Marie Curie | The Blooming Great Tea Party Campaign

Everyone loves tea and cake right?! I know I definitely do, in fact it’s probably a little obsession of mine which doesn’t do too well for the waist line. So when the opportunity arose to raise awareness for the charity Marie Curie who are currently running their new campaign ‘The Blooming Great Tea Party’ obviously I said yes!

If you’ve never heard of the Marie Curie before then they care for people who are living with terminal illness and their families, the nurses and other professionals at Marie Curie offer expert care, guidance and support allowing them get the most from their time they have left.

As mentioned above the Marie Curie charity are currently raising funds with their current campaign ‘The Blooming Great Tea Party’, with your help by hosting your own tea party whether it be at home, work or in the community it can raise money to keep providing the outstanding care to those in need. When a tea party comes to mind straight away I think mini sandwiches, Victoria sponge and scones, so below is a recipe for a classic Victoria sponge to give you a helping hand for your own tea party.

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Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe

Ingredients

300g Self Rising Flour

300g Caster Sugar

300g Unsalted Butter (softened)

4 Large Eggs

Splash of milk

Icing Sugar For Dusting

Jam 

250ml Extra Double Cream

Method

  1. Preheat your oven on 190C/Gas mark 5.
  2. Place your softened butter and caster sugar into a bowl and beat until a pale creamy consistency.
  3. Gradually add eggs in one at a time, beating them.
  4. Fold in your flour and mix well.
  5. Divide the mix into three tins, or two if you wish. Place into your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Check that the mixture is fully cooked, you can do this by popping a knife into the centre, if no mixture is on the knife then it’s ready, if not pop it in for 5-10 more minutes.
  6. Take out of the oven and allow to fully cool before assembly.
  7. Spread your choice of jam over the cake and top with your whipped cream.
  8. Sandwich your cakes together, if you wish place fruit on top and dust with icing.

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What are you waiting for? Eat your body weight in cake and raise some money for a good cause! You can grab your fund raising pack over at Marie Curie’s website. Good luck fund raising!

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Mental Health | Self Care

Mental Health is such an important topic that needs to be more widely discussed but unfortunately there is still so much stigma surrounding it. I’ve recently covered mental health on my blog with posts on my own mental health story and MQ Mental Health Charity so that’s where this post comes in, what can you do to help manage your mental health with self care.

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When struggling with your mental health sometimes even the basic daily routines become a problem such as taking a shower, socialising with friends, attending appointments, not being able to get out of bed, that might seem unrealistic to those who haven’t had a mental illness or not know much about it but when you’ve got a mental illness such as depression these simple daily tasks become unmanageable and less important. Practicing self care techniques may help manage or prevent symptoms from developing but this is not always the case for everyone, some might require the use of medication and/or therapy, everyone is individual and unique, what works for me might not work for you.

If you’ve read my post on my own mental health journey you’ll notice that my mental health is a lot better than what it was, it’s a lot more manageable, it’s not totally gone as I do go through periods where I am pretty low in mood but nothing that requires the use of medication just a little self care when I finally force myself to do it, I am a little stubborn and i’ll keep telling myself and my husband i’m fine.

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With working full time which involves 12 hour shifts 3 times a week and being a mum to a 3 year old life is pretty hectic, it’s really important for me to set a side at least a hour for some self care whether it would be binge watching Netflix, going to the gym or a pamper evening, just that little bit of time for myself. Usually my self care routine involves me running a bubble bath, lighting tonnes of candles, grabbing my favourite face mask out of the drawer which is currently Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal  Purifying Glow Mask (£16), caking my ever so dead hair in a Argan oil mask and catching up on my current favourite shows which are Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy and The 100. Sounds perfect right?! it is, it really does the trick with helping me relax which in turn washes away half of the problems that which when you step back and look at the bigger picture, shouldn’t be an issue.

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There are so many different types of self care that you could try such as meditation, starting a blog/journal, declutter, wear your favourite perfume, spend time with your loved ones or go to an exercise class.

Your mental health is important, it doesn’t matter if you feel it’s the smallest thing in comparison to others it still matters.  If you are suffering from any form of mental health speak to someone, a friend, a family member, a charity, your GP, it is really important that you don’t let it take over your life. I’d like to think that I will always make time for anyone that wants a chat if they’re feeling low.

Do you have your own mental health story? I would to hear how you coped with it in the comments below!

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The Magic Candy Factory!

PicMonkey Collage.jpgI was kindly invited along to the Katje’s 3D Printed Candy event in Cardiff with my husband, the event was on a stall in the shopping centre which is not the kind of event i’ve been to before.

“The Magic Candy Factory is the world’s first 3D gummy candy printer which gives the customer’s imagination all the power and allow them to create truly customised & delicious gifts and treats.”

When we arrived we were greeted by the lovely team and the founder Melissa Snover who showed us the 3D printers which were absolutely beautiful, the printer was in a wooden case with stunning laser cut wooden case, they looked really elegant. The printer allows you to create your very own unique design which practically can be in the form of any design, shapes, letters, photos etc. Once sent to the printer it prints in under 5 minutes, and what’s even better they’re free from everything! that’s right, they are vegan, gluten-free, nut free & dairy free.

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These incredibly yummy treats are a perfect gift for all sweet lovers especially with Christmas next week, being a vegetarian I am forever scrolling through the ingredients list to see if they are suitable for me to eat because lets admit it I do love my sweet stuff! Whats good about The Magic Candy Factory is that there is no reading the labels and worrying if they are ok for you to eat.

You can print these yummy treats in a variety of flavours, strawberry, ripe raspberry, marvellous mango, luscious lemon, beautiful blackcurrant, elegant elderberry, gorgeous apple and tasty tropical blue and then finish them off with three different sprays, glitter dust, sour dust and fizzy dust.

For a bit more of a nosey of what went on take a look at Evan’s YouTube vid

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Next Generation Fitness Gym

When it comes to fitness I have always put it off because when i’m not working I just want to come home and relax on my days off and plus there is the fact that I am just a little bit lazy so it would mean having to peel myself off the sofa, also there’s no one to watch the little lady as my husband is working or going the gym himself. In the past I used to run outdoors using the C25K app but was forever being put off by the weather.

The thought of the gym is pretty daunting, all those fitness freaks around me judging me is what goes through my head everything I think of signing up, and then the issue with getting a baby sitter and finding the time between work shifts just made it too much of a hassle, this changed when a Next Generation Fitness opened up across the road which is crazy cheap compared to everywhere else (12.99 for off peak hours) and even offers a crèche for Scarlett, the best part? there is a ladies only section so no more worry of working out in front of groups of people *phew*

“Our gym is packed with the very best in industry leading cardio and plate loaded equipment. Convenient with ample parking and offering facilities other local gyms cannot match.”

What the membership offers:

1 month contracts, Free joining up fee, Classes, Sauna & Crèche

Most of you will probably know that I am quite a shy person to begin with, but once you get to know me I open up so with such friendly, interactive and welcoming staff at Next Generation Fitness it has helped tonnes, they’ve been fantastic with Scarlett too, she absolutely loves it and is always excited to go.

All of these benefits means that this has been a huge confidence boost for me as I am still getting used to the machines and as I mentioned above I always feel self conscious. The gym also have 1-2-1 support and lots of popular classes to keep me engaged and interested.

Unfortunately this isn’t a gym franchise and is only available in Newport but I think if other gyms across the UK took a leaf out of Next Generation Fitness’s book then working out for busy parents could be a whole heap easier.

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Melt With Love Advent Calendar

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Christmas is the best time of year because I get to indulge into my unhealthy obsessions such as pizza, chocolate, candles and clothes. The whole concept of a small gift every day until Christmas makes the build up that little bit more exciting. Melt With Love released their very own Advent Calendar* (£14.99) I needed it to fulfil my candle obsession, lucky for me Melt With Love sent me one for review. Melt With Love are an independent company that makes little heart shaped soy wax melts in a variety of scents.

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“The Melt With Love advent calendar contains 24 Christmas and winter scented handmade heart shaped soy wax melts

Each individual heart shaped soy wax melt will give you approximately 6-9 hours (sometimes longer) of delicious fragrance when burnt with an unscented tea light. Our soy wax melts work in all electric wax melt burners. When you are ready to replace the melt allow the burner to cool, the wax to set & simply scrape out & rinse in warm soapy water alternatively place the cooled burner in the fridge & the wax will pop out.”

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The scents include: amaretto nog, blue christmas, candy cane, winter fireside, festive fairies, coco frost, pumpkin & chestnut, mistletoe kisses, love christmas, snow dragon, frosted cranberries, vanilla & spice, festive gingerbread, apple strudel & spice, winter wreath, nutmeg & ginger, frankincense & myrthh, cinnamon & apple, mulled wine & berries, chocolate orange, nutcracker, blueberry & vanilla, winter season and christmas cake.

With candles I tend to lean towards the sweeter scents like cinnamon and vanilla so this calendar was perfect for me as it is filled with all of those, if you are one for the fresher scents then Melt With Love offer these on their website. I have used Melt With Love’s soy wax melts before particularly I  love their lime, basil & mandarin which I believe is compared to Jo Malone. I can vouch for the wax melts and honestly I can say they’re incredible, the scent fills the whole room up and last for hours on end which is exactly what you want when burning a candle. Melt With Love also sells 20 soy wax melt jars (£8) filled with your favourite scent including well known perfume scents which are a perfect Christmas gift for a loved one.

*post contains PR samples*

What’s your favourite scent?

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Shop Dixi Moonstone Engagement Ring

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Growing up I had always loved the rings that my mum wore, so when she passed away she left me some of her jewellery which included an absolutely stunning diamond and ruby ring. This became my engagement ring but I am always paranoid the jewels might fall out and with it being the only thing I have left of her I didn’t want to risk it any longer.

I have forever admired the jewellery on Shop Dixi, their ranges are absolutely stunning.  I particularly like The Killing Moon & Harvest Moon but never brought myself to making a purchase, I just always forget. When I saw a picture of their moonstone engagement ring  (£60) I knew it had to be mine, it was perfect!

“Light Your Way is a delicate yet enchanting sterling silver ring. Featuring a mystical rainbow moonstone centre as the focal point for this piece, she’s a romantic and beautiful piece- perfect for your loved one.”

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As mentioned in their description the ring is delicate and kind to the eye, it is made from sterling silver with the band being quite thin. With this the band is perfect for me as my fingers are only small so I end up with a sausage finger if I wear too many on one (it isn’t a good look trust me). The only disappointing thing I would have to mention is the packaging, it came in a cardboard box with ‘DIXI’ wrote on it, inside was a little grip seal bag which in my opinion wasn’t very flattering especially if it’s classed as an engagement ring and also for such a beautiful ring. Understandably this may be due for it fitting through the letter box but it could have at least been placed in a little draw string bag to make it feel that little bit more special and elegant.

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Lush Toothy Tabs!

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Apologies for the lack of posts lately ladies & gents, I have been working block shifts so i’ve not really had time to do any blogging. I am hoping in a couple of weeks I shall get back into my blogging routine. Anyway, onto today’s post..

For the past month or so I have been trialing different Lush toothy tabs that they currently offer in their stores featuring Dirty, Sparkle, Atomic (£2.50) and many more.  If you don’t know what toothy tabs are then they are basically an natural alternative for toothpaste, you take one of the tabs and crush it inbetween your teeth to which they instantly froff up ready for you to brush your teeth. 

I didn’t really toothy tabs such as Dirty and Sparkle in my opinion I couldn’t really taste anything but bicarbonate soda which for me was really off putting when brushing my teeth. I did however manage to settle with Atomic, being a huge cinnamon fan these were definitely the ones for me and no taste of bicarbonate soda in sight!

If your a follower of my blog then you will have probably seen my post on Lush Oxford Street, I saw that they had a whole new range of toothy tabs which included Miles of Smiles, Lime Light, Bling and Oral Pleasure. I went straight ahead and smelt Lime Light instantly falling in love with the citrusy scent, I HAD to buy these. When I finally got home after about 5 bloody hours of travelling I cracked the bottle open and tested these beauties out, my mouth was in heaven! They tasted so good, good enough to eat even, so brushing my teeth is now a joy and they’re cruelty free so what more could you want.

Finally just a quick note on packaging, I cannot thank whoever decided to swap to plastic containers enough, they are a godsend! I was constantly getting sick of my tabs going soft and damp due to the moisture in my bathroom and the previous cardboard packaging.

What’s your favourite Lush product?

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EtailPR Body Jewellery Shop

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I was kindly accepted onto an EtailPR campaign for the Body Jewellery Shop. If you have never heard of the Body Jewellery Shop then the name pretty much speaks for itself. The Body Jewellery Shop has a range of 12,000 products which include body jewellery, piercing tools, fashion accessories and coloured contact lenses for such low prices.

I am a huge fan of piercings, I currently have my nose, snakebites and septum pierced and I also have my ears stretched, but I know that is not everyone’s cup of tea. As part of the campaign I was able to browse through a number of products and make a selection as to what I wanted as my first, second and third choices, as you are not always able to get your first choice.

I was kindly sent the *Wooden Flesh Plug – Mongolian Hat (£6.00), I absolutely adore wooden flesh plugs in my opinion they look far more expensive than plastic ones. I love the wooden texture on these which is great for those who are a fan of organic made body jewellery. Their Mongolian Hat flesh plugs have a concave surface with a slightly rounded middle, these are also double flared which means that they stay securely in your stretched ears without the use of O rings.

I was also kindly sent the *Steel Labret Stud (£1.95) which is suitable for a number of things such as ear piercing and labret piercings. I currently use this labret stud in my lip and it feels really comfortable to wear, the back of the stud which will be against your teeth has a flat base making it less likely to chip your teeth. I have also found that when I have been wearing these I have not caught them whilst eating my food which is a bonus. The only thing that I would say that I dislike about these labret studs is that the balls are so fiddly to put on so a pair of latex gloves are handy to have, seriously the amount of times that I have lost the ball to them is insane.

Overall, I really like these products that Body Jewellery Shop gifted to me for the review, they are incredible quality for such a low price. If you have any piercings or are thinking of getting one I would definitely check out Body Jewellery Shop as they have some great prices.

I’d love to know what piercings you have and what jewellery you wear in them!

*PR SAMPLE*

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Nextmas Wishlist

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Nextmas Wish List

I love Next clothing! the design and quality is just simply amazing, which I usually buy quite a lot for my little lady from Next. I have already done a wish list perviously which you can see over at Written In Black And White. Christmas to me means being with my little family, all cosy curled up watching christmas films – so the items on my wish list resemble that. Next got in touch via email asking bloggers to make a Christmas wish list from their products, I headed over to their site and decided on my top 10 items.

Linear Leaf Cotton Print Bed Set (RRP £40)

I am slightly obsessed with bedding, I know it’s strange but I can help but buy loads of gorgeous bedsheets because where you sleep has to look pretty right!? Another obsession of mine is also monochrome so this leaf print bed set ticks all the right boxes for me.

Metallic Trapeze Sweater – Berry (RRP £22)

I love this berry coloured sweater it is simply gorgeous, I also always love the comfy look – baggy t-shirts so again another item that ticks all the right boxes, and plus don’t you think this would be perfect for christmas!

Robin Pyjamas (RRP £28)

This really is a post about many of my obsessions but why not, it is a wish list after all. I love my pyjamas, I literally would live in them if I could and especially as christmas is on it’s way then these ‘Robin Pyjamas’ are just perfect.

English Rose Printed Patchwork Cotton Throw (RRP £80)

I love blankets too along with bedding, so this patchwork throw would definitely go together with the’Linear Leaf Cotton Print Bed Set’. There is nothing worse than being cold – I would definitely rather be too hot so I love lots of blankets in my house. I could just imagine being curled up on the sofa, candles out and a cup of tea with this blanket watching all the christmas films.. sounds perfect doesn’t it!

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Eau De Toilette 100ml (RRP £70)

I love my perfume especially Marc Jacobs Daisy which I am running low on, but I thought I would try another and Daisy Dream caught my eye, it smells absolutely stunning.

Echo Floor Lamp (RRP £60)

Were currently in the process of trying to find a bigger house, this floor lamp would fit perfectly in our living room and make it look super cosy!

Rustic Wood House (RRP £22)

Last but not least on my wish list is this gorgeous ‘Rustic Wood House’ just look at it! it’s a beauty. This  would definitely fit perfect in my living room.

Have you got a Next christmas wish list? I’d love to have a read!

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