Monday 30 March 2020

The Latest in Beauty X Balance Box

Features press samples - see disclaimer

Latest in Beauty has quickly become the place to highlight brands that are doing it right and the Balance collection box is the perfect example. Championing the brands that are making a positive impact - Balance puts the spotlight on the industry's top brands that are making a statement, whether it's down to formulation, innovation, sustainability or packaging. 

The box features sixteen fabulous brands and their hero products each with their own unique selling point. In the words of the Balance editor Sophie, they all have one thing in common: a drive to show that progress is possible. 

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. 

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!

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.

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 has 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. 

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

Plain & Fruit Scones with Clotted Cream & Cherry Jam

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

Sencha, Matcha, Earl Grey, English Breakfast

Sour Cherry
Fresh Mint 
Lemon & Ginger 

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 were 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 were the perfect companions 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 lover's 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 was 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 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! 


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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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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