Valentines day is getting near and it might be the time to start making plans for any celebration you’re thinking of with your significant other. Or if you’re single, of course, you might want to enjoy a night at home with some indulgent you time, and that requires planning too! You might have your heart set on a big night out but if, like me, nights in are more you bag there could  be little details that you’ve not thought of that’ll help create the perfect mood for that romantic night in.

I have to admit that home fragrance isn’t something I’d thought of, but now that I’ve had my living room filled with beautiful scents I am thinking that it, definitely is, something you want to think about if you are someone who loves to make every little detail perfect. Also, keep in mind, if you’re a fan of candles and other home fragrance ideas, the products you buy are going to last more than one night so this might, just, be an excuse to buy something you’d like anyway!

House of Fraser have an extensive home fragrance range and their Linea collection is filled with delectable sounding fragrances which are all housed within beautiful packaging which will keep your home looking sleek and stylish as well as smelling divine.

I was, initially, offered some items from the Moroccan rose range but, sadly, rose scents give me headaches now which is such a shame as it used to be a scent I absolutely loved! I was, though, given a chance to pick a different fragrance and the moment I saw Wild Fig & Vanilla I just knew I needed to know how it smelled. If neither of those scents work for you, though, there’s some other amazing sounding ones like Lemongrass & Ginger, Elderflower & Lime, Linen & Seagrass and even more – It’s easy to believe that there’s a scent for everyone in there.

If you get one of the Reed Diffusers you’ll be able to set it up a few days before Valentines day and you’ll already have a room full of scent. I was really impressed with this, I expected a soft scent that you didn’t pick up unless you were near by but, actually, it fills the whole room. When the reeds are freshly soaked the scent is very strong but as it settles down it becomes softer yet it still fills the room; I can smell it now and when I walk in to the room it’s even more noticeable. If the scent becomes too subtle I can turn the reeds back over, again, and get a fresh hint of the scent.

I’m really impressed, too, as the packaging says that, depending on the temperature in the room, this can last up to four months which is fantastic – A great gift for yourself as well as being able to say you’re preparing for Valentines, hehe. The reed diffuser is normally £28 but is currently (on offer, on the 28th January 15) down to £14 so it’s the right time to stock up!

The scent is hard to pinpoint but it’s fruity and light as well as being sweet but also woody… it’s such a mix of scents but it just works really well. Rose is an obvious choice for Valentines but the warmth with a hint of fruit and floral works really well and I think it could be equally as romantic.

This large, beautiful, 3 wick candle has the same gorgeous scent as the reed diffuser – It’s the perfect partner to the diffuser when setting up for Valentines because it adds a couple of different elements to the room, The scent from it isn’t as strong, as you’d expect, but once you light it you get an extra boost of the smell along with the warmth which I’m sure you recognise from candles. I’m impressed with this as it’s not overpowering but it does, still, fill the room and it’s just such a soft, pleasant, way to enjoy the fragrance I’ve come to love. And, don’t forget the second use, it looks beautiful when lit, which adds a really nice romantic feel to any room. 
The candle is meant to last for 90 hours so this, again, is a gift that keeps on giving as you’ll be able to enjoy this for ages, not just for that one night. And the glass jar that it’s housed in is huge and really good quality so it’s doubtless that it’ll be really useful after the wax has all burned away. This was £30, originally, but the same reductions as before hold and it’s, currently, £15. 

If you’re not set one getting one or two big items, or if you can’t decide what scent you like there’s a variety of different sets available which will give you a number of smaller items (sometimes all with the same scent and some with a few to try) and they work out as great value for money too.

If you’re not staying home for Valentines, but you still really want to try these out then they’d also be a great gift idea to, not so subtly, suggest to your other half, and they’re a bargain too so how could they refuse!

I’m loving this scent sticking around, I’ll miss it when it’s gone, I may need to buy one of the oil re-fills for the diffuser as the room will feel wrong without it!

Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram

I was sent these products for my consideration for review purposes – All opinions are honest and are my own. 

It’s not really big news, now, they’ve been here for a while but I’m still really excited that we have ‘The Library of Fragrance’ here in the UK, now. I was told about Demeter Fragrance Library a couple of years ago but with them being from across the pond I never had a chance to get hold of any – So when I discovered that they were going to get their own incarnation over here I was very very pleased.

Not only that but I was given the chance to pick one of the fragrances so that I could write about it for you! When I knew they were coming here, that was exciting enough, but to be writing about them for you is even better. That said, the challenge was set, how on earth was I to pick just one?!

The fragrances offered aren’t going to be the same as those you’re used to finding, they’re weird and wonderful, exciting and unusual. You can get some which are more normal like ‘Almond’, ‘Cherry Blossom’, ‘Musk #7’ and ‘Jasmine’ among many others as well as more unusual ones like ‘Pineapple’, ‘Vanilla Cake Batter’ and ‘Passion fruit’ to the all out weird like ‘Pizza’, ‘Play-Doh’, ‘Whiskey Tabacco’ and ‘Sushi’! And, believe me, that’s just some of each category.

I have to say I find the foody ones the most appealing, I really want to try ‘Vanilla Cake Batter’, ‘Sticky Toffee Pudding’, ‘Apple Pie’, ‘Caramel’, ‘Chocolate Chip Cookie’ and ‘Lemon Meringue’. As well as those I really want to just smell, once, ones like ‘Paper Back’, ‘Pizza’ and ‘Salt Air’ just to know what they translate like, haha.

The scent that I chose is Honey as I am mad about anything honey scented and flavoured, it’s just one of my absolute favourites. Though when I look at my wishlist I do wonder if I made the right choice as there’s so many more daring ones I could’ve tried… that said… oh I do love it.

When I first sprayed this I felt as though it was a little Too sweet and I wasn’t sure if it was quite Honey enough for my liking but it took only a few moments for it to dry and, as it did, it transformed. As you wear this scent it really is like smelling honey all day long, it’s amazingly accurate. Having obsessed over Demeter Fragrances for so long, as I’d hear how realistic they were, I am very pleased to know that my hopes were right. I’ve been told that Honey pairs, really well, with Black Pepper and I can imagine that the sweet and the warm would go beautifully, but I’m happy to just smell like honey all day!

At £15 each these cost less than your normal, commercial fragrances, but they’re also not cheap enough that I can go out and buy my whole wishlist in one fell swoop, haha. I think they’re really reasonable, though, and I plan on adding one or two, at least, to my collection – I shall be a walking bakery if my wishlist is anything to go by!

You can pick these up from ‘The Library of Fragrance’ site and there’s also 31 of the fragrances available from Boots, though most of the ones I want I’d have to get direct from LoF,  

Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram

*I was sent this product for my consideration for review purposes but all opinions are honest and are my own*

Before I start, yes, this book is about Christmas – I did get sent the e-copy of the book, from the lovely Bahlsen book club, before Christmas and I think I finished it a couple of days before that big and crazy day but… well you may have noticed my, almost two years, of posting daily (or as close to) has stopped. I’ve been taking a break, re-evaluating and trying to work out how to approach the year that’s ahead of us (more regular posting will return).

Shouldn’t I have been pushing to, at least, get this post up closer to Christmas? I thought that, at first, but once I finished reading it I realised that I didn’t need to, at all, this book has the word Christmas in the title, it has Christmas as a main theme but it, most definitely, doesn’t have to only be read at Christmas time.

The story is about Evie, a lady who’s been through a year that would break even the strongest among us. She’s been through loss that most of us hope we never even need to consider, and then she’s betrayed by the person she needs the most. As such, when her best friend offers her the chance to go to stay in their little cottage in France, over Christmas, Evie plunges head first in to the opportunity to escape her life and to have time alone, away from the need to celebrate when she really doesn’t feel like celebrating.

Rather than spending a lot of time dwelling on the sadness, Valpy dips in an out of it when necessary – It’s never devalued, it’s always given the time its needed but it’s not given the lime light which is something that many authors do. The sadness in this character’s life is an undeniable truth, but it’s her desire for recovery, her hope and her true nature that shines through.

As you’d expect there are secondary characters in the book, as much as Evie goes away to have time for herself, she struggle to re-discover herself without the help of others. And, at the cottage, she’s lucky to discover a tiny community of a few, kind people who live simple lives and who she can spend time getting to know, away from her life – I loved these secondary characters as we were able to get to know them as the story went on, but without suddenly having their whole back story, straight away, as you often do in other books.

Throughout the story we get to see Evie re-discover herself, re-discover her motivation and develop friendships in the purest sense. The book is beautiful, despite the sadness. Christmas is a big topic because that’s the time of the year when it’s set, but it’s not a Christmas book. It’s a book about loss, hope, love and about sadness, community and re-discovery. This book would be enjoyable at Easter, in the Summer or in the height of winter, don’t be put off by the title, if it’s the wrong time of year, if you want to read a simple, beautiful book then I recommend giving this one a go.

You can pick the book up from Amazon for £1.59 on kindle or £7.99 in paperback format.

Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram

*I was sent this e-book for my consideration for review purposes – All opinions are honest and are my own*

Just wanted to share my Nails Inc sale haul with you because I got some Amazing bargains. Sadly a few of the things are out of stock, now, as things took a long while to arrive, but I took a look at the sale earlier and there’s still some pretty amazing bargains to be had, well worth taking a look.

As well as this, due to it being delayed by quite a lot. Nails Inc were kind enough to send a full sized ‘Kensington Caviar – 45 Second Top Coat’ which I think is really good of them, there’s companies out there who’ve had delays but aren’t even apologising. Very very nicely done Nails Inc.

Soo… Ahem… yes. I bought a few nail polishes. In my defence this cost me around £32, and that was including postage (If I’d spent a little more I’d have got free postage but even I know my limits)… so this works out at less than £2 a polish, for Nails Inc! When they’re normally £12 each getting them for £5 each is amazing but less than £2 each is wow (It’d have been about £2 each had I not got the extra top coat free, of course). 
So, I was going to tell you what came in each collection and how much they were but I realised I put two polishes out of order so it’s not going to make sense anyway, plus the collections I got are either OOS or not on there any more. I will suggest you look on the sale page, though, because there’s some equally good collections still available, just slightly different from the ones I got, as well as single polishes for £5 and some other interesting bits and bobs.

Instead of the collections I’ll just tell you what the polishes I have, are, if they are still available in the sale I’ll link to them. So top row L-R we have: ‘Green Park’, ‘Cork Street’, ‘The Southbank’, ‘Oakley Gardens’ and ‘Upper Street’.

On top of the box, L-R, we have, ‘Hampstead Court’ and ‘Chelsea Embankment’.

Down to the bottom row, from L-R ‘Horse Guards Parade’, ‘Draycott Avenue’, ‘A&E Base Coat’, ‘Albert Bridge Top Coat’, ‘Gloucester Walk’, ‘George Street’, ‘Jermyn Street’ (the 45 second top coat in a box) and ‘Kings Road’. 

Soo… yes. I have been doing some makeup clear-out stuff recently, and I have a lot more to do, so these polishes are going to fill in the gaps left by the polishes that I don’t use anymore, or are old etc. And just look how beautiful they are! Very, very in love. I do think Nails Inc is one of my favourite nail polish brands, when I can afford them, and it seems that Christmas Sale time is when I can afford them!

Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram

It’s that beauty box time of the month again! I’ve actually got some other boxes which I’ve not posted, yet, and I’m not sure if I will. I’ve cancelled one and am going to stop getting the other too – Both boxes are still good but they don’t excite me as much and I, simply, just don’t have the funds anymore. I am going to try and keep getting Birchbox for a bit longer, but we’ll see how that works out, depending on finances.

I heard a bit about this box, before mine arrived, people had said it was an ok box but not amazing. I actually quite like mine, there’s a few things I’m not massively excited about but that’s, mostly, because they’re duplicates. That said, they’re duplicates for things that are really, rather, good so it’s not a complaint as much as just being a shame to not get something new (but how long can we expect to get new stuff when we sub to boxes for a long time?)

If you enjoy the box, like I have, and you want to subscribe then you can use my code: http://birchbox.co.uk/?raf=19096 The code will get you £5 in the birchbox store, and it’ll get me the same. It’s also worth keeping an eye on special offers as they often have them and you can pick up some great goodies, or get some money off.

Anyway, to the box! 

This month Birchbox have a collaboration with ‘Women’s Health’ – This isn’t an obvious company for a beauty box to collab with so I was very interested to see what they’d do. 

The theme, for this month, is ‘Hit Refresh’ which is rather fitting for the New Year, with so many people going for the ‘New Year, New Me’ thing. The booklet that comes with the box, this month, has 12 little challenges in it; small ways to improve your life, which is a lovely idea.

And here what comes in the box – Some really good sized samples and a full sized, high value, cosmetics product as well as a couple of little lifestyle items. I, genuinely, think it’s a really good box with lots of variety and good sized samples.
First up we have the item which has caused a bit of an issue in my box, it leaked a little. Not a lot, just enough to make everything feel a bit ‘off’, haha. I’ll be dropping BB a quick note to let them know that the lids on these don’t seem great at keeping the product in – If you guys get this/have this then I’d recommend keeping an eye on it.

On the plus side, it seems really rather nice! This is the activebod ‘Feel Great Shower Concentrate’ – I’ve never heard of a ‘shower concentrate’ before so that’s rather intriguing. The product has sea minerals and green tea in it and it has a beautifully refreshing scent to it that I think, really would, perk you up and make you feel fresh and lovely. The full size of this is 100ml whereas our sample is 20ml, which is a good size. The full size of this is a rather affordable £5 so if you love it then it won’t break the bank to repurchase.

Beauty addicts rejoice! The REN ‘Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask’ is a well known cult favourite that many will be pleased to be able to try, or to get some more of. As the name suggests this mask is supposed to give radiance and, if the gurus are to be heeded, it does the job, and it does it well. I already have a sample of this, somewhere, but my sample collection is in disarray at the moment so I’ve still not tried it. I’m more than happy to have a second tube, though, I love masks and one with a reputation like this is going to be more than welcome. This is a 10ml tube whereas the full size is 50ml and costs £30. 
This cute little 5ml tube contains a product from a brand I love, and I mean Love. I’ve been using Heal Gel products for a while (I loved the product so much after review that I bought Two more despite the hefty price tag). One of their products that I’ve never tried, though, is their Body cream. The lotion is meant to calm and regenerate the skin with its anti-inflammatory ingredients. The tube is small, it’s not going to cover the whole body, but I’ll definitely be using it on my least regenerated areas to see how it works. The full size of this is 100ml and costs £39.50.
Stila is a brand that’s always bound to make me smile and I’m always happy to get their products in a box, especially as their one of the pricier brands that I enjoy. I have a number of their ‘Lip Glazes’ and I really like them so seeing one in the box made me very happy. This beautiful, deep, creamy pink is a beautiful shade and it’s called ‘Glamour’. 
The gloss is sheer but with plenty of pigmentation and I Love it, a lot of the glazes I’ve picked up along the way have been almost colourless so to get another one to add to my collection that has a nice hit of colour is very pleasing – And I love the fruity scent of these, just lovely. These cost £15 so this covers the cost of the box, and more, instantly. 
If you subscribe to Birchbox, already, or if you read posts a lot then Beauty Protector products won’t be new to you. This, particular product, the ‘Protect & Detangle’ is one of the products that I’ve had a couple of times before but the scent is so addictive that I really don’t mind. It;s one of those scents that you can smell even with the bottle closed, the moment I opened the box I had an inkling that there was a Beauty Protector item in there. This bottle doesn’t have an amount on it, but the full size is 236ml (? According to BB ?) and costs £14.

Lastly we have two lifestyle type items. The Embrace Matcha isn’t listed as a lifestyle item but a single portion of tea classes as lifetyle to me! Some people don’t like getting tea in their boxes but it’s not something I mind, I like tea. Matcha tea is something that I’ve been intrigued by and enjoyed a few times so happy to get this in the box. A pack of 30 servings of this costs £24.99.

The last item, which is listed as lifestyle, is the Birchbox and Women’s health ‘Pilates Band’ – This is an item that won’t be a lot of use for a lot of people but could provide great inspiration for some, It’s a resistance band which is meant to help improve the results of a workout – It’s valued at £7.99.

As I said, above, I like the box – Mostly samples but a lot of them are good sizes. And the one full sized item is a great, high value one. The mix of rejuvenating, pampering, nourishing products fits well with the new year, looking after yourself, transformation type theme and the variety is fab.

Again, if you want to sign up, then don’t forget my link and don’t forget to keep an eye out for special offers: http://birchbox.co.uk/?raf=19096.

Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram