My Plants & Why I Love Them

Lifestyle

Since I’ve moved I have found a new obsession…plants. I am now a self confessed plant mum and I’m bloody loving it. I went through a bit of a spree as soon as we moved in as I was desperate to make the place full of colour and life. I thought I would share with you which plants I’m currently nurturing and what I want to get next. I’m by no means an expert in plant care, I just tend to find trail & error works best for me. I just keep an eye on them and if they don’t look like they’re thriving where they are, I move them around.

Dracaena Corn Plant

This is the first plant that I got that started my obsession. I found it in Asda of all places (they actually have some really nice indoor plants), and what I really enjoy is they can come with some really nice pots. It was only £4, and it seems to be doing really well. We have it in our bathroom on on the window sill, so it has plenty light and moisture. The leaves are a little wrinkled and I’m not sure why, but I’ve just purchased some indoor plant food so I’m hoping that might bring a bit more life into the leaves.

Spider Plant

I’ve always loved spider plants and plants in a similar family (as you’ll probably guess by the style of a lot of the other plants). The one I’ve got is super cute and so easy to look after. At the moment it’s on or desk next to the window, so gets a lot of natural light- it seems to do really well here.

Madagascar Dragon Tree

I had been looking for a larger plant/tree for our living room to really add some life and colour into the space. I saw these trees at B&Q and thought they would be perfect. I got the larger size and it was £28, which I still think is really affordable. It doesn’t seem to need a lot of water and it gets partial sun.

Peace Lily

The peace lily is so interesting and I find it really shows you what it needs. I’ve found it before, where the leaves are really drooping down and curled, so I’ve given it some water and it just comes back to life. It’s a pretty low maintenance plant – and fun fact is one that purifies the air so if you have it in the bedroom it can help you sleep.

Snake Plant

I love my snake plant because it is so E A S Y. We have it just on our little tray table next to the sofa, and I love it. I’ve moved it around a few times but it’s so low maintenance you can move it around without the fear of killing it. This was such a bargain as well, again from Asda, it was £6 but that includes the nice sleek grey pot that it’s in.

Prayer Plant

This is a newer addition to my collection that I picked up from a small independent place in York called Botanic. Their shop is so cute and has such a range of beautiful indoor plants, I can see myself spending a generous amount of time and money there. They were also so helpful and wrote plant care cards for the 2 different plants that I bought, which is just perfect for a new plant person like me. I am loving this plant so far, at the moment we have it in the corner of our living space because it likes partial to full shade. It’s so cool as well as the leaves will move depending on the amount of light.

Banyan Plant

This is another new addition I picked up from Botanic in York. If you live in York and love indoor plants, go and check them out, they are amazing. This plant loves sunlight, which is perfect for our flat as we have a lot of windows and get sunlight throughout the whole day. It’s currently on the window sill in our bedroom, as I realised the urban jungle that I had created was just in the living space. It’s such a cute and neat plant, I really like the look of it.

Anthurium Plant

This was an impulse buy (again from Asda!!) that I picked up when I was grocery shopping. I loved the colour of the leaves and the gorgeous teal pot it came in. I’ve not decided where this ones home is yet, but after reading up on it, looks like they need a lot of light- which is perfect.

-What do I want next?-

After being into Botanic and reading about lots of different indoor plants I have a few ideas of what I want next. I would like some kind of hanging plant/draping plant….I think this would look really cool on our corner shelves in the kitchen. I’m also think another tall tree/plant for the bathroom as it just isn’t green enough for me in there. I would love to hear any suggestions that you’ve got for indoor house low maintenance plants!

Thank you for reading!

Easy, Affordable, Healthy Protein Smoothie

Lifestyle

Hello! As my first post back after 5 months, I wanted something nice and easy to write about so I thought I’d share a recipe for my favourtie protein shake that I’ve been making a lot of mornings to accompany my breakfast. I’ve been using different quantities and ingredients to try to get the perfect consistency, and this is the final result. It’s a banana, chocolate and peanut butter shake. It is lush and very guilt free (not completely). There are a few changes you can make to fit your dietary requirements if you’d prefer.

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Recipe

1 Banana. It doesn’t matter if they’re a bit bruised and brown, as it doesn’t taste any different.

1 tbsp Whole Nut Smooth Peanut Butter – 96% peanuts. It’s important to use a peanut butter with a high percentage of peanuts, so there is minimum amount of palm oil and other added fats. This one I get from Aldi after discovering it when I did my Aldi health food haul. Smooth is the best to stop the blender having to work over time to get all the peanut lumps out. I love it, it’s so affordable compared to brands you get in Holland and Barrett. If you wanted to switch to a different nut butter, almond butter works really nicely too.

1tsp Rice Protein Powder. I like to switch between the rice protein powder and the pea protein powder. They are a more natural source of protein compared to using whey or some other brands. They are packed with 80% natural protein. They’re also vegan friendly.

1tsp Cacoa Powder. I prefer to use cacoa powder to regular cocoa/hot chocolate powder as it contains a lot less sugar. Cacoa powder is all natural and is a great source of iron, potassium, copper and magnesium. This packet is super affordable, again from Aldi, at less than £3 a bag.

350ml Semi Skimmed Milk. Now, I like to use regular semi skimmed milk as for me it creates a delicious smooth, creamy texture that you just can’t get with other milks. However if you were going for a lower fat version, almond or soy milk would be a nice substitute.

Drizzle of Honey.

Put all the ingredents together in a blender. Blend until smooth. It will make about 3/4 of a pint, so could definitely be spilt between 2 people. But I’m greedy and have it all!

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I hope you found this helpful and mouth watering – try it out! It’s addictive!

Thanks!

Current Favourites

Lifestyle

Hello everyone! I thought it would be nice to do a blogpost on all the things I’ve been currently loving. Not just beauty, I’ve got some other fab things thrown in their too. Think I’ll get the beauty bits out the way first, let’s get into it.

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First up is a super old product, I can’t exactly remember when I purchased this but I have used it so much, on and off, that I thought it was time to give it some credit. It’s the Natural Collection single eyeshadow in milk chocolate. This costs £2 which is such a bargain and I bought it way back in the day when I was first getting into makeup. It is the perfect crease shade, that can be worn alone or as a transition shade. It is just your standard neutral brown, it doesn’t have too much warmth yet isn’t too cool either. If I’m in a hurry, recently I’ve just been blending this into my crease to create some definition on my eyes then whacking on some mascara and I’m out the door. This colour doesn’t crease or fade on me and it blends so nicely. For £2 you can’t go wrong.

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Next, is a new product that has quickly become one of my favourites. It’s the Primark ‘My Perfect Colour’ foundation. I had been trying to get my hands on this for so long but the Primark in my city only had dark shades left. So when they finally restocked I grabbed it and I am not disappointed. I’d seen it’s a dupe for the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation and even though I am yet to try that out, this foundation is so great that I don’t know whether I need to bother spending the dollar to try it out. It is so lightweight yet full coverage, dries matte but doesn’t cling to any dry patches on my face. It lasts all day long. Like when I put my makeup on at 10:30am before work and go to take it off at 10:00pm when I finish it still looks flawless. Takes a long time for it to go shiny which is perfect for me as my T zone can get super oily really quick with a lot of foundations. I am so chuffed I finally managed to get my hands on this (super late on the band wagon I know), it was definitely worth the wait ad I’m going to try and get a back up asap.

Still on beauty faves, my next top product has been a nail varnish. It’s the Chanel Le Vernis nail colour in 331 allegoria. It is a peachy nude shade. It isn’t the most opaque, with only one coat it just adds a shine and hint of colour but that’s what I love about it. I have been so bad with doing my nails recently, they have been so dry and brittle because I haven’t been looking after them. But with this nail polish I can put on just one coat on and feel like my nails look x100 better. And it offers them some protection as well. I always find my nails grow so much better and break less easily with something on them. So this has been my go to if I want to make them look nicer but I haven’t got a lot of time. It lasts a long time and applies really nice.

 

Last beauty fav is a skincare one. I’ve been using this face cream for a while but have only recently really seen the changes in my skin. It’s the Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Treatment . I have been using it day and night after cleansing and toning and I love it. It makes my skin feel so smooth. It really adds a lot of hydration which is amazing, without being harsh on my skin. It smells amazing (as do all Origins products). It has really helped my skin become smoother, more hydrated and glowy. I’ve tried out a few Origins face creams and this one is my current favourite.

Onto random favourites, I have a couple of TV shows that have been my addiction recently, they are very different but I love them in different ways. First is ‘Jane The Virgin’. I don’t even remember why I started watching this show, I hadn’t heard too many people talk about, I think was just scrolling Netflix trying to find something and decided to give it a go. I wasn’t sure at first as it has a very strange set up (if you’ve seen it you know what I mean) but I wanted to give it a fair go so carried on watching, and I’m so glad I did! I loved all the story lines, the twists and turns, you could never see what was going to happen. All the actors/actress’ are perfect at their roles, I never felt like one of them was wrong for the part. And of course I’m not proffesional in casting or ANYTHING screen related but you can tell when actors/actress’ arn’t portraying the part well. It wasn’t the case here. I just loved it. I cried various times through the series. If anyone reading this has seen it right up to the very end….no spoilers if you haven’t but…..crazy right?! I would recommend it if you like hopeless romantic family rom coms, but with lots of drama!!

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The next one I’ve just started in the past week since I finished ‘Jane The Virgin’. And to be honest I’m not sure anything I found was going to fill the void straight away, all I knew was I wanted something more serious. So I gave ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ a go. Oh my god. I was hooked immediately. So much suspense and thrill from the beginning. It keeps you guessing even when you are still figuring out the characters and whats going on. The actress, Viola Davis, who plays the main character, a criminal defence attorney, is fantastic. She makes the show. I love crime/law dramas anyway but I just love how they’ve done this one differently.

That’s what I’ve been loving recently! Let me know if you share any of my current loves! Thanks so much for reading!

Pup update – What it’s actually like to have a rescue dog

Lifestyle

Hello everyone! As you may or may not already know I became a dog owner at the end of last year, and by no means was it simple. If you haven’t read my original story on how I got my dog click here. But to sum up, I was away travelling/working in the Caribbean and was introduced to a woman called Charley who was friends with the people I was with out there. She owned 4 dogs at the time. Through some circumstances or another, she decided to decrease her dog pack size to just one loyal companion. 2 of the dogs already had other homes to go to, but one was still looking. This was Pea, and I decided to adopt her and ship her back to the UK with me. Yes. I know it sounds crazy. Anyway, 5 months have passed, and I thought it would be interesting to do a pup update post on how she is adapting (as it isn’t a regular rehoming situation) and just some general points of what I didn’t know/expect when I decided to adopt a rescue dog.

There were so many unknowns for me when all of this kicked off. I’ve never had a dog before, so knew nothing about feeding, exercise, health, interaction, sleep patterns and all the other things you don’t think about when getting a dog. But not only that, where do you go about shipping a dog half way across the world?! There was a lot on my plate, but it would have felt 100% worse for Pea, she would’ve been so confused at everything that was changing. It was pretty scary knowing what was at stake and whether she would like the change or even just settle properly.

From when she arrived mid December through to March, she has been bloody freezing. Imagine being used to 30 degree heat everyday, and suddenly it’s dropped to 5 degrees and you don’t understand why! She dealt with it very well, we just had to change her routine a little to what she was used to. When the weather started getting warmer, you could immediately see a change in her attitude, she was more bouncy, energetic and is probably feeling like she’s more at home.

The other big change for her is to have other friendly dogs out and about being walked. This was not a thing in the Caribbean. Britain is a dog loving nation, and she was not used to so many other dogs that didn’t want to fight with her for food. It has been a huge, and still is, a challenge for her and us as dog owners to get her used to other dogs, without her turning aggressive and defensive. As this would have been her only means of survival whenever she came in close contact with other dogs. She is getting so much better, and as she is still young we hope she will just keep learning and continuing to adapt to the pamper pooch lifestyle we have for our furry friends.

She has settled so well into our little home, and thinking back it was actually so risky to whether it was going to work at all, but I’m so glad I did it. She has become continuous entertainment for myself and my family. She is such a weird dog, she literally thinks she is human sometimes.

What it’s ACTUALLY like getting a dog – the things you don’t learn until you’ve done it

I took a lot into consideration when I made this decision, however they’re are things that you just have no idea about until they happen, or things you think should be simple to sort out, but actually…..you should know nothings simple! I don’t regret anything, but here are my extra top tips to look into and research if you are thinking about getting a dog.

Chewable items – It’s very much the same way of baby proofing your house, by moving things you don’t want them to put in their mouth…same thing. Pea proofing. I had never really seen Pea chew anything before when I knew her in the Caribbean so when she came over here I didn’t even think twice about her chewing anything being an issue. Oh boy was I wrong. Numerous times she has chewed, broken, ripped up the in soles of my shoes. Some just of very cheap nothing shoes, others expensive boots that I’ve had for years. Anything that can be chewed or even you think can’t be chewed (she broke our TV remote) – put out of reach!!

Vet appointments & insurance – This stuff seems so obvious. Of course you have to get pet insurance, duh! But when it comes to it, if you’ve never bought pet insurance before it is so hard to know what’s going to work your dog. How much is the average amount?What cover do you need? And on top of that, there is a bunch of extra things you need to be doing. Deworming. Fleaing. Nail clipping. Dental. Annual vaccinations. It can all be so overwhelming so just make sure to do your research, ask friends that have dogs, she was illness/diseases your dog could be prone to.

Commitment – This one just comes from the old saying ‘a dog isn’t just for christmas it’s for life’. I totally get it now, and understand why it’s so important to think about this properly before you commit. I’ve had to make a bunch of sacrifices to my everyday/ social life in order to put Pea’s needs first. It hasn’t been massive things but definitely extra things I’ve had to consider, things that wouldn’t have been an issue before. Who’s going to be home later? How long has she been on her own? Does she need another walk? She’ll probably need a wee by now? I need to go home to take her out. 

Rescue – This one only applies if you are thinking of getting a dog from the shelter. Rehoming a rescue dog is such a great idea, shelters are over full capacity at the moment and need people to adopt rescue dogs. However, as a biggest most lovely gesture as it is, it does come with it’s own baggage. When getting a rescue dog, you don’t know their history. You don’t know what has happened to them in the past that has made them the way they are. This can, for example, make training a lot harder when you don’t understand why your dog is behaving like it is. A puppy’s first months are so important, and without that piece of the puzzle, it’s hard to know the complete story. This doesn’t mean they’re bad dogs, it can just be more complicated than getting a pedigree or having them from a puppy. But, this clearly didn’t put me off getting Pea home but Pea definitely has her ‘qwerks’ let’s say, due to her past.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this little catch up with my dog, and I hope, if you’re thinking about getting a dog, this has helped even just a little bit.

My Top SAVING Tips

Lifestyle

Hey guys, I’ve really wanted to do a post like this for a long time! I think saving money can be such a hard thing it do and get into the routine of doing, and if you’re any kind of shopaholic like me then it’s even HARDER. I’ve put together my best tips, for what I do when I’m trying to save money.

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Free Activities

This is the simplest and easiest thing to do if you’re trying to save money. Like most people it is always nice to spend money on doing things, whether that’s going out for meals, shopping or going places! If I’m trying to save money what I try to do is spend as little as possible without sacrificing any enjoyment. For example, I love going to coffee shops, having a coffee and maybe a small snack, then I get my laptop out and do some blogging stuff, or if you’re a student this is a great way to study in a different environment. This for me can be an afternoon on a Sunday and all I’ve spent is £6. Done. I also try fill my time with stuff around the house, if I feel myself wanting to go shopping, I try and keep myself busy! Paint my nails, tidy, organise, get friends over for a cuppa. Easy, simple things that cost no money and are way more productive than shopping!!

Voucher Apps & Loyalty Cards

My next tip is all about saving in particular areas. I find voucher apps are so helpful! There are so many helpful apps out there that give you so many good offers on meals, activities and even weekends away. I’ve been loving using groupon, wowcher and voucher codes for finding offers on afternoon tea and meals. Keeping on the same subject, loyalty cards are a must for me!! They aren’t an immediate way off saving but I always find it such a good perk once you’ve filled a card and you get your freebie. It doesn’t hurt to be collecting points or stamps on anything you do purchase, as you know it will all add up eventually.

Make a list

This tip is all about organisation. I don’t know about anyone else but quite a lot of the time I find myself buying things that is just an utter waste of money! I like to shop and collect things which isn’t my issue, I’m talking about those times where you’re just on a spree of spending on pointless things. It has to stop. This can be made even worse if I know I have an expensive time coming up so this tip is great for helping you organise your money. I love making lists anyway, but this one is a life saver, if you categories your spending into priorities and essentials compared to not necessary. For example my priority spending consists off toiletries, birthday presents, bills and pet stuff etc. Then on the other hand I’ve got everything else that I want to spend money such as : makeup, bags, shoes, clothes, dining out, takeaways and the pub!! Obviously I’m not saying I don’t spend anything on this stuff, because that’s just not true but what I try to do is spread out any spending so I’m spending in lump sums. But by making a list I know what I HAVE to budget for.

Monzo

This one is a brand new tip for me as I’ve just discovered it courtesy of my cousin and her boyfriend telling me to get it. Monzo is a digital mobile-only bank. The basis is a prepaid debit card. You can use it like a regular debit card, but it’s got so many extra features on it that make it so great for saving! There are so many budgeting tools that help you really keep track of your spending. You get instant notifications every time you use the card, you can set targets for monthly spending and get extra notifications if you’re spending too quickly.  Also when you go abroad there any no charges for using the card and exchange fees (an extra perk if you love travel like me!). If you haven’t heard off it you should definitely check it out! Free to sign up, and I for one am completely sold on it, it’s really helping me organise my money better.

That’s all my top tips for saving money, whether it’s cutting down altogether, spreading out your spending or just organising your money better, I think it’s so important to know where you’re at.

Thanks so much for reading guys x

 

 

Winter Date Night OOTD

Lifestyle

Hey guys!! I am so excited to be writing this post for two reasons, 1) this will be my first ever collaboration as a blogger and 2) it’s my first ever fashion related post, I’ve never been very good with fashion, so it’s a big step for me to be branching out into it- with help from my best friend who is a fashion wizard. So let’s get into it!

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This is the outfit I chose for my first OOTD. I think this is such a perfect date outfit, it’s practical, comfy, warm and very 70’s which I love! I love how the colours go together, and how the mustard really stands out! The necklace is quite a statement piece but I’m wearing near to no other jewelry, so it’s nice to have something that is a bit bolder. The trousers for me are also a bit of a statement, they are so different to what I usually wear and I’ve never owned any trousers like this, so it’s nice to get out my comfort zone. Obviously the jacket is the first thing you see, I got this form the Missguided Sale for £15 and I love it!! The colour is beautiful and it’s so comfortable. Such a steal in the sale. I’m so tempted to get more colours as they also had a gorgeous baby blue or nude.

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Shoes – H&M

Trousers – Primark

Top – Primark

Jacket – Missguided

Necklace – Primark

Hat : Black – The Hat Company (York), Beige – Primark

(I can’t find any links for these products guys, they have either been in the sale so they’ve now gone or I bought them ages ago- sorry!!)

Bag – Boutique of Molly

The bag is by Boutique of Molly and that’s who I’ve collaborated with on this post.  It’s such a sleek, easy bag with so much class. It fits so much inside of it, and can be worn two different ways.  I’ve wanted a bag like this for so long, it reminds me so much of the ‘Mulberry Lily Bag’ in medium which I love!! This bag is such good value for money and I’m so happy I got it. I’m always honest on my blog, and I wouldn’t say I loved it if I didn’t! If you fancy getting 20% off anything on their website use code HANFISH20!!

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Thank you so much for reading. I had so much fun shooting this as we got caught mid Siberian blizzard so a lot of the shots ended up me just being covered in snow. I can’t wait to do more of these and create new looks. Thanks to my best friend for helping me choose the outfit and for taking the photos!

Primark Haul

Lifestyle

I’ve recently seemed to acquire quite a few things from the lovely Primark, so I thought I would do a little haul for you and show you what I got.

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High Waisted Jeans

I got these mainly because I needed some new work jeans. If you didn’t know I work in a pub, which can be quite messy, and beer is sticky and goes everywhere, so I wanted to get some inexpensive jeans that I can wear for work so I don’t wreck any of my better pairs. These were £10, and so far so good, they are really comfortable, good material AND the perfect length on me!! I struggle so much in finding jeans that aren’t too long for me, I nearly always have to roll them up. But these ones are perfect fit!

Blue & Black Checkered Scarf

I actually got this as one of my mini extra purchases when I went in to buy jeans. That always seems to happen in Primark, you go in to buy one thing and come out with a whole shopping bag…anyway, I had to get this scarf, it was £2 down from £4. The quality is so nice, super soft and blankety!

Luxury Face Cloths

I wanted to get some new flannel type cloths for when I’m washing my face and I saw these in Primark, 3 for £2! They are so soft and a really good size, really nice range of colours too, it would be easy to find the right colour if you had a scheme going on in your house/bathroom.

Copper Baskets

These are everywhere in the blogging world, and for a good reason! They are so beaut! Shiny copper baskets are so aesthetically pleasing, they look great in shots and flatlays, so I had to pick a couple up! They are definitely worth the hype, they are great for storage on top off your dresser for your everyday essentials.

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Marble 3 Tea Light Holder

I hadn’t seen this anywhere but when I saw it in Primark I had to get it, it’s super sleek and really nice and heavy which I like, however it did take a while for me to find one without a chip in it (classic Primark – hoarding through everything to find the best one). Again it’s so nice to pictures, and for only £3.

Copper Triangle Plant Holder

I thought this little triangle copper plant holder was so cute, again I’ve seen so many variations of this in photos online and I know they’ve been out of stock in Primark so I grabbed it when I could. It matches the baskets obviously, which I love. And looks great on my dresser with all the other rose gold pieces I’ve acquired.

Letterboard

The last homeware item I got was a letter board. I really wanted one to go in my blog photos, as I think it looks so nice and creative. Plus it has a rose gold frame so of course I had to get it. And only £6, such a steal. Although in the letter selection their wasn’t an ‘@’ sign which is slightly annoying but I’m sure I can get one from somewhere.

Yellow V Neck Crop

I saw this yellow crop top and just loved the colour –  I’m not going to say too much about it as it’s coming up in another blogpost I’m shooting next week!

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High Waisted Checked Clots

These trousers are soon beaut, they had so many nice pairs of clots but I just loved the material of these. Again coming soon in an upcoming blogpost. I’ve not owned a pair of trousers like this before so for me it’s quite a statement and I love it!

Embroidered Platform Ankle Boots

I could not believe the price of these boots when I saw them, £3 down from £6 for a gorgeous pair of embroidered boots! I love the colours of the stitching, and they fit so well, super comfy and easy to walk in. They would look great with plain black jeans and an embroidered/ patterned top with a leather jacket.

That’s everything I’ve bought in Primark recently! Primark has some such good bargains, I just make sure I check the products all over before I buy it for marks and chips, and with clothing alwayssssss try it on!! Even two of the same sizes can fit differently! But overall I love Primark, you can find some absolute steals and I’m yet to try any of the beauty products but a lot of their products are blowing up the internet right now so I really need to get involved!

Thanks for much for reading and tell me what bargains you’ve found at Primark! And if you’ve tried their beauty products – tell me what’s good!

 

 

Aldi Health Food Haul + Review

Lifestyle

Hello! Bit of a different post for you today. I was recently in Aldi (as I am quite a lot because they have the best bargains) and saw they had a little section for health foods like a whole bunch powders and bars. So I thought I would haul a whole lot of them plus some extras goodies and review them to see if they are any good. As in my opinion buying health foods like these can be so expensive and it really puts you off getting any. So if these are any kind of substitute for the big brands then it’s a win in my eyes. I have always been one for a bargain, so I am so excited to try all of these out and tell you what they are like! Everything I bought came to around £30 which considering the massive quantity I think is an absolute steal. Let’s get into it.

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I’m going to start with the powders that I got. There is a choice of 7 different powders all claiming they do different things. They are from a brand called Funktional Foods, which I’ve never seen before, so I assume it is one of Aldi’s own brands. The packaging is really sleek and professional with an easy to seal zip pouch. I was most intrigued by the protein powders, as I’ve wanted to try a protein power for ages and use it in shakes as part of my gym routine but haven’t found one that I liked. These seem natural and at only £2.50 a bag they seem so reasonable. They are 2 protein powders, the ‘Rice Protein Powder’ and the ‘Pea Protein Powder’, both claimed to be derived from the particular foods. These ones I’ve been adding into shakes or a little bit into my oats on a morning, and they are great!! They don’t have a very strong scent which I like, so it doesn’t really change the flavour. So far I’m really enjoying these, particularly after the gym, I’ll add both the powders to a banana, peanut butter, milk, and honey blend – delicious.

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The other powder I am really liking is the ‘Cacao Powder’, this was nothing new for me, as I’d seen this everywhere but it was always so expensive, so when I saw they had a pouch at Aldi for £1.99 I had to try it. The first time I used it, I put way too much in, about 2 heaped teaspoons, and it was so so bitter!! But once I got the measurements right, it was so lovely in porridge on a morning. You get a little chocolate flavour but without it being packed with sugar. This one is must keep on my shopping list as it’s so versatile, I really want to try it in baking too! I think it would be a great substitute.

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The next ones are the ones I was the most unsure about, either I wasn’t sure what it was or wasn’t convinced I would be able to use it and that it would taste nice. So let’s start with the ‘Spirulina Powder’. I had seen my boyfriends Mum use this when making cereal but I wasn’t 100% what it was, so I wanted to try it. Spirulina is a well known type of blue/green natural “algae” that can be found in oceans and lakes (apparently). It’s high in protein and a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. Sounds great right!? A part from the fact that it absolutely stinks off fish!! I know it’s understandable as it comes for the ocean, but for me it really puts me off as I don’t want the smell to come through. But I really wanted the benefits of this powder, so I found the best way to use it is to use a tiny amount, about half a teaspoon, in a fruit/veggie smoothie. The next one I didn’t really know anything about is ‘Maca Powder’, when I first saw it, I thought it was ‘Macha’ but I read it wrong (classic) so I was completely clueless on how to use this. But apparently ‘Maca Root Powder’ is considered one of the world’s natural “superfoods”. It’s great for balancing hormones, energy, mood, the immune system, sexual health and more!! (I’ve honestly learnt so much by doing this haul!) This powder doesn’t really have a scent, which I like, and is a light beige colour. Again I’ve been adding it into my protein shakes with the protein powders. And on my oats with the ‘Cacao’ powder. I think this one is another must have on my shopping list.

Only 2 left then I’ll be onto the bars I bought! The last two are more green powders, the ‘Wheatgrass’ and ‘Green Superblend powder’. The ‘Green Superblend Powder’ is a mix of wheatgrass, pea protein, barely grass, spinach, ginger and spirulina. So basically it’s an all in one kind of powder, which I love as I don’t have to try to balance which powders/nurtients I’m trying to add into my diet, I can just chuck this in and know I’m getting plenty of goodness. This has a bright green colour, and quite a veggie smell but not too strong. I’ve been blending this with the Aldi ‘Four Seasons Invigorate smoothie mix’ for the perfect green smoothie! To be honest I’ve not tried the ‘Wheatgrass’ powder as much as the others, but it’s supposed to be packed with iron so is great for tiredness and fatigue. These powders are all £2.49.

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Next I’m going to talk about the bars I bought. In the same section of Aldi where all the powders were, they had a bunch of different bars. I didn’t buy them all as some of them I knew I wouldn’t be a fan off, but I definitely bought plenty to review. One of the brands I came across here was the ‘The Foodie Market’, I’ve only ever seen this brand in Aldi so again I assume it is one of their own brands. Two of the bars I got from this range are the ‘Peanut and Choc Chip Cacao Brownie bars’ and ‘Almond and Raisin Cacao Brownie Bars’. Which both sounded delicious!! I’ve been grabbing these on a morning, or after the gym as a little treat on the way home, and they are so yummy!! I know they probably aren’t as natural and healthy as they want you to think, but for me it still has plenty of goodness in it so I don’t see the harm. The ‘Peanut and Choc chip’ is definitely my favourite. The next bars are more down the all natural, nothing else added route.

First ones I saw were the ‘Paleo Macadamia and Coconut Bars’. They are made from 5 all natural ingredients and are gluten free. Named for the ‘Paleo Diet’ that is apparently one of the healthiest ways you can eat. I’m not saying this is what I’m doing but I thought it would be interesting to try these bars. They are actually really really nice. They remind me off the ‘Nakd’ Bars, so these would be a great substitute as they are better value for money. One of the last boxes of bars I picked up was another one from ‘The Foodie Market’, the raw ‘Pecan Pie’ natural fruit and nut bars. I was excited for these as I absolutely love pecan pie, so if these were any kind of a healthy substitute then I was on board!! They were so good- these were definitely one of my favourites too, I really like nuts and fruit together so it is the perfect combination.

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I hate to end this section of food bars on a bitter note but I also picked up a few individual bars called ‘Hike’ bars, which are Aldi’s copy of the very popular ‘Trek’ bars that are vegan, gluten and dairy free. I love the Trek bars, they are so delicious you can’t even believe that they have goodness in them. So when I saw Aldi had tried to copy I was sooooooo buzzing. But oh boy, was I let down. They tasted so bad, I couldn’t finish it, I don’t know why it was so bad, as I like the ingredients, but I just couldn’t eat it. Don’t buy them. Yuk. Stick to the Trek bars.

The last few things I bought are more just little goodies, or just your basic healthy essentials. I got ‘The Foodie Market’, wholenut smooth peanut butter, I love peanut butter and I love having the 100% nut stuff over the sugar packed stuff, this was so inexpensive from Aldi so I had to get it. I also bought these flavoured instant coffee granules. Super random and not healthy but I thought they looked super cute and would be a great way to jazz up your morning coffee. I got both flavours, the hazelnut and chocolate. They both smell super sweet, and to get the best combo I would recommend you mix these with your regular coffee, as the actual coffee isn’t great but the flavours are yummy!

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Right….I think that is the longest post I’ve ever written, I did buy so much!! Thank you so much for reading! If you made it this far, well done and tweet me with a little food emoji to let me know you made it- it’ll be our little code!

Let me know if you buy any of the products I talked about, I’d love to know what you think! Aldi is the best, and has some great bargains so it’s always worth trying it out!

 

My Perfect Valentine’s Day

Lifestyle

H A P P Y   V A L E N T I N E ‘ S   D A Y    E V E R Y O N E

I know Valentine’s can be a bit of weird holiday and I myself have never really celebrated it. For me it’s a really nice excuse (not that I need one) to go out and spend some time with my favourite people, where that’s family, friends or your partner. I am actually working on Valentines this year so we celebrated it the other day. It was a perfect day for me, super chill, but I find the little things you do are always the most special. I’m going to run you through what I did on that day, as our little celebration for valentines. (fyi my boyfriend is called Peter and that’s who I celebarted with BUT you celebrate with whoever you want or just treat yourself!)

Have a super chill morning

The best way to start the day is by sleeping in, you wake up feeling so refreshed and relaxed. We had a cuppa tea in bed and just caught up on the news before doing anything else. Had a quick bit of breakfast but nothing too much as we had plans for lunch.

Dog walk

After we were up and about, we took the pup for a walk, it was such a nice bright day, so it was really nice and peaceful. I love dog walks because for me it’s quality time with someone without any distractions. You can just walk, distress and talk about whatever you want.

Shopping

Next, we headed into town, we only had a few things to do, boring things like the bank but also I wanted to get some homeware bits. So we just spent some time bobbing around the shops, I love shopping with my boyfriend, we always end up having such a laugh and just joking around.  I ended up picking up a bunch of homeware stuff from Primark (soon to be seen in my flat ways and maybe a Primark haul…).

Meal out

After a bit of shopping we went for lunch, we LOVE going out for meals, we always looking for new places to try as we are both such foodies. So a meal was always on the cards for us. I’d wanted to try a pub style place in York called Brigantes. It wasn’t anything fancy, but we’re not fancy so it was the perfect pub grub. I always try not to worry about money when you eat out, as it can be a real downer if you’re just worrying about what everything is going to cost, so we always just get what we want and try not to think about the money. We had nachos to share to start, then I had a fish butty, and Peter had a burger. A few drinks (Gin for me obviously) and coffees after. Lovely!

More relaxing time

After our meal we had a quick stroll up to the Peter’s new house that he’ll be moving into soon, then it started to get dark, (since it get’s dark at 4pm) so took and nice long walk home for a cuppa and a bit more relaxing! We didn’t have any dinner as we ate soooooo much at lunch, so we just chilled and watched bit of TV, before heading to bed to do a crossword (super grannyish I know).

I know it doesn’t sound like anything special, but it was so lovely just to have a dedicated day to spend with that one person. It’s so hard to find time to do stuff like that when we are both so busy. I had such a nice day, so for me it was the perfect low key Valentine’s.

I’d love to know what your idea of a perfect valentines would be!

Thanks for reading x

How I get MOTIVATED

Lifestyle

Hello everyone, I thought as January is over I would do a post about motivation, as it can be one of the main things people struggle with at the beginning of the year, I know I did. So here are my tips on how I got back on track after a break, whether that’s back to work, the gym or just getting back into a routine.

Get motivated, stay motivated

Prepare yourself

This one is so important for before you even start to get back into a routine. You want to feel prepared. It kind of ties in with being organised but more importantly it’s about slowly doing parts of your regular routine before you even officially get back to it,  it’s a great way to minimise the shock. For example the week before you go back to work, start setting your alarm the time you would set it for work, so it isn’t a massive shock when you have to get up and go the following week. By minimising the shock you’ll feel more motivated as you won’t feel out of your depth and out of sync.

Write a list

One of the main reasons I usually feel demotivated is because I feel unorganised. So one of the first things I do is write a list of everything I need to do, need to buy, plan my day that kind of stuff. It always makes me feel so much better. People can normally feel demotivated because they may feel like they’ve lost control of an aspect of their life, so buy writing a list, you regain control and feel empowered by knowing what you need to do.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

This one is an emotional tip, it’s so important not to be to hard on yourself. It can be so easy to feel like you should be doing better and maybe that you’ve fallen behind. Whether that’s at work, the gym or at home. For example: going back to the gym after a break can feel like a step back as you feel unfit and find it harder to stick to your regular gym routine. For me, when I was away I didn’t go to the gym for 4 months, so when I returned I was so down hearted that I wasn’t as fit as I was before, but I just had to tell myself that I can get it back. It’s not the end of the world.  So take it easy and enjoy what you’re doing and don’t worry about major progress instantly. It’ll happen!

Treat Yourself

This one is the best tip. I feel so much more motivated if I treat myself. If you’ve had a small victory in your day, or just feel like you deserve it- TREAT YOURSELF. Eat some chocolate, buy some new gym gear, go out with your friends. We can get so stuck down in everyday life, feeling like you’re failing or not going where you want to go. Forget it- just do something you want to do and don’t stress about it. It’s about the little steps, so even if you feel like you’ve only achieved something small today- celebrate it!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you found this helpful!! Bring on February and the rest of the year- let’s make it a productive and a motivated 2018!