Thursday, 17 October 2019

Sodastream Spirit Hydration Pack Review*

A Sodastream is something I have wanted to try for so long! It's one of those products that has popped up on Instagram countless times and I've seen so many varieties reviewed online but I've always been wary of whether it's worth the price tag. A few weeks ago Sodastream very kindly gifted me a sparkling water maker from their Spirit Hydration Pack and as we've had fun putting it to the test, it's about time I let you all know how I got on and if it's really worth the hype. 
flatlay - yellow background, sodastream, bottled flavours, 1l bottles, 0.5L bottles
With the Spirit Hydration Pack, you can enjoy fresh sparkling water at the touch of a button. Literally. In a matter of minutes, you can have yourself a fruity sparkling drink so it's a great tool to have in for those times when you want something refreshing but can't be bothered to pop to the shops. There are a few different Sodastream products but in this particular pack you get the sparkling water maker, carbonating cylinder, 1L bottle x2, 0.5L bottle x2, and 2 soda press flavours.
flavoured bottles - ginger ale, blackberry lime, on yellow background next to sodastream
Now, it might look a little daunting when you unpack everything and see how much there is but it's actually quite a straightforward process. In each pack you'll receive a little booklet which has instructions with photos (which is always useful) meaning you can see for yourself how to assemble it. The first thing we had to do was insert the carbonating cylinder and then it was just a case of rinsing the bottles and filling with water, then popping onto the Sodastream. There is a large button on the top of the Sodastream which controls the fizziness, meaning you can decide exactly how you want it. Just a few short bursts carbonate the water but you can obviously add more if you want it to be as fizzy as possible, like me. 
sodastream stood up next to carbonated bottle, 1l bottle and flavoured bottles
When you've reached your desired fizz, you can then add in your flavouring. There are several flavours available from Sodastream including Raspberry & Mint, Blonde Cola, Old Fashioned Lemonade, Pink Grapefruit, Indian Tonic and finally Ginger Ale and Blueberry Lime, the two flavours I got to try out. If using a 1L bottle, you'll need 10 tablespoons of your preferred flavour which does sound like a lot, but each flavour is 500ml so you still have plenty left to use again, and you can get several glasses out of the 1L bottle. I found the 10 tablespoons of each flavour was the perfect amount. The flavour was strong enough that you knew it was there but neither were overly sweet. I think out of the two, I preferred the Blueberry Lime, it reminded me very much of a Summer Fruits drink, but the Ginger Ale seemed to gain a fan in George who got through it pretty quickly! 

Now let's talk about the price. Obviously a Sodastream is never going to be the cheapest gadget going but if you're in the market for one, you're probably aware of roughly what you need to pay. The Spirit Hydration Pack in particular is usually priced at £132 but is currently on offer for £89.99 which I think is a pretty decent price drop. Though this comes with two flavours aswell, the others available are priced at £7.99 and there are also fruit drops too which are much cheaper at £2.99. Just a few drops of this into your sparkling water, adds a subtle fruity flavour. Now I've had the chance to try out the Sodastream, I can say I've really loved using it over the last few weeks and it was fun to experiment with the flavours and get to create something of our own rather than what we usually buy from the shop. I'm not sure it's something we'll use all the time so I would say if you're wanting one, really consider if it's going to be something you need and would keep going back to, just to make paying the price worth it. I can see us getting much more use out of this in Summer when all we want is refreshing cold drinks, and I think it's something other members of our family will love too!
collage - left side is a cup with blackberry lime in and 1l bottle next to it. Right side is ginger ale bottle and 1l bottle
If you'd like to find out more about the various Sodastreams available, feel free to check out their website where they have loads of products on offer and lots of advice ready to answer any of your questions. I think this could make a great gift for Christmas for any food and drink lovers you know. It's also a fab one to bring out at parties, especially if you've got younger family members around as it's something everyone can get involved in.

Have you ever tried a Sodastream?

*Sodastream was gifted to me but all views are my own

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

My Autumn Wishlist - Beauty, Books & Fashion

It's been a long, long time since I last put together a little wishlist and like with every season, now Autumn is here I'm desperate to change pretty much everything! My entire wardrobe, the decor, I want a whole load of new books to get stuck into, and of course there have been SO many new beauty products released which I'm dying to get my hands on. So, I've narrowed my autumnal wishlist down to a few bits, and I thought I'd share.
collage - beauty, fashion, books

Clothes

I've actually picked up a few new pieces recently which are becoming wardrobe staples and things I know I'll wear over and over again. I've really become aware of fast fashion recently and I'm keen to not keep spending money on items I'll only wear a few times and then forget about, I want key pieces that will last me, that I can change up each season. There are a few bits I think I need to complete my wardrobe for Autumn/Winter and one of those for me is a jumper. I love big cosy jumpers in the colder months, they're great for layering and perfect for chucking on in the house, they do tend to last a long time too but I've been really struggling to find any I really like this year. If anyone spots a big slouchy grey (maybe off the shoulder) jumper, let me know! I have seen a really simple but pretty Black Lace Jumper from New Look though for £17.99 which I keep going back to. I think this would go perfectly with some skinny jeans, high boots and a leather jacket and scarf. I also love the look of this Simple Black Peplum. I think a peplum top is so flattering but I never see enough of them around anymore.

The next thing - boots. I have a pair of leopard print boots which don't get me wrong, I ADORE. But they don't go with everything. I've seen two pairs, also from New Look that are calling my name, these Red Patent Boots which would usually be a bit out there for me but I think with some black skinny jeans, they would be stunning, and also these Red Tassel Block Heel Boots. Those are a bit more my style and I think they're the perfect colour for Autumn. The last clothing item I'm after is a new jacket. I love love love my trusty leather jacket but I need more options and on a cold day, that just doesn't cut it. I'm torn between Khaki Hooded Parka which is currently on offer for £30 at New Look, or this Khaki Zip Through Jacket from Yours Clothing which is £40. They're so similar but once is clearly thinner than the other so would still need to be layered up on a really cold day.
black peplum top, red boots, patent boots, khaki jacket

Beauty

There are only a few bits I'm after beauty wise, because like with clothes, I'm really trying not to buy unnecessary items anymore. Something I am desperate to pick up soon though is the new shade Sweater Weather from Essie. Essie nail polishes are some of my faves but this is a colour unlike any others I have. A gorgeous forest green that couldn't be more autumnal if it tried! I've also spotted that Garnier have just released some new sheet masks in time for Christmas, and it's a night-time range. It includes a face tissue mask and an eye mask and as I'm already such a fan of the moisture bomb masks, I'm definitely going to get one of these whilst on offer. They're apparently good for popping on 15 minutes before bed to help you unwind so I'll do a review at some point and let you know how I got on.
garnier moisture bomb mask, essie sweater weather nail polish

Books

Would it really be a wishlist of mine if I didn't include books? Of course it wouldn't. It wasn't too long ago I actually picked up a few more so I'm not in desperate need of any right now but you know when one catches your eye and then you can't help but want to buy it every time you see it? I feel like that about a few books at the moment! First of all Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris. This is the sequel to The Tattooist Of Auschwitz which I've raved about multiple times and I'm so keen to hear Cilka's story, a woman who played quite a big part in the first book. I'm hoping to read it before the end of the year. Next up is Postscript by Cecelia Ahern, the sequel to P.S. I Love You - the film that broke me as a teenager, and I've still not recovered. As much as I enjoy the film, it actually hurts me so I haven't watched it for a long time, you know when there's a film that just gets you every single time? I can't help but want to read the sequel though and find out where Holly is now. I think it's one I'd have to psych myself up for and be prepared to let the tears come, but it's definitely one I need to read soon. The cover aswell, how beautiful?! Lastly, Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd. I'm not usually one for medical type books, as because of health anxiety, I kind of straight away go into it holding back and ready to close it if I need too, like with This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay. I've read such good reviews of this though and it's a little different in that it's about sudden and unexplained deaths. Richard has performed over 23,000 autopsies including the Princess Diana enquiry and 9/11 so he has some really fascinating stories to tell.  
books - cilka's journey, postscript, unnatural causes
So that's my first little wishlist in a while. Have you got your eye on anything at the moment? Let me know if you've read any of the books above! I'd love to hear your thoughts on them.

*Affiliate links used in this post

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Herbalife Nutrition Offers Products And Advice To Help People Be Healthy*

Herbalife Nutrition is a company that is concerned about the health of consumers and they have shared many helpful articles on their website so that people can know how to take care of their bodies. One of the articles that was shared by this company gives out tips on how a person can shop for groceries that are healthy. This article is a good piece for those who struggle in the store because they do not know how to shop for things that are good for them and they don't know what they should buy.
Photo by Josh Sorenson from Pexels
The article about grocery shopping that was shared by Herbalife Nutrition recommends that a person pay attention to the nutrition information that is shared on the products that they are considering purchasing. This article also shared how people can swap out something unhealthy that they would normally purchase at the grocery store and buy a healthier alternative that they can change up at home to make it tasty. There was a recommendation in the article shared for people to add in a new fruit or vegetable every week so that they expand the foods that they are eating, and the article also shared that is good for a person to shop for produce that is in season.

Herbalife Nutrition has shared articles on their website about the way that cancer may be linked to one's weight. They have also shared articles about the nutritional needs that a woman has, the importance of managing the stress that one is facing, and tips for staying in shape while in college. This company seems to care about their consumers, and they show that with all the content that they put out on their website.

Herbalife Nutrition is a company that makes dietary supplements and many other types of products. They are a multi-level marketing company that has been around for some time. The headquarters of this business is set up in Los Angeles, California. This company has been able to operate in almost one hundred different countries, spreading their reach around the world. This company has a goal of helping people get eon track so that they can live out healthy lives. As those working for the company see more and more health issues come up in people around the world, they are inspired to put out products that will help people do well and be healthy. Herbalife works to put out products that are effective and helpful.

When the company first started, Herbalife Nutrition was created to change the nutritional habits of people all around the world. The founder got the company going after seeing his mum struggle with her health. He wanted people to have options so that they could stay healthy. When the founder of this company, Mark Hughes, first got started running the company, he was working out of his car trunk. The company now ha many more products available than it did back when he first got the company started, including sports hydration and personal care products.

*This post is in collaboration with Herbalife Nutrition

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Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Bear Update #2 - 8 Months Old, Doggy DayCare & His First Operation

Though I feel like I talk about our puppy Bear on my blog A LOT, it's been quite a while since I last shared a proper update. We brought him home in April and a month later I shared how he was getting on, his first experience at puppy club and more, so now he's just turned 8 months old, I thought it was about time for another as quite a bit has changed!
Bear at daycare

8 Months Old?!

HOW? Seriously how is my baby nearly 1? Okay I know it's a few months away but before we know it his first birthday will be here and I'm already close to tears about it. I just can't get over that this little man was something I'd dreamed about and hoped for, for such a long time and now he's been ours for months and is growing so quickly. I can totally see why when people have one child, they end up having another then another then another because I already keep thinking about when we'll be giving Bear another little pup to play with. Sometimes I don't realise that we've reached the end of a certain stage until it's gone and I'm never prepared for it. When we first brought him home, for weeks and weeks he would curl up on my chest and sleep, and he also used to love laying on my shoulders but then one day he just grew out of that and I still get sad when I think about it. I wish I'd known how quickly it would go because I'd have savoured those moments even more. He's honestly changing so fast and I already feel like we're out of that small pup phase 😭
collage - bear at 5 weeks old and at 7 months old

Our First Family Holiday

I won't talk about this too much because I did a full blog post about it which you can find here but I had to briefly mention we had our first family holiday this Summer. He was only just about to turn 5 months old when we went so we had no idea what we'd let ourselves in for and how it would go but he was surprisingly well behaved. Let's just not talk about the time he ran for his life on Scarborough beach and we genuinely nearly lost him. There's video footage of that on his instagram if you want a laugh. He did have the time of his life though, his two fave uncles were there aswell and he had all the attention the whole weekend. We ate a lot of ice cream, visited Whitby/Scarborough/Bridlington and just enjoyed ourselves more than we could have predicted.
Bear windswept on holiday

Goodbye Puppy Club, Hello Doggy Daycare

I mentioned in the last update that we had just started taking Bear to puppy club, and it was one of the best things we could have done for him. Puppies were only allowed until they reached 5 months so he had his last session before the holiday and we were all sad to say goodbye. Each session he got to interact with a variety of different dogs and we learnt so much from it. I couldn't recommend finding a local puppy club enough if you're thinking of getting a dog. After puppy club ending and our holiday, he had his assessment at a local doggy daycare centre and he smashed it! He only goes once a week but that 1/2 a day does all of us the world of good. I love Bear to bits but it's not like everyday is perfect, sometimes he does drive me up the wall as I'm sure I do him aswell, and those few hours gives me the time to actually clean the flat (something I had no idea would be so hard with a dog), pop to the shops or if George is free, we can use that time to go to the cinema or go for a meal. We don't really have anyone around to help us out with Bear, and whilst we totally knew that was going to be the case before we got him, sometimes time just us two is so needed and having somewhere like a daycare centre means we can be us again for a little while. He has the BEST time there too. He's got a good group of buddies, including two bulldogs who I'm sure he thinks are the same size as him, and the people that work there love the dogs like their own.
collage - bear at daycare with other dogs

His First Operation

Last month Bear had his first operation which was not fun for any of us, but he's recovered well and now back to his normal self. We thought getting him neutered as early as was allowed would be best as it means it's not something we have to dread or put him through when he's older and he was a little star. He recovered quickly, though was not a fan of the cone of shame at all, and within two weeks he was back at daycare, and running circles around us again. It certainly wasn't fun leaving him at the vets for the day and it's definitely not something I want to repeat again but at least now it's all over and done with!
Bear with his cone on after his operation
I think that's pretty much everything to update you on. He's still the best puppy ever, and we love him more and more each day. He's not great at sleeping in his crate anymore which isn't ideal but we're working on it, he loves human food more than life itself and he is still the friendliest little thing. I couldn't imagine life without him now.


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