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Friday, 29 June 2018

Simple Sponge Cake With Caramel Icing Recipe

It's been a long, long time since I last posted a recipe on my blog. Given that this started out primarily for recipes and foodie posts, it makes me sad that part of it has kind of disappeared recently but I've just not felt like baking much so there hasn't really been much worthy of posting and I've just had no inspiration or motivation! As I really want to get back to posting baking recipes, whilst I had some spare time last Friday I decided I'd finally get back in that kitchen and make something, and just see what I came up with. After a little browse through Pinterest (I'm loving it at the moment, you can follow me here if you want too) I liked the idea of some sort of caramel cake and after a look back through some of my older recipes, I think I came up with something pretty good. 
A recipe for a simple sponge cake with caramel icing
I didn't want something that was too much fuss so I went for a simple sponge cake (I followed the one in my lemon drizzle cake and school sponge cake) and then I made my own icing which was so simple. This is a great cake to make when you just want something sweet and need something that doesn't require a load of fancy ingredients.

Ingredients: cake
225g butter
225g caster sugar
275g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
4 tbsp milk

Ingredients: icing
Icing sugar
caramel essence
water

Method:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees and line a large square baking tin
2. To make this really simple I just put all of the cake ingredients in a bowl and used an electric whisk to mix. If you don't have an electric whisk, add the ingredients one at a time starting with creaming the butter and sugar together, then adding in the eggs, vanilla extract, self raising flour, baking powder, and milk. Mix well until smooth
3. Pour into cake tin and bake for 35 minutes. I usually test it's done by inserting a skewer, if it comes out clean it's done, if not give it a bit longer
4. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely
5. You can now prepare the icing and to be honest this is one to sort of work out as you go. I didn't measure the icing sugar, just poured some into a bowl, mixed in water as usual to make a smooth paste then added in about a tsp of the caramel essence. I then repeated this, but you'll know as you're going if you want to add more or not
6. Once the cake has cooled, pour over your icing and leave to set. Once set cut into squares, this makes 16
Finished sponge cake with caramel icing
Finished sponge cake with caramel icing
I'm so glad I finally went and baked something again! It had been so long but I enjoyed it so much so I definitely need to start making more time for it. Though this is a really simple recipe and cake, it tastes absolutely delicious and I couldn't recommend it enough. The caramel icing is lovely as you just get that hint of caramel every so often in each square but it's not too much.

Have you done much baking recently?

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Thursday, 28 June 2018

Created By Magic - Personalised Prints Review*

When it comes to different occasions throughout the year, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas etc I always try to get personalised presents, as like I've mentioned in blog posts before I just find they show real effort. With mine and George's 7 year anniversary coming up in just a few weeks I was looking for something that could celebrate that and then Created by Magic got in touch and asked if I'd like to review one of their prints, and of course I said yes! It was perfect timing.
Created by Magic - Personalised Prints Review*
I'm always buying prints for our home, we have a photo wall in our bedroom full of wonderful and weird prints and little postcards full of quotes, and I've even got a few dotted around the other rooms too. I don't know what it is but I can't help but buy more, I just want my home to be full of things that are us and I find things like this are, they make this flat feel more homely and really allow for us to put our own stamp on the place. I was absolutely spoilt for choice when I had a look on the Created by Magic website as they do such a range from wedding prints, to birthdays, christenings and so much more. After much deliberation though I went for the Long Story Short print. As I had our anniversary in my mind, I thought this one would be perfect. You can add in all of your special dates from when you first met, moved in together, got married and more, and it's just such a wonderful print. I got it in a pink background as I thought it could go in our joint office maybe on my desk, and that's sort of the colour I'm going for.
Created by Magic - Personalised Prints Review*
I was so impressed with the different choices you can make when creating your personalised print. From different colours, sizes, and finishes, you really do get to create it exactly how you want and if you want something completely unique to you, the team at Created by Magic are happy to chat and work on something from scratch. I am so happy with how our print has turned out and I think it's going to look lovely in a white frame in the office. I love that it has all of our special dates and really celebrates us as a couple. The print itself feels great quality, it arrived unframed and well packaged. There was a little bend in one of the corners but I have a feeling that's happened when the postman has put it through the letterbox but it's really not noticeable and once it's in a frame it'll be even less so. The cost of this particular print is £18 which I tend to find is the usual sort of price for personalised prints. Having the option to customise and make it as you wish definitely makes paying that worth it I think.
Created by Magic - Personalised Prints Review*
I just adore this and it was exactly how I hoped it would be. If you're wanting to make someone feel special then I couldn't recommend a personalised print from Created by Magic enough. There really is such a variety to choose from on their website and all make wonderful gifts for any events you may have coming up.

Are you a fan of personalised gifts?

*Print provided for the purpose of this post

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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

5 Must Have Apps For Bloggers

I'm on my phone far more than I should be but that's not to say I'm always aimlessly scrolling through Instagram and Twitter. So much goes into blogging that is far more than writing blog post after blog post and there are always things that can be done to help us keep growing and improving. When I can I like to try and keep up to date with all things blogging, whether that's commenting on posts, scheduling tweets or editing photos, I pretty much always have something that needs doing so I thought a post about the apps I currently use to help with all of this might be useful.
5 Must Have Apps For Bloggers including Buffer, Paypal, Influenster, Bloglovin

Buffer

I know there's been a lot of negative stuff said about Buffer recently as they've made some changes that don't make life too easy for us bloggers but they're still my favourite to use for scheduling tweets. I've tried others but I just can't get used to them. With Buffer it's so simple, just write your tweet, add in the link and any tags or hashtags you want to include and then choose the day and time you want that to go out. The issue I have with Buffer is that you can only schedule 10 tweets at a time on the free version so you can't plan days ahead with this but to be honest it's not a major thing for me as I tend to check buffer once I've posted a new blog post anyway so I can just get them all scheduled at once for the next day.

Bloglovin

I love using this app for reading and commenting on other blog posts. It's so important I think to support one another and a little comment goes such a long way sometimes. That one comment on a post could make someones day. I also find Bloglovin is great for getting inspiration for new blog posts. When I say that I don't mean outright copying someone, but sometimes you see a post and it gives you an idea for a blog post of your own.

InstaEditor

I don't use any fancy editing apps for my photos. I've seen loads of others recommended by bloggers but I think I do okay with a basic one called InstaEditor. This gives you a few different options when it comes to your photos, you can add a range of filters or you can just do what I do and adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation of your photos. I don't think my photos look too bad and that's literally all I do to them. The app is completely free to so if you don't really know where to start with editing then this is a good one to try.

Influenster

If you're wanting to work with brands then this app is a brilliant one to have. The way it works is that you add in all of your details and just start reviewing products you already own and filling out little surveys. Keeping on top of these surveys puts you in the running for any brand collaborations that come up. It does require a little bit of work, it's unlikely you'll instantly get anything from it but eventually you do get success. I got to work with Real Techniques via this app reviewing their latest brush collection and it was definitely one of my most exciting collaborations so it's well worth having and sticking with.

Paypal

I love having paypal on my phone as many brands pay via this and everytime you get a payment you get a notification. This is fab as it means you don't have to always be checking if a payment has come in yet and it also saves the hassle of only being able to look on the laptop/computer which isn't always possible. It's a good way of keeping track of your payments too as they'll all be listed on your account and as you get notifications, if you've been expecting something and it hasn't come through that day, you can send a quick email on your phone wherever you are.

Are any of these your go to apps aswell?

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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Why I Love Musical Theatre and Why I'm Not Embarrassed By It Anymore

If you've been reading my blog for a few years then it's probably no secret that I'm a huge fan of all things musical theatre. I've spoken quite a few times now about shows I'd like to see, I've reviewed Wicked and Kinky Boots and I've even posted my musical playlists, so I just had the urge a few weeks ago to write a post all about why I actually love musical theatre so much. I decided on a bit of whim so this might end up being a bit of a ramble, but sometimes those are the best posts, it just felt like something I needed to talk about.
Why I Love Musical Theatre and Why I'm Not Embarrassed By It Anymore
It wasn't until the summer of 2016 when I first listened to the Wicked soundtrack that I properly started to take an interest in musicals. Obviously there were ones I'd heard about but I'd never felt that urge to actually go and see any before, but the Wicked soundtrack almost just sparked something in me and since then I've just fallen in love with it all. There are several reasons really why I adore it so much but I think the main one for me is that it's an escape. Just putting your earphones in and turning the music up loud can be enough some days to just zone out, or completely change your mood, but actually seeing the show live is a completely different thing. I don't think I'll ever forget how I felt when we went to see Wicked for the first time in November 2016, and the music started. Instantly you just feel such a range of emotions and by the end of it I was a mess. I actually think I was shaking all the way through because it was so magical. We then went back just a few months later to see it again because it really was that good and that time it just blew my mind. I think the show will always be special to me because it was the first one I ever saw, it started my love for musical theatre and both times it really was incredible. 
Wicked at the London Apollo Victoria Theatre
After seeing Wicked for a second time in January 2017, we then left it a while and didn't see another show until May this year, that being Kinky Boots. Again this show made me feel such a range of emotions but in a different way to Wicked. That's what makes all of these different shows so special because they're all so unique in their own way yet leave you feeling amazing. When seeing a show you really do just get to forget about your own problems for a few hours and that's one thing I always enjoy about it. No matter what is going on, these shows just take you to another place. I remember in the interval of Kinky Boots saying to George I don't want it to end, and during the final song I just wanted it to go on and on. With musicals I also love the way they tell the story. Especially with a show like Kinky Boots where not actually a great deal happens and it's set in a factory, they've managed to make something so special out of it and you just get drawn in. The same goes for another show which we've actually just booked to see on our wedding anniversary, Hamilton. The story of Alexander Hamilton you might not think is the most exciting and one that could be told in a musical, but Lin Manuel Miranda has come up with something incredible. I've read quite a lot about Hamilton and I've struggled to understand some of it but by listening to the music, it all just sorts of fits together and he's created a way that people can learn about him and his life, without just reading a book or going online. The storytelling aspect of musical theatre is just brilliant.
Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre
There are so many things I love about musicals but I've tried to keep it to just a few. In the past when talking about musical theatre I've sometimes found myself getting a bit embarrassed and I'm actually not really sure why, but I don't want to be anymore. It doesn't matter if someone thinks it's weird or doesn't get it, everyone has their own thing they love and I just think musicals are mine. I'm sure no one is judging me or commenting on it but with blogging it's easy to overthink sometimes about what you're putting out there and worry what people will think, when really it's our own blog, we can do what we want! If we want to talk about something then we have every right to do so and if people don't like it, they don't have to read it. I just want to get back to why I started my blog in the first place, and that was to write about things I love and enjoy, and this is one of them. So expect lots of musical theatre posts in the future, I already have a few lined up and I can't wait to share them.

Do you ever feel pressure when it comes to blogging? 

Are you a fan of musicals too?

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Monday, 25 June 2018

Creating A Phone Case With My Personalised Case*

Last month whilst we were on holiday I received an email from the people at My Personalised Case asking if I'd like to work with them and create my own phone case, and I jumped at the chance! I'd been needing a case for such a long time, I'm prone to dropping my phone, but I'd just not got round to it and to be honest I didn't really know what I wanted or where to look. Having the chance to personalise my own case though was so exciting and I couldn't wait to write this review.
Creating A Phone Case With My Personalised Case
If you've not heard of My Personalised Case before, well they were one of the first providers of personalised phone cases in the Netherlands, starting back in 2009. They allow you create your own style, choose from a wide range of phone case models, use some of your favourite photos and have something completely unique to everyone else. The personalisation process is really simple and takes a matter of minutes, in just a few clicks you can design your own phone case, exactly how you want, all for an affordable price too.

How It Works

First choose which model your phone is and then pick which type of case you'd like. There is a wide selection available including hard cases, silicone cases, wallet cases and more. After that you can start customising! This is where you can choose which design you want, add any photos you wish, add colours and text, etc, and that's all there is to it.
Creating A Phone Case With My Personalised Case

My Case

My phone is an Iphone SE so I chose the 5/5S/SE model. I went for the Personalised Full Wrap Hard Case, just because this covers the sides too and my phone needs as much protection as possible! As I mentioned I drop my phone quite often, I'm so clumsy so I wanted a hard case that could fully protect it if it hit the floor. Then came the personalisation. I went for a glossy case rather than matte, and then I had a look through the various layouts available. There were some that were collages so you could have multiple photos and there were others with marble backgrounds aswell as so many other options. In the end I kept it simple and just chose one photo to cover the whole case. I chose one from our Christmas trip to London last year, it's the London Eye looking beautiful at sunset. I just love this photo and whenever I see it, it reminds me of how happy I was to be there at the time so I thought it was such a perfect choice. The final section allows you to add any text, stickers or colour but I just left it with the one photo.

The price of this case was £15.45 and I think for such good quality, it's totally worth it. It arrived within a few days of placing my order and as soon as I opened the package, I was impressed. The photo I chose had printed really well onto the case, it was wrapped well and the plastic felt really hardwearing. It's anti-scratch so hopefully no damage will be done to it over time but for now it's perfect. As it feels such good quality, I trust my phone is fully protected and not only that I love how it looks. I just keep looking at it! I've never had a personalised phone case before and I really couldn't be happier with how it has turned out.
Creating A Phone Case With My Personalised Case
I loved creating my phone case and I definitely recommend checking My Personalised Case out if you want to make your own phone case too. There really is so much that can be done and the whole process was enjoyable yet really straight forward. They have a range of models and designs available so you're sure to find something perfect for you too.
Creating A Phone Case With My Personalised Case
Have you ever tried anything from My Personalised Case?

*Product sent for the purpose of this post

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Friday, 22 June 2018

New From Feather and Down - Breathe Well Range*

Feather and Down were one of my top brands of 2017. I first tried out a few of their products in October last year and since then they've grown and grown in popularity, and rightly so! I'm a huge fan of their Pillow Spray in particular when I'm in a need of a little help getting to sleep, so I was really excited when I saw they were bringing out a brand new range!
New From Feather and Down - Breathe Well Range
The Breathe Well range has recently launched and it's an extension of some of their best selling products, those being the pillow spray and bath essence, both of which encourage a relaxing nights sleep. Both products in the Breathe Well range contain a calming fragrance of Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Tea Tree essential oils. All of these are renowned for their soothing and cooling 'breathe well' properties and I knew pretty much straight away I was going to be impressed. I love anything with even a hint of mint, I find it so refreshing and it's just generally one of my favourites so I was really excited to see that as part of this new range.

Bath Essence

The first product I tried out the two was the bath essence. The weather has been all over the place recently so on the cooler days I've been enjoying hot bubble baths with this. I find a bath in the evening really calms and relaxes me and sets me up for a good nights sleep, and this product has only contributed to that. Whilst the scent isn't overpowering you can definitely pick up notes of lavender and chamomile which is lovely to breathe in as it really does circulate around the room and linger for the duration of your bath, and it also creates wonderful bubbles that fill the tub. This is available at Boots for £7 and I think it's definitely a product worth having for those times where you just need a bit of time out.
Feather and Down Breathe Well Bath Essence

Pillow Spray

The original pillow spray has been a bit of a saviour for me at various times where my sleep has been a bit erratic so I was really intrigued to see how this one would compare. Like with the original all you need to do is spray some over your pillows and I also like to spray a little over the duvet too, and then just relax as normal and let it work it's magic. I've found because of the Peppermint and Tea Tree essential oils that it's been helping me breathe a bit more clearly at night, which has been lovely as I seem to have mild hayfever this year and if you suffer with it, I'm sure you can relate to how annoying it can be at times. Over the last few months I've found whilst I've been going to sleep at a normal sort of time, I've been waking up at various times throughout the night whereas since using this I've not had that issue nearly as much. It's definitely helped me get into a more relaxed and calm state before drifting off to sleep and it's helped me settle into quite a deep sleep too. Generally the pillow sprays from Feather and Down are just brilliant and I've been just as impressed with this as the original. This is also available at Boots for £7.
Feather and Down Breathe Well Pillow Spray
I've loved trying out both of these products from the new Breathe Well range and yet again Feather and Down have massively impressed me. I absolutely adore the scent of these and something I haven't mentioned yet aswell is the new packaging. I think the addition of mint green to the dark blue is beautiful and goes so well. These really do help with a number of things, from getting a more restful nights sleep to helping you breathe easier, they are so worth picking up and giving a go. I couldn't recommend Feather and Down enough and if you want to see more from them, they have lots more products available at Boots including travel sets, candles and lots more.
New From Feather and Down - Breathe Well Range
Have you tried anything from Feather and Down?

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

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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 including Bath, Isle of Wight, Whitby and Oxford

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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