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Monthly Summary: June

June 29, 2014
You can follow me on Instagram here.

Doing
  • Had a lovely day with three blog friends who I've known for a long time now. You can check out Zoe's blog here and Nikki's blog here. Nikki makes beautiful wedding stationery so definitely check her out if you are getting married and need some invites!
  • Missed Florida a whole lot and talked about going back next year. We will see.
  • Celebrated a colleague's wedding at Ham Polo Club. We got a bit carried away with the photobooth- you can see one of the photos in my Instagram collage above.
  • Spent a long weekend in Lincoln visiting my family. The weather was beautiful so I spent a lot of time chilling in the garden with my Kindle and chatting with my Mum. We walked Charlie, made a delicious lemon drizzle cake, drank a lot of tea and bought too much in the shops- my Mum is such a bad influence!
  • Went down to Surrey to my friend Lizzie's house for a BBQ with friends and boyfriends. It was a beautifully sunny day so we enjoyed sitting outside, eating lots of meat and then playing Rapidough and The Last Word. Girls thrashed the boys, obvs.

Reading: 

Watching:
  • Orange is the New Black - my sister got into this way before everyone else but I didn't start watching it until the hype sucked me in. I have just finished series 1 and watched it in a week- so so good! Crazy Eyes is my fave.
  • Modern Family - I adore this show. If you haven't seen it I really recommend watching a few episodes. It has won so many awards (for good reason) and is just hilarious. Cam, Phil and Gloria are my faves!
  • Zoe and Sammi have posted great videos talking about anxiety and how to deal with it. Anxiety is a big thing in my family as my Dad and brother suffer from it so I always find these kind of videos interesting.

 What have you been up to June? I hope it's been a great month! 

Skin Chemists Rapid Facial and Vitamin Serum

June 26, 2014
When I was contacted about the Skin Chemists brand, I was not familiar with their name but had heard all about their Wrinkle Killer Snake Serum (which was a huge hit in 2010 and propelled the company to fame). Their philosophy is all about producing pioneering skin treatments that really work and where you can see the results quickly.

Their website sells a huge range of products - and admittedly at a very high price point. I have been trying out their Rapid Facial and their Vitamin Serum. 

Skin Chemists Rapid Facial

The Skin Chemist Rapid Facial* usually costs £117 (I know- eeek- but read below for the offer!) and is a glycolic acid face mask type product. Glycolic acid is huge in the blogging world and it works by breaking down substances that bond dead skin cells trapped underneath the top layer of skin. It leaves skin looking more luminous, clean and reduces redness. To use the Rapid Facial you simply apply to clean skin and allow to dry until the peel can be removed by gently rubbing the skin. You can then rinse it off thoroughly with warm water. Skin Chemists recommend doing a patch test before using (especially if you have sensitive skin) and so I did this to be safe. It is recommended to use once a week.

I have been really really impressed with the Rapid Facial. I noticed a difference in my skin as soon as I'd used it with the most noticeable change being how soft my skin was. I couldn't believe it! I just want to use it every day to keep my skin feeling so lovely and soft. It left my skin looking glowy and clear so did everything I wanted it to. 

It's also important to note that after using it you need to make sure you wear SPF if heading outside.

Skin Chemists Vitamin Serum

The Skin Chemists Vitamin Serum* usually costs £135 and is a multivitamin serum with high concentrations of vitamins A, C, D and E - these are all in there to hydrate, brighten and plump the skin. The serum is suitable for all skin types and ages and you can use it in the morning before moisturising and in the evening after cleansing.

I wasn't as blown away by this as the Rapid Facial but I think a serum is a product you need to use for a long time to see the real effects. It smells divine - slightly like apples, and sinks into the skin quickly. If I'm completely honest I've not seen any dramatic results but my skin has been looking more moisturised and plump recently which is probably due to using this on a regular basis. 

Overall, I think the Skin Chemists brand is a really exciting one. They have some great products on their site and although they are pricy they regularly have them on offer. They have given me some brilliant discount codes for you to use.

Codes

To buy the Rapid Facial for £19.99 (usually £117) with free postage you can use the code- RAPIDCC

To buy the Vitamin Serum for £19.99 (usually £135) with free postage you can use the code- VITCC


Love Me Beauty - June 2014 Box

June 24, 2014
After loving the contents of the Love Me Beauty Box in April, I was left slightly underwhelmed by the contents of its June box - especially because I was missing the NYX nail polish which I'd been looking forward to receiving. 

Nevertheless I am looking forward to trying the face mask, brow kit and I always like having a stash of travel sized face washes as they are so useful!

If you are not familiar with Love Me Beauty boxes, you pay £10 a month (plus P&P) and can choose between three different menus. I believe I picked menu 2 for June! Here is more information on each product:

♥ Model Co Eye Define Eye Pencil in 'Black' (RRP £9) - 'A must have tool for intense, long-lasting colour. This creamy, densely pigmented pencil is complete with an inbuilt sharpener for precise application anytime.'

Montagne Jeunesse Hot Spring Sauna Masque (RRP £1) - 'Bursting with nutrients, the ground Volcanic Spring Powder and chopped Ginger in this gentle self-warming sauna mask will open up pores for a deep cleanse.'

Urban Veda Purifying Daily Facial Wash (RRP £7.99 for full size) - 'This daily facial wash has been naturally formulated to cleanse and purify. It helps treat blackheads, excess sebum and clear toxins with antioxidants for a clear complexion.'

Beauty UK High Brow Kit (RRP £3.99) - 'Get on trend, high definition brows instantly with this brilliant compact eyebrow grooming kit which comes with 3 shades of powder to suit any complexion.'

NYX Cosmetics Nail Polish - not received (RRP £3)- 'One coat of this pro-favourite polish is all it takes to transform your hands from ho-hum to haute stuff.'

You can subscribe to Love Me Beauty here.  

Edit: the lovely folk at Love Me Beauty have contacted me to apologise for the missing NYX product and will be sending out a replacement. 

Bioderma vs. Garnier Micellar Water

June 22, 2014
Miscellar waters are a big thing, and for good reason. They are super gentle and are a really effective way of removing make-up. I used to find that normal eye make-up removers would leave my eyes feeling irritated and a bit dry, whereas these cause me no problems and can also be used to remove face make-up. I simply put a small amount on a cotton pad and remove my make-up, before using another cleanser to make my skin as clean as possible.

I have been a fan of the Bioderma Crealine H2O since it came onto the 'scene' a few years ago. I couldn't tell you how many bottles I've bought, and my Mum and sister have also become big fans.  The main negative is the price, and that you have to order online (I know you can buy it in a small number of places here now, but it is more expensive to buy) so I was keen to try the Garnier Micellar Water after hearing how similar the two were.

The Garnier version is often on offer (it's currently on offer in Boots for £3.99) and I bought it for approximately £3 which is so much cheaper than Bioderma which I buy for around £15. The Bioderma bottle is 500ml and Garnier is 400ml. In terms of how effective it is- it's really really similar to the Bioderma. My Mum has also switched to Garnier and says she can tell no difference. I think the Bioderma is slightly better, and just a tiny bit more gentle but it's hardly noticeable. I tend to keep my bottle of Bioderma for when I'm wearing more make-up and want to use the 'best stuff'!

Have you tried the Garnier Micellar Water?

Florida 2014: Part 4

June 19, 2014
This is the final post about our fantastic holiday in Florida. I hope you've liked reading them- I've very much enjoyed reminiscing on the fun times we had! So without further ado...

Day 14: Another rest day!

By this point in the holiday we were getting pretty tired and wanting to just relax around the pool. The boys went to a shooting range which they loved- and also said how it loud it was and how much I would have hated it! Was much happier with my day of reading and painting my nails. We also went for dinner at Manny's Chophouse which was brilliant and I'd highly recommend- it's proper American food in a great setting.

Day 15 part 1: Busch Gardens

We were hesitant about a day at Busch Gardens as it's a bit further away, however my brother persuaded us and we decided to head there for some serious rollercoaster action. Busch Gardens is in Tampa and is a huge theme park with lots of big roller-coasters and rides - it is also home to lots of animals as it originated as a zoo.


 
We had a great day at Busch and ended up staying for most of the day (which is unlike us as usually we're ready to go at 2). I went on all of the big coasters, including Sheikra which is pictured above and is amazing. The only disappointment was that their new ride, Falcon's Fury hadn't opened yet and my brother was desperate to try it- such a big kid!

Day 15 part 2: Magic Kingdom


 (Excuse the slight panda eyes- the water rides at Busch were not my friend!)

I don't know what came over us but Chris and I decided to head straight to Magic Kingdom after our long day at Busch. We were really excited to see the Electrical Parade and the fireworks and so quickly got some food and then found a spot on Main Street. We ended up talking to a lovely American family and sitting with them- I love how friendly Americans are. I just love the US!


After the parade we watched the Celebrate the Magic show which is amazing- pictures are projected onto the castle and you get to hear lots of the classic Disney songs. They even had a new Frozen section which everyone sang along to and it was so magical!

The Wishes fireworks followed and as always, they were so lovely and made me all emotional. It was the best end to a great day.

Day 16 & 17: The last day and going home

We didn't do much on the last day as all of our theme park passes had expired. We mooched around, enjoyed the sun and popped out to Wal-Mart for some last minute bits and bobs.

On our final final day we had to leave our villa at 11 and had a few hours to kill so went back to Orlando Premium Outlets where we bought a few bits from J Crew. We then headed to the airport where I had a double chocolate chip frappachinos from Starbucks with extra double cream - only in America!

And that's it- bye for now Florida, I'm sure we'll be back soon!

Read part 1 here
Read part 2 here
Read part 3 here

 

A Great Breakfast To Start The Day

June 17, 2014
I have to start this post by saying that this breakfast was inspired after seeing Niomi's video suggesting some lovely healthy breakfast ideas. After coming back from Florida, where I indulged in Lucky Charms, waffles and pancakes, I was keen to start making some healthy breakfasts to start the day.


This is what goes into my bowl of goodness - I found the Lizi's granola in Sainsbo's and chose it because there was no sugar in the ingredients (this is what you have to be careful of when buying granola as so many have it). After posting about it on my Instagram there were a few comments saying how much they love Lizi's so I think I need to look into her products a bit more! I also have Natural Yoghurt, Honey, Flaxseed, Chia Seeds and some berries. The Chia Seeds and Flaxseed were purchased from Holland & Barrett and I was really impressed with their service as it was super speedy.

Before you start making the breakfast, you need to prepare the Chia Seeds. This is really easy- I just put 1 teaspoon in a mug or glass, and add three tablespoons of water and then just leave it for a few minutes to puff up- they will look like a gelly texture when they're ready. Chia Seeds have so many health benefits including being rich in Omega-3, fibre and they are also high in antioxidants.


 I usually start off by chopping my strawberries and washing the rest of the fruit.


In my bowl I then put a few tablespoons of natural yoghurt in, and then add the Chia Seeds, Flaxseed and honey before mixing it all together. Flaxseed is another great ingredient to add as it also includes those Omega-3 essential fatty acids and fibre- you probably don't need both the Chia and Flaxseed in there but hey ho. Honey isn't the best thing to include as it's got lots of sugar but I only include one teaspoon to satisfy my sweet tooth! The honey I'm using at the moment is actually made by Chris' friend so it's really pure and tastes amazing.



Next I simply add some granola, my fruit and I'm done! This is such a delicious breakfast and I'm really enjoying having it every day.


Florida 2014: Part 3

June 15, 2014
Time for part 3 of my Florida posts (don't worry, there are only four parts!) which starts with a visit to the Cheesecake Factory...

Day 8: Rest Day

I always find it funny how we call non-park days; 'rest days'. When we went to Florida for the first time, I was 12 and I just remember my Dad asking desperately when the next 'rest day' was. It was a busy holiday as we thought it was the first and last time we'd go! Little did we know...




On day 8 we just mooched around the pool, laughed at how popular stripes were in our family, and posed for some photos before driving to Mall at Millenia for shopping and a visit to The Cheesecake Factory. Mall at Millenia is such a beautiful place to shop, and has some great shops like Macy's, Tiffany and Victoria Secret.

We then indulged ourselves at The Cheesecake Factory- my sister and I shared the Monster Burrito and took some Cheesecake to go. Definitely recommend paying it a visit- if only to be overwhelmed by the huge menu!

Day 9: Islands of Adventure


Islands of Adventure has to be my favourite park. It is home to the infamous 'Harry Potter land' but also has some great other areas including ones themed on Marvel, Dr Seuss and Jurassic Park. There are some brilliant rides there too- we love a water ride and IOA has three which get you very wet!

If you go I'd definitely head to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter first as the queues for the Forbidden Journey ride (the main HP one) build super quickly. The ride queue is amazing as it takes you all through Hogwarts. This area attracts the people so it means that the rest of the park is fairly quiet- especially in the morning.


Of course you have to try the Butterbeer. I think people either love it or hate it - I liked how sweet and caramel-y it was!



You can see that we are a little bit wet in this photo from one of the water rides! We also got caught in one of Florida's huge downpours which we embraced by running in it, laughing and screaming at the same time.

Day 10: Aquatica and Seaworld

Again, I didn't take any photos as we were at a water park- this day didn't exactly go to plan. We headed to Aquatica but the weather wasn't as hot as it had been and had lost it's humidity meaning that we were a bit chilly (it really wasn't that cold!) and waiting for the water slides wasn't fun. We went on a couple of slides and then headed next door to Seaworld for the afternoon.

Day 11: Animal Kingdom

Chris and I went to Animal Kingdom which is such a lovely Disney park. It's themed perfectly and is a really chilled park. It also has quite a bit of shade so is good for a really hot day. 

We headed straight for Everest which is one of the main attractions and is one of my favourites. The first time he went on it, Chris thought it was a relaxing train ride through the animals- he got quite a shock! We also enjoyed the safari ride, where you get to see some amazing animals. There aren't lots of rides in the park but plenty of fun walks that you can do to see the creatures there.



Day 12 and 13: Rest Day and Aquatica (again!)

I don't have any photos from these two days but we had a nice relaxing Sunday. Chris and I popped to Mall at Millenia as he needed to exchange something  and my sister, Dad and brother went to a Roller Derby match as my sister has started doing Roller Derby- it sounded pretty fun! We couldn't resist buying more Cheesecake to take home too! The next day we couldn't resist returning to Aquatica as we loved it so much! We went on all of the slides and enjoyed it just as much as the first time we went.

And that's it for now folks! 

A Little Purchase from Kate Spade

June 12, 2014


My friend came back from New York last year with a beautiful Kate Spade bag and I decided that I wanted one for myself. 

I found this beauty in the Kate Spade shop in Orlando Premium Outlets - I highly recommend visiting as there are some amazing discounts (and the prices are already outlet prices I believe) and there were so many lovely things. I could have bought the whole shop! This bag cost $124 so approximately £75 - a great price!

I can't find this bag online but it's a cross-body, bright and colourful. It's got a lovely lining and there is one zip pocket inside, and one 'open' pocket of a similar size. It's going to be my perfect weekend bag.

Do you have anything from Kate Spade? 

Neom Real Luxury Diffuser #NeomStressLess

June 10, 2014
I've said it before, I'll say it again - I really love a diffuser. They win over candles for me because the scent lingers for so long and makes the whole room smell just delightful.

Neom got in touch to tell me that 29% of UK women feel stressed all of the time- a crazy stat. Their Stress Less campaign is coming to an end and their final stress-relieving blend is Real Luxury - a mix of 24 essential oils which include lavender- a proven relaxant often used before bedtime, jasmine- a long celebrated scent for lifting moods and rosewood- a warm and comforting oil which has a balancing effect on the mind.

It's making me sleepy and relaxed just reading about it! This is really a lovely, soothing scent which will help your abode be as blissful as possible. 

The Neom Real Luxury Diffuser* costs £35 and can be bought here

Oh Essie, I Love You

June 08, 2014

I was very excited to find that Essie Nail Polish are priced at $8.50 in the US, making them approx £5- got to love a good exchange rate! These four shades are just beautiful. From L-R we have; Limo-Scene- a sheer pastel pink, Bikini So Teeny- a cornflower blue; Tart Deco- a dreamy coral and Watermelon- a pinky-red. 

Essie nail polishes are probably my favourite. I love the formulation and they don't take as long as other polishes to chip on my nails. They also have an incredible range of colours.

I think I will be rotating these shades over the next few weeks as I am in love. My current favourite is Limo-Scene as pale shades always look better when you have a tan! You can see a photo of it on my nails on my Instagram - here.

Glamour Magazine Eyeko Freebie

June 06, 2014
Just wanted to write a super quick post to let you know about a great freebie with this month's Glamour magazine (the July issue). Buy Glamour for £2 and you get a free Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in either Black or Navy. RRP is £12 so it's a great deal and has some really good reviews online. 

I used it this morning and was really impressed. The nib makes it really easy to use and it gives a lovely black line - you can see it in my photo above, the thinner line is how it looks with just one stroke.

So yep, well done Glamour! Good job with the freebie this month!

Florida 2014: Part 2

June 05, 2014
Our Florida adventures continue in my next installment. I am still missing it lots- I don't know what it is about it that makes it such an addictive holiday! I would love to have a holiday home out there. Anyway, onto day 4...

Day 4: Aquatica

I don't have any photos of the waterparks as I don't like taking my camera there but this was our first time visiting Aquatica (which is a park owned by Seaworld) and we absolutely loved it. There were so many great waterslides including their new one- Ihu's Breakaway Falls. We were there for it's opening and there were a lot of celebrations going on for it. The new slides have a trapdoor so you don't know when you're going to fall - too scary for me! My favourite part of the park was their Roa Rapids which is a fast running 'river' that you can just float around in a life jacket.

Day 5: Shopping and pool fun

This was a relaxing day with lots of chilling as my parents were picking up my brother's girlfriend who was coming out to stay for a week. We went to Orlando Premium Outlets for some retail therapy and I may have bought a Kate Spade bag - love! After a lot of trying, my brother Olly, sister Jess and boyfriend Chris also achieved this in the pool...



Day 6: Hollywood Studios (or MGM as it will always be for me!)


Chris and I went to Hollywood Studios on the Sunday and although I had to ride Tower of Terror on my own (way out of my comfort zone but glad I did it!) it was a great day. This Disney Park is based on films and is themed so well. You can walk on the 'Streets of America' and get some great photos.



My favourite moment that day was when a Disney worker said to Chris; "Woah for a minute there I thought I'd found Waldo!". Genius.


I think my favourite area there is Pixar Studios, complete with the Toy Story ride and Pizza Planet. I definitely recommend getting a fast pass for the Toy Story ride as queues are ridiculous- it's the most popular ride in the park!

Day 6: Universal Studios


Universal is another park based on the movies and is going to be getting even more fun this summer as they are opening a new Harry Potter world which will link with the Islands of Adventure area- it looks amazing and I even spotted the Night Bus! The park has a great Simpsons land which has just fully opened so we enjoyed wandering around and having a Flamin' Moe in Moe's Tavern.

There were also plenty of photo opportunities and we even met Beetlejuice himself! My favourite ride there was their Hollywood Rip Rockit rollercoaster where you can choose a song as you ride it.



Day 7: Blizzard Beach

Again, no photos for Blizzard Beach as it's a water park. I love the water parks as they're a mix of fun and chill time so we had a brilliant day - there was equal amounts of sleeping and going on the slides!

Until next time...!