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Instagram - May

May 31, 2013

Enjoying a Costa hot chocolate (with marshmallows and cream of course)// Lovely Blackheath// Magnum Double Caramel on the hot bank holiday weekend// Sleeping pup//  Bleeding Hearts// Sushi snack from Wasabi// New Primark pumps// Throwback Thursday - Chris and I in Lyon on our interrailing trip in 2008// Charlie missing Mum and Dad// New Graze porridge box// Cocktails in Las Iguanas// Another hot chocolate in John Lewis Home cafe// Snoozing friends// Reading in the garden// Walking the pooch// A Daisy in a field of daisies      

May Favourites: My Top Three

May 29, 2013

♥ Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation - I can't speak highly enough of this foundation. It is a dream and all of the hype is justified! The colour was a tad dark for me during winter but has been perfect since my Florida holiday. It blends so well, has a lovely glowy finish and lasts on my skin. Even better is that it is often on offer in Boots or Superdrug, and even at full price is so worth it. I will be repurchasing as soon as it runs out!

♥ Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow in Tough as Taupe -  I bought a couple of these in the States and think this shade is called 'Permanent Taupe' in the UK. I have been really impressed with this- it is such a perfect shade and so easy to just swipe on my eyelids in the morning with my finger. It doesn't last 24 hours (who wears eyeshadow for that long anyway?) or even all day but I adore the shade and the fact that it doesn't crease at all which is often common with cream shadows.

♥ Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful - I wish I had bought more of these when in Florida as they are perfectly pigmented (ie. not too crazy, not too little) and the shades are gorgeous. This shade was recommended to me as suits every skin tone and it is a gorgeous pinky/coral colour. It is long-lasting and a great summer colour.

L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise EverRiche

May 27, 2013

Last year I signed up to be a L'Oreal Insider - click here to register. It's definitely worth registering for as you can get money off vouchers (you can choose your product preferences so that they are tailored for what you like) and you are occasionally sent samples of products to try- some of which are full size. The Hair Expertise EverRiche range arrived in the post for me a couple of months ago and I have finally gotten round to trying it.

EverRiche is the latest addition to the Hair Expertise line and I received the Nourishing & Flowing shampoo and conditioner for dry, fine hair and the Nourishing Intense Mask. They also have a Nourishing & Taming shampoo and conditioner which is for dry and rebellious hair.

The products are enriched with Botanical Oils and non-sulphate cleansing surfactants (a word I have never heard before!) and aims to leave hair nourished and flowing. They are aimed for dry hair and my hair is more oily/normal, however as I have it highlighted fairly regularly the ends are dry and so I like to use a nourishing range occasionally.

The best thing about this range is the scent- it smells divine! It is Camelina and Apricot Seed but I almost find it a bit coconut-y. It's hard to describe but it's my favourite ever shampoo/conditioner fragrance.  

My thoughts on this are mixed. I loved the scent and how silky and manageable it made my hair initially- especially the mask which made my hair feel crazy smooth, however as the product is so rich it made my hair get greasy quite quickly and it looked quite limp. This is probably because my hair is not the target for these three products and also because I may have used too much product- a little goes a long way so I will be trying smaller amounts next time.

The shampoo and conditioner cost £5.99 and the mask costs £6.99.

The Daily Commute

May 24, 2013

At the end of March, Chris and I moved back to my parents’ house in Surrey. We have moved back for a few months so that we can save some pennies and hopefully buy a flat in London.

I have gone from a 15 minute bus journey to an hour and a half door to door commute- I’ve become one of those people who sits in the same area of the train every day and has become a pro at weaving through people in rush hour at Waterloo station.

If the journey was going to be a permanent fixture rather than a temporary thing, then I’m sure I’d be feeling different but at the moment I am quite enjoying this time to myself. I have been flying through the books on my Kindle, reading the Metro and Evening Standard every day- in addition to Stylist on a Tuesday and the ES magazine on a Friday. I have also been enjoying reading Allure on the Zinio app on my iPad. Throw in a bit (a lot) of candy crush and some train napping and it’s quite a nice 3 hours every day.

It’s not all fun of course- there are always the irritating other commuters that you have to deal with- the men who have to take up half of my seat by sitting with their legs apart, the people who take up a seat with their bag on the packed train home and the very loud lady shouting on her phone.

What is your commute like? What do you do to pass the time? I know this is a different post from my usual but I’m quite enjoying a move to more of the lifestyle posts as well as beauty.

Father's Day Gift Ideas

May 22, 2013
Father's Day is on the 16th June and so it is time to start thinking of gift ideas. I always find it difficult to buy for my Dad- mainly because he says he doesn't want anything and it's just so much harder to choose presents for men! I've been having a think and a browse of the interweb and have come up with some ideas that will hopefully be helpful. I also hope you enjoy the photo above of David Beckham- entirely necessary in my opinion!

Photobook/photo mug/ photo jigsaw- you get the gist! - I asked my Dad for his thoughts and he said that these personalised photo presents are his favourite and really mean the most. I have done many of these kind of presents in the past and they always go down a treat. I mostly use Snapfish and they have a special Fathers Day page here.



Shaving Set - you can find some beautiful shaving sets online such as the Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Set pictured above (£32) and the M&S Heritage Shaving Kit (£15). They typically come with a shaving brush and a shaving cream and makes a lovely gift.

Men's pamper/skincare set - there are so many of these handy kits around. I really like the Liz Earle Men's Try-Me Kit (£19.75) which includes the Cleanse & Polish cleanser, Shave Cream, After-Shaving Moisturiser, Face & Body Wash and a muslin cloth. 


Experience days - if you want something different then experience days are a fantastic gift for Father's Day. I've used Red Letter Days to buy these in the past and they have a great choice. The driving experiences are my Dad's favourite and the Silverstone Superchoice Driving Thrill is currently on offer for £79. You can buy tours of football stadiums, a tank driving experience(!) and even a day of Secret Agent training! The Red Letter Days website can be found here.

♥  Lego Architecture - Lego Architecture is brilliant. It's basically Lego for adults and has a great range of buildings such as the Sydney Opera House, the Empire State Building and the Burj. I bought my Dad the Big Ben set (£22.99) and he loved it!

*this post contains a sponsored link

Limited Edition Neom Enchantment Candle

May 19, 2013

Meet the new limited edition scent from Neom - Enchantment* (such a lovely name). It is described as a magical scent that combines the soft, floral scent of bluebell with sweet guiaiacwood and rose and there are also notes of honeysuckle and geranium. Neom promises 'the most sparkling, sunny scent that leaves you uplifted while quietly renewed and full of hope'. I absolutely love the fragrance of this candle- it is my favourite scent that Neom have released and is just so spring-like and beautiful. I don't burn candles so much in summer time but for this one I have definitely made an exception.

As you can, the candle looks slightly different to their usual range which come in clear glass holders- it has been created in limited edition white glass and comes with a beautiful wooden cap. I love the look of this candle- it looks so classy and extra special. 

There is also an Enchantment Reed Diffuser available and for every Enchantment Home Candle or Diffuser sold, Neom will donate £1 to the Woodland Trust to improve the landscape of Britain, by planting more trees and protecting our national heritage of precious ancient woodland. You can watch a video that Neom have created with bluebell woods and their support of the woodland trust here.

I know that I post a lot about Neom but I really do think that they are a fantastic brand - in additional to the candles being made from natural waxes (rather than paraffin wax which is derived from petroleum- one of the biggest environmental contributors of carbon dioxide) they are also made in the UK so really eco-friendly. So much love for Neom!

The Enchantment Candle costs £42 and can be bought from www.neomorganics.com.


H&M homeware

May 16, 2013
H&M homeware


3. Tray £6.99
4. Round glass vase £7.99
5. Jar £4.99
6. Egg cup £1.99
7. Basket £6.99
8. Blanket £34.99
Chris and I are hoping to buy our own home this year and are busy looking at potential flats in London. All very exciting (albeit stressful with the fast moving market!) and I've become obsessed with looking at items for the home and creating new boards on Pinterest.

I was excited to find the homeware section on the H&M website as it has so many lovely things at really reasonable prices! The items above are some of my favourites that I picked out and will be very tempted to buy when we own a place. 

Summer Prep - Hair Removal

May 14, 2013
Preparing for summer

As I sit on the sofa, looking out of the window at the rain pouring down it is hard to feel like we are ever going to have a spring or summer! But it's better to think positive (otherwise I might go crazy) and so I thought I'd do a post about getting those pins ready for some sunshine. Not the most glamorous of posts but it's a necessity!

In an ideal world I would pay for the best laser hair removal as having smooth legs for the rest of my life is highly appealing, and would save me a lot of time! It is a pricey treatment however, and so for the moment I am sticking to my usual way of de-fuzzing. 

Back when I was  young my Mum scared me by telling me that shaving would make the hair on my legs grow back thicker and spiky (this was true) and so I started removing the hair on my legs by using hair removal cream (4). The creams are easy to use although do take a bit longer than shaving. Simply put the cream on your legs, wait about 5 minutes and then remove with the spatula that comes with it. I used to hate having to apply the cream with my hands as it was such a strong scent which is why Veet's Spray On Hair Removal Cream looks like a great idea.

After using these creams for a while I moved onto shaving (1) and this is what I have used for hair removal ever since. The best razor in my opinion is the Gillette Venus range- I tried the Gillette Venus & Olay razor while in Florida and loved it- as you shave it also moisturises and doesn't leave you with dry skin that needs a heavy dose of body lotion!

Another popular way to remove hair is by using an epilator (3)- even typing the word makes me wince! I tried the Braun Silk-epil 7 Dual Epilator which can be used on wet or dry skin. I tried it once and couldn't bear it so it was handed straight to my Mum who has used it since and loves it. She says that it gets far less painful once you start using it regularly but you do have to keep it up! My friend uses one too though and finds it fine so I guess it is all about pain threshold. As you have probably gathered- I have a low one! Epilating is great for removing the most tiny of hairs (as it literally pulls them all out!) and so leaves your skin super smooth for up to four weeks.

And finally onto waxing (2)- again something I have only dabbled in as waxing the bottom of my legs just hurt TOO MUCH. I have only had mine done professionally but there are so many great at home waxing kits that you can use these days- the Veet EasyGrip Ready-to-Use Wax Strips just need to be warmed between your hands before putting on your skin and removing it.

So they're your main options this summer for getting your legs lovely and smooth. What do you use to get your legs nice and silky?


*this post contains a sponsored link

Neom Scent With Love Body Care Set

May 07, 2013
Neom have done it again with another gorgeous gift set - I just adore their products and could happily fill my house with them. This time it is the Neom Scent With Love Body Care Set* and as soon as I took the products out and started smelling them I immediately felt like I was in a spa.

The set is priced at £35 and is a great introduction to Neom's bath and body range. They are so well known for their candles and home scents and it's easy to forget that they have a large range of bath and body products. 

As always, the products are presented beautifully in a Neom gift box which would make it a perfect present- my Mum (a lover of nice boxes) has already stolen the box to make use of it! It contains the following four products:

Neom Complete Bliss Hand Cream (50ml) - with an anti-oxidizing acai berry and nourishing argan oil for super-soft hands enveloped in the scent of Moroccan blush rose. This hand cream is lovely- I hate it when a hand cream leaves your hands feeling sticky and luckily this one absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves them feeling really nourished.

Neom Tranquility Bath & Shower Oil (30ml) - with 30% essential oils of English lavender, sweet basil and jasmine to guarantee the best night's sleep. This is a real gem- you only need a tiny drop to make the whole bathroom smell amazing and it leaves your skin feeling gorgeous and soft- just be careful as as with all bath oils, it makes the bath slippery!

Neom Sensuous Body Wash and Neom Sensuous Body Lotion (50ml) - with a deep scent of ylang ylang, frankincense and patchouli. The body wash is a pleasure to use- a total spa-like experience, and the scent stays on your skin. The body lotion was not as much of a success as although it smells gorgeous, the glass bottle makes it difficult to get the product out and I found that it took a bit of time to absorb into the skin.

You can buy this set from www.NeomOrganics.com

Instagram - April

May 05, 2013
 Our Disney tickets - keeping them for the memories
Charlie enjoying the garden, his collection of sticks and the sunshine
♥ Posting about Florida
♥ Ben & Jerry's out in full force on a Saturday night- uh oh
Loving the Maybelline Baby Lips in peach
Florida beauty purchases!
♥ Dad entering the dangerously addictive world of Candy Crush
Bought two issues of Allure while in the US- fantastic mag!
♥ So nice to come back to sunshine in the UK 

Bath & Body Works PocketBacs

May 03, 2013
In Florida we paid a visit to The Mall at Millenia (a gorgeous mall- highly recommend!) and there was a Bath & Body Works store there. I was in heaven looking round it and if Chris wasn't with me I could have spent hours there! I bought a Fragrance Mist in their new scent called Beautiful Day which was only 14 dollars and smells divine. 

I also went a bit crazy on their anti-bacterial sprays- which they call PocketBacs. It was 5 for 5 dollars and so I had fun choosing five scents. We kept using them in the theme parks and they went down very well in the family- they don't have that horrible alcoholic/chemical smell that you usually find with anti-bac sprays and just smell delicious. 

I will stop rambling now as they're not the most sexy of products but they smell good, do the job and are a perfect mini size!

Florida!

May 01, 2013
1. Disney balloons!
2. Waiting for EPCOT to open- Chris not yet used to the Florida routine of early mornings!
3. Animal Kingdom
4. So many cheesecakes at where else but The Cheesecake Factory!
5. My sister, Jess at Animal Kingdom
6. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure
7.  Chris driving our hired Mustang
8. An evening shot of our beautiful villa pool
9. Posing with Marilyn at Universal Studios
10. The Magic Kingdom castle at night

On the 3rd of April my family, Chris and I jetted off to Florida for just over two weeks of sunshine, Disney and a lot of fun! I have been four times before but it was Chris' first visit to my favourite place in the world. We had the best time ever and did so much- we did all of the Disney parks and waterparks, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Kennedy Space Centre too. Our 'rest days' were spent shopping and hanging around the villa pool.

I always have the best time in Orlando- I am at my happiest when I'm out there. We always stay in the same villa so it now feels like a home away from home and it was so great to have Chris with us and to see him loving it all too. I have had the worst holiday blues since coming home and just want to go back- Florida is the only holiday where I get that feeling and is probably why people book to go back as soon as they are home! I think Disney put you under a spell when you arrive which means you are forever attached to the place!

I also wanted to mention our flights there and back which were seamless. We flew direct with Virgin Atlantic and both journeys went without a glitch, the in-flight entertainment was fantastic and the cabin crew were brilliant. Chris, my Dad and brother are all nervous flyers but they found it all fine and this was definitely because of how smooth everything was- from checking in online to landing.

I took so many photos so have just picked a few to share- it was so difficult narrowing them down! Have you been to Florida before? Are you a Disney addict like me? I love chatting to fellow Orlando junkies!