Celeste de Provence Fragrances

Monday, September 16, 2019
Growing up I've always been interested in fragrance, especially my mums fragrance collection which I was never allowed to use (but I did sneak a few sprays...). Since then fragrances have seemed very sophisticated and they are the one of the few beauty items that I'll spend a little more money on. I was lucky enough to visit Saint Paul de Vence which is a beautiful medieval town near Nice, France a few years ago where I discovered my love for French fragrances.

Naturally I was very excited when I received a beautiful package from the lovely people at Celeste de Provence containing three of their fragrances! All three of their fragrances are 100% natural and are free from parabens, sulphates, microbeads and other ingredients you don't really want to find in your fragrances. Additionally, the brand is very conscious of sustainability when creating their products as the gift box can be reused, the sticker is biodegradable, the bottle can be recycled and even the bottle cap is eco-friendly and recyclable!
*Celeste de Provence Passion De Nuit (€52, 50ml)
Let's start with my favourite perfume of the three, although I enjoy using all of them! Firstly, the gift box the fragrances arrived in is very beautifully and minimally presented so it would make for a gorgeous Christmas gift (yes, I am already thinking about christmas and planning my christmas gift guides!). The fragrance contains the following notes:


  • Head notes: vanilla flower, bergamot flower
  • Heart notes: rose, jasmine 
  • Base notes: vanilla 


The fragrance initially is very soft, creamy and the main note is vanilla which I love - vanilla fragrance, to me, are very nostalgic and comforting. Some of my favourite fragrances contain notes of vanilla as well as various floral and botanical notes, so I knew I'd love this one. It's quite a dry, powdery and warm scent that would be ideal for summer evenings or for cosy autumnal days. The scent reminds me of another French fragrance I tried years ago but sadly I remember remember the brand! If you're looking for a warm, comforting and vanilla focused fragrance then definitely check out 'passion du nuit'. 
*Celeste de Provence Azur EDP (€52, 50ml)
If you love fresh, clean scents then 'azur' is perfect for you! Again, it comes in the same simple bottle as the other fragrances from Celeste de Provence but I love it for its minimalism. The fragrance is inspired by warm sand, dancing on the beach and crashing waves and you do get that feeling with every spray of this summery fragrance. The fragrance contains the following notes:


  • Head notes: lotus flower, water lilies, rose
  • Heart notes: rose, freesia
  • Base notes: iris 


One of the things I love about this brand, as well as the simple packaging and their focus on using sustainable and eco-friendly materials, is the simple list of notes. A few of my fragrances have such a long list of notes that it's difficult to understand their place but having a minimal list of fragrance notes, seems to create a cleaner fragrance, in my opinion. This perfume is the ideal summer fragrance as it's an incredibly clean, fresh and uplifting scent.
*Celeste de Provence Soleil EDP (€52, 50ml)
Last but not least is Soleil which as the name would suggest is a very light, summery and warming scent that is reminiscent of hot summer days in the garden. I think my favourite fragrance is probably a very close match between Passion du Nuit and Soleil as they both contain some of my favourite fragrance notes and they also both have such a warming, comforting quality to me. The fragrance contains the following notes:


  • Head notes: coconut blossom, jasmin
  • Heart notes: tiare flower
  • Base notes: cedar wood, vanilla 


I think you can tell from the notes that this fragrance is a very rich, warming and summery scent! The vanilla, woody notes and coco/coconut makes it a very fresh and sweet scent that envelops you. It's difficult to choose which is my favourite between 'passion du nuit' and 'soleil' so I'm not going to decide as they are both gorgeous fragrances! In terms of the longevity, they all last very well but they do tend to stay on the skin longer than clothing. I cannot recommend all three fragrances highly enough!

Have you tried any of these fragrances? Will you be checking out Celeste de Provence fragrances in the future? 

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*Easy Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Changes

Sunday, September 15, 2019
Image from Pinterest
You may know, if you follow me on social media (especially instagram - @ofbeautyand), that I'm vegan and it's something I'm very passionate about as I feel as though it's not only a more compassionate and cruelty free lifestyle but it is also one of the biggest ways to reduce your impact on the planet.

I think most people have now switched to various eco-friendly alternatives such as using plant milk instead of cows milk, using re-useable containers instead of plastic bottles and recycling or reducing waste but I personally feel like that's only the tip of the problem and the minimum we could all do.

However, I know that not everyone can switch to greener alternatives instantly and if you can't be fully plastic free, you can't walk to work or you can't fully become vegetarian or vegan, at least everyone is trying to make more intelligent, compassionate and environmentally conscious choices.

Vegan and Vegetarian Alternatives
Naturally I had to mention vegan and vegetarian alternatives within this post especially as according to a study conducted by the University of Oxford 'veganism is the single biggest way to reduce our impact on the planet'. Also the World Health Organisation has classified red meat and processed meat as known carcinogens (meaning they can contribute to developing cancer, particularly stomach and bowel cancer) so reducing meat consumption is not only better for your health but it also reduces your impact on the plant.

"A global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit and vegetables could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, and lead to healthcare-related savings. It could also avoid climate-related damages of $1.5 trillion (US)" - University of Oxford

Re-useable Containers + Straws
One of the first changes I made, apart from switching to a vegetarian diet at the age of 11/12, was to stop buying disposable plastic bottles of flavoured water. Now I have a few re-usable water bottles which I switch every few days. If you are like me and you struggle to drink enough water then buy a 1litre bottle so you only need to drink two bottles worth each day to consume enough.

Energy Saving Lighting 
The first change I think most people made years ago was to change from 'traditional' light bulbs to energy saving bulbs. My parents changed the main lightbulbs bulbs to energy saving options when I was a teenager (which sadly was quite a long time ago now). It's such an easy switch to make and even switching a few of the main bulbs can help. Also, switching off lights when you're not using them and opting for LED lights, for example, kitchen under cabinet lighting, can help too as LED lights can be up to 80% more efficient compared to fluorescent lights. We have LED lights under all of our kitchen wall cabinets and they are nicer and less harsh to use than the bright main ceiling lights.

Recycling, Composting + Reduce Waste
Last but not least is another easy change and again something that hopefully most of us have been doing for years - recycling. In Greater Manchester, we have bins for paper, plastic and 'green waste' which makes the process very easy but there are also numerous recycling centres that you can go to as well. Reducing waste by using kitchen leftovers, repairing items rather than buying new and making weekly meal plans are all simple ways to reduce your waste and help the environment. Also, if you can buy plastic free or bring your own containers to the grocery store that can help too - that's something I need to start doing more often.

Have you made any changes? Do you have any tips? 

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*Wedding Venue Ideas

Friday, September 13, 2019
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Today's post is slightly different to my regular content but we all know by now that I love to write about a wide variety of topics and while I don't think I'll ever get married, I love utterly adore the aesthetics and I also loved being a bridesmaid last year for one of my best friends. Hopefully today's post will help you or give you some ideas if you are planning your wedding soon or helping to plan a family member or friends wedding.

Wedding Booker
I'm the kind of individual who loves to plan and organise everything so I think I would personally love to plan a wedding or large event. However, I know that it can be an incredibly stressful and expensive process but thankfully there's a site that can help! Wedding Booker is an easy to navigate site that contains the largest database of licensed wedding venues in the UK, all in one place.

There are so many venues to choose from both within the UK and abroad with so many variations depending on your wedding party size, style, budget, facilities and location, so it can become quite a daunting task - I imagine it can be even more stressful if you have a tight budget or very specific requirements.

Thankfully Wedding Booker makes the process of being able to see what each venue contains, the facilities available, the size and location easy at a glance so you can either eliminate or add a venue to your list easily. Within each venue page you can find all of the information you'll need as well as a map showing the location of the venue.

The location of venues within the Wedding Booker database stretches across the UK from the beautiful hotels of Manchester and historic libraries in Oxford (The Bodleian Library would be the most incredible wedding venue!) to hotels within the majestic lowlands of Scotland and the bustling city of Newport within South Wales; the latter is home to a plethora of history from the Romans to the industrial revolution as well as a castle, RSPB wetlands, roman ruins and parks.

I've visited various cities within northern Wales including Llandudno, Anglesey, Caernarfon and Conway, all of which are beautiful but I would like to visit South Wales. South Wales is home to some of the countries largest cities including Cardiff, Swansea and Newport. There's a wide range of beautiful wedding venues within South Wales and in/around Newport especially including St Mellons hotel, Newbridge On Usk boutique hotel and the Twenty Ten Clubhouse resort. You can view all three of the wedding venues in Newport that I've mentioned as well as many others across South Wales on the Wedding Booker website.

Wedding Booker also runs a blog in which you can find various helpful articles from a range of topics such as finding a budget venue, tips on choosing the perfect venue, wedding trends for 2019 and wedding planning tips. For more information check out their website or their blog!

Do you have any tips on finding the best wedding venue? Will you be checking out the Wedding Booker website? 

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*Small Business Basics

Thursday, September 12, 2019
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Recently I've been thinking about branching out into freelance photography which has made me start to think about the essential items I'd need for a small business. As a freelance writer and blogger, I thankfully already have many of the key essentials but I thought I'd write a post outlining some of the basics, if you are also in a position of changing, like I am. If you have any tips, leave them in the comments below!

Spreadsheets, Stationery + Storage 
Let's start with the basics for everyone from a small business owner and freelancer to bloggers and students - spreadsheets, stationery and storage. All three of which were essentials during my three years at university and they were also important to me as a blogger and freelance writer. I use spreadsheets to plan out my blog schedule and my income which makes filling out my tax forms each year much easier, quicker and slightly less stressful (filling out tax forms is the worst part of being a freelancer). Office hardware such as printers, a wifi signal booster and an external hard drive will also be useful.

Website, Blog + Social Media
For any business, word of mouth is a fantastic way of receiving reviews, feedback and repeat custom. However, any business in 2019 needs to have at least a couple of social media accounts to connect with new customers, to show new or upcoming products, to host giveaways or to promote your products as well as offers. I think a blog or website is also an essential to provide a professional online appearance for your business, whatever the size.

Branding
Branding and logos are easy ways for customers to identify your blog, website, social media accounts or business at a glance. It's easy to create a logo yourself or to pay an illustrator/graphic designer to create one for you. A simple, easy to understand logo is an essential for any business but remember to keep it minimal, unique and appropriate for your brand.

Tools + Equipment 
Lastly, tools and equipment which will vary based on your business from basics to more specialised equipment such as a commercial ice machine or commercial fridge freezer. Depending on your budget, business size and needs, you might be able to rent or buy used tools or equipment for your business. If you are an online business specialising in printables then you might not need many tools but business starting as a food pop-up may require larger, more expensive items - be sure to catalog items and tools.

Do you have any small business tips? 

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*Winter Spruce: Making the House Cosy

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Image from John Lewis 
When the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder, it’s more important than ever to make sure that the interior of your home is as warm and comfy as ever. Doing so needn’t require much effort or expense – depending on how much you like the way your home is now. I thought I’d take a look at some ways to ‘cosify’ an interior and make it look and feel fantastic, even when the sleet is pouring down outside.

Smells 
To create the perfect space to unwind in, you need the right aromatics. This might mean incense sticks and air-fresheners, but for most of us there’s no substitute for the right candle. Find something spicy and warming, and stick with it throughout winter. You don’t want anything that’s too overpowering, so just go for one candle at a time. Another great way to bring in some freshness is with the help of flowers. The winter kind will make your home look great, and provide a reminder that warm weather will come back soon!

Tidying Up 
Spring cleaning isn’t just something that happens once a year. If you do it twice, then you’ll find that the job isn’t quite so long and tedious as it might be if you left the mess to build up. You can take any clutter you identify as being surplus to requirements and take it to your local charity shop.

Decorating 
If you find that you’re getting tired of your existing living space, then this might indicate that it’s time for a refresh. Break out a pot of paint and give a wall a refresher. You might find that a summery, light colour – even if it’s just on one wall – is just the thing to perk things up. If you don’t feel like decorating a wall, then upcycling an existing item of furniture with a fresh coat of paint can have a dramatic effect on the space as a whole.

Lighting 
Without the right lighting, your home isn’t going to look cosy, no matter how much decorating you do. For the best cosy effect, it’s best to opt for warm-tinted lighting, as the sterile, pure-white kind will tend to make things look a little bit stark and surgical. Go for modern LED lighting and you’ll save yourself a packet in the long-run.

Mirrors 
Distributing that natural light will help the space to look spacious, and it’ll fend off Seasonal Affective Disorder, too. Go for some strategically-placed mirrors, and put your artificial floor-lamps nearby for maximum dispersal.

Do you have any tips to make your home cosy? 

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*The Most Popular Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
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I think we all have areas of our appearance that we don't feel as confident about, which is completely normal, and one of mine is my teeth. I think it's probably because of my childhood fear of the dentist which still hasn't left me twenty years later, unfortunately. However, there are aspects of my teeth that I'd like to change including the shade of my teeth as well as a couple of fillings. Today's post is going to be exploring some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures, a couple of which I'd like to look into for myself in the future.

Teeth Whitening 
The most common cosmetic procedure is probably teeth whitening and it is something I've tried at home, with mixed results. I've tried numerous teeth whitening toothpaste variations and whitening strips but I would love to try a professional treatment at some point in the near future. Professional teeth whitening is typically more of an intensive and effective option when compared to at home teeth whitening products - the latter might not be as safe or effective in comparison. It is worth noting that teeth whitening in most forms, cannot whiten crowns or other dental implants, only the natural tooth enamel; so unfortunately it might be be an option for some.

I have wanted to try professional teeth whitening treatments for a while and I almost did a few years ago at a clinic near me but it's now something I will probably undergo next year. As far as I am aware, only qualified dental practitioners can carry out teeth whitening so as with any cosmetic procedure, you should always do your research beforehand to avoid potential complications and to find the best clinic for you.

Dental Implants 
Another common cosmetic dentistry procedure includes dental implants which are used to bridge a gap or take the place of a missing tooth. Cosmetic dentistry doesn't just mean a brighter, whiter smile, it can also include fixing problems, reducing insecurities and helping stabilise the teeth to create a more normal smile. Additionally, dental implants might be necessary if eating is becoming difficult due to missing teeth. Implants such as crowns can involve a rather uncomfortable process, perhaps involving numerous visits to the dentist, but at The James Clinic, they offer CEREC dental treatments which involve a camera to capture your individual dentition instead of using very uncomfortable putty making the process much easier and stressful overall.

Invisible Braces 
Lastly, braces, in particular invisible braces which have become much more popular within the past few years. My sister has personally gone through the process of invisible braces over the past three or so years and it has made such a dramatic difference to her teeth in terms of the alignment and how straight her teeth are. The process is not quick, it requires patience and it can be very uncomfortable at times but the results are amazing and it's something to look into if it's an aspect of your appearance that can cause insecurities.

The James Clinic offers various options for braces including 'Damon Braces' as well as Lingual Orthodontic Braces, the latter is a completely 'invisible' brace as it is situated behind the teeth so no one would know that you're wearing braces. They are completely customisable to your dentition and they are suitable for both adults and children.

Another option offered at the clinic is their 'wedding smiles' service which is something I haven't heard of but it can be combined with a couple of the treatments I've already mentioned including braces and teeth whitening. The service includes a consultation and whichever treatments you choose in time for your big day.

The James Clinic is based in three locations around the Republic of Ireland so if you are based around one of their clinics, it might be an option for you to consider if you're looking for cosmetic density. You can contact the clinic to make an appointment via the contact number on their site or check out their comprehensive website for more information about the numerous services that are available, customer reviews, fee guides and more.

Have you gone through any of the dentistry procedures I've mentioned? Or would you consider any in the future? 

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