*Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Images from Bedford Lodge Hotel Spa
Mother's Day for those in the UK is coming up, it's the 31st March if you didn't know and I've been thinking about what I'm going to treat my mum to already as we all know that I like to be overly organised. My mum can be incredibly frustrating at times as well as embarrassing, as all mums probably are but she does so much for everyone so I really want to treat her, especially this year.

I will have a couple of specific Mother's Day gift guides which will be live on my blog within the next two or so weeks but today's post is more about the experiences you can buy this year, rather than material gifts. Don't get me wrong, material gifts are amazing but sometimes it's nice to have a special experience instead.

Hotel Stay 
I've already bought a few gifts but instead I'm thinking about paying for a night away in Edinburgh for myself and my mum as we did want to go this month but the train tickets I was very kindly gifted weren't available for Edinburgh (they were only valid for London) so it would be nice to go in the easter holidays as a belated Mother's Day gift.

However, depending on your budget, where you live and the modes of transport available to you, some places might be more suitable than others. A fantastic four star hotel option is the Bedford Lodge Hotel which is based in the beautiful surroundings of the Suffolk and is within close proximity of Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge. Cambridge is also on my list of places to visit in the UK this year!

The hotel is situated within three acres of private gardens, it offers a range of special offers and functions as well as a specific Mother's Day menu which is actually priced very reasonably! For more information about the hotel and what it has to offer, check out their website, linked above.
Spa Day 
If you wanted a lovely day but didn't have time for a hotel stay at the Bedford Lodge Hotel, they also have a spa! A spa day is the quintessential Mother's Day or hen party treat but I've never been to a spa before, I think my mum would love it! The spa is situated in the grounds of the hotel so a hotel stay and a spa day at the Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa would be an ideal Mother's Day gift all in one.

They offer such a wide range of treatments such as traditional massage options, facials and skin treatments to more specific options including maternity treatments, makeup treatments, IPL, reflexology, hair removal and more so you could easily have a whole day of pampering or just one indulgent treatment. Additionally, you can purchase gift vouchers for the hotel, afternoon tea or the spa, if you cannot go on the spa day yourself.

What do you think of these Mother's Day gift ideas? 

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*Dream Kitchen Ideas with Stormer Kitchens

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
If you follow me on Instagram (@ofbeautyand) you'll have seen that we've been renovating the bathrooms over the past couple of months and it's started my 'spring is here so we need to spring clean everything' mood which also involves renovating and updating the house. I've always loved interior design and since becoming a blogger and freelance writer that has just increased! 

There are quite a few aspects of the house that I'd like to alter, whether it's simple things like lighting, touch ups and adding new plants to renovating the conservatory and updating the garden. The kitchen was renovated completely back in 2017 but while you may like certain aspects of a new room initially, over time you might find items or the placement of appliances etc to be not quite right. There are definitely aspects of the kitchen that I'd change and today's post is all about my ultimate dream kitchen! 

Unique Lighting 
Firstly, unique lighting! I am not a fan of those very popular spotlights (which we do have) as I think they look so boring, the light is usually quite harsh and it isn't the best for photography (yes, it's something I'm always thinking about). I love the hanging lighting in the kitchen above, I think it looks strikingly unique and far nicer than bright spotlights that cast harsh shadows. 

Designing your own kitchen will be a relatively expensive undertaking, depending on your preferences and the size of your kitchen but it doesn't have to be difficult. Stormer Kitchens offer a range of kitchen styles all of which can be adapted so you can easily create your dream kitchen. 
Clean Gloss & Natural Tones 
If you read any of my interior design or redecorating posts then you'll probably know that I'm not one for bright colours, my preferred colour scheme features natural, neutral shades mixed with various textures such as wooden, metal and glossy textures. Thankfully our kitchen has all of those aspects as it's filled with creamy, grey and oak shades as well as stainless steel, wooden and canvas textures which I love. 

In a kitchen I love glossy units and clean, natural shades as to me, it makes the space look inviting and homely but also sleek, clean and timeless. Although I do have admit that I also like the cliche French country kitchen style too with neutral shades and rustic features. If I were able to create my dream kitchen, without worrying about money at all, then it would probably include a combination of French farmhouse rustic units and furniture with neutral tones, natural textures and modern technology such as induction hobs as well as integrated appliances. 
Integrated Appliances & Island Unit 
Speaking of integrated appliances, we have all of ours integrated into our kitchen and I love it! The only integrated unit we don't have is the bin as an integrated aspect of the kitchen and I think that would have been a great idea to not only free up a little more kitchen floor space but also to remove a bit of an eyesore from the room too. 

Last but not least, while we do have a kitchen island (and it's an amazing feature), I think it would have been even better to integrate a hob into the island so it's a more efficient use of the space. Stormer Kitchens has a great range of examples of how to use an island space in the most efficient and space saving way such as adding a sink, hob, storage or even a little seating area to a kitchen island - the latter point is something we didn't think of at the time and now I wish we had! 

What do you think of these kitchen design ideas? What would your dream kitchen include? 

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*Acne: Myths + Tips

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Image from Elle France
Children can suffer from acne at any age, but most children are teenagers when they begin to notice acne appearing. Acne can feel like the end of the world to a teenager who is growing up and trying to fit in. Therefore, doing all you can as a parent to help them treat acne and feel confident in their own body is important. Beauty is skin deep, and this is something a lot of teenagers need to hear more often. If you think your child is suffering from acne, here is how you can help.

See A Dermatologist
Although there are plenty of options on the market for acne, the best way to treat acne is to see a dermatologist. Many of the over the counter acne treatments will not work effectively for children with acne, as every child has different skin and varying levels of acne.

Dermatologists are trained specialists in skin care, including acne. Dermatologists can prescribe treatments that are not available in shops, and these include creams and lotions to reduce redness that often appears when a child has acne. They may also prescribe antibiotics to your child if they think it will help treat their acne. If they have severe acne that is not responding to regular treatments, they may prescribe a special medication, which reduces oil production to keep their pores clear.

If your child is starting to develop acne, book a consultation with The Dermatology Clinic who are based at London’s famous Harley Street. The Dermatology Clinic specialises in acne treatment and will work together with you and your child to find the best treatment possible. They will then work on a plan to ensure once the acne is cleared, it does not come back. Starting treatment as soon as possible means less chance of permanent scarring for your child.

Debunk the Myths
There are many myths about why your child may have acne, including hygiene or food habits. Ensuring you know exactly what acne is and why it begins is important, as asking them to change their diet isn’t going to help matters. Acne begins due to a hormonal imbalance and can happen to boys or girls. This hormonal imbalance then causes the skin to produce way too much oil, causing acne. Explaining this to them and that this isn’t anything they have done can help them feel a little better, especially if they have been bullied at school for not being clean enough. When you have acne, facial hygiene is important though, and your child should follow a suitable acne skin care routine. This includes having a face wash twice daily, to wash away some of the oils from the surface of the skin. You can also encourage them to eat a healthier diet, as this generally gives everyone better skin, but this doesn’t mean they can’t indulge in their favourite chocolate bar.

Talk to Them
There is likely a range of emotions that your child is going through when they are suffering from acne and it is important for them to know they are not alone. This means that you will always be there for them if they need someone to talk to, but also that acne is a common problem for many teenagers. Taking them for the help they need to treat acne is a good start, but they also need to understand that their acne does not define them.

Acne doesn’t just disappear overnight, this is a condition they will have to live with for a while, and teenagers are already going through enough changes in their body without this added extra. Encourage them to always carry out their skincare regime, but also focus on the positives that come from within. This means teaching your child that acne does not make them ugly. It is how they act that is important and their actions are the true representation of themselves. Notice the little things to help improve their confidence, such as if they wear something new or do their hair differently.

If you suffer with acne and are really struggling with your self-confidence, it may be worth looking for a light foundation to help cover up some of your acne. This could be used for special occasions when they want to look their best. It can be tough to support a teenager through everyday life, but when your teen is suffering from acne it can be even harder as a parent to be there for them. Taking them for treatment is the first step in treating the acne, but they also need to know that this isn’t the end of the world, even if they feel as though it is. Spend time with your child and find ways of cheering them up and boosting their confidence in other ways.

Do you suffer with acne? 

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*SS19 Picks with Kture

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Images from Kture
I'm so happy that spring is finally starting and the sun is shining because I'd had enough of the cold, dark months of winter! Spring, along with autumn, is my favourite season as it's just so refreshing, invigorating and signals the start of the warmer weather, brighter days and lighter evenings, the latter is perfect for blog photos! For the first time in quite a few months, I'm actually happy with my photos (you can check them out on my instagram - @ofbeautyand).

I also love this time of year when it comes to clothing as it's still chilly enough for jeans and ankle boots (my go-to outfit) but it's also warm enough to ditch the thick, chunky winter coats or suffocating scarves. I've already started switching to my lighter jumpers and jackets as the weather in Manchester over the past week or so has been so nice, especially today (or it will be yesterday as you're reading this)...it's odd for Manchester to be this sunny.

long floaty dresses - simple tees - slogan jumpers - ankle boots - woven bags 

As well as wanting to buy a fresh selection of new books and spring makeup, I also want to buy a fresh spring wardrobe! As you can probably deduce from my picks above, my spring wardrobe isn't very colourful (nothing in my wardrobe is colourful) but it's lighter, fresher and more spring like than the deluge of wool and chunky knits from the autumn and winter months.

Kture has a wide range of gorgeous designer pieces, so many of which would be ideal for SS19, including some of my picks above. One brand that's new to me and has definitely caught my eye is Kenzo. Kenzo is a brand I've been aware of for years but until now I've never really looked at their items - it was launched back in the 70's and predominantly features Asian inspired prints. Check out the range of Kenzo jumpers on kture.co.uk; also the printed midi dresses are so gorgeous for spring and summer holidays, the printed shopper and the trench coat are all at the top of my Kenzo wish list.

Additionally, the brand Isabel Marant has been capturing my attention with the beautiful boots, shoulder bags and striped sweaters! Also, Kture have a wide range of beauty items, many of which are on my spring makeup wish list (it's a rather long list). Someone needs to remove my bank card from me...although to be honest, I don't think that would help.

If you're looking for new additions to your spring/summer 2019 wardrobe then look no further than Kture as you're bound to find quite a few new items that will take you into the next few months, even with the often temperamental British weather. Trench coats, ankle boots, skinny jeans and lightweight jumper are my essentials but they also have a selection of floaty spring dresses, unique skirts and light jackets would also be perfect for the warmer months.

What do you think of my SS19 picks from Kture? What are your go-to spring picks? 

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*The best colours to use in each room of the home

Monday, February 25, 2019
Image from Hydranoes
Thinking about decorating your home but feeling spoiled for choice when it comes to picking the right colours to use? According to colour psychology, different colours used in the home can influence us in certain ways, with some shades creating a calming effect while others can provoke feelings of irritability. With this in mind, it’s worth thinking about which colours to use in each room of the home based on the qualities they possess. Here’s a simple breakdown on some of the best colours to consider painting your home with and the reasons why.

The Bedroom 
The bedroom is the space we use to unwind and get some much-needed rest, which is why it’s important to focus on using colours that influence feelings of relaxation. Some of the best and most common colours to use in this room include pale grey, light blue, and cream. These shades are all known for their ability to create a calming atmosphere while sticking to a more minimal and toned down aesthetic. Light blue, in particular, is popularly used for its calming effects and can look beautiful in a bedroom when combined with a pale grey or cream shade for an extra relaxing feel. 

The Living Room 
Similar to the bedroom, the living room should ideally evoke feelings of relaxation. This is the area we use to sit back and relax with a good book or a Netflix binge after a long day, so it’s a good idea to avoid any harsh colours that could make you too overstimulated. Some colours that work perfectly in a living room are jade green, which promotes tranquillity and gives any room a beautiful, regal look, and lavender which has calming and soothing effects. If you prefer a more neutral look in the living room, white is another great option. This shade is the main component of minimalist decor and commonly used by property companies like RW Invest to attract tenants to a property. White shades can create a feeling of purity and simplicity, and can instantly make your living room feel calmer, spacious and open.

The Kitchen 
The kitchen is often one of the first rooms in the home that you encounter each day, whether preparing breakfast or making your morning coffee. It’s for this reason that the kitchen should contain colours that energise you and get you ready for the day ahead. Red is one colour that’s known to evoke energy and excitement, along with helping to stimulate the appetite. A kitchen with red walls or features should help give you the motivation needed when preparing an evening meal after a long and busy day at work. Yellow is another great option for use in the kitchen, with the ability to brighten up your mood and improve creativity — perfect when trying out some adventurous recipes! 

The bathroom 
In the bathroom, a recent trend has emerged in which darker colours are used to envelop the space and create a serene environment. Dark blue’s and navy shades work well to create a calming atmosphere in the bathroom, especially when paired with lighter shades like soft grey. When all else fails, you can’t go wrong with plain white walls in the bathroom for an instant clean and refreshing feel.

Do you stick to certain colours in specific rooms? 

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*5 plants and flowers to brighten up your garden through SS19

Monday, February 25, 2019
Image from The Viennese Girl
You may have noticed recently that the mornings aren’t quite as dark. The days aren’t as cold. The memories of snowy walks are just that, memories. Spring is only a month away, and that means all the beautiful plans in your garden will starting to come back and provide a great pop of colour after the dark winter. Spring also gives you the warmer weather to look at growing or planting some great new additions to your garden. Here are five plants that you can grow through spring and summer to really add to your garden:

Sweet Peas
If you want to grow sweet peas from seed, you can start in autumn, but you can just as easily buy plants that are ready to plant in your garden. This super fragrant flower comes in a variety of vibrant colours to you have real flexibility with the colour scheme of your garden. Sweet peas do love something to climb so they will need a support frame. They also benefit from regular cuttings which not only encourages growth but provides you with lovely flowers to bring inside and brighten up any room.

Tulips 
This beautifully colourful flower loves to flower between March and May and will really add to your garden through spring. Tulips can be grown and survive in a pot or be moved into a garden bed.

Olive Trees 
If you’re looking for one will really set you apart from your friends this is it! Growing an olive tree may seem daunting because they can be a significant addition to your garden, but they’re actually much easier to maintain than you might think. The olive tree is a slow-growing and therefore a great choice to grow in a pot! Place your pot, or if you choose to plant it in the ground, somewhere sunny but with good drainage. Once your tree is producing fruit you can use the olives in a variety of ways but a simple and delicious summer salad is hard to beat, and your tree can produce fruit for years to come!

Ferns 
It can be easy to think that all plants should be kept in a sunny part of the garden, but some actually prefer some shade. Ferns are a great example of plants that do well, either potted or planted, in the shade. They need very little maintenance and can really fill out any gaps in your garden to help you create a balanced space.

Herbs 
Just as with the olive trees, growing herbs in your garden can have multiple benefits, you not only get a lovely splash of colour but have something delicious to cook with as well! Plants like rosemary and thyme have the added benefit of producing edible flowers. Thyme is a great choice to plant in early spring, and once it's ready to harvest you can dry or freeze the sprigs and use them to really boost the flavour of your dishes.

Do you grow any plants or are you planning to?

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*How to give your bathroom an upgrade for 2019

Sunday, February 24, 2019
Image from LuckyThink
We all know how important bathrooms are in daily life, but the fact that there’s a lot of plumbing involved makes people really hesitant to improve theirs. You can’t just pull up a toilet and move it around, unfortunately. There are a few ways you can make the process a bit easier, though, which might be the key to giving your bathroom the upgrade it deserves:

Change the decorations
Most people decorate their bathroom with naval colours and water-themed trinkets, but there’s plenty of ways to make it unique and personal. The right decorations and some fresh tiles can completely change how your bathroom looks, even if you don’t go for full renovations. This doesn’t just have to be the walls – a new rug or a standing mirror could do the trick!

Change the lighting
A dim bathroom can look grimy and badly-maintained, even if you’ve been cleaning it regularly. Making sure that you’re getting enough light will completely change the look and feel of the room, and will also make it easier for guests to see while they’re trying to use the bathroom late at night. Make sure that windows aren’t obstructed during the day, and install new bulbs or add a spare lamp so that the room can light itself properly.

Add ventilation
Bathrooms can get very humid in hot weather, and steam can cause a lot of problems if there’s no way for it to leave the room. Make sure you’re got enough ventilation to let out heat, bad smells and heavy steam while letting in fresh air and a cool breeze. An open window or wall fan can you from overheating during the summer and might make it easier to control how fresh the air is, which will make a huge difference in how you healthy and clean you feel.

Change up the flooring 
Changing up the floor might be a good idea without having to change out your bathroom fittings. Opt for bathroom flooring that’s going to either elevate your overall style or make a statement!

Plan a full overhaul 
If you’re really not happy with your bathroom, it might be a good idea to get some specialist help and completely revamp the entire room. This might seem a pricey on paper, but it’s still far easier and cheaper than trying to do the same thing by yourself, and it can give you a bathroom that perfectly fits your needs around the home. Certain companies will even source the materials and furniture you need without needing to drag you away from your daily routine.

Are you planning any bathroom renovations this year? Do you have any tips?

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*Top spring clothing pieces to take on a weekend away

Saturday, February 23, 2019
Image from Merricksart
Now that spring is just around the corner it’s a great time to start planning a weekend getaway. Wherever you plan to go on a weekend getaway, packing the right clothes is vital. You want to have outfit choices but also not be burdened with packing a whole suitcase with half your wardrobe and carrying that away with you. To avoid taking a mass of clothes away with you, here are 5 key pieces that you should think about packing for your weekend getaway.

A fun blouse
This is a great item to have in your suitcase because of its versatility. You can team it with a variety of other items such as shorts on a hot day or a smart pair of trousers for a more formal occasion. With bright colours, a must for the warmer months why not go for something like Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year – Living Coral!

Multifunctional shoes
Having a pair of shoes that are not only stylish but functional and durable allows you to mix and match them with multiple outfits and ultimately pack fewer shoes. Remonte shoes combine style and functionality meaning you can wear them all day if you’re exploring a new city and then dress them up in the evening for a dinner date.

Black jeans
A staple of any wardrobe all year round, but just because it’s getting warmer doesn’t mean you should put your black jeans away until September. Matching black jeans with something like a fun blouse or doing something as simple as rolling the bottoms up can open up a world of possible outfits. Remember packing light on a weekend getaway means having items that you can wear in different situations. If you're looking for a new pair of jeans, which can be a bit of a nightmare, then check out Trilogy as they have so many styles to choose from including skinny jeans, straight legged jeans, high waisted and everything in between!

Sunglasses
Let’s think positively, it’s going to be sunny while you’re away! You’re going to need a pair of sunglasses with you. This really is an item that should be in your bag all through spring and summer. Sunglasses are often the final piece in completing an outfit, and we've all been in the situation where you get somewhere ready to explore on a gorgeous day and you’ve forgotten your sunglasses. Don’t let that happen on your weekend getaway.

A floral dress 
Flowers are beginning to bloom, and the colours are great, so why not have your statement piece for the weekend reflect the bright colours of the season. Once again this is something that you could wear during the day or on a warm evening out. The light fabrics used are great for the warmer months as well because being comfortable is as important as looking great.

What are you go-to weekend away picks? 

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*Create A Space Of Your Own in Your Backyard

Friday, February 22, 2019
Image from Priceless Magazines
She-sheds have been a trend for a while now, so it's safe to assume it's here to stay for good. Which is excellent, as more and more women stake claim to their garden sheds to create a little safe haven of their own - a place to curl up with a book or a place to practice their long-forgotten painting skills or use it for its original purpose - gardening. If you are yet to transfer your shed, here are a couple of helpful tips and design tricks.

You can be as 'extra' as you like 
This is your space! So browse Pinterest and get some ideas on what your shed should look or feel like. Define it's purpose first, though. You might still want it to be practical so before you start online shopping for sofa beds and unicorn sculptures, consider your space, what you're going to use it for and what are the absolute must items/features you need to make space for.

If you're looking to do some painting in your she-shed, consider how much space your easel will take and how and where you're going to store all your canvases. Or if you want your she-shed to be a plant recovery space for your garden, consider how many gardening tools you have and reserve appropriate wall space for installing a pegboard or wall hooks. Once all the sensibilities are out of the way - it's time to add glitter to everything. Or if you're not a fan of glitter, make it your own in whatever aesthetic you prefer!

Make it unique
Go on a hunt for the perfect pieces for your she-shed. Venture out to flea markets, antique shops and charity shops for some specials finds. Consider, what would make it unique to you? Maybe your vision involves crystal chandeliers or perhaps an artificial grass accent wall? Or maybe you have a more monochrome minimalistic aesthetic in mind with bright white walls and contrasting black industrial looking metal pipe floating shelves? Whatever it may be, this is your time to be a little selfish and make it for yourself, and however, you like it - make it the reflection of you!

Consider what 'tech' you'll need 
If you're looking to make this your entertainment pad, consider what electrics you might need. Maybe a TV or a mini-fridge? These appliances will need the energy to run on so consider if you can instal power sockets or are you getting extension cords pulled in from your home?

Do you have a backyard, if so would you create a she-shed? What do you think of this idea?

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*10 Ways to Prepare for A Long-Haul Flight

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Image from Pinterest
Catching any flight can be an anxiety provoking experience, but even more so if you have a long-haul flight ahead of you. By preparing thoroughly for your trip, you can make your travelling experience run much smoother and hopefully make it stress-free. Some people have concerns and qualms about flying, so being fully prepared can be a great way to lessen your worries about the journey you have ahead of you. Not all long-haul flights have to be boring or worrisome experiences. So here are ten ways to prepare for a long-haul flight that will make your travel a lot more bearable.

Do Your Research
It is important that when planning your long-haul trip that you do as much research as possible. It is likely that your journey will involve different forms of travel in a short period of time, so it is important that you are as organized as possible. A long-haul flight often requires connection flights, so make sure that you research the different routes that are available to you to make your journey as short as possible. Sometimes a quicker journey can cost a little extra, but it is often worth the investment.

Be Savvy
When Booking Your Flight This is one of the more obvious things you should do to prepare for your flight, but it is also the most important. To book your flight, you need to look at the different airlines that fly to the place you want to go to. It is advisable to research airline reviews online and see what experiences others have had when travelling with an airline. It is also a good idea to look at regional airlines, such as Porter, for your connecting flights or transfers to get a better deal. For example, if you are looking for flights to Toronto, then go to flyporter.com to look for regularly scheduled flights between Canada and the United States.

Know Your Luggage
Once you have booked your flight, you should be sure to investigate what your luggage allowance is. Most long-haul flights will allow for a heavier suitcase weight, but you need to double check this when you book. If you don’t think the allowance you have been given is going to be enough, then you can always book extra weight. But try and do this before you arrive at the airport as adding extra luggage last minute can be a costly way to do it. You should be sure to check out the security rules when you are packing your suitcase as there are often rules on what you can take onboard the plane. The rules are less strict for the luggage you are checking in at the desk, but be aware that anything you are taking through security with you that isn’t allowed may be taken off you.

Dress Comfortably
It is important that you wear suitable clothing when you travel, especially on a long-haul flight. Spending a long period of time on a plane can be very uncomfortable and wearing tight fitting clothing and heeled shoes will just make it even worse. Lounge wear is very popular amongst long-haul flyers, and you can get some stylish travel outfits that will allow you to feel cosy while you start off your journey looking and feeling great!

Take Care of Your Health
It is important that you look after yourself during a flight, so you should prepare things you may need while in the air. Flyers can be at risk of getting deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is the formation of blood clots, due to spending a lot of time sat in the same position for a long period. You can get flight compression socks to wear during your journey to limit your chances of suffering flight related DVT. You should also make sure that you keep hydrated during the flight so be sure to buy some water in the airport before you board. You may also consider taking a sleep aid with you to help you get some rest during your flight, though you should discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist beforehand.

Get an Upgrade
When booking your flight, you will be given the option to upgrade to an extra leg room seat or even upgrade into first class. This may seem like a frivolous aspect of your journey, but it can really make your flight a much more pleasurable experience. Traveling in first class will benefit the rest of your trip as you will be able to get more rest if you are comfortable and this can help you avoid the effects of jetlag. In business or first class, you can enjoy the extra leg room, reclining chairs, entertainment and the peace and quiet that you need to start your trip relaxed and comfortable.

Organize Your Carry On
You should make sure that you have everything you need when packing your carry-on luggage. You should remember to pack the necessities such as flight socks, any necessary medication, and your travel documents. It is advisable to check the airline’s regulations on carry-on luggage when you book your flight and also the size of your check-in baggage. There are usually measurements of how big your carry-on suitcase can be, so be sure that you adhere to these otherwise you will have to pay for extra luggage before you board (which can be a costly addition to your journey).

Snacks 
While there is usually food available during the flight, you may prefer to sort out your own snacks. You might not be able to bring food through security but there will be plenty of food options in the airport that you can buy before you board. You may be able to get a hot meal at a vendor in the departure lounge, but if not, then there will be cold snacks available for you to carry onto your flight. 

Pack Things to Do 
One of the worst things about a long-haul flight can be the boredom. So, it is important that you pack things to keep you entertained while you are on board the plane. This can be a great opportunity to start that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages, or the chance to sit through one of your favorite playlists from start to finish. While some airlines have started to have Wi-Fi available on flights, many don’t provide this service, so you need to make sure that whatever content you want to use on your electrical device is available on airplane mode.

Organise Your Transfer 
You may find yourself focusing on planning your flight, but you also need to ensure that you have the correct arrangements in place for when you land. You need to make allowances for possible delays and ensure that you are not left stranded once you land in your destination. While there may be transfer options available to you when you land, these will be a lot more expensive, so it is cheaper to book before you travel. A long-haul flight can be the part of your journey that you dread the most, but by following these simple ways to prepare for your flight, you will be able to start your journey feeling relaxed and refreshed ready to enjoy the rest of your trip.

Do you have any travelling tips? 

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*6 Unconventional Gifts For A Loved One

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Image from Instagram
Gifts are a huge part of special celebrations, but it gets harder to pick out something special as you and your partner get older. You can only use the “cheat gifts” like chocolates and stuffed teddy bears so many times before it becomes a yearly routine. Thinking outside the box might be the best way to show your love in a different, less cheesy way.

A Personalised Mug or Glass
Mugs might seem like a gift you’d give at Christmas, but they can be a good way to keep a personalised message near your partner at all times. It can remind them of your love while they’re pushing through a difficult workday and might cheer them up if they’re at home with a cold. A wine glass might also be a good idea, since it gives you an excuse to share a bottle and enjoy the night in your partner’s company.

Practical Furniture
A holiday of love is a great excuse to get a new loveseat or bed, and it’s one of those gifts that doesn’t get in the way the next morning. Something fancy like a Chesterfield sofa can fit right in with the festive theme but still stay practical in the long term, and you can take the opportunity to replace something that’s worn out or damaged.

Time
Some people have busy schedules, and it can leave their partner feeling ignored or irrelevant. Breaking your schedule for a day or two and spending time with them instead can be a gift itself, especially if you make sure to arrange something fun to do together.

Something from their childhood
Most people in long-term relationships know their partner well enough to pick out certain things from their early life, and giving them something that brings back memories of their childhood can be a reminder that you care about who they are as a person. This works even better if it’s something rare they used to own and seem upset as losing or selling, such as a classic action figure, vinyl record or signed poster of their favourite artist.

Homemade food and treats 
It can be tempting to buy fancy chocolates and book a meal at a high-class restaurant, but the best food comes from the heart. Give your partner something personal to eat: this is especially good if they have certain allergies or preferences, since you can give them a romantic meal without needing to research menus or book seats early.

An upgrade to something they use 
If there are any free services your partner uses, whether it’s an exercise app or an account for their favourite game, consider upgrading it to a paid version overnight so it’s ready for them once the special day is over. It’s best to know what the upgraded version will offer, so do some research beforehand and find out how you can improve their hobby without needing to even leave the house.

What do you think of these gift ideas? 

*Sponsored #AD

*10 Steps That Can Transform Your Career In 2019

*10 Steps That Can Transform Your Career In 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Image from Make It Yours
You spend a long time working so it’s always going to be important for you do a job that you love. However, not everybody does and it can be a huge shame. Because you’re working for at least forty years of your life - sometimes even fifty or more. So don’t you want to make sure that you love the work that you do? It doesn’t matter what that work is, per se, it’s just important that you’re happy, fulfilled, and that your career adds to your life. Job satisfaction has to be important but sometimes, you don’t just want to be satisfied, you want to love what you do. What happens when that’s not the case?

If you’re ambitious, then it’s generally going to be important for you to find a career that you can excel in. Maybe you already know what that is, yet you’ve fund yourself on a completely different path? For one reason or another, it happens pr maybe you are starting out and you have lofty goals but you just don’t know yet how you’re going to climb that ladder? Either way, whether you want to grow, make changes or get back on track, you need to act and fast. So to help you transform your career, here are ten steps you should look to take within the next twelve months.

1. Setting Goals 
First of all, you need goals. You need to put career goals in place that are going to guide you on this journey. When you set goals, you’re getting serious about what you want to achieve. Your goals can then allow you to work out what steps you need to be taking in order to get to the next level, and eventually, your dream role.

2. Creating A Career Plan 
Next, you’ll want to think about putting a plan in place. One of the best ways to keep yourself on track and accountable, is for you to plan out exactly what kind of roles you need to move through to reach your goals and what actions are going to allow you to do that. Just working it out alone can transform your mindset and motivate you to take the first step.

3. Networking 
If you’re looking to open doors, then you need to start networking. Sure, meeting new people and putting yourself out there can seem scary but that only lasts for the first step. Because as soon as you start connecting with people and communicating more, you’ll realise just how powerful and influential networking really is.

4. Branding Yourself 
Something that can really help you with your career advancement is to think of yourself as a brand. Because when you create a personal brand for yourself, you can position yourself in a certain way. For this, you could get branding created for your website or design your office in the same way if you are self-employed. Or just look to polish up your LinkedIn page and personal website if you’re climbing the corporate ladder. 

5. Blogging 
Whether you’re going it alone or working for a company, starting a blog can really boost your career. It’s another way to position yourself in a particular way. You can showcase your skills, put your thoughts out into the world, and you may even get opportunities this way too. So start today and you’ll never know where you might end up.

6. Reading 
If you really want to start transforming your mind and your approach to work, then you should read. Reading non-fiction growth, personal development, and business books can really broaden your mind. Sometimes you’ll get ideas, and sometimes you’ll get the confidence or skills or motivation you need to make moves. Watching videos and listening to podcasts can also help you here. Essentially, you’re looking to really transform your career with your mind and intentions.

7. Learning 
You might then want to take this idea to the next level because you could get more formal education, such as doing a msc-business-management-online, to boost your career. If you know that you’re not skilled enough, or that you lack the qualifications to be promoted, then this might be what you want to remedy. It could even be that you choose to take online courses in your spare time, so that you’re working and learning in tandem.

8. Volunteering 
Another great idea is to volunteer. Working for free so that you can learn more, connect with people, or pick up new skills can be so valuable. Not only that, volunteering your time to a cause can also transform you, your mindset, and really boost your career too.

9. Listening 
To really make sure that your career gets the kind of boost you want, commit to listening more. Observe others and take in what those senior to you are doing. Become a sponge and absorb everything you can. Surround yourself with people who are more experienced than you so that you can learn from them. Even get a mentor, just make sure that you’re using this as a way to better yourself and grow in your career.

10. Making Your Intentions Known
Finally, if you do really want to start making waves, then it’s also a great idea for you to make your intentions known. If you work at a company, then speak to your boss or HR. Let them know that you’re keen to grow and progress in the company. If you’re self-employed then think about telling someone so that they can hold you accountable, like your mentor so that they can guide you. Going after those opportunities is one way to really start to make things happen for your career.

Do you have any career or work tips? 

*This is a collaborative post

Current Beauty Favourites + New In: February 2019

Sunday, February 17, 2019
It's been a while since I published a favourites post but I've been sent quite a few fantastic products recently (#gifted #AD whatever we have to type in terms of a declaration now). Today's post is all about the products I've been loving recently and a selection of newly released items from the lovely people over at Bomb Cosmetics.

*Upcircle Beauty Tangerine Body Scrub (£14.99)
Let's start with one of my favourite products from todays post as not only does the packaging look amazing but it's such an effective scrub that smells amazing. The scrub contains shea butter, coconut oil, rosemary, coffee seed powder, cardamon and tangerine peel oil which combines to make such a lovely citrus, coffee scented scrub. It's such a nice scrub to use, even if it is a little messy.

Upcircle is a completely new brand to me but it's one I want to try more from as I'm really impressed, particularly with the packaging and the ethos of the brand. One of the most surprisingly things about this product in particular is that it's made from repurposed coffee grounds from London cafes! Additionally, their products are suitable for vegans, cruelty free and UK made.
*Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - Coconut Breeze (£34)
Next up is a product that smells equally as summery and that's the coconut breeze version of the traditional and world famous Philip Kingsley elasticizer. I think everyone in the beauty community has heard of, used or coveted the well loved hair treatment and while I have tried a sample of the original, that was years ago!

The 'coconut breeze' version takes the original treatment and gives it is a summery twist with tropical notes of coconut, jasmine and almond which is making me wish for spring and summer days! The scent is so lovely, it's a quick and easy treatment to use and look at that gorgeous packaging.

I used the treatment the day it arrived as I couldn't wait and it didn't disappoint. I dampened my hair, applied the treatment all over (focusing on the ends) and used the included shower cap (probably the least attractive item ever) and waited for around 15 minutes before washing it out. It left my usually dry, tangled and dull hair looking much more manageable, softer and smoother with a gorgeous non-greasy shine. As I'm writing this post (17th February), it's currently on sale on BrandAlley at £25.
*LookFantastic Rose Collection (£60)
The lovely and very generous people at LookFantastic sent me their Rose Collection which included so many wonderful rose scented products. I've been loving most of them but my favourite has to be the Caudalie Vinosource Sorbet which has become my go-to daily moisturiser. It has a lovely scent, it feels very light on the skin and it seems to have an almost whipped or airy texture which I'm loving.

*Bomb Cosmetics Grapefruit and Nectarine Scrub (£7.99)
Another scrub I've been loving is from the amazing people at Bomb Cosmetics. I'm lucky enough to be part of the Bomb Babe Squad with a group of amazing bloggers to review Bomb Cosmetics products. I received a lovely package from them last week which contained some of their older products, such as the scrub and some of their newly released items.

Along with a couple of other items in today's selection, this scrub is suitable for vegans to use which is fantastic. Not only is the packaging adorable but the scrub smells so nice, it's very effective and it leaves my skin smooth, soft and deeply cleansed. It contains essential oils, such as sweet almond oil, so it leaves my skin feeling nourished too!
*Bomb Cosmetics Love Bomb Blaster (£2.99)
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Lush (it's one of my favourite stores and will always be) but some of their bath bombs can be expensive for what they are. However, Bomb Cosmetics bath bombs not only smell incredible and last for a white in the bath but the designs are amazing and the price is fantastic, especially as the bath bombs/blasters are quite large too.

This amazing 'love bomb' design is from their valentines day range which you can still purchase on their site, along with so many amazing, cute and witty designs. Some of my favourite products from their gifts range have to include the cute bath bomb cards - what's better than receiving a bath bomb in a greetings card (apart from money that is). If you follow me on Instagram (@ofbeautyand), then you'll have seen this bath bomb in action on my stories as well as an unboxing of all these goodies in today's post.
*Ramer Sponges Cleansing Shammy (£4.99)
We all know by now how much I love all of the microfibre cleansing cloths I've tried, they are my go-to cleansing option as they remove makeup so quickly, easily and without irritating my skin; then I can go in my cleanser to remove the very last remnants of makeup. I have tried the original cloths and many dupes but I haven't tried one quite like this before.

The others I've tried have been fluffy microfibre towels but this one is more sponge like and it is just as effective. It does feel a little strange a first, probably because I'm so used to the fluffy cleansing cloths but it works just as well and it's far, far cheaper that the original 'makeup eraser' cloth. I can't recommend these cleansing cloth enough and they'd make a great addition to a Mother's Day pamper hamper as well - as would all of the other products in today's post.
*SKN-RG Evolution Alpha Serum (£65, introductory offer)
Last but not least is another wonderful vegan skincare product and it's from a brand I haven't tried until now, SKN-RG. The brand is vegan across its entire range which is amazing and they're cruelty free too. SKN-RG combines skincare, natural ingredients and science along with a little bit of music and magic to create clean beauty products that offer visible results without compromising on quality, vegan ingredients. Their products are free from plastics, parabens, unsustainable palm oil, SLS and silicones which is good news for my sensitive skin.

The serum isn't currently on their website yet but it should be soon and I've been lucky enough to test it for the past couple of weeks. It contains plant extracts, hyaluronic acid and a range of Chinese medicinal herbs. The product itself has such a fresh scent, the texture is incredibly silky smooth and it leaves my skin looking and feeling smoother, softer and hydrated while absorbing quickly into the skin leaving behind a great base for my moisturiser and makeup. I will be posting a winter skincare favourites post at the end of March so I think you'll see this serum again soon!

Have you tried any of these products? What have been your favourite beauty products recently?

*Gifted 

Wedding Guest Dresses ft. Pretty Little Thing

Friday, February 15, 2019
The weather over the past couple of days in Manchester has been pretty glorious and I'm hoping that it signifies the premature start of spring because I'm done with winter and I cannot wait for warmer days, sunshine, flowers in bloom and lighter evenings for photos! Along with Autumn, spring is one of my favourite seasons and it is also a popular wedding season. I personally never want to get married but if in a parallel universe I did, then it would either be a spring or autumn wedding.

Today's post features a selection of three wedding guest dresses and outfit ideas for any wedding you have coming up to attend, especially spring or summer wedding although all three of these dresses would be great with a leather (faux, obviously) jacket for colder days. Thanks so much to the lovely people over at Pretty Little Thing for the gifted dresses.
*Dusty Blue Lace Ruffle Dress (£45, UK 8)
Let's start with what is probably my favourite dress of the three but it is very closely followed by the one shoulder green dress (that I definitely needed to iron but I haven't had the time). If you follow me on instagram (@ofbeautyand) then you'll have seen the unboxing earlier in the week and some sneak peeks of the photographs today.

The dress size I have is a UK 8 which is the perfect size for me! In terms of the give, waist size and sleeve length, this dress couldn't have fit me any better. Although as I'm so tiny, the dress is longer on me than the model photographs online but I actually like the length overall. If you're petite as I am then you'll know how difficult it is to find more formal dresses that aren't an awkward length or that don't trail fully on the floor but this one is a great longer option. I wish more clothing stores, particularly ones that specialise in formal dresses, had a petite section!
Usually I wouldn't got for this duck egg blue shade but as always when I'm lucky enough to be gifted clothing items, I opt for something I wouldn't usually go for. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I love this dress as it features a few things I wouldn't typically like such as the colour, ruffles and the length but I love it. I'm glad that it isn't just solid blue lace, there are black sections which breaks up the pastel blue shade and makes it more wearable (for me anyway).

I think this dress is the perfect for a spring wedding as it has the general wedding outfit categories of featuring lace but it looks more modern compared to most lace dresses I've owned - let's be honest, sometimes lace dresses can look quite austere and old fashioned. I added plain black heels but I think a faux leather jacket or nude heels would be great addition instead.
*Emerald Green One Should Satin Dress (£30)
Another dress that I wouldn't normally choose (although I'm always drawn to items that are this gorgeous deep emerald green shade) and another dress that emphasises how pale I am...I think I could give Voldemort some competition on the ghostly pale front, if I'm honest! Additionally, one shoulder or asymmetric hems are unusual for me too but I think it's quite flattering!

As with the other dresses I chose a UK 8 and this one is a tiny bit tighter and more form fitting (with less give) than the other two so if you are in-between sizes then maybe size up as you can always cinch in the waist with the attached tie to make it a little more flattering and fitted.
I adore the shade of this dress and it's made me want to buy everything in this shade because it's so gorgeous and I don't think I actually own any dresses in this shade. I also love the cut of the dress with it's asymmetric hem which naturally as I'm so tiny is longer on me than it is shown on the site but again I like the length.

I've added my faux leather black jacket with the dress as it is a little big on the chest and I'll need to alter it very slightly. However, I'm very happy with this dress as I think it would make a great all round dress that would be ideal for so many occasions, from spring weddings and birthdays to a graduation party, garden party or even a fancy date night.
*Cape Detail Bodycon Dress (£18)
Last but not least is the more inexpensive dress in todays post and it's also a dress that has reminded me not to take outfit photographs while on my period...that period bloating is insane! Hopefully you can ignore that, even though I can't and focus on this cute little dress. It comes in three shade including mauve, a spring floral print or green so naturally I had to chose the gorgeous green option.

The UK 8 is a good fit, the length is perfect for my petite frame and it is a great dress if you don't love your upper arms. I used to be so self conscious of my upper arms (thankfully I'm less so now I've lost weight) but this dress would have been a miracle a couple of years ago when I could only find sleeveless or cap sleeve dresses...why are cap sleeves a thing, they aren't flattering on anyone, unless you're Kate Moss.
I may already be searching for more dresses in this colour as you're reading this post...I also want a bag in this colour so let me know in the comments below if you've spotted one recently. Overall, I'm so happy with all three of the dresses from Pretty Little Thing (thanks so much) but my favourite has to be the first dress as it's so spring-like to me; however it also ticks all of my very specific boxes when it comes to formal dresses. If you need a formal, wedding guest, prom or party dress then look no further than Pretty Little Thing!

What do you think of these dresses? Have you bought anything from Pretty Little Thing?

*gifted

Blog Tour: Enchantee by Gita Trelease

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
I haven't published a book blog tour post for a while and I think that's because I've made a decision to stop reading books that I'm not 100% sure about so that means I've had to turn down or pass on various book tours because I don't want to use my time to read books that I don't know if I'll love (but will feel obliged to finish). However, when the opportunity arose to take part in the blog tour for Enchantee, I had to take part as the premise sounds amazing!

*Enchantee by Gita Trelease (480 pages) ★★★ (3.75)
In Enchantee we follow Camille as she struggles with her violent brother and sickly sister while trying to scrape a living during the poverty stricken times in which they live, while the aristocrats are throwing lavishly banquets and parties. Before her parents died, her mother taught Camille how to use magic which she is reluctant to use but she increasingly needs to use it in order to pull herself and her family out of poverty. Camille travels to Versailles where she transforms herself using magic into an aristocratic ancestor of hers to gamble and hopefully win enough money for a better future.

There are two elements of this book that I utterly adored and those include the vivid setting and the magic. The magic is easy to understand, enchanting (hence the name) and wonderful to read. I adored the revolutionary France time period and the setting of Paris and Versailles! Despite being almost 500 pages, it was a surprisingly quick YA read with an easy writing style that made me fly through most of this book.

It started off very intriguing and became more so but I felt as though from the half way mark until the last quarter, it was quite repetitive sadly. Additionally, I found the ending to be quite convenient. However I did throughly enjoy the process of reading through Camille's story, all of the magic elements and sweet romance (thankfully the romance wasn't the entire story). If you're looking for a YA novel set during an intriguing and tumultuous time period with magical elements, hot air balloons, gambling, beautiful dresses and switching identities then you'll love Enchantee.

Will you be picking up this book when it's released? What have you been reading recently? 

*Gifted 

*Spring Homeware Wish List + Interior Design Trends

Monday, February 11, 2019
Images from Fishpools
It's starting to feel a little like spring is on it's way and it is making me long for new, fresh and spring-like changes to my home. Spring is one of my favourite seasons as it feels like starting fresh and there's nothing I like more than refreshing our home with new accessories or renovations which we've just undergone with both bathrooms.

Today's post is going to feature some of the 2019 interior design trends that I'm loving as well as a homeware and accessories wish list from FishPools. Fishpools is the South East's largest quality furniture store with such a wide range of home accessories, furniture, flooring, lighting and more, so you're bound to find something you'll love. They currently have a winter sale on but it ends this weekend so go, go go!

Feminine Tones
The first trend that I'm all onboard for is the introduction of feminine and softer tones such as blush pink, botanical greens, neutrals and natural shades - that colour palette is the epitome of spring interiors! You might not want to opt into this trend by fully redecorating a room but you don't need to worry as Fishpools have a gorgeous selection of home accessories such as throws, cushions, curtains and more to add those feminine tones into your home without breaking the bank. I have my eye on some of the super soft throws, blush toned cushions and their rugs of varying degrees of neutral shades including cream, grey, pink, silver and taupe, which start at a very reasonable £39.
Image from Fishpools

Light Wood Floors
Another trend I'm loving is for light wood flooring which we already have in the living room, dining room and kitchen. I've always been drawn to lights shades as it makes any room much brighter, lighter and fresher which is what I'm after, especially at this time of the year. From vinyl flooring and carpets to laminate and wooden flooring, Fishpools offers a great selection. They have numerous lighter toned wooden flooring options as well as light wood effect laminate and a couple of variations of lighter coloured wood effect vinyl too.

If it was possible to build my 'dream' house, it would include these three interior trends for 2019 as well as countless options from Fishpools. I think my dream home would have to be in the style of a french farmhouse (a bit cliche, I know) with a few modern twists such as cute Smeg appliances, soft tones and mostly neutral shades with bursts of feminine colour...not that I've given it much thought. I'd particularly love the Timor X Leg dining range which includes dining tables, chairs, coffee tables, cabinets and more!

90% White, 10% Colour 
The final trend I wanted to mention ties into my previous point and that's the addition of minimal (don't type the phrase 'pops of colour'...) items of colour. I've never been a fan of brighter or jewel toned shades when it comes to homeware and interiors so the 10% of colour for me would have to include pinks, neutral greens, grey and metallic shades. Check out the Fishpools site for a variety of gorgeous natural wooden furniture, wood effect flooring, stunning lighting and a selection of brighter, more colourful homeware accessories.

What do you think of these interior design trends for 2019? Will you be checking out the Fishpools sale?

*Paid partnership with Fishpools
*Images from Fishpools

Valentines Day Gifts: His + Hers

Sunday, February 10, 2019
Todays post is going to be my final valentines day gift guide for the year and it contains a variety of items that would be great for him or her. I don't want to assign a gender to gifts so I want to preface this post with a little disclaimer - I think any of these gifts would be great for men or women. I was very kindly sent a range of items from Gioteck, Red Candy, Very and Sewing Is A wish for today's post.

*Gioteck TX-40 Headphones - White (£24.99)
Let's start with the Gioteck headphones, I was lucky enough to be sent a pair for one of my Christmas gift guides last year and loved them so I'm glad that I have another pair. I do prefer this pair but that's solely based on the colour option as white/red/black is more me than bright pink, if I'm honest! The headphones have some great features which is always a plus especially for the price point. I've never been a huge fan of headphones as they remind me too much of the awful and uncomfortable headphones I had to wear in school but thankfully these are comfortable, easy to use and great for everyday use at my desk.
*Superdry Dot Aop Backpack (£40)
As we all know by now, I love to give and receive practical gifts so this backpack ticks all of my gift giving boxes as it's a great brand, the backpack looks amazing and it is a practical gift that would be suitable for so many people. The backpack features numerous pockets and compartments so it would be ideal for travelling or commuting, it isn't too bright so it pairs well with most casual outfits and it's surprisingly comfortable!
I haven't worn a backpack for so long, probably since secondary school as they were always too big and uncomfortable but even with a decent amount of *mostly unnecessary* stuff inside, it's still comfortable and a good size. I'm very petite at under 5ft and I thought this backpack might be too big but the size is great and thanks to the padded straps, it's comfortable too. I think it would be a great practical gift, from a well known and well loved brand!
*V by Very Sheepskin Slippers (£30)
Valentines or galentines day is the perfect excuse to treat yourself or someone else to a few winter essentials such as a cosy pair of slippers. I was very kindly sent a pair of real suede sheepskin slippers from the lovely people over at Very. The slippers are from the V by Very range and they come in a sleek gift box so half of the wrapping is done for you (which is great if you can't wrap gifts like me!).

The sizing ranges from small to large, rather than shoe sizes and I opted for the small size as I have teeny tiny feet and they fit perfectly! If you're thinking of buying a pair for yourself or someone else, I'd recommend sizing up. They come in a grey shade or this cute and cosy brown and cream pair which I love. I am used to my Primark slippers but these are so much better quality, far softer and they fit really well too. I cannot recommend these cosy slippers enough as a valentines or galentines day gift but you'll have to be quick if you want to receive them in time for the big day. Very has an amazing range of gifts for men or women and for any budget too!
*Iridescent Gin Glasses from Red Candy (£20)
Home and practical gifts are ideal safe gifts and these iridescent, unusual gin glasses from Red Candy. I've been lucky enough to work with Red Candy previously and I cannot recommend their site enough as they have a wonderful range of more unusual and unique homeware and gifts. They have a huge sale on at the moment so, go, go, go!

The balloon glasses have a capacity of 750ml, they have an amazing iridescent finish and golden metallic rim. They'd be ideal for valentines or galentines day cocktails and mocktails or as a gift as it comes beautifully boxed. I think the price is fantastic for such lovely glasses for yourself or as a unique gift for someone special, whether it's valentines or galentines day, birthdays or as a house warming gift.
*Sewing Is A Wish Pouch (£6)
Last but not least is an extra special item as it is a handmade pouch that would be great for makeup storage, adding to your handbag, as a coin purse or for travel tickets. I have the cute star print pouch as I love anything with a star or celestial print but there are so many designs to choose from. It's a great size as it is large enough for makeup and toiletries but small enough to easily fit inside my handbag. I personally love receiving and gifting handmade items as they're much more special and one of a kind compared to mass produced gifts. Also it's always nice to support smaller or independent businesses!

What do you think of these gift ideas? Will you be celebrating valentines or galentines day this year? 

*Gifted

LookFantastic Rose Collection Box

Friday, February 08, 2019
I've been blogging for almost six years but I still get blown away by some of the gorgeous gifted items I'm lucky enough to be sent and this gorgeous set is no different. LookFantastic is a site I've loved for years, well before I started blogging, so I'm thrilled that I am able to review their boxes. They have a beauty subscription box which I review over on All Subscription Boxes but they also release limited edition boxes such as this heart shaped box of goodies for valentines day (or galentines day as we should probably treat our lovely friends too).

*LookFantastic Rose Collection - Limited Edition (£60, worth £153)
I was very kindly sent the new and limited edition rose collection box which is priced at a reasonable £60 but the contents in total are worth over £150 so it's great value for money, as all of the LookFantastic boxes are, in my opinion. The box contains seven items, most of which are full sizes from a range of brands including: Korres, Pixi, Caudalie, Omorovicza, Elemis, Christophe Robin and Aurelia.

The box is themed around rose scented products or products that contain rose as an ingredient which I think is a great idea for the month of February. The box everything comes in is just beautiful as it's a pretty heart shaped pink box, what more could you ask for, for valentines day! It's such a beautiful and unique set so it would make a gorgeous gift this valentines, galentines or palentines day.
Omorovicza Queen Of Hungary Mist (30ml)
Let's start with one of the most beautifully packaged and designed items from the box, although they're all divine, the Omorovicza Queen Of Hungary Mist which is pretty much a cult classic product now. This famous facial mist contains a heavenly blend of rose, sage and orange blossom waters to create a refreshing and hydrating facial mist which is perfect to add some spring freshness and moisturise to your skin during the cold winter months.

I've wanted to try this mist for a while as I aways see it on slightly more higher end beauty blogs. I love the packaging, especially the pink bottle and it looks minimally luxe on my dressing table (aka. my Ikea desk...). This is the first time I've tried this mist but I love it already! I love so many facial mists as they help my skin to feel a little more comfortable and hydrated which are two states my skin is never in!
Pixi Rose Tonic (100ml)
Another product I've heard nothing but amazing things about is the collection of tonics from Pixi Beauty. Their infamous glow tonic is a blogger favourite but I haven't tried any of them so far. The rose tonic is a nutrient rich toner which soothes and hydrates. I think the reason I haven't tried any of them so far is because I have sensitive skin, however the rose tonic claims to be suitable for even the most sensitive skin types so we'll see...

Aurelia Miracle Cleanser (50ml)
Now onto a product that I already know and love, the Aurelia Miracle Cleanser which is not only one of the most beautifully and luxuriously packaged skincare brands ever but their products have been amazing on my sensitive, eczema prone skin in the past. The gentle cleanser contains a concentrated blend of nourishing botanicals including baobab, mongongo oil, hibiscus, chamomile and many others such as rosemary, bergamot and eucalyptus.

The cleanser comes with a one of their mini cleansing cloths which I already have a couple of but it's lovely to have more for travelling. It has such a rich, creamy formula that leaves my skin feeling plump, nourished and moisturised even during the chilly, snowy weather we've been having recently.
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet (40ml)
Another brand that I've loved for years is Caudalie! From their fresh fragrances to their scrubs, shower gels and skincare, I love everything and this moisturiser is no exception. Designed for sensitive and irritated skin (which sadly describes mine perfectly), this gel-cream moisturiser soothes, moisturises and calms the skin with organic grape water and chamomile. If you have sensitive skin as I do then there are a few brands I'd recommending including: Bioderma, Avene, La Roche Posay, Antipodes and of course, Caudalie.
Korres Japanese Rose Shower Gel (250ml)
Lastly, for one of my longtime favourite brands, Korres. I have purchased numerous Korres body products over the years as well as a few pieces of their makeup range but my favourite products by far are their shower gels which seem to be the most long lasting products on the market! My personal favourite is the guava scent as it reminds me of summer holidays in Italy but it's closely followed by the fig and now the Japanese rose scents too.

Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator (50ml)
Lastly for the skincare items is the Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator. I've tried a couple of masks from Elemis but I haven't tried much else; however I always read great things about not only their skincare but the body care ranges too. The exfoliator contains rose, cucumber and jojoba beads to refine, brighten and polish the skin leaving it smooth, soft and radiant. I cannot wait to try this product as I haven't used a physical face scrub for a while and my skin is looking more than a little dry and congested as a result.
Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste (250ml)
Last but not least is a haircare item from Christophe Robin which is to be used as a shampoo-like hair treatment. The treatment is quite unusual in that it transform from a thick paste to a foam which removes impurities and dirt, leaving the hair voluminous, smooth and deeply cleansed. I love the packaging and it sounds amazing but I've tried a product from this brand previously and I wasn't a fan but I'm going to put that aside and give it a fair shot.

Overall, I utterly adore how this box is packaged and presented, it would make a wonderful valentines or galentines day gift! I love all one of the items included with a few of my all time favourite brands in the box which is a bonus. My favourite items have to include the Korres shower gel, Caudalie moisturiser and the Aurelia cleanser.

What do you think of this limited edition box? Would you buy it as a gift or as a treat for yourself (because treat yo self!)? 

#gifted