Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Personalised Gifts Perfect For Christmas From Tesco Photo*

One thing I love when it comes to buying a gift for someone is personalisation. I always think personalising whatever the gift may be shows thought and care and for that reason it's something I try to do more often than not. Over the last few years when mine and George's anniversary has come round, at least one of us will get something personalised for the other, whether that be prints, coasters, cards, even food, but it doesn't have to be limited to just anniversaries, it's also a perfect idea for Christmas and birthdays too, in fact any special occasion you're celebrating. I was thrilled to be asked by Tesco if I'd like to pick a few personalised products up and with all things Christmas on my mind, that's kind of the theme I went with.
Tesco calendar and photo blocks - autumn flatlay
Though I'm not too far away from a Tesco, it's not somewhere I do the weekly food shop so I had no idea that they even did gifts like this and the wide range available. I was spoilt for choice when I had a look on the website, from canvas prints to framed photos, mousemats and mugs, you can personalise pretty much anything and when I say it took me hours to make a final decision, I really mean it. In the end I chose a few items which are going to be perfect to put out every year at Christmas and a calendar for our office ready for 2019.

List Style Desktop Calendar

There are a range of different calendars available to choose from but the one I went with was the List Style Desktop Calendar. I thought this would be ideal for the office to obviously go on my desk, as whilst there's space on the walls, it's such a small room and sometimes just the odd thing here and there can look a little odd I think. Putting this together was really easy actually, all I had to do was choose when I wanted the calendar to start from and then start adding in my photos. There are a few different styles for each month which I liked as it meant not every single month was the same as you can see in the photos below.
Front of 2019 calendar - london
I chose photos from our trips to London, our honeymoon to Paris, short break to York and a few other occasions and I'm so incredibly happy with how it's turned out. It arrived within a day of me placing the order which is just brilliant and all of the photos had come out far better than I expected. I don't mark everything on our calendar so the space available on each month is the perfect amount for us and I just can't wait to get properly using it next year! This was just £10 which I think is a great price for the quality and ability to personalise as you wish.
inside of calendar - london and paris photos

Photo Blocks

The photo blocks were a must as soon as I saw them. Whilst we have loads and loads of photos up around our home from a printiki collage, framed prints and even a photo wall in our bedroom, we didn't have anything like this and with Christmas coming up, I thought something festive might be nice to create and bring out every December. These are a great alternative to framed photos as your chosen image is mounted onto a wooden block of your choice and you can choose from 3 sizes, with prices starting at £7. One of the photos I chose was from our wedding day last year. I'm so happy with the photo I took of our rings on a bauble on the tree, it might be my favourite photo I've ever taken and as we got married literally days before Christmas, I thought this would be lovely way of remembering it each year. The second photo I chose was of the Christmas tree they put up in Leicester city centre each year. If you didn't know George and I used to live in Leicester and at Christmas time, the town was beautiful. I took this photo on a whim one night whilst we were Christmas shopping and each year I look back at it and think yet again about how stunning it looked. We don't have many photos of our time in Leicester so this is another I thought would be perfect for bringing out during the festive season. 
photo blocks - leicester christmas tree and bauble hanging on tree
In terms of the actual blocks themselves, they feel great quality and aren't weak or flimsy in any way. They're strong enough to stand up by themselves and the photos have been printed out perfectly so I just can't wait until it's acceptable to get the decorations out and find a home for these for December.
Leicester christmas tree
wedding rings on bauble
I'm so happy with how all of my personalised items came out and I'll definitely be ordering more in future. I think the photo blocks are so unique and would make a lovely gift for Christmas this year. You also can't go wrong with a calendar too and I'll definitely be keeping track of everything on ours next year, after not having one all of 2018! Aswell as these products, there is an abundance of other items available too on the Tesco Photo website so if you want to treat someone this Christmas, it's well worth a look! If you're a bit of a last minute shopper too, no need to worry as most gifts can be ordered and collected on the same day!

Are you a fan of personalised gifts too?

*Products provided for the purpose of this post

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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Kathleen Sensual Rose Roll-On Oil Review*

Kathleen are a brand I've seen lots of on social media this year. With a range of beautiful products and stunning packaging, it's hard not to be drawn to them so I was thrilled when I was asked if I would like to try out one of their new Roll-On Oils. I'd been wanting to pick something up from Kathleen for a while so I thought this would be a perfect product to start with.
Kathleen Roll-On Oil flatlay
If you've not heard of Kathleen before, they are a premium skincare brand with a passion for all things natural and organic. With a desire for creating perfect and healthy skin, they believe in luxury, high performance products that contain no extra artificial chemicals. Their products are created from blends of plants, marine extracts and essential oils and you can find items like eye cream, bubble bath, cleansing lotions and so much more. 

The product I was sent was one of their recently launched Roll-On Body Oils. There are 3 scents to choose from including Citrus Cheer, Sensual Rose and Tranquil Fields, but the one that stood out to me was Sensual Rose.
Kathleen Roll-On Oil stood up, with autumn props
These indulgent aromatherapy roll-on oils are infused with certified organic oils and are scented with essential oils that deliver a beautiful, lightweight fragrance. These 10ml oils can be rolled onto pulse points wherever you are and due to their small size, they easily fit into your handbag so are great for on the go. With a non-greasy residue, just a little bit of this oil goes a long way. I've been applying onto my pulse points, massaging in a little and leaving to soak into the skin which has left it feeling much softer and smoother than before.
Kathleen Roll-On Oil, showing roll top flatlay
The Sensual Rose oil which is supposed to boost positivity and enhance feelings of joy, has a strong scent but it isn't overpowering, leaving you feeling fresh throughout the day

Top Note: Orange Essential Oil

Uplifting orange oil with a sweet and fruit scent expressed from the ring of sun-ripened oranges. Naturally uplifting.

Heart Note: Rose Essential Oil

Rose is perfect for toning and lifting the skin, aswell as enhancing libido and inspiring romance. Rose is also often used to enhance feelings of wellbeing and to induce feelings of positivity, joy and hope.

Base Note: Nutmeg Essential Oil

Nutmeg has antibacterial properties that work against 25 different bacteria. Useful for treating muscular and joint pain, improving blood circulation, helps to reduce mood swings.
Holding the Kathleen Roll-On Oil
I've loved trying out this roll-on body oil from Kathleen, it has the most gorgeous scent that lingers throughout the day. I can't say I've noticed a difference in my mood due to this but with anxiety, each day is different so it would be quite hard to know. I'll definitely be keeping this in my jacket pocket for when I'm out and about, it's been lovely to just put a little on each day and as such a small amount goes a long way, I'm sure it will be lasting me a while!

If you want to try out one of the new roll-on oils yourself, you can find out more on the Kathleen website and the set of all 3 oils is currently £44.

Have you tried anything from Kathleen before?

*Product provided for the purpose of this post

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Monday, 29 October 2018

Get Perfect Autumn Nails With All That Jazz*

Though my current nail polish collection is already huge, I'm always looking to add more. I just can't help myself! Painting my nails is something I've loved since I was younger and now once a week I like to chill out for an hour, put a fresh colour on, relax with a face mask and treat myself to a little bit of a pamper evening. I was thrilled to receive the new Designer Collection from All That Jazz last month and I wasted no time in trying each bottle out.
Nail polish flatlay
I'd seen lots of photos of All That Jazz nail polish on Instagram from fellow bloggers and I'd only heard positive things so I was really excited to see what these would be like compared to some of my other trusty brands like Essie and Nails Inc. There are several gorgeous shades available from All That Jazz and they even have several collections, their latest being a perfect choice for Autumn

The Designer Collection is inspired by the works of iconic fashion designers and has elements of runway glamour, with colours such as shimmery blue, metallic red, cool nude and a sparkly silver.

Coco

The first colour I decided to try was Coco which is a beautiful red. I am all about the red nail polishes for Autumn and they lead you so well into Winter and Christmas too, yep I'm already feeling festive! What I love about this colour is that it's not just a plain red, it's a really deep colour with a metallic shine making it just that little bit different to my other classic reds. The bottles in the collection are a really generous size so I imagine you can get many, many uses out of these which for me is really important as I do tend to change my nails quite often! I wish you could see just how stunning this particular colours looks on as the photos really don't do it justice.
All that jazz - coco - red nail polish

Vera

I absolutely adore a nude nail polish, I just think it's such a classy and chic colour and pretty much goes with whatever outfit you choose. This is a really subtle nude with a hint of grey and a glossy finish. The brush in all of these bottles is brilliant, they fit the nails perfectly meaning within one sweep you've got your whole nail covered and I've found 2 coats for each shade has been the perfect amount. 
All that jazz - vera - nude nail polish

Vivienne

Purples and Blues are a go to choice of mine in the later months of the year when it comes to nail polish, though it's usually the much darker tones like plums and navy which I think really suit me and the outfits I tend to wear in Autumn and Winter. I was really excited to try this colour out though from the Designer Collection as it's much brighter and unlike anything else I already have. I personally think it's more purple than blue but it depends which light you look at it in I think. The colour of this is so intense and I think it's such a unique choice for Autumn compared to the usual reds and blacks. It has a hint of shimmer too which I love and like all of the other colours it's incredibly glossy and has great lasting power.
All that jazz - vivienne - purple nail polish

Betsey

The final shade in the collection which I've mainly been using for an accent nail is Betsey. I love all of the names in this collection, so unlike any others I've had before. I've struggled in the past with glitter nail polishes, I usually find you can be applying coat after coat just for a few specks of glitter and then it's impossible to dry and just a clumpy mess. I now have a few trusted ones I always go back too and without a doubt, this will be added to that little collection. I've been so impressed with how well this applies for a glitter nail polish, in two coats I'm left with a really decent finished look, it's not just a few bits here and there, it actually fully coats my nail with glitter and dries within minutes. Just absolutely brilliant.
All that jazz - Betsey - glitter nail polish
This collection from All That Jazz has been so lovely to try and I've thoroughly enjoyed using each shade. I like them all for different reasons but I think I'll be getting lots of use out of 'Coco' as a red nail is just a must for Autumn/Winter and 'Betsey' is ideal for a glitter accent nail with any of these colours. I've found all of these last over a week with minimal chipping which for me is really important, I hate when you see within days your nail polish is already coming off but I've not had that issue with these at all. They have all been really easy to apply and just look even more stunning on. If you want to try this collection for yourself, it's currently £11.97 which I think is brilliant value for the amount you get and the high quality.
All that jazz - the designer collection, nail polishes lined up
Do you have any favourite nail colours for Autumn?

*Products provided for the purpose of this post

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Friday, 26 October 2018

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones Book Review

It's time for another book review! My last one was This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay and today I have something very different to that, a thriller - The Other Woman by Sandie Jones.
The Other Woman book in front of candles, autumn props
When Emily meets Adam she knows he is the one. That together they can deal with anything that is thrown at them. But lurking in the shadows is another woman, Pammie. Emily chose Adam, but she didn't choose his mother. There's nothing a mother wouldn't do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants...

My review

I was so excited to read this book. As soon as I saw it on Amazon and read a little more about it, I ordered it - it just seemed like another book that was going to have me gripped and offer lots of twists and turns throughout. The first thing I liked about this book which might sound a bit silly is that it was all told from Emily's point of view apart from the very beginning and the very end. A lot of the books I've read recently have had at least a two person narrative or have moved from one year to another and back again, and whilst sometimes that's brilliant and really allows you to get to know more than one character or build up a clear backstory, if it's not done well it can be so confusing and it becomes a task to get through. 

We do start this off with Pammie but it's very short, she's watching Emily try on a wedding dress and she tells us she won't be letting the wedding go ahead. We then go straight into Emily's point of view and we find out pretty quickly that Adam, her new boyfriend and his whole family aren't all that seem in very different ways. You assume Pammie is this over the top, controlling woman who just can't let her son go and you assume Adam is this lovely, caring man,a perfect match for Emily but it's really not that simple. Why is Pammie the way she is? Is she purposely trying to push Emily away? I asked myself so many questions throughout this book and even from the beginning I definitely didn't think it would be as clear cut as this overbearing mother just taking a dislike to Emily. 

I do think Sandie Jones has written this really well in that you feel such a range of emotions when reading this, or at least I did. There were times I felt full of suspense not knowing what the next twist would be and other times I felt sympathy for characters I never expected to, from the first page I was desperate to know how it was going to end. That being said, I do think the twist ends up being quite easy to figure out.

Within a few chapters, I had it sussed and I was just waiting then for this big reveal to happen therefore when it did come, it was a little disappointing. I don't know if I was just straight away overthinking and looking too deep into things which is why I figured it out or if it's the way it was written that makes it quite obvious early on who the real problem is going to be. This did mean for me that the ending was quite flat and I didn't feel there was a major wow moment. You do still find yourself one minute suspecting one person for something and the next minute suspecting someone else and question, actually have I really got this right or is there going to be more? but I just feel overall you know it's not going to be as simple as the mother in law being this big bad person and that just being the end of it. I just feel very mixed about this book though as there were parts of it that were brilliant - it's very well written, I liked how certain other relationships were brought into the story rather than just Emily and Adam and it's just such an easy read.

I wouldn't say it's quite on the level that The Sisters was for me but in my opinion it was better than Never Let Me Go, two other thrillers I've read this year which have similar reveals later on in the book. I'd love to know if you've read this too and if you felt the same? or if you have any book recommendations?


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Thursday, 25 October 2018

My Perfect Cosy Night In*

I'm such a homebody. I love our little flat and a cosy night in never goes amiss, especially in the Autumn and Winter months. You can't beat coming in out of the cold, having a little pamper hour and then settling down to binge watch a TV show and indulge in some of your favourite snacks. As cosy nights in are one of my favourite things and actually a great date night idea, I thought I'd share some of the things that make it for me.
Autumnal flatlay - nail polish, face mask, book

A Little Pamper Evening

I adore having an hour to myself in the evening to just chill out and thoroughly relax. I'll run myself a hot bubble bath, sometimes I'll throw in a bath bomb too, light some candles, get some of my favourite products out and just sit and enjoy. This is usually when I'll treat myself to a face mask because a face mask solves everything doesn't it? I'll read a bit of my book, I'm currently reading The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen if you wanted to know and I just really try to zone out. I usually end up feeling 10x better than before, just rejuvenated and really like I've done myself some good by taking that time out.
I Heart Revolution Star Spinner

A Hot Drink

In Autumn and Winter, I am all for hot drinks, whether that be a classic cup of tea, an indulgent hot chocolate or something a little bit different and fruity, I just can't get enough of them. I like to get in some fresh pyjamas, boil the kettle and get snug on the sofa. Recently I've been trying out the Green Tea & Mint* flavour by Clipper Teas and it's just tastes amazing. I used to think green tea or flavoured teas were a bit odd but now I absolutely love them! I'm always picking more up and whenever we get chance to visit Whole Foods in London, we tend to pick a few boxes up as they have such a wide range to choose from. I've been a big fan of Clipper Teas for a while, from their organic peppermint to lemon, sleep easy tea and white tea with orange, I'm yet to find a flavour I don't like. The Green Tea with Peppermint is no exception to that either, the mint provides a nice zingy hit but it's not overpowering and it's just a perfect choice for those early morning cups of tea where you really need something to wake you up! Whilst this may not be a classic mug of tea to dunk a load of biscuits into, sometimes a drink like this makes a nice change and I always find flavoured teas to be so refreshing yet warming making it perfect for cold evenings in too.
Clipper tea organic mint
Clipper tea organic mint packaging

A Good Film Or Boxset

There isn't much I love more than getting stuck into a good boxset. There's been a few recently that we've started and just not been able to stop but that's the best kind of night for me, when you're so lost in the story and what's going to happen next, you just have to stay up and get through them all. The last show we binge watched was Killing Eve and I've thought about going back and re-watching it all again a few times, it's just brilliant! We also loved Bodyguard but on the other end of the scale, we finally started watching Parks and Recreation and it's been such a good show to put on in the evening and just sit back and not move for a few hours! Some nights we love a movie night though too, we'll either put a DVD on or pick something on Netflix. They have some brilliant films on at the moment and it's a perfect excuse to get a load of snacks and get cosy under a blanket.
The Greatest Showman DVD
So those are the main things that make a cosy night in for me. I love these things all year round but there's just something about having a nice bath, indulging in a bit of self care and then getting snug on the sofa which just makes me so happy in the colder months. I'd love to know what makes a perfect night in for you?

*Clipper Teas provided for this post

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Wednesday, 24 October 2018

MasqueBAR Face Masks Review*

Face masks are a skincare essential for me now. At least once a week, though usually more, I like to settle down for the evening, paint my nails and put a face mask on and that time to just chill out and rejuvenate a little bit is always so nice. I've reviewed a few different masks now on my blog and I've even done roundup posts on face masks before, that's how much of a fan I am, so I was thrilled to receive a few from MasqueBAR last month to try out.
MasqueBAR face masks - animal sheet mask, bronzing mask, nose strips, gold peel off
MasqueBAR sell such a wide range of face masks, all developed in Korea, to help us look and feel our best no matter what. From Animal sheet masks to peel off gold foil, even bronzing masks and lip masks, you are spoilt for choice and there is something for any skincare problem you may have. I was sent a selection to try so let's see what I thought of them all!

Animalz Puppy Pore Control


I'd seen animal masks like this before from other brands but I'd never got round to trying any, some do look a little terrifying! so I was thrilled to see this one arrive. MasqueBAR have loads of different animal masks but I do love dogs so this is probably one I'd have chosen for myself anyway! First of all I love the packaging and that you can see what the mask is actually going to look like so it's not too much of a surprise. This is a sheet mask, something I'm a big fan of so I was intrigued to see if this would live up to some of the others I've used recently. The mask itself opened up easily, wasn't tricky to apply and it contours the face perfectly. What impressed me was that it wasn't sticky or had loads of excess product, it just felt really comfortable on. This mask is supposed to help nourish and hydrate your face and I really felt that it actually worked. After removing, my skin felt incredibly soft and smooth and it just looked so much brighter. After almost a week in London, my skin seemed to have some sort of breakdown so this was very much needed! The Animal masks are currently £4 on Asos.
MasqueBAR Animalz Puppy Sheet Mask

Gold Peel Off Brightening Mask

This has been my absolute favourite face mask to use over the last month! I love a peel off mask, there is something so therapeutic about removing it I find and it's only even better when it's gold. I love that this comes in a tube as it means you get several uses out of it and therefore you get so much more for your money. This mask is supposed to moisturise and revitalise your skin and is enriched with fruit extracts for that spa-day glow. I've been applying a generous layer, taking extra care around my t-zone and chin as that can be a problem area for me and every time I've really felt like it's made a difference. When you peel it away, I really feel it removes any impurities or bacteria and you just feel so much fresher and brighter than before. I've lost count of the amount of times I've used this and there is still loads left so I can carry on for the foreseeable future too. It's currently £9.99 on Asos which is more than I'd usually spend but for the amount of uses you get out of it, it's so worth it. I'll definitely be ordering more soon!
MasqueBAR gold peel off mask

Luminizing Charcoal Nose Strips

If I'm running low on face masks or just want something a little different, I love to use products like these Charcoal Nose Strips. Whilst I don't think my pores are too noticeable and definitely not my main issue with my skin, any product that can help reduce them and make you feel a little better about yourself, is a winner for me. These nose strips contain charcoal powder which seems to be working wonders for so many people now so I was intrigued to see what these would be like. These are designed to not only unclog pores but also remove blackheads and purify/deep cleanse/detoxify the skin. The first thing that I liked about these was that they each come in their own wrapping and they all have clear instructions so you know exactly what to do. I found them really easy to apply, they dried quickly and after removing, I really felt like it had made a little difference. These are good to use multiple times in the week so great when you have a spare 10 minutes in the evening. These are currently £9.99 for 6 strips.
MasqueBAR nose strips

Bronzing Sheet Mask

The Bronzing Sheet Mask is the only one I've not got round to trying yet. I've never tried anything like this before, and I'm not usually one to fake tan, but I am excited to see what it's like. This is supposed to brighten, hydrate and add colour to your skin and it informs you on the packet how long you should keep it on for your desired tan. Just 5 minutes for a light tan which is what I'll probably end up going for, 10 minutes for medium or 15 for dark. I'll try and review this on my blog when I get round to trying, and it's currently £4.99.
MasqueBAR bronzing sheet mask
I've been so impressed with these masks from MasqueBAR and I can't wait to try more in future. They're so worth the money and I personally think they really do make a difference to your skin. They've been great to add to my pamper evenings, especially the gold peel off mask, I'm so glad I tried it!

Have you tried anything from MasqueBAR before?

*Products provided for the purpose of this post

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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Autumnal Nail Polishes From Roxanne Campbell*

It's no secret I am a lover of all things Autumn. Give me all of the cosy blankets, dark evenings and Christmas films! I'm also a huge fan of all things nails, I am always painting my nails and my nail polish collection is constantly growing. Those two things go hand in hand for me and when Autumn starts, I am all for the dark toned nail polishes, blacks, reds, plums, I just love them all. Over the last few weeks I've been trying out two gorgeous colours perfect for the next few months from Roxanne Campbell and I couldn't wait to share my thoughts with you.
Roxanne Campbell Kiss Me First and Expensive Taste Nail Polishes
If you didn't know about Roxanne Campbell, well she is a celebrity nail professional with a huge profile in the beauty industry. Not only is she the lead manicurist at London and New York Fashion Week, has worked on major fashion campaigns with Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire and has also created nails for people such as Adele and Dua Lipa, she's also created her own nail polish brand full of high quality, beautiful shades.

Roxanne Campbell Nail Lacquer is a cruelty free, British brand and it's one I'd only heard positive things about. After seeing gorgeous photos of her nail polishes on Instagram countless times, they were always on my list to try and I was thrilled to get to pick a few out from her range. The ones I went for are Kiss Me First and Expensive Taste, two colours ideal for Autumn.

Kiss Me First

A classic red nail is a must for me in the later months of the year. Not only does it look great for Autumn, but it's also the number one choice for Christmas. I always have a red nail polish on for Christmas Day and I know this will be the one I go for this year with a glitter accent nail. The first thing that impresses me with Roxanne Campbell is the chic bottles. I love the simple initials on the front with the black square lid and the brush inside is perfect for coating your full nail. I found this applied really well, wasn't streaky in anyway and two coats which is what I'd usually apply, was perfect. The colour is absolutely beautiful, the photo below honestly doesn't do it justice and I was really impressed with how long it lasted. I applied a top coat too so I found I got well over a week with minimal chipping.
Roxanne Campbell Kiss Me First Nail Polish

Expensive Taste

I had to pick the shade Expensive Taste. It's a deep plum colour which is great if you don't want to go for full on black nail polish but do want something with a bit of an Autumn/Winter vibe. I'm always drawn to this sort of colour no matter how many I already have, it's such a go to of mine around this time of year and I know this will be one I get loads of wear out of. I've been wearing this with a gold glitter accent nail and I've not been able to stop looking at them! The gold glitter I have goes incredibly well with this and it's another combination that just screams Christmas to me. The long-lasting formula of this this ensures lasting nail perfection which is so important to me. I hate having to re-do my nails every few days because it's already started wearing off, so nail polish that can last with only minimal chipping, if any, is a winner for me.
Roxanne Campbell Expensive Taste Nail Polish
I've been so happy with both of these shades from Roxanne Campbell. From the intense colours which only look even more stunning on, to the classic bottles and easy application, there's so much to love! Both of these are brilliant for Autumn but I know they'll also be seeing me through Winter and Christmas too. Both of these, along with the rest of the single bottles available on the Roxanne Campbell website are currently £10 which I personally think is worth it for a product you know is going to last and gives you the results you desire.
Both Roxanne Campbell nail polishes, to the side
Have you tried any nail polishes from Roxanne Campbell?

*Products provided for the purpose of this post

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Monday, 22 October 2018

5 Ways To Make Coming Home From Holiday A Little Bit Easier

It's never nice coming home from a holiday is it? It's something you plan for, get so excited about and then before you know it, it's over and you're already on your way back. Like most people, I absolutely adore going on holiday, I have done for as long as I can remember, and now it doesn't matter where George and I are going, or for how long for, I always get so excited and it will be something I look forward to for months. That usually means though when I get home and it's back to reality, I seriously struggle and it can really affect my mood for a long time. In particular, with our trips to London. The more trips we've taken there though, whilst I always want to stay longer, it has gotten a little easier to deal with so I thought I'd share a few of my tips for making sure that coming home, from wherever it may be, isn't always the worst thing in the world.
Notre Dame, Paris

Clean your home before you go

Before you even go anywhere, give your home a proper deep clean! Whilst coming home from a holiday is never nice, walking into a clean and tidy house, makes it a little bit easier. There is nothing worse than already being on a bit of a comedown after such a great time away to then walk in to a load of mess you'd forgotten about, instant stress! A few days before we go anywhere one thing I always do is change the bed - fresh bedding is always nice and it makes that first night back in your bed, so comforting. I also give each room a deep clean, Zoflora becomes my best friend, but it means that when we come back, I can just sit and relax and remember our holiday rather than straight away having to get back into the old routine.

Have stuff planned for when you're back

I think it's such a good idea to already have a few plans lined up for the upcoming week after your holiday. It can be easy to wallow when you've had an amazing time away and just think, well there's nothing else to look forward to now but before you go, come up with a few ideas ready to get going with once you're home. One thing George and I love doing is going to the cinema so even if we just plan that for one night the following week, it's something I know we enjoy and will cheer me up if I am feeling a bit down. Even if you don't fancy going out, you can't beat a cosy movie night and that's something else I always look forward to. Put on a good film, get cosy under a blanket and eat ALL the snacks!

Take lots of photos

I'm always trying to strike the right balance between living in the moment but also taking as many photos as possible for us to look back on. I'm sure most bloggers will understand that when you're away, it's a great opportunity for those Insta shots but it's important to be present and not just be annoying everybody else by constantly snapping away. Now, I do still take quite a lot of photos whenever we're away but they're more for us rather than anybody else and always thinking, oh I'll just share this. Now when I'm away, if I want to share something I'll do it later on in the day when we're back in the hotel or if we have a bit of downtime rather than interrupting the moment to be on social media, it's just not important. With all of the photos I do take, when we're back I like to print some off to put into our scrapbook or a photo album which means we've always got those memories to sit and look through rather than just on our phone.

Buy a souvenir to remind you of the trip

I always like to bring a little something home from each holiday. It doesn't matter if it's a holiday abroad like Paris, or another trip to London, I always find some sort of souvenir or memento I can bring back with me and therefore have something to remember that trip by. It doesn't have to be anything major, I personally have a little collection of postcards from each place I've visited over the last few years and I love looking through them. I didn't buy much during our last trip to London, I never do really as it's not about that for me but one thing I did get was a bookmark and postcard with a quote from the film Notting Hill, actually from the original Notting Hill book shop and I think they were a good choice as a little memento for that specific trip.

Plan your next trip

There is absolutely no harm in planning and looking forward to the next trip once you're home. Having something else in mind always gives me that motivation to work extra hard and just gives me that boost that I usually need. I love the build up to our next holiday, it doesn't matter if it's weeks away or a year ahead, that feeling when it finally arrives it just the best. Also if you want to get something booked straight away, it's not actually a bad idea as usually the earlier you book, the cheaper it is!

It's always sad coming back home after a holiday and whilst these tips might not be groundbreaking, they really do help me get back to some sort of normality and they mean I'm able to think about the holiday without breaking down 😂. Hopefully if you struggle with the holiday blues too then this is useful for you aswell.

How do you get over the post holiday blues?

Other travel posts - A christmas trip to London // 5 things I would like to do next time in Paris // York travel guide

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Friday, 19 October 2018

Affordable Necklaces From Jewellerybox*

I'm definitely not someone who wears lots of jewellery but I am such a fan of simple, pretty pieces that can add something special to an otherwise ordinary everyday outfit. That's why I've always loved the look of the jewellery available from Jewellerybox, and all I've ever heard is positive reviews. I was thrilled when they offered to send me a few bits and I picked two of their beautiful necklaces.
Flatlay, jewellerybox packaging
Jewellerybox are an online jewellery retailer based in London and their mission is to show you that you can buy real jewellery at affordable prices that won't break the bank. They are also an assay assured jeweller which means you can be safe in the knowledge that all the pieces they sell are genuine and of high quality. With over 10,000 unique pieces of sterling silver and 9ct gold jewellery to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice when you go onto their website, but the two pieces that stood out to me are the Sterling Silver Infinity Necklace and the Sterling Silver and Genuine Diamond Tree of Life Necklace.

First of all before I get onto the actual necklaces, I just wanted to mention how much I like the packaging of everything you get from Jewellerybox. I think it's such an important part of any product but especially when it's delicate pieces like jewellery. Both of these were in their own little plastic wrapping and then placed in cute boxes which are then tied and include a little tag. I love that you can see the effort that has been made to ensure the products not only look nice upon delivery but are also safe on their journey to you.

Sterling Silver & Diamond Tree of Life Necklace

As soon as I saw this, I knew it had to be mine. Whilst I love all kinds of jewellery, if I'm going to wear any other than my wedding and engagement ring, it's likely to be a necklace and this one stood out to me for a few reasons. It's not only absolutely beautiful but it's a powerful image of the tree of life which symbolises creation, love and unity. I just think it's really special and I'm sure it's one I'll be wearing loads from now. The tree has been cast in sterling silver and encrusted with a genuine diamond at the base of the trunk and it really does look absolutely stunning, the photos below don't do it justice at all. This particular necklace is priced at £20 and you can choose from a variety of lengths and colours including rose gold and yellow gold.
Jewellerybox tree of life necklace
Excuse the chipped nail polish 🙈

Sterling Silver Infinity Necklace

The next piece I chose was one of their infinity necklaces. Infinity pieces are always special to me as years ago George bought me a beautiful infinity necklace for Valentines and it used to be such a favourite of mine, I wore it all the time but after various moves, it's just got lost and I've been on the lookout for another since. Infinity is a symbol for eternal love and it's always something I'd choose over a classic heart on a piece of jewellery, I think it's a little bit different and I love that you can choose from a variety on the Jewellerybox website. This is priced at £11.15 which I think is incredible, it's so affordable yet it doesn't feel cheap or flimsy in any way. It's great quality and not only feels sturdy and like it's going to last, but it just looks absolutely gorgeous on.
Jewellerybox Infinity necklace on london trinket dish
I adore both of these necklaces and I'm sure I'll get loads more wear out of them both. I'm so impressed with the prices of both of these aswell as so many other bits available from jewellerybox. There is no need to worry that the quality might not be as good as more expensive brands as it really is and I wouldn't hesitate to order more from them in future. I think they are great to check out at the moment too in the run up to Christmas as jewellery always makes such a wonderful gift.
Jewellerybox necklaces - tree of life and infinity, flatlay
Have you tried any jewellery from Jewellerybox before?

*I was provided with jewellery of my choice for the purpose of this post

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Thursday, 18 October 2018

Heathers The Musical At The Theatre Royal Haymarket Review

Following on from my post a few days ago which was a roundup and sort of photo diary from our latest trip to London, today's post is a review of the musical we saw when we were there, Heathers. I'm such a huge fan of all things musical theatre, it's one of my biggest passions and it would feel strange now to plan a trip to London and not book a show, and I'm so happy with the one we chose this time, it thoroughly deserved it's own blog post as I have so much to say!
Theatre Royal Haymarket, London
It's only been in the last few months that I've really got into the original Heathers soundtrack, after listening to a select few in between many other musical soundtracks! Once I gave it a full listen this Summer, I couldn't stop, it was soon on repeat and it didn't take long for George to love it too (I'm sure he likes to make out he doesn't love musicals as much as me but I think he does 😉). We didn't expect to actually get to see it anytime soon as though it had come to the West End in the Summer, it was only for a short amount of time and booked up. Luckily they announced it was extending and transferring to another theatre for a limited run, and as we also knew we had a trip to London coming up in October, we instantly booked and I'd honestly looked forward to it so much. 

The Heathers film which was released in 1989 and stars Winona Ryder and Christian Slater has become such a cult classic with a massive fan base so whilst we loved the soundtrack, before we saw the show we watched the film and surprisingly I loved it. I'm weird, I don't like 'old' films but I'd say it's probably one of my favourites now and it really made the musical make much more sense and it covers parts which the show obviously can't as it would go on for ages otherwise. So if you're wanting to see the show, definitely give the film a watch first. Anyway, the musical is now playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until the 24th November and it has an incredible cast including Carrie Hope Fletcher as Veronica. Tickets start at £25 too!

Now onto the actual night itself. We went on a Monday night and it seemed pretty much full to me, we had great seats on row M of the stalls and could see everything. I didn't expect to be as close as we were at all but absolutely no complaints. The theatre itself is beautiful too, inside and out.
Inside the Theatre Royal Haymarket
Whilst I knew this had a massive fanbase, I definitely didn't expect it to be quite as loud as it was. First of all, people were dressed up as their favourite Heathers and then as soon as the show started and Carrie Hope Fletcher appeared, people loved it, and it just carried on throughout. The Heathers got a huge reaction and by the end of the show we were both actually a little bit deaf which has never happened before at a show. The last time we saw Wicked there was an incredible atmosphere due to it being Rachel Tuckers's last show, and Kinky Boots gets cheers every night but they were both absolutely nothing like this. People absolutely adore the show but there's just so much to love about it!

The cast are amazing, I don't even know where to start. Of course Carrie was brilliant as Veronica, she seems to just get the character, sung all of the songs beautifully and worked so well with Jamie Muscato who plays JD. He was probably the standout performance for me, the way he could switch from this insanely cool boy in love with Veronica to someone actually crazy ready to blow up the school was amazing and he acted it perfectly. I really hope I get to see him in more shows in the future as he's incredibly talented. Jodie Steel as Heather Chandler was another one who stood out to me too though. Her voice is insane, she had perfect comedic timing and just stole the show whenever she was on stage. All of the cast were so energetic and buzzing, clearly having the time of their life and there wasn't any weak links. Everyone really did sound and look brilliant, it's such a strong cast so if you get chance to see the show, there is no doubt about it, you will have a great night.
Heathers the musical - Veronica and the Heathers
It was so good to hear the songs live, I definitely have some new favourites now including Shine A Light (Rebecca Lock is genius as Ms Fleming, she deserves an award) and there were also some new ones that I'd not heard before too which fit in and work so well. It exceeded my expectations in every way and I just wish it was staying for longer so I could see it again! I thought I'd enjoy it but I didn't think I'd leave loving the story and music so much more than before.
Inside and outside the Theatre Royal Haymarket
If you get chance to see this before it goes, go for it! I'm really hoping it will come back again in the future or at least do a tour at some point, I personally think it's one of the best shows on the West End at the moment and just such a fun night out. 

Have you seen Heathers the Musical? Are there any other shows you recommend?


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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The Autumn Blogger Tag

As long as Autumn is here, I'm going to keep talking about it. I've posted several autumnal blog posts recently including cosy home ideas, reasons I love the season so much and also the Autumn reading tag but today I have another and it's the Autumn Blogger Tag. I was tagged in this by Amylou so definitely give her post a read too! 
Autumnal photo - leaves on the ground, sunlight
1. What is one candle you must light every Autumn?
I don't have a specific one I buy every year but I do love the DW Home ones from TK Maxx & Homesense. I picked a few up recently and they are absolutely gorgeous! One I've had for ages though is the Essence Cinnamon Sugared Doughnut from B&M and I always light it in the colder months, it's great to put in my blog photos too for Autumn.

2. When you think of Autumn, what does it remind you of?
Every year as soon as Autumn begins, I start to get excited for Christmas. It's the start of the best few months of the year so it always makes me think of cold evenings in where I can get nice and cosy with a festive film and a hot drink.

3. What is your all time favourite fall/Halloween movie?
Is it bad I don't really have one? Everyone seems to love films like Hocus Pocus during this time of year but I just don't get it! I pretty much start on the Christmas films as soon as Autumn starts so it would probably be something like The Holiday or Love Actually.

4. What Halloween costume do you have in mind?
My pyjamas and a dressing gown. I'm not going anywhere! I've never really done anything for Halloween since I was younger so I'm planning a night in.

5. What is your favourite autumnal trend?
I love all the warm colours like orange and mustard for this time of year. Also tartan is a must. A chunky tartan scarf is perfect and I've always got a few in the wardrobe to bring out in Autumn.

6. When you think of Autumn, what drink comes to mind?
Always hot chocolate. With cream on top and mini marshmallows. I do love a good cup of tea though too.

7. What is your go to autumnal beauty product? A must have staple.
A really good red nail polish. I'm all about the reds, plums and black nail polishes in the later half of the year. My makeup tends to stay the same all year round but nails are something I like to match up with the season.

8. Do you prefer apple pie or pumpkin pie?
I've never tried pumpkin pie but apple pie would win everyday anyway. You can't beat a nice bowl of apple pie or crumble with loads of hot custard on top. 

9. Do you have any Autumn traditions?
Not really that I can think of. Just watching loads of film and getting excited for Christmas! I do want to get some pumpkins this year though for carving and make that a little tradition we do every year.

10. The moment of truth, is Autumn your favourite season?
Yes, absolutely! I long for it all year round. It's when the weather turns and it finally gets cooler, nights starting getting darker earlier, it's just the best. I do love Winter too though, that's a very close second.

I just love all things Autumn so thanks so much Amylou for tagging me. I'm not going to tag anyone in particular but if anyone wants to take part, feel free to copy the questions!

Is Autumn your favourite season too?

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