Prestige Hampers, the perfect gift

Hands up if you love a hamper.  For me there is no better gift than a hamper be it a food one, beauty one or a craft one.  If you’re stuck for ideas for someone or need to buy a gift for that annoying person who has everything you can guarantee that a hamper will put a smile on the most difficult persons face.

Cheese-and-Wine-basket.jpg

When the Cheese and Wine basket (£29.99) was delivered to my door I couldn’t have been happier, Red wine and cheese are one of my favourite things and I really couldn’t wait to get stuck in.  What really surprised me was that the items weren’t just in a cardboard box with a bit of shredded paper, they were in a proper wooden basket with lining and a movable handle which is something that can be reused if you’re making up a hamper as a gift or can be used as a storage basket.  I’m actually going to use mine to house two hyacinth plants and give it to someone as a gift at Christmas.

Cheese and wine basket image

The basket contained the following items:

Wendsleydale with Cranberries 100g
Waxed Cheese with Red Wine and Chilli 100g
Waxed Cheese Double Gloucester 100g
Louis Filipe Cabernet Sauvignon 37.5cl
Beetroot and Orange Chutney by Mrs Bridges 130g
Walkers Highland Oatcakes 280g

Cheese doesn’t last long in my home that’s for sure but if you’re not a glutton like me you will be pleased to know that the items in my basket had really good shelf lives and the cheese best before date wasn’t until January and February 2018.  I’m not a huge fan of oatcakes I’ll be completely honest but I found that when topped with the cheese and chutney the Walkers ones were not as dry as oatcakes I’ve had in the past.

You can see the items in more details in my video below.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. 


HA+ Hyaluronic Acid 3 In 1 Hydra Activ Hero Cream

Skincare products are something I like to spend money on, I love to find out about new products and I’m always looking for a hero cream. My problem skin has tried a fair few products ranging from cheap supermarket items to purse emptying cult products. One thing I’ve noticed is that when it comes to my skin, nothing works forever.

Figs and Rouge are a brand who claim to be science led and results driven, they focus on working with independent skincare institutions ensuring they are producing natural products that will benefit the skin and provide effective results. Sounds great doesn’t it?

HA+ Hero cream

I purchased a pot of the Hydra Activ Hero Cream on a whim, I’m new to the brand and this is the first product I’ve bought and used.  What really piqued my interest was finding out that the formulas contain active ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol and Salicylate Acids, something I’ve started to take a real interest in thanks to the Skincare queen Caroline Hirons.

I usually use a separate acid like Glow tonic which is a glycolic or Zelens pads which contain salicylic, lactic, lactobionic and citric so to try a skincare which is an all in one and actually contains the acid is very new to me.

HA+ Hero cream

You will be forgiven for thinking that this is a pot of steamcream, it does look very similar at first glance with the funky patterns and the metal tin. All of the Figs and Rouge pots have a different limited edition pattern, mine is called ‘Athena’ which looks rather regal I think, I think I’ll use this to store pins once I’m finished with the product. You get 80ml of product for £18 which isn’t cheap at all when it comes to a face cream, having said that, a little seems to go a really long way and I guess you’re not just getting a moisturiser you’re also getting acids in the mix.

HA+ Hero cream

One thing I’ve noticed about this cream is that it’s absorbed incredibly quickly into the skin.  My skin seems to soak the cream in like a sponge which I’m not sure is a good or bad thing.  The cream claims to offer 24 hour intense moisture support for the face and body, I always use a night cream so I can’t answer any questions about the longevity of the cream, what I will say is that my face does feel plumper and soft after using the cream and on the days when I don’t wear any foundation I don’t appear to have any dry patches.

Autumn was probably the worst time of year to try this cream for the first time, the changes in the weather do nothing for my skin and as a result I have been suffering from dryness around my nose, red cheeks and facial skin chafing from the wind so it’s not looking very pretty at the moment.  I wasn’t expecting any miracles from this cream, the redness on my cheeks hasn’t gone after 2 weeks of use but I don’t think that’s anything to do with the cream, it’s most likely down to having the central heating on and going out in the wind.

Would I buy this again? Yes I would.  It’s rare for me to not get a reaction from a new facial product and when I can use something with no repercussions I grab hold of it as long as it’s working on my skin and that’s what i’m going to do with this cream.

 



Autumn Wishlist

It’s Autumn again, the leaves are changing colour, conkers are falling from the tree and bopping people on the head (true story), the heating is on, pink/coral lipsticks have been put back in the cupboard for another year and the festive season is within reach.

I do love Autumn, I love the colours, the darker makeup, snuggling up on the sofa with a blanket and of course the excuse to go out and buy new clothes and footwear.

I’ve spotted so many gorgeous items in store and online recently and it’s been really difficult to curb the spending so I’ve decided to only buy a few pieces that will either work with what I have in my wardrobe already or things that can be worn yearly and won’t go out of style.

Autumn wishlist

First up is the Hepburn Un-Invited guests dress from Lady Vintage, now £50.00 may sound a lot for a Halloween dress but I figured that this is something that could be brought out each year.

How amazing is this Beauty school jumper! Grease was one of my favourite films as a child and this jumper has brought so many great memories.  Joanie currently has this jumper and at £38 it’s a steal especially as it’s so versatile and can be worn with skirts or trousers.

Tweed is one of my all time favourite fabrics so it’s only natural that I’ll be purchasing a new bag as an alternative to my Harris Tweed and Barbour bags a bit of a break.  Joules has this Everday bag for £69.95 and I think it will be just about big enough to fit all of my things.

I love a boyfriend tee and it’s even better when it’s from AllSaints, I did take a break from the brand for a couple of years as it was eating too much into my purse but I’ve slowly been building up my collection again and this particular tee reminds me of one I had around 8 years ago (I’m sure it was the same price too)  The Nightwolvs boyfriend crew is £45.

I would imagine that the Marks and Spencer pointed court shoes are in a lot of shopping bags this season, I couldn’t get the Ink coloured ones in my size so had to make do with the Black.  At £35 they are a fraction of the price of the Manolo Blahnik shoes that Carrie Bradshaw made famous.

I love a cotton jersey dress as they are always so flattering and hide a multitude of sins.  At £55 the Huers Hut dress from Seasalt is such a bargain I’ve purchased one in each of the two colours.  I’d love to see this in a brown or yellow too.  This style of dress looks great with coloured tights, I must get myself over to Slugs and Snails for some of their raindrop tights.

Joules always do an amazing selection of boots and the Westbourne leather chelsea boots are beautiful even though they have a price tag of £140.  I’m a huge fan of a bit of animal print which make a nice change as most of my chelsea boots are either in plain black or brown.

The Bertha boat print Tee from Joanie is just adorable, who doesn’t love a nautical top? Joanie tops (and dresses) are such amazing quality for the price and you can pick this one up for £18.  I’m going to stitch the arms up a little when mine arrives to change the shape of the sleeve.

I’ve got my eye on the Bonded Heritage check coat from Topshop, there are a couple of check coats that I have my eye on and this one at £65 is the cheapest of the bunch, it’s super smart and can be dressed up or down.  I’ve not yet tried this on as I’m keeping my fingers crossed there is a “tall” version somewhere with a bit of extra length in the arms.

Do you own any of these items already? What’s on your Autumn wishlist?

Please note: I wasn’t asked to mention any of the brands in this post, I just love these items and hope you do too.


New Job, New Outlook

This coming Monday is the start of a week of changes in my household, not only do I start a new job (same company new role) but Arthur starts reception at school and Lucie is starting a new school to retake year 12.

I adore the company that I work for (NCT) as it’s been such a big part of my life over the past 5 years both as an employee and a volunteer and I still feel a tinge of nerves and trepidation amongst the excitement of my first day in the new job. My current role is client based and I deal with expectant and new parents on a day to day basis but my new job is completely different, I will be working with volunteers and local branches and although my new role presents a number of great opportunities I’m actually feeling really sad about leaving my current role.

This week I’ve been spending a bit of time reminding myself about the charity and what it offers to parents and volunteers, not only to refresh my memory but to remind myself of the fantastic new opportunity this new job presents for me and how many amazing things the charity does.

new job, new outlook

I’m going to be starting my first day in my new role with a positive attitude. I’m so lucky that I can work from home so have no morning commute, having said that I don’t work in my pyjamas or lounge clothes anymore which is something I stopped doing about 18 months ago.  I need to take a few minutes of reflection with my morning coffee to remind myself that the company chose me for the job over the other candidates.

There have been a lot of changes in the charity recently, I’ve actually picked a great time to change roles as the volunteering team has had a huge overhaul and I won’t be the only new face on Monday.  The first few weeks are going to be quite stressful for both me and the charity as my role is brand new so it’s a learning curve for us both but I’m ready to hit the ground running and make my mark.

new job, new outlook

On Sunday evening I need to amend my linkedin profile to let my old network know about my new job so I can continue to leverage the professional relationships I had.  I’ve already done some housekeeping on my Facebook profile so I can keep connections professional, I did almost give up at one point and thought it might just be easier to have two profiles but I know that’s frowned upon isn’t it!

It’s onwards and upwards from here I guess, I have no excuses about being late and I should have finished the changes I’ve made to my office at home to make it feel more like an office than a work/sewing/beauty room.

What tips do you have to get over those first day nerves?



Renunail Nail Treatment Revisited

I’ve always struggled with growing my nails, they either split once they get to a certain length or peel. Back in 2014 I wrote a post after 8 weeks of using the Dr LeWinn’s Renunail polish which transformed my nails from short and stumpy to long and lovely.  Unfortunately years of acrylic nails had made my nails so thin that even though they had grown they just didn’t stay long and they kept splitting and peeling.

A few weeks ago I decided to try using the polish again, my nails were growing but not as quick as I would have liked.

After 4 weeks I had gone from no nails to this.

A further 4 weeks and my nails are both long and strong (staining is from wearing red without a base coat.)

I’m so pleased I revisited this product as it really is one of the best products I’ve found for promoting nail growth.

It may be a coincidence but recently I’ve been eating a more protein rich diet so this could have also contributed to my speedy nail growth, I also take fish oil supplements which have had a positive impact on my skin so maybe also my nails.

I make sure that I oil my cuticles and moisturise my nails which I think has helped with the growth and lack of splitting – this was something I didn’t do previously.

I’ve not had acrylics for over 2 years now and haven’t experienced any pitting or ridges in my nails.  I don’t use gel polish if I can help it as I’m sure the acetone soaking was doing nothing for my nails.

Have you used the Renunail treatment? What are your top tips for long, strong nails?