Thursday, 31 December 2015

Lifestyle: Festive Party Essentials

I hope you all have had a very Merry Christmas! I sure did - spending the day with loved ones, eating all the turkey, drinking a few cheeky glasses of Prosecco and receiving such wonderful gifts. It was definitely a Christmas to remember. Check out my festive life through my camera roll post, to see what I got up to.
With Christmas all done and dusted, it's almost time to ring in a brand new year - hello 2016! 
I love the festive party season as it's a great chance to get all dressed up, have a few tipples, dance the night away and see in the new year with your favourite people!
With that in mind I thought I would share with you some of my festive party essentials, from outfits to comfy insoles.
Bold lip
I love to rock a bold lip over the festive season, a bright red is my go to as I think it's such a pretty shade for the festive season, and really brightens up your look.
My favourite red lipstick is Elizabeth Arden in 'Red door red', it's such a gorgeous shade and very long lasting. Perfect for all those midnight mistletoe kisses. 

Golden eyes
The festive season calls for a va va voom make up look - I love pairing my bright red lip with a pretty, statement golden eye look. My go to palette has to be the classic Naked 2, I love the shade 'half baked' it's a gorgeous shimmery golden bronze which looks perfect smoked out, finished with a few coats of thick black mascara.

Cute cross body bag
My favourite bag of all time. I've had this bag for so long and I am still obsessed with the quirky style. It's gold, it's glittery and I love that it's a cross body style as it leaves your hands free for throwing some shapes on the dance floor. 

A glitzy outfit
A definite essential! Tis' the season to sparkle of course. 
I picked up this glitzy number in my local Primark, I love the sparkle and style of the dress, I will be pairing it with a pair of cosy black tights for the festive season.

I'm not much a high heel wearer, simply because my feet just can't handle hours of dancing (or walking for that matter) in four inch heels. This year I am opting for my favourite heeled boots, as they are super comfortable, especially paired with these amazing insoles from Nine to Five*. You simply slip them in to your heels, and you're good to go. Hello comfy feet! They really do make killer shoes, heavenly to wear and you can also reuse them in different pairs of shoes. I have linked their website above if you would like some more information, or to purchase a pair for your poor feet!
I have included a Nine to Five image below to show you how the insoles work to support your feet for maximum comfort. 
Bubbles
Nothing says 'happy new year' like a bottle of fizz, I love a good ol' glass of Prosecco it's the perfect way to ring in the new year.

Cosy Pyjamas
Pyjamas are an essential for me all year round, but there's nothing like getting home from a night out on the tiles, wiping your face clean of your heavy party make up and slipping in to a cosy pair of pyjamas. Bliss.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Festive Party Essentials' post. What are your festive night out essentials? Will you be getting all dressed up for New year or curling up in your pyjamas?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below. 

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

*Nine to Five heels kindly sent me some insoles to test out, and share my thoughts. As always all opinions and thoughts are my own. 

Monday, 28 December 2015

Lifestyle: Life Through My Camera Roll #4 Festive Edition

The sales are on, your skinny jeans are feeling rather snug and there's only a few quality street left lurking at the bottom of the tub - which can only mean that Christmas is all over for another year. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, full of laughs, family time, all the food and that you received everything you wished for. I had such a lovely day, so I thought I would share some snippets of my Christmas with you lovely lot.
*Obligatory blogger disclaimer: I would never want to be perceived as 'bragging' about the presents I received, I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family in my life who were kind enough to buy me a lovely present. I am so grateful for everything I received! I personally love reading these sorts of posts, as it's great to have a little nosy at how everyone else spends their Christmas.*
I actually have to work all day on Christmas day until about 3.00pm as I work in a hotel, and we have guests staying over the festive period on a Christmas break. Me and my boyfriend opened our Santa sacks together in the morning in our festive pyjamas, and then I went off to work and he went to his mum's house for dinner. We always have a bit of a laugh despite having to work - I may have had a cheeky glass of Buck's Fizz to celebrate the season! I love this picture of me and my dad looking all festive in our Santa hats, we always take a snap every year!
How adorable are these biscuits? My lovely friend at work surprised me on Christmas morning with a batch of her homemade treats, I enjoyed a couple with my usual morning cup of tea - they were delicious!
After finishing work I changed out of my uniform and headed to my boyfriend's mum's house to wish her a Merry Christmas, and open some presents. She bought me the most beautiful bangle, along with a lovely picture frame filled with some photographs of me and Ian. Such wonderful, thoughtful presents.
We then headed to my dad's for a Christmas dinner, pigs in blankets are just heaven aren't they! We drank a few glasses of Prosecco and opened more presents.
My dad always gets me the loveliest gifts, he was one of my biggest supporters when I was losing weight last year and he was clearly listening when I have been banging on about the healthy snacks I love. He got me lots of tasty, healthy treats along with some cheeky mini green and blacks chocolate, my favourite!
After dinner with my dad we headed back to our little flat to open up the presents we had bought for each other. My boyfriend Ian is such a sweetheart, he always gets it just right and this year was no exception! He bought me the Lucy Bee cookbook, which I have been wanting for so long, along with a cute Happy Jackson lunch box and this adorable notebook!
My main present this year was something I have been wanting for over a year now and I was thrilled to unwrap the Misfit Shine activity tracker. It looks so stylish and I am hoping it will help me to be more active on daily basis, as I mentioned I work in a hotel on the reception desk so I am sitting down for long periods of the day, hopefully having my lovely little Misfit on my wrist will encourage me to get up and move more!
He also bought me the matching necklace, which you can wear instead of the watch - it's so pretty!
My beautiful best friend Katie spoilt me rotten with a new perfume, the Sprinkle of Glitter 2016 diary, along with lots of other lovely treats.

So that's it, my Christmas in a nutshell! I had an amazing Christmas, full of good food, lots of chocolate, wonderful friends and family and the most thoughtful presents.
I am feeling a little sad that Christmas is all over for another year, but I am also so excited for whatever 2016 has to bring!

I hope you enjoyed this 'Festive life through my camera roll' post. How did you spend your Christmas? What lovely presents did you receive? What is your favourite thing about the festive season? 

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below. 

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Monday, 21 December 2015

Lifestyle: Life Through My Camera Roll #3

Well hello there...

The festive season is in full swing - the trees are up and shining brightly, the Christmas tunes are blaring out, the post office queue is ridiculously long and everyone is stocking up on tins of Roses and Quality street. It is of course the most wonderful time of the year!
I have been snapping away on my iPhone as per usual, and I thought it was a great time of year to update you on what I've been up to, and share my favourites from my camera roll with you lovely lot!
 1. How adorable are my new pyjamas! I spotted them in my local Primark and had to have them.
 I think that they are so pretty, and they look and feel far more expensive than the £8.00 price tag. So cosy!
2. The Christmas tree is officially up and twinkling away. It's my first Christmas in my own flat with my boyfriend, we had so much fun picking out a little tree and I got in to the festive spirit decorating it while blasting out the Christmas tunes. Santa baby is my jam...
3. I treated myself to copy of Millie Mackintosh's début book 'Made' in the Black Friday sales, I've only read a couple of chapters so far as I've been quite busy. but I love that it's a mix of fashion, beauty, fitness and food. A must have for any Millie fan, or if you are like me and love anything health and fitness related.
4. I've been spending most of my evenings lately wrapping up Christmas presents, I love pretty wrapping paper and making my gifts look super festive. Sending Christmas cards to my loved ones is one of my favourite parts of Christmas time. 
1. I have been upping my fitness game over the past couple of months, by switching up my workout routine and challenging myself. I have been loving strength training using my own bodyweight and fat burning exercises. I have noticed a difference in my figure, my arms, legs and stomach are all looking more toned, and I am feeling confident in myself more and more.
2. The cutest little deli has recently opened up in my little town - they sell everything from healthy teas, dark chocolate, healthy treats and freshly baked bread. It's safe to say I have been popping in on a very regular basis (forever food obsessed) and picking up a fresh loaf. Rye sourdough is fast becoming my favourite.
3. As I mentioned above my local deli sells some lovely sweet treats. I am obsessed with the carob and walnut brownie, it is absolutely delicious - I have been enjoying these squidgy brownies with a good old cup of tea. The perfect pairing.
4. Speaking of healthy treats, I found this beauty in a lovely little cafe called Cafecino in Barnstaple (my nearest town). It's an oat bar packed full of healthy, nourishing ingredients (chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cranberries, blueberries, nuts, agave syrup and coconut oil) they are tasty and so good for you. I will definitely be picking up another next time I am in town.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Life through my camera roll' post. What have you been loving lately? What is your favourite thing about the festive season? 

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below. 

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Lifestyle: Six Tips On Staying Mindful Over The Festive Season

Ah Christmas - love it or loathe it, it still comes around every year so you may as well embrace it. But what also comes around with the festive season is 'overeating', I'm talking boxes of chocolates, tins of quality street/roses/celebrations, biscuits, shortbread, not to mention Christmas parties full of mince pies, sausage rolls and pastries (phew) then there are roast dinners, Christmas pudding, cakes, Boxing day buffets and leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches to name but a few. It is definitely the season to stuff your face, and of course we all relish it as it's the time of year to kick back, relax and celebrate the season with your loved ones. But as a person who loves to eat healthy, nutritious foods it's also the time of year where I tend to go a bit overboard on the festive treats and end up feeling sluggish and rather bloated. So I thought I would share with you some of my tips for staying healthy-ish over the festive period, and of course indulging in whatever you fancy, but in moderation.
It's all about that healthy balance!

*Quick disclaimer: I'm not a nutritionist, dietitian, personal trainer or healthy eating expert, I am simply sharing tips that have worked for me personally, with you lovelies.*

1. Pick your poison
I'm not a big drinker, I usually have a couple of cocktails and I'm feeling merry - but of course as Christmas and New Year are coming up the drinks will most certainly be flowing.
My advice is to stick to clear spirits such as vodka and mix with soda water and a splash of lime, or enjoy a glass or two of Prosecco. Try not to mix your drinks as it'll make for a sore head in the morning. If you are teetotal there are so many tasty mocktails around, cranberry juice, soda water and lime is a winner, or try whipping up a delicious fruit smoothie.

2. Stay hydrated 
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one - it is so important to stay hydrated, especially if you are drinking alcohol as it dehydrates you. I drink at least four litres of water every day, try and aim for a minimum of two litres per day. Remember tea, coffee and even fruits and vegetables such as melon, cucumber and celery all count towards your daily water intake.
Drink up!

3. Get up and go
Being active is important for your general health and wellbeing, but even more so in the winter months and over the festive season. It's hard to get motivated when it's cold/wet/windy/miserable outside (well if you live in the UK anyway) as all you really want to do is curl up on the sofa with a big mug of tea, a cosy blanket and watch Christmas films - the last thing on your mind is going for a run. (me in a nutshell, bring on the hot chocolates)
But exercise is an important part of living a healthy, happy and balanced lifestyle, so try to incorporate at least twenty minutes of exercise around four days a week.
This could be going for a swim, run or walk, going to the gym or if you are like me and love to workout at home, then pop a YouTube workout video on and get your twenty minutes in.
You can of course work out more or less than I have suggested, but I find that staying active for twenty minutes, four days per week is an attainable goal to stick to over the festive period. It's also the perfect time of year to go out for country walks, as the air is crisp and fresh and you can even take your camera along and get some pretty scenery shots.

4. Indulge wisely
I love to indulge from time to time, I mean who doesn't? But there is a big difference between 'indulging' and a 'free for all'. For example if I am going out for a date night dinner with my boyfriend I always skip the starter, ditch the bread basket and order a reasonably healthy main course, such as chicken or fish with vegetables or a salad dish. I save my indulgence for dessert as I have a major sweet tooth; I love anything with chocolate, especially dark chocolate. I usually go for my favourite chocolate fondant, an ooey gooey brownie or a winter warming fruit crumble with ice cream. So if you are off out with friends for a big meal, then opting for a lighter main course means you can really indulge with your favourite dessert, or vice versa if you have savoury tooth then bring on the cheeseboard. It's all about finding a healthy balance that works for you.

5. Take your time
When I have a treat or tuck in to a dessert, I always take my time to savour every last mouthful. If you just chomp it down in four bites, you'll only be left feeling hungry and unsatisfied afterwards as it takes our brains around twenty minutes after eating a meal to register that we are full.
Slow down, savour your food and chew slowly, you will appreciate that slice of cake so much more I promise.

6. Don't worry!
My most important tip is not to worry so much. If you have overindulged on the mince pies or skipped a workout as you just weren't feeling it - don't feel guilty or beat yourself up about it. We are all human, from time to time we all feel unmotivated or we just fancy a cup of tea and a big slice of cake (me everyday... I jest) Just tell yourself this: It's already happened, I can't change it, I enjoyed myself, that cake was delicious, I had such a lovely time with my friends because I skipped that workout, draw a line under it and move on! Tomorrow is a new day, and perhaps I won't have a slice of cake today and I will go out for a little walk or do twenty minutes of yoga. It's the festive season after all, a time for friends, family and loved ones to get together. have fun and enjoy good food. I for one will be eating whatever I fancy on Christmas day, that may be a chocolate affair or a fruits and vegetables kinda day, I just listen to my body and eat whatever it's craving.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Six Tips On Staying Mindful' post, and that my suggestions were of help to you. Are you a bit of an 'overindulger' at this time of year like me? What is your favourite treat to indulge in? Do you have any tips on staying healthy over Christmas?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Recipe: Winter Warming Chicken Casserole

The weather in England has taken a blustery turn for the worse. It's cold, windy, wet and generally rather miserable - which in my opinion calls for all the comfort food, something hearty to warm your cockles. Every winter my dad used to whip up a big batch of his famous chicken casserole for me and him to enjoy, along with a nice thick chunk of crusty white bread and butter for dunking. There's nothing better than a steaming hot bowl of belly warming casserole on a cold December evening. With that in mind I have taken my dad's delicious recipe and given it a slight tweak to make it a bit of a healthier dish. 
So I thought I would share my winter warming creation with you.
If you recreate any of my recipes, please snap a picture and share it on social media, I'm @clumsybaby on Twitter and Instagram, I'd love to see them!

My recipe serves 1 - 2 people as I usually just make enough for myself, but you can adjust the recipe to feed three or more by adding a chicken breast per person and bulking out the vegetables.
 You will need:
1 medium to large sweet potato
1 skinless chicken breast
1 large leek
1 large carrot
1 onion
2 stalks of celery
1 - 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 chicken stock cube
1 vegetable stock cube
1 - 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, Lucy bee is my gal.

Method:
1. Cut the chicken breast, sweet potato and carrot in to chunks, then slice the leek and dice the celery and onion. The onion should be diced quite finely.
2. Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion for four to five minutes on a medium heat, until it begins to soften.
3. Add the chicken to the pan and seal on all sides.
4. Then add the carrot and celery and fry for a few minutes.
5. Boil the kettle and mix 500ml of boiling water with both of the stock cubes, and the Worcestershire sauce.
6. Pour the stock mix in to the saucepan along with the sweet potato and cover with a lid. Leave the pan to simmer on a low heat for thirty minutes.
7. After thirty minutes have passed add the diced leeks to the pan, and simmer again for about five more minutes.
8. Check the sweet potato with the point of a knife, if they are nice and soft then your casserole is good to go.
9. Serve with a slice of wholemeal bread for dunking and enjoy!

If you make a large batch of the chicken casserole, let it cool completely before transferring to an air tight container and pop it in to the fridge. It should keep for about three days.
I hope you enjoyed this 'Winter warming chicken casserole' recipe post. Will you be recreating my recipe? What's your favourite winter comfort food? Perhaps your family have a signature dish too?
I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Beauty: Help: Clear Skin Review*

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Works with Water, who asked me if I would like to review their 'Help: Clear Skin'* products. I of course jumped at the chance, as I have been suffering with quite bad acne for the past couple of months. I'm not sure what has caused my (previously quite clear) skin to breakout with spots, but I think a combination of stress, being switched from 3 different contraceptive pills and hormones, has definitely taken it's toll on my skin. 
This has made me very self concious of my appearance, I've been gently cleansing, moisturising and dabbing on lotions and potions trying to find one that will make a difference to my acne, but nothing has worked. (If you suffer from acne, you will know that the more you stress out and worry about your skin, the more spots bloody appear... it's a vicious cycle really!) So I had high hopes that the Help: Clear Skin trial might be the wonder solution I've been hoping for.
Here are my thoughts on the Clear Skin products, and how I got on with my 28 day trial.
Help: Clear Skin is a natural soluble daily skin supplement, which claims to help achieve clear skin and reduce blemishes in as little as four to six weeks. 
The concept is very simple; I was kindly sent a box of 28 sachets and the instruction to take one sachet each day for one month. The sachets are dissolvable and can be added to any non-carbonated hot or cold drink, or even mixed in with soft foods. I opted to take my daily sachet each morning in my usual cup of green tea. But you could add the sachet to your morning fruit smoothie, glass of orange juice or even mixed in to Greek yoghurt, whatever your preference. 
The sachets don't really taste of anything; they did leave my mouth feeling a little dry after drinking it, and it does have a slightly strange smell once mixed in, but it wasn't an issue at all, once I started drinking it you can't really smell anything anyway.
 Each sachet is filled with a white powder-like substance, which looks very similar in consistency and appearance to the Lemsip sachets. Each sachet contains a unique Pravenac formula, which contains Aloe Vera that is known to have a smoothing and healing effect on skin.
 The sachets are also rich in Lactoferrin (a bio-active milk protein) this has been clinically proven to reduce acne by boosting your body's defences, to help eliminate bacteria build up and repair the damaged skin cells that acne causes.

Help: Clear Skin is suitable for vegetarians, diabetics and anyone who has a intolerance to lactose, they are also gluten free. 
Week 1
 (29th October - 5th November)
I began my trial this week. There has been no visible changes to my skin or acne yet. I am still getting new spots appearing. I'm staying positive and have high hopes for the next week.

Week 2 
(6th November - 12th November)
My skin is looking pretty much the same as last week, although I haven't had any more angry red bumps appear on my face yet. Win.

Week 3
 (13th November - 19th November)
My skin is looking brighter, although I am still getting spots they aren't coming up as painful as usual, and my existing spots have begun to reduce in size. 

Week 4 
(20th November - 25th November)
That's it, my 28 days are up and I have reached the end of my trial! My acne is still pretty much the same as it was before although my spots haven't been nearly as painful, I wasn't expecting miracles so I'm fine with that, but what has changed is the appearance of my skin. My face looks fresher, brighter and for want of a better word: healthier. Overall I think that the Help: Clear Skin sachets are a great concept, but unfortunately they didn't help to clear up my acne, which was my main skin concern. 
I think that perhaps taking the sachets every day for say, 2 - 3 months, rather than just the one I would have seen a real difference in my skin.

If you are interested in the Help: Clear skin concept, or want some more information on their products - check out the Works with water website here.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Help: Clear Skin' review post. What are your thoughts on taking daily 'clear skin' sachets? Have you tried out any acne products or supplements before?
Or perhaps you have an acne miracle cure? (wishing thinking!)

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Gift Guide For Her: Health and Fitness

We all have a friend who is super in to their healthy eating, fitness and wellbeing (me in a nutshell!) so I thought that instead of the usual beauty, fashion or fragrance gift guides I would share with you my top picks that I would love to receive, perfect for the health nut in your life, or even someone who wants to get into health and fitness. 
Gifts The Health Nut in Your Life

The cutest gym bag I ever did see, how adorable! Perfect for a Pilates fan.
I love this tank top, so much so I think I may have to pick it up for myself!
These trainers though, perfect for the gym and cute enough for post workout coffees.
I love Teapigs tea, it's rather expensive but it's the perfect 'treat yoself' extravagance. My top three picks have to be Chocolate flake, Popcorn and Liquorice and peppermint. Yum!
I actually just bought myself this exact yoga mat as my old one was getting rather torn, this one is pretty good quality, cushioned and super comfortable. It also comes in a variety of different colours.
Nothing says health nut like a good ol' recipe book. My picks have to be the lovely Lucy bee, the recipes look delicious, and the Hemsley and Hemsley book, these girls are such babes.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Health and Fitness Gift Guide' post. Are you a health nut like me? What goodies are on your Christmas list? Will you be treating a loved one (or yourself!) to any of my gift ideas?


I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Lifestyle: Life Through My Camera Roll #2

It's been quite a while since I have written a 'loving lately/peek into my life/life update' type of post. So I thought it was about time I cracked on, and updated you lovely lot on what I've been up to/loving/buying/scoffing. My previous 'Life through my camera roll' post proved rather popular, so I might make it into a regular blog segment. I'm always snapping away at anything and everything, and not every photograph makes the 'Instagram cut', so I'm going to give you a little peek in to my camera roll, from food and fashion, to beauty and everything in between.
Enough rambling, let's get started!
1. My new favourite lipstick from Rimmel, it's such a pretty mauve/pinky nude 'your lips but better' kinda shade - perfect for everyday. 
2. I could not resist the cuteness! Penguins are the sweetest, perfect for taking my tea on the go.
3. I have been lusting over The Cutlery Commission's well, cutlery for so long. They have the prettiest most Instagram worthy spoons/forks/knives. I finally caved in and treated myself after I spotted they had a sample sale on a few weeks back, I nabbed this beauty for only £8.00! Bargain.
4. Again, I just couldn't resist. How amazing is this phone case? A must have for any Friends fan. PIVOT!
1. How beautiful are these hand iced biscuits I won in a competition last week! (Oh, and there are three more layers underneath!) The Biscuiteers make the prettiest most delicious biscuits a girl could dream of. They would make the perfect present for a loved one or a great treat for yourself! Yum.
2. Ah Ben and Jerry's, a girls two best friends. I spotted this bad boy on offer in Tesco for £2.24! My new favourite flavour. Raspberry ice cream with marshmallow, raspberry and blackberry swirls, finished with dark chocolate cone pieces. Heaven. 
3. These leggings though. I picked up a pair of 'cosy leggings' from Primark last week and I have literally been living in them ever since. They have a cosy fleece lining on the inside which has been keeping me toasty warm, in this wet and windy weather. I think I may have to pick up another pair!
4. Another Primark purchase, I swear I can't help but buy the whole blimmin' store. I was on the hunt for some new cushions for our sofa as it's a very 'sink in, can't get up' kinda one. I fell in love with this super fuzzy cushion and the boyfriend loved this cute stag, which is so soft by the way. Perfect additions to our sofa cocoon.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Life through my camera roll' post. What have you been loving lately? Are you a Primark hauling, Ben and Jerry's scoffing kinda gal like me?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Lifestyle: Cheerz Photo Printing Review And A Cheeky Giveaway!

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Cheerz, who kindly invited me to review some of their products. Cheerz is a photo printing company, who in their own words 'bring your memories to life'. Cheerz have a website and app, full of great products, onto which you can print your favourite photographs. You can print your photos on to a wide variety of products, from photo strips and magnets, to frames and posters, and so much more.
I settled on a cute instagram worthy four picture square frame, and a box of nine magnets.
I created my personalised products on the Cheerz app, which is so easy to use.
You simply download the app for free, and create an account. (Link here)
Once you have created your account and logged in, you can choose which products you would like to print your photos on to. When you have selected your product, simply click on it and select 'get started!', from there the app will then redirect to your camera roll. Now for the fun part - choosing your photographs!
Once you have picked out all your favourite snaps, select 'finish my order' and your chosen product will be added to the basket. You can then choose to add more products (if you want to create an array of personalised products) or you can confirm your order, enter your delivery details and pay, directly from the app.
The Cheerz delivery system is great, I received my products within 3 days of ordering. 
Cheerz also have a website, here - if you want to have a nosy at the amazing products they have to offer.
I love my personalised wooden frame, I chose four pictures that mean a lot to me from this year.
My first ever personalised birthday cake, my boyfriend's 30th birthday and some snaps of us together. I know that I will look back on these photos and be reminded of such a special year we spent together. The magnets are such a fun idea, they come stacked in the cutest little box and would make a great stocking filler!
Again I chose my favourite snaps of me and my boyfriend, a few scenery shots of beautiful Devon and I also added in two weight loss transformation collages. Last year I lost nearly 5 stone, catch up on my weight loss here, and I thought having my progress pictures. before and after right there on the fridge (where all the goodies are) would keep me motivated to carry on, never give up and to remind myself of how far I have come. 
I would highly recommend Cheerz - their products are of such high quality, they are reasonably priced (starting at just 29p per print!) they offer so much more than simply 'printing your photos' and their service is second to none. If you are looking for a unique gift for a loved one this Christmas, give Cheerz a whirl!

Giveaway time!
The lovely people at Cheerz have been kind enough to give me three £20.00 vouchers to giveaway to three lucky winners of my choosing, to spend on the Cheerz website or app. 

Giveaway rules.
Follow me on Twitter, @clumsybaby
Retweet the pinned tweet on my profile page.
One £20.00 Cheerz voucher per winner, there will be three winners only.
Winners will be randomly selected by me, from the retweets of the original pinned tweet.
The giveaway will run from Thursday 12th November until Friday 20th November.
UK only giveaway, over 18's only.
I will contact the 3 winners via Twitter direct message, I will also announce the winners on Twitter. 
Good luck, and get snapping!

I hope you enjoyed this 'Cheerz review' post, What do you think of my personalised items? Will you be giving Cheerz a whirl, and picking up a gift for yourself or a loved one?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Baking: Healthy Apple and Blackberry Crumble

I love crumble. In my eyes there's no other dessert that screams winter warmer more than a good ol' crumble. The buttery, crumbly, crunchy topping, covering the warm, juicy fruit underneath. I'm getting pretty hungry right now... Anyway, as much as I love a crumble it's not the healthiest of dishes, with all that butter and sugar. So I've been in the kitchen trying to come up with a 'healthier' version of a classic apple and blackberry crumble, that's much better for you, but still retains that delicious crumble topping and juicy fruit. 
I think I've nailed it, so I'm going to share my creation with you. If you recreate my crumble recipe, please tag me in any photos you share on social media, as I'd love to see them! I'm @clumsybaby on Instagram and Twitter.

Let's get cooking!

This crumble recipe is so easy peasy, and only requires five ingredients!
Serves 1

You will need:
50g of rolled oats
1 apple
Handful of frozen blackberries
2 teaspoons of Sweet Freedom (a liquid sweetener)
1 teaspoon of coconut oil (Lucy Bee is my gal)

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees (temperatures may vary depending on your oven)

2. Chop the apple into small chunks, and add to a pan along with the blackberries, pour hot water over the fruit until covered. Leave to gently simmer on a medium heat (I had mine on heat 3 out of 6) for about ten minutes, or until the apple has softened. 

3. While the fruit is cooking away, you can start on the 'crumble' topping. Add your oats into a bowl, melt the coconut oil in a microwave until it becomes a liquid consistency, add this along with two teaspoons of sweet freedom to the oats. Mix well until everything is combined. 

4. Once the apple has softened and the fruit is looking all soft, warm and delicious. It's time to assemble your crumble. Spoon the warm fruit into a dish, and top with the oat mixture.

5. Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the top has browned. 

6. Serve your crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, Greek yoghurt or enjoy as it is. 

So there you have it, a healthy, delicious fruit crumble that tastes amazing and is kind to your waistline. By the way, my kitchen smelt all kinds of dreamy after cooking this bad boy, mmm.
Based on my recipe, the whole crumble only has 351 calories.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Healthy crumble recipe' post, Are you a crumble fan like me? What's your favourite winter warming dessert? Will you be recreating my healthy crumble at home?
I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Friday, 30 October 2015

Lifestyle: Alone Time

This might sound a bit odd, but I really enjoy being alone. I relish every chance I get to have some quality time to myself. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love spending time with my boyfriend, friends and family too - I just also happen to also enjoy spending time alone. 
I spend far too much of my time worrying about pleasing everyone else, that I often forget about myself, what I want and what I need. So I thought I would share with you what I like to get up to during my 'me time'. Hopefully it will inspire you to take some time out for yourself too!
Dress code.
Pyjamas win every time, pick yourself up a pair of Primark gems for ultimate me-time comfort.

Netflix and box sets galore, check out my faves here.
I also love to watch YouTube videos, my favourites are: Lily Pebbles, Vivianna Does Makeup, Tanya Burr, Anna Saccone, Nicola Whitehead, Charlotte from Lil Miss Chickas, Niomi Smart and Gemma Stafford.

Pamper.
I'm talking face masks, freshly painted nails, a long hot shower and whacking on a hair mask for super soft tresses. Bliss.

Sweat, baby sweat.
I love to workout - I usually aim for five days a week, for around 30 - 40 minutes.
I love to switch it up, be it yoga, pilates, cardio, dance, HIIT or even going out on a long walk, I like to get my body moving and that blood pumping.

Treat yoself.
Online shopping *adds everything in ASOS sale to basket*, picking up the latest issue of your favourite magazine, buying a cute notebook or bright lipstick. Whatever it may be, you deserve it! Everyone needs a little pick me up every now and then.

Indulge a little.
A couple of squares of dark chocolate, an ooey, gooey brownie, pretty cupcakes, giant cookies, pick and mix or a cheeky ice cream cone. Life is for living, if you fancy a treat have one, just don't make it an every day occurrence and balance out that brownie with a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's all about eating mindfully and having an 80/20 approach to food.

Baking.
I love to bake - from cookies, cupcakes and rocky road, to healthier treats like my banana oat muffins. I find it so therapeutic, as you can switch off from everything else and just concentrate on your bake.

Smash that to do list.
Be it that blog post you've been meaning to type up (me in a nutshell) the washing up you've been putting off, writing out your weekly shopping list or even prepping your meals for the next day. Whatever it may be, get it done! You'll feel so much more relaxed after ticking off your to do list, which leaves you time for more important tasks such as scrolling through instagram and watching countless episodes of Friends. It's a win, win really!

I hope you enjoyed this 'Alone time' post, Do you enjoy spending time solo? What are some of your favourite things to do during me-time?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below. 

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Lifestyle: Birthday Snippets

*I just wanted to give you a little update. You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet on the keep calm blog front recently. I'm not taking a break or anything like that, I've just been all kinds of busy juggling work, moving house, my birthday, my boyfriends birthday and not having a computer. Sorry about that, normal posting will be resuming very soon!
Ramble over... let's get into this birthday post, there's cake!

If you follow me on social media (shameless plug right there - I've linked my Instagram and Twitter if you want to give me a cheeky follow) then you'll know that it was my 23rd birthday on Saturday!
I had the most amazing day, so I thought I would share with you some snippets from my birthday.
Birthdays can often feel 'pressured', the notion that you have to go out and do something meaningful, exciting, expensive or get horrendously drunk. But I sacked all that off for a chilled out day. 
I spent the morning with my lovely boyfriend, opening presents in our living room (we recently moved in to our own place, so it's been amazing to be able to chill out in our own home) eating a chocolatey breakfast, playing with my new presents and having my favourite smoked salmon and cream cheese wrap for lunch. 
We then drove in to town and did some shopping. I had a bit of a shopping fail, as I couldn't find anything I really wanted. But I did pick up the cosiest pair of pyjama bottoms from Primark. 
It was a great day, despite not finding anything for myself, I love mooching in shops, especially when they have all their Christmas décor in store.

After a day of shopping we headed home, where my very thoughtful boyfriend surprised me with the prettiest birthday cake. It even had 'Happy birthday Lauren' iced on top. It meant so much to me, as I had mentioned in conversation months before, that I had never had a cake on my birthday, that wasn't a supermarket one. Major boyfriend points!
It was the most delicious cake, my favourite Victoria sponge with strawberry jam and the creamiest, most heavenly butter cream. Seriously, I could have eaten the whole cake to myself.
I may have eaten a giant slab, and then another... ah well, it's only your birthday once a year eh!
I received some amazing gifts from my lovely boyfriend, friends and family, they were all so kind and thoughtful to get me something. 
I don't want to 'brag' about the gifts I received as I know there's a lot of controversy over those 'What I got for my birthday' posts and videos. But I still want to share with you some of the lovely gifts I was lucky enough to be given, I just hope you know I would never brag about anything I received. 

My lovely boyfriend completely spoilt me with a laptop! I have never owned my own computer, as I used my dad's desktop PC when I lived with him. It's amazing to have a computer that is all mine. (I'm typing this post on it right now, with a ridiculous grin on my face!)
I received a gift experience for a makeover and photo shoot, which I'm very excited about, as I've never had my make up done for me before, or had any professional pictures taken. 
A few amazing pieces from Lush, lots of chocolate, a bright pink DAB radio from my dad, an amazing nautical notebook, a beautiful bangle, a few other lovely little presents and the prettiest cards. All in all I was spoilt rotten by my lovely friends, family and Ian!
I feel so grateful to have such amazing people in my life who care about me. 

So that was my birthday, in a nutshell! I hope you enjoyed reading this birthday snippets post.
I'm off to cut myself another slab of cake... mmm.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Lifestyle: Little Things That Make Me Happy

Everyone feels down at some point. Be it from work stress, relationship worries or just general life pressure. I find the best way to cheer myself up, and get myself feeling back to my happy self is to write down my thoughts. I often jot down little things that make me smile, (I've actually written some similar posts here) so I thought I would share with you some of those little things that make me feel happy!
1. Receiving post or parcels.

2. Online window shopping.
 *adds to basket*

3. Feel good songs.
Here are some of my favourites:
John Denver - Country roads, Sixpence None The Richer - Kiss me, Bon Jovi - You give love a bad name, Shakira - Hips don't lie, Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet home Alabama, Ram Jam - Black Betty.

4. Funny box sets.
I love a good How I met your mother, Big bang theory or Friends marathon.

5. Baking.
Especially cupcakes, rocky road, and warm ooey, gooey cookies.

6. Fresh fruit.
Give me all the melon, mango, bananas, apples, grapes, berries - actually just give me all the fruit, cheers then.

7. A big mug of tea in the morning.

8. A hearty, healthy breakfast to start your day off right.

9. Banana pancakes. Or any pancakes really. 

10. Slogan t-shirts.

11. New pyjamas.

12. Fresh bed sheets.

13. Writing on the first page of a new notebook.

14. Receiving birthday post.
Cards, presents and fizz, what's not to love!

15. Tea and cake.

16. Lazy Sundays.

17. Afternoon disco naps.

18. Funny and motivational quotes.
I screen shot the ones that make me feel happy/motivated/laugh out loud.

19. Working out.
It always clears my mind, and helps me to switch off. It's just me, a YouTube video and that's it.

20. Blankets, Netflix and popcorn.
Sweet n salt is the one.

21. Country walks.

22. Spending time with the boyfriend.
Bit soppy but who cares, I love him and he makes me so happy.

23. Date night.

24. Pick and mix.
 Give me all the teeth, fizzy everything, giant strawberries, chocolate covered raisins and milk chocolate jazzies.

25. Anything covered in sprinkles.

26. Saying that... anything covered in dark chocolate.

27. Fancy Champagne truffles. 

28. Giant tubs of Quality street and Roses at Christmas time.

29. Roast dinners.
 Gimme all the Yorkshire puddings and gravy, thank you kindly.

30. Frozen grapes.

31. Kitchen dancing.
I do this more often than I care to admit...

32. Shower singing.
...I also do this more often than I care to admit.

33. Not having to set an alarm for the morning.
 Hello starfish!

34. Catching your cup of tea at perfect drinking temperature.
Winning at life.

35. Penguins.
They are the cutest, sweetest little things, ever!

I hope you enjoyed this 'Little Things That Make Me Happy' post. What do you think of my list? What little things make you happy?
I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Want to connect?

Love Laurenx

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Baking: Banana Oat Muffins

I have spent the past couple of weeks trying to create some healthy, yet delicious treats. 
I am partial to a cupcake or three every now and again, but as cupcakes are clearly not the healthiest choice, I thought I would try my hand at baking some healthy muffins.
They turned out pretty great, and taste rather lovely too - so I thought I would share my recipe with you lovelies.

Makes 8 muffins

You will need: 
125g Greek or natural yoghurt
1 medium-sized banana (sliced in to coins)
1 medium egg
90g of rolled oats
2 tablespoons of Sweet Freedom, or honey
1 teaspoon of baking powder
35g of dark chocolate (chopped into small pieces)
Frylight or 1 calorie spray oil

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (temperatures may vary depending on your oven) and line a muffin tin with paper cases. 
Add all of the ingredients (except the dark chocolate) in to a blender, and process on a medium to high speed until the oats have broken down, there are no banana lumps and your batter is a smooth and creamy consistency. 

Pour your batter in to a mixing bowl, and stir in the dark chocolate. Spray each muffin case with one-calorie spray, to stop your muffins sticking to the paper.
Then spoon the batter in to each muffin case, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
Allow the muffins to cool for about 10 minutes, and then enjoy with a cuppa!
Store the muffins in an airtight container, and they should keep for about a week.

Based on my recipe, there are only 110 calories per muffin!
I hope you enjoyed this 'Banana Oat Muffins' recipe post. What do you think of my recipe? Will you be recreating them at home?
I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Want to connect?

Love Laurenx