Friday, 27 March 2020

The Kérastase Genesis Hair Collection



When it comes to hair, I take as much care as possible. Gone are the days of picking up whatever was on offer, I prefer to invest a little more in what I use and Kérastase is a brand I've used for quite a number of years. The Aura Botanica collection is one of my favourites but with hair fallout still a concern of mine since having a child, the Genesis collection couldn't be more perfect for me. Genesis is the dual anti-fall action haircare I've been waiting for, it aims to reduce hair fall out due to breakage, create more fibre strength and resilience while nourishing from root to tip.

There are six products within the range, four of which I have been using since January so it seems high time I give you my thoughts. 
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Wednesday, 25 March 2020

NEW IN // My Beauty Shelf


Features press samples - see disclaimer

As the world falls into further despair I've been finding solace in my beauty room and with a handful of new products to test and play with, there's never been a better time for lockdown. It's given me the chance to really go through what I'm using on my skin, swap out some products for some new releases and of course give everything in this post a test run before I can give you the lowdown. 

I have skincare, haircare and some makeup pieces to show you all of which are available to order online now. Shopping in your pyjamas has never been so on-trend!
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Monday, 23 March 2020

5 Bikini Styles that'll give you a confident flare this Summer


This is a paid partnership with Protest - see disclaimer

With Spring fast approaching and the promise of warmer weather, deciding what to wear when you hit the beach can sometimes strike fear in the hearts of many, myself including. Since having a child - my shape has changed so what suits me and makes me feel most comfortable has also changed.

Protest has recently launched their Spring/Summer range for 2020 so I wanted to share five bikini styles for every shape as well as showing you some of my favourite pieces.
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Sunday, 15 March 2020

Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea at HarBar on 6th


Complimentary experience for the purpose of review - see disclaimer

I love afternoon tea, it's the perfect excuse to get your favourite people together and just celebrate one another over delicious savoury bites and delectable desserts and HarBar on 6th have just the thing for you. 

Launching last week, HarBar on 6th has been transformed into a pink blossom wonderland to celebrate the season of Sakura in Japan. Sakura is the Japanese term for ornamental cherry blossom trees and their blossoms. The significance of the tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years and represents the fragility and the beauty of life, it's a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful. During the pop-up at Southampton Harbour Hotel, you'll be able to enjoy specially curated cocktails from the Blossom Cocktail list as well as the Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea until May 6th. 

We visited a few days ago to try the Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea and it did not disappoint. I've enjoyed afternoon tea at HarBar on 6th a few times in the past and it's always been exceptional but this was another level. 



Available to pre-book now, the cherry blossom inspired afternoon tea features a Japanese inspired twist on savoury bites plus the most delicious selection of pretty pink cakes and desserts. They've also teamed up with Roku Gin, Toki Whisky and Haku Vodka to create blossom inspired cocktails such as Red Roy, Above the Clouds and Basil Blast. 

We scored quite lucky with the weather and had blue skies and clear views out over the water which made a welcome change after all the storms we've been having. HarBar on 6th really is the perfect place for one of a kind views over Southampton and with the roof terrace, it's definitely somewhere to think about visiting for chilled cocktails under the evening's setting sun. 



Price list
Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea £25 per person. 
Champagne Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea £34 per person
Tipsy tea (includes 3 mini Roku gin cocktails) £35 per person

We enjoyed the Tipsy Tea which includes a blossom inspired cocktail as well as three mini Roku gin cocktails. We chose our cocktails from the blossom drinks list which is available for the duration of the pop-up whether you're booked for the afternoon tea or not. Above the Clouds (£8.50) served with Haku Vodka, Ginger Syrup, Lime and Bitter Lemon Tonic is what I chose while Emily ordered Pleasant Thyme (£9.00) served with Haku Vodka, Thyme Syrup, Grapefruit, Lemon and Light Tonic. 

Both were beautifully refreshing with an interesting but delicious mix of flavours. 

The service from start to finish was exceptional and the great thing was that whoever we spoke to was so enthused about the menu and the cherry blossom pop-up that it instantly rubbed off so we really couldn't wait to experience it for ourselves. 



Savoury 
Wasabi Egg Mayo Finger Sandwich
Miso Pulled Pork Green Bun
Cucumber & Cream Cheese Finger Sandwich
Smoked Salmon Mousse Seaweed Cone 
Cheese & Tomato Chutney Finger Sandwich

Scones
Plain & Fruit Scones with Clotted Cream & Cherry Jam

Sweet
Eton Mess Strawberry Ice Cream Cone
Pink Chocolate Sphere with Raspberry, Lemon Balm & Pink Pearls
Red Velvet Plant Pot 
Raspberry Opera Cake
Pink Lemon Meringue Pie

Tea
Sencha, Matcha, Earl Grey, English Breakfast

Infusions
Sour Cherry
Fresh Mint 
Lemon & Ginger 
Chamomile





There was an awe-inducing gasp as our afternoon tea was brought to the table. Set upon two tiers, the bottom for our yummy savoury bites and the top adorned with the most exquisite sweet treats. Warm scones, clotted cream and jam was placed on a separate plate to the side. 

It was almost too pretty to eat! 

We started with the savoury pieces - the smoked salmon mousse seaweed cone was my favourite, I'm a big fan of any fish dishes. The mousse was whipped to perfection and the seaweed cone added a satisfying crunch. The finger sandwiches were a welcome addition, you really can't go wrong with sandwiches for afternoon tea but the miso pulled pork green bun stole the show. The super-soft green bun and tangy miso was the perfect companion to the pulled pork. 

It was a really well thought out plate. 

The scones were some of the best I've eaten in a long time - warm, soft and absolutely delicious. The cherry jam added an ideal amount of sweetness to the clotted cream. 

I might even have to pick up a jar to have at home. 



The top tier with the most beautiful array of sweet treats is what we were most excited about - featuring perfectly placed red velvet plant pots, pink lemon meringues and chocolate butterflies, it was a sweet lovers dream in an awash of varying pinks and reds. 

We decided to try the same dessert at the same time, it almost became a fun game of appreciative facial expressions and us both nodding our heads at what we'd tried. The Eton Mess Strawberry Ice Cream and Pink Lemon Meringue Pie were my top two but each of the desserts were exceptional. 

I adored the red velvet flower pot as it was just so imaginative and made the experience quite immersive, it was such a welcome foodie experience that we going to visit again with family before the pop-up disappears. 


We really did have such an enjoyable afternoon, I didn't want to it to end but I can't wait to go back again. It's becoming one of my favourite places to visit at the moment.

The Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea is available to book online or by calling 0238 110 3888. 

Available Monday to Saturday from 3pm-5pm & Sundays 4pm-6pm, from 11th March until 6th May. 

Be quick, it's going to be very popular! 

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Monday, 9 March 2020

Two Fragrances from Mugler that are Perfect for Spring


Features press samples - see disclaimer.

Mugler is rather iconic in the fragrance world, the bottles are always beautiful and the moment someone walks past wearing Angel or Alien, it's instantly recognisable - you can't say that for a lot of fragrances. With Mugler, I feel you're either one or the other, personally, I'm an Alien fan - it just completely exudes the feeling of femininity and power for me. I do have a soft spot for the iconic Angel though, the scent brings back a lot of happy memories of loved ones wearing it. 

When it comes to Spring, Mugler completely own it with their limited edition fragrances and I have two new releases to share with you that are both available to purchase now.
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Sunday, 8 March 2020

A Little Book Haul



I told myself I would get through more of my ridiculous to be read pile before I bought any more books but apparently, I am my own worst enemy and I just can't help myself. I had some time to myself last week so had a nose in Waterstones before heading for a coffee and the next thing I know - I have a bag of books to take home with me. 

All five of the books I bought have been doing the rounds on social media for some time and curiosity finally got the better of me. They each have fabulous reviews and I can't wait to get stuck in. 
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Friday, 6 March 2020

Experience Temple Spa at Southampton Harbour Hotel


Press visit including complimentary treatments - please see disclaimer

If you're looking for a bit of luxe on the south coast, Southampton Harbour Hotel is a brilliant place to start. I've spent a bit of time there over the last month experiencing a spa day, a couple of their spa treatments and I also spent an evening with luxury spa brand Temple Spa, a brand I've used for years. 

It's been a fascinating insight into what they offer and of course, the treatments and hours of relaxation is definitely a plus. HarSPA features a swimming pool, a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, mud rasul and state-of-the-art gym as well as treatments by luxury spa brand Temple Spa, employing only natural and holistic remedies. There’s an indoor and outdoor relaxation area, and a well-being juice bar and café.
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Monday, 2 March 2020

What I've been Reading Through February


Can you believe it's March? The last couple of months have absolutely flown by and I've already ticked fifteen books off my reading challenge this year. The stormy weather we've been having has definitely helped because I haven't wanted to do anything but curl up and read a book, which is good for you guys because I can share what I've read recently. 

There's a bit of everything, as usual, I've really stuck to my read all the genres promise I set in 2019 and I've enjoyed it. I've found some fab books I wouldn't usually pick up which makes my little reading challenge all the more fun. 
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Sunday, 1 March 2020

Introducing Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady

Paid Partnership with Virgin Voyages - see disclaimer

The launch of Virgin Voyages has been hotly anticipated by many, it sees Sir Richard Branson's first step into the world of cruising, completely shaking up the cruise world as we know it. I was invited to spend a night on Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady as she embarked on her world tour so with my holdall in-hand and my dancing shoes packed I hot-footed it to Dover for a night like no other. 

Scarlet Lady has arrived ladies and gentlemen and boy was she worth the wait.
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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

IT Cosmetics NEW Pillow Lips in 14 Gorgeous Shades


Features press samples - see disclaimer

Give me a bold lip and I'll be your bestie until the end of time so you can imagine how entranced I was by IT Cosmetics Pillow Lips Moisture Wrapping Lipstick range that was launched the end of January.

Pillow Lips High Pigment Moisture Wrapping Lipstick is an all-new collagen-infused formula that delivers high-impact colour in one lip-loving swipe! They're available in both cream and matte finishes so you'll be sure to discover your perfect match. Each shade is infused with a Tri-Oil Complex and collagen helping to minimise the appearance of lip lines, helping the lips appear fuller and plumper whilst delivering comfortable wear that lasts. 

I've been trialling three of the shades and I've absolutely loved them. I'm definitely more of a matte girl and I think I've tried just about every matte formula going so trust me when I say these are brilliant. 

Surprisingly, the cream finish was actually my favourite but what shade?
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Monday, 24 February 2020

Outside-In Food Court Portsmouth


Press visit with Southampton Bloggers - see disclaimer

Portsmouth seems to be the place to go if you want brilliant independents that focus on fabulous food. We have a great food scene in Southampton but nothing quite like Portsmouth and that's why we found ourselves at Outside-In Food Court yesterday. 

Established just under a year ago in the heart of Portsmouth, Outside-In is a vibrant and informal dining concept tucked away in a hidden warehouse. It offers an eclectic mix of independent street food, locally sourced beers, wines and spirits as well as a relaxed and unique environment to enjoy them. 

With regular entertainment (we were treated to live music during our visit) and a 220 capacity, Portsmouth's only indoor food court really is the perfect venue for a foodie feast. 
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Friday, 21 February 2020

M&S Reveal their brand new Hedge End Store!



Press visit with Southampton Bloggers - please see disclaimer.

I've always had quite the soft spot for Marks & Spencer - it's the home of big, comfy pants, the most gorgeous dresses and of course, the Dine for Two so I couldn't wait to explore their all-new concept store that had recently unveiled itself in Hedge End. 

The store's new look has been designed with customers and local families at its heart, helping to make shopping as convenient and inspirational as possible. Highlight features include everything from an Instagram-worthy rotating pizza oven to a greengrocer style Fresh Market and a frozen section which has tripled in size. In a UK-first, the store features M&S' first-ever Pasta Evangelists concession, with a dedicated pasta chef making fresh artisanal pasta dishes in the new and improved Deli every day.
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Wednesday, 19 February 2020

The Best Orchard Toys Games for your Two Year Old


Features press samples - please see disclaimer for more information.

I've found two a bit of a tricky age when it comes to toys, puzzles and learning games. There's so much aimed at babies involving sensory and tummy time and then it seems to skip to ages three and four with words, numbers and pre-school games with not a lot for that seemingly awkward age in between. 

We spend a lot of time with Joshua reading, drawing and painting but we wanted more educational games and puzzles so, after much searching, we discovered Orchard Toys last summer and promptly found ourselves choosing between flashcards, cute jigsaw puzzles and fun games. 

The best bit? You can search their products by age so I've put together five of our favourites that are brilliant for two-year-olds. 
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Monday, 17 February 2020

Self-Care Tips using Beauty for you at Very

*This is a paid partnership with Very - see disclaimer*

Something I've focused more on in the last year is my own well-being and self-care, taking even ten minutes to sit and apply a facemask or read a book helps reset my mind so much especially as we don't always have the spare cash for fancy massages or spa days.

Very have recently launched their onsite wellness campaign, Living Well with Very to highlight their fabulous beauty offering meaning you can bring the spa to your home with a selection of products from much-loved brands such as Elemis, Ren Skincare and This Works.

The beauty range means that they have everything you could possibly need to get that at-home spa experience and a chance to really pamper yourself. With head-to-toe beauty whether you're stocking up for yourself or a friend, you'll find everything you could possibly desire in one place.
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Friday, 14 February 2020

Mamma Mia the Musical at Mayflower Theatre



I have a little confession to make, I watched Mamma Mia (the film) for the first time in 2019 so I didn't understand the love for it until recently but oh my was I missing out! When it was announced Mamma Mia the Musical, where the film inspiration comes from would be at Mayflower Theatre, I couldn't wait to see it.

Mamma Mia the Musical is renowned as the world's sunniest and most exhilarating smash-hit musical and it's in Southampton for three weeks from 11th February. The show is set on a Greek island which explores a story of love, friendship and identity told through the timeless songs of Abba. 

It follows Sophie's journey to discover the father she's never known which brings her mother face to face with three men from her past on the eve of a wedding they'll never forget. It's fun, exciting and one that you can't help tapping your feet along to the music. 
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Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Experience the all new Lush Spa treatment, Renaissance.



Complimentary press visit for review - see disclaimer

When it comes to spa treatments, the experience you receive at Lush Spa is renowned as one of the best and it's somewhere I have always wanted to visit. I live quite close to the Lush Spa in Poole so I ventured down to try their brand new treatment, Renaissance which launches on Friday 14th February. 

The Renaissance Spa Treatment is a full body and mind meditation treatment focusing on fragrance that aims to provide you with complete escape, transporting you to a different place, time and reality with guided meditation through the power of perfume and touch.
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Monday, 10 February 2020

Latest in Beauty X Holland & Barrett Vegan Beauty Box


*Features press sample - see disclaimer*

Veganism has been such a talking point in recent weeks with Veganuary being in the spotlight so Latest in Beauty's newest collaboration with Holland and Barrett, couldn't have been more perfect. I have a long way to go with using vegan products so something like the vegan beauty edit is a great way to discover new brands and products I would've never come across. 

Holland & Barrett are at the forefront of making vegan beauty accessible on the high street and they strongly believe in clean and conscious beauty. The Vegan Beauty Edit is available to buy now online for £30, housing 19 products worth over £120 - shall we have a look inside?
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Friday, 7 February 2020

Five Date Night Spots for Valentine's Day in Southampton



Valentine's Day - you either celebrate it or you don't, be it with the love of your life or your best girlfriends, it's a day people love to hate. This year, however, the day of love falls on a Friday which seems to have added a little more excitement for everyone so I've narrowed down five perfect date night spots for Valentine's Day in Southampton. 
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Wednesday, 5 February 2020

The All New Decleor Antidote Serum


*Features press sample - see disclaimer

If I could only choose one skincare brand to stay loyal to, it would be Decleor. My little Decleor love affair started in 2014 and I haven't looked back. From skincare to body care and everything in between, I've tried it all and more often than not loved what I've used. 

Towards the end of 2019, Decleor released a brand new serum - Antidote Hyaluronic Acid Serum (£49.99) is your 97% natural origin product for smooth and glowing skin with Hyaluronic Acid. It strengthens the skin's barrier and protects it from daily aggressions, such as pollution and it's my new secret weapon. 
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Monday, 3 February 2020

Take a look at Kits Stars Professional Makeup Brushes


*Features press samples - see disclaimer*

Gone are the days of wiping some foundation on my face with my hands, teenage Alice didn't have a clue. Thankfully in later years, I've found my way around my face with a makeup brush and oh am I glad.

I had quite a lot of old brushes that needed replacing at the end of 2019 so it was out with the old and in with Kit Stars Professional Makeup brushes. Kit Stars are high-end professional makeup brushes without that hefty price tag and they're bloody brilliant. So... I'm going to share what I've been using and a little more on the brand because you're definitely going to want to check them out. 
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Sunday, 2 February 2020

Valentine's Afternoon Tea in the sky at Spinnaker Tower


*Complimentary press visit for purpose of review - see disclaimer*

It's the month of love and Spinnaker Tower has a real treat for you! 

This February, you can experience their Valentine's High Tea while enjoying the south coast's most spectacular view. The Emirates Spinnaker Tower stands at 170 metres tall offering incredible twenty-three mile views over Portsmouth Harbour and the South Downs as well as the Solent and Isle of Wight. 

With its high-speed lift that takes you from ground level to 100 metres above sea level in just twenty-eight seconds, it's the perfect way to spend an afternoon on the south coast. 

The Spinnaker Tower boasts three sky-high viewing decks as well as the glass floor, Sky Walk and the open-air Sky Garden. The Valentine's High Tea experience will definitely put you in the good books this year whether it is with a new love interest, the love of your life or a Galentine's date. 




I opted for a Galentine's date and took one of my besties for an afternoon of fabulous views and delicious food. It is advised that you book at least 48 hours in advance as all dishes are made in the morning so they're fresh for that afternoon, it also enables you to make a note of any specific allergies and/or accessibility requirements. 

We struck lucky with the weather and were blessed with sunshine and clear views across to the Isle of Wight and surrounding areas. We arrived a little while before our book so we could venture up to viewing deck one and make the most of the views. 

I also took a brave walk across the glass floor so that will be up on Tik Tok this week. 



The afternoon tea was being held in The Clouds Cafe on view deck two, 105 metres above sea level. It's a relaxing and intimate venue that gives you beautiful views while you tuck into something delicious. 

The Valentine's High Tea experience costs £60.00 per couple and includes a souvenir book. You'll also have the option to add on a bottle of prosecco (£25.00) or a bottle of champagne (£35.00) to really make it an experience you'll remember.

It includes a selection of sweet and savoury treats as well as unlimited tea or coffee. 



We were seated at a beautifully set table for two right by the window so we could boat spot to our hearts content. Hannah served us and was super attentive throughout, we ordered tea and coffees to accompany our food and a chilled bottle of prosecco found its way over too. 

It seemed right to toast our afternoon with some bubbles. 

Our afternoon tea came out not too long after and it was a treat for eyes. The bottom layer featured sandwiches with classic fillings such as smoked salmon, ham & mustard, egg mayo and cheese while the top layer housed two huge fruit scones with a pot of jam and clotted cream. 

The second layer was where the tantalising sweet treats were and oh were they good!

We had chocolate truffles, macarons and fruit as well as slices of chocolate, apple and lemon pie. The apple pie was incredible although my heart lies with macarons and with two of my favourite flavours present, pistachio and lemon - I was very happy.



We had such a wonderful afternoon at Spinnaker Tower and the Valentine's High Tea was such a treat. I've visited the attraction a number of times over the years but this was the first time I've spent a bit more time there and been able to sample the food. 

Booking is available now and will be available until 29th February. On February 14th you'll also be able to book the Love is in the Air sharing platter for a date night like no other. 

The month of love has never looked so good. 

For more details and to book just visit www.spinnakertower.co.uk

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Friday, 31 January 2020

What I've been Reading Through January



Even if it does feel like the longest month on earth, we are finally at the end of January which means I can share my January reads post with you. I've done quite a lot of these over the years and they've always proven popular because there is always someone, somewhere looking for book recommendations. 

I'm on book seven at the moment so I have six titles to share with you in this post. There's a real variety so I'm sure you'll find something to pick up and read.
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Monday, 27 January 2020

Five Skincare Favourites from Beauty Pie



I first wrote about Beauty Pie way back in 2017, it had come to revolutionise the beauty game and I wasn't sold on it. The product range wasn't massive at the time and I didn't really like what I did try so I kinda forgot about it until last year when I fell hook, line and sinker and haven't looked back.

Beauty Pie is a team of beauty obsessives who have worked in the industry for years. Their everyday mission is to go out and find the best beauty buys from a global base of suppliers and bring them to each of the Beauty Pie members. They don't change their favourite formulas to fit price points or remove ingredients to meet budget which means members get luxury cosmetics and skincare at knock-down prices. It's a membership lead website with a great referral scheme so as more of you are turning towards Beauty Pie for your latest beauty fix, I thought I'd give you a rundown of my five favourite skincare products you need to pick up. 
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Sunday, 26 January 2020

Lush Cosmetics Valentine's Day Collection



Tis the season for suggestive bath bombs and Prince Charming so with Lush Cosmetics launching their Valentine's Day collection it was time to dive headfirst into all things pink and full of love. 

I'm a sucker for a Lush product and have been for many years, you only need to head to that little search bar on the side and type Lush to see just how much so I'm gonna show you what I'm going to be using from this years Valentine's range and what I think you'll love too! 
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Sunday, 19 January 2020

P&O Cruises Announces Gary Barlow as their NEW Brand Ambassador


It's all very exciting for P&O Cruises at the moment and with their new ship, Iona launching the announcements are just going to keep coming. The new LNG-powered ship with 5,200-guest capacity will be the largest ship built to serve the UK market. 

Iona will feature enhancements to their already successful brand signature venues from the existing fleet, as well as features newly developed for Iona. These include a breathtaking three-deck atrium in the heart of the ship as well as SkyDome – an exclusively designed glass dome by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan. This will be a world-first at sea and offer a unique space for both relaxing in all weathers and providing entertainment, featuring aerial performers and a wealth of live acts.
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Friday, 17 January 2020

Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Mayflower Theatre



The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert opened in cinemas twenty-five years ago, following the story of Tick, Adam and Bernadette in their haphazard tour bus Priscilla. It's renowned as being at the centre of Drag's golden age and has only grown with notoriety as it burst on to stage across the UK. 

The show stands for love, friendship and acceptance just as it did all those years ago and having the chance to watch it on stage while touring in Southampton was a feast for our eyes. Priscilla Queen of the Desert opened at Mayflower Theatre this week with Joe McFadden, Miles Western and Nick Hayes at the helm of Mark Goucher's new production. 
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Wednesday, 15 January 2020

My Latest Buys from Waterstones



With Christmas came book vouchers so this happy little bookworm skipped off to Waterstones to pick out even more new reads to add to the reading pile that is gradually stacking up in our bedroom. I had some great books given to me for Christmas so I decided to pick up a bit of everything with my vouchers including one I've wanted to read for so long... Daisy and The Six. 

I'm gonna give you a little rundown of what I chose so you can see if anything takes your fancy.
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Sunday, 12 January 2020

New on my Beauty Shelf



It feels like the new beauty launches just keep coming at the moment so, with that in mind, I've whittled down five that I've really loved trying out over the last month including one I've been using quite a bit longer and might make your switch to menstrual cups even easier. 

The first one is John Frieda's newest launch and the one that's been saving my hair in recent weeks. Since having Joshua and suffering from post-partum hair loss, my hair has become more fine and flyaway and I just hadn't quite found something to work for me until the Frizz Ease Weightless Wonder Creme (£6.99). The creme works by transforming dry, frizzy hair into something so beautifully smooth that I wonder if it's even my hair sometimes. I now use this after every hair wash, it works so much better than more expensive brands I've tried and it doesn't leave hair feeling full of product.  

It's just really brilliant and such a bargain.
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