Thursday, 30 October 2014

Herb, Olive and Mustard-Crusted Rack of Lamb

Halloween is one of the most well known and celebrated autumn holidays, celebrated world wide in many different ways, whilst some of us will be taking our children trick'or'treating, some of us will be staying at home to answer the door to trick'or'treaters, some will be throwing a party and some won't be celebrating what so ever.

What ever you're doing this Halloween, Mark's and Spencers, otherwise known as M&S have created this beautiful lamb recipe to serve up this autumn, and I just knew I had to share it with you all.

Herb, Olive and Mustard-Crusted Rack of Lamb.
Ready in 45 minutes, Serves 2

·         380g pack Rosemary Potatoes
·         25g sourdough pavĂ© bread
·         25g Greek Olives with Oregano, finely chopped
·         1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
·         1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
·         1 tbsp olive oil
·         1 x 330g French-trimmed rack of lamb
·         1 tsp Dijon mustard
·         200g Boston beans or fine green beans

1.      Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 (180°C for fan ovens). Cook the potatoes according to the packet instructions.
2.      Put the bread in a food processor and pulse to form rough crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and stir in the chopped olives, thyme and parsley, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3.      Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the lamb. Cook over a high heat until browned all over, then transfer to a board. Remove any excess oil with kitchen paper. 
4.      Spread the mustard over the lamb and press the crumb mixture on top. Put the lamb in a small roasting tin and roast for 25 minutes. Transfer to a board and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the beans in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, until just tender.
5.      Divide the potatoes and beans between 2 plates, then slice the lamb into cutlets to serve.

Per serving:
141 calories, 9g fat (3.6g saturated), 8.3g carbohydrates, 1.3g sugar, 2g fibre, 6g protein, 0.45g salt


Monday, 27 October 2014

Why Are You Destroying Me?

I first remember seeing you when I was a little girl, you was with my grandad and I asked him who you was.

In time, it was soon a regular sight to see you with grandad, and then I started seeing you with my mum. Soon, you was with my mum every day, all hours of the day, and I would ask my mum why you wouldn't leave.

My grandad died when I was nine years old, just three days after my ninth birthday, and although I was too young to attend his funeral to say goodbye, I knew you was there with him.

I carried on seeing you with mum, and soon, just like how it was with grandad, there come a time when you'd never see mum without you.

It was around the age of 11 that I first see you on me, the tiniest little patch on my elbow making me itch away. I didn't think nothing of you, and soon you disappeared.

Every now and again, you would come back to my body, and take over a patch on my elbow, I didn't know why you was there and again didn't really fuss because you was so small.

We spent the next 12 years going through the same process, one minute you was there, the next you wasn't. When times did get bad, I would go to the doctors and would be given a number of creams to try and help you improve, some worked whilst others didn't.

It was around two years ago when you got extremely bad, always remaining on my elbows and on my head, I noticed very small patches of you on my hand. Nothing major, in fact very small, so small, you looked just like a tiny spot.

I don't know how, because I used cream after cream to try to stop you, but you grew, and you grew massively. Far bigger was your presence on my body then it was on my grandad's body or my mum's body. Keeping yourself on just their elbows and heads, that wasn't enough for you for me was it?

You very quickly took over my hands, covering every single knuckle and the surrounding areas. Maybe it never bothered me as much before because I was the only one who really see it, I wore long sleeved tops no matter the weather to cover you on my elbows, and luckily, my hair covered your patches on my head.

With my hands though, I have these out on show everywhere, I can hide them with gloves but they drive me, or rather you, insane, and can you imagine wearing them when it's not freezing cold!? Hurrh.

I get horrible stares because of you, I mean, why do I have such weird hands, what is that stuff and is it contagious is what people think, or so I imagine. Shop workers are scared to touch my hand, and people take a step further back because they're unsure of what you are.

If you didn't already have me feel at my lowest after taking over my hands, you decided to take things further didn't you? You've now invaded my feet, my toes, my knees, my arms, from head to toe you cover me, if I had just an ounce of confidence left, you knocked that all away from me.

I stopped doing my make up, and as for my hair, it gets bunged up every day. Why would I try to make myself look decent, when under my clothes, and even on show, you're every where, staring at me every time I look at the body I should love.

Not only are you the ugliest thing to look at, you also drive me crazy, you itch, you sting, you bleed and you irritate me nearly 24/7 including in my sleep! You leave massive flakes in my hair, and make it look like it's snowed on my shoulders.

You make me feel so low, the lowest of the low. I've stopped going out with friends and made excuses for blogging events, I couldn't imagine being in a pub or club with a room full of pretty people, and being the laughing stock of everyone's jokes, people don't know how to deal with these things, so sadly they try to joke and only cause more upset.

To add the icing on the cake, you've refused every cream and treatment the doctors could give me, so I was referred to the hospital where I started 30 sessions of treatment. I have to get naked in front of doctors and nurses and cause more humiliation to my already embarrassed self.

I have to stand in a machine that is potentially dangerous, three times a week covering my face with a visa to try and get rid of you. I'm never in the machine for long, but you're costing me time and money, two hours out of my day for each session is six lost hours a week. I'm not in the machine for two hours each time, or even at the hospital for that long, but I don't drive, so I have to rely on buses, which are never on time and cost a small fortune.

And then, to add the candle to the icing, you just love to see me upset so much, you decide that you're going to stick out the treatment these health care professionals are throwing at you. It's like the times I use to visit the sauna and steam room at the gym, I would hold on in there for as long as possible, and you are doing just the same.

Oh and talking about the gym, can you see how fat you've made me get? You make me feel so worthless, I just comfort eat. I blame everything on you, you've stole my body and I'd really kindly like it back.

I want to feel like a 24 year old woman, not an old lady too tired for time. I want to be out there, enjoying my life and not hiding away. I want to be able to show off my arms in the summer, and wear sandals too, I want to wear make up, without annoying the hell out of you.

I'll never be pretty but you make me ugly, and I just don't know why. Why is a treatment that's so effective for others failing for me? Why are you taking over every single part of my skin, why do you want my body so bad?

You're psoriasis and I'd like you to leave.


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Halloween with M&S

Marks and Spencers have a fabulous selection of Halloween treats this year suitable for Halloween fans of all ages and sizes and no matter how they're celebrating. From crisp to cake, biscuits to sweets, M&S really have covered all Halloween food items this year for both the meat-eater and vegetarians.

We very luckily received four items from the large Halloween food range M&S sell during the scary period. At time of writing and posting this article, all Halloween confectionery was on a 3 for 2 special offer promotion.


Spooky Skull & Bone Mallows£1 for 180g bag.

This bag of vanilla flavoured skull and bone shaped marshmallows are a steal at just £1. Pop them into a bowl and enjoy then at home with a movie, or place them onto a mini Halloween themed tray and watch big and little horrors demolish them at your party, or you could even pop them onto skewers and toast them over your favourite candle!


Animated Coffin Box Of Jelly Sweets
£5 for a 350g box.

This has got to be my favourite Halloween themed product of 2014, a coffin shaped box, that is not only filled with individually wrapped jelly sweets, but a box that also makes a spooky noise every time you open the coffin lid thanks to the tiny speaker on the inside of the coffin door.

This box went extremely down well at our Halloween press party, the orange, lime and blackcurrant jellies were gone within an hour, but the door still kept getting opened just so we could hear the sound effect! Me and Spud have purchased one our self and can't wait to spook out trick or treaters this year! 


Veggie Pumpkins
£1 for a 100g bag.

Another great steal at just £1 is these fruit flavoured veggie pumpkins. suitable of course for vegetarians. I'm personally not a vegetarian but a large number of family members are which means whenever parties and get-together's are organised, we have to cater for both type of guest. I've not seen any other Halloween sweets out there on the market that are vegetarian, and for the price of these M&S Halloween sweets, they're worth a try alone!


Severed Fingers
£1.50 for a 80g net. 

Sporting extremely well looked after fingers and nails, this pack of individually foiled wrapped fingers fortunately doesn't contain a real severed finger, but instead a chocolate finger with a gooey caramel centre. Each finger weighs approximately 10g.

So no matter what you're doing this Halloween, there's sweets and treats for the whole family, and of course, if you're having a party, they're suitable for friends too!

For the full Halloween food range, visit your local M&S store. To locate your nearest store, please visit the Marks and Spencer website.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Halloween with Baker Ross

Baker Ross is a well known, online arts and crafts business started up by Patti Baker in 1974. The company sells over 4000 items through their catalogues and online website including pocket money toys, educational supplies, party bag items and thousands of art and crafts products.

I've seen quite a few Baker Ross post on other blogs, and must admit I was a little envious of the people being so lucky to work with them. I've mentioned arts and crafts on here a few times before, and if you're a friend or family member, or even a fellow blogger who's on my Facebook, you'll know how much me and Spud love a good arts and crafts session.

When Baker Ross got in touch sending me some images of their fantastic Halloween range, which is impressively quite large, I just knew I had to get them involved in this year's Halloween feature and was delighted when they sent me some of their Halloween bath ducks and party bag fillers to try out.


Halloween Rubber Ducks
Cost for pack of 6: £3.96
Cost for pack of 18: £11.34

I thought these Halloween themed rubber ducks would go down well as not only party bag/Trick or Treat items but also as a fun water themed activity! Each duck is approximately 5cm and are suitable for ages 3+, costing just 63p per duck if brought in a pack of 18, and 66p if brought in a pack of six these ducks went down in the Unique Young Mum household.

Each pack of six features six different designs which are a mummy duck, a witch duck, a vampire duck, a ghost duck, a pumpkin duck and monster/Frankenstein duck. We received twelve ducks, of which we gave one each to the six other children who attended our Halloween press bash, and kept the other six at home for Spud to play with.

Decorating our bathroom sink with Halloween tinsel and some Halloween light accessories, I filled the sink with warm water, the six ducks and a spooky hand salad server for Spud to play with whilst we waited for his bath to run. I then took the hand away and told Spud to close his eyes, picking one duck each time and asked him to try to identify the duck he had selected, it was a great little activity and game, and took a minute to set up, and just minutes to play!


Halloween Toy Pack
Cost for pack of 6: £1.98 
Cost for pack of 30: £9.00

Party bag fillers are sold all year round, but when it comes to Halloween, it's not often you come across a good selection of Hallowen party bag fillers. This Halloween toy pack is just one of the many sets of Halloween fillers that Baker Ross sell.

Included in each bag of six is two hand drums; one a black colour with a ghost, the other a orange colour with a pumpkin, two magic springs; one a black colour with a skull, the other a orange colour with a pumpkin and two whistles with attached cord to be worn around the neck in a purple or green skull design and a green or purple pumpkin design.

These fillers cost as little as 30p each when brought in a bundle of 30, or just 33p each when purchased in a packet of six, suitable for ages 3+ they make great tricks to give Halloween knockers, make fabulous favours for party guest, or can even be a treat for the children who celebrate Halloween at home.


The two Halloween items I've mentioned above are just a few of many Halloween themed items Baker Ross sell. To give you a rough idea of the other items the company sell, I've made this little collage below featuring make your own witch and wizard hats, a pack of four Halloween mugs, a pack of six colour in mini Halloween bags and witch broomstick kits.

Baker Ross have a number of delivery options available, ensuring your desired products reach you on time. They ship to the UK, Channel Islands and B.F.P.O with next day delivery available on UK mainland orders, as well as international shipping to many countries.

To view not only the full Halloween range, but thousands of other products too, check out the official Baker Ross website.