UK lifestyle and money blog

Victoria Sully Nov 2018 Circle Logo

 

Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog.  I'm Victoria Sully, a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker.  I’m passionate about making money online, saving money, self-employment, healthy living and blogging.  I’m on a personal mission to be healthier and wealthier!  Thank you so much for joining me.


 

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Category: Reviews

  1. A last minute campervan camping trip to Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wales

    Posted on

    Two weekends ago we went on a spur of the moment camping trip to Rhossili Bay which is part of the Welsh coast on the Gower Peninsula.  It was the first time going there and our second trip to the Gower this year.  Earlier this year Ben and I took the camper van for its first ever camping trip to Oxwich Bay.

    My mum had the kids for the night which had already been planned.  She was having them for 24 hours from 3pm Sat to 3pm Sun.  We didn’t originally plan on going away as it didn’t seem long enough to get very far and after writing my winter bucket list blog post I originally wanted to go tubing to tick it off the list!  So we’d planned on going tubing which is only £11 each at the local dry ski slope in Gloucester – somewhere I’ve never been yet.  But that week I was feeling really stressed!  I was getting serious cabin fever with being at home so much!

    A last minute campervan camping trip to Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wale

    A last minute campervan camping trip to Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wale

    For the first time in almost eight years, Ben managed to take some nice photos of me!

    I work at home and I’m at home nearly all the rest of the time as our kids are just 3 and 6, so in bed early and so on.  My day is often school runs, work at home, then home all evening.  I was starting to feel like I’ve just been at home for weeks on end and not done anything else, so needed to get out of here. School, home, gym.  That’s my life and it’s all local to me and I just need to get out and do more things!

    I said to Ben we should maybe go away for the night instead and expected him to say there wasn’t enough time.  He usually classes any drive over one hour as a holiday and doesn’t usually like driving far at all unless it is for a holiday or specific reason.  So I was shocked when he sent me a map image of Rhossili Bay back and said ‘let’s go’.  It was a 2.5 hour drive and we only had 24 hours!  I thought he was joking, but luckily he was being serious so we started searching for a campsite.

    Hillend Campsite review

    A last minute campervan camping trip to Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wale

    Our van is down there in the field!

    We found Hillend Campsite online before we left and it looked perfect.  It was right by the beach and only £16 for a night’s stay as it was October – the last month they are open for the year.  There was also no need to book, just turn up, pitch up and pay when your there.  I loved this flexibility so we didn’t feel tied to go if it was chucking it down with rain!

    Pitching up for us is easy with the van.  We have a Mazda Bongo with pop top roof.  We literally pull up, find a spot and we’re done!  Ha!

    It’s so easy.  We don’t have a converted van as we decided we wanted a larger sleeping area and would just go out for food, buy picnic type food or use Ben’s new camping stove to cook something easy in a pan and we don’t need to take up valuable space in the van for this.  I’d much rather a bigger bed!

    The campsite was ideal.  Super cheap, lots of toilets, hot showers and as it was end of season it was really quiet – perfect!  It was also only a stone’s throw away from the beach. 

    A last minute campervan camping trip to Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wale

    Dinner at Kings Head Inn, Llangennith, Gower

    The setting was great.  It was one mile from a pub called Kings Head Inn which we walked to as soon as we got there.  We arrived at dinner time and are clockwork with our hunger!  I can’t wait too late for food!  They had a delicious vegan chickpea curry so this was perfect.

    We sat outside as the view was lovely.  It wasn’t that warm, but we kept our coats on and the setting was too beautiful not to really.  There was a church opposite and the hills dropped down to the sea.  It was so nice and we really felt like we had got away for a mini holiday!

    The curry was so delicious and huge portions!  I ordered chips on the side as I was starving, but the mains were plenty big enough.

    A last minute campervan camping trip to Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wale

    Rhossili Bay review

    I absolutely love Rhossili Bay.  I felt really emotional when there as it’s the most perfect beach in the UK that I’ve seen so far.  I really want to live by a beach one day and hadn’t seen anything remotely suitable yet, but now I think Rhossili could be a contender.  It is a large sandy beach with pebbles and dunes at the back, as well as gorgeous green hills behind it with plenty of countryside and walks.  The back of the beach is hilly and not built up with residence or for tourism at all.  It still has all its natural beauty.

    At the end of the beach is Worm’s Head.  It’s a tidal island that is accessible at low tide.  It has a really cool natural rock bridge called Devil’s Bridge.  We did walk along the beach for around one hour from the campsite to Worm’s Head in the morning, but we needed to get back home for lunch and to pick up the kids, so didn’t make it all the way across Worm’s Head.  I hope to return one day to see cross over at low tide and walk over Devil’s Bridge.

    A last minute campervan camping trip to Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wale

    It’s a really spectacular place and we sat for a moment at the edge of the low tide crossing part of Worm’s Head to look back over the beach and see the sea all around.  There are lots of rugged rocky cliffs to admire and I enjoy the fresh sea breeze and sound of the gulls.  I could imagine myself living there and walking to that spot with a book on a summer’s day to lie in the sun and read.  Bliss!

    Rather than walk back along the beach, we walked up the hill to the top where there’s a view over the whole peninsula.  I said to Ben there must be something wrong with this place as it’s so ideal – sandy beach ideal for running along in the morning and the kids to play on,  plenty of countryside, not built up, campsites, a couple of pubs and lots of walks… what could be wrong?  It seemed perfect.  On our hour walk back over the hills to the campsite we bumped into some residents and they said it was very calm day.  They told us it’s normally really windy and we’d be battling against the wind to get up that hill and walk across it.  Ah-ha.  It does have a downside, not that I was hoping for one, but it all seemed too perfect a place.  I think we need to go back and see how windy it is!

    A last minute campervan camping trip to Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wels

    Final thoughts

    Even when there Ben questioned why I would not go to the same place twice.  I always say this and it’s because I feel life is short and if I go back somewhere again then that’s a chance of seeing somewhere new that I’ll never get back again.  I want to see and do as much as possible in my life and so I love to explore new places all the time.  That said, I do want to go back to explore the other beaches we didn’t see and to go properly onto Worm’s Head and see Devil’s Bridge.  We also picked up a map for the Gower coastal path so this is something we are both keen to do – walk around the whole Gower over 2-3 days and see everywhere!

    I really enjoyed Rhossili Bay.  It’s a stunning beach with a beautiful natural backdrop, perfect for long walks, beautiful scenery and fresh air.  A true escape from the monotony I was feeling at home!

     A last minute campervan camping trip to Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wale

    Here’s some camping we’ve done without the kids before:

    A Kid Free Camping Trip to the Vale of Glamorgan - A weekend in Wales with camping, beaches and castles 
    A Kid Free Weekend: Hot tub glamping and zip wire fun at Chepstow Quarry

    And with the kids:

    Branscombe Airfield and Campsite review and two day Devon travel diary

    A last minute campervan camping trip to Rhossili Bay in the Gower, Wales

  2. 5 quick, easy and deliciously sweet vegan Nairn’s Oatcakes toppings

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    One thing we always have in our kitchen cupboards are wholesome crackers.  We love all wholegrain versions and often have rice, hemp, quinoa and rye versions at home.  For us they are a cupboard staple to provide us with a quick, easy and healthy snack for the children.  I also use them instead of sandwiches in the children’s lunchboxes with various toppings and also to dunk into bowls of hearty soup!  We do also love oatcakes which we use in the same way, though for some unknown reason I don’t seem to buy them as much, but after making these delicious toppings recently, that will change!

    What are Nairn’s Gluten Free Oatcakes?

    5 quick, easy deliciously sweet vegan Nairn’s Oatcakes toppings

    As we are vegan and I don’t buy anything at home with refined sugar (or many other added sugars) we were sent the Gluten Free Oatcakes and Gluten Free Super Seeded Oatcakes.  Both these varieties are:

    • High fibre
    • Gluten free
    • Vegan
    • No added sugar
    • Wholegrain
    • Simple, natural wholesome ingredients
    • GM free
    • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives

    How can I eat Nairn’s Oatcakes?

    5 quick, easy and deliciously sweet vegan Nairns Oatcakes toppings

    Thanks to Nairn’s Oatcakes for sending me some samples :)

    While I personally think they are yummy on their own, they can be a bit dry to some so they are used as a base or accompaniment to other food.  Here are just some of the ways you can enjoy eating your oatcakes:

    • On the go snack, just as they are
    • Instead of bread with soup
    • Crushed up as the base of a cheesecake
    • With savoury toppings as canapes for a party
    • With sweet toppings as a dessert or to satisfy a sweet craving

    There are probably an infinite number of toppings for Nairn’s Oatcakes and this is my favourite way to eat them.  I’m not a baker and we don’t do big desserts, but often me and the kids do fancy something little and sweet after dinner, so these oatcakes are the perfect solution.  Today I’ll share with you the five toppings I added to our oatcakes. The best thing about these toppings are they are totally pick’n’mix.  It’s a fun idea to pop out a few combinations – a spread and then a sprinkle type topping – and then let the kids create their own topped oatcakes!

    5 deliciously sweet vegan oatcake toppings

    5 quick, easy and deliciously sweet vegan Nairn’s Oatcakes toppings

    Here are the five toppings I created today after lunch.  I tried to eat them all slyly, but Reuben caught me and so I shared them with him.  He enjoyed every single one, so much so that later today after dinner he asked for them again!

    I was able to use all sorts of ingredients that were already in my cupboards.  I went with the idea of one spread type topping and one sprinkle type topping, so I chose ten different ingredients that we already had available.  The best thing is they are so versatile, you really can use anything you have available at home.  There are so many yummy combinations to create!

    Here are the five oatcake toppings I created today:

    1.      Coconut-honey and banana

    This is the first time I tried this coconut nectar which is an alternative to honey.  It is still a type of added sugar to me, so I really limit my intake of such things, but I got it mainly for Ben, the flapjack maker!  It’s yummy and Ben will be impressed as he loves making flapjacks and needs a honey replacement.  Combined with banana it is simply delicious.

    2.      Peanut butter and cacao nibs

    I use 100% nut butter.  Be wary of most mainstream supermarket peanut butters which have tons of added sugar.  Look out for 100% nut alternatives with no other ingredients.  Cacao nibs are amazing!  They are just like chocolate chips, but raw, unrefined, rich in flavour and with no added sugar!

    3.      Wild blueberry jam and coconut flakes

    There are a couple of brands I love that make jam with fruit only and no added refined sugar.  Wild blueberry jam is so delicious and super tasty with coconut flakes.

    4.      Almond cheese spread and hemp seeds

    Almond cheese spread has a subtle sweet almondy taste that is perfect for sweet dishes and not just savoury.  It combines perfectly with hemp seeds to add a little crunch and enrich the creamy flavour.

    5.      Chocolate sauce and raisins

    I use a chocolate sauce that’s made from carob, fruit and 100% natural ingredients with a low GI and no refined sugar like regular chocolate sauces.  I added raisins for a chewy texture.  Yum!

    5 quick easy and deliciously sweet vegan Nairn’s Oatcakes toppings

    All of the toppings were so delicious and my three year old, Reuben, totally agreed.  These don’t contain any refined sugars with the brands I used and also offer some nutrition as well as being a tasty treat.  Cacao nibs and hemp seeds, for example, are superfoods.  These are a much healthier alternative to your traditional desserts.

    Here are all the toppings I used:

     5 quick, easy and deliciously sweet vegan Nairn’s Oatcakes toppings - refin

    5 quick, easy and deliciously sweet vegan Nairn’s Oatcakes toppings (refine

    Will I buy Nairn’s Gluten Free Oatcakes again?

    Absolutely!  We’ve had them before and thanks to Nairn’s for sending me some to remind me of how delicious and versatile they are.  I’m looking forward to creating some savoury toppings for lunchtimes and also the kids’ lunchboxes.  They are a natural, wholegrain alternative to many of the sugar filled biscuits and crackers that line the supermarket shelves today.  Personally, I will always choose brands like Nairn’s that have ranges with no added sugar and natural wholesome ingredients.

     

    More yummy blog posts
    5 Easy and Nutritious Vegan Breakfasts to get 3 of your 5-a-day
    Vinnie’s Eatery Review – Cheltenham’s Vegan Plant Based Restaurant
    Healthy Creamy Chocolate & Cashew Smoothie
    Lean Green Superfood Smoothie Recipe
    Delicious Berry, Banana & Baobab Smoothie

     5 quick, easy and deliciously sweet vegan Nairn’s Oatcakes toppings

  3. How to make money from your phone with the Roamler app

    Posted on

    Welcome to my blog review of Roamler.  Read on to discover how to easily make money from your phone using this smart phone app.  I also have a Roamler invite code for you!

    What is the Roamler app?

    Roamler is a smartphone app which allows users to make money as part of their mobile workforce by carrying out small tasks.  Roamler is available in the UK and many other countries.  These are tasks such as checking stock levels in stores or ensuring a promotion is on display.  There are also mystery shopping style tasks such as pretending to book a holiday in a travel agent, for example.  The tasks really are varied and I’ve completed things such as photographing tomatoes in a supermarket, counting shelf facings of products in beauty stores as well as seeing if a shop assistant tells me about a promotion at a checkout.  Some of the tasks have to be performed in secret and for others you have to introduce yourself to a staff member and even ask them some questions.

    Make money from your phone with Roamler app - logo

    How do I get paid tasks on Roamler?

    After finding a code and signing up, there are a few unpaid tasks that you must complete before gaining access to the paid tasks.  These tasks are really easy and most can be completed at home or in your local area.  They give you a feel for the app and teach you how to use it properly.  Once you have passed the first level of unpaid tasks you will then be able to see paid tasks.  As you climb the levels you will be able to see more paid tasks as well as reserve more of them.

    If you live near a city then you’ll see a lot more tasks.  I live on the outskirts of a city and there are a few tasks in local shops and the one supermarket near me, but nowhere near as many tasks if I head into the city.  To see more tasks you can simply widen your search.

    There are also lots of XP tasks that you can do at home to get extra points to help you climb the levels.

    How do I get a Roamler invite code?

    It’s your lucky day!  Simply use the Roamler invite code LyliaRose to sign up to Roamler today!

    How much does Roamler pay per task?

    Payment varies per task and is anywhere from around £2 to £15 depending on the task, deadline and work involved.  Tasks are usually approved within a few hours and the payment then shows in your balance.

    How do I get paid by Roamler?

    Roamler will pay you directly to your PayPal account.  You can cash out at any point, however there is a small fee if your balance is £20 or less.  If your balance is £20.01 or more then you can cash out with no fees.

    Make money from your phone with Roamler app

    Image

    Pros

    • Can cash out instantly (there’s a small fee if cashing out £20 or less)
    • Ability to reserve tasks so they don’t disappear
    • Easy to use app
    • Tasks and instructions are easy to follow
    • Easy to make extra money when doing your regular supermarket shop
    • Some tasks are really quick and easy
    • No expectations so you can pick and choose how many tasks you do each month
    • Many tasks are fun to do and you sometimes get food/drink/shopping paid for

    Cons

    • Need a code/invite to sign up (but I have solved that for you!  Use code LyliaRose to sign up today!)
    • Can’t sign up if there are already enough Roamlers in your area
    • Some tasks require an awful lot of photos and it’s hard to do it slyly.  Make sure you are ready with an excuse for why you are taking photos if the task says you cannot introduce yourself.

    Will it make me rich?

    I can’t see that it would ever make a full time income, but it’s a nice side hustle.  In my best and most active month I made £200.  This involved me checking the app every day and I spent one whole day driving around to do tasks.  Obviously as I drove around it would alert me of more tasks as I was suddenly closer to other locations.  If you really need cash then you can certainly use the app and go further afield to find more tasks.  You’ll find more in cities. 

    As a side hustle and to make some extra money whilst you do your regular shops then it’s definitely an app worth having.

     

    Roamler invite code: LyliaRose

    Website: https://www.roamler.com/en/main/join

    Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?hl=en_GB&id=net.roamler

    iPhone: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/roamler/id440588804?mt=8

     

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    Make money from your phone with Roamler app

  4. EasySMX kids headphones review for travel and play

    Posted on

    Whether you love or hate kids using iPads, there’s no denying that they are here to stay.  Sure, kids are using technology from a much younger age nowadays, but it’s a sign of the times and in some ways it’s important they are fluent in their use of these devices.  They are growing up in an age where technology is becoming more important than ever and we depend on it for so much.  Imagine just how much more technology will have evolved by the time our children are adults.  There’s no doubt in my mind that most kids nowadays will need to have skills in technology that is far more advanced than our understanding of it ever has been or will be, by the time they are adults.  I’m sure the future world of jobs will rely heavily on those with the necessary computer skills.

    EasySMX kids headphones review for travel and play boys

    The digital era is also infiltrating schools.  As soon as Bella started school she was assigned homework that required the use of a computer or iPad!  A website/app was to be used to practice maths and another for reading.  Luckily she was already used to using an iPad which helped her quickly get used to using a laptop too.  I heard recently that my old senior school, which I left 15 years ago, is now a technological school where the pupils use iPads in lessons!  No pens and paper, except for exams!  I must admit, even I found that crazy, but it is a sign of the times.  If we want our children to keep up to speed with how things are changing then they do need access to this technology and be competent in using it.

    I also think it’s just the games of today.  When I was younger we were on handheld electronic devices such as the Nintendo Game Boy!  I was never lucky enough to have one, but I remember having a handheld electronic Paperboy game.  I also often played on my SEGA Megadrive or Nintendo console.  My children don’t have these sorts of consoles, but they do have iPads.  We don’t let them have total free access to them just yet as they are only three years old and six years old.  But we do get them out every now and then so they can play their games.  They are also so useful to keep them entertained on long journeys or when they’d be bored and need to sit still – for example, when Reuben age three has to accompany me to Bella’s swimming lesson and sit nicely by the edge of the pool!  I’d be chasing him all over the place and hushing at him if it weren’t for the iPad!

    So yes, we use iPads and I think they are great.  I don’t agree for children to be on them ALL the time, but as part of a balanced lifestyle as with anything.  A good mix of indoor, outdoor and electronic play.  The best of all worlds.  Plus, they really are a lifesaver when travelling aren’t they?!

    Related - Try two of these kids craft subscription boxes for free

    Earlier this year we went on our first family package holiday abroad to Fuerteventura.  I’m not usually one for buying anything at the airport, but Ben fancied a look in the electronics shop and I spied some headphones for the kids.  I realised these would be amazing on the plane and we bought them a pair each.  They were the best thing we bought the kids for travelling as they were able to have the sound on their devices without disturbing other passengers and were totally entertained for the four hour flight.

    EasySMX comfortable kids headphones review

    EasySMX kids headphones review for travel and play

    I was recently contacted to see if we wanted to try the EasySMX comfortable kids headphones and I knew the kids would be ecstatic!  I didn’t tell them about them and just left them on the table one day for their return from school.  As I imagined they both were so excited as soon as they saw them with Bella exclaiming ‘Mummy I love them!  I love the hearts!  They’re pink, look Mummy!’  For first impressions and the look of them, they score a big tick!

    Of course, the children immediately wanted their iPads to test them out and they were more than happy with the sound quality. 

    ‘Kids, do you like your new headphones, are they good?’

    A resounding ‘YES!’ from both the kids with big smiles!

    These headphones are definitely a hit in our home and the kids are super impressed.  They also have some great features that us parents will appreciate: ­­

    • The volume is limited at 80-85dB so the kids can’t turn them up too loud and damage their ears.
    • The ear pads can be removed for cleaning if they get mucky.
    • The headband is adjustable to grow with your child and fit different ages.  They are a great fit both on my three year old and six year old.
    • They have super soft and squidgy cushioning on the ear pads for ultimate comfort.
    • There’s an 18 month warranty for extra peace of mind.
    • Great value at only £14.99 to £15.99 per pair as I type this.
    • Lightweight design means they are not bulky or uncomfortable when wearing.
    • The headband twists so is hard for children to snap or break.
    • Best of all, they will keep the kids entertained and quiet if you need them to be!

    Overall I think these are a great pair of headphones for children with responsible features such as volume limiting and the ability to twist the headphone band without breaking it.  They seem robust, but also comfortable to wear.  At less than £20 a pair they are great value too.  The kids love them!

    They are currently available on Amazon by clicking here.

     

    Related

    A list of 50 free and cheap things to do in the summer holidays with kids
    9 Free Things to do in Gloucestershire (with kids)
    Peppa Pig World Review 2017 (and where to stay for under £100 for 2 nights)
    My Very Honest CBeebies Land Hotel Review
    We The Curious | Bristol Science Museum Review

    EasySMX kids headphones review for travel and play

  5. Win the whole cost of your online shop with cashback site Boom25

    Posted on

    If you know me or read my blog then you’ll know I’m an advocate for cashback sites.  Getting cashback on purchases that you are going to make anyway is simply a no-brainer.  Those who don’t use cashback sites are simply throwing free money away!  In over two years we’ve made over £800 from cashback, but what if we could make even more?  There’s a cashback website called Boom25 and they do things a little differently.  In this blog post I am going to share with you how you can potentially win back the full cost of your online shop with Boom25 cashback

    Win the whole cost of your online shop with cashback site Boom25

    Image

    Boom25 is a cashback site with a difference.  If you place your online shopping orders through them then you have a 1 in 25 chance of winning all your money back on your purchase!  This is in stark contrast to some other cashback sites that only offer a percentage worth a few pence on some cashback offers.  Looking today, they also have plenty of special offers which they call 'Hot Deals' with various retailers where your odds of winning are even higher, such as 1 in 8.  A major benefit also being that I can see some retailers on Boom25 that don’t offer cashback on the regular sites, so this is a great reason to get signed up today!

    Boom25 – a different kind of cashback site

    If you’re sick of only receiving pence from other cashback sites and enjoy a bit of fun, at no extra cost to you, then simply shop through Boom25 links for a chance to win cashback of your full order amount.  It’s so simple and after reading some online forums of customers who have been at it for ages, I can see that they regularly win the cashback and many claim they win so much more than when using other sites.

    At the time of writing this they have 871 retailers, have paid out £590,060 in winnings with the largest win being £4,225 and they have 200,260 members.  200,261 now as I’ve just signed up and can’t wait to get winning.  As a bonus for signing up, you’ll have 50p added to your account straight away. 

    Boom25 – a different kind of cashback website

    It’s quick, easy and free to sign up.  Then just remember to shop through their links when making your online purchases.  By clicking via their links you’ll be automatically entered with a chance of winning the full cashback amount as soon as you make your purchase.  Winnings are paid out to every 25th shopper, or more if in Hot Deals, and then if you’re a winner you’ll receive an email and cash will be sent via PayPal.  Simples.

    Boom25 aims to be a less boring cashback site and add the thrill back into earning cashback for online shopping.  I certainly think they have achieved this with their exciting platform. 

    They say ‘Every 25th shopper – BOOM! – free money. Sounds like fun? Imagine you just got a £1400 for a hotel stay in Paris or a £400 refund for a new smartphone! Boom25 provides the highest likelihood of earning cash back when you shop online. Why not give it a shot?’

    As an added bonus you can earn £3 for each friend you refer!  You have nothing to lose, but lots of money to potentially gain. 

    Click here to sign up: https://boom25.com

     

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    Win the whole cost of your online shop with cashback site Boom25