Lifestyle

Essence of Harris – Huisinis and Losgaintir Glass Candles

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One of our favourite things about the summertime at The Amazing Blog is being able to chill out under an umbrella at the coast. We love hearing the waves crash against the shore and feeling the sand between our toes. It can all feel so cosy and vibrant at the same time. Unfortunately, jetting off to our dessert island paradise for now will have to remain a bit of a dream; but, we can make our homes smell like one as Essence of Harris ’s candles offers us the perfect evocative aroma.

Essence of Harris was co-founded in 2015 by Deenie MacLeod, who was born and raised on the Isle of Harris located in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. The rugged landscape, golden beaches, and clear blue waters inspired MacLeod to partner with Jamie McGowan, a Glasgow native, to design candles and home fragrances. Their mission with Essence of Harris is so ‘everyone who visits the island can take away a small piece to cherish’.

We tried two of the five candles from the company’s Classic Collection inspired by the Isle’s beaches. The first was the Huisinis Glass Candle, which has a very evident sweet and citrusy scent. It’s bubbly, taking after notes of champagne, and has grapefruit, Brazilian orange, and pink pomelo. It also has hints of rhubarb adding to its tartness and watermelon packing freshness. We found this candle was perfect to light during the late morning and afternoon for an uplifting smell. The second one we tested was the Losgaintir Glass Candle. It has an exotic mix of fresh bergamot (green citrus fruit), orange, and amber, which give the candle tangy top notes that jump out at you. However, the scent has warmth due to its coconut, vanilla, and almond base notes. We recommend using this one in the late afternoon or during sunset to create a snug atmosphere before eating dinner.

The candles are hand poured on the island and made of 100 per cent ethically sourced soy wax and natural ingredients. While MacLeod’s hometown has enormously helped and influenced her, Essence of Harris is committed to supporting a sustainable community on the Isle. The brand is ‘consciously considering the environment, investing in the local community, and creating a prosperous local economy’. Each candle comes in a simple and sturdy yet elegant glass jar and should burn for approximately 30 hours.

When we typically think of island getaways, Scottish beaches are not at the top of our lists, but after smelling these candles, we’re ready to book a ticket on the next flight. You can bring the aroma to your own home by purchasing the Huisinis and Losgaintir Glass Candles (20cl) here, each for £12.95.

Together Health – Complexes and Boosts Food Supplements

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While we at The Amazing Blog try to maintain healthy and balanced diets, London has delicious food on practically every corner. So, to fill the gaps in our diets, we often take vitamins, but many vitamins are hard to travel with and contain harsh preservatives. That’s where Together Health ’s all-natural food supplements, packaged in portable sachets, come in. 

The brand was launched in the UK by two brothers, Lee and Daniel Robertshaw, who found it difficult to sustain a healthy lifestyle amidst busy schedules and unhealthy yet conveniently located food. They partnered with health and nutrition experts to develop food supplements that ‘support as many people on their own journey to find a path to health that works for, and not against, them’. The company is 100 per cent transparent about the supplements’ ingredients that are naturally derived from the ocean and plants and contain no artificial additives or processing aids. We tried eight of the different supplements Together Health offers, four from the Boosts collection and four from the Complexes collection .

The Boost supplements are designed to give you extra vitamins and antioxidants in your diet. The four we tried were Curcumin & Turmeric Complex (helps reduce inflammation), Marine Magnesium contains five natural forms of magnesium minerals), Plant Based Coenzyme Q10 (generates energy in cells), and Vegan Vitamin D3 (helps absorption of calcium and phosphorous from food). One of our favourites from this collection was the Curcumin & Turmeric Complex, which contains organic turmeric root and 95 per cent curcumin extract. These two ingredients have been used for centuries for their natural healing properties as they are antioxidant-rich, neutralise harmful free radicals, and have anti-inflammatory properties

The Complex supplements target specific needs for you to live a healthier life. We tested the Joint Aid Herbal Complex (helps reduce inflammation in joints), Multibiotic Fermented Food (improves digestive and general health), Night Time Complex aids sleep onset and duration), and Stress Aid Complex (reduces stress with food-based vitamins and ocean minerals). Our favourite of this collection was the Night Time Complex. It contains five forms of ocean-sourced magnesium: oxide, hydroxide, sulfate, carbonate, and chloride. Since the magnesium is naturally derived rather than synthetically made, it allows your body to absorb it faster. The supplement also has 5-HTP from Griffonia extract to synthesise serotonin and hops extract to regulate inconsistent sleep patterns or inability to fall asleep. We found that taking two capsules 30 minutes before bed had us sleeping better throughout the night and waking up well-rested. 

Each supplement comes in a ‘vegecap’ made from Pinus Elliottii tree plant cellulose, and you can take it apart to mix into food or drink if you don’t like taking pills. There are approximately 30-60 vegecaps packed in each resealable sachet that can last for two months and is travel-friendly. Together Health has a helpful product recommender here if you aren’t sure what kind of supplement would be best for you. You can buy the supplements here starting from £6.99

Flux ‘n’ Flame Jewellery Course

With summer in full force now, we’ve been looking for new ways to relax and rewind for our weekends at The Amazing Blog, which had us stumbling upon the Flux ‘n’ Flame Jewellery School. While we love our makeup, skincare, and wellness products; but we also like sourcing and designing gorgeous jewellery. So, we were excited to learn about the many jewellery-making classes that this school offers. Located in Dorset, just 20 miles off the coast, Flux ‘n’ Flame provides the ideal countryside escape for the weekend or a day to relax, put aside your phone, and bring home a piece of one-of-a-kind jewellery at the end.

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Since its founding in 2003, Flux ‘n’ Flame has grown to become one of the top independent jewellery schools in the UK. Jesa and Al Dickson joined their combined 45 years of experience as professional jewellery designers and makers to create an experience like no other. Classes are kept at a maximum of eight people to ensure an intimate, friendly, and comfortable atmosphere in Flux ‘n’ Flame’s professional and fully equipped workshop.

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In the class, you learn the many practical skills of jewellery making such as soldering, sawing, and filing. You also learn different techniques from the best while being given the freedom to work on your own project at your own pace. No matter your skill level, a complete beginner like us or an expert, the teacher provides support and guidance during throughout the process. For more advanced jewellery makers, you can perfect your existing skills and learn new ones. Endless tea, coffee, and biscuits are also provided to stimulate the creative process. Let’s not forget at the end of the course you get to take home a piece of jewellery (necklace, rings, bracelets, and more) that you’ve worked hard to make and will have your friends asking where you bought it.

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Whether you want to do anything to escape our bustling city, learn a new skill, or build up an existing talent, Flux ‘n’ Flame offers the perfect class for you. Each class is seven hours long and prices vary depending on how many days of classes you would like. A one-day course is £115 per person, a two-day course is £225 per person, and a three-day course is £315 per person. You can find the class calendar here and book a class hereWe can’t wait to book in and show off our new designs!

Mon Dessert - Macaron Masterclass

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Regular readers will know that at The Amazing Blog we love trying new foods from superfoods to protein-filled snacks. But what we especially love are desserts because life is about balance, right? Since it’s a Friday, we decided to treat ourselves to the highly anticipated Mon Dessert Macaron Masterclass. Being surrounded by the aroma of dessert and freshly made macarons is honestly the ideal way to spend two hours of a Friday night in the heart of London’s food network: Borough Market.

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During the Masterclass, which has a different seasonal theme each month, you learn how to make macarons from scratch following a recipe straight out of Paris. You also gain first-hand knowledge of tips and tricks that you can bring to your own kitchen if you’re brave enough to try making them on your own. The class has a wide variety of flavours and colours for you to create a box of personalized macarons that will impress your family and friends when you leave. Overall and most importantly, the class has a fun, light, and uplifting atmosphere that radiates from the delicious desserts to everyone baking in the kitchen.

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Mon Dessert is a luxury at-home dessert company that holds classes like the Macaron Masterclass and sells kits to make your own desserts at home. Macarons kits allow you to take your skills from the class into your own flat and provides the necessary ingredients, recipe, equipment, and fashionable storage tin for you to be successful every time. The company also offers a delicious-looking speciality dessert kits, which help you make a professional-looking and tasting éclair, cannoli, and crème brûlée with ease. Vegan-friendly recipes, kitchen appliances, and many flavours from caramel to rose are available.

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If you’re an avid foodie or someone who doesn’t shy away from desserts, the Macaron Masterclass is a must for you. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Le Pain Quotidien every second Friday of the month and is £50 per person. You can sign up for a spot in the class here.

ChicP - Houmous

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Houmous. It’s a food that dates back to as early as the 13thcentury in Egypt and something we at The Amazing Blog have devoured since it became a trend with the likes of Whole Foods. What we adore about this food is it makes a hearty and healthy snack that leaves you satisfied for hours unlike a bag of crisps. With our tastes for houmous in mind, we were interested to try two flavours from ChicP 

The company was founded by Hannah McCollum, who worked predominantly as a private chef, on the‘passionate commitment to reducing food waste’. All of ChicP’s five colourful houmous flavours are made with raw vegetables that were discarded due to their irregular shape or size. Supermarkets reject approximately 40 per cent of produce because of these qualities and nearly 1/3 of UK produce goes to waste because people don’t eat it. McCollum wanted to combat this with ‘houmous made from imperfect veggies’ to promote better choices for your health and the environment. 

We were drawn to not only the company’s ethos, but also the delicious taste of its houmous. This houmous is much lighter than any others we’ve tried and is creamy, satisfying, and flavourful. The first flavour we tried was the Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric  The spread immediately tastes like you’ve dipped a carrot into an ordinary blend of chickpeas, saving you the extra step of doing it yourself. While the carrot taste is evident, the ginger and turmeric follow after and linger yet don’t overpower. This flavour works splendidly as a dip, but we liked putting it over baked chicken and pasta. We felt the second one we tasted would be more suitable as a midday snack or sandwich spread. Herby is true to its name and has a strong veggie taste, as 16 per cent of the recipe is spinach and parsley. However, lemon juice concentrate, vinegar, and garlic purée increase the flavour’s depth and tastiness. 

The houmous here is vegan and contains no additives or added sugars. Carrot, Ginger & Tumeric and Herby also only have 113 calories (469 kJ) and 127 calories (526 kJ) per quarter pot, respectively, and are reasonably priced at £3 for 170g. Additionally, there are three other flavours available in ChicP’s collection: Beetroot, Horseradish & Sage, Chilli Pumpkin, and Banana Chocolate. You can purchase their houmous here, or at one of the retailers listed here.