Degustabox August 2017

Another month and another delivery from foodie subscription service Degustabox*. Unless you are brand new to my blog (in which case, Hi!) you’ll know this is a regular feature. As with last month I’ve done my absolute best to try everything in the box, but time constraints and wanting to get a post up in a fairly prompt manner means that there are a couple of things I’m yet to sample. I’ll pop up some mini reviews of these on social media when I do try them for anyone who is as curious as I currently am.

For those who don’t yet know, Degustabox* is a monthly food subscription box that gives you the chance to try new and exciting products on the market whilst providing amazing value for money.

Kicking off with the drinks selection, this month we have some coconut water with ginger and vodka from Twisted Halo (£1.50) and limited edition summer bottles from Orangina. I haven’t tried the Vodka drink yet, although it does sound tempting even to my coconut water hating self. I kind of feel like it might be a bit of a gimmick tapping in to the coconut water craze, but the flavour combination sounds lovely and it’s chilling in my fridge just waiting for the weekend.
Orangina is of course nothing new but these summer bottles are worth checking out. It reminds me of long, hot summer days- bought bang up to date with it’s trendy nautical stripes! You can pick these up for £1.20 each.
Tapping in to the “back to school” market is JellySqueeze- jelly in a pouch that is ideal for eating on the go and suitable those who are gluten and lactose free, vegan or vegetarian. I won’t be trying this as I have a long-standing aversion to jelly but they seem like a great idea for lunch boxes and picnics (£0.69 each).
These Light Bites popped chips are a diet product that is exclusive to Superdrug and something I’d ignore on the shelf due to it’s branding. However, they are delicious, especially the pesto and sundried tomato flavour and at under 100 calories per pack are great for anyone counting calories (or to eat two bags at once if you are me- all in the name of a fair review). A bit pricey at 99p a bag, but a nice treat.
I love noodles and these packs from Maggi are great. These “fusian” noodles come infused with sauce and veggies and create a light meal or side in only four minutes- a great emergency dinner and super tasty. £1.39 per pack.
I think I’ve mentioned my love of condiments before and Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce (£1.89) is a welcome addition to my cupboard. Delivery more tang than spice I’ve been putting this on literally everything- pizza, pasta, fish, meat…you name it and I’ve tried it!
Helmans mayonnaise needs no introduction or a review but this squeezy bottle is a no fuss, no mess solution to picnics and BBQs and a handy size if you’re not a frequent consumer (£1.69).
When I was growing up Seabrook crisps were a weekend treat- my favourite back then, and still is now the salt & vinegar flavour- so packed full of taste and at £1.00 for a multipack of six (also contains sea salted and cheese & onion) they are a bit of a bargain too.
Saving the best ’til last, I always look forward to the monthly sweet treats in Degustabox! This month we had Curlywurly Squirlies (£1.99) which are bite size Curlywurly bars in a sharing (hah!) format, as well as Cadbury Dairy Milk big taste toffee whole nut (£0.65) which I passed to my Dad- we reviewed the large format of this bar a couple of months ago and it was a hit, so this single serving bar was needless to say, also a winner.

Refreshers sweets were another childhood favourite and they’ve now been reinvented in to a softies format (£1.00). All the fizz you remember but in a soft and chewy sweet instead- I’d say these aren’t quite as fizzy and I still prefer the original but at the same time I happily worked my way through this bag.

Last but not least comes the Black ‘N White PICK UP! bar from Bahlsen (£1.69) which I think I reviewed once before. A delicious bar of white chocolate sandwiched between two chocolate flavour biscuits- these are so good. Seriously. It’s just as well they are individually wrapped because otherwise I’d be tempted to see the entire pack as a serving size.

On a month by month basis the box costs £12.99 (with a discount for longer subscriptions) but the contents are generally worth far more than this as you can see if you do the maths.
If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim a brilliant £7.00 off of your first box (making it just £5.99!) by entering the code 6HZJ8 at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

Baring all with Quiz Clothing

2017 has been the first year in a considerable while where I haven’t had a wedding or other special event to go to. I still love a cheeky browse of occasion dresses though, especially as one of my cousins got engaged at the weekend so there is definitely at least one wedding on the horizon.

I was recently contacted by Quiz Clothing who matched me with the dreamiest, most stunning dress- and whilst it might be a bit OTT for a wedding I’m very much hoping that I can find some cause to wear this other than prancing around the garden.

Dress c/o Quiz Clothing (here) | Shoes: Mary Portas at Clarks (old)

If I were shopping for a dress then nude wouldn’t be a colour I’d usually consider, I’d long ago dismissed it as a bit…naked looking if I’m honest and not something that would suit me.
Popping this sequin adorned maxi dress on though and I’m converted. For the time it took to get these photos I felt like a complete princess- I wish it was acceptable to dress like this every day!

The process of getting these photos did stir up a few conflicting feelings though. As I said, this dress really does make me feel like a princess but at the same time it clings, it sticks to curves I’m only just starting to see appear. It hammers home just how much my body has changed in the last few months and of course that is a bittersweet moment.

My main issue right now is that I’m only about 50 percent of the way through the weight gain process, but in my mind, thanks to the twisted grasp of an eating disorder I’m already there and beyond. Putting on an outfit like this can really play havoc with that mindset and it’s actually taken a huge amount of courage to post these photos due to how I see them vs. how I’m assured the rest of the world (well, my readers) will see them.

And still I persist. Onwards and onwards to a life where I don’t care that my arms aren’t stick like, that my stomach isn’t concave and my face is fuller. In the past I’ve always had in the back of my mind that if I don’t feel good at my target weight I can always go back- as warped as that sounds. This time I don’t have that. This time it’s final and I refuse to entertain ever going backwards again. It’s making this whole journey that much more difficult whilst I’m going through it- but the future? MY future? That excites me in ways I can’t even begin to explain.

Back in to the world of fashion & shopping now and I am absolutely loving some of the new arrivals on the Quiz Clothing website. I’ve always advocated them on the blog but right now there is literally SO much I want- if you’re looking for affordable and on trend wardrobe updates then do pop along and check them out…as you can see, they’re particularly good for a fancy dress or two.


Ruffle Up

New season styles are hitting the shops and on my recent foray in to town, despite being reluctant to buy anything from the Autumn/Winter collections because it’s supposedly still Summer I couldn’t resist the lure of some quite trans-seasonal pieces from Zara. I have a love-hate relationship with Zara, it’s one of those shops where I go in sometimes and find absolutely nothing, and then I go in perhaps a few weeks later and love everything I see.
My last visit to the Cabot Circus store saw me fall in love with just about every item (including these rather fabulous trousers which I’d never wear, but if I was rich I’d buy them just to look at!). This blue dress with it’s sporty aesthetic and ruffle detail front isn’t the sort of thing I’d ever consider but the bright colour jumped out and me and I figured I had nothing to lose by trying it on.

Sometimes it pays to step out of your comfort zone. I love the relaxed fit of this dress and it’s bold colour combination. I couldn’t resist jazzing it up further with my pink Puma trainers- the perfect way to liven up those dull and dreary days that seem to be coming ever more frequent.

This was one of two pieces I picked up from Zara, the other I will eventually get round to posting when I ever get some spare time. Life is very busy right now, hence the sudden decline in the amount of posts I’ve been putting up. It’s not going to get any better for the next few weeks- a new venture at work and then a week away in Scotland with my boyfriend are both going to get in the way. But I wouldn’t change it for the world- I spent 2016 quite literally on hold with my life and now things are picking up it feels full on, but also that I’m making up for lost time.

Hopefully by mid-September things will be calming down and I might even be feeling more inspired when it comes to content for the blog. If you have any suggestions of what you’d like to see then do feel free to leave them in the comments, I’m all for out-sourcing my ideas.


Pop Quiz- How well do you know your vehicle badges?*

Here’s a little brain bender for you this weekend, this quiz, produced by quality used vans specialists Van Monster is here to test how well you really know the badges you’ll find on cars made by some of the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturers.

Now, I’m no car buff but even I’m quietly confident I can do ok at this one. With some fun trivia along the way it’s time to get started- no cheating!


How many rings are found on the Audi badge?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

How many chevrons are on the Citroën badge?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

What colour is the background of the FIAT badge?
A. Red
B. White
C. Black
D. Blue

On the Ford badge, which letters does the top part of the ‘F’ go over?
A. It doesn’t go over any of the letters
B. It goes over the ‘o’ only
C. It goes over the ‘o’ and the ‘r’
D. It goes over the ‘o’, the ‘r’ and the ‘d’

How many points are there on the Mercedes-Benz badge?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

How many diamonds are found on the Mitsubishi badge?
A. 4
B. 3
C. 2
D. 1

Which way does the lion face on the Peugeot badge?
A. Left
B. Right

On the outside of the Renault badge, how many corners are there?
A. 4
B. 5
C. 6
D. 7

How many ovals make up the Toyota badge?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

Which way does the griffin face on the Vauxhall badge?
A. Left
B. Right

(Photo by Demi Kwant on Unsplash)


1. D
The four rings reflect Germany’s four oldest car makers — Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer.

2. B
The double chevron — or reversed pair of letter Vs — represents the paired helical gears that Citroën founder Andre Citroën developed and patented. Such technology is now a vital component of a vehicle’s setup.

3. A
For a long time, the FIAT badge consisted of the brand’s four letters — standing for Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino—sitting on a blue background. However, the vehicle giant decided to replace the blue background with red in 2006 as a way of creating a modern and up-to-date emblem.

4. C
The script used on the letters of the Ford badge is known as ‘script with wings’. This is evident by the fact that the ‘F’ of the badge is long-tailed.

5. C
The three-pointed star of the Mercedes-Benz badge represents the company’s ambition to dominate the land, air and sea with their engines.

6. B
To understand the Mitsubishi badge, we first have to understand the meaning of the brand’s name. This is because the name is a combination of the words mitsu (meaning three) and hishi (meaning water chestnut but often used by Japanese people to denote a rhombus or diamond shape). Take note that the Japanese language often sees the h sound being bent into a b sound when it occurs in the middle of a word.

7. A
A lion was chosen for the logo of Peugeot way back in 1847, at a time when the company produced saw blades and various other tools. The animal aimed to reflect the strength and suppleness of the saws that Peugeot created.

8. C
Renault first started using a diamond emblem on its badge in 1925, with the design a significant change to the company’s first logo — a logo that consisted of the intertwined initials of Louis, Marcel and Fernand; the Renault brothers.

9. C
The three ovals found on the Toyota badge combine in a horizontally symmetrical configuration. The outer oval is used to symbolize the world embracing Toyota. Inside this are two perpendicular ovals, one representing the heart of the customer and the other the heart of the company. The reason the pair overlap is to reflect a mutually beneficial relationship and trust between the two elements.

10. B
We have to rewind all the way to the 13th century to understand how the Vauxhall badge came to be. Back then, mercenary soldier Fulks le Breant was granted the Manor of Luton by King John and given a house in Lambeth, London. Fulks le Breant chose to name this building Fulks hall, though this name would alter to Vauxhall over time. So why the griffin? Simple; it was the coat of arms of Fulks le Breant.

How did you do? Leave your scores in the comments (for the record, I did not do anywhere near as well as I might have hoped, scoring a paltry 5- that’ll teach me to be smug about my potential knowledge!)


Cosmic Vibes

The other week, fuelled by good news for us both from work Mum and I popped on the bus and headed in to Cabot Circus for a long overdue girly shopping trip. It had been forever since we last managed to do this and it was so nice to spend some time browsing the new season arrivals, having a lazy lunch and generally catching up.

Of course one of our first stops was Monki, as ever they have some amazing pieces in right now- my wish list is huge. Sadly my budget is not huge so I had to limit myself to just a couple of bits this time round but I’m setting aside some money for another treat in the not too distant future.

Dress: Monki (here) | Boots: River Island

I absolutely love this print, it reminds me of outer space and the entire range of items with it on have made their way on to my wish list (how awesome are these trousers?)

I’ve said before how much I love Monki and their over-sized dress style, perfect for someone who’s still on the weight restoration journey and generally ideal for chilling out and relaxing in whilst still looking cool. I paired the dress with my rose gold ankle boots for a girly dinner date with my best friends but I’ve also worn it with my standard Converse/Pink Puma trainers for more casual vibes.

Do excuse the state of my hair right now. It is LONG overdue a cut and colour, the 29th of August cannot come soon enough! I decided to try and stretch it out for four months rather than three and the regret is hitting hard!