Temporary:Secretary | UK Fashion & Beauty Blogger

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Perfect Top | Sugarhill Boutique

sugarhill boutique, pink top
fashion blogger, uk fashion blogger
fashion blogger, uk fashion blogger

Top* Sugarhill Boutique / Skinny Jeans Topshop

Well, if this isn't the perfect top for me, I don't know what is! I do love a good collar and this one has CATS on them, for crying out loud! IT'S PERFECT! The top, which is now in the sale, is from Sugarhill Boutique, the place to go for cute print and pretty dresses. If the peachy pink isn't the colour for you, it's available in baby blue too.

I didn't really know what to wear it with other than black skinny jeans or a plain skater skirt, but maybe next time, I'll go for a pelmet skirt and put my hair in a beehive for the 60's look. The sleeves came down to an awkward length on me but I rolled it up a couple of times which sorted that out!

I hope you're all loving the festive season! Even though I've been writing Christmas blogposts for the past couple of weeks, it still doesn't feel like Christmas yet! And I've yet to make a start on my Christmas shopping. I think I'm going in to Newcastle on Monday and in my head, I know exactly what presents to buy and it shouldn't be that difficult to track them all down, I don't think any of them are going to be out of stock. But it shouldn't be a problem to get it all done in one shopping trip, it will be fine! (Famous last words....) :-|

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Linea Mistletoe & Berries | Luxury Homeware GIVEAWAY

linea reed diffuser, home accessories, christmas candles

You know how much I love home fragrances so the final Christmas giveaway that I am hosting had to involve a candle! If you fancy winning this set from Linea at House of Fraser, scroll all the way down!

linea reed diffuser, home accessories, christmas candles

Mistletoe & Berries is just one fragrance from a whole range of fragrances available within the Linea Signature Collection range. There's Winter Spice, Wild Fig and Vanilla, Linen and Seagrass, Pink Grapefruit and Mango to name a few. But Mistletoe and Berries is, of course, the most appropriate one for this time of year! Even though it really doesn't feel like Christmas, (probably because I don't have a big Christmas tree this year, I don't have room for it in the apartment) having little things like a festive candle or reed diffuser helps to get me in the "holiday" spirit! 

christmas candle, linea candle, large candles
christmas candle, linea candle, large candles

It's rare that I look for things that goes with the brown furniture I have in the apartment, but the red candle jar looks nice against the dark wood. I really dislike our tables (which belongs to our previous landlord), it's not to my taste but now I'm thinking it doesn't look too bad with the right kind of home accessories in place! You can always count on Linea homeware to add a bit of stylish luxury to your home!

Mistletoe & Berries is the complete essence of Christmas with a blend of red berries, plum, vanilla and fresh green herbal aroma of pine. The berries and plum is really hearty so that's the scent that you smell first, but there's definitely a kick of pine in there! There's currently a sale online at House of Fraser so the reed diffuser is now £12.50 (original price was £25) and the large candle is now £17 (was £35) so if you're looking to get a great, premium Christmas present whilst saving some money, you should definitely check out Linea Signature Collection. All items comes with outer packaging so it looks fabulous and makes it easy to wrap! 

I'm taking the large candle home with me to make a centre piece on Christmas Day, I need to buy more decorations for it in either green or gold. I haven't decided yet! But the candle, for sure, will be the main feature!

reed diffuser

So, do you fancy winning this set for yourself? This is the final Christmas giveaway I am hosting this year and the prize that's up for grabs are both from the Signature Collection Home Range from Linea at House of Fraser. One lucky winner will win one Mistletoe and Berries Luxury Reed Diffuser and a matching Mistletoe & Berries Large Candle which will make your home smell wonderfully festive! You guys know how much I love this sort of thing so it makes a nice way to round up the Christmas giveaways!

If you'd like to enter the giveaway, please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the steps. You can enter once, or you can enter all the extra options for a better chance to win, it's entirely up to you! The giveaway will close at midnight this Sunday and it is open to UK residents only. I'll be in touch with the winner via email pretty promptly as we'd like to get this sent out before Christmas last post so please be sure to check your inbox and junk mail on Monday morning. Good luck!

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Competition is for the product shown and described above in this blogpost. Entries must be made via Rafflecopter widget. Entries are moderated so please ensure that adhere to the giveaway entry terms. House of Fraser reserves the right to amend or withdraw offers at any time. No cash alternatives are available. Free prize draw, no purchase necessary. One winners will be selected from Rafflecopter after the closing date. The winner will receive prize via post which will be dispatched from House Of Fraser. We will contact the winner via email after closing date. A new winner will be selected if we do not receive a respond within 3 working days.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's A Molton Brown Rainbow!

molton brown body wash

It's a Molton Brown rainbow! And just look how beautiful it looks! I'm really excited about this and even before it arrived through the post, I knew how much I would love it! 

This gift set is called the Stocking Fillers Collection which is a box of 12 Molton Brown's best selling body washes. The gift costs £39 (worth £60) and each bottle is a miniature, travel sized 50ml size and it comes packaged in a fabulous festive red box complete with a bow!

Molton Brown gift set, molton brown body wash
Molton Brown gift set, molton brown body wash

The bottles of body washes looks so pretty in the box with all the different colours gleaming up at you, very colourful, shiny and luxurious! They also have the Bath and Body Treasures Collection which looks similar to this except is contains 6 body washes and 6 body lotions, and it's £3 more but, visually, I think the Stocking Fillers collection looks better. And I prefer to have more body wash than lotion. 

As well as having the name of the blend on the front of the bottle, I recently discovered that each one is inspired by a place and this small bit of information is displayed on the back. I think that's a nice added touch because when you're using the body wash, the scent will evoke a sense of escapism, it's like transporting yourself to a little holiday every time you use it.... or at least that's the idea, anyway! And when you're using something so luxurious, it is those small details that makes you feel like you are using a nice and expensive product. As well as paying for a product which is blended with the finest and rarest ingredients sourced from all over the world, the smell is obviously a big part in body products and that's the instant difference between using a premium and a bargain body product. But brand psychology aside (which I'm eating right up with Molton Brown!), these body washes really do smell authentic, unique and exotic and best of all, it leaves your skin feeling soft. You only need to use a small amount of it for it to lather up, too!

Molton Brown gift set, molton brown body wash, molton brown stocking fillers

I remember a few years ago when I bought a set for my Mum, I noticed that Molton Brown used parabens, which is a cheap alternative commonly used in cosmetics/beauty products, and I was a bit put off Molton Brown because of this for several years. There's always a controversial debate about parabens but for me, in this particular case, it was the fact that a premium brand such as Molton Brown can afford to use alternatives and for a brand that prides themselves in to developing products from the finest ingredients, the inclusion of parabens left a bad taste in my mouth (figuratively speaking, of course. I ain't sitting in the corner, knocking back a few bottles of Molton Brown body wash, ha!) 

However, I'm very pleased to learn that they have improved and re-formulated their blends and they're all parabens free! Hurrah! They've also renamed the scents too (eg. the Orange and Bergamot used to be called Naran Ji) which I also welcome because it's more straight-to-the-point. You know exactly what scent to expect with the new names. No faffing about, just how I like it!

molton brown body wash

So, what are the blends featured in the Stocking Fillers Collection? From left to right, starting with the purple one, I'll state the blend name and also the place it is inspired by:

Ylang-Ylang (Madagascar)
Bushukan (Thailand)
Gingerlily (Tahiti)
Templetree (Laos)
Coco & Sandalwood (Philippines)
Japanese Orange (Japan)

molton brown body wash, molton brown gift set

Pink Pepperpod (Guinea)
White Sandalwood (China)
Eucalyptus (Australia)
Black Peppercorn (Madagascar)
Orange & Bergamot (Seville)
Samphire (Atlantic)

If you know someone who is a fan of Molton Brown, this is a really lovely set to buy them. If you're anything like me when buying beauty products for other people, you'll have a hard time trying to part with it... When you see this set for yourself, you'll definitely want one too!

Or.. if you fancy your chances, there is also a Molton Brown app on their Facebook page where you can win a lovely gift set. All you have to do is visit their Facebook page, decorate the Christmas tree and place Molton Brown presents under it! Have fun!

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Jurlique | The ULTIMATE Beauty Gift Set

Jurlique Gift Sets, Jurlique review

When they said this was the ultimate beauty gift set, they weren't kidding! This is mega, the one, THE ULTIMATE beauty set and Jurlique are offering one of their lucky Twitter followers a chance to win this gift worth a whopping £371 (told you it was mega!) but more on that later on! I want to show you what's inside this gift set, which is an exclusive! Myself and the lucky winner of the giveaway will be the only ones in the UK to have this gift set (So exciting!!!)

jurlique ultimate beauty gift set

This is another one of those times when I wish I had the confidence (and skills) to do YouTube videos because the photos don't do it justice. I spent ages trying to get the perfect photos but it honestly looks so much better in real life. 

Jurlique's Ultimate Face and Body Collection is a three tiered box containing 10 full size products and as you can, it is a thing of beauty, the beauty gift box to end all gift boxes! It looks so special and everything is packaged so well.

The festive red sleeve shown in the first photo is the first thing you see, which in itself, is a gorgeous design with the red, gold and green colours. The sleeve slips off to reveal more gorgeousness, the signature Jurlique branding.

jurlique ultimate beauty gift set
jurlique products, jurlique beauty products

The whole thing looks like it's made from wood but it's actually study cardboard. It's strong enough to re-use and re-purpose when I've used up these beauty products. It would make great storage for make up, jewellery or even more skincare! (I love my skincare products, I do!)

The top lid opens upwards to show four products neatly displayed, and the two drawers underneath pulls outwards to reveal 6 more. All ten products are full sized products and they're all individually packaged too. 

Jurlique skincare
Jurlique skincare

The contents are:

Rose Body Oil (100ml)

Being treated to all of this, I really have absolutely no excuse not to take care of my skin! Luckily, I love nothing more than to pamper myself on most evenings and I love spending time taking care of my skin every morning and night (something which I used to consider a boring chore to do). 

Jurlique skincare review, jurlique ultimate face and body collection

I haven't had the chance to use EVERY single product in this set yet, I want to save some of it to enjoy during my Christmas break back at my parents house but I've tucked in to some of the skincare already and have picked out my favourites which are: Rosewater Balancing Mist, Antioxidant Gel Mask, Rose Hand Cream and Skin Balancing Face Oil. 

Once I've had more time to trial it all, I will do a more in-depth review in January but anyone who has used anything from Jurlique before will agree that this is a brand that are committed to developing biodynamic products with luxurious and of the purest, highest quality, but more importantly, they are ethical and environmentally-friendly. 

"Jurlique is committed to doing business responsibly and seeking meaningful opportunities to make a difference. In our efforts to become more sustainable, we are always striving for cleaner, greener ways of doing things"



Jurlique's is giving away this EXCLUSIVE  Ultimate Face and Body Collection worth £371 which was never sold in the UK, so we'll be the only ones to own it! They are giving one away for free on Twitter so if you're feeling lucky, get yourselves on there right now! The giveaway is launching today at some point, so follow @JurliqueUK and enter the giveaway here. Good luck!!

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

8 Christmas Food And Drink Ideas From Pinterest

Who's hosting Christmas dinner at their house this year? Are you in need of inspiration for something a little different? I've trawled through Pinterest for hours and hours to find dessert and cocktails that looks delicious but also something that would be suitable for the family because if you're anything like me, you want to please everyone! If you want to see more of what I'm pinning on my Christmas Food Board, hop over to Pinterest. But for now, here are 8 delicious ideas that I've picked out to feature on my blog:

christmas dessert ideas, christmas dessert

This is a festive twist on a traditional English dessert, Eton Mess, which is always a crowd-pleaser! The strawberry compote has cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg which is what gives it the "taste of Christmas" and then of course, it's topped off with meringue that's shaped like a Christmas tree! 

chocolate cheesecake

Anything that requires "no baking" is a winner with me, and looking at the recipe, it doesn't look too difficult either! It sounds really simple to make which means your focus can be on the presentation. 

Here's another one that's easy to bake up but requires patience and creativity to put together. The cupcakes themselves aren't difficult to make. Cupcakes are about the only thing I'm confident in baking but I really like decorating them. However, I'm not sure if my skills stretch this far to make them look this nice, but I'd quite like to have a go at this as it looks so cute and has the 'wow' factor.

christmas cookie

If you can't make a cookie to finish off your hot chocolate at Christmas, then when can you!? Going the extra mile by making these tiny cookies that sits nice on the rim of the mug is going to make your guest feel special. You can make a big batch of them all in one go and use them when you have visitors come over for Christmas. I've seen a lot of different versions like these adorable miniature gingerbread houses which have been doing the rounds on the Internet. As cute as they are, I just think "who's got time for that?!". I think the the plain Christmas trees look just as lovely! It shows that you've gone through the effort without coming off like a total goody goody!

gingerbread milkshake, christmas drinks
gingerbread milkshake, christmas drinks

Here's a nice gingerbread spice shake to wash the Christmas desserts down! The recipe doesn't contain alcoholic (we'll get to that in a bit!) but for an adult version, I'd add bit of ginger flavoured vodka or Bailey's wouldn't go amiss here! Or to give it a chocolately kick, Marks & Spencer have a Hot Chocolate flavoured vodka in store at the moment! Yum!

christmas cocktail, christmas drinks

Oi oi! Now on to the cocktails! My fave! I'm a bit on the fence for this one. On the one hand, I find the thought of rosemary in a drink quite weird, but on the other, I'm always up for trying funky flavours! It requires a homemade rosemary infused syrup and I suppose you can tweak the flavours to suit you. You can find the recipe here if you fancy trying this rosemary infused cranberry cocktail it for yourself!

gingerbread martini, ginger martini, christmas drinks

This creamy vodka based cocktail will sure warm your cockles! With a kick coming from the ginger liquer, it will sure heat you up on a frosty Christmas day!

spiced apple magarita, christmas cocktails, christmas drinks

Sugar and spice, and all things nice! Another festive twist on a refreshing classic drink, even down to the salt rim garnish. Recipe for the spiced apple margaritas here. This cocktail looks like it's going to be great with your Christmas dinner.

For more food and drink ideas, take a look at my Christmas Food Board on Pinterest. I'll be adding more and more to it in the next two weeks!

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Photo credit: Images belong to the author of the blogs I have linked underneath their photographs.