Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Lifestyle: Life Through My Camera Roll #8

It's been quite a while since I have updated you with a 'Life through my camera roll' post (catch up here) - so I though it was about time I shared with you all the things I've been doing/loving/watching/munching lately!
 I have new Netflix obsession for you - That 70's Show! Me and the boyfriend have been binge watching it for the past month and it's so funny. It features a baby-faced Ashton Kutcher, a super spoilt Mila Kunis and a redheaded Laura Prepon (Hello Alex from OITNB) The show is set in, you guessed it, the seventies! The series revolves around Eric Foreman and his idiot friends hanging out in his basement. It's a witty sitcom full of great one-liners, and has a brilliant cast. If you like retro jokes, stupid stunts and running gags, then you'll love it. 

I've been mixing up my fitness routine lately, as I love to try new workouts and incorporate different exercises into my routine. My new favourite is plyometrics, in which you perform exercises that exert your muscles maximum force in short intervals, with the goal of increasing power and speed strength. For example I do a combination of squat jumps, lateral jumps and skaters. I love it as it gets your heart rate up, burns fat, is fun to do and you can smash it out in twenty minutes.

I spotted this chocolate hazelnut heaven while browsing the Tesco website a few weeks ago, *adds to basket*. I have tried this spread before when Jim Jam's kindly sent me a jar - but since finishing it (sob) I couldn't get my hands on another, as it wasn't readily available in my region. So I was over the moon to see that Tesco are now selling it. It tastes just like Nutella but with 83% less total sugars and is suitable for diabetics, vegetarians and is gluten free - a winner! I love spreading mine on wholemeal toast or crispbreads, with sliced banana and chia seeds, mmm. (they also sell a standard chocolate version)

Holland and Barrett is probably one of my favourite shops, I spend far too much money picking up healthy snacks and I love discovering new brands. While browsing the aisles these babies caught my eye - they are 'Hippeas' organic chickpea puffs, and being a big fan of chickpeas I had to give them a try. I can confirm that they are blimmin' delicious - they look similar to cheese puffs but are low in calories (only 90 per packet) high in fibre and are a great source of protein. They are also gluten free and vegan too. They come in a variety of different flavours, from black pepper and herbs, to fajita and paprika. The 'in herbs we trust' has to be my favourite - the combination of rosemary, oregano and thyme reminds me of pizza. A must try.

Cancer awareness: Having had a few family members lose their fight with cancer, I think that spreading awareness of any and all types of cancer is such a wonderful thing. I was recently contacted by the lovely and very brave Heather, who has battled (and won!) her fight with a rare type of cancer called Mesothelioma. This aggressive type of cancer can develop in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart and is caused by asbestos. There is no known cure and it has a very poor prognosis. Heather was unknowingly exposed to asbestos as a little girl by her father, who worked in drywall construction. Heather beat the odds and beat cancer, she is now a ten year cancer survivor and an advocate for Mesothelioma awareness (such an amazing lady!) September 26th is Mesothelioma Awareness Day - which is the perfect opportunity to help spread the word and educate people about Mesothelioma. I myself knew nothing about it before reading Heather's story - it is such a rare disease, that really could happen to anyone. Here is the link to Heather's blog series, if you would like to read her amazing story and be kind enough to share it! P.S It made me sob just a bit, she is truly a remarkable woman.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Life Through my camera roll' post, What's your current favourite Netflix series? Will you be helping to spread the word about Mesothelioma awareness day? 

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

Let's be friends!

Love Lauren x

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Health: We Are Tea*

Tea is a daily necessity for me. I always start my morning off with a litre of water and cup of the good stuff. Green, herbal, fruit or classic breakfast - I love them all! So when the lovely people from We Are Tea* asked if they could send me some of their brand new tea range, I of course happily accepted!
 We Are Tea are an independent British tea company based in lovely London. They describe themselves as independent, ethical and whole leaf, which is wonderful to hear. They source all of their tea leaves directly from the best tea gardens around the world. (Mainly China, India and Africa.) I love how much thought goes into their teas, from the careful chosen high quality natural ingredients, to the ethical and environmental measures they implement. The teas are all free of genetically modified organisms (so no added nasties!) and all of the tea bags are 100% biodegradable. I feel proud to support small companies that really care about how they source their ingredients and are kind to the earth, as well as producing high quality and delicious products.

We Are Tea have teamed up with Amanda Hamilton, who is a leading nutritionist to create a brand new blend of teas, called the 'everyday good range'. The idea behind this range is to provide their customers with teas that not only taste good, but that do good too! Each tea in the range has been specially created to target a different part of your body.

 There are three different teas in this range:
The 'svelte' tea, which is a blend of Yerba mate, nettle, dandelion, ginger, fennel and seaweed. This tea has been designed to balance your metabolism and invigorate your body. I will admit as soon as I spotted 'seaweed' I was a bit dubious of trying this blend, but it really doesn't taste of seaweed (it does have a whiff of it though!) it's not my favourite of the three, but I do love the hints of nettle and fennel which come through.

The 'glow' tea, which is meant to boost your skins radiance. This tea contains red berries, Echinacea (a type of flowering plant, belonging to the daisy family) dandelion, calendula (a mix of herbaceous plants) and petals. This is my favourite tea from the range, I love the refreshing blend of berries and herbs - it's the perfect morning pick me up, and hopefully does make my skin look that bit brighter!

The 'soothe' tea, for tummy relief. This tea is the one I was most excited about, as I often suffer from bloating and my stomach can feel quite uncomfortable. This tea is a blend of fennel, chamomile, lemon verbena (a flowering plant) holy basil, mint and ginger. I have been enjoying a cup of this tea each evening after dinner, as it's usually the largest meal and it really has helped ease my bloating and digestion. A winner!

I hope you enjoyed this 'We Are Tea' review post, Are you a big tea fan like me? Which of the three blends do you think would be your favourite?

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

Let's be friends!

Love Lauren x

*We Are Tea very kindly sent me three packets of the teas mentioned above, to try and test for the purpose of a review. As always all opinions and thoughts are my own. For more information please see my Contact/PR tab. 

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Lifestyle: Confidence

If I had to describe how I feel about myself I would say that I lack confidence. From my hair to my thighs, I am constantly critiquing myself. Last year I started getting a few spots on my chin, and after going through most of my life spot free it was quite worrying. Those worries only made the bastards multiply, the more I fretted the more spots appeared on my face. It got to the point where I would feel so self conscious that I would cover my face with my hair as much as I could, and conceal the hell out of my skin. I used to often go out sans make up but this became an absolute no-no. 

After hiding for what felt like an eternity, I booked myself an appointment with my GP to try and get some advice. He told me to remove all of my make up so that he could see my skin, I freaked out and maybe had a little sob at the request but I obliged, and he told me I had acne. I asked him how and why this had happened to me as my skin was always clear, and he explained how it could be hormonal or stress related. He prescribed me some tablets and a cream to use nightly, and sent me on my way. After months of using a combination of the two daily, my spots slowly started to disappear and no new ones were rearing their ugly heads. I felt happier and brighter, but my bubble was slightly burst by the scarring I was left with. A lovely little reminder of my acne struggle. I continued to use the medication daily and my scars did start to fade a little. 

It's now a year on and I am still using the medication. My scars are still there, and they probably will be for the foreseeable future but I have learnt to embrace them as one of my little 'flaws'. I still have days when I look in the mirror and yearn for my previously clear face, but I just remind myself that no one is perfect, we can only be the best version of ourselves and if the best version of myself has a few acne scars on her face, then I can handle that. I have shared a make up free photograph of myself that my boyfriend took - it was taken completely off guard but I love it. I feel happier, brighter and am more confident in myself, and I think this photograph highlights that. I'll never have oodles of confidence and sass, and I'm okay with that. I'm me, and I won't hide anymore.
I hope you enjoyed this 'Confidence' post, and it wasn't too much of a ramble! How do you feel confident in yourself? Have you ever had or have acne?

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

Let's be friends!

Love Lauren x

Friday, 5 August 2016

Lifestyle: Fun In The Sun

I'm a homely girl through and through. I love nothing more than curling up in my comfiest clothes on my big, squishy sofa with a mug of tea and shutting the door on the world. Home is my safe place, my own private haven and a place I feel happiest and most content. Having anxiety can often make me feel as though I have no control over certain situations - so being at home is always a big comfort. I have been trying push myself bit by bit, out of my little bubble and into the wide world. It sounds silly but it's important for me to push myself to at least try, otherwise I end up retreating into myself... which is never a positive thing. Anyway enough rambling my point was over here somewhere.. oh yes, SUN! Since the weather is somewhat warm in England at the moment (I say warm, it's currently chucking it down as I type) I thought I would share with you some of my favourite ways to spend a sunny day. We don't often get much sun, so as soon as it comes out (even just a brief glimpse) I race outside to soak up every last ray.
Be it in a park, in the woods, at a castle or on a cute bench somewhere - picnics are the epitome of a British summer. (well that and a barbie in the rain) Grab a wicker basket or Tesco bag for life, whatever floats your boat, some plastic cutlery and paper plates, freshly made sandwiches (smoked salmon is a firm fave) a bag of fancy crisps, cocktail sausages and sweet treats and you're good to go. For extra posh picnic points pack a cheeky bottle of Prosecco. 

Beach day
 I love the beach. The sound of crashing waves, more ice creams than you can shake a flake at and the rare opportunity to catch some rays, and maybe a tan. Unless you're anything like me, then you will end up looking like a lovely little lobster. 

My boyfriend Ian is a dab hand at sunset photographs - he just has the gift. We love nothing more than heading out on summer evening armed with our camera's to capture a beautiful sunset. The combination of pretty pinks, mellow yellows and vibrant oranges is definitely a sight to be seen. 

Sweet treats
I have the biggest sweet tooth, seriously just look at my instagram feed (cheeky plug) if it's chocolate covered, dipped or rolled I'm sold. Some of my favourite summer treats have to be homemade lemonade, ice lollies - Fabs, Twisters and Magnums are all winners or freshly baked scones with lashings of clotted cream and jam - I can't help it, I'm a Devon gal after all!

Garden time
Be it a family barbecue, garden party or a weekend get-together, there's nothing like grilling up a feast and sipping on homemade Pimm's in the comfort of your own backyard. I wish I had a garden of my own, but alas I live in a second floor flat. I used to love my old house, as we had a decent sized garden, which was perfect for sitting outside on a warm summer evening, with a good book and a cup of tea. 

Lunch date
Ian and I try to go out on a date together at least once a month. Be it dinner, watching a film at the cinema, heading to a city for a day of shopping or simply slobbing on the sofa with a chippy tea - it's important to spend some quality time together as a couple. I think it makes you stronger, happier and feel closer to each other. Hello soppy. We love going out for lunch dates, especially in the summer time. There's something about eating al fresco that's so lovely, especially in England. 

I hope you enjoyed this 'Fun in the Sun' post, What are some of your favourite ways to spend a sunny day? 

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

Let's be friends!

Love Lauren x