Monday, 29 September 2014

Mirabilia Organic Olive Tea

Now friends.. if you're reading this you probably know I am a HUGE tea fan.. that is not a spelling mistake in my blog title, no, no.. I LOVEEEEE tea! So when I was given the chance to try Mirabilia Organic Olive Tea* (say that 10x faster) I jumped at the chance.

It's taken me a little while because I lost my tea infuser during the move but Derby day seemed like the perfect opportunity to sit down with a nice cup of olive tea!

So a little bit about these teas:

They are made on farms in Abruzzo, Italy and have massive health benefits because they're caffeine and tannin free. The tea has 4 x more antioxidants than green tea as well as being anti-biotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal anddddd proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol ANDDDD it's said to aid weight loss! PHEW!


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Tips for Freshers

Oh loveliess... it turns out I have actually graduated and I'm not going back to the University of Chester this weekend. Boooo!





But it got me thinking about what I'd tell "fresher me" if I could :

1. Enjoy freshers week- I wish I'd made the most of my freshers weeks..not necessarily getting very drunk but just going out, making new friends.

2. Get to freshers fair early- and bag all the freebies, as much as you can!



3. Sign up for everything - Seriously, make this the time you try a new sport or club. Make the most of tester sessions.

4. The friends you make now, might not be friends forever- Be cautious. Most of the people I was close with when I finished university were people I met around Christmas or later. Keep your guard up a bit, I made this mistake.. it was horrific. 

5. Get out of your room- spend time with your housemates, get to know them, cook together.

6. Get to know your city- Chester is beyonddddd beautiful! And there is way more to it then clubs! Get to know your city, explore, take in the culture, make adventures.

7. Make friends with non students- Are you part of a church? Get to know people who aren't students. Since I got together with Andy (a native Chesterian) I've got to know the city more and explored more. It's good to get out the bubble!

8. First year does matter - You will probably hear "You only need 40%" a lot!! BUT work hard in first year and the jump to second year won't feel so bad! Good habits breed good results.

9. Make the most of the time off- Jheeez. I'm now realising how much time I had of doing nothing throughout uni and I miss it. Make the most of it... sleep in, watch netflix back to back, do what you like... it's actually ok to live up to the stereotype!

10. Volunteer/Get some work experience I was lucky that my course included work placements so I got lots of work experience alongside my use some of that extra time to volunteer, join a society, get some work experience.. boost that CV

11. Don't spend all your loan at once Seriously, it will look like a lot of money. Most of mine went straight out on rent but I wish I'd saved some of the rest of it and used it for something that wasn't clothes from Primark.

12. Work during the holidays.. or travel Again, make the most of the huge break (it'll come around sooner than you're thinking right now) Work, or travel.. don't waste it.

Yea.. that's my best tip.. don't waste it

What would be you advice to your fresher self?


                                                  Facebook I Twitter I Bloglovin

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Degustabox Recipe- Chicken Fajita Nachos

Remember that yummy Degustabox I got sent? Well, we decided to get a  bit creative and make something yummy.

Did I mention I LOVE mexican food? So I was particularly keen to use the Mexican Chicken flavour shot and Mexican Dave's tortilla chips. So what better excuse than chicken fajita nachos.

Here's how:

You'll need:

Schwartz Flavour Shots- Fajita Chicken flavour
Mexican Dave's Tortilla Chips- lightly salted
Red pepper
Grated cheese
Lettuce
Sour cream (I actually used paprika flavoured cream cheese)





1. Cut the chicken in to small chunks & the pepper in to strips 
2. Heat some oil in the pan, stir the flavour shot and add the hot pan
3. Add the chicken and stir until covered in flavour shot 
4. Cook chicken - add peppers for last five minutes or so
5. On a plate layer tortilla chips, lettuce, fajita chicken pieces, cheese and sour cream
6. ENJOY

What's your favourite mexican recipe?

Don't forget you can get £3.00 off when you register with Degustabox*. Enter: WMCMV when registering


*Products marked with an asterix have been kindly sent to be for review- but I will never review anything which I don't think is relevant to my blog and I will always be 100% honest.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Degustabox*

Hands up if you love free food?

Yea, me too!! So I was totally excited to be sent a Degustabox* this month. Now Desgustabox has been on the Blogopshere for a while but if you missed it here's the low down:

1. Sign up (normally £12.99 per month)- pppsst there's a cheeky discount at the bottom of this post!
2. Surprise- your box is sent to you (by courier) either by the end of the month you ordered or the first week of the next month
3. Review- which means eating and drinking the 9-14 items you were sent.

You can also give Desgustabox as a gift, for a friend who also likes free food! 

So what came this month?




1. Mexican Dave's - Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips
2. Berry White- Peach & Goji Berry drink
3. 2 x Schwartz flavour shots- Mexican Fajita & Spanish smoked chicken
4. Fever Tree drinks- Ginger beer & Tonic Water
5. Lindt Hello Just for you Heart Chocolates
6. Caswton Press Kid's Blends- Apple & Pear
7. Brioche Pasquier - Pain Au Lait
8. Dr Oetker - Edible Wafer Cases
9. Brioche Pasquier- Croissants Au Beurre 
10. Caribbean Twist - Strawberry Daiquiri 

This month also came with the launch of Degustabox Fridge which gives you vouchers for chilled or frozen food. This month's voucher was for a free MOMA! Bircher muesli breakfast multipack. Which I haven't picked up yet, but will review separately. 

Quite the selection hey? 

First off, I had to pick my box up from the post office and they told me it was leaking.. eeek. Turns out, somehow, the ginger beer bottle had smashed (although everything is well packed) and so everything was beautifully scented but sticky. So naturally, I won't be able to review that!

So what were my thoughts?




Berry White Peach & Goji Berry Drinks- I'm drinking this as I write this post. It is SOOOO good. It retails at £1.59 for 330ml so is a little pricey. But if I was feeling a little flush and thirsty I would definitely get this again. and I don't normally like peach flavours!





Lindt Hello Just for you chocolates- This was the first thing I ate. I LOVE Lindt chocolate and these are the perfect size so you don't feel really sick. They just fill your mouth with flavour. I want to buy them for everyone and give them as gifts at all times. 



Caribbean Twist- Strawberry Daiquiri 
I used to drink Caribbean Twist's Pina Colada a lot. So yummy, soooo cheap! I blended this with loads of ice and it was sooo good! 




Schwartz Mexican Fajita Flavour Shot
I actually used this for a recipe post I'm going to share soon. I LOVE Mexican food and this was really good and easy to use. However, it left a serious garlic taste in my mouth afterwards!

Schwartz Spanish Chicken Flavour Shot
I'm not sure what constitutes Spanish chicken but this was yummy with some rice! These are really easy to use and great flavours. Well worth buying for a nice, quick meal. Although we found some of it burnt in the pan. 




Mexican Dave's Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips
Again, I used this in a recipe. These are really yummy and not too salty so it's pretty easy to eat a lot!!! Plus I want to be friends with someone called Mexican Dave!

Cawston Press Kid's Blends- Apple & Pear
I'm not sure why this was kid's blend?? I guess the size. It was yummy though. I love apple juice but the pear really made it! I drunk it really quickly though so I wonder if they do a full size carton or adult size?

Brioche Pasquier- Croissants Au Beurre 
We had these for breakfast, mine with Jam. They're ok but I'm really much more of a fan fresh, flaky croissants. These are good for a quick snack and obviously they keep longer. But I don't think I'd buy them again in the future

Brioche Pasquier - Pain Au Lait
We haven't opened these yet.. they keep for ages! But I quite like sweet rolls so I'm looking forward to trying them! 

Fever Tree drinks- ginger beer & tonic Water
As I said earlier, the ginger beer bottle exploded in the post. I haven't got round to trying the tonic water yet, but is there much to say about tonic water??

Dr Oetker - Edible Wafer Cases
Have you ever eaten a cake and thought the paper case was wasteful? No? I hadn't until these arrived. I'm excited to do some baking and try these out!!

Want to give it a go? Enter: WMCMV when registering for a £3.00 discount. 

Degustabox have an excellent online presence, check out their twitter and facebook.

What food would you most like to receive as a surprise?


*Products marked with an asterix have been kindly sent to be for review- but I will never review anything which I don't think is relevant to my blog and I will always be 100% honest. 

Wedding Wednesday- Engagement Present

Hello Lovelies

How are you?
I had the most wonderful weekend back in Bournemouth my family. and I got to spend some time with Chloe.. remember, she's my beautiful twin sister who recently got engaged? Yes, anyway! We did some wedding planning, went to a wedding fair and she even tried on a dress.. and I sobbed!

Now, do you know anyone who's recently got engaged?


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wedding Wednesday- Chloe & Duncan's Engagement Story

Hi Poppet! Don't you love a wedding? Today I got my second save the date for 2015.. two weddings in one week!!

& don't you love a love story?? Yeaaa. Me too!

Remember my beautiful twin sister? Remember how she got engaged in France and I had to find somewhere to pull over on the M40? Well, she's sharing her beautiful engagment story today... tissues at the ready


During our holiday in France, we went for a romantic meal to a restaurant called L’Hostal in Castelnou. Castelnou is claimed to be “the most beautiful village in France” and I am inclined to agree. It is gorgeous and from our table in the restaurant you can see for miles and miles and miles.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Blog Chat Tuesday- Bloglovin'

Hello Lovelies



I'm not chatting with anyone this Tuesday (although you can catch up on previous blog chats here) so instead I thought it was about time I shared some of the blogs I've been loving recently:


Wandering Back To God

God's love
Source; Pinterest


This is definitely a different kind of post. I don't really talk about God or my faith a lot on my blog. That isn't a conscious decision, it's just the way things have been. I read a lot of blogs by Christian women, especially in America and I'm always really inspired by their honesty.

In the growth of my blog and the rebranding, I didn't really give God the glory, as I should have done. In fact, an old friend really challenged me when she asked why I blogged and then she pointed out I hadn't actually mentioned God at all in my explanation. Oh. 

Recently I've been thinking a lot about where I'm at with God. and the best way to describe it is distant and apathetic. I think there are times when you can be distant and reallly trying hard to find your way back. But that's not where I'm at: I'm not reading my bible, I'm praying only in crisis situations, I'm attending Church intermittently but if I can find a reason not to go I don't exactly battle it! And yet, I'm trying to set an example to Andy of what a Christian lifestyle looks like... 

So why? It's not because I'm dating a non-Christian, I know that would be a lot of people's assumptions, I think it was before that. I felt judged by some of the Christians around me so I stopped wanting to be around them! And I just got lazy... it was easier to stay in bed then go to Church, it was easier to ring someone when I was upset then turn to God, it was easier to read twitter than my bible. You know?

But I've just become so aware of it recently. and I want something to change. 

Recently I've made more friends at my church, who I know I can stay accountable to. My sister has suggested an excellent bible reading plan and I'm determined to stick to it. Because, ultimately, God is waiting but I can't be lazy with it... I need to wander back... Perhaps the title of this blog post is wrong... wandering back to God- perhaps it'll be more of a walk, a run, a dance, a leap? 

Finally, I want to share something from Church yesterday (actually from a Children's bible):

"The people who God uses don't have to know a lot of things or have a lot of things they just have to need him a lot"

Oh, how I need him!

Until next time...

Can I pray for you?

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Friday, 12 September 2014

Staycation Liverpool - Day 1

Morning Lovelies

This is the second post about our "staycation" in Liverpool. You can read the first here.

So this is bit more about what else we go up to. 

We arrived on Tuesday a bit too early to check in so we went for lunch at Bill's- I recently read on the blogosphere that everyone loves Bill's and I certainly do!! We weren't feeling massively hungry so we ordered bits to share: crispy lemon squid, crab, chilli & prawn fish cakes, chips & stem broccoli with red chilli &  sesame seeds. It was all really yummy and got eaten far too quick for any photos. I definitely want to eat more broccoli with chilli & sesame seeds in the future!

After a quick perusal of the room and an attempt to use Netflix in our room (see hotel post for details) we decided to go for a wander around the docks. Did I mention I love Liverpool? It has got a city vibe but it's also really, really pretty! We bought an ice cream from a van and then had a wander around. 






 There was also some kind of gathering where people were dancing and drumming and wearing amazing brightly covered clothing. I have no idea why, but it looked like a lot of fun!



We headed back to the hotel where I had my first dip in the double whirlpool jacuzzi bath before watching a bit of TV and getting ready for our dinner out.



How do I look?


I found a Groupon deal for The Monroe restaurant  ( 2 courses plus a glass of wine each) so we hopped on the train (and established later it was walking distance). Ok, here's the thing.. if you are ever in Liverpool or ANYWHERE near by. Go to The Monroe. It was sooo good. Again, the food was so yummy I didn't even bother to take photos. Although their website is pretty good for giving you an idea. 

There were a few issues. My starter arrived without the chutney and then our main's arrived and Andy's wasn't what he ordered. But the staff were really good at sorting this out. Andy's main was prepared again so took a while but for our inconvenience they gave us any extras we ordered on top of the deal (the additional £5 for Andy's meal and his cider) off of the bill so we effectively only used the voucher. Not bad for some of the best food I've ever had! I wouldn't honestly go out of my way to go for dinner there again. The staff were amazing too, and genuinely shocked when we tipped them!



After a lovely leisurely walk back to the hotel we watched a bit more TV, I utilised the jacuzzi bath again and sipped prosecco and then we called it a night.

Next time I'll be talking all about day two. Keep your eyes peeled!

Have you ever been to Liverpool?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Aldi's Carino Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner- Product review.

Hi Beauties

I've been using this product for a while and I figured it was finally time for a review. So here is it: "Aldi's Carino Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner"





Look familiar?

Cited by A Thrifty Mrs as an Aussie dupe I've got to say they certainly LOOK a like! 

So is it as good?

First off ... I checked the ingredients against the bottle of Aussie's Shampoo and they are pretty identical from what I can work out!

and as for use...

Shampoo

The shampoo lathers well and left my hair squeaky clean (I did the squeak test!!). As for the classic Aussie smell? It's pretty much there.. similar bubblegum smell with a bit more of a hint of chemicals. But its not too bad!! 

Conditioner

This doesn't lather as well and it took two lots the first go to get my hair soft... but my hair was playing up that day! The next time I used it I'd curled my hair for the races so knew it would be a lot less manageable and actually it did a pretty good job.

And my hair brushed well the next day too which is always a good sign!

I have found as I've continued to use it that if my hair is reallyyyy knotted I need to use it a couple of times. But honestly, that would be the same for most conditioners!

and at the price of £1.99 each compared to Aussie's which is about £3.99 (here*) I'm not going to complain.

Like El says in here review though.. I wish they did a 3 minute conditioning treatment. 

What's the best thing you found in Aldi?

Until next time...

Like this post? Here's more on hair:

Reverse Hair Washing
John Frieda's Conditioning Treatment


*Price correct at time of posting

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Staycation- 30 James Street

Don't you love the word Staycation? 

Andy got back from his month in America on 31st August and i'd intentionally booked Monday-Wednesday off of work so we had some time together and also to belatedly celebrate his birthday which he was away for.

I wanted to spoil him a bit because he spoils me alll the time and I also thought a night away somewhere would be nice. We love Liverpool and since it's only about 40 minutes away on the train it still feels like a Staycation. I've also been following Signature Living Hotels on facebook and twitter for a while and was keen to stay at their newest hotel 30 James Street.

Throughout August they were offering their love, sweet love package. Which included a night's stay, prosecco and cupcakes on arrival, rose petals and breakfast. Seemed ideal so I rung to see if they'd extend it to the start of September for me and also paid a bit extra for a double jacuzzi whirlpool bath because well.. you would wouldn't you?


Liverpool Hotel

Liverpool Hotel



So 30 James Street is two doors down from James Street station and is the place where the Titanic was registered. Naturally, it's themed around the Titanic and we stayed in the J Dawson suite (the man whom Leo DeCaprio's character is loosely based upon). Currently there is still some construction work going on, as the hotel is still really new but that didn't disturb our stay at all.


Liverpool Hotel
This was a lovely touch

Also, the decor is perhaps not to everyone's taste. It's very... decadent! The walls are mostly black, padded which can feel a little claustrophobic when you walk through the corridors but actually suited the room quite nicely, although I'm not sure I'll be taking inspiration for my next bedroom! 

The view from our window was beautiful, we could see the docks. And the rose petals, prosecco and cupcakes just made everything feel so romantic and like an extra special gift for Andy. Oh and the whirlpool bath was all kinds of wonderful (although I recommend ensuring all the jets are fully immersed in water before turning on otherwise you end up sprayed in the face... not relaxing). 


Liverpool Hotel


The breakfast was described as continental so I was worried we were only going to get pastries and fruit (nice, but if you're on holiday you want a nice cooked breakfast, no?) But it was actually soooo good. We got to eat on the seventh floor in the Carpathia restaurant which is really beautiful decorated and carries on the ship theme. It was buffet style with a great selection of cereal, fruit, yoghurt, toast and cooked items (including beans, mushrooms and eggs- a bonus for me, since I don't eat red meat!) and the staff were lovely too. 


Liverpool Hotel

Liverpool hotel

Liverpool Hotel
Google Plus Edited this for me, thanks!


What I will say is that the price tag reflects that you are staying at a luxury hotel and you pay for the little extras and the theme. This was a treat and perhaps wouldn't be somewhere I'd actively choose to stay if I'd searched around a bit. Especially since your budget chain hotels: Days Inn and Premier Inn aren't far away and I'm sure a quick google would show up boutique, individual hotels at a cheaper price. But as a one off and a nice treat I'm not going to turn my nose up.


Liverpool Hotel

Liverpool


There were two aspects I didn't like... the first was as we were checking out we were asked to fill in a satisfaction survey and my scores were pretty reasonable but for the reasons above I scored them a 3 out of 5 for price. One of the members of staff was looking over my shoulder the whole time and started questioning our responses which I found really uncomfortable and ended up clamming up and trying to fill the rest out quickly, Andy did explain we also had problems with the smart TV and they did offer us 10% off should we choose to stay again.

But here's why I might not stay again... I wore a blazer during the day and hung it up in the wardrobe. Stupidly I left it in the wardrobe and didn't realise until a few hours later. In most cases this is easily rectifiable, no? I rung the hotel who said they'd look in to it, contact house keeping and get back to me. Great! But two days later noone had rung me, so I rung again. Only to be told my blazer hadn't shown up in lost property. I expressed my disbelief and explained I didn't understand how it could have gone from the wardrobe to missing within hours. The guy I spoke with said he'd check again and ring me back the next day- as yet, I've yet to hear anything. Now, this might seem like a small thing and I know the original fault lies with me and my forgetfulness. But I haven't had an apology when I know for an absolute fact my blazer was in the wardrobe and it can't have disappeared. Unfortunately, it's really tainted my opinion of the hotel and staff and made me feel like I don't even want to utilise the 10% offer.  Would you be annoyed?

Until next time...

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Blog Chat Tuesday- Claudine Converses

Hello Beauties


It's Tuesday so guess what I'm up to?? Yes! Blog Chatting (I genuinely had blog chat withdrawals the last few weeks) This week I'm with another Twenty Something Blogger, Claudine from Claudine Converses (as in chats, not shoes!)

1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
My name is Claudine and I am 20 years old. I live in Melbourne, Australia and am in my second year of University. I am studying Communications, Public Relations, History and Sociology. I love watching YouTube videos, I am a huge foodie, and some may call me a shopaholic :)
2. Can you tell me a little about your blog? (i.e. whats it about, how did it get started etc?)
My blog is Claudine Coverses. It is a beauty, lifestyle and fashion blog. I really just write about what I know and what I find interesting. I think that way it is always honest and you really get an idea of the person behind the writing. I love the visual aspect of blogging as well so I always try to make sure my posts look as good as they sound.


Monday, 8 September 2014

When your Twin Sister Gets Engaged

Oh friends, so much happened whilst I was missing in Blogging action (MIBA).

So it was about 10pm on Bank Holiday Monday and having spent the weekend in Bournemouth I was driving back to Chester. It was wet, dark, I was somewhere outside of Birmingham and trying to find my motorway exit when my mobile starts ringing. With a foreign number. Naturally... I panic!! My first thought is.. what's happened to Andy? (we'd spoken half an hour before when I'd stopped to get petrol but yanno...) anyway being the responsible driver that I am I rejected the call and figured if it was important they'd leave a message or phone again. Within a minute my voicemail flashes up. Well, I'm seriously panicking and with my hands as free as possible I check the voicemail

"Hi Laura, It's Chloe. Call me back when you get this, love you" 

My identical twin sister. Firstly, she has the cutest phone voice! Sometimes, I just ring her and hope I get her voicemail. Secondly, this was a call I've been waiting for for the last year! To the point where she got so fed up with ringing me and listening me to answer with such trepidation she got in to the habit of quickly assuring me she was "just ringing for a chat".

You see, Chloe has been with Duncan for two years now and the marriage chat came up pretty early and so i've been waiting for baited breath for THE call. and since she was in France at the time (hence the foreign number) I figured this phone call probably wasn't "just for a chat".

As sod's law would have it I could find no service stations for agessss. Only signs that said "refuse areas for emergencies only"- and I just didn't think that the police would see my sister getting engaged as an emergency! Finally, I find a service and it's pouring with rain and i'm desperately trying to ring her back. I rung twice, freaking out thinking I was going to miss her and knowing I still had at least an hours driving to do. Finally on the third attempt she answers and I say "So, just calling for a chat?" then I get to hear the words... "Actually, I'm getting married!" AHHHHHHHHHHH!!




Ok, so since I've been driving to find a services and stressing about getting hold of her and preparing myself for like the last year for this phone call I was worried I didn't come across as excited as I should have done. But let me tell you, I TOTALLY am! In fact, when I finally got home I was so grateful Chloe couldn't sleep so she could let me know all the details of the proposal (I'm going to let her share that with you in a different post) and then I had to sit on this exciting news for what felt like ages until they got back in the country and told the last remaining friends and family who deserved to know in person(or not on facebook) but when it was made facebook official... You know.. I CRIED!




This girl is literal soul mate and my best friend EVER and she's going to be marriedddddd. AHHHHHHHH. I love my sister, I love weddings. It is all so totally perfect. And of course, I'm maid of honour!! 

Until next time...

How did you feel when your sibling/best friend got engaged?
What's your top Maid of Honour tip?

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Twentea Something Launch!!

Hellloooo

EEEEK. I am SO excited.

Rebranding my blog to Twentea Something has been a three month process and I am so excited that it is all done and I am SO proud of my little blog and how shiny and new it all looks.




Firstly, thank you to Callum (Yummy Custard) and Hayley (Tea Party Beauty) for their amazing skills. Callum is a friend of mine from university and also a graphic designer (these are handy people to be friends with!) and I am SOOO impressed with his work. I gave him the briefiest of all briefs and he just rannnnn with it to make my banner, button and facebook cover picture. Honestly, I welled up when I first saw a sneak peek. He also put up with me being super fussy and asking for changes. Next time you need some graphic design work doing, Callum is definitely your guy. Also, on my invoice he put me as "founder of Twentea Something" at which point I welled up AGAIN It feels kind of awesome to put my name with a brand!


Monday, 1 September 2014

Under Construction

Follow my blog with Bloglovin



Hello Lovelies

Thanks for stopping by

Twentea Something is still undergoing the last few stages of rebranding

In the mean time you can:

or


I'll be back soon


Until next time.....
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