Monday 30 June 2014

Manicure Monday: Pastels are Back - Ice Cream Purple


What is THE biggest trend for Summer pretty much every year?
Yep it's Pastels. That means there are pastel bags, pastel clothes and.... inevitably pastel nails! 

Pastels are said to make one look tanner and more summer ready! The most popular pastels would probably be the pastel pinks and whites - you know what I mean if you read this post
I was going for a pastel pink but opted for a pastel PURPLE this time round and I love it! It's slightly different yet also in the same pastel family.

This particular shade is Barry M Nail Paint in Ice Cream Purple - I've always loved Barry M for their quality and for this shade I needed 2 coats for an opaque finish.

What's on your favourite Pastel shade?

Friday 27 June 2014

BerryWeekly: Boba, Babies and Buses


It's that time again - a wonderful Friday to reflect on the pictures of the week! 

This week I had popped down to London twice - both very fun days and the weather has been amazing the entire week, making the experience even more fun!

Coconut Drinks are the Best!
These two drinks were drank on different days - for the record! The one on the left is a smoothie - it has a bunch of great ingredients like Guava, Lychee, Pineapple and my favourite: coconut! It is a superfood smoothie and tastes so amazing!

Speaking of Coconut, we went to China Town on one of the days we were in London and I got the coconut milk tea (with boba, of course) and it tasted AMAZING!! Definitely recommend that one. Plus, it was cold and great for a hot, summer day!

Also on the day we had boba tea/bubble tea (whatever you want to call it), we had lunch at EAT. If you haven't heard of EAT. it is basically a chain of healthier foods and it has great choices! It was out of this or Pret, but Pret was super busy as usual, so we went with EAT. I had a falafel and hummus wrap and I totally recommend it.

On another day we popped down to London, we saw a '1' bus! If you live in London or know about buses, this is quite cool - like the buses I know of are mostly 3 digits or sometimes 2, but I've never seen the 1 bus!

Finally, after college one day, I went to go visit my nephew! He is super cute and just begun walking - we gave him ice-cream for the first time ever and he loved it. Obviously, we didn't give him too much as he was hyper enough already! haha! I just love how he knew to look directly at the camera!

So, tell me, do you call it boba tea or bubble tea, and whats your favourite flavour?

Wednesday 25 June 2014

July 2014 Calendar - Free Printable


How are you enjoying June? Well, look out because July is just around the corner! With July being Summer, a ton of events have popped up on my calendar... but I don't have a calendar... >.< #fail
Having not gotten around to buying a calendar as I thought virtual calendars would do the job - there hasn't been much use of that.

 You've got to admit that nothing beats a good old ACTUAL calendar which you write on with a pen and even draw teeny pictures on the dates (okay maybe that's only me..) - just like how a handwritten diary is always more fun than a typed out one.. do you agree??

Anyway, to the point, I was making my calendar for July to put up on my wall and thought you might enjoy one too - here are two designs which you can download - it is completely free. 

Click HERE to Download

Click HERE to Download

Tell me, can you live without a calendar?

Tuesday 24 June 2014

BBXO's 1 Year Blog-iversary + milestones

Do you know what day it is? Of course you do, because you read the title!
It's BBXO's ONE YEAR Anniversary! Can you believe it. This time last year was the first day of my summer vacation. It was the day I came home from my last exam and started the blog... it was when all of this started.

Some things that have obviously changed is the layout.... the logo, the background and the vibe.

Blog Posts shown: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

ANOTHER milestone is 150 posts. This is the 150st post - is it just me that feels this is quite cool that it happened at the same time - I mean the 1 year and the 150th post?!

Also, the ending has changed, before you were said goodbye to in the form of '...keep blooming berries!' but now, you get given a rose! A picture says a 1000 words, right? ;)

Okay, I don't have much to say to you, because how far this blog has gotten is unbelievable - reaching 24,000 views is incredible and even though for some it may not be a lot, for me it is more than I had ever thought!
Thank you for sticking with BBXO and there's a lot more coming your way (plus a huge surprise which I can't tell you much about just yet) so stay tuned!!!

Saturday 21 June 2014

5 Simple Strawberry + Chocolate Recipes


British Strawberries - the fruit of the season, especially in the UK (I guess that goes without saying!). The thing with strawberries is that they don't last for very long - so simple recipes are perfect for when you want them eaten before they go to waste. Also, what better way to eat strawberries than with chocolate?

Here are 5 easy recipes which can be substituted with Raw Chocolate (1 cup cacao, 1 cup melted coconut oil, 4 tbsp agave syrup)  for a healthier version! Healthier White Chocolate recipe here.

This is a simple recipe which is easy to replicate (the whole idea of this post) and is so versatile as you can add things to it without much worry. You can add almond flakes or make it a coconut chocolate filled strawberries or whatever you wish! 

This is a little different but just as simple. If you use whipped cream, ensure that you eat it soon and not leave for too long!

This idea is another simple one. Sort of like the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups but with strawberries instead of peanut butter - not saying peanut butter cannot be added to it!

This idea I thought was totally different. I would have never thought of it yet it's such a lovely idea! You can add any fruits you want or any other toppings.

A little trickier but just as tasty and yummy as all the others, this recipe consists of an oreo crust and a strawberry and chocolate filling!

What's your favourite simple go-to recipe with strawberries?

image sources: 1//2//3//4//5

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Purchase of The Week: Vaseline Active Fresh Deodorant

The name of this product is a bit of a mouthful, the packaging resembles a mushroom and the words 'Antiperspirant' and 'Cream' together makes me feel a little skeptical about this product. Well, you never know unless you try and that's why the POTW* is this very product.

Seeing as it is new, the product was on sale, so I thought 'What the hey?' and picked it up. Summer means sweaty people and sweaty people mean B.O. We can't prevent other people smelling up the train or the classroom but the best we can do is make sure we don't add to the smell!

See what I mean by 'Mushroom'?!
There are many ways to prevent smelling throughout the day, but it begins with a good deodorant in the morning. Later on, you can have a body splash in your bag - but anti-persirants are key!

Overall, the 'mushroom' head does seem quite practical as it would fit perfecting under the arms hence it's a good idea! Vaseline has a great reputation and lets hope it doesn't go against my high hopes!

What's your favourite deodorant for the summer? 

*POTW= Purchase Of The Week 

Monday 16 June 2014

Mani Inspiration: Summer Edition


As I have nothing special on my nails yet, it was time for some nail inspiration - Summer Edition, of course! ;)

Knowing from the last Manicure Monday on BBXO, you'd realise I love Coral. Oh, and I love Gold. So, you guessed it: I love this mani! It is so girly yet summer-y and.. perfect! The accent nail was totally a thing a while a go but I feel it's still trendy enough to pull off without looking 'so last year'! 

Who said Navy is for the Winter? Well it is, but it's also for the summer! Working the Navy with the White makes it appropriate for this season. The all-different nails add dimension to the nails and they look pretty together.

Representing Pastels - there's no better colour group than Pastels for this season - show off your tan and make you feel like the Sun is officially here to stay!

Image Source: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Lilac is also a lovely colour that is undermentioned. It rarely is a huge topic of interest yet would work wonderfully as a mani.

What's your favourite Mani for Summer? 

Friday 13 June 2014

BerryWeekly: Picking Strawberries, Google Street Car & Pancakes!


June, July and August - the months of the year the Pick Your Own Farms are busiest. August is the month of Sweetcorn, July the month of Raspberries and Strawberries are the fruits of June.
Last weekend, my family and I went to a 'Pick Your Own' farm. We go every year and this year was just as fun!

Overdramatic photo? It's an edit from the one below - how cool?!

Less Dramatic Photo
PS. Manicure Shade HERE
While going into the grocery store I passed this robotic thing. That's right, there's like a load of cameras on that blue ball attached to the car. Definitely a sight you don't see everyday. So, I had to take a picture and it looked sooooo cool!! I never thought they looked liked that! Well, now we know! 

As we finished exams (which you've probably heard too many times now), a celebration was due! We went to a local pancake spot and ordered food for a late Sunday lunch. More specifically, I ordered Pancake (more like a crepe) with bananas, toasted nuts, ice-cream and the oh-so-heavenly chocolate sauce. It was so yum!

Oh, and for a drink I got a Smoothie with Mango, Passionfruit and something else which I forgot... maybe pineapple?

Finally, I tidied away the years worth of work and this is the completed exam timetable - all exams crossed off. Oh, what a great feeling!

Did you know there was a 'Google Street Maps' CAR?! 

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Purchase Of The Week: OraBrush + First Impressions


Back in full blast with an after exam purchase and guys, brace yourselves because this one is crazy. I'm only joking, it's just a tongue-brush - that's right, a tooth brush for your tongue. Sound a little weird? Read on...

You may have seen the adverts on YouTube about the OraBrush, because that's where I saw it first. At the time, OraBrush was only available in the US, so although I really wanted to try it out, I wasn't prepared to go all out on the shipping cost. However, now it is more globally available (for us UK people, you can buy it at Boots) hence now was the time I wanted to give it a go. 

The OraBrush Foam is basically like Toothpaste for your OraBrush. I have tried the foam and OraBrush together and let's just say the foam isn't as 'Foamy' as I thought it would be. As I have not tried it enough to give an overall opinion, let me just tell you that as for first impressions, the foam is not necessary, but the brush does an amazing job.

"Up to 90% of bad breath comes from odor-generating residue on the top of your tongue"

The first I time I used it, the outcome was disgusting. Not the brush itself, but the gunk on my tongue! It's not a pretty thought, but at least now my tongue is a lot cleaner. Even though I've only used it a few times - I have been able to tell a difference. My tongue is not perfect just yet, but it does say fully results will be show over time. So, we're just going to have to wait.

As far as first impressions go, I love the OraBrush, but don't see the need for the Foam. 
If you're looking for a more thorough Teeth/Oral Hygiene routine, definitely give the OraBrush a go - first, you'll be disgusted but then pleasantly surprised!   

So, how weird does a brush for your tongue sound now?

*PR Sample

Monday 9 June 2014

Manicure Monday: Goddess - Rimmel by Kate Moss


The sun is peaking out from behind the clouds (about time, it IS June) in the UK and quite possibly where you are too! That means the darker shades are to be put away and lighter, brighter shades bought out for the season. Being a fan of Nudes and Taupes, this was a lovely colour I was dying to try since receiving it with the Rimmel by Kate Mascara - see post here.

It's a lovely shade, less coral than I would have adored but a lovely shade, anyway. It is basically a complete white with a tiny bit of orangey/pink added to it - know what I mean?

In terms of applying it, the brush is SUPER wide but short, so you cover a large amount of nail at a time - making it really quick to do your polish! 

See the Shimmer?
You can just about see it, but the shade has a slight pearly shimmer (see picture above) which you cannot spot when on your nails. In fact, the colour looks more matte on the nails. 

Have you tried the Rimmel by Kate Moss line yet?

Friday 6 June 2014

Ins & Outs


Happy Friday! If you didn't know, today marks the last day of my exams. At 3pm today, they said 'Stop writing and put your pens down.' That was the last of it... For this year, anyway! 

If you have noticed, BBXO doesn't do the 'monthly favourites' and although there is the 'BerryWeekly' series, there is nothing quite like the favourites of the month. Considering we are a couple of days into June and it's an a Friday, let's give the 'ins and outs' posts a try.

Okay, sorry for the long winded intro, BUT here are the Ins and Outs of this week :)

You have heard way too much about this series from me, but you got to hear it again. I have been absolutely in LOVE with it. Finishing the first season in a couple of days - a record for me - and already almost half way through the second shows you just how much I love it.

Lily Pebbles
Finding Lily Pebbles on YouTube has been so great. She has beauty videos and posts vlogs too. If you haven't seen her channel yet, I suggest you give it a watch! Her bedding is gorgeous too - so pretty! 

The Tig
AGAIN with Suits! Oh my gosh, you probably hate me now, but one of the actresses, Meghan Markle, has her own lifestyle blog which I literally found today and am already in LOVE with it. She's based it all around her love for Fashion & Beauty, travel and she's a real Foodie (like me! 😉).

Boy, am I glad to have that on out! It's been a stressful couple of weeks, but honestly, I think revising wasn't too bad. The exams themselves were generally quite horrible. Though, the fact that we had study leave was bliss - taking breaks whenever I felt like and all was a good feeling. 

Crack-less Phone
To clarify, this means the beloved iPhone has a crack! If you're anything like me then you drop your phone a million times a day. Fortunately for me, it had never cracked - until this time. It was one drop too many, however, It's only a tiny crack so I guess you could call it luck...

A load of TV series... 
Due to the fact that I'm scared of running out of Suits episodes for me to watch, I'm trying to find another series which I could fall in love with... Suits is great because of its sophistication yet drama at the same time. I love the idea of working hard to get what you want and this show is exactly that - for the most part. All of this logical thinking behind the series is great and I have yet to find another series's like it. I've tried the trailers of many shows such as 'The White Collar', 'Hart of Dixie', 'Game of Thrones', 'Orange is the new Black', 'Drop Dead Diva', 'Intelligence' and a load more! But nothing come to standards with suits.... Your recommendations would be so helpful! 

Source: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
So, tell me: What do you recommend as a must-watch TV series? 

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Top Ten Benefits of Aloe Vera


Having seen Aloe Vera Water in many stores and even local newsagents now, I thought it would be really interesting to see the benefits of Aloe Vera. Thats when Kirsty came in contact with me.

 Kristy Jones lives in Liverpool and is an avid writer and blogger. Her areas of interest are food, reviews (Book/Movie), Travel, Fashion, Lifestyle and Fitness. She works as a guest blogger on her chosen areas of interest and currently writes on behalf of European Health Card

Right so here are the health benefits of Aloe Vera and why growing an Aloe Plant this year may not be a bad thing:

 The healing powers and restorative benefits of aloe Vera make it something of a jack-of-all-trades in the health community. The gel inside of the green spikey plant has powers that range from healing burns to supporting bodily functions. Here is a look at ten different uses you have with just one simple plant-

1. It soothes burns- One of aloes most revered qualities, just rub the gel on your sunburn and you'll instantly feel it cool down. It also helps in making it heal faster.

2. It gives you smooth skin, too- If you apply it to an area of your face with acne, the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe will reduce the redness and size of acne.

3. It even helps your skin during an allergic reaction- If you consumed something you are allergic to and are experiencing puffy, red skin, aloe Vera can be applied to reduce the swelling and treat the itchiness. You should still go to a hospital, but aloe Vera will at least reduce the physical symptoms.

4. It can do wonders to reverse the signs of aging- If your body is starting to show the signs of getting older and you want to reduce wrinkles or crow's feet, apply aloe Vera to the areas affected for minor relief. The plant's special ability is so magical that it can actually reduce some of the signs of the aging process.

 5. You can use it in the shower- Aloe Vera makes an excellent body scrub, as you will smell excellent and feel smoother after applying it to your skin. You can also use it in your hair, giving you a silk-like smoothness to it.

6. Give your immune system a boost- Aloe Vera provides a boost for your immune system. Just drink a small amount to give your body a natural enhancement that will keep colds away and also enhance your digestive system.

7. Aloe Vera helps fight mouth problems- If you have gum disease or even something as small as a cut in your mouth, aloe Vera will help in healing those problems and preventing continuous bleeding. It also fights bacteria, giving you a cleaner feel after brushing your teeth.

8. It can help those with diabetes- Aloe Vera or supplements containing aloe Vera are an all-natural alternative to fighting high blood sugar levels in diabetics. After a few months of use, you will notice a significant improvement and will feel excellent.

9. Help fight asthma- If you are feeling short of breath, just boil some aloe Vera leaves in hot water and breathe in the steam. It creates an excellent, all natural smell, and will open up your airways.

10. Fight ear and eye infections- Aloe Vera works great as a general anti-inflammatory and as an anti-irritant. These powers even stretch into infections of the eye or ear, where some applied aloe Vera can reduce the pain and swelling.

A European Health Insurance Card will get you access too many things that can fight the above mentioned ailments, but a simple application of aloe Vera can do wonders as well.
So, I hope you enjoyed the post by Kirsty, have you used Aloe Vera in your beauty regimen or tried Aloe Vera Water? 

Monday 2 June 2014

Motivation Monday: Maya Angelou Edition


You probably have heard about the death of Maya Angelou, may she rest in peace. I actually received an email from BBC when the news was out but didn't think much of it. You probably think I am rude and horrible to ignore a message like that - well, in all honesty, I didn't know who Maya Angelou was and the name did not ring a bell...

To be completely honest, I don't really know who she is until this day but seeing her quotes on twitter and other social media she seems like such an inspiration. What better time to be inspired by them then now? :)

Oh, and WARNING: things might be a little cheesy on my behalf... sorry!

I like this one, it shows that we should do our best now - we shall improve and make the most of what we have now. I feel in our generation we are always looking for more - we never have enough with what we have. This reminds me to be grateful of what we have. 

This makes me feel a little sentimental and to appreciate the people around me. Again with taking things for granted - who knows what other people are feeling and what their day was like, so a small positive gesture can make a big difference.

This is my favourite one. She looks so happy and the quote is genius. 

How are you inspired by Maya Angelou?