Monday, 28 July 2014

Cupcake Shop Purse from Vendula London ♥

I'm currently testing out my new laptop, which has basically taken me 3 whole evenings to set up. Isn't Windows 8 annoying? Anyway, here's my first blog post on the new laptop, and I think I've managed it just fine luckily! 

I recently received this gorgeous gift from a company called Vendula. They are a quirky unique accessories brand whose designs are fun and vintage inspired. Their products are completely original and the design team is based in London. They sell a range of purses, handbags, phone cases and other accessories, and each one has the cutest design! 

This is the Vendula Cupcakes Medium Wallet which has the most adorable cake shop window design on it! It's such a nice purse, and practical too! It's just the right size for me, as it has space for all of my cards, as well as notes and a zip for coins. I love a purse with lots of compartments! It also has the most beautiful lining inside; featuring a London city print. The purse has been really nicely made, with an embossed logo and stitching detail. Isn't the little doggie cute? The door even has opening hours on it!   

Check out their adorable range of 'shop window' accessories. As well as a cake shop, they also have a dress boutique, cafe, and lingerie store design!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Boyfriend Birthday Gift Ideas ♥

It was Liams birthday last month, and I had pretty much no idea at all what to get him! I did consider a smart watch, but he said he hates wearing watches so I needed to buck up my ideas. What do you buy for a guy? They don't need many clothes, they don't use make up, they don't find fancy toiletries very appealing, posh pants are boring... I was a bit stuck, but after a long few days of scouring the internet I picked him up some lovely things!

Because Liam travels home from the Army a lot on weekends, I thought it would be nice to get him a smart holdall bag to use for his trips. I know River Island is one of his preferred stores, and I'd seen him eye up this bag already! It's a nice dark brown leather look holdall, with plenty of zipped pockets. He also has a nice leather Ted Baker wash bag that I bought him last year which goes nicely with this! He loves this bag and uses it frequently!

 In keeping with the gentleman's leather theme, I also got him this very smart Ted Baker phone case for his iPhone. Ted Baker is his favourite brand, and I love their mens accessories. This goes really nicely with the holdall bag, and keeps his phone nice and safe! It fits really snuggly to keep it secure, as well as still allowing access to all buttons and ports. It even has a slot to keep his cards in too! He's been using his posh new phone case whenever he comes home at weekends, as he's worried it will get ruined at Army camp!
I wasn't too sure about this t-shirt as it's got a really large print on it, and I know he prefers plain styled tops. But he has always liked these sugarskull type designs, so I instantly thought of his when I saw it! It was only £12 from ASOS, although it's now out of stock. I think Liam likes the design of the top, although it's a bit big for him so will probably just wear it as a lounging top.  

I normally buy Liam Diesel Only The Brave fragrance, but I thought he could do with trying something new, so picked this Paco Rabanne Invictus fragrance set.. he loves it and so do I! What a lucky boyfriend he is.

And finally, a more personal gift from me, his favourite cake, a Victoria sponge with vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam. Because I'm a softy I made it heart shaped too! It was delicious!
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* Collaborative post

Friday, 25 July 2014

Fitbit Flex Band Review ♥

I'm really chuffed to say that I've managed to lose almost half a stone over the last few weeks! I've been trying really hard for once to watch what I'm eating. It's amazing how you often don't even realise that you're eating when you're not even hungry. And I've come to realise that if I am hungry, there's far better options than a slice of cake or chocolate bar! What gave me a boost to start my health kick is my new sexy pink Fitbit Flex band which I received to review as part of the Health-on-Line Body Fuel campaign . You may have heard of these fuel/fitness bands, but if you're unsure of what they are or how they work, I'll give you a short review.. 

I've been wearing it for the last 3 weeks on my left (not dominant) wrist and I've found it's a great way to keep track of my weight and fitness. The band is made from rubber, is water resistant, and comes in a few different colours. To use it, you simply charge up the tiny battery via a USB cable, and then put it into the rubber strap. You then sync it via bluetooth to your phone (I use my HTC One Android) and it then starts tracking your activity. Although at first it seemed a little bit like a glorified pedometer, as it tracks your footsteps throughout the day, but it does a bit more than that too:
  • Records Steps Taken, Distance Travelled, Calories Burned
The main feature is the step counter which works out how many steps you've taken, how far you've worked throughout the day, and it gives an approximate idea of how many calories have been burnt through your daily activity. 

This feature has encouraged me to be more active, as you can set your daily goals. To achieve this, I've been taking a little walk during my lunch hour or after work, parking my car further away from my office, and doing extra zumba sessions. These little extra efforts make a big difference to my daily steps, and whilst the weather is so lovely, I quite enjoy going for a little walk. 
  • Record Active Minutes, Hours Slept, Quality of Sleep
The band also tracks how many minutes you've been active for during the day, so you can see when you're most 'lazy'! My high points of the day are when I run from my office to my car when the clock hits 5.30pm! 

Another interesting feature is the sleep tracker. You simply tap the band to tell it that you're going to bed, and it will record your movements overnight, so in the morning you can view a summary. A little bit novelty maybe, but interesting none the less! It shows me that I sleep like a baby... I was also shocked to see I burn 350 calories in my sleep!
  • Track Your Goals, Sync Your Stats
You can set up goals via your phone, for example, I try to walk 10,000 steps/5 miles per day. You can also enter your height and weight to set a weight loss goal, and it will suggest a daily calorie limit to aim for. It also gives you an up to date suggestion of how many calories you can consume, based on your daily activity. Another excellent and useful feature is that it's really easy to sync up to MyFitnessPal, another app that I love! You can use MyFitnessPal to calculate how many calories you are consuming, and then the Fitbit app will work out how many calories you've burnt, along with your remaining daily allowance.

 The pro's of the band are obvious; it's a great motivational tool, and there are few con's that I can think of. There's been a lot of research done into how accurate the bands are, and although they can't be relied upon to be 100% accurate, they give a good enough general idea. The only other negative point I can think of is that it didn't come with any easy to use instructions to help set it up. Although it was easy to do, it would have been nice to have a short and simple guide. Their website is full of FAQ's and tips though! The battery lasts for around 5 days, it's easy to use once it's set up, and it's also quite a talking point when people ask about it!

Overall I'm really pleased with my Fitbit Flex; it's given me a bit of a kick up the bum as I've realised how very unactive I am, and how I consume far too many calories on a daily basis. It is a little bit pricey, as it retails for £79.00, but I'm loving my band, and still look forward to reading my results at the end of each day. It's assisting me with losing weight and encouraging me to do more exercise, so I'm more than happy to continue using it!

Screen shot showing how many steps I took in a day (I did Zumba in the evening)

Screen shot showing the app home screen giving a daily overview.

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