Friday, 9 December 2016

Purechimp Matcha Tea


Hey guys!  

I've been hearing so many great things about matcha tea recently, so when Purechimp offered to send me a sample of their matcha tea, I jumped at the chance. Well, not literally, of course!


So what is matcha tea?


Matcha tea has been around for centuries. It is traditionally consumed by the Japanese, but has recently made its way over to the UK and America. Matcha tea is a type of green tea that is made from a fine powder. The matcha plants are grown in the shade for a few weeks - this enables them to produce theanine and caffeine. Once harvested, the leaves are ground into a powder, which can be used as an ingredient in drinks or other recipes, including chocolate brownies.

Information about Purechimp Matcha Green Tea


The Purechimp Matcha Green Tea comes as a powder in a small, but fun and cute, pouch. Each serving is "equivalent to 10 cups of regular green tea". Purechimp recommends that you prepare the tea by mixing half a teaspoon of powder with hot water. Since matcha is quite strong, don't use too much powder, and add some honey to sweeten it. You could also mix the matcha with fruit juice for a 'super shoot'. I decided to try both, in order to see which one I preferred.




Benefits of Purechimp and matcha tea 

Purechimp matcha tea promises to do the following:
1. Clear your head
2. Steady energy levels
3. Improve your skin
4. Boost your metabolism
5. Burn calories

Purechimp matcha tea is 'rich in skin-clearing antioxidants' - apparently even more so than superfoods like nuts and goji berries. You can see just how much in the graph below:
Matcha tea is full of vitamins and minerals, and like DETOX TEAS, matcha tea can cleanse your mind and make you feel more energised. You can find out more about the benefits of matcha tea in the article I wrote for Kettle magazine.  

My Thoughts


The first thing I noticed about the tea was its vibrant green colour. Usually I'd be put off by a drink that green, but since matcha is so healthy, I decided to try it anyway. I first tried the powder with hot water and a few teaspoons of honey. The drink had a distinct grassy taste and there was a slight bitterness. It was more drinkable than I'd anticipated, but it's not something I'd consume on a regular basis. I then decided to try the matcha powder in a glass of apple juice. The matcha was more subtle and it didn't weaken the flavour of the juice. It also left me feeling more energised.






 If you're keen to try matcha but can't handle the bitterness, I'd recommend mixing a little with juice, smoothies or hot drinks. Matcha has a noticeably strong flavour, which not everyone will like. However, it has so many health benefits, so you should give it a try if you can. But remember, the matcha tea latte from Starbucks doesn't count!
You can purchase the powder directly from the Purechimp website. The pouch I received is only £6.95 - much cheaper than I expected. As it's nearing Christmas, Purechimp are offering a gift set for £29.95.   
Have you ever tried matcha tea? What did you think of it?
Hasta luego!
Serena


Disclaimer: I received Purechimp Matcha Tea in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking That You Need To Know!

 
 
Hey guys!
 
 
Although I don't smoke myself, I am aware that many students do smoke, either to relieve stress or as a result of pressure from friends. Unfortunately, smoking has negative effects on your health, as well as your bank balance. By giving up smoking, you could save money and reduce your chances of getting lung disease. Think of all the things you could buy if you didn't smoke - maybe you'll finally be able to afford to go on holiday with your friends. If that hasn't already made you want to stop smoking, here are some other benefits of being a non-smoker:


1. A reduction in anxiety

I know most people are likely to disagree with me on this one as cigarettes are known to calm the nerves after a puff or two. However, according to a British study published recently, suggests that quitting smoking can actually reduce anxiety in the long-term. According to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry study, people who smoke experience a modest increase in anxiety, while those who quit experience a substantial reduction in anxiety.

2. Improved sex life

Researchers have shown that there is a close link between decreased sex drive and smoking in both males and females. According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine back in 2008, nicotine can ideally have an effect on sexual arousal in non-smoking individuals.

3. Improved dental health

It is a fact that quitting smoking can radically decrease the risk of dental issues like gum diseases, cavities and even more severe conditions such as oral cancer. According to HealthDay, smokers have 1.5 times higher risk of getting at least three dental conditions compared to those who quit the habit.

4. Mood enhancement

This is a benefit I bet most people didn’t know. According to a study published by Brown University, quitting smoking can actually make you a happier person. Researchers discovered that smokers were never more pleased when quitting, and never were if they went back to smoking. The most illustrative subjects were those who just stopped temporarily. They were seen to have the best moods when they were not smoking. When they retracted, their moods darkened and some even portrayed higher levels of sadness and even depression.

5. Improving pregnancy chances


According to NBC news, female smokers have a 60% higher chance of becoming infertile when compared to non-smokers. Smoking cigarettes is ideally linked to miscarriages. So, if you are trying to conceive, it is best you stay away from cigarettes.

6. Reduction in hair loss

If you love your hair, you may want to quit smoking. That is because studies have linked smoking to increased risk of hair loss. In 2007, BBC reported on an Archives of Dermatology study that showed even after considering other male pattern baldness risk factors like race and age; heavy smoking substantially increases the risk of hair loss. WebMD also reported that apart from stress, genes, and drinking, smoking is ideally a risk factor for hair loss.

7. Healthier skin

If you are concerned about the condition of your skin, then cigarettes should not be a part of your day. Studies have shown smoking has a significant effect on the skin tone, and it promotes wrinkles around the lip region and skin sagginess. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, however, proved that just 45 days off the cigarettes would be enough to bring back your skin to a healthy state.

8. You will live longer


According to a study by the Lancet, quitting smoking can help women live 10 years longer that they would have if they continued smoking. Experts also discovered that the more an individual smoked, the higher the risk of premature death, regardless of whether you are a light of heavy smoker. Researchers have found that smokers have a doubled risk of passing away when compared with non-smokers. Professor Sir Richard said, “if women smoke like men, they die like men, but regardless of the gender, people who stop smoking before hitting middle age will gain about an extra 10 years of life on average.”

9. Less severe colds

According to a study by the Yale University researchers, mild cold symptoms tend to be more serious for smokers. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2008 ideally showed an overreaction of the immune systems of mice that had flu when exposed to cigarette smoke. According to Dr. Jack A. Elias, M.D, the anti-viral responses in the mice exposed to cigarette smoke were both defective and hyperactive. These results suggest that people who smoke don’t get in trouble because they cannot fight or clear the virus, but because their bodies overreact to it.

10. Food and drink will taste better

Believe it or not, smoking can affect your taste buds. Most food will taste very bland if you smoke since the chemicals in a cigarette flatten the taste buds on your tongue. This is bad news for anyone who loves coffee or bacon. Within 48 hours of quitting smoking, food and drink will start to taste normal again.

 So, there you have it- health benefits you may not have known that you can get if you stop smoking. I hope that this piece has motivated you even more towards complete abstinence from smoking, or even if you switch to e cigs which is the healthiest alternative to smoking tobacco.
 
 
Hasta luego!
 
 
Serena
 
 
Dislaimer: This is a collaborative post with Simply E-Liquid
 
 
 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Tune Tuesday: Christmas Playlist

 
 


Hey guys!
 
 
It's now December and you can finally play all the Christmas songs you've been aching to hear listen to all year. I personally love listening to Christmas songs; they are so positive and uplifting. I've listed all my favourite Christmas songs below so that you can add them to your own playlist. I've tried to include a few that you may not have heard of before, as I know how a lot of playlists have the same Christmas songs.
 
 
1. All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
 
This is without a doubt my most favourite Christmas song.  I always have it on repeat throughout December, and in fact I'm listening to it right now. I just love Mariah Carey's voice.
 
 
2. Last Christmas - Wham!
 
This has long been one of my favourite Christmas songs.
 
 
3. Last Christmas - Carly Rae Jepsen
 
I love Carly's take on 'Last Christmas'.
 
 
4. Santa Tell Me - Ariana Grande
 
 
5. Baby It's Cold Outside - Idina Menzel & Michael Buble
 
Idina Menzel is just so incredible, and I love Michael Buble too!
 
 
6. Sleigh Ride - Fun
 
 
7. Do You Hear What I Hear? - Jordin Sparks
 
 
8. Warm This Winter - Gabriella Cilmi
 
 
9. A Holly Jolly Christmas - Lady Antebellum
 
I only recently discovered this song but I loved it straightaway!
 
 
10. One More Sleep - Leona Lewis
 
 
11. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - John Denver
 
This is a childhood favourite!
 
 
12. Mistletoe - Justin Bieber
 
 
13. Underneath the Tree - Kelly Clarkson
 
I almost completely forgot about this song! How?!
 
 
14. I'll Be Home - Meghan Trainor
 
 
Have you started listening to Christmas songs yet? Which ones are your favourites?
 
 
Hasta luego!
 
 
Serena
 
 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Gift Ideas For Bloggers

Hey guys!
With Christmas only a few weeks away, I'm sure you're getting ready to buy Christmas presents for your friends and family. I'm starting a series of gift guides to help you, and the first one is 'Gift Ideas For Bloggers'. While bloggers love expensive presents like new gadgets and holidays, we also like little things, like stationery, books and anything that will help us stay organised. We're pretty easy to buy for. However, if you're feeling a bit stuck, this guide should come in handy. Most of the gifts I've included are under £20, but there are some that are more expensive.


1. Desk calendar - £18



Kikki-K


Us bloggers like to be organised, and what's better than a desk calendar? This calendar is ideal for splitting up time between blogging, socialising and relaxing, and a job if you have one. It comes with lots of quotes to keep you inspired.
2. The Little Book of Hygge - £9.99



Oliver Bonas

If you're a blogger, I'm sure you would've heard of the word 'hygge'. It's been mentioned so much recently, especially after Meik Wiking released The Little Book of Hygge earlier this year. In his book, Wiking tells readers how to live like the Danes, who are often viewed as the happiest people in the world. The book is filled with illustrations and photographs, and tells you how to take pleasure in the little things in life, for example hot drinks, candles, cooking and holidays.


3. #Girlboss - £7.49

WHSmith
I haven't yet read #Girlboss but I've heard that it's an inspirational read and it focuses on the director of the company Nasty Gal. It's the perfect book for any blogger who is feeling unmotivated.

4. Phone Case - £15

Etsy
This phone case is ideal for fashion bloggers.


5. Olympus Pen - £678

Jessops

I don't actually own an Olympus pen, since I'm happy with the camera I already have, but I know that the Olympus pen is on a lot of bloggers' Christmas lists this year. It's quite pricey, but definitely worth it for the high-quality pictures it produces. Oh, and it also has built-in WiFi. What more could a blogger want?!


6. Portable Charger - £11.99 (on sale, RRP £20


Amazon
A portable charger is essential for any blogger who is always on the go and has lots of events to attend and places to visit. Unfortunately, batteries don't last a long time, and many coffee shops and event areas do not have sockets, so it's handy to keep a portable charger on you just in case. I definitely need a portable charger in my life - my iPhone battery runs out so quickly.  As a blogger and freelance journalist there's bound to be something I need to photograph when I'm out and about, and if my phone and camera run out of battery I'm pretty much screwed. I did get a portable charger for Christmas a couple of years ago but unfortunately it's not compatible with my phone.


7. Cactus Plants - £21 for 10

Etsy
It is no secret that us bloggers love cactus. It looks great in blog pics and it also livens up our bedrooms and offices. Why not get a selection of cactus plants for the blogger in your life this Christmas? If you need any more inspo for cactus-themed pressies, check out this post by the Urban Jungle Bloggers.

8. Marble background - £5.14


Amazon
A marble background is a must-have for flatlays! Pretty much all blog photos have marble in the background! For more presents with a marble theme, check out my marble wishlist.


So those are some of the best gifts you could get a blogger for Christmas! Gift cards and stationery are also good options - I love the notebooks from Ohh Deer, Paperchase and Papier.



What gifts would you recommend for bloggers? Are any of the gifts I've included on your Christmas list?


Hasta luego!


Serena

Friday, 2 December 2016

Teatu Teatox Review

 

 
Hey guys!
 
 
A while ago I was sent the 14-day Teatox from Teatu. I'll admit I didn't start the teatox straightaway, hence the reason why this review is so late! I've never tried a teatox before, as I am quite happy with my weight, but I've been seeing detox teas everywhere recently, so I decided to try one.
 

What is the Teatu teatox?


The tea comes in a small box, with two individual pouches. One is for the day, with 14 tea bags, while the other is for the night, with 7 tea bags. You take the day one every day, and the night one at least one hour before bed every second night. The daytime tea aims keep your energy levels up and stop you feeling hungry during the day. The ingredients in the night time tea aim to reduce bloating. Here's a complete list of the ingredients:
 
Daytime Tea: Green tea, cocoa peel, spearmint, green coffee, ginseng and chilli chai.
Night Time Tea: Peppermint, rooibos, lavender, liquorice, cinnamon, cardamom, senna and natural caramel flavour.



 
I'm aware the dangers of detox teas, but fortunately Teatu is laxative-free. It only contains natural ingredients, which include peppermint, liquorice, cinnamon and cocoa peel. The mint is definitely the strongest flavour in both teas, and I could also taste the liquorice in the night time tea. When I made the tea, I dropped a teabag into a mug, poured hot water over it, and left it to infuse for a few minutes, which is what suggests on the package. Even though I prefer herbal tea to regular tea, I wasn't sure whether this tea would taste good or not. However, the flavours mixed well and it was an enjoyable drink.   

 

What do I think of the teatox?


Overall, Teatu Teatox is a great product for anyone who wants to lose a bit of weight. I didn't notice any negative side effects - the only visible difference at the end of the detox was that I'd lost around 12lbs. I also felt less bloated and hungry. However, I will point out that I do go swimming a couple of times a week.

While the teatox was effective for me, it's recommended that you use it for at least 2-3 months and combine it with Thermalix and CLA. You should also continue to stick to your regular diet and exercise regime while using the teatox.

 
If you want to find out more about using teatox, check out this article. The teatox is available directly from the Teatu website for £19.99, which I think is quite reasonable.
 
 
 I hope this review was helpful! Have you ever tried a detox tea before? Was it effective?


Hasta luego!


Serena


Disclaimer: I was sent this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
 


Sunday, 27 November 2016

What's On My Netflix List in November

Hey guys!
 
 
I hope you're all having a great weekend! I went shopping yesterday and treated myself to some goodies from Superdrug and Tesco, which you can find over on my Instagram. As it's been a while since I last did a  Netflix-related post, and it's nearing the end of the month, I thought I'd share with you a few of the latest movies and TV shows I have added to my Netflix list.


1. Dreamgirls

Youtube
I've already watched Dreamgirls a couple of times, but since that was a while ago, and it's such a brill movie anyway, I might as well watch it a third time. I love the songs in Dreamgirls - especially 'Listen' and 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going' - and Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson are both fantastic


2. Bride Wars

Pinterest
How have I not seen Bride Wars yet?! I've been meaning to watch it for ages! It seems like such a great chick flick.


3. Violet & Daisy

Wikipedia
I need to watch this film asap! I love Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel! It's based on a Japanese comic and focus on two teen assassins.


4. Little Black Book

IMDB
Can you believe that I've only ever seen Brittany Murphy in 2 films?! Well, this is going to change soon since Little Black Book has been added to Netflix.


5. Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life

Wikipedia
I seriously cannot wait to see this! I would've watched it as soon as it came out, but unfortunately I'm still at the beginning of Season 7! It's so hard to avoid all the spoilers - I already know some of the things that happen during Season 7 thanks to Facebook and Twitter - but I've managed to keep away from them so far! I've heard mixed things about the revival but I'm sure it'll be great!


What have you been watching recently? Do you have any recommendations? :)


Hasta luego!


Serena

Friday, 25 November 2016

Winter Candle Wishlist



 Hey guys!
 
 As Christmas is only a month away, I thought I'd share the candles I've been lusting over from Yankee Candles and Bath & Body Works.
 
I'll be honest, I've never really been that into candles. As a student, I wasn't allowed candles in my accommodation at uni, and we never really have any at home. However, I keep seeing candles from Yankee Candles and Bath and Body Works mentioned in other blogs, and the scents look so irresistible. When I visited my local shopping centre a few weeks ago, I noticed that a new Yankee Candles shop had opened. Naturally, I had to go in to see what all the fuss is about. Oh my God, the candles smell as amazing as they look! I love all the Christmassy scents!
 
Also, how pretty are the jars?! I love the colours and themed pics on the labels.


Yankee Candles


1. Spiced Orange - bright, cheery blend of sunny citrus and snappy ginger
2. Christmas Cookie - buttery rich, vanilla scented, holiday sugar cookies
3. Cinnamon Stick - fragrant mystery of imported cinnamon bundled with cloves
4. Cosy by the Fire - a warm mix of ginger, clove, and orange combines with woody notes to give the snap of a crackling fire and the comfort of a hot and aromatic drink beside it
5. Festive Cocktail - a tart concoction spiked with mountain berries and a sprig of fresh-spinned pine
6. Pain au Raisin - the tantalizing aroma of cognac soaked raisins baked in a buttery vanilla dough and sprinkled with cinnamon
7. Sugared Apple - a perfect recipe of juicy apples sprinkled with sugar and vanilla
8. Vanilla Cupcake - the rich, creamy aroma of vanilla cupcakes with hints of lemon and lots of buttery icing

 
You can buy Yankee Candles directly from the website or from a range of other stores, including Tesco, ASDA and Debenhams. Online shop Yankee Doodle has a huge range of Yankee candles, some of which are usually only found in America. I just love the names of these candles - they
remind me of Christmas and snuggling up by the fire. I also like the mix of sweet and spicy scents - I love anything cinnamon, vanilla or apple flavoured. Browsing the Yankee Candle website is really making me crave pain au raisins and vanilla cupcakes! I haven't had either for sooo long!
 

Bath & Body Works


 1. Sweater Weather - Fresh Sage, Juniper Berry, Aromatic Eucalyptus, Fresh Woods
2. Salted Caramel - Salted Caramel, Roasted Chestnut, Caramelized Sugar, Dark Molasses
3. Spiced Apple Toddy - Warm Apple Brandy, Spiced Plum, Cranberry, Cinnamon Stick
4. Vanilla Snowflake - Creamy Vanilla, Iced Fir, Wintry Mint, Coconut Flakes
 
 
 Unfortunately, there isn't a Bath & Body Works shop in the UK, but you can buy their products from eBay and Bath and Body Shop. Like Yankee Candles, Bath & Body Works has a fantastic range of candles that are perfect for winter and Christmas. Some of these are listed above. You could also try Marshmallow Fireside, Spiced Gingerbread and Evergreen.


I can't believe I don't have any of these candles already! Please tell me I'm not the only one! But if you have bought any candles from Yankee Candles or Bath & Body Works, let me know which ones are your faves!


Hasta luego!


Serena