#BloopLovesXmas Christmas Feature: Last-minute Xmas Gifts!

Has life gotten in the way and left you with little to-no-time-at-all to even think about Christmas gifting? The truth of the matter is, we’ve all been there and Christmas has snuck up on us with no warning! If you’re finding yourself in this dilemma but still want to give your loved ones something thoughtful, then we have the guide for you. Here’s our guide to last-minute Christmas gifts:

Gig/Concert Tickets:

Is a loved one a massive music lover? If you’ve got a fair bit of money behind you, buying gig tickets is one of the best gifts you could give them. While showing (if only slightly fibbing) you’ve made the effort, it shows your loved one that you’ve taken an interest in their taste of music as well. Gutted you didn’t manage to get those Adele tickets at first sale? Ebay will sort you out! If you are willing to pay a fair bit of money for them that is…

Get Baking:

Christmas and feasting go hand-in-hand, and one of the easiest and more personable gifts you could give is food; i.e, YOU making something tasty! Anyone will appreciate that you’ve taken time (or the night before) to bake, and you could even get another family member to help you if need be. So why not bake something traditionally festive such as a gingerbread house? There are tons of recipes online.

Jewellery:

Yes this might seem a little obvious to some, but if you happen to be gifting for a girlfriend, sister or female friend, jewellery is the perfect go-to gift. If she’s particularly girly, something dainty and sparkle will no doubt get her attention. What’s even better is that you don’t have to burn a whole in your pocket with this type of gift either, as you can choose from nearly any shop on the high-street.

Something for the Men:

It is often said that men are notoriously hard to buy for, especially at Christmas; but this doesn’t have to be! If he’s a sports lover, a football biography perhaps? Or a massive geek, get him his own BB8 toy? Usually if you stick to the basics you’ll be able to find something he’ll love.

And if all else fails…

CHOCOLATE! You can never go wrong with it. If you want to go the extra mile, stop by your local Thorntans or Hotel Chocolate, they have a wide range of Christmas gifts that are utterly delicious.

Feeling less panicky now? Wonderful. From all of us at Bloop, we wish you a Merry Christmas!

#BloopLovesXmas Christmas Feature: Tips on Getting into the Christmas Spirit.

So December is here, and its (now) ok to start putting up your festive decorations and get into the full-swing of the Christmas spirit. Although, getting everything ready for Christmas on top of life’s normal responsibilities can be often at times extremely daunting. We will be the first to admit that we’ve honestly lost count on the times Christmas has suddenly crept its way back into our lives with that seems like no warning at all! Due to this, it can be difficult to not get stressed out by the thought of being ready, which can dampen the exciting of the holiday season. Which is why knowing how to get ready for Christmas and taking the right steps to make sure you are ready usually helps in making people feel nicely festive.

Gift Shop in Advance

Naturally, one of the main priorities for Christmas is buying gifts, so try not the leave it to the last minute! A mad rush to find everyone the perfect gift is just pain stressful, and won’t do you any favors in  helping you feel merry – quite the opposite we imagine. Therefore, try to get shopping as soon as you are able to so that it is a calming and enjoyable experience. You could even make a day of it with friends…providing you buy their presents beforehand!

 Take a trip to a Christmas Market

With stalls containing unique gift ideas, rides for kids and many pop-up cafes full of delicious treats, Christmas Markets are sure to get you into the spirit of Christmas. Take the night-off from decorating the tree and bask in authentic Christmas attractions, the atmosphere alone will put you in a cheery mood.

Stay Positive

While Christmas can be an enjoyable time of year, it can also be one of the most stressful – which is why it’s important to have a positive outlook on things no matter how hard it can be at times. If something doesn’t work out like you expected, shake it off and put a positive spin on it. Christmas is about being with loved ones and celebrating what you have, so don’t worry so much and think positive thoughts to lift your spirits.

Help Out

One of the best things about Christmas is that it gives you the chance to give something back, so why not help out at a charity? Nothing quite matches the feeling of doing something productive and helping out those less fortunate, and it might remind you why you should be thankful as well. There are tons of charities that fundraise through Christmas, so get out there and get involved.

 The trick is the keep reminding yourself the true reason for Christmas and not to sweat the small stuff, and hopefully keeping these tips in mind should get you feeling a little more festive!

10 Signs Telling you that you are FAR TOO Excited about Christmas

Ok, we know that we are nearing the end of November and soon you can start opening up those advent calendars, even if you are probably too old to have one! However, don’t you think it might be a little too early to start getting overly excited about Christmas? If you find yourself already listening to that Christmas playlist or are gradually putting up your decorations, chances are you are a little bit too welcoming of the festivities.

We aren’t saying that its a bad thing to be cheerful and happy over this holiday (we at Bloop love Christmas!), but maybe being a little too eager might actually take all the magic out of the day itself? Here at Bloop, we’ve put together a checklist that tells you if you’re already too excited for Christmas:

1. The Christmas playlist is already in full swing on your iPhone, since the start of November!

2. Festive beverages bring an uncontrollable joy to your every-day routine (Thanks Starbucks!).

3. You’ve already watched Elf…twice.

4. And have the rest of the Xmas movie marathon list on standby.

5. You’ve made a makeshift Christmas tree for your Uni house/flat…out of journals, magazines and empty cartons.

6. You happen to find yourself watching Christmas adverts old and new on Youtube.

7. You are on a massive health kick in preparation for Christmas dinner, where you plan to LITERALLY devour all the food.

8. You were wearing that Christmas jumper, in October.

9. You are already drinking mulled wine daily.

10. And you are getting slightly impatient over the fact that it’s still November.

Its ok to be prepared, as it is quite the stressful time of year as well, but maybe reel that excitement back in a little? We give you full permission to get into a frenzy once its December, which is only a few days away!

Black Friday: Everything you Need to Know

So its that time of year again, when in just 2 days time it will be the UK’s (and formally the US) biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday. Where nearly all the major retailers heavily lower the prices of much of their stock, making it the perfect time of year to stock up on presents for the gifting season of Christmas!

Last year in the UK alone, customers spent the hefty sum of £810m overall in online purchases alone, and then on Cyber Monday went on to spend a further £720m – making it clear that we Brits love ourselves a bargain! The retailers who won the Black Friday popularity contest last year were IKEA, and Toys R Us respectively, but who is predicted to win this year I hear you ask? Well, if you’re willing to fight tooth and nail, here’s how you too can find the perfect bargain in time for Christmas:

Amazon:

Amazon always deliver the goods (literally) on Black Friday, with whopping great deals scattered across all of their departments and having even cut the cost on Amazon Prime; its safe to say that this should be your go-to Black Friday bargain finder.

Argos:

Having launched ‘Red, White and Blue Friday’ deals leading up to Black Friday, Argos are definitely encouraging you to spend. These offers having ran both in store and online, and if you’re looking to purchase something that is usually considerably pricey such an Xbox One or Samsung Galaxy Tablet, Argos is the place to get the lowest price possible.

Asda:

Although Asda have exclusively said that they will not be taking part in Black Friday this year after the carnage it caused in recent years, they have instead instead offered a whopping £26m of discounts throughout their store. That means big savings for you, and luckily without the drama that usually happens on Black Friday!

Hopefully this gives you a little insight into what Black Friday will be like in just 2 days time. Here at Bloop, we hope that you find exactly what it is you’re looking for, at the lowest price possible!

Easy Breakfast Tips to make your Morning more Interesting

Waking up in the morning can be a drag to say the least. Whether its going to work, school, or you simply have what feels like a million things to do that day, sometimes it can be hard making a breakfast that sets you right for the day ahead. Luckily, there are a few hacks to making sure you have the right nutrients to go about your day, and they are not only tasty, but also incredibly quick and easy. Here at Bloop, we are massive breakfast fanatics (who isn’t really?), and If you’re bored of the usual cereal brand or piece of toast in the morning, then this is the guide for you! Here’s our top tips to making your breakfast tastier and healthier:

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. Try adding a Superfood to your Brekkie

For health nuts, superfoods are the absolute talk of the town, and with good reason as there are plenty to choose from! Superfoods are a fabulous way to make your breakfast more interesting not only because of the many health benefits (including lifting depression and reducing aging), but they also allow you to get experimental…without spending too much time preparing them. Luckily you can purchase such superfoods like Spirulina (pictured above in our mermaid smoothie bowl) in powdered form from any local health foods store, so you’ll be reaping the benefits of these in no time. And better yet, they require little to no time to prepare!

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. Mix it Up!

It almost goes without saying that having the same breakfast every day is bound to get boring fast, which is why changing it up every so often is a good way to keeping things interesting. Try tricking your taste buds and have a mix of both sweet and savory in the morning with such choices like avocado or peanut buttered bananas on toast? These are incredibly healthy choices, and better yet, they are seriously delicious!

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. Make it Pretty

On social media, foodporn is serious business. Its in our nature to be attracted to something that looks good, and it is just the same with food. So spend a few moments in the day to make your breakfast look pretty as a picture. Making something with fruits, nuts and granola will not only make it look attractive (fantastic for Instagram posts!), but it will also make it taste amazing too!

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. Make it Simple

Of course, you don’t always have to come up with something new and different to make your breakfast choices interesting and healthy. As sometimes, its good to stick to the basics, which also saves A LOT of time! Opt for a choice such as cinnamon bananas for something quick and easy.

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. Prepare the Night Before

If you are the type to truly find yourself in a rush first thing in the morning, or simply just like to stay in bed for as long as possible, then maybe preparing something the night before is the best option. Chop and blend a breakfast smoothie and then freeze it overnight so that its good and ready in the morning, just like our own Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream pictured above…yes, ice cream for breakfast! This is a super easy and utterly healthy breakfast option that we made from raw cacao powder, banana, avocado and coconut milk, that fully satisfies any cravings for sweet food!

How to turn your Instagram Food Images in to Serious Foodporn

Love or loathe them, food images on are an absolute staple on Intagram. With 71 million tags, its safe to say that for some reason we just LOVE looking at other people’s scran. But what takes an everyday food image to next-level foodporn? Well here at Bloop, you may have noticed that we have a knack for making our own Insta pics look utterly mouth-watering…dare we say so ourselves, take a look if you aren’t convinced! As a consequence, we feel that it is only right (and generous) for us to share our top tips on how to make your own food images into serious foodporn:

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#1. Composition:

If you really think about it, instagram food images are really just another branch of food photography – which stems from still life. Therefore, if you have a subject that is placed solely on its own in an image, its going to look pretty dull and boring; which is why composition is key! Adding other objects to your image can inspire a particular mood in any photo, like our own Matcha Green Tea image above. We wanted to create a ‘breakfast’ type of scene, so we added in a yummy muffin and blueberries into the shot creating a relaxed morning meal predisposition. You’ll be amazed by how much interest you’re image will garner with this top tip alone!

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#2. Lighting:

Any keen photographer will tell you that lighting (i.e. natural) is key to taking a good photograph – and the same goes for taking foodporn-worthy Instagram pics. You can use lights and lamps to enhance lighting in images, however it will probably make your pics look too exposed or grainy like the image of the omelette above. How do you tackle this we hear you say? Try taking images near a widow in order to get as much natural light as possible, and DO NOT USE FLASH! If you’re really stuck for decent light, a last resort is editing on apps by increasing the brightness.

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#3. Play with Angles:

A golden rule for anyone who loves snapping up their favourite foods. Playing with angles simply allows you to gain a wider prospective of how your image will look, so try taking a number of pics from different angles to see what looks better.

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#4. Select your Colours & Textures Carefully:

The trick to making some serious Instagram foodporn happen is to know what colours/textures work well together. If you think about it, we are naturally drawn to colours that really pop out from a image, like in the Spirulina smoothie bowl image above – and with its vivid selection of textures in the fruits, this comes across as the better image. So, choose colours that are from a complimentary palette, but don’t be afraid to go bold with certain pieces.

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#5. The Power of Hashtags:

Hashtags are a powerful way of gaining a fanbase, especially if you’re keen to get more Likes and Followers. Searching for particular hashtags is also a way to learn from other Instagrammers and see how they put their images together. HOWEVER – when uploading an image, try not to use too many hashtags as this can look very spammy and that you are trying too hard. Instead, try picking 4-5 specific hashtags that are relevant to your image. An example for the smoothie bowl above would be #superfoodsmoothie or #smoothiebowl, while the ice cream mochi would be #icecream #icecreammochi

Now that you’ve seen our top tips on how to make your instagram food images into some serious foodporn, get out there and get snapping!

Collaborate with Bloop!

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Fancy yourself as a budding writer/blogger and want to have your words seen on our social media? Well here at bloop, we are offering the chance to collaborate on a wide variety of topics and have your work featured on our blog!

Whether you are a journalist student, a full-time blogger or just simply love writing, we want to hear from you.

You don’t have to write bubble tea, although we won’t say no if you do! Whatever topic you want to write about, all we ask is that you bring out your love of writing in the content you produce.

Interested? Then don’t hesitate to contact us with your ideas at hello@bloopbubbletea.com

We can’t wait to hear what you’ve got planned for us!

Winter Is Coming, so look at our top bubble teas to try warm!

 

Now that November is upon us, not only do we have the novelty of channelling our inner Sea Bean by proclaiming that “winter is coming”, but it also means bubble teas are now served warm. You may be wondering exactly what flavours are suited best at a higher temperature, but fear not; as we’ve put together a guide on the best warm bubble teas to aid you in the colder months:

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Grape:

This flavour in particular is wonderful as it’s not unlike mulled wine in taste when served warm, minus the alcohol, of course! You’ll be feeling suitably festive in no time, especially if you add some popping boba such as mango yoghurt bubbles.

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Blueberry:

A surprise addition to our guide, blueberry simply reminds us of the warm sunny days of summer – making it perfect particularly if you are suffering from major Winter blues. Add some blueberry jellies at the bottom to give it that extra sweet kick!

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Hazelnut Latte:

You can’t really write a guide about warm drinks without adding in some form of coffee! Our latest addition to the Bloop Bubble Tea menu is our coffee bubble tea range, which has become incredibly popular. If you are in serious need of some caffeine in the mornings, try out a warm serving of our hazelnut latte with chewy tapioca boba that will give you just the wakeup call you need to get you going!

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Mango:

We are pretty sure that our mango bubble tea (ok, we also have added mango pops & jellies!) tastes even sweeter served hot. Fruit teas are usually always better when served cold, but there’s just something about mango that makes us feel as though it is the ultimate tropical indulgence – and that’s why it’s perfect for cold weather we say!

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Pineapple:

Pineapple has been fairly popular as a staple flavour, but raising the temperature that gently mixes with the shot of tea to create something that is truly mouth-watering. If you prefer less dramatic or quirky flavours, a warm cup of apple bubble tea is definite a go-to.

Here at Bloop, we think you’ll love this refreshing take on a warm beverage during the colder months. If you like your extra strong, why not add another shot of tea to your order? Our friendly staff will be sure to assist you!

Bloopin’ Hell Halloween Photo-Story!

Well,well, well, what a busy weekend it was at Bloop Bubble Tea! On top of the usual excitement that goes alongside the shenanigans of Halloween, we also hosted our very own spooky event. Here’s the lowdown of what went on at Bloopin’ Hell Halloween:

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We wanted to join in on all the festivities, so we thought we’d get into the true spirit of the spookiest day of the year and transform our cafe into a setting reflected Sci-Fi Horror. Naturally of course, a few staple Halloween pieces such as our giant spider and creepy critters made it into the cafe’s decor as well.

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When we decided that we would decorate the cafe, our staff couldn’t help but want to join in, so we let them put together their very own costumes to go alongside our chosen theme.

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Customers were so impressed by the attention to detail (and not to mention dedication) we put into our costumes, that many wanted to take snaps after they had purchased a drink!

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The staff of Bloop Bubble Tea were also surprised to see that even a few of our customers joined in on the festivities and dressed up especially for our own little Halloween event.

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The staff and cafe weren’t the only things that were heavily influenced by the spirit of Hallow’s Eve, as our drinks menu also had a spine-chilling spin with strawberry and chocolate syrup pouring down them to a give off more sinister look. Our exclusive Halloween drink, Paranormal Papaya also proved to be incredibly popular among our customers with its refreshingly tropical taste.

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And of course, it wouldn’t be Halloween without gorging on a sufficient amount of  sweets and chocolate!

We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who attended our Halloween event, see you at Christmas!

How To Throw A Scarily Good Last-Minute Halloween Party!

So you’ve been bold enough (or, reluctantly cornered by your mates!) to throw a Halloween party! While that may have sounded like an awesome idea at the time, chances are that if you’re like most people, you’ve also left everything last minute as well. Probably not the best way to start off planning a shindig, but sometimes the thought of organizing a party can sound daunting, no matter how much you like partying. However despite poor planning, that doesn’t mean that you can’t throw a great party; because lets face it, some of the best parties you’ve been to have likely been an impulsive idea. Here at Bloop, we’ve decided that we’d help along with throw a scarily good last minute Halloween party in a few simple steps:

Decorate Your House:

It goes almost without saying that if you plan on having a Halloween party, you simply have to set the creepy scene with spooky decor. This can be done fairly easily with a quick trip to your local supermarket if you’re really in a hurry, but if you want your abode to stand out a little more, then why not make your own decorations? With help from friends (and bribe them with sweets!), you could carve out pumpkins and make your own ugly horror decorations in no time!

Make A Halloween Party Menu:

Here at Bloop, we think one of the main reasons why we love Halloween in particular is the food. That doesn’t necessarily mean sweets and chocolate (although, we won’t say no to that either), as you could always devise an Autumn-themed menu based from savory and sweet Harvest foods as an alternative. However, if that seems like too much effort, why not make your own Halloween cocktails? From blood orange cocktail, to a smokin’ skull shot, there are all kinds of creepy cocktail recipes that you can find online. So get creative!

Scary Silver Screen and Spooky Soundtracks:

Another way to give your party an eerie feel is to have horror movies on in the background while playing some of your favourite Halloween tunes. Make a playlist of some of the most well-known Halloween music (yes, we are talking about Thriller and Nightmare before Christmas!) and play it alongside some of the best Horror films for something that will really scare your friends.

 And Finally, Get Yourself a Halloween Costume:

This doesn’t mean bring out the SAME costume from last year, although if you are that much of a hurry, we are sure you’re friends will forgive you. However if you are up for the challenge, you could get really creative and make a DIY costume based off something from film and entertainment. Stuck for ideas? Then check out our Halloween costume guide, that will be sure to inspire you!