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Being a Brand Ambassador

Lots of you who read this will have probably seen a link on my social media. Some may understand the world of being a ‘blogger’ , ‘influencer’, or ‘brand ambassador ‘. Some of you may be intrigued – I get messages from people asking me how to become one. My response is always the same. Work hard, be prepared to spend up to and sometimes over 12 hours a day to build good relationships and be courteous, kind, respectful and patient.
My post though is not really about how to build your ‘visibility’ which makes it more attractive to engagers – it’s about what happens in the day of myself – a brand ambassador, I will call it ‘blogger’ as it’s quicker to type lol.

My life as a blogger started with my weightloss journey. My venture into Slimming World was the best thing I have done for myself in years . I have to thank Slimming World for giving me confidence, health and helping me regain self esteem. It began sharing ideas in group, sharing recipes and new products. People started to look to me in group for inspiration which was unbelievable to me and I became a very active member on their Facebook page sharing anything I could find and cook to inspire. I was voted Woman of the Year 2016 and it truly was one of my happiest days!

That’s where my life as a blogger started as I decided to be more active with my social media sharing to a larger audience.

My typical day starts as soon as I open my eyes! I reach for my phone, check to see if any of my followers or friends have sent me late messages – I always respond there and then. The only messages I ignore are the spoof accounts!
So once I have replied to any messages I quickly scroll through my feed to see what people have been up. Unfortunately with some platforms if you like too many it’s seen as spam so I am only able to ‘like’ a few. If you don’t get a like off me, it’s not because I don’t want to, it’s because we are restricted and I also follow over 4000 people so it’s impossible to like them all. I get inspiration from everyone though. Posts jump out, meals inspire me and your stories are so motivational. The most important aspect about my Instagram account are my followers – not the products I receive – I always respond to messages throughout the day as soon as I can and love getting them and being in touch with such kind genuine people. We are all wanting to be healthier, slimmer and fitter – That is the foundation of my life as a blogger.
Once I can part myself from my social media and have responded to all messages I get up and have my coffee. My phone is on charge ready to take breakfast pics. I photograph, eat and post my pics at the same time. Many a meal goes cold lol!
I tag in any suppliers on my pics and use lots of hashtags which I key in manually. I don’t use any automated system . When I post I am posting live.

Once breakfast is over I shower, get dressed and do my makeup and think of any stories I can do. I love talking to you all and the messages I get in return which need responding to I can’t ignore them!

For those who are not so familiar with my lifestyle we live on beautiful big boat. This needs taking and filling up with water, emptying out, filling with diesel etc – probably 3 times a week. We have to watch the weather – it gets difficult if it’s windy and in winter, but we get to enjoy the summer days ‘al fresco’ We fit this into our days which takes a couple of hours or so and keeps Ken busy and happy. I quite often in the midst of a blog have to quickly put my coat on and help Ken manoeuvre the boat. Especially if the weather is bad!
Around lunchtime I get the post.
If I am lucky enough to have received a delivery it gets opened and I plan my day around that.

I like to do my reviews as soon as possible but sometimes have to schedule them as I don’t like bombarding you with too much at once but have to balance that with the expectations from suppliers.
I always treat suppliers and their products with respect – If I am not keen on something I have contacted suppliers and explained to them why and I don’t post. I don’t really want something on my feed I don’t like anyway as I like to have a positive feed and don’t want to spread negativity. We all need more positivity in our lives but it’s got to be honest too!

So on the days I have received a delivery I read up about it. Take photos, experience it and review honestly. I then post.
Once this is done I check messages again, check feeds – I have Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and then plan lunch if I haven’t already squeezed it in between all of the above! I photograph again, post, check messages, check my feed.
It all settles down around mid afternoon and I get some quiet time before planning and cooking tea, taking photos, posting, watching tv with one eye and responding to messages and checking feeds.

It all sounds a bit laborious but I love it!
Ken my partner is very patient with me and acknowledges this has to be done lol!
We only watch a couple of hours tv so my social media gets priority again! And so it goes on until bedtime!
Don’t get me wrong I do have free time to spend with family and friends and I love to have a bit of pampering now and then. I am semi retired now but work 1-2 days a week as I am not at retirement age yet! – my days are full and happy! I wouldn’t change it. We are lucky enough to get to try new and exciting (and some not so exciting) products and my mission is to share these with you. I love new ideas for foods, recipes, gifts, gadgets, and the occasional luxury! My friends and family get first hand experience of these as I am a sharing type of person!

Some may see bloggers as ‘freeloaders’ but we actually work hard to do what we love to do, which in monetary value equates to way below the minimum wage! Although we are privileged enough to receive sample products from suppliers purely for review we never take this for granted. It is a job/ hobby/vocation. The products we receive from suppliers are either gifted or discounted and if we are passionate about something you will know about it!
I don’t always post about products I have been sent and quite often write about products I have purchased or things I have seen when out and about. It’s about sharing after all ! I sometimes receive products on a regular basis, build good relationships with suppliers and often do work for them behind the scenes.

They may ask for my help in creating recipes which I plan and write up for them to publish or are looking at development and ask for my input.

My foundation for all of the above is searching for a healthier,
more confident and a happier me. My Slimming World group enabled me to move on from the rut I was in and give me a focus for the future, inspired by encouragement from the same people and I will be forever grateful for that.

I love creating new recipes and sharing them and spend as much time making stuff as I can. I sometimes end up with too much because the cooking bug got a hold of me – I should open a cafe lol!

Life is importantly about balance, I now look towards a healthy lifestyle with a bit of indulgence and luxury but continue to share what I experience with you guys – my extended support group. Thankyou for being there and listening to my ramblings, for putting up with my posts if it’s not your ‘cup of tea’, for ‘liking’ my meals when it’s not something you would have and for watching my insta stories and sending me lovely messages which I am always telling Ken about. Keep in touch

Love Debsx

Food · Health · Low Carb · Recipes · Slimmingworld · Snacks · Weightwatchers

Quick Salmon Pate

Sometimes we just need something for a sandwich or wrap. Something quick, not too messy and Syn free. This is a quick easy recipe ready in 5 mins

Ingredients
1 medium tin pink salmon drained
1 rounded tbsp 0% fat Greek yoghurt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tomato puree
Pinch of dried tarragon
2 tsp sweetener (optional)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste and serve

Food · Gluten free · Health · Low Carb · Recipes · Slimmingworld · Weightwatchers

Keema Lo-Dough Paratha

OMG I am so in love with this!!

All my recipes start with an idea I can taste, this is truly perfect – just how I hoped it would be! It's so simple, very quick and easy to make and the taste is so lovely!

To make each Keema Lo-Dough Paratha you will need 2 pieces of Lo-Dough to 125gms less than 5% mince

** Pre heat oven to gas 6, electric oven 200 degrees or 180 degrees if fan oven

Ingredients

  • 2 Lo-Dough wraps
  • 125gms less than 5% fat beef mince
  • 2 tbsp Katsu curry paste (I get mine from Tesco) 1 syn per tbsp
  • Butter frylight
  • Garlic frylight
  • 2 tsp Dried coriander leaf
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper

Method

Mix mince and curry paste together.
Dampen edges of both pieces of Lo-Dough on one side.
Place one piece of Lo-Dough onto a piece of kitchen foil large enough to fold over and overlap.
Spread mixture on top of bottom piece of Lo-Dough on foil evenly to 1cm from edge
Place the other piece of Lo-Dough on top and keep pressing the edges together until they stick. Crimp with a fork round the edges
Spray top with garlic frylight – apx 6 sprays.
Season with fresh ground salt and pepper
Spray generously with butter frylight until damp and even all over. Sprinkle with dried coriander.
Fold foil over and seal edges. Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for apx 30- 35 mins. Do not open foil in between cooking or it will dry out . Serving suggestion – with a curry as a side dish or with a splash of Crucials Curry Sauce or mango chutney as a dip. Buy Lo-Dough here

Aromatherapy · Chocolate · Food · Gifts · Health · Oils · Recipes · Snacks

Holistic, Fantastic Indigo Herbs!

Indigo Herbs have a fantastic range of Botanicals, Gift Sets, Free from, herbal teas, superfoods and much much more! From salad toppers to tinctures they have a wealth of knowledge and many products are listed with guidance.
I am lucky enough to get to review One of their Botanicals range – a lovely oil which contains bergamot, lavender, geranium, and fennel in a dilution of sweet allmond oil and peach oil. Emotional balance is calming, relaxing and helps to ease the mind. I massage this oil into my skin before bedtime. They do say you are drawn to oils that you need and I was drawn to this and love the aroma! Emotional Balance Aromatherapy Massage Oil

A good aromatherapy oil can be quite expensive but at £6.99 for this 100ml bottle i think it's well worth trying. Indigo Herbs have a great range of oils labelled under their Indigo Botanicals range and for those who are going through challenges, emotional upsets, sleep disturbances struggling to concentrate or simply relax they have a great selection which can be seen here

Ingido Herbs also have a great range of 'make it yourself kits, perfect for gifts or for just simply treating yourself. I have the Indigo Chocolate Making Kit – link here It includes everything you need to make your own chocolates for £19.99. It contains pure botanical ingredients with nothing added
Ken and I had a great time making these chocolates which was easy and fun
We thoroughly love these chocolates which aren't too sweet, deliciously nutty and like a firmer ganache. We added the Brazil Nuts which were included in the pack but omitted the Goji Berries as Ken wasn't so keen. You could add your own slant to these lovely treats to make your own little sumptuous bespoke chocolates


Next time we try them we may use a bit of imagination and add some cherries!

Food · Health · Low Carb · Recipes · Slimmingworld

Lo-Dough – Just take a moment…..

To appreciate this amazing Lo-Dough Pizza!
Few words needed to tell you how good it was and how much of a game changer Lo-Dough really is. Pile them high and enjoy without the guilt! Just 39 calories for the base!

Tuna Mediterranean Lo-Dough Pizza with Olives

  • Lo-Dough wrap
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree or passata
  • 1/2 a Pepper of any colour sliced or chopped
  • 1 small sliced or chopped red onion
  • 1 small tin tuna drained
  • 12 pitted olives – black or green sliced
  • Dried or fresh basil
  • Cheese – you select the amount of cheese and which cheese depending on your diet
  • Dried or fresh oregano
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Garlic oil

Method

Spread base with pasatta or puree if you don’t have any and add a sprinkle of Basil.

Add chopped peppers and red onion slices

Top with tuna
Scatter olives

Top with cheese, more red onion, a sprinkle of oregano, sliced cherry tomatoes and a few sprays of garlic oil

You can make yours with low fat cheese and use garlic frylight for a healthy version like mine. Bake in a medium oven until cheese is bubbling and turning golden

Food · Food hampers · Hampers · Health · Low Carb · Recipes · Snacks

Cauliflower ‘Fish’

I have adapted this recipe from one I found in a magazine – served with homemade Slimming World Chips and homemade Tartar Sauce it's a really diet friendly meal. I can't remember the name of the magazine so I am unable to give them credit – I tore the recipe pages out a few days ago and made a couple of slight tweaks to make it lower in fat and carbs. If you are on Slimming World it works out at 6.5 syns for the whole recipe at the time of posting and it's bursting with speed food! Please check syn values as they can vary.

Prep – apx 30 mins
Cooking time – apx 30-40 mins
Ingredients

  • Frylight
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 leek, trimmed and chopped finely
  • 2 fat garlic cloves peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 medium cauliflower made into cauli rice
  • 1 grated Courgette with liquid squeezed out
  • 3 large free range eggs beaten well
  • 40 gms coconut flour
  • 150 gms fat free cottage cheese
  • Zest of an unwaxed lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method
Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Pre heat oven to gas 7
Spray a non stick frying pan with frylight and add leek, onion and garlic. Fry on a low to medium heat until softened
Mix together with remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Use a heaped tablespoon per 'fish' and shape in your hands into fish shapes and arrange on the trays.
Spray generously with frylight and bake in the oven until golden brown.

Serve with Tartare sauce. The original recipe gave instructions for making your own and although I did – tweaked slightly for convenience I wasn't keen when I tried it at first but when I tried it with the 'fish' it remarkably works, here is what I used
Makes 16 – apx 4 servings if used as a meal

Tartare Sauce
Prep time – 10 mins
Ingredients
2 tbsp capers drained
1 tablespoon dried parsley
300ml fat free greek yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh ground Salt and pepper

Method
Finely chop capers – I used a mini chopper. Add remaining ingredients into a bowl. Mix thoroughly and season with salt pepper

Food · Health · Recipes · Slimmingworld · Weightwatchers

Spanish Omelette

This is a recipe I saw online and adapted to reduce the amount of fat used. This makes it very Slimming World friendly – Syn free using your hexa and apx 5 Smartpoints on Weightwatchers. Serves 4 generously!

4 large eggs
3 medium to large potatoes peeled and diced very small
1 medium onion chopped
8 slices reduced fat cheese slices (160gm)
6 slices wafer thin honey roast ham
Frylight

Sautee potato and onion until potato softening in a non stick omelette pan sprayed with frylight. Mash very roughly with a fork. Cook for a further 5 mins. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in eggs. Mix thoroughly and add salt and pepper to taste. Spray pan again and add one third or slightly more of the mix back to the pan – enough to cover the pan. Spread evenly and spread four cheese slices over the top. Add the ham and the remaining cheese over the top of the ham. Pour over the remaining mix and cook on a low heat for apx 5-10 mins being careful not to burn. Place pan under grill keeping the handle away from the heat until the top had set. Place plate over the top and flip the pan. Slide the omelette back into the pan and cook for a further 5 mins. Slide out of pan and serve