Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Feeling Floral with Williamson Tea

I am a massive tea lover. In my house, if you say no to a cup of tea, you're either ill or weird. We go through so much tea and milk you'd think we were hydrating the whole of England, but no it's just me and my dad and our addiction to Yorkshire Tea. Although, I am also a fan of all different types of tea and usually just drink green tea or peppermint tea while I'm at work so that I don't go into caffeine overdrive.

So, when Williamson Tea contacted me and asked if I wanted to sample some of their tea I jumped at the chance. For one, we share a name (my surname is Williamson) and for another, I've actually seen a few reviews of their tea and they are all positive. Williamson Tea is committed to growing high quality, sustainable tea which I really admire and they have over 140 years of experience in the art of tea growing. What I like about Williamson tea is that they have complete control over the growing of their tea as it is all on their own farms, which means you know that every brew you make is going to be of high quality.

They sent me two sets of tea, a 5 pack sampler of their Green Tea and their newly launched Earl Grey with Blue Flowers which smells amazing when you open the tub. It has the typical Earl Grey scent but the floral aroma really comes through and although floral isn't really my thing, it has a relaxing effect. They also sent me a Williamson Tea enamel mug which my dad got very excited about and asked whether he could take it to work to drink his tea in, bless him. 

Now, I'm going to be honest with you guys because I always am, I'm not the hugest fan of Earl Grey and honestly don't get it. Are you meant to have it black? Are you meant to have milk with it? So, I turned to my mum who likes it but she takes it with milk like a weirdo and I don't think this specific Earl Grey is meant to be paired with milk so I just brewed it the traditional way. The floral aroma becomes more empowering when brewing and again, it's nice and relaxing. I could imagine sipping this while lounging about reading a book. Although I'm not a huge Earl Grey fan I found this one quite pleasant and not as bitter as Earl Grey's I've tried before. It's a really unique flavour that I think a lot of people will enjoy. I haven't tried the Green Tea yet but I'm looking forward to it, I love green tea. 

I can't finish this post without talking about the packaging that the Williamson tea comes in. It's amazing and I literally "oohed" and "aahed" when I opened the package. Their tea is grown in Kenya and £1 from all Elephant caddies purchased goes to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which supports the welfare of elephants and rhinos which is something I feel very strongly about and honestly makes the price of the tea worth it. They aren't cheap at £12.50 for 20 tea bags, but knowing a portion of this will go to helping amazing animals against the threat of poaching then it's worth it. The packaging of this tin and all the tins on the website are so beautiful and I'd honestly recommend checking them out. Also, make sure to check out Williamson tea's Twitter and their Instagram where they regularly post about the charity they support.

Williamson Tea have also offered you lovely lot 20% off the Earl Grey Blue Flowers collection by using the code blueblueflowers at the till, which is available for two weeks!  

Til' next time! XOXO
*these products were sent to me for review, but all opinions are honest and my own as always.

Monday, 18 April 2016

The Melt Crowd: April

It's April, bloody April and I can't believe how fast this year is just flying by. A new month also brings a new Melt Crowd box and this month is an interesting one. I was slightly miffed when I got the box as there was no card saying what the scents were and so I had no idea what the flower was meant to be. 

Guys, I'm going to be honest now and say I think I'm going to cancel my subscription to this box. I do think it's really good value at £10 a month, but I am loving Candle Belle and their #MEGAMELTBOX. I also like with Candle Belle that they give you descriptions of the scents, which is something I wish Flamingo Candles would do, especially for daft scents like "Sparkling Diamonds." Ah yes, the smell of diamonds is my favourite thing to smell when I sit in my castle, eating my caviar. 

I don't think it's cause I don't think they're good quality because they are and I do recommend Flamingo Candles in general, but I've just not been overly satisfied over the past couple of months with the boxes. I did email Flamingo Candles and they sent me over the scent list for this month.

Strawberry Cream Tea - I didn't think I'd like this one, but it's quite subtle and not too sickly like I thought it would be. It's got the sweet undertones of strawberry, but the cream aspect dulls this slightly so you're left with a very very subtle scent.

Wild Dewberry - I don't even know what a dewberry is, but these have got a nice fruity smell to it but it's also quite floral. This is a very forgettable scent, in my eyes.

April Showers - I'm not sure what this is meant to smell like, maybe rain? I just don't have an opinion on this, it's fresh and citrusy but also very nondescript.

Sweet Peanuts - I didn't know what to expect with this one and whether it'd be a total dud but I do like it initially. I don't know how it will burn and if it will smell nice once burning but it smells really nice if you like peanuts. If you've ever had peanut brittle, it smells like that, very sweet.

Sparkling Diamonds - Again, no clue what this is meant to smell like but it's also fresh like the April Showers one. That's honestly all I can say about this one.

English Pear & Freesia- I feel like I've already had this scent, but I could be wrong. This one wasn't very strong when melted but it was pleasant. I think pear is a very subtle scent, so this one was overpowered by the floral.

Raspberry & Salted Caramel - It might be just me but I don't think these are two scents, or tastes for that matter, that go together very well at all. I love salted caramel but think it goes better with other things like chocolate or cheesecake, but that might be just cause I'm hungry and want cake, not fruit. I'm not a fan of this one, it just doesn't go together in my eyes (or nose).

Spring Bloom (the flower) - This one is so pretty to look at even though I had no idea what the smell is meant to be. I imagine because it's spring bloom it'll be based on spring flowers and it is very floral, but fresh too and not too powdery.

I'll be honest with you, I have now cancelled my subscription to The Melt Crowd. It's not because I don't think they're a really good brand, but I just have such an accumulation of wax melts now that I am overrun! Between these and Candle Belle and my inability to not buy a Yankee Candle melt when I go shopping, I am wax melted out! 

I do still think it's good value for money at £10 a month especially when you get a tart burner with your first box, but I am glad I've cancelled it. I might resubscribe for the future, but for now, The Melt Crowd posts will be gone! I hope you've enjoyed this series and my addiction to candles, but I'm trying to curb my addiction and this is the first productive step. Plus, I'm going on 3 holidays this year and I need all the dough I can get.

Til' next time! XOXO

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Book Review: White Bones by Graham Masterton

I'm so disappointed with myself with the lack of reading I've done lately and I don't really have an excuse except that I just kind of forgot! I forgot I had loads of books to read and then when I was sat bored or something, it didn't even cross my mind to pick up a book and I really want to change that in the next coming months because I forgot just how much I actually love reading.

You guys might have seen this book in my Christmas book haul You guys might have seen this book in my Christmas book haul, yes I've had it that long! But, I finally got round to reading it and I thought I'd do a quick review. This book is set in Ireland and so can be a little hard to follow if you're not all too familiar with Irish culture, but there is a helpful glossary at the back that helps with slang.

I found this book so easy to read and it flows nicely and I finished it in around about a day. I did find that there was so much going on, though, it wasn't just a crime novel where there's a murder and the detective solves it. No, there was a murder and then gang problems and then problems with her husband and other stuff, it was a lot going on and I do feel like that took away from the main plotline slightly and made the story feel a bit forced and that the author needed more to fill the book up.

One thing I would say about this book is that it is not for the faint-hearted. Now, I love horror and gore, but this goes into graphic detail about some pretty gross murders and if you are squeamish, you won't like it. I thought it was quite refreshing, maybe not the right choice of words? No, but I do feel like it helped you immerse yourself into the actual crime that the story was based around and I know some people feel it isn't appropriate, but I didn't mind.

I did find the end of this predictable and while it didn't feel rushed, I do feel like it was one of those where the author had a story but didn't have a killer so he just picked a character from the book and made them the murderer. There was a plot twist that I didn't expect, but I kind of thought it was unnecessary. While this wasn't my favourite crime novel that I have read I did enjoy it and I do think the author makes it an easy and interesting read, but it is very far-fetched and a bit predictable in places. I'd give this a 3.5/5, not great but not terrible and I would recommend it.

You can get it here for £7.99 or the Kindle version for 95p!!

Til' next time! XOXO

Monday, 11 April 2016

My First POP! Vinyl Figurines

Other than loving beauty and having a fierce obsession with candles, I do also have a little bit of nerdy side to me and I love collectables. In my room, I have a shelf of Disney Tsum Tsums, Harry Potter memorabilia and a zombie's head because honestly, anything zombie related is my favourite. 

I've been after some POP! Vinyl figurines for ages but I just didn't know where to start and I kept putting off thinking, what's the point of them? But, I finally took the plunge (lol, so dramatic) and purchased two of these little guys and I'm so glad I did.

The first one I knew had to get was Shaun from Shaun of the Dead because it is hands down my all time favourite film. See, anything with zombies remember? I can honestly watch this film over and over without getting bored, which is pretty easy as it's always on ITV2.

I honestly love this and I'm so happy with him and he's my first little bit of Shaun of the Dead tribute in my room. He was £9.99 and worth every penny, now I want the Zombie Ed one!

The main thing that I am obsessed with and have a lot of in my room, above all else, is Disney and so I had to get a Disney figure to start with! I adore this Gus Gus one and although Cinderella isn't my favourite Disney film by a long shot, I really love the glass slipper and thought it was so pretty! My mum liked this one too, even though she thought my Shaun one was weird. You're weird mum!

This is based on the live-action Cinderella rather than the animated version and it's so cute. This one was only £8.99 and really cheap in my eyes as it's so pretty and feels really good quality. I can imagine the sun reflecting really nice off of this one.

I'm so happy with my first POP! Vinyl figures and I can't wait to get more. I think these might be my new obsession, sorry Tsum Tsum's, you'll have to take a back seat. The next one on my wishlist is Sirius Black and Daryl from The Walking Dead. I bought my figures from Forbidden Planet and they offer free delivery on all POP! Vinyl figures and they seem to have really good discounts on them all the time, so if you want some of your own then I'd definitely check that website out.

Til' next time! XOXO

Friday, 8 April 2016

April Candle Belle #MEGAMELTBOX

Last month I was really impressed with Candle Belle and the quality of their wax melts. Not only are they huge but the lasting power and authentic scent is amazing and accurate to the real life smells that they are trying to replicate. In comparison to other wax melts I've tried they are coming out on top for me at the moment and this months box has not left me disappointed.

With Candle Belle, you have to sign up for three months and in that three months, they say that you won't get a repeat scent which I think is great and gives you the best opportunity to try different scents you may not realize you actually like. For £11, you get 9 melts and it works out really inexpensive at around £1.20 per melt, cheaper than Yankee Candle's wax melts and I'm starting to think, superior too.

Carribean Dream - coconut and juicy pineapple topped off with vanilla ice cream. 
I love this one as coconut and pineapple scents are up there with my favourites. With this one, you really get the pineapple through strong and it kind of smells like those Starburst Sour sweets which I love. It's definitely got a tanginess to it but the vanilla base makes sure it doesn't become too overpowering.

Cotton & Blossoms - clean cotton, mandarin blossoms, freesia and peonies, complemented by a sweet and subtle blend of jasmine, violet and gardenia.
Again, I really like this one and it reminds me of washing up comfort, you know what you put in your washing machine to make your clothes smell nice and feel soft? It's such a relaxing scent and has a nice sweetness to it that makes it not too floral or powdery.

Hot Summer Nights - A seductive blend of amber, citrus, berries, sandalwood and black pepper, set against a base of green leaves and ylang-ylang.
On the website they describe this as "manly" and that's definitely accurate. It smells very much like men's aftershave or shower gel and it's not my favourite, although it might be perfect for the males in your life who want to freshen up their home a little bit.

Indian Sandalwood - This scent has striking wood base notes which soothe and relax the senses.
I think this is just sandalwood which isn't something I generally like, but my mum loves it and says it reminds her of the spa.

Orange Dreamsicle - Luscious fresh frozen orange juice, encasing sugary sweet vanilla ice cream.
I'm unsure of this one, it is really sweet and the orange in it definitely smells like it's overpowered by the vanilla ice cream and the tang that I had hoped would come through is just not there.

Pink Candyfloss - notes of candyfloss, vanilla, musk and light florals.
I thought I'd like this one a lot more than I did. It's not as sweet and sugary as I imagined it would be and rather is quite subtle in terms of all the different bases to it. I'm unsure about this one so far.

Red Velvet - Top notes of dark chocolate, strawberry syrup and red currant combine with middle notes of cocoa, buttermilk, sugar cane and true vanilla extract.
I don't really like chocolate based scents as it's just something I always find sickly and too fake but this one is rather subtle. I don't know if I'd use this one, though, but my boyfriend might like it.

Spring Tulips - This naturally clean and bright scent perfectly captures the essence of a field of tulips on a dewy spring morning.
Again, I am stunned at just how authentic this smells and how much it actually smells like freshly cut spring flowers. It's not floral but has that fresh scent of flowers when they are just cut and I'm obsessed with it! I'm never a floral fan and rose is my least favourite scent next to lavender, but this I really enjoy.

West Country Cider - A welcoming aroma of hot cider, spiced with sweet cinnamon, warm caramel, cloves and nutmeg.
There's always one bloody cinnamon scent and it can just bugger off. Although, I will grudgingly admit that this isn't the worst cinnamon scent I've ever smelt. Still, it can bugger off back to hell where it came from. 

As I mentioned at the beginning, I'm forever impressed with how authentic Candle Belle's scent are. There are a few that I'm not fond of but that's mainly due to personal taste and not a problem with the melt itself. 

You can subscribe to the #MEGAMELTBOX on Candle Belle's website for £11 a month. I honestly need to curb my wax addiction though guys, I'm getting a stock pile so after this month I need to decide what wax melt box to choose so that I don't spend money on things I don't need, which I am forever doing. Which would be your favorite scent? 

Til' next time! XOXO

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

April Disney Wishlist

I feel like I haven't done a Disney wishlist in a while, but I probably have because as we all know, I'm a bit Disney obsessed. Although, I do wish they'd add more Merida and Mulan to the team as they are hands down my favourite princesses. 

I am in love with those Tsum Tsum slippers! It just so happens that my slippers met an untimely end recently because of my darling pooch Chester. So, I might treat myself to these although I'm always worried about getting pricey slippers in case my dogs do try and eat them. I also love the Donald Duck water bottle and the Ariel jar as they'll be perfect for smoothies or for some nice summer drinks. I can't get over how beautiful the Ariel glass perfume bottle is! Yes, it's hella expensive but it's so beautiful and definitely a luxury item, they also do them in loads of other princesses like Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, and Belle. 

What's your favourite item? 

Til' next time! XOXO

Monday, 4 April 2016

April Goals & Why 2016 Is My Year

I actually can't believe how quick this year is going but I have to say, 2016 for me so far is looking like a very good year. I'm 20 now and although I'm in no way a grown up, I'm at the stage in life where I want to travel and explore. I have a really good job that I've just got a promotion in, amazing friends and I'm super happy.

I feel like I have so much to look forward to in 2016 and loads of trips to take that I am taking so many positive steps to make my life what I want it to be. Life is too short to not do the things you want to do or second guess yourself. I want to live my 20's to the full and see so much of the world. I would never be the type of traveller to go backpacking or go alone, but I have so many weekends away and little trips planned with my loved ones that I literally am brimming with excitement all the time!

I posted a post a few weeks ago about the demons I'm currently fighting and although that's still true, I have surrounded myself with positivity and gave myself a firm telling off. I've become a person who worries less about little things such as using too much of my overdraft or having a messy room. I get paid and I don't want to spend it on boring things I want to spend it on having fun and seeing the world, so that's what I'm going to do. I know that in 10 years I'm not going to look back on this and regret it, I'd regret it a lot more if I chose to stay in and save.

I've always been a money saver and the past couple of years I haven't been earning enough money to actually save. But, it's like I had an epiphany and asked myself what would I be saving for? I'm 20 for gods sake and not ready to start saving for a mortgage and I have a good relationship with my parents and that I'm forever grateful for and that I actually have the choice to live at home.

2016 for me is the year where I'm gonna find myself and learn to love myself (cliche or what?!) and I'm going to enjoy it while I'm still young. I'm really lucky that I found a good job out of college and that I didn't want to go to uni because it gives me the opportunity to earn money rather than relying on my student loans, not that I'm condemning university, it just wasn't the one for me! I'm just very excited lately and loving life, sorry if I sound like a smug cow.

My goals for April are pretty simple.

Hit the gym hard
If I went through my goals posts I think this would be in 75% of them, but this time, I am the most serious. I rejoined Pure Gym which is next door to my mums work and so we've joined together. I haven't come up with a plan as to what I'm doing yet but I decided that doing more classes rather than aimlessly wandering around the gym not knowing what to go on would help. I went to my first class yesterday, a Kettlebell class, and everything hurts today! I knew I want unfit but man, squats with kettlebells are the DEVIL! But gotta think of that booty right?

Food prep
This ties in with my fitness as I've found that if I don't prep my food I end up just having chips and veggie fingers for my tea or go and get a meal deal for my lunch. I ordered some bulk ingredients from Amazon and got oats, quinoa and chia seeds. I want to start doing overnight oats for my breakfast or smoothies and add the chia seeds or smoothies to grab and drink at my desk. Breakfast for me is something I find easiest if I have time. But sometimes you just don't have time and having something I can grab and take to work is ideal. I bought the quinoa because I've wanted to buy some for ages as an alternative to rice or pasta and make salads for lunch or add it to my tea instead of rice. I'm in serious holiday bod mode and I want this motivation to continue!

Become more organised
Organisation is the one thing I always list as my weakness. I have never been organised and I struggle with it all the time. I really want to focus on my organisation throughout everything in my day to day life. For my blog, I want to organise a list of blog posts ideas and organise a session where I can take pictures in bulk then organise what I want for my blog.

For day to day life, I need to organise the gym more and not rush around in the morning trying to get my gym kit together. I also need to organise my food and write down a list of what I need and what I will make with it so it's not just going to waste in the fridge. I also need to stop just sitting and watching Jane The Virgin in bed all day (my new obsession).

Refocus on Dairy Free 
I think this month for me is again focusing more on myself and lifestyle changes I want to make. I'm still majority dairy free but I had a couple of blips over Easter when my mum just wouldn't stop buying chocolate, I know that's no excuse but Easter right?! So I again want to focus on going 100% dairy free and remember to bring Soya milk into work because I always forget and I desperately need coffee at work. I also ended up having a big mac meal with a milkshake when I was drunk last week and the next morning I woke up like "WHAT HAVE I DONE?" and mentally slapped drunk Courtney who I have learned, cannot be trusted.

I did try one of the pizzas at Zizzi's with the vegan cheese and omg, it was great! It's the best dairy free pizza I have tried and that's not saying much because I've just avoided pizza lately. I do miss junk food like nachos, mozzarella sticks and pizza but I think it's better for my diet that I avoid those anyway lol.

That's it for my April goals as you can see they are mainly about dieting but they are also things I can change easily and would really help my wellbeing. I don't want to go on any radical diets this time because they just don't suit me and I either get crabby, ill or just miserable. I don't want to restrict myself, I just want to become healthier! What are your goals for April?

Til' next time! XOXO

Friday, 1 April 2016

Tony Moly I'm Real Face Masks

I've seen the Tony Moly I'm Real  masks circulating the blogging world a lot lately and they're highly recommended for their value and their beneficial properties. I bought this set from Amazon and it was fairly cheap (around £10 with shipping) for the 10 masks which I think places like Sephora sell for $7 dollars for a pair of masks. 

The actual brand Tony Moly is Korean and I've heard a lot of amazing things about Korean skincare and so this was a great introduction to them all. They are all sheet masks and they each tell you what they aim to do to your skin, although all the writing on the back isn't English and so you can't really read further about what is in them. 

In this pack we get:
  • Aloe for Moisturising
  • Broccoli for Vitality (veggie power)
  • Avocado for Nutrition
  • Lemon for Brightening
  • Pomegranate for Elasticity
  • Rice for Clear Skin
  • Seaweed for Skin Purifying
  • Tea Tree for Skin Soothing
  • Tomato for Radiance
  • Makgeolli (what is that?) for Skin Purifying
  • Red Wine for Pore Care
I've only tried the Avocado one so far which is for nutrition and just what my skin needs at the moment because it's a hormonal, stressed wreck and I have broken out big time. I don't know if it's done anything really but my skin did feel good after and this morning, when I woke up a lot of the redness in my face was gone and I had no new blemishes forming. 

I really love sheet masks and how you can run a bubble bath, slap one on your face and relax for half an hour then just chuck it away rather than ruin your peaceful bubble and have to scrub goop off your face. I bought this set from Amazon for £9.21 and free delivery so it works out at around 83p a mask which is insane! It's such a good bargain and even if you don't use them all you could give some to your mum or friends and have a pampering night. I would highly recommend using these and can't wait to try out the rest. Which one would you be most excited to use? 

P.S sorry I haven't posted anything for a week, I took a well-needed break over the bank holiday and then got hit with the post bank holiday flu as punishment for drinking too much. Hopefully, everything will resume as normal. 

Til' next time! 

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