Breville Blend-Active

Do you remember your New Year’s resolutions?  Now that we’ve gone well past the half way point of the year (it’s so crazy the way time flies…), they may be long forgotten.  After seeing the Breville Blend Active featured in a Lily Pebbles Youtube video, I decided it was something I’d like to try that could definitely aid with my resolution of being healthier.  I couldn’t really get into juicing, juicers are very expensive and juicing just seems a bit wasteful in my opinion, chucking out all the good fiber-y bits of your fruits and vegetables, but smoothies definitely seemed like a good option.

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First off, I am not a breakfast person at all.  I usually have a cup of coffee for breakfast (if you can call it that) and then wait until lunch or have a cup of soup around 11ish.  Now that I have my Blend Active, I make a smoothie and drink it on my way into work everyday.  It’s so quick and easy and it doesn’t feel heavy like some breakfast foods can and that I just can’t stomach in the morning.  So that’s definitely been a big benefit.  I am also eating so many more fruits and sometimes veggies than I normally would, all of my smoothies pretty much contain a whole banana and one cup of frozen fruit.  I would never eat that non-blended in one sitting so it’s a great way to get in some extra nutrients!  They are also really filling as well so I am not snacking on crap before my lunch break now.

My basic smoothie recipe is 1 banana, 1 cup of frozen fruit (I buy the frozen Summer Fruits and Forest Fruits punnets from Asda), and 1/2 cup of juice (usually apple or orange).  Or for a yoghurt based smoothie, I use 1 banana, 1 cup of frozen fruit, 3-4 dollops of greek yoghurt, and 1/4 cup of milk.

Some Smoothie Tips

-Leave your frozen fruit out a bit before making your smoothie, it’s easier on the blender.

-Bananas are a great, cheap way to bulk out your smoothies, I am not a huge banana fan, but with the addition of other fruits, they don’t stand out much and they give that creamy texture.

-Buy your bananas in bulk, when they start to get too ripe, peel them, cut into chunks and freeze.

-For green smoothies, blend a handful of spinach with orange juice until smooth, then add your other ingredients.  The orange juice masks the taste and blending the spinach and liquid first makes sure your don’t have spinach chunks in your smoothie!

-Another tip for green smoothies, they taste much better icy cold, when they start to warm up, they can taste a bit salad-y.

-If you are adding honey to your smoothie, add it in last, otherwise it just sticks to the bottom in a clump.

Definitely one of my better purchases to date, I picked it up from Amazon for £24.99 so it’s not a super expensive blender, but it’s perfect for one or two people.  It comes with two bottles so I usually blend up a smoothie for myself and one for the mister.  Clean up is easy as well, I literally just rinse off the blade after blending.  It’s a great little machine!

Have you jumped on the juicing/smoothie band wagon?  Favorite smoothie recipes?  Do you even remember your New Year’s resolutions anymore?


Lenor Unstoppables!

I have been so intrigued by Lenor Unstoppables after hearing Samantha Schuerman rave about Unstoppables in her Favorites videos, but they were only available in the US.   Now that they are finally in the UK, we have a chance to try them on the other side of the pond!  I received my Lenor Unstoppables through Savvy Circle for free, but as always this will not affect my opinion and you are free to join Savvy Circle yourself if you like testing out and talking about new products!

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I received the Fresh scent, which is a very clean and well, fresh, scent.  I could not wait to try them out when I received my package.  I am very scent oriented, I have candles, diffusers, and plug-ins all around the house and there’s nothing more I like then freshly washed sweet-smelling laundry.  Lenor Unstoppables state that they can scent your laundry for up to 12 weeks!  Not that most of my clothing/bedding/etc goes for 12 weeks without being washed again, but an impressive claim nonetheless.

You add the Lenor Unstoppables into your washing machine before you put your clothes, detergent, and fabric softener in.  The only real negative I can see with Unstoppables is that they strictly are for scenting your clothes, they don’t have any other benefits so you still need your normal washing paraphernalia.

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The first load of laundry I did with these scented the entire first floor of our house when we had to bring the clothes in off the line.  From reading other reviews, Unstoppables are definitely stronger with line dried clothing, tumble drying seems to kill some of the potency.  I only used about half a cap and thought this was plenty strong, but your mileage may very.

My favorite thing to wash with Unstoppables is definitely bedding!  There’s nothing better than crawling into a bed with freshly washed sheets and with Unstoppables you get that freshly washed scent every night until it’s time to wash your sheets again!

Have you tried Lenor Unstoppables?  What’s your favorite scent?


First Impressions: Tresemme Thermal Recovery

I recently got a full head of highlights done and although I loved the look of it, my very fine hair did feel a bit damaged afterwards and was definitely in need of some TLC.  It wasn’t too noticeable when dry, but when I was washing my hair, it felt like one big clump instead of nice, silky strands.

I wanted a hair mask that was effective and not too expensive so I picked up the Tresemme Thermal Recovery intense Repair and Rehydration because that is exactly what my hair needed.  I also really like the Tresemme brand and I got this whopping tub for only £3!

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First off, this is huge, it’s 500 ml!  It’s going to last ages!  It has aloe in it and smells lovely and fresh.  It does state it is specifically for heat damaged hair, but it seems to be working fine on my colour damaged hair as well.  It has a nice thick texture, no runny hair masks for me!

The directions suggest using this once a week, but due to the state of my hair, I’ve used it two days in a row now.  After the first use, I could immediately tell the difference after rinsing it out.  And when I used it the second time, my hair didn’t have that “clumpy” feeling any more.  It already feels a lot silkier and healthier.  I did use it all over my head as well, not just ears down since I wanted to cover all my highlights.

So far this is a winner for me!  The price, size and effectiveness are all amazing, a real bargain!

What is your favorite hair mask?  How often do you treat yourself to a hair mask?

Mini Makeup Revolution Haul!

Yes, I finally jumped on that band wagon before it completely passed me by.  I had actually tried to order from Makeup Revolution about a month ago, but finally gave up after having issues trying to use PayPal.  Because I registered with PayPal when I lived in the states, the site refused to ship to me because it thought I was not inside the UK.  Then for some reason it wasn’t letting me just sign in as a guest and use my bank card.  Really annoying, I did tweet Makeup Revolution about it and they did state they are looking into other payment options.  In the end I used the mister’s PayPal account and finally got my order in.

So what did I get?

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I was debating between the many gorgeous palettes and in the end just decided to go for the 32 piece Flawless palette.  Didn’t think I could go wrong there.  I love pretty much all the colours, this will be perfect with my limited bathroom makeup storage space.  Rather than having a few palettes and singles, this baby should do it all.  I did notice that it does have that very powdery cheap makeup smell going on, but that’s definitely not a deal breaker.  Can’t wait to play around with this!

2014-07-19 14.44.57I also knew I really wanted one of the blush and contour palettes, I can’t get enough of blush at the moment and the Hot Spice palette looked perfect!  There’s a very shimmery colour that would be a good highlight on a night out and a shimmery blush reminiscent of the MAC baked blushes.

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And the last item I didn’t actually order.  I was sent the Cover and Conceal kit in error instead of an eyebrow kit and to be honest I can’t be bothered with the faff of trying to send it back and get what I actually ordered.  So not really sure about this one, I don’t really use anything besides my Collection Lasting Perfection concealer and this looks like it might be something that requires a concealer brush which I don’t have.  It is also in Light Medium, some of the darker shades are too dark for me, but I might try them out as a contour?

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And there’s my first foray into Makeup Revolution!  In general, I am really impressed by the packaging.  It feels very sturdy and I think the solid packaging looks a lot more professional than clear lids.  Also no useless dinky applicators included!

Have you tried anything from Makeup Revolution yet?  What are your favorite products?


Kelly Brook Nail Polish at New Look

I had some New Look vouchers and needed to pick up some work essentials (namely a black cardigan and black flats, does anyone else go through flats like water?).  After I had picked out what I wanted, I needed to spend a few more pounds to make it up to my voucher amount so I picked up a Kelly Brook nail polish in Unique, a very hot and vibrant neon pink.  I don’t have anything like this in my collection and I thought it would be a fun summer colour.

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One thing I noticed right off the bat using this nail polish is it is STREAKY!  I don’t know if it’s just the colour I got because I have read rave reviews, people saying that they only needed to use one coat.  Well, after the second coat went on and it was still going on streaky, I gave up and left it at that.  It looks alright from afar.  I’m on the second day and I have a few chips which is annoying (I used a Nails Inc topcoat as well).

However, I do really like the packaging, it is a bit reminiscent of the Top Shop makeup.  But I won’t be repurchasing this formula.

Have you tried any of the Kelly Brook nail polishes?  What’s your favorite summer colour for your nails?


Review: Dove Maximum Protection Anti-Perspirant

Ok, so maybe not the most thrilling of products, but we all use it so there ya go! I’m not the most sweaty of people, but with the hot weather we’ve been having and wearing tank tops and such, it is nice to have extra protection.

I had heard of this product before and picked it up on a whim while buying house bits in Wilko’s. I already use Dove solid deodorant normally so I had quite high hopes for the Dove Maximum Protection.

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It’s a cream deodorant, the instruction suggest using two clicks for each underarm. It goes on very creamy and absorbs into the skin. I will say it is very moisturising so if you want nice, soft arm pits, then this is an option.

As for extra sweat protection, I wasn’t that impressed. This didn’t work any better than my normal Dove deodorant so I feel it doesn’t really warrant the price tag. I think it was better at moisturising that actually working as a deodorant/antiperspirans.

So this won’t be a repurchase for me and I’ll be going back to my old standby!


Buying Our First Home!

In case you have been wondering why I have been missing in action as of late it’s because the mister and I have just been moving into our new house.  It’s been quite the ordeal actually moving, and the house isn’t going to be a home for a while.  But we were quite lucky in that after we actually found a house and had the offer accepted that the process went very smoothly.  So here are a few tips for when you decide to start saving/looking for your first home!

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1) Find a smart way to save.  Decide how quickly you’d like to save up your deposit and how much of your social life you are willing to sacrifice.  Will you be happy eating beans on toast and living like hermit if it means getting onto the property ladder a bit quicker?  Or do you want to budget so that you can still have the cheeky takeaway and hit town on the weekends, but maybe adding a year or two onto your renting years.  Find an amount that you can afford and save it every month, if you have extra, great.

As for the account that you use for your deposit, check out Save to Buy accounts.  We had one through Nationwide, it gave us better rates, less fees and £1000 cash back after we completed.  It also wasn’t accessible which means we saved the money and didn’t touch it.  If you are saving into an inaccessible account, make sure you have another account that you can use for emergencies.

2) Now you have the deposit and can start looking for a house.  Look at houses below and above your budget so you get a feel of what you can get for your money. This will also help you decide if you want to save a bit more or if you are happy with what you can afford at the moment.

One problem, the mister and I encountered a lot initially is that we’d book in to see a house for the weekend when we weren’t working and by the time our appointment rolled around, the house was already sold.  So if you see something you like, book in as soon as possible, go on your lunch hour if necessary.  We ended up getting our house by booking in to view it hours after it was put on Rightmove, we were the first people to see it, knew we loved it and put an offer in then and there.

3) Make sure you get the best rate mortgage rate.  Mister and I saw a couple different banks/building societies to see what each one would lend us/at what rate.  We also saw an independent financial advisor (we ended up going to Nationwide in the end as the even the IFA couldn’t do better for us than them).  Make sure you shop around as this is going to probably be the biggest purchase you make.

4)  In addition to paying a mortgage, you need to think about other expenses you will incur and if you can afford this.  Things like the fees for actually setting up the mortgage, surveys, a new council tax band, buildings insurance, life insurance, higher utilities bills are all things to consider when moving from a flat to a house so make sure you can afford the house you buy.

In regards to  buildings insurance and life insurance, your mortgage provider will most likely try to get your use their services, but make sure you go online on a comparison site such as MoneySuperMarket to make sure you are getting the best deal.  And don’t forget the solicitors fees and stamp duty, these costs average around £3500 depending on the price of the property so you will need this in addition to your deposit.

5) Enjoy the process as much as you can!  I loved looking at houses and trawling Rightmove for new additions everyday (I still have the app on my phone and check it occasionally even though we have our house!).  It can be really stressful saving/finding/buying a house so try to have as much fun with it as possible, it’s a huge step to take and something you can be proud of for achieving!