Saturday, 1 August 2015

Tea of the Month - July

It's Tea of the Month time! I've been drinking a lot of tea this month as per usual (and a lot of my June favourite) but I have discovered a new tea which I really love and it made it to top of my tea pedestal! July's Tea of the Month goes to Clipper's 'After Dinner Mints' (20 bags, £2.25) As always, I'm doing to discuss the packaging first, then go onto the tea and to finish, tell you all why I love it so much!

I do like the packaging. Gorgeous dark green colour with light blue and green leaves (along with their signature tea cup design which appears on everything!). On either side of the box, there are two teaspoon drawings; one of which informs you that the packaging is biodegradable and can be recycled (nice touch Clipper!). I'm impressed that the packaging provides not only information about this lovely tea, but also jumps on the recycling bandwagon. However, this doesn't make the box as sturdy as I personally would like but I'm just being really fussy now. The box still holds it shape and all the tea bags

Each of the tea bags comes in a little green envelope which again, I really like and is handy for travelling. It also helps to keep the tea bags fresh which is always a plus.  The tea itself is an infusion of double mint and fennel with a hint of ginger which gives it an ever so subtle kick  all the ingredients are organic)  It is an amazing after dinner tea, really refreshing and calms your stomach! This is definitely my go to tea after meals!

Mint tea is by far my favourite tea of all time and if you are looking for a seriously strong mint tea, this may not be for you (just warning you!). It does have a nice peppermint taste but you can really taste the fennel and spicy ginger coming through. The combination works really well though and I would definitely recommend it! It really is a beautiful tea to offer guests post pudding as opposed to coffee (better for them as well!)

So that is July's Tea of the Month! I've been drinking it most evenings after my meal and highly recommend giving it a go! Thanks Clipper for creating such a unique tea!

Have you tried this tea? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me @thingsarahloves. Oh, if you have any tea recommendations you think I should try that might make August's Tea of the Month then please let me know too!

Friday, 31 July 2015

Best Blog Post of The Month - July 2015

This is a new idea I had for a monthly blog post and one that I am so excited to start. Basically, every month I am going to select one blog post that I have loved that month and really taken something from. I love blog posts that inspire me to try a new product, read a new book, cook a new dish, bake a new cake or just do something totally different!

I've loved so many blog posts this month but there was one that really stood out from the crowd. Over at The Blog of Happy Things, Liz recently published a post called 'Little Happy Things' and the idea is that everyone uses social media to post POSITIVE, HAPPY messages and ignores all the negativity that is out there on the web. Just like Liz, I hate negative, cryptic facebook posts or tweets that scream out for a 'What's wrong?' response that never gets a reply! So yeah, let's get #littlehappythings trending!! 

Great post Liz! If you haven't yet discovered The Blog of Happy Things, it is well worth a read!

Are there any blog posts you have been loving this month? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @thingsarahloves 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Travel Appreciation Tips

I thought I would do something a little different today and write a post about how to make the most of your holiday (or vacation). If you read my recent 'This Summer I Will Tag', then you will have noticed that I mentioned I was going to write this blog post! I have included some pics and experiences from my own personal travels along the way...

1. Plan Ahead

I'm a bit of a planaholic and I could honestly spend hours making lists but if are going off on your travels, I strongly advise lists! The usual packing lists are great but what I like to do is make lists of places I want to visit. Everything from ancient ruins, museums, beaches and cafes/restaurants. I note down their opening times and get an idea of when the best time to visit is. Not only does it take the strain out of doing all these things later, it helps my trip to flow better and really allows me to make the most of my time there. Sometimes things will happen that are outwith your control but a basic plan really helps.

2. Visit Historic Sites

Herculaneum, Italy

Okay, this might just apply to me as a Classicist but I love visiting historic sites!
Naturally, I'm obsessed with Ancient Roman & Greek culture and love nothing more than exploring some ruins. This might not be for everyone but I really enjoy visiting museums and the like! So why not stop by a museum or visit an ancient site?

The Acropolis, Athens

3. Mix with the Locals

Some of my most memorable travel moments I have are those I have spent chatting with the local people. I was in Delphi, Greece (which is seriously breathtaking) and got chatting to an elderly Greek man who started reciting The Odyssey in Ancient Greek. Or when I was in Nafplio and the lovely sisters who ran the hotel introduced me to their mother who let me try her homemade jams. Take some time to chat to the local people!

4. Try the Local Cuisine

Not sure I would go as far as eating frog legs in France, but I do like to try local dishes and embrace the country I am visiting. Nothing annoys me more than seeing all these British pubs and restaurants abroad serving the kind of food we get here (which never tastes as good anyway!).. Whilst you are visiting a new country, try some dishes they are famous for!

Dinner in Rome

5. To Sun Worship or not to Sun Worship?

Nafplio, Greece

I'm really not a sun worshipper myself (hence this is one of the few 'beach' pics I have!) and after a morning at the beach reading a book I'm pretty much done! I really don't like lying in the sun and I never tan well anyway! So although I love visiting beaches, I'm not someone that can spend all day there. But I know that some people love this so if it is your thing, enjoy! 

6. Head off the beaten track

Obviously safety comes first but there is nothing I like more than really getting a feel for what it must be like to live there and not just hit all the tourist hotspots! I love visiting local food markets abroad because it is such an amazing atmosphere just watching people live their day to day life in an environment that is so different from mine back home.

7. Try Something New

Take the time to try something new! You only live once! Whether it is facing a rollercoaster that has always sent shivers down your spine, going snorkelling when you really don't like fish (I did that and loved it! Still not a fish fan though), taking a camel ride or doing something that little more adventurous, this makes a trip really memorable.

8. Sit Back & Take in the View 

Nafplio, Greece

Seriously, just stop and smell the roses!! It really is the little things that make a trip really special. Whether it be beautiful flowers, a gorgeous sunset or waking up to a view of the beach, take the time to appreciate these quiet moments just admiring the beautiful country you are lucky enough to visit.

That's my top tips but I would love to know what some of yours are and hear about any amazing travel experiences you have had! Comment below or you can tweet me @thingsarahloves. Have a great day and see you again tomorrow for another post!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Wander Through My Week #6

Hey everyone! Hope you've all been keeping well! Eeeee it has been a while! I've had stuff going on and nothing that interesting to report in the past few weeks but thankfully that didn't last forever! Here are some of my highlights...

Afternoon Tea

I went for afternoon tea last week with my friend Jen and thought I should mention it in this post because it was so delicious! We took a trip to Saporito which I had never heard of but it is near where she stays and it was so nice. You got to select a sandwich, cake and scone of your choice and I thought this was such a good idea. I've been for a lot of afternoon teas (more than I care to mention!) and although you always get to pick your own sandwiches, never have I got to pick my own scone or cake!

They had an amazing selection of different flavoured scones, many of which I had never heard of. But I am a sucker for a fruit scone every single time! I also chose the strawberry cheesecake which was yummy. And to top it all off: FREE TEA AND COFFEE REFILLS! It was honestly such a lovely afternoon and we spent hours catching up. All for £8.95 each! I had such a lovely, lovely time and catching up with Jen is always good fun. 

WWE Battleground

If you are new to my blog, welcome! One thing you should know about me is that I love WWE!! I'm not a fan of soap operas (sorry to anyone that is!) and WWE fills that void for me. Anyway, when I can I like to stay up till 1am and watch the pay per views (committed fan here!). The shows usually last until about 4am and by that time my eyes are heavy and I'm ready to switch off..

NOT THIS TIME!!! (Do NOT keep reading if you have not watched it yet, spoiler alert!!). Since I started watching wrestling as a 12 year old, I have loved The Undertaker. He is by far my favourite wrestler and HE IS BACK!! You should have seen the look on my face when he made his return, I wish that moment had been caught on camera! Okay, it won't be for long but his return was honestly such an exciting addition to the show. Now I'm literally counting down the days until Summerslam!

Holiday Planning

In a few weeks I will be on holiday with one of my best friends and I honestly cannot wait! I have been so busy making packing lists, my duty free wish list and sorting all the bits I want to take with me! (which will all be coming in different posts soon). I am so, so excited about this trip and we always have so much fun together when we are away - love it!

I really want some ideas about things I should pick up in duty free so please comment below or tweet me {@thingsarahloves) if you have any recommendations!Thanks so much!

That's a little round-up of what I have been up to lately. Hope you have all had a great week! What have you been up to?  

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Perfume Empties

Hey everyone! Today's post is a Perfume Empties post which I have been really excited about writing because although I love both of these perfumes, there is one that I swear by and wear constantly (the second I noticed I had none left I swiftly went online and ordered another because I cannot live without it).  Both of these perfumes are definitely worth the investment and really impressed me. Let's get started!

See By Chloe  (30ml, £28.80, All Beauty, Sephora)

I have a back story to tell before I go into telling you all about this perfume: I was in duty free last year and when I spotted See by Chloe, I couldn't wait to smell it! I sprayed a little on my wrist and I don't know what happened, but I just wasn't instantly keen on the scent. I can't explain it (do bear in mind that it was like 3am!) but it just wasn't for me. Anyway, I picked up a few other bits and didn't give this perfume a second thought...

Then I was on the plane and my friend noticed that I kept smelling my wrist and asked what the hell I was doing. 'I need to buy this perfume! I actually love it!' I exclaimed. That is when I knew I had to purchase See by Chloe as I soon as possible! I was just utterly obsessed with the scent and I think that you really need to give a scent a chance to 'calm down' if that makes sense. Anyway, onto the perfume!

First of all, I really like the bottle! It is shaped like a bird cage and the glass really catches the light which looks so pretty sitting on my bathroom shelf. The scent itself is really pretty: really floral and fruity, containing hints of bergamot, apple blossom, jasmine and vanilla. Yes, it is a girly scent but it is not overly girly or immature (I'm 30 and I really like it!). I'm a huge fan of this scent and the fact that I have used it all up says a lot because I have a lot of different perfumes on that bathroom shelf. 

The scent itself does linger throughout the day but I do find myself having to top it up after say eight hours or so. For me, this is definitely a spring/summer fragrance and I am glad that I purchased it. Will I buy it again? I think so, but not in the imminent future. I would definitely recommend it and my younger sister loves it so I may purchase it for her birthday or Christmas this year. Good thing that she doesn't read my blog!

Molecule 01  (30ml, £27.00, Cult BeautyLiberty London)

Oh my, I cannot even begin to describe how much I love, love, love this perfume. If I could only pick one perfume to wear for the rest of my life, Molecule 01 by Escentic Molecules is that perfume!! This is the fragrance that when I noticed I had ran out, I purchased another online instantly. I would not be without this perfume now! It is a unisex fragrance so I probably shouldn't really call it a perfume, but for the sake of this post, it is!

And yet again, another back story. I got this perfume for Christmas 2014 from my mum after she asked me if there was a fragrance that I really wanted this year. I have to be honest and admit that I have never had the chance to smell this perfume so I actually had no idea what to expect. But when Lily Pebbles mentioned it (in a favourites video I think?)  I knew it was bound to be a safe investment. Thankfully, I was right. 

One of the unique things about Molecule 01 is that it smells different on every single person. The scent is warm and musky. (definitely not floral and fruity) Honestly, this is heaven in a bottle. I've been stopped on a train, in a cafe, walking down an aisle in Tesco and had people ask me what perfume I am wearing and where they can purchase it from. I've had fragrance compliments in the past but honestly, nothing like this! Oh, this is my first date perfume too! It always goes down a treat!

The travel sized bottle comes without a lid but for me that is not an issue at all. I've been wearing this perfume pretty much daily since I got it for Christmas (thanks again mum!) and I'm impressed this bottle has lasted so long. One of the best things about this fragrance is that it does not need topped up at all! I use it the morning and don't even need to take it out with me because the scent lingers all day long. Sometimes you can't smell it on yourself but then out of nowhere, you suddenly will and it is like you just sprayed it all over again. And the times that you can't smell it, everyone else can!

I really love this perfume (as if you couldn't tell already) and I would highly recommend it!

So these are my perfume empties and I'm impressed with them both (although one has stolen my heart!). I can't wait to go duty free shopping soon and buy another new perfume! Any recommendations? Also, let me know what perfumes you have used up recently, either in the comments below or tweet me @thingsarahloves

Thursday, 23 July 2015

My #BloggersSnailMail Experience

Not long after I started blogging, I discovered Gemma from Lipsticks & Lashes #BloggersSnailMail and I thought this sounded like such a fun idea! This is a quarterly gift exchange and the rules are pretty simple: you email your blog details, get paired up with someone, follow their blog and email to get to know them and then spent £5.00 purchasing them little gifts you think they would like. I thought it sounded like such a fun idea and I quickly signed up. Never did I think I would get so much more from the experience than I initially thought..

I was paired with the lovely Julie from Jewels Wandering who lives in Singapore! Her photos are amazing and I'm definitely visiting her sometime (you have been warned Julie!!). Our blogs are very different but I really like that and I fell in love with her blog. Julie has travelled A LOT and this features heavily in her blog (all her weekends away, so jealous!). I really admired Julie when she posted about her recent surgery and recovery. I'm sure she has helped people going through something similar and it really touched me. Julie is doing so well and I knew she would - that girl is a fighter!

When Julie's package arrived I honestly didn't know what to expect because it was so difficult trying to find items for £5.00! But Julie hit the nail on the head with the goodies she got for me!! She sent me two face masks (I have already used one and Julie, I will be sending you money through Paypal to send me more! They are THAT good!), cute little stamps and the best of all: TEA RELATED GOODIES!! I honestly couldn't believe it! (if you haven't read my blog before then should probably know I have a massive obsession with tea). She sent me beautiful coasters and the finest tea from Singapore! I have not had a cup yet but I am so excited to try it. Oh, and I love the postcard! Thanks so much Julie!

We've both been through ups and downs throughout the snail mail journey, but Julie has become a friend and has given me so much support. I honestly could not have been paired with anyone better! I will definitely be keeping in touch with Julie and continuing to support her wonderful blog. Thanks so much Julie for making my first #Bloggerssnailmail experience so memorable!

Have you ever taken part in a #bloggerssnailmail? Is it something you would love to do? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @thingsarahloves. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Aussie Travel Haircare Essentials

I am literally counting down the days until I head to Lanzarote! I have never been before and I'm so excited to explore somewhere new and enjoy some good food/cocktails! I'm going with one of my best friends who I love spending time with and we always have such a giggle. Can you tell how much I'm looking forward to this trip??!!

One of the things I love most about going away is packing. I love making check lists, buying new clothes and I can't resist anything that is travel sized - so cute! I'm going to be doing a few posts about what is my suitcase, my carry on, my make up bag etc but I am dedicating this post to Aussie because they are my shampoo and conditioner holiday lifesavers! I bought these three cute little travel sized Aussie products from Superdrug (£2.00 each and they were on a 3 for 2 offer - total bargain!). I got the Miracle Moist Shampoo, Miracle Moist Conditioner and 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner

How cute do they look?!! I love these little minis! Each one is 75ml and will definitely see me through the week long trip. The shampoo and conditioner are both lovely, containing Macadamia Nut Oil which really helps to smooth and condition my hair. I have really fine, dry hair (which is coloured) and every time I travel, my hair becomes so dry (almost crispy!) after a day in the sun unless I use the correct products. This shampoo and conditioner combo are amazing! I really like the consistency of these: not too thick but really creamy which is perfect for my hair type. They add much needed moisture to my hair and leave it soft, sleek and healthy looking

I'm also taking the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner on holiday which I will use two or three times during this trip when my hair needs a little extra TLC. After a few days in the sun, my hair tends to become a little unruly without being given a little bit of love. What I really like about this product is how good it smells! It is so fresh and not at all offensive (I am not keen on strong, dominating scents). I sometimes find some deep conditioners to be so thick and heavy that they weigh down my hair (end up having to rewash it!) but I don't have that problem here. This deep conditioner contains Australian Balm Mint and it really adds body and life back into my hair, which definitely makes it more manageable! After using this, my hair is so easy to curl or straighten and it makes my hair so shiny - I love it!

So yep, my three trusty Aussie friends are coming with me on this trip! I have a couple of Philip Kingsley buddies coming along too (which I will do another post about) and combined, these products all really protect my hair from those 'holiday elements' (sun, sea, and chlorine) as well as improving the overall condition of my hair

So that's my Aussie Haircare Travel Essentials that I'm taking with me to Lanzarote! Have you tried any of these products? What are your travel haircare essentials? Let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me @thingsarahloves. Back tomorrow with another post! Have a great day!