Two weeks ago around twenty bloggers and I were invited by The Body Shop to an event at their Bridlesmith store in Nottingham's city centre.

I hadn't been to The Body Shop for years, possibly since I was a teenager. And upon re-entering the Bridlesmith store my impressions were that it's reminiscent of an apothecary. There was a huge array of intriguing lotions and potions, and I wanted to play around with it all. To pinch my skin with their hibiscus cheek stain, to lather my face with their gooey, potent looking rose mask. And I did spend a lot of time testing out many of their products over the course of the night.

Unfortunately I was a few minutes late to the event, so I missed most of the talk that was given at the start. But I did hear a glimpse of The Body Shop origin story, and it was also later relayed to me that The Body Shop are currently petitioning for cosmetics to become cruelty-free across the globe.

Annoyingly I also missed the memo that we were granted 40% off all products for the night - if I had known this at the time I would have definitely taken advantage of the offer. But that's my fault!

There was also a competition for us bloggers to take part in. Those of us who had the right colour star drawn at the bottom of our party cups - which held a pretty pink, sparkling fruit-infused drink - were to be gifted certain Body Shop products. Sadly I didn't win!

The store's team of skin and make-up specialists were around on the night, providing personalised advice and product intel. We were also privy to a sneak peek of The Body Shop's new Vanilla Pumpkin collection, which has just been released in time for autumn. Spoiler alert: the combo smells amazing.

Two things in the store that really piqued my interest were the cheek and lip stains and the range of fragrances. I ended up purchasing the Lip and Cheek Stain in Pink Hibiscus  (also available in shades such as Dusty Rose and Dark Cherry), and am considering returning for the Vanilla Body Mist (vanilla is my favourite scent at the moment, and The Body Shop's brand of vanilla is warm and sweet).

Even though I didn't take advantage of the bloggers discount, The Body Shop still have some great deals available in store, such as 3 for 2 offers. And since the event I have picked up a points card, which I learnt will enable me to receive a free gift of my choosing (worth up to £5) on my birthday, which conveniently is in a couple of weeks time!

Overall I enjoyed the event and am glad I was re-introduced to The Body Shop. I will surely be paying more visits to the store.

Amani x

The Body Shop Showcase | Nottingham

10 Sep 2017

Thrive: Feel Stress Free is an app dedicated to reducing stress and anxiety. It was created by mental health professionals and contains clinically proven techniques. The app offers quick fixes to acute anxiety as well as aiming to significantly reduce anxiety over a period of a few weeks, when used consistently. Severe anxiety is, unfortunately, something I've dealt with most of my life, so I'm always up for exploring new ways of treating my anxiety. So I was very happy when Sam at Thrive kindly reached out and offered me a free trial of the full program, in exchange for an honest review. Here's what I thought. 

When logging onto your Feel Stress Free app you are transported onto a serene island (soothing ocean sounds included) where you are guided through various anxiety-reducing exercises by a friendly little robot. The available techniques include breathing exercises, muscle relaxation exercises, meditation, mindfulness, CBT and more. Some of the methods offered I was already aware of, but this app enables a more compact and pleasing way to access them, making it less likely to neglect to practice the techniques (which I'm guilty of). There were also some methods that I hadn't come across before and that I found helpful. 

The app also tracks your mood when you use it and identifies what factors influence your mood and stress levels. And with that information it suggests the most effective exercises for you to do in that moment. What I really like is that, even when you're seemingly feeling okay, based on the answers to your questions the app can identify when things might be about to escalate, and then helps you nip potential anxiety in the bud by suggesting appropriate exercises. The app seems to learn about you as it goes along and customizes itself around your unique needs. You are also able to track your process over time. 

A nice extra feature that the app has is the zen garden - where you can build and maintain your own peaceful little garden on the beach, making for the perfect relaxation activity or distraction when feeling anxious. Another cool detail is being able to send out affirming 'messages in a bottle' to other users of the app.

In conclusion, I found the Feel Stress Free app very effective and enjoyable to use, and I would recommend it to anyone who suffers from either stress or anxiety (and will be doing so). A monthly subscription to the app is only £5.99, which I believe is a small price to pay if you're serious about combating your anxiety or stress. There's also a basic version of the app available for free on the app store.

To download Thrive: Feel Stress Free click here.

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

Amani x

Thrive: Feel Stress Free | Review

19 Aug 2017

Two weeks ago a few local bloggers and I were kindly invited along to the launch of Beauty Temple Mapperley. Beauty Temple already have an established beauty salon in Nottingham city centre but have recently branched out to the quaint area of Mapperley, and I was intrigued to see what the brand new salon had to offer.

Upon entering the salon I was greeted warmly and offered glittery cocktails and mini cupcakes (both which tasted great). There was also a DJ playing, adding to the atmosphere, and a choice of canapes. The salon itself was also very pretty, the decor akin to ones you see plastered all over your favourite Pinterest boards. The salon is large in size with various spaces and rooms dedicated to various treatments.

Each of us bloggers got to choose from a range of beauty treatments to try, options including makeup, nail and hair services. I decided to opt for glitter station makeup, as it's a look I've admired on others but hadn't been brave enough to attempt to recreate myself. I was a bit apprehensive about how it'd turn out on me, but I ended up being in love with how it looked!

I also watched as some bloggers opted for getting streaks of colour in their hair courtesy of Milk_Shake - a hair brand which provides a simple way to add a pop of semi-permanent colour to the hair. The finished result looked great on everyone who had it done.

Beauty Temple Mapperley offer many lavish services at very reasonable prices. These include the Bottomless Proscecco Blow Dry (only £35), the Rose Garden Hand Treatment, the Chelsea Blow Dry (if you fancy having your hair emulate Kate Middleton's signature hairstyle), a Champagne Nail Bar and much, much more.

They also provide all the classic services such as lash enhancements, massage and body treatments, makeovers, facials, St Tropez tanning and male friendly services, to name a few.

If you're looking for a place to host a birthday party, hen-do or girls night you can take advantage of Beauty Temple's Royal Gathering packages. Bridal packages and children's party packages are also available.

A huge thank you to everyone at Beauty Temple Mapperley! I really enjoyed spending an evening at the salon and hope to visit again in the future to try some of the many amazing treatments.

Click here to check out Beauty Temple's website!

Amani x

Beauty Temple Mapperley

11 Aug 2017

Jamberry is a beauty brand that provides a simple, at-home solution to professional nail looks - in the form of nail wraps which can simply be stuck onto the nail.

Jamberry has tons of extremely cute and trendy nail designs to choose from on their site - from Coachella inspired nails to galaxy designs, to some more sophisticated and demure nail looks. There is definitely no shortage of enviable nail wraps available in their catalog (I kind of want them all). 

Lucky for me I was kindly sent over some samples by Claire at Jamberry, to try out for myself!

I received five different nails styles in the post. I first tested the water by trying only one of the styles on each ring finger, amongst loosely matching painted nails. After a few days I then decided to switch things up and wore the remaining four altogether, alongside a painted thumb to tie together the colour scheme. Even though each nail wrap I was given differed, I actually thought they looked pretty cute together. My favourite design out of the five was definitely New World; I loved the pale pink/purple water colour effect and the geometric design.

As these were samples the wraps didn't all fit my nails perfectly. But when you purchase your Jamberry nails you receive a range of sizes (and then some), so you'll be able to choose the perfect fit for each finger nail.

The application process is really simple too. All you need to do is cut your chosen wrap to the length of your fingernail, apply a bit of heat to the sticky side of the wrap, stick the wrap to your nail, trim to match your nail perfectly, and then finally apply pressure so the wrap is nicely secured to your nail. I found the process quite fun, especially once I got to see the end result.

Jamberry state that their wraps last for well over 7 days, and from my experience with them that does appear to be the case!

Jamberry nail wraps are a great option for me as I don't really like false nails - I find them too clunky. But Jamberry provides a more relaxed and lightweight way to experiment with different nail designs, which I really appreciate. And with so many pretty designs available I definitely see myself purchasing more nail wraps from them in the future. 

Click here to have a browse of Jamberry's UK shop. You can also join Claire's Jamberry Facebook group here.

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

Amani x 

Jamberry Nail Wraps

31 Jul 2017

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

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