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Cooking at home with Kaya

Guinness Beef Stew

Good evening friends,

It worked!
If you read my last blog post you’ll know I was toying with the idea of making this dish in my Dutch oven from my Autumn Fab Fit Fun box.

This was the first time I made this one pot, Dutch oven stew, I was intrigued but unsure of the outcome.
Oh my goodness, this stew was thick, tender and absolutely delicious with a smokey sweetness.
Mix it up this season and give it a go



Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 1 hour and 20 minutes
Serving 4

Ingredients
• 220ml (1/2 can) Guinness
• 400g cubed beef in 2inch cubes
• 50g dark chocolate
• 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into small slices/chunks
• 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into small slices/chunks
• 2 large potatoe washed and quartered
• 3 heaped Tbsp plain flour
• 1 large onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 Tbsp Olive or vegetable oil
• 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 Tbsp tomato paste
• 1 cup beef stock
• 1 Tbsp soy sauce
• 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
• 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (chopped)
• 4 sprigs of parsley (chopped)
• Salt and pepper to season

Instructions
• Heat oil over med/high heat in a dutch oven.
• Cook beef cubes for 4 minutes, then set beef aside on plate.


• Saute the onion and crushed garlic for • 3 minutes. Then stir in the tomato paste, and turn down to a low heat to simmer


• On the set aside beef, seive the flour onto the cubes to combine the juices and flour, this will give a paste like consistency.


• Next add Guinness, stock, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and chocolate, to the Dutch oven and stir well for 5 minutes.
• Add the flour coated beef and stir well.

• Pop on the lid and leave to cook on a low to medium heat for 40 minutes.

• Gradually fold in the carrots, parsnips, potatoes, thyme, and  parsley.
Cover and simmer for an additional hour.

Serve this hearty flavoursome stew and enjoy either alone or with crusty buttered bread.

Kaya •

Fabfitfun, subscription box

FabFitFun Fall/Autumn 2021

Good afternoon friends, and Happy Sunday

Today we are reviewing the Autumn/Fall FabFitFun box


FabFitFun is a popular subscription service that sends boxes of full-sized home, beauty, fitness and lifestyle items once every season.
Each box costs $49.99 (about £53 including international shipping) where you will receive between 6-8 items with a value of over $200


This season, I fully customizable my box, and recieved 8 items with a value of $407 (£296)


Talking Tables Trivia Box – Food & Drink Retail Price $25
120 trivia questions perfect for the cooler months of the year. Spend an evening quizing with a cuppa or a glass of wine. Could is sound more perfect?


Camp Gladiator 3 Months Of CG Workouts + Camp Gladiator Jump Rope Retail Price $197
Ideal for indoor or outdoor use, this jump rope has a good weight to it, and includes a mesh carrying bag and 3 months of work out.
Simple but effective, this jump rope has assisted in whipping my butt into shape


Golden Rabbit Small Cobalt Swirl Dutch Oven (2.5 Quart) Retail Price $44
Bake, cook, and grill your favorite recipes. This was the item I wanted more than any other this season.
This beautifully hand-dipped dutch oven, made of carbon steel coated with a porcelain enamel is oven, stovetop and dishwasher safe.
Perfect for a hearty one dish dinner or dessert

So far I’ve used it to make a Chicken stew and apple crumble
Tonight I’m goinng to cooking a Guinness beef stew. I personally don’t like Guinness, but it intrigued me. If you see a recipe blog post pop up, you know it was a successful dish!




ARHAUS® Copper Candle – Moroccan Spice Retail Price $40
The scent hit me as soon as I opened the main box.
A Soy blend wax candle with a beautiful copper metal holder and 60 hours of burn time.
This is the ultimate autumnal candlewith scents of Moroccan spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, brown sugar, vanilla and orange

M.A.D Skincare Glycolic Age Diffusing Cleanser Retail Price $34
‘Great for mature skin, this cleanser features a blend of glycolic acid and gently lifts away dirts and dead skin cells.
Minimizes the appearance of fine lines
Helps skin look more radiant’



Bundle Retail Price $67

The2Bandits™ Tiered Catchall Tray
I’m a sucker for stroage. This three felt-lined trays are compact, simple and pretty for jewellery, hair ties or clips etc. A smart accessory tidy for any countertop or shelf.

Cali Cosmetics Baronessa Cali’s Islands of Italy Bath Gel
A light fragrances silky body wash featuring italian olive oil to leaves skin hydrated

HIP Products Reusable Lunch Pack
‘We work to create sustainably sourced lifestyle products out of already existing waste, instead of producing new plastic from fossil fuels’
This reusable lunch sack is a larger and durible substitute for a traditional paper/plastic sandwich bag. I’m trying bit by bit to live a more sustainable lifestyle, and a daily use product like this gradually will make a big difference.




Apart from the *cleanser, all items are used and thoroughly enjoyed weekly if not daily.
A well worth purchase for Autumn.

*Subscription boxes have been particularly skin care heavy the past couple of months, therefore I’ve put the cleanser to one side for now as I have a few open.

What did you this of this season box?


Kaya •

Uncategorized

Pop Culture Mystery Boxes Review

Good afternoon friends,

This week my fiance and I enjoying an escape and a few days away to Winchester (blog to be posted soon).

We walked past HMV as saw a stack of
Pop Culture Mystery Boxes for just £9.99 each

We no longer have a HMV on the Island, and had been meaning to pick up a Mystery box from Amazon

The boxes cost £9.99 each, with a minimum value of £25. You will receive at least 5 items, which are Pop Culture/Licensed merchandise products from Film, music, gaming and more.

Box 1
•A Game of Thrones thermal flask
•Frozen 2 lined notebook
•Frozen 2 Olaf keyring
•Toy Story Woody keyring
•4x Game of Thrones postcards
•Harry Potter A4 poster

Box 2
•The Legend of Zelda mug
•The Legend of Zelda glass Rupee
•Venom Notebook
•A4 wooden Batman plaque
•Facemask Illustration by Steven Rhodes, Concept and art direction by Kellie Taylor

As you’d expect, the Mystery boxes are a bit hit and miss.
We thought the 2nd box was pretty cool and will make use of all of the items – even the Rupee, will be a geeky feature to our shelves that some will be able to recognise.

The 1st box however was a bit of a dud box.
The flask will definitely be used, it is always handy to have a notebook around the house, but the HP card, GOT postcards and the keyrings will either be passed on to a friend or donated

Although you can purchase the boxes online, is suggest grabbing one in-store, as our heavier box had much better items, that may be a winning factor?

Have you tried a mystery box before?
If so, would you recommend it to others?

Kaya •

film review

Film Review – The Nest

Good evening friends,

Well, where to start? It’s hard to say because it felt like this film had no beginning, middle or end.

I warn you now, there are spoilers below, but honestly, there are no huge surprises here.

‘Life for an entrepreneur and his American family begin to take a twisted turn after moving into an English country manor’

https://youtu.be/i8YJQ0cflo0

I was intrigued and excited after I read the description above and watched the trailer for this ‘drama/thriller’. I was given the impression the family would fall into an unhinged lifestyle, full of drama and tension, this wasn’t quite the case.

In a nut shell, set in the 80’s, British ‘entrepreneur’ Rory O’Hara (Jude Law) relocates his American family to the UK to return to his old firm. O’Hara is money hungry and running out of funds, his family are finding it difficult to adjust to their new lives, and are fed up of his lies and neglect.
Also the horse dies.

Whilst O’Hara showed greed and desperation in his actions, I felt a bit of compassion for his family, but that didn’t pull at any heart strings or fill me with emotions – I’m not a robot, I was painfully disappointed and bored.

Half a dozen people walked out less than half way through the film, I’m sure they will wonder what they missed, but I don’t envision them doing that for long.

Take Christopher Nolan’s Tenet for instance, I found the film underwhelming and anti climatic, mostly because the ‘best bits’ were shown in the trailer, but I could appreciate what was in front of me even if it wasn’t to my liking.

I found myself constantly on the edge of my seat waiting for something, anything, to happen. I am extremely disappointed even more so that I had hyped it up and dragged my fiance along for the ride. I would strongly recommend taking a chance and watching any film other than The Nest this year, but if you do happen to catch it and find it appealing, please let me know

Rating? 0/5

Kaya •

Bathbox, subscription box

Your Bathbox May & June

Good morning friends,

Another short blog post sharing two previous Subscription boxes.

I’ve been subscribed to Your Bathbox for the past 18 months and have adored every single box, they’re always 5/5. Each monthly box is £9.99 + P&P, and includes 5 items which are handmade in the UK and Cruelty free. There’s boxes are always a joy to receive and a wonderful idea as a treat for yourself or a loved one

https://instagram.com/yourbathbox?utm_medium=copy_linkYourbathbox

May – Secret Garden

• Flower Power Bathbox RRP £3.75

• Plant pot bomb RRP £4

• Cocoa Butter Hand truffle RRP £3.50

• Heather & Herb bath fizzer RRP £3.75

• Lemon Verbena Fizzing bath salts RRP £3.50
Smells like lemon sherbert, looks like lemon sherbert, feels like lemon sherbert. IS NOT LEMON SHERBERT. No they did not send 3 bathbombs, a soap and a bag of sherbert. Put it down

June – Fruit Salad

• Strawberry delight bath bomb RRP £4

• Lemon & Lime Fizzy bathbomb RRP £3

• Pineapple solid Bubble bath RRP £4

• Watermelon Artisan soap RRP £4

• Black cherry dead sea & Epsom bath salt RRP £3.50

Which box takes your fancy?

Kaya •

Uncategorized

30 Day HappinessChallenge

Good afternoon friends!

How are you all doing this Sunny Saturday?

I have a fully free weekend, with no plans. How glorious does that sound?

I’ve been harping on recently about my poor mental health, exhaustion and stress, enough it enough, I need to throw myself back into the positive spin of things.

For everyone, life has been a bit of a emotional rollercoaster, it’s time to realise I can’t do everything, and that I have to give myself a break and improve my lifestyle slowly, step by step.

A few years ago I took part in a 100 day happiness photo challenge, and took to Pinterest to find something similar.

I found a simple and heartwarming 30 Day challenge by ‘captivating crazy’

We may be 7 days into the month, but there’s no point waiting until September to start the challenge so why not spread out the first 8 challenges over the weekend?

Screen shot this photo above and join me in this challenge

Kaya •

Birchbox, subscription box

Birchbox 2021 ‘Dance to your own Rhythm’ and ‘Express yourself’ subscription boxes

Good morning friends,

If you’ve already read my Roccabox blog this morning, then apologies for repeating myself, but I feel I need to explain my blog post. I feel like I’m ripping myself apart at the moment, and don’t want my posts to look thrown together, they’re not, I just can’t manage to keep my drafts together long enough to publish.

As I said before…To save my sanity, and time to script another half a dozen drafts, I’ve decided to give a break down of what was in each of the boxes/bags, the prices and my over all rating on the box. Not exactly how I would normally review subscription boxes, but there’s no harm in mixing it up now and then

Each month, your Birchbox will either be delivered in a Box or a bag. I always keep my bags/boxes as they’re a decent size and useful for storage.

May ‘Dance to your own Rhythm’ Score 3/5

• Arrow Clear Nourishing Lip Oil recieved 3ml (Full size 7ml RRP £13)

• KNDR Eyeshadow Cream In shade Confident Copper RRP £18 Full Size
Eyeshadow

• Birchbox Accessories – Crystal Nail File
Sturdy Perfect for my gel nails RRP £15

• This works – In Transit camera close up primer
Recieved 15ml (Full sized 40ml RRP £32)

• Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formulae Repairing Conditioner received 50ml (Full size 250ml RRP £4.49)

June ‘Express yourself’ Score 5/5

• Jecca black Rose Pearl Priming Glow drops Full size RRP £16

• Amika Flash Instant Shine Mask Recieved 30ml (Full size  200ml RRP £20)

• Aquahero Hydrating Body Balm Recieved 40ml (Full size 100ml RRP £17.90)

• Birchbox Lilac Silicone Mask Applicator RRP £6

• Sand & Sky recieved 10g (Full size 100g RRP £56.90)

• Grace & Stella Anti Wrinkle Energising Eye Mask RRP £16

Have you used any of the products above? If so, what would you rate them?

Kaya •

monthly favourites, Roccabox, subscription box

Boxes galore! April, May & June Roccabox

Good morning friends,

How on earth is it August already? My apologies for being AWOL the last couple of months, life took over and I haven’t been in the right head space to blog. (Again)

I have a few subscription boxes that I’ve needed to review; which I have, but then stripoed down and started over countless times.

Like I said, not in the right head space.

To save my sanity, and time to script another half a dozen drafts, I’ve decided to give a break down of what was in each of the boxes/bags, the prices and my over all rating on the box. Not exactly how I would normally review subscription boxes, but there’s no harm in mixing it up now and then

If you’ve got any questions about a particular product, be sure to ask!

April ‘Vegan beauty’ Score 5/5

• Kat Von D Vegan Beauty Kitten Mini Tattoo Liner RRP £10

• Grow gorgeous haircare defence detoxifying scalp scrub RRP £6 Travel Size

• Balance me skincare collagen booze moisturiser RRP £10

• Beauty Papier – Golden Auoeedoos Anti Oxidant Shower Gel RRP £25 Full Sized

• Vitamasque Gold Eye Patch RRP £5.99
Cooling and depuff your under eyes

May ‘Spring Fling’ Score 4/5

• Illamasqua – Beyond Powder in shade Deity Full size RRP £34

• Emery Nails in the shade Belle RRP £8

• Doctors Formula – Probiotics Radiance Eye Serum Full Size RRP £89

• Hawaiian Tropic All Natural Mineral Milk SPF30
Recieved 30ml (Full Sized 100ml RRP £14.99)

• Mallows beauty – Pink Clay Face Mask RRP £2.99

Bonus
• Cadbury – Nuttier Bar RRP £1.19
High fibre almonds, peanuts and cranberries

June ‘Hot Girl Summer’ Score 5/5

• Bellapierre – Brown Eyed Girl Palette Full Sized
Highly pignented RRP £28.99

• Crabtree and Evelyn – Rose Shower Milk Deluxe Sample RRP £9

• The Beauty crop – smoothie stick lip crayon shade Saucey Marsala Full Sized RRP £7

• Anatomicals – Deep Conditioning Hair Pack, pack of 4 Full Sized RRP £5

• Shea Bliss Skin – Strawberry Scrub Deluxe Mini RRP £3.99

Which Roccabox would you choose?

Kaya •

Birchbox, subscription box

Birchbox April 2021

Good evening friends,

Today we’re playing catch up with beautiful boxes, if you’ve read my previous blogs you’ll know that I’ve been struggling the past couple of months and has taken its toll on my blog too, apologies all!

A few months late but I didn’t want to miss out on sharing my thoughts with you all. Let’s get into it, first up is Birchbox’s ‘Future is now’ April edit

Stasher silicone reliable bag RRP £12.99 (available in green, yellow and orange)
What a genius idea? This silicone bag is reusable, easy to clean, durable and great for the environment.

This multi use, airtight bag can be used as a make up bag, or a toiletries bag, or even for sandwich’s, soups and meals, as it can be stored in the fridge, freezer and is microwave safe.
I gave this to a friend as she spends alot of time at the beach – perfect to seal any snacks away when you don’t fancy a side of sand.

Green frog Botanic RRP £4.95
Argan & Rose Oil Shampoo bar

I’ve been using the Garnier shampoo bars for the last couple of months and have loved them.
I’ll admit none of them smell as good as this! The UK population alone throws away 520 millions shampoo bottles every year.

We can do better.

This vegan, plastic free sample bar gave my long locks 7 or 8 wash’s, I’d recommend and no doubt buy it again.

Algologie Hydra Replenishing Booster (Sample size recieved Full size RRP £33)
This Gelified serum hydrates skin, and is packed with hyaluronic acid and natural marine active ingredients) gentle around the eyes, this has become part of my night time routine

Huygens Organic Night Repair Oil (Recieved deluxe mini Full size RRP £31)
I feel like Alice in wonderland.

The repair oil is filled with Coconut and hazelnut oils to repair skin, lavender and rosewood oils to help regenerate and argan oil to protect the skin at night. A few drops of this and the next morning my skin was so soft and nourished, with a healthy glow

The beauty crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes RRP £9 Full size
I haven’t opened this mascara yet as have a few on the go, but a waterproof mascara enriched with argan and jojoba oil to lengthen, thicken and nourish is always, this will be at the top of the list of the next to try.

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow illuminator Full size RRP £25.50
I’ve tried this product a few times previously. The BB cream helps to smooth skin and even’s skin tone.

I can’t see I’ve noticed a huge different but it is still a good BB cream. Lightweight and non sticky

What did you think of April’s Birchbox/Bag? Have you tried any of the products, or tempted to purchase them?

Kaya •