A New Snack Box Service Delivered to You!

Snacking is my weakness, I just love snacks and normally the unhealthy kind, working in an office job full of tempting sweet treats really does not do me any favours when trying to eat healthy. Healthy eating isn't always easy, it requires a lot of prep, research and in all honesty sometimes I just can't be bothered. Healthy snacks aren't always assessable in my local supermarkets either, so having someone else do all the leg work, research, source healthy snacks and deliver them to me once a month is ideal for someone like me and SourcedBox does exactly that.

SourcedBox is a new snack service box created by the lovely Niomi Smart and Marcus Butler. The box contains around ten healthy, natural snacks that are free of refined sugars, artificial flavourings, preservatives, additives and chemicals! You can choose to order a one off box or a monthly subscription (which can be cancelled at any point.) I decided to order the first ever box using an exclusive 25% voucher which did considerably reduce the cost, but more on prices later. Today I thought I'd write a review of some of the snacks I enjoyed from the first ever SourcedBox, I've discovered so many new brands that I didn't know about prior to receiving my box. Here's what I thought of the snacks, it's probably important that I mention I'm a seriously picky eater, so I definitely knew I wouldn't love every single snack, but I did enjoy the majority of snacks included in this box which is saying something for a picky eater like me haha -

The Snacks I Loved...

MYLK Chocolate Buttons OMBAR - Now, they were never going to top a bag of Cadbury's Buttons but I tell you what they make a bloody good substitute. Naturally the product I was most drawn to (hello it's chocolate) the OMBAR chocolate buttons are so tasty, made with coconut milk, coconut sugar and raw chocolate the ingredients list is super natural. I think that the size of the bag was perfect too, it didn't feel like I was overindulging just the perfect portion for a midweek pick me up - when I'm really craving some chocolate!

Fruit Jerky - Snact - I love fruit jerky, especially mango, so it's no wonder this was one of my favourite snacks in the box. I particularly like that Snact use wonky pieces of fruit that would otherwise be wasted to make their fruit jerky!

Chocolate Mylk - REBEL KITCHN  - So, soooooo yummy! Like a chocolate milkshake only with less sugar and dairy free. I really enjoyed this, even though coconut milk was used this still had the same creamy taste that you would expect from a conventional milkshake. I've already bought some more, definitely something I'll reserve for treat days.

Mini Rice Thins - Rude Health - These mini rice crackers replaced my crips, I particularly enjoyed them dipped into my homemade salsa or humous. They were also super yummy paired with the Pip and Nut snack that's next on my list...

Coconut and Almond Butter - Pip and Nut - A first for me, the Pip and Nut Coconut and Almond butter was delicious. I paired this with some sliced apple, with my Rude Health crackers and added the remains of the satchet to my porridge in the morning (I made it stretch!) I really enjoyed this added to my crackers and porridge a great way to make a small breakfast or snack feel way more filling. I definitely want to try more of the Pip and Nut varieties the Honey Cinnamon and Cashew Butter sounds lovely.

Dozy Girl Tea - Bluebird Tea - I love tea, and I love discovering new brands of tea. With lavender, chamomile and rose I found this particular tea to be incredibly soothing before bedtime.

Organic Persian Mulberry Promix - Wyldsson - A mixture of fruit, seeds and nuts all in a handy tube for on the go! I used this in my porridge and also took this to work for when I fancied a snack. The tube really helps with portion control - I didn't find I was overindulging too much, it also makes it super convenient to add to porridges or baking.

The snacks that I kind of liked...

Pecan, Cinnamon & Lucuma Flapjack by Naturally Sassy - Full of superfoods and antioxidants, I really did enjoy this flapjack. I'm not normally one for a seedy flapjack (more the gooey golden syrupy kind) but I did find that this made a nice substitute and satisfied my sweet tooth.

Rosehip and Lemon Bar - LOVE RAW - A handmade bar that bursting with vitamin C, I found that this bar tasted super zingy I love anything with lemon.

Pizza Seed Toasts - Science Kitchen - Loved the idea of mini Pizza Seed Toast more for the novelty if anything! For me the taste was slightly strange, almost spicy ...I did enjoy snacking on these though, and similar to all of the other products in this box I found them to be quite filling. Science Kitchen offers a range of flavours in the Seed Toast range the chocolate orange and Berry Fusion look super yum.

The snacks I disliked...

Broccoli Crisps - The Giving Tree - I can definitely see the Giving Tree Broccoli crips being a bit like marmite, judging from the hashtag on Twitter it looks as though the majority of people loved these. I actually found myself gipping a little as I ate them - I really did not enjoy the taste whatsoever, and this is coming from someone who actually quite likes Broccoli! The taste stayed in mouth for the rest of the day, definitely not for me at all.. with that being said this brand has a variety of crips such as peach, mango, apple and strawberry which I'm sure I would love!

Maca Bliss Raw Choc Brownie - Pulsin' - A post run snack for me, I'll be honest I do struggle to eat brownies that are made with raw chocolate I find them quite stodgy and feel like I'm chewing for days (I guess that's the point?) Despite not being my favourite snack in the box this did make for a filling snack after my run, not something I would not repurchase though.

So, ten out of 12 snacks isn't bad at all. I found that unlike other similar boxes I did receive full size snacks which is definitely reflected in the monthly price of £18.99. At first I did feel like the price was a little steep, but considering the types of food featured in this box, and the quantity/ size of the snacks I don't think it's that bad of value for money. Comparing this box to something like graze which costs £3.99 for four snacks, this box is almost six times the price but does contain 7-8 more snacks and is likely to last a lot longer. My box lasted me a couple of weeks as I mostly had one snack a day at work alongside my usual carrot sticks and fresh fruit.

What do you think of snack boxes? Does SourcedBox look like something you would be interested in?


2015 Makeup Favourites

Following on from my previous post all about my 2015 Skincare Favourites, I wanted to share some love to all the makeup products that floated my boat throughout the year. I've tried to pick one product from every category to keep it varied, let's talk makeup!

Primer - The Body Shop Vitamin C Instant Glow Enchancer - This primer was released alongside a matching moisturiser back in the summer- I instantly fell in love with both products. This has a peachy tint that leaves my sallow skin looking visibly brighter. Foundation applies more evenly and looks fresher for longer. Unlike other primers this doesn't have a silicone feeling, it doesn't feel tacky on my skin or cause me to breakout - it's a keeper.

Foundation - Choosing just one foundation was always going to be difficult, but for me the Clinique Even Better foundation was hands down one of my most reached for foundations towards the end of the year. Despite being a relatively new purchase I've worn this almost everyday and will probably continue to do so. The shade Butterscotch matches my skin tone perfectly, it isn't too warm or cool toned it's my perfect match. This foundation makes my skin more radiant, wears beautifully throughout the day and never makes my skin look oily.  I've never been the biggest fan of Clinique foundations, quite frankly, some of them are just plain awful, but, the Even Better foundation is just beautiful, I really can't imagine myself ever being without it!

Nars Creamy Concealer - This concealer is making it's second appearance in a yearly favourites post, and with good reason. I haven't tried any other concealers that even come close to giving the same flawless finish that the Nars Creamy concealer does. This concealer hides dark circles and makes my eye area appear brighter. On 'no makeup days' this covers scarring and just makes my skin look clear and radiant. I'm in love with this concealer and have repurchased it on numerous occasions. Who knows, maybe 2016 is the year I find a new favourite?

Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Cheek Palette in Berry - The pallet contains two blush shades and a highlight shade that are all so complimentary on my skin tone. The shades are appropriate all year round, the pink blush is perfect for Spring/Summer it adds a natural looking flush to my cheeks whilst the berry shade is lovely through winter when my makeup is generally more vampy. What really makes this pallet a standout for me though is the beautiful highlight shade which is so unique, it's unlike anything I've ever seen and I'll be gutted when I hit pan. This rose gold highlighter adds some mega glow to my skin, it works beautifully with the berry blush shades too - it's just so pretty. I've gotten so much use out of this pallet through 2015 and I'm sure I'll continue to throughout this year!

Clinique High Impact Mascara - Serious volume and length, this mascara coats all my lashes giving a dramatic look that suits both daytime and evening looks. This mascara doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes, but despite the gentle formula it still manages to add some serious va-va voom to my lashes. Definitely my favourite mascara.

Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows - A lot of Clinique makeup favourites this year! The Clinique Superfine Liner replaced my Brow Wiz mid way through the year and I haven't looked back. Something about the Superfine Liner adds a lot more thickness to my brows than I could ever achieve with Brow Wiz. This still looks incredibly natural in my brows, and the colour matches my brow hair well. The longevity with this is a lot better than other brow products I have tried, my eyebrows are still flawless in the evening after a long day at work. Despite the lack of a brow brush the Clinique Liner for Brows definitely stood out to me this year.

Lips - The Bourjois Velvet Matte Lipstick in Ole Flamingo was definitely my bold lip favourite, something about this shade completely lifts my complexion, it's so flattering against my skin tone. My nude lipstick favourite was the Revlon Lip Crayon in Ingenue. This matches my natural lip colour perfectly, and feels super moisturising on my lips. This hasn't left my bag for most of the year so definitely deserved a spot in my yearly favourites.

If you made it this far, you go glen coco! Considering I didn't feel as though I used many products throughout the year I clearly still had quite a few favourites and standout products that will continue to be repurchased. I would love to know what your makeup favourites are?


2015 Skincare Favourites

I'm a little late to the party with my 2015 favourites, better late than never though right? 2015 was the year I remained loyal to certain products, I actually found myself repurchasing the same products again and again throughout the year. That being said I do still have a handful of products to share with you, I've split my favourites into skincare and makeup, today I will share my skincare favourites -

Antipodes Manuka Honey Mask 

The Antipodes Manuka Honey mask is unique, it manages to cleanse my skin and hydrates - for that alone it's a total winner in my eyes. In all honesty face masks are a step in my skincare routine that often gets neglected, but for the times where I do use a mask I opt for this one. My skin looks visibly brighter and feels smoother. For me no other masks perk up my skin like this one, it's great to use before a big event or as a quick fix when my skin looks a bit crappy.

Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm

Not a product that gets a whole lot of hype in the beauty world, but one I love nonetheless. Facial scrubs seem to have been replaced over the past year with AHA's/liquid exfoliants, for me though nothing beats the drastic difference a manual scrub can make to the texture of my skin. Scrubs have come a long way from the St Ives Apricot scrub days (haha anyone remember that?) The Oskia Exfoliating balm has such a unique texture that works beautifully on my combination skin. The balm has a gritty texture that doesn't feel at all harsh on the skin, having the smooth texture of the balm combined with the tiny grains creates the perfect balance to buff away dead skin cells. This balm levels my skin looking plump, smooth and a lot brighter. Used once or twice per week this tiny pot of gorgeousness gives my skin similar results to that of a facial, it's such a luxurious product to use - it really does deliver for me.

Clinique Take the Day Off Balm 

It may seem slightly odd that two cleansing balms have made it into my 2015 favourites, what can I say I'm balmy about balms! This is my third tub of the Clinique Take the Day Off balm - I just can't get enough. As far as cleansing balms go, this isn't the most exciting, its texture resembles coconut oil, this melts into the skin creating an oil texture that helps to break down makeup, once water is applied the oil transforms to a milky texture that wipes away easily. In terms of makeup removal nothing removes all my makeup as quickly or as fuss free as the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm. This works really well with my skin, as it never feels stripped or irritated. Although this is nothing groundbreaking or particularly exciting I'm yet to find a product that removes my makeup as effectively as this one - my skin seems to love it too!

Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF45 

Long story short, 2015 was the year I made the link between my pigmentation and sunscreen, in order to prevent future pigmentation I need to wear sunscreen everyday. Luckily 2015 was also the year I found my first sunscreen that I can actually bear to wear daily. The Clinique Even Better SPF45 is a daily SPF that's actually designed for people like myself who suffer with hyper pigmentation caused from exposure to the sun. You have to shake it well before applying, this has a salmon like colour that blends in well and provides a great base for makeup. This doesn't leave my skin feeling oily or tacky, it doesn't make my skin ashy - it's literally translucent on my skin. This is the first SPF that I've ever used that doesn't feel heavy, make me spotty or cause my makeup to slip off and for that it's a keeper. I apply this every morning without doubt, I find that a combination of the Clinique Moisturising Gel followed by this SPF provides my skin with just the right amount of hydration. I have noticed that my pigmentation has improved so much since using this daily, my skin appears a lot more even and my old scars seem to have lightened slightly too.

What are your skincare favourites? What were your favourites products for 2015?


Finding Fitness - My January Fitness Goals

So, it's reached that time of year where everyone starts to reflect on the year ahead and writes down some unrealistic New Year resolutions that will most likely be forgotten about by the end of January. I personally prefer to set myself small goals throughout the year, it's more achievable and also allows you to reflect and review mid year, rather than looking back at the end of the year and thinking dam...I achieved bugger all! Most of my goals always seem to be geared towards fitness, and although I do have a few personal goals (e.g. mainly finances & saving) I thought I'd share them with you today, as I know the majority of people do tend to focus on fitness/health. I'm starting the year in pretty good health, 2015 was a great year in terms of achieving some of my fitness goals, although I did find that due to illness my exercise routine became none existent towards the end of the year. I'm ready to give myself a kick up the butt, and get my immune system back in gear, here are my goals -

My running pattern seems to be a bit sporadic lately, mainly down to my lack of wanting to step out of my footsie blanket and go outside! For Christmas I received quite a lot of running related gifts, so I really don't have any excuses now. Last year I found my stamina and technique improved when I completed a few training plans, so on the 4th of January i'll be starting the Bupa 10k training plan. I'm hoping to sign up for few races this year, so hopefully this will prepare me. I've also joined the Running Bug #runyourselfnew challenge - Running Bug send through a weekly mile goal (it's tailored to you using the data you upload.) If you enjoy running or are a complete beginner definitely check out The Running Bug website it's the hub for anyone who enjoys running - that website has everything! 

I love the Blogilates 30 day challenges I find that they are easy to follow, doesn't require a ridiculous amount of time to complete and I notice results too! I usually love the Blogilates branding/cute names for challenges, but I'm not so keen on this one. I definitely don't think the look a waist trainer gives is one to idolise over it's an unrealistic body image. But in terms of shredding some of my Christmas fuelled flab I'll definitely be giving this a go. 

The Yoga with Adriene challenge is the reason that I fell in love with Yoga last year, I loved completing the 30 day Yoga challenge so I'm excited to see that Adriene is back for another challenge in the form of Yoga camp. Yoga camp seems like it will be focusing more on your overall well being/ mental health as well as physical. 

  • 5:2 Food Balance 
I would love to say I improved with my diet in 2015 but unfortunately this is still an area I really need to work on. I'm not necessarily unhealthy with my meal choices, but portion control and a bad habit to skip the odd meal definitely affects my body. I've found that this way of eating helps me to maintain my weight but in return my immune system is low and my mood is definitely affected. I found that my diet worked a lot better when I had a 5:2 balance, five days of healthy food/ lots of meal planning and two days more relaxed with my eating habits. I'm hoping by the end of January I can be back on track with the concept, then hopefully I can focus more on educating myself, finding out what food my body needs to fuel my workouts. 

What are your goals for 2016? 
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