July’s Summer Degustabox

I feel like a broken record saying this- but where has the month gone? It seems like only a few days ago I was last sitting down to write my June Degustabox review and yet here we are again with July’s box- this time on a Summer theme.

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.

First up, some of the drinks included in this month’s box. I was really excited to see the Blossom Hill Spritz in Lemon and Elderflower as to me that is the ultimate Summer flavour combination. This is designed to be a fresh and fruity twist on wine and it really is. Perfect with ice and a slice!. There were also some soft drinks included from Thor- I don’t have the product information on these but I’m sure I recognise them from previous boxes and they’ve been well received.
Regular readers will know I tend to skip over the drinks part of the box as I’m not really a soft drinks or juices person but even I couldn’t resist trying some of this Mango and Passionfruit juice drink from Crafted. Again, a complete winner of flavour combinations and there is no added sugar or sweetener in the drinks. A serving of this counts as one of your five a day and it’s a great soft drink to break out at a BBQ.
There was a voucher in this month’s box for a big tub kids yoghurt from The Collective. I’m yet to find this available locally (small town life) but I hope I do as the banana and vanilla flavour is right up my street. There just aren’t enough banana flavour yoghurts on the market so I can’t wait to try this one.
The product of the month was these Rowntree’s Randoms 30% less sugar sweets which I have tried before. They pretty much taste just like the sweets we know and love but contain less sugar as well as no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. These are pretty good sweets- sugar addicted boyfriend approved!
One of my favourite things about Summer eating is putting together snacky plates of crackers, olives and hummus. These new Ryvita thins in three cheese haven’t been opened yet but look very appealing based on the packaging and perfect as part of a picnic or snack platter. The olives from Oloves were one of the first things to be eaten from this month’s box. I love olives and these snack pouches are just so handy! Seasoned with chilli, garlic and oregano they are a perfectly portable healthy snack.
These are the products I’m yet to try- Maille Dijon Original which apparently makes a good accompaniment to steak. I’m not a fan of mustard or steak so will pass this on to someone to try out, but it does look good! I’ve had the merchant gourmet simply cook red and white quinoa before so can vouch for this! It’s ready to eat but can be heated as well and makes a great base for a summer salad, or a side dish as an alternative to rice. We use Frylight a lot in this house as I have an aversion to the texture of actual oils so I’m looking forward to trying this new Avocado variety. You can use this for pan frying, roasting, stir fries etc and to me it’s a store cupboard staple.
I love Weetabix and I love their new additions range. Coconut and raisin is a really lovely, summery flavour combination that I’ve been enjoying as both breakfast and as a snack. Served with ice cold milk (but not too much, they can’t be too soggy!) I highly recommend these.
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.
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.

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Festival Fun with Essence

Festivals are a real excuse to go wild with your makeup- not that I’ve been to any festivals in the last few years but that doesn’t mean I can’t embrace the spirit a bit and brighten up my look for the Summer. Especially not when you have a brand like Essence who not only excel at bright and bold products but also are so reasonably priced you won’t mind if you end up losing them in the inevitable mud bath of a camp site.
I was recently sent a selection of new and cult Essence products and I’ve popped together a little guide to some of my favourite festival essentials.
There were a few products in this selection I was especially excited for- that highlighter? I had such high hopes…and prismatic lipgloss is exactly what I’ve been craving in my lip product arsenal.
Coloured eyeliners are such an easy way to add a pop of colour to your look and Essence’s kajal range costs just £1 each. I’m loving the shade “beach bum” at the moment, it’s great for jazzing up my usually subtle every day makeup and for such a cheap product it applies, and lasts so well.

Waterproof mascara isn’t a product I’ve ever really rated but even I’ll concede it’s been incredibly useful lately with this crazy humid weather we’ve been experiencing here in the UK. I’m already a fan of Essence’s “all eyes on me mascara” so the waterproof version was never going to let me down. You really can’t beat a multi-effect mascara at just £2.

Essence nail products are one of the highlights of the entire brand in my opinion. I was particularly excited by the “out of space stories” polish with it’s amazing iridescent effect. The range also includes holographic and metallic polishes and I can’t wait to try them all.

Other highlights include these cut out manicure stencils. I’m hopeless at nail art so to have such a fool proof way to achieve it is great. This is a 51 piece set, amazing for £1 and the design potential is endless. Major motivation to a) grow my nails and b) actually paint them more often right there!

I have a real weak spot for prismatic effect makeup at the moment so both the lip gloss and highlighter were the products I was most desperate to try. The lipgloss in the shade “smile, sparkle, shine” is a gorgeous wet look baby pink with just enough prismatic effect to add a little something extra but still be wearable enough for every day.

The highlighter looks a bit daunting in it’s packaging with it’s bright and bold packaging, but applied with a light hand the shades blend together seamlessly to provide a gorgeous, prismatic glow. I’m really impressed with this, especially as it only costs £3.50- the quality and finish it provides would have you believe it’s from a much more high-end brand.

So there we have it. As ever Essence have bowled me over with their clever combination of high fashion makeup and crazy low prices.
This is a brand that really excites me, I’m always looking forward to seeing what they come out with next.

Available in selected Wilko stores and from Wilko.com . Products sent to me for blog consideration but opinions are my own. Let me know if you decide to give any of these a go or if you’ve discovered any gems lately.

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Globenfeld Men’s Chronograph Watch review & giveaway

It’s always a bonus when the benefits that sometimes come with having a blog can be extended to your nearest and dearest. I was recently given the opportunity to receive a Men’s watch from Globenfeld which I took great pleasure in being able to give to my boyfriend who had not all that long ago made noises about wanting a watch.

Now, I’m no expert on Men’s watches, although my obsession with Women’s ones are well documented but between us we decided we’re a fan of this particular one. Big fans. So much of a fan that boyfriend has managed not to lose it yet- impressive with his track record!

It’s a chunky and weighty looking watch although actually it is quite light to wear thanks to the durable rubber strap. It makes a statement without being too in your face and also appears to be highly durable, although at present this hasn’t been truly tested (it’s only a matter of time, I’m telling you).

The attention to detail on this watch is great- from it’s textured dial to the illuminated hands and numerals. It also features a calendar and stop watch function which is something I had previously associated with only digital watches.

The watch also comes very well presented in it’s box meaning it’d make the perfect gift, as far as watches go it is reasonably priced at just under £70 (a significant reduction on the £375 RRP!) and comes with a 90 day money back guarantee- just in case.

Now the real perk of this particular blog post is that not only did I get to pass on a perk to my boyfriend, I also get to pass one along to a lucky reader. I have a second watch to giveaway and if you fancy your chances then just follow the simple entry steps below.

Win a Globenfeld Chrono Watch #1

Good Luck!

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The Ultimate Summer Glow with Rimmel London

I’m not usually a bronzer kind of girl- for 11 months of the year at least. And then we get that rare window of time, as we creep in to July and everyone around me looks golden and gorgeous and I still give skimmed milk a run for it’s money in the translucent stakes.

It’s then I frantically start my search for the perfect army of glow givers- the products that will make it look like my skin has actually seen sunlight and reacted to it rather than stubbornly refuse to acknowledge those rays. I’m yet to find my “go-to” products so I was pretty excited when a selection from Rimmel popped through my door, just in time for that yearly mission.

*products c/o Rimmel*

My main bugbear with bronzer type products is that they are almost always too dark for my skin, and near impossible to blend so I approached this selection with some caution…there’s a fine line between a bit of colour on your cheeks and just looking, well, a bit grubby.
The Insta Duo Contour Stick is a great addition to your holiday makeup bag as it contains a highlighter and contour shade in one handy stick. I don’t get on with contouring as a rule so probably wouldn’t have purchased this product myself, but the highlighter shade (in light) is wonderful especially blended in to where the sun would naturally hit.
I already own one of these Kate Moss Sculpting Palette (in coral) and love it so I was keen to try the Golden Bronze version. Again I skipped over the darkest shade, but the highlighter and blushers are wonderful and blend nicely to give a great Summer hint of colour. This is another product that would be perfect to take on holiday due to it’s three in one nature and at £6.99 for what is effectively three products it’s a bit of a bargain.
My first thought on this Radiance Shimmer Brick was that it would be far too dark for me, but applied with a light hand and some careful blending it’s actually really not. This is probably my favourite bronzing product I have tried to date and it gives some serious radiance with it’s multiple tones. I’ll be using this all through the Summer months- and probably stocking up whilst the Rimmel range is on offer in Superdrug.
I didn’t actually try the Sunshimmer Instant Tan as I was sent the medium matte shade which I just knew would be far too dark. I really like the idea of an instant matte tan though, and at £6.99 I might pick up the light version to see what’s what. I’ve only ever fake tanned a handful of times in my life as, well, frankly I’m too impatient…but with instant results and a shower off formula I don’t see a reason not to give this a go if I get any special invites over the Summer months.
What are your go to bronzing products? I’m especially interested in hearing from fellow pale people.

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Post contains press samples and affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

The June 2017 (BBQ) Degustabox

I honestly don’t know where time is going lately. Life has become incredibly busy and whilst I usually try to do a thorough review of each Degustabox* this month it’s more of an over-view and summary as I’ve literally run out of time to try everything included in the box!

This month the box had a BBQ theme, perfectly fitting for June even if it is currently pouring with rain and really quite chilly. I’m not 100% sure how everything in this box fits in with the theme to be honest but as ever there was a good selection and I’ll never not enjoy this monthly delivery.

So first up is an interesting sounding Brazilian chilli and coconut quick cook sauce from Capsicana which retails at £1.99. This is one of the products that I haven’t had a chance to try yet but the flavour combination sounds delicious and I’m looking forward to trying this out with chicken, peppers and onions as the brand suggests.
As is probably common knowledge by now I’m not a soft drinks girl but these energy juices from ENRJ do look appealing. The flavours sound great- Mango & Passionfruit and Apple & Berries. I’m definitely going to give these a go ASAP- at £1.75 they aren’t cheap but made from real ingredients (nothing artificial), no added sugar, under 100 calories per bottom and one of your five a day I think they’ll make a great occasional splurge.
Haribo! Here’s a product I immediately found time to try! These Summer Frenzy editions of classic favourites Starmix and Tangfastics are both delicious in my eyes. The Tangfastics have the edge for me with their ice cream flavours, the Starmix are berry flavoured which are also good but I’m a sucker for the sour. RRP £1 per pack.
Another product I haven’t tried is these light bites which I’ve seen for sale in my local Superdrug. I’ve been hesitant to try these because these are clearly marketed as a diet product but they do sound tempting and I think I will tuck in soon (solution- eat twice as many!) The mango and vanilla yoghurt fruit chips sound great, and at 46 calories per bag are great for anyone watching their weight. The superfood fruit bar is packed with goji berries, chia seeds, strawberries, blueberries and pumpkin seeds- all for under 100 calories. The fruit chips cost £1.49 per bag and the bar is £1.25. Expensive, but great for dieters needing convenience.
This month’s product of the month is these Original O’s savoury cumin and sesame nibbles. These are ridiculously addictive, I didn’t think I liked cumin until I tried these. These are great for sharing, if you can bring yourself to…at £2.99 probably best reserved for special occasions only but worth the splurge.
Cider is a staple at any summer BBQ around these parts so these Westons Ciders are bound to go down a treat. Here we have Rosie’s Pig flat tyre- a cloudy cider with rhubarb and Rosie’s Pig handbrake is a cloudy cider with damson. I haven’t tried these, I’m not a cider fan at all- although as soon as someone cracks open the Rhubarb one I’m sneaking a swig.
Schwartz packets are a staple in our cupboards and these new Authentic American Flavours are very exciting to me. There are five products in the range and here we have BBQ pulled chicken and Spicy Buffalo Wings. I haven’t had time to make them yet but as soon as the weather improves enough to get the grill out I’m there.
Eisberg alcohol free wine has popped up a few times in Degustabox and always goes down well at gatherings for the designated drivers and dieters. Made in the same way as your favourite wine but minus the alcohol this has only 28 calories per 125ml glass and is really quite excellent served with ice.

Berrywhite Organic Drinks have also turned up in Degustabox before and here we have an organic lemon and lime variant. Another expensive beverage at £1.39 each but 10% of the profit goes to the Berrywhite Foundation and they have no added sugar or artificial ingredients AND contain one of your five a day (oh, and it tastes really rather good!)

I’m not sure what granola has to do with BBQs but I am a fiend for granola so I was excited to see this in the box until I realised it has peanuts in which I can’t eat. Still, it sounds delicious and I’ve passed this on to my equally addicted Grandfather- I’m awaiting his verdict and will report back.
I’m also not sure what shortbread has to do with BBQ but who doesn’t love a biscuit? I’m a long term fan of Walkers shortbread and these Scottie Dogs are adorable- almost too good to eat. I could eat these all day every day if nutrition wasn’t a concern…shortbread fans seek these out!
For those who don’t know Degustabox is a monthly subscription box filled with 10-15 food/drink products, most of which are brand new to the market so it’s a great way to try things out. 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.
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.

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