If you don’t know who Safiya Nygaard is then a) what on earth have you been doing and b) you need to find her YouTube account now and you can thank me for it later. Safiya is the queen of random challenges and putting social media to the test and her ‘I Bought The First 5 Things That Instagram Recommended to Me’ video is one of my favourites so I thought i’d try and recreate it myself! Unlike Safiya, I don’t have a very large budget for blog posts so I only bought things that I would have clicked on anyway as the ad grabbed my attention and were also in a reasonable price range that I could justify.
In this post i’m going to include:
- a screen shot of each of the ads as evidence that I’m not just buying any old thing
- a review of each item and the ordering process
- where applicable, whether I would buy the item again or recommend it
As with most social media related ads, many offer the chance for your own referral code so these will also be included. If you want to use them then that’s fab, if not then I will also include a non-referral link for you to check out the individual websites!
Simply Cook are recipe boxes that include the spice/key flavour components for a meal, meaning you only have to add a few fresh ingredients to make a tasty and usually pretty healthy meal. Instagram offered me the chance to grab a discounted first box to try and coming in at a mere £1, I thought it was too good of a chance to pass by.
Tom and I enjoy cooking and now we are in our own home, we are looking for quick, easy and tasty meals more than ever. For me, an ideal meal takes minimal ingredients and is completed in about half an hour. I’m also vegetarian, but Tom isn’t so coming up with meals we both want to eat can often be a bit tricky!
The box we ordered, wasn’t customisable, beyond the fact I stated I wanted a Vegetarian box so I knew there would probably be at least one meal that wasn’t quite to my taste, but as I say it was £1, so there was no sleep lost!
The boxes are small enough to fit through a standard letter box and each meal is individually packaged with a recipe card telling you what you need to buy from the supermarket. The meal that caught our eye the most was the Wild Mushroom Penne so off we trundled to pick up all the ingredients (which FYI only came to a few pounds!).
It was so quick and easy to make and took very minimal effort which is something I was very pleased about! I’ve got to say, I was genuinely surprised at how full of flavour the food was and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. This one has been an absolute staple for us ever since and our boxes nearly always include this as a meal!
There was a bit of a spoiler there, we have in fact bought full priced boxes since, as we found the concept really fit into our lifestyle. We’ve had delicious curries and varying veggie dishes and honestly, we’ve enjoyed every one. We don’t really have a running subscription, rather we buy ad hoc boxes when we know we’re going to be in for a few weeks so we just buy the ingredients for a meal at a time. The boxes keep really well as the ingredients inside have really long shelf lives meaning you’re not committing to have those meals within the next five days unless you want to cook them!
To sum up, we really like the concept of Simply Cook and we’ll continue to purchase boxes as and when we fancy them. To get your own trial box for £1, simply enter the code MA6683 or use the link above. If you don’t want to use a referral link then head to www.simplycook.com to find out more.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you’ll know that there’s one thing Tom and I love more than pretty much anything else in the world… our dog JJ. In fact, I would go as far as to say we’re are obsessed with him! We usually buy his dog food from Pets At Home and feed him a mixture of both wet and dry foods as dry is better for his teeth but he will flat out refuse to simply eat dry food.
I saw an advert for Tails, an online subscription service that tailor makes your dogs food to suit their individual needs and delivers it to your door every month so you never run out. This sounded ideal for us! JJ doesn’t have many dietary requirements, although he cannot eat chicken and his stomach is a little sensitive. So we popped in all this information into the website and they conjured up his ‘unique blend’ of biscuits that we could try for about a month and all we had to do was pay £1 for delivery.
The food arrived in a personalised bag with a scoop to ensure we measured out the right amount of food. We also got a couple of free goodies, including a roll of poo bags and a holder (glamorous I know!) and a little collapsable water bowl for when we are out and about.
We had absolutely no issues with switching J over to the food as we did it slowly, mixing it in with his previous food brand. Without getting into too many details that I’m sure you don’t want to know, we noticed a massive improvement in JJ’s tummy during the trial of the food and decided to make the switch for good. Another win for the Instagram adverts! We now get the food delivered for just under £10 a month (the price varies with dog size and JJ is a pretty small dog!!) and if we ever need the food earlier or want to postpone the delivery a few days, we can do this easily with a simple click of a button.
Again, this is something that completely suits our lifestyle and has made things a hell of a lot easier. We are actually thinking of switching his wet food over too and getting everything in one order now to make things even easier! To get tailor made dog food for your own pooch for just £1 then just enter the code MOLLYEMT or use the link above. For a non-referral link then just head to www.tails.com.
Anyone would think Instagram knew we were moving home as only a few days after having our offer approved, an advert for Dusk appeared on my feed. Dusk are a company that produces luxury bedding at affordable prices and as we were changing the colour scheme of our bedroom, we needed some new bedding. I actually was completely sold by the Twilight Bedspread in the picture, along with the matching cushions so rather than getting what we actually needed, I bought those.
The bedspread is made of 100% cotton and is two toned with one side being a very pale dusky pink and the other a lovely light grey. I some how managed to convince Tom that we should paint our bedroom these colours (I bought the bedspread first so I’ll leave you to decide what influenced the decision) so I couldn’t wait to get it all in situ and see how it looked.
One key thing I wished I’d done was read the measurements! Both the cushions and the bedspread are quite simply, massive. The bedspread is actually more suitable for a king or a super king bed when in fact we only have a double bed. Oops. They do have the same product as a throw which is aimed at double or king sized beds so in hindsight this would have been better for us. Although, I do like how we don’t have to fight for the fabric in our sleep and it pools on the floor in a bit of a ‘pinterest’ style which I quite like.
The cushions were no different and in fact these are over half a metre square. It’s safe to say that I bought these off the picture alone not the descriptions! The cushion covers were only £10 and they were advertising cushion pads for another £10 each. I managed to actually find cushion pads cheaper on Amazon so I gave these a miss but all in the bedspread and cushion covers set me back £55, which I didn’t think was too bad!
When these arrived I was genuinely so surprised at how high quality they were and they 100% cotton material was so soft! In fact, I’m sure even Tom would say how happy he was that I decided to buy these as with the hot weather we’ve had this summer, we’ve ditched our duvet all together and we’ve only been sleeping under this bedspread as it’s warm enough that we don’t get cold in the night but cool enough that we don’t overheat! I think it will be brilliant in the winter too when the nights are extra cold and we need another layer! We’ve also put the bedspread through the wash and it washed brilliantly and dried really quickly (probably due to said heatwave) which is always a real bonus with bedding!
Would I recommend buying from Dusk? Absolutely! The delivery and ordering process was incredibly efficient and the products are such high quality. I’m actually planning to buy the bedding that I intended to buy the first time around soon so that we have another set! There’s no discount codes for Dusk I’m afraid as they always seem to have a sale on so feel free to head to www.dusk.com to have a little nosy! I’ve not included any pictures of the bedspread actually in my room as I want to keep that for a separate home decor blog post that will be coming soon!
Function of Beauty*
So the second I run out of shampoo and conditioner, what should appear on my Instagram feed? I’m sure there’s some spy cameras out there helping the Instagram ad generators out! If you haven’t heard of function of beauty, they are a custom haircare brand that originates in the US that are also available as a subscription service so you never need run out of haircare again!
I’m not going to lie, I got completely swept up in the whole custom element of it, picking my own colour, scent and haircare needs. It really was quite a quick but fun thing to do! I picked a eucalyptus-mint scent (the mint is definitely more overpowering) with a matching minty green colour scheme. For my hairs ‘needs’ I selected:
- Curly, coarse hair
- Dry scalp
- Deep conditioning
- Fix split ends
- Curl definition
- Scalp soothe
The website is initially in US Dollars but changes to GBP when you get towards the end of the checkout. One thing that did really irritate me was that rather than use a more accurate exchange rate to change between USD to GBP, they just used a $1=£1 method, meaning that I ended up spending just shy of £40, which was definitely the very very very most I was prepared to spend.
However, the package arrive and it was incredibly cute, with my name on the box and the bottles and both fixed lids and pump lids for both the shampoo and conditioner. I’m quite fortunate in that my hair doesn’t get greasy that quickly so I don’t have to wash my hair that often and so this will last me a very long time. I bought these 8oz bottles at the start of May and I’m not even close to being half way through them yet.
I have tested them a few times though and they are really nice products. Do I think they warrant the price tag? Probably not, but then I don’t know if you would notice more of a difference if you washed your hair more frequently. I would say my hair feels soft, shiny and very clean and I do think that perhaps the frizziness has improved slightly! The pump dispensers are very handy when you’re in the shower and the bottles definitely look pretty in the bathroom.
For me personally, I don’t think the expenditure is worth repeat orders, especially as I couldn’t warrant the subscription service, which offers you free delivery, as I don’t run out quickly enough to make the most of it. All in all, a nice product that i’m glad I’ve tried, but possibly won’t be one i’m making a repurchase of in the near future, but I will enjoy using it until it runs out! If you want $5 off your own formula then just use the link above! If not, head to www.functionofbeauty.com.
With everyone starting to get a bit more conscious of what is inside ‘feminine’ products, I was intrigued when I saw an advert for TOTM (Time Of The Month) on my feed. They are a small UK based brand that are 100% organic, cruelty-free and biodegradable whilst being marketed at an affordable price. They also offer a subscription service so you need never run out again and provide free delivery when you buy two or more items.
I decided to try two items out to make the most of the free delivery offer. I picked up the Cotton Liners and their Medium Applicator Tampons to try out initially with the view to trying more products in the future when my current supplies of other brands are running out. When they arrived, I initially noticed that the packaging was slimmer and made of a plain non-laminated cardboard unlike other mainstream brands. The box was definitely a better shape for fitting in drawers and was less bulky all round which was great.
Both products are made with organic cotton and are fragrance free – something that I really liked as so many other brands are incredibly artificially scented. There is no rayon, chlorine or synthetic fibres, meaning that they are simply much more natural products to use. They also donate 10p from every single box of products you buy to Endometriosis UK – a very worthwhile cause which helps so many women across the country.
I have only had chance to try out the liners since the order arrived but i’ve been pleasantly surprised. They are much thinner than normal liners so it doesn’t even feel like you are wearing them and the cotton material is much more comfortable day to day. The one negative is that they are slightly less adhesive than other brands i’ve tried and do have a tendency to move towards the end of the day. This being said, I don’t think it would put me off buying them again as the positives have seriously outweighed the small negative! At £3.25 for 28 liners, they are of a similar price to other well known brands, if only very slightly more expensive.
Personally, I have enjoyed knowing that the ‘ingredients’ involved in making the products i’m wearing daily are much more natural and there are less chemicals involved and I do plan to keep using them and purchasing more from TOTM. The link above is a referral code or head to www.totm.com otherwise.
So I’ve got to say I think Instagram did pretty well with these adverts! I have been pleasantly surprised with everything I purchased and there are lots of things that I will continue to be repurchasing in the future. I’ve also discovered some new and different brands that I probably wouldn’t have come across otherwise. It’s been quite an interesting little experiment and i’d love to do some more of these ‘challenges’ in the future. If you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to see more then please leave me a recommendation for another one that you would like to see! Have you tried any of these brands or products before? If so I’d love to know what you think!