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May Favourites...

May Favourites...

may 2015 favourites

There's one thing that makes me look forward to the end of a month (aside from pay day of course!) and that's the slew of 'favourites' YT videos and blog posts that clutter up my feeds. I love working my way through them and adding to my various lists - to buy, to watch, to read, etc. In my world they really help to soften the blow of another month having flown by!

I decided that this month I'd bring the ol' classic Favourites posts to my blog - so here's a random collation of the general 'stuff' that I've been enjoying throughout the month of May. 

Shall we kick it off with the beauty bits and bobs? Let’s pretend I'm a legit beauty blogger for a min!

I'd been intrigued by the First Aid BeautyBlemish Patrol Pads to see how they held up compared to the Cane + Austin Acne Treatment Pads (a post is in the works, fear not!). So as I was ordering them and I'd not tried anything from this brand before, the FAB Faves To Go Kit just happened to fall into my basket. I love this whole kit - I love how simple and fuss-free both the cleanser and ultra-repair cream are - and they haven't broken me out, which is always good! I'm feeling a renewed skincare routine post coming on, no doubt with more from the FAB range!

I'm a self-confessed foundation-junkie and the latest one that I've added to my collection is the Clinique Beyond Perfecting one. I love this foundation - it's full coverage (that comes from in being a concealer too!)  but with a dewy finish (but not verging on the point of greasy dewy which is always a worry of mine!) that lasts all day. My only complaint with this foundation is by the end of the day I am desperate to get some Bioderma on there and remove it - it's by no means light-weight!

Ever since starting work I've discovered a love of nude polishes, the one that I re-painted my nails with throughout the whole month of May (which is unheard of for me!) was the nude-y pink from the Barry M Sunset Collection - aptly named 'Like A Nude'. The colour is appropriately unobtrusive for work and the lasting power is great - no chippage for the whole working week is perfect for me!

There has been one song that I've been listening to on repeat this month – ‘I Just Want You’ by Cole Swindell. When it finally gets to summer is when I break out the country music again and this tune is a good un’ – seriously give it a listen!

I made a great discovery in May – Abbi Glines is my new favourite author. I stumbled across her Sea Breeze and absolutely fell in love with her writing style, the setting of her stories, how they all inter-link together – they’re amazing! If you love summery chick flicks and appreciate the setting of a small time in Alabama then definitely check out her Sea Breeze series. I’m flying through it, but luckily there’s nine books to keep me going! And then there’s her other series to get started on…

My last favourite is the whole planner phenomenon. Now I’ve always loved a using my planner, it keeps me sane, but after stumbling across the planning community on YT – thanks to Elle Fowlers’ {video} I suddenly became obsessed with the idea of using stickers in my planner to document everything. Well, it’s safe to say that etsy and I are now a lot better acquainted and I found a new hobby! Kinda geeky or childish may be but I really don’t care! This first batch of stickers in the photo are from {EllieBeth Designs UK} – one of the few planner sticker shops based in the UK if you’re interested! Side note: these muji gel pens are my fave to write in my planner with!

So that’s what I’ve been loving in the month of May! What’ve you all been obsessing over this month?

London Photo Diary

London Photo Diary

The Big Smoke. The City. London.

London will always hold a special place in my heart - it has been the destination of an annual city break ever since I was a little girl. 

I'm a complete country girl at heart, I relish being able to look out of my bedroom window and see fields, I love being able to walk outside and only hear birds chirping, I like taking country roads short cuts. But there comes a time each year when I crave the city. I crave the hustle and bustle, the great shopping, and the wide variety of places to eat out. And when that happens - we book a trip to London.

We spent three days in the city last week and it was a crazy, insanely jam-packed, wonderful time so I thought I'd share some of my favourite memories of the trip...

lancaster gate london

covent garden london roof

shake shack shack burger

After ooh-ing and ahh-ing and grinning excitedly at each other as we looked out of our taxi window on our way to our hotel (we stayed at the Lancaster Gate Hotel - we stayed there last time we were in the city (read that catch up post {here}) and had no complaints so we didn't hesitate to book to stay there again this time!), we quickly and painlessly checked in, threw our bags into our room and ran out of the hotel to head straight for our favourite spot in town - Covent Garden.

Our first stop was Shake Shack - of course - I waxed lyrical about this amazing burger spot last time we stayed over in the city (yep, I wrote a whole post on it - {here}!) and had been craving one ever since! Honestly, this is fast food out of this world - I'm salivating just remembering it - I mean, come on, look at that thing of beauty!

After getting my Shake Shack fix - we decided to stroll along to try to find Wholefoods (side note: shout out to the city mapper app for being our saviour on this trip!). 

Both Mum and I are avid YT watchers so we'd been dying to experience this Wholefoods thing for ourselves - and whoa we were not disappointed! Both of us walked round open-mouthed at the amazing display of healthy goodies - the display of fresh fruit and salads, the make your own salad bar/dinner bar and the variety of pre-made healthy salads and dinners really wow-ed us both!

As per our tradition we always gather up supplies to spend out first evening in the city relaxing in the hotel room with room service so Wholefoods was a great stop for that! We picked up amazing salads and seriously yummy-looking fruit bowls (and some questionable kale chips that I just couldn't get on board with!) for our feast that evening!

I honestly wish that there was a Wholefoods more local to us because it even got me excited about salad and fruit. And that's quite the accolade :P  

fortnum and mason breakfast the fountain restaurant

fortnum and mason breakfast the fountain restaurant

fortnum and mason peonies

regent street london

liberty's london

We didn't waste one moment of Tuesday - we ran around the city like crazy-people trying to fit everything in but it was so much fun!

We started the day off bright and early in Fortnum & Mason's for breakfast and it was the most incredible breakfast experience I've ever had. The food was out of this world, the service was beyond perfection and the setting was beautifully luxurious. But I'm going to leave it there because I've got a whole review coming because I really think the Breakfast at Fortnum's deserves its own post - it was that good! Of course we had to pop upstairs to pick up some of our favourite tea to bring home with us - their English Breakfast tea is so delicious!

Substantially fed and watered we set about our day of shopping; we strolled down Regent Street, popped into Anthropologie (can I call myself a proper blogger now that I've got myself one of those initial mugs?!), spent far too long wandering around Liberty's (I love that store!) and then finished up our morning in Selfridges - the temptation to purchase a new handbag was definitely real!

vintage salt selfridge's roof top

afternoon tea 108 pantry the marylebone hotel

The afternoon saw Mum and me splitting off - I left her in the new pop-up restaurant on Selfridge’s roof top. Vintage Salt is the quaintest beach-themed place to be at the moment – plus their truffle fries are on point!

Whilst I’d have loved to have stayed and soaked up some of the spring sunshine on the roof top I had to leave to go for a very special meeting! After two years Aftab, the awesome blogger behind {fresh & fearless}, and I finally met up in real life! Aftab organised an amazing treat – we enjoyed afternoon tea at 108 Pantry in the lovely Marylebone Hotel! I left all of the serious blogging shots to Aftab (like the one above!) so go and check out his {review} of our afternoon! I had such a great afternoon with my first ever blogging friend – I’m astounded and so thankful that the blogging world managed to bring us together!

les miserables

After consuming far too much tea (it was fab!) Ma and I re-convened and headed back to our hotel for a bit of a rest and to get changed ready to go and catch Les Miserables that evening!

Les Miserables is my all-time favourite musical. It so special to me because it was the last production that I stage-managed for in high school! I particularly wanted to see the show with this cast because of Carrie Hope Fletcher. I wanted to see just how amazing she is at portraying Eponine – I’ve never seen anyone become a character more completely, she ‘was’ Eponine. It was incredible to watch.

breakfast bill's restaurant covent garden

Wednesday morning came around and after staying up discussing how breath-taking last night’s performance of Les Mis was, Ma and I weren’t not feeling quite so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we had the day before!

Breakfast at Bill’s in Covent Garden was just the thing to perk us up! This was our first experience at Bill’s and we thoroughly enjoyed it! The staff were all so friendly and the food was seriously delicious! The blueberry pancakes were amazing!

trafalgar square london nelsons column st paul's cathedral

admiralty arch the mall london

We rounded off our trip by playing tourists – we walked to Trafalgar Square and just sat on the wall soaking up the last bit of the city before wandering past Admiralty Arch on The Mall to hail a cab to the station to catch our train home.

As sad as I was to leave the city, arriving home to the peace and quiet of country life made me very thankful for where I live – despite the lack of good brunch spots :P

Fret not London, I’ll be back soon, you know I can’t stay away for too long!

Space.NK Beauty Box: The First Edition

Space.NK Beauty Box: The First Edition

I finally caved and jumped on the whole 'beauty box' bandwagon - yes it has taken me a while, but even I couldn't resist the spectacular offer of the space.NK Beauty Box!

Whilst I was on my break from clinic last week I was perusing twitter (as you do) and came across some tweets about the space.NK Beauty Box First Edition - I was obviously intrigued so clicked over to their site, glanced at the contents of the box, felt my heart flutter (not even joking!) and immediately messaged my mum (she's a beauty obsessive like I am!) to let her know.

Well, I say I let her know - the conversation went more like this:

me: Ma, look there's a space.NK beauty box - do we want it?
her: yes
me: it's £60 for £175 worth of products
her: yes
me: but do we really need it?

So I did. I don't think that I've ever added something to my cart and checked out so fast (ever thankful for 3G that actually cooperates too!)! Not that I really needed that much persuading!

It was lucky that I spied it on my break because when I got home from work that night I went online to show mum what was included in the box and found that it was completely sold out! Good grief, us beauty junkies don't half work fast!

A couple of days later (amazing service from space.NK there, I would have had it the next day except that I missed the postman and got one of those incredibly annoying 'we missed you' notes through the door so I had to wait another day!) the box of amazing-ness arrived.

Ma and I gathered around, excitedly grinning away as we tore open the packaging - I swear that I heard a choir of angels singing as we opened the lilac treasure chest! We scrambled around grabbing at all of the luxury samples, exclaiming and shoving what we found in each others hands!

When we'd calmed down to take a proper inventory we realised that we'd definitely hit the beauty box jackpot - the range of luxury products that we now get to try out is incredible!

Into the nitty gritty of the box's contents, prepare yourselves because it's a doozy!:
  • ALGENIST: genius ulitmate anti-aging cream - 15ml (RRP £85 for 60ml)
  • AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES: inner strength bath & shower oil - 7.5ml (RRP £45 for 55ml)
  • CAUDALIE: divine oil - 15ml (RRP £17.50 for 50ml)
  • DIPTYQUE: baies candle - 70g (RRP £20 for 70g)
  • EVE LOM: cleanser with muslin cloth - 20ml (RRP £40 for 50ml)
  • MALIN + GOETZ: vitamin B5 body moisturizer - 29ml (RRP £29.50 for 220ml)
  • MARGARET DABBS: intensive treatment foot oil - 30ml (RRP £22 for 100ml)
  • NUDE: progenius treatment oil - 5ml (RRP £58 for 30ml)
  • ORIBE: gold lust nourishing hair oil - 50ml (RRP £32 for 50ml)
  • SARAH CHAPMAN: skinesis overnight facial - 5ml (RRP £46 for 15ml)
  • SUNDAY RILEY: good genes treatment  (RRP £85 for 30ml)

Phew! Quite the haul there, right?! 

I'm pretty impressed with how generous most of these samples are, especially with the Diptque candle and Oribe hair oil being full sizes - just those two products alone are worth £52! I'm looking forward to trying out all of these products (especially the cleanser and good genes treatment, I've had those two on my beauty wish list for a while now!), although I'm not looking forward to what happens when I love the product and finish the sample because some of these are quite pricey!

All in all, if you're a space.NK junkie like I (and my mum) are then you would love this box - I'm sorry to be teasing you seeing as it's sold out now! 

But, keep an eye out (I know I'll be stalking their their social media!)  - either sign up to their newsletter or follow them on their instagram or twitter to be kept in the know when they release another box.

I've got my fingers crossed that it wont be too long before they release a Second Edition seeing as how well this First Edition was received!

*the space.NK Beauty Box First Edition was purchased with my own money, none of the links included in this post are paid. This post is not sponsored.