Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sanctuary Christmas Advent Calendar

So it’s that time of year again when as bloggers or the beauty obsessed we are thinking about beauty advent calendars. I’ve been enjoying other people’s related content such a Fleur De Forces top ten beauty advent calendars video (link here) which actually included this Sanctuary one I bought for myself. It retails for £25.00 on Boots, (link here) if you are interested. It includes 24 windows waiting to be opened with all sorts of beauty treats. I’m looking forward to experimenting with the brand, I’ve tried some of their products before and had been really impressed.

I’m not going to go into detail about the individual items inside as I want it to be a surprise for me and you. If you do want to know I recommend looking either on Boots or another related blog post. I did have a fair idea before I bought it though and I got the impression this calendar was good value for what you get, and from looking at the packaging it seems excellent quality. The items are along the lines of bath, shower and pampering products. Also my brother very kindly bought me a chocolate calendar from Heron Foods, they are going two for £1 at the moment. I will show that one very soon!

I’m looking forward to December the 1st now! 
Have you got an advent calendar this year? Which ones have caught your eye? :-) X

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Books to Read In Autumn/Winter

An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson

I read this in the beginning of autumn, it is a lovely light and humorous read with lots of romance. It’s about four friends who are about to get swept off their feet. There’s a great dynamic between the main character Juliet and her new flatmate Floz, they hit it off as friends and are the heart of the story. Guy, Juliet’s brother develops a thing for Floz but he keeps going about it in the wrong way. Meanwhile Steve, Guys best friend is pining for Ju. There are some interesting twists and turns throughout but out of the books I’ve read this year, it sits at about average, 3/5 stars. Milly Johnson the author also wrote Winter Flame which is a great one for this time of year too.

November Nine by Colleen Hoover

This was seriously one of the best books I’ve read this year and my first from author Colleen Hoover. It’s a young adult contemporary novel about Fallon and Ben who first meet on Fallon’s last day in LA before she moves to New York to pursue an acting career. They have an instant spark and decide to meet the same day they met, November ninth each year. It’s mainly focused around romance, and together they make a perfect couple but there are a lot of plot twists and intense moments which also made the book something special. The genre is maybe slightly too young for me, but I still fully enjoyed it. From first impressions Colleen Hoover seems like a remarkable author and I rate November Nine 5/5 stars.

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

I haven’t actually started reading this one but it’s on my to be read pile, I’m super excited to begin and I’ve heard good things on Goodreads and YouTube about this series. The Selection is the first novel in The Selection series by Kiera Cass. It’s a dystopian novel, which will be my first to try and has a fairytale inspired twist with a reality TV feel about it. It’s also a fairly small book, something that I could imagine finishing quite quickly. I’m hoping to get stuck in before the New Year if possible. I’m currently reading a Christmas novel.

What books have you been reading lately? Are you a book worm in A/W? :-) Xx

Friday, 18 November 2016

Borlind Natural Lipstick In Celebrity Red

I’m so excited to be sharing this product with you, it’s probably my favourite product I discovered in 2016 and that is the Anne Marie Borlind lipstick in celebrity red. I actually received it for my birthday back in July, but because of the autumnal colour, I’ve only just started using it. When selecting this product, I wanted the perfect matte red lipstick. In the swatch photo it comes across more pink toned but like the name suggests it’s a classic red. It says it’s a matte formula which it is, but it’s much more moisturising and wearable than others I’ve tried. I actually prefer it to some of my Mac lipsticks which feel more apparent on the lips.

I love the name celebrity red, and it’s the kind of colour you could see celebrities wearing on the red carpet. When I apply it to my lips its feels like a very special product, I think the colour would suit a variety of skin tones, even paler skin such as mine. Originally I was going to get the iconic Mac Ruby Woo lipstick instead but this wasn’t natural. I’m so glad I choose a Borlind product instead as its natural, carmine, paraben, and sulphate free, not tested on animals and cruelty free. At £13.95 it’s around the same price point as a Mac lipstick, but if you want to treat yourself, I highly recommend it! This would make an awesome Christmas gift for a special female in your life too. You can buy it on where there are a lot of positive reviews of it which may be worth a read too. They also offer free delivery, check out the product here.

Do you like red lipsticks too? What lipstick brands do you favour? :-) Xxx

Friday, 11 November 2016

My Thoughts on Two Chocolate Tea Brands

Yogi Tea Organic Choco

This was my favourite variety of the two I tried and very appropriate for this time of year because of the spices blended into the flavour. It’s lovely with a splash of milk, and the cinnamon is very prominent. The only thing I would say was that it took a while to brew, only a small amount of milk is appropriate otherwise it’s not very appetising. It’s rather a strange concept to have cocoa in tea and I found it hard to get my head around at first but it’s a healthier alternative to hot chocolate. If you are after experimenting with chocolate tea, this one would be good to start with. I was recommended the mint choco one, which sounds tempting too! Priced at £2.35 on Holland & Barrett, buy here.

Charbrew Tea Chocolate Orange

I love Charbrew as a brand and over the summer I enjoyed their pineapple and vanilla tea which was gorgeous. This chocolate orange flavour was rather odd unfortunately. The taste was too unusual and like nothing I have ever tried. It says on the box it is meant to be paired with hot water not milk so this made it more of a herbal/fruit type tea. It’s possible it would taste better with milk, but there was no mention of this. There weren’t as many spices as the Yogi tea and although the orange came through, it wasn’t great. Priced £3.49 on Holland & Barrett, buy here.

Are you a chocoholic? Have you ever tried chocolate tea and what did you think? 
Are there any other chocolate brands I haven’t tried? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

October Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Favourites

Hey all and welcome to my October favourites. October for me has been a very busy month, I went away with my parents on a campervan holiday mid Oct for four nights, visiting family for one of those days. I have loads of things I’ve been loving and want to include in this post. While away in the campervan, the leaves were falling and turning brown and the temperature became a little chillier. Luckily I packed this rainbow hat and pink checked scarf, these were my fashion staples and kept me that little bit warmer. The colours are really fun, and I enjoyed wearing them. As it was the month of Halloween, I did some themed baking, I also wore this green and black print dress from TKMaxx I’ve had a while now, I feel it has a Halloween vibe about it and nips me in at the waist.

I also got out some darker toned lipsticks, as I have been trying to be more brave with which colours I choose, two of these include Mac ‘Plumful’, a gorgeous wearable purple colour in a lustre finish and my favourite out of the two ‘Celebrity Red’ by Anne Marie Borlind, a natural beauty brand and one of the best lipsticks I’ve ever owned, review coming soon! A little while ago I had been introduced to a very luxurious tea brand called Higher Living, I’ve been slowly trialling different flavours and this English earl grey has really grown on me, another review post overdue! The floral quality is unusual but addictive. In terms of books, I’ve been into reading ones by author Susan Lewis, and over this month I finished ‘Behind Closed Doors’, a thrilling and captivating detective/mystery which I have spoken about before here on my blog and rated it 4/5 stars.

And following on with Halloween themes, I thought Charlie and The Chocolate Factory starring actor Johnny Depp was a great watch, a very well done film, great for chocolate lovers and Roald Dahl Fans. Last but not least I finally finished this one thousand piece Tatty Teddy baking jigsaw, I’ve been going back to it a bit at time since Easter, but it was very satisfying to fit in the last puzzle piece. 

Do you like jigsaws too? 
Which thing from my favourites did you like the most 
and how was your October? :-) Xxx

Monday, 31 October 2016

Faith In Nature Chocolate Shower Gel & Foam Bath

Wishing you all a happy Halloween and hope your day so far is a good one. Today I’m back with a product from Faith In Nature, their chocolate shower gel and foam bath. If you are after satisfying a chocolate craving this is a great alternative, the scent is gorgeous and very authentic. I don’t use it as a foam bath so much, but in the past it has created lots of bubbles. I’ve been using this in the shower over the last month, and have been enjoying it. It has a great lather and the 400ml bottle is long lasting. I just keep coming back to this brand, they are cruelty-free, organic and include all natural ingredients. I don’t think I’ve bought one product by them that I don’t like, I know the shampoos are lovely too! They have other note-worthy scents, the pineapple and lime or grapefruit and orange is nice for summer time. If you want to buy FIN products I recommend Amazon, Holland&Barrett, Superdrug or their official website. The pricing varies with where you buy it and if postage is free, I paid £5.75 (free P&P) on Amazon, link here.

Would you like to try this? 
Do you like a chocolate fragrance in beauty/bath products too? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Haunted House Halloween Cupcakes

An early happy Halloween! In the lead up to the day I’ve been doing some themed baking along the lines of chocolate cupcakes decorated with white chocolate cobwebs. For the actual cake bit, I got a readymade chocolate cake mix, adding eggs and water and then dividing into cupcake cases. This made things a little easier and great if you want to bake something last minute. When they came out of the oven, I left them to cool and later I heated up 100g of white chocolate and piped messy cobwebs onto the top. I tried to incorporate a classic spider web by drawing two or three circles onto the top of each and then drawing a few lines from the centre outwards. Some came out better than others, but it was a fun process and the messy designs worked well for the Halloween theme. The cake was very rich and chocolatey, quite firm, not crumbly and the white chocolate was a delicious alternative to regular icing. Any chocolate cake mix will be fine, I used one from Asda. If you are baking this time of year too, I recommend making these or anything really that fits the theme.

Do you like baking too? What are your plans for Halloween? :-) Xx

Saturday, 22 October 2016

My Thoughts on Three Books.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

I’d first heard of this book through the blogging/YouTube community as it’s a bit of a cult classic. It had been on my to-read list for quite some time, and after receiving it for my birthday over the summer I finished it. The author Marie Kondo has some great tips and insight into the way of clearing out rubbish and tidying up. I liked the personal stories mixed in with helpful knowledge. The book is short and easy to finish but the chapters feel very thorough and specific. Towards the end is where I enjoyed it the most, it kind of wrapped things up in a pleasing way. I think tidying can be fun and loved the way the book showed this. I rated it 5/5

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

I’m actually still in the process of reading this one, it’s kind of on hold as I feel it’s more of a summer time read. So far though I’m thoroughly enjoying it, it’s my first Morgan Matson book so I’m super excited. The story revolves around Andie the congressman’s daughter who has summer all planned out with a pre-med internship. Sadly due to a political scandal it doesn’t work out so she has to find another way to spend her summer. The antics of Andie and her close knit friendship group is entertaining and hopefully will continue. The writing style is lovely while the storyline is very relatable for young adult readers. I will let you know how I get on!! :-)

A Kiss in the Dark by Cat Clarke

Saving the best to last, this was probably one of my top reads of the year so far. I finished it very quickly due to the past-paced, thrilling narrative. I’ve wanted to read a book by Cat Clarke for a while, and now I’m keen to read others from the author. The plot is unusual and unexpected as well as something which is best left to be a surprise. The characters are very realistic and relatable, plus the twists throughout the book were quite something. I felt engaged throughout the book, and believe it could be interesting to a variety of age groups. A great autumn/winter read! I rated it 5/5

Are you a book worm? What have you been reading lately? :-)

Friday, 14 October 2016

My Thoughts on Organic Surge Products

Wow I was so impressed with this brand, I loved all three products that I purchased and look forward to trying more from them. I’d only recently heard of Organic Surge after browsing the website. As the name suggests they are organic and cruelty-free as well as being vegan, free from parabens, sulphates, colourants, artificial fragrance, and genetically modified ingredients. I would say they compete with brands such as Faith In Nature and the price tag is around the same mark too. The shampoo and conditioner at £7.95 and the shower gel at £6.99. Here's my little write up about each item, hope you enjoy!

Organic Surge Shine Boost Shampoo

This shampoo claims to clarify, boost shine, leaving hair smooth and glossy. I would agree with the product description completely, my hair felt shiny, healthier and clarified. I find natural products leave my locks in better condition and this range has reinforced my thoughts on this. It has a scent of apple, rosemary and nettle extracts. In my opinion the aroma of this is gorgeous, very refreshing and lovely. It’s become one of my favourite shampoos for sure and I can see myself repurchasing.

Organic Surge Shine Boost Conditioner

I’m very fussy when it comes to conditioners and don’t use them often unless I see a clear improvement. This one definitely is better than most out there, and doesn’t weigh down my hair like others do. It works in perfect harmony with the shampoo. The lovely apple scent is less obvious in this one but that doesn’t bother me too much. The price is the same as the shampoo, and although the bottle is 50ml smaller the treatment is more intense. Again I can see myself repurchasing as it’s a great product!

Organic Surge Citrus Mint Body Wash 

Another fabulous product by Organic Surge. Scent is an important thing for me in shower gels and the citrus mint was really unusual, it grew on me quite quickly. It lathered well and was a lovely experience to use.  After looking back on today, they now are offering a slightly different product. It is in a dispenser bottle and is described as a body wash but also a hand wash. The brand also have a similar shower gel in a slightly different fragrance. Both options look just as good.

I would thoroughly recommend Organic Surge, I’m delighted to have stumbled across the brand. Other items I want to try include their volume boost shampoo/conditioner, tropical bergamot body scrub and other shower gels. Click here to view their range!

Is buying natural important to you? 
What products do you reach for in the shower/bath? :-) Xx

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

September Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Favourites

Hope all my fellow bloggers had a nice September, a lot of my month was taken up with a holiday so blogging has taken a little back seat. It’s nice to be back with my favourites from last month so let’s begin… I had a little autumnal shopping trip to Primark (haul post here!) and stocked up on two jumpers, this one in a classic nautical style is gorgeous and has been keeping my warm as the days are getting colder. In the same haul I bought some slippers which are now very well worn but I’m finding them so comfy and practical for around the house plus they are easy to slip in and out of. I had a bit of a chocolate themed splurge this month, starting with this wonderful Coco Chocolatier earl grey tea & bergamot organic chocolate, perfect to have with a cuppa and has such an authentic taste. The packaging is stunning too! Speaking of cuppas, I’ve been trialling and enjoying a new tea, this one by Yogi Tea is very unusual and is named choco. It’s a substitute for hot chocolate and I believe it’s heathier too. A review will be up with my details into this.

Faith In Nature do some gorgeous products as you’re likely to have heard me say in previous posts. I’ve been into their chocolate shower gel and foam bath, the scent smells like the most wonderful chocolate factory, and I just can’t get enough. I’m in the process of being a little more minimal with my beauty stash, and using things up. This Cacharel Noa perfume is a beaut, and something I’ve been reaching for on a daily basis. The scent is musky vanilla and a great autumn perfume I would say. On a final note I’ve been very prolific with my reading over the month of September, I’ve been reaching for a book quite a bit. Two books both of which I loved and rated 5/5 on goodreads I wanted to include in this post. I’m most excited to share with you ‘A Kiss In The Dark’ by Cat Clarke, my first book by this author. I raced through it, and loved all the plot twists, it’s a great one to delve into if you are in a reading slump. 'Loving Spirit' by Linda Chapman is aimed at a younger audience but I enjoyed the relationship between Ellie and her horse Spirit. I found it informative in regard to life looking after horses too! :-)

How was your September? What things have you been loving? :-) Xx