Posts tagged UK
Arura Nini Heavy Knit Cardigan / Wrap London Lace Front Dress / Dr Martens Hazil Virginia Boots / Primark Tights / Sam Ryde Onyx Moon Pendant /
If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll probably know that I like my wardrobe to have a combination of cheap and cheerful, as well as luxury investment pieces, and I feel this outfit combines the two well!
This gorgeous heavy knit Nini cardigan was recently sent to me by a local luxury knitwear brand called Arura. Arura was founded in 2016, and specialises in creating diverse clothing and accessories, crafted on a limited basis in the UK and Europe.
The craftsmanship of the cardigan is fantastic, and it looks and feels so well made, as the wool is top quality with a softness and weight to it, and it’s also lined with a silky fabric. I just know this is going to be a staple piece in my wardrobe throughout autumn and winter as it’s so comfy and cosy, but I’m also getting use out of it during Spring. It makes for great outerwear on chilly days and evenings when a coat would be too much.
For this look I teamed the cardigan with a dress by Wrap London, which brand new would probably have cost around £100, but I managed to bag this one from a charity shop for just £3! As my outfits tend to consist of mostly black, I like to add interest by mixing textures or flashes of colour, and I love how the lace panel looks against the knit of the cardigan.
What would you pair the Nini cardigan with? Keep an eye out for future posts to see how else I style it!
Rustics is a small subscription box company with a difference, as most of the items in the box are lovingly handcrafted using eco-friendly materials, by the very talented Nic. She also tries to source products locally where possible, and all boxes are packaged from her home studio.
Every box contains around seven to ten items, such as stationery, craft kits and gift items, with an approximate value of £30. The items inside the box are kept as a surprise, but Nic releases sneak peeks of the contents on her website and social media (you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
A limited number of boxes are launched at 8pm on the 1st of each month. The first box – a heart themed Love It Box – was launched in June, and I was lucky enough to receive one through my letter box (the boxes are the perfect size to fit through, so you don’t have to worry about missing a delivery!)
The first thing that struck me when I opened the box was how nicely it was packaged. The box was sealed with monochrome heart washi tape, and the contents inside were carefully wrapped with tissue paper. The monochrome heart theme continued with the items inside, and there was far more crammed into that little box than I was expecting!
So what did I get? Well, inside was two handmade heart greetings cards, a hand printed cotton tote bag, a decopatch wooden heart craft kit, two mini wooden heart tags, a heart pencil, a handmade jasmine tea bag, a ‘You Are Something Special’ print, and some heart-shaped confetti.
Everything in the box is fantastic quality, and the theme is impressively consistent and carried off well. There’s nothing in the box that I don’t like, and it’s hard to pick a favourite item, but I must say I’m really looking forward to having a go at the decopatch kit when I have a free weekend!
There are three payment options for the boxes – a buy now single payment is £17, a monthly subscription is £15 a month, or a three-month single payment is £40 – and all come with free delivery. But however you choose to pay for your subscription, Nic will donate £1 from each box to a different charity each month.
I’m so impressed with Nic’s boxes as they’re so different from any I’ve seen before, and it’s obvious how much love and thought goes into every single item. If you want to bag one for yourself, check out the Rustics website.
As my regular readers will know, a few weeks ago I was offered a new job, which I start on 8th September. Such good news was a great excuse for me to go shopping, especially as I don’t really have many work-suitable clothes, so over the last week I’ve been buying quite a few new bits. I haven’t done a haul post in a while, so I thought now would be a good time to do one, featuring purchases from a local carboot sale, as well as the stuff I bought yesterday whilst shopping with my mum, from H&M, La Senza, and Primark. Most of what I bought is for my new job, but I’d actually wear most of it out of work too, and I also have a few non-work items. So without further ado, here is my latest collective haul!
Thrifted Papaya Polka Dot Peplum Top £1 / H&M Black Super Stretch Straight Leg Trousers £7.99 / Primark Black Suedette Flat Shoes £6
Primark Long Black Lace Shirt £10 / Primark Black Skinny Jeans £7 each (I bought two pairs, one of which I plan on customising) / Shoes as before
Primark Polka Dot Cardigan £8
Primark Stripe Long Sleeve Top £4
Thrifted Zara Flying Squirrel T Shirt 50p
La Senza Knickers £1 each
Total Spend: £54.49
I also recently placed an order on DressLink.com, but I am going to do a separate post about those purchases (possibly a YouTube video) as I want to share more details about my experience of the site.
What do you think of my new haul items?
This year I’ve been trying to add more summer basics to my wardrobe, and after browsing countless online and high street stores, House of Fraser have really come up trumps. Though House of Fraser stock a lot of premium brands, they also sell a wide range of more affordable brands, so you can add staple pieces to your wardrobe on a budget, that can be worn year in year out.
House of Fraser recently challenged me to pick some summer items to style, up to the value of £30. I thought the best way to go for this challenge would be simple and versatile – things that could be dressed up or down and paired with different things to create different looks – so I opted for this plain Jane Norman Maxi Vest Dress, and a cute little Ziba 3D Skull Bracelet.
Jane Norman Maxi Vest Dress / Ziba 3D Skull Bracelet / Primark Sandals / Alexander McQueen Cateye Sunglasses / Juno Black Patent Grab Bag
The dress is made from a light jersey fabric, so is very cool and comfortable, and the vest section is lined so you don’t have to wear a bra on hot summer days. I think the dress looks great as it is, but it also looks amazing with a sparkly cropped jacket and clutch for a glamorous evening look. This is currently discounted from £20 to £12, which is incredibly cheap for such a lovely piece.
I chose the Ziba Skull 3D Bracelet for several reasons. For one, I love skulls and covet anything with a skull on it, but this year I’ve also really started to love fine and delicate pieces of jewellery. I used to always wear big chunky items, but the beauty of bracelets like this is you can layer them together, but if it’s too hot to be wearing a thick wedge of bangles, they look elegant and lovely worn alone. This particular bracelet was £9 when I chose it, down from £12, but it’s now only £6 so is even more affordable. Also, if skulls aren’t your thing, the Ziba range has loads of other designs to choose from. I especially like their cute little owl.
In total, my House of Fraser items have a value of £32, but with the online discount they now come in at £18, which is a pretty good saving. I’ll definitely be going back to House of Fraser in the future to look for more affordable basics. Also, why not check out their current range of maxi dresses and bracelets?
*This Jane Norman Maxi Vest Dress and Ziba 3D Skull Bracelet were sent to me on behalf of House of Fraser, for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
My summer wardrobe is usually full of bright florals, but this year I’ve really been embracing basics, and sticking to my favourite polka dots and stripes. Most of my new summer purchases are black, white, and grey, which may sound drab, but I like to add a splash of colour here or there with a bold statement piece or a pastel bright, and a quirky item of jewellery. Today’s outfit is the epitome of that, and combines a cute black skater skirt from H&M, with a simple stretch tee from Primark. I wanted to wear this outfit without tights, but unfortunately it wasn’t that warm today, and there was a bit of a breeze!
To finish the outfit, and add a bit of interest, I wore my Alexander McQueen sunglasses, which I love, love, love and have been teaming with everything this season (look out for a special McQ style post coming soon), and this amazingly cool necklace from Eclectic Eccentricity.
Eclectic Eccentricity is a British brand who specialise in creating quirky pieces from vintage components. Their pieces are all so unique and unusual, and I have a wishlist as long as my arm of items from their website! This necklace is their You’re On My Wavelength Einstein necklace, which features a gold toned geometric frequency wavelength, and a teeny tiny, but very detailed, figure of Einstein. Who knew he could be so cute?! I’m a big science fan, so this necklace is right up my street, and it’s definitely a talking point. I love how it hangs as well and it sits perfectly, just where I want it. You can grab your own here for £16.50.
What do you think? Would you wear this necklace?
*This You’re On My Wavelength Einstein Necklace was sent to me by Eclectic Eccentricity for styling purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I’m a little bit late with it this month, but here is my review of the May Degustabox, which unlike this post arrived on time towards the end of last month! The May box was a lot more savoury than April’s, but it contained some really lovely stuff, most of which I’d never tried before.
May’s Degustabox contains ten brands, and thirteen individual items, with a total value of £21.46. However, the box costs just £12.99, so you’re making a pretty big saving whilst getting to try some new, exciting foods! Here are my thoughts on each item…
Cawston Press Cloudy Apple Drink (RRP £1.00)
Cawston Press featured in April’s Degustabox with their Rhubarb and Apple drink, which was absolutely gorgeous, so I was happy to find another offering from them in the May box. Like the Rhubarb drink, this Cloudy Apple version contains no preservatives, additives or artificial sweeteners, and is made from fruit juice combined with sparkling water. The drink isn’t overly sweet, rather, it has a slightly sour tang, but it’s nice. I don’t like it as much as the rhubarb flavour, but I’d still have it again as it’s lovely and refreshing when chilled.
Taylors of Harrogate Blackberry & Elderflower Tea (RRP £2.99)
I really enjoy trying new teas and infusions, so this was another addition to the box that I was happy to see. Taylors of Harrogate have a range of teas created in partnership with experts at Kew Gardens in London, and this Blackberry & Elderflower blend is one of them. The box contains twenty individually wrapped tea bags, so they’re ideal for popping in your bag when travelling, or going to work. The flavour mix is really pleasant, offering a kick of blackberry with a subtle aftertaste of elderflower. Perfect for summer when you fancy something light, rather than a big mug of breakfast tea with milk.
Raw Energy Chewing Gum (RRP £0.99 per box)
Raw is a sugar-free gum, which contains taurine and vitamin B, to give you a boost of energy on the go. I absolutely hate energy drinks, especially those containing taurine as it makes me feel funny, so when I saw that these were basically a condensed version of an energy drink I was quite worried. However, I decided to give them a go anyway. They smell like Red Bull (yuck), but they taste slightly fruity (although that energy drink flavour is there too…), but to be honest they’re not that bad. They keep their chewy consistency for a long time, and they didn’t make me feel any different despite the taurine. That, for me, is a bonus, but if you actually want an energy boost from them you may struggle to get it.
Hornsby’s Crisp Apple Cider and Strawberry & Lime Cider (RRP £5.00 for 4)
I haven’t yet tried these ciders, but I’m looking forward to enjoying them one evening with a nice meal. Hornsby’s is one of the leading ciders in the USA, and according to the bottle is an ‘American Classic’, best enjoyed straight from a chilled bottle. The Degustabox contained two flavours – Crisp Apple, and Strawberry & Lime, which I imagine will be my favourite. If I like these I’ll definitely repurchase them, as at £5.00 for 4 bottles they’re really affordable.
Kettle Sweet Chilli Sweet Potato Chips (RRP £2.49)
Kettle crisps are fab, and root vegetable crisps are fab, so combine the two and they’re a winner from the start. Kettle’s Sweet Chilli Sweet Potato Chips contain 50% less fat than their usual potato crisps, and are free of MSG, and artificial flavourings and colours. Sweet chilli happens to be my favourite crisp flavour, and combined with the sweetness of the sweet potato it works really well. The chips are thin and crispy, and very moreish, and are a great alternative to potato crisps if you fancy something healthier and different.
Finn Crisp Original Sourdough Rye Crispbread (RRP £1.29)
I wasn’t exceptionally excited by these when I first discovered them in the box, but they’re surprisingly tasty. Finn Crisp are a Nordic brand who use only natural ingredients to create healthy snacks. Their sourdough rye crispbreads contain wholegrain, are low in fat, are packed full of vitamins and minerals, and are only 22 calories each, so they’re guilt-free and healthy (depending on what you top them with!) Unlike a lot of rye crackers, these aren’t at all dry, and are satisfyingly thin and crispy. I’ve been eating these as a snack topped with Lotus caramelised biscuit spread (yum), or soft cheese and cucumber, but they can also be used in baking and cooking to make crispy crusts. I would 100% buy these again!
Elizabeth Shaw Dark Chocolate Cocoa Crunch Flutes (RRP £2.59)
Elizabeth Shaw always reminds me of Christmas at my grandma’s house, which is a good thing. These slender flutes consist of rich, dark chocolate, and are studded with tiny nibs of crunchy cocoa. The chocolate is already full of flavour, but the nibs add an extra depth and crunch that make these an extremely luxurious treat. And only 23 delicious calories each! When I eat chocolate, I tend to eat quite a lot of it, but these are so rich I can only manage one or two, which I suppose is a good thing as it means I can savour them.
Dr. Oetker Cake Release Spray (RRP £2.28)
I’m yet to use this Dr. Oetker Cake Release Spray, but it is a genius idea! The spray is oil-based, and can be sprayed on the inside of cake tins and trays to grease them before pouring in the cake mix, making it easier to remove the finished product once it’s baked. For some reason I’ve always disliked rubbing butter around cake tins to grease them, as it can be messy and somewhat time-consuming, so this quick and easy greasing spray is the ideal addition to my baking cupboard.
Cirio Supercirio Tomato Puree (RRP £1.10)
A tube of double concentrated tomato puree… Not that exciting I know, but Cirio’s Supercirio is surprisingly good quality. I’ve used this on homemade pizzas and in pasta so far, and it has a vivid colouring, authentic tomato taste, and it isn’t acidic like some purees. A sound example of a good quality tomato puree.
Cirio La Classica Passata (RRP £1.35)
Passata in a plastic bottle seemed a little strange to me at first, but once I used it, it all became clear. There’s too much passata in this bottle to use all at once, but the plastic bottle makes it easy to pour and store, compared to the usual cardboard cartons that get messy and don’t keep well in the fridge. The passata itself is beautiful – packed full of flavoursome Italian tomatoes with a delicate sweetness. A lot nicer than the watery, bland stuff I’ve tried in the past!
Garofalo Pasta (RRP £1.89)
Yay! Pasta! One of my favourite ingredients to use in hearty evening meals. Garofalo is an Italian brand from near Naples, and have been making pasta since 1789, using durum wheat and bronze dies for shaping. I’m pretty sure these pasta tubes are rigatoni, as they’re large, ridged, and slightly curved tubes, and they are delicious served al dente.
Here’s an easy recipe for a summery pasta dish, using Garofalo pasta and Cirio passata…
Summer Vegetable Pasta
(Serves 2 people)
200g Garofalo Pasta
250ml Cirio La Classica Passata
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 White Onion
1 Garlic Clove
4 or 5 Sundried Tomatoes
1 sachet Oloves Olives
– Boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes.
– Meanwhile, chop and fry the courgette, pepper, onion and garlic until soft. Add the olives and sundried tomatoes.
– Add the passata to the vegetables to make a sauce, and simmer for a few minutes.
– Stir in the cooked pasta and serve immediately, with a sprinkle of cheese.
This is my third Degustabox so far, and though it isn’t as packed full of sweet treats as the last one, this is still a brilliant box, and once again everything in it is vegetarian! It was a pleasure to try so many new products and brands, and I’m pleased to have discovered a few new items to add to my weekly shopping list.
PS. You can check out the rest of my Degustabox reviews here.
*This Degustabox was sent to me by Degustabox for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
As promised in my National Vegetarian Week post, here is the latest addition to my series of Vegetarian Eateries posts, this time focusing on Nottingham. Though I don’t live in Nottingham, I do visit regularly for gigs and shopping trips, and I have two favourite places to eat when I’m there. I’m sure there are other places in Nottingham to get great veggie food, but I’m yet to discover them, however when I do they’ll be added to this post.
1a Cannon Court, Long Row W, Nottingham, NG1 6JE
Good for: Creative, tasty dishes and vegan options
Alley Café is slightly hard to find (down an alley, as the name suggests, and easy to miss), but once you’re there it’s a real veggie haven. The atmosphere is very relaxed – chilled music and friendly staff, and the menu is even better.
Their main menu features a range of light bites/sides, sandwiches (with quirky names and a choice of breads), burgers, and various creative mains. They also boast different specials every day, and an array of delicious desserts and homemade juices and smoothies.
A lot of the menu is vegan, and everything I’ve ever had there has been so flavoursome and filling. I can highly recommend the Alfie (halloumi, houmous and mint yoghurt in your choice of bread – I usually go for a wrap), the falafel burger (above) and the pizzas (try it with smoked tofu, baconesque and olives as seen above, perfect). The vegan chocolate torte is also AMAZING. Meals average at about £7, most desserts are between £3 and £4, the portions are generous, and the quality of food is very high. Definitely worth a visit if you appreciate an inclusive, non-judgemental veggie vibe!
17 Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 5JT
Good for: Delicious handmade burgers and double cooked chips
Spanky Van Dykes is located right next to my favourite small gig venues, so I usually fill up here before a gig. The bar has an alternative, music themed vibe which really gets you in the mood for a live band, and they even host gigs themselves (although I’m yet to go to one there). What most people come for though is the handmade burgers.
With an American diner style menu, Spanky’s sell burgers galore, with three veggie options. My particular favourite is the Shroomaloomi, which is stacked high with halloumi cheese and flat mushrooms, served with the best double cooked chips I’ve ever tried. A bit more interesting than the usual veggie offering of a dry bean burger I must say. Their tempura vegetables are also worth a mention, as are their desserts. Cookie ice cream sandwich anyone? Yes please! A burger and chips comes in at just over £7, and desserts are around £3, so you can get a full meal for around a tenner. Although they do two for one on all burgers on a Tuesday, which is definitely the best time to go!
Do you know anywhere else in Nottingham that sells amazing veggie food? If so, leave a comment below and let me know!
Don’t forget to check out my first Vegetarian Leicester post too!
Late last month I took delivery of the April edition of my monthly surprise food box, Degustabox, and boy is it a good one! In my review of the March Degustabox I mentioned that, though I enjoyed the contents of the box, the distinct lack of sweet treats was slightly disappointing, but April’s offerings sincerely make up for that. In fact, this latest box is crammed full of so many of my favourite things, it’s as if it was put together specifically with me in mind!
The April Degustabox contains nine different brands, and fifteen individual items, which for £12.99 is a lot better value than most food subscription boxes I’ve seen. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on each item…
Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer with Raspberry (RRP £2.19)
Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer is one of my favourite alcoholic drinks, and is so refreshing when it’s been chilled. This particular bottle has a raspberry flavour, which I admit isn’t my first choice of flavours, but with the ginger it is really quite nice. The beer is a lovely pink shade and the raspberry flavour shines through, before the warm, comforting burn of ginger kicks in. I think I prefer the original version, but as a cool drink every now and then during the summer, this would be ideal. I also want to try the strawberry and lime flavour that I know other people received in their Degustabox.
Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Bar (RRP £0.80 each)
I’ve always been a fan of Lindt’s Lindor truffles, so when I saw that they’d been transformed into bars, I was curious to see whether they were as nice, and as it happens, they are! These bars have the same cool, creamy taste and texture as their spherical counterparts – the chocolate itself is sweet, but not sickly, and the truffle it encases is luxuriously smooth and delicious. These bars may be thin, but they feel like a proper treat, and I’ll definitely be buying more.
Cawston Press Rhubarb and Apple Sparkling Drink (RRP £1.00)
Cawston Press’ Rhubarb and Apple drink was an unexpected highlight for me. I don’t often drink fruity fizzy drinks, but this one tastes a little bit more sophisticated than the usual. It’s free of any preservatives, additives and artificial sweeteners, and is made from concentrated fruit juice combined with sparkling water, so is light and refreshing. The rhubarb flavour dominates, and is reminiscent of the rhubarb and custard sweets I used to eat as a child, without the overpowering sweetness. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from Cawston Press, as this tasted lovely and I’d like to try some of their juices.
Clearspring Miso on the Go Soup (RRP £1.29 each)
Soup isn’t my thing, especially ‘cup of soup’ type things, so I wasn’t incredibly enthusiastic about these Clearspring Miso on the Go sachets when I first saw them. I received two flavours of soup – White Miso with Tofu (pictured above), and Red Miso with Sea Veg, which I’m yet to try. One thing that did stand out with these is that they’re vegan, and only contain 29 calories, so they’re healthy at least.
The soup is easy to make, and involves mixing 160ml of hot water in a mug with the freeze-dried block that the sachet contains. I was surprised to see such chunky ingredients floating around in the soup, namely cubes of tofu and pieces of spring onion, and though it doesn’t look the best, the White Miso actually tastes rather nice! At £1.29 each I probably won’t be buying these again, but I’m glad I tried them.
Go Splash Blackcurrant Water Flavouring (RRP £2.45)
After seeing the Robinsons equivalent of Go Splash in supermarkets recently, I’d been keen to try something like this, but unfortunately I was slightly disappointed with Go Splash. In theory, it’s a great idea – a little container of sugar-free, low-calorie fruit flavoured concentrate to add to water to make it that little bit more exciting, but I’m not sure the brand quite pull it off. The packaging says to add one squirt to 200ml of water, which I did, but it made no difference, so I added another and still wasn’t happy. The water still tasted like water, but I was left with an artificial, saccharine taste in my mouth after swallowing, with just a hint of blackcurrant. Not the best, and I haven’t used it since. I was looking forward to carrying this with me so I could enjoy it on the go, but I think I’ll pass.
Keogh’s Atlantic Salt & Irish Cider Vinegar Crisps (RRP £1.00)
Salt and Vinegar is my crisp flavour of choice, so I was always going to love these, but they even managed to exceed my high expectations. When I visited Dublin last year I was really taken by just how well Ireland do crisps, and these are close to perfect. Keogh’s Farm is a family run potato growing and crisping business based in North County Dublin, and the family’s 200 years of potato expertise really shows. The packet even features a ‘Spud Nav’, which tells you exactly which field the potatoes were grown in, the variety of potato used, and who cooked the crisps. Brilliant!
The crisps are thick and crispy, not at all greasy, and incredibly well-flavoured, as the Irish cider vinegar gives them a pleasantly sweet tang, rather than a sour one. They’re also gluten-free, made from all natural ingredients, and come in a generous 50g bag. Walkers crisps don’t even come close to these!
McVitie’s Jaffa Cake Mini Rolls (RRP £1.30 per pack)
I like cake, I like chocolate, I like Jaffa Cakes, so finding these in my Degustabox was another pleasant surprise. The Mini Rolls come in two flavours – Tropicool, a mix of tropical fruits, and Berry Burst, and each tastes like what it says on the packet, although not intensely so. The packaging states that these can be frozen, so I decided to give the freezing a go to see if it made much of a difference, which it did. They were firmer and chewier, and obviously colder, which suited them well. I think these would make a nice light treat in Summer when you’re getting tired of eating ice cream.
Mornflake Superfast Pots (RRP £1.20 each)
My Degustabox also featured two Superfast pots by Mornflake – a Fruit & Nut Muesli, and a Raisin, Honey & Almond Granola – both of which are right up my street. Each pot has a handy little spoon in the lid, and contains powdered milk so you can just add cold water to the mix and stir, which is really handy when you’re on the go. Both of these tasted delicious, especially the granola, and the portions are generously sized. I’d definitely pick one of these up if I was in a rush on my way to work.
Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks’ Chocolate (RRP £1.69 each)
There were also two bars of this Dr. Oetker Fine Cook’s Chocolate in April’s Degustabox – an Extra Dark one with an intense 72% cocoa solids, and a creamier Milk chocolate, coming in at 35%. As an avid baker, these were a nice little addition to the box and I couldn’t wait to try them out, so I whipped up a batch of tiffin as soon as possible. Tiffin is a fantastic no-bake, easy to make treat, so I thought I’d share my recipe for…
Chocolate Ginger Tiffin
115g Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks’ Chocolate Extra Dark 72%
115g Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks’ Chocolate Milk 35%
150g Ginger Nut Biscuits
75g Rich Tea Biscuits
100g Dried Mixed Fruit
110g Butter or Stork Margarine
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
4 tsp Cocoa Powder
1. Line a large, square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Crush the ginger nut biscuits and rich tea biscuits until they are broken into small pieces.
3. In a pan, mix together the butter, golden syrup, sugar and cocoa powder over a low heat, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
4. Add the crushed biscuits and dried fruit to the pan and stir until everything is coated.
5. Tip the biscuit mixture into the baking tin, spread out evenly and press down.
6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts until fully melted. Pour over the biscuit mix and spread out evenly.
7. Leave the tiffin to set in the fridge for about an hour, before cutting into pieces. This recipe makes about 18 decently sized pieces.
8. Serve and enjoy!
Of course, I gave the chocolate a little nibble whilst I was cooking (and I got to lick the bowl – cook’s perks!), and it’s delicious even as an eating chocolate. I may even finish the bars myself…
The overall RRP of April’s Degustabox is £20, so for £12.99 you’re definitely getting a good deal. Once again, everything in the box is vegetarian, and the abundance of sweet goodies is a winner with me. I’d even go as far to say this is the best subscription box I’ve ever received from any company!
Will you be subscribing to Degustabox? If so, if you use the exclusive code ‘4K0P6‘ when registering, you can get a £3 discount!
PS. You can check out the rest of my Degustabox reviews here.
*This Degustabox was sent to me by Degustabox for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
You may remember that at the beginning of January I swatched and reviewed a gorgeous glitter varnish from GOSH’s Frosted Sand collection, called ‘Frosted Purple‘. Well, it officially became one of my favourite varnishes of all time, and I couldn’t wait to add more frosted shades to my collection. In particular I was trying to get hold of ‘Frosted Plum’, but the only bottle in my local Superdrug for months was a damaged one. Then, earlier this week, I noticed that they had a few more in stock, and luckily for me all of GOSH’s varnishes were on offer for £1.99 each! Obviously I bought it straight away and applied it when I got home, so today I thought I’d share the swatches with you.
Like its purple counterpart, ‘Frosted Plum’ is a pleasure to apply, looks opaque in just one coat (although I applied two), and dries really quickly. It’s also rather hard-wearing, and stays put for a good few days without chipping, even without a base or top coat.
The best thing about it though is the colour. The base shade, as you’d expect, is a beautiful deep plum purple, but throughout it are flecks of gold, bronze and bright pink, which give it a brilliant depth. It looks absolutely amazing in the sun, and even indoors it still looks impressive. The glitter in this one is a lot more consistently sized than in ‘Frosted Purple’, and I think it looks a bit like a caviar manicure.
I’ll stand by my previous statement that GOSH’s Frosted Sand glitters are honestly the best glitters I’ve tried, and I will continue to add to my collection! I have my eye on a couple of their spring pastel shades, ‘Soft Blue’ and ‘Soft Green’, which are also currently £1.99 in Superdrug (reduced from £3.99).
Will you be buying any of GOSH’s frosted glitters?
I was recently contacted by the lovely Julie of independent jewellery retailer Accessories Boutique, who very kindly offered me the chance to choose a piece from her online store to review. Accessories Boutique is a veritable, virtual treasure trove of individual pieces that have been specially chosen to suit all styles, and they stock everything from necklaces and bracelets, to scarves and bags. There are hundreds of beautiful pieces available, so much so that it took me a while to choose one, but I eventually settled on this stunning Heavy Spike Bracelet, which retails for £18.00.
I’ve always had a thing for studs and spikes on accessories, and used to wear a lot of them during my ‘Goth’ teen years, but unlike the cheap, tacky stuff I had back then, this bracelet is classy, eye-catching, and a bit more ‘grown up’. It consists of five rows of high-shine metal spikes, which are blunted so they won’t snag on clothes, and are securely joined at the back and strung onto robust elastic. As its name suggests, it is also quite heavy, but not to the point that it’s uncomfortable to wear. Everything about this bracelet, especially the weightiness, oozes quality, and it is incredibly well made. It fits really well too as it’s slightly curved, so has an elegant shape and sits neatly against the wrist.
This is undoubtedly a statement piece which is perfect for the current Gothic and Biker trends, and it is also very versatile. I usually wear a lot of thin bracelets stacked on top of each other, but this is so big and bold I can get away with wearing it on its own, with whatever I’m wearing that day, and it always grabs people’s attention. In fact, I love it so much that I plan on featuring it in a few up and coming outfit posts, so check back soon for those.
You can get your own Heavy Spike Bracelet, and loads of other gorgeous pieces, online at Accessories Boutique, and if you spend £20 delivery is free.
*This Heavy Spike Bracelet was sent to me by Accessories Boutique for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*