Tuesday, 2 September 2014

My picks from the 'Once' collection by Illamaqua - Courtier and Melange

Illamasqua is a brand that, most of the time, I can't afford but when I saw the 'Once' collection I fell a bit... a Lot, in love. Thankfully the release has coincided with me getting paid for some blogging related stuffs SO I have money that's expressly for blog things and what's more important on a very beauty oriented blog than some Gorgeous makeup from a beautiful new range!


And oh oh oh the pretty! Even just the packaging with the rose gold lid to the cream shadow and that famous Illamasqua polish bottles!

This is the Vintage Metallix in the shade 'Courtier' - I absolutely love cream shadows and when I saw this one I knew I'd be a little bit crazy for it. These cost a rather high end £16.50 which is the cost for luxury of this calibre but oh my goodness it's beautiful!

My photos don't do this justice, it's just one of those that's incredibly difficult to capture on camera - It's a pale, almost neutral shade but it's very pinky toned with gold shimmer in it, it's absolutely alive with depth and beauty (Yup, we're going a bit poetic here)


You can see some of the shimmer here - I managed to lose the next photo so I've just spent ages finding it again, haha.

You can see the shimmer a lot better in this one. None of them do it justice, I took SO many shots trying to make it look as beautiful as it does to the natural eye but I think it's one of those things that needs to be seen with the naked eye - If you can get to a counter to see this, and swatch it, I'd really recommend it.

And this is the nail polish... when I first saw 'Melange' I just said wow, wow and wow again. It's a beautiful teal with this gorgeous golden shimmer running through it - It's one of the most unique shades I've ever seen and I know I'd have been gutted if I hadn't ordered it, even though it's £14.50 which is more than I'd normally spend on polish - If you Do treat yourself with higher end polishes from time.... well just look at it! I've got four wheel swatch photos to show you because it's so different in so many different lights!




I think you can see why I fell in love with this polish, I am itching to put it on my nails Very very soon!

To be honest there was a couple of other items, from the collection, that I'd have like to have bought (A gloss, the blush and another cream shadow) but these are the highlights of the collection, for me, and I am so so pleased to have bought them. I will be wearing the cream shadow tomorrow, my eyes are looking forward to it haha. 







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The Store opening of Homesense in Cheltenham*

When I heard that there was a Homesense opening in Cheltenham I was rather excited; they're the sister company to TK Maxx but they're home oriented rather than clothing. I do enjoy TK Maxx but I find going through all of the clothes a bit laborious and tend to end up going there for the home section, mostly. So, essentially, Homesense is my favourite part of TK Maxx times Lots!

I attended the opening of the Cheltenham Homesense last Thursday and it was such a great morning. My lovely friend Pippa had wanted to go so I was able to go without spending a tonne on a taxi but I'm even more pleased that we went together as it was a nice way to spend time with a friend. The opening had a tea party theme and there was tents set up outside with tea and cake, a band and little fun fair like games for people to play too.

And here's a warning... this is a Very photo heavy post! If you want to just see my written conclusion of the morning and the store then you might want to speed past the photos but the photos Are rather pretty, honest!


All set up like a proper, vintage tea party. 



Taken from my Instagram - Lovely cup of tea in vintage cup and saucer and a delicious mini scone with cream and jam. 

 

There was even a band!

We were just parking up when the ribbon was cut so I missed taking photos, I jumped on the chance when I saw them re-staging it though! Even better my friend who works there, now, was holding the ribbon for this one (That's Cleo on the right)

This was the first thing I saw as I looked around the downstairs part of the store - There's an amazing selection of home decoration items, really individual items which you need to get the first time you see them as they might not be there a second time - The stock changes really quickly.

More beautiful pieces.

There's not a lot of pieces of furniture but the ones that there was were beautiful and they're the sorts of things I'd love to own one day.



Also there was candles, Lots and Lots of candles!


There was endless shelves of beautiful storage ideas, lots and lots and lots!

All the different sections were really nicely colour coded, even the note pads (and that was only half, or a third of the section)


I took a Lot of photos of the kitchen areas, too, but I'm only uploading a few of them as we're already going a bit OTT on the photos. But oh my gosh, look at the mugs! SO many and I'd happily have most of them in my future home. 


I love this style of decorative kitchen ware.


Look at all of these! I mean... you're getting the idea now? How Much of everything there is. 


I was rather satisfied by the colour coded towels... mhmm that's the sort of thing that impresses me. 


And, yes, they had some beauty items too! There was makeup bags, vanity cases, hair care and lots of body care.


There was also a lovely children's section. Most of it was a bit young for Ethan but there was some toys for slightly bigger children and there was some great book offers too.


Just had to take this pic whilst I was waiting for a till - Cleo smiling with her customer and other members of staff - It really illustrates how all of the staff were, everyone seemed really happy and so very helpful. 

The store really did absolutely surpass my expectations. I didn't expect it to be anywhere as reasonably priced as it was and I couldn't believe quite how many beautiful things there could be in one building. There was also So much available, each department was full to bursting with exciting and interesting home wares. If you like pretty things for the home then this place is for you, and if you like practical things then this place is Also for you. There's some higher priced items, of course, but it's quite representative of how big the item is, how much you'd expect it to be.

I was given a £25 gift card to spend whilst I was at the store so I'll show you what I bought with it (I went over, a bit, as I bought some bits for my Mum as well, I just couldn't help it, it was hard enough to limit what I got for myself) - I set myself a bit of a challenge; something for Ethan, something pretty and something practical.



For Ethan I managed to pick up this fantastic wipe clean letters and numbers work book - He has one of these already but not anywhere near as good as this one and it only cost £2.99!


We've just discovered how good butter knives really are, I kid you not, So much easier to butter bread there really is a reason they used to be in everyone's homes! My Mum picked one up on holiday and said she wanted to get some more and when I saw these I just had to get them but I really wanted to get these polka dot and floral ones to keep for when we move out because they're so pretty and we're going to need them as buttering actually really hurts my hands. These were £5.99.


My pretty item is this beautiful storage box - It's not quite A4 but it's really useful for keeping my note pads and pens and things in, I've got so many of them hanging around that it's really good to have somewhere to keep them all. And SO pretty! This cost £6.99, Pippa got the bigger version for an extra pound. 


The last item I bought with my gift card is this long handled, floral dust pan and brush. Might seem a bit boring but I just can't handle a hoover with my back and sometimes it's nice to just sweep up some of Ethan's foody mess between the hoovering being done but, obviously, a normal dust pan and brush is equally as difficult as a hoover (but in a different way) - This thing is a little bit revolutionary for me (And my Mum wants one now!) This cost £9.99.



This is what I got for my Mum. If you've seen my wedding flowers you'll know that my Mum is very much in to crafting so when I saw that they had a section containing some really nice papers I just had to look and I found this Massive block of 12"x12" papers, it has 180 sheets in it and I Knew she'd love the patterns. It was £7.99 which is a beyond amazing. What I didn't know, though, is that this set of papers is from about three years ago and my Mum has wanted this for ages so this was an even better find.

As you can see I also got her a set of butter knives for my Mum to have here, I thought she'd like the tea pot design rather than polka dots and flowers - I think they're rather cute. These were the same price as mine.

Because of the papers, and wanting a long handled dust pan and brush set, my Mum went to the store the day after I did so that she could take a look herself. She managed to get a smaller, but beautiful quality, set of papers, some black paper stock, an art journal and some great kitchen scissors for herself but she didn't like the only design left that day (yup, all gone That quickly!)


And she bought me something beautiful too! I love these hooks which sit over the door - She might see if she can go back and get a bigger set for me to have and then use this smaller set for the bathroom but obviously depends whether or not they're still there (High possibility they won't be with the way stock works there) - These were £6.99 or £7.99 and the bigger set that she wants to go back for is £9.99.

There was some bathroom storage there which I Really loved but we haven't got the space to keep it for when we move out so I just hope there's something equally as nice once we move out. We will Definitely be going to Home Sense to stock up on storage, kitchen ware, bathroom stuff and pretty much everything homey when we move out! I think I'll have to be careful about going there, though, as I'm going to wish I could buy everything, all of the time. If you have a Home sense near by I'd really recommend going and if you don't keep an eye out for store openings as it was great fun.  

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*I was given a gift card to spend at the store opening but all of my thoughts on the store are my own*

Monday, 1 September 2014

Primark haul - August / September 2014

Primark hauling time! Yup, with the honey moon and extra money to spend on taxi's plus lovely friends who gave us lifts we were able to go to town Twice recently (one of which was today) so I have been able to do two Primark shops. Neither of them were massive but I got a few real gems and I wanted to share them with you, I swear the place is sometimes a hidden treasure trove.


Yup, massive comfy dressing gown! I love the mink shade of this and the slightly textured pattern in the fabric. I would've wanted something floral or more pretty but there wasn't anything like that at Primark and I didn't want to spend more than Primark prices haha. But I do really like this, as it happens, and the fabric is so thick and squishy I feel like a giant teddy bear when I'm wearing it. This was £10, can't go wrong really.

If you know me then you'll know this was a must have, I Love anything with roses on normally these things are much more fussed with, text or numbers and things seem to be a favourite. Obviously this isn't just a flat image on a tee but the texturing in it actually adds to the effect in this case, Love it. This was £4!

I got a really cute, floral thermal mug style cup too. It's plastic rather than ceramic which many of them are, so I don't know if it'll be actually thermal but I still really like it and it's just nice to have something that Might keep my tea warm for longer (plus I can pretend I have takeaway drinks when I don't, yup, I'm that cool) This was £2 I think.


These were a real favourite purchase from the trip, they were £6 and they're from the Autumn range. I love the charcoal colour and the beautiful floral pattern - So so pretty. They're slightly warmer than standard leggings, too, which is good as the weather is beginning to cool down.

These lace print skinny jeans were my bargain purchase as they were £13 down to £5. I really like jeans like this but I wouldn't have paid £13 for them because I have lots of skinny jeans. So I was Very pleased to see them at such a reduced price as that made it ok to buy them!

And here's a quick group shot of the other things I bought on my latest trip. I went in because I wanted a blanket and I saw they had some on sale when I was in there previously - This photo doesn't really show how big the fleece is, it's an extra large size and I got it for £4.90, plus it's that beautiful muted purple butterfly print, yay.

The other item for myself is the pyjama cami. I wanted the pyjama trousers or the night dress but I didn't really want to spend much as I have a lot of nightwear so when I found the cami, in the same fabric for £3.50 I was thrilled!

The other reason I went in there was to look for more pants for Ethan. I quite wish I'd bought him a pack of plain coloured ones which were 7 for £4 because he's been ruining them with bad potty training stuff, but I was feeling generous and bought him 5 pairs of marvel ones for the same price, they are quite awesome though, aren't they? (The yellow pair you can't see are iron man ones)

The last item for him wasn't something I went there for but I saw a Frozen tee for him and I just needed to get it as he's  become obsessed with the show (as have I, surprise surprise) He was So excited when he saw I'd bought it for him!

Yay for Primark, long may the hauling continue!






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My Trusty Little Body Butter* - Review

I am a big fan of body butters so when the lovely people over at My Trusty Skincare asked if I wanted to review their new body butter I was rather pleased. I've tried their 'My Trusty Little Sunflower Cream' in the past (post HERE) and I really liked it so I was really excited to see what ideas they'd come up with for a body butter, and how well it'd work.


The 'My Trusty Little Sunflower Cream' doesn't have much scent to it so I wasn't sure what to expect from the 'My Trusty Little Body Butter'*. As such when I saw the sticker on the lid of the tub I was rather pleased to see that it contained neroli, bergamot and orange - I liked that the more all purpose cream wasn't scented as that suited its purpose but when I use a body butter I like it to smell nice. All three of the scents in this are ones that I like so the floral, herbal, fruity scent of this is a bit like some sort of aromatherapy experience, it smells divine!

Obviously, though, fragrance isn't everything; how it works is really rather important too and, even though I loved the scent, the results of this are where it excels! In the lead up to my wedding I had the chance to use this a couple of times and my normally dry, rough skin was so so much softer which made me feel much better about my legs even though my tights were very sheer. Honestly, I was surprised at how soft my legs were after using this, and how long lasting the effects are, it lasts So much longer than any other body butter I've ever used.

The moisturising ingredients in this are shea, coco butter and sunflower oil and the combination really does do a very very good job.


The cream isn't quite as solid as a Body Shop body butter but it was thicker than most other body butters I've used, it is quite a nice balance. I've used it on both damp skin and dry skin and it works really well with both - They list on the site that you can use it daily but I definitely don't need to use it every day as my skin stays soft for a really long time after using it.

As with the Trusty little sunflower cream the profits go back towards the patient care due to the products being developed by Salisbury district hospital and there's definitely nothing wrong with adding support to the NHS!

I really like this body butter, a Lot, it's definitely the most effective one I've ever used. Will it become the only body butter I use? Well no because I love using different smelling products depending upon my mood and some of my favourites are still very good, but this one is definitely my go to for that aromatherapy scented type of product and if I need my legs to be especially smooth then this will definitely be my first choice. The body butter is, also, only £7.99 plus postage costs which is really rather affordable - It's available here: http://mytrustylittlesunflowercream.co.uk/our-products/body-butter/




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*This product was sent to me for the purpose of review but opinions are entirely my own*

Sunday, 31 August 2014

'A Single Breath'* by Lucy Clarke - Book review

Look at me, I was so late writing the last Bahlsen book club book that I've decided I'm going to do this one as soon as possible!

This, latest, book is 'A Single Breath'* by Lucy Clarke which was, possibly, not the best book to read a week after I got married, haha! The book is, essentially, about the journey that a young widow goes through after her husband passes away, they've only been married 10 months and had a whirlwind relationship and, so, the emotions behind it are very raw and, obviously, something I was a bit 'eek' about when I'm a newly wed myself!

Not one to be put off by challenging emotions, though, I dove straight in to the book and I devoured it in no time at all (surprise surprise). Although I simplified the basis of the story, above, it Really was an over simplification to explain the struggling emotions for me because, actually, there's so so much more to this story. Eva is heart broken by the death of her new husband and decides to go off to Tasmania to meet his father and brother, in an effort to learn more about him, following their stark absence at his funeral and, also, afterwards when his father won't even answer the phone to her.

The reception that Eva gets, from Jackson's Father, is only the beginning of how weird, confusing and turbulent her journey to finding out more about the man she loved is. There's romance in this story (newly weds, duh!), there's intrigue and secrets, there's journey of self-awareness, there's some beautiful character relationships and there's so much more. When I saw the cover I thought it would be a romance, when I read the tag line I thought it would be a thriller but, in truth, it sits in so many genres that it's impossible to categorise it, really.

The book was really well written which helped the story to flow by in no time at all, and the characters were very compelling (even the gruff, distant ones!) because they were written so well. I have a tendency to guess what twits are going to happen and I was on form with this one and guessed it all ahead of time but, despite that, I doubted myself from time to time which is the closest I normally to get to a surprise in most books. Despite having guessed what was going to happen I still really enjoyed the book because it really was an utterly intriguing story with very lovable characters - What more could you ask for?

This is well worth picking up and I've seen such acclaim for Clarke's first book, 'The Sea Sisters', that I am bound to buy that in the near future too. If you want to get your hands on 'A Single Breath' then you can find it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Single-Breath-Lucy-Clarke/dp/0007481365 and it's available in a number of formats (the paper back is currently part of a 3 for £10 offer, at the time of writing, and I'm off to see what else is in the offer, I am such a book fiend)

I, honestly, and truthfully, really loved this book and was sad to see it end, it's one of those books that you keep on wanting to know what happens to the characters you've invested in, even if it's already come to an end. I'll definitely miss Eva and all of her supporting characters (See, I'm so averse to spoilers that I'm not going to tell you which of the characters continue through the story with her and what new ones are going to pop up!)


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*
This book was sent to me for review purposes but, in all honesty, everything I've written is based upon my opinions and thoughts on the book*
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