Posts tagged Lifestyle
Working full-time all week means I get very little time to have a relaxed day. Even at weekends lie ins are rare, so when I do get the chance to catch up on sleep and wake up slow, breakfast in bed always makes the morning that little bit more special.
No breakfast in bed is complete without a mug of strong tea, and a couple of slices of hot toast, with either peanut butter, marmite or lemon curd. For me, great toast is thickly sliced, lightly browned, but still soft and fluffy on the inside. Roberts Bakery bread is ideal for toast like this. Just call me a toast connoisseur!
Of course, it doesn’t have to stop there. I’m also partial to a hard-boiled egg, warm pain au chocolat and croissants, fresh orange juice or pancakes and waffles with maple syrup, but ultimately it always comes back to tea and toast. Perfect.
Primark Skater Dress / Primark Light Knit Cape / Primark Metal Waist Belt / Unbranded Stag Necklace / Schuh Biker Boots
After my foray into brightly coloured floral last week, today’s outfit post is back to my usual ‘black on black’.
I can’t get enough of my new Primark cape at the minute. It’s lovely and light so is perfect for every day wear during spring, and looks great with pretty much anything.
The dress is one of my wardrobe staples, and has already seen me through a couple of years of wear. I’m not usually a fan of high necks as I find them irritating, but this one is surprisingly comfortable and flattering. Team it with a statement necklace, like this antique gold stag head, and a waist belt, and you’re good to go.
I found the boots lurking at the back of my wardrobe last week. I haven’t worn them for years, and they were a bit battered when I pulled them from the depths of my closet, but I think they look all the better for it. They were originally from Schuh, but I replaced the laces with black ribbon when I first bought them.
The most recent Degustabox has a healthy theme, and features a mix of food and drink items to help keep your New Year diet on track. As is sometimes the way with Degustabox, they did an alcohol box and an alcohol-free box, containing either a bottle of Magners Light, or a carton of Simplee Aloe.
Each box contains twelve individual items, with a total value of over £21. Degustabox costs £12.99 each month, so this box saves you more than £7.
Alfa One Rice Oil (RRP £2.00)
Alfa One Rice Bran Oil is ‘nutritionally well balanced and high in natural antioxidants’, and has been shown to reduce cholesterol absorption, which for me is a big positive. The taste is practically the same as the vegetable oil I normally use, as is the calorie content, but its an all round healthier oil. I’ve been using this a lot lately, and I actually like it a lot more.
Koko Dairy Free Coconut Milk (RRP £1.39)
I like to use non-dairy milks whenever possible, so I was pleased to find this in the box. Koko is made from freshly pressed coconut milk, and contains about half the calories of cows milk. It also has 0% cholesterol, and is 100% allergen free. I’m really impressed with the quality of this milk – it’s slightly more watery than cow’s milk, but it makes an excellent alternative. In tea or on cereal you can hardly tell the difference, and it makes Ready Brek really smooth and creamy! I’d definitely repurchase this and will be keeping an eye out for it during my next weekly shop.
Kabuto Miso Ramen Noodles (RRP £2.00)
This Kabuto Noodle pot was included in celebration of Chinese New Year, and combines authentic Asian flavours with high quality ingredients. I originally thought this was just a ‘posh Pot Noodle’, but it provides more of a meal than a Pot Noodle ever could. For one the pot is larger, and I was surprised to find it packed (almost) to the brim with thin noodles. After adding boiling water, leaving to ‘cook’ for a few minutes and then stirring, you end up with a substantial noodle dish in a broth of miso, soy and vegetables. The whole thing is delicious, and the vegetable chunks, though small, are abundant. I’m not sure I’d pay £2.00 for one of these, but they’re definitely yummy!
Sukrin Bread Mix (RRP £5.00)
My fiancé and I both take a packed lunch to work every day, so this Sukrin Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Bread Mix will certainly come in handy! I’m yet to make anything with the mix, but its vegetarian, and completely free from gluten, egg, sugar, wheat, yeast, and soya. It’s also really easy to make, as you only need to add water and bake it in the tray provided. I’ve not tried many gluten-free breads, so I’m intrigued to see how this turns out, especially as it retails for £5.00, which seems quite a lot for a bread mix!
Finn Crisp Original Crispbread (RRP £1.20)
Finn Crisp Original Crispbreads appeared in the May 2014 Degustabox, and my thoughts on them haven’t changed! They taste nice, the crispy texture is really pleasant, and you get a lot in the box for the price. They’re also low in calories, so are great for a healthy afternoon snack if you’re feeling peckish. Check out my full review here.
Simplee Aloe Drink (£1.79)
I’m actually still building up the courage to try this drink, as to be honest aloe vera doesn’t exactly sound very appetising! I’ve heard good things about Simplee Aloe however, and the aloe is mixed with grape juice and a splash of lemon, which probably makes for quite a refreshing drink.
Magners Light Orchard Berries
I only really drink cider when it’s flavoured with other ingredients, so the orchard berries in this are right up my street, and sound perfect for spring/summer. I also like the fact that this contains fewer calories than your average bottle of Magners, which makes it that little bit more guilt-free!
Little Miracles Tea Drink (£1.49 each)
Little Miracles teas are organic, and contain a mix of tea, ginseng, acai, fruit juice, and agave for sweetness. My favourite of these is the white tea with cherry. The bitterness of the tea is balanced with the fruity sweetness of the cherry, making for a refreshingly pleasant drink. The 330ml bottles are also the perfect size to throw in your bag when out and about.
Mornflake Top Porridge Pots (£1.19 each)
After loving the Mornflake Superfast pots that came in the April Degustabox, I was really excited to try these Mornflake Top Porridge Pots. However, I was left feeling slightly disappointed. There were two pots in the box – one with Tate & Lyle’s golden syrup, and one with Nutella – and you can eat them plain, simply by adding boiling water, or with the topping added. The porridge itself was a little bit tasteless, and though the toppings added extra flavour and sweetness, I’d still rather have a bowl of Ready Brek. Don’t get me wrong, I do like them and they are filling, and I get that these are great for an ‘on the go’ breakfast, but they just don’t have the yum factor that the Superfast pots had.
Haywards Piccalilli (£1.89)
Ah, Haywards Piccalilli. One of those foods that always reminds me of Christmas. Piccalilli is definitely an acquired taste, and luckily it’s one that I’ve acquired. Haywards is packed full of chunky vegetables, such as cauliflower and gherkin, in a bright yellow mustard sauce. I’ve been eating this with cheese in sandwiches, and it’s delicious – full of robust flavour, tangy but not too vinegary. It goes really well with a strong cheddar.
Clipper Green Tea
The Healthy Box also contained a little gift from Clipper, in the form of a box of ten Green Tea with Lemon tea bags. Clipper make an excellent cuppa, and the combination of green tea and lemon is incredibly thirst-quenching. A nice little alternative to your usual tea or coffee, when you want a hot drink but don’t fancy something strong and milky.
PS. You can check out the rest of my Degustabox reviews here.
*This Degustabox was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I’d been hoping for Krispy Kreme to come to Leicester’s Highcross shopping centre ever since it was redeveloped in 2008, and I know this was a wish shared by many. And now, after years of waiting, thanks to popular demand, Leicester finally has its first kiosk! The kiosk, which is located on the ground floor of Highcross outside Tiger, launched on 14th February, with 170 people waiting in line before it even opened. Unfortunately I was unable to make it down on opening day, but I made a visit last weekend to grab myself some much coveted doughnuts!
I got there just before the kiosk opened at 10:30am, and there was already a queue forming. The kiosk is bigger than I was expecting, with a full-size cabinet full of sweet treats, hot and cold drinks available, and a fairly large seating area. I was also impressed by the staff that I met, who were all friendly and efficient.
At any one time, Krispy Kreme has around fifteen different varieties to choose from, and you can buy them singly or in threes, or you can choose one of their boxes – original glazed dozen, assorted dozen, or choose your own dozen. I got the assorted dozen, which featured twelve of Krispy Kreme’s best sellers, including my two all-time favourites – Strawberries and Kreme, and Chocolate Dreamcake.
I also spotted Krispy Kreme’s two latest limited edition offerings in the cabinet, both of which I will be going back for. The Lotus Caramelised Biscoff doughnut is filled with biscuit spread-infused Kreme, and is topped with biscuit spread icing, biscuit crumb and white chocolate shavings. The Reese’s Peanut Butter doughnut is filled with, you guessed it, Reese’s peanut butter! It’s then finished off with chocolate icing, hazelnuts, and Reese’s peanut butter drops.
Krispy Kreme is very much a welcome addition to Leicester, and I’m looking forward to visiting again soon!
On Valentine’s Day I turned 25, and though I felt unwell (for the third birthday in a row!), I had a great day. Charles treated me to a lovely breakfast in bed of Belgian chocolate waffles, hot tea, and fresh orange juice. We then went for a long walk around Bradgate Park with my family, and had lunch at a tea room, and in the evening we had a pizza party with amazing chocolate birthday cake!
I was lucky enough to receive lots of cards, a few Highcross and Amazon vouchers from friends and family, and some gorgeous gifts, so I thought I’d do a little haul post to show you some of what I got.
My mum gifted me this watch, and it’s absolutely stunning. I love the marcasite detail and I’ve been wearing it every day since I got it.
My two main presents from Charles were these Kate Bush themed necklaces. The first one is from her official website, and features lyrics from one of my favourite songs, Cloudbusting. I actually saw this when I went to see Kate in London last year, but couldn’t afford it at the time. I really wasn’t expecting to get it for my birthday, so was so happy when I opened it! The second necklace is made of silver and was personalised just for me. I love it.
Charles also got me this awesome Game of Thrones t shirt. I can’t wait to style it for an outfit post in the coming weeks!
My dad gave me a few bits for the house, my favourite of which is the Moroccan lamp. It’s made of metal and is lined with purple fabric, and gives off a lovely ambient glow. It now takes pride of place on my living room fireplace.
Much to my delight I get quite a few books every year, and this year was no different. Charles gave me ‘A First Book of Nature’, and ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ by my space hero, Chris Hadfield. The rat training book was from an old school friend, and my sister gave me ‘Wreck This Journal’ and ‘The Pocket Scavenger’, both by Keri Smith. I can’t wait to start filling them in!
All of the above were parts of gifts from my old school friends, who I celebrated with last night at my favourite restaurant. There was a definite rat theme to their gifts this year!
And of course, no birthday haul would be complete without an abundance of chocolate!
Last but not least, my talented mum made me this super cute heart wreath. She crocheted the flowers herself, and decorated them with buttons. This now adorns my bedroom door and it looks right at home.
Today I thought I’d share with you a lovely little Valentine’s recipe from Roberts Bakery. This Strawberries and Cream Valentines Sandwich is easy to make, and would be a fun addition to a Valentine’s picnic this weekend.
Roberts sliced white is perfect for this sandwich due to its ‘soft and fluffy’ texture, which goes really well with the creaminess of the soft cheese, and the sweetness of the strawberries. I can just imagine eating this alongside some cakes and pastries, chocolate truffles, and a flask of hot tea, whilst out on a romantic Valentine’s walk. Lovely!
For today’s Valentine’s Gift Ideas post I have put together a gift guide of ten Valentine’s gifts, all of which cost under £10 each. Around this time of year, the prices of romantic gifts, such as chocolate and lingerie, are often hiked up. However, as this guide shows, if you shop savvy you don’t have to spend a fortune to treat that special someone (or yourself!) to something nice. The guide features some traditional gifts, but also fashion and beauty themed items.
Hotel Chocolat Lovely Hearts Classic £6.50 / Thorntons Because I Love You Premium Collection £6.00 / ASOS Heart Friendship Bracelet £2.00 / Yankee Red Raspberry Candle £7.99 / George Entice Lingerie Set £7.00 / Floozie Red Heart Fairisle Scarf £6.60 / Tesco Rose Petals in a Jar £5.00 / LUSH Heart Throb Bubble Bar £3.65 / Models Own Colour Chrome £4.99 / LUSH The Kiss Lip Gloss £5.95
What will you be gifting to your loved one this Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is also my birthday, so happens to be one of my favourite days of the year. As soon as January comes around I start looking forward to that special day in the middle of February, as not only do I get to enjoy it, but it adds a bit of brightness to the gloomy winter for people everywhere! I’m also a firm believer that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be miserable for those who aren’t in a relationship, as it gives you the perfect excuse to treat yourself, or spend time with family or friends.
So, in celebration of Valentine’s Day, over the next week or so I’ll be bringing you my pick of the best, affordable Valentine’s gifts – perfect for your loved one or even for yourself! Today’s pick is this adorable little set of Love Hearts Tea Lights, available from It’s A Wot.
Since I moved out of my mum’s house and in with my fiancé, I’ve become more and more interested in interior design, and making my home look pretty, and these tea lights help me do just that. They come beautifully wrapped in a Love Hearts wrapper, so they look like a super-sized tube of sweets, and inside you get six tea lights, each of which comes in a sturdy plastic holder.
The tea lights come in three colours – pink, purple and blue – with two of each in the pack, and they all have an iconic Love Hearts message printed on top. The pink ones say “Kiss Me”, the purple ones say “Love Me”, and the blue ones say “Hug Me”.
Despite their small size, the tea lights burn really well. I had them on for several hours the other evening and the flame hardly made a dent in the wax, and they don’t produce much smoke, just a steady flame. My only issue with the candles is that they aren’t scented, but it’s not a deal breaker and I still think they’re lovely.
At just £1.84 for a set of six, these tea lights would make an ideal Valentine ’s Day ‘stocking filler’ for someone who loves cute and quirky little house gifts. They’d also be great for adding a touch of romance to your Valentine’s evening, or even just to help you unwind and relax after a busy day. Want some? Get them here.
*These Love Hearts Tea Lights were sent to me by It’s A Wot for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
To welcome in 2015, I thought I would post a roundup of the most popular Bewitchery posts of 2014. Despite the fact that I was less active on my blog, 2014 was another successful blogging year, so I’d like to thank all of my readers for their continued support. The following ten posts were my most read of the year that were actually published in 2014, and I’m pleased to see a couple of my personal favourite posts in there!
One of several haul/thrifty posts of 2014, this one features a lot of clothes that I bought for work, as well as a few carboot bargains.
CheckoutSmart is still one of my most used apps, and to date I’ve got £67.63 back from it, which isn’t bad for a free app! Definitely worth downloading.
I had a great time checking out the new Urban Outfitters store in Leicester back in September, and I got some awesome photos. See them at the link above.
This was my second Degustabox and was definitely one of the best. Visit the post for my recipe for Chocolate Ginger Tiffin!
Primark’s PS Love lip glosses are surprisingly good quality for only £1.50. Perfect for Spring/Summer.
Because who doesn’t love a slightly naff, oversized, animal face t-shirt?
I am so glad this What I Wore post reached the Top 10 as it is probably my favourite outfit post of 2014. Check it out if you want to see more pics and find out where everything’s from!
Collection’s Gothic Glam Lipstick in ‘Revenge’ is a classic deep red, and an absolute steal at £2.99.
I use this concealer on a daily basis and I still swear by it. Fantastic at only £1.99.
In January 2014, Aldi challenged me to Swap & Save my usual lotions and potions for their Lacura skincare products. Find out my thoughts by visiting the link above.
I absolutely love putting together gift boxes for people, and of course I love surprises myself, so a little while ago I suggested to Chrissie of +10 Kapow that we do a Christmas Swap, and luckily she was up for the idea! We decided on a budget of £20, and agreed to fill a shoebox with little gifts that we thought the other would like. I had a lot of fun searching for items to give to Chrissie, and after a few weeks of browsing, buying and wrapping, the box was ready to send. Our deadline for posting was 5th December, and last week we each received our box of goodies!
As both of us are impatient we decided to open and blog about our gifts before Christmas, so without further ado, here’s what I received!
As you can see, my swap from Chrissie came beautifully packaged. The box itself is stunning, and puts the cardboard one I sent her to shame! I’ll definitely be using it to store things in, probably rings or nail varnishes.
There were eight wrapped gifts in the box, including a jewellery box which I was really excited about. I hurriedly unwrapped everything, and was delighted with all that Chrissie sent. I must say she chose well! Here’s what I got…
The first gift is this Baked Merged Trio Eyeshadow from MUA, in shade ‘Emotions’. All three shades have a slight shimmer to them, and are impressively pigmented. The neutral tones are perfect for a daytime look, and I can see myself using these shades a lot for a work make up look, although with some dramatic eyeliner they could easily be dressed up.
My lips get very dry at this time of year, so finding this Nivea Lip Butter in the box was much appreciated! The lip butter feels lovely and nourishing, and smells amazing too, like vanilla and macadamia. This has now become a winter essential for me and comes everywhere with me.
I spotted this Body Shop Glazed Apple Body Butter when browsing The Body Shop website a few weeks, and was really intrigued by it, so as you can imagine I was pleased to find this in the box too! I use body butters on a daily basis and have done for years, so this was very well chosen, and is incredibly moisturising. The Glazed Apple scent is lovely too – fruity, but also sweet and creamy.
Yet another product that I’ve been wanting to try – MUA Luxe Velvet Lips! This shade is called ‘Serene’, and is a dark peach shade with a pink undertone. It’s very highly pigmented, has a creamy texture so applies beautifully, and is long-lasting. I like it, and aesthetically, I also like the frosted tube.
This awesome keyring is triple awesome – it’s Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which I’ve loved since I was a kid, he’s a rat, and it’s lego! I’m going to hang this from my bag because I’m cool like that. Isn’t he fab?!
Chrissie made this galaxy necklace herself, and it’s my favourite item that she sent me. It’s really well made, and purple, pink and turquoise happen to be my favourite colours. I’ve been wearing it a lot since I got it, sometimes alone, but also layered with a couple of my other favourite necklaces, which I think looks great on a plain top.
Batman! A Batman ring! I’m sure it’s clear by now that I’m a big Batman fan, and this ring is absolutely fab. I really like how subtle it is, whilst also being super cool.
This pretty galaxy scarf has the same colour palette as the necklace Chrissie made, and is so soft and snuggly and warm. I’ve been wearing this lately to add a splash of colour to some of my darker winter outfits, and it seems to attract compliments!
Purple shades and holo effects are two of my favourite things to decorate my nails with, so this nail polish from Freckles Polish is perfect for me. The shade is called ‘I’ll Need Wine’, and is a rich purple colour, a bit like red wine, with a beautiful holo shimmer. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of me wearing it, but it applies nicely and is stunning on – fabulous for the festive season. Chrissie recently sent me some stamping plates too, so I plan on creating some looks soon using them and this polish, which I’ll be posting about soon.
I’m really happy with everything Chrissie sent me (thanks Chrissie!), and I hope we can do another swap one day! To see what I sent Chrissie in return, you can check out her post here.
Have you taken part in any Christmas swaps this year? If so, what did you send/receive? I’d love to see your posts about it!