Tag Archive: Review

Sep 29 2014

Technology: Samsung Galaxy Tab S

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I am currently on my finally countdown to my wedding, constantly compiling to-do lists, pinning styling ideas to my secret Pinterest boards, reading wedding magazines just to build on the excitement, as well as munching on candy meant for my wedding guests, I promise there are lots left. One thing that has made the experience a lot easier this month has been the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, Samsung’s latest Android-based tablet.

First up this is my fourth tablet, I have an iPad, which I basically just use as the house Spotify controller, then I have a mini Lenovo Windows 8, which is so perfect to take anywhere in my handbag, then I also have the Acer Iconia A1, which is a similar size to the Samsung Tab S but nowhere near as good. What makes this Samsung tablet stand out from the rest has to be the incredible screen quality, the colours are so vibrant that searching for the perfect finishing touches for my wedding has been really easy – as it really does offers true-to-life colour reproduction.

As well as the screen being a perfect size and colour, I am also loving the slim, lightweight design, it is 6.6mm thick, which is super skinny in technology terms, and it has a great battery life, similar to my Samsung S5, which is probably down to it being on the Android platform, which is just another of many plus points for this great tablet.

Like my Samsung S5 and Note 3, the tablet also offers the multi window feature for multi-tasking, so I can make orders via the Internet and check on my e-mails with my wedding suppliers all at the same time, and it really does make it easy to compare items I have found on Etsy with the ones I have squirreled away in my Pinterest folders.

The tablet can also connect with the S5 using its SideSync app allowing you to view your smartphone screen and control it, as well as make and receive calls on your tablet, which comes in handy when you left your phone in the other room. It can also connect to your PC so you can easily share files and documents, features that I love about my Windows tablet.

The Galaxy Tab S also has a fingerprint scanner to unlock the device, so you simply swipe your finger on the sensor and it unlocks, which I think is much easier and quicker than adding in a PIN code, plus you can also add other family members so they can get in as well.

There really are a lot of cool features that I love about this tablet, I have to be honest there isn’t anything yet after a short spell of using it that I have been disappointed with, some people have said that the storage is a little on the small side but you can add extra with a MicroSD, and I can’t really comment on the camera as I haven’t used except to Skype with, but then again I don’t really take many pictures with my tablets.

What I will say is, if you are looking at tablets and think all there is out there is an iPad think again, this Samsung Galaxy Tab S is a great alternative and in my opinion better.

Are you considering buying the Samsung Galaxy Tab S? 

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To launch the Galaxy Tab S the geeks at Samsung constructed a rainbow installation built entirely out of the tablet device, and I think you will agree it really shows off the amazing picture quality I have been raving about, plus the London skyline isn’t a bad backdrop!!!

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is available in a number of versions, including Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi and LTE, and in 16/32GB* + MicroSD (up to 128GB). You can also choose between the 10.5-inch and 8.4-inch versions, in Titanium Bronze or Dazzling White. The 8.4-inch Wi-Fi version is priced at £319, and the 10.5-inch Wi-Fi version is priced at £399.

**I was gifted the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, but as always my opinion is my own**

Sep 04 2014

Food: Going Gluten Free With Ilumi

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Kerala Chicken Curry

Going gluten-free isn’t as hard as it used to be, it even has its own section in most supermarkets, but talking to a number of my friends who have had to cut out cereals wheat, barley and rye for medical reasons, there are still not enough tasty alternatives especially when it comes to ready meals.

That is where my seven-day gluten-free challenge with Ilumi comes in. This amazing online food store is not only a haven for great meal options for people with coeliac disease, but their products are also great for people with nut and milk allergies. Or if like me you are looking to be a little healthier and are fed up of that bloating feeling you some times get after eating too much bread.

The seven-day plan literally takes all the worries about what you are going to eat and when, plus they are super quick to prepare in the microwave. I loved that the food was delicious, of course, but also really loved the structure and ease of the plan. As a freelancer sometimes I can miss meals because I am glued to my computer, this plan meant I ate properly for a whole week.

The plan covers brekkie, lunch and dinner, and even provides gluten-free snacks, though to be honest I really did feel full after every meal that I didn’t always need them. The only downside I could see with the plan is that in the height of summer I am not sure you would want so many hot lunches, there are a lot of soups on offer, but then again I can’t rave enough about the Butternut Squash and Tomato and Red Pepper soups, they were both two of my favourite dishes.

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Tomato and Red Pepper soup

For me though the treat of this menu had to be the tasty curries for dinner, whether it was the mild and creamy Kerala Chicken Curry, the Moroccan-style Zaatar Chicken, or the spicy Thai Red Chicken Curry. The only thing I would say is don’t bother with the supermarket-own gluten-free naan bread, so tasteless and a waste of money. I also loved the addition of the gluten-free beer, Celia. Now I am not a beer fan, so to me it tasted like any other beer, but a friend did say it was less bloating.

The weekly plan, provides all your meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well snacks and beer for curry night, for £45 and that includes free P&P to your door. All you need is a microwave. It really is that easy. It is also a great way to try Ilumi’s dishes, see which are your favourites so you could just stock up on those for nights when you are after a quick gluten-free meal.

But Ilumi is much more than the seven-day plan, the shop has everything from gluten-free gravy to stir-in sauces and even offers endorsed products such as pasta and noodles. I really want to try the Sweet Soy & Ginger Stir Fry Sauce, with wheat-free soy.

Are you gluten-free? Would you try Ilumi?

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Geng Gari Curry with Butternut Squash

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Celia gluten-free beer

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Zaatar Chicken

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Thai Red Chicken Curry

**I was gifted with a week supply of Ilumi dishes to review – but as always if I didn’t like, enjoy or think you would all love it as well – I wouldn’t share it**

Apr 08 2014

Afternoon Tea: Carmina and Lancelot, London

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Discovering a great place to have afternoon tea just off Oxford Street in London is a hard challenge, yes there is Selfridges and the big hotels but what about something more charming, inviting and relaxing? Well, I have found the perfect place, Carmina & Lancelot on Wigmore Street.

This cute and trendy cafe is really a reflection on the owners, Carmina and Lancelot, who are both warm, friendly and so down-to-earth, they really make it their business to make everyone welcome. It was so nice to see as I find that so many foodie places are part of a big chains that they have lost that friendly feel that can be so important.

As well as loving the owners, the decor of this brassiere is to-die-for, filled with books on fashion, art and travel, adorable bone china tea sets and vintage pictures – it is quirky and fun and definitely somewhere I could wish away the afternoon while chatting with friends.

I would like to say the discovery of this gem was my own, sadly it was Ngoni from I am NRC, who kindly let me tag along to review the place, but I can’t complain as it was so lovely to enjoy the cafe’s relaxed, unpretentious afternoon tea – yep there wasn’t any macaroons, no crazy theme, just good honest traditional food and it was perfect.

The smoke salmon and cream cheese and egg mayonnaise sandwiches were nice, but for me this afternoon tea was all about the delicious homemade sultana scones, fresh out of the oven these beauties were still warm to the touch, which I adore and they tasted perfect with lashings of clotted cream and strawberry jam.

As well as offering afternoon tea, Carmina & Lancelot also serves breakfast, including a great looking vegetarian brekkie, salads, paninis, daily specials and even cocktails. This is one of those places that you go in for lunch, add a dessert, a cup of tea, and then stay until cocktail time, as it really has a relaxed and inviting feel.

Carmina & Lancelot, 88 Wigmore Street, London

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**I was a guest of Carmina & Lancelot but all opinions on the afternoon tea are my own**

Aug 15 2011

London Loving: Drink, Shop and Do

Last week when it seemed a small majority of Londoners were intent on destroying the city, I discovered another reason why I love London, with the discovery of the amazing Drink, Shop & Do near Kings Cross.

Located in an old Victorian bathhouse, this cool shop-cum-cafe-cum-crafty place is the perfect place to hang out with friends, enjoy a milkshake, pick up a few bits in the shop, or even try out a new craft. What I can’t believe is that I hadn’t been to this cute place before, apparently all bloggers know about it except me it seems!!

The design shop and cafe is run by two friends Kristie and Coralie and they’ve created an eclectic mix of vintage tea sets, quirky pictures, unusual table and chairs, designer crafts, gorgeous looking handmade cakes *wished I had time to taste*, and the most delicious strawberry milkshake I have tasted in a long while.

Absolutely everything you see is for sale, and of course I couldn’t leave without picking up something, so I bagged a few badges *yes I am addicted* and some sweets *ate so quickly I didn’t have chance to snap* as they have one of the best selection of retro sweeties I have seen.

I wish I had longer but I was rushing off for my train, but I think next time I might try to get my friends together to take in a craft session, they do beginners knitting once a month. They also do a killer cocktail as well so maybe the next venue to catch-up with the girlies.

Also check out their website for the latest events – I am quite intrigued by ‘Play With Clay Lionel Richie Style’ on August 26, where you get to mould clay while listing to Lionel classics!!

Drink, Shop & Do: 9 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX
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