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December 31, 2013

Christmas Cards// Jess and I at Lincoln Christmas Market// Our little Christmas tree (and new blinds)// Presents!

Interesting way to spell my name// Trying out the L'Oreal TXT supersizing spray// Baubles// Reading a bit of HP

Best face ever// Pretty fairy lights in the barn// Charlie loving Christmas Day// Primark boots

More Primark buys// View from Greenwich Royal Observatory// One Direction DVDs// Christmas Jumper party!


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Christmas 2013

December 28, 2013

 

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have all had a lovely few days and have eaten far too much food. I have had a great Christmas. It's been the first one in my parents new home in Lincoln and I've got two weeks off work so am enjoying a long break.

Christmas Eve was spent watching Despicable Me 2 in 3D and then heading out for some Christmas Carols in Lincoln Cathedral. We finished with a meal at Wagamama (Chicken Katsu Curry for me!) and then headed home for a cup of tea and to get ready for Father Christmas to pay us a visit. 

On Christmas Day we had french toast for breakfast (with maple syrup and icing sugar, oh yeah) and then started on the presents. Charlie had probably the most fun - he helped us unwrap every present and a few of his own. By 11am he was exhausted and sleeping amongst the wrapping paper (as you can see in the photos). Christmas dinner followed and we had some great crackers with conversation starters accompanying the jokes- such a good idea! The day ended with the Downton Christmas special and lots of chocolate.

Boxing Day was spent seeing family and then yesterday the Christmas cheer continued with a Christmas Jumper party at our house. We even had a fabulous cake from Choccywoccydoodah as my Auntie Jen works there.

I hope everyone has had a great one and some fun plans for New Years Eve! Bring on 2014.

Orla Kiely Geranium and Myrrh Mini Candle and Diffuser Set

December 23, 2013

I have always been a big fan of Orla Kiely and all of her lovely prints. I only recently discovered that she did a range of fragrances which include candles and diffusers. 

The Orla Kiely Geranium and Myrrh Mini Candle and Diffuser Set comes in one of her most recognised patterns and even the box can be kept and used (currently housing a few of my foundations!).

I wasn't sure if I would like the fragrance as thought it could be a bit overwhelming but the diffuser is currently making my bedroom smell divine. I am a huge fan of diffusers - they are so subtle but fill the room with scent and are far long lasting than candles. The candle is also really gorgeous and has been flickering in our living room for the past couple of days. I know it's a typical beauty blogger thing but I really do love a candle!

It doesn't look like you can buy this set from the Orla Kiely website and it's sold out on FeelUnique and Ocado - however I've found it on ChemistDirect for £19.99.

Recommendations for 2014 - your help needed!

December 21, 2013

I have shamelessly stolen this idea from my sister, Jess. This morning she sent round a survey link asking all of her friends and family for some recommendations for books, songs and films. Her mission in the New Year is to read, watch and listen to more of her family and friends' favourites which I think is a rather lovely thing to do.

I thought I'd do a similar thing through my blog - create a 2014 list filled with recommendations from my blog friends. I've created a neat little survey which I would LOVE for you to complete with as many or as little recommendations as you wish. 

I'll make sure to share the list when it's ready as hopefully others can benefit from it too and get some inspiration for new things to watch, listen and read. 

Neom Organics Bath & Shower Indulgence Set

December 20, 2013

Another day, another lovely offering from Neom. This time it's a great little set that would make a perfect stocking filler. The dinky little gift box comes with six mini bottles of bath and shower oils to truly treat yourself.

The collection contains three beautiful and best-selling fragrances with each one designed to give you a specific treatment. Complete Bliss (Moroccan blush rose) is mood enhancing, Real Luxury (lavender, jasmine and rosewood) is a sophisticated treat for some light pampering and Tranquility (English lavender, sweet basil & jasmine) creates a state of calm and induces sleep.

The essential oil content is very high so you only need a small amount- Neom recommend using one to two capsules per bath. I am completely in love with Neom's bath oils. Tranquility is my favourite fragrance and even just thinking about it is making me sleepy! They fill your whole bathroom with the most beautiful scent and are better than any bubble bath I've tried in terms of keeping the fragrance throughout the bath. I think I will be purchasing the full size soon!

I haven't tried these in the shower but according to Neom the best way to use them in this way is to apply a similar amount to the body before getting in.

The Mini Bath & Shower Indulgence Set costs £19 and can be purchased from www.NeomOrganics.com

#TweetsOnTheTower

December 18, 2013

Today I wanted to post about something pretty cool that BT are doing over the next few days. In a nutshell, people will have the opportunity to display personal Christmas messages from the top of the BT Tower on their big information bands in front of millions of Londoners.

So, how do you make this happen? To get a message displayed all you have to do is tweet your Christmas message to @bt_uk with the #TweetsOnTheTower.

Tweets will ideally need to be between 70 and 100 characters long and the best tweets (in terms of content, humour, charm and relevance) will then be chosen with the display going live from 4pm each day that the event is running. There will be 12 tweets displayed every two hours so your tweet would have between 10-12 minutes of air time and if yours is chosen you will be tweeted a special Vine video clip so you can share it with all of your friends and family.

The campaign starts tomorrow and ends on Saturday and the tweets will be live on the BT Tower between 4pm and 10pm.

It'd be pretty amazing to see your tweet up there as the BT Tower can be seen from most places in the centre of London! I wonder if there will be any Christmas proposals?!

Love Me Beauty - December Box

December 16, 2013


I last reviewed a BeautecoBox in July and since then the company have had a re-brand and are now known as Love Me Beauty (a much more catchy name, I'm sure you'll agree).

The concept of Love Me Beauty* is exactly the same - each month you can choose from three menus or you can have it as a surprise. The cost is £10 per box plus P&P and can be cancelled at any time. Each box has 4/5 products. 

If you're interested in signing up they are offering a 20% discount code for first time orders - just enter LMBBB20 on the delivery section (valid till 10th Jan) - quite useful if you fancy buying someone a subscription for Christmas, or  just treating yourself.

Anyway, onto the good stuff. In my box I received:

Lord & Berry Intensity Lipstick in Glazed Pink (full size) - 'Pucker up with Lord & Berry Intensity Lipstick. Rich and silk, the hydrating formula is enriched with macadamia oil and waterlily extracts to keep your lips in pristine condition'.

Lord & Berry Kiss Proof Lip Liner in 'Romantica' (full size) - 'Enhance lips with Lord & Berry Kissproof Lip Liner. Enriched with macadamia oil and waterlily extracts, the waterproof formula creates long-lasting and precise lines.'

Headline Colours Nail Polish in Quicksand (full size) - 'The salon-approved Headline Colours formula boasts a high colour pigment for a rich, intense colour and gloss, plus UV absorbers for staying power'.

S5 Restore Cream (50ml) - 'Advanced anti-ageing moisturiser for normal-dry, sensitive skin. The cream contains Desert Glycoproteins which are natural proteins used to increase the hydration of skin by up to 30%, Arctic Rhodiola to help skin adapt to stress caused temperature fluctuations and Marine Laminaria to protect against sun damage and radiation.'

Rodial Glamtox Day (15ml) - 'This daily moisturiser with SPF is an innovative formula that combines daily hydration with wrinkly plumping agents. With micro-injected hyaluronic spheres and Mryhh extract, Glamtox Day helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines while hydrating and protecting the skin against moisture loss'

I've only tried the lipstick which is really lovely- very creamy and moisturising which is always a winner for lipstick. I have swatched the lipstick and lip liner (lip liner is the very pink thin line) on my hand so you can see the shades. I am most excited about the Rodial Glamtox as I have heard good things about them and the RRP for the full size is £75!

You can find out more at lovemebeauty.comlovemebeauty.com

Ville De Fleurs

December 14, 2013
Villedefleurs

Products from top left-clockwise: Handmade Sweet Orange Soya Candle; Peonia Pink Lip Tint/Blusher; Lavender Dead Sea & Epsom Bath Salts; Golden Pumpkin Face and Decolletage Elixir; Nutters Hand Cream; Flower Power Pink Himalayan Bath Salts


Today I wanted to share a brand that has been recommended to me by a lovely family friend who had tried the Pumpkin Elixir and had great things to say. Ville De Fleurs is a small (but quickly growing) business which is run by a lady called Tatiana. Tatiana's interest in flowers and skincare began after spending time in her Grandma's garden and being taught natural skin care recipes. She started creating her own skincare products and was so overwhelmed with compliments from friends and family that it developed into a larger business. 

All of the products from Ville De Fleurs are natural and organic - and look beautiful. There are a wide range of items available from candles, to bath salts and hand creams. They are all reasonably priced - the Nutters Hand Cream (one of their bestsellers) is £6.99 and the bath salts are £10. The candles are slightly more pricy at £20.99 but it's not unexpected for an organic candle - they also have 45 hours of burn time.

It's always nice to promote smaller companies and I'm going to try and do this more. If you need some extra presents for Christmas then the Ville De Fleurs website is a great place to visit.

Conscious Skincare Bath Soak

December 12, 2013


Conscious Skincare is a new brand that I've come across and am quite excited by. They are a British organic skin and body care brand that is made at the company's rural retreat in Wales. All of their products are free from chemicals, synthetics and preservatives and high performance ingredients are key in all of their products with a focus on quality over quantity. Every ingredient serves a specific purpose to benefit the skin and nothing extra is added for the sake of filling, colour, fragrance or bleaching.

All of their products are beautifully packaged and most also come with the option of gorgeous gift boxes and ribbons for no extra cost - a perfect idea for Christmas. I absolutely adore the packaging- it looks luxurious and classy and would make a beautiful present. The gift box may be 100% recyclable but I couldn't throw it away and so my Mum will be finding a use for it!

The Conscious Skincare Bath Soak* is claimed as being for the ultimate luxurious bathing experience. It contains an indulgent blend of organic ingredients and has an aromatherapy scent to turn your bath into an at home spa treatment. As expected this product is completely free from chemicals and synthetic preservatives.

The Conscious Skincare Bath Soak is available in two fragrances: Grapefruit, Lemon and Cedarwood to uplift the senses, clear the mind, soothe aching muscles and tone the skin; or Sweet Orange and Frangipani to evoke feelings of calm and peace and detoxify the skin.

I have tried the Sweet Orange and Frangipani offering and it makes for a really gorgeous bath experience. The scent is very sweet, but not sickly and is very much like tangerine oranges! It makes the water slightly cloudy but doesn't turn it orange.

The Bath Soak costs £15.99 and can be purchased from www.conscious-skincare.com

A Festive December Weekend

December 10, 2013
 
On Friday I took a half day off work and made my way to Lincoln for a lovely weekend with the family. I'm sure I've mentioned before but in September this year my parents made a big move from Surrey to the Lincolnshire fields. They bought a gorgeous converted barn and have a whole new life up there which they are very much enjoying. 

We spent the weekend decorating the Christmas trees. The larger one in the last photo is yet to be finished but we started decorating it with white and clear baubles, and the one in the living room had a red theme. I now need to get our London tree up!

I also took a couple of photos of the little festive touches that my Mum has added around the home. She is also a pro at a homemade wreath so will have to post some images of these when she makes some (are you reading Mum?).

We spent Saturday afternoon and evening at the Lincoln Christmas Market which is absolutely huge and definitely worth a visit - if you can make it up Steep Hill! I had some mulled wine, roasted chesnuts and even some candyfloss. We did see a couple eating an ice cream which was a bit strange as it was freezing - but whatever floats your boat! The Christmas Market was followed by a quick stop for some fish and chips which we devoured at home.

I made the most of hanging out with Charlie dog too - miss that guy so much when I'm in London so need to get the maximum number of hugs in (even though I enjoy them way more than he does- see picture evidence above!). We went on a walk in the fields around the barn, and then visited a nearby lake which he had a big swim in. He adores the water! We came back with a very mucky pup.

It was a lovely weekend with my family and I have come back feeling more Christmassy than ever - tomorrow is our work team Christmas lunch so the festivities can continue!

The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector

December 08, 2013

I have spent the weekend in Lincoln with my parents and while I was there, my Mum introduced me to this wonderful hand cream from The Body Shop - their Hemp Hand Protector. This had been highly recommended to her by a friend and I could see why straightaway.

The Hemp Hand Protector is one of The Body Shop's bestsellers (there are almost 2000 reviews on their site and 98% would recommend to a friend). It has been dermatologically tested for very dry skin and contains Community Trade hemp seed oil.

Now, I don't suffer from particularly dry hands but do like to use a hand cream regularly. This is an uber hand cream in my opinion - the consistency is really thick and you only need a small amount. It absorbs quickly and doesn't feel sticky, but leaves almost a film on your hands so if you like a hand cream that you can use and then get on with other things then you might want to keep this as a night-time hand moisturiser.

It really does the job - it makes your hands feel moisturised and just feels like a good 'drink' for your skin. I have already ordered one for myself. The 30ml bottle costs 35 and the 200ml bottle costs £10.

I wanted to get this post up as soon as I could as The Body Shop currently have 50% off everything online and also have free standard delivery on orders above £5. What is your favourite product from The Body Shop?

November Favourites: My Top Three

December 05, 2013

♥ L'Oreal Paris EverRiche Perfect Elixir - this product is another gem in the L'Oreal EverRiche range. It is a spray-on and rinse out mask. Simply spritz into hair after using your conditioner, leave for a few moments and then wash out. I do enjoy using a hair mask but sometimes I don't have the time to wait 5 minutes for it to work it's magic - this is perfect as you can use it really quickly and it's very no-fuss. The results are great- it's really helped my dry ends and smells divine (as all of the EverRiche products do).

♥ Organic Surge Overnight Sensation Night Cream - this night cream is different to others that I've tried. It's very thick and requires a little bit of massaging into the skin, but does not feel heavy. It's a really great scent to use before bedtime as is filled with organic rose geranium essential oils. 

♥ Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash/Mask - I remember Laura blogging about this forever ago (when she was Lollipop26!) and after using up my Balance Me face wash I needed to buy another. This Neutrogena wash/mask is fantastic - it's cheap but does the job well. I've been using it every morning and night and once a week as a face mask - it is a creamy formula with some very tiny exfoliating beads which leave skin feeling really clean and refreshed.

A stroll around Greenwich

December 03, 2013
On Saturday it was Chris' 27th birthday but due to some bad planning we had a new boiler installed that day which meant we had to stay in and couldn't do anything fun. Happy Birthday Chris - have a new boiler! Yay.

We decided to eat out on Friday instead and so enjoyed a yummy dinner at Pizza East in Shoreditch. It's a really cool place to eat, the service was great and the pizzas were super tasty. I had one with Prosciutto cotto, tomato, mozzarella and artichoke, which I highly recommend.

On Sunday we were ready to leave the house after all of the boiler fun so decided to walk to Greenwich and visit the Royal Observatory. Greenwich is only a half hour walk from our house so it's really handy and I just love it. The weather was winter-y, but not too cold and all of the trees looked so beautiful with their Autumn leaves.

We strolled through Greenwich Market, made a stop at Greggs for a steak bake for Chris (you can take a boy out of Yorkshire...) and then walked up to the Royal Observatory. It's a bit of a climb but the view is so worth it. You can see so many London landmarks from St. Pauls to the Olympic Stadium.

We then made our descent, had a quick look at the Cutty Sark and began our walk home. The last photo is from the park that our street overlooks- through the trees is our little flat. I had to grab a photo while the sun was going down. Very lovely!