Monday, 29 December 2014

Reading Challenge 2015

2014 has been a busy year. So busy in fact I seem to have neglected my love for reading (and also this blog, my bad). Whilst browsing online I came across Popsugars Reading Challenge 2015. I felt this was a great challenge for 2015. I know 2015 is probably going to be just as hectic but even if I can get through at least a couple of books I think I would have made an improvement and that's what new years resolutions are all about! So here we go, a reading challenge for 2015! I will try my best to keep you updated with book reviews and checklists of the challenge as much as I can. Join me if you wish! Here are the details below:

What are your challenges or new years resolutions for 2015? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Dragonfly Tea | Review

Dragonfly Tea*
Everyone's (or most) favourite hot drink! Hurrah! I am an avid lover of herbal tea so I was delighted when I was sent a handful of different teas to try by the lovely people at Dragonfly Tea.

Dragonfly Tea are a family-owned, British tea company with a hundred year heritage of growing and making artisanal teas. Their longstanding relationships with growers and master tea-makers around the world has helped them source the best quality harvests from environmentally and socially responsible gardens. They personally try every new harvest to ensure that they get the taste just right.

Their entire Dragonfly Specialty range is certified by the Organic Food Federation and they are members of the Fairtrade Foundation. They never use artificial additives, preservatives or colourings and all their teas are GM-free. Their teabags are chlorine-free, their boxes and envelopes are recyclable as paper, and their used bags are biodegradable and compostable. 

Each of the teas contained 20 sachets and the rooibos contained 40 tea bags (see pic. below for what they looked like). The tea labels also have quotes on them!

(note: I have a habit of leaving herbal teabags in so my teas are probably a lot stronger that what someone else would have).

Moroccan Mint (Organic Green Tea): For me this was the one that I was most excited to try as I love green tea and spearmint. It makes a difference from the standard green tea I usually have and I think I now prefer it with a hint of spearmint!

Green Gaucho (Organic Mate Tea): I love the taste of this mate tea as it's also refreshing with the hint of lemongrass. The green tea taste isn't overpowering, so I feel if you're new to the green tea hype it would be worth trying this one first to get a taste for it!

Skinny Dragon (Organic Pu'er Tea): I was intrigued to try this as i've never tried pu'er tea before. It has quite a smooth earthy taste. The tea is darker in colour than the others however tastes just as light.

Vanilla Rooibos: This tea has a distinctive sweet smell of honey and smells almost menthol like. As the drink cools you can taste the flavours really come through. It is a sweet tea but it doesn't leave a horrible tangy taste or after taste. Very easy to drink - I think it might become one of my new favourites!

Altogether I have really enjoyed these teas by Dragonfly as they are so easy to drink and taste delicious! Its great to have a choice of different teas that all taste equally as nice.

The full Dragonfly Tea range is available from It is also available at Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, Holland & Barrett, John Lewis and independents.

Facebook: /dragonflyteauk
Twitter: @dragonflytea
Instagram: /dragonflyteauk

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas - For Her

If you're like me you have got most of your Christmas presents already, however if not, fear not. I've put together a few ideas for gifts for her.

The prices vary so there's something for everyone. Hope this gives you some ideas.

1. Canon EOS 600D with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens - £359.00

2. One Direction Four The Ultimate Edition Album - £12.99

3. MAC Lipstick - Velvet Teddy - £15.50

4. Lip Voltage - £15.99

5. Wonderland Cotton Tail - Cotton wool dispenser - £9.99

9. Naked 3 Palette - £37.00

10. Extendable Selfie Stick - £12.99

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Hello November

Taken from Tumblr
I can't believe how fast this year is going! I've had such a great 2014. I apologize for not updating as regularly as I could, but I have been mega busy. I finished University in May and then went on a long summer holiday working and traveling in North and South America (see my older blog posts for more info on those). I have currently started a new job (not exactly what I want to be doing for many years to come but it's bringing in the money for the time being :-)) and my graduation ceremony is this month. 

What have you got planned this month? 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Bootea Teatox & Eating Plan | Review

Name: Bootea 
Length: 14 days (2 weeks)
Weight lost: .4 stone (3kg)
Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

During my summer adventures I didn't exactly keep to a healthy eating plan and saw the side effects of what I was eating very fast. I gained nearly 2 stone in weight, went up a dress size and my skin was terrible. Looking back on photographs it gave me the motivation to kick-start a healthier lifestyle and diet. This is where I came across Bootea. Bootea had been recommended to me by my friend so I went out and bought the 14 day teatox from Holland and Barrett for £19.99.

Bootea is a tea detox (teatox) containing natural ingredients to help aid with weight-loss and cleansing your body. You take one Daytime detox a day and a Bedtime cleanse every other night before you go to bed.

The Bootea package contains two types of teabags, the morning/daytime detox (14 bags) and the bedtime cleanse (7 bags). The Bedtime cleanse works as a laxative so take before you go to bed as the laxative effect works approx. 8 hours after you have drank it.

Daytime Detox contents: Chinese Oolong tea, Maté leaves, Ginger root, Fennel seeds, Lemongrass, Dandelion leaf, Ginseng root, Gotu Kola leaves, Nettle leaves.

Bedtime Cleanse contents: Senna leaves, Peppermint leaves, Fenugreek seeds, Liquorice root, Burdock root, Hawthorn leaves, Valerian root, Psyllium seeds.


For me the start of the teatox was quite hard. I felt constantly hungry and also experienced a weird feeling in my stomach like cramps and not feeling 100% on the second day... possibly due to the bedtime cleanse? By the end of day 2 I wasn't sure that I wanted to carry on with this teatox as it seemed to be really affecting me. However after day 2 was over I seemed to be fine and my next bedtime cleanse didn't seem as bad. Thinking my stomach had overcome the bedtime cleanses I experienced more intense stomach pains on day 9 (same day as a bedtime cleanse). Day 10 the pains carried on all day and felt like I was being kicked in the stomach! Further to this I kept getting waves of nausea.

I didn't think the taste of the tea was too bad, however if you're not a regular drinker of herbal tea you may find the taste over powering. My advice would be to try green tea and see how you like the taste of that first before you put yourself through two weeks of being uncomfortable drinking the Bootea. The daytime detox has a hint of lemongrass flavor and the bedtime has a subtle hint of peppermint flavor.

I don't promote this as a weight-loss teatox, but more to cleanse your body and help remove some of those bad toxins so don't be expecting miracles. These tiny teabags do not have the power to remove excess weight. On this teatox I didn't exercise (except walking to/from work) so the results are just from a cleaner/healthier diet than I would normally eat and the Bootea. Obviously with exercise you will maximize the results.

My skin didn't look any different in the first week, in fact it looked a little worse in the first week. I upped my skin routine in the second week and seemed to see a much clearer complexion however I am unsure on what caused that. Regarding my energy levels I saw an increase and seemed to have a lot more energy throughout the day.

Overall I don't think this teatox was for me. I've read many reviews on this product and people either seem to get on really well with it where as others have had a not so great experience. Even though I experienced quite a few side effects from this teatox, others who have tried it haven't had any bad side effects. I think it is just Russian roulette as to how your body will react. I really wanted to enjoy this detox however due to the side effects I didn't enjoy the two weeks I was on it. Please drink this at your own risk, only you know your body. 

Eating plan: 

Below is my two week eating plan. I tried to keep as close as I could to their own eating plan which can be found here. Personally I don't think their diet helps much with weight loss as there is cheese and carbs which you should probably avoid if you are on a strict diet. However, it did help me keep to a healthier eating pattern. 
On this eating plan you cannot eat meat as the toxins within meat is what the Bootea is trying to eradicate. 

Drinks consumed on this plan: Bootea, water, green tea, peppermint tea, sparkling water (flavoured & non-flavoured), coconut water & orange juice

Day 1
Breakfast: 2 Weetabix with 150ml of skimmed milk
Lunch: Salad (little gem lettuce, rocket, sugar drop tomatoes, cucumber, radish, spring onions) with 1 smoked mackerel and 1 wholemeal pitta with a touch of pepper
Dinner: Salmon with a chili, lime and ginger sauce served with egg noodles, steamed broccoli & asparagus
Snacks: 1 low-fat strained Greek-style Strawberry yogurt 100g

Day 2
Breakfast: 2 wholemeal pieces of toast with marmalade 
Lunch: 4 oat crackers with low-fat soft cheese and a large salad
Dinner: Tuna and sweetcorn wholewheat pasta with pesto, tomato and steamed broccoli
Snacks: 1 bowl of all-bran cereal with a cup of skimmed milk. 1 bowl of strawberries. 1 low-fat strained Greek-style Strawberry yogurt 100g

Day 3 
Breakfast: 1 bowl of strawberries
Lunch: Salad with meat-free turkey and sage Quorn (2 slices) with 1 wholemeal pitta
Dinner: Potato & wheat flour gnocchi with tomato sauce, broccoli, red onion, baby corn and mixed herbs
Snacks: 2 kiwi fruits. 2 slices of meat-free turkey and sage Quorn

Day 4
Breakfast: -
Lunch: 2 oat crackers with 0% cottage cheese and two pieces of meat-free turkey and sage Quorn
Dinner: Prawn stir-fry (with red onion, spring onion, baby corn, broccoli, red/yellow and green peppers, Chinese five-spice) and egg noodles
Snacks: Handful of almond nuts

Day 5
Breakfast: -
Lunch: Potato & wheat flour gnocchi with tomato sauce, broccoli, red onion, baby corn and mixed herbs with rocket
Dinner: 1 sweet potato with a filling of  pink salmon, 2 tbsp creme fraiche, lemon juice and black pepper with a small salad
Snacks: 2 kiwi fruits. 2 pieces of wholemeal toast with light margarine 

Day 6
Breakfast: -
Lunch: 1 wholemeal pitta with pink salon filling from day 5
Dinner: 1 small salad. 2 egg omelette with red onions, spring onions, mushrooms, carrots, sugarsnap peas, chili, milk, salt & pepper. One bowl of blueberries
Snacks: 1 bowl of Special K with semi-skimmed milk

Day 7
Breakfast: 2 Weetabix with 150ml skimmed milk
Lunch: Weight-watchers Chicken, potato and leek soup & 1 wholemeal bread roll
Dinner: Prawn stirfry with baby corn, sugarsnap peas, red bell pepper, mushrooms, red onion, broccoli, carrots with Chinese 5 spice powder and noodles
Snacks: Nut & apple bread/cake (My mums creation*). 1 low-fat strained Greek-style Blueberry yogurt 100g

Day 8
Breakfast: -
Lunch: 1 large salad with 3 slices of meat-free turkey & sage Quorn. 2 oat crackers with low-fat cottage cheese
Dinner: 1 piece of grilled cod with tomatoes, 2 small courgettes, potatoes and sweetcorn. 1 bowl of strawberries and kiwi fruit
Snacks: 2 pieces of wholemeal toast with light margarine. A couple of slices of meat-free turkey & sage Quorn

Day 9
Lunch: 1 large salad with half a tin of tuna
Dinner: mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwich with sweet potato wedges
Snacks: Nut & apple bread/cake*

Day 10
Breakfast: 2 Weetabix with 150ml skimmed milk
Lunch: Tuna and sweetcorn wholewheat pasta with pesto, tomato, peas and steamed broccoli
Dinner: Meat-free Quorn crispy fillet with potatoes, carrots & cabbage
Snacks: Handful of toffee sweets and two jaffa cakes (Oops! work induction). Chocolate, fruit & nut mix 60g

Day 11
Breakfast: 2 wholemeal pieces of toast with 2 eggs (scrambled)
Lunch: 2 bread thins sandwich with low-fat grated cheese
Dinner: 1 large salad with tuna
Snacks: -

Day 12
Breakfast: Tiny slice of nut & apple bread/cake
Lunch: Handful of vegetables and low-fat cottage cheese
Dinner: Spicy parsnip soup with 2 pieces of wholemeal bread. 1 low-fat strained Greek-style Blueberry yogurt 100g
Snacks: Cashew nuts 60g

Day 13
Breakfast: -
Lunch: 1 large salad with tuna
Dinner: 1 tiny salad with pieces of sliced egg with a small amount of mayonnaise. 1 piece of cod with rosemary and lemon with carrots and broccoli. 1 fat-free apple and watermelon jelly 175g
Snacks: 1 slice of nut & apple bread/cake

Day 14
Breakfast: -
Lunch: 2 pieces of wholemeal toast with 2 eggs (scrambled)
Dinner: Steak stir-fry (I know i'm not meant to eat meat on this teatox but oh well...) (steak strips, carrots, celery, red onion, mushroom, red peppers, sugar snap peas and babycorn) with boiled white rice and half a weight-watchers pitta bread
Snacks: 2 oat crackers with low-fat cottage cheese

*If you would like the recipe just ask!

Have you tried the Bootea teatox or any other detox drinks? What are your thoughts on them? Let me know in the comments below! 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Selling At A Carboot | Hints & Tips

This Sunday I went to sell my unwanted items at a local indoor carboot. Since finishing University I have accumulated so much stuff I didn't know what to do with, so what else better than to do a carboot sale!
Here I have put some hints and tips together gathered from my experience both from last Sunday and previous carboots - hope this helps if you ever do one!

Hints & Tips:

- If you have enough room bring your own table and hanging rail, saves you paying out to loan one

- Bring sheets or covers to put on the floor or over your table. If you place items on the floor or under your table it saves them getting dirty

- Use a hanging rail if possible, it's more accessible if people want a quick look rather than in piles

- Make sure you go with someone (a family member or friend). Sitting there behind a stall can get pretty boring! Also someone is there to help you if you get more than one customer at a time or if you need to nip to the toilet!

- If your carboot is outside, prepare for the weather! Bring a pair of gloves, coat and sunglasses

- Bring a drink and snacks, saves you forking out a fortune at a food van onsite

- Clean your items, make them look appealing! No one wants to buy a dirty pair of shoes or a dusty vase

- Organize your table from the front so you know what the buyers see!

- Make your table look presentable and re-arrange things when people have messed it up a little looking for a bargain (after they have left though!)

- Make sure you have a 'float' full of change. People will hand you notes and if you don't have the correct change you could miss out on a sale

- Traders will most likely be your first customers. They will probably pick out your best items first

- Have a rough idea of prices but be realistic

- People WILL haggle so make sure if you don't want to sell something for a certain price or lower stick to your guns

- Bring plastic bags with you (more than a few) to put sold items in. People will appreciate it!

- If you really want to sell something, try have it at eye height and not hidden under the table

- Have a look around if you have time at other stalls and see what else other people are selling and for what price

- If you have jewelry double check things aren't valuable such as gold. You will probably get a better price cashing it in at a jewelers or pawn shop

- If someone has bought a big item offer to save it behind your table so they can pick it up when they're leaving, saves them walking around with it

- Make sure all your items work such as electrical items

- Make things look presentable, group items together if you have the time (ie. shoes, teddies, dvds, clothes, books) instead of having them everywhere

- Bring a variety of items so you appeal to more people

- Know your clothes sizes, people will usually ask

- Smile and be chatty! It makes all the difference

Have you ever sold at a carboot? What is your best find? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Trek America (Playa Del Carmen to Antigua) | Summer '14 Continued!

After working at camp in America, I thought i'd let off some steam by going on a tour with Trek America with my best friend! 

Trek America are a reliable and safe way to travel around ensuring you get the best of your trip! Also because I am a previous Americamper I got 10% of this trip - result! I booked my trek through Trek America however it was the partner company Geckos who lead the trek.

The trip I chose was the Playa Del Carmen to Antigua. With this trek I traveled through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala for 16 days with lodging and one home stay.

Copyright Trek America

Start destination: Playa del Carmen
End destination: Antigua

I'm sorry about a very half review on this trek, I stopped writing down what was going on a few days in as I was just so busy and couldn't possibly now remember everything that I did (yay for having a bad memory). However, if you're curious as to a specific place or the activities I did please just let me know in the comments and I will try my very best to remember what happened! 

Day 1: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
The tour started in Playa del Carmen in the early evening. We met the tour guide and all the other people on the trek in the lobby to go over details. We were given a free evening to explore Playa del Carmen, however because we'd arrived a couple of days earlier before the trek and had already seen what this place had to offer we decided to go on a dinner trip to Walmart and to have an early night so we were fresh for the next destination.


Day 2 - 3: Tulum, Mexico
After a short ride by 'local transport' (which was more of an air-conditioned mini-van) we arrived in Tulum at Villa Tulum hotel. We ventured out to the beach shortly after our arrival where we swan in beautiful, clear waters and had lunch. After enough sun we walked down the beach to the Ruins of Tulum.
The next day we visited the Gran Cenote which is a natural pit of crystal clear water. We were able to swim here with the fish and turtles. In the evening we went out for our first group meal!

Caye Caulker

Day 4 - 5: Caye Caulker, Belize
This day consisted of quite a bit of traveling. We got a taxi from our hotel to the bus station where we caught a surprisingly nice coach. After our stop on the coach we had lunch at a local cafe and from there we caught taxis to the border. Here we pilled into a private van. It was about 307 pesos to exit Mexico. After we paid we walked through customs and on the other side got back into our van in Belize. It took us around two hours to get to Belize City where we caught water taxis to the island of Caye Caulker (the ride was about 50 minutes). Once arriving at the island we checked into Tom's Hotel. As we were too tired to do much on the island from all the traveling we checked out the main street and went out for dinner with the trek group.
The main activity on this island was the snorkelling. We managed to get a good price for them to take us out on our own private boat with three stops. First we stopped at Hol Chan, Shark and Ray Alley and finally Coral Gardens. On the way back our guide spotted a lone manatee and we swam with it until it became out of our zone. In the evening we visited 'the place to be' I & I Reggae Bar.

San Ignacio

Day 6 - 7: San Ignacio, Belize


Day 8 - 9: Flores, Guatemala

Rio Dulce

Day 10 - 11: Rio Dulce, Guatemala


Day 12: Antigua, Guatemala

San Jorge La Laguna

Day 13: Chichicastenango & San Jorge La Laguna, Guatemala


Day 14: Panajachel, Guatemala


Day 15 - 17: Antigua, Guatemala

Have you been on any treks? Where would you like to travel to if you had the chance? Let me know in the comments below!