Lush Retread Review

Monday, 29 February 2016

After years of dyeing and stripping my hair, I’ve left it in a bit of an odd state. I may blow dry and straighten my hair every day in a bid to look presentable but I often forget about the health of the long, black/ginger/blonde (not a colour palette I chose before you think I look like a cat) stuff on my head. After being on a bit of a downer about the lack of shine to my hair, I decided to buy Lush Retread conditioner. This is why I shouldn’t be allowed to shop when I don’t feel like Adriana Lima – which coincidentally is every day.

Lush Retread

Retread is marketed as a heavier weight conditioner that will pull your hair out of its funk. It contains cantaloupe for softening, soya milk for protein and olive, jojoba and avocado oils for a deep condition. It all sounds rather fine and dandy doesn’t it?

Thanks to all of the fabulous natural ingredients, Retread smells disgusting. It smells like a mix of rubber and flowers which isn’t necessarily something I like smelling. Fortunately, the stench doesn’t linger on your hair once Retread is washed out.

Lush Retread

Aside from the smell, Retread does do a good job at conditioning my hair. I say good job and nothing more spectacular than that because really, I find it to be quite an average conditioner. It leaves my hair feeling and looking as good as any regular drugstore conditioner that costs half the price.

Despite the fact Retread is pretty much on par with drugstore brands when it comes to actually conditioning my hair, I do thoroughly enjoy the fact it’s all completely natural and not silicone based. Retread doesn’t leave behind the typical slick conditioner feel once it’s rinsed out which does make me panic about my hair looking like a birds nest once it’s dry.

Lush Retread

Fortunately, my hair is yet to resemble a place birds lay their eggs in but Retread does make it difficult to comb my hair. Even my Tangle Teezer struggles to get through some of the issues Retread causes.

Overall, I’m a little disappointed with Retread. If it went beyond the acts of a regular conditioner I would be raving about it to anyone who will listen but alas, I’ve had more success with some questionable Tresemme products. While the natural ingredients are brilliant, I don’t think I’ll be dropping £11.25 on another tub any time soon.

Degusta February Box

Friday, 26 February 2016

Degusta Box

Subscription boxes have never really appealed to me particularly now as there seems to be a steady decline in the quality of the majority of boxes. Despite the lack of appeal, I have always been a little intrigued by the Degusta box. The idea of having food sent directly to my door once a month makes me rather happy and, as you could purchase February’s box for £5.99, I decided to give my stomach a present.

The box arrived of February 24th via DPD and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of items hiding in the rather larger box. I knew there was typically 10-14 items in each box but I didn’t realise you would receive duplicates of most items.

Degusta Box

When I opened the box I was immediately met with the Ritz Crisp & Thins in sea salt and vinegar and also a pack of The London Crisp Company crisps in prawn cocktail. I’ve already tried the Ritz Crisp & Thins in the Thai sweet chilli flavour and I was not impressed with them. My gripe with them is the fact there’s a lot of air within the actual crisp thing (seriously, what would you actually describe them as) which left me a little disappointed. Fortunately I am sucker for salt and vinegar so I will be devouring these regardless.

The prawn cocktail crisps will probably be consumed by my other half due to my love/hate relationship with prawn cocktail flavourings. The only prawn cocktail I like at the moment comes in the form of Skips.

The next snacks in packs were the Nothing But range which are freeze dried fruit that are very low in calories. I received the apple and fig pack and the sliced beetroot and parsnip pack. I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to get on with either of these but I guess there’s no harm in trying them.

Degusta Box

I also received a box of 24 bars of Nutribix; a wholegrain cereal flavoured with honey and coconut. Again, like the dried fruit I’m not sure I’m going to get on with these as I’m not a fan of coconut. I’m sure I could just smother them in chocolate and completely ruin their healthiness though.

Keeping with the bar theme are the 2 Beloved Bars. I received a date and seed bar and also a date and berry bar. Something tells me that I’m going to feel like a little rabbit when I’m chomping on these bars but they’ll be convenient for hungry moments when it’s not appropriate to eat pizza.

Degusta Box

The liquids are what I’m really excited about in the box. I haven’t had J20 in years so I was rather surprised and happy to find 2 bottles of the J20 Spritz range. I received the apple and watermelon flavour and the pear and raspberry flavour. Let’s just completely ignore the fact I said a few weeks ago that I was going to try and give up sugary drinks.

I also got a bottle of Vit Hit in apple and elderflower. This has 100% of the recommended allowance of 8 different vitamins and it’s less than 35 calories a bottle. I’m rather tempted into trying this juice as I write this but I shall refrain from doing so as I’ll spill it all over my laptop.

Degusta Box

Ah Mr Kipling, it’s been a while since I had any of your products. The cranberry, orange and oat slices sound delicious and hopefully they will be. Annoyingly there’s coconut in these slices as well so again, I might just smother them in chocolate.

The Sarson’s malt vinegar appears to be in the box as it has a new label; an odd reason to put a bottle of vinegar in but I’ll roll with it. As much as I like the smell of salt and vinegar, I don’t actually like vinegar so this will be given either to my parents or my other half.

Hello chocolate! I’m fairly certain you used to be able to buy the Divine bars from my high school and I remember them to be absolutely amazing (although beyond unaffordable when you only get £2 for your lunch from your mum). Dark chocolate isn’t really my thing but I think I can eat it for the sake of the caramel. Fortunately there’s a milk chocolate version too so win!

Degusta Box

The last lot of items in my box amused me the most. Hartley's jelly is something you can easily pick up in any supermarket so I’m a little surprised to see 4 tubs of the stuff in this box. I guess the reason they’re in this month’s Degusta box is due to the new fruit in jelly pots. The flavours I received were peach in strawberry jelly and also cranberry and raspberry.

From what I can gather, the peach in strawberry pots are totally vegetarian friendly but I’m not entirely sure about the cranberry and raspberry. I’m sure there is gelatine in the regular jelly pots so they’ll be handed over to my other half to consume.

Considering the fact I only paid £5.99 for all of this, I’m quite pleased with Degusta. I’m still on the fence as to whether I want to get March’s box but knowing me, I’ll forget to cancel my next payment and get it regardless. These companies rely on forgetful people like me don’t they? Oh well! My first subscription box was a success, now to find one that will send me copious amounts of crisps.

The Blogger Journal

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

I I’ve officially lost count as to how many posts I’ve read on staying organised as a blogger but I can tell you, none of the tips work for me. They’re all usually great tips but I am dreadful at maintaining a life and a blog at the same time. I’ve been hunting high and low for something that may help my confused little brain out but annoyingly nothing ever caught my eye. Those wonderfully colourful print outs you find on Pinterest just didn’t cut the mustard.

The Blogger Journal

If someone hadn’t posted a link to the Blogger Journal on the UK Bloggers group then I’d still be scrolling through Pinterest and Etsy in a bid to find something useful for me. I really wanted an actual book so I couldn’t have purchased the Blogger Journal faster if I tried; I even threw onions on the floor in my haste to buy it.

The Blogger Journal has everything a scattered brain blogger like myself could ever need. It’s for the whole of 2016 so it has enough room to write any ideas or to do lists or how much you like cheese (I think this one might only apply to me) down. It also has a few tips and tricks throughout each month as well as a list of post ideas should you ever get the dreaded writers block.

The Blogger Journal
My pedantic self has just noticed the minor spelling mistake. This page is going to haunt me now!

I’ve recently been trying to keep track of my social media stats so having a section at the end of each month to put social media figures in has made me very happy. I’m a simple girl at heart! I’m also loving the breakdown it gives of Google Analytics terminology as well as what times are best to post on various social media platforms.

The Blogger Journal

Basically this little book is everything I could ever want but there’s a snag, I don’t want to write in it as I don’t want to ruin its perfection. My plan has totally backfired! I need someone with incredibly neat writing to jot down everything for me. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts right? Or does that only apply to presents you really hate?

What do you do to keep yourself organised? Share your knowledge so I can steal your ideas!

5 Reasons To Be Happy

Thursday, 18 February 2016

On my quest to become a more positive person (which involves far more biting of my tongue than I initially thought) I’ve realised I have quite a few things to be happy about. I’m fairly certain there isn’t a better way to spread the positivity than to share my 5 things I'm rather happy about here, on my own little space on the internet.

Red rose

1. Family

Ah yes the obvious one but possibly one of the most important things. My brother currently lives in Australia and has just applied for citizenship so I won’t be seeing him for a considerable period of time. He did come back for Christmas and it was incredible to see how different he is now. He left Scotland an angry little gremlin but has now acquired a rather lovely French girlfriend and the sun seems to be doing him good. My parents and I have plans to hopefully visit him towards the end of the year but if I see a giant spider, I’m getting on the first plane home.

2. My Other Half

The apple to my pie! I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it is to have someone you know will always be there and won’t judge you when you decide to act like a penguin. He’s a rather delightful human being who’s had a few things thrown at him in the last year but has handled it incredibly well. I could probably write an essay about how awesome he is but it’ll be a sloppy gushfest so let’s refrain from doing that.

3. Teddy

Aww my little bear. The day Teddy leaves for the next stage of his Guide Dog training is fast approaching so we have very little time with him now. I rarely see him since he lives at my parents but when I do see him, you can guarantee he’ll sit on me and wack me with his duck toys. We’ll probably get another puppy after Teddy leaves but I’m going to miss the little guy. I’ve never met a dog as wiggly as him.

4. Money

I know, I know, money doesn’t buy happiness but having no money to buy cookies with is also not going to make me happy. Now that I have to adult properly I’m starting to really appreciate those pennies and have stopped being so frivolous with my cash. I still want to spend an obscene amount on shoes and bags but now I know I have to work for those things rather than having them handed to me. I still wouldn’t say no if someone wanted to buy me a Chanel bag though.

5. Shoes

A material possession, how wonderfully fickle of me. I have a bit of a shoe obsession yet somehow seem to own very few day appropriate shoes. Doing your weekly food shop in bright blue, 5 inch heels is totally fine though right? Regardless of my inability to buy appropriate shoes, I’m still forever grateful for the beautiful pairs I do have. I may get frustrated on a regular basis at the clothes I currently own but at least I know I can always jazz up an outfit with obnoxiously red heels.

Obviously I have a lot more things to be happy about than the people, the puppy and the shallow things in my life but the rain that’s currently battering against my window made my happiness disintegrate. Maybe I should do a reasons to not be happy post and have every single reason as “hideous Scottish weather”. I don’t even have a pair of shoes that will hold up in puddles!

Lush Ice Blue Shampoo Review

Thursday, 11 February 2016

While scouring through Lush’s shampoos and losing hope at finding one beyond Big, I stumbled upon the Lush kitchen. I’ve had a nosy at Lush kitchen quite a lot but I’m either too late to buy the products or they just don’t take my fancy. This time around was different though as some new products had just been added and one of them happened to be a shampoo.

Lush Ice Blue Shampoo

Ice Blue is exactly how you would expect it to be. It’s a gorgeous blue shade and has a rather delightful minty scent. If you’ve ever had a good old sniff of Ice Blue soap then you’ll be familiar with the scent of this shampoo.

Sadly the scent seems to change ever so slightly when I’m actually applying it to my hair. I find it becomes a combination of mint, DIY stores and woodland areas. It’s not a bad scent but I don’t really want to smell B&Q in the morning. Fortunately, the odd scent disappears once my hair is styled for the day and a very subtle mint smell is left behind.

Lush Ice Blue Shampoo

When it comes to actually washing the hair however, I can’t fault Ice Blue. It does a great job at getting rid of the dirt and whatever else is in my hair and leaves it squeaky clean. Ice Blue also leaves my hair rather soft and adds a little bit of volume. The bottle does claim that the peppermint and spearmint Ice Blue is loaded with will leave your scalp tingling but I’ve yet to experience such a sensation.

Unfortunately as Ice Blue is a Lush Kitchen item it is limited edition but from what I can gather, it does reappear from time to time. I wash my hair every day and although I use a fairly small amount each time, Ice Blue isn’t going to last me for very long. Hopefully I’ll get lucky and there will be a new batch of Ice Blue in the Kitchen soon.

The Plight of the Kidneys

Monday, 8 February 2016

Kidney stones
I may be enjoying doodling a little too much recently. I didn't think I would doodle a kidney though.

Throughout my childhood I had a rather odd fear of using public restrooms and bathrooms in unfamiliar houses. I would stay over at a friend’s house and would refrain from drinking anything in a bid to stop myself from having to visit the toilet. This fear continued into my teenage years where I would go 13 hours at a music festival without even going near the portaloos. My parents had no idea I wasn’t using the bathroom and only one person ever showed any real concern for my inability to empty my bladder so I never really thought anything of it.

It wasn’t until a few days before my 20th birthday that I realised I may have caused some damage to myself. I ended up hospitalised with kidney stones on New Year’s Day and as a result, decided to increase my liquid intake. I wasn’t actually told by the hospital the causes of kidney stones or even how to avoid them again so I had to rely on the internet and my own misinformed brain. I thought increasing the amount I drank to what can only be considered a normal daily liquid intake would help but I was still refusing to go to the toilet when I really needed to.

Now at present day, I’m currently battling another bout of kidney stones and although they have yet to reach the inevitable unbearable pain stage, I know fine well these stones are a bit more significant than the last ones.

This time around, I picked up on the fact there was clearly an issue with my kidneys so I visited the doctor who ran the ever lovely urine test. A significant amount of blood (too much information, sorry yo) showed up in my sample and he immediately diagnosed me with kidney stones. I assumed it was a kidney infection so was rather surprised when he told me the dreaded things had returned and was even more surprised when he chose to refer me for scans.

I’m not entirely clued up on the scans but I know what it is they’re looking for and although I’ve done my best to ignore it, I think it’s about time I face up to the fact I’ve really caused some damage to myself. I’ve had issues with my kidneys for quite some time and although my mum took me to the doctors as a kid, they told me nothing was wrong. As it turns out, there was something wrong and it’s been building up for a long time.

My only option at this point is to drastically overhaul my diet in hopes that it will have a positive effect. I’m not expecting miracles, I know fine well that I have one damaged kidney and it’s completely irreversible but I’m hoping it will do something. The salty treats, sugary snacks and fizzy drinks are going to have to be cut down on significantly and fizzy drinks may as well be cut out altogether. I’ve already rid myself of alcohol at this point but that was the easy part. Removing fizzy drinks is going to be the hardest especially when I crave them so often. I’ll need to find a substitute that I won’t get bored of and that’s actually good for me.

I really regret all of the times I never accepted a glass of juice at someone’s house and all the years when I would walk home from T in the Park with a horrendously full bladder. If I had known the level of pain and discomfort as well as all of the inconvenience it would cause, I would’ve drank everything like a fish and would have never left the bathroom.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt though, it’s how atrociously stupid we all are when we hold our bladders for the sake of convenience. If you need to relieve yourself regardless of where you are (although I hope you don’t just drop and squat in a public place) then I urge you to do it. If you ever feel thirsty but decide you can’t be bothered getting a drink then please get off of your butt and down a glass of water.

They both seem like such little, inconvenient things that we have to do but trust me, if you do them you could stop yourself from having to deal with a whole mass of problems. Going to the toilet 3-4 times a day is much better and easier than going 15 times after all.

Nitro Circus & Glasgow

Friday, 5 February 2016

My 23rd birthday has been and gone but I’ve only just had the opportunity to use the birthday present my other half got me. He discovered my teenage love of freestyle motocross during a four day marathon of Summer X Games last year and as a result, he booked us tickets to see Nitro Circus when it rolled into Glasgow on February 4th.

Nitro Circus tickets

We chose to stay overnight in Glasgow so we both took days off work and headed through in the early afternoon. Once our sat nav finally stopped telling us we were in a field and actually got us into Glasgow city centre, we headed straight for Five Guys.

As I’m a vegetarian I’m usually limited to just fries in places like Five Guys but fortunately for me, they have a grilled cheese sandwich available. I can’t say no to a good grilled cheese so of course I ordered that along with “little” fries and a vanilla milkshake. My other half kept his order fairly standard in the form of a cheeseburger, fries and a strawberry and oreo piece milkshake.

While we both thoroughly enjoyed our meal and were left desperately needing to loosen our belts off a little, we were ever so slightly disappointed. Five Guys is very hyped up and while the food delivers, it’s atrociously overpriced. £30.00 for 2 meals out of a brown paper bag is a bit too much for my liking. I think I’ll stick to making copious amounts of grilled cheese sandwiches at home and if I ever crave a Five Guys, I’ll stick my own creations into a brown paper bag.

Five Guys grilled cheese

Once we’d devoured our lunch, we headed to the hotel. We were staying in The Crowne Plaza which is conveniently located right next to The Hydro; the venue for Nitro Circus that night. The staff were very friendly and the reception, bar and restaurant area were lovely but that’s where my compliments end. We were well aware of the fact the bedrooms were being upgraded (although they failed to tell us that while checking in) but we didn’t expect to be right next to a room where the upgrades were happening.

As soon as we walked onto the 14th floor (after accidentally going onto a few other floors to begin with) we heard the drilling and hammering of the upgrades. It was significantly worse when we walked into the room to the point where we couldn’t even speak to each other as the drills were so loud. My other half and I aren’t really ones for complaining about service or other issues so we just sat on our butts and accepted it. The work eventually stopped at 5.40pm but to say we were both annoyed (me in particular if you saw my tweets) would be an understatement.

We did enquire about when the upgrades begin again in the morning and were told it was 9.30am. We were hinting that we weren’t overly pleased with the noise but no apology or even an acknowledgement was given. I think that’s what really annoyed me in the end, its basic customer service as far as I’m concerned.

The Crowne Plaza Glasgow

After a few questions at reception we wandered over to The Hydro for Nitro Circus. Disaster struck again when we discovered we had missed the last 30 minutes of practice and Q&A with the riders that we had paid to attend. My other half purchased club tickets but annoyingly, the tickets said doors were at the standard 6.30pm. As it turns out, we were supposed to be in the venue for 5pm and the ticket website was supposed to send emails out with more information. Again, we were annoyed but we brushed that one off.

Fortunately Nitro Circus itself was incredible. It was really cool to be in the same room as guys I looked up to as a kid and teenager and I may have slightly fan girled from time to time. The whole show was so energetic and insane that I happily forgot every other negative thing and took it all in. The only thing that went wrong was actually when Cam Sinclair was attempting the 4 man backflip but a mechanical fault resulted in the bike falling off the ramp and a few of the guys going to hospital. Still, that didn’t put a dampener on anything and hopefully the guys involved are ok!

Once Nitro Circus had ended we wandered back over to the hotel with our ears ringing from the sheer noise of the venue. It had been a while since we had eaten so we ordered room service and chilled. The room service was extremely quick (although again, it was another £30.00) and the paninis we ordered were delicious. The one I ordered did say it had roasted peppers in it but such thing did not exist. I didn’t actually want the roasted peppers anyway so maybe they read my mind and didn’t put them in.

Mozzarella and pesto panini

Safe in the knowledge that the upgrades weren’t due to start again until 9.30am we climbed into our very comfortable bed and fell asleep. I’m awful when it comes to sleeping in hotels so I woke up a lot during the night but still remained well rested.

We had ordered room service for breakfast and were expecting to get it somewhere between 9-9.15am. Due to the time, we planned on getting up as close to 9am as possible but that didn’t work out very well. The upgrades started again at 8am as did the cleaners so we woke up to hammering and atrociously loud Glaswegian accents yelling at each other. That’s not really my idea of a great wakeup call but again, we let it slide.

Due to the extra amount we were paying for breakfast in bed (£18.00 on top of the amount we were already paying for breakfast) we decided to order way more food than we usually would. I went for a vegetarian version of a fry up as well as croissants, orange juice and hot chocolate. My other half went for fruit, tea, orange juice and a fry up. While the food was perfectly adequate, it didn’t arrive for a good half hour after it was due to and everything was cold. My hot chocolate was more like a chocolate milkshake with cocoa powder floaters.

Vegetarian breakfast

Thanks to the drilling, hammering, yelling and cold breakfast I was pretty much done with The Crowne Plaza and couldn’t wait to get out of there. My other half and I quickly got ready and headed down to reception to checkout. Unexpectedly my other half mentioned the upgrades and we were swiftly apologised to. We were given free parking (it’s usually £6.00 a night), a VIP upgrade next time we stay and £10.00 was removed from the panini room service as a result. We still had to pay the full room charge and although I was tempted into completely losing it, I kept my cool and swiftly walked out of the place.

We were both left totally unimpressed by a hotel that should’ve been incredible. We’ve both stayed in some questionable hotels but even the cheapest ones where the shower breaks when you look at it have been better than The Crowne Plaza. I really wish we’d spent that £149 (which was for a standard room) and the extra money for room service elsewhere. If Nitro Circus wasn’t so damn amazing, I probably would’ve put my first through a wall out of sheer frustration. Oh well, this means we’re guaranteed a good time soon right?

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