Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Very Berry Boost!!!!!

I can’t believe how fast these school holidays are flying by, not that I am complaining. These last two weeks have flown by it seems like ages since I last wrote for the blog. I wanted to let you all know about a superfood!!!! Food supplement I have been taking and the great results I have found from two capsules daily.

Around 12 months ago I did a tea detox and lost over a stone in weight, throughout the detox I was really strict, I stuck with the healthy eating, exercised daily and drank the tea religiously twice a day for four weeks. Over the last 6 months I have slowly slipped back into my old eating habits, I cannot even remember the last time I went to the gym, exercised or even walked anywhere for longer than 10 minutes.

I decided enough was enough and the lovely people at Portal Vitality offered me a helping hand, they recommended the Acai Berry + for me as I was not looking to lose weight or do a full detox again, although they can be used as a supplement whilst detoxing. I was looking to stay healthy, feel good and maybe a mini detox. All of their products are 100% natural and suitable for vegetarians and vegans, perfect due to my halal diet requirements.

I did some online research (a quick google search) I remember hearing about Acai Berry a few years ago when they were the craze of the moment!!! I scrolled through several pages which all gave more or less the same description of the advantages and benefits of Acai berries. According to these sites the berries are quoted as the No1 superfood packed with antioxidants and vitamins. They are rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9 “good fats” stating studies have revealed the fruit to:
  •  Suppress appetite
  •  Boost energy and stamina
  •  Increase natural immunity
  • Reduce Inflammation and delay aging
  •  Reduce chances of diabetes and help protect against heart disease

All of the above appealed to me, we would all love to be able to delay aging and reduce the risk of diabetes.

The Portal Vitality website also gave a wide range of information and they even have a live web chat feature which is great, I got carried away on there, they have a solution to everything!!! Which can be found here

Their Acai Berry + were even more appealing as they also include a blend of Green Tea (immunity boosting) and Guarana Seed (slow release of caffeine). The Acai Berry + range includes 60 capsules and advises you to take 2-4 daily before 3pm I presumed the before 3pm statement was due to the slow release of caffeine.

I did in all honesty intend to do a full detox as before the whole shebang!!! Eat clean and exercise daily, however things did not exactly go to plan. I found that with it been the school holidays I struggled to maintain a strict routine. I did manage a good healthy breakfast every morning which generally consisted of porridge, fruit or brown toast with herbal tea (not coffee). Lunch and dinner were a bit hit and miss but I have been drinking plenty of water and taking two capsules every morning.

It has been just over two weeks since I started taking the capsules and I am more than pleased with the results, I have lost about 4lbs in weight and my stomach is noticeably flatter that awful bloated pot belly is shrinking. I am without a doubt feeling more energised and less lethargic, anybody who knows me can confirm I am soooo lazy but my energy levels have definitely had a boost. I did make the mistake of having a coffee one evening when a friend called round which left me tossing and turning well in to the early hours, I have now cut coffee out of my diet completely.

I have got maybe a week of capsules left and I am not looking forward to going back to my old bloated lazy self. I intend to give my body a two week break see how I feel and then start again, maybe do a full detox and cleanse.

Portal Vitality are currently running a "like and share" on their Facebook page to win a diet and detox pack you can Enter Here Good luck!!!!

The capsules were sent to me as a free trial, all research and opinions are my own.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Quick Catch Up....

Busy Busy Busy

We have had such a busy active, It is Sunday morning and I am absolutely warn out.

Monday we took a trip to Stockled Park in Wetherby. There was some great outdoor adventure to be had.

Tuesday we had a play date , we visited a  local park and then took a trip to Heaton Woods (Bradford ) for some bear hunting and stream walking.

They absolutely loved walking through the stream, we had a few trips and wellies full of water but it was all part of the adventure. Unfortunately we did not manage to find any bears.

Wednesday we took a trip to Roundhay in Leeds. We visited Tropical World and Roundhay Park.

It was such a lovely sunny day, just wish I had took a picnic and we could have spent all afternoon in the park. I had the most amazing choc dip ice cream from the ice cream van. At £2.00 it was worth every penny. 

We did plan a trip out on Thursday but I really did not have the energy to even get dressed!!! It was a PJ day instead , Zak was not too impressed so we agreed to do some baking. He decided on choc chip cookies with a twis

Not too bad for a first attempt, they did taste better than they looked.

Friday we went into Leeds met my mum for lunch and had a walk on the canal.

Saturday turned out to be another lovely sunny day. At the last minute we decided to take a trip to the seaside, Bridlington here we come!!!!
It took us an extra to get there due to road works and traffic but the views along the A64 made the journey more bare able.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Stockled Park.... An Outdoor Adventure!!!

Where has the time gone????

We are already nearly halfway through the summer holidays!!!

I cannot believe we will soon be doing the crazy, mad rush to buy the back to school essentials. I am a little more organised this year, I was in Marks & Spencers last week and spotted school pumps, at £6 a bargain plus one less item to worry about. I am usually struggling to find a pair the last week in August and have to improvise with a not so suitable pair of black shoes. I am definitely going to make a start on the dreaded uniform shop next week......Asda here I come!!!!

We have had a somewhat busy, more active than usual week this week, anybody who knows me knows I am not really an adventurer or even outdoor person, I love my home comforts way too much for that. But having spent the last two weeks doing very little, (I have just about managed a couple of trips to the park) I decided to make an effort.

Monday we visited Stockled Park in Wetherby, Leeds. I had personally never been before but all three of the kids had and were more than happy to have a return visit. I thought it was a little pricey at £12 each a ticket, but if you book online it is a little cheaper. We managed to a family ticket for £40 which admits four plus a single day pass for £11.

Now that I have visited I have to admit that it was worth every penny, we took our own picnic which was lovely and there is a large picnic area (take a blanket) with limited picnic tables. We sat on the grass, the only way to picnic!!!!

There is loads to do and once you're in you can access everything although there is a charge for the electric scooters (£5 a scooter) but there is plenty to keep all the family entertained without the added cost.
The maze is a must and great fun, there's the enchanted forest it is a bit of a walk but plenty to keep you surprised and entertained along the way, the roller boots are great fun (make sure you're wearing socks)with boots and helmets provided. Plus there are plenty of inflatables a giant inflatable slide, and pillows which are great fun.....don't know how I resisted.

I have to apologise for the lack of good quality pictures, my battery died so only managed to snap a few when we arrived.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Choc Chip with a twist.......

It has been such a busy week so today we had a PJ day, you got to love a PJ day!!!! Zak insisted on baking choc chip cookies, we made are cookies with a twist......
I couldn't resist the Oreo bar and we even managed to use more than we ate (very good for us). I always use the BBC Recipes online, they're simple and easy to follow and even give you a shopping list for various stores.
Not bad for a first attempt and they taste so much better than look!!!!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

No longer a Waga Virgin!!!!!

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We decided to have a little family celebration meal, Zak wanted to celebrate achieving level 3 in his year 2 SATS and why not I am super proud of my MR smarty pants. Plus we needed to celebrate me graduating with a 2:1 (how did that happen?).

On Saturday evening we took a trip to Wagamama, Leeds. How have I never experienced this before?  ....I really do need to get out more.

I was a little worried there may not be a largest enough option on the menu for me due to my halal requirements, my options tend to be fish, fish and more fish!!!!

Good job I am a huge fan but it does get a little bit boring, a quick google search and the whole menu is available online, a pretty impressive Wagamama website.

We started with the Lollipop Prawn Kushiyaki and Chilli Squid, there was three of us (2 adults, 1 child) the prawns were not really made for sharing, there was three king prawns on three mini skewers enough for one each but I could have quite happily got through all three alone. They were super tasty, the squid however was perfect for sharing and the dipping sauce was a sweet chilli and left you wanting more. These were a hit with Zak a really good option and I noticed they were a hit on most tables with the little ones. He was very impressed with the fact that he had tried his first SQUID!!!

There was a great range of options on the children's menu Zak had the Mini Grilled Fish Noodles his plate was practically licked clean and the free Cococino drink was something different, a shot of warm milk with chocolate powder sprinkled on top was a nice treat. Along with the puzzle booklet and crayons provided to keep him entertained.

I opted for the Seafood broth off the chef's specials it was amazing I would highly recommend it if it is an option on your next visit. My mum had the Chilli Beef Ramen it looked really good I was a little jealous but did enjoy my broth. I think the photos speak for themselves.....

Seafood Broth
Chilli Beef Ramen

I did manage to get through the full bowl, I was feeling rather full but not to the point where I could not manage dessert. It would be rude not to!! Zak had a scoop of ice cream with chocolate sauce, mum had a selection of four mini cakes and I had the Banana Katsu which was delicious, warm banana in breadcrumbs with a salted caramel ice cream. I did manage to eat most of it but could not manage it all. Plus I had a green tea which is FREE off the drinks cool is that I LOVE a freebie (don't we all).

Overall I was very impressed with my first Wagamama experience, loved how the kids are so well catered for and the customer service was excellent we was more than happy to leave a generous tip. It was all reasonably priced with a few freebies on the menu, our bill was just over £30 can't remember the exact amount so worked out around £10 each including all our drinks which is not bad when you're in the centre of Leeds.

I will definitely be returning in the very near future..
Green Tea

Saturday, 1 August 2015

What Customer Service!!!

What has happened to CUSTOMER SERVICE???

I am the customer, you are providing me with a least act as though you appreciate my custom.

I have over five years experience of working in retail and customer service, I worked in River Island for nearly 4 years, Asda 12 months and filled various customer service roles in a family run hotel. I have to say I received some first class training for my roles.....the customer comes first, no talking with colleagues on the shop floor, greet customers, go out of your way to help them etc, etc. You know the basics you expect when you are shopping.

I have been there I know working in retail is not the easiest of jobs, been pleasant and helpful when you're having a bad day or hung over on a Sunday morning (why are people out shopping?) hanging out your arse and just wanting to be at home in bed curled up in a ball watching the Hollyoaks and Eastenders omnibus', but it's your job and you just have to grin and bare it... so 'Smile and wave smile and wave!!!!'.

I've done it and I expect the same back as a customer.

I will admit I am really anal when it comes to customer service...I'm not the easiest person to go shopping with,  I pull store assistants up on poor customer service all the time. I am in no way saying everyone is the same and I have received some excellent customer service but these are just a few of my own personal experiences that I am getting off my chest.....

  • First my absolute pet hate when been served is the cashier chewing gum.. Are you kidding me it is so rude and looks so unprofessional. I have on occasions mentioned it at the time.

  • Been called 'love' or 'darling' or some other inappropriate way of addressing me. "Do I Know You?" NOOOOO we are not childhood friends or long lost neighbours. You do not need to give me a pet name, it's embarrassing and makes me feel uncomfortable. Is this just a Yorkshire thing? I'm not too sure....

  •  How many times have you been stood waiting to be served while the staff are having their weekly gossip, 'Hello' I'm waiting, I do have other things I could be doing' Like spending my money else where. This is so rude, you should not be talking amongst yourselves, keep the customers happy.

  • Please can you apologise for keeping me waiting. It's the polite thing to do.

  • It's always nice to see a welcoming smile and to be greeted with a warm welcome. As customers we appreciate this.

  • There are customers waiting to be served...why are closing the checkout??? Make sure there is somebody else to fill your spot before you do!!! I have to admit this is generally down to poor management.

I visited a Max Speilmann store last week to have some passport photos taken , the cashier was in the back looked like she was doing some printing she acknowledged me said "I wont be a minute love" so fine I had caught her in the middle of doing something. Then the phone rang she answered it and proceeded to place a store order (are you kidding me 10x large, no we need some more of those ones) this call lasted about 10 minutes. I stood and waited patiently she took my pictures which turned out terrible I might add (mum told me I look dead around the eyes). I waited at the machine she said they will pop out in a couple of minutes, I started to make small talk about the type of photo shoots they offered in store. The phone rang again she answered the phone and had what sounded like a very personal call she told the person on the other end no I'm not busy you're ok (don't mind me love!!!) and continued to serve me whilst on the phone. OMG!!!!!!!

Is it just me or was there something just rude and unprofessional about my experience???

If I hadn't had Zak with me I would have blown. But he hates it when I start and gets all embarrassed.

I was recently in Next it wasn't overly busy in store I was maybe the third or fourth person waiting to be served there was one cashier serving a lady with online returns and two other members of staff stood behind the cash desk having a chat. It may have been work related (looked overly flirty to me) but either way serve your customers first. 
Next is not going to go into meltdown because you can't find a box of trouser hangers or whatever store drama you're having!!!!

My final rant....this was at least 6 months ago. But still has to be my worst experience to date.

 I was in an Asda Living (I've worked in Asda I Know the drill with customer service) it was busy probably a Saturday I hate shopping on a Saturday. I'm waiting to pay wasn't really paying much attention there was a lady waiting in front of me, so I'm not next I'm paying absolutely no attention to the checkouts its not my turn!!!! The lady in front turns to me and says she is waiting for somebody so I can go ahead. I walk up to the checkout and there is somebody stood been served at the next checkout. My cashier turns to her colleague and the person been served and says they think were here for goodness of our health I shouted next about three times....(don't think it has quite sunk in yet they're  talking about me). She continued to have a conversation about how rude customers are ...... and she was chewing gum. That was it I told her I was not purposely ignoring her there was somebody in front of me I did not realise she was waiting.... and if you want to talk about been rude your customer service is shocking how dare you talk about me as if I'm not stood here... you should not be talking to colleagues whilst serving me.... and your chewing gum....I was so mad but I kept it together for Zak's sake. Once she passed me my receipt I told her I shouldn't really say but I would make an exception just for her!!! That I was a mystery shopper and she was the worst example of customer service I had ever experienced!!!!
She looked like she wanted the ground the swallow her up.

I mean how rude and once again unprofessional!!!!!!

These are just a few of my more recent experiences.

Maybe I am just really anal when it comes to customer service and I should just put up and shut up, but why should I?