Thursday 27 October 2016

My Little Brooklyn Box

My little box is swiftly becoming one of my favourite subscription boxes so when it arrived this month I couldn’t wait to see what was inside. The theme this month was Brooklyn, very fitting as I will be staying in Brooklyn when I go to New York next year so this got me super excited! I have seen a lot of people moaning about this box but I really liked it. The box also came with a nice Brooklyn print which I will be adding to my gallery wall to remind me of my travels – it’s just a shame it has the MLB logo plastered in the middle but never mind.

The first thing I pulled out was a little pouch and one of the items inside were these adorable geometric rose gold and green shirt collar studs. I have a few blouses that these would look great on. I think added to a red blouse these will give your outfit a festive twist! These pins don’t have to be used on the collar if that’s not your thing, add them to a bag or the pocket of your jeans – there are no rules!

Also in the pouch was this cute donut pin badge. I guess donuts are a big thing in NY and I am totally down with that. I’ll be wearing this with pride when I pick up my donuts in Brooklyn.

The next item was this byTerry eyeliner in the shade Gold Ornament which retails at £24. I think I will definitely be using this over the upcoming holiday season and it feels really nice to apply. The quality is outstanding and this product really does not budge. Apparently MLB gave out one of these in March and older subscribers are a bit peeved off but for me I am really happy with the product.

The next item was the My Little Beauty Save My Nails Nail Treatment which retails at £7. This item is going to be perfect for the winter when my nails start to get weak and brittle. I have been applying this every few days for the past couple of weeks and I have definitely noticed an improvement. The treatment is said to strengthen nails, tackle yellow stains and even out ridges. I am not sure how this fits in with the theme however!

The Coffee Made Me Do It slogan mug and coffee stencil are such adorable lifestyle additions to this month’s box. The mug is smaller than a standard sized mug – perfect for a strong espresso and made of metal to keep your drink insulated nicely. I have not yet tried the stencil as I don’t tend to have frothy coffees but next time I make a cappuccino for a guest I’m going to impress them with my stencil skills. The little booklet also contained a mug cake recipe, however this is not to be made in this mug due to the material it is made from!

I then received this perfume however saw a lot of others receiving a hand cream. This is also a duplicate as advised by Kim from Romanovs Views but after seeing her smash her last one on the floor I am guessing she was pleased she got another! As soon as I got this out of the box I dropped mine too! Somehow by some stroke of luck I managed to catch this in between 2 toes and save it – miracle. I really like the scent of this, I wouldn’t use it on a special occasion but it’s a nice perfume just to pop in your bag and give yourself a little spritz before going out. It’s the ideal size!

Overall – a really great box. This is something I look forward to every month and I can’t wait to see what is next!


Monday 24 October 2016

Harriets Cafe Tearooms Norwich - Review

For my birthday this year I very kindly received some afternoon tea vouchers for Harriet’s CafĂ© Tearooms which is on London Street in Norwich. As a massive lover of Afternoon tea I couldn’t wait to try somewhere new. The vouchers I received were for Traditional Afternoon tea which is perfect for a nice treat.

We arrived at 12oclock for a lunchtime treat and I couldn’t wait to be seated. It wasn’t very busy when we arrived and were seated almost instantly. My voucher was presented in the style of a ration book and was the perfect gift to open on my birthday. Included in the Traditional Afternoon tea was a lovely pot of Harriet’s special or Tearoom blend fresh leaf tea. There was free refills on this so we had a couple of pots of tea throughout our afternoon tea session.

The bottom tier of our plate was topped with egg mayonnaise and ham sandwich quarters. These sandwiches were really nice but I just wish there was more of them, I am not sure if you can request more or not. There was also a little pot of salad garnish which was fresh and you could then use and eat as you wished.

The middle tier contained two scones with the choice of  cheese, plain or fruit. We both opted for fruit and these were served with clotted cream and jam in individual little pots. The scones were nice, not outstanding but a scone is a scone. The jam and clotted cream tasted lovely however my friend said one of her scones was a little dry and tasted a bit off.

The top tier of the cake stand contained an assortment of mini sponge cakes including fruit cake, carrot cake, coffee cake, chocolate and lemon drizzle. Unfortunately we noticed that one of our pieces of cake had mould growing on the side! When we called a member of staff over to query it and tell them there was mould she replied with “I don’t think so” but then took the top plate away. The plate then returned and I’m convinced they just sliced the mouldy end off instead of replacing it but it was hard to say. The icing still looked a bit ‘fluffy’ and I’ll be honest it did put me off slightly. The fruit cake was dry but the other cakes tasted alright. We came out feeling  full which is the main thing.

Overall I had an alright experience at Harriets but I am not going to rush back, the whole mouldy cake experience did put me off slightly. The staff did apologise at the end and said they had thrown that particular batch of cakes away but it should have been spotted before it was served to us. It was a shame really. Harriets have kindly offered to reiumburse me for the meal. The people sat next to us had some delicious hot food so I would consider going back and having something else so I will happily do another review.

Have you ever been for afternoon tea in Norwich?


Saturday 22 October 2016

Pure Chimp Mint Matcha Green Tea Review*

I am a big lover of Green Tea so when I was given the opportunity to review some Mint Matcha Green Tea from Pure Chimp I couldn’t wait to give it a go. Pure Chimp make their green tea the traditional Japanese way with real Matcha leaves and this tea also contains mint leaves and a touch of natural Stevia. I have been advised that some people find this too sweet and they are changing the formula soon but I personally thought the taste was just right.

Matcha is a  more powerful version of Green tea if you like and is great for your metabolism and giving your body a boost. Matcha has been said to have positive effects on your mood, memory and focus. It contains more antioxidants than superfoods goji and blueberries. The mint also helps to settle your stomach so is a great choice in the evening before bed and lifts your well-being. I have been drinking this morning and night by adding half a teaspoon to hot water. You can also drink this cold if you prefer but I love a nice warming mug of tea. Don’t let the vibrant green colour put you off, I really enjoyed the taste.

This Mint Matcha Green Tea costs just £11.95 for 50g of product and works out at 24p a serving. 5% of their profits go to charity which I think is fantastic. Overall I am really enjoying adding this tea to my daily routine. It is said that it can be great for weight loss and alongside healthy eating I am already noticing the benefits and I am feeling much less bloated than I was just 2 weeks ago. This is a fantastic product and one I will definitely repurchase when I run out. Head over to Pure Chimp to see the full range of products.

*I received this item free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please see my disclaimer for more information.


Monday 17 October 2016

Ethical Superstore Energy Bar Review*

I love trying different protein and energy bars so when I was offered the chance to try some bars from Ethical Superstore I couldn’t wait to see what they were like and if they matched up to my usual brands.

I was lucky enough to receive a box of Planet Organic Cacao Brazil Nut Energise Bars which are 30g each. A pack of four will cost you £3.96 which I think is a pretty good price for these, I often see protein bars for more than £2 a pop. You can reduce the cost by buying in bulk, a case of 20 will cost you just £18.81. The bars are wheat and gluten free, vegan and organic. These handy sized bars are packed full of protein, fibre and vitamin E and are packed with dates, cashew butter, almonds, hemp protein, brazil nuts, cacao powder and vanilla. They remind me of nak’d bars but hold a nice rich flavour to them. The best part about reviewing a product is getting to taste test it and these bars did not disappoint, they’re ideal for a post or pre gym workout and small enough to pop in your pocket.

If you’d like to buy some of these bars for yourself, head over to Ethical Superstore.

*I received this item free of charge in exchange for an honest review. all opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

Friday 14 October 2016

Paul Mitchell Ultimate Color Repair Review*

I am a big fan of treating my hair to a luxurious shampoo every now and again but since moving house there has been other priorities and I have found myself not giving my hair the care it really needs. When I was asked to review some items from Paul Mitchell, I couldn’t wait to give my hair that pamper that it really did need. I was lucky enough to receive three items from the Ultimate Color Repair range and couldn’t wait to try them out.

I first tried the Ultimate Color Repair Shampoo, anti-fade with quinoa repair. This gentle sulfate-free cleanser is vegan, paraben free and colour safe. It gently replenishes and helps to repair colour treated hair. I definitely noticed a difference when using this shampoo, my colour was more vibrant and my hair was a lot less dry. I really noticed the scent of this shampoo on my hair too, it is very pleasant and I could smell it every time I moved my hair about which I really liked. This 250ml bottle retails at £17.95.

I followed this shampoo with the Ultimate Color Repair Conditioner which also retails at £17.95 for this sized tube. The main thing I have noticed about this product is how well it detangles my hair. Colour treated hair can often be knottier than usual but this conditioner really hydrates my hair and makes it so soft, the hairbrush glides through with ease. The quinoa colour repair complex harnesses the high protein content of quinoa to lock in hair colour and repair your hair from within. The addition of shea butter, jojoba and soybean oil leave hair extremely soft and shiny. An added bonus is the powerful antioxidants which provide UV protection to further prevent colour fade and damage.

Finally I finished my hair routine with the Ultimate Color Repair Thermal Protection Spray which again costs £17.95. This dual phase spray protects against excessive heat damage and I have been spraying this on my damp hair before blow drying.  After using this my hair looks shine and vibrant and I have really been enjoying adding this to my routine. I never used to use any heat protection but now I can’t see myself without it!

Overall I think this trio is really worth the money and I have really noticed such a lovely difference to my hair. It feels softer and the colour looks a lot more fresh and vibrant. Head over to the Paul Mitchell website to see what other products they have on offer.

*I received these products free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way. 

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Just Bee Drinks Review*

I hadn’t heard of Just Bee Drinks until I saw them on the SocialBerry Blogger Collaboration website and I was intrigued to find out more. Just seeing the packaging which is simple yet effective drew me in and I wanted to try the drinks out.  Just Bee Honey Water Drinks are essentially spring water infused with a single drop of honey. They contain no refined sugar and are less than 50 calories. The drinks come in three flavours, Lemon & Green Tea, Blueberry and Apple & Ginger and I was lucky enough to receive one of each flavour to try.

The Lemon and Green Tea drink is refreshing and light. This has a mellow taste and you can definitely tell there is both lemon and green tea infused in the drink. Apparently this drink is great for pre or post workout hydration and we all know how good Green Tea is for the metabolism. This contains only 43 calories per carton which is the least of the three drinks.

The Apple & Ginger drink is also lovely and said to be a good ginger beer alternative, but for a lot less calories. I really liked this one too.

Last but not least I received the Blueberry drink which is also only 49 calories. This one was also delicious and refreshing. I love blueberries and I drank this within seconds and it really hydrated me.

Bees are very important to our civilisation, a wise man once said “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth then man would only have 4 years left to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man!” – Albert Einstein. One simple way to help save the bees is to plant some bee friendly wildflowers in your garden, Just Bee are willing to send some free seeds, simply fill out their online form here. I think it’s lovely that they are supporting this.

Head over to Just Bee Drinks to find your local stockist, I think they are definitely worth trying and would buy these again if I saw them in store.

*I received these drinks free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

Friday 7 October 2016

NCC Home Learning - Initial Thoughts on Criminal Psychology*

Having been out of education for 7 years now (wow, I feel old!) my mind is always craving to learn new things. Having a full time job, doing 50+ hours of volunteering a month and also keeping up to date with blogging means I am rather busy and haven’t ever considered further learning. When I was contacted by NCC Home Learning to trial one of their online learning courses I took the opportunity to try something new and push myself to engage my brain.

I chose the Criminal Psychology Diploma which looks into the mind of a criminal. I am very interested in the topic of crimes and after years of watching profilers on CSI and Criminal Minds, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in to the course. This particular course is 240 hours when studying online and I am now a couple of weeks into it. At the moment you can complete this course for only £270. So far I have read through and studied the first two topics which were Theories of Crime Psychological and Biological.

The website was really easy to navigate. As soon as I logged in my course list appeared and I simply clicked the Criminal Psychology tab. I could then click the introduction page which comes in PDF format. I am really impressed with the layout of the course on the website and it is easy to see what sections I need to read next and everything is split into modules. This course consists of 17 modules and then an exam. Studying can be done at my own pace. I found that the best way for me to study the modules was to print off each PDF and read them in the evenings, highlighting key pieces of information.

What I love about this course is that no previous knowledge is required so you can study this straight up if you like. I am not tied down by time either and can fit this in on an evening or even my lunch break, whenever I have a spare moment. I am really enjoying the course so far and look forward to completing it. At the end of the course I will receive a NCC certificate of completion.

I will update you on what I thought of the full course, in the meantime you can check out the fantastic range of courses available over on the NCC Home Learning website.

*I have received free access to this course in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.


Wednesday 5 October 2016

Jim Jams Chocolate Spreads*

I love chocolate spread, I eat it with pancakes, on toast, on the spoon, drizzled on ice cream and any way I see fit. When I received these delicious spreads from Jim Jams I stuck a spoon in and dug in straight away. Jim Jams are the award winning creators of a range of reduced sugar jams and chocolate spreads. Mother Kellie Bath wanted something healthier for her children so, with husband Kevin, launched a range of healthier spreads. I received the Milk Chocolate Spread and the Hazelnut Chocolate Spread. 

The Hazelnut spread has 83% less sugar than standard chocolate spreads. This has even won a Great Taste Award and I can see why – it’s super tasty. On first impressions this tastes just as good as other chocolate spreads I have tried and you’d never know there was less sugar in them. If anything these are less sickly and you can taste the flavours a lot more. I decided to try both spreads on toast and this spreads like a dream and has a perfectly smooth consistency. 

The Milk Chocolate spread also contains less sugar than other brands. On average these jars contain around 494kcal per 100g with the rival brands coming in at approximately 550kcal. These spreads come in a 350g jar and as soon as I opened the lid I could smell the rich chocolatey flavour. Once opened you can store this in the cupboard for 3 months, although I don’t think it will last that long before I eat it all! I can’t wait to try this on porridge and between layers of pancakes.

Other varieties of Jim Jams include Raspberry Jam, Orange Marmalade, Strawberry Jam and Blackcurrant Jam, all with reduced sugar. If these are as nice as the chocolate spreads then I will definitely be giving them a go. Pick up your jar of Jim Jams in Tesco, Ocado or Holland and Barrett. 

*I received these products free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

Monday 3 October 2016

My Purrfect Gift Box Review - September*

My Purrfect Gift Box  is my favourite cat subscription box out there and it seems to get better and better every month. This month’s theme was absolutely spot on and being all about tea, one of my favourite things in life, I was extremely pleased with the box. There seemed to be so many items in this month’s box and each and every one of them is something I (or Biscuit) will use. When you buy this box a portion of the subscription costs goes to support UK cat charities, rescue centres and animal shelters. So while you are giving to yourself, know you are giving to the cats that need us across the UK.

These handmade catnip sweets are from Tillypops, who also made Biscuit’s spotted blanket from a previous box. I think they are absolutely adorable and even come in a candy striped pick n mix style bag. Biscuit loved playing with these, he could smell the catnip right away! Available on their website.

Biscuit’s favourite item from these gift boxes so far has been his catnip fish from FreakMEOWt so when I saw another product from them in my box I knew this was going to be a winner, and I wasn’t wrong. This ‘teabag’ is infused with catnip and Biscuit loved it. I’ve been looking on their twitter page and I think they’re bringing out Christmas cat treats so I’ll definitely be picking one of those up for Biscuit this year.

I was intrigued when I saw this Kit-Tea catnip tea but thankfully it is for cats and not humans! These catnip teabags from Paw and Gnaw can be brewed and then used to make your own catnip sprays. You can also serve this in a bowl for your cat. I haven’t tried this yet as Biscuit has plenty of catnip goodies to play with but I will definitely be brewing this up and giving his toys a spray when the effects start to wear off. These teabags can even be dried out and reused – brilliant!

This mug is a My Purrfect Gift Box exclusive and comes adorned with the text “You are my cup of tea” and a cute little cat! This little cat will brighten any dreary morning, stick the kettle on and relax with your favourite brew. This mug retails at £11.99 and can be found on the online shop.

This has to be the most adorable item I have ever received! These handmade hanging cat tea bag holders fit right on the edge of your mug and can keep your teabag string in place. I love that I received a little ginger one, just like Biscuit! These retail for £9.50 and can be bought on Etsy shop MiniHandsCrafts.

These Cat head Shaped Tea bags have been made by LoJim in Spain and retail at £5.99 in her Etsy store. I received a honey tea and a saffron tea and admittedly I have already drank both mugs. The flavours are lovely and warming and teamed with the hanging cat, my mug and a biscuit made the perfect treat.

This gorgeous scented melt from Paw Melts is handmade and uses only natural and organic ingredients. The paw shape is said to symbolise the bond between owner and pet – how sweet! These retail at £18.50 for 9 and smell amazing. It also came in the most amazing packaging! I think these would make a great gift for any pet owner.

When I saw these Biscuits in my box I thought they were the most adorable things ever and I didn’t want to eat them! Of course for the purposes of a review I had to try them out and they were absolutely delicious. I think they’d make such a lovely gift for someone, I wish I was skilled enough to make something like these. These biscuits are made here in the UK by Nila Holden and you can find these cute biscuits and more on Not On The High Street retailing at around £6-10.

Thank you so much My Purrfect Gift Box for another amazing box. I think this has been my favourite one yet. If you’d like to sign up for your own box, head over to the My Purrfect Gift Box website or head to their shop for the chance to buy some of the items featured in this box and previous boxes. I think some of these gifts would make perfect stocking fillers and it’s never too early to start buying those!

*I received this box free of charge. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.
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