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Thursday, 21 June 2018

My Dream Home Office - An Update Of Where We're At & My Hopes*

As I've spoken about our 'office' several times on my blog I thought it was about time I do a proper update post on where we're at with it. If you've read my blog for a while then you'll have seen me talk about this office several times, it's been a work in progress pretty much since we moved in over 3 years ago and it's only since the start of this year that we've really started to actually do something with it. Our spare room has basically been a nightmare since the beginning but with me blogging full time now and George working from home more often, it was time to finally make it into an office, and I'm pleased to say we have actually made some real progress!
My Dream Office - An Update Of Where We're At & My Hopes*
Where we're at
So far we've pretty much been focused on getting rid of everything in there! To make the room into an office, to start with we both kind of assigned ourselves a side, so I would have one half of the room with my desk and area to take blog photos etc, and George would have a side with a smaller desk for when he's at home and storage on that side too. To get the furniture in that we wanted, we've started getting rid of what we had before - wardrobes, drawers etc that were here when we moved in which we didn't particularly love or need. We've already bought and put up a storage unit which has been so useful for odd bits we have no other place for, towels, bedding, paperwork etc. We got the Kallax one from IKEA and instead of the wooden boxes like on the picture we got some others which match more with the colour scheme I'm trying to go for. We've also gone through another tall storage unit we have and sorted it into sections for all of my blog stuff to make life a bit easier when I'm working and need to find something! Apart from that I've pretty much just been buying things to decorate the room with! That's the best bit though. I bought a copper geo style mirror from Primark for only £5 to go up near the storage boxes, lots of candles, notebooks, prints, posters etc. I love this Friends one I bought for the door. All of these things mean though that once the desks are up, it's pretty much finished.
My Dream Office - An Update Of Where We're At & My Hopes*
What still needs doing
Following on from what I've just said, desks are the only thing missing from the room really. I've chosen the one I want which has loads of room for lots of pretty things, I'm hoping to get some nice photo frames to dot around it, a decent space for my laptop, a magnetic back so I can put any notes up when I'm working, and then plenty of space underneath where I'm going to put another little table I think. I was thinking a little white table like the ones IKEA do for about £5 would be perfect because then I can just pull that out when I want to take blog photos. Aside from a smaller desk for George, a few other things to put up on the walls, and a new light we're pretty much done. I've been really struggling to figure out what sort of light to go for though so I've been looking at Urban Cottage Industries. They are an online retailer for factorylux lighting and they have such a unique range of lampshades all for affordable prices. They allow for you to make your own lamp shade which I think would be so cool for the office! As they do so many different styles for each room, I know something from here would be nothing like we already have and would be the perfect finishing touch to the office.

My hopes
It might not sound like we've done loads to the room but honestly it was in such a state so I'm really happy that we're finally close to finishing it all. I've wanted a proper office for so long so I'm just so excited to see it all at the end. I'm hoping it's going to make me a bit more productive as I definitely struggle to get stuff done when I'm not at a desk and I've needed a space like this for ages. I just hope it's what we've imagined when it's done, though the progress has been slow, I'm sure it will be worth it and I can't wait to show you the finished result.
My Dream Office - An Update Of Where We're At & My Hopes*
*In collaboration with Urban Cottage Industries

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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Food I Have Been Loving This Week #28

It feels like forever since I last did one of these foodie posts! It's definitely been a while but I've just had loads of other posts I've wanted to get up first so this had to take a backseat. This one is definitely full of tasty food and drink though, all of it I want again right now 😭
Food I Have Been Loving This Week #28
So many drinks - As we seemed to have a few weeks of really hot weather, I got a little obsessed with Fanta Lemon! Isn't it just the best? It's so refreshing and it always reminds me of Summer and holidays. We actually had it a few times in Paris too and it just tastes so much better when you're away! I've also been loving a new flavour from Vimto too. It's the raspberry, orange and passionfruit and it's so nice! It's like a cheaper version of my all time favourite Red Pop by Faygo which is American and unfortunately not available over here anymore.

Crepes - On our first full day in Paris we stopped off at a little cafe which served a huge range of crepes. You kind of have to have one in Paris don't you? I went for the maple syrup one and George had the salted butter caramel, they were delicious! I wish we'd had time to go back and try more.

Milka Daim - We picked these Milka Daim Clusters up from duty free before getting the Eurostar back home and they were incredible. I'm pretty sure we can get similar things here but there was just something about them, they were so creamy but the crunch from the daim was so good. They were incredibly moreish and we should have definitely got more to bring home.

Strawberries & Meringue - Finally something healthy! I've been loving strawberries recently. I only tend to really get them now in the Spring and Summer months as that's when they're really sweet and juicy. I've been really enjoying having them for breakfast or having them with yoghurt and broken up meringue as a little snack or dessert.

Crosstown Doughnuts - I'm pretty sure after every trip to London I then include Crosstown Doughnuts in one of these posts, but how could I not? They are legit the best doughnuts I've ever tasted and we always get some when we visit London. Last time we shared the cinnamon swirl one which is just heaven and the chocolate truffle which is pure indulgence. It's probably a good job we can only get these in London as I'd be wanting them all the time otherwise.

Capri-Suns - More drinks 🙊Capri-suns are an all time favourite of mine. I don't get them loads as they're not the cheapest but every so often they're just a nice treat for me for the week. I got the tropical flavour last time and it's so refreshing!

Shake Shack - Also on our last trip to London we took a visit to Covent Garden and stopped off at Shake Shack. We've only been once before but since then I'd been desperate for us to go again, we'd just never found the time or had other stuff planned. It was so worth the wait though, I had the hot dog for the first time and it was amazing! I already know I want that again next time. George had one of the original burgers and we shared some cheesy fries. It's expensive but as we don't get to go often, I don't mind spending it.

Have you been to Shake Shack or tried Crosstown Doughnuts?

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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

4 UK Holiday Destinations I'd Like To Visit*

Over the last few months all I've been able to think about is holidays! In the run up to our honeymoon in Paris, and weekend breaks to York and London which we were lucky enough to book quite close to one another, I was just so excited but now we're back I already want to book more! I love having something to look forward to and is there anything better than few days away to just relax? Whilst I would definitely love to visit more places abroad, there are also so many beautiful places in the UK and these are just a few of the ones I'd love to take a trip to at some point.
4 UK Holiday Destinations I'd Like To Visit
Spa day in Bath - I absolutely love the thought of a spa break for ultimate relaxation! One place I've seen a lot about is the Thermae Spa in Bath and as Bath is somewhere I've been keen to visit for a while, this is going to the top of my list. Here you can float in the open air rooftop pool and take in all of Baths spectacular views. Aswell as this luxury, you can also try their multi-sensory wellness suite which includes a Roman Steam Room, Georgian Steam Room, Infrared Sauna, Ice Chamber and Celestial Relaxation Room. That's not all though, there is also the indoor Minerva Bath, the Watsu treatment and finally traditional full body massages. If you need to relieve any stress or tension then I think this is the place to go. Bath generally looks like such a wonderful place which much more to offer so I think it would be perfect for a weekend break.

Seaside break in Whitby - I actually can't even remember the last time I went to the seaside so I think a caravan holiday is something George and I definitely have to do at some point. I'm genuinely really excited at the thought of staying in a caravan as it's something we've never done before together and I'd just love to be close-by to the beach. I remember going to Whitby years and years ago and it's always been somewhere I've wanted to go back to. There is the famous abbey ruins and the cobbled Georgian old town, cosy tea rooms, ghost walking tours and so much more.

Glamping in Isle of Wight - I used to go on camping holidays but I've never done a glamping one and Isle of Wight looks like the perfect place for it. I remember going years ago but I don't think at the time I realised what a beautiful place it is so I'm really hoping George and I get to go at some point. I've been looking at Bell Tents for glamping and I think one of those would be brilliant. Easy to put up, luxurious aesthetic throughout, light, airy and spacious, there are many benefits to staying in one of these tents. Plenty of room to properly sit back and relax with your home comforts after a day out sounds heavenly. The great thing about setting up camp on a holiday park too is that you get a pool included to use, there are activities nearby, shops and restaurants and you're just never really far from anything that you need.

Walking film tour in Oxford - The final place on my list is the stunning city of Oxford. Famous for it's university and history, it's a place packed full of things to do and beautiful hotels to unwind in. With it's mix of ancient and modern, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy, whether that's visiting one of the historic buildings or museums, going to one of the top restaurants for dinner or shopping all day, Oxford pretty much has it all. One thing I'd really like to go there for is their walking film tours. There are actually a few different ones to take but the one that really interests me is the Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland tour. This is a great way to see some of the famous filming locations and I just think it's a really fun way to spend a few hours of your day.

There are so many wonderful places in the UK so this post have gone on forever but for now these are the main places I'd really love to go to at some point in the near future. I'd love to know if you've visited any of these places? or if you have any UK holidays booked?

*In collaboration with Garden & Camping

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Monday, 18 June 2018

2018 Cinema Watch List So Far

As George and I have Cineworld Unlimited cards we go to the cinema quite often and last year I kept track of all of the films we saw, doing a mid year post and then one at the end. I've been doing the same this year aswell so todays post is a little mid year watch list of everything we've been to see so far and my thoughts, and then I'll do another post around Christmas time. We've not actually seen as much as I thought we would have over the last few months but I find there seems to be months where pretty much nothing comes out that takes my fancy and then other months we're at the cinema every weekend!
2018 Cinema Watch List So Far
The Greatest Showman - The film everyone has been talking about. It actually feels like forever ago when we saw this in the cinema. I've listened to the soundtrack so much and watched the DVD so many times since that it feels like this film has always been in my life. We went to see this on Georges birthday and we both adored it. Obviously there had been loads of great reviews but sometimes something is hyped up so much that it can end up being a bit of a disappointment, luckily that didn't happen with The Greatest Showman. As soon as it started I was hooked, and now I can't get enough of it.

Fifty Shades Freed x2 - I'm personally a big fan of the Fifty Shades films and after seeing the first one and then having a two year wait for the second, and then another year for the third, I actually felt a little sad that it had all come to an end. We ended up seeing it twice as we did with Fifty Shades Darker the year before, because I just love them that much, and I'm so happy with how it finished. Jamie Dornan was the perfect choice for Christian Grey and made the films for me. It's been the film we've been to see on Valentines Day over the last few years so I hope something as exciting is out next year to replace it.

Peter Rabbit - A bit different to Fifty Shades but another film I absolutely loved. I always enjoy films that are probably more aimed towards kids (e.g Paddington) I'm not really sure what that says about me but it's definitely one I want to get on DVD. It was funny, made me emotional at times and just a nice watch. I do agree with what I've seen others say though about James Corden being the voice of Peter Rabbit though, it is quite clearly him and it does ruin the illusion a little I suppose. I don't think it's a massive problem and I still like the character of Peter Rabbit but I do think someone a bit less obvious would have been better.

Love Simon - Definitely one of my favourites of the year so far and I think it's going to take a lot to beat it. Everyone deserves a great love story but for 17 year old Simon, it's a little more complicated. He hasn't told any of his family or friends yet that he's gay, but he has fallen in love with an anonymous classmate online. I loved the story and it just made me feel so many emotions when watching it. Parts made me cry, others made me smile and laugh, and at the end I just felt so happy for him. I think it's such an important film, one that should have been made a long time ago and I hope for many people that this film has given them the chance to open up and be who they really are.

A Quiet Place - The first horror film I saw at the cinema this year and such a brilliant one. I'm a massive fan of John Krasinski and have been ever since he played Jim in The US Office so when I saw the trailer for this and found out he had directed it aswell, I was desperate to see it. It had amazing reviews, and some were saying it's one of the best horror films in a long time which I totally agree with. A lot of horrors that come out now I find aren't that great, and it's not often one comes along like this. There were points that were genuinely really scary, parts that made me emotional which I've never had happen with a horror film before and the acting from everyone was incredible.

Deadpool 2 - The only film on this list that actually really disappointed me. I really like the first Deadpool film, I think the jokes are hilarious, the story is brilliant and the soundtrack is amazing, meaning I had high hopes for the sequel. I'd seen a few mixed comments online about it but it was generally positive and loads were saying it was far better than the first film, but I just didn't feel that. Watching it I just felt like it was really flat, I didn't understand the story as much, I didn't laugh nearly as much as I did with the first film and I was so disappointed that a few characters got killed off as early as they did (I won't say who in case you haven't seen it). Some should have definitely had a bigger part. I did like the soundtrack and it's not like it was awful at all but I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I'll probably give it another go at some point but I don't have much hope now for any future Deadpool films.

Hereditary - I'm actually not even sure what to say about this film, but it genuinely terrified me. As much as I love a horror, it was even too much for me and there were times I really thought, I don't know if I can keep watching this. I'm struggling to even really explain why though as it isn't necessarily a jumpy horror film or outright scary, it's just really unsettling and dark, extremely dark. I thought the story was great and the actors were incredible, Toni Collette and Alex Wolff deserve awards, and the twist near the start just blew my mind as the trailers didn't even hint towards that. I don't want to give anything away so I won't say anymore, but if you love horrors you have to watch this. I'd read quite mixed things before seeing it but it was brilliant, just far scarier than I could have predicted and unlike any horror I've seen before.

So far this year The Greatest Showman and Love Simon are my winners, both have stuck with me for different reasons and they're ones I'd watch again and again. That being said I've struggled to get Hereditary out of my head since watching it. I'm so excited to do another post like this at the end of the year as there are some really exciting films coming out over the next few months. I'm so looking forward to Mamma Mia 2, The Purge and Christopher Robin!

Have you seen any of these films? If so what did you think of them?

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Friday, 15 June 2018

Bilou Shower and Cream Foams Review*

Bilou is one of those brands I'd always seen and loved the look of but just genuinely never got round to picking up. I remember first seeing them in Superdrug last year and thinking at the time ooh I'll have to get one of those soon and it just never happened. I was lucky enough to receive a few bottles to try out though last month and I've been absolutely loving using them! After wanting to try them for so long, they have not disappointed.
Bilou Shower and Cleansing Foams Review*
First of all I absolutely love the packaging of Bilou products. With shower gels and foams I don't find they usually look so inviting and pretty, but these really are and they stand out for all of the right reasons. Onto the scents, there is a wonderful range available. From more fruity fragrances like fizzy berry and coco cocktail to more uber sweet scents like I was received, there is a real variety. The two I got to try out were Cotton Candy and Tasty Donut, both ones I know I'd reach for whilst shopping!

Cotton Candy - I first used the Cotton Candy Gentle Cream Foam because I love all things candy floss and I couldn't wait to see what this was like. Well, the scent is beautiful! It's really sweet as you can imagine but it's not overpowering. This creamy foam has been lovely to use in the shower. A pump or two of this lathers up really well and leaves you with velvety smooth skin that smells delicious. I've found this really helps with shaving too, my legs have been feeling amazing! Another positive is that I didn't find it was sticky in any way on my skin and it absorbed really quickly. As it contains high quality ingredients such as shea butter, almond oil and avocado oil I really did feel like it was nourishing my skin and as I said, each time I was left feeling super soft after using. This is currently priced at £3.99 from Superdrug.
Bilou Cleansing Foam
Tasty Donut - I can't get enough of the smell of this! It genuinely smells like fresh donuts with strawberry icing, doesn't that sound like heaven? It actually reminds me of those foamy ice cream sweets too! I've found the scent of this lingers on my skin after using which I'm definitely not complaining about as it really is lovely. I've been loving using this in the shower and as it's so light, a tiny amount goes a long way so I don't need to worry about running out any time soon. Like the Cotton Candy Foam this also lathers up really well and soaks into my skin wonderfully. It's so creamy on the skin due to the almond and olive oils and again it leaves me feeling so soft and smooth after using. One thing I also really like about this that I noticed fellow blogger Louisa also mentioned in her review is that whilst the foam is really light, the can is actually quite heavy and you can feel there's absolutely loads in there, meaning there's no wastage and you're definitely getting your moneys worth. I already don't want to run out of this, I love it so much. It's currently £3.99 in Superdrug.
Bilou Shower Foam
I'm so impressed with both of these products from Bilou and I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for some of the other scents next time I'm in Superdrug! Both of these are lasting me so well at the moment, as I said a little bit really goes a long way so I personally really think they're worth the price tag. Another great thing about all Bilou products aswell is that they're 100% vegan! Made with high quality ingredients that leave your skin feeling beautiful, Bilou are definitely worth picking up next time you're wanting to treat yourself. I actually have a few spare bottles of these which I'm going to include in a giveaway soon so look out for that aswell if you want to win yourself some pamper goodies.
Bilou Shower and Cleansing Foams Review*
Have you tried any Bilou products?

*Products sent for the purpose of this post. Affiliate links also used

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Thursday, 14 June 2018

GiftsOnline4U Mens Personalised Wrist Watch Review*

Since starting my blog I've been lucky enough to work with some amazing brands and whilst that's always a nice feeling and something I never take for granted, something that is even better is being able to treat loved ones because of it too. Whether that's personalised birthday cakes or a piece of jewellery, I always feel so happy when I get the chance to review something I can pass onto someone that I know they'll love. When GiftsOnline4U got in touch and asked if I'd like to review one of their personalised watches, I jumped at the chance as I knew it would be perfect for George.
GiftsOnline4U Mens Personalised Wrist Watch
If you've not heard of GiftsOnline4U before then let me tell you a little bit about them. As you can see on their website they stock a range of bespoke gifts for all sorts of special occasions. They specialise in personalised champagne and other alcohol based options but you can also find gifts such as engraved pocket watches, photo frames and so many other things. The product I was sent to review is their Personalised Inside Out Wrist Watch. This is an engraved watch with a stylish modern design in a black finish. What I loved about this was how unique it was and even though I've bought watches for George in the past, I was sure he'd never had one like this and it was a bit of a different one to add to the collection. It's really cleverly designed as the numbers are situated in the middle rather than the outside with the hands then pointing inwards. It's also brilliant quality which is so important when choosing a gift for someone. It has raised watch glass, a real leather strap and there is room on the back of the watch for you to add a personalised message.
GiftsOnline4U Mens Personalised Wrist Watch
The main thing that really attracted me to this was the ability to personalise it. When it comes to anniversaries I'm always looking for personalised gifts, I just think they show real thought and care has gone into it and it's something then that can be kept forever. As George and I have our 7 year anniversary coming up at the start of July (it has flown by!) I thought this would be a perfect gift for the occasion. When it comes to personalising the watch, it's a really simple process, you can have up to 68 characters over 4 lines, and you can choose your own font and that's all there is to it! You might not be able to see too clearly on the photo below but the message I wanted fitted perfectly and I absolutely love the end result. I'd never personalised a piece of jewellery before so I had no idea how good quality it would be but it only looks even better in real life. I think having the ability to personalise a piece of jewellery is such a lovely idea and just makes your gift extra special.
GiftsOnline4U Mens Personalised Wrist Watch
Aswell as looking and feeling extremely high quality, and the bonus of personalisation, I also love that it arrives in a stylish presentation box. Little things like that really make a gift for me and it just ensures the watch stays extra secure and safe which is always important. I just wanted to quickly mention that the first watch I was originally sent had an issue with the time stopping at certain points throughout the day but as soon as I mentioned this to GiftsOnline4U I was sent a replacement watch within a few days and the second watch has worked perfectly. The customer service is brilliant so if you do have any issues with anything, they are more than happy to help and rectify any issues quickly.

Overall George and I are both so impressed with this watch and think it has made a lovely anniversary present. It's sleek and modern, is perfect for work and goes with pretty much every outfit! This particular watch is priced at £44.99 which isn't the cheapest but for such great quality and the bonus of personalisation, I definitely think it's worth it. It's ideal for birthdays, anniversaries, christmas, fathers day and more but if you're still not sure, there are many more engraved gifts for him available on the website.
GiftsOnline4U Mens Personalised Wrist Watch
Have you ever tried any personalised gifts from GiftsOnline4U?

*Product sent for the purpose of this post

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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Gone Girl By Gillian Flynn Book Review

Following on from last weeks book review of The Husbands Secret, todays post is a review of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I'd had this book for absolutely ages but like so many others it was one that I put on the bookshelf and soon forgot about. As I've said in previous posts I need to be in the right frame of mind to get stuck into a book and it's not been until recently that I have been so many books have just been waiting to be read! I ended up taking this to Paris with me and then I finished it once we got home, and I honestly couldn't put it down.
Gone Girl By Gillian Flynn Book Review
'Alternating between the present-day narrative of husband Nick Dunne and the past diary entries of his wife Amy, we learn their previously perfect marriage has come undone following a move from New York to semi-rural Missouri. Amy inexplicably disappears without trace, apparently pregnant; Nick, whose emotions seem to betray little outward signs of grief or worry, is the prime suspect. However, is all that we read the truth? Is Amy genuinely missing, and, if not, what could be her possible motive?'

My Review - I'd seen the film of Gone Girl a few times before reading this and I'd always thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the film is just brilliant so I was really intrigued to see how the book would compare and whether I'd enjoy it as much. I know most of the time you read the book before the film but like I said until recently I've just not wanted to read so I did things the other way round. Throughout the whole book we flit from Nick Dunne's narrative, the husband currently a suspect in the case of his missing wife, and the missing wife herself Amy. Pretty much from the beginning you can work out that not all is as it seems with Amy's disappearance and as the story goes on it becomes more and more suspicious. As you can probably predict Nick becomes the main focus of the investigation but with the help of his sister and a top lawyer, he wants to try and prove that Amy has set this all up herself to frame him and he's completely innocent. This makes for such a tense story and whilst even though I knew because of the film how it was going to end, if I'd not seen it I wouldn't have been able to work out at all. It's one of those stories that genuinely leaves you on the edge of your seat and you just can't predict anything. It's so cleverly written and it goes into so much detail, so much that isn't part of the film so if like me you had only seen the film, I think it's well worth giving the book a go too. Whilst both of the characters aren't that likeable, I thought it was really easy to get into both of their heads and also the way it's written means that you can never really trust either character. Whilst Amy's certainly no angel, I didn't feel a massive amount of sympathy for Nick either, they both had their issues and it's easy to see how both can't be trusted. It's actually quite a disturbing story and some parts are so shocking to read, and to see on the film too but I also think it's brilliant. I think Gillian Flynn has created something amazing with this book, and now I really want to read more from her in future. I was hooked all the way through and genuinely couldn't put it down, so really I couldn't recommend it enough if you're looking for a good thriller.

Have you ever read Gone Girl? or seen the film?

Similar Post - Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine By Gail Honeyman Book Review

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Monday, 11 June 2018

Get Summer Ready With CND Vinylux Nail Polish*

I am an absolute nail polish addict. I don't think I ever really go more than a week without changing the colour on my nails and the amount of bottles I have from different brands is verging on ridiculous. I'm always looking for more though so when a surprise package from the lovely people at FreedomPR arrived I was so excited. I'd seen CND polishes on Instagram in the past and always liked the look of them and the range of colours so I put these to the test pretty much straight away!
CND Vinylux Nail Polish
If you've not heard of CND (Creative Nail Design) before, well they are the global leader in professional hand, nail and foot beauty. You'll mostly find CND products in salons but as they're now available online at places like Cult Beauty, Nail Polish Direct and more, people are starting to try them out and discover why they are so popular amongst professionals. I was sent a few different bottles try out from the Vinylux collection, all of which are the first ever, long-wear polishes infused with Vitamin E, Keratin and Jojoba Oil

Unearthed and Unlocked - I was really excited to see a few bottles of nude nail polish as it's a go to colour of mine. I think no matter what the season a nude polish always looks classy and chic and goes with every outfit. The two shades I was sent are Unearthed which is a warm toned taupe colour and Unlocked which is light creamy nude colour. I absolutely adore both of these! I like that whilst they're both nude shades, they're really different to one another when actually on your nails. Unlocked was more of a lighter colour than I was expecting, more of a stone colour with a hint of dusty pink but it looks so pretty on. What I like about both of these aswell was how easy they applied. The brush fits the nail really well and just glides really smoothly meaning you're not left with streaky nail polish which has definitely happened to me in the past with other brands. With the top coat I found they last for well over a week with minimal chipping and when it came to removing them, it came off within seconds.
CND Vinylux Nail Polish
Jellied - Aswell as the nude polishes I was also sent the shade Jellied which is a beautiful pastel yellow colour. Yellow is one of my favourite colours but a lot of the time nail polish that shade is quite bold unlike me so pastel shades like this are perfect. This really impressed me and it's been a go to of mine over the last few weeks whilst we've had some warm weather. I found it applied really well like the nude polishes above and had great durability meaning it lasted far longer than most other polishes I have. I imagine it's one I'll be getting a lot of wear of over the next few months.
CND Vinylux Nail Polish
Long Wear Top Coat - Aswell as the stunning colours I've already mentioned, there was also a top coat which I'm always happy to try out. This one has been absolutely brilliant and far better than any others I've used. I was a really big fan of the Seche Vite top coat but for some reason over the last few months it's not worked at all, my nails have been chipping so much, so I was really keen to see if this would be a good replacement for that, and it has been. It totally protects your nails and I've found I've had minimal chipping whilst using this. It also dries quickly and the colour each time has lasted so much longer than usual.
CND Vinylux Nail Polish
I've absolutely loved trying out all of these nail polishes from CND and I think they're all going to become firm favourites of mine. The nude polishes are just great for all year round and the pastel yellow is just beautiful and a must for Summer! If you're in the market for a new nail brand then I definitely recommend CND. They have a huge range available, these in particular are priced at around £6.95 at the moment and you can see more on their website.

Have you ever tried any CND nail polishes?

*Products sent for the purpose of this post

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Friday, 8 June 2018

York Travel Guide - Where To Stay, What To See, What To Eat & More...

I posted quite a lot about our trip to York a few months ago but I'm going back to it today as I've finally got round to writing up a proper travel guide. Pretty much as soon as we got back from York in April I've wanted to get this post written and published but I just had too many others to get up first so this had to wait. We had such a brilliant time and in a few days we managed to see so much so I really wanted to put together a little travel guide and I hope if you're planning on going any time in the future that this helps you. I've included hotels in the area, attractions I think are a must, places to eat and I've also covered travel and getting around.
York Travel Guide - Where To Stay, What To See, Where To Eat & More
Where To Stay
When it came to choosing a place to stay for our little break in York, we ended up going with The Grand Hotel and Spa. This is Yorks only 5* star hotel and as it was our 'minimoon' we thought we would treat ourselves. It's also just around the corner from the train station too which is so helpful. It was totally worth the money and ended up exceeding any expectations we had. I couldn't recommend this hotel enough if you're visiting York for a special occassion or just want to splash out a little. We stayed in a classic room which is the cheapest they do but it was in no means budget at all, the bed was huge and comfy, the bathroom was extremely luxurious and the staff make it. On the door you'll be greeted and have your bags taken up to your room and from then on in, the staff can't do enough for you. Doors are opened for you, they bring shortbread round at night, just so many little extras which make it so worth the money. If you don't want to spend too much on a hotel, you have many other choices from Premier Inns, Holiday Inns and lots more, all for a really reasonable price and within walking distance of the centre.
The Grand Hotel and Spa
The Grand Hotel and Spa
What To See
York is an all round beautiful city and there are countless things to see and do there.

York Minster - The most famous attraction in York. This is even more stunning in real life! I was totally in awe of it and it's just by the main shopping streets so not far out at all.
Cliffords Tower - This was brilliant to see up close, and with stunning views from the top, it's well worth going to see. There is also a museum too which you can visit.
The Shambles - One of the things York is famous for. Cobbled streets, wonky houses, cosy tea rooms, it has everything and you could spend hours walking around the whole area. Here you'll also find many Harry Potter shops including the famous Shop That Must Not Be Named.
Merchant Adventurers Hall - This is one of the prettiest buildings and one I really wanted to visit. You can get some beautiful photos here and the gardens around it I imagine would be lovely in Summer.
National Railway Museum - This isn't in the centre but only 10 minutes away from the train station so a good one to visit if you just want a day out. It's full of a variety of trains ranging from classic older ones to more modern ones like the Eurostar. You can sit aboard some of them and it's definitely somewhere to spend a good few hours.
Jorvik Centre - This is a great one if you have kids or just want to learn a bit more about Yorks history. I highly recommend booking online beforehand though as it gets extremely busy.
York Designer Outlet - If you're in the mood for some shopping, the Designer Outlet isn't too far out and has a whole range of shops including Cadbury, Joules, Kipling, Mulberry and so many more.
York Minster
Cliffords Tower
The Shambles
Merchant Adventurers Hall
National Rail Museum
What To Eat
In York you'll never be stuck for a place to stop for a cup of tea and a little break. York is full of beautiful tea rooms and incredible restaurants.

Bettys Tea Room - A must in York. Two tea rooms to choose from but beware both get very busy and be prepared to queue. From afternoon tea to a spot of lunch, there are a range of delicious meals and treats available. You can also pop in to pick up cakes which is what we did.
Stonegate Teddy Bear Tea Rooms - If you're after a cosy little tea room, this is the one for you. Downstairs is a teddy bear shop and upstairs you'll find a tea room where an array of cakes, milkshakes, hot chocolates, sandwiches and more are on offer.
Cosy Club - If you couldn't tell by the name, this restuarant is super cosy and welcoming, and I highly recommend it. Plenty of deals on throughout the week too.
The York Roast Company - Perfect for a quick pit stop. The yorkshire pudding wraps and pork sandwiches are heaven.
Drakes Fish and Chips - If you love fish and chips like me, Drakes is one to try. The best chips covered in salt and vinegar, YUM. You also have a choice of whether to eat in the restaurant or take away.
Bills - On my list for our next visit. You can find all sorts here from pancakes at breakfast to mezze sharing plates and steak in the evening aswell as a range of amazing desserts.
The Ivy - If you're want a bit more of a fancy meal while you're visiting, you can find The Ivy next to Bettys Tea Rooms!
Bettys Tea Room
Stonegate Teddy Bear Tea Room
Cosy Club
The York Roast Co
Travel & Getting Around 
One thing I loved about York was how easy it was to get around. As I mentioned at the start of this post, our hotel was literally around the corner from the train station, and from there on in you're basically never far from anything. I mean it when I say everything is minutes away from one another so walking around from attraction to attraction really isn't an issue. That being said we saw buses constantly so if you want to get public transport to places a bit further out, you'll have no issues with that.

So I think that's just about everything. I've tried to cover as much as possible but let me know if you have any other recommendations of things to do in York or places to eat etc. York really is such an incredible city so I hope if you go, you love it as much as I did!


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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Preventing Theft On Your Summer Holidays*

With Summer just around the corner, most people are probably dreaming of hot weather, days at the beach and unlimited cocktails, all of the nice things that come with being on holiday, but there are some more serious things that need to be considered if you're jetting away any time soon. Each time I go away, even if that's just for a short weekend break I'm always conscious of making sure I'm aware at all times of my belongings as theft can be a big issue. In fact just before we went to Paris for our honeymoon I read about a few scams and ways that people could try to pickpocket you and the 'gold ring' scam actually happened to us within the first few hours! So there are definitely things you need to think about before and during a summer holiday, so this post is all about my tips for making sure you stay safe and prevent theft of any precious belongings! There are also a few tips for making sure your home is safe whilst you're away too.
Preventing Theft On Your Summer Holidays
On Holiday:

Keep your valuable items in a safe - You're almost guaranteed to have a safe in your hotel room so I really recommend leaving any valuables and important documents in there for the duration of your stay. This includes things like travel documents such as passports, booking confirmations, tickets etc, all of the things you don't want to be misplaced or at risk of being taken. Any house keys you take with you aswell should go in there and money. Any money you're not taking out with you should definitely be out of sight.

Only take out the money you need for the day - Following on from what I've just mentioned, only take out the money you think you'll need for the day. If you were to take all of your cash out with you on day 1 and you either then lose it or it gets taken, there is no way of getting that back and you're kind of stuck for the rest of the holiday. In Paris we tried to account a certain amount for each day, and left the the rest in the safe meaning that we never had loads on us at one time.

Keep bags in front of you - If you want to take a bag out with you, try to keep it in front of you to prevent pickpockets. I had an over the shoulder bag on me in Paris and I tried to keep that at the front rather than the side so I could to prevent any risks of people being able to take anything without me realising. Also simple things like making sure bags are shut and pockets on jackets are zipped up are important.

Don't leave your bags unattended at the beach/pool - No matter how safe and friendly your hotel or destination might seem, you always have to be aware of your surroundings as that's when people can catch you out. If you're at the beach or relaxing by the pool and need to move even just for a few minutes, make sure someone can watch your bags. Whether it's another family member or the person next to you, just ensure there is someone that can keep an eye on your belongings.

At Home:

Ensure all windows and doors are locked - This might seem really obvious but it's so easy to just forget that one window somewhere and that could be the one that puts your home at risk. Ensure all windows around the house are shut and locked and check every door is shut and secure. Also remember things like shutting the curtains before you go as otherwise people may be able to see in at night and notice no one is in.

Don't post everything on social media - As exciting as going on holiday is, please don't post it all over social media! I never give out exact dates in the run up any holiday as you never know who's reading what you put online and looking for an opportunity. I also try to be careful of what I post whilst I'm actually away. I tend to post any photos I want to share at the end of each day which stops people from knowing your exact location at the time.

Obviously going on a summer holiday is always fun and exciting but these are definitely things that you should consider and remember in the lead up to prevent anything ruining it for you. If for any reason something does go wrong though on holiday and you need legal advice, you can contact DPP Law at www.dpp-law.com who will be happy to assist you and help in any way.

*This post is in collaboration with DPP Law

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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty Book Review

I'm absolutely loving reading at the moment and ever since I got through Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine a few months ago I've just been going through book after book. Aswell as reading lots of different books I've also been really enjoying writing reviews of them, and whilst I'm sure mine are nowhere near as detailed or explained as well as lots of other bloggers, I've been finding them really fun to put together and it's just been nice to get all my thoughts down. I mentioned in my books to be read post that I got The Husbands Secret for Christmas a few years ago but for some reason it had taken me this long to finally start it.
The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty Book Review
'Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husbands hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death. Curious, she opens it - and time stops. John-Paul's letter confessses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed would wreck their family aswell as the lives of others. Cecilia wants to do the right thing but for who?'

My reviewAfter finishing Gone Girl (review coming of that soon too!) I decided to give this a go and I ended up finishing it within a day! I don't want to give too much away but the main story lines are, Cecilia who has just discovered the letter from her husband and is now intertwined in this secret herself. Tess who has been betrayed by her husband and her cousin and soon finds herself getting to know old flame, Connor. And finally Rachel, a woman who is grief stricken over the death of her 17 year old daughter Janie, and convinced after years and years that Connor is the murderer. At first I did find it a little confusing going from one person to another but it soon started to make sense and I ended up really enjoying seeing each persons story unfold. I liked finding out more about each of the women and the way it was written really allowed you to properly get in their head as you went along. I thought the way their stories intertwined was really clever and I love the way it slowly built up to the reveal of John-Paul's secret. Once the secret had been revealed (which I don't want to ruin for you if you haven't read it) I did instantly sympathise with Cecilia. When something so big is revealed to you, what are you supposed to do? It definitely made me think about what I'd do in that position, could you really break up your whole family over something that happened such a long time ago and was really never meant to be your secret to deal with? I don't know how you possibly begin to process it all, but I do love when a book really makes you stop and think. Then with Tess, I was desperate for her to get a happy ending. I loved the small bits we got to see of her and Connors friendship, I just wish they'd been more of that, in fact I'd love a whole book just about Tess as I think her own story was really interesting. And then Rachel, how could you not feel for her? Losing her daughter so long ago but never knowing who was to blame. On the whole I generally loved this book, the mystery, how we were kept guessing and each of the characters in their own different way. That being said though the ending did feel a bit flat to me. After such a big build up, everything was in a way wrapped up but I just felt like there could have been more. I almost feel for each of the 3 women things were left on a cliffhanger, we can guess that they each went on to live happy lives and things were as okay as they could be but once I finished the last page, I felt like it should have carried on if that makes sense? I think one more chapter to fully round it all off would have been great and made the book even better. Overall though I do think it's worth a read. As I said I got through it in a day and that's because I just couldn't put it down. All of the suspense leading up to the reveal and constantly being kept guessing, I loved that element of it, and it's so unlike any of the other books I've read this year, it's just the ending that left me feeling a bit confused. But maybe that's just me?

I think Liane Moriarty who is now mostly known for writing the novel Big Little Lies, is a brilliant author though and I'm desperate to read more of her books. I was hooked throughout the whole book and her way of writing and connecting each of the women together was so clever. 

I'd love to know if you've read this too and what you thought of the ending? Or are you currently reading anything interesting at the moment?


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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Lush April Showers Bath Bomb Review...

It's no secret really that I've kind of converted to Bomb Cosmetics for all of my bath bomb needs recently as I just found Lush were getting a little bit too expensive. I used to regularly stock up but over time I've come to realise I just don't need ALL the bath bombs so now I only pick up one or two every so often. When I saw the Easter collection, I thought that was the perfect opportunity to treat myself to something and the April Showers bath bomb was really reasonably priced at £3.95 so that's the one I went for. I didn't get round to using this until a few weeks ago so it's not available anymore, sorry! but I still really wanted to post a review of it.
Lush April Showers
The April Showers Bath Bomb is a relatively plain looking product compared to the many others they stock but I could tell from the little pink and purple drops that it would be one that did more than you might originally think. As with all Lush products you are instantly hit with the strong fragrance, this one being of cedarwood, violet leaf absolute and cypress oils, so it's a very fresh and floral scent rather than sweet. It also contains fair trade cocoa butter so it's sure to make your skin feel lovely and nourished, something I always notice with a Lush bath bomb. Now onto what it was like when it hit the water. It didn't take long for pink and purple colours to emerge from the white bath bomb and as it fizzed away lots of pretty patterns emerged and swirled around before I was left with pastel pink coloured water. It wasn't quick to fizz away which impressed me as I feel like I've got more for my money when that happens. I hate it when they disappear pretty much straight away as it just feels like a waste! I ended up having a really relaxing bath and afterwards I was left with the softest skin.
Lush April Showers
To say this was £3.95 making it one of the cheaper Lush bath bombs in the Easter range, I'm really impressed and I'm glad I gave it a try. I do love seeing what new products they come out with at different times throughout the year and they've definitely brought some exciting bits out recently. 

Have you tried anything new from Lush recently?

Similar Blog Posts - Golden Wonder Review // Yellow Submarine Review

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