Friday, 31 January 2014

Armour of Life // Lulu Walton Jewellery Collection

There are some beautiful independent jewellery designers, and Lulu Walton is one of these. 
Her new collection, Armour of Life, really emphasises on 'east meeting west'. Lulu, who is an ethnically inspired designer, creates very spiritual and soulful pieces to empower her clients. 

The Armour of Life collection, not only beautiful and outfit inspiring, helps support a vocational and training centre for homeless or destitute girls in the city of Jaipur, India. £1 from each of her pieces sold is donated to Ladli, the cause behind providing these girls with skills for life and helping them escape a poverty stricken life. 

My favourite pieces from her collection have to be rings, they are absolutely gorgeous, and I could definitely see these as statement pieces in my jewellery collection. 
Wouldn't you just love a piece of Lulu Walton's collection in your jewellery box this Valentine's Day? 
I know I certainly would. I'll be hinting at my husband for one of these rings…

être libéré

Be liberated. 
The definition of liberation is to set someone free

How do you liberate yourself?
How do you set yourself free?

I love travelling and seeing exhilarating scenes.
The ones that leave memories forever. 
I like feeling a part of new cultures and belief systems. 
To be a part of something special. 
Having a baby in it's own right is liberating. 
A miracle experience.  
Spending time with those I love and not taking them for granted. 

These are things that make me feel free
But I've done these. 

So I decided to shave my hair off. 
A strange thing to do I know, and I haven't gone all crazy Britney Spears on you all, but I fancied a change, and this is the most liberating, drastic thing I could change about myself. 
Being pregnant and giving birth to Dexter is one of the most life changing situations any woman can have in her life, and I believe that special events should be marked. 

Next on my list will be a tattoo I think…

Neuner's Baby Stomach Tea

I've had a lot of trouble with Dexter over the past month or so being colicky, having a lot of reflux, a lot of wind and generally being a grump and unhappy most of the night, moaning and groaning in his sleep. We found out last week that he's lactose intolerant, something I didn't think of because I have a lot of intolerances too, apparently that is a big part of it, another is that he was quite premature and his stomach wasn't fully developed. Le sigh. 

Gripe water didn't do the trick, it made him even more grumpy. I have changed his milk as that was one of the most important things, but unfortunately that wouldn't make any difference to his colic unfortunately!

That's when I discovered Neuner's Baby Stomach Tea
Tea, for babies?! Baby tea?!
This sounds like Dexter will be growing up like me, and avid tea drinking fan

Neuner's are an award winning Austrian herbal tea company who are trying to promote their range of baby and mother teas within the UK. Their teas are 100% organic and safe for both baby and you. 
Why would you give your baby something you wouldn't be willing to try for yourself?

Baby Stomach Tea contains aniseed, fennel, camomile, caraway, and thyme. These ingredients are used to promote healthy digestive and have soothing properties. 

I make up around a 150ml bottle of tea and leave for around 5 minutes to brew. Leave it to cool until it's room temperature and presto, ready to drink. Dexter normally drinks roughly an ounce at a time between feeds. If you are breastfeeding, this works equally as well either given by bottle, by a spoon, or you drinking the tea yourself. The properties are still passed in your milk. 
I've noticed he's been a lot happier, and there has been a reduction in his colic symptoms, such as arching his back and the constant crying too. He's still a grump now and then but I couldn't really expect miracles to work, but this is certainly helping. 

I've even found it's great for me too! Fennel is a well known IBS treatment, and along with the camomile, it helps give me a better night's sleep. 

Neuner's also have other teas in their baby tea range such as nursing tea, to help promote milk production and to relax you, and red clover tea which helps your overall wellbeing. 

You can buy these teas from health food shops and online.
The Baby Stomach Tea costs £4.49 for 20 tea bags, and can be purchased here.

* Product was sent to me for review, all opinions are honest and my own.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

#MyDenimStyle with F&F Clothing at Tesco

This morning I saw a Tweet from Clothing at Tesco with a competition to win a £25 gift voucher by showing a board on Pintrest of #MyDenimStyle featuring their denim fashion. 

Here are my two boards, what do you think?

The 'Blogger Made Me Buy It!' Tag

I'm not normally one to do tags to be honest, but I just had to do this one! Kel from Adventures in Tea and Cake tagged me for this, as I am one of the people most likely to influence her purchases. Actually, scrap that, I'm the one most likely to make her buy things… The original tag was invented by Danniella over at Famous in Japan, and I simply love it! She also created this little picture! 

1) Who are your most influential bloggers?  
Who are the ones that you really rely on for reviews and swatches?
I don't normally buy things based on reviews and swatches, normally I buy because I'm jealous or I think 'ooooh that looks good, she bought it so I must have it', which probably isn't the best reason in the world for buying things! The bloggers who make me buy the most though are probably Kel, Hayley from Tea Party Beauty and Zoe from London Lipgloss/ZOE . LDN

2) Do you buy a product solely as a result from one review from your favourite bloggers, or do you look for more reviews from others?
I normally only buy high street priced products so I don't mind just seeing a quick photo of the item or a quick review before buying it. If I was going to invest in something high end I would definitely research into the product a little further. 

3) What is your most favourite item that you have ever bought as a consequence of blogs?
Like Kel, there are so many things that I've bought as a result of checking out people's blogs! I definitely think the Apocalips would be my fave items though, so much hype on this product!

4) What is your least favourite item that you have ever bought as a consequence of blogs?
Probably foundations. I have a habit of buying them thinking they will be really good but no matter what I buy or have swatted, they never seem to work on my skin. I've used the same Garnier BB Cream for the past two years so I might as well just stick to that. If it isn't broke, don't fix it! 

5) Name 5 products you have bought recently as a result of blogs.
Oooh this is a hard one, I can't really remember! I've tried MAC Rebel lipstick, the MUA matte lipsticks, I received a Maybelline Fit Me Foundation from my Secret Santa (thank you!), I've tried out a few nSpa products as well. 

6) Have you ever given into blogger hype? 
 If so, which hype?
I'm always down with the hypes. My favourite massively hyped product has to be the Apocalips! 

7) Have you ever avoided blogger hype?  
If so, which hype? 
I see a lot of bloggers who spend tonnes of money on products, unfortunately now having a baby I can't do that so I do try and avoid high end products. The latest hype has been on the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette which I've avoided, to be honest the shades look very similar to the Sleek palette I've just bought! 

8) Is everything you buy based on blogger reviews or are there some items you buy without checking out a review?
Nope, most of the time I buy products on how they look! If I'm familiar with a brand, say for example MUA or Sleek, I'll just have a quick look at their stands and pick things in the 3 for 2!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

MeMeBox Korean Beauty Box // 2nd Edition

You may have recently seen my post on the 3rd edition MeMeBox I bought here, and since receiving that box I've become completely addicted. I saw the 2nd edition was back in stock so I bought two, one for you guys!

I'll be running a Twitter giveaway, where the winner will be chosen at random using the hashtag #spmemebox. I will be using a random winner selector tool for this. You must follow my Twitter account and re-tweet my Tweet to win this awesome beauty box. I can only post within the UK, and you must be over 16 to enter as I will need your address to post to. 
I will be running the giveaway on Twitter until Sunday 9th February. 
You can enter more than once too!

So what do you get in the 2nd edition?

Ryoe Jayang Yunmo Anti-Hairloss Hair Pack - 100ml sample. 
LJH's Tea Tree 90 Essence - 20ml sample. 
Miguhara BP Cream - 2x 3ml sample. 
Maycoop Raw Sauce - 40ml sample. 
A;T Fox Tea Toc Water Clear Tablet - 3x 4g full size
Holika Holika Skin&Good Cera Super Cream - 10ml full size
Gowoonsesang Total Active Dual BB Cream - 50ml full size
(You will also get a card in the beauty box showing how to use the products, as I know it can be quite daunting when all the product intstructions are in Korean). 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

My Stationary Obsession // Viking Direct

I myself, like every other blogger, have a stationary obsession. Not just cute notebooks, but pens, paperclips, ring binders, storage supplies, everything
I'm that obsessed that I will even buy a diary twice a year just because I fancy something new! 
Viking Direct have an excellent range of stationary and home office supplies on their website, all at great prices. They even have a 99p range where you can pick things up for low prices such as pens, post it notes and ring binders. Great prices for back to school, college and University. 

The website has a vast range of stationary supplies, and not just generic office style stationary where you buy a box of 100 Bic biro pens. You can also find fashionable stationary as well, which is really appealing to me as I'm more persuaded to buy it if it looks cute. 

I used to presume that Viking Direct were strictly for office use as I used to deal with them myself in a previous job, ordering the generic office stationary orders, but have never thought of using them to buy my home office supplies for my personal use. 

It's extremely simple to register for an account online, and they offer free delivery on orders over £30.

Viking Direct isn't just stationary and home office though, you can also buy food and catering supplies in bulk such as boxes of large biscuits, packs of chocolate, and a large tin of 1kg Cadbury's Hot Chocolate! (I can't wait to start drinking mine!). 

You can even find best selling popular books at low prices too!

They even have an arts and crafts section with oils paints, modelling clay, and notebooks all at very competitive prices. If you're an avid DIY or craft fan it would be worth checking out their supplies here so you can buy in bulk.  

And that isn't the end of you, you can find lots of gift ideas and gift wrapping supplies too.

* Products have been sent to me for review. 

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Dexter's Birth Story

Just a little warning that this is a long post.

It's taken me quite a while to feel ready to write about Dexter's birth story, mainly because I'm still coming to terms with what happened to me as he was born at 7 and a half months. For around a month after Dexter was born I still had nightmares about IV's and drips, and almost dying. 

I had quite a bad pregnancy all the way through, started with morning sickness before I found out I was pregnant, right from the first week! This continued on well into my second trimester and I was dizzy, sick and nauseous all the way up until around my 25th week of pregnancy. Amongst that I ended up with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and couldn't move my hands and wrists for a few weeks. You may have seen from previous pregnancy posts the rest of my symptoms, but right now I really can't be bothered typing them all up!

Then at 26 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was quite lucky that throughout my pregnancy I maintained a low blood sugar level. I had to attend antenatal clinic at the local hospital for weekly check ups and fortnightly scans just to check how Dexter was growing, and that he shouldn't be growing too big. Okay, so I know I would be induced at 38 weeks when Dexter was full-term. 

During the 32nd week of pregnancy I had reduced movement and ended up being admitted into hospital just to have a check up and make sure everything was ok. My blood pressure was quite high on admittance, but they just put it down to being stressed at the time. The doppler was fine and Dexter was moving about and having a right time so they let me go home. 
Surely nothing else could go wrong right?
Well, I got pre-eclampsia. 

It was during my 33rd week when I attended for my regular check up and a scan the sonographer mentioned that he was the right size and most of his measurements were right for 33 weeks, but that his waist wasn't the size it should be, and not to worry as I would be seeing the consultant shortly. Ok, so I wasn't that worried at this point, I was told that sometimes GD babies could be born a little small rather than being born really huge. It was only when I went in to see the consultant and she had me laid on the bed straightaway to take my blood pressure that I began to panic. Apparently it was really high again, and there had been quite a bit of protein in my urine sample. This was the beginning of pre-eclampsia, although no one would actually tell me that was what was happening. Anyway I began tablets to lower my blood pressure and sent home with an appointment to go a few days later and have a check to see how I was doing. 

When I popped in again a few days later, my blood pressure was still high, not as much so the tablets were working. That was good. However, the urine sample I took in the morning showed more protein. The midwife, bless her, lost the sample when she went to send it off, so I had to do another one. And it was a good job I did, because between the few hours I'd done the sample, my levels had risen again. This wasn't good. I had a telephone call in the afternoon to pop in the next day to start on a course of two steroid injections, just to help Dexter's lungs develop quicker in case anything happened. This was when I knew he would be coming a lot sooner. 

I turned up to the labour ward the day after for my injections, when I was told that due to me being diagnosed with GD I would have to be monitored for 10 hours to make sure my blood levels were stable. Great stuff. So rather than me going home at around 11pm that night, they kept me in so I could have the second injection the following morning. But I didn't have an injection the following morning, I had it 12 hours after the original one. Okay, well maybe I just got the timings wrong? That must have been my fault. I was still having my bloods, blood pressure and urine monitored regularly, I just presumed this was part of the normal procedure. The morning after (Sunday 24th November) my blood sugar level was fine! I was overjoyed I'd be going home the same day. Woohoo. Apart from I had to wait until I'd had a meal, my lunch at 1pm, before I could have my last blood sugar levels checked at 2pm. So I waited, and waited, packed and ready to go home when my blood sugar was fine at 2pm. 

That's when I began to get seriously ill. 

I regularly suffer from migraines which start as a little headache so I didn't pay much attention to this symptoms of pre-eclampsia, which apparently is one of the main symptoms. At 2pm my arms began to swell and turn red, they were burning. A Doctor came to give me antihistamines as she just presumed I had an allergic reacting to something. They never went down, and just got worse. From the top of my arms, my neck and my forearms, they were bright red, swollen and burning. My head was banging and I couldn't focus properly. By around 4pm the heartburn I'd had for weeks began to turn into a stabbing pain and I couldn't breath with it. I called my midwife, told her things weren't right and this wasn't an allergic reaction because I knew what my reactions were like. She took my bloods, blood pressure and urine sample again. The results weren't good. 
My midwife called the registrar again, who then in turned called the on call consultant. And that is when I found out at 6:20 pm that I would be taken to labour ward. Ok I presumed at 34 weeks I would just be induced. That's when they told me they were taking me for an emergency caesarean section that evening. I called my mum and dad in a panic to come straight to the hospital straightaway, my mum was to be my birth partner as at this point my husband was still in Germany! My dad called him and he managed to get a flight back the next morning to come home. 

So I collected my stuff and headed off to the labour ward. Even though I didn't feel ill at this point they made me get in a wheelchair, I honestly didn't feel unwell at all. I was taken to labour ward, given my suite and told to put a gown on. I honestly thought the two worst experiences would be being catheterised and having my spinal. But actually, they weren't half as bad as I imagined. So I was told I would be stabilised as my stats were dropping rapidly and my temperature was rising. I was put on several IV drips, three in one hand and two on the other. At this point I was really struggling to breath and had to have oxygen. That's when I knew things weren't going well. 
I haven't shown anyone these photos before, at this point I was actually on my death bed but I didn't realise it at the time. 
I was taken down to theatre for my caesarean. There was a large team in there. I remember them asking me what music I wanted. I was too doped up to give a straight answer but remember laughing and asking for Christmas music. Everyone joked it was too early, but now I know I'll always play Christmas music on 24th November. 

I was hooked up to all the machine again. I had that many IV lines that I couldn't move my arms too much as the lines weren't long enough to let me move. I was still on oxygen at this point. Then I had the spinal. I sat up on the edge of the bed being supported by my two midwives. I didn't feel any pain at all and it didn't bother me, until I started to feel really dizzy and sick. That's when my stats fell really low and needed to be stabilised before they could proceed. Around 5 mins after that they began the caesarean. I was totally out of it at this point but remember saying to mum 'have I had a baby?!' when they pulled Dexter out and I heard him cry. 

And that's when I became a mum to Dexter Xiang Pan, at 11:46 pm. 
And it still hasn't really sunk in that during that evening, I almost died. 

They took him straight to SCBU where he did really well on his own, no incubator, no breathing or feeding equipment and was allowed home on my birthday a week later. It's taken me quite a while myself to get better from the caesarean, but I was lucky I didn't have any actual problems with my scar.

I'm sorry the post has been so long, but the moral of the story, and there is one, is please make sure you attend your antenatal check ups, and if anything, just one small thing, doesn't feel right to you.
 Make sure you sort it out and see someone about it
No matter how big or small the problem or question is

What I Wore: Leeds // Disco Pants Edition

This outfit was worn to one of my many trips to Leeds recently. I've not been dressing up much lately. All I've really done is stay home and feed Dexter etc, being a new mum is hard and you feel like you don't have much time to do anything! I can't wait until he gets into a routine and I can do more during the day. I feel pretty lousy trying to catch up with sleep all the time!

The shirt is from Primark, necklace is Vivienne Westwood, coat from Dorothy Perkins, bag from Primark, disco pants/leggings from G21 at George, and the boots from H&M.

Yes, I am wearing disco pants!
Finally I managed to find a decent pair that looked half decent on me.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Win a pair of FitFlop Duo Ballet Pumps!

As it's recently been my first blogoversary, I'm working in collaboration with FitFlop to give away a gorgeous pair of their ballet pumps to one lucky reader of my blog!

Here are the pair up for grabs. 
A gorgeous pair of duo ballet pumps in black + gold polka dot with gold toes. 
Great for dressing up smart for work, or adding a bit of glitz for a night out.
All you need to do is enter via Rafflecopter below.
The giveaway will be open from today (24th January) until 2nd February.

You must be within the UK or the US.
You also must have permission from your parent or guardian if you're under 16 to enter as I will need your address to post your fabulous pair of shoes. 

A winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. 
I will verify all entries, so please make sure you do not follow or Tweet from a competition account.

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Wouldn't you rather have a night in?

It's been a while since I've actually had a night out to be honest! I'm not really a fan of doing the whole night out thing now I'm a mum. I like to be tucked up in bed at a reasonable time hoping I can get some beauty sleep, although with a newborn it's not very likely! I remember when I was younger (I sound so old now!) you could have a decent night out on £20 and catching the night bus home. Now you're looking at paying at least £30 plus on drinks plus the taxi fare home, which from Leeds, costs a hefty £30 to where I live! 
Just think of how many pairs of Primark shoes you could buy for that?!

A recent survey undertaken has shown that a whopping 70% of women would prefer a night in. These ladies have definitely got the right idea, I mean who wants to go out in winter anyway? It's far too cold for that at the moment. I would much rather be tucked in under my snuggie with my girlfriends, a movie, take away and a glass of wine. It goes to show that Leeds ladies would much prefer to be wearing something comfortable and warm too, 35% of those surveyed felt they couldn't dress up without being judged for a night out. 

What do you need for a good night in then? 
Well besides the standard take away and bottle of wine, there needs to be chocolate of course. Every girly night in needs to have beauty treatments, so why not do your nails and pop a face mask on? All this can be done whilst watching a nice movie too! Now I'm not a fan of chick flick movies, I'm a big horror and indie movie buff, so having a subscription to Love Film helps everyone pick a movie you all want to watch. 

The Chocolate Beauty Box - £55 from Hotel Chocolat 
Dragon Fruit Sauna Face Mask - £1.00 per sachet from Montagne Jeunesse 
Movie Subscription - free for a month via Love Film
Bourjois nail varnishes - £5.99 each from Superdrug
Snuggie - £15.00 from JML at Tesco

By the look of those Hotel Chocolat chocolates, 
I know where I would rather spend my drinking money!
Wouldn't you just prefer a night in?

* This is a PR collaboration post. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

MeMeBox: The Korean Beauty Box

I like beauty boxes,  I don't however like the price tag which comes with some of the. I've had previous subscriptions with GlossyBox, JolieBox, BirchBox, Feel Unique, and Latest in Beauty to name a few. These are all roughly the same price, around £12.00 including postage, give or take a few pounds. You normally get five or so samples and occasionally full size products, which is nice, but I always end up with a zillion products which I never use. The cost goes up when you have a subscription all at once to two or three, whoops. So I decided to cancel all my subscriptions. 

Until I found this little beauty. The MeMe beauty box. 

Yes, this is a Korean beauty box. 
I honestly couldn't have been happier when this came the other day, I'd been waiting in anticipation for a week or so. 

I love how well wrapped this beauty box is, and comes with a little card showing each of the items within. 

This box, the third edition, comes with 10 products from eight Korean brands such as Dr. Jart and Tony Moly. I can't wait to try these out. 

I'm most keen to try out this cream in hope that my dreams do come true and I really will have skin that bounces like mozzarella. Please note, this cream does not smell like cheese(!), it has a lovely floral fragrance. 

You can buy this beauty box here, for around £17.50 including postage. Just for a few quid more than a normal beauty box! I can assure you I will be using all the products featured in this box. I do love a good Asian cosmetics and skincare brand! 

MeMe Box also stock various cosmetics and skincare too. 

What do you think to the idea of this Korean beauty box?
I've already ordered the 4th edition! 

Wedding Lingerie from Bras Galore

As most of you know (or if you don't, why not?!) I got married last March. It's almost been a whole year of marriage for us, pretty exciting! I already had the venue booked, but hadn't thought in much detail about having a wedding dress or a nice car to take me to the venue, until the week before. I was aiming for a simple registry office wedding, but it turned into something more special. You can see my post on how to sort out a short-notice wedding here

One thing I did miss however, was my bridal lingerie. 

I'm a typical non-matching knickers and Bridget Jones pants kinda girl. I think I have one set of matching lingerie which still has the tags on it. I will wear it one day, I've just never paid much attention to things like that. 

Bras Galore have a gorgeous range of wedding and bridal lingerie though. I wish I'd have seen this earlier! It's not just a case of having really sexy lace underwear though, they have a fabulous range of support and shaping underwear as well to conceal those lumps and bumps, those of which I have a lot of

I'm a big fan of shaping underwear and yes, I do wear a pair of pull-me-in pants on a regular basis, especially with jeans, they are a nightmare. But that's for another time…

I had a very simple chiffon wedding dress however, there was a jersey under slip underneath which did cling to my bum quite a lot and showed off more than my wobbly bits, my cellulite thighs! 
These high waisted briefs from Freya would have been perfect for me on my memorable day.
My wedding dress was full topped with short sleeves so I wasn't showing any chest and could wear a normal bra. However, for those of you out there about to get married in a strapless dress, Freya have some great shape wear out there. 
These are my favourite picks. 
And of course, the final touch for any bride to be, something blue. 
The all important garter. 
Bras Galore offer a great range of beautiful bridal lingerie all for affordable prices. From support and shape wear as shown above, or beautiful lacey underwear they have everything you could want for your special day. They also cater for all sizes with a wide range available. 

* This is a PR collaboration post. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

My Week In Photos #2

This is the second week I've managed to keep up with doing a week in photos, it wasn't one of my blog resolutions or anything, but something I'm really enjoying doing. Mind you, I don't have many things coming up this week so I doubt I'll be doing one again at the weekend. I lead a pretty boring life now. 

Last Sunday I had a little afternoon tea party, and pulled the Hello Kitty teacups and saucers out for the first time! 

I had my first blog birthday // Downloaded the newest eBook from Matthew Reilly //
 Changed my blog layout // Dexter finally fitting in his apple sleepsuit! 

Popped for afternoon tea with Momma HP // Selfie //
Found a chicken katsu curry kit in B&M for £1.49! // Made the chicken katsu curry 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Winter Pastel Trend: The Coat Of My Dreams

I'm really adoring the winter pastel trend at the moment, it gives a great pop of colour to my dowdy black clothing I've taken to wearing lately. I can mainly be found in a black pinafore dress, and a bright shirt with colour coordinated shoes.

After browsing the sales for a new coat (which I always end up buy two or three!), I failed to find something I fell in love with. I wanted to find a staple for my wardrobe but haven't fallen in love with anything, yet. Although I'm now eyeing up a few black biker coats for this autumn and next winter. 

I love Dorothy Perkins coats, I always seem to find the best ones in the sale here, like the burgundy and  black faux fur collared coat I'm often seen out and about in, which was a bargain at £30.00 a few years back.   I did manage to find a gorgeous blush coat, similar to my burgundy one, with a long faux fur collar. I fell in love with it. I was debating whether to buy it or not for a few days but the colour on the website looked a bit creamy nude, and I wasn't sure how long it would take to get dirty, especially with Dex's dirty mitts, so I avoided buying it online. Anyway, I thought if I found it in the store in Leeds Trinity I would have to buy it, it would be fate right? Well, it wasn't fate to buy it in the store as they didn't have it, phew, I managed to save myself £69.00 there. 

Until, I found it on the website, reduced to £48.30. What a bargain! I had to buy it at that price surely? Well, I also managed to find myself a nice £10.00 discount code too, which meant overall I paid £38.30 for the coat. Okay, so it was a real bargain

I picked it up in store last week, and oh my gosh, it's gorgeous. It's hardly like the colour on the website, and a true blush colour, which adds the perfect amount of winter pastel to my wardrobe. 

Yes, this truly is the coat of my dreams. 

My Beauty Compare

'My Beauty Compare: Your Best Friend For Beauty'
It's not often I agree with a brand statement, but this one is definitely fitting! 
My Beauty Compare really is my new best friend.
My Beauty Compare is the first price comparison site for all your beauty needs, ensuring that you can get the highest quality products for the best prices. There are so many price comparison websites now, whether for your insurance needs or utilities, but by far this is the one I will use the most often, especially in this day and age where you want to save as much as possible on your products. Using their price comparison to find products for their lowest prices means you can afford to splash out a little more on trying new products too. 
My Beauty Compare isn't just a price comparison site, you can also create your own beauty profile to find beauty products which will match your skin colour, eye colour, hair type and skin type. 
There is also an online community, where everyone can leave a review of their product. Very helpful when purchasing something you haven't experienced first hand. There is also a friendly forum where you can discuss beauty products, or chat about any beauty problems you might be having.
Overall, the sit is very easy to navigate and you can find everything you need within a few clicks. They even have a brand directory here, when you can find all the products you need! I really enjoyed having a browse of some of the brands as I discovered quite a few I hadn't heard of and would like to try.

So my question to you is, 
have you set up your beauty profile yet?

You can find My Beauty Compare on Twitter, and Facebook too so you can keep updated on their newest offers and products.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Blogger Secret Santa

When Hayley from Tea Party Beauty asked who would like to participate in her Secret Santa for 2013 I jumped at the chance. I'm always a fan of Secret Santa even though I'm hopeless most if the time at keeping things a secret. I've always been like that though, even since I was a child. 

I'd just returned home from hospital when I found this gorgeous package waiting for me! I couldn't wait to delve in and eat the marshmallow lolly treats, they were divine!

I simply couldn't wait until Christmas though so I opened them immediately. I was delighted with the contents of my gift! Someone had been reading my blog and knew what I wanted!

I would like to say a massive thank you to MeiMei from MeiMei Says for my Secret Santa! I know there has been quite a bit of a delay in thanking you for it! I've been using the nSpa Oil-Free Moisturise Gel in replacement of my Clinique one and must admit, they are very similar products! I'll definitely repurchase this in the future! 

Seasons Online: Memory Lockets

I have great experience of Seasons Online, and new to their collection are memory lockets. These are very similar to high street and high end charm bracelets but at a fraction of their hefty price. You could make a gorgeous present for your loved on this Valentines, or would work equally well as a Mother's Day gift, or even if you just fancy treating yourself! 
First of all, you choose your necklace or bracelet from a lovely selection of 13 available on the site. Their large choice means you can personalise your necklace to suit anyone's style! 
Secondly, you choose your charms dependent on how many the necklace or bracelet can fit. This is usually 5-6 charms depending on the charm size itself. 
The beauty of the memory locket necklaces and bracelets are that the charms are encased, meaning you can change the inserted charms as often as you want. 
Here are a couple of examples of what I would choose:

For my mum, who has just recently become a grandmother, I would make her one featuring a 'mom' charm, a 'nana' charm, a blue enamel and crystal pram charm, a December Zirconia birthstone, charm (being the month both me and my mum were born in), and a November Topaz birthstone charm, (being the month that Dexter was born in). My mum is a fan of charm bracelets so I would collect all the charms within a classic silver circle bracelet. 
This would make a great Mother's Day present from both me and Dexter, one which she will be able to cherish for years to come.
Anyone who knows me, or reads my blog on a regular basis, will know I'm a fan of prints and cups of tea. I can be persuaded to buy anything if it has a cute print of an owl, or something with a horse on it! These lockets and bracelets are no different, here is one I would personalise for myself. 
I would make a memory locket necklace, this way I could accessorise any of my print outfits for the day. The charms I would include are the silvery rabbit charm, the gold and brown horse charm, the owl charm, the white teacup and saucer charm, and the gold swallow charm. 
The lockets and bracelets begin at £9.99. 
The charms all cost £2.99. 

Delivery within the UK is free, express delivery is £2.99 within the UK, and you can get worldwide delivery from only £2.50!

* This is a sponsored post. 

Seaside Staycation: Holiday Ideas

With Dexter being so young I don't want to take him on too many long haul flights this year, we'll be travelling frequently to visit my husband in Munich, and having a trip to China for a family holiday, which will just about wear him out! As we'll be moving to China and living in a real big city, it will take at least six hours on the train to travel to the nearest seaside. This year I've decided to try and have as many seaside 'staycations' in the UK. Plus, they are cheaper and we don't have far to travel.

I'm lucky living in West Yorkshire because we are able to travel to both the east and west coasts within a few hours, giving us a lot more seaside coverage!


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I haven't been here in years! There are quite a few attractions which are child friendly, such as the model village and the zoo. Basically, I love visiting zoos and aquariums so this is right up my street. Of course they have a good shopping mall too so there it lots to keep my husband's wallet (un)happy. There are plenty of various events at the moment such as Showzam featuring Sooty! You could have a nice walk around the tower, and walk on the glass floor, something which I have yet to do! There are various places to stay, such as a static caravan or a homely, friendly B&B. 


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My parents used to have a static caravan in Morecambe, where I went every holiday from the age of 10 to 16. I made some amazing friends and have some great memories of this place. Morecambe to me will always be nostalgic. However, it has changed a lot in the last ten years. Most of the attractions have been knocked down and the retail units gone. But, it will still hold a lot of memories for me and I still think it would make a nice quiet seaside town to visit. Besides, Lancaster is a short drive away and is one of my favourite cities to shop in! Morecambe would make a great Lancashire base for lots of activities such as walking, museums and plenty of animal attractions! There are plenty of places to stay, such as static caravans and seafront hotels. 


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With me spending most of my time on the west coast, I haven't really taken much time to explore the east coast. I've been to Whitby a few times on school trips but never had the chance to explore as an adult. Whitby, famous for being associated with Bram Stoker's Dracula, has much more to offer. The high cliffs and scenic views give a peaceful seaside holiday. Unless you fancy visiting the goth festival or various folk festivals of course! There are some gorgeous places to stay in Whitby, such as the Shoreline Holiday Cottages. They have a great range of cottages to suit, and have offers on the moment meaning you can have a short weekend break when suited. Whitby, like Morecambe, makes a great base to travel to various seaside towns. Leading me on to my last seaside trip…


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There is plenty to do here and Scarborough is one of my favourite Yorkshire coastal towns. There is plenty to experience, from the aquarium to tasting the locally caught fresh fish and seafood, yum! There are lots of attractions to see, from the Roman ruins to long walks in parks and surrounding gardens, Peasholm Park being my favourite with the Chinese pagoda. It's a quaint, vintage style seaside town where you can get a fabulous afternoon tea for next to nothing! There are also lots of places to stay, from friendly B&B's to hotels.

* This post is a PR collaboration.