Friday, 3 September 2021

Roasted Duck Breast - Hello Fresh Review

Hello and welcome to a new series I’m starting out: Foodie Friday. I’ve made a fair few food and recipe related posts in the past, and quite enjoy writing them. I’ve started to get more into my cooking of late and have started to try out ‘Hello Fresh’, a food subscription service that will send you exactly what you need (no more or less) to create your chosen meal(s).



I’ll be running this alongside of my brand new YouTube channel, which will have a step by step visual showing you what to do with the ingredients listed in this post. As I’ve already fallen into the routine of a plant video every Tuesday, I think I’ll start this off as every other Friday – starting today! You can find the first Foodie Friday video that covers this recipe here.

 

Today I’ll also be doing a review of the meal itself, as well as my thoughts on Hello Fresh, having now used their service for a few weeks.

 

The ingredients you need to make this recipe are:

 

225g Chantenay Carrots

1-2 garlic cloves – depending on preference

450g potatoes

2 Duck breasts

1 teaspoon of honey

100ml of water

25g Redcurrant Jelly

Red wine stock paste

1 Bunch of flat leaf Parsley

 

Each serving counts towards 1 of your 5 a day, and contains 560 calories. Most of the meals I’ve had from Hello Fresh count towards 2-3 of your 5 a day,  but given that this is very much a ‘treat’ meal and not one I would have all the time, this isn’t a problem for me at all.

 


Now, I found this recipe extremely easy to follow, which was great given how delicious the meal turned out to be. It was easily equivalent in quality to what I would pay for in a restaurant, and although I did have to pay a few pounds extra per serving for this meal, it still cost no where near what it would if I ate out.

 

The cost of your Hello Fresh box will vary according to what plan you are on. Mine costs £34.99 per week and contains 4 meals for two people. This works out to £4.00 per serving – although the cost will increase if you choose certain menu items. These items are always marked that they cost extra, with a price per portion. I tend to avoid these unless I want a more extravagant meal for one reason of another, be it date night, or that I just wanted a particular meal that week.

 

The food comes in a large box that is fairly well protected. Items that need to be kept cold are kept in a padded bag with freezer pack inside. The freezer packs can be reused, and I’ve been taking the padded lining out of the bags to use as and when I send plants in the post to keep them more protected.

 

I did have one box turn up with things missing from it, which was kind of irritating, and whilst I fortunately had the missing ingredient in my cupboard, it does kind of defeat the purpose of having this box. There is a section on the Hello Fresh website to report damaged or missing items, but as I had the missing things I didn’t need to use it – so therefore can’t comment on how efficient it is as getting the replacements to you.

 

All in all I’ve really enjoyed tying this box out, and aside from the one missing item the whole process has been really easy. Now that I’m working in the office part time again it’s really nice to be able to arrange my box for a weekend or day I’m working at home and not have to spend time in a supermarket when I want to get home after a long day. This box has also introduced variety into our diet, as so far we haven’t had two meals the same.

 

It's brought joy back into cooking and I would highly recommend giving it a try – even if only once. So, if you haven’t already, head over to my YouTube and watch me put this delicious dish together!


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Wednesday, 18 August 2021 / Norwich, UK

Moi-meme Monthly - The Coconut Box - August 2021

Hello and welcome to another Moi-meme monthly box! If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you’ll know that I’m a big fan of this subscription service and look forward to it every month. This month’s box is coconut themed, in honour of our much loved beach holidays – a distant memory of the past, but hopefully they’ll be back soon!

 


Here's what Moi-meme had to say about this months box:

 

The heatwave may have passed but this month’s ox will have you picturing yourself in the Caribbean in no time: the gentle crash of the waves, palm trees swaying above your head and a coconut shell filled with fruity rum punch in your hand. Our latest edition is a celebration of the coconut – a multipurpose mystery (is it a fruit? A nut? A seed!?) that brings something special to everything from sun cream to cooking oil to Bounty bars.”

Moi-meme

 

As with my last post I’m trying something a little bit different and creating a little video to accompany my post. If you’d like to watch it just head over to my new YouTube channel and watch it here. So, without any more talking from me, let’s have a look at what I got in this month’s box!

 

Dock and Bay – Cracked Coconut Beach Towel

The first item I pulled from the depths of my box was this rather attractive beach towel. Dock and Bay have revolutionised holiday towel by using recycled plastic to create them. Not only is this a massive plus for the environment, but the design of the towel will dry you three times faster than the standard cotton towel – so it’s convenient to! Even better, the towel doesn’t get sand stuck to it so you don’t have to worry about brining half the beach home with you.

 


I do rather love the cracked coconut design on the towel itself, and it’ll be absolutely perfect for it we manage to go on our holiday to Mexico later this year. The neat and compact pouch will also come in handy and ensure it doesn’t take up too much space in my suitcase.

 

Dr. Botanicals – Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask

Time outside with prolonged exposure to the sun can leave our skin feeling a little dryer than normal, so this mask was included in this month’s box to add some much needed hydration back into the skin. This mask is packed full of antioxidants and fatty acids to protect the skin, while also helping to smooth and hydrate it.

 


I was slightly hesitant to try this mask out, simply because coconut in skin care tends to not agree with my skin. Nine times out of ten it’ll clog my pores and give me a minor breakout. However, upon trying this mask for the stated 10 minutes and then following up with a cleaner, I can confirm that  my skin was fine. It felt soft, supple and moisturised without any pesky spots appearing as a result.

 

Joey Koala Toasted Coconut Gourmet Caramel Popcorn

Makers of gourmet, air-popped popcorn, Joey Koala have devised their own recipe to coat the corn with their own caramel. This toasted  coconut popcorn is on theme with the box, and combines the delicate flavour or coconut with the sweetness of caramel.

 


I always look forward to the sweet treat in my Moi-meme boxes, and this one did not let me down at all. Rather than eating it right away (which is my norm to be honest) I saved this one for a movie night with the Husband. As is usual for everything chosen by Moi-meme it was absolutely delicious, and rather moreish.

 

 

All in all I really liked this box, and it’s very handy to have another item ticked off the list of things I need for my holiday later in the year. So thank you Moi-meme for yet another fantastic box!

 

Do you have any subscription boxes? Tell me all about them in the comments below!



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Friday, 13 August 2021 / Norwich, UK

Plant Diaries June & July 2021

Hello and welcome to another instalment of the plant diaries! It’s been a crazy few months for new growth and there have even been a few propagations recently too! I didn’t actually think I would have any new additions to report the last few months, but I actually have two, one of which is rather special!

 

As per usual, I’ll follow the usual layout of new growth, new additions and then finish up with my wish list plants. So with no further delay, let’s get stuck in;

 

New Growth


Pilea Mojito

I decided to try my hand at propagating these, as the mother plant had sprouted a few pups. I simply pulled them out of the pot (off the mother plant) and put into their own pots with soil. You can root these in water before potting apparently, but from what I read they are happy to be rooted straight away in soil.

 

I can only assume that this is correct and they are happy because they’ve both suddenly started making new little leaves for me! It will be interesting to see if the variegation that is present on the mother plant will also be present in the babies, as at the moment they are too small to really tell.

 

Philodendron White Princess

When this new leaf starting to form I was slightly concerned that I was going to get a pretty much all white leaf. Whilst these are very pretty, the white part cannot photosynthesise, which means the leaf can’t sustain itself and eventually dies. The new leaf has emerged fairly white, but there is a health splash of green on it as well. Enough I think to sustain the leaf. I had considered taking a cutting off this plant when it got a bit bigger, but I don’t think I want to at the moment, and will leave it to get a bit bigger first. Plus the spacing in between the nodes is quite tight still, so it would make for a rather difficult cut if I did it now.

 


Variegated Monstera

As I suspected when this featured in my last post, this leaf has come out with a fair amount of white on it, which is great. It’s slightly larger than the previous leaves, but not much, so I don’t think I’ll be seeing any splits in the leaves for a while, but for now I’ll enjoy seeing how each new leaf looks. There has since been another new leaf, and again, this is one I'm considering cutting so that I can have two and make for a fuller plant.

 



Snake Plant

These are really easy to keep, and my original plant has sprouted up some pups recently. Removing the pups is my favourite way to duplicate this plant. You can cut the tops of the leaves and root them, but as the original leaf then doesn’t grow back where you cut it I’m not a fan of this method. I gave one of the pups to a friend of mine a little while back and it needed to be moved to a bigger pot. So I’ve put some more pubs in with it for her so she can have a fuller looking plant.

 



Syngonium Albo

I decided to chop my albo in June to grow out a new cutting! Whilst I had partly cut it with the intention of rooting and selling, I think I'll to it instead so that I have two mother plants. My Albo is among my favourites, so the more of them I have in my cabinet the better! I'll actually be tacking another cutting soon, so I'll then be up to three of the same plant! I've also promised a cutting to my friend Katie, so having three on the go means I can (hopefully) get one rooted and with her soon.



New Additions


Calethea White Fusion

I’ve been wanting one of these for a little while, but haven’t got one because there has always been something else that I want more. I spotted this while out in my local garden centre, and as they aren’t normally in regular shops, and it was a good size decided to snap it up.

 


It appeared to pretty root bound when I got it, but after I’d removed the substrate from the roots it became apparent that some of the roots had died off. I’ve cut these away and popped back in its original pot with a Soil Ninja mix specifically designed for Calethea.

 

The White Fusion is known to be the most picky of the Calethea, and doesn’t like to live in low humidity. In fact, they seem to like quite high humidity levels. On that basis, I’ve placed mine in the plant cabinet, in the second from the bottom shelf, where humidity levels rarely drop below 60%. Even there it started to crisp, so it is now in with the tropical plants that sit above 80% humidity.

 

Philodendron Florida Beauty

This is a rather special new addition, and one that I actually mentioned in my last post as a wish list plant! As I said in my last post, I didn’t think I’d be getting one of these for quite some time. Mainly because they are quite sought after and expensive, and I’ve got a holiday to save for first.

 


Well, turns out that my friend Katie has been paying a lot of attention to my wish list, because she got me a Florida Beauty cutting as an early present for my birthday in July. It was a lovely surprise, and for the time being I initially left it in the perlite she’s put it in and popped it into the plant cabinet, but I have since moved it to PON, which gave me a chance to check the root growth, which is coming along very slowly. Being a Philodendron, I was hoping it will be as easy to root as the White Princess was, but from a little reading, it would seem that they are quite slow, which is fine by me.

 

Wish List

 

There are just two plants on my wish list at the moment, and neither are going to be added to my collection any time soon. At the top of my list at the moment is the Syngonium Milk Confetti (not to be mixed up with the regular confetti) and a Monstera Aurea. The Aurea in particular is out of reach in terms of pricing, but I'm happy to take my time waiting for the prices to drop to get one.



There sums up my plant additions and changes for June and July! I have actually had another three arrive recently, but as they came in August they'll be featured in the next instalment. Have you made any new plant purchases recently?




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Friday, 6 August 2021 / Norwich, UK

Moi-meme Luxe - The Jet Set Box - July 2021

Those of you who have been around for a little while will know that I currently have two separate subscription boxes with Moi-meme. As I couldn’t decide which one I wanted between the two, I have both, the monthly box, and the quarterly luxury box. 

 


Today’s post is about the quarterly box, also known as the Luxe box. The Luxe box is £54.95 per box, or £199.95 for four boxes. Subscribing will result in a box delivered to you in January, April, July and October. Now I know for some the Luxe box came appear a little pricey, so if you wanted to try the brand out I would recommend subscribing to the monthly box, which is £22.95 per month and can even be purchased as a one off box. You can check out my latest monthly box here.

 

For July we had ‘The Jet Set’ box. The inspiration for this box came from the world slowly beginning to open back up. From the hopes of freedom and international travel, the Jet Set Box was born. So, without any further delay, lets get stuck straight in with the contents of the July box!

 

Chasing Threads – Stitch Map Luggage Tag – RRP £25.00

 

First up in my box was this gorgeous little leather luggage tag from ‘Chasing Threads’. I’ve haven’t come across this brand previously but when I read the little story about how it came to be, I thought it was quite sweet story. Chasing Threads was founded by Em Royston, and it all started following a road trip across the USA with her boyfriend back in 2015. As a little memento of their trip together, Em stitched the route they had taken onto a map to frame as a gift for her boyfriend’s birthday. Em then developed this into a fabric cross stitch for the company she was working for at the time, before eventually setting up on her own.

 


The story made me think back to when Mike and I spent a few months travelling in the USA a few years ago. The brand doesn’t just do luggage tags either, the range includes passport covers, tote bags, travel wallets and much more. If you don’t want something travel related, that’s absolutely fine because Chasing Threads has all kinds of other products to choose from.

 

For the ‘Jet Set Box’ we were sent these cute leather luggage tags, that came in a variety of colours. Those who have opted to receive vegan products were sent a slightly different PU tag instead. I got the navy tag with gold and teal thread, which probably would have been my first choice or colour, closely followed by the grey tag.

 

Lola’s Apothecary – Body Soufflé – RRP £38.00 - £43.00

 

As a long time subscriber of Moi-meme, I have actually come across this brand before in the form of a candle that I really enjoyed. Lola’s Apothecary are based on a cattle farm in Devon and formulate all their products in small batches by hand. Each and every product is designed to bring an element of self-care to the user, be it a relaxing scent, a salt bath, some yummy chocolate or wonderfully soft skin. The brand is quite pricey, but from what I’ve tried so far it’s safe to say that you are paying for a quality product that’s a real treat to use.

 


This gorgeously presented Body Soufflé is said to work wonders on dry or rough skin, which I’m suffering a little bit of at the moment thanks to an eczema flare up. The soufflé itself is vegan friendly, and made from 100% natural ingredients. Subscribers were sent the soufflé in one of two scents: ‘Tranquil Isle’ and ‘Monsoon Paradise’. Mine was the latter, and is a blend of Citrus, Amyris and Lisylang Heart with notes of Jasmine an Rose. It smells absolutely wonderful, with a fresh citrus smell with the lightest touch of a floral tone. Whilst it is fairly thick in texture it melts to an oil like consistency on contact with the skin and leaves my skin feeling wonderfully soft. I’ve found that a little goes a very long way as well, which with a product priced like this can only be a good thing. Perfect for your own mini spa day at home.

 

MSH – Navy Kaftan – RRP £25.00

 

Here is a brand that has featured a few times through various Moi-meme boxes. They offer a huge range of items from gloves, scarves to beachwear. Based in Glasgow, the founders Maggie and Ann work with local designers to create their high quality and affordable range.

 


For this box we received a light, floaty Kaftan, perfect to pop on over a bikini. The design is ‘one size fits all’, and the light material flows nicely.

 

Pivotal – Facial Cooling Globes – RRP £25.00

 

Now, these came at a fantastic time for me, because after seeing some very positive reviews, this is exactly what I was looking for to add to my beauty tools. Pivotal are based in the USA and are focused on tools such as make up brushes and these cooling globes.

 



Cooling globes are said to assist with a multitude of skin and health issues. The main thing I’ve seen them used for is to aid in puffiness, in particular to the undereye area. According to the booklet that came in my box, these can also be used reduce facial tension and help stimulate blood flow to the muscles of the face. This then aids to give a tightening and lighting effect.

 

I can speak quite highly regarding how these globes help to reduce puffiness to the face, but I’ll need a far more prolonged use to determine the claims to help with the firmness of the skin. Whilst the booklet states you can keep these in the freezer, I personally opt for the fridge so that they aren’t as cold and have used these in the final step of my skincare routine to help work in my moisturiser and any residual serums into my skin.

 

Seacret – Mineral Rich Body Mud – 400g – RRP £30.00

 

Another brand I’ve come across before is Seacret. I’ve trialled both the foot mud and the sunscreen and really enjoyed using both, so I have high hopes for the body mud. Seacret are a brand that harness the powers of rich mud, salts and minerals from the Dead Sea to create luxury products.

 

For The Jet Set box we received the Mineral Rich Body Mud, intended to help prepare the skin for a sunny holiday due to its detoxifying and hydrating benefits. To use, just spread a layer of mud over any areas of the body that need attention – of all of it so long as you avoid the face.  Leave for 15 minutes and then rinse off in the shower.

 


Now, I haven’t tried this yet, and I’m a little sceptical about how messy it might end up being given that it’s described as a body mud. That being said, the mud therapy foot mud that I’ve tried in the past wasn’t messy at all, so perhaps this will be much the same. I’m saving this for my next at home spa day, so I’ll report back with my final thoughts over on my Instagram when I’ve used it!

 

 

 

And that sums up the contents of the July Luxury box! The total value of this box comes in at just under £150.00, which is pretty great for a £55.00 subscription box. The standout product for me is absolutely the Lola’s Apothecary Body Soufflé, I can see myself using this very frequently, although to make it last I will probably reserve it for my Sunday night pamper. This is one of the many reasons I love Moi-meme, because I wouldn’t typically look to go out and buy a £43.00 moisturiser. This subscription box allows me to try out products I haven’t discovered or would typically be hesitant to purchase at full price.

 

If you’d like to see these products a little closer, go check out my video over on my brand-new YouTube channel. 



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Wednesday, 4 August 2021 / Norwich, UK

July 2021 Look Back & My 30th Birthday

I suppose I should probably start this post with an apology for disappearing off the face of the earth for the past few weeks, but as you’ve probably guessed from the title of this post, I had a reason; on 22nd July I had my 30th birthday!

 

It feels really weird to think that I’m no longer in my 20’s. Even more so because I still don’t really feel like a ‘proper’ adult. Which I probably should by now, given that I’ve ticked off plenty of adult-y things like buying a house and getting married. That being said, literally everyone I speak to about it feels the same so maybe that’s the catch – no one really feels like a ‘proper’ adult and we’re all just muddling our way through and pretending we know what we’re doing.


 Anyway, let’s have a little look back over July and the month of my birthday!


I kicked off the month with a relaxed evening with one of my closest friends, Maria, as well as her husband and absolutely stunning doggo Otto. They came to ours for the evening and we had a massive take away together and talked the night away. Our cat Boots even got to meet Otto, very briefly before he decided to dart upstairs.

 


The following weekend I had a day seeing my Mum, and we went for a long walk in the stunning weather with the beautiful Willow before heading for lunch. I followed up that same evening with a D&D session with friends. We’re all getting quite into the game and are now all fairly competent when it comes to playing.  



During the actually week of my birthday, I have the whole week off work. I had no real plans when I booked the time off, but I knew that working was most certainly not going to be on my agenda. Mike and I spent a few days having a massive clear out of all the weeds and debris in the garden, something we’ve been meaning to do for some time but not got round to. I also made a start on our fences, jet washing, cleaning and repainting. With the lovely weather we made really good progress with the painting and are now almost done. Next up is the decking, and then we need to work out whether we are doing the planters or not. It should all look really good when it’s finished.

 


On one of my days off (the day before my birthday) my gal pals surprised me by turning up at the house unannounced to kidnap me for the day. They brought my an ice coffee and took me off in the car. I did work out where we were going pretty much straight away (it was a toss-up between Taverham Garden centre, Yo Sushi, or both) but, that’s because they know I love both of these places. We had a great lunch, and then went off the have our nails done and chill out together.

 


To celebrate my birthday, Mike, with the help of our friends threw a Hawaii themed party. My friend Katie decorated her house with tropical themed decor while Chloe made some absolutely delicious cupcakes. We had a bar fully stocked with everything we needed to make tropical themed cocktails and I got to see plenty of people, some of whom I’ve not seen in quite a while.







It was a great night with lots of laughter, and topped off the end of July really nicely for me. I’ve even put a little video together to immortalise the day! When I returned to work from my holiday the following week I felt well rested and refreshed and ready to tackle the rather significant number of emails in my inbox!


The end of July was fairly quiet for me as work has been absolutely crazy. I’m still in the office just two days a week, but a lot of the other teams have started to get more people back in. Our ground floor is a very large open plan room, and to be honest, I’m finding the additional noise and stimuli really difficult to deal with.


I’ve always been quite hyper aware of things happening around me (most likely to do with my ADD / ADHD) and the increased number of people around me is taking a bit of a toll. I’m finding that I have a headache by the early afternoon, and I’m absolutely shattered in the evenings when I’ve worked from the office. I’m hoping that this is something I can get re-used to, but I guess we’ll see.


Mike and I also decided that we would quit (or at least heavily reduce) drinking after my birthday. There are a few reasons, but a main one is that we just aren’t interested in returning to bars and clubs. To be fair, we were getting bored of our regular haunts before lockdown, and the long break hasn’t changed our minds. I’ve also been having some health issues that I think are down to whatever has been going on with my heart. I’ve been on a list for a week long ECG and another cardiology appointment for over a year now (covid screwed it up for me) and I don’t think that binge drinking on the weekend is going to help.  


I also want to have a healthier August, with more activity and better eating. Not only will this help me prep for our Mexico holiday later in the year, but it’s good to be kind to your body as well.


That sums up what I got up to in July! Here’s hoping the weather stays nice so that I can finish off the garden and enjoy the sunshine a little more!





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Thursday, 8 July 2021

Moi-meme Monthly - The Summer Scents Box - July 2021

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m absolutely amazed that we are in July already. Over half way through the year, and now in the month of my birthday, I feel like we’ve sped through this year at the speed of light.

 


Time is going so quickly, that I wasn’t expecting my Moi-meme box on the day it turned up, as it didn’t feel like that long ago I’d already had one. Needless to say I was thrilled to have my monthly gift to myself arrive, and I have to say this box is pretty great. For July we have The Summer Scents Box, and here’s what Moi-meme have said about it on the information card that comes in the box;

 

When we’re asked to think of the scent of summer, it is the season that offers the most diverse range of answers. For some it’s the coconut aroma of sun cream or the citrus of fruit trees, for others the smell of grass after a warm rain shower or bowl of strawberries and cream.” 

- Moi-meme

 

The first item I homed in on was the Electric Pear Fig candle by Chickidee. This rather massive candle boasts up to 50 hours of burn time and smells absolutely amazing. Moi-meme have previously given us a room spray from Chickidee (mine is Peach Ice Tea an smells divine!) so I’m confident that it’s a quality brand.

 

The candle is made from soy wax, with blends of uplifting citrus, verbena flower and fig tree. The candle itself is poured into a heavy concreate vessel, which Moi-meme have suggested can be used as a desk tidy or a planter. As someone with many plants, with lots of them in boring plastic pots I’m more than happy to have a pretty outer pot to pop one in when this candle eventually burns out. Its nice to have the added sustainability that the packaging can be re-used for something useful as well. 



Next up in the box was the sweet treat, and oh my, what a treat it is! The edible item for this months box is a twist on the classic Eton Mess desert – which is one of my favourites by the way! Kacao Chocolaterie have created this absolutely delicious bar of creamy white chocolate topped with meringue and freeze-dried raspberries and strawberries.

 

Both my husband and I ate this on the same day the box arrived, and I have to say, this bar is every bit as wonderful as it sounds. In fact, I would even go so far as to say it’s my favourite of all of the chocolates and sweet things we’re had so far.



Last but by no means least is the ‘Vegan’ by Happy Skin Coconut Cream Cleanser. This cleanser is designed to gentle remove grime and make up using all natural ingredients such as aloe vera and as you may have guessed; coconut.

 

The product is designed to provide an effective cleanse without drying out the skin. I’ll admit that I haven’t actually tried this yet. I currently have a flare up of eczema on various parts of my body, including a few spots on my face, so I want to stick to my regular skincare routine for the time being and not mess with it too much. Rest assured I’ll be reporting back soon! 



 There we have a round up of this month’s box! As I touched on at the start of this post, I really enjoyed this box. I’m looking forward to a beautiful smelling home and to try out the Coconut Cream Cleanser when my skin has had a chance to clear and recover.

 

Do you subscribe to any subscription boxes? Which are your favourites? 


 

 

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Thursday, 1 July 2021 / Norwich, UK

June 2021 Look Back

Hello and welcome to July! Before I get into this post, lets first just appreciate that it’s actually on time this month – even if it is late in the day! I’ve not been great at getting these out on time, so I’m pretty pleased with myself.

 


June was a pretty good month for me. Last month my shifts were officially agreed and I have a four week rolling rota. Going forward I’ll have two days a week working in the office and three days a week working from home, which is exactly what I wanted. We’ve also been allowed to swap or cover for each other, which is useful if I need to be in a particular location on a specific day.

 

Speaking of work, this month is the month that our bonuses were decided, and after a year of working hard and putting in extra time and picking up extra work, I’m pleased that my bonus has reflected what I’ve put in. this now allows me to pay off the rest of our holiday to Mexico later in the year as well as put some money aside as spending money when we get there. I’ll probably treat myself to some new bits and pieces so that I have something now. Perhaps some wardrobe items?


Towards the start of the month I FINALLY managed to get my hair cut, which has been long overdue. Having transitioned from a bright red, to blonde not long ago the ends desperately needed to be chopped. Although my hairdresser commented that the condition of my hair was still pretty good, despite being bleached 4 times.

 


Immediately after my haircut I got to go and see my good friend Maria and of course Otto, the most handsome doggo in the world. We chatted for hours and hours as we often do, and had a great time catching up.

 


The following weekend my good friends held a BBQ for us all, and it was the first time since before Covid that we could have a beer pong game that wasn’t over facetime. With the stunning weather we could sit in the garden and enjoy the lovely sunshine with good food.

 


My friends and I have started venturing into another new hobby; D&D. We’ve all fallen in love with watching Viva La Dirt League, specifically their D&D channel, and wanted to try it out for ourselves. We initially started out making it all up, but have since decided to invest in the books so that we can play the real thing. We’ve even managed to get our own mini’s from Hero Forge, where you can completely customise your character for your very own mini. We’ve had a great time, and it’s been fun to learn the game properly.

 


On the 23rd of June I finally managed to have my first covid vaccine. I was pretty nervous about it, as I haven’t had an injection for quite a while, and don’t do well with things like blood tests, but it was absolutely fine. The whole process was pretty efficient, and the injection itself was fairly painless as far as injections go. Apparently the trick is to relax your arm as much as possible, so I made sure to look away and just carried on chatting with the other nurse who was in the room.

 

Fortunately I felt absolutely fine afterwards, and didn’t even have a dead arm. Sure, it was slightly sore for a day or so, but I would put it at a 2/10 on the pain scale. Mind you, I had my implant replaced from the same arm only a few weeks before, so perhaps it was just less painful by comparison. Especially given that my implant needed to be moved to a different spot on my arm, which meant two incisions rather than just the one.

 


The rest of the month was fairly relaxed, and topped off with a little trip to Junk Yard Market in Norwich. For those that don’t know, Junk Yard is an event in which loads of food stalls and restaurants come together into one place, and you can sample food from wherever you like. I went for ‘The Mac Factory’ and decided on a mac and cheese topped with chorizo and it was absolutely delicious. All of the other food was great too, but I decided there and then I want to go again, even if only for the mac and cheese.

 

That tops off the month of June! I ‘m really looking forward to July, hopefully we have some better weather as it’s been a little on and off last month, plus, July is the month of my birthday! I turn 30 this year, so cheers to my last look back where my age starts with a 2 – eeek!




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Thursday, 17 June 2021

Yes To - Period SOS

So much has changed for so many of us over the past year or so, but there is one thing is still here, even if we wish it wasn’t; periods. With them they like to bring cramps, the muchies and or course we can’t forget about the bad skin. Mine doesn’t like to conform to the typical cycle at the moment either, probably thanks to recently replacing my contraceptive implant with a new one. So whilst I have previously had less of them, my periods at the moment are very sporadic and are coming on and off every few day. The on again off again nature of my cycle at the moment means that I've been suffering with 'period skin' which is an absolute pain to try and reverse and sooth. Especially with the added problem that wearing a mask brings.


As I’ve currently got a lot more time on my hands along with a visit from aunt flow I decided to try out a skincare bundle I’ve had popping up on my feed for a little while; the Yes To Tomato’s Period SOS. The Yes To range is one I’ve come across before, and I've previously been rather fond of their masks, so figured it would be worth trying out other products within the range. The bundle will set you back £10.25 excluding postage from Beauty Bay and comes as three items; Face wipes, targeting blemish remover and a single use mask.

 

I have used masks from this range before, and find the paper ones to be saturated with more than enough product. I tend to leave mine on longer than the directed time and find they don’t cause any discomfort to my skin, as some masks do. I tend to look at paper masks as the serum stage in my routine, and will use them early on in the evening. Before I then go to bed I’ll give my skin a final cleanse to remove any residual product, simply because my skin can be pretty volatile if I don’t. As this has been the case for pretty much every sheet mask I’ve ever tried, I just accept it as a step I need to take in the routine when I decide to use them.


 



The next product in the bundle was the face wipes. Being in the tomatoes range they are geared towards combination skin, but there are plenty of other options within the range dependant on your skin type or needs. The wipes are well sealed, with a proper clip lid on the top to enable them to be closed properly and stop them drying out. The scent is mild, and whilst not something I enjoy, it isn’t overly unpleasant either.

 

Having tried these wipes a few times now, I have to say that they don’t do well with removal of my makeup. I wear long-lasting, stubborn makeup that typically requires an oil based product as my first (and sometimes second) step for removal. Swapping out for these wipes just simply wouldn’t be possible for me, and it’s likely that I would get through far more wipes than I’d like if I used these to clear my face each evening.

 

Although if I’m being 100% honest and fair, I’ve never come across any makeup wipes I’ve liked, so this isn’t anything personal against the band, or these wipes in particular, I just find them to be an ineffective step when it comes to make up removal in general. I did trial these wipes alone one evening on a day I hadn’t worn any makeup, in place of my regular routine. I woke up the following day with lots of little spots and pretty oily, gritty feeling skin, so I personally wouldn’t recommend these for your routine. Be it for make up removal or anything else. If you do use them would suggest you clean the residual product off your skin afterwards, although that does somewhat defeat the point of using them.

 

I had intended to have these as an item in my camping bag, for when we are off in the woods and my normal skin routine isn’t all that practical to bring with me, but given how my skin then behaves I’m not sure I’m actually going to find a use for them. I have a friend who does use makeup wipes as part of her routine, so I think I'll probably gift her these.   

 

The final item in the bundle was for targeting specific problem areas, and was the item I was most interested in trying; the  detoxifying charcoal maximum strength blemish kit. This kit comes with 20 charcoal cotton swabs, although with them being double ended I would say its really 10, which are used to apply the product to your skin. Designed specifically for congested and ache-prone skin, this triple action spot treatment combined detoxifying charcoal, sulphur to unclog pores and witch hazel to sooth the skin, and aid in shrinking breakouts.

 

This product is for precise application directly onto spots and pimples, rather than for use on your face as a whole. An important thing to remember is to not shake this product before using, even though it is tempting as its separated within the bottle. To use, simply dip a cotton swab into the bottle, making sure to reach the bottom so that you get each component of the product. From there simply dab onto your pimples and problem areas and leave to dry. Given the potency of this solution I would be mindful about placement and not go anywhere near your eyes for example.


 

Whilst the instructions on the pack indicate you can wear this overnight, I personally prefer to have it on for a few hours in the day time. The product dries down fairly quickly, but as I move around a lot in my sleep I’m pretty sure I’d end up rubbing a lot of it off if I slept in it. I have however found that it does indeed calm large spots down, and does a good job at drawing up those under the skin spots that aren’t quite ready to be popped yet. Products of this type have a tendency to dry the skin out, so I would recommend following up with a decent moisturiser after cleaning the solution off your skin – especially if you’ve had it on for a long time or applied multiple applications.

 

All in all, would I recommend the Period SOS kit? No. The face wipes just weren’t a worthwhile purchase for me, and the sheet mask isn’t anything special either compared to any other mask out there. Plus, the mask is for one use only, and you do only get one in the kit. I would purchase the blemish kit as a standalone product, but I wouldn’t spend the extra for two additional products I don’t want or need.

 

Have you tried anything from Yes To? What did you think?

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