Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A Healthier Grocery List

I'm writing this article to prove that eating a little healthier doesn't have to be hard and more importantly doesn't have to be expensive. Being a student the cost is always an important factor!
Snack-A-Jacks Caramel 4 pack and Kallo Blueberry and Vanilla Rice Cakes are both available from Pounland. Whenever I see the Kallo ones in stock I always buy at least 3 packs as they are quite hard to find. It's also very hard to find plain rice cakes, often they are salted, chocolate or yoghurt topped and are resultantly not quite as healthy. However what I love about these is that they are deliciously flavoured whilst still being under 1% of my recommended fat, carbs, sugar and salt per rice cake. In fact the only place I have peen able to find completely plain unflavoured rice cake is the 99p store by a brand called Natural Foods.
Aldi Everyday Essentials Porridge Oats this huge 1kg bag is only 75p at Aldi and is great for my breakfast porridge  I always prefer to make my own porridge from scratch so that it doesn't have all of the artificial and unnecessary sweeteners and preservatives in it. Plus it lasts for ages, unless of course I make flapjacks!
Often I add a teas spoon of Asda Stevia Sweetener Granules to my porridge but it can also be used in baking or drinks. This tub was only £1.89 which is a great price though the same size tube is only £1 at Morrisons. It makes a wonderful alternative to cane sugar as it contains no calories and is 300 times sweeter in it's refined form than sugar, so a lot less can be used.
Holland & Barrett Chia Seeds were on offer last week, this 275g bag was only £4.45 however they're on buy one get one half price now which is still great value compared to most supermarkets I've seen. The cheapest place you can find them at the moment is Tesco where they are £1 for 150g.
I also try to keep a few packets of plain nuts in the house to snack on such as these Aldi Roasted Pistachio Nuts. Poundland also do great value on nuts and dried fruit, though with the fruit always read the label to make sure there is no added sugar! I really love the yoghurt covered banana chips, though they really aren't very healthy at all!
Nak'd Bars are my absolute favourite shop brought healthy snack though I of course love rice cakes, Yoyo bears and ProperCorn/ Metcalfes skinny Topcorn too! As snacks go they are kind of expensive but make a nice treat every now and again when they're on offer. Even buying them wholesale the cheapest you can get them is 50p a bar which isn't bad really, especially when you consider what you would pay for a chocolate bar or packet of crisps. They're all-natural and vegan bars made just from fruits and nuts. Morrisons have the boxes of four on offer atm so it's £3 for 8 bars, which is the cheapest I've ever seen them. I love the cashew cookie and bakewell tart flavour, though I'm not so keen on the chocoate ones. I really don't know how they manage to flavour them so well!
I've never actually tried plain green tea but I drink lemon green tea daily, at least one mug and I love the Tetley and Cipper Lemon Green tea. I have tried out the cheaper own band stuff at Tesco but to be honest it really doesn't taste as nice as the branded stuff.Tetley is cheapest at Sainsburies at 2.5p a tea bag for a box of 50. Green Tea has loads of health benefits including speeding up your metabolism, burning fat, regulating blood sugar levels and has caffeine in healthier amounts than coffee.
Tetley Green Tea Boost are on offer at the moment at Sainsburies so it's £1 for a box of 20 which isn't the cheapest but I wanted to try them out, I'm really not sure if the health benefits they claim are anywhere near true but they taste great and even if it has a placebo effect of making me less tired I'll be happy. I also enjoy tropical flavoured green teas such as pineapple, peach, passion, lychee and lime so I'm also loving this Aldi Green Tea with Mango.
I hope that what you take from today's post is that eating healthily doesn't have to be hard or expensive! All of the prices are correct on the day of posting.
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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Mothers Day Printables

How cute is the little rosette though?! As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make it. Pinterest is just the best! You can find the rosette here and also the card here. Once I'd got the badge and book I really couldn't be bothered to go and buy a card so figured it would be easier to print it, the only problem is now I don't have an envelope. I'm sure my Mom won't mind though.
I was pretty stuck with what to get my Mom for mothers day, but then remembered that I've been recommending Outlander to her as I thought she'd like the book so I just had a quick google to see where I could find it cheap and I found it for under a fiver at The Works. Hopefully this way I'll also get to read it!
So there we go, a quick and simple present!
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PS Mothers Day is on the 6th of March in the UK

Monday, 22 February 2016

My Desk Essentials

I am notoriously bad for not staying hydrated  I can go all day on a single mug of tea) so I try to always make sure that I have a Bottle of Water to hand to encourage me to drink more. Usually when I'm bored of revising I just drink as a distraction. More often than not I'll also have a couple of mugs of Green Tea on my desk in a variety of stages. They'll be an empty mug from yesterday that I forgot to move (Yes, I'm a slob), a half drunk one I started then left to go cold this morning and then a fresh one that's too hot to drink. Carrying on with this theme I have to have Snacks preferably healthy ones but not often! They're a great distraction form revision and help raise my blood sugar so that I can work harder /they just taste nice. 
Now for the actual necessities- Internet Access, whether that's through my laptop or tablet so that I can download mark schemes to papers, plot graphs, check facts or fall into the inevitable whole of procrastination.Colourful Post-it Notes for to do lists, to add reminders or to leave notes or questions on work to teachers. Nice Pens I don't really mind what kind of pen as long as it's black though I've found these PaperMate InkJoy pens from Poundland to be really nice to write with, they're only £1 for 4 so it's rather good value too. I usually like to have music playing whilst I work too unless the room's silent so if I'm at college I use Headphones and listen to spotify. I literally couldn't care less what brand as long as they work.
I also like to have a Plant Buddy sitting on my desk, I just think it's nice to have some greenery and O2 in my room. This fella is called Oswald, I really don't know why I feel the need to name all my plants, particularly as they usually live short lives!  If I'm working at home I also like to have a Scented Candle burning to help create a pleasant environment.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Recent Purchases

With my birthday approaching and it being half term I decided to pop into town with my Mom and Sister, as I rarely get the chance now that I work Saturdays and Sundays. I was after a new pair of heels and bag for my birthday outing. I wanted a pair of heels that were slightly lower and had a chunkier heel so I'd be a bit safer and also a clutch as I don't really have any except my prom one which is rather tiny. Thankfully Primark delivered on both fronts with a big black leather clutch for only £5 and a pair of heels for £14.
I was also after a heavier coverage foundation as though I have been wearing BB cream daily I don't have any 'nigh time' foundations. On the recommendation of  a friend I popped into the indoor market to have a look at the make-up and was simply amazed at the prices. They sell a huge range of branded make-up at about half the price of Boots or Superdrug.  I picked up all of the make-up pictured for only £22!  I brought Rimmel stay matte powder for £3 and the new Maybelline falsies push up drama for £3, the Rimmel Match perfection foundation for £4, Bourjois 123 foundation for £4, a Covergirl lipstick for £1, Rimmel lash accelerator for £4 and Maybelline lasting drama gel eye-liner for £3. Reviews will come soon for most of these products I'm sure except for the Rimmel Mascara which I've already reviewed here and the Rimmel Foundation which I've already reviewed here too.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

5 Underrated Female Led Shows

*I am aware it is now Winter, but this post has been a along time in the writing haha!
Now that Autumn is here I feel like it's the perfect time to curl up with a blanket and a hot drink in my pyjamas as the weather's already started to turned here in England. I mean I do that in summer too, but now it's more socially acceptable. I do love summer but there is definitely something special about cosy evenings in with hot chocolate and your favourite tv. 
I've tried to avoid the more obvious choices so this is in fact a PLL free zone! I also tried to get options from a variety of genres, hopefully something to suit everyone. Enjoy!

^Best line in anything ever (Particularly with context)
1//The 100-  As I write this I'm just now sitting down to watch the newest episode of the third season and I can't believe how far the story has come and how well the characters have been/are being developed. But the reason I've chosen to include it among this list is because of how strong the female leads are. They don't do what other people say they should and they don't take the easy option. They have their own opinions and ideas and are constantly trying to do the right thing for the good of the others, even at cost to themselves. There's also a fair amount of action and a little side of romance, particularly a love triangle which I was never a fan of but I'll try to avoid spoilers!

2//Agent Carter- This is probably the most well known among feminist TV fans and comic book lovers alike. Peggy Carter, though introduced as the love interest of Steve Rogers AKA Captain America in the first Captain America movie, has managed to step out (gracefully may I add) of his shadow to become a near enough superhero in her own right. After the war Peggy (and women in general) are once again pushed aside as the men return home from the front-line, so the first season begins with her dealing with this at work whilst doing secret missions with the great inventor and scientist Howard Stark (Tony Stark AKA Iron man's dad) on the side. As Agent Carter, Hayley Atwell, plays a proud, intelligent, witty, unapologetic woman who can kick ass both physically and verbally all whilst embodying the glamour of the 1940's. To add to this she is simply gorgeous with an amazing figure and cute British accent. In my eyes this woman can do no wrong. The supporting cast of James D'Arcy, Enver Gjokaj and Lyndsey Fonseca in the first season provide ample opportunity for laughs, sass and cute heartfelt moments aplenty and I cant wait see what the second season has in store.

3//Sex and the City- This is the most light-hearted, comedic of the shows I picked. It's rather an old show now, and you will definitely cringe at the giant mobile phones and the clothes that they wear but it is genuinely so hilarious.
The 4 main characters are all female and pretty sure of themselves which I love. Plus I love the way it explores sex, sexuality, romance and relationships in a light hearted way, whilst still being quite thought provoking.There are times when a scene will play and I don't find it that funny and then 5 minutes later it clicks with me and I can't stop laughing. It's definitely for a more mature audience as you can probably guess from the title. I found the entire 6 seasons for £12 in Cex the other day and was so tempted to buy it, but since I've already watched 3 seasons I thought it would be bit of a waste.

4// Outlander- The weirdest thing about this one is that I've never actually seen any promotion for this or even seen anyone talk about it on social media except for the booktuber Sasha Alsberg who is obsessed with the book. After seeing her enthusiasm I had to give it a go and was very pleased that I did! As it's set in the Scottish Highlands I decided to watch most of it on my way to Edinburgh in the summer to get me in the mood. It was so surprising how strong Claire was in the story because neither of the time periods that she visits are periods particularly enlightened to equality yet in both the 1940's and 1700's Claire manages to speak up and more importantly get herself heard. Every time you expect her to back down she finds a new and better way of doing things. It's also a great romantic love story with plenty of angst and drama.

5//The Fall- This is a much lesser known option that's again for a more mature audience as it's very dark. It's about the hunt for a serial killer in Belfast and focuses around Stella Gibson who is the lead officer in hunting him. Her philosophies and attitudes towards sex and being a woman are very open and refreshing in a city like Belfast. The screencaps above are from the show and it's just so inspirational the way she deals with the daily sexism and harassment she  suffers, particularly in her line of work.

I think that what I've learned most from writing this is that all I want from a TV programme is to see multi-dimensional female characters who are not only able define and lead their own stories but are representative of real women- Which is something I really don't feel I should be having to ask for at this point! As always leave me your suggestions about what I should be watching below...

Saturday, 6 February 2016

DIY Cookies in a Jar Recipe

Don't you just hate those moods when you need want fresh baked cookies and or cakes but you really don't want to have to make such a mess and have to wash up after and to have to measure out all the ingredients? That is why ready made mixes from the supermarket are so great! But giving pre brought mixes doesn't seem like the most thoughtful gift, which is where homemade mixes come in! They're also miles better because you know exactly what's in them and they are totally free of unidentifiable and unpronounceable chemicals.
There are so many recipes available on Pinterest for all sorts of things-cakes, biscuits, other desserts (I've already ran out of things but trust me there are loads) but I decided to use this one to make a jar of cookie mix for my friends birthday. I paired it with some cute cookie cutters that were maths themed since we both wish to study maths at uni next year. I also used the printable tags that come with the recipe and some cute stripey ribbon to jazz up the jar.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Eyelure Enchanted Poise Eyelashes Review

I had a look in Superdrug and Boots for some new lashes as the few pairs I have are looking a little sad but I couldn't bring myself to spend £5/£6 on a new pair so I sadly turned and left. Whilst buying some other things in Bodycare though I spotted the false eyelash section and had a quick look and found that many of the Eyelure pairs were only £3.99, quite a bit cheaper than the other stores. Obviously I had to have a look at every pair they had then and got stuck between this pair and a similar Cheryl Cole pair but these ones won out mostly because I liked the prettier packaging. They have a clear invisible band which is super flexible and comfortable to wear. The lashes themselves are a great length and thickness, looking very natural once applied, whilst being lightweight and comfortable. However I didn't use the adhesive that came with them as I used my preferred Duo glue which I absolutely love as it's so long lasting.
Overall I was really pleased with these lashes especially for the great price of £3.99!