I think I’m reaching a point where I’ve tried well over 50% of the range from Bee Good, now, and I can, with all honesty, say that I’ve not yet tried a product of theirs that hasn’t been really rather fantastic. When I was asked to trial the ‘Honey and Crambe Daily Hand Cream’ I was instantly looking forward to seeing how it stood up to other hand creams that I’ve loved over the past few years (I do enjoy a good hand cream!)

This wee 50ml tube of rich, delightful smelling cream is absolutely packed with ingredients which have been put together to leave your hands feeling as good as possible – I know, I know, it’s ‘just a hand cream’ but this is at the absolute top of my list of favourite hand creams, now, and I promise, absolutely, that I’m not just saying that.
The active ingredients in this cream are British beeswax, British wildflower honey, crambe oil, vitamin e, British propolis, and panthenol along side British borage oil and camelina oil which are there to provide fatty acids to strengthen and protect the skin.
I know that I can’t speak for everyone but, for me, this particular balance of ingredients just does the job. The cream is thick and for a few minutes after applying it does leave a light sheen of product on the hands, but it takes very little time, at all, before it’s totally absorbed and you no longer have that ‘just applied hand cream’ feeling. But even if this left my hands feeling greasy for an hour (it really does not), I’d happily put up with that in order to get the good results of this product – My hands have never felt softer.
During my pregnancy it’d be safe to say that my self care levels have dropped considerably (and with my health they weren’t exactly always at their best) – By this I mean skin care, hair care etc. I, definitely. hadn’t been looking after my hands as well as I should have and I’ve had a lot of dry skin, broken skin and rough patches on my knuckles. It only took one use of this cream to make a massive difference to that, and then a few more uses to have my hands improved beyond recognition. I’ve been using it for a good few weeks now but I don’t even have to apply it daily. only a few times a week and even when I go a little while without remembering to use it, my hands are so much happier.
Obviously all of our skin reacts differently to products so this might not be a ‘holy grail’ for everyone, but I can imagine that it’d be a very good product for a big majority. It’s not a cheap product, at £9 a tube you’ll be glad that you can get away with not using it daily, but if you want a hand cream that works wonders then this might be one to try.
I love so much about the brand, Bee Good, their ethos and ideals, their products and their ingredients. But I do think this is my favourite of all of their products thus far (though I won’t complain if they top this again in the future, haha).

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This post contains PR samples – See disclaimer here

You may. or may not, have heard of Itty Bittys before, but if you follow me on Instagram (if not, maybe take a look?) you’ll already have seen a sneak peak of the very new, painfully cute Star Wars Itty Bittys which Hallmark are bringing to the UK in February. If you haven’t seen them? Well, you’re missing out, even just photos of these little, collectables is amazingly cute and I defy anyone to disagree.

 

I’ve got some pics to share with you, and information on where you can get these once they’re in the uk, and then the giveaway will be featured at the end of the post.

 

Itty Bittys came to the UK, in Hallmark stores, last year but the Star Wars additions are only just making their way over here, amidst Star Wars fever and, my goodness, I’m so pleased they’re here/coming.
The range consists of the four that you see above, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Yoda and Chewbacca, as well as Storm Troopers, C3PO, R2D2 and Rey. The majority come straight from the original movies, but Kylo and Rey are fantastic additions to help celebrate the newest instalment, ‘The Force Awakens’.
Chewbacca – The ultimate in cuteness.

 

Darth Vader – If even Vader can be cute then you know you’re on to something.

 

Kylo Ren – A really impressive representation of the character, with added cute.

 

Yoda – I can’t, yet, decide if Yoda or Chewie is my favourite.
I was, originally, only expecting to be sent two of these so to be sent all four of our possible choices was incredibly exciting, especially as these are as cute in person as I expected them to be. They’re only small, but that makes them perfect for smaller hands (though no bad size for big hands too) and also sets them up nicely for collecting, it’ll take much much longer to use up all of your space, which means you can get more!
These little guys are £6, each, or 2 for £10 for in Gold Crown stores. which is a real bargain – You can check where your closest Hallmark store is here. I, genuinely. didn’t think we had a Hallmark store, here, but it seems we do. It’s in a part of the town that I just couldn’t get to (what with the fact that I rarely leave the house), so I’m still incredibly grateful for having been sent these, but it’s well worth checking your closest as they might not be in an obvious place.
As if getting four, instead of two, Star Wars Ittys wasn’t enough. the lovely PR team for Hallmark were incredibly kind and sent us some of the super hero range too! So if Star Wars isn’t your thing, but the cuteness has captured you, it’s well worth checking these out to see if the other ranges are more your sort of thing. I think we’ll be saving Superman for Oliver, and I’m also planning buying him a Storm Trooper and a Yoda (plus I may need a few for myself, oh dear!)
If you noticed, in the title, that I’m hosting a giveaway then this might be the part of the post you’ve been itching to reach – I’ve been lucky enough to be given the chance to run a giveaway for you lovely people! The team at Hallmark are offering 3, random, Star Wars Itty Bittys to the winner, which would be a fantastic way to start your collection, continue your collection, or make a little one very happy, as you can see here.
The giveaway is for UK only and it will run until Monday the 1st of January. You need to be over 18 to enter (if you’re under 18 then see if a parent will enter for you) and you’ll need to enter via the rafflecopter below (see further down for more detailed t+cs). The only mandatory entry on the rafflecopter is to follow me on twitter, all other options are completely up to you (but will, of course, give you more chances to win).
– You must be 18 or over to enter the giveaway
– The Giveaway is UK only.
– The winner will be picked, randomly, via Rafflecopter
– There will be one winner
– The winner will have 28 days to reply to my email confirming their winning.
– The winner will need to supply me with their details. which I will then pass on to the PR company who will post your prize out to you.
– The giveaway runs until midnight on 1st February.

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This post contains PR samples – See disclaimer here

This post has taken longer than I’d planned, to go live, simply because it’s been a tiring couple of weeks and resting has been a priority. But I still wanted to share this with you as the boxes are a really lovely thing, and well worth checking out. 

I can’t remember, exactly, how I first heard about ‘Not Shabby Very Chic’ but I think they may have come up as one of those sponsored ads on Facebook. I saw their December, Christmas, Treat Box and really wanted to order it but it was already out of stock. It didn’t take me long to decide that the January box would be a good idea, instead. 

The Treat box is £12.95 for a one off box, £12 for a monthly subscription or you can save a little more by taking out a 3 month or 6 month subscription. I went for the one off box, for mine, as I didn’t know how I’d feel about it, but I’m tempted to use some Christmas money to get a few more boxes, I’m not sure; torn. 

By the time the box arrived, in early January, I had totally forgotten that I’d ordered anything so, when it got here, it was such a lovely surprise. Everything came packaged in a big, flat, box, wrapped in tissue paper. Everything coped. just fine, during the delivery process/

I’ve tried to group things. a little, to make photographs more easy. The first group being, as you can see, stationery. I think the first thing I noticed, upon opening the box, was the cute little strawberry themed sticky memo notes – These are great for if you use a planner or if you are studying as they’re going to stand out really well. If you don’t do either of those things I’m sure you could still find a way to use them as they’re adorable. 
I think that the 2016 pocket sized diary is a great addition to a January box; very in keeping with the new year side of things. I really like the design of mine and it’ll live in whatever handbag is my current one at any one time. I know we all tend to use our phones, these days, but I think it’s a shame that we don’t use physical diaries too, so I shall attempt to keep using this. 
To the bottom of the photo you can see the rather amusing little note pad, featuring an elephant and entitled ‘Wild Ideas’ – I love note books so that was always going to be a winner for me. And, to pull it all together is the pack of ‘To do’ pencils which are a perfect finish to the stationery section. 

Next up we have the more lifestyle/accessory type things. I really like the mix between the types of items you get in the boxes, it was a definite bonus for me. 
I’m not normally someone who gets things with cutesy slogans but I thought that the coin purse/mini makeup bag that came in the box with the ‘Glitter Runs Through my Veins’ quote was rather sweet and, when I’ve finished this post I’m off to get it out and fill it with most of the change from my main purse as I want to have some in my bag for the hospital in case I need to go to vending machines or the likes. 
Tea Pigs are a brand who I’ve had loads of samples before but, still, never actually tried them despite having heard amazing things; I’m silly like that. I’ve not got any of their Peppermint flavour in my ‘to try’ samples so I’m happy to have this to add to the collection. 
Again, with the slogans, the unicorn magnet isn’t something I’d necessarily have picked up, myself, but I think it’s so cute and it’s definitely on trend with the sorts of things that I see other’s sharing/enjoying. And, lastly, there’s a wax burner melt in the scent ‘Cotton Blossoms’ by the brand Lolly Rocket which has an incredibly refreshing smell to it. If it lasts for the 50 hours that it claims then I’ll be really impressed.

Lastly we have a print and a postcard. The print is on slightly better quality, thicker card so I can see this being nicely framed or going up on the wall easily. As you can see, the post card has the same unicorn slogan as the magnet and would be a lovely message to a friend or could definitely be good up on the wall, too. 
All in all, for £12.95 I think that the box is good value for money. Beauty boxes have become rather samey so it’s really nice to have something a bit more different, that’s affordable and good value. These are a nice gift to yourself or as a gift to someone else – I’m definitely a fan, now to decide whether or not to get any further boxes (I am very, very tempted!). 

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I don’t know if you saw my post, last month, for the December ‘Look Incredible‘ box (if not, you can check it out here) but if you did, you’ll know why I was so excited to be sent the January box to take a look at. I knew, instantly, once I saw it, that I’d have to share this one with you, too, as my goodness it’s as full of exciting brands as last month’s was! 

The box sells for £18.99, on the Look Incredible (new name!) site, which is more than some of your more standard boxes, but when you consider that you’re getting premium brands and all full sizes, I expect you’ll understand the sightly higher price tag. I’m not going to do any more rambling because I’m tired and you probably just want to know what’s in the box! (I will apologise for a lack of swatches, this month, taking pictures was so painful that swatches had to go by the way side, but I think the products speak for themselves). 

You would be correct in thinking that there’s two Bare Minerals products, a Laura Geller Product, an Essie product and a YSL product in this picture… just take a moment to consider, all of this for £18.99. 
This month’s box is, again, predominantly makeup which is something you’ll never hear me complaining about. The first item is the Bare Minerals ‘Flawless’ mascara which is one I’ve not heard of before but am happy to add to my collection. I’ve been good and not opened it yet as I have so many mascaras on the go at the moment that I just don’t want to open another one and have to start using that one too. Mascara is always handy to get in a box, though, as almost everyone uses it and when it’s from a brand like Bare Minerals you’re definitely getting a more luxury product too. 
The second Bare Minerals product is this ‘Redness Remedy’ which is what was in the box. I class this, almost, as two products as it comes with the lovely brush which you can, of course, use with any products you so wish. 
The Redness Remedy claims to do exactly what the title suggests – It’s said to reduce redness on contact but also to continue doing so over longer term usage. I’m rather intrigued by this product, as my skin ages I get more broken capillaries and uneven skin tone so this is, exactly, the sort of thing that I need. I’m rather interested to try this out and see if it helps balance out my skin tone as well as brightening it. And I also really love the brush, it feels like an amazing quality and is so soft! 
Back to the makeup and we have an Essie polish in the shade ‘Steel-ing the Scene’. Now I love Essie polishes and, equally so, I love muted gold shades and that’s exactly what this one is. It’s definitely a gold but it’s not a bright, yellowy gold, it’s more muted. I really, really like this shade and cannot wait to get it on my nails. I, also, think it’s the sort of shade where it’d suit a lot of people rather than there being a crazy colour in the box that only some people will like – A good choice. 
I don’t own much in the way of Laura Geller makeup, in fact I think everything I have owned has been from subscription boxes, so to get a blush in this box was rather a nice surprise. The blush is called ‘Mauve Mocha Latte’ which, I think, is a rather fitting name. 

The pinky tones, in this, didn’t really want to show up too well in photographs but I think you have a good idea of how it looks. It’s a lovely mauve but probably a little more on the brown side. I think it’ll make for a gorgeous, flushed, winter look or, for some, it might be good for more of a matte bronzer shade (very much depending on your skin tone). I like the added detail of the coffee beans embossed on the top, though couldn’t tell you why that appeals (I’m just easily pleased, it seems!) 
I think this was probably the thing in the box that excited me the most simply because I’ve never owned an Yves Saint Laurent product before and, well, that’s a pretty exciting thing to get for the first time! 

I remember having seen these around, before, but if you haven’t then this is one of the ‘Lip Twins’ – Basically you twist one end of the pretty, pretty tube and the mirror moves away and you get a satin lip product, you twist again and get a super sheer shine product. 
Neither of them is very pigmented, they’re more like a tinted balm, but they’re rather lovely shades and I think the idea is that you put one over the top of the other but I think the satin product would be nice as a very subtle hint of colour, on its own, and the shine product would go nicely over a number of things. 
Sorry for the weird angle, the thing kept rolling away. This is the nice, neutral, mauve shade. I really like it, it’s very very subtle but for something easy to wear it’s really nice. 

And the purple shimmery/shine shade is a whole lot less scary than it looks, honestly. It’s very very sheer and just adds a slight hint of colour and a nice amount of shine. 
And that’s the box. For the price, and the range of brands included, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s rather an amazing offer and an amazing box! 

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It’s been a funny old year, 2015, some of the most amazing and life changing things have happened but that’s been amongst a lot of very tough times. Of course we all expect the good with the bad, but it’s just felt like it’s been more extreme for 2015. 

2014 was a really big year for my blog, I was getting a lot of reviews, my stats were climbing, my followers were climbing but I burned myself out at Christmas time and never really recovered. I slowed down, considerably, after Christmas as my health just couldn’t keep up with how much I did in that couple of weeks in Dec 2014 and, then, of course, I got pregnant and was so so poorly from that. 
In many ways I feel really sad that my beloved page has suffered, but in others it has had a touch of relief to it because the pressure is off. I don’t plan on going anywhere but I plan on maintaining a calmer schedule, being selective in the posts that I do and taking things more steadily as 2016 progresses. That said I am hoping things pick up from this point, just at a gentler pace. 
It’s safe to say that, when my health is as bad as it’s been this year, family plays a very big part in keeping me going. I can’t believe we’ve already had our first wedding anniversary (I’d say celebrated our first wedding anniversary but we didn’t, so that’d be a lie) and I can’t believe Ethan’s been 5 for almost a whole year and Skye is 8. 
Family, as amazing as it is, has also been tough. Ethan’s Still going through the challenging phase that I think I mentioned last year. I’m going to class it as him being strong willed which will, one day, serve him well but, at the moment, is a pain in the back side! But things do seem to be balancing out a bit more, he’s beginning to learn to temper his emotions, sometimes, when it suits him, so hopefully that’ll keep improving in to 2016. 

I think it goes without saying that my pregnancy has been the biggest part of 2015, and the arrival of baby Oliver will be the biggest part of 2016. I posted, last year, that I hoped we’d either get pregnant or have a baby in 2015 and, amazingly, it happened. 
We may not be in the ideal situation for having a baby, we still live with my parents (and count ourselves amazingly lucky that we do) and my health restricts us in many many ways. But after a conversation with my Mum she said we’d be mad to wait as, if we did, it may never happen. And she was 100% right, and now he’s nearly here! My pregnancy with Ethan dragged and I was expecting it to happen the same way, but possibly more so, this time around but actually it’s flown and I’m a little scared as to how little time we have left, but at the same time I can’t wait to meet our boy. 
Other than family (and impending baby), and my atrocious health, books have probably been an overriding focus of the year. Because I’ve been able to do so little, I’ve read and I’ve read a LOT. That’d be 234 books, if you were wondering (you can see the list here), As hard as it’s been to not be able to do much, I’m so grateful that reading is one of the few things that I can still do (admittedly there are days I still can’t do that, but for the most part). 
So… 2016. 
  • Obviously Oliver is going to be the main event, and I’m desperately hoping he continues to be healthy and we get to have our healthy, take home straight away, baby this time. I’m, obviously, also hoping he’s a delightful baby who doesn’t scream, sleeps well and doesn’t have to deal with bad reflux and puke everywhere, but health above all else. 
  • I’m also hoping to just keep my blog ticking over. There’ll be more baby stuff, hopefully, as you’d probably expect, but I want to keep the other posts going too and I hope I can work with a few, good brands throughout the year. 
  • I say it every year but I want to write (as in a novel/short stories)… I have actually said this every year for about 10 years so it’d be a shame to break tradition and one of these days it’ll actually happen!
  • I want my family to be happy, safe and secure. Once we move out (not sure exactly when, or if it’ll even be this year) things are going to be a lot less simple and secure, so I want things to be as secure and happy as they Can be, in whatever situation we end up in.
  • I want to continue using survey sites and money making sites to set money aside for Christmas. This is something I started in November and, thus far, am thrilled with the results. As and when life does get harder, moving out wise, whatever year that is, it’ll make a huge difference if I can put money aside specifically for Christmas so that we can still give the children the experience we want, regardless of the rest of life. 
  • I’d love for my health to miraculously improve but it’s at the bottom of the list as I expect it’s quite unlikely. But it’d be daft not to hope for it, as unrealistic as it may be (which is why a lotto win is always a hope, too). 
I don’t make resolutions, but those are my hopes for 2016. I don’t think I’m asking too much, apart from maybe the health thing, so hopefully this can be a more balanced year. I’m not expecting there to be no bad, but I’d like to be able to start next year feeling like it all balanced out and we can start 2017 on a more even keel. 
I hope you all had a fantastic 2015. What is your biggest hope for 2016? Looking for big changes or just hoping for more of the same?

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