Sunday, 31 January 2016

Valentine's Wishlist - To Me, Love Me.

Like it or loathe it, Valentine's Day is nearly upon us (where did January go?!) and I've seen loads of Valentine's Gift Guides floating around. 
Personally I quite like Valentine's because I treat it as a cheesy thing, and don't take it too seriously. I know technically there shouldn't be one commercialised day to show someone you love them, but I usually get into the spirit of things and buy a cheesy card and a little gift (I don't think you need to spend a lot on Valentine's presents really) 
Usually when I'm buying I like to think outside the box a little and get something a bit more unusual (mostly because I don't think many men want something particularly 'romantic').

Having said that, I'm quite a traditionalist when it comes to gifts and I like the classic Valentine's presents - flowers, chocolate etc. Again, not spending any more than necessary.

Despite all this though, if the purpose of Valentine's Day is to show someone you love them, why not treat yourself to something nice? Because I buy myself presents all year round and know my own taste better than anyone's; I decided to make a little gift guide/wishlist of things I'd love, but wouldn't necessarily expect someone to buy for me. 
You know you deserve it :)

I've had my beady eye on this box of treats for some time now, and at £27.95 it's not particularly cheap, but you get 6 products in there, and I loved the set I got last year.

I don't think any man has ever bought me lingerie, I think maybe generally they're too scared to! I love pretty underwear, and Ted Baker is my absolute favourite. This lovely pink set (although I could have sworn it was red) is from Debenhams and I think it's fitting for Valentine's. The bra is £25 and the knickers/thong is £10.50 (knickers all the way for me!) 

It's no secret I love candles, and while I LOVE Yankee Candle, I think this brand are my overall favourite, they smell gorgeous and burn really well (and are a lot cheaper) You can get them from TK MAXX and I'll probably treat myself to one as a little 'to me, from me' gift.

My absolute chocolatey weakness is Terry's Chocolate Orange, and if it's you buy me a dark one I'll be your friend for life. These babies are like golddust, but somehow my Mum manages to get me one every Christmas! Chocolate is always good at Valentine's, but if it's chocolate orange shaped then ever better.

I love fresh flowers, and tulips are my favourite . I think there's something really timeless and romantic about getting red roses for Valentine's Day, but getting tulips is just as good in my eyes. I was going to link to Interflora but they're so expensive when you can get such lovely bouquets in the supermarkets. For the sake of this post I've linked to Waitrose, but again there are loads of cheaper alternatives.

What do you think of my Valentine's guide?


Friday, 29 January 2016

Lush Bath Bombs / Mini Review

I have a problem.
My name's Lucy and I'm a LUSH hoarder.

It's bad enough that I buy so much, but I keep on buying before I've even begun to run my stock down, which leaves me with soggy bath bombs *cry*
As much as I love a bath, I'm one of those people that ONLY has them in the cold weather, I just can't bring myself to soak in a hot bath during the warmer months, and so my bath bomb collection has just grown and grown, and it's only now I'm using ones up that I've had for a year. Which don't get me wrong, has been fun. I mean there's worse ways to spend an evening, right?

Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar 

I've had this since last Valentine's because I loved it so much (anyone else bulk buy last Feb?) Although by the time I used it the other week it was definitely past its best. I'm so excited these are back in stores, I really love the smell.

Milky Bath Bubble Bar 

I wrote about this a few months back, and its without a doubt one of my favourites. It's so bubbly and fresh, it definitely feels like a treat (and looks so cute too)

Love Locket Bath Bomb 

I wouldn't say this one was one of my favourites - again I got it in a Valentine's giftset so it's probably my own fault for keeping it so long. It didn't do anything exciting to the water or smell particularly memorable, but it did have little paper hearts inside which was a nice touch.

Heart Throb Bubbleroon 

I was lucky enough to get 2 of these because it was missing from my set, and when I complained they sent me two (I love you, LUSH) I'm glad I ended up with two because they smell gorgeous and the water turned a nice pinky-red.

Granny Takes A Dip Bath Bomb 
This was probably one of the most disappointing in my opinion, and as I'd heard so many good things I was definitely expecting more. It smelt quite nice but colourwise it was pretty wishy washy, and well, meh.

Rose Jam Bubbleroon 
I hoarded this one for ages because it looked so amazing, and don't even get me started on the smell! It didn't disappoint - it made my bath frothy and bubbly, and smelt incredible. The water turned a nice pinky colour too.

Karma Bubble Bar 
I loved the look of this, which is what attracted me to it first of all. Sadly it melted quite quickly so it was one of the first I used up (despite being one of my more recent purchases) and the water turned an inky, midnight blue, which was certainly different! I liked the smell too.

Pink Flamingo Reusable Bubble Bar 

I thought this was another underwhelming one. I only managed to get two uses out of (can't believe they say up to 8!) because the head fell off as soon as it hit the water! If you broke it up it would last longer, but if you swirl the stick in the water like they recommend then it's not as long lasting. Nice smell though and a lovely creamy pink water.

Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar 

I actually only used this last week, and I wish now I'd used it sooner because I'm sure then I'd have bought more! Super bubbly, lovely orange water and a gorgeous long lasting smell. Loved it!

Holly Golightly Bubble Bar 

This was another hidden gem, I wasn't really expecting much from this one but it was gorgeous, really bubbly and sparkly (although not too glittery) and left my skin feeling smooth and moisturised.

Have you tried any of these bath products?
I'd love to hear any other recommendations.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Life Lately Through My Camera Roll

As I write this, I can't believe it's nearly the end of January! This year's going to fly by as quickly as 2015 did.
This last few weeks have been so busy with work there hasn't been as much time for play, which is not the work/life balance I usually strive for, but I've still had time for a couple of fun things, which is good, and I'm hoping next month will be quieter on the work front.

I did already write a post about my new FitBit, which I'm absolutely loving. It's really making me more conscious of how much (or little) I'm moving and I find I really benefit from having goals to reach. It's no secret it's been getting me down that I've put on 1-1.5 stone in the last 18 months, and I need to do something about it. I've been making more of an effort to keep moving as much as possible during the day, and being outside doing that has had it's benefits for sure, as I got to see the above beautiful sunset, sunrise, and lunch time sun.  

Which leads me nicely to my next point - food and lots of it, haha. Although I try and eat fairly healthily most of the time if I can, I have been ploughing through my Christmas chocolate still, and I've been out to eat a couple of times over the last few weeks. My friend and I shared some drinks and camembert over a catch up last week which was lovely, and me and the bestie went out for lunch last weekend (using a voucher I had) which was gorgeous; I had prawn, salmon and crab tian and Jen had garlic mushrooms, and we both had seabass with veg for our main. Mmm, mmm. Following that two course lunch, I had a soak in the bath using my Sparkly Pumpkin bath bomb thats been crying out to be used since October, and waited for my roast dinner to cook. Haha. #Fatty.

What have you been up to lately?


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Review: Estée Lauder Idealist Pore Minimising Skin Refinisher

Estee Lauder is not a make I buy much from, so I can't pretend to be the authority on it, but recently I came to the conclusion I should be trying to keep fine lines at bay. Around the same time I noticed I have really prominent pores, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.
Enter - the Idealist.

The Idealist says: it turns skin to silk, and penetrates deep within surface layers to resurface, as well as speeding fresh skin cells to the surface and making enlarged pores look virtually invisible.

I was given a sample of this to try and by the second night I was hooked, it glides onto my skin (as the bottle suggests) like silk, and smells amazing. It absorbs almost instantly, and leaves a smooth consistency all over your face, making me feel really refreshed and clean.

I don't think I've been using it quite long enough yet to notice if my pores have dramatically reduced, but I just can't stop raving about this product regardless, I think it's going to be one I buy time and time again. 
It's not particularly cheap (£45 for 30ml, Debenhams) but a little goes a long way and it'll last for ages. 
I tend to use it in the morning before my moisturiser, but it can also be used before bed, or both times.

Have you tried the Idealist?

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

#SendMeAway - Win Your Dream Holiday!

I think everyone who knows me, knows that travel is a huge part of my life.
After all, this blog itself was born out of a love of reading about travel, writing about travel, dreaming about travel...

I'm pretty lucky in that I manage to go away every year, it's a luxury a lot of people don't have so I'm very grateful to have the means to do so. 
I've definitely got my favourite places, but I still love to dream about travelling the world. are currently hosting the most amazing competition, which gives you the chance to win a holiday to your dream destination of 2016 (as well as the blogger's ultimate photography accessory - the Olympus Pen E-PL7 compact camera to capture all your wonderful memories)

I started thinking about where I would absolutely love to go if money was no option, and the destination that kept popping back into my head was Australia (go big or go home, I always say)
I've wanted to travel to Oz for as long as I can remember, probably from all the years I spent watching Neighbours as a kid fully functioning adult.
I would just LOVE to have the chance to visit that beautiful country at some point during my lifetime; there's just so much to see and do. I want to see the Sydney Opera House, Ayres Rock, drive the Great Ocean Road, swim in the Great Barrier Reef, visit Bondi Beach, but I also want to see the unseen, visit the places off the beaten track, the beaches, coves, caves and waterfalls that aren't on everyone's list, to see the glorious sunsets on the other side of the world and to feel completely and utterly alive on the adventure of a lifetime.

I went a little Pinterest crazy, but just look! And as for that pink lake, just wow.

All the information you could possibly need for this fabulous prize can be found here.
T&C's apply of course.

I nominate AmandaCat and Stacey to be in for a chance to win, win win.

Where would your dream destination be?

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Glossybox / January Review

On a dreary January day, nothing cheered me up more than arriving home and seeing my pink box of goodies had arrived. After what was I think, a pretty disappointing December edition, I was hoping this month's would redeem itself, and it did.
(read: no mascaras or So Susan products!)

Toni & Guy Shine Gloss Serum

Having hair that's prone to the dreaded frizz, I've been on the lookout for a serum and I really love Toni & Guy hair products, so this was definitely a welcome addition.

Madara Cellular Repair Serum

I always love trying new skincare products and January is all about pampering and looking after myself after a hectic November / December. I love the look of the packaging and have high hopes for this.

Glossybox Eyeshadow: Glossy Mauve

I'm always pleased with the eyeshadows in Glossybox, and as I'm definitely a fan of the smoky eye this one looks like a welcome addition to my eyeshadow collection, its a good size too.

Teeez Cosmetics Oasis Gem Lipstick

I'm a sucker for pretty packaging and I really like the shade, it's perfect for daytime and I'll be saving it until the slightly warmer months, although it's said to be hydrating enough for winter. I'm crying out for a hydrated lipstick as I find Mac are drying my lips out a lot lately.

Unani Dermo Defense Face Mask

As I've said before, skincare products are my favourite to receive and I love face masks in particlar, as they're an instant skin fix and pamper. I love wearing them in the bath and this is perfect for calming sensitive skin which is music to my ears!

What did you think of January's Glossybox?!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

A Sunday Post

Last year, which was my first full year of blogging, I carefully scheduled posts and posted every other day without fail which was great, because it made me feel organised, but thinking back on it I think I'd rather my posts be more dynamic. So although I work full time which may mean my posts are sometimes few and far between, I'm happier to post a little less regularly if it means they're better thought out.
Tonight, I decided to write down a few things I've done/enjoyed over the past week, a bit of Sunday night rambling for want of a better word!

1. Along with every man and his dog it seems, I've been watching Making A Murderer on Netflix. Apart from that though I've been binge watching Gossip Girl which I love, I only managed to get to the end of Season 3 when it was originally on, so the episodes I'm watching at the moment are ones I haven't seen before. I love it for the outfits, Chuck Bass, and the fact that it isn't too taxing on my brain when I want to watch something mindless after work.

2. My friend and I went out for dinner the other night to a new place called 'Steak Frites' which is already getting a reputation as one of the best restaurants in North Wales (I'm sure some people will even wonder how much of an achievement that is! Haha!) It's a steakhouse that is trying to emulate the French way of life, with checked tablecloths and French music playing. The only choice you have to make is how you like your steak cooked as there is only one dish on the menu. We loved it, the steak was cooked to perfection, we had all the sauces and condiments we could want and the fact that such a thing as unlimited fries exists, blew our minds. Despite the abundance of fries, the desserts were lovely too!

3. Slowly but surely I'm ploughing through my Lush stash. I know when it comes to Lush the question 'how much is too much?' doesn't really exist, but I was starting to get quite the collection! I had a ridiculously gigantic haul back in December, and now I'm only left with those ones. I've ended up being completely back to front as I'm using all my ones from last summer/autumn up now and leaving all my Christmas ones for the next few months, but hey ho. This week I've used the Rose Jam Bubbleroon I bought yonks ago, and the Pink Flamingo from about October (apologies for the difference in colours below) They were starting to go really soggy so I actually googled how best to store Lush products. The phrase #FirstWorldProblems springs to mind!

4. Speaking of Lush (and first world problems actually!) does anyone share my pain with how blimmin' ridiculous shower jellies are to use?! I haven't used them before and it was probably a blessing as they're driving me mad, I spend more time ducking and diving around the bath/shower trying to grab hold of them than I do actually using them - it's like a military operation trying to get them to stay in your hand (yes, I actually googled that too! You wouldn't believe my phone history!)
Snowman smells absolutely gorgeous but is fast becoming the bane of my life.

5. Finally, this weekend called for a long dog walk to blow away some cobwebs, it's been a week of ups and downs and it was lovely to switch off for a while and just be outdoors in the fresh air. We took Archie out for a really long walk, and it was the perfect winter day with snow capped mountains in the distance and a crisp, but not blustery wind.
I've been lusting over a Fitbit for ages now, so I finally took the plunge and bought the Charge HR in plum, it's so pretty! I bought it off Amazon and saved quite a lot of money too. I originally wanted the Flex as you can get pretty accessories for it, but had my arm twisted by the HR and I think  made the right decision. 
Also, it seems to definitely be money well spent because while everyone else seems to be detoxing this January, I'm still eating chocolate like nobody's business! I can't seem to go to bed without a Ferrero Rocher or two, and I'm usually craving a segment or three of Terry's Chocolate Orange. Hopefully the amount of steps I'm doing now will help offset that!

Have you had a good week?


Friday, 15 January 2016

Post Christmas Break / The Quay Hotel & Spa

Hi lovelies!
I'm definitely a person who likes having something to look forward to, and money dependant I like to plan at least one thing a month to feel excited for.
I knew I'd feel down with the inevitable January blues once Christmas was over, so my Mum and I booked an overnight stay at The Quay Hotel & Spa, which is one of our favourite places to go.

We shopped around and found a really good deal online - bed and breakfast, afternoon tea, 10% off spa treatments and full use of the facilities, which was great value for the price.
Our room was a superior twin room with a view of the marina.

After checking in and getting settled, we headed down to the restaurant for our complimentary afternoon tea, it's usually £17.50 per person so it was great value and there was loads of choice. We had a selection of finger sandwiches and 3 tiers of cakes including scones with cream and jam, mille feuille, lemon sponge cake, chocolate eclairs and meringue's. All washed down with pots of tea!

We were SO full afterwards (I always find afternoon tea quite heavy) that we went back up to our room to relax for a while. We then headed down to the bar for dinner, I had a fillet of red mullet with a crab cake on a bed of thai green curry, and my Mum had the fish and chips. All the seafood there is locally sourced, and both our meals were amazing.

After our meal, we walked to a local cocktail bar called Prohibition. I go there quite regularly with friends and absolutely love it, so I knew my Mum would too. She's a big fan of the 1920's and the bar is themed around that era. We had a few cocktails before waddling back to the hotel, at least the walk helped aid our digestion somewhat!

The following morning we rolled downstairs for our cooked breakfast, before having a quick pitstop in the steam room and hydrotherapy pool. We had booked a treatment and both opted for the 'What's Not To Love' Express Facial by REN. I've used REN body products before, but I loved the facial products and really enjoyed the treatment.

All in all it was a lovely break, just what the doctor ordered after a busy and long first week back at work.

Have you got any breaks to look forward to?

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