Monday, 27 July 2015

Summer Lush Haul

After months of stopping myself from hurling into Lush and buying everything I see in sight, I finally gave into temptation and went on a little shopping spree. There are so many new products that I haven't tried and I really wanted to try out some new things as well as purchase some of my current favourites. 

After scrolling through pages and pages of wonderful bath products, I finally chose a variety of goodies that I wanted to test out and review for you guys. Of course, my usual picks are Butterball, Tisty Tosty and Honey I washed the kids which are all equally wonderful. They each have their own unique quality and make your skin feel incredible, which is why I couldn't help but purchase them again. 

I tried sex bomb not long after my reveal video. It smells incredible and leaves your skin feeling very silky smooth - definitely one that I would buy again. I was also fortunate to be sent a free product, whether this was on purpose or accident - thank you either way. I was sent A ring of roses butter cream which looks divine and smells equally the same. I cannot wait to try this out and see how my skin feels after using it. The floral scent is perfect for summer. 

This cost me altogether £30 including postage which was great! 


What's your favourite Lush product right now? 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

July Glossybox unwrapped

 This months Glossybox has finally arrived, later than usual and I'm not 100% sure if it was worth the wait. After hearing my friends disappointment with their Glossybox I was slightly worried about what I would receive this month. When I opened the package and saw the box, I thought wow! It's so pretty, potentially the best box I have received yet! If you didn't know already, I like to reuse the boxes that I receive. Many of the unique ones I keep for makeup storage and the normal pink boxes I use for presents, it makes gifting easier! 

The idea behind Vive la France is very intriguing and unique and I completely understand the concept. However, I didn't feel that this months products matched up when there was so much hype behind this box! 

You know how much I look forward to my Glossybox and I usually love them and can see myself using the products that are sent to me. However, this month I think I will use two out of the five that were sent. Which is a disappointment. 

Noxidoxi enhancing serum base
Lollipops lip balm delicieuse
Teoxane Cosmeceuticals perfect skin refiner
Yves Rocher Eau De Parfum
Glossybox travel pouch

Firstly, let me say that I understand that my viewpoint doesn't speak for every Glossie that has subscribed, so I am not a voice for the majority here. What I like could be completely different to your favourites. 

My favourites I would have to say were the Glossybox travel pouch - that was just cute, and I love the art. I would definitely use this for keeping my everyday makeup in. I also like the Lollipop lip balm, it smelt amazing. 

What I wasn't a fan of from the start was the Yves Rocher perfume, it isn't my kind of scent and I just know that it will stay in my draw until I end up giving away or throwing it away. 

In regards to the serum, I will happily try them to see what I think. 

Overall, I have to say this months Glossybox was slightly disappointing. I think I loved the box more than the products inside. Hopefully next months will have products that are more to my taste. 


What was your favourite product this month? 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The freedom to love

Could you imagine a world where you were told it was wrong to be in love? The very thought makes me feel emotional. Talking as someone who is in a long-term relationship, I could not imagine my life without my partner, he has grown to be apart of me. 

If I was told that I could not love him, that it was wrong and disgraceful - it would rock me to the very core. He is very much my best friend as he is my boyfriend. 

I recently read that in 76 countries it is illegal to be gay. As a straight female, I know this does not affect my own personal relationship, so many of you may be wondering what the reason is for this post.

I wanted to share my thoughts and be another voice fighting against this hate campaign.

I know quite a few individuals who are gay or lesbian and they are wonderful people. This hate that surrounds them for wanting to be equal is shameful. I decided to join in the conversation and encourage the #gayisok campaign.

This may not affect me on a personal level, but it does affect people I know and care for.

I could not imagine a world where it wasn't okay to be in love, so why should they have to put up with this? These 76 countries withhold the freedom to love for millions of people.

Why are we so judgemental? Why is it so hard to accept? Why are we criticising people over their sexuality? Do we not have more important things to think about? I don't know.. like wars, poverty, crime - how can we place a person's sexuality alongside any of these things? 

In my opinion, a person should not be defined or branded because of his/her sexuality. Why can't being a good person be enough for us? Why do we always have to create hate.

We choose to obsess over something we cannot change and why would we want to? To love someone whether they are male or female is a beautiful thing. We should be embracing it rather than emulating hate. 


Thursday, 9 July 2015

Scandalous by Tilly Bagshawe

The front cover of Tilly Bagshawe's novel Scandalous really doesn't do the book itself any justification. If I was shopping for a book to read, this would not have captured my attention enough to pick it up and read the back cover. It really has no representation of what the story is about and quite frankly looks a little..dare I say.. tacky? 

Of course, the saying goes.. never judge a book by its cover. There have never been truer words spoken in this books case. The title 'Scandalous' is spot on and true to the nature of the story. Overall I have to say I loved the book. Let me tell you why. 

I picked up this book whilst exploring Madeira. It was just sitting there on the bookshelf in my hotel lobby, the leftovers of someone else's holiday. I picked up two books in fact (the only two in the English language might I add), one was a crime novel, which is usually more to my taste (I can't remember the name) - I love crime fiction, mostly James Patterson novels about Alex Cross. I have read a few chick lit and erotica books, but I have never really read something that grasps my attention where I can escape in the words on paper. This is why crime fiction is my favourite genre - the crime itself, the thrill, the danger and of course the hero. It's always action packed and leaves me on edge. 

I also love the Harry Potter books (who doesn't?) Twilight, Game of thrones and Hunger games. So it's true to say that I like a variety. 

I remember reading the back of both books and decided I wanted something more light-hearted. So I gave the other book to my brother Ryan and started Scandalous. 

For three days I got lost in the pages, at first I wasn't sure. The opening chapter sounds more like a teenage romance novel where the main character Sasha Miller loses her virginity and is heading out to university. Just as I was about to close the pages for good, the real story kicked into high gear and had me hooked. Introducing Professor Theo Dexter. I don't want to give the story away too much but here is the summary on the back of the book...

Sasha Miller goes to Cambridge University with a dream, and leaves a broken woman. After losing her heart to sexy professor Theo Dexter, she departs in a scandal. 
Meanwhile, as Theo Dexter becomes a television heart-throb, his long suffering wife Theresa realises that trust and fidelity are two words her husband doesn't understand. His betrayal is deeper than any cut. Years later the two women will reunite in a daring scheme to bring down the man who almost destroyed them both. It took them years to realise how one man could cause so much pain, but now they are determined her will regret the day he entered both of their lives...

The story takes you through Sasha Miller's life and various other characters within the book. It's brilliant, shocking and quite sexy too. There are some great twists and revenge is bliss. I enjoyed the story throughout, however I don't feel that the ending was as good as I hoped it would be. It felt rather rushed and I thought there could have been more to it. Of course that's just my opinion. I would still recommend it, it makes you feel good and bad and sexy all at the same time. You go through a mixture of emotions with the lead character and there are some elements that you can relate to. 

I would give it a 3.8 out of 5 if I had a star rating. 

If anyone would like to read it, I believe that it's available on Amazon for under £5! 

I hope you enjoyed this review. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

10 fun things to do as a couple

I know this post doesn't cater to everyone - however you wonderful singletons out there could do some of these things on a date?? Hmmm have a think about it! 

I have had MANY questions from so many of you lovely people asking me about things me and Gary get up to in our spare time. Although this is extremely personal to me, I thought I could twist it on its head and share with you my 10 FUN THINGS TO DO AS A COUPLE which shares some of the amazing things myself and Gary do together, but also some suggestions that I would like to try also. Some of these things may not be to your taste or you may think we sound like an old couple... we act like one sometimes (nothing wrong with that) but you may also get some inspiration or decide that you want to do some of these things to. 

  1. Miniature golf - I had never been golf before until I met Gary. We have found a lovely little family golf resort in our hometown of Wokingham that has miniature golf, football golf and an awesome driving range. It's not only hilarious (because I am awful) but it's also nice to let Gary show off his skills - he has many and this is one of them! (Happy Gilmore anyone)
  2. Paddle Boarding - If you're looking for something more adventurous that gets your girl in a bikini then definitely try this out. It's hilarious, great fun and also good exercise. Just make sure you can swim!
  3. Picnic in the park - I recently purchased a new picnic set, it's wonderful. Me and Gary like to head out to a local park with our picnic set on those days where we are strapped for cash (close to the end of the month) and don't want to spend money we do not have. It's romantic, relaxing and just great to spend that quality time 
  4. Do a Jigsaw - Okay, we sound old... but it's so therapeutic. Gary enjoys them and it's great to partner up and complete something together. We usually play music in the background and we just talk and catch up. 
  5. Local pub lunch - this is one for everyone. Like food and want to have a drink? Then find a nice local pub and just chill out. It's cheap cheerful and not out of the way.
  6. Cinema - This is more for me than Gary. I love films. I love the vibe of a cinema and the fact that I can snuggle up to Gary in the dark in front of a big screen with popcorn on one side and a Tango ice blast in another - MAKES MY DAY! 
  7. Breakfast at the dining room table - this potentially is for those couples who live together.. make breakfast together - set up the dining room table and grab some time together before your busy day starts. 
  8. Bake - I love baking and I love baking things for Gary - he can test the cakes I make and also lick the bowl. It's just something fun to do together and you can even have a little competition to see who can make the best cakes! 
  9. Strawberry picking - especially because it's summer, head over to a local farm that does this. It's so much fun picking your own fruit and cheekily testing them as you go along.. 
  10. The Zoo - I LOVE the zoo. Although sometimes I feel sad for the animals - being caged up. However, the animals are also adorable especially the giraffes (my favourites along with pandas) it's just a great day out and not too expensive. 
So that's it! These are my 10 FUN THINGS TO DO AS A COUPLE. Let me know what other exciting things you do!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Burt's Bees travel kit

I recently received this wonderful travel kit from Burt's Bees called Tips and Toes. Which I guess you can tell from the name, it's essential products for your hands and feet! 

Honey and Grapeseed Hand Cream
Coconut Foot Cream
Hydrating Lip Solve
Hand Salve
Almond & Milk Hand Cream
Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

You all know of my love for Burt's Bees products! They are created with organic and natural ingredients. Perfect for your skin and I just think they are wonderful. Not only is the packaging so representative of the brand, they are high quality and excellent value for money. Gary has been using the foot cream recently as he has been suffering from dry skin on the heels of his feet. After using the product twice he has already noticed a massive improvement. It's so good because he wouldn't personally go out and buy this type of product. I guess it must be a man thing. But that's the beauty of Burt's Bees - it's not necessarily a female beauty product. 

I know that some men are more self conscious about purchasing 'beauty products' maybe because they don't see them as a necessity or because they feel it's too feminine (I have no idea) but this is something that can be used by anyone. 

I get really dry skin on my left hand cause by change in weather and the honey and grapeseed hand cream has worked wonders for me so I am overly impressed. 

I know that I received these products for free so I just wanted to reiterate that this is not a sponsored post! I genuinely love the products and wouldn't recommend them otherwise. If you suffer from dry skin on your hands or feet, or you're someone who likes to nourish their skin and keep it in good condition then I would definitely recommend this travel kit or even just the foot and hand cream.

Here is a link to their website  if you want to check it out!

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Room 503 - Madeira

After spending a week in Funchal, Madeira (Portugal) I have never been more ready to head home. It wasn't the fact that I got sick of the place, on the contrary - I thought the island itself was stunning- it was more that I ran out of things to do and I am not the type of person to happily lie by the poolside and do nothing. Sounds so negative doesn't it! I don't mean to sound negative or ungrateful for that matter. There was so many great things about my trip that will be stored in my memory forever.

I must say that a highlight of my trip was spending time with family. Although, when you spend time with family you have a tendency to reminisce about 'old times'. 

**After writing that first paragraph I felt I jumped straight into the story (or review) before giving you the background details... so here it is..**

So.. I booked a holiday! 26 June 2015 - 3 July 2015 travelling from London Gatwick heading to Funchal, Madeira. My travelling companions... My pregnant sister Rachel and my not so little brother Ryan. After making my move to Berkshire 3 years ago I haven't had much opportunity to spend some quality time with my family. Not out of choice, it's more because we all have our lives to live and time just gets ahead of us. The reality is, we are just too busy. So, we all decided that a holiday was the perfect opportunity to get that time in and catch up!

My sister Rachel.. I won't tell you much about her story as I think I could write a novel on her life, but let's just say she needed a well deserved break from reality. My brother Ryan has never been abroad before and wanted to finally experience the culture of another country and that worthwhile holiday feeling. 

So we set off... 

The 3:30 am taxi journey to the airport was painful but the thought of no work, warm weather and a Portuguese island to explore made it all worth it. When we arrived to Funchal airport, it all looked..well small! Although there didn't seem to be a person in sight, I couldn't complain. I automatically felt at ease and it was so peaceful. The weight of the world was lifted and the feeling that this would continue to be this way for the next seven days was pure bliss. Oh, and lets not forget the sea view - that helped (A LOT).

We searched around and finally found our Thomas Cook rep, flying with Thomas Cook has its perks (not many but I'm sure more than one), at least you know your holiday reps are friendly and will point you in the right direction. We walked outside the airport only to find our chariot awaiting - this was in the form of a broke down white van from the 80's ready to drop us off to our destination - Hotel Raga.

Driving like complete lunatics up some rather steep hills we managed to get there alive! The weather wasn't looking so great and it started raining. Not a good start I must admit. 

We walked into the hotel at 12 and was told check in wasn't until 2 pm, so not only were we tired from our 3:30 am wake up, we had no room available to either catch some shut eye or freshen up. At this point, I must admit my holiday excitement was stunted. 

We left our suitcases in reception and decided to sit outside (at this point the drizzle has stopped). It all seemed very quiet and we wasn't impressed at all. Maybe it was because we were tired, that our room wasn't ready or the fact the sun wasn't exactly shining. 

2 hours later, as predicted our room was ready. Finally things started to perk up! We were in room 503. Our balcony was angled so we had a superb sea view - we could also sit and watch the evening entertainment on our balcony if we wished.

We could literally see the beyond. 

The room itself was mediocre, it was very similar to a travel lodge although they claimed to be a 4 star I would say it was more of a 3 star. Basic but clean and remotely comfortable. My only suggestions to them would be to 1) invest in some better blankets - the yellow ones are itchy and not very comfortable and 2) buy some better pillows - it felt like sleeping on a mattress alone they were so thin (talk about neck and back pain) 

After finally feeling like we were on holiday, we decided to throw on some clean clothes and head off to see what we could find. (Let the selfies begin)

First stop was to grab a bite to eat..

Personally, the food was OK! Rachel and Ryan both thoroughly enjoyed what they had, myself however didn't as much. Although the selection was great and some of my choices tasted as great as they looked, I did try some different dishes that well lets just say didn't agree with my stomach... (too much information)

However, I did find the most adorable cake shop. They sold the most delicious ring doughnuts which I have to guilty admit I lived on for the week. They also sold ice-cream which I helped myself to also.( I'm probably two stone heavier no doubt)

The days were filled with sunbathing, ice-cream and of course wondering around the island. We found so many little places and shops to spend or should I say waste our euros on. 

We couldn't go on many excursions because of Rachel being pregnant. However, we did have the pleasure of going whale and dolphin watching! Such an incredible experience, definitely one I would recommend. 

The overall trip was a success, although I think that five days would have been more than enough. We did everything we planned to do in such a short space of time the only thing left was to sunbathe by the pool - unless this is something that you enjoy doing of course ( I am too much of a fidget to enjoy this for too long). One of the many happy family memories I will have and of course, the start of Sprucenews wanderlust section! I left the island with a healthy tan and a smile.

I hope you enjoyed the review :) next up... Mauritius and Barcelona!!
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