Tuesday, 9 July 2019

The Snack Diaries | Part Fifteen

Go Ahead! Goodness Coconut Bars 
(From Poundland, £1.00 for four bars)
These had a lovely taste, and the coconut really came through. They weren’t anything overly exciting though. Maybe great for everyday to put in your lunch box or to recharge after a workout.

Pulsin Raw Choc Brownies
(From Fultons Foods, price unknown for three bars)
These were seriously yummy, and moreish! If I’m going to treat myself to something sweet, these would be it. I rarely repurchase, but I’m thinking about it with these. I also want to point out - how eye-catching is the packaging?!

Morrison’s Best Tropical Tea 
(From Morrisons, £2.80 for fifteen tea bags)
I treated myself to these on my birthday, as it looked like it might be something quite special. The product is part of the premium Morrison’s range, and the packaging is really eye-catching. Sadly I didn’t think it was worth it for the price. While the flavour was quite pleasant, the teabags were too weakly concentrated for me.

Thornton’s Classic Collection Chocolates
(From unknown, unknown price and quantity)
I was gifted this a good while back before I was watching my sugar intake. Thornton’s is a very reliable brand for chocolate, and you can pick up boxes cheaply in lots of mainstream shops now. Great for gifting/sharing.

What kind of snacks do you like to eat?
Do you have any fruit/herbal tea recommendations? :-) Xx

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Morrison's Wild Raspberry Shampoo & Conditioner

Hope you are all well. Today I’m going to be chatting about this Morrison’s shampoo and conditioner I’ve been using lately. Informally I’ve mentioned a few times about going around different supermarkets and seeing what cruelty-free toiletries are available. It may not be obvious in the photo, but these two bottles are huge! I paid £1.10 for each 750ml bottle, so that seems like incredible value. I was worried the quality was going to be a bit naff, but after reading so many positive reviews on the Morrison’s website, I went ahead and bought them.

The scent is wild raspberry and jojoba, which is a really fresh and fruity scent that I love. It mentions the range is for dry/damaged hair, which suits me okay. I had no problems getting a lather, and found the shampoo to be cleansing. The conditioner was very nourishing too. My hair after drying, seemed in good condition, and the scent lingered. The leaping bunny logo is featured on the bottles, although I don’t think the brand is vegan sadly. I can see these lasting me ages and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to others.

What shampoo are you currently using? 
Have you ever tried supermarket own brand toiletries before? :-) Xx

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Original Source Lemon & Lime Foaming Shower Gel

Lately, I’ve been enjoying using this Original Source shower foam, and I thought I would share a mini review on my blog. I purchased mine inexpensively at Wilko, for £1.75. I recommend taking advantage of offers and I’ve come across the Original Source shower gels in places like supermarkets, the pound shops and drugstores.

The brand is Vegan, and widely available on the high street. I love the scents available, they do lime, lemon, rhubarb and so on in the standard shower gel. There are also quite a few options in the foam version, I personally went for the lemon and lime which is such a perfect summer fragrance.

The pumping action on the shower foam is pretty cool, and a small amount of product goes a long way. My only bug bear, is the bottle isn’t as widely recycled as the standard range (I don’t think). But other than that, I’m really glad I tried this product. Next on my to-try list are their water infusions range.

Do you like the Original Source brand?
What shower gel are you currently using? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Camfields Espresso Bar Review & Tour

Welcome back; today I’m going to be sharing a café I’ve visited quite a few times now and I’ll be talking through the menu as well as my general experience. The café is located on Saltburn seafront, and they offer a range of beverages, snacks as well as light meals such as paninis etc. I’ve tried a few things on the menu, and overall have been really pleased.

I have had a meal there once, and I ordered a special panini which I really enjoyed. I only really have sweeter things at meal times now because of the sugar and my dental issues but their extensive ice-cream/smoothie range is great if you are after treating yourself. I would be inclined to order one of their smoothies again if I went for lunch one day.

The coffee is generally of a very high standard, and I mostly opt for a decaf latte. The croissants are really buttery and fresh, I think I’ll be having one of those again! I was a bit disappointed with the scones sadly, but they may have been having an off day. 

It’s lovely to sit outside in the summer when the sun is shining, it’s really blissful actually and one of the highlights of visiting the café. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but the staff are welcoming, and there is a lovely atmosphere. Overall I would recommend the café (and Saltburn) for a day out.

What do you tend to order at cafes?
Do you have a favourite café to recommend? :-) Xx

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Recent Reads Reviewed #13

Baby Zebra Rescue by Tamsyn Murray - 3/5

I bought this alongside a few other books in Poundland a while back. It drew me in because of its pretty cover, and I anticipated that it would be a quick read. We follow Zoe, and family who are opening up a new zoo and we get to hear stories of the different animals there. Zoe finds her feet at the animal park while a baby zebra goes missing. While I struggled to keep engaged in the simple narrative, overall it was a sweet story.

Garden Friends: Plants, Animals and Wildlife that are Good for Your Garden by Ed Ikin - 4/5

This was a fascinating book about plants, animals and wildlife that are good for your garden. I picked it up from the library because I’ve been getting more into horticulture lately. I certainly gained a new perspective about how biology and the interactions between different organisms can make a difference in gardening. The language of the book was a little hard to follow in places, mostly due to the specific terms used that I was unfamiliar with. However the illustrations were charming and broke up the chunks of text nicely. I would recommend you give it a read!

The Mystery of the Strange Bundle (The Five Find-Outers #10) by Enid Blyton - 5/5

This was my first Enid Blyton book I had read in a long time but I thoroughly enjoyed it. We follow the finder-outers in their latest mystery. The authors writing makes reading such a pleasure and I genuinely laughed out loud at the humour sometimes in the book. I’ve read a few more books from the author since, but this title still remains memorable.

A Sea Change by Veronica Henry - 5/5

I borrowed this book from the library and wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. Initially I thought it was going to be a fluffy romance but it had a good moral to the story which developed after two strangers meet at a seaside. The author captured my attention quickly and I flew through this ninety page book. There were some darker elements and a bit of grit to the characters but the ending was very pleasing. I recommend you give it a read!

Public Library and Other Stories by Ali Smith - 4/5

This was quite an extraordinary reading experience for me because the book was out of my comfort zone and the authors writing style wasn’t like anything I’d read before. In places I found the writing hard to digest and I didn’t get it one hundred percent of the time but I appreciate the format was imaginative and experimental. 

In between the short stories Ali Smith has discussions about how important libraries are and I was very much interested in this topic. I generally enjoy short stories and many stayed with me in this collection because of their surreal quality as well as having an important message. Overall I can see myself recommending this book and taking more interest in the author. I borrowed this title from the library.

What are you currently reading?
Which of these books interest you most? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Sandside Café Runswick Bay Review & Tour

Welcome back and hope you are all well. Today I’m going to be doing a café review which we visited while on holiday in Runswick Bay last year. Sandside Café is on the sea front of Runswick Bay, and we went in for lunch. So let’s begin…

We went at the height of summer in 2018, and it was fairly busy but we got a table outside and had a lovely coffee. The sun was scorching so we headed inside the café for something to eat. The décor was very pretty and sea themed. We sat by the window and had a spectacular view of Runswick Bay.

Unintentionally we all picked the same thing to eat, we had the prawn salad sandwich on brown bread with side salad and crisps. It was very fresh (and filling!). I had a glass of apple juice which was nicely cooling with the warm weather. 

I would recommend you try Sandside if you are in the Whitby area. We went on the beach afterwards and I got some great photos as well as an ice-cream. We also visited The Runcible Spoon Café on the same holiday and the review is here.

Have you ever been to Runswick Bay?
Does this look like a café you might want to try? :-) Xx

Thursday, 23 May 2019

The Snack Diaries | Part Fourteen

Twinings Lemon Drizzle Green Tea
(From Morrison’s, £2.00 for twenty tea bags)
I was pleasantly surprised by this tea, it had a very authentic lemon drizzle taste and was quite moreish to drink. I’ve already tried the cherry bakewell green tea, but out of the two this one is my favourite.

Twinings Earl Grey Decaffeinated Tea
(From Morrison’s, £2.00 for fifty tea bags)
I’ve had earl grey tea a fair few times now, and it’s one of my go-to drinks while at cafes. I have to say the Twinning variety is superb, and although I rarely repurchase the same tea twice, I can see myself doing so when these are on offer.

Gullon Sugar Free Choc Chip Cookies
(From Iceland, £1.20 for 150g)
My Mum kindly found this brand of biscuits for me, as I’ve been cutting down sugar in my diet. Gullon do all sorts of varieties of biscuits, and although I hadn’t heard of them previously they are now stocked in lots of supermarkets. These choc chip cookies were excellent and I couldn’t taste the difference. If you took away the packaging, it's not obvious they are a health conscious brand.

Gullon Sugar Free Dark Choc Digestive Biscuits
(From Iceland, £1.20 for 270g)
Following on from the previous review, these ones are a digestive with dark chocolate flavouring covering the top. I was dubious these were going to be any good, but wow, they are delicious and so moreish!

What tea brands do you like?
Would you consider trying anything from this post? :-) Xx

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Recent Reads Reviewed #12

Confetti Girl by Diana López – 4/5

This is one of those times when the cover made me want to buy the book. A long time ago, my Mum picked this book up for my birthday after seeing it on my Goodreads page. The premise is set around Lina, a middle school student who is a sock enthusiast and navigating life after her Mum died last year. What made the book for me were the Spanish influences, for example best friend Vanessa’s mom has been making cascarones, which are hollowed eggshells filled with confetti and have a Spanish origin. Also at the beginning of each chapter, there was a quote in Spanish which is also translated.

I’ve never read anything like this book before, I would say it’s quite unique. The Spanish traditions and look into the importance of family struck a chord with me. Lina is quirky but also a troubled child after losing her Mum. I liked that the characters in this book were flawed, and how Lina, and her Dad are finding their way together. I could imagine this book appealing to lots of young people, and it’s refreshing to know there are still good, wholesome books out there with important lessons.

Livin' the Dreem: A Year in My Life by Harry Hill – 4/5

I originally picked this up in Poundland, a long time ago as a gift, it was never read and was given back to me to read. I finally read it after my friend recommended it to me, and was pleased to have kept it. This book has Harry Hill all over it, and the humour is very entertaining although it’s sometimes bonkers I personally enjoyed reading it. It has a similar style to his film as well as his programme TV Burp.

The book takes you through the year in chapters of each month, as a year in my life style. It’s fiction, not non-fiction as although it is written by Harry Hill, it’s made up. It’s quite a hefty length, and at times, I felt it could have been shortened. I can see this book being suitable for a wide range of ages, and would recommend it to those who love Harry Hill and his humour.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling - 4/5

After reading Mindy’s first book ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)’ I had high hopes for this one. It reads very much similar to her first book with humorous advice on things like female empowerment and dating. Her perspective is refreshingly honest and after seeing her in a couple of interviews she seems like a really sweet person. While I enjoyed it, I felt it wasn’t quite as amazing as her first novel.

The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass - 5/5

I finished reading The Selection series at the beginning of this year, and looking back at each book ‘The One’ was probably my favourite, and a top reading highlight of 2018. We follow America, who has entered a reality TV show to compete for Prince Maxon’s heart and ultimately a place in the royal family. I loved reading about America’s chance to wear royal gowns, and being emerged in quite a unique dystopian world. If you are looking for an ultimate girly, escapist read then this series is for you!

Hate That Cat (Jack #2) by Sharon Creech – 3/5

I joined my local library van last year and this was the first book I picked up because it was a quick read which I ended up finishing in one day. It’s a two part series, this one being the second, but it’s not necessary to read the first part as each tells a unique story. I’ve never read a book by this author before but after doing some research, I think all her books are free verse.

Jack is still processing the grief of this dog passing but he is greeted by an unruly black cat up a tree one day. He begins to realise maybe cats aren’t so bad and he then gets a little kitten and can’t help but adore it. He also is learning more about what it’s like being deaf through his mother. There was a beautiful poem about sign language towards the end of the book which was a highlight for me. 

Jack is assigned a school project to learn the art of poetry and as the book progresses his skills improve. It’s quite a unique concept, and I like it. It makes a great children’s book because of the way the reader goes on the journey with him, picking up different poetry devices that can be used. I did think the execution could have been a little bit better, I found some of the different sections just a little bit jumpy and disorientating to read. I give this book 3/5 stars.

What are you currently reading?
Have I persuaded you to pick up any of the books mentioned? :-) Xx

Saturday, 11 May 2019

TKMaxx Colourful Clothing Haul

Hope you’re all doing well. Today I have a clothing haul to share with you from TKMaxx. I don’t get to go to TKMaxx that often, but my friend introduced me to them a while back, and since then I’ve been a fan. When I last went in, I was hoping to grab a few statement pieces as I was in need of one or two items like that.

I’m very much drawn to colour in clothes, and these mustard linen blend trousers seemed perfect for summer time. I’ve worn them once so far this year; they are so comfortable, and I like the yellow. The pink floral dress I loved the minute I saw it; it kind of has an oriental theme to it, which is lovely. The till assistant mentioned how nice it was too! The green block swing dress is just my thing, and I can see it being an everyday staple. Lastly I purchased some joggers, they are so cosy and perfect for chill days.

What I bought in TKMaxx:

Mustard Linen Blend Trousers £12.99
Pink Floral Midi Dress £19.99
Green Block Swing Dress SALE £6.00
Red Panel Joggers SALE £5.00

Do you ever visit TKMaxx?
Which of these items appeal to you? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Co-op Red Raspberry Shampoo & Conditioner

Welcome back! Today I have some thoughts to share on a shampoo and conditioner I’ve been using lately. I hope to try a few supermarket own branded toiletries and report back. I was in Co-op a little while ago browsing, and came across this red raspberry shampoo and matching conditioner for fine hair which suited me. What attracted me to this range was its both vegan and cruelty-free. The shampoo and conditioner were priced at £1.00 each for 400ml which seemed like amazing value.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked these products, the beautiful red raspberry scent was very prominent, lingering in the bathroom and on my hair for a long time. My locks seemed to look thicker after use and with a lovely shine. The packaging is simple and sleek, with a good cap making it practical in the shower. I would fully recommend if you are looking for an inexpensive haircare range and I might try other options for different hair types.

What shampoo/conditioner are you currently using?
Do you have any cruelty-free recommendations for me? :-) Xx