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

 

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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.

Rediscovering Tea with T2 Milton Keynes

T2 Milton Keynes
If you follow me on either Twitter (linky) or Instagram (linky), you’ll know that I’ve often said that I feel a cup of tea can solve anything. I wholeheartedly believe that taking time out to breathe and enjoy just a moment or two with a cup of something lovely can help us feel much more restored.

I was recently invited to take a trip to planet tea, otherwise known as T2 in Milton Keynes! I say “planet tea” because, well, anything these guys don’t know about tea isn’t worth knowing!

T2 Milton Keynes

T2 Milton Keynes

T2 Milton Keynes

As soon as you walk in to this beautifully styled store, you’ll be amazed at the plethora of tea available. Now you may enjoy exploring the store by yourself or alternatively feel a bit flabbergasted and not know where to begin, but do feel free to ask the *genuinely* friendly team about anything you see or to show you the way, as they’re so lovely in there!

When I arrived for my masterclass in all things T2 I was greeted by a very lovely lady and boy does this lady know her stuff!

First up she introduced us to this delightfully delicious cuppa called Baxter’s Buns – which is one of their “feature” teas. This cup of yumminess is based on hot cross buns, and who doesn’t like those tasty little fellows!? If you’re a cinnamon fan and love those doughy buns, then this is definitely worth grabbing a box of! It was served with milk, a squidge of honey for sweetness, tasted so lovely and the cinnamon (one of my favourite scents and tastes!) reminded me of my favourite time of year, Christmas!! (Yes! I said the “C” word in May!)

T2 Milton Keynes

T2 Milton Keynes

T2 Milton Keynes

Now I must say I was particularly intrigued by all the amazing equipment we were shown during the entire masterclass. It put my little teapot at home to shame!

The next lovely drink we got to try out was the fabulous Packs a Punch! Before we had our Baxter’s Buns, the Packs a Punch tea was left sitting pretty as it brewed away in these totally awe-inspiring teamakers!

T2 Milton Keynes

T2 Milton Keynes

These amazing little things not only let the tea brew away inside them, just simply pop them on top of the mug, press down and voila! Your drink is served! No drips, no mess, just a really super easy to use teamaker! How clever? If you fancy getting your mitts on one of these fab little things, they’re £20 from T2 and come in a choice of 4 colours. I think they’d make such a great gift for a tea lover!

Back to the tea…

So we tried out the Packs a Punch tea both hot and (as you can see above!) …iced! I loved both ways it was served as it was so full of fruit flavour (because T2 make things properly! No weak fruity flavour here!), but I must say I really liked it on ice and found it so refreshing after a long day at work. Think of those sunny days ahead – this could be the perfect after work chill out iced tea!

T2 Milton Keynes

To complete our masterclass, we learnt all about Matcha tea! If you pop into T2 right now, you’ll discover a variety of matcha teas available. Whether you fancy giving the classic Matcha tea a whirl, or you’d prefer a little extra flavour. It’s all there to be enjoyed!

Another lovely T2 lady joined us to teach us all about Matcha, and once again we were wowed by the fountain of knowledge these guys have! It was truly brilliant!

We were talked through the different versions of Matcha that can be made, from the strongest, through to the more milky and frothy tasting. Matcha tea is made using the best part of green tea leaves and has many more antioxidants than your standard green tea. Due to the way it’s grown it also has a higher level of caffeine – it’s said that the monks like to drink it to keep themselves focussed!

Just before Christmas I had tried a Matcha latte, which I enjoyed – probably because it was full of milky frothy goodness!! So I was intrigued to try out the different “levels” as such of the Matcha tea. I really enjoyed trying them all out but definitely took more of a liking to the milkier tasting versions. Of course it’s an acquired taste, but I think it’s worth trying out to see what you like – it’s all personal preference after all!

You might be intrigued by the cute little bowl and whisk that’s used to whip up the Matcha drinks. These little items are the traditional Japanese tools to use when creating your Matcha drinks! The bowl is called Chawan and the bamboo whisk is called a Chasen.

It’s also said that it’s tradition to eat something sweet before having the more bitter styles of Matcha, so we were offered a jelly baby before trying it out – and who was I to say no!?

Do pop by their “Matcha Discovery Station” instore and have some fun trying it all out – you might just love it!

T2 Milton Keynes

T2 Milton Keynes

T2 Milton Keynes

T2 Milton Keynes

T2 Milton Keynes

When it was time to head home, the lovely team gave us a goodie bag with Packs A Peach and an infuser – I am *SO* ready to enjoy some peachy iced goodness after work this Summer!
T2 Milton Keynes
T2 Milton Keynes
Have you set foot in the T2 Milton Keynes store before? I’d love to know your tea recommendations!

…and if you haven’t, do swing by and check it all out! Whether you’re a loose tea, tea bag, fruity tea, classic tea or simply a tea pot collecting person….it doesn’t matter – this store has it all covered!

T2 Milton Keynes is located next to Cath Kidston and opposite The White Company. Visit the website here: http://www.t2tea.com/en/uk/Home

Thank you once again to T2 Milton Keynes! It was so fun to come and truly explore the wonderful world of tea!

My Second Floating Experience at floatation.life Milton Keynes

A little while ago I was invited along to floatation.life in Milton Keynes to try out this completely new way of relaxing….floating!!! You can read all about my first experience at floatation.life (based in Crownhill, Milton Keynes) *HERE*

floatation.life Milton Keynes

If you missed my first write up about floatation.life, here’s the low down on what it’s all about and how you float your way to total relaxation. So, floatation.life is a hidden gem in Milton Keynes, and once you walk through their door, you leave your stressful, busy, hectic world behind and enter a completely new one. One where you are warmly welcomed by the friendly team, symbolically hand over your phone once you arrive and start your experience by sitting in a lovely chair whilst listening to the most chilled spa-like music ever. It’s time to 100% switch off!

Once you’ve had a few moments to ease yourself into relaxation mode, the team will lead you through to your own personal floatation room. Inside you will find a very space age looking tank, filled with beautifully warm water with added Epsom salts – which of course, is key to your float! The room also has an area for you to get ready, have a shower and be fully prepped for your experience. There’s a mirror, wipes provided and even a little sachet of petroleum jelly to cover any parts of sore skin – after all you don’t want to sting in the salty water! (I’d recommend shaving your legs the day before!).

Once you’re prepped and ready to experience your float, you can dip your toes into the warm water, close the doors of the tank behind you and switch off the internal tank light if you wish. It’s time to get comfortable, zone out, and float your way to freedom and relaxation.

The great thing about your second experience is that you know all of the above! No longer are you apprehensive about what to expect from this unusual new experience. No longer are you freaking out about whether you’ll feel odd lying in this tank in complete darkness (you can leave the light on in the tank if you wish!). No longer are you wondering how to complete the experience. You know the room, you know the drill, you know the tank… You’re already a pro!

This is when the magic happens…

With your new found expertise in how to float your way to relaxation, comes a whole new level of relaxing altogether! You’re so accustomed to it now, that you can feel each and every muscle in your body relax just that little bit more than last time. You can feel as if you are completely relaxed, but believe me, as you chill more and more whilst floating you’ll feel little muscles in your body letting go just a tad more as the time passes. And oh my did that happen to me! It happened so much that (especially in the last half of the experience) I drifted off to sleep for a few moments on more than one occasion. Yes, I was lying there in the beautiful warm water and air, relaxed enough to sleep whilst floating! A very surreal thing, but don’t worry, it’s completely safe to do so and a lot of people do end up falling asleep in this experience whilst every muscle is catered for by the ever-supportive Epsom salt-filled water.

So it’s true what they say. Your second float is truly where this experience comes to life and surely it can only get better from then on!? I’d really recommend giving floatation.life a whirl. Treat yourself, your body and your mind. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and so much more at ease with life in general. It’s bloomin’ lovely!

Don’t forget, as I mentioned in my original post, once you have completed your float, floatation.life has a room where you can dry your hair, apply your moisturiser/makeup etc. Plus, there’s a wonderful post-float relaxation room, where you can relax with beautiful music and images on a screen, partake in a little soothing colouring in and chill out in their lovely massage chairs. Perfect!

To find out more about floatation.life in Milton Keynes, do pop over to their website here: https://floatation.life/

*I received my float free of charge from floatation.life but my thoughts on this beautifully relaxing experience are most definitely my own. I mean. I can’t lie about being so relaxed I fell asleep! Ha!

Switching Off Feat. floatation.life Milton Keynes

When was the last time you completely switched off? I mean, had a real “me, myself and I” moment? Completely zoned out. No mobile, no laptop, not even Netflix with a glass of wine in the bath kinda moment? I know it’s been wayyy too long since I last did!

With the pressures of a modern life, trying to be here there and everywhere, working a busy job, trying to fit everything into your evenings, see everyone, say yes to every opportunity, please as many people as we can, trying to be, you know, perfect. It’s very easy to forget to take time out for ourselves to completely and totally chill out. But recently I was given the opportunity to completely, and I mean 100% COMPLETELY relax.

I was invited to go along and check out the brand new floatation.life centre in Crownhill, Milton Keynes. And ohhh em geee, I am so glad I did! It left me feeling totally and utterly refreshed and ready to take on the world.

But what is floatation.life I hear you shouting at your screen!? floatation.life is where you step into another world and leave this hectic one behind for just a little while. You float your worries away in your own personal floatation tank filled with Epsom salts, within your own room. No one else. Just you.

Floatation Life Milton Keynes

Floatation Life Milton Keynes

As you arrive at the centre you’re greeted by the lovely team, who welcome you in, help to put you at ease and forget the outside world. At reception they even ask you to hand over your mobile phone as a symbolic way to signify that you’re truly leaving the ever busy and connected world behind.

Before heading on through, they provide you with lovely chill out music to listen to whilst sitting in a wonderfully relaxing massage chair. These 10 mins of “wind down” time are the perfect bridge between the busy world you just left and the soothing one you’re about to enter.

Once the 10 minutes have passed, it’s your time to head on through to your very own relaxation space. Everyone has their own room, complete with a shower (body wash, shampoo and conditioner are all provided!) and a little area with a mirror to ensure you’re prepped and ready for your float! The team provide you with ear plugs (ones that just cover your outer ear/they don’t go all the way in like usual ones), face wipes, cotton pads and buds and a little bit of Vaseline to ensure any cuts/graises are covered up to prevent them stinging – that water is filled with Epsom salts after all!

Before taking a dip, you have a shower and wipe your face with the wipes provided to ensure your body is stripped of any oils etc. Then that’s it! You’re ready for your floating experience!

Then you step into your float tank and close the side door behind you. There’s a little light on in your tank, so if you feel comfortable you can close the roof of the tank too, to ensure you have complete darkness once you switch the light off inside the tank.

Floatation Life Milton Keynes

If you’re worried you may end up with salt water in your eyes…don’t! They provide you with a water spray and flannel for your face should you need it at all.

Once the light is off and the doors of the float tank are closed, it’s time for you to enter a world of pure tranquillity. Get comfortable and float on your back with your head back, just like you would in a swimming pool. (If you don’t feel happy putting your head right back there is a blow up neck cushion provided in the room should you wish to use that instead).

The salt in the water will comfortably take the weight of your body and as the water temperature is carefully matched to that of the air, once you have 100% relaxed in there a completely surreal but beautiful floating feeling is created. You lay there listening to the lovely chilled music playing lightly in the tank for the first few minutes as you feel your body relax more and more with each moment that passes. I can’t even begin to give the feeling justice with my words, I simply can’t compare this pure relaxation to anything else I’ve ever experienced. Nothing else in the world matters, you can simply and honestly just get back to being you. As cliché as that sounds, right there nothing else matters, it’s like hitting your body’s reset button.

As your hour in the tank passes by, don’t worry if you even fall asleep as it’s perfectly safe to do so – I think I did for a few seconds! They have a brilliant FAQ section on their website, should you have any further queries about the experience.

Once your hour is coming to end, the music will quietly start to play once again. After you step out of your tank, you can have a quick shower once again to rinse your body. Get dressed and pop round to their dedicated area where you can go and blow dry your hair and use the face wipes, face moisturiser, hand cream and bottles of water as provided – how lovely! Now you’re feeling refreshed, you can head on down to their relaxation room where you can sit in a fab massage chair once again, whilst listening to chilled music, watching beautiful scenes on the screen in the room or even sit there and do a spot of colouring in to further relax. Water is provided in this room too and it’s filled with lovely candlelight and plants, perfect!

Floatation Life Milton Keynes

Floatation Life Milton Keynes

Floatation Life Milton Keynes

When you’re ready for the real world once again, head back to reception, retrieve your phone from the team and that’s it. You’ll be ready to face anything the outside world throws at you! “Hello world! Hello refreshed new me!” …you’ll be saying!

I honestly can’t recommend this experience enough. As I said earlier, there’s nothing I can compare it to. Total, pure, wholesome relaxation. Our physical and mental wellbeing is so important and we need to take time out to ensure we truly relax and I genuinely personally feel that floatation.life can really help a whole host of people to do exactly that. It’s really worth having a read through their site here: https://floatation.life/ and reading through the benefits of both the experience and the Epsom salts themselves.

The business is family run, and after speaking to the owner I can totally feel how passionate they are about the experience they provide. Why not give their experience a go?

Head on over to the floatation.life website to find out more and book your experience: https://floatation.life/

(This experience was provided to me free of charge, but the views as written above are most definitely my own!)

5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Birthday Presents

save money on birthday presents

save money on birthday presents

save money on birthday presents

For a while now I’ve been meaning to bring a few more money saving tips to my blog, to help others on their saving journey. So today I’m starting off with how to save money on birthday presents. Quite an obscure one I know, but hey, all those birthdays we celebrate over the year all add up! So here’s how I save £’s on birthday presents throughout the year…

#1 – Birthday Cards

£3 cards that will just get thrown into the bin one week later isn’t my favourite way of spending my money, so personally I usually opt for a much cheaper alternative. It still sends your best wishes and looks pretty on a mantelpiece, yet it keeps your purse much happier! Keep an eye out for nice looking cheaper cards in stores such as Card Factory or try supermarkets such as Tesco, where I managed to pick up packs of 10 birthday cards for £1 a little while ago. Sometimes you’ll find a perfectly lovely card for much less.

 

#2 – Shop the sales

When it comes to the presents themselves, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the sales. I shop throughout the year and stash away presents for people. Whether I’ve found the one perfect present that I know someone will love or whether I’m stocking up on mini treats that will be lovely for all, it’ll help save £’s over the year.

#3 – Reuse

When you’ve received a present in a gift bag, don’t just throw the bag in the recycling – reuse it! As long as it’s in good condition and doesn’t look too shabby, it’s perfectly fine to use again. Gift bags can cost a couple of quid, just for a bit of colourful cardboard! So get stashing and reusing. The same can apply to ribbon and any other random bits of pretty decoration you may come across!

 

#4 – Loyalty Points

Struggling to afford someone’s present? Why not use your loyalty points to buy the gift? Boots, Superdrug, Nectar and many more companies offer loyalty cards, and as annoying as they are cluttering up your purse, it’s like receiving free money each time you shop. Free money that can help you out when you’re feeling the pinch or simply want to be super savvy!

 

#5 – Freebies!

Freebies can be found in all sorts of places. Whether it’s via a loyalty app such as o2 priority (where I’ve managed to get lots of beauty freebies, chocolate, cards & more!), free gift with purchase freebies, blogger goodie bag freebies, or anywhere else freebies! You can’t get cheaper than free! If you’re not going to use the freebie you receive, why not stash it away for someone’s birthday? It might be the perfect little addition to their birthday pressie and it doesn’t cost you a penny!

 

So there you have it my lovelies! 5 super easy ways to save money on your pressies throughout the year! All it takes is a little re-thinking. All these little changes in life can really add up and make a real change to your bank balance and life goals! You needn’t give people rubbish for their birthdays to save a pretty penny or two. You CAN be kind to others whilst being kind to yourself too! :)

Blogosphere Valentine’s Tea Party

On Saturday, both me and Jaz (from The Life of a Social Butterfly) headed down to good ol’ London for the Blogosphere Valentine’s Tea Party! It was a fab event held in the Tropical Library (the most eclectically styled room ever) in Lumiere London, SE1.

As soon as we walked in we were greeted by some lovely ladies, rum punch courtesy of The Duppy Share and an array of the most beautiful cakes. I knew this was going to be a good event from that initial moment alone..! Ha!

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

Naturally there was quite a queue at the Kat Von D stand to discover the latest products. I’ve never tried the range before, and I was sooo impressed by the amount of shades they had available, alongside the fact that everything is cruelty free with some products even being vegan too! Fab!

We each took turns to sit in the makeup chair (which I gracefully stuggled to get up onto!) to get colour matched and find our perfect shade. Mine was L45 BTW, just in case, you know, someone wants to be kind and buy me a bottle!!

Being someone who doesn’t really wear liquid foundation, only a little concealer and powder, I was really pleased with how light the product felt on my skin. Even though it gave me a good coverage, it didn’t feel like I was wearing a thing!

Also…how freakin’ lush is the packaging on these liquid lipsticks..?

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

I’m loving this “Better Together” heart palette as a result of the collab between Too Faced and Kat Von D. It’s fab that they’ve brought the sweetness of Too Faced and the edginess of Kat Von D together! The pallete comes with 6 eyeshadows from each brand, along with the holy grail Better Than Sex mascara from Too Faced and the signature Tattoo Liner from Kat Von D. Love it!

(Did you catch my review of the Too Faced masterclass in Debenhams, intu Milton Keynes? You can read all about it *here*. They should be holding more this year!)

We also got given this ah-mazing Light and Shade Kat Von D palette in our goodie bag!! I cannot wait to try this out!

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

When I’m stressed, I bite my lips. Yeap, not great. And after a couple of stressful weeks, my lips are chapped and definitely in need of a little TLC! So I’m super excited to try out the Dr Lipp product we got in our goodie bags, as I’ve heard nothing but great stuff about it. Don’t be put off by the word “nipple” on the product, it can be used for sooo many things, it’s a huge multitasking product!

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

Glo&Ray was a new brand I discovered at the event which I’d never heard of before, but their products looked great! The packaging was sleek and stylish and the products are really affordable. I swatched a couple of the eyeliners on my hand and they lasted so well! They have a fantastic collection of lipsticks, which they said was one of their best selling areas – so if that’s your thing, go check them out! I also loved their eyeshadow quads featuring great everyday shades alongside pops of colour. I think they’d make a perfect travel palette!

We received a brow pencil, mascara and eyeliner in our goodie bags and I’m going to be super generous and give these away on my social media! So do keep your eyes peeled on my Twitter, Instagram & brand new Facebook page for my blog to be in with a chance of winning them!

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

The Flash Pack provided a whole load of fun on the day with their photoshoot area where you could put yourself on the cover of Blogosphere magazine! Me and Jaz had fun creating a couple of these and then we could take home a copy!

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

Blogosphere Event Valentines Tea Party

What a fab afternoon we had! A big thank you to Blogosphere Magazine for a great day filled with lots of fun, great brands, yumminess and goodies! This was my first Blogosphere event and I will definitely be coming back.

Feel free to head over to the Blogosphere website to find out more about them: www.blogospheremagazine.com

Have a great week! :)