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Cosy Tea Competition

This competition is now closed. I have published all eligible comments made before the closing date/time and will announce the two winners soon. Good luck!

The lovely people at Beyond the Bean have donated two complete sets of the Cosy Tea range for me to give away to Splodz Blogz readers.

Cosy Tea Organic Tea Range

The set will contain one of each of the nine Cosy Tea organic tea flavours, including those three black teas I enjoyed far too much in my review (go read it!).

To enter you need to describe your perfect cup of tea in a comment on this blog post.

I know Sarah Millican would say it’s nice to drink a cuppa in the bath so you’re the same temperature on the inside as on the outside… but for me it would be sipping a good cup of Earl Grey whilst sat down on the sofa after a long walk in the countryside. It’s difficult to decide though, I’ll happily drink tea any time (and yes, including in the bath!).

Make sure you enter by 8pm on Friday 17th February for your entry to count, and take a note of the rules below.

The Rules

  • This competition is open to UK residents only.
  • You must be aged 18 years old or over at the time of entry.
  • The competition closes at 8pm on Friday 17th February.
  • Entry is by making a relevant comment on this post.
  • Entrants must include a valid email address in the box provided (will not be published).
  • You can only enter once. If you post more than one comment only your first will count as entry into the competition.
  • Members of my immediate family cannot enter (sorry!).
  • The two winners will be picked at random from all eligible entries and be announced on Splodz Blogz soon after the closing date.
  • The prize is a complete set of Cosy Tea for each winner. There will be two winners.
  • The winner must respond to their email from Splodz Blogz within two days or I reserve the right to re-draw.
  • The winner’s details will be given to Beyond the Bean to allow delivery of the prize. Details will not be used for any other purpose.
  • You don’t get any extra entries for tweeting or posting about this competition anywhere, but I don’t mind if you do (go on… you know you want to – use one of the share buttons below!).
  • Oh… and my decision is final (I like saying that!).

A Cosy Cup of Organic Tea

My name is Zoe and I am a tea-aholic. Ok so I’m a lot of other things-aholic too, but mainly, and honestly, I am addicted to tea. It probably comes from being brought up in the Salvation Army (Sings: Oh there’s nothing like an Army cup of tea……..) – ever since I can remember tea has been for every occasion going.

Cosy Tea is an organic tea range of black, green and fruit teas. Beyond the Bean sent me the full range of nine teas to try, and oh how I’ve enjoyed this one.

Cosy Tea Organic Tea Range

I always like to comment on the look of things I review. Tea bags are tea bags though, right? Not here. The thing I love about Cosy Tea (and I have bought this brand of tea myself before) is that the little cardboard cubes look really nice sat on the side or stacked up in the cupboard. The design of each is based on a different knitting stitch or pattern – and the packs tell you which one it is and why it was picked to go with that particular tea. Nice touch. These aren’t boxes of tea bags to unpack and put in your tea caddy. Each box contains 20 tea bags in little individual paper wrappers, and the boxes are designed as dispenses so you get that coffee shop look at home. Packaging overload? Perhaps. But it looks good and is all recyclable.

Cosy Tea Organic Breakfast Tea

The tea bags themselves are unbleached and so look a little brown, but that’s ok, don’t panic, it’s just another way Cosy Tea are trying to make their tea better than any other… the organic leaves inside are very well looked after in the bag and that paper wrapping helps to preserve the flavour too.

Cosy Tea Organic Breakfast Tea

Unfortunately, I seem to have, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, a problem with fruit and green teas. As someone who doesn’t have much caffeine at all (I drink mostly decaf tea and buy decaf coke) you would think I’d have mastered the idea of sissy teas by now, but the fact is I just haven’t. I find they smell amazing, really gorgeous, and exactly like you expect them too based on the title or ingredients. But when it comes to the taste test it all goes pear shaped… the taste is just not nice. In my head I imagine the smell and the name and hope every time that when I sip it I will get what I imagined, but I don’t. I just can’t drink it.

In the interest of this review I did, of course, try every single tea I was sent. But I’m afraid my opinion hasn’t changed. I want to like them, I really do, but the fact is I don’t. That’s not a criticism of these teas though, as I gave some to friends and they assure me they are great. In fact I had quite a conversation with one person who only buys Cosy Tea because “they make the best Peppermint Tea around”. I have not given them all away though, I will be trying them again soon (and would welcome any comments on how to learn to love them like I do black tea)!

Cosy Tea Organic Black Teas

But… the Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey Tea and Decaf Tea are just lovely. Not just organic but fairtrade too, and with loads of flavour. It’s nice to find a really decent decaffeinated tea actually, it’s got the same taste as the Breakfast Tea but without the caffeine which is a must in our house. The website says you should brew each of these teas for 2-4 minutes and I would absolutely agree with that. These tea bags aren’t for quick cuppas, they are for properly brewed and flavoured hot drinks to sit and relax with. Pour over the water and wait – it really does make a difference.

Cosy Tea Organic Breakfast Tea

Cosy Tea Organic Breakfast Tea

For further information about Cosy Tea visit and don’t forget to like them on Facebook and follow them on twitter. Have you tried them? Which is your favourite?

Oh, and I have a competition to win two sets of these teas going on this week too – check it out.

Year in Photos (17 Dec 11) – Sword

I read on twitter a number of times this week… “No matter how old you are, an empty Christmas wrapping paper tube is still a sword.”  Too true. Only problem when you have two wrapping paper tube swords and a husband who is stronger than you are is…

Saturday 17th December 2011

17/12/11: The damage one “sword” does to another (after repeated attacks)

Year in Photos (31 Oct 11) – Coloured Tissue

Coloured toilet tissue is nicer but can’t be as environmentally friendly as plain?

Monday 31st October 2011

31/10/11: Bright stars

Snapfish Photo Books and Gifts

Getting your photos printed is a rarity these days.  Now we generally have digital cameras instead of film ones, we don’t make use of the 1-hour photo processing Boots and Jessops and other’s used to offer and simply upload our pictures onto our computer to look at and share with people online.

But if you’re like me you still like having pictures around the place.  We’ve just moved house and our frames are sat in a pile in the spare room waiting for me to decide where to hang them.  Ever now and again I bung a selection of recent pictures on a USB drive and take them along to one of the afore mentioned stores to print 7×5″ prints to put in the frames – or that’s the idea anyway, it’s often years apart.

Prints aren’t the only way to give you your pictures to hold, though.  Companies like Snapfish offer photo printing as well as all manor of photo books and gifts – great for you to remember a specific event, and also great to share a particular with others.  And (even at the end of October) if you’re thinking about what you can get your family and friends for Christmas, there are some great ‘personalisable’ ideas around.

Snapfish sent me a voucher and asked me to review their photo books and other gifts and let you know what I thought… and what I thought was – well, bunnies!

I had a good look around the site – what a lot of choice!  Photo books come in all sorts of types, then there are flip books, calendars, posters, mugs, mousemats, badges, stickers, canvas prints, note books.  I chose a standard soft cover photo book, a spiral bound flip book, and a note book.

Snapfish Photo Book and Flip Book

I started by uploading all the photos I wanted to use for my projects.  This took a bit of time – partly because I was still undecided which photos to actually use so ended uploading more than I needed, but also because uploading photos to the web is not fast.  Here’s some advice straight away – decide what you want and which photos you are going to use and have them all in one folder on your computer ready to upload together.  You can set them to upload and walk away and do something else while it works away – you don’t want to be sat there watching the status bar move across.

Photo Book

I went for the standard photo book and to make things as easy as possible decided to use the autofill option within Snapfish so it decided where and how to display my photos on the pages.  You can easily decide which ones you want where (and how many on a page), but I wanted to see what the built-in system would do.  As you can see below some pages have one photo on, others two and others three.  It showed me a preview of each page and I could easily change how the autofill had cropped the pictures – just moving them around inside the frame until they were positioned as I wanted them.  It’s also easy to swap the pages over if you like.  The photos are quite small on the pages – there is a lot of white (well, black) space that could have been better used, but I do like the layout of the pages.

Snapfish Photo Book

The book itself has a black soft cover with black pages, which I chose from a number of template designs.  The quality of the print is excellent, I could see myself with a selection of these for different events and activities – one per holiday, for example.  You can add captions if you wish, but I like this simple design with no text.  If you were producing one as a memory book for an event or holiday you might wish to add text to remind you of what/where each photo is, but when it’s just bunnies there is no need.

This 7×5″ 32 page photo book with custom cover cost £17.94 (£12.99 for 30 pages plus £4.95 for the additional pages).

Snapfish Flip Book

Flip Book

If you want traditional photo prints but don’t want to put them in albums, a flip book is a good idea.  It’s simply one photo per page, printed 6×4″ on standard photo paper and spiral bound in a transparent plastic cover to protect.  This is even simpler (and cheaper) than the photo book and is a really effective way of keeping your photograph memories together without the need for albums.

You can’t choose how your photos crop so flip books work best with standard ratio images (you can see below that not all of mine were standard ratio and so I’ve lost bits of pictures where they were cropped in not the best way), and you will need to rotate any portrait photos so they appear landscape (you can do this within Snapfish).  You can choose the order of your photographs, though.  The process is very quick – add photos, change the order of the pages, add captions (or not, I didn’t), preview, place order.

Snapfish Flip Book Photos

My 6×4″ flip book cost £6.46 (£4.99 for 10 pages plus £1.47 for the additional 12 pages).

Snapfish Note Book

Note Pad

I thought this was a great idea.  Basically it’s a lined spiral bound notebook with card cover with your choice of photograph on it.  I am the queen of lists so it seemed like an excellent way of having one of my favourite photos with me every day.  I chose what is one of my favourite pictures of Chocolate for the front cover, without any border or anything.

I am really impressed with this.  It is not a hardback notebook so the edges are gonna get a bit scuffed, but the quality of the print is very good and I love having a personalised notebook like this.  I’d say this is a really nice photo gift – I’d prefer it to a mug or mousemat anyway.

My note pad with full photo front cover cost £5.99.

Snapfish Note Book

Delivery wise, I received all the items within five working days of placing my order (placed the order late Friday evening, received everything by the following Friday).  They arrived in either a jiffy bag or a card wallet and seemed well protected.

All three items from Snapfish I have described would make great gifts for yourself or someone else, and there are plenty more ideas on their website.  You could even get organised and place your orders now to beat the Christmas rush!  Take a look.

Year in Photos (23 Dec 2010)

Are you organised for Christmas? I wrapped the last of the family Christmas presents this evening… I LOVE giving presents and am now getting really excited about the two family days this weekend. Can’t wait for Christmas!

Thursday 23rd December 2010

Thursday 23rd December 2010

23/12/10: All organised and ready – one shelf for Christmas Day, the other for Boxing Day

Year in Photos (18 Aug 2010)

Why is that that whenever I look for anything (paperwork wise) I end up having to have a complete sort out, which ultimately involves a big pile of recycling rubbish and even more shredded?!

I promise myself every time I’ll keep my paperwork pile all neat and sort it as I go along.  Yea right!

Wednesday 18th August 2010

Wednesday 18th August 2010

18/08/10: Rubbish!

Summer Competition – Prize 5

I’m giving away something for all you arty peeps today.

Two Bamboo Covered Sketch Books

Sketch Books

These sketch books by Daler Rowney have 64 sheets of 140gsm paper great for sketching in all kinds of dry media.  I have two to give away to one winner – an A4 one and an A5 one. 

How to Enter 

In keeping with the prize on offer, I’m looking for some creativity for this competition…

All you have to do is submit a doodle of your summer dream.  Once you have drawn your doodle tweet it using twitpic or another image hosting service.  

You must include @Splodz and the tag #sbdoodle in your tweet to make it easy for me to find your entry.  You must also be following me on Twitter to enter. 

You have until 8pm on Sunday 8th August to tweet your drawing (you’ve got plenty of time to dream!)! 

How to Win 

This time your entries will be judged and the one they consider the judge considers their favourite will win. 

Please note that this does not necessarily mean the “best” will win – but the judge’s favourite will win the sketch books!  So make your doodle as simple or as complicated as you like – you can’t win without taking part!

The judge will not know who the doodles belong to when making their choice – this will be as fair as I can make it.

Don’t forget to refer to the general rules of the Splodz Blogz Summer Competition which are posted here:


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