I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again - there’s something ever so delicious looking about a chunk of handmade soap. It’s strange as you’d never ever want to eat soap (yuck), but as well as being visually appealing, there’s something sort of mouth-watering about it. I guess that’s where the phrase ‘good enough to eat’ comes from!
This lovely chunk of cinnamon and orange soap from Valley Mill does exactly that to me. The spicy citrus scent probably emphasises the wanting to devour it too. The smell is wonderful. It was the first thing that hit me when I opened the package, before I’d even taken the soap out of the cool and very clever box-like packaging. It smells exactly as it should and is lovely and strong. It’s a warming ‘Christmas’ reminding scent, which is also refreshing too, thanks to the orange.
I’ve popped this in the kitchen, where I do most of my hand washing, and it’s now even more satisfying to clean my hands knowing I’ll be using such a lovely soap. My hands feel ever so clean, soft and smooth after each use and inspecting them now, (I washed them around one hour ago) they still feel and look freshly washed!
This wonderful handmade soap was kindly sent to me by Valley Mill. It was tough to pick a scent as they all sounded equally as good as each other! The soaps are handmade in South Wales using skin nourishing ingredients and essential oils including shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil and castor oil. Their gentle soaps are suitable for sensitive skin and contain only natural ingredients (no horrible parabens, SLS or similar, phew). To view their full range of affordable soaps visit http://www.valleymill.co.uk
Boredom is something that we enjoy sometimes and dislike other times. Luckily I’m always so busy nowadays I rarely have the pleasure of being bored. I saw a blogger mention they were bored the other day and had one hour to kill. ‘What can I do?’ they asked. Why not do something interesting with your spare time?
Here are 3 interesting things that you can do which will not only banish the beast of boredom, but you will enjoy doing them!
1. Organise a meeting with your mind, body and soul
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? This is the perfect time to have some thinking time and practice mindfulness. Go deep into your mind and sync it with your body and soul. Keep calm, concentrate on your breathing and truly relax. Make it even more amazing by running a hot bubble bath and indulging in a face mask.
2. Go back to the good old times
Dig out your old photo albums and relive your favourite memories. Go back to your childhood, school days and teenage years. Why not take a snap and share them with your friends? You’ll start wondering how time has passed by so quickly!
3. Take care of your mental health
Mental fitness is equally important as physical fitness. If you’ve half hour or more to spare you could refresh yourself with a walk, but if the weather sucks or you’d rather enjoy this boredom indoors, you could try playing some games. Exercise your brain by playing some mental games online. Or if you’re feeling lucky have a go at some casino games such as Bingo by playing games at GameVillage and have fun in the process!
Turn your boring days into productive ones with these enjoyable activities and have a good time!
I am so excited to report that Aduna, one of my favourite superfood brands, have now launched their very own ‘Super-Cacao’ powder. Not only do I love this brand already, but I’m a big big fan of cacao and regularly use it in recipes to satisfy my chocolate cravings. If it couldn’t get any better, Aduna’s cacao is the FIRST cacao to be backed with an EU-approved health claim for heart health.
This powder could not have been sent to me at a better time as after two terrible weeks of unhealthy eating over the Christmas period, I have now stopped eating any regular sugar filled chocolate. Before this I was only consuming choccie as a treat on a Friday night, but now I’m not bothering at all. There really is no need to eat any bad for you choccie when there are so many exciting choc filled recipes to be made with heart healthy cacao powder!
I’ve blogged about cacao many times, but here’s a roundup if you’ve never heard of the stuff:
A natural product from the cacao tree, Theobroma Cacao, which means ‘food of the Gods’
Cocoa is a more refined highly heated version and doesn’t contain as much goodness
Great for heart health, especially improving the elasticity of blood vessels
Amazing for skin, especially for improving skin hydration and anti ageing
Full of antioxidants to protect you from free radicals
A rich source of vitamins and minerals
Can make you feel good thanks to its phenethylamine and serotonin content
It has a low GI so won’t spike your blood sugar levels
So, what’s different about Aduna’s cacao powder compared to other brands?
Scientifically proven to help improve blood flow if consumed every day
Contains 8x the flavanol content compared to other brands
Contains premium West African cacao powders, one of which contains an exceptionally high amount of flavanols meaning Aduna’s cacao can be granted ‘super’ food status
Every purchase helps to support small scale farmers in Africa
The first thing I did with my cacao powder was to make me and Bella a ‘healthy’ chocolate and banana milkshake. Using my small NutriNinja cup I blended one and a half bananas with two teaspoons of Aduna cacao powder and oat ‘milk’ up to the line. So simple, quick, easy, nutritious and delicious!
For a luxurious hot choccie mix two teaspoons with a touch of warm water and teaspoon of coconut oil, then top up with more hot water whilst stirring. It tastes so naughty, but is actually so good!
Have you tried cacao powder? What are your favourite ways to use it?
I was kindly sent this cacao powder by Aduna. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I highly recommend Aduna and their superfood products. I’ve always been impressed. Click here to shop (I may receive a small commission)
I ordered these a few months ago, but typically received soap as a gift and another soap to review within the same week! What are the chances?! So as one of the best things about using soap is the fact it lasts for aaaaaaages, these lovely handmade soaps from Coconut Blush have had to patiently wait all wrapped up on my side. I didn’t even have a peek in the wrappers as I wanted to save my excitement for the day I could actually use them!
At the time I ordered them it was three soaps for £10 so I took advantage of this offer and struggled to pick exactly which three I wanted! They all sounded so good. So far I’ve used the Spearmint, Oatmeal & Mandarin Scrub soap. It has a rough texture as expected for a scrub and I just rub it directly on the skin in the shower! It has a light scent, not too overpowering, and leaves my skin feeling clean, soft and smooth. I’ve also used it on my loofah and it lathers up just lovely.
I’m excited to try the Tea Tree and Dead Sea Mud soap next. This has the strongest scent and I’m a big fan of Dead Sea mud. It’s full of minerals and leaves skin exceptionally cleansed, so I’m expecting good things! The Cocoa Butter and Vanilla soap seems to have the faintest scent of all three as a dry block, but perhaps it will be released more once used. It looks scrumptious though and the name sounds delicious!
The soaps are all natural with a base of oils such as olive and coconut. There are no nasties such as parabens or SLS which I stay well clear of. They are suitable for even the most delicate of skins including those which are dry and eczema prone.
There’s something ever so visually appealing about blocks of handmade soap and these bars do not disappoint. They would make great gifts for her too.
How awesome is this ‘swimming’ bag by Trunki? I was super excited to show Bella when it arrived and she immediately wanted to use it. That evening she was off to Nana’s for a sleepover, so we moved her staying over gear from her usual backpack to Coral the tropical fish! I wasn’t sure it would fit, but we managed to pack in a spare set of clothes, pyjamas, her two favourite teddies (smallish ones) and a toy car! It filled out even more when packed and looked amazingly fish like as she ran around the house not wanting to take Coral off!
It’s so fabulous how it puffs out like a fish when on the back. I’m not sure who loves it more, Bella or me! I say ‘swimming’ bag as although Coral is designed for pool and beach days, with its fabulous water resistant material, it also has a multitude of other uses as a handy kids backpack. The waterproof material would also be appreciated for any outings in this country as you never know when you’ll get stuck in some rain!
The bag has a great opening, which I couldn’t find at first. Rather than read the packaging, I dived straight in trying to find the opening zip which I assumed it had. Feeling rather dumbfounded and even asking Ben to see if he could see it, I then looked at the packaging. Ah ha. I did wonder why there was a safety clip at the top! You simply undo this and open out the mouth, then unroll it three times! Then you fill (or feed) coral with your things, roll it back up and close the safety clip. I’ve never seen a bag open like this before and I actually think it’s pretty cool. It’s quite fun to have a bag that opens and closes so differently to any other.
There’s a handy zip pocket on the tail which would be great for locker change when swimming or for safe keeping of shells discovered on the beach! It also features a handy glasses holder on the strap so they’re within easy reach. Trunki really do seem to cover all angles and think of everything when they design kids products.
The following weekend we took Coral for an outing to the shop and park. We were hoping for a dry weekend, but we didn’t have total luck. It was damp, wet and spitting every now and then. So, we decided to pop to the shop during a dry spell to fill coral up with snacks and munch them in the park. It was such a gloomy day, but I couldn’t help but feel cheerful with Bella playfully skipping ahead with a luminous Coral in place! I certainly wouldn’t worry about losing Bella in a crowd!
We sat on a bench in the park and Bella enjoyed opening her bag which we’d just filled with snacks. Bella reached into Coral’s mouth and pulled out our goodies one by one. It was super windy and Coral nearly blew away to which Bella exclaimed ‘Gosh! Hold on tight!’. The wind sadly put Bella off playing in the park so we ventured home where Bells danced round the living room keeping Coral on the whole time!
I’m sure Coral will enjoy many more adventures with us and I can’t wait for a summer day as she’ll be perfect for our next beach trip.
I thought I’d ask Bella for her opinions too and here’s what she said: Mummy: ‘Do you like your new backpack, the fish one?’ Bella: ‘Yes I do. It’s goooooood, I like it, I like it like scrambled eggs and cheese butter!’ Mummy: ‘What’s the best thing about Coral?’ Bella: ‘Wearing it and carrying it’