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BLOOMING WONDERFUL FROM BLOSSOMING GIFTS

Last week I was approached by the lovely people over at Blossoming Gifts and asked if I would review one of their home delivered bouquets, and of course I said yes! 
There is nothing I love more than a fresh bouquet of flowers in my home and my absolute favourites are white lilies.



Blossoming Gifts have an amazing range of bouquets across their easy to use website and I absolutely loved the simplistic look of the white roses & lilies bouquet (£28), which you can find right here.
My bouquet arrived the very next day in a huge box, they were really well packaged and unlike some other home delivery bouquets I have received, there were no damages to the flowers thanks to the really well designed packaging.
I wasn't sure on what size to expect, but I would say these are a medium bouquet and a really even, well picked selection. The bouquet came with the roses fully open, but the white lilies weren't, it took a couple of days to get them going, but once they were in full bloom, they were incredibly fragrant and absolutely stunning. 
Blossoming gifts promise 7 days freshness, and I could definitely agree with that on the lilies, but the roses were fully bloomed from the moment the bouquet arrived so have subsequently wilted slightly
premature to 7 days, nevertheless, they are still beautiful.


If you're looking for an affordable, last minute present, Blossoming Gifts are just what you are looking for, with a huge selection of bouquets, and if you need something a little extra there are wines, personalised gifts, balloons, hampers and much more. Blossoming Gifts deliver 7 days a week and you can get next day delivery until 6:30pm. 
As a thank you for reading, Blossoming Gifts are offering all of my readers a 33% discount with the code BGIFTS33 so you guys can get your hands on some of these beautiful bouquets for a fraction of the price. 


5 MATTE LIPSTICKS YOU NEED FOR UNDER £10

Matte lips have been a stand out beauty trend for almost 2 years now and the demand for the matte lip finish has only increased in popularity over time. The beauty industry took note, and now every single beauty brand known to mankind is offering us the perfect matte lipstick in array of colours from ice blue to pillarbox red. Matte lipsticks are a firm favourite with me, if it's matte and it's in a nude or brown shade, I will pay anything for it. I have been around the block with matte lipsticks and I can tell you some are definitely better than others. Today, I have collected up my absolute favourite lip creams and lipsticks that you can get your mitts on for under £10, enjoy!




MY APRIL LIFE UPDATES & FAVOURITES

Happy May you bunch of babes, welcome back to my blog, I had my birthday on May 1st and it was an amazing bank holiday weekend just spending some much needed quality time with my little humans, my fiance and the rest of our family. I have eaten too much good food, and drank too many good cocktails in the last month and although I worked out for almost every other day in April, I have still managed to maintain a double chin thanks to Halloumi and McDonalds Monopoly.
In April Hudson turned 5 months and we have started giving him his first tastes of food, and of course he absolutely loves it but it just makes me so anxious that he is growing up so fast, as I have made no secret, Hudson is going to be our last child, we are really complete as a family of four, so it does make it a little harder every time he is too big for something or taking on these incredible milestones.
Talking of milestones, in April we found out which school Harper is going to in September and we feel incredibly lucky and pleased that we got our first choice school. A few of her closest friends at preschool will be joining her there too, so we're really excited for the next step in her life. Even if it makes me shed a tear when I think about being away from her and letting go of the reigns a little bit for her to start a chapter of her life without me holding her hand, I know she will thrive at school and love every second of it. 
This month we also booked our family staycation for mid June and we're really excited for it, we have been going to the same place for a few years whilst I have been pregnant and the kids have been so little, a holiday in the sun just hasn't been for us. The place we go to is just so amazing for Harper, it's all about her and she gets to go swimming every morning which she adores and there's always so much to do for her age group. May is probably going to be a boring month of saving and knuckling down, so there won't be essays to read, there may not even be a may faves, so I hope you enjoy my April faves which, as always, are a complete random mixture of things I have been loving this month.




6 WAYS TO GROW YOUR TWITTER ENGAGEMENT & FOLLOWING

If you know me or you're a follower on Twitter you will know I am an absolute Twitter addict, I bloody love it. If i'm not challenging somebodies opinion, I am sharing Kris Jenner meme's or tweeting about cheese. Twitter is the best social media platform for bloggers in every sense, in my opinion. It is all about getting your voice heard and directing them to your amazing blog content, and today I am going to give you my 6 best tips on growing that engagement and your following. 


10 THINGS MORE IMPORTANT THAN INSTAGRAM




So unless you've been living under the social media equivalent of a rock, which is basically no internet access, you will know that the blogosphere exploded this weekend at the heightened infuriation of many bloggers towards those who use instagram bots and the purchasing of Instagram followers. Social blade charts and exposure of the culprits were, and continue to be plastered all over Twitter for all the blogosphere to see. Now do not get it twisted by the title of this post, that I don't take this situation very seriously and that I do not share a similar disgust for this dishonest and frankly fraudulent behaviour of many well known and well liked members of our community because believe me, I think bots, fake followers and even Instagram pods, SUCK. However, what also sucks is how much people are investing their time into trying to expose people and sometimes getting it terribly wrong, there's one thing debating on the subject and then there's another falsely accusing hard working bloggers, another case of swings and roundabouts right?!
Today's post is a little light hearted but gentle reminder that there are at the very least 10 more important things than Instagram, I hope you enjoy. 


SYN FREE KFC FAKEAWAY

I have tried and tested the spice combination for this recipe a million times and last night I finally got it right and it was delicious! Obviously it isn't 100% KFC but it's pretty goddamn close and is a great way to clear up those fried chicken cravings that are hard to resist. I have tried a million and one recipes on Pinterest and none of them worked out for me, so this recipe is a combination of so many that I have tried by adding, changing and taking away some of the ingredients.


DUPES SHOULD BE CELEBRATED NOT HATED...




Over the last few weeks I have seen so much negativity about dupes and a particular brand that is famous for creating them. I don't usually address social media drama on my blog but I feel like I want to express my gratitude and give brands like MakeUp Revolution the recognition they truly deserve. After this is posted I await the tirade of indirect tweets and yawn emoji's that follow writing a post like this and I just don't really understand why myself, Make Up Revolution or anyone who believes in their brand should take so much shit for it.
Social media and the beauty blogging community has become a place of judgement and snobbery in my honest opinion, although I must admit that is a very small minority of the community, people like Devoted to Pink, Annie Writes Beauty, Laura HadleyChapters Of KatTea Party Beauty & many more are all beauty bloggers continuing to do it the way it should be done, celebrating and writing passionately about their love of beauty products. More recently I have seen 'beauty bloggers' using their platform to vilify brands and that kind of negativity in an absolute ocean of beauty brands is unnecessary and undignified, if you ask me.




QUICK & EASY SYN FREE CHICKEN CHOW MEIN

I have been meaning to post this recipe for about 4 days now but life and good weather has just got in the way a bit & although lots of you have been asking for it to go up, I have just been enjoying my kids company so much this week and having so much fun with them that the blog has been slightly neglected. But here I am it's Friday, and I have finally had the chance to sit at my laptop because the weather is back to the dull overcast we experience 98% of the time in England.  Before I started Slimming World, it went without saying in our house that Friday is takeaway night, and I was eating probably 3 takeouts or eating out 3 times a week, which was inevitably not doing wonders for my waistline, so when I started Slimming World finding and creating fakeaway recipes was top of the agenda, and this is the first one I think I have totally mastered and hopefully this quick and easy recipe will curb your take out cravings, for this weekend at least.



SUPER SYN FREE MILD CHICKEN CURRY

Welcome back to another Slimming World friendly recipe!
Today's recipe is one that I have had to perfect over a few attempts to get it just right & I think I have cracked it. I love curry and it's one of my favourite takeaways, so making a syn free alternative was a must for me and I am so pleased with how this one has turned out, it even contains 3 SPEED VEG.
Let me know in the comments below if you want to request a recipe & make sure you let me know if you've tried one of my recipes so far. I have had such an amazing response to them so far so thank you so much for all of your support!



FEBRUARY FAVOURITES & LIFE UPDATES




Yay, I remembered to do my favourites this month, this never ever happens. I feel like I am more than ever on top of my blog at the moment, and although I have seen a lot of people saying over the last week that they feel like they've fallen out of love with it and feel like they don't fit in, I couldn't feel more opposite to that.
I thought I would include a life update in here today just because I haven't really done a chatty post in quite a long time, I hope you don't mind and if you do just want to see the Feb faves, I won't be offended, just scroll down right where you need to be.


THE TREND YOU NEED TO BE FOLLOWING THIS SPRING




Oooh I just love a new trend, and the embroidery trend is one of my all time favourite trends to hit the high street. Embroidery is on everything right now with every high street fashion retailer taking it to the next level. Today's post is a roundup of my favourite pieces from New Look and Boohoo, basically my embroidery wishlist. There's something for everyone in this post with pieces in sizes 8 - 32, any woman, any size can work this trend like an absolute queen, enjoy.



SUPER SYN FREE GARLIC, SALT & PEPPER CHICKEN

I have been on the Slimming World plan for about 6 weeks now and today I am sharing with you my favourite ever discovery, and favourite recipe of all time. It is absolutely delicious and if you're craving that chinese takeaway this will 100% curb them with a super syn free dish that is perfect for the whole family. 


HIGH STREET BEAUTY HOLY GRAILS

I bloody love discovering a holy grail beauty product from a drugstore because I feel like even finding a holy grail product full stop is difficult, and usually they are high end holy that have ingredients that make the product so expensive, they break the bank. So, when you find a holy grail on the high street it's like the feeling you get when you find a tenner in a clutch bag you haven't used for 6 months. 
Today I am sharing with you my high street holy grails that I always have in my make up collection that I can always rely on when I need a guaranteed flawless finish or long lashes that will last all day. 


5 WAYS TO HEAL A BROKEN HEART

If you haven't ever suffered from a broken heart, you're the lucky ones. I had my heart broken when I was about 17 years old and it was more painful than childbirth, at least the pain of childbirth is inevitably over in 24 hours. 
Having my heart broken felt like I was being kicked in the stomach repeatedly every day for about a year, every month that passed the kicks became weaker, but even now 8 years later, when I see or hear their name it makes me feel physically sick, it has scarred me for life. 
I spent the first 3 months just crying and listening to songs that could relate to my pain and although the lows are the lowest, the positives of having your heart broken can outweigh the bad as time passes.

Here are my five ways to heal a broken heart & how I used them in my own experience...


SUPER SYN FREE SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

Yet again, I have been off the radar, being a mum & look after my two sick kids, both have terrible colds which they have since inflicted on me, one of the many joys of having children. Anyway, I have been trying to stick to plan as much as possible, but when I feel as crappy as I do right now all I want to do is comfort eat and feel sorry for myself, does anybody else do that when they're ill?
Today's post is a really easy syn free Spaghetti Bolognese dish and it's just delicious, so flavourful and I actually do something a little different to most others when I cook my bolognese to lock in the flavour. Please let me know if you have tried any of my recipes, I have had such amazing feedback so far from you all and I am so grateful and pleased that you all love the recipes, so here's another one, enjoy!




INGREDIENTS TO SERVE 4
low calorie cooking spray
500g of lean beef mince (under 5% fat)
1 large onion, diced.
200g of mushrooms (I like to use half a 400g punnet)
1 tbsp of mixed herbs
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 pinches of salt
Half a pint of boiling water
1 chicken or beef stock cube
A tin of chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp of tomato puree
1 tbsp of worcester sauce

METHOD

1. Fry off the mince until browned for about 10 minutes in the low calorie cooking spray, then add one third of your finely diced garlic cloves, your sliced mushrooms and your whole diced onions, allow all to soften and cook for about 5 minutes.

2. Add your beef or chicken stock cube to the half a pint of boiling water and allow to dissolve by stirring repeatedly.

3. Stir a tin of chopped tomatoes and the 3 tbsp of tomato puree into the mince on a low heat, pour in the other 2 thirds of the diced garlic cloves, the boiling chicken/beef stock, worcester sauce and 1 tbsp of mixed herbs. Turn the heat back up high and stir until the sauce is evenly mixed.

4. Allow the sauce to reduce and thicken by keeping on a high heat, add the two pinches of salt half way through, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn't burn at the bottom. Fold the mince through the sauce and stir from the edges into the middle of the pan. This will take about 20 - 25 minutes, have patience, it will thicken and reduce. 

5. Once the sauce has thickened I then do something a little different and I find it really helps to absorb all the flavours. Pour your bolognese into a roasting tray or lasagne dish, do not spread it thinly across the tray, try to keep it as compact and thick as possible. I usually only take up half the dish. 

6. Place in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. 

7. Whilst your bolognese is in the oven, boil your spaghetti on a medium to high heat for 15 minutes.

8. After 15 minutes take your bolognese out of the oven and serve on Spaghetti, I like to save my healthy extra A for the 60g of parmesan I can sprinkle all over the bolognese.


100% SYN FREE ON SLIMMING WORLD

3 SPEED FOODS (TOMATO, ONION & MUSHROOMS)

FREEZABLE FOR MEAL PREP


I hope you enjoy making this recipe, remember to find me on social media and let me know if you liked this or any of my other recipes!


SUPER SYN FREE MEATBALL PASTA BAKE

So I am now into week 2 of my Slimming World journey and I am really enjoying it, I lost 7lbs in a week! I love cooking from scratch and after the success of my last recipe post, I thought I should share a syn free recipe every single Thursday with you all.
I just love comfort food, especially in the Winter and pasta bake is probably the best comfort food ever. So today's post is a meatball pasta bake that is completely syn free providing you use the cheese as your Healthy Extra A. Of course you can make this without the cheese or you can syn it should you need to, either way its much healthier than your average jar junk pasta bake.



WHAT'S IN MY MAKEUP BAG?


Welcome back to my blog! Since I had Hudson in November, I have been really into my make up and getting excited about shiny new products on the market. I have been all about creating that flawless finish, and achieving that on the high street. Usually I am a high end, luxury make up gal and I really DID once fully stand by that high street just couldn't compete, until now, with the likes of Makeup Revolution and L'Oreal stepping up their high street game in the last two years. Of course, I still have lots of high end faves in my make up collection but most haven't made it into my everyday make up bag. So today's post is a look at what's inside my everyday make up bag, and some short reviews on each product that I have been using and loving.




ONE PRODUCT FOR ONE AMAZING ACNE CURE...

So it's Saturday afternoon and in between doing my weekly haul of blog pictures I took a break to have a scroll through my Facebook timeline. As I as scrolling through the endless shared meme's, statuses scorning ex boyfriends and photo's of people's Friday night out, I made an amazing beauty discovery courtesy of my beautiful friend, Chiara and with her consent, I decided to put this blog post together and share with you all her AMAZING transformation thanks to just ONE product. 



I've known Chiara for about 3 years now and I know how much of a struggle her skin has been for her. Suffering with acne since she left school she has tried everything, sudocrem, 3 changes in contraceptive, creams, gels, she has been been prescribed lotions, potions, even oral medication that would make her vomit by her GP. After all of this lots of tears, and spending every other week at the doctors, the acne had taken it's toll, Chiara felt like she would never escape her skin problems.




SAVE VS SPLURGE: BLOGGER ESSENTIALS






So as bloggers we all want the latest gadgets and the best tech to make sure our blog is constantly on point. But is the money you're spending really necessary? Today's post is all about discovering what products you should be investing your cash in, and which products you can pick up for pennies.







SUPER SYN FREE DIET COKE CHICKEN & EGG FRIED RICE

So I recently restarted Slimming World and this time around I am absolutely loving it! Being on maternity leave has turned me into a bit of a couch potato. After losing 3 stone during pregnancy, I soon piled back on a stone and a half, thanks to Christmas, cheese and chocolate oranges. 
So this week I have jumped back on the wagon and I find it really motivating to share my journey and recipes, so here I am with my super syn free diet coke chicken & egg fried rice recipe, which is COMPLETELY syn free on Extra Easy, enjoy



8 WAYS TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN 2017

Happy New Year you lovely bunch, I hope your 2017 is treating you well so far. 
I love the New Year because everyone is just so pumped and so ambitious, my social media feeds are just full of people's motivations and their goals for the year ahead, I love it.
Today's post is a little 'how to' on ways to enhance your chances of success this year and all of the hints and tips I have added are really simple. 
Not only will my tips give you that little boost you might need to even just successfully get you through the day, they're all super healthy ways to boost your mentality and lifestyle, so grab yourself a cuppa and get stuck in.