Monday, 31 March 2014

Nivea Essential Care Lip Balm Review

A note from Joelle... 
Vaseline was the only thing I trusted when it came to lip balm, but when I lost my precious Pink Bubbly Vaseline tin, I decided to go out and buy something new!
I picked up the Nivea Essential Care balm in shear butter flavour at my local supermarket. I started using it straight away as my lips have been incredibly dry and crackly (ew!). There is no tint/pigment/colour at all, which I like and the applicator is similar to a lipstick, so I don't have to use my fingers and get them all greasy!
I was pleasantly surprised at:
1) How smooth it made my lips and 2) How long it lasted!
I think the smoothness is down to the 'Hydra IQ', but I'm still not too sure what that it!
It lasts waaaaaaaaaay longer that Vaseline petroleum jelly and (dare I say it?) has a better scent/flavour!
I really recommend it as not only does it do what it says, but it's also a bargain at £1.50 in most shops! 
I haven't heard enough hype about this balm, which is insane! It's really good and am going to try some of the other flavours in the range like jojoba oil! 
Oh, and i found my Vaseline tin, but it's not getting used as much these days!  
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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Ear, There, Everywhere

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Metal and Dust' - London Grammar ♫ ♪

I STILL love ear cuffs, and I guess most people still do as I am always asked where mine are from (mainly from eBay!) .
I think they add that add that extra bit of 'sparkle' to earrings and are especially chic on girls with short hair! Here are some fab ones that I have recently found:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6
So what do you think on ear cuffs? Are they a quirky accessory or just a bit weird?
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Friday, 28 March 2014

Marine Ices Camden

A note from Joelle... 
♫ ♪ 'Can't Pretend' - Tom Odell ♫ ♪ 
Just a hop, skip and a jump from Chalk Farm station is this family-run bistro with a twist.
Hannah and I LOVE discovering new eateries, especially if they combine dining with ICE CREAM!
Marine Ices has been at this location since 1931 and is an almost sacred place for local people in North London.
Cosmo O'Clock!

This was the marine-theme decor when we went, but I have heard that it has been given a little make over, since.
I went for the carbonara (I heard it was made well here) and Hannah went for a delicious-looking pizza.
When the pizza is big and thin enough to slide off the plate, you know it's a good'un!
Even though we were stuffed to the brim with pasta and pizza-y goodness, we somehow miraculously recovered in seconds when the waiter asked if we wanted dessert!
We both went for the huuuuuge ice cream sundaes and got to mix and match our toppings. 
 I kept it girly and went for strawberry ice cream, meringue, white chocolate chunks and whipped cream
Apart from the tables being a tad bit sticky when we first sat down, this place is really chilled (must be to do with the icecream!) and a nice place to eat!

If you are ever in the Chalk Farm area (near The Roundhouse or Proud Camden), make sure to stop here first!
Marine Ices

8 Haverstock Hill
London
NW3 2BL
020 7267 2776


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Thursday, 27 March 2014

9 Healthy And Easy Breakfast Ideas

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Best Day Of My Life' - American Authors ♫ ♪

I am a changed person. Gone are the days of drowning crumpets with salty butter and frying everything under the sun! I discovered how much more delicious fresh fruit, green/fruit teas are and I have never felt better!I was inspired to show you my breakfast recipes due to the Company Mag's '26 Easy Healthy Lunch Ideas' post!

*I own all of these images! 

Fresh mango, passion fruit and blueberries. Seriously, this is the most refreshing thing everrrrr! Just store the ripe fruit in the fridge the night before and it tastes lovely and chilled when you cut it up and made the salad. Mango, passion fruit and blueberries is my new fave combo!

Superfood Fruit Tart (recipe HERE)

This is my favourite breakfast meal ever! Just a few mashed bananas mixed in with oats and cinnamon and then baked for 15 forms the fruit tart base! Then add whatever you want. I love super foods, blueberries and natural low fat Greek yogurt! 

Berries and Yoghurt

This is a great pick-me-up and never fails to fill me up! 

Colourful Fruit Salad

There's something about colour that everyone likes! I 'colour paletted' my salad instead of mixing it and it look so pretty and even more delicious!

 Blueberry and Almond Milk Pancakes (Recipe HERE) 

These are really lovely, fluffy pancakes bursting with flavour! I switch dairy milk for almond and the nutty taste worked really well in the better to create this huge, fluffy beasts!

The Fruity Pizza

Banana oat cake as the base, yoghurt as the sauce and fresh fruit (or dried) as the topping! 

Banana Oatcake 'dippers' with Fresh Strawberries and Yoghurt

I didn't fancy a breakfast fruit tart all in one go this day, so I split it up and dunked the strawberries and oatcakes into the yoghurt instead!

The Ultimate Breakfast Smoothie!

Frozen summer fruits, fresh kiwi and a splash of almond milk in HEAVEN!! 

Aaaaaaaaad finally... I tend to wash it all down with a bottle of still water or any of these badboys:
Thanks for reading! What is your favourite breakfast recipe? Will you be trying any of mine? :)

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Monday, 24 March 2014

Lunch With A Sea View

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' - The Beach Boys ♫ ♪

Hearing the waves crashing onto the shore as you tuck into a cooked meal is something I need to do more often. I honestly don't know why it has taken me so long to spend an afternoon just chilling in a coastal cafe, thinking about things and watching the sea!
After a fun time chilling on the shore and running away from waves, Linette and I stumbled upon a sweet cafe called Washington. 
 You know when something is so good, you just make weird sounds instead of talking? Well when drinking this hot chocolate, I had many of those moments. 
 I went for a very healthy medley of sausage, egg and chips! I practicalled inhaled the entire plate as I skipped breakfast (bad, I know)!
 Linette went for a classic burger and fries, which she really liked.
 The sun shining over somewhere you've been is a good omen, right? Well I think so! 
By the way, we WILL be back to see for sure if they do serve the  world's finest bacon roll! :)
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Quote Of The Week! (#MotivationalMonday)

A note from Joelle... 
It has been a while since I've done a Quote of the Week, I'm sorry! But I am back with a corker of a quote that I am so glad I found! 
source
Have a swell week and stay fabulous!
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Friday, 21 March 2014

Blogger or Blagger?

A note from Joelle... 
The word 'Blogger' is becoming an increasingly dirty word and it is really frustrating! Many people now think it is synonymous with blagging for freebies and showing off expensive gifts on social media. But is it fair to tar all bloggers with the same brush?
source
An article from the Independent popped up on my twitter news feed last night and it really got me thinking. In summary, a food blogger emailed a high-end restaurant asking for a free meal in return for a positive review on his blog. The bribery attempts didn't go down so well with the owners, (rightly so!) and the blogger was outed on twitter in front of the world.
This doesn't just happen with food bloggers though, it can also be fashion, beauty or any type where reviews and 'freebies' come into play. 
It got me thinking whether most non-bloggers think bloggers are just doing it for the freebies? And are bloggers getting a bit "up their own arse", demanding  things from established businesses?

Even I, myself was asked at a VIP magazine event: 'I bet you love getting so many freebies' by a makeup artist when I told her I blogged and that was why I was here. She didn't even ask which genre of blogging is was in and just assumed I was up to my neck in free gifts! This made me really uncomfortable and kind of embarrassed because, yes, I often get gifted things, but it's to review and not just to have because I'm a super important person! I'm not.

Lots of bloggers do receive free things but it's mainly to review and not just a spontaneous gift from brands (this is a new industry after all, where nothing is really 'free'). As long as they make it clear that things are gifted, there shouldn't be a problem, right? WRONG! There's a lot more to it in my opinion and this is where things start getting shady. 
The thing is... some bloggers will write a lukewarm reviews of the garment/product just to please the client and PRs, otherwise risking their relationship. 
Other bloggers even write a review straight away without even testing it out (beauty/skincare stuff) over a number of days. Some even refrain from using the product at all so that they can sell it - this really does happen! No wonder lots of brands are a bit weary of working with bloggers just incase they get ripped off!
In my opinion, if I read a blog's reviews and all the gifted items are beaming reviews, alarm bells would be ringing. Your readers are not stupid - they will know if you are buttering up a product!

So if you're not a blogger and are wondering what bloggers do with goodie bags, I'll tell you (although I can only speak for myself!).
If I am at an event, a goody bag filled with a mixture of sample and full-size products is often given to guests for free as a 'thank you' attending.  The products are mainly from the brands that sponsored the event or up-and-coming brands that are looking for a bit of exposure.
I like to research a few bits and bobs that I have been gifted and maybe review them after using them for two weeks. It can give great exposure and awareness of new products, especially if you tweet and tag the brands that you liked.
It's actually illegal to sell some of this stuff on, FYI. That is mainly because some products haven't been officially launched yet or it's just not meant to be sold individually. But most bloggers are good and stick to that rule.

 Most bloggers are kind and honest and just because most of us didn't go to journalism school, it doesn't mean are opinions are not valid.
On the other hand, of course there will always be some people who set up blogs just to 'grab a slice of the action' and hopefully blag some free items, but those blogs usually fizzle out within months. Plus, it's easy to tell and avoid those blogs anyway.
It's so easy as a blogger to get a bit greedy and be sucked into expecting free stuff as a form of payment for things. But there needs to be a fine line between blogging honestly and being a blagger! 
Some bloggers see it as a nice perk to sometimes get free stuff gifted or to review, but I see it as a high privilege that can (and should) be taken away from me if I start abusing it.
Brands turn to bloggers because they want honest opinions of their products and if you just write glowing reviews, you're wasting everyone's time! Brands NEED to know if something needs tweaking/isn't working out and that's why our opinions are important.
Also, readers need to know what's worth buying and what's not. Hey, times are hard and people want good things in return for their £££s!
I hope that article wakes up a few bloggers and they realise that bribery and even blackmail in order to get free stuff will never work out well for them in the end and could even ruin your blog's reputation! 
I also hope that non-bloggers don't just think bloggers are out to grab as many freebies as possible! Blogging is bloody hard and often a struggle to keep up with and we can all slip up from time-to-time. 
As long as we realise what is right and wrong, we should all just live (and blog) in peace!

I'd love to know your thoughts! Leave a comment below and I'll get back to you! 
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Gemporia.com Live Diamond Ring Auction!

A note from Joelle...

♫ ♪ 'Diamonds' - Rihanna ♫ ♪

Ladies, we all know that diamonds are a girl's best friend! And buying them at really affordable prices is even better, right?
The Diamond Buckle Ring contains black and white diamonds set into sterling silver. It's High Street price is over £1200, but it will be sold on Sunday for under £100!
This is a quick post to let you know that Gemporia are auctioning off some stunning diamond rings on Sunday 22nd March at 10pm! These are 1000 REAL diamond rings and will all be auctioned off at bargain prices that you really don't want to miss.

As a Geology/Gemology girl obsessed with sparkly jewellery, I'm going to hopefully grab myself a nice, sparkly bargain on Sunday night! :).
Make sure you are tuned into Gems TV (Sky 652, Virgin 755 or Freeview 43) at 10pm this Sunday! 

If you won't be by a TV, no worries! You can watch the auction online at: http://www.gemporia.com/en-gb/auction/uk/

Happy bidding! 
*
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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Bootea Tea Detox Review

A note from Joelle... 
You're going to need a nice, big cuppa for this post... ironically! 
Bootea Tea Detox Review
Early this month, I told you that I am going on a Tea Detox Challenge for two weeks. I started on the 1st March and completed it on the 14th.

There is a mahooooosive hype around detox teas at the moment and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about! Just letting you know that this is not sponsored in any way - I bought the products with my own money and this is what I genuinely think.

What's in it? DaytimeChinese Oolong tea, Maté leaves, Ginger root, Fennel seeds, Lemon Grass, Dandelion leaf, Ginseng root, Gotu Kola leaves, Nettle leaves
NighttimeSenna leaves, Peppermint leaves, Fenugreek seeds, Liquorice root, Burdock root, Hawthorn leaves, Valerian root, Psyllium seeds

The Process - I drank a cup (I use one of those plastic travel mugs, so it was probably about 3 tumbler's worth!) of the daytime tea every morning with my breakfast (banana oat cake, fresh fruit and yogurt). I didn't strictly follow the PDF food plan because it contained a lot of dairy and carbs, which I didn't think would aid the detox.
Instead, I stuck with my mushroom soups, couscous salads and steamed veg with seafood.
I only ate meat twice (a few slices of chicken/pesto in a panini and in a pasta dish on day 13) and alcohol twice, but that was it, so I'm pretty proud of myself for not totally caving!
Every other night, I had to force myself to drink the night time tea, as I really disliked the smell and taste.
I don't want to give you TMI, but the senna leaves in the nighttime tea are strong laxatives, that's why the tea is consumed every other day. You will be needing the toilet during the night.

The Taste - The Daytime tea tasted really pleasant and gingery - I liked it. I let it brew in the hot water for about three minutes so that it got it's maximum flavour, then I sipped away. There was no laxative effect in this tea, just a nice refreshing feeling in the morning.
On the other hand, I really, really struggled with the Nighttime tea. For me, it tasted ghastly and no amount of honey/lemon would get rid of the weird aroma/taste. I have read lots of other Bootea reviews and lots of bloggers praise the 'peppermint/licorice' taste, but it's just not for me! I found holding my nose whilst sipping the only way to get it down, to be honest!

The Price - I think it's a bit dear for what it is to be honest. £19.99 for the two is actually a lot of money to spend on tea and even though the packaging is superb and the delivery is quick, the price is really steep (especially for students like me)!  

Did it work? - Well it did and it didn't and that's what I'm annoyed about. It sure did cleanse my system, due to the laxative ingredients!
I woke up each morning feeling fresh and revitalised (even though I had to make many loo trips in the night and morning...). 
The daytime tea helped to suppress my appetite and it stopped me from snacking on bad foods.
I also lost 1kg, which I'm quite chuffed about! It's not loads, but it's a nice start!

The Verdict - 3/5
It has to be this score because although my skin was made clearer and my system was refreshed, I don't think it was just down to the tea. The intense pilates I did as well as refraining from alcohol/meat and drinking bucket-loads of water played a bigger part, if I am honest.
I am not convinced that Bootea burns fat and improves quality of sleep (as it says on the website), but maybe it did that for someone else(?).
I am glad I tried it and found out if the teatox hype was good or not. Personally, I don't think it's for me as I'd rather stick to my fruit/herbal teas and not take in too many senna leaves. I recommend at least trying detox teas, as it might help you get into the swing of following a health plan and flushing out some toxins from your system!
If you want to intensely cleanse your body, this might be for you - but I would not recommend it to solely aid your weight loss.
Have you ever tried a tea detox package? What do you think of them?
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Monday, 17 March 2014

Ballin'

A note from Joelle... 
Last Friday was the King's Ball, a night to celebrate the events and societies of Aberdeen University. I am the Publicity Officer of the African and Caribbean Society, so went along with other committee members and supporters.
I was going to wear a rather dull plain navy dress that I hadn't worn in two years, but I found this sparkling beauty at the last minute (three hours before the ball!!!) and it just trumped all my other options! Now, it wasn't the cheapest of gowns, so I won't be going out eating for the next few weeks...
Dress from HERE
Clutch HERE
Here's what we had to eat...

Roast chicken with seasonal veg
White chocolate cheesecake with berry coulis

And we found out we won 'Best Event' for our Nelson Mandela tribute night. It was such a huge honour! 
The ball ended with traditional ceilidh dancing, which was easier to pick up that I thought! (although next time, I'll do it without 5 inch heels!).  The wine-pouring and tipsy giggles continued as we made our way to the photo booths and pic 'n' mix stands, which was a nice surprise too!
It was then on to the after party, but I didn't want my dress to get ruined in the club, so I called it a night from there.
If you get a chance to go to your uni ball, GO FOR IT! It's a great thing to be a part of!
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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Birthday In Pictures

A note from Joelle... 
This post has taken aaaaaaaaaaages to put up, but it's here! I'm not one for doing present hauls, so I thought I'd share will you what I got up to over my birthday weekend! :)
As I mentioned on here and Twitter, I was struck with the flu a few days before my birthday, so had to cancel plans and just rest as much as I could. 
One of the BIG highlights was getting a personal birthday message from my fave celeb chef, Donal Skehan. I don't know how my sister Ama did that, but it really made my day! 
But I couldn't miss lectures as I have assessments due, so I had to go in with the flu on my birthday and just stick it out! Luckily, I didn't have class on the Friday, so got to recover! 
Birthday flowers from my parents // Belated Mexican Supper // Surprise Birthday Cake!! // Off teh see the Northern Lights at the beach // Very foggy Northern Lights // Chinese meal (wonton soup) with the family// Birthday chocolates// Shots // Pub meal during lectures // Silly Birthday Selfie// The Thames // Geology ROCKS! // Google knows! // Me and Eimhear's fruity mocktails // Sunny day at the beach // pancake flipping!
Thanks soooo much to my family and friends for making my birthday so wonderful, even when I felt like death! 
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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Pure Shores

A note from Joelle...

♫ ♪ 'Pure Shores' - All Saints  ♫ ♪

I am so fortunate to go to a uni that is so close to the beach! After a short walk from the flat with Linette, we were standing on the coast watching the waves gently crash onto the sand. 
Clearly, I'm one with the sea!
 Backpack - Primark

Aberdeen is more famous for being grey and wet, so we really did make the most of this freak weather!
Playsuit - In Love With Fashion (it's only £10!!!!)
I bought it online last week and it's such a striking colour. I can't wait to style it up for parties as well as casual outings!

Necklace - New Look
 Linette and I spent a few hours chit-chatting about life and other things as we watched couples on their romantic strolls - so cute!
I have also discovered how nice it is to just sit and write stuff! No one interrupts you and there is also no wifi to distract you. Only the occasional dog coming to say 'hello' and the odd smile from passers-by!
Beach blogging is the way forward! 
I hope it's nice and sunny where you are :)
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