2 Sep 2014

Aromatherapy Associates // Relax Candle


It's candle season all year round in my household which has caused me to become a bit of a candle snob. Scent is super important, I can't tolerate overly synthetic scents or ones that dissipate once lit, I really hate when a candle burns with black smoke, the wick mushrooms, the wick burns off centre or the scent is so over powering that it causes migraines. See... I'm a candle snob and not ashamed by it, I figured that my snobbish tendencies would ensure you get the best review and opinion.  

I was recently given the option of trying out one of Aromatherapy Associates candles, I'm a huge fan of the brand already having reviewed a few of their products previously - the brand have an awesome philosophy and feel passionate about providing their customers with products that will therapeutically soothe the mind, body and soul with essential oils and botanicals. As a trained herbalist this is a huge tick in my opinion - Geraldine and Sue created the brand in 1985 although trained for many years in aromatherapy. I love that they have really established their craft because aromatherapy used correctly can ail so many issues and really heal a huge list of health issues. Aromatherapy used incorrectly however, can do far more damage. Don't worry though because Aromatherapy Associates do it exceptionally well and also work to ensure their products are free from harsh chemicals and synthetic nasties.  

Each candle has the typical branding of gold lettering and their logo of three golden flowers, I adore the packaging design on the box though and although I have been burning this candle daily I have reused the box for my cotton balls but you could put your makeup brushes, loose change, hair grips in them or fill them with Lego's or knick knacks to keep in the car to keep the kiddies quite on long journeys. 


Each candle is hand-poured into a frosted white glass jar with the golden logo printed all over, the candle is really very pretty and fits in with the current trend of neutrals and mixed metal shades such as rose gold, copper and brass. I love that the design is so simple because it fits in with all room decor easily without looking like an eyesore. 


It's advisable to always trim your wick before burning a candle but I didn't because I really didn't feel it was necessary, while burning the wax pools really evenly and nicely which ensures that the scent carries throughout all rooms in the house. I found even when the candle wasn't lit my house still smelled really gorgeous. There's been no mushrooming of the wick which is fantastic because a few other large brands (won't name, names) all mushroom, this is when the tip of the wick has a black sooty ball on the end like the head of a mushroom, it tends to cause lots of smoke and can ruin your candles as the balls fall into the wax becoming a fire hazard. 

The fragrance notes in this candle include West Indian bay and myrrh and it's aim is to quite clearly relax and soothe for at least 40 hours or as long as you decide to burn this for. While it burns you also don't need to worry about nasty chemicals enveloping your home especially if you have young children - a major selling point is that this is a 100% GMO free candle! 

I had imagined the scent would have been quite Christmas like, unisex and more nature but it's actually quite feminine, like a typical feminine perfume with a wooded, deep masculine base that shows right at the end of a good burn - it's very pretty and even those who dislike overly feminine scents (such as myself) will really love this. 


There are other candles within the same range, if you're not a huge fan of the notes in the Relax candle there's another three to suit those who adore citrus scents, those who prefer a warming unisex scnet and those who adore more of a sensual and sexy scent. 


Other candles available are: 

Revive (left) // Infuse your sense with this citrus blend made from grapefruit and petigrain. Citrus scents lift you mentally and emotionally as well as setting you up for a good day. 

Indulgence (centre) // Euphoric jasmine and geranium boosts harmony and sensuality as well as boosting your confidence. 

Inner Strength (not pictured) // This candle comes in a beautiful pink box and contains frankincense and cardamom - this candle is next on my list because I adore both notes immensely. 

Relax // This is the one that I own. 

You can pick these up from Space NK and Cult Beauty for around £35. If you have a candle lover or two among your friends I would absolutely recommend picking these up as gifts to put away for December. 

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1 Sep 2014

August // Ten Wish - Want - Need's


This is a new feature on the blog and I hope you love it as much as I thoroughly enjoyed compiling this. Basically every single month my wishlist grows, some of the items on my wishlist are absolutely practical and necessary to my situation, some are just pure indulgences and some are quirky items that I love but haven't purchased because I would look like a crazy lady. This feature allows me to express my loves for the month, those loves being the items I simply cannot shake my adoration for and items that will probably remain on the list until I buy them or something better comes along. 


I find that these types of posts also give you an insight into the crazy mind that I have going on (in a good way) and I hope they can inspire you to embrace the quirkiness rather than hiding it because of what's considered acceptable and what's not. I do feel that shopping and the items we buy can be inspired by what's considered acceptable, take for example my black doll head cup - beauty and fashion bloggers, that are considered sweet normally would be frowned upon for wanting something so 'dark and gothic' but the reality is in person i'm more quirky than I will ever be sweet and this dolls head cup is just too perfect, it's the design and the lines that are awesome - how much of a talking point would it be if you pulled it out while having tea and cake with the girls huh? 

First off my household, home and decor wishlist is far surpassing my beauty and clothing wishlist *sigh* expect lots more home inspired features, in this wish-want-need list there are six household items that made the cut, here they are... 



Snow Queen Bowl by Marinski Handmades // Honestly I adore everything Marinski Handmades makes but this bowl was one of a few standouts, I love the practicality and the illustrations - it's so unique. 

Phases of The Moon Print by James Brown // Some people are crazy over rainbows, others puppies; me on the other hand I adore moons!! anything moon, lunar or celestial grabs me and I seriously feel that I need to buy it. I've had this print by James Brown on my wishlist for a while, he also creates other totally awesome illustrations. 

Corner Box Shelf by The 807 // Shelving has got more modern and art like that I've definitely taken an interest, I love that this isn't too invasive especially if it's put up in a small room - I love that it looks shabby, natural and makes use of space that would never normally be used *big thumbs up* 

Geometric Wallpaper by Livettes // This is actually like a big wallpaper sticker! no fuss, no mess and it looks so current. I can't find anything like this that's affordable in the UK. 

Doll Head Cup by ENDEsign // This comes in white and black. I seriously love this. 

Ceramic Rabbit Sculpture by Midoritakaki // Ah it's too cute! I'm really feeling the love for sculptures and clay models especially when done in neutral colours. 

Accessories and fashion include...

Boho Autumn Dress by YJ Studio // I love the vintage but modest appeal to this. It would absolutely team with a leather jacket and some awesome booties for Autumn. 

OM Necklace by Dana Castle // I do love a good ohm. It's a fab way for me to remind myself to stop and take a deep breath when things get tough. 

Woodland Animal Necklace by Laonato // Origami, dainty and cute. This would go with any outfit, would layer really well and is unique, you can guess that there won't be one hundred other girls walking down your local high street with this. 

Gold Baby Shoes by Ajalor // My babies are too big now *sobs* I'm literally waiting on a friend or family member saying they're pregnant so I can snap these cuties up. 

What do you think of my ten picks? Are there any you love or any you simply hate? 


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31 Aug 2014

Nars // Velvet Lip Liner Collection


A nice little update on the new Nars Velvet Lip Liner Collection that's due to launch in September, there's twelve shades in this collection which are joining the permanent range and as usual each pencil has been formulated with a high level of pigmentation - each pencil offers a really rich colour that fills, defines and stays put without any pesky feathering or smudging. 

The twelve shades include... 


Anse Soleil // coral pink. 
Belle Mare // sangria 
Costa Smeralda // shocking pink. 
El Agua // lavender rose. 
Karekare // bright rose. 
Lanikai // burgundy. 
Medano Beach // spiced wine. 
Mirihi Island Beach // plum rose. 
Nihiwatu // cardinal red. 
Patong // pink rose. 
Playa Dorado // vibrant orange-red. 
Waimea // nude peachy-pink. 

Typically pencils don't excite me but I do always feel that little flurry in my tummy when it comes to Nars pencils, purely because they are so silky soft and really pigmented. I've recently taken to pencils being used as lipsticks due to their ability to stay put and how vibrant you can really get the shade - I definitely have El Agua and Waimea on my wishlist. Are there any that take your fancy? 
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30 Aug 2014

Friday Finds // #2 Autumn Inspirations


I need to try and get a bit more regular with these Friday Finds posts. This week it's been all autumnal for me as we get closer and closer to the end of summer. I actually adore the change and the hussle and bussle that it brings - over the next few weeks I'll be unpacking my warmer clothes, deciding on what pieces I want to add to my autumn winter wardrobe and preparing for the dreaded frizz that comes with the autumn drizzle and wind *sigh* If you're feeling a bit sad about the sun going away I hope these 'finds' pep you back up. 

Pressed Flower Candles // The Free People blog is one of my favourite places to visit online and because it filled with the best features, photo's and DIY's. This pressed flower candle is just one of those crafty makes that stood out this week and can be altered to suit any season.  

Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Pops // Oh yum! summer maybe nearing an end but these beautiful lollies break the normal seasonal rule. I also learnt that Saigon is Vietnamese cinnamon, who knew there was different types? As a cinnamon lover this leaves me both intrigued and excited and I'll have to get my hands on some for this tasty recipe. 

Apple & Peanut Butter Granola // I used to eat a lot of granola until I realised how bad it was for your health, these days I worry less purely because I make my own and know exactly what's in it - granola's a great food for snacking on, using in cakes, as toppings and as cereals. My sons love homemade granola in their packed lunch and this recipe which was found on The Kitchn blog is so tasty looking that I had to include it, I also love the photography on this blog you should really check it out. 

Autumn Bunting DIY // It's my favourite season so expect lots of autumn inspired posts. Typically the first things I change when we're heading into a new season is my home decor (cushions, ornaments, candles, bedding etc) and my wardrobe. I like to swap out shades and tones to make me feel happier and I really love how simple this DIY is but how effective it can look if done right. I've already bookmarked it as my sons want to get in on this action, your kids might love to get involved with your own DIY too. 

Gennine's Art Prints // I've followed Gennine for many years over on Etsy and Facebook and I'm always just so awe-inspired by her creativity and artwork. Of course this means that I love absolutely everything she creates but I really love her Three Little Birds print - I can totally imagine it on my wall for autumn (and beyond) and it just installs a sense of raw, bohemian calm when I look at it. Her prints are really affordable and are the type that just sit well in all decor styles. 

Re-purposing Sweaters DIY // Old sweaters turned into cosy house or welly socks? Yes please! I don't know where this image originally came from or if there's a tutorial so please let me know if you're aware of it but looking at the image, I do think it's pretty clear how it would work. Cut, sew the bottom together and then either just sew along the top to stop it fraying or add some elastic - fold over the top of the sleeve and hem (if you want a tighter top). I'll see if I can create my own version tutorial if anyone would like that. 


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29 Aug 2014

Made.Com // Our New Red Doble Chair


I discussed earlier on this year that I'm avidly trying to get my house all unified and organised. I tend to feel so much better when everything has a place and the house is neat and tidy, I love it when you go into a home and it's not run of the mill - maybe they have a unique gallery wall, maybe it's their colour palette or the way they team ornaments or knick knacks together, regardless of what it is, it's something I've always strived for but never felt like I had accomplished. 


I'll admit that I have always had separate personalities in each room, this is something that's started to bug me over the last couple of years as I don't feel like my home flows all that well - it's this flow issue that lead me to want to change my decor and my goal is to have a home that's calming, filled with varied textures and has that unique feel I talked about earlier. So far we've stripped and neutralised the kitchen, we're just waiting to neutralise the bedroom and we finished the bathroom (well kind of). My hallway and living room were taken down a notch with more feminine wallpaper and a shabby beige rug. I still didn't feel that things were 'just so' and it's bugged me to no-end. 

Made.com got in touch and asked if I would like to review one of their pieces and of course I was in from the get-go. Pondering our decision my son and I (yup, my son helped me make this choice) eventually decided to choose the Doble Chair. 

We actually visited Ikea a few weeks back and I had been pondering purchasing an individual chairs because there's five of us in my household but we have a 3 seat and a 2 seat couch, for some reason children feel that the can't sit beside each other which means there's always one of them sitting on the fluffy rug. While at Ikea I figured a chair would enable one of them to always have a seat and the chair might just be the one piece that ties in the colour theme because we could always choose a colour - our couch is black leather so I did feel a fabric seat would give the room that bit of personality it was screaming for. The reason I did come away empty handed was because I didn't feel the chairs quality warranted their price tags. 

Call it fluke or call it irony but when Made.com got in touch and agreed to send me the Doble Chair I was overjoyed as it was exactly what I had envisaged in my living room, my youngest son Rome (who normally sits on the rug) actually pointed it out without me saying a word to him and he demanded that we opt for the red version rather than the grey or pistachio versions. 

The Doble Chair was designed by John Stefananidis and is made with a heavy duty mixed fabric seat on a solid dark wood base. It's very sturdy and I love that the legs have been designed to be off centred, because the edge is in view it really gives the chair a really modern look. 


At the moment our Cath Kidston-eque wallpaper has a light blue base with pink and red roses, we have neutral cushions and one's with a pop of colour but I really want to get some red or red and pink cushions of varied textures to bring the chair and wallpaper together. As for Rome he adores the chair and has claimed it as his chair - no-one is allowed to sit on it, he has ''his'' cushions also placed on the chair which aren't allowed to be moved - he's styled it himself and you know what, I actually really love those two cushions together. 

This is Rome ''chilling'' on his chair. He's now in Primary One and feels he's too mature to smile *sigh* You can see that the chair is actually larger than it looks in the first images and it's the perfect size for slouching and getting really comfortable without it looking really bulky in the room. 


This chair costs £169 from the Made.com website and I was so impressed with the service, super quick delivery (literally days) and the product itself that I now have a wishlist, I will be posting more on our home re-design so expect to see some of these featured - the wishlist includes...

Rochelle Dining Table // I decided in May that I had to have a circular dining table, I really feel that a circle table brings a family together and leaves a room feeling more roomy. I love it when random chairs are placed around a table giving the look a bit more of a quirky personality. 

Vernay Side Board // Perfect tones to go with my Doble, at the moment we have a light wood and cream side board which really doesn't fit in with our warmer wood Next TV unit. I adore the design of this and the amount of storage it holds. 

Finlay Double Bed // This utterly gorgeous bed also has storage! it's just so perfect for my need to be organised and it's feminine without being too feminine if that makes sense - I need this so badly in my life. 

Cohen Table Lamp // The wood, the classic design and that beautiful turquoise blue - it screams buy me and you know what I really feel I will do. 

Sense Bin // 50L kitchen bin, what's exciting about that? Well this bin actually opens and closes itself when your hand comes near it. If you have OCD or any form of germaphobia then you'll totally get why I adore this concept. Plus it looks so chic for a bin anyhow. 

Dexter Cream Rug // It's cream and super fluffy, this lightens up any room and I know from experience that kids love fluffy rugs. This would be especially fab for any AW14 decor too. 

Initially hubster freaked out about the price but once he saw the chair and sat in it he was really impressed with the quality and agrees that it looks really good in the living room, the wishlist above was also compiled with his ''wants'' he loves the table lamp and bed too. The hardest part for me is deciding which I should purchase first and which I should put on my Santa list, what do you reckon I should do? 


* PR Sample * 
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28 Aug 2014

MAC Cosmetics // A Novel Romance Collection


The MAC Novel Romance collection clearly needs no explaining as the name and the visuals speak a thousands words. Does anyone else think the guy looks slightly like Phil Plea from ANTM? You know the one they made over to resemble Jesus? The line up contains romantic tones such as purple, pinks, nudes and cooler gray toned shades which were all inspired by romantic novels rather than the candlelight and sky writing version of romance. 

Here's the line up... 


Electric Cool Eyeshadow // Highly Charged (rich purple & pink pearl), Switch to Blue (rich cobalt), Lower Power (soft rose shimmer), Pure Flash! (pale champagne), Coil (copper-bronze), Superwatt (light shimmering taupe), Blacklit (multi-dimensional black pearl) and Gilded Thrill (copper-gold with gold sparkle).

Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash // This is available in black only. 

Brushes // 213 Brush (natural fibre fluff brush), 224 Brush (natural fibre tapered blender) and 242 Brush (synthetic shader)

Studio Nail Lacquer // Before Dawn (cream green-grey), Sunset Sky (cream mid-tone crimson), Midnight Ocean (cream dark royal blue), Midnight Storm (cream deep magenta), Midnight Sky (cream deep charcoal), Midnight Strata (cream dark violet)


Lipstick // Myself (shimmery nude-beige lustre)Good Kisser (mid-tone matte fuchsia), Lingering Kiss (deep matte plum-red), Hearts Aflame (matte brick red), A Novel Romance (light but cool mid-toned cremesheen pink) and Yield to Love (online exclusive mid-toned rose cremesheen). 


Lipglass // Talk Sexy (dark purple), Pure Fiction (mid-tone violet-pink)Wanting More (washed out lavender), Reckless Desire (sheer pearlescent lavender grey) and Bared For You (soft rose gold). 


Powder Blush // Animal Instincts (shimmering plum frost) and Fun Ending (soft satin neutral-peach)


Fluidline Pencils // Black Brilliance (black), Deep Blue Sea (deep ocean blue), Earth Sign (deep brown), Atomic Ore (gold), Evil Twin (blue-purple), Metropolis (metal grey) and Water Willow (khaki green)


A Novel Romance Eyeshadow Quad // My Fantasy (pale veluxe pearl neutral olive) Dance in the Dark (matte deep black-brown) Fall in Lust Rising (mid-tone cool grey-mauve frost) Passions (velvet, green based charcoal with gold pearl pigment)

An Amorous Adventure Eyeshadow Quad // Black Tied (velvet black with silver sparkleBrawn (mid-toned satin plum-brownSable (gold-plum frost with bronze pearlSex & The Oyster (veluxe pearl mid-tone sea green)

A Passionate Quest Eyeshadow Quad // Brazenly (veluxe pearl rich aubergineSerenade (veluxe pearl mid-tone orchid pink & blue pearlThe Wrong Man (satin cool mid-tone light pink) Stay sultry (deep satin violet-navy)

The collection drops in September and will be available at Debenhams. Do you think this is one that you'll be rushing out to buy or will you be waiting for the more seasonal autumn tones and party colours? 

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