31 December 2015

This Month's Favourites | December 2015

A picture of Neal's Yard Remedies Mothers Massage Oil
It's New Year's Eve, people all over the world are getting dolled up and ready for a night on the town, and I'm sat here in my pj's binge watching Jersey Shore. What can I say? I'm too old for partying like it's 1999 2015. 

Before the year is out and I settle down to some scrumptious food and a night of documentaries with my better half, I wanted to share my December favourites with you all. Featuring a few essentials, a couple of products which have become real hero products for me in 2015 and a couple of new products I can't get enough of, these are all more than deserving of a spot in my December favourites.


30 December 2015

The December Subscription Boxes 2015

A picture of Birchbox UK December 2015 Birchbag

Last month I introduced a new way of sharing my monthly reviews of UK subscription boxes, the November subscription boxes 2015, and it seemed to go down pretty darn well. Instead of featuring each different subscription box in it's own individual post (which with the amount of monthly boxes I receive, can often take up a lot of posts throughout the month), the new way I will be sharing each month's subscription boxes is in one handy round-up review post. 

With December - and 2015 - almost over, it's time to share this month's subscription boxes with you all. December boxes are always fun, it's a great time for the different brands to up their game and make their box not only festive, but one which stands out from all the other boxes who are also trying to make that perfect end of year box. With so many subscription boxes going above and beyond in 2015 to step up their game when it comes to brands and products featured inside of their monthly boxes, the December box has never been such an important box to get right.

29 December 2015

Budget Baby Wardrobe

A picture of Asda Knitted Baby Booties

The 2 week countdown has officially begun, I am now 38 weeks pregnant and baby could arrive any day now. Every day I keep telling myself to slow down, that I could go into labour at any point and baby could be here before I know it, but it still seems surreal. I've been pregnant for 8 and a half months, I've known since I was 5 weeks pregnant on the dot, the majority of my 2015 has been spent pregnant. The idea that soon I won't be pregnant, but in fact I'll be a 'mother' with a baby to look after, it's all a little mind blowing if I'm honest.

27 December 2015

Origins Ginzing Refreshing Face Mask

A picture of Origins Ginzing Refreshing Face Mask
When I first started blogging one of the most popular skincare products that everyone was trying, was the Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream. An eye cream I have used and adored myself, it's one of the few eye creams I have repurchased several times and was a particular favourite of mine when I was in University and had lots of early mornings for the commute down to London. My love for the eye cream soon become a love for the ever-expanding Ginzing range, finding the Ginzing Energy-Boosting Moisturiser to be one of the most lovely and beneficial facial moisturisers I have ever come across, and one I always ensure to have stashed away in my skincare drawer. Since then more and more products have joined the Ginzing family, and the latest to join my ever-growing list of Origins favourites is the Ginzing Refreshing Face Mask, a mask I couldn't resist giving a try.

22 December 2015

When Plans Unravel

Today I am 37 weeks pregnant exactly. All the professionals, the baby books, the baby apps, everything tells you to have your hospital bags ready by the front door by 36 weeks, as from that point onwards baby could technically arrive at any moment. I planned for months that by 36 weeks I would have my hospital bags ready and raring to go - I even had a post drafted for last Tuesday, to share my hospital bags with you all. Alas, the last couple of weeks have seen things go a little off plan for me.

I have had the majority of my hospital bags packed for a good couple of weeks, with just a few things left to tick off on my 'to pack' list, but they're still not quite 100% ready. Why? Because our midwife appointment last week at 36 weeks didn't quite go to plan, and everything is a little bit up in the air right now.


21 December 2015

Soap & Glory The Perfect Ten

A picture of Soap & Glory The Perfect Ten Limited Edition Eyeshadow Palette
A couple of weeks ago when I shared my post on Christmas gifts under £30, I included a limited edition eyeshadow palette from Soap & Glory which got a lot of attention and love on Instagram and Twitter. Since then this has been one of my most used eyeshadow palettes, adoring the shade selection and finishes which are particularly lovely for this time of year. 

The Perfect Ten Eyeshadow Palette (£16) is limited edition, not to mention currently part of the Boots 3 for 2 offer across all Christmas gifts, I thought it would be a great time to share a more in-depth full review with you all, as this really is a beautiful palette not to be missed! It would make a fantastic gift for any friends or loved ones who you are yet to tick off on your Christmas list, or even a nice end of year treat for yourself. Plus, it's a bit of a bargain buy - what's not to love?!

20 December 2015

Lush Pink Flamingo Reusable Bubble Bar

A picture of Lush Pink Flamingo Reusable Bubble Bar

There's no denying I'm a huge Lush fan, I go on about them enough on all my social media platforms as well as reviewing them very often here on the blog. I love baths and for me there's no better way to indulge in a bath time pamper than with Lush products. One of the products I love the most from Lush is their huge bubble bar range, loving them as an alternative to your traditional bubble bath which you would pour into the bath, there's something so much more fun about crumbling a fun and quirky bubble bar that smells delicious and turns your bath water crazy colours whilst creating tons of bubbles. 

One type of bubble bar in particular that I've never been swayed by though, is the bubble bar wands. Stars, moustaches, flamingos, I've always steered clear of them because they seem to be a bit of a fuss to use. You have to find somewhere for them to dry after each use and they don't simply crumble by hand for you to pop under running water like the usual bubble bars which I am so used to using. The wands are meant to be held under running water or swished through your bath water, for them to create bubbles.


18 December 2015

Christmas with tarte

A picture of tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick Quad

There's just one week left until Christmas and the time for dashing out to finish off your Christmas shopping is quickly disappearing. For those last minute Christmas gifts for the makeup adorers in your life, there's a huge range of Christmas gift sets available over on QVC, with one brand in particular ticking all the boxes when it comes to beautiful makeup gift sets and limited edition collections that are hard to resist.

Of all the overseas brands which have branched out to the UK, tarte is definitely the brand to get the most excited about. A brand I absolutely adore, their products have the most beautiful packaging with some incredible product formulas throughout the range which boost amazing colour pay-off and fab longevity, making tarte a brand to be rivalled with. I've personally always purchased tarte products when making Sephora orders online, but having seen the pretty reasonable prices of the collections and gift sets on QVC, it's definitely swayed me into making a few UK based orders in future. For a brand which is so popular and products that are such great quality, their gift sets, collections and palettes are all very, very reasonable in price. There's a huge selection on offer, many of which can still be ordered in time for Christmas delivery, something to suit all beauty tastes and needs.

15 December 2015

Neal's Yard Remedies Mother & Baby Organic Collection

We've now hit the 36 weeks pregnant mark and with just 4 weeks left until our due date, things are getting serious. At the end of this week I will be considered full term and our baby could technically come at any point from now onwards. That's a pretty scary thought, although I suspect I will go overdue! All of our baby clothes have been washed, our hospital bags are packed and my birth plan has been written. All that's left is a couple more midwife appointments and to decorate the nursery, which we plan on starting this weekend. Time has absolutely flown by and it is crazy to think that in just 4 short weeks, our baby could be here.

If you've been reading my weekly pregnancy posts which I started sharing from just over 15 weeks pregnant, you will know that it is really important to my partner and I that we do whatever we can to ensure our baby is safe and healthy, and that includes the products we use on our baby and it's delicate, sensitive skin. This means we won't be using any products which use unnecessary filler ingredients, or ingredients which I know can cause skin sensitivity issues; instead we will be opting to use products and brands which use organic and natural ingredients.


14 December 2015

Body Care Favourites of 2015

A picture of The Comforter Shower Cream
Whenever the end of year drawers near I always find it really lovely to go through all the products I've enjoyed using that year. Usually it's the makeup and skincare posts I get most excited to share my favourite products of the year for, but this year there are some real stand-out products which have become regulars in my body care routine, that I am really excited to share them all with you today. A couple are pregnancy-specific (although products which would be just as lovely for those not expecting, too), with a couple of indulgent treats, some delicious scents and a real budget-friendly all-round winner. Let's get stuck in, shall we?

10 December 2015

Reaching for Berry Lips

A picture of Bobbi Brown Red Velvet Luxe Lip Color
The berry lip. Typical to autumn and the festive season, a shade which is reignited each year as soon as the weather turns dark and cold and the winter candles and cosy blankets come out. Berry hues will always have a place in the run up to Christmas, no matter what trends come and go, and there are few shades which make me feel as confident - and happy - as a bold berry lip. Lipsticks, lip pencils, liquid lacquers and glittering glosses, all of them have a place in my berry lip arsenal. 

9 December 2015

Bee Good Youth Enhancing Lift & Brighten Eye Cream

A picture of Bee Good Youth Enhancing Lift & Brighten Eye Cream

Applying eye cream morning and night is a really important part of my skincare routine, just as much as ensuring I cleanse properly, as the skin under our eyes is so thin and delicate it really does need that extra loving care. Now I'm on the dark side of  my 20's with my 30's drawing near, it's even more important than before that I use an eye cream which will look after that delicate skin, helping to keep skin healthy as it ages.

Over the past 5 weeks I've been trying the Bee Good Lift & Brighten Eye Cream, part of the new 3 product Youth Enhancing skincare range from cruelty-free Bee Good, which features a serum, eye cream and moisturiser which together aim to keep skin youthful, healthy and happy. A range which is suitable for all skin types but especially beneficial for mature or ageing skin, it holds big claims - but does it deliver?

8 December 2015

Pregnancy essentials & must-have products

Today I am 35 weeks pregnant, which means I have been documenting and sharing my pregnancy with you all for 20 weeks now, since just after I hit the 15 week mark and felt brave enough to publicly share the news. If you missed my announcement post, when your life changes forever, you will know that I was in two minds about whether to share such a personal aspect of my life so publicly, but I am glad I did. This blog is an extension of me and I have never shied away from sharing my life before. With such a huge thing happening in my life offline, I don't think I would have been able to keep it secret online.

It seems like I've been sharing these weekly posts with you all forever and I have to admit that with only 5 weeks left to go until my due date, I will miss sitting down each week in the countdown to baby arriving and sharing my thoughts, excitement and nerves. Of course I'll still be posting weekly with a baby themed post, but they will be very different from my pregnancy posts, documenting life as a first time mum with a newborn and getting to grips with being a parent. Parent, that is a scary word! I'm going to be a mum, wow.

7 December 2015

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

A picture of Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

One of the most exciting beauty releases of the year is undoubtedly the stunningly presented Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette from Urban Decay. For makeup fans, the news of a new Urban Decay palette is always exciting, but for me the collaboration with Gwen Stefani really did top the makeup releases of 2015 for me. I am a huge fan of Gwen Stefani, not just for her solo work, but more so for her work with No Doubt, a real favourite band of mine whose albums I grew up with. Gwen has a really unique, feisty and delicious personal style that stands out from other women of her status, a style I could never pull off myself but a style I admire and swoon over nonetheless. 

5 December 2015

Christmas with Bobbi Brown

A picture of Bobbi Brown Christmas Collection

Oh Bobbi Brown, you always know the way to this girl's heart.

When it comes to luxury few brands get it as right as Bobbi Brown. Products which team beautiful product formulas with incredible shade ranges and gorgeous finishes that together work to create stunning ranges which are easy to work with and let you enhance your look, adding just the right amount of oomph to the areas that you want to stand out whilst keeping your overall look natural, chic and oh so very glamorous. The Christmas releases are the perfect example of Bobbi Brown's ethos when it comes to makeup and beauty, without the need for fancy packaging or Christmas themed shade selections, just classic Bobbi Brown with that simplistic yet bold packaging and a lovely mix of new and old to satisfy any beauty adorer this festive season.

4 December 2015

Cooking made easy with Gousto

A picture of a Gousto box

I've always loved cooking, in fact it's one of my favourite things to do and from a very young age I have cooked all of my own meals. I used to love Food Technology back in high school and since around the age of 11 as soon as I started learning the basics of cooking and a few core meals, I started to cook my own meals at home. I wasn't the biggest fan of my mum's cooking, so it gave me the opportunity to cook meals to my own taste, seasoning and adding spices to my liking and experimenting with different cuisines, tastes and textures. I look cooking for myself, for friends, for family, oh and of course for the other half. 

3 December 2015

Luxurious Christmas Gifts Under £50

A picture of Bodhi & Birch Assemblage Gift Set

December is under way, Christmas is just 22 sleeps away and I'm here with my final Christmas gift guide. So far we've covered the best budget beauty gifts, with all gifts featured coming in at under £15, as well as beauty gifts under £30 for those of you looking for something with a bit more oomph. We've gone through delicious edible treats and beautiful seasonal scents with my Christmas gift guide for the home and we've even covered babies and those under 5 in my gift guide for children. Today for my final gift guide it's time to feature the luxurious beauty gifts worth adding to your Christmas list this festive season, the extra indulgent sets to help you really spoil your nearest and dearest and a couple of things you should definitely treat yourself to after another long year; it's time to delve into my top beauty picks under £50. 

2 December 2015

Ragdale Hall Experience Day

On Sunday I had the pleasure of popping along to Ragdale Hall Hydro Health and Thermal Spa, which is located very close to me within a 15 minute drive. I've been to Ragdale Hall once before, last summer with fellow blogger Charlotte who writes over at Lilmisschickas, and it was a heavenly day spent enjoying the Pure Detox Spa Day. Ever since that first visit I have been absolutely in love with Ragdale Hall and it's a spa I always recommend to friends and family. Situated in the heart of the British Countryside nearby Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, it's a slice of heaven tucked away from busy life, the perfect place to get away from everyday stresses and take some much needed 'me time'. 

On this visit I got to experience the 'Ragdale Hall Experience Day', which is the perfect package for anyone who wants to see what Ragdale Hall has to offer without going for a full spa package, with the added benefit of being able to upgrade or amend the day to suit your needs. My Experience Day included a treatment specifically tailored for expectant mama's; the Elemis Nurturing Massage for the Mother-to-Be

Theraline Original Maternity and Nursing Pillow

A picture of Theraline Original Maternity and Nursing Pillow

Yesterday we reached the 34 weeks pregnant mark. I cannot even begin to tell you how surreal it feels knowing that not only is our due date only 6 weeks away, but now that we are in December I can also officially say 'our baby is due next month!'. How crazy is that? 

If you've followed my weekly posts so far throughout my pregnancy then you will know I have had a pretty easy pregnancy so far with no morning sickness or severe pregnancy issues. In fact, everything has gone pretty smoothly. There's only a few niggles I've had, and most of them have been to do with having an extremely sore back and shoulders.
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