Book Review: Vicious Little Darlings

Title: Vicious Little Darlings
Author: Kathering Easer
Genre: YA, Mystery
Released: June 2011
My Review: Vicious Little Darlings is an extremely unique tale of jealousy. I can safely say, I've never read anything like it. There are mentions of a pet baby fawn, nude portraits and so much drama that you'll be in complete disbelief while reading this book.

Early on, I was completely taken aback. Vicious Little Darlings is almost a complete shambles and downright unrealistic but as it sits in the same vein as Pretty Little Liars, you'll find yourself holding your breath until the very last secret is revealed. It was also the perfect way to tide me over until the next season of PLL.

Basically, Sarah has recently transferred to a new school on the other side of the country far from her family. She feels isolated and alone so when an instant bond forms with the school outcasts, Maddy and Agnes, she clings to their friendship and eventually moves into their private accommodation away from the security of her fellow students and teachers.

Sarah finds their antics slightly odd but passes it up as grief and immaturity, it isn't until she finds a Hello Kitty diary full of disturbing diary entries that she starts to take things seriously and finally tries to get the hell out of there!

Yes, Vicious Little Darlings tested my limits to the nth degree but in a roundabout way, I became very invested in this novel. I only wish their had been an improvement to the first half of the novel so it could've be enjoyed by a much wider audience.

Sugar Free September // Day One

Late last night, I discovered an exciting new challenge on Twitter thanks to Maude Garrett. It's called Sugar Free September and it's all about monitoring your sugar intake for the entire month. I guess I was all pumped at nearing the completion of the ABC Reading Challenge or simply due to the fact that it was nearing midnight but somehow I signed up for the challenge without a second thought.

At first, I was a little worried that their would be very limited food options available and I'd simply end up splurging at the first sign of weakness but it turns out you can qualify for the challenge if you stick to foods with less than 5 grams of sugar per 100 gram serve. This opens up a whole world of opportunity and had me reading the back of labels on almost every product I bought when I ventured out into the supermarket today. 

There are some hardcore peeps out there who are only doing the meat, veg and fruit option but that so isn't me. It's been extremely hard to kick my morning cup of tea with low gi sugar so hopefully I can make it through the entire month without too many dollar coins in the mistake jar!

Sugar Free September is a simple concept that encourages Australians to cut all processed sugar from their diet for one month.  Do something positive for you!

All we’re asking is that for the month of September you check anything that you’re going to eat or drink, for its Sugar levels – if they are any higher than 5% (5g/100g) – you then make the decision not to eat or drink it!

Day One // Sugar Free September
Breakfast - I woke up really keen to get into the first day of the challenge, I was tossing up between eggs or oats for brekky and finally settled on Scrambled Eggs with some tomato but I could've easily used corn instead. I would usually add in some cream and have a piece of toast too but settled for just the eggs until I could do some more research on my pantries sugar levels.

Lunch - I went out with friends in the afternoon and made the mistake of not telling them about my new challenge so I ended up succumbing to take-away food which is probably the worst choice ever! I ended up with three mini-potato cakes, a hot dog in batter and some chips. Urgh, first day in and I already owe a dollar to the jar :S

Snack - I was seriously craving a cup of tea with some sugar at this point, I usually would've had about 2-3 by this point each with a teaspoon of Lo-Gi sugar but instead I had some Banana ice-cream that I made a couple days ago with my brand new Yonanas Machine.

Dinner - I had some leftover Corned Beef Pie in the fridge which luckily fit into the challenge, I think. I also caved and had that cup of tea I so desperately missed.

Daily Sugar-Free Jar Count: $4 Owing

Q: What foods would you find most difficult to avoid during Sugar Free September?

Yonanas // Product Review & Aussie Giveaway

Yonanas Product Review
I first spotted the Yonanas Ice-Cream Maker when it was featured on one of my favourite blogs so I'm thrilled to be able to review it for my readers today!

In the past, I've experimented with lots of different frozen dessert recipes, most recently I froze vanilla yoghurt in little tubs with berries and some honey for a healthy snack. I even blogged about my DIY Smoothie Cubes a little while back so I'm hoping the Yonana can become a staple in my household when it comes to creating healthy and delicious treats!

Personally, I made the decision to STOP buying kitchen appliances as we've racked up quite a few in the past couple years (convection oven, air fryer, food processor) so when I spotted the Yonanas machine in my local Harris Scarfe store for the first time, I was a little disappointed that I couldn't break my promise and test out this brand new product. Luckily, Yonanas were able to supply me with a machine for review today and I couldn't be more pleased.

At first, I was a little skeptical as to whether the taste would compare to store bought ice-cream and whether the recommended retail price would be worthwhile but I was easily won over.

In anticipation of the Yonanas turning up on my doorstep, I made sure to prep a few bananas and put them in the freezer so I was all ready to go when I finally unpacked the machine. I started off by placing two frozen bananas in the chute with some leftover chocolate pieces. It got a bit noisy at this point and I was required to press a little forcefully to get the frozen banana through the grinder. In hindsight, I now see I should've left the bananas out to defrost for a little bit and also chopped them up into smaller pieces but other than that I had no real issues and was pleased with what the machine produced.

The ice-cream like texture and taste was delicious and I was keen to test the machine out further, so I went on to create a Banana/Berry combo and put those into the provided icy pole freezing containers, as seen in the below photo.

I love ice-cream and all sorts of after dinner treats but I try to avoid them for the calories and mostly the guilt but with the Yonanas you can have the fun of creating your own flavour combinations and then get to have a healthy and delicious treat whenever you want!

I'm chuffed!  I've been eating yummy treats for days now. It's even fun to make and experiment with new flavours. And it's all HEALTHY because you're only adding fruit and no preservatives or sugar. It's even easy to clean and doesn't take up too much room in our kitchen because it's such a compact device.

Overall, I really enjoyed using the Yonanas machine. It's taste and health benefits have fit in with my lifestyle really well and I hope to use it on a regular basis especially in the upcoming summer months.

  • Healthy - A great snack for the summer as you're only eating frozen fruit without any sugar/cream/preservatives.
  • Taste - I'm really surprised to say the Yonanas sits on par with store bought ice-creams. I don't miss the sugary flavours at all.
  • Easy to Clean - Just take apart the grinder section and rinse or pop in the dishwasher.
  • Allergies - I can imagine this being a life-saver for those with allergies, you know exactly what you're putting into your ice-cream!
  • Fun - I love trying out new recipes and especially enjoy testing out desserts so this is just more of a chance for me to have fun in the kitchen


  • Quantity -  I used two bananas and half a cup of berries which resulted in about two small servings. It was perfect for me but I imagine it would be chaos for those with small children or a large family!
  • Ease of Use - You need a bit of strength to push the frozen fruit into the chute and through the grinder. It's also a rather noisy device.
  • Pre-freezing - I wouldn't recommend this machine to those of us who are a little impatient. The bananas must be frozen solid for up to 24 hours before using the Yonanas machine. I now have a system where I add bananas to my freezer every time I use the machine otherwise it becomes a waiting game.
  • Price - As I said earlier, I was originally put off by the price but if I could go back in time, I would definitely buy one for myself earlier as it looks like it's becoming a regularly used household appliance.
  • Food Processors - After reading a few other reviews, it seems a similar result can be obtained through a food processor. I will definitely test this out myself one day.
Product Info

What Is It?
Yonanas is a new, easy to use ice-cream maker that takes frozen bananas and other ingredients and turns them into a low cost, healthy soft serve ice cream.

How It Works:
Simply freezer chunks of banana overnight then allow to thaw for a few minutes before placing in the Yonanas machine. Repeat the process with your choice of frozen fruits, nuts or chocolate and you'll have delicious homemade ice-cream ready to eat!

Where To Buy:
The Yonanas Ice-Cream Maker retails for roughly $89.95 in Australian stores. It can be purchased online at the Yonanas store or through these major retailers: Target, Myer, Harvey Norman, Harris Scarfe & Matchbox.


Aussie Giveaway
The Yonanas team were kind enough to donate one ice-cream maker to a lucky participant who follows their Facebook or Twitter profile below. Entry is open to Australian residents only!

Q: What ice-cream flavour combinations would you make with the Yonanas machine? I'm thinking about trying Banana/Pineapple next up!

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