Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Is it worth the hype | Glossier impressions


I thought that today I'd give an update on the Glossier products I picked up a couple of weeks ago. My initial impressions on the products were really positive and *spoiler alert* I'm still in love with them now. Let's start with the Milky Jelly Cleanser. My skin has been seriously awful lately, I have so many spots and nothing seems to be working and although this product hasn't been an absolute miracle and cleared up all of my problems it has been nice to use it in the morning and at the end of the day. I've got used to the smell now (is it just me that thinks it's a little bit strange and floral?) and the thick consistency feels like it's doing my skin some serious good. It's not broken me out and I'm hoping that if I keep up using this in the morning, adding it in as a double cleanse in the evening and use it along with some other products my skin issues will get better soon...please?

Now the balm dot coms were products that I was desperate to get my hands on and am I glad that I did! The coconut one is what I use during my skincare routines in the morning and evening and I love the scent - really nutty (duh it's coconut). My favourite of the two is definitely the birthday one, I mean, who doesn't love glitter! I keep it in my bag and I use it at work when whatever lip product I put on in the morning has worn off which usually happens at about 10am because lipsticks never stay on my face (I must eat it without knowing!). The scent is literally like a dream, sweet sweet cake, and the longer it's been in my bag, the warmer it is which I prefer because I sometimes find the coconut balm dot com a little bit stiff.

So what will I be trying next? Boy brow is definitely on my list, I'm running out of my Eylure Fleur de Force Brow Gel so now would probably be the perfect time to test it out. I would like to try the concealer but I don't know if it would be a bit slippy make my skin too greasy (any advice would be great). Also the Generation G's are something I'd like to have a little test of. Basically what I'm saying is I just need all of the products right here right now okay thanks!

What's your favourite beauty product you're using right now?

Friday, 10 November 2017

Exploring Edinburgh | The most amazing afternoon tea


Just look at this. Pictures speak louder than words so here it is - afternoon tea at The Signet Library in  The Colonnades in Edinburgh.
*scroll to the bottom to see my thoughts*








This was one of the best afternoon teas I've ever had, seriously stunning. Even starting with the setting, you're sat in a library under a very high ceiling surrounded by stacks and stacks of books. It's really cool. The table was like a mirror and pretty much everything else was also reflective and looked really sleek. There were loads of different teas and coffees to choose from so whatever floats your boat, they have something for you! I went for earl grey and it was goooood.

We started with an amuse bouche of parsnip soup, a nice surprise and really tasty. Then it was onto the main event. I don't want to go into too much detail so I'll give you the highlights. The mini game pie was to die for, just a bite of delicious pastry goodness and the mini fish burger (I should stop saying mini because let's face it everything is mini) was very tasty. The bizarre star of the savoury section was the red pepper cheesecake...yeah, that's right. It sounds really weird but it worked, buttery base with a red pepper filling and a crispy pepper bit on top. Might be one to recreate at home! 

Scones were delicious - one criticism was that we could have done with a bit more clotted cream and jam but I'm sure we could have asked for more. I'm usually a little let down when it comes to puddings on afternoon teas because 1. in general there's a lot of cake and 2. I'm too stuffed from the savoury section to even think about anything else. But well-thought out selection of mini pastries was amazing. Again, the highlights were the treacle tart, like a sticky bonfire toffee in pastry and the gin and apple jelly, a nice way to end off the meal. I was also a big fan of the pumpkin spiced macaroon. I'm normally not the biggest macaroon fan but this was filled with white chocolate and it was so tasty I could have had about 17 (obviously not right then and there - I was literally stuffed to burst).

There's a general theme with my Edinburgh posts of "if you're ever in Edinburgh you need to visit insert name of establishment here" but I really mean it with this one. Such a great experience, I wouldn't hesitate about going back!

Where else shall I try for afternoon tea?

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

It's the little things | What makes me feel good


I have to say I was a little bit late in deciding what to write for today's post (note to self: take pictures in bulk). The nights are closing in and my motivation is on a downhill slope before Christmas BUT as I'm determined to share my infinite wisdom with the world (ha) I thought now would be a good time to share the little things that make me happy. 

Just a disclaimer before we begin: I'm very easily pleased.

I can't remember if I've mentioned this before but a couple of months ago my dad made me a bath bar and yes it is as amazing as it sounds. Basically a plank of wood that sits on the bath, it has changed the game and I can now relax with a glass of prosecco whilst watching something on my laptop without ending up with a twisted back from my old 'chair by the bath' set up. There's a slot for my laptop, a cut out for a glass of prosecco to fit snugly and a pint glass spot. It's probably one of my most loved items and it makes getting in the bath even better (it's also added an extra half an hour to my already hour long efforts - oops.)

Winter scents bring me great joy. As much as I like a fruity candle there's nothing better than a reed diffuser that smalls like a Christmas tree or body butters that make me feel like Santa's going to spring into action any minute. I've been having the debate with myself about when its acceptable to start filling my room with festive scents and I decided on Sunday that it was time. It's lifted my mood three million per cent and I can't wait to continue smelling like a bag of tinsel for the next couple of months. Personal favourite scents are Red Apple Wreath by Yankee Candle, Vanilla Chai by The Body Shop and Peppermint Snowflake by Partylite.

I love soup. It makes a huge difference to my day if I'm having soup instead of salad. I'm not the biggest fan of veg (when I say that I mean I wouldn't pile it high on my plate if I was at Toby Carvery) but when it's blended together with delicious spices I'm all over it. Butternut squash is a personal favourite of mine but tomato soup will always hold a special place in my heart. Anyone with Madeline Shaw's A Season of Beautiful Eating should definitely try the sweetcorn and squash soup. The prep takes a bit of work but it is really easy to make and tastes amazing!

An amazing TV drama is probably top of my list. I'll keep it brief because I've expressed my love for a number of shows on this blog (*cough* Happy Valley, Granchester, Endeavour *cough*). Becoming invested in a programme to the point of obsession is something I live for. Like now even thinking about Happy Valley makes me feel excited! 
Side note: Visiting TV filming locations makes me ridiculously happy.

What makes you feel happy?

Friday, 3 November 2017

Exploring Edinburgh | Food


When we went to Edinburgh we were greeted with so many options for places to eat. It was like a foodie haven and I was totally ready for it. As with finding places to visit, there was a lot of research on trip advisor, top ten lists and word of mouth before we had a list of places we wanted to try out. We didn’t over do it with eating out but we managed to sample some amazing places! I’m going to split them into meals and hopefully give you a few ideas of where to eat should you find yourself in the Scottish capital.


Brunch
Why not start with the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten. Ever. 
I’m a huge pancake fan, they’re my thing at the moment and I was determined to find an amazing brunch spot for one of the days. There were plenty to choose from (like seriously so many) but we settled on Loudons . With so much delicious sounding to choose from in a light and airy atmosphere this place was insane. It was a little bit pricy (just under £10 for pancakes) but the portion sizes are huge and really sets you up for the day. I went for the American Style pancakes with bacon, baked banana and topped with syrup and cocoa powder and an earl grey tea. There was plenty of sauce which was delicious and sweet, the banana was tasty and the actual pancakes were pillowy and soft. Also the bacon was crispy which I’m all about.

I wouldn’t even hesitate in going back here again, it was to die for. I truly memorable experience.



Tea (dinner/evening meal)
This meal was both amazing and bizarre. I think my mum and dad heard about Locanda De Gusti from a friend so off we went one night. Two buses and a short walk later we were stood in front of this small space filled to the brim with people in what I’d describe yas someone’s lounge. But in this random room on a random street was a totally delicious and memorable meal. An Italian restaurant with no pizza in sight it’s definitely an experience but one that’s worth having. I went for a seafood starter with mussels, scallops, prawns, squid and probably other things that I’m forgotten. Cooked to perfection it came with a chunk of bread to mop up the juices - not going to lie I was totally sold on the starter for the bread alone. As it was such a meaty starter I went for simple ravioli for main. The buttery was nice and buttery (duh) and the ravioli was delicious. Simple but not boring, and I’m usually someone who gets bored of pasta dishes if they are a little same-y. I was totally stuffed but I also really wanted a pudding so I went for a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso. It was just like coffee ice cream and it was the perfect way to end an amazing meal.
Please, if you’re wanting something a little bit different with delicious food then pay Locanda De Gusti a visit, you won’t regret it.





Afternoon tea
Two words: the best. Stay tuned for next week’s post when I’ll go into more detail. Trust me it’ll be worth the wait!

What is your favourite thing to eat for brunch?


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Jumping on the hyped bandwagon | Glossier Haul


It happened.


Pay day came and so did the day I could finally get my hands on some bits from the most hyped up brand of 2017 - Glossier. Ever since Anna from The Anna Edit started sharing her love for the brand earlier this year I've been counting down the days until I could try out some of the products.

I have to say, I was a little overwhelmed when I was trying to decide what to try out first. I didn't want to get loads and end up with products I wouldn't use but I also wanted to make sure I got enough to start off my little collection. It was so easy to order, just add to basket and checkout. I went for standard delivery, which came free as I spent over £25, and it came in two days. Amazing service.

The first thing I knew I wanted to get was a Balm Dot Com, but which flavours?! Birthday was top of my list because 1. smells like cake and 2. there's glitter in it. Yes yes yes. I also went for coconut because it's one of my favourite flavours/scents. When they came I have to say I thought they looked a little flat but once you work it from the top, the product shifts down and puffs it out a bit. Another thing to note is that the consistency is quite thick (amazing when on the lips) and it took me a while to squeeze it out of the tube to begin with - I thought there was a piece of plastic covering, there wasn't, it was just me being thick. I love how moisturising these are, but not sticky or slippery. I'm literally obsessed with them and if you're thinking about possibly doing an order you should definitely add these to your basket.

Everywhere I've turned in the world of Glossier has been Milky Jelly Cleanser, Milky Jelly Cleanser, Milky Jelly Cleanser, so I had to get the Milky Jelly Cleanser. I've only been using it for a few days but here are my first impressions. I'm really enjoying it so far, a thick jelly consistency that feels soothing on my face and gives it a good clean. I have to say it has a bit of a weird smell, like rose, and I'm not the biggest fan but I can get over it because the product it so good. I'll keep you updated if it ends up breaking me out, etc.

Bonus: With your order you get a sample of their new perfume and I'm in love with it. I can't really describe the scent but it's meant to match itself to your own personal smell and if that's true then my DNA must smell goood.

I think when I make my inevitable second order I'm going to try out the Priming Moisturiser as I've heard it can be good for oilier skin and also the Boy Brow and maybe one of the Generation Gs (who am I kidding I'm going to end up getting it all!) In case anyone wants 10% off then here's my link.

What Glossier product is your favourite?





Friday, 27 October 2017

Exploring Edinburgh | Sights


 Are you ready for some Edinburgh posts!?!



I spent four days in the Scottish capital with the parents a couple of weeks ago and I want to share where we went, what we did, all of the things we ate so sit down, get a cup of tea (or glass of prosecco, whatever beverage you fancy) and here's part one: the sights.
Note: I'll link the TripAdvisor pages for everything I mention, then it makes it easier if you want to take a look yourself!

Before we arrived in Edinburgh we did a little bit of research on popular places to go and I picked up a Lonely Planet guide to the city which proved to be really useful. So with the list of places we fancied going there were a few which we needed to book and by the time we were on the train heading up there we had a loose schedule of where we were going and a list of places that we could go to fill in any gaps. It worked really well and we managed to fill our day without sitting clueless about where to go next.





Attractions - Things that cost dollar (or scottish pounds)

The first place we visited was Real Mary King's Close. It's an underground history tour that goes through street that's sort of buried underground. It's a strange reason why it's there and to be honest I'm still not 100% sure why but it was really good. The tour lasted about an hour/ hour and a half so not massively long and it was so interesting that time just flew by! The Royal Yacht Britannia is a great way to spend half a day. Based out in Leith (half an hour tops on the bus from the centre) it's the ship that the Queen and the Royal Family used to go on holiday, go on state visits, etc and it's basically a floating museum. It's really interesting, you get something that looks like a phone and it talks to you as you walk round giving you information about where you are on the ship. It's good because you get to go at your own pace. Also, if you're a child like me, there are sometimes like cuddly creatures to spot walking round and at the end you can guess how many there were and get a badge. We did this with corgis and it was literally the highlight of the trip...seriously. There's a car onboard to in case you need a quick scone stop mid trip. Now the final 'attraction' is Edinburgh Gin and I'm not joking when I say you have to go here, it's not an option. For £25 it's an hour and a half (I'm pretty sure anyway) and you have a chat about the history of gin, tour of how they make it and at the end you and the rest of your group get to taste some gins and get a bit merry, what's not to love?! You also get 10% off in the shop and a small bottle of your favourite gin included in the price. Amazing, I totally recommend it!

Freebies - Places that are free (obviously)

If you go to Edinburgh and end up with a few hours to kill, go to the National Museum of Scotland.  It's free and has so much to see and do inside that it's just a good shout. I'd say it was like a standard 'big' museum - very similar to the likes of London's Science Museum with interesting facts and interactive games. You may need to kick a couple of kids off some of the games but it's fine, they'll get over it.

Sights - Places to go and things to see outside

One of the places we wanted to slot in somewhere throughout the trip was Arthurs Seat. It's a 251m high hill/cliff that looks out over the city. It took us about an hour to go up and down so not too long. Now, here's a word of warning. Everyone we passed was wearing giant coats, scarves and walking boots, you know, sensible attire for walking up rocky paths. I was wearing black culottes, a polo neck jumper with no coat (because I'm hard) and my loafers with not form of suitable sock (I'd just like to point out that we were going for afternoon tea straight after, hence the unsuitable walking outfit). Although there was no need for a giant arctic coat and hat like some of the walkers were wearing, more suitable footwear would have been a better choice and may have saved my feet a fair few blisters. A fun thing to do that's not such an intense walking experience if have a wander round Greyfriars Kirkyard. It's where Greyfriars Bobby is buried (if you don't know the story look it up, it's possibly the cutest thing you will ever read) and also it's where JK Rowling got some of her character names for Harry Potter.

Any more Edinburgh places suggestions? Loved it so much I'll probably be taking a trip back!

Friday, 20 October 2017

My basket full of goodies | Empties




Sorry I've been a bit MIA - I've had serious laptop issues but all resolved now and I'm back with a bang!

It's taken me a fair few months to gather this collection of empties but I think I have plenty to go on now. Instead of going through all of the products individually, I'm going to put them into three categories - Defs repurchasing, Enjoyed it but could leave it and I'll pass. A lot of these products are body care and skincare as those are the ones I use up the most.

Defs repurchasing

Starting off with the creme de la creme of products I've been using and the Body Shop Coconut Body Butter is something which I would totally repurchase again and again. I love how thick this is, it smells amazing and is everything you want from a moisturiser. I've been through three of the Body Shop Christmas Bubble Baths from last year and I love them. All three of the scents were great and they gave great bubbles! Fingers crossed they bring it back this year. Why not keep on the theme of the Body Shop and move onto the Drops of Youth Concentrate. I'm not going to lie my skin is having a bad spell so I'm trying to rethink my routine but I've really liked this serum. Not only did I use up the one you can see in the photo but I'm also coming to the end of another in the larger size. It's not oily and gives my skin a little bit more hydration under my moisturiser. Winner. Body Shop shower gels are great and the Pina Colada was no exception. Great summer scent. I've spoken about the Simple Micellar Water before so I'll keep it brief - love it, works really well, will definitely be buying it again.

Enjoyed it but could leave it

As much as I love the Coconut Body Butter, I didn't love the Strawberry Body Butter from The Body Shop as much. It was nice and I enjoyed using it but it wouldn't be top of my list of scents to use. Just to clarify, liked it, but didn't love it. As much as I liked the scent of the Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub it just wasn't scrubby enough for me. It was okay and did the job but I do like just a little bit more bitty-ness to my scrub. I'm still yet to find the perfect shampoo duo which is why the L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Shampoo and Conditioner falls into this category. Nothing special but I used it up. Other products I liked but didn't love are the Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil, Merci Handy in Lollipop (although I would like to try a different scent and the actual product was really good) and the Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Hand Cream (I'd repurchase the product in a different scent).

I'll pass

Something I wasn't overly keen on was the Soap and Glory Puffy Eye Attack Eye Cream. Although I really like the cute little pot and the hydration it gave my eyes, it also made them sting like nothing else. They'd start to water before I went to sleep and I'd wake up with quite (incoming TMI warning) 'gunky' eyes. Nothing too concerning so I did use it all but looking back it didn't quite work for me.

What's your favourite product to use at the moment?


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