*Spring Home Renovation Ideas

Sunday, March 31, 2019
Image from Pinterest
It is starting to feel like spring is finally here and I'm so happy about the change in the weather and the lighter evenings! Spring is such a refreshing season and it's one that I always like to organise and change up my wardrobe, makeup and decor in more than any of the other seasons. While I love the cosiness of autumn and winter, it does feel so nice to bring out my spring wardrobe and new spring decor. Here's my dream spring home renovation wish list:

Helix Staircase 
First up is a helix or spiral staircase which is something I've wanted for so long but it isn't currently possible; however, I'm still hoping that in the future it will be something I'll have as I think they look classic and timeless and when they are minimal using lighter or white wood, they can look very modern.

Abbott Wade is an award winning supplier of staircases in the UK, it's a family run business and they have a wide range of staircases to choose from. They supply and fit everything from glass and oak staircases, feature steps and bespoke painted staircases to forged steel, stainless steel and traditional staircases. When scrolling through Pinterest I often come across images of gorgeous staircases with books all around them, in them or built into the walls and I can't think of any staircase/book storage that I want more! Check out Abbott Wade for gorgeous staircase designs, staircase renovations, their services and to make an enquiry.

Unique Book Storage 
Linking into my previous point, I would love more book storage and in particular, unique book storage. I love book shelves that are located under a staircase, along the wall of your staircase or even book storage that makes up the staircase! Check out the images above for the staircase designs of my dreams but also head over to Pinterest for inspiration and I'm sure you'll fall in love with these designs too.

White Walls + Hardwood Floors
Lastly, spring is a time for change, cleaning and a fresh new look, whether it's your wardrobe, makeup and home decor and to me, white walls are perfect for spring. I am a huge fan of minimal decor, lighter and neutral tones in the home and natural features such as wooden floors. The combination of clean white walls and light hardwood floors is the aesthetic I'd love to choose for spring! I also like the idea of white walls and white washed wooden flooring too!

What do you think of my dream renovation and spring redecorating ideas? 

*Sponsored Post

*Dental Treatments with Kiln Lane Dental

*Dental Treatments with Kiln Lane Dental

Friday, March 29, 2019
Image from Kiln Lane Dental 
One of the most vivid and terrifying memories from my childhood has to be the terror of visiting the dentist! From that specific smell of a dental practice, the plethora of tools and the inevitable fillings, it wasn't a pleasant place; however thankfully the old archaic dental practice I used to be forced into is no more and more modern and less terrifying clinics are the norm for most. I don't personally have many dental issues but there are a couple of treatments and issued I'd like to address.

Teeth Whitening 
Teeth whitening at home is something I've tried on and off for years with only a few positive results so I've been considering a professional teeth whitening treatment. Kiln Lane Dental offers a couple of teeth whitening options including 'zoom' whitening and home whitening. Zoom whitening involves multiple treatments performed by a dentist with additional treatments you can do at home. Home whitening involves a kit provided by the dentist for you to use in the comfort of your own home. I'd personally love the 'zoom whitening' option and the results look very impressive.

Invisalign 
Another treatment they offer is Invisalign which thankfully is a treatment I don't personally need but it's a treatment my sister has gone through fully and it seems to be a very effective treatment for realigning the teeth through a very gradual process using clear aligners which are far less visible than traditional braces. From second hand experience watching the progress, it would be a great option to consider if you do need braces.

Dental Hygiene 
Lastly, basic dental hygiene including professionally cleaning your teeth (which is something that I think I could definitely benefit from), it's something I've wanted for a while but it is still difficult to put aside the childhood fear of the dentist and actually book an appointment. They offer a variety of other treatments at Kiln Lane Dental such as veneers, implants, root canal treatment, bridges and crowns, dentures and more, including facial aesthetic treatments too.

Have you experienced any of the above mentioned dental treatments? 

*Sponsored post 

DegustaBox March 2019 - Spring + Easter

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
I adore receiving my DegustaBox each month and no more so the this year as the boxes have so far, included a large number of vegan items which is perfect for me as I made the permanent switch from a vegetarian diet to a vegan diet at the start of 2019. I'm so happy that brand after brand is switching to vegan options! To get your box for only £7.99, use the code: KVAA2.

*DegustaBox March 2019 - Spring & Easter 
The March box is themed around spring and easter which is perfect for this time of the year as the weather is *starting* to become spring-like, even in Manchester. The box contains a few very well known brands such as Costa, Green & Black's and Weetabix but also a few lesser known brands including Forest Feast, Chum and Moose Juice, among others.

There are so many items within this box, I was surprised by just how many items there were (I am a DegustaBox ambassador so I do receive more items). The items range from chocolates, snacks, coffee and snack bars to energy drinks and on the go meal options. I have four favourites from this box and I know I'll be buying some of them in the future.
*Green and Black's Praline and Truffle Bars (89p each)
As the box is spring and easter themed, let's start with a couple of the chocolate items. Chocolate and snacks make up the majority of the box this month and I'm not mad about it at all! There are two Green and Black's bars within the March box which seem to be fairly new products or at least they are new to me. I received two flavours and while they aren't vegan, they do look delicious (I used to love Green and Black's chocolate) and I know that my mum loved both of them!
*Moose Juice Passion Fruit (£1.59)
One of my favourite items has to be the Moose Juice drink in the passion fruit flavour. I haven't heard of this brand before but it seems to be quite popular. It's a zero sugar energy drink that can be purchased from Holland Barrett and selected Sainsburys stores. I love anything that is passion fruit flavoured and while this one is subtle, I did love it - it's the first item I tried from the box and it's something I'll definitely look out for in the future.

*Jubel Alpine Beer Cut with Peach (£1.80)
The second drink from the box is a lager which has been combined with the zest of freshly ripe peaches. It is gluten free and vegan which is good to know. I adore the packaging, I like that it contains a more unusual flavour combination and I can't wait to try it.

*Weetabix On The Go - Strawberry (£1.49)
The final drink is the Weetabix 'on the go' drink in the strawberry flavour. It is a breakfast drink that contains iron, fibre and protein in a very convenient bottle so it would be perfect for commuting, travelling, camping or school - I would have loved something like this in school.
*Red Red Super Stews - Black Eyed Beans (£2.99)
Another vegan item is a lunch snack pot that contains black eyed beans and tomatoes. All of their instant stews are natural, plant based, vegan and inspired by African flavours. I love the packaging of these items and I also love that it is labelled as vegan too - so I know that there's no doubt as to whether it is or isn't. I haven't tried it yet as I'm a little cautious about spicy food but I will give it a go soon.

*Forest Feast Chocolate, Mango and Coconut Fruit Balls (£1.29)
Next up is another healthier snack item and it's from a brand I haven't ever heard of before, Forest Feast. I received two of these packets which are great small sizes to add to your handbag, luggage or your car for easy, on the go snacking.

*Forest Feast Mango (£1.29)
Also from the Forest Feast brand were two packets of their fair-trade dried mango which I finished in one day as I love dried fruit snacks, especially if it's strawberry, pineapple or mango. I loved these packets, they were so delicious and I will definitely be looking out of these in the future for low calorie, easy and heathy snacks.
*Ballymaloe Original Relish - gift 
Unlike all of the other items in the March box, this one doesn't have a price on the leaflet as it's described as a 'gift'. It's a mini pot of the Ballymaloe original relish which is gluten free and suitable for vegans. I don't think a DegustaBox has included a 'gift' for a while so it was a very nice surprise addition!

*Kind Snacks - Dark Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt (£1.35)
I did make a mistake with this delicious snack bar as I thought it was suitable for vegans as on the packet it says that it's 'dairy free' but annoying the bars do contain honey so they aren't suitable for vegans. The bars are so delicious and last year I tried quite a few of them and I cannot recommend them enough as they're yummy, filling and healthy snack bars.
*Chum Fruit Bites (79p)
The final snack item are some of my favourites from the box, along with the dried mango, energy drink and the Kind bar. I received one packet of the strawberry and one of the apple flavours, both of which I liked and would buy as they're healthy, cheap and easy snacks. My favourite of the two is definitely the strawberry option.

*Willie's Cacao Single Estate Chocolate (£1.99)
Lastly for the chocolate items is one of the most delicious sounding chocolate bars and one of the most luxe looking bars from all of the boxes this year. I received two of the Willies Single Estate Chocolate bars in the passion fruit flavour. They are chocolate bars with a juicy passion fruit centre which is quite unique and something I'd love to try if it was vegan. I think they'd make perfect little easter gifts (or a DegustaBox subscription would make a great easter gift).

*Costa Signature Blend Coffee Ground (£3.70)
The final item (I told you there were so many in this months box) is from Costa. I don't think there's been a Costa item within a DegustaBox before so it was a very pleasant surprise when I unboxed the March box - as always I share my blogger mail on my Instagram (@ofbeautyand). I tried this coffee almost instantly as I've been on the hunt for a delicious coffee option to replace my beloved latte sachets which I've had to give up as they contain milk powder. This coffee does need a cafetière which thankfully I do have and while it's a little more time consuming and messy compared to sachets, it's so delicious.

Don't forget to use the code KVAA2 to get your box for only £7.99 (instead of £12.99)!

Have you tried any of these items? What do you think of the March DegustaBox?

*Gifted

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Part Three

Monday, March 25, 2019
The countdown to Mother's Day has begun! Mother's Day in the UK is this Sunday but don't panic as there's still time to get your gifts in time for the big day although you will have to be quick if you want to choose standard delivery as the deadline for some stores is today! Thanks so much to all of the wonderful brands in today's post including: Funky Pigeon, Dust and Things, Love Layla and Max Spielmann.

*Fave Child Bag (£2.95)
First up, an adorable gift bag from Love Layla. Love Layla is a great site for cheeky, rude, sarcastic and unusual gift bags, greeting cards and gifts for so many occasions, especially Mother's Day. They have a few phrases and designs with numerous products in that design. My favourite is definitely the 'fave child' design which comes in a gift bag, greeting card, print and wine bottle label form.

I opted for the cute 'from your favourite child' paper gift bag which is 31cm by 24cm with handles and a simple but cute design. I love the minimal design and while I thought might not be as strong as a 'normal' gift bag, it's surprisingly sturdy and a great size. I've filled mine already with a few easter gifts that I'm giving to my mum this year. There will be an easter gift guide coming soon so stay tuned.
*Fave Child Card (£3.75)
Also from the 'fave child' range is a very cute Mother's Day card which came really nicely packaged (as all of the items did). The card has 'I love how we don't have to say out loud that I'm your favourite child' on the front, along with 'happy Mother's Day mum'. I love the phrase as well as the floral illustrations on the card and the bright purple envelope. I never know what Mother's Day card to choose as usually they're all the same or quite tacky but I love this one!
*Organised AF Notebook (£9.95)
Last but not least from Love Layla is this cute and colourful notebook which unintentionally matches the Mother's Day card I chose! There are so many colourful hardback notebooks to choose from for all occasions such as Mother's Day, birthdays and more. I chose the 'organised AF' design as not only is it a cute, colourful spring notebook but it's perfect for my mum as she's one of the most organised people I know!

I love the simple design as well as the hardback format which makes it look more substantial and sturdy. I also like the ribbon bookmark within the notebook which is one of my favourite features of notebooks and books. I think it would make a great practical gift and you can choose from a range of phrases, from rude or cheeky options to more funny and sarcastic designs. They offer free delivery on all UK orders and there's free first class postage on most items (Monday - Friday).
*Toad Diaries Hardback - Bicycle (£10.96)
Another notebook that I cannot recommend enough is a cute personalised notebook from Toad Diaries. There are so many ways in which you can customise this notebook, from the size, line spacing, cover design and the message on the front/back of the notebook. I chose the hardback notebook with medium spacing and the bicycle design from the nature range. I added the messages of 'Susan's Notebook' and 'Happy Mother's Day' on the notebook.
I love the bicycle design of this notebook, I think it is such a cute and spring-like design that I know my mum will love too. I also think she'll love the personalisation, as who doesn't like personalised gifts, especially when they're this cute. We all know by now that I adore gifting and receiving practical gifts as well so this one notebook ticks all of my gift giving boxes.

As I've said, they have so many options to customise your notebook but they also have a range of diaries too which can also be personalised. I'm so impressed with the quality of mine, the design and the price is great! The only thing I wish I could change would be the front and the colour of the front but it wasn't possible (unless I completely missed it in the design process). The designing and ordering process was very quick and easy. Overall, I cannot recommend Toad Diaries enough if you're looking for cute new stationery for yourself or someone else.
*Ormonde Jayne Discovery Set (£60)
I adore all of the gifts within this gift guide but one of my ultimate favourites has to be this gorgeous fragrance sample set from the luxury brand, Ormonde Jayne. I've been very lucky to receive this beautiful set but I've also tried one of their mini candles - you can see my thoughts in my Christmas gift guide.

The Discovery Set contains 12 fragrance samples which are 2ml each and features fragrances from their various gorgeous fragrance collections. I think fragrance gifts are ideal Mother's Day gifts but they can potentially be a little generic so a discovery set is a great way for your mum, grandma, guardian or auntie, to try a new brand or new fragrances within the brand.
I tried a few of their fragrance samples last year as part of a mini set (again, you can read my thoughts within my beauty christmas gift guide) and my favourite of the four was the Osmanthus scent. There are so many to try from this set so it's difficult to choose just one favourite, therefore I'm going to choose my top three from the twelve.

My favourites include: True Love, Montabaco and Sensual Love, all three of which are very different and some of the most unique fragrances I've tried! Let's start with True Love which is a very creamy floral and powdery scent (can you tell I haven't read anything about these scents before writing this...), Montabaco which is quite a masculine, woody but fresh scent that I adore and lastly, Sensual Love which is sweet, summery and fruity.

Despite all of my wonderful descriptions...I hope you take away my genuine love for these fragrances as they're some of the most sophisticated, unique and almost 'worn in' quality to them, if that makes any kind of sense! They all feel as though they're instantly your all time favourites or classic fragrances with just one use. I also can't stress enough the uniqueness of all of the Ormonde Jayne fragrances I've tried. If you're looking for a very unique and luxe fragrance gift then look no further than this beautifully designed set from Ormonde Jayne.
*Dust and Things Personalised 'Mum You Are Tea-Riffic' Mug (£14.99)
Next up are a few wonderful personalised gift ideas, the first is from one of my favourite gift websites, Dust and Things. I've been lucky enough to work with Dust and Things last year and I love everything I've received - I can't recommend them enough for unique and gorgeously designed gifts. I was very kindly sent this cute, bright pink mug which is a great Mother's Day gift idea that can be filled with tea, coffee, chocolates or snacks!

You can personalise the mug in terms of the colour (I have the pink option which is very bright and great for spring) and with a name added to the mug. For the name I added 'mum' but you can add anything you want. The size of the mug is perfect, the font is so cute and I love the bright pink shade. Additionally, you can choose a free greetings card with your order - you have twelve to choose from! In terms of delivery, they offer free worldwide delivery and if you sign up to their newsletter you can receive a free personalised keyring.
*Best Mum In The Whole World Cushion (£19.99)
I love personalised gifts and I think the more unique the gift, the better! Some of the best gifts I've received have been personalised, unusual or unexpected and I think this gorgeous Mother's Day cushion ticks all of the boxes as it's cute, it can be personalised with a name and photograph and it's more of a unique personalised gift.

I've gifted my mum various personalised gifts but never a cushion and I think she'll adore this one as not only is the floral design so gorgeous but it's personalised with her name and a photograph that she loves which features my mum, grandma and great grandma all together. The floral design reminds me of the stunning Rifle Paper Co floral designs (I want to own their entire collection) and it's simple but beautifully designed. I couldn't be happier with this cute cushion and I know my mum will love it too!

Funky Pigeon offer Royal Mail first class delivery as well as next day guaranteed delivery so there's more than enough time for you to design and buy your mum a stunning Mother's Day gift in time for Mother's Day. Additionally, Funky Pigeon are running an amazing Mother's Day competition on their social media which you have until the 29th March to enter!
*Max Spielmann Gallery Canvas - 24x16" (£50)
Last but not least and one of the largest gifts in today's post! I love gifting homeware especially wall art and canvas as it's so nice to see your gift recipients face when they unwrap it. I was very generously gifted to 24" by 16" gallery canvas which features a wrap around design, 3.8cm deep wood frame and HD printed photograph of your choice. There are so many canvas size options to choose from including a few which can be ordered and printed read for collection in-store hours later which is amazing, especially if you are a last minute gift shopper.
I've been lucky enough to receive a few canvases over the past few years to review from various companies and this one has to be one of my favourites as the quality is fantastic and I'm very impressed with the image quality! For each canvas I've received, I've always been cautious about how the image will turn out but I didn't need to be with this canvas as the image came out so much better than I thought it would. I'm very happy with my canvas, it looks so nice in our living room and I know a cute canvas featuring a holiday or important memory would make a lovely Mother's Day gift.

I cannot recommend all of these companies and gift ideas enough and if you do want to order any of them, make sure you order very soon so that you will receive your order before Mother's Day this Sunday! Also make sure you enter the Funky Pigeon competition before Friday. Check out my video below for a close up of all of the gifts in today's post.

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

*Gifted 

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Part Two

Thursday, March 21, 2019
Today's post is my second Mother's Day gift guide (you can see my first, here) and it contains so many gorgeous pampering products from a range of wonderful brands including Magnitone, Freshly Cosmetics, Dr Lipp and LookFantastic. I love treating my mum on Mother's Day and pampering products are ideal, 'safe' gifts to give and I think all of the items in today's post are great options to choose from.

*Magnitone XOXO (£40, Pink)
The first gift that I want to suggest is the Magnitone XOXO which is a skin cleansing tool which I think would be perfect for mums who are either already skincare lovers or for this who are just getting into a skincare routine as it's so easy to use. It comes nicely packaged, the instructions are so easy to follow and it comes in this cute pink shade or aqua. Before I go into this product too much, I also wanted to recommend another Magnitone product that I've been using and loving for a couple of months, the Magnitone Cleansing Cloths (£15).
It's made of silicone so it's very soft, gentle and non-irritating on the skin, even on my eczema prone sensitive skin so if your mum has sensitive skin then this tool should be fine to use, especially as there are three sections for different skin areas and you can change the speed of the device very easily - you have so much control over this tool so I can't see how anyone could go wrong with it.

Unlike another cleansing tool of a similar nature, it's easy to hold and use, it feels comfortable but it's so effective and deeply cleansing. It would be ideal for travelling as it's USB rechargeable, waterproof (so you can even use it in the bath or shower for fuss free, quick cleansing) and compact so it will easily fit inside your wash bag. I've been using mine on and off for a couple of weeks now and I love it! Also as well as all of the skincare benefits, it's reasonably priced too! It is currently on sale for only £26.80 which is such a bargain so go, go, go!
*LookFantastic Mother's Day Box (£55 - sold out)
Next up is sadly a gift idea that has sold out but it isn't surprising as this box of goodies from LookFantastic was not only a beautifully presented gift but it was also amazing value as it's only £55 but the total value was over £200. I reviewed this box on the All Subscription Boxes website which you can check out for more information about each item in the box. 

My favourite items from the box have to be the Inika Organic Lip Serum which is a very nourishing lip oil in an easy to use lipgloss tube. I have incredibly dry lips and this serum is instantly moisturising, smoothing and the effect lasts for most of the day! Another of my favourite items is the heavenly Rituals Magic Touch Body Creme which has to be the most softening and smoothing body creme I've ever tried! While the Mother's Day box is sadly out of stock, you could still purchase a LookFantastic subscription instead. 
*Freshly Cosmetics Being Radiant Limited Edition Set (£80)
Another gorgeous limited edition gift set is the Freshly Cosmetics Being Radiant set which contains three of their fantastic, most desired products in one beautifully designed limited edition gift set. The set contains the: golden radiance body oil, hyper-concentrate eye contour serum and the blue radiance enzymatic serum. I have to say that the packaging and presentation of this gift set is so unique and gorgeous, I think it would make such a lovely Mother's Day gift. 

This set is amazing and I cannot recommend it enough but I wanted to recommend a couple of individual products as well including the super skin softening Detox Nourishing Shower Gel, their adorable boxed lip balms and the deeply hydrating Pro-Repair Hand and Nail Treatment, all of which I've been using for month and adore. 
Not only is the outer packaging beautifully designed and put together but the products themselves are too! I've tried quite a few Freshly products over the past few months and I'm always impressed by the packaging, quality and the amazing natural ingredients within each item. 

The Hyper-Concentrate Eye Contour Serum contains 99% natural ingredients such as vegan hyaluronic and plant extracts to minimise the appearance of fine lines, improve the skin tone, reduce dark circles, decrease puffiness and hydrate the skin - it sounds like a miracle eye serum. I've only used it a few times so far but it's a lovely product and my favourite of the three. 

If you're looking for a lovely, unique pampering gift for your mum, guardian or grandma this year that is filled with natural and cruelty free products then look no further than Freshly Cosmetics (I cannot recommend them enough) but you'll have to be quick if you want this beautiful set as it is limited edition. 
*Heathcote and Ivory RHS Flower Blooms Hand Cream Collection (£9)
Next up is an essential in not only my handbag but my mum's handbag too, hand cream. I use hand cream everyday as does my mum so it's an easy, safe gift for Mother's Day. I do find that some hand creams can be quite greasy or just stay on the surface of the skin but thankfully these lovely and beautifully packaged hand creams from Heathcote and Ivory aren't like that!

This set is from their new range which is inspired by the botanical illustrations from the RHS Lindley library. I utterly adore the botanical illustrations on the packaging and the products themselves - I know my mum will too as she actually has a horticulture qualification so combining hand creams and botanical elements is a win win. The entire RHS Daisy Garland collection is beautiful and there are so many ideal Mother's Day gift ideas from that collection, along with the RHS Tender Palm range. 
*Dr Lipp Tinted Balm (£6.99)
Last but not least is a product I've loved for months, since I received it in a subscription box last year and it's the Dr Lipp Tinted Balm in the 'elderberry' option. There are three to choose from but I love the elderberry option which is the darkest tint but it's still very natural and beautiful on the lips. It is a great travel or handbag size, it is a fuss free tinted lip balm that keeps my lips moisturised for so long and it helps to even out my lip colour. 

I think it would make a great addition to a Mother's Day beauty hamper or on it's own as a little gift. We all know that I love practical and essential gifts so this one is perfect for me. In my opinion, any of these gifts would make great Mother's Day pampering and beauty gifts either on their own or added to a hamper. 

What do you think of these Mother's Day gifts? Have you tried any of these products? 

*Gifted 

Mother's Day Gifts: Newbridge Silverware

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Mother's Day week is in full swing and today's post is all about luxurious, high quality jewellery that I think most mums would love (I know mine would). All of the items in today's post are from the wonderful people over at Newbridge Silverware who've been designing and crafting beautiful silverware items from jewellery and home accessories to gifts and tableware since 1934.

*Newbridge Silverware Locket (£60)
Before I go into each item I want to talk about the gorgeous presentation and packaging of the items as when it arrived, it looked very luxe and all of the items came either in Newbridge Silverware pouches or boxes which makes gift giving so much easier as I'm awful when it comes to present wrapping! I'm so impressed with the packaging and the details. Their prices range from less than £10 to over £400 so there's an item for everyone.
The locket is composed of glass, rhodium and cubic zirconium, it is 800mm in length and it comes in such a beautiful presentation box. I don't personally own any lockets but I think they look very classic and timeless as well as something a little more unique and special for Mother's Day as you can include a small photograph or tiny keepsake within the locket. Locket necklaces always remind me of the victorian era as they would wear keepsakes and sentimental items within beautiful pieces of jewellery. 
The locket is very beautiful and it is also very substantial so if the person you're buying for loves larger, more statement or unique necklaces then this one might be a great option to consider. I love the large stone in the centre surrounded by tiny stones, it makes it look more ornate and intricate, in my opinion.

It is much larger and the chain is longer than I would typically wear, however, I love the almost vintage style along with the simple but beautiful design. While it isn't typically my mum's style, I think she would absolutely love it as it's always nice to receive a beautiful piece of jewellery, especially one which you might not have picked out otherwise.
*Rose Gold Plated Long Pendant (£30.73)
The second and final necklace from Newbridge Silverware is this gorgeous and very unique necklace which is rose gold plated and features an anti-tarnish layer to keep it look beautiful for as long as possible. It also features a unique and almost 60's style design in pink enamel which would be a great colourful addition to a spring and summer wardrobe.

As with the previous necklace, it's fairly weighty, the chain is 760mm in length and it has a slider mechanism for easy adjustment. Even though longer necklaces aren't a go-to for me, I think it suits the style of these two perfectly as they fall nicely, they look classic and in the case of this rose gold pendant, it is colour and vibrant for spring. Also, I utterly adore rose gold so this one was naturally going to be a hit for me!
*Rose Gold Plated Half Enamel Bangle (£24.58)
Last but definitely not least is the most affordable and also the most contemporary of the three lovely pieces I was very kindly sent. I like all three items but I think that the first gorgeous pendant and this unique bangle are my favourites!

The bangle is composed of pink enamel, as with the previous pendant and it features an anti-tarnish layer as well which is a nice detail and something I wouldn't have really thought of before as I just assumed that most jewellery items have this but maybe not so if you're looking for an affordable piece of jewellery that will have longevity then check out Newbridge Silverware.

I love the combination of the rose gold and the pink enamel as it looks so unique and modern - who doesn't love pink and rose gold together. It's a little big on me but I do have teeny tiny wrists; however I think my mum would absolutely love it and for most people I think it would be a better fit. Both the previous pendant and this pretty bangle come in Newbridge Silverware pouches so whatever item you choose, it's going to be well packaged and presented to make a lovely gift this Mother's Day.

What do you think of these Mother's Day gift ideas? Will you be checking out Newbridge Silverware?

*Gifted

Mother's Day Gifts: Haute Florist

Monday, March 18, 2019
This week my blog has unintentionally become Mother's Day week! I didn't plan it this way but I'm glad the timing has worked out because I have so many wonderful Mother's Day gift ideas for you all week. I've already published a couple of Mother's Day posts including my first Mother's Day gift guide and my personalised gift ideas post with Vanilla Reindeer.

*Antique Elegance Bouquet - Haute Florist (£45)
Today's post is all about one of the most beautiful bouquets I've ever received! The bouquet is from Haute Florist who make so many incredible floral bouquets and gifts, including unique botanical hatbox gifts which are well worth checking out for yourself, your mum or your grandma. Flowers and bouquets of any kind are going to be beautiful and will make wonderful, 'safe' and lovely gifts but I haven't come across bouquets with quite this style before that really sets Haute Florist apart from other companies, in my opinion.
I was very kindly sent the gorgeous and very me 'antique elegance' bouquet which features: pink Bouvardia, Antique Carnations, Memory Lane Roses, Avalanche Roses and Calla Lilies as well as white Veronica and Eucalyptus. I've been lucky enough to receive a few bouquets from various companies to review on my blog but I haven't ever received one with this combination before and it's so stunning!

I haven't heard of memory lane roses before but they suit the antique theme of this bouquet perfectly as they look quite dusky and vintage in their colouring. I think the memory lane roses and the pink calla lilies are my favourites out of the bouquet as I love the muted, almost vintage rose alongside the brighter, more vibrant lilies.
If you've been following my blog for a while or you follow me on social media (@ofbeautyand) then you'll know that this colour scheme is very me and I'm so happy with this bouquet. Not only does it look incredibly beautiful and very spring-like but it's so much more unique than other bouquets I've received in the past, it came packaged very nicely and it looks like a luxe, indulgent gift that I know my mum, aunties and friends would all love to receive.

Overall, if you're looking for a unique and beautiful bouquet for Mother's Day (or for yourself...), then look no further than the luxurious collection of bouquets and gifts on Haute Florist. Also if you sign up to their newsletter then you'll get 10% off your first order. I am so happy with my bouquet, I cannot recommend them enough!

What do you think of this gorgeous bouquet? 

*Gifted

Personalised Mother's Day Gifts ft. Vanilla Reindeer

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Mother's Day is almost here but there's still time to buy a lovely gift for your mum, grandma or guardian, whoever you want to buy for this year. I always love Mother's Day as it means that I get to treat my mum which is admittedly very easy as she likes pampering products, gardening gifts and personalised items.

Personalised gifts are some of the most coveted and special gifts you can give, especially for a special holiday such as Mother's Day. I've given my mum so many personalised gifts over the past few years, all of which she's liked, even more so than other gifts. There are so many personalised gifts to choose from but a site I've found recently has a gorgeous range of unique, special and personalised gift options to choose from, as well as personalised gift bags, boxes and cards so you can get everything in one convenient place is Vanilla Reindeer.
*Vanilla Reindeer Chocolates x 9 (£11.99)
One of their cutest and ideal gifts for Mother's Day are these chocolates boxes which can not only be personalised in terms of the design you choose but also the name, message and photograph on the box too. There are various box sizes to pick from including 9, 16 and 25 which relates to the number of chocolate truffles within each box.

I was very kindly sent two of the chocolate boxes with nine chocolates in each and they're the perfect size as my mum does love chocolate and sweet treats but like me, she won't eat lots of them. Nine chocolates is a great number for us and it can easily be added to a hamper, gift box, small gift bag or to send in the post.
There's a single layer of nine chocolates within the box that are wrapped in plastic and the inside of the lid contains all of the nutritional information (that may seem like a little thing but as someone with dietary restrictions, it's very important). The chocolates included contain the following flavours: smooth milk, white lemon truffle and intense dark truffle, all of which sound delicious. I love that they've included a range of flavours as I would have expected to just receive one generic flavour.

The whole presentation, attention to detail and quality is just fantastic and it's well worth the price, in my opinion. I have two designs from their Mother's Day range including the 'worlds best mum' and the 'flowers on the table' design. I love both, I think they're so pretty but also quite unique - in my experience, most Mother's Day gifts and designs are very generic. However I think the 'worlds best mum' is my favourite of the two although they are both very cute.
You can see the 'flowers on the table design' above and I know that my mum will love both! In terms of the website and the process of creating both the chocolate boxes and the gift bag, it was incredibly quick, easy and simple to do. The website is so easy to navigate, I love the amount of choice and how simple the process was from start to finish. I also like the preview of the design before you order which is a 3D rotating image of your design so you can see it from all angles and check it is as you want it to be.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with the design, quality and appearance of both of the chocolate boxes and I think they would make absolutely fantastic gift ideas for Mother's Day. If you don't fancy either of the designs I've chosen then head over to their website to see all of the others; some of which can't be personalised with a photo but most can be. Also they have a great range of gifts and gift bags for other occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, Father's Day and many more.
*Small Landscape Gift Bag (£6.99)
Last but definitely not least, I was also sent one of their small gift bags and I opted for the landscape style. There are various sizes to choose from including bottle bags, medium sizes bags and bottle boxes, all of which can be personalised. I chose the 'best looking babies' design from the Mother's Day range as it instantly caught my eye because of the cute spring colours, gorgeous font and beautiful floral illustrations on the front, back and inside of the bag.

Even though it's the small size, it's still bigger than I thought it would be and easily big enough to contain the boxes of chocolates and other gifts. Part of my mums Mother's Day gift this year is a night away in Edinburgh (we went on a little mother/daughter trip to London last month and it was so nice!) so I'm only gifting a couple of material gifts this year. I already have a couple of pampering products to add to the bag and they'll fit easily without breaking the bag as it's very sturdy.

Overall, this is my first experience of Vanilla Reindeer and I cannot recommend them enough! The designs are so cute, the website and creating process is very easy, they have so much choice and I'm very happy with the end products (and I know my mum will be too). I've already looked through their easter gifts and I'll probably order some for my friends and family this year. You can currently use the code: MUM30 to get 30% off all products until 31st March so there's more than enough time to order and get your discount.

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

*Gifted

*Brain Food For All Ages

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Image from Yummy Beet
If you've been following my blog or social media for the past year or two then you'll have seen some of my food posts and I often share what I'm eating on my Instagram stories (@ofbeautyand). You may know that I've been vegetarian since I was a child - my grandad has had a vegetarian diet for most of his life which helped me as no-one else is vegetarian in my family so it's nice that we can both share that together.

Today's post is all about the specific food items that are known 'brain foods'. Foods that are generally described as 'brain foods' are essential for everyone but especially the elderly to stay healthy and to try to keep memory and cognition as fully functioning and as sharp as they can be, for as long as they can be. Diseases which affect memory and brain function are more common with age so it's very important to opt for more 'brain foods' for not only yourself but your elderly relatives too.

Avocado 
I'm a millennial so naturally I love avocado but I know that it isn't for everyone; however it is a very nutritious fruit filled with heart-healthy fats, potassium (they contain more potassium than bananas) and fibre. Studies have also shown that regular consumption of avocados can lower cholesterol levels and another study has demonstrated that using avocados or avocado oil can help the absorption of antioxidants. Avocados won't really be suitable for all ages, they are a bit of an acquired taste but I love them and I think that they can be used in so many ways so that all ages can enjoy them such as an avocado cake mousse, guacamole dip or on toast.

Pumpkin Seeds, Sage & Nuts
Sage, a delicious herb when fried to be crispy, has been known for a while to help with memory and concentration as well as depression and Alzheimer's disease. Along with sage, pumpkin seeds are an easy addition to your diet in the form of snack bars, granola, salad toppers or on their own as a snack. Pumpkin seeds contain so many nutrients including magnesium and zinc which are known to improve sleep quality (sleep is essential for the brain health). Lastly, there are so many nuts and seeds that are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein, all of which are needed for a healthy diet. Although as with everything on this list, you'll only experience any benefits with regular consumption over time and if you have any concerns or questions then you should definitely consult your GP.

Wholegrains 
As we all know, specific vitamins have specific benefits and the varieties of vitamin B are know to help with brain health. Numerous foods are high in vitamin B such as beans, lentils, dark leafy vegetables and wholegrains such as brown rice and barley. More research is needed in terms of the effects of all B vitamins but so far they are shown to help increase stress tolerance, improve memory and may even help with diseases such as Alzheimer's and schizophrenia, the former is something that affects so many elderly individuals and it's a disease that has affected a couple of elderly people who are close to me. Alzheimer's disease is incredibly devastating, it's awful to see and if there's anything that can help or even prevent it then it's worth a try - including something as easy to change as your diet.

Blueberries & Blackcurrants 
The recommended minimum daily number of fruits and vegetables you should eat is five so we all know that they're full of essential goodies. All fruit options are great healthy choices to make but blueberries in particular are thought to help combat cellular ageing by reducing inflammation. Fruits high in vitamin C are ideal options as brain food as research suggests that individuals who are deficient in vitamin C could be at risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. Fruit is such an easy, no fuss addition to any diet as a healthy snack or breakfast option for all ages.

Broccoli
Lastly for this list is my favourite veggie, broccoli! I love broccoli as it's so easy to add into any meal, from soup, salads, pasta dishes, on it's own with a dip, to bulk out a wrap or in a stir-fry. As well as being a very versatile ingredient, broccoli contains glucosinolates that slow the breakdown a specific neurotransmitter which is needed to keep the central nervous system working properly - low levels of the neurotransmitter have been related to Alzheimer's disease. When my grandad visits our house for various occasions such as Christmas and birthdays, I alway cook for both of us and I tend to make more traditional meals such as shepards pie but I always add in extra nutritious ingredients such as spinach, lentils and broccoli as I know that my grandad wouldn't add in those healthy extras. Also I always make more than I would typically so he has healthy meals for the rest of the week.

I have to add a little note here that I'm not a doctor or nutritionist although I've taken information from reputable studies and sites (during my time at university, I loved searching for peer reviewed studies and research...). Also while certain vitamins are great for specific conditions or issues, I think it's best have try and consume your daily amount of all of them as they seem to work best together, for example, some vitamins help the absorption of others.

Do you eat any of these foods often? Would you suggest any of these 'brain foods' to your elderly relatives? 

*Sponsored post

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Part One

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Today's post is finally my first Mother's Day gift guide for the year! I have been lucky enough to be gifted a range of gorgeous gift ideas from the following brands: Clockface Beauty, Aromaworks, David Hampton, Prestige Flowers, Primal Cure and Tiny Box - thanks so much to all of the brands involved!

*David Hampton Britannia Leather Zip Around Purse (£65)
Let's start with the most luxe item in today's gift guide, the gorgeous 'Britannia' purse from David Hampton which is a luxury leather goods brand that have a wide range of purses, wallets, bags and leather accessories to choose from so you're bound to find a cute Mother's Day gift. The Britannia purse has six card slots, two currency compartments, an ID window, coin section and outside receipt pocket.
The purse comes in a gorgeous gift box marked with David Hampton on the front so aesthetically it makes for a very luxe and generous gift. As for the purse itself, it comes in three colours including plum and thistle as well as red (which is more of a pink tone). I opted for the red variation which thankfully looks more pink toned than opaquely red which I love and despite the current political situation, I do actually love the union flag design.

I think it would make a lovely and luxe gift for Mother's Day this year as it's beautifully presented, it looks gorgeous, it is very well made and it is a practical gift (we all know how much I love to give practical gifts that are also very pretty - this one ticks all of the boxes for me). Mother's Day is a great excuse to treat your mum, guardian or grandma so why not opt for a luxurious and practical gift idea this year? Check out the David Hampton website for more gift ideas!
*ClockFace Beauty Face Mask - Green Clay and Rosewood (£24)
Sticking with the luxurious gift theme is a vegan and all natural skincare brand that's new to me, ClockFace Beauty. They have a fantastic range of skincare for men and women that are all gentle, natural and suitable for vegans to use. I was very kindly sent the green clay and rosewood face mask which came in a cute little gift box!

It contains a selection of natural ingredients including green clay, coconut oil, white clay, vitamin E and essential oils. This particular mask is designed to remove dead skin cells, fight signs of ageing, unblock pores and clarify the skin as well as acting as a natural antiseptic to reduce inflammation and irritation. I've used it a couple of times already and it's a lovely traditional mask, perfect for pamper days.
*Aromawork Aromabomb - Serenity (£10)
My final luxe pampering gift idea is from a brand I've tried previously and loved, Aromaworks. I was sent one of their boxed single bath bombs, in the 'serenity' scent. There are four single bath bombs to choose from as well as a few gift sets but any one of them would make a great pampering gift idea for tired mums, guardians or grandmas.

The 'serenity' scent combines sea salt and calamine with essential oils to create a spa-like scent in your own bathroom with notes of lemongrass, neroli and geranium. I think a bath bomb is a great pamper gift as it's more of a treat product and it is an item my mum wouldn't ever buy for herself - those are some of the best types of gifts to receive, something you've wanted for a while but don't want to buy for yourself.
*Prestige Flowers - Lomond (£34.99 - sale)
Flowers are a safe gift for so many people - I personally love receiving flowers and not just because they look great in blog photos...This gorgeous bouquet from Prestige Flowers contains sorbet roses, germini flowers, shamrock blooms and decorative foliage. The combination of the beautiful array of various hues of pink flowers mixed with the bright green foliage makes it the perfect fresh spring bouquet.

Prestige Flowers have so many options when it comes to their bouquets, not just in terms of the floral combinations but also the size of the bouquet (standard, medium and large), message card and the little extras you can add to your gift such as chocolates (if you choose this bouquet, it comes with free chocolates), a vase, balloons, alcohol or an adorable teddy bear.
I've had my bouquet for about ten days and it's only just starting to show signs of being not quite it's best which is fantastic. I always use the flower feed within the package and after the first few days, I switch the water everyday to make sure it's fresh. I'm so impressed with this beautiful bouquet as it arrived safety, well protected and beautifully packaged; additionally the flowers themselves lasted longer than I thought they would and it's such a pretty arrangement. I think anyone would be happy to receive this bouquet from Prestige Flowers as a gift, especially for Mother's Day.
 *Tiny Box Magnetic Gift Box (£2.67)
Last Christmas instead of using gift bags, I made my own large cardboard gift boxes and decorated them with wooden tags, wooden stars and metallic ink (you might have seen the result if you follow me on Instagram - @ofbeautyand). I loved the result and I am always trying to package gifts in a more unique and environmentally friendly or re-usable way.

When looking for very large cardboard boxes that would be easy to decorate, I had trouble finding ones that were the size I wanted and that didn't cost the earth and I wish I'd known about Tiny Box last November as it would have saved so much time searching. Tiny Box stock a huge range of gift boxes and bags so you're bound to find something for whatever gift you have.

As you know, I love creating hampers for friends and family so the magnetic gift box I was kindly sent from Tiny Box is perfect. I'm going to be using mine as a Mother's Day pamper hamper box filled with beauty products for my mum this year. The size and structure of the box is ideal as a hamper as it's study, well made and it has a magnetic closure. If you need a gift box or bag for Mother's Day then I cannot recommend Tiny Box enough.
 *Primal Cure Cosmetics, Skincare and Supplements 
Speaking of hamper products, a brand I came across last month, Primal Cure, have a great range of health care and wellbeing related items that could be made into a wellness Mother's Day hamper. They stock a wide range of supplements for a variety of issues or for general use as well as herbal tea, essential oils, skincare and bodycare products.

I was sent a range of their products including their skincare and supplements, all of which fit inside my gift box so there's room for even more pamper products! I love giving gifts, especially hampers as they seem like much more personal and special gifts compared to a generic gift set. I think a wellbeing hamper, with Primal Cure products, would make a great and thoughtful gift this Mother's Day.
*Primal Cure Lavender Essential Oil (£6.99, 20ml)
My favourite product from Primal Cure, alongside the very nourishing cocoa butter daily moisturiser, is their lavender essential oil. They have a couple of great essential oils sets to choose from too. I love lavender, it's my favourite scent and it happens to be one that's ideal for relaxation so it would be great to add to a Mother's Day hamper.

You can use essential oils within diffusers, to make your own beauty products or on their own, the latter is the way I tend to use them. For the lavender oil, I like the dispense a few drops into my bath or onto my pillowcase so I can smell it as I sleep - that's the easiest way to use this oil but there are so many variations. Whatever you're adding to a Mother's Day pamper hamper, make sure to check out Primal Cure of wellbeing gift ideas.

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

*Gifted