Sunday, 20 December 2015

'I Just Love It' Personalised Gifts

The lovely brand 'I Just Love It' contacted me and asked me if I would like to pick a few things from their shop. 'I Just Love It' is an online gift shop that specialise in personalised gifts for all occasions. Being someone that is pretty useless at thinking of the perfect presents for people, I of course couldn't say no!

The website has SO much choice but in the end I opted for; An LED wall letter, a personalised music player and a Monopoly themed water bottle. I picked these things because they seemed a bit different to the 'typical gift' and I thought certain members of my family would really like them. I'm not keen on buying people those kind of 'pointless' presents with no real use, so I thought these would be nice and and a more thoughtful thing to give to someone. 

LED Letter Wall Light (£24.99)
I was really impressed with the quality of this. I find with this kind of thing there is always the worry that it might look a bit tacky, but the quality is so nice and it definitely is something that adds a bit of 'stylishness' to a minimal living room. The actual light is made of metal with a kind of rust effect which looks really authentic and I think would go perfectly in a room with lots of rose gold. It is actually bigger than I expected it to be which I think is really good for the price. As you can see, I got mine in the letter 'F' as I'm going to give it to my Dad for Christmas (Franck). 

Personalised Children's Music Player (£39.99)
Okay so this is definitely my favourite thing out of the three things. I chose this for my little four year old cousin and I just know she is going to love it! It's basically a music player that has 12 songs built in and each song is personalised with my cousin's name (Nina).. how cute! It also includes a night light, story teller, 2gb of memory to store your own songs and the option to plug it into your laptop/computer to play music. Not to mention.. IT'S SO DAMN CUTE! Definitely a perfect present for a little one.

Monopoly Water Bottle (£9.99)
This is a smaller gift that I'm giving to my younger sister as she always needs a water bottle for school. I thought she'd like it because it's a bit different and we play Monopoly quite a lot as a family so it seemed fairly fitting.

And that's everything! Overall I'm very impressed with the things I chose. The quality is great and I can't wait to see people's faces when they open their presents.. especially my little cousin! I will also just mention that the delivery was super quick which is always good for last minute present buying.. or if you're just as inpatient as me.

I definitely recommend 'I Just Love It' for if you can't think what to get for someone and you want to get something that seems more thoughtful and personal! There's definitely something for everyone.

Where do you shop for presents when you're all out of ideas?

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Pretty House Inspiration

I'm not really sure why, but looking at pretty houses on Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr has become one of those things that I just enjoy doing when I've got some time to pass. I'm sure I'm not the only one who likes a bit of 'house-spiration' because, well, pretty pink and white houses! What more can I say??? Anyway, here you can see some of my most favourite house inspiration. 

Major door appreciation here.

Monochrome is life.

I literally always see this one come up on Instagram and I just can't help but swoon. Whoever lives here has completely got the right idea. I mean it's basically a human sized Barbie house.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Debenhams 'Flowers By Post'

It's only recently that I've started to appreciate the nice-ness of flowers. Is this a 'becoming an adult' thing or...

Anyway, I was lucky enough to receive possibly the prettiest bouquet of flowers I have ever seen from Debenhams. No one has actually ever bought me flowers before * cries * * dreams of Harry Styles buying me flowers * I was pretty pleased. They have a full range of Autumn flowers of which I opted for the 'Pure Berry' bouquet. This consisted of lilies, white thistles, green berries and pink roses. The pastel pink roses completely won me over as I am always drawn to anything pretty and pastel. The bouquet arrived in a pretty box (always a sucker for pretty packaging) and the flowers all super looked fresh and radiant.

Queue cheesy photo's of me and my flowers..

This standard bouquet costs £35.99 including free next day tracked flower delivery. I would never spend that much on flowers for myself.. (well I personally wouldn't buy myself flowers) but I think these are well worth it as a really lovely present for someone who can appreciate the quality of a higher end bouquet. 

Debenhams were kind enough to give me a discount code for the 'Flowers By Post' range to share with you. You can use the code DFBLOG25 to get a 25% discount off your order. 

I also just thought I would mention that with Christmas on it's way, Debenhams Flowers have the most amazing Christmas flowers and Christmas hampers range. It's definitely well worth a look if your stuck on Christmas ideas (yes I know it is still early for Christmas but it always comes quicker than you think so...). 

What's your favourite type of flower?

* Gifted Item *

Monday, 19 October 2015

Pandora Autumn Rings

A little while ago I received my first Pandora ring from The Jewel Hut (You can see that here). It's become one of those staple pieces of jewellery that I wear all the time, just because it's so pretty and easy to wear. Because I love it so much, I decided it was definitely time I got my hands on another to add to my collection. 

I had a browse through their Autumn rings and this time I opted for something more minimal - the PANDORA White Enamel Ring. I already thought it looked nice (hence why I chose it).. but when it arrived, I discovered that it looks even nicer than in the picture. I love how it's sterling silver with the ellipse shaped, white enamel colouring. Sort of like a never ending eternity sign. Isn't that cute. It was only £35 which I think is really good for a lovely piece that I will wear pretty much every day. 

If you want to check out the Pandora Autumn collection on the Jewel Hut, click here. They have so many gorgeous new things! Plus The Jewel Hut offer free delivery on all orders over £10 which is pretty handy. I'm always one of those people that is cool with spending £100+ online but when it comes to that four pounds for delivery, I'll be there questioning the order..anyone else?  

Do you have any Pandora rings?

The Jewel Hut Links

* PR Sample *

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Witch Skincare & Challenging Yourself

Back in May I received the most amazing 'Exam Survival Kit from Witch Skincare (You can read all about that here). I was pretty excited when Witch contacted me again and asked if I would be interested in their latest campaign (and of course I said yes). Since the end of the year is looming, it seems very fitting that their latest project is all about challenging yourself by 'switching things up' with the #SwitchToWitch challenges. I'm definitely the kind of person that gets very stuck in a rut and tends to stick to the same old routine.. so I'm probably the ideal candidate for this! Every once in a while it's nice to 'switch it up' and try something new. 

The box I received contained a variety of things to assist me in completing the challenges, as well as lots of Witch skin care goodies (review post coming soon). In total there are 5 challenges to have a go at..

Switch Up Your Outfit

For this challenge, a £20 Asos gift voucher came in the box - how to decide what to spent it on! Trying out a new style is something that I find can be really helpful. I mentioned this very recently, but I got myself into a bit of a style rut and I realised I didn't feel very confident or happy in the clothes I was wearing. Since then, I've been trying out new things and it's made me enjoy shopping AND has boosted my body confidence a little. 

Switch Up Your Skincare

The range of Witch skin care products that came in the box are obviously going to be useful for this challenge! With it being Autumn (and Winter on its way), it's obviously the perfect time to try out new skin care products and change your routine. For me the challenge is more a case of actually sticking to a proper routine! I can be so lazy with it but I'm determined to be consistent and help improve the quality of my skin.

Switch Up Your Mornings

For this challenge, I was given a book of 'Mindfulness'. I have to admit, I do like a nice inspirational quote and the book is sort of just like lots of those. Very cute and motivational. I do think that changing your regular morning routine can really help to improve your whole day. Rather than starting my morning with an hour long social media scroll, I've been trying to get up and start being productive right away. If I start the day on a productive high, then I find it easier to maintain.

Switch Up Your Blog

From my own experience, I know that it's so easy to get into a blogging rut! Trying out a different style of post or coming up with some new topics to blog about can be really helpful in inspiring more ideas and even attracting some new readers. When I first started my blog, I pretty much focussed solely on fashion and beauty, but now I much prefer to mix it up with random lifestyle things as that's just what I enjoy most. I really want to introduce more foodie posts (because who doesn't love food) as well as lifestyle posts on specific topics.

Switch Up Your Hairstyle

For this challenge I was given a little box of hair chalks. I'm not entirely sure if they are going to work on my dark hair.. but we shall see! I have to say, I'm not remotely imaginative with my hair. I've had the same long hair for years. I'm kind of tempted to get it cut quite a lot shorter but at the same time, the thought doesn't exactly fill me with joy. As I said, I'm a person of routine and I tend to just stick with the things I get used to. I think this will be the biggest challenge for me!

Those are the 5 challenges that Witch have come up with and I have to say, I think they are quite fitting for me being the routine queen that I am! I hope this post has maybe inspired you to challenge yourself or think of some little changes that you could make to improve your mood or just life in general. 

My review of the Witch Skin Care products will be coming soon as well as a giveaway to win some Witch products yourself! 

Witch Skincare Links

* Witch were kind enough to send me the amazing box of things, however this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own!*

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Hair Care With Yves Rocher

I like to change up the products that I use on my hair a lot as I find my hair gets 'used' to products fairly quickly and they stop having as much of a good effect. Most recently I have been using two products from Yves Rocher. I really like Yves Rocher products as they're a bit different to the usual, they're inexpensive and they smell uh-may-zing.. not that the smell really makes much of a difference to the actual product, but, yeah. 

At first I was a bit sceptical of the Yves Rocher Lagoon Hair & Body wash. I'm not normally a fan of products that can be used for both your hair and body but I found this to be really quite nice. As you can imagine, the 'lagoon' scent was quite delicious and reminded me of a fruity-sun cream-beach-holiday kind of smell. To be fair the smell was probably the best thing about this. In terms of the actual product, I found that it left my hair feeling nice and fresh..although a little bit shiner than I normally like. I'm not actually a fan of my hair being shiny as I prefer it to have a bit more texture. Overall though, for a 2 in 1 product I was pretty happy with this. It would obviously be perfect for when you're travelling and don't want to take up too much room in your luggage. 

Next I've been using the Yves Rocher Low Sulfate Cream Shampoo. The shampoo contains no sulfate, parabens, silicone or colouring. I've never really been one to take much interest in the ingredients of my shampoo but it just felt nice to give my hair a break from anything chemical. I was also intrigued to see if it made an actual difference. The main difference I have noticed is in the level of soft-ness. After a few washes, my hair feels so soft and silky. Obviously that is a good thing but as I already mentioned, I prefer a more texturised feel so I do find that a bit of dry shampoo is a must. 

What's your favourite shampoo/conditioner?

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

A Little Topshop & Boohoo Haul

For a while I've been wearing the same style of clothes and pretty much alternating between the same few outfits. I think it's been mainly down to the fact that I haven't felt very confident in myself recently. Everything I tried on just made me feel haaayuge which made me not really want to buy anything. I was stuck in such a clothes rut and I didn't realise that maybe it was time to change the type of things that I buy. 

From the age of around 15 to 18 I always bought the same kind of things - very skinny jeans, fitted skirts, short fitted shorts.. basically everything quite tight and short! The other day, I ordered a dress from Topshop. Not super tight. Not crazy short. Just a nice and 'flowy' kind of dress. I didn't think I would like it but I was very pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it made me feel. I'm not saying that I think I look amazing in it by any means.. but it was just nice to finally find something that I could wear without feeling so self conscious. Anyway.. buying that dress kind of inspired me and I have recently bought a few things to start filling the gaps in my wardrobe. 

Black Culotte Shorts, Boohoo, £6

I just got these as a staple wardrobe piece since they're super basic and go with pretty much any top/jumper. I find the 'culotte' style very flattering as it flares out and seems to make my legs look a bit slimmer. I'll be wearing these a lot with thick tights and ankle boots this A/W.

Embroidered Smock Dress, Topshop, £36

I think I'm a bit (a lot) in love with this dress. The embroidered design is so pretty and it goes perfectly with tights and Chelsea boots for a smart-casual kind of look.

High Neck Flippy Tunic, Topshop, £20

Again, a very simple piece that is so versatile and can be teamed with various things. I've got my eye on one of those blanket wrap things from New Look which I think this will go perfectly with. 

Geometric Print Shirt, Topshop, £42

I'm not normally one for prints but I saw this and I had to buy it! I really like the whole dressed-up-shirt-vibe thing. I think shirts are probably going to become something that I buy a lot.

Black Culottes, Boohoo, £4

I'm pretty sure culottes are a very 'marmite' thing. I would never have considered wearing them before since they're longer than anything I used to go for. I tried some out of curiosity and actually really liked them. They almost just look like you're wearing a dress but without the hassle of wearing a dress. Oh and can we just talk about how they were only FOUR POUNDS! Seriously how have I only just discovered how good Boohoo is?!

That's everything! I appreciate that the pictures don't really show off the full clothing piece.. but life is hard when your white Ikea table isn't big enough to get a good clothes photo..

Thursday, 1 October 2015

A/W At Zara

I have to say, I don't think I've ever bought anything in Zara! (not that I can remember anyway). That may be surprising to some but It's only actually recently that I had a good look on their website and discovered what I've been missing out on. They have the most amazing range of basics and mimial clothes.. very 'me' kind of clothes basically!

I picked out some of my favourite things from the website but obviously there are a whole load more and about 6 coats which are £80+ each * sighs *. As it is now October (the 1st always reminds me of 'Hello October'.. anyone else?), I am guessing that a lot of you have been trying to hunt down the perfect Winter coat. If you are, I would definitely recommend Zara as they have such a huge range and all of them are very classic and simple - so very much an investment piece rather than something you wear one year and buy a new one the next. 

I am loving the cape/blanket wrap trend at the moment. Partly because I'm always cold, partly because I think they look stylish and effortless.. and party because they cover you up which is good for those days when I'm feeling a bit self concious (basically every day) (meh). 

What shops have you been liking at the moment?

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Essence Haul + Product Opinions

The lovely people from Flipside PR were sweet enough to send me an amazing haul of Essence products. If you didn't know, Essence are an incredibly inexpensive cosmetics brand. They are definitely mainly aimed towards a younger audience but I've tried a fair few of their products before and have found some of them to be pretty good.

The products that I'm most impressed with are the eyeshadow palettes. I was sent an 'All About The Roses' palette which contains pink and grey tones, and an 'All About The Greys' palette which contains greys (obviously), blues and white/cream. The eyeshadows are really pigmented and I love the range of shades in each palette. 

I was sent four lip products in total. I have to say, I wasn't very impressed with the lipstick (top right). At first glance, it seemed like the perfect pinky nude shade but I soon discovered that the colour didn't really show up on my lips no matter how much I layered. 

On the other hand, the two lip balms (Essence mini sheer lip balm and 'kiss care love' lip balm') smell amazing and I love how they add colour to your lips while keeping them moisturised. I was also quite impressed with the staying power of the liquid lipstick (the one in the middle). The glossiness does wear away quite quickly, but the colour doesn't budge for a good while. 

They did send me some individual lashes and glue.. now I'm someone that can't even apply regular false lashes, so I haven't even attempted these yet. If someone could give me some tips on applying false lashes that would be much appreciated! They also sent me a 'mini lipgloss set' which looks exactly like the kind of makeup I used to get excited about when I was about 11! I'm definitely going to pass this on to my little cousin!

Blush is something I use very sparingly as I'm always cautious of overdoing it. I found the Essence 'matt touch blush' to be perfect for just adding a slight warmness and pop of colour to the cheeks. I definitely think blush is one of those products that you don't have to spend a lot of money on.

I was sent three face products; the Pure Nude foundation, Pure Nude concealer stick and Pure Nude Camouflage concealer. The foundation is very light and definitely more like a bb cream consistency. Not so good for full coverage, but perfect for good skin days when you just want to even up your skin tone. I found the two concealer products very similar - both okay for covering up subtle blemishes before applying foundation on the top. The consistency was a bit too thick and means you really have to make sure it's blended to avoid the caked look. 

The Multi-Action mascara was no different to your regular inexpensive mascara. I find that it does work well eventually, but you just have to be patient and layer it to get the fuller eyelashes effect. 

The nail polishes are something I feel are very much a 'miss' product. I was sent three - a pale powder pink, black and a metallic pink. The powder pink colour barely showed any colour when I painted it on and despite the metallic pink and black looking pretty good, it chipped waaay to easily for my liking. 

The last product was something that I had never seen before - a black tattoo liner pen. It's basically a black nail art pen (that looks a bit like a liquid liner) which makes it easier to create cute nail art designs. I really like the idea of it and it looked great when I added lines/dots to my nails.. however it seems to come off after a few hours. I think next time I use it, I will definitely add a thick top coat to stop it from coming off so easily. 

And that's everything! Overall I was quite pleasantly surprised by some of the products and will definitely continue to use them. Some of them were very disappointing but when they are that inexpensive and targeted at a young audience, it's no surprise that they weren't amazing!

Do you use any Essence products?

* All products were gifted *

Saturday, 26 September 2015

A Haul Of Sorts

I thought I would do a little haul of some of the more 'miscellaneous' things I have acquired recently.

I needed a small bag for going out when I don't really need to carry my huge hand bag round. I found this simple, black shoulder bag from New Look for just £7.99. I also got the most lovely flat black Chelsea boots for just £19.99 (my obsession with black boots is getting worse). I didn't get a photo but they are pretty self explanatory. 

I actually won an iPad mini last month which was, well, pretty cool! I already have the iPad air but it's getting old now and despite being an 'air', it is not as portable as you would imagine. This is so much sleeker and easy to carry round in my bag when I go out. 

Of course to go with my iPad mini, I needed a pretty case! This one from Head Case designs has such a pretty leaf/arrow (?) print. Head Case have SO many different cases for all different devices, so definitely worth a look if you're on the hunt for something cute. They even do Harry Styles ones..

Coco Chanel Mademoiselle will always be my favourite fragrance, but I always like to have a cheaper option to use on a daily basis. I got the Avon 'Extraordinary' perfume as one of my Mum's friends is an Avon representative. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it smells - very light and sweet but not sickly sweet at all. 

I already mentioned this is a previous post, but I needed a new curling wand and I decided to go for the Tresemmé Perfectly (un)Done waving wand. It's perfect for my long hair as the wand is longer than they usually are. It creates really nice and natural looking waves as opposed to very tight, princess-y waves. 

And that's it.. well I'm sure there's more actually, but I always forget what I've bought. I plan on having a big clothes splurge at some point soon so there will definitely be a clothes haul on its way. 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Hair Radiance | Do Supplements Actually Work?

I'm always on the hunt for hair products to help improve the condition of my hair so when I was contacted and asked if I would be interested in trying out some Hair Radiance supplements, I was quick to say yes! The product has been featured in Marie Claire and Closer magazine and has had some very good reviews. 

Hair Radiance is a natural vitamin complex formulated with essential vitamins and nutrients for healthy hair. Hair Radiance works form the inside out, giving your hair the nutrients it needs to look its healthiest. Contains scientifically formulated FollicleMax marine complex to encourage healthy hair growth.

Hair Radiance promises..
  • To grow stronger, longer hair
  • To improve hair elasticity
  • It is completely drug free and suitable for all hair types
  • For nourished hair
  • To increase hair strength
  • To prevent hair breakage
As always with a product like this, I am quite sceptical as to how much of an effect it will actually have. It does contain a huge array of vitamins and minerals which I imagine to not only be beneficial for your hair, but also your general health overall. At £39.99 for 60 capsules I definitely should hope that they benefit my hair in some way. shape or form!

I am planning on doing an update post once I have finished taking the supplements over the course of 60 days. So far I have only been taking them for a little while and I haven't noticed a huge difference.. although I did hear that your hair health reflects what was going on 3 months ago so maybe it will just take that amount of time to show?

Have any of you tried hair supplements? Did they make a difference to your hair?

*Gifted item*

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Yves Rocher Hair Vinegar

The last time I checked, vinegar was something that people put on their chips (except I don't because ew) Well as it turns out, hair vinegar exists and it's pretty good for making your hair nice and pretty! I've been using the Yves Rocher rinsing vinegar for a while now and I've noticed a few hair benefits.

The product is just a pink coloured, raspberry scented liquid (it actually doesn't smell of vinegar at all thank goodness). Since it's a 'rinsing' vinegar, I just sploosh a bit throughout my hair before rinsing out my conditioner. I do wish the bottle had a bit more direction about how you're supposed to apply it and for how long... but I kind of just had to guess - it seems to work anyway though so it's all good. 

The dispenser is very small which is good.. otherwise I'm pretty sure it would just all end up pouring out in one go. I only use a little each time so the product has actually lasted for quite a while now. However I'm sure if you wanted more of a deep clean/hair mask effect, you could use a third/half of the bottle in one go. 

After using this and then blow drying, I always find that my hair feels slightly softer and looks shinier than usual. It's not so good for when I want to curl my hair as the curls don't tend to stay in as long, but for when I'm just leaving my hair natural, it makes it look so much healthier and minimises the little frizzy bits I get in my hair. 

The product contains 98% completely natural ingredients and is silicone free meaning that it's much better for your hair and prevents product build up. I also think it just feels nicer to use a more natural product on my hair and give it a break from chemical-y ones. 

Have any of you used this or any other Yves Rocher hair products? 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Oaty Cookies

As past of last months Degustabox, I was sent a Delicious Alchemy Oaty Cookie Mix. Cookies are probably my all time favourite sweet treat so I was quite quick to make these! Delicious Alchemy are a food brand famous for their award winning gluten free products. I'm definitely not allergic to gluten but I always like to try out new things.

The cookies are super easy to make. All you have to do is add butter (or a dairy free alternative) and water to the bag of mix. I actually used milk instead of water since I'm not lactose intolerant and I just thought it would taste a bit nicer.

Once the ingredients were combined, it turned into a fairly loose dough. It also smelt amazing at this point - very sweet and golden syrup-y mmmm.

You're meant to separate the dough into 10 cookie balls but I prefer the larger variety of cookie who doesn't?, so I separated mine into 6, popped them on a baking sheet and then into the oven for around 18 minutes.

Once they had gone very slightly golden brown round the edges, I took them out the oven to cool. The result was a soft (but not chewy) cookie that tasted all sweet and oaty. They tasted kind of like a shortbread biscuit with oats in - SO MOREISH.

The mix is available to buy online for just £1.99. Perfect for anyone with a gluten/dairy intolerance.. or just someone who enjoys baking (like me). 

What's your favourite thing to bake?

* The cookie mix was gifted however all opinions are my own *