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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Kinky Boots At The Adelphi Theatre London Review...

Following on from yesterdays blog post all about our night in London, todays post is a review of the musical we went to see, Kinky Boots. We booked this a few months ago and the day seemed to take forever to arrive but now I'm so sad it's all over! Like with when we went to see Wicked, I wanted to do a full review of the show so I hope if any of you like seeing musicals like me, or are currently planning a trip to London, that this is helpful and gives you a little insight into the show.
Kinky Boots
Kinky Boots
After seeing Wicked for the first time at the end of 2016, I pretty much fell in love with musical theatre and I've lost count of the amount of musical soundtracks I've listened to since then. I knew when we were thinking of booking a trip to London that I wanted to see another show, as did George but we had no idea what. Since Wicked I'd been wanting to see another of the bigger shows like Les Miserables or The Phantom Of The Opera but the tickets are just too expensive and for some reason I was being drawn to lots of other shows, Kinky Boots being one of them. I watched the trailer and started listening to the soundtrack and it didn't take long for me to properly fall in love with it. I loved everything about it and from the reviews I'd read online it just seemed like such a fun, feel good show. Before I go any further, I'll leave a summary of the story below and the trailer, as they'll explain it better than I can!

'Since winning the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, Kinky Boots is the winner of every major Best Musical award and is the hottest show in town! With songs by Grammy and Tony winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this fabulous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Kinky Boots takes you from the factory floor to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price, played by David Hunter, is struggling to live up to his father's expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the shoe factory's future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, played by Simon-Anthony Rhoden, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.'
We ended up getting tickets for £40 each which is so much more affordable than some of the other shows we had considered and they were really good seats too (Stalls, Row P, 13 and 14 if you wanted to know). We went almost 2 weeks ago now and from what I could see, most seats were taken up. We had the full cast on as far as I'm aware including David Hunter as Charlie, Simon-Anthony Rhoden as Lola and Verity Rushworth as Lauren. As soon as the show started, I loved it. Hearing the songs live after listening to the soundtrack for so long was just amazing and all of the cast were brilliant. In fact the people playing 'Lolas Angels' were outstanding and totally deserved the reaction they got each time. The three main actors had such good chemistry on stage and clearly all get along, it just worked and together the whole ensemble were fab. It was a show full of energy and constantly buzzing, it never stopped. Going back to the music, when Simon first came on stage as Lola, the whole audience loved it and that just added to the atmosphere. There were cheers at several points and this continued through lots of other songs because they were all just brilliant. Simon has an incredible voice, it completely filled the theatre in the bigger songs like Land of Lola but then he brought so much emotion to the slower songs like Not My Fathers Son and Hold Me In Your Heart. Both Simon and David when they sang Not My Fathers Son made me cry, it really got to me but that shows just how good the story is and how good they are at playing those characters, I felt such a range of emotions during the whole show! One minute I was wiping tears away, the next I was laughing and couldn't stop smiling.
Kinky Boots
Source
Kinky Boots
Source
Verity Rushworth who I remember so well from her time as Donna in Emmerdale was hilarious as Lauren, I'm so sad she's leaving along with David soon as she's just fab in the role. I also remember seeing David in the ITV show Superstar ages ago so I was really excited to see him, and all I'd seen online about his Charlie Price was positive, now I totally see why. He is just great as Charlie and I wish I'd had the chance to see him again in it before he leaves. The final song of Raise You Up/Just Be with the whole cast was amazing, the whole audience loved it and it was just the best ending to the show. I felt so happy and like so many other people have said, it's just such a feel good show and you can't help but leave smiling! I remember thinking at the end that I just didn't want it to stop and once we had left I was already thinking about booking to go back. A new cast are starting next week but Simon-Anthony Rhoden is staying on as Lola so if you get chance to see him in the show, do it! He is brilliant and just makes the whole thing, I'm already desperate to be there for his last show whenever that might be as I think it will be really special.

I just loved the show and couldn't recommend it enough. I'm sure I've not made much sense with my review but without giving the whole thing away it's hard to explain, I just really wanted to say how much I enjoyed it and why I really think it's worth seeing. It has such a great story with an important message behind yet it's full of fun and sass and it has an outstanding soundtrack to go with it. As much as I loved Wicked and though they're very different shows, I think I preferred Kinky Boots, it really is so underrated and worth seeing. Tickets are really reasonably priced and they're currently booking up until January 2019 so if you're off to London any time soon or are hoping to see a show, definitely try and book!

Have you ever seen Kinky Boots before?

Yesterdays Post - 1 Night In London - Seeing A Show, Covent Garden & All The Food!

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

1 Night In London - Kinky Boots, Covent Garden & All The Food!

Last Monday George and I went to London for the night (yep, again) so I wanted to do a little post about it, as I always do. As I'm sure you know by now if you've read my blog for a while, London is pretty much my favourite place in the world so I like to document any trips on my blog for me to read back on. As we went for one night this time, the main reason being to see a show, we didn't get to do loads and loads like we have in the past but I thought I'd share what we did do and the photos I managed to take, almost like a photo diary I suppose.
London Eye
After checking in that afternoon we started with spending some time on the Southbank. I could spend hours walking along or sitting just taking in the views, especially near the London Eye, I just think it's stunning. We also treated ourselves to an ice cream which was so good! It was absolutely boiling so it was definitely needed.
Southbank
After a relaxed walk down the Southbank we ended up at Borough Market which is somewhere we always go to in London now. The range of food available is insane and there is always something new to try. We picked some delicious Indian snacks up from one of the stalls, some macarons and a few other bits, all of it was so nice. I just love going there.
Borough Market
After that we headed to the Strand which is where we needed to be for our show that night. We still had loads of time so we just chilled for a bit before heading into the theatre. The show we went to see was Kinky Boots, and I'm not even sure how to put into words how incredible it was. In fact I have a whole post going up about it tomorrow so look out for that, it just deserved a full review and I really hope if you like seeing musicals that you give it a read, because the show really did exceed any expectations I had. I already want to go and see it again so that itself shows how much I enjoyed it.
The Strand
Kinky Boots
We pretty much had the whole of the next day to explore before heading home so we started off at Piccadilly. I love that whole area, it's always buzzing and full of energy and it's where one of my favourite shops is located, Whole Foods! We go every time, mainly for the amazing Crosstown Doughnuts they have available. We went for the cinnamon swirl one this time which we enjoyed out in the sun and the chocolate truffle which is a firm fave of ours now which we saved for later on in the day. They are so filling, and not the cheapest things ever but so worth it!
Piccadilly Circus
Whole Foods
We then went to Covent Garden which is fast becoming my favourite place in London. I spent a good few hours there last time we visited London as George was working and I honestly had the best time. I was so happy just chilling watching the performers that are always there in the centre and doing a bit of shopping, and it was just as enjoyable this time too. We did some shopping and then stopped for a Shake Shack which was insane. I went for the hot dog this time, George had the shackburger and we shared some cheesy fries. It was all just heaven, we definitely need to go more often.
Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Shake Shack
Covent Garden
We ended up spending a few hours there before heading back to the hotel. It's just such a nice place to just sit and relax after walking around for so long. It's absolutely beautiful in the sun aswell and that day it was like a day in the middle of summer. Before getting our train we got a final hour or so on the Southbank and then that was it, it was time to go already. Everytime we go it just seems to fly by, and I'm always so sad to leave. I know if you've read a lot of my London posts it might seem weird how much I love being there or it might be annoying that I mention it so much but I just don't think I'll ever stop! I'm already thinking of when we can go back next and what show we can go and see, it's just the best, definitely my happy place.

Look out for tomorrows post about our visit to see Kinky Boots!

Have you been to London recently? What's your favourite thing about it?

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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

A Sephora Haul - What I Bought During My First Visit in Paris!

When we were in Paris a few weeks ago I finally managed to visit a Sephora! It's one of those shops I'd seen so many bloggers talk about but as they're not based in the UK I'd never had the chance to see for myself what all the fuss is about. Once we booked our trip to Paris though, I knew I would have to try and find one, and I did, just by the Notre Dame. It was only a small Sephora and as I'm not hugely into big name makeup brands I really didn't mind, I was more about the skincare stuff anyway so I thought I'd do a little haul post and show you the stuff I brought back with me.
A Sephora Haul!
Pineapple Face Mask - The first thing I picked up was the pineapple face mask, I was instantly drawn to it! I love anything fruity scented so I thought this would be perfect. This is apparently good for dryness, dullness, uneven complexion and blemishes, all of which I'd like a bit of help with! My skin hasn't been great recently so I'm hoping this will revive it a little.
Sephora Face Mask
Almond Foot Mask - Whilst looking through all of the face masks, I noticed they did foot masks too and I had to get one. My feet are always so sore and achy after being out all day, especially on holiday when we're just walking everywhere so things like this are a must. I went for the almond one out of the two available which is supposed to be comforting and repairing and soothing on rough areas.
Sephora Foot Mask
Blue Clay Mask - Back to face masks I got one of the blue clay masks which can be used multiple times. The one thing that annoys me about most face masks is that you tend to just get one use out of it but with this it can be used 4 times and it really didn't cost much more than the individual masks. I went for this particular one which detoxifies and oxygenates and I felt like that's what my skin would need after a holiday. They had so many to choose from though which all do different things. What I like about these aswell is that they're travel friendly meaning you can take it with you wherever you go.
Sephora Blue Clay Mask
Beach Vibes Bath Bomb - Next to the face masks they had lots of minis which I'm just a sucker for. They were one euro each so I couldn't resist. I got a little yellow star called beach vibes and whilst I don't think it will do loads when I use it, when it's that cheap you can't really go wrong can you?
Sephora
Mini Shower Gels - These were also only one euro each and they had about 5 different scents to choose from. I love trying out different shower gels and even just minis like this I find exciting! I got one from the same Beach Vibes range as the bath bomb and then I picked one up from the Morning Zest range. These are supposed to be jelly like which then melts on your skin and foams up. I can't wait to use them and see what they're like.
Sephora
I'm so happy with everything I got at Sephora and just can't wait to actually use it all. I didn't need or want any more makeup so I thought I'd just stick to what I love, face masks, and I was so impressed with the range they had. The minis were so cheap aswell and they had such a variety. I think all together everything came to about 18 euros which I don't think is too bad at all for what I got. I'm unlikely to visit again for a while but for now I think I picked some good bits up and I'll probably do a review on some of them too so look out for those if you're a face mask fan like me!

Are you a fan of Sephora? Have you tried any of their face masks?

Yesterdays blog post - Our Honeymoon In Paris!

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Monday, 28 May 2018

3 Nights In Paris - Our Honeymoon!

I'm back! After a break from my blog for our honeymoon I'm back to posting now and whilst I'm still not feeling 100% about my blog, I really wanted to get this post written up aswell as one about our night in London too. So this weeks posts are basically going to just be travel related, starting with todays post which is all about how we spent 3 nights in Paris. Tomorrow I have a Sephora haul, Wednesday is a London photo diary and then Thursdays post is a review of the musical Kinky Boots, so I hope you'll come back for them all. Anyway I have so many photos I want to share from Paris so I need to get started!
Eurostar To Paris
As I've already mentioned we went for 3 nights which was the perfect amount of time for us. We got an early train to London on the Monday and then headed for the Eurostar which was actually really stress free. It was all a very easy process getting through and the train was really comfortable which I was so happy about because we'd been travelling all morning and I just wanted to sleep! We finally arrived in Paris early afternoon and that's when things started to get a little hectic. Unaware to us there were some sort of strikes on meaning trying to get the metro was a bit of a nightmare. If you think the tube is difficult, it doesn't compare at all to how hard the metro is to work out. We managed it eventually but as the trains were all over the place, a half an hour journey to the hotel took more like an hour and a half. That along with it just being so busy and not knowing the language (I definitely should have learnt more before we went) meant that I started to feel a bit overwhelmed. My anxiety started playing up which shocked me a little as I'm normally totally fine when we go away, in fact that's when I feel my best so that was annoying but it did get better over time, it just took some adjusting to I think. Though the weather wasn't great that first day once we'd checked in and unpacked, we still managed to do a bit of sightseeing. Our hotel wasn't far from the Arc De Triomphe so that was something we got to see everyday which was nice and that evening we also managed to get to the Eiffel Tower.
Arc De Triomphe
Paris Metro
We started off our second day with crepes for breakfast at a little cafe near our hotel which were delicious! You've got to have a proper crepe in Paris haven't you? I had the maple syrup one and George had the salted butter caramel. After a yummy breakfast we then went and got on one of the hop on/hop off bus tours which I can't recommend enough! We booked tickets through Big Bus Tours before we went and they were so worth the money. The tickets we got had to be used on two consecutive days which worked out perfectly for us as the Tuesday and Wednesday were our two full days and it made sense to use them then and just try and figure out the metro again on our last day where we only had a few hours spare. They take you around all of the main attractions, it gives you time to just sit and take in the views and you can get off at any of the main stops so you don't have to worry about trying to figure out how to get from one place to the other. We stayed on for most of the route seeing lots of beautiful buildings and then we got off at the Louvre which was amazing to see in real life. I'd seen it on films and online so many times so it was so nice to finally see it up close. We didn't end up going into the museum as there were so many other places we wanted to see but I think that's something for next time! 
Academie Nationale De Musique
Eiffel Tower
Louvre
After spending some time at the Louvre and having some food we then got back on the bus and headed to the Latin quarter which is where the Notre Dame is. I absolutely loved this whole area! It was just far calmer than a lot of the other places we'd already been around and so chilled out. The sun was shining and everything was just beautiful. The Notre Dame looked even better than I could have ever imagined, I definitely didn't take enough photos of it but I just wanted to see it through my own eyes and honestly it's incredible. Just down the road aswell is the famous book shop Shakespeare and Company and it was so good to see that up close, and to actually go inside! I didn't end up getting anything but George bought a book and then we ended up getting ice cream from Amorino. I'd read about Amorino a few times before we went and was desperate to get ice cream from there, they shape it into a rose for you and they just have loads of flavours to choose from. I was pretty boring and went for chocolate and vanilla but it was heaven! There are quite a few Amorino's dotted around Paris so if you're visiting, make sure you try and find one, it was some of the best ice cream I've ever had.
Notre Dame
Shakespeare and Company
Amorino
For our third day we decided to get on the bus again and start off at the Eiffel Tower. The weather was the best it had been since the beginning so it was so nice to sit on the top and see so many other places on the way which we'd missed on the previous day. When we got there we found food and had the nicest drink in the world, a peach and apricot granita which was so refreshing! I wish I could have another now, it was just lush. That whole area was gorgeous and it was such a lovely way to spend a few hours. After spending some time in the sun, we decided to switch routes on the bus tour and we did the whole of the Montmartre route. Like lots of other people we didn't get off at any point so the whole thing took about an hour but it was a great way to see another part of Paris. From the top of the bus we got to see sights like the Moulin Rouge and Galeries Lafayette aswell as so many others. If we go back I'd love to spend more time in Montmartre as it seemed like such a beautiful area and there was far more than I was expecting there to be.
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Moulin Rouge
After that for our last afternoon/evening we decided to head back to the Latin quarter as we enjoyed it so much the day before. It's where I felt most comfortable the whole trip, there was just something about it that was really special. We found a lovely little restaurant too just next to Shakespeare and Company called Cafe La Bucherie and we had the nicest pasta! I went for the Penne Arrabiata and George had the Carbonara, genuinely the best pasta I've ever had and the staff were so friendly. I highly recommend paying them a visit if you're planning a visit to Paris, it was so affordable aswell! That evening on our way back to the hotel we popped into a few shops including Sephora which was exciting and then we had a chilled night in getting ready for our final day.
Shakespeare and Company
Cafe La Bucherie
Cafe La Bucherie
Cafe La Bucherie
Paris
We didn't have loads of time on our final day but enough to stop off for croissants for breakfast at a cute little bakery which we'd gone past everyday and not managed to visit before. One thing I was looking forward to once we had booked Paris was all of the pastries and croissants there and the pain au chocolat I had did not disappoint! Once we reached the Arc De Triomphe we then had a walk down the Champs-Elysees which was nice. The last day was the hottest it had been since we arrived and by this point we were so achy and tired so we didn't want to venture far but the whole area including Champs-Elysees around the Arc De Triomphe is lovely and such a nice way to spend a few hours. There are so many different shops, cafes and restaurants so I highly recommend having a walk down there one day if you visit. After that we braved the metro back to the train station, which luckily took nowhere near as much time as the first day and headed home. With getting the train from London aswell we didn't get home til about 10 that night so we were absolutely shattered but it was totally worth it.
Paris
And I think that's pretty much our trip to Paris summed up! I know to some it might seem like we didn't see all the sights but we just took things at our own pace and with the bus tours that we did, you do get to see a lot more than you might think, and that just made life so much easier. Like I've already said the Latin quarter was our favourite place and if we go back to Paris one day I definitely want to spend more time there and explore the area even more. Whilst there were definitely times I got a little overwhelmed and anxious, overall it was a lovely honeymoon and somewhere I'd like to go back to one day. I think we picked a perfect place for our first time abroad together. Everything really is so beautiful and picturesque and all of the main sights are just something you need to see in real life to properly appreciate them, I don't think any of my photos have done them justice!

As I mentioned at the start of this post I have a few more travel posts going up this week. If you want to see what I picked up from Sephora make sure you come back for tomorrows blog post, it was so exciting to finally visit one after seeing so many bloggers talk about it! And then towards the end of the week I have my London posts going up which are always my favourite!

Have you ever been to Paris? or do you have any holidays planned?

Similar Post - Pack With Me - What I Take On A Weekend Away.

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Friday, 11 May 2018

Pack With Me - What I'll Be Taking To Paris...

I first did a pack with me post a few years ago just before a trip to London, and as we're off to Paris in a few days I thought I'd do another now. I personally always love to have a sneaky peak at what others take on their travels, so if you're the same hopefully you'll enjoy this. I'm basically taking most things that I took to York with me too so these are generally the sorts of products I like to take on any weekend away.
Pack With Me - What I'll Be Taking To Paris
Beauty - Starting with makeup and skincare, I'm basically going to take the contents of my makeup bag which luckily isn't that much. I'm taking my current go to foundation which is the L'oreal Paris True Match and also my favourite concealer, the Maybelline Fit Me. For bronzer I'm taking my mini Benefit Hoola and for blush I'll be taking the Rimmel Lasting Finish in the shade Pink Rose. The final base product I always like to use is the Maybelline Stay Matte Powder. Eye products I'm taking will be just a pencil eyeliner and the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara and then finally there's the Max Factor Elixir Lipstick in the shade Burnt Caramel, and then a few Real Technique brushes to apply it all. I'm keeping skincare simple with just Garnier Micellar Wipes, these are fab for travelling but apart from that I really don't need much else. 

Toiletries - I picked up a few minis from The Body Shop recently so I'll be taking those as they really don't take up much room. There's the Frosted Plum Shower Gel and Body Butter, the latter I thought would be brilliant to use after a long day of walking. Bearing that in mind I'm also taking the Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray from The Body Shop. I've used things like this in the past and it's just so soothing on sore and achy feet. I'm going to decant some shampoo and conditioner into travel bottles, and then the final few toiletries are obviously things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, body sprays, a disposable razor, my tangle teezer and a little hand sanitizer which I'm going to keep in my bag. I hope I'm not forgetting anything!
Pack With Me - What I'll Be Taking To Paris
Clothes - It's pretty impossible to take photos of my clothes but I'm only taking the basics really anyway. One of my go to tops at the moment is this Floral Peplum from Yours Clothing. It was a bit pricey at £23.99 but I love how it looks and more importantly I feel comfortable in it so that was a must for this trip. It goes with just about anything too. I'm also taking some new jeans from New Look which are incredibly comfortable, and a Paris Slogan Top also from New Look because I just couldn't resist and it's so nice to just throw on. I'm also going to take another new top from Yours Clothing which is the White and Multi Butterfly Vest which has cross detailing on the front, I absolutely love it. Onto shoes I'm actually taking some trainers that I also found on Yours Clothing. I would never normally think to buy these but they'll be so much more comfortable and I don't want to be wearing shoes that I know will hurt after a few hours! I'll also be taking my trusty leather jacket because it goes with pretty much anything and all of my other jackets are either for summer or winter and I have no idea what the weather situation will be! That being said I recently got a longline thin cardigan which I think will be perfect to take with me just in case we get there and it's really warm. Also I'm obsessed with adding scarves to my outfits at the moment and I recently picked up a thin floral one from New Look so I thought that would go well with everything.
Pack With Me - What I'll Be Taking To Paris
Extras - As we're getting the train down to London and then getting on the Eurostar it's going to take a good few hours so we're both taking a few different books. I'm planning on taking The Husbands Secret and How To Stop Time I think, and I'm sure I'll pick up a few magazines that morning too. Ipods are a must so those are going to be packed and then obviously we need all of our different chargers for phones etc. Finally we just need to make sure we've got all of the important documents, I think we've printed every possible thing out just in case! I get really anxious before a trip that we'll forget all of the important things so they're out ready.

I think that's pretty much it. I keep wracking my brain for anything else we could possible need but I really don't think we're missing anything. I'm just so excited now, and the great thing is that once we're back it's only a few days til our night in London so the holiday just kind of carries on. We'll be taking basically all of the same stuff to London with us aswell so all of this is kind of for two trips. I'll be taking a break from my blog now for about 10 days or so whilst we're away and to sort of get my head back in the game but I'm hoping once we're back I'll have got over this blogging slump I've been in and I'll be much more positive about it all!

What are your packing essentials?

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5 Tips For Fuller Looking Healthy Hair*

I have two blog posts going up today, the first one being all about hair and how I try to maintain and look after it. I have such a love/hate relationship with my hair. I have days where I wake up and pretty much need to do nothing to it and I feel so confident and then other days nothing goes right with it. Does anyone else find that? I've noticed over the last year or so that my hair has got much thinner than it used to be so I've been trying to find different ways to get my hair looking full, glossy and healthy.
5 Tips For Fuller Looking Healthy Hair!
Regular Hair Cuts - I've been known to go absolutely ages without a hair cut, far longer than I'd like to admit but since starting to have regular hair cuts again I've noticed a real difference in how my hair looks and feels. Even though I do still have quite long hair, just having a good few inches off it has made my hair look far fuller than before. I think adding layers in had been part of that too so if you're planning a trip to the hairdressers soon, definitely get some added in. They just add volume and movement into your hair and they can really change up your hairstyle without being too drastic.

Dry Your Hair Upside Down - A classic tip for adding some volume into your hair! It's as simple as it sounds, tip your head upside down, let your hair hang down towards the floor and blow dry it. Whilst using the hairdryer, make sure you're gently brushing your hair too to create volume at the roots and more bounce throughout, this also helps prevent any tangles too.

Don't Apply Too Much Heat - Though I just mentioned blow-drying your hair, it's important you don't apply too much heat to it as it can cause more damage than good. I used to be an avid user of hair straighteners, I don't think there was a day I went to school without straightened hair but now years on I'm much more chilled about it and my hair is far healthier because of it. I used to have a load of split ends and my hair just generally didn't feel great so now when I can I like to just quickly towel dry my hair and then leave to do it's thing for a few hours. If I'm in a rush I like to dry it as I mentioned above and as long as I'm brushing as I go along, it dries quite straight anyway but has a decent amount of volume at the roots. Though products like straighteners and curlers aren't always the best sometimes if you're having a bad hair day like I mentioned at the start of this post, nothing else will work so if you do use them, make sure you use a heat protection spray.

Hair Masks - Over the last year I've really found that hair masks work wonders for creating fuller looking hair. I've only used a few different ones but all of them have given my hair that boost it's desperately needed. The one I've most recently used is from Organic Shop and almost instantly I noticed a difference. Even the next day I woke up to bouncy looking hair and I really didn't need to do anything else to it. If you'd rather not use one like that though you can create your own so you know exactly what's going into it. You can find an array of ideas on Google and some ingredients you might already have in! Using items like olive oil which nourishes your hair, avocados for a deep conditioning effect and honey for growth are just a few things which can be made into masks for a fuller and healthier finish.

If you don't find any of these are working for you, then take a look at hair restoration procedures which are offered at The Harley Street Hair Clinic. Advanced Tricho Pigmentation, or ATP, replicates the appearance of natural hair follicles and tiny hair strokes. This treatment can be used to add the appearance of density for anyone that feels their hair is thinning, and it can be used on different areas of the scalp to create a head of hair that looks natural and realistic.

Do you have any tips for keeping your hair healthy?

*This post is in collaboration with The Harley Street Hair Clinic

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Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Perfect Roast Dinner With Essential Cuisine*

If there's one thing I love about the weekend it's a roast dinner. Now we don't necessarily plan to have one each sunday but every few weeks we tend to make a roast with all of the trimming and I genuinely look forward to it so much. After working with Essential Cuisine last year on their high quality stocks to create a delicous sausage cassoulet, I was so excited to receive their gravy range and I thought, what a better way to put it to the test than with a roast?
The Perfect Roast Dinner With Essential Cuisine
For me, there are some things a roast dinner just has to include. 

Roasting Joint - I tend to buy a whole chicken when I'm planning a roast dinner. As there's only two of us we can get a few meals out of one and I find these are just so easy to cook. I've cooked with them for so long, I can just put it in the oven and pretty much forget about it for 90 minutes.

Roast Potatoes - You can't have a sunday dinner without a roast potato can you? My favourite way of making them is to peel and chop 2 baking potatoes (or any you prefer, maris piper make excellent roasties) par boil for around 10/15 minutes in salted water, drain well and shake to rough up the edges. After the chicken has been cooking for about half an hour and has started to release some juices, I then add in the par boiled potatoes, coat in any of the juices and then leave to cook with the chicken. The juice makes them go lovely and crisp on the edges but they are soft and fluffy on the inside. If cooking with another joint of meat, I like to follow Jamie Olivers perfect roast potatoes recipe. I followed his recipe at Christmas and god they were good. 

Yorkshire Puddings - I love a good yorkshire pudding. When I can I like to make my own which just consists of eggs, flour and milk, leaving to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes and then pouring into hot oil. This makes them rise beautifully! 
The Perfect Roast Dinner With Essential Cuisine
Lots of Veg - I tend to use pretty much whatever veg we have in. I love roasted carrots and these have become a bit of a favourite of ours recently. We usually like to coat them in a drizzle of honey, as we do parsnips too and it just gives them the most incredible flavour. If we've got anything like cabbage or cauliflower in I love to add those to the meal too, cauliflower cheese never goes amiss. Peas are great to add too when we just want to grab veg from the freezer.

Stuffing - I love making stuffing balls, they're one of the simplest parts of a roast dinner and require very little prep. They are packed full of flavour and I find it's actually one of the cheapest parts of the meal. I just use Asda's Smartprice which is about 15p and honestly it tastes just like branded versions. An extra we like to have sometimes too is pigs in blankets, totally not just for Christmas!

Gravy - Of course you've got to have gravy with a roast dinner haven't you? I've loved using the gravy mixes from Essential Cuisine and for the last roast dinner we had I went for the beef flavouring which was delicious. Used by professionals, this rich and smooth gravy is made with beef stock and beef dripping for maximum flavour. It can be used on it's own or added to meat juices. All you need to do is add 3 tsps to a small pan along with 250ml of water, and keep whisking and stirring until smooth and thick. It's then ready to pour over your roast dinner! There are 3 other gravies available too including turkey, chicken and savoury and they can be added to a variety of meals. I've been loving using the chicken flavour in dishes like my pizza pasta bake instead of the usual stock in the recipe, and the beef is brilliant in meals like shepherds pie or spaghetti to add a bit more of a meaty flavour.
The Perfect Roast Dinner With Essential Cuisine
I just don't think you can beat a proper roast dinner can you? This has made me so hungry for one actually! I've been really impressed with the gravy range from Essential Cuisine, it has a beautiful taste which goes so well with a meal like this and the tubs last ages! Aswell as this, the gravies are also gluten free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians so everybody can enjoy! If you want to try them out for yourself they're £2.50 each and you can find out more and buy on their website here.
The Perfect Roast Dinner With Essential CuisineWhat's your favourite part of a roast dinner?

*Products provided for the purpose of this post

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Organic Shop Haircare Review*

A while ago I was sent a few haircare products to try out from a budget friendly brand called Organic Shop. I'm not fussy when it comes to my hair, I'll use just about anything on it but I loved the look of these and couldn't wait to give them a try!
Organic Shop Haircare
If you've not heard of Organic Shop before, they are a brand all about natural beauty. They take the best fruit, herbs, flowers and spices to create indulgent and effective beauty treats that we can all use and enjoy. They are an Estonian brand, very popular throughout Europe but they've recently developed their latest haircare range with Tesco and I was sent some of the Pomegranate and Patchouli range to try.

Shampoo and Conditioner - Starting with the shampoo and conditioner, the first thing I noticed was the scent. It has a really exotic aroma and the pomegranate really comes through when you use it. I also really love the bottles and the pump dispenser. That's so useful and not something many haircare products have now I find, but it just makes life so much easier in the shower. These are full of essential oils which give your hair extra strength and the Organic Pomegranate is supposed to leave your hair looking sleek and shiny. The Organic Patchouli then works to give you an hydration boost which leaves your hair feeling silky soft. I've definitely noticed since using this that my hair has felt far better and has been much easier to handle. As I have quite thick hair it can be hard to brush through sometimes and straighten as it's always so wavy underneath, but as this has made my hair much smoother, it's meant styling it has been far easier. I've also noticed it's looked a little shinier too and a bit more glossy than what it has done before, it's also really nice to touch too, it just feels healthier! Both of these bottles are 280ml and they're still lasting me really well after weeks of use. Both are priced at £2.50 so really affordable for a brand that is 98% natural and cruelty free with no GM ingredients, nasty chemicals, parabens, synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances.
Organic Shop Haircare Review
Hair Mask - Aswell as the shampoo and conditioner I was also sent a hair mask from the range to try out, which was nice as it's something I would never think to buy. Pretty much straight away I was impressed with this. It's a huge tub and you really don't need much at all which is always good and it massaged into my hair really well. I left it in for about 3 minutes and then washed out and then proceeded to do my usual routine with shampoo and conditioner. Once my hair had dried I could tell the hair mask had worked it's magic. It just felt far fuller and bouncier and it was much easier to brush through than usual after washing. This continued into the next day too, I woke up to it feeling fresh and bouncy and the hair mask had clearly made such a difference. As there is so much left in the tub I'm so excited to keep on using this as it really did make my hair feel lovely.
Organic Shop Haircare Review
I've loved trying out these haircare products from Organic Shop and will definitely be looking out for them next time I'm in Tesco. Aswell as the Invigorating Pomegranate and Patchouli range there are also a few others ranging from Volumising Raspberry and Acai to Moisturising Coconut and Shea, to Nourishing Argan and Amla and finally Repairing Avocado and Honey. Whatever problems or needs your hair may have, there is sure to be a range from Organic Shop for you. Don't all of the scents sound amazing too?!

If you want to try these out for yourself, each shampoo, conditioner and hair mask is priced at £2.50 available at Tesco or online via Organic Shop.

Have you tried anything from this brand before? What's your go to haircare brand?

*Products sent for the purpose of this post

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