February’s Pink Parcel

Since I stopped subscribing to Birch Box a few months ago, I was on the hunt for my next subscription box. I read lots of reviews and posts about lots of different types of monthly boxes, but I just couldn’t make up my mind! I finally decided to try the Pink Parcel. I thought it would be a nice pick me up to make that time of the month a little bit better.

If you haven’t heard of Pink Parcel before, they are a period subscription box & monthly beauty box. They conveniently deliver your box a date that is closest to your period each month, and supply you with plenty of your chosen tampons or sanitary towels, as well as a little box of goodies.

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Signing up to Pink Parcel is super easy. I headed over to their website, created my account and filled in a few details. I picked out whether I wanted tampons or towels and chose my favourite brand (they actually have pretty much every brand out there!). I then chose one out of three of their delivery dates that were closest to my period. My first box this month was delivered about 4 days before I was due, but its good that the dates are flexible for if you aren’t always regular.

The nice thing about the boxes (like other monthly subscription boxes) are that you don’t know what you’re going to get each month. It’s a little surprise to look forward to!

So heres what I got inside my first Pink Parcel for February…

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Yuyo Yerba Peppermint Tea – It seems like Pink Parcel know me too well already! I’m a peppermint tea addict. It’s perfect for settling an upset tummy, and so refreshing to sip away on.

Cite Nail Polish 

Divine White Chocolate Bar–  Who doesn’t love a little (or a lot!) of chocolate?

Lavorio Fondant Lovelies

Pom Heart Hoop Necklace– This necklace is so gorgeous and delicate.

Merci Handy Toothpaste in Berry Cool

Soap’n’skin Himalayan Bath Salts– I adore anything bath related. These smell so fresh  and will be perfect to soak in.

Trifle Cosmetics Buttercream Hydrating Body Lotion 

Vitamasques Pomegranate Moisturing Korean Face Mask– I love sheet masks, they provide all the benefits of a relaxing face mask without the mess. I stocked up on Sephora’s masks when I was in Florida, so I can’t wait to try this one out and see how it fares.

As you can see there are lots of little treats to make Aunt Flow’s visit a bit nicer! My favourite from this month’s box has to be the Ciate Nail Polish, I love nude colours and this pale pink is perfect.

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I received a good supply of towels to keep me going. They popped a good mix of liners and towels for night time as well which was nice. I also got a little velvet bag to keep in my handbag for them which is very smart. I think the best bit about signing up to Pink Parcel is not having to worry about making sure you have pads at home and knowing that you won’t run out each month.

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I’m planning on keeping my subscription with Pink Parcel so I’ll provide reviews on each monthly box.

Thanks for reading!

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Joining the Anthony Nolan Register

Anthony Nolan is a charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer by matching the bone marrow (or stem cells) of their donors to patients who are in need of a transplant. As well as this, they also partake in essential research to make stem cell transplants as successful as possible.

For me, it didn’t even seem like a question whether or not I should become part of the register, and they make it so easy to become a donor as well.

If you are aged 16-30 you can become a donor. Simply answer a few questions and fill in your details online, and in a few days you will receive a saliva sampling kit, that once you complete you send back to them free of charge.

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If you can’t become a donor, you can always donate!

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Thanks for reading. X

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Blueberry Banana Bread Recipe

I love banana bread, especially when it’s freshly out the oven. I thought I’d give a little fruity twist on the classic recipe and add fresh blueberries. Let me know what you think!

 

INGREDIENTS: 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 

1/2 cup granulated sugar 

1/2 packed brown sugar 

3 1/2 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp salt 

3 tsp vegetable oil 

1/3 cup milk (I used semi-skimmed) 

1 egg 

2-3 bananas 

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METHOD:

Pre heat oven to 180°c. Line and grease a loaf tin and set aside. 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. 

In a separate bowl mash the bananas. Add in the egg, vegetable oil, and milk and mix until well combined. 

Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until a sticky dough forms. 

Add the blueberries and fold until well combined. 

Pour the dough into the lined tin and pop into the oven for 60 minutes, checking regularly, until golden brown and a metal pick comes out clean. 

Removed from oven and place on a wire wrack until cool. 

 

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NYX Professional Makeup Highlight and Contour Pro Palette Review 

I love contouring and highlighting! I have so many different products that all work their magic. But I also love having everything together, and this palette by NYX is brilliant, as it has variety of matte and shimmer contouring shades and gorgeous highlighters.

I was browsing the NYX stand and this kit jumped out at me. I had never invested in a contouring palette before, despite lusting after the Zoeva and ABH ones! So I decided to spend £18 (Boots) for the NYX palette, which does seem similar to dearer ones, to see if it would work for me.

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The palette comes with eight customisable highlight and contour shades. The shades in this palette are all removable, so you can swap them out for another favourite, or replace them once you’ve hit pan.

As you can tell I’ve already picked out my favourites, but all of the shades work well.

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The shimmering highlighter on the top left is fast becoming my go to colour. It is very pigmented and blends out flawlessly. In fact, all of the shades in the kit do!

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I love the banana powder for setting my under eyes, I feel it brightens and gives that awake look. Pretty much all of the darker shades are good for contouring, but I also use the lighter ones for bronzing my paler complexion.

All in all this palette has quickly made its way into my daily makeup routine, as well as my going out one!

What do you think of the NYX Professional Makeup Highlight and Contour Pro Palette?

Thanks for reading. X

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Carbonated Bubble Mask Review

I think we have all seen lots of different types of carbonated bubble masks all over our Youtube and Instagram feed, so I thought I might as well give it a go and put in my two cents of what I think of them. After all, who doesn’t love a good bubble bath? (Even for your face).

I had a browse on Amazon and decided to order the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask for £8.99.

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My first thought when the product arrived was how adorable the packaging was! However, as you can see, the instructions on the box are in South Korean, so without the helping hand of Google Translate, I would struggle reading this! But, with a quick search I managed to find a little bit more about this product and how to use it…

The mask is packed with Charcoal powder and as it carbonates it cleanses, exfoliates and unclogs pores. As it bubbles it sloughs off dead skin cells and lifts sebum and dirt which can clog off pores. It also claims to replenish the skin giving it a youthful glow!

So lets see if it did the trick…

I applied a thick layer all over my face and let it work it’s magic. I was quite excited to see how well it worked, and how crazy I would look. After about a minute I could feel the mask tingling away- not in a irritating way- but it almost felt like little bubbles popping all over my face. I left the mask on for 3-5 minutes as instructed, or until I began to look like a Sesame Street character, and then massaged the product into my face with warm water. I then washed my face thoroughly and patted dry.

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My sin definitely felt refreshed and soft, and I’m sure with regular use I would begin to notice good results. I thought this mask looked like a lot of fun and would be a unique way to mix up my skin care routine, and it definitely was. I’ll be using it again the next time I want to give my skin a boost and a chilled spa night!

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Praia da Rocha

 

Praia da Rocha, AKA ‘The beach of rocks’, is a popular, yet peaceful, holiday resort just south of the town of Portimão, on the Algarve. I travelled here for a mini break in October with my family, for some last minute sun before the Winter set in.

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We stayed at the Hotel da Rocha. A 4 star hotel overlooking the beach front. I couldn’t recommend this hotel more; all of the staff were very friendly & helpful, the food was spot on with a brilliant selection of local cuisine (which includes a lot of fresh fish!) and the rooms were modern, spacious and very comfortable! Facilities included a good sized pool, good for a refreshing dip in the mornings and a fully equipped gym which I tested out a couple of times.

Praia da Rocha has one of the largest beaches on the Portimão coastline. The golden sand is marked with large rocks and boulders wth hidden caves and that is why it is known as ‘the beach of rocks’. Even in October I managed to take a brisk  dip in the Atlantic Ocean! But, if you don’t want too sandy, then you can take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk which stretches along the majority of the beach.

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My family loves keeping active on holidays so we didn’t just spend our days sun seeking on the beach! Praia da Rocha and the surrounding areas are perfect for shorts strolls, hikes among the dusty paths and slightly longer walks to stretch your legs. The larger town of Portimão is just over 3km away and is full of local shops, cafes, and lovely architecture.

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We decided to check out the neighbouring fishing village of Alvor one morning, so we followed the costal path along the beach, which eventually took us up along the cliffs which provided breathtaking views! When we got to Alvor we wondered along the river front lined with bars and seafood restaurants. We then wondered up the narrow cobbled lanes which led us into the old town and onto the 16th century Igreja Matriz church (fun fact: I love seeing churches while on holiday, I just enjoy the atmosphere and design of them!) which sits proudly above the village. In the evenings we would usually take short strolls along the boardwalk, or down the street to the Fort of Santa Catarina, a medieval fort which is lit up at night and gives stunning views to the coastline.

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Praia da Rocha is a gorgeous resort for little breaks and longer holidays. I enjoyed every minute of my time here and would visit again to explore in a heart beat!

Thanks for reading!

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Winter Lip Favourites

As the seasons change and the weather becomes a bit colder and the days shorter, I feel I need to switch up my makeup routine. This also includes picking out the best products for my lips, not only to keep them looking and feeling their best despite the baltic weather making them chapped, but also to keep in with a theme of darker, wintry colours.

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My go to lip care product is anything Carmex. I always have a pot or tube of their original formula handy to keep topping up throughout the day. I have been using this beauty for years and it keeps my lips super hydrated. You can feel the product working as it tingles away at your lips. I recommend always using a lip balm and allowing it some time to sink in before applying any other lip product, as well as popping some on morning and night to keep your lips in good condition.

Another lip life saver I love is the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant. You can use this anywhere, but I love using in on my lips to give them a little extra TLC during the Winter months.

Here is a swatch of the lips colours I love using during the colder months:

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First up we have three gorgeous shades from NYX:

Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Cannes’

Lip Lingerie in ‘Satin Ribbon’

Full Throttle Lipstick in ‘Locked’

I love NYX, not only for how affordable it is, but for the huge selection of shades and the amazing quality of the products.

The next shade is from Benefits new product, ‘They’re Real! Big Sexy Lip Kit’ I was thoughtfully gifted this for Christmas and couldn’t wait to try it. It is basically a lip liner and lipstick all in one. I plan to do a full review on the kit soon, so stay tuned! My favourite colour from the kit is ‘Lusty Rose’, it is a nude colour but I find these types of shades very easy to wear, especially when my complexion is a little paler.

Last, but definitely not least, I’ve picked out three products from MAC:

Viva Glam 1 A25 Matte

I always like to pair Viva Glam 1 with:

‘He Said, She Said’ Pro Longwear Lip Pencil. 

Velvet Teddy A16 Matte

 

What are your favourite lip colours for Winter? I would love any suggestions!

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 12- Gingerbread Bears

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I thought I would end my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies with how I started… Gingerbread! Gingerbread is so versatile, and you can be as creative as you like with different shapes and decorations. Today, I decided to make these cute gingerbread bears.

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Ingredients 

175g butter or margarine 

175g light muscovado sugar 

2 eggs- beaten 

450g plain flour 

2 tsp baking powder 

2 tbs ground ginger

2 tsp mixed spice 

Your choice of nuts. I used a mixture of almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. You need one for each bear that you make. 

Method

Pre-head oven to 180°c. Line a flat baking tray with grease-proof paper. 

Combine the plain flour, baking powder and spices together. In a separate bowl, cream the butter/margarine and muscovado sugar together, then add in the beaten egg, mixing well. Finally, add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and stir until a soft smooth dough is formed. Wrap in cling film or grease-proof paper and refrigerate, or roll out on a floured surface straight away. 

Cut out the bear shape from the dough and place them onto the lined baking tray. Place the nut in the middle of the bear, and wrap the arms of the bear around the nut. 

Depending on the thickness of your gingerbread, bake for around 5 minutes, checking on the cookies. 

Once they are baked, remove from the oven and let them cool before decorating. 

I mixed up thick icing and piped eyes, ears and buttons onto the bears for a better effect. 

 

Enjoy!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Thank you for reading.

Lots of love,

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 11-Cranberry & Coconut Cookies

Coconut and cranberry are a brilliant combination, so I thought I would incorporate them into cookies. I think they look quite festive with flecks of red from the cranberries, and a sprinkle of white coconut. Give them a go and let me know what you think!

I used a basic sugar cookie dough recipe, as seen in my last post, but added extra ingredients.

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Ingredients 

1 1/2 cups softened butter

2 cups caster sugar 

4 eggs 

5 cups plain flour 

2 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp salt 

Dried cranberries

Desiccated coconut 

Method 

Pre-heat oven to 200°c. Line a baking tray with grease0proof paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs to the mixture. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add in the flour mixture to the liquid mix. Once the dough is formed, add in the desiccated coconut and dried cranberries and fold the dough until evenly mixed. 

Cover the dough and chill for at least an hour. 

Take around half a table spoon full of the dough and roll into balls, and place evenly spread apart onto the lined baking tray. 

Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle a little bit of the desiccated coconut on top of the cookies. 

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Enjoy!

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 10- Sugar Cookie Ornaments

This recipe is super versatile. The dough can be used for a variety of cookies. Today I made the dough into Christmas ornaments, fit for your tree!

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Ingredients 

1 1/2 cups softened butter

2 cups caster sugar 

4 eggs 

5 cups plain flour 

2 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp salt 

Method 

Pre-heat oven to 200°c. Line a baking tray with grease0proof paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs to the mixture. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add in the flour mixture to the liquid mix. 

Cover the dough and chill for at least an hour. 

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut your desired shapes. 

Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before decorating. 

Mix up your desired icing and decorate as you like! 

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