Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Buy Wholefoods Online - Review*

I love using wholefoods and healthy foods but it can be hard to find them in regular supermarkets. When I was contacted by family run & independent wholefoods company called Buy Wholefoods Online I thought it was a fantastic way to get healthy foods delivered directly to your door.

I received some really great products which I have been told are some of the most popular available, each with their own benefits.



When I saw the Maca Powder, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it so had a look online. It has been tipped as the top superfood for 2018 and can be added to smoothies, porridge, granola, shakes and baking. It's such a versatile product and the recommended dose is 1-2 teaspoons a day. It's rich in antioxidants and can boost male fertility. It's excellent value on Buy Wholefoods Online compared to other leading brands.

Alongside the Maca, I received Raw Cacao Powder. This is something I have used before and is becoming increasingly popular. It has an intense deep chocolate flavour, similar to cocoa powder however it has not gone through the same process so retains all of its goodness and flavour. Again this can be added to porridge, smoothies and whatever takes your fancy. I like using it for raw energy bars.


Raw Honey is something that has been growing in popularity and I see it more and more popping up in shops and in healthy recipes. Raw honey can be hard to find but is said to have a much better taste than normal honey which I completely agree with. Raw honey is unfiltered and unpasturised which enables it to keep all of the great health benefits that honey is meant to have. It can also help to counter pollen allergies so I am going to let my fiancé have some of this to see if it helps with his hayfever this year. Another interesting fact is that honey is said to be a natural antibacterial with wound healing effects and has been used to treat burns and wounds! Who'd have thought it.


I love pumpkin seeds and was very happy to see a whole 500g bag of them! They're ideal as a snack as they are rich in protein and full of healthy fats. I like them on top of some nut butter on toast. You can use them in homemade granola and cereal bar recipes too as well as in salads which can add some texture. They are loaded with health benefits and are also said to improve sleep! I can't wait to make a start on these.


Last but not least I received some Spirulina Tablets. I have previously tried the powdered version of this and didn't really like the taste as it has a slight algae flavour so I was pleased that I was sent the tablet form as it's a lot easier to swallow. This has been a famous super-food for a while now and is something that can be taken daily. It has so many benefits including speeding up weight loss. I will let you know how I get on with these.


Overall, I am really happy with my bundle of wholefoods and can't wait to incorporate these into my diet and lifestyle. To purchase these items yourself and many more amazing foods, head to Buy Wholefoods Online.

*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.
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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

WIN a set of Planners - Old English Company*

As a huge stationery lover, I was pleased to find out that it is in fact World Stationery Day on 25th April! In honour of this, Old English Company are running a competition to win one of their gorgeous planners.


The planners come in a range of colours and the competition gives you a chance to win all four! The planners are perfect for jotting down ideas and to-do lists and also make great gifts for friends and family.

Old English Company are a stationery and giftware company based in Stamford, England. Their products also include greeting cards, enamel pins, coasters, art prints and more. All designs have a simple, stylish and fun hand-lettered theme throughout. I also really like the cute range of coasters available.


To be in the chance of winning, head over to the competition page and follow the simple instructions. The winner will be chosen at random on 26th April 2018. Good Luck!

* This is a sponsored post. Please see my Disclaimer for more information, all photos shown in this post are property of the Old English Company.
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Thursday, 22 March 2018

March Gambettes Box*

Although we have had our fair share of snow this month in England, I genuinely believe that Spring is right around the corner which means I may be brave enough to start wearing skirts and dresses! We shall see! When my Gambettes Box arrived this month it was perfect timing as the weather had just started to brighten up enough to wear tights! Phew!


This months box once again had two beautiful and unique pairs of tights in collaboration with Patricia Blanchet.  Patricia is a Parisian shoemaker extraordinaire. They arrived in a bag this month instead of a box, which is the ideal size for me to store my tights in from this box and previous boxes.



 Firstly was the Spectacular Spectacular pair of black lace tights 35D. These tights are great for when it is still a bit cold as they do give you slightly more coverage. The lace pattern is very flattering.


Secondly, my favourite pair of the two - Haute Voltige which is a 20D pair of black tights with a rectangle design on them. I love these because they are unique and i haven't seen another pair quite like them! They're comfortable and well fitted.


Gambettes Box costs just £13.95 a month including shipping and you get two pairs of tights delivered through your door for this price. I have loved every pair that I have received so far and have found that the quality is really good. Head over to the Gambettes Box website if you would like to subscribe or see previous boxes.



*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.
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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

January Gambettes Box Review*

A few months ago I reviewed the new Gambettes Box and in January I was very kindly sent the second box. Since My Little Box has now gone, I needed something to fill that gap and the excitement of receiving a mystery box in the post each month. Whilst I am still on the hunt for another beauty box, the Gambettes Box has definitely satisfied the fashion side of things.


If you don’t know much about Gambettes Box then I will give you an overview. Designed in Paris, each month you will receive 2 pairs of tights which will both be different. So far all of the tights I have received have been fashionable and of really great quality. The designs are unique and not something you can pick up in any old high street store.


This months box contained a gorgeous grey pair of tights called 'Patins' with black polka dots. The tights are 50 denier so great for this time of year when you want a bit more coverage. The second pair were called 'Gadins' and were a pair of black bunting tights, 30 denier. I really like these and the pattern is unlike any other pair that I own.


You also get a couple of cards inside with ideas on how to style your new tights, which I really love. I love the excitement of not knowing what you are going to receive. Both boxes have provided me with stylish and high quality tights that I cannot complain about. I love the packaging and the inserts.


At only £13.90 a box, they make a great gift for a friend too, or a nice treat for yourself each month. Although this is a monthly subscription service you are free to cancel at any time.

Interested? Click here to order your first box. Let me know if you would like me to feature these tights in a fashion post or outfit of the day. What do you think of Gambettes Box?

*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.
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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Chinese New Year Teriyaki Salmon Recipe Feat Very Lazy*

Chinese New Year is fast approaching on Friday 16th February and in the run up I have thought about recreating my favourite Chinese dishes at home. The only problem I have had in the past is that there are so many ingredients that come together to create delicious flavours and it can sometimes be

Very Lazy very kindly provided me with some ingredients as well as the following recipe which I give them credit for.



Instead of ordering a takeaway, why not recreate your favourite Chinese dish in just a few minutes? Whether you’re making a sizzling stir fry or moist and tender Salmon Teriyaki, cooking with Very Lazy is the ultimate hassle-free experience. No need for dicing, slicing, washing, chopping and prepping – just pick up a jar or two and let Very Lazy do the hard work for you.

TERIYAKI SALMON WITH GARLIC NOODLES
   
Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
For Teriyaki Salmon:
2 Salmon fillets
3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce,
1 teaspoons Very Lazy chopped garlic
1 teaspoons Very Lazy Chopped ginger,
4-5 tablespoons dark soy sauce,
1 tablespoons clear honey

For garlic noodles:
150g dried egg noodles,
1 teaspoons Very Lazy chopped garlic,
1teaspoons Very Lazy lemongrass Paste
Sesame oil to taste
Sesame seeds (optional)

Photo provided by Very Lazy - Salmon centred.

Method:
1. Pre heat oven to 220c.
2. Combine garlic, ginger, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and honey in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce until thickened slightly.
3. Coat the salmon with the cooled sauce from above and place in the oven for 10 minutes, basting with more sauce half way through.
4. Whilst the salmon is in the oven cook the noodles according to pack instructions, drain and set aside.
5. Gently fry Very Lazy Chopped Garlic and lemongrass paste in a little oil before stirring in the cooked and drained noodles. Add few drops of sesame oil.
6. Serve salmon on top of noodles and garnish with a few sprinkle of sesame seeds.


For more tasty Very Lazy recipes and inspiration visit www.verylazy.com and to find out more about Very Lazy follow on Twitter @VeryLazyFood, Instagram @VeryLazyFoodUK or Facebook @VeryLazyFood.

*I received some of these items free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.
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Saturday, 3 February 2018

Nutribuddy Breakfast 14 Day Trial Results*

A couple of weeks ago you may have seen my Nutribuddy Breakfast First Impressions post when I was a few days into my 14 day trial of this product.

Just to recap, a 14 day supply costs £14.99 and comes in a glass clip top jar however you can save £1.99 by getting a refill pack. I also received a shaker which you have the option of adding to your order for just £7.99.


The breakfast mix is made with only organic and genuinely healthy ingredients meaning it is free from pesticides and artificial fertilisers. It’s great that this is chemical free. It is also sweetened by the natural sweetener stevia as opposed to Aspartame which many people choose to avoid. I think this product is great and appeals to many for the following further reasons.

It’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
It’s gluten free.
It’s soy free.
It’s sugar free.
Contains only 121 calories per serving.
High in fibre.
Contains no allergens.


It’s such a versatile product. I really noticed how this kept me fuller for longer compared to my usual breakfast and I felt like it gave me an energy boost throughout the morning. After the 14 day trial, I lost 5lbs. I also maintained a healthy diet throughout the rest of the day and I did also exercise which may have helped with this. The shakes really did kick-start my day, especially before taking part in Parkrun and I even smashed a new PB on week 2.


If you want to know more or purchase your own two week trial, head over to Nutribuddy.

*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.
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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Wedding Planning Update*

It’s been a while since I posted about my engagement and I thought I would update you with some of the things I have planned, and what I still have to do before the big day, which is just over 10 months away now!

Venue
One of the first things I sorted was my venue, as there was no point in having a wedding without somewhere to go! I looked online to find the perfect place and browsed countless websites and price lists trying to find somewhere that stood out to me. In the end we narrowed it down to just a few and decided to go and look at them in person. When we found the one, we instantly knew it was perfect for us. Our first date was at the zoo, so we chose somewhere that was right next door to one – convenient or what!


Centrepieces
Carrying on from the zoo theme, we thought we would make our centrepieces to fit in with different animals. I started to source plastic animals and then spray painted them with gold. We are having a red/gold/silver festive type theme so thought they would go quite well in the middle of the tables. I still have a few different animals to get but I am getting there slowly. We will have these alongside some poinsettias which are really good value for money and readily available at that time of the year.

Dress
The dress was also up there with one of the first things I sorted and I am so pleased this is out of the way. I will talk more about my dress after the big day but for now I will say I have bought it, it is ready and waiting for my first fitting in April. Luckily this is only a length fitting so I still have some time to get to the weight I want to be before they start doing the width. I will be wearing converse on the day which I haven’t yet bought but will wear an older pair for my fitting to get the correct height.

Hair
Although I have no idea what I am going to do with my hair yet, I have got my hairpiece. My mum bought me this gorgeous winter flower arrangement from Etsy which will go perfectly with my theme. I also have a veil, so this will clip onto the top of that nicely.


Invites
This is something I have only just started as I wanted to make all of my invites from scratch. I have bought all of the materials from various places such as The Range and Hobbycraft and have officially made about 3. There are still a lot more to go but this is something I aim to do over the next few months so they are ready to go out at the end of the summer season.

Finishing Touches
Next on my list are a few finishing touches including, signs, banners and favours. These little things are all available in one place on the confetti website, which is really convenient for me. I think it is important to have little bits and pieces here and there to really set off a theme. It’s the finishing touches that can really make a difference on the day!

Are you getting married? What plans have you made?

*Sponsored Post

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Monday, 22 January 2018

Our Living Room - Before and After*

When we first moved house, we decided that one of the first rooms we wanted tackle was the living room, purely because it’s the room most people will see when they come to visit. Saying this, we did the bedroom first and the living room got pushed back due to lack of funds as it needed a lot more work than we anticipated. Our living room is ‘L’ shaped and we only have a small kitchen so we opted for a lounge – diner design so we would have somewhere to fit a dining table. The room was wallpapered in yellow with a very floral 70’s style carpet which we knew we wanted to get rid of right away so out it came and we put up with awful tiled floors for a long long time.



The first step was to strip the wallpaper. Thankfully we borrowed a wallpaper stripper which made the job slightly more bearable but it was still a messy task. We had our electrics rewired too which left us with various holes in the walls. Some of the wallpaper had been put on top of wooden cladding style walls and some was straight on the plaster so it was interesting seeing what was behind the walls. This was a messy and stressful job in itself especially as we could not get behind the radiators and chunks of walls were falling off every time we tried to strip large sections of paper.  My dad then came round and put cement and bricks in any larger holes and it was then down to a plasterer to do the rest. It took us months to arrange a plasterer as they all seem to be so busy! We knew it was going to be an expensive job too so put it off longer than we needed. The plasterer made a start on the ceiling and noticed it had dropped, resulting in the whole ceiling needing to be taken right down to the rafters and new plasterboard put up. Eventually we got it done, we had the ceiling smoothed over which I think gives it a much more modern and fresh feeling and all of the walls were smoothed over. It was a big job which resulted in a weeks work! But I was so pleased with the results. It was like a completely different room.


Next up was adding coving around the tops of the walls to cover any gaps and imperfections. Once this was up we could then get everything painted in a white wash coat. Due to the room being covered in fresh plaster, we needed to do a white wash on all of the walls. It took a good few coats before it stopped sinking in, and then finally we could add some normal paint. We chose a shade of grey called Chic Shadow as it can go with anything. We have little yellow touches around the room and these can be changed if we want a refresh without having to change the entire paint scheme. We then had new radiators put on after what felt like the longest time without heating in the freezing November/December months. This room was very cold last year but now that we have a thicker plasterboard on the ceiling and brand new double radiators, this room warms up a treat.


We hope to one day add an extension in this room and we will probably then move the dining area into there. This room currently has a large front window and also a window at the back of the room which can let in a lot of light, however if you do not have this option in your own home you can always install a Velux Roof Window. There are a great selection over on VELUX roof window shop. A Velux window is a fantastic way of letting light into a room if your ceiling allows. They are great for loft conversions and extensions and will be ideal if we expand on this area in the future.


Next up was the floor and skirting. We spent a lot of time thinking about what floor we wanted and in the end we decided the best option was to have wood effect, as it is easier to clean. We chose some Quick Step Livyn floor which is essentially vinyl but with the appearance and thickness of wood. It is quite expensive but it is guaranteed to last years and years and is made from 5 different layers. Not only is it waterproof, it is sound reducing as well. I thought it would be great for the area next to the kitchen and where we keep our dining table but at the same time we wanted the floor to be cosy and a rug just wasn’t cutting it. In the end we decided to go half and half. We placed carpet on the side of the room where the sofa and coffee table is so that area is nice and cosy, and then put the quick step across the other high traffic areas where people would be likely to be wearing shoes or dropping food on the floor.  The previous owner left us these large mirrors with an ornate gold coloured frame. It seemed a shame to waste them so we decided to keep them and paint the frames to make them fit in with our own décor. This is not however on the wall yet as we are still deciding whether we need a bookshelf that side instead. We added some of our own photos and prints to the walls to liven the place up too. I really liked the grey and copper print that I found in Next, so tied that in with a few copper accessories. I put a couple of shelves above the table to give us a bit more space. I adore my family road sign that I got from etsy!

When it comes to furniture and décor, our items were from a variety of places. Our grey corner sofa came from Harveys and I furnished this with yellow cushions from BHS and striped ones from M&S. The grey and yellow light shades came from Wilko at a respectable £4 each! Bargain! I bought the coffee table in the Homebase sale for around £100. It was exactly what I was looking for and the coasters and cacti were gifts from friends. The TV stand is the Liatorp Ikea unit for £180, it’s the perfect size for what we need and we can fit all of our bits and bobs in the drawers. The curtains come from George at Asda. Our dining table and chairs came from The Cotswold Company and were a bargain, reduced from well over £1000 to a more manageable £400 due to there being some cosmetic damage which was easily sanded/painted over! Its massive, but I love it and we can sit at either end and throw each other the salt and pepper.


We also got a little chair for the end of the room to fill the space that was there. We didn’t really know what else to put here but I think it looks great and is handy for if people come over. The chair came from The Range and was £140 (wishing I still worked there for that 25% discount!) The cushion was a gift, as was the throw! The cat seems to have claimed this spot though!


Overall this room took just over a year to complete (and even longer to write this post!) It was a crazy amount of money, it doesn’t even bear thinking about and I am never decorating this room again. I am very thankful for all of the help we had with this room, it is so handy knowing many different tradespeople who helped to make this happen. The biggest room in our house is now complete bar a few little tweaks and furnishings and I look forward to starting the next one! (That might be a lie.)


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Monday, 15 January 2018

Nutribuddy Breakfast First Impressions*

Since January has begun I have been trying to get healthier and make sure all of my meals are planned. I have been having a good variety of foods for my evening meal and changing my lunches up every week too however the one thing that has stayed the same was my breakfast. I was craving something new, something different and then Nutribuddy reached out to me with a product that could not only help with my weight loss but also ‘shake up’ my breakfast routine.

I received this product called ‘Nutribuddy Breakfast’ which in simple terms is a blend of ground oats, seeds and coconut. It’s quick and convenient, I literally need to add milk and shake and it’s done! It comes in 3 flavours, Chocolate Brownie, Vanilla and Naked (unflavoured/unsweetened). I chose the Chocolate Brownie flavour and received a 14 day supply so thought I would give it a go. A 14 day supply costs £14.99 and comes in a glass clip top jar however you can save £1.99 by getting a refill pack. I also received a shaker which you have the option of adding to your order for just £7.99. It’s really handy to have in my opinion.


I have only tried this for a few days now. In the mornings, I took 3 scoops of the product and put it into the shaker. I then added around 300ml of milk and its just a case of shaking until smooth. You can also use almond milk, soya or even coconut. The more you shaker, the smoother the drink becomes. You can also add fruit and pop in a blender if you prefer, or if you have a bit more time you can add to a bowl with fruit, nuts and seeds.  I may try different versions throughout this trial period to see how I get on.


Stay tuned for a full update in a few weeks when I have finished the jar if you’d like to see my results.

*I received this item free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
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Friday, 5 January 2018

The Christie Loves Box

If you saw my last post on 'What I got for Christmas' then you would have seen the sneak preview of one of my gifts, the Christie Loves Box. I received this from fellow blogger and bestie Kim. When I unwrapped the outer layer of paper, I was so excited at what I saw and intrigued as to what was inside. The box was covered in cactus print paper. I was really impressed how she managed to wrap this all up and align all the paper so it all looked like one piece!


The box was filled with everything that I love, and most impressively a magazine alongside the gifts. I could tell a lot of thought and effort had been put into creating this and I loved it! I didn't read it straight away as I didn't want to spoil what gifts I was about to open. There was a page on home decor which featured this gorgeous pineapple cushion, as well as saying that all of the decorating I was doing was sending me 'fruity' (get it?!) in the head! It suggested that this cushion would look great in a home office and I agree, and that is where it will be showcased! As well as the cushion, I received this lovely little dish which is great for flatlays and some flatlay tips from the expert herself!


I was over the moon when I opened up one of the little bags filled with makeup! I felt spoilt to see that I had some Too Faced goodies including the gingerbread melted matte lippy, white chocolate chip palette and also mascara. I was really impressed by the eyeshadow palette and it smells amazing too. This liquid lipstick is SO GOOD and by far the best lip product I have owned. I wore it Christmas day and it took a lot to budge it, even after eating. The little magazine did warn me about the velvet applicator but I saw past that when I realised how fantastic this was. I want more colours now! I can see why Kim swears by them! I also received an eyebrow shade which I am yet to experiment with and a gorgeous mirror from Lisa Angel which also follows the cactus theme.


As well as some flatlay tips in the magazine there was also a section on planners. I received some great stickers that I can use in my 2018 diary! I especially love the wedding countdown ones, I have put these on my calendar so I can see them and have used the dress sticker to mark my next fitting. It's less than 11 months to go now, eek!


Finally there was a few other pieces that tied in with the magazine. I got a slow cooker recipe book, cookie cutter and a pug stress ball. I especially liked how the magazine had a photo of one of my slow cooked meals, it really was very well thought out. I can't wait to try out some more.


Overall I really loved receiving this box and it definitely filled a hole where My Little Box used to be. It was just so thought out and the gifts were really lovely. Thank you Kim for such a great gift!

Have you ever created anything like this for one of your friends?


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