Monthly Archives: February 2017

T2Tea Top Picks!

At some point in 2016, my town got a new tea shop and my life felt complete. Since then I have been obsessed with T2Tea and all their delicious teas! Here are my top picks of all the teas I have tried so far and also my favourite little tea gadget from the shop.

The best tea invention ever. So satisfying

A post shared by Elizabeth Shannon Reilly (@elizabethshannonn) on

This handy little thing is the T2Tea “Tea maker” which is essentially a jug with a built in tea strainer, but it is the most satisfying thing in the world and makes brewing loose leaf tea a mess free breeze. I much prefer loose leaf tea to pyramids so this has been a life saver. It would make a perfect gift also! My wonderful boyfriend bought me this when the shop opened and the fun of it has never worn off. You can buy it here! – Tea Maker. 

My Top 5 Teas!

Melbourne Breakfast

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Melbourne Breakfast is what it sounds like; a black breakfast tea. However, this tea has vanilla flavoring also! What I liked so much about this, is that it was not actually that sweet. I do not have sugar in my tea and overly sweet tea is not my thing so I was pleasantly surprised that the vanilla flavor was actually very subtle. Definitely one to try!

Banana Bake

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Banana Bake is a black tea with banana bits (bananas, coconut oil, sugar, honey, banana flavoring),marigold petals, brittle pieces, vanilla, safflower petals, (Contains hazelnuts). It tastes like delicious warm banana bread without milk. With milk, it tastes like warm banana milkshake, but for some reason this works and i am not sure why, but I just thank the tea gods that it exists because it is truly delicious and 100% a go to winter-warmer drink.

Fruitalicious

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Technically this “tea” is not actually tea, if we are getting technical I believe its called a tisane? (dont quote me on that). But, it is none the less amazing! Not only does this tea look super cool in a glass mug, but unlike many fruit teas, it is not in the slightest bit, bitter. I do not like bitter tea, i do not see the point in bitter tea. This mix of Apple, dragon fruit, goji berries, chokeberries, papaya bits, sea buckthorn berries, kiwi fruit, blueberries and pineapple bits makes a sweet and crisp drink that is very refreshing. It would be a gorgeous iced tea in the summer but makes a lovely all year round warm drink also.

Apple Crumble

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This tisane brew of  Apple, chicory root, , almonds, hazelnut brittle and cinnamon tastes like Christmas. I do not even like apple crumble but i like this. I like that it is not bitter and just has a sweet crumble taste with a hint of apple. Plus, it smells absolutely divine. I may not like to eat apple crumble, but I love the smell of freshly baked apple crumble wafting through the house on an early December morning and this takes me right back to Christmas.

 Japanese Sencha

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I have a love hate relationship with green tea. Some days, I really crave green tea. Other days, id literally rather put grass in hot water because it sort of tastes like that to me a lot of the time. There is only a handful of plain green tea that i actually like and this is one of them. It is so refreshing and grassy, but in a good way. It has that earthy taste that is pleasant and not like you are sipping on mud and grass. I still do prefer flavored green tea and only really drink plain for health benefits, but this is a plain one that I do actually enjoy to drink.

 

I hope you have discovered a new tea today or have seen one you want to try! See you soon!xox

Bella and Bear Make Up Brush review and BIG brush giveaway! (CLOSED)

Bella and Bear “The Kitten” Make Up Brush Set review and give-away of the ENTIRE Bella and Bear “The Kitten” Make-up Brush collection!

About two months ago, I decided to purchase a brand new make-up brush set as I was fed up of not being able to find any make-up brushes that could live up to my unrealistically high expectations. Until of course, I discovered the one and only, Bella and Bear. This review is 100% my own opinion and not sponsored at all. I bought everything with my own money and I am giving away one “The Kitten” Make-up Brush set and case to celebrate the re-launch of my blog and also just because I want someone else to experience the most magical brush set ever. The only catch is, you must please be following my blog and leave me a comment to let me know that you would like to enter the giveaway on this post! The giveaway will be open until March 7th and the winner will be picked at random. Time for the review! Good Luck dolls! xox

The Review

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The Bella and Bear “The Kitten” make-up brush set comes with 15 Cruelty free, high quality make-up brushes in a faux leather case, embossed with the Bella and Bear logo. Here I have pictured 14 of my 15 very well loved brushes as one is currently sat on my shelf and in dire need of a wash.

As seen in Elle Magazine, each brush is named after the world’s wild cats, many of which are endangered so by purchasing this product you are contributing to the preservation of these beautiful, incredible creatures all over the world so if you are an animal lover like me, its a win-win. Lynx cats also happen to be one of my favorite animals and the Lynx Kabuki Brush in this set happens to be my favourite, but more on that in a second.

On arrival, my brushes were beautifully packaged in a  floral, vintage looking cardboard sleeve along with a brush guide that tells you what brush does what.

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Every single brush, and I truly mean every brush, is absolutely incredible and really high quality. I have not had any fall out from any of the brushes and they feel super soft and sturdy. With good care I reckon they could last many years to come.

My three top brushes in this set are the “Lynx Flat Kabuki”, “The Cheetah duo fibre powder/blush brush” and the “Jaguarundy  blending brush”. The Lynx kabuki is the best foundation brush I have ever used. I use my Nars sheer glow foundation and this gives me a perfectly blended, near flawless finish. I say near flawless because my skin is far from flawless, but this evenly covers all blemishes I may have and helps to even out my skin tone. The Cheetah brush gives such a gentle and delicate finish which i really like when using blush as too much blush is not a look that I strive for. Finally, the jaguarundy brush makes blending eye shadow a breeze and avoids that god-awful harsh look, especially as I use fairly dark eye shadow colours. I like every single brush in this collection and can not fault them at all. The only downside I can think of is that for me personally, I needed to purchase a seperate eyebrow brush. I own the iberian lynx brow brush from Bella and Bear which is worthy of its own review to be honest. Its too perfect. Ah, Im gushing.

Here is my every day vintage make-up look, created using my Bella and Bear brushes!

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I hope you have liked this review! I shall leave a link here for the Bella and Bear website if I have made you at all curious! Let me know what you think and dont forget to enter by following my blog and leaving a comment so I know you want to enter! xox

We climbed a mountain! Via Ferrata Xtreme at Honister Slate Mine February 2017

Today’s travel post will be taking you to the Via Ferrata Xtreme at Honister Slate Mine- The Lake District UK. My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to get the chance to climb a mountain whilst on holiday this month and it was one of the best experiences of my life as of yet. If you have a fear of heights, this blog post is not for you!  

A bit of history for you: Honister Slate Mine and Fleetwith Pike

Honister Slate Mine in Cumbria is the last working slate mine in England! How amazing is that?! Quarrying for Westmorland green slate that is over 450 million years old has been taking place in the area since 1728 and you can buy some of these beautiful slate products in the shop on site. Apart from the mining, it is also a popular tourist attraction in the Lake District National Park and for very good reason. Not only are the views incredibly stunning, but attractions around the mine are suitable for all ages and include a visitor centre, underground tours of the workings in the mine, and England’s first via ferrata, where participants use a safety harness to scale a cliff path.

If seeing a working mine is not amazing enough, there is also Fleetwith pike. Fleetwith Pike is a fell in the English Lake District in the county of Cumbria which reaches a height of 648 metres (2,126 feet). The fell casts an imposing presence over Buttermere and the Honister Pass and is superbly captivating and awe inspiring, truly a treasure of the English countryside and a perfect photo opportunity once you reach the summit.

 

What does Via Ferrata mean?

Via Ferrata is a mountain route equipped with fixed ladders, cables, and bridges in order to be accessible to climbers and walkers. This one in particularly uses the original Miners track up the steep outer incline of Fleetwith Pike and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. At Honister, you can do the Via Ferrata Classic route which is suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and is not as demanding or challenging as the Via Ferrata Xtreme or if you are a little bit crazy like my boyfriend and I and have a good level of fitness, you can do the Via Ferrata Xtreme which has much more mountain edge exposure, vertical climbs, cliff edge ladders, plus a Burma Bridge & Cargo Net crossing that reaches the summit of Fleetwith pike. To give you some perspective of how high you are climbing, it is roughly 7 x higher than Big Ben and 2 x higher than ‘The Shard’ in London. Cars look tiny and people look like little ants. This course will take you 3 to 3 and a half hours to complete which is entirely dependent on things such as your fitness level and also weather conditions.

 

Our Experience and advice for your climb

8.00 am: My boyfriend and I arrived at Honister Slate mine at around 8.00am, an hour before our climb was to begin. We were greeted by a group of strangers who were to complete the climb with us and also our tour guide and climbing instructor who would be leading us the whole way. We drank gorgeous rich hot chocolates and contemplated our life decisions while we filled in our risk assessment forms.

9.00 am: We then were taken in to a room full of safety and climbing equipment and were shown how to put on our safety harnesses and how to use our safety clips when climbing. I felt completely safe and reassured thanks to our fantastic instructor who was very down to earth and knowledgeable and due to the fact we were with a fantastic group of people who were all as equally excited and nervous but ultimately raring to go. After being checked over and approved, we headed to the bus that would take us part way up the mountain to begin our climb.

9.30ish am: After a slightly hair raising bus ride on a rather narrow and steep path up a mountain with a big old drop either side to enjoy looking at, we were now at an iron ladder on a cliff edge where we would climb down to start off our adventure. The best way I can tell you about our experience is to show you some photos!

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12:30pm: Our climb was now finished and we walked down the mountain back to the visitor centre at the slate mine. The climb was amazing, challenging and scary but in a good way! The infinity bridge was for me the hardest bit as by this point the wind had picked up and although you are in a safety harness, you really feel you are walking on a thin wire rope. Overall, it was such a fun experience and I think my boyfriend and I both surprised ourselves in completing it. By the end we were very hungry and completely exhausted so we had a light lunch at the cafe in the visitor centre and then headed back to our apartment to sleep.

 

Tips and Advice!

  • Take gloves- The moment i took my hands off when climbing, my hands went ice cold and started to blister. The iron railing and safety clips due get really gold and its much easier to grip with a good pair of gloves suitable for climbing.
  • Strong shoes- this kind of goes without saying but strong footwear is a must. I wore hiking trainers that i tightly laced which did the trick.
  • You are not allowed to take a camera with you for health and safety reasons, so i recommend purchasing the USB of pictures before hand from the visitor centre. It is £15 but you get loads of incredible photos of yourself climbing and its definitely worth it and allows you to fully absorb in the scenery and climbing without any distractions.
  • Eat a light breakfast an hour or two before hand. It is so important to eat first to give your body some energy and make sure you are hydrated. Also, go to the toilet right before you set off! It is your only chance.
  • If you wish to take anything with you such as drinks or food when you reach the summit, bring a strong rucksack that can be tied to you whilst you are climbing.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post! For more information, click here!

Love Elizabeth

xox

I did that thing where I ignored my blog again- Life Update

Hello again! So the last time I believe I did a blog post would have to be around the end of October last year, which was quite a while ago. I had just got a new job and everything was all wonderful and lovely.

Things are still wonderful and lovely and my job is going fantastically. I love it so much and working with children with special needs is definitely the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It is very hard at times, but those children are some of the most incredible people I have ever met and its such a bonus that the staff at the school are incredible as well. I have come to learn A LOT about Autism and I learn something new every day. It is a job that doesn’t actually feel like a job and I am truly blessed to be in a field that is so rewarding. I have to admit that I was so transfixed on my new full time job that I kind of neglected my blog and forgot about it a little bit actually. However, life is a funny thing and I had an email that kind of sparked my love for blogging again and reminded me how much I miss it. Also, a personal health hiccup in my life has meant that I am going to be spending some time off of work for a couple of months.

I am quite poorly physically at the moment and will be unfit to work until this hiccup is fixed. It is nothing life threatening, just a health problem I didn’t know about that has worsened over time, but Im physically not in a good way right now and have a few bits and bobs going on with my body and i’ll admit that I am in a lot of discomfort, but I will talk more about that another time; I will write a detailed blog post on that when I am ready. I am still my happy, bubbly self and am very excited to get back on track with my blog, with all this time I now have get typing to it whilst Im waiting for some very amazing, lovely doctors to work their magic and fix me. I am taking each day as it comes and focusing on all the positive things in life. Every cloud has its silver lining and I am not one to dig a hole and stay there. I am ready to make the most of this situation and keep smiling.

For example, It is always lovely coming back to my blog after having time away and seeing that people are still reading and enjoying it! Thank you again for everyone who likes reading about what I have to say! It is strange to think that complete strangers will take time out of their day to read a few words I have typed up whilst sat in pajamas, on my laptop with a mug of tea. I love reading your blogs too, so please send me a link to check it out!

Among working, doctors appointments and daily life stuff, I have managed to do quite a few fun things that I can’t wait to write about! It turns out that my time away from blogging has been pretty damn eventful for good and bad reasons that all make for a good old read. I cant wait to share with you what has been going on in my strange little life. Stay tuned for more!

Love Elizabeth

xox

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