Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Tea of the Month - August

Hey lovelies!

Hope you are all keeping well and ready for September. It is time for another Tea of the Month! I love writing these posts because as you know, I love tea and even though I have been on holiday this month, I have found a new tea which I have been drinking a lot during the month of August.

I spotted this tea in Holland & Barrett and thought that it was a tea I had to try. I love coconut and I drink a LOT of green tea but I had never thought of putting these two together! Heath & Heather;s Organic Green Tea with Coconut is sold in boxes of 20 envelope bags (£2.49)

The packaging is simple, yet attractive. I love the colour, the coconut image and the fact that everything is kept simple. The box itself is durable and holds each of the tea envelopes in a very organised fashion (I am very fussy about this, weird as it sounds). The tea envelopes are simple, yet cute and perfect for travelling. I like that Heath & Heather has kept the packaging simple and let the teas speak for themselves. 

Brewing time for this tea is about 3-5 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea (some people don't like green tea particularly strong but I do). On the packaging Heath & Heather promises to give you 'a tropical taste of paradise' and I can honestly say, they do exactly that! The coconut 'kick' doesn't come until afterwards but it honestly is beautiful and leaves a nice after taste in your mouth. I know lots of people who don't enjoy green tea (but want all the benefits) and I cannot recommend this tea highly enough to anyone who falls into that category. It is fragrant, calming and utterly delicious. The balance of coconut flavouring is exactly right and it is not sickly or too sweet. 

I don't grade teas out of ten (I probably should, that would be awesome, haha) but I am in love with this tea. 10/10 from me!! What I love most is that green tea has been paired with a tropical sidekick and even on a cold winters night, this tea has the ability to transport you to white golden sands and clear blue waters. I thought this tea would make a refreshing summer drink (and don't get me wrong, it does) but I can definitely see the appeal of drinking this on a dreary, miserable day (which in Glasgow in August I've been doing a lot of!) Thanks so much to Heath & Heather for creating such an amazing tea! 

Have you been loving any teas recently? Please let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me @thingsarahloves

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Best Blog Post of the Month - August 2015

Little change from my 'Wander Through My Week' because it's been a busy, but pretty uneventful week to be honest (in terms of writing a weekly post update). Other than.... I am now running #ltbloggers! You may or may not have noticed the additional page tab at the top (#LTBloggers) and I AM SO EXCITED! Great chance for bloggers to host chats and get to know each other! Get in touch if you have any questions or would like to host a chat!

So the blog post that I loved most this month and really took something from comes from Laura Likes Beauty. Laura posted 'PCOS My Story' and even though it brought a tear to my eye, it made me smile. Having recently started to share my transplant story, I could relate to the emotions Laura was going through as I typed my own post: the tears, the doubt (should I really share this on my blog?!) and that little voice in your head telling you that you NEED to share your story, you NEED to let others know more about your condition, however hard it may be.

Laura doesn't know I have chosen her post as my personal favourite of the month and I really hope she doesn't mind! I loved your post Laura and thanks so much for sharing your story. As well as learning about PCOS, I learned so much more about you as a person. I really hope it encourages others to follow suit!

What blog posts have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me @thingsarahloves.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Lots of Laughs in Lanzarote!

Ahhh what a holiday!! Had so much fun in Costa Teguise and it was so nice to relax. Okay, so I don't necessarily do relaxing that well but I'm not bad at it. It was nice just to chill and I may have enjoyed a cocktail or two!

All week the weather was pretty amazing (at times even too hot, can never win!) and mornings through to early afternoon were spent poolside reading, listening to music and taking dips in the pool (which was lovely!). It was so quiet and peaceful which was wonderful (one of the perks of an adult only hotel). And okay, the wifi signal was awesome...sorry! I can't be detached from civilization for a week!

We went to this bar called Hook almost every day! Why, you ask?! IT'S A PIRATE THEMED BAR! Okay, to be fair the d├ęcor could be a little bit more creative (and none of the waiters were wandering around with parrots on their shoulder) but I loved the menu and every drink I had was delicious! I also had the BEST MILKSHAKE IN THE WORLD! 

A 'Wendy' - Strawberry & Vanilla Milkshake

If you follow me on Twitter, you will know how much I love cocktails and Hook served up some pretty delicious cocktails indeed! I LOVED this Pina Colada and look at the cute pineapple jar (?!) it was served in! It took a lot of work to finish this because it was HUGE!!

Pina Colada

Ah my favourite cocktail from Hook was definitely the 'Peter Pan': Rum, Coconut Milkshake, Pineapple Juice & Blue Curacao. And how amazing does it look??!! So yummy!!

Peter Pan

It was a pretty chilled week and actually, I really enjoyed doing absolutely nothing (which isn't usually like me at all). I couldn't have lasted any more than a week there to be honest, it would have gotten far too repetitive! But I had a fantastic time with a fantastic friend and for a chilled break, I would definitely recommend visiting Costa Teguise! I have so many photos that I may do another post sometime if you want to see them. 

Have you been anywhere recently? Let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me @thingsarahloves. 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Duty Free & Holiday Haul!

Hey guys!

Hope you all had a great week! After a delayed flight (and a lot of turbulence, eek!) I'm back in Glasgow and it feels so good to be back in my own bed. Been a bit hectic since I came back but glad to be home. 

I did a little bit of shopping whilst I was away and treated myself to some goodies. In all honesty, I thought I would have gotten more but there were things I wanted that weren't available and blah blah. Anyway, this is what I picked up:

Dolce & Gabanna 'Floral Drops' (30ml, Boots) - I love this fragrance! It was on my wish list and the first thing I headed for in duty free. So nice!

Chloe 'Love Story' (30ml, Boots) - After using up all of my See By Chloe, it was time for something different!

Giorgio Armani 'Acqua di Gioia' (30ml, Boots)- I love this fragrance! So fresh!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (30ml, Boots) - One of my favourite primers! I LOVE IT!

Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment (15g, Glamglow)- I love this cute little tub! I think it was exclusive to duty free! 

Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish (Loafer Love For You, Foggy London & Rapid Ruby, Superdrug) - Working out at just over £1.00 each, I couldn't resist on stocking up on some more colours that weren't already part of my collection!

I might do a full review on some of these if anyone is interested? Let me know! I've just gotten back and I was in Boots again today making some purchases...uh oh!!! What have you been buying recently? Comment below or you can tweet me @thingsarahloves.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

My Cornea Transplant Part One - The First Day

I've been waiting some time to write this because I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to do it but I always knew when I started my blog that this was a story I was going to share. I'm going to do it in sections because it is quite a long story to tell but I hope by the end of it, everyone realises how important cornea donation is. I will honestly never forget that a stranger gave me back the gift of sight. 

I still remember the morning I woke up and I couldn't see properly. I guess not everyone can say that. Throughout my life, I was really lucky in terms of vision (which I realise is a weird statement to make) and never had one single eye problem. I guess that it what makes me journey scarier in many ways. If I had been born blind or with a visual impairment, I could have adapted quicker and I wouldn't have known any better. 

But that's not what happened. I woke up one morning and everything was a blur, particularly out of my left eye. At first, I didn't panic which might sound odd but I really wasn't overly concerned at that time. In all honesty, I put it down to another late night with my head stuck in my books or too many hours on the laptop. I had just turned 28 and never had any eye problems so surely nothing could be going wrong now?!!

I went to university (this was during my second degree) and I had to sit down at the front of the lecture theatre. Could not focus on a single thing around me. I couldn't see facial expressions, I couldn't see slides, I couldn't read my own writing (Was I writing in a straight line? Was I writing on a page I had already used?) and the panic started to kick in. I sat through the lecture and mainly listened and I kept closing my eyes. I had this bizarre idea that if I rested them, everything would go back to normal when I opened them again. I had no such luck.

Wow this is difficult to write because I've never told anyone any of this in so much detail but I'm telling you everything about my journey because it is so important. After the lecture I went to the toilet and I cried (thankfully it was empty). I just locked myself in a cubicle and cried. Why couldn't I see bus numbers? Why I couldn't see shop signs? Why was walking down an aisle in Tesco nothing more than a blur of colours, all meshed together? I finally managed to call my mum (thank god for speed dial) and I completely broke down.

My mum came to meet me and by that point, I had composed myself. I had this idea that it would be like when I was 5 years old and grazed my knee; my mum would give me a plaster, a big hug and a bag of sweets and everything would just suddenly be fine. Looking back, I know that is silly but I guess denial plays a large role in my personal story. I remember her taking me to an Optician who agreed to see me straight away (I needed this to be referred to the eye hospital). 

Walking to the Opticians, I just started accepting the fact that I needed glasses (which wasn't something I was overly thrilled about! In hindsight that was the more attractive option) and I felt better. My mum couldn't fix everything, but a nice pair of spectacles could! I started thinking about what colour or design I might like as we entered. That would be my first and last visit to the Opticians. I never did get those glasses..

Wow, this is going to be a journey but please bare with me! I will post Part Two soon which is all about my visit to the optician and what happened next yet. Better cliff hanger than waiting to discover who A is, haha!! 

I'd appreciate any comments or questions you might have about my cornea transplant or my eye condition. Although my posts will reveal everything, if you do want to chat about it, please do not hesitate to send me an email, leave a comment or tweet me @thingsarahloves.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Best Things About Glasgow (Guest Post #1)

As I am currently relaxing on a beach, cocktail in hand (okay I am writing this in advance of my trip, but I imagine that is what I will be doing right now! I know it will involve cocktails anyway, haha) I thought this was the perfect time to introduce my first guest post to Things Sarah Loves! I was so pleased when the lovely Kirsty from Have The Town agreed to write a post for my little blog! I've had the chance to meet Kirsty and she really is lovely, one of my fabulous blogging friends! I love her blog (make sure you check it out!) and she does a dress diaries series which is one of my faves. You can often find us chatting on Twitter, so feel free to come join us!

I love Glasgow and I was so chuffed when Kirsty decided to write a post about everything she loves (and sadly misses!) about living in Glasgow. I love it!! Hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I did!

I'm delighted to be doing a guest post for Sarah, she's one of the first bloggers I ever really got properly talking to and also the first blogger I met in real life! 

For those of you who don't read my blog, I'm from Glasgow but currently living in Northern Ireland. I was home a few weekends ago (which is when I met Sarah actually!) and have been pining for my home city so much I thought I'd do a little list of everything I miss abut living there.

1. The Shops

Show me a city that has a better shopping scene than Glasgow (and I'll move there). Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street, Byres Road are all homes to a diverse range of shops, and that's before you even remember the giant shopping centres like Braehead and Silverburn!

2. The Nightlife

Good god the nightlife! There's really something for everyone in Glasgow with its multiple cocktail bars, clubs and pubs and if you want to you can stay out till late o'clock! I used to work in a bar that closed at 12, we'd head out after we locked up to another bar that stayed open till 3 and then if we still wanted to stay out, we'd head to the casino!

One of my personal favourite night out locations is Ashton Lane, with its pretty fairly lights and cobbled streets!

3. The Subway

It ain't no London Underground, but really this should be viewed as a good thing. It's basically impossible (unless you're doing a subcrawl where you drink your way round all the stops) to get lost on the Glasgow subway because both tracks just goes round and round in a loop. Efficient, yet safe!

4. The People

Maybe I'm biased, but I honestly don't think I've ever been in a city where the people are so ridiculously friendly. Last time I was home my boyfriend and I got offered sweets by a random man on a train. (Which we obviously accepted, because what could possibly go wrong when a stranger offers you Werther's Originals?)  

5. The Randomness

Where else could you walk down a street and randomly see a NYPD police car, complete with a parking ticket! What other airport has a giant caramel biscuit?! All of these things just add to Glasgow's weird and wacky charm!

6. Greggs

We don't have Greggs in Northern Ireland. It's a disaster, I have nowhere to go when I want some tasty pastry goodness! Luckily Glasgow is just a 30 minute flight away and has one on practically every street corner.

7. The Art Galleries

It might not be the first thing you think of when someone says "Glasgow" but it actually is a wonderfully cultured city. I love the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, firstly because it's a beautiful building and secondly because there are lots of dinosaurs featured (I know Sarah will be with me on this one!)

8. Princes Square

This is another one that I know Sarah will be with me on since she spends half her life there, but I just adore Princes Square. It's just packed full of lovely restaurants (like the lovely October where we first met!) and the decor of the whole place is divine.

I'm really making myself want to move back with all of this chat! Glasgow, please never change!

Thanks so much Kirsty! I love this post and it makes me so proud to live in Glasgow! Make sure you have a look at Kirsty's blog Have The Town and follow her on Twitter @havethetown.

Have you been to Glasgow before? What do you love about your home town? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @thingsarahloves.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

What is so special about a holiday in the UK?

When the lovely people at Parkdean offered me the chance to enjoy a yummy afternoon tea hamper to enjoy with my mum, I literally jumped at the chance. You guys know how much I love tea and I love quality time with my mum!

Whilst my mum and I were tucking into some delicious scones filled with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam, we got chatting about our own UK holiday memories. As a child, my family and I went on a lot of UK based holidays ranging from caravans to chalets and looking back, I now understand how special those holidays were. I remember being the only ones playing crazy golf in the pouring rain, learning to ride a bike on the island of Millport, and spending hours on the beach learning to fly this huge butterfly kite which was about double the size of me! Reminiscing over these experiences, I've come to realise how important they are to me and now I appreciate how much that family time meant to my mum. For us, there is something really special about staycations because they are wonderful family bonding times.

Minack Theatre, Cornwall

Holidaying in the UK is something I am really passionate about and as much as I love travelling abroad, I'm a home girl at heart. I love exploring the Scottish Highlands, the English Countrysides and be warned Wales - you're on my list! Cornwall is one of my favourite places because is breathtakingly beautiful. The Minack Outdoor Theatre is utterly amazing, set in a beautiful landscape and is probably one of my favourite things about Cornwall. Whether you are a history geek like me (I like to believe there are more out there!), an outdoor enthusiast, a crafter or just like a good Cornish Cream Tea whilst chatting to the local people, there is something for everyone.

Ooooo...Parkdean are giving you the chance to win a family holiday to Cornwall or Devon that is running until 4th September! If you would like to play the fun quiz game and have a chance of winning, click here!

Thanks so much to Parkdean and Simply Cornish Hampers for the yummy hamper! It really was delicious and I'm saving the tea for myself! (You all know how much I love tea!) I was even a good sister and shared the fudge and biscuits with my siblings!They went down a treat!

What are some of your favourite holiday memories? Have you ever visited Cornwall or Devon? Comment below or you can tweet me @thingsarahloves