Playa Del Inglés, Gran Canaria

In February, a group of eleven of us decided that we should all go on a group holiday away. It was decided that as it was one of the girls birthdays in June it would be the best time for a holiday at that time. This way we would be able to celebrate her birthday whilst away on holiday. Overall, I think it took around two to three weeks in total to decide on a villa as well as a location.

It was decided that one evening we would spend at one of the couple’s house to continue looking at villas as well as flights. In the end each of us had our phones or our laptops or even both, we were able to search for villas and compare them without needing to close or swap between pages and tabs. In order to find a villa that could and would be willing to accommodate 11 people between the ages of 18 and 26. We did find a small amount of trouble with this as many places were under the impression that it was a group holiday to get drunk and be loud all day and night. However, we did find one place, Villa Bonita. This Villa was extremely close to the town center as well as the major attractions only being a short bus journey away.

The Villa itself was a five bed villa with private pool, air conditioning and WiFi. Each of the bedrooms had its own en-suite and wardrobe. In addition to this, the villa also had fully equipped kitchen, living room with Television and DVD player, Dining room as well as a washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher.

It was decided that we wanted to do as much as we could in order to enjoy and experience as much of Playa Del Inglés as possible. The first two days or so we decided to just walk around and explore the places closest to where we were staying. After those days we ventured into the Cita shopping center close to the Villa.

The first time we went into this particular shopping center we looked up the directions and had a massive detour as to walking around the top of the beach before getting to the shopping center. However, we ended up splitting up on the way back as a few of us picked up shopping the the Spar in the center and went back earlier due to the heat and having cold foods. Once getting back to the Villa it was apparent that when the others got back they had gone a different way and realised about the size of the detour that we made earlier on in the day.

Quite a few of the nights we spent sampling some of the bars and pubs. I had a personal favourite bar which was the Ibiza Lounge Beach Club. It is such a chilled place to have a drink as well as having the ability to lounge by the pool all day without having to leave the beach in order to get a drink.

Throughout the last few days we made sure to go out and experience what the place offers. This was done by going Jet Skiing, as well as going to the Aqualand and Holiday World.

AquaLand could be said to be expensive in the case of food and admission prices. However, unlike other parks that I have been to the admission price is expensive however, that includes every ride in the park rather than having to pay for each ride or to pay for certain rides. You were also able to pay for a locker for the day in order to keep belongings safe. Once bought you got given a token in order to be able to get the euros back that was paid for the locker.

We then went to Holiday World after a day out. The entry was free but you then bought tokens on a card which when going on each ride the tokens we used. Matt and I decided to share a token card and bought 60 tokens for 45€ which lasted us the whole time we were there. after we finished on the rides and had some food it was decided that we would have a game of bowling and then go back to the villa.

On the Monday (we left on the wednesday) a few of us decided that we wanted to go jet skiing. instead of getting 6 jet skis (one for each of us) Matt and I, another couple and two of the boys got a jet ski between them this meant that due to the price as well we were able to spread the price out. I believe that the price for the jet ski was 130€ for the fast jet ski in a sense had we not been on holiday I don’t think that any of us would have tried and experienced this. At the end of our jet skiing experience it we noticed that they were selling photos of ourselves on the jet skis for 10€. However, we believed that it would be choose one photo out of them all and that photo was 10€, it wasn’t the case and you were given a memory stick (USB stick) of every photo that was taken. In total there were around 18-20 photos for 10€.

The next two days were spent getting ready to leave the villa as well as ensuring we had all of the souvenirs that we wanted. Due to the Tuesday evening being the last night in which we were in Gran Canaria a few of us decided that it would be a good idea to go out for one last meal. I believe that out of the 11 of us it was 7 in total that went out for the meal.

Overall, I would highly recommend experiencing some of the activities that I had tried and experienced whilst on this holiday. They really were one of a kind.

Bondi Sands Review

After emailing Bondi Sands and explaining the purpose of the request, the company decided that they would send me two of their products to test and review. The two products that were sent to me were the Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk and the newly launched Self Tanning foam in Ultra Dark. These products retail for £11.99 for the Gradual Tanning Milk and £17.99 for the Self Tanning Foam.

Gradual Tanning Milk 

The Gradual Tanning Milk is great product to give a subtle tan that you would want to build upon gradually. I have only ever used one other gradual tanner and I can honestly say that this has now become my go to moisturising gradual tanner. Although the product is a both a moisturiser and a tanner I still like to use a tanning glove to ensure that the colour is not transferred onto the palms of my hands. The milk I found is super hydrating and gives a subtle glow each day.  The Gradual Tanner retails at £11.99 and is definitely generous in size. This product does give a subtle glow and can be applied everyday which will help to build the colour.

Self-Tanning Foam

As the Self-Tanning Foam is in the shade Ultra Dark I only kept the tan on for around two hours. This however, did give a slight tan and due to this I do feel that if the tan had been kept on for the full recommended amount of time the tan would develop into a darker tan. The colour guide was excellent on this tan which helps to give an idea of where the tan had been placed before it needs to be rinsed off. When using the Self-Tanning Foam I also used the Everyday Gradual Tanner in order to build the colour slightly. This worked well and it was very useful to be able to build the colour in the morning and in a couple of hours be ready for an event.

Both of the products had a great smell to them and did not have that typical ‘Fake Tan’ smell to it.

Self-Tanning Foam in Ultra Dark is £17.99

Everyday Gradual Tanner in Medium is £11.99

Goddess Nutrition – Protein and Meal Replacements

Goddess Nutrition

It has been an incredible experience to be given the opportunity to be able to product review samples from the Goddess Nutrition team before the products were on sale. I contacted the company and was blown away by the service that was given to me about product testing and reviews.

The lovely ladies in the team have constantly been in contact with me about the flavours and the products that were available to review for them. Although I was asked for the three flavoured products that I would like try I was sent two of their protein products and four of their meal replacements.

The products that have been product tested include two lean protein powders and four meal replacements. The main concern for myself was whether the products were suitable for a Gluten Free diet. This is essential as the majority of protein powders on the market do contain gluten and wheat meaning that those who do want to take protein powders are limited to the flavours and brands they can consume. With this being said every Goddess Nutrition sample is gluten free and suitable for gluten free diets.

Protein Samples 

After trying both the lean protein powders that were sent to sample I can hand on heart say that you would not know that the flavours are gluten free. The flavours are so true to the actual taste and are great with both milk and water. Furthermore, the samples that were sent were packaged in 30 gram packets which when on the go are incredibly helpful as you just have to pour in either milk or water.

The flavours of the protein powders that are available on the website to purchase include Strawberries and Cream, Belgian Chocolate, Banana Marshmallow, Coconut Ice Cream and Vanilla.

After trying the Strawberries and Cream and the Belgian Chocolate, I can definitely say that I will be purchasing these flavour again. I find it great that it is possible to buy the 30 gram packets as well as the 1 kilogram in a tub as well. I find this super handy as you are able to try the products in a smaller version without having to commit into a large tub before the product has been tried.

As a huge fan of strawberries and cream it was only natural that that particular flavour was chosen to  be tested. This particular protein powder was combine with milk instead of water. This is a personal opinion as I generally prefer to mix protein powders with milk due to the taste. However, the second protein powder was combined with water just to be able to indicate whether milk did have an effect on the taste of the powder and it can be said that this is completely untrue.

The second flavour of protein powder that I had been supplied with was the Belgian Chocolate. As a person with an incredibly sweet tooth I do prefer my powders to have a sweeter taste to them so that I am able to enjoy consuming them a lot more. Again with the Belgian Chocolate flavours protein powder I can honestly say that the flavours are true to the description and do not waver when they are mixed with either milk or water.

Overall, it can be said that I will be purchasing the protein powders again due to overall enjoyment and taste of the protein themselves. I feel that if you tend to buy a large tub of protein powder and get a quarter of the way through and decide that you don’t like the flavour any more the 30 gram sample packets are a great way to decide the flavours that you like the most and they also travel well when placed in bags as they do not take up much room at all. This means that instead of having to spend time measuring out the protein you are able to consume the product as soon as your workout has finished. Finally, I have personally noticed that protein powders generally need to be mixed thoroughly in a shaker with a mixing ball however it is possible to place the liquid into the shaker and then pour the powder on top which meant that the protein wasn’t stuck completely at the bottom of the shaker.

Meal Replacements
The Goddess Nutrition team also sent me four meal replacements to try out. The flavours that I was supplied with to try include Chocolate Brownie, Cookie Dough, Gingerbread Cupcake and also Raspberry Cheesecake. I found the Cookie Dough and Chocolate Brownie flavours of the meal replacements the nicest. Although, all the flavours are enjoyable, I personally found that the these two flavours were not as sweet as the others. They are all amazing flavours that really are true to the their flavours that are stated on the packets. Again like the Lean Protein Powders the meal replacements were supplied in 30 gram packs which again is super helpful when on the go.

The Chocolate Brownie meal replacement was one of my favourites as the flavour was so true to the explanation as well as the texture of the meal replacement being extremely smooth. I generally find that meal replacements that are mixed when needed can become bitty and feel powdery when drinking the meal replacement.

I found the Gingerbread Cupcake and the Raspberry Cheesecake a lot sweeter than the Chocolate Brownie flavour. I still found them enjoyable to drink however, I personally would not be able to be able to consume a 1KG Tub of meal replacement.  I find the sachets so convenient throughout the day as they can be made up with both milk and water. I find that they are super convenient at University as I can place one of the sachets in my bag in the morning and be able to make up the meal replacement when I am studying which means that I do not spend time and money snacking of sweets, crisps and chocolate. I find that the meal replacements are extremely filling and I find that I am not snacking as much throughout the day when I have consumed a meal replacement.

With these I make sure that throughout the week when I have been consuming the meal replacements I have been leaving two days of proper food in between each day that I have consumed the meal replacements. This was to ensure that I was able to decide for myself if they were as filling as I had thought they would be and I can honestly say they are incredibly filling. The days that I didn’t consume a meal replacement I found myself snacking a lot more on unhealthy options throughout the day.

Products Mentioned

Protein Powders 30 gram sachet

Protein Powder 1KG Tub

Meal Replacement 30 gram sachet

Meal Replacement 1KG Tub

I am going to finish this post with a massive thank you to the Goddess Nutrition Team for supplying me with the 6 products they have been a massive support with this blog post and I will continue to provide reviews for the company.

 

Gluten & Wheat Free Recipes

As a fellow Gluten and Wheat Free individual for the past 4 years, I have found it particularly difficult to eat Gluten and Wheat Free whilst eating something nutritious and something that tastes good. I am still after 4 years finding it difficult to find something healthy to eat that is also convenient however, I have found a few recipes that I have always stuck to eating when I need to find something quickly. I will include three different meal and recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as healthy snack ideas.

Generally, I don’t really eat breakfast but I am now trying to eat it more often each week. The three go-to breakfast ideas I tend to have each week are:

  1. Medium Boiled Eggs
  2. Tesco/Nairns Free From Porridge Oats
  3. Homemade Fruit Bowl

These are the typical go to breakfast ideas for me on the days that I do eat breakfast at home. With each of these breakfasts I would either have a Coffee or a Cup of tea with or without sugar depending on my mood.

I will generally have 2/3 medium boiled eggs with two slices of toast and butter with a little coarse sea salt on each of the eggs. the bread I use for toast is the Genius Toastie bread. This make really good toast as it doesn’t tend to fall apart very easily and also tastes so similar to normal bread.

When I have porridge for breakfast it is usually mixed with Semi-Skimmed Milk and on the top i sprinkle a little Light Brown Muscovado Sugar. If I have porridge in the morning I would take out the sugar from the tea or coffee. This is so that I do not consume high levels of sugar throughout the day. I tend to use the Tesco Free From Porridge Oats as they come in 450 gram bags and this lasts for around 9 servings if used exactly on the packet.

Finally, I will have a homemade fruit bowl. I tend to use the fruits that are already in the fridge and in the fruit bowls however, I do like to have certain fruits in the morning and this I feel sets me up for a more healthy feeling day as it is a light breakfast that fills me up especially. The fruits that I tend to have include pineapple, red seedless grapes, raspberries, banana and satsuma segments. With this I usually have a form of coffee depending on my mood.

For lunch I generally tend to stick to foods that I am able to cook easily or have cooked multiple times. These foods involve pasta, curries and salads. When I am eating lunch I really like to have a lighter lunch if I am going to be eating a larger amount of food with my evening meal.

  1. Pasta
  2. Curry
  3. Salad

The pasta that I use is the Tesco Free From Pasta. I generally use the Fusilli Pasta as I prefer this type. With this I usually have either Heinz Tomato soup and Mature Cheddar cheese on the top or I make a can of tuna, sweetcorn, red seedless grapes and cucumber for Tuna Pasta Salad. I tend to go for a box curry from Tesco as this is easy as well as being Gluten Free. There are two specific curry’s that I eat and these are Tesco Chicken Korma with Pilau Rice or the Tesco Chicken Tikka Masala with Pilau Rice. I find these easy to prepare and to eat when I am having a busy day. Finally, if I am after a healthy meal for lunch and also if I am after a lighter style meal I will go for a ham and cheese salad. The ham is generally a Thick Cut Yorkshire Ham from a Deli and the cheese is one of 4 these are: Mature Cheddar, Austrian Smoked Cheese, Port Salut or Boursin.  With this is will have the general salad vegetables as well as red seedless grape.

Finally, for dinner as I live at home I do eat what is cooked however, there are some types of food that is cooked more commonly than others. The overall amount of food that I consume in the evening is dependent on the amount of food that I have had for lunch. This is because if I have had a smaller lunch I will have a higher quantity of food for dinner and visa versa. The foods that we generally have for dinner at home include Paella, Homemade Chicken Nuggets and Salad and also Jacket Potatoes.

In the Paella we tend to have chicken, chorizo and cod fillets, within the rice flavoured with saffron. This is cooked fairly regularly as family members have lived in Spain and is considered as an easy meal for us to cook. Homemade Chicken Nuggets are so easy and a lot healthier than the typical ‘shop-bought’ or ‘takeaway’ chicken nuggets. The chicken that is used are the Chicken Breast Mini Fillets however they are cut length-ways in half and then in half width ways. They are then covered in flour, egg-wash and then breadcrumbs in order to give them a proper chicken nugget feel. These are served with general salad as well as either mango chutney or tomato ketchup. Finally, the last meal that is cooked on a regular basis are Jacket Potatoes. The fillings with these are usually either Cheese, Tuna and Sweetcorn or Baked Beans. Generally, all of these fillings are out on the plates with a small side salad in order to ensure that there are some vegetables being eaten throughout the day.

Skin Care

The majority of the New Years resolutions are to become healthier or to cut down on alcohol and smoking. However, for the more beauty focused it could be to try new products and to take more care over their skin care routines or their make up routines. Within this post I am going to mention products that I have used previously, products I am using now and also the products I am wanting to try out.

It wasn’t very long ago that I started to wear make up on a regular basis. As soon as I turned 16 and started at college I become more consious of my appearance especially because the majority of my friends were wearing make up. I think wearing make up became a more regular occurrance once I was going into the start of my second year of College and it seemed to make all the difference. I felt so much more confident in myself when I wore make up that I made the decision to continue wearing a full face of make up throughout my second year.

It wasn’t until working throughout the summer of 2016 that I decided that the only reason I was wearing a full face of make up day in, day out was because my skin wasn’t in the best of condtions. However, I still carried on piling on the make up. It was that point in the summer that I decided to try to take better care of my skin if I was to continue wearing make up most days of the year. I decided to start this as soon as I could and decided that by my camping trip with my family at the end of August I wanted to not have to wear make up on the hotter days so that my skin can have a chance to breathe without having make up on. There were a few products that I had to use religiously everyday in order to give myself the best chance of having smoother skin. I think I must have trialed around 7/8 products and to this day still use 4 of those original products.

There are a few products that I would really recommend and a small number of products that I wouldn’t go near with again. This is not because the brands were terrible or misleading but the products didn’t seem to do anything for my skin in the way that I wanted it to. Whether this is because I had such high expectations of the brands or because the products were just not cut out for my skin type, but they really didn’t do a lot for me at all. So my skin type depends on the time of year as to what sort of products I need to be using, this is probably similar to so many people as the products you are using in the summer should not be the same ones that you are using in the winter as your skin needs a little more TLC.  

So from that point in the summer I have made sure that even if I am really tired and all I want to do is go to bed is making sure that I take all of my make up off. On these occasions I am not as strict as usual and this means that on the occasions that I am really tired that instead of putting spot treatments and moisturising  I will just make sure that I have really wahed my face and that I use a light moisturiser. However, this only happens on a very rare occasion and I am usually able to ensure that my full skin care routine is followed. 

I have two different skin care routines which are fairly similar but I feel that the products I use and the way in which I am using them work the best for my skin at the present time. My morning routine and my evening routine consist of the same products as well as a few more in the morning than I use in the evening. There are more products within my morning routine than there are in my evening due to not wanting to have as many products on my skin whilst I am sleeping. 

My morning skin care routine varies throughout the year, by doing this I am able to try to ensure that my skin is in the best condition it can be in the different times of the year. It is important for me to make sure that my skin is being cared for due to wearing make up for the majority of the day. 

In the morning I use four products to look after and moisturise my skin. The first product that I use in the morning to cleanse my skin is the Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water. I like to use this in the morning to cleanse my face before make up is put on so that I am able to ensure that my face is clean and prepared for the make up. I then like to use two of four spot treatments. This is mainly used when I am having a particularly bad day. The four treatments that I interchange each day are the Boots Witch Hazel and Tea Tree Day and Night Spot Wand, Freederm Fast Track Spot Gel, Soap and Glory Dr Spot Breakout Gel and the Witch Naturally Clear Blemish Stick. Each day these treatments are interchanged so that the skin doesn’t get used to the same products. After the spot treatments are used I ensure that my skin is kept moisturised all day with an oil free moisturiser , the particular moisturiser that I use is the Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturiser. As my skin tends to become fairly oily in the warmer months of the year and a little bit drier in the colder months  I have found that this moisturiser is the best for my particular skin type. I also use an eye cream in order to ensure that the skin beneath my eyes are kept moisturised and in te best condition they can be. The eye cream I use is the Boots Time Delay Anti-Ageing Wrinkle Reduce Eye Cream. After I have let the moisturiser prime my skin I apply my make up.

The make up that I apply for an everyday make up look incude foundation, concealer, translucent powder, bronzer, eyebrow kits and also a setting spray. The foundation that I use is the Rimmel London Wake Me Up Fundation in the shade 100 (Ivory), this is applied with a natural latex free beauty blender. I then use the Rimmel London Match Perfection Concealer under my eyes, on the area between my eyebrows and on my forehead. This is applied using the same beauty blender as I use to blend my foundation. In order to ensure that my foundation and concealer is set before I apply bronzer I use the Max Factor Translucent Loose Powder and a powder brush to blend the powder into the skin to set the foundation and concealer base. Once I have powdered my face I use a combination of eye brow kits in order to shape and fill my brows. The products that I use is the Rimmel London Brow This Way Brow Sculpting Kit in shade 002 (Medium Brown), I only use the wax that is supplied in this kit and this is used on the outer half of my brow whereas the Collection Eye Brow Kit in Brunette is used all over my brow but mainly in the outer two thirds in order to fill the brow properly. I use the lightest shade in the Collection Eye Brow Kit as that is the colour that is closest to my natural colour. After shaping and filling my brows I  use the No7 Perfectly Bronzed Dual Bronzer in order to add more colour and definition to my face. As I don’t use contour or highlighter I personally really like to use this particular bronzer as there are two shades that are given. A darker colour that is paired along with the more peachy highlighting colour that give the face a darker colour without the look of wearing too much make up. Finally, in order to finsh off the more natural look I use the Rimmel London Wonder’Full Mascara with Argan Oil. For a more “glam” look I use the Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Precision Micro Eye Liner in Black on the lash line of the top lashes and the lid of the eye as well. In order to set my make up all day I use the Fix Makeup Setting Spray by New Look.

The products that I use in the evening include face wipes, cleansing water, spot treatments and moisturisers. Every other evening I exfolite my face with a Clearasil Exfoliating Scrub. I try to avoid washing my face everyday as I feel my face doesn’t respond well and it tends to fee alot drier and I also feel that my skin strips itself of the natural oils off of my face. Instead I use wipes the other evenings. The face wipes I use are the Simple Spotless Skin Quick Fix Cleansing Wipes to remove my make up and to ensure that I have removed my make up properly and my face is clean I use the Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water. I then use two of the four spot treatments that I used that morning so that the skin doesn’t have as many new products placed onto my face each day. Once the two spot treatments have been absorbed into the skin I apply the Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturiser on top in order to ensure that my skin is kept moisturised throughout the night. I also use the Boots Time Delay Wrinkle Reduce Eye Cream before bed in order to keep the skin under the eyes supple and youthful. By using these products in a set routine day in, day out I feel that my face is not only becoming clearer but it also feels healthier and more youthful. 

Christmas 2016

Although now it is January I have finally got around to uploading the items that I received from my family and boyfriend for Christmas.

Every year we get asked about the sort of things we would like for Christmas. This year I had no idea! As I work and earn  I buy the things I need the most myself and this meant that I didn’t want or need anything for Christmas. Due to this my mum decided that she would pick a couple of things she thinks that we would really like and a few smaller presents that we would use. The majority of our Christmas presents each year get are practical presents that we would use all of the time.

So each Christmas from my mum and step dad we get given one or two main presents and a few smaller presents. So when we were little we would get so many presents and toys and all the things we wanted but now I have reached an age where I know the value of money and how much the price of everything has increased by that I prefer to have one or two main presents that have had loads of thought into and my parents can guarantee that we will like, enjoy and use throughout the year. So this year my main present was a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Polaroid Camera in white. Two of my sister’s and my mother have this camera in pink, yellow and blue and I used to send my photos away to get them printed in a Polaroid style. I then was given a few things for my room, these included a couple of cushions, a clothes rack to place on the wall or the back of a door and few little things like socks and a mug. Every year we are given little presents such as socks and underwear, this has turned into a little tradition that more than likely will be carried on for many more years yet.

I also got a few little presents from the rest of my family as well as a few  presents from Matt’s family. From my little sister I was given a bronze/ rose gold plastic cup and straw. My brother gave me two homemade candles and three sets of homemade wax melts. From my two older sisters I was given a selection of bath products and shower gels. Every present that my family have to me they know that I will use them and they won’t be sat on the side and not being used.

Christmas day was spent over my nans house with the rest of the family. This has also turned into a tradition as we have spent many years over our nans house for Christmas this means that their presents are also opened in the evening of Christmas day. As I hadn’t given my parents a list of things that I wanted for Christmas, my nan was told anything Grey, black, white or sparkly. This meant that when I opened the presents I had been given was Grey and black. These colours were told to her so that she could pick things out that could be placed into my room. The presents that I received were an extra large, super soft grey fleece blanket and also a super fluffy black cushion for my bed. I think between Christmas day and now I have probably spent the majority of my time cuddled up in this blanket it is that soft!

The first presents that I opened for Christmas were from my boyfriend. So instead of spending Christmas day together we spent Christmas with our families. This resulted in us seeing each other and swapping presents on Christmas eve. For Christmas Matt gave me a few different things. The first present I was given to open was an Adidas mens body spray  in ice dive. The reason he gave me that was because every time he gets ready he uses  and said that I really liked it. As we don’t live together the only time I am able to smell it fresh and ‘out of the can’ so to speak is when I am staying the night. The second item Matt gave me to unwrap I don’t think I smiled so much in my life. I’m going to give you a quick background about this first. I have been looking at a specific brand of watches for a few months now and I have never been able to bring myself to buy it. So when I unwrapped a La Bohème Rose Gold, White and Grey Cluse watch I think I literally squealed. Now there aren’t many things that I would get excited about but that was definitely one of them. The following thing that Matt gave me to open was a tub of flying saucers. These sweets basically one of my favourites old-school sweets and by having a tub I thought I would be able to have my favourites for a longer period of time, how wrong I was! They lasted a whole two days. I was finally given my last present and apart from the four corners of the present it was wrapped and sellotaped every part of the present. After about 5 minutes of trying to get into the wrapping I was able to see the outer packaging and it was a Pandora piece. I have two rings and a pair of earrings from Pandora but I didn’t have a bracelet from there. I have always wanted one but never received one. When I opened the inner box, I was so happy to see a Pandora bracelet and in my favourite colour the Rose Gold bundle. So within this is a bracelet, two clips and a charm in Rose Gold. I don’t think that I have ever been so happy with presents from anyone apart from family in my life.