Posts tagged jacket
I discovered Boursin a short while ago after receiving some to review. This time, to help me in my quest at becoming a bit healthier in my food choices at home, Boursin sent me some of their Garlic and Herbs Light Spreadable to try.
The little pot contains 125 grams of smooth soft spreadable cheese. Naturally the first thing I did was dry some on a lovely oaty cracker…
…absolutely lovely. I wouldn’t normally eat cheese like this on its own on a cracker – I much prefer to add some beetroot or grapes or apple or something like that. It was really nice though; had a good flavour that didn’t linger (often a problem with garlic!) but that was strong enough to warrant trying a couple of recipes.
Both are poor photographs (sorry, we’d eaten our dinner before realising I should have taken another shot!), but I tried this Boursin Light in two week-day evening meals. At the top you have a jacket potato with a creamy cheesy mix of chicken, bacon, pepper and red onion. And underneath you have chicken with Boursin wrapped in bacon and topped with barbecue sauce.
(I feel I should add we ate these with at least a week apart – I don’t have a habit of cooking chicken and bacon together in a meal too close together!)
The Boursin spreadable is lovely to cook with. In the jacket potato mix I simply added it once the other ingredients had cooked and allowed it to melt in the pan to bring everything together. It worked really very well; it added a lovely flavour and a creamy texture that was just ideal to sit on top of a slow baked potato. Using it on the chicken wrapped in bacon was genius as it doesn’t melt too much and so didn’t ooze all over the tray in the oven – you can see it seeping out once the chicken parcel was cut in half, so you get a bit of cheese with every mouthful. In both cases the subtle flavour added something lovely to the meal without overpowering the other ingredients. So good.
I love cheese and I know it’s not very good for me, so choosing this Light option makes sense, especially when it tastes great and works well on its own and in evenings meals.
LincsGeek and I are fairly new to the skiing game. We went on our first ski holiday just three years ago after some ski lessons at snozone. Before that first holiday we kitted ourselves up as cheaply as we could – we wanted good quality at low cost, and so bought coat, pants, gloves, socks and thermals in the sales and at discount stores. Skiing is expensive, and you can spend a fortune on kit if you wanted to. I want to, there is so much fabulous kit about, but can’t warrant it.
So when The North Face offered me one this season’s jackets for our trip to Finland I was delighted. You already know I like The North Face as a brand, I find their clothing fits me nicely and their shoes are comfortable. And I love my down slippers! But they are a technical brand with very high price points.
This is the Honee Snugs Delux Parka, and as soon as I saw it I knew that this was exactly my kind of coat. Just look at the colour for a start, the muted green (Boyce Green) is just lovely, so much better than the (boring) black of my existing ski coat. And it just looks comfortable and warm. I couldn’t wait to try it out.
A military-style parka offering skiers and boarders serious protection from the elements. This longer-length jacket is built with Heatseeker™ synthetic insulation, ensuring a warm ride whatever the weather. An adjustable hem system, adjustable cuffs and powder skirt provide a secure and comfortable fit. When the holiday is over, convert the parka into street wear by removing the powder skirt and unzipping the hood down the centre to reveal long-pile fleece lining. Core zip-vents help to prevent overheating when pounding the hill or park. Chest, hand, wrist and media pockets provide ample storage for all necessities. Created to look effortlessly stylish, The North Face Women’s Honee Snugs Delux Parka is street cool for the mountain and beyond.
I was a little worried about the length – this is a long line ski coat – and as I am short it could have looked silly and restricted my movement. I think you’ll agree though that it looks great on (I hope you agree!) and thanks to the shorter front and longer back I can move my legs about with no trouble at all. Actually that lower bit at the back is genius – it was just right to sit on when I was on chair lifts, which made a big difference to keeping me warm on the way up to the top of the slopes. There was plenty of room under the coat for me to layer up (I had the medium); while this coat has a feminine cut it isn’t tight.
I could tell this coat had been designed for winter sports. The large goggle pocket, the internal phone/mp3 player pocket with hole for the headphone wires, the powder skirt, the sleeve pocket in exactly the right place for your lift pass – all make this coat very useful on the slopes. That sleeve pocket even has a glasses cloth attached, which was a very useful feature, and the long toggles on the zips mean you can use them with gloves on. The two pockets at the front are massive – I could easily fit my wallet and some chocolate in one and my camera in its case in the other – and those little hand warmer pockets half way up were also useful for my poor cold fingers.
All the pockets aside, the whole point of a ski coat is for it to keep you warm and dry. And it did. Thankfully. The insulation did its job and I stayed totally dry for the whole holiday and in all the weather conditions Finland threw at us. The main zip has a flap over the top to stop wind and moisture getting through, and it does right up over your chin which helped keep my neck warm and dry. I think it goes without saying that I wore this coat over the required thermal layers, and needed a neck tube too, but it definitely went a long way to keeping my body warm and comfortable. I was very thankful for such a good quality coat when it was -22 and blowing a gale in the middle of the day. I wonder if the addition of comfort cuffs would have helped keep my hands any warmer – LincsGeek has them on his ski coat and I like the idea, they stop snow going up the sleeves and fit underneath his gloves adding a layer to his wrists.
[I will never make a model, but we had a great laugh taking these photos at the bottom of the Ski Jump in Ruka, Finland... below shows what happens when you run in the snow and it suddenly gets a lot deeper!]
This coat isn’t just for wearing on the slopes. The North Face has designed this for casual wear at home too, and you may have seen me sporting around and about quite a lot since we got home. The powder skirt comes out, the hood zips down the middle leaving it flat on your back, and you are left with a very nice parka style coat for everyday winter wear. The double zip is also very useful when wearing this coat casually – it means you can unzip it a little bit when you’re sat in the car driving.
I think you can tell that I really like this coat. I love the style, I really love the colour, and the fact that it’s great for the slopes and in town is perfect. It also fits well and is flattering – it’s not too bulky. This has become my “go everywhere” jacket, fit for all my winter activities. As for whether it’s worth the £260 price tag to be honest I really don’t know – I am not and probably will never be in the position to spend that much on any item of clothing, and so have nothing to compare it to. I know that with outdoors gear you get what you pay for and it is certainly superior to the ski coat I bought a few years ago, as well as my other winter coat. It has immediately become my coat of choice when heading out in the cold, wet and snow, and I think that is down to the design and quality.
Bloggers have been invited to take part in a competition to win some Surfdome vouchers… well considering Surfdome sell exactly the kind of gear I like to wear it would have been rude not to!
To enter you have to create a wishlist worth £250 and post about it on your blog. Here’s me…
Yes – that’s ‘me’ stood on the mountain in Arinsal, Andorra, enjoying some winter fun. And I can’t wait to get back to the mountains, this time we’re heading to Ruka in Finland where it is supposed to get very (very) cold.
Now the jacket itself in that silly picture above is worth more than £250 on its own so that’s not on my wishlist (well it is, it’s lovely, but not for the purposes of this competition!) – what I’m after is the fabulous lime green ski pants (£62.99) and the yellow and grey Barts beanie hat (£19.99).
Those two items come to £82.98 so I’ve got a little left… so you just have to imagine that under my ski suit I am wearing some cosy Helly Hanson thermal pants (£49.99) and top (£54.99), some The North Face ski socks (£19.99) and that I have some Oakley goggles (£39.99) ready for some downhill action.
All in that comes just over £2 short of my £250 allowance – I’d be rather happy if I could hit the ‘checkout now’ icon and these things were on their way to me. I’m actually way too tempted by those lime green ski pants. Hmmmm.
If you are a blogger feel free to enter this competition – see the Surfdome blog for details. The winner (it’s the taking part that counts of course!) is to be announced on 11th December… do let me know if you enter yourself after reading this post.
There is nothing like getting out and about in the fresh air in the winter time… a brisk walk on a frosty morning is the perfect way to get the blood pumping and an after-dinner walk is a great way to offset some of that over indulgence! But if you are gonna go out at this time of year you need a decent coat…
Land’s End have got a wide range of winter coats, and they asked me if I’d would review on here on Splodz Blogz. After taking some time to browse the range, I chose the Women’s Snow Squall Parka in Dark Pistachio because it fits nicely with my outdoor kind of style and promised to keep me dry.
(Sincere apologies for the state of the model above!!!) I went for the small based on the size description on the website (a UK 10-12) and am happy with the fit. It’s got a bit of room (enough for a fleece layer underneath for very cold days) but isn’t baggy. It has a draw-cord in the waist if you prefer a more feminine shape, but I have left mine with straight sides. It is a long jacket for someone as short as me, maybe just a tad too long I don’t know, but it covers my backside nicely!
The hood is adjustable and is massive – giving full coverage. At this price point I’d probably expect a capped peak on the hood to stop it flopping down and covering your face, but while the material has been doubled over/strengthened it doesn’t do that job very well. I found the hood restricts my visibility unless I hold it up, which is a bit of a pain. Having said that though, it is a decent hood, and is very easy to take off with the popper fastening if you don’t want it on at all.
Apart from that, the attention to detail in this coat is really excellent. The pockets are good sizes, the zips have toggles on so you can open and close them with gloves on, and there is even a little compartment within each main pocket that is designed for hand warmers… very nice touch (must find some hand warmers to go in them – I’m sure I’ve got some at home somewhere!). The coat does up all the way to your chin, and has a storm flap with velcro to keep it shut over the zip. Oh and there’s a really handy zip up pocket on the inside with a hole to poke your earphones through so your iPod doesn’t get the slightest bit damp when you’re out for a walk in the rain.
The colour is fantastic isn’t it? A really good green – and it’s a matt finish, not shiny at all which can happen with waterproof coats. The coat is also available in various other colours which look equally as strong, but I’m glad I went for this one – I’m not telling a lie when I say I’ve had comment after comment on the colour, people really like it.
I’ve been wearing this as my everyday coat for a couple of weeks and I can honestly say it is warm and definitely waterproof! The “windcheck barrier” and sealed seams block out wind and rain very well. I’m not sure about snow yet as we haven’t had any, but I’d happily choose this when it does come (in this country anyway… I’ll stick to my ski jacket for the slopes!).
The best thing about this coat for me is that it’s light and easy to wear. The 100-gram insulation is warm but it’s still a thin coat that will roll up and go in a bag if you need it to (but this is a coat not just a pac-a-mac so it will take up a bit of space). I love the cosy fleece lining on the top half of the inside of the coat, and the fact that the pockets are lined with a similar material makes it nice to put your hands in them.
Oh and this is machine washable – an absolute must for a coat that is designed to encourage you to go outside this winter! I’ve not washed it yet so can’t comment on how well it cleans, or if it remains as waterproof as it is at the moment, but I’m pretty confident it will be fine.
This coat is available from the Land’s End website currently priced at £140. There’s a nice wide range on the site so if you’re wanting a new coat this winter then it’s definitely worth a look.
Don’t panic! Not in England yet! But there is snow in Whistler, and even in Arinsal… the new snow sports season is nearly here.
And of course that means that the new ski wear ranges are hitting the shops – there are some really fab designs about, and despite the fact that my ski stuff is perfectly fine (if not a little boring being all black), I have found myself dreaming of new kit.
Purples, blues and greys seem to be about a lot, and as always there is much in the way of stripes, dots and other patterns.
I think this is my favourite of the moment though. It’s by Eider and the flecks of colour in the herringbone fabric make this grey jacket really stylish in my opinion. It’ll keep you dry and warm too.
At £179 from Two Seasons it’s not bad value for a 15k waterproof snow sports jacket (although I don’t think I could pull off the pink trousers with it!).
I guess I should probably stop looking at winter stuff and go spend my money on curtains for my new house – sometimes I hate having to be sensible!
I was sent to the supermarket this afternoon to buy a couple of potatoes for baking – the instruction was to get the biggest one I could for my other half. So I did… mine was a quarter of the size! We had our baked potatoes with a tuna melt concoction including spring onion and red pepper. So yummy!
20/03/11: Is this potato big enough?