The Spongedry; heard of it? Here’s a review.

DISCLAIMER: This was sent to me as a PR sample for me to try, at my own request. What follows is my honest opinion.

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Good morning.-

If you follow me over on Instagram, you’d have probably have guessed what this post is about. (Ever heard of a ‘Sponge dry’? If you go to the widget on the right, you can follow my accounts to find out more.) Anyway, for this post, I will be reviewing a Spongedry!

Just what is it?

A sponge dry is an instrument that you can easily slip into your make up bag, which stores your blender, in order to dry it. (You can also get the blenders on the website-or with my code-more about that in a minute.)

Packaging.

I think that this was one of the only things that let the Spongedry down. Obviously, it has to be secure, however I could not open the box without a pair of scissors. Also, I hadn’t realised that the instructions were on the back-rather than in a booklet-meaning that I threw them away! (Although this was my fault, I do feel that it could have been a bit more clearer.) Asides from my mistake, the Spongedry was also hard to get out of the box, as it was seemingly stuck in. (But it had not arrived smashed, or broken, which is always a bonus.) I have since been informed that there are instruction videos and information on the website-link at the bottom of this post-so if you’re like me, I’d advise you to visit the website!

Branding.

I like the branding-it’s like almost talking to a dear friend. However, the brand itself could stand out more on the box-just to re-home that this is their product, and it’s really cool.

The Product itself.

Now I will admit, I’m not much of a heavy make up user-too much can sometimes lead to acne. (Because who wants that?!) So, I did ask my sister for some help. The Spongedry works well-and she liked the Blender that came with it. The blenders are really soft, squishy, and easy to use, because of their size. I think that this will easily become a cult beauty product-and for any beauty fans, this is what you need!

Click here to go to the Basic Beauty Tools website. If you’re ordering the Spongedry, add under ‘Note To Seller’ one of the following codes, in order to receive an extra free blender: Purple: LYDIAPURPLE , Pink: LYDIAPINK, Black: LYDIABLACK. 

See you tomorrow,

Lydia

XO

Interview With Calli Of Looking Through Rose Tinted Glasses.

As part of this week’s guest posts, I wanted to mix things up a bit, meaning today with have an interview with Calli from Looking Through Rose Tinted Glasses. (Click here to view her blog.) Calli is also founder of @letsnotbequiet , which is a really cool initiative ; go and follow her!

Morning Calli, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Firstly, how and why did you come to blog?

1) I began blogging as a way to fill time. I began my blog when I was in a spout of anxiety, panic attacks and depression. I had left my job and didn’t have anywhere to go, so I started my blog as a way to stop me from being bored. I originally began the journey of becoming a Youtuber, but didn’t want to invest in a good editing software if I potentially wasn’t going to carry it on.

 What was your inspiration behind your blog?
2) My genres of blogging is food and entertainment. I share my love of baking by sharing my recipes and I also love writing about television. Writing reviews of shows is a really great way of some people noticing your work. I even had one of the directors of Broadchurch like one of my promotional tweets of the review!
 What would you describe as your blogging routine?
3) I usually spend my mornings getting some blogging work done. My morning is scheduling tweets, writing and promoting blog posts and getting some emails sent and answered. I tend to spend my afternoon drafting some posts and planning future ideas with companies.
What do you think about monetised blogs?
4) Does this mean making it professional? I think professional blogs are awesome, I’m really trying to make my blog a full time thing, it’s just a case of making companies understand that us bloggers charge for their services for a reason!
 Where do you see your blog in a years time?
5) It’s tough to say really, I hope that in a year I have done some TV work and more people will be reading my blog. It’s my dream to be a tv presenter and I am really hoping by next year I have done something TV related and that could make people read my blog and hopefully make more companies want to work with me!
 Who are your favourite bloggers?
6) I don’t really have a specific favourite blogger. I tend to just read blog posts that catch my eye on Twitter!
 For anyone who wishes to blog, do you have any advice?
 
7) My advice would be to just do it, and not care about what other people think. Food and entertainment is such an original combination in my eyes, and I haven’t found another blog quite like mine, so start your blog. Be patient. And have fun.

Grief, Loss, And How To Recognise It; Guest Post By Lisa Kallas.

This is a guest post by Lisa over at Sugar Loaf Dreams. (Click here to visit here blog.)

 

At some point in our lives we will all lose someone close to us, it’s a reality. Grief affects everyone differently and certainly does not follow a road map. What someone feels is completely different to another and can be at different times also. There are 7 known stages of grieving but they do not always follow the known order and there is no set time for each stage, as I said every ones experience is different.

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Grief, loss and how to recognize it. So let’s take a closer look at the 7 Stages……..
1.NORMAL FUNCTIONING……this could be just before or immediately after the loss.

2.SHOCK AND DENIAL….. at this point there is likely to be
-Avoidance, a change in normal activities or just not wanting to do them anymore.
-Confusion, not being able to make decisions anything from something as minor as what to have for lunch to major decisions like having to chose a new telco.
-Fear, of being alone, what will happen to me now, the future as it is no longer how you planed it.
-Numbness, a feeling of nothing.
-Blame, what could you have done to stop this from happening.

3.ANGER……
-Frustration, maybe over the loss or maybe simply from how you are feeling.
-Anxiety, from worrying about the little things like the vacuuming not being done to what will happen if a war breaks out on the other side of the world.
-Irritation, over small inconsequential moments and can come across as either sadness or anger.
-Embarrassment, maybe your financial position has had to change or you are embarrassed because of your behavior struggling to cope.
-Shame, very much like Embarrassment above.

4. DEPRESSION AND DETACHMENT……..
-Overwhelmed, not being ale to cope with the loss and all the changes and emotions that has brought.
-Blah, to me this is similar to NUMB, a feeling of nothing.
-Lack of energy, one of the major telltale signs of depression.
-Helplessness, unable to cope alone or do for yourself.

5.DIALOGUE AND BARGAINING…….
-Reaching out to others, a sign that you now realize you need help and others.
-Desire to tell ones story, sharing is good for you and you start to feel a freedom from the grief when retelling the story as opposed to utter sadness.
-Struggling to find meaning for what has happened, putting words to thoughts and feelings.

6. ACCEPTANCE…..
-Exploring options, looking into relocation, downsizing, new hobbies etc
– A new plan in place, drafting  plan for the future.

7. RETURN TO MEANINGFUL LIFE……..
-Empowerment, taking back your life and being prepared to move forward.
-Security, feeling safe in your new decisions.
-Self Esteem, feeling strong to face the world by yourself.
-Meaning, finding a reason to move forward with your life with confidence.
So these are the recognized 7 stages but you may also notice other changes in your loved ones or yourself that could fit into this table of grieving. The most important thing to remember it does not happen smoothly or in a timely manner. Someone could actually start at stage 4 and jump back to stage 2, then 6 etc there is NO set road to travel, so don’t think just because someone is exhibiting one stage that they will just glide peacefully into the next one…..take it from me it ain’t going to happen that way!!!!
I have included here a post I wrote back in October last year based on our very own family journey through these stages……have a little read and I will fill you in on what is happening now, nearly 7 months on……

“As I sit here at my mums I can’t help but feel hopeless. The full weight of dads loss has engulfed her since we returned from our trip. She has now been rocked to her core and all I can do is watch brokenhearted.
There is nothing I can do, no words nor actions that can make it better…….all there is is time. How long? Forever.
Everyone handles their grief in different ways…..we can’t understand each individual’s journey, we’re not meant to. Grief is an extremely personal passage, unfortunately when it hits we are meant to carry on with life. We do, because we can, we need to or simply because others expect us to,
Time doesn’t make it go away, you don’t forget…….you just learn to adjust your life and get through it the best way possible. You need to acknowledge and accept that some days you can do great things and others you can barely move because you are so numb. Most of all you need to be gentle on yourself……no amount of positive self talk will change the journey or how long it will take.
I’ve spent the past 25 years trying to make life gentler and better for my children. I’ve spent the past 3 years trying to do the same for myself……but the reality that I now can’t do anything to help mum is very difficult. All I can do is listen……sometimes it’s hard to do, sometimes I’m busy, tired, or just unable to hear it at the time…
No matter what, grief is different for everyone……we need to remember the waves don’t always roll in gently……they crash and roll over rocks and uneven ground…..learning to stand strong and not get dragged out into the current is the hardest lesson we will ever have to complete……but it’s life and we will go on, if for no other reason than that’s what our loved one would want.
As I write this I can still hear dad say……”when it’s time to put your cue in the rack, there’s nothing you can do about it”. We need to attempt to move through our futures with the strength and courage he showed us as he left.”
So here we are nearly 7 full months later and although there have been improvements along the way we are still having very long, dark and sad days. For anyone that knows my mum she is a little impatient so any improvements should have happened by now and she thinks she should be back to normal and swinging from the chandeliers or something, she still hasn’t grasped the idea of the “new normal”. When I say this I get reminded she doesn’t like this new normal and wants to go back to her “old” self…….I realize this may never happen and we just need to keep working on this new normal.
I am well aware this can and probably will affect her the rest of her life…..all I and the rest of the family can do is be there. Be there through the good, happy, sad and somewhat frightening times for her, after all……she has always been there for us!
None of us really knows what is just around the corner that’s why you should always live your life to the fullest and be extremely grateful for what we have.

Time is our best friend and our worst enemy……we simply  need to understand this and just let it happen.

Just Bee Drinks: let’s save the bees!

Good morning.-

Wherever you are, I hope that it’s sunny at last. Today I’ll be reviewing Just Bee drinks that were sent to me as a PR sample. (This was at my own request, but what follows is my honest opinion.)

I love to receive Blogger Mail, and this product was no exception. Basically, it’s water, with an added drop of honey. To somebody who has Hayfever, this sounded like something that was ideal-and plus, they had the unique selling point of saving bees, and that it’s seemingly a family based business. What’s not to love?

The box was weighty, with three different flavour drinks:

  • Apple and Ginger
  • Blueberry
  • Lemon and Green Tea

 

Let’s get to the review!

Packaging:

This was a brand that I really like for its packaging-Just Bee were really quite savvy. Everything was packed in tightly, there was no space left not used, meaning that it was used to the best of its ability. (No waste here) The packaging was additionally sturdy-unlike other products that have come through the post, there was no rips, dents, etc. (As you can imagine, I was VERY excited by this point!)

Branding:

Again, all is well on the branding-I love that the story of Bees in the family, and a plan to help save them, is everywhere. (Some wildflower seeds were also included-I’ll be planting them soon!) The colour scheme is also appealing to the eye-subtle, and without the ‘blare’ of the brands. Lovely!

The Product Itself:

Now, I will admit, at first the flavours were not something I were looking forward to-after all, I’m not ‘big’ on trying new things, and they were outside of my comfort zone. I took the Apple and Ginger at first, and was pleasantly surprised. (I had thought it was going to be akin to a juice-complete with ‘bits’ floating around, and a variation of flavour.) It tasted nice, and kept me going through a rather long revision staple. I haven’t yet tried Blueberry or Lemon & Green Tea yet, as I’m saving them for another day. (A sort of treat!) But if you’d like a drink that has good intentions to save bees, and that taste’s nice, then you should go for this. I also think that it should be a staple to any lunchbox.

I rate this product to be 14/15.

What do you think? Would you try this?

Lydia

XO

Click here to visit their website, and maybe buy a drink or two.

Two of the best facial scrubs; guest post by Grace Brown.

This is part of a series of guest posts this week; to view Grace’s blog, click here.

So today I wanted to talk about two of the best facial scrubs I’ve ever used. I’m a big fan of exfoliating scrubs, I feel that they give my face a much more thorough cleanse than standard face washes. I’ve tried and tested quite a few over the years however these beauties are by far my favourites.

I’ll start with my old faithful; The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub. I’ve been using this face wash for years and I’ve not yet tired of it. Its actually made several appearances on my own blog as I just love using it that much.

GRACEBEE BODYSHOP TEA TREE SQUEAKY CLEAN SCRUB

The scrub is fairly pricey compared to other similar products, coming in at £7.50 for 100ml. That being said its worth every penny. This product features ‘purifying tea tree oil’ and the exfoliating micro-beads are biodegradable meaning they wont hurt the environment. Its perfect for normal or blemished skin and I will always go back to repurchase more when I run out.

The next scrub I’ve fallen in love with is the Miss Patisserie Orange Coffi Scrub. I’ve only been using this product for around 2 months but its already a firm favourite. The scrub is from a small cosmetic brand based in Cardiff that I probably never would have heard of had I not been invited to a press day there last year.

GRACEBEE MISS PATISSERIE ORANGE COFFI SCRUB

This product is a coffee lovers dream. The exfoliating granules smell incredibly strong but also include hint of sweet orange so that its not overbearing. This beautifully scented scrub is infused with both coconut and almond oil to leave you skin feeling soft and hydrated. Again its a fairly pricey retailing at nearly £14 a pop but for that you get 200g of product which will last months.

So those were my two absolute favourite facial scrubs that you can buy right now! I’d also just like to thank Lydia for letting me guest post on her blog!

Grace x

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

Inside My Bullet Journal. (Guest post by Envy Fisher.)

Today’s guest post is by Envy Fisher, over at Lost In translation. Be sure to visit her blog by clicking here!

I think every blogger will agree with me that we live in the age of Bullet Journals. I know very few bloggers who don’t have a notebook full of fancy spreads to keep their lives organized. If you were to see mine though… I’m not cut out for the Bullet Journal life. I scribble my to-do lists first thing in the morning on the first piece of paper I can find. Illustrating and color-coding is nice and all, but wouldn’t it make more sense to use that time to actually start doing the things on your list? Apart from that, no matter how pretty I’d make my Bullet Journal, I don’t see myself looking back on it in five years time and thinking: ‘Man, my life was awesome back then, look at all these things I had to do!’ No, I’d rather remember the stories of my life by writing them down. So instead of a Bullet Journal, I keep an old-fashioned journal. Though I don’t think ‘old-fashioned’ is the right word. My journal is a little bit different than the old school journals and diaries. Let me show you.

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I started this journal in February 2017, fairly recently. It was the first time I had a completely blank journal, no lines or anything. At first that scared me to no end. I have a reputation for not being able to write a sentence in a straight line on a completely blank piece of paper. After a day or two I realized blank pages are the best though: you’re not limited to just writing, you have more than enough space to add illustrations.

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The first illustrations appeared while I was planning my blog’s relaunch. I needed a rough sketch for a header and was writing about how nervous I was for the relaunch. Then I picked up a pencil and started doodling. It felt weird at first. Diaries aren’t sketch pads. I immediately regretted that thought. Why follow the rules of journaling if you can pick and choose, then make your journal exactly what you want it to be?

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From that moment on I illustrated the stories of my life that I wrote down in my journal. The illustrations became bigger and bigger, until I made pages in an art journal style. I made these to motivate myself, to get over my ex-boyfriend and as a tribute to Antwerp, the Belgian city I fell in love with in February.

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There’s nothing I won’t try in my journal. I’ve used pen, pencil, acrylic paint, chalk, and spray paint. It’s fun to try so many different media in the middle of writing the story of your life. But that doesn’t mean every page is a success. For example, when I first used my can of red spray paint, the paint went straight through the pages and stained more than I’d expected… It looked a little bit like a massacre to be honest. Luckily I was able to cover it all up with a picture.

The thing I like best about the combination between diary, travel journal and art journal is that there’s no pressure to do anything. I don’t have to make a fancy spread, I don’t have to write about my day if I don’t want to and if I feel uninspired I don’t have to make any illustrations or collages. But when I do feel like doing any of those things, my journal is there for me with as many blank pages as I need. So how about it? Can I convince you to give this kind of journal a try instead of the Bullet Journal? I promise you won’t regret it!

x Envy

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

The Greek Lemon Box; want food via the post? Here’s my review.

DISCLAIMER: This box was sent to me, at my own request, in exchange for a review. What follows is my honest review. 

We all love food, right?

I was intrigued by The Greek Lemon, having found the company on Twitter; because how could you send food this elaborate in a box? (I know that you can send Cheese and Cheesecake, but this sounded a little bit like a dream…

Take a look inside!

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Anyway, enough fawning over food-I have a review to show you!

Packaging:

Firstly, I was really impressed-the box was really heavy! As a subscription box, I feel that it’s really good value for money-everything was so tightly packed inside it. However, one side of the box was very ripped-I think the postal service had been a bit rough-so just be careful!

Branding:

This is a brand that stays true to its intentions; it is Greek to the core. I love how its slogan incorporates this, and how a list of ingredients that were included also had a history included-as well as Greek traditions. There was even a slip of paper with recipes, and how the owner of the brand has some greek background. This is what I was impressed with most.

The Product:

As a caution, you will need to cook with this box-but there may be some ‘snacks’ included. I loved Mykonos Almond treats by Maria Nefeli-these sweet balls of what seemed to be dough, they made my mouth water.

I think that this is a box that’s good value for money; I shall be cooking with it later, which you’ll be able to see on my social media. Until tomorrow,

Lydia

XO

Click here to visit The Greek Lemon’s website.

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I am pleased to sat that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you order a Spongedry via this link, you can also get an extra free blender, using the following codes for the designated colour. Purple: LYDIAPURPLE Pink: LYDIAPINK Black: LYDIABLACK