Sunday
Apr192015

Win 2 tickets to Blogstock 2015

Blogstock is a bloggers' festival that started last year in 2014, and it's back this year in September. Its a weekend of camping, lectures, workshops and a cheeky cocktail or three.

Last year I gave a talk about finding your niche (Blogstock 2014) and I've been invited back this year, which is exciting! It also means I've got a fab little contest to host, over on instagram.

If you want to have a chance of winning two Blogstock tickets, along with a tent if you need one, save this picture and share it on Instagram, with @RockalilyCuts and #blogstock telling me why you'd like to win!

Sunday
Apr192015

Dolce Gusto vs Tassimo (Thanks to the Dolce Gusto Bloggers' Event)

A little while ago I was invited to a Dolce Gusto coffee bloggers' event, and as a coffee addict I of course leapt at the chance!

It was held at a really cool little bar, which originally opened in 1652 as London's first coffee house (and Samuel Pepys visited!). We'd be told that they'd be filming the event, but it was on a much larger scale than we'd presumed. Turns out it would end up as a Youtube ad, not just a filming of the event. Eeek!

Once they'd sent me a coffee machine to use at home, I was in an interesting position to be able to review and compare two of the main coffee pod machines. We use the Tassimo at the salon, and I know use the Dolce Gusto machine at home. So which is better?

Price

The Tassimo machine is currently £119, and the Dolce Gusto machine is £89. The price of the coffee pods are about the same, but the Dolce Gusto ones do seem to be a little cheaper (maybe by 20p a box, not much!)

Ease of Use

The Tassimo machine has a mini barcode reader, which reads the pod and tells the machine how much water to pour, and how hot to pour it. This means that drinks are all configured differently for optimum yuminess. It also means the machine only pours the exact amount of water needed per cup. The Dolce Gusto machine isn't automatic (although they do sell automatic ones I believe), so it has just two heat settings - hot and cold. It also needs you to stop and start the water, so you can't walk away from the machine. At work, the ability to leave the Tassimo is priceless, but I guess it isn't such a big deal at home.

Taste

One of the things that initially made me buy the Tassimo was that it makes such a range of coffees, teas and hot chocolate. The coffee at the salon gets a lot of compliments from clients. The coffee comes out much hotter than the Dolce Gusto machine, and I do enjoy not having to wait so long to drink it with the Dolce Gusto machine! Coffeewise, I slightly prefer the taste of the Dolce Gusto, but as the water amount isn't automatic, I sometimes make it too diluted, which is a shame. So in some ways the Tassimo makes nicer coffee as the water ratio is fixed. It's easier to make a poor coffee with the Dolce Gusto, but I do like the taste more when I get it spot on.

Choice of Drinks

As I mentioned the range of drinks is bigger with Tassimo, which even does herbal teas alongside more regular teas., whereas the Dolce Gusto just has 3 teas (none of which are regular tea). This may not matter to you, if you just want a coffee machine, but at work it means we don't need a kettle.

My little tip for making the perfect coffee? As I quite like a coffee with a lot of kick, I add in some extra instant coffee, along with the sugar. Yum!

Thursday
Apr162015

Rockalily Style - I'm moving!

 

The news in my life this week is that my landlady is selling my flat, so I'm definitely moving!

Change can be scary and exciting all wrapped up in a ball of emotions. Prior to this flat I moved around a lot. I moved either every year or every other for most of my 20s. I've been in this flat for nearly 4 years, blimey! Even just typing that seems crazy, where on earth does time fly to?!

My ties to my local area have disappated somewhat, with my mother moving away, and my best friends moving away, so the world (London) is my oyster; who knows where I'll end up!

 

As an aside, this was a date outfit, a dress I've opted for a few times for a date. Casual but still making an effort. 

Thursday
Apr162015

Highwaisted Bikinis (get your credit card ready)

Highwaisted bikinis not only look ace, but they allow a certain comfort, not having to constantly check your bits are in check for one! They also cover an area of our body that we often feel a littl conscious of - our lower belly. You also don't have to keep pulling them up!


This Floozie by Frost French costs £45

This nautical cutie is £48 from figleaves, and the top is available in large cup sizes.

J by Jasper Conran offers this classic black bikini for £50

This striped number goes up to size 18, and costs £48

These highwaisted pants come with a long line bra top option (as well as a full tankiki option) , and they cost £48

 Higher waisted bikinis don't have to have that retro feel, this Freya bikini is uber modern. It's available in big boobed sizes, and costs from £64

 

This asos bikini has nice high waisted pants, and costs £36, and is available in big busted top sizes.

I love the clashing prints of this asos bikini too!

This Topshop bikini has a more simple look if you're after a more classic high waisted bikini. It costs £28, so it's cheaper too. 

Topshop can be great if you're a smaller/slimmer woman, this high waisted poppy bikini is available in a size 4

Need some floral fabulousness in your high waisted bikini? This Reger by Janet Reger is £56

Really want to embrace your inner animal? This tiger print bikini comes in plus sizes, and may well be worth the shipping and fees from America.

This starfish bikini goes up to a size 18, and costs £65

 

Wednesday
Apr152015

Rockalily Style: Two days of summer

 

I don't know about where you are, but yesterday and today have been a little glimpse into summer. Lovely sunshine which means no jackets! Whoop!

 

Wednesday
Apr152015

Rockalily Style - Getting my running gear back on

 My fitness has been shelved for the last month or so, so I finally got my sports gear back on and headed for a run. My muscles felt short, and the run was pretty crappy, but the first run back will always suck, you just need to get it done. I felt unfit, but I know muscles have memory, and I'll soon be back to where I was.

I was lucky enough to be sent these prescription sunglasses from Specsavers, so I can run in the sun as well as being able to see!

Tuesday
Apr142015

Rockalily Style - I got an undercut

So my hair has had another big chop, and today was a leopard print day - head to toe! As it was sunny I enjoyed some of the sun today, knowing I would tackle my taxes later this evening. It's now midnight, and I'm just finishing work, so it was a fair enough swap! The work will get done, just not always in traditional working hours!

 I've never had an undercut before, but I finally decided to try it!

It feel a tad too 'edgy' for me, but blimey it's addictive to stroke - he he!