The MediPen

medipen_case

The MediPen is a fairly new device here in the UK. Initially, you could colour me skeptical, but I wanted to tell you guys- it WORKS. So what is it? The MediPen is the UK’s first “all-natural” Cannabidiol (CBD) vaporiser pen and it’s completely legal.

So, what is Cannabidol? Cannabidol, or CBD as it is also known, is one of over 85 active ingredients found in the Cannabis plant, known as Cannabinoids. All mammals have a system called the endocannabinoid system in their bodies, consisting primarily of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors, operating in the central and peripheral nervous systems respectively, are responsible for a wide range of different reactions that can result in a number of health benefits. There are many studies showing the benefits of CBD oil if you want to look it up for yourself. In fact, the MediPen website shares these, although, it does not claim that the product itself is a medical device.

“CBD has few known interactions with any other drug and has no dependency or physical withdrawal symptoms. CBD also has no negative side-effects, which is part of what makes it an ideal treatment for those suffering with serious medical conditions.” After doing some research, I decided to take the plunge and see if it would help with any of my issues.

medipen_kit

The people at MediPen use only the highest quality 20%~ CBD Oil and Coconut Oil that are sourced from the UK and the Netherlands to create a potent formula. This formula comes in pre-filled, odourless cartridges in a variety of flavours, which screw on to the vapour pen. It’s an “inhale and go” device. No buttons. The end of the device lights up as the oil is heated and the battery lasts forever. I’ve had my MediPen for 2 weeks now, and I haven’t had to charge it yet. When I do need to? No worries. It comes with a USB charger. Just screw the charger to the pen, plug in and charge.

Because the device is odourless, you can use it indoors and on the go without having to worry. Also, because it does not contain THC, it has no mind altering affects. It also means that if you were to be stopped and drug tested, you would not fail.

medipen_contents

In the starter kit, you get one pre-filled cartridge, one “pen” and one USB charger, presented in a tin case as pictured. By default, the cartridge is unflavoured but for an additional 99p, you can choose one of over a dozen flavours for your cartridge and a little birdy tells me even more are on the way! Personally, I opted for Vanilla, though Mint Chocolate Chip is also delicious. A friend of mine favours the coconut!

medipen

So, how did I get on with the MediPen? Very well. Instantly, I felt an effect. I felt more alert, more awake but at the same time, more relaxed, a little less anxious. I thought perhaps this was a placebo effect as it was a new thing to me and I was expecting that sort of result. I kept on with it regardless. I started to find myself sleeping better at night, deeper, not waking up so much or needing to get up so much which is pretty mega for me. It also has soothed my pains and such like cramps and spasms. Not a magic fix for it all, but it’s a good aid/accompaniment and I’ve found myself needing to take less medications as a result.

It’s also worth noting, I have never previously “vaped”. I am a non-smoker. I did smoke in my mispent youth and this is nothing like smoking. I feel even if you have never smoked, you will be fine with this product. I have tried an alternate brand from France called “Kanavape” and it’s a lot “heavier” than the MediPens vapour, it feels more aimed towards people who actually smoke. The medipen feels light and smooth and perfectly suited to a non-smoker like me.

The only negative thing I can say about this product is the price. At £49.97 for the starter pack and just under £25 a refill, it is a little bit pricey, however, I still have a significant amount of my primary cartridge left (over half) and my health is worth it.

If you’re interested in the MediPen, you can purchase it only via their website here!

I hope this helps. I know some of my readers are fellow anxiety suffers and Spoonies so I wanted to share this with you!

The Blogger Excuse

The Blogger Excuse. Do you know what I’m referring to? You do, don’t you? I think everyone with a niche topic blog is probably guilty of this at some point or another.

blogger excuse

So, what is “The Blogger Excuse”? The blogger excuse is using your blog as an excuse to indulge. Many of us have blogs on topics that we’re passionate and interested in. We can use the blog as an excuse to indulge ourselves and purchase something that we wouldn’t otherwise get if we were blogless – all in the name of content. It’s often a costless and actually fairly pointless activity but we justify it with “oh, but I can blog about it” when in actual fact, we could wait for other reviews which inevitably are written on new releases, wait for 3 for 2 deals and other offers for a product we don’t REALLY need.

So. You have a blog, you follow all of your favourite related brands and their PRs, follow them on twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest, their own newsletters, the whole lot. You hear of a new product release and you can not wait to get your hands on it… to review on your blog. Not because you need another x/y/z product in your life, but because you fancy it and your blog is the perfect excuse. It’s okay, right? So, you spend a fortune on products that you probably don’t need but they’ve just come out and of course, you’re not alone in this, because as you upload your post, you realise… in come hundreds of posts on the exact same product to the bloggosphere.

desk

I ask you this. What makes your blog, your post unique? What makes it stand out above all of the other posts of identical nature and often, identical format. (Big, popular blogger does x with their blog, many follow suit because it’s what a successful person does/has?) What makes The Blogger Excuse actually worth it? IS it actually worth it? Or could you actually refrain, save money and create more unique content?

What do you think? Are you guilty of using the Blogger Excuse? I know I sure have been.

Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly from Lush

sweetie_pie_shower_jelly

Hey my lovelies. Today I wanted to share with you my experience with a “Shower Jelly” from Lush. This is the first time I’ve used one of these products, or.. was (sorry, pictures taken after using a fair chunk!) and I wish I had given it a go sooner. Sadly, I have heard that Sweetie Pie will be one of the products getting the axe shortly when they add some of the Oxford Street products to the main line, so, be sure to stock up. I’ve just bought myself two large pots of the stuff!

sweetie_pie

The Sweetie Pie shower jelly comes in a hard, clear plastic pot, and like many lush pots, if you have 5, you can take them back and swap for a fresh face mask! The product comes in two sizes – 100g and 240g and you can purchase it in store or online at Lush. Here I have the 100g pot which is lasting ages. The 100g pot costs £3.50 but the 240g pot costs £6.95. So for just under double the price, you get 140% more bang for your buck.

The Sweetie Pie shower jelly shares the same fragrance as the Comforter, a fact I was surprised I hadn’t realised before and if I had, I would have tried it long ago. The formula includes Bergamot Oil, Cherry Infusion, Cassis absolute and Cypress Oil amongst other ingredients, including their Snowflake Lustre which is also found in their Twilight shower gel and Ultraviolet bubble bar. Combined, the ingredients make a wibbly wobbly purple jelly with a fun shimmer that smells like fruity heaven. Well, heaven for me. As you may know, the Comforter is my all time favourite Lush fragrance.

shower_jelly

Initially, I was quite intimidated by this.. blob. I wasn’t sure how to use it. Turns out, there are several ways! Firstly, you can take out the entire blob like this and rub it on yourself like a bar of soap; it doesn’t lather much via this method. Secondly, you can tear a piece off and use as previously. Thirdly, you can tear a piece off and shove it in a loofah. Doing this works up a lot more of a lather. Lastly, you can smush some in to your hair. It has seaweed which is excellent for your hair. It’s really lovely! The fragrance is gorgeous and does linger on the skin. Intimidated by the shimmer? Don’t be. The product doesn’t actually contain glitter. The “Snowflake Lustre” that is used dissolves in the water as it’s a shimmer – it’s actually edible and used in baking! I wouldn’t attempt to eat this jelly though.. it’ll taste like soap!

Have you tried a Shower Jelly from Lush? If so, what do you think? Would you give it a go or is it a bit too weird for you?

If at first you don’t succeed… When things don’t always go to plan.

A while back, about 6 months ago, I returned to blogging. I failed. I didn’t particularly stick with it. I found myself overwhelmed with everything it takes to run a blog. Now, I know, it can be as simple or as complicated as you wish it to be! Personally, I like to be fairly organised, have regular content and stay up to date with fellow blogs, interesting releases and most importantly, keep engaging with my readers- with you.

Now, I’ve ended up taking things back to the barebones. I’d lost my place and to find it again, I needed to go back to my roots. To WHY I started blogging. What I enjoyed. What motivated me?

penpaper

I started blogging several years ago. I had a very personal blog, it was more of a diary. I won a competition and it opened me up to an entire new world, a world of pigmented joy and fluffy brushes and I wanted to be a part of it. I loved nail polishes, had done for a very long time, but I was an average person. I thought, perhaps I can share this with the world! A few twitter friends encouraged me. I was on the fence. Who would read it? Then, my boyfriend encouraged me. His words have a lot of weight for me because he knows me better than I know myself, even back then. I said I’d tried blogging before, but I could never keep up, I never wrote more than a couple of posts, after previously trying to do a blog and just having an intro and a post on true match foundation (which I found was crap, just FYI.) He challenged me. He told me “you can do it. You have to do at least 5 posts, then if you want to quit, fine, but do at least 5 posts.” So, that’s exactly what I did. As the front page of my blog filled up with content, I fell in love. I enjoyed the entire process and then clicking publish and having my few twitter friends give me feedback made me so very happy. I had found my outlet.

nails[2011-2014]

Over the years, I realised that blogging had become a chore more than a hobby. I wanted to keep going and to keep content steady but sometimes I didn’t feel like it and samples landed on my doormat, I didn’t want to let the brands that I loved down. I didn’t want to seem like a blogger that’s in it for the freebies. So, I made myself do it. My passion was waning. Then it came to moving house which was almost two years ago now. I haven’t blogged properly since. My comfy, easy set up was gone, I had to start again with my organisation and I just didn’t have the motivation to do it anymore. Then I ended up in hospital. I tried and failed. I felt so guilty and rubbish and that made it even worse. Why bother?

macbook

A little while ago, my boyfriend came and spoke to me. I have a lot of hobbies, I’m passionate, I like to learn and to do things. I HATE to make mistakes. I run away when I make a mistake. I hinder my own learning because mistakes mean I’m not great at something. I wanted to be great. I still want to be great. I realise I need to stop being so scared of screwing up. A done something is better than a perfect nothing. I’ve always been frightened of the blank page and it’s time I overcame that. My partner pointed these things out to me, that nothing seemed to fulfill me or make me as happy as when I was blogging properly. He reminded me why I began, why I loved it and thanks to him, I went back to my roots and decided to get my backside in gear. I told him, I’m not sure where to begin, how to get back in to things. He told me to conquer that blank page. He told me to write. Specifically “just write notes! lots and lots of notes! You can’t keep it all in your head.” The next day, I pulled out a notebook and did exactly that. I jotted down the ideas I had with a few notes. I text him to say I was doing what he told me to and then, I kept going. I realised I had a smile on my face and I was enjoying myself.

blowkiss

I’ve already written a couple of posts, but it might be a wee while till I publish anything else. I want to get back in to the habit and have regular content for you guys. I hope you’ll stay here and come along with me on my adventure. Things will be different. Also, I’m likely to rebrand but will be keeping this domain for the foreseeable future. So don’t worry if things end up looking a bit off, unorganised or different. It just means you caught me shuffling. ;) So, things didn’t go to plan, I didn’t succeed, I tried and tried and now I’m here to try it again.

Happy Pancake Day! (Myprotein Pancake Mix*)

protein_pancakes

It’s that time of year again! And if you didn’t know, by “that time of year”, I mean Shrove Tuesday, better known to a lot of us as “Pancake day”. Om nom nom… The lovely folk at myprotein very kindly sent me a baggy of Golden Syrup Pancake Mix for the occasion!

Protein_pancake_bag

I couldn’t wait to break out the frying pan and give these a go! The best part is, you don’t need to go and get a lot of other ingredients! You can make them with either water or milk added to 55g of the powder. For this, personally I chose semi-skimmed milk from Cravendale. They suggest to use a small amount of oil or butter in the pan, personally, I chose butter Fry Light which is only 1 calorie. I recommend actually weighing out the mix as the scoop isn’t accurate weight-wise, also, personal preference on your thickness of pancakes. Also, I added more milk than pictured once I had added my powder.

pancake_prep

Whizz it all up and bung it in the pan! My pancakes are not at all the same size so I’m honestly not sure how many it makes and it depends on your size preference too… The smell when this stuff hits the pan is absolutely gorgeous!

50g of the pancake mix provides:-

Energy: 191kcal, Protein: 34.3g, Carbohydrates: 5.9g, Sugars: 2.1g, Fats: 3.2g, Saturates: 1.1g, Fibre: 0.7g, Sodium: 0.3g

So, if you use milk, make sure you add the macros from that as well if you’re fussed about keeping things logged etc. Obviously no worries for water. Don’t forget any toppings you might choose. Personally, I didn’t top these pancakes! They are already Golden Syrup flavour, I didn’t find it necessary! The mix also comes in Maple Syrup flavour and Chocolate flavour. All in 200g pouches. Macros will vary slightly across flavours, I’m sure. The ready-mix contains three types of protein! Whey, milk and egg proteins which help with lean muscle mass.

pancake

Brown, flip, brown, serve.. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how to cook a pancake… Though even after all these years, I’m still a bit hit and miss… but I CAN flip them in the frying pan, like a boss! One time, I made this exact, perfectly round pancake. It was beautiful… *wipes tear*

protein_pancake

The verdict? Absolutely delicious and way nicer than banana pancakes I’ve made in the past and more nutritious too. Hands down, the best protein pancakes I have ever eaten. The golden syrup flavouring was lovely. I was unsure about it if I’m honest but it was very nice. They came out the right texture for pancakes which was one thing I was unsure about. As I mentioned before, I didn’t even feel the need to top them, they were full of flavour. I would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a protein-boosting snack or a tasty breakfast!

Have you tried myprotein’s pancake mix? Or made your own protein pancakes? If you want to try your own, I suggest you check out this video by Si of The Diet Kitchen on YouTube who shows you how to make yummy chocolate chip pancakes using Myprotein’s products.

Check it out, lemme know what you think!

 

*This product was sent to me by a PR for review consideration. I have not and am not being paid for writing about this product and always write with honesty.*

007 for Women*

007_for_women_packshot

007 Fragrances have announced the launch of their female line with “007 for Women“. It’s the womens counterpart to the three existing male fragrances in the 007 collection and is inspired by the iconic women found in the world of Mr Bond.

I am in love with this fragrance. I love everything about it. In fact, I only actually have a single negative about the product – I’ll get to that in a minute.

The perfume itself comes in a black glass bottle with a diamond cut pattern with a plastic neck, which is shaped like.. a neck. The lid has a rose gold trim, which I think is way nicer than a gold or silver could have ever been. It can come in varying sizes with various measures of Eau de Parfum and is packaged in a gorgeous Rose Gold and Black box which compliments the bottle perfectly. The bottle sits nicely in the hand despite it’s edgy look (geddit!? edgy? Alright, won’t quit my day job..) The only negative is that because the bottle is solid black, you can’t see the amount remaining.

007forwomen

Now, inside the bottle is an absolutely gorgeous fragrance. It smells lighter and more florally than I expected, I was expecting a darker and more musky scent that’s a little more “evening” but personally, I think this fragrance is perfect for the every-day. It’s warm, confident, feminine, seductive and a little bit mysterious. It wears delightfully through the day and is initially strong scented, but not overpowering-in-your-face-style. Don’t you hate it when you walk past someone and they smell like they used an entire bottle of nostril abusing, alcohol heavy, bad perfume? With 007 for Women, you won’t have that problem.

The fragrance notes are;

Top: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Rose Milk

Heart: Blackberry, Gardenia, Jasmine

Base: Black Vanilla, Cedarwood, White Musk

I’m actually opting for this fragrance over my usual Jimmy Choo now I think! Plus the 30ml bottle is perfect for my handbag, admittedly, I have a large handbag though… I’m the “kitchen sink” type of lass. What about you? This would be a fab valentines gift as well for a special lady in your life!

007 for Women Eau de Parfum is available from The Fragrance Shop in 30ml, 50ml and 75ml size bottles, from £24.50 to £39.50. They also send you a “try it first” sample!

*This product was sent to me by a PR for review consideration. I have not and am not being paid for writing about this product and always write with honesty.*

Finding Colin Firth

Finding_Colin_Firth

Well, here is my first post on a book. It took me quite a while to read Finding Colin Firth – this is no fault of the book though, and it’s one I would recommend.

Generally, I’m not keen on books with multiple character perspectives. This book has three. The Graduate – Bea Crane, The pie maker – Veronica Russo and Gemma Hendricks – the one who wants to escape. Each chapter is a perspective from one of these three ladies.

I’ll give you the blurb as I don’t want to spoil the actual story itself, because it’s really sweet. Though I would say that this is definitely a casual read, an easy “beach book”, if you will.

“Only an idiot would attempt to make a pie – a special-ordered chocolate caramel cream Amore Pie – while watching Pride and Prejudice. Had she put in the vanilla? What about the salt? Damn Colin Firth and his pond-soaked white shirt.

At home in Boothbay Harbour, Maine, Veronica Russo loves to lose herself in watching Colin Firth movies and baking pies filled with good thoughts. Pies that can bring you happiness, hope, even love (everything she feels when Colin Firth is on the screen, in fact). But Veronica is not so in touch with her own feelings and has deeply buried memories of that one heart-breaking summer, when she was just 16 . . .

In Boston, college graduate Bea Crane has received an earth-shattering letter. A year after the death of her wonderful mum, she reads that she was adopted at birth and that her biological mother lives not that far away, in Boothbay. But is she brave enough to find out more?

Gemma Hendricks has come to Boothbay not to find something, but to run away. She’s accidentally pregnant, suddenly unemployed and under pressure from her husband to give up on her career and settle down, away from her beloved New York City. With all this on her shoulders, Gemma would rather watch Bridget Jones’ Diary with a bowl of popcorn rather than face the truth. But she can’t hide away for ever.

With Colin Firth in town to shoot a new movie, all three women find their lives become closely entwined. They might be looking out for Colin Firth at every turn, but they’ll also find new and important friendships along the way.

*** This is a work of fiction, in no way endorsed by Colin Firth and where Colin Firth himself does not feature. ***”

You can make some assumptions from the blurb. In all honesty, I was attracted by the book cover. Three friends and Mr Darcy? I didn’t actually read the blurb until I sat to read the book. I thought it would be a giggle. It wasn’t what I was expecting.

The book is heartwarming, about relationships that entwine. It’s hard, emotional, and you really want to find out what is going to happen with these ladies – or at least, I did. To start with, the three ladies were not actually friends at the start of the book. They didn’t /really/ know each other and Mr Darcy is just a shadow. These three women are all very different people, so it’s very interesting how their lives end up woven together. The book flits between the perspectives of the aforementioned three women and we see how they begin to get to know each other as apparently, Colin Firth is coming to town because the film company want to film there in Boothbay.

..Should I bother with book posts? Please, I’d love your honest feedback as this is 100% new for me!

A delicious Christmas from BakerDays*

bakerdays_box

Today, this dropped on my doorstep. A letterbox sized cardboard box with a Christmas cracker and a beautiful tin. Inside the tin, an even more beautiful cake. I may be biased – because it’s cake. And it has penguins on it and I’m sure you guys know that I adore penguins!

bakerdays_cake

Look at this. I mean.. just look at this cake! This joy dropped on to my doorstep today thanks to the lovely people at BakerDays. The cake is actually wrapped inside of the tin, and it’s good for 2 weeks. The base has the ingredients and tells you which type of cake it is. I got a delightfully moist, chocolate cake. It’s genuinely way tastier than I expected. I definitely didn’t expect it to be so moist and fresh tasting for something coming via post. A pleasant surprise how tasty this cake really is.

bakerdays_slice

Are you jealous yet? Well, you can head over to BakerDays and get your very own! Just click for your very own letterbox cake. And by that, I mean, totally get one for someone as a gift. So much nicer than your average christmas card! Now is a great time because for every cake you buy on 12th December 2014, BakerDays will donate £2.50 to Save the Children for #xmasjumperday! If you order by 2pm, you can get next day delivery. Another great reason to treat someone you love (even if that’s yourself!) to a cake this Christmas! If the christmas designs don’t take your fancy, they have loads of other cakes (and sizes!) and you can personalise them too and they can have a variety of sponges! The letter box cake is 5 inches in size and perfect for 3-4 servings and they go all the way up to a large cake which is 12 inches and serves 40. Though of course, that one won’t really fit through the letter box ;) It also comes with a free helium balloon!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have cake to eat things to do!

Disclaimer – Sample

DIY Penguin Box

penguin_box_main

Hey you beauties!

So I’m back! First things first, I thought I’d share this crazy easy DIY box with you! It’s really really easy to do and you can make them for gifts or for storage. Whatever you like! And it doesn’t have to be penguins if that’s not your thing. The instructions will be in text, but I’ve also compiled a step by step graphic if you want to pin it or save it for later or something.

you will need

To do this, all you need is some scissors, a roll of duck brand duct tape – I chose penguins, but there’s everything from pink to galaxy prints if you want, and they cost £3 from Hobby Craft. I’m not sure how many boxes you can do with one roll, but I had loads left after doing one… And lastly, a box! Here I am using an older Latest in Beauty box. You can use any other beauty box you have lying around if you like though.

  • First, gather the things you need for this project and have a clear area to work.
  • Next, you want to take the lid from your box and put the base to one side. You can cover the base later if you want to, personally, I choose not to.
  • Find the end of your roll of duck tape. If you’ve never used it before, beware, it is very tacky and you will want to make the most of your thumb to pull the tape off to avoid it stretching and warping. (See image if you’re note sure what I mean)
  • Lay tape across the top part of the box, slightly wrapping over the top edge and sides (so the edge of the tape is around the edge of the box, not in line with).
  • Snip the corners so it can all be stuck down and fold the tape down. (see image 6 on the graphic if this is unclear)
  • Lay another strip of tape below the one you have placed. If you have patterned tape like I do, you can overlap it slightly so you can make the patten continue. I found this worked really well for the coverage and made it look less obvious that it is tape.
  • Fold the edges of the tape over the sides and repeat this step until you get to the last part of the box.
  • Lay your last strip of tape and snip the corners, fold them down like previously – Now the top of your box should be covered.
  • Wrap a strip of tape around the edge of the box. I had a couple of millimeters excess at the bottom of the lid.
  • Snip the corners of the excess tape and fold them round in to the lid for a neat looking finish.
  • Do the base in the same way if you plan to. Keep in mind that you’re adding bulk to the box, so if the box is already tight fitting, it might be hard to get the lid on.

Et voila! Done! Sorry if I have explained it poorly. Below is the compilation image-tutorial of my process, hopefully it clarifies anything I may not have explained too well but the entire process is really simple and effective in my opinion.

penguin_box_tutorial

If you make one, I’d love to see! Especially if you use a different variety of tape! If you have the patience, you could do something with Washi tape, personally, I prefer this duck tape as it’s significantly more durable and hard wearing!

I hope you enjoyed this and if you’d like to see more craft-life stuff from me, please do let me know!

xxx

Missed Me? *tumbleweeds*

Hey you absolute darlings!

 

If you follow me on twitter, you may know the situation. I’ve not really been blogging since Christmas last year sans a few posts. I decided a few months ago that BeneBelle had come to an end. Then I decided to start a new blog on a wider range of topics. Still some beauty but including some books and photos and games and stuff too. Well, I’ve changed my mind.. I think. I’m going to do that here and keep this blog going. I’d love your input as you are the people who read my blog! I will possibly/probably rebrand in the future but it seems like a waste to abandon the content that I worked so hard to write! I do love blogging, I really do <3 Life has been plummeting for me in some areas (luck, health) and on the up in others (agoraphobia!) and I’ve been trying to focus on myself. I’ve found myself both instagramming and tweeting about certain beauty bits and it just makes me think how much I miss all this.

 

If any of you are still here with me, thank you <3