The year is flying by – I really can’t believe it’s June already and that next month the kids break up for their six-week summer holiday!
It seems like the older I get the faster time goes. We really should be making the most of opportunities shouldn't we? So, having a good think about what’s happened in June – here are my favourite things…but first a confession to make.
A good old cuppa
I don’t really drink. There, I’ve said it. I crack jokes about needing a glass of wine to wind down, when all I really need is a good old cup of tea.
But is it so wrong to prefer a cuppa over a ‘proper drink’?
Ever since I gave up smoking about six years ago, I’ve chosen to not drink – and it's because I associate the two. When I drink I want to have a cigarette, so it’s easier for me to say no to both of them.
I know, I know…I can’t believe that I don’t have any vices either! Well, if you count eating pic ‘n' mix sweets on a Saturday night as a vice, then I’m guilty as charged – Every. Single. Week.
But while I don’t experiment with alcohol, I make up for it by delving into different flavours of tea and coffee. So as you can probably guess, I know where all the Whittard of Chelsea stores are within a ten-mile radius of my home.
So I was pretty chuffed when they gave me the opportunity to sample some of their new products; in fact, the one thing that the company is great for (aside from producing amazing drinks) is its ability to reinvent new flavours all the time.
And I managed to get my mitts on three – Hazelnut Ground Coffee, Key Lime Pie White Hot Chocolate and Mango Passion Fruit Tea.
I’ve been testing them for a good few weeks now….and here are my findings…
The Hazelnut Ground Coffee is amazing – I love it and the flavour isn’t too over-bearing. In fact, between us VIP and I have polished it off.
I really like the smell of the Key Lime Pie White Hot Chocolate when I first opened it – and I was probably looking forward to this one the most.
That's because Key Lime Pie is my favourite dessert of all time (and I make a pretty mean one myself), plus I actually prefer white chocolate to milk or dark chocolate, so I thought I’d be all over this.
However, it’s a bit too sweet for me so I can only take it in small quantities. Both the kids enjoyed it though so all is not lost!
And finally the Mango Passion Fruit Tea was a complete surprise. It offers a subtle taste as a hot drink, but it really comes into its own when you have it cold on a hot day as it’s so refreshing.
I’m drinking it most days when the sun is out, with lots of ice and a straw.
Have a look at the site as there’ll be something that catches your eye.
Walking with friends
I’ve been walking with a couple of my friends now on a weekly basis – sometimes even twice a week – and it’s great to spur each other on with our daily step goals and have a catch up at the same time.
Sometimes we head to the fields near where we live and it’s lovely to see for miles – especially when the sun is shining. In fact, until recently I didn’t know we had so much green space near us.
I just hope we can continue to keep up the walks as it feels like we’re killing two birds with one stone – catching up for a gossip and burning calories at the same time – it’s a win-win.
Talking of nature, I recently found out about a company called Insect Lore which has the tag line of ‘The Original Butterflies By Mail Company’ – and it does exactly what it says on the tin.
It’s a great one for kids as they get see caterpillars transform into butterflies – and then release them.
Rich House, Poor House
I’ve been watching a programme called Rich House, Poor House on Channel 5 lately as I find it fascinating.
In it, two households – one that represents the bottom 10% of the population in terms of being skint and one that represents the top 10% of the population (which, after the bills and mortgage has been paid, has more than £2,000 to spend) swap lives.
They live in each other’s houses, follow each other’s weekly schedule and have to get by on the money that the other family live off.
It’s such an eye-opener and it’s lovely to see some of the poorer families get to treat themselves to a dinner out or a gift for their kids. I always end up in tears watching it, but it’s such a great ‘feel-good' programme.
It’s in the bag – and it comes with TECH!
If you're wondering where the picture was taken at the top of this post – it's Miami! I was staying at the Trump National Doral Hotel last month for a few days – it was a business trip and I combined it with a leisure trip – otherwise known as a ‘bleisure’ trip in the industry.
I'm a big believer in fate and things happening for a reason, so I was shocked to hear that three days after this picture was taken, a crazy man wielding a gun started shooting at people in the hotel's reception. I think he was protesting about Trump, but luckily I was mid-flight over the Atlantic travelling home at the time. Talk about a near miss! Read the story here.
Anyway, before the trip I was hunting around for a backpack to use and all I found was my son’s army backback and a pirate bag that belonged to my daughter featuring skulls and anchors. Mmmmh – not very professional.
I eventually borrowed my dad’s backpack, but I was thrilled to get my own recently when Inateck got in touch to offer a trial of their Laptop Backpack which comes complete with a USB charging port!
When I discovered that it had a bit of tech going for it as well, I couldn’t refuse. So I tried it out for a week and I really liked it. It was probably a bit roomy for day-to-day use if I’m honest, but it would have been perfect as hand luggage for a flight.
There are more compartments than you can shake a stick at, it comes in a range of colours and the charging port came in handy when I was running low on my iPhone battery.
Funnily enough, when my son saw it, he asked if he could have it as a new school bag; I’ve relented for now as the supportive straps will make carrying his heavy bag more bearable, plus it’s waterproof and there’s even an anti-theft compartment.
I could tell that he was keen to show off the backpack's tech innovation, so I compromised with him by sharing it with him – he has it when I'm not flying but has to revert back to his old school bag when I'm off on another trip. You know a product's good when you have to share it!
If you fancy a closer look, it can be found on Amazon and retails for around £25.99. Not bad.
Years ago (when the kids were at primary school), I used to play Candy Crush religiously. It was way before I started this blog and I was addicted.
I’d play it while on the train, watching TV, cooking dinner and even in bed until the wee hours. I loved the feeling of reaching another level and finding out what levels the mums at school had got to – that’s my competitive streak coming out!
Eventually it was getting silly and taking over all my free time – so I deleted it. And I haven’t looked back since. Until last week that is.
Oh dear is all I can say. I have absolutely no idea why I re-downloaded it; I have a love/hate relationship – I love being on the leaderboard and climbing the ranks, but I hate the fact that it’s so time-sapping (and distracting!)
Maybe when I reach level 60 I’ll delete it again 😉 In the meantime, I'm testing my willpower by limiting play to 20 minutes a day.
That about wraps up my June Favourite Finds – what have you been enjoying lately?
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