking them from our favourite to least favourite, giving reasons why.

I asked each member of the team to guess which brand they thought each egg was (easier said than done it would seem!)

Bojangles was a favourite for both Tony and myself; we both enjoyed the texture of the egg and both said it tasted of quality chocolate. We were really impressed with the truffles that came with the Bojangles egg; they were possibly the best truffles we’ve ever tasted (and we’ve eaten a lot of chocolate)
None of us liked the Tesco’s eggs, and even the teens said the chocolate tasted ‘cheap’.
We were all fooled by the Sainsburys egg and all 4 of us were convinced that it was the Thornton’s egg!
The Sainsburys egg was really creamy, had a thicker consistency and was eaten a lot quicker than the rest with none left over!
Everyone marked the Aldi and Thorntons egg with the same mark and said we couldn’t tell the difference in taste between the two; which I personally found surprising as I expected the Thornton’s egg to taste a lot more expensive.
We all had a few of the sweets out of the SkandiKitchen egg but were a little disappointed; they looked similar to Haribo which we are all fans of, however they all tasted the same – of liquorice, which maybe because all the sweets were in the same little plastic bag.

Marks out of 5 for taste as follows

·         Thornton’s                   2/5
·         Bojangles                    4/5
·         Aldi (Dairy Fine)            2/5
·         Tesco                        1/5
·         Skadikitchen                 3/5
·         Sainsburys                   5/5

So the overall winner in terms of taste was Sainsburys despite the lack of appeal of the packaging. This really surprised us all as we were not expecting much of this one!

Although Thorntons did not meet our taste expectations to me Thorntons is about so much more than just chocolate! It's the packaging and personalisation that appeals to me.

To see what the other reviewers thought click here 

Do you have a favourite Easter Egg?

Ruthie x