Spring Garden Decor + Ideas

Sunday, April 23, 2017
Image from Fishpools
I have always said that autumn is my favourite season and up until last week, it was...then spring happened. After the gloriousness of autumn and the dull drudgery of winter, it's easy to forget how incredibly lovely, uplifting and content spring is. The lighter evenings mean I'm not rushing for light while taking photos, I love all of the birds singing and I've been spending a little more time outside, only a little as it is still chilly in Manchester - blue skies and sunshine don't mean warm weather, not in Manchester. 

One of the main things about spring that I adore are all of the flowers in bloom in the garden, on the streets and on instagram (wisteria envy is a thing right now). I do love spending time in the garden, I love watching the progress of flowers and plants grow and as we have a section of woods behind our house, there are always birds singing and the squirrels running around. 

However, as I quickly discovered as a child, sitting on the grass or garden furniture means that you will encounter so many bugs, including spiders which then result in me running away and vowing never to sit down outside ever again. Although I do love spending time in the garden, especially since the mint green summer house was built last year and it's got me looking at garden furniture and spring decor. 

Fishpools garden furniture is gorgeous, especially this Trinidad Hanging Chair which I could definitely see myself sitting in while reading; there are so many furniture options, including some luxe dining sets, although to be honest they wouldn't be used as much in Manchester because we very rarely see the sun! I'm also thinking about garden lights, there are so many options for garden lights but as I'm a blogger, it's all about the fairylights so I think a string or two of fairylights around the summer house (which you see from time to time on my Instagram) would look so nice in the spring evenings. 
Image from Julia Palosini
As well as the gorgeous hanging chair from Fishpools, I'd love to add some wall planters filled with succulents! I love succulents, I have three in a planter in my office but that's definitely not enough (there's no such thing as too many succulents). Succulents are so incredibly easy to look after even for someone like me who has a tendency to kill plants and I think they would look amazing in a planter - maybe a mint green wooden planter to match the summer house!

What do you think of the Fishpools garden furniture? Do you have any plant/gardening plans this spring? Are you a succulent/cacti fan? 

*This is a sponsored post
*Images from Fishpools and Pinterest 

The Perfect Spring Candle

Saturday, April 22, 2017
I adore candles, they are some of the products that I will buy all year round and they make any room feel so much more homely, inviting and cosy however when the warmer months come around, I tend to look for fresher scents and this one is perfection! I was very kindly sent it by the lovely people at All Home Everything.

*ROAM by 42 Pressed Chicago Candle (£25, 7oz - approx. 45 hr burn time)

Let's take a moment of appreciation for the packaging of this candle because it is the prettiest and most photogenic candle ever! I adore the textured cream and blush pink paper, the rose gold text and the large jar container - it's perfect! I also adore the notes of:
Cucumber
Basil
Moss
Wet Stone
The scent is described as:

"Take a deep breath of this diverse skyline and put your foot to the pavement. Crisp watery notes of stone and cucumber in harmony with the subtle aromas of moss and basil. Feel the gust of freshness right off the lake"

It's oh so perfect for spring and the april showers we have had recently, well all of the time, in Manchester! The scent is incredibly beautiful, fresh, calming and unlike all of the other candles I have in my collection, although it does smell a little similar to one from L'Occitane I had years ago and a more recent addition from The Nomad Society x Osmology but I find this one to be much stronger and cleaner.
I have been keeping the candle between my arms as I type so I can smell it constantly, it's that gorgeous and relaxing which is what I need as I'm typing this because the builders in our kitchen are making so much noise and it's stressing me out!

The candle is so beautiful both in terms of the packaging and the scent; also it is hand poured in Charleston, South Carolina which makes it seem special to me for some reason. I've been burning it sparingly since I received it as I don't want to use it up too quickly! The candle takes about 20 minutes for it to me detected in the room but when it does, it's so gorgeous, uplifting and refreshing! I mainly burn this candle in the office so I can smell it during the day, when it's lit and when it isn't lit; it definitely helps with my productive moments *cough hours cough* as it makes me feel (as corny as this sounds) but energised, refreshed and calm. Unlike some candles I've tried recently, the scent throw and strength is fantastic - it makes the top floor of the house smell like a rainy spring day.
The candle also came with some stunning mini postcard prints of the city of New York and London which is such a nice addition, they also have large full size print that can be purchased from their website too! All of the city prints are so beautiful and I think, along with the candles, they would make such a lovely and unique gift.

Overall, I'm so impressed with the candle, not just because the scent is so gloriously perfect but also because the packaging is the most stunning I've ever seen on a candle. I also love the prints! I cannot recommend this brand enough and I definitely need to purchase another one of these 'Chicago' candles when this one has run out. Check out their social media - twitter - instagram. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

What do you think of this candle? 

Space Saving Book Storage + Book Haul

Friday, April 21, 2017
I have been an on/off reader all of my life but since last year I have been reading more than I ever have and I'm loving it; however, it does cause a problem not just for my bank balance, TBR pile and the amount of unread books I have but it also means that I never have enough space on my two book shelves for all of my books even when I clear out my books regularly...

Additionally, I don't have a lot of space to keep putting up Ikea bookcases so in comes RedCandy to the rescue *cue all of the superhero music*. I was able to choose an item from their website and obviously I chose something book related; I picked the *Umbra Conceal Bookshelf - Set of 3 (£29). I have wanted invisible/concealed bookshelves since last year as I've been running out of space for a while and these shelves seemed like a easy, beautiful and space saving storage option for my excess books.

I have the set of three but you can get them individually and I couldn't be happier with them! They come with the parts you need to put them up, unless you have weird walls as I do. Even so the shelves were so quick to put up, they feel sturdy on the wall and even though there is a weight limit to the shelves, I can still pile on the books and they're fine.

I have been keeping my TBR and my most recently purchased books on my new and gorgeous floating bookshelves...yes, there are quite a lot, I have a problem. I love how they look on my wall in my office, it looks so unique and unusual; also it means that I have a space to put all of my vases, lights and candles (unlit, obviously).
I could be happier with my bookshelves and I will be recommending them to everyone - I think they are fantastic for the price and I definitely want some more, maybe to put in my bedroom. That's one thing I love about these, how versatile they are as they can be put up almost everywhere even on the tiniest wall space.

Now onto my mini book haul which consists of books that I have been picking up over the past two to three months from Amazon, The World of Books and Book Depository. Let's start with Amazon, I bought Slade House by David Mitchell, We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson and The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson all of which were part of the trap that is the Amazon 3 for £10 paperbacks offer *damn you Amazon*.

I bought an old copy of Shadow Show which is a collection of stories by so many authors in memory of Ray Bradbury from World of Books; sticking with the Ray Bradbury theme, I bought The October Country from him as since I read The Halloween Tree, I now want to read everything from Ray Bradbury. From Book Depository I picked up Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls which is a stunning book.
Lastly, for my book haul, I bought a few non-fiction books from The Works; I am always looking on their website as they have so many incredibly cheap books and along with Amazon, it's one of my weaknesses. As well as reading 80 books this year, I'm also trying to read more non-fiction which is a bit of a struggle as I'd much rather just watch a documentary than read a non-fiction book but I'm trying!

Overall, I cannot recommend these gorgeous floating bookshelves enough, they look great on the wall, they're so easy to put up and they are perfect if you don't have enough space for a full bookcase. There are other size/configurations of these shelves on the RedCandy website as well as so many gorgeous and unique homeware items. Here's my mini RedCandy wish list:
What do you think of these gorgeous floating bookshelves? Have you bought anything from RedCandy? 

Sleep Helpers: Essential Oils

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Image from the Oak Furniture Land blog via Pinterest 
I have always had problems trying to get to sleep, even as a baby and it's just contained into adulthood *yay*. Thankfully I have found numerous apps, techniques and products to help me get to sleep such as breathing meditation apps, yoga or stretches before bed and having a lush bath to unwind all help. Speaking of Lush, they use essential oils so much in their products and you'll know if you've used any Lush product, that they are so heavenly scented and are perfect for pampering and relaxing.

As well as using products that contain essential oils, they can be used on their own in various forms and techniques to help with numerous issues including restless sleep and being unable to unwind/destress. If you want to find out more about essential oils in general and how they can be added to products to make your own beauty products then check out my previous essential oils post.

They are so many essential oils out there that can be used for anything from relieving joint pain, to help with skin conditions, that can be used to make DIY beauty products or to help with sinus problems and congestion but this post is going to focus on using essential oils as sleep aids as that is the main way I use them on a weekly basis.

Lavender Oil & How I Use It
Whenever I write about candles, relaxation or pampering of any sort, I always mention lavender as it is the main scent that instantly relaxes and calms me. I've always loved lavender and lavender essential oils are perfect for helping me get to sleep. The way I use this oil is to dispense up to ten drops (or more if I want it to be very strong) onto a cotton pad which I place on my bedside table so I can smell it throughout the night. Every time I do this, I always have a better nights sleep and who wouldn't smelling lavender for hours! Alternatively you could apply a few drops to a tissue under your pillow or a very small amount behind you ears, temples or neck - you can also do this with peppermint oil if you have a cold!

I also use lavender essential oils in my bath, along with whatever bath bomb, bubble bar or bath oil I'm using to add to the product and make the whole bathroom smell of lavender for hours which is a always a good thing! I add a few drops to my bath and it helps so much or if you don't have this oil, you could use the Lush Twilight Bath Bomb which is lavender and malt heavy so it's amazing to use before bed.

Do you use essential oils? Do you have any sleep aid products or techniques?

*This is a sponsored post 
*Image from Pinterest

Spring OOTD ft. Johnny Loves Rosie

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Spring OOTD ft. Johnny Loves Rosie
I used to think that autumn was my favourite season but while taking these spring OOTD photos and cooking on a petrol stove outside with the sun shining and blue skies in the evening, I think I'm going to change my mind and say that spring is my favourite season! The lighter evenings, tress in bloom, birds singing and *slightly* warmer weather is making me feel really content!

The super lovely people at Johnny Loves Rosie must be loving the spring vibes too as they sent me a gorgeous *Johnny Loves Rosie Occassion Rose Gold Belt (£18) in the size Medium which is suitable for 30 inch waists but the chain allows it to be adjustable by up to 10 inches so I had it on the tightest length otherwise it looked a little odd being loose but it also means that you don't have to be very accurate with which size you choose.
Spring OOTD ft. Johnny Loves Rosie
Jacket: Newlook
Dress: H&M
Belt: Johnny Loves Rosie
The rose gold shade is gorgeous and it's perfect for spring (although it looks more gold in these photos but it's a metallic rose gold shade). I love the rose gold, grey and black combination and to be honest it's as colourful as my choices get! I don't have a metal belt like this, it's surprisingly comfortable and lightweight. I thought it might feel quite restrictive but it isn't and you can adjust the size very easily! I have quite a jew jumper dresses and loose fitting dresses so a belt like this is perfect to add some definition and shape to a shapeless dress.

What do you think of my spring OOTD? Have you bought anything from Johnny Loves Rosie? 

Crazy Color Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
I have wanted to dye my hair pink for months so I thought I'd take the safer option of just bleaching and dip dying the ends of my hair rather than ruining all of my hair at once! I've already tried the new Loreal Colorista Semi-Permanent Dye and I loved it but I have heard great things about Crazy Color so I was very excited when a couple of pretty pink shades arrived in the post to test out!

Just a quick note, I did bleach the ends of my hair, to find out more about that process of bleaching then check out my previous hair dye post. I think the lighter your hair, the better the colour will show up so for the lighter shades, I'm not the best candidate but here are my thoughts and the results I experienced - the first photo above is my hair without any semi-permanent.
I was kindly sent the 'Pinkissimo' and the new 'Peachy Coral' shades from Crazy Color by Renbow. They both come in cute pink bottles, you get 100ml in each and I tend to use half a bottle for the ends of my hair so if you were using it all over then you'd need quite a few bottles! You don't need to mix this dye with peroxide but I have seen people use conditioner with so many semi-permanent dyes to make then lighter/pastel.

*Crazy Color Pinkissimo Semi-Permanent Hair Dye (£4)
The first dye I wanted to try out was the Pinkissimo shade as I'm loving having pink ends to my hair. The colour in the bottle is a very bright, almost metallic bubblegum pink shade! I applied it to damp hair which was easy, it isn't very runny so there isn't that much mess but it will stain clothing. I added about half a bottle to my hair and massaged it into my hair really well to make sure it was covered as much as possible although obviously when you rinse it out, there are always strands that aren't dyed.

I left the dye on the ends in tin foil *so attractive* for about 30 minutes As you can see from the photo below, the Pinkissimo dye gave my hair such a lovely warm pink hue which is different the colour in the bottle but it's still pretty. I think if my hair was lighter it would be brighter and more true to the dye colour but I didn't want to bleach my ends a third time (although I probably will at some point). I did go over it on dry hair to make the colour more intense and it worked really well! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.
The dye lasted on the ends of my hair for about three to four washes so it's great if you are like me and you want to change up your hair colour often and it didn't leave a stain in my hair which is something I was concerned about but it fully washed out.

*Crazy Color 'Peachy Coral' Semi-Permanent Hair Dye (£4)
This is one of their newer shades! I knew when I received it that it probably wouldn't show up in my hair as well as the dark Pinkissimo shade as my hair isn't platinum blonde at the ends but hopefully you can see from the photo below that it did add a slightly peachy hint to my hair although my camera is washing it out a bit.
The peachy shade was almost completely washed out in one wash as there was only a small amount of colour in my hair. I think the Peachy Coral shade would be better for those with hair that is much lighter than mine as it would definitely show up better. Although it was just as easy to use and rinse out as the Pinkissimo shade. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5.

Overall, I love how incredibly quick and easy these semi-permanent dyes are to apply, develop and rinse out - it's very fuss free to switch up your colour! The Pinkissimo is my favourite of the two as the pigmentation was better on my hair but they both apply very easily and with minimal mess. They are one of the cheapest semi-permanent dyes out there and I think they're well worth a go. They make so many shades and I now have my eye on the graphite and lavender shades!

What do you think of these shades? Have you tried Crazy Color or any other semi-permanent dye?