Made Without Wheat @ M&S





Bread loaves are often long-life, stale and horrible. Unless you live near an amazing bakery that bakes gluten/wheat- free bread, you're not going to find a good fresh loaf (Genius loaves are the only I've found, but this is not always in stock). M&S sell a white and also a brown seeded loaf which I've tried previously and absolutely love. They also have soft rolls available in either brown or white, and when they say soft, they mean soft.

Let's skip to the good bit (anyone else just start singing that song by Rizzle Kicks?!)...the sweet treats. Depending on your local store as to what they stock but in mine, chocolate muffins, pancakes and a coffee and walnut cake grace the shelves.

I understand that choosing to switch to a wheat-free diet can be difficult, the price is  usually doubled and  the quality and tends to be lacking meaning you can lose hope. Believe me, I've been there and due to certain obstacles, I don't follow a strict wheat-free diet. When the choice is there I go with wheat-free but I don't have a paddy if a cafe or bakery doesn't offer wheat-free options, I mean small businesses may struggle to justify spending time and money on making specialist baked goods to then have them spoil as they ma not be popular.

We all know the healthy lifestyle is quickly becoming more and more popular and soon a wheat-free diet will be common place.

I have just tried the almond frangipan tray bake and I think I'm in love, it's so moist and you can't even tell that it doesn't have wheat in. The ingredients aren't the best but a dessert wouldn't be a dessert if it is 100% healthy. Next I tried the ciabatta, the only thing I've been disappointed with. You know the wheat-free bread you get that has that horrible dry texture, crumbles just by looking at it...well this ciabatta is no different. The taste was okay and I just ended up taking off the top and eating the bottom and the middle of my sandwich.

Let's end on a good fan-fricking-tastic note, made without dairy dark chocolate. I'm not vegan but I do try to cut out as much dairy as possible so this chocolate would make a good sweet treat to have in when I'm in desperate need (these times happen most nights after dinner). It's a big thumbs up from me.

All in all, the range of Made Without products are pretty damn good and I cannot wait to try everything else in the range.

Find out more about availability in your local M&S store here.

Have you tried M&S Made Without Wheat products?

CAUSING A BIT OF A RUCKUS



Sometimes I find myself in a rut. Whether it be to do with my health and appearance or what I'm actually going to do after University...and currently it's the second.

I've just finished my first year studying psychology at University and I must say I'm not convinced. I'm not sure whether it's just me or not- but it's not what I expected. I am currently paying £9,000 a year for my tuition of two half days and one full day. The question of is it worth it keeps popping up in my head.

In my first year I studied hard, I'm a bit of a perfectionist you see, getting less than a first in my assignments really disappointed me. As soon as I moved here I applied for several jobs and landed one almost opposite the end of my road, perfect. I worked there in the evenings, weekends and on my days off university.

I do understand why students get a bad name and a degree has become somewhat common place to have one. 

I see so many people living off their maintenance loans and grants, which by no means am I saying it is wrong but for me personally, I applied for the loans and grants as a precautionary measure in case I couldn't find a job as quickly as I wanted once I had moved.

Now I am one of those people who talks to anyone, especially at work, everyone would ask what I'm studying, I say psychology..."what do you think of me?" or "don't start analysing me" are pretty much the response I get or if I'm lucky, someone may decide they want to tell me the choice I made with psychology is stupid and pointless. Believe me, people can really be delightful sometimes.

Psychology is difficult to get into, I mean it is very popular, especially the counselling and clinical department. But my degree allows me to learn how to conduct experiments and studies, and also how to handle and interpret statistics, these are qualities that can be adapted to other jobs. I have learnt many new skills already and having a degree just opens doors, I may not use my psychology degree to it's full potential but I've given myself options.

Your degree is your degree, it was and is your choice. No one has the right to tell you what you're doing is pointless. They are your mistakes to make in life. End of.

Apologies about the rant but it really gets under my skin when someone tars everyone with the same brush.

What has gotten under your skin lately?

Photo from http://meetville.com/quotes/tag/goals/page1

Healthy Grocery Haul



Recently, with my fast-approaching holiday I've been on a bit of a health-kick and not to mention the fact that I have been feeling really unhealthy and sluggish as well. So yesterday I hit my local health food shop, Holland & Barrett and Sainsbury's and this is what I came out with. I was a little clueless on which shops are best to find healthy food items at good prices because we all know how expensive eating healthily can be.

YOUR LOCAL HEALTH STORE
My local store is a little shop called Grape Tree. It stocks mainly nuts, seeds and dried fruit but it does have healthy snack bars and also gluten, dairy and wheat free products such as flour and milk alternatives. I bought some snack bars and stocked up on an omega seed mix, flaked almonds (for my porridge) and treated myself to some dark chocolate covered brazil nuts.

HOLLAND AND BARRETT
Holland and Barrett stock all sorts of different products from supplements and seeds to peanut butter to protein powder. The prices are quite steep but you can get a points card where you recieve a voucher every so often to spend in store. I like to buy my litttle extras such as cocoa nibs and coconut sugar from there. I also discovered spelt pasta and spaghetti on sale which I have been trying to find for a while now as I have a  bit of a soft spot for pasta and this is a great alternative that doesn't seem to bloat me at all.

SUPERMARKET
The supermarket is one of the best places you can get fresh produce and they stock a gluten-free and dairy-free alternatives as well. Now they don't have a huge variety of brands in store but they have brands such as The Food Doctor, Biona and Whole Earth. I like to go to a supermarket that allows you to collect points to try and save money is some way so Sainsbury's and Tesco are my best friends (not to mention the home delivery service).

Where do you get your healthy foods from?

Let's take a second to give thanks to Peanut Butter





When trying to eat healthily, I struggle without a little sweet kick sometimes but I have found the solution in a healthy version of peanut butter. I have previously tried Whole Earth peanut butter which is readily available in supermarkets and they even sometimes stock different varieties of butter such as almond and cashew butter.

I am now have another health kick and remembered how good healthier peanut butter was and spotted the brand Meridian, which I would deem as better than the Whole Earth butter due to only using one ingredient which is peanuts. This peanut butter is a lot less solid than usual butters and it tends to separate a little between uses but it tastes so damn good!

I would highly recommend getting your self down to the supermarket and getting some of beautiful stuff!

What peanut butter do you use?

Teapigs Haul




I've always wanted to give Teapigs a go, seeing it in a coffee shop in those cute little jars and their unique pyramid tea bags just looked so tempting, but I always chickened out last minute in the fear of not liking it.

I decided to buy the sample pack of twelve which gives me a chance to try many different flavours of tea but then I only have two tea bags per flavour which means if I don't like one then I can just either chuck away the remaining bag or make the boyfriend drink it!

So far, I've tried the popcorn, peppermint and licorice and also the super fruit varieties and I have yet to drink the entire cup. Two sips and I discover that I am probably not a fruit/herbal tea drinker. I'll keep you updated on the remaining flavours, fingers crossed I like at least one.

What is your favourite tea from Teapigs?

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm Review


The only balm that I had previously tried was Ultrabland from Lush which is an thick oily texture that leaves a slight residue. So when it came to taking this cleansing balm for a test run it was pleasantly surprised as this texture was more my cup of tea, saying that Ultrabland will always have a place in my heart. The texture of the Take The Day Off Balm is light and as soon as it touches the warmth of your skin it melts into an oil that removes my make-up with ease. Not only does it do the job of 'taking the day off' but it comes off with a warm flannel with ease and no residue is left.

I still use a cotton wool pad soaked in cleansing water (my chosen one of the moment being from Garnier) to take off some of my make-up first and use this balm to remove anything that remains and to cleanse my skin. By no means am I saying I need the first step but I am a sucker for the hype of double cleansing, especially now that I am using an SPF daily. If you didn't already know, I am currently using Duac Once Daily - a prescribed gel that treats mild acne/blemish-prone skin, so I use this balm as both my morning and evening cleanser as I wanted to use something simple and not overload my skin with different cleansers so as it doesn't interfere with my treatment gel.

All in all - I would definitely recommend this cleansing balm, even at the slightly expensive price point of £21, you are paying for quality after all. I can't comment on the longevity at the moment but when it's empty I'll come back and add how long it lasted me so you can judge for yourselves whether it's worth spending that hard-earned cash of yours!

What cleansing balms would you recommend for me to try after this one?

Who cares about thigh gap when your jeans are this pretty




Topshop shop isn't usually the place I go into, I sometimes feel it's for the overly skinny and petite which for a girl with curves and not lacking in the boob department, I can feel a bit out of place. I might get some stick for saying that but when you're having a bad day and shopping (never a good match), Topshop is never the top of my list.

That being said I saw Anna (Vivianna Does Makeup) had bought these and they just looked absolutely gorgeous on her, so the next time I went shopping I made my way to Topshop and tried these beauties on! It was love at first fit! I am a Joni jeans kind of girl and they are the jeans I live in 90% of the time so it was odd trying the Leigh jeans. They are not as high waisted (just below belly button as pictured) which felt kind of odd and I had to go up a size in the waist...damn these hips of mine. The Tile Print Leigh jeans are slightly more expensive as well, at £40, but with student discount I justified the purchase. I love them; they just make a simple outfit fun and with the pattern being in blue, they aren't too far from a pair of jeans and great for people who are new to patterned trousers.

What are your favourite Topshop jeans?
Wildpeach. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.