I don’t normally do things like product reviews on here, but I’ve recently tried a couple of new things and thought it was worth telling you about them on here.
I wanted to try and lose weight, and last year I used a diet meal plan type thing where they send you your calorie-controlled meals and you just heat them up (I tried Jane Plan and MyFood). While I did lose some weight, the Jane Plan meals weren’t terribly nice, and MyFood was nice (but more expensive) but seems to have stopped operating or possibly gone under due to Covid-19.
So I decided to try out Gousto, which is similar to HelloFresh. You choose your meals from their recipe selection, and they send you the ingredients for the week and recipe cards to cook. You can choose meals for 2 people or 4 people, and either 2 nights, 3 nights or 4 nights a week. I chose 2-person meals, 4 times a week, as I can eat the leftovers for lunch the next day, so it essentially gives me 4 x lunch and 4 x dinners a week.
For the first month I get a 30% discount, so it’s working out at around £25-35 a week, (it varies depending on which recipes you choose, and if you add on any extras) so approximately £140 a month. It seems really reasonable to me (I know people live on a lot less but I’ve never been any good at budget food shopping. My wine budget alone is enormous….) 😛 Even after my discount ends, I think it’ll be around £40 a week, or around £160 a month, which seems like way less than I usually spend at the supermarket (though granted I’ll still need meals at weekends etc).
My daughter is now well settled into nursery and eating lunch and dinner there 5 days a week, so it means we don’t need to buy much else other than milk and bread and essentials like gin….
The nice thing is that whenever I normally cook (eg bolognaise, curry, chilli, pasta, etc) I usually have to cook a big pot and eat the same thing for days, or else freeze portions for later. This way I only have exactly 2 portions of each meal, so I get a lot more variety in my diet, and they have some really nice low-fat options so I’m hoping it will help me shift a kg or two, though frankly that’s dependent on me not drinking all the wine and eating all the chocolate and cheese of an evening as well…
But so far I’ve been impressed with the service and menu choices, and the meals have been delicious. Their packaging is generally very eco-friendly and mostly paper-based or recyclable, though of course there is the carbon footprint of the delivery van and some extra plastic in the single-serve sachets of soy sauce or vinegar etc for some recipes. But overall I am really enjoying it – think I’ll stick with it for another month or so and see if it makes any noticeable difference to my waistline or not…
I’ve seen this a few times on adverts and a friend said she liked it, so I thought I would try it out. I’ve been using my local refill shop to refill most of my cleaning products, and trying to reduce plastic, but I like the idea of a one-stop cleaner that does everything – one bottle, one product in refillable / reusable containers and washable cloths and sponges that won’t need replacing all the time.
So I ordered a starter kit, and decided to tackle my oven door, which is gross and desperately needed cleaning but who has the time?
I am gutted I didn’t take before and after pictures, or record myself doing it because it was genuinely impressive. I sprayed it on, left it for a couple of minutes, and used the special diamond sponge and it just lifted the grime right off – my oven door is like new! Gave the inside of the oven a wipe down and my manky old roasting tray too, and both are sparkling!
At the weekend I tried it on the bathrooms – slightly less impressive sadly, it didn’t lift off all of the limescale marks on my shower doors (though it’s much better than it was before) and I wasn’t convinced about using a dry cloth to wipe up all the toothpaste and soap scum dried on the sinks – I think using water is just too much of a habit and doing it dry felt weird and I had to use loads of product to compensate, which is not the point. You’re supposed to only use a light spray but if it’s dry it doesn’t feel like it’s lifting off all the grime very easily, so was a bit mixed there. Might have worked better if I had used the sponge to scrub the sinks instead of the cloth, so I might give it another go next time.
I didn’t use it on the toilet though, as I have other sponges and stuff for that.
Overall I really like the concept of it, and for the sparkling state of my oven door alone it’s worth it, but will try using it on the bathrooms a couple more times before I settle on a final verdict…
I got given this as a birthday present, and even though it’s the middle of summer it has been an absolute game-changer! (Stole this image off Google, that’s not me obvs!)
I am someone who has always struggled in the morning – I am NOT a morning person, I’m always tired and groggy when my alarm goes off, and it takes me forever to feel properly awake and human. I have slept through alarms before, even with phone and radio alarms going off, and I hit snooze over and over and over again. (Obviously that was before I had a two-year old to kick me in the boobs when it’s time to wake up. Sadly she does not come with a snooze button).
Anyhow, I find winter especially hard when it’s dark, and in summer my bedroom is too bright unless I use all the blackout blinds and curtains, which of course then means it’s too dark and I can’t win. I tried using sleep apps that are supposed to wake you gently at your lightest point of your sleep cycle, but of course that hasn’t worked since I had a kid either.
Anyhow, this clock is fantastic. It has both a sunset and sunrise option (depending on the model you buy). The sunset option is good if you are someone who struggles to wind down and feel sleepy, as it gradually fades through sunset colours and is supposed to stimulate your melatonin production which aides sleep (or something or other) – it’s very soothing to lie in bed as the light slowly fades to orange and red and it definitely makes me feel sleepy, though I rarely need that part as I have no trouble falling asleep usually.
In the morning mine is set to start at 6.30 and be fully light by 7am, when my radio alarm goes off. And it really does seem to work – as the room gets gradually lighter and lighter I can feel myself slowly waking up, so by 7am I feel like I have woken up naturally instead of jolting awake to Queen or whoever is on the radio that morning. It’s made me feel much more awake and alert in the mornings and generally I’d say I wake up in a better mood, feeling less tired (although it depends what kind of night I had with the kid to be fair – some mornings I’m just knackered anyway).
But overall I would say this was completely worth the money and I really love it. Highly recommend to anyone who has trouble getting up in the morning. I can’t wait to see how much easier winter is this year!