Sunday, 6 April 2014

March Flowbox Review



Flowbox kindly contacted me not too long ago to try one of their lovely healthy and eco-friendly boxes for the month of March. Their service offers healthy snacks, organic products and eco-friendly products for you to enjoy; from food, to beauty, to homeware. 


The Colibri Lavender Wool Protector is a fantastic addition to my lingerie drawer. This sachet protects wool, silk and other fine fabrics from moths. It is made from botanical oils that are naturally found in plants that safeguard from the attack of insects.


This Flapjack from Seed Stacked was perfect to bring into work. Usually at about half 2, I have an afternoon snack at my desk and I'm always looking to try new things, especially for extra energy. However, this flapjack was slightly disappointing. The seeds and nuts weren't held together well at all and crumbles easily back to seed form. This makes for a difficult snack-time! However, I found though that crumbling it in its package then doing "shots" of flapjack seeds did the trick - but I wont be repurchasing this in the future sadly!


These coasters were the first thing to catch my eye when I opened up my Flowbox. Their wonderful bright colours really appealed to me and made me curious to find out what they were. These coasters are made from recycled food packaging by women in Nepal to earn an income from and will definitely be coming with me when I move out.


This couldn't have come at a better time, I had been meaning to try out elderflower for the longest time possible and I got to try it in iced tea form which is a great love of mine. This drink was refreshing and was really convenient to have at work in screw-top carton form. It tastes great, it's refreshing and is much better than drinking a can of Coke. Better yet, there are no added chemicals!


Sadly, while the Tropical Wholefoods Organic Dried Pineapple tasted great and came in this great big bag - for some reason, they did not agree with my stomach. This was not only the case for myself but others who had tried it. 


I'm always up for trying out the next best facial wipe. I'm an avid user of facial wipes, especially to remove make-up and have yet to find anything that beats my good ol' Simple facial wipes. This sadly is no contender as I found it quite difficult to remove my make-up, especially eye make-up and it ended up just pushing the make-up around my face rather than remove it. However, these wipes smell DIVINE. They smell exactly like Refreshers sweets.


This honey was what really gave the box its weight. Luxurious thick honey, presented in a lush glass jar - definitely up my street. This honey you can definitely tell is organic as it has that really earthy taste to it. This is great to have with breakfast and even with fruit. Delicious!


Much like the elderflower, I had also been meaning to try chai lattes. I would always hear Cali YouTubers going on about how great Chai Lattes were but had never had the opportunity to try one. Presented in a nice tall canister, I had no more excuses not the try it and boy is it amazing. It smells and tastes just like the gingerbread lattes from Starbucks and this lovely little can has now taken pride of place on my desk at work. 

All in all, a great eco-friendly and healthy alternative from Flowbox. Everything I received was full sized and a pleasure to try out. Flowbox is usually £16.95 a month but you can get 40% off your first box with the code TSOHFLOW.

Please never forget the endless work people do to encourage fair trade and the fair treatment of workers all over the world. Stamp out exploitation and help make the world a better place.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Tiny Tweaks | January Birchbox [Plus Free Box]


For the month of January, I was kindly offered to try the first Birchbox of 2014. The box themed Tiny
Tweaks focusses on New Year's resolutions and how to achieve certain goals. I like to set myself realistic goals for the New Year which are obtainable. There's nothing worse that aiming too high and realising your goal is unattainable. This box has handy tips and tricks, and products to help you on your way. 

Products In Box
S Philip Kingsley - Moisture Balancing Conditioner
S Benefit - POREfessional
S Rodial - Bee Venom Moisturiser
S Vasanti - Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser
S Premae - Anatomy Nutrients Instant Renewal Body Oil

Lifestyle Extra
S Itsu - Miso Soup


I was so pleased to receive the Benefit Porefessional primer as I had heard such amazing things about it. I'd heard that it smooths out visible pores and helps control oil which is something I'm always battling with. However, I have not yet been convinced. I have been using it underneath my foundation and have not seen any oil control. It is a dream to apply and I do think it evens out the appearance of pores but I worry my skin is too oily that the primer itself slides off after a while, therefore having no effect on oil control. I am unsure as to what New Year's resolution this would help achieve but it's a good sample product to have if you're looking to smooth out pores.

The Philip Kingsley conditioner received seemed to be underwhelming to me. While I struggle to find conditioners that fully restore the moisture to my dry ombré ends, most seem to at least de-tangle. This however didn't seem to even do that. Perhaps I didn't apply enough? But this to me ranks below the conditioners that come in box hair dyes, sadly.


The body oil from Premae has come at a good time. I returned from Australia in January and had unfortunately been left with some bites and dry skin. This oil has helped to soothe my skin and provide it with a bit of moisture. However, I have found a fault in the packaging. It has the type of pump that does not allow you to regulate how much product is dispersed. Perhaps this is just the case with the sample size pump and not the full size pump but I found myself having an excess of product at times.

The bee venom moisturiser, I was initially quite apprehensive about. The sound of a moisturiser having 'venom' in it quite frankly scares me and the first thing I thought was that I would have an allergic reaction to it. Turns out, it was harmless. As for its moisturising properties, I didn't notice anything remarkable but will be sure to bring it with me whenever my skin needs a little pick-me-up. While the sample was again, not full 100%, it was marginally better than the Skinlife sample received in the August Birchbox from last year.


I had the pleasure of trying the Vasanti cleanser while in the shower the other day and while it did leave my skin feeling clean, I had to fault the packaging. I would imagine the full size of this product would have packaging that is better made but I had dropped this sample in the shower and the bottom of it completely shattered.


Alongside the Benefit Porefessional, I was most taken back by this sachet of paste. It's a Miso soup paste by Itsu. There were no instructions on the sachet unfortunately, but I just emptied the sachet into a bowl and added boiling water to it until the paste had dissolved. The soup was delicious and while I made this at home, this would be great to bring to work when you've forgotten to bring lunch or haven't got time to make it. It's also a fairly healthy option too. 

Overall, the box was good. Nothing ground-breaking with the conditioner, cleanser and moisturiser but it did include some items that were of interest to me like the Benefit Porefessional and the Miso soup. I know Birchbox is primarily a beauty box so if this is more of a box you'd subscribe to then it's a great way to try new products out. For me, I'm more a lifestyle girl and am more likely to subscribe to a box that offers things like food, homeware etc.

Birchbox have kindly offered my readers an extra box for free, for the first month you subscribe. Just use the code BBXSOH but hurry as this expires on the 20th February 2014.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Limited Edition Christmas Birchbox


Recently, I was contacted by Birchbox to review their Limited Edition Christmas Birchbox which comes free with a 6 or 12 month gift subscription. As some may know, I have tried Birchbox on and off and had come to the conclusion that the subscription was not beneficial enough to myself to warrant a monthly subscription. However, upon receiving the Limited Edition box, I was pleasantly surprised. 

It came in the most luxurious sturdy gift box which had a mint green base and a metallic silver textured geometric print top which lifts open. Inside were six items and were predominantly full-sized.

Inside The Box 

Liz Earle Beauty Co.’s Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (Full-size)
Givenchy Noir Couture Mascara (Deluxe Sample)
Molton Brown Pink Pepperpod Body Wash (Full-size)
Macadamia Deep Repair Mask (Full-size)
Twistband Hair Tie 
Teapigs Peppermint and Everyday Brew Teas

This box blew me away; everything I received I was overwhelmingly grateful for. The Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish is a cult product, one I'd been eyeing up for the longest time but had not yet made the splurge purchase. The Molton Brown body wash, I love. I received a small sample of a different scent in a previous Birchbox which I loved so I can see myself loving this body wash too. The Macademia Deep Repair Mask is also a product I had been pining for. I have ombré hair so my ends are extremely dry. I've been dying to try the Macademia range as I've heard nothing but rave reviews. The Twistband was the icing on the cake for me as it's something that had been on my wishlist for a while. I have thick hair and a lot of it, which means all bobbles and hair ties last an average of a couple weeks before snapping. I'm a big tea fan so the Teapigs teabags were ideal. I have a nice stash of sample teas in my work draw for pick-me-ups of all kinds and will be adding these to my growing collection. The Givenchy mascara was a lovely bonus, while sample-sized - it's still a deluxe sample and will probably be able to get a few applications from it and it is the perfect size for travelling.

While the monthly Birchboxes aren't something that I personally feel is worth the money, I think that the Limited Edition Christmas box is ideal for those who enjoy beauty and want to sample new products but feel a monthly subscription would benefit others more.

Limited Edition Christmas Box

Sunday, 8 December 2013

True Life Values


We forget the true value of life more often than we'd like. We are encapsulated in vanity, greed and competition. We measure success by wealth and assets not by happiness. Often we don't realise what we've got until it's gone. Some may know that I lost a friend a few weeks ago to cancer. I still wake up thinking he's here but he's gone. Not gone, comma or gone, dot-dot-dot, but gone full-stop. 

Gone. 

I have never lost anyone this close to me before and a part of me dies every time I relive a memory of him because I know no new memories will be made...but I am also unbelievably thankful for all the good memories he has left us and it makes me value life a lot more for what it is. It makes me realise that I am so incredibly lucky to have food on my plate, a roof over my head, family and friends who love me, a sense of security and good health. We as a whole, complain too much and appreciate too little. I never want to lose sight of who I am and what I have. I never want to feel unhappy with what I have, because I have a lot more than most. So many people are denied the chance to grow old, to love and to be loved. We prioritise things all wrong; we put our careers before our families and money before our health. We put our assets before love and in the end, we will see our deaths before our lives.

We are scared we'll lose our money if we follow our dreams. We are scared we will be hurt. We are scared we'll be worse off in the end. We. Are. Scared. But we can't live our lives terrified of making mistakes. We are so afraid of living, that all we do is fearing. We literally scare ourselves to death. 

James, my friend - he was a passive person. He did what he wanted, and while he didn't exactly bungee jump or skydive on a daily basis. He had no fear. He was witty, intelligent and he made us laugh. He made us happy....and we need to be happy, more.

If I have appeared MIA for a while, well now you know why. I am living and you should too. I am a little behind on my blogging but I'm hoping to resume pace soon. 

Remember...live now, cry later.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

DIY Mini Motif T-Shirt


If you're like me and dislike large motif tees, there is hope for you yet! Try mini-motif tees, a muted and affordable alternative. You can be as creative or subtle as you want. For this, I found a cute little image on Tumblr with 'I am surrounded by idiots' encased in a purple heart. I thought this would be great to transfer onto a t-shirt and bring on holiday with me as I was travelling with my friends. 


Step 1: Find an image you would like to print out, place the transfer paper with the lines facing up and print.


Step 2: Cut out image and align on t-shirt.


Step 3: Peel the backing from the graphic you've printed out, lay image graphic-side up and align. Lay the protective paper on top and iron in circular motions for 90 - 120 seconds.


Complete!

You can make a multitude of t-shirts this way with different graphics. The possibilities are endless!





Sunday, 27 October 2013

What's In Talia's Bag?


Today, we are having a look into Talia Kaur from Think Wear Style's bag from Emporio Armani. Talia is a fashion columnist and production assistant, currently residing in Sydney, Australia. 

"TWS is my personal style file and an insight into my world. I love sharing my daily outfits, style suggestions, trends I'm loving, as well as any events I've attended and countries I've travelled. It's basically about all things that inspire me."

stippled-photo-53278443

I love that this is based around Australian brands such as Mimco and Sportsgirl. I travelled to Melbourne early this year and had an amazing time. I truly miss Australia and wish I could visit again in the near future. For a large-ish bag, I think Talia has done well to include only the essentials such as her phone, keys and wallet which she says are the three items she never leaves the house without. I also love how she carries other essentials with her such as lip balm, water, tissues and a pen. A cluttered bag, is a cluttered mind!

You can find Talia at the following links:-
If you'd like to enter a What's In Your Bag submission, please visit the link in the sidebar.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

FABB Bloggers Manchester Event


Over two months late but better now than never, I always say. In the beginning of July, I was lucky enough to attend the FABB bloggers event in Manchester held by Ray and Tor. I had previously been to fashion events in Manchester but this was my first ever bloggers event. The event was held in 2022NQ which I had previously been to as it's often hired out for events like these. I met Allie from Tie Dye Eyes on the way down into the rustic basement room, which made for an edgy and interesting setting. It was set out with stalls, cakes, clothes, a prop photobooth and a bar - not to mention a funky mannequin with a tiger mask on.


Before this event, I had recently been to an event held by Company magazine who gave away goodie bags to all attendees and while I felt this goodie bag was exceptionally good, I was definitely more spoilt at the FABB event. Every stall had a freebie of some kind; big or small and at the end we were gifted with another goodie bag which was full to the brim with freebies and this came before the big giveaway at the end. The stalls at the Manchester event were; Tinned Bananas, Vita Liberata, Derma V10, Lavish Alice, South Beach Swimwear, Edora Lashes and La Moda.


Tinned Bananas is a funky/urban printwear brand. Their stall was adorned with dresses, crops and swimwear and their table was decorated with sweets, bikinis and Hawaiian Tropic sun lotions which were kindly gifted to us as a freebie along with a an exclusive blogger discount code.


I was particularly drawn into the South Beach swimwear stall because of their Victoria's Secret-esque bikinis and their gorgeously classic lace swimsuits. They had two rails of swimwear and lounge wear and a mini competition in which you guess how many sweets were in a jar. We were gifted with a canvas tote bag with the slogan 'Life's A Beach' printed on one side.


Inside was another Hawaiian Tropic sun lotion, a heart-shaped Lip Smackers Lip Lock lip balm, Popchips in the flavour 'Katy's Kettle Corn' which was created by Katy Perry herself, a blogger discount code and a Skin Care Angles/Skin Health Spa voucher for a free OPI file and polish which I redeemed just the other week and chose the OPI colour Russian Lady which appears a deep purple in the bottle but shows up a navy blue on the nails. When put into the light, it appears purple again and has tiny glitter flecks of pink and blue.

Next to the South Beach stall was Lavish Alice and boy was it lavish! The clothing was very chic but with a twist. I instantly fell in love with the snakeprint sleeve trench coat and the vinyl panel tartan blazer. There was a perspex cake stand with gorgeous Lavish Alice cupcakes and a jar of Barry M Lash Vegas mascaras, both of which were generously given to us for free, again with an exclusive blogger discount code.


In the corner was the Healthpoint Ltd stand full of skincare and beauty products. They had a huge range of products from handcreams and body butters to sea salt sprays and day creams. You had to like the Facebook page to receive five full sized products for free. I chose the BB Cream, Tinted Eye Roll On, Cocoa Body Butter, Anti-Ageing Hand and Nail Cream and the Sexy Messy Hair Sea Salt Spray. In between Healthpoint Ltd and Tinned Bananas was Vita Liberata, a luxury self tanning brand who kindly gave us self-tanning products best suited to our skin tone.


In the other room were La Moda and Eldora Lashes. Beside the doorway, we were greeted with delicious 'FABB' cupcakes and towards the back were the giveaway prizes for the end of the event. The La Moda stall table was covered in handbags of all shapes and sizes. After first perusing the stall, myself and Allie were approached and very generously given free handbags! At first, I asked if the kind woman had actually meant to offer the smaller purses but much to my delight, we were given full-sized handbags. I chose the Dahlia bag in black; a classic tote with black and gold metallic weaved handles very much in the vain of the Prada Saffiano and the Zara Citibag. The faux leather is soft and light enough to carry yet the handles were sturdy enough to hold the whole weight of the bag and classic enough to make it look expensive. I chose this bag as it was perfect for my new job and now I wouldn't consider bringing anything else. I've had multiple compliments on it too, not to mention it fits everything I need in it. We were also given an additional blogger discount code. A review on the bag will be coming soon so keep your eyes out for it! 


Beside La Moda was Eldora Lashes. They offered a huge array of eyelashes from natural lashes to party lashes to down-right outrageous costume lashes. They kindly gifted us a set of lashes of our choice so I chose the H106 black gradient real-hair lashes as they looked dramatic enough to enhance the eyes but subtle enough to make people ponder whether they were my natural lashes. 


Lastly, we were given an additional goodie bag each and giveaway prizes to those lucky enough to be tweeted by the FABB Events Twitter account. We received beauty products, sweets, vouchers, hair products, toiletries and jewellery from many brands including Blanx, Impress Nails, Jelly Button Jewellery etc. I used my £30 Espa giftcard and received a bunch of goodies in the post too. We were well and truly spoilt. 




[Photos used are a mix between my own and the FABB Events official photos]