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...
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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.
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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. 
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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 J├╝rgen 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...
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Wednesday 18 January 2023

Latest in Beauty // Fabulous What's Hot 2023

(Features press samples & affiliate links - see disclaimer

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!
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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. 
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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.
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Sunday 8 January 2023

Authentic Beauty Concept - The new haircare seeing me into 2023

(Features press samples & affiliate links - see disclaimer

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. 
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Friday 6 January 2023

Beautifect - The answer to beauty blender hygiene concerns

(Features press samples and affiliate links - see disclaimer

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!
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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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