• Review: St. Kitts Herbery Summer Rose Lotion

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  • Eco-friendly #Wedding #flower bouquet ideas

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  • Review: Moisturising Facial Wash from Simple #skincare

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  • Country Living Magazine Spring Fair Gala Evening Ticket #Giveaway #Crafts

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Review: St. Kitts Herbery Summer Rose Lotion

I have a confession – I am a body moisturiser addict. In fact only recently did my husband come out of our bathroom with a confused look on his face carrying half a dozen different body butters and lotions and give me an accusatory glare. To fuel my love of moisturising lotions I accepted an offer to review the St. Kitts Herbery Summer Rose Lotion*.

The St Kitts Herbery was started by entrepreneurial couple Susan & Paul Johnson on the unlikely site of an old truck stop style café on the A39 in North Cornwall. Having arrived in North Cornwall with £2000, a polytunnel and some packets of seeds the couple  set to work building company which produces a range of deliciously scented, herbal toiletries and chocolate using the finest ingredients.

The Summer Rose lotion comes in a 200ml pump dispenser bottle and is a moisturiser imbued with the fragrance of an English rose garden on a warm summer evening, with a really lovely thick texture. I really love the scent of this lotion which is built on layers of cassis, bergamot, rose and lychee as well as notes of cyclamen, lily of the valley, magnolia and violet with deep and sultry base notes of cedarwood, musk and sandalwood all of which remind me of a relaxing spa day.

The fragrance is strong when you apply it reducing to a subtle lingering scent on the skin and it lasts a good few hours. The lotion does leave my skin feeling nourished and moisturised, which is a big deal for  someone whose skin would happily drink up a whole lake and still want more! The St. Kitts Herbery Summer Rose Lotion comes in a lovely elegant packaging which I really like.

As a big fan of the more sultry fragrances I really love the St. Kitts Herbery Summer Rose Lotion with it’s great texture and moisturising effect on my skin. I definitely see myself using this as part of my pamper day rather than on a regular basis, as a special treat. I award the St. Kitts Herbery Summer Rose Lotion 4 out of 5 stars.

Summer Rose Moisture Lotion is sold at the price of £11.95, you can find more information on the St. Kitts Herbery Website

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4stars

Eco-friendly #Wedding #flower bouquet ideas

Eco-friendly weddings are on the rise as more couples choose to go green for their big day. From paper-free invitations to fair-trade feasts – there are plenty of ways to be kinder to the planet when you tie the knot. But perhaps one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by choosing home-grown British flowers.

There are plenty of beautiful blooms grown here in the UK that are perfect for bridal bouquets – and you don’t have to wait until high summer to bag them.
Here are some of our favourite early spring flowers that will be hitting the flower markets in a few short weeks.

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  • Roses: English roses for an English rose – what could be more befitting than the traditional symbol of romance? Update the look by choosing fashionably vintage antique roses in dusky hues.
    Alstroemeria: These delicate South American beauties (also known as ‘lily of the Incas’) are hardy enough thrive on British soil. Go vibrant with fiery orange blooms or choose delicate pink for a more traditional, romantic touch.
  • Anenomes: With their delicate, feminine petals and contrasting black centre, these poppy-like flowers promise to give a dramatic edge to any bridal bouquet.
  • Bluebells: The ideal choice for a quintessentially English country wedding. Tie the stems with lavender ribbon or team with daisies for that handpicked-straight-from-the-meadow feel.
  • Delphiniums: Something borrowed, something blue… Invert a stem or two of deep-blue delphiniums to create a dramatic but pretty trailing bouquet.
  • Freesias: Soften the structure of a bouquet of white roses by adding super-feminine freesias.
  • Iris: Deep blue-violet with a flash of gold – and as delicate and pretty as an orchid – the iris adds a flash of beautiful colour to a wedding bouquet. Team with powder-blue hydrangeas.
  • Lisianthus: For a contemporary alternative to the rose, the lisianthus works alone for a more structured-looking bouquet, or mixed with other blooms for a natural ‘hand-picked’ look.
  • Tulips: If your big day aesthetic is about elegant, simplicity and clean lines, look no further than the simple tulip.
  • Violets: These deep purple flowers bring richness and depth to a wedding bouquet. Team with creamy-white and contrasting yellow blooms.

Review: Moisturising Facial Wash from Simple #skincare

Continuing on my skincare crusade this year I have been trying out all sorts of new products and today I wanted to tell you a little about the Moisturising Facial Wash from Simple* which is described as a perfect blend of ingredients to keep skin thoroughly cleansed and nourished so that you feel healthier and happier (alongside your skin).

I am always a little worried when trying a new cleansing product because my skin is pretty sensitive and can develop dry patches if a product is too harsh, but I have had good experiences with other Simple skincare products so was happy to give this one a go and see the results.

Simple use their own special blend of moisturising elements in their products, and the facial wash contains Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and Bisabolol, all of which help to moisturise and soften the skin. There are no artificial perfumes or colours in this product and Simple do not use unnecessary ingredients which might otherwise upset skin. It is also dermatologically tested.

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My skincare regime usually takes place at my dressing table where I have all my regular products nicely laid out, but for the facial wash I decided to leave it in my shower to encourage me to give my face a good old cleanse every time I wait for my conditioner, which is a great way to keep up a new skincare routine. I usually use a pea-sized blob and work in to a lather in my hands before massaging into my damp skin before rinsing away.

The Moisturising Facial Wash from Simple has a nice texture being a gel consistency and I like the way it bubbles gently rather than foams out of control, and leaves my skin feeling zingy and clean despite having only had a few minutes to work. It is great for removing make up, I use it to help lift off particularly stubborn mascara (although you should always be careful around your eye area).

I would say that  despite the name Moisturising Facial Wash, my skin did need a good old moisturise afterwards as it felt particularly thirsty, that being said, skin is unique to each person and I know that mine is always looking for a drink! I am not so sure that it’s really a moisturising product, but it’s an excellent cleanser.

Overall I do really like this product and will continue to use it as part of my skincare regime. I award it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

4stars

Country Living Magazine Spring Fair Gala Evening Ticket #Giveaway #Crafts

Do you love to craft? I have to admit I love to make things whether it be knitting and crochet or using my Cricut Explore to make cards and home decorations. I was lucky enough to have been invited to the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair last year which was an amazing experience with so many fantastic things to explore and purchase.

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This year I am giving away 2 tickets to the Country Living Magazine Spring Fair Ticket Gala Evening being held at the Business Design Centre, London (52 Upper Street, London N1 0QH) – a perfect evening of crafting inspiration and shopping opportunities from small producers to craftspeople from across the British Isles. This year’s Spring Fair promises to be a wonderful celebration of the season.

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Gala Evening will be on Thursday 19th March and will be serving complimentary wine, so it’s a perfect end to the working day.

For more information about the Country Living Magazine Spring Fair visit their website.

Good luck!

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Review: Healthy supplement bundle from Indigo Herbs

I know that I am not the only one out there who has started this year off with an attempt to get healthier – that’s what 90% of new year resolutions are about right? Well, as you know, I have been incorporating smoothies into my regime with the help of my fabulous Nutri Ninja so when Indigo Herbs got in touch asking me to review some of their range of superfood, herbs and natural health products* I was happy to give them a go.

Indigo Herbs have a mission to support people wanting to support their health by providing quality herbs and superfoods at an affordable price and inspire and empower them on their journey to a healthier lifestyle. They are particularly passionate about pure unadulterated natural whole medicinal herbs and foods. They are based in Glastonbury, Somerset, and  are proud to offer organic, wild crafted and quality assured products with no-nonsense, inexpensive packaging.

I selected the Vitality Bundle which contained:

I do really like the packaging, it’s simple but effective being a re-sealable air tight foil pouch which helps the contents stay fresh despite having been opened – important when you only use a teaspoon or so of the product per day.

Although I have tried some of these before, this sounded like the perfect batch of goodies to try adding to my smoothies. Wheatgrass, which is packed with lots of vitamins,  has a bad reputation based on it’s taste, but I have found that if you add a teaspoon to a smoothie you don’t get the strong grassy taste which can be off putting. The same can be said of the Spirulina, which I find can be a bit fishy (spirulina is an algae), if you add too much.

I have enjoyed trying the Acai berry powder which adds a subtle fruity kick to a smoothie alongside an amazing deep purple colour. Acai is high in Vitamin C so perfect for helping boost the immune system. I am not a big fan of banana, but I wanted to try the banana powder in my smoothies to get some of the benefits and hopefully not too much of the flavour. Classified both as raw and organic, this makes a great addition to a morning smoothie and as well as an energy boost it is high in fibre.

You might think i’m crazy for trying the beetroot powder, but I am a big fan of beetroot! I usually have it in salads but adding it to my smoothies seems like a great way to get the benefits of nutrient rich food which is teeming with antioxidants. I haven’t yet tried the Super Cleanse Blend which is a loose herbal tea, but it is described as supoorting purification the detox process of the body.

If you’re not a big fan of smoothies, there are other ways in which you can incorporate supplements like these into your diet:

  • Mix a spoonful of powder into the batter for sweet or savoury pancakes.
  • Add a spoonful of powder to breads, pastry, rice, pasta or grains.
  • Try adding flavour and nutrients to a ice cream, flapjack, or cake?
  • You can add Fruit powders to tea, and Veg powders to marinades or sauces.

In all I have been very happy with my vitality bundle from Indigo Herbs and am rewarding them a 4 out of 5 stars for helping me boost my vitamin levels and help me get even more out of my smoothies! For smoothie recipe ideas from Indigo Herbs click here and for an abundance of health related articles see their natural health guide.

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4stars

 

Review: Inateck Ultra Mini Portable Bluetooth #Speaker

In our house speakers are always at a premium – whether it be for listening to an iPod or for watching movies on my Windows Surface, sometimes you just need a bit of volume boost so when Inateck  asked me to review their  Ultra Mini Portable Bluetooth Speaker* I was happy to give this rather dinky speaker a go.

At just 11.2 x 10.8 x 7 cm and 240g this little speaker is certainly portable and sits in one hand nicely. As a bluetooth speaker it is compatible with a wide range of devices including phones, laptops and music players. Not only can you use this speaker for music but it has an built-in microphone which you can use as a loud-speaker for your phone!1

You also have the handy option of using the 3.5mm audio jack for non-bluetooth devices and the speaker comes with both a USB Charge Cable and a 3.5mm Audio Cable. The connectivity range is good at 33ft/10m so you don’t have to have your speaker sitting right next to your device.

I really like the look of this little speaker, it has a sleek and simple design which looks smart next to any device. The good news is that it is made of sustainable and environment friendly ABS plastic. It would be nice to see this speaker come in more than just the one colour, so it would match better with my Surface, which is black, but that’s really just personal preference.

Using the Mini Portable Bluetooth Speaker is pretty easy, with a one-step-connect system which automatically turns on the  pairing mode once turned on and it also automatically connects to the device last connected to.3

The good news is that the built-in lithium battery can go for 5-6 hours of play time which means you can watch several movies or enjoy an afternoon of music without power running out.

For such a small speaker the sound quality is really great, not at all tinny – it lacks a little of the depth which a bigger more sophisticated speaker offers but you’d have a hard time moving these big speakers around whereas this little speaker from Inateck is easy to move and carry.

I was surprised to discover that the music I have played  sounded great with a good middle range with decent clarity at the top end, it did lack a little at the bass end, but considering the size of the speaker I was happy with the resulting layers of sound.

This is a speaker which I would certainly feel happy to throw in a bag and take out to a picnic or on a camping trip to keep me entertained. I award it 4 out of 5 stars.

4stars

Review: Sweet Blossom Natura Handmade Cosmetics

Handmade beauty and cosmetic products are something that I really love to get behind. I try my best to use products from small home businesses, so when Estefania Dogan of Sweet Blossom Natura got in touch asking if I would try some of her handmade products I jumped at the chance.

Sweet Blossom Natura started last year and has come a long way, offering a range of made to order natural handmade skin care products, soaps and medicinal oils. All of the products are organic and do not have preservatives or artificial colors as well as being from sustainable sources. Estefania, who is Portuguese, makes everything herself from scratch at home while caring for her two little girls.

Estefania has developed all the recipes for her products, and she is studying herbal medicine to increase her knowledge of herbs and essential oils. In the near future she will  be using entirely dōTERRA essential oils. For my review I chose a massage oil (normally around £8), a body lotion (normally around £9) and a scrub (normally around £16)*.

As the products are all made to order Estefania recommended making me a lavender sugar scrub (for a perfect relaxing evening bath), Lemongrass body lotion lotion (for a good morning mood boost) and rose massage oil for a lovely soothing and regenerating massage.

I really love the three products – particularly the scrub which has a great texture which is coarse enough that I can really feel it working without being harsh on the skin, leaving my skin soft and radiant. The lotion again has a great texture to it, similar to aqueous cream which is thick and lovely to apply – it’s great to use after a body scrub or even after shaving as it soothes the skin and leaves it feeling soft and well cared for. The fragrance of the rose massage oil is fantastic and I really look forward to my husband (a student Osteopath and qualified sports masseuse) giving me a massage!

I look forward to continuing to use these lovely body products and have been very happy with them, I award Sweet Blossom Natura 5 out of 5 stars for offering me a natural, organic range of cosmetics which are really lovely to use, at really good value prices. For more information or to buy some of Estefania’s products yourself go to her Etsy Store, Facebook Page or website.

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5stars

Review: Herbal Rejuvenation Immortelle Mask #skincare

My weekly skincare regime is really evolving with each new product I try I find something else to incorporate or tweak. This time I tried something new, the Herbal Rejuvenation Immortelle Mask from The Beauty Mask – a brand offering more than your run of the mill face mask which you apply and remove, these are actual masks impregnated with skincare solutions.

The Herbal Rejuvenation Immortelle Facial Beauty Mask combines an exclusive patented Functionality Cloth with a rich herbal infusion and Immortelle Extract which helps to nourish, hydrate and stimulate the skin. This aims to help reduce fine lines, dryness and blemishes – great for me as I suffer from dry skin and I am not getting any younger! The mask claims to leaves the skin feeling velvety, fresh and silky smooth.

So, what is this immortelle stuff? It’s actually a Mediterranean flower known for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and regenerative properties.  The oil from the plant is used in many healing formulas from muscle pain, arthritis to liver problems and it’s ability to stimulate the production of new skin cells makes it popular in facial care for mature skin. It works against ageing by promoting collagen production as well as improving microcirculation and fighting against free radicals.

The mask doesn’t only contain immortelle but also Vitamin E and herb essences to promote healthy and happy skin.

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 So, how did I get on when I tried out the mask? I really wasn’t sure what I was expecting – I knew that the mask was an actual fabric mask which had been treated with skincare ingredients but I had no idea what it was really going to look or feel like.

On opening the packet and fishing out the mask I was surprised as it was really wet – in fact, because I wasn’t prepared for it, I got liquid all over my dressing table! It took a while to unfold the mask as I was worried that it was going to rip, luckily it didn’t and I was able to unfold it after a few minutes. The next step was to peel off the backing plastic which wasn’t too difficult and apply to my face.

This was the really tricky bit – I was holding this face-shaped soaking mask and had to work out how to get it on my face. The mask has handy dart-style slots to help you apply the mask and once I had managed to get it in roughly the right place I pressed the mask down onto my face shaping the pieces around my chin, nose and hairline. Despite worrying for a few minutes that the mask would slide right off my face it held strong and I relaxed for 15 minutes whilst it worked it’s magic.

I gently peeled off the mask after the 15 minutes and was surprised at how good my skin felt – nourished and smooth which for someone with thirsty, sensitive skin is a big deal. I enjoyed using the mask, despite the logistical problems. At £4.95 each and being a one-time-use product I am not sure I will be buying my own on a regular basis, but I might treat myself once in a while because my skin seemed to appreciate it.

I award the Herbal Rejuvenation Immortelle Mask 3 out of 5.

*Canon kindly lent me a fantastic DSLR Canon EOS 70D – with which I took the photos in this post*

3stars

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Review: Pizza from Papa Johns

Yes, I am trying to be healthier this year, and I’ve been giving it a good go, but there are sometimes when you just have to treat yourself – like the day after a bar night at work when everyone has a little too much to drink and needs a pick me up the next day. So, the girls and I went ahead and ordered Pizza from Papa Johns to  be delivered to our office as a lunch time treat.

We had unfortunately had a bad experience ordering pizza to the office before – with our Pizza being over 2 hours late – so this time we tried Papa Johns which luckily was only just up the road from our office.

Our experience was definitely different – our order arrived within half an hour and was not only piping hot and delicious but an amazing deal, having given us a discount of £20 for our 3 small pizzas and 2 side dishes in their January deal.

I had The Greek – a mediterranean inspired pizza with feta cheese, red onion, tomatoes, black olives, sliced pepperoncini and mozzarella with a sprinkle of oregano. I really enjoyed my pizza, it was just what I needed after a night out and was very tasty. Some vegetarian pizzas can be boring, but this was full of great veggies and I loved the two types of cheese.

Due to the speedy delivery, great value for money and delicious pizzas I award Papa Johns 5 out of 5 stars. Order your own here: http://www.papajohns.co.uk/


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5stars

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#Recipe Matcha Latte

matcha latte
I have recently discovered the wonders of Matcha tea, thanks to TeaPigs who have opened a popup shop in the Shoreditch Boxpark. I was invited to the launch event and learnt about how Matcha is made, the benefits and got to try some fantastic recipes including a Matcha Latte which I wanted to share with you.

Ingredients:

  • 1g (approx 1/2 teaspoon) matcha – I recommend TeaPigs!
  • 200ml milk – you can use almond or coconut milk as as alternative to dairy
  • A sweetener such as honey or sugar to taste

Method:

  1. Add 1/2 teaspoon of matcha powder to a cup or mug and mix with around 60ml of warmed milk to create a paste
  2. Add the rest of the warmed mik and whisk well
  3. Test and add your choice of sweetener to taste
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