Sunday, 27 April 2014

A Huckleberry Nail

One of my main blogging 'enablers' is Laura from Buy Now, Blog Later I absolutely love everything about her style and so tend to pay attention to what she is currently sporting. So it was no surprise that I took notice when I saw her wearing an on trend pale pastel blue nail in this post. She was actually wearing an Essie version but my local Boots store was out of stock so off I went around the aisles to find a dupe.

It looks like Rimmel and L'Oreal currently have a range of pastels out; Rimmel with the Rita Ora range and L'Oreal with their Perfection Color Riche Nails but again both were out of stock. 

Then I stumbled across the BarryM counter and they have a few perfect pastel shades in their Gelly High Shine range, which is already a formula I love. I instantly picked up Huckleberry in a bid to replicate the far more expensive Essie version.

I am really pleased with this polish although I think the pictures make it look a little brighter than it is because they have been taken in a blue room however, it is also definitely not a blue toned white. As usual with this formula a couple of coats gives a totally opaque, highly pigmented and glossy finish. Paired with a good base coat and Seche Vite top coat it is also long lasting.

The perfect shade for those looking to incorporate a spring pastel into their look. Has anyone else been loving pastel nails lately?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Cornish Adventure

Living in the South West for over 3 years it was time for us to venture down to Cornwall. We needed a little break from crazy work schedules, master degrees, netball clubs and football clubs. So our bags were packed and we headed down to the beautiful South East coast of Cornwall staying in Polperro and visiting Polruan, Fowey and Looe. 

Driving down the road into the deep valley you get a sense of what a wonderfully remote village you are making your way into. The views are breathtaking especially with a clear blue sky above you. 

Down the narrow roads you make your way into the tiny village all the time looking for that first glimpse of the sea. 

Our lodgings for the trip was the beautiful Natal House B&B

 We were warmly welcomed by Jackie and Simon and in the 'Teal' bedroom we were greeted by a large comfy bed, crisp white bed sheets and a snugly duvet. The hospitality we were shown was fantastic with the cherry on top that fantastic cooked breakfast by Simon.

The River Pol outside of Natal House making its' way down to the sea.
Our first venture took us to The Blue Peter right on the edge of the harbour as our stomachs were calling for lunch. We had huge sandwiches and a portion of chips with a real Cornish ale on top. 
Spring was sprung so we enjoyed an ice cream from the famous Treleavens.

We headed to The Ship for our first drink(s) of the evening and we really loved this watering hole with its raging fire, selection of ales and a double G&T. It was finally time for dinner and it had to be steak and chips with all the trimmings at The Buccaneer washed down with a bottle of Pinot Noir...glorious!

We followed this up with a late night walk around the village...

...and another stop at The Blue Peter and my first real ale!

The next morning the sun was shining so we went for a little stroll around the harbour.

We loved seeing some of the tiny details around the village including the small blue doors on the cottages, the national heritage signs and the fishing equipment. 

The great seaside details on some of the cottages gave this little village even more personality and the little narrow streets meant you couldn't help but imagine the sights and sounds of a thriving fishing village many years ago. 

I couldn't leave without a photo of this gorgeous cottage. All higgledy piggledy style with its leaning walls it reminded us of something from Harry Potter.

We walked along the Coastal Path to get a better view and spring was definitely in the air.

In the afternoon we travelled along the windy lanes and found ourselves at another small village called  Polruan. A steep walk down to the harbour and we boarded the passenger 'ferry' over the river to Fowey. 

We loved this little town, with its quaint streets, sea views and food galore.

We couldn't help but imagine ourselves living in one of the ice cream pastel houses...well a girl can dream!

 For lunch it had to be a Cornish cream tea. 

We finished the day with a late evening visit to The Kitchen.  A small restaurant in Polperro run by Harry in front of house and his wife Jane the chef.

Our food was quite simply delicious in fact it was so delicious we didn't take the time to get photos. Fresh sea food, locally sourced meat cooked to perfection all washed down with a drink or two.

The great food, comfy bed and fresh sea air certainly meant we were rested and relaxed. The perfect little seaside break.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Baskets

I have a few little ones in my life and being the great aunt that I am I wanted to get them a few Easter treats when we visited the homeland last weekend but I have to say the Easter aisle of Tesco (other supermarkets are available) didn't really call to me. 

A sneaky visit to Aldi and after finding a few supplies I was inspired to make these extra cute Easter baskets full of Easter goodies which in my opinion are far better than a really commercial Easter egg. 

These buckets were 99p each and I thought the kids would get to use these again for their egg hunts this weekend.

Next it was for the chocolate treats. I just love all of the bright colours. 

The center piece was the chocolate rabbit a total rip off of the more expensive version but only 75p!

 Look how cute...

I have a roll of cellophane that probably cost a couple of quid from eBay which I got before Christmas a couple of years ago. I think wrapping up gifts in this always makes them look so much more professional and like you have put a lot of effort into your wrapping when really it is so easy. 

I found these cute little tags after searching for 'free Easter printables'. 

Here is the finished product. Super easy, super cheap coming in at around £3.00 each and way more personal than any prepacked chocolate egg. I can assure you the little ones loved them as well.

Happy Easter and I hope that the Easter bunny has visited you.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

My First Lush

I am afraid I have been one of those people that has shyed away from the strong smelling shop Lush. Having suffered with Eczema my whole life, I tend to stay clear of anything overly scented or soapy that might irritate my skin and whilst I was familiar with the ethos of the company, using natural products, the powerful smells had put me off.

However, I ventured in to buy my best friend a couple of luxurious bathing products for her birthday and I'm afraid that I was too tempted. Perhaps I was suckered in by the incredibly helpful staff member who talked me through some of the options and somewhat convinced me that despite the strong smells I shouldn't have any problem with some of the bath bombs / bubble bars and my eczema. 

I picked up...

The Butterball - Bath Bomb

This was the first thing recommended as it is designed with those of us with sensitive skin in mind. Gently fragranced with ylang ylang and coco butter, once broken down this leaves the water milky and with nothing more than a clean 'fresh' scent. 

One of the first things I noticed was that this really fizzed and totally broke down in the water. Great as I used to hate the 'cheaper' bath bombs and the hard sections you would find undissolved at the bottom upon plonking yourself in the steaming water. 

The butterball leaves a film of oil from the coco butter on the surface of the water which left my skin feeling really soft and moisturised after I dried off...even my husband noticed!

The Comforter Bubble Bar

There is simply nothing more relaxing than a warm bubble bath and I could not resist the AMAZING smelling Comforter bubble bar.   Without a doubt my favourite of the pack on smell alone and the cute pink bath water also helped!

Karma Bubble Bar

After spending a small fortune on presents and myself I was really pleased when I got home and found a min karma bubble bar in my bag which the shop assistant had given me as a free sample. She had mentioned that this 'scent' is the signature for Lush. It is lovely but in my opinion is far surpassed by the smell of the The Comforter. 

I crumbled half of this into a bath and was thrilled at the pale orange bath water and the lashings of foamy bubbles that really did last.  

My eczema has come up on my arms but I tried these whilst staying in a hotel which means it is not really a fair test.  I find that very often when staying away from home I will have a small reaction due to the detergents used to wash the bedding. 

As far as I am concerned these are now staple bath products and when I'm willing to treat myself to a bath it will be one of these that is joining me.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Lily Flame Candles

I was originally gifted a 'Blush' Lily Flame candle 5 or 6 years ago for Christmas and I have been one of their fans ever since and am rarely without a tin on the go. 

I really love the packaging of the tins, particularly the font design and the girly colours they use for all of their labelling. The range has been extended away from the original tins and they now do glass jar candles, room sprays and reed diffusers...hello wish list! 

You are able to find them in person in John Lewis and I regularly go and have a little sniff to see what is new but I keep on coming back to Blush. It is a heady scent, deep and musky but feminine at the same time.

Well on a little trip to John Lewis to purchase the Blush candle for a friends birthday box I noticed that they now do individual mini tins ... hello Lily Flame cuteness. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to choose a different scent and give something else a road test. 

This time I chose the Lavender and Lime. There is a strong scent of relaxing lavender but the twist of lime takes away that old lady edge and freshens it up slightly, making it perfect for either day or night time burning. I particularly like the idea of taking a mini with me when travelling to liven up the standard hotel scent. The mini tins also make such great little gifts I think.

These tins have very powerful scents and like some of their more expensive counterparts they can fill a room without even being lit. Unlike most of their expensive counterparts these candles come in at less than £10 each a significant saving if you were thinking of a Diptyque or Neom offering. 

Since moving to the South West it makes it even better these little tins of cuteness are made in Somerset.

These are sold on Amazon, in John Lewis and from Lily Flame themselves.