Summer Cocktail Ideas

I’ll be the first to admit it, I bloody love a cocktail. If you read my Christmas Cocktails post, then you’ll know that I also love making them. It’s a chance to get a little bit creative and I just have so much fun inventing new cocktails to try. As per my Christmas cocktail blog post, I realise that not everybody drinks alcohol, so in each recipe I will highlight any substitutes you can make in order to make mocktails.

 Blueberry Sex on the Beach

I love this original cocktail a lot. It’s so easy to make and it always tastes amazing! It always reminds me of summer, and even though sometimes it can be quite sweet, I feel like it’s one of those cocktails that you could make a jug of, for a BBQ or any kind of summer gathering! Also I friggin’ love this cute lightbulb-shaped mason jar, how cute is it?!

Ingredients

  • Fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 ounces of simple syrup (1:1 ratio water and sugar)
  • 120 ml cranberry juice
  • 120 ml orange juice
  • 50 ml blueberry schnapps // replace with blueberry puree for mocktails //

Method

  1. Crush blueberries in the bottom of the glass using a muddler or a wooden spoon and add the simple syrup.
  2. Mix the cranberry juice and orange juice in a jug and stir with a spoon.
  3. Add the blueberry schnapps.
  4. Mix thoroughly and pour into tumblers (or cool mason jars).

Cranberry Apple Fizz

I was very lucky to receive some bottles of Toffee Apple ciders from Brother’s (which is very delish btw), and I wanted to include it in this blog post, because I don’t drink cider a lot during the year but during summer it’s just a go-to drink!

Ingredients

  • 2 bottles of Toffee Apple Cider // replace with lemonade for mocktails //
  • 1 carton cranberry juice
  • Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon.

Method

  1. Add 2/3 apple slices to a flute.
  2. Add cranberry juice.
  3. Top with toffee apple cider.

Apple and Blueberry Gin & Tonic

A cool, elegant, refreshing serve. You can add more ‘bite’ with a dash of lemon juice, if you like. I just love gin and tonics, especially in the summer when they are so much more refreshing. I feel like the apple and blueberry gives a fruity twist.

Ingredients

  • 50ml elderflower flavoured gin // leave out for mocktails //
  • Two sprigs of fresh mint
  • Handful of blueberries
  • 100ml chilled tonic
  • Rimming sugar

Method

1. Place the gin, mint and bluberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker or glass jug, and stir for a minute, squashing down the mint and cucumber with the back of a spoon.

2. Strain into a tall thin tumbler containing a couple of ice cubes, and top up with tonic.

3. Garnish with mint.

Cranberry Refresher

Possibly the easiest cocktail to make in the world, but you know what, it tastes damn good and that’s all that matters! I love easy but tasty cocktails because I’m lazy and this is just perfect.

Ingredients

  • 100ml cranberry juice
  • 100ml lemonade
  • 50ml vodka // leave out for mocktails //
  • Few sprigs of mint
  • Lemon slices to garnish

Method

1. Mix cranberry juice and lemonade with the vodka in a tumbler.

2. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices.

Toffee Apple & Cinnamon Rum Punch

As I mentioned earlier, the guys over at Brother’s Ciders sent me over some of their toffee apple cider, which tasted incredible. I loved the idea of making a rum punch because to me, it just screams summer! It would also be perfect for a BBQ and to pretend you’re in the Caribbean… Maybe that’s just me ha!

Ingredients

  • 3 bottles of toffee apple cider // use lemonade for mocktails //
  • 100 ml of rum // leave out for mocktails //
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

Method

1. Mix the cider, rum, lemon juice and cinnamon powder in a cocktail dispenser and use a large stirrer or wooden spoon to mix well.

2. Drink up and enjoy the sun!

So that was it for my summer cocktail ideas! I hope this has inspired you to make some summery drinks for when you have BBQs, or even if you just want a chilled day at home with some friends and family. I’d love to see you re-create any of these drinks, so if you do make any of these, please post them on Instagram and tag me @thedizzyingheights – and do give me a follow whilst you’re there too (cheeky little plug!)

*THIS POST CONTAINS PR SAMPLES, BUT AS ALWAYS ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN – PLEASE SEE MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO

£50 Weekly Food Shop Challenge | AD

I won’t lie, I’m not organised. I’m not one of those people who stick to lists and make plans and do things on time (very rarely am I on time for anything!).

But I’m a trier ~God loves a trier am-I-rite~

So when Satsuma Loans asked if I could spend £50 to do my shopping for the week, in the words of Barney Stinson: challenge accepted!

In all honesty, this was probably the most fun task I’ve ever done for my blog, because I do the weekly shop for myself anyways and I love looking for tips and tricks. I shop around and I use MySupermarket so that I can find the cheapest products for the best value. Satsuma Loans have a very helpful page on their website for their handy tips and tricks! I also buy products at a certain time when they are about to be put on reduced hehe – it’s the same product for less money! Especially when you are going to eat the product that day or the next day, it makes total sense!

 Shopping List

Total: £49.91

Day One

Breakfast:

Porridge with sliced bananas

Uses: Porridge, Milk, Banana

Lunch:

Quorn Chicken Salad

Uses: Quorn Chicken, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumber 

Dinner:

Baked Salmon with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli

Uses salmon, spices, potatoes, broccoli

Day Two

Breakfast:

Bagel with smoked salmon Philadelphia and sliced cucumber

Bagel, Philadelphia, cucumber

Lunch:

Mixed vegetable pasta

Pasta, peppers, onions, mushrooms, sweetcorn garlic, tomatoes, pasta sauce

Dinner:

Stuffed peppers with wedges

Peppers, Quorn mince, sweetcorn, brown rice, garlic, potatoes

Day Three

Breakfast:

Mashed avocados on wholemeal toast

Avocados, wholemeal bread

Lunch:

Homemade pizzas

Pittas, pesto, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, sweetcorn

Dinner:

Glazed Salmon with brown rice and garlic spinach

Salmon, soy sauce, chilli sauce, garlic, brown rice, spinach

Day Four

Breakfast:

Weetabix with strawberries

Weetabix, milk, strawberries

Lunch:

Creamy spinach gnocchi

Gnocchi, spinach, garlic + herb Philadelphia, garlic, onions

Dinner:

Quesadillas with salad

Quesadilla kit, avocados, Quorn chicken, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes 

Day Five

Breakfast:

Porridge with blueberries

Porridge, milk, blueberries

Lunch:

Halloumi and pepper skewers with brown rice

Halloumi, peppers, brown rice

Dinner:

Pasta bake

Pasta, peppers, tomatoes, sweetcorn, pasta bake sauce

Day Six

Breakfast:

Omelette with spinach and tomatoes

Eggs, spinach, tomatoes

Lunch:

Vegetable soup with bread

Broccoli, potatoes, spinach, onion, garlic

Dinner:

Spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti, pesto, mushrooms, Quorn mince

Day Seven

Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs and mushrooms on wholemeal toast

Eggs, wholemeal bread, mushrooms, garlic

Lunch:

Halloumi salad

Halloumi, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, dressing

Dinner:

Quorn Chicken stir-fry

Quorn chicken, stir-fry pack, mushrooms, peppers

So that’s what I eat and shop for in a week! What would you buy if you had £50?

 *This post was kindly sponsored by Satsuma Loans but as always, all opinions are my own! Read my disclaimer to see how I work with brands.

Pampering Yourself: 10 Top Tips for a Spa Day at Home

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Man this post has been a ~long~ time coming!

If you’re a longtime reader of The Dizzying Heights, you will know that I’m a huge lover of self-care. It’s so important to take time out for yourself and reconnect with the things you love doing that you may not have time for in your busy schedules.

I try and do a self-care routine every week (may be excessive for some people, but I look forward to my Self-Care Sundays!). I chose Sundays because I generally don’t have plans to go out on Sundays so it’s the easiest day of the week for me to have a lie in and take care of myself. So I thought I would share my top tips for the ultimate pamper day and with the bank holiday weekend on our doorstop, you have no excuse not to indulge!

So here are my 10 top tips for having a lil’ pamper day of your own (obvs you can pick and choose / amend these to things that make you feel good etccc)!

1. Face Mask

I mean, this wouldn’t be a pamper day without a face mask would it?! They are one of my all-time favourite things to do on a chill day. I have ~quite~ a few face masks now, most of them are from The Body Shop – they really do have some of the best face masks on the high street – but if you have any faves that you think I should try, please do leave me a lil’ comment below! I quite fancy making my own face mask out of things that I have in my kitchen so when I get a chance, I shall definitely pop a recipe up on my blog! For this pamper day, I used an old favourite from Bloomtown – their products are some of my favourites and you can get 20% off with my code: DIVYA20 

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2. Eye Mask

I was sent this really cool eye mask* from Feel Good Contacts, and as soon as I opened it, I couldn’t wait to try it! I knew it would make the best addition to my chill pamper days! I also love the colour, it’s a gorgeous aqua blue and to me it’s the colour of calm – perfect for a day of relaxing. It helps with puffy eyes and headaches, and you can also use it hot (by warming it up in the microwave for up to 20 seconds) or cold (by freezing it for up to 2 hours). I tried it cold, and it had such a nice cooling effect. For anyone who regularly gets headaches or migraines, definitely give it a try!

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3. Hair Mask

In keeping with the theme of masks so far in this blog post (!!!), a hair mask is a must for me on a pamper day. I love having a clean face, and a clear head, so why should my hair be any different? I will be writing an updated version of my haircare routine, as I have acquired a lot of new haircare products, but leaving a hair mask in my hair 20 mins before washing and conditioning it just makes it so softer and feeling more healthy. One of my most simple and favourite hair masks ever is full fat mayonnaise – incredible! But this other home-made hair mask that I use is made using:

– 1/2 cup honey

– 2 Tbsp olive oil

– 1 egg yolk

– 1 whole avocado

You could eat it if you wanted to, not sure if you’d want to but you have the option!

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4. Manicure

I’m often a rubbish excuse for a girl, and most days I wear no nail polish because my nails smudge or chip almost straightaway so I just think there’s no point sometimes! But when I’m having a pamper day, I like going the full hog and pushing the boat out so I do like giving myself a manicure. I also love watching nail art videos on Instagram, especially the bit where they paint the clear top coat, so satisfying to watch!

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5. Foot Soak

If I’m going to treat my hands, I might as well treat my feet right? Our feet walk us around all day, and I don’t know about you but I rarely treat my feet to any kind of relaxation. I do have a foot massager, but I use this great 15 min foot soak that you can basically make with things you have lying in your kitchen. It makes my feet feel super soft and relieves muscle pain.

– 1/2 cup mouthwash

– 1/2 cup vingar

– 1 cup water

Feel free to paint your toenails after thoroughly drying your now fabulous feet!

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6. Having a Bath

This list of things certainly isn’t a timeline of events! I actually am not the biggest fan of baths, I prefer a quick 15 min shower to do everything I need to. But when it comes to relaxing, I do think that having a bath is one of the best ways to do it. I personally can’t have the water too hot, otherwise I start sweating and let’s face it, that’s not fun for anyone! Throw some Radox in there and you have yourself a par-tay (not really, you have yourselves a bath, but you get the point).

7. Water + Lemon + Mint

When you have a hot bath (like I can’t stand), I have to have some cold water besides me so that I don’t overheat! I always pop some lemon and mint in there, basically because that’s what they serve at the spa ha. But it genuinely makes water tastes super fresh and I love sippin’ on this! I usually leave the mint and lemon to infuse in the fridge overnight, but it doesn’t matter if you add it last minute either!

8. Candles

You’ll know I’m a huge candle fan based on the insane amount of candle blog posts I’ve done on this blog (read them here and here) so I won’t be banging on about why candles are so amazing – you already know that! So if you need to relax, you can’t go wrong with lighting a couple of lovely scented candles and enjoying the ambience.

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9. Netflix & Chill

Giving this phrase a whole new meaning! If you haven’t noticed me banging on about how much I love sticking Netflix on, then where have you been?! Depending on what you’re watching (see my recommendations here and here), it can make you feel super chilled, and there’s nothing better to unwind from a long week!

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10. Sleepy Tea

I’ve spoken about this amazing tea before (read that post here), but to finish off the best pamper days mean getting the best night’s sleep. Everytime I drink this tea before bed, I have the most peaceful sleep, and wake up refreshed and energised for the day ahead. When you do this routine on a Sunday, it’s perfect because it preps for you the week ahead!

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So that is my pamper day! What does your pamper day look like?

*THIS POST CONTAINS PR SAMPLES, BUT AS ALWAYS ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN – PLEASE SEE MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO

 

5 Podcasts I’m Currently Loving

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Apparently I’ve become so unsociable these days that when I’m not on the underground watching one of the shows that I’ve previously been writing about (here and here), I’m plugged into my phone listening to podcasts!

Who says millennials aren’t sociable eh…

After listening to a few recommendations from friends and finding a few myself, I thought it was about time to write up my favourites.

My Dad Wrote a Porno

Possibly the funniest podcast I’ve ever listened to, this is definitely one to listen to on your own! This podcast is Jamie Morton, James Cooper and Alice Levine reading and basically ripping the shit out of Jamie’s dad’s ‘erotic literature’ called Belinda Blinks ~spoiler: it’s hilarious~ if you haven’t listened to it already, you need to! I just love the banter between the three hosts, and I also the love the fact that you can actually buy Rocky Flintstone’s books on Amazon lolsss. Also the guys are actually doing a show at the Royal Albert Hall, and quite a few places around the UK and around the world – it just shows you how successful the podcast has been.

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Serial

This is much more of a serious podcast but this was one of the very podcasts I ever listened to and I couldn’t not include it because it still is one of the most amazing podcasts I’ve ever listened to. Season 1 explores the 1999 murder of a girl called Hae Min Lee and the alleged murderer, her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. I can’t even tell you interesting it is, I was so hooked on the story and I’ve had many heated debates on who I think murdered Hae Min Lee. I’d love to know what you guys think about it!

Private Parts

I’m a big fan of reality telly (give me TOWIE, MIC and Love Island over Eastenders any day of the week!), and Made in Chelsea is definitely one of my favourites! So when a girl at work suggested I listen to podcast from Jamie Laing and Francis Boulle, I was so excited! It’s so funny, I frequently have moments when I laugh out loud (you’d think that would stop me especially on the Tube, but it really really doesn’t) – they’ve had some super funny guests on but honestly some of my favourite episodes have been just the two of them chatting shit. The premise of the podcast is for Jamie and Francis to read their diaries each week, and even though their lives are on MiC every Monday, (you’d think that’d be enough gossip, but ~no~ it’s so interesting knowing what actually happens behinds the cameras) – LOVE!

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Always Open

This one was a weird recommendation because I’d never heard of the media company Rooster Teeth before this, but this podcast was so easy to get into! I caught up and now I’m slacking again because I’ve been focused on Private Parts ~whoops~ but I will be catching up soon! They also film their podcasts so you can watch it as well if you don’t want to listen to it. I just like their style, they chat about interesting and relevant things, they do a Shot Out where viewers can submit their choice of a shot, and it’s just so fun! When a podcast makes me want to be there, that’s when I know it’s good!

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At Home With…

I couldn’t write a blog post about podcasts and not include this brilliant one from two of my favourite Youtubers. This podcast is hosted by Lily Pebbles and Anna Newton, and they basically interview and explore the homes of some incredible women, from Liz Earle and Terry De Gunzberg to Madeline Shaw and Giovanna Fletcher. The questions they ask are really insightful and it makes me appreciate the women that they interviewed even more!

What podcasts have you been loving? I’d love some more recommendations so do leave me a comment below with your faves!

What I’m Watching on Netflix Right Now. Pt.2

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If you read my previous blog post on What I’m Watching On Netflix Right Now then this post will not come as a surprise to you. There are always so many good things to watch on Netflix and these kinds of blog posts have become my favourite to read as well, because it’s a lot nicer to watch a series or a film based on someone’s recommendation.

Jane the Virgin

First has to be Jane the Virgin, it was recommended to me by my little sister who had heard it was a light and easy watch, and I have to agree! It seems a little crazy at first, but it’s so easy to get into and even though the storylines are a little far-fetched, it’s such an interesting watch and I will be the first to admit that I totally get sucked into them! The show basically starts off with Jane being accidentally artificially inseminated (!!!) with her boss’ sperm… told you it was crazy!

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Asian Provocateur

This show is absolutely hilarious! Okay so Romesh Ranganathan is such an amazing comedian, his humour is dry and deadpan and it makes me laugh so much! This programme basically follows Romesh to Sri Lanka where he meets his family members and does cultural things to try and get more in touch with his roots. I can’t even tell you how funny this show is, I love his humour so that’s probably why I find it so funny, but you should definitely give it a try if you haven’t watched his stuff before!

Dark

This is something I started watching after having seen a trailer for it on Netflix, and when I saw that it was only 10 episodes long, I figured that it would be an easy series to watch. I did not know what I was getting myself in for! The show is actually German, so you can either watch it in German with English subtitles or as English dubbed, which is how I watched it. The premise for the show is centred around time travel, but it is so crazy! Also for anyone who stopped watching after the first episode, it does take about two episodes to fully get into it, or at least that’s how it happened for me! So interesting.

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When We First Met

At the end of the previous blog post I wrote, I said that I wanted to watch more movies, and this one was a Netflix original that my sister and I decided to watch after having decided that the trailer looked fun. It has Adam DeVine (from Pitch Perfect) in it as the main guy who basically is in love with his best friend who is getting married to someone else. It is cleverly made and extremely cute and just a really enjoyable and easy watch.

Suits

Ahhhh I’ve loved this show ever since the first episode when Mike Ross impresses Harvey bloody Specter whilst playing Solitaire on his laptop. I just love their legal world, and I think this season is going to be good even if Meghan Markle is leaving to become a Princess ~not jealous at all~ and yeah even though Suits has had its ups and downs over the seasons, it has always been a good watch and it never fails to let me down. If you haven’t seen it before, you should definitely give it a try – Harvey Specter is a beaut!

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Call the Midwife

Okay I’m so behind on this seeing as it came out on the BBC about 6 years ago lols, but it’s so addictive! I love programmes that are set years and years ago, seeing as I wasn’t around in those times, it’s so interesting to watch. This show is basically centred around midwives in 1950’s East End of London, and is loosely based on memoirs from a real midwife from that time. It’s so fascinating and the stories of some of the families are so amazing, they really tackle some great issues that are still issues in our everyday life.

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Luther

Another BBC classic that I didn’t get the memo about! Luther came out about 8 years ago and it’s about a London detective who always gets too involved in his cases, and always manages to get out of sticky situations by the skin of his teeth. It doesn’t hurt that Idris Elba is a wonderful actor, and completely gorgeous! I always love when things are set in London just because it’s my hometown!

The Shawshank Redemption

Remember how I said I wanted to watch more movies? This one was perfect, and I couldn’t believe that I’d never seen this before! As a huge lover of prison films and documentaries, this was just incredible. The film came out in 1994 (my birth year FYI – it’s like it was meant to be!), and it’s all about Andy Dufresne who gets a life sentence for a murder that he didn’t commit. In the prison he makes friends with Morgan Freeman and the story kicks off from there. Amazing!

Humanity

If you read my last blog post, you’ll know that I watched the entire 2 seasons of The Office, and I bloody loved Ricky Gervais and his stand-up show came up as a suggestion as I finished The Office. Oh-em-gee it’s actually genuinely hilarious. He makes risky jokes but I find them so funny, it’s his entire way of telling a joke that makes his humour so compelling. I find it so attractive but that’s another story for another time…

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I find these blog posts so much fun to write, so if there are any shows or films or Netflix that you want me to watch and give you my opinion on, then do leave me a comment below.

What have you been watching on Netlflix recently?