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.
I’ve just made myself the best green superfood smoothie I’ve ever tasted! I’ve really got into eating juicy ripe pears daily recently and buy some of the ‘posher’ ones from the supermarket as they taste so good. They make this superfood green smoothie taste amazing. Using pear means you can stick with the green vibe, but the delicious sweet pear taste will distract your taste buds from the otherwise grassy flavours of many green superfood powders – making this drink perfect for green smoothie beginners.
Green Smoothie Blender Recipe
1.5 Pears (me and Reuben polished off the other half!)
1 tablespoon Focus Supplements Lean Green Superfood Mix
I was inspired to make this delicious green drink thanks to Focus Supplements. I was able to choose an item of choice for review and the Lean Green Superfood Mix instantly stood out to me. It’s packed full of not one, but TEN amazing nutritious ingredients. It’s the ideal powder to pack a whole range of quality superfoods and their benefits easily into a drink.
My husband Ben regularly makes green juices so I’m going to make him one of these smoothies and see what he thinks. I’m pretty sure it will win hands down! Even if not, I’ll get him to blend a spoonful into his juices to really boost their nutritional value.
The best thing about a superfood mix is the convenience. I’m often adding a whole range of powders into my smoothie potions and it can be quite time consuming opening all my Kilner jars to grab a scoop of each! Having a whole range of them in one handy pouch makes things a lot easier (and quicker so you can enjoy the deliciousness without a wait!)
What’s in the Lean Green Superfood Mix? Here goes… Avocado, Broccoli, Barley Grass, Blackcurrant, Carrot, Kale, Oat Fibre, Spinach, Spirulina and Water Cress… phew! Doesn’t it sound delicious and all the cells in your body start yelling ‘give me some’ when you read that list?!
To round up, here are some of the best benefits of these ingredients:
Oh yes! We did it! Thanks to my new job we can afford our very first summer holiday. I am so pleased. It’s exactly what we all need. It’s been a very crappy start to the year (as I explain here) and a holiday is long overdue. I’m so excited it will be our very first family holiday, the four of us!
As much as I’d love to go abroad for more guaranteed sunshine, stunning coastlines and turquoise seas, the finances were not entirely on our side for my dream destinations and I talked myself out of taking two such young children abroad! I’m sure it may be perfectly fine, but I could only convince myself of the disaster it may be!
A more comfortable and familiar holiday it will be, exploring the wonderful Cornish county. Yep, we’re off to Cornwall!
I somehow managed to find an available 3 bed self-catering cottage for 7 nights which was a third of the price of a Centre Parks holiday! We did take a peek at Centre Parks and even Haven, but they were way out of our budget. We’ve found a lovely holiday village in the north of Cornwall with soft play, parks, an indoor swimming pool, outdoor swimming pool, shop, restaurant and even summer holiday entertainment. There are even three pubs less than one mile away who serve food.
The property has three bedrooms, a bathroom, extra toilet and open plan kitchen/living/dining area. There’s outdoor seating where me and Ben can relax once the children are in bed and if raining a TV with Sky. It sounds absolutely ideal for our first family holiday, as well as very convenient with a four year old and one year old. We hope to explore Cornwall in some beautiful sunshine (fingers crossed), but even if the weather is not on our side and also before/after outings there will be plenty for us to do in the holiday village with the children.
I had sort of been dreaming of glamping in a Moroccan themed yurt. It seems a very romantic idea, but I think better for me and Ben on our own. I found a really beautiful one. The only downsides being it had a composting toilet few hundred yards away and no electricity. With two very young children and potentially a week of rain I think we would have had a miserable time! I’m still intrigued by the idea, but think it will be a better option for me and Ben to go by ourselves or an idea for when the children are older and more independent.
Our plans so far for our Cornish adventure include visiting family friends in Port Holland, a day trip to Perranporth (a bench in memory of Ben’s grandparents overlooks the beach), possibly a day out to the Eden Project, maybe a trip to a zoo or a nearby donkey sanctuary and exploring lots of beaches. As well as plenty of relaxing, good food, treat food and cosy nights me and Ben without my head permanently attached to a laptop or mobile telephone! Bliss!
The ancient history of the Mediterranean is so rich in cultural diversity and folklore that it continues to attract countless tourists worldwide- as it did for over 5000 years since it became the principal centre of maritime activity and the repository of the richest collection of archaeological, artistic, and natural treasures in the world. The list of places to visit is so extensive that it would take books to discover the entire history and strategic historical importance of places like Greece (and surrounding islands), Italy, Spain, France and many others.
The southern Italian island of Sicily is without a doubt on top of the list; as the most ancient and largest island in the Mediterranean it has been a hotbed of cross-cultural activity since Greco-Roman times and up until the later Renaissance period, reason why it has been termed ‘the Jewel of the Mediterranean’ and also the ‘Gateway to the Mediterranean’ throughout the millennia by the various civilizations that settled there or occupied the island. We can count the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Spanish, Normans and North Africans among the many influences that shaped its cultural and historical legacy and which is reflected in the way of life of Sicilians and the local traditions around the island.
Regarding the accommodation, you could stay in one of the many villas in Sicily that can be rented directly from local owners like Villa Rosa dei Venti (6 sleeps, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, private pool and large garden perched above Castellammare del Golfo near Scopello, at a price of E150 X night) . You will be able to experience all the ancient folkore and heritage of this unique melting pot that still lives on in the festivals and traditions held in the local towns and in the Aeolian and Egadi archipelagos.
The pristine and crystal blue waters of the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts provide the best experience for beach lovers and Sicily has the best beaches in Europe. San Vito lo Capo in the North West, the Isola Bella by Taormina in the North East, the Agrigento coast in the West, the Greek heritage of Syracuse in the South East and its many UNESCO World Heritage Sites (which also include the exotic protected natural parks of Mt. Etna, Vendicari, Nebrodi and the Madonie, the Zingaro nature reserve, as well as the Greco-Roman monuments and Temples of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Segesta and Taormina and the Byzantine Norman/Gothic and Arabic Cathedrals that dot the island) are only some of the numerous reasons why Sicily is the centre of the Mediterranean par excellence and in every aspect.
The lovely beach-lines of Majorca in Spain has lured countless artists and writers like Chopin, Agatha Christie, and Joan Mirò due to its fascinating Mediterranean panorama and year-round temperate climate, not forgetting its uncontaminated natural habitats which include the Serra de Tramuntana, the beaches of Muro, Alcudia and Pollenca, the Natural Park of Mondrago, the Caves of Drach and Arta, and many more. Ideal for nature lovers and water-based activities like scuba diving and boating, it is also filled with many contemporary art and archaeological museums (Le Seu Cathedral, Castell de Bellver, Can Prunera Museum of Modernism, Museu Arqueologic de Son Fornes).
As for Greece there is no need to mention its ancient heritage dating back to the time of Troy. Navagio Beach in Zakynthos is renowned as one of the most popular beaches in the world- comparable perhaps only to the splendour of the beaches in Sicily. You can relax in the warm waters of the coast and admire its picturesque setting of colourful reefs, cliffs, secluded bays and cobalt blue waters. The Melissani Cave in Kefalonia is another natural wonder that is absolutely breath-taking, with its natural sedimentary formations that give it its unique magical character, and its surrounding forest above, it is one of the most incredible sights for boating excursions and a diving experience that is truly mythological and mystical in every way.
You can also make your way to Croatia, renowned for some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. The town of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site also admired for its rich cultural and historical legacy dating to the Middle Ages and carried into popularity during the 13th and 14th Century. Despite the extensive damages resulting from the Serbo-Bosnian War, it also ranks as one of the top ten best preserved medieval walled cities in the globe. Visit the Franciscan Monastery and its Old Pharmacy Museum erected in the 14th Century- one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe- where you can learn about the ancient herbal and medicinal recipes, or go kayaking around this small island to take a coastal tour of the old town and its majestic walls.
Thirst quenching fruity apple, kiwi and raspberry water
I can’t really remember when I stopped drinking squash, but it was a long time ago. I think I remember last drinking it when me and Ben lived in our old house, so perhaps three or four years ago. I’ve always been a fan of water anyway so never felt the need to always flavour my water. I also read something interesting which said water is the only drink to hydrate you immediately as you have to digest anything else. This always sticks in my mind when I’m thirsty.
I also stopped drinking it because of the horrific sweetener aspartame. I did hear aspartame had been banned in America, but I can’t find if this is true. It’s definitely banned in some countries in children’s food though, which makes it alarming it’s still accepted in other food in the UK. It causes the most awful things to happen to the human body. There’s an excellent vide on YouTube (click here) which explains it really well.
This terrible ingredient is in lots of squash drinks, diet fizzy drinks, chewing gum and more. The potential side effects short term and risks with a build-up of this awful poison are horrendous and it is definitely worth avoiding. A friend of ours suffered with terrible headaches and said once they cut our squash (which they regularly drank) the headaches quickly disappeared!
The perfect alternative to squash recipe
I’m quite happy mostly drinking water, but just the other day I was strangely craving a juicy drink! I never usually have such a craving, but a squash would have hit the spot perfectly. We have none in the house and even if we did, I wouldn’t drink it. I then had a perfect idea.
I had a packet of Indigo Herbs Super Vital Mix in the cupboard (a blend of baobab, acai and beetroot powders) and Nutriseed Raspberry Powder (yum). I blended a heaped teaspoon of each with one sliced apple, a peeled kiwi and 250(ish)ml water in my small Nutri Ninja cup. The result was a delicious, nutritious, healthy drink! The perfect natural alternative to squash should you crave a squash like drink, but want to avoid the terrible ingredients in store bought squash!
You’re going to think I’ve been paid to write this article, well I will get a little commission if you sign up from my link, but I genuinely can’t believe I’ve never used this cashback site before. Once you see how amazing it is you’ll be giving a link to all your friends and family too. I think mine are going to be pretty sick of me banging on at them about this site soon! I’ve recently signed up and I’m super excited.
Our home insurance renewal came through around three or four weeks ago and it had gone up quite a bit. I always assume insurance will go down every year, especially if you don’t make a claim, but Ben tells me they put it up in the hope you’ll automatically renew with the same company and not bother with the hassle of looking around for a better deal. Cheeky isn’t it!
We’re not loaded, saving even £20 or £30 would be helpful, so out came the laptop and several open tabs with all the well-known comparison sites. We stumbled across an article about how to pick the best home insurance which had a video by that Martin guy (money saving expert, I’m sure you know the one), so we watched it. I was super intrigued as he said the best deal he’s ever heard of following his advice was someone being paid £40 to take out some home insurance! His quote was £60 and he applied through a cashback site offering £100 cashback for the type of policy he’d signed up for. I normally wouldn’t believe things like this, but this Martin Lewis guy is very trustworthy so I wanted to know more.
I think the reason I’ve always usually ignored adverts for cashback sites is because I thought there must be a catch or upfront fee. I was so surprised you can just sign up for Top Cashback for free and start earning on your purchases. They do have a higher membership where they take £5 of your cashback for the year, but you’ll probably earn that back as they give you higher cashback rates all year for this membership. There’s also a totally free option, so you have nothing to lose, but lots of pennies to gain!
We did a normal comparison site for home insurance and discovered which was the cheapest. Ben then signed up for Top Cashback and we searched to see if the same insurance company offered cashback and to our surprise they did! £75 cashback! To get the cashback we just had to click the link to the insurance via Top Cashback and enter all our details again. You have to click the link via Top Cashback so the order can be tracked to ensure the cashback is received. Our insurance quote was £150 and we will get half back (it takes a few months for some cashback to come through, but it’s still totally worth it and will be a great way to save too!).
I then noticed £7.50 was offered if you refer a friend and the friend earns at least £10 cashback in their account. I told Ben to recommend me and I signed up straight away. I wondered what sites I could save cashback on and I’m shocked we can save on literally EVERYTHING we already buy!
There are thousands of online retailers, even eBay, loads of high street names (e.g. Next, BooHoo, ASOS, New Look), grocery shopping, takeaways (e.g. Dominos, Just Eat), hotels, Groupon, flights, basically anything you’d ever normally purchase online should be checked through Top Cashback to see if you can get some of your money back!
My phone contract ends in May and I’d already found a Tesco Mobile deal I wanted. I searched to see if they offered cashback and couldn’t believe they were on there! I signed up for the deal through the cashback site and got £32 cashback. I’m so amazed (as you can probably tell) and this was something I was going to sign up for anyway.
We also visit Ben’s Gran yearly in Germany using Flybe as they’re the only airline to fly from near to us to Hannover. I’ve just searched this morning and we can get cashback on our flights every time as well as our car hire.
I’ve got a bit of cashback from eBay too. You can click their link to shop on eBay and get cashback on everything you buy. We use eBay quite a lot, so this is amazing.
I also got £1.52 cashback for ordering a Graze Box for FREE. You can get a box for free and then cancel your subscription right away if it’s not for you.
The only drawback is to wait a while for the cashback, but I guess this protects the retailers. I also don’t mind waiting as it will be a nice lump sum when it is available to withdraw. I’m already thinking we can save up the extra cash all year and put it towards Christmas. In your account you can see the total ’pending’ balance, so you can still keep an eye on how much cashback you’ve earned. There’s an app too so you can check your account on the go and still buy things through the cashback site on your phone as well as check how much money you have made on the app.
I wish we’d known of this site when we moved home as we spent thousands in B&Q and they offer cashback too!
It amazes me how many people I know who still don’t use cashback sites. It’s basically money back for all the things you already buy! Sign up and always check for cashback at Top Cashback and Quidcofor great discounts at major retailers, airlines, car garages, insurances, holidays and more. Or try your luck at Boom25for a 1 in 25 chance of winning your entire spend back.
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