Hayley's Blogger

Monday, 11 December 2017

Adagio Festive Teas Review

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Adagio Festive Teas Review
I find so much comfort when it comes to drinking a hot mug of tea or chocolate during the winter months. It helps me to survive by warming up my whole body.
If you have been subscribed to me for along time then you will know that I'm a huge tea fan. I love trying and testing festive flavours this time of year. What are you favourite festive beverages? Let me know in the comments below.
A tea company called Adagio got in touch acouple of weeks ago and kindly sent me a PR package full of teas and teaware in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own  I have been trying and testing all of their festive teas and gift sets. I'm here to share my thoughts with you so let's take a look. 
The first product which I received was Holiday Cheer which is a gourmet collection of 30 tea bags in six festive flavours. The flavours are Pumpkin Spice, Candy Apple, Gingerbread, Candy Cane and Cranberry. 
This is retailed at £14. The packaging is sophisticated and sleek. I love when you open the box to reveal 6 divided compartments which holds each sachet of the 6 different flavours. You get 1 tea bag per sachet. The tea sachets are colourful, bright and festive. I think that these would make fantastic stocking fillers for friends and family (if you don't want to gift the box to one person). My personal favourite festive flavours are Candy Cane, Pumpkin Spice, Candy Apple and Gingerbread.
The next product is "Candy Cane" (Spice Jubilee Bags). This attractive tin holds 15 pyramind tea bags. Retailed at £6. When you open the tin on the back of the lid is a beautiful candy cane montage. I love that I can reuse the tin for storage. Perhaps I'll use this to store my christmas decorations when I put them away after New Year.
The next product is Stocking Stuffers which has all the flavours from Holiday Cheer but they are presented in small tins. I think these are cute and would look lovely in your kitchen cupboard. This giftset would make a lovely present or as a stocking filler. 
If you don't like tea bags and prefer loose tea then Christmas Teas is available in a box of four sachets of Candy Cane, Chestnut, Gingerbread, Chestnut and Candy apple. Retailed at £6.  I love the logo of the baubles on the front. 
After I visited BlueBirdTea Co opening back in October (click here to read the blog post). I didn't manage to buy a loose tea infusior. Adagio kindly sent me a teapot called IngenuiTEA which makes brewing loose tea so easy. Retailed at £18. It's a great device which I now can't live without. I've been boasting about this product on my Instagram story.
The instructions are to add loose tea leaves, pour hot water and let the tea brew to your personal strength. When ready, simple place it ontop of your cup. The valve at the bottom will release causing crystal-clear tea to flow down. The filter retains all of the tea leaves. The ingenuiTEA is super easy to clean. It's BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
Adagio have a beautiful glass cup and saucer set. Retailed at £8. There is something so authentically pleasing about brewing tea in a clear cup so you can see the tea infuse the water. This is going to make some wonderful photographs for my Instagram. Stay tuned.
I feel that Adagio are a brand which make delicious tea, have beautiful packaging and teaware.
I hope that you enjoyed my review. Let me know in the comments if you have tried Adagio teas before. I would recommend them.
Bunny Hugs,

Hayley
xxx

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Why I Love Shopping Local. Small Business Saturday

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Why I Love Shopping Local. Small Business Saturday
I wanted to share with you in today's post why I love shopping locally. The reasons are because it boosts the local economy, it helps support entrepreneurs in your area and you can buy some quirky gifts for yourself or loved ones just in time for Christmas.
My hometown Nottingham is a wonderful city full of independent shops and businesses.
I was thrilled to receive an email invitation from It's In Nottingham to Small Business Saturday on the 2nd December 2017.
Small Business Saturday celebrates Independent Businesses all over the UK.
Click here to view a directory of all of the small fabulous businesses here in Nottingham.
It's In Nottingham had a fabulous afternoon in store for east midlands bloggers. We visited 4 of the best independent businesses in the city.
We met outside of Boots in Intu Broadmarsh at 11:50am then all headed to Made In Nottingham which was our first stop.
Made In Nottingham
Made In Nottingham is a department store inspired, created and crafted by the city's wonderful talent.  Over 40 local designers and businesses showcase and sell their wonderful creations here.
We had a look at the shop and what caught my eye was The Nottingham Candle Co. They make 100% natural soy candles in a wide variety of scents. Click here to be directed to their Etsy store.
I'm obsessed with candles this time of year (especially sweet scents). I love creating a cosy atmosphere in my home. This year I have an Airpure Scented Candle tea light advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas. No amount of candles in my possession is ever enough for me.
All bloggers got to make a Small  Saturday Business UK badge and I added mine to my shoulder bag which has quite the collection of badges campaigning for a variety of causes. I'm a true horoscope of Aquarius as I'm always campaigning for something.

We departed from Made In Nottingham about 1pm and made our way to the second stop which was Malt Cross.
Malt Cross
Malt Cross is a charity-run bar and eatery with deep woods and period features. Bloggers were invited to sit upstairs in a VIP area filled with cosy chairs and cute wooden tables. It's In Nottingham provided bloggers with festive photo props so we could have a giggle and take selfies for our social media channels. Click here to view on my Twitter a selfie with my favourite prop.
We were warmly welcomed with a warm glass of mulled wine. This was a great opportunity to talk to bloggers and vloggers while we waited for afternoon tea.
Our afternoon tea shortly arrived and the plate stands were jam-packed full of tasty sandwiches, scones and a wide variety of cakes. I liked how there were loads of options to pick and chose from.
The afternoon tea was delicious but I couldn't finish it all. My favourite cake was the lemon as it was beautifully moist and sweet. I'll definitely be returning again for another visit.
Then we headed off at 2pm to our next destination which was Studio Chocolate.
Studio Chocolate
Studio Chocolate is a beautiful studio space for chocolate making. 
We were welcomed with a glass of prosecco on arrival by Ellie Wharrad who is the founder of Studio Chocolate. Bloggers had a little look around the space. I love how it was decorated with a white and silver theme for Christmas. It looked so festive and pretty.
Chocolate making and tasting is such a fun activity to do especially if you are with a group of people. This is perfect for a hen or birthday party. 
The group of bloggers were divided on to two tables. We all sat down and in front of each seat was a Studio Chocolate apron for us to wear.
First of all, we had a taster session. Ellie talked us through the progress of chocolate. We tried a raw cocoa bean (which I didn't like.. ew), dark chocolate (nice), milk chocolate (yummy) and white chocolate (delicious). It was amazing to taste the difference from cocoa bean to chocolate.
 We were each provided with a small plastic tray of empty chocolate truffles and piping bags with a variety of delicious fillings. I filled my chocolates with pumpkin spice, cherry, caramel and chocolate
We sealed our truffles with melted chocolate and then covered them with even more chocolate. By the end of the session, I completely forgot which chocolate has what filling but that's part of the fun as it makes a nice surprise when you eat them. To finish our truffles off we dusted them with an edible shimmer and packaged our chocolates to take home.
Then about 3pm, it was time for the last stop which was Beauty Temple. 
Beauty Temple
I've visited Beauty Temple before as this venue held the preview of Nottingham Fashion Week (Click here to read the blog). I've also attended one of their monthly pop up parties (you get a mini treatment, canapes and cocktails).
I like visiting the Beauty Temple because it feels luxurious and relaxing. On arrival, we were welcomed with a glitter bomb cocktail and we were booked in for mini treatments. I was given 2 mini treatments which were a mini makeover with Delilah products (I love Delilah as they are cruelty-free and have the prettiest eyeshadows) and a glitter ball hand massage. I never knew how tense my hands were until they were massaged. The oil had sparkles in which made my hands look like Edward Cullen from the film Twilight.
I'd like to thank It's In Nottingham for organising and showing me around some amazing independent businesses in Nottingham. Click here to view Nottingham's independent areas. I'd like to thank Made In Nottingham, Malt Cross, Studio Chocolate and Beauty Temple for the taster session, treatments and workshop.
All bloggers got given a goodie bag at the end of the afternoon. It was full of goodies from Independent business. Shout out to
@Grayandbullopticians
@thetreatkitchen
@thefocusgallery
@homemadecafe
@thebeadshop
@madeinnottingham
@maltcross
@dukkigifts
@deviantangelemporium
@studiochocolate
Watch the vlog below on my YouTube channel
Bunny Hugs,

Hayley
xxx

Friday, 1 December 2017

Sampling The New Winter Menu At The Walton Hotel

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Sampling The New Winter Menu At The Walton Hotel
On Thursday 30th November at 7pm I was invited to sample the new winter menu at The Walton Hotel
The Walton Hotel and restaurant is nestled on the edge of The Park Estate and the building has been welcoming in Christmas for over two hundred years since it was originally built as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Newcastle. This year however the atmosphere is a little more special as the restaurant has been fully renovated to bring the style and feel in line with the rest of the Grade two listed building. 
There will be a selection of festive tipples in the bar and for those who have an appetite after a busy day of Christmas shopping or perhaps a special meal in the restaurant with their loved ones, the restaurant is the perfect refuge from the hordes of Christmas shoppers or evening revellers. Dramatic dark colours adorn the walls alongside rich wood panelling and sumptuous leather banquettes. Gilt edged mirrors and paintings accent the walls whilst chandeliers create a warm glow.
To complement the new look interiors the restaurant has also launched its new festive menu which will be served throughout December. Guests can enjoy mouth-watering dishes such as a starter of duck liver & orange parfait, toasted brioche, fig and plum chutney and pea shoots, or pan seared king scallops, creamy cauliflower puree, cauliflower beignets, black pudding crumb and pan jus. Followed by mains including roasted belly of pork, black pudding bon-bon, creamed potatoes, red cabbage jam and Walton apple & cider jus. For dessert the tempting dishes on offer include double chocolate fudge nut brownie, warm chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream and also tartlet au citron, raspberry coulis and raspberry sorbet.
Bar manager Rory has created some special Christmas cocktails to toast the festive season in with, which include White Russian- Kahlua, vodka and cream, Spiced Apple Martini- homemade spiced schnapps, apple juice, lemon juice and agave syrup, Espresso Martini- Vodka, agave syrup, Kahlua and espresso, The Democrat- whiskey, honey, peach, and lemon and The Walton Winter Cup- Pimms, rum, and ginger ale.
Operations Manager Paul Stafford said: “Christmas is a really special time at The Walton as now decorated the rooms feel so festive and cosy. We really think that people will love the winter menu as there are some really tempting dishes and the restaurant and rooms provide a festive haven to escape the crowds and relax and celebrate the festive season in beautiful surroundings.”
Me and my guest checked in at Reception and the receptionist took our coats. We were given a tour by a lovely member of staff called George. We were shown around the private dining room, lounge rooms, restaurant and newly refurbished hotel rooms.
The Walton Hotel is a stunning. I love the inviting and cosy atmosphere due to the dark interior, log fires, fairy lights, chandeliers and massive 15ft Christmas tree. 
We were welcomed into the dining room and shown to the bar where we got to pick a festive cocktail to taste. I chose a Spiced Apple Martini which went down rather smoothly. It was fruity and delicious. Recommended.
Then we were escorted to our table to make our food selection from the winter menu. Lydia served our table during our stay. We took awhile deciding what to have as all the food sounded amazing from the menu. We eventually made our 3-course dinner selection and chose a bottle of red house wine to go with it. All of the food on the menu is comfort food at it's finest.
For a starter, I ordered the Spiced Courgette Fritters with a creamy Tzatziki Dressing. It was delicious and cooked to perfection.
Moving onto the main course I went for the Mediterranean Vegetable Wellington served with slow roasted tomato sauce, sweet potato fries and wild rocket. I've never tried a vegetarian Wellington before and It was yummy. I'd definitely order this again when I next pop in for a visit. When I cut into the Wellington it was jam-packed full of vegetables and melted cheese.  I poured the entire minature saucepan of slow roasted tomato sauce over the top of my dish as I personally enjoy mixing food and sauces together.
The Wellington was served with sweet potato fries and they are my personal favourite to order at any restaurant. I was thrilled that they were crisp on the outside and smooth on the inside because it's just how I like them.
As me and my guest were tucking into our mains it started to snow outside which made us feel quite excited for Christmas.
Then for dessert I had the hot fudge brownie served with chocolate sauce and ice cream. This is food porn at it's finest. I was full from the previous two courses but my sweet tooth always makes sure I have room for dessert.
Everything was cooked to perfection. The wait inbetween meals was the right amount. The staff were attentive to all of our needs.
My evening at The Walton Hotel was a wonderful welcome to the start of December. I'm looking forward to putting my Christmas decorations up within the next 2 weeks but I don't think they will be as extravagant as The Walton Hotel though as they how to do Christmas to a whole new level.

Thank you for inviting me to come and review the menu. I'll pop back for a visit sometime in the near future

The restaurant is open seven days a week from Monday to Friday between 4.00pm-10.00pm and Saturdays from 12.00pm until 10.00pm and finally Sundays from 12.00pm till 6.00pm including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year so to book your Christmas meal please visit www.thewaltonhotel.com or call 0115 9475215.

Check out The Walton Hotel's social media channels below
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Bunny Hugs,

Hayley xx

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Cruelty Free Winter Beauty Essentials

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Cruelty Free Winter Beauty Essentials
Hi everyone.
I wanted to put together this month a cruelty-free winter beauty essentials blog post. I hope this inspires you to research more into cruelty-free beauty or perhaps swap your current beauty items for animal-friendly alternatives.
Salt Of The Earth Rock Chick Sweet Strawberry Natural Deodorant £6.99
A few weeks ago I wrote a review on Salt Of The Earth Rock Chick Sweet Strawberry. Click here to read the post. This deodorant is my winter beauty essentials as it has long lasting protection and it smells good enough to eat. I love how it's a pump spray and it's the ideal size to keep in your handbag.

The Body Shop Hemp Hand Lotion £5.00
I purchased this from The Body Shop Christmas Bloggers Event recently and this was apart of my mini haul.It builds a barrier on your skin to protect from everyday use. It's a great hand lotion especially if you get dry hands this time of year. I get eczema flare-ups which drive me a little crazy and make me want to scratch my hands off. The Hemp Hand lotion smooths and calms the skin.
Essence Shine Shine Shine Wet Lipgloss £2.00
This wet-look effect lipgloss is in shade 03 "Friends Of Glamour". It has a smooth and supple texture when applied to the lips. It's a dark pink which has a prism glow and it smells like boiled sweets. I think this is a complimentary lip colour to use with the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette which is the next item on my essentials list.
Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette £37.50
This palette has 12 amber neutrals which include warm browns, oranges and metallic pinks. This palette has everything you need to create sultry daytime looks, intensely smoky nighttime looks and everything in between. My favourite shades are Lumbre, Dirty Talk, Scorched, Ashes and Ember. I prefer shimmery shades to matte ones.
Elf Sweet Cherry Lip Exfoliator £4.50
The Elf Sweet Cherry Lip Exfoliator gently exfoliates lips to remove dry and chapped skin. My lips suffer this time of year in the winter but the sweet sugary and soothing sensation of the lip exfoliator helps to condition my lips. This contains Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Avocado, Grape and Jojoba Oils to nourish and protect. I couldn't live without a lip scrub as the before and after is extremely noticeable. Try it yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below.
What did you think of my cruelty-free winter beauty essentials? If you have any recommendations for new products. I'd love to hear.

Bunny Hugs,

Hayley

xxx

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Body Shop Christmas Bloggers Event And Mini Haul

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The Body Shop Christmas Bloggers Event And Mini Haul
I was invited to The Body Shop's Christmas bloggers event the other evening to have a look at their festive range and find out more about the Pray For Peace Campaign.
Read more on The Body Shop's website by clicking here.I wanted to share with you what I brought from the event as all bloggers were given a 40% discount for one night only. Thank you Body Shop:).They have some amazing gift sets this year and I love the collaboration with House Of Holland. The beauty sets transform into games to play and treasure long after Christmas is over. This collection is fun, colourful, playful and I love how you are being transported back to the joys of childhood.
In my mini haul I brought....
Bathbombs
I'm so happy that The Body Shop have brought out fun sized bath bombs and bubble bars. It's the time of year where I spend the most time in the bathroom. I love to light candles and have a nice long hot soak in the tub. I brought 3 bath bombs in the scent Vanilla, Strawberry and Mango.
At £1.50 each they are affordable and ideal stocking fillers for Christmas. These small but mighty bath bombs produce a bright colour in the water and each scent smells delicious. I hope that The Body Shop make more scents in the future to add to their range.
Hemp Hand Lotion
I feel as though I'm allergic to something whatever the season. In the summer months I have hay fever and in the winter I get hand eczema flare ups due to the cold and miserable British weather.
I was recommended by The Body Shop staff to try Hemp Hand Lotion. This is because it moisturises and builds up a protective barrier on your skin. I've been using it for a week and it's really helped my eczema to calm down. I couldn't recommend this product enough and that's why it's going to go in my winter essentials blog post (which is coming soon).
Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask
When I was invited to the first Body Shop bloggers event back in the summer. I was given 4 face mask samples to try. My favourite was the Chinese Ginseng And Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask.
This is because it brightens the skin and gently exfoliates. In the winter months my skin looks quite dull and goes a little flaky from being dry. The mask is perfect for my skin needs and it makes my face feel super soft every time I use it.

Let me know if you have tried any of these products in the comments below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Bunny Hugs,

Hayley

xxxx