Healthy snack balls

I am a HUGE snacker and I always end up opting for junk food over more healthier options. I don't know why but when I do opt for the healthy option I am never satisfied, these healthy snack balls however left me feeling full so I didn't have the urge to immediately reach for something unhealthy. 
healthy snack balls

I made two different types, firstly fruit and nut balls and hazelnut and chocolate balls (which you can see from the picture didn't quite blend as well as the others!) They are really simple to make and shouldn't take too long. 

Fruit and nut balls:
150g Almonds
300g Mixed fruit mix
A tablespoon of coconut oil but anything sticky works e.g. agave nectar.
Decorative items such as coconut or sesame seeds. 

Place the fruit and nuts into a food processor until it starts to form into a ball, add the coconut oil (or your chosen ingredient) until everything is combined together. Roll into small balls and cover with your chosen toppings. 

Hazelnut and chocolate balls:
150g Hazelnuts
300g Dates
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

This one is a little sweeter and the combination of peanut butter and cocoa powder is supper yummy! Like the first recipe combine and process the dates and hazelnuts and then add the other ingredients.

Both need placing in the fridge to set and will keep for several days. They are perfect to snack at and like I said two of these leave me feeling full and not reaching for junk food! 




RHS Flower Show at Chatsworth

A couple of weeks ago now I went to the RHS Flower Show at Chatsworth, prior to this I had never been to a flower show, so I had no idea what to expect. The main reason why I went is because I didn’t have much else to do and Chatsworth is a place I have been wanting to go to for ages (although I did not get to see inside the house or gardens.) I went with my mum, aunt and grandma so it was a nice little family trip.
rhs flower show chatsworth

The weather however, was not on our side, we arrived to grey skies and a slight drizzle. The day before, many cars had ended up getting stuck in the mud due to the bad weather! Thankfully, that didn’t happen this time around. Prepared with rain coats and wellies we walked down to the entrance.

On entering we were greeted by many stores selling items for the garden, stores selling fudge, cheese and other food, clothes and more. I love these types of stalls; I more than likely could have spent hours alone wondering around these.
rhs flower show chatsworth

rhs flower show chatsworth
Most of the flowers were under several large marquees, each one filled to the brim with colourful and beautiful flowers, my favourite being the Himalayan blue poppies and the bonsai trees. I love Bonsai trees; I have had several in the past but I am so bad at keeping them alive.
Another part I liked were the displays that encourages you to grow your own herbs/food. Each plant was filled with so much aroma, my favourite being lemon. This is something I would love to do in my own garden one day. There was also this huge dome, inside it was filled with trees and exotic plants.

The main part of the show is to look at award winning garden designs, we crossed a bridge which was almost like walking through a portal to a fairy-tale world. The bridge was decorated in such a beautiful and dreamy manner, with jam jars and parrots, woven flowers and vines. It was gorgeous.  

The gardens themselves were very different, some were modern, whilst others were rustic but all were impressive. I liked the more rustic and wild ones.
We had booked into afternoon tea at three, and well it wasn’t the most organised event. I feel for the staff because they worked so hard and none of it the commotion was on them. The event had overbooked, so everything was rushed, we didn’t get what we paid for (although we did get a full refund) however, the food was good and I could eat sandwiches and cake all day. The sun finally appeared in the afternoon and we spent the last hours walking around the rest of the stalls.


It was an interesting day, and I was exhausted by the end of it. Have you ever been to a flower show before?

Father's day with Snapfish*

Snapfish is one of my favourite sites for ordering photographs and customised items from, they are always up to such a high standard. When they got in touch with me asking if I would like to customise some items for Father's day I instantly said yes. 

Now, my Dad is quite hard to buy gifts for him and will either be vocal on whether he likes a gift or says nothing at all. I had to think quite hard on what to purchase but I also knew I wanted to do a DIY gift idea using photographs. 
snapfish fathers day
I ended up buying a mug, mainly because it is practical and I know my Dad would actually use it. I wanted to keep the design simple, because I wasn't sure if my Dad would appreciate a mug with a photograph on (and also because I barely have any photos of my dad that are digital.) I also kept it simple, so people can see that a customised mug does not have to be all about the pictures it can be something simple as writing. I chose to put 'Dad's work mug' on this one so he can take it into work without it standing out too much. I love the font, and the little doodle heart and I was so impressed with the mug when I opened it. I have given this to my dad already and he was pretty impressed with it himself. What do you think, do you like the simple look or would you prefer to have had photographs?

My second idea was about showcasing someones memories, so I picked the theme of travel and created a fun DIY which I feel would make a perfect gift for not only fathers but mothers, friends, family etc.  This one is based about visiting America and marking off all the states visited with pictures. For this, I found a blank state map of America and printed it off in poster size. You will also need photographs, glue, scissors, blue tact, coloured/patterned/blank paper, a pen and pencil. 
The first steps are too simply write in the states, then trace round the shape onto blank pieces of paper. 
The next step is to select the images and coloured paper you want to use, and begin to trace and cut out the shapes. I used glue for the photographs and then blue tact for the coloured paper so it can be removed and replaced when needed. 
diy american map
Stick everything into place. You don't have to use coloured paper in the states you haven't visited, I just thought it made the overall poster look a lot more colourful. (This one is for me, the one I am making for my Dad isn't quite finished yet.)

Do you like this idea? Is this something you would make? Let me know your thoughts! Head over to snapfish to purchase your Father's day gifts now!!


*I was given £25 to spend on snapfish in exchange for ideas/gifts designed for Father's day.

Review - Hydracoach Water Bottle

Last year, I went away a few times visiting pretty hot and humid climates. So, I wanted to buy myself a decent water bottle, one that would be easy to carry and long lasting. I didn't want to spend too much money but after browsing around I spotted the Hydracoach water bottle which at £24.99 it was slightly pricey for a wattle bottle, however, the bottle had lots of features that appealed to me, it calculates and tracks your fluid consumption throughout the day ensuring you stay hydrated. 
hydracoach review

The bottles appearance is very sophisticated, with it being easy to clean and fill with a soft silicon mouthpiece and robust nylon finger ring. The product calculates how much you need to drink based on your weight, and displays the average amount of fluid you drink per hour whilst monitoring you total income for the day. The product was really easy to set up.
hydracoach

I honestly really loved this bottle and the whole concept behind monitoring your intake etc. However, it had its flaws. The first thing I noticed was that there was no off button, so the battery and bottle was on at all times, meaning the battery drains itself pretty quickly compared to if you could turn it off. I think a good idea would have been if the bottle activated itself when you took or sip from the bottle or something! The biggest flaw of all though was that this bottle leaked, yeah I was pretty sad about this. I took it out with me and noticed water dripping from my bag. I 'investigated' to ensure that I had put the bottle together correctly, I tipped it upside to see where the leak was coming from and water was coming out underneath the screen where the nylon met the plastic. I was so disappointed and it wasn't something that could be fixed so I sent it back. I then followed up by reading reviews and many others had had the same problem whereas so many others really loved the product and had no problems, so I have no idea if I had a faulty bottle or not.

I am still on the hunt for a decent water bottle, do you know of any?





Review - Personalised dog food from tails*

Last year, I studied animal nutrition and I learnt A LOT! Let me ask you this, do you look at the ingredients on your dogs food? If not, go and have a look at the first ingredient if the first ingredient isn't meat or is animal derivatives then more than likely it has less nutritional value for your dog. The first ingredient should always be meat and not of the derivatives kind! My parents used to feed our dogs food which was made up of derivatives and other things, and after switching to meat as the first ingredient there was a big difference in their feces, it went from diarrhea to solid (yes, it sounds pretty gross but looking at their feces is key way to see if your dog is healthy and if they are getting along with their food.) The year we have really been investing in good quality food to make sure our dogs are getting the best food full of nutritional value and meeting their needs. 

Tails.com is an online service, who truly believe that a tailor made diet provides optimised nutrition meaning a happier and healthier dog because all dogs are different and their food should be to. You can read all about the ingredients they use in their products here

I have two boxer dogs, however one is a senior and the other has recently turned one so there nutritional needs are very different for their life stages. Tails is such an easy website to use, you make a profile for your dogs and enter their breed, gender, if they are neutered or not, age, weight, how much exercise they get, taste preference, if they have any existing health issues and lastly any ingredients you do not want included in your dogs food. They then use this information to calculate the exact nutritional requirements to hand blend a selection of high quality kibbles to create an optimised balance of nutrients for your dogs. The food arrived fairly quickly, and it is set up as a monthly subscription which can be paused at any time. 

tails dog food review

tails dog food review
On arrival, you get a booklet that goes through how much you need to feed your dog per day, what the food has been optimised for, along with the list of ingredients in the kibble. Kye's food was aimed more at mental development, growth and strong immune system whereas Alfie's was aimed more at healthy skin and coat, dental care and energy. The kibble comes with a scoop, which you set up yourself and align with the setting that has been designated to your dog.  
tails dog food review

tails dog food review
I am really happy with my order, I love that the kibble and scoop comes with the names of the dogs on them. The dogs seem pretty happy with their food and I have seen no signs of upset from them with a change of food. They still have one bag of kibble left each but once that is eaten we will be ordering some more and trying out the wet food and treats! 

If you would like to try some food from tails then you can use this code to get two weeks free with £1 delivery. 

Here is a picture of them with their own bags (we got sent two bags each, costing just over £50) Let me tell you now, trying to get your dogs to pose for a photo is incredibly hard. They kept walking away, would not sit etc. I am afraid this is this best I/them could do. 

*This product was sent to me for reviewing purposes, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Review - Vegan Beauty*

Once upon a time I was sent some vegan beauty products to review (at the start of the year...) Being a 'bad' blogger and life getting in the way I never got around to writing that post, until now! The truth is, even today with our amazing science and technology there are still so many companies that are testing on animals, which is incredibly sad. Over the last couple of years I have become really interested in the beauty, household products etc. that I buy. I check the ingredients, are they vegetarian/vegan? I have an app on my phone to scan items to see if they are cruelty free. It is something that is incredibly important to me and I think if anything we should start paying more attention to the items we are buying and the impact it can have on animals or the environment. I was sent several products to try from various companies. 

jojoba oil company review


The Jojoba company is a cruelty, dairy and gluten free company whose philosophy is to be pure and natural whilst being kind to the earth. They are an Australian company, who grow the Jojoba fruit on a plantation in Yenda which is based on being as sustainable as possible.  First of all, I really adore the packaging of this product. I love the elegant box, the glass bottle with a pipette and glossy pink colour. It is definitely a product that would catch my eye in a shop. The jojoba and rosehip oil used in this product work together to get deep into the skin to provide hydration, anti-oxidants and vitamins. This product is great for scars and stretch marks and be used pretty much all over for smooth, nourish and radiant skin. I mainly used this product at night so it could get work whilst I was sleeping, in the morning I always woke up with softer and smoother skin. After using this product for a month, I started to notice more differences to my skin. My skin was clearer, I wasn't breaking out as much as I used to, the appearance of my scars were fainter. My skin just looked a lot healthier and brighter, I was really pleased with this product and I was pretty sad when I ran out but it is something I will be purchasing again at some point. 

embryolisse review
Embryolisse is a brand that I have used several products from now and I have always been pleased with the results. Embryolisse take pride in being a prestige brand and was developed in 1950 from a dermatologist in an Parisian hospital, it is a brand that has been listed by pharmacies for over 65 years and has become a favourite brand to use backstage. This is another product that I would use only at night unless I had a day off sat at home, then I would apply it in the morning. Upon application the skin is meant to instantly look plumper and smoother, well I am not sure about plumper but my skin did look immediately smoother. It contains hyaluronic acid which saturates the skin with water to redefine it, with oat extracted natural sugars to lift the face leaving skin looking smoother and fine lines to appear less visible. The product contains mother of pearl pigments and the colour of the products does look like tiny little pearls. The helps give the skin a natural blur and enlightens the skin to provide radiance. This effect really worked on my skin, whilst making it look so much brighter and radiant. The gel sinks into the face super quick and I am really impressed with the results, I still have some of this product left and it is something I use everyday. 

10 in 1 Multi-benefit hair masque - Shea Moisture
she moisture review

Shea moisture is a brand I have walked past so many times but never thought to pick up and try. Shea moisture was started by a woman named Sofi Tucker who started selling shea nuts at a market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912, she sold skin and hair products all over the countryside the rest as they say is history. Shea moisture have ethical standards and leave out harmful ingredients such as DEA, parabens, propylene etc. They are a natural and organic brand who have tested their products on four generations and never on animals! Like I have said before this is a company I have noticed in shops and that is mainly down to their colourful and eye-catching packaging, the products are also at an affordable price so they are a company I will buy products from. This an intensive antioxidant-rich treatment that helps to perfect and renew vibrancy to brittle and lackluster hair, which pretty much sums up my hair! It treats damaged hair while providing anti-aging benefits, colour protection, hydration and nourishment among other things. When I was using this product I left it on for around 5-10 minutes, I do have slightly mixed feeling about the product, on some days when I used it would do pretty much everything it claimed to do, my hair would be softer, shiny and look so much healthier whereas on other days it didn't really have much of an impact. I have no idea why that is... but overall I did enjoy using the product and it is nice to treat your hair and scalp with an hair masque every once in a while even if you can't see the results all the time. 

know cosmetics no bleeding lips

Know Cosmetics is not a brand I had heard of before being sent this brand, I can't really seem to find much information about the brand on their website but they seem to be an American brand. This product is a clear lip liner pencil that prevents lipsticks and gloss from bleeding and feathering and aims to create a sheer defined lip shape. Personally, I didn't really notice much of a difference to my lips whether I put this on underneath lipstick or gloss, the only difference I noticed that this made my lips feel conditioned and much softer and that is really about it. It is not something I would purchase myself but I am interested to know if anyone else has used any of their other products?

Overall, I am really impressed with the majority of the products I have been sent and I hope it might open some peoples eyes to the variety of cruelty free and vegan products there are out there. 

Let me know your favourite cruelty free and vegan/vegetarian brands in the comments below. 





AA SKINCARE - CEDARWOOD AND PEPPERMINT CONDITIONER*

aa skincare conditioner review


AA Skincare recently launched a ranged of shampoos which I had the pleasure of trying last year. The latest launch of a range is their conditioners, I opted for the cedarwood and peppermint conditioner (£5.94, 250ml) after falling in love with the scent of this with their shower and bath gel. It is an invigorating and naturally refreshing conditioner that adds volume and shine. It is packed with nourishing ingredients such as shea butter and coconut oil to lock in moisture, along with peppermint and cedarwood essential oils to offer balance to oily hair. 

A small amount of conditioner spreads evenly over shoulder length hair, which once applied needs to be left on for five minutes. The peppermint leaves my hair and scalp feeling refreshed and clean and the scent stays in my hair every time I use it (I may occasionally smell my hair just to breathe in that peppermint scent.) Overall, it doesn't really add much volume to my hair unfortunately, but you know no amount of backcombing and hairspray will give my hair volume, it instantly falls flat. But I do enjoy using this conditioner, it leaves my hair soft and shiny and smelling incredible. 

Have you tried anything from the AA Skincare range?

DIY CEMENT POTS

It has been ages since I have had the time to really craft and make something; I had the idea of making cement pots last year, buying all the materials I would need and even making a tester pot to see if it would work. I ended up making the pots a couple of months ago but wanted some cactus to plant in them so avoided writing up the post until I felt they were finished. So today my mum finally found some cactus and I think they look quite pretty in their pastel, vintage colour pots. If you would like to make your own read on. 
cement planters diy

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