Sunday, 20 April 2014

Lifestyle | Bloggers Holiday with Sykes Cottages* (part 1)

A couple of weekends ago myself, my mum and a few other Yorkshire bloggers set off for a bloggers holiday in The Lakes. Usually when we all see each other it is at events or we can never get all together in one place to have a good ol’ natter, so going away for a long weekend was the perfect excuse to drink too much, eat EVERYTHING and have a little nosey through each other’s makeup bags. Thanks to Sykes Cottages we managed to find the perfect place for us all, as when it was left to me to pick somewhere I just wanted everywhere, luckily the amazing Louise was on hand to narrow down the selection for me. With help from Sykes Cottages we chose the amazing beautiful Mountain View in Arnside (Cumbria) for a 3 night blogger holiday. 

Just look at how pretty the apartment is... I want to live here. As soon as we arrived all you could hear from us was ‘wow’ ‘so pretty’ ‘much cuteness’ - it was like a Doge meme. The apartment was over 2 floors and slept 8, the bedrooms were just amazing but the real beauty of the place was the giant bay window in the living room looking out onto the Kent Estuary, not only that but the owner had left some binoculars on the bay seating so we could have a nosey at the locals, I mean do some sightseeing. They had thought of everything for the apartment, games, hairdryers, milk, bread and more importantly a lovely bottle of wine chilling in the fridge. Seriously, this place is like a beauty bloggers dream. Also the guy who owned it was so lovely, he called the night before we set off to make sure we knew where everything was and were all set, he was also on hand over the weekend for anything and to give us some tips on where to visit. 

The village is adorable too with a little high street of about 15 little shops and 2 pubs - easy enough for us to complete a pub crawl. This place is a walkers paradise as the surrounding area is amazingly beautiful, it’s just a shame we over indulged in the drinking so none of us were really in a ‘get your boots on we’re going trekking’ kind of mood, but ah well it just means we get to go again to do that. 

You know it has been a good time when as soon as you get back you are checking out the prices to go again in a few months. I always thought these kind of stay in the UK cottage holidays were expensive but I was actually quite surprised by how little they are for a week/weekend away. Sykes Cottages have a cottage and a location to suit every budget; for a week away at Mountain View in April it worked out at around £80* per person, which is amazing considering you could pay around £60 for a night in a run of the mill chain hotel. The beauty of checking into a cottage for the weekend is that you can all sit around in the same room in your jim jams with face masks on and cocktails in your hand. 

I can’t thank Sykes Cottages enough for their amazing customer service and lovely tweets over the weekend. Also thanks to the other bloggers for coming along and making it an amazing time and helping my Mummy feel welcome and helping to celebrate her birthday in a haze of cocktails and giggles. Go check out the other bloggers too to nosey at their pics - Sammie, Kel, Simone, Katie, Jess and Sharon

Want to see what we got up to whilst there? Well there will be another post (or maybe 2) with all the gory details and plenty of pictures *oh the shameful pictures*

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Review & Wishlist | Emi Jewellery

I think I may have mentioned on my blog before that when it comes to jewellery I am not one for big expensive gold/silver pieces due to my ability to lose everything and anything, but also because with the ever changing fashions it’s easier and cheaper to be on top of it with costume jewels. Now browsing through the Emi Jewellery site is like my dream, they have everything from Boho necklaces to Giraffe earrings, originally this post was going to be a review of the earrings I received but I also decided to make it into a wishlist too, you know because it’s my blog and if I want to be a rebel I can haha, but in all honesty it is because there are just soooooooo many pretties. 

The Double Drop Earrings* I was sent are so pretty and will look perfect with a messy thrown up bun hairstyle for a night out. The green coloured gems are stunning and would suit any skin tone, especially paler ladies. The earrings are well made and rather sturdy too, as sometimes with costume style jewellery the fixings can be a little flimsy feeling, even more so with my heavy hands. 

The earrings were sent from Switzerland and arrived extremely fast, not to mention very well packaged so there was no chance of damage. I have ordered things from Mainland Europe before and have sometimes found the delivery time to take ages but these were here within a couple of days which was a lovely surprise. I will definitely be ordering more from Emi Jewellery, and here is what I have my eye on for future orders.... 

As a self confessed Twitter addict these cute little Hashtag Earrings (€2.50) would be perfect for me, and these will be going straight into my basket when I do my payday treat order. Now I am reliably informed (by Twitter no less) that yellow is all the rage this SS14 so as I am not brave enough to rock a yellow outfit I am going to be rocking the yellow trend with some pretty accessories so this Neon Yellow Collar Necklace (€23.00) is perfect. I adore this Glass Chilli Pepper Bracelet (€15.00) it’s so pretty and eye catching, I can just imagine this being perfect for festival season, you know Chilli Peppers, Music... Now this just screams sunset cocktails to me (maybe that’s because I love any excuse for a cocktail) but I can just see this looking stunning with a Maxi Dress in a pretty sunny location. Now I just need a pretty sunny location for this gorgeous Gem Stone Necklace (€15.00)

Also they have something called The UniQue collection which is all handmade jewels using materials such as Swarovski Crystals, also with the pieces being limited you won’t find lots of people rocking the same necklace/bracelet as you. 

Have you had a look on the site yet? What will you be placing an order for or lusting after?

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*PR Sample. Sent for consideration of an honest review, all words and views are my own.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Review | Twist Mojito Cocktail Box*

I do love a cheeky little drink every now and then especially a cocktail plus I also like subscription boxes (when they are good that is) so obviously I was going to be more than a little excited upon seeing the latest subscription box to hit the interweb. A cocktail subscription. I repeat A COCKTAIL SUBSCRIPTION BOX. GO GO GO *said in shouty police man voice before high speed chase commences*. You can thank me later for bringing this to your attention. 

Twist offer specific cocktail boxes each month for £24.99, you can either subscribe to the boxes or purchase a one off box every now and then when the fancy takes you. So far past boxes have included, Manhattens, Mojitos and Tequila. Each box comes with everything you need to make the perfect cocktail and enough of the ingredients to make 4 cocktails, not only that but if you fancy trying your hand at being a proper mixologist they even sell various cocktail making kits that include mixers, muddlers and shakers. 

So in my March Mojito Box (£24.99)* I got Mint Leaves, Ginger Ale, A Lime, Balsamic Vinegar, Monin Sugar Syrup, Grand Marnier and 2 bottles of White Rum, the idea being that you can make a Classic Mojito, A Ginger Mojito, A Strawberry Mojito and a Grand Mojito - some cocktails may require you to source a few extras, but nothing major or that you would find difficult to get your hands on. The box itself looks lovely and the little mini bottles are so cute and can be re-used, personally I think it is perfect to take along to a party or to give as a gift to someone - not to mention a great way to discover new cocktails and add new recipes to your mental library to impress folk. I know what people are getting from me for birthdays this year. 

What box are you looking forward to seeing?

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*PR Sample - Sent for consideration of an honest review. All words, images and views are my own

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Review | Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum*

Since the winter months I have been loving serums as part of my skincare routine, especially anything hydrating and soothing on my poor winter ravaged skin, but even now as the season has changed I can't get enough of them. Avene are a french brand that I hadn't really heard much of to be honest, except from reading reviews which all seemed to be great, but apart from that I hadn't seem them around. Avène is a French Skincare brand that has created a line of skincare for sensitive skin, and although I don't suffer from overly sensitive skin it is nice to give my skin a little break from my usual harsher products every now and then. I have been using the Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum* for a few weeks now, which is currently on offer at Escentual for £14.25 for 30ml (rrp £17.00)

The Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum contains a high concentration of Avene Thermal Spring Water, which is known for it's soothing properties, especially in cases of dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema . And we all need a little bit of soothing every now and again. The serum itself feels lovely on the skin; cool, fresh, lightweight, not sticky or gel like and it sinks in really easily, my skin just seems to drink it up. I have been using 2-3 pumps morning & night and have generally seen an improvement in my skin, although I had been using serums before this so it wasn't a drastic improvement; my skin seems a little calmer in terms of redness and also my mouisturiser is absorbed a lot quicker after using the Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum. I am rather happy with this serum and can't wait to try out more from the brand, I now have my eye on the Avene Clearance Cleansing Water & the Avene Clearance Soapless Gel Cleanser.

Also it is worth noting that Escentual have a French Pharmacy section that has lots of amazing brands such as Nuxe, Bioderma, La Roche Posay & Avene, so I can see this as being my new favourite place to shop. 

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*PR Sample sent for consideration of an honest review. All images, views & words are my own

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Lifestyle | Guest Posting for Tesco

A few of you may have noticed on Twitter a couple of weeks ago that I had some exciting news but that I couldn't share it just yet; well today I can... Brace yourselves ladies and gents, it’s a biggie (I feel like there should be a Sean Bean meme here, but there isn't; feel free to insert your own witty one).

Anyways Sean Bean aside let’s get back to the matter in hand, the lovely people over at Tesco Living let me write a post for them (yes I know I was thinking the same too, they have surely lost the plot). The post has gone up and it is all about getting your body ready for spring, brushing off the cobwebs and sorting out the pasty pins. You can find my post HERE and I would love you ALL to go have a little look see, pretty please with a cherry on top. I hope you all like it.

Pssstttt - don’t forget to give both Tesco Living and Beauty at Tesco a cheeky little follow on Twitter, they are lovely and all the Tesco tweets have me giggling.

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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Review | NARS Blush - Dolce Vita

I am a bit of a blusher novice, there I said it - go forth and judge me now :) I don't wear it everyday and I certainly don't have a giant stash of them, oh and my colour choices have always being quite muted and boring to be honest. Browsing the NARS site one day I was feeling brave and decided to try a NARS Blush in Dolce Vita. I was drawn to it as it reminds me of a vintage colour and is the perfect English Rose colour, plus it just looks so darn purdy. 

NARS Blush Dolce Vita (£21.50) comes in the classic matte black rubbery packaging with a giant NARS logo on the front, I don't know what it is about the NARS packaging but I just love it, it's nothing fancy by a long mile but yet it always stands out. The only downside to the packaging is that it attracts dirt and fingerprints like no ones business, which isn't good when my makeup bag seems to be a harbour for loose powder. 

The blush is a stunning dusty rose shade with a matte finish, although there is a slight sheen too it but not at all shimmery. This is extremely pigmented as I found out when I first applied it, I was a little heavy handed and ended up looking like Aunt Sally with bright rosy cheeks, you only need to swirl your brush lightly in the pan to pick up enough product. But saying that, if you do go a little over board it is so easy to blend, the formula is so soft very finely milled. It leaves a lovely rosy glow to your cheeks and the colour gives me images of a Pride and Prejudiced look (no, I don't know why either, as I hate that film).

As the colour is very pigmented you do not need to use a lot of product to get a good pay off, which is great as this little pot will last me forever and a day. Also as it lasts all day without having to reapply, this more than makes up for the £21.50 price tag. The only problem I can see with this is that the colour may accentuate people who have more redness in their cheeks, so if that's you then give it a go in store before purchasing. I love this blush and it has even made me wear blusher more often which is great, it must be working some kind of magic to achieve that.

What's your most loved NARS blusher? I need recommendations for more.

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Lifestyle | Day Tripping - Leeds to Liverpool

 A few weekends ago I headed off to Liverpool for a fashion event (more on that in another post) and as I had never been to Liverpool before it was the perfect excuse to be a tourist for the day & bust out the camera. You may have seen on Instagram & Twitter that I was having a bit of a fan moment at The Cavern. As you can tell from my pictures I got a little snap happy. So here is more on my little adventure... 

Myself, Sammie & Kel met in a seedy car park early Sunday morning - well a McDonalds car park at 10:30am, but that doesn’t sound as exciting now does it? After a bit of a chat in the sun about the sun (typical Brits) we set off on the road for our Blogger Road Trip. Kel was behind the wheel & Sammie on music duty, I was sat in the back on Twitter. When we got to Liverpool we had a little kerfuffle trying to find the car park, then trying to get out of the car park - it had about a gazillion stairs - but we eventually made it out onto the streets & eventually made it to the Holy Ground that is The Cavern Club, even with my crap directions. Here we met Roxi who became our much needed tour guide. 

I have always wanted to visit The Cavern so I was absolutely over the moon & much to the annoyance of everyone walking past I was more than happy to stand at the wall taking pictures of the bricks all day. Instead we went inside for a cheeky drink, with me running around like a child on crack taking yet more pictures. It is seriously like a dream down there & I cannot wait to go back & have a proper knees up & watch some bands. 

After setting off for the show we decided to have a little wonder round the Docks, it is so pretty & I am seriously jealous of people having such amazingness on their doorsteps. After the show we went back to the docks for another wonder & to grab so food, it took us a while to pick somewhere to eat, we finally picked a Circus themed restaurant but was turned away as they were busy - they were bloody empty, I guess our northern accents put them off letting us dine. 

It was a great day, even if we did have a mini panic when we went back to the car park & the shutters were down. I cannot wait to go back to ‘pool and do some more exploring and maybe even a cheeky bit of shopping next time too - if you live in Liverpool keep your eye out for me, I will be the one being a major tourist and jumping around in excitement. 

Have you been on any city trips lately? Please tell me you were a tourist too so I don’t feel like an idiot (I don’t get out much)

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Sunday, 6 April 2014

Review | STEAMCREAM - Pink Diamond*

First up when I type STEAMCREAM I am not in a sudden fit of rage that is how it is, all in capitals. Just putting that out there. Now on to the matter at hand ladies and gents; a review of this pretty little pot of STEAMCREAM. 

STEAMCREAM is a brand I wasn’t familiar with before, which is strange considering it is the talk of the town and has even won awards (CEW UK Award for Best New Skincare), I guess I am a little behind the times. STEAMCREAM Pink Diamond (£12.95 75ml)* is a 3 in 1 lightweight emulsion for your skin, it can be used on your face, hands and body - I was a little skeptical of this claim - and claims to have better results that ordinary creams due to the process by which it is made. The cream is handmade (in the UK and also in Japan) with organic and vegan traceable ingredients, they also use a shot of steam to bind everything together. Yeah, me neither; apparently it’s some kind of molecular science trickery which makes the cream lighter and easily absorbed by the skin. 

The tin is absolutely adorable and due to the design my eyes are drawn to it over the abundance of other lotions and potions I have. My tin is the Pink Diamond edition but there are so many others to choose from with new designs being added all the time, they also have collaborations with designers too. Due to the tin I tend to keep this in my handbag as an on the go fix as opposed to part of my every day morning/night routine. 

The cream itself is as they say rather lightweight and is really easily absorbed into the skin, not leaving any greasiness or stickiness behind. It does have a rather unappealing scent for me though, Lavender, my nemesis; I dislike this scent so much. But I must admit it isn’t too overbearing and there is Rose Absolute and Orange Blossom to counteract the old lady smell of Lavender so it isn't something that bothers me too much or for any great period of time - the scent doesn't transfer or linger onto your skin.

I have been using this mostly as a hand cream or on the little patches of eczema I get and it has worked really well at clearing up any niggling dry patches and leaving my skin feeling soft, hydrated and supple. It does not contain any SPF so if you are thinking of using this as a face cream you really need to think about your sun protection too (yes I know I sound like your Mother now). Overall I found this little tin of goodness worked really well and did what it promised, although at £12.95 for 75ml it is a little on the pricey side, but a great little tin to have in your bag as an all rounder.

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