Archive | March, 2011

Guide To The Perfect Shoe Shine

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Guide To The Perfect Shoe Shine

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Chris Ford



British shoe polish brand Cherry Blossom have given us their step by step guide to achieve the perfect shoe shine.



The Perfect Shoe Shine

What you’ll need: Clean cloths, Soft haired shoe brush, Cherry Blossom Premium’s  new  ‘Universal cleaner’ and ‘leather cream’.

Task time: 10 minutes

1. It is most important that you start with perfectly clean shoes. Do this buy wiping the shoes with damp cloth, then spray with Cherry Blossom Premium’s new ‘Universal cleaner’.

2. Shake well, hold upright and spray. Keep the can 10-15cm away from the shoes spray a even amount covering all of the leather.

3. Use a soft cloth or bush to work the foam in to the solid areas. Wait 10 seconds and wipe the dirt away with a clean cloth.

4. Allow the shoes to dry in room temperature.

5. Take Cherry Blossom Premium leather cream, no need to colour match your cream the new Premium leather cream is suitable for all colours. This nourishes and protects leather.

6. Using the sponge, sparingly spread the cream all over the shoe. Do not squeeze the tube just work the sponge in a circular motion over the entire surface of the shoe. Always make sure you work the Leather cream** into all the crevices and cracks in the leather.

**Leather cream works deep into the leather leaving a longer lasting     effect.

7. Leave to dry for 3 minutes and buff.

8. Take a traditional soft haired Cherry Blossom shoe brush and buff the shoes in a left-to-right motion to remove any excess polish.

A Brief History of Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom were the first and now the only UK manufacturer of shoe polish. Started in 1906 by brothers Dan and Charles Mason, Cherry Blossom polish started from a need to use wasted tin plate left over from making their soap company containers. Appreciating the growing demand for wax boot polish, the brothers realised that this discarded tin plate could be used to make small tins ideal for polish.  They therefore employed a chemist to come up with the right formulation and launched in 1906. The iconic “one penny tin” with its original “butterfly” twist opener was introduced in 1907 as was the name “Cherry Blossom Boot Polish”.  In 1912 they sold off the soap company and concentrated on the manufacturing of polish. Padawax, a major step forward for convenience, was introduced in 1960.  You could now apply polish with just the sponge and buff with a cloth. 1983 saw the “butterfly twist” tins replaced by the “snap open” variety and in 1986 New Meltonian and Cherry Blossom Shoe Care Plus was introduced – a liquid wax shoe cream designed for fast and easy application and fast shine.

Today the Cherry Blossom shoecare range is manufactured in Alfreton, Derbyshire, and as the materials used in the manufacturing of shoes have changed to include suede, nubuck, corduras and canvas as well as the traditional leather, so too have the products on offer from Cherry Blossom.


Available from Debenhams nationwide or online at


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Hellmann’s– it’s not just for dipping

Posted on 26 March 2011 by Chris Ford

With an ever increasing urge to cook more healthily without compromising on taste, the need to create tasty dishes  that don’t add to the ever increasing waistline, I’m often searching for inspired new recipes that don’t take hours to prepare. Many of us use mayonnaise as a condiment to accompany a main meal, but Hellmann’s Mayonnaise is brimming with some of the best quality ingredients which make it a deliciously versatile ingredient to cook with too.

At the heart of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise are three simple ingredients – free range eggs, vinegar and rapeseed oil, which naturally contains Omega 3 and mono-and polyunsaturated fats. Combined, this gives Hellmann’s Mayonnaise a smooth creamy taste. Free from preservatives, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise is easy to cook with and to proove that Hellmanns have come up with some low calorie recipe’s using their Mayonnaise.

The food experts at Hellmann’s have devised a series of uncomplicated nutritious recipes to inspire people to get creative with their dishes by using Hellmann’s Mayonnaise as a healthy and tasty ingredient, to satisfy even the most discerning eater.


Mash potato is a  favourite dish of mine– it’s easy to prepare and goes with almost everything.  When made with butter however, it has 85% more saturated fat than when it is made with Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, I made this today and it works exceptionally well  :

LOVED-UP MASH (85% less saturated fat than when made with butter)

Serves 4-6


700g cooked potatoes

25ml milk

6 dollops* Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise

*A dollop is one level tablespoon of Hellmann’s mayonnaise (15ml)



Cook potatoes in boiling water.

When the potatoes are cooked mash them.

Add milk and mayonnaise.

Mix well and serve.


Serving suggestion:

Delicious served with chicken and mixed vegetables.

Heres a few more of Hellmanns recpies :



Serves 4


400g Italian short pasta (rigatoni, penne, farfalle, fusilli)

150g cherry tomatoes

100g tuna in spring water (drained weight)

60g fresh rocket

100g fresh mozzarella

50g green olives

A few basil leaves

7 dollops* Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise

*A dollop is one level tablespoon of Hellmann’s mayonnaise (15ml)



Cook the pasta ‘’al dente’’ in boiling water and cool.

Clean and cut the cherry tomatoes, the fresh rocket and the basil.

Cut fresh mozzarella into cubes and add the green olives.

Mix all the ingredients together with the mayonnaise and tuna and serve.




Serves 2


200g white fish

125ml of your favourite tomato pasta sauce

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tbsp chopped parsley

2 dollops* Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise

1 courgette, thinly sliced

*A dollop is one level tablespoon of Hellmann’s mayonnaise (15ml)



Take the tomato sauce and pour into an ovenproof dish.

Scatter over courgettes and place fish on top.

Mix the garlic, parsley and mayonnaise together and spread over the fish.

Bake at 180’C for 20-25 minutes or until fish is cooked.


Serving suggestion:

Delicious with a mixed green salad and penne pasta.


For more inspiration visit

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Mothers Day Gifts

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Mothers Day Gifts

Posted on 23 March 2011 by Chris Ford

They gave us life, the least we can do is give them something with a little thought behind it. That means this year, not a leftover card and a bunch of flowers picked up at a petrol station on Sunday morning, right?  here’s my pick of what’s out there to help you along



Boo Boo Shop have come up with the Luxury Mummy Spa kit.  They say the luxurious home spa kit will leave your mums skin glowing, firm and stretch mark free. The kit includes  three of their best selling products.

Bosom Buddy – Which contains Ginkgo Biloba to firm and tighten.

A lightweight cream that tones, lifts and tightens thanks to natural wonder ingredients – centella and ginkgo biloba which help to firm and improve elasticity and argan oil to soften, smooth and tighten.

Super Stretchy Miracle Oil

A special blend of luxurious oils. Argan oil, rich in Omega 6 and 9 nourishes, firms and helps put the elasticity back in your skin while passion-flower and sweet almond oils gently soothe and soften. Also great at reducing the appearance of healed scars and damaged, uneven skin tone.

Silky Soft Body Wash

A special blend of white water lily, chamomile and avocado oil helps keep skin supple and moisturised while mallow soothes and replenishes. Natural fragrance with lemon and ginger leaving your skin happy and silky soft!

£37.99 from , also if you use the code GG20 Boo Boo are offering 20% off to all our readers until Sunday 3rd of april




John Lewis’ flower service Blossom & Bloom have put together some special Mothers Day inspired selections and are offering free delivery on Mothers Day itself, this is my pick of the bunch: Mothers Day Scented Jug £39 (delivered )

A scented bloom  presented in a metal jug with a gift card








Take Her Out

Its not often you get to say thanks to your mum so why not do it in style with afternoon tea at The Ritz?

Everyone should experience this great British institution at least once and Last have a great deal for Mothers Day.  Take your seats in the opulent surroundings of the Palm Court and enjoy an unrivaled selection of sandwiches, cakes, scones, pastries and a variety of teas and coffee. This unique present is delivered as a gift voucher valid for one year – and remember, this is The Ritz, so a jacket and tie is compulsory.

Tea for Two is £90.00 from Last





On A Budget….

Of course if you are on a budget you could always buy your mum a mug for a tea ….

This First Class Mum mug forms part of the Stamp Collection, an exclusive range of gifts officially licensed by Royal Mail Ltd and the British Postal Museum & Archive.

First Class Mum mug is available from Amazon for £8.99









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Folding T-shirts The Japanese Way!


Folding T-shirts The Japanese Way!

Posted on 09 March 2011 by Chris Ford

Yes, it’s true there is this efficient, Ninja-quick, Japanese method for folding a t-shirt that reduces all the motions to just a few economical ones. Anyone who’s ever worked in retail and had to spend countless hours refolding and re-stacking shirts and sweaters will appreciate this folding technique. And it’s great to use for your home laundry too.

Whether you have six or six hundred t-shirts to fold, why not fold them the fastest and easiest way you can?



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Pancake Day! – Jamies One Cup Pancakes

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Pancake Day! – Jamies One Cup Pancakes

Posted on 08 March 2011 by Chris Ford

In honour of Pancake day today I’m passing on Jamie Oliver’s one cup  recipe for Pancakes.

Its dead easy to follow, you don’t need scales or measuring jugs just a simple coffee mug and you are good to go, which is perfect for a no fuss desert to impress the other half!


• 1 egg, preferably free range or organic
• 1 cup of plain flour
• 1 cup of milk
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• Sea salt
• 2 tablespoons butter

To make your  pancake batter

Crack your egg into a large mixing bowl. Add your flour, milk, baking powder, and a pinch of sea salt. Whisk everything together until you’ve got a lovely, smooth batter.

To cook your pancakes

Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and add half the butter. When the butter has melted and the pan is nice and hot, use a ladle to spoon the batter into the pan. Each ladleful will make 1 pancake—they’re quite small, so you can cook several at a time. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and use a turner to flip them over when they start to brown on the bottom and get little bubbles on the top. When cooked on both sides, transfer them to a plate, carefully wipe the pan clean with paper towels, add the rest of the butter, and start again. Keep going until all the batter is used up.



See that was easy wasn’t it?  I find of all the recipes out there Jamie’s are the easiest for a novice cook like me to follow, he uses simple language and explains what to do clearly, for more of the same head over to Jamie’s website at :

Recipe © Jamie Oliver, 2009

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Scrabble Espresso Cups

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Scrabble Espresso Cups

Posted on 07 March 2011 by Chris Ford

I love this set  of four ceramic Scrabble Espresso cups with scrabble letters and values assigned to each letter, the set includes  a C, A , F and E cup  and is the perfect set to accompany my new coffee machine adding a touch of style and out there quirkiness to my kitchen.

Available from Graham and Green for £24.99


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Henri Lloyd Launch Premium Grooming Range

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Henri Lloyd Launch Premium Grooming Range

Posted on 04 March 2011 by Chris Ford

British clothing institution Henri Lloyd is launching their first ever premium grooming range Henri Lloyd Ocean Mineral Skin Protection consisting of six high end everyday grooming essentials, formulated with marine minerals to offer maximum skin protection combined with fresh scents. The idea comes from the brand’s history of protecting sailors from the natural elements with their clothes and accessories. The skin care line just made sense, since it takes this idea of protection further.

Sun Cream


The range consists of an Ocean Mineral Shower Gel, Performance Deodorant, Moisturiser with SPF 15, Hand Protection Cream with SPF 6 and Sun Protection SPF 30.


Travel Kit

I was lucky enough to be sent the Mini Travel kit from the range and have been using them everyday for the past few weeks.
First of all they smell fantastic, which is a good start, secondly I love the fact the moisturiser has some sun protection built in, I have quite pale skin which means I get caught by the sun sometimes when I didn’t even think it was out! so to have some protection built in to a moisturiser is a massive plus for me. Also the travel kit is the perfect size to take with you on a weekend break, with each product at 30ml they conform to the security restrictions currently imposed at airports.

The Ocean Mineral Skin protection range is now available from Henri Lloyd direct as well as all the usual outlets starting at £5.20 upwards.

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