I was kindly tagged by Karishma from This Adventure Of Mine to answer 25 questions about myself. Here are my answers to those questions!

1. What's your middle name? I have two; Azadeh & Ruth. One is from my Iranian side of the family and other from my American side (named after my grandmother).

2. What was your favourite subject at school? I think this definitely varied over the years. In secondary school I remember enjoying media, in college (before university) I definitely really enjoyed English literature.

3. What's your favourite drink? Non alcoholic? Slightly random but I am obsessed with elderflower cordial. Alcoholic? I usually drink vodka because it doesn't have much of a taste and can blend well into other drinks!

4. What's your favourite song at the moment? The last few months my favourite song has been Taro by Alt J. It's an amazing song!

5. What's your favourite food? I struggle to answer this because there's loads of foods that I love. To give a safe answer I'll say pizza. I think it's universally accepted that pizza is amazing.

6. What's the last thing you bought? The last thing I bought was a packet of popcorn! But if we're talking more exciting purchases then I bought a few clothing items recently. This mesh top from H&M is one of my favourites out of those purchases.

7. What's your favourite book of all time? I have so many! To name a few; To Kill a Mockingbird, Mrs Dalloway, The Thirteenth Tale, The Accident Season, I Capture the Castle, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the Night World Series.

8. Favourite colour? To wear, definitely black. But colours that I just like to look at are dusty pink and duck egg/pale blue.

9. Do you have any pets? Unfortunately I do not. But I would love to have a dog.

10. Favourite perfume? At the moment I really like 'First Love' by The Library of Fragrance (it smells of flowers and Love Hearts).

11. Favourite holiday? There have been a few good ones. But the one that stands out is when I travelled the U.S. for nearly a month.

12. Are you married? Nope! *sad face*

13. Have you been out of the country, if so how many times? Maybe around a dozen times?

14. Do you speak any other languages? I understand Farsi.

15. How many siblings do you have? One (half) sister whom I only got to meet for the first time last year!

16. What is your favourite shop? For clothes, H&M and Forever 21. I also like a lot of alternative online clothing shops, like Disturbia.

17. Favourite restaurant? I honestly can't choose, it depends on what I feel like eating at the time. And there's so many good ones.

18. When was the last time you cried? I think I actually cried yesterday. Oh dear.

19. Favourite blog? Okay, these 'favourite' questions are going to be really hard for me, because I'm very indecisive and love a lot of things. For this I'll go with Sprinkle of Glitter as it's one of the first blogs that I remember getting into.

20. Favourite movie? Once again I have a bunch. Some of my favourites are The Dark Knight, Inception, Requiem for a Dream, Shawshank Redemption, Les Miserables and Sweeney Todd

21. Favourite tv shows? Lost is my all time favourite TV show. I like a lot of sci-fi and fantasy shows.

22. PC or Mac? For the moment, PC. But I'm considering switching over in the near future!

23. What phone do you have? iPhone 5 (I think it's a 5?).

24. How tall are you? 5 ft 5.5!

25. Can you cook? I like to think I can, but I also don't experiment with cooking as much as I should. It's something I want to do more of.

Thanks once again Karishma! I hope those reading have found out a few things about me that they didn't know before. And I now tag Beauty and the Bird, Motherhood Diaries, Cocktails and Cats, Crazy Little Thing Called LoveWoman in Progress and The Mamma Fairy to answer these same questions!

Amani x 

25 Things About Me

12 Jul 2017

As you may have seen in my previous post, I was recently given the chance to try out recipe subscription service Gousto. And today I'm back reviewing yet another food subscription box. This time I was kindly sent a box from Everdine - a high end food subscription service that provides an easy solution to clean eating. The subscription box contains a selection of what are essentially ready meals, except they are fresh and healthy and are simply kept in the freezer to preserve the freshness. All you need to do is pop your meal into the microwave, and then within minutes you have in front of you a healthy and tasty meal.

Using Everdine's site you are able to choose either 8 or 12 meals from a varied menu, with there also being a 'veggie' subscription option. The only issue I found was that a lot of the meals that were available when I ordered contained nuts or fish, both things that I'm allergic too, which meant my options were a bit limited. But luckily you are able to repeat meals that you like when ordering.

You can choose how often you get your Everdine subscription, be it every 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks.

I ordered 2x Coconut Katsu Chicken, 2x Lemon & Pepper Chicken, 2x Pulled Beef Ragu Spaghetti, 1x Parsnip & Paneer Curry and 1x Smoky Chicken Fajitas. The meals arrived on the allocated day in a large box which contained the aesthetically packaged meals, as well as an Everdine tote bag and info regarding my chosen menu. As with Gousto, ice packs lined the food containers to preserve them. 

The meals turned out to be improvised takes on original dishes, containing added healthy ingredients such as kale, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and celery paste. Some of the meals I really, really liked, whilst others I found weren't quite as good. But I'm a fairly fussy eater so it's not really a surprise. I'm sure those who are into superfoods and enjoy spaghetti made out of vegetables would enjoy it all.

Some of the dishes can also be very light. which can be either a good or a bad thing. The lighter meals can make for a good lunch, or for dinner if you don't have many remaining calories come the end of the day (a common issue in my life).

As Everdine's food is high quality the pricing is a bit on the higher end, with the 8 meal box coming to £55 and the 12 meal box at £77. Though this may sound like loads it works out to just over £6 per meal, not too dissimilar from a meal you could find in Marks & Spencer. 

Overall I enjoyed Everdine. It's a very convenient way to eat well. I appreciated the fact that it forced me to eat healthily by containing so many added nutrients, as that's something I often fail to do!

Click here for £25 off your first Everdine box!

Disclaimer: This item was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own.

Amani x

Everdine | Clean Eating Subscription Box

12 Jun 2017

Gousto is a subscription service that delivers meal ingredients and recipes to your door. I had been intrigued by Gousto for a while, and lucky for me I was kindly sent over a Gousto box to try out in exchange for a review. 

Via the Gousto website you are able to select and order the meals that you would like to make. There is a variety of cuisines to choose from and the meals change up every week. Though if you order too late the more popular meals can run out, which is unfortunately what happened in my case, meaning I wasn't able to get my first choices. The meals I did end up selecting were Lemon Pepper Chicken & Rosemary Potatoes and Greek Chicken & Feta Bake. 

A Gousto box is large in size and packed with fresh ingredients. The box also contains ice packs, meaning that your food will be fresh for up to 24 hours without being refrigerated, in case you miss your delivery and your box is left with a neighbour. The food came separated by storage type. A large, wooden spoon was also included, which was a nice little extra.

My Gousto box, as selected by me, contained 2 servings of 2 meals. And there was about a 5-day window for the meals to be made before expiration. As I was only cooking for myself I was able to have the 2 meals twice. The full price of these meals, had I have paid, would have come to around £27. I believe this is a good deal, especially considering the high quality of ingredients that I received. 

The first meal that I tried out was the Lemon Pepper Chicken & Rosemary Potatoes. I was worried this would be a bit bland, but it was the opposite; I was actually really surprised at how great it turned out. Both the chicken and potatoes were really tasty and fragrant. In the future I will be sure to use the rosemary potatoes recipe again in particular.

My second recipe - the Greek Chicken & Feta Bake - didn't turn out as good. I felt it was a bit undercooked; the feta and potatoes weren't baked as well as they should have been within the suggested time. But it's possible that this was my error and not theirs, as I was rushing on this occasion! I unfortunately wasn't able to try out the meal for a second time, as some stuff came up for me and I didn't manage to cook again until after the last batch of chicken had expired. This was a bit annoying as I hate wasting food. So if you do try Gousto make sure you're in a position to be at home enough to make the meals within a few days of receiving your box.

I generally had a really good experience with Gousto and am likely to order from them again. It's a fun and efficient way to implement cooking from scratch, and one of the two meals I had was amazing and I imagine others will be too. Saying that, I will hold off getting a subscription until after I graduate, when I will hopefully have a more consistent income. Even though Gousto is great value for money it's still slightly out of my student budget!

If you would like to try out Gousto for yourself you can get £20 off your 1st and 2nd orders using the code: TORNADO.

Have you tried Gousto? What do you think?

Disclaimer: This item was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own.

Amani x 

Trying Out Gousto

16 May 2017

Last week I attended a Southern Comfort Masterclass; one of the many events that were put on by Nottingham Loves Cocktails, as part of the week-long cocktail festival.

The masterclass was held at Nottingham's Das Kino. I had surprisingly never set foot in Das Kino beforehand, despite having always heard good things about it. Das Kino is a bar and restaurant which serves a great range of food and houses a few ping pong tables to boot. And the atmosphere inside the place is awesome. It's dark yet pleasantly lit with neon lights and signage; an electric Americana vibe.

In case you didn't know, Southern Comfort is a whisky based drink that 'packs a hug rather than a punch'; the presence of fruits and spices mellowing done the traditional whisky taste. During the masterclass we learnt about the history of the drink, as well as some history about New Orleans (where the drink was created) and its vibrant drinking culture.

We also participated in a taste test involving Southern Comfort at different levels of strength. Then, as our fourth and final drink of the night, we were given a Southern Comfort, dairy and egg white based cocktail. And here we were all able to join in on the cocktail making experience by each having a go at shaking the mixture; thorough shaking was apparently integral in this case. Despite being apprehensive when it came to tasting the drink - due to the ingredients - it actually tasted really good!

Finally, in a welcome continuation of the Southern Comfort themed night, Das Kino provided us with chicken wings made with Southern Comfort. And they were suitably amazing.

Many thanks to the people at Southern Comfort and Das Kino! 

Amani x

Southern Comfort Masterclass

4 May 2017

Pure Potions is an award-winning skincare line that uses only natural ingredients. Their products are specifically tailored for the treatment of dry skin and skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and scarring, and an impressive 97% of their surveyed customers have found relief by using their products. As someone who suffers with dry and allergic skin I was excited to have a go at trying out a few products from their range.

Pure Potions were kind enough to send me 3 products of my choice in exchange for a review. Here's what I thought:

Skin Salvation Intensive Lip Balm
The Lip Balm was my favourite product out of the 3 that I received. And that's because it did wonders over night. For weeks I had been dealing with really dry lips and no product had been any help. When I tried this I wasn't expecting too much, due to never having had great experiences with lip balms. But this product honestly left my lips softer than I can ever remember them being, and the results happened after only one or two uses!
The lip balm smells primarily of olive oil, though the smell is pleasant and not overpowering. The consistency is the same as a standard lip balm (except this actually works). 

Skin Salvation Intensive Moisturising Ointment
This intensive moisturiser is multipurpose, it can be used as an overnight moisture mask, a swimming barrier, a makeup remover and more. It's also said to be able to directly treat eczema and psoriasis. I haven't yet tried it on any eczema flare ups. But I can say it feels very moisturising and doesn't irritate the skin. For some reason I've found that even products that claim to be natural can still leave my skin itchy and are bothersome, but this feels really gentle and soothing.
The ointment's scent is similar to the lip balm, and it has a balm like consistency. 

Skin Salvation Bath & Body Oil
This oil can be added to your bath or used on your skin after showering, preventing your skin from drying up and adding extra moisture. I personally always want to feel moisturised right after a shower, and this product can be quickly added to damp skin post-shower, and I find it leaves the skin feeling super moisturised. It's a thin oil and easy to lather, and it has a nice, floral scent. 

As I well know, prescription creams for eczema come with risks. So when using these natural products it's very reassuring to know that what you're putting on your skin is 100% good for it, and that you won't have any unwanted side effects down the line. This, along with the fact that they seem to actually be effective, has made using them really enjoyable for me. I'd recommend anyone with troublesome skin  - along with those after natural skincare solutions - to check Pure Potions out.

I personally am planning on purchasing some more of their products, as I am pretty excited to see the results of some of the other items in their range!

You can purchase Pure Potions' products here. Their products are also available in selected Boots, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett stores. 

Disclaimer: This item was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own.

Amani x 

Pure Potions | Natural Skincare

28 Apr 2017

At the end of February I visited Copenhagen with a friend. We spent 5 days in this great city and, as I had such a great time, I thought I'd write a post including a run-down of some of the places we visited during our stay.

Unfortunately we missed the boat for visiting the city's famous Tivoli Gardens, as it's closed during the winter months (except for the Christmas period). But despite this we were nowhere near being short of great things to do. Whilst there we purchased the Copenhagen Card, which enabled us to visit many of the attractions for a low price; transport also being included with the card. I also (surprisingly) managed to keep within my rather small budget on this trip, and the card definitely helped contribute to that. We also stayed at the City Danhostel which was pretty much nicer than most hotels, but at much less cost.

Here are some of the places I visited on the trip!

Nyhavn is one of the must-see tourist attractions in Copenhagen. It's a large area on the waterfront with very pretty and colourful buildings all along it. It's a really nice place to go for a walk, and there are a bunch of quaint bars and food places along it too. It's also an essential visit in order to take your obligatory Nyhavn Instagram pic!

Freetown Christiania
Probably the best place in the whole city. Christiania is a former military area in Copenhagen that was taken over by hippies, and has autonomy from the rest of the city and has its own rules. It's amazing to see a neighbourhood completely re-imagined and separate from the rest of society. This set up makes for immense displays of creativity across the area and a great (and very 'hygge') atmosphere. The locals also come across as really happy people, so they're clearly doing something right. We visited an amazing bar in the area, called Woodstock, and there's simply nowhere else like it. Both Christiania and Woodstock are 100% a must if you find yourself in Copenhagen. 

I didn't take many photos - both due to low battery and the fact that photos aren't permitted in some areas - so I included a couple of photos I found on Instagram which capture the uniqueness of the town.

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Copenhagen Zoo
Copenhagen has a huge zoo containing every animal imaginable. I hadn't been to a zoo for over a decade, so I didn't have much to compare it to. But I really enjoyed getting to see and learn about the large variety of animals.

Hans Christian Anderson's House
Denmark is the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson. His Copenhagen house has been turned into a museum, which we visited. As someone who's a big fan of literature I enjoyed seeing his dark fairytales come to life within the museum.

The Experimentarium is a large and really cool interactive science museum where you're able to experiment with the science behind different elements, for example light and water. It seemed to be mainly for kids - which made it difficult when wanting to have a go at all the contraptions, as you don't want to hog things away from kids who are in the middle of learning about science. But it was pretty awesome and I'm glad I went.

The Rundetaarn
The Rundetaarn (or Round Tower) was one of my favourite places that I visited in Copenhagen. It's a tall tower that has a great view of the city at the top. Though what sets it apart from other lookout points is that there are no stairs or elevators; instead the inside of the tower contains a spiralling slope. At the top of the tower is an observatory. And the building also contains other astronomy paraphernalia, as the tower was made for the use of astronomers back in the 17th century. There's also a cool art gallery on one of the floors.

The Little Mermaid Statue
The Little Mermaid statue is probably Copenhagen's most iconic asset, and is a must-visit for that reason. It's also of course another ode to fairytale writer Hans Christian Anderson.

Whilst on the way to The Little Mermaid we accidentally stumbled upon Kastellet; a preserved star -shaped military fortress that also turned out to be ridiculously aesthetic. It's definitely worth the visit, especially if you're already in the area whilst visiting The Little Mermaid. 

Ruins under Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg is one of Copenhagen's many palaces. And underneath it are ancient runes which date back to the 11th century.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
This museum happened to be the closest attraction to our hostel, so we paid it a visit. It houses hundreds upon hundreds of ancient sculptures from different times periods, for example ancient Greece and Egypt.

Malmö, Sweden
And finally we visited Malmö, Sweden. It's less than an hour away from Copenhagen by bus, so we took the opportunity to be able to visit second a country on our trip. It's definitely a worth wile trip if you're in Copenhagen for more than a few days. In Malmö we visited the Little Square, the Turning Torso building, St. Petri's church and more. And we fit this all in within a couple of hours.

I hope you enjoyed this post! And if you're planning to visit Copenhagen soon I hope you have a great time. Aside from all the attractions, the people of the city have a great way of life, making the place hold a great atmosphere which can be experienced simply just by walking through the streets. All this and more makes Copenhagen one of my favourite places I've been.

Amani x 

5 Days Copenhagen

25 Apr 2017

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