Lush Portsmouth Re-opening Event

Friday, 31 March 2017

If you know me well, or follow my social media you might know that I have a *slight*  LUSH addiction .. okay maybe its major but who's keeping score? So, as you can imagine I was thrilled to be invited along to the re-opening of the newly re-furbished LUSH in Portsmouth Cascades shopping centre. The store has benefited from being made more spacious and has had an improvement in the layout.
I pulled on my adorable bumble bee blouse and painted my lips ready for an evening of fun and excitement. Myself and Karen (from LifeofHearts blog) attended together on Thursday 23rd March a day ahead of the official opening and we were well and truly spoilt.

Upon arriving we were handed a glass of Prosecco each and treated to some divine vegan canapes provided by The Hungry Herbivores. There was everything from bruschetta with fresh tomatoes to the most flavoursome banoffee pie puddings you've ever tasted. As we stuffed our faces we wandered around the fabulous, spacious new store, marvelling at each jam-packed shelf, filled bath and skin care treats in every colour of the rainbow.
LUSH Portsmouth is, excitingly, the only store alongside the Oxford Street store to carry Easter eggsclusives - favourite products shaped as Easter eggs. And let me tell you, I'd happily skip out on my chocolate egg for any one of them.

The new re-fit was stunning. Fresh, clean, modern and vibrant; it was everything you'd expect from a even the flagship store. It was truly a feast for the eyes with fresh flowers and fruits lining the shelves along with LUSH products new and old displayed in the most creative ways, stacked up as far as the eye could see.
We watched demonstrations of bath bombs fizzing away leaving behind bowls of vivid colour and I couldn't help but dip my hand in, covering it in a plethora of colour and sparkles, looking like some kind of pop art. We trialled products with out-of-this world friendly, knowledgeable staff making our arms smell like a candy shop, sniffing them every now and again and feeling a million dollars; personal favourite - 'Scrubee'.

Browsing through the products there was an intoxicating atmosphere, people were smiling, laughing, cameras were flashing, various scents filled the air and up-beat music played, it was a truly happy place.
The cult fave Golden Egg Bath Bomb Melt from the Easter range was something I was hoping to get my hands on and, thankfully, there were stacks of them available. My fingers got covered with golden lustre as I popped one into a paper bag and I smiled thinking about how magical my bath would look with this in it.
Other stand out items from the Easter range were the adorable Bunch of Carrots Bubble Bar and the Which Came First Bath Bomb with a little surprise inside - I was kindly given one of these by a member of staff who saw my eyes light up when I saw it, but I won't spoil the surprise for you!

After spending more time talking with staff, learning as much as possible about the products and how they are made, and trying on some of LUSH's cruelty free makeup range we made our way to the tills and paid for our choices, kindly being handed a generous gift bag too. We left the gorgeous new store through the back entrance where another LUSH staff member asked us if we had a nice evening and handed us an extra bath bomb each for our gift bag. How kind!

We were well and truly spoilt at the LUSH re-opening event and I was so pleased to get the chance to see the new store in all its glory as well as learning so much about the products - I love to spend time in the store on shopping trips but its not always easy with an idle husband and toddler in tow, so I took full advantage of this time we were given.
If you are in the area then I'd highly recommend a visit to the new store. Take your time browsing and really take advantage of the knowledgeable staff there too, they are so friendly and always happy to demonstrate and answer questions. There is a much more relaxed vibe than before as the store is so much more spacious and welcoming, so you're sure to enjoy your time there.

What makes a Mother?

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Mothers day is almost here and I, for one, am super thankful to have a mother who is also a best friend. My mum has helped shape me into the woman I am today and she constantly inspires me to be who I want to be (including celebrating my 'individuality' a.k.a weirdness) and to do what I dream of.

A mother is not defined by blood, a mother is defined by bond; she is someone who strengthens you, who picks you up when you are feeling at your lowest, who has those one-to-one talks with you that no one else could, who connects with you on all levels.
She leaves an impression on your heart and in your head that inspires you and helps you to grow into a better woman. She teaches you that life may not always be fair, but that you are a force to be reckoned with and you can handle it. She shows you how to empower women around you and in turn you make her proud with everything you do.

We must remember to never take our mothers for granted. They do everything for us and we often forget that. They put us first every time. No matter how many children they have their heart is full of love for us and we need to show it in return, not just today, but everyday. Send the text. Take the picture and frame it for her. Take her to lunch. Take her on a drive. Tell her your hopes and dreams and listen to hers. Be there for her as she is for you

If you're a mother yourself, go at it full steam. Love them until your heart bursts. Take pride in every achievement, no matter how small. Kiss them a hundred times a day just because you can. Remember the happy moments for harder days. Tell them how much they mean to you. Encourage them. Inspire them. Love them with every breath you take.

Mothers are an exceptional species and we have a duty to remind them that we just couldn't be without them. Take today to show your mum how much she means to you and be sure to do it every day that you can, for what makes a mother? Her children.

Sabai Soaps

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Thinking about it, I really cant remember the last time I used a good old, honest bar of soap. What with a constant stream of new bath time treats, like bath pearls, bath bombs - even bath caviar -  the good old bar of soap seems to have taken a side step and fallen off the radar. My radar anyway.
That was until I came across a unique little online store just brimming with all-natural, organic, vegan soap made in exotic Thailand. Say hello to Sabai Soaps.

Sabai Soaps was born in 2015 with the humble mission of bringing truly exotic Thai scents to the UK. I've also learned that the very word 'Sabai' means something happy - what better ethic to build a brand from?! Something else I truly love about this brand is that they donate a hefty 20% of profits to charities, including children's charity 'Childs Dream'. Acts like this make a brand stand out in such a vast market and it is good to know that you can help charities as well as treating yourself to something fantastic.

The Kaffir Lime Bar (£5.25, 100g) arrives encased in an intricately designed, Thai inspred, bio-degradable paper and has the most decadent citrus scent. Notes of coconut give this a truly exotic, luxurious finish and, much to my surprise, the soap was not drying on the skin at all - as often traditional soaps can be - rather, it was moisturising and soothing.

The scent filled my whole bathroom, whisking me away to some tropical far off land, and the soap lathered up wonderfully for a full body cleanse. I also feel confident enough to use this on my sons delicate, toddler skin, as I know that it is packed with the best ingredients, is paraben free and is completely vegan and cruelty free.
The Kaffir Lime bar is made from all natural ingredients including; Coconut oil, known for its moisturising properties and skin benefits, Vitamin E to smooth fine lines and keep skin firm, as well as Kaffir Lime Oil to keep the skin fresh.

You can view the full Sabai Soaps collection and learn more about the brand through their online store, and join them on Facebook for regular updates - I think I'll try the Lemongrass bar next!

* This post contains gifted PR samples

February Roundup | My Favourites

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Can you believe its March already? Where has the time gone?! February was a relatively busy month for me what with my birthday, Valentines day, a friends wedding, a 60th birthday and so much more - all squeezed into 28 little days.
This beautiful notebook, which was gifted to me for Christmas sure came in handy with keeping me organised. It also looks perfect on my desk alongside this lovely terrarium, which I picked up for just £8 in Asda - super bargain and super stylish. This one is also fake, but very realistic looking, which is great for us forgetful folk.
You know I also love a candle or two about the home and Primark have some crackers o sale right now. I absolutely love this succulent candle, which retails at just £3, it adds some life to the room and, honestly, is too cute to burn down. This double wick tin candle by Primark also retails at only £3. The marble tin is right on trend and the scent of this Lavender and sea-salt candle is just like something straight out of a spa; fresh and calming. I light this one when I am unwinding after a long day.

February has been a fantastic month for beauty products for me, not only did I score £25 worth of  Bodyshop products for 50p (Promotions and reward vouchers, if you were wondering), but I also found out that NewLook fragrance Devotion is an exact dupe for the Chloe perfume and costs just a fraction of the price - score! It looks as though this has gone out of stock now as it was on sale, but I am hoping that its just gone for a re-design and will be back soon.

I had been on the look out for a new makeup bag for some time now, as my old one is past its best. I came across this kitsch Simpsons X SkinnydipLondon one and I immediately knew I had to own it. Its weird, but I love it and this design also comes as a phone case and a clutch bag - there are many other designs in the collection too, featuring your fave characters from the show.

Makeup go-to's for February include cult favourite TooFaced Better Than Sex Mascara - as well as having a robust, embossed packaging this styles my lashes to be super long and it doesn't flake or smudge onto the skin. I have also been loving the Limecrime Velvetine in 'Buffy', I have quite a collection of these but 'Buffy' is a real all rounder shade and once it is applied it just doesn't budge.

I have really grown to love a little highlighter in my makeup routine, I was worried I'd go overkill at first but I've learned that just a little of the right product in just the right place can give a real radiance to the skin. Jelly PongPong's All Over Glow is perfect for this - I received this in a Glossybox some time ago but since finding it again in December I have used almost the whole tube and I'll certainly be repurchasing. I apply this before my foundation for a glow to rival the Cullen's. This little beauty has the most gorgeous, warm champagne hue so it would also work perfectly for highlighting those cheek and brow bones.
I have also been enjoying using the IHeartMakeup Blushing Hearts in 'Iced Hearts' to highlight my cupids bow and temples; the mix of shades makes it very versatile and it has a very delicate shimmer to give the skin just the right amount of natural glow.

As always, skincare remains a very important part of my daily routine, I love the feeling of a fresh, clean skin, from my face down to my toes. I have become very conscious of buying cruelty-free products and will always research into a product before buying.
Superdrug have really stepped things up in terms of drugstore skincare offerings and I just love their Naturally Radiant range; the pieces are affordable, ethical and suitable for a range of skin types. Specific favourites of mine from this range are the Radiance Balm - I use this in the mornings as the tiny golden flakes give my skin a healthy glow - the Renewing Night Cream - this is ultra rich and creamy leaving my skin so soft - and the Brightening Micro Polish - which really helps to remove dead skin cells for a youthful complexion.

The Bodyshop are a firm favourite for me, they are always releasing new products and the variety of scents means there is something for everyone. I have grown to love a good rose product, so I recently picked up a bottle of the British Rose Petal-Soft Bath Foam and a couple of the 30ml British Rose Handcreams, which are ideal for throwing into your handbag for on-the-go applications.
I also took one of these travel-sized bottles of Olive Shower Gel on a recent night away and it was just the thing. The fresh scent is perfect for an awakening morning shower and the size means I can easily pop it into my toiletries bag and go!
If you've been a long time reader then you'll know how much I love the BodyShops Coconut Body Milk, it has a light yet ultra-moitsurising finish and doesn't leave you all slippery and greasy feeling. I recently ran my last bottle out so I re-purchased and was delighted when I saw that it has had a design make-over!

I was treated to a bottle of the L'Occtaine Shea Face Comforting Oil for my birthday by my dear Dad. I had previously tried a sample sized bottle of this as part of a Glossybox and I adored it. The scent is oh-so relaxing and it leaves your skin so, so soft without being greasy. I was mildly disappointed with the pump applicator of the full sized bottle, as the sample bottle had a dropper applicator which made things much more manageable, but I can put that aside for the fantastic results. I use this every other night as part of my skin care routine.

I have come to realise just how great LUSH products are and I'm sure that I'm addicted to their bathbombs. Rose Bombshell was part of the LUSH Valentines collection and it is just dreamy - it features an intricate rose design, is scented with the RoseJam fragrance and is filled with hand picked rose petals. Dan bought me one more of these before the collection disappears from shelves and I havent been able to bring myself to use it yet. 
I was also kindly given a tub of the LUSH Mask of Magnaminty by my sister for my birthday. This is part of LUSH's new self-preserving range, meaning the mask has more of a shelf life than previous products. This mask has a delicate minty scent and is filled with natural ingredients, including Kaolin and it has extra honey for a decadently thick texture.

Dan was very kindly gifted a PS4 for Christmas by his boss and we have been hooked on the Uncharted games ever since. With a Tomb-Raider vibe, protagonist Nathan Drake faces a series of exciting adventures around the globe with vibrant landscapes and stunning graphics. If you love adventurous, puzzle solving games then this one is for you.

You know by now that I just cant resist a comic or two and these are some of my most recent purchases. I have been learning about Daredevil - a blind vigilante living in Hells Kitchen, New York, set on putting criminals in their place -  for a few months now and thought it was time I owned some pieces featuring him. I picked these up on a trip to the Southampton Comics @ The Loft Ladder and I have barely put them down since. The compendium cost me just £6 and is filled with exciting stories of Daredevil, his origins, allies and foes. If you're ever in the area I highly recommend a visit to this store!

Not pictured is a soundtrack that I have been listening to on repeat for the last week and half; Hacksaw Ridge. After finally getting around to seeing the Oscar-winning movie on a recent trip to Bournemouth I have been admittedly, unashamedly addicted. The beautiful score is composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams and is truly memorable. It's one of those scores that transports you to a place within the movie and leaves you feeling inspired and encouraged. I have been hunting down the book that accompanies this movie - which tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a young man who refuses to carry a weapon into battle due to his religious beliefs and faces many challenges, persecutions and heartaches in the process - but it doesn't seem to have been released yet, so I am yet to read it.

What things have you been loving recently?!