Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
What has blogging taught me?

What has blogging taught me?





Back in 2013 when I started blogging it was never about the money, it was about the friends, the content, the community and most importantly our passions for writing. When I wrote my first blog post about Barbie cupcakes (soz, this has long been deleted), I remember feeling cool, like I had my own space on the internet, it was like a step up from Tumblr as it felt like truly mine and although I am pretty sure my photos were taken on some next level brick, at the time I was made up with the post. Fast forward to 2015 when blogging became an income for a lot of bloggers, the money was high and the stakes to become the next big thing were even higher. I was writing so much content just to keep up with the game, and I remember I ended up hating what my blog had become, I felt like I was just churning out rubbish four times a week and I decided to take a huge break. I wasn't sure if I'd even come backHaving a blog and your own social media channels feels at times like you're running your own little empire. Sometimes you create what is expected of a whole team with just you on your own. I have often considered, even now, going completely freelance to work on my content full time and not have another job alongside it. It would be so much harder than it is having it as an extra income like I do now, but it is something I'd love to one day be able to do. 

I was always worried about what being alone all of the time would do to me as a lone worker in my house all day. When reading up on the options I found out about Signature Works who have office space in Liverpool which can be anything to Hot Desks to work as an individual but it still allows you to be around others, giving you that social interaction or there are even offices to rent in Liverpool . and despite Liverpool being quite far away from me, this did get me looking into other options close by, and just like Liverpool, most cities offer a similar deal. I know Manchester which is not that far away from myself offers up Hot Desks which to work for a few weeks/months to be away from working at home would be ideal. Like Signature Works they offer networking and training events which can be hugely beneficial to your business. You can also use their office spaces for your own meetings which can be great when meeting clients. Plus water and beer on tap, doesn't sound too bad right? 



Being a freelancer I've learnt a lot about my own skill set, I've developed skills I didn't even know I had until I was put to the test of using them. I've taught myself how to file a tax return, what expenses are and how to keep organised when it comes to my income. I've also found out my photography skills are improving with every single picture I take. You learn to be proud of the content you create and love getting your name out there. When I first started it was a bit like 'my thing' and the idea of anyone I knew in real life reading it made me want to die a little inside, I was so embarrassed. Now, I stand by my own work like no end and I am not afraid to shout about it.

Sadly, with all good, there is usually a bad. I've also found out that like pretty much everywhere in the world there are good people and bad people. People who are only out for themselves and those who only want the 'free stuff'. It does put a bad name on all of us bloggers when there are people out there who are only looking for press samples or who take advantage of small businesses and their kind spirit. People become too big for their boots and forget those around them who helped them grow and this makes me sad to see. Like most things, you can fall from the top a lot quicker than it took you to climb up there in the first place. 




So what has blogging taught me? Well, I am in my sixth year now and haven't experienced much negativity during my time as a blogger. I've worked with some amazing brands and other creators and if you'd of told me this at the start of my blogging journey I would never have believed you. I've met people who I wouldn't have without the passion of writing bringing us together, people who come from all over the world and all different walks of life. I have also found out that I am very indecisive which I didn't believe before about myself and I like to change my style a lot. But that's what makes me, who I am. 


I'd love to know what you've learned from blogging in the comments!

*This is a collaborative post, but all thoughts are my own as always*

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Olivia Jade
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2019: Same sh*t, different year?

2019: Same sh*t, different year?



My social media is filled with roundup posts of 2018, with people sharing the good, the bad and everything in between about 2018. Those who have had a bad year can't wait to close the door on it and for some, it has been the best year of their lives. For me, it's just been another year. The year has been a good one to me, but other than getting engaged, nothing massive has happened. I am happy for those who have done amazing things this year, or who have achieved great things, I've seen so many of my followers having babies which are adorable. This year has been a lot of going to work, writing posts and attempting to go back out into the world as much as I can. I met one of my best pals, and I couldn't quite imagine facing 2019 without her. 

As cynical as it seems people always use January to make these changes, and most of us don't stick to them. I spend the first half of 2019 trying to remember when referring to the date that we are in 2019 and not 2018, as well as forgetting things are this year as opposed to next year and don't even get me started on the fact of when I am finally used to 2019, it's almost over. The pressure to start the new year as a new you is too much for me. I don't want to be a new me, maybe a slightly revised one at best. I pick small targets which I'd like to complete in 2019 but I don't want to feel bad about them if I fail them, because life is too short for making yourself feel guilty over a new years resolution. 




I admire those who set those resolutions on January 1st and manage to stick to them, all the power to you. For people like me, I find it hard to commit on January 1st to anything new. I find it cliche and I feel the pressure too much. Yes, I want to lose weight and go back to the gym, but am I f*ck doing it in January when everyone else will be doing the same, no thanks. I plan to cut down the number of takeaways I eat in a week (it's bad), but I know being the person I am, it's impossible for me to cut them out completely right away. Working towards cutting them down is an achievement in itself. I've done new years resolutions in the past many times and always end up beating myself up when I've failed them and that's not what I want to start the new year on. 

My 2019 goals are pretty much the same as every year, keep my head above water, go out and enjoy more things, possibly lose some weight and join the gym (at some point) and enjoy life as a 24-year-old would (It's my birthday in 13 days, woo). This year I have an additional 'goal' which is to start planning my wedding, I know in reality it is probably a long time away, but at the same time, I know nothing about weddings. Each day of the year I strive to make myself a better person, smile at people more and even learn new things and that won't change for as long as I can help it. 



The point of this post isn't to sh*t on those who are buzzing for the new year and have amazing plans, I promise. More for those like myself, who struggle with the idea of huge changes, or feeling like they haven't achieved anything huge in 2018, because that's ok too. This year, if I can give you any piece of advice is take it as it comes, I've spent far too many years trying to make things happen and forcing myself to do things I really didn't want to do. Live 2019 for you, and be kind! Happy New Year all. 
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Olivia Jade
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Hosting the ultimate games night #1

Hosting the ultimate games night #1



Weird Crushes: 55 Hunks
Weird crushes game

When my friends come over these days we often opt to play a game of some kind, I may be turning 24 in a matter of weeks but going out is overrated and playing games with your pals are much more fun in my opinion. Recently I've been gifted some games from Firebox and decided to review each of them for you and let you know if they're worth your hard earned cash. I have a part two of this coming too as I have some other awesome game recommendations but decided to split it up so this post isn't *too* long. 

Weird Crushes, British Hunks £9.99: 
Think the childhood classic, Top Trumps but with British celebrities, politicians and the addition of Ian Beale and Phil Mitchell from Eastenders. This game is the battle of the fittest *literally* and can be played with as little as 2 players. The cards make me laugh as they have a bit information on each person on them. Oh, and I'd love to know who made the ratings up for these cards as some of them are questionable. I mean, who decided that Danny Dyer deserves a 10 for sex appeal and why doesn't Louis have straight 10s as he clearly deserves them. 

The Noodle Game £15.99: 
This game is one that all the family can be involved in and can be super competitive. The rules work by each player having a bowl and a matching pair of chopsticks, all of the noodles are in the carton (the box) and then the players take it in turns to pick up a noodle from the box and get it from the box to their bowl. The other players can attempt to get this from you, however, they can't move their chopsticks from their bowl until the noodle is away from the box. The noodles are a variety of sizes, so at the end, you have to count them up to find out who won. The concept is great, but the fact the way you count the noodles point value is by size and the sizes can be hard to tell apart, a colour scheme would possibly work better for this game, although I assume they made the noodles the colour in which they are to keep them looking authentic. 


Make Your Own Gummy Pizza £7.99:
What is a games night without pizza right? You can opt for the traditional Domino's which is always a solid choice, however, thanks to Menkind you can also get a gummy create your own one, which is much more fun and would be a great prize for the winner of the games night or just to snack on throughout the night. 

If you HAD to... £16.99
This game is one of my favourites ever, it's such a simple concept but gets everyone laughing and also you get to a learn a little more about the people around you. The way in which the game works is, everyone is dealt cards and then you go round the room and take it in turns to be the judge, the idea is you give the judge the cards they'd hate the most and then you have to sell them your idea as to why it is the worst for them. You can decide what circumstances apply to the card, e.g. live your life as Barney the purple dinosaur, the judge may ask you if this is forever, and then you can decide how it would play out. The first to five is the winner, however, we kept going for ages when we played. It's a great drinking game or just one to break the ice at a party. Think Cards Against Humanity gets personal. 

If you had to
If you had to

Have you played any of these games? If so, what were your thoughts? 

*These games were gifted to me by Firebox, however, all thoughts are my own as always and I loved playing each one, and they're 'special' in their own way. 

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Olivia Jade
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Tattoos: The good, the bad and the ugly.

Tattoos: The good, the bad and the ugly.




This is a collaborative post. 

2018 was the year I got a *little* tattoo obsessed, I started the year with 4 tattoos and I am coming up to the final month of the year with 11 tattoos. I met a tattoo artist called Heather at a local studio: Blacktide Collective. Heather created the images exactly how I imagined, she got my visions and had some beautiful pieces of flash that needed homes. I even got two of my bunnies tattooed on me in the summer by Heather. I recently wrote a piece called what does your tattoo mean and it made me realise how many of you guys have tattoos. A lot of you like me have gotten a variety of tattoos you love and have done since day one. Some of you have huge pieces planned out and others have gotten them on a whim. There is no right or wrong way to decide on a tattoo. Unfortunately with the good comes the bad, some of you have designs based on ideas you loved and they didn't turn out how you imagined (que just about any tattoo programme on channel 4 or 5, ever) and some of my readers have even got their partners name which has then turned into being an ex. 


Some people play it off and try to love what they have, I've even seen a story about a guy who is currently on the lookout for a girlfriend with the same name as his ex so he feels less bad about his tattoo. But for those of you who can't stand your tattoo and need it gone, tattoo removal may be your only option. As someone who has a lot of tattoos, luckily none of them are ones I regret and I hope I never do. But if a tattoo of mine in the future did go wrong I feel like laser removal would be an option I'd consider. I decided to reach out on social media and see what others are saying about their tattoos. 

Lindsay says: 
I have 3. One is a Playboy bunny (classy chick) and another is two dragons on the back of my neck. The 3rd is a mess that I let my ex-do on me. It's a star on the bottom of my leg. NEVER let someone else tattoo you for love.

Image may contain: one or more people

Demi-Leigh says:
"I got my tattoo when I was 18 years old - my first and only - a quote that reminds me every day to make my life a story worth telling. I always thought I'd regret it but it became so apt as I grew into the person I am now"

Kim says: 
My favourite tattoo is the one I got most recently as it means the most. Its lyrics from my favourite song by my favourite band that have stuck with me for over a decade, and the tattoo is by an incredible local artist who specialises in abstract watercolour, so it's really beautiful!


Kims tattoo


Shelley says:
"My first tattoo was when I was 18 & it’s three little bats on my ankle which now look silly as hell. My parents didn’t find out till years later when I had like 10 others. Felt like a little rebel doing it & it’s probably my worst one but hey lesson learnt & memory made"

Emily says: 
My back piece is my favourite tattoo, featuring the Buddhist Goddess Tara. It's not finished yet, but I had it started during a hard time (PTSD following an assault). Tara embodies compassion, which I really needed. Strangely, the man who attacked me was arrested that day!



"I got my first tattoo at 41, and now 2 years later I have 5! I wanted one since I was a teenager but always worried about what other people might think. When I reached my 40s, I finally decided that I didn't care what they think, and now I love my tattoos - I've got more planned!"

Kaya says:
I got a 'D-12' (Eminem's band) tattoo when I was 17. I'm 35 now and it makes me laugh every time I see it. What was I thinking?! 

Image may contain: one or more people

Alice says:
I have four tattoos and love them all. They represent specific times of my life. I have a feather and flying birds tattoo on my right rib from when I finally rid myself of my abusive ex. Each bird stands for someone that really helped me get away from the situation and I asked each one of them to pick the colour of their specific bird. That tattoo makes me feel happy. 

Charlie Louise says: 
An Albert Einstein quote on my back when drunk in Magaluf is probably one of the craziest things I’ve done. I also have dad on my wrist which I absolutely hate as it’s a botched job but I also love it because I got it done when I was a teenager after my dad passed away. My favourite tattoo is my sea turtle tattoo, my partner and I have matching ones and it really means a huge amount to me.


Let me know in the comments about your tattoo stories, I love to read them. 
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Olivia Jade
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Engagement, excitement and happily ever afters?

Engagement, excitement and happily ever afters?


Saturday 17th of November was a day I won't be forgetting in a hurry. I woke up in the morning for work knowing I'd hardly been able to sleep throughout the night and I was already dreaming of an acceptable time to be able to go to sleep when I was home. The day at work goes pretty quick but I couldn't wait to get home. Once I stepped through the front door, I said hi to Will and then I collapsed into our comfy armchair and took a breath and closed my eyes, a few seconds later I opened them again only to see Will on one knee in front of me. He was saying the words but I couldn't comprehend the words which were coming out, it was hard to understand what he was saying as I was freaking out. I recall hearing Liv, you know I love you. Then me bursting into tears and freaking out, probably not an ideal reaction but I promise you it was a happy one. The ring he pulled out of his pocket was so me, I knew as soon as I saw it he had put a lot of thought into his choice. 



I am glad Will decided to do it in our house as opposed to in a restaurant or a public location as I would freak out at the idea of people staring at us. Getting engaged is something most girls dream of but don't know when, if ever it will actually happen for them. I'm almost 24 so the timing felt right. The Pinterest boards have been being added to since 2013 so it is great to be able to have meaning behind them. We haven't set a date and know it won't be anytime soon, weddings are expensive if you want the big wedding which is something I now dream of becoming a reality for me. Buying a house is also a goal I would like to achieve in the next 5 years, so it is hard to balance the two. With the new year approaching, I will be setting my new years resolution to start saving up for the future. 



Dating with BPD is a difficult one, let alone planning a future with someone. For them and for me, it's hard. I find it hard to cope with so much love for one person, I am unable to feel the love in normal doses, it's all or nothing and sometimes I love that person so much and then other times I can't cope with being around them. Sadly, I'm not sure this will ever change. But for me, being happy to spend the rest of my life with someone feels like I am making progress, I feel the most stable and settled I have done for as long as I remember. The future looks bright and a huge change from the way I felt before my 22nd birthday, where I didn't even see myself having much of a future if any. I have a job, a house, four bunnies and now a fiance which feels crazy to say! 

We never really know what the future holds but as of November 17th I feel like my life has changed in a way which it never has before and I feel ecstatic that someone feels that way about me enough to actually want to marry me(!) and I am excited for what the future holds. 

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Olivia Jade
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SherbetBox Club: The perfect companion on a rainy day.

SherbetBox Club: The perfect companion on a rainy day.


Rainy day box Sherbet Lane

It's been a *little* while since Sherbet Lane has featured been featured on my blog, but thanks to the lovely Claire who is the genius behind the box gifting me this box, I am back with another review for you. I know a lot of you enjoy stationery and my last review of the SherbetBox Club went down a treat. Each month has a different theme and is helped to be decided by the members of the Sherbet Lane Facebook group. The theme this month is Rainy Day, which with us heading into the colder months it is a pretty relevant theme. As I am a huge advocate of self-care, this box is the perfect companion to help you through the days when you just need a little pick me up. Oh, and the contents of the box are a complete surprise so it is like a little present to you from you. I'd love to know in the comments what your thoughts are on the box and if you'd like to keep seeing reviews of the box each month, let me know below! 

Rainy day box Sherbet Lane
Rainy day box Sherbet Lane

I was instantly drawn to the book which said 'rainy day doodles' on it, which I was half expecting a notebook to do some doodles in, but once I opened it up I saw pages of step by step drawings, which for someone who is terrible at drawing and art, in general, I found this an awesome touch, oh and there is a bunny and a cute rabbit to draw too, yay. The book is super lightweight so it would be great to take on a journey with you. I noticed the pink envelope which says 'a little something to remind you on a rainy day that the sunshine is never really that far away' the quote in itself is adorable, but when I opened it up I was greeted with an adorable little ice cream charm, which is such a thoughtful thing to add in there. I especially would enjoy finding this on one of my down days, as it is a great reminder.

Next, I took a look at the stickers which had a label on saying 'no rain, now flowers' colour in stickers, which I thought was an adorable addition to the box and I can't wait to start colouring them in, these would be a great addition to a seal card or just to stick to a notepad. Following this, I noticed some adorable paper with paint splatters on, some envelopes and some large confetti, along with a pen. Which I assume is to write letters, I loved this in the last box as it allowed me to send cards to all of my friends and also include confetti in them, happy mail is the one.

Rainy day box Sherbet Lane

Buried inside of the box was an adorable little notepad which has to do lists on them, which I love to create to help myself work through my tasks, especially during times that I feel down, I find it encouraging to be able to tick things off of the list. As the smallest tasks can make the biggest difference. The final piece within the box was two matchboxes which at first confused me until I found the pieces of paper which came with the boxes and it has all of the steps and even the background to create an adorable matchbox scene. Claire also included a tube of glitter glue, which is pretty smart as I am forever forgetting things I need for baking/art, but everything is right in front of you to be able to create a masterpiece. The concept behind the matchboxes is simple, but they look amazing and different to anything you'd usually find in a subscription box. This box is perfect for just about anyone, but as an adult, I found it a great break from the real world (and technology) and I enjoyed using all of the pieces in the box.  


If you're interested in getting your own hands on one of the Sherbet Lane boxes, Claire has provided an amazing discount code of 25% off your first box by using code 'FIRSTSB', so you'd be pretty mad not to make the most of it!

**This box was kindly gifted to me, but all thoughts are my own and I am totally in love with happy mail Claire creates each month!



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Olivia Jade
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CaseApp Review

CaseApp Review




It's no lie, I have become a little bit addicted to buying phone cases over the last few years. Until a few years ago I always had phones that didn't have any cute phone cases or basically no cases at all, so since I have been an Apple convert, the cases are so much easier to get a hold of, I can't help but buy them. Recently I was contacted by the people at Case App, asking if I would like to review some of their cases, and I was super happy to do so. I often get asked where my phone cases are from so this post may be helpful. Case App offers a variety of choices when it comes to their cases, you can pick premade ones or totally create one of your own, and allow me to give the site a full review of their cases I decided one of each would be best.

I am usually all about the *huge* rubber cases, due to being a clumsy person overall, so using one of these cases did come as a bit of a worry to me. Plus I usually have some really out there cases, my last one was a yellow walky-talky.   I browsed the site for a good few hours trying to decide which of their cases I liked the most, I had to shortlist it down to my top 3 and then ended up going for the Honey Bunny case which is a featured above, as I loved the design on it and I felt it is still out there like my other cases. The case itself is £19 and you can choose shiny or matte for the finish. I also noticed you could make your phone case 'tough' which was an extra £3, so I went for that too as it is totally worth it if it protects my phone. The case was quickly dispatched and I received it in a few days, I chose to go for the Standard Delivery and I was impressed with how quickly it did arrive for that. The fact the case is 'tough' helped me feel more secure about having it in the case as it felt like it was secure to the phone. I would totally buy some more of the cases from the Case App collections, I have my eye on their cuteness case next. 


After I chose my first case from the site, I went on to design my own, which costs £22 and then for any extras this costs a little more, e.g. the hard case. For someone who is quite an indecisive person, this was not an easy choice. With so many colours, fonts and graphics to chose from it took me a while to come up with the finished product. I decided to go down the route of a quote phone case with some kind of graphic on it. The colour was one of the easiest choices, as I went for this amazing mustard yellow and it looks exactly how it did on the computer screen, in real life. Finding a quote was one of the hardest parts of the design, however, I found one that I really liked and decided to go for it before I changed my mind. The quote is 'the secret to having it all, is believing you already do' the graphic I went for compliments the case well and I think they all go well together. Overall, I enjoyed shopping on the Case App website and would totally do it again. 

*As this post was in collaboration with Case App and they sent the cases free of charge for a blog post, they also kindly offered my readers a limited time code for 20% off which is 'dungareesdonuts20'. I'd love to know if you've ever purchased a phone case from CaseApp and what you purchased from them. 
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Olivia Jade
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The story of a fair trade cup of coffee!

The story of a fair trade cup of coffee!


It's international coffee day, which of course means, we need to talk about coffee! Until I started working, I didn't think much of coffee, did rate it but also didn't know enough about it to slate it. But when you're working lates or early mornings, coffee is pretty much a must and so much cheaper than energy drinks. Soz, Redbull! To celebrate today, I have a guest post I'd love to share with you about what goes into making a fair trade cup of coffee, which I had no idea about. Let me know if you enjoy this post and let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on coffee. Oh and if you enjoy this post, I previously wrote a post about 5 ways to enjoy coffee.

If we Brits are married to our cups of tea, then coffee is our secret love affair. Recent figures revealed by the British Coffee Association, paint Britain less as a nation of tea-drinkers and more as coffee connoisseurs, with our coffee consumption increasing from 70 million cups a day in 2008 to 95 million cups a day in 2018. Obviously, coffee beans don't grow in the UK, so here is the story of how they get from beans to your cup. And, if you’re a fan of drinking fair trade coffee, that journey is all the more wonderful and varied. You see, the journey of a coffee bean depends on which farm it came from, the grower of the bean, and how it was processed.


Obviously, a large-scale coffee plantation will operate a lot differently from a simple (and much smaller) fair trade coffee farm. Sure, you know about the ethics surrounding fair trade coffee, the issues of pay and the treatment of workers, but it goes far beyond that. The number of workers, the use of wastewater, the difference in fair trade coffee production can't be understated. The process is more eco-friendly and more worker-friendly! As an example, CIPAC's fair trade honey and coffee co-operative in Guatemala has in excess of 140 members working for them. It may be a remote area, but it's a fantastic area to grow coffee all the same. Numerous farmers here are performing a trade inherited from many family generations. There is lots for CIPAC’s farmers to do before the beans are ready to be made into the delicious coffee we know and love. So what exactly happens on the journey from bush to mug? Let’s follow some of CIPAC’s fair trade coffee growers to find out.

Harvesting coffee beans:
Winter is typically coffee-harvesting season for many farmers. On family-owned farms, the whole family might get involved. Coffee ripens at a slightly different time within this period, depending on the climate, the altitude, the type of soil and the variety of coffee. Some farmers even live in areas with their own microclimate, which means the coffee they produce has its own particular and quality flavour! Throughout the season, the same coffee plant can be harvested up to two or three times over. This is because only the ripe cherries are hand-plucked from the bush to guarantee a high-quality coffee. On large coffee farms, the harvesters must travel up steep hills and down into valleys to collect the cherries in a basket — which can be exhausting.

The de-pulping process:
Once the coffee has been harvested, it is moved on to the farmers. This involves the harvesters often having to travel up and down hills and across rickety bridges to reach the end destination, where the cherries are de-pulped within 24 hours. While large-scale plantations use heavy machinery to quickly take off the coffee-cherry skins, farmers at CIPAC either use a small electric de-pulping machine (where the cherries are poured in the top and emerge de-pulped from the bottom) or their own energy. The coffee beans are closely inspected as they’re poured into the machine, and any beans that don’t look quite ripe enough or are too ripe are taken out.


Cleaning the cherries:
Once the coffee cherries are de-pulped, they are submerged in unique water pools for a full day in order to clean them and remove any remaining layers. Some beans will float in the water and these beans are always removed. After washing, the leftover water will contain some toxic elements that mean it can’t just be thrown onto the plants in their backyard. But farmers at CIPAC know what to do – they re-use the dirty water and skins to make an eco-friendly compost to use around their coffee plants!

Drying each coffee bean:
After cleaning, the beans are laid out to allow the sun to dry them naturally. The farmer chooses an area that’s wide, flat, and clean, and spreads the beans out with a rake. They turn the beans with this rake while the sun shines, and then hurry to cover them with a huge sheet if there’s a hint of rain or moisture about. As well as this, they also cover the beans every night, to keep off the dew. This process can take several days, or much longer if there’s rain!

Transporting the beans:
Once the coffee has dried, parchment beans are formed. The farmers take the sacks of parchment beans to the nearest road, where they’ll be collected by a van sent by the coffee co-operative. Farmers in the most remote areas must make their way along dangerous winding mountain paths and encounter huge cliff drops. Can you imagine having to walk along a cliff-edge while carrying a 30kg bag of coffee beans? If there are no co-operatives to sell their products to, farmers often have to make longer, more dangerous journeys to find a trader. Once the beans reach the co-operative storage site safely, they’re then weighed, checked for quality, and stored.

Transforming the beans:
Once the parchment beans arrive at a fair trade cooperative, they are then turned into green beans. This is the most important quality milestone yet and involves the beans being judged by their weight and appearance, to make sure they’re of the best quality. Finally, the beans are ‘polished’, which removes the last layer of skin covering the coffee beans. The beans are then sampled by buyers for quality in a process known as ‘coffee cupping’, which involves them slurping coffee in an attempt to accurately taste all the subtle flavours of the coffee, especially for the special varieties grown in areas with their own microclimates. These samples are sent to the co-operative, so they can easily vouch for the quality of the coffee to buyers! Finally, the finished beans are bagged and sold to an exporter.

CIPAC sells the coffee beans to Cafesca, a fair trade operator based in Mexico. From there, some of the beans are sent to another Mexican fair trade operator, Descamex, who is the only facility in the world to use the Mountain Water Method to produce decaf coffee. Descamex sends the decaffeinated beans back to Cafesca, who transform all the coffee beans into instant coffee and instant decaf. Once the finished coffee is sealed in jars, they’re loaded onto a container, then onto a ship, and then transported to the UK to be sold by retailers such as TraidcraftThe journey has now reached its conclusion and it’s clear to see that coffee beans go on quite the adventure before making it into your mug! And while the huge coffee plantations use lots of workers and modern equipment, the fair trade farmers at CIPAC like to keep it simple. Family-run farms. Hand-picking only the ripest cherries. Drying the beans naturally under the heat of the sun. Fewer chemicals, and far more character.

Who knew that so much went into making a fair trade cup of coffee?

*This is a paid guest post, however, I had full editorial rights over it and I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I did! 

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Olivia Jade
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Relocating, Reminiscing and The Rows.

Relocating, Reminiscing and The Rows.


Chesire is one of my favourite places in the UK and one day I would love to move there. I currently live in Stafford and apart from a few shops and since 2016, a Nandos there really isn't anything to do. The West Midlands doesn't have a huge amount of things to do on a good day, and I can't help but wish I lived somewhere with more things to do. I could never move into a large city like Birmingham or Manchester (despite wanting to move to Manchester many of times, to be near some amazing places). I've always loved the idea of moving somewhere like Chesire. I'd love to one day buy my own house and a place like Chesire sounds like a place of dreams. When looking at an infographic created by Laurus Homes, it made me realise how much more there is to do in towns such as Chester and after looking at housing prices in Chesire made me realise there is next to no difference between Stafford and Chesire (specifically Chester) and there is so much more to do!



I have visited Chesire Oaks a few times in the last few years and it is one of my favourite places to shop in the UK, who isn't down for discounted goodies from Whittards and Dr Martens which a huge discount on them, amirite?  As there are so many outlet stores as well, as a huge retail park backing on to it, with bowling and mini golf too. As well as Chesire Oaks, Chester has some pretty amazing places to shop and some extremely beautiful buildings. Including 'The Rows' which nobody actually knows why the buildings were in this way. It is also the oldest shopping facade in England which I think is pretty cool. As a blogger, it seems like a great place to live/ visit for all of the amazing locations to visit, and things to see.


Chester also has an amazing zoo, which I have been to multiple times with over 21,000 animals within. It is a great place to go as a family and what I've noticed about Chesire is there is a whole lot of things to do as a family. Including visiting Chester park, many museums some of which are free. There are also things to do such as visit flip out, one of the escape rooms or the River Dee! 

Although my plans to move Chesire won't be something that is achievable in the next few years, it is a place I see in my future and I hope to one day move there. For now, it looks like a visit is on the horizon. I would love some recommendations of where to stay and the places I must visit during my stay. 

*This is a collaborative post 



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Olivia Jade
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