24 February 2016

The Weekly Wish List

1. PHB Avocado & Camellia Gentle Face Mask, £17.50/100ml
My sensitive skin loves avocado, so this gentle face mask sounds perfect!
2. Moorish Stoneware Barcelona Small Tea Cup, £8.95
Isn't this little tea cup so pretty?! I love the warm colours in the pattern.
3. House Doctor The Jug Vase, £9
I think this tall, slim vase would look lovely with fresh flowers inside. It would instantly freshen up a small, unused space.
4. Forever 21 Belted Paisley Print Dress, £19
This pretty paisley print dress is making me feel all summery! I love paisley prints.
5. A'kin Lavender & Anthyliss Leave-in Conditioner, £12 £9.99
I love a good hair treatment and with lavender and avocado, this one sounds great!
6. Botanicals Rose & Camellia Cleansing Melt, £20/60ml
Cleansing melts/balms are so luxurious and wonderful at removing stubborn make-up and daily grime; this rose and camellia one sounds lovely.

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

20 February 2016

Weleda Oat Replenishing Treatment

Weleda Oat Replenishing Treatment, £11.50/150ml

I received this hair treatment product at Christmas and have been using it 1-2 times per week. It is vegan-friendly and contains ingredients such as organic oat extract, organic shea butter and organic coconut and jojoba oils. The formula is quite thick and takes a little work to spread evenly over your hair after shampooing. I really love the scent, which lingers long after use. I leave this hair treatment on for at least ten minutes, letting it do it's work. I rinse it off thoroughly with cool water.
I find this treatment really nourishing for my hair; it leaves it smoother, softer and less frizzy. It just looks healthier! Now that I've had my hair cut shorter, I'll reap the benefits even more.

Have you tried any new hair treatments recently?

17 February 2016

Natural Being Manuka Hand & Body Cream

Natural Being Manuka Hand & Body Cream*, £13.50/100ml

I recently had the opportunity to try something from New Zealand brand, Living Nature's Natural Being range. I chose the Manuka Hand & Body Cream, with intentions to mainly use it as a hand cream, due to my hands being in a poor state with dermatitis. It's been living in my handbag for the past few weeks so that I can use it throughout the night at work. As my tube is coming to an end, I thought I'd share my thoughts with you!

With ingredients such as active manuka honey, manuka oil, shea butter and jojoba seed oil, this makes for a lovely, lightweight formula that absorbs quickly. The scent is really unusual; it's almost marine-like, with a hint of sweetness - I really like it!

The bulk of the time I was using this cream, my hands were in a very sorry state and required medicated ointment to heal them, as they were so painful. Due to this, it's difficult to tell how beneficial the manuka oil and honey were to me, because no natural products were helping my hands. Now that my hands are looking so much better, I can review the cream properly.

I feel that this cream is a great, everyday hand and body treatment to keep hands soft and moisturised, without feeling greasy or heavy. For me personally, I think this cream is great for applying to my legs and arms after showering, because it's so lightweight that you don't have to worry about clothes sticking to you - often why I avoid applying body lotions! It's fine for general winter skin complaints such as small dry patches e.t.c., but I don't feel it is hard-working enough for people with skin conditions, such as eczema and dermatitis. And for someone like me, who has to apply hand cream very regularly, I feel the price is a little high and wouldn't be cost effective.

However, I've really enjoyed trying something from this natural range and it's a nice product to keep in your bag for moisture top-ups while out and about, without worrying about greasy hands! I also really like the pretty, simplistic packaging, which is fully recyclable.

Have you tried anything from this brand?

Aqua (water), Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Jojoba esters, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil**, Glycerin (vegetable glycerin), Squalane, Cetearyl alcohol, Glucose, Triticum vulgare germ (wheatgerm) oil, Parfum (fragrance)*, Mel (manuka honey), Xanthan gum, Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter**, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Glucose oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil, Citronellol*, Limonene*, Linalool*. * From natural essential oils ** Certified organic.

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

14 February 2016

My Week In Pictures

I really couldn't be bothered to get out of bed on Monday, but I did, eventually! I watched Call The Midwife in the morning and then spent my day blogging, tidying and watching episodes of The Good Wife. The weather was pretty wild and miserable again and at one point, the electric threatened to go out, but thankfully didn't. Our internet connection was pretty poor, too. I had leftover pizza for lunch and I made a garlic and spring onion pesto pasta dish for dinner, served with BBQ tiger cheese bread - an ASDA discovery! We watched episodes of Red Dwarf, Attack On Titan and Parks and Recreation - all Dean's choices.

We actually had a bright and sunny (albeit cold) day on Tuesday! I didn't really get myself motivated till midday, then I did some washing-up and filmed my most recent haul video. It hailed and rained just before I filmed it! I then played Tomb Raider (definitive edition) on the XBOX One for about three hours! Really got back into it and once I've completed it again, I'll be moving onto the newest TR game, Rise Of The Tomb Raider!
I made a mini roast for dinner; nut roast, roast potatoes, carrots and vegetable gravy. I called my friend from Scotland in the evening and then we made pancakes! We followed Gizzi Erskine's foolproof recipe and guess what? It really is foolproof! I topped my pancakes with Nutella and fresh strawberries, while Dean went traditional with lemon juice and sugar. We watched some Red Dwarf and when Dean went to bed, I watched the new episode of Happy Valley.

I had to be up and organised by 10am, as we had someone coming round to carry out a gas check to renew the certificate for the property. Dean went off to Bristol early morning with his walking buddies to go and buy their equipment and do fun stuff; I was left behind on my lonesome. Boo! The gas man was a bit late, but I caught up on blog-reading while he was here and when he left, I took some photos, as it was lovely and bright! I had a lovely latte machiatto in my new glass mug and a Tunnock's tea cake on the side, while I watched an episode of Shetland. I had soup for lunch, while catching up with Eastenders and blogging. Oh, and my Dorothy Perkins order arrived! I couldn't wait to slip on my new boots. I played Tomb Raider for a while and when Dean got back, he went and got me chips and onion rings from the chip shop, yay! You can't beat chipper chips.

I got my hair chopped off on Thursday! It was well overdue, and I mean well overdue! I even booked my next haircut for ten weeks' time before I left, so I've got no excuse! It felt so much lighter and healthier, plus super short! The scarves will be out in full force till Summer now. I watched some TV and had some hummus with bread sticks for lunch. I was feeling chilly, so I made myself a Chococino Caramel hot chocolate in my new glass mug to warm me up! We popped to Tesco in the late afternoon to pick up a few items to keep us going for the next two weeks, before we leave for Scotland. I made cottage pie for dinner, served with a mozzarella and tomato bread. We watched Supernatural, I did some blogging and then played Tomb Raider. My sister told me about Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners on Channel 4, so I started watching that when Dean went to bed! All the episodes are available on 4OD, so they'll keep me occupied for a while.

My little order from PHB arrived on Friday morning. I needed to replace an old lip gloss and get some foundation, as my usual Lily Lolo "China Doll" had run out weeks ago, so I'd been mixing their flawless matte finishing powder with their "Blondie" shade, which on its own is too dark for me. As PHB had a few items discounted, I thought I'd try their mineral foundation out. I went for the shade "Cream", which is their most popular shade for fair skins. My main reason for switching foundations is that I want to use one that does not contain carmine, and a lot of natural foundations do unfortunately contain or "may contain" it. PHB lists each and every one of their ingredients, along with a little description of its purpose; there's no "may contain" about it! I love their ethics. I wanted a neutral lip gloss, so went for the shade "Grace". I trawled through the ironing pile while watching some more Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, then had some crumpets for lunch and watched an episode of Stella. That OCCleaners show is good for motivation - I did all the washing up, sorted laundry and cleaned the bathroom in the afternoon! We had a sweet chilli stir fry for dinner and watched The Bad Education Movie, which was quite silly, but had a few funny bits in it. I wore my new foundation to work and first impressions are not great; I think it's actually a tad too pale and it sort of sank into my skin throughout the night. I'll have to work on my base and see if that helps!

What did you get up to this week?

13 February 2016

5 Last Minute, Purse-friendly Valentine's Day Ideas

Instead of forking out a ton of money on a bouquet of roses and a fancy meal in a restaurant, why not save your pennies, ditch the commercialism and enjoy Valentine's Day your way!
1. Celebrate at home with an easy home-cooked meal; make it more fun by making your own pizzas!
2. Have a carpet picnic; stock up your picnic hamper with your favourite snacks and drinks (perhaps sticking to a particular theme) and get the blanket and some cushions out in your lounge! Who said picnics had to be outdoors?! Switch off all the technology and just enjoy each others company.
3. Take a long walk in a favourite spot, bringing along a flask of indulgent hot chocolate to keep you warm! You could use this opportunity to snap some updated photos of the both of you in a meaningful setting.
4. Light some candles, pick out your favourite films and have a movie night with popcorn, chocolate and a beverage of your choice.
5. If you'll be on your lonesome on Valentine's Day, take this opportunity to just relax and have a head-to-toe pamper with your favourite beauty products, eat your favourite food and have a Netflix binge!

How will you be spending your Sunday?

11 February 2016

What I Bought This Week

1. SoulCal Biker Parka, RRP£100 £35
2. EcoTools Bamboo Spa Moisture Gloves, £4.99
3. The Natural Deodorant Co. Gentle Deodorant Cream (sample size), £1.50/6ml
4. Lavera Mango & Avocado Colour & Shine Shampoo, £5.95/200ml
5. Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Roll On Perfume, £11.95 £9.56/10ml
6. XBOX One Rise Of The Tomb Raider, RRP £49.99 £24.85
7. DeVita Absolute Eyes Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow Quad in Portofino Noir, £20.45

What have you been buying recently?

10 February 2016

The Weekly Wish List

1. Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Body Wash, £9.95/236ml
I already have the reed diffuser and rollerball perfume of this scent, so I obviously need the body wash, too! This is the most beautiful, amazing scent! You must try it. It's the perfectly sweet, warm combination of coconut and vanilla.
2. PHB Clarifying Argan & Vanilla Shampoo, £12.35/250ml
With organic argan oil, sea buckthorn and herbal extracts of vanilla and mandarin, this sounds heavenly!
3. London Ornaments Filigree Imperial Standing Lantern, RRP £54 £24.99
I love lanterns, but there are so many options to choose from. This Moroccan-style lantern is very unusual and different to anything else I've seen, mainly due to the shape. I love the distressed, off-white look.
4. F&F @ Tesco Four Zip Detail Twill Skinny Jeans, £16
I'd love a pair of khaki trousers and these jeans with the zip detail look great. I think these could easily be dressed up or down.
5. Broste Copenhagen Nordic Sea Bowl, £20 
This Nordic decorative bowl is just gorgeous - I love the hue. This would look great on a coffee table or dresser, displaying a vase of flowers, candles or special jewellery.
6. Wild & Wolf 746 Copper Push Button Retro Telephone, £49
If I ever have my own office, then this surely counts as an essential item, right? It's actually very reasonably priced, compared to others I've seen, and I adore copper!

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

09 February 2016

My Weekend In Pictures

When I got home in the morning after my last night shift (yay!), which was surprisingly quiet, I decided to bite the bullet and order myself some medicated cream for the dermatitis on my hands. I really wanted to avoid this and stick to natural products, but the reality is that they didn't work for me, at least on this occasion. I put it off for so long and have suffered with sore, itchy, dry, cracked, weeping and bleeding hands for weeks - I didn't want to break my own rules about using non-natural products, but sometimes you need to stop being silly and do what is best for your health! I couldn't wait till it arrived and I could finally heal my hands, in a matter of days. I also added a pair of cotton gloves to the order, as the ones I purchased from EcoTools were, simply put, crap! They had holes in them on the very first day I wore them and they were far too short for me; £4.99 wasted. The new ones were a great fit and cost a mere £2.69.
I cursed myself when I woke up after 3pm, as I'd forgotten to set an alarm for around midday, which is when I like to get up after my last night shift, as it helps get me back into a normal sleeping pattern. Also, I really wanted to film my January Favourites video, which was long overdue. But, alas, it didn't quite pan out how I'd planned! So, I got up and had a hot decaf coffee and a Creme Egg, because why not?!

I treated my poorly hands to a nice treat with this very fresh and fragrant Botanicals Lemongrass & Ginger Hand Soak* (full review coming soon) while watching Eastenders, then applied Madara's Brightening AHA Peel Mask before I went off for a shower. I'm loving this Lavera Mango & Avocado Colour & Shine Shampoo - it smells so fruity and makes my hair lovely and shiny. I spent two hours of the evening chatting to one of my sisters on the phone, then watched Pretty Little Liars till midnight, while painting my nails with these awesome Little Ondine polishes (please excuse my horrible mitts!)!

What a miserable, wet and windy day Saturday was! Despite this, I picked my friend up at 10am and we went off to Sherborne for a spot of shopping. We went into our favourite shop, Naturalife, and I picked up some Faith In Nature essentials and something to quench my thirst before the drive home! I had planned to film my January Favourites when I got back, but I couldn't be bothered, plus daylight is non-existent at the moment! I instead watched some soaps and browsed on the Dorothy Perkins website, as they had a promotion on. We had stir-fry for dinner and then I phoned my other sister, who recently gave birth to my newest niece, Anna - she's just five weeks old! I can't wait to meet her in two weeks' time! We watched Making A Murderer and I stayed up really late reading my book.

Sundays are meant for lie-ins and I did myself bloody proud, haha! My day was spent filming My January Favourites and doing housework. It was really bright and sunny for most of the day, which was a nice surprise! We had Dean's parents over for a takeaway in the evening. I wanted to go to the chip shop, but totally forgot it's shut on Sundays! Damn. I instead had a margherita pizza and cheesy chips. The weather turned quite stormy in the evening and throughout the night. We watched Step Brothers with the in-laws and Snowpiercer later in the evening, eating reduced, Christmas-themed Choco Bons, as you do.

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

08 February 2016

My January Favourites

1. Cadbury's Creme Eggs, £1.65/5 pack
2. Higher Living Sweet Dreams Organic Tea, £4.99/15 teabags
3. Books/reading
4. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, £22/30ml
5. Skin Blossom Caring Hand Cream, £5.95/75ml
6. Hurraw! Moon Night Treatment Lip Balm, £4.50/4.3g
7. Neal's Yard Remedies Purifying Palmarosa Facial Polish, £16/100g
8. Handmade Naturals Organic Avocado & Plum Face Cleansing Lotion, £7.75/100ml

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07 February 2016

How I'm Going To Fight Off Colds This Winter

Or at least try to fight them off! With natural remedies, of course. It's pretty much inevitable that you will suffer from at least one cold during the long winter months. I'm putting together a plan of action to help ward off any nasty colds and help ease the ones I do encounter. So far, it's worked a treat!
For pain and symptom relief, I'll be turning to Viridian Organic White Willow Bark 400mg Capsules and Viridian Organic Wood Betony Tincture*.
To boost my immune system and keep vitamin levels high, I'll be taking Multivitamins + iron tablets and eating fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance. I can also add the Minvita Aguaje Superfruit Powder* to some dishes, which will also boost vitamin and fibre intake. I will also ensure I increase my water intake, to reduce the chance of becoming dehydrated.
Eucalyptus essential oil will be used for steam inhalations and Badger Sleep Balm can be rubbed on sore, irritated areas and used as a relaxing sleep aid. Handmade Naturals Calendula Care Jelly is also great for applying to sore, irritated skin. Having hot baths will soothe aching, tired muscles and the steam will help with de-congestion.
I'll also be wrapping up warm when outdoors, as it's good to get some fresh air, and drinking hot, herbal teas which are warming and have many beneficial properties. Extra sleep is also a good idea, helping your body to rest and recover. I'd also try to reduce the use of computer and phone screens and instead turn to a good book!
I'll be careful not to restrict myself too heavily from treats such as chocolate, because if your body is craving something in particular, it probably needs it! Look to the most raw forms of these craved foods, as they will hold the most nutrients.

How do you help ward off colds during winter?

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

04 February 2016

My Make-up Removing Routine

I don't know about you, but I dread that moment when I'm all ready to get into bed, and suddenly remember that I need to remove my make-up first! I always seem to leave it till the last minute, when I'm really tired and can't really be bothered. But, alas, it is a very important step towards a successful skincare routine, as not removing your make-up before bed will only lead to dirty, congested and blemish-prone skin, not to mention grubby pillows! I like to keep my skincare as simple as possible, so here are the products I use to remove my make-up:
First, I will remove every last trace of eye make-up with Neal's Yard Remedies Organic Eye Make-up Remover - this is very gentle yet effective in removing even tough mascara. Depending on how I feel, I will either use Olivado's Extra Virgin Avocado Oil or the Handmade Naturals Avocado & Plum Face Cleansing Lotion to remove the rest of my make-up and at the same time, cleanse my face. Both products do a really great job at removing all traces of make-up and grime from the day. My skin seems to love avocado and is left clearer and softer after using these lovely products. If I am really exhausted or feeling exceptionally lazy, as a last resort I will remove my make-up with a cleansing wipe, such as the ECO CARE Rose & Chamomile Cleansing Wipes, which will do a pretty good job at removing all make-up, but won't leave my skin feeling as deeply cleansed and cared for and will require a good dose of moisturiser after use. After cleansing my face and removing make-up, I like to spritz my skin with a rosewater toner and then apply moisturiser and/or rosehip oil.

Which products do you use to remove your make-up?

03 February 2016

The Weekly Wish List

1. Ere Perez Eco Vegan Eye Brush, £16
Naturisimo have just added some new products by this brand to their site and a few have caught my eye; this double-ended eye brush looks so pretty - I love the red bristles! I'm on the hunt for a new eyeshadow brush, so I may end up getting this one.
2. East Of India When It Rains Porcelain Mug, £10.95 £9.31
I love collecting pretty mugs and I love the quote on this one.
3. The Organic Pharmacy Cleopatra's Milk Bath, £39.95/150g
This bath product sounds so luxurious! With organic milk, rose petals and rose, jasmine and ylang ylang essential oils, I bet this smells divine!
4. Sofasworld Prague Fabric Swivel Armchair, £159.99
I'm not sure I could work this chair into our current set-up, but I'm in love! Cue moving round the furniture to see if I can fit it in! Who doesn't need a swivel chair in their life, right?
5. Price and Kensington Speciality Telescopic Infuser, £5.50
I want to start trying loose leaf teas and I need an infuser - I love the sleek design of this one!

What's at the top of your wishlist this week?