The Rug Retailer Suprema Rug

Saturday, May 25, 2019
Today's post is a review of one of my favourite new homeware items and it was very kindly sent to me for review from The Rug Retailer which is one of the leading rug retailers in the UK and they're not far from me in Cheshire. I've tried the rug within our kitchen/dining room as well as my bedroom and I love it in both locations!

*The Rug Retailer - Suprema (£194.95)
I was very kindly sent the Suprema rug in the Cream shade but it also comes in silver, brown, raspberry and dark grey as well but I think the cream colour suits out home decor and colour scheme the most. There are also various sizes to choose from but I have the largest size option which is 160cm by 230cm so it is pretty huge! However, it fits my bedroom and our dining room perfectly so I'm very happy with the size I was sent - thank you to The Rug Retailer.
The cream colour is perfect, it looks so cosy and thick as well as very versatile so it will be perfect in so many locations and it will fit in with various colour schemes as it is just a neutral cream shade. I tried the rug under our dining room table to start with as it seemed like the perfect size and it was but it isn't the most practical location - it did make our kitchen/dining room look very cosy though.

I then tried it in my bedroom and it's even more perfect as the size is ideal, it fits with the rest of my more neutral, minimal decor and it is incredibly cosy! It is so much thicker and denser than I thought it would be! My photographs and the images on The Rug Retailer website don't really show just how fluffy, thick and cosy it is.
The rug is composed of heavy weight, heat-set polypropylene yarn and it claims to be anti-shed and antistatic. I'd definitely agree with the latter but I have noticed a tiny amount of shedding from it; although that might have just been because I've been moving it around to different locations around the house to see where it would fit and where it would look best. The description on their site also describes it as easy to clean and hard wearing which I am really hoping is true in the long term. It feels very durable and heavy so fingers crossed that it lasts well because it makes the room so extremely cosy.
My only negative so far is that if you are going to be placing it on a surface such as laminate or wood then you will need an anti-slip mat or underlay beneath it because it will slide otherwise. Additionally, as I've mentioned I have experienced a tiny amount of shedding initially but thankfully I haven't since it's been in place.

Overall, I'm very happy with the gorgeous and very cosy Suprema rug from The Rug Retailer! It was delivered quickly, it fits into so many rooms while making them look very hygge and the largest size I have is perfect for the rooms I've tried it in. My favourite thing about this rug has to be how thick, soft and very cosy is it - it is so nice to walk on because your feet sink into it, it's that cosy and thick.

Will you be checking out The Rug Retailer? What do you think of the Suprema rug? 

*Gifted 

April + May Beauty Favourites

Thursday, May 23, 2019
I have been loving so many products recently, whether I was sent them for review or ones I purchased myself and in today's post I'm going to share some of my favourite beauty products from April and May. The weather in the UK has been so lovely over the past couple of months so I've been able to mostly change up my makeup and skincare for the warmer weather, including using more of my BB Creams.

*Bali Body BB Cream (£25.95) 
I use BB creams most of the time as I love the natural finish, hydrating properties and they're usually ideal for my dry and sensitive skin. One of my favourite BB creams recently is the Bali Body BB Cream which I was very kindly sent for review. I have the shade Fair but it comes in three other shades, thankfully with BB creams, the shade is a little flexible as the coverage is quite light but a larger shade range would be great.
The BB Cream contains SPF 15 which is great but it isn't as high as the SPF in my Korean BB creams that I love so much. It also contains hyaluronic acid, marine collagen (which is derived from seaweed so the BB cream is suitable for vegans!) and green tea extract. It claims to be light weight, hydrating and easy to apply, all of which I'd agree with.

I have been using it on and off for the few weeks now and I'm loving it, from the package and the shade match for my ghostly pale skin to the subtle, natural coverage and the hydrating properties. I have very dry skin, especially if I have an eczema flareup and thankfully the BB cream doesn't emphasis it which is why I tend to gravitate towards BB creams rather than foundation. If you're looking for a light, hydrating and no fuss BB cream then definitely check out the Bali Body BB Cream.
*Hempz Original Shampoo 
Hempz is a brand I've tried a few times previously as I was sent some of their products and I have liked everything I've tried so far, including their original shampoo and conditioner duo which contains hemp seed oil, shea butter and lemon peel, among other natural ingredients. As with the previous product, it is 100% vegan and cruelty free which is fantastic!

I'm not a fan of the packaging or of the scent if I'm honest but I do love the product for my dry and colour treated hair. It's such a nourishing shampoo, which is perfect for my hair as it can feel very dry at times, particularly as I use more heat on it now than I have done over the past few years. If you have very dry hair then I think this shampoo would be great, especially when combined with the conditioner.

*Hempz Original Conditioner 
Out of the two products, I think the shampoo is my favourite, although I still like using the conditioner but it can be a little heavy and needs thoroughly washing out. It does leave my hair very moisturised, smooth and tangle free which is what I want. I've been very happy with all of the products from Hempz that I've tried and I'd love to continue to try their products in the future.
*LookFantastic x Omorovicza Box (£95)
If you follow my subscription box reviews on the All Subscription Boxes website then you will have already seen my review of the amazing new and limited edition box with Omorovicza. I LOVE receiving the LookFantastic boxes, especially their limited edition ones so I was extremely excited when this box arrived. I've tried a couple of products from Omorovicza so I knew I liked their skincare but after using all of the items in this box for the past few weeks, I'm head over heels with the brand.

My favourite products from the box have to include the thermal cleansing balm (which is so lovely and doesn't irritate my skin as some cleansers can), the eye serum and the heavenly night cream which is the skincare equivalent of a warm, cosy and comforting blanket. Their skincare is pricey so this box is a great way to try their products for a fraction of the cost. It is still currently available and if you subscribe to their monthly box, you can get £20 off the Omorovicza box!
*Freshly Cosmetics Body Flame Firming Cream (£17.25 - SALE)
My final main favourite of the month is another product from Freshly Cosmetics which is a Spanish company who produce gorgeous, natural and vegan friendly products that work so well and the firming cream is no exception. Firstly, I love the packaging as I do with all Freshly products and I love the scent which smells so fresh and summery. I love the texture and how quickly it absorbs, while leaving my skin smooth and moisturised. I have notice a little firming effect but I haven't been using the product consistently enough to get the most out of it so far. However, if you're looking for a gorgeous body cream for the summer with firming properties then check out Freshly Cosmetics. They have such a fantastic range of skincare too, I'm currently trying their new Red Velvet Oil Serum which I'm also loving!

Have you tried any of these products? 

*Gifted

*Freelance + Blogger Tips

Monday, May 20, 2019
Image from Pinterest
Today's post is a little different as it's a tips post focused on all those hardworking individuals who are bloggers and or freelancers so I hope this post can help some of my fellow bloggers and readers. I've been a blogger since 2012 and my university days but I have been earning an income from my blog as a freelance writer for the past few years and I've came across a few useful, simple tips that help me everyday.

Media Kit
The first is a simple one and that's a media kit. When I first started blogging, it was entirely different to the nature of blogging now! I only created my media kit a few years ago and it's been invaluable since then. A media kit is a summary of your business, whether you are a freelancer and or blogger, so it should include links to your social media, examples of your work, what you do and your rates as well as statistics. I've always made mine on Canva as it's the simplest website to use to get a unique, clean and organised media kit for free.

Work Space
I am lucky enough to have a home office, albeit small office and it helps to me me feel as though my self employed, freelance job is more of a 'legitimate job' and something I can walk away from instead of working 24/7 - although I end up doing some form of work, however small, every single day anyway! I'd recommend a clean, organised and sun or light filled office space as it definitely helps my productivity.

A serviced office working space would be a great option for those who don't have a home office but need a professional space for your freelance work or small online business as they combine a clean, stocked office space with none of the responsibility. Signature Works offer serviced office spaces in Liverpool from £125pm while they take care of the catering, cleaning, security and more which sounds amazing and ideal for a small business that needs more space without the stress and responsibility of buying your own office.

Spreadsheets 
Lastly, although I have so many more tips, is the value of utilising spreadsheets. I use spreadsheets to keep track of payments which I need to add to my tax form - keeping track as I go makes filling out my tax forms so much easier. I also use spreadsheets to list my blog post schedule which I can tick off when I've finished them. I'd also recommend keeping lists, notes and always having a notebook with you for on the go ideas.

What do you think of my tips and ideas? Do you have any freelance tips or tricks? 

*collaborative post - check out my disclaimer for more information 

*How to Look After Your Home Appliances

Friday, May 17, 2019
Image from Pinterest
Many of us rely upon a variety of household appliances to see us through the day. From toasters and kettles in the kitchen to hair straighteners in our rooms, and the boiler in the wall, there are an array of important appliances to be found in any home. Having an appliance break can be a major inconvenience, having a seriously detrimental impact on our comfort and happiness.

Fortunately, looking after your appliances better doesn't have to be difficult or involved. If you can follow a few simple pieces of advice, you can easily maintain your appliances for years and years. Don't waste money buying brand new appliances when you can still get some more mileage out of your existing ones. Below are some common household appliances and some simple tips for ensuring that they last as long as possible and you maintain them properly. If you look after your home appliances right, you shouldn't have to replace them very often.

Boiler
Your boiler is one of the most important pieces of infrastructure in the home. Without it, you wouldn't be able to heat your home properly, nor will you have access to hot water if your boiler isn't up to scratch. This is one appliance that you don't want to fail on you unexpectedly, so make sure that you look after your boiler properly. One of the easiest things you can do to maintain your boiler is to lag the pipes every now and then. The best time for pipe lagging is right before winter sets in, when it can prepare your pipes for the cold weather ahead. Most DIY shops sell ready-made pipe lagging that can simply be slipped over pipes for around £1 per metre.

During warmer weather, keep your boiler switched off. If you have a combi-boiler, then you can switch it over to hot water only mode instead. Switching your boiler on once a month for 15 minutes during the summer should be enough to keep it running smoothly. When the pressure on a boiler is too low, it won't run properly. You need to keep the pressure between 1 and 1.5 bars. Your boiler should have a pressure gauge on the front that you can check easily. If you need to adjust it, you will need to find specific instructions for your manufacturer and model. Over time, sludge and gunk will accumulate in your boiler. This will naturally reduce the efficiency of your boiler. Having your boiler professionally cleaned is the best way to ensure that it can keep running smoothly. Removing all the debris from your boiler's pipes and radiators will enable you to get more heat at a lower cost. This will help to extend the life of your boiler significantly.

Boilers need regular check-ups to make sure that they stay working properly. The more regularly you service your boiler, the longer it will last. Not only this, but it will keep running efficiently and will save you money. If you keep on top of the maintenance, it should be easy to clean and maintain your pipes, instead of having to wait for something to go wrong. It is also worth taking out boiler cover from a business like Certi, or any type of home emergency cover designed to cover your boiler specifically. This will give you someone to call if things go wrong with your boiler. Certi have a 24-hour helpline which is handy when your boiler fails you in the early hours of the morning.

Kettle 
Without a kettle, mornings would be hell for most of us, which means it's a disaster when your kettle unexpectedly dies. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to extend the life of your kettle. When your kettle is brand new, you will need to fill the kettle to just below the seam and boil it. Discard the water afterwards. Routine care will involve a de-scale with a non-acidic de-scaler once every three months.

Hair Straighteners 
You should always store your hair straighteners lying flat, rather than hanging them by their cable. This will gradually loosen the connection and will ultimately lead to issues with powering the straighteners. It is worth investing in a heatproof mat to lay your straighteners down on. This is especially important with ceramic straighteners, as these get much hotter than regular hair straighteners and can present a hazard.

Finally, avoid using shampoos and conditioners that leave a lot of residue in your hair. These residues can create all kinds of problems and will prevent your hair from looking its best. Not only this, but the residue will stick to the paddles and can even cause the plastic on your straighteners to melt. If you take proper care of your appliances, you can get the most out of them in terms of lifespan. Appliances that aren't cared for properly will fail sooner than they need to, costing you money in repairs and replacements. Check online for more advice on how to look after your appliances.

Do you look after your home appliances? 

*collaborative post - check out my disclaimer for more information

Ultimate Father's Day Gift Guide: Part One

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
My favourites posts to write are gift guides and my Father's Day gift guides are no different. I've already published a couple of father' day gift posts reviewing individual products but today's post is my first full Father's Day gift guide of the year and it features a range of fantastic gifts! Thanks so much to all of the wonderful brands within today's post. Make sure you check out my latest two giveaways in which you can win a gorgeous unisex watch and a blog birthday prize bundle!

*Heath Hand Salve (£10)
Let's start with some of the grooming gifts that I was very kindly sent from the ever so lovely people over at Heathcote and Ivory, the first of which is the Heath London Hand Salve. Heath London is a brand I haven't tried before but I love the look of all of their product as they're so simple, classic and fuss free.

The hand salve contains shea butter and vitamin B5 with a spring-like mint and lavender fragrance which I love! It has a non-greasy formula but it's still very nourishing and moisturising which I definitely need and my dad does too as his hands are always so dry. I think this brand would be a great option to choose for dads, step dads or grandads who don't typically like to use grooming products because it's simple to use, fuss free and effective.
*Heath Moisturiser (£15)
Another product from Heath London is their moisturiser which contains lots of fantastic ingredients such as Vitamin E, coconut oil and hyaluronic acid, the latter is amazing for dry skin - it's an ingredient I always look out for as it really helps to lock in moisture. The moisturiser comes boxed, as does the hand salve and it would make a great addition to a grooming or general Father's Day gift  hamper!

I love the pump dispenser on the moisturiser as it makes it more convenient and simple to use so for those who have dads like mine, who don't like to use products that aren't as convenient as they can be, then this moisturiser is a great option to consider. If you want to gift your dad or grandad a few effective but simple grooming/skincare products for Father's Day then definitely check out Heath.
*Morris & Co Glasses Case (£18)
Next up from Morris & Co are a couple of products from their 'Refined Gentleman' range which is inspired by heritage designs and artisan craftsmanship. The glasses case and the travel bag both feature the gorgeous acanthus leaf pattern which I love (you can see it on the packaging of the travel grooming set below too). The glasses case when it isn't used is very flat and perfect for on the go but it's still very sturdy and perfect for protecting your glasses. My dad definitely needs a sturdy glasses case as his glasses were very expensive at over £400...and he never has a case for them!

*Morris & Co Travel Bag (£18)
The second accessory from the Refined Gentleman range is the travel bag which is made of vegan leather - how amazing is that! I personally didn't realise it was made from vegan leather and I think it's fantastic that more and more products are being made to be suitable for vegans! The travel bag is a great size for a weekend away and as with the glasses case, it is well made so I think it will last for a while. As well as the glasses case and travel bags, there's also a wash bag, wallet, hip flask and luggage tag in this range.
*Morris & Co Hair and Body Wash (£8)
All of their grooming products such as the hair and body wash have their gorgeous Refined Gentleman signature blend fragrance of vetiver, bergamot, pepper and amber so I think it will be a scent that most will love. The body wash packaging has the same classic and timeless leaf design as the rest of the range and I love it. The body wash would be ideal to combine with one or more of the accessories to make your own set of products. Additionally, you could make up a hamper of your dads favourite things or a selection of new products to try.
*Morris & Co Travel Grooming Set (£22)
The first set from the Refined Gentleman collection from Morris & Co is their travel grooming set which contains the hair and body wash, moisturiser, face scrub and shave gel. The sizes are all 100ml each which I think is a fantastic size for a travel set or just to trial the products for the first time before potentially buying the full size equivalent.

I think travel sets are great gift ideas, especially if it's a new or expensive brand. It would also be ideal for dads who like to travel or dads who have to commute to work. I love that this set has a great range of items, including a more unusual face scrub which is an item that I haven't ever seen within a mens travel set before. Overall, I love the Refined Gentleman range of Morris & Co and I especially like the travel grooming set as a safe and easy gifting option for difficult to buy for dads or grandads.
*The Sartorial Travel Guide by Simon Crompton (£16.95)
If you've read any of my book posts or my gift guides including books, then you'll already know of my love for the publisher Thames and Hudson. I adore their non-fiction reads, especially The Smile Stealers and all of Richard Barnett's books - all of which I'd also recommend as great niche non-fiction gift ideas for book loving dads and grandads.

Thames and Hudson manage to produce not only niche and unusual non-fiction but also every book is so beautifully designed and published, this one is no different. The Sartorial Travel Guide is a gorgeously designed hardback with colourful ribbon bookmarks, all about Simon Crompton's experience of travelling around the world and meeting the finest menswear designers and producers. I think this book would be great for dads who are passionate about tailoring, menswear and travel.
*Father's Day 'Best Taxi Driver' Card (£3.75)
If you read any Mother's Day gift guides then you might have noticed the brand Love Layla and I'm lucky enough to be featuring more of their products in today's Father's Day gift guide. They have such a fantastic range of humorous, naughty and sarcastic gifts, greeting cards and wrapping paper for many occasions and gift recipients.

The have a fantastic Father's Day range and I was kindly sent a few of their products to review, including one of my favourite Father's Day cards ever! I chose the 'best taxi driver' design which has a taxi driver review on the front - my dad has been our personal taxi driver for years so I think this is the perfect Father's Day card for him!
*Your Favourite Child Wrapping Paper (£2.75)
Another funny option is their wrapping paper sheets which has 'your favourite child' printed all over it which is something that myself or my sister would always write in our Father's Day cards so again, it's a perfect option for my dad! The quality is great too, unlike most wrapping paper options that always tend to rip somewhere while I struggle with it (we all know by now that I can't wrap gifts). They have so many wrapping paper options to choose from as well as gift bags so you can find everything in one place.
*Dad's Bad Joke Notebook (£9.95)
Lastly from Love Layla is the 'dad's bad joke' notebook which is similar to the Mother's Day option I reviewed a couple of months ago. It's a sturdy hardback notebook with an elastic strap and pocket at the back of the notebook for extras. It is lined with 160 pages and an elastic pen holder so it's ideal for on the go! While it is 'dad's bad joke' notebook, I think would be great for many uses and I cannot recommend their notebooks enough - you can never have too many notebooks.
*Sneaker Cleaning Kit from Men's Society (£20)
Next up is another unusual but practical gift (my favourite kind of gifts to give) is the sneaker cleaning kit from Men's Society. I adore their little kits as they don't just make great gifts but they look fantastic, you can re-use the tin and the kits are usually quite specific or unique such as this sneaker cleaning kit.

The sneaker cleaning kit contains a suede and canvas cleaning brush, neutral cleaning fluid and an instruction guide. I love how simple the kit is but how gorgeously designed it is and the attention to detail in each product. You can even purchase a personalised version (£20) of this kit with the name of your gift recipient on the brush handle! If the sneaker cleaning kit isn't suitable for your dad or grandad then check out their vast range of kits such as the grooming and beard, golf, festival survival, bicycle, travel and alcohol kits!
*Taylor's Eye Witness Copper Knife Set
Cooking gifts, along with toiletries and aftershave, are all 'safe' gifts for my dad and I know he'll like them but it can become a little boring after a while so anything I find that is a little unusual is fantastic. I was very kindly sent this knife set a while ago and I've being using it for a couple of months - I love them!

Firstly, they come very nicely and safely packaged, they have a two year guarantee and they are made with hard titanium so they should last for a while. They also have soft rubber handles which make them easier and more comfortable to use. Additionally, I have to mention the amazing copper details and blades - as a blogger I love anything that is copper or rose gold. As I said, I've been using them for a couple of months and they are so effective and nice to use.
*Personalised Beer from PrezzyBox (£19.99)
The final gift for today's Father's Day gift guide is a personalised gift from the incredibly lovely people over at PrezzyBox. I've been so lucky to have worked with PrezzyBox numerous times over the past couple of years and I genuinely cannot recommend their products enough as they are always so unique!

I was very kindly sent their set of three personalised beer bottles which feature a personalised label including a message and the gift recipients name. Also, the bottle labels spell put 'dad' which is just another nice attention to detail. Each bottle is 500ml and contains award winning pale ale from Yorkshire - it's the perfect gift for my dad, I know he will absolutely love them!

What do you think of my first full Father's Day gift guide post of the year? Make sure you watch my mini video below for a more detailed view of the products shown in today's post.

What do you think of my gift ideas? 

*Gifted

*Is Your Car Summer Road Trip Ready?

Monday, May 13, 2019
Image from Pinterest
While it may not feel like it just yet, summer is getting closer and recently we had some gorgeous summery weather in the UK which is very rare for Manchester and for the first time in a while, I've been so excited for summer. Last year myself and a couple of my best friends took a summer road trip to the Lake District for a couple of days which was such a nice little getaway and I'd love to go on a mini road trip again this summer so today's post is great for those who are planning ahead as I am. 

MOT
Firstly, make sure you car is up to date with its MOT, tax and insurance. In the UK your car has to have passed an MOT to make sure it's safe to drive but you can always have it serviced in the meantime to check that there are no problems before a long car journey or road trip. Making sure that your car is legally and mechanically safe to drive is important at any time but especially if you are planning a long car journey whether it's in the UK or abroad.

An MOT in the UK involves numerous checks to test various aspects of your car from brakes, lights, exhaust system and the safety components of your car including seatbelts but it doesn't check the engine condition, gearbox or the clutch. You cannot drive your car if it has failed it's MOT, until it is repaired, or if you care driving your car to its MOT test.

It's also important to go to a reputable MOT centre and to use good quality tyres from a professional supplier to ensure the best standard and the best fit as ill fitted tyres can cause numerous problems and can potentially make your car dangerous to drive. If you are based in or around Northampton then check out the professional MOT services provided from Calmac Tyres Autocentre as their staff are friendly and they have some of the best equipment to give you peace of mind.

Tyres 
An important aspect of an MOT are the tyres! They are also especially important if you're taking a trip during the colder months in which case winter or snow tyres might be a great option to choose but in the summer, make sure that your tyres are in good condition with no areas of damage that could be exacerbated on a longer car journey or on rougher roads.

Extras and Emergency Items
Lastly, I wanted to mention a few extras and emergency items that would make a great addition to your summer road trip check list. I always keep a few items in my car at all times such as a mini first aid kit, extra healthy snacks (such as the Nakd snack bars or items from my DegustaBox), hand sanitiser, tissues, phone charging cables and a blanket; all of which I think would be ideal for a summer road trip. However, if you are going on a longer journey, particularly if it's on roads that aren't motorways or near large cities then it might also be useful to take a few extras that you wouldn't normally have in your car.

Do you have any road trip tips or essentials you'd take? 

*collaborative post