Life Style

Let's Raise a Glass - Premier Estates Wines

Friday, April 28, 2017

As a blogger I do get the odd interesting email, but like most people, most of my emails are from brands I've bought from in the past sharing today's special offers.

One I received a couple of weeks ago was exactly what I needed. After a very stressful week(s)  with my gran. The email read something along the line of would it be possible to send you some Prosecco from Premier Estates

Yes, please!

Premier Estates Prosecco

I was sent a mini size 20cl and a 75cl bottle of prosecco and a 75cl bottle of Grand Rosé. The package arrived really quickly and was extremely well packaged. Each bottle was in an inflated air case to stop it from breaking in transit.


The Grand Rosé is 11% vol. 75cl and is £9.99 a bottle but if you buy a case of 6 it comes down to £7.99. It is made up of grapes from the Veneto region of North Eastern Italy using a blend of red and green grapes.

This wasn't as dry as I was expecting, but as I've been only really drinking prosecco which is traditionally sweeter it was exactly what I like in a wine. It was light and sparkling and made for a very enjoyable drink. It has a fresh fruit flavour and I could see it working well with a meal as well as the way I had it. I enjoyed this on a Friday night relaxing at home with my mum.


Premier Estates Prosecco

The Prosecco is also 11% vol. 75cl and retails for the same price as the Grand Rosé

We didn't get a chance to drink this for a couple of weeks as everything has been hectic, if you follow me on social media you will know how busy it has been.

I shared this bottle with my papa and he was very impressed with it and asked me to buy some more of it.

It's light, fruity and sweet, but not overly sweet. It made for a very nice spring drink. I think this would also work well for some prosecco cocktails.

Premier Estates Prosecco

I have since placed an order, as I mentioned these 3 bottles were sent to me for review purpose and I was very impressed with the website. It was easy to use and you can select a mixed case rather than having to order 6 of each kind. 

They have 3 options for the mixed case. You can have 2 bottles of Cava, 2 Grand Rosé & 2 Prosecco, or a mix of 3 of each. 

I went for 3 Grand Rosé and 3 Prosecco. If you sign up for the newsletter you get 5% off orders over £50. As my order was £47. I added a single mini size prosecco to bring it up to the amount

as this will be handy to give to a friend as part of their birthday gift.

Once the order was confirmed I got an email, which made me giggle. I've added a snippet of it below. 


This was followed by a shipping confirmation and an email from the CEO. I place the order using a different email address than the one I use for blogging, for the simple reason, that email is the one linked to my PayPal account. 

As I placed the order before 4pm (just) it was eligable for next day delivery and it arrived promptly was safely and I have to commend Harry on his packing skills. 





These will be heading toward the fridge and a bottle or two enjoyed over the coming bank holiday weekend.

Thank you to Premier Estates for reaching out to me and well done on your quick service for regular orders. 

Cheers 

Premier Estates Prosecco
I was not paid to write this review, I received 3 bottles of wine in return for an unbias review and all opinions are my own. 

Lifestyle

GOALS | MARCH UPDATES

Monday, April 17, 2017

Where has this year gone? I’m sure I say it every month but seriously how did it get to be April? 

As the months go on I’m going to be amending and tweaking things as they still don’t feel perfect but I’ve split my goals into 4 areas Blog, YouTube, Social Media, and Life. I’m also having one blog or social media focus point each month.

Blog
I’ve not posted since 9th March and only managed 4 posts for the full month. I lost my way and I think that by saying I wanted to post more I did the opposite. I had 15 posts sat in drafts. A lot with pictures just waiting for me to write them but I just haven’t been opening my laptop.

YouTube
The only part of my goals I kept to was posting less, AKA not posting. This might not be the whole truth, while I did have a break I did have things scheduled so there wasn’t total radio silence.

The way I run my YT channel is to bulk film 3-6 videos on a couple of weekends a month and then spend the other 2 weekends editing. I feel like I did all this over 1 weekend.

I have the YT bug again and want to get back into the swing of things. Now the clocks have changed I can film in the evenings after work which will help.

I’ve also had a bit of negativity and I’ve noticed I’m getting more thumbs downs than ever but they are all from subscribers. I put up a ranty post and lost 5 subscribers within 24 hours. Numbers don’t matter and I only want people who are interesting watching but I can’t deny it’s a bit disheartening.


Social Media
Social media has been a little lacking as well. I feel like I had March off. I have been on SM but nowhere near as much as usual and I didn’t promote anything and while some of my accounts everything was pretty stagnant or there was a decrease and my IG is losing followers at a rapid rate but quality, not quantity. It does go to show you need to be present to grow and even maintain following.

Life
Life has been life, My mum has been poorly and ended in the hospital for a couple of days. Then when she should be resting and recovering my gran had a fall and my parents had to move in with her. We’ve managed to get her into a home but it was a very scary and stressful few weeks and I have a twitch in both eyes. Work, well I don’t like talking about work on here but let’s say it’s bobbins and leave it at that.

Social Media Goals

I have recorded my social media stats but I didn’t even look at my goals for the month, as mentioned above I lost followers on most platforms, the most growth was on Pinterest and that was without me pinning anything of my own or other peoples but we’ll call it a win!!


Next Month’s Social Media Focus


In April I want to try and get back into posting regular and nice quality IG photos. I don’t really have a theme and as much as I’d like one that’s not really me so I’d like to get my numbers back to where they were in February and maybe a couple more to make me feel like I’ve achieved something. 

Lifestyle

BOOKS | REVIEW - Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Friday, April 14, 2017

It's been a while since I've done a book review and I've tried starting this about three times and I feel like I either say it's great buy and read Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs or I tell you far too much and you might not need to buy it as I've told you the ending. 

I was sent this by my friend Hales from The PB Family and as a rule it isn't a book I'd have bought myself but it's recently been made into a film and while I haven't seen it, it sparked my interest. 

The book centres on a trip from America to a small Island in Wales where the main character's grandfather spent time during the second world war. He was from a Polish family during the war and had been telling his family he's been running from monsters all his life. 

After he passes his son and grandson visit the island and try to find out more about his life. 

I don't want to give too much away but the book is peppered with old photographs of unusual people. You can see an example of the cover with the levitating girl. In reality, they are optical illusions, tricks of the light or development but they cleverly are woven into the story to represent people or illustrate things and I loved this. 

I expected this to be a bit of a horror story but it really isn't it's more of an adventure/journey of discovery and part of the story have stayed with me. 

Miss Peregrine's home for Peculiar Children Book Review

There are two other books in the series and I'm excited to read these. I'm hoping they will be as well written and continue to have the photo's carried through.

This is a YA novel but it's equally as accessible for grownups as well.

I'm really enjoying reading YA books at the moment and would love to know what your favourites are. I'd really like to revisit some of the books I read as a teenager.

Beauty

BEAUTY| Love Me Beauty - February 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

I've been subscribed to the Love Me Beauty service for a few months and I think this is one of my favourite subscription service. It's not a beauty box as there is no box.

Each month you get a makeup bag filled with the items you have chosen yourself. Each month you get 60 credits and with those credits, you shop the edit. 

Love Me Beauty - February 2017

With my February credits I struggled slightly, while there was plenty of choice, there wasn't anything I wanted to try or was wowed by. 

Love Me Beauty - February 2017

I opted for 3 sets of the Charlotte Tilbury lipstick samples. I've been lusting over a Charlotte Tilbury lippy for a long time but I can't decide which one to go for and I thought this might be a good way to help me choose. 

Love Me Beauty - February 2017

Sadly I'm not a fan of these little samples. They are a cute Idea but in practice, they don't work for me. I feel like I end up with more of the product on my face and they didn't seem to last. This hasn't stopped me wanting a full size product but over all these samples feel like a waste of my credits. 

Love Me Beauty - February 2017

My next choice was the Make Up Forever loose HD Powder. I've not tried this yet but I've heard good things about it. 

Love Me Beauty - February 2017

My final item is one I've had before and I know I like it, while I'm normally happy to get repeats of products of I love I feel I chose this not because I like it, which I do, but because I couldn't see anything else. 

Love Me Beauty - February 2017

While I feel like I've been a little negative with this post, it doesn't take away how much I love the concept of this box. I don't like surprises so the option of picking items really appeals to be. 

I think will all services like this there will be months that are better than others and when you've been getting a service for a number of months there is always the chance of repeated items. 

I do think my time with Love Me Beauty is coming to the end but if you are looking for a new subscription "box" to try this one is worth a try. 

Love Me Beauty - February 2017

Love Me Beauty - February 2017


Beauty

BEAUTY | EOS Coconut Milk Lip Balm

Thursday, March 09, 2017

I recently picked up this EOS Coconut Milk lip balm from TK Maxx for £3.99. I've previously had an EOS Lip Balm and I really enjoyed using it. 

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend about EOS lip balms as you do. We always have makeup and beauty product chats. I did miss having one of these and then TK Maxx had rakes of them. I love it when you chat about something and then it's almost as if it's meant to be. I knew I wasn't leaving the shop without one. 

BEAUTY | EOS Coconut Milk Lip Balm from TK Maxx

Recently I've grown to love coconut flavours after previously shying away from them and not really enjoying the scent. It does have a very creamy and coconut flavour and scent to it. 

Initially, I was going get the vanilla mint but my last EOS was sweet mint which I loved so I decided to try something different and I'm glad that I did. 

BEAUTY | EOS Coconut Milk Lip Balm from TK Maxx

I've been using this in the evenings before I get in bed and I find it very moisturising. 

Another thing I like about the EOS lip balms is the packaging, I like the quirky egg-shaped packaging. 

For me, there are two downsides one is the RRP as at £6.50 I think this is too much but I did manage to justify the TK Maxx price.

BEAUTY | EOS Coconut Milk Lip Balm from TK Maxx

The second is the base of the previous EOS lip balm was like a bicycle spoke and towards the end of the product, I pushed a bit too hard as I applied it and the remaining product fell through the spokes and I essentially lost a good chunk of the product. For the price, I'd have either expected the full base to have product in or a flat base so all the product could be used. I know I will be more careful with this one knowing the base isn't solid. 

BEAUTY | EOS Coconut Milk Lip Balm from TK Maxx

Beauty

Beauty | Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Over this winter I've felt my skin has needed a bit more care. I've done a post in January about my winter skin care routine. 

I class my skin as combination as it is oily and has dry patches. However my dry patches are in the oily areas. I find it a bit odd but I think other people have this as well. 

One of my skin saviours this winter has been the Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask. I've been a fan of tissue masks for a couple of years and usually buy superdrugs own brand ones. 


Beauty | Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask
This is the only product from this range that I've tried but my mum is a huge fan of the range and picked up a gift set in the sale and it contained one of these masks. 

She let me try the mask after I'd mentioned I had been looking for one and had been unsuccessful.

I instantly fell in love with this product. It feels cool and refreshing and makes my skin feel hydrated and smooth.  

Beauty | Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask

One of the things that I don't understand about the product is, it has two layers. A white tissue mask and a blue over layer which you remove once the mask is in place. I don't see the need for this. I can only assume it is to help put the mask in place but I think it a little bit of a waste and don't think there would be any difference without this layer. 

The mask is also very wet and sometimes it feels a little odd when it's first applied but this is more about me than the mask. 

You leave the mask on for 15 minutes and once the mask has been removed there is always some product left on the skin. As I usually use the mask while I have a bath. I tend to run the product in then wash my face in the shower (I always have a shower right after the bath to wash my hair and face - shower is in the bath. TMI, maybe?) 

I was initially using this once a week. However, I've been using other face masks and I've reduced to once or twice a month. 
Beauty | Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask

Beauty | Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask


Lifestyle

GOALS | Update 4 - End of February 2017: The Month of Pinterest

Sunday, March 05, 2017

If you’ve been following me since the start of the year you will already know that I’ve set myself goals rather than resolutions this year.

my 2017 blog goals update 4 End of Feb / beginning of March

As the months go on I’m going to be amending and tweaking things as they still don’t feel perfect but I’ve split my goals into 4 areas Blog, YouTube, Social Media, and Life. I’m also having one blog or social media focus point each month.

Blog

Under the blog header I had three main things that I wanted to focus on and they are detailed below. I just wanted to talk about what I have been doing blog wise this month. 

It felt like time for a new blog template. Do you like it? I do, it's not perfect but it was free and I like it better that what I had. I spent a lot of time looking at paid for templates but I couldn't find one I really liked. 

Some of my mini goals for this month included the new template, posting better pictures which I think I have achieved. 

Fixing broken links. I spent days removing 4 years worth of broken links from my blog. It was mostly old social media links of my own from before I had my custom URL which was even more annoying. 

I've been running a weekly check and new links appear all the time as URLs expire, people change or delete things. My plan is to only run it monthly going forward. 

Below is the update on each of the yearly goals for my blog:


§  Consistency – I’ve cut down to blogging twice a month rather than trying to blog as frequently as possible. I decided to aim for twice a week and I have been meeting this every week. By cutting down I feel like I’ve been putting up better content. We’ll ignore my spelling and grammar for now but I think my photography has improved. I’m adding alt tags to pictures. Making sure I add a description to blog posts and I’ve got into a good routine with this which I hope will continue.

§  Engagement – How do you measure engagement? I’m getting more comments but I haven’t looked at google analytics figures. To be honest I don’t care about bounce rate and exit page information or all the other delightful info you can obtain via Google Analytics. Maybe I should care more.

§   Readership ­­– My visitor numbers are still very low and that can be quite disheartening, especially when I feel like I’m taking more time and effort over my posts.

YouTube
I started off quite strong posting three times a week, then towards the middle of the month. I lost all motivation and haven't filmed any videos. I also think If I had I wouldn't have had the motivation to edit them. 

If you can give me a bit of motivation and inspiration, at the start of the year I had three specific things to focus on and I've put my update below;

§   Replying to Comments – Fail! I’ve become a little dishearten by my YouTube channel. I got a bit of a fly comment a few weeks ago, and normally comments like that roll off me but this one stung. I’ve had some lovely comments and I’ve just ignored them all. Apologies to everyone who has left a comment

§   Build my audience – Surprisingly my subscribers has grown. I know in part to joining in with Facebook groups. I’m just grateful that despite not posting my subscribers has increased.

§   Reduction in posting – Achievement unlocked! I started off well. I was initially posting three times a week and this was against my better judgement. I had decided to post twice weekly but as I had videos ready I uploaded them. I wish I’d rationed them out


LLife

LLife is a funny old thing, it's a real mix of being extremely good and terrible at the moment. This is aall a bit melodramatic but I don't really know how to explain how i'm feeling recently. 

My aims for my life this year are below: 

§  See my friends more – I have managed to meet up with friends about 3 times this month. I’ve been out for breakfast, and had 2 nights out. One even included us missing the last tram home.

Go back to the gym – Nope, Nada, Nope. I tried but didn’t have my wrist band to get in. meaning I couldn’t access the gym itself.

§New Job – No real change. I have updated my CV, I have googled a couple of jobs and reactivated my linked in account.

§  Read more – I’ve read one book. Miss Peregrines School for peculiar children.

§  Start a 2nd blog – I did start this in December but I haven’t updated it this month.

Social Media
§  Growth – At the start of the year I set some social media target for myself. In my 3rd update I explained how I worked these out. As a quick recap. I looked back at my past 2 years’ growth and then rounded up. My aim over all is to grow. Not excessively, I just want to move forward rather than being stagnant which is how I feel most of my social media platforms were in 2016.


Social media spreadsheet targets


I’ll talk about Pinterest further down in the post but as you can see I grew on all platforms apart from Youtube and my SW Instagram.

I’m fine with this as I didn’t upload much on either of these platforms. As you can see my monthly targets are not huge.

§  Google Plus – My attention has been elsewhere really this month. I have still been using it and I do like it. However, they have changed the layout and won’t let us change back to the classic layout which was much more appealing and easier to use in my opinion.

§  Interaction – This is a tough one as I do feel like I have been interacting more but as I’ve fall out with twitter again I don’t feel like I’m seeing the interaction as much but I know it’s there.

Social Media focus February – Pinterest.

If you’ve looked at the above picture and you will see that my monthly target was 694. This was based on getting to a year end target of 750. I decided to focus on Pinterest and gave myself the aim of getting to that 750 by the end of February. I did manage to reach this by 7th February and surprised myself.

I have been making more of an effort to make Pinterest friendly images for my blog. I have also re-named all my boards to be more descriptive, as well as giving all my boards descriptions and I have moved pins to the relevant boards.

Looking at facebook I saw a few people mention group boards and I have joined three, but I haven’t really used these much. Another thing I have been doing is following more people. I don’t check to see if these people follow back but I’m sure some do follow back but I’m enjoying seeing a wider mix of pins in my news feed.

Facebook has groups for pretty much every social media platform going and I have also joined a few but I’ve been quite sporadic about joining in threads and tend to just use one or two of them.

Once I hit the 750 target, I did carry on pinning and following people rather than just sitting back and leaving it be. I also tried to set up rich pins but Pinterest seem to be having issues for a lot of people.

I have also made sure that I’ve been scheduling tweets about my Pinterest account and sharing boards.
  
I also installed a Pinterest widget on my blog, I don't know if this helps but I like how it looks. 


Next Month’s Social Media Focus

In March I want to focus on Google Plus and my Facebook page. I’ve never really spent much time on either of these platforms. My overall aim for the year was to spend time on Google Plus and I haven’t been using it as much as I would have liked so I want to include in as part of a monthly goal.

As of this moment I don’t really have any specific plans of what I will be doing with / on either of these platforms. If you have any tips on using them for general use or blog promotion or getting interaction.

Blog / YouTube Schedule
Here goes nothing, I’m planning on blogging three times a week. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

My YouTube will have videos once a week on a Sunday. 3 times a week was too much and I’ve lost my mojo a little bit. If I have more content I will put it up but my goal is for one video a week.

Lifestyle

Food| Inside Innside Bloggers Lunch

Thursday, March 02, 2017

When it comes to lunch options in Manchester you aren't short of options in the city centre but for those of us who work on the edge of the city a quick and filling lunch is slightly more limited without taking a bit of a walk. 

The Innside by Meliá hotel on First Street has opened up it's lunch time buffet to offer workers two options. I was invited to join a number of bloggers to sample the lunch options available and I headed over on my lunch break to see what they had to offer. 

Innside by Melia Manchester Lunch

They offer a hot lunch which has a different theme each weekday. I visited on a Friday and the hot food option was a choice of Thai Green and Thai Red curry. I think they may need to rename Friday to "Asian" Just a thought. I'm not a fan of either of these so I headed to the cold buffet options. 

I do plan to go back on a Wednesday to see what the Spanish options are. I also like that there is a variety of options and that you can get a hot meal at lunchtime. 

Innside by Melia Manchester Lunch  Menu

The buffet is beautifully presented, with a wide variety of choices. Including salad. Humus, cous cous, cooked meat & cheese as well as bread rolls and fresh fruit. 


Innside by Melia Manchester Lunch Buffet


The mirror above the food has the names of the food rather than little card propped up by each plate. I didn't spot this initially as I was trying to decide what everything was but I do like this.


Innside by Melia Manchester Lunch options

I picked a lot of different things to try a bit of everything. The tuna and sweetcorn, olives and the choice of bread were my favourites. Everything was fresh and tasty and I loved that there was a wide choice of fresh food to choose from. 

Innside by Melia Manchester My Lunch

The hot lunch is priced at £6.50 and the salad box option is £4.50 for me this is good value for the quality of the produce available. 

I was invited as part of a blogger lunch event to sample the lunch menu and didn't pay for the lunch but all opinions are my own and I will use this lunch option in the future. Can some remind me I want to go on a Wednesday to try the Spanish menu. 

Beauty

Beauty| Boots Essentials - Fragrance Free & Cucumber Range

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It's time to start mixing up my skin care and make the break into spring. (It's on it's way there is no denying it) 

I've used up most of the products that featured in my winter skin care post and I decided to check out the Boots essentials line. I had some Boots advantage card vouchers which included one for extra points when I spent £7 on boots branded skin care. 

Boots Essentials Fragrance Free

The Boots Essentials range is one that I've used a number of times in the past and I've always like it. It is the budget line and most products are £1.50 each with and offer of 3 for £3.00. 

Moisturising Cream 

This is a very thick cream and I haven't used it yet, It seems like it will work best as a night cream. 

Facial Toner

A nice refreshing toner, this seems quite gentle and is very refreshing. I've only used this a couple of times at the moment. 

Eye Make Up Remover Lotion

I don't think I have used a product like this for a long time. The consistency of the product is quite thick and worked well to remove all my eye make up quickly. It's not my preferred type of eye make up remover. 


Boots Essentials Fragrance Free

Boots Essentials Cucumber

Initially, this is the only range I was going to buy from as I've heard really good things about it. When I looked at the range of items I realised I didn't need one of everything from the range and it seemed like a good idea to buy from both ranges to test them out. 

Eye Make Up Remover Gel

Again I haven't use a product like this before and I love the idea of it. It is really cooling and I love how it feel on my eyes. It doesn't remove my make up as effectively as I would have liked. I do think this would be good to keep in the fridge to cool tired eyes especially in the summer months. 

Eye Gel 

This is my favourite product in the essentials range. It's cooling and soothing and I'm really enjoying using this. 

Facial Toner

Another gentle and soothing toner. My skin feels nice and refreshed after using it and I think like all the other products in the cucumber range it would be great kept in the fridge. 

Boots Essentials Cucumber


I would be happy to buy these again and I think they would be good to take away on holiday where you didn't want to take expensive products and for the price I know I wouldn't mind leaving these behind to save weight. 

Lifestyle

Primark Fripperies| Bedroom Accessories and Faux Plants

Saturday, February 25, 2017

My room was redecorated about two years ago now, but I'm still trying to get it perfect.

I have an issue of too many things. I own too many clothes, I own too many beauty and make up items. 

I also buy too many fripperies and I can't stop myself. I have been buying more and I'm extremely happy with what I've picked up in my latest haul. 

FriYay

The think Primark are so good at it is, quickly getting on board with current trends. FriYay has been all over the internet and I rejoice at getting to every Friday. It might be wishing my life away but now I have a plaque to celebrate with. 

I'm wondering how often I can get away with sharing this on Instagram? Best of all it was reduced to 50p. 


Primark FriYay hanging plaque pink

Hanging Heart

I subconsciously collect hearts. I hadn't really thought about this until after I got home from my recent shopping trip and now realise I have a good number of hearts in various sizes (I almost said shapes and sizes but they are all heart shaped) 

The cut out detail of this is very cute and it was also 50p.  

Primark cut out white heart hanging plaque

Oh Look Another Heart

For £1 I couldn't leave this heart photo frame behind. I also like the quote inside and I think I will leave this as it is for now. 

The photo hasn't picked it up, but the scalloped detail is gold paint and I like that little touch. 

Primark white heart hanging plaque to glam to give a damn!

Faux Succulents 

I have been looking at getting some real succulents and while in theory they are easy to keep, I know that they wouldn't survive in my care. 

There is quite a lot of choice in Primark at the moment and each of these were £2.50. 

I think I will be picking up a couple more of these in the next week or so. 

Primark Faux Succulents  Cactus

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