Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Here in the UK, Mother's Day is coming up fast again - this Sunday! I wanted to share with you the lovely gifts I'll be giving my Mum this year. Debenhams have kindly gifted these to me to pass along to my Mum (the ultimate cheat presents!), so I wanted to show you what I picked out.

First up, this lovely lightweight dressing gown* from the J by Jasper Conran brand . The fabric is that super soft stretchy kind that feels quite luxurious, and I imagine this will be nice for my Mum to have in the summer evenings.

I went for a decor piece next as my parents are currently redecorating their lounge. This vase* from the RJR.John.Rocher range is pretty bold with its shape and texture, but with the subtle pinks and greens they're decorating with, I think this will look gorgeous.

Finally I picked two classic Mum presents - A diffuser* in a fig scent and a Lily-perfumed candle*, again from the RJR.John.Rocher range. Both products are housed in this silver punched design and feel really well-made. These are the kind of things that someone wouldn't usually buy for themselves but are just lovely to receive as gifts.

Good luck with your last minute Mother's Day preparations!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Cosy Reading Corner Decor

Over the last few months, we’ve been decorating our house with new furniture and bits and pieces that make it a home. Whilst I am a big IKEA lover and had to get the classic blogger ALEX drawers and MALM desk, it’s always nice to have some more unique pieces that not everyone has.

Uncommon Goods is one of those sites I could spend hours browsing (and far too much money!) on. They stock hundreds of unique and handcrafted products created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. They’re based in Brooklyn, New York, but ship out to the UK and almost everywhere else. The company believe that it’s their responsibility to use the business to impact the world in a positive way, and give one dollar of every purchase to one of their not-for-profit organisations as part of their “Better to Give” program. Since it started 15 years ago, they’ve donated over a million dollars to charities around the world.

With such a beautiful range of pieces and such great principles, Uncommon Goods is the kind of company I’m more than happy to endorse. They kindly sent me a lovely little set of shelves to finish off our little reading corner we’ve been putting together in our new lounge.

The teak shelves* are quite Scandinavian and minimalist in style, and only hold a handful of books, but I think they really pull everything together, and look great with just a few little things on there. They were pretty easy to put together (according to the hubby!) and I think these would work in pretty much any room. You can have a browse of their homeware bits and pieces here.

Our snuggle chair (which fits two people, and swivels!) was from Debenhams (in the sale because boy, these things are expensive), and our little side table was from Swoon Editions (another of my new favourite stores for furniture). I picked up the little copper pot from a garden centre, and a cactus to plant into it. I couldn't resist laying out our wedding album too!

Uncommon Goods also sent me a candle*, to fuel my ongoing obsession. This one is one of a range of soy candles inspired by traveling farmers markets. I went for the fresh scent of melon, which is quite unusual to find in a candle.

Have a little browse on Uncommon Goods for gift ideas here, or some unique art pieces here.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Statement Necklace | Happiness Boutique

Just a quick post today on a lovely little item that a company called Happiness Boutique kindly sent me. They got in touch recently and asked if I wanted to pick something out from their site, which I hadn't come across before. Happiness Boutique have a huge choice of costume jewellery at reasonable prices, and I love practically everything they stock (which for a picky person like me, doesn't happen often). The site is really easy to navigate, and although they are German based, from what I tell, they ship Worldwide with free shipping (always a plus).

I finally went with this geometric statement necklace *, which looks great on top of winter jumpers, but could also dress up a little black dress. The quality is very reasonable for the price and I've had a few compliments when wearing it.

I had a great experience with Happiness Boutique, so it's a thumbs up from me for a lovely little brand.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Return of Clarins' Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

Back in January of this year, Clarins released the fabled Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils* (a bit of a mouthful if you ask me). They were limited edition, and despite the hype, I didn't get round to trying them. However, due to popular demand, Clarins has now brought these lip oils back as permanent products, and I can see why.

The oils come in two very sheer shades - 01 Honey and 02 Raspberry. Personally I feel they could have been a little more inventive with the names, but that's just me being picky. The products themselves are just lovely. With 100% natural ingredients, hazelnut oil acts as a natural preservative, and plant oils give a natural fragrance. The active plant ingredients moisturise wonderfully, and feel nourishing on the lips. Clarins claims the oils aren't oily or sticky - I'd have to say they feel a little sticky upon application to me, but it's not something that hugely bothers me.

The very subtle shades enhance lip colour ever so slightly, and the gloss they give is really pretty. The Honey shade has found it's way into my handbag as it's such a good product to use throughout the day. The packaging also lends itself to travelling with the perfect size little bottle and doe-foot applicator.

All in all a lovely little product as usual from Clarins, and one that could make a gorgeous Christmas gift that you know will be used!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Ultimate Cosy Night In

After my last post ranting about how much I dislike Autumn, I'll admit, there is one thing I love about this season - it the perfect excuse for the most snuggly, warm, cosy night in. Sometimes all you want to do on a Friday night is get your most comfortable pjs on, collapse onto the sofa, and snuggle up with your family/ roomies. On Friday night, me and the husband had what might be the ultimate cosy night in, with the help of some super snuggly essentials from Debenhams.

A cosy night in isn't a cosy night in without a ridiculously decadent drink. Our drink of choice is Whittard's Rocky Road hot chocolate, topped off with mini marshmallows. We got these huge mugs from John Lewis - they're perfect for warming your hands.

Candles are of course another atmospheric essential - I really pushed the boat out and burnt two Yankee Christmas candles - Christmas Garland (little smells of Christmas trees), and Christmas Eve. I also like to like my big pillar candle in its lantern, and a few tealights around the room too. There's something about candlelight that just forces you to relax and unwind!

We have the most snuggly outfits for ultimate comfort - I'm all about the onesie* (this one is so so soft and even has a little hood!) and bootie slippers* to save my toes from the cold. Jonny loves his luxury slippers* - I think these would make a lovely gift for a husband/ boyfriend/ father/ brother for Christmas. He's also finally learning to embrace the snuggliness with the most soft fleece dressing gown* ever. You can browse Debenhams' lovely PJ ranges for women here, and men here.

Our TV show of choice for our night in was The Last Kingdom - I wouldn't normally go for such a war-based drama, but I've actually really enjoyed this one. It should still be on iPlayer if you want to catch it.

Let me know what drinks, snacks, candles, shows etc you're loving for your cosy nights in!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

(Anti)Autumn Beauty Favourites

I am honestly getting quite bored of all of these 'I just love Autumn' posts filling up my feeds. It seems to be becoming a real blogger cliche, but I just don't get it! Whilst it's great to snuggle up on the sofa and warm your hands on an artfully presented hot chocolate/ PSL, if you have a full time job Autumn really means getting up in the dark, walking to the station in the cold, and not seeing the light of day until the weekend! If we could just skip Autumn and move straight into Christmas, that'd be great! 

Rant over.

The change to Autumn does however give a good excuse to change out some overused products and bring in some new beauties. (Let's be honest - this post was just an excuse to take photos of some seriously pretty products).

^ I've been using these two skincare products every day since the weather turned colder to save my skin, which gets dried out pretty easily. The Organic Surge hydrating eye cream* is the most moisturising I've used, and makes under-eye concealer apply so much better. I like to use a tiny amount of the Reve de Miel Ultra Comfortable Face Cream over the top of my regular moisturiser to get a boost of hydration - it's a super thick consistency and super luxurious.

^ The colder months always see me reaching for the contouring powder, and this year I'm reaching for the fabled Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder. The ashy tones suits my complexion, but I still have to be sure to use a very light hand. In A/W I love to use MAC's Frankly Scarlet blush. It's not showing up as red as it is in real life, but when used lightly it gives a real rosy cheeked 'just come in from the cold' colour. I'm also using my all time favourite blush - the Ambient Lighting blush in Mood Exposure, which is so natural and gives the most amazing glow. I've discovered MAC's Sable (a little late on the bandwagon with this one I know) - the slightly reddish tone makes blue eyes stand out, and a little Handwritten darkens up the crease.

^ And where would Autumn be without a red lip? YSL's Rouge Volupte Shine in number 2 is great for those wary of the red lip as it's a sheer buildable formula in a gorgeous berry tone. (Not to mention it is beautiful).

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Our First Kitchen | Small Kitchen Decor Inspiration

My new husband and I (it's still strange to say 'husband'!) moved into our first house together about three months ago now, and it's now very much home. When we first came to look round, the cute little kitchen was what absolutely sold it to both of us. It's got enough room for a dining table, which we can extend when we have more guests, and is generally a lovely space to cook in and host in. It was already painted in this lovely duck-egg blue and cream, which meant we really didn't have to do anything to it. I love coming home to our cosy kitchen - it's currently my favourite room of the house. Other rooms are still very much in progress, but I will likely share our lounge when we've sorted that out too. For now, here's our kitchen!

^ I insisted we got a traditional blackboard to write out our week - since we're both so busy it's a good way of seeing what's coming up and makes sure we don't double book things.

^ I love how many cupboards there are - storage is vital! There are some cute little display shelves - on one of them we've got this framed card which is very special to both of us, and on the shelf above sits some glassware Jonny inherited from his Granddad.

^ Our fridge sits in this little cubbie-hole - ideally I'd like to build a little shelving unit to fit in the space that's left, for spices/ wine bottles. Our laundry baskets are also in this photo - we normally keep them upstairs - I was just doing some washing today!

^ Obligatory blogger succulents.

^ We still have some sweets left over from our wedding which we keep on the side, and my little letter rack for upcoming birthday cards.

Hope you've enjoyed a nosy around our kitchen - I always enjoy house tours/ decor inspiration posts, so please link yours below if you have some!