Your Healthy Valentine Menu

  Enjoying a delicious meal with your other half doesn’t have to mean ditching the diet…

This 14 February make a hearty dish that’ll leave you both feeling nourished rather than stuffed and sleepy.
Here, nutritional therapist Amelia Freer – the lady credited by singer Sam Smith for his amazing weight loss – shares three recipes from her latest book Cook. Nourish. Glow.

Poached Thai Salmon with Pak Choi
Serves 2

Very Mag stories individual3

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 lime leaf, finely shredded
A stalk of lemongrass, chopped
500ml of fish or vegetable stock
2 salmon fillets, skinned
2 pak choi, leaves separated
1 small handful of fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Method:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium saucepan and fry the shallots, garlic, ginger and chilli for a few minutes to soften. Add the lime leaf and lemongrass to the pan and cook for another minute.
2. pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer for 10-12 minutes to infuse the flavours. Add the salmon fillets and poach for 7-8 minutes over a gentle heat. Add the pak choi leaves for the last minute of cooking.
3. Arrange the salmon fillets and pak choi in bowls and ladle the fragrant broth over. Remove the lime leaf and lemongrass before serving. Garnish with the coriander.

Sweet Potato Cakes, Grilled Tiger Prawns with Ginger and Saffron Yoghurt
Serves 4

Very Mag stories individual2

Ingredients:
3 medium-sized sweet potatoes (approx 750g), peeled
1 egg, free-range or organic
25g coconut four
3 spring onions, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground
Coconut oil
16 raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
For the ginger and saffron yoghurt:
A pinch of saffron threads
125g of coconut yoghurt
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground
A squeeze of lemon juice
Optional: a tablespoon each of coriander and mint, freshly chopped

Method:
1. Steam or boil the sweet potatoes for 10-12 minutes until soft. Drain and dry the potatoes in the pan for 1-2 minutes, then mash them until smooth. Mix in the egg, coconut four, spring onions and salt and pepper. Form 12 lime-sized balls and press into patties, about 1cm thick. If making ahead, chill the cakes in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
2. Add ½ tablespoon of boiling water to the saffron threads and leave to cool. Remove from the water and mix them into the coconut yoghurt, ginger, olive oil, salt and pepper. Squeeze in a little lemon juice. You can add coriander and mint if you wish.
3. Put 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
4. Using a non-stick pan, sauté the prawns in a little coconut oil for 2 minutes on each side until pink and cooked through. Serve the patties with a dollop of ginger and safron yoghurt over the top and the prawns on the side.

Coconut Yoghurt Jelly with Raspberry and Fig Compote
Serves 4

Pudding

Ingredients:
4 fresh figs
4 dried figs, soaked overnight, then rinsed
120g of raspberries
½ teaspoon of vanilla essence or seeds from ½ a vanilla pod
6 fresh mint leaves
6 leaves of gelatine
500g of coconut yoghurt
Chopped Brazil nuts
Raw cacao nibs and small mint leaves, to serve

Method:
1. Blend the fresh figs with the soaked dried ones, raspberries, vanilla essence or seeds and the mint leaves until it has a smooth, dropping consistency. Add some water if needed. Divide this mixture between two glass serving jars or small tumblers.
2. Soak the gelatine leaves in water for 10 minutes. Once softened, heat them with 4 tablespoons of water until dissolved. Add this to the coconut yoghurt and whisk the mixture until well incorporated. Pour on top of the fig mixture and place in the fridge to cool.
3. Just before serving, sprinkle with Brazil nuts and raw cacao nibs. Decorate with mint leaves.

NIKE WOMEN’S WEEK

Five days to unlock the best of Nike Women

This January Very are supporting Nike as part of NikeWomen Week, which will unlock epic training and running experiences to help you maintain your 2016 lifestyle and fitness goals.  From Monday January 25 to Friday January 29 Nike Women will open world-class training facilities in London and the Nike+ Training Club app, challenging participants to take their training to the next level and be #BetterForIt.

At Very we are offering you to join in with 3 opportunities to WIN 2 tickets for you and your guest to attend the Spin Class at Psycle on Tuesday 26th January. Simply retweet our Nike Women’s Week post to enter.

Prize winning class:

Nike Women Week presents an exclusive #traintuesday spin class at Psycle

Tuesday 26th January 2016, 7pm

#betterforit

Throughout the week each day will focus on a different element of training, including pinnacle fitness and style events:

Monday                        Start the week focused with a high intensity session at Motus Strength Gym

Tuesday                        Take on the biggest #TrainTuesday ever with premium partner sessions at Barry’s Bootcamp, Psycle,                                         Core Collective, Frame and Embody Fitness

Wednesday                  Pick up your pace with women’s only Nike+ Run Club sessions

Thursday                       Celebrate the launch of the Air Force 1 Flyknit at a sneaker lock-in at the Nike King’s Road women’s                                          boutique

Friday                            Finish #BetterForIt with an all round training finale event

Be sure to get involved and don’t miss out!

For further information and Terms and Conditions see below:

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. Entry into the draw will be deemed as acceptance of these rules and any separate instructions for entry will form part of the rules.
  2. This prize draw is open to any UK resident, aged 18 or over, who is invited to participate by Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited and who retweets the NikeWomen Week Twitter post.
  3. Employees of Shop Direct Group companies and anyone else involved in the operation of the draw are excluded from entering. Closing date is midday Friday 22nd January.
  4. Responsibility cannot be accepted for entries lost, damaged, delayed or spammed.
  5. Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited reserves the right to offer an alternative prize in the event of the original prize being unavailable. Prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  6. The draw will be made by random selection from all valid entries before midday on 22.01.16. Prize: 3 x opportunities for 2 tickets for the exclusive #traintuesday spin class at Psycle on Tuesday 26th January 2016 at 7pm in London. There is no cash alternative and prizes are stock dependant. If we do not receive a response within 2 days we will choose another winner. If you have a Shop Direct Group home shopping account that is in arrears at the time of the draw, you will not be eligible to win.
  7. By entering the draw, entrants agree that their details may be disclosed to anyone requesting a list of prize winners. The winner may be required to take part in any publicity relating to this promotion.
  8. The competition can be withdrawn at any time and Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited does not accept liability for any cancelled events.
  9. Promoter: Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited, First Floor, Skyways House, Speke Road, Speke, Liverpool, L70 1AB. Registered No 466328
  10. The promoter reserves the right to exclude any entries which it suspects might not be legitimate e.g. multiple entries, entries linked to the creation of multiple or false email accounts, entries originating out of inappropriate solicitations. Maximum of 1 prize per household

What are you waiting for…Win workout gear with Nike and Puma

We’re more than half way through January now and at Very HQ we’re proud to say we’ve stuck to our New Year’s resolutions to get fit and healthy for 2016! We’ve been running, swimming and zumba’ing our way through the month and we’re feeling better for it. Getting up on a cold, dark morning to hit those fitness goals can become a struggle as the weeks go by…but a workout wardrobe refresh is a great way to brighten your mood and add a spring to your step (class!)

Very have lots of fantastic sports brands available now which are perfect for all types of activities, whether you’re a fitness newbie or training for a marathon…Very can help you look glam, even when you’re breaking a serious sweat!

Nike has a great range of high-performance sportswear offering the best technology with a fashionable twist. The Nike Shield Purple Running Jacket helps you to stay dry, comfortable and focussed by helping you block out the elements. In a bold purple colour with reflective panels, you’ll stand out in low light meaning you can train safely – and look great.

Nike & Puma top

Pair with the Nike Lotus Purple Capri pants for a bright and bold look. These pants provide all the support you need with a tight fit to allow full range of motion – so you can maximise your performance and smash your personal best. The Dri-FIT fabric wicks away sweat to keep you cool, comfortable and dry whilst being on trend.

Nike & puma pants

 

Whether you’re hitting the gym or the powering the pavements, Puma covers all bases with its range of high-performance fashion forward sportswear. The Puma Wild Thing Black Jacket is an essential edition to your workout wardrobe, with dryCELL fabric to keep you cool and dry as your session heats up. The ergonomic hood stays in place when the elements are against you, while the sleek black colourway ensures you’re always feeling ready to go.

puma top

Finish the look with the lightweight and durable Puma Graphic Print Tights. Designed with coolCELL technology to keep you cool and comfortable, the zipped pocked ensures you can push yourself that little bit further with your favourite playlist at your side. A must-have for achieving any fitness goal this January.

puma pants

 

As part of our What are you Waiting for? campaign here at Very, which is all about getting up and working hard to hit our fitness goals in 2016, two lucky winners will pick a choice of top, bottoms and footwear up to £200 from either Nike or Puma.

Just tell us what your favourite way to get fit in 2016 is in the comments box below for a chance to win your choice of top, bottoms and trainers from either Puma or Nike up to £200!

Terms & Conditions

  1. Entry into the draw will be deemed as acceptance of these rules and any separate instructions for entry will form part of the rules.
  2. This prize draw is open to any UK resident, aged 18 or over, who is invited to participate by Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited and who leaves a comment stating their favourite way to get fit.
  3. Employees of Shop Direct Group companies and anyone else involved in the operation of the draw are excluded from entering. Closing date is midday 2nd February 2016.
  4. Responsibility cannot be accepted for entries lost, damaged, delayed or spammed. Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited reserves the right to offer an alternative prize in the event of the original prize being unavailable.  Prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. The draw will be made by the social team from all valid entries after midday on 2nd February 2016.
  5. There will be one winner of a full Nike outfit and one winner of a full Puma outfit. The prize bundle includes a top, bottoms and footwear of choice worth up to £200. Winners will be assigned a brand and sent a range of product options to choose from – there will be no mixing of brands allowed.
  6. The Nike winner will be able to choose from the Performance range only – a choice of products will be sent across.
  7. There is no cash alternative and prizes are stock dependant. If we do not receive a response within 7 days we will choose another winner. If you have a Shop Direct Group home shopping account that is in arrears at the time of the draw, you will not be eligible to win.
  8. By entering the draw, entrants agree that their details may be disclosed to anyone requesting a list of prize winners. The winner may be required to take part in any publicity relating to this promotion.
  9. The competition can be withdrawn at any time and Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited does not accept liability for any cancelled events.
  10. Promoter: Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited, First Floor, Skyways House, Speke Road, Speke, Liverpool, L70 1AB. Registered No 466328
  11. The promoter reserves the right to exclude any entries which it suspects might not be legitimate e.g. multiple entries, entries linked to the creation of multiple or false email accounts, entries originating out of inappropriate solicitations. Maximum of 1 prize per household.

Sweet 2016 Dreams

Sixteen switches for the new year. They’re so easy, you can do them while you sleep. Well, before bed…

1. Leave-in conditioner

Put onto dry, parched ends to nourish your hair.

2.  The silk secret

Cotton pillowcases can cause hair to frizz. Swap to silk ones to help reduce unnecessary breakage. 

3. Braid before bed

Wake to mermaid-style locks without the heat damage. Plait damp hair before bed and remember that the smaller the section, the tighter the wave.

4. Hand cream

Smother a generous layer of hydrating lotion on your hands and feet.

5. Zap zits

Soothe spots while you sleep by applying tea tree oil on your blemishes. Its disinfecting properties will help reduce redness and won’t strip your skin of its natural oils.

6. Root cause

Avoid waking up to flat hair caused by greasy roots and use a dry shampoo before bed. Spritz under the hair, close to the roots and scrunch in until the white powder disappears.

7. Brush your lips

Gently exfoliate your lips with your toothbrush and then lock in moisture with an enriching balm.

8. Cold creams

Applying eye cream prior to nodding off is no secret, but how about keeping the product in the fridge? The cooling effect will help to reduce puffiness and comfort your weary peepers.

9. Try a humidifier

For softer skin, use a humidifier. It adds moisture to the air, so it’s perfect for when the heating is on.

10. Rest easy

Make sure to get at least eight hours of shut-eye a night. Aim to turn off your phone and tablet screens 60 minutes before turning in. They emit blue light which can disturb your sleep pattern.

11. Cleanse

Don’t drop off without removing your make-up. It can attract blemish-causing bacteria.

12. All white

Once a week, dip your toothbrush into some bicarbonate of soda, polish your teeth and rinse. Do it before bed for the best results.

13. Hair mare

Keep your locks off your face while you snooze to prevent breakouts.

14. Oil up

Suffer from hard hangnails? Massage cuticle oil onto your nail beds for total rehydration.

15. Night cream

Whatever your age, use a night lotion or a restorative serum on cleansed skin. These products are able to work their magic without any disruption from cosmetics, the sun and pollution.

 16. Joint care

Zones like your knees, elbows and any other areas that are prone to excessive dryness will benefit from an overnight hydrating hit.

What are you waiting for…Win with New Balance!

Here at Very HQ we may have overindulged on one too many a Mince pie over the festive period, and if you’re feeling anything like us (a bit sluggish and tired!) you’ll have made your New Year’s resolutions to get fit, healthy and glowing for 2016! We’re looking forward to getting into our gym gear and building up a sweat to work off that Christmas pudding and feel our best in January.

It can be hard to motivate yourself on a miserable winter’s morning, but some swanky new gym clothes will make hitting the treadmill that little bit easier…and New Balance have some fabulous high-performance options to make sure you can still look glam whilst smashing your personal best at the gym.

The New Balance WX711 V2 fitness trainers are designed to provide 360° comfort technology whilst always looking on trend with a range of colours from eye-catching neon pink to sleek navy and black.

capture black trainercapture pink trainer

Whether you’re hitting the gym or the powering the pavements, these trainers are made for all-day performance and they’ll add the wow factor to your workout gear. You can also complete the look on Very with a range of high-performance workout gear from New Balance so you’re ready to break a sweat in style! Or you can even pair them with your jeans and t-shirt for a casual, stylish look if you intend to hit the sales this January.

As part of our What are you Waiting for? campaign here at Very, which is all about getting up and working hard to hit our fitness goals in 2016, you can have the chance to win some brand new workout gear from New Balance which will add some get up and go to your mornings!

Just tell us what your number one fitness goal for 2016 is in the comments box below for a chance to win your choice of top, bottoms and trainers from New Balance!

Terms & Conditions

  1. Entry into the draw will be deemed as acceptance of these rules and any separate instructions for entry will form part of the rules.
  2. This prize draw is open to any UK resident, aged 18 or over, who is invited to participate by Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited and who leaves a comment stating their fitness goal.
  3. Employees of Shop Direct Group companies and anyone else involved in the operation of the draw are excluded from entering. Closing date is midday 26th January 2016.
  4. Responsibility cannot be accepted for entries lost, damaged, delayed or spammed. Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited reserves the right to offer an alternative prize in the event of the original prize being unavailable.  Prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. The draw will be made by the social team from all valid entries after midday on 26th January 2016. Prize bundle includes New Balance products of choice (top, bottoms and footwear) worth up to £200.
  5. There is no cash alternative and prizes are stock dependant. If we do not receive a response within 7 days we will choose another winner. If you have a Shop Direct Group home shopping account that is in arrears at the time of the draw, you will not be eligible to win.
  6. By entering the draw, entrants agree that their details may be disclosed to anyone requesting a list of prize winners. The winner may be required to take part in any publicity relating to this promotion.
  7. The competition can be withdrawn at any time and Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited does not accept liability for any cancelled events.
  8. Promoter: Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited, First Floor, Skyways House, Speke Road, Speke, Liverpool, L70 1AB. Registered No 466328
  9. The promoter reserves the right to exclude any entries which it suspects might not be legitimate e.g. multiple entries, entries linked to the creation of multiple or false email accounts, entries originating out of inappropriate solicitations. Maximum of 1 prize per household.

 

Feel the Force with Star Wars

Here at Very HQ we are so excited for the latest instalment of the Star Wars saga –  Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

It’s the seventh episode in the epic series and set 30 years after the Return of the Jedi; we can’t wait to see some of our favourite characters return, including Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo and Princess Leia, and also follow the adventures of new faces Finn, Rey and Kylo Ren.

There are so many fantastic Star Wars items available on Very, so you can make sure everyone will feel the force! We have highlighted some of our top picks from the range below:

1

First up we have the ultimate toy and a must-have for any serious Star Wars fan… the Millenium Falcon! A huge replica of the famous ship featured in the new film, it’s more than 2.5 foot long and will provide hours of fun with high levels of detail.

Detecting Imperial ships with its rotating radar dish, it can fend them off with the rotating cannon that lifts and lowers. If the threat becomes too much, just hit hyperspace and escape far, far away.

A full-sized Nerf blaster pops up from the front of the vessel too, perfect for protection against the deadly Sith, and it even comes with the 3.75 inch figures – Chewbacca, Finn and BB-8 – so the epic adventures to save the galaxy can start straight away!

2

Another Very fave is the Boys Millenium Falcon Sublimation t-shirt, a fun way to transport him to a galaxy far, far away. The colour-block T-shirt features the iconic and legendary starship cruising through space, with the official film logo breaking up the middle. He can be comfortable while looking like the coolest kid in the galaxy!

3

This next item is a fun way to bring the force to your kitchen! The Star Wars X-Wing Knife Block is designed to look just like the Rebel Alliance’s primary strike fighter, and holds a set of five high-quality kitchen knives that are perfect for when you’re cooking a meal that is out of this world.

4

Our final pick will transport you into the epic Star Wars galaxy so you can live the adventure for yourself! The Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars Starter Pack for PlayStation 4 harnesses all the power of Sony’s incredible next generation games machine, where you can create your own galaxy and download epic adventures created by the online community to play through.

This bundle includes the game, 2 Disney infinity figures – Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoko Tano – and the Disney Infinity Base to let you magically transport the figures into the game.

This game is also available for Xbox 360, Xbox 1, Wii U and PS3 on the Very website so no one will miss out on the fun!

So why not discover our exciting Star Wars range on Very and treat yourself or a loved one to a gift that is out of this world!

 

Tommy Hilfiger has you covered in style this season

Rafeal Nadal brings you the ultimate underwear collection. Very brings you the Tommy Hilfiger Autumn/Winter 2015 Underwear collection, going back to basics with classic, comfortable, timeless styles for everyday wear.

Celebrating the “New Basics,” the collection sees a re-launch of Tommy Hilfiger’s most beloved underwear styles with updated fits, revamped fabrics and elevated details.

The face of the launch is the famous tennis star Rafael Nadal, showing off his athletic frame in the stylish cotton flex trunk with a branded waistband. The design innovations combine with premium fabrics for a result that’s sophisticated, durable and essential for everyday comfort.

facebook-2 (2)

The collection introduces the new 360° Flex line, with innovative fabrics that stretch in every direction. The cottons and microfibers move like a second skin with the body to ensure continuous relaxed comfort. 100% cotton rib boxer briefs and trunks come in updated fits, while modal cotton appears in loungewear and underwear.

The brand’s trademark mix of red, white and navy is integrated throughout the collection while black, white and heather grey ground the collection in classic neutrals. Tommy Hilfiger continue to show their retro sport influences are seen in collegiate-inspired graphics and details to bring the whole collection together at Very.

Crafted for superior comfort and a perfect fit, Very’s extensive underwear collection by Tommy Hilfiger has you covered – in style.

WIN the perfect gift this Christmas with Virgin Experience

With the festive season now upon us, the Christmas shopping rush is now in full swing. However, it can be difficult finding that perfect Christmas gift, so if you’re still searching, look no further! Here at Very, we have the perfect gifts from Virgin experience that will make that special someone’s Christmas, extra special this year.

Whether you are after an experience that will get their hearts racing or something a little more relaxed then explore the full range of Virgin experience Days now! Give more than a gift this Christmas, give someone an experience they will never forget.

1

The Virgin Experience day’s Supercar Choice will not only get their heart racing and keep their adrenaline high, it will also be an experience they won’t forget. This experience will allow your loved ones to get behind the wheel of their favourite super car and put it through its paces with this thrilling driving experience. It is the perfect opportunity to push their limits and learn some amazing driving techniques in some of the coolest cars around. So give them the drive of their life this Christmas with Virgin Experience!

2

Or if you deserve an early treat this year, you could get away from the Christmas rush and treat yourself and a friend with two relaxing massages. There really is no better way to spend your day than relaxing in a luxury spa! So revitalise your mind and body now with the perfect Pamper Day for Two at a Bannatyne Spa from Virgin Experience Days – a thoughtful gift that will no doubt make you feel fabulous, just in time for Christmas.

To really get everyone in the Christmas spirit we are giving one lucky reader the chance to win a very special experience. Get your hands on the Virgin Experience Days Supercar Choice by simply telling us below what is your favourite kind of day out is. You’ve got until the 15th December so get your comments in quick! Good luck!

 TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. Entry into the draw will be deemed as acceptance of these rules and any separate instructions for entry will form part of the rules.
  2. This prize draw is open to any UK resident, aged 18 or over, who is invited to participate by Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited and who leaves a comment answering the question.
  3. Employees of Shop Direct Group companies and anyone else involved in the operation of the draw are excluded from entering. Closing date is midnight 15th December 2015.
  4. Responsibility cannot be accepted for entries lost, damaged, delayed or spammed.
  5. Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited reserves the right to offer an alternative prize in the event of the original prize being unavailable.  Prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  6. The draw will be made by random selection from all valid entries before midnight on 15th The prize includes 6NLFW. This competition is open to 1 winner only.
  7. There is no cash alternative and prizes are stock dependant. If we do not receive a response within 7 days we will choose another winner. If you have a Shop Direct Group home shopping account that is in arrears at the time of the draw, you will not be eligible to win.
  8. By entering the draw, entrants agree that their details may be disclosed to anyone requesting a list of prize winners. The winner may be required to take part in any publicity relating to this promotion.
  9. The competition can be withdrawn at any time and Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited does not accept liability for any cancelled events.
  10. Promoter: Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited, First Floor, Skyways House, Speke Road, Speke, Liverpool, L70 1AB. Registered No 466328
  11. The promoter reserves the right to exclude any entries which it suspects might not be legitimate e.g. multiple entries, entries linked to the creation of multiple or false email accounts, entries originating out of inappropriate solicitations. Maximum of 1 prize per household

Win your Very own Christmas list worth up to £200

With Christmas just around the corner, here at Very HQ we love giving our customers a helping hand when it comes to their Christmas shopping. So if you’re feeling slightly behind on your shopping or if you’re struggling with what to buy for your friends and family, look no further as we have our very own Winter Wonderland to make your Christmas shopping that little bit easier this year.

Enter our Winter Wonderland now to explore our amazing branded gifts for her, for him and for the little ones that will make for an extra special Christmas this year. You can create your very own Christmas list in our Winter Wonderland which will help make your shopping a walk in the park, you can even share this with your friends across Facebook and Twitter.

Out of all the special gifts available in our Winter Wonderland we have handpicked our favourite ones as we know you will love them as much as we do!

1

First up is the ghd V arctic gold dry and style gift set, not only does it include the artic gold hairdryer but also the award-winning ghd platinum styler in a festive white and gold finish, which is absolutely gorgeous. This set contains everything you need to create the ultimate party look, so you can look your best as well as on trend this festive season with ghd. This will definitely be something we will add to our Christmas list.

2

Next up is our favourite gaming gift this Christmas, which is the Playstation 4 500Gb Black Console with Call of Duty. It’s all about stunning gaming and easy sharing, letting you compete and co-operate with friends close by and far away, something that will provide hours of non-stop fun! It even comes with one of the most anticipated games of the year, call of duty – a full PlayStation package that you cannot leave out of your Christmas list. Complete with spectacular graphics and vibrant gaming communities discover an amazing gaming experience with PlayStation.

3

Last but certainly not least we have some wonderful big branded toys for the little ones this year in our Toy Grotto, such as Leapfrog, Fisherprice, Bratz, Peppa pig and Hasbro. Explore them all now in our Very Toy Grotto and get your kids involved by letting them add the toys they want to their own Christmas list. Our top pick for the little ones is this Barbie Pop-up camper as it is the ideal glam vehicle to take their dolls on a super stylish adventure. When lifting the handle up the camper offers much more than what meets the eye, as this transforms into an exciting 3-storey play set complete with a kitchen, living room and even a pool with a slide! Make their Christmas this year, with this fabulous toy from Barbie.

So to get everyone in the Christmas spirt we have an amazing opportunity available for one lucky reader. Be in for the chance to win your Very own Christmas list worth up to £200 by simply commenting below with what you love about Christmas! Don’t forget as the competition closes on 12th December. Good luck!

 

Terms & Conditions

  1. Entry into the draw will be deemed as acceptance of these rules and any separate instructions for entry will form part of the rules.
  2. This prize draw is open to any UK resident, aged 18 or over, who is invited to participate by Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited and who leaves a comment answering the question.
  3. Employees of Shop Direct Group companies and anyone else involved in the operation of the draw are excluded from entering. Closing date is midday 12thDecember 2015.
  4. Responsibility cannot be accepted for entries lost, damaged, delayed or spammed. Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited reserves the right to offer an alternative prize in the event of the original prize being unavailable.  Prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. The draw will be made by the social team from all valid entries after midday on 12thDecember 2015. Prize bundle includes products of choice worth up to £200
  5. There is no cash alternative and prizes are stock dependant. If we do not receive a response within 7 days we will choose another winner. If you have a Shop Direct Group home shopping account that is in arrears at the time of the draw, you will not be eligible to win.
  6. By entering the draw, entrants agree that their details may be disclosed to anyone requesting a list of prize winners. The winner may be required to take part in any publicity relating to this promotion.
  7. The competition can be withdrawn at any time and Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited does not accept liability for any cancelled events.
  8. Promoter: Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited, First Floor, Skyways House, Speke Road, Speke, Liverpool, L70 1AB. Registered No 466328
  9. The promoter reserves the right to exclude any entries which it suspects might not be legitimate e.g. multiple entries, entries linked to the creation of multiple or false email accounts, entries originating out of inappropriate solicitations. Maximum of 1 prize per household.

Discover your perfect watch with Armani Exchange

Glamourous, sporty or casual, the perfect watch may be hard to find but here at Very we are here to help find the one for you. We have some amazing watches on offer from Armani Exchange featuring timeless, urban styled detail which are sure to impress. A gorgeous statement piece on your wrist can really set your style apart from your usual go to look and we have all the perfect watches to do just that. Whether it’s something to treat yourself or that special someone we have hand-picked the top 3 Womens and Mens watches from the AX collection to talk you through. 

3 2 1

Whatever style suits you best we have an option for all watch lovers and fashionistas out there. For the well-groomed man who is on trend and into his stylish pieces we have the Armani Exchange Gold Multi Dial Gold IP Plated Bracelet Strap Mens Watch. This classic and sophisticated gold watch will take you from day to night so that you can be sure that you are always looking on point throughout the day. If you are looking for something that is more stand out and unique then the Armani Exchange Gunmetal Grey Dial and IP Plated Bracelet Mens Watch is perfect for you. This striking watch featuring the iconic AX logo within the dial will keep you right on trend. Complete with subtle blue detailing and a unique design this watch can take an outfit from simple to stylish. If none of the above sounds right for you and you are after something a little more casual? Then take a look at the Armani Exchange Black Multi Dial And Dark Brown Leather Strap Mens Watch. With its dark leather brown strap and detailed oversized dial it’s a classic statement accessory to add to your look. Ideal for everyday wear you will never be able to go anywhere without your trendy new watch.

6 5 4

Combining unique colours and gorgeous detailing the Armani Exchange Mosaic Womens watches are so on trend this season. The collection is bold, edgy and adds a simple pop of colour to your style. The Armani Exchange Gold Mosaic Dial And Gold Ip Plated Bracelet Ladies Watch just shouts luxury with its gold detailing and gold and green mosaic pattern in the dial. The perfect piece of jewellery to wear in the evening to jazz up your outfit. If you are in need of something a little more subtle then the Armani Exchange Blue Mosaic Dial And Dark Blue Leather Strap Ladies Watch is a lovely addition to your jewellery box. The striking blue leather strap is stylish yet comfortable and the coordinating art deco pattern in the dial makes it different from any other watch around. Finally for those who love silver jewellery we have the Armani Exchange Silver Mosaic Dial And Stainless Steel Bracelet Ladies Watch. The bold colours in the dial and diamond detailing around the face adds something special to this watch. Not only will it go with any outfit but it will also look fab on your wrist whatever occasion you are going to.

So if you are looking for a brand new watch and now feel inspired to find the perfect one for you then explore the AX Mens and Womens collection now at Very, you will not be disappointed.

What our Very Toy Testers thought about this season’s toys

Fancy treating your little one to some brand new toys? Then look no further, as here at Very we have all this seasons new products on offer from Mattel. From Barbie to Hot Wheels we have some amazing toys that will keep your children entertained. Even better we have had them tested and given the thumbs up by our very own mini toy testers, so that you can be sure they are nothing but amazing.

Check out the full write up here and find out all you need to know from our mini experts as they put our favourite toys to the test.

toy1 toy2

First up from Megabloks we asked the team to test the Build and Go Wagon. Providing your little treasure with independent play and heaps of imagination this toy helps them create their own mini adventures. It is perfect for your kids on the go as they can push along all their building blocks as well as any other toys they want to take along with them. Not only did our toy testers love this product but they also enjoyed playing with the Thomas Sodor’s Big Celebration playset from Megabloks. They had so much fun putting on a party for all their Thomas friends and loved the balloons and stickers included to really set the scene and get their imagination flowing.toy3 (2)

From Fisher-Price, the Bright Beats Dance and Move BeatBo was a popular toy amongst the little ones. Not only did it entertain our toy testers for hours but it also helped them learn through music, songs, phrases, lights and lots of bright colours. They loved the different ways to activate their futuristic friend, pressing his tummy or one of three play buttons on his feet. It’s even designed to grow with your child through 3 modes of play so will make a wonderful companion for all those years to come.

toy3

There was also the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Scooter which brought heaps of excitement to the children’s faces. They loved the cute and colourful sound effects and especially the working horn so they could feel just like mum and dad as they rode along. Learning numbers and shapes doesn’t get much more fun than this.

toy4 toy5
For all those Thomas fans out there, our toy testers loved how interactive the Thomas & Friends Take ‘n’ Play Daring Dragon Drop was. This exhilarating toy will find your child guiding Thomas up the ramp and right onto the dragon bridge as he braves the zip line to get back to Misty Island. It’s a race against time as your little one helps Thomas to safety with exciting lights and sounds to add to all the fun! The Thomas & Friends My First Rail Rollers Spiral Station also allowed our toy testers to create thrilling adventures. They loved how you could make the Rail Roller toys zoom and speed down the track all the way to the bottom. It’s even packed full of fun interactive features like a roundabout and engine lift.

toy7toy6

Now for all the Barbie girls out there, our toy testers loved nothing more than playing with the Barbie Courtney Doll, recreating spectacular moments from the popular Rock’N Royals movie. The Courtney Doll magically transforms from a royal to a rocker with a simple outfit change and by lifting her pink microphone. It really is magic and the kids loved playing and singing along! A silver tiara and matching shoes are also included to complete the party princess look.
And of course every popstar needs a stage, so what better way for your little one to put on a show than with the Barbie Rock’N Royals Transforming Stage. Our toy testers loved recreating magical scenes from the movie over and over again. When closed, the play set brings Camp Royalty and Camp Pop to life. Open, it reveals all the little details of the two very different camps. It even includes a dressing room and a recording studio!
And for those who are more about the freaky and the fabulous, why not check out our testers latest favourites from the gang at Monster High. The team loved recreating ghouly scenes with the Gooliope Jellington Doll. Standing at an impressive 17 inches tall, she wears an over the top outfit that Monster fans will recognise from the webisodes.
Plus for a doll that is truly out of this world, our tiny testers were up in the air over the Monster High Floatation Station Astranova Doll. They loved the way she levitates and couldn’t get enough of the interactive light show that flashes to the beat of their favourite music.

toyl toy las

And last but not least in the line-up, we asked our team to check out the latest from Hot Wheels. First up was the Fall Track Builder Volcano which provided our testers with the ultimate racing adventure. Once again, it was an exhilarating race against time, as with the push of a button the cars race down the volcano before crashing through the fiery lava to make their escape into four different adventures- a fun filled, thrilling ride for all!
Likewise, our testers loved the Hot Wheels Spin Storm Set, launching their vehicles so the cars are sent spinning around the track, racing closer to an exhilarating collision into three different crash zones. The fun never ends with the Spin Storm Set as you can add more cars to the track to add to the adventure.

So as you can see our testers have been pretty busy in the run up to Christmas checking out the latest must have toys. To find out more on these and more, head to Very now and discover more from our favourite toy brands!

 

Earn Your Armour with Under Armour

Get the gear to ramp up your workout regime this season with the new training apparel from Under Armour.

Struggling to get back into a routine this autumn? Why not give yourself that extra bit of oomph with innovative products and classic designs from Under Armour that will help you perform to the best of your ability no matter what your exercise preference.

For Under Armour, the mission has always been to make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation. No matter what level you are, complete novice or fitness fanatic, Under Armour has the product innovations to help you get that little bit more out of your work out, and look stylish whilst doing it!

Earn Your Armour in style with Under Armour’s sleek designs and advanced technologies.

au1

Taking your workout through the winter months – this Fly Fast sweat top by Under Armour keeps you warm so you can focus on your fitness!

Featuring Under Armour’s innovative Moisture Transport System. The brushed fabric and thumbholes to the sleeves work together to trap in your body heat to keep you at the optimum temperature meaning cold days are never an obstacle! Raglan sleeves allow for a natural range of motion and the curved hems provide a little extra coverage as you bend and flex, while the reflective elements provide 360° visibility.

Team with Fly By Luminous leggings and a pair of Thrill trainers, thanks to the pocket in the arm you can listen to music as you run to motivate you to keep going!

ua2

These Fly By leggings are the perfect aid to any winter workout. The stretch fabric allows full agility to move supporting the body in all the right places. The Luminous sheen is perfect for outdoor running for high visibility and safety, you will be sure to stand out!

This Fly Fast combo is our favourite training outfit for the season!

Make sure you have everything you need to get the most out of your workout this season with Under Armour.

In Search of Pastry Perfection…

The seven remaining contestants faced their toughest week yet on last night’s Great British Bake Off as they attempted to achieve pastry perfection!

This involved the terrifying technical challenge of Flaounes (even Mary Berry hadn’t heard of them!), which fireman Mat excelled in, sending him on his way to Star Baker status.

We did love the retro Show Stoppers theme of vol-au-vents, though some of the mouthwatering recipes dreamed up by the contestants were a world away from the chicken and mushroom concoction that adorned wedding reception buffet tables throughout the 80s!

Flora’s praline and chocolate version was a revelation, while Ian’s squid ink experiment proved to be a rare failure for the three-time Star Baker. But in the end it was time for Alvin, who seems to have been baking on thin ice for some time, to leave the tent.

As Alvin heads home, the final six head off for a trip back to the Victoria era in next week’s historical-themed episode – we just hope they’re allowed to use electric mixers!

If last night’s show has inspired you to create your own pie, vol-au-vents or other pastry-based treat, check out this list of our favourite five kitchen accessories to help you along:

salter mix and measure scale

The Weighing
Great pastry requires precision measurements, so there’s no point in skimping on the scale! This electronic mix and measure set from Salter is ideal as it not only measures in metric and imperial, but also has a generously sized blue backlit display for easy reading. Its large stainless steel bowl doubles as a mixing bowl, so you can weigh out the flour and fat, then incorporate it without having to transfer (less washing up!).

Heston Blumenthal adjustable rolling pin

The rolling
It may sound simple, but pastry rolling is actually a subtle art in getting the right thickness for the right dish. My gran used a selection of coins with varying thicknesses to check her pastry depths… we prefer a slightly more modern method, and they don’t get more modern and innovative than Heston Blumenthal!

Designed by the triple Michelin Star-winning chef and produced by Salter, this clever adjustable rolling pin lets you roll your pastry to 3mm, 5mm or 8mm depths. This ensures your pastry will be the same thickness across its entire surface, reducing the risk of those ‘thin’ patches that can lead to tearing, and helping it to cook evenly.

Cake Boss flour sifter

 

The sifting
There’s nothing worse than rolling out your pastry to find it’s become a little too attached to your rolling pin. This is usually the moment when you reach for the flour and throw a fist full onto your worktop, only to realise you’ve added too much and your pastry is now overly dry. This fab flour sifter from Cake Boss is the stylish solution. Fill it up, gently squeeze the trigger and it will dispense a light, even dusting onto your work area.

Mason Cash Pastry Board

The size
If you’re not very good at rolling your pastry to the right size, try this Mason Cash pastry board. Made from toughened glass, it features a series of clever guides that make it easy to roll to the required dimensions (you can also use it as a chopping board!).

Annabel Karmel my perfect pastry set

The kids
Finally, if you’re keen to get the next generation of Bake Off stars started, this My Perfect Pastry Set from Annabel Karmel is a colourful way to get them away from the games console and into the kitchen! Including a bowl, whisk, cookie cutters, cake tins and much more, it even comes complete with 10 recipes for them to have a go at!

Very AW15 Home Edit: Luminescent

Walk into a winter wonderland in the comfort and warmth of your own home with our shiny new AW15 edit: Luminescent.

Inspired by a sparkling wintry scene, our love for just-fallen, crisp and glistening snow is captured by silvered and chrome furnishings. Crystal clear icicles and glittering frost are reflected by mirrored surfaces, glass pieces and high-gloss finishes, transforming your room into an elegant, sophisticated space.

It’s all about bringing the great outdoors inside with rooms that are minimal, uncluttered and clean. Nature is introduced into the home with cosy cushions in marbled prints and flower motifs, while woodland trees decorate curtains.

lum-living-2Choose earthy colours and a neutral palette to create the most relaxing, tranquil environment, or cover the walls in leaf patterned paper to really take things back to its natural state. Complement the look with the Silvestry frosted tree curtains and the rumba rug in duck egg.

 

luminescent-living-room

What would winter be without sumptuously-soft and warm faux fur? Place sheepskin rugs over floors in snowy white or cool blue, and layer faux fur cushions on sofas in smoky grey with a husky throw spread across seating.

For furniture, choose contemporary and sleek designs for a modern look. The Porto range is available in simple, high-shine white that works beautifully with the Monza collection of chrome and glass tables for an industrial twist to the au naturel theme.

Recline in style with the Zenna Corner Chaise in a chalky charcoal cover that works an asymmetric style, or choose snow-like and sumptuous leather settees like the Harlow seating, also available in grey, that brings extravagance and opulence to your icy palace.

 

lum-living-3

Architectural designs feature to vases, lamps and ornaments in diamond, pyramid and octagon shapes. Go geometric with the Santa Barbara table lamp that has a ceramic teardrop base, or this fun zig zag light.

 

lum-arm-chair

 

Subtly sprinkle glistening accessories around the room with embellished sequined cushions and luminescent lighting.

The Gatsby hanging pendant or the crackle glass light balls are perfect for setting the mood, giving off a gentle gleam in varying shades and flecks. For full impact, this Sputnik Cosmic ceiling light is influenced by iridescent, falling snowflakes and twinkling icicles.

 

lum-bedroom

Mirrored furniture makes your bedroom appear larger and more spacious. The Monte Carlo or Prague range of cabinets, drawers and dressing tables create a glamorous glacier look. Co-ordinate the silvered furnishings with this Alsager bed frame that features a padded, tufted headboard in grey, with a cool contemporary shape.

 

lum-kitch-2

Dinnerware also get an abstract update, try the Typoon Imprima collection of embossed crockery, canisters and jars in a honeycomb design with a white glossy glaze. Go matchy-matchy with your kitchen appliances, like this DeLonghu Brilliante toaster with a retro look, but modern diamond finish, and the co-rodinating quirky kettle.

 

lum-kitchen

Continue the chrome style into the kitchen with the Atlantic chairs and dining tables. The stainless steel look carries the industrial theme through, while plush faux leather padding to the seats make this dining set truly comfortable.

Share how you interpret this home trend by posting your photos to #veryme.

Shop Luminescent here.

Lots of love,

Very_Gemma xxx

 

 

Very AW15 Home Edit: Cosy Wool

As summer draws in and the cooler months begin to fall, our natural instinct is to hibernate in our cosy homes. Make a warm welcome to our AW trend, Cosy Wool, that’s influenced by our need to stay snug indoors and relax in complete comfort.

A modern take on the Hunting Lodge look of seasons past, this edit sees a transition towards contemporary country living. Picture quaint country hotels and cottages way up in the Highlands, coated in snow, to cuddling up in front of roaring open fires, all of these wonderful wintry pleasures are captured in this home collection.

Wool-living-room

Rustic furniture, plenty of plaid fabrics and soft blankets are key to achieving this style. A continuation of the popular tartan trend, arm chairs are upholstered in warm olive tones, like the Palmer Accent Chair featured below, adding Scottish heritage to your living space. Tweed-effect textures complement check patterns, try the Quin Sofabed that works a simple Scandinavian structure and wooden splade legs.Wool-living-2Scatter clusters of cushions and throws across the room, we love chunky knits layered with bobbly popcorn textures. Wild country life also feature on cushion covers, from foxes to deer and pheasants, while statement stag heads decorate the walls, nodding to the Hunting Lodge theme.

Lighting flashes back to retro styles, with hanging fixtures that are made from natural materials. The Dylan caged copper pendant gives off a warm glow, while the spiky hedgehog lampshade brings the wild habitat home.

Wool-fire

Claret tones (think apples and plum shades) combine with latte, browns and mulberry to bring warmth to your interiors when it gets dark outside. The Orkney range of sofas, rugs and stools offers all these cosy, classic colours.wool-bedroomTraditional tartan covers bedspreads with the cosy Bennett range, making one of the most important rooms in the house even more inviting. Choose bedroom furniture in a light oak colour, like the Anais bed frame with its spindle headboard and skinny legs, with co-ordinating cabinets and cupboards from the London collection.

Open up your doors to the stunning nature reserve with a kooky squirrel light, while this cute Casa table lamp, with its shiny ceramic finish, softly and beautifully illuminates your space, making you feel right at home.

wool-dining

 

Continue the oak colour scheme into the kitchen with the Primo extended dining table that works a chunky, contemporary design. Add a modern contrast with cool black chairs from the Ace range that also feature Scandinavian spindle posts and tapered legs for a traditional twist.

We’d love to see how you interpret this home trend – simply post a snap on Instagram with #veryme to share!

Shop the complete Cosy Wool edit here.

Lots of love,

Very_Gemma xxx

 

 

It’s Bread Week!

This week, we watched as the Bake Off contestants battled with bread.

 

Ian’s certainly our favourite to win after becoming ‘Star Baker’ for the second week running!

 

After watching this week’s episode, I was inspired to do a bit of experimenting. Luckily, there was no ‘doughverload’ to be seen…

 

bread-bake-off

 

I’ve adapted Paul Hollywood’s White Cob recipe. So without further ado:

 

Ingredients:

 

500g strong white bread or wholegrain flour

10g salt

10g instant yeast

30g softened, unsalted butter

320ml cool water

Olive oil for kneading

Added extras: olives, sundried tomatoes, rosemary…

 

Method:

 

  1. Tip your flour into a large mixing bowl. I bought some amazing wholegrain flour with nuts and seeds from a local farmer’s market, although the original recipe recommends strong, white bread flour.
  1. Add the salt and yeast, placing them on opposite sides of the bowl. Add in the butter and ¾ of the water, turning the mixture with your hands. Add more water until all of the flour is incorporated. It should feel soft, NOT soggy. You can also add some extras if you’d like, such as olives or sundried tomatoes.
  1. Cover your work surface with some oil, and knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes. It should start to form a soft, silky skin.
  1. Put your dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Once it has risen to twice it’s size, and the dough looks shiny and bouncy, it’s ready. This should take anything from 1 – 3 hours.
  1. Line your baking tray with baking parchment.
  1. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knocking it inwards a few times until it forms a ball-like shape. Flatten into a rectangular shape and roll it. Turn so that the longer edge runs away from you, flattening it slightly. Then roll the two ends in towards the centre – you should end up with a chunky, square shape. Turn this over so that the join sits underneath.
  1. Use your hands to shape the dough into a smooth, domed cob. Tuck the dough neatly into itself to create a smooth, taut top and rough underside. Remember not to add too much flour for this.
  1. Place it on your baking tray inside a clean, plastic bag. Leave to prove for at least an hour, until it has doubled in size. The dough should feel springy when you prod it with your finger. Whilst you do this, turn your oven to 230°C and put a roasting tray in the bottom of.
  1. Dust your dough with some flour and slash deeply with a knife. Add hot water to the warmed roasting tray, to create steam in your oven for a lighter crust. Put your bread into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is cooked. Leave it to cool on a wire rack and enjoy with lashings of butter, homemade soup, or whatever you fancy…

 

Don’t forget that next week is Dessert Week on the Bake Off. I think our diets will be put on hold for that one.

 

Love Laura x

Desserts to make your mouth water

We watched the Bake Off contestants do battle with delicious desserts: Ian won Star Baker for the THIRD week in a row(!) while we were sorry to see funny girl Sandy leave the competition after much meringue mayhem.

 

Now, I’m no expert. I love a bit of baking, but I could never create anything like what the contestants managed to bake this week! Their crème brûlées looked absolutely heavenly, but I seriously doubt my ability to a) make a good one and b) bring one into the office successfully!

 

However, I still wanted to try my hand at something remotely… dessert-like.

 

So, being the world’s most notorious sweet tooth, I decided on cookies. They can be stacked, eaten alone, or served warm with ice cream (amazing). My ‘trial run’ went so well that I brought them into Very HQ. Here are a few quotes from my colleagues/judges:

 

Phil: Fabulous, I just enjoyed mine with a brew.

Laura: Wow, FIT!

Steve: They were really good them.

 

choc-chip-cookies

 

So without further ado, here’s my delicious and definitely unhealthy cookie recipe. It’s SO simple, and should make around 20 cookies.

 

You’ll need:

 

125g softened butter

100g light brown soft sugar

125g caster sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

220g self-raising flour

Half a tsp salt

200g chocolate chips (or whatever you fancy)

 

Method:

 

  1. Cream together the butter and both types of sugar.
  1. Once they’re well combined, add the egg and vanilla extract.
  1. Sift in the flour and salt.
  1. Stir in your chosen chocolatey treats. I went for even amounts of white and milk choc chips, but you can add whatever you like… nuts, dried fruit, coconut, smarties… you get the picture.
  1. Warning: At this point, you must resist the urge to grab the spoon and eat the cookie dough straight from the bowl.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4) and line a couple of baking trays with some ungreased baking paper. You may want to weigh it down in the corners to keep it in place while you dollop on the cookie dough.
  1. Roll your dough into golf ball sized balls, and place onto the baking paper. Make sure you leave plenty of room between them to give them space to expand.
  1. For gorgeously gooey cookies, I’d recommend cooking for 9-10 minutes, or until they’re just browning around the edges. If you prefer a crunchier texture, add a couple of minutes to the cooking time.
  1. Remove from the oven and leave to firm up for a couple of minutes, before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
  1. Enjoy! They’re delicious straight from the oven. If you can stop yourself from devouring them all in one go, they should keep well for a couple of days in an airtight container.

 

Stay tuned for even more mouth-watering recipes as the Bake Off action continues.

 

I hope you’re enjoying the Bake Off action as much as I am!

 

Joanna x

NEW IN – Pharrell’s Hottest New Collection for adidas

Following the overwhelming success of Pharrell’s previous SuperStar range, adidas Originals have once again collaborated with the pioneering musician. Pharrell’s passion for art has been blended seamlessly with the adidas passion for trainers in the new SuperShell collection.

Choosing some of his favourite icons, Pharrell has both curated and designed this epic new collection, which sees the classic SuperStar silhouette take on a whole new look. These sneakers are an easy way to shake up your wardrobe this summer, as well as owning a limited piece of artwork.

adidas

Japanese icon, Mr. has infused the classic SuperStar style with anime influences. Inspired by contemporary Japanese culture, these trainers will add a sense of new-age fun to your outfit, releasing the inner child within us all.

supershell

Todd James, the celebrated New York artist, has used graffiti styling in his unique design. Pulling through the controversial art style, these designs capture your attention immediately and inspire individuality for the way you dress.

adidas supershell

For Pharrell’s own designs, colourful flowers cover the toe and heel of the SuperStar shoe. Keeping fun in the core of his designs, Pharrell wants to inspire creativity and happiness, utilising cartoon-esque flower designs and bold, contrasting colours.

These impressive styles are an easy and stylish way to freshen up a classic summer outfit. Wear with ripped jeans and an over-sized tee for a cool, casual style or for the warmer days of summer, you can even pair these with your trusty denim shorts, mixing ultimate comfort with iconic style.

adidas Originals and Pharrell have really stepped up their game with these eye-catching pieces and these designs are sure to sell out fast, so visit our unique adidas hub and get them while you can…

All three styles are available in White and Black on Very.co.uk 

Bake Off’s Back!

Here at Very HQ, we love a good cake. Our office has seen plenty of bake sales over the years, so I’m sure you can only imagine our delight now that the Great British Bake Off is officially back on our screens!

This year’s contestants include a fireman, a prison governor and a bodybuilder. Just like our team, they sound like a mixed bunch!

In true Bake Off style, last night’s episode kicked off with a collapsed Black Forest Gateau and a less than wonderful Walnut Cake. We were sorry to see Stu go in the first week, but our early favourites are Flora and Marie – who was this week’s Star Baker.

At Very, we know you love baking just as much as we do. That’s why we’re stocked to the rafters with brilliant bakeware to help you to make your own kitchen creations.

Get the measure of your cake with these very aptly named Living Nostalgia Vintage Scales. We love the chic, pastel blue colour, and there are lots of matching accessories to indulge in too!

 

living-nostalgia-scales

 

Who could resist this Mason Cash Cane Mixing Bowl? Everyone remembers their grandmother whipping up a storm with one of these – this particular one is plenty big enough, so there’ll be no spilling around the edges!

 

cash-cane-mixing-bowl

 

We also love this adorable Kitchen Craft ‘Sweetly Does It’ Cake Stand. Ideal for displaying your cupcakes, scones and other little treats, it’ll look fabulous at any tea party.

 

kitchen-craft-cake-stand

 

Over the course of the series, we’ll be testing our own baking skills to the max. I can’t promise flabbergasting, GBBO-worthy creations, but I can promise lots of fun and some delicious, drool-worthy recipes that you can try out at home.

If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend checking out Mark’s Trillionaires’ Shortbread recipe

Don’t forget to drop in soon – I’ll be whipping up something delicious (hopefully)!

Joanna x

It’s not a running shoe, it’s a run the world shoe!

All dressed up with everywhere to go

Today, Keds® have bought you a lifestyle fuelled by a passion to put ladies first. Be ready to turn heads this season with the new Keds collections at Very.co.uk.

We have a fabulous opportunity for THREE lucky readers to have the chance to win a pair of Keds collection sneaks. Simply answer the following question and post it in the comments box below.

What is your favourite Keds shoe and why?

…………………………

Introducing the Taylor Swift Collection

There is no such thing as an average girl and the new Taylor Swift collection for Keds says just that! The singing sensation has put her focus on fashion with a fun and stylish collection for Keds, full of personality, inspired by more than a few of her favourite things making sparks fly. In addition to Taylor’s incredible street style that blends trends from boho to menswear, Keds explored other sides of Taylor for inspiration to create prints and patterns that took their cue from favourite past times.

Fans with a sharp eye will recognize some familiar things!

…………………………

Champion

Champion

Make a swift entrance with this champion style, a cute heart print and dreamy violet hue these Champion Hearts sneakers by Taylor Swift for Keds create a lovable look.

Colour-poppingly bright, these sneaks will have your heart a flutter, while their breathable lining, twill upper and cushioned insole keep you cool and comfy all day long!

Team them with a cute playsuit or summer dress with a denim jacket thrown over the top for a simple yet stylish look, just like Taylor’s.

…………………………

A pair to match each of the many hats we wear!

Cat Champion

There will be moving, there will be shaking in these unique favourites! Channelling Taylor’s love of felines this season in the Cat Champion canvas shoes by Keds.

Featuring a sneaky little cat print to the heel and with Taylor’s handwriting on the heel, they were inspired by your favourite Tay Tay album, 1989!

Team them with a cute summer dress, denim jacket and apply some kohl liner to channel Tay Tay’s fierce feline style.

…………………………

This fun collaboration is full of iconic designs which ignite a style revolution, capturing the hearts of women everywhere from fashion icons to the girl next door. This collection supports what you’re all about and who you aspire to be, championing what it means to be a lady today. So shake it off and strut your stuff with classic prints and modern twists in the new Taylor Swift collection for Keds.

P.S Remember… It’s not a running shoe, it’s a run the world shoe!

Xxx

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. Entry into the draw will be deemed as acceptance of these rules and any separate instructions for entry will form part of the rules.
  2. This prize draw is open to any UK resident, aged 18 or over, who is invited to participate by Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited and who leaves a comment answering the question.
  3. Employees of Shop Direct Group companies and anyone else involved in the operation of the draw are excluded from entering. Closing date is midnight 22nd August 2015.
  4. Responsibility cannot be accepted for entries lost, damaged, delayed or spammed.
  5. Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited reserves the right to offer an alternative prize in the event of the original prize being unavailable.  Prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  6. The draw will be made by random selection from all valid entries before midnight on 18.08.15. Each Prize: 1 x Ked’s Trainers stocked on Very.co.uk per winner. This competition is open to 3 individual winners.
  7. There is no cash alternative and prizes are stock dependant. If we do not receive a response within 7 days we will choose another winner. If you have a Shop Direct Group home shopping account that is in arrears at the time of the draw, you will not be eligible to win.
  8. By entering the draw, entrants agree that their details may be disclosed to anyone requesting a list of prize winners. The winner may be required to take part in any publicity relating to this promotion.
  9. The competition can be withdrawn at any time and Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited does not accept liability for any cancelled events.
  10. Promoter: Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited, First Floor, Skyways House, Speke Road, Speke, Liverpool, L70 1AB. Registered No 466328
  11. The promoter reserves the right to exclude any entries which it suspects might not be legitimate e.g. multiple entries, entries linked to the creation of multiple or false email accounts, entries originating out of inappropriate solicitations. Maximum of 1 prize per household

Very’s Great Office Bake Off!

The tent is pitched, the ovens are lit and viewers across the country are licking their lips at the prospect of another 10 mouth-watering weeks of melt-downs, put-downs and soggy bottoms!

To celebrate The Great British Bake Off’s return to our screens we’ll be dropping in throughout the series with a selection of hints, tips and products to help you recreate some of our favourite recipes from the shows. And to prove we’re not afraid to get our own hands floury, a few of us at Very HQ have decided to dust off our pinnies and stage our own bake off battle right here in the office.

When it comes to skill levels, it’s safe to say we’re a bit of a mixed bunch  (as well as having one or two expert bakers in the team, there are also those of us who wouldn’t know a baklava from a balaclava), but whatever we end up concocting in our kitchens, the resulting Show Stoppers will be rigorously judged by an expert panel of… well, whoever dares to have a taste first!

I fall firmly into the novice category, which is a shame because I’ve been selected as the first contestant to step up to the scales. I like to cook but have always found baking requires a certain level of precision and patience that goes against my experimental ‘see what’s in the cupboard, chuck it in and hope for the best’ ethos.

So I’ve decided to play dirty by attempting to score as many points as possible not through flair or imagination, but by wowing the hungry judges with something so ridiculously OTT that they’ll have no option but to award me with the winner’s medal!

It’s time to bring out the big guns – say hello to my Trillionaires’ Shortbread*.

(*Basically Millionaires’ Shortbread, but richer)

This is great for any baking newbies as the recipe is easy to follow, doesn’t require you to be too exact, and the finished shortbreads’ eye-catching triple-layered design will fool people into thinking you’re a lot more skilled than you actually are. The recipe (see below) tells you to use a 13 x 9 inch Swiss roll tin; I threw caution to the wind and opted instead for an 8 inch square tin (as well as double the ingredients for the shortbread and chocolate) so as to end up with a sweet so thick you could use it as an edible footstool.

90 minutes of blood, sweat and swearing in the kitchen (plus the extra two hours it took for the thing to set) and this is what I ended up bringing to work today…

Shortbread

Okay, I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting them to be quite that thick, but while each piece probably contains twice the average person’s weekly allowance of calories, they did achieve the desired reaction from everyone in the office. Here are a few quotes from the judges who were brave enough to take one on:

Gemma: “As rich as the name suggests. A taste of pure luxury!”
Steve: “Delicious and… nutritious”
Joanna: “I haven’t tasted mine yet but the view from the top of it is wonderful”

If you want to have a go at making your own, here’s the recipe (these measurements make the regular size Millionaire’s Shortbread; remember to double up on the shortbread and chocolate if you want them to look like mine).

Shortbread:
50g plain flour
75g caster sugar
175g softened butter

Caramel:
100g butter or margarine
100g brown sugar
2 x 397g cans of condensed milk

Topping:
200g milk chocolate

 Method:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180’C/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 13 x 9inch (33x23cm) Swiss roll tin (or a smaller tin to make thicker slices)
  2. Weigh out the flour and sugar in a bowl, then rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Form into a ball and drop into tin, gently push down until it’s even, then prick shortbread lightly with a fork
  4. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until shortbread is firm to the touch and lightly brown
  5. Take out of oven and leave to cool in the tin
  6. Make caramel by putting butter,  sugar and condensed milk into a pan and gently heating it until the sugar has dissolved
  7. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time, then reduce heat and simmer gently while continuing to stir until the mixture thickens slightly (this takes about 5 minutes)
  8. Pour mixture over the shortbread and leave to cool
  9. Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Pour over the cold caramel and leave in fridge to set
  10. Remove from tray onto a chopping board and cut into squares

Make sure you check back later in the week to read Joanna’s recap of the first episode, or search for more great tips and recipes at our Great British Bake Off Page.

Make your home Smarter

As one of the hottest trends this summer is smart technology, top brands are providing you with ultra-smart and savvy gadgets that will completely transform your home. Not only will they make your home safer and simpler, they’re much more efficient too! So, whether you’re after a smart alarm that’ll increase your homes security or clever lighting that will set the mood, bring your dream of a fully automated home closer to reality and make your life a little easier so you can focus on enjoying the things that are important for you – just make sure you look out for our top picks from favourite brands: Philips Hue, D-Link, Motorola and Yale!           

Philips HueIf you’re after some smart tech for your bedroom, Philips Hue is our top pick – they’ve completely revolutionized smart lighting by combining brilliant LED lighting with intuitive technology! Working together in unison the clever bulbs, bridge and smartphone app will change the way that you light your home, wake you up and protect your home while you’re not around. They can even keep you informed about the weather!

Philips Hue Smart Home

With Hue personal wireless lighting you can set the mood, control your lighting, help protect your home and much, much more, all through your smart phone or tablet.

Starting at £149.99, Philips Hue lighting is about more than just illuminating the dark. It doesn’t take an expert to notice bad light. And the right light can transform entire spaces. Even change the way you feel. With hue, you get full control over the light in your life so you can set the mood, change the ambience and make your home feel completely different.

Whether it is streaming your music to multiple speakers or to smart TV’s linked to your home wi-fi, with D-Link’s clever gadgets you can sit back and relax and stay in tune with the latest smart technology for your living room. Our top pick is the Music Everywhere wireless music extender; it lets you stream all your music from any smart device or computer straight to any connected speaker in your home – sounds impossible right?!

D Link

When it comes to home security, Motorola have it covered so you can have the peace of mind that the things that matter to you; be it your loved ones, your home or even your pets are all safe when you’re not around. With the Motorola Focus 85, you can start safeguarding your home within seconds. All you need to do is place the monitor on a flat surface, download the Hubble for Motorola Monitors app on your iOS (7.0 or later) or Android (4.0 or later) smartphone or tablet and away you go! You can view the room with a 300 degree viewing angle, and zoom in for a close up check up on your close ones or investigate any strange noises throughout the night with the intuitive night vision function!

Motorola focus

Finally, if your home’s security is at the top of your mind, think smart installing one of Yale’s advanced home monitoring systems. Our favourite is the smart 2 camera CCTV kit as it give you a one security solution to fit all. Not only will it give you an incredibly detailed image or what’s happening around your home, you can sync your device to your mobile so you can see through Yale vision wherever you are so if you’re off on holiday, you can easily have a quick peek to check that your house is safe!

Yale D1 2 Camera

So that’s it, we’ve listed our top favourites but if you still can quite find what you’re looking for head on over to our Smart Home Event and shop the entire range – you won’t be disappointed!