Happy New Year! January is probably the worst time of the year to talk about chocolate desserts, right? At the moment most of us are thinking of dieting, healthy eating and exercising. The last thing on our minds is probably a chocolate dessert, but I believe that everything can be done in moderation! These are perfect to be shared anyway, so you’ll feel a bit less unhealthy.

The best thing about these peanut butter and chocolate lava pots is that they are very easy to prepare, using ingredients that we’ll most likely all have a home.

peanut-chocolate-lava-pots

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Once again we are at the end of the year. How did that happen? I feel like the weeks and months have flown by in 2017.

One main thing happened to the blog this year, I renamed. Yes, I went from Spanish Mummy to my current name, Loved by Elena. Renaming is something I had been pondering with for quite a while. It’s not like I’m not interested in parenting blogging anymore but as my children are getting older I feel like there are many other things I can discuss in the blog. I’ve always loved fashion and interiors so a lifestyle blog is more suited to me at the moment.

This year I’ve also been more selective with the brands I’ve worked with. I’ve turned down numerous collaborations because they were either not right for my blog or because they were brands I didn’t really love. Blogging highlights of 2017 have to be being nominated for another Amara Interior Award in the Lifestyle category and also being named blogger of the month in July by Next which is one of my all time favourite brands.

I’ve done a round up of the top 5 most popular posts in 2017 in case you want to have a read. They are all very different, from interiors, lifestyle to  fashion.

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A couple of weeks ago a very exciting email landed in my inbox. AO were doing a gifting challenge were they had a list the 10 products they thought were going to be really popular at Christmas and  wanted bloggers to pick gifts from that list for each other to give them a try. Think Secret Santa of the blogging world.

The lovely Lins from Boo and Maddie nominated me and I was thrilled to have to choose a gift for her. Lins blogs about renovating her 30’s home in South East London and even though she has a small kitchen I know she has plans to extend it in the future. I thought my gift would be really  useful, especially once her house renovation is finished. You can see here what I got for her.

I was ecstatic when the item that Lins chose for me – De’Longhi Icona Micalite Espresso Coffee Machine  was delivered last week. As a coffee lover I couldn’t have asked for a better gift.

De-Longhi-Icona-Coffee-Machine

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For many years I’ve struggled with my curly hair. Frizz has always been a problem, no matter how many products I’ve tried, both cheap and expensive. I’ve always envied girls with straight hair that always looks really nice while I’ve constantly battled to make mine look half decent. Trips to the hairdresser have always been stressful, unless it’s to get a blow dry.  And even then my hair only lasts about half a day straight, or I’m left looking like an 80s rockstar with super big hair. Isn’t it amazing how few hairdressers know how to deal with curly hair?

Then one day a couple of months ago, I came across the Curly Girl method online and it was a bit of a revelation. The Curly Girl method is based on a book of the same name written by Lorraine Massey

In a way it’s quite an easy method to follow, you just need to learn to check product labels to make sure the products you are using are CG friendly. The basis of the method is very simple, get rid of silicons and sulfates and your hair will be moisturised and looking super healthy.  Silicone ingredients end in -cone, -conol or -xane. For example: dimethicone, dimethiconol, and cyclopentasiloxane. None of these are water soluble so they can not be used in the Curly Hair method. However if a silicone ingredient is prefaced with PPG or with PEG it is water soluble and therefore CG friendly. For example  PEG-8 Dimethicone is ok.

I have put together an infographic pointing out how to follow the method step by step.

Curly-Girl-method

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