Wednesday, 27 April 2016

It's A Wrap: Taking A Wrap Dress From Daytime To Nighttime

How to style a wrap dress from day to night

As I get older I feel like my shopping habits have certainly changed. I no longer buy things just for the sake of it so when I see a piece that I know will work for many different occasions, I make sure to add it to my wardrobe pretty swiftly. And that's exactly how I felt when I saw this Dorothy Perkins leopard heart print wrap dress* in the dresses section in House Of Fraser. It was also an absolute bargain at just £12 in their recent sale.

Since I really enjoyed showing how to take a piece from day to night, like I did in my 48 Hours In Denim post last year, I thought that I would show how to take a staple in some people's wardrobe; the wrap dress, from daytime to nighttime.

Day to night dressing

Even though it's officially Spring and almost May, it's still not warm enough for me to go without tights just yet. The fact that we've had snow, sunshine, gusts of wind (as you might be able to tell from the 'day' photograph above) and torrential rain, all within the space of 24 hours, doesn't give me much confidence in leaving the tights at home, well at this moment in time anyway.

My daytime look is all about keeping it simple. This is exactly how I would style the wrap dress for a day at work, particularly if I worked in a traditional office setting. Pairing the dress with my favourite pair of 'dressy' flats from Topshop makes it look office appropriate and it's certainly the kind of dress that I would confidently wear to a job interview or meeting, to give you a bit of context. But what I love most about this style of dress is the fact that it can easily take you from the office to after work drinks, dinner or even a date.

Forever 21 jewellery jewelery review

Accessorising is key when it comes to taking an outfit from day to night so I plumped for some silver sparkly pieces from Forever 21. I'm still loving the ear jacket style when it comes to earrings and that necklace has to be one of my most worn pieces as it instantly takes any outfit, even if it's just a t-shirt and jeans, from drab to fab. 

I'll say it again; I'm really going to miss Forever 21 being in Glasgow. If you haven't already read my blog post on the issue of Forever 21 leaving Glasgow then here it is. As they are sadly closing, they also have 30% off the entire store, which is definitely worth bearing in mind if you're planning on going shopping in Glasgow City Centre before the end of the month.

Dorothy Perkins Wrap Dress

I then swapped my pair of Topshop flats for a pair of thigh high suedette boots. You might have seen them on the blog already but they're another piece that I've been getting a lot of wear out off since I got them in January.

Are you a fan of wrap dresses? Do you have certain pieces in your wardrobe that work equally well during the day and the night? What do you think about outfit posts appearing a bit more often now on Ellis Tuesday? And are you a fan of them or not?


Sunday, 24 April 2016

10 Tips For Disney World First Timers

Tips for Disney World First Timers

Instead of focusing on a specific Disney park like a did with my Magic Kingdom Travel Tips post, I thought that I would dedicate today's post to sharing some of my best tips for Disney World first timers. I already know quite a few people who are heading to Walt Disney World this Summer and for many of them it will be their first visit so that's totally what inspired today's post. I hope you enjoy and as always, if you have any tips of your own, please leave them in the comments below. So here are my ten tips for Disney World first timers;

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

My Dry Skin Saviours: Clinique Moisture Surge

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray

If you've been reading Ellis Tuesday or following me on Twitter for a little while now. you will have most likely heard me rave about Clinique's Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief on an occasion or two. Back in 2014 I discovered it after picking up the brilliant Moisture Favourites Set from my local Clinique counter and the rest, as they would say, is history. Ever since then it's been the one moisturiser that I have continued to repurchase and it really has worked wonders on my exceptionally dry and dehydrated skin. However, despite this, I hadn't tried anything else from their Moisture Surge range, until now.

The range comprises of several products, all of which place a great emphasis on replenishing thirsty skin. Whilst the Tinted Moisturizer and Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator both sounded really interesting, I decided to pick up the Overnight Mask and Face Spray to see how they worked for me and my often flaky skin.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

The Moisture Surge Face Spray immediately intrigued me. I'm not someone who regularly uses face sprays, apart from my trusty Vichy Eau Thermale on the warmest days of Summer and even then there are parts of me which knows that it's just basically glorified water, albeit 'thermal spa' water, in spray can form. But something about the Moisture Surge Face Spray had me feeling incredibly optimistic before I'd even tried it.

It's incredibly cooling, which I can see coming in handy during the Summer this year and I have a feeling that a lot of this is down to the added bonus of Aloe Vera. I'm no fool. If you were to spray any kind of liquid onto your face it would probably have an instant cooling effect but with this my face continues to feel cool and refreshed for some time after. It also leaves the skin feeling soft and soothed which is especially pleasing when it's as dry as mine is. And it quickly sinks in even if you don't pat it into the skin, which leads me onto my next point; you can use this over or under make-up. So if your skin is feeling particularly parched, you don't need to worry about waiting until your sans make-up to add some much needed moisture to your face.

Even though I know that I should be regularly using a night cream or overnight wonder before bed and not just when I'm reviewing one for the blog, I do tend to forget/not bother as most nights I'm too lazy or tired to even contemplate an extra skincare step. So when I spotted the Moisture Surge Overnight Mask I thought that it could potentially be easy enough for me to start using it on a regular basis before bed.

Now this is a real treat. I was actually a little taken aback when I woke up the next day to find that my skin was not only moisturised but that it was dewy and even a little radiant. This isn't the sight that I always wake up to, especially when we're in between seasons like we are now and my skin starts to show more signs of dryness. I felt completely confident to walk out the door with no make-up on, as you will have seen in my Spring Metallics post earlier in the week. And as I had my sunnies on I didn't even need to bother with concealer or mascara either. To say that I was impressed, even after just one application, would be a major understatement and whilst I've still not found the dream 'use every night' kind of product, I have found one which works as a great treat for my skin, simultaneously giving me a real boost to boot.

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

After trying these two products from the Moisture Surge range I've definitely got my eye on the two remaining Moisture Surge products and I'll be keeping a lookout for a travel friendly version of some of these products for using on the plane later in the year. Who am I kidding though? I definitely wouldn't mind lugging the whole Moisture Surge range with me in my suitcase either.

What do you think of the two products discussed in today's post? Have you tried any of Clinique's Moisture Surge range? If so, what did you think of it? And do you have any products that you use, if you've got dry skin, that work wonders?

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Monday, 18 April 2016

An iPhone 6/6s Case Giveaway With Tech 21

iPhone 6/6S Giveaway Phone Case

I'm currently in the process of deciding which phone to upgrade to next. I've had the same phone for a good number of years now. It's the Samsung Galaxy SIII for anyone who's interested and it's served me well over the years. When I first started Ellis Tuesday back in 2013 all of my blog photographs were taken with my phone and it's 5 megapixel camera and I have to say, it did the job back then. It's also what I use to take most of my Instagram photographs and whilst it is pretty noticeable that they're not the same quality as the ones taken with my Canon EOS M, quite understandably, they're not that bad at all, in my opinion anyway. But as my phone's starting to get slower and slower at dealing with simple tasks such as opening an app or checking my calendar, a new phone is definitely well overdue.

I'm torn between going with what I know, a Samsung or exploring a new option with the iPhone SE. I've always been envious of those of you with iPhone's, especially when so many of the apps are exclusive to it and as if Tech 21 could read my mind, they got in touch to see if I would like to review a phone case. Once I have finally made up my mind on which phone to go with, after countless hours spent trawling the net for reviews and tech opinions no doubt, there will be a review but until then, Tech 21 very kindly asked if I'd like to host a giveaway for you guessed it, an iPhone 6/6s case. 

Tech 21 have so many brilliant cases, for a whole host of brands and models but as soon as I saw the Evo Elite Case and the fact that it precisely matched the iPhone 6/6s colours, this meant that it was the one that I fell for the most. For your chance to win your very own Evo Elite Case, in your choice of colour, all you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter form below;

a Rafflecopter giveaway And here are the rules:
This giveaway is UK only (I'm hoping to do more international giveaways as the year progresses).
There will be one winner.
There are four mandatory entries: you must be following Ellis Tuesday on Bloglovin' (link here), follow me on Twitter (link here), follow Tech 21 on Twitter (link here) and leave a comment below.

For additional entries you can follow me on Instagram (link here), follow Tech 21 on Instagram (link here), follow me on Pinterest (link here), visit me on Facebook (link here), visit Tech 21 on Facebook (link here) and tweet about the giveaway.
The giveaway will run until Sunday 1st of May at midnight.
The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter. The winner will then have 48 hours to send me over their details or I will pick another winner. The prize will then be sent by Tech 21.

Best of luck to everyone who is planning on entering! 

What phone do you have at the moment? Does anyone have any suggestions as to what phone I should go for next? Do you have an iPhone? And what kinds of phone cases are your favourite?


Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Look Fantastic #LFBlooms Beauty Box

Best Beauty Box Subscription 2016

If you read my Spring Metallics post then you'll know just how much I love the blossom, daffodils and blooms at this time of year so the theming for the April Look Fantastic box is absolutely spot on for me. This follows the last two brilliantly themed boxes; the #LFLoves box for February and the #LFExplorer box in MarchThe design of the #LFBlooms box is gorgeous and it immediately makes me even more excited to open the beautifully decorated lid to reveal what's inside. So let's see exactly what is included in the April Look Fantastic beauty box;

#LFBlooms Look Fantastic Beauty Box

I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about the products included in this month's box or to put it more acurately, two of the products in particular. If you read my monthly Degustabox food box reviews, then you will probably already know how I feel about product and brand repetition and sadly these issues aren't just confined to the Degustabox. I don't mind brand repeition as much as I mind the exact same product popping up in a later box. Some of the brands included in both the Look Fantastic beauty box and the Degustabox are ones that I am happy to receive different products from but the exact same product appearing again does annoy me slightly.

When I saw a tube of the Tanworx Tan Maintainer the excitement conjured up by the exterior of the box was definitely dampened. The fact that this exact product appeared in the birthday box in September is a little disappointing. I would have been much happier if there was even another product from the Tanworx range instead of what is basically a duplicate. Balance Me and Elemis do tend to pop up quite often in beauty boxes but as I said above, I'm not too bothered about this at all as it gives you the chance to try out products from what are essentially brilliant brands. The Super Toning Body Polish and the British Botanicals Hand & Nail Butter, from the brands respectively, have both impressed me which is why I continue to stand by my words about brand repetition in beauty boxes.

Look Fantastic Beauty Box Review

It was great to see two brands that I hadn't heard of before enclosed in this month's box, both starting with the letter b. The Bloom And Blossom Bath and Shower Gel is a great discovery, especially if you have super sensitive skin that doesn't get on well with a lot of formulations. It's 99% natural and fragrance free, which is definitely something that can't be said for a lot of the bath and shower gels on the market at the moment. It lathered up really nicely too which was great. The Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask is also great if you're looking for something that doesn't strip the hair or leave it feeling like it's laden with product. It contains no parabens, silicones or phtalates and comes with the added bonus of ingredients made for deeply conditioning the hair; Argan oil, Rosehip oil and the biggest hair oil at this time; Avocado oil. I'm definitely looking forward to trying it.

Another big hit for me in this month's box was the full size tube of Rituals Miracle Hand Scrub. Rituals are a brand that I'm always looking to try more from so the inclusion of this was brilliant. I also liked the fact that it went hand in hand, pardon the pun, with the Elemis British Botanicals Hand & Nail Butter.

Much like last month's box, the April box includes vitamins. Whilst the Emergen-C vitamin drinks worked well with the #LFExplorer theme, I'm not too sure if the MyVitamins Performance Effervence Tablets work as well with the #LFBlooms theme. I don't quite see the fit.

Elle Magazine Review UK 2016

Despite it being the third month in which a copy of Elle magazine has been included with the Look Fantastic beauty box, I still can't quite get over it. I'm used to forking out £4.10 every month for a copy of Elle so it's really incredible to find it alongside a beauty box and all for just £15 as well, or even cheaper if you choose to subscribe.

All in all, it's certainly not a bad box by any means but that one product; the Tanworx Tan Maintainer, left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. It is the first time that the Look Fantastic beauty box has repeated the exact same product and I'm hoping that it's the last. I still think that this is the best beauty box on the market, especially for the price and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what the May box has in store.

What do you think of the #LFBlooms beauty box? Have you tried any of the products in this month's box? If so, what are your thoughts on them? And what are your thoughts on product and brand repetition in subscription boxes?

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Friday, 15 April 2016

Movie Night

Movie Night Ideas

As someone who loves movies, movie nights are a pretty regular occurence in our household. Whether it's a brand new release, a movie that we've just so happened to spot on TV or Netflix or one of my favourites from my rather expansive DVD collection, nothing beats a good movie night! It's also a great way to spend time with loved ones and it doesn't hurt that there are treats aplenty in our living room on these kinds of nights.

When Gracewell, a care home provider, got in touch to see if I'd like to host a movie night and share it with you over on the blog, I couldn't say no. They regularly host movie nights and it's something that both the residents and their friends and families can look forward to and enjoy together.

As a family, there has been one film franchise that we've watched and been excited for each and every installment and that's The Hunger Games. As we've become pretty invested in all things Katniss related, when Mockingjay Part 2 was released on DVD I knew exactly what we could watch for our next movie night. It's pretty rare for all of us to universally enjoy a film, especially as our tastes when it comes to movies can be quite different. Something that we all enjoy however, are the treats and sweets that we enjoy on these nights. Popcorn is always a safe bet and we've been loving Jo & Seph's gourmet popcorn recently and how brilliant are retro sweets such as the ones I've featured in the photograph above?

Are you a fan of movie nights? What was the last movie you saw? And who else loved The Hunger Games movies?


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Spring Metallics

Scottish Blogger Redhead Fashion Blog

Even though I'm definitely more of an Autumn/Winter kinda gal when it comes to my wardrobe, any excuse to leave the Winter coat and boots at home is good enough for me.

Dior Reflected Sunglasses Dupe

Now that the sun has been making more of a regular appearance, even here in Scotland, having a pair of sunglasses in my bag or on my face has been a bit of a necessity recently. I've been admiring the Dior reflected sunglasses, from afar, for quite some time now so when I spotted this pair* from Cheapass Sunglasses I couldn't say no to them. And at less than a tenner they make for the perfect Dior dupes.

Buckley London Camden Bracelets

In an attempt to wear jewellery on more of a regular basis, instead of just saving it for special occassions like I normally do, I've been pushing myself to try and accessorize each and every outfit this Spring and hopefully the rest of the year as well, with at least one piece of jewellery. To compliment yet contrast against, the metallics in this particular look, I opted for some stunning bracelets that have recently made their way onto my wrist thanks to Buckley London. I absolutely adore the Camden bracelets in these three beautiful blue shades. They're Blue*, Half Coat Emerald* and Soft Denim* for reference and I absolutely adore the fact that they're incredibly delicate yet they've still got the impact to add to an outfit and really sparkle when the light hits them.

Spring Fashion Blog Post

It might not be 'no jacket' weather just yet but when the sun does hit you it can be quite warm. This top is an oldie but a goodie from H&M a good number of years ago. It's one of those pieces that makes an appearance every Spring/Summer and makes what is essentially just a top and a pair of blue jeans look like a real pulled together outfit. The blue jeans in question are of the Wonderfit variety. Ever since I first tried a pair of George at Asda's Wonderfit jeans for my 48 Hours In Denim feature, I feel like I've finally found a range of skinny jeans that actually fit my body. And as a result, I've quickly amassed a drawer full of Wonderfit jeans in every colour.

Supergra Rose Gold Trainers

As I've mentioned quite a few times on here and on social media, I have to admit, I'm a bit of a blogger clich√© when it comes to my love for everything rose gold and copper. So you can probably imagine just how excited I was when I spotted these Superga 2750 Classic Rose Gold Plimsoll Trainers

I tend to wear a lot of flat shoes, typically in a ballet flat or loafer style but they're not always the most practical of shoes for the Scottish weather and in April showers. That's why these make for the perfect addition to my shoe collection. They're so comfortable to wear and they really do add something special to even the plainest of outfits. It also helps that I can't help but smile when I wear them.

Spring Blossom Fashion Blog

And I just had to take a photograph of the gorgeous blossom that inspired today's outfit post. Blossom, along with daffodils, just make the season of Spring so special each year. The only thing is that the blossom certainly doesn't stick around long enough for my liking, especially when it can get as windy as it does here in Scotland. 

What do you think of today's post? Are you a fan of Spring fashion? Have you got a pair of new sunglasses sorted for the sunnier months? And what Spring trends will you be wearing in the upcoming weeks?

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Why I'll Miss Having A Forever 21 In Glasgow

Forever 21 Glasgow

I vividly remember the first time that I stumbled across the shopping behemoth that is Forever 21. I was about twelve or thirteen years old and had been let loose in one of the malls in Florida, for the very first time, with my birthday and Christmas money for that year, combined. To say that I went a little crazy on that trip would be a bit of an understatement. I still have some of the pieces from that particular shopping spree, stashed at the bottom of my overstuffed drawers. As someone who exclusively shopped at Primark at that stage, which came with the unfortunate by-product of at least one other person, if not about half of the people in the same vicinity as you, wearing the exact same thing as you. That's when I started saving all of my money from Christmas, my birthday and my Saturday job to spend on my next trip to the US and ultimately; Forever 21. And for a good number of years basically everything that I wore was bought from there. It was like having my very own little secret, one that basically no one knew about or understood, apart from the odd person at my school who went on holiday to the US but even then, they weren't quite as passionate as I was about Forever 21.

In 2013 Forever 21 opened it's first Scottish store in Glasgow. I got the inside scoop as my friend Jess from Uni had just secured herself a part time job there during our final year. Based on what I've written above, you might be able to imagine how excited I was about it's arrival in Scotland. Okay, so I was slightly miffed that Forever 21 wouldn't be my little shopping secret anymore but I was willing to forgo that, knowing that I wouldn't have to wait for my next holiday to Florida to get my Forever 21 fix anymore. If I had been blogging at that point in 2013, rest assured it would have been all that I was talking about, that and my dissertation. Even uttering the word dissertation three years later still makes me shudder so I won't go into any more details about that.

I distinctly remember seeing some of my favourite Scottish bloggers blog about the launch and reading each of their blog posts in complete awe. But nothing could prepare me for how massive the store was in real life. There was no way that I could of made it around the entire store in one shopping trip, particularly as I tried to get my bearings on that first visit. It was honestly the biggest stand-alone shop that I had ever been in and I wasn't sure that I exactly liked how big it was. However, it didn't stop me from visiting the store each and every time that I was up that end of the town.

Despite it's size, I was a huge fan of the way in which the store was laid out. Instead of everything being displayed as it might be in Topshop or H&M, for example, the store was set out in concepts. This meant if all your were looking for was monochrome per se, then all you had to do was head straight to that section. The same could be said for the biggest trends each season. I also definitely appreciated the fact that the store catered for plus size women, men and children, as that certainly can't be said for a lot of major retailers here in the UK or even all Forever 21's in the US. But the one area of the Glasgow store that I will miss the most has to be the accessories hall. I don't think I ever once stepped into the store without leaving with a pair of earrings or ten and at least one necklace.

I know I can still get my Forever 21 fix thanks to their UK website but sometimes you have to see something in person for it to really catch your eye and stock does sell out ever so quickly online. It also means bidding a fond farewell to clicking and collecting my orders too.

Fare thee well Forever 21 Glasgow. I'm really going to miss you. 

Apparently the store closes at the start of May so if you want to experience the Glasgow Forever 21 store one last time, make sure to visit before then. 

If you live in or around Glasgow, will you miss the Forever 21 store? Are you a Forever 21 fan? And what are your favourite shops when it comes to the High Street?


Friday, 8 April 2016

The L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Collection

L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Review

I have to admit, despite my pretty apparent love for all things beauty related, it's very rare that I get particularly excited about haircare. Even though my hair could always be less frizzy, I tend to use the same products and brands on rotation and have done so for the past couple of years. So it takes something pretty special for me to really notice a new haircare range or launch but that's exactly what happened with this range.

I first spotted the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay range on the front cover of Stylist magazine a couple of weeks ago and ever since then all I could do was think, 'why don't I give a new haircare range and regime a try?' By sheer coincidence a parcel arrived for me from L'Oreal with the new products enclosed and since then no other brand or product has touched my hair.

Designed specifically for those of us with oily or greasy roots and dry ends, it almost feels like a tailor-made routine for me and my hair. If you struggle to keep either your oily roots or dry ends at bay, or both, then the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay is one that should definitely check out.

L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Masque

The one product that caught my eye straight away, when I first saw the range, was the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Masque*. We've all heard of clay masques for the face but one for the hair? Now that really had me intrigued. Meant as the first step in the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay routine, the clay masque is applied to dry hair for around five minutes before washing it off. It's essentially a pre-shampoo treatment which is there to help absorb any excess oils from the scalp.

I had worried that it might be difficult to apply but thankfully those worries were unfounded. It's actually quite a light texture for it being a clay masque and it washes out easily too. After using this just once I noticed the results straight away! My roots and scalp felt incredibly clean but they hadn't been dried out either, which is always a worry when you're attempting to combat oily or greasy roots.

The L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Collection

I then followed the masque with the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Re-Balancing Shampoo* and the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Re-Balancing Conditioner*. These carry on the work that was started by the masque and again, my hair feels properly clean without being weighed down by product and I'm definitely happy with the results. Any preconceptions that the clay aspect of the range might leave my hair feeling overly dry or stripped in any sense, were completely wrong.

The range is rounded off with the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay-To-Spray Dry Shampoo*. Since the rest of the routine provides you with hair that still feels clean on the third day you only really need to reach for this dry shampoo for a little bit of refreshing on those final days before your next wash. It's not chalky in the slightest, which is always the first thing that I look to avoid when it comes to dry shampoos and it works to extend the number of days between washes.

The L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay range also includes an anti-dandruff version of the shampoo and conditioner as well.

What do you think of the sound of the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay range? Do you suffer from oily or greasy roots and dry ends? And do you have a favourite haircare range? If so, what is it?


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The March Degustabox (With Exclusive £6 Off Discount Code)

March 2016 Degustabox Review

This month's Degustabox is absolutely jam-packed with products. As with every Degustabox review that I do, I have a fantastic and exclusive discount code for you to use to take a massive £6 off the £12.99 price tag. All you have to do is enter the code BLDEG15 when you register. 

So what exactly does the March box comprise of, well let's see;

Degustabox UK Discount Code

The first thing that I noticed when I opened up this month's box, were just how many fantastic snacks there were and as it was delivered just before Easter it was a welcome surprise to be met with a wonderful white chocolate Lindt bunny. As expected, it was devoured literally minutes after these photographs were taken and boy was it good. I also loved the fact that there were four packets of Chewits, in my favourite flavours as well, included in the March box. Whilst these aren't exactly new to the market, as most of the other products that you find in a Degustabox are, these instantly reminded me of school, specifically primary school. If I had a packet of these in my lunch box it was a very good day.

As a family, we're definitely big fans of Brioche Pasquier so to have four Pains au Chocolat to share between the four of us this month was really great. A brand that I hadn't heard of before; Parle, have two biscuity based products in this month's box and the Monaco crackers instantly reminded us of Ritz crackers, another snack in our household that goes down particularly well. It was also fantastic to see two big bags of Metcalfe's Skinny Popcorn and Pipers Crisp Co. These were certainly enjoyed during our last movie night. Long time readers of the blog might also remember, if you were reading back in 2014, that I included some of Metcalfe's Skinny's best picks in a What I've Been Watching post back then. Would anyone like to see this series make a return this year? Be sure to let me know.

Degustabox Blogger Review

As I mentioned above, there was another Parle product, this time in the form of Hide & Seek square chocolate chip cookies and I can confirm that they were just as good as they sound. Why haven't they made square chocolate chip cookies before now? Another great chocolate discovery thanks to this month's box are the Kallo Milk Chocolate Rice Cakes. These are incredibly tasty but as their rice cakes and not that bad for you when it comes to calories etc. I definitely didn't feel too guilty about tucking into these. The other Kallo product was just a bit too healthy for my tastes so my brother put these to the test for me. He really enjoyed the Quinoa & Seeds Cakes and it's quickly become another Kallo product that's been added to our weekly shopping list. Another big hit were the Weetabix On The Go Breakfast Drinks. These basically taste just like yummy milkshakes except they're packed full of protein, fibre and energy. So essentially you're getting the benefits of breakfast in drink form with these.

The next two products are ones that my Mum really liked. First up there's the Karyatis Meze To Go. She actually took this with her to work to enjoy at her desk and most of her office ended up asking what it was and where they could get it from. You get a dip pot and crackers, all in the one box so it's perfect for taking with you on the go as a snack. Then she tried the Kent's Kitchen Cranberry & Orange Stuffing with a roast last week. I didn't try it myself, as roasts aren't exactly my kind of thing but my Mum, Dad and brother really enjoyed the new twist that this gave their traditional roast.

And if you read my 25 Realistic Goals To Achieve Before I Turn 25 post, then you'll know that I'm on the lookout for dairy alternatives to add to my diet this year. So to see a carton of Good Hemp Coconut Milk had me intrigued. I'm still not too sure about it but I'm going to persevere and see how I feel about it after the month is over. Have you found any great dairy alternatives that you would like to share?

Again, we couldn't have been more impressed with this month's Degustabox. Any box that included a white chocolate Lindt bunny was always going to be a hit with me but the variety and brands that made it into the March box definitely cemented that initial thought of mine.

What do you think of this month's box? Have you tried any of the products featured in March's box before? If so, what do you think of them?


Sunday, 3 April 2016

Living With IBS: IBS Awareness Month

IBS Awareness Month Blog

Today I'm taking the day off from talking about the latest beauty launch or what I've been buying recently, to talk about a topic that's close to my heart or might I say, my stomach; IBS. IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a condition that affects one in five of us here in the UK but it's still one of those topics that remains a taboo subject even now in 2016. So to mark IBS Awareness Month I wanted to do a post on how IBS affects me.

If you've been reading Ellis Tuesday for some time now you might have seen me mention my health and the erratic nature of it, throughout the years and a lot of that has been as a result of attempting to get a proper diagnosis. In the past few years I've been seen by several specialists, had every test under the sun (an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, MRI's, stool samples, ultrasounds and an alarming amount of blood tests), only for each and every one of them to come back normal. As a result you're left with one condition; IBS. And as my body rejected medication after medication I went from having mild IBS symptoms to full blown chronic IBS. When it's bad it's bad, I'm doubled over in pain, making countless trips to the toilet, bloated to the point where I look six months pregnant and a permanent fixture at my GP practice. But there are some weeks, even months, where I don't do anything different (diet or exercise wise) and I have absolutely no issues at all. But it's mostly short lived and I'm then met with yet another flare up. That's probably what bothers me the most about IBS, other than the symptons of course; the unpredictability of it all. I'd be lying if I didn't say that it's had a massive impact on me when it comes to my social life. Having IBS symptoms in your late teens/early twenties meant, for me anyway, that I missed out on quite a few things and when it was particularly chronic and debilitating I was even forced to give up work at the time.

I end up having to cancel plans with friends, I often miss out on some pretty incredible blog events, I've not been out and about often enough to bump into my dream man and there are some days when all of this leaves me feeling extremely frustrated and incredibly upset. I've had to bid a fond farewell to many of my favourite foods and it's been years since I last enjoyed a McDonald's, Burger King or KFC but my attitude towards food, my health and the way I look has completely transformed. Before I began experiencing IBS-like symptoms I was two and a half stone heavier, ate without even thinking about what I was putting into my body and would obsess about how 'fat' or 'big' I looked or felt. Now I've learnt to love my body, even if it doesn't always return the favour and this has been the one definite positive of what is essentially a debilitating and often embarrassing condition.

IBS can be triggered by many different things. For some it might be stress or trauma, for others it's alcohol. Straight away I knew that it had something to do with what I was eating. Basically everything I enjoyed and held dear to me, food-wise, was a no-go. Even foods that are deemed 'safe' for IBS sufferers can cause problems for me so I'm pretty sure that my body just does what it wants when it wants to. I still look at certain fast food emporiums when I pass by, almost like someone would when their face is pressed up against a window and I'll almost always like a picture of burgers and french fries as I scroll through Instagram but it goes no further than that. I've got quite a limited diet now, especially when you compare it to what I used to eat but through trial and error that's slowly growing as each week passes.

This week has been a good one IBS wise. I'm still on several tablets a day, one before I eat each meal and I drink a laxative solution before I go to bed each night but thankfully I've not been up or down for a good number of days so that's something.

I know that for many of you this post won't be one that speaks to you like it does for some others but even if just one person reads this today and feels like they're not alone then this blog post will have done it's job. Hopefully I've been able to shed some light on the condition and raise awareness of what it's really like to live with IBS. I try my best to be as open as I can be when it comes to how my health affects me on a daily basis, whether that be with friends, family, co-workers or even complete strangers in the various waiting rooms that I frequent and now here on my blog.

I'd really hate for anyone to suffer in silence when it comes to their health, whether it's IBS related or not. They always say that a problem shared is a problem halved and I certainly stand by that. If you'd like to get in touch, anonymously, publicly or via email, then as always, please feel free to do so. If you have any questions you'd like to ask, send them my way and if you'd like to see more on the topic of IBS or how I radically overhauled my diet and the way in which I looked at food, then just let me know. All I can say is; you're not alone, really, you're not.

Do you know anyone who suffers from IBS? Or do you yourself? And would you be interested in more personal posts, such as this one, popping up from time to time on Ellis Tuesday?
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