March Reflections

Saturday, 30 March 2019

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Work has been so busy this month. I don't really like talking about my job on here because it's a personal job and it's difficult to speak about without breaking someone's confidentiality. But, this month I feel like I've been going from one fire to the next, trying to put fires out before another one sparks alight. Ironically, putting out fires has left me feeling a little burnt and I know my body is tired, I've been overeating and have been living for the weekends.

I do love my job though, these things come in peaks and troughs, but I think it's important to acknowledge when things are harder and take a step back to see how it's impacting you.

I don't really know what I've done this month, it's been a whirlwind which was topped off nicely with some extremely bad news for my boyfriend. Life likes to throw numerous hurdles at once, doesn't it?

I was looking back at my goals for March, thinking I've probably not done any but I have done two out of three.

1) More running outside. Not done once, well done Samantha.

2) Spend less money. I have actually done this. I signed up for a Monzo bank account and it's really helpful for seeing how much you spend on a daily basis and where things go. I think because everything is instant, the money leaves you so much quicker which has made me not want to spend anything!

3. Listen to more podcasts. I have been doing this as well! I'm loving Oenone's podcast, adulting, which I've been trying to listen to at the gym.

So actually, two out of three isn't bad. I 10000% need to try and do more running outside in April because I'm doing a 10k run at the end of May, and would hate myself if I couldn't do it. I'm looking forward to a new month (turning 25), I'm going to Vienna and allllllll the bank holidays. Should be a more relaxed month hopefully.
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Sunday, 24 March 2019

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I feel really honoured to be working with Friction Free Shaving for the third time; I just love their products and couldn't turn down the opportunity.

I am someone who shaves regularly, summer or winter, I'm not a fan of hairy legs. That being said, I respect anyone who is the exact opposite. Friction Free Shaving (FFS) offer a subscription box where you choose from either a silver or rose gold, 6 headed blade, to be delivered to you initially. Thereafter, you are sent 4 refills in the post, the idea being a new blade for each week in the month.

For the rose gold handle and 4 refills, it's only £9. NINE POUND. How many of us pay £5-10 for one  razor blade. You can also  choose to add engraving or  pre-shave scrub, shave cream or post shave balm (below). 

I can honestly say, my legs have never been smoother.

At the moment, FFS are doing a gift box which is perfect for Mother's Day too which includes

  • Your choice of Shaviour, the world's first metal razor designed especially for women.
  • Free engraving of your choice (worth £6).
  • Our award winning Shave Cream, packed with moisturising Manuka honey, Shea butter and coconut oil.
  • Our Pre Shave Scrub, a gentle and all natural exfoliate made using the husk of walnuts.
  • Our Post Shave Balm, which provides deep hydration to soothe and condition your skin.
  • Four German-engineered razor refills, each with 6 diamond-coated steel blades and a styling bikini blade.
  • Shower hook, Blade cover, Clamshell Blade Protector and Travel pouch.
If you want to try any of their products, FFS are giving my readers 25% off the first set of blades and free engraving, with the code 'SAMANTHA25'

- post in collaboration with Friction Free Shaving; all views are my own

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Top Benefits of a Gap Year*

Monday, 18 March 2019

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So, you’re about to finish school and now you have a decision before you- university or gap year. The first thing you’ll need to do is think about what you want to achieve in the next few years. Taking a gap year can teach you more than any university course can (although you may need to convince your parents of that). If you’re weighing up your decision, here are five benefits of a gap year that could sway the scales.

Higher Levels of Maturity

Studies show that students who have taken a gap year often start their university courses with higher levels of maturity. A gap year isn’t just one long holiday; it teaches people to be independent and confident. You’ll need to learn how to take responsibility for yourself, budget your finances, cook, clean and much more. Developing these skills before starting university will put you way ahead of the crowd and you’ll be able to use your first year to get a head start with your studies.

Improved Academics

A gap year gives you the time to consider what you really want out of life. Sadly, many students end up on courses they don’t really enjoy in an effort to gain a degree. Thinking about what you really want out of life will lead you in the right direction when it comes to choosing what you want to study. Therefore, anyone who has used student tours is more likely to be passionate about what they want out of their studies. Gap year students are often more likely to be confident and ambitious, so they’re far more likely to put the work in.

Broadened Thinking

Before leaving for university, many students are fearful of coming out of their comfort zones. It’s not easy to be somewhere entirely new, with new people and new experiences. If you’ve already been on a gap year, this shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll already have lived in a different climate, a different culture and with people speaking a different language. University should be a breeze after that. Travelling on a gap year will broaden your horizons and you’ll be far more willing to take on new challenges while you’re at university.

Reassess Goals

Taking a gap year gives you some extra time to figure out your future. Suddenly, you’re no longer faced with the massive decision of what you want to be and do for the rest of your life. That can be liberating and give you the chance to take time over making that decision. Taking a gap year is a lot pressure and it gives you the chance to get to know yourself. You’ll be able to learn more about your likes and dislikes and perhaps discover new passions. By the time the year is over, you should have more of an idea of the avenue you want to take when you return home.

Taking a gap year certainly isn’t an escape route- it’s a preparation for everything that’s to come.
* a contributed post and may contain affiliate links

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The Popcorn Shed

Sunday, 17 March 2019

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This is a post for the fellow snackers out there because if you're like me, and you're constantly grazing,  then this popcorn might be for you.

I was contacted by  the Popcorn Shed who is the UK's first super-premium gourmet popcorn brand. The founders, Sam and Laura, use a caramel base combined with nuts, fruits and chocolate to create interesting textures and flavours for popcorn.

I was lucky enough to be sent the seven flavours,  each one being under 130 calories for a snack pack (or more if you want devour a bigger box, no judgement here..)

- Salted Caramel
The classic sea salt  mixed with caramel

- Pecan Pie
Caramel  flavour popcorn mixed with pecan nuts

- Say Cheese
A more savoury creamy cheese flavour popcorn

- Berry-licious
Caramel and raspberry popcorn mixed with  dark chocolate 

- Pop 'N' Choc
A double whammy of chocolate accompanied by a smooth cocoa-infused caramel base

- Butterly Nuts 
A rich creamy peanut butter caramel with nuttiness topped with real peanut halves for extra crunch

- Sweet Cheesus 
Tangy creamy mature cheddar cheese popcorn

My favourite has to be Butterly nuts, but that was always going to be the case as I'm addicted to peanut butter. There isn't a bad flavour in the range though; it's a nice variety!

If you do fancy buying some yourself, you can head over to Popcorn Shed. I think these are on par with Propercorn and Metcalfe's Skinny popcorn if you want a change!

- These were sent to me for review but all opinions are my own!

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Long Distanced Friendships

Sunday, 10 March 2019

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I think it's  inevitable that as an adult, your friendship numbers  reduce  and you search for quality over quantity. People move around, are in relationships, have families and it's not like at school when you're friends with everyone  purely  because you're pushed into the same environment each day for hours at a time.

Maybe you kept in  touch with school  friends, or maybe you lost touch like I did. I moved away to University when I was very ill and essentially started again at  age 18. I made friends there but we were all  from  different ends of the country and unfortunately don't speak very much now. To add to that, I went travelling and met my now best friend in Sri Lanka, of all places. However again, she lives a good 3 hours away by car.

I also met people who helped me during recovery and bloggers, who are all over. In fact,  I had a great day yesterday with one of my friends who  has just had a baby, which involved driving 100 miles to  see her.

And then  last year, I moved again  to a town  where  I knew nobody. I joined a really  friendly gym though and have met some lovely girls who are much more local.

Writing this has made me realised how many times I've moved around.

But  despite that, I can honestly say that I don't ever feel like they live far away and I guess this a post for them to say thank you for being amazing. Long distanced friendships aren't always easy but I know, hand on heart, if I called any of them, they'd be on the other end of the phone at any time. All of my friendships are those where you can not see someone for years but pick up as if it were yesterday. And I think that's what makes me lucky.

Friendships seem to dwindle when one person isn't reciprocating the effort of another.  But I think my long distance friendships work because we know we have to make an effort as we are not physically there. Distance  can be difficult but I don't think it has to be the end of a friendship, and those who are really worth it, will still be there for you.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this but I was thinking about where my friends live in relation to me and most of them  are far away, and of course it would be great if they were closer, but they are  all absolutely brilliant and I wouldn't change any of them.
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Why you should try Posted Protein

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

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I'm quite excited about this post actually because I have been working with posted protein now for 2 months and I've loved the whole experience (this is a collaboration but I really do love this brand!).

I used to hate protein products. I used to laugh at people who went to the gym and spent money on protein bars and whey protein. Times have changed, ha!

I really started to try and build muscle around one year ago, and tried a grenade bar. They can be expensive but they are soooo good, so I wanted to buy more and try the different flavours. That's when I found posted protein who literally sell every brand of protein bar.

So even if you don't like the gym or fitness, here's why I think any protein lover should try posted protein.

1. The customer service is unreal. With every order, I get a personalised note which is so nice! I've never really had an issue with them but I've had follow up emails (before I became a rep), checking my order was OK and that I was happy. I have never known that from a brand before and seriously can't fault them. 

2. They always have the up to date products. These two bars came out recently and I know they sold out in a few places, but posted protein made it so easy to get hold of them! I'm not actually as keen on these bars from grenade but I'm glad I could try them easily. 

3. I love how many bars/products there are to try. There is a mix option, meaning you can pick 12 products mix and match, so you can try different brands/flavours without having to buy a whole box of one thing you may end up hating. I've found quite a few new favourites by doing this, so will carry on. 

4. Protein bars can be pricey, but please use my 5% discount code on any order 'SAMBETTERIDGE'.


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March Goals

Sunday, 3 March 2019

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Can you believe it's March already? I definitely feel like the weather has been edging towards a spring vibe, and I know it's kinda scary that it's been so warm, what with global warming and everything, but I do love the sun. This is a picture of flowers my boyfriend spontaneously got for me, bless him; they make me look forward to spring more.

I'm also excited for my birthday next month too. I'm going to be 25. T W E N T Y F I V E. Not sure how that happened and I definitely still think that you should have your sh*t together by 25, but as someone pointed out to me the other day, I think I do. I don't take anything for granted but I live with my boyfriend, financially stable and have a good job. Life is good!

Anyway that's next month, so this month my aims..

1. Start running outside more. I signed up to do the Birmingham 10k in May and the cardio I do is mostly at the gym (spin, combat, treadmill). I've been doing a few 3 milers recently but I need to up my game so that I can run 6 miles in the next 2 months! If anyone does want to sponsor me... click here and I'll be eternally grateful. I'm running for B-eat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity.

2. Stop buying unnecessarily. I got good at this but then last month, things started to slip. I've also had a mess up with the tax man recently too and owe HMRC quite a bit so I need to get better at thinking before buying.

3. Listen to more podcasts. I am really loving Oenone's podcast called 'Adulting' at the moment which I've been listening to in the flat or when running. She talks about everything from sex, drinking, race, feminism etc and it's great. My friend sent me a few other recommendations too so I want to listen to more!
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Banana and Oat Biscuits

Friday, 1 March 2019

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Part of me revamping my blog, means new content and the new things in my life. We all grow and change as we get older so I hope this blog reflects that.

I'm posting a recipe for the first time ever. I made these biscuits at the weekend, and it's a recipe I adapted from seeing Alice Liveing post on Instagram. She made more of a loaf whereas I've broken it down into individual biscuits.

So this recipe is for banana and oat biscuits. I've made these a few times and I adapt the recipe to add/flavour them each time, so feel free to experiment; you could use protein powder, peanut butter, dried fruits, chocolate chips etc. I should add, it's the easiest recipe on the planet and doesn't take long at all, and it's actually pretty healthy!

Ingredients - makes 10 biscuits

- 200g Oats
- 2 Bananas
- 2 Eggs
- 30g Raisins - optional
- Pinch of cocao powder - optional

For this batch, I split the recipe in half for the different flavours and mixed them separately. For one flavour I used 100g oats, 1 banana and 1 egg.


1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper/fry light spray.

2. In one bowl, mix together 1 banana, 100g oats, 1 egg and 30g raisins. In the other, mix together 1 banana, 100g oats, 1 egg and cocao powder. Mix this together until it is all a sticky mixture with no oats left dry.

3. Spoon the mixture out of the bowl and onto the baking tray, creating 10 biscuits. You can use your hands to create the biscuit shape or two spoons.

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until they begin to brown.

5. Take out of the oven, leave to cool. Then simply enjoy! The cocao can be a little bitter so I dip mine in nut butter (or you can use less/milk chocolate).
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