Chocolate And Wine – Who Could Resist!

Easter is almost upon us, and if there is one thing that can be guarenteed, it’s that we are going to be eating our own body weight in chocolate, simply because it it the one time of the year that it is allowed, the one time of the year when an egg for breakfast doesn’t mean scrambled or fried, it means Cadbury.

Whether you are a fan of the traditional Easter Egg, or whether you prefer a Lindt Bunny, or a box of something delightful from Hotel Chocolat, Easter is the perfect time to indulge in a sweet treat.

Gift specialists Giftsonline4U have been thinking about all those eggs we are going to be enjoying, and have compiled a fab post and infographic teaming some of our favourite chocolate choices with the perfect wine accompaniment. They have selected a range of eggs, from white chocolate varieties, dark chocolate, and even the much loved Rolo egg, and have then matched them to the perfect wine. I must say I am totally tempted by the white chocolate and Asti partnership – particularly as I have a nice bottle chilling in the fridge.

I have to say I really agree with the pairings. The sweet caramel of the Rolo’s would be perfect with the also sweet, but very crisp taste of the Reisling ( make sure it is chilled for extra deliciousness). Sherry is far too good to save for Christmas, and it’s deep rich flavour would work so well against the slight bitterness of ginger from the Green and Black brand. And as for Port, this is an absolute fave of mine and would be just delicious with a rich, deep dark chocolate – a sort of decadent, grown up pairing which might be just the treat for the man in your life.

With Easter promising to be a wet and wild, even a snowy affair, indulging in some delicious chocolate with a glass of wine may just be the best way to enjoy the break.

Easter Gift Ideas – No Chocolate Necessary

Even though it feels that Winter has suddenly reappeared (did it ever really go), we are, in fact, just a week away from Good Friday and the coming of Easter.

I love Easter, but it can be chocolate overload, especially if you have children, so this gift guide is pointing you in a direction away from chocolate, and is instead looking towards activities that could help to fill some of the time over Easter, but with a little bit of cake thrown in for good measure.

There is even a chance to win a prize at the end of this post, courtesy of Chicco toys.

Easter Activity Bag From Crafty Arts

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are a great time to get creative. The Easter Activity Bag from Crafty Arts could, therefore, be a wonderful gift idea. The goody bag is packed full of craft ideas with an Easter theme, ensuring hours of fun, particularly on a rainy afternoon.  There are card making activities, scrap booking ideas and many other crafting projects, with bunnies and chicks galore.

All the activities come in a useful zip lock storage bag, which means that any materials that are not used can be stored away to be used at a later date. The whole kit costs just £12.99 and can be delivered within 24 hours, so if you wanted to get this now to let the kids make their own Easter cards and gifts, you still have plenty of time to get creative.

Easter Activity Bag £12.99 Click to visit Crafty Arts

Kitchenware from Simply Ice Cream

If you adore the gorgeous artisan Ice Cream created by Simply Ice Cream, then why not indulge in the beautiful new range of kitchenware from the brand?

The range comprises of a cup and a cute bowl that is perfect for your ice cream, and comes in an pretty blue shade that is also embossed with a lovely angel wings logo. The crockery range is hand painted and microwave and dishwasher proof, and comes beautifully boxed, making it a great gift idea.

Sally Newall, Managing Director of Simply Ice Cream says of the brand:-

“We have put a lot of time into the design of this range to make sure that it complements our luxury artisan brand. The bowls are designed for ice cream as the chunky ceramic helps to maintain the temperature keeping ice cream cool, or soup hot.”

Bowl £8.95 Click to visit Simply Ice Cream

Cup £7.95 Click to visit Simply Ice Cream

Olverum Bath Oil

Easter is not just about children, so a treat for you could come in the form of the Olverum Bath Oil. Olverum is a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to pampering, a highly concentrated, therapeutic bath oil containing 10 pure essential oils. As you can imagine, it smells divine and is the perfect way to relax and naturally relieve stress. It is also a great way to ease aching or sore muscles and is the perfect soothing antidote to a cold or flu.

Olverum was originally created in the 1930s, but has recently been repackaged. In a beautifully elegant glass bottle and with classic packaging, this would make a smart addition to any bathroom shelf.

Olverum was recently described as ‘bath nirvana’ The Sunday Times Style Magazine and I have to agree, you feel relaxed and soothed after taking an Olverum bath, and the scent, both on your skin, and in your bathroom, is just beautiful.

Olverum 125ml £29 Click to visit Olverum

Dr Oekter Bake In the Box Cake Mix

If you love the idea of baking a cake for Easter, but, like me, you are hardly going to rival Nigella with your cooking skills, then the Dr Oekter bake in the box cake mixes are a brilliant idea.

These lovely loaf cake ideas, banana and chocolate chip, lemon and poppy seed, and double chocolate, are delicious miracles for the non cooks amongst us, as all you need is to add milk in order to create a gorgeous cake in just 30 minutes.

The finished cakes could make a lovely idea for nan or a teacher this Easter, and you can get your little ones involved with decorating the finished cake.

Chutney from The English Provender

So here’s the thing. You want to give a present for a foodie, but a foodie who actually hates all things chocolate. If sweet is not their thing, then maybe you need to look down the savoury route with some of the amazing chutneys and pickles from The English Provender.

The English Provender Co. is a company that wants to pimp up that cheese board, or improve the quality of your sandwiches and salads. Founded almost 40 years ago, the inspiration for the chutneys and pickles come from the past, creating timeless classics and more contemporary chutney & pickle recipes.

The Moroccan Spiced Chutney would be perfect with falafal and  lamb koftka, whilst the Hot Chilli and Red Pepper chutney would be great on burgers, adding a little spice and flavour.


You can buy English Provender products online at Amazon. Find them at supermarkets nationwide from £1.99 RRP for chutneys and £1.50 RRP for pickles.

Goal League From Chicco Toys

Chicco Toys have recently launched their Fit N Fun range of toys, all of which would make a great alternative gift for Easter.The ‘Fit N Fun range’ is a collection that promotes the fun of development, featuring toys to suit everyone  and encouraging children’s physical, intellectual and cognitive skills, all whilst providing hours of entertainment.

My pick from the Fit N Fun collection is the ‘Goal League’, which is highly topical in a World Cup year. The goal league is an electronic football net that offers children from aged 2+ a number of football challenges, ranging from penalty shootouts to golden goal games.  The electronic focus adds clapping and cheering to support your child’s achievements. There is even a challenge game where your child can play against a friend, and keep score with the handy slider on the top of the goal.

Chicco say this about their new super toy:-

“…Goal League works to improve their accuracy and coordination by encouraging them to shoot at a target. This stimulates and enhances two key skills that are used widely in many popular sports. In addition the net has five different modes of difficulty, meaning it remains fun and challenging for your child as they develop and improve…”

If you have a budding Messi or Carli Lloyd on your hands, this could be the perfect gift idea for Easter.

Competition Time – Win a Goal League from Chicco Toys.

Chicco have very kindly offered one of my lucky fashion-mommy readers a chance to win a Goal League. Enter below.

Chicco Goal League Giveaway



The Rise Of Craft Chocolate

When it comes to our national food and drink story, one thing seems clear, quality is becoming more and more important. We look more carefully at the ingredients that are printed in the label, wanting more natural products which not only taste better, but are better for our bodies,and often more ethical too. We want less in the way of preservatives and chemicals, more in the way of natural processes, and we don’t mind paying that little bit more for it. This trend has seen a rise in the popularity of Craft beers and micro breweries, and independent coffee bars serving Craft coffee, now get set for the craft trend for everyone, the trend for Craft chocolate.

So what is Craft Chocolate, and why is the time now right for it to grow in popularity? Well, when it comes to craft chocolate, it seems like the adage less is more certainly rings true. Craft chocolate is often described as a journey from bean to bar, with ingredients kept to a minimum, the emphasis being on the creation of the bar using just the beans and sugar(and maybe a little milk for milk chocolate, but dark chocolate is sooo much nicer), with the chocolatier being an artisan, a creator, rather than the chocolate coming from a mass produced factory source. This will ensure that the taste is deeper and richer and the chocolate is a luxurious treat.

Craft chocolate is the perfect treat for those who like to know exactly where their food comes from. The bean to bar philosophy is not confined to the ingredients of the chocolate, but also to it’s production and transportation. Most Craft chocolate manufacturers go straight to the source when purchasing their beans, forming partnerships that ensure they know the quality of the product, but also supports small collectives and farmers in a way that the large chocolate companies can often overlook.

Chocolate in the UK is a national obsession – we all seem to have our favourite variety and bar, and of course, with Easter almost here, even the most chocolate phobic amongst us may choose to indulge. But it has to be said that, in recent years, there has been some fierce criticism of some of our most beloved bars and brands. Cadburys were the subject of a takeover bid from Kraft which definitely saw changes to some of the nation’s favourite bars. The glass and a half symbol and phase disappeared from wrappers, and many bars seemed to change in flavour (including my faves Dairy Milk and Cadbury’s Caramel). Some bars changed shape – again Dairy Milk, and seemed smaller, whilst the famous Christmas tins became plastic tubs that contained far fewer chocolates. It seems almost sacrilege to change such cherished products and has led to people looking to find new favourite chocolate products elsewhere.

So this Easter, do yourself, and your chocolate loving friends and family a favour. Step away from the supermarket sweetie aisle and look instead for a product that has just those two ingredients on the label. You will never look back!