Monday, 31 August 2015

Life | Sunday Brunch

Who doesn't want to spend a day feeling like you've stepped into another world and doing things that you wouldn't normally do? I'm the type of person who definitely does, and going for a lovely Sunday brunch with my Mum and Grandma was the perfect way to do this. I'm not someone who does this all the time, but when I do it always feels lovely. And who doesn't want to treat themselves to a great day with their family?

I promised my Mum that I'd take her for Sunday brunch back in March for Mother's day and with Ryan being away this bank holiday weekend I knew that this would be a perfect time to schedule in some quality time, we also invited my Grandma along because all three of us have always had a close relationship.

My Mum and Grandma have already been for Sunday brunch, however this was my first time. I thought the table was laid out beautifully and it made me feel how I can only describe like I'd stepped into a time from Downton Abbey. The Sunday brunch worked in the way where for starters there was a buffet table which had a selection of cold options and soup, from which we had both but I forgot to take a picture of my cold starters after my soup! The main meal was a traditional Sunday roast in a carvery format, and who doesn't love a good Sunday roast? We were then given a selection of deserts and these were bought to our table; I opted for a sticky toffee pudding, while my Mum and Grandma both opted for the duo of mini cheesecakes. As if we weren't stuffed enough this was all followed by tea and coffee, and I honestly never thought I'd say that I felt too full to drink a cup of tea!

Although the venue was busy and there were two large parties the room didn't feel crowded and it wasn't too much. The atmosphere still felt right, you could still enjoy your own parties company and you could still hear the pianist that was playing just outside of the room!

I definitely found that Sunday Brunch was a greta way to spend some quality time together in an alternative fashion and I'd love to take everyone that I know at least once just to experience it. I definitely ate far too much and I'd definitely recommend the experience to everyone!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Friday First | The Treat Kitchen

I can honestly say that this is one of the best reviews that I have ever done and I don't think I've ever been so excited to write a review.

I saw that the Treat Kitchen were looking for bloggers based in the East Midlands so I approached them and then they kindly asked me if I would be interested in reviewing their products. Of course as soon as I saw what their products were I couldn't refuse. They initially asked me to pop to their shop to review their products, but after explaining that this wouldn't be an option for a while they kindly offered to send me some products in the post! I can honestly say that I have loved every single second of working with The Treat Kitchen!

Gourmet Jelly Beans, 240g - £3.95
Can we first of all appreciate the cutest packaging that I have ever seen in my life? I love the milk bottle look and I'm already thinking about how I'll be using these after I've had all my jelly beans! There are so many other flavours of jelly beans that I'd love to try and they also come in pouches priced at £1.95 each.

I received the flavours Lime and Coconut Hearts. The lime jelly beans were both sweet and tangy but they have the perfect balance of both, I love them and I could eat them all day. The coconut hearts are insanely cute and I love the fact they're hearts and stand out from typical jelly beans. These actually tasted of coconut instead of soap like I've tasted with coconut in the past and I felt they had a toasted hint to them which I loved.

Would I repurchase the Gourmet Jelly Beans? I definitely would, I've spotted so many other flavours that I would love to try and I think the bottles are such a cute packaging idea that would be so cute for a gift!
Overall score out of 5? Definitely a 4, I loved the flavours I received and there are so many more flavours that I desperately want to try.

Famous Fruit Rock, 200g - £1.95
Rock is something that I've always loved since I was a child and it always reminds me of family holidays down at the seaside and now I have a way to enjoy it at home! I love the colours, it's so bright and just looks fun. The rock can also be bought in different flavours and can also be purchased in a glass jar for £3.95.

I love the fact that the rock is handmade and all rolled by hand, something that I fell in love with since visiting a the rock making factory in Bridlington. Both me and my mum have tried the rock and we both agree that it tastes fantastic. The flavour was nicely balanced, it wasn't too overpowering but it also wasn't so subtle that you couldn't taste it. The rock itself wasn't so hard that it broke our teeth but it wasn't so soft that it was just chewy. 

Would I repurchase the Famous Fruit Rock? Oh yes. I'm so excited to be able to buy rock without having to go to the seaside but be able to feel that I'm at the seaside. I also think it'll be a cute alternative for my Grandad at Christmas instead of his humbugs.
Overall score out of 5? Definitely a 4, I loved feeling like I was at the seaside and having all the memories that are associated with this one sweet. Again, I definitely want to try the other flavours.

Radioactive Sours, 110g - £1.95
Let me start off by saying that these absolutely killed me. I've had radioactive and sour sweets before that have never really lived up to their claims but these really are radioactive. I can honestly say that these are going to last me years, I have issues with my jaw and these made my jaw lock instantly, which is the sign of a really good sour sweet. As well as the pouches these come in science flasks which I think is a fantastic touch and something that is really different for £8.95.

However I really did like the sweets, if you get any of the malic acid on your lips and then later lick your lips you will suddenly find out that it's still there. I completely wimped out and spat my sweet out so it's going to take me a long time to get through these but my Dad was super brave and tried one and said that once you get past the initial sourness they are really nice.

Would I repurchase the Radioactive Sours? I personally wouldn't, but I know a few people who would really enjoy these sweets and I think the science flask packaging would make them a really interesting gift for people.
Overall score out of 5? I'm going to have to say a 2. I feel really bad about this score but it's purely because of my jaw not being able to handle sweets that are actually this sour. However they will be eaten, my Dad was brave enough and I think my brother would be too. One day I'll be brave enough to try them again.

Sweetshop Heroes, Watermelons, 200g - £1.95
I can honestly say that I was so excited when I opened my package to discover that the lovely people over at The Treat Kitchen had sent me fizzy watermelon slices which have to be my favourite sweets on the planet without even asking me what I liked! The Treat Kitchen have a whole range called Sweetshop Heroes that are classic sweets that everybody loves and I've already picked out so many gifts for people.

I struggle to find fizzy watermelon slices despite them being my favourite sweets and in the past when I have found them so many just don't deliver on flavour and actually don't have any flavour at all. These did not disappoint me the flavour was incredible and the fizziness provided the perfect balance of tang and sourness that I love. I have no idea how long these are going to last me, but I'm definitely going to make them last a while.

Would I repurchase the Sweetshop Heroes? I've already made a list of sweets that I want from this range and like I said above I just know they would make the best kind of gifts for people.
Overall score out of 5? Definitely a 4, I loved everything about these sweets and the only reason they didn't score a 5 is because I want so many more!

I'm already planning a trip to the shop in Nottingham as they are so many sweets, chocolates and so much more that I really do want to try! If anything you have seen here has grabbed your attention and you fancy placing an online order if you use the code 'BEKA10' at the checkout you can get 10% your order!

I was sent these products for free in return for a review. All opinions are my own, honest and have not been influenced in any way. I have not been paid for this review.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Friday First | Keep Me Going

So I'm not sure how many people worry about how healthy the cereal that they eat in the morning is or worry about how long it will keep them going throughout the day, but I'm one of those people who do.

I found 'Keep Me Going' through BloggersRequired and a few days later Richard contacted me to provide a little bit of information about the cereal itself and kindly sent me two boxes to try! 'Keep Me Going' has 60% less sugar, eight times less salt and twice the fibre when compared to other cereals that are advertised as healthy.. I'm looking at you my beloved Special K. When I discovered this I was horrified, I try to eat the best I can and I try my best to make the best decision when it comes to my breakfast.

Richard informed me that the cereal has been designed with the whole family in mind, appealing to children by adding trading cards (which are both colourful and educational!) and a code inside the flap to be cracked!

As someone who works 12 hour shifts I need something for breakfast that will keep me going till lunch without me feeling hungry. Honestly I didn't have high hopes for 'Keep Me Going' as I've tried breakfast options in the past that have claimed to keep you fuller for longer and have actually made me feel more hungry. However, 'Keep Me Going' really did keep me full and I actually have to remind myself to eat at lunch time because I just don't feel hungry yet!

Appearance wise 'Keep Me Going' kind of reminds me of a smaller version of the Crave cereal, just without the chocolate inside. Taste wise they initially remind me of bran cereal but then a sweet taste takes over, I'm a bit useless at describing tastes but I really like it! My Dad has been trying this cereal to and enjoys it just as much and finds that it also keeps him going till lunch.

Will I continue to eat 'Keep Me Going'? I will. We've already got through one box and we're working our way through the second. I really enjoy it and I'm so impressed with how full it makes me feel and how much energy it provides me with throughout the day.
Would I repurchase 'Keep Me Going'? I'm not sure just yet. I really enjoy this cereal, unfortunately it's currently only available on Ocado for £2.65, which I think is quite reasonable. Once 'Keep Me Going' hits the supermarket shelves I'll definitely be picking some more up!
Would I recommend 'Keep Me Going'? I really would. If you're looking for something for breakfast that will keep you going till lunch time this is definitely for you! If you're looking for a healthier alternative for breakfast then this is also for you!
Overall score out of 5? A 4. I love the cereal and I still continue to be impressed that I don't feel hungry till lunchtime, I can't wait for it to become widely available in supermarkets!

I was sent these products for free in return for a review. All opinions are my own, honest and have not been influenced in any way. I have not been paid for this review.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Beauty | Would You Rather Tag

I was tagged by Megan from SecretlyMegan to complete the 'Would You Rather Beauty Tag' and you all know I love a good tag post so here are my answers! I'm going to steal Megan's idea and the people I have tagged will be tagged in the Instagram post.

Would you rather go out with messy hair and nice make up or nice hair and no make up?
I'd be more tempted to do my makeup and go out with messy hair. Let's be honest the 'messy' hair is what most girls seem to go for lately.

Would you rather shave your eyebrows or have your eye lashes fall out?
Eyelashes fall out. I've always been better at sticking falsies on than doing my eyebrows.

Would you rather be forced to shop at only MAC or Sephora for the rest of your life?
Both cost the earth but I'd have to say Sephora, they have a range of products and brands.

Would you rather have a lip gloss/lip liner look or an 80s perm?
Can it be a loose perm?

Would you rather have an obvious foundation line or overdone blush?
Overdone blush, purely because I see so many girls lately going out with what I can only describe as overdone and unblended blush so I wouldn't feel too obvious.

Would you rather wear MC Hammer pants or biker shorts in public?
I'm seeing a lot of girls wearing biker shorts under normal shorts lately...

Would you rather have Instagram or YouTube taken away forever?
I could live without YouTube in my life a lot easier than I could Instagram.

Would you rather give up using Make up brushes or mascara?
After much debate my makeup brushes. I apply my foundation with a sponge, mascara out of the tube obviously and I'd just have to learn to apply eyeliner with a felt tip. I can't go without mascara.

Would you rather give up make up or nail polish?
As much as I love my nails I can't wear nail polish due to work so nail polish would be easier.

Would you rather wear summer clothes in winter or winter clothes in summer?
I tend to wear my summer clothes in winter anyway and just layer up.

Would you rather wear one eye shadow shade or one lipstick shade for the rest of your life?
Just one eyeshadow shade, I rarely wear eyeshadow anyway.

Would you rather chop all your hair off or never be able to cut it again?
I think I'd rather never be able to cut it again, I don't think I could cut all my hair off. Having short hair is one of my nightmares.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Life | Spending Ban

As you can see above I have a lot of products that I need to work my way through; along with quite a few of the same products. Who seriously needs six bottles of the same moisturiser and seven tins of Vaseline, five of which are the same favour!

Okay so my point is this. I see all the time people on Twitter talking about being on spending bans and writing blog posts about their spending bans. I think it's time to admit that I need to place myself on a spending ban. I have a huge list of products that I want to get a chance to try, however I recently sorted out my bedroom and I found that I actually have a huge hoard of so many products and quite a few samples that I need to work my way through before I buy any new products.

A lot of the products that I have I've never tried before and I realise that I could discover some new products that I absolutely love that are currently just stored away in my cupboard.. I also now need to be serious on that ban I placed on myself at the beginning of the year to buy no more lip products because I seriously do not need anymore lip butters, balms, or anything else.

I'm not upset that I'm placing myself on a spending ban, and of course all the essentials in life such as skincare, underwear, new work clothes, makeup, etc. I will still be allowed to buy but I am not allowed to buy anything on my wish list until I have made a serious dent in all the products pictured above!

Let me know below if you have any products stored away that you really should try. Let me know if you're on a spending ban and why!

Friday, 7 August 2015

Friday First | Avon Nail Wraps

So this week I'm talking nail wraps. As someone who loves and takes pride in my nails I'm actually surprised in myself that I've never actually tried nail wraps before.

I spotted these nail wraps in Avon a couple of weeks ago and I actually forgot I'd ordered them until they turned up. I've actually been seeing loads of nail tutorials lately on how to create a similar looks using nail varnish, but to save myself time and a lot of mess these nail wraps seemed the perfect option!

These nail wraps are like all other nail wraps that I've seen; you stick the correct size onto your nails and then file off the excess. The instructions stated to apply the wraps to clean and dry nails, however I still applied a base coat to protect my nails as I have a fear of sticking things to my bare nails and then also applied a top coat to help seal the edges and provide a little extra shine.

Lately I've been seeing quite a few tutorials showing how to recreate a similar pattern on the nails, however I'd spied these nail wraps in Avon a few weeks ago and completely forgot that they were a similar pattern! I'll probably still attempt the nail art, however nail wraps are a much easier option.

I did three of my nails before I realised that I needed to rotate the nail wraps to make sure that some of the purples and blues, as well as the pinks and greens were on my nails. It sounds a little bit obvious, but it took me three nails to think about this! It didn't take me as long to apply these as I had expected which was a nice surprise!

As you can see from the pictures I ended up overlapping the edges of my nails and cuticles with the nail wraps, and although I did seal these wraps with a top coat these edges ended up catching and eventually lifting. Avon state that these nail wraps can be just peeled off but due to sealing them with a top coat I did need to soak them with some nail varnish removed to lift them slightly. Also on some nails there was some sticky residue left behind.

Would I repurchase the Avon Nail Wraps? I think I would. They were fairly priced and I think they would be perfect for those days or nights where I was going out but didn't have time to do my nails; I could pop these on and be ready to go!
Would I recommend the Avon Nail Wraps? I would. Again, they were fairly priced, were good quality and come in a range of patterns. I can't be too harsh on these as they only lifted because I overlapped my edges and I need a lot more practice in applying them!
Overall score out of 5? A 3. A lot more practice is needed in applying these, but I think they'd last a while and they'd be perfect for a cute nail look without the time or effort!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Life | ReallyColouring

A very different kind of review to anything I have ever reviewed before.

A few weeks ago I received a product review request via Jamballa from ReallyColour. ReallyColour allows you to turn your own photos into colouring pages that you are able to print yourself. I was provided with a code which provided me two photo credit codes. You cannot buy single photo credits and have to buy them in a bunch of 10 which is $3.99, which is equivalent to £2.56 which I think is great for 10 colouring pages.

I find the idea of converting your own photos into colouring pages is a really unique idea and something that I'm not aware that has been done before. I'm very aware that this wouldn't be for everyone but I think it could make a very unique gift, especially if you're someone who has smaller children.. I could imagine these been given to grandparents as very special gifts.

I personally found it very difficult to convert any of my favourite photos into colouring pages due to loads of lines appearing everywhere and making my photos look slightly terrifying, so I chose to go with my two favourite loves in life. However when creating your colouring pages you have the options to play with the amount of lines and the thickness of the lines that are created so that you are able to create the colouring page that you desire. ReallyColour then email your colouring pages to you in both a JPG and PDF format.

I found colouring these pages to be really relaxing, I know that adult colour books are the latest craze and I found these to be a cute alternative. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with my pictures yet, however I can still see these making the cutest little gift!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Life | Dear August

Dear August,

I haven't wrote in a while and I'm so sorry. Time ran away from me and I didn't even realise that July had arrived, and now it's passed me by.

July was a busy month for me August and I'm so glad that you're now here during my summer holiday so that I can actually enjoy you for a while without stress and added pressures.

Although you will hold a slight pressure for me August; you hold my elective placement, aka my final four week placement during my time as a student nurse before I am off into the big wide world as nursing.

Apart from that I don't have much planned for you. I want to enjoy the final days of my summer holidays and then just enjoy my final placement and the rest of my time as a student before it's all over.

I hope you give me some better weather though August, remember that sunshine that made an appearance at the start of July? Well if you could provide me with some of that I think that would be great, I'd really enjoy some warm summer nights with the people who mean the most to me.

I hope you're good August, and I hope that you don't fly by too quickly as life seems to be at the moment.

I promise to write more.

Beka. xo