I’m back!

Hey everyone!

I’ve been silent on here for a while now and thought I’d do a checking in post to try and get myself in the habit of blogging again. I intended to post regularly on this blog and I never wanted the ‘hello again sorry I’ve been silent’ posts to become a regular thing but I guess life just got in the way.

For anyone who kept up with my blog (who am I kidding? XD) you’ll know I was studying for my Masters in International Journalism and this blog, whilst enjoyable, was a major form of procrastination. My dissertation was horrendous, the process of it that is. Whilst I was still receiving My Little Box I just didn’t have time for reviews. I love doing the list style blog posts but again, how could I justify writing up a 1,000 word blog post when I still had 15,000 words to write for my dissertation.

I avoided the dissertation module like the plague during my undergrad but this time around I had no choice. Honestly I have never cried, stressed or had as many sleepless nights because of academic work as much as I did during my dissertation BUT I did it! I will be graduating in just under 2 weeks with a Distinction, something I’m unbelievably proud of.

I treated myself to a lovely holiday with my boyfriend as a post graduation treat. I also had my nephew arriving to look forward to. His due date fell on my dissertation deadline and I was crossing my fingers and hoping he would give me a litle extra time to submit the work before he arrived in the world. And he did. In true mischievous style though he was late and arrived exactly one hour before my flight to the Canaries left. Although I loved my holiday I couldn’t wait to get home and meet him, our beautiful little Noah. He’s already 9 weeks old, it’s crazy how quick time goes.

Also in other exciting news, I have an internship! I am currently working for Purple Revolver on their video production team- Louis Theroux here I come! Purple Revolver is a online magazine that talks about culture, style, arts/theatre and even a bit of gaming. I’ve been doing some writing for them too, you can check out their website here. Okay, that may be a link to my most recent article but you can also check out their site too! I’ve recently shot a video with them where we interviewed the bands performing at Liverpool Music Week which should be up on their YouTube channel next week, I’ll post the link when it’s live!

I should probably wrap up this post now, for anyone who does or will actually read this thank you! I’m still working my day job to pay bills so with internship included I’m working 6 days a week but I promise to try and dedicate time to update this blog more regularly. I’m in a happy place right now so I should use that to fuel my writing. When I finished my undergrad I felt lost, this time around I actually feel like everything is slowly coming together and I’m excited to see what the future holds career wise!

-Abbie

 

July My Little Box: My Little Coconut Box

Hey everyone!

Honestly it doesn’t feel that long ago that I last uploaded a My Little Box review but I guess that’s what happens when you have a part time job, work placement and a dissertation due at the end of summer. The sun has gone and the weather seems synchronised with my permanent state of anxiety; dull, grey and rainy. This months My Little Box provides a nice little reminder that it is still summer and has gotten me super excited to go on holiday with my boyfriend in September. I can not wait to have my dissertation handed in and to be relaxing on the beach, cocktail in hand. And of course by then I will have met my nephew! Not long to go now little guy until we can all meet you! Until I can proudly show him off and embrace my new status as an Aunty, I’ll introduce you to another small gift- this months My Little Coconut Box!

For anyone who doesn’t know My Little Box is a subscription service priced at £11.95 with £3.95 postage and packaging. Similar to boxes such as Birchbox or GlossyBox, My Little Box sends out 3 beauty products, that are always beautifully packaged, every month. Their USP: not only do you receive beauty products every month but you also receive at least one lifestyle product every month. This has been everything from tshirts to tote bags to jewellery.

Each months box arrives in a sturdy cardboard box to protect your items whilst in the post. When you open this you’ll find your box and a peelable sticker that relates to that months theme as you can see below.


The box itself always carries an illustration from the talented Kanako Kuno. The box is sturdy and super handy for storage needs. I tend to use them for storing jewellery or things like hair ties and clips. If you feel like being more creative you can always visit YouTube where there are so many tips and tutorials for how to turn these boxes into various things.

When you open the box everything is neatly tied with a ribbon, which again i always keep hold of, you never know when a piece of ribbon might come in handy. You’re almost always met with a thin piece of card that carries a quote, usually relating to that months theme. As you can see this months carried a quote from Dustin Hoffman. Underneath is the My Little Box magazine and, thankfully, they have once again chosen the glossy mag. The alternative was a fold out poster style magazine that just wasn’t as user friendly.


This month I was lucky to receive not one but two lifestyle products, that were both presented beautifully.

The first was presented in an envelope that reads ‘Oh the places you’ll go’. At first I thought this might be a collection of post cards similar to last summers box but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is, infact, a very pretty passport holder. The design is very summer and after trying it out with my passport, it keeps it fitted very snug. However. I will say that when I took this out of the envelope I immediately noticed two marks on the bottom right hand corner. I’ve never experienced a product being damaged or marked from My Little Box before so I’m not sure I’ll kick up a fuss but it is a shame that it didn’t look as squeaky clean as you’d expect a new item to be.


You can see the marks here ^^^ I’ve tried giving the marks a wipe with water but so far no luck.

The second item was a beautifully presented bracelet from the brand Stella & Dot which apparently has a RRP of £18. The bracelet is very dainty and minimalistic so is very on trend and current. I’m sure it will look lovely paired with a tan and a nice summer dress. I love the packaging and how the inside of the box reminds me of sand, once again just screaming holiday.

Overall I was really impressed, bar the scuffs, of this months lifestyle items. I was hoping the beauty items would live up to the bar these products. I will admit, from the clues My Little Box were leaving I was 90% sure one of the products would be coconut oil. I wasn’t too wrong but unfortunately I didn’t receive a tub of the miracle product that is coconut oil. However the coconut theme does run through the products perfectly which is something previous months themes just don’t do. As (almost) always the products are presented in a cotton drawstring bag that comes in super handy for storing toiletries, bikinis, laungerie etc when travelling.


My Little Box must have been feeling really generous this month as I also received 4 products in this months bag as opposed to the usual 3. Each month you are guaranteed at least one full size product from My Little Box’s own range. Unfortunately you can’t buy them in the UK yet but that only makes receiving them all the more special. I always find their products have such a lovely scent (I’ve been using last months salt spray almost every day) and this months was no exception. More on that in a moment! This month I received: a coconut scented, moisturising after sun spray from My Little Box’s own range, a small sample of hair oil from Ojon, a 20ml sample of Yves Rocher’s coconut scented perfume and an alcohol hand cleansing gel from Merci Handy- which again is coconut scented.


First we have the after sun spray from My Little Box. I’ll admit, when I first used this I didn’t even realise it was an after sun spray, I thought it was just a normal body spray as the fragrance is so nice. It has a very simple, sweet fragrance that carries the creamy smell of coconut milk perfectly. The packaging is true to My Little Box and has a very simplistic, minimalist packaging that always looks pretty on my beauty shelf.


Next we have the Ojon rare blend hair oil. This promises to do numerous things such as rehydrate hair, eliminate frizz and boost shine.

Next we have the Yves Rocher coconut scented perfume. I sprayed a bit of this and found it actually has the most realistic, coconut scent. It kind of smells like the corridors in hotels if that makes sense? You know when you can smell the warm weather and the air is mixed with the smell of greenery and sun cream and oils? Maybe that’s just me but that’s definitely what this perfume reminds me of.


Finally we have the Merci Handy hand sanitizer. Working in a retail job where I have to deal with money every shift, hand sanitizer always come in very handy- excuse the pun. I seem to have sensitive skin on my hands because after a few shifts in work my hands seem to flare up. The beads in this bottle aim to provide moisture but as far as the scent goes, I can’t really pick up the coconut hints. It smells just like regular alcohol hand gel to me.


So that about wraps it up for this months box. As always I will point out that My Little Box does not guarantee that every item is cruelty free. As I’ve stated in previous reviews, any company that sells their products in China will be subjected to laws by the Chinese government in which products must be tested on animals before being sold to the general public. From my research, both Ojon and Yves Rocher have entered the Chinese market- although Yves Rocher have spoken out about their desire to work with the Chinese authorities to get these laws changed. I think next month will be my last delivery from My Little Box as I only received a years subscription as a birthday present. If anyone can recommend any nice cruelty free vegan alternatives please do let me know!

P.S I’m sorry this post has been extra long due to there being more products that usual in this months box!

-Abbie

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated or endorsed by My Little Box to post these reviews (I wish this blog was successful enough for that haha), all boxes are paid for by me my boyfriend and all reviews are my 100% honest opinions.

Follow me on Twitter at: @abbieorbee

Follow me on Instagram at: @abbienotabby

You can also read my June, May, April and March reviews.

5 of my favourite places to eat in Liverpool

Another week has gone by and I’m still no closer to finishing my dissertation or attaining that perfect summer beach body. I just love food. I mean I’m trying, I’ve switched out fizzy drinks for water with lemon slices and mint leaves and I’m cutting down on the carbs. So as long as I’m trying that’s what counts, right? As for the dissertation…well that’s for me to think about tomorrow. Or the next day… Anyway with trying to cut down plus being absolutely broke because it’s not pay day, I’ve started my monthly dreams of what food I can treat myself to come tomorrow. The holy day. The day of riches. The day I’m a millionaire before I spend the rest of the month poverty stricken. You’ve got to love that student life! Anyway this got me thinking, seen as I published 5 of my favourite places to drink in Liverpool, it only seems fair that I get the food covered too, right? Liverpool’s food scene has exploded over the past year with so many cool places opening on what seems to be a weekly basis. So if I don’t cover any cult favourites I probably haven’t tried them or they don’t have many options that cater for me. Speaking of options, obviously the places I’m about to mention do amazing vegan and vegetarian friendly food BUT I do also have primarily meat eating friends, family and an occasional meat eater boyfriend so don’t you worry meat-eaters, I’m sure you’ll love these places too! Anyway, in no particular order, let’s get started!

Lunya, 18-20 College Lane, Liverpool, L1 3DS Lunya.co.uk


Image via Liverpool Echo

Where to begin with Lunya? Well firstly Lunya is a Catalonian tapas restaurant with enough dishes to please even the fussiest of eaters. Now for my vegan friends I will point out, Lunya likes their meat. Inside Lunya has split the ground floor level into a deli and restaurant/bar. The deli does have cured meats on display. However they do also provide numerous vegan and vegetarian dishes that are super tasty. I tend to come here with my parents as they’re not vegan or vegetarian so there is enough dishes to please all of us. I also like the olives that you can pack yourself at the deli and they offer two varieties of Estrella, which is like one of my favourite beers ever,  cause you know I’m a classy lady.

Mowgli, 69 Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4EZ Mowglistreetfood.com


Image via mowglistreetfood

Indian food is one of my favourite cuisines which I can thank my Dad for. Growing up, when we had takeaway nights, it was  always his first choice. I would never want to pretend that I didn’t eat meat growing up because I did. My favourite dish was always lamb saag with mushroom pilau rice. When I made my lifestyle change I just avoided Indian food because I didn’t really know what choices were available to me. I’d never even heard of Indian street food until Mowgli popped on the scene with not only tons of choices but…a seperate vegan menu! I can not stress how good the food at Mowgli is. I could literally eat their Bhel Puri alllllll day. Infact, even thinking of it now is making me hungry and I only just ate. Their drinks menu is impressive and they offer milk alternatives for coffee. The atmosphere is amazing and the fact that the place is usually always full is testament to how good their service is.

The Egg Cafe, 16-18 Newington, Liverpool, L1 4ED eggcafe.co.uk

Left image via Yelp and middle via @theeggcafe

Egg cafe. The holy grail of vegan and vegetarian cafes in Liverpool. Well at least one of the more popularly known anyway. Egg Cafe is completely vegan and vegetarian friendly and offers everything from cheese on toast to vegan roast dinners and cakes. Situated in a loft style space on Renshaw Street, Egg cafe oozes creativity with its art hangings and painted walls. Again this is a place that is always busy and the food is sooo good it doesn’t even scare off meat eaters (I’m looking at you Jamie!) In terms of recommendations it definitely has to be the tandoori mushrooms which are pictured above. They ooze flavour and (once again looking at you Jamie) so tasty, they even leave meat eaters craving them.

Wahaca, 24 College Lane, Liverpool, L1 3DS wahaca.co.uk

Left image via Liverpool Echo

I mentioned earlier that Indian food is one of my favourite cuisines. When it comes to my all time favourite though it would have to be Mexican food. I just love the spices and rich flavours. And also because Mexican food is a cheap, easy dinner idea for a house full of students. I love Wahaca’s interior design and their rooftop terrace cocktail bar just screams summer. Their cocktails are also to die for and they do an amazing Horchata! I’ll admit one thing though, I’ve not been to Wahaca since I made the switch from Vegetarian to Vegan. Although they do offer a ton of meat free dishes, most include cheese. I guess vegans would have to be creative and maybe request dishes sans cheese. However, their rooftop cocktail bar and decor is cute enough to justify a visit in itself.

Maray, 91 Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4HF maray.co.uk

Left image via Liverpool Echo and right image via designmynight

I feel like tapas food is a common theme within this post. I’ll say it’s my parents fault because that’s the only type of food we ever have as a family anymore when we eat out. Not that I don’t like it, I mean you either have one big dish and risk not liking it or you can eat at a tapas restaurant and have 3 small dishes so that it doesn’t really matter if one doesn’t tickle your tastebuds. Maray, like Lunya & Wahaca, is a tapas style restaurant. Once again their cocktails are amazing (I promise I’m judging these places on food although cocktails also seem to be a running theme) and their falafels are some of the nicest I’ve ever tasted. It’s all in the blog name really, falafelsandchat, falafels are the key to my heart! There is tons of choice for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike and all vegan dishes are clearly marked on the menu. I love the decor and atmosphere in Maray and, like Mowgli, the fact that Maray is usually busy proves what a good job they do.

I know I said this was a list of 5 but then I remembered this little gem and felt so guilty for forgetting about it and I’m nice, so one more just for you guys…

Crust, 25 Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4DN crustliverpool.co.uk

Left image via scouseveg

How could I forget about Crust?! Honestly, it’s probably my favourite out of this list. If not my favourite then definitely in the top 3. I’ve actually posted about Crust before which you can read here in my St.Patrick’s Day blog post. I would argue that Crust offers some of the best pizza in Liverpool. They’re home to the black dough pizza which is made from vegetable charcoal that supposedly has great effects on your body. The vegetable charcoal that is, not the pizza but hey we can all dream. Crust offer vegan cheese with a supplementary cost of £1.50 which I honestly don’t mind paying. Now don’t get me wrong I know the cheese on my pizza (middle) doesn’t look as good as the cheese on the right, but it’s vegan and it tastes amazing. Don’t judge a pizza by its looks but by its taste! Their pizzas are all freshly made and the tomato sauce base is one of the nicest pizza sauces I have ever tasted. The staff are so friendly and helpful which is always a nice bonus when eating out. Next time you’re on Bold Street, which as you can tell from this post is rapidly becoming a food haven, and you’re craving pizza you know where the goods are at!

*Unless stated, all pictures are my own.

I’m a big foodie so there is tons of places I could have added to this list but honestly I’m too lazy to review 10 places and I’m sure you’d get bored! As always I love to hear what you think- have you tried any of these places? Do you love them? Maybe you disagree with me? Also if you have any suggestions of where offers great vegan food please let me know! WordPress users can comment in the box below or you could follow me/ let me know what you think via:

Twitter: @abbieorbee

Instagram: abbienotabby

June My Little Box: My Little Summer Vibe Box

Wow what a week this has been! I’m not sure how it has been for everyone else but here in Liverpool the sun has been shining and I even got burnt (why didn’t I borrow your sun cream Ariane?!) Weather has been maxing at 26 which, for North West England, is really good! So it seemed fitting that My Little Box’s yearly summer box came in nice and early just like the sun.

My boyfriend has just got a new car so decided that his previous ‘job’ of being my ‘taxi driver’ was not something he hated any more but something he was actually begging to do. The box arrived and we decided to go to Sefton Park (a beautiful, renowned park in Liverpool that should definitely be visited). I decided that the greenery and flowers would prove perfect for an unboxing but lo and behold out rolled the grey clouds and down poured the rain! But it’s the thought that counts right?

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Like always I will state that this box is not necessarily vegan or cruelty free. I have a years subscription (before I transitioned from vegetarian to vegan) bought by my boyfriend that will end in August. If anyone knows of any vegan boxes to replace this please let me know! 🙂

Firstly I was happy to see that the quote cards are still alive and kicking. I guess the gyst of this months card is a holiday checklist- when you’re a forgetful as me this is always a plus!

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Again I like how My Little Box has stuck to the glossy mag as opposed to the foldout poster style magazine they have previously favoured. I just find the glossy magazine easier to read and more user friendly. Every month my little box include a ‘gimmick’ item, except this month it was like an extra treat, especially when you consider the hot weather as of late.

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I’ve previously been sent a blend of loose leaf green tea by Kusmi that was delicious. I’m excited to try this ice tea blend and I will be sure to let you know what I think!

What sets My Little Box apart from other boxes is the inclusion of a lifestyle product every month. I always get excited by the lifestyle product because for me personally, they almost never disappoint. Previous months have included things such as tote bags, beads for customisation of ear phones and photo frames. I will admit I did spoil this months for myself by visiting the My Little Spoiler page but I was delighted all the same.

 

Now ignore the bad photos, I placed my boyfriend in charge of the photographs and complimentary with the camera he is not! Basically the tshirt is a white tank top that reads ‘Girls just wanna have sun’. The material is soft but a little on the thin side. I’m not sure if I’d incorporate this into my daily wardrobe but it will definitely be travelling in my suitcase as a coverup on the beach or teemed with shorts for a relaxed holiday outfit.

Next we have the three items that I know you’re all really here to see. Usually My Little Box provide a cotton drawstring bag containing the beauty items, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts these come in super handy for storing toiletries or general organisation. This month however, the items came packed in a strong, sealed plastic bag that serves as a swimwear bag. I think this is such a good idea! Often, when I’ve travelled out of the country on holiday,my flight leaves at a really awkward time. Although I may not be departing until the night time, I feel as though I can’t have one last dip in the pool due to fear of the dreaded wet clothing smell invading my suitcase. This would be a perfect combat to this and I really love the idea!

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This months bag contained three items which you can see below …

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The first product I will admit I got a little tooooo excited about. I initially thought this was a glitter eyeshadow but upon reading the product information it is in fact a primer for glitter shadows. Although not as exciting, I fortunately own quite a few glitter based eyeshadows. Next is a nail polish by Ciate. As I’ve previously stated I’m not a big nail vanish girl due to the job I work in. However it is a nice shade and I’ll follow up with a sample of the colour on my Twitter- you can find the link to follow me at the end or in my contact me tab! Finally I received a salt spray which I am super happy with. I love relaxed surfer waves and when you know how to handle salt spray, it is perfect in achieving those laid back curls.

All in all I am super happy with this box, maybe with the exception of the nail varnish but I guess that’s kind of expected with boxes of this nature. My Little Box sends out different products based on a survey that all subscribers  must complete. Maybe your box differed from mine? I’d love to read about what you received and your thoughts on this months box! You can comment below or tweet me at @abbieorbee

– Abbie

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated or endorsed by My Little Box to post these reviews (I wish this blog was successful enough for that haha), all boxes are paid for by me my boyfriend and all reviews are my 100% honest opinions.

Follow me on Twitter: @abbieorbee

Instagram: abbienotabby

I’ve also posted a March, April and May My Little Box Review.

All vegans are crazy [+why I made the switch]

From my experiences that is an opinion I hear echoed through the meat eaters of society. Before I jump into this blog post entirely let me first just point out how false that statement is. Don’t get me wrong there are some vegans who are ‘crazy’, but there are meat eaters and various other members of society who are ‘crazy’ too. I mean throwing that word around has tons of negative influence towards the mental health movement and it kind of insults people who do suffer with mental health issues but right now that’s a whole different debate entirely. Vegans may seem ‘crazy’ to you but to me I can’t think of anything more crazy than willingly supporting the oppression of innocent, sentient beings who have thoughts, feelings and a central nervous system just like you. Would you like your dog or your cat to be impregnated against their will? Have their children ripped away from them moments after birth? Have their male offspring simply put straight through a grinder because they’re not valuable enough to justify their upkeep? Be hung upside down and watch their fellow species have their throats slit knowing they’re next? No you wouldn’t because that would make you an immoral person if you did and you should really question your desire to own a pet if that’s the case. Now I want to emphasise that I’m not out to convert people. I don’t have any issues with people who eat meat as you can read about in my similar blog post here. I just wanted to present the other side to the story as opposed to vegans being labelled as aggressive and ‘crazy’.

When I first began this blog I was in the phase of transitioning from vegan to vegetarian. Don’t get me wrong I had slip ups, I’ll admit that. I don’t think that makes me a bad person because it just motivated me even more to keep what I was eating in check. I think the biggest mistake I made was trying to jump straight from a meat eating diet into veganism. There may be vegans who have done this straight away and for them would say ‘it’s easy’ but just like quitting nicotine, our SAD diet is addictive to our bodies. Dairy is addictive, it’s something the majority of us have spent most of our lives consuming. As long as people keep their end goal in mind, that end goal being vegan, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking it in steps. Pesketarian, vegetarian and then vegan. Do what you need to do to get there and not just get there, stay there.

Educate yourself too. Honestly for me that was the best decision I made. I’d always wanted to eat vegetarian but as a kid my willpower wasn’t that strong. As I got older I desensitised myself to meat, I made myself think of it as a seperate thing to the living animal it once was. I couldn’t bear chopping up chicken breasts or even handling any meat raw- that was left to my boyfriend. Likewise I have always been anti fur and anti testing on animals for cosmetic reasons. I just realised one day that I was a walking contradiction. I couldn’t think some things were wrong and continue to support the meat and dairy industry. So I tried to go vegan and I watched bits of films such as earthlings but I couldn’t stomach watching the torture that ensued. So I went vegan and I ended up slipping and eating dairy again, essentially eating a fully vegetarian diet. I knew that wasn’t good enough so I forced myself to watch the documentaries, educate myself with literature and seminars and honestly now? I couldn’t even dream of eating meat or consuming dairy again. For me forcing myself to watch the videos was the best thing I could have ever done and I think if you’re trying to go vegan it’s something you should make yourself do. It’s not nice and it’s not easy to watch but ultimately if it helps you stand up to the oppression and slaughter of innocent animals then why shouldn’t you watch?

As always I’d love to know what you think. Have you made the transition? What was it that made you say enough is enough? Leave your comments below or contact me through the tab at the top ^^^

You can read my similar post ‘The problem with going vegan is…’ here.

You can also follow me on Twitter at @abbieorbee

– Abbie

5 of my favourite places to daytime drink in Liverpool

So guys, I did it! Bar my Dissertation, the university year is over. I submitted my last essay and sat my last (hopefully) exam! It’s debatable how well it went but in the words of my friend Ashley ‘submit it, forget it‘. I’ll deal with the marks when I get them and hopefully I’ll have done better than I expected. With the exam over my course mates and I decided there was only one way to celebrate- cocktails! Which got me thinking about my favourite places to drink in Liverpool. Now I’ll point out I am not big on nights out. I can’t dance and I’m not into club music so I mostly find the whole thing really awkward unless I’ve had one too many and then call me Beyoncé on that dance floor- in my head at least! In reality I probably look more like Chloe from Geordie Shore… So I want to quickly point out that this list features places that I think are either good for afternoon drinks or relaxing in their beer gardens on a warm day. With that clarified, and in no particular order, let’s get started:

1) Roxy Ball Room

Right image via Aver

This is still relatively new to Liverpool and I was introduced to it by my friend when we first visited on her birthday. Situated in Liverpool One next door to Wahaca (an awesome Mexican street food restaurant), Roxy Ball Room resides on the top floor. Accessible by stairs and lifts, the entrance is covered in cool, bright graffiti. Inside there’s a bar and kitchen serving all sorts of treats and ping pong, beer pong and pool tables for hire. Outside is a terrace with picnic benches that looks out over Bluecoats and Liverpool One. The staff are friendly and make the best cocktails ever. We tend to get the staff specials, priced at £5 they’re super tasty and super strong. Or maybe I’m just a lightweight, either way they do the trick. The one pictured above left was a Gin, elderflower and cucumber mix that tasted heavenly.

2) Kazimier Gardens

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Image via Kazimier

I have an annoyingly bad habit of getting tipsy/drunk and not taking photos the way normal people do so I have no modern pictures of the Kazimier gardens by day. The lights at night are beautiful though and this is one of the few places I occupy of a night time. Day time drinks here though are just as good, especially when the sun is shining and the place has a real boho, festival feel. Their choice of craft beers is amazing and they often host gigs for local bands. There is a good range of food choices, even for non-carnivores like me! Prepare to battle it out for the table that’s styled like a boat, it’s the most coveted seat. To my friends at least!

3) Lady of Mann

image Image via The Good Pub Guide

Sometimes when you meet your friends from work, or in my case when you want to distract yourself from uni work, all you want is good beer/wine and someplace nice to chat. I love music but sometimes I just like getting tipsy and having drunken conversations and gossip with my nearest and dearest. That’s where the Lady of Mann comes in. Situated on Dale Street it’s a nice retreat from the bustling city centre. I visit here all the time with my friend Jojo and its just one of those places where ‘I’m only getting one drink’ becomes drunkenly stumbling out at last orders.

4) Tavern On The Green

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Image via Yelp

Tavern sits on Chavasse Park, L1 and is another place I tend to visit with work friends due to how close it is to our work. The discount for working within Liverpool One is an added bonus! I love Tavern because most of its playlists are pretty much straight copies of the ITunes playlists I coveted as an angsty little 17 year old. They have an amazing selection of cocktails, beer and wine and their quiz nights of a Tuesday are always fun. They have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating but prepare to battle it out for a picnic bench when the sun and crowds are out!

5) Heebie Jeebies

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Image via Yelp

Heebies is probably known by almost everyone in Liverpool, especially the students mid week! I’ve been coming to Heebies ever since my youthful 18 year old days and all through my university life its always been a staple night out venue. Its music of choice is that of bands rather than club hits and for me that is always a massive plus. It offers DJ nights and gigs, its popularity is highlighted by the queues to get in of a weekend but once you’re in it’s worth it. Despite being known for its night life and funky decor, Heebies is also a really good venue for daytime drinks. Especially when the sun is out and you can bask in its outdoor courtyard. It has recently been renovated (the courtyard) and I’ve not actually visited since then but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I do. Drinks are all priced fairly and when they do their pub quiz they even offer vegetarian hot dogs! What’s not to love?!

 

I realised as I was typing this that there is sooooooo many more places I could add but I’m wary of how long this post already is. Places like Shipping Forecast, Santa Chupitos and Hope & Anchor all deserve a shout out too. I feel like I’ll also be chastised for not adding places like the Botanical Gin Gardens and Oh Me Oh My but truth is I haven’t actually visited them yet! Although they are on my to do list I promise! As always I’d love to hear what you think, where are your favourite places to day time drink in Liverpool? Think I’ve missed any out? Just drop me a comment down below 🙂

-Abbie

Follow me on Twitter via @abbieorbee

19 thoughts I’ve definitely had as a 24 year old

I’m sure anyone who is at the early twentys stage of their life, or those who have already experienced it, will know/remember what a confusing time it is. You know you’re still young but compared to fresh faced 18 year olds you feel old.  However take into account demands and responsibilities of the ‘real world’ and suddenly you feel 12 years old again begging your parents to help you out and not sacrifice you to the world of bills and debt. The age of 25 looms over you and your younger friends all remind you that you’ll soon be ‘halfway to 50’ and you think oh god. How did this happen?? That age is a mere 3 months away, closer to 2 and 1/2 months if you want to be technical, for yours truly so as my birthday looms ever closer I thought I’d share 19 thoughts I’ve almost definitely had as a 24 year old.

1) How have I gone from being a young 23 year old to 24?! I’m so old. Stop singing happy birthday! STOP!

Via Giphy

2) Yeah I’ve got plenty of time to find a graduate job, I only graduated last…TWO YEARS AGO?! Is this a prank?

3) Fuck this I’m doing a Masters. Take me back to the student life!

4) What do you mean this is my last paid for holiday? Im your child! Okay I’m a childult. Don’t leave me behind Mum & Dad!

Via Giphy

5) Woo freshers! Wait are those people even legal to be in this club right now? Oh I forgot. That’s what being 18 looks like.

Via Giphy


6) My parents are still buying me Christmas clothes and everyone on Facebook is buying presents for their babies. What is life?

7) Yes I know you’re driving me back to my own apartment but that doesn’t mean I’ve moved out the family home for good.

8) Why is everyone from my undergrad so successful and I’m still in lectures. Why didn’t I apply for a graduate job???

9) Why is everyone around me suddenly getting engaged? We’re too young for that. Oh wait. No we’re not.

10) What? The Killers aren’t that old! I listen to Sam’s Town all the time, it’s definitely not 10 years old. Oh wait…once again how has this happened?


11) How has my life gotten here?

12) Maybe I should go down a different career path. If I could afford another BA I would be 26, 27…28?! 28 when I’d graduate again!!??

13) I want to produce documentaries and I’m 24. Fuck. I’m nearing my Media sell by date. Uhhubcriybuybcuhbwrcuhbwrcuhb. Another drink please.

 

via Giphy
 

14) Oh no graduation is looming close again, I can’t avoid the real world this time….well…there is always a PhD course…

15) No. I’m ready. I can do this, I’m going to apply for tons of jobs right now and be proactive!

16) I definitely can’t do this.

Via imgur

17) The age I want to be married and have kids by? 28 I guess, that’s the age I’ve always said anyway. Oh god that’s only 3 years away??? But I haven’t lived my life!

18) How have I not travelled the world?! How have I spent my young adult life solely in university and working part time jobs???

19) I’m just going to go to sleep. I’ll think about responsibilities tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the day after that. I’m still so young after all.

 

Via Giphy
 


May My Little Box: My Little Dolce Vita Box

Hi everyone! Two blog posts in the same week can you believe it? I’m proud of myself, usually this is where I bore everyone with excuses for why I’m such a lazy blogger soooo I’m going to give myself a pat on the back, especially considering I’m currently very hungover 💁🏼 Today’s blog post is going to be different from my last (for any new readers), I finally got the courage to post my blog through my Facebook so I think a lot of people I know would have only read my piece on cognitive enhancement. Judging from my stats though, the My Little Box reviews are my most popular posts and I’m glad that people get as excited about My Little Box as I do. It literally makes me feel like a kid at Christmas again, counting down the days of each month until my new box arrives and this months was SUPER early, which was a nice suprise. For anyone who doesn’t know about My Little Box: they’re a subscription service (based in Paris) in which every month you receive a box that has a different theme. What makes My Little Box different from other subscriptions such as Birchbox is that not only do you receive sample (and full size) beauty and grooming products, you also receive lifestyle products too. Things such as tshirts, tote bags, planters, jewellery and so on. Each box comes with a hand drawn illustration by My Little Box’s resident designer Kanako Kuno, which adds to the overall ‘cute/pretty’ feel of the box.

This months theme is Italy and the phrase ‘Dolce Vita’, Google tells me it means ‘a life of heedless pleasure and luxury’. If that’s wrong and I’ve just butchered the phrase I apologise but blame Google! 

Firstly I just want to point out, as I did in My Little Flower Book review, I’m happy the style has returned to the traditional box rather than the ribboned book. When you open the cardboard box you’re met with your pretty box and usually a sticker that I just stick either on the mirror or in random places in the flat, to which my boyfriend follows me around taking them all down. Men! As you can see this months sticker says ‘Baci baci’, again I had to Google this phrase and I’m told it means ‘Kisses, kisses’, or I guess maybe kiss kiss? I’ll just move on before I potentially falsely quote any more of the Italian language.

I love this months illustration, when I think of Italy I think of chic, sleek fashion (and good food obviously) and I think Kanako captured this perfectly. It’s not very often I’m jealous of illustrations but I want that outfit, real or not!

Another thing I was happy to see is that the quotes on cards have returned. My brain isn’t working well today, I’ll blame the alcohol so I’m sure there is a better term for those. Basically every month each box usually contains a nice little quote on good quality card that you can either frame or give to people or just collect. Everything is tied together neatly with a ribbon. Usually you have what I call the gimmick item here but this months box contained an extra lifestyle product (exciting!) which you can see below

Each month I end up, somehow, spoiling the suprise for myself. Usually by accidentally reading a spoiler on my Facebook newsfeed. This month however, I managed to avoid that so I had no idea what to expect. Looking at the smaller box I had figured it would be a piece of jewellery and I was right! I assumed the bigger box would be a scarf but I prefer what it actually is

It is in fact a hair turban, in the run up to summer and holiday season I’m very thankful for this. I personally love this pattern but I know it won’t be to everyone’s taste. But like it or not it will definitely come in handy whilst sunbathing, there is nothing more annoying than trying to keep hair off a sticky, sun screened face. It will definately be coming along in my suitcase this year but as this fits my general style anyway I’ll probably wear it of a day, here in England, too and work it into my style.

As I said before my guess at jewellery was right! Inside is a beautiful little ring that’s shaped like a leaf curled around your finger. Again this fits into my style really well so I’m very happy with this months lifestyle items. I would have uploaded a picture of myself wearing it but at the time my nail polish was chipped and looked a bit ugly so maybe I’ll post one to Instagram or Twitter at some point (I’ll give the links to follow me at the end!)

Finally we have the beauty/grooming products that always come in a handy drawstring back that is usually illustrated differently each month. I say it in all my reviews but for any new readers, these bags are amazingly handy and worth keeping hold of. I use them for storing toiletries whilst travelling and general organising.

Inside you usually receive three items. Occasionally you may receive an extra item but this month I got three:

Starting from the left we have a product from My Little Box’s own brand My Little Beauty. I personally love this brand as the packaging is always very neat, usually minimalistic and the products always smell amazing. This months is an illuminating moisturiser for legs, I’m guessing the purpose is to highlight a tan but unfortunately I’m like a milk bottle right now so I’ve not actually tried it out. I had a quick smell though and it has a very orange, citrus like scent so perfect for summer. Next is a body oil by the brand Baija. With My Little Box being a Parisian subscription service, the products received are always of a French background. I’d never heard of Baija until a few months ago when I received a floral moisturiser that was literally one of the nicest things I’ve ever smelt. Again I’ve not yet tried the oil but the green tea and jasmine scent is very refreshing and clean. Lastly we have another product from My Little Beauty, which is a decent sized sample of a fragrance called ‘la fille de l’air’ which, once again, trusty Google translates as ‘daughter of the air’. I’m usually sceptical about fragrances I don’t know about but I’m very pleased with the scent. It’s a very clean, subtle floral scent that is sweet yet not overpowering. I wouldn’t trade my other perfumes in for this entirely but it’s nice to carry around in your handbag which is exactly what I did last night.

Overall I’m really pleased with this months box. I’m not sure it’s my favourite ever as I always prefer receiving makeup items as opposed to moisturisers etc but I am still happy with the products I received. The lifestyle items are perfect for me and something I will definitely make use of! My Little Box ships different products so there is no guarantee you will receive the same products that someone else has and I know each country they ship to have slightly different contents. So I like to be nosy and ask what you all received too! Did you receive different products? Do you like them? How would you rate this months box? Drop me a comment below and let me know 🙂 For now I’m going to try and convince my boyfriend to take me to Liverpool’s new Vegan restaurant Give Kitchen to nurse my hangover. If it works maybe I’ll even have two blog posts in one day! As always thanks for reading 🙂

-Abbie

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated or endorsed by My Little Box to post these reviews (I wish this blog was successful enough for that haha), all boxes are paid for by me my boyfriend and all reviews are my 100% honest opinions

Connect with me on Instagram here: AbbienotAbby

Follow me on Twitter here: @abbieorbee

You can also read my April review here and my March review here!

Cognitive Enhancers

Hey guys!

It’s been almost a month since my last blog post, oh how time flies! Some of you may know and some of you may not,  I’m currently studying for an MA in International Journalism. I’ve wanted to keep up with regular blog posts but I didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be in the midst of end of year deadlines. Thankfully they’re mostly out of the way now. Bar an exam. And an essay. And a dissertation due August. But let’s forget about that for now hey?

Seen as I haven’t really left the library I don’t have any fancy places to blog about or any new buys to review so I thought I’d do a quick blog post on something different, I guess a more journalistic post? Yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone and attended a seminar about issues surrounding new drugs: cognitive enhancers, legal and synthetic highs. That was in a broad term but the seminars focuses on everything from ‘what classes as evidence?’ to how drugs are sold on the dark web via The Tor network and Silk Road.

Now I must admit during quite a few of the talks I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I was kind of out of place in between all the Oxford, suited and booted types with my tweed cape and cleavage flashing shirt (not intentional, I lost a button on the walk in). One talk that did interest me was by a PhD student at LJMU, Jamie Tully, 25, who gave a short speech about his research that will take place over the next three years. Jamie’s talk was aimed to be entry level meaning no prior knowledge was needed which was perfect for me. Cognitive enhancers are something I know barely anything about, yet the media seem to hail these drugs as all sorts of miracles for the brain- my favourite example Jamie used was the Daily Mail and their use of the term ‘Viagra for the brain’.

To put it briefly cognitive enhancers is basically an umbrella term for drugs that are both legal (over the counter) for anyone and prescription based. Anything from caffeine to ginseng to Ritalin. Jamie will be primarily researching the usage of cognitive enhancers by University students. What I found most interesting was one of the aspects that Jamie’s research is investigating – morality and its preditctive capability on the use of these cognitive enhancement drugs. Although, as a scientist Jamie is primarily concerned with how morals effect use, as a Journalism student  with no science knowledge, I’m more interested in the moral dilemmas. By now we are accustomed to reading about athletes who have been disqualified or have their awards stripped due to testing positive for some form of banned enhancement such as steroids. In its most basic form we understand that it is immoral for one athlete to have an (albeit synthetic) advantage over another. But then what about at academic level? At school or college or university? If I was to sit an exam with my classmates and I took Ritalin recreationally, because I knew it would help me focus, would that make me any different from the athletes using steroids? In one way I guess you could argue that no, I’m no different but then where do you draw the line? Caffeine is a cognitive enhancer too so does that mean it would be unfair for a student to drink coffee before an exam? Would it give those who don’t drink coffee an unfair disadvantage?  

The seminar was definitely food for thought and although I initially felt out of my comfort zone I felt good for attending. Sure I took the semi-formal dress code a bit too far, dressing in smart layers during one of Liverpool’s only heatwaves and had to struggle against flashing cleavage all day but I felt like I’d achieved something with my day. I hadn’t just wasted it playing games or watching Netflix, I’d actually gone out of my way to learn about something new and interesting. I’d definitely recommend everyone to do the same at some point. Even if you’re not a student most universities have free seminars that are open to the public almost weekly, especially now the university year and classes are ending.

But I’m interested to hear what you think- do you know anything about cognitive enhancers? Maybe you’ve used them before? What do you think about Jamie’s hypothetical moral dilemma of the university student?

If you’re interested in this area you can message Jamie or follow him for updates on his research via @J_L_Tully

– Abbie

For lighter reading check my 7 stages of procrastination or last months My Little Flower Box review. I’ll be back with more soon I promise! 

April My Little Box: My Little Flower Book

Hey everyone! My Little Box must have read my mind when I was planning to have this uploaded by the weekend because I finally had my box (well book) delivered yesterday! I was originally going to upload this yesterday but I had a looooong day. To begin the day I woke up at 6am to practice my presentation a few times and nearly had a break down when the timing was averaging out at 22.12, considering we lose points if the presentation were to go over 20 minutes. Anyway there was little I could do at a that point and knew I’d just have to use the timer on my phone and wing it. I left for uni at 9:30 and class began at 11, thankfully when it was my turn I came in at 18 minutes so comfortably between the 15-20 minute bracket we were allowed. Straight from there I met up with my dad, had lunch and then had 45 minutes to run home, get showered and changed into my uniform and go straight into work. That was when I realised My Little Box Book had been delivered (yay) but it was kind of bitter sweet as I only had time to do a quic unboxing, take photos and then leave for work. I didn’t get home until 11:30pm and was going to type out a post but figured who’d really want to read my review at that time? Anyway once again I’ve gone on a tangent so how about we just get on with the unboxing/review? Because I know that’s what you’re all here for 😉

  

Now I must say that I absolutely love the illustration of this months box. The book style was a nice change but overall I prefer the traditional box style for storing things as opposed to the ribbon side opening style of this box. For a one off style I love it though and I’m sure it will look pretty sat on my book shelf. As always on opening the box you’re met with what I referred to in my last review as the ‘gimmick’ item and the glossy magazine. 

  

This months I’d already found out what this was (check out my small rant here) due to a disgruntled subscriber on My Little Box’s page. Well I love this months item and the disgruntled customer really didn’t do it justice when she described it as ‘packet of seeds’ when it really is cuter than that. Firstly it’s cress seeds which gives me nostalgia feels to when I was in primary school and it seemed to be a regular activity to plant cress seeds and watch how they grew. The planter is set in a pretty little cardboard box with a pop up, apartment style setting 

   
 

Instructions seem simple enough, I mean if 7 year old Abbie could successfully grow cress I will not be impressed if 24 year old Abbie messes this up! After taking out the magazine I was getting excited, underneath the magazine is one lifestyle product and a cotten drawstring bag filled with 3 (sometimes 4 if you’re lucky!) goodies. I wondered what it could be and I vaguely remember the disgruntled subscriber saying something about a ‘pouch’ and then I saw it. I mean it’s a lot prettier than just the non-description pouch said subscriber moaned about but I will be honest, I wasn’t really that impressed. The ‘pouch’ is actually a travel organiser for lingerie, the design is pretty enough and the idea as a whole is nice but I’m not exactly lacking on the chest area if you know what I’m saying. So I doubt I’d fit more than two of my bras into this packet, maybe bikinis but I’ll test that out and let you know when I’m packing for my holiday.

  

Finally we have the drawstring bag, like I explained in my last review, the design on each months bag is different and I hoarde these like they’re food rations and the world is about to take a swift left to a post apocalyptic, dystopian future. not to self: stop referencing Fallout! But like I said last time they’re handy for organising toiletries and makeup when travelling etc.

 

Now I hate to be a killjoy but again I’m not overly impressed with this months content. Maybe because there was a real hype in the Facebook page for this months box so I did that annoying thing where you overhype something in your head or it could be because my favourite items to receive reside in the makeup category. Who knows, maybe I’m just being picky. What I received this month is: L’Occitane flower scented shower gel, My Little Box face mask and a Nails Inc nail varnish.

 

First of all I used to love L’Occitane’s products and I don’t want to discredit them by saying their products aren’t good because they are and they always smell delicious but if you’ve read my blog you know I’m a massive animal lover. L’Occitane at one point were approved cruelty free and were awarded the leaping bunny logo but this has been revoked because of the regulations in China in which all products are required to be tested on animals before they can be sold to the general public. Although not completley cruelty free, I do want to point out that L’Occitane are actively working with Cruelty-Free International to accelerate the move to acceptance of alternative forms of testing- you can read more about that here and hereThat said this is just my beliefs and I understand My Little Box doesn’t advertise themselves as a cruelty free or vegan box so I can’t really complain. Next we have the face mask which is my favourite product out of the three. There is nothing more relaxing than coming home from a long day, putting on a face mask and sipping on a nice warm Camomile tea. I tried this out last night and I must admit it has left my skin feeling very smooth so A+ for this product. Finally we have the nail varnish, now I do love this colour although I’d have welcomed it more over Winter. I’m not allowed to wear nail polish in work so I usually don’t paint my nails but when I do I prefer bright or pastel shades over the warmer months purely because I think they look prettier with a tan. So again nice product but I’m not overly thrilled with it.

To round up I wouldn’t say this was a bad box, I’ve had others I’ve disliked more, but it is definitely not my favourite box. I think that belongs to last summers My Little Gypset box. However I’ve rambled on for long enough now so if you’ve read this all, thank you as always! Not everyone receives the same products so I’d love to hear what products you received this month- did you love or hate this months box? Let me know in the comments box below and I hope you all have a lovely weekend 🙂

-Abbie  

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated or endorsed by My Little Box to post these reviews (I wish this blog was successful enough for that haha), all boxes are paid for by me my boyfriend and all reviews are my 100% honest opinions.