Wednesday 8 November 2023

Celebrity Cruises takes delivery of hotly anticipated Celebrity Ascent

Exciting cruise news, Celebrity Ascent has officially joined Celebrity Cruises’ fleet of award-winning ships redefining premium travel, as company officials took delivery of its newest ship at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France.

The fourth ship in the line's innovative Edge Series, Celebrity Ascent continues to shatter preconceived notions of cruising with its forward-thinking design by the world's leading architects and interior designers; culinary excellence from Michelin-starred chefs; wellness woven throughout the experience; expansive onboard entertainment and more. 

Celebrity Ascent will make her official debut in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on 3rd December, with a 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing visiting popular destinations such as St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and the Dominican Republic.

Friday 13 October 2023

Princess Cruises' Unveils Spellbound by Magic Castle for Sun Princess

Princess Cruises today unveiled Spellbound by Magic Castle, a collaboration with the famed Hollywood icon set to enchant guests aboard Sun Princess when the new ship debuts in early 2024. Spellbound blends the captivating world of magic with the art of mixology to create an extraordinary, Victorian-inspired experience. 

Guests will find Spellbound nestled behind a non-descript door amidst the sensational confines of the newest Princess ship, where they'll enjoy incredible feats of magic from talented magicians, surprises in themed rooms and theatrical cocktails delivered by sleight-of-hand servers.

Monday 28 August 2023

Celebrating Summer at The Cart & Horses, Kings Worthy

(This is a paid partnership with The Cart & Horses - see disclaimer)

A few weeks ago, The Cart and Horses in Kings Worthy opened their doors after an extensive renovation. The 18th-century building has been lovingly restored bringing to life the best of British pub dining in an oh so beautiful Grade II listed building.

From stunning new interiors beside original exposed brickwork to the beautifully landscaped garden perfect for bees, the pub will be the place to be this summer and beyond. With parts of the building dating back to 1760, the design has been sympathetic to its history by building on its character with warm lighting, soft furnishings in rich colours, beautiful wallpapers and art from local artists in Hampshire such as Green Magpie.

I recently spent a wonderful evening at The Cart & Horses recently for a summer garden party and couldn't wait to share all about it. 

Friday 25 August 2023

Postcards from Woodstock & 3 Places you must visit

During a recent stay in Oxfordshire, we drove through the pretty little market town of Woodstock and vowed to stop over on the way back to Southampton. Situated on the eastern edge of the Cotswolds, the historic town of Woodstock and home to the glorious Blenheim Palace is absolutely worth the visit and has a 900-year record of hospitality.

The town has gorgeous Georgian facades, walls of Cotswold stone and beautifully curated gardens making it a total dream to wander around. We spent just over an hour there with our main objective being to find a really great coffee shop and some lunch to enjoy on our way home and boy did we score big on the foodie front. 

There were three spots in particular we really enjoyed, so much so, we're itching to book a little B&B and visit again for the weekend. Hopefully next time we'll be able to visit Blenheim Palace too. 

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Wanting to cruise with children? Here's 5 reasons why you should

(This is a paid partnership with Princess Cruises - see disclaimer)

When it comes to holidays with children, so many say it's just like being at home but with better weather and to be quite honest, the thought of battling the airport with children is my worst nightmare. Cruising however, especially being from Southampton feels like a doddle and so I recently spent a day on Princess Cruises' Sky Princess with my son to get a taste of what exactly is on offer for children. 

Spoiler... SO much plus there's no baggage limit which in itself is a massive pull.

So here are five reasons why you should absolutely cruise with children and whilst we haven't done it yet, this is why we will be...

Sunday 30 July 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Princess Cruises Sky Princess: Everything You Need to know for a Perfect Voyage

(This is a paid partnership with Princess Cruises - see disclaimer)

If you're planning a cruise holiday and looking for a luxurious and unforgettable experience, look no further than Princess Cruises Sky Princess. This stunning vessel, launched in 2019, boasts many amenities and activities that will delight travellers of all ages. From gourmet dining options to spa treatments, entertainment shows, and exciting shore excursions, Sky Princess has something for everyone. 

In this comprehensive guide, I'll look at everything you need to know to make the most of your voyage on the Princess Cruises Sky Princess. 

Thursday 20 July 2023

Explore Lush Cosmetics with Me - Six Top Picks

(Features press samples - see disclaimer)

Lush Cosmetics has adorned my bathroom shelves for over twenty years and in that time I have tried a huge range of products. I have some firm faves (you only have to search Lush on this blog to see) but I'm always up for trying more so the box of Lush goodies that arrived a few months ago couldn't have come at a better time. 

Inside there were seven products, including the Golden Egg from the Easter range but as that is long gone I won't highlight that one today. There's a shower gel, lotions and soaps and the OG body butter with exfoliating powers so there's plenty to choose from. 

First up, soaps...

Saturday 15 July 2023

Why you need to add Princess Plus to your Princess Cruise

(This is a paid partnership with Princess Cruises - see disclaimer)

If you're planning a cruise, you might be wondering whether or not to add a package to your booking to make the most of your cruise and having recently sailed with Princess Cruises while using the Princess Plus package, I am going to tell you exactly why you need it. 

Princess Plus is a package offered alongside two others by Princess Cruises and is designed to provide guests with a convenient and all-inclusive experience during their cruise. It's the best way to save on things you're gonna do anyway and includes things like premium desserts, fitness classes and staff gratuities. 

Wednesday 5 July 2023

Introducing the NEW Skincare range from Dr.PAWPAW

(Features press samples & affiliate links - see disclaimer)

If there is one brand I have used since the very beginning of this blog it's Dr.PAWPAW so can you imagine my excitement when I discovered they were finally releasing a skincare range to go alongside their multi-award-winning balm? 

I had a few of the products sent to me to try in May and I've been testing them out, swapping them around and seeing how I get on with them and I am finally ready to share some thoughts although it will be no surprise I am fully obsessed and not just because of the oh so cute packaging. 


Sunday 2 July 2023

Pixi Beauty On-The-Glow Bronze Sticks

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Coming in hot from Pixi Beauty is their brand new On-the-Glow Bronzer and I'm going to give you the full lowdown on why you need to add them to your makeup collection. Having previously used the On-the-Glow Blushers, I was very excited about getting my hands on these and oh my they are beautiful.

Available in four shades, the sticks aim to give a sunkissed and healthy-looking complexion to skin all year round so it's a much safer way to achieve that holiday glow. 

Sunday 14 May 2023

A Star is Born // Princess Cruises' Introduces their latest sphere class ship

(Press event with Princess Cruises - see disclaimer

On 12th May, Princess Cruises announced the arrival of their second sphere class ship, joining Sun Princess as the largest ship to be under the Princess Cruises' helm. Currently, under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, Star Princess weighs in at 175,500 tonnes, carrying 4,300 guests. 

Debuting in the Mediterranean in August 2025, the new ship is built on a distinctly different and unique platform to Princess, designed to simultaneously embrace the heritage while celebrating the romance of the sea by offering more dynamic, outward views.

Monday 8 May 2023

A Guide to Keukenhof Botanical Gardens: 5 Things to do on your visit

Nestled in the picturesque town of Lisse, the Keukenhof Botanical Gardens is a horticultural masterpiece that captivates visitors from around the world. Known as the "Garden of Europe," Keukenhof is a floral paradise that showcases the beauty and diversity of nature in all its splendour.

Open for just a few months each year and with millions of vibrant tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other magnificent blooms, the gardens offer a sensory feast of colours, scents, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Steeped in rich history and conveniently located near Amsterdam, Keukenhof Botanical Gardens is a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable experience immersed in the beauty of flowers and nature.

Wednesday 3 May 2023

Five Happy Things // April 2023

Five Happy Things is back - it's nice to have a little look back though, isn't it? For me, so I can see what we were up to and I suppose sheer nosiness for others, we all do it!

April was a hectic month for us and it felt like it went by in the blink of an eye and now with just a few weeks back at school, we're on a fast approach to half term already. April has been packed with days out with the children, dinners with friends and my very first cruise with my mum onboard Princess Cruises. If this is how the year is shaping up, I can't wait to see what the rest of it has in store for us as a family. 

Let's hope the weather gets the memo that it is Spring and shows us some blue skies and sunshine. 

Here's how some of our April looked...

Sunday 30 April 2023

Greatest Days // Exclusive to P&O Cruises' Arvia

(Press event with P&O Cruises - see disclaimer)

The 30th of April saw P&O Cruises' newest ship Arvia host the UK premiere of Greatest Days, the Official Take That Musical by Tim Firth. Gary Barlow, who is P&O Cruises' music director, attended this special performance and held an introduction ahead of the show with Olly Smith, the cruise lines wine expert. 

As a family-friendly Excel class ship, Arvia has something for everyone - as well as West End worthy entertainment, you'll find top-notch indoor activities like an immersive simulation escape room, Mission Control and over 900 square metres of luxury branded retail shopping at The Avenue. Outside you'll be amazed by Arvia's Altitude activity zone, complete with tropical-island-themed mini-golf, aqua zone Splash Valley and the cruise line's first ever-high-ropes experience, Sky Walk. 

She is an incredible ship and I can't wait to one day sail on her with the children.

Sunday 23 April 2023

The NEW BE QUIET Soothing Milky Toner from TEMPLESPA

(This is a paid partnership with TEMPLESPA - see disclaimer)

Available from the beginning of April, TEMPLESPA's BE QUIET Soothing Milky Toner is the latest product to be released from the much-loved skincare brand. With a weightless, velvet touch it has been specifically designed for those with sensitive or stressed skin. 

If you're fairly new to TEMPLESPA, they're an award-winning British skincare brand with a Mediterranean heart. They've been creating luxury skincare and spa treatments for over 23 years. TEMPLESPA products contain Mediterranean botanical, plant, fruit and legume extracts, combined in synergy with high regard for derma science, technical innovation and research; performance and texture are paramount so you just know you can trust them when it comes to simple and effective skincare collections.

Wednesday 12 April 2023

The NEW L’Oréal Paris Elvive Bond Repair Collection

(Features press samples & affiliate links - see disclaimer)

L’Oréal Paris Elvive has really upped the hair stakes this year with the introduction of their latest collection, Bond Repair. Likened to the cult Olaplex hair range, Bond Repair is their deepest set of repair products to instantly transform your hair. Featuring technology with a citric acid complex that powers deep into the hair, the four-step routine helps to rebuild broken bonds from the inside out. 

The collection includes four products - a pre-shampoo treatment, shampoo, conditioner and leave-in serum. Available now in all major beauty stores, the collection is worth its weight in hair gold and the reviews coming out have been fantastic. 

Fabulous hair has never been so easy. 

Sunday 2 April 2023

The Clarins Beauty Flash Collection

(Features press samples & affiliate links - see disclaimer)

Last July, Clarins introduced an all-new Beauty Flash Collection featuring three anti-fatigue solutions that promote radiant-looking skin, in an instant. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm has long been heralded as a cult product for more radiant-looking skin and with an improved formula and accompanying products, it has become even more popular. 

The new trio of skin-reviving, radiance-boosting instant beauty products leave skin visibly brighter, tighter and smoother revealing a glowing complexion. Discover the newly reformulated iconic Beauty Flash Balm joined by the Beauty Flash Peel and Resculpting Flash Roller now.

Friday 31 March 2023

Five Happy Things // March 2023

Five Happy Things is back for March - It's nice to have a little look back though, isn't it? For me, so I can see what we were up to and I suppose sheer nosiness for others, we all do it!

March was a hectic month for us and it felt like it went by in the blink of an eye and now with just a few weeks back at school, we're on Easter Holidays. This term has been plagued by sickness and I don't think we had one full week at school, it's been one illness after another and I'm very ready to not do any school runs for a few weeks. 

We have managed some fun this month but I am desperately craving Spring and some blue skies.

Here's how some of our March looked...

Sunday 26 March 2023

Five NEW in beauty products for March

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New beauty products are my favourite thing to share - I love being able to try a variety of items from hair and body to skincare and makeup and so I've done a little round-up of five products that were new to me in March. 

As always, I've been trying a few different brands this year, some of them new to me, some new to us all as they were recently released; so let's dive in.

Friday 24 March 2023

Four Products from BYBI Beauty you must try

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If you're looking for an ultra colourful skincare brand with the lowest possible environmental footprint, let me introduce you to BYBI Beauty. They are pro-planet from seed to shelf and utilise low-carbon production throughout their entire supply chain. 

Co-founders Elise and Dominika started out in their kitchens, meticulously crafting DIY beauty recipes with potent natural ingredients - BYBI was born in 2017 and they quickly became known for their efficacious, pro-planet formulas and standout eco packaging. They also created the world's first carbon-negative skincare product Glowcurrant Booster, a brightening facial oil, that captures more carbon than it emits. It's quite literally a game-changer. 

I've used BYBI Beauty since discovering them in 2019 and I've really enjoyed exploring the brand and its products - my skin loves them, the ingredients are fab and I adore the packaging. 

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Recent Book Buys from Waterstones - Have you read them?

I have been saving up my Waterstones Plus points over the last year and decided this week I'd head into my latest store and finally spend them. 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. 

I picked up six in total, taking advantage of the buy one get one half price offer and as I also ordered one from Amazon this week I've chucked that in this post too. Some of what I bought have been doing the rounds on social media for some time and curiosity finally got the better of me and others like Free Love and The Clockwork Girl were total wild cards. 

Let me know if any have caught your eye or if you're reading one at the moment.

Sunday 19 March 2023

Make an Alcohol Free Rhubarb & Lemon Gin Fizz with me

(Features press samples - see disclaimer)

Fancy a drink but not feeling alcohol? This Rhubarb & Lemon Gin Fizz is perfect for when you want something a little different but without the fuzzy head in the morning. Made using CleanCo Rhubarb Non-Alcholic Crisp Dry Botanical Spirit, it's a great alternative to gin to give a fun twist to your drink.

CleanCo was developed to give you a choice when mixing a drink without compromising on taste or social experience. They create delicious alternatives to gins, rum, tequila, vodka and whiskey and are proud to be the leading independent brand in the UK allowing you to enjoy the delicious, refreshing cocktails you know and love without the repercussions.

Friday 17 March 2023

P&O Cruises Arvia named in Beautiful Barbados

Global star Nicole Scherzinger officially named P&O Cruises' newest ship Arvia yesterday in a spectacular beachside ceremony in Barbados. Chart-topper Olly Murs performed some of his best-loved hits at the ceremony, which was held both on board Arvia's SkyDome and from Heywood's Beach. 

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Top 5 Coffee Spots in Southampton you must try

We have an excellent foodie scene in the city and I love nothing more than discovering what's new but undoubtedly my favourite thing to do is drink copious amounts of coffee. I've raved for years about how great it is for independents in Southampton and over the last year it has just got better and better! 

Obviously, my one true love is coffee so I have put together five coffee spots you need on your radar.

Sunday 12 March 2023

Five Recent Reads I've Loved + Mini Reviews

Books, books books! This year is flying by - I feel like I say that all the time but a new month means a quick refresh on what I've been reading over the last month. I've read fourteen books since January so I thought I'd pick out five that really stole my heart. They're all (almost) new authors for me and I'll definitely be looking at their book history to see what else I can pick out to read. 

I also have a mammoth amount of books to get through again, my TBR pile is never-ending and I'm a nightmare for continually adding to it so I've placed a ban on myself until I've worked through what I have at home - not including 99p Kindle offers, oops!

I have five mini-reviews for you today and if you want to keep up with what I'm reading then you can follow me on Goodreads too - Alice Spake // Goodreads.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Nourish London's NEW Ultra Rich Vegan Body Creams

(Features press samples & affiliate links - see disclaimer)

I've dipped in and out of Nourish London over the years but since 2021 I've implemented more of their products within my routine -  I should've done it years ago! If you're new to the brand, Nourish London is a British organic skincare company offering scientifically developed, highly effective, organic, vegan & cruelty-free skincare powered by ingredients from nature.

Created by Dr Pauline Hili, a renowned expert in organic skincare with over 30 years of experience, Nourish London is fuelled by a passion for innovation, they combine the highest quality natural ingredients with advanced scientific bio-actives to create award-winning organic skincare for beautiful, healthy skin. All of their naturally active products are creatively conceived and made with love at their own factory in London using only the purest, highest quality, cruelty-free ingredients at their optimum levels ensuring they care for your skin as well as for the planet.

Sunday 5 March 2023

Two Gifts from Jurlique perfect for Mother's Day

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When it comes to Mother's Day gifting, Jurlique is always one of my go-to brands as they create the most beautiful gift sets that always go down well. There are four gifts available within the Mother's Day Gifting Range and this year Jurlique is celebrating all the special mums and mother figures, not forgetting Mother Nature. 

If you have yet to hear of Jurlique I'll give you a little backstory. The brand is created by husband and wife team, Dr Jürgen Klein, a biochemist, and his wife Ulrike, a botanist, they had always been passionate believers in the healing power of nature. Their vision was to create a pure and natural skincare range combining the ancient arts of alchemy, herbal medicine and homoeopathy to reconnect people to nature. They began their search for the purest place on earth and after searching the world, they discovered the unspoiled Adelaide Hills in South Australia.

Today, Jurlique products are sold in more than twenty countries worldwide. And their most iconic natural ingredients are still grown in the Adelaide Hills where Jurlique first began.

I have used Jurlique for just over ten years now - the products are as fabulous as they sound, my skin absolutely loves them and the results can really be seen so what better way to treat someone special in your life than with something from Jurlique. 

Sunday 26 February 2023

Five Happy Things // February 2023

Five Happy Things is back for February - It's nice to have a little look back though, isn't it? For me, so I can see what we were up to and I suppose sheer nosiness for others, we all do it! 

February was a hectic month for us and it felt like it went by in the blink of an eye, especially with half term thrown in too. It felt as if we just nailed our routine again we were thrown into the half-term break but we've been back a week again now and it's made all the difference. We've seen a few sunny days and had some fun socialising.

Here's how some of our February looked, I've picked out the best bits...

Friday 24 February 2023

P&O Cruises announces performers & hosts for Arvia's Naming Ceremony later this month

P&O Cruises will officially name its newest ship Arvia in a spectacular beachside ceremony in Barbados on Thursday, March 16th 2023. The event, which will include some of Britain's most contemporary and popular performers and presenters, will be broadcast live online to a global audience.

Sunday 19 February 2023

A Night at Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa in the New Forest

(Press visit for the purpose of review - see disclaimer)

With half term looming, we booked a night away in the New Forest at Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa so we could spend some time as a family and make use of the swimming pool. Balmer Lawn is a luxury family hotel in the heart of the New Forest boasting a number of rooms, delicious dining options and two swimming pools. The hotel is really close to attractions such as Paulton's Park, Beaulieu Harbour and Southampton so it's a great location for families. 

Situated on the outskirts of Brockenhurst, Balmer Lawn was once a Coaching Inn during the mid-1800s as it was the ideal resting place for passing travellers before being used as a field hospital during World War 1. During the Second World War, the Army ran the hotel as an Army staff college and in 1943 it became the centre for marshalling the forces for the Normandy invasion. Over the years it became various hotels until the current owners, the Wilson family bought it in 1997. 

Being an old building, it is said there is a ghost although we never came across it. He appears in doctor's whites with a stethoscope...

Sunday 12 February 2023

Three Fragrances from Floral Street you must try

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I find fragrance can be quite an obvious gift for someone however it can be quite personal and it's something I always love receiving. Fragrances have a way of holding memories and even years later some scents can be quite emotive so it's something I personally invest in.

Floral Street are quite a new fragrance brand to me, created by Michelle Feeney their mission is to bring fine fragrance to the modern woman - so that she might build an entire fragrance wardrobe that can express the many facets of who she is. I spent a virtual evening with the brand last year and found the background, their stance on eco-responsibility and the way they want to change fragrance inspiring.

Since that very first introduction, I've tried each of the fragrances within their discovery set and added three full-size bottles to my perfume collection which is what I'll talk about in this post. Each one is a little different but stunningly beautiful and like nothing else within my collection. 

Wednesday 8 February 2023

Date Night Hair this Valentine's with Beachwaver

(Features press samples & affiliate links - see disclaimer)

Beachwaver launched in the UK towards the end of last and has been hugely popular - female founded with a host of super knowledgable women at the helm, it is absolutely one to watch. 

The hair tool is created by Sarah Potempa, an innovative hair stylist whose technical versatility and singular creative talent has made her high demand worldwide. After continually explaining the complex process to get natural waves to editors, she sat down and sketched the idea for the Beachwaver - you can see the original sketch on the website! 

Sarah enlisted the help of her two sisters and a team of engineers and dedicated the next two years to research and development. The Beachwaver launched in 2012 and is now globally distributed.

Sunday 5 February 2023

Discover the all NEW menu at HarBar on 6th

(Press visit for the purpose of review - see disclaimer)

If specially crafted cocktails and delicious food are your thing, then you need to get to Southampton Harbour Hotel's HarBar on 6th as they've just introduced a tantalising new menu. Over the next few months, you can enjoy a selection of warming dishes, and sip on delicious cocktails beneath a beautiful canopy of petals in a burst of white, cream and green.

The beautiful rooftop destination bar, kitchen and club features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Solent complete with a terrace with outdoor fire pits making it the perfect location for drinks with friends or lunch with family. 

Friday 3 February 2023

How to spend a day on the Isle of Wight this Half Term

(AD with Visit Isle of Wight - see disclaimer)

With just a few weeks to go until Half Term, we headed to the Isle of Wight for a day trip with Visit Isle of Wight to see what we could get up to with the children. Unfortunately, when it came to the day we only had the one-year-old with us because the five-year-old went to a train convention with my parents but we were still able to get a good glimpse into 'half-term on the island'

Being based in Southampton means day trips are a doddle and long weekends away are easily within reach. If you're Hampshire based or further then the Isle of Wight is a gem and the perfect spot to explore with children.

Here is what we got up to during our visit...

Wednesday 1 February 2023

REN Skincare Introduces Mindful Minis perfect for travelling

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REN Skincare has been within my beauty cupboards for longer than I can remember - I use them daily, take them away for nights away and travel with them so imagine my delight when the REN mindful mini range became available to buy. 

I was giddy plus minis are cute right?

REN Skincare has been pioneers in Clean Skincare since 2000. They select nature's most powerful and kind bioactive ingredients, harnessing their benefits in their formulas to create effective, high performance and clinically proven skincare that addresses diverse skin needs, always with sensitive skin in mind. They're Clean to Skin. Clean to Planet. positioning guides them in every decision they make. They are passionate about protecting our planet's resources and committed to reducing the waste that we produce at every stage of the production, distribution, and promotion of our skincare. 

So... Mindful Minis let's go...

Monday 30 January 2023

Five Happy Things // January 2023

Five Happy Things is BACK - I tried to do these posts most months last year but definitely missed the last couple of the year because we were so busy and then really ill over Christmas. It's nice to have a little look back though, isn't it? For me, so I can see what we were up to and I suppose sheer nosiness for others, we all do it! 

January, considering it is such a miserable month wasn't too shabby for us. We craved the routine of school and work again, we've seen a few sunny days and had some fun socialising. I sometimes feel I get wrapped up with everyone else hating on the first month of the year but I didn't do that this year, I've just sat back and enjoyed it. I highly recommend it. 

Here's how some of our January looked, I've picked out the best bits...

Friday 27 January 2023

New in from REN Skincare // Perfect Canvas Smooth, Prep & Plump Essence

(Features press samples & affiliate links - see disclaimer)

Over the last few years, I have been a REN Skincare 'Frend' ambassador which means I get to try exclusive products, find out about upcoming launches and test them first so imagine my DELIGHT when the brand NEW Perfect Canvas Smooth, Prep & Plump Essence fell into my hands. I have used REN Skincare for nearly fifteen years, the Glow Tonic was my first ever purchase and I still use it now so I'm always excited when some new arrives and this is certainly something to get excited about. 

Launching at the beginning of 2023, the product contains an instantly smoothing and plumping bio-ferment essence proven to boost the benefits of skincare and help strengthen the skin barrier.

Sunday 22 January 2023

New Thai restaurant Giggling Squid opens in Winchester

(Press visit for the purpose of review - see disclaimer)

Towards the end of 2022, Winchester welcomed Thai restaurant Giggling Squid to The Square and it has been hugely popular! Husband and wife co-founders Pranee and Andy started Giggling Squid out of a determination to bring the buzz of Thai mealtimes to the UK - energetic, informal, adventurous and welcoming. 

It all started in a tiny Fisherman's cottage (now their Brighton restaurant) where the first menu was dreamt up.

Since then, the brand has expanded rapidly across the country and has quickly built up a cult following with menu favourites such as Salt & Pepper Squid and Lamb Massaman Curry being served up in forty-six locations. 

We visited twice before Christmas and while the first time wasn't quite as expected the second visit more than made up for it. I already know what I'd order on our next visit. 

Friday 20 January 2023

The Rare Rose Collection from Jurlique

(Features press samples & affiliate links - see disclaimer)

If you haven't heard of Jurlique I'll give you a little backstory. The brand is created by husband and wife team, Dr Jürgen Klein, a biochemist, and his wife Ulrike, a botanist, they had always been passionate believers in the healing power of nature. Their vision was to create a pure and natural skincare range combining the ancient arts of alchemy, herbal medicine and homoeopathy to reconnect people to nature. They began their search for the purest place on earth and after searching the world, they discovered the unspoiled Adelaide Hills in South Australia.

Today, Jurlique products are sold in more than twenty countries around the world. And their most iconic natural ingredients are still grown in the Adelaide Hills where Jurlique first began.

I have used Jurlique for just over ten years now - the products are as fabulous as they sound, my skin absolutely loves them and the results can really be seen. I've been using the Jurlique Rare Rose range for the last few months and honestly? Love it! 

Let me fill you in a little bit more...

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Latest in Beauty // Fabulous What's Hot 2023

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Beauty box favourites, Latest in Beauty have teamed up with Fabulous to curate an all-new collection absolutely jam-packed with beauty products. The Fabulous What's Hot 2023 (£36.00) box features new and trending products that will help you prep for the new year. You'll get to discover the latest launches in beauty as well as cult and ingredient-focused products.

Worth over £200, this edit brings you an almost ALL full-sized lineup with ten new year must-haves from brands including Revolution, It’s a 10, Aveda, 3INA, Skin Proud and many more.

If this is what can be found in the first box of the year, I cannot wait to see what else is in store for us!

Sunday 15 January 2023

Super Easy Banana Loaf Cake

Is it 2020 again? It felt like it when I was baking a banana loaf cake recently but I had bananas past their best I needed to use up and sticking them in a cake is always the easiest solution. 

Plus it tastes scrummy too! 

I make most of my bakes in my Thermomix so I use a mixture of already programmed Thermomix recipes and my own favourites then adapt them to use in the machine. It's so easy to use - you just measure everything out, stick it in the mixing bowl and it does it all for you. It makes life so much easier when I have both the children around my ankles and I want to whip up a cake quickly. 

Wednesday 11 January 2023

New in from Upcircle Beauty for 2023

(Features press samples & affiliate links - see disclaimer)

Back in 2020, I came across Upcircle for the first time - an all-natural skincare brand that uses leftover ingredients, bringing them back to life as beauty products. Think used coffee grounds and fruit stones - ideal for the skin. Upcircle previously known as Optiat underwent a revamp in 2018 with a new name, logo and packaging! This saw all tubed products switched to 100% aluminium, glass or cardboard packaging all of which are easier to recycle.

The brand is very recycle, reuse and re-purpose which is exactly what we need in the current climate.

You can read more about my first thoughts on Upcircle in my post, Introducing the All-Natural Skincare Brand Upcircle but for now, I want to show you two of their brand-new products that I've been testing and using over the last month.

Sunday 8 January 2023

Authentic Beauty Concept - The new haircare seeing me into 2023

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I changed my hair quite a bit last year - I'd recently had a second baby, have no plans to have anymore and so it was time to find me again which meant losing the baby weight, changing my hair and finally getting my eyebrows microbladed. 

The eyebrows came first and then I chopped my hair off and went blonde; I love it but it has meant the extra bleach means my hair needs a little more loving than usual. I discovered Authentic Beauty Concept towards the end of last year and it has really transformed the feel and texture of my hair, a really great brand I couldn't wait to share more of. 

The vegan and planet-friendly haircare company aim to bring thoughtful hair care to the masses using a combination of cutting-edge science and carefully chosen ingredients. 

Friday 6 January 2023

Beautifect - The answer to beauty blender hygiene concerns

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People on Tik Tok have been raising concerns over mould and hygiene in recent posts when talking about their makeup sponges. The beauty brand, Beautifect has come to the rescue with their must-have companion to every blender the Beautifect Blender Pod.

It is the best way to keep your blender clean!

At least once a week you should wash and dry your makeup sponge to prevent dirt and mould buildup. Washing your sponge is very easy, just wet your sponge, add some soap, rinse thoroughly, and dry! The most important thing is leaving your makeup sponge/blender in a spot that is dry to get circulation - enter Beautifect's innovative Blender Pod!

Sunday 1 January 2023

The New Year Book Chat

It has been a LONG ol' time since I've shared anything book related on here but it turns out having two children will impact how much time you have to read after all. In the midst of nappies, teething and nap times I completely lost all desire to read, anything I did pick up didn't capture my attention enough and I found myself needlessly scrolling to just escape real life instead. 

I finished 2022 having read 26 books which is personally my lowest read year for a long time but I have a new outlook for this year, I have a pretty impressive TBR pile and I'm determined to find my reading groove again this year. 

With Christmas and my birthday right on top of one another, I came away with a new pile of books to read so I'm gonna give a quick rundown of what I'll be reading over the next few weeks. 
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