Monday 30 September 2013

Motivational Monday...

As it being a monday, a fresh new start to a week, I wanted to give you some motivation! I personally love Mondays, it's a new beginning and you can make this week as great as you want to! It's in your hands.

Here are some quotes I gathered that fit me in my life right now and hopefully make you feel... well, motivated!

... embrace it!

I hope this has made you like Mondays a little more and make your week go smoothly!
images from here, here and here

Friday 27 September 2013

Haul: Longchamp Le Pliage


I thought I'd write my first haul on this blog for you to see - don't you think it's pretty fun to see what other people buy? Or am I just really nosey like that ( need to hide it!) ?! Anyway, we have a little festival, called Raksha Bandhan sometime in August where the sisters tie a 'bracelet' around their brother to represent ideas the the sister will care for the brother, the brother returns protection of their sister - we do this every year! As well as that, the sister offers the brother a sweet treat and the brother gives a present - often money.... basically, the girl gets money - yay! haha Who would say no to that?! 

I am the only sister out of 6 brothers. Well, I have one brother and 5 cousins who don't have sisters, so I also tie the bracelet on them - more protection for me! Anyway, so this year I received money, the same as every year, and surprisingly: a present! The present was totally unexpected. It was a gorgeous Bare Minerals gift set! Watch this space for a post if that too...

Anyway, so I decided to invest some of the money I received on a designer bag! I don't really have many big branded bags and wanted to treat myself! I chose the popular Longchamp Le Pliage bag...

I know that everyone and their mother seems to have the Le Pliage, but many people have fake bags and that's one thing I find irritating - I mean, you can buy look-a-likes as much as you want, but if you're going to buy one with the logo of a designer brand yet at a very small fraction of the price, it is likely to be made in sweatshops where people are exploited. Essentially, buying these fake brands we're encouraging sweatshops...
Not only that, the bag would not be as much value as to if we were to save up for the genuine thing!

I chose mine in the colour 'Taupe'. To be honest I was not sure which colour I wanted to purchase - there are a wide range of colours to choose from in the Le Pliage range, seen on the website, and I wanted to invest in one that I would use a lot.

At first I had these colours in mind: Red, Plum, Black, Beige/Cream. I did NOT want the Navy one what-so-ever as they're too common these days! I was torn between a bold colour or a neutral! Hence you can see the split between the colour choices I had.

I went to the store, thinking that the colour I love would just stick out to me - however, as we all know, the perfect bag doesn't just fall out of the sky and land in our shopping baskets - so it wasn't as easy as I thought! Yet, I've got to admit I wasn't too fussy: I asked the shop assistant which she recommended out of the first three I picked up after a quick look at the collection:  Black, Camel and Taupe.

She said that the Camel was very summery, the Black would go with everything but may be too plain and the Taupe is great for all seasons. Instantly my heart fell for the Taupe.

The Taupe goes with many outfits, is a neutral yet not to plain nor too bold - just perfect! I love the material of the bag and moreover, I love that I know it's genuine - and I'll use it loads.

Additionally, it is so practical! I bought the large as all my college work fits in with ease as well as if I don't need it I could fold it up and out of the way! LOVE, LOVE and LOVE!

So, tell me, what colour would you pick?

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Recipe: My FAVOURITE Chai Tea Latte


I am OBSESSED with Chai Tea. Not just any chai tea, but MY chai tea latte - with fresh flavours and all authentic-ness!

My family and I have separate teas in the morning - the same type of tea, just made differently. Loads of people find that extremely weird and at first my family did too! There are so many ways of making chai tea lattes - most of which I have not tried such as the Iced Soy Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks or Iced Chai Tea Lattes in general....

My Chai Tea Latte may seem like 'effort' to make but to me its worth it!

- 3/4 cups water
- 1/4 cups milk of choice (personal favourite: Almond milk)
- 1 teaspoon black tea leaves (or 1 teabag)
- little bit of Ginger
- 3 Cloves
- some Cinnamon
- dash Black Pepper
- smaller dash Nutmeg
- some Cardamon

- add water, boiled to make it quicker, spices (except cardamon) and tea leaves on stove
- let it boil and boil up a little, when it does, add milk
- add cardamon
- keep on stove until it boils up again
- then it's done!

Well, as you can see not all of the ingredients are very precise... that's because I just kind of throw things together - what I really like about this recipe is that it's very flexible. If I feel like having more cinnamon then I'll add more cinnamon, if I want more ginger, I'll add more ginger! It's very good that way (just make sure you don't add too much nutmeg and black pepper, it can go terribly wrong)!

You may find this not nice at all but I love it. To be honest, I don't use these exact measurements as I'm quite cheeky and make 2 cups out of this... yes, 2 cups JUST FOR ME! I love this and recently have been having it at least once a day (technically twice a day as I make it yield 2 cups - but I have 2 cups at once, so once a day? This is all way too confusing!). The way I make it 2 cups is by adding more water and milk but leaving the spices the same.

Anyway, now that it's autumn and the weather is colder, it feels even better to sip on this!

The way my family makes chai tea latte with 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk (cow's milk), 1 tsp tea leaves, 2 tsp sugar per cup (as well as a pinch of ground chai tea spice)! If you want to try that, its nice too - mine's just a little extra and has a lot of spices!

What's your favourite morning drink? Are you a coffee or tea drinker?
Leave a comment!

Sunday 22 September 2013

Autumn/Winter 2013 Makeup Trends


Firstly, I want to say Hello Fall! Today marks the first day of fall, hence why I decided to write this for today! Many people think that Fall/Autumn starts on the 1st of September but it's actually towards the end of September - huh? Who woulda known? haha!

Okay, so I was going through many articles on Fashion Week, and 2014 summer/spring trends that I thought I'd just take one step back and put together a Fall-Autumn (whatever you want to call it) and Winter 2013 Makeup trends - talk about living in the moment, hey?!

So there were some that really stood out to me:

Focus on the EYES
The eyes are the 'centre-piece' of this makeup look - this would be perfect for a night out, also blue compliments many eye shades, so it is definitely something you can try out. Also note the nude-ish lips and cheek colour - and how they're very much the same shade. That's also trendy.

Liquid-Lined Liner
Liquid liner was seen in a variety of places, Alexander Wang had a very simple thin lined look as well as nude everything - very minimalistic - and on the contrary was this Dolce & Gabbana thicker flicked feminine line. As well as this, notice the blood red, almost vampy lips - also very popular.

Lashes Ahoy!
Okay the 'Ahoy!' was very summery and out-of-season of me, I apologise! ;)
This image captures the trend of bold brows as well as the full lashes. Not only that, also see the same nude lips and cheek colour effect as earlier (this time by Emilio Pucci)
This image features the full lashes, thick, flicked liner and blood red lips - a very classic look, presented in this image by Dolce & Gabbana, that never gets old and is again on trend this year. Check out my Review for my FAVOURITE mascara here

Smoked Out
Finally, the dark eyeshadow from the first image is matched in another classic: the Smoky Eye. Paired with nude lips and cheeks, this is another great evening look, easily pulled off and something that will forever be in style

Okay, so that's it, fellow glam-ista's! 
Let me know you're looking forward to/enjoying this season! 

& Check out this post for fall fashion! 
images from: here

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Good Things Skincare - Review


Now I haven't really written/spoken to you about skin care... like, ever. Which is quite weird because I want to be a dermatologist in the future - so like a skin care specialist...hmm...

Anyway, there's a lot you may or may not know about me... well, did you know: I used to have hormonal cystic acne. Yep, was as disgusting as it sounds, trust me. I've had a lot of ups and downs with my skin and it was definitely a huge confidence-deflater for me and when my skin cleared up - let me tell you, it was a slow, long process and didn't happen overnight - everyone and their mothers would ask me my "secret"... and that would make me feel a little angry as when I was in the process on clearing up my acne, these same people were the ones who gave me dirty looks and making me feel insecure - well, who's laughing now?

Okay, it's not me laughing because guess what? I have quite a few spots again.
 Now let me tell you from experience: your skin doesn't depend on simply just what you put ON your face. It depends on a whole load of things such as mental health - who gets pimples when they're stressed? This girl... - what goes into your body and even the pollution levels in the place you live. When I went to a quite countryside/village for a holiday in February this year, my skin was amazing, because the pollution level was low and I felt my skin got a nice 'detox'!

Anyway, so when I go to buy new skincare products I try to find what will work best for me (duh!), but I have combination/oily skin, so I keep that in mind when shopping!
So, I went to Boots one day and saw this line:

Good Things sounds amazing for spot prone oily/combination skin, plus the packaging is gorgeous and totally drew me in!

First of all, this smells GORGEOUS! It's like fruity and 'girly' and a great scent to fall into bed with! It lingers even after you've rinsed it off and I can't say I hate it.
Besides the smell, the actual product is a gel like consistency, which is meant to be perfect for oily skin. Also, it is clear in colour.

The product doesn't really create a lather, foam or suds - I personally prefer this as it feels silky on the skin and you really feel like you're living in luxury and truly pampering yourself when putting this on. The skin feels soft when the product is rinsed off and doesn't feel like the skin is stripped of natural oils.

However, the product has downfalls...
It broke me out.
At first I was in love with this product but after a couple of weeks of uses I noticed my spots coming back. The first few times a pimple popped up I blamed it for other reasons, such as stress or a bad diet, but then found that they may be factors as well as this product.
Good Things Facial Cleanser went straight in the bin.

Overall, I do recommend you give this a go if you have oily skin and would like to try a gel cleanser - if you don't like strong/lingering scents STAY AWAY. If you're like me and LOVE the scent, try it!
I actually have very sensitive skin too, so very few products work for me - if you find your skin is slightly less sensitive, then I suggest trying it.

Unfortunately this was a stay away product for me and I will not be repurchasing.

Hope you liked the review, what's your go-to cleanser when the spots come out?
Leave a comment!

Monday 16 September 2013

Graze Box Review & Get it FREE!


Hope you have settled into a new routine, whether it be for school, college, getting ready for uni, work or whatever it may be/you may be going this new academic year. With start of school there comes an idea of healthy breakfasts to get you through the day, substantial school lunches and after school snacks!
With snacks you tend to just grab the first thing in sight, normally not something you would have picked if you were not so in a rush to get the food in your mouth! Well, with Graze it is easy to pick something up from the pretty box and enjoy the taste, get the nutritional benefit and try something new!

If you don't know what Graze is, have never heard of it before or just want to know more about it, read on...

Graze is the foodie version of Glossy Box. This is where you receive a box every week/fortnight/month with deluxe samples of new products to try out - by products I mean food! So, yes, you get an assemble of food delivered to your door!

My first Graze Box was crumpled in the post :(
What I like about the service is that you can have a say in what you would like in your next box. You can rate the products you see online from 'Bin/Never Send to Love/Send Soon' - this means you will likely to not be sent anything that would go to waste! AND, this is just a sample, so you won't be wasting a lot if you don't like it - and if you do like it, you can always buy more/bigger bulks! How great!

I mean nowadays when you go to the supermarket, there are SO many things on the shelf - how likely are you to pick out something new when your usual favourites are sitting nearby? That means you're not going to be able to try many things and will usually stick to the same old - however, with Graze, you can try the products before you buy - and who knows, maybe you'll find new favourites?

In my first graze box I received: lemon and poppy cake with an afternoon infusion tea, salt and vinegar nut selection, cookies and cream trail mix, tomato dipinetti... My brother ate the tomato dipinetti and I didn't get to try it :(
Oh well, I personally didn't like the salt and vinegar nut selection yet the cake was quite nice - and it was only 84 calories!

The thing that I really liked about Graze was that all the foods are nutritionally beneficial to you. It is lovely and when the box arrives at your door you know you're in for a treat!

I received the first box absolutely free, and you can do the same! Click HERE to use my gift code to you and enjoy a free graze box delivered to your door!

Or: Enter this code on - DLHLLR1D
There is no commitment that you have to make to buy any Graze Boxes if you don't want to - how awesome?!

That's it - so nutritiously indulge in a free box from me and let me know what you think of it!

Disclaimer: Graze is NOT sponsoring BerryBloomXO and doesn't even know about this post! :D

Thursday 12 September 2013

BerryHealthy: Vita Coco - Quench your thirst!


How are you? Looking forward to the colder weather or missing summer already? Well, if you're anything like me, you LOVE the fresh fruits and foods that summer brings! Well, one of those things are COCONUTS.

Actually, coconuts are available year round in a lot of countries, but it just feels more fun to drink the cool coconut water in the summer. However, if you live in England, or colder places, coconuts don't grow on trees on the side of the road - Oh, I wish!

So, instead of that, I bought a big box of Vita Coco from Costco the other day! Vita Coco is packaged pure coconut water. It has an array of benefits which makes me love it even more!

"Vita Coco's all natural, super-hydrating, fat-free, cholesterol-free, nutrient-packed, potassium-stacked, mega-electrolyte coconut water!" is what it says on the bottle. Basically, I love anything coconut. Coconut has a huge nutritional benefit hype going on right now - actually I even used Coconut Oil in these cookies and the taste was incredible!

Anyway, did you know: Vita Coco has more potassium than a banana! Potassium is needed to reduce the sodium in your body. It is actually said that most people lack enough potassium in their diet1 and potassium relieves the body from stroke, blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, anxiety and stress as well as MORE benefits (that you can always google... hehe!). By the way, other coconut water brands include Zico and I think I've even seen a Sainbury's brand coconut water... but I've always like Vita Coco!

As well as a great source of potassium, Vita Coco has electrolytes which I didn't know what they do, but after some research discovered: Electrolytes are electrically-charged substances that are found in your urine, blood and other bodily fluids. You know how people always say that drinking your own urine is really good for you? Well, maybe this is why. Basically, electrolytes are great to replenish your body of any fluids that may have been excreted - that is why sports drinks (which contain electrolytes) are drunk after exercise: to ensure that the body is not deprived of any necessary fluid!

Anyway, as well as all these amazing benefits of coconut water, it tastes amazing! So, give Vita Coco a go! :D

Have you tried it before? And loads of people I know do not like bananas (I LOVE THEM) so this is a great source of potassium!

Monday 9 September 2013

Nail of the Day: Lilac Sparkles!


I feel like it's been ages since I have done a nail of the day post, actually the only other one I had done was this one and you guys seemed to like it. Anyway, normally I don't tend to paint my nails much during the school year - basically have a pale pink or clear on if anything - that's because in my previous school nail polish was not allowed. Some of you may be like: "WHAT, you're not allowed to paint your nails?? Did you go to a prison school?", well, to answer that, no - I didn't go to a prison school, actually I don't think I've ever seen a prison in real life.. hmm...

Okay, ANYWAY, that was way OTT! But anyway, you actually may be thinking: "Yeah, I'm not allowed nail polish, either", so maybe it's not that weird! ANYWAY, again, back to the paint - I mean point.
What I was trying to get at was that most of the time I actually get to paint my nails was in the holidays, now that I can paint them all the time I might be able to get a little more creative juices flowing!

So, right now it is September - DUH - and it's seen as Fall season, however, fall isn't actually until AFTER the 20th of September and right now it's hot in England, I think it's the hottest September since 7 years! Woah! So, I decided to make the most of this weather and use the final summer colour of the year - my pick: a Lavender. If you look back to my summer nail picks/trends post you will see that Lilac was one of my personal picks, hence the reason I chose it.

To give a little extra kick and interest, I made my index fingers and ring fingers accent nails with a silver glitter top coat (Barry M).

So, yes, that's it! That's my NOTD
Hope You Enjoyed!
What's your favourite FALL Nail colour? Leave a comment!

Friday 6 September 2013

BerryReads: About a Girl, Lindsey Kelk

How have you been? Enjoying the last of your summer and making the most of it? I hope you have, because I have! Last Tuesday I spent a couple of hours cleaning my room and then the rest of the afternoon sitting/laying out on the green grass in the hot, warming sun. Is it me or have you noticed that when the sun is shining everything just looks 10 times better? I mean, the grass is greener and it’s like the plants are smiling at you! That’s if you’ve watered them, of course – like the pink blooms in my bathroom!

Anyway, this book is one that I spent a while reading – not because it’s a bad book or boring in any way, but simply because I didn’t get time. On that Tuesday I was determined to complete the book – and I did it!

The book is called ‘About a Girl’ and has been released this year. It is about a girl – duh! – who, quite frankly, had no life. She was a workaholic and the life revolved around her job. Without her job, she was basically nothing. Oh, and guess what happens? She gets fired. Haha! Nice plot, hey?

So yes, this was the chance for her to change her ways and see the world from a different light. She was in her late twenties, I believe, had no love life and she was basically getting nowhere. She was expected a promotion when she went to her Human Resources staff at her work yet came out with no promotion – or job, for that matter! So, when things got out of hand, she got a little ‘crazy’! She went all out on a trip to Hawaii and found herself.

I loved this book. It’s full of love, laughter and happy endings! All of my favourite things! I have to admit, though, it is a very adult book. Some things mentioned are not exactly young-age appropriate and would definitely be more appealing to those in their late teens/twenties or older. I did like it because the character seemed so realistic. She didn’t seem ‘plastic’ and unreal, yet she seemed like someone you may be yourself. I mean, I saw some of her personality in me.

It’s a lovely book for some sort of a light read too – it’s not very serious yet it’s not boring and way out there either. A true Romantic Comedy, if you ask me.

Lindsey Kelk is also the author of the ‘I Heart…’ series, which is hugely raved about. When I saw ‘Lindsey Kelk’ on the shelf, I had to pick it up! I even took it to the beach – it was a beach bag essential – and enjoyed being on my beach towel and reading this in peace, especially because a lot of it was located in Hawaii – the ultimate beach location!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would love to read more of Lindsey Kelks books – maybe try the ‘I Heart’ series?
This one is a 6/10 for me!

Have you read any Lindsey Kelk books? Would you recommend them?

Monday 2 September 2013

BerryHealthy: Homemade Granola - No added Sugar

How are you all? Are you looking forward to fall? I know I am! Fall brings the more hearty food back to life. That means hot drinks, warmer dinners and for the morning: Granola. I showed my homemade granola that I made the other week in my Weekly Roundup Post here.

Making this granola is so very easy! Literally, all you need is some oats and anything you have in your pantry. By that I mean there are no real SET ingredients that you need to add to your granola - you can add anything your heart desires - as many or as little nuts, seeds and dried fruits as you wish!

Actually, I made this granola myself because I had a lot of oats in my cupboard by which I wasn't eating. Well, I love porridge, but during the summer time I don't tend to lean towards it for breakfast as I normally don't fancy something hot in the morning. This way, I was using the oats and introducing it to my summer meals, and with fall coming Granola will be even more fun to eat! haha! Actually, we were roasting peanuts, almonds and cashews for a trail mix that we made, and I thought that I'd take the opportunity of the hot oven to make my yummy granola - and I'm glad I did!
Said Trail Mix
Store bought granola tends to have added sugars and ingredients that we do not realise - and to be quite honest, do not want! A lot of the time they make the cereal sound so healthy, yet it actually isn't as there are about 10 teaspoons of sugar in every bowl (exaggeration.) - but I mean I have seen some granola that has more sugar than a bowl of Frosties, yes, that's a lot of sugar! This way, making it at home means you know exactly what is in your granola and its made to your tastes!

- Oats
- Almonds (chopped)
- Peanuts (whole)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Dried Apricots (chopped)
- Raisins
- Dried Dates (chopped and pitted)
- Honey

- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius
- Gather oats, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds into a baking tray
- Pour some honey into the mixture and stir until evenly distributed (add honey as you desire, taste a bit to see if it's sweet enough to your tastebuds!)
- Place tray in the oven (you can add some raisins to roast too but not right away as they don't require that much time and can burn)
- Mix together dried apricots, dates, and raisins in another bowl
- Every 3-4 minutes stir the ingredients in the oven
- Take out once golden and cooked, leave to cool
- After cooled, add ingredients in the oven to dried apricots, dates, and raisins and stir
- Taste to see if sweetness is desired, if you need more, add honey

That's it! As you can see there were no real set measurements that I had but just did it 'by eye'. You can get more ideas from the pictures I have taken to what it should/could (depending on ingredients used) look like! You can then have granola on your favourite yogurt with berries, with milk or even on ice-cream! yum!
Well, this was a requested post, and I had fun writing it! If you have any requests let me know!

What do you like to eat with granola? Leave it in the comments!