Thursday, 31 March 2016

52 Weeks of Memories - Week 13 - Egg

So for this week I originally was going to take a photo of eggs on toast that I had for breakfast - but I was so hungry that I kinda forgot. And now I'm out of eggs.

So I searched the house for anything egg-like - including in books.

And then I found this:

It's a big plastic egg sitting in a mug I didn't even know we had. We don't even have kids to use as an excuse for this randomness....

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Travel Tuesday - 10 Must Haves for Multi-Day Music Festivals

One of the reasons we went on our European trip when we did was so we could attend the Download Festival in Derby. It's a 3-day rock-metal music festival but you can start camping 2 days before the festival actually starts. There are some definite must-haves that you need when you're staying on site.

  • Tent. You need somewhere to sleep after all. We bought ourselves a cheap little two person tent that fit AJ and I along with a few bits and bobs. Make sure you have something inside it to keep you warm like a sleeping bag or a duvet. AJ and I tried to share one but I kept stealing it (poor AJ).

Me outside our tiny tent
  • Drink Bottle. You need to keep your fluids up if you're going to have energy to last the whole festival. There's plenty of taps on hand to fill it up. Just make sure it's empty before you actually enter the music area. They don't like you taking liquid in. You can fill it up inside though.

  • Toilet Paper. Take as much as you would normally use for 5 days - maybe even more. The porta-loos tend to run out of toilet paper very quickly. I remember yells from a few cubicles of people who hadn't realised this and had been caught short.

  • Hand Sanitizer. The state of the toilets aren't the best - especially the further into the festival you get. You aren't generally able to wash your hands either. So hand sanitizer is a God-send when you can't be arsed trying to find a tap.

  • Face Wipes. Or wet wipes. Basically something to help you stay clean. There are no showering facilities. We used some wipes that we got for free on our flight over (thank you Air New Zealand). But they're easy enough to get from the supermarket or pharmacy.

  • Camera. To take photos of the awesomeness that is the festival! You also don't use up all of the precious charge on your phone. Just a point and shoot though - a DSLR would be way to big and bulky. Mine is Lumix DMC-FT3 that is shock-proof and waterproof. Perfect for any sort of abuse it might get.

  • Decent shoes. You want a decent pair of shoes that will hold up to the tests of the Mosh Pit. You don't want your tootsies all covered in bruises after all. I wore my Doc Martens and they lasted amazingly. They were really comfortable too.

  • Sunhat. Before we went to the UK - everyone was telling us that we wouldn't need sun protection when we went over there as 'the weather is always crap'. The fact was - the weather was beautiful. I got sunburnt and actually bought a hat from a stand at the Festival. I do love this hat of mine though. It was only £5!

  • Sunscreen. You should really wear sunscreen all day every day (I don't, but I really should - especially with my pale skin!). Keep it in a bag that's close at hand so you can reapply every few hours.

  • Rain Protection. In the form of a poncho or something. You don't want anything too heavy as it's usually summer when there's a Music Festival. But something to keep your torso from getting wet at the very least. Especially in the UK when the weather (supposedly) is usually wet.

So those are my must haves for a Music Festival. I could have added things like good company and stuff but those go without saying. I really hope this helps if you're planning on going to a Festival and that you have an amazing time! We loved Download Festival and only wish that there was something similar here in New Zealand. 

Here's some pics from Download 2014

Within Temptation

The view from the top of the hill

They took this down after the first day as it was getting a bit munched

Linkin Park - by far our favourite

Monday, 28 March 2016

My Tea Collection - Rooibos Teas

This week I am going to focus on the rooibos teas in my collection. Rooibos (or red bush) tea comes from a plant that grows in South Africa. I was originally introduced to it by a South African friend of mine and I've been hooked ever since. I've also found many types with flavour additions. The amazing thing about rooibos is that you can all sorts of flavours and it compliments it. And - to make it even better - it's got no caffeine!

Freshpak Rooibos Tea
Normal Rooibos Tea is my go to drink when I want something warm with a tiny bit of flavour. Some people put a spoonful of honey in theirs but I prefer it plain with milk. It has a nice, sweet - almost herby flavour.

Red Seal Chai Rooibos
This is hands down my favourite warm drink to have. As well as the beautiful rooibos flavour there is a soothing chai flavour mixed in. Add some milk and it's the perfect evening drink to have.

Nerada Vanilla Rooibos
If you like vanilla, then you'll like this. Again with the rooibos flavour but with an additional vanilla flavour. With a bit of milk it is a delicious, creamy drink.

Teas Me Mango Rooibos
I don't really like this tea as much as I do other ones. For one, it's got really fine leaves so even using my finest mesh tea accessories, it still leaves bits floating. The taste is quite subtle. You can definitely smell the mango but only get a hint of a taste of it. The rooibos flavour still comes through though.

Tea Total Orange Ginger Rooibos
With this tea - the ginger is overpowering. It's still delicious but you only get hints of the rooibos and orange. I'd prefer more of a mix.

Greenfield Creamy Rooibos
This has a slight citrusy taste to it. Not sure how it gets the name 'creamy' but it's very nice.

Red Seal Lemon and Ginger Rooibos
This is one of AJ's favourite warm drinks. It's especially good soaked with a teaspoon of honey when you have a sore throat.

Messmer Caramel Rooibos
This is seriously delicious and I have to ration in to about one cup a week if I want it to last. It's from Germany and I can't find any similar flavours here. It's like drinking a cup of normal rooibos with a nice caramel mixed in. It is absolutely amazing and I wish it was more readily available here in NZ (a lovely German friend sent it to me).

Messmer Cherry Rooibos
This is a new addition to my collection. It is amazing. It's from the same brand that do the caramel rooibos that I like so much. It has a delicious cherry flavour that doesn't overpower the rooibos flavour. I really wish that we had the brand Messmer here.

Friday, 25 March 2016

52 Weeks of Memories - Week 12 - Listen

I decided to still do the photo challenge this week - especially as AJ is feeling better. Though his congestion has moved down to his chest and is affecting his asthma. I'd actually forgotten that I'd had an empties post scheduled for Wednesday. Lucky bonus for you lot :)

Anyways - here's a pic of our stereo. It was playing Nightwish at the time.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Empties Two

Time for my next lot of empties :) I don't like these posts to be too long so I only put 5 things down in each of these posts. I'm running a bit behind but I'll catch up eventually :P

Impulse Body Spray in Electric Vibe
I can't remember when or where I got this spray but I found it at the bottom of my wardrobe and it still smelt good so I used it up. It was really nice vanilla smell but with a little kick of something else. I wish it was still sold but I can's seem to find it anywhere anymore.

Rexona Motionsense Deodorant in Sexy Bouquet
Rexona is my go-to deodorant. This one was in the scent 'sexy bouquet' and smelt gorgeous when I put it on. It lasted all day with no icky smells and minimal sweating (even in summer). Last time I went to buy some they were out of this scent to hopefully when I next need some they'll have it in stock again.

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap for Combination/Dry Skin
This clinique liquid facial soap was very nice on my skin. It was for dry/combination skin and had a very nice foam to it that felt like it was doing a decent job. I'd definitely buy it again if it was cheaper. Unfortunately it's out of my price range right now.

Vaseline Intensive Care Hand and Nail Lotion
I got this ages ago and decided it was about time to use it up. It left my hands feeling silky smooth and well moisturised. 

Clarins HydraQuench Cream for Normal to Dry Skin
This is hands down my favourite moisturiser that I've used. I love the delicate scent that comes with it and I love the way it makes my skin feel. I would quite happily buy this and use it every single time I moisturise my face but it is so far out of my price range that it makes me sad. If it was cheaper then I would repurchase this in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Posts Delayed

Hi guys!

AJ is sick this week so I'm going to be the good wife and look after him. I've started on posts originally scheduled for this week but am going to have to postpone them to next week.
Don't worry though! More tea collection and travel posts will be up soon - along with some other random posts I've been working on.

See you next week!

Friday, 18 March 2016

52 Weeks of Memories - Week 11 - In My Hand

One thing that is almost always in my hand in the mornings is a mug filled with tea. This morning was no different. In fact - I had three teas before I felt conscious enough to even get dressed...

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Travel Tuesday - London - Westminster

Westminster Abbey was amazing. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos inside but it was spectacular. The current building started being built in 1245 for Henry III. There is so much Royal history in this place. Some that stand out for me are the tombs for Henry III, Henry VII, Anne of Cleves (Henry VIII wife), Mary I, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots as well as many other monarchs and notable people.

We also walked past the Palace of Westminster which houses the British Parliament - House of Commons and House of Lords. It's also where Big Ben is :D

Monday, 14 March 2016

My Tea Collection - Black Teas

Tea is my life-force. I wouldn't be able to function without it in my life. As time has gone on - my collection has gotten bigger and bigger as I have discovered more and more types of tea.
Today, I am going to talk about the different flavours of black tea that I have in my collection.

English Breakfast Tea
This is the first tea that I have every day. I keep my teabags (Choysa brand) in this random polka dotty egg container that I got from Farmers years ago. I also have some loose leaf of this.

Terrific Toffee Black Tea
This is a loose leaf tea from T2. It's delicious with a hint of a caramel flavour. I tend to have it with milk as the creaminess compliments the tea. Contains Black tea, nougat (sugar, glycose syrup, almonds, honey, egg white, natural vanilla), and flavour.

Chai Black Tea
This is a delicious spiced black tea based on Indian Masala Chai. Contains black tea, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, and ginger.

Madagascan Vanilla Black Tea
An amazingly awesome black tea with a hint of vanilla. A nice comforting drink. Contains black tea and vanilla flavour.

Ginger Spice Black Tea
A really flavourful tea with a sharp ginger flavour. The perfect brew for those mornings when I wake up feeling a bit nauseas. Absolutely delicious. Contains black tea, orange peel, cinnamon pieces, ginger pieces, vanilla pod and flavour.

Earl Grey Tea
I'm not a huge fan of this tea but my husband loves it - hence why we have some in my tea collection.

Marzipan Black Tea
This was sent to me by a German friend who knows I love tea. Has a really nice almond flavour in addition to the normal black tea flavour. As far as I can work out (ingredients are in German) in contains black tea and pieces of marzipan.

Flavoured Black Sweet Cinnamon
A reasonably new addition to the collection so have only had a few cups of it. Really nice though with a delicious cinnamon flavour. Contains black tea, cinnamon pieces, orange peel, blackberry leaves, and cinnamon flavouring.

Apple Cinnamon Black Tea, Orange Pekoe Black Tea, Holiday Spice Black Tea, Peppermint Black Tea
All of them were nice flavoured teas. They were part of a set that I was given for Christmas. I wish they all had more natural ingredients in them as they were just tea and flavour.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

52 Weeks of Memories - Week 10 - Me

So this week's photo challenge was rather simple. Originally I was just going to post a selfie. But then I thought about my ancestors. If it wasn't for them then I wouldn't be here.
For my 21st birthday my parents put together a photo montage of my ancestors for me. So I decided to take a photo of that. Lots of reflection but you get the idea...

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Travel Tuesday - London - Palaces and Castles

One of the things I was most excited about when planning our trip to Europe was the fact that there were castles. For a girl from New Zealand that's huge. We're a very young country where our oldest building is from the 1820s.
So, needless to say - castles and palaces were some of my favourite things about our trip.
In London and its surrounds we went to five different palaces/castles.

Windsor Castle
This castle was amazing. It's one where the Queen actually stays and when we arrived she was there! She'd buggered off by the time we left though.
The outside was beautiful and you can definitely see why they built it where they did. It is so defensible! You can see for miles in all directions. The inside was absolutely breathtaking. It was the most lavish and extravagant place I'd been (at that stage). We weren't allowed to take any photos of the inside so we bought some postcards instead.
Here's some pictures of Windsor Castle from a few different angles.

Kew Palace
I went over this palace in my post about Kew Gardens. But this was one of my favourite palaces as it was so cute.

Buckingham Palace
We wandered here in the evening of one of our London days. There was some sort of event on as people were coming and going in really fancy outfits.

More of the awesomely funny guards!

Hampton Court
This palace was beautiful. It was probably the one that I found most aesthetically pleasing. There was a lot of info on Henry VIII and Georges I and II. I loved the fact that you could walk through their apartments which were very interestingly decorated. Lots of wood panelling which I love.
After going through the palace itself we went for a wander through the grounds and went through the maze.

Kensington Palace
This palace is in Hyde Park so we wandered there in the afternoon after having lunch in the park. One of the things that was most exciting for me (as a bit of a history nerd) was that I saw the room that Queen Victoria was born in. There was also an exhibition on of many dresses that British Queens and Princesses have worn over the years. I adored some of the ones that Queen Elizabeth wore in the 1950s. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures in that room :(