In Review: Synergy Natural 100% Organic Super Greens

Synergy Natural Organic Super Greens
Superfoods – and green foods, in particular – have been the obsession of the health and beauty community for quite some time. As a rule, the ‘dark greens’ of the world tend to pack the biggest punch of nutrients yet, unfortunately, often take the form of microscopic freshwater plants. Not the type of things you want to throw on top of a salad.

Knowing this, Synergy Natural created 100% Organic Super Greens tablets of Spirulina, Chlorella, Barley Grass and Wheat Grass to assist the green-ingesting masses. Nutritionally, these tablets are wildly different from the synthetic variations you find in most high street ‘health stores’. Spirulina alone is currently the most nutritious whole food in existence, making the filler-free blend of 100% pure and Certified Organic ingredients a very powerful concoction.

Having taken an average of 2-4 tablets a day over the past few weeks (many users take up to 10), I am currently taking no other vitamins or supplements and feeling wonderful. Expect increased energy, an alkalised body (essential for anyone struggling with the acidity of processed foods), and detoxification as a whole. In fact, on the days I take more pills I don’t feel the need to drink coffee (my biggest vice!).

My health/beauty pick of the month, hands down.

In Review: Sodastream Source (+ Cocktail Recipes!)

sodastream source
My American readers may have no idea what a SodaStream is, but the Brit collective is likely to have seen one on the counter-top of their grandmother’s house.

At least, that’s where I met my first SodaStream.

As a child recently diagnosed with Diabetes, the SodaStream held some special magic in my eyes. While doctors had spent the previous year telling me I would never been allowed to drink a sugary drink again (barring low blood sugars), the SodaStream’s ability to carbonate water – to make water fun – was otherworldly.

Now, over 100 years since SodaStream’s inception (!), I have introduced one into my personal home. Say hello to the SodaStream Source. Designed by Yves Béhar, the Source is the most attractive thing on my countertop (and, in fact, one of the most-used devices in the entire house).

From unboxing to use, you simply slide in the C02 canister, fix your SodaStream bottle in place, then press down on the top of the device until your desired ‘fizz’ level (shown by a clear LED display) is reached. As well as turning tap water into sparkling water in seconds, the range’s addition of Diet flavours, ‘My Water’ (a range of unsweetened, all natural flavours), and Stevia products has made it one of my favourite cocktail-making companions, to boot.

To Make Fizzy White Wine Sangria with a SodaStream:
1 bottle of white wine (cheap works – the joy of Sangria!)
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 pineapple, peeled and cubed
3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1/8 cup minced ginger
1 cup Free Fresh Lemonade SodaStream

Peel and cut all fruit, pour white wine and Sodastream over fruit. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve (with fruit pieces).

To Make a Cranberry Kir Royale (Homemade Liqueur) with a SodaStream :
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
3/4 cup vodka of your choice
4 cups dry prosecco, chilled
1/4 cup Diet Cranberry & Raspberry SodaStream

Heat the agave nectar, cranberry sauce, and SodaStream mix together for 5 minutes over medium heat. Let it cool, pour in the vodka, then let it rest – covered – in the refrigerator.

After four days, strain then mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a small jar, discarding the solids. Spoon two tablespoons of your new liqueur into each flute, then top with your prosecco to serve.

To Make Fresh Cherry Mojitos (Rum) with a SodaStream:
5 dark, sweet cherries, pitted
10 fresh mint leaves
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 shots of your favourite rum (I love it with Malibu)
SodaStream diet tonic
Crushed ice

Squash cherries and mint to release the juices. Pour wet ingredients over, and top with your tonic. Ad crushed ice to serve.

Happy SodaStream-ing!

sodastream source
sodastream source
Continue reading

What I Wore – Brooks Brothers and Pop Tarts

brooks brothers pop tarts
This is what happens when you let an American loose in England – she recklessly hops and skips around town wearing collegiate Brooks Brothers whites and Pop Tarts accessories.

(I swear, they’d kick me out if I wasn’t addicted to Game of Thrones.)

What I Wore:
Petite non-iron white shirt from Brooks Brothers
Neon skirt (out of season, similar here)
Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses
Pop Tarts case as a clutch (bought last year in the US)
Citizen Drive watch
Neon heels (out of season, similar here)

brooks brothers pop tarts
brooks brothers pop tarts
Continue reading

Summer Beauty: Oxygenetix, Lanolips, and Murad,

oxygenetix foundation
As minimal as my make-up regime is (at least for a former beauty editor), I tend to strip things down to the bare minimum for Summer. With a bit of colour on my skin, my need for pale-girl dark circle concealer dissapears and my rosacea almost looks like blush.

Almost. (Delusion at its finest.)

In my opinion, the only summer beauty products needed are the following three:

Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation

Holy Grail product alert. As I’m not using concealer over Summer (anything that truly ‘covers’ tends to be comedogenic, therefore terrible in hot conditions), I have been on the search for something healthier that could help with dark circles or angry spots of rosacea.

As hard as I’ve tried, I simply can’t find fault in Oxygenetix.

Created for extremely sensitive skin, this foundation is a natural beauty lover’s dream; non-comedogenic (though buildable to a high coverage), oil free, fragrance free, organically certified, hypoallergenic, and incredibly light. The foundation’s oxygen complex – Ceravitae – even instigates collagen cell and connective tissue growth; we’re talking effectively treatment for wounded/scarred skin, here.

I will be buying this again and again (though the tube could probably last a year – a little goes a long way).

lanolips lip ointment with colour

Lanolips Lip Ointment with Colour

Lanolips has long been considered a wonder product, but my embarrassingly large box of hoarded lip balms and butters has stood in the way of purchasing yet another box-fated balm. Until I realised they released a version with colour….COLOUR!

I’m a sucker, but a pretty happy sucker in this case.

The colour pigment (‘Rhubarb’ – a pink/red, seen here) is blended with over 60% Ultra Pure Grade Lanolin, vitamin E and SPF 15 to make an ultra-natural and shockingly rich gloss. Approved by dermatologists (and their animal friends), the ointment is practically the only thing I’ve worn on my lips for the past month. The hydration is high, the gloss is pretty (but not sticky), and the finish…like you’ve just eaten a handful of juicy cherries.

murad essential c sun balm

Murad Essential-C Sun Balm

As if I was going to do a summer beauty blog without discussing SPF.

Because I’m not wanting to bore you to death, I’ll forgo the “wear SPF every day!” rambles and get straight to the good stuff.

1) Murad’s Essential-C Sun Balm has an SPF of 35.
2) If you let it sink in for a few minutes, it works as a beautiful make-up primer.
3) It smells like SORBET (most likely due to the moisture-locking tangerine butter).
4) The broccoli extract stimulates the skin’s natural defence against UV damage
5) It is packed with vitamins A, C and E for immediate and long term skin renewal and protection.
6) It features “MuraSol™ Antioxidant Defense” (a secret antioxidant sheild full of free radical neutralisers).

Buy it. Your skin will thank you.

In Review: All Star Lanes, Manchester

all star lanes manchester
On my very first trip to Manchester after moving ‘Up North’, All Star Lanes caught my eye. Situated just off of Deansgate in The Great Northern Warehouse, the building simply can’t escape your attention.

Last weekend, The Manfriend and I finally booked in for date night (avec balls, burgers, and bowling shoes).

All Star Lanes is rather slick from the second you step through the door. The open plan bowling alley-cum-restaurant has also done well to become the epitome of an ‘all-American’ establishment, all the way down to the lines of Big Red gum decorating the bowling counter.

Intrigued by the amount of mega-heeled platforms lining the wall of bowling shoe swaps, we changed into our complimentary kicks and shuffled off towards our lane.

As far as bowling goes, I’m nothing to blog about (…yes, I lost. Yes, I got a gutter ball or five) but I loved the experience nonetheless. Each of their eight lanes are manned by waiters, so whether you and your best mates want to get silly on Blue Moon en masse (hello, lane seven!) or you believe you can manage a full cookie-crumbled milkshake before dinner (guess who), there is something for everyone.

Defeated and less hungry than I would have liked to have been, I changed out of my bowling shoes and joined the winning party in the restaurant for some a starter, a main, and a hit of caffeine.

My favourite part of the entire meal (and the immediate apple of my menu-reading eye) was the Smoked Mac & Cheese Croquettes with roast onion and balsamic dip. Between this genius comfort food creation and a nibble of one of The Manfriend’s crispy and ridiculously saucy BBQ chicken wings, I would have been happy to end the meal there.

And perhaps should have. This is not to say that anything was wrong with my main (buttermilk fried chicken and sweet potato fries), I simply had no appetite left for it after the aforementioned milkshake and starter.

You guys, I even refused a bite of a brioche-bunned Monterey Jack cheeseburger from the other side of the table. THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

Guiltily leaving more than half of each plate behind, I have since vowed to return at a later date and refuse all milkshake temptations until all food has been given a fair change (I am kicking myself for missing out on their warm cornbread with jalapeño salsa, nacho cheese and chilli jam – this is Indiana ON A PLATE).

My vote? Go. Eat. Play. Stay ’til 2am on Saturdays, if you dare (a little drunk bowling couldn’t hurt, eh?).

all star lanes manchester
all star lanes manchester
Continue reading