Deliciously Guilt Free; Brownie and Blondie review.

Disclaimer: this was sent to me, at my request, in exchange for a review. What follows is my honest opinion. 

Hello.-

If there was a parcel that came through the post, you had no idea what it was, but found out it was four miniature Brownies, how excited would you be? (I had forgotten about this sample, and when it was coming, having misinterpreted an email.. As you can imagine, I was firstly surprised, and then excited to try.)

The package was about the size of my hand-just over-with four ‘treats’ inside:

  • Chocolate and Chia Brownie.
  • Salted Caramel and nut Brownie.
  • Chocolate and Walnut Brownie.
  • Browned butter peanut Blondie.

I have fond memories of visiting a New York based Starbucks, and stocking up on a Blondie and Brownie, or alternatively a cookie. Here’s what I thought:

Packaging:

I’m at odds as to what to think about the packaging. I liked that the Brownies and the Blondies were in the box, and all space utilised, but it had been a little bit bashed about in the post. They also came in a plastic bag, meaning that they were seemingly stuck together. I liked how there was no space wasted, but it may well have been to the detriment of the product itself.

Branding:

Love the name of this one: ‘Deliciously Guilt Free’. Finally a snack without shame attached! (Ever seen a brand that tots its latest product, but has the USP that it could make you increase weight, whether directly or indirectly? I have a problem with this. Anyway, I digress..) I loved the branding. We all want to ‘cut the carbs, not the taste’, right?

Taste:

Now, the taste I was a little bit conflicted about. The Brownies I received were a little bit stale-I think it was because they had spent too long in the post. (They were dry.) But I enjoyed the Chocolate and Walnut Brownie best of all. It was a perfect snack for a (very) long Netflix session. I wasn’t sure as to the Browned Peanut Butter Blondie, as it made me feel a little bit sick, but that may have been because I ate half the pack in one sitting.

This is a great business, and I feel that we should be supporting it. I rate my package 13/15, as I think that there are some things to be twigged, in order to become a staple snack.

Click here to visit and order from their website.

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

Photo Diary: Day out to Brighton! 

Owing due to personal circumstance-being told I had “nothing to wear” to a party-I went down to Brighton not too long ago with a few realitives, in order to ‘remedy’ the situation. Whilst I was there, I took a lot of photos, enough for a Photo Diary Post-which I’m going to share with you now. 


(This won’t necessarily be in chronological order, due to varying quality of my photos, and the sequence of editing.)

I was fortunate enough to have lunch at Ed’s Easy Diner. This is a lovely American style diner that stays truely authentic to its USP; it has mirrored walls, graphics of the classical waitress, an all-American menu, and a lovely jukebox system. And the food is lovely! 


Although not full size, and sitting at your table, for every song choice you put twenty pence in at the top, and select the corresponding letter/number combination. Instead of playing at your table-imagine how noisy that would be!-it plays on the overhead speakers. (Fifties classics on the selection menu vary from Jailhouse Rock and Rock Around The Clock, to Hello Mary Lou and Johnny B Goode. Lovely!

I also tried a Cherry Flavour Pepsi Max; not being a big fan of fizzy drinks, I was pleasantly surprised-although this was a little bit too flat. (Too much ice!)

As a meat eater, I was pleasantly surprised at the range of meat; sometimes going round restaurants, I feel like the meat doesn’t vary a lot, and is often heavily greasy. (May not be suitable for vegetarians!)

The waiter was also lovely-very smiley with an easygoing manner. What more could anyone possibly want in a Diner?!

(Although next time I visit, I’m determined to try the desserts. But then again, Rees’ Cheesecake is not something that I can get on board with…) Give me a slice of chocolate cake and Icecream with caramel sauce any day! And there was also a possible side of sweet potato fries-I didn’t have them this time, but these are on ‘The List’ to try.

If you look carefully, you’ll be able to guess what I had to eat-although we shared a side of fries. 

Brighton is a lovely place, one of my favorite places there is; I love how there’s just a place for everyone-there isn’t a conventional standard to be followed, really.

Apart from it being utterly freezing-we had snow, people, snow!-I was happy to explore, despite being very cold at points. (Having left a spare jumper in the car, at points I was kicking myself.)

Anyway…

I can also report back that Waterstones has finally completed its general work and repairs; it now has a white exterior, marketed as a book cafe. The Romanovs was the book dominating the window display at the time; must read it soon!

(As you can see, I have a one track mind; books and food, books and food, books and food. Maybe Netflix ought to be added into the mix?!)


What’s not to love about a cat-themed beanie?!

I believe that I found this in H&M, although I may be wrong about that. It didn’t see, to be on their website, although you can find a different cat hat by clicking here.

This was a shirt that I felt particularly inspired by. Warning: a little bit of a rant coming up.

I really dislike the way that some clothes are marketed for my age range, in comparison to male counterparts; female clothing puts forward the perception of only being concerned with being a socialite, whilst male clothing is more to do with being brainy. 

Why?!?

There was one I saw online that particularly irritated me; being “allergic to algebra” is apparently a good thing in female clothing. I really disagree! 

Anyway, for once I spotted a shirt, retailing quite cheaply, and in correlation to my views. Finally!

(Sorry for the rant.)

I’ve also possibly found a replacement for my Starbucks-not that I drink it regularly-and that is probably far healthier.

Smooth is obviously a Smoothie drink franchise, that makes the smoothie up as you wait, in correlating to its menu. You can also choose your size-Kids, Small, or Regular.  (For this photo, I went for Regular-I was thirsty, after all!)

(Just as an aside: I don’t generally go around, taking photos of my food. To me, food is food; gotta eat or drink it that moment! I don’t mean this as an offensive thing to anyone who does-I just don’t want to be stereotyped as a millennial. Maybe I should do a post about that?)

But yes: eat, drink and be merry.

Hmmm….


Continuing with the cat theme…

Funnily enough, I found a bow tie for cats. (Yes, really, you read that correctly.) I was t sure what to think, to be honest. To me, putting human clothes on animals seems really cruel-the same as putting them in prams, bags, etc. But who am I to judge? 

Additionally, I also began to notice that some clothing has begun to pay far more attention to internet phases and language. Just take a look at this shirt on the left…

(‘Salty’ is essentially being sassy, I guess, although I’m not really explaining it well, for those of you who don’t know..)

In targeting collections, I guess that this could be a good idea; it’s relevant to the buying demographic, which is why we buy X, Y, or Z, right?

But then again, I do feel that it can be a little bit patronising, in making up their own abbreviations. Online one particular brand had marked one such product as being O.C.D-Obsessive Cat Disorder. 

Yep.

You read that correctly.

Basically; I’m on board if it’s fitting with actual slang, and is not used to stigmise a serious condition.

Plus, unicorns!

Generally speaking, whenever I think of an English high street, I see rain, and people dressed either in head-to-toe black, grey, maybe even brown. That’s quite a negative image, isn’t it? It just suggests boredom, trudging on, not caring.

One such marketing too, I would like to see is more of a ‘Unicorn’ vibe; putting back glitzy hues into our clothing. (Because unicorns are cool, right?)

Ironically enough, the shirt, pictured to the right, is what suggested the whole above commentary. And it’s grey!

Not that there is anything wrong with grey, it’s just running in contradiction to the point I was trying to make.

(This’ll probably be something in my next “Goals for….’ post.)

A few things I saw in Topshop!


Gotta keep teachers on their toes!

There was also a lot of stationary that made me feel very envious-for example, a kit basically making complimentary notes about somebody. What a good idea..

But then again, this epistle stack.

I’m not sure what to think.

What should I think?

And what do you think?

I’d love to know.

That way I can come to my own opinion.

Please help.

I am really not sure.

Moving on…to the final photo.

I feel in love with this leather jacket; it’s one of those garements that just seems to tick all the boxes needed. (And it’s a birthday present-I can’t wait!)

Have you visited Brighton?

Lydia

XO 

My visit to Lady Dinah’s: Meow!

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The Cafe.

So..yeah. I like Cats, and last week was very lucky to have attended Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. (This was after seeing a feature in Company Magazine-sadly now folded.) It’s a Cat Cafe-and you’re served food, with furry faces all around! As a Christmas gift, I was very grateful to have had this experience.

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Entering the Cafe; I like the very regal motif on the door.

For obvious reasons, you wash your hands first; you are also not allowed to pick up the cats, or disturb Cats who are sleeping..(And, just as a side note: the cats are not kept where the food is prepared. So, therefore, there’s no hair in the food. Because, well, who really wants that?) Not. Me.

However…

Cats are everywhere:

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Surely you have to admire a Cat that’s on a chaise lounge? These two were just above an entrance to the lower floor, where there’s more seating. And, like a fool, it took me two looks, two looks, before I realized that they were real..

Or, you can even take a Cat course. With a student freebie thing, of course.

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He’s hiding! (Probably away from all of the crowds of people, all peering in. Surely a cat may just want to be quiet some days?)

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But what really struck me was the very carefree attitude to playing with the cars. The waitresses willing tapped into the quirks of the cats (good phrase, that, no?) and showed us how to pet them. For example, this was a very pampered rescue cat-and like a spine rub, whilst sat atop a chaise lounge:

Then, just slowly pat on the side of their bottom (!) Wrong, I know how that sounds..

Some very cool top floor graphics. As far as wall art goes, I was very envious. The ones with the cat motifs detail the characteristics of those at the cafe. (Maybe a good present for a cat lover?)

 

And the food was lovely. Really delicious. Far better than I was expecting-complete with a main, drink, and desert. More restaurant than cafe..

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Soup of the day-the name I couldn’t quite recall. Complete with a Brick Lane Bagel. Yum.

Then  came time to explore the building:

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Lady Dinah’s has a huge, custom-made cat wheel installed on the lower floor. It’s like a hamster wheel-only maybe six feet high-and for a cat. I just had to try and sit in it. Which was not a very good idea. Obviously. Call it ‘Thy Clumsy Nature’.

To finish, food-wise: a salted caramel chocolate brownie! Still warm, with gooey insides, and little chips of chocolate.

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But, I digress from my main theme: Cats.

 

I felt very lucky to also have fed Wooky, the marmalade hued cat, when he woke up. It was a fishy treat, finally to finish a very long day.. If you love cats, then this is the place to go.

To book, please click here. Or, to purchase some very cool cat merchandise, please click here.

Company blog awards (it’s all about the sausages).

I love Company. I really do.

Last night, I was lucky enough to attend there annual blog ceremony (no, I wasn’t nominated for an award). Here are all my edited pictures from the event!

I had to get the train…living a far distance from London,it was about an hour and a half away…

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The stage were the blog winners were announced..

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Lovely Elderflower tonic water- free drinks all night from the bar! It didn’t really taste good with the Orange jelly bean ice Lilly though…

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Inside my right wrist, I got a free henna tattoo-appropriate, no?

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Also, for free, you could get your hair professionally styled (here’s the business details you need to know! )

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Similarly, for free, you could get a manicure… business details here also:

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I had my nails done- a very pale pink (verging on white) . Proffessional, stylish, I was very satisfied:

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There was free food- in ice cream and sausages, I think I may have eaten my body weight…. drinks also included.

There was also the” wall of gain” -with the new collection from Miss Guided, create a unique, one of a kind outfit, upload to Instagram, and you may win a prize:

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Since I don’t have Instagram, but wanted to be nosy, I took part. Here’s my combination:

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At the end, Company also gave each attendee a goodie bag- for free:

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So not to sound pretenuous, I have a round up of my favorite things from the goodie bag (the BBQ lady was also giving out free ones, with packs of sausages- the next days lunch! ):

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From Left to right:  Hourglass mascara, 20 percent discount from Miss Guided, Witch hazel skin cream, and Barry M nail varnish.

The Buenos bar made also a lovely snack for the long train ride back.

In terms of Journalism, this event was a great way to make contacts (just don’t be shy! ). I meet Lena De Casparis, and had my picture taken with her (features director)-sadly, I accidentally deleted it:

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* Not my image- from Company.co.uk

But I didn’t take any business cards- so, when any asked me” What’s your profession? ” or even” Do you have a blog? ” I couldn’t sort of chat comfortably, as the SEO isn’t very good…

Victoria White (editor)-how could I be under the same roof? (She’s my journalist icon…)

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*Not my image

The tickets were 25 pounds- well worth it. I had a great night, so thank you company.

To view the lucky winners, please click here.

Interview: Victoria White, Editor of Company Magazine.

This is an interview, from a while ago ,  I did  for Jump for journalism, however not all of it was included. Victoria was really lovely, and she answered all my questions in such a great depth.It was scary asking her, as Company is such a big magazine.  Company magazine is a monthly glossy fashion mag, which has the new seasons must haves, great real life articles, and funny comments from Columnists. At £2.50 a month , you really can’t go wrong..So lets take a look at what Victoria has to say about behind the scenes of Company HQ, and be sure to hover over these pictures, as there may be some exclusive content for you to see:

As the Editor of Company, you are often regarded as a very prestigious Editor. Could you tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today?

I started out doing work experience on a long gone (sadly) teen mag called TV Hits moving over to do work experience on their sister mag Inside Soap where I stayed for the next four years! By then I was features ed and was offered a job launching a TV mag in Australia so I jumped at the chance to live overseas and take on such a massive challenge. While there I was offered the job as LA Correspondent for a group of Australian magazines so I moved to the US where I had friends and family so it really was a dream come true. But I always really wanted to work in women’s magazines so when the job as Deputy Editor came up back in the UK on a magazine called B I applied for it and got it so returned to the UK. From there I made the move to Company as Deputy as it was my dream magazine to work on, even back then. In 2004I got the job as editor.

Did you ever specifically know that you wanted to be a Journalist/Editor?

Yes from about the age of 16 – I didn’t really know what it all meant but I figured I’d get to meet pop stars etc and I loved clothes and fashion. I’m from Newcastle though and there aren’t many fashion mags there so I did all the related work experience I could find working on local newspapers and TV stations.

As a magazine that often works with Bloggers, do you find some of the content is something that Company never may have come up with?

I think its important to get ideas from all different places. My team at constantly coming up with amazing ideas and I love that about them.

How much of what goes on the office (gossip wise) goes into the magazine, e.g. “Would you rather?” from the Ibiza issue?

Company’s tone definitely comes from the office ‘tone’ and if we find something funny in the office then we hope readers will find it funny either in print or more often online – like the time we did Desk Safari on our website where we all had to be an animal!(click here to see it)  It was one of our highest rated pages that week.

You have your own blog, over at Weboughtafrenchhouse.wordpress.com. (click the image to see it) Is it easy to fit round the demands of being an Editor?

Actually it’s really tough. I started it as I wanted to really get a feel for how good blogs work and I’ve realized that the writing bit isn’t hard – its the marketing, getting your name out there, commenting on other like-minded blogs to try to spread your word. That takes a lot of time.

Cover shoots are often set up, months before that specific issue will be on Newsstands. Do you play any role in being “on set” in the shoots?

I try to always be on cover shoots as I like to make sure the look and feel are just what I am looking for that particular month or celebrity. However my top team of Associate Editor and Creative Director are more than capable of doing it without me (sobs)

 After the relaunch/remake of Company, after you became Editor in 2003, Company become more of a brand, and became similar to Cosmopolitan’s “Cosmo Girls”, as any reader became a “Company Girl”. What was the idea around this?

Well the relaunch was actually only two years ago so a long time after I became editor. We did however want to create a club atmosphere and produce a magazine that you either were or weren’t a fan of. Obviously I’d like it if everyone could be a ‘Company Girl’ but I suppose for some its just not their thing. Those who are Company Girls now though seem evangelical about it which is great.

What do you have to be, to be a “Company Girl”?

Be creative, opinionated and cool (but not scary cool!)

What do you think is the value in discussing fashion, within a magazine?

For many women its a vast topic and one that they feel really passionate about. It inspires and gives them a ‘voice’ also I find fashion is a bit like football for men – its that common ice breaker conversation for most women.

Is pink in or out?

In this winter

As a game in Company’s office, the game “Would you rather?” has been the subject of many pages of Company. Would you be prepared to play it?

If so , here are some for you..

Would you rather…

Beauty or Fashion?

Fashion just because I love clothes and obsess about my outfits every day

Magazines or books?

Magazines obvs but I refuse to get a kindle and still read paper books

The Devil Wears Prada, or How to lose a guy in ten days?

H2LAG – it is one of my fave films EVER and the yellow dress Kate Hudson wears in it still tops my dream film dress list

What do you look for, in a cover letter and CV, if someone is applying for a job at Company? Passion, enthusiasm and good grammar and spelling.

Is technology knowledge essential, being a magazine brand that works with Bloggers? More and more yes as my team work across web, print and increasingly video content. You don’t need to be a total techy but you need to understand consumer consumption of all media

For a freelance Journalist to apply to write features for you, is it better to email you, or email the features director?

Features director – I hardly ever answer

Do you have any tips for applying for a job at Company?

Come up with something I’d NEVER have thought of myself that could change the face of Company print or online proposition!!

Could you describe your job on a day to day basis for us?

It is totally different every day

In a blog post from Gem Fatale, it said that a food is a prominent feature in the Company offices. Is that true? 

Haha yes we do like snacking….

What are your handbag essentials, for a day working at Company?

iPad mini, purse, phone, lipgloss, smints, pencil (I don’t like pens) and sunglasses

Is it advisable, for any journalist to carry round a notebook?

Not really – I use iPhone notes

Random question:  What do you prefer out of the following, and why?

Cupcakes

Cheese cake

Millionaire’s shortbread

Fudge Cake

Chocolate éclair

Cheesecake –   I don’t actually like sweet things – prefer a bag of nuts or crisps – I read that Posh Spice is the same too!