Snacking with Dr Zak

I might not be your typical gym-going, exercise mad protein filled snack consumer but I am a serial grazer and on a mission to pack as much protein in to my diet as possible right now to help me re-build some strength. I also have a notorious sweet tooth and do have to keep an eye on how much sugar I let myself inhale in lieu of healthier options (I was that child who filled their boots on Haribo then couldn’t manage their dinner!). Therefore I was very interested when I got an e-mail from Dr Zak’s about their new range of high protein, low sugar cookies which boast an impressive 15g of protein per 60g cookie whilst keeping sugar content minimal. They very kindly sent over the range of cookies for me to try as well as some high protein clusters and I thought I’d pop up some thoughts here in case anyone else is in the same boat- or is in need of something to munch post workout.
All products c/o Dr Zak’s for blog consideration.
Kicking off with the protein clusters which I found made the perfect little snack to pack in my bag for work. These come in three flavours- chipotle chilli, fruit & yoghurt and chocolate. These 30g packs contain up to 12g of protein, are free from palm oil, made with high quality pea protein isolate and have under 130 calories per bag.

I’ll start off by saying the fruit & yoghurt variety wasn’t my cup of tea. They weren’t bad but did have that distinct “protein” taste about them and I had expected them to be much sweeter. I happily ate the pack and they certainly made for a filling snack for something so small but I wouldn’t go out of my way to have these again.

The chipotle and chocolate fared better. The chocolate were my favourite for sure, a good strong flavour and less after taste. The chipotle were also pretty good although I had hoped for a bit more heat. Again the stronger flavour of these took away the protein taste and I would pick up both of these flavours again if I saw them for sale.

The cookies also come in three flavours- salted caramel, chocolate chip and triple chocolate. These are made with high quality milk proteins and have a soft bake texture which reminded me more of a cake than a cookie. Again these are free from palm oil and contain no more than 3% of your daily sugar allowance. The 60g cookies are dense and filling but are fairly low calorie for a protein filled snack- each contains less than 220 calories for the whole cookie.

My favourite flavour was the salted caramel, hands down. This surprised me as I’m not usually a fan of this flavour at all but here it was a winner. The chocolate chip (sugar free) was a close second though and not far behind was the triple chocolate.

In short, I really enjoyed these. I gave some to my boyfriend to try and he wasn’t convinced at first but later said this is because he went in to it expecting a typical cookie- I mentioned before these have a more cake like texture and won’t compare to say, a cookie from Millie’s cookies or a bakery but in their own right they are really very good.

There are a whole host of items from Dr Zak’s I’d like to try- the peanut spread with it’s range of flavours looks especially intriguing!

Check out the website to find out your nearest stockists and if you are already familiar with the brand then please tell me which products I should be looking to try next!

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Beauty- SENSSE Anti-Ageing Facial Cleansing Brush and Exfoliator

I feel like I should preface this post by saying I am a complete novice in the field of facial cleansing brushes. They’ve been on the beauty scene for a little while now but it wasn’t until my Mum got one for Christmas a couple of years ago and raved about that I started to think about actually getting one myself.

I never did get around to it though. My skincare regime is basic at best and I always had other places where my money could be better used (judging by my current collection that use appears to be lipstick…). Since I’m now at that grand old age of 30 and noticing more fine lines and wrinkles by the day, when I was given the chance to try out the SENSSE Anti-Ageing Facial Cleansing Brush and Exfoliator* I pretty much jumped at the chance.

As I mentioned at the start of the post I don’t have any prior experience of facial cleansing brushes so I couldn’t tell you how it compared to some of the most popular brands out there so sorry if you were hoping for that.

The SENSEE Anti-Ageing Facial Cleansing Brush (and exfoliator) has super soft bristles that are designed to gently massage your skin to stimulate the production of collagen which in turn reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
I really like that there are three different intensity levels, I started myself off on the lowest one as I didn’t know how brutal it might be or how my skin would react- the higher levels are designed for deep exfoliation so best saved for occasional use I think.

The device has a built in battery which apparently lasts for up to 60 uses (I can’t confirm or deny at this point!) and it can be used anywhere. Probably my favourite feature is the built in timer which sounds every 20 seconds to remind you to move on to a new area of skin. I’m pretty sure without it I’d have scrubbed my face raw by now.

The process of using it is really simple. You remove makeup first which automatically means it’s getting me back in t to the habit of doing this! You then apply your cleanser of choice to moisturised skin and glide the device over your face in circular motions for 20 seconds per area. Finally you rinse and dry your face and revel in that deep clean, fresh feeling.

For my skin using this every day is a bit too much- I’m down to about three times a week which suits me perfectly. Whilst I can’t claim I suddenly look ten years younger my skin does look brighter and healthier for having a decent cleansing routine again and if I can keep up regular use I am hoping it’ll keep any further fine lines from appearing just yet.

It’s also a very easy on the eye piece of kit. White and rose gold is a colour combination destined to please any beauty blogger and the compact charging stand and USB connector keep things neat and tidy. At the moment you can get this for £69.99 which seems reasonable when you compare to other brand leaders so if you’re in the market for a new cleansing brush or are looking to try one for the first time this is definitely one to consider.

Have you tried any of SENSEE’s products before? It’s not a brand I was familiar with before now and I’d be interested to know what else people would recommend.

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Making sure he definitely knows you’re ready for engagement*

I’ll start this post with a heft disclaimer- in no way am I dropping hints that I am ready to be getting engaged. I am however at that age where a lot of people I know are in long term relationships and might be looking to drop a hint or six…if that’s you then I hope this helps!

Photo by Paul García Fotografía on Unsplash

After two or three years your guy can sometimes become complacent. By getting stuck in his ways sometimes he needs to know that your ready to take your relationship to the next level — so why not drop a few hints to your man so that he knows that you’re truly ready to become engaged?

Retailers of bespoke engagement rings, Angelic Diamonds can help you make sure that your husband-to-be definitely knows that you’re ready to be asked the big question.

Your married friends should always be your best friends
To get your boyfriend in the mood for engagement why not get him to hang out with your married friends? This will make him realise that you’re comfortable with him being around others in more serious relationships.
Yes, although your boyfriend will be able to see that marriage has its ups and downs – he’ll also realise that he could have a more committed relationship with you- something he will not want to throw away! Although men who have parents that are divorced sometimes struggle to trust this commitment, replacing negative feelings with positive ones in this type of environment may help to bring him around to your way of thinking.

Always be the friend he can turn to
After a couple of years sometimes you fall into seperate roles – you do your thing, and he does his and somehow you meet somewhere in the middle. Make sure that you can be your partner’s go-to guy as well as a girlfriend. If you’re constantly being left behind for the guys then this is going to put a strain on his ability to propose and take you seriously.
If he has interests and hobbies make sure that you know about them and you stay interested. There’s nothing worse than someone who doesn’t pay attention. If you can be part of his whole life rather than just someone he spends time with then he’ll feel like you’re indispensable. Once you get to this point in your relationship then he’ll feel like proposing as he can’t spend his time without you!

Cruel to be kind is key
Sometimes you need to show a bit of tough love, and although this can be hard if you want to keep things interesting then this is what you need to do. If you don’t see your relationship heading in the right direction and things are flatlining try and find his pulse again by telling him you may move out.
Try a less dramatic tactic by making a career move without letting him know; or spending more time with the girls. This could lead him to question why he is not spending time with you. Although he knows that you’re always there for him this will make him feel that he isn’t being as included as he should be and he’ll start to wonder why. Keeping him on his toes in this way will make him realise that he needs to put the effort in (by proposing!) so that he can get your undivided effort and attention in the future.

Taking a simpler approach
If you feel like the above are too much like playing a game for you then why not just talk about how you feel? Sometimes the best remedy within any relationship is communication. If you want to get engaged then why not talk to him about why it’s important to you.
If you can tell him why you want to marry him then the likelihood is he’ll know how much he means to you. Sometimes people have the same fears and doubts within a relationship but they are just too afraid to address them with each other. By talking about your future together he’ll know that you want to be a part of it. By giving him that gentle nudge in the right direction you may just be engaged before you know it.

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Some Like it Hot

This outfit was my saviour during the heatwave that hit us just over a week ago- it was great at first, the weekend was amazing, but by the time I had to be back in work and even cold showers weren’t enough to stop the sweat the novelty soon wore off.

It always amuses me how much we wish for good weather and a bit of sun and then when it arrives we all have a complete meltdown. I spend much of my time reminiscing over holidays where it’s not uncommon to reach 40 degrees but happily forget that those are made tolerable by air conditioning and not having to deal with real life as well.

Thankfully I’d made a timely Monki sale purchase that somewhat helped me keep my cool. Somewhat.

Dress: Monki | Sandals: Primark | Necklace: New Look

This entire outfit cost under £20 which I was quite impressed with. The dress (and I love a striped sun dress) was reduced to £12, the sandals just £3 from Primark and the necklace is old but was reduced to about £4 in the New Look sale. Actually, these sandals are the best £3 I’ve spent this year, they’re so comfortable and totally saved my feet from melting last Sunday when I was traipsing around Bristol harbour.

Now that the super hot weather has gone I’m almost feeling nostalgic for it. If only real life didn’t get in the way and it was acceptable to sit in the shade with a glass of something icy cold it would be my perfect weather!

Gold star to me for completely avoiding sun burn though- not an easy achievement when you’re this pale.

How did you fare with the heatwave? Love it or loathe it?

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Everything you need to know about vehicle excise duty in 2017*

So much has changed since I first started learning to drive way back when I was 17 [which makes me feel horrendously old]. A lot of these changes pass me by until I get to the stage where I think I really ought to pick up my lessons again and this time around it seems there are more differences than ever. Not only is it more expensive than ever to run a car thanks to petrol prices- I remember the horror when it went past £1 per litre back in the day! There are also changes to the driving test itself and of course the upcoming changes to vehicle excise duty which I’ve been trying to get my head around and somewhat failing.

Guessing that I’m not alone in find it all very confusing I’m sharing this handy infographic from the brains at used car dealership Motorparks which helps explain things in pretty much the clearest way I’ve seen to date.

I hope that some of you, my lovely readers have found this helpful too. Hopefully this time around I will get myself driving by the end of the year, and at least when I finally do I’m armed with the most up to date knowledge I can find!

What’s changed since you first started driving- if anything? I suspect that most of you are too young for there to have been any changes!

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