Friday 30 June 2017

Summer Clothes Wishlist Feat. David Nieper*

Summer has well and truly begun and it's time to swap your jumpers for pretty womens dresses, shorts and t-shirts. Not only is the weather warmer, summer party and  BBQ invites are more frequent and it's important to look the part at these events. I've been looking at the range of ladies summer dresses over on the David Nieper website and have brought you a few of my favourites.

This Soft Silk Jersey Dress is the perfect day-to-night outfit. Pair it with some sandals or flip flops for a day at the beach or park and then in the evening add some tights and heels. It is also available in two different lengths to suit whatever event you are heading to. The sleeves also give you a bit more cover which is great when the evenings are cooler. You could even add a waist belt.

Another outfit that can easily be taken from day to night is this lovely Uncrushable Dress. Offered in both a maxi length or shorter, this dress is absolutely perfect for this season. The bright colours mean you'll stand out from the crowd. It's also available in sizes 10-28 which I think is fantastic and would suit all sizes with its curve skimming drape detail on the front.

Almost all of the garments are made in Derbyshire and if you live local to the area you can pop into the company shop to see the latest collections, browse designer samples and get a really personal service when choosing the perfect outfit. Delivery is just £4.95 in the UK and these gorgeous dresses can also be delivered worldwide.

If you like what you see, check out the whole range of David Nieper Summer Dresses and update your wardrobe this season,

* Sponsored Post - Photo credit to the David Nieper website.

Thursday 22 June 2017

Perfect Summer Dessert With Alpro’s NEW Ice Cream!*

I love a dessert on a hot summers day, but I want something a bit more natural that still tastes amazing. When I heard about the new Alpro Ice Cream, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them and I headed to my local supermarket to pick them up in every flavour. The new flavours include Hazelnut-Chocolate, Coconut and Vanilla and I can’t even tell you which one is my favourite as they are all absolutely delicious. Alpro’s plant based ice cream contains 30% less sugars that the market reference in ice cream. They are 100% plant based too and its great to know you can enjoy a delicious dessert without any of the guilt.

First I tried the soya based vanilla ice cream. This uses real vanilla and is very sweet and tastes very indulgent. It’s a fantastic alternative to dairy ice cream. It’s an off-white colour with little specks of vanilla running through it. the vanilla flavour is rich but not too sickly. I actually preferred this to my usual brand. I balanced the sweetness of the dish by adding some pistachios to the ice cream. So tasty!

Secondly is the Coconut ice cream. The texture was so creamy but not heavy. It was a real delight to eat! It tasted almost exotic in a way. I think if you served this to someone and didn’t tell them that it was dairy free, they really wouldn’t be able to tell! It tasted just as delicious as any other coconut flavoured ice cream product I have tried in the past.

Finally is the Hazelnut-Chocolate flavour. This ice cream blends flavours of intense chocolate with a very subtle hint of nuttiness due to the hazelnuts. The flavours are perfectly balanced for a delicious experience. I completely lost myself when eating this, I simply did not want my bowl to be emptied! What I love about it is that it isn’t icy or watery, it’s just the perfect consistency. Just to make the experience even more indulgent, I topped the ice cream with chocolate covered ginger and it was gorgeous!

Overall, I am really impressed with the new range of Alpro Ice Creams which retail at around £3.50, and definitely recommend that you try them out. Find Alpro’s new range of Ice Creams in your local supermarket. For more information, head over to their Website or Facebook. Will you be trying one of these flavours out?

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

Monday 19 June 2017

Pink Parcel ‘Monthly’ Subscription Box Review*

I love trying new subscription boxes so when I was offered the chance to try out Pink Parcel I couldn’t wait to see what it was all about. Having seen this box on various other blogs, I knew all about the concept but had never actually purchased this previously or had a proper look into what sort of items you receive. The box is laid out really nicely and everything has its own little compartment which I thought was a really nice touch and made opening it even more exciting!

Pink Parcel is a monthly subscription box that co-insides with your periods so it arrives right on time! There are 3 delivery dates to choose from so pick the one that matches closest with your cycle. It is filled with beauty products, treats and sanitary items. It aims to help you get through it and trust me, the items I received were absolutely spot on and for once I was able to use every single item in the box. It costs just £6.99 for your first box and only £10.50 a box afterwards. The thing I really liked is that when signing up you can choose your preferred brand and type of sanitary wear depending on what suits you.

The first thing I spotted was the little treats. I know for a fact when I am on my period I crave sweet things so the addition of these items was perfect. I received some Rhythm 108 Lemon and Ginger Tea biscuits which were gluten and dairy free and a great source of fibre. These were absolutely delicious and in the little packed I received 2 biscuits – enough to satisfy my sweet craving without going overboard on calories. There was also a mini chocolate bar and a teabag. The teabag was flavoured with ginger which is ideal for settling the stomach during this time of the month.

The next products are ideal if you want a bit of a pamper session. The handy razor to make everything nice and smooth, the makeup brush to cover up any imperfections and the coffee scrub which is my personal favourite item. The scrub made my skin feel so soft, and the coconut was a lovely addition. I really want to try out other scrubs!

To continue with the pamper session, I also received this lovely nude nail varnish and some rosewater facial toner. Its important to take extra care of your skin when you’re on your period as you can be more prone to break-outs so the toner is a lovely product to make sure everything is clean and fresh. I used this before bed after cleansing and woke up with lovely smooth and clear skin.

I chose the brand Always as it is a firm favourite with me and my preferred option of sanitary towels. Tampons are also available if you prefer as are other brands. The sanitary items are split into three categories which I have shown you below. Firstly, the box labelled night. These towels are the more absorbent ones in the Pink Parcel and ideal for night times when you need that little bit extra to last you longer.

You then receive a little bag with towels in ‘for now’. I love the little black drawstring bag, it’s a discreet way of storing them in your handbag and comes with a couple of different sized towels that you can use depending on how heavy your flow is.

The final box, marked ‘for later’ is packed with even more sanitary towels, perfect for popping away in a drawer.

I absolutely love this box and think it is a fantastic idea and really takes the pressure off remembering to buy sanitary items. I know I have certainly forgot my period is due and then been caught short. This box was packed with really great items and I think it really did cheer me up during that time of the month where I am rather grumpy. Find Pink Parcel on Instagram and Facebook.

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

Monday 12 June 2017

Our Bedroom - Before and After

The bedroom is the room where the magic happens – and by that I mean transforming myself from an egg with eyebrows in the morning to a reasonably presented person. This room was fairly easy to work with. We had a full electric rewire when we moved in which did mess up the walls and floor but it wasn’t wallpapered so the walls just needed patching up where the electrician had been and the carpet once again needed taking up. It was hard to picture where to lay things out in this room because it didn’t have a double bed in it when we viewed the house but we made things fit in the end.

We painted all the ‘white’ areas to freshen them up and decided to go with a relaxing Dulux Sugared Lilac colour for the walls. We hadn’t considered wallpapering this room but on a random visit to B&Q, James spotted this lilac and white striped wallpaper which we thought would go really well and just break the colours up a bit. My dad and step-mum very kindly added this to the back wall for us then we placed our bed in the middle. Ideally we will eventually get a new bed in white to match the rest of the room but there are other priorities for the money at the moment!

To really finish the decorating off we had the ceiling skimmed and coving added, which is something we will slowly do room by room I hope. We had a professional decorator do this for us and it was done within a couple of days which saved us the stress and hassle. We also had the ceiling lights centred to the middle of the room so by having the ceiling skimmed this hid the unsightly hole where the previous light fitting hung.

We decided to go for carpet in this room which we chose and had installed by Whittaker Carpets. I was so happy to finally get carpet after constantly having to deal with cold chipboard! We wanted to break the purple up in the room with a dark cream/light brown colour. We chose a blind for this room in the colour ‘Hessian Biscuit’ from Dunelm which was just what we wanted then chose a similar colour carpet to tie it all in.

We bought our bedside tables from the MALM range at IKEA. They were only £29 each and do the job, it’s somewhere to put our phones on charge at the end of the day. My dressing table is also from IKEA and is the Alex/Liatorp one. I also have matching Alex drawers on the other side of the room filled with make-up and beauty items. I also bought the stool from Ikea and the mirror was a car boot find for £4! Finishing touches included these table lamps from Wilko, the duvet set from Primark (VelvetGh0st range) and our prints on the wall to tie all of the bedroom colours in. James bought us the lilac lamps from Wilko and they suit the room really well I think!

Our wardrobes were measured, fitted and installed by Norfolk Value Kitchens who can also provide bedroom furniture. By having them fitted we could get them the right size to fit the space available. The doors also come with a stable door on the bottom half, this means we can open the top half of the wardrobe and it doesn’t get in the way of the bedside tables. There were many doors to choose from and we thought these ones fit in well with the rest of the décor without being too plain.

Overall I am really happy with how this room turned out. From seeing it with the floor ripped out and holes all over the walls transformed into a cosy room has been a long old process but I am really happy with it. One room down, a lot more to go!


Friday 9 June 2017

Summer Cocktail Recipes Feat. Chambord*

I love cocktails and any excuse to drink them or make them, I will! When I was contacted about trying some Chambord, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity! Having never tried Chambord before, I didn’t really know what to expect but now know that it is a luxurious French black raspberry liqueur with raspberry and vanilla notes. It is perfect to enjoy with champagne or any sparkling wine or in a host of cocktails, I have received some recipes below which I have personally trialled and fully recommend!

According to legend, Chambord was inspired by a luxurious raspberry liqueur produced for French royalty in the 17th Century.  This first recipe is very simple to recreate, and one that I can’t believe I haven’t tried sooner! In the recipe, I used my favourite Prosecco but you can replace this instead with Cava or Champagne.

Chambord Royale
Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
Champagne, Prosecco or Cava
One Raspberry

Pour yourself a flute of your favourite fizz and top off with a little Chambord. Most importantly, garnish with a single raspberry. I used a frozen one!

The light and fruity flavour of Chambord makes this this perfect BBQ or picnic accompaniment this summer. At RRP £7.50 for a 50cl bottle, it doesn’t break the bank! The next recipe I tried is the Chambord Spritz which is very refreshing and incredibly easy to make! See the recipe below!

Chambord Spritz
50ml Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
125ml Dry White Wine

Fill a wine glass with ice then top with 125ml of dry white wine. Add your Chambord, then top with some soda. The best Spritzer I have ever had!

Finally, the last recipe I tried out was the Chambord Cobbler. This one contains a few ingredients that I didn’t have handy in the house so is one to try if you want to go all out and impress those dinner guests! Recipe below.

Chambord Cobbler
50ml Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
25ml Lemon Juice
25ml Peach Puree

Shake and strain the ingredients over crushed ice into a glass. Garnish with some raspberries and a mint sprig. Voila!

Chambord is available in most supermarkets nationwide, will you be adding this to your basket this summer? Let me know if you try any of the recipes!

*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.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

My Little Friday Night Box

When My Little Box arrived this month, I ripped it open in anticipation to discover the box theme was Friday Night. Conveniently, my box arrived on a Friday so I had no problem in opening it up there and then and seeing what was inside. I was greeted with a colourful array of goodies as you can see!

As usual, we received the small linen bag. I do really like these, I use them for everything and they really do come in handy. I have one in my bag with my phone charger in, another with medicines and plasters and they’re great to pop my phone in at the gym so that I can hang it off the machines rather than trying to balance it on the small platforms available. (The joys of having an iPhone 7 plus!). We also received a little print as we usually do and a little booklet too which came in an envelope with some cocktail recipes and an invite to pass on to someone for a dinner party.

I really like the packaging on this body cream that I received. I haven’t seen many other people get this in their box. It is a really nice item and handy to pop on your body to moisturise any dry areas before hitting the town. I haven’t heard of this brand before but would like to see what else they have to offer.

It took me a moment to realise what this item was exactly however it is in fact a Black Bow Tie Bra Accessory. I have never seen anything like this before on the market, although I am sure there are similar items available. This bow is designed to slip onto the back of your bra meaning it doesn’t matter if you have a backless dress or top on. I personally do not own anything backless, maybe because I don’t want my bra strap on show who knows! I do think this is quite a unique item and I do like it, I will definitely keep it for those times when I need it. Any suggestions on how else I can use it? I was thinking a hair accessory would also look pretty cute or maybe slipping it onto a dog collar?

I really like the My Little Beauty Eye Pencil and Smudger in black. This pencil is very pigmented, goes on smooth and dries matte. It stays put all day. The smudger works well to blend out a smoky eye which works great for a Friday night out on the town.

This Gold Triangle Hair Pin was another one of the lifestyle pieces we received in this month’s box. I really like this item despite not yet having a chance to use it. I think it’s a nice item which will jazz up any hairstyle. Triangles were ‘in’ a while back so it’s nice to see they are sticking to trends. The hair pin is easy to use and feels pretty strong. You can use this in a variety of hairstyles or more importantly to get that hair away from your face when dancing the night away on a Friday!

The nail varnish in this month’s box was a bit of a disappointment if I’m honest when comparing this to what other people got. The colour is a dark taupe, something that doesn’t resonate with a Friday night to me. The brand is Nailmatic, one I am not familiar with. I would have expected something a bit more glittery or bright for the summer. This is not something I would wear this time of year but I will pop it in my drawer and keep it safe for autumn. 

The final lifestyle item we received were this pack of four cork coasters with a colourful design on them. They don’t really match the décor of my house but will be good for a backup when I do happen to be having Friday Night drinks and need some extra coasters to go around. The quality feels nice. I think I will keep these in my office for now to brighten the room up a bit, but the fact they have ‘My Little Box’ branded all over them means they won’t become part of my regular homewares. 

Overall this box was OK – I wasn’t blown away by the contents and think they could have made the theme a little better. I am coming up to my year anniversary of getting this box so hope they can bring something out of the bag this month to keep me committed! What do you think?


Thursday 1 June 2017

New York Day 4 - China Town, Pizza & Brooklyn Bridge

Day 4 in New York, what can I say about day 4! I was getting pretty lethargic by now so a lay in was needed – especially after a late night the previous day. We hopped on the subway just after 10am and headed for China Town. When we got off the subway, I could actually smell Chinese food! It was great! It was really busy here and bizarrely I actually felt pretty safe. You can get so much fake merchandise here from watches to handbags – but be prepared to haggle! I didn’t buy anything whilst I was here but I was very tempted. 

Little Italy was just next door so we went and had a wander around there too. If you’re after some Italian food then this is the place for you! Our aim of the day was to walk over the Brooklyn bridge so we walked through the town to make our way towards it. We stopped for a hot chocolate in Starbucks first and I bought one of the famous mugs, I feel like I now need to collect them from all of the locations I visit now! Anyway, on we wandered, on the way we came across a little shopping area which looked pretty cute so we decided to do a bit of retail therapy. We all bought some clothes from Abercrombie and some sweets from the nearby candy shop. We then decided it was a good idea to get some lunch.

In the distance we spotted a McDonalds so headed that way for a quick lunch. Whilst walking past I saw the most amazing looking pizza’s in a window and instantly decided I needed a slice of that instead. This was by far my best meal of the holiday. I always wanted to go into a shop and just buy a piece of pizza by the slice, it was my New York fantasy. These slices weren’t your average slice, they were literally bigger than my head and cost less than $3. I went for 2 of course, one was smothered in garlic sauce and was an absolute dream, the other a cheese one. If I could go back to New York I would be in this place again in a second. I think if you watch my vlog you can genuinely see how happy I am, I was beaming from ear to ear. Next door was a restaurant that Sandra Bullock and Rihanna ate in whilst filming for Oceans Eight so there’s a bit of celeb spitting to be done here too.

After lunch we carried on towards Brooklyn bridge. It was easy to find by following the signs and the crowds of people. There were also food and merchandise stalls along the way if you wanted a quick energy boost before the walk. The bridge spans over the East River and connects Manhattan with Brooklyn. The views from here are great and the bridge is actually pretty fascinating too. There are separate lanes for pedestrians and cyclists so be sure to stick to the right one or you’ll get knocked off, there are a lot of people on bikes I noticed! It’s easy to navigate however, just a simple straight line across the bridge you can’t really get lost and the path is pretty wide.

If you’re going to visit New York I definitely recommend a walk over this bridge. It’s just over a mile long so it’s not too taxing for most people. It was well worth it in my opinion and you can then explore Brooklyn at your own free will at the other end if you wish. We didn’t do this as we were staying in Brooklyn anyway. At the other end we popped in a few shops and hopped on the subway home.

For dinner on day 4 we didn’t want to go too far so we had a look at places to eat in Williamsburg. Williamsburg was a quirky little place with lots of nightlife. We found a restaurant called The Meatball Shop which specialises believe it or not, in meatballs. The menu was simple to follow, choose a meatball from the selection, choose a sauce then choose a side. I chose pork meatballs, classic tomato sauce and rigatoni pasta. It came served with four meatballs, Parmesan and a yummy slice of focaccia bread. The meal was nice but for me didn’t have that ‘wow’ factor. It was tasty but when you come to America you expect to be stuffed, but the portions here were smaller than what I would serve up at home. Maybe I am just being greedy! Dessert was cookie ice cream sandwiches which didn’t float my boat but on the way back to the subway there was the most amazing looking cake shop so I bought a slice of chocolate fudge cake as big as my face and had that when I got home! Another day done!

I am sorry the pictures haven’t really corresponded with the text today but hope you enjoyed reading. Check out the vlog below!

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