02 November 2017

The Weekly Wish List

1. Cath Kidston Kingswood Rose Watch, £55
I don't get to wear a watch too often, due to the nature of my job, but I'm really in love with this one and I'd like to start wearing a watch on days off. This particular style is really pretty, but practical too, as the colourway will compliment so many outfits!
2. Booja Booja Raspberry Truffles, £4.99/69g
These vegan-friendly, organic chocolate truffles sound divine and I love the pink packaging!
3. Dare2b Cajole Ski Sweater, RRP £70 £48.95
This zip-up fleece really caught my eye when I saw it in a local store; I love the stylish, slim fit and the colourway. This would certainly perk up my dog-walking attire!
4. RJR.John Rocha Fleece Slipper Boots, RRP £25 £15
These short slipper boots are exactly what I've been looking for! These are actually from the men's section, as I have annoyingly large feet! I like to keep my toes cosy during these colder months and these boots should do the job!
5. Tangle Teezer Rose Gold Luxe Compact Styler, £13.50
I don't particularly need a new Tangle Teezer, but I couldn't resist the pretty rose gold design! I like to keep one handy in my bag while out and about; they are the gentlest brushes for teasing out knots and they reduce tugging.

What's at the top of your wish list this week?
Emma xxx

16 October 2017

The LoveLula October Beauty Box

The LoveLula Monthly Subscription Beauty Box, £13.95
The October beauty box contained a total product value of £44, including three full-size products! This box was great because it had some different types of products.

Included in the box was:
PHB Eye Shadow Brush, £7.95
Another eye shadow brush will definitely be a welcome addition to my little collection!
I usually enjoy neutral eye shadow colours, so this should be fine for me. I love the quality of PHB's make-up products! I like that this comes with a little mirror inside.

Ooh! Oils Of Heaven Tamanu Regenerating Face Oil (travel size), £9.50/15ml
This smells a little unusual and has a nutty scent. It appears to be a thicker type of face oil and I'm looking forward to trying it.
Made from Himalayan soapberries, this bodywash smells gorgeous and is a favourite of mine!
Glossworks Nail & Cuticle Oil, £12/9ml
I can't wait to use this avocado-based cuticle oil! This promises to soften and moisturise cuticles and promote healthy skin and nails!

Have you tried any of these products? As always, as a LoveLula beauty box subscriber, you will also receive 20% off all brands in the beauty box!
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

10 October 2017

Weleda Oat Replenishing Haircare Duo

Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo*, £10.50/190ml and Weleda Oat Replenishing Conditioner*, £10.95/200ml

I recently tried another haircare duo, this time from Weleda. With oat extract, jojoba seed oil, coconut oil and wheat protein, these hair products sounded great, especially as they are aimed at dry/damaged hair.
I liked the neutral, lightly herbal scent of both products and the packaging is pleasing to the eye. The consistency of the shampoo was a little too thin, which made it feel watery. It was quite difficult to spread evenly through my hair and achieve an even coverage; I felt I had to use too much product per application. The conditioner was a thicker, cream formula which I didn't use too much of per application.
The shampoo did add shine, but I still had dry ends and it seemed to leave residue behind, making my hair appear greasy. The conditioner helped to soften my hair, but I prefer Weleda's oat replenishing treatment to use as a heavy duty conditioner or hair mask.

Overall, this duo was disappointing and did not suit my hair type. I may try a different haircare range from this brand in the future, to see how it compares. Do let me know your own thoughts on Weleda haircare products!
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

07 October 2017

Holidays, Engagements + Future Plans

Ian and I recently returned from a three-part holiday to North Berwick, Fife and Yorkshire. As Ian couldn't get the time off, I had already spent almost a week at Canty Bay (near North Berwick) before he arrived for the last couple of days of the holiday. He arrived Thursday evening and we were so happy to be reunited after five days apart! We enjoyed a Chinese takeaway and a relaxed evening. On Friday afternoon, we took the dogs for a stroll along the beach and sat on Red Rock (my favourite place to play as a child). Then Ian made the most romantic gesture by asking me to marry him! I immediately said yes, almost before he'd finished asking! We'd been together seven months at that point, which may seem short to some people, but this has been the best year of my life and during this time I have discovered a different outlook on life and we both agree that if you've found something this amazing, don't waste a minute of it! We are both over the moon, as are our families and friends.
On Saturday we drove across to Crossgates in Fife to spend a few days in a little house we found on Airbnb. It was ideally located for both stunning, scenic walks and a trip to the cinema and plenty of eateries. We watched IT at the cinema which was really good and very creepy! We'd definitely return to this area again.

The remainder of our holiday was spent with Ian's sister and her family down in Yorkshire. We had lovely weather and Wilson enjoyed the new places to investigate! Ian and I drove into Hull to watch Kingsman: The Golden Circle at the cinema; it was really good!

We enjoyed our holiday, but were both glad of our home comforts during the last weekend before we returned to work during the week.

Wedding plans are in full swing, of course, so that is very exciting! The cottage is very nearly ready, minus a kitchen, but that's a minor detail, right? We are planning a 2019 wedding to allow us time to plan and save some money, as we are also going to be saving up for an extension to the cottage which will hopefully give us a further two bedrooms, another bathroom and a separate living room.

I hope life is treating you well! I'm looking forward to keeping cosy during the autumn and winter months - lots of throws and candles are a must! Oh, and hot chocolate, of course.
Emma xxx

05 October 2017

PHB Clarifying Haircare Duo

PHB Argan & Vanilla Clarifying Shampoo*, £12.35/250ml & PHB Argan & Vanilla Clarifying Conditioner*, £12.95/250ml

A while back, I chose the clarifying shampoo and clarifying conditioner from PHB to trial and review. Firstly, the products have quite a distinctive, herbal scent, which is okay, but not what I'd personally choose, as they smell a little old-fashioned. The ingredients include organic oat kernel extract, organic Argan oil, organic sea buckthorn and ylang ylang.
The shampoo has a thin, gel-like consistency with a light lather; I felt I had to use a lot of product to get an even coverage. I left the product on for a couple of minutes then rinsed thoroughly, followed by an application of the thin, cream-like conditioner, which I left on for a little longer before rinsing with cool water.

After blow-drying my hair, I was always disappointed to find that there were a couple of small sections of hair that didn't look cleansed and made my hair look greasy. This could be a result of the product not spreading easily and evenly throughout my hair or being difficult to rinse away, leaving behind residue product. The conditioner was okay, but my dry ends often need a more heavy-duty product to revive them.

I did love the fact that the products are dispensed via a pump bottle, as this makes application easier and cleaner. The scent was disappointing, especially as I was expecting a predominantly vanilla aroma. As I wash my hair every other day, I need products that keep my hair looking clean and lively for as long as possible, and unfortunately this haircare duo didn't succeed. At over £24 for the pair, this is really disappointing! My sister has previously used haircare products from this brand and I remember her saying it didn't feel like they cleaned her hair thoroughly enough.

Do let me know your own experiences with PHB's haircare products! I have a lot of love for this brand's ethics and enjoy using products from their skincare and cosmetic ranges.
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

02 October 2017

The LoveLula September Beauty Box

The LoveLula Monthly Subscription Beauty Box*, £13.95
The September beauty box contained an awesome total product value of £50, including one full-size product and a gift set! Overall, a great box for the autumn months.

Included in the box was:
Walden Perfumes Gift Set, £30/5ml x5
Made from natural absolutes, resins and essential oils, these natural perfumes offer an alternative way to wear your favourite scents. Whether you prefer citrus, floral, woody, exotic or oriental, there's something for you. Some of the perfumes do smell quite similar in the bottle, but most will develop differently when applied to the skin. I think my favourite is Two Eternities.
JOIK White Chocolate Bath Truffle (sample size), £10/310g
It'll be a grand day when I can use this bath truffle, as it will mean that we've moved into our new home! This bath treat is packed full of luxurious cocoa butter and I can just imagine how soft and moisturised it will leave my skin.
Balm Balm Beauty Balm, £16.50/60ml
This lavender-infused, multi-purpose balm sounds perfect and gentle enough for sensitive skin; it can be used to cleanse, moisturise, exfoliate or even as a face mask! It smells lovely and I think it will be long-lasting.
Esse Gel Cleanser (sample size), £25/100ml
Thanks to the peppermint and spearmint oils, this gel cleanser smells delicious and promises to eliminate toxins, refresh the skin and leave it deeply cleansed. I can't wait to try this!
Kimberly Sayer skincare samples
I've tried and loved Kimberly Sayer products previously, so I'm looking forward to trying more. These samples include light cleansing lotion, gentle face cleanser, anti-ageing cream and light night cream.

Have you tried any of these products? As always, as a beauty box subscriber, you will also receive 20% off all brands in the beauty box!
Emma xxx 

*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

29 September 2017

The Weekly Wish List

1. Dorothy Perkins Leopard Print Jumper, £26
I'm getting excited for autumn and winter, because it means wearing cute, cosy jumpers again! I love this navy leopard print one.
2.  The Earth Works Cosmetics Grapefruit Exfoliator, £10.50/45g
This grapefruit exfoliator with corn starch, castor oil and sweet almond oil sounds lovely, as do the natural and minimal ingredients!
3. Transomnia Heart Cushion, RRP £20.99 £7.99
I think this pretty cushion would look just lovely in our new bedroom!
4. TK Maxx Wooden Heart Coasters, £6.99
These rustic wooden coasters with heart detail really compliment the theme which will be running through our new home.

What's at the top of your wish list this week?
Emma xxx

30 August 2017

The LoveLula August Beauty Box

The LoveLula Monthly Subscription Beauty Box*, £13.95
The August beauty box contained an amazing total product value of £55, including four full-size products!

Included in the box was:
Balm Balm Chamomile Floral Water Hydrosol, £8.50/30ml
I love a floral water in a spray bottle, so this is a welcome addition to my toner collection. I find these floral water hydrosols to be a great quick-fix option and they are really refreshing!
Beauty Brews Energy Passionfruit & Ginger Tea, £9.50/50g
I can't wait to try this, along with another tin I have in the cupboard! Expect a post on these teas in the near future. This one smells incredible!
Glossworks 3-in-1, £12/9ml
This 3-in-1 nail product can be used as a base and top coat, as well as a nail hardener. Looking forward to trying this with the nail polish!
Glossworks Nail Polish in "Name Of The Rose", £12/9ml
Such a pretty carnation pink! I can't wait to try this 9-free nail polish!
PHB Brown Eyeliner, £10.95/4g
I'm not really much of an eyeliner user, but I might give this a go as it has a really gentle, creamy formula.

Have you tried any of these products? As always, as a beauty box subscriber, you will also receive 20% off all brands in the beauty box!
Emma xxx 

*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

26 August 2017

Renovating 100-Year-Old Cottages + The Ups and Downs Of Life

Hello! It's been a couple of months since my last life update, so here is another! I hope all my readers are doing well and enjoying their summer!

Firstly, we are making really good progress with the cottage! We are only 4.5 months into the renovation and the majority of the messiest, hardest jobs are complete. We've added insulation, re-plastered, lowered the ground level at the rear of the cottage, replaced all light switches and sockets, ripped out the old kitchen and bathroom, installed central heating and replaced the old door and windows!
The remaining to do list is roughly as follows:
  • Paint all interior walls and ceilings
  • Lay new flooring throughout
  • Add new skirting and architrave
  • Add interior doors
  • Install new light fittings and spotlights
  • Install new bathroom
  • Install new kitchen
  • Install multi-fuel stove
  • Re-paint and patch-up exterior walls
  • Improve driveway further
  • Plant flowers, trees e.t.c.
My brother and Dad have done all the hard work where possible, helping to save a lot of money! I've been slowly buying little homeware pieces here and there - I just can't help myself! We are hoping to be able to move in around the end of October, so fingers crossed! We are both very excited about the move and Wilson will be so happy with the outside space, which includes the main garden, woodland, a stream and the adjoining river, not to mention the nearby beach!
Life in general is good, but we've endured some ups and downs of late! Unfortunately Ian lost a friend due to a motorcycle accident last week. We also had a minor accident ourselves involving a deer; we were luckily both unharmed and the car only requires minor bodywork repairs. We had a minor leak at the cottage after a heavy bout of rain, I was unsuccessful with a recent job interview, Wilson has been a little accident prone recently and has chipped one canine tooth and cut his paw; both were minor accidents which didn't require treatment.

On a positive note... Wilson has just celebrated his first birthday, he is no longer afraid water and now enjoys swimming, we are in the final preparations of putting Ian's house up for sale, I have applied for a number of other jobs, important papers have been signed and are in progress and we are both looking forward to our three-part holiday next month!

Obviously life has been really hectic, so blogging does tend to take a back seat, but I'm always eager to add more content and aim to post once a week. Any ideas or requests for blog posts would be greatly appreciated and as always, thank you for being a loyal reader!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and speak soon!
Emma xxx

23 August 2017

What Skin Needs Hydrating Facial Serum

What Skin Needs Hydrating Facial Serum*, £12.99/30ml

I finally got round to trying out this facial serum which was gifted to me last year. It blends vitamins and plant extracts to create a light serum which aims to reduce scarring and skin pigmentation, improve hydration and skin cell renewal and help nourish and re-balance skin. With the ability to penetrate the skin's deeper layers, this serum promises to leave you with younger, healthier-looking skin!

The key ingredient is Plantolin®, which has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, helping to soothe, rehydrate and repair dry, rough and damaged skin. Other great ingredients included in this product are maracuja oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E and lemon myrtle oil.
After cleansing my skin in the morning, I like to apply a few drops of this serum to my face, either before or with my daily moisturiser. I love that it has such a refreshing, zingy lemon scent - great for awakening the skin in the mornings!

The gentle ingredients help to keep my skin feeling and looking calmer by reducing redness and discolouration, whilst also keeping it hydrated all day long, without feeling greasy or heavy. It works well as a make-up base, as you won't find yourself struggling with dry, flaky patches. It also makes my skin feel a lot softer and plumper, whilst having an overall brightening effect. It's perfect for all year round use!

The main winner for me is that this serum has an extremely reasonable price point, and it will last ages, like all serums! You only need a few drops per application. It is also cruelty free and contains lots of lovely, natural ingredients that your skin will love!

What is your favourite skin serum?

Passiflora Incarnatta (Maracuja Oil), Centipeda Cunninghamii Extract (Plantolin), Olive Oil Decyl Esters, Olive Oil Squalene, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Soy Esters, Dicaprylyl Ether, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Lavandula (Lavender) Hybrida Oil, Backhousia Citriodora (Lemon Myrtle) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil.
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.