Sunday 31 May 2020

Five Independent Foodie Businesses to Support Right Now

When its come to making sure our cupboards are stocked with essentials as well as a few treats here and there, I've been turning to independent businesses around the UK. So many have had no choice but to adapt or stop trading during the pandemic so rather than put our money into the big names we wanted to find highly recommended independents that we could support instead. 

This post is rather treat heavy so it's absolutely perfect for birthdays, anniversaries or any celebrations you've had to miss. It features five independent businesses we've bought from over the last few months, four that ship across the UK and one that's local to Southampton and surrounding areas.

I'd love to know if you've already tried one of them and what you thought but for the moment, here's a rundown of our top five - it's totally worth it!

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Bake at Home with Popsi's

(Features press sample - see disclaimer)

I've spoken before about how so many businesses have adapted in brilliant ways during the pandemic, one of which is Popsi's - a pizzeria in Southampton. They say they're the number one pizza place in Southampton and I've got to give it to them, their pizza is pretty darn good! 

The secret is their homemade traditional matured dough containing no additives, chemicals or preservatives plus Popsi's imports the very best from Italy, their sweet Italian tomatoes come from Rega and the Fior De Latte Creamy Mozzarella from Naples. 

They bring the Italian art of pizza making as honest great food to be shared with family and friends - they even have the best range of meat, veggie and vegan pizzas in town and now they've created Bake at Home Pizza Kits

Sunday 24 May 2020

Introducing Typology Skincare as it finally hits the UK

Features press samples - see disclaimer

I haven't been overly excited about a new skincare launch for a while but then Typology came along and blew everything out of the water. I've had eight weeks to fully get to grips with the brand before they officially launched in the UK at the beginning of May and boy are they one to have on your radar! 

Created by Ning Li, the founder of, Typology is completely clean, genderless and 100% digital. The Paris-based skincare brand was founded with a mission to promote critical thinking in the personal care arena, intending to break the rules and demystify the complex industry. It's completely stripped back to basics in terms of ingredients and packaging allowing them to design and produce concentrated, natural products that are active, effective and sustainable without a bit of faff in sight. 

It's completely refreshing and I've been completely blown away. is really about the integrity of the ingredients. The entire cosmetics industry today is founded on some sort of promises — anti-ageing cream being the obvious example. No-one really believes in anti-ageing cream, but somehow it’s a marketing code that’s been used for many years and keeps working. But we believe that young customers are so much more informed than the previous generation. If a brand wants to talk to them, it has to talk about something that really works, rather than sharing bullshit marketing messages. So in our case, we try to use the best natural and organic ingredients, use recycled and recyclable packaging, and describe our products in a much more functional language, with no incredible promises.
Typology Founder Ning Li

When I was first contacted by Typology, the first thing that drew me in was the packaging. Sure, I enjoy gorgeous packaging and beautiful bottles sometimes but really my love lies in simplistic, clean packaging and for me, Typology completely nails it. 

The brand favours recyclable materials and has opted for the most environmentally friendly transport solutions, ensuring the most sustainable approach is always used. The packaging is key for them and all products have been thoughtfully designed to fit in boxes that can be posted through the customer's letterboxes to create a smaller carbon footprint.

When it comes to the products, the smaller bottles are made of glass and the larger of recyclable plastic - to reduce transport weight. Aluminium is used for all tubes as it's the only material that can be continuously recycled without degrading itself or the product. As a brand, Typology is also looking at new ways to eliminate the use of plastic. Encouraging customers to reuse the product's packaging, the brand is working to put a process in place that will aim to recover all packaging to be disinfected, re-filled and reused too.

Typology is vegan, cruelty-free and formulated without ingredients such as sulfates, silicones and parabens. They also have a list of fifteen ingredients on their Ingredient Blacklist that you'll never find in any of their products - making it the easiest way to avoid certain ingredients. 

They've partnered with some of the best experts and laboratories in France to study what makes skincare really effective, taking out what you don't need to leave space for the stuff that really works. Some of the best skin care on the market originates from the home of French pharmacies so I feel as though I can put a lot of trust within Typology. 

Their philosophy is nature first, clinical when needed and clean as a given which I love and when there is a natural alternative to a synthetic solution, they'll use it making all of Typology's products a minimum 80% natural origin. 

It seems as though Typology really have thought of everything. 

When it came to finding the right products for my own skin, I was given a prescription card which included my skin characteristics, my diagnosis and a routine for AM/PM. I was matched with seven products including the 9-Ingredient Lip Balm (£9.80) which has been my go-to daily for the last eight weeks. 

The lip balm contains Shea Butter which offers anti-inflammatory and nourishing properties, Sunflower Seed Oil which protects against free radicals, Vitamin E an anti-oxidant which prevents the combination going rancid and Lemon Extract to offer a cooling, refreshing effect upon application. I really do love the way this makes my lips feel but the only downside is that you need to work the tube a little before application as the balm tends to separate and release a clear liquid before the product - a bit like if you don't shake a ketchup bottle enough before using but don't let that put you off, it's a fab little product. 

The Solid Soothing Cleansing Bar (£11.80) is another firm favourite although I desperately need a soap dish as I fear this is gonna be ruined by just leaving on the side - eek! I use a lot of naked products so this has slotted in rather well. It contains Coconut, Olive and Sunflower Botanical Oils and Shea Butter so it's a bloody lovely treat for the skin and it makes my skin feel so clean and refreshed. 

It would make a great starter product for you to try.

From cleansing bars and cleansing oils to toners. botanical oils and more - there is quite the selection. The Niacinamide 7% Soothing Toner (£17.80) has been quite the game changer for me. It's concentrated in active ingredients to soothe redness and inflammation, reduce imperfections and balance the complexion. Our skin is naturally acidic and everyday life and other products we use can disturb our pH balance so something like this helps to rebalance that. 

The three key active ingredients are Niacinamide, Centofilia Rose Hydrolate and Probiotic. There are two forms of Vitamin B3, Niacin and Niacinamide which is the form found within this toner. Niacinamide improves the skin barrier as well as accelerating the skin's healing process. Thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory effects, Niacinamide is an ideal treatment to improve the overall complexion of sensitive skin types and it has worked a charm on my old scarring. 

Centifolia Rose Hydrolate, known as the rose with a hundred leaves, is an incredibly soothing addition to the toner. Hydrolates are often referred to as floral water and are known as a more delicate essential oil but don't let that fool you, they're just as effective. Hydrolates are seen as waste material and is formed during the process of making essential oils so to see Typology use them how they should be used just reaffirms their stance on natural products and minimal waste for me. 

Lastly is Probiotic (Lactococcus Ferment Lysate) which is obtained by biotechnology from a potent strain of lactic acid bacteria called Lactococcus Lactis, this probiotic ingredient helps maintain a healthy skin flora and protect the skin. It also promotes skin renewal for a restored, youthful complexion.

Quite a toner eh?

A highlight from Typology for me has to be their serums - I love serums, I'm a sucker for targeted skincare and the LAB serums by Typology are highly-concentrated in active ingredients that enable you to treat your skin concerns effectively. With a deeply-penetrating texture, your serum of choice can be applied before your moisturiser onto clean skin.

The Squalane Serum (£11.80) is a dream for dry skin, something I've only suffered with since having my son. It's 100% naturally derived and concentrated in potent active ingredients that nourish dry skin and reduces tightness as well as fine lines due to dehydration. 

Derived from olives, squalane has a structure that's very similar to the skin which helps it deeply penetrate the skin and offer nourishing benefits. Non-greasy, each application softens the skin, fights skin dryness, and helps repair the skin's protective hydrolipidic film barrier. Squalane can also retain hydration and reduce the feeling of tightness that's typically caused by dry skin. My only gripe is the packaging, I adore the clean, sleek bottles but the size also means the pipette is tiny so you don't get enough product (3-4 drops) for a full application on the first go. 

The Hyaluronic Acid Serum (£11.80) is a brilliant serum and one I've used a lot over the years. Derived from fermented wheat, this molecule is known for its highly hydrating properties. It can retain up to a thousand times its weight in water, making it an ideal skincare ingredient for instant hydration. As we age, our bodies produce significantly less hyaluronic acid, causing dryness that leads to the appearance of the fine lines on the skin's surface. The daily use of deeply-hydrating hyaluronic acid restores moisture to the skin, reduces the appearance of fine lines, and creates a complexion that’s noticeably more supple, plump, and toned.

You can shop the serums by skincare complaint and I already have my sights set on the Radiance Serum.

If you hadn't guessed already, I've fallen a little in love with Typology - from the products and ingredients to the sleek, clean-cut packaging and the focus on sustainability, it's everything I like to look for in a brand and to be honest, our love affair has only just started. 

Over the last eight weeks, I've loved using each of the products, the cleansing bar, serums and lip balm especially but one thing that really requires a special mention are the Eaux de Parfums. The fragrances are beautifully captivating, can be layered with others and features a collection of scents like nothing I've come across before. The bottles are gorgeously sleek, the fragrances are naturally derived and vegan and the prices really reasonable. I have Jasmin & Neroli in my basket as we speak with Pamplemousse Petitgrain closely following it - I haven't used anything but these two for weeks. 

Typology have well and truly stamped their mark on me, I think it will for you too. It's the ideal starting point for anyone that wants a more effective and targeted skincare routine while still being exceptionally conscious to the world around you. 

It's going to be big and I'm excited for the ride - but most importantly, what do you think?


Friday 22 May 2020

I changed all my haircare to Philip Kingsley for four weeks - Here's what I thought

Features press samples - see disclaimer.

I'm a haircare floozy - there I said it. 

Over the years I haven't been overly dependent on one brand, I use a lot from Kerastase but I also switch and swap my hair products regularly so you'll always find a ridiculously large selection in our bathroom. After being introduced to a full haircare set up by Philip Kingsley, it seemed only fair to give it my full attention and see what I thought and you know what? Not bad! 

The team at Philip Kingsley set me up with five products, one of which is an old fave of mine, Elasticizer so with promises of fabulous hair, hydrated locks and the best smelling mane around, I got to work and these are the results after four weeks.

Wednesday 20 May 2020

30 Thoughts I've had During Lockdown

I don't know about you but between not going out in weeks apart from shopping for essentials and avoiding everyone around us, lockdown has been interesting and I've had a lot of thoughts about it. It's been a weird ol' time really - we've gone from going to work, going shopping and going to bars when we want to working from home mostly, having to stay at home and not see our families. 

We're now coming towards the end of May, things still aren't looking that great in the UK and the country is a laughing stock to the rest of the world - it's been one hell of a ride so in light of this I've jotted down some thoughts, some funny, some serious but most of all just a little light hearted as we go through something quite awful.

  1. If I never hear the word unprecedented again it will be too soon. 
  2. The British really are the most selfish nation, aren't they?!
  3. HOW hard is it for people to understand the term stay at home
  4. Christ, people really do hate the self-employed, they know we pay tax too right?
  5. "I'm gonna make sourdough!" FUCK - it takes how long?!
  6. Is everyone on my Twitter on Only Fans now?
  7. Is Only Fans worth it?
  8. I've seen my Amazon driver more than my parents this year, I'll have to invite him to Christmas
  9. *peers out the window* Well they sure as fuck aren't from the same household! 
  10. I really should've cleaned my makeup brushes by now 
  11. Is Rishi Sunak sexy or have I been inside too long? 
  12. Definitely been inside too long.
  13. He looks a bit like Prince Charles, doesn't he?
  14. Are Cadbury's Giant Buttons an essential item?
  15. Am I wasting police time if I log an online form about my neighbour's BBQ?
  16. Looks like number 20 aren't clapping for the NHS any more. 
  17. Is a nice dress and red lipstick too much for the food shop?
  18. WHY is my food shop now double the cost it used to be *weeps*
  19. If our relationship survives lockdown, we'll survive anything
  20. Why are garden centres open?! Are you purposely trying to kill off everyone over 70?
  21. I really, really dislike Boris Johnson
  22. I'm genuinely embarrassed to be British right now 
  23. How much baking is too much baking? 
  24. Am I the only person that hasn't baked banana bread yet? 
  25. Still think we should've gone into full lockdown, this is never going to end 
  26. *unfollows everyone that praises how fast (LOL) Boris acted*
  27. I miss wasting money on shit, expensive takeaway coffee
  28. Can I eat cake for breakfast?
  29. I really miss my parents
  30. I'm so glad I have Arran and Joshua


Monday 18 May 2020

Doughnut Time Home Kits - Are They Worth It?

Doughnut Time - known as the biggest, brightest and boldest doughnuts in town, they're a sight to behold and we're big fans. The unique, hand-crafted doughnuts are made daily in small batches before being decorated by their dedicated doughnut designers who work around the clock to ensure the dreamiest, freshest doughnuts are in store, seven days a week. 

Being in Southampton means previously, Doughnut Time has been a treat to bring home when one of us has been in London but with the country in lockdown and businesses quickly having to change how they do things - DIY Doughnut Home Kits were created. 

We've had two of the DIY Doughnut Home Kits so far and have enjoyed them so much so I thought I'd give you the lowdown on what's included and if they're worth it as it's one of the main questions I've had on Instagram.

Sunday 17 May 2020

Five Must-Read Thrillers

Includes a paid partnership - see disclaimer

As genres go, thrillers are a relatively new love of mine. I'm a self-proclaimed scaredy-cat so anything that causes my imagination to run too wild and make something go bump in the night was something I'd actively avoided but when I started sharing more about what I was reading I wanted to push myself to read a variety of different genres and it turns out I'm a big fan of thrillers.

Friday 15 May 2020

The NEW Bubble Bars now available at Lush Cosmetics

Features press samples - see disclaimer.

I don't know about you but when I need a pick me up, I turn to Lush Cosmetics - there's just something about a fancy bath product to put you in a better mood and give you an excuse for a long soak in the tub. I've been a firm fan of bubble bars from the beginning and have countless reviews on my blog so my ears certainly pricked up when I discovered there were several new ones being released. 

Product Inventor and Co-founder Helen Ambrosen explains: "Creating solid bubble bars turned into an art form. You could make all sorts of shapes, all sorts of sizes, but also you didn’t need a synthetic preservative."

Monday 11 May 2020

Tropic Skincare's ALL NEW Sun Protection Range

Features press samples - see disclaimer.

Tropic Skincare has released an all-new, game-changing suncare collection just in time for summer. I've used a number of their products over the last few years and as an avid suncare fan, I've been super intrigued by the launch. 

Tropic's new reef-safe sun protection range offers defence against UVA and UVB rays in silky, hydrating formulas that protect against daily pollution and blue light damage. The range perfectly embodies Tropic's purpose to create a healthier, greener and more empowered world and with cutting edge ingredients for optimum skin health, they are the first products in Europe to wear the Protect Land + Sea seal of approval. Proceeds from each purchase will also go towards funding education with Tropic's charity partnership with United World Schools. 

How amazing is that? 

Friday 8 May 2020

Bacaro - Home to the BEST roast dinner in Southampton

When it comes to enjoying a roast dinner, I'm usually a home bird - there's nothing I love more than being at my parents with family on a Sunday afternoon but after hearing on the Southampton grapevine that Bacaro in Ocean Village was serving up the best roast dinners in the city, I had to try it for myself. 

The girls and I put a date in the diary and headed down early March to try it for ourselves and we weren't disappointed. I cannot wait to head back with Arran and Joshua later in the year. I'm sharing this at this time as I'm hoping you add Bacaro to your 'to try list' once normal life resumes, supporting small businesses is so incredibly important right now. 

Warning: you're going to be very hungry by the end of this post.

Monday 4 May 2020

The Pixi Beauty Hydrating Milky Collection

Pixi really knows how to make a stir when it comes to new skincare releases and the Hydrating Milky Collection is no different. This is my dream skincare collection and when it landed in my skincare loving hands in February I promptly got to work trying it out. 

In the words of Pixi, hydrated skin is happy skin and I have to agree - my skin looks completely different when it's happy and hydrated. The rich, moisturising products like those found in Pixi Beauty's Hydrating Milky Collection is ideal for anyone who wants firm, healthy and youthful skin.

Sunday 3 May 2020

10 Things I've Missed During Lockdown

Being in lockdown has given me more time than I thought possible, weirdly at a time I needed it most. The beginning of the year was super busy with events, work and general life - being able to press pause and not worry I was letting anyone down by saying no because we were all in the same boat was such a relief.

It's kinda given me the push to say no to more in future, I just wish right now was under different circumstances.

I miss normal life and my family. I miss seeing my friends, it breaks my heart that I have to tell Joshua he can't see his. I've found word dumping into blog posts or notes the best way to cope over the last few weeks - it's out of my head which leaves room for other things to worry about I suppose. I kinda wanted this post as a memory, a memory to what I valued as important when I couldn't do anything else, something to remind me when I'm feeling out of my depth.

I just hope I can do all of these things very soon.

Friday 1 May 2020

What I've Been Reading Through April

Where did April go?! The month absolutely flew by and I can't believe we're in May already. 

April was a literary mix for me, I drifted from genre to genre, and it's been fab. I'm a romantic comedy fan through and through but I've loved exploring so many more genres over the months and I have the ideal collection to share from April.

I read twelve books in total so I've picked out six to share in this post so it's not too long but if you're looking for more recommendations head to my Instagram (alicespake) where everything else is added to my book highlights. 
Blogger Template by pipdig