Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Truly Tried and Tested with M&S

Easter eggs provided by M&S

Each year we start January with the best intentions, it's all 'new year. new me, new body'. Well by the time easter rolls around those good intentions are best thrown out of the window. It's all about the hot crossed buns, racks of lamb and of course eating all the chocolate known to man.

There's something I absolutely love about easter, maybe it's all those fond childhood memories of egg hunting and getting carried away stuffing chocolate in my face, but that easter excitement has stayed with me well into my late twenties.

So when Marks and Spencer invited me to test some of their special easter eggs, how was I to say no?

First up to the taste test was 'Bendy Bob'.

Bendy Bob is clearly the egg aimed at the kids in your life but that didn't stop this 26 year old tearing into him. Bob is a hollowed out egg decorated with strawberry laces connecting his little limbs. The sugary bendy laces add a new element to the easter egg that I've not seen before. It makes it fun to eat and actually breaks up the eating process so he wasn't gone within the blink of an eye.

Next was the 'Dark Chocolate Quirky Bunny', who was almost too beautiful to eat. The key word being almost. This gorgeous little bunny is made from single origin chocolate and has a modern edge to it. I really enjoyed having this displayed in my house until it was socially acceptable to crack in to it. 

I feel like it's quite hard to find Easter chocolate that isn't tacky and which can look beautiful amongst other easter decoration. Well this little fella certainly has added some class to my easter decor. The other plus side is that because the bunny is made out of dark chocolate you take your time eating it as dark chocolate is that little bit richer. I quite like dark chocolate as the bitterness comes as a bit of relief when you're eating sweet all the time.

I've saved the best for last because trust me, this is the most amazing easter egg I've ever had. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Who cares when you can get your hands on this?

The egg is made up of half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate - perfect for sharing when you're either indecisive or when the person your sharing with prefers a different type of chocolate to you. The milk chocolate is from Ecuador and the dark chocolate is from the Dominican Republic. Then once you crack the egg open a special little golden chicken reveals it's self. Hidden centres are a pretty popular theme at the moment with easter eggs and when the finished product looks like this it's easy to see why.

I'm still coming down from a sugar high from testing all of these, but it was all worth it. Get yourself to Marks and Spencer before the easter weekend and get stocked up on your easter eggs, these will go down a storm with friends and family.

Hope you all have a wonderful easter!

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Sunday, 12 March 2017

Men My Mother Thinks I Should Date

My mum and I enjoy a good relationship. But that doesn’t mean that we agree on things. In fact, the truth is we don’t agree on many things at all. 

We don’t have the same political leanings anymore, at Christmas we managed to only have one heated discussions about refugees which in itself is a Christmas miracle. We don’t really have the same taste in clothes and we don’t tend to agree about what to eat. We occasionally do agree on what TV show to watch and recommend each other books.

One thing we most certainly don’t agree on, is the type of guy I should be dating.

Historically I love a dark soul. I’ve always been attracted to guys who I can sense on my radar are damaged, and who I think (think being the key word here) I can fix with my endless supply of love and affection. That’s also why I’m still single. But that’s beside the point.

My mother, in her infinite wisdom and experience seems to think she knows exactly what kind of guy I should be dating.

A bird watcher:

When I told her I was being ghosted by John Doe (see here), my mum texted me: “Just lead an active life where you meet new people. Maybe start bird watching, interesting men among them”. Her and my father (who have been married for 30 years and did not meet whilst bird watching just for your information) went on a wildlife trip and met some bird watchers from the BBC and that got her imagining her future son in law. A possible son in law who loves spending time in the outdoors, hiding in trees patiently waiting for that elusive bird to show up. There are far too many parallels here to my own waiting life so I’m just going to leave it at that.

An earth scientist:

She’s extremely biased when it comes to this, because as it just so happened she’s married to a geologist. For 30 years this year. Every now and then when we start talking about boys she’ll say things like: “Why don’t you go to the earth science department and see who’s around?”. The irony of her pushing an earth scientist my way is that my dad back in the day wasn’t her type at all. In fact her type was the dark broken soul so it’s no wonder where I got that taste from. In my mum’s mind earth scientists are smart, kind and educated with good job prospects. Everything my father is. Which is fine, but somehow I think that me just hanging around the corridors of the geology department at Cardiff university isn’t going to go down well. 

A German:

I think that if I were to bring a German boy home my mother would implode with pure happiness and book the chapel in my German hometown which has a two year waiting list. I’ve never had a German boyfriend, I haven’t even ever been on a date with a German boy. I think the thought process behind me dating a German is that it’s meant to connect me with my German roots. But German boys are hard to come by in Wales, for some strange reason. 

A Chilean:

This one caught me by surprise too. Mum and Dad had taken a trip to Chile and before I knew it text after text was coming my way about how handsome the Chilean men were. One of her texts read: “Nina, seriously Chilean man are really attractive! They are small and funny!!! You need to come here!” This was then followed up by her sending me photos of various Chilean men that she’d seen out and about. My personal favourite was of a man selling a cannabis energy drink.

No doubt with my luck I will end up living my happily ever after with one of the above and then my mum will be able to say ‘I told you so’ for the rest of her life. Because sometimes mum’s are right but I’m also willing to prove her wrong. 

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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Dear Future Partner In Crime II - Things You Should Know About Me

Dear future partner in crime,

There’s probably a few things you should know about me. You’ll learn some of these as we go along but knowing a few of these things right off the bat should be reasonably helpful.

I get overly emotionally invested in almost everything I do - the TV shows I watch, my work, dogs I follow on Instagram and people in general. On a date a guy once said I was hard to read, but once you get to know me it’s clear that that’s a lie. I’m a open book but I’m also learning how to invest my emotions in to something without draining myself. 

I watch too much TV. Not even highbrow TV programs, I watch the awful stuff. I sobbed my way through three seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in two weeks. My favourite TV show growing up was that show with Fran Drescher as The Nanny. I know too much about The Bachelor franchise and don’t even count it as a guilty pleasure any more. As problematic as that is for a feminist. 

I spent time in therapy. It changed my life.

I own more shoes than a woman with size UK 2.5 feet living in a one bedroom open plan apartment should own. 90% of them are black and look identical. If we’re shopping I might need you to step in and make me put down the boots that I’m eyeing up.

I’m super needy but at the same time you need to give me space. Over the last few years I’ve learnt to live alone and that’s something I’m really proud of.

I don’t think I want kids. The thought of having children, especially a girl, scares the shit out of me.

My biggest relationship fear is living in fear that I’m the one who cares the most, and therefore the more vulnerable party. 

As a result of that, I’m mad good at being passive aggressive and can be mean, I don’t mean to do it on purpose, it’s more of a defensive mechanism so I’m happy for you to call me out on it.

I need someone in my life who is happy to take beautiful candid photos of me for my Instagram.

I hate seafood.

Sometimes I want to be the centre of attention at the party and entertain everyone, somedays I don’t want to be around people at all.

I own a life-size cardboard cut out of Queen Elizabeth the II. And a life-size cardboard cut out of a corgi. They used to live in my hallway right by my door, but I had to fold them up and hide them in my wardrobe when a guy stayed over. If you come into my house and see them, it probably means I’m sure about you.

I buy books that look good on my book shelf with a short lived plan to read them. War & Peace is definitely more useful as a door stopper.

I think I have massive partly unresolved self confidence, identity and feelings of not belonging anywhere issues. I don’t need you to fix me or save me, just bear with me whilst I work it out. Or even better, be there to support me through it because that’s what I’m looking for: a partner in life that won’t jump ship when the going gets tough.

All my quirks aside, I’m looking forward to getting to know yours inside and out. If you’re willing to overlook my love of the Bachelor franchise and shoe obsession that is.

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