22/01/2015

Brand Spotlight | Yves Rocher

I always feel incredibly honoured when a brand or PR agency reaches out to me to see if I'd be interested in some of their products to try out, and was recently contacted by Baobella with the chance to try some Yves Rocher skincare products in exchange for a post about them. I'm not at all familiar with Yves Rocher, save for a lovely brown eyeshadow I recently received in a subscription box (it pairs well with my blue eyes!) and so I held out hope that their skincare products would be just as lovely. Yves Rocher has been voted the number one favourite beauty brand in France, and boasts a plethora of products from sun care, to haircare, makeup and fragrance to name just a few categories.

After a mishap with the postman, a little brown box finally appeared in my hand containing a body lotion, Silky Cream which contains organic oats (RRP £13.50), a leg and foot cream, Anti-Fatigue Iced Gel (RRP £5.00), a botanical hand cream (RRP £3.90) and also a gorgeously scented coconut bath fizzer (RRP £1.50). I've had a chance to try out all of the products (apart from the bath fizzer - more on that in a minute) and on first impressions they're all incredibly lovely to use.
My favourite product of the selection I was sent is the long-lasting moisturising botanical hand cream. As someone who works hands on with food day in day out keeping my hands in good condition is incredibly important to be or else they'd be very weathered from constant hand washing and food preparation. This hand creams applied very well, absorbed quickly and left my hands feeling pampered.
Silky Cream comes in a hefty 200ml jar so there's plenty of product for your money and I know that this will last me for a long time yet! It's an all over body moisturiser that's fragranced with organic oats, which are not strictly to my taste (I much prefer sweet and fruity scents) but it's not too powerful. The lotion absorbs quickly into the skin leaving your limbs feeling soft and pampered. I can definitely see myself buying one of these for my Mum for her birthday, she'd love the scent!
The final two products are particularly apt for my current life situation. At the beginning of this week I had to go into hospital to have surgery on my foot. I'm currently propped up on a pillow at home and feeling a bit sorry for myself, but mostly because I have to wear sandals and flip flops everywhere until my foot heals (summer shoes in January are not the one!). I've been using the Anti-Fatigue Iced Gel on my feet around my bandages to help, literally, take the weight off them and give my poor feet a bit of TLC following the anaesthetic and the procedure. It contains peppermint for a refreshing feeling, as well as lavender to promoted general foot comfort and well-being. That said, the coconut bath fizzer is something I desperately want to try (I love baths and coconut!) but I'm not actually allowed to get my foot wet for another 4-6 weeks, *sad face*. I therefore cannot give you an actual review on that, but I promise you it smells divine and the Yves Rocher site promises immense relaxation with its use so I'm excited for that!

Have you ever tried any Yves Rocher products?

06/01/2015

5 Things I've Been Loving Lately

Hello :)

Just a quick little post to show case five little things I've been loving lately...and I've only just noticed that they're nearly all chocolate related!

  1. St Ives. I fell in love with St Ives in Cornwall when I went for Christmas down to my Mum's house. It's the cutest little seaside town I've ever been too, full of pokey shops, cobbled streets and adorable fishermen's cottages all sitting atop one another. I went to all 5 beaches, saw the Tate St Ives, played on the amusements arcade and did a small bit of shopping. If you ever have the chance to holiday in Cornwall then St Ives is a must see. 
  2. I popped into town to do a bit of last minute sales shopping the other day and decided to stop in Starbucks. I played my 3DS while I sipped on a caramel hot chocolate and munched a delightful slice of chocolate cake. Oh so indulgent, but oh so naughty!
  3. When I was in St Ives we ate in a bar / restaurant on the seafront called Hub. It's going down as my favourite place to eat in St Ives, as we went there twice and I had the same thing both times, pulled pork nachos - yummy! On both occasions I also got an American style chocolate milkshake made with Cornish ice-cream which was both huge and incredibly tasty. My brother and J also got themselves a beer flight each, which went down rather well I'm told!
  4. Continuing on the milkshake theme, I've been loving chocolate almond milk in my cutesy little milk bottle couple with some pineapple and mango for breakfast - yummy. 
  5. Finally, my beloved Chocomania Body Shop range has been discontinued! Queue the tiny violins! I first posted about this range back in 2012 here and instantly fell in love with it. I went into the Body Shop just before Christmas to see if I could find any of the range and it'd all gone. It's back in the sale to shift the last stock, so if you love this range then get stockpiling just like I've recently done! 
What have you been loving lately?

01/01/2015

On The Bookshelf - January

It's only right, as I start writing my chapter 2015, that I carry on into the year reading somebody else's words. There are too many unread books on my shelves and so my literary resolution to myself is to stop buying more books until the ones on my bookshelf have been read.My four books for January are a mixture of girlie glamour, science / dystopian fiction, crime, drama and history...can you tell that I'd read just about anything?

Beneath The Glitter - Elle & Blair Fowler
There's such a massive hype at the moment surrounding YouTube personalities having their own books in print, and despite any controversy I enjoyed Zoella's book for a light read when it was published last month. I decided to pick up Beneath The Glitter because it's loosely based around the lives of the Fowler sisters, the protagonists are sisters who make online videos who then move to L.A and find themselves in a world of glitz, glamour, betrayal and vicious gossip. It sounds like a nice fluffy, easy read. One for the bath!

Dangerous Boys - Abigail Haas
Has anyone read Dangerous Girls by the same author? I honestly don't want to spoil that for you but the book both enraged and completely amazed me. It was unlike anything I'd ever read before, full of passion, crime, betrayal and the biggest plot twist I didn't see coming. I was completely emotionally invested in that book and so I am hoping that Ms Haas has pulled it out of the bag again with Dangerous Boys. The blurb notes that this is about three teenagers who venture into an abandoned lake house one night but a couple of hours later only two emerge from the burning wreckage, one boy and one girl. Another boy was left in the flames but was his death murder, or a tragic accident? I'm incredibly excited for this one.

The Infinite Sea - Rick Yancey
This is the sequel to The Fifth Wave, a book I picked up a while ago, but was only half curious about the story because it contained aliens, and ended up being hooked on the dystopian element of the novel. I'm currently part way through this book and once again am enjoying picking up the story where the first novel left off. The main gist of the trilogy is that aliens have been watching Earth for some time, and have successfully managed to exterminate humans in five different waves of destruction, in order to claim Earth as their own. Cassie Sullivan is a human girl trying to survive and the story follows her and a number of other characters trying to fight for the last of humanity.

The Wolf Princess - Cathryn Constable
I picked this up in the Waterstones 3 for 2 offer just before Christmas. It's a children's book so will be another easy read, but I wanted to buy it because it's set in Russia, and I used to live in Moscow as a child. The main story centres around three school friends who are on a school trip to Russia when they find themselves abandoned on a train. They are rescued by a glamorous Princess who takes them away to her palace where she tells of her tragic past.  The friends discover more that just a Princess in the castle walls when night falls and wolves begin to prowl. I'm definitely eager to read this one!

So, those are my literary picks for January. What's on your reading list?

My 2015 Erin Condren Life Planner - Platinum Foil Bubblegum Edition

Good morning & Happy New Year!

I hope that however you spent welcoming in the New Year was a lot of fun for you...I spent mine at work, cashing up tills and serving countless people our new promotional burgers. I couldn't indulge in any kind of bubbles as I was running the restaurant, so instead we got the fireworks in London up on someone's phone and counted down in the kitchen.
Celebrations aside, as it's officially 2015 now, I wanted to share with you my diary for this year as it's something I'm rather fond of, having had it for a month already and having been using it every day. I decided to go for the Erin Condren life planner this year and ordered it back at the end of October. It made its way over to Somerset from sunny California in just under a week, having taken a week to produce with the company because it's personalised. A little warning though, if you're wanting to order one of these, the shipping will be extortionate (£30 with FedEx priority shipping *gulp*) and the diary itself doesn't come cheap either. I'd been lusting after an EC Life Planner for absolutely ages, having watched countless planner organiser videos on YouTube to satisfy the inner organiser in me so I decided to go for it...and I've not looked back!

My life planner is the 2015 foil platinum edition in bubblegum which appeals to my inner magpie for shiny silver things, and I absolutely adore the baby pink colour of the cover. EC Life Planners come with a variety of different cover designs and colours to choose from (the covers are even interchangeable) and each cover is personalised with the text of your choice. I've seen people have their blog/website name on the cover, but I simply went for my name because my planner isn't blog exclusive.
The inside features a number of fancy things that I find useful that other diaries were lacking for me. There's a removable perpetual calendar at the back that houses all of my important birthdays and anniversaries, a clear plastic ziploc pocket to keep important paper and pens, removable stickers to mark off important days and things to do (again sticker sheets are customisable), plain and lined sheets of paper for notes and random doodles, as well as cute little inspirational messages to perk up your day.
The diary itself is laid out month by month, each month is accessible by a different tab, and within each month section there's a two page monthly calendar and then each week thereafter is given two pages. I am using the month on two pages to plan out my blog posts for 2015 and I've already got lots of ideas in the pipeline for things I want to write about and photograph to properly get back into writing again...I used to post every day or every other day and I'm working my way back into a routine of doing that.
The weekly pages are definitely my favourite part of this planner because of the way they're laid out, they completely appeal to my inner organiser! Each day is split into three parts, Morning, Day and Night and allows you to not be completely time bound with what you have to do as long as what you need to do gets done in the day part you've scheduled it for. The pages allow me to visualise an entire day and work around what I need to do at home versus what I need to do for work and so on.

Each week also has a section for goals and notes down the left hand side of the left page where I like to write big things I want to get done that week, for example picking up a parcel from the Royal Mail depot, or sending a birthday card. I haven't quite decided what to use the lined space underneath each day for yet, perhaps meal planning or a mini food diary.
When I used to use my Filofax I would decorate each page with washi tape and stickers, bits of card and fancy decorative craft pieces, a bit like a scrap book. I've still decided to decorate my planner in a similar sort of way, but only using stickers and washi tape in order to keep it useable. I don't want to deal with craft pieces falling out when I'm trying to write any more! I don't keep any sort of theme running all month, just decorate the pages as I want and ensure I get maximum usage out of the planner. The week pictured above just so happens to be my birthday week where I know I'll be off work, so I made it all fancy with a cake and disney theme ready for March to roll around.

So that's my planner for this year. Are you an organiser like me and keep a diary / life planner?
How do you like the look of the Erin Condren life planner?

31/12/2014

Drawing a Line & Starting Anew

Found on Google Images
As another year draws to a close I'm drawing a line underneath it. Turning a fresh, clean, page of an unwritten book and beginning, in media res, once more. 2014 wasn't bad, in fact there were a lot of positives, but towards the end I felt myself get a bit lost and carried away with the momentum. Without trying to sound too overly romantic or dramatic, I feel a bit wayward with who I am, what I want, and where I need to be, and feel like I have compensated for this unidentified feeling of late in material things, working too much for so little, and so on.

I've neglected my lovely little blog, neglected my health, begun to push aside the people who mean the most and pretended so many times that I'm ok. Ok isn't good enough. In fact it's worse than being just fine. It's not happy, incredible or brilliant. It's just ok. I'm just ok.

My little head has finally realised that I deserve to be more than ok, that I don't have to work so many hours, and that taking time out is a good thing. So 2015, I'm coming for you...for me. I don't owe anything to anybody (well apart from the bank!), certainly not my workplace, and certainly the world does not owe anything to me. But I'm going into this new year in a resettled frame of mind, and wow, let's make it a good one...!

I've just finished compelling my bucket list, as I do year on year, and you can have a read though it above if you'd like and see if we have any of the same goals/hopes/wishes. Just click on '215 Things For 2015'.

A very happy new year to you all <3


11/12/2014

Blogmas Day Eleven: Getting Cosy With My Little Box

Winter is undoubtedly the season for feeling your cosiest. I, for one, absolutely adore the winter months so I was so excited to see that the latest My Little Box (November edition) was a cosy themed edition. This is my 3rd box from the company and i'll be completely honest and say that if they carry on with how undoubtedly gorgeous their boxes have been then I'll probably become a subscriber for life. There's not a single thing in any of my previous two boxes that I've not loved, or not used!
Like every month before this one, I've received a pretty little print with an inspirational saying on it, and like every month before this one, this now lives on my wall above my dressing table. Pretty soon I'm going to get a collage frame when I've received enough boxes and put that on the wall. Super cute!

The products in this box were definitely well suited to the theme, and you can tell that a lot of thought and love has gone into compiling these boxes. I received:

- An espresso mug
- A wheat warmer
- My Little Box's own brand mascara
- An eyeliner
- A Yves Rocher eyeshadow
- My Little World magazine
- Inspirational print

I have to say that even though I love the idea of everything in this box, I don't drink coffee so can't use the mug for it's full intended purpose (although I have had a mini hot chocolate in there for when I needed a little warming up), and I don't have a microwave so I can't use the wheat warmer (although I really want to! I think I'm going to take this to my Mum's house at Christmas and use it there). But the makeup products were right up my street and I've been using them to create a simple brown smokey eye for work that accentuates my blue eyes.

If you're not already signed up to My Little Box then I truly believe you're missing out. I cancelled my Birchbox and Glossybox in order to solely receive this one and I think that says something! 3 boxes in and I'm in love!

Are you a fan of subscription boxes? Which are your favourite?