At Home With Life has moved! An exciting new website is awaiting you at www.athomewithlife.com – come join me…
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a set of the Body Fantasies Perfume Body Sprays as part of a DARE magazine Twitter competition. Body Fantasies are an American brand of body sprays, and they have just launched four of their body sprays in the UK at Superdrug. The four fragrances that were launched in the UK were Japanese Cherry Blossom, Pink Grapefruit, Pink Vanilla Kiss Fantasy and Twilight Mist, and these were the ones that I was kindly sent.
I’m not really a huge fan of body sprays, I have to say. Up until last summer I have always been a perfume girl, because I believe that it lasts a lot longer on my skin, and I’m not a fan of having to respray during the day. However, on our trip to Florida last year I went into Bath and Body Works and picked up a couple of their body sprays, and I’ve really been enjoying using them. Therefore, when the Body Fantasies body sprays arrived in the post I was excited to give them a try.
Each bottle is £3.99 for 94ml, which according to the bottle lid is over 500 sprays. This is a really reasonable price for a product that’s going to last you a good while. The bottles are a good size and are not too heavy, which means they are perfect to keep in your handbag and top-up on the go if you need to. Also, the packaging is really pretty, meaning they look lovely out on my dressing table.
As they are a body spray, I have found them quite similar to my Bath and Body Works sprays, in that they last for a good part of the day, but you do need to top them up after a while. However, it is after all a body spray and not a perfume.
My favourites from the four are Twilight Mist – a musky yet fruity fragrance that is very feminine and sophisticated – and Pink Vanilla Kiss Fantasy – a much sweeter scent with vanilla undertones.
The range in the US is obviously much larger, and there are some other really intriguing scents – it would be great to see the other body sprays in the UK too.
Overall, these body sprays are affordable, fun and great to wear. 4 out of 5 stars for me!
I’ve got a jammy treat for you all today!
My husband loves these! And what’s great is that they are so easy to make. You only need 7 ingredients and you can have a tasty treat knocked up in less than an hour. These would be perfect to make with the kids as they can get involved at every stage and will love eating them afterwards.
Follow these steps to jammy heaven!
150g plain flour
60g caster sugar
125g butter, melted
240g raspberry jam
170g desiccated coconut
60g caster sugar
2 eggs, whisked
1) Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 16cm x 16cm baking tin with non-stick baking paper, letting the paper hang over the sides.
2) Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and mix until well combined.
3) Press the mixture firmly over the base of the tin.
4) Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden, and then set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
5) Once cooled, spread the jam evenly over the biscuit base.
6) Mix the coconut, sugar and eggs together in a bowl. Spoon this mixture over the jam, pressing down slightly.
7) Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
8) Set aside in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
9) Cut into squares to serve.
Since November last year I have been having blonde highlights added to my hair, and I’ve gone blonder and blonder every six weeks. I’ve never been blonde before, but I am loving it! I think it looks so good and I’m enjoying it looking so different – I think it really suits me!
Being blonde, though, means that I have to think more carefully about the way I take care of my hair. It gets very dry, especially at the ends. And it can get quite unmanageable in terms of combing it out after washing. Also, I’ve noticed my hair is a lot frizzier. That’s the thing about bleach unfortunately!
Therefore, my attitude to picking out haircare products, ie just buy stuff that’s on offer, was not going to cut it. So I started doing a bit more research and I’ve now got a set of products that are working for me really well. My hair is smooth and soft, frizz-free and being treated for damage and I’m really happy with the condition.
Here are the products that I’ve been using and loving:
TRESemme Salon Silk Shampoo and Conditioner
These products are designed to give your hair moisture and tame frizz and flyaways. I’ve been using the shampoo and conditioner for about 6 weeks now and I can really notice a difference in terms of how soft and smooth my hair feels after blowdrying. It’s a lot more manageable and I love the way they leave my hair feeling.
Herbal Essences Bee Strong Intensive Mask
I use this mask 1-2 times a week to give my hair more moisture and to try and tackle damage to my hair. I run this through my hair after shampooing and then leave it on until the end of my shower before rinsing off. I love the smell of this! It’s got honey and apricot extracts and it leaves your hair smelling so nice! But more than this though, I have noticed a real difference with how smooth my hair looks and feels.
L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil for Coloured Hair
I smooth this oil through my hair before combing and then blowdrying. It really helps with combing my hair through without it getting too knotty and breaking and after blowdrying gives it a nice shine. This is made with a blend of 6 flower extracts so it also smells incredible on your hair, and you can use it before shampooing for extra colour protection and after blowdrying for a silky finish.
I would love to know of more products to try to keep my blonde hair in the best condition possible. Please let me know of any products that you’ve used and really liked in the comments below and I’ll try and give some of them a go.
One of my goals for 2016 was to improve my fitness. And guess what? In true Lindsi style, I haven’t done a thing about this one yet.
I seriously cannot be bothered when it comes to exercise. I’ve pondered a few ideas over the last two months and thought about stuff I might do, but haven’t actually done it.
Truth is, exercise has always been a problem for me in my adult life. As a kid, I went to swimming club and did dance classes every week, and I loved it. It was fun, and I didn’t think about it as exercise, which is why I went back week after week fully enthusiastic about what I was doing. Because it wasn’t exercise, it was having fun.
Since becoming an adult, and knowing that I should keep active and healthy, most forms of exercise just don’t appeal to me. I’ve gone years without doing much at all, and now when I attempt to do anything immediately my brain (and my husband!) screams at me: YOU CAN’T DO IT! YOU’RE SO UNFIT!
I think part of the problem as well is my asthma. I have mild asthma, and I only take an inhaler when I need to rather than daily, but it flares up on two occasions: during hayfever season, and when I exercise. When I go for a medication review at the doctors, and I’m asked to do a peak flow test, the doctor is always shocked at my lung capacity, and my husband is always laughing at me when I’m out of breath after going up some stairs (have you tried using the stairs at Covent Garden station? Nightmare!). Therefore, a lot of the time, I associate exercise with being extremely out of breath and uncomfortable and this doesn’t appeal to me either.
However, all this being said, I do know how important it is to keep fit and active, and there are parts of my body that I would love to tone up more so I feel better about myself. So this week, I set about researching exercise I could do at home that would be high impact and not take up too much time. These are the four exercise plans I’m going to try out over the next four weeks and see how I get on. I’m looking for ease of use, high impact, short burst of time and to see results as quickly as possible. I weighed myself this morning and noted down all of my measurements so I can hopefully chart the difference these four weeks make later.
Make sure you check back for my post on how it all goes!
This is a 7 minute high intensity workout. Initially when you download the app you can only do the full body workout which involves 30 seconds bursts of activities followed by 10 seconds of rest time. If you do the 7 minutes every day you unlock extra workouts to do, plus other achievements to keep you motivated.
2) FitStar Personal Trainer
This app comes with a basic, free option or a paid, premium option. The basic option includes two free workouts a week that can be customised to suit your training needs. It asks for some personal info at the start and for you to do a fitness test and then you can get going. The workouts are short and designed to increase your strength and confidence.
3) Workout Trainer by Skimble
This app asks you what your fitness goals are at the start and then suggests workouts that will help you achieve them. There are a variety of different workouts to do, including Cardio Boxer and Restore and Relax, all relatively short and designed for impact.
4) TheBodyCoach HIIT training
We recently purchased Joe Wick’s ‘Lean in 15’ cookbook which includes HIIT training exercises at the back to try. Plus, Joe has his own YouTube channel called TheBodyCoachTV where he has posted other workout videos and some recipes.
Check back soon to see how I get on!
Maybelline have recently launched their new Falsies Push Up Drama mascara, a step up perhaps from their Falsies mascara.
I picked this up on Boots after having heard a few good things about it on Twitter and watching a Beauty’s Big Sister video where she applies it for the first time on YouTube. I was intrigued, especially as it had been a while since I’d tried a new mascara.
The packaging is really pretty, with the metallic red and pink perfect for this time of year. The bristles on the brush are cup-shaped to boost and thicken lashes, and the formula itself is designed to plump and volumise your lashes with a Styling Wax included to keep lashes in place.
I’ve used this mascara quite a few times now and really like it. It gives my lashes lots of volume and drama, giving a intense but sultry look. You can apply more than one coat of this, but I tend to stick to one as I prefer a more natural look to my mascara in general.
The only things I don’t like about this product are that it can be a little bit clumpy at times, but you can work this out with a cotton bud pretty easily. Also, I get a little bit of falldown as the day wears on, but this may be down to the fact that my eyes can be watery at times.
Overall, a solidly good mascara which I’d give 4 out of 5 stars to.
I’ll start with this word because it pretty much sums up my experience of reading this book.
I picked it up as a friend of mine said it was her favourite book, and I’d seen the sequel, ‘After You’, hauled by people on Youtube and also in Waterstones. I was intrigued.
I started this book knowing nothing about it, and with the misconception that this was going to be your bog-standard chick-lit novel. No, and no. I was so wrong.
This is the story of Will Traynor, who is involved in a life-changing accident at the beginning of the novel, and Lou Clark, a recently unemployed waitress who doesn’t really know what to do with her life and stumbles into a new job that involves caring for Will. What follows is the story of their relationship, and how each of them will change the other forever.
I learnt so much reading this book – it was a real eye-opener in terms of disability and the realities of living life as a paraplegic. But that wasn’t the reason I loved the book so much. Put simply, it touched me, and they are very few other books (if any) that have had this affect on me. Seriously, I cried at the end, and I spent days afterwards thinking about what happened.
It was only after I finished the book that I found out about the movie coming out in June of this year. The trailer was released earlier this week and I left it until today to watch it as I knew I was going to write this post this afternoon. And it’s safe to say that I’m already very excited after seeing this film – especially because of the cast they have picked out: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Jenna Coleman and Charles Dance all feature. It’ll be interesting to see how Emilia Clarke plays Lou – at the moment I can’t get her as Daenerys Targaryen out of my head, but I’m sure she’ll be brilliant.
If you haven’t read this book, you need to go and pick it up now. You won’t be disappointed! Meanwhile, I’m off to buy the sequel…
If you’ve watched my video on My Current Skincare Routine on my YouTube channel (and if you haven’t, you need to check it out!), you’ll know that I talked about wanting to try out new things with my skincare routine as I’ve been a bit neglectful of this area of my life for a while now.
Filming this video got me thinking about the skincare products and makeup I own at the moment and whether I actually needed and used some of them. It’s certainly been a while since I’ve had a clear out.
So one Sunday morning I went through all the products I owned, sorting through what I used and really liked, and getting rid of the old stuff that’d been sitting around for ages and that I clearly didn’t need anymore.
A clear out like this is just so satisfying. Reorganising after I’d thrown away all the old stuff meant that my products were a lot more accessible and easy to see, hopefully meaning that I’ll get much more use out of them. It also meant that I could have a think about what I didn’t have and needed, and what I’d bought in the past and shouldn’t bother rebuying again. Makeup and skincare products can be really expensive so it’s so important that you actually buy things that you’re going to get a lot of use out of (something I seem to have glossed over in the past).
Here are my reorganised product drawers. I’m loving the new look!
One of my goals for 2016 is to get fitter, and, inevitably, because I am trying new things to up my fitness, it makes me review my diet and whether I can be doing things better.
I don’t think I have a particularly bad diet at the moment. I don’t eat huge meals because I just can’t eat big portions, I don’t eat a lot of bread or fatty foods and having a takeaway is a rarity now.
The one thing I have a weakness for though is snacking. And they’re not healthy snacks either. I love a good bag of crisps or bar of chocolate, and over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking that I should probably start replacing these with healthier substitutes.
So, I’ve done a bit of looking around at alternatives, and I came across two snacks that I thought I’d try. Below are my reviews of both.
Nakd Bars (Cocoa Orange and Banana Bread)
These are snack bars made from raw fruit and nuts and 100% natural ingredients. A great alternative to a cereal bar or chocolate bar, these bars are sweet and satisfying, especially as you know that they’re doing good things for your body. They kept me going for the same amount of time as other less-healthy snacks, if not longer, and I really liked them. I have ordered the Cocoa and Apple Pie bars for this week, and there are plenty of other flavours to try. They are more expensive than some of my normal snacks (£2.75 for 4 bars), but I don’t mind paying more if I know they’re going to be better for me. These are a winner!
Whitworths Fusions (Bountiful Coconutty)
I’ve always been a fan of dried fruit and nuts for snacks, but often when you buy these in packets you get one or two different things in the packet and it gets a bit samey after a while. Step up Whitworth’s Fusions. These come in 4 different variety packs, and I initially bought the Bountiful Coconutty ones which contained almonds, brazil nuts, flame raisins and dark-chocolate covered coconut pieces. I had some of these after work to tide me over til dinner and a handful was all I needed to keep me going, and they were really nice! I have bought the Berryfruit Madness and the Cinnamon Apple Jumble to have a try of next, and I’m looking forward to seeing what these are like. These are £1.50 for a 90g bag which is not too bad if you only need a handful at a time – I’ve still got some left from this week! A definite game-changer for snacking!
Let me know if there are any other healthy snacks that I should try – I’d love to try more out.
So I thought after posting my first YouTube video this week, I’d write about why I did it in the first place.
This is going to sound ridiculous, but up until about a year ago I only used YouTube to research things for work or to watch something funny that had come up on my Facebook timeline. And I know there are going to be loads of you who read this and say ‘Where had you been all that time?’. I know, believe me, I’d been missing out up until this point.
Because although YouTube is great for research, the reason I visit the site on a daily basis now is to watch normal people talk about things and have experiences that I can relate to and connect with.
I was thinking only the other day how good it would have been for me, and no doubt countless others, to have something like YouTube available when I was a teenager. Because I think it provides lots of people with role models – people to look up to, but also people that are having exactly the same experiences as you. People who provide the ‘I so get that!’ moments for those who watch them. And this is the whole reason I started my channel (and my blog) in the first place – to share my passions and connect with others.
And so, I thought I’d share with you 5 YouTube channels that I go back to again and again for quality videos and inspiring content.
- PeruseProject – A channel for reading inspiration. Regan posts weekly videos about what she’s reading, what books she’s bought recently, as well as other fun book-related stuff. She’s so enthusiastic about reading and I’ve picked up loads of new reading ideas based on watching her videos.
- Bella Coco – When I got into crocheting, Sarah-Jayne’s channel provided the inspiration and how-to help I needed to get excited about this fabulous craft. Her how-to videos are really well put together and you can follow what she is doing really easily. I have made a few projects that she’s uploaded videos on, and I will no doubt make more based on her recommendations in the future.
- vlogbrothers – This is a channel run by John Green (the author of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’) and his brother Hank. They post two 3-4 minute videos a week where they talk about the world and their views on it. The videos are really topical, provide laugh out loud moments and always leave me pondering what my opinion is and wanting to find out more.
- Meg Says – I’ve only just recently discovered Meg’s channel and I’m already in love with it. Her video ‘Ten Things I’ve Learnt About YouTube in One Year‘ was the one I watched first, and it reminded me of all the reasons I started my own YouTube channel, and made me want to do it even more. Her channel is only a year old, but her down to earth nature and her friendly approach will leave you wanting to watch more.
- Fleur DeForce – This is my go-to channel for all things beauty and make-up at the moment. Fleur posts weekly videos giving advice on products she uses, as well as her thoughts on new products. I have added quite a few items to my beauty Pinterest board based on watching her videos – I just need to get around to buying them now!
I’d love to know what YouTube channels you all religiously watch – leave me your comments below!