Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Review: Bootea 14 Day Teatox

I wouldn't say I'm particularly 'overweight', but my sedentary lifestyle (sit in work, sit at home, bed) and then eating the wrong foods and probably drinking too much sometimes, have all contributed in making me gain weight over the last year, mainly around my belly.

I'm not very fit, and I've yet to find a sport I enjoy enough to keep finding motivation for, so with that in mind and the summer looming, I decided to give the Bootea Teatox a try. 

I bought the 28 day pack (£34.99 from Holland & Barratt) but decided to cut it into two 14 day detoxes to use pre and post holiday. They appealed because I like tea, the ingredients aren't too scary, and aside from maintaining a balanced diet with moderate exercise, you don't have to do anything extreme alongside the detox. 

The girl in the shop told me that the night time teas (taken every other night) contain a laxative to help cleanse your colon and diffuse bloating, seeing as I suffer from an almost constant bloat, this sounded great to me.

I drank my first 'Daytime Detox' (containing Chinese oolong tea, ginger root, fennel seeds, dandelion, ginseng and nettle leaves) on a Saturday morning. I wasn't looking forward to it as I hate green tea but it was surprisingly pleasant. 
The 'Bedtime Cleanse' (containing peppermint, liquorice senna leaves and Valerian root) was also better than expected. I hate liquorice but the peppermint was strong enough to mostly disguise it.

I then drank the morning tea every morning (it doesn't have to be a set time, just whenever you can) for 14 days, with the night tea every other day, starting on day 1.  The diet advises you to cut out meat and alcohol as they contain the toxins you're trying to lose, but I took a 'everything in moderation' approach as I knew I wouldn't maintain never having meat or alcohol again afterwards. I cut down on my snacks, limited my alcohol intake and stuck mostly to white meat (and fish) as well as slightly upping my dog walks. 

I felt great while I was doing the detox, I had more energy, and my mind seemed clearer. I didn't lose any weight though although around day 10 I noticed the laxative effect for the first time (I won't traumatise you by going into too much detail but it was nothing drastic that resulting in me rushing to the bathroom. I did have more, err, 'frequency' for the last 3 days though) and that seemed to reduce some of the bloat.

In terms of weight loss, all in all I wouldn't rush out to buy Bootea for that purpose as I don't think it's anywhere near as effective as the poster campaign smeared all over Facebook lets you believe, but I did feel good on it, and I possibly didn't get the optimum benefit as I didn't stick to doing the diet by the book. 

I'm going to start on the next 14 days and try and do more exercise to see if I notice a difference.

Have you tried Bootea? What were your thoughts? 


Monday, 29 June 2015

Life Lately Through My Camera Roll

Wowsers, a bonus little blog post. I've been scheduling my posts (writing them a few at a time and posting around every other day) but tonight I decided to take a quick break from Netflix (I'm supposed to be working but never can if Netflix is on!) and decided to pop this up instead. 

1. A very pretty sunset I saw when I came out of the theatre last week. I'd been to see 'Woman in Black' which was SO good and atmospheric on stage.

2. As I was off work last week, I popped for a facial at my local spa. I told her I've been suffering from break outs around my temple and am a little bit pink from the holiday sun, she did a lovely and relaxing aromatherapy facial. 

3. Tasty lunch at the spa. Poached salmon with lemon juice on rustic white bread, with a side of chips. Gorgeous!

4. Yeah, there's a lot of food been consumed while I was off! We found the most lovely little traditional tea room not far from where I live and had a scone and sandwich there. Best. Scone. Ever! And SUCH a hidden gem too!

5. On Saturday night I had a night out with my bestie, we planned on being really rock and roll but really just sat putting the world to rights over a bottle of red wine instead, funny how nights out change as you get older...no stumbling home bare foot with a portion of cheesy chips for us! 

6. Yesterday morning I mopped up said wine with possibly the hugest breakfast bap known to man, even I hit the wall eventually.

7. Ben and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon and saw this lovely flower. It was the anniversary of my nana passing away so it kinda seemed a bit symbolic to throw it into the water and watch it float away.

8. During our walk we also popped into the tea room on the pier, it's so quaint and traditional and serves amazing cakes....

9. ....Which leads me nicely on to the lemon drizzle tray bake I just *had* to try.

So there's my week in photos, what have you been up to? 
And I'm going dedicate this post to my lovely Nana, who is still always in my thoughts. My mum made this lovely bouquet :) 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Recent Reads

Photos taken from Instagram - Yellowicing

I've always been an avid reader, but for a long time now busy life has seemed to get in the way (that and binge watching Netflix anyway) I find that relaxing with a good book really soothes me and makes me feel more centred somehow. On my recent holiday I was determined to find some balance and managed to get through 3.5 books which is good going! 
Here are the books I've been enjoying recently:


This Fragile Life - Kate Hewitt

This isn't my usual kind of book but my Mum actually recommended it to me as she found it incredibly moving. The story centres around two 30-something women in New York, Alex and Martha. Martha is married, successful and desperate to be a Mum, but hasn't been able to conceive. Her friend Alex is single and free-spirited with a low paid job and an unsuitable flat, but falls pregnant after a one night stand. The story shows how this baby affects their friendship, particularly after Alex agrees to let Martha adopt her child. Its shown equally from both women's perspectives, and is a really touching and emotional read. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down, and finished within a day and a half.

Daughter - Jane Shemilt

This book seems to be everywhere, and I've heard nothing but good reviews. It's about a busy Mum juggling between her family and her work as a GP, she notices some changes to her teenage daughter Naomi's behaviour, but just as she's about to talk to her about it, Naomi goes missing. While they're trying to find her, more and more secrets are revealed and her mother realises she didn't know her daughter as well as she thought she did. This kind of psychological thriller is my favourite type of book to read and again I couldn't put this down. The ending was a little bit disappointing I thought, but its still worth a read.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler

This is definitely not the kind of book I would normally go for, but it was one of my 'Kindle Recommends' and as it's won several literary awards I thought I'd give it a go. I can't really describe it without giving the plot twist away (I read it in the description before I started reading the book so sort of spoilt it for myself, although its revealed early on anyway) but it's the story of a young girl called Rosemary growing up in 1970's America in a dysfunctional family. Her brother and sister are both missing from the home and the story goes on to explain why, and it isn't what you'd expect! Its written in a witty, self-deprecating way which I liked, but parts of the story I found a little annoying. I managed to get through it quickly though so it obviously captured my attention.

The Killing 2 - David Hewson

I read the first book in the series at the end of last year, and absolutely couldn't put it down. I've been trying to read this since January but just kept stopping and starting and then getting distracted (and discovered Pretty Little Liars basically!) This is a Danish police crime/psychological thriller and now I've concentrated on it properly I'm really enjoying it. I read it all the way back on the 4.5 hour flight and wasn't bored, I've got the last chapter to read now and I'm gripped. Roll on book 3! 

What do you think of my summer reads? Have you read any of these books?


Friday, 26 June 2015

A Week in Gran Canaria

Last week I went to Gran Canaria for a week's  holiday. I've never been to the Canary Islands before and wasn't sure what to expect, I tend to go on city breaks or places with lots of culture, and haven't been on a beach holiday for a couple of years. I've been having quite a stressful time lately so I was relishing the chance to get away and relax and recharge for a few days.

We stayed at the Barcelo Margaritas Hotel in the Saint Fernando area. We went all inclusive which basically meant I ate my body weight and more every single day and night! The drinks were also free so I got to indulge my love of cocktails too (after all, it would be rude not to...)

We spent the first few days by the pool, I'm a lovely shade of British White so wanted to work on my tan. The weather was BOILING though so I basically just burnt a lot, thanks for nothing factor 50!

To start with, the pool seemed really busy and noisy with loads of kids about (and the Animation Team bursting into song every 2 hours) but then we discovered a second pool at the other side of the hotel grounds, which was unbelievably idyllic and peaceful and just what I needed. I managed to get through 4 books in the space of a week!

We went for a walk every evening for a change of scenery (being all inclusive can make you forget that there's a world outside the hotel and routine!) and the sunsets were just beautiful. We also walked to the beach which was about 20 minutes away. I love how the evenings are so light and balmy abroad, I so wish we had this at home!

The food was just amazing; there was SO much choice every day. Burgers, pizza, fresh fish, meat, vegetables, salads, chips and pasta. There was a Mexican night, a BBQ, Italian night and Asian night (with handmade sushi while you waited) and don't even get me started on dessert! Only on holiday can you eat 3 different types of cake along with mousses and several scoops of ice-cream on the same plate and find this acceptable. I'm sure I've come back several sizes bigger, but I was determined to relax while I was away and not beat myself up over anything. My favourite part was there was actually wine on tap - a pump with white, red and rose to choose from. I need one in my life!

I started each day off with a good breakfast of Spanish omelette, fresh fruit and natural yoghurt. Despite overdoing it in some ways, I avoided anything fried and didn't eat bread at all all week. I've been feeling a lot less bloated, that's for sure.

We did leave the confines of the hotel once or twice and went to the neighbouring towns. We spent a morning at Maspalomas which had a nature reserve, a lovely white sandy beach and amazing sand dunes.

We also went to Mogan which took about an hour by bus and was absolutely be-au-ti-ful! It was filled with gorgeous colourful buildings, winding streets and flowers everywhere! I could have flooded this post with countless photos, it was such a photogenic place.

In terms of clothes, I stuck to pastel and neutral colours, and nothing too tight fitting because of the heat. By the end of the week I was so burnt the red dress I wore on the last night nicely offset my lobster tan!

1. Top & Shorts - both Miss Selfridge / 2. Playsuit - Miss Selfridge / 3. Cream Dress - Vintage
4. Top - H&M, Skirt - TK Maxx / 5. Top - H&M, Skirt - Zara / 6. Dress - Apricot

I had my extensions taken out because I knew they would get in the way of me going in the pool and washing my hair. I'm so glad I did, it felt great to be low maintenance!

Have you been to Gran Canaria?

We stayed - Hotel Barcelo Margaritas
We flew - Ryanair


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Homeware Haul #2

Following on from the Homeware Haul blog I posted a couple of weeks ago , I once again hit the shops to stock up on stuff for the new house. I went to Dunelm Mill who have a big sale on at the moment, and picked up the following bits:

Natural Heritage Duvet Set £19.99 now £15.99 / Dunelm Mill
I'm a sucker for a nice duvet set, and I like the crisp, utility look of this one. I fancy an industrial type style in the bedroom, so this would go nicely with some wooden storage boxes and metal accessories.

Red LED Metal Arrow £24.99 / Dunelm Mill
Leading me nicely onto this arrow, which I think would fit in nicely with my industrial themed bedroom, and its nice and quirky, which I always love.
Global Fusion Blue Glass Bottle £2.49 now £1.24 / Dunelm Mill
I know that a lot of the stuff I buy looks a bit mish mashed and like it won't go with each other, but I have quite different ideas for different rooms of the house so most of these things won't be put with each other! I have a couple of Moroccan inspired pieces already and at just over a pound, even if I can't find a home for these, I won't have broken the bank. These will probably end up in the bathroom.
Glass Jar 3 Light Cluster £39.99 / Dunelm Mill
This was the most expensive item I bought. I haven't quite figured out lighting yet, but I think this will be a nice focal point for possibly the living room or landing.
Skandi Collection Copper GalPendant Light £14.99 now £11.99
I love copper, its so fresh and clean looking. Again, I'm not sure which room this will go in yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks alongside my other copper pieces.
Skandi Collection Ochre Galley Pendant Light £12.99 now £10.39
Finally, one more light because why buy two when you can buy three? Haha. I bought this with the front hall in mind because we're having it white with white floors, to brighten it up, and I think this shade will throw out a lot of light due to its colour.
What do you think of my random assortment of homeware pieces?


Monday, 22 June 2015

Glossybox / June Review

So as I said last month, I'm going to a monthly review of Glossybox as part of a new monthly series, and here are my thoughts on the June box.
I thought this was a FAB box, I really like the products. With a holiday coming up just days after it arrived, the timing was perfect.

Kueshi Anti-Cellulite Booster

I must admit I'm fairly lucky when it comes to cellulite, and don't have loads. But like all women, I have areas I'm not that happy with and I've been using this lotion as a preventative measure. So far I haven't noticed my skin feeling any firmer, but I've only used this once or twice so I'll give it time.

Halo Fragrance Free Facial Wipes

Well, there isn't tons I can write about this product as these wipes do just what they say on the tin! Again though they came in very handy for my holiday (not that I wore much make-up as I was trying to let my skin breathe) and as I have sensitive skin, they didn't make my skin feel tight at all.

Essence - The Gel Nail Polish

I haven't actually used this yet as I had my nails done before I left for my holiday, but I love the shade and gel polishes are much better on my nails than normal polish, so I'm looking forward to trying this.

MONUSpa Rosewood Reviving Mist

I love a facial spritz to give me a fresh boost, but I've never actually bought many. This is lovely and fresh, and really cooling on the skin, I used this a couple of times while I was away and loved it, imagine my devastation when I pulled the lid off absent-mindedly and spilt 70% of the contents all over the floor! *sob* I would definitely repurchase this though, if I could justify £11.95 on a spray.

Glossybox Flash Tattoos

I was really looking forward to trying these out, I used to love temporary tattoos as a kid and I thought these would look lovely, but due to a last minute packing frenzy I forgot to pop them in my case. I still have my tan though so I might stick them on this week and pretend I'm still soaking up the sun!

Have you had this month's Glossybox? If so, what do you think?


Saturday, 20 June 2015

Fleetwood Mac Live - A Tick off the Ol Bucket List

As I mentioned in a post last week, I got the chance to fulfil a lifelong dream and see Fleetwood Mac live in Birmingham.

I'm a massive music fan, I can't go more than an hour without listening to music, and I'm a bit of a granny in my musical tastes as I generally much prefer 'the classics' to modern day music (there are some exceptions obviously)

I've always felt I belonged in the 70's and was born in the wrong era, and I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac as my Mum played 'Tango in the Night' seemingly constantly, and I do think being exposed to our parents tastes from a young age help influence ours too. Anyway, I digress.

We arrived in Birmingham in the late afternoon and checked in to our hotel (the Premier Inn near the NEC) Due to a mix-up at the hotel restaurant, we walked down the road to a really quaint little pub called The Little Owl and had food and a drink there. 

Once we were in our seats with an ice cold beer in our hands, the show began, and it was 2.5 hours of pure heaven, I just wanted time to stand still so I could enjoy it forever! I loved every minute of it, and hearing 'Everywhere' (my favourite song of ALL TIME) performed live gave me goosebumps. This was the first tour in 16 years featuring the full line up, so hearing Christine McVie (my fave) singing that song was just a pure snapshot moment for me.

SLR's were understandably banned, which was a shame for Ben as he wanted to try and get some really good shots, so we used our phones instead. These pictures don't do it justice at all, the atmosphere in the arena was electric.

We floated back to the hotel on a complete high and debriefed in the bar - my highlights were 'Everywhere' and an amazing instrumental extended ending of 'Gold Dust Woman'; while Ben's were 'The Chain' (which they opened with) and a massive (possibly drug fuelled) drum solo from Mick Fleetwood which seemed to go on forever, but both of us agreed the whole show was just beyond amazing, and an unforgettable experience.

I'm not sure we'll ever get the opportunity to see them tour again (they actually cancelled the following nights show due to illness so I feel unbelievably lucky to have seen them) but if not, this will definitely go down as one of the best nights of my life.

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