Hi, I’m Emma and I blog over at From Aldi To Harrods, all about living cheaper and making extra money. One of the first things people consider when they are looking to boost their income is to complete online surveys. However, they can be tedious to complete and sometimes the earnings aren’t worth it. So is it worth completing online surveys?

Why complete online surveys

Companies are regularly conducting market research to help them design new products or market their existing products. This information is so valuable to them that they are willing to pay to get this information from all sorts of people. This means that there is the potential to make some extra money from completing surveys on your laptop, desktop computer, tablet and phone.

Is it worth the time it takes?

Some survey websites are notoriously bad for screening you out after you have already completed most of the survey, or paying very little for your time. There comes a point when you need to decide whether the time and effort involved is worth the payout for you. For example, if you can complete surveys on the commute to work or whilst watching tv, then you are making use of your time, but if completing surveys it taking you away from something that is a better use of your time (whether it is making money elsewhere or something something else entirely) then you might want to limit the number of surveys you complete.

Which survey website are worth registering with?

With so many survey websites out there, knowing which ones to trust can be difficult. There are some of my tried and tested websites for earning money from surveys.

Prolific Academic is my all time favourite survey website. They only show surveys that are relevant to you, so you don’t ever get screened out. The surveys themselves are really interesting to complete, and the payment threshold is just £5 via Paypal. However, you do pay Paypal fees on any withdrawals under £20, so I like to save my earnings until I have reached the £20 mark. I get a £20-£25 payment every month from Prolific Academic.

Swagbucks is not just a survey website, there are plenty of other ways to earn money, including watching videos and playing games. The great thing about Swagbucks is that there are plenty of ways to redeem your earnings – Paypal and Amazon gift vouchers are the most popular, but there are loads of other vouchers to choose from.

OnePoll have many short and sweet surveys to complete, so this is definitely more of a slow burner. The payout threshold for OnePoll is £40. This can be paid via cheque, Paypal or BACS (direct transfer into your UK bank account). OnePoll suggest that payments take up to 28 days to arrive into your account after requesting a withdrawal.

Mint Vine is another great survey website that has more than just surveys to complete. There is also a daily poll and offers you can complete, such as testing apps on your phone. You can redeem once you have reached 1,000 points, which is $10. Redemptions are made via Paypal.

If you complete online surveys then let me know in the comment below. Are there any companies that you recommend?
Thank you to Emma for writing this post for me to share with you all – I do some survey sites but only use one of these so I’ve learned from this too! 

It’s that time of year, again, when people all over the country are wondering what to do with that day that we, customarily, fill with hearts and flowers. Of course not everyone celebrates Valentines day in the same way, but for those who like to buy gifts I can imagine it gets a little overwhelming when there’s so much choice, so many options and so much space to get things wrong!

 

I am a very strong believer that, in so many cases, chocolate is the answer to many ills. And when I think of luxury brands. of brands that you turn to when you Really want to make that extra effort, it’s always Hotel Chocolat that comes to the forefront as the brand to check out when you want to spoil someone.

 

Hotel Chocolat, very kindly, sent me one of their Valentines day treats in order for me to show you what they have to offer, this year, and maybe offer you some inspiration. That said, just one item doesn’t even touch the surface of what they are selling, so if this particular box isn’t the one for you then hop on over to their Valentines section because there’s gifts of all shapes and sizes over there.
I always fall in love with the packaging from this brand, if you’ve seen my other posts about them you’ll already know this, but this year has really topped the list of pretty packaging for me. I love the geometric heart on the top of the box but, above all else, I love the colours. That almost plummy, raspberry colour with a hint of gold and then that teal mixed in. It’s so so pretty – I know packaging isn’t the be all and end all, but when you’re looking for premium, it really does help. And I think that the Valentine Sleekster says premium through and through.
Again, with the menu, that colour scheme continues and it really is rather beautiful which is, of course, what you’re looking for when you’re buying luxury. And for £22 you really are getting a box full of luxury.
There’s 27 heart shaped chocolates in the box, with a massive range of flavours and some absolutely beautiful designs. From left to right we have the ‘Apple of my Eye’, ‘Blood Orange’, ‘Gin Truffle’, ‘Praline Heart’ and ‘Berry Delightful’.
It’s nice to see that some old favourites, from previous boxes, are still in here, but that it’s been mixed up with some different ideas too.
The last four flavours are ‘Salted Caramel’, ‘Amaretto Almond Kiss’, ‘Passion Fruit Truffle’ and ‘Caramel Gianduja’.
I like how there’s a mixture of types of chocolate for the shells including milk, white, dark and caramel. As well as this there’s a really good balance of fruity fillings, nutty, caramel and alcohol – If you want to get a box that has a good variety in it then this one is definitely worth taking in to consideration.
It was very tough to pick three favourites, for this box, I struggled to narrow it down but it had to be an odd number and five just seemed too many.
The three that stood out to me, the most, were ‘Blood Orange’, ‘Apple of my Eye’ and ‘Salted Caramel’. Salted caramel is a bit of an obvious one, if you know me, as I’ll go for anything salted caramel flavoured, it’s a trend I’ve well and truly embraced – More, though, than that, this is a particularly good example of a salted caramel because it has just the right balance of flavour (there really is no point in salted caramel if you get no salt). This one was under contention with the Praline heart, though, as I’m an absolute sucker for pralines too.
The other two choices are slightly surprising, to me, because I’m not normally drawn to fruity fillings as much but these two were really rather special. ‘Apple of my Eye’ is one I wasn’t totally sure about to begin with because the centre was rather sharp but pairing it with white chocolate was a stroke of genius because, once the apple passes, the creamy which chocolate comes in and it balances the flavours out perfectly. And. with blood orange, it was quite an easy choice as it just worked really well – I think what did it, for me, is how authentic an orange flavour it was. I do like orange chocolates, anyway, but this was such a real orange flavour that it won me over straight away.
And that is the Valentine Sleekster – If you want more ideas then don’t forget to pop over to the whole Valentines range, though I can’t promise that it’ll be an easy decision! And keep an eye out for future special ranges from Hotel Chocolat because the sneak peak of their Easter collection, which I’ll share with you closer to the time, is really rather intriguing looking!

 

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This post contains press samples –

Please see disclaimer here

If you’re a regular reader, here, you’ll know I used to post multiple posts, a month, for beauty box subscription unboxes but, more recently, the posts just haven’t been forthcoming. I’ve, vastly, reduced the amount of boxes I get and even the ones I do get haven’t been making me want to grab my camera and get snapping. But this month has been quite the exception – This month I opened my Birchbox and instantly tweeted them, the box really is the best one I’ve had in a long time. 

Obviously not everyone will get the exact same box but the two items which are my favourites are the two that everyone will get so I am quite confident a lot of people will be happy with this one. If you aren’t a member but decide to sign up after reading this I’d really appreciate if you used my referral link as that’ll get both you, and I, points to spend in the Birchbox shop (and those points do add up quite quickly so I’m sure it wouldn’t be long before you were making a sneaky purchase). My link is – https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/m6bv3

I do quite like that Birchbox are doing special box designs even more regularly, now, I keep some boxes and ones like this one instantly go in to my collection. I love the pattern, the purple stripes, the colour in the diamonds and even the phrase on the front – All in all, even the box is a bit lovely this month. 
The diamond references are linked to a wee collaboration for this month – There are two ways to win yourself some diamonds! One person (sadly not me) will open their box to discover a £200 diamond necklace inside, this month, and then there’s a more standard competition for all subscribers to enter as well. 
I have to show you this, first, because this is the most exciting thing in the box, for me – I’ve wanted to try some Spectrum brushes for a while now but I do have rather a lot of brushes so I’ve been very good and not bought any. The moment I opened the bag, this month, the first thing I saw was this brush and I was over the moon. It’s a ‘Tapered Powder brush’ which lends itself to being used for applying a setting powder to specific areas (if you aren’t someone who wants a full face of powder) or maybe for blush, contour or highlight. I can’t, quite, decide what to try it with first but I can’t wait. It’s SO soft, I keep touching it, I can’t help myself, and So pretty and they’re cruelty free and not bank breakingly expensive. This brush is worth £7.99. 
Next up we have the Ayres body butter in ‘Patagonia’. Listed as a Birchbox exclusive this light, creamy body butter smells really rather lovely. The jar says that it contains essential oils of jasmine and rosemary and that balance of floral and savoury works really well. Floral scents tend to be a bit much for me, these days, but the rosemary really balances this out. It disappears in to the skin almost instantly, unlike other body butters, and the shea butter and vitamin e, that it contains, clearly do a good job as it leaves the skin feeling really, really soft. The jar is a 1oz/28g jar which will give you a good chance to experience the product before deciding upon whether or not you want to try the full size (which costs £19.50 from the BB shop). 
Next up we have an interesting item from the brand LOC which is a new, in house, brand brought to you by Birchbox themselves. I’m very intrigued to see how this little eyeshadow stick stands up against other brands, considering it’s from BB. There were two shades available, which I believe some people were able to pick, but I didn’t get the email for that option. I have got the shade ‘Perfect Cents’ which is a very pretty copper (picture and swatches a bit further down the post), the other shade is ‘Champagne Problems’ which, as you may have guessed, is a champagne shade. I’d have much preferred the champagne shade and may pick it up if I make a Birchbox order any time soon. 
These sticks need to be sharpened to get to more product (I do prefer a twisty end but that’s just me being picky) but the pigmentation seems pretty good, swatch wise. I am a little surprised that this tiny 1.35g stick is the full size, especially as they’re £8, but I am definitely intrigued by the product and it’s something I’m very glad to have got in the box. 
The other cosmetics product from this box is this wee sample of The Balm’s ‘Frat Boy’ blush/shadow (Though I’m instantly going to say this is much more of a blush shade, in my opinion). I really like these little samples from The Balm as they’re a great way to try out a higher value item, but get a decent use out of it. I’ve got a picture of the shade, and a swatch to show you in just a moment. A full size of this blush is £15.50.
And here we have the LOC pencil and the blush from The Balm. As I said, above, the pencil is a nice copper shade, not much more you can say other than that. I really like the shade of the blush, it’s a light, slightly dusky shade with a hint of peach, it’s the sort of shade I love for spring/summer. 
And here’s swatches of them both. You can see they both have a good level of pigmentation, but I can’t say anything about their staying power or application as I’ve not used them yet. But, so far so good. 
This month’s ‘beauty bonus’ is a single make-up remover wipe from Derm Eyes – This, probably, isn’t something I’d normally use but I’m planning on slipping it in to my hospital bag in case the need arises. I haven’t worn a lot of make up recently, but if I do happen to be wearing it on the day I go in to the hospital, I think this’d be a good way to get it off. The price for a full pack of these is £9.50 so I’m interested to see how good they are. 
Lastly, for this month, we have a ‘3-in-1 cleansing emulsion’ from Korres. Cleansers from beauty boxes is something I often pass on to other people because I know that, even if I love it, I won’t be able to afford to buy a full size. But I really do have a soft spot for Korres so I’m going to be keeping hold of this one. It’s a 16ml tube so I can imagine getting a few uses out of it and I’m looking forward to giving it a go. A full size of this is worth £15. 

And that’s the box. With most boxes I keep some products but instantly find myself allocating other’s to friends and family because I know I won’t use them (hence cutting down how many boxes I get) but, this box, I genuinely am going to use every single product and am excited about them all too. The brush is the stand out item, for me, I keep just rubbing it on my skin, as we weird beauty addicts do, as it’s So soft. I definitely need more! 

Again, if you decide to subscribe to this box, I’d really appreciate you using my referral link, it’ll benefit us both so it’s a real win win situation – https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/m6bv3 
Hope anyone who Does sign up gets a fantastic box, and hope those of you who’re already subscribers have had boxes as good as mine, too. What’s the stand out item for you, this month? Either from my box, your own. or other box contents you’ve seen.

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