Sunday, December 21, 2014

Weddington Way New Years Eve Bridesmaid

Hey guys!
I was recently contacted by the lovely Alex at Weddington Way to put together the perfect bridesmaid ensemble for a new years eve wedding. Having recently been a chief bridesmaid and experience the excitement of my best friends special day, I thought I would give it a go!

As its New Years Eve, I have chosen this gorgeous Ava black dress from the Weddington Way website. Although black might not be most brides first choice for her bridesmaids, its so simple and understated which I think can take you from a day time wedding to the celebration at night without too much detail to outshine the bride. The asymmetric one shoulder can be flattering for a variety of shapes and it can potentially be worn again after the wedding.

Having your wedding around this time of year would almost be a double celebration for everyone - celebrating the love of two people and the turn of a new year so I definitely think you can get away with a little sparkle! I love these gold Roland Cartier court shoes from Debenhams.  They are actually vey similar to the ones myself and the other bridesmaids chose for my best friends wedding back in August. Nothing too high as you'll be in them all day but just enough to make you feel elegant and free to dance the night away!

Adding jewellery is the final touch. This Champagne Swarovski bracelet from Etsy is beautiful and would complete the look without being too over the top. Jewellery can also make a great bridesmaid gift that will remind them of the day for years to come.

If you are planning a wedding or looking for some inspiration then head over to the Weddington Way website and check them out on Pinterest.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Capturing a moment

A few months ago I first heard about FreePrints through my Aunt who had been using the app to print photos from her phone. I take lots of photographs on my phone, a lot more so than my Lumix camera because I'm usually taking a silly selfie with my boyfriend or capturing my crazy mutt doing something stupid. That's the part I like about photographs - just capturing the moment as it happens and keeping it frozen in time in a single shot. As if the fact that you could select the photos you want printed from your phone which are then delivered straight to your door wasn't enough, you get 45 6x4 free prints per month and you only have to pay for delivery (starts at £1.49 and is never more than £3.99)!

I was really pleased with the quality of the prints and the speediness of delivery every time I have used FreePrints so far. The app takes the inconvenience out of printing photos which I would have otherwise probably never got round to doing. You can select photos from the gallery on your phone or from a variety of social media platforms including Facebook, Flickr and Dropbox.

The only thing I would say is that if you are printing edited photos particularly, in my experience, from instagram,then they tend to arrive in the square size rather than the normal rectangular size which isn't really an issue unless you have a standard frame to put them in. The app does tell you when there is some sizing issues and you can always select the original or just go ahead with the edited version.

Around the time I found out about the app I had taken down a few things from the wall in my room as I felt like a little refresh! I have a few photos dotted about but none which are really up to date. I'm currently on the hunt for a frame big enough to put all my lovely prints in so I can see them every day! Any frame suggestions leave a comment below :)

I have also just discovered that you can now do this through your computer here which is a great addition to the app and allows me to be even more snap happy! 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Beauty Kitchen Christmas Gifts

Beauty Kitchen are pretty unique. First off, they make completely natural beauty products - like actually 100% natural. Second, they are based in Glasgow. Both of these are so hard to find and so good for us scots!

This year they have five new gorgeous Christmas gifts - some of which are completely brand new and some are popular products which have been revamped. They have also joined forces with Holland & Barrett so it isn't just the scots that can get their hands on these exciting Christmas gifts! Available across a variety of stores nationwide, I think this is a great partnership that totally makes sense.

From what I know about Beauty Kitchen, you only need to give their products a try once and your hooked. They smell amazing and all the skin care benefits will make you wonder why you've ever used anything other than natural products. You can even go to one of their workshops to learn how to make your very own!

The packaging is so simple but effective and totally conveys what Beauty Kitchen is all about - honest, natural, fun. I love the cracker it's so cute and I think it would make a great alternative to your standard Christmas cracker at the dinner table! The cracker along with the lip balm collection make great stocking fillers and you can't go far wrong with the hand wash & body lotion duo in Beauty Kitchen's uplifting 'Inspire Me' scent.

 The 'Create Your Own' kits aren't like anything I've ever seen before and super easy to use. The lip balm kit makes four lip balms and comes in an adorable tin which actually opens just like a can! The bath bomb kit is in the 'Chill Me' scent which helps to relax the muscles and sooth the mind - who wouldn't want to soak in a bath with those bath bombs?!

All of the gifts are really affordable and since they are all completely natural, they are suitable for a variety of skin types.

Check out the Holland & Barrett website or your local Holland & Barrett store where the gifts are currently on buy one get one half price. A few of the stores have been selling out already so get your skates on and stock up for Christmas!

The Beauty Kitchen store is at 117 Saltmarket in Glasgow so don't forget to pop in and check our their full range of amazing, natural products.

Beauty Kitchen Links
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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Festive Fashion Fun with George at Asda*

It's that time of year again when we start to look out our best party frocks and get into the festive spirit. As I'm usually invited to a work do and quite a few family parties, I like to have a few options that won't break the bank. This is where George at Asda come in. I usually buy my winter boots from them and have been eyeing up a few things I've seen in store so when they contacted me I already had a few key pieces in mind!

A lot of black I hear you say but we all know the LBD is a girls best friend! The Moda V-neck black dress is a classic and would make a great addition to any wardrobe. The shape is very sophisticated and paired with a red lip and red heels would make the perfect party dress. I love the embellishment on the other two black dresses - Christmas is the best excuse for a bit of sparkle! The 60s inspired Voulez Vous dress gives you plenty of room to dance the night away and would look great with a cute sparkly clutch. The Polka Dot dress is a steal at £10 with the detailed lace sleeves and its quirky take on an old classic.
The figure hugging red textured dress has an understated design with a bold colour to make sure you turn heads during the festivities. Black heels and a leather jacket with sparkly statement eyes and your good to go. The Bardot Lace dress is a little more daring and perfect for a more elegant look - minimal accessories needed just let the dress do the talking. The Forest Print midi dress is again slightly more formal with a beautiful fit and design.

I couldn't resist adding in these gorgeous and slightly more casual dresses that would see you from a day of Christmas shopping - with a chunky knit cardi and ankle boots - through to a last minute dinner date by simply adding a bold lip or a statement necklace and your favourite heels.

You can check out the full range of the beautiful, affordable dresses here.


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Skincare splurging & saving with lookfantastic

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently started a new job so I decided to treat myself to some new skincare. I try to be quite careful with my pennies and I'm more of a high street kind of girl but with a little more money in my back pocket last month I paid lookfantastic a visit.

Before I get to the products I have to say I was really pleased with lookfantastic. I initially received an email with a code for 20% off my order which is what made me have a nosey on their website. Then, because I would have spent over £55 before the 20% discount I received a Balance Me 'Back to Beauty Basics' gift pack worth £38.50! Finally, as I purchased 3 Ole Henriksen products I received a free 15ml Ole Henriksen melting cleanser worth £5! These are clever marketing techniques to get you to put more in your basket but I only bought what I was looking for and I was really pleased with the freebies! Plus I got free delivery so what more could you want? I can't recommend them enough - if not for the little extra touches then for the speedy & free delivery alone!

Now for the products and the duo that steal the show.

I have never tried Ole Henriksen products before but heard skincare guru Caroline Hirons rave about his products in her blog posts/videos and fancied giving them a go. First up is the Aloe Vera Deep Cleanser. I used about ten pence sized amount on my damp Ole Henriksen complexion sponge (2 pack costs £3.00-worth every penny) and gently buffed across my face. The sponge is not at all abrasive on the skin and combined with the cleanser, actually feels really soft. The cleanser soothes and refreshes the skin leaving my face feeling clean but not stripped of all its natural oils. It contains chamomile and a variety of vitamins to control oil and tackle problem skin. The aloe vera smell is also really refreshing but not over powering and is perfect for both am and pm. It honestly felt like it reset my skin to how it should be before all the make up and grime of the day and I love it.

I followed the deep cleanser with Ole Henriksen's Balancing Cucumber Face Tonic. I haven't used a proper toner for ages but have been missing this step from my skincare routine. I soaked a cotton pad with the face tonic and swept it all over my face. The scent is not how I expected it to be - more floral notes than cucumber but it is still lovely. The tonic was absorbed pretty quickly into my skin and it looked healthier and seemed pleased with my choices! I think the cleanser and face tonic combo really compliment each other and the tonic helps to remove anything the cleanser missed. It also felt like it helped to wake my skin up and the absorption of my moisturising oil.

I went to bed feeling calm and refreshed but it wasn't until the morning that I could fully appreciate the benefits. I literally did a double take in the mirror after the first night I had tried these. I tend to have a lot of redness around my chin from scars or new spots trying to come through but the redness was visibly reduced and my skin looked clearer after just one use! It takes a lot for me to be surprised and notice a real difference but I was genuinely really impressed.

These two products are stealing all the thunder but I also purchased the Bliss Lid & Lash Wash Makeup Remover which I mentioned previously in this post. The gel oil-free formula works a treat and gets rid of even the most stubborn mascara. A little goes a long way and its perfect for sensitive eyes.

You made it to the end of that long post! I will road test the free goodies and if you guys would like me to do a review of them please leave a comment below :)


Lush Christmas Glasgow Blogger Event

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the Lush Christmas blogger and press event at the Buchannan Street store in Glasgow. It sounded like a pretty good way to spend my Wednesday night, so joined by Nikki from Front Row Style, we went along!
We were welcomed into the store after hours to have a nosey at their products for Christmas as well as taking the opportunity to find out more about their skincare and hair care ranges.

Myself and Nikki started off by having a look at the body bars and bath bombs which Lush are known for. As well as the old favourites, they have some really lovely Christmas inspired bath bombs that would make great little stocking fillers or simply to get you in the mood on the run up to Christmas! My favourite was the round bath bomb that looks like Santa's face and smells divine! A little of these bad boys goes a long way and I was actually surprised at how much bubbles a teeny amount created!

Next, we spent a little time at the skincare section. Although Lush have had skincare available for a good while I've never actually had the opportunity to try it. Their friendly staff quickly changed this and tried out cleaners, facial serums and masks on my hand and while the products worked there magic, the Lush team explained the ingredients and benefits.
The two of us had a little skin care consultation with recommendations of products that suits our different skin types.
I had a quick browse of their gift sets which are always a great one for Christmas if your stuck on what to get. The 'Great Ball of Bicarb' sixties inspired set made me laugh as well as the cool Santa! There's something for everyone and gift sets are literally ready to go with no wrapping needed - bonus! You have always been able to get a little charity pot at the till but the brand has also started doing full size pots and putting a picture of the charity on the top. Lovely idea!

Finally we moved over to the hair care before going for a sniff of the soaps! I have seen a few bloggers rave about the hair care products and with such a wide range, there seems to be something for everyone - even gel & dry shampoo! I purchased the 'Big' Sea Salt Shampoo which is meant to give me a 'big hair day'. I will report back!

My 3 Top Picks

Ultrablend Cleanser - Made with almond oil, beeswax & honey, this cleanser left my skin feeling super soft and nourished. Apparently it melts away your make up in seconds and it would be great for a variety of skin types making it a great stocking filler for any skincare junkie!

Secret Santa - We were lucky enough to receive this cute set in our gift bags at the event. The hint is in the name as it contains a 'Honey I Washed The Kids' soap and the best smelling bath bomb ever made aka 'Father Christmas' (who knew going up and down chimneys could make you smell so good!). It comes in at just a little over £10 and looks super cute & Christmasy in the packaging making it the perfect secret santa gift with minimal effort.

Bubble Bars - So many fun ones I couldn't pic just one! 'Snowman Kit' to build your own snowman with a bubble bar that feels like playdoh, 'Holly Golightly' which looks like a little Christmas pudding and Drummers Drumming which has little bells either side and creates loads of bubbles in the water! The bubble bars are fun and would make great stocking fillers or a sneaky wee treat after a long day shopping for everyone else!

All the staff were so lovely and informative without being pushy and they really created a relaxed, fun atmosphere to learn more about the products. If your ever thinking about trying some bits from Lush - whether its skincare, hair care or a change from an old favourite - pay the guys on Buchanan Street a visit and they will be able to point you in the right direction to finding something really beneficial & tailored to your needs. If you just fancy picking up a bath bomb or a little treat - snow fairy is an oldy but a goody!

Thank you to the team at Lush Buchanan Street for having me and imparting some knowledge!
Lush Buchanan Street - Twitter // Instagram
Nikki from Front Row Style - Twitter //Instagram


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Enchanted Forest

A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I visited the Enchanted Forest in Pitlochery. It was around an hour and a half drive from where we live but decided we could take a run through on the Sunday night stocked up with plenty of sugary goodies! I had never heard of the forest before but one look at the website and you'll be sold too.

'With dazzling visuals and innovative design set against an original music score, including a new orchestral piece, explore the stunning autumn woodland setting of Faskally Wood near Pitlochry. Using the forest as a natural backdrop, you will experience a lighting show that is, quite simply, out of this world'

The forest is tucked away out of sight and the only way you can access the wood is by bus from a local hotel. When you book tickets you select a time slot and buses run every 15 minutes. The night we went every bus was full and even before we arrived there was a post on facebook to say the Enchanted Forest was sold out for the coming week. I was really surprised by this but once we arrived, I understood why.

I've never seen anything like it - The Enchanted Forest is such a simple idea but its so effective. The lighting and music fuse together and work alongside the forest to make a pretty spectacular show. As you follow the trail round the forest you get to experience a series of mini shows which enhance the natural forest and often transform it so that your average tree looks completely different with the help of dramatic sounds and lighting.

The forest is open every year during October with a different theme each time. This year is was 'Elemental' which was all about enjoying the elements - something we often have to do in Scotland! The first of the bigger shows you experience is 'Ice' which I think totally sums up what The Enchanted Forest is about. Amazing light and musical show with the forest as a majestic backdrop. At the end of the day its just water, lights and music but somehow they managed to make it so much more.

The other elements were 'Whispering Mist' and 'Fire' both of which made an impact and helped to highlight the different areas of the forest. The top corner of the forest was quite eery and aptly named 'Shock'  with lots of white flashing lights and owl looking eyes staring back at you. Having said that, it seemed to be enjoyed by people of all ages. It takes about an hour to walk round and you are free to go round again and spot things you missed the first time or simply to pick up a hot chocolate!

Last year the forest attracted over 40,000 visitors and has picked up plenty of awards over the 13 years it's been running. You can sign up to the newsletter here and find out when tickets for next years show go on sale. The forest is well worth a visit and you will definitely be enchanted!


(My camera decided it didn't like the darkness and so all of these photos are taken on my phone. Sorry for the poor quality they don't really do the forest justice!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Back to blogging & turning two

Hello stranger! Long time no speak...

I haven't blogged for quite a few months as I've been so busy with a variety of things including starting a new job. I never fully appreciated the quote 'Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life' until now. Don't get me wrong, there has been plenty of mornings -particularly as we head into the colder weather- that I would rather stay wrapped up in bed than rushing for the train but actually being genuinely interested and excited by my job? That is something I feel very lucky to have. My little blog actually helped me get the job in a round about way and I have recently started thinking about getting back into here I am!

I haven't blogged about my Labrador Max much before but he is such a big part of my life and as he turns two this weekend, I thought I would share some photos of him. Until you have a dog I don't think you can fully appreciate how much work they are but also how rewarding and loving they can be. There has been so many times that I've wanted to pull my hair out at the naughty things he use to do when he was a puppy and even now he still tests my patience! Having said that, every single day he puts a smile on my face or does something that makes me laugh and I genuinely can't imagine my life without him now.

Max has such a strong personality  - he's cheeky, playful, always happy and usually up to no good! I'm also pretty sure he thinks he's a human at times and to be honest, he takes up as much space in my heart as anyone else in our family.

I am aware that I'm verging on 'dog lady' status (!!) so here are the photos. Enjoy & tweet me photos of your four legged friends - I'd love to see!


Monday, May 19, 2014

L'Oreal Trio

I've had a little break from blogging for the last few months but I am back in the swing of things and ready to go! I cannot go into a Boots store without spending money. Either I buy things with my points and feel like I'm getting free beauty products or I get suckered into the 3 for 2 offers. This time it was the latter and I decided to give a few L'Oreal products a whirl.

L'Oreal True Match Foundation (Rose Vanilla SPF 17 £9.99)
I've never really purchased a lot of L'Oreal products but after seeing this foundation pop up on a few blogs and YouTube tutorials I decided to give it a go. The consistency is actually slightly more water based than I expected and is noticeably thinner than my favourite Match Perfection foundation from Rimmel. It blends really easily which makes it buildable for a fuller coverage without looking caked on. It evens out my skin tone and does cover blemishes although I still need to use a little concealer. The colour range seems to be quite good - I went for Rose Vanilla which is a good match for my fair skin although the days I need a little more coverage it can look slightly too dark. The foundation also claims to improve the appearance of skin quality in 2 weeks. I'm not convinced about this one but I will keep an eye on my skin and report back! So far I really like it - not too dewy but also not completely mattifying and lasts well throughout the day.

Voluminous Volume Building Mascara (Black £8.49)
I've been using this mascara for the last week and I'm not sure about the 'voluminous' claims. The smaller brush is able to coat all the lashes - even the smaller ones at the inner corner of my eyes - but it works better for lengthening the lashes rather than adding volume. The mascara does feel lightweight so it tends to hold a curl for longer and makes them look longer but it doesn't have a lot of impact. This makes it perfect for a day time look and it performs in the same way every time but the voluminous claims are slightly misleading.

Mega Volume Miss Manga Mascara (Purple £8.99)
Yes you read that right, I accidently bought purple mascara. That's what happens when your rushing for a train kids! I gave it a try anyway so for now, lets pretend its black. This mascara has a larger brush so I was hoping this one would live up to its 'mega volume' name. The narrow end of the brush makes it easy to get the small lashes on the inside of the eye while the fuller end adds volume. I've only tried this one a few times as I don't tend to rock the purple look but it is better at volumising than the previous mascara and it holds my lashes in place all day without weighing them down. I will definitely be repurchasing this in black!

Overall, I'm not completely bowled over by the L'Oreal products as I was hoping to be. The foundation is definitely a winner but the products can be at a slightly higher price point than similar drug store brands and don't necessarily perform as well.


Thursday, February 06, 2014

My Beauty Product Wish List

At the end of last year I started a little wish list of beauty products I was lusting after. It's still going strong so I thought I would share some of the items on the list with you. The list is not only a way to stop me blowing my wages in Boots but to also separate the products I  just 'quite fancy' from the ones I really love.

RapidLash - I discovered this on amazon a few months ago. Its an eyelash enhancing serum which is meant to enhance the appearance of lashes and eyebrows by improving the length, thickness and volume whilst protecting against breakage. What girl doesn't want long, fluttery eyelashes? I've read great things about this serum but at £27.99, it remains on my wish list!

Clinique 'Take Off The Day' - I have had my eye on this bad boy for a while and after I spotted skin care guru Caroline Hirons singing its praises on twitter it shot straight onto my list. Suitable for all skin types, removes make up and at £17 I don't think you can go far wrong.

Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray - Oribe products were really popular amongst bloggers late last year. Zoella included some Oribe products in one of her favourites videos and after hearing her talk about it I was sold. Unfortunately the thickening spray wasn't sold on me and was being snapped up everywhere I looked! This would be perfect for someone like me who has very fine hair and sometimes just wants a little oomph!

Babyliss Curl Secret - I asked Santa if he would get me this contraption for Christmas but alas, it was sold out every where! It has now been restocked and as much as I try to persuade myself that the curling wand at half the price would do the job, I cant get this Babyliss beauty off my mind.

Hydraluron Boosting Mask - After the buzz around Hydraluron, Indeed Labs has now produced Hydraluron boosting masks which are essentially sheet masks for your face that are soaked in moisture boosting ingredients. The mask might look like something straight out of your worst nightmare but its meant to hydrate your skin for 24 hours after removal leaving you with glowing skin!

If you have tried any of these products let me know what you think as well as any products that are on your wish list so far this year!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Make Your Own Candles

My posts have been few and far between at the moment as I've been so busy but trying to get back into the swing of things!
Today I made my very own candles so I thought I would share it with you guys. My lovely cousins gave me this kit for my Christmas from 'The Melt Pool'. It's a Scottish company who's candles are handmade with soy wax and the purest essential oils. The kit comes with three glass votive containers, a packet of natural soy wax, 3 ready waxed wicks, instructions and a bottle of the essential oil blend of your choice.
The instructions are easy to follow and within half an hour I had three candles!

Start off by melting the wax. This involves a 'double boiler' or a jug placed in a pan of boiling water. I used a plastic measuring jug to put the wax in then placed the jug into a pot of boiling water. It seems like a lot of wax initially (210g) but melted is the perfect amount for the three votive containers.
The wax takes around 15 minutes to melt. I put all of the wax in the jug but it may have been quicker adding small amounts at a time. I also stirred the wax every so often to get rid of any lumps.
Once the wax is melted, pour a small amount into each votive. Next add the wick into each votive container. To keep it straight and in the centre, balance a pen or wooden skewer across the top of the votive and attach the pen and wick together with a little blue tack. I would advise trimming the wick slightly before you add it to the wax as it is a little long and tricky to trim once the wax is set.
Once they are set, add the essential oil to the remaining melted wax in the jug and stir for around two minutes to ensure both are blended. Next, pour the remaining wax evenly between the votive containers, leave to cool and ta da! You've made your own candles!
The instructions say to leave the candles to cure for 2 - 3 days before burning to ensure a good scent thrown so I will try and wait until then to see if my little candles work. In the mean time, Max is enjoying them...
It's great fun and I am so chuffed with how they turned out! Have you ever made your own candles before? You can find The Melt Pool on Facebook and Twitter as well as their own website.