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Monday, 31 December 2012

New Years Eve Plans!


New Years Eve has to be my favourite day of the year! Everyone is so excited with the anticipation of what the new year may bring and you rarely see a sad face in the crowd!

I am planning to go up to London tonight with my boyfriend to see the fireworks. We will have  a nice meal in Leicester Square or China Town and make our way towards the embankment. Hopefully we can get a nice spot across from the river!

It is all going to be totally manic and I love that. I went out this morning and got lots of lovely drinks for the evening! My little collection includes lots of tasty flavoured shots and two bottles of vodka infused schnapps. The woman must of thought terribly of me when I bought it all but ah well! It will be a night to remember and I am spending it with my best friend. Cannot get much better than that eh?

NYE

Hope you all have a wonderful New Years Eve and day! What are you planning to do this evening?

Stephanie xox

Saturday, 29 December 2012

A wonderful Christmas!


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This year has felt very different to others. It has been such a mad rush, moving to university, all the travelling on trains and the seemingly constant carting of my belongings to and fro. Christmas came and went so quickly!

I spent Christmas eve madly shopping and preparing for the evening of celebration ahead - it was both my mothers 40th and boyfriends 20th birthdays also you see! Me and my mother rushed all the last minute Christmas shopping and I went to collect her beautiful, custom made, fresh exotic fruit cake from Patisserie Valerie.  We spent the night all together in the pub, drank far to much and met the most adorable little Staffordshire bull terrier puppy! An peculiar evening indeed!

Christmas day I was rather hungover and just desperate for dinner. I had a lovely meal prepared for me by my aunt and crawled home for a night of good television and cuddles with James.

I opened all my presents and received some truly well thought and lovingly presented gifts from friends and family! I got lots of beautiful writing pads from my mum including a Peter Rabbit writing set (my all time favourite childhood book), a black leather flex Filofax and an array of colourful notebooks, one for each of my university modules! Handy eh? She also got me the most beautiful quilted green purse from French Connection and some money for any planned nights out or new clothes!

My boyfriend got me a beautiful pair of the red Hunter Original Tour Cuff wellingtons. They can be purchased here and are different from the originals in that they are extremely flexible. Perfect for folding down into a bag to and from university! Words can not express how happy I was when I received these, I have been splashing in every puddle I have found since! Ooh I think I hear the rain again!

My aunt and adopted cousin/brother also got me some lovely gifts. A lovely fragrance and hairbrush set, a beautiful Lush gift box containing Ponche and Sandy Santa and a beautiful handmade scarf. Not only do I smell fabulous, I am also super cosy at the same time!

My boyfriends family got me an impressive collection of gifts including clothing, those adorable owl slippers, the floral clutch, jewellery, a cupcake maker and sweets galore!

I am so thankful for all I received and it was a wonderful day. Lets hope all that Christmas magic is back in full swing next year!

Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas! What did you get this year?

Stephanie xox

Friday, 28 December 2012

Beauty Review: Lush, Season's Tweetings


LUSHSTBOXWho can resist Lush at Christmas? The bright wrapping paper, the array of content and the delicious scents. Actually, who can ever resist Lush products?
I found the Season’s Tweetings* box at my door this festive season containing an amazing variety of skin-loving treats to aid you against the chill. The box includes the Twilight shower gel, Ro’s Argan body conditioner, Tiny Hands solid hand cream and Snowcake star soap.
LUSH2Twilight shower gel (100g)This is my absolute favourite of the Christmas limited edition shower gels. It smells absolutely amazing and is a ridiculously unique fragrance. It is a very sweet lavender smell. I often associate the smell of lavender as a harshly lasting and a rather dull fragrance. However, this shower gel has taken that smell and added a load of sugary goodness and some wonderful silver shimmer too! It really does get me off to sleep after a long day at university and leaves you feeling wonderfully calm and relaxed. I had previously done a review of this wonderfully scented product Here.
Tiny Hands solid hand cream (60g)Tiny Hands is a solid hand cream bar shaped as a delicate little palm. It is a very creamy bar and although small proves to be a very hard worker indeed as it nourishes your hands, soothing and repairing the skin. It leaves my hands feeling fabulously smooth and fresh with its beautiful floral fragrance of chamomile, marigold and lime flower oils. Leaving you, and your hands, feeling wonderfully relaxed! The addition of cocoa and fair trade shea butter provide a gorgeous feel for that additional moisturisation. I find it goes on quite oily but give it a few minutes and the product sinks in a treat! I prefer an oilier product on my hands anyway, and I find this perfect for my winter damaged skin!
LUSH1Ro’s Argan body conditioner (45g)This rose oil scented body moisturiser is just delicious. Packed full of nourishing oils and butters, the ingredients include argan oil, brazil nut oil, almond oil, fair trade shea butter, cocoa butter, cupuaƧu butter and oji berry juice! The smell of the rose will leave you feeling luxurious while the ingredients work their magic softening the skin. All you have to do is smooth it all over and rinse off!
Snowcake star soap (70g)This beautiful festive soap comes shaped as a glittering gold star smelling of sweet Christmas treats with its marzipan and fruit fragrance, it works a treat also! This soap cleanses and nourishes the skin and lathers up wonderfully, leaving the beautiful rapeseed and coconut oil to treat the skin.
This box costs £16.95 and unfortunately is only available in the festive period! Fear not though, Lush boxes are available all year round with a variety of amazing products. Take your pick Here!
What do you think of Season’s Tweetings? What beauty products did you get this Christmas?
Stephanie xox

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Food Review: Byron Bay Cookies



I have always loved Byron Bay cookies having purchased them from some of the nicest coffee shops in Oxford for years. Getting the chance to review them in all their glory certainly could not be missed! I tried both the ordinary and gluten free alternatives* for the majority of their cookies and here is what I discovered!

I also was lucky enough to try the gluten free cookies also. Now although delicious, I found these less tasty than the others. However, they make a fabulous alternative and are made with the same impeccable quality. I merely found the taste of the biscuit to be noticeably different.

White Choc chunk and Macamdemia nut (original and gluten free)
This is my favourite of all the cookies, a lovely mix of thick white chocolate chunks and wholesome macadamia nuts. The perfect blend of savoury and sweet. I have always been a lover of white over milk, and the soft nuts really compliment the melt-in-your-mouth white chocolate and crumbly biscuit.

Triple Choc Fudge Cookie (original and gluten free)
Now this is a chocolate lovers dream, packed full of chocolate and fudge and making it incredibly moist and moreish. I found this gluten free version to be not as soft as its alternative. It had a strong chocolate cocoa taste and it felt a lot more dry in comparison. However, the fudge and chocolate pieces remained plentiful and delicious!

Dotty (original and gluten free)
One of the most amazing cookies, not only thick chunks of chocolate but sugar coated chocolate drops on top also! This is what I used to crave as a child and I have to say my mother never said no to one either! The gluten free option is a triple choc cookie with the addition of choc dotty choc drops. Surprisingly it is not as chocolate smothered and proves great with a strong cocoa taste.

Strawberry and Clotted Cream Cookie with White Choc Chunks ( gluten free)
Now this was delicious. The smell of strawberry, strong and sweet with the addition of thick pieces of the fruit. The clotted cream was not as evident but this may have been overpowered by the sweet taste of the fruit and my adored white chocolate chunks!

Sticky Date & Ginger with Walnut Cookie (gluten free)
It is always nice to have a non chocolate option too! This cookie has a strong smell and taste of ginger with the sweetness coming from the dates. It has a really festive feel and the walnut is wonderfully crunchy! I will definitely be on the hunt for these this Christmas!

As you can see Bryon Bay have an incredible variety in terms of ingredients, taste and dietary needs. What is better on a cold day than a warm drink in hand and a lovingly made cookie?

Have you ever tried Byron Bay Cookies? Which flavour would you pick?

Stephanie xox

Monday, 3 December 2012

Birchbox Launch into Europe Editor's Champagne Afternoon Tea



Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the launch of Birchbox Editor’s Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Soho Hotel in London recently. I desperately searched in order to find suitable travel arrangements but to no avail. Luckily, I was sent the goody bag and all the information from the event!

At the moment the current subscription box used in the UK is the well-known JolieBox. This will be fully re-branded as Birchbox after January 2013 and all future boxes will be personalized to suit the individual subscribers when they complete their online personal profiles meaning the boxes will be tailored to your skin type, hair type and style.

Birchbox is an American company that has big ideas for its re-branding into Europe after its acquisition of JolieBox. The idea behind it all is allowing people to try the best 
brands from the comfort of their home at a fixed price each month of £13. Birchbox is a self-confessed “global lifestyle brand” and works with over 400 brand partners.

Their motto is “try, learn, buy”. This system allows its customers to buy the full-sized products via the Birchbox website after they have used up their trial/sample size. You receive four or five hand-picked samples in each box.

I received some delicious little beauty inspired cookies and the following boxes containing:

JolieBox
  • Ritessens Exfoliant
  • Redken Align 12 Protective Straightening Lotion
  • L’Occitane Angelica Hydration Cream
  • RMK Cleansing Balm
  • Dr Bronner’s Pure- Castile Soap ‘Pillows’ (3)
  • Twistband


Birchbox
  • DDF Brightening Cleanser
  • Jouer Moisturising Lip Gloss
  • LaraBar
  • Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy Fleur
  • LiQWd Professional Volumizing Catalyst

The future of Birchbox certainly looks bright and the products amazing! I will be doing reviews of all the products in each of these boxes so do keep your eyes peeled!

What do you think of Birchbox? Will you miss JolieBox?
 

Stephanie xox


Beauty Review: Lush Limited Edition Christmas Shower Gels




Everyone loves Christmas, especially all the preparation in the run up to it, be it going shopping for gifts or beautifying yourself for all the festive events. These limited edition Christmas shower gels are deliciously refreshing on these ever frostier days. Whats better than a long hot bath or shower after the chill of the day?
Twilight

This is my absolute favourite of the three Christmas limited edition shower gels. It smells absolutely amazing and is a ridiculously unique fragrance. It is a very sweet lavender smell. I often associate the smell of lavender as a harshly lasting and a rather dull fragrance. However, this shower gel has taken that smell and added a load of sugary goodness and some wonderful silver shimmer too! It really does get me off to sleep after a long day at university and leaves you feeling wonderfully calm and relaxed.

Ponche

Well this fluorescent orange shower gel is certainly interesting with the addition of a shot of tequila and the refreshing citrus of fresh orange juice. It is inspired by a "traditional Mexican Christmas punch" with the addition of plum, cinnamon and other fruity fragrances. You can really sniff the hint of tequila and it leaves you feeling tingly all over. While Twilight sends you into the perfect festive dreamy state, this fruity number gets you awake and ready for the day. It really is "your own little party in the shower".

Snow Fairy

This is the Christmas number one best selling product but it was my least favourite of the three! It does smell delicious, good enough to eat in fact, but I am not a huge fan of smelling like a candy store. Lush confesses it is "intensely sweet" and this sparkly little number is reminiscent of bubble gum and candy floss, a perfect girly treat.
All of these shower gels feel wonderful on the skin, deeply moisturizing with lasting smells the question is...

Which will you be buying this Christmas?

Stephanie xox