22 May 2017

A Blooming Great Tea Party

You may not know this about me, but I'm a big fan of tea and cake (OK, so you MAY know that about me!) 

Coming up next month is the Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party, which is exactly the kind of fundraising event I can totally get behind! 

Hosting your own tea party can be a great way of raising some cash for charity, and getting together with your nearest and dearest to appreciate the finer things in life (like cake). The Blooming Great Tea Party takes place over the 23rd-25th June, and if you are interested in hosting your own party - at home, work, or anywhere else - you can get a free fundraising pack from Marie Curie here!


There's loads of advice and recipes on the website too but the good thing about a tea party is it can be relatively simple to put together some thing spectacular. The individual elements are all quite straight forward - you need tea (lots of it!), daintly little sandwiches with a variety of fillings, a good selection of cakes,... and possbily the most important (and potentially controversial) aspect - the noble scone. 

The scone is the source of many arguements - plain or fruit? served warm or cold? And each of these could take up posts and posts worth of discussion but today I thought I'd tackle one of the biggest scone-related debates - do you top little baked nuggests of goodness with JAM first or CREAM first? (based on the incontestable truth that for a scone to really count, it has to be served with both)


Now, I know my opinion (which may be illustrated by my various sconed photos) but in the spirit of fairness I thought I'd throw it open to debate and see what others thought. Here are my findings.....

JAM FIRST 

I was gong to keep you in suspense to the end, but I might as well let you know the inevitable truth now - the Jam First crew had a resounding victory, with 50% more people thinking this was the right way round to do it. And just like that, my faith in humanity was restored! Here are some of the reasons I was given

Faye Jones from Glossytots knows it's the right thing to do because 'the jam slides off the cream otherwise!' Similarly, Emma (emmareed.net) thinks 'its a mess trying to put jam on top of cream' and Lyra (thisiswhereiblog.com) knows that 'it just looks prettier that way!'


Applying the cream before jam is traditionally the favoured approach in Devon but this is no excuse for getting it wrong, as both Devon Mum Emma and and Devon Mama Hayley put their jam on first too. I particurlarly likes Hayley's passionate response - "Jam first. I just don't understand how you could do it the other way round?! Do you spread the cream like butter and then jam over it?! It makes no sense! Everyone knows the joy is a nice thick layer of jam and then a HUMONGOUS dollop of cream on top!' Girl knows her stuff! 

Donna at Bobsys Mum makes another excellent point - 'that way means you get more cream!' - always a bonus! Emma, Louise and Kirsty are also firmly in the Jam first camp. 

CREAM FIRST 

The Cream First side does have it's supporters though! Suzanne from And Another Ten Things suggests you should 'Use the cream like a second butter and then spoon the jam on obvs', and Aarti at Honestly Wonderful likes to 'put loads and loads of cream with a little teeny weeny dollop of jam on top'. 


Natalie, who blogs at Diary of an Unexpectant Mother, has hers like this - 'A thick spread of cream then a spoonful of jam on top. And try not to get it on your nose. And it has to be proepr clotted cream' I do agree with her there at least!

Tracey seems to think that it's 'Definitely cream first - the jam slides off if you do it the other way!, and for Emma it's 'ALWAYS cream first!'

OTHER 

And then there are the others. The ones that don't like to play by society's rules. The rebels like Kristine's husband who eats them dry. The mavericks like Becky who will only have cream because 'Jam spoils it', the nonconformists like Claire, Lucy and Helena who avoid the cream.And then there are the Jade's and the Nadine's of the world that will jam one side, cream the other and then stick both halves together.


CONCLUSION

I think, if anything has been proved here, it's that the preparation of a scone is a very personal thing. My advice? If you put together your own tea party -I'd just provide jam and cream by the bucketload and let your guests apply to their own liking (yes, even if they're doing it wrong!) 

That way any scone based argueemnts can focus on the number one issue - - how do you pronounce it?!

8 May 2017

The Source of Good Skin

I've been a long time fan of Crabtree and Evelyn, and funnily enough it was their La Source range that was my first introduction to the brand. We found mini versions of their products in a hotel we were staying in on holiday, and that was the start of the love story. 


The La Source collection was inspired by the 'restorative power of the sea' and features marine based ingredients included to boost skin benefits. The collection has recently been reformulated, featuring four new marine blends and a whole host of products featuring the La Source super ingredient, green seaweed extract. 


I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try out a couple of these hero products recently. The La Source range covers products for your hair, body, face and hands but I was particularly interested in the foot products. I have karate training around three times a week, which can be not only quite tough on my feet physically, but it means people probably spend longer looking at my bare feet than is common. This gives me double the reason to take care of them! 


So now, my favourite post-training treat is a relaxing soak with the La Source Efferversent Sea Foam Soak, followed by the La Source Warming Foot Soother.

The soak features Crabtree and Evelyn's Refreshing Marine Blend - anti-oxident rich green seaweed and purifying brown algae extract - and contains citric acid (for exfoliation) and mineral rich Dead Sea Salts (which conditions the skin). A few minutes soak in hot water containing this is perfect for soothing any aches and strains.

The results are even better when coupled with the warming foot smoother. This is a great little scrub featuring volcanic sand, fine pumice and salt crystals to exfoliate hard areas, but it's also intensely moisturising, containing shea butter and rice bran oil to soften and condition the skin. The product is self warming, and while I'd have liked to be warmer (read: HOT), it feels really indulgent and comforting - just what I need! 

It's hard to describe the difference in how I feel after using these two products - its incredible! I've gone in feeling like I never wanted to so much as walk again, and finished up feeling completely renewed, like I was walking on a cloud! These two products will be part of my life for a long time to come for sure!


And while at the minute I'm all about the feet, I feel it would be remiss to write about Crabtree and Evelyn and not mention their Hand Therapy creams. I love these creams and have gone through numerous scents and varieties over the years (and since La Source is my current bae, of course the matching hand cream is my current go-to!) The Overnight Hand Therapy is the 'beauty sleep' version of this - pop it on before bed and wake up to smoother softer hands! 

My only problem now is that my hands and feet are so well taken care of that I feel like I'm neglecting the rest of my body!

Do you have a favourite Crabtree and Evelyn range? Or any other tips of how to look after my poor achey feet?