bloggers diaries

Tiiya Alanoud Alattiya - Rose Oud Epiphany Eau de Parfum

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Every so often you smell a perfume that transports you to another time or place. At The Amazing Blog we instantly felt transported to exotic Arabian nights after closing our eyes and a little spritz of Tiiya Alanoud Alattiya’s RoseOud Epiphany Eau De Parfum and we relished every fragrant moment.

The founder Alanoud Alattiya is a graduate from the UCL Museum and Gallery Practice Masters program. By day she is a museum practitioner and by evenings a couturier. She grew up in a household fully immersed in couture, with her mother being one of the first women to wear Christian Dior in the Arabian Gulf. it was just a decade ago, that her career in couture designing amongst members of elite society was frowned upon. However, her first cousin, His Highness The Father Amir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani built a platform of newer social meaning and understanding, allowing her creativity to be celebrated.

Regular reader will remember that we recently wrote about her Concentrated Eye Cream here, but today we wanted to tell you about her Epiphany Rose Oud Eau de Parfum. After applying a spritz of this perfume, we immediately felt the warmth and essence of the luxurious Persian Gulf. The Arabic oud’s woody deep scent mixes with the sweet floral notes of rose oil to create an elegant fragrance. Oud oil is estimated as being worth 1.5 times the amount of gold. This ‘liquid gold’ gives the Rose Oud Epiphany perfume a complex aroma and mythical essence of the East. Trust us when we say that with the Epiphany perfume, a little goes a long way. It lingered on the skin all day and then some. If you too want to smell like luxury, the Tiiya Alanoud Alattiya Rose Oud Epiphany Eau de Parfum 100ml can be your too, if you purchased here for £120.

La Chiva Snacks

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Do you find yourself feeling guilty for all of the mindless snacking that you do? I know that here at The Amazing Blog we graze at our desks far too often. Hence, we’re on a neverending mission to find healthier alternatives to our usual choices. Enter La Chiva.

La Chiva was created by Ruth Willis who was born in Colombia and always missed her native fresh fruit and vegetables. Inspired by the flavours of her Colombia, she decided to create a healthy snack with light and crispy pieces of freeze-dried Colombian fruit. That’s it. No other ingredients are used to make La Chiva, where we breathed a sigh of relief, after reading this on the packaging. There’s no need to feel guilty about eating these either as each pack is gluten-free, virtually fat-free, vegan, no added sugars and best of all less than 40 calories! By freeze-drying the fruit at its ripest, La Chiva is able to deliver all the deliciousness of Colombian fruit with nothing added or taken away.

The brand’s name comes from the La Chiva buses, which is the only way to travel in the Colombian countryside. Since the brand is dependent on these buses to take their workers to the farms and their fresh fruit to market, they decided to name the brand after them. We tried all three varieties of La Chiva snacksStrawberry, Pineapple and Mango. Our favourite was the Pineapple flavour, which was a winner of the Great Taste Awards in 2017. While you can eat these alone, the other possibilities are endless, we added them to cereal and also sprinkled them on top of Greek yogurt. Each pack can count as one of the five daily servings of fruit. Plus, their vibrant packaging brings a little ray of sunshine into our UK grey and rainy days.

Want to taste the goodness of Colombian grown fruit for yourself? The La Chiva Freeze Dried snacks can be purchased here. A box of 12 bags retails for £9.00 (7g bags for the strawberry and 10g bags for pineapple and mango) while an individual bag retails for £0.89.

Popcorn Shed

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At The Amazing Blog we always have a small selection of snacks at our desks to feast on. We try to be good by consuming only low fat and healthy snacks. Today we want to tell you about our new discovery Popcorn Shed that left our taste buds tingling!

Popcorn Shed was founded by cousins Laura Jane and Sam Feller in 2016, and like every great brand it has a story, Jane’s and Sam’s story starts in a shed! Their popcorn is a home-grown, family-owned business where they’ve created a unique set of flavours, that not usually found in rival popcorn brands. These are gourmet popcorn range that are natural, gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians. Their popcorn is made using an artisan cooking process using a fresh caramel batch in every process, before being scattered in either melted chocolate, nuts or dried fruit all adding a new texture to the popcorn. What piqued our interest is that each of their packets of popcorn have an average of fewer than 140 calories per pack. Don’t worry the popcorn is easily chewable and you won’t have to worry about kernel or sticky caramel getting stuck in your teeth! We’re also fans of the vibrant packaging which make them unmissable.

The first of the seven flavours we tried was the Pop ‘n’ Choc. These are evenly coated with Belgian milk chocolate in a smooth cocoa-caramel base. They are not too sweet and the chocolate is in the right quantity to be enjoyed without being overpowering. Next is Salted Caramel which was our favourite. Coated with sea-salt caramel and Belgium milk chocolate, it has a fabulous crunch and a slight hint of salt, making it very moreish. We then move on to Butterly Nuts, all peanut butter with a blend of salt, caramel and nuts, this hit the spot! The peanut butter is creamy and the nuts offer an irresistible crunch. The Pecan Pie popcorns are partly coated in caramel and real golden pecan nut pieces. They have a smooth nutty, buttery and sugary taste and a sensational crunch that leaves you wanting more.

Probably the most unusual flavour of the collection is the caramel and cheese in Sweet Cheesus. These popcorns are partly coated in caramel and cheddar cheese offering the bursts of sweet and salty together,  this is one for the fans of less sugary snacks.  Then we have the Berry-licious where fruit tart meets dark chocolate – freeze-dried raspberries in the rich chocolate make it almost a dessert in itself. Lastly, Say Cheese! The Cheddar Cheese popcorn flavour is coated with cheese that leaves a tangy tingle on the tongue, melting perfectly to release a creamy milk and cheesy flavour which all cheese fans will adore.

A Popcorn Shed box of 80g is £3.50 and a 16 pack of 24g is £19.98 here. Why not grab a new popcorn flavour and awaken your taste buds.

Malavara - Ultra Luxuriant Hair Elixir

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Who else feels like they’re constantly stripping their hair by colouring it, curling it, straightening it or washing it? At the Amazing Blog we’re constantly looking for that ‘Holy Grail’product to reverse all of our hair damage… and we just may have found it!

Malavara Ultra Luxuriant Hair Elixir is a modern take on a 5,000 year old Ayurvedic ritual of hair oiling. By Inspired by India but made in London, the elixir utilises potent Hairy Basil Root which acts as food for hair follicles and promotes growth. With sleek packaging, easy-to-follow directions and all-natural ingredients, Malavara gives hair oiling a modern twist.

A Gold Winner at The Pure Beauty Awards 2018, Malavara’s Ultra Luxuriant Hair Elixir is meant to be applied at least 30 minutes before washing your hair. Although it’s meant as a pre-shampooing treatment, a little goes a long way and we recommend to only use enough to massage through your scalp without friction. Made with Gooseberry, Almond and Bhringraj Oil, the Hair Elixir conditions the scalp while transforming the health of your hair. We love that the Malavara Hair Elixir doesn’t leave a layer of oil on your hair that is hard to remove with just a normal amount of shampoo. The best part? It’s vegan, naturally-derived and sustainably-sourced.

Want to experience the 5,000 year old ritual of hair oiling for yourself? A 30ml bottle of the Malavara Ultra Luxuriant Hair Elixir can be purchased here for £29.

West Hampshire School of Art – Adult Classes

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We don’t like twiddling our thumbs at weekends or evenings at The Amazing Blog and look for opportunities to educate and inspire us. So when we heard about experimenting with different art forms as a therapy to disconnect, heal our minds and release tension, we couldn’t resist exploring it more with the West Hampshire School of Art classes.

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The West Hampshire School of Art is based in Broughton in Hampshire was recently formed in January 2019 by Daisy Rogers. It is a non-profit organisation that is set to offer fine art classes and workshops to those who not only want to improve their artistic skills or experiment with creative practices but also to those who want to make a difference and add their grain of sand to build strong communities. The school drives its profits to community art programmes as well as to fund children’s places for low-income families. Art is a vibrant way to make a change.

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This initiative has been well received with classes filling up fast. Why not hone your artistic skills this autumn joining their 6 or 10-week programmes ranging from fine art foundation courses, tutored or untutored life drawing and landscape painting to ceramics and printmaking. All classes are taught by experienced professional artists giving you a solid knowledge of art history and technique. We like to encourage others to try new things too, and taking up an art class at the West Hampshire School of Art as they also offer both part-time and full-time classes, with many options to help adapt to your busy schedule. No excuses now! Another aspect that we like is the fact that classes only allow a small number of students, meaning you can get the most out of the class, i.e. getting a lot of one-to-one tuition. Located in Broughton Down Farm, visit here to find out more about the courses. Why not sign up now and start thinking about what masterpieces you’re going to create. Prices start at £165.00 for 10 week programmes.