Monday, 31 March 2014

Review: Simple - Kind To Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub

With my sensitive skin, it's always so difficult to find suitable products. I must have gone through so many products in the past few years just to find the right ones. There have been occasions where I've literally used a product once and had to throw it away. One of the brands that I can almost always rely on is Simple. Not only do they make gentle products, they are also super affordable.

One of my favourite products is the Simple Kind To Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub. I'm not sure how long it's been around for but I only came across it about 2 years ago and, since that day, I've only bought one other face scrub and that was only because this wasn't on the shelf that day. 

As with the majority of Simple products, this is scentless. It contains rice granules, which I assume is the exfoliating agent in this as I can't seem to find anything else on the tube. The granules are extremely fine and really help to buff away dead skin cells in the most gentle way possible. In terms of affordable high street products, I haven't come across any face scrub that is more gentle, fine and effective as this one

My skin is left feeling refreshed, brighter, and very soft. I've actually used this on my hands a couple of times too when they get dry in the Winter and it works wonders! It's gentle enough to make my hands lovely and soft again without feeling like I've just rubbed sandpaper onto them!

The tube is quite small compared to some other face scrubs and only contains 75ml of product for £3.29, which I guess is still very cheap in the grand scheme of things. You only need to use this once a week so it does last a while. I tend to purchase this when there are offers in store such as 3 for 2. 

Of course, if your budget extends a bit further then there are other options out there. One of my friends is a big Dermalogica fan and she was close to purchasing the Microexfoliant when we visited the stand at Westfield. I have to say, it does look like an ultra fine exfoliator and it's something I will probably try in the future but the price tag is insane. Quite frankly, I don't believe that you need to spend ridiculous amounts for good skincare. So, for her birthday last year, I put together a little goodie bag for her and included this Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub. Always a pleasure to introduce people to my favourite skincare brand and help them save money at the same time!

I'm still open to trying out other face scrubs but I think it will take a lot for a product to beat this one!

What is your favourite face scrub?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Just What I Needed

Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you're hitting your head against a break wall? Well that's exactly how I felt last week. For me, my two favourite ways of picking myself up are to exercise and eat food. Bit of a juxtaposition, I know! Last week I felt like I'd done enough exercise to rival that of an athlete (okay... maybe not quite but you get the idea) so food was the only solution left!

I headed to the usual destination with my cousin by my side and I thought I'd share my (small) feast with you all.

The first thing that I had was this sausage bun. It's a lot more appetising than it looks. It's basically a sweet bun filled with frankfurter sausage, cheese, sweetcorn, and peas. Okay, it's a lot more appetising than it sounds as well, I promise!

Of course, I had to have a cake of some sort! I opted for this coffee cake slice. I've been staying away from caffeine for various reasons (I didn't even have any festive drinks over Christmas!) so I figured that having some coffee cake would be enough to satisfy my caffeine cravings. The cream was yummy as it was filled with fruits. Guess that counts towards my five a day....

Coconut water is so refreshing and delicious and I figured I should have at least one completely healthy thing. I don't purchase this often as I think it's a little pricey for what it is. It describes itself as "like sticking a straw in a coconut". Honestly, I've literally stuck a straw in a coconut before and nothing can compare to it. When I don't have fresh coconuts to hand, though, Vita Coco is a suitable substitute.

What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Review: Rosebud By Design Jewellery

I really ought to have a bit of a clearout sometime soon because I seem to have accumulated so much stuff lately. There's always room for pretty jewellery though, always.....

Rosebud By Design offers beautiful handcrafted jewellery, designed to create long lasting memories in your mind. It's always nice to have something that brings back happy memories. The lovely beads and pearls are high quality and catch the light to give you that extra bit of sparkle. Reminds me of a bracelet that I own which creates a rainbow-like effect on the walls whenever the sunlight comes through.

I was kindly sent two items to feature on my blog and I hope you will all like them as much as I do!

This Strawberry Princess Bracelet* caught my eye mainly due to the colour. I'm not a major girly girl but I do love a bit of pink. The design is also something that I haven't seen before and it would be a fantastic bracelet to wear for a glamorous occasion. I've already had a few people ask me about it as it looks very unique. This would make a lovely gift for anyone who loves pink!

My favourite piece from Rosebud By Design is the Snowflake Bracelet*. This is very much my kind of bracelet at the moment, it's simple but sophisticated and it's easy to wear on a day-to-day basis without being too showy. I would also definitely wear this with an elegant evening outfit. The white Swarovski pearls are elegant and dainty, and the diamantes give it that subtle bit of glam. Pearls will never go out of fashion and I like to think I can channel my inner Audrey Hepburn with them...

Have you visited Rosebud By Design yet?

Thursday, 20 March 2014

A Little Bit Of Popcorn

Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved popcorn! My favourite was Butterkist toffee popcorn but I also used to like freshly popped popcorn from the cinema. As the years have gone on, even cinema popcorn doesn't seem to taste so fresh anymore. If anyone here works at the cinema and would like to shed some light on that, feel free to.....

Making popcorn at home is one way to make sure that it's fresh. You can buy pre-flavoured popcorn (normally sweet or salty) in bags that you just chuck in the oven. For more creative control over flavours, you can buy plain popcorn kernals and pop them yourself in a pan. Or you can go one better and get yourself a Heat 'n' Eat Microwave Popcorn Maker*. I was kindly sent this from the team at IWOOT.

This is so simple to use and easy to clean. You simply use the measuring tool to fill your tub with kernels, and then pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. I used an 800W microwave and set the timer for 3 minutes. Et voila! Perfectly popped popcorn and super fresh! No standing by the pan. No messing around with popcorn bags. Just plain popcorn straight from the microwave, and you have full control over how you choose to flavour it. It makes enough for 1-2 people, but you can very easily and quickly make more if you needed to.

I'm more of a sweet rather than savoury person when it comes to popcorn so I decided to pour caramelised sugar onto it. It gives a sweeter taste than typical "sweet" popcorn but it's also not as sickly as toffee can sometimes be.

I can honestly say that this is the best popcorn that I have ever had. It had a lovely warm freshness to it and I could get the sweetness just right for how I like it. The only downside is that I'll probably never want to eat cinema popcorn or supermarket popcorn ever again! Speaking of the cinema, I do love to watch new releases but there's something ever so cosy about getting into my favourite pyjamas, curling up on the sofa, and putting on my favourite DVD. And now I'll even have fresh popcorn to go with it!

I love experimenting with food and I'm very pleased to add this very practical popcorn maker to my kitchen cupboards. Also, if you're trying to be healthy, plain popcorn makes a great snack! You can eat it straight from the sturdy red tub!

The Heat 'n' Eat Microwave Popcorn Maker retails at £14.99, a worthwhile investment for any popcorn lover. Experiment with some different combinations and come up with your own gourmet flavours!

What's your favourite popcorn flavour?

*PR sample.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

It really feels as though the special occasions never stop. Not long ago we had Christmas, shortly followed by New Year, then Valentine's Day, and now we have Mother's Day at the end of this month. I find that mothers can sometimes be the trickiest to buy for so I've compiled several gift ideas in the hope that you'll all find something suitable to gift on the 30th of March!

Pamper Treats
Who doesn't love a good pamper session? Set her up with a selection of yummy smelling products and leave her in peace for a bit. Sometimes mums are so busy that they rarely get any me-time. Lush sells so many gorgeous smelling products and their Mother's Day range looks pretty good. I love the smell of the Sex Bomb Bath Ballistic, a popular product which is sold all year round. Face masks are brilliant too, and they're really low cost. 

I'm someone who normally advises others to steer clear of gifting fragrances because it's quite a personal thing and most people are fully committed to a certain type of scent or a certain product. However, most of us will probably know our mums better than we know anyone else so it should be fairly easy to either pick up her favourite fragrance or find her something new that she will love. Fragrance Direct has some great fragrance gift sets at discount prices so it's the perfect place to have a little browse. This Chloe Signature Gift Set* that they sent me is a great option for someone who wants something light and not too overpowering. It's floral fresh and I'd personally describe it as the type of floral fragrance for people who aren't obsessed with florals. The perfume bottle looks simple but sophisticated and can be layered with the lotion.

A lot of mums (and females in general) love jewellery. I think that necklaces are the best jewellery gifts as you don't have to worry about fit/size. If you're willing to splash out a little, H.Samuel is a fantastic jewellery store and I own several pieces from them. More recently, I came across Jasper Jewellery where I got my hands on this gorgeous rabbit necklace. All their items come with free gift wrapping too! You can use discount code IAmLinderella5 for €5 off your order

You are never too old to make your own gifts for people and, let's face it, some of us may have a mum who goes down the route of "You really don't have to get me anything" and they really mean it! Making your own gift is a lot more personal and it shows you've really put a lot of thought and effort into it. One of my favourite craft books is Everything Origami. I made some origami roses for my mum a few year's back and she loved it so I'm planning on making a couple of things this year too. I'm not too sure what I'll be making yet but that's what next weekend is for!

What are your gift ideas for Mother's Day?

Friday, 14 March 2014

Review: Monu - Soothing Touch Recovery Balm

Monu is a popular professional skincare brand, with their products being used worldwide by beauty professionals. They pride themselves on bringing out the best in their customers using the best of nature. Their products are all formulated using the most effective natural ingredients including plants, essential oils, and minerals. Natural skincare is quite important to me as my skin is very sensitive and reacts easily to harsh chemicals.

In a world where our skin is easily stressed out or damaged by environmental factors such as the cold, we all need a "hero" product to soothe our skin and look after it. I received this Recovery Balm* from them which is part of their Soothing Touch range, designed for all skin types and in particular sensitive and stressed skin. 

With so much good stuff packed in including shea butter to improve the skin's barrier function, blackcurrent seed oils to repair skin lipids, and natural betanes to encourage the skin's hydration process, this is a fantastic product for stressed out skin.

My skin can get quite stressed out during the mornings if I've been rushing around to get ready, or when it's really windy outside, and this Recovery Balm has been a lifesaver. It calms my skin down and reduces the redness and irritation that can occur with dryness. The texture is light and airy, non-greasy, and it glides on smoothly. It's recommended that you apply this either as your moisturiser or on top of your moisturiser. On days when I use this, I don't bother with my usual moisturiser as this is enough to keep my skin hydrated and well looked after for the day.

I love the smell of this product, which is infused with soft rose and bergamot oils, it reminds me of a spa. It just screams luxury and I know it will have a special place in my skincare collection.

This is priced at £19.95 for a 50ml bottle, which is a little more expensive than what I would usually go for but it's highly effective and it's also something that I only use once or twice a week, and maybe even less if my skin isn't playing up. Those who have sensitive skin will probably agree that it can be so hard to find soothing products and it's usually worth it to pay for one that finally works!

Are you familiar with Monu Skincare?
P.S: This is my 100th blog post!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Review: Mr Nutcase - Personalised Phone Case

I'm a massive fan of anything that has been personalised and I own a lot of personalised items. Recently, I added to this personalised collection when I was kindly sent a Personalised Phone Case* for my Blackberry from Mr Nutcase.

I've never had a personalised phone case before because it's just one of those things that I just wouldn't know what to personalise it with. I don't like anything that's too cheesy so I certainly wouldn't have some celebrity boy band plastered over it, but I wouldn't want anything too personal since a lot of people will see it when I'm out an about using my phone therefore family photos are a big no-no for me. 

So when the opportunity came along to get myself one of these, I spent a while going through the hundreds of images on my laptop. I believe that it's okay to use free stock photos from the web but I wanted something that meant a bit more to me. Eventually I came across an image that I took when I was in London for my birthday. To be more precise, I was actually on the London Eye at the time. The photo has not been edited at all but it looks black and white because of the stream of golden sunlight that was ripping through the sky, and that's why I love the photo so much. This photo means a lot to me as not only is it one of my favourite photos that I've taken myself, but it reminds me of the fabulous birthday weekend that I had. 

The phone case itself is a clear plastic material with the image printed over it. As the plastic is quite glossy, it did make me worry a little about the longevity of whatever ink was used. I actually lightly scratched the edge to test it out and, surprisingly, nothing came off.

This case is very lightweight and it also feels a little thinner than the plastic cases that I've used before. I see this as a good thing because it snaps onto my phone with ease. Previous phone cases have been so tough that it always made me a little paranoid that I might be damaging my phone every time I had to remove the case to reset my phone, for example, hence why I normally use silicone cases nowadays. 

Overall, this is a fantastic case and I'd definitely consider getting a few more personalised cases in the future because it means no one else will have the same one!

Do you have a personalised phone case?

Saturday, 8 March 2014

All You Need Is Dessert.

Honeydew Melon bubble tea and Mango bubble tea. Mango was mine!

Sometimes, all you need is a quiet cafe where you can sit down and enjoy dessert. 

It's become somewhat of a tradition now that everytime I decide to go "shopping", it's really code for "going out to eat something yummy". Most of the time when I take a trip to the shopping centre, I come back empty handed and it doesn't even bother me because I'll have consumed something delicious! You can't feel sad when you've eaten such a delight, right?

A couple of weekends ago, I took a trip to Birmingham and stopped off at a very cute little café called Caffé Chino. I normally go there just for the bubble teas, I love them! This time round though, I decided to order myself something sweet to go along with it and I chose this mango mousse. I absolutely love mango so my bubble tea was also mango flavoured. Mango overload? No such thing!

It was a lot richer than I imagined it would be and it really filled me up before I'd even touched my bubble tea! There was also a really thin layer of sponge on the bottom which was a lovely surprise. Definitely one of the best desserts that I've had in a while! Even typing this out makes me want to eat another one right now...

I hope you're all having a good weekend!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Review: For All My Eternity - Organic Day Cream

For All My Eternity is a luxury skincare brand offering a range of natural and organic skincare and tanning products. Only the finest natural ingredients are used and everything is manufactured in the UK. As someone who has sensitive skin, I love natural skincare products. 

I was recently sent the Organic Day Cream* to test out, made with 95% organic ingredients including jojoba oil, lavender, and geranium. As this is a daytime cream, the texture is extremely light and sinks nicely into the skin. I much prefer light moisturisers as I don't like the sticky feeling from a heavy product. I find that a lot of day creams can actually be a little heavy too but this one is most definitely a very light product. 

Sometimes, my skin can get irritated and this cream works nicely to soothe it. I find it has a slight cooling effect, it glides on easily, and it's suitable for all skin types. It leaves my skin soft and supple and I'm pleased to say that my sensitive skin did not react to this at all. If you're struggling to find something that soothes your sensitive skin, this is a great option and it's packed full of good, nourishing ingredients. 

The only criticism I have for this is that I'm not overly keen on the smell. I'm not too sure how to describe the smell but I think it's probably a mixture of the oils and the cream itself. It creates a very weird aroma that lingers on my skin. It reminds me a little of herbal tea..... I'm pretty sure I tried out a product a while ago that had a similar smell. So I guess if you like herbal tea, you'll like the smell of this!..... 

Overall, I really like the texture of this product and the fact that it is natural however, I'd have to think twice about a purchase as I'm not a fan of the smell.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Hello, Pankcakes!

Happy Pancake Day! I hope you've all enjoyed some yummy pancakes today. Despite my love of food, I was planning on giving Pancake Day a miss this year as I had so much to get done today. However, a spark of spontaneity as I was walking down the stairs made me pull out all the ingredients and get involved! 

I opted for 3 different sweet toppings: jam, syrup, and sugar. If I'd have planned on making pancakes today, I probably would have bought some more stuff so that I could be a bit more adventurous but these were still delicious. 

Did you make pancakes today?