Sunday, 26 June 2016

- Birthday Weekend: Parents Visit to London...

"Ain't nobody got time for that!"

= me over the past few weeks about blogging.

So, I had got into a routine of posting twice a week (every Sunday and Wednesday) and then off I went on a trip up north to the Lakes. A week away from screens, no internet, surrounded by amazing landscapes shining with a golden tinge due to the rare appearance of sunshine (yes people, I managed to get sunburn in the north of England #fail).

After a peaceful week away, it took me a while to adjust to being back at work. There's been some major changes (all good) and what with sticking to my fitness routine and still managing a bit of a social life I just haven't had any time to dedicate to blogging.

And just as things were starting to settle, it was my birthday last weekend so my parents came to visit which was so nice. Being from The Peaks they're certainly in their countryside bubble, so I couldn't wait to show them the sights of London.

I decided to ease them in gently with a visit to Kew Gardens...

Since moving to London, Kew Gardens has been on my list of places to visit, and I can't believe I left it so long! I think sometimes London is misjudged as there are so many green spots around and whilst wandering around the gardens I completely forgot I was in the capital. My birthday happened to be the day their new attraction 'The Hive' opened - I don't want to give away any spoilers for people wanting to visit, but it certainly was interesting!

The next day I took my parents around central starting at St Paul's cathedral. We then took the Thames path down to Westminster bridge, showing them the various landmarks: The Shard, London Eye, Big Ben- you know the drill...

So in a snippet, that's what I've been up to lately and apologies again for being so MIA! Hopefully this post has given you some ideas if you have a weekend trip to London planned?

Now, I have some blog reading to catch up on! Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below!


Sunday, 29 May 2016

- Degustabox: May'16...

I find with subscription boxes the element of surprise wears off after a while and I end up a little, well, bored. Is it just me, or do they become repetitive - particularly beauty ones? That being said, one which keeps me on my toes is Degustabox*.

More and more subscription boxes are being added to the market, but a favourite of mine remains: Degustabox. Straying away from the popular beauty theme this is in fact a food & drink delivery service. At just £12.99 (inc. delivery), it's a great way to explore different products you might otherwise bypass. There's usually 9-14 surprise items, most of which are new to the market.

As always, Degustabox have kindly provided me with a discount code to share with you: simply type 'BLDEG15' when registering to get £6.00(!!!) off!

So let's see what they have to offer this time around...

Brioche Pasquier Croissants, RRP: £1.80
Pomegreat, RRP: £1.49

Any form of breakfast pastry gets an immediate yes from me. These croissants are wrapped in pairs to maintain freshness and I've been enjoying them warmed-up with berries - yum!

I've not had pomegranate juice before, but I adore pomegranates so was excited to taste this. I have to admit, it tastes nothing like the actual fruit, but it's a welcome change from water.

Garofalo Pasta, RRP: £1.99
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze, RRP: £1.99

Despite the food babies it causes, who doesn't love pasta?! This corkscrew shaped pasta looks delicious and I can't wait to rustle up something with it.

Next is quite possibly the star of this month's box: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze. I'm actually salivating just thinking about this.

Kallo Corn Cakes, Kallo Rice Cakes, RRP: £1.29, £1.69
Mrs Crimble's Classic Madeleine, RRP: £2.10

Next is Kallo, a favourite brand of mine. I snack on rice cakes pretty much daily at work so was happy to see this yogurt coated variations and the added addition of corn cakes! I've not tried corn cakes before but they were soon consumed and will definitely be repurchased.

To also feel the snack-shaped hole in my life was this bag of French cakes. They're individually wrapped so I've been keeping one in my bag for when I'm on the go and need a quick pick-me-up.

Beloved Date Nectar, RRP: £3.50

I'm so excited to use this date nectar as I've been planning to bake a healthier flapjack sometime soon, so will definitely be using this. I bet it's a dream in porridge and on pancakes too!

Pechkeks Fortune Cookies, RRP: £1.00 (each)
Get Fruity, RRP: £1.00
The Wonderful Company Pistachios, Almonds, RRP: £0.90 (each)

Yay for exploring more snacks!
However, the most bizarre product award goes to the Pechkeks fortune cookies. They're meant to be a giggle but I found them a bit...odd? Maybe my sense of humour is just lacking today :P. The actual product itself is black which feels immediately wrong and they smell super sweet, like that sugar paper used for baking. The messages inside were, 'feel free to waste the day away. it makes no difference in your case' and 'don't think so much about what you lack - focus on what you don't have' - erm, wtf?

Moving swiftly on, both the Get Fruity bar and selection of nuts get a thumbs up from me!

Cranes, RRP: £1.90 (each)

And last of all are these alcoholic beverages! I love fruity ciders, especially berry flavoured ones, so these Cranes drinks sound lovely - perfect for after a long day at work!

"This has to be one of the best boxes yet", I exclaimed to Rob as we were going through everything - and I stick by that. It has breakfast items, cooking ingredients, tasty drinks and yummy (+ quirky) snacks - good job Degustabox!

What do you think of this Degustabox? Don't forget, you can receive your first box for just £6.99 using the discount code above!

*Products marked with an asterix (*) have been gifted. I only feature products/services to my personal taste and all opinions are 100% my own.


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

- Cobalt Lace-up Love...

Okay, so I've fallen in love.

With a pair of shoes.


This seems to be a recurring theme for me, especially when it comes to elegant lace-ups. The soles of my black pair are so worn that the entire fabric of the heel is decaying *sob*.

This style of pointed lace-up flats was everywhere last year and it looks like it's sticking around for Summer'16, with the lace-up trend also extending into sandals and heels.

I was in River Island the other day trying a few bits and bobs on but alas, nothing fitted right. Feeling retail therapy deprived, I reluctantly dragged myself out of the fitting rooms and joined Rob. Turns out, whilst waiting for me to faff about with various items of clothing, he had browsed the shoe section and spotted these beauties... on sale for just £15!

My favourite style of shoe. In my all-time favourite colour. However, there was one slight niggle. The laces were intially ones you criss-cross up your entire leg and tie in a bow at your knee. This boho trend isn't really me, so with a spot of DIY (or should I say with a lot of Rob's help) the laces were shortened with their gold detail screwed back on - win!

Is it normal to want to frame a pair of shoes?

What do you think of these shoes? Are you a fan of this trend?