Friday, 30 March 2018

Spring into Life this Summer

The clocks may have changed, but have you? Are you, like so many other still stuck in a winter rut, doing the same thing every day? Waking up, eating the same breakfast, going to work/uni etc. 
It is so easy to fall into the same patterns, and any form of change becomes almost impossible. The mere thought of trying something new for breakfast sends a chill running down your spine. So, to combat this, I decided to challenge myself to make three changes to my routine and see what, if any impact it has on me. 

Visit New Places! 

I love going to new places, yet I find myself very rarely doing this anymore. Instead resorting to my tried and tested favourites, never wavering from ordering the bean burger or going to the cinema if I fancy a day out. So, this week I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and visit a Harry Potter exhibition where they had real owls! It was an incredible experience being able to touch such a beautiful animal and find out more about them. I also had the chance to learn about work that charities like the RSPB do to protect the owls and other birds in Britain.
In addition to this, I also attended a vegan fair! It had so many fabulous independent businesses from all over the country. Each of them promoting the importance of animal well fare. They proudly showcased their products, proving that vegan food isn't just lettuce and carrot sticks. There was such a lovely atmosphere there, and I loved that by buying these products, especially knowing that I was helping to support small businesses! 

Stop Putting off Friends

We are all guilty of saying, 'Oh we need to meet up', but never actually following through. It isn't because you don't want to see each other, but just that sometimes life takes over. Everyone has their own thing going on, and you struggle to find a time when you can all coordinate schedules. But maintaining friendships is so important and really can lift your mood. Plus, who doesn't love a good catchup over lunch and coffee?
So I did just that. I met up with one of my closest friends and laughed so much my cheeks hurt, and I even tried a new restaurant! I also managed to arrange a night with uni friends where we put the world to rights and simply enjoyed being each others company. It really is moments like these which you treasure. Friends truly are brilliant, and spending time with them is such an effective way to improve your mood!

Make a Plan (or Two!)

Obviously, you can't do everything at once. That just isn't possible, but sometimes just having something to look forward to can have such a good impact upon how you are feeling. Knowing that you have a holiday planned to celebrate your end of year exams, having tickets booked with your friends to see your favourite band play. It doesn't have to be something monumental it simple things like a day trips and saving up for those dreamy velvet loafers! Forgive the cliche, but it really is the little things in life which really matter.
So what have I learnt from this? Well, nothing I didn't already know I suppose. But sometimes you need to be reminded of why it is so important to actually do these things. Putting words into action, and not just think about making that change! 
There are so many things which you have the power to change in your life if you aren't happy with it. They don't have to be drastic, it can be going for a walk every day to get your step count up and get a bit of fresh air, or cutting out meat. There are so many little changes, but they all have the power to make a big difference. 

So make that change, and spring into life this summer!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Mini Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns (Tesco)

Hot Cross Bun season is finally upon us (but who would believe it when half the country is experiencing snow more often than not, but I digress), and the stores are full of them! There are so many different flavours out there at the moment. But there really aren't that many actually vegan friendly. There are a few out there, but most of them are a bit basic in flavour, but then I discovered these little beauties! The Tesco Mini Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns!

I was excited about these. I was very very excited about these. So well done Tesco, for the conception of these incredible buns! So maybe I should stop rambling and write the review?

The pack comes with eight little buns, with the cute little crosses across them, as one would expect from a hot cross bun. This doesn't seem to necessarily be chocolate flavoured, but that isn't a terrible thing, as there is certainly enough chocolate chips running throughout the buns to leave you feeling entirely satisfied! The chocolate is evenly distributed, so you are definitely going to get a mouthful of chocolate with every bite, which let's be honest, is what we are in it for! 

The chocolate is of a good quality, not too sweet, with a nice bitterness to it. This works perfectly with the almost brioche sweet of the bread base. The buns were somewhat soft, but personally prefer my hot cross buns to be super soft and a bit squidgy . I know that it is traditional for people to toast their hot cross buns, but I think that due to their tiny size toasting them may cause serious problems, such as not actually being able to get them out of the toaster... 

So, in order to remedy this issue, I find that microwaving them for around 10-15 seconds tends to melt the chocolate to perfection! Not too hot that it is basically molten lava in sugar form, but not too little that they are still solid chips. The buns become delightfully soft, with chocolate oozing in the most tempting of manners. Honestly, this is just blooming delicious! 
Just a little word of warning though, the chocolate does have a tendency to get a tad messy, so be warned!

Rating - 9.75/10

Calories - 102 per bun

Buy Again - YES!!!

Friday, 16 March 2018

Walls Vegan Cornetto

Have I been waiting my entire life for this? A vegan Cornetto from the ice cream giant that is Wall's. Many a sunny afternoon as a child I spent munching this ice cream, so, you can imagine my delight over ten years later to discover that my childhood favourite had just become vegan. 

But, and here is the question on everyone's mind, does it taste as good?

The box and packaging are pretty standard, staying within the Wall's Cornetto branding, with nothing feeling too unfamiliar or strange. I like when brands do this, making something vegan look like it belongs in the range rather than some peculiar novelty item. 
But, I'm near certain that this looks very small in my hand? Does anyone else think that these are ridiculously small in size? I could be going mad, or perhaps I just haven't had one in such a long time that I am not longer a valid judge of size, but this definitely does not feel as big as it used to...

Anyway, I can cope with a smaller size providing it is of a good taste and quality, like the cliche goes, quality over quantity! But, I am sorry to say, the flavour didn't quite live up to my expectations. 
Maybe I was expecting too much for it to be like a flavourful trip down memory road, I enjoyed that they kept the main components of the Cornetto, simply veganising it. But I think that the flavour really was lacking overall.

The ice cream was a little mild in taste, it was nice enough, but not overly vanilla. I am curious as to what ice cream they actually used. Because this didn't taste like Swedish Glace (now owned by Unilever the parent brand to Wall's), it was sweet but there was something just a little bit off. I had my mum try, just to compare notes kind of thing and she agreed that the ice cream flavour was really weak, and didn't really taste like the original.
This being said it wasn't unpleasant, it just wasn't great.

The cone was good, it seemed to do what other vegan ice cream ones fail to do, and retain its crunch. I enjoyed this quite a bit and it created a good contrast between that and the soft almost foamy ice cream. 
There definitely could have been a bit more chocolate in the base, but that is my personal preference as a chocolate lover. The chocolate itself was rather lovely, not too sweet, with a slight bitterness to work against the sweet ice cream and the sweet cone!

So, what are my thoughts overall? Honestly, I'm not that impressed by these, and think that Tesco's own versions are all superior! I wouldn't go out of my way to try this again, but they are a nice enough treat.

Rating - 6/10


Calories - 179


Buy again - Doubt it.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Righteous Butter: Soap & Glory

The weather may be suggesting otherwise, but Spring is rapidly approaching, so who can blame me for going in search of the perfect all round body butter? One which leaves your skin feeling hydrated but not greasy, nourishing without taking hours to dry, thus making it absolutely impossible to get your jeans on! But alas, I have found the solution in the form of the beautifully packaged Righteous Butter from Soap & Glory. 
I'm not going to pretend that I've never tried this iconic cream before, because I have and like so many others this is one of my favourite products I own, and has become an intrinsic part of my routine. So, for those who are less acquainted about this body butter and want to know what the hype is all about, continue reading!

I think that my absolute favourite thing about the Righteous Butter has to be the smell. It is simply divine, staying on your skin the entire day. The Original Pink scent is lightly floral with a delicious citrus twist to it which keeps the fragrance light and youthful, perfect to have on your skin every day. This truly is one of my favourite smells, and it translates beautifully to a body butter, allowing it to last morning until night, all whilst keeping your skin feeling like velvet (just as it says on the tub!)
So really, what more is there to want?

I love using this as an intense and luxurious feeling body butter after I shower. Letting it soak into my skin, leaving it feeling so soft and revitalised. It hydrates you, providing a much needed blast of moisture, and just overall making you feel better! 

Because of this, it would be a fantastic present for Mother's Day! Treating your Mum to something beautiful without breaking the bank, and think, you could definitely 'borrow it' every now and then... 
Flowers are great and everything, but flowers only last a week and this lasts blooming ages and smells even better!

But don't just take my word, because sometimes two opinions are better than one, and who better to ask than my go to girl on campus for all things glam, Georgia!

"I absolutely love the way it makes you feel! Gives you that little lift with their signature scent, just enough to get through those 9am lectures. Which is no small task when it is minus 10 degrees and snowing outside! I never leave the house without my travel sized tub in my bag. It is always such a massive hit at Campus and House Calls and really, is it any wonder why? It is the cream which does almost everything, and last absolutely ages, even when applied liberally every day!"

Corona and Toxic Productivity

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