Hello Fresh || Taking a Peek at What's Inside...

With our impending house move it's fair to say we're trying to get organised but I still feel like everything's ready for getting away with me. I hate feeling so out of control and rushed which is why I've reconsidered subscribing to another shopping and food service such as Hello Fresh. It was only the other night when I was considering how to make this transfer from house-to-house more seamless that I realised hells, I hadn't hit ''publish'' on my previous HelloFresh purchase from back in March *oops*.

Again back in March we were going through a lot of change and stress. My mum was taken into hospital in the January and was in intensive care, honestly we weren't sure if she'd pull through so you can imagine why shopping, bill paying and generally living a normal life wasn't important. At the same time both my husband and myself started new jobs and what was our 'normal' life completely changed. HelloFresh offered us one less stress while still ensuring that we all, as a family ate the right food to keep us pushing through.

The box arrived all neatly packed and was filled with a wool layer to ensure everything was kept safe, secure and fresh. It actually smelled like fresh farm (in a nice way of course). The veggies and meat were kept separated - the meat double wrapped in a bag, the veggies and accompaniments were in a kraft box. There was an information booklet and three recipes.

When subscribing you have the option of what box you want to subscribe too, we chose the classic box because we wanted to try it first before really committing to a larger box such as the family box. The classic box allows you to chose either three recipes of five recipes. I figured if I loved the three recipes included, I could simply repurchase the ingredients from the supermarket when things settled down.

Here's what was included in my box:

And everything layout out nicely...

Biona Tinned Lentils | Black Sesame Seeds | Honey | Soy Sauce Packets | Garlic | Spring Onions | New Potatoes | Brown Rice | Flat Parsley | Shawarma Seasoning | Oregano | Mini Cheese | Panko Breadcrumbs | Lemon | Red & Green Peppers | Sweet Potato | Red Onion | Garlic | Carrots | Bok Choy | English Tea | Creme Fraiche.

And the meat included:

300g Flank Steak | 2 British Chicken Fillets | Gilthead Bream Fillets.

And the recipes I received were:

Black Sesame Teriyaki Beef Recipe | Includes: brown rice, garlic, spring onion, soy sauce, honey, steak flank, bok choy and black sesame seeds. Black sesame seeds are the same as white ones but they've not been deshelled. Black sesame seeds contain far more calcium than their white counterparts too and the taste isn't affected. This was amazing. Really hearty and filling this was our favourite from all three recipes.

Quick Lebanese Chicken with Veggies | Includes: sweet potato, green pepper, red pepper, red onion, chicken breast, Shawarma seasoning, organic lentils, Creme fraiche, salt and pepper. Slow burning veggies, hearty chicken and warming spices. This wasn't a winner with everyone but we've made adjustments since first making this recipe. Again it's an amazing base recipe - you can really alter and change this to suit your own tastes.

Sea Bream Oreganata with New Potatoes & Carrots | Includes:  garlic, flat leaf parsley, carrots, parmesan cheese, dried oregano, breadcrumbs, lemon, new potatoes, sea bream, salt and pepper. Crunchy topped fish with yummy veggies. This looked gross I'll admit but when you take that first taste.... amazing! I have made this again since but we used skinless fish.

Our first box was a winner. There are no contracts which is why I initially opted to go with HelloFresh. Each recipes works out at around £4.90 per meal and for the most part each recipe takes around thirty to forty minutes to make. No phaffing about, no expensive tools or gadgets are needed and the box really contains everything that you need to create everything. I've kept the recipes and do take them to ASDA's so I can do my repurchasing. I'm thinking that another box is a great idea because sometimes I just can't think of recipes to make. Plus getting everything you need and the recipes takes a lot of stress and thought out of dinnertime.

Win-win really. You can read more over on the HelloFresh website.

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Christmas Advent Calendars || 10 More Adult Advents...

The last beauty advent post was a winner as it seems you also loved each and every one of the advents that was featured. This time round I decided to shake-it-up slightly with a mixture of advents for those who want a treat but something different. Less beauty more everything else.

Here goes... 
Hotel Chocolat Truffles For Two Advent || £26

Launched: Now.
Includes: * Two baby truffles behind each door * You'll find mulled wine * pecan gingerbread * cinnamon praline * Many more...
Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar || £60

Launched: Now.
Includes: * Tweezerman petite slant purple reign * Eyeko skinny liquid liner * Eve Lom cleanser & cloth * Ole Henriksen truth serum * OCC gold glitter * James Reed tan peel mask * Caudalie divine oil * Merci handy hand sanitizer * Many more items...
Whisky Advent || £160

Launched: Now.
Includes: * 24 3cl miniature bottles of whiskies * brands include Glenfiddich * Balvenie *Auchetoshan Three Wood * Triple malt Scotch whisky Monkey Shoulder * Many more...
Boots No 7 || £38 

Launched: Now.
Includes: * BB lips beauty balm pink * Instant illusions airbrush away primer * Stay perfect amazing eyes bronze * Beautiful skin eye makeup remover * Radiance revealed exfoliator * Stay perfect nail colour in Me Me Me * Perfect & protect intense advanced day cream * Skin illuminator in peach * Nail effects sun rays * Gel finish nail colour in Pillarbox * Youthful eye serum * Beautiful skin perfecting body polish * Stay perfect amazing eyes pencil in black * Perfect & protect intense day hand cream * Beautiful skin blissful body wash * Mini eye shadow top shade in Moonlight Shadows due * Mini eye shadow from forest fruits trio *Shine & tint lip gloss * Extravagant volume waterproof mascara in black * Lovely lash mascara in black * Stay perfect amazing eyes pencil in brown * High shine lip crayon in delicate pink * Smokey eye brush * Perfect & protect intense advanced night cream * Eyelash curlers. 

Launched: Now.
Includes: * 24 doors filled with a selection of rare and wonderful teas * Full-bodies Domur Dullung TGFOPI * Orange Valley first flush of Darjeeling * Jungpana second flush Darjeeling * Rich Vithanakande 'extra special' Ceylon * delicate Kotada silver tips from Nilgiri Mountains *Smooth Uchiyama Sencha * Golden Monkey imperial Chinese tea * West Lake Long Jing imperial Chinese tea * Intense Menghai Dayi Royal Puer * Jasmine Dragon Pearls * Mellow white Fuding Peony King * Ding Dong Oolong tea. 

Yankee Calendar Advent House // £27.99

Launched: Now.
Includes: * Tealights and one treat size sampler * scents include: Candy Cane Lane * Icicles * Spiced Orange * Snowflake Cookie * Winter Glow * Christmas Eve
Feelunique.Com 12 Days of Unique Beauty || £30

Launched: Any day now. 
Includes: * Includes both full sized and travel-sized luxuries * Includes: Grown Alchemist Hydra Repair day cream * Salcura Winter Skin Hand Therapy * Nuxe Lip Balm * Monu Illuminating Primer * Pryto Hair Oil * Philip Kingsley Elasticizer * Popband Superstar eyeshadow quad by Fleur de Force * Roger & Gallet shower gel * Gatineau Collagene Expert Ultimate Smoothing Serum * This Works Deep Sleep Plus Pillow Spray * Redken Extreme Length Primer. 

Clarins Advent Calendar || £60

Launched: Now.
Includes: * Includes: HydraQuench Moisture replenishing lip balm * Instant eye makeup remover * Cleansing milk with Alpine herbs * Toning lotion with camomile * Extra-comfort anti-pollution cleansing cream * One step gentle exfoliating cleanser * Eye contour gel * HydraQuench Bi-phase serum * Mission perfection serum * Exfoliating body scrub * HydraQuench cream * Beauty flash balm * Blue orchid face treatment oil * Tonic body treatment oil * Hand and nail treatment cream * Eau Dynamisante * Instant smooth perfecting touch * Instant light lip palm perfector * Moisture rich body lotion * Instant light radiance-boosting complexion base * Wonder perfect mascara * Instant concealer * Clarins Men anti-fatigue eye serum * Clarins Men super moisture balm. 
Kerastase Advent || £80

Launched: November 1st. 
Includes: * Bain Cristal for fine hair * Bain Satin 2 * Bain Satin * Bain Elixir Ultime * Bain Riche Elixir Ultime * Bain Chroma Captive * Bain Therapiste * Bain Force Architecte * Bain Elixir Ultime * Bain Fluidealiste * Bain Densite * Ciment Thermique * Creme Fine Elixir Ultime * Keratine Thermique * Lait Cristal * Lait Vital * Masquintense for thick hair * Masquintense for fine hair * Masque Elixir Ultime * Masque Chroma Captive * Masque Therapiste * Nectar Thermique * Serum Solide Elixir Ultime. 

Harrods Tea Advent || £12.95

Launched: Now.
Includes: * 25 days of tea. Includes 13 types of organic black and green teas with spices and flavourings.

This time round which was your favourite? Personally I adore Hotel Chocolat so the truffle advent is right up my street, that or the Yankee Candles ones. 

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Competition || Hack Your Biome With uBiome

Did you know that I currently have a competition on over on Facebook? If you did and you've entered then high five! if not....why not? 

You've heard read about my allergies, celiacs and autoimmune issues and how they've taken control of my life. To this day they're still very much present but I've managed somewhat to try and change my life to suit the conditions. I tried everything to ''cure'' myself or to get my conditions to the point of them not being problematic. It so far hasn't worked. I decided to strip back everything I was doing so I could pinpoint a system that was making everything worse and what that came down to was the gut. 

The gut impacts your digestion (of course), it's also the centre of your immune system and is hugely connected to your thyroid and hormones. If your gut isn't working correctly then neither will the rest of your bodily systems, this is when everything starts to go downhill and illness hits. To get back on track ideally you'd need to tackle the ill health by going back to the beginning issue and in most cases it would be your gut, it's biome and function. However, most people are so ill, fatigued or weak from being ill that the last thing you'd want to do is strip back your health care to tackle it and I say that from experience. Being ill sucks! I'm sure many of you can agree. 

I decided at the beginning of the year that I was finally at the stage of wanting to amend my gut to improve everything else but after trying all of the typically suggested cures such as prebiotics, probiotics, yoghurt, raw food and lots of fruits and veggies but I actually ended up far iller. 

Eventually I found out there were varying genetic mutations going on which impacted what I was doing. I was gutted (bad pun). I then found out about a small startup called uBiome that offered tests which could show you what bacteria's you have in your own body. For me, knowing that I could find out my own guts biome and make changes meant so much. I was excited once again. 

Actually knowing what's going on in YOUR body rather than what textbooks or medical journals discuss (for the most part they're basing their references from average people so it doesn't always fit everyone's situation) as being standard was not only super interesting but would cut down months if not years worth of personal studying about the gut's bacteria, testing out varying products and trying diets that may have failed. This would save me so much time, so much money and hopefully it would help me get back to fit and healthy quicker. 

When you're ill time means everything. It's worth more than any priceless gem or winning lottery ticket and uBiome were the company that was offering it! 

I actually contacted the company to tell them my story and to see if they wanted to collaborate on this competition. You know what it's one of very few times I've ever done that and I'm not ashamed. What drove me to contact them was knowing that this test may help some of you back to full health. I know most of you have families, loved ones and people you're close to. Ill health robs you off that and if this can help in any way then the competition has been so worth it and so worth embarrassingly asking if they wanted to collaborate. Of course uBiome completely understood as it's one of their driving forces to. They initially started as they were driven by a need to find out if the gut impacted fibromyalgia. A condition that many of us ladies and gents have. uBiome is basically the company version of us, they get us, they understand our needs and their products will hopefully be the first step to improving that. 
▼ So What Can You Win? 

uBiome have kindly gifted me 4 kits. I've taken one myself so there are 3 up for grabs. Each winner will win 1 uBiome Gut Kit which is worth $89. The kit contains everything you need to take your sample and to send it off to uBiome. Once it's been sent away to uBiome you'll be able to track your sample on the website. Once it's been processed you'll have access to your results via their website. Of course your sample, your details and your results are kept private and confidential.

▼ Keep in Mind 

The only thing you'll need to pay for is the shipping which cost me less than £3 to send the sample back to uBiome using the envelope provided in the kit. Results can take 2 to 6 weeks although uBiome are trying to reduce that timeframe for all future samples. Personally I think this timeframe is OK as it's the same as 23andMe.

▼ How To Enter 

Hippocrates said '' All disease begins in the gut'' 

You know what I believe this is right. If you have known medical issues, have a change in your energy, fitness or have a condition that's undiagnosed then I'd urge you to enter. Also on the same note if you're fit and healthy then this could help because knowing what bacterias make up your healthy biome could be a great reference incase your health does change. Knowing what made you healthy would be easier to get back to.

You can enter below via Rafflecopter or head to the giveaway tab on my Facebook. Both Rafflecopter forms are linked so it really doesn't matter which one you enter from.

▼ T&C's 

-There will be 3 separate winners. The prize includes 1 uBiome Gut Testing Kit worth $89 per kit. 
- The competition ends midnight on December 1st 2015. 
-The prize will only be sent within the EU & America.
-All entries will be checked for validity and entries that do not meet the competition's rules will be deleted without notification. 
-You must be 18 years or older to enter. 
-This is in no way held with Facebook. 

- Once you win your kit you do not have to send a sample if you change your mind. It's entirely up to yourself what you do with the kit. 
- Postage of the winning prize will be sent via a tracked method. 

-Postage of your sample to uBiome using the envelope provided in the kit is paid for by yourself. At your own discretion. It cost me personally less than £3 to send mine back. 
-There are no monetary swaps and you're prize cannot be changed for another product.

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