It seems that this year it’s all about blending and juicing, and with the amount of products on the market, it’s a bit of a minefield when looking for a gadget that gives you what you need. Having toyed with the idea of getting the most out of my fresh fruit and veg, I didn’t really know which route to go down, and my browsing history was awash with searches for the best blender, smoothie maker and juicer. Having limited storage space in my kitchen was also something to keep in mind and I found a lot of the units were bulky. I was totally stuck. From my needs, I found that a juicer was best suited and the new Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 had recently been released to the market. A juicer that not only made juices, but came with the option to make frozen desserts. As my vegetable intake was far higher than my fruit intake, I thought I’d be able to make use of a juicer, more than a blender.

Panasonic Slow Juicer

Panasonic Slow Juicer

Panasonic Slow Juicer

Panasonic Slow Juicer

Panasonic Slow Juicer

Panasonic Slow Juicer

The Panasonic Slow Juicer is quite a heavy unit, with several parts that slot together to build the juicer. Opening the box on the first day that I received it, I was almost unsure that I would be able to put it together, yet it was extremely easy. It’s quite a compact unit when assembled, which helps with my lack of space, and it breaks down into easy to store sections.

The juicer works by using a centrifugal juicer which crushes the fruit and veg slowly to release the most amount of juice, and keeping a higher amount of vitamins and minerals compared to those juicers which masticate the fruit. The fruit goes into the top of the juicer, the unit quietly crushes the fruit and sends the pulp out of the waste outlet, whilst fresh, rich juice trickles into the container. It’s quite interesting to see just how little waste comes from the fruit, yet all the bits that you wouldn’t want in the juice get removed.

For this post, I made a berry based juice. I added apples, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries which were heading towards their end of their days into the juicer, and watched how it pulped out all the seeds, pips and other bits into the waste container, leaving me with a thick and rich juice. It was so thick that it reminded me of a smoothie rather than a juice.

Breaking the unit down to clean it was a job that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to, but the device comes with a handy toothbrush style brush to ensure all bits are removed from the juicer and the outlets. Sometimes, having something that is difficult to clean, it puts you off future use, however the juicer has been frequently used.

Being dairy free, I have also found a new found love for fruit sorbet and the Panasonic Slow Juicer has been a god send in this weather. I’ve been cheating with pre-frozen fruits, which I usually use for my overnight oats, yet if I was to be on the ball, I’d simply chop my chosen fruits, freeze them and use the frozen attachment and function for fresh and tasty sorbet.

The addiction to fresh fruit juice is becoming quite apparent and as I live locally to a Farmers market, I’ve been buying more fruity that I ever have before, just to make fresh juice. My fruit intake is up and I can really tell the difference from my fresh juice compared to buying pre packaged fruit juice in cartons.

I love my juicer, and I look forward to creating new fresh recipes and sitting on the couch with a bowl of freshly made sorbet. Heavenly.

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I wouldn’t usually dedicate a blog post to something like hand soaps but when I first saw these colourful Carex soaps on a friends Instagram, I was very intrigued. Usually, I buy all my hand soaps from Bath and Body Works in the USA and I love the different fragrances that they have to offer, but finding a collection of hand soaps that are all intended to smell like childhood favourite sweets is just amazing. Carex, the home of hand wash have created Fun Editions; five soaps that all smell like sweets and they smell good enough to eat.

Carex Fun Editions

Carex Fun Editions

Carex Fun Editions

When my parcel of Carex Fun Editions arrived, I couldn’t resist opening them, just to see how they smelt. Whilst sat in my neighbours house, we all had a good sniff and excitedly started reminiscing about days gone by and the conversation littered with ‘it smells so good’. I have three of the scents; Bubblegum, Strawberry Laces and the new Love Hearts. Out of the three, Strawberry Laces in my favourite scent, with Bubblegum evoking the most memories. The new Love Hearts scented soap is actually the nicest of the three, when used to wash hands. The scent isn’t too overpowering like the other two and my hands feel so clean and moisturised, without being dried out.

Carex is well known across family homes for removing dirt and killing 99.9% of bacteria. As it’s dermatologically tested, it’s suitable for all the family to keep skin soft and clean. I’ve started to decant my soap into little bottles to take to work with me, because I find the hand soap at work to be really harsh and drying on my skin and I need to keep my hands clean all of the time. I’ve also been using these handy anti-bacterial hand sanitisers and Strawberry Laces wipes for those times where I’m not near a sink. Handy to keep in my bag, or pocket of my work uniform, on the go hand washing is easy.

I do like love it when everything is clean and sparkling, especially now keeping clean smells like my childhood. Thanks Carex!

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Every month I am receipt of one or two beauty subscription boxes, most noticeably Birchbox and Cohorted. I love the suspense of seeing what is in each box, and the thrill of finding new products that I may not have tried before. Each subscription box is made for each and every person who has an interest in beauty. Type The Hype have come up with a clever little box, which is made exclusively for the bloggers that they work with. If you haven’t heard of Type The Hype before and you are a blogger, then you must sign up. Type The Hype bring big brands such as Elemis, Bliss and Chi Chi London to us bloggers and are basically a middle man to create a working relationship with each brand. The Type The Hype Bloggers Box has been created exclusively for bloggers and packed full of goodies from brands that they work with.

Since receiving my box, I have been very hands on. Not only have I been pleasantly surprised by the contents but I have also, in true blogger style, reviewing and trying out the services and items in the box. In terms of actual products, I received four beauty products; two sample sizes, and two full size items. A new brand to me is Minty Coco, a brand that specialises in handy sachets for oil pulling. Of course, I went straight to the bathroom to give them a try. With three sachets, that contain enough oil for one use, I started off small and tried half a sachet that had been warmed up in my hand. Oil pulling is a very unique concept. Using the oil, you are to swill it around your mouth each day for at least twenty minutes. The process is designed to draw all the impurities out that stain teeth, leaving your smile looking pearly white. My teeth aren’t particularly stained as it is but I like to give things a try and see what I thought. The first try of Minty Coco and I literally gagged. It’s very strange to have oil in your mouth that is being swished around without swallowing it. It’s also a very weird sensation that made my jaw feel achey. Perseverance is the key, and I feel that my mouth felt fresher. I haven’t seen any improvement on the shade of my teeth with the use of the three sachets but I wouldn’t be put off from trying it again.

Type The Hype Bloggers Box

Type The Hype Bloggers Box

Type The Hype Bloggers Box

Type The Hype Bloggers Box

Type The Hype Bloggers Box

Type The Hype Bloggers Box

Type The Hype Bloggers Box

Type The Hype Bloggers Box

The sample size products include a Kerastase shampoo and a Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Gel. As they are samples, they aren’t big enough to review in detail but the shampoo made my hair feel incredibly soft after washing and as I have used the Bliss face wash before, I know how good the range is so I would be really tempted to buy a full size eye gel.

The Elemis Smart Cleanse Micellar Water has become a standard part of my cleansing routine. At £24 a bottle, it isn’t cheap but it is ultra effective at removing eye make up before I cleanse my face properly. Not only is it brilliant as eye make up removal, the handy pump is great for touching up any make up mishaps, as well as a quick freshen up of an evening when make up wear is minimal. Although it can be used as a cleanser for your whole face, I do find that a full cleanse with a cream cleanser is better for the skin as the Elemis does leave skin feeling slightly tacky. A great addition to the box, it really does shift eye make up in an instant. I also love the addition of a 20% off voucher in the box for my next Elemis purchase.

As well as beauty products in the box, there was a gift voucher for £10 off at Treatwell. I am obsessed with Treatwell and I book all my beauty treatments online using the Treatwell app. My nails were due a new set, so after booking at my local salon, and using my special code, I got a full set of nails for nearly nothing. Treatwell, formerly Wahanda, searches local salons in the area for specific treatments that you are looking for. Gone are the days of having to search for a salon and ringing someone up to book an appointment. There was also a Treatwell emery board in the box so I can keep my nails in tip top shape in between appointments. I also spotted this cute little Jones + Jones nail file set in the box, which has swiftly been put in my handbag. Featuring a nail file, smoother and buffer, this will come so in handy if I get any snags or need to smooth down rough edges whilst i’m out.

I’m starting a healthy journey in the bid to lose weight and tone up and this £10 voucher for Results With Lucy will really help me on my way. Results With Lucy has been taking the world by storm with lady friendly HIIT sessions and exercise sessions to complete in the comfort of my own home. The plans start at £39 so the £10 voucher will come in handy with a beginner session. I hope that I get to update you on my journey soon.

I’ve heard a lot about Shoe Licks, the innovative way to pimp your heels using a foiled or patterned piece of sticky backed plastic. I did want to show you a before and after of a pair of pimped up heels but I found them really difficult to use and didn’t manage to complete my shoes. Such a shame really as they are a really good idea to update a pair of shoes. The idea is that the back if the shoe that has a great pattern or colour when you walk instead of a plain colour. I may have to try these out again and see if I can do them properly.

Finally, one of the items that I was really excited to see was a blog planner notebook. This week to a page notepad helps you plan out posts using the week tracker then has a to-do list of things that you can check off such as social media promotion, seo and analytics. Very clever and also very useful.

This Blogger friendly box from Type The Hype is such a good idea to try out the brands that you could be potentially working with in the future and I’m really impressed with the contents. It’s a lot more developed than other subscription boxes in that it thinks of things that we want to use, like the notebook and urges you to try new services and products with the discount vouchers. I’m really pleased that I had chance to try the box so it’s a huge thank you to Type The Hype for letting me get involved.

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As an air hostess, people often ask me just how do I keep my skin hydrated with all the flights I do, and what are the best products to take on board a flight to keep themselves feeling human after a transatlantic journey. The answer may change depending on who you ask, yet for me it’s simple. Moisture, moisture, moisture. I’m going to take you on a journey today. A journey of my can’t live without, most wanted and holy grail items that I use l whilst at work and whilst travelling to keep optimum skin hydration.

My number one item to keep your skin and body hydrated is of course water. I try to drink three litres a day, every day. It may seem like a huge amount but when you can visibly see the difference that water makes to your skin and body, you’ll be a convert. Try adding fresh ginger and lemon to a bottle, or even infuse water at home. My favourites are cucumber, mint and lemon infusions and raspberry and blackberry using fresh fruit. Whilst at work, I use a sugar free flavouring to help that last litre go down. The benefits on my skin are very apparent. My skin looks plumped up, fresh and healthy. I feel energised from not having sugar and in general I feel awake and alert.

The Air Hostesses Guide to Skin Hydration

The Air Hostesses Guide to Skin Hydration

The Air Hostesses Guide to Skin Hydration

The Air Hostesses Guide to Skin Hydration

Flying can take its toll on your skin, and working in an environment where dirt and pollution is high, my ‘at home’ skincare routine is in depth. I remove all my make up post flight with a cream cleanser, followed by a cleansing oil to rid my skin of any impurities. For the last ten years I have been using products by Estée Lauder; Micro Essence, Advanced Night Repair and Revitalizing Supreme moisturiser. Each product is very rich, and gives my skin the nourishment that it needs whilst helping fight the toxins from the pollution and helping to battle signs of ageing. This is where seven hours of sleep also helps!

Every morning before work, after cleansing, I quench my face with a hydrating toner like the Jurlique Rose Water Toner before applying my favourite Perricone MD Hyalo Plasma cream. The hyaluronic acid within the gel cream retains moisture in the skin and also leaves skin feeling like glass. It’s great to apply makeup over to give a flawless finish.

Treats for the skin include twice weekly exfoliation using Origins Original Skin Clay Mask and these handy one use face mask pods from Nügg Beauty.

Whilst on board an aircraft, I have four key products in my liquids bag which I use daily. A facial spritz from Kiehls, Elizabeth Arden 8 hour hand cream, NUXE Lip balm and eye drops. When my skin is feeling parched and in need of refreshment, without ruining my make up, the Kiehls In Flight spray is perfect. The lavender and geranium scent is soothing and calming not only on the skin but for the mental state. A good lip balm helps keep lips feeling supple and wearing matte lipstick isn’t an issue if lips feel smooth and hydrated. As I’m constantly prepping my skin, I try not to forget my eyes and keep them lubricated using drops. They’re a must for contact lens wearer. Finally, a good hand cream is necessary. Dry air, harsh washroom soaps and manual labour on board means hands get the brunt of the job. A good cream brings back that bit of luxury we need.

These products are my old faithful items that have been discovered throughout my flying career, and ones that I hope will continue into the future. As long as your skin is getting the moisture it needs, you will stay hydrated. Look for products that are rich and nourishing for post flight, soothing and refreshing for mid-flight and packed with hyaluronic acid for an extra boost.

You can find my top tips for travelling on the MYA Blog – why not take a look.

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Sometimes, something just has to give and when life is getting in the way, it’s time to take a step back. Although my blog is an outlet to share everything I love about make up and beauty, it’s also an outlet to talk about the real life stuff. I have been struggling lately, struggling in a way that sometimes I just can’t explain how I’m feeling. Run down and tired, tired from work and tired from life in general. My health isn’t at its optimum right now, and although I can pin point what is going on with my fatigue, rectifying it isn’t as easy. I work full time and when I’m firing on all cylinders, I am blogging my thoughts on a daily basis. My blog is an escape mechanism and I love seeing my posts going live and receiving the reception that they do. But, my life isn’t that perfect blogger led life, in fact it’s far from it. Social media makes it so easy to manipulate the life that people think I lead, and sometimes, just sometimes, it’s hard to keep it up.

Mindfulness  Dani DiPirro Gratitude Living in the Moment book (1)

Mindfulness  Dani DiPirro Gratitude Living in the Moment book (1)

Mindfulness  Dani DiPirro Gratitude Living in the Moment book (1)

Mindfulness Dani DiPirro Gratitude Living in the Moment book

My health is my main concern right now, and although things have become easier over the last few weeks, I have been having a tough time with my mental health. With a history of depression and anxiety running through my family, it has been inevitable that things will affect my own mental state, and it has needed to be addressed. Having a good chat with my doctor, she recommended an alternative approach to the medication that would just numb the thoughts and feelings.

I have to take the bull by the horns. I need to realise, in my head, that nothing is as bad as what I think it is. I’ve been quite open about it to my closest friends and family, I’ve even shared my thoughts and feelings on Snapchat for the world to see, but what I haven’t shared is how I am using mindfulness techniques to help combat my issues and bring my mental state to back to how it should be.

It’s a vicious circle when it comes to battling tiredness and fatigue. My B12 deficiency is playing havoc with my body right now. All I want to do is sleep, and I’m forever feeling tired. Nothing can change how tired I’m feeling and of course that causes issues with how I feel. Even though it would just be easier to throw the towel in and fall asleep whenever I’m tired, I have to keep myself awake and use proper relaxation techniques to wind down. Not only does this help with getting quality sleep rather than a stint of 12 hours, it keeps me mindful.

Mindfulness. A term which often gets bandied around, but what does it really mean? Mindfulness is a state in which you are aware of your surroundings, focusing on the present moment whilst acknowledging and accepting your own thoughts and feelings. A therapeutic way to really understand your conscious and to enable you to pinpoint the base of the issues. It’s natural for people to get stressed and feel anxious but when these feelings make you a different person, it’s time to combat them. I cannot pinpoint where the stress comes from, I can’t understand why I get so anxious that it leads me to having panic attacks and I cannot understand why I get into states of feeling so low that I can’t pull myself out of it. To the outside, I am a bubbly person, with a great job and a blog that brings me opportunities that I would never be able to do normally. So, why would I be depressed and anxious? I ask myself this every single day.

There are so many books out there that fall into the category of ‘self help’ but what I really need is to be inspired. I’ve found two books by Dani DiPirro which are designed to help focus on what is really important in life. Living In The Moment and Gratitude are the first two books from DiPirro, which will eventually be part of a full series. DiPirro, a life coach, has been featured on The Happiness Project, Psychology Today and Forbes with her work on the power of positive thinking and helping others live more happily. In each book, a collection of inspirational quotes, bring that power of positive thinking to the forefront of my mind and I read each quote and focus on what is happening in front of me, rather than dwelling on what my mind is constructing. Each day I find a relevant quote and slowly, they have helped make me feel more relaxed, and a lot more balanced. It’s quite amazing how simple mindfulness as a technique is.

From there, I have taken time each day to have an hour where I relax. Soothing music, jotting down notes in my positivity journal and even spending time working on my grown up colouring book have all helped in bringing my sky high thoughts back to the ground where I can work on each thought logically and like an adult.

Mental health is a very touchy subject and what works for one may not work for another. For the three years of having my little corner of the internet, it is a subject that I have never even touched on, mainly due to not wanting to share but also because it seems like such a common issue that it’s almost like it’s taken for granted. This is probably the only time I will talk about it, and hell I may not even publish this post but just talking about it makes me realise that I am strong, and I can do this.

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A woman’s work is never done, and in between unpacking, cleaning and general household chores, I rarely get the time to enjoy my much needed days off. I am a woman on a mission, and that mission is to find items that reduce the length of time that I spend on household jobs. A helping hand around the house is one – believe me, you need one too. And then, there’s the ever growing ironing pile. A job that is never as bad as it seems, when you start cutting into the pile, but the thought of doing it makes you feel ill. My life has been changed with the Morphy Richards Atomist Iron, the newest innovation in tackling the laundry pile with its vapour mist technology.

I have never owned an iron like this, and over my adult lifetime of living solo, I have spent a grand total of £20 on one iron that did the job. Or so I thought. When it comes to ironing, the only things that I take my time with are my work uniform pieces. Everything else usually gets a quick rub over so it’s presentable. Can you imagine having an iron that not only gives a quick rub over but leaves clothes looking steamed yet with no pressure or over exertion on your part. It’s quite amazing. The Morphy Richards Atomist Iron is simply amazing, so I feel I should get technical as to why.

Morphy Richards Atomist Iron

Morphy Richards Atomist Iron

Morphy Richards Atomist Iron

Morphy Richards Atomist Iron

The Atomist uses vapour mist technology for ultimate crease removal. The iron unit is quite large, and contains a water tank as well as the resting plate for the iron. It looks incredibly futuristic with the iron being practically see through and using a thermoglass soleplate that not only heats up quickly but helps to glide across clothes with ease. Rather than using steam and spraying methods like traditional irons, the misting spray penetrates through clothes quickly, reducing ironing time as creases are removed in seconds. There are several heat settings for various fabrics and they do heat up very quickly – I almost scorched a top on the first use! Although the unit is quite large, storage is easy and the cords can be inserted into the base unit to save space.

I’ve never looked forward to doing my ironing, and now I am making light work of my ironing pile. There’s nothing better than putting on a good film, making a brew and sailing through the laundry at a rate of knots. Armed with my spray starch and ironing water, I’m actually looking forward to my afternoon of ironing. Who knew!

The Morphy Richards Atomist Iron is on special offer at Debenhams with 20% off its original retail price.

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There’s nothing that I love more than being in the kitchen and I adore spending time concocting recipes to make sweet treats and cakes. My last recipe was for my super easy chocolate rum truffles, so I couldn’t think of anything better than a quick and easy recipe for my Easter Rocky Road. It’s not quite a rocky road in that I haven’t put any biscuit pieces inside, as I have substituted these for Mini Eggs, but a recipe can always be adapted to your own taste with ingredients easily added and changed.

Ingredients:

450g white chocolate
150g Mini Marshmallows
2 bags of Mini Eggs or similar
1 packet of Party Rings
1 bag of Kinder Bueno Schoko-Bons
Edible Glitter in Pink and White

For my Easter Rocky Road Recipe, I used an oven tray as it gives the perfect depth to my creation, and lined this with greaseproof paper. In a bowl, I melted white chocolate in the microwave. White chocolate can be a bit of a mare to melt as it starts to get a strange texture if over melted. I find that if I melt for around one minute, then stir continuously until I can’t get the chocolate to melt into itself any further, then melt again for a further 30 seconds. At most it needs just two minutes in the microwave.

Easter Rocky Road Recipe

Easter Rocky Road Recipe

Easter Rocky Road Recipe

Easter Rocky Road Recipe

 

Easter Rocky Road Recipe

Easter Rocky Road Recipe

 

Easter Rocky Road Recipe

Easter Rocky Road Recipe

In the same bowl, I stirred in a whole bag of mini marshmallows and then added the mini eggs until they were evenly dispersed throughout the mixture. Once it was poured into the lined oven tray and the mixture has been smoothed out and pushed into the corners of the tray, it’s time to decorate the top. I used Party Rings and Kinder Bueno Schoko-bons and lots of edible pink and white glitter.

You can either put it in the freezer for an hour to quickly set the chocolate or leave it for a few hours in the fridge, before slicing it up and enjoying it. You should be able to get around 12 large pieces of rocky road from this recipe or more if you aren’t a greedy sod like me.

Not only does it look amazing, it tastes pretty darn incredible as well! Will you be making this Easter Rocky Road Recipe? Why not try some of my other alternatives – white chocolate, pistachio and cranberry rocky road and white chocolate, strawberry and blueberry rocky road.

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As a frequent flyer, I have to make sure I’m fully hydrated when at work and I drink a ton of water. The only problem with water though is that it can become quite boring, quite quickly. I often buy Crystal Lights water enhancers from America, but sometimes I can go for months without visiting the States and if I do, I don’t always get chance to visit Target to pick up my necessities. More recently, I’ve started to notice that stores in the UK have been selling mini cordial bottles which are the perfect size to fit into my liquids bag, but I don’t particularly like cordial. It’s too sweet and syrupy rather than just enhancing the taste of water with a flavour. I’ve discovered Stur, a natural water enhancer that is made with Stevia, rather than sugar. Stur Coconut Water enhancers come in three different flavours and I’ve been trying out these alternatives to sugary cordials.

Stur Coconut Water Enhancers are made using real coconut water which are naturally rich in electrolytes, which really help in keeping the body hydrated. Coconut water is quite an acquired taste and at first, I really couldn’t get my head around the taste of it. After persevering and also seeing the benefits after a stonking hangover, I really got into the flavour and how it made me feel. The creamy taste of the water is unusual at first but I find it to be really tasty and moreish. With the bottles of Stur, I have the original, as well as the ones flavoured with pineapple and lime. The natural sweetener Stevia makes it taste slightly artifical however it’s so much better than the use of real sugars, especially when flying as I find that sugary foods and drinks leave me feeling sluggish.

Stur Coconut Water Enhancers

Stur Coconut Water Enhancers Original

Stur Coconut Water Enhancers Lime

Stur Coconut Water Enhancers Pineapple

My favourite of the three is the Stur Coconut Water with Pineapple, as it tastes really fresh and tropical. The Lime infusion has that tangy citrus edge which although tasty, I can’t drink too much of it, so it’s wasted in a 1.5 litre bottle of water. The original tastes just like coconut water, smooth and creamy and really delicious.

The bottles, as I mentioned earlier, are the ideal size for taking on board the aircraft as they come in 38ml bottles. There’s no sugar and no calories and the addition of Vitamin C helps with metabolism and has great anti-fatigue properties. You can see why it’s ideal for work, as well as taking to the gym. I also love the history behind Stur; a family made brand in which a father wanted to create a great product for his twins that was good for their body.

If, like me, you need extra hydration and struggle to drink your daily amount of water, I totally recommend Stur. You can buy it from the Stur website, where a bottle is priced at £2.99.

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It’s Mothers Day, and what better way to spend it than going to work and not getting chance to see my Mum. Ho hum, such is life! The Co-Operative Food have been pretty amazing this week and have sent me a huge hamper for The Mother of All Tea Parties so I think it’s only fair that I treat my Mum to a good old afternoon tea this weekend, before I have to work.

Inside my wonderful, and totally unexpected, hamper from The Co-Operative was everything I needed to start off the Mother of All Tea Parties. From a cake stand, to boxes of tea, prosecco and of course a cake, I couldn’t have been more delighted with the contents. Now of course I had to go about creating my own tea party whilst joining in the Twitter chat #TwitterTeaParty. With so many people joining in and giving their hints and tips on throwing the ultimate in tea parties, I sat back and relaxed with an Earl Grey in my vintage rose cup and saucer whilst picking up some handy hints for future parties.

The Co-Operative Food

The Co-Operative Food

The Co-Operative Food

The Co-Operative Food

The Co-Operative Food

The Co-Operative Food is one place where I am always nipping into to pick up groceries and such like. The Fairtrade Earl Grey is one of my favourites and since going dairy free, I’ve found that I’m going through tons of tea bags due to its delicious bergamot blend. I’ve also been drinking large amounts of The Co-Ops own Prosecco – how naughty. The bottle is just £6.99 and it’s such a palatable drink. Not too dry, yet not overly sweet, and it goes down an absolute treat. It’s definitely worth trying, if you haven’t already.

No tea party is complete without a cake and there are some fab cakes in The Co-Op lately. I was kindly sent a Red Velvet which looks and smells amazing, however once I’d taken photos of it, it was given to my neighbour. She did confirm that it was delicious and I’m waiting for the day that I can buy a dairy free cake off the shelf.

So, I just want to take this time to wish all the Mothers out there a wonderful day with special love to my Mommy, Debs. Happy Mothers Day xxx

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Back in February when all the girls in my newsfeed were getting Pandora rings, rose gold Michael Kors watches and getting engaged, I decided to have an alternative Valentines Day. We shall call it Galentines Day for ease, and I spent the day with my favourite gal pals doing what we do best – shopping, pampering and eating sweet treats on behalf of Brioche Pasquier.

I absolutely adore getting parcels through the post especially when they are filled with cake so to receive a huge box filled with Brioche Pasquier macarons and a lemon tart, I though I had died and gone to heaven. With a giant box of 36 macarons in six different flavours, each in a pretty pastel colour, I was spoilt for choice. I think my favourites had to be the vanilla and pistachio ones. Having macaron coloured nail polishes made for a lovely afternoon, so I went for a minty green shade to match my pistachio macarons whist the girls chose from the pink and pale lemon shades.

 Brioche Pasquier

 Brioche Pasquier

 Brioche Pasquier

 Brioche Pasquier

 Brioche Pasquier

 Brioche Pasquier

 Brioche Pasquier

 Brioche Pasquier

We were so full from all the food we had eaten during the day and the macarons that we kept nibbling on, so we saved the lemon tart for a later date. Buttery soft pastry with a set lemon filling, it was the most beautiful tart I had tasted. I think next time I pick one of these up, I will add a meringue top to it, as it would make the most gorgeous lemon meringue pie. What I loved about the tart though was that it was pre sliced! No more wonky cut pieces of cake that aren’t Instagram worthy with the Brioche Pasquier pre sliced pie. Plus it also takes away from the argument of who has the biggest piece, which is definitely a win win for me.

The full range of Brioche Pasquier can be found in Ocado and I totally recommend both the tart and macarons. Thank you to Come Round for inviting me to the Macaron Manicure party!

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Each month, I take delivery of several beauty boxes from well know subscription sites like Birchbox. I love the whole concept of a subscription box, especially when they are filled with items and brands that I haven’t tried before. The whole subscription service has been opened up to the masses with boxes filled with stationary, jewellery and now tea. As a ‘tea belly’, as my Grandad lovingly calls me, a tea subscription service was always going to be right up my street especially since I’ve been looking at new flavours of loose tea since cutting dairy from my diet. When I came across Bruu, I was so excited to try it and I’m even more excited to share it with you.

The Bruu monthly subscription service is just £10 and the concept is the same as other boxes. Within the Bruu box, you receive three sachets of tea which make around 40 cups in total, as well as some handy fill your own teabags if you don’t have a loose leaf tea strainer. If you have a preference, you can choose from several styles of tea before you place your order for your monthly box. I like black tea, rooibos and green tea so the teas I received are very well suited to my taste. The Bruu box comes packaged up in a letterbox size box, which is always handy so you aren’t missing any deliveries.

Bruu - The Tea Subscription Box

Bruu - The Tea Subscription Box

Bruu - The Tea Subscription Box

Bruu - The Tea Subscription Box

Bruu - The Tea Subscription Box

Bruu - The Tea Subscription Box

Bruu - The Tea Subscription Box

When I first opened my box, I was so impressed by the aromas of the teas, even with them being in sealed airtight pouches. The teas that I received were ‘Summer Black’, ‘Pina Colada Green’ and ‘If Terry’s Did Rooibos’, which happens to be my favourite. The teas change each month, so some flavours may not be available on the website for future purchasing in 50g bags.

Pina Colada Green is a Caribbean green tea bursting with coconut chips, pineapple pieces and sunflower petals.
Summer Black is a glowing black tea with goji berries, yellow rosebuds, safflower, orange peel and carrot flakes.
If Terry did Rooibos is rooibos with chocolate chips, orange peel and blossom.

I’ve been using my Pug in Mug which was a gift from my wonderful friend Keeley who knew I wanted to try more loose tea. She’s so good to me!

What do you think of the newest idea in subscription boxes? I’ll definitely be getting a second box when this one runs out!

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With every January comes the ‘New Year, New Me’ BS which, if you know me, you know I can’t stand. I was planning on a personal change and before Christmas, I was contacted by the PR company who were helping to promote Veganuary who asked if I was up to the challenge. As a meat-eating, dairy consuming person, I wondered if I was able to convert to a lifestyle where I didn’t eat any products that came from animals. Bearing in mind the job that I do, as well as the time that I spent at home, I had to take quite a lot into consideration before I changed my entire eating habits. Now we are at the end of January, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect back on this month and tell you about the positives that have come out of the Veganuary challenge.

I started New Years Day badly with a cup of tea with milk and a bacon butty, but it was New Year and I was also hungover to death so it can be totally excused. That afternoon, I had a serious think about just what I wanted to get out of Veganuary – whether I could convert to being vegan, or if I could use this lifestyle change to benefit myself. I weighed myself on New Years Day and promised myself that I wouldn’t weigh myself again until the last day of the month. I looked at my body concerns; acne type breakouts, my weight and my actual diet with my B12 deficiency. I decided to take the first steps into cutting both meat and dairy from my diet but not depriving myself if I felt it necessary.

Veganuary Nakd Nibbles

Veganuary Nakd Nibbles

Veganuary Nakd Nibbles

Over the next few days, I realised just how much planning and organisation I needed to be able to keep up with this change. The meat aspect was easy – I’ve always been one to choose the vegetarian option but the dairy was another story. I was dreaming of cheese. I wanted yoghurt. Mmm Brie. Work was difficult. I have limited options to cook things, I’m living out of a suitcase from hotel room to hotel room and sometimes I have no fridge to store prepared food. I found that this was my most difficult option, so from there, I decided that my diet would be primarily vegetarian and with some advice regarding my previous concerns, I took the step to cut out cow’s milk.

The last few weeks have found myself falling into a really good routine. I’m eating so much better at home and the more I’m eating veg, the more I am craving it. Meals have been vegetarian most of the time, with the exception of fish. I’ve eaten chicken just three times this month and only had one bacon butty. Not only that, but the benefits of cutting out cow’s milk have had the most positive effect on me. My skin has cleared up and looks fresher and healthier with my digestive system reaping the rewards. I’m less bloated, my cravings for things have subsided and I actually love black tea. I’ve also been drinking caffeine free teas more frequently so my sleeping pattern has drastically improved. With the eradication of cow’s milk, it brought up the cheese issue so after a quick online search, I have found several cheeses which are made from sheep and goats milk, so I’m not deprived of my true love.

I’ve also been introduced to the Nakd range of fruit and nut based snacks that are vegan and gluten free. They are so handy to keep in my handbag and lunch bag and I’ve been eating these rather than regular chocolate bars. I initially thought that the lack of chocolate would have me craving it more, but in reality I haven’t. I’d much rather snack on fruit or a Nakd bar rather than a family size bar of Galaxy.

Today I weighed in. I wasn’t expecting anything more than a few pounds as I had noticed that my clothes felt looser and I had been wearing pieces that I hadn’t worn in years. What I wasn’t expecting was a 6kg weight loss which equates to 13.2 lbs, just under a stone.

Although I didn’t manage to do Veganuary due to my lifestyle, I have taken away some great changes that I am going to continue with for as long as I can. I will continue with a vegetarian style diet as I am relishing in eating fish and I’m really not too fussed about meat overall. I will have a steak if I fancy one, but my main priority is keep upping my veg intake, as I am feeling so much more sprightly. I have a spring in my step. I wake up and I feel tired but it soon goes and I feel refreshed through the day, rather than hitting that midday slump. I’m avoiding chocolate and snacking on fruit, I’m cutting caffeine right down and the loss of cow’s milk is probably one of the best changes I’ve ever made.

I hope I can update you all in a few months time and that I can share with you further success stories from my diet change. I’m not on an actual diet to lose weight but the diet choices that I’m making are really helping.

If you are considering changing your diet, it is worth taking advice from your doctor before you undertake anything. The Veganuary website has a lot of really good information if you are looking to cut out dairy and meat from your lifestyle. Thank you to Izzy for sending me the Nakd nibbles, they’ve really got me through the month.

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I’ve been waiting for ages to get a new Air Hostesses Guide post up for you but with everything that has been going on over Christmas and New Year, it’s taken quite some time. After doing a mini poll on Twitter, it seems that a lot of you are interested in my life as a hostie so I am making sure that I continue my Air Hostesses Guide by posting a least one a month. I’d love to know what kind of thing you would like to see, so don’t forget to leave me a comment below and let me know. This month’s post will be all about my suitcase essentials and the items that I like to have to hand in my case on every trip that I do as well as my shiny new suitcase.

Over the years of flying, I have become quite set in my ways about what I require from my suitcases. I need a hard shell, medium size and preferably with 4 wheels for ease of transporting around. I’ve known the Constellation brand and it’s great reputation so my new, super girly, bright pink case was a winner from the moment that I spotted it. The case itself is the Constellation 24″ Galloway ABS Suitcase in Pink, retailing for £65 which is a bargain compared to my Samsonite case. With a push button handle that extends to two different lengths, zip fastening with integral lock and 4 wheels for ease of pushing rather than pulling, I can safely say that I’m very pleased. The inside of the case comes with a separation divider with extra pocket and it’s very deceiving in size. I’m was quite surprised at just how much I could fit in my case, and I bring a lot of stuff to work with me. It’s also very light when empty, so if I did have to stick to a luggage allowance then it gives me a few extra pounds of weight to play with.

Constellation 24 inch Galloway ABS Suitcase

Constellation 24 inch Galloway ABS Suitcase

Constellation 24 inch Galloway ABS Suitcase

Constellation 24 inch Galloway ABS Suitcase

Constellation 24 inch Galloway ABS Suitcase

Constellation 24 inch Galloway ABS Suitcase

Constellation 24 inch Galloway ABS Suitcase

I used to be a serial sunbather but I’ve decided that I prefer to fake it, rather than bake my skin in the skin. I do still sit out in the sun when the mood takes me but I am covered in SPF50 so I don’t burn. Instead, I have been trying out different brands of false tan to find one that is suitable for travelling, one that is quick and easy to use and of course, that develops into a long lasting golden tan. Sienna X is a completely new brand for me, and although I have heard of it over the years, I haven’t ever tried it. I’ve noticed that with the air pressure, any mousse or foaming tanning products are subject to leaking so I decided to try the Express Tanning Mist by Sienna X. Being a total novice in the ‘at home’ spray tan, I was expecting this to be a total failure on the first application, yet I was pleasantly surprised. It’s so easy to apply and the 360 degree nozzle means you can get the backs of legs and your back with ease. I did get a few mini streak marks but I blended these into the skin with a tanning matt. The colour that initially goes on your skin is a lovely golden tan that helps with application and over a few hours, it develops into a deep golden colour that thankfully isn’t orange, but natural like you’ve spent a few days in the Caribbean. I’ve also been using the Sienna X Radiance Body Balm, and not exclusively to help prolong my tan. I’ve totally fallen in love with this beautifully scented balm that contains shea butter, coconut and almond oil as well as vitamin E. When I have used it over my false tan, it has helped to keep my skin intensively moisturised and prolonging the length of time that the tan stays on for. I’ve also been using it when I’ve been going out as the balm is filled with golden flecks that give me legs for days. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

Being on my feet all day does have quite an effect on how I feel when I get into my hotel room. Apart from feeling exhausted, I also feel incredibly achy and sometimes suffer from cramping when I’m in bed. To alleviate these issues, I have two products from Puressentiels which can be bought at Boots. The first product is the Puressentiel Joint Care Gel, an aromatherapy blend of essential oils that not only relaxes me through its scent, but that cools and soothes my tired legs when rubbed into the muscles. I like to apply this after a warm shower and before I get into bed but remembering to wash my hands after applying – it will sting if it gets into eyes! I also picked up the Puressentiel Sleep Spray to help me relax. Being away from home so often does sometimes have a bad effect on my sleep, and I often wake up in a panic, not knowing where I am or having weird dreams. The sleep spray has not only helped in the relaxation stakes but the scent now automatically reminds me that I am away. I like to spray it into the corners of the room to encase the room in it’s scent and as I fall asleep, I can smell eucalyptus and lavender. It’s so lovely.

Sienna X Express Tanning Mist Sienna x Radiance Body Balm

Puressentiels Room Spray Muscle and Joint gel

Emma Lomax Worldwide Travel Adaptor

Emma Lomax Worldwide Travel Adaptor

The Air Hostesses Guide to Suitcase Essentials

The Air Hostesses Guide to Suitcase Essentials

An absolute suitcase essential is my travel adapter from Emma Lomax. In a previous post about my Crew Bag Essentials, you’ll have spotted the Emma Lomaz SOS Kit, so the travel adaptor in the matching airplane embroidered pouch was definitely on my list of purchases. It’s become a bit of a god send in the last few weeks as I have been in India, which have a totally different plug type but a European plug can be used. I didn’t have a European plug but thankfully as well as having a US adaptor, the adaptor does contain a European plug. Phew!

What are your travel essentials? Let me know in the comments!

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I absolutely adore spending time in my kitchen and creating some tasty treats that I can enjoy with a good cup of tea at the end of a long day. Each year for the last few years, I have been making mini boozy christmas pudding truffle for Christmas Day, which go down very well with the family. As I have to work over Christmas Day this year, and I’m struggling for time to make my usual truffle, I’ve been looking at recipes that I could prepare before I leave for work and that will still be fit for consumption on my return, ready for my delayed Christmas Day. I’ve put together a really simple recipe to make ganache style rum truffles and as it uses just 4 ingredients, its really easy to make.

For the ingredients, you will need:

200g Good quality dark chocolate
175g Double cream
6 teaspoon of Rum (or you could use Brandy or Whiskey if you desired)
Chocolate strands to decorate.

Pour the double cream into a pan and bring to a rolling boil on the hob.
Add the spirit into the cream once it has reached boiling point.
Stir in the broken up chocolate pieces until they have all melted and the mixture looks smooth, dark brown and glossy.
Take the pan off the heat and leave to set for around 1.5 hours. If you have trouble with it setting, pop it in the fridge to cool.
Once set, take a teaspoon or melon baller and scoop out balls of the truffle mixture. Roll in the chocolate strands, or in cocoa powder or icing sugar if you prefer.
Place each truffle on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and place in the fridge to set.

Makes around 12-14 truffles.

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

Anoushka's Treats - Rum Truffles Recipe

I like to store my treats in my personalised jar. I’ve found a great website called I Just Love It which has a huge array of items that can be personalised. With a name like mine, I’ve spent all my life receiving gifts that said ‘Special Friend’ or ‘Special Daughter’ so it’s so amazing to be able to get as much stuff as I can get my hands on with my name on. In fact, I’m becoming quite obsessed with having things with my own name on. I have put all my rum truffles in my Personalised Storage Jar with a Cupcake design*, which fits in so well with my vintage style kitchen. As well as having my name on it, to tell everyone that they are in fact my treats inside, its a great size to store so many kitchen necessities such as tea, coffee and sugar or keep it just for treats.

Speaking of tea, I love to drink my hot beverages out of my Tea Lovers Personalised Mug*, and as it has my name on it, it’s a winner for me. Again, it fits in with the design of my kitchen and it looks so cute sat next to my treats jar. My only downside – it needs to be bigger for a bigger cup of tea, ahh. Chip and scratch resistant, the design has survived many a wash and is still going strong. I’m very pleased.

What recipes will you be making over Christmas? I wish I had time to make all of my treats but duty calls. Maybe next year I will be able to take you through a comprehensive guide of my baking goodies.

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When I go into work and people ask how I am and then proceed to ask how Thomas is, it does make me chuckle. For Thomas is not my boyfriend, my child or even a human. He is my cat. I’ve had him since he was a little kitten and he’s just turned seven, so as you can imagine, he plays a large part in my life. Living alone, and showing crazy cat lady tendencies is totally fine by me as this little bundle of black fur never fails to put a smile on my face. Thomas is a house cat so he has developed quite a personality; he’s loving and likes a cuddle, he loves to play fetch and he also loves to wake me up by licking and pawing at my face. Although I work away a lot, there is no better feeling than seeing that furry face waiting behind my front door for me to come in after a long day at work. It might be true that I spoil him, but why not – I spoil myself so it’s only fair that Thomas gets some presents every now and again.

Pampered Pets and Spoilt Animals.

Each month I receive my monthly beauty subscription boxes which fill me with joy and happiness. If only they had one that was made just for cats! I found Cat Hampurr on Twitter and after seeing lots of pictures of cats enjoying their boxes, I took the plunge. Not only did the Cat Hampurr come addressed to Thomas the Cat which is just the cutest thing ever, I’ve never seen Thomas go so mental at a sealed box before. I could barely get the packing tape off before he was inside the box to greet two new toys and a selection of cat treats. Thomas was so pleased to get a new Molly Mouse to add to his collection as well as a Yeoww Catnip Sardine. He wasn’t interested in the treats until he had rolled around on the floor, twisting and contorting his body into silly shapes. Having tried the Thrive cat food products before, Thomas loved these but I’m still trying to get him to eat the Leaps & Bounds dried meat treats. After all the goodies were taken from the box, he proceeded to sit in the empty box before trashing it and the tissue paper inside. That is one happy cat and definitely worth the subscription price. There are several subscriptions plans also available to suit each budget.

Pampered Pets and Spoilt Animals Cat Hampurr

Pampered Pets and Spoilt Animals Cat Hampurr

Pampered Pets and Spoilt Animals Cat Hampurr

Pampered Pets and Spoilt Animals Cat Hampurr

Pampered Pets and Spoilt Animals Cat Hampurr

I love this time of year and feeling the first chill in the air. Autumn is my favourite season as it means cosy blankets and early nights in my comfy bed. Updating Thomas’s sleeping quarters has been high on my list for sometime and knowing his love of getting of boxes, I thought that a cat cube would be a perfect addition. I chose a cat bed from My Four Cats in a wood effect finish with cream fleece cushions, one on the lid and one inside. It took approximately 30 seconds before Thomas got in it, and it’s safe to say that he loves it. Whenever I am curled up on the couch and think that he’s being very quiet, I look over to his corner and he is usually curled up and asleep inside his cat cube. He’s so cute. I’ve also added his very own personalised Thomas blanket, as black cat hair and white fleece do not mix and I want his cube to remain in pristine condition. I found the personalised pet blankets on I Just Love It and the soft brown blanket with gold stitching looks so cosy. The blanket is also machine washable which is a massive bonus for me.

Pampered Pets and Spoilt Animals Cat Cube

Pampered Pets and Spoilt Animals Cat Cube personalised cat blanket

 

Whilst I was browsing on I Just Love It, I also found a beautiful glass and ceramin cat food container. Thomas adores his Dreamies so I thought it would be a great place to keep them. It only took an hour or two before he realised that the glass jar has all his Dreamies inside, so he now sits and miaows by it. I keep his jar next to his cat cube so he can guard the treats all day long.

Pampered Pets and Spoilt Animals Cat Cube personalised treat jar

Pampered Pets and Spoilt Animals Cat Cube personalised cat blanket

What would you buy to spoil your cat?

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Have you ever thought about just how good it would be to be paid for giving your opinion? At an event organised by Ledigo PR, I was able to meet the team from Research Opinions as well as some very special guests, and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes in one of the UKs largest suppliers of market research participants. Research Opinions is ran by Julie Fuller, who established Research Opinions in 1987. Julie has a wealth of experience within the research industry and leads the way for new market research initiatives.

 Research Opinions Ledigo PR

Since I was fifteen years old, I have been actively taking part in market research groups and focus groups. The purpose of these groups is to establish opinions from set demographics of people in order to help create a product or service. Information is fed back to brands and businesses to develop something that the general public want to see and use. As an opinionated and passionate person, I thrive off getting my opinion heard, whether it be in a questionnaire, focus group or an online task. I like to be creative and let ideas flourish, not only for my personal use but when faced with a challenge or exercise.

 Research Opinions Ledigo PR

 Research Opinions Ledigo PR

Research Opinions Ledigo PR Mike and Chelsea Key 103

Research Opinions have developed a brand new website and they now want you to sign up to be able to take part in market research projects across the UK. Once you have signed up, sessions that may be relevant to your demographic will be emailed to you and if you are chosen to take part you will be rewarded for your time with a cash bonus. If you have never taken part in a market research before, the concept is fairly easy. An interview will take place, that could consist of a one to one interview or as part of a group. This could be in a hotel, meeting room or at your house. Group interviews are my favourite as it’s great to have a room full of opinions for you to bounce off. Based on Canal Street, Manchester, Research Opinions deals with projects in locations such as Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leeds and London.

 Research Opinions Ledigo PR

 

 Research Opinions Ledigo PR

At the event, I had the opportunity to see behind the scenes in the room behind the two way mirror. As a frequent participator of groups, I had never seen in the back room where you are watched by a team who use what you say to ask further questions and make notes on the general consensus of the group chat. I was joined at Research Opinions by Jake Quickenden, Steph Waring,Mike and Chelsea from The Breakfast Show on Key 103 and Chris from Love Island as well as my lovely blogger friends Sally, Nina and Clema.

Sign up to Research Opinions for your opportunity to take part in a market research in the near future. Well done Steph at Ledigo PR for organising another wonderful event.

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