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Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

I'm snuggled up here on our couch typing this post, the last post for 2017 as I sip on a mug of tea with the heater on and Christmas lights still twinkling, and of course, I cannot help but think what a good year this has been on so many levels.

2017 was a big year for me personally as well as for this blog - I got to work with some amazing brands and individuals, both 'old' and new, attended another edition of Malta Fashion Week and even got the chance to see what goes on backstage, shared my favourite outfits with you guys and it was even the year where big plans for 2018 started taking shape :)

2017 was also the year me and my boyfriend purchased our first house together which we (technically, right now Mario is doing all the hard work :P) are working on to turn into a home - the home we have always wanted and hopefully, the one we start our family and grow old in :)

This year, more specifically at Christmas, I realized just how lucky I am to be surrounded by family and friends - the ones that stick through no matter what. This became more evident when my parents and my boyfriend asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I just couldn't think of something that I actually needed - I already have everything that matters. Sometimes, my busy life gets so in the way that I forget about the little things that have the most meaning so in 2018 I will try to slow down a bit and just appreciate everything and everyone that is a part of my life in one way or another.

As for the blog, I have some big plans for it, to continue to deliver quality content to you, my readers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who actually take the time to read and interact with what I write here in this little space on the internet. I would also like to thank the brands who year after year trust me to promote their products. Thanks also go to my better half, the one who is behind the lens most of the time and who patiently takes countless outfit pictures.

It was a year of travel too - travels filled with fond memories of new friendships, irreplaceable times with my better half and even some exquisite fine dining and a Manolo Blahnik exhibition in Milan!

I look forward to 2018 being a year where we fulfil more of our plans as well as a year of growth for the blog :) I am not thinking of the new year in terms of resolutions but I am looking at it in terms of goals - to better myself in the things I am not so good at and enrich myself and those around me in doing so. Thank you for joining me on this beautiful journey :)

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Boosting Our Immunity The Natural Way with Erba Vita

Getting sick is something no one enjoys. Ever. But sometimes you can't help it, your body's defenses give in to germs and unfavourable weather conditions and we end up sick.

I was recently introduced to Erba Vita which is a brand that since 1982 has had the most natural kind of well being at heart. Their products cover every aspect of human well-being and the company is accredited under ISO 9001:2015, and a certified HACCP institution so you know you are getting top-notch quality products from a reliable company which takes its manufacturing processes very seriously.

I was given two products from the brand which I will be talking about in today's post of course - ImmunAction capsules and Propoli EVSP Effer Prop Effervescent tablets.

ImmunAction Capsules (€11.50 for 60 capsules)

I'll start with Immun Action which is marketed as a natural shield for our well being. In fact, even the art-work on the products depicts a shield as the product is intended as a boost to our immune system. The transparent capsules contain a brownish powder which contains all the beneficial ingredients needed to boost our immune system. The main ingredients are Echnicaea, Tabebuia, Cat's Claw, Astragalus Papaya and Angrographis, each of which exerts a specific function to promote our bodies' defense mechanisms against disease. As a matter of fact, ImmunAction is the perfect supplement during the colder months to further protect yourself against say for example the common cold. 

As luck would have it, after only two days of starting the month-long supply, I got sick with tonsillitis and I'm not going to lie, my immediate reaction was 'maybe these things don't work at all' but for the sake of this blog and because I hate bashing a product after the first use, I still proceeded with taking ImmunAction capsules daily and finish the pack, after all, our bodies take time to get used to something new. I'm glad I did. For starters, I was only sick for a day - usually it would last three days for sure. I was prescribed a course of antibiotics by my doctor which I had to take to get better and while I'm usually all sleepy while I'm on antibiotics, I wasn't feeling so bad and kept going. I guess ImmunAction did have something to do with it.

I continued taking 2 capsules of ImmunAction every morning with a glass of water and I think it did help in preventing me from getting sick so this gets the thumbs up from me! After one month of taking ImmunAction, it is recommended to give the immune system a break from Echinacea as it increases the number of white blood cells (the cells that fight off infections) and it's good to have them return back to your normal levels. Of course, always consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplements especially if you are or think you might be pregnant.

PropoliEVSP Effer Prop Effervescent Tablets (€11 for 20 tablets)

The second Erba Vita product I'll be sharing with you is the Propoli EVSP Effer Prop Effervescent tablets. These came in very handy to gargle with and soothe my throat and since they are propolis based, they act as an antiseptic too. These tablets are my favourite out of the two because they taste really good and well, the kid in me enjoys seeing them effervesce in water ;) Propolis is a resinous mixture that bees make to close off any unwanted open spaces in their hives. It is a known natural antiseptic and in these Effer Prop tablets it is mixed with Vitamin C and Zinc to aid the immune system in functioning to maximum levels. I usually dissolve one tablet in a glass of water and drink up for a healthier me! 

In conclusion, I am not one to down medicinals for no reason or just becasue I feel a bit sick - I usually let my body fight it off on it's own so a boost is always appreciated; and, when I do need to take antibiotics, I'm sure that Erba Vita has the right products to keep me going!

PR Samples - Erba Vita is distributed in Malta by E.J. Busuttil.
Always consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplements.

See the Most Beautiful of Gifts at Optika Opticians

If you're still looking for the perfect gift for the ones who have everything but still want more, then this post is for you to make their want a need. Last Thursday I headed to Optika Opticians' Sliema outlet to hunt down some beautiful prescription glasses and sunglasses that will have you earn double brownie points from whoever you choose to gift them to.

Optika stock a range of eye glasses for both men and women at different price points to suit every budget and these are some of my top picks from their current collection. Of course this is not the full range of glasses available and I do encourage you to pay Optika a visit as some models even come in different colours too. I have divided them into different categories, so let's get started!

For the Fashionistas

I had a really hard time deliberating over which glasses should make it into this category as all of the specs and sunglasses offered at Optika are all oozing style. I picked out some models for both prescription glasses and sunglasses which are perfect for the daring fashionista in your life. There are of course the more expensive options from luxury brands such as Bulgari, Tiffany & Co. and Dolce & Gabbana as well as the less expensive but equally stylish Vogue Eyewear options to name a few. My absolute favourites are the Tiffany & Co. black specs which remind me so much of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Fashion eyeglasses for women
Fashion eyeglasses for men

For the Sports Fanatic

If the man in your life is a sports fanatic, more specifically a Ferrari fan, Optika has just the right gift! They have just launched the Ray Ban x Scuderia Ferrari collection which is perfect for someone who already has every Ferrari collectible. Then there's the classic Oakley which is a firm favourite with men for their sporty style.

For the Classic Style Lovers

Classic styles are always in fashion and they don't need to cost an arm and a leg. Optika has lots of classic frames to choose from, the only problem is deciding which to pick!

For the Ones With a Colourful Personality

Some like to play it safe with classics, others prefer a more risky look - why not pick out something fun and colourful?

For an Ultimate Luxury Treat

Optika caters for luxury gifts too with eye-glasses that look and feel that extra bit special. For the men there is this luxurious Bulgari model which features wooden end bits and gold plating for example and for the women there are other Bulgari models which are every inch luxurious. I have also included some more examples from Giorgio Armani, Tiffany & Co. and Cartier too.

Lastly, for the stylish couple, I have included two his & hers options from Burberry - one featuring the classic Burberry house check on the sides and the other pair comes in tortoiseshell colour. Which ones are your favourites?

If you're still undecided which glasses to pick, Optika also offer gift vouchers to make gifting easier :) Optika outlets are located in Sliema, St. Julian's and Rabat.

Un-boxing December Beauty Plait

After two months of debating whether I should or should not, I succumbed to temptation and ordered a one-time subscription of Malta's own monthly beauty subscription box, Plait which has been delivered to me last Thursday 😄

For those who are new to Plait(!), the concept first started out as a food, wine and beer subscription box service for Malta and Gozo with boxes ranging from organic veggies to traditional Maltese food, wine and beer. The last member to join the crew? You guessed it, the Beauty Plait!

The Beauty Plait was launched in October this year and while I was enthused with the idea that we now have a local beauty subscription box, I didn't think of subscribing to it right off the bat. I was never subscribed to any beauty boxes in fact for I am very picky about what products I use and to pay for products that will probably find themselves collecting dust at the back of one of my drawers, I think is a waste of money.

Until I saw the first October boxes from other local bloggers and girls who subscribed to Plait - the boxes contained 5 or 6 beautiful products that I would have actually used. Somehow, I still didn't subscribe to the November box but this time around, I threw in the towel.

I only subscribed to the December box though because I figured it would contain nice products for Christmas. You can opt for a six month subscription, a three month one or a one time subscription. I ordered my box as soon as the December ones became available (it's usually on the first day of every month that orders are open again for the next month). I had scheduled delivery for Tuesday morning but I had to head out to run some errands and I must have missed the courier. I contacted them via email and they sorted the matter out in a few minutes and re-scheduled my delivery for last Thursday afternoon. I really can't complain of their customer service!

I patiently waited for Thursday so I could finally open my first Plait Beauty Box! I already knew which products/brands to expect because I specifically scoured posts on a popular local beauty group on Facebook for pictures of what the boxes contain - yes I'm that curious. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the thrill of opening the box to see the products I would get, and here they are! One thing to note is that none of the brands featured in this month's box test on animals.

Pupa Milano Glossy Lips 402 (€11.25)

I already own another shade of Pupa Glossy Lips and you know how much I love Pupa Milano so I was really excited to find a product from their range in my box :) The shade is a glittery coral which I will save for the summer months.

Tangle Teezer Rock Star Black Compact Styler (€14.86)

I have heard a lot of great things about Tangle Teezer and while I do own a couple of dupes, once I used the real thing, I could see why all the fuss about it - nothing compares to it! It leaves the hair feeling and looking oh so soft and shiny. I was delighted to see that I got a compact one so I can pack it with me wherever I go from now on ;) With these two products, I have already got my money's worth from the box :)

Payot Hydra 24+ Creme Glacee 

Payot is a new brand for me and with it being available at Franks, I already know it's a premium brand and I do have high expectations for it. The product I got is intended for normal to dry skin which is the opposite of what my skin type is but having said that, it does tend to get a little dry during winter so I am willing to give this product a shot.

Biotherm Blue Therapy Night 15ml

This was the first disappointment - Biotherm is a premium brand but this product is intended to correct visible signs of aging which I don't have any of. I will give this to my mum who can get better use out of it.

L'Occitaine Dry Skin Hand Cream 10ml

And this was the second disappointment. Seriously a 10ml hand cream? I love L'Occitaine and I adore their hand creams but I will go through this in less than a week.

Overall, I don't think the Plait Beauty Box is that bad and I understand that when you subscribe to these boxes you will always find something you don't like and will probably never use. Having said that, none of the products I received are going to waste, but I am not willing to fully commit to it. I will maybe only get the box a few times a year whenever I feel like treating myself because after all, getting over €40 worth of products when I only paid €21 for the subscription is a pretty good deal still.

Lastly, I do have a couple of suggestions to make to the Plait team :) Although this was my first box, I would love to see a different quote on the inside the next time I order the box - change is good more often than not :)

Also, while I seriously cannot complain on the delivery service, I think it would be nice if the service can be extended to work places as well and since you have to schedule delivery well in advance, sometimes things can crop up and you cannot stay indoors all day waiting for delivery so a re-schedule or 'leave with neighbour' function would be good to introduce in the coming months - maybe launch a Plait App next? ;)