Saturday, 4 April 2015

A Quick Pick Me Up | Jimmy's Iced Coffee

Jimmy's Iced Coffee* | link 
Iced Coffee is one of those drinks I associated with America, sounding too strange for my taste buds, I mean who would want to drink cold coffee? But, my mind recently changed when I was kindly sent a selection of Iced Coffees from Jimmy's Iced Coffee. Now I must start by saying how cool this Dorset company is. Everything from their motto 'Keep your chin up' to their quirky website and cute coffee mats I was sent.
 
Delivery was super fast and the best thing about it was the little poly fridge box which inside, nestled the iced coffees with an ice pack so they arrive fresh and ready to drink! Jimmy's coffee stock a huge range for everyone's taste buds, including Decaf, Original, Skinny and one of my favourite's Mocha. Their iced coffee has definitely won me over, with clean ingredients and a creamy smooth coffee taste.  They're the perfect pick me up in the morning or like me, you can drink before a gym session to give you the extra boost. The skinny one at only 118 calories is the perfect pre-workout drink. Their screw tops also mean you don't have to guzzle them down in one go, so you can slowly enjoy the creamy goodness of their coffees.
 
Jimmy's first sale was actually in Selfridges and now you can buy them from a range of different places including Whole foods and Tesco. To check out their website and order yourself some yummy coffee click here.
 
I'll be bringing one along with me on the ride to airport tomorrow to keep me going through my 9hour journey to Barbados. Enjoy the Easter Weekend everyone! Keep an eye out on my Instagram to see what I'll be getting up to in the Caribbean!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Gooey Chocolate And Raspberry Protein Brownies

 
 
So, if you follow me on instagram you'll have seen lots of the yummy food I've been cooking up recently. I've also been experiment with baking, not the traditional kind, healthy baking! Believe it or not, you can make yummy tasting bakes that won't make you feel guilty about that extra bite. My favourite has definitely been these chocolate protein brownies. They're the perfect treat when you're needing that little pick me up and are packed with protein and yummy raspberries to tingle your taste buds.
 
You'll need:
1/2 a cup of oats
1/2 cup of protein powder
2 tbsp. of cocao or cocoa powder
1/4 of a cup of applesauce
1 egg
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup of almond milk
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Two handfuls of raspberries
 
 
First of all blend the oats to make a fine oat flour, then mix this in with the protein (chocolate flavoured) and cocao. In a blender, whizz up the applesauce, (this makes the brownie stick together better) honey, milk and egg. Once blended, transfer the wet mixture into the dry, mixing as you go. Whilst mixing, heat up the coconut oil on a spoon over the hob and add this and the vanilla into the mixture. Next mix in the raspberries, I found it easier to use frozen ones so they hold their form better. Transfer this into a baking tin lined with baking paper - use a wet spoon to help spread the mixture. It doesn't make a huge amount of brownies so make sure your tin isn't too big or your brownies will be thin! Then pop in the oven on 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
 
 
The result will be tasty, gooey raspberry brownies. I've tried the recipe a few times now and I've also used a strawberry protein powder which was really yummy too. If chocolate doesn't appeal to you, try using different fruits and powders too! It's safe to say I've definitely become a foodie. Let me know what your favourite guilt free recipes are.
 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Mac Flamingo Review

Mac Flamingo Lipstick | £15.50

Every girl loves a Mac lipstick, I am no exception here. My favourite finish is the cremesheen, due to its pigmented colour and creamy moisturising feel it leaves on your lips. But recently I stumbled upon this little beauty Flamingo which is in fact a lustre finish. I believe at one time this was a limited edition shade but was obviously kept because of how pretty it is! The lustre finishes have never really appealed to me as they never seem to be as pigmented as the others. But flamingo was an exception for me. The beautiful creamy coral colour immediately had me sold.
 
Corals are the perfect shades for Summer holidays and with my trip to the Caribbean coming up I know this will pair perfectly with a tan. The only reason I haven't swatched it on my lips is because my lips are so dry right now but they're on the mend! It's super creamy and the colour is definitely buildable which will be great for a natural lip in the day and a brighter lip at night.  This would be perfect for those who aren't ready to go full on bold with their lip shades. Flamingo has definitely opened my eyes to the lustre range now, I'll be sure to cast my eyes over them on my next Mac visit!
 
What's your favourite Mac finish? Have you been adding any new lipsticks to your collection recently?

Friday, 13 March 2015

Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palette | Hot Spice

Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palette | £6 | link


Makeup revolution has been featured a lot recently on my blog. It's such a brilliant, affordable brand with an amazingly diverse product range. One of the things I personally love is the different palettes they stock. I've never been one for using blush, more of a contour girl myself. This meant I didn't know what colours really suited me. This palette was the perfect purchase with 6 strong blush colours, 3 of which are matte and 2 highlight shades.


 I picked up the palette 'Hot Spice' which is more suited to darker skin tones, whereas the 'Sugar and Spice is much more suited to lighter tones. The shades are quite pigmented for such a great price, which is something I didn't expect (although they haven't photographed too well). The shades consist of more peach and warm coral colours rather than the typical blush pinks which I've found is perfect for myself. The blushes are easy to apply, I use my real techniques blush brush and have honestly found myself having to wipe off or powder down the colour because of the strong pigmentation! The bottom right highlight is a beautiful soft colour which would be perfect for a holiday or in the Summer.


One thing I would say about the palette is that even though makeup revolution say the shades would be perfect for highlight, I personally think they're too orange toned. So for now I'm sticking with my usual contour products but branching out and experimenting with different blushes. For £6 I'd recommend you give it a go and see for yourself. If you'd like to see these put the test check out my youtube videos at lauraslittleloves.
What's your favourite blush? Have you tried much from the Makeup Revolution range?

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Healthy Snacking | Flapjack Bars

In preparation for my holiday, I've turned to a healthier way of eating and two weeks in I'm seeing great results. I'm not following a diet plan but it's making sure I eat unprocessed clean foods and load up on protein and veggies. One thing which has been difficult though is cutting out snacks. So I decided to experiment with different ingredients to make a healthier snack bar I can eat when I need a bit of a pick me up. These flapjack bars are super yummy and simple to make too!


 Ingredients
1 cup of dates (de-stoned)
1 1/2 cups of oats
1 cup of almonds
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cup of honey
1 banana
1tbsp of coconut oil



 First of all I blended up the dates in a food processor until they mould into a rolled up ball. I then blitzed the almonds in the same food processor and added the almonds and dates into a ball. Next I chopped up a banana and added this into the mixture along with the oats. I mixed this up together, breaking up the ball of dates with a spoon as I went. Whilst mixing, heat up the peanut butter, honey and coconut oil in a saucepan until it forms a runny consistency. Then slowly add the bowl of mixture into the pan stirring slowly to ensure all the mixture is covered evenly. I heated this up for a few minutes just to melt together the ingredients.
I then covered a square tin in greaseproof paper and poured the mixture in, ensuring it was evenly spread across the tin. Then popped it into the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Then take it out of the oven and allow to cool for a good half hour. Finally I popped it in the freezer (yes freezer) to set the bars before chopping into equal pieces.
The bars are super yummy and can be kept in a freezer or fridge to keep fresh and tasty. I was a little unsure about the taste of the dates but if anything they make the bars sweet and help to hold the ingredients together. You could also add other fruits as opposed to bananas but bananas are one my favourites. Let me know if you give the recipe a go! Would love to see your feedback.
What are your favourite healthy snacks?

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Soap and Glory Archery Review

Soap and Glory Archery 2-in-1 | £8.00 | link
Everyone knows just how huge brows are right now, literally huge. I for one am not a fan of the slug brow where brow gel has just been brushed through and around the whole of the brow with strong square corners. However besides the sharpie brow, I do love to enhance my brows naturally. It's definitely all in the application and how well you can create and build up natural, tiny hair strokes and I believe this pencil does the job perfectly.



The Soap and Glory Archery is a duo product consisting of a pencil and spooly brush. I chose the colour Blondeshell which is a light ash toned brown, perfect for blondes or light brown hair colours. One of my issues with the HD brow kits and other kits alike, is that the shades are far too warm for my brows. This however, is the perfect tone.

The pencil is super fine and has been compared to that of the Anastasia Brow Wiz! It's a solid wax formula but is the perfect consistency to create fine lines.The retractable function makes it easy to use and it's just perfect to create small fine strokes to build up those brows. The design is perfect and it goes everywhere with me. For me, it's so the natural 'these are my own brows' brow pencil.

The brow wand is exclusive to boots but at £8 is a fabulous dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz and the perfect lightweight tool to create the perfect brows. The shade range is limited but if you're blonde or ash coloured like me, this could be the shade you've been looking for.

What's your favourite brow product? Do you prefer a pencil or a powder?

Monday, 23 February 2015

Fit February | Squat Variations

 
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Squatting is one of those exercises people love to hate. You can see huge progress from squatting and it's such a simple exercise, yet causes the biggest burn and inability to use any stairs for the days after. Squats not only help to build leg and glute muscle but they also help with balance, fat burning and removing waste. Done properly, they are such a brilliant exercise which not only form part of my weight training but also HIIT. I'm by no means a personal trainer, however I've done my fair share of squats and  I'm going to explain how you can do some of my favourite movements.
 
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The Basic Squat
This is where everyone begins,  feet should be shoulder width apart. Make sure your entire body is facing straight forward, including your toes, knees and hips, keeping your abdominal muscles flexed. Bend your knees whilst sitting back, try not to let your knees go forward! Keep your back straight and shoulder blades pinched back, when your knees have reached 90 degrees stand up, making sure you don't lock the knees out at the top.

Jump Squat
Same movement as a basic squat but when you reach the bottom of the squat bend your knees and jump up with all your force, raising your arms as you do so. As soon as your feet touch the ground, return to the squat position and repeat again. This variation is to be done super quick but not losing the form! It's a real burner on your thighs.

Squat Jack
Think of a jumping jack but at the bottom of the jack you squat. When you jump out your legs and arms don't touch the ground but stay in the air, then return to the squat and power out and repeat. This is a real killer, I'd aim for 15-20 reps repeated 4 times.

Squat Pulses
If you really want to feel the burn try this one, in the normal squat position but at the bottom of the squat try pulsing for 8. I do this using a barbell which really works your butt! Try keep low at the bottom of the squat, the smaller the pulse the better!

Sumo Hold
For this squat have your legs further than hip distance apart, feet turned slightly out. Go to the bottom of a squat legs parallel to the ground and simply hold it. Make sure you chest is up and shoulder blades are back. I usually hold for around 30 seconds.

Borrowers squats
This is one I picked up from my Metafit class. You go down in a normal squat but jump your legs out together further than hip distance then return them back. The aim is not to jump your body up and down, the movement should be from the hip and you should have minimal movement. Possibly one of my favourite squats to do!
 
Pistol Squat
A difficult squat if you don't have great balance. Stand on one leg and then squat down, keeping your other leg extended in front of you.  Repeat for four reps then swap legs.

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There are so many other squat variations out there. I also like to use a bosu ball and a stepper to do jump squats or mix it up with a kettlebell  but these variations are perfect to do anywhere with no equipment needed! You'll definitely be feeling the burn in no time. What are your favourite types of squats to do?