22 March 2017

A Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day isn't far away (Sunday 26th March), so I thought I'd put together a little gift guide for those last minute purchases.
1. NEOM Real Luxury Reed Diffuser, £38/100ml
Infused with high quality essentials oils, such as lavender, jasmine and rosewood. Guaranteed to create the perfect relaxing ambiance. This scent is described as "Cashmere blankets and the flutter of the fireside warmth. A precious moment of utter luxury.".
2. Greenfrog Botanic Neroli & Lime Handwash, £7.80/300ml
Make an everyday essential much more inviting with this gorgeous handwash, scented with neroli and zesty lime.
3. Bunches Marvellous Mum Flower Bouquet, £22.99
I love fresh flowers. Especially pink ones! Treat your Mum to a gorgeous bouquet from Bunches, with free chocolates included in every order.
4. Gardeners Eden Wooden Hanging Bird Feeder, £12.99
If your Mum is a nature lover like mine, she'll definitely appreciate this pretty birdhouse, painted in a cool blue tone.
5. JOIK Cinnamon Coffee Soy Wax Scented Candle, £12.50/145g
"A delicious blend of spicy cinnamon, creamy vanilla, sweet caramel and aromatic fresh brewed coffee." I'll take two! JOIK candles are gorgeous and of a high quality.
6. Montezuma's Mellow Caramel Bombes, £5.99/150g
With dark, milk and white chocolate varieties and three luxurious centres of vanilla caramel, mocha caramel and banana caramel. Who wouldn't want this as a gift?!
Love,
Emma xxx

08 March 2017

My February At A Glance...

In A Nutshell:
February really whizzed by for me. I spent my first Valentine's Day, in over a decade, as a singleton and focused on self-love, self-care and self-indulgence. Being single is gradually getting easier. I enjoyed using nugg's face masks and I enjoyed eating a Terry's chocolate orange (even if Wilson did manage to gobble up my last few segments when I wasn't looking! Luckily, there were no ill effects, except from me feeling rather disappointed that my chocolate orange had been rudely stolen from me.).

I didn't manage to fit in a January catch-up post, so now I can fill you in on some exciting developments, if you didn't catch it on Instagram; I'm buying a house! Yep, I really am. I went to view a little cottage during one week and fell in love with it. The same weekend, I got my Dad to check it out with me, to give it the thumbs-up, as it does need a little work.
For quite some time, it has been used as a holiday home, but has not been lived in or used properly for a few years. Despite this, it's in pretty good condition, with just a few repairs required and some gradual updating and renovation, when finances allow. I'm due to collect the keys during the first week in April and I cannot wait to get started! Once I give it some TLC and breathe some new life in to it, it'll be the perfect little home for Wilson and I. I'll tell you more about it all when I have the keys in my hand!
Wilson is growing so quickly - he's already passed the six month mark! How did that happen? I hope we can celebrate his first birthday (10th August) in our new home. He is turning out to be a very loving, loyal, handsome, clever and playful boy.
We've been exploring our new local area more for walks, which has been fun. The weather is slowly turning milder, although I'm loving lighting a fire in the stove every evening! I'll be installing one of these in my cottage to replace the coal fire which is currently in situ, so it's all good practice for me.
I've been struggling to meet my personal goals regarding healthier eating, self-care and regular blogging, but I'm working hard to achieve this in the near future.

Films Watched:
Notting Hill -  This rom-com is based in London, where bookshop owner, Will, has a chance encounter with a Hollywood actress, Anna Scott. Romance flourishes between them, but it doesn't end well, until they meet again, several months later. This was a heart-warming film to watch and who can resist a young Hugh Grant?! ☆☆★★★
Four Weddings and a Funeral - Hugh Grant strikes again... Another British rom-com, where serial wedding guest, Charles, ends up falling for someone who is already taken. He's fed of being a wedding guest and wants marriage for himself. Will he make do with an old flame or find a way to be with who he truly loves? A fun film to watch! ☆☆★★★

Books Read:
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris - Jack and Grace are seemingly the perfect couple, but what really goes on behind closed doors? I really loved this gripping psychological thriller! It's the kind of book that you just want to keep reading, to find out how it all ends. ★★★
The Sister by Louise Jensen - Grace is grieving after the death of her best friend, Charlie. "I did something terrible, Grace. I hope you can forgive me." were Charlie's last words and now Grace is making it her mission to find out exactly what Charlie did. This was a good read, but not as exciting as I'd hoped it would be. I liked the strong characters in the story. ★★★
The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan - This story follows Nina on her journey from librarian in Birmingham to book bus owner in The Highlands; I knew I'd enjoy this book, being set in Scotland. Nina sets out on her own and even gets caught up in some romance, which gets rather complicated. I'd give the book itself four stars, but the fifth star is just for how it made me feel, plus it encouraged me to just get on with life and try to pursue some romance! ★★★

How was your February?
Love,
Emma xxx

26 February 2017

The LoveLula February Beauty Box

The LoveLula Monthly Subscription Beauty Box*, £12.50
The February beauty box contained a total product value of £37!

Included in the box was:
Madará Micellar Water, £14/100ml
I already use this micellar water, so it was great to recieve this in this month's box, so I've got a back-up when I finish my current bottle. This is a the perfect lazy girl's skincare companion!
Weleda Skin Food, £7.50/30ml
I recently finished my first tube of this, so it's great to have it in my life again! This is a heavy duty skin treatment, perfect for nourishing and hydrated my chapped, dry hands.
Greenfrog Neroli & Lime Botanical Body Wash, £3.90/100ml
I'm currently using a full size bottle of this and I'm really enjoying the creamy formula and the lovely scent! This little bottle would be great for travelling. I can't wait to try the neroli & rose scent!
Maggie Anne Nail Polish in "Jasper", £10.50/11ml
This rose-nude shade is perfect for everyday wear, yet also gives a look of sophistication. This nail polish has a gel-effect, vegan and toxin-free formula.
Ooh! Oils Of Heaven Marula Replenishing Face Oil, £9.50/15ml
I already have the cacay oil and the argan oil from this range, so it was great to receive the marula oil this month. This is a fast-absorbing facial oil rich in anti-oxidants and fatty acids.

Let me know if you've tried any of these! As always, as a beauty box subscriber, you will also receive 20% off all brands in the beauty box!
Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

23 February 2017

What I Bought This Week... Lavera, Naturtint + M&S

I hope to get back to making videos soon, but for now, you'll just have to put up with written blog posts! Here are some of my most recent purchases:
Marks & Spencer Limited Edition Faux Leather Biker Jacket, £30 inc. P&P
I managed to snap up this mint green faux leather biker-style jacket on eBay recently and I'm really pleased with it! I love the colour and I'd been looking for a jacket in this style for years.
Aren't these just adorable? I purchased these with my new home in mind; I think they'd look great filled with sweet treats on a dresser or kitchen shelf.
Naturtint Permanent Hair Colour, £10.49
I've never tried a natural hair colourant before and it's been a few of years since I had my hair coloured at all, so I'm really excited to try this and fingers crossed it's a success!
Dr. Bronner's Lavender Hand Sanitizer, £4.49/59ml
This is my go-to hand sanitiser and I use it at work and while out and about. I love the classic lavender scent.
Lavera Gloss & Bounce Conditioner, £5.95/200ml
I love the pretty, pink packaging of this hair conditioner! With organic ingredients such as mallow flower extract, avocado oil and hydrolysed pearl, this promises to provide incredible gloss and bounce to dull hair. I can't wait to try this!
Lavera SOS Help Hand Balm, £5.95/50ml
This new release from Lavera is a gorgeous-smelling hand cream/balm to protect hands from the harsh elements and restore moisture. I'm really enjoying using this and am keeping close by in my handbag.

What have you been buying lately?
Love,
Emma xxx

18 February 2017

Food & Drink - This Month I've Been Trying...

Charbrew Chocolate Orange Tea, £1.69/15 teabags
I love Charbrew's bright, fun packaging and the fact that they use biodegradable tea pyramids. This chocolate orange tea contains organic cocoa flakes, orange peel and rooibos to create a slighty sweet, warming beverage, perfect for a chilly evening! I keep my teabag in the mug, to infuse completely and to release the full flavour.
Ristorante Gluten Free Mozzarella Pizza*, £3/335g
I'm not a huge lover of Ristorante pizzas, but it's great that they are now offering gluten-free options. I had the mozzarella pizza, while my brother tried the salami one. We both enjoyed our pizzas, and although you can notice a slight difference in the base, this didn't affect the taste; both were crisp and tasty.
Tesco Finest Peppermint Cream Popcorn, £1.79/170g and Tesco Finest Toffee Nut Latte Popcorn, £1.79/170g
The peppermint and white chocolate popcorn was really divine! Toffee popcorn smothered in white chocolate and dried mint leaves. The toffee nut latte popcorn wasn't up to much; the texture wasn't as expected and I didn't get any hint of the "latte" part.
Eat Real Sundried Tomato & Roasted Garlic Quinoa Chips, 70p/30g
I'm so pleased that Tesco stock these! I've previously tried the sour cream & chive quinoa chips, but found the flavour too delicate. These ones, however, taste wonderful! I love them. I can take or leave crips, so as an occasional treat, at 70p per bag, these won't break the bank.
Tesco Finest Apple & Elderflower Cordial, £2.20/500ml
The apple is the predominant flavour in this cordial and it's really tasty and refreshing. I wouldn't purchase this at full price, as you don't get many servings per bottle, but it's a nice treat.

What have you guys been discovering lately?
Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

15 February 2017

The LoveLula January Beauty Box

The LoveLula Monthly Subscription Beauty Box*, £12.50
Apologies for the late review, but my box didn't arrive till the end of January and my blog appears to be getting neglected of late. The January beauty box contained a total product value of £37!

Included in the box was:
Balm Balm Fragrance Free Face Balm, £8.95/30ml
This fragrance-free, organic face balm is great for sensitive skin and can be used as a multi-purpose product; on face, body and hands to remedy dry areas or as a cleansing balm for the face. I love the minimal ingredients. You can grab yourself a massive 40% off all Balm Balm products with code BALM40 until 28th February!
laidbare Pack Your Bags Eye Cream, £7.99/30ml
I've never really bothered with eye creams, but when I do, I usually enjoy the results! This aptly named eye cream contains buckwheat wax to reduce puffiness and dark circles, shea butter to hydrate and eyebright to reduce redness and brighten the skin. This product can also be used for neck contouring and brightening dull skin.
REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream (trial size), £28/50ml
This day cream promises to leave sensitive skin hydrated, calmed, soothed and protected, while reducing redness, discomfort and sensitivity. Looking forward to trying this!
Apple & Bears Bergamot & Green Tea Body Silk, £6/50ml
I was really happy to see this in the box, as it's a brand I'd been eyeing up recently! I love how they've named this a "body silk". With green tea and bergamot oil, this body moisturiser promises to re-energise and nourish skin, leaving it looking youthful and radiant. So far, I'm enjoying this as a hand cream and it smells lovely.
John Masters Evening Primrose Shampoo, £5.50/60ml
With corn and coconut cleansers, lavender, horse tail and white tea extracts, this shampoo promises to gently wash hair, without stripping it. Perfect for colour-treated, dry and damaged hair types. I think I'm going to let my Mum try this out, as her hair is rather dry and frizzy! While stocks last, you can claim a FREE 60ml blood orange & vanilla body wash with any John Masters skincare purchase, using code VANILLA at the checkout!

Let me know if you've tried any of these! As always, as a beauty box subscriber, you will also receive 20% off all brands in the beauty box!
Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

13 February 2017

Schmidt's Rose & Vanilla Deodorant Stick

Schmidt's Rose & Vanilla Deodorant Stick, £10/92g

Finding the perfect natural deodorant can be such a chore! Luckily, I have discovered a couple of great ones, but there's always been some sort of compromise, such as formula or application.

I'd heard great things about Schmidt's deodorants, but as an American brand, they weren't easy to source here in the UK. When Naturisimo added them to their online store, I took the plunge and ordered one of their deodorant sticks!
I chose the rose and vanilla variety - rose is definitely the predominant scent and I really love it! The formula is in solid stick form and softens upon contact with skin. I love the practical and eye-pleasing packaging. The formula is smooth and gentle on my sensitive skin; I've had no irritation so far, which is great.
This vegan-friendly deodorant keeps me dry and odour-free all day long! It really is an excellent deodorant and I love that you can smell the gorgeous scent all day. Price-wise, it's not exactly a budget buy, but I think once you find the perfect deodorant, you should stick with it!

What's your favourite natural deodorant?

Ingredients:
Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder, Cocos Nucifera (coconut) Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (candelilla) Wax, Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Natural fragrance, Tocopherol (vitamin E).
Love,
Emma xxx

03 February 2017

My Valentine's Day Wish List

This Valentine's Day will be all about self-love, self-care and a little bit of self-indulgence! Here's my accompanying wish list:
1. nügg Sensitive & Troubled Skin 4 Day Intensive Skin Treatment Collection, £13
This 4-day skin treatment sounds really great; a deep-cleansing mask with cucumber and jojoba oil and three soothing masks with shea butter and chamomile.
2. Nizou Soothing Lavender & Geranium Scented Candle, £14.90/190g
I adore scented candles and this pure soy bean wax candle sounds lovely! With lavender, geranium and juniper berries.
3. Booja-Booja Dairy Free Caramel Pecan Praline Ice Cream, £5.99/500ml
This dairy-free ice-cream sounds like the perfect luxurious evening treat!
4. Kiss The Moon Dream Pillow Mist, £40/100ml
I love the extravagant packaging of this pillow mist! With French lavender, fresh apple scented Roman chamomile, bergamot and cedarwood, this mist promises to soothe and relax the soul!
5. DUNE Grab Bag, RRP £69 £39.99
I love the muted colourway of this elegant grab bag. I'm after a new bag again!
Love,
Emma xxx

21 January 2017

Stylish Swing Dress with Simply Be

Outfit Details:
Simply Be High Neck Cut Out Swing Dress*
Dorothy Perkins Navy Faux Suede Ankle Boots
Forever 21 Bracelet
Vintage Faux Ruby Ring

I was recently invited to review a couple of items from Simply Be. I love that although this is a brand aimed at curvier sizes, they do also cater for smaller sizes. My first featured item was from the Women's Jumpers section - see my blog post here.

Today I am featuring their embellished collar swing dress from the Party Dresses section. The swing dress style is great for curvier figures, allowing the fabric to skim over your curves. I chose a size 10, but could have sized down to an 8 with this style of cut. The collar detail is pretty and omits the need of accessorising with a necklace. I added little touches with a ring and bracelet. I opted for faux suede, navy ankle boots, but I think this dress would look even better worn with high heels! This dress would be great to wear for special occasions.
Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

14 January 2017

Aviela Shea Butter Black Soap

Aviela Shea Butter Black Soap*, £14/250ml

This natural, multi-purpose cleanser is crafted from shea butter from Ghana, housed in a recyclable plastic pump dispenser. It has a very mild, soapy-like scent and as it is quite thick, I think this product would dispense better through a tube.
This soap can be used to wash your face, body and hair. It is mild enough to use on babies and includes ingredients such as palm kernel oil, coconut oil and cocoa pod ash.

I haven't yet tried this on my hair, but I will give it a go! I enjoy using this as a face wash and body wash. It leaves skin feeling well-cleansed and soft. I do find that if you have any cuts or irritated skin, this does sting a little, but otherwise it works well with my sensitive skin. I'm not sure about the formula, as it doesn't spread evenly very well, plus it's lacking in lather a little.

Ingredients:
(Elaeis Guineensis (Palm Kernel Oil), Butyrospermum, Parkii (Raw Shea Butter), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Cocoa Pod Ash, Herbal extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Extract, Azadirachtin indica (Neem) Oil.)
Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.