Tuesday, 29 November 2016

- I'm Back: Life Lately...

I'm back...

...and to say I've missed the blogging world is an understatement!

You know it's time to return when you've almost forgotten your blogging routine and end up formatting posts the way you do for work.

Gah.

I hope you're all well and excited for the run-up to Christmas (WOOP)! I'm feeling super festive this year, a lot more so than last, perhaps I just need to hibernate? IDK.

"So, where have you been?!" I can hear you all quizzing. Well, to be honest, nowhere. I just needed to take a few steps back from the screen and that blue light and spend more time outdoors, baking, exercising, and doing other things I love!

Here's a snippet...

The very lovely Carolin surprised me with some beauty treats from beauty haven Sephora, including one of the much-raved about lip creams I've been wanting to try for ages! This one's in the shade 'Marvelous Mauve' (swatched above) and I can confirm it's a-mazing!

Next, as you might have seen on my Instagram feed, I've been taking to the kitchen a lot lately. I'm feeling pretty proud of how much my cooking skills have improved this past year (& how much more I enjoy it)! It's crazy when you have a regular fitness routine how much more you see food as fuel - this ramen I made was delish! (sorry for the Winter evening lighting)!

Me and Rob have decided to make a conscious effort to explore London as much as we can. It seems silly to live in one of the world's most diverse and exciting cities yet waste our free time on Netflix marathons (now & then is fine though, right?). We have an ongoing list of things we want to see and do, and recently we ticked off the National Maritime Museum and Natural History Museum - both of which are super fun, interesting and *free*!

We'd also like to see more shows - plays, comedy, gigs; anything really! A few weeks ago we went to see Romesh Ranganathan live at the apollo for his latest stand-up tour! We laughed for literally the entirety of the show (3+ hours!). If you haven't heard of him before and feeling in need of a giggle, I can recommend his travel show on iPlayer - or better yet, his tour!

... and how could I not include some autumnal photos. Nature truly is beautiful and I particularly noticed the gorgeous fiery tones and misty air this year. We've had some lovely strolls around Kensington Park and Wimbledon.

Next up will be festive fun and snowy scenes- yay!

Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below and thank you for reading!



KAREN
BLOGLOVIN' TWITTER INSTAGRAM

Sunday, 23 October 2016

- Bodymonth Box: The Affordable way to Pamper...

Now who doesn't love a good subscription box?! The way they immediately make a bad day turn good when you arrive home to a box full of mysterious goodies. The way you never remember what date they're due so there's always an element of surprise. The way they provide the perfect opportunity for you to discover new brands and products. The way to avoid picking up stuff from the shop as if it were a chore.

Well, there's a new beauty subscription service to the scene that I'd like to share with you in today's post. Yep I'm nodding in agreement with you here; monthly beauty boxes are a little 'yesterday' and saturated right now, but I truly believe this one has something unique.

Bodymonth* delivers skincare essentials right to your door, from gels, creams, scrubs, lotions, potions, sprays; you name it. Launched in August, this monthly box aims to provide you with a regular pampering routine, and tailors products to your gender and skin type. When it comes to the price, there's two options available: Standard (£19) and Premium (£29) - both of which are perfect if you need to save a few pennies here and there.

I was kindly sent the October box, so let's see what was inside...

So what makes this unique I can hear you confusingly ask. Well, I hate to admit it, but in all honesty I suppose I'm a person who has quite expensive taste. Especially when it comes to beauty. I guess this has led me to have high expectations when it comes to monthly beauty boxes, as I always hope for samples from luxurious brands - something to treat and indulge myself with.

Therefore, I was surprised I enjoyed this box so much and had that noticeable excitement after unwrapping a parcel. After further thought, I realised it's because this service is so fuss-free. The products are full-sized and from big, well-known, trusted brands (which is why I haven't gone into great detail about the products included as we're all familiar with them and their purpose). No time was wasted researching the reputation of brands new to me and their benefits.

I also wanted to mention how much I wished something like this existed back when I was at uni. Back then, picking up such items seemed such a drag, especially when I'd rather spend the contents of my purse on vodka jelly shots (bring on the "*sob*, I miss uni timez", "adulting is too hard" record).

Everyone deserves a regular pamper and some me-time to unwind, relax and reflect. In my opinion, Bodymonth would be the perfect present to someone currently at University or if, like me, you enjoy having a go-to stash of products without having to remember to add them to your grocery list! I'd like to share a discount code with you so you can get 15% off - simply type 'PAMPER15' when subscribing.


What do you think of this beauty box? Let me know in the comments below!

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


KAREN
BLOGLOVIN' TWITTER INSTAGRAM

Sunday, 16 October 2016

- Degustabox: September'16...

Welcome to the next Degustabox* installment - I'm trying my best to get back into a consistent blog routine x. If you're new to my blog and not heard of Degustabox before, it costs just £12.99 (inc. delivery) for a selection of 9-14 surprise food and drink items, most of which are new to the market. If, like me, you end up picking up the same items during your weekly food shop, this box is perfect for you to make new discoveries and try things you might otherwise miss out on.

As always, Degustabox have kindly provided me with a discount code to share with you: simply type 'BLDEG15' when registering to get £7.00(!!!) off!

Here's what was inside...

Chia Seed sachets, RRP: £1.00 (each)

Chia seeds are up there with kale and avocado on toast in the foodie world, and I'm definitely onboard. They're a great source of protein and can easily be integrated into meals. I made overnight oats with the whole sachet above, and added the milled version to smoothies for an extra boost.

Miso Soup, RRP: £3.65
Fusilli, RRP: £1.99
Cirio Borlotti Beans, RRP: £1.89

I've been loving miso soups lately as they're a regular addition to my graze boxes, so it was nice to try a different flavour. This spicy (thankfully not too spicy) flavour has been a welcome addition to my weekdays to warm me up in the office. The fusilli is a great gluten free option however a creamy mushroom sauce is my nightmare if I'm honest, but for the cooking ingredients it ends on a high as I love any kind of bean/pulse!

Metcalfe's Popcorn Thins, RRP: £1.00
Say YES Bread Chips, RRP: £1.49

Metcalfe's have branched out ny introducing these yummy popcorn thins - chocolate & popcorn is for sure a winning combination! Another winning snack was these bread chips - their branding is on fleek top notch fab and the BBQ flavour is divine!

Hartley's Jelly Pots, RRP: £0.50 (each)
Get Fruity Bar, RRP: £1.00

I love the ease of jelly pots being readily available, however, I do have fond memories from when I was younger helping my mum make jelly from the pack of cubes! I'd never think to buy jelly when in a supermarket (which is why I love this food box so much), but I was grateful for it when I discovered some ice cream lurking in the freezer. As for the Get Fruity bar, it's not my favourite but that's down to personal taste. It was just a bit too, well, fruity?

Teisseire Sirop, RRP: £2.99
Cape Drinks, RRP: £1.59 (each)

French for squash I'm assuming? This cranberry & raspberry drink was delicious and went way too quickly - love the packaging too! They also do a pink grapefruit flavour which I bet is just as delicious, if not more! In contrast, the Cape drinks weren't my thing. I've totally gone off having sparkling drinks lately (unless alcohol is involved - eek) and despite having onlynatural ingredients, both of these tasted too sweet and artificial for me.

Overall, the September box seemed to be an interestingly even mix of products I like and dislike. Plus it brought back food with memories (jelly) and introduced me to new brands I'd buy again (Say YES bread chips and the miso soup), and it included one of my favourite things: chia seeds.

A winner overall.

What do you think of this Degustabox? Don't forget, you can receive your first box for just £5.99 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.


KAREN
BLOGLOVIN' TWITTER INSTAGRAM