Friday 27 January 2017

The Jewel Hut - Pandora Love Heart Charm*

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s great to start thinking of ideas on what to buy that special someone. If you’ve got some ideas of what you want, what better way to hint than by sharing posts and links with your partner in the hope that they pick up on the idea. Single – no problem, there is no harm in treating yourself. You don’t need an occasion to check out the lovely jewellery available at The Jewel Hut, especially the wide range of Pandora items available.

I received this beautiful ‘You Are So Loved Heart Charm’ which costs £30. Perfect to give as a gift to the one you love. It really is very charming. Elegantly sculpted into a heart shape, this charm is engraved with the words ‘You are so Loved’. This carries great sentiment and would make the perfect gift for a friend or partner, especially for Valentine’s Day to really show you care. The charm is silver and would complement all other charms on a Pandora bracelet.

The Jewel Hut is an online jewellery store offering some of the best branded jewellery at competitive prices. Not only can you buy Pandora you can also purchase from brands such as Links of London, Thomas Sabo, Swarovski and many more. You are bound to find something for that special someone. When I received my item, it came packaged with the official Pandora box and gift bag which was easy to assemble when preparing this as a gift.

What do you think of this gorgeous charm? Will you be visiting The Jewel Hut to see their fantastic range of branded jewellery?

*I received this item free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Holland and Barrett Beauty Haul*

I wasn’t sure what to call this post as technically it is not a haul as such but I did receive a nice bundle of beauty goodies from Holland and Barrett which I thought I would review. I am part of the Holland and Barrett Good Life Insiders group which means I occasionally get to trial products for them. I recently got these beauty products and was over the moon. I have been trying them out for a week or so now so I thought I would share my thoughts.

I received four items from the Trilogy range, the first one being the Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm, 80ml retails at £19.50. This natural balm is made from plant oils and leaves skin feeling smooth and hydrated. The texture appears firm inside the pot, almost like wax but when applied this melts into the skin taking all of your make-up with it. this even removes waterproof mascara and I love how smooth my skin feels afterwards.

I also received the Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner 100ml which retails at £17.50. This is perfect to use following on from the cleanser and also really hydrates my skin, especially at this time of year when it can be a bit dry. The mist contains rose, geranium and lavender and the scent of the rose is the one that comes across the strongest.

The third item I received was this lovely large bottle of Trilogy Botanical Body Wash retailing at £16.50. What I love most about this is the pump on the lid which makes it so easy to use in the shower or bath. The body wash is gentle and suitable for all skin types. The product is nicely scented and I really enjoy using this as part of my morning routine.

Finally from the Trilogy range I received the Trilogy Everything Balm which costs £12.50. this is my favourite product of the lot and is a certified natural multi-tasking balm. This balm can be used all over the body and on all skin types, including use on children and babies. This balm contains rosehip, marula and manuka honey. It absorbs quickly and the tin is the perfect size just to pop into your handbag. I have found this great for chapped lips and dry knuckles. I also burnt my hand the other day and popped some of this on and it healed up a treat.

I then received a few items from Beauty Kitchen, the first being the Seahorse Plankton Everlasting Radiance Cleansing Gel which retails at £14.99. This is simple to use, simply massage into damp skin and remove using warm water and a konjac sponge or cloth. The gel is gentle and really works with the skin. This product is suitable for vegans. My skin felt really clean after using this and looked radiant. What I love about this range is that 1% from all sales in the Seahorse Plankton range goes towards supporting The Seahorse Trust.

I am in love with the Beauty Kitchen Seahorse Plankton 5 Minute Miracle Mask that I received, retailing at £14.99. This mask is easy to apply and leaves my face and neck feeling refreshed. The product aims to stimulate, firm and plump the face and although I didn’t notice any plumping effects, my face felt softer.

Finally I received the Beauty Kitchen Seahorse Plankton Beauty Boosting BB Cream which also retails at £14.99. Like the other products this also contains seahorse plankton. The cream aims to blur imperfections and even skin tone. I wondered how this would work considering there is only one colour but it blended into my skin just fine. I noticed this really did even out the natural redness on my face, I think it’s a lovely product to wear when you don’t want to wear a full face of make-up but just want to give your skin a nice boost of colour.

I then received a few more items, including the Active Manuka Honey from The Real Honey Company. This product of New Zealand is 100% natural and a 500g jar like this one costs £42.99. Manuka Honey is harvested exclusively in the rural and unpolluted pastures of New Zealand and has been independently tested. Although I would never spend this much money on a jar of honey, it is a nice luxury to have this in the house. This can be used in recipes and we love having a teaspoon with our porridge. The honey can also be used on the skin to help heal cuts or even used to create a face mask.

I also received the Ekia Organic Crème Originelle for Normal to Combination Skin retailing at £30.99. This has a nice sweet scent and goes onto the skin smooth. This is a preventative anti-aging product for younger skin, it’s never too early to start using these items! Containing regenerative Dragon’s Blood Sap is the best cream for those who are starting to get fine lines and a dull complexion. Angelina Jolie is even known to use it! I have already noticed a difference in my skin after using this product, I have found that waking up after using this my skin is hydrated and it even helps my make-up go on better.

The last product that I received was the Freshious 5-a-Day Certified Organic Facial Serum  which retails at £36.00. This organic facial serum is enriched with white grape seed, pomegranate, apricot, avocado and green tea. It has a non-greasy formula which sinks into the skin with ease and does not leave an oily residue. I was a little confused with the packaging when I first opened this and was pressing the pump on the lid expecting some oil to come out, I then realised the lid doubled up as a pipette dropper which made more sense. I love using this and instantly feel more youthful.

Overall I have really enjoyed adding these products to my beauty routine and I can’t wait to continue using them. Have you bought beauty products from Holland and Barrett before? What do you think?

*I received these products free of charge. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

Thursday 19 January 2017

My Little Fresh Start Box

This month’s My Little Box, or should I say bag was an interesting one to say the least. Based on having a fresh start for the new year, our goodies came in a handy linen bag rather than the usual box. I actually quite liked the bag idea as I was starting to rack up a fair few boxes and wasn’t sure what to do with them – if you have any ideas, please let me know in the comment box! The bag was packed with lots of goodies for the new year. The only disappointment for me is that they have stopped the magazine. I know a lot of people weren’t too fussed about this but I really enjoyed having the booklet and I think it was one of the factors that set this box apart from others I have tried in the past. Anyway, not much can be done about that so I better get on with the review.

I was really happy to see this Timeless Planner in the box and couldn’t wait to start writing in it. The pages are set out in weeks without dates so I could pick this up and start it regardless of whether it was the 1st January. Each week has a space to add your thoughts, feelings and dreams. Some pages have space for goals and aspirations and other pages ask questions such as "if money didn't matter, what job would you do?" I think it’s a lovely idea to prompt you to write things down and will be nice to look back on.

This is the time of year for cracked hands and elbows so the My Little Beauty Sweet Hand Cream was a welcomed addition to this box. The texture is described as being like a marshmallow, which I can agree. It does look a bit like a melted marshmallow when squeezed from the tube. The cream is smooth and does not leave a greasy residue. It leaves my hands feeling smooth and has a nice scent.

We received two My Little Beauty items this month, the other one being this Boost Yourself Energising Body Cream - perfect for that fresh start. This cream is 98.5% natural and contains Sunflower Oil and Ginger for the perfect boost. The product has a slightly fruity scent and soaks into the skin without leaving any stickiness which is what I prefer with body creams.

This Merci Handi toothpaste, retailing at €4 is the perfect travel companion. I will be taking this on holiday with me. This Holy Mint flavour is super refreshing and very minty. The ingredients are 98% natural and I love using this.

This small sample of Garnier Ultimate Blends Intense Hair Treatment in Honey Treasures was a nice little addition to this month’s box. The conditioning treatment contains Propolis, Royal Jelly and Honey. It has a sweet scent and left my hair feeling lovely and soft. It nourishes dry and damaged hair and would potentially be something I would repurchase if I wanted to treat myself.

My favourite item this month was the snood. Anyone that knows me well knows that I live and breathe in my thick woollen snood from Powder Scarves and it’s great for winter but I needed something new for the transitioning weather. This timeless wardrobe staple is comfortable and lightweight and great for all seasons. I am a big fan of the navy colour, it goes with most of my outfits and the other flecks of colour make it look a bit more interesting. Needless to say I have been wearing this for work and I think it looks smarter than my thick woollen one.

We also received some Fresh Start Notecards with 5 ideas to kick start 2017. They’re motivating and fun to read, it has certainly given me a few ideas to help to have a fantastic year.

Overall this month’s box has been a good one and I think all of the items tie in well with the general overall theme of the box. Although I am still slightly gutted about the lack of magazine I think that the contents made up for it and I look forward to seeing what next month’s box has to offer.


Sunday 15 January 2017

Float Norwich Experience and Review

A few months ago my friend Kelly and I decided to book an experience which took place at Float Norwich. They were offering a half price float to promote the opening and we thought it would be an interesting thing to go along to, not really knowing much about what happens or how it works. I thought I would write a blog post on my experience if you are thinking of going or have any questions that aren’t available on the website.

We arrived at 11:30 for our appointment. There are only two float pods so we booked simultaneously in order that we could go together, however the pods are in separate rooms and each experience is just for you. If you don’t know what ‘floating’ is all about, in simple terms it is a flotation therapy which involves lying in a pod filled with salt water enabling you to float effortlessly. You can eliminate all outside distractions such as sound, light and gravity. When we entered the building we were welcomed with a smile.

We took off our shoes and handed over our coats. The first thing was to sit in a massage chair for 5 minutes to loosen up your joints. The chair felt like it was going to eat me alive. It massaged each part of your body, in some places it is quite firm. This was a weird experience but I did feel better afterwards.

We were then separately shown into our pod room and the member of staff kindly explained everything and answered any questions that I had, then when I was comfortable with what I was doing, I was left alone. The room consists of a shower, float pod and a space to hang your dry clothes. Firstly, I showered to rinse myself down and then I could get into the pod. You are provided with ear plugs so you don’t get any salt in your ears and also a towel for when you get out. They really have thought of everything.

I got into the pod and closed the lid. The temperature is set to body temp so it felt lovely and warm. Inside the pod is a light switch, a spray bottle with water for if you get salt in your face and also a button that goes through to reception if you need anything. It took me a while to get used to how easy it was to float and get comfortable. I then turned the light off and completely relaxed. When the hour is up, some music comes on and you can slowly ease yourself out of the pod. I then had a full shower where shampoo, conditioner and body wash was provided. Rinsing away all the salt left my skin feeling surprisingly soft. I then got myself dried and dressed and headed through to the pamper room.

The pamper room was lovely, with space for two people there was hairdryers (GHD ones!), GHD straighteners, hair clips and styling products. You will just need to bring along a hair brush with you. We got ourselves ready (taking 40 minutes!) then headed back to reception. Kelly apologised to the staff for taking so long and he reassured us that we could take as long as we needed and that there was no rush. The whole experience felt like this, we really could take our time with everything. We were then offered a herbal tea and a bowl of sorbet which was refreshing and lovely. We signed the guest book and sadly it was time to leave! We both had a really great time.

A single float experience which includes a 60- minute float session, followed by a refreshing sorbet and organic tea costs £55, if you would like to float at the same time as a friend like I have, it’s £100 so you can save £5. Head over to the Float Norwich website for more information. I cannot wait to return!


Tuesday 10 January 2017

Luxury Fairtrade and Organic Chocolate from Chocolate and Love*

The one thing I enjoy more than any other sweet treat is chocolate. I like all different kinds of chocolate so when I was offered the chance to review a brand I’d never heard of before, Chocolate and Love, I said of course! How could I resist?

Chocolate and Love is a luxury Fairtrade, organic chocolate brand set up by husband and wife team Richard and Brigitte O’Conner. The collection includes seven different flavours so you can indulge every day of the week! The flavours include Coffee, Creamy Dark, Rich Dark, Mint, Orange, Panama and the popular Sea Salt and Caramel. Ingredients include cacao sourced directly from Peru, The Dominican Republic and Panama, cane sugar from Paraguay and Costa Rica, and bourbon vanilla from Madagascar.

I received four of the seven flavours in Sea Salt and Caramel, Panama, Orange and Rich Dark. Each bar has more cocoa and less sugar than most other bars on the market and has the added benefit of being gluten free, GMO free and contain no additives. Apart from the Creamy Dark and Sea Salt variants, the rest of the bars are also dairy free making them ideal for vegans.

Firstly I tried the Panama flavour, with single sourced cocoa from Panama (80%). This rich high percentage dark chocolate is very rich and incredibly smooth. I was surprised that this was not at all bitter considering the high cocoa content and very easy to consume.

The second bar, Sea Salt and Caramel was my absolute favourite of the lot. I love salted caramel and find that a lot of bars in supermarkets are either too salty or you cannot taste the salt at all. The caramel and salt in this bar was perfectly balanced and the combination between the sweet and the salt is absolutely divine. So far the company has won a staggering 15 awards for the range so far, this bar in particular has won Gold 1-star award in Great Taste Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The third bar I tried was the Rich Dark flavour. This bar contains cocoa from Peru and The Dominican Republic (71%). It also contains refreshing hints of red berries naturally coming through the cocoa. I love dark chocolate and this one is delicious and something I would definitely reach for over other brands. The chocolatey finishing notes are welcoming and this does not leave a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

Finally I tried the Orange which really did not disappoint. Chocolate and orange is a delicious combination and the zesty flavour comes from natural cold pressed oil from real oranges. The flavours in this bar are well balanced and complement each other beautifully. I also thought I would mention the packaging which really did catch my eye. The designs are bespoke and hand painted, I think they are lovely and would make the perfect gift.

Chocolate and Love is available to buy in Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic and Amazon. The seven flavours will be launching in Sainsburys online and in store from the end of February.  Each 100g bar retails at £3.00. For more information head over to the Chocolate and Love website.

*I received these items free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.

Sunday 8 January 2017

My Purrfect Gift Box - Winter Wonderland*

The Christmas edition of My Purrfect Gift Box arrived a few days before Santa did and I couldn’t wait to see what was inside. Immediately upon opening the box, I spotted the lovely winter themed wrapping paper and it was packed with goodies for both me and Biscuit.

First up was a gift for Biscuit in the form of this Gingerbread Man  from 4cats which had a very strong catnip smell and went down an absolute TREAT with Biscuit. He could not get enough of this and it is also the reason for my 3am wake-up calls when I can hear him playing with this in the next room.

Next us is this adorable handmade woolen kitten charm, available on Etsy. Not only can you pop this on your Christmas tree, you can also attach to your handbag or phone. At only £4 each I think it is lovely and there are plenty of other designs on the owners shop including some super cute ginger cat themed items which I need in my life. They even have a personalised service so you can send them a photo of your cat and they'll create a design just for you.

I was so happy when I saw this beautiful necklace, it's so perfect! This sterling silver necklace has been customised with a snowflake which is perfect for this season and I think all cat lovers need one in there life. This retails at £15 and can be bought on the Purrfect Giftbox shop.

This cat shelf sitter (for humans only!) is beautifully made and adorned with red snowflake print. I loved having this out over the festive period and it added something different to the usual decorations you see on display at Christmas. Designed by Rose Cottage Pillows.

I then opened another gift for biscuit in the form of this snowflake cat collar from Cool Cat Collars. It's of really good quality and a soft but sturdy material meaning your cat won't be irritated by wearing it. I tried to take a photo with Biscuit wearing the collar but he is too fluffy to see it. The website has a lot of other great designs too if you're looking for something a bit more fun and exciting.

I am in love with the knitted cat ear beanie, such a unique product and I think it’s adorable. I will be getting my wear out of this during the winter, it’s incredibly soft and miraculously does not seem to give me hat hair after wearing it. This hat retails for £13 over on the Purrfect Gift Box Shop.

I love receiving new brands of food to try for Biscuit because he can sometimes go off his usual brand and it's nice to get him something different for a change. This Meowing Heads food was gobbled down a treat so I assume that means it was well liked, I however did not try it for myself!

Last but not least, I love the hipster design on these blank cards.  I was lucky enough to receive a pack of three and they turned out perfect for thank you cards after Christmas. Find this and other designs over on Etsy, retailing for £12 with shipping from the USA.  

Once again I am in love with My Purrfect Box. Between me and Biscuit we are incredibly happy and will be sure to enjoy the cold winter with all of these treats. Thank you so much My Purrfect Gift Box for a lovely box. My Purrfect Gift Box offer a number of subscription options, which start at just £20.95. If you’d like to sign up for your own box, head over to the My Purrfect Gift Box website or head to their shop for the chance to buy some of the items featured in this box and previous boxes.

*I received this item free of charge. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.


Monday 2 January 2017

What I got for Christmas 2016

Christmas hauls are one of my favourite posts around this time of year and I love reading blog posts about them and seeing them on Youtube. It’s a shame that these posts need a disclaimer – I am by no means bragging about what I received. I love sharing what I got and hope it inspires people if they are stuck for gift ideas for birthdays throughout the year. I have not included every single item because I think I would be here all day showing you my socks but I appreciated every single gift. As per last year, I have not mentioned who bought me every little thing, just the odd few people I can link to. Money was tight this year after moving out so thank you to those that bought me a gift despite me not being able to go all out on others, I really appreciate it.

Here is just some of the food items I received this Christmas and I have been chowing down! I always relax my diet over Christmas so I have certainly been making my way through this pile of treats. I think some of these were for both me and James so at least I'll have a little bit of help with them! I love the biscuits I got in the adorable pastel tin. James bought me some a couple of years ago and I wanted one in every colour but he never bought me any more so I was so pleased than Kelly added another colour to my collection. Now I have an excuse to buy more!

Another gift I enjoyed receiving this year was a good book. Crafting with cat hair has to be the most random of them all - thanks Jack and Chloe. I received a lovely recipe book from Bethany, James' mum got me an interior design book and one from my favourite authors Linwood Barclay and the others James picked up for me. I also received a book called "is your cat gay?". Random but funny.

I received some lovely jewellery pieces this year including a brand new Fitbit Flex 2 in lavender. After having my old one break on me a couple of weeks before Christmas, I was so pleased to unwrap this gift from James. I also got a personalised cactus necklace with my name on from Kim which is adorable - I love it. I received the Christmas themed cat Pandora charm from my mum and last but not least this lovely friendship bracelet from Kelly. I love the teal beading, it goes really well with the silver.

When it came to beauty products this year, this gorgeous Too Face palette really did trump the lot! I cannot believe Kim got it for me and I couldn't have expected a nicer gift. The mascara is amazing (better than sex as they say!) and the colour pay off from the palette is fantastic. I had an eye infection over Christmas so had to wait a few days to use this but it was worth the wait. I also received my favourite Urban Decay primer potion and some beautiful cosmetics from the Vintage & Co including lovely bath roses and a lip butter which has been a lifesaver in these cold times.

It might be worth mentioning another gift, my fairy light curtain which you can see in the background! This is now a permanent feature in my 'office' so stay tuned for more twinkly light photo backdrops!

I received a few home-ware bits, some of my favourites include the VelvetGhost lights from Primark which match my bedding and new bedroom decor so I am very pleased with those. We also received a paella kit so that is something I will be trying in the new year.

Last but not least there is the random stuff. I love random things! Some of the random gifts I got include, a zorbing voucher for me and James, an Omelette maker (awesome!), some dollars for America, a cat pinball machine, socks and onion goggles!

A massive thank you to everyone that bought me a present. I am sorry I could not feature every single thing, mainly because I have started using it and couldn't wait before taking a photo! Please link me your 'What I Got For Christmas' posts and videos, I'd love to take a look.

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