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yay! for The Bodykind Festival in Totnes, Devon

This weekend there is an extra special event taking place in Totnes, Devon where I live. It's the Bodykind Festival, the first ever festival dedicated to encouraging each and everyone one of us to feel comfortable in our own skin. The event is taking place from October 13th - 15th and I am really looking forward to going along.



With the media showing us photoshopped bodies at every turn, it can be hard not to compare ourselves to often unattainable looks. This 'first of a kind', weekend long, not for profit event has been set up to encourage us all to love and respect our bodies. There are speakers such as Bodyposipanda from Instagram, Harnaam Kaur & Glory Pearl plus workshops, music, theatre and dance, art, film and photography, so something for everyone to get involved. You can find out more about what's on here.

Looking at the Bodykind website, you'll see that: "Bodykind is about honouring life in its various forms, rather than comparing oneself or anyone else to an external concept of beauty." The Bodykind Festival will promote inclusivity, celebrate diversity, illuminate and challenge non-acceptance.  Why not buy your ticket today? See you there!



 

yay retro! September 2017 Degustabox Review & Voucher Code

This is the 3rd Degustabox I've had, after signing up to this subscription based food box a couple of months ago. With Degustabox you get a top quality, fun box of new foods to try every month. The idea being that you try new foods at a lower price than you’d find them in the shops. 

A bit about me....I'm Sue and I run yay retro!, which is an online vintage shop selling genuine Vintage and Flower Power items for your vintage styled home. I love cooking healthy food - largely from scratch. I thought readers might be interested to read these reviews whilst taking a look at some gorgeous vintage wares at the same time - well why not?! (Note I have paid for this Degustabox myself.)

Here's what's inside September 2017's Degustabox:

American Kitchen Columbian Albondigas Sauce  

I’ve recently come across this brand in my local Morrison’s.  The sauce is described as ‘ a comforting tomato sauce for meatballs’ and is labelled as being ‘mild’.  It’s made to serve 2 people.  Looking at the back, the ingredients include smoked paprika, nutmeg, chilli pepper, bay leaf & garlic. Opening the pack, the sauce smelt really interesting and also quite strong and since we don’t eat meat, I decided to use it in a vegetable chilli. I fried up some onions, mushrooms, and a bit of quorn mince, then added chopped tomatoes and red kidney beans with this sauce added in. The result was a big bowl of warming chilli, which would serve 4 (but we ate it all), and we loved it. There were lots of different layers of taste to the sauce and it tasted totally unlike anything we’ve had before. So a fresh meal idea. Apparently there are 5 other sauces in the range.

American Kitchen Coconut & Chilli Rice

We eat a lot of microwavable rice and my favourite is Tilda’s coconut flavour basmati. So I was keen to try this one. What struck me about it was the utterly different flavour, and the way it looked different too. It has the appearance of a dry pan fried rice - with the coconut having some colour and texture to it. It is much more savoury than Tilda’s rice and has a more 'grown up' flavour. I really liked it and it went perfectly with the vegetable chilli I made as above. I would try this again, particularly in the autumn/winter months. Apparently there are 5 other rice flavours in the range.


Seriously Strong Spreadable Squares

Degustabox had a coupon for this spreadable cheese. I chose the 'light' version, and the pack had 8 small squares of soft cheese inside. I like buying small portions of cheese as you can measure out how much you're having at once. It was a posh box with a little patterned liner, making it a nice thing to put on a tea or supper table. We had them with salad and crackers and both enjoyed the taste. They taste quite a bit stronger than Dairylea or Laughing Cow. However I was surprised to see that the calories in these are significantly higher than that found in the light version of Laughing Cow (192cals per 100gm vs 147cals), so for me I wouldn't particularly buy again. Additionally they are made in France from Scottish Cheddar, so quite a few food miles involved.

Greens Creamy Egg Custard Filling  

I’ve never used this product before and it was the first thing I decided to have a go at. You can make the custard and pop into a ready made pastry case or make your own*.  There is enough of the custard to fill a 7 inch flan dish, and to serve 6 people. I was unsure how to make this as I was expecting it to work like custard which goes thick as you cook it, however with this product it is more like when you make jelly (it sets later). You simply add a pint of milk, bring to the boil, then boil for a minute, pour it into the flan case and leave it to cool and set. This takes about an hour, you then pop in the fridge to chill.  It’s so easy! We loved this light airy pud and I think it would be amazing with a sprinkling of raspberries on the top too. It’s not too sweet which is ideal for our taste.  One of the things I like about the product is the reverse of the box, which is vintage styled - Green’s have been making baking products for over 100 years. Of course dried egg powder which is a key ingredient in this, was used during the war due to rationing. I’ve never used it before today - at just 69p it’s a bloomin’ bargain!

If you visit the Greens website you’ll find a recipe for Bread & Butter Pudding which uses the egg custard mix too. One thing I did not realise is that Greens make loads of different dessert mixes, so I will have to take a closer look at what they do, having tried this successfully. Below is a 1960/70s Taunton Vale flan dish for sale at yay retro! why not take a look now?

*Make your own pastry - 4 ounces flour, 2 oz fat (ie. clover light), ½ tspn sugar, very cold water. In a food mixer blend to breadcrumbs, slowly add water to form a ball. Roll out on floured board to fit dish.

Mentos Mints in Sharing Bag  

These are the same as the regular tubes of Mentos, but they come in a sharing bag with both the mint and spearmint varieties.  I love these but haven’t had them for a while. It’s a good idea to pop them in a bag like this, as I normally end up buying several tubes at once. These will be living in the car for long journeys or traffic jams! Love the fact they are flavoured with natural ingredients only, and they are only £1.19!

Dream Rice Quinoa

This is a plant based milk replacement product and is in the Ancient Grains range (the other being oat, spelt, buckwheat and linseed.)  I tried it to make my regular morning porridge and had raspberries and banana with it.  I was really looking forward to this, but am very sad to say I found it unpleasantly savoury tasting.  The aroma was also unappealing to me. I did eat it, but declined to eat hubby’s when he also said he didn’t like it. I would imagine it would be alright in something savoury perhaps, but we won’t be trying again. You can use this in smoothies, on cereals or on it's own and it's calcium rich.

Virtue Sparkling Energy Water

When I saw this I thought, hmmm more sugary drinks - but NO! Woop! This is an energy drink with zero calories, zero sugar and no sweeteners - Fantastic!  Think sparkling water which gives you a little lift like a cup of tea might, and you’re there.  I found it surprising initially as you just think it’s going to be sweet, and when you drink it, it’s like “urrrr….?!” Then you remind yourself, “no, because this is sparkling water” and your tastebuds are back on track. Both the Lemon & Lime and Berries have a light flavour which is more salty than sweet due to the carbonation (as I personally find with sparkling water).  The flavour level is rather like when you’re at the end of a drink which has has melted ice cubes in it, this is not a criticism, just a description of the taste level.  I would choose this if I needed a pick me up over and above any regular fizzy sweet drink. However at £1.35 each they are too pricey for me really.

Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna Steaks - My Favourite Item in the Box!!!!

Normally I buy own brand tuna in spring water, so this isn’t something I would normally pick up. You can tell this is a top quality product with chunky pieces of pale coloured tuna in their own juices (which you are advised not to throw away as they are rich in omega 3.) I made a tuna and mayo sandwich using Weightwatchers bread. I used nearly the whole tin and had a mega protein rich feast!  Apparently this is line caught and as such is ranked #1 by Greenpeace for sustainability.  I am SO glad I tried this and will definitely buy again if I can find it in my local Morrisons, even though it is a pricier product (£3.49), as the difference in flavour is noticeable. UPDATE: I could not find this in my local small Morrisons so I bought 12 cans online direct from Wild Planet - That's how much I loved this product!

Green & Black’s Velvet Edition 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate

You cannot go wrong with Green & Black’s chocolate, I love it! Normally I buy the ginger or orange flavour. I am not sure how this is velvety, I guess it doesn’t have that shocking zing which you can have with 70% cocoa versions of dark chocolate? Whatever, it’s completely yum and comes in at only £1.99.


Nestle Cheerios Oat Crisp

I am a cereal addict, I am often eat them at supper time as a treat. With high fibre levels and low fat this is appealing to me. This one has crunchy flakes, oats and grains in it, and has a little more sugar the regular shop brand Cheerios I buy. On tasting it is quite sugary, but not overly so, the balance is just right. Oddly, there are actually more flakes than Cheerios, and these remind of crunchy nut cornflakes but less sweet. I would recommend these as a treat rather than an every day cereal as I prefer to have low or zero sugar breakfast cereals. However, have to say I've munched the whole box already - yumtastic!  


San Miguel Gluten Free Beer

This 5.4% ABV beer is a nice thing to have in the fridge after a long hard day packing parcels for yay retro! I love craft beers, so am looking forward to giving this a try. Apparently it’s gluten free as it does not have ingredients such as rice, buckwheat or corn etc in it. I've given it a try and it is light and fruity with just the amount of sweetness. It has a good kick and I would recommend for those people wanting to follow a gluten free diet or really anyone who fancies a beer! (Photo to follow).

Knorr Concentrated Stock

This is a handy sized bottle of beef stock which can be used in your cooking in place of a stock cube. I like the idea of this as you don’t need to melt / mix it with water it as you do with most other stocks. You only need a few drops and I’ll try to give it a go when I next use Quorn in a meal.  This is made from real beef so am in two minds about it, being as I am a non meat eater.

Try Degustabox with yay retro! and get money off your first box!

I'm finding Degustabox interesting and fun as it makes try products. which I would not normally buy. Many of the onces we've found in our Degustaboxes have become firm favourites already! Why not join in the fun on the Degustabox website here, then you too will receive a marvellous surprise box of foodie treats!  Use the special yay retro! code WBWEO to get £7 off your first box - you’ll pay just £5.99 instead of £12.99! 

Pop in to the yay retro! shop for a lovely vintage browse now - Products have been shown with: Habitat Monaco & 1960/70s Poole Pottery plates, Praesidium & Taunton Vale trays, Scandinavian mid century fish dish, Woods Beryl dishes, Staffordshire Potteries Mug, vintage Pyrex, 1950s Glasses. Similar items available here at yay retro! here.

September Degustabox yay retro! Unboxing and Voucher Code!!



yay retro! - September 17 Degustabox unboxing - A quick overview

A bit about me....I'm Sue and I run yay retro!, which is an online vintage shop selling vintage homewares and more from the 1940's, 50's, 60's & 70's. Here on the yay retro! news blog I post cooking ideas, recipes and write reviews about interesting people and businesses who I meet in reality and online! (Note I have paid for this Degustabox myself.) So, September's box is here and I opened with excitement straight away.  This is the best box so far as I will definitely be using all the contents.  There's a picture below of all the yummy things in the box, so don't look if you haven't opened yours yet!

Degustabox is a monthly subscription box of food, drinks and treats which arrives direct to your door. Each box is guaranteed to be worth more than the price paid, and you get to try things you might not have seen before or thought of buying. If like me, you love surprises, food and cooking then why not get involved? There's a voucher code to get your first box for only £5.99 at the end of this article.



Why I love this month's Degustabox!

Inside are all the kinds of things I would personally buy, so this months box is ideal. First up is Cheerios Oat Crisps Cereal. Love Cheerios, and we often have them for supper, but we've not tried this crunchier variety. Then there's a carton of Rice Dream with quinoa. This is something you use instead of milk. I'll try anything like this in porridge (another passion of mine in the food department), so we'll see if it tastes different and exciting with this in it tomorrow!

There are 2 products from the Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen range, a brand I've just started buying from our local Morrisons.  Not tried these which are a Colombian Albondigas Sauce (fresh tomato) and microwavable Coconut & Chilli Rice - love this, it's the kind of thing we use all the time.

There's a can of Wild Planet tuna with no water or oil - great! Just the thing for a tuna mayo sandwich with last months Hellmans Mayonnaise. There is a bottle of Knorr Rich Beef concentrated stock. This will last for ages added to any stew, bolognese or other similar recipe. Although we don't eat meat anymore, I don't mind using meat stocks in my cooking (not staunch vegetarians), so will give this a go.

There is a pack of Green's Creamy egg custard filling. I've never used anything like this before, but all you need is some milk and a pastry case and you're off to a lovely traditional pud, so that's a big 'yes' from me, and who know's it may appear regularly on my shopping list.

There's a scrummy bar of Green & Blacks Velvet Edition Dark Chocolate 70% cocoa chocolate which will be polished off tonight, and a family pack of Mentos just natural mint flavour sweets. Ideal for popping in the car and nibbling on the way to deliver my parcels to the courier!

To finish up there are two cans of flavoured Virtue sparkling energy water berries and Lemon & Lime; with zero calories these are spot on for me! A bottle of San Miguel beer rounds off this perfect-for-me box!

Come back soon to read my in-depth reviews of each item along with vintage photos and more on the yay retro! blog.

Try Degustabox with yay retro! and get money off your first box!

Why not join in the fun on the Degustabox website here, then you too will receive a marvellous surprise box of foodie treats!  Use the special yay retro! code WBWEO to get £7 off your first box - you’ll pay just £5.99 instead of £12.99! Pop in to the yay retro! shop for a lovely vintage browse now

yay retro! talk Mid Century Furniture with Hello Retro!

An interview with Hello Retro Design

I've 'known' Raphy for the past couple of years as she follows yay retro! on Facebook and Instagram, we've never met but we like the same things, so I thought it was high time I had a chat with her for the yay retro! blog as I am sure yay retro! followers will love the furniture that Hello Retro renovate and sell. Raphy and her husband Kan set up Hello Retro Design which is a mid century furniture company with a super snazzy online shop.  Their business really started from their love of mid century design and from many hours of hunting down retro goodies everywhere they went.



They tell me that: "their backgrounds are in music, sales and photography. Kan used to be a session guitarist for a number of bands and then guitar technician for The Cure. He then moved into photography and became a commercial photographer." Kan is responsible for all the Hello Retro Design photography and for the website, and very stylish it is too. 

The couple are apparently completely self taught, with Raphy saying "it hasn't been an easy journey but it has been exciting - My father was a carpenter and I grew up with him renovating our houses and watching him work with wood; I now find it one of the most relaxing parts of my job. I have a history in music and sales and am passionate about fashion and interior design. I love transforming things that look a bit tired and naff into something new and appealing."

 

Initially, they would find mid-century pieces that looked interesting and worthy of a second life. After refurbishing them they sold them on.  Then they started to buy G Plan Fresco modular units from the 60’s and 70’s and separated the wall units into individual pieces, adding coloured hairpin legs for a bit of a pop into the Retro futuristic look. Very soon orders were coming in from the world over, faster than they could make, photograph and list them and I think you can see why!



Raphy tells me a bit about their renovation process: "I sand the tops of our sideboards and chests by hand, which I know is a longer and more labourious method but it gives the best results. When you’re working with pieces that are over 50 years old you need a more gentle approach. I then coat the tops with OSMO oil to give them a beautiful finish. This oil is environmentally friendly, good for people and good for wood. It’s expensive but so worth it for the incredibly fine and durable finish. Then it’s over to Kan for plinth removal from our sideboards and chests, which is no easy task a lot of the time because G Plan certainly made very sturdy furniture. Next we add the hairpin legs (customers can choose the colour of these). These are custom made for us from high grade steel to our specific design. They are sand blasted prior to powder coating to ensure the highest quality finish and durability. We can accommodate most colours on the RAL colour chart for those that want to go wild with colour or we offer legs in copper, gold, and bare steel finishes. The legs are also available in different heights to accommodate different uses for the furniture. We sell a lot of our pieces on 8” legs which work perfectly for media consoles and our record cabinets are usually sold on 14” legs so you can have your record player at waist level. Once the tops are done and the legs are on, everything is professionally cleaned and oiled with Danish oil to nourish the wood and then they’re ready to go!"

What Hello Retro loves at yay retro!




Looking at the yay retro! online shop which sells mid century and flower power home and kitchenwares, Raphy says "I am mad about melamine and colour so the butter dish ticks both of those boxes and the coffee jug is divine with a splash of my current favourite colour orange!! A lot of our furniture is bought for use as kitchen cabinets so I am always on the look out for colourful retro pieces to use as props for our photo shoots and these two items would look fab!" Have to agree that a mix of blue and orange together is one of my current vintage loves too!

Useful links:

Visit the yay retro! online vintage shop here

Visit Hello Retro Designs' Furniture shop online here Use the Hello Retro Design discount code YAYRETRO15 at checkout for 15% off!!!!

August 17 Degustabox 'Back to School' Review by yay retro!

I signed up to 3 months of Degustabox a few weeks ago - this is where you get a surprise box of food products delivered to your door every month - yay! amazing! The idea is that you can try new foods at a lower price than you’d find them in the shops. If you want you can also review them on via the Degustabox website and earn points towards a free box. 

A bit about me....I'm Sue and I run yay retro!, which is an online vintage shop selling genuine Vintage and Flower Power items for your home. I love food and cooking, so Degustabox is good fun and makes me look at new products. I thought you may be interested to read these reviews and take a look at some gorgeous vintage wares at the same time - well why not?! (Note I have paid for this Degustabox myself.)

Below the box was full of products and getting ready for our Taste Test with the grandchildren!


August 17 'Back to School' Degustabox Review by yay retro! 

This month the box theme is ‘Back to School’. Inside the box there were several crisp products, lots of chocolate, sweets and fizzy drinks. These are things I generally do not buy, so when my grand daughters Ella aged 6 & Penny aged 8 came over we all had a fun time doing a ‘professional’ taste test!  We even made a checklist to fill out and then got stuck in. Additionally there were some packs of Maggi noodles,  a bottle of mayonnaise, a new flavour (to me) of Tabasco and a bottle of Twisted Halo vodka drink. Here are the results of our taste test! 

Refreshers Softies (Barratts)

These have natural flavourings and colouring, though it’s worth noting they have beef gelatine in, so no good for dedicated vegetarians. Initially Penny said she didn’t like Refreshers and Ella said she’d never tried them and wasn’t keen. Penny said they were sour, fizzy and soft and they’d be good for when they watch a film on TV on Fridays and gave them 9/10. Ella gave them an 8/10 saying they’d be good for special times like Halloween, when they would definitely have them. They liked the pink ones best as the green ones were too sour, and they didn’t like the orange. Ella wondered if the coating was actually salt rather than sugar, and when she ate them they made her actually wobble with their fizziness! These were not for me at all, way too sweet and artificial tasting. I would not buy them.
 

Above Refreshers Softies and Cadbury Curlywurly Squirlies

Cadbury Curlywurly Squirlies

These are just like a traditional Curlywurly but made into small worm shapes and popped into a resealable sharing bag. We all liked these and the girls gave them 10/10 saying they were chocolatey, chewy and curly. We all found them quite hard to chew, but this didn’t put us off. The girls thought they would be good as a treat. They said they couldn’t imagine having them in their lunchbox, but if they did 2 would be enough. It’s an easy way to share a Curlywurly which would otherwise be impossible to share without all the coating falling off.

JellyPot JellySqueeze

Ella point blank refused to have any of this as she had a try at home the previous night and did not like it. She said the ‘packet was all wrong for jelly’. She gave it 0/10. Penny liked them and give 8/10. She liked orange the best and told me how amazing it was that the orange had no colour and that the blackcurrant one is slightly blue (no fake colourings - yay!). My husband and I had a try and really disliked them. Pete said: ‘it’s not what you’d expect. You think it’s going to be a liquid and then it’s lumpy so it’s like the lumps form in your mouth.’ Definitely a no-goer in our house!

The glass dish has some of the Jellysqueeze in it - the blackcurrant is pale blue!


Seabrook Crisps

These have really attractive packaging, I really liked the simple stripes.  These are described as the original crinkle cut crisp. We decided to try the Cheese & Onion flavour. Ella kept saying they were quite see-through and illustrated this by putting her finger behind it! They did seem nice and light so perhaps they are thinner than the average crisp? They certainly melt quickly in your mouth. Pete thought they had less taste than he’d expect, we all wondered if they have less salt than usual. Later this evening I tried the plain ones and I did feel they had less salt than usual which is good. I wouldn’t necessarily seek these out, but they are nice. My rating is 7/10, I think the girls were quite happy and would have given around a 10.  I've now tasted the salt and vinegar ones and they are my favourites, very tasty!



Light Bites Popped Chips (Superdrug) 

These crisp type snacks are actually made from soya chickpeas and are gluten free. They are quite a bit lower in calories compared to crisps coming in at around 95 cals per bag. High in protein and fibre, I think this makes them a quite good snack idea, and they are part of Superdrug’s 5:2 diet range.  My husband and I tried the Sweet & Smoky Chipotle ones and really liked them.  They are very hot and spicy and I can imagine we might buy them again. We tried the Pesto & Sundried Tomato with the girls, Penny liked them more than Ella. I liked them more than Pete who said they were ‘ok', but he doesn’t much like the flavour of pesto. I felt they were bland in comparison to the Chipotle ones which were quite exciting and we might buy them again.


Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise

I always buy Morrisons own brand Light Mayonnaise, I am looking forward to comparing the two, especially as I particularly love a tuna and mayo sandwich when I go out for lunch, maybe because they use Hellmann’s?! trying to compare calorie-wise is difficult as the Hellmann's is measured in gms and the Morrisons brand in mls. According to the Weightwatchers website 1 tablespoon of Real Hellmann's is 108 calories or 4 WW points. 1 tablespoon of Morrisons Light Mayonnaise is 41 calories and 1 WW point. So.....

Orangina and Orangina Light Limited Edition Bottles

I completely forgot to photograph these before we drank them! The light version looked like it was wearing a stripe T shirt and the normal one had a bikini and shorts. We tried them both at the same time to see if we could tell the difference. This girls liked the sugary one and we preferred the light version. Though after a few mouthfuls I decided the light version was a bit salty for my tastes and didn’t finish it. I don’t drink fizzy drinks and so wouldn’t buy again. One thing I did learn though is that it is made with parts of the real fruit so it’s different to other orange fizzy drinks in that way.


Bahlsen PiCK UP! Black ‘N’ White Biscuits


This is one of my favourite brands of biscuits I simply adore this kind of dry, crispy European style. These are a dark chocolate biscuit with a slice of hard white chocolate inside. They are individually wrapped and so I do think there is quite a bit of packaging, but I guess this is because they are made to pop in a lunch-box or take on a picnic. Penny said they were sweet and chocolatey and liked them a lot. She said the chocolate in the middle looked like cheese or a tile. I saw what she meant as it is the most perfect piece of chocolate just like a thin slate! Ella said they were yummy. I thought they were gorgeous, not too sweet and the chocolate was of a high quality.  We all gave them 10/10. Pete liked them, but because the exterior was dry he got annoyed with the zillions of crumbs - there was loads - they are impossible to eat cleanly! At 146 calories each I would have these as a treat, but only very occasionally. 

Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Toffee Whole Nut

This slimline bar is divided up into separate chocolate chunks. It has a ultra sweet white layer with runny extremely sweet toffee and then crushed nuts inside this. Penny said it was ‘nutty’ and gave it 9/10, Ella said: ‘it was a lovely melted chocolate flavour with a little nutty bit’ and also gave it 9/10. Pete thought it was okay and enjoyed it, but the addition of the white layer and toffee made it too sweet, he gave it 7/10. I felt it was so sweet I couldn’t eat it (a first for me with chocolate!) I would give it 1/10. Pete and I both love Cadbury’s chocolate and would prefer the regular whole nut or Fruit & Nut bars.




Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce

I don’t normally use Tabasco but Pete loves it.  We will be trying a mexican meal soon and I will probably take a look at the Tabasco website for a vegetarian recipe to give it a go. We read up on this sauce and it is a milder version which can be used with gusto on salads etc. Pete tried it on some cucumber and gave it the thumbs up. I love the retro design on the box and bottle, looks great next to this vintage flower pan saucepan- yay!

Maggi Fusian Noodles

We will be trying the Fiery Sweet Chilli Noodles first with lots of vegetables, come back and find out what we thought soon! It's worth noting that the flavourings are in a separate sachet, so on the duck ones we will just be eating the noodles as we are vegetarian.



Twisted Halo - Coconut Water, Ginger & Vodka

This is a very interesting drink which is made up of coconut water & ginger with vodka and a hint of lime.  It has an ABV of 4% and 90 calories in the 275ml bottle. There are no artificial flavours and no added sugar which is great. You can drink from the bottle, or have it over ice. As you can see we initially tried it neat, though later we did add ice as it is quite a sweet tasting drink for us, and the ice made it last longer, stay cool and tropical feeling.  This has a fab coconutty aroma as you go to drink it, it's light with a syrupy feel, with lots of layers of flavour. I would imagine if you like ready mixed bottled drinks, then you would really enjoy this. An easy cocktail style drink for a treat, why not dress it up with a vintage glass and cocktail umbrella? Check out the glasses yay retro! have in stock here

Try Degustabox with yay retro! and get money off your first box!

Degustabox is great for people who love food and want to try different products and like receiving surprises in the post! You can join in the fun on the Degustabox website with no commitment, signing up for as many boxes as you wish, then you too will receive a marvellous surprise box of foodie treats!  

yay retro! Customers can use the code WBWEO to get £7 off your first box - you’ll pay just £5.99 instead of £12.99! 

Come back soon to read through next month's reviews, which again will be photographed with vintage wares from the 1960s and 70s! Why not pop in to the yay retro! online vintage shop now for a relaxing browse now? Right now yay retro! orders over £15 (exc. postage)* will receive a free gift - yay! *UK mainland orders only, excludes mosaic only purchases.

August 17 Degustabox Unboxing Quick Overview - yay retro!

Last month I signed up to 3 months of Degustabox, a brilliant, fun foodie idea where you receive a surprise box of food products every month to you door. The idea is that you get the chance to try and review new products which you can do via the Degustabox website. Honest reviews are encouraged so that manufacturers get to understand what people like and don't like.

August 17 'Back to School' Degustabox Review Initial Unboxing - yay retro! 


A bit about me....I'm Sue and I run yay retro!, which is an online vintage shop selling vintage homewares and more from the 1940's, 50's, 60's & 70's. Here on the yay retro! news blog I post cooking ideas, recipes and write reviews about interesting people and businesses who I meet in reality and online! (Note I have paid for this Degustabox myself.)
 


This is what Degustabox looks like when it arrives. Loving the happy decor on their boxes which are great quality and can be reused - handy! Inside everything is packed nicely together and the July & August 17 boxes have been full to the brim. 


This month's Degustabox has a 'Back to School' theme....As you can see they've crammed a lot into the box and it includes Seabrook crisps - a new brand to me, Bahlsen biscuits - love this maker, Orangina fizzy drinks original and light versions - great to compare, Refreshers Softies sweets, Cadbury's Big Taste Whole Nut chocolate and Fruity pot's JellySqueeze Squeezable pouches....Initial thoughts are these are not healthy options for school lunch boxes to be quite honest! Though the Superdrug own brand Light Bites Popped Chips are under 100 calories and i'm looking forward to seeing how they compare to regular crisps.


In addition, there are 2 packs of interesting looking Maggi Fusian noodles, some Hellmann's Mayonnaise, a bottle of Green Pepper Tabasco sauce and a low alcohol Vodka drink called Twisted Halo. Initially I'm thinking quick after school noodle dinners with a few interesting bits thrown in, finding out how to make the ideal tuna mayo sandwich and and a having a cheeky chill out drink whilst cooking - nice! 

Come back soon to read through my reviews of these products - which will be photographed with some lovely 60s & 70s vintage wares alongside over the coming week! If you fancy popping in to the yay retro! online vintage shop now for a relaxing browse, click here. Right now yay retro! orders over £15 (exc. postage)* will receive a free gift - yay! *UK mainland orders only, excludes mosaic only purchases.

Try Degustabox with yay retro! and get money off your first box!

Degustabox is made for the food lovers who want to be the first to try the latest in food products and adore surprises! There is no long term commitment and you can join in the fun on the Degustabox website, signing up for as many boxes as you wish, then you too will receive a marvellous surprise box of foodie treats!  Use the code WBWEO to get £7 off your first box - you’ll pay just £5.99 instead of £12.99! 

Degustabox Review Summer July 17 by yay retro!

This month I’ve signed up to a really exciting concept which I came across thanks to my lovely daughter-in-law Emma. It’s Degustabox and if you haven’t heard about it, it’s a fantastic food lovers treat!  Every month a lovely surprise box of food and drinks arrives at your door for you to try out. It costs just £12.99 per month with free delivery, and the brilliant thing is that the items in your box are guaranteed to always be worth more than you’ve paid. I signed up to 3 months of boxes right away and the first one was delivered just a week later.

I thought readers of the yay retro! online vintage shop blog would be interested to read what my husband and I thought of our first box (note I have paid for my box of goodies so my honest reviews both positive and negative are based upon my experience having paid for the box myself.)

In case you are not aware yay retro! is an online vintage shop selling the very best in vintage 1940's, 50's, 60's & 70's china, glass, home and tableware. I acquire genuine retro pieces that can be used every day in your kitchen, lounge and dining room at home. Here on my blog I post recipes which are easy to cook in your vintage styled kitchen, as well as writing reviews on interesting businesses and products which I think my customers and readers will enjoy finding out about.

Summer Degustabox July 17 Review by yay retro!


The theme of the box each month is different, and the July 17 one is called ‘Summer’.  The first thing to note was the attractiveness of the box itself which was top quality and decorated with little food motifs. Inside the box was lined with tissue and the food attractively packed together.  I can’t show you a photo of my own box as I have already unpacked it, (though next month I will show you what my box looks like when it arrives in my kitchen), so here is a photo from the Degustabox website showing you the July box. Looks fun doesn't it?


What I personally like about the Degustabox idea is that I am normally a very prudent shopper. I basically buy fresh fruit and vegetables and ‘own brand’ products, and then I cook from scratch most nights. Whilst this is great for the pocket, it can lead me to be very predictable in my shopping habits, and we very rarely try anything new. Additionally we are vegetarian/pescatarian in the yay retro! household and pretty keen on low calorie items as we are kind of health conscious. If I thought this was going to be a problem, I couldn’t have been more wrong as Degustabox had some really interesting healthy options inside. 

Here are the contents of my Degustabox Summer Box and My Reviews One by One

Blossom Hill Spritz Elderflower & Lemon

I love craft beer, so I wasn’t much looking forward to trying this wine substitute. In fact I haven’t drunk any wine this year. However I was really amazed at how yummy it was and have had a little tipple most evenings with my dinner. This has a low alcohol level of just 5.5% making it a lovely treat without the worry of piling on the calories and drinks units - I am very Drink Aware and like to keep my units down.  

Anyhow, on to what it tastes like. This is best served chilled and has a surprisingly fresh interesting taste which is not too sweet. If you like your wines on the drier side then you will definitely like this.  It has a lovely perfumed aroma and a nice light fizz as you unscrew the top and have a sip. It’s fruity (not too lemony) and has the nice floral notes of elderflower without being over the top. Because of it's screw top lid it retains it's fizziness once opened for quite a few days. This is great as you can open it for one person as I did and make it last.

I’ve been drinking it from one of my vintage 'Chance' glasses which are perfect for such a delicate, classy drink! I can also imagine this being ideal for a lunch time treat with friends or taken on a Summery picnic!  I will definitely buy this again soon. Sorry about the bottle being nearly empty in the pic - yumtastic!

OLOVES Healthy Olive Snacks

Now these little cute bags of olives were the first thing I tried, so to be honest I haven’t got them here to photograph now as I’ve eaten them all up! There were two bags of them in the box. Here’s a little pic of the OLOVES from the Degustabox website for you. I’ve paired this with a vintage nibbles dish from the1950s, perfect for serving olives etc and available in the yay retro! shop here.

Each treat sized bag is just 50 calories and inside you’ll find enough olives for up to 2 days of treats. I served them with feta cheese, lettuce and cream crackers on the first day. I also had them as a quick snack and added them to a simple pasta dish on other days. They were pretty spicy being Chili and Oregano flavour which I loved. Just the right kick of heat, though not sure the oregano came through.  I would buy these if they were available in my local supermarket as a lunchtime treat. Personally I found them a good small size as it is only me in the house who eats olives. Note each pack is only 50 calories - yay!

Weetabix Additions Coconut & Raisin

I am a cereal-aholic!  I adore it and could live on it to be quite honest, so this was one of the first treats I tried in the box. Normally I eat porridge for breakfast with fresh fruit, and then in the evening if I'm peckish I’ll have a bowl of cereal for supper.  A plain shop branded Weetabix style cereal would be my normal choice, so having this coconut and raisin version to try was great. These Weetabix Additions were just like the usual cereal texture-wise except with coconut & raisin added.

I quite liked these, however I couldn’t really taste the coconut which is one of my favourite flavours.  The little pieces of raisin were ball-like, not sure how they got them that shape but they were the right size to make the whole thing work.  I think their sweetness overpowered the nut.  My hubby didn’t like these much as he felt the raisins were annoyingly hard in amongst the softness of the Weetabix. Overall they are nice, but I think I would prefer to eat something else alongside plain Weetabix if I needed a boost to my regular cereal, as I would prefer to eat fewer calories in the cereal. We love eating cereal from our 1940s Woods Beryl ware bowls from the yay retro! vintage shop, did your family have this tableware? 

August Update! As I've eaten more of these, I like them more and more! 

Ryvita Thins Three Cheese Flatbreads

We don’t really eat bread, so having a new type of crackers in the box was brill - we get through loads of crackers! I never buy Ryvita normally and I didn’t know they made funky ones like this. These are described as a ‘wheat & rye flatbread topped with cheese’ and are a slimline, very crispy, crunchy cracker / biscuits which snaps easily into small mouthfuls so you can dip them into hummus etc.  We had them for lunch with a big salad and a homemade tzatziki (made from cucumber, greek yogurt, onion and dill).

What struck me about them was their low calorie count, especially as they are cheese flavoured.  At just 29 calories each these are fabulous! They are also high in fibre so all good. Unlike other cheese flavoured biscuits or crackers, these are not in any way fatty. They are dry and feel like they are a much healthier treat.

You can really taste the cheese, and the fact that there are 3 separate cheesy flavours in them - how do they do that?! Although it doesn’t list it as an ingredient I felt I could taste a nice blue cheese in there somewhere.   We finished them in 2 days, and I’ve just been out and stocked up on more boxes as they were on offer at Morrisons!

I can imagine if you are on a calorie controlled diet you might crunch on 2-3 of these as a snack, you could break them up into crisp sized pieces to make them last and imagine you were eating crisps!

Frylight Cooking Spray with Avocado Oil

I’ve been using Frylight sprays for cooking since going on a WeightWatchers diet a few years back. Frylight is perfect to lightly fry foods as it is really low in calories, so I was pleased to see a new flavour to me included in the box.  I find you cannot tell that foods have been cooked in healthy sprays like this, other than the fact food tastes cleaner and lighter. When using these healthy oil sprays if the food gets a bit dry whilst cooking you can add some boiling water part way through and let this boil off, this extends the life of the spray without needing to keep spraying all of the time.

I normally use the Sunflower Oil Frylight and have previously also tried the Coconut flavoured one. Frylight is perfect to lightly fry new potatoes to go with a salad. Another great recipe to try this with would be my New Potato and Red Pepper Rissoles, the recipe is here. I've now used this Frylight with the Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Red & White Quinoa below. To be quite honest I cannot tell the difference between this flavour and my usual Sunflower Frylight as I cook spicy foods.

Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Red & White Quinoa

I was pleased this was included in the Degustabox as we eat a lot of pre-prepared microwaveable rice and I wanted to try some new grains for a change. I love microwaveable packs like this as they are quick, clean and you don’t cook too much at once. The exciting thing about this product for me is that I realised you can eat it cold straight out of the packet. The Degustabox came with a Tabbouleh Salad recipe which involved simply opening the pack and mixing it up with herbs, tomatoes, onions and lemon.  

Alternatively it can be used in a hot meal, which I did tonight...I simply fried onions, mushrooms and sweet peppers in the Avocado flavoured Frylight, with some chopped ginger and chilli paste. I added some cooked green beans salt & pepper. I microwaved the Quinoa as per the pack instructions and stirred it into the pan with some lemon juice and served. This made for a quick simple vegetarian supper, full of protein, vitamins and fibre and low in fat.


Our thoughts on the Quinoa was it was quick and easy to prepare. However, as my hubby is not keen on eating the texture of small grains I may not use it for dinner again. I would be happy to, it as it's high protein and low fat. What is surprising is that you can use these Quinoa packs in savoury or sweet dishes. I’ve wanted to try quinoa in place of porridge for ages and may do so with another pack - there's a porridge recipe on the pack for you to follow so that's brilliant!

Rowntrees Randoms 30% Less Sugar

I am the kind of person who will always choose the low cal treat option if I can. If I’m following a recipe and it wants full fat, I’ll add a low fat version, I cook with half spoon sugar and I always use low sugar drinks and squashes. We currently get through boxes and boxes of sugar free sweets, so being able to try 30% Less Sugar Randoms was right up my street.

We’ve had a good old try of these but I have to say although my hubby says he cannot tell the difference between these and regular soft jelly sweets, I definitely could.  I felt that they left a bit of an aftertaste in my mouth which was not very nice - a bit chemically to my taste even though they have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives - it's probably just me!

I think the grandchildren would find them fun as they include lots of random shapes such as Big Ben, retro spaceships, post boxes, racing cars and ice cream cones.

Crafted Mango & Passionfruit Juice Drink

I don’t normally buy fruit juices as they are high in calories and they are generally too acidic for us. My hubby’s favourite fruit is Mango so we cracked this open quite quickly and were really surprised at how nice it was. Both of us found it to be light on our stomachs and really easy to drink. It’s not too sweet and is really treat worthy! I would definitely buy this in future and think it would be ideal on it’s own or mixed with soda water as a Mocktail. There are just 60 cals in a 200ml serving, so this is lower than orange juice, so all good.

Again, I’ve had to borrow a photo of 3 of the Crafted drinks from the Degustabox website as we drank ours too fast to include in this blog post.  I think it’s the ideal drink to pop into some vintage 1960/70s glasses like the ones shown from the yay retro! online vintage shop. - yum!

Maille Dijon Original Mustard

I don’t eat mustard, but hubby does. He had it with Linda McCartney sausages, fresh green beans and button new potatoes and reported it was really delicious and much hotter than he’d imagined. I thought it looked really creamy and smooth and posher than regular mustard. I can see myself using this to spice up my homemade cheese scones which are always nicer with a teaspoon of mustard in them.  Here’s a recent pic of my mustardy cheese scones, complete with vintage kitchenwares from yay retro! of course!!

The Collective Pro-yo High Protein Yoghurts

I got a voucher for these yoghurts which sound really interesting. Being a vegetarian I do look for high protein foods, and the fact these would also be high in vitamin D make them appealing to me. My local supermarket does not sell this item, so I am still on the lookout for them elsewhere to be able to cash in my voucher.

Try Degustabox with yay retro! and get money off your first box!

Degustabox is made for the food lovers who want to be the first to try the latest in food products and adore surprises! There is no long term commitment and you can join in the fun on the Degustabox website, signing up for as many boxes as you wish, then you too will receive a marvellous surprise box of foodie treats!  Use the code WBWEO to get £7 off your first box - you’ll pay just £5.99 instead of £12.99!

Why not pop in to yay retro!'s online vintage shop for a relaxing browse now?

10,000 Likes on the yay retro! Facebook Page today!



Oh my! Just woke up to find I have 10,000 fellow vintage lovers on the yay retro! Facebook page! Thank you so, so very much for coming along on the yay retro! ride with me.

I started the yay retro! online vintage shop in July 2012, so it's taken just over 5 years to get to this point, picking up many friends, likers and regular customers on the way.  What a *HaPpy* journey it has been, I hope that you are, or would like to be part of it too! 

Pop in to the website if you fancy a vintage browse www.yayretro.co.uk

Jane Foster's Colouring Book - A Review

Many years ago I across the wonderful bold, yet minimal screen prints of Jane Foster, and bought several of them for my home. Since then I've gone on to buy more as gifts for friends and a few sneaky extras for myself which now appear in my lounge, dining room and bedroom!  I have also purchased her soft toys and board books as presents for my grandchildren, oh! and a couple of mugs - for me. 

Recently Jane brought out her first Colouring Book which I was very excited about and quickly ordered. Upon receiving it I was literally blown away by it's quality, so thought I would write a review as this is no ordinary colouring book!


Jane Foster's Colouring Book with some of her framed prints in the background....

The book has a chunky square format measuring 20 x 20cm (8" x 8") and has a huge 45+ pages to colour.  The paper is of an exceptionally high art quality, almost card strength with a smooth surface which allows you to use paint, pens or crayons. I bought a new set of Papermate retro styled felt tip pens - a relaunch from the 1970s and a set of new colouring pencils and got stuck in....

With pages that are designed to be removed from the book it makes it easy to colour them in without fear of ruining the pages beneath, and also allows you to turn the page as you work. Cleverly, there is a thick board at the back which you can lean on as you colour in. 

I've found it SO relaxing to colour these beautiful pictures of flowers, birds, fish and more. I can sit and meditate, think or dream, as I play with colour combinations and completely unwind. If you've not coloured in of late (and I haven't), it's something I would very much recommend! It's the perfect excuse for a bit of 'me' time and can be done whilst listening to the radio, to music or while the TV is on.  I even spent some time in the garden at the weekend with this gorgeous book.



Once the pictures are completed I can think of lots of things they could be used for. Why not pop into a frame as I have done below? You could punch little holes into the corners and make a string of square bunting and hang across a wall. Peg the pictures on to ribbon or write a letter on the back and send to a friend. Stick a page onto card and make into a birthday card, or cut the pictures up to make a montage of images of your own.  I would recommend this book to anyone of any age from 3 to 103. I have bought another to give as a gift and can envisage buying more. If you would like to buy one they are in Jane's shop here. Buy now and you'll receive an adorable free print! Mine was the cutest hamster as seen below.


One of the colouring pages in a frame in my home..... A free print with my order

For me Jane's work just zings with happiness and positivity. Here are some more screen prints by Jane Foster in my home, the sausage dog is a new purchase which is in my bedroom and the beautiful bird is above my sewing table. I hope you'll pop over to Jane's shop and buy some goodies of your own :O)



If you fancy a shop at yay retro!'s online vintage shop selling homewares and cookware from the 1940s to 1970s nip in here

yay retro! love Jelly Jam Vintage Bags!!

I am not a lover of handbags, however I do have an absolute addiction to the amazing bags made by Ellie of Jelly Jam Vintage based in Dorset. I have 4 of her vintage fabric bags and am sure to be investing in more of these wonderful creations. They are perfect for use as an everyday handbag, as well as being a handy shopping bag and 'carry all'. Here's a lovely interview with Ellie about her bags, inspiration and life in general!



Ellie tells me she is not a handbag person either, but has many customers like me who buy again and again: "I wouldn't know the difference between a Mulberry and a...um... see I can't even think of another designer bag name. I have a lot of repeat buyers. Believe me you're a mere beginner compared to some. I don't know how many my top customer has, over 30 I should think! I like that I've got to know lots of lovely people who keep coming back for more".

She says: "I have always made stuff since I was a little girl. I learnt from my mum and my grandmother, both of whom always had a project on the go. I remember approaching the local toy shop to sell felt mice and rabbits I'd made when I was about 13. I did quite well! I studied art and design and education when I left school and got into the groove of staying up very late painting and making things. My final art pieces involved textiles on a giant scale".



Based in lovely Dorset, Ellie originally sold vintage items at an antique centre for 16 years, however she gave it up last year to focus on the handmade side of things and to run courses from her workshop at home. Alongside being a busy sewing entrepreneur, Ellie has what she calls a 'proper' job. She teaches in a primary school part time, she loves the balance of a job that really challenges her mentally and emotionally versus the calm of two days a week to create her own things to sell. 

Ellie says that she has a vast collection of vintage fabric and needs to sew and make items to sell so that she can justify buying more lovely fabrics! As well as making beautiful vintage bags, Ellie creates soft furnishings such as cushions, curtains, lampshades and quilts. She says:  "It wasn't a conscious plan to make bags, I used to sell a lot more children's furnishings using vintage nursery fabrics, however trade has gradually shifted to bags. Now they are my main seller with other things such as lampshades and cushions going on in the background. These are more often bespoke pieces for people's homes".



Ellie currently lives in a 1930s house, she loves renovating properties and gets itchy feet once a house is finished. This is the newest house she's lived in and has had quite a lot of work done including moving the kitchen into a bigger room and creating a workshop for me in the old kitchen. The living room was the final room to be finished last month.... she says: "I waved goodbye to the horrible orange pine and marble fireplace and had the chimney breast opened up. There were nice original hearth tiles under the carpet and I sourced a vintage French stove which has been converted to bio ethanol. I've coveted these for years and am absolutely delighted with it. Fabric plays a big part for me when decorating. I'll plan the whole colour scheme around a cushion or a pair of curtains. The living room is where I've used lots of mid century fabrics in my favourite, blues, greens and mustard. They look great together and not too pretty".

Ellie like many of us vintage collectors, has some great collections of vintage home wares:  "I've got a loft full of TG green polka dot china that hasn't been unpacked for 12 years! I have way too much stuff to display everything well. At the moment my kitchen is home to my most treasured collection of Kleen Kitchen Ware. This has been sourced over 20 years although I have probably only bought two pieces in the last six years. I like things that are practical and the social history surrounding them. I wonder whose kitchen they stood in and why anyone would need a 3 pint jar to store their ground almonds. Some jars are redundant these days. I don't know anyone who buys tapioca and sago so I keep other things in those ones. Other collections include old toys, Mobo horses, Magic Roundabout figures, Meakin Rosa china, nursery fabric, colourful shoes, 2cvs....(!)"



I think Ellie's photos are fabulous making the bags a 'must-have' item and encouraging me to buy over and over. 
It's usually Ellie holding the bags in the photos, and occasionally her sixteen year old daughter steps in as a model. Her family are now very well trained in getting the best feet and bag shots! She says: "The sun comes out and I'll shout 'I'm just changing my shoes, can someone take a photo!' If I'm home alone I'll resort to the lovely old wall at the bottom of my garden".

To get the very best photo of her bags, Ellie has been known to take them on holiday or for days out! She's even taken her sewing machine on holiday with her. Recently she made a series of cactus barkcloth bags and wanted to photograph them with the right colour backdrop, so she took them on a day out to the Eden project in Cornwall.... She says: "I only got one or two strange looks but sold all four bags in a flash". She's also been known to take them to the woods, the beach, cafes, or to borrow a nice old car... "Part of the fun is deciding how to style the photos and I know my customers like them".



Ellie says that there are so many favourite items to choose from on the yay retro! online vintage shop, and particularly likes the bold designs on some of the 1960s and 70s children's toys I have for sale. The Galt squirrel puzzle, the lotto games, the sweetie tin are amongst her top picks.... "I'm a sucker for any Fisher Price (oops another collection) and if I didn't already have it would be snapping up the minibus which was a childhood favourite".

Going forwards, Ellie says that Jelly Jam Vintage will see the development of the workshop side of things, which combines her skills of creating and teaching. She offers workshops for small groups on appliqué cushion making and lampshade making with more courses in the pipeline. If you would like to see more of Ellie's work you can find Jelly Jam Vintage on Facebook here and Etsy here.  If you fancy a browse around the yay retro! online vintage shop, pop in here!

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