Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Birthday Gift Guide


Yesterday, my sister turned 18! Obviously this is a big birthday so I thought I would share what I got her and also a few other bits I would give to friends & family as gifts.
  • Prairie Charms Custom Made Pieces


The lovely ladies at Prairie Charms were the first people I went to when I started gathering my sisters presents. They were so helpful! I told them my sisters favourite colours and her style and they came up with 4 lovely pieces.

These fantastic bangles can be personalised in so many ways. In any lettering, a large selection of symbols and at any place on the bangle too. My sister loved this piece!

  • Throwback to the 90s


I was in Tesco's a few weeks ago in search of some smaller bits to put with her presents and found all these party bag gifts. I replicated a party bag from the 90s with all this useless, but slightly amusing, junk.

  • Throwback to the 00s

To add to the party bag pieces, I got all these chew bars and other sweets which I’m sure were in all the party bags 10 years ago. This also took the total to 18 presents!

Is it just me who absolutely loves wrapping up presents? Making them all pretty with matching paper and ribbon. This wrapping paper from wrap.me is completely personalised. You can upload up to 30 photos from your laptop, Instagram or Facebook. You can then choose the type of borders you want and the arrangement of the photos. I am so impressed with the outcome of the wrapping paper, the quality and also the service.

Like everything else, notebooks are great presents! I thought my sister would love a Toad Diaries notebook and you can see my previous thoughts on them here. Even though there are plenty of patterned covers, I chose this blue with white stars which is so pretty! “Welcome to New York” also seemed perfect, she loves Taylor Swift and my other sister and I went out to surprise her in New York so it seemed only right.

  • SWIG Hip Flasks*

A fantastic idea with these hip flasks. I chose the Union Jack case and classic silver hip flask and I love the look and quality of it! It’s as classy as a hip flask can get! It is totally an ideal present for anyone, over the age of 18 of course! Plus you can engrave the flask and get different cases too.


I personally love Birthdays and Christmas as I love buying presents for other people and wrapping them up all pretty. Then seeing their faces as they wreck my lovely wrapping and see the gifts I got them. It’s the small pleasures in life!

What is the best birthday gift you have bought for someone?

*This was kindly gifted to me, and as always all thoughts are my own.


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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

15 Motivating Things When You Feel Like Giving Up


Last week my laptop broke, all by accident, but when you're already feeling overwhelmed and like you aren't doing good enough already, plus your main hobby basically replies on technology, I got in to bed and slept through till morning. The mature and grown up thing to do obviously.

However, with a fresh view on things after 10 hours sleep, despite still being devastated and begging my sister to borrow her laptop, here is what I did when I felt like giving up:

  1. Have a shower with all your favourite products, at least you’re clean and smell good
  2. Get up and get on with your day as you normally would
  3. Eat a good breakfast, homemade smoothies please
  4. Focus on the more important things in life and appreciate what you actually do have
  5. Distract yourself as much as possible
  6. Go old school and write everything by hand, ready to schedule
  7. Get out of the house
  8. Go for a run
  9. Meet up with friends
  10. Do some baking, GBBO style
  11. Put on an Afternoon Tea for your Nan
  12. Watch a bit of TV so you don’t get withdrawal symptoms from Netflix
  13. Go sit in a coffee shop and people watch, because there’s nothing better than that
  14. Get crafty with scrapbooking and saving those memories for when technology fails you
  15. Then buy a new laptop because what is life without blogging and Netflix?


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Friday, 14 August 2015

A Stationary Addicts Guide to Blog Organisation

Hi, my names Adele and I’m a stationary addict. I must own over 20 notebooks, hundreds of pens, sticky notes, washi tape, you name it, I own it.

I have been completely awful with blog organisation recently. I’ve had a sudden surge of inspiration, hence why I have had so many posts this month but I have been completely awful at organising myself. So it is time to sort that out! Here are a number of stationary pieces I use in the offline world to stay organised and keep everything together.

Toad Diaries* are an online company who specialise in custom made diaries and notebooks to suit you. They have over 20 cover designs, both plain and patterned, plus you can add text to the front and back. I love being able to add the text as it means it is unique to you and no one else will have the same.

  • Planner
I like using a planner that I can keep all my blog notes in and when the posts will be scheduled. For the inside pages, I chose a weekly view with lined pages. This way I can keep all the relevant blog posts and notes all together on two pages. I love a to do list so those will definitely be used on the lined pages too!

I conveniently named my diary “Blog Planner 2015/16, because, you know, I don’t want to get confused now. I also love the large range of covers that are available! I chose this pretty Spring Flourish pattern which is so pretty and I love the bright colours.

You can also choose the length of the diary and the month it starts, in this case I chose 18 months to start this month! I haven’t had a specific blog planner before but I’m loving it and finding it so helpful.


  • Notebook
I’m someone who prefers to have notes written down on paper, I just find it easier for when I’m typing it up and I can make little changes to the posts. I chose the quote “What Is Coming Is Better Than What Is Gone” to give me a lovely bit of motivation and inspiration before I start writing!

I opted for a pink cover, need I say more! You can choose either 120, 160 or 200 pages in the notebook. I love being able to have all my blog notes in one place before typing them up. As well when I’m out of the house without my laptop.

I am seriously impressed with the quality, service and quick delivery from Toad Diaries. I would really recommend them!

  • To Do Lists
I also use this little to do list pad on a clipboard from Paperchase which I keep on my desk to scribble down things I need to do while I can still remember!


  • Pens, Washi Tape & Paperclips
I keep these on my desk to make my planner and notes so much prettier. I don’t want a plain, boring planner!

  • Post-It Notes
These are great in so many ways, adding extra notes to a full up page, adding into planners or just to have on the desk to write down things quickly.

Stickers are also a fun way to make planners better!

I am crazy about being organised! How do you keep organised?



*This was kindly gifted to me, and as always all thoughts are my own.
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Monday, 10 August 2015

Urban Fruit Snacks

Now that I have moved back home, I am surrounded by my family to keep me motivated and help keep me on track to eating healthy.

Urban Fruit

I have very kindly been sent an Urban Fruit Snack* box to try all that they have to offer! They have a lot of different fruits to try which is good to see for the brand! The first ones to catch my eye were the mango and pineapple bags. Only this year have I tried mango and it’s safe to say that I have fallen in love with it.

There was a selection of Smashing Strawberry, Magnificent Mango, Perfectly Pineapple, Cheeky Cherry and Tremendously Tropical.

Urban Fruit

All of the fruits are gently baked, there is no added sugar or sulphates, which these days is becoming more important to everyone.

Urban Fruit

Each of their fruits come in two bag sizes, a larger one with several portions and smaller snack bags each with around 100 calories. So you can eat delicious fruit and not worry about calories but also get your sweet fix. It certainly beats a bar of chocolate.

Urban Fruit

I thought I would have a favourite out of the Mango and Pineapple but after trying them all, I don’t think I do have a favourite now. They are definitely one of the best snacks around though!

newendnote

 




*This product was kindly sent to me for review purposes and as always all views are my own.
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Friday, 7 August 2015

Zeo Drinks

As another company involved in the first Pretty Lovely Bloggers event, it was so kind of Zeo* to offer to send us a few of their flavours to try before we handed them out at the event!

Drink Zeo

A cute box arrived and inside was a lovely card saying how pleased they were to be involved, which really goes a long way as far as I’m concerned!

The three flavours I received were Peach & Grapefruit, Zesty Lime and Blood Orange & Citrus.

Drink Zeo

I have tried the first of these two flavours before and made a comment on how the Zesty Lime flavour tastes exactly like Smirnoff Ice but without any alcohol, it is definitely like reliving your teenage years!

The peach and grapefruit is also really delicious with tones of both fruits, it is so refreshing in the heat we have been having!

Blood orange and citrus is not a flavour I would pick up myself. I prefer just plain orange if I’m going to have it at all! However, I really loved this flavour and it just goes to show that you should try new things more often.

To make these drinks even better, they are sightly carbonated, have all natural ingredients and are low in sugar. A winner to me.

Drink Zeo

I am so excited to have Zeo as part of the first Pretty Lovely Bloggers event. Don’t forget to sign up as we are planning our next events now!

*This product was kindly sent to me for review purposes and as always all views are my own.

Adele's Journey
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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Festival Food

If you are a regular reader of my little old blog, you will have seen that I went to Camp Bestival at the weekend. I didn’t go in to too much detail about all the food we are, because you know, well, another blog post!

Camp Bestival 2015

The Thursday night I had an amazing chicken curry with salad which I completely forgot to get a picture of or what kind of chicken curry it even was, #bloggerproblems.

Friday started with coffee and chocolate croissants while some of the others got smoothies from our nearest food truck. Lunch was from Chapati Man, a chicken tikka chapati with delicious chicken tikka, chillies and salad. It was so good but the extra chillies took it to the extreme spiciness! Chicken tikka seemed to be the theme of the day as I also had chicken tikka masala with rice and salad, this time it wasn’t as great, I ended up throwing half of it away!

Camp Bestival Camp Bestival

Saturdays were made for brunch always, and accompanied by prosecco too. We went to a place called the Dandylion where we were able to sit down and have a proper meal. I had the joy of having scrambled egg, avocado and salsa on sourdough bread toast. Despite the eggs being cold (and for that I couldn’t finish it), it was pretty nice. I think avocado on toast would be plenty enough and perhaps a lunch I could have in the future! My mum had similar but had rancheros beans instead of egg which looked really good!

Camp Bestival

For dinner I had sushi but by that I mean an extra large maki! Think stuffed full with pepper, avocado and cucumber wrapped in brown and white sushi rice and seaweed around that. It was huge and I had to leave a bit to come back to but it was so good! I love cucumber maki and I could eat it all day so I really enjoyed this! I might have a go at making it myself.

Camp Bestival

After a few drinks on Saturday, it seemed only right to have a smoothie called the Morning After for my breakfast. It has melon, mango, pineapple and kiwi and was made with frozen fruit but seeing as it was already quite warm, it instantly melted! I realised after that it was made with fat free frozen yoghurt and 3 of your 5 a day, making me feel pretty good about what I was drinking!

Camp Bestival Camp Bestival

For lunch I enjoyed another chapati, this time with no extra chillies but it was still ridiculously spicy! I thought ahead and got a bottle of water with it, clever me!

Camp Bestival

As the last supper, I absolutely had to have a Mexican burrito! I had one that last time we went and they are so yummy! I got mine without the cheese and sour cream mainly because I don’t like either and also ya know, calories! It was the best meal to end Camp Bestival!

Camp Bestival

Can we just appreciate this bread? It is the best bread ever, and I wish I could have eaten it! It is basically bread topped with tomato and mozzarella!

Camp Bestival

And all these food stalls!

Camp Bestival

What is your favourite festival food?

Adele's Journey
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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

A to Z of Summer


Afternoon tea in the sun

BBQs

Cocktails and Cold drinks

Days out

Exercise, time to get motivated!

Festivals!

Garden Parties

Holidays

Ice lollies

Jet setting off around the world, or I wish

Kit-kats, take a break!

Longer Days

Memories

New starts, for me anyway

Outdoors

Parks

Queues for ice cream

R + R, there just seems to be more of it

Sand between your toes

Tans, or I just go red

Ultimate trip planning

Vegetables, my mum has them in the garden, so they’re coming out of our ears!

Weather, need I say much?

eXtra time in the day

Yummy food

Zoo. Always.


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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

July Degustabox

As a company we are working very closely with for Pretty Lovely Bloggers first event in the West Midlands, I though I should share the July Summer Degustabox* with you all!

Degustabox

1. Weetabix On The God (£1.49 each)

Degustabox

I’ve seen these around in shops before but never actually picked one up. They come in chocolate and vanilla flavours and are a perfect quick breakfast. At 236 calories per bottle, they could be worse off and they also include 4 vitamins and iron. As I’m starting my new job, this will come in handy as I have a half an hour drive to work and I probably won’t always have time for a proper breakfast.

2. Fru Snax (£1.25 each)

Degustabox

I ave never seen these before but they are certainly intriguing. These are simply fruit and yoghurt pieces with flavours that complement each other. With each pack less than 50 calories there is no reason to feel guilty and still get your sugar fix!

3. Lambrini (£3.49)

Degustabox

I think Lambrini has a bad name for itself but they still do so well so I will be giving this a chance before writing it off. t just reminds me of being 16 and everyone drinking it because it was cheap! However at first look, I was really impressed with the design on the bottle, really cute and subtle! As for the flavour - So Strawberry, The Fruity One, it’s definitely right up my street. I love fruity wine so I am sure I will enjoy it. This is part of their new range and the other flavours look great too!

Verdict: I tried it, and I wasn’t as big of a fan as I thought I might have been.

4. Say Yes To No (£1.49)

Degustabox

Another new product for me and whilst sour cream and onion wouldn’t be my first choice, these are a great snack. What I love about this product is that it is promoting that they are not lying through their marketing, they are not selling an artificial product and there has been no photoshopping. I would love to see more products from this company!

5. Newton’s Appl Fizzic’s (£1.20)

If I could compare this to anything it would be appletizer, do they still make that anymore? There definitely aren’t enough apple products on the market and this one is delicious. It contains 40% less sugar than your regular apple juice.

6. Tasty Little Numbers (£3.49 each)

Degustabox

These are crazy tasty foods in smaller portions. These are great to chuck in the microwave after a long day and to make it even better, they’re only 200 calories in each portion! For only 200 calories a portion, you don’ need to feel guilty about eating it. You’re getting great tasting food that is filling of not very much!

7. Taking the Pea (£1.50)

Degustabox

Possibly one of the strangest snacks I have come across, a range of flavoured peas! Fresh English grown peas which provide more protein than crisps (well I should think so) and less fat than nuts, high fibre and less than 145 calories, they are the perfect nutritious snack in a big enough packet that you don’t feel like you’re missing out.

The newest addition to this month’s round of Degustaboxes is something called DB’s Discoveries. Sharing brans that they love which customers may not have discovered yet.

This month I received 2 bottles of Little Miracles in their green tea & pomegranate and lemongrass tea & orange juice flavours. I’ve tried the first of those flavours before but not the second. Each bottle is a blend of organic tea, juice and ginseng. Then sweetened with agave, each bottle is less than 90 calories. There is nothing artificial added which is always a bonus. They are the perfect pick-me-up whatever time of day it is.

Degustabox

This months Degustabox has clearly revolved around low calorie and nutritious snacks and meals. My first impressions were that I am very impressed by this months box. I will enjoy every single item in this box, or I’ve probably gobbled it all up by now! Some of these are such great products which I would have found if it wasn’t for Degustabox! The value of this months box is also really good, for £12.99 including P+P you get £22.94 worth of products which is almost £10 extra!

I’m beyond excited to be working with Degustabox in the future and having them as part of our future Pretty Lovely Bloggers Events.

If you fancy getting next months Degustabox, you can get £3 off your first box using C1DAC, I haven’t regretted signing up yet!

Also don’t forget, it you want to attend our future PLB events sign up here.

Adele's Journey

 

 

*This product was kindly sent to me for review purposes and as always all views are my own.
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Monday, 3 August 2015

Camp Bestival 2015

For the fourth year now, we decided we should go to Camp Bestival, before we truly realised who was performing (in this case, barely anyone we wanted to see!) but mainly because it's always so much fun whenever we go.

Camp Bestival 2015

For anyone who doesn't know, this is a family festival, the family version of Bestival which I'm sure you've all heard of, but aimed at every age range out there. And that's part of what makes it so great. We watched the 2012 Olympic ceremony in the Big Top, we've seen some old classics on the Main Stage and we've eaten some of the best festival food around.

Every time we go with family friends who have children of the same age as my family. This year we decided for a spot of glamping as the idea of putting up our own tent and dragging the cooker and all the other camping equipment from the car was not pleasant. We'd done the whole camping thing for three years so it was time to try something new. We stayed in bell tents that were already put up for us and we had some air mattresses too but that's as far as it got! There was also a "pamper tent" with hair dryers and big Hollywood style mirrors with lights all around, so handy to get the festival look and not look like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards by the time it got to Sunday morning. There was also a "lounge" which had a bunch of comfy inflatable chairs in it and some plug sockets in it. Yes, that's right E-LEC-TRIC-ITY. It was like a guardian angel had blessed us. Just kidding, it wasn't but it sure helped when iPhone batteries these days aren't quite the old Nokia 3310.

Camp Bestival 2015

I must say Hotel Bell Tent thought of everything, except hair straighteners which my sister luckily bought with her, but the welcoming greeting when we arrived and cleaning everything while we were out during the day, made the experience so much less painful.

We were also conveniently located right next to the showers and toilets, and while that seems something so little, it makes a huge difference when you've had a few too many ciders and wake up in the middle of the night.

Camp Bestival 2015

We always arrive on the Thursday to check out what Camp Bestival has on offer that year and we were very surprised, pleasantly that is! This was the first year that we have been that they didn't have a Wagamamas lounge, this is usually a huge chill out area where they serve a selection of their menu and they have a party all day and night. It was definitely obvious that there was something missing and there was a huge gap where this would have been! However we found lots of other little places to eat and it was nice to try something different for once. Being with my family meant that there was no junk food the entire weekend, no matter how much I wanted and I ended up eating a whole lot of Indian food! I tried a Chapati for the first time, and they are delicious! The perfect lunch time dish, however mine had a few too many chillies in it and I ended up drinking about a litre of water that lunch.

Camp Bestival 2015 Camp Bestival 2015

The Friday night we saw Wretch 32, Professor Green and Clean Bandit. I thought Professor Green was much better than expected and I know the boys absolutely loved it as they were at the front! I was quite disappointed by Clean Bandit. After half an hour of basically listening to the same music, in the freezing cold, I went back to the tent to curl up under a warm blanket! As far as I know, I didn't miss out on much!

Camp Bestival 2015 Camp Bestival 2015

Saturday for us started very chilled out. I really struggled sleeping that night as it was so cold, practically unbearable. On the Friday night, I slept with a pair of leggings under my thermal pyjamas, two pairs of socks, two huge knitted jumpers and a t-shirt, all under my winter duvet, it was seriously that cold. So the minute it warmed up around 6/7am, my sisters and I went straight back to sleep for a couple of hours decent kip and it paid off. However, it would appear that everyone else had the same idea as the queue for the shower was super duper long. After some pampering in the pamper tent, we finally wandered off to have brunch around 12.30pm!

Camp Bestival 2015

Brunch consisted of scrambled eggs, avocado, salsa and lamb lettuce leaves on sourdough bread toast. It was a little cold…but it was alright considering I hadn’t eaten that day! Brunch was accompanied by a bottle of prosecco, obviously. It was a great atmosphere at the Dandylion and it was great to sit down at a table and eat properly, it’s those little things that we take for granted!

Being the absolute loser I can be, my favourite act of the day had to be Only The Young.

Camp Bestival 2015

Surprisingly after drinking so much on Saturday, we were all up before 9am! No rest for the wicked, eh! Smoothies and tea for breakfast followed by a song writing talk by Ella Eyre. This turned out to be really good, she’s a genuine girl who talked about how she got to her career (she originally wanted to competitively swim, how random!) and how she goes about writing her music. Like many of us bloggers, when the inspiration strikes (normally when she’s trying to sleep), she has to write down her ideas!

Camp Bestival 2015 Camp Bestival 2015

We then found a few of the others and watched the most random acrobatic show, I don’t think I’ve ever watched something so weird!

We wandered down toward the Castle Stage and set up camp for the day. Conveniently this was just in time for Ella Henderson who had had a time change, so I grabbed my lunch from Chapati Man to enjoy while I watched her performance. I must say I didn’t expect her to be so good but her voice is incredible and so east to listen to, not something I would listen to everyday but good for a festival.

Camp Bestival 2015 Camp Bestival 2015

The afternoons are normally spent napping to the selection of music they have on the castle stage! My mum and I wandered to a cute little bar and got a couple of cocktails, not the best idea when all you’ve had that day is a smoothie and a chapati but frozen daiquiris are so ideal when it is hot and you’ve just woken up from your afternoon nap!

Camp Bestival 2015

After seeing Ella Eyre do a talk on song writing earlier that day, I was quite excited to see her act later that evening. She is definitely a born performer and was absolutely incredible. I can't wait to get her album at the end of the month!

The end of Camp Bestival ended up just being my family watching Underworld, whoever they are! Followed by the fireworks and hot drinks before bed.

Camp Bestival 2015 Camp Bestival 2015

One of the things I love about Camp Bestival is that every year we go, we end up finding new artists that we might not have heard of before. We also have a great time and every year we have been so unbelievably lucky with the weather! It certainly has such a huge impact on the entire weekend and while the nights were unbearably cold compared to previous years, the days were some of the hottest we've experienced yet.

Camp Bestival 2015

We're already waiting to see who the headline acts are for next year to book our tickets as we wouldn't want to miss another great weekend! Hopefully we'll be going for the 5th time next year!

Have you ever been to a festival? What has been your favourite?

Adele's Journey
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