Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Top 3 Products in June

This month has been really busy with work and the children so I haven't really had much time to try new products, however I did manage a couple and thankfully enjoyed them. So here goes:

Vaseline Spray & Go body moisturiser

I am intrinsically very lazy when I get out of the shower especially during the week when time is of the essence (and I'd rather spend 5 more minutes in bed!) I find moisturising a bit of a chore if I am honest, so I needed a new everyday moisturiser and saw this on offer in Boots, so decided to give it a go. I loved it! It is so easy to use. You just spray directly onto the skin and rub in and it pretty much sinks in straight away, no messing, no fuss! It is a very light weight moisturiser so I can imagine if you have dry skin it is probably not the best moisturiser for you, but for me it left my skin soft and hydrated. It smells lovely too, I chose the aloe scent (love the smell of aloe) which is subtle yet fresh. I think there are 2 other scents in the range but I can't be 100% sure on that. I would definitely try another scent but I do love this one. I'd highly recommend for any 'lazy' moisturiser like me, it's fast and easy and the results are fab. Its also a fab price, always a bonus.

St. Tropez Gradual Tan in Shower

I really like the gradual tan moisturisers, but as I mentioned in the above review I am pretty lazy and like anything that speeds the getting ready/showering process up! I saw this and thought I'd give it a go. I do like St. Tropez fake tan, it leaves me with a nice colour for my skin tone compared to other fake tans. I also liked the idea of a 2 in 1 product that I can use when I am having a shower (time saving again, I am soo lazy!) You rub this in circular motion after you have done your usual shower routine. It smells really nice too (it contains almond oil, no biscuit smell here!) You then leave it for 3 mins. I usually use this time to comb my conditioner through and have a little shower tidy of the cleansing products I've already use and then you simply just wash it off! It's as easy as that. It gradually develops over a few hours. Now, I will say the colour is very subtle, even on my pasty pale skin, but this suits me just fine as it builds up slowly and give me just the right hint of colour. I don't think this would be great for a tanning addict or anyone with a darker skin tone as I think it would be too subtle, but for me it was fab!

Wildfox Barbie sweatshirt

I am aware that this is not a 'product' but as I mentioned earlier I haven't had much time to try out new things so though I'd include this as it's definitely a Favourite for this month! I have a couple of pieces from Wildfox, the sweatshirts are so comfy and wash great. I received a cheeky email from 'Very Exclusive' informing of a sale. If you've not seen this website it's a sister site of 'Very' and specialises in designer and high end products. The sale is pretty good and I think it is still on so worth a look.

Anyway I saw this jumper a while ago and loved it mainly because of the Barbie slogan emblazoned across it, but couldn't bring myself to pay the £80 price tag, but when I saw it in the sale I new it was meant to be and I popped it into my basket straight away. The material is lovely and soft and I love the mesh detail. I think it will be perfect as a throw on jumper over the chillier summer days us Brits are used to. I have worn it loads already and always gets lots of comment on it! It's not for everybody with the Barbie slogan but it is a winner with me and will be for many many months to come.

So thats June's favourites, lets hope we have some sunshine now so I can enjoy them even more and maybe even discover some new products for July!

Monday, 22 June 2015

London Tea Club

I am going through a phase of loving tea at the moment, especially fruit and flavoured teas. I am a massive coffee addict, so wanted to try something new and fresh to keep my love of alive. I was searching through the internet for beauty subscription boxes (a favourite pastime of mine, ha ha) and came across a subscription service called the 'London Tea Club' completely by chance. I decided to give it a go for £10 a month including postage and no subscription - thought it would be fun.

It arrived last week in a little package that fits nicely through the letter box (love this as HATE having to venture out to the post office on my days off!)

I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely way it is set out. You get 3 teas to try and when you sign up they ask you your preference in tea types, presumably to personalise the box more (although I can't be sure of this as no idea what any one else received as it is not commonly posted online). Each tea comes lose leaf in a cute test tube, which allows for around 3-4 cups of tea from each. Drawstring filters are also included which mean you can brew the tea easily on the go without having to use a tea infuser, a fact I loved as wanted to take them to work and be easy and quick to make.

The three teas I received were 'Iron Goddess of Mercy' (love the name!), 'Apricot Peach' and 'Chocolate Mint Rooibos'. You receive a little card that gives you a brief description about the tea, how best to brew and even some tips on how best to enjoy it! I loved this, it was very simple but done very well. You also receive a little drawstring pouch which allows for easy transport of all the teas and drawstring filters. Great branding London Tea Club!

Now for the teas: The Iron Goddess of Mercy was my least favourite of the 3. It has quite an earthy taste that I didn't really enjoy. I also needed to make it quite strong to get any real flavour and by then the taste had become over powering. Not really my cup to tea - no pun intended, ha.

The Apricot Peach was lovely. A great fruit tea, perfect for the summer months. It had a great flavour, you could really taste the peach and the apricot, as well as a hint of papaya. I also brewed this and had it over ice in the sunshine, which was really nice. I would definitely repurchase this through the website.

The final tea was my favourite: Chocolate Mint Rooibos. I love mint teas and am a big fan of peppermint tea to start the day, especially in the summer. This had a lovely minty taste but combined with the decadent taste of chocolate was gorgeous! I tried it with a splash of milk aswell and it was like having a dessert in a cup, great for sweet cravings without the calories. Bonus!

Overall, I was really impressed with my box. The tea was great quality and allowed me to try new things without having left over tea when i'm not too keen. The option to purchase the teas through the website is also great. I would recommend this subscription service to any tea lovers out they're who are fancying trying something new or even for those who are not big tea drinkers but fancy trying some. I can't wait for next months box to see what tasty tea is in store for me :-)

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Afternoon Tea

This week I went for a little shopping trip with my Mum. I love spending time with my mum and like to treat her as she is amazing and has spent all her life doing things for other people (she was a nurse for 40 years!) I booked a trip with Travelbird. They are a fab website for anyone wanting to book deals from anything to days out with the kids to holidays abroad. The deal I chose was a night in Manchester at the Pendulum hotel, which included a nights accommodation with evening meal and breakfast for £70 for two people, a bargain in my eyes! The staff were excellent and the food was really nice.

I decided that I wanted to treat her to our favourite past-time - afternoon tea! After much deliberation I went for the Midlands Hotel. There Midland Royale afternoon tea includes a Midland Royale which consists of champagne, Mr Coopers private blend tea and Vimto!

We arrived early and with no hesitation they showed us to our table. The tables are set in the atrium of the hotel and a lovely setting with big ceiling and huge chandeliers. The hotel still has that old fashioned glamour feel to it but with a modern twist.

The staff were wonderful, so attentive and willing to answer any questions we had about any aspect of the afternoon tea. We were served complimentary madeira to start, which was very tasty. I am not a big port fan, but this was lovely.

The tables were set out very well, with white table cloths and white tea cups and saucers, traditional but very effective given the very opulent setting.

I went for the Earl Grey tea, as I love this as a treat and always have this with afternoon tea. It was a lovely blend not too subtle or strong. Then the fun began when they brought the food! It looked fabulous set on what can only be described as a miniature habitat style shelving unit, that sat at either end of the tables allowing us to see each other without having to talk round a traditional afternoon tea caddy. The Midland Royale was also very tasty, a bit of a difference compared to the classic Kir Royale which it is based on, but definitely a winner with me.

All the food was exquisite, great flavours. The scones are always a highlight for me and these were brought fresh and warm from the oven. My absolute favourite was the chocolate orange opera cake, it was AMAZING! Very decadent and so tasty!! The only let down was the Vimto jelly - they looked lovely and vibrant sat on the table, but if I'm honest were a bit bland! A bit of a disappointment as this was something a bit different for an afternoon tea, but everything else was lovely. We were absolutely stuffed afterwards, and the staff made no attempt to bustle us out, letting us stay and drink a few more cups of tea with no complaints.

Overall it was a lovely experience and one of the nicest afternoon teas I've had, in a very beautiful building and relaxed atmosphere. I would highly recommend it, if your in Manchester and fancy a bit of a treat! At £21.95 each, I think was a great price for what you get and the quality of everything.

Better go and get back to the gym now to work off all those extra calories! It was well worth it though.

Monday, 8 June 2015


So Karl and myself finally got a chance to go away together. We decided on a last minute get away and after much internet searching (I could become a travel agent after all the hours I've spent looking for holidays!) we booked with Thomas Cook, to Djerbra, Tunisia for 4 nights - all Inclusive.

I was a little bit apprehensive if I am honest as I booked on the Friday and we went on the Wednesday. I also rushed through the booking to ensure I got the deal as the flight places were selling out. But I have to praise Thomas Cook on they're online assistance. I didn't have such a nice experience when I rang Teletext Holidays the week before, with a very pushy, verging on aggressive, phone operator. Which really put me off actually speaking to someone so I wanted to book fully online to avoid this. I used the online chat service whilst I booked with a very pleasant customer operative. He guided me through the booking and made sure I had everything I needed before I booked. I was very impressed with this service.

We had great fight times (especially as last minute deals often result in not so great flight times) that enabled us to enjoy 3 and a half days in the resort.

The transfers both ways were easy and very quick, 30 minutes. I hate long transfers when your travelling.

The resort we booked was the Sentido Djerba Beach. I didn't do too much research before we went as once we had booked I didn't purposely look on Trip Advisor as I wanted to make my own mind up when we arrived.

The hotel was a 4 star resort. I don't think it would live up to a UK 4 star but it was really nice and we were more than happy with our choice. The staff were very pleasant and accommodating, checked in quickly and efficiently with a welcome drink.

Our room was fantastic. It was right on the beach front, away from the main area of the hotel, meaning it was lovely and quiet. With fabulous sea views and it was a family room which meant it was HUGE! 2 rooms, a living area as well as a spacious bathroom. We were very happy right from the start.

The resort was small, but had everything you could need, it wasn't overly busy as it was the week before half term, but there were still a good number of guests. However, we never had to queue more than one person in front of us and they were very efficient. The drinks were not named spirits but I didn't mind this as I'm not a big drinker anyway. Karl said the beer was ok. Plus they always had diet coke which is something I've found resorts run out of with all inclusive in the past - good for me being diabetic. The staff were all lovely and so pleasant, nothing was too much for them. The service was better than some hotels and restaurants here in the UK!

The food was good, not Michelin starred but still good quality and lots of choice for an all inclusive. I always found something to eat, and even managed to stick to my slimming world diet for the most part (although I did indulge in a few ice creams and puddings, he he).

The pool area was lovely and clean and it was fab to be right on the beach, something I always enjoy on holidays, especially as you get a nice sea breeze.

The WiFi was also brilliant throughout the resort, not something that bothered me but Karl was able to keep up to date with work easily. Plus it meant I could tweet and Facebook to my hearts content :-)

The island of Djerba is not huge and there is not much around to do outside the hotel, so if your looking for nightlife this probably isn't the best for you. We didn't get much chance to explore as we were more interested in relaxing. However, the hotel itself provided good entertainment in the evenings, for those inclined to go and watch.

Overall we were both really impressed with the price we paid and the service and quality we received. I'd recommend this resort and Thomas Cook in general as a tour operator. We had a lovely relaxing few days, which is exactly what we needed. Thanks Thomas Cook and Sentido Djerba Beach for a relaxing and much needed holiday.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Top 3 Products in May

It's that time again, another month over - can't quite believe its June! I'm sure I say that every month but they just seem to go by so quickly! :-)

So here's my top 3 product for the month of May!

I have been away for a much needed holiday and did a bit of travelling around for work, so the products I've choose represent that, as my skin really does not travel well!

The first product is the Elizabeth Ardens Eight hour cream nourishing lip balm.

Like I said I did a fair bit or travelling and I always get really dry lips, so I picked this up in duty free. Chosen because it as it has SPF 20 and knew I was going to be in the sunshine, so I thought it would be best to stop my lips getting burnt or dried out with the sun exposure. I haven't used the 8 hour cream before but have heard great things, so decided to try it out (and, as I was in a rush and it was the first product I recognised when looking for lip balm!). I'm glad I did, I really like the formula, it is a bit sticky and leaves a sheen, so if you don't like that in a lip balm, this product is probably not for you. I found it really nourishing though and my lips stayed hydrated all holiday and beyond. Plus they didn't get burned - unlike the rest of me sadly, but that's what you get with pale Yorkshire/Irish skin and 30 degree heat! I have used this everyday since, and although it isn't cheap, it is definitely worth the price for those who struggle with chapped, dry lips. It also look really nice over a few-hour-old lipstick to give it a bit of a glossy boost without reapplying. A winner with me!

Next up, is the Origins drink-up intensive overnight mask.

Again my skin really does dry out very easily, so whilst in duty free I also grabbed this - hoping that it would help. It is a nice thick formula and i really loved the smell. It applies easily and you don't need a lot. Going on smoothly without pulling the skin and leaves it feeing lovely and hydrated with no dry, stretchy feeling some moisturisers leave. I used it every night on holiday and every morning my skin had a lovely glow. Since I came back I have used it a couple of times a week to give my skin a boost and I can definitely tell the times I use it from the times I don't. This isn't a cheap product but used sparingly will last a long time (mine has still got loads left and I've used it all month!) I will definitely be trying out some more origins products after using this.

Finally I want to talk about the L'oreal false lash wings waterproof mascara.

I am not normally a big fan of waterproof mascara's as I find they don't keep a curl in the same way as none-waterproof mascaras and my lashes are pretty straight and long - so need a curl to keep my eyes more defined. On holiday though a waterproof mascara is essential to prevent panda eyes when in and out of the pool and sea. I didn't wear much make-up during the holiday as like to let my skin have that rest and give it a bit of vitamin D, something we lack in Yorkshire :-) I do however like to wear a mascara, for a curl to keep them out of my eyes! I picked this up in duty free as a last minute purchase as I had forgotten to pick up my normal choice, which is the Urban Decay: Cannonball (which is fab also, if you fancy a higher end waterproof mascara!) I was really impressed, the brush is very thick but tapered which allows for a good even coverage and gives you that cat eye effect easily. It is also amazingly waterproof, I am a water baby on holiday as I can't sunbathe for too long, so was in and out of the water repeatedly with no budging. It also kept a pretty good curl too. So if you fancy a not too expensive choice for waterproof mascara for your upcoming summer holiday, give this a whirl.

Thats it for May. June is a bit of a quieter month for me, so I best get on the look out for more products to try, always a pleasure never a chore :-)