Thursday 17 December 2015

Christmas gift guide // the blogger

What do you get a blogger / vlogger / Youtuber for Christmas? If you were to say something rose gold / copper / marble you'd be half way there! Think beautiful details. The most photogenic of items that could easily make its way onto an Instagram account near you. Get ready for the ultimate blogger gift guide...

Olympus Pen Camera // Jo Malone //  Charlotte Olympia kitty flats // Charlotte Tilsbury lipstick // Marble phone case & charger // Headphones
Carvela boots //  Gin & tonic Library of Fragrance //  Clarins mask //  Guerlain kohl //  Hat // Diptyque candle // Lush bath bomb // Brown boots
Great photographs book // Yankee Candle // Wall art // Great photographs of people book // Charlotte Tilsbury cheekbones kit // Red shoes
Trending sweater //  Clinique skin kit // Breton stripe tee // Gold candle // Liz Earle skincare // Clarins Eau Ressourcante

Lots of these beauty and bath products being firm blogger favourites. With some marble and rose gold thrown in for good measure, and motivational prints for home / office. If you like this wall art, you may like my stationery gift guide. The two books on photography are must-haves for perfect blog photography  - the backbone of a truly good blog. And nothing says fashion blogger like a good pair of shoes / boots, a over-sized trilby hat and the ultimate blogger staple... a striped tee. If buying for a food blogger, you may like my foodie gift guide. I read so many rave reviews about the Olympus Pen this year as a good blogging / vlogging camera  - think this will definitely be my next 'small' camera!

Monday 14 December 2015

Christmas gift guide // the foodie

Do you know someone who salivates at the sight of food? Who studies food blogs and cookery shows for new cookery inspiration, and can't eat a morsel without taking pictures of their food first? This gift guide might be right up their street!

Spiralizer //  Mug Cakes book // Copper cocoa shaker //  Polka dot mug //  Spice rack  // Icing duster / shaker
Metallic spoon set // Marble trivet // KitchenAid // Laura Ashley measuring cups // Laura Ashley cupcake tray
Kitchen canisters //  Gold bowl // Copper frying pan // Dips paddle board // Apron //  Copper measuring spoons

Like my stationary gift guide, this has been a really difficult gift guide to write in that I'm wanting most things from both lists! I love marble, copper and rose gold - lovely neutral shades that will go in anyone's kitchen, never mind your colour scheme. I also can't resist a pretty print like the Laura Ashley blue florals. And how unusual and beautiful is that spice rack? Very drink me with the little bottles - which is probably why I like it so much!

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Christmas gift guide // Stationery lover

You can't beat the feeling of starting a brand new notebook. I know it sounds cliché, but I feel so much more inspired to write when I have a pretty notebook to do it in. The ideas flow a lot easier. And if I have a notebook I want to keep coming back to, I feel a lot more motivated to keep writing. This Christmas gift guide is dedicated to the stationery enthusiasts. For those where a standard biro won't do. The stationery enthusiast has pencils with witty remarks printed on them in gold lettering, the most tasteful thank you cards, and a kick ass desk space of copper pencil pots and motivational prints.

Kate Spade polka dot notebook //  Kate Spade witty pencils // Kate Spade witty stamp //  Liberty Merci paper weight //  Orange Jasmine scented pencils //  Paperchase striped thank you cards //  Pug calendar //  Rose Gold diary //  
Kate Spade gold pens //  Liberty colouring book //  Topshop star notebook // I am very busy filing set // 
Gold pot //  The Hipster colouring book // Talk is Chic notebook //  Escape the Ordinary notebook

And nope, this feature isn't sponsored by Kate Spade! They just do awesome stationery!

Monday 7 December 2015

Yankee Candle Reindeer Carousel advent calendar - first impressions

After my musings on advent calendars the other day, I decided that the Yankee Candle Reindeer Carousel was the one for me this year. I love its drum like shape, and the giant red bow on top. It's the ultimate Christmas box.

I have to say... it's not the most post friendly box. Mine arrived quite battered, with some of the doors open already. And reviews on the Yankee Candle website imply I'm not the only one - lots of people haven't been overly impressed with the state their calendar arrived in. But I'm putting this down to its awkward shape. Saying that, the damage on mine is minimal and you can hardly notice it.

Day one presented a red candle, which was sugary sweet, and I believed to be Candy Cane Lane. I preferred 2nd and 3rd December which offered Bundle Up (a foresty scent) and Winter Glow (more difficult to describe).

One of the nicest surprises about the Reindeer Carousel has been the votive candle I found behind door number 6. With past Yankee Candle advent calendars I've had, there have only been tea lights behind each door, which although burn plenty long enough, don't burn nearly as long as a votive would.

In summary, I'm loving this advent calendar and would recommend to anyone. However if buying for someone else as a gift, I would recommend one of their traditional - more sensibly shaped - advent calendars which should (hopefully) arrive intact and in better condition!

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Bathing in milk - just like Cleopatra

I don't know about you, but I still can't quite get my head around the fact that a couple of millennia ago, a certain female Egyptian used to bathe in donkey's milk. And reportedly no less than 700 donkeys were needed to provide enough milk for her daily bath(!) All this to maintain the beauty and youth of her skin. And for good reason - it has since been proven that the proteins found in milk hydrate the skin and help retain the moisture in your skin. Some experts say that milk can help certain skin conditions - that the moisturising fats and proteins in milk can help soothe redness from sunburn and can help relieve symptoms of eczema and similar skin conditions.

I don't think that many of us nowadays could envisage bathing in milk. However thanks to The Scottish Fine Soaps Company, I was able to experience the bathing in milk novelty. Scottish Fine Soaps have their own Au Lait collection where their (real!) milk powder comes in the most Instagrammable milk urn:

Au Lait milk bath powder* - £13.95

Really generously sized, this will continue to take pride of place in my bathroom even after I finish it all up. I sprinkled a generous amount of the powder into my bath and it bubbled up really easily and made my bath all nice and creamy. Their milk powder mix also contains chamomile which added to the relaxing bath experience.

Words cannot explain how wonderful this made my bathroom smell. Not just on the day of the bath - it even hung around in the air the following day. I would describe the scent as light and fresh - just like clean cotton. And speaking of soft things, it left my skin feeling incredibly smooth afterwards. I also used their Au Lait body wash which smelt exactly the same and left my skin feeling equally soft. So a big thumbs up from me! Would buy again.

Later that week I also tried a few more of Scottish Fine Soaps' other products.

Luxury body wash collection* - £14.95

Pink Grapefuit & Argan Oil body essentials* - £9.95

Kelp body wash
I first discovered The Scottish Fine Soaps Company through a beautiful Kelp hand soap and lotion in the bathroom of Carluccios's in London's Covent Garden. It's hard to put into words the scent... It reminds me of walks along the coast. That lovely fresh salty air. I absolutely love it. It's one of the best smelling shower products I've had in a long time.

Pink Grapefruit & Argan oil body wash & body butter
Grapefruit is actually one of the few fruits that I do not eat. I always believed it to be like watermelon - to be mainly composed of water and not have much of a smell to it - so was intrigued how this body wash would be scented. However I was proven wrong. This body wash smells sweet but in a really light and subtle way. Ideal for me as I hate really overbearing sickly sweet perfumes. The balance on this one has been done really well.

Larch and lavender body wash
I'll be honest, I had no idea what larch was. When I tried the body wash, I tried to detect what I could smell other than lavender. And I loved it. It smelt of pines and walks in the forest. When I looked up "larch" online, I found out it was pretty much that - deciduous trees. Such a beautiful scent which I imagine would be equally perfect as a candle.

Source: The Scottish Fine Soaps Company

As you can see from the above photos, all the gift sets are beautifully wrapped in the black and white monotone aesthetic that I love so much. With the added benefit of free delivery on all orders over £20, it's a really easy website to source some lovely Christmas presents from - I know so many people who would love the milk urn! And Christmas wouldn't be complete without their Lavender & Larch candle and Lavender & Larch reed diffuser - the ultimate festive scent, which would really make the house smell like Christmas trees!

In summary, I still really love the smell of their Kelp range, however their Au Lait collection is one my new favourites! I'll definitely be stocking up on more of both when I move into my new house in the new year!

* although The Scottish Fine Soaps Company very kindly provided me with all the above products in exchange for a review, as ever, all words and opinions are my own!