Friday, 22 July 2016

Tropic Smoothing Cleanser

tropic smoothing cleanser for oily skin review

It seems like forever since I changed up my cleanser, I’m trying so hard to go through them one at a time instead of having about 5 on the go at once…I’m doing well, I’ve only got two on the go right now! One of which is the Tropic Smoothing Cleanser which I received in my #NWMeet 2.0 goodie bag. 

100% natural, made with green tea extract, golden jojoba, and eucalyptus leaf oils, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and handmade fresh in good ol’ Great Britain, there’s a whole lotta good in this cleanser, but how effective is it?

The cleanser itself is really luxurious, thick and creamy, not exactly what you’d imagine an oily skinned girl like myself is looking for. However, I have found in the past that my skin has responded well to really rich cleansers, it keeps my face supple, and nourished, which actually stops the glands from producing excess oil. Go figure. And the Tropic cleanser is no exception. The cleanser comes in a very sleek and hotel-stylish pump action bottle that looks very fancy pants in my bathroom. It claims to melt away makeup and impurities to promote a clear, smooth and refreshed complexion. 

As it’s super rich, I only use it once a day, of an evening. I figure that's when the most dirt, grease and grime has built up on my face (sexy!) so that’s when I’m in need of a thorough cleansing. Two pumps is enough to cleanse my face and neck. I apply to dry skin (still taking off my make-up with The Body Shops’ Camomile Makeup Remover beforehand), in circular motions which, after one long bloody day is so relaxing. The cleanser smells amazing, the eucalyptus scent is pretty strong so it’s really refreshing. Then, I take it all off with the Tropic bamboo cleansing cloth, soaked in warm water. The cloth, oh! The cloth! It’s like having your face stroked by a soft, warm, not-going-to-claw-your-eyes-out, kitty. Once the cleanser is removed I splash my face with fresh cold water, then pat dry. 

My skin feels like it is physically breathing after using this cleanser, everything feels open in a good way and super clean. I did notice a couple of tiny spots appearing after the first couple of days, but within a week they had cleared up and none have appeared since. This cleanser is super rich and would be ideal for someone with really dry skin. A while back I had these weird dry patches cropping up on my t-zone and they’ve cleared right up since I started using this cleanser! 

tropic smoothing cleanser for oily skin review

One thing I will say is that right now, with this really hot and humid weather we’re having, it’s too rich for me. The sun and heat is sending my skin into overdrive and all my usual products are too much for my skin to handle. My skin as become excessively oily which is a pain in the ass, and causing me to look as sweaty as I feel. Urgh. Come autumn/winter, this little baby will be perfect to keep my face frostbite free, but for the summer, it’s going to have to go on it’s own little holiday to the back of the drawer. 

That being said, I’m not put off using it at all, I actually think it would work really well with my Clarisonic for a really deep cleanse. If you have normal to dry skin, this is certainly going to put some life back into those cheeks! I’ve been eyeballing the Tropic range, and have already added their clay mask, organic nail nectar, and their mineral foundation to my wish list!

How vegan-friendly, cruelty-free is your skincare routine?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

*Juicing vs Blending with Panasonic

panasonic slow juicer mj l500 review

I do love a good kitchen gadget, and something new and shiny always gets my backside back in the kitchen and gets me experimenting. When I was asked to try out the Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500, I was already buzzing with ideas of concoctions I could juice up and try out, from the nice to the naughty and back again, and if it gave me a health kick at the same time - who was I to say no?

I’ve always been a blender, from smoothies to shakes, it all got chopped up, blended up, and drunk down, bits stuck up my straw and all,and I genuinely thought blending was the only way to go. I’ve been downing green juices since they came into fashion and haven’t looked back…until now.

Hands up if you thought blending and juicing were kind of the same thing? I’ve got both hands up (typing with my toes, duh). It’s fruit, it’s veggies, it’s a chance to get a boat load of vitamins and minerals into my wannabe temple-body that I wouldn’t usually get. Ok, they both do do that, but there are a couple of differences too;

panasonic slow juicer mj l500 review

Blending is full of fibre, satisfies hunger cravings and fills you up for longer, with a slow release of energy. The slow release also balances your blood sugar levels - meaning you won’t peak, go bonkers, then crash into a lifeless heap on the floor, craving a snickers. 

Juicing takes out the fibre, making it easier on sensitive digestive systems. It’s also a quick, sure-fire way to get a huge vitamin and nutrient boost as all that good stuff is absorbed quickly, and will give you an instant energy boosting pick me up. Less fibre means you can get in more fruits and veggies than with blending, but it also means you have to watch your sugars. 

The Panasonic Slow Juicer is a centrifugal juicer, which means it crushes the fruit and vegetables slowly which releases more juice, preserving vitamins and minerals, than regular masticating, twin gear and hand cranking juicers. This also makes it one of the quietest juicers on the market, and the most stable. I swear, no matter how much fruit I pushed into this baby, it stayed solid and there was no fear of it rocking off the counter top. 

panasonic slow juicer mj l500 review

Speaking of counter tops - I’m someone with zero countertop space, that's city living for you, and to find something that takes up less space than my kettle? Talk about impressed. It’s compact enough that it doesn’t get in the way, and having it out means I’m more likely to opt for a quick fresh squeezed orange juice over breakfast before reaching for a carton - come on, you’re telling me freshly squeezed juice doesn’t tickle your fancy pants tastebuds? Because it makes me feel very Mrs Bouqut (say it properly now hehe!)

And if it wasn’t fancy enough? It comes with an interchangeable frozen attachment which means you can make frozen desserts and sorbets! Have you not seen the weather we’re having right now? As someone who can’t eat much ice cream (and I curse the heavens daily for this), sorbets are my saviours and I never thought it would be so easy to make my own! You simply chop, freeze, change to the frozen attachment, then pop the frozen fruits in - job DONE. I’m telling you, I feel like a dessert queen!

panasonic slow juicer mj l500 review

As for juicing, I’ve been playing around with some really simple, summery juices that have been perfect for breakfast or as a post ridiculously-long-hard-hot-day-at-work pick me up. Oranges, carrots, pineapple and apples, all things I buy every week but always have too much leftover that ends up going to waste. Not anymore! I juice up the extras and make 4-5 days worth of juice at a time, meaning the only waste I have now is the pulp (and if I had a garden, I wouldn’t even have that as I think it would be ideal for a compost heap!). 

panasonic slow juicer mj l500 review

The one and only downside I have to comment on is the cleaning. Though the juicer comes apart easy enough, some of the nooks and crannies are so finicky to get fruit and veg pulp out of that it can take me a good while, and a good scrubbing before I’m satisfied it’s all out. It does come with a handy cleaning tool but in the morning pre-work rush, I just don’t have the time. Batch juicing on the weekend seems the best way to go, as I have time to make my juice in bulk and time to make sure it gets a good cleaning. 

Overall, I’m impressed. I won’t even look at the cartons of pre-made juice in the supermarkets anymore, always opting to make my own, even if it is something simple like an orange juice, there’s just something really satisfying about making my own. I’m looking into some detoxing and cleansing juices that I can’t wait to try (and will report back on, obvs) and did you not see me mentioning sorbets? I’m not saying blending and I are through, we’re on a Ross and Rachael style break, but juicing has seriously won me over right now!

Are you team blender or team juicer?

Until next time,

*Come Round kindly provided the Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are 110% my own :) For more information, see my disclaimer here.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Mix and Mask with Origins

mix and mask box origins

Open your purse. Go do it now. Opened? Good. Is there £20 in there? No? Ok, go check down the back of the couch, the jean pockets about to go in the washing machine, the bottom of your bag. Find £20 because it’s going to be the best £20 you’ve spent on beauty products in a while. 

When Jane, British Beauty Blogger, partners with Latest in Beauty, you know you’re in for a treat, but when that partnership involves Origins…seriously, just take my money right NOW.

Ok, Ok, I’ve had caffeine, it was a good idea at the time. let me calm down for a….



Nope. There will be no keeping calm. 

It’s been forever and a day since I last bought a subscription box of the beauty kind, I’d gotten fed up of repeats, sachets, perfume samples and a lifetime's supply of hand-creams. I love un-boxings, I love seeing what I could have won but nothing has ever caught my eye enough to make me want to take up my subscription again. Now, one off boxes, they can be a whole different story. You usually know what you’re getting before it arrives (OK, I miss the mystery a little bit), and you can work out if it’s worth the pennies you’ve scrimped together. The problem usually is, by the time you’ve done the sums to see if it really is that good a value for money, chances are it was limited edition, it’s sold out and well, here’s what you could have won. Swings and roundabouts people!

Jumping right into the box, I knew it was going to be worth the money, let’s face it, £20 doesn’t get you a whole lot at Origins, so a box full of goodies was going to really give you bang for your buck, but let’s have a look inside shall we, the proof is in the mud mask. 

mix and mask box origins

Vitazing spf15 moisturiser full size, worth £29. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while, I have zero luck when it comes to tinted moisturisers but this is supposed to be all kinds of different, more sheer and matte with skin energising and mineral boosting ingredients. 

Maximiser full size, worth £18.50. This. This I almost bought the other day but I ran out of time to hit the counter to grab one. Gimmick or saving grace? That’s what I want to know. Self-confessed mask-addict, even face masks need an accessory and the maximizer is suppose to prep your skin, allowing your face mask to work even more miracles than it was already promising. Watch this space!

mix and mask box origins

By All Greens 25ml. This is a foaming, deep cleansing green tea based face mask. Tea. Green tea. It’s like they knew I would be getting my hands on this box. It foams up on contact with the skin, then when mixed with water, doubles up as a cleanser too - sounds perfect for an in-bath pamper session, don’t you think?

Drink-Up Intensive 30ml. I have the full sized one of these and was all ready to decant a little off for when I go travelling later in the year…but decant I shall not! With a long haul flight coming up this little facemask is my best friend. I won’t be landing long-haul looking like my face has been used as sandpaper for 9 hours, oh no! Plump, hydrated skin, ready to holiday like no-one has holidayed before. 

GinZing Peel off mask 15ml. Because who doesn’t want their face mask to look like a Snapchat filter? I’ve never had much luck with peel off masks but if this makes me look like a sexy rose-gold terminator, who am I to judge? I’ll just upload the Instagram picture and let you guys decide!

mix and mask box origins

A Quad of Pods 10ml each. I have been wanting to try the mask pods forever and a day but they don’t seem to be that easy to get hold of! Damn lucrative beauty products! They’re the perfect way to try to a mask on a more luxury sample size basis, ideal for travelling, and for experimenting with multi-masking! Each pod will easily give me two full face masks, and bonus I was lucky enough to receive a super-sized 30ml of the Original Skin mask over a 10ml pod - winner! 

And that’s it. That IS IT. 

£20 well spent if I do say so myself, I won’t be needing to buy a face mask anytime soon that’s for sure, and with so many new toys to play with you can guarantee I’ll be getting a couple of snazzy new reviews out of this one box too!

At the time of rapidly writing up this un-boxing, the Mix and Mask box was still in stock but at the time of publishing…well…sorry guys, I guess it’s one of those here’s what you could have won posts. Oops!

What’s your desert island face mask?

Until next time,

Friday, 15 July 2016

*Making time for ME with The Tea Makers, London

the tea makers london flowering tea review

I don’t know about you but I feel like I’m running around with my ass on fire lately. I can’t remember the last time I took five minutes out to do something purely for me. Work, family, friends, blogging, chores, it’s all one never ending constant on-the-go-can’t-even-stop-to-pee-merry-go-round. I’m knackered! There’s been so much on lately, from events to get togethers and celebrations and don’t get me wrong, I’m having so much fun and loving every minute of it - but I’d quite like a minute or two to myself thank you very much. 

I’ve always been a firm believer that if I can’t love and look after myself, then I can’t love and look after those I care about. I’m one of these people who thinks she has to do everything. I’ll ask for help, but not until I’m about half way through a task and realise I’m drowning. Whereas the Mr might save something for later, I’m all, let’s get it done now and get it out the way - but one task leads to another, one outing makes plans for another etc etc, and now I’m dead on my feet. 

the tea makers london flowering tea review

I’m making a point of getting back some me time, even if it’s only 5 minutes here and there, it’s time for me to stop, take stock and recharge my batteries, after all, what’s the point if I can’t whole-heartedly give 100% of myself? 

I love sitting down with a brew, a couple of biscuits and a book. Even if I only read for as long as it takes me to drink my brew, it’s long enough that I feel like I can jump right back into the chaos that is life. But wouldn’t it be nice to take a little longer? To make a less than ordinary brew that stops me in my tracks and forces me to sit down, breathe deep and wait. Wait for something magical to happen. 

When The Tea Makers, London got in touch to talk to me about their *Artisan Flowering Tea Bulbs they couldn’t have landed in my inbox at the perfect time! Forget quickly chucking the kettle on, lashing in a tea bag and scolding yourself as your try to pour and blog at the same time - oh no no, these little bulbs take time. And there’s nothing that forces you to sit down and stop more than watching a tea bulb flower before your eyes. 

Nothing is more fancy pants and self-indulgent than a flowering tea. Handcrafted by professional tea artisans (yes, that’s a real job title!), these little bulbs are designed to bloom into one or multiple flowers right there in your teapot, you just need to add the hot water and watch nature unfurl before your eyes. I had my first flowering tea a couple of years ago in a restaurant and all the eyes were on out table as the bulb began to bloom - I’d never even thought about recreating this magic at home!

The flowering tea bulbs collection contains five tea bulbs, each consisting of fine silver needle tea leaves wrapped around dried flowers. Inside you’ll find; chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily, hibiscus, osmanthus, and rosebud, all individually foil wrapped and vacuum sealed with a picture on the front of how each one blooms - so you can really pick something for your eyes to feast on.

the tea makers london flowering tea review

After much oohing and ahhing over the pictures I finally settled on the perfect rose bulb to try out first! I grabbed my glass teapot (the only way to truly appreciate and enjoy a flowering bulb) popped in my bulb and added the hot water. It wasn’t long before the bulb started to dance around the teapot, before finally settling on the bottom where it began to unfurl. 

Slowly but surely the bulb blossomed, green leaves shooting out first to reveal the brightly coloured flower in the middle, from here sprung up two white floral rows that came together in the middle with a bright pink rosebud. In all, it took about 5 minutes for the bulb to fully bloom - and I sat there for about 10 minutes just ogling it. Me time has just gone up a level! 

the tea makers london flowering tea review

And how did the tea taste? Marvellous. It’s got a very mild, earthy green tea taste to it without being bitter or over steeped. It was like getting a lovely, fancy pants, warm hug on the inside. I’ve got to say, the whole thing goes down a treat when paired with a bubble bath and a YouTube binge! Hey, I did say me time had gone up a level! Throw in a face mask and you might not see me for days!

Life is crazy, so it’s more important than ever to make time for yourself and find ways to relax, unwind and ground yourself. Be it with a book and brew, or a walk in the park, find what it is that gets you back to you and make more time for yourself!

the tea makers london flowering tea review

What does your me time involve? 

Until next time,

The Tea Makers, London kindly provided the artisan flowering tea bulbs in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are 110% my own :) For more information, see my disclaimer here.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Independent Liverpool Food Festival - Carnival Edition 2016

This past weekend saw the Liverpool Independents come together for a food festival extravaganza in the Baltic Warehouse. I was lucky enough to win two tickets to the Sunday so grabbed the foodie fiend that is the baby Bro and headed down to see what was going on. 

Can I just start by saying this space is amazing! I’ve never been inside the Baltic Warehouse and it sounds like there is stuff going on there all the time! The space is huge, and was so vibrantly decorated, I could see where the carnival atmosphere was coming from. The space itself is split into 3 parts; 2 indoors and 1 outdoors. The main warehouse was where the stalls were cooking up an absolute storm on their grills and hot plates, the back warehouse for cake, coffee and cheese, then the outdoor botanical garden was serving up everything gin! There were a couple of bars dotted around here and there and a Prosecco trolley doing the rounds keeping every glass topped up - this should be a permanent thing! 

We did a not so quick walk round of the stalls, eyeing up all the delights on offer. The downside was it looked like a lot of them had already started to run out of a fair portion of their menus. I tried not to look at what they didn’t have, but of course, curiosity got the better of me and it was all the stuff I really wanted to try! We’d got there around 1pm, doors had opened at 12pm and would be open till 11pm. That being said, there was still plenty of food on offer, and I had made sure to wear an extra elasticated dress! 

I started off at Pao, ordering up a plate full of spinach pakoras that came on a bed of red onion, salad, smothered in a curry sauce and dressed with chilli. These were amazing! I don’t know what was in that sauce, it was kind of like a mayonnaise but with a curry flavour running through it, it was absolutely divine and really gave the spinach pakoras a kick. The Bro started with a steak burrito from Evil Eye Burrito that was jam packed with filling and all cooked fresh there and then in front of him. It was huge and a full meal in itself. 

This is where we started to go wrong. 

The past food festivals I’ve been to, portions have been small, think tapas sharing size, so we’ve usually spilt a couple between us and worked our way around a fair chunk of the festival, trying a lot of food. But out first two choices of the day ended up being bigger than expected and extremely filling. Uh oh. 

Next up, we hit Little Furnace. I’d planned to only get food I had never tried before, but their pizza looked amazing! We must have walked past about 10 times trying to decide. In the end, we gave in and grabbed two slices, pepperoni and sausage and garlic mushroom. The base was a really well cooked sourdough bread that made the pizza, well, not taste like pizza. One slice was bigger than my head! We could have easily got one to share, and probably should have, even my extra elasticated dress was starting to strain at this point!

We wandered the stalls some more, more so to try and walk off the pizza than anything else, taking in the atmosphere and eyeballing everything on offer for the millionth time. What I loved about this independent festival was that is was pretty small! In all there were 14 independents on the day, each offering 3-5 dishes, as well as drinks. Everything from vegan to burgers, hot dogs, clam chowder, flat bread, fries, cake, coffee, tofu and more, so there was defiantly a variety and something for everyone. The atmosphere itself was just brilliant and it was lovely to see so many families there with kids of all ages, I’m talking newborns to teens, all getting involved and filling their boots. They had a great kids corner set up too with games, crafts and face painting.

After admitting defeat on the cooked food, we knew we couldn’t leave without trying something sweet, and Lauras Little Bakery was on hand to sort us out. It took us longer to decide what cake to split - yes, we’d finally figured out sharing might be a good idea after all, than it did to do a couple of laps of the warehouse! Chocolate orange brownies, Ferrero Rocher cookie sandwiches, Reese's Pieces cupcakes and more red velvet than you can shake a stick at, the decision was impossible! After much deliberation and seeing the size of one slice of cake, we opted for the red velvet Reeses pieces cake with two spoons. 

Thick red velvet layers, with a vanilla sponge layer in the middle, sandwiched together with lashings of peanut butter frosting, biscuit, more frosting, and decorated with Reese's pieces and cups, it was everything and more

Throw in a couple of drinks, me getting lost looking for the toilets, being mistaken for someone called Leanne and lots of salivating over all the food, and you’ve got our afternoon covered. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any of the entertainment, I think this all started later on, but we still had a fantastic time, leaving around 4pm with our bellies full and a whole list of independent restaurants around the city that we must go and check out!

It was a brilliant afternoon and I can’t wait for the next one! I loved the intimacy of the event, fewer stalls meant a more conscious selection and getting to know some new places is always a good thing in my books! I really hope they do another one between now and the big festival in September! 

How do you tackle food festivals? Fat pants? Keep it small? Or gorge until they have to roll you out?

Until next time,

Friday, 8 July 2016

Help! I need blog post ideas!

blog post inspiration

You need a blog post and you need it now. But the blank page is mocking you, your inner critic is making you delete every word you type. Nothing sound original, or niche. Nothing sounds like it’s going to fly to the top of a Google search, hell, it’s boring you writing it so who in their right mind would read it? Or even leave a comment?

What do you do?

What do you DO?

Distract yourself.
Head on over to YouTube or Netflix and get lost in something totally unrelated to blogging for a while. Distract yourself with Piper's antics in prison, watch another Louis Theroux documentary, or even pick up a book. Something that isn’t sitting at the keyboard with your eyes bleeding over the blank page. Just because you’re not physically blogging doesn’t mean you’re not mentally blogging. Whilst one part of your brain is all relaxed and chilled out in front of the tv, the other side is mulling over ideas, maybe something that inspired you weeks ago but you never wrote it down so forgot about it, this is the time it makes a comeback! Half way through your programme you’ll suddenly be itching to get back to the computer and write up your kick ass post!

Have a chat.
Head on over to Twitter and take part in a Twitter chat. Trust me, there will be one going on somewhere, there’s so many now you’ll be tripping over them. There’s something for everyone, from blog related to not so blog related. It’s amazing how inspiring it can be just talking things over with others. If you’ve got a bunch of bloggers in a handy Whats App chat, go and have a word with them! See what they’re up to, talk about their latest Tinder finds, you’ll find something to write about.

Go over old posts.
Got an old post that could do with a follow-up or a sequel? Maybe you’ve got a new take on an old idea? Never be afraid about following up older content, just don’t repeat your original thoughts and opinions. If you’re going to do a product review follow up, maybe things have changed, maybe it isn’t working out for you like it did the first time round, or maybe something your once loathed you now love. Maybe you’ve done a kitchen home-ware wish list - fancy following it up with one for the living room or bedroom? 

Go do something NEW!
Find a cafe you’ve never been to before, or visit a part of town you’ve never really explored. Take some Insta-worthy shots and put together a post about your adventure. I love doing this, not only do I usually find a new place to fall in love with, but it gets me out the house and gives me a brand new experience to cherish. 

Write a post about not being able to write a post!
Yup. This was me. This was this posts moment of conception. I’ve been racking my brain all night trying to force something, anything out to make sure I put a post out today and it just wasn’t happening. So, I started to think of ways to make it happen, ways that have worked for me in the past. Voila! This little post of inspiration was born.

And if all else fails? If still, no post will come? Don’t sweat it. It’s only one post, it’s not the end of the world, contrary to what some blogging help guides will tell you! You will not lose your followers or page ranking, your DA score won’t drastically drop overnight. After all, it’s better to put out quality content over last minute drivel…right?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Magical Nut and Seed Energy Boosting Pots

I don’t know about you, but when it gets to that late afternoon slump I become more irritable than an itch you can’t scratch because you’re in public. My head starts to ache, my eyes can’t focus and my body is craving sugary, chocolatey, quick fix goodness to keep the beast mode at bay and scrape through those final few hours of work. It’s a bitch. It turns me into a bitch. And it does nothing for my waistline. It’s all too easy to take the lift down to the vending machines, justifying that chocolate bar by promising your internal critic you’ll take the stairs back up with it clutched to your chest. Ok, let's be honest, it probably won’t even make it back to your desk, it’ll be devoured one flight up. 

Since it dawned on me that the big 3-0 is almost a year away, my biological clock is cock-a-doodalooing, and I’m nowhere near as young as the shop assistants who keep asking me for ID think, it’s probably about time I got a touch more serious about my health, i.e, I really can’t carry that extra slice of cake like I used to. One of my biggest downfalls is that I have a super sweet tooth and can find a reason to justify every extra piece of Galaxy I consume, be it a hard day pick me up, or an amazing day reward, there’s always a reason. And when the mid-afternoon slump hits, I’m the first in line at the vending machine, eyeballing the last packet of peanut M&Ms - don’t dare make me get the plain ones! 

energy boosting nut and seed snacks

That’s where nuts come in. Nuts, seeds, aka rabbit food as a friend calls out every time I pull this little pot of homemade magical energy out of my bag on my afternoon break. Magical. I went there. After a mammoth Pinterest foodie session a couple of weeks back, and a years-long obsession with Graze boxes, I figured I could easily Blue Peter these little boxes myself and hopefully solve the sugar crush crash I was facing on a daily basis. Snacks can be healthy!

The Yoghurt Pot.

A few dollops of soy yoghurt, then a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and sultanas. Mix it all together, chuck it in the fridge and give it a couple of hours. The chia seeds swell and soften in the yoghurt and the sultans get all coated and squishy. I have this with my dinner every day instead of a bag of crisp. The seeds are rich in vitamin E, zinc, iron, stress-relieving minerals, serotonin and more. The chai seeds are especially beneficial, jam packed with omega 3 and oodles of protein and fibre. They've even been known to reduce blood pressure! The sultanas are something sweet, a great alternative to chunks of chocolate (though you should add a couple of dark chocolate pieces to this, oh me oh my!). 

energy boosting nut and seed snacks

The Nut Pot.

I crack this baby out late in the afternoon, packed with brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, dried cranberries and dried mango. The nuts give me an amazing energy boost that releases consistently through the afternoon, keeping me awake, upbeat and full until I get home and get tea cooking. More vitamins, more minerals, immune boosting, heart loving, gimmie all that good stuff! This satisfies my sugar craving without me having to rock the vending machine for the Twirl it refuses to give me. It also saves me a small fortune as it’s cheaper to buy a couple of bags of different nuts and seeds than it is to buy a couple of days worth of sugary, processed crap. 

energy boosting nut and seed snacks

Check out this adorably cute, Pinterest-worthy infographic below for 5 quick and easy ways to start 
living a healthier life today!

easy healthy living tips

How close is your next milestone? Do big birthdays or upcoming events cause you to re-evaluate your health and start upping your self-love game?

energy boosting nut and seed snacks

Until next time,

Monday, 4 July 2016

Currently Watching #4

what to watch on netflix and sky

It’s me. It’s the tv. It’s shows I’ve been loving lately, what more of an introduction do you need? So let’s talk all about what's been going on on the box!

Orange is the New Black Season 4

I won’t lie, I wasn’t totally looking forward to the latest season, season 3 was shite. I’m sorry. But it was. Seasons 1 & 2 were brilliant and season 3 just ruined it for me, so I haven’t exactly been waiting with baited breath. I know a lot of people have binged their way right through season 4 just days after it come out, I’m on about episode 5 or 6 right now and all I can say is meh. It’s better than season 3, though that wouldn’t be a hard one to beat but it’s still not totally grabbed me the way the earlier seasons did. I’m sticking with it purely because everyone keeps telling me how friggin awesome it is. But then again, people told me Kimmy Schmidt was amaze-balls too and that made my eyes bleed so….let’s wait and see. 


Let me start by saying WHY HAVE I ONLY JUST STARTED TO PUT MYSELF THROUGH THIS?? Because I know there is only one series. And it’s not as amazing as everyone says - IT’S BETTER. Better. The caps are necessary. VERY. From the first episode, I’ve been totally hooked and I’m desperately trying to eek out the last couple of episodes just to make it last a little bit longer. On what planet does a show like this get cancelled when other shows, get to go on forever with no plot, no characters, no meaning and awful writing? What’s with that? I swear by my pretty floral bonnet I will be jumping right into the fan fiction once the final credits role, I’m nowhere near ready for this to be over!


I think I’m in a cowboy kinda mood lately, though these cowboys have far fewer laser blasters and space travel. Another show I hear was cut short, but at least there’s three seasons for me to watch. I’m hooked, it’s so well written, amazing characters and somewhat based on the real Deadwood which hooks me in even more. It’s amazing seeing the young, fresher faces of actors and actresses I know so well from other shows.  

The Great British Sewing Bee

It’s like the bake off, but sewing machines and pattern cutting instead of fondant icing and burnt cakes. I am in love. I have always wanted to sew. I took textiles when I was 16 for my GCSE’s but never really got to get all that creative, plus I was very anti-dress back then. Now, I wish I had done more, and would love to get my hand on a machine and learn how to make my own clothes, especially skater dresses. I genuinely love seeing what the contestants create, especially in the modification challenge! I also love shows that don’t involve the public vote, it’s all down to the judges and the contestants raw talent. I can’t be doing with publicity contests! It’s the final this week and my money is on Joyce or Charlotte to win! Sorry Jade!

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I feel like I waited forever and a day for the latest seasons to make an appearance on Netflix, and then seemed to forget all about them. We’ve absolutely blitzed our way through season 10 and are steadily going through season 11. Watching one of these is easily the funniest 20 minutes of my day. The episode where Mac and Dennis move to the suburbs is basically how I see my life when I move out of the city centre! The latest seasons have really pushed the boat out, both with the comedy and the sketches, everything has taken a much more risqué turn compared with past seasons but they do it so well!

What’s on your box?

Until next time,

Friday, 1 July 2016

ESPA Detoxifying Body Oil

espa detoxifying body oil review

Lately, I have gone back to my obsession with daily body brushing and moisturising. There’s something about your skin looking and feeling ridiculously smooth that just makes me feel great, so hello to Espa’s Detoxifying Body Oil! Yup, detoxifying body oil, so it’s not all about making your skin smooth and touchable, it’s about so much more than that. 

Go on, scoff. I did. I wasn’t exactly convinced a body oil could detox me in anyway. Sure, we all know how lotions and potions can penetrate the layers of the skin, getting to the good stuff so that when our skin naturally sheds, it’s happy, bright and smooth skin that comes through next, but can a body oil really help to remove toxins from the body? Espa’s Detoxifying Body Oil is a potent, clarifying tonic that aims to keep skin supple, smooth and stimulate body and mind to rid it of pesky toxins. 

Two of its main ingredients have surprising detoxifying benefits;

Cypress Oil has antispasmodic properties that ease muscle cramps, tension and muscle pull, making it the perfect post-workout treatment. Cypress oil also increases blood flow and has been known to ease the pain. It can also increase the body’s need to perspire and sweat, forcing toxins, salts, and excess water out of the body. 

Juniper Berry is a natural diuretic that increases your need to urinate, thus flushing toxins out of the body, as well as reducing water weight. Juniper is a natural stimulant that can reduce fatigue, dizziness, and depression, so not only will your skin look good, but you’ll be feeling great on the inside too which will shine through!

The oil also contains grapefruit for extra stimulation and mood boosting, and almond oil which is hugely beneficial to locking in moisture and keeping skin supple and young. 

I love using the Detoxifying Oil on my gym days, there’s nothing like a hot shower or a dip in a bath of Epsom salts to ease muscle pains and to wind down after that endorphin high, but couple that with this oil and I genuinely feel like I’m floating. I’ve found it really helps to ease the muscles in my legs after a squat session and my skin feels ridiculously smooth all over. The scent is a little heady, to begin with, but that does fade as the day goes on. 

espa detoxifying body oil review

I always apply this when my skin is still a little damp, as it’s easier for the skin to absorb as it dries. Starting at the feet, I massage small amounts into my skin, working in circular motions towards my heart. I really concentrate on areas like my calves, thighs, and arms as these are the tensest after a gym session. They do recommend you drink plenty of water when using this oil, which I do in general anyway so I haven’t experienced any adverse side effects. 

I won’t lie, this is the perfect treatment after a heavy night on the town too! 

Any thoughts on detoxifying beauty products?

Until next time,