Thursday, 29 May 2014

Bloglovin, Twitter & giveaways - oh my!

Hi guys!

This is just a quick little post to let you know of the two best ways to keep up to date with this blog since I haven't mentioned these details outside of my sidebar in, uh, well, ever.

Firstly, I assume most of you use this already but if you don't, I think bloglovin' is definitely the best way to keep up to date with the blogs you enjoy. It's really user friendly and easy to use and is my personal preference. You can follow me on bloglovin, here!

If you'd like, you can also follow me on Twitter. Twitter is generally where I post the smaller updates that don't quite make it to this blog! You can keep up to date with the more personal things over there as well as some little updates about blog related things that just don't quite deserve a post of their own. You can follow me @pinkconfettiuk.

While I'm here, I'd also like to remind you that I have a little body shop giveaway going on which you can enter here! Actually I've been amazed that since mentioning my bloglovin the followers through there have literally doubled in a week which is amazing - maybe I already need to do a second giveaway?!

Also, ad prices are going to be going up just a tad on Friday, so if you'd like to get an ad before the price increase then you can do so here. I'm also thinking that June might be the month to bring in the bigger spotlight ad feature - haven't quite decided yet though!
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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Brunch at The Modern Pantry


I think most brunch loving Londoners are aware of The Modern Pantry by now, I've certainly been there myself a fair few times, but it's one of those places that is so good that I think it's more than worth mentioning again!

The Modern Pantry is pretty much always fully booked, and you may be wondering what makes it so superior to the millions of other brunch options in London? Well, quite simply, TMP really is of superior quality. I can't say it's one of my frequent favourites as it is a bit of a trek to get to and the prices are too high to make it a weekly thing, but it's most definitely the place I go to when I feel like going out for something a little bit more special. TMP uses unusual ingredients combined with more common recipes to create some really interesting brunch dishes, many of which you probably won't have seen on a menu before!


So, off I went yet again on Sunday, bringing with me a group of friends of whom none had visited previously but all of whom plan on returning at some point! I had the smoothie of the day for £4.50 which was melon and pineapple - though honestly, I didn't actually like it that much! Nevermind.

For my meal, I had their pancakes with a difference! Raspberry and ricotta pancakes with berry and licquorish compote and creme fraiche for £9. The only problem with this meal is it takes an extra 20 minutes to make which meant my friends were all stuck waiting for mine! I do love this meal though, it's surprisingly healthy tasting for pancakes and it's really delicious.


The common choice throughout my friends ended up being the £8.80 option of sweetcorn, feta, green chilli & curry leaf waffle with smoked streaky bacon and maple syrup, which you can see in the image at the top of this post!

The Modern Pantry is located in Clerkenwell (EC1) and you can view the website here! Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays and you can book online through the site - I really would recommend you do this as I've rarely been lucky getting a place if I haven't booked! The food is a little on the expensive side for brunch, but it's unique, healthy, and delicious so most definitely worth it!
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Monday, 26 May 2014

A Review of Simply Cook food boxes - Mushroom Penne


I was recently offered the chance to try out Simply Cook*, a new food based subscription box company with a difference. In short, Simply Cook send out a box each month including four recipes and four corresponding ingredient kits. You add a couple of other ingredients, and, voila - according to the box, restaurant quality food in 20 minutes! For those of you who this concerns, a gluten free box is also available!

I was intrigued to try this as I've recently been trying out Schwarz' flavour shots and I really liked the concept of them but didn't like that I had to buy so many ingredients, most of which I only use a little bit of and then the rest is wasted as I simply have no use for it. Healthy eating is something I struggle to do - I have a physically demanding job where fitness is a priority so I need to eat healthy. But I don't have the time, or the desire! I often try to follow recipes but get fed up with how many ingredients I need or how much of an effort it was to create something I didn't actually enjoy all that much, or I end up just making the exact same simple and pretty flavourless things over and over again. So, in short - Simply Cook sounded like it could be a really great match for me!

So, as you can see in the picture above, that's my box in full. I chose to try the Mexican beef chilli, the spiced duck with chilli cabbage and miso, the wild mushroom penne, and the cod and chorizo broth. As you can see there's a big variety of recipes, and though each one comes with three little ingredient pots there's a lot of variety about what is contained in each one too.

Let's get on with it shall we? I decided to start off with the wild mushroom penne, simply because I quite often cook a mushroom pasta which is pretty much identical to the recipe - minus the extra ingredients of course - and so thought it would be the best to do a full post on since I can more accurately compare the two. 

Here's the full selection for the mushroome penne. The little box at the bottom contains the three little pots. The recipe is on good quality paper and shows a clear and appetising picture of the contents - on the other side is the recipe. I really liked how the recipes are done as they are so clear! Quite often I end up interpreting recipes in different ways, but these recipe cards make it pretty obvious exactly what needs to be done. I like that the ingredients list is separated into what is optional and what isn't, and I love that the bottom of the card is a mini ingredients list that can be torn off and taken to the shops with you. I didn't, as the card was too pretty to waste and the recipe was available on the website - but I love the idea!

These little pots contain a garlic paste (so delicious smelling, by the way!), dried porcini, and mushroom stock.

And here's the full set of ingredients! The little pots, some mushrooms, some pasta, some creme fraiche, and an onion. That's it! The whole lot came to about a fiver, largely because for some reason creme fraiche was particularly elusive and I could only get it in an expensive store. (By the way, anyone else keep thinking they've run out of pasta and onions and then return to their house only to discover they actually have an endless collection?! Nevermind.)

In goes the onion...

And the mushrooms...

And pot number one, the garlic paste! I was a little wary with this as I took the garlic paste out and it just sort of glooped all over one of the mushrooms and didn't seem remotely spreadable. I was wrong, it didn't take long at all to coat my mushrooms in its garlicky goodness!

In goes the creme fraiche, and the remaining two pots; the porcini, and the mushroom stock. Again, it all went in really easily and soon made a nice thick sauce. Once this was done and my pasta had finished cooking, the pasta got mixed in with this too - again, I was a little wary about this as I tend to end up with a pile of mushrooms on one plate and a pile of pasta in the other with no sauce seemingly attached to anything. But, Simply Cook has worked their magic and this was the end result...

And here it is! By the way, Simply Cook state their meals are for two people, but I actually ended up with two good sized portions plus another batch which has gone into the fridge for tomorrow, so the recipes aren't at all stingy.

But how was it? I actually find the cooking experience quite enjoyable! I genuinely had no idea how the pots would taste so I enjoyed adding them to it, and it really didn't take much time at all - I'd say this was the first time a recipe time has been accurate for me!

And, most importantly - the meal was absolutely delicious. Seriously. Who knew something that I cooked so often could be so much improved? Though I liked the concept I wasn't completely optimistic, but this little kit tasted absolutely perfect, and really was restaurant quality. My friend had no idea I had used a kit and was surprised at how great the cooking tasted - so let's not correct him! It smelled great, and had so many different flavours that I really did enjoy every spoonful of this meal.

I'm definitely impressed with this meal. I was going to wait until I'd completed all of the recipe kits to make a post on it, but I loved my first meal so much that I genuinely couldn't resist getting this post made while I was still so excited about it! I do of course plan on making the other three meals, and I'll make a mini update when they're all completed so that those of you who need a little more persuading than me can take a look! 

SimplyCook boxes cost £10 a month, and are definitely something I'm considering getting a subscription of. I can't say they'll change my cooking habits completely because I'm always going to be lazy in the kitchen, but one special meal a week is definitely something I can make! As much as I loved the pasta, once I've tried the other three I'll make a proper decision on this. If you'd like to order your box you can do so here - and by the way, using the code CONFETTI will get you a nice little 50% off of your first box! 

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Friday, 23 May 2014

London Walking! The Capital Ring, Section 6 - Wimbledon Park to Richmond Bridge

The other weekend, Walk London were offering free guided walks along some of their routes and I fully intended to get to one - however, after a lot of bus issues, we managed to get to our lunch location so late it was already about an hour or two later than all the walks that had started - but, after a re motivating pizza break, we were ready to head off and give it a try. We decided to do the Capital Ring, a 78 mile walk sort of around the middle of London. Of course, we didn't do the whole thing - we decided to begin with section 6, a 7.5 mile walk between Wimbledon Park and Richmond Bridge. For the most part it was relatively easy to follow, looking out for signs like the above on posts. This post documents the journey. I've removed as many of the photos as possible but this post is still pretty picture heavy as frankly the route takes you through a lot of different locations and it wouldn't be right without showing you all of them!

Our walk began in Wimbledon Park, where we first took a break and ate pizza because of the travel stress. Whatever, we were about to do a walk, right? Totally fine... Wimbledon Park was okay, pleasant enough but by no means one of the most interesting parks I've been to.



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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Restaurant Review: When Mac Met Cheese


I had wanted to visit When Mac Met Cheese for absolutely aaaaages. For starters, I'm fairly certain that mac and cheese is pretty much one of the best things that has ever been created. And on top of this, I tend to really like pop ups. Unfortunately for me, WMMC is the other side of London and isn't open on my one free day, Sunday, so it has taken me a long time to be able to get there. But finally, (after what ended up being a three hour bus journey because of some cycle thing) on Saturday I was able to get there to try it out.

As I'm sure you expect, it's a simple concept. They sell mac and cheese. And deep fried Oreos. But mostly mac and cheese.

I went with 'Mum's Classic' which includes mature cheddar, red leicester, parmesan and nutmeg. It was pretty much cheese overload which really set off the fact that I'm not actually supposed to eat dairy - but it was also most definitely worth it! There were a lot of strong flavours in my little box, and it tasted great.

However, the winner? I made my friend go with the weekly special, which was a fish pie variant including smoked haddock, garden peas, chives and a crispy egg. And it was so. good. to the extent that I ended up sneaking multiple spoon fulls. I would absolutely recommend this dish and could have eaten about six more boxes of it without being satisfied - but unfortunately, as it is the weekly special it has now been replaced! Though this week it is the turn of a roast chicken, cauliflour and gravy mac & cheese which still sounds at the very least intriguing!

If you like your mac & cheese or want to try some unique variants, then definitely check it out. When Mac Met Cheese is in Bayswater until July 4th so check it out when you can! For the rest of the information you can check out their facebook, here.

PS. Interested in advertising with pink confetti? Click here :) And don't forgot to click here to enter my giveaway!
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Monday, 19 May 2014

Boots Mini Haul

The Blogosphere seems to really rave about Boots and there was so much excitement when their 3 for 2 deal came out - so much so, in fact, that I didn't actually realise until afterwards that Superdrug were currently doing the exact same offer! I haven't gone to Boots for anything other than a quick train station browse for quite some time so decided to brave the rain to head over to one - and honestly, pretty disappointed! I went armed with a list of products I might be interested in and found that apart from one, the Boots I went to (in central London, by the way!) either didn't have the product I wanted or was sold out. The one product originally on my list was one I already owned and just needed a top up of! I decided to spend a bit longer browsing away because I was determined not to leave without fulfilling my deal, so here's the three products I picked up, plus one extra!



Rimmel Stay Matte Primer
This wasn't the product I went out for - I had a list of about three different primers that I'd quite like to try, and none of them were available, grrr! I wasn't really sure why I actually wanted a primer as I've managed to go 26 years without ever feeling the need to use one, but as summer is coming I decided perhaps now was the time to give one a go - plus I like the fact that this one claims to, well, stay matte, as I tend to do very long physically active shifts and being shiny isn't a great look at the end of it. I'd have to try it under a few different conditions before I can give you a proper review of this, but first impressions are positive - the main reason I chose this one is because it went on to my skin really nicely and easily, I was surprised at how some of the primers I sampled just didn't seem to want to be on my skin; certainly didn't give me any optimism they'd last a couple of hours in the eat!



Seventeen Stay Time Concealer
I'd not used Seventeen before but frequently heard good things about them. My skin is an awkward shade that very few brands can match (and guess what - the one brand that does perfectly wasn't in stock...grrrrr....) but this one comes pretty close. My skin is doing alright at the moment so I'm not using it enough to be able to give you a good review of all day use, but it will inevitably flare up again, and when it does...!



L'Oreal True Match Powder
I already owned this, though it's old enough that it's in completely different packaging - if it can even be called that anymore, as the container has managed to fall apart so much it's now in four pieces. Please don't let that happen again! Clearly, I like this product as aside from Lush skin care I very rarely buy the same product twice. It has great but natural coverage, comes on smoothly, and unlike other powders I've tried this one doesn't go flaky on me. It lasts really well as well - Mine is normally still holding up pretty well after a 12 hour shift!



Nair Sensitive Hair Removal Cream
I totally wasn't really expecting this product to work. I'd last used a hair removal cream about seven years ago and it did precisely nothing, but as this was half price I decided to give it a go. It's a bit time consuming to use if you're doing it properly - which I would suggest you do!

You're supposed to apply it using the little spatula that comes with it. I did that with the first leg, but it was really quite time consuming! With the second one I decided to just apply it like a normal cream and used my hands to rub it in - it makes it quite difficult to get it as thick as it needs to be if you choose to do it this way!

After five minutes, you're supposed to use the spatula again to scrape it off. Nothing happened when I did this, so I left it another five minutes. This time, I began to see results! Horrible, patchy results. Some hairs were coming off, some weren't, some were looking quite thick, some weren't. Again, this is quite time consuming to do so one leg got much better treatment than the other - which I decided would primarily have the water to take it off.

So, me and my patchy legs headed off to the shower which you're supposed to use straight after. And I was pleased to see that whilst in the shower, a lot more started to happen! When the water first hit my legs absolutely nothing happened and I was disappointed, but then I rubbed a small patch and was surprised to discover a large clump of hair literally come off! It's actually quite disturbing at first basically pulling clumps of hair out, but it's really easy and doesn't hurt at all. It is worth mentioning that the leg I put less effort in had almost no effect whatsoever - the one that I put more effort into pretty much all of it came out, though there were still some patchy spots. The other one, you couldn't really tell I'd tried to do anything to it!

In a way, I would recommend this. It's really, surprisingly time consuming, so I probably wouldn't bother to use it on my legs because I can have them done in a couple of minutes whilst this took aaaages. However, I would still continue to use this product for more awkward areas like bikini lines that are really difficult to do yourself otherwise, or areas where you get a rash or other skin problem after shaving.

So, that's my minihaul - what's yours? You can check out the website here and by the way, if possible I'd really recommend buying online - I went to a bigger store and was really disappointed with what was available, so I'd suggest online is your best bet.

PS. Interested in advertising with pink confetti? Click here :) And don't forgot to click here to enter my giveaway!
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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

32 Things That Make Me Happy

I saw this post on Erin's blog about a month ago, and thought it was time I shared my own. Being truthful, I sometimes (often?!) find it quite hard to feel happy even with all sorts of good things going on around me, but hopefully this post will encourage me to be able to stay more optimistic about things around me as time goes on! If you'd like to do this too, please do link me to it so I can check yours out :)

Flower

  1. Fresh flowers - I wish I could afford to constantly have a selection in my room, or that my actual garden didn't become full of weeds so quickly so that I could have them around me more often!
  2. Baking - If only I had the time or the stomach space to do it more often! I have all sorts of little decorations and colours and I love being able to create something, even more so when it's so yummy.
  3. Photography - I absolutely love my DSLR and don't regret the money I spent on it at all. It's nice to be able to just go and take some photos and take the time to see things in a different way. My DSLR is so heavy and big that I can't carry it around with me as often as I like, but I'm that person who has a range of different sized cameras so there's always a good replacement for when the DSLR can't come out!
  4. Living in London - I've moved around a lot, across several different countries, and London is the first place I've felt completely settled. Hard to believe I've been here for nearly three years now!
  5. Kids! I work with some lovely little three and four year olds, and some of them are great for always keeping me happy; whether it's just because of the funny things they say, or because they care about me and are always asking me if I'm okay or giving me compliments! Of course I work with some real brats as well, but let's not focus on those today...
  6. Eating out - London has all sorts of amazing food places and pop ups, and I love trying out as many of them as I can. If I did a post for every single time I eat out somewhere new, well, you'd soon see where pretty much all of my budget goes each month!
  7. Travel - I love visiting new places, particularly when they're completely unlike anywhere I've been to before. My favourite holidays have been to Zimbabwe and Ecuador, and I think about them all the time.
  8. Exploring - It doesn't have to be too far away! Sometimes I like to just get the train to somewhere new and have a look around. It's funny, because I used to live in the countryside and though I appreciated that it was pretty I just didn't spend that much time on it. Now I live in London, whenever I get the train out I'm fascinated by all the green and all the animals that I see!
  9. Surprise boxes! All of these subscription boxes are my favourite things. I've had veg boxes, beauty boxes, snack boxes - I love them! Even if I end up not using any of the products, I still love them.
  10. Opening a new book that I've been waiting for.
  11. Echinachia- Cone flower
  12. Making a delicious new smoothie or juice - especially when there's someone else willing to clean the darn juicer for me afterwards...!
  13. Having a good, easy conversation with someone new.
  14. And on that note, catching up with friends! My favourite days are probably the simple ones where I just meet up with a friend for an hour over some coffee.
  15. Days when I get to stay in my pyjamas for as long as possible. I know, lazy, but I live such a busy life (by choice!) that actually it's really nice when I have one of those rare days where I don't have to get dressed until the pizza deliveryman turns up!
  16. Scented candles. My Yankee Candle spring scents are constantly in my burner right now!
  17. Lush bath bombs. I don't know why it's so good to lie in a pool of green glittering water, but it just is.
  18. Blogging. It's been great having a place to write down all the things in my head, and it really has been beneficial for me.
  19. On that note - bloggers! There's a great community out there and I love getting to chat to other bloggers. I also particularly love it when there's a blogger that I enjoy so much that I actually sit around and wait when I know there should be a blog post scheduled to start soon! Life jealousy, but the good kind.
  20. Brightly coloured dresses. Can't have too many.
  21. Going to the theatre. It doesn't matter if it's a big show or a little one, though due to the fact that London's not cheap more often than not it's the small ones - I just really like the power of seeing something coming to life before me.
  22. On that note - comedy shows! I go to quite a few comedy shows that are either free or for under a fiver, and it's just such a nice relaxing thing to do. Of course with the cheap shows it's always very hit and miss with the comedy - though it's generally a hit, and even when it's terrible there's usually some sort of humour in that!
  23. Afternoon tea - I love taking a big group of friends and going for a relaxing catch up. I actually hate tea, but I love every other aspect of it as it turns out my stomach is unlimited when it comes to sandwiches, and I love how chilled out the venues tend to be leaving me with plenty of time to chat to my friends.
  24. Disney World - I went for a week a few years ago and it was amazing. I still remember how blissfully happy I was there! It helps that I was on my birthday so I kept getting enormous cupcakes for free.
  25. Ducks! I really love going to the lakes and encouraging ducks to come over to me, no idea why. 
  26. Horse riding. I don't get to do it as much as I want or as much as I used to because it's just so pricey in London (and not much better elsewhere) but I always love it when I do. I love the feeling of freedom that you get, especially when you're going at a faster pace. When I was in Ecuador I hired a horse for a couple of days and just took it wherever I wanted including up a mountain - it was fantastic!
  27. Couch surfing. Personally, I haven't couch surfed before but I've hosted for people quite a few times and it's always been a great experience. I can't travel as much as I used to, so it's become my way of continuing to get a bit of a culture exchange without having to move!
  28. Finding the perfect item to give to a friend.
  29. Road trips. I've sold my beautiful car, and of course the UK version of road trips aren't anywhere near close to the US one, but I still really enjoy getting a hire and seeing where we end up with it.
  30. Yoga! I'm not the best at it or the most consistent, but I enjoy doing it (if only because I enjoy discovering the many new ways I can fall over)
  31. One Direction. Sorry.
  32. Yellow Flowers
  33. Leonardo DiCaprio movies. Sorry again. But seriously, I've enjoyed everything he's been in with the exception of Gangs of New York. I just wish his films weren't so damn long. Cinemas need to start having intervals again.
  34. Pixar! Up is my favourite movie, and there's nothing like a good Pixar film to put me in a positive mood.

What makes you happy?


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Monday, 12 May 2014

Yankee Candle: Fruit-a-Licious & Beach Party Review

After how much I loved Yankee Candle's Spring Scents I was definitely excited to try out their Fruit-a-Licious Summer and Beach Party collections! So I popped in an order for their wax tart set, and was so happy when this lovely smelling package arrived through my letterbox! As I write this review I have one of each tart sitting next to me - if you know anything about Yankee Candles you'll know that they are very strong scented, so there's just various fruity flavours spinning around my head right now! Okay, on with the individual scents...

First up we have Sweet Apple, representing the sugary sweet crispness of a ripe apple fresh from the orchard. Perhaps this is an odd one to star the review with as it's actually my least favourite of the bunch - to me it doesn't really smell like apples, and I don't really like what it does smell like! I will probably use this one mixed with another one, perhaps one from my floral collection to make it a little more appealing to me.

Next we have Orange Splash, which was actually the first of the set that I burned! Unsurprisingly, this candle is supposed to smell like juicy, just-picked oranges - and it definitely does! This is a strong scented one which is what I love about it. I first burned one four days ago in my bedroom and now the entire three storey house still smells like oranges. Great! If you like the scent that is, which luckily I do.

Finally we have Citrus Tango, a limited edition scent which is a mixture of orange, lemon zest and grapefruit. These are among my favourite scents so of course it's a nice smelling candle - I would say that the scent of the lemon is the strongest, but that suits me as I love lemony smells! Despite how this combination sounds, this one isn't too overpowering - it's definitely not a background smell, but it isn't overwhelming either.

First up from the Beach Party set is Margarita Time, a limited edition scent which is supposed to remind you of a hint of fresh lime in a margarita. I do really like this scent, though I have to say it doesn't really remind me of margaritas - the lime I can definitely see, but it certainly doesn't make me think of cocktails. Perhaps this means I just don't drink them enough?! It's a nice scent and would work well as a background scent for a fun occasion. 

Next we have Black Plum Blossom, designed to smell like the nectar of (surprise surprise) black plum blossoms with hints of white musk and vanilla. I wasn't sure if I'd appreciate this scent as I still have a fair few floral candles hanging around but it's a nice one. I'd say that I don't feel like it really matches the collection that it comes with as they are much more fun scents whilst this one is a deeper one - it's still very nice and one I'll be using as a background scent, but it just doesn't seem to match the rest of the collection!

This is a Yankee set I would really recommend to you. The fruity scents are lovely and I really like the Beach Party scents as well! As I've mentioned to you before, I really prefer wax tarts as I think they're great value for money for people like me who prefer changing their scents around quite frequently! I bought this set including two of each of the above for £9.60, if you'd prefer to buy them indvidually you're looking from £1.20 for a wax tart to £19.49 for a large jar candle.

What do you think of these scents?
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Saturday, 10 May 2014

100 Followers! :D And a Body Shop Giveaway!


I am happy to announce that Pink Confetti has reached 100 followers on bloglovin! I know that for some of you reading this that is a miniscule amount, but to me it's something very important. I had wanted to start a blog for a very long time but wasn't really sure of how exactly I should go about it - double this with working two very demanding jobs and having a social life meant that blogging has had to be a bit squeezed in too, so I'm very pleased to have reached my first milestone :) And thank you to those that follow for allowing this to happen!

To celebrate, I'm going to be having a small giveaway. I've decided that The Body Shop is the perfect brand to choose to start with as some of my most popular posts have been Body Shop reviews, and after much thought I've decided to pick shower gels as the products to win, as they are my personal preferences at the moment. It's a little worrying how one of my ever growing collection of shower gels can make me feel better or inspire my moods, genuinely more than any of my other products at the moment, and so they seem like the perfect choice to give away!

Of course, I'd never let you have one from my personal collection! Oh no, you get to choose from any two currently available from The Body Shop. The choices available are very varied, from chocomania to tea tree, so it's completely up to you to choose your favourite pairing! You can view the full list here, I would personally recommend the blueberry shower gel as I absolutely love it and am getting through my bottle ridiculously quickly, and I also really like the strawberry and the raspberry gels. Clearly I'm a berry fan, but your choice is up to you!

You can enter below through rafflecopter through various ways such as following on bloglovin or twitter - great if you're already doing this! The only requirement is that you must be living in the UK - I'm paying for all this, so I don't want to pay silly delivery rates :) I will contact you after the giveaway closes to get your address and your two choices of shower gel - you have 72 hours to get back to me before I'll move on to the next winner! Thank you again for your support, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PS. I've got two advertising spaces left on my sidebar for May. Want to be included in the sidebar, get a write up in my blog spotlight post and get mentions on twitter for just $2/£1.10? If so, click here :)
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Friday, 9 May 2014

Met Gala; Hits & Misses

This week saw the annual Met Costume Institute Gala, which I always enjoy for a chance to look at the pretty over the top dresses - and in this case, some of the actually very ordinary dresses! I've compiled for you a little look at my favourite and least favourite looks from this years event. Hope you enjoy, and let me know what your favourites were as well!

The Hits...

Adriana Lima, Amy Adams, Blake Lively, Hayden Panettiere
Of this set, I have to say I particularly love Blake Lively's look. I think she looks absolutely stunning in it. The dress colour and shape looks fantastic on her, her hair and make up looks great, she just looks great overall! I'm also a little torn when it comes to Hayden's dress; I don't think it's that great, but I think it looks really great on her!

Karlie Kloss, Katie Holmes, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Minogue
I think all four of these looks are great. I particularly love Katie's and Kylie's, but for completely different reasons! I love that Katie went all out with her look - it's such a historic look very fitting for a costume gala, and yet she doesn't look at all silly in it. The colour really suits her and I just think overall it is a perfect look for her. With Kylie, I love that the look is simple, yet classy and attractive - many of my misses were because they were just so boring, Kylie's dress manages to be simple yet still stand out and look great on her.

Leighton Meester, Olsen twins, Rita Ora, Rosie Huntington-Whitely
I have to be honest and say I'm a little torn with the Olsen twins outfits - at first I thought they were absolutely hideous, but then I began to look at them for what they were and appreciated them much more. I like that they are clearly going for something with them, and while I'd absolutely hate them outside of this event I think they fit a costume gala perfectly. I don't normally like Rita's style but I do really like this look on her - it manages to combine classy with a bit of a trashy which I think sums up her normal personality and style pretty well! But I do really like it in this instance and think the look really works for her. And finally Rosie, who frankly looks good in anything but particularly in this outfit. I think this could be a poor choice for pretty much anybody else, but she manages to work it.

Sarah Silverman, Shailene Woodley, Taylor Swift, Zooey Deschanel
I have to admit that Shailene's look is a hit pretty much only for her! It's very earth motherish, but as that's been very publicly her outlook for quite some time now I really like it. I often see in interviews how she talks about how she hates having to dress up glamorously for events and I get the feeling that this look is much more of a compromise for her - designer, but definitely something I could see her choosing for herself. Of course I love Taylor's look - I previously named her my celebrity style icon and this is no exception, I love the flowing looks. And finally for Zooey - could that blue be any more perfectly suited to her?

The Misses...

Anne Hathaway, Beyonce, Cara Delevigne, Coby Smulders
Anne's dress is in a colour that suits her, but to me it's just so dull. Beyonces look...I just don't get it. I struggle to find a single positive thing to say about this look. Cara, well, to be honest I quite often don't get her looks but this particularly stands out to me as one that is misplaced - this looks more like something I'd buy at a market to wear on a weekend night out, not something to wear to a costume ball! And Coby - this just isn't a flattering look. She looks miserable and it doesn't suit her shape at all.

Kristen Stewart, Lea Michele, Lily Allen, Lupita Nyong'o
I am certain that Kristen Stewart would never willingly wear an outfit like this - and that completely shows in her face. To pull off an outfit like this you need someone with a lot of personality, and even then I'm pretty sure it would be hard work to manage. Lea's look...No. I praised Rita's dress earlier and to be honest I quite like the trashier dresses, but this just looks a bit desperate. I like Lily Allen and normally I love her dress sense, but this just reminds me of wallpaper and not like her at all.

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker
Rachel is of course super pretty and this look would be great on her if she was just going out to a dinner - but for something like this, I feel like something a lot less plain is needed! It's just boring and looks like no effort went into it. The same goes for Reese - it's very ordinary, the colour doesn't really suit her, and it just doesn't look like it fits her properly. If it had been in a slightly different shade and had more shape to it it would be so much better!

All original from the NY Times. Which looks were your favourites and least favourites?

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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Book Review: The Shock of the Fall

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer was a book that I was already really looking forward to reading. Then I actually got it into my hands and wanted to read it even more! I know, I know, don't judge a book by the cover and all that, but I really do love the design of this book.

This book follows the journey of the narrator, Matthew, and his descent into mental illness following a family tragedy that he can't seem to recover from. Sounds like a depressing read? Well, in parts it is, but overall this book didn't really make me feel sad, because often I was just so interested to find out what happened next that I'd be too eager to turn the page than to really focus on it!

I really love this book, primarily because I really love the voice of the narrator. Matthew takes you along for a journey with him, and the voice of the character is so strong that sometimes I found it easy to forget that he wasn't someone I personally knew - let alone the fact that he doesn't actually exist! The way this story is written is wonderful, and interesting, and encourages you to keep on reading as you find out more and more about the past, along with more about that is happening to Matthew in the present.

I would definitely recommend this book as I really do feel you go on a journey when you read it - I do seem to be going through a phase of enjoying interestingly narrated books right now, but this one is currently number one on my list and the one that I'm recommending to all of my friends!

You can buy the Shock of the Fall through amazon, here.

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Monday, 5 May 2014

Degustabox April - Review


Degustabox has become THE package that I look forward to each month. I love the novelty of not knowing what I'm going to get, and what could be better than a big selection of food? The only thing that disappoints me with them now is that they don't seem to send me their cards anymore which includes the description of what everything is, which is a shame as I actually read them and miss them now. Oh well - let's get on with the food!

Keogh's Atlantic Sea Salt & Irish Cider Vinegar Crisps
  I was actually really hoping to get some more crisps or popcorn in my box this month so I was pleased to see these! Salt & vinegar is my preferred flavour so I'm extra pleased to receive these - these will be going in my bag to take with me to training tomorrow, so hopefully they're yummy!



Jaffa Cakes Mini Rolls - in Berry Burst and Tropicool
  I'm basically a ridiculous amount of excited about these little goodies, to the extent that I actually went and showed them to my housemate. I love jaffa cakes and I hadn't heard of these before, but these are two seriously great sounding flavours. Apparently you can freeze them too but I'm far too impatient for that. These look delicious and I am genuinely excited to try them. Now my only dilemma is choosing which flavour to take with me tomorrow?


Cawston Press - Rhubarb blended with sweet apples and sparkling water
  Hmm. Let's be honest, apart from those milkshakes last month I'm never all that enthusiastic about the drinks. This is no exception! I don't like sparkling water and I'm not really a fan of rhubarb so this isn't jumping out at me as something that I want to try straight away. But I will try it - just around a friend who can take over it for me if I dislike it as expected!


Go Splash - Blackcurrant sugar free water flavouring
  How odd, was my first reaction. Okay. So, it's straightforward enough - squeeze it into water to add some flavour to it! I actually don't mind the taste of water and I try not to add anything to it because when I do I feel like it's missing the point. I'll still try these out though, but probably will end up giving them to a friend at work who absolutely hates the taste of water and is always trying to alter it. These will apparently make thirty glasses, and I do like the idea so we'll see!


Miso soup on the go - in White Miso with Tofu, and Red Miso with Sea Veg
  I'm not sure I've ever tried miso soup before, but I'm looking forward to trying these. They're basically little packets that you pour into a mug and then add hot water to! One of these is actually going to be my starter tonight, that's how excited I am to try them!


Crabbie's raspberry alcoholic ginger beer
  I've made my point about drinks already, and I don't like beer - I've not tried ginger beer before, so I don't know how much of a difference there is! I do love raspberries though, so I'm going to give it a try! But my housemate is very much on standby as ginger beer is her favourite. Though her first reaction to the sound of this product was, "Well, that's odd..." so we'll have to see!


Fine Cook's Chocolate - in Milk and in Dark
   My friend is a chef and he always uses this brand for his baking, so hopefully that's an optimistic enough sign! I have no need for these right now as I'm going through a slightly healthier stage of baking, but these last pretty much forever so I'm going to put them into my baking box for when I'll inevitably need them!



 Mornflake Superfast - in Raison, Honey and Almond Granola, and Fruit and Nut Muesli
  I do like the idea of these. They're little pots of breakfast that you can use on the go! They come with a spoon on top, and all you do is add cold water which turns into milk. This is a really good idea, especially for those mornings when I start a shift at 5am - I could totally do with something like this to eat on the tube, as we all know how valuable that time in the morning is - especially when I have a long commute! I'm not too sure on these yet as I tend to be very disappointed by granolas and mueslis, but I'm going to give them both a try. If I don't like these, I do really like the idea so I'll look for something similar!


Lindt - 3 x milk chocolate bars
Yes! This is wonderful to me. I have nothing to say on this as I'm sure you've all tried Lindt chocolate before! I didn't know they came in these little bars, but now that I know they do they're going to be another thing coming with me for my packed lunch tomorrow. Oh, how healthy I will be eating!


  So that's my degustabox for this month - what did you think? If you'd like to sign up for degustabox, you can get one through their website, here. By the way - I've decided to start doing a mini review post each month, for those little things that don't quite warrant their own review, and so you'll start seeing some of these degustabox products included in there. This post is scheduled as I actually received it and created this post just over a week before posting it - so you'll be seeing the mini reviews very soon!
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