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  • 10 Gifts For Cooks (UK)

    With Christmas approaching (at the time of writing), and being a huge fan of all things food and health myself, I've got all my fingers and toes crossed that my Secret Santa considers a 'foodie' gift for me. Are you a cook who loves to get creative in the kitchen? Who takes pride in matching flavours that pair perfectly? Or a cook who loves to learn new kitchen skills? Me too! Or maybe that's not you but it sounds exactly like a good friend? Well, you're in the right place for gift ideas for yourself and them! Below are 10 gift ideas for any keen cook, for varying budgets, ALL of which I have tried and loved myself. Here we go... This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links. This means I may receive a small commission or discount at no additional cost to you if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases. Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 1 Moleskine Recipe Journal I have this myself and it's one of the best gifts I've ever bought myself! I wish I had thought of this gift when my nan was around, her mince pies were one of a kind and if I had gifted this book to her, I'd have the long-lost recipe! You or your giftee can note down successes and favourites in this beautiful journal. This journal could serve as a fun activity, a keepsake, or potentially a family heirloom all rolled into one! The journal has an elastic closure and cardboard case to keep the book in great condition. There are sections to add appetisers, first courses, main courses, side dishes, and desserts. On each recipe page, you can note the recipe difficultly, prep time, cooking time, serving size, cooking gadgets required, and even add a wine pairing and star rating. I love my Moleskine recipe journal. I add at least one recipe to it every month and plan to pass it down to my future children. Perhaps your friend or family member would enjoy this product as much as I do. At £25 and the length of use you'd get from it; I believe this journal to be well worth the money. Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 2 Garlic Grater Plate I recently brought one of these after a sales demo at a Christmas market. I use mine nearly every day, mostly to grate garlic, but also ginger, parmesan and even tomato on occasion. I used to use a garlic press, but getting a knife inside the tool to clean out the bits of clove skin that are stuck, or trying to close the press's arm when you've got a big clove in the way made for a frustrating tool. So I'm super happy with my garlic grater plate, no need to peel the skin, just rub directly onto the coarse plate and you've got minced garlic in seconds. You can get every last bit from the clove with this plate, no waste here. The juice obtained from grating ginger would be perfect in a smoothie too. At around £10, the perfect secret Santa budget price, this handy grater makes for an ideal gift for any level of cook. Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 3 Le Creuset Stoneware High-quality stoneware makes for a visually pleasing and long-lasting gift, and who better than household name Le Creuset to provide the goods. Over the last 5 years I have collected varying Le Creuset stoneware from different retail stores and gifts from family, most recently I received a set of 4 espresso cups from my father-in-law, thanks John! My current collection includes espresso mugs, coffee mugs, a butter dish, soup pots, salt and pepper mills and a gravy jug, mostly in mustard yellow, although we're thinking of changing the colour scheme in the kitchen to dark green, oops! If you want quality kitchenware then Le Creuset is your brand. They aren't the cheapest option, I'm sure you could find some stoneware in your local ASDA for much less, however, I have the motto that if something gets used often without the need for replacement in the short term, then it's worth the higher price tag. A singular mug starts from around £10, a set of 6 espresso mugs will set you back around £50 and a casserole dish around £180, plenty of options for varying budgets. Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 4 Glass Jars With Bamboo Lids Who doesn't love an organised pantry? I recently invested in approx 40 glass jars of varying sizes by GoMaihe via Amazon. Look how pretty all my store cupboard staples look! I was fed up with opened boxes, different sized packaging, ripped packets in food bags and other random storage containers laid out 'higgledy-piggledy' in my pantry, making it hard to find the ingredients I need for recipes quickly. 40 glass jars and labels later I am in my element every time I open the cupboard door. Do you know a keen cook who'd get the same satisfaction from these high-quality airtight jars? You can get GoMaihe jar sets in particular sizes ideal for pasta, rice and spaghetti or smaller ones for nuts, seeds and spices. If you're unsure what your giftee needs, start them off with a mixed size jar set for around £26. Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 5 Riverford Veg Box Gift Voucher Give the gift of organic veg boxes this Christmas, containing produce fresh from the farm and free from added chemicals. Riverford Veg is grown for flavour and not commercial-scale demand. Plus, organic veg boxes help support local farmers, at Riverford 80% of their produce is grown here in UK farms. Over twelve thousand people on Trustpilot agree, like me, that Riverford veg box deliveries are AMAZING. At this time of writing, their Trustpilot rating is a whopping 4.9 out of 5 stars overall and they are number 1 on Trustpilot for organic veg boxes. I have a regular weekly veg box delivery (familiar favourites - medium size), and I plan my meals around what's in the box, however, if I have something in particular I want to cook, I'll pause the regular box that week and make up my own delivery of individual items. Easy! You can set your recipient up with a regular subscription for as little as £12 per box, and here's my referral link to get yourself £15 credit if you do, nice one! I'll receive £15 credit too and Riverford will even plant a native tree on their farmland to say thanks! Alternatively, purchase a £25 or £50 gift voucher for Riverford and let your giftee choose the veg box they fancy. Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 6 Morphy Richards Homebake Breadmaker My wife got me one of these bad boys for my birthday back in September as I was fed up with not knowing what was in my bread, especially as I'm trying to avoid refined grains and refined sugar in my food. I now, really enjoy making my own wholemeal loaf, knowing exactly what's inside. The bread is delicious when it's still warm, a few minutes out of the breadmaker. I know I know, this isn't 'true' breadmaking as the machine does the heavy lifting, but if your recipient, like me, works too many hours and hasn't the time to do things by hand, then this breadmaker is a winner! For £80 the Morphy Richards Homebake Breadmaker I personally think is good value for money for a large kitchen tool. There are 14 pre-set programmes for different loaves of bread, cakes and even jams, or use the manual mode to create your own bread recipes. Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 7 Oil/Vinegar Bottle Set Just like the satisfaction of organisation with my pantry jars, my collection of oils and vinegar are looking swish on the kitchen workshop in their matching bottles. Plus they’re always on hand ready to splash in my dishes. Sleek metal caddies encase the 270ml glass bottles and are topped with easy-to-drizzle nozzles; no one likes sticking their thumb over the bottle to save their salad from being soaked in too much oil, only to be left with an oily thumb tip! For around £15 an oil/vinegar dispenser set is a great gift for a cooking-loving colleague for secret Santa. Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 8 Wooden Egg Storage Cabinet My egg cabinet has taken a battering over the 5 years I've had it, but it's still going strong! This egg cupboard is a great addition to the kitchen side or the pantry, displaying your eggs neatly rather than wondering what you have left inside the ugly cardboard container you get from the supermarket. With 2 tiers housing up to 12 eggs, this egg storage cabinet, complete with vintage design, is a bargain at under £15. Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 9 Mini Shopping Baskets A super-cute addition to any cook's kitchen, available in varying colours, I use my mini supermarket baskets to display and store bananas, avocadoes, or any fruit and veg that's not kept in the fridge. Approximately 25 centimetres in length these baskets can hold 3-4 avocados, a small bunch of bananas or around 5 apples. Or failing that if your recipient has children why not use for shopping play time! Each basket is around £8, maybe a little pricey for the size, I believe you can get them for £5 in Flying Tiger? But again if it gets used a lot then I don't mind paying that little bit extra if I'll use an item again and again. Gifts For Cooks UK - No. 10 Recipe Books For Gut Health The last 8 months have been transformative for me, I have dropped over 4 and a half stone in excess weight, and I'm generally fitter in mind and body. That's all thanks to hard work of course, BUT eating mainly a variety of whole foods, less-to-no refined grains or sugar, and exercising more. My food journey includes learning about the mind-gut connection and recipes that promote a healthy gut, these 2 books had a big part to play: Doctors Kitchen 3-2-1 Hugh Fearnley's Eat Better Forever Any cook serious about cooking delicious food and eating for a healthier mind and body will LOVE these books. They both contain a satisfying mix of science and facts about individual foods and food holistically, as well as plenty of deliciously healthy recipes. These are not 'diet' books, they both simply promote using a variety of colourful whole foods and tell you exactly why. These books are the perfect gift for the health-conscious cook. In conclusion to the gifts for cooks (UK) list 2020 and 2021 has seen so many of us feel the pinch financially, so finding a special gift at a price we can afford is essential. I hope you agree that there are plenty of unique gifts or sources of inspiration in this post to tick your in-budget box. My personal favourite in this list is the Moleskine Recipe Journal, I enjoy its use again and again, and I know it will stand the test of time being passed down in the family, it's my number 1. What gift did you end up going for? Or did you find another gift idea that you'd like to share? Do get in touch and let me know. I love to hear from readers. Jen - Author, Tried and Loved

  • Riverford Veg Box Review

    Farm fresh organic produce delivered right to your door every week, grown for flavour, rather than mass retail sale, oh and the delivery part is free! Sounds too good to be true? You might be surprised to learn it's not! All the details and your questions are answered right here in this Riverford veg box review. Over twelve thousand people on Trustpilot agree, like me, Riverford veg box deliveries are AMAZING, their Trustpilot rating is a whopping 4.9 out of 5 stars overall at the time of writing and they are number 1 on Trustpilot for organic veg boxes. In this review I'll discuss what a veg box delivery is, more about Riverford and how to get money off your box, how to order and use the Riverford app/website, details about the delivery itself, the quality of the produce, recipe ideas using the produce and a full list of pros and cons of the service. Let's delve in. Oh by the way, throughout this article click on any 'Riverford' link to claim your £15 credit on a veg box from Riverford, that's my personal referral code and yep I'll get £15 credit too. Riverford will even plant a native tree on their farmland for good measure! No Riverford discount code is needed, simply click one of the Riverford links to redeem. It is worth me making clear that here on my Tried and Loved blog, I only write about products and services I truly LOVE, that's why I rave all things Peloton on here haha, I'm obsessed! Anyway, I digress, rest assured, Riverford is genuinely awesome! What exactly is an organic veg box delivery? Organic veg boxes contain produce fresh from the farm and free from added chemicals. Veg are grown for flavour and not commercial-scale demand. Plus, organic veg boxes help support local farmers, at Riverford 80% of their produce is grown here in UK farms. By having a weekly box of freshly delivered seasonal veg, you are encouraged to eat/cook seasonally, again supporting non-mass-commercial-growing, as well as encouraging you to add more veg in general to your diet. My boxes of delectable produce certainly help me avoid waste. I love to use up every last leaf of my delivery, and as we are all most likely very aware right now, lowering our food waste plays a big part in helping to look after our planet. "Cutting food waste can help the climate. Every day in the UK we waste 20m slices of bread, 280 tonnes of poultry, 4.4m potatoes and much more. Households squander about 70% of the UK's 9.5m tonnes of waste food every year. About a third of all the world’s food goes to waste, and producing, transporting and letting that food rot releases 8-10% of global greenhouse gases" - The Guardian* Why a Riverford veg box? Established in 1986 by one man (Guy Watson) from a corner of his parent's farm in Devon to feeding thousands via 4 regional sister farms, all whilst maintaining their authentic process, Riverford has stood the test of time and describe themselves as 'proper farmers with mud on their shoes'. Riverford grow truly organic produce, they never spray their crops with chemicals, they care for the soil, the wildlife on their land and the farmers. Riverford are winners of The Observer’s Ethical Product of the Decade for their iconic veg boxes Here's a snippet from* about what they do: Instead of selecting fruit and veg varieties for their high yields, and pushing them on with artificial fertilisers, we focus on taste above all else. After decades of growing, we believe in the pursuit of four simple rules for flavoursome veg: Look after your soil, and it will look after the crop. Choose the right variety – all carrots were not created equal! Grow it in the right conditions – slowly, naturally, letting the flavour develop. Eat it fresh from the farm. Riverford uses local delivery drivers, all of which will be driving 100% electric cars by 2025. All of Riverford's fruit and veg packaging is either home compostable or made from paper, that's if it's needed at all. Riverford save 21 tonnes of plastic every year! Oh, and their delivery boxes are reusable, you leave them out for the delivery driver to collect, boxes can be reused up to 10 times! Riverford's produce is great tasting! More about that and what products they offer next... How to order your Riverford organic veg box delivery It's as easy as 1, 2, 3... via the website or app Enter your postcode to see what your delivery day is Choose what veg, fruit, or other type boxes you want and select a size and frequency Enter your details and boom you're in! What types of boxes are available for delivery at Riverford? Choose your box from these options: Veg boxes (with varieties such as seasonal, quick, familiar favourites, 100% UK, squash box and more) Fruit & veg boxes (and varieties) Salad boxes (and varieties) Fruit boxes (and varieties) Meat boxes (and varieties) Christmas Boxes (and varieties) Select your size box: Small (feeds 1 to 2 people), Medium (feeds 2 to 3 and that's the one my wife and I order) or Large (feeding 3 to 4 people) The only downside to this format of sizing is there is never a weight or number of each item listed, so planning a recipe with specific quantities/weights is a bit of a gamble, but you get used to the rough portion sizes after a few deliveries. Select the frequency of your box deliveries: Every 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks. Do you have to choose set veg boxes? No you don't. Pre-determined veg boxes are the most cost-effective way to buy produce from Riverford, and I find it makes me try new foods, methods and recipes. However, you can choose to select items individually and I've used this option on occasion. I have a regular weekly veg box delivery (familiar favourites - medium size), and I plan my meals around what's in the box, however, if I have something in particular I want to cook, I'll pause the regular box that week and make up my own delivery of individual items. You can of course have a regular box and add individual items to it, including cupboard staples like dairy, cheese, eggs and bread. Want to change items a couple of days before delivery? No problem, you can make changes up to 11:59 pm 2 days before your delivery date. For example, I can make changes up to Tuesday at 11:59 pm for a Thursday delivery. The app and website are both so intuitively designed, adding, changing or doing anything on the site/application is simple. You'll also get an email confirming what changes you make each time you edit your delivery Riverford deliveries My Riverford deliveries have always arrived on the day they say they will, although if it's before 8:30am, the delivery driver won't knock. I think that's so they don't wake you, however, they'd be disturbing my morning Peloton spin at that time if they did, so I appreciate being left to sweat. See, I told you I was Peloton obsessed! The only downside, compared to your standard supermarket delivery, is Riverford doesn't provide a delivery time slot, but you can leave a delivery note on your account for the driver to know where to leave the box if you are out. Handy! When my box arrives it always looks so colourful and fresh, not commercially shiny and polished but a bit wobbly, odd-shaped on occasion, and muddy- all in a good way! I get a satisfying feeling that my gut is going to thank me for nature's goodies I've chosen to feed it. Riverford veg box quality All deliveries I've received so far from Riverford have not only looked great and been easy to order, they have been flavourful and lasted as long as, if not longer than expected. This has something, I imagine, to do with how they are packed. For example, the chestnut mushrooms I previously brought from Tesco, arriving in a plastic container, would get that slimy coating after a few days, whereas the Riverford mushrooms comes in a cardboard container and stay as fresh-looking as the day they arrived, even after 5 days or so. The Riverford website offers a brilliant A-Z of veg library, detailing how to store, prep and cook your vegetables, as well as cool info like what those vegetables go well with. It even tells you who grew yours and all the varieties available. This information is also available in Riverford's seasonal recipe book, I got mine free when I signed up. It's pretty epic and is on hand at all times in my kitchen for inspiration and knowledge on how to best look after my delivered produce. Here is one of my favourite recipes, (or a similar version at least), from the book... Carrot and Coriander Soup Recipe See my @foodwholefood Instagram page for this recipe and many more Serves 2 / 40 minutes total Ingredients 400g purple carrots peeled and chopped 1 onion chopped 1/2 sweet potato chopped small 300ml veg stock Olive oil Handful fresh coriander Flaked almonds Serve with rye sourdough or wholemeal pitta Method Sweat onions and carrots in a dash of oil for 20 minutes on low heat Add potato and cook for a further 20 mins Add veg stock and cook for further 5 mins, meanwhile... Toast almond flakes in a dry pan (and set aside) Add almost all the coriander to carrots etc and blitz Serve with toasted almonds and remaining coriander and side of choice (above) What's the price of Riverford's organic veg boxes? Small veg boxes start at around £12.65, medium £15.35 and large £20.55. Fruit starts at £8.45 and salad boxes start at £9.15. You can't really calculate how good the value is in comparison to other veg supplier options, as quantities and weights vary. But based on what I'm now not spending in Tesco, I'd say it's almost the same price-wise as a Tesco shop for similar items. However, it does work out approximately 10-15% more expensive at Riverford on the weeks I choose to add items individually. The upside is, regardless of price, I waste so much less with a Riverford veg box, not just due to great shelf life, but because it's so delicious I'd be mad at myself or letting any go to waste. My overall conclusion to Riverford veg boxes with pros and cons Pros Easy to use app/website Organic untreated produce Produce good for a healthy gut Ethical company Less food waste Helps local farmers Encourages me to try new food Encourages me to try new recipes Encourages me to eat seasonally Produce is full-flavoured Reliable delivery In-depth library of veg information Good value for money Ability to pause boxes or change boxes easily Bespoke boxes available Great communication from the company Cons You can't book an exact delivery time-slot You don't know the exact weight/quantity of each item coming You can't take out an individual item you don't like (but you can make a note of up to 3 items on your 'no thanks' list - so if that item is due for delivery in a set box you'll be notified by email) It can work out expensive if you add items individually rather than order predetermined boxes. For me, the pros of Riverford veg boxes far outweigh any cons. Before signing up to Riverford, I'd been saying to my wife for some time- 'I'd love to learn to cook more seasonally' and my wish came true! I look forward to using Riverford veg boxes throughout the upcoming seasons and learning new ways to enjoy produce when it's at its natural best. Jen Author - Tried and Loved --- References *

  • Quick And Easy Broccoli And Stilton Soup Recipe

    On a cold winters evening, for me, there's nothing better than a freshly made soup, and my go-to is Broccoli and Stilton. Here's my quick and easy Broccoli and Stilton soup recipe whipped up in around 20 minutes and packed with flavour. Plus we'll take a look at why broccoli, an incredibly nutrient-dense vegetable needs to be a firm staple in your weekly shopping basket. Plus I'll share some yummy ideas for roasting it as a snack and frying it into a quick stir fry. Quick And Easy Broccoli And Stilton Soup Serves 2 20 minutes Ingredients 1 head of broccoli (chopped into bite-size florets) 1 onion (chopped) 3 garlic cloves (minced) 100g stilton cheese 750ml vegetable stock Pinch of salt and pepper Dash of olive oil To Serve: 2 tbsp pine nuts Sourdough (I love rye sourdough) Method Sweat the onions and garlic in a pan with a dash of olive oil for 5 minutes Add the vegetable stock, and stir for 1 minute Add the broccoli florets, cover and simmer for 7 minutes Crumble in 80g of the stilton Blitz with a hand blender or in food processor Season to taste (remember Stilton is already salty) Serve Serve over 2 bowls, with the remaining 20g stilton crumbled on top and a tbsp of pine nuts over each dish. Lightly toasted sourdough makes for a great edible spoon too! Delicious! P.S. Check out these soup bowls by Le Creuset, this Broccoli and Stilton soup would look banging in these, I might have to add to my already over-crowded Le Creuset collection! This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links. This means I may receive a small commission of discount at no additional cost to you if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases. Did you know? There are over 20 varieties of broccoli! My personal favourites are purple sprouting and calabrese. It's calabrese that you'll find on most supermarket shelves; the chunky tree looking kind, and that's what I use in this recipe. It's worth noting that purple sprouting broccoli has a much stronger flavour than calabrese. How do you cook yours? Other than boiling like in this soup, how else do you cook Broccoli? Here are my favourites: Roast Whether it's a side dish, snack, or the hero in a veg traybake, roasting broccoli is a super easy method of cooking it. Here's how I enjoy roasted broccoli: Toss broccoli florets in a little avocado oil, sliced garlic, and some chilli flakes, roast at 200 degrees Celsius for around 10-12 minutes, serve sprinkled with sea salt flakes. Yum! Fry High heats and small florets work best for frying to get the best flavour. Here's how I enjoy broccoli in a stir fry: Heat avocado oil in a pan, cook spring onion, garlic and chilli for 1 minute, add broccoli florets, baby corn, red pepper and mangetout, fry all on high heat for 6 minutes, add a handful of beansprouts, a dash of sesame oil and a glug of soy. Finally, throw in a handful of spinach till wilted and serve. What's the science behind broccoli and its benefits? According to Dr Rupy Auja of The Daily Doctors Kitchen and his book '3 2 1', broccoli is thought to be able to support detoxification by your organs, (the ability of your organs to deal with waste products). Organs such as your liver, (which converts waste and toxins into excretable products), depend on micronutrients and phytonutrients found in foods such as broccoli, to carry out their functions. When chewed, broccoli releases anti-cancer compounds such as indoles and isothiocyanates. If these two reasons alone don't get you on your supermarket app right now adding broccoli to the list, then let's throw in a few more reasons to shop... Broccoli is packed with fibre, benefiting your microbiota which helps digest your food and regulate your immune system. Broccoli is packed with antioxidants which can neutralise cell damage from free radicals, (free radicals are unstable molecules that are produced in the body naturally as a by-product of metabolism or by exposure to toxins in the environment such as tobacco smoke and ultraviolet light), and reduce inflammation*. Nutrient breakdown of Broccoli According to Healthline*: One cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli packs: Carbs: 6 grams Protein: 2.6 gram Fat: 0.3 grams Fibre: 2.4 grams Vitamin C: 135% of the RDI Vitamin A: 11% of the RDI Vitamin K: 116% of the RDI Vitamin B9 (Folate): 14% of the RDI Potassium: 8% of the RDI Phosphorus: 6% of the RDI Selenium: 3% of the RDI After real organic veg? I grab some fruit and veg from Tesco, Ocado or Sainsbury's on occasion, but more recently, I try to buy from organic farms and farm services direct. I've just discovered and absolutely love Riverford. Riverford believes that: "...amazing veg has the power to change lives and the world around us." Here's a snippet from about what they do: Instead of selecting fruit and veg varieties for their high yields, and pushing them on with artificial fertilisers, we focus on taste above all else. After decades of growing, we believe in the pursuit of four simple rules for flavoursome veg: Look after your soil, and it will look after the crop. Choose the right variety – all carrots were not created equal! Grow it in the right conditions – slowly, naturally, letting the flavour develop. Eat it fresh from the farm. Fancy £15 off a veg box at Riverford? Click any of the 'Riverford' links on this page to get it (we'll both get £15 off)! So will you be adding more Broccoli to your plate from now on? There are no green vegetables that I don't enjoy when cooked well, yet broccoli is up there as one of my favourites along with spinach and asparagus (my mouth is watering now). How will you be adding broccoli to your plate next? Will it be via the quick and easy broccoli and stilton soup recipe on this page, or perhaps one of the other suggestions on here, or do you have your own creation in mind? Feel free to share it with me and my new food-based Instagram profile: @foodwholefood Happy cooking! Jen - Author Tried and Loved ---- References Dr Rupy - Recipe book 3 2 1 - Page 164 - Green vegetables

  • The Mobile-Mini 2.0 Nebulizing Diffuser Can Fill A Room Full Of Character

    The mobile-mini 2.0 is a sleekly designed diffuser that requires no water, is wireless charging, brandable, easy to set up and use, made with zero plastic, and calmly emits delicious essential oils. Here at Tried and Loved we were asked by Organic Aromas to write an honest review on the Mobile Mini 2.0. The diffuser and essential oils were gifted to us for testing, therefore due to its gifted nature, we must inform you this article is categorized as a sponsored post. #ad #spon. We may also receive a commission, at no cost to you, should you purchase an Organic Aromas product through links on this page. Organic Aromas were kind enough to add the branding of my dance company (Hip Hop Pop) to the front and back of the diffuser, which I think you'll agree, looks super cool in the company office (below). In this review, I'll cover who Organic Aromas are, what a nebulizing diffuser is, the features of the diffuser, what's in the box and how it's presented and packaged, how easy it is to set up and operate, the price, some details on the oils available and most importantly, a final conclusion on the diffuser. Ready? Let's get into it. Who are Organic Aromas? Organic Aromas offer Premium Nebulizing Diffusers for Professional Essential Oil Aromatherapy. Based in the USA this Trust Pilot reviewed and social-media-active company offer a range of hand-carved, engraved or printed nebulizer diffusers with a large range of oils to choose from. One of their most 'modern' looking offerings is the Mobile-Mini 2.0. What is a Nebulizing Diffuser? "A nebulizing diffuser works as a perfume atomizer. A small air pump blows air across a small tube creating a powerful vacuum that pulls the essential oil from the bottom of the tube to the top in a fine spray. This type of diffusion does not rely on any other elements to diffuse the essential oil, so the mist is entirely composed of the essential oil. Nebulizing diffusers diffuse only the essential oil molecules into the air, so you are getting the full benefits of aromatherapy. - Organic Aromas Blog Post Features of the Mobile Mini Wireless charging (via Micro USB) Approx 5.5 hours charging time to get 16 hours of operation Can charge and use at same time Portable Compact design (16cm tall, 6.8cm wide) Weighs just 440g No plastic in the unit Anodised aluminium casing Custom made glass reservoir for oils No water needed for use No heat omitted Automatic 2 minutes on, 1 minute off timer Automatic switch-off after 2 hours use 4 strength controls Quiet operation What are the benefits of using a diffuser with essential oils? Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants that have the scent or 'essence' of said plants. There are some health benefits associated with these oils, yet these are still to be proven at the time of writing. According to an article on, claims have been made that some oils can reduce stress and anxiety, relieve headaches, help with sleep and reduce inflammation. For me, an essential oil simply creates a character in a room. I love Lavender when wanting to get in a relaxed mood ready for sleep, I love Peppermint to give a fresh 'wake up' feel, and a little Jasmine when I'm relaxing with a good book. Organic Aromas also gifted to me a beautiful, lockable display box of 6 essential oils including: Lavender Energy (including mint, tangerine, and rosewood) Peppermint Sweet Orange Rosemary I also received their signature blend in the box with the nebulizer. My favourite oil thus far is Lavender, such a relaxing gentle scent that fills a room with calm. What's In The Box? Nebulizer unit (including glass reservoir) 2 x cleaning pipettes Pump testing device USB charging cable Essential oil dropper Instruction manual 5ml signature blend essential oil The unit and accessories came extremely well packaged; safely tucked in the box surrounded by protective foam, and neatly presented. Even the instruction manual came in a neat brown slip, giving the product a high-end feel. How easy is it to set up? In a few easy steps the instruction booklet walked me through how to get my Mobile-Mini 2.0 up and running in around 3 minutes, using diagrams and simple written instructions. Changing the intensity of the diffuser is easy by tapping the one and only button on the unit; you cannot get the operation wrong, it's so simple. How well does the Mobile-Mini 2 Operate? As advertised, the unit operates on an automatic rotation of 2 minutes on, 1 minute off, repeatedly until manually stopped, or until the unit reaches 2 hours of constant use, when it will then turn itself off. I had the company office filled with beautiful scents within 10 minutes of operation. I manually switched off the unit after 30 minutes and the aroma stayed lingering for a few hours after. I love not having to fill the device with water; I found unplugging my previous diffuser adding water, and plugging it back in again a frustrating and relatively dangerous activity (in terms of water/electricity combination). I was always careful to dry my previous diffuser fully before plugging in, but with my new Mobile-Mini 2.0, that frustration and worry is taken away. No water = No worries. The sound that the Mobile-Mini 2.0 makes when in operation is so minimal that unless you're sitting right next to it you would hardly hear it, it's a very faint 'whheerring' sound. What's my conclusion on the Mobile Mini 2 by Organic Aromas? I have always been a fan of essential oils and the use of diffusers to emit those oils scents. The Mobile-Mini offers an easy to use, no-mess, super-compact option, which I'm chuffed to have in my office. The Mobile-Mini is smaller than a Sky TV remote and can be transported easily anywhere, including the room I use for Yoga, the company dance studio and my bedroom. The intensity of aromas from the unit, on any of the settings, is strong, but not overwhelming, You can fill an average double bedroom within minutes with beautiful characterful smells. I first tried the Mobile-Mini 2.0 whilst watching a movie and I barely heard it operate. The fragrance stream is not 'steamy' and therefore doesn't obstruct any view of the movie screen, it's so discreet, you only know it's there thanks to the beautiful scent of the room. For further information and prices, this particular unit with no branding is listed at £71 at the time of writing, visit You can also follow them on Youtube, Facebook or Instagram. The nebulizing diffuser would make for a perfect gift, I know I'd be chuffed if I received one of these on my birthday. Thank you Organic Aromas, it's been a pleasure to test and review your Mobile-Mini 2.0, and I look forward to getting lots more use out of it in the Hip Hop Pop office and my yoga space. Jenny - Author Tried and Loved

  • Peloton Bike+ Review UK

    Wow just wow, what a piece of technology the Peloton Bike+ is. Yes, you likely heard the price tag right, it’s not cheap, but when you compare the cost to some gym memberships, the Peloton Bike+ is potentially better value for money (in my personal opinion). I’m going to tell you why in this Peloton Bike+ review, plus how to get yourself £100's worth of free bike accessories. I’ll go into detail about the bike's features, its cost compared to other versions of the bike and more about Peloton classes available with the membership. Quick verdict of the Peloton Bike+ My rating for the Peloton Bike+: 5 STAR! The Peloton Bike+ is the polished Lamborghini of indoor bikes. A very high-quality, smooth operating and technologically-advanced fitness tool to turn at home training into something magical. My Peloton Bike+ is my favourite shiny toy that I get excited to wake up and use each and every morning not just for cycling, but for strength work, yoga and meditation via the membership. If you're thinking of purchasing a Peloton Bike or Bike+ yourself, here's my referral code that will get you £100 of accessories FREE with your Bike purchase: 6F5UTJ (and I'll receive £100 voucher for apparel too, win-win) Pros of the Peloton Bike+ Compact frame Sleek design Easy to set up Thousands of classes to choose from Plenty of ride stats post-ride Ability to automate resistance Interaction with other users Leader board filtering options Ability to race against your previous self Quiet functionality Smooth transition between resistance levels Easily adjust bike's seat height and depth as well as handlebar height Rotating screen perfect to take classes other than cycling Connectivity with Apple Watch or other heart rate monitors Bluetooth earphone or speaker connectivity Padded seat Cons Um…. Not enough hours in the day to use it more! How did I choose Peloton and get my Peloton Bike+? If you want to skip to the Peloton Bike+ price, features and more click here I’m a dance teacher by trade and have been for over 20 years, however the UK Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns really had an effect on my physical health; I was teaching less, moving about less, and like many people, finding comfort in additional food and alcohol. As you can imagine I gained a fair amount of weight over a period of about a year. In March 2021 I had got to the point where I was so unhappy with the way I felt and looked that I had to do something about it. In the past I’ve had gym memberships, I’ve had courses with PTs, I’ve calorie counted, I’ve tried Joe Wicks meal plans and many more so-called ‘solutions’, but sometimes, it was just a little overwhelming or a lot of faff and hassle with food prep. I was craving a way to improve my health in a holistic manner for longevity, making sustainable life changes rather than ‘I’m on a diet’ changes. My journey to improving my physical and mental health began with a book called Mind. Body. Miracle. by Jacqueline Dunne (you can read my full review here). In March, off the back of the knowledge I’d picked up from the book, I began eating more whole foods, ensuring I had plenty of fibre in my diet, I cut out most refined sugar and general white flour-based foods. After these eliminations, the second step to my journey would be adding some additional exercise. After watching many engaging ads of ‘normal people’ enjoying using Peloton equipment, I decided to download the digital app and get a free trial to see what all the fuss was about. To my pleasant surprise and enjoyment, the app gave me a great start to my journey to getting fitter. I was able to use my budget Argos indoor Bike for some of the cycling classes, even without the statistics. I was able to try yoga and some strength classes too, I even started meditation. I used the Peloton app every day for 5 months, then my dad knocked on my door and said he had a surprise for me. He opened up the back of his van and there it was, the Peloton Bike+ (family package). I had spoken before about wishing I could afford one of these beauties, yet I never dreamt I would ever own one, but here it was, my early birthday present from my dad, and a very extravagant gift at that. Wow, wow, wow, was I grateful! In fact, I cried and hugged him so hard I’m surprised he could breathe. The Peloton Bike plus fits perfectly in my spare room along with the Bike mat, the workout mat, and some accessories too. I have used the Peloton Bike+ and the workout mat every day since and I am now on my week 23 streak using the app and Bike. I’m excited to write this review of the Peloton Bike+. I feel I have a 'real-user' perspective that enables me to share with you the difference between the digital app and the Peloton All-Access membership with the Bike+. Read on to find out all the juicy offerings of the Peloton Bike+. Since using Peloton classes (March 2021) riding the Peloton Bike+ and eating more whole foods: - I have dropped over 3 stone in excess weight - I have vastly improved my cardiovascular endurance - I have vastly improved strength endurance in bodyweight exercises - I have improved muscle definition - I have increased flexibility - I have less irritation from a knee injury than I did prior to taking Peloton classes - I get excited to wake up in the morning to workout - I feel post-workout highs most days - I feel more confident in my body - I fit back in my favourite clothes - I feel great buying and wearing new clothes - I feel empowered and limitless! Price of Bike+ The Peloton Bike+ is available on the peloton website in different packages as follows (prices correct in August 2021): Bike+ £2295 Just the Bike+ itself Bike+ Essentials £2495 Bike+, 1 pair Bike shoes, 1 pair Bike weights and a workout mat Bike+ Works £2595 Bike+, 1 pair Bike shoes, 1 pair Bike weights, resistance bands, Bike mat and a workout mat Bike+ Family £2745 Bike+, 2 pairs Bike shoes, 1 pair Bike weights, resistance bands, Bike mat, workout mat, 2 water bottles. Pair of yoga blocks and a yoga strap Peloton sell the original Bike in packages for between £1350 and £1795 DON’T FORGET: If you're thinking of purchasing a Peloton Bike or Bike+ yourself, here's my referral code that will get you £100 of accessories FREE with your Bike purchase: 6F5UTJ (and I'll receive £100 voucher for apparel too, win-win) Peloton Bike+ payment options Peloton offers either a pay-now option or pay over 43 months with zero interest. Repayments start at £54 a month for the Bike+ basics package. Do note, however, all Peloton Bikes require you to have some form of their membership in addition to the cost of equipment, the main one being the All-Access membership, but more on that later. Peloton Bike+ features With the Peloton Bike and the Peloton Bike+ to choose from, what warrants the additional £900+ for the Bike+? Let’s look at the features that the Bike+ has over the original Bike: Rotating touch screen: The main reason I was first interested in the Peloton Bike+ over the original Bike was the rotating touchscreen. The screen on a Bike+ rotates a full 360° making it much easier to see the screen for other Peloton classes that are off the Bike. As you can see in my room set up, I am limited for space so it’s great that I can turn my screen 90° to take part in strength and yoga classes. The original Bike screen does adjust up and down but does not rotate, so for someone like me that would’ve been difficult to use. Bigger screen & better sound: The touchscreen on the Bike+ is 1.3in bigger than the original Bike screen and has a four-channel audio output with subwoofers, unlike the original Bike. The volume is pumping, I can vouch for its epicness when I’ve turned it right up on those rides where you need to have the music pumping to get you through, however, I’m not sure my neighbours are as happy about the upgraded speakers as I am. Auto-follow: This feature is incredibly handy for on-demand rides. Auto-follow is a feature where with one ‘tap’ it will make your Peloton Bike+ follow the resistance set by the instructor automatically. This is not just great for ease of use but also helpful on those days where perhaps you’re not feeling as awake and you could be and are more inclined to choose an easier resistance just to get through the ride. The auto-follow helps to push me to be the best athlete I can be and not ease up on my resistance, I always feel great for it afterwards. Apple Watch Pairing Unlike the original Peloton Bike, you can now pair your Apple watch and Bike+ with a simple tap of the watch icon on the top of the screen at the start of a ride. Allowing you to share heart rate, output and other workout details between devices. Reduced-reflective and anti-smudge coating Upgraded screen features allow for sweaty hands not to make as much of a mess on your screen. I have my Bike situated by a window and the glare does not affect my screen during a ride I can see it all perfectly. USB-C Charging port The handy port at the back of the screen allows you to charge your other devices while you’re riding. This feature has been handy for me while on longer rides. 8-megapixel front-facing camera This is not a feature I use, but for those of you who want to use the Bike to chat with friends too, you’ve got 3 megapixels better quality than on the original Peloton Bike. Smarter and tidier unit The seat and handlebar adjusters are more user friendly, quicker and smoother to use and the Bike+ cables are tidier and more tucked away than the original. Having easy to use height adjusters helps personalise quickly for multiple household members using the Bike+. Peloton Bike vs Bike+. Is it worth upgrading to Peloton Bike Plus? Is Peloton Bike+ worth the extra? For me, yes the upgrade is worth the money as my workout space requires me to be at a right-angle to the Bike+ for off-Bike classes so I need to rotate the screen. As I do classes every day that’s worth the investment for me. I also use the auto-follow resistance for on-demand classes, which I do 2-3 times per week. OK that feature isn’t essential, but I enjoy having the feature on. Being a dance teacher, I love music pumping, with the bassier and louder Peloton Bike+ speakers they satisfy my need to really ‘feel’ the music. If you have a large space for your bike, and an area for your off-Bike classes which is next to it, facing the same direction as the bike, and you plan on using your Bike with Apple Airpods or other wireless earbuds, then I’d suggest considering the original Bike. Even though I enjoy the auto-follow feature, I would probably have considered the original Bike if I had more space. Is there a Peloton Bike+ Weight Limit? Yep, both the original Peloton Bike and Bike+ have the same user weight limit which is 135kg (21 stone 3 lbs) What is the Peloton Bike+ Weight? The Peloton Bike+ is very similar in weight to the original, just 2kg heavier at 63kg. What are the Peloton Bike+ dimensions? Both the original Bike and the Bike+ have the same floor footprint which is 120cm by 60cm. Peloton recommends having 60cm of space around all four sides of the Bike. I totally agree on the 60cm for the lateral sides; Interval and arms rides that use the Bike weights require you to raise your arms out at 90 degrees to the sides and you don’t want to feel restricted. How much does the Peloton subscription cost UK? To use the full features of your Peloton Bike+ you need the All-Access Membership which is £39 per month. This All-Access membership allows for multiple members of your household to have their own login and record on the Bike and other Peloton classes. The membership gives you access to not only the cycling classes, but all of the other offerings from Peloton live and on-demand including strength, stretching, yoga, meditation, boot camps, outdoor runs and much more. What Is The Difference Between The Peloton Digital Membership and The Peloton All-Access Membership? The 2 key differences are: 1. The digital membership is intended for an individual, (not the whole household), who doesn’t have a Peloton Tread or Bike and who wants to use their own equipment to enjoy the library of classes. The digital membership is £12.99 per month. 2. One of the many great things about the Peloton Bike and Bike+ is the live in-ride stats for cadence, resistance, output, power zones, calories, heart rate and much more which can only be logged with the all-access membership. What’s my opinion of the Peloton classes online via the Bike+? Easy to follow Motivational instructors Great instructions for the best technique Huge variety of music, level, length and objectives in class. Great stream quality The ability to change the ‘mix’ between music and instructor is nice for music led rides. Always something on the live schedule throughout the day I fancy taking I love to stack my classes (pre-select them to run consecutively) Overall Peloton offers the best online platform I’ve ever tried in regard to quality, variety and user experience. Conclusion on the Peloton Bike+ If I’d known how great the Bike+ was when I first started this journey, I would’ve purchased one back then regardless of the financial investment as it would’ve been the best investment in myself I’d ever make. Thanks to a very generous dad however I’m lucky enough to own a Bike+. You can feel the quality of what you’re riding; it feels expensive in a good way when you’re in the saddle, it’s smooth, it’s seamless in resistance transition, it’s silent, it’s a quality home work out. The adverts are true; a high-five received from other Peloton members during a ride and the friendly competition on the leader board is super motivating, and I do feel part of a community with Peloton. I’ve also received three shout-outs to date from instructors during live classes when I’ve reached milestones in rides and strength classes, what a buzz to know they see you and your hard work too! I had a budget Bike from Argos when I first started and the Peloton Digital app, and don’t get me wrong, it was awesome at that level, but since having the Peloton Bike+, wow, what a piece of kit! I love my mornings (my Peloton time), I get excited to wake up and jump in the saddle. Come ride with me, my handle’s ‘MorningPelo_Jen’ see you there future fellow Peloton-er! Need a Peloton Discount / Referral / Promo code UK? Want your £100 of freebies with your Bike purchase? Use mine: 6F5UTJ This will get you £100 of accessories FREE with your Bike purchase: (and I'll receive £100 voucher for apparel too, win-win) Thanks for reading For more reviews, how-to's and top lists for you, them or your business take a look around this blog. Jen - Author of Tried and Loved This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases.

  • What Is Audible? How Does Audible Work (UK)? How Much Does An Audible Membership Cost (UK)?

    So you've heard of Audible, you want to know how it works, how much it costs, is it a good value for money, what happens if you change your mind can you cancel, is Audible included for Prime members and where can you get a free trial? All the answers are right here! What is Audible? What is the Audible app? Audible is essentially a gigantic library of audiobooks (over 200’000) and podcasts (over 100’000). For me, an audiobook pulls me into a story; the emotion in the narrator’s voice, the pauses for suspense in just the right places. I’m a competent reader, yet I find listening to an audiobook so much more engaging. The Audible app itself is a media player for the books and podcasts, so you can play, pause, scrub and jump to chapters and sections as you please. The Audible UK app is part of the furniture on my iPhone’s home bar (as well as Peloton and Spotify), for quick access whenever I need or want some headspace, to focus on something other than work, or to learn something new. I’ll listen to books in the shower, while I’m getting ready for work and when commuting’. I don’t listen, as others do, to Audible titles before bed as I prefer to switch to my Kindle Paperweight, reading a chapter or two of thrillers before my eyes naturally fall downcast and eventually close. How does audible work (UK)? Audible can be enjoyed pay-as-you-go or as a subscription. If you choose a subscription, you’ll be granted book credits into your account each month or year dependant on your subscription choice. You can then browse the Audible website or app for your desired audiobook and click ‘Buy with 1 Credit’, the book will show up in seconds in your library, it’s that simple. If you choose not to get yourself a subscription, you simply select the option to ‘Buy now for £X.XX’ and again, the book will appear momentarily in your library. The bonus about having a subscription with Audible is you get unlimited free access to all Audible Original Podcast shows too, just find one you fancy and click ‘Add series to library’. I recently listened to Derren Brown’s – Boot Camp For The Brain an Audible Original Podcast. It features fascinating mind experiments and informative insights from experts about our behaviours orchestrated by our system 1 and system 2 brain, (you’re going to have to listen for yourself to find out what the systems are!). It was only 8 episodes and well worth the 4 hours of listening time. There’s no time limit for how long a book lasts, once a book is brought with physical money or credits, it’s yours for life. You can choose to ‘remove from device’, if a book is taking up storage space on your iPhone for example, but this doesn’t delete the purchase, it simply removes the physical file from your device. This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases. How much does an Audible membership cost (UK)? A subscription to Audible ranges from £7.99 per month to £109.99 per year (see below for all subscription options). If you’re not sure whether to try Audible there’s good news! You can get a 30-day free trial with 1 book credit and if it’s not for you, simply cancel it before the 30 days is up. Audible membership options: 1 Book a month membership: £7.99 per month (equates to £7.99 per book) 12 Books a year membership: £69.99 per year (equates to £5.83 per book) 2 Books a month membership: £14.99 per month (equates to £7.50 per book) 24 Books a year membership: £109.99 per year (equates to £4.58 per book) (Prices correct as of 8th July 2021) Firstly, to be a subscriber on any plan is a much more cost-effective way to listen to audiobooks than pay as you go, buying titles ad-hoc. The most popular titles are between £10 and £25 to buy singularly with physical money. As a subscriber, let’s say you’re on the 1 book a month plan and you wanted to add additional books, you can do so in 2 ways: 1. Buy a bundle of 3 additional credits for £18 (£6 per audiobook) 2. Buy an individual title at the member's price – which is either the original price or a discounted price-thousands of titles have discounts of up to 80% for subscribers. I started with a 1 book per month subscription, but I found myself finishing the book halfway through the month and purchasing an additional book or additional credits every month. In the end, I switched to the 24 books a year subscription and still have enough book credits left for the year if I complete 1 book every 2 to 3 weeks. # Winning. Is Audible free with Prime? Prime and Audible are both services from Amazon, yet they are billed separately as they are essentially two very different offerings. However, if you are a Prime member you may get offered discounts on some audiobook titles, although the discounts are far greater as an Audible member than a Prime member. BONUS TIP: If you get a free trial with Audible as a Prime member, you'll get 2 free audiobooks instead of 1! How to cancel Audible (UK): Hopefully, you’ll enjoy Audible as much as I do and you’ll find a subscription to fit your listening speed and available listening time, yet if you change your mind at any point, it’s super easy to cancel; simply log in to your account on the Audible website, click on your Account details and select ‘cancel membership’. BONUS TIP: Use your credits before you cancel the subscription! So in conclusion, is Audible worth it (UK)? In my opinion, 100% yes! Why? For me, audiobooks are much more engaging than paper books Audiobooks are accessible for situations where I can’t physically hold a book: shower, car (please listen/drive safely), on the train, whilst cooking etc Audible Original Podcasts are not available on other platforms like Spotify or Apple Podcasts, for that reason, I feel I’m getting bonus content The app has great features, such as allowing you to clip 30-second snippets. This is great for note-taking when I’m learning something from an audiobook Audiobooks can be expensive on their own, with an Audible subscription I can get a lot more value for money. I hope this post has helped you understand a little more about how Audible works, how to use the Audible app and information on how much Audible costs. If you have any further questions, feel free to get in touch. Whilst you’re here, feel free to check out some of my other reviews, top lists and how to's. Always honest and valuable information here at Tried and Loved. Author – Jenny Bater-Sinclair

  • Is the Peloton Subscription (UK) Worth The Cost?

    There are so many wellness apps on the market, how do you choose which one is worth your precious time and money? Are the OnePeloton (Peloton) adverts featuring happy sweaty riders a true depiction of what it's like to train with Peloton? Or is it just an engaging advert? I'm going to answer all your questions about the app subscription here. Is it worth the cost? Do you need a Peloton bike to use the app? Can the Peleton instructors see you? What devices can you access the app on? What types of classes are available on the app? Plus a list of pro's and con's to help you decide if a Peloton Subscription (UK) is for you. This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases. Some context I'm a dance teacher by trade, I teach 3 evenings a week as well as work on ad hoc dance projects, so my job is fairly active. However, I do struggle with putting on weight easily, over the years I have tried many different eating changes and fitness classes or sports including playing squash, attending Body Jam, Body Attack and Body Pump classes to try and look after my weight, physique and general fitness level. I was in my best physical shape around 4 years ago when I'd trained with a PT and worked out every day doing mainly HIIT cardio/strength combos, along with eating well. I was in training for a month-long stint of performing in South Africa, and I felt awesome! Since then, long story short, I've eaten as I've pleased and even just for the sake of it. I stopped all additional exercise outside of my work, and I put on 3 and a half stone (3 dress sizes). In March 2021 I finally reached the point where I was so unhappy with my physical wellbeing, and in some respects my mental wellbeing too, that I had to find some guidance to get me back in shape. With the help of an incredible book Mind. Body. Miracle. by Jaclyn Dunne and Peloton being the first brand that came into my mind (thanks to their great advertising), I opened the App Store and downloaded Peloton to see what the fuss was about, hoping it would help motivate and guide me in my workouts. What is the Peloton Digital Membership and what devices can I get it on. As Peloton themselves describe the membership, it's 'fitness that fits your life', containing over 10 types of workouts both on-demand and live! Peloton app categories include: Strength Yoga Cardio Meditation Running Outdoor Cycling Stretching Tread Bootcamp Bike Bootcamp Walking and more... There are tens if not hundreds of classes to choose from within each of those 10 categories, and it's forever increasing, you'll certainly never get bored! The app's digital membership is an individual membership (compared to the all-access membership which is for your entire household and what you'll need if you use an official Peloton bike - more on this later). You can use the digital membership on your phone, tablet, Smart TV or web browser. I use Peloton on my iPhone and pop it on my camera tripod to be able to set the height and angle dependant on what type of workout I'm doing. Amazon Basics range offers great value for money with their tripods and phone holder add-ons. Be sure to add the phone holder clip as tripods don't usually come with these. the clip will screw onto the top of the tripod. I'm writing this post as a UK user, you can also get access to the Peloton digital membership in the US, Germany and Canada. How much is the Peloton app UK? Firstly, your first 30 days are free! That was the tipping point for me that made me download the app, I knew if it wasn't for me after a few weeks I could try something else at no cost to me, however after just 1 week I was hooked! The subscription for the Peloton digital membership (which I have) is £12.99 per month. As a digital membership user, I use the app every morning, I feel it's the best 43p per day I could ever spend on myself. The £12.99 per month is charged through Apple in the normal way an app would be so no long-winded forms or direct debit mandates to fill out. Why is the Peloton app cheaper than the bike subscription? If you have the Peloton Bike or Treadmill you will need the Peloton All Access membership (£39.99 per month) to reap the full benefits of your real-time workout metrics, leaderboards and tracking your progress over time. This All-Access membership also grants you full access to the app. The all-access membership also allows for your entire house hold to use it where as the Peleton digital app is just for individual users. Do you need a Peloton bike to use the app (UK)? Certainly not! I don't have the Peloton bike, I brought an Opti indoor bike from Argos back in 2018 and it only saw my backside twice in 3 years until March this year, now my behind is a regular visitor! Serious cyclers - I know this is essentially a budget bike, but it's done the trick for me so far without having to purchase a Peloton bike to date. Based on customer reviews across many platforms it seems the JLL IC300 PRO Indoor bike is one of the top consumer choices as an indoor bike for value for money. The downside to not having the Peloton bike is that I don't know my cadence or residence figures during a ride. The first ride or two with the Peloton I wasn't sure if that would be an issue, then I came to realise the instructors are great at setting the cadence for their intervals as the BPM (beats per minute) of the song, so I just stay on beat, and as a dancer, that's easy-breezy! Resistance, the instructor will usually say a range of, for example, 35-40, and on my bike it doesn't have resistance numbers on the dial, however, the majority of instructors will also tell you how the resistance should 'feel': light, moderate, heavy, sticky, max work etc so you can gauge roughly where your resistance dial should be if not using a Peloton bike. Over the few months I've taken Peloton App rides, I've gotten more comfortable with how certain resistance levels feel and I don't think I'm missing out on not having the Peloton bike. Bonus Tip: Invest in some comfort for your bottom! Riding a few times a week, your behind might need some TLC! I invested in cycling shorts with a padded underside that I wear under my workout clothes, it's certainly not the most attractive garment I own but it does the trick! I also invested in a gel cover for the bike seat. Update since writing this first article: I was extremely, shocked, lucky and grateful to find out my Dad had purchased a Peloton Bike+ for me for my birthday, I know, lucky right! I am loving the Peloton Bike and will be writing a full review soon. In the meantime if you're thinking of purchasing a Peloton Bike yourself, here's my referral code that will get you £100 of accessories FREE with your Bike purchase: 6F5UTJ (and I'll receive £100 voucher for apparel too, win-win) Is the Peloton app worth it without the bike? 100% yes from me! I have used the app every day for the last few months and I cannot get enough! I use on-demand cycling 4 times a week, yoga 3 times a week, meditation every day, stretching once a week, strength workouts 4 times a week and the odd cardio HIIT for good measure. For £12.99 per month, I'm certainly getting super-value for money. Every instructor in every class is motivational, pushes you, yet allows for everyone's differences. I have 6 or 7 favourite instructors and I schedule their classes the majority of the time. Scheduling! This part is awesome. Who wants to waste time wondering what workout to do that morning? I set aside 10 minutes on a Sunday to schedule all my classes for the coming week. Whether it's a live or on-demand class, I can schedule all my classes so that when I wake up, I just tap once and I'm ready to go! When I began with Peloton I didn't know what classes to choose or what to expect, so I began with Pelotons suggested programmes to test the water: Crush Your Core, Mastering The Basics Of Cycling and Beginner Yoga. Now I choose my own classes based on what I enjoy, however, the programmes were an enjoyable guided introduction to Peloton. Bonus Tip: When selecting classes, use the filter feature. You can filter out classes you've taken before if you want to try something new, you can choose the length, instructor, level, type of class (e.g. Core, Upper Body, Lower Body etc), music genre and much more! Can Peloton Instructors see you? Nope, they cannot see you working out on either the digital app or all-access membership, however, they can see your membership handle on the leader board and if it's your birthday or a workout milestone, so be prepared for a possible shout-out if it's a live workout! Can I get the Peloton app on my TV? You can if you have a smart TV or if you download the app via a Roku or Amazon Firestick for example. Sky has now added Peloton to their repertoire of apps, although there are limitations on the TV version of the app, scheduling being one, so I'd suggest using the app on your portable device if you want use of all the features. Do you need any equipment to enjoy Peloton App? There are tons of bodyweight-only classes that require zero equipment, but once I knew Peloton was for me I purchased and obtained a few extras including light, medium and heavy weights, yoga blocks and strap and a workout/yoga mat. Here are some items I brought or have similar of: Summary of Peloton app review (UK): Peloton Digital gets a MASSIVE thumbs up from me. It's a hassle-free and relatively cheap way to get and keep my mind and body well, the best investment I've made on me, ever! I never run out of choices of classes, there's always something new, I can work out at times that suit me and I trust the instructors, they give great direction to the form and technique of movement, which I value highly as a dance instructor. Bonus Tip: Some categories, like Yoga, for example, have a library of basic foundational movements and concepts so you can learn about the poses in more depth before attacking them in a flow. Peloton digital membership app pros: Only 43p per day Hundreds of classes to choose from New classes added all the time 10 categories of classes Many lengths of classes to fit your schedule On-demand options Live class options Earn rewards/badges Inspirational instructors Technique and form advice Take part in challenges Easy to schedule classes You don't need the Peloton bike to use the app Peloton digital membership app cons: You don't know your exact metrics on the bike/tradmill TV app not as functional as mobile device version Final Conclusion on the Peloton app, is it worth the cost? Try it, you won't be disappointed for 43p per day. Plus there's a 30-day free trial, so what have you got to lose?! Want to connect with me on Peloton? My handle is @jennybater see you there future Pelotoners! Jenny - Author Tried and Loved This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase through one of the links. 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  • New Kid's Book: Superheroes Dance Too!

    Superheroes Dance Too! is a new fully illustrated, 28-page children's book, ideal for showing youngsters that even in difficult times when we are stuck indoors, dancing is great for their wellbeing. Plus, how even the smallest acts of kindness can turn them into superheroes too! Oh, and it's written by me! Read on to find out how to get your copy of the book, including 2 free stickers and a bookmark, as well as where to find free colouring pages and even a dance tutorial video to characters Boom and Snare's song! Who is Superheroes Dance Too! for? This new book is ideal for those aged 2 to 8. Children who love a superhero story, children who love to dance, and anyone who loves a happy ending with a positive message! What's the overview of the story? With a bounce, clap, bounce-bounce, clap, the coolest dance moves and a rhyming rap. Can superheroes Boom and Snare save the day? Can they help the children stuck indoors to shoo sadness away? Follow Boom and Snare in their dance adventure, cutting shapes, getting down, right, front and centre! What inspired the writing of this book? The idea for this book has been on my 'I'd love to do one-day' list for some time. What better time than when a lot of us need a happy pick-me-up during a national lockdown, to get the wheels in motion and put my pen to paper! As a proud dance teacher for over 20 years and director of an award-winning dance company, I wanted to use my knowledge and passion for dance in my books. My Adventures of Boom and Snare series, and in particular this first book: Superheroes Dance Too, sets out to encourage a new generation of youngsters to give dance a try and help them to understand how incredible dance is for looking after mental and physical wellbeing. "For all the resilient youngsters who kept dancing throughout the 2020/2021 pandemic, for all the young aspiring dancers with big dreams, and for all those who simply perform acts of kindness, this book is for you." Who are the team behind Superheroes Dance Too? I am so immensely grateful to these three legends for their skills, expertise and general friendly advice on this book: Corinne Standingford Content Editor and Contributor When editing, Corinne has always been my go-to over the last decade working together at Hip Hip Pop, so who better to ask?! Not only has she edited my script, she has input into the story too. Carrie King Illustrator Carrie is a superstar! Her attention to detail in her illustrations is second to none! The character development process was my favourite, she provided so many options for them, allowing us to really bring the characters to life just how I imagined. Victoria Bater-Sinclair Contributor Vic has had to listen to me read the story out loud countless times until we got it just right. Her candour was just what I needed to make the best of this book. Big thank you to Vic for always supporting my weird and wonderful projects and ideas! Where can you get a copy of Superheroes Dance Too! and the additional freebies? Simply go to to get your copy, which will come with a free bookmark and 2 stickers. Also on this webpage: Boom and Snare's song. Play on the webpage or even download to your device! Colouring pages to download and print (colouring pages in the book too!) Sign up to the Boom and Snare series newsletter Get access to a 20-minute dance tutorial video led by myself, featuring 6 talented youngsters from Hip Hop Pop, come and learn the dance moves featured in the book! Here's a sneak peek of the dance you could learn: Are you a superhero too? Come and find out how you can be a superhero too in Superheroes Dance Too!, just like the characters Boom and Snare! I'm so proud to have my first book published and hope it inspires at least a few youngsters to continue to be kind, dance and be happy. I never intended this book to be a business venture, aside from simply recouping the cost of the book's creation and print costs, this book is wholeheartedly a project to share my love of dance and how great it is for our mental and physical wellbeing, with the next generation. Thank you for reading this article, if you get a copy of the book I’d love to know what you thought about it. Jen - Author of Superheroes Dance Too and Tried and Loved.

  • ‘Mind. Body. Miracle.’ By Jaclyn Dunne Is A Game Changing- No, Make That- LIFE Changing Book!

    You know those life moments when everything falls into place, your cogs turn fluidly, and something just feels right in your gut, literally? Well, that's the moment I had after I finished the book; Mind. Body. Miracle. It's given me just the nudge I desperately needed to get my mind and body back in order post-lockdown. I'm going to share with you my favourite elements of the book, how it's helped me start to get my body back in shape, my mind on a positive path and how it's provided me with the tools to begin to overcome challenges. A little context At the start of 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns kicked in, my mother, even though she had health conditions, passed away unexpectedly, and I, to put it simply, was in a bad place. For those who don't know, I run a successful dance company with my wife Victoria and have many wonderful students and supportive families who attend. During the time of my mother passing, many of them were very supportive and all played their part in getting me through the following months. Also at that time, a parent of two students who attend the dance company dropped off a book for me called Mind. Body. Miracle. That parent was Jaclyn Dunne. I opened the book and a message inside the cover read: "Dear Jen, I hope in these pages you find the comfort that you aren't alone and the strength to carry on, kindest regards Jaclyn Dunne". At the time, of course, I thanked Jaclyn for her thoughtfulness and looked forward to reading the book, however, I was worried that reading such a book at that time would make me rather emotional, so I set the book aside to read another time. I found the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic physically difficult, my food choices weren't great, my exercise regime suffered, especially with the lack of my usual get-up-and-go attitude after losing mum. Over the last year, I gained over 2 and a half stone in weight and suffered from diminished self-confidence. Many wonderful family members, including my wife and friends, all tried to help me throughout the last year to get motivated and regain my fitness (also shout out to Siobhan Hayden and her awesome HITT workout advice). I even studied for and gained a GCSE in Nutrition during the second lockdown, yet I guess my mind and body just weren't ready to really make the changes I needed. Just over a year later in March 2021, with the courage to try, I picked up Jaclyn's Mind. Body. Miracle. and oh wow, I didn't put it down from cover to cover. I have been implementing elements from the book ever since, and am now on a physical and mental wellbeing path I'm excited to take. What is Mind. Body. Miracle. about? As the front of the book states, it helps you build "holistic healthy habits and daily disciplines to miraculously transform your mind and body", which sums the book up perfectly. I'd personally add that it solidifies any odd hints and tips about better health that you may have picked up through life and explains them in detail including the how's, where's and why's. It also provides you with statistics to prove the theories. For example, so many people have recommended meditation to me, whether that be a friend who does it and is sharing what they enjoy or a mentor I look up to who adds it to their daily routine, so I considered it too. But I ask myself, why should I meditate? What will I gain by doing it? How do I even do it properly? In Mind. Body. Miracle. Jaclyn explains in ways you can really resonate with, including giving you a simple step-by-step process at the end of her explanations, making everything actionable. Jaclyn is a highly qualified and experienced health and nutrition coach, who founded the Mind and Body Detox programme in 2014 and now, in April 2021, according to Jaclyn "has never been busier!". Book spoiler alert but keynote: Jaclyn suffered the sad loss of her mother too, prompting her to evaluate much of her own life. Seeing how short life can be, she transformed her life, mind and body, to the point where she is healing her own autoimmune condition. The following quote from the book resonates with me wholeheartedly and I am so inspired by this: "Being broken gives you the opportunity to build yourself again, stronger than ever. In my experience, I had to go through the worst time of my life to arrive at the best. I now have a new career, new outlook, mindset and passion. This is a legacy to my mum - and the irony is not lost in that I had to lose her in order to find me" Here's a brief overview of the topics Jaclyn goes into detail on within the book Affirmations Gratitude Meditation Visualisation Subconscious mind Letting go Your tribe Inflammation Your gut Sugar Clean eating Exercise Since reading the book In the book, it's made clear that you can either read it from cover to cover in your own time or in random chunks, whatever suits your own needs. As I said before I read cover to cover, I couldn't put it down. There was so much information in the book that excited me, that I wanted to implement it all straight away, but as recommended in the book, it doesn't have to be implemented all at once, small changes at a time are best, so I'll be keeping the book by my bedside for some time. However, I made the following changes based on habit suggestions, tools or general advice from the book straight away: 1. I make time for myself EVERY morning, I go to bed much earlier, get a full 8 hours of sleep, I get up early and have an hour for me and my self-care, including some of the following actions. 2. I repeat 4 daily affirmations that align with my values, long term goals and help to reprogramme some of my negative thought loops. 3. I mentally visualise my day ahead, how I want it to go, going into detail and thinking how each key moment feels. 4. I take a 20-minute online yoga class and practice new dance steps/techniques on days I teach dance, or I do a 20 minute HIIT spin bike ride and 10 minutes of core exercises on my days off of teaching. 5. Before bed, I journal, I note 3 things from my day that I am grateful for, 1 thing I achieved that day and 1 negative thought I had BUT how I overcame it or rationalised or reprogrammed the thought. 6. Sugar changes - I take more care in what I put in my body, especially avoiding refined sugar. I no longer have sugar in my coffee, and I check food labels! 7. Wiser choices - I now eat way more whole or cleaner foods, as Jaclyn says to many clients about clean eating"If it hasn't walked, swam, grew or flew, don't eat it" I have now been implementing most of these every day for 7 weeks and I feel the difference already and I've only just begun my journey on which I plan to indefinitely continue. The notable key benefits so far: I've lost almost 1 stone 5 lbs in weight I don't feel like I'm on a diet or food is being restricted I enjoy delicious food that fills me up I don't crave sweet treats as I used to I feel stronger My skin is clearer My cardiovascular endurance is improving I feel happier in general I feel increasingly more confident in my appearance I feel increasingly more confident in my abilities I feel more awake from better regular sleep I feel more flexible I feel more focused at work I am overwhelmed with how much healthier and happier I feel in just 7 weeks, it makes me excited for what the future will bring on this journey. In conclusion Mind. Body. Miracle. is a must-read for everyone, even if you don't implement the suggested habits and tools, the book de-bugs and de-mystifies so many health claims we see in the media and arms you with statistically solid knowledge. With the health industry being one of the most overpopulated industries in the world right now, how do you know which book to read, which "guru" to listen to and what implementations are right for you? That's where I feel this book shines, it covers all of the key topics of holistic health in one place, identifying that we all have individual needs, yet giving evidence of the tools we can all use and take action on. To find out more about Jaclyn's Mind and Body Detox Programme visit: Thanks for taking the time to read this book recommendation, and good luck on your own journeys in health and happiness. For more recommended products for you, them and maybe even your business, check out our other pages. Jenny - Author at Tried and Loved. --- This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases.

  • How To Make Lasagne Step By Step: Easy Lasagne Recipe UK Version

    Lasagne is a classic, a regular on the table in our household and it's the meal I'd choose from the local pub food menu too. I have perfected my own yummy yet easy lasagne recipe and I'm excited to be sharing it with you. P.S. You're welcome :) Not only will I show you how to make lasagne step by step, but I will share with you alternative ingredients to easily swap this into a vegetarian recipe. I'll show you exactly what pots, pans and utensils you'll need and how you can store the lasagne. Why should you use my recipe over all the others on Google? Lasagne is my absolute favourite. I've tried many of the recipes you'll find on a Google search, I've taken inspiration from the best and tastiest ones and used them to create my easy (yet yummy) lasagne recipe. I may not be Gordon Ramsay or Nigella Lawson, but I know my Lasange. I hope you enjoy it, here it is: This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support. Jen's easy lasagne recipe (UK) Serves: 4 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes on the cooker, then 45 minutes in the oven What you'll need: Casserole dish (roughly W21cm x L30cm) 1 large pan and 1 medium pan Scales Measuring jug Sharpe knife and 2 mixing spoons Cheese grater Hand whisk Chopping board Ingredients: Ragu: 1 white onion 2 large carrots 5 garlic cloves 1 tbsp oregano (dried) 500g beef mince 1 tin chopped tomatoes 3 tbsp tomato puree 350ml beef stock (I use Oxo) 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce Splash of olive oil Pinch salt & pepper Pinch of sugar White (Béchamel) Sauce: 60g butter 60g plain flour 650ml semi-skimmed milk 75g cheddar cheese Pinch of salt & pepper Layering: 8-10 lasagne sheets (dried) 150g cheddar cheese 50g Parmesan cheese Easy lasagne recipe step by step 1. Prep Dice the onion and carrots, finely chop or grate the garlic Grate the cheeses Make the stock Measure the white sauce ingredients Check you have all other ingredients to hand Preheat oven to 200c (180c for fan-assisted). 2. Ragu Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium heat Once hot, add onions and carrots and cook for 2 minutes Add the garlic for an additional minute Add the mince until browned all over (approx. 5 minutes) Once browned, add oregano, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, chopped tomatoes, sugar and stock, mix well Turn up to high heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid has vastly reduced (be sure to stir occasionally). Begin step 3 whist your ragu simmers. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper once reduced 3. White Sauce Melt butter over low heat in a medium-sized pan or saucepan Once melted, tip in the flour and use a whisk to mix for 1 minute to create your roux Add a large splash of the milk to the roux, mix well Continue adding more large splashes, making sure the milk mixes in before adding the next portion until it's all in the pan. Keep mixing and let the sauce thicken Once the sauce has thickened, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix in the cheese (75g from sauce ingredients). Take off the heat. 4. Layer up and bake Spread half the ragu on the bottom of your baking dish Cover the ragu with lasagne sheets butting them up the best you can to each other without overlapping too much. Spread half of the white sauce over the sheets Repeat the layering: ragu, lasagne sheets and white sauce Sprinkle over the cheddar and parmesan cheeses (from the layering ingredients list) Bake in the centre of your preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until the cheese is nice and golden brown ... cut into 4 portions and serve, yum! What to serve with lasagne in Winter? Try roasted tender stem broccoli, sprinkled with a drizzle of oil, well seasoned and roasted in the oven for 10 minutes. If you have any leftover parmesan sprinkle some shavings on top, yum! What goes well with lasagne in Summer? A popular choice is a brightly coloured salad; my favourite side salad consists of lambs lettuce with cherry tomatoes, spring onions and a lemony dressing. Perhaps some homemade garlic bread using a french stick and plenty of garlic and butter. How can you store cooked or part-cooked lasagne? Cooked lasange keeps for around 3 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer, so why not make a double batch! Be sure to thaw the frozen lasagne in the fridge fully before heating. You could prepare the lasagne up to the point of layering. Refrigerate the prepared lasagne (once cooled) and be sure to cover it so the sauce doesn't form a skin. Then cook in the oven when you're ready, ideally within 24 hours of refrigerating, for approx 45-50 minutes on 200c, or 180c if fan assisted. How long to cook lasagne For this recipe the baking time is 40-45 minutes, however, your dried lasagne sheets should be cooked after around 25 minutes. I personally cook for longer to get a crispy topping, mmm yum! How many layers in Lasagne? There's no official number of layers that a lasagne should have, this is likely due to the conflicting origins of the lasagne, some say it originates from Italy, some say it's Greek, I say as long as there are at least 2 layers it'll be well structured, shouldn't fall apart and it'll taste delicious! How to keep lasagna from falling apart Be sure your ragu reduces down to a non-runny consistency, this will help avoid the layers slipping off each other as you take your portion out of the pan. You could try leaving the lasagne to rest before serving, or even cook one day and serve the next (refrigerating between) allowing the contents to firm up a bit. Is there a vegetarian version of this lasagne recipe? With a couple of simple swaps, you can enjoy this recipe meat-free! Swap beef mince for: Quorn mince, McCartney's Vegemince, soybean tempeh or even a homemade nut-mince! Swap parmesan for: Additional cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs for a little crunch, or Pecorino Italian hard cheese. Fresh lasagne sheets or dried? This recipe uses dried; that's because I always have a stock of the dried sheets in my pantry and I hate waste. There's more chance of the fresh stuff going to waste if I don't get around to using it. However taste-wise, I can never really tell the difference between the two in a lasagne. It takes half the time to cook the lasagne using the fresh sheets as it does the dried. Yet, you're going to want to cook your lasagne for at least 30 minutes anyway to get a nice golden brown layer of cheese so you may as well use the dried lasagne. Add this recipe to your recipe journal I have a Moleskine Recipe Journal and it's one of the best gifts I've ever treated myself to. I note down all my successes and yummy creations in this beautiful journal. This journal is not only a fun activity, it's a potential family heirloom all rolled into one. The journal has an elastic closure and cardboard case to keep the book in great condition. There are sections to add appetisers, first courses, main courses, side dishes and desserts. On each recipe page, you can note the recipe difficulty, prep time, cooking time, serving size, cooking gadgets required, and even add a wine pairing and star rating. I love my Moleskine recipe journal. I add at least one recipe to it every month and plan to pass it down to my future children. I added this lasagne recipe to mine a few months back, if you think you'd enjoy the journal too, take a look at it here on Amazon. Why not try the Mindful Chef version? Are you a Mindful Chef customer or thinking of becoming one? Mindful chef deliver nutritionist-designed recipes to your door and guess what, they have a banging lasagne recipe too, trust me I've tried it and by now you know how much I love lasagne! As much as I want you to cook my recipe, I can't deny how yummy this one is. Classic beef lasagne by Mindful chef Succulent, grass-fed beef mince, fragrant oregano, silky béchamel. A ‘mindful’ take on the family staple – gluten- and dairy-free, as always – is just as delicious as the original. (From Mindful Chef Website) Did you enjoy this recipe? If you enjoyed this recipe, why not take a photo of your masterpiece and tag Tried and Loved on Instagram, I'd love to see it and share it! Have a browse of this website for more recipes to come and inspirational ideas for you and your loved ones. Do you have a lasagne recipe that you love? Feel free to send it to me, I'd love to give it a try. Have a great day! Jenny - Author of Tried and Loved This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase through one of the links. Thank you for your support. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases. Be sure to cook safely and responsibly, for advice, visit: