Friday Finds #1 // 10 Things

Moon to Moon || This is one of my favourite blogs - EVER! filled with amazing photography, juices, earth mamma's and interesting features. If you're an earth chick you're going to love this blog. 

Free People || I'm loving their range at the moment, items that have caught my eye are these River Runs Through It shoes, Spellcaster Maxi Dress, Justine Bra and the Naja Necklace

What Olivia Loved || I adore her photography and features, they're so chic and it was her post on her 'May Loves' that specifically is being featured in my first Friday Finds.

Vanilla Honey Ice-Tea Lemonade || I currently have the cold or flu - what ever I have I feel gross so this yumtastic looking drink from Cookie Monster Cooking Blog is calling out to me. I really want to try this hot to soothe my snuffles but I know this would be awesome on a hot summers day too. 

Daughter of The Sun Blog || Another gorgeous blog depicting beautiful earth mamma's and amazing photography. 

Glen Hirst Cactus Nursery || I'm not the most patient person I'll admit so the thought of having to wait to grow a plant makes me nervous. The only thing I'm good at growing is babies but I really want to change this, I really want need some cute succulents and cacti in the Silver household and this seem to be the most awesome online store to get my cacti fix. Although I now have a plant wishlist as long as my arm - move over beauty products! 

Topshop Limited Edition Taffeta Skirt || Ah it's so beautiful. I know it's not going to be in style for long (Autumn it will totally rock though) and I know it's taffeta but..... it's uh-mazing so all practicability goes out of the window with this guys. 

A Pink Macaron || Her post on bracelets being her obsession absolutely hit a cord, I too find I get spur of the moment urges to make things (so random) but they never turn out as I envisage. I love her honesty though when she says she really can't haha.. 

Will Cleansing Wipes Wreck Your Looks? (article) || It's basically an article on wipes and if they're beneficial to your looks. Great read. 

Achicha || There are a few websites that I check daily, Pinterest, Facebook, Gmail and Achicha. I love their cut price ranges and they cover everything from fashion, candles, furniture and food! Seriously if you've not yet checked it out you should do so. 

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Manuka Doctor // Purified Bee Venom Skincare & Freebie

I've been working through old drafts, clearing out posts that aren't valid anymore (due to offers or launches, poor photo's etc) and it's taking longer than expected purely because I keep placing emphasis on new and current news - quite rightly so but do expect a few throwbacks from time to time. The first throwback is the Manuka Doctor Purified Bee Venom & Manuka Honey Skincare trial set. 

At the point of receiving this Manuka Doctor did have a freebie offer on where you could receive this kit if you paid postage. I got hooked into the freebie aspect (which I'm gullible for) but once it arrived it just sat going unused. I prefer my skincare to be vegan and Manuka honey isn't vegan so this didn't actually get trialed until March time when I was willing to try anything and everything to clear up my acne. 

The kit contained three 7ml sized tubes of product - Restoring Night Cream, Age Defying Serum and a Rejuvenating Face Mask. 

The products were really lovely and I did feel that my skin looked radiant, well as radiant as it can look with a face full of boils *ouch* It's fair to say it didn't work at clearing up any skincare issues and I didn't notice any tightening or temporary anti-ageing benefits. As a cream the night cream absorbed into the skin, smells nice, feels fresh and leaves your skin feeling soft. The serum I wasn't that keep on because my skin was left feeling oilier than normal, the mask again was OK - I'm a clay-a-holic when it comes to face masks so this didn't compare to say, Glamglow. 

Overall the products were good. Not outstanding but not bad all the same. Would I pay full price for these products? (the serum is £24.99, the night cream is £24.99 and the face mask is £49.99) probably not as I've personally had better results from other brands. That's not to say I wouldn't be up for re-trying this brand when my skin improves. 

Having checked it seems the freebie kit is still on. It's £3.50 for postage and apparently the kit should cost £15.99 (crazy, I'd never pay that for 3 teeny 7ml sizes but £3.50 is worth it). It's one sample kit per person and you can find the offer HERE.

Father's Day // Man Candles

Father's Day is coming soon and it can be tricky knowing what to purchase for your father figure. It used to be the norm that dad's got manly gifts - tools, smoking ephemera, gadgets and such like. Well, this is the twenty first century and men and woman are crossing the gender boundaries and it's absolutely acceptable. 

This gift guide covers home fragrancing - candles to be exact because candles are suited to everyone. Home fragrance can really change your mood as well as be used as an ornament and more guys are purchasing candles so why not purchase one as a gift? 

Yankee candles are leaders when it comes to variety, they regularly put out candles to suit all celebrations, occasions and seasons and man candles are no exception. They also have a couple of candle holders and jar stands to really make their candle a talking focal point. 

Hubster loves the Strawberry Yankee Candle, some guys will love the fresh, floral and the foodie candles but these ones offer that something extra don't they. Here's the fragrance types to help you decide. 

  • Midsummers Night | a masculine blend of musk, patchouli, sage and mahogany cologne. 
  • After Dark | An enchanted nocturnal mix of night air, garden herbs, musk and rich woods. 
  • Stars & Stripes | An American classic, the warm and welcome scent of spicy cinnamon and sweet potpourri. 
  • Salted Caramel | Gourmand confection of burnt sugar, sea salt and smooth vanilla caramel. 
  • On Tap | The cool aroma of a freshly poured beer. 
  • Vanilla Oak | Exclusive. Comforting richness of fine aged wood and fresh vanilla spice. 
  • Freedom Rings | The spirit of America - robust notes of cedar, redwood, wild petals and vanilla. 
  • God Bless America | American favourite - cooked apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. 
  • Mountain Lodge | Online exclusive. A luxurious retreat in front of a cozy hearth, warm with the aroma of cedarwood and sage. 
  • Beach Wood | A modern blend of vetiver, salt air and driftwood seasoned by the elements. 
  • Camouflage | A natural, woodsy blend of fresh air, golden leaves and oak tree bark. 
Awesome eh. It maybe hard parting with these candles I think.  You can pick them all up from the Yankee Candle website

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Contouring // Errors You Shouldn't Make

You may hate her, you may love her but regardless of your thoughts towards Kim Kardashian it's fair to say she definitely highlighted the benefits of contouring your face to highlight and define the face. While this certainly can make you look more put together, healthier even it can also work to change how a part of your face looks - celebrities tend to use it to slow down noses and to define cheekbones giving them that almost superhuman chiseled look. 

There are tons of celebrities that do it well; and then there's a few who get it oh-so-wrong. Take for examples these celebrities, some are absolutely shocking and either need to get a makeup artist or sack their current artist; some on the other hand aren't that bad, they may just need to get their product tones more suitable, check them out...

First up Nicki Minaj,what was she thinking? do you think this was a deliberate ploy for attention because even her lipliners not blended, she's not blended in her product yet she's done her eyes? is it crazy to think that you'd get your base down before applying lipstick and eye makeup? 

Lindsay Lohan's offence here is the cheek product. When you're contouring you don't want to apply your darker shade in the same way as you do a blusher, you want to drawn an 'E' (curly as in a backwards 3) shape from the top of your forehead down the side of your cheek to your jaw.  blending until you see no clear lines. 

Demi Lovato and Khloe Kardashian have got so close, they're lighter product is too light. When you're contouring you want to choose a shade or two above your skin tone for your darker product and a shade lighter for your illuminating or highlighting product.

Karina Smirnoff's problem isn't hugely visible at first glance but if you take a closer look at her nose you will see the un-blended lines down each side of her bridge. Her product is the right colour tone but it's just not been blended very well. 

You can really choose any face coverage product to get the same effect, to get a really spot on effect it's advisable to use a matte or satin formula for your darker shade otherwise it's going to look so wrong when your side burn area starts to spangle and to chose a highlighting effect, pearl or diffusing finish for your lighter so that your skin looks radiant. 

If you're not brave enough to try a darker cream foundation on your skin (and many won't, I know I wasn't to begin with) you can start off using your typical bronzing pearls, powder or creams and building up from there - honestly I think a bronzer works better because it looks natural, when you're going about your day to day life a heavily made up looks can look out of place. Nights out, photographic occasions and darker months of the year are more suited to the heavier cream foundations. 

Want another reason as to why bronzer and highlighting products can look more natural? take a peek...

Oh hells no! I seriously back up my new makeup artist claim. Do you currently contour? do you find it boosts your confidence? 

Anna Sui Perfume // Wish List

Anna Sui and Puppa were the first beauty brands that I loved as a child. It was always the colours, the packaging shapes and the products that drew me in, I never owned any products from either brand until I became a teen because they were expensive - no pocket money was covering those prices but that didn't stop me from coveting them badly.  

My first Anna Sui perfume was the handbag shaped fragrance called Dreams. I received it in a miniature perfume gift set from Boots - it was love at first sniff. I've never been able to shake my pull towards the brand hence this wish list. I recently came across a fragrance and beauty website called Click Fragrance who stocklots of gorgeous branded beauty products at fabby prices.  Typically I browse through brands on a new site to gage how current they actually are, if I see maybe one or two good products I tend to give the website and miss and move along to the next one, if I see lots and get that 'ooohhh' feeling when viewing their product lists then I know I'm onto a winner. Click Fragrance is a winner! rows upon rows of Anna Sui sealed the deal for me but do expect another wish list because there's loads I want and the list needs narrowed down. 

Here's the beauties...

Fairy Dance Secret Wish (£17.94) | Created in 2012 with tangerine, mango, pink pepper, rose, peony and bamboo on a base of sandalwood, vanilla and vetiver. This perfume is described as being seductive, warm and shimmery while leaving the wearer feeling radiant, determined and joyous. 

This bottle doesn't hold much interest for me purely because it's not one that draws you in with a specific colour or detail. This maybe more suited to those who love pretty fragrances with simplistic designs - well simplistic in an Anna Sui sense. 

Rock Me (£20.56) |  Created in 2010 with bergamot, aquatic hyssop, geranium, freesia, water lily and white peach on a base of musky rose, sandalwood and ambergris. This is sweet, free and embodies the summer of love. 

Shaped like a fantasy, butterfly, guitar; who thinks of these things? I'd have loved the packaging to have taken a darker feminine look with the musky rose and sandalwood notes. All the same it is very pretty and those perfume notes sound awesome. 

Dolly Girl (£17.90) | An earlier perfume, Dolly Girl was created in 2003 with bergamot, melon, apple, cinnamon, rose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, violet and magnolia; these blend with a base of vetiver, teakwood, strawberry, raspberry, musk and amber. Dolly Girl is a playful but eccentric blend of fruity and floral notes. 

Honestly this bottle used to scare me, I think it was the vacant doll expression to be honest. I've gotten over that and now feel intrigued by the overall perfume and packaging, granted it's never going to be my first choice out of the Anna Sui line up but I'd still love to sniff this to see how it holds up. 

La Vie de Boheme (£18.95) | I remember being so excited by this and even blogging about this perfume when it launched in 2012 but for some reason forgot all about it *doh*. La Vie de Boheme is created with Turkish rose, pear, berries, pitahaya (dragon fruit), magnolia, peony and freesia on a base of sandalwood, musk and black vanilla. The perfume is sensual, warm and feminine, playful and confident during the day and mysteriously sexy in the evening.

Can you just imagine this sitting on your dressing table? 

Live Your Dream (£18.45) | Created in 2009 Live Your Dreams is a fresh, floral fragrance. Light, dreamy and casual and suited to those who love a fresh cotton, bright aquatic or delicate floral perfume. Notes include white pepper, floral notes, lily-of-the-valley, Bulgarian rose and jasmine are blended on a base of sandalwood, tonka bean, cedar, teak wood and musk. 

I adore this fragrance and the packaging. So much so I have to have it. When you think of Anna Sui it's the dark, sculptured design work that is brought to mind and I can absolutely imagine this empty bottle doubling as a bottle of poison in an old witchy film or holding a rare dark rose or something equally gothic. 

Sui Dreams (£17.94) | This was my first Anna Sui perfume and is one of a few perfumes I still adore to this day. Created in 2000 Sui Dreams is innocent, feminine with a confident twist. It's very girly but not sweet so is suited to those who want to get in touch with their femininity while still smelling like a grown up. Notes include nectarine, mandarin orange, bergamot, bitter orange, freesia, peach, Chinese peony and rose on a base of nutmeg, sandalwood, musk, Tahitian vanilla, cedar and anise. 

Forbidden Affair (£17.94) | I never even knew this existed and I'm kicking myself for it because this sounds and looks incredible. Created in 2010 Forbidden Affair is a fantasy inducing, confidence boosting and mysterious perfume. It's very deep and feminine and sounds great for those who like a dark edge or a bit of sexuality from their fragrances. Notes include lemon, redcurrant, blackcurrant, raspberry, rose petals and pomegranate on a base of violets, cedar and musk. 

Flight of Fancy (£17.94) | 2007 saw the release of Flight of Fancy, a fragrance that is suppose to embody the far off exotic destinations - adventurous, joyful and enchanting. Notes include litchi (lychee), lemon, yuzu, magnolia, freesia and rose on a base of amber, musk and white woods. 

Were you ever enthralled by Anna Sui? If you fancy picking up any of these you can do so over on the Click Fragrance website. With the low prices you'd be forgiven for picking up a couple of bottles. 

Champneys // Blissful Bump Body Butter

First off I do not plan to add to my family, I am sterilised and happy *smiles*. I do however appreciate a good pregnancy and beyond skincare range because they're typically made with really nourishing ingredients, pregnancy safe ingredients and come in cute packaging - I've yet to be disappointed by pregnancy products which is why I feature them from time to time.

First up this comes in a large 300 ml size, I go through so much body butters and body creams it's seriously crazy (3 of The Body Shop large body butters a month as a minimum). I tend to look for a few things with lotions and creams and those are thick and creamy texture, non-oily, absorbs into the skin well but doesn't leave me feeling dry again within the hour (I like at least three hours out of my creams if possible) and a cream that's not hugely fragranced because it clashes with other perfumes, dries out the skin and for me it strong fragrances can cause migraines - who else gets that? 

The Champneys Blissful Body Butter is formulated with natural extracts such as Shea and Cocoa butters, Chlorella extract, Evening Primrose oil and Coconut oil. It's all good stuff to be honest and you can really feel the difference between creams such as this that uses good, natural ingredients in comparison to synthetic, lab created ingredients. 

Champneys have always super exceeded my strict needs when it comes to skincare and I definitely feel as though I'm treating myself to a bit of luxury when I use them, the thing is they're not even that expensive but they work on par with larger and more expensive brands. I say save your pretty pennies and opt for these types of products every time. 

This was purchased from my local Boots but you can get your bump and body on this via the Boots Website for the bargain price of £6.67 in the sale (was £10 which is still fabulous isn't it). This will also last a while and is suitable for all of the family - sharing is caring folks. 

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Summer Blog Sale or Swap // Trying To Claim Back Our Home [Closed]

The sale can be found here / Edit: Finished. 

I recently asked you guys if you fancied a wee blog sale and the answer was YES! hubster has been moaning for a while because we have no room, I'm desperate to get my bedroom decorated but he says we can't until we've decluttered otherwise it would end up a shambles and after all he is the decorator in the household *sigh*. I know myself that a good clean out was needed as my skin colour, tone and of course my celiacs have resulted in things not being suitable for me anymore. 

I was previously someone who would keep a product just 'encase' it would come to use in the future. I kept things because they were current and modern even when deep down I knew they didn't suit me and I did use to have a tendency to stockpile some of my favourite products. Of course I did receive press samples, sometimes multiples of the same product - pr companies do at times send out products without informing you, especially if they have your address on file and it's because of this that duplicates happen. I mean seriously who really needs four of the same item at one time?? 

There's lots of products which are all being sold for affordable prices or available to swap. Artdeco, Sleek, Illamasqua, Vita Liberata, Skinceuticals, Verdesse, NYX, MUA and Sampar among a few brands, I'm sure there's something to suit all and most are either new, swatched (for blog pictures) or used once or twice. At the moment you will find skincare, haircare, makeup, accessories and I do plan to add some clothes and nail polishes this weekend. This blog sale will only be live for 4 weeks and then it's over to Ebay they go. 

I do accept Paypal, cheque (longer waiting time), postal orders or Swaps!!! Yes you read that right, I do accept swaps and bartering so please link to your sale or let me know what you have to swap - here are some things I love but of course I'm open to all swaps, even the cray-cray ones. 

* Anything boho & bohemian
* Home items
* Handmade items
* Ornaments
* Alternative therapy products
* Books  
* Stationery
* Cute things
* Notebooks / Journals / Paper goods
* Size 12 clothing

What you waiting for? head over to the sale page HERE or on the link above. 

Monthly Roundup // What You Missed in May

Another month comes to an end - how do you guys feel about hitting the halfway mark into the year? I feel excited, I adore mid-summer and can't wait to have some real sun that stays for more than a few days at a time - I can't wait for hubby to be off on his holidays so we can do lots of fun family things and I look forward to seeing where the next few months takes us. 

At this moment in time I feel like there's a lot of change emotionally, mentally and in all areas of our life to be honest which has spilled over to my blogging life. You may have noticed there's not been as many posts - don't worry I don't plan to leave the blogging world anytime soon but I do at times get frustrated, disenchanted at the bitchiness as well as the other bloggers, PR companies, brands and certain comments. We all go through it even outside of the blogging world and I am the type who holds it in until it suddenly gets to me, at that point I find taking a step back and reassessing where I'm going and working on reducing my stress really helps - I do plan to post more blog how to's, and behind the blogging curtain type posts because I think it's important for others to really see what the world of blogging is really like. 

Enough about the negatives, the positives are that things can only get better, right? If you missed some of my May posts now's the time to catch up, these are my top ten posts from the last few weeks...
Nails Inc Ballet Sheer Collection // The prettiest polish collection for those who aren't into brights, neon's or skin tone shades. 

Father's Day Gift Guide  // Don't forget your dad or father figure this year. Here are my suggestions for getting a unique but affordable gift. 

Aromatherapy Associates Nourishing Face Oil // Natural and vegan skincare that really works. Face oil is a must for ALL skin types. 

Eclectic Eccentricity Ring O Roses Necklace // Ring around the roses, a pocket full of posies

Nailberry Spring-Summer Collection // A look at the gorgeous spring-summer shades from 5-free polish brand, Nailberry. Spring shades are more muted and Summer is bright and bold, I've also included swatches of my three favourite polishes from the collection. 

B&M's MiniHome Haul // Ohm, store, slurp and dry - in style. 

Shade Station // Clubmaster Ray-Ban's // Sick of seeing aviator posts? check out the clubmasters! worn by everyone and possibly their dog too - I adore these shades, the shade is flattering for all face shapes and they're affordable too. 

Weekend // Latest Purchases // Banana bag - that is all. 

OPI Coca-Cola Collection Update // One of the most hyped collections around, this time the polish shades and descriptions are included - are you jumping on this bandwagon? 

Amazonia Preciosa Face Clay  // Natural and so beneficial to the skin. Read on to see how awesome the packaging actually is. 
You'll definitely see more variety as I discuss more on home, lifestyle and 'other' beauty topics this Summer. If you have specific topics or posts you like to read on this blog or any blog do let me know as I want to make Sweet Elyse Blog a fun place to visit. 

P.S There is a blog sale page coming up, I'm seriously clearing out everything (or near enough) in order to clear the clutter and start again (not literally). 

Home Decor Wishlist // Tea & Bohemian Inspirations

With hubby's work going well it's fair to say I'm excited again to have disposable income so that we can do the house up. It doesn't need much done to be honest but you know when you do your home and over the years you grow out of your houses personality - that's where we're currently at. I've gone through phases of bright colour (well to some extent), beige, minimal and luxe. At the moment we're somewhere in between cutesy, shabby and girl but it's just not me. Don't get me wrong I adore home decor that's cute and girly and I'll always love cute and girly but I really want our home to give off a sense of who we are as a family and that is minimal, earthy, hippyish, kooky and clean - for me that's bohemian and functional in every sense. 

I now realise that having a good base (walls, worktops, flooring etc) sets the stage for adding personality and not vice-versa (unless you want to grow board quickly). Once you have that base you can go as kooky as you want without it looking tacky, just don't overdo it with the accessorising of course.  

Recently I've grown fond of cactus and succulent plants, metallics such as the bunny head ornament, the touches on the teacup and the silver pineapple (how lush is that!), I've also reignited my passion for tea - I've always been a huge tea drinker but recently there seems to be no time for tea, I plan to change that of course by purchasing a lose leaf teapot, the teacups pictured and some loose leaf tea - I recently came across a company who sell said tea and I have my eye on these three in particular... 

I'm so glad to finally have a home direction in mind and can imaging the end goal of sitting in my fun but earthy home, the boys having great memories of this house and everything in it and finally sitting down for some lush tea with the BFF. 

What type of home decor items do you typically go for, do you have a type or are you a mish-mash woman or gent? If you fancied eyeing up the tea website mentioned above you can find the them on the Teasfield Teas website.  

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