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    Gift Guide | The Foodie

    Foodie Gift Guide

    As a self professed ‘foodie’, I use Christmas as an excuse to indulge in even more food and drink than I usually would and I know I’m not the only one! For me, Christmas isn’t made until I unwrap a Terry’s Chocolate Orange and a box of Lint Orange Chocolate Truffles, yum!

    From traditional food gifts to festive new concepts, heres a round up of the best gifts for the foodie in your life.

    milk&more Christmas Hampers

    You can’t go wrong with a traditional Christmas Hamper. Grocery doorstep delivery company milk&more bring the food side of Christmas to you, their website hosts a whole section for gifts and you can get your weekly shop while you’re there! How easy is that?! The gift tab features a a great selection of hampers, as well as smaller, individual Christmas gifts. They were kind enough to send me some samples from their Cartwright & Butler hampers; Rhubarb and Custard Sweeties, Butter Fudge, and Milk Chocolate Chunk Biscuits, not only were they presented in the most gorgeous traditional packaging, but I can assure you they all tasted great too!

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    The Speculaas Spice Company Spice Packs

    Speculaas biscuits contain lots of sweet tasting spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves- how Christmassy does that sound! I’ve always wanted to visit the traditional German Christmas markets, and this baking kit definitely gives me those vibes. Steven, the Speculaas Spice Master Chef, was kind enough to send me a Spice and Small Windmill Mold pack and I had so much fun making the biscuits with the wooden mold, it was such a Christmassy thing to do and really got me in the festive spirit. This would definitely be the perfect gift for anyone into baking or experiencing different cultures. Plus, bonus points for not gifting someone with their 20th box of chocolates, this is definitely much more original!

    Foodie Gift Guide

    Baker Days Letterbox Cake

    The perfect surprise gift! Baker Days offer a huge range of Christmas cake designs and also offer personalised options! I’ve been to Disney World twice over Christmas and tend to miss it during this season (weird I know). So I sent them a photo I took while there a few years ago, of Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh in a Christmas hat! They were able to put it on a cake for me and I was so happy with the results!

    Foodie Gift Guide

    I haven’t even got to the best bit! Baker Days offer something called a ‘letterbox cake’ which is a cake small enough to fit through the letterbox. Imagine how happy you could make a loved one who lives quite far away when they get home to a surprise Christmas cake! If I’m honest I was worried about the cake breaking or being affected by dropping to the floor once posted though the letterbox, but I was presently surprised. It arrived in immaculate condition and it tasted amazing (I chose vanilla).

    Beech’s Fine Chocolates, Luxury Hand Made Truffles 

    Foodie Gift Guide

    Everyone loves indulging in chocolate at Christmas, and these luxury truffles from Beech’s are the perfect gift! With a variety of flavours; Prosecco, Pink Champagne, Marc de Champagne, and Salted Caramel, there’s something for just about anyone. These would be perfect for eating yourself stocking fillers, Secret Santa style gifts (a safe bet), or even to pop into a hamper if you’re looking at putting one together yourself! The packaging is absolutely gorgeous and lets be honest it looks much more thoughtful than yet another tin of Roses. You really can tell they’re luxury and they’re really really yummy.

    I hope that this has given you some good gift ideas! Please let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations for foodie themed gifts!

    * This post contains PR Samples which I have been sent to review and give my honest opinion about. All words, images and opinions are my own. Please read my full disclaimer for more information.

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    A Battle as Old as Time: Apple vs Samsung 

    With new phone releases scheduled for both Samsung and Apple in the near future, and a whole bunch of people who will be looking to upgrade to either one of the two, I thought it a pretty fitting time to write an honest user review on both of the current handsets available at the moment from these top two mobile competitors.

    Apple vs Samsung

    I’m pretty fortunate when it comes to testing out phones. My partner works with them and is also a Samsung representative. We get a discount on all contracts and he is supplied with a new Samsung device. At the moment I use an iPhone 7 and he uses both an iPhone 7+ and a Samsung S8+. Over the past few weeks I have trialed all three handsets to find out how different they really are. I’m going to be honest with you and get it out of the way nice and early: I am not an expert. This is true for both phones and general technology. In fact I really am one of the least technical people, and this is not going to be a review filled with specs and technical jibber jabber, so apologies but if that’s what you were after. I’m writing this to explain the real pros and cons in my opinion. How the handsets compare to a consumer and an every day user. I’m hoping that this will have a lot more real life benefit to anyone similar to me who just wants it explained in layman terms. The reviews of all aspects listed are purely my honest opinions, I’m sure there will be people that completely disagree with me.

    Apple vs Samsung

    iOS vs Android

    In terms of how easy the phone is to actually navigate I have to say that Apple have the upper hand. I find that the phone is easier to navigate because iOS launches the phone straight into the menu, whereas Android launches you into a pretty pointless home screen, from which you then have to navigate yourself into the menu. I know that sounds like a such a tiny little extra step but when you’re taking it just under a hundred times a day, every single time you open your phone it can get a little tedious.

    Keyboard

    This is a tough one because in my opinion there are pros and cons to each. A benefit of the Samsung (below right) is the access to the numbers and the full stop key as a standard part of the keyboard, you don’t have to access another keyboard in order to type them, they’re just there. Saying that, there are two disadvantages of the Samsung keyboard in my opinion. Firstly, emojis don’t come as standard, you have to download them. Now emojis are a pretty crucial part of text speak nowadays, at least they definitely are for me, and Apple (below left) trump Samsung by having them already built into their keyboard. Secondly, there is a settings key on the Samsung keyboard. Now I don’t really know why this is necessary, and I never found a use for it, but I did accidentally hit it a couple of times and its so frustrating because it takes you away from whatever you’re doing and into your phone settings, which I found pretty inconvenient.

    Apps

    According to my other half, Samsung’s Android operating system offers more apps. More of the Android apps are free than on Apple’s iOS too. I didn’t find a difference with regards to the apps that I personally use.

    There is one difference that I found between the apps on each phone which greatly influenced something that I use pretty regularly: Instagram. Lets talk about how disappointed I am with Samsung’s lack of compatibility with the Instagram app, specifically the selfie camera. The photos taken with the Instagram front camera on S8+ below show you exactly why; the iPhone takes the picture exactly as it should and gives you the normal options to edit and move forward.Samsung just can’t handle this, it takes the picture and automatically zooms in so that your face is the only thing in the shot. Not so candid and definitely not Instagram material, thanks Samsung. This might not be a big deal for a lot of people, but I use the Instagram selfie camera much more often than I use the standard selfie camera. This is because you can screenshot the photo on Instagram so that it doesn’t mirror image your face. Apple 1 – Samsung 0.

    Apple vs Samsung

    Phone Access

    This is another toughie. I prefer the iPhone fingerprint unlock position on the front of the phone over Samsung’s, located on the back. There seem to be mixed feelings about this though. I personally find that it seems more natural to place my thumb on the front of the phone. On the back, most of the time my finger will smudge the camera lens (located next to the scanner) before finding the unlock. Another benefit of having it on the font is that if your phone is laid down you don’t have to pick it up to unlock it. Samsung’s reasoning behind moving the scanner to the back of the phone is to give the front more screen space. Personally, I just don’t think that the compromise is worth it. Samsung does earn extra points for offering both iris scanner and facial recognition unlock technology. The iPhone currently only offers fingerprint unlocking.

    Camera

    Technically speaking the Samsung S8+ camera is better than the iPhone. Generally speaking I find this to be true. If I’m taking a standard photo, the Samsung is the phone I will reach for. The picture quality is obviously better. When using the S8+ the colours are more true, the camera seems less affected by different levels of light and it is better able to focus on finer details. I’ve placed a comparison picture below so that you can see first hand the difference between the picture quality.

    Apple vs Samsung

    With regards to the iPhone cameras, I’ve found that the 7 and the 7+ have slight differences. Each have one benefit over the Samsung. Surprisingly, I’ve found that the 7 seems the best camera to use in very low light as the colours pop a little more. The 7+ camera has one benefit over both other phones: the ‘depth effect’ feature. This allows the lens to focus on one object or person in the forefront of the picture. It will slightly blur out the background leaving you with a lovely professional looking picture.

    Apple vs Samsung

    Now heres what you all really want to know; which phone is better for taking selfies?!? No I’m kidding, but this obviously is a consideration. I’ve already spoken about my disdain for the Samsung’s Instagram selfie, but with regards solely to the front camera, I have to say that I like the S8+ more than the iPhone 7’s. Tt comes with ready made filters which you can select before taking the picture. These are very subtle but do make a slight difference with regards to brightness or skin texture.

    Apple vs Samsung

    Linked Devices

    Both Samsung and Apple have impressed me when it comes to additional products, but in very different ways. Firstly everyone knows how handy it is to have all Apple. Your iPhone, iPad and Mac all syncing perfectly to help you run life that little bit more smoothly. However in my eyes its both a positive and a pain in the arse. I have all of the above and yes, it is nice to have everything working so well alongside each other. On the other hand, I do feel almost bullied into it by Apple. They don’t really play fair and make it so difficult to own any other brand.

    Apple vs Samsung

    The Samsung offers an entirely different additional product in the form of a Virtual Reality headset. I’m really not someone who would identify as any level of ‘gamer’ but am such a huge fan of this. Granted, you would never use this outside of your home. The headset is huge and you really do look like a wally in it, regardless, to sit at home and kill zombies in 3D VR is pretty cool.

    Apple vs Samsung

    My aim was to give an insight into the both brands. I hope that it proves helpful for anyone who may be interested in the differences between the models.

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