While last month was ‘the month of love’, this month it’s the ‘month of mum!’ Why? Well, we’ve got Mother’s Day on the horizon and as I’ve endured three migraines in two weeks, I’ve decided that I need to treat myself.
March also brings spring (it officially starts on 20th March!) and I’m looking forward to seeing more daylight, rising temperatures and of course chocolate (for Easter silly!)
Here’s a round-up of what I’ve been personally loving lately…
Flashy the Stick
I recently got my mitts on this little bad boy – istorageuk.com’s encrypted USB flash drive!
With data protection and GDPR dominating the headlines recently, it’s even more important to protect any personal data we hold for other people and comply with the new regulations.
I was offered the chance to review the device given my love of technology and gadgets – and I have to say, I think it’s a great idea.
It’s really simple to set up and use – and when I’m using it I love that the green light flashes up showing it’s unlocked.
My little 8GB USB flash drive (also available in up to 64GB storage capacity) is protected with a series of digits that I input to unlock it (and no – it’s not my birth date!) and I know that if I accidentally leave it lying around – or heaven forbid lose it – the information is still secret!
So what am I using mine for? Well, being the organised person that I try to be, I’m keeping a record of wish-lists for presents – for myself, the kids, VIP and close family and friends.
It means that come birthdays and Christmas I’ll know what I’ve bought for people in the past, what other people have bought for us – and what I’ve got my eye on for future pressie ideas!
I also thought it might be wise to keep all my passwords for things like online banking, apps and social media etc securely protected. iStorage.com actually offers a range of data secure products – including portable hard drives – meaning that your personal life stays well, personal!
Prices for the flash drive start from £39 for 8GB, which also comes with optional laser etching text.
The only problem I now face is that with VIP being a teacher – he’s hankering after it too! And I don’t blame him; personal data on kids in the wrong hands could spell trouble! But I like it so much that (A) I’ve already given mine a pet name (Flashy) and (B) I’ve told VIP to go get his own – or wait until Father’s Day and then I might treat him!
Well, he couldn’t possibly have mine when iStorage made mine personalised now could he?!
Last month I hadn’t even heard of Black Betty, but after they got in touch to see if I wanted to give them a go, I thought why not?
After all, they sound right up my street offering up to 90% off High Street brands for clothes and accessories – I couldn’t say no really. Ordering online was easy and the items I chose came through the post a week later.
So I opted for Stilettos with a gold detail – originally £23.99 and reduced on Black Betty to £6.95
A three-quarter sleeve jumper with a loose fit neck – originally £19.99 and reduced to £5.95
And a super cute owl knitted jumper – which was £20.99 and cost just £5.95.
But that’s not all I managed to bag – I also got a discount for all my readers with 20% off the price you see online! Don’t say I don’t work hard for you guys!
So if you like what you see on the site, then enter the code Horizon20 at the checkout for the discount.
And if you want to watch my video of me modelling the clothes I bought – you can check it out here.
Now that Channel’s 4 Hunted is over (when’s the next series???!!), I’ve been watching a few bits and pieces on the box including Through The Keyhole (Keith Lemon cracks me up every time), Gogglebox, Homeland, Collateral and Trauma.
When the kids are in bed and it’s just myself and VIP, I love nothing more than curling up on the sofa with a cuppa and watching some great telly.
And I’m really enjoying the dramas at the mo – us Brits do a super job on delivering great telly don’t we? There’s always something new to get our teeth into and it’s one of few things I miss when I go away on holiday.
For some reason I’m loving little trinket trays and use them all the time – to keep pistachios on for the kids to nibble, for loose coins – and even vouchers by the door to remind me to take them!
We all know Mother’s Day is just around the corner and if your kids are tweens or teens like mine, they’ll have recently started buying gifts out of their own money.
Of course you don’t want them to spend a lot, so a great gift is a trinket tray; it’s affordable, useable and looks great as part of your home interiors.
DotComGiftShop has got some really nice designs – take a look at this lot!
Going clockwise (from top left)
Smash the mash!
The Wright household is a fan of mash potato and I recently discovered this electric masher, which I didn’t know existed before!
Gizmos and gadgets like this mean that the kids get enthused about helping make dinner – they love whizzing up the potato and seeing it turn into mash – and it’s one less thing for me to have to do when I’m preparing dinner!
A friend of mine told me about Millie’s Cookies recipe online and I had to give it a try. I’m so glad I did because let me tell you – they were AWESOME!
Here’s what you need: 125g unsalted butter (softened), 100g light brown soft sugar, 125g caster sugar, 1 egg (lightly beaten), 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 225g self-raising flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 200g chocolate chips!
And here’s how you do it:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4
- Cream together the butter and sugars. Once creamed, combine in the egg and vanilla extract.
- Sift in the flour and salt, then the chocolate chips. (I didn’t bother with the sieve and they turned out ≥delicious)≥
- Roll into ≥÷walnu//t size balls (for a homemade look) , or roll into a long, thick sausage shape and slice to make neater looking cookies.
- Place on ungreased baking paper. If you want to have the real Millie’s experience then bake for just 7 minutes, till the cookies are just setting – the cookies will be really doughy and delicious. Otherwise cook for 10 minutes until just golden round the edges.
- Take out of the oven and leave to harden for a minute before transferring to a wire cooling rack. These are great warm, and they also store well, if they don't all get eaten straight away!
- When I made these they were simply delicious. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed if you make them – as you can see, I’ve renamed mine to Molly’s cookies (my childhood nickname is Molly so it makes sense!).
Holidays on the horizon!
Spring is just around the corner and Easter means one thing. Well, two actually – chocolate and the Easter holidays!
Okay, so the kids and VIP are on holiday from school and work; sadly I’m not, but I’m tempted to take a few days off to relax and enjoy hanging out with everyone.
We’ve even been toying with the idea of a staycation or a quick couple of days in France. If you’re thinking of going away over Easter, keep your eye on IceLolly.com’s website which very often has some amazing deals.
I’ve seen all-inclusive on there for summer for £299 per person in Rhodes – with kids for £99! And that’s staying in a four-star hotel!
The price increases in the six-week school holidays, but the prices are still pretty good.
That pretty much wraps up my March Favourites. All that’s left to say is roll on the nicer (warmer) weather – I’ll be back with Favourite Finds at the beginning of next month.
Let me know what you’ve been enjoying lately!
You might also like…
- February Favourite Finds
- January Favourite Finds
- Productivity Tips For Crazy Busy People (That Work)