The Affordable Christmas Gift Guide

Ultimate Affordable Christmas Gift Guide

I absolutely love Christmas. All that festive spirit (and I don’t just mean the drink), all those sparkly lights and just, well, everything about it.

Giving gifts is one of my favourite things to do, I love it! I love putting all the presents together, wrapping them and generally being generous. But we all know how much it can all add up at this time of year.

First up, before we talk prezzies, can we appreciate how lovely this personalised wrapping paper is from Pretty Gifted? This snazzy website allows you to write whatever you like on your paper, choose the colour, the font style, the wording foil colour, the little icon you want…and it comes with a free gift tag and awesome gel pen too. Obviously I went for the classic “Merry Christmas” line here for Ian, but you could be so creative and write something really witty or personal. You might not wrap your entire present loot in this paper, but I think it would be great for that one special gift you give your loved one or maybe for those select lucky few.

So… everything in this post is what I would call affordable. No 500 quid gadgets or dresses here, just lovely things for lovely people at lovely prices.

Also, all beauty products featured in this post are cruelty free, so you needn’t worry about any of that kinda stuff either.

I’ve split the post down into “for her” and “for him” to make things easier, but of course I’m sure lots of things can cross over too depending on who you’re buying for :)

Also…mum, dad, if you’re reading this…go away!

Let’s get started…

For Her

At Christmas I usually buy pretty much every gift set in Marks & Spencer. Their sets are affordable (also on 3 for 2), beautifully packaged, good quality and above all, BUAV cruelty free approved – woohoo! Well done M&S! So first up is the Royal Jelly collection. A classic and classy range which has gift sets of varying prices. My mum doesn’t like really strong scented products/really fruity ones etc., so she loves this range and I buy her a few pieces from it every year. They have a variety of products available in the sets, so it’s nice to pair a few together – think feet, hands & body. Right now the collection has 50% off at M&S and you can order online to collect instore for no additional cost (like I did today!) if that’s helpful for you.

Also in M&S, is this beautiful ferris wheel perfume set which is currently a 50% off Star Gift at £22.50. I’ve actually bought my dad the men’s version of this (dad’s already bought mum perfume so don’t worry she’s not missing out!) as I’ve mentioned in the men’s section below. This is such a gorgeous gift set, which comes with 12 mini perfumes – perfect for travelling and handbags.

You can’t beat getting shiny new stationery at Christmas can you? I love buying my mum a variety of them in different sizes, she’s also requested a new address book this year. There are some beautiful stores selling beautiful ones, but often at not so beautiful prices. I really recommend taking a look at The Works. They have some gorgeous designs and are usually priced around the £2/£3 mark – not that you’d know it! So they’re my go-to place for new notebooks and pads.

Barry M Nail Paints are my absolute faves when it comes to a little at-home manicure. I’ve grabbed my mum a pink little number this year in the form of the Liquid Chrome in Razzle Dazzle. They’re often on 3 for 2 offers at Superdrug, and if you have a loyalty card for them you can get free delivery on every order all year round! It’s really worth signing up for the card and taking advantage of that if you don’t already. Liquid Chrome is £3.99 a bottle in Superdrug.

Also, I haven’t bought anything from them yet, but I recently found out that Molton Brown is BUAV cruelty free approved too! So go go go and support another beautiful brand making an effort with their ethics. They are at the pricier end of the toiletries market, but they do have some lovely little baubles coming in at £1o/£12 if you fancy a little treat from them this year.

Superdrug is another go-to beauty brand for me. Not only are they super affordable, but again, Superdrug’s own brand products are all BUAV cruelty free approved too – wahey! I buy pretty much 75% of my everyday toiletries from them instead of Boots for that exact reason. Their B. range of beauty products is a staple in my home, especially the micellar water. I’ve bought their night cream for my mum this year. You’ll find that they do products for different age stages too and some products are vegan!

I have to give a little shout out to Little Shop Of Ltd, who do a beautiful collection of jewellery storage books. I reviewed their earrings one *here* and I absolutely love it. It’s a great gift for that person that has everything! Book lovers and jewellery lovers will love it to bits I think.

Candles are always a winner, and I don’t think you can beat those beautiful candles by WoodWick. This year I was lucky enough to check a few out which you can read about *here* , I’m absolutely loving my Jolly Gingerbread candle, but they also do some lovely fresh fragrances too! Admittedly, they are at the pricier end for candles compared to some but no way near the prices of Jo Malone or anything like that. And even Ian has been impressed with how long my jar candle has lasted!

Ultimate Affordable Christmas Gift Guide

For Him

Men are so hard to buy for! Us girls are so easy, beauty, makeup, clothes, vouchers, homewares…there’s so many things to choose from. Guys on the other hand are so much harder, especially when it comes to affordable gifts as they’re not into so many “little things” like us ladies. I often resort to alcohol as it’s often a winner, so the below will have a healthy dose of that…

First up, ales. I always buy my dad a good selection of ales when Christmas comes around. It’s so hard to place them under the tree without clinking them together and dad guessing what they are though! I often get some from supermarkets (classic ones such as Old Speckled Hen, Bishops Finger etc) or M&S (they have a good range and their own brand ones look great too) and try to mix it up with a few locally produced ones too. It’s always great to support local businesses! If you’re in Milton Keynes like me, definitely take a peek at the MK Biergarten in Wolverton for some locally produced gems!

Staying on the alcohol theme, M&S do this really fun gold leaf filled G & Tea, which you can check out *here*. This link is for 6 of them but you can buy them individually instore. I bought this for Ian for his birthday this year and he seems to approve! It looks really cool and fancy with the gold leaf whirring around when you shake it. For fun, I got Ian to shake the bottle before he opened it, so it would be in full effect once opened. I think M&S is an own brand you can buy and be proud to give. The bottle design looks lovely too.

Again staying with M&S, I always buy dad some men’s grooming gift sets from there too. I’ve already bought him a selection from the different collections this year. We’ve tried pretty much every range and can recommend any of it!

As I mentioned in the women’s section above, M&S have some beautiful fragrance sets at the moment which have 50% off. The packaging on this men’s fragrance house is fantastic. It’s so nice to see someone really bother with the packaging of a men’s gift for once. Usually priced at £45 this is just £22.50 right now. I can vouch for these aftershaves, both my Dad and Ian have really enjoyed using them from previous sets we’ve bought before.

I also bought my dad some lovely new notebooks. I managed to find these earlier in the year in a sale at M&S – so for next Christmas a top tip to save money is to shop throughout the year in the sales! These notebooks should have cost £25 together but I paid about £5 for both of them. Dad’s often found in his study. He’s a super organised guy and writes everything down. He also has a vast array of impressive spreadsheets on his computer. So I thought it would be nice to get him a nice new lot of notebooks ready for when he needs them.

Scarves and gloves can also be a lovely gift to give, along with jumpers, knitwear and anything like that. To be honest I don’t usually buy those bits for my dad, as he usually goes shopping with my mum and picks out what he fancies. That way he knows what will fit and he’ll get exactly what he’s after. But it could be lovely to surprise a loved one with something nice like that – just keep the gift receipt in case an exchange or different size is needed! Or why not buy the scarf and give it with a gift card for them to treat themselves to something to go with it?

Ultimate Affordable Christmas Gift Guide

I hope this little list has given you a few extra ideas for Christmas. Please send me your lists too! I love a bit of additional inspo.

I must finish up by mentioning the above Lily O’Briens Desserts Collection of chocolates. You can buy them in both this size and a bigger box too. They’re really affordable, available pretty much everywhere, beautiful and super yummy! We have them every single year without fail as a family, it’s become part of our food tradition. But they’d make such a lovely gift for someone too!

*Thank you to Pretty Gifted for gifting me some amazing personalised wrapping paper for this little gift guide – I love it & think it’s perfect for all year round! www.prettygifted.co.uk

Join me on social… Twitter: @Amanda_Alston// Instagram: @Amanda_Alston // Facebook: facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

Advertisements

Celebrating Occasions with bakerdays & Competition

Baker Days Cake Review

It was so lovely to come across bakerdays lately, what they do is simply wonderful.

No matter the occasion, bakerdays can help you celebrate with the most gorgeous personalised cakes that can be delivered through the letterbox – amazing!

You can personalise them by writing a lovely note to your loved ones and you can even add your own photo to some designs to really make it personal for the recipient.

bakerdays offered me the opportunity to check out their service and allowed me to chose a design and send it wherever I liked. Pretty great of them right? So instead of sending myself a cake and eating it all myself, I opted to send my parents a little early festive cheer, with a Christmas themed cake.

How cute is this!

Baker Days Cake Review

Baker Days Cake Review

It arrived in a lovely little tin with a sweet little Christmas cracker too!

When choosing your cake, you can pick the design you like, add a photo if you have the option on your design, add a little personal note or any numbers you’d like, choose the filling and tell them where to send it to!

As much as I think this could be an amazing gift for anyone – maybe a super awesome surprise gift to drop through someone’s letterbox!? …I really think this could also be such a lovely way to wish family or friends a Merry Christmas who may live far from you. I’m sure they’d love to receive such a fun and personalised gift in the post like this.

For my parents I went for a vanilla flavoured cake, but you also have the option of Chocolate, Fruit, Gluten & Wheat Free or Dairy Free – how good is that?

We delved into the cake today, after I’d taken my piccys of course and it tasted amazing! So light and moist, and the icing was very lovely indeed. Both my parents thoroughly enjoyed their slices with a nice cup of coffee, whilst I sipped on a tea.

Baker Days Cake Review

Fancy winning your very own personalised cake from bakerdays? Here’s your chance!

How to enter…

Enter on Twitter *here* by just following me and retweeting the pinned competition tweet or over on my Instagram *here* by following the instructions on the competition photo. One overall winner will be chosen at random from both social channels. UK only. Competition closes at midnight on Friday 1st December. Good luck! :)

Head over to the bakerdays website www.bakerdays.com to discover all their amazing cake options. They also do personalised balloons, cupcakes and corporate orders too!

Thank you to bakerdays for sending me and my parents a yummy cake free of charge and for letting me run a giveaway too!

Join me on social… Twitter: @Amanda_Alston // Instagram: @Amanda_Alston // Facebook: facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

The perfect TV night in

Perfect movie night in

I love this time of year. There’s excitement in the air as Christmas moves ever closer, the Christmas TV ads start to air, everywhere is just getting that little tad more festive. Time to wrap up warm and get cosy on the sofa with your loved ones, eat and drink nice things and watch something awesome on the ol’ box. The lovely people at Panasonic asked me how I’d spend the perfect night in infront of the TV, what would I enjoy watching and all those lovely little additions that make it just so great. After major issues with my home over the past few days or so (I shall go on to explain all), this night in was definitely needed!

It was just the other day that me and my parents were talking about the first TV I ever remember us having…a big box style TV with wood effect veneer sides… 4 channels, and then a little later on we were treated to channel 5! It even had a silver metal controller… It’s sure to say we’ve come a long way since then! When Panasonic got in touch I was pretty impressed by their Panasonic Oled TV, the amount of tech this TV has to bring you an awesomely clear and crisp picture is pretty impressive. It was even designed alongside Hollywood filmmakers and has Panasonic’s latest image processor…it’s all very clever! I just love how slim it looks too. Goodbye big box TV, hello cinema nights in at home…it’ll probably work out cheaper considering the price of cinema tickets these days anyways…

So…the main reason why I was at my parents’ house the other night was because I needed a shower. Yeap. The water in my home had been off since just before 8pm on Thursday night last week. It’s been great fun trying to get by using Asda’s basic 2 litre bottled water. Imagine everything you need to use water for each day…yeap. Fun right? So this perfect night in chilling in front of the TV was most definitely needed! Thankfully since our TV night in on Saturday we have been given access to a temporary supply of water, until they fix the broken pump!

Let’s create the perfect TV night in…

What to watch?

Right now, Ian and I are really loving Blue Planet 2. Who isn’t? This show discovers the most beautiful creatures that live alongside us in this world. It really makes you think about our impact on the world too. I’ve always had a keen interest in helping those living things we share Earth with (as everyone should!) and can highly recommend you watch Blackfish the movie too. Let’s just say, since the release of that film SeaWorld’s shares have plummeted beyond belief. An eye opening film for sure. One that everyone should watch.

I’m sooo excited to get watching all those Christmas films very soon too! Ian won’t let me at the moment, he’s bah humbug when it comes to anything Christmassy before December 1st. But once that day comes… it’s all about Elf, Love Actually, Miracle on 34th Street, The Snowman, Home Alone…there’s so many good classics coming up soon!

What to snack?

Perfect night in snacks

Perfect night in snacks

Vegetable crisps and Doritos sour cream & chive dip! I was going to try to make my own, but after having no water it was just easier to buy all our yummy snacks in. I love vegetable crisps, I just love the contrast from crisp to crisp – yum! Crisps and dip, always a winner and a real crowd pleaser if you have friends over too.

Can you have a proper night in without chocolate? I think not. So I picked up some of that fancy new Green & Blacks Velvet Edition chocolate in the salted caramel flavour. Oh wow this is a taste sensation! The new Velvet Edition collection is all about a creamier tasting dark chocolate, so if you’re new to trying dark chocolate it’s worth a shot indeed. I never used to like dark chocolate because of the bitter taste, but this isn’t like that at all. We also enjoyed some yummy jelly snakes by The Natural Confectionery Co!

To kid myself that I’m still healthy, I also picked up a couple of melon pots for us to munch on too, ha! We also love blueberries and yogurt, but with all the water madness I’d bought the blueberries…but not the yogurt. Oops!

What to drink?

Gingerbread latte drink

If you fancy an alcoholic tipple and getting a little festive too, I’d really recommend adding a dash of Cointreau to your hot chocolate. This is definitely one of our favourite indulgent drinks at this time of year. You just can’t beat that chocolate orange combo.

We went for a non-alcoholic option this time. I’d recently picked up some of these Nescafe Gingerbread Latte sachets (you can find them in the pound shops, as I don’t think they’re in the supermarkets anymore!) ..and they are divine! They were the perfect festive drink to enjoy with our treats in front of the TV.

Setting the scene?

WoodWick Candles Review

Candles, lights, blankets…it’s all about that peaceful and cosy hygge vibe on a night in at this time of year.

In the corner of my living room I have a faux tree from IKEA, which is adorned with fairy lights. It’s so lovely having a twinkle of lights in the room. They make it feel so magical.

Big cosy and comfy cushions are a must alongside those blankets and throws. I have some quite big ones which are great to also throw on the floor when you fancy sitting or laying down there instead of the sofa.

A warming candle… I’ve been really enjoying using my WoodWick Jolly Gingerbread candle (you can read all about them on my post *here*). WoodWick candles crackle whilst they burn as they have a wooden wick, they’re great at creating a fireside feel without the need for a fire. Great if you don’t even have a fireplace like me! The scent is absolutely beautiful too.

So there you have it, my way to have the perfect TV night in this autumn/winter. I definitely recommend trying out that Cointreau and hot chocolate combo this Christmas!

This is a sponsored post thanks to Panasonic, so thank you to them for asking me how I’d spend a perfect night in :)

Join me on social… Twitter: @Amanda_Alston / Instagram: @Amanda_Alston / Facebook: facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

F1 Pit Stop Challenge with LV=

F1 Pit Stop Challenge

As some of you may know, besides the typical girlie things I love…beauty, fashion, homewares etc. I also love cars! I’ve grown up watching Formula 1 since I was little and have always had a keen interest in cars from a young age, all thanks to my car loving dad. Apparently, even as a toddler I’d go along in the pushchair pointing out car badges and saying their brand names.

Last year I was lucky enough to go to the British F1 grand prix at Silverstone for the first time, thanks to Ian buying me a ticket for Christmas (thank you!). I’ve also been to various other days across the years with family and friends, such as the touring cars (BTCC) which was brilliant. I even took my own car onto the GT86 Drivers Club stand at Japfest Silverstone earlier this year. Here I am driving into the event on the day trying to look really cool haha…it was so much fun!

GT86 Dark Grey Metallic

Now I don’t stand there and say oh yes, I know everything about cars. I really don’t. When it comes to maintenance it’s always been a case of “dad can you help me…” – but after watching him work on my cars and his across the years I have definitely picked up a thing or two.

I really do think that car maintenance and safety is so important and not talked about enough. At the end of the day, we need to realise that having a decent, well-running, safe, secure, insured car is paramount over so many other meaningless things that we splash our money on.

Your car is effectively catapulting you across the country at 70mph – it’s time we made sure we do it safely. Whether that’s doing the checks we should do before long drives, ensuring our tyre tread depth is healthy and that the tyres are pumped up to the specified levels or making sure we don’t do silly things like buying second hand tyres. I mean, just don’t.

LV= (car insurance) have published a really interesting report on car maintenance which you can read *here*, which highlights how few of us prepare properly for our MOTs and also provides us with some super helpful hints and tips on how to be better prepared.

Our F1 pit stop challenge was so much fun and oh my did our competitive sides come out! What seemed like a bit of a laugh turned into a real competition, especially between my team “The Wheel Nuts” and the team from Autotrader.

The car itself and the wheels we used for the challenge were all genuine Mercedes ones used in the 2015 race. It had a proper engine… a Mercedes detailed front wing… how bloomin’ cool!

Female Car Blogger

In teams of 3, we battled against each other to see which team could be the quickest at using the gun to undo the wheel, take the wheel off, put the new wheel on and then use the gun again to secure everything. Now, I’m pretty damn proud that our team managed to get this down to an awesome 3.65 seconds – and I must say, we did do a few changeovers around that mark. No fluke in sight you see, we’re real professionals in the making, ha!

However, team Autotrader pipped us just ever so slightly with 3.10 seconds! Fair play to them, they did a great job and it was so fun competing against them and talking lots of fighting talk haha.

Formula 1 Pit Stop Challenge

Everyone was really up for a good giggle that evening and both us and the Autotrader team went away with some absolutely amazing prizes, so I have to say a big thank you to Talented Talkers and LV= for inviting everyone down to Shoreditch for a night we won’t forget I’m sure.

Grab a nice hot drink and have a little read of LV=’s findings on this link https://www.lv.com/car-insurance/car-maintenance and get your car prepped and safe for the icy winter months ahead.

A big thank you to Kaye Ford as well for the fab photos and videos she provided everyone from the evening. Do go and check this very talented lady out over on her website www.fordtography.co.uk

Join me on social… Twitter: @Amanda_Alston // Instagram: @Amanda_Alston // Facebook: facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

Come shopping with me Feat. Loaf & Bloom at Debenhams

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

A couple of weekends ago I spent the morning gazing at beautiful Christmas goodies in the shops (exciting!), buying a heap of bargain scarves from the sale in H&M and then meeting up with my parents for a really scrummy lunch at the brand new Loaf & Bloom deli restaurant at Debenhams (found in the intu shopping centre in Milton Keynes). It was lovely!

I’ve been getting so excited for Christmas recently (much to Ian’s dismay). I’m trying to get super organised this year, I’ve already bought lots of presents and have been planning the rest as much as possible. I want to enjoy December just pottering around doing the last few bits and really having time to enjoy the festivities instead of worrying about presents. I recently popped down to the Halloween and Christmas blogger event at Lush, they have some super lovely new products this year. If you fancy reading about the event and my favourites, you can find it *here*.

It was so lovely to have a morning to properly look around the shops and take in all the Christmassy sights and grab a few essentials I was in need of, I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve been able to do just that. I was so pleased when I stumbled across the sale in H&M and found a load of beautiful scarves at the most ridiculous prices! I picked up 4 as they were all just £2 or £3 each, how could I resist these beautiful grey toned scarves at that price? They just had to come home with me and I picked up an extra one to gift to my mum for Christmas too.

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

It was so lovely to see all the Christmas gifts in Debenhams now too. They really do have some lovely bits and certainly have something for everyone this year. Bayliss & Harding is always a crowd pleaser, I’m sure everyone just loves this brand. It’s beautiful, really affordable and they smell gorgeous every time. (I was bought their pink Prosecco candles last year, I definitely recommend that scent).

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Debenhams Christmas Gifts

I also took a liking to these drink sets. They’re so pretty and such a fab gift for a lovely lady in your life, or a treat to self right? The bareMinerals beauty gift sets always look stunning in there too, I’d be happy to find one of those under the tree this year.

I was also very excited to see all their Christmas decorations too – I just wish I had more space to fill at home!

Loaf Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

By this time my ever growing wish list of festive goodies was making me very hungry indeed. So it was time to go and meet my parents for a spot of lunch.

I was invited to go and check out the lovely new deli kitchen at Debenhams (in the intu centre Milton Keynes) and oh wow has this place changed. It’s time to say goodbye to the drab 90s style department store café and say hello to a fresh and beautiful new place to dine.

The restaurant has been completely transformed into a place you’d be proud to say you’re lunching at.

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf & Bloom have such a wide variety of food to choose from, whether you want to treat yourselves to an afternoon tea, a meat platter or a lovely lunch or snack. Everything is freshly cooked and baked, and they have options for gluten free and other intolerances too.

My parents and I went all out and had a lovely lunch followed by an afternoon tea, yum!

For lunch, I chose the salmon and broccoli fishcakes and drank a mocha…probably not a combination that goes together to be honest, but I enjoyed it all nevertheless. My fishcakes also came with a choice of salad, so I opted for a bean-based bowl of goodness…and also ordered a side of chips, naturally.

Dad being the typical man, went for the meatballs (in a tomato and basil sauce), a side of chips and also had a fruity beany salad. Mum opted for the cherry tomato, butternut squash and spinach tart, which looked amazing.

Drink wise, my dad had a cappuccino and my mum had a latte …all three of us completely agreed that the drinks alone were beautifully crafted and tasted SO good!

The seasoned potato chips were really different too, unusual in shape and so tasty…I’d happily go back just for those.

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

Between us we shared the “sweet” afternoon tea, however they do also have an option of a savoury and sweet one which has a Mediterranean platter alongside some yummy bakes and cakes. I think I’ll have to head back sometime to try that one too…

Our sweet afternoon tea was delivered on another beautiful plate – the crockery used throughout the meal was so gorgeous. Scones, clotted cream (I’d be happy with just a bowl of that), jam, chocolate brownies and other delectable bakes were put in front of us and they were all so lovely and freshly baked.

Loaf and Bloom Debenhams Milton Keynes

I definitely can’t wait to head back in again soon and enjoy another bite to eat. More Christmas shopping and festive eating here I come!

If you fancy finding out more about the Loaf & Bloom restaurant and popping by on your next shopping trip, here’s the website link to tell you all about it www.debenhams.com/content/loaf-and-bloom

*Loaf & Bloom for provided us with this lovely lunch for free, but all the views on the yummy food are most definitely mine (& my parents!) – we enjoyed every little bite!

Join me on social… Twitter @Amanda_Alston Instagram @Amanda_Alston Facebook facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

Hitting reset with the help of teapigs

Teapigs Review

If you follow my ramblings on Instagram (you can follow me *here* …shameless plug, haha!), you’ll know that this year has been a bit of a rollercoaster at times for this gal.

My immune system has been pretty much at an all time low this year I think. I’ve definitely had my fair share of lingering colds and coughs over and over again this past year. Couple that up with my two recent visits to the hospital for not-so-fun procedures …and then generally every plan having a big spanner somewhere, other ridiculously rubbish things going on for both me and Ian. Oh… and both of us getting new jobs too! It. Has. Been. Manic.

Now, if like me, you fancy hitting reset right now, you’re ready to take on the rest of what 2017 has got to throw at you, you’re ready to up that immune system, to battle those winter bugs and be the best version of you. Here’s a lovely little helping hand…

Those fab people at teapigs have crafted the perfect collection of feel-good teas to keep you going and completely girl bossing every day. It’s time to put aside that energy drink, sugary coffee or that chocolate bar that’ll only make you crash shortly after your sugar high…and enjoy feeling pepped the natural way! Over time, I’m sure your body will thank you that you’re actually filling it up with lots of good stuff by keeping you healthy and feeling tip top.

Please give a warm welcome to the teapigs feel-good teas…

Tea Pigs Feel-Good Teas Review

Teapigs feel-good teas review

First up, it’s time to rise and shine and get the show on the road. This is where the “clean n green” tea comes in. It’s your morning tea to help you detox and say “hello world! I’m ready for ya!”  This is a beautiful blend of green tea (and we all know how good that stuff is!), lemongrass, ginger, coconut and cleansing dandelion leaves which is packed full of antioxidants. I never knew you could get dandelion leaves in a tea! Did you!?

Take note that this tea has ginger, the magic ingredient when it comes to fighting off those winter bugs! I definitely want to up my ginger intake this winter as ginger kills off rhinoviruses, which kick start those nasty colds we get this time of year. So the teapigs detox morning tea is the perfect way to start the day with lots of goodness!

It’s smooth, not bitter, just so easy to drink. The flavour is pretty lovely and it’s much better than I expected from a “green tea” – I think you’ll be genuinely really impressed with the taste of this tea!

Teapigs Feel-good teas review

Okay, so you’ve been feeling great so far and that little green bag of goodness has started you off on the right foot. Your to do list is looking pretty awesome, but you’re starting to crave a little summin’ summin’ around 3pm. This is usually THE time to grab that sugary snack or coffee that probably isn’t so great for you – it’s time to treat your body as a temple!

It’s “up beet” time! In comes your perfect afternoon tea to give you energy and absolutely nail the afternoon ahead, no matter what is thrown at you!

Teapigs feel-good teas review

teapigs’ up beet energy tea is the perfect warming cup of revitalisation that your body will definitely thank you for! This energy boosting tea features hibiscus, ginger (again, goodbye winter bugs! You’ve got no chance this year!), green tea and beetroot – yet another intriguing ingredient, but it just works and turns the tea into a beautiful purple-like colour.

Yet again packed with amazing health-boosting ingredients and it just tastes like a warm almost berry-like drink and I’m guessing that’s because of the beetroot in it – so if you’re a little put off by that being an ingredient, you really needn’t be! This is probably my favourite out of all the teas, which is great considering it’s your afternoon pick-me-up tea – you’ll totally look forward to having it at the 3pm slump. The flavour lends itself to this time of year with all the berry-like scents and flavours around us to enjoy, I think it would be a lovely evening time after work type of tea too!

Now, taking time to relax your body and mind is just as important as fuelling it for a busy day…

One thing I really want to *try* and do more often is to get to bed earlier, just one hour earlier I’m sure will make a huge difference to my body. I’m usually a bed at midnight… but probably still scroll through pointless social media posts for a further 10 mins at least kinda girl – and I know that’s not a great thing.

One thing I can definitely do though, is to enjoy a lovely cup of teapigs snooze feel-good tea

Teapigs feel-good teas review

This pretty little teabag is the perfect tea to help you sleep and has a calming blend of chamomile, apple and lavender… Even just reading those ingredients sounds soothing! Calming, yet beautiful to the taste. It’s a great way to signify the end of the evening, a time to wind down and look after yourself once again with a few chilled out moments before hopefully getting a decent long sleep.

This tastes pretty much exactly how I expected, it’s so lovely that the apple is included to cut through the chamomile and lavender flavours making it a very pleasant and relaxing tea if you’re feeling in need of some serious chill out moments.

So if you’re feeling that life has got a little hectic, you feel a little out of control, tired, worn down, ya get the drill …I think this 3 step daily tea process is such an easy way to feel good, put some great ingredients in your body and feel a little more on top of life and your body once again! It couldn’t get any easier! I’ve been really enjoying each and every tea and the feeling of knowing I’m putting some great stuff in my body too.

If you’re intrigued and fancy giving the teas a whirl this Autumn/Winter, here’s all the helpful links you need…

*Click here* to discover the entire teapigs feel-good tea collection, including an awesome hangover gift set (might be good for a new uni student you know!) and a wellness gift set (which might be perfect for someone feeling a little under the weather). What great gift sets! I think they’d make fab Christmas pressies too.

*Click here* to learn all about the clean n green teapigs tea – including reviews, further details and serving suggestions too!

*Click here* for the up beet tea and click here for the snooze tea! You’ll find all the extra details on those links too, including nutritional and allergen info.

…do let me know if you try out the teas! Or have you already tried them before?

I’m drinking an up beet tea as I write this and it’s super yummy! :)

Join me on Instagram: @Amanda_Alston // Twitter: @Amanda_Alston // Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

 

Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea at Frosts Woburn Sands

Afternoon Tea Frosts Garden Centre

Afternoon Tea Frosts Garden Centre

I’m about to welcome you to quite possibly the most beautiful booking you will make this week. The Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea at Frosts Garden Centre, Woburn Sands. Whether you’re a true green-fingered gardener or simply love all things floral and gorgeous, you will love both the Chelsea and Summer afternoon teas available at Frosts Garden Centre.

The Chelsea afternoon tea is taking place this week! From Monday 22nd until Saturday 27th of May – so if this post ignites your need for something truly stunning this week, don’t delay in booking your place! Obviously, the Chelsea afternoon tea is in celebration of one of the biggest flower shows in the world, so of course Frosts just had to put on this wonderful display of deliciousness!

All the afternoon teas are held in the gorgeous Bay Tree Room, which couldn’t look any more dreamy if it tried. White painted wood, beautiful natural flowers, fine bone china, bunting, there’s even a tree to bring the outside in as you look out upon their lovely garden. It’s no surprise that Frosts have started to take their first wedding bookings for this venue! You can even sit in the garden and have your afternoon tea on Summer days. It’s just all rather wonderful!

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

I was invited along to see what all the fuss was about, and naturally I couldn’t turn down a pot of tea and some cake! We were greeted by the fantastic Frosts team, who I must truly applaud for being such friendly and welcoming people. They were all so lovely! They did greet us with glasses of Prosecco, but I promise this did not alter my perception of them. They’re genuinely fab! If Prosecco wasn’t your jam, they had a whole lot of Pimms available and some lovely orange juice too. We were definitely well catered for.

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

The team then introduced us to the two brand new afternoon teas available at Frosts, and then things got really exciting – we got to eat them! …and oh my, everything was gorgeous! The afternoon teas have a fantastic mix between classic sandwiches and something a little bit different – such as the scone with a parma ham and fig filling! I pushed the boat out and even ate foods I wouldn’t usually opt for and ended up really enjoying them. I think that’s the really fun aspect of afternoon teas, you get to try things you love already alongside something new.

In particular, a “something new” for me…was edible flowers! I’d heard a lot about these lately on food shows and wasn’t sure what to expect, but they’re not bad at all. They’re seen as a palette cleanser between foods, so why not give one a whirl if you pop by this week? Let me know what you think if you try one! They were so fun, so apt and really brightened up the Chelsea flower show afternoon tea.

Treat wise, I really must stress how bloomin’ amazing the chocolate mousse in the super cute mini flower pot is! It really was to die for. Smooth rich yummy chocolatey-ness topped with a crunchy chocolatey biscuit top. If you’re a chocolate fan, this one’s for you! You’re really spoilt for choice and there’s definitely something for everyone, with chocolate indulgence through to lighter fruit choices. Perfect!

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

Afternoon Tea Frosts Woburn Sands

Doesn’t it all just look so stunning!? I can’t wait for my next Frosts afternoon tea experience!

If you haven’t already seen it, *click here* to see my post from a couple of years ago of my first ever Frosts Woburn Sands afternoon tea!

If the Chelsea Flower Show afternoon tea tickles your fancy, you better move quickly as it’s running from today (May 22nd) until this Saturday (May 27th) and costs £22.99 per person.

Don’t forget to take a peep at the Summer afternoon tea (as pictured above alongside the Chelsea tea), the Summer afternoon tea is £17.95 per person – and that’s not all! Coming up this year is the Wimbledon afternoon tea (running Monday 3rd July – Friday 7th July and Monday 10th July – Friday 14th July) – expect a cute tennis theme and strawberries and cream galore!

Also, who said afternoon tea was just a thing for the ladies!? Coming up this year is a very “man friendly” afternoon tea for Father’s Day, featuring a mini burger, chicken satay, twice fried hand cooked chips, breads, dipping oils and doughnuts! All accompanied with a glass of beer wine or soft drink.  (The Father’s Day afternoon tea is running on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th June.)

For all the info you need and to get booking your treat, head on over to the Frosts website here: https://www.frostsgardencentres.co.uk/garden-centres/woburn-sands or feel free to give the lovely team a call on 0800 954 9484.

*The team at Frosts Woburn Sands provided me with all these lovely treats for free, but I can assure you that the thoughts of my tastebuds and eyes are most definitely true.