Gin Festival Bournemouth*

Last weekend, I re-GIN-dled my love for a much-loved spirit.

Terrible puns aside, the Gin Festival at Bournemouth Pavilion was an absolute delight. The Ballroom was packed with a variety of sights and smells, with over 100 delectable premium gins to sample.

Armed with my trusty partner-in-crime Lisa, we ventured to the Festival on the Friday evening and we were not at all prepared for such an experience! We were kindly looked after by some very hospitable staff and we learnt all about the history of gin and some rather interesting flavour pairings. Oh, and we got to take home our beautiful glasses too!

 

The idea being that you purchase drinks tokens to exchange for your gin and then you choose which Fever-Tree mixer to pair it with (the sponsors of the evening). I opted for classic tonic water whereas Lisa preferred lemonade in her drinks.

My first choice was Pinkster, a dry London gin made with fresh raspberries. Garnished with a raspberry and a mint leaf, it had a very smooth sweet taste. Lisa opted for Silent Pool with lemonade and an orange garnish. It was also very fruity and had a floral, citrusy aftertaste.

Next we wandered over to the exhibitors of the night. Local Dorset brand Conker Spirit was very light, it didn’t have the burning aftertaste that some shots do and went down very smoothly. Next we spoke to James from the Locksley Distilling Company. They were serving their Sir Robin of Locksley Gin with elderflower tonic, which had a really nice blend and a taster of pink grapefruit.

 

 

Our absolute favourites of the night however were Brockmans from Langley. Their gin smelt delectable and got its jam-like sweetness from blackberries and blueberries. Mike from Brockmans told me that they are a brand about the ‘darker side’ of gin, hosting raunchy events and creating some questionable content online. In Mike’s gin masterclass, he told us the story of ‘Mr Gin’ and the creative process that inspired them to combine flavours for a gin you could enjoy over ice. I’ll be buying a bottle of Brockmans for my next night in with friends, that’s for sure!

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Brockmans

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Brockmans

At this point, musicians Holder & Smith took to the stage. Having performed magic tricks amongst the crowd, the duo played some great and fitting jazz and swing covers to liven up the party mood. Having had a delicious pulled pork roll made by the Pavilion’s in-house catering and a bit of a boogie to ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’, we then decided to enjoy some drinks outside overlooking the beautiful Bournemouth pier.

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Pier - Jenna and Lisa

 

We opted for two Edinburgh Gin Liqueurs. Lisa had the Raspberry with lemonade and said it was her favourite as it tasted ‘like fizzy squash’. I had the Rhubarb and Ginger liqueur with tonic which was also really sweet with a great tangy aftertaste. This was my favourite too!

 

Bournemouth Gin Festival - Edinburgh Rhubarb and Ginger, Raspberry Liqueur

 

At the festival, you could also exchange two tokens for a choice cocktail. Lisa chose a ‘Rhubarb Rumble’ which combined Edinburgh Rhubarb and Ginger Gin Liqueur with Advocaat, apple juice and fresh lemon. We also got a rhubarb and custard sweet, which the cocktail tasted just like and Lisa said it reminded her of ‘her childhood in a drink’!

I too had a gin cocktail, a ‘Drunken Tulip’ made with Martin Miller’s Gin, Prosecco, pomegranate juice, elderflower cordial and fresh lemon. This was really refreshing and I joked that all the fresh, fruity flavour made it taste ‘almost healthy’…

We had a quick chat to the ladies from Gin Explorer too. They are a subscription service who send you 4 carefully chosen 50ml vials of different gins each month. We tried new Black Shuck gin there and the ladies very kindly gave me a code for £5 off your first order with them. Visit GinExplorer.com and use ‘PASSPORT‘.

You’re welcome!

 

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Gin Explorer Subscription Box

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Gin Explorer Subscription Box - £5 off codeWe had a great time at Gin Festival and I’d recommend that you get tickets to an event near you soon.

Make a night of it!

Have you been to a Gin Festival?
What’s your favourite gin or gin cocktail?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

 

* This post is a collaboration with Gin Festival.

For more information, see my disclaimers.

 

Jenna
X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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If you liked this post, you should check out:
Jazmin’s 15th Birthday (in pictures) – We went for a meal at Frankie & Bennys to celebrate my little sister turning fifteen!
what I did at Christmas – a selection of posts about mine and my family’s Christmas celebrations…
Scissors Christchurch Ladies’ Night* – My Nan and I were pampered for the evening by the Scissors team
the perfect Pimms – I make the Pimms’ cup recipe with a little help from my mum!

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Eloquence Pure Luxury Collection* | 10-day Skincare Trial

I was kindly sent Eloquence’s Pure Luxury Collection to review as part of my new focus on skincare. I am a bit crap at keeping up with skincare regimes but I was really excited to give this one a go and actually commit. I vlogged the routine and the effects over ten days of using the products.

(Scroll to the bottom for the vlog!)

 

Eloquence Beauty Cruelty-Free Natural Skincare - Pure Luxury Collection

 

Who are Eloquence?

Eloquence are one of the UK’s newest natural skincare companies. They combine the hydrating powers of Sacha Inchi Oil and hyaluronic acid to restore your skin to a healthier balance. Their products are cruelty-free and contain no harsh chemicals or perfumes. Using oils like cucumber and coconut to nourish and protect your skin, the Eloquence range was also featured in Cosmopolitan magazine last year as a must-try for all skin types.

 

Inside the Pure Luxury Collection (RRP £75.00) is:

Step 1) Purifying Facial Cleanser

Step 2) Firm & Tone Serum

Step 3) Firming & Moisturising Eye Gel

Step 4) Protect & Repair 24hr Cream

 

and their Nourishing Treatment Oil

 

You are advised to use the four-step routine morning and night for the full benefits.
You can buy any of the products separately too though!

Eloquence Beauty Cruelty-Free Natural Skincare - Pure Luxury Collection - Nourishing Treatment Oil

 

 

What did I think?

The Cleanser and Serum used one after the other had a lovely fruity smell and a creamy texture. Instantly my skin felt refreshed and lighter.

Dabbing on the eye gel was a nice little pick-me-up too, as it was cool and easy to apply.

I found the 24hr Cream a bit heavy for daytime use as I usually wear quite light moisturisers. It was nice before bed when I’d had a shower and my pores were open.

I also used the Nourishing Treatment Oil on my hand and rubbed it into my nails, both of which needed some TLC. It was a bit weird at first to use oil on my hands but it definitely cheered my skin up and strengthened my nails.

I would recommend the Pure Luxury Collection to anyone who can afford it (unfortunately, I can’t!) but I’d also say it’s worth trying the products individually for problem areas for a low-cost option.

 

The vlog

 

 

Have you tried or bought any of Eloquence’s range before?
Do you buy cruelty-free, natural skincare?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

 

* This post is a collaboration with Eloquence.

For more information, see my disclaimers.

 

Jenna
X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
foundation-free fridays series – I let my skin breathe with some awesome foundation-free makeup looks
guest post: Mermaid LookPeter Minkoff of Your Style Forecast talks about the mermaid trend!
FOTD: Smashbox Art, Love, Colour Bestsellers Kit – A makeup look using my prize from Jemma
tag: boyfriend does my makeup – a silly vlog where Josh attempts to paint my face

Smile Makers* : A Very Secret Diary

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult

 

Who are Smile Makers?

Smile Makers are a range of stylish vibrators, sold exclusively at Superdrug (RRP £29.99). As a brand, they believe that physical wellbeing, including sexual pleasure, is important for women’s overall health. Promoting the idea that conversations about masturbation shouldn’t be taboo, they hope that by making their products accessible and discreet, women will feel more confident and even empowered about the idea of self-pleasure.

 

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult_clitoral_stimulator

 

What are the products?

The Smile Makers range includes two external personal massagers (The Frenchman and The Fireman) and two internal vibrators (The Tennis Coach and The Millionaire). All four are 100% phthalates free and made of silicone approved by the US FDA. They are also fully waterproof and only 40db, so this adds to how discreet they are!

 

smile_makers_personal_massagers_sex_toys_masturbation

What are they like?

I have a close friend who agreed to anonymously contribute to this piece. She is a single woman in her twenties who has tried vibrators before. She kept a diary whilst trying out the Smile Makers products and we chatted about it over a cuppa! Her feedback on the two is as follows…

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_fireman_adult_clitoral_stimulator

“The Fireman has what I would call a ‘lily-like’ appearance. It has 5 settings – 4 are basic vibration at different intensities and then the 5th is pulsing. 1 & 2 are basically the same so I’d recommend those for ‘warming up’ as they’re just enough to peak your interest. The third setting is brilliant and I finished on four – with an orgasm! Because of the shape, I used the silicone tip to get that little bit more but the bumpy bit, when rested on your clitoris was good for prolonging sensations. 

I also tried this in the shower, standing with my leg up like a flamingo at one point! They aren’t lying, it is fully waterproof because it still worked afterwards unlike some products I’ve tried before. It isn’t the strongest vibe I’ve ever tried but I can imagine if you’ve not used one before, this would be more than satisfactory. 

My non-shower test I worked through all the settings, sat with my heels to my bum. The more exposed and available your vagina is when using these the better. I don’t think you could have a sneaky wank under the table with them. The bumpy bit I found better to rest on my clit and then I sort of moved it around using some wrist action. Another orgasm here.”

 

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_adult_clitoral_stimulator

“I have to be honest and say that I didn’t like the Frenchman, or as I affectionately named it, the shoehorn. The shape was annoying because when you look at it, the ‘cup’ area that I thought didn’t cup how I expected it to… I ended up using the reverse side of the lip. When that’s away from you, it moves loads but when you apply it, there’s not a lot of movement so I had to do a lot of hand work. Trying this in the shower, I gave up on squatting, putting my leg up didn’t work and after 25 minutes with no orgasm I gave up, pretty frustrated!

The Frenchman is also fully waterproof but a bit louder than The Fireman. It has the same 5 settings but I felt like 1 was nothing. The 2nd one was like the first on the Fireman. I found that 3 was best – it felt suddenly stronger! I found that I needed setting 3 or 4 here in order to ‘get anywhere’.

The shape causes problems when standing so I’d recommend using whilst in a deep squat if you can, or in a ‘lotus-legged’ position with everything open. This makes it a lot easier to stimulate. With this one I couldn’t figure out how to prolong sensation or use the ‘dip’ bit properly.I was determined to try The Frenchman again though!

This time I was in the standard ‘missionary’ position, on my back with my legs spread. I couldn’t figure out a solid technique with the pulse setting so I spent 20 minutes trying different angles, wrist actions and positions. I really wanted to judge its performance on its own so I tried to let it do its thing but I just couldn’t get it to the position I wanted to. This might be my error? Perhaps Smile Makers could include some instructions or suggestions for techniques? Still no orgasm unfortunately.”

 

Who should try Smile Makers?

Anyone could try Smile Makers, whether you’re an experienced toy-user or vi-curious and wanting to try something different. I’d also like to point out that not all women have vaginas/clitorises and not everyone with those bits is a woman. Basically, the products are designed to fit those body parts so if you’re comfortable trying those then I say go for it!

 

Do you own anything from Smile Makers?
Do you follow another great sex-positive brand?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

 

* This post is a collaboration with Smile Makers.

For more information, see my disclaimers.

 

Jenna
X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
collab: Ending Toxic Relationships – Lucie and I talk about removing toxic people and putting yourself first
the empowerment playlists – music to make you feel strong and powerful!
“You Can’t Be A Feminist If…” – things I’ve been told I do that ‘aren’t feminist’…
You Just Keep Doing Other People – a 21st-century sex-positive rant from Cami  

 

adventures: she who dares wins 2015 (in pictures)

She Who Dares Wins is a free-to-attend storytelling event that aims to inspire and empower women in local business. The fourth installment, held at the Bournemouth Natural Science Society and hosted by Wise Old Uncle Ltd did just that, as it brought together women from all walks of life to share their journeys, their knowledge and lots of advice about how to push yourself further and achieve more. Whether you were at an early point in your career, haven’t really started it yet like myself or you’re someone who has founded their own company, many of the attendees agreed that there was something for everyone to take away from the day.

 

(Continues after gallery.)

 

After a fantastic cup of tea and a delicious cookie dough bite from local bespoke baker Heather Brown, there was a warm welcome from our host, creative and digital consultant Matt Desmier. Matt has previously had huge success with Silicon Beach, a larger scale annual conference for creatives that gets more big names as tickets get more in demand each year.

The first guest speaker of the event… Continue reading on Bournemouth News & Info.

food: hangover bacon cups with british lion eggs*

So it’s high time that I confess to slipping up on my health kick.

What with it being my birthday (embarassing vlog to follow very soon), I wasn’t about to spend the celebrations without some booze and a shameful, greasy breakfast the morning after.

This recipe is a personal favourite of mine and it does wonders for a hangover!

 

food_recipe_hangover_british_lion_eggs_bacon_breakfast_cups_orange_juice

 

You will need:

Bacon (I prefer smoked)

A muffin tray

Bread (of your choice)

British Lion Eggs

Orange Juice (optional)

 

 

food_recipe_hangover_british_lion_eggs_bacon_breakfast_cups_orange_juice_bread_toast_cooperative

 

First, cut circles out of the bread using a glass roughly the same size as the cups of your muffin tray.

Keep the crusts to one side as you can use them later!

 

food_recipe_hangover_british_lion_eggs_bacon_breakfast_cups_toast_bread

 

You need to pre-cook the bacon.
I prefer the taste of grilled bacon as it’s marginally better for you but you can fry it if you like.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 (200C/ 400F) during this step.

food_recipe_hangover_british_lion_eggs_bacon_breakfast_cups

 

Arrange the cooked bacon around the rim of the muffin tray.

(It was at this point in my cooking that I realised that my tray was too shallow so excuse the fact that it starts to get a bit messy from here on out!)


food_recipe_hangover_british_lion_eggs_bacon_breakfast_cups

 

Carefully crack your eggs and pour them into the center of the cups.

food_recipe_hangover_british_lion_eggs_breakfast_cups

 

I always choose British Lion Eggs because the stamp means that the eggs adhere to the only UK egg-assurance Code of Practice. Overseeing the entire production process and ensuring food safety, British Lion standards for this code are:

 

  • All Lion hens and eggs guaranteed British
  • Hens vaccinated against Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium
  • Registration and a unique ‘passport’ system, ensuring complete traceability of hens, eggs and feed
  • Increased hygiene controls and salmonella testing of all flocks in the integrated egg production chain, in excess of the National Control Programme, including turnaround swabbing of breeding, pullet rearing and laying flocks; and packing centre hygiene swabbing
  • Regular egg testing (not included in National Control Programme)
  • Stringent feed controls, including production of feed to Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS) standards
  • Lion Quality eggs stamped on farm with the farm code and production method.
  • Best-before date and Lion logo printed on the shell of Lion Quality eggs as well as on the egg box
  • Higher animal welfare requirements than required by law, closely aligned with the RSPCA welfare standards (applied through Freedom Food) for barn and free range hens.
  • Regular independent auditing, including unannounced audits, of all producers and packers in the Lion scheme, in accordance with the EN 45011 standard.

From the British Egg Information Service website, 2015.

 

As well as being stamped on each individual egg, the carton itself should show this British Lion logo:

food_recipe_hangover_british_lion_eggs_bacon_breakfast_cups

 

Bake your hangover cups for at least 10-12 minutes.
When ready, they should appear completely white with the yolk glazed over.

 

food_recipe_hangover_british_lion_eggs_bacon_breakfast_cups_orange_juice

 

Serve with an ice-cold glass of orange juice (or maybe water depending on your state!) for a refreshing addition.

food_recipe_hangover_british_lion_eggs_bacon_breakfast_cups

Oh, and those crusts?

Well I got peckish while the eggs were baking… but you can put them on the side and dunk them in the yolk!

food_recipe_hangover_british_lion_eggs_bacon_breakfast_cups_toast_butter_crusts

 

Check out the British Lion Eggs website for more delicious egg recipes including stir-frys, pancakes, salads and even how to make an omelette. Many of their meal choices are perfect and simple for students, parents or those with a busy working day.

 

Do you check for British Lion or other food standard stamps?
Have you made these or any other tasty egg recipes?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below!

 

Jenna
x

* This post is a collaboration with British Lion Eggs.

For more information, see my disclaimers.

 

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
workout fuel from trek protein bars* –  some tasty free from snacks

satay chicken skewers with florette salad* – a low-calorie lunch recipe that’s easy to make and tastes really good

september blogging goals

September is here and I for one am super excited for my birthday celebrations, donning some chunky knitwear and putting Baileys in everything.

I had a great month in August and my productivity was thanks to setting myself some realistic monthly goals! I was quite successful with them but this month, I want to push myself even further so here goes…

september_monthly_blogging_goals_750_twitter_followers_social_media_reach_contacts_marketing

What with scheduling tweets, tagging some helpful RT accounts and keeping in contact with other bloggers, I am certain that being active on Twitter is key to successful blogging. There is a great network on there who help and support you, especially if you’re just starting out and it’s a great way to keep up to date with breaking news too.

 

september_monthly_blogging_goals_250_bloglovin_followers_subscribers

Can you believe that on the first of this month, I was just two followers away from my goal? It was almost painful to see!
This month I am kicking it up a notch setting myself the mammoth task of just shy of 150 new Bloglovin followers in a matter of weeks. This will be the tough one methinks.

 

september_monthly_blogging_goals_blog_views_site_hits_visitors

My monthly page views have more than doubled since I started taking the blog seriously back in April and that’s great! I am now looking to maintain an average of a minimum of 500 views per month until the end of 2015. This would not only mean that I have a steady audience but also that my self-promotion is effective.

 

september_monthly_blogging_goals_contribute_article_collaboration_pr

 

I have written a piece for both Zusterschap and Fem-tellectual in the past and really enjoyed setting myself the task to write in a style befitting their awesome sites.

‘Fear Of Missing Out: Why Your Feed is Making You Miserable’ was part of Zusterschap’s  theme for April, P.M.A (positive mental attitude). I read an article by Jamie Varon, all about how we post on social media with a positive filter and I wanted to expand on it. I had a particular focus on how important it is not to get downtrodden by what we perceive other people’s lives to be like.

‘On Megan Beech’s Broader Broadcasting Corporation’ was something I sent in to Fem-tellectual after watching the poem on BBC iPlayer as a part of the ‘Women Who Spit’ series. I was then inspired to do my own research into the issues of gender and race discrimination highlighted by Megan’s poem.

I am conjuring up some ideas for some pieces but if you would like to work with me, you can email me at jennalouiselloyd27@gmail.com or send me a message via any of the social media sites in the sidebar.

Do you have monthly or yearly blogging goals?

Do you find them useful?

Let me know and leave me your links in the comments below!

Jenna

X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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If you liked this post, you should check out:
Why I’ve Been Invisible This Christmas – when I swore off social media to spend the holidays with my family

food: workout fuel from trek protein bars*

As part of our current health kick, Josh and I have been trying to eat clean. I already posted a yummy ‘satay’ chicken salad recipe with Florette Salad* recently  and this week, it’s all about a good workout!

I don’t really enjoy the gym or running, or anything where I have to get sweaty  in front of people for that matter. I prefer to workout at home where I can shut the curtains, turn the music up and then get straight in the shower afterwards … with no-one even knowing what I’ve done.

I created home workout plans for myself (post to follow) based on what I know I am currently able to do with my body and what parts of the body I want to tone. Once I had decided these areas, I researched the best strength and cardio exercises for that body part, adapted them slightly to my own abilities and then incorporated them into a workout plan that uses intervals of both to get me fit!

Josh’s exercise plan includes a lot of walking every day, training with the local roller derby teams and a weekly strength and conditioning class. Phew!

TREK_protein_bars_snack_energy_foods_natural_balance_whole_vegan_dairy_free_gluten_fruit_nuts_workout_health_exercise

I was sent a case of Trek Protein Bars by the lovely people at Natural Balance Foods to try as part of our detox this month. The bars are vegan- friendly and free from gluten, wheat and dairy. They contain no artificial flavourings or sugars just fruits, oats and nuts. They are really dense, packing 10 grams of protein per bar! This makes them the perfect snack pre- or post-workout.

TREK_protein_bars_snack_energy_foods_natural_balance_whole_vegan_dairy_free_gluten_fruit_nuts_workout_health_exercise_peanut_butter_chocolate_cocoa
My personal favourites were the Peanut Power and Cocoa Chaos flavours but they also come in Berry Burst and Banana Blast, which Josh really liked so it worked out quite well.

Although they’re not really high in calories, (170-203 kcal per bar depending on the flavour) it’s worth noting that these probably wouldn’t be the best choice for a low-calorie diet. I like them because they are a good supplement to an exercise regime. Wholesome and natural, they’re good energy foods for those looking to get fit.

What do you use for workout fuel?

Have you tried Trek Protein Bars before?

Let me know in the comments below!

Jenna

x

*This post is a collaboration with Natural Balance Foods.

For more information, see my disclaimers.

 

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
Interview with Poppy D Jeffery – Poppy asks me about roller derby and empowerment for her Life Rolls On documentary
hangover bacon cups with British Lion Eggs* – not so healthy but a lifesaver breakfast for the morning after!
satay chicken skewers with Florette Salad* – a yummy, low calorie lunch option