Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you all had a great few days of Halloween celebrations! This year we had our Halloween party on the 26th and I’ve had the last week off to take part in all things autumnal!

267C2EE7-4897-41BB-9C7D-4F890579A473
I loved my Pumpkin Patch which sat outside the front of the house!

We had a great time at the Halloween party – I normally make a real effort with my Halloween outfits but this year was a very straightforward outfit with some striking makeup instead! This crystal skull set is from The Gypsy Shrine – they have some amazing sets which are really easy to apply!

I have been so busy at work and planning other events over the past two months that I just didn’t get the chance to do anywhere near as much preparation for Halloween this year I’m afraid. I normally spend a couple of days preparing treats and decorations but it was very last minute this year!

036EF250-DA45-424C-81A9-0D38A15D4403

On the Sunday, hubby and I ventured out to see the new Halloween film at the cinema – we always try and go to the cinema to watch a horror film over the Halloween weekend. I really enjoyed the film but as I was sat there watching it I realised I had watched all the sequels but had never actually watched the 1978 original! It’s on Sky cinema at the moment so I have recorded it to watch it when we get the chance!

When we’d got home after scaring ourselves to death at the cinema, we tucked into all the amazing Halloween treats I’d been gathering over the last few weeks! As usual I’ve bought far too much and we had hardly any trick or treaters so we are going to be eating them until Christmas!

3185EFB2-F083-4CFE-9283-01E51F137112
How cool is the ghost and black slime pizza from Asda??
D34A48A9-4F61-4BF2-901E-72DA9C3D03D0
These sweets get more and more gross every year!

On the Monday my Mum, my Sister and I went Pumpkin picking! I was just going to include the details in this blog but we had such a fantastic time that I thought it deserved its own blog so watch this space! It was well worth the visit and I think we may have created a new annual family tradition!

6D1B466F-B179-424C-B553-B8691F6A7735

On the Tuesday my Sister and I had a fantastic day in London! We’ve never been around Halloween before but we were pleased we did as it was a brilliant experience. Cafe’s and shops and florists were covered in autumnal and Halloween decor and they looked spectacular! Dominique Ansel’s, Peggy Porschen’s and Elan Cafe were all looking particularly autumnal and spooky!

093B92B3-18E8-41D5-91CB-01765312A1F3

Our top prize for window displays went to this florists called Pullbrook and Gould. The photos really don’t do it justice, it must have taken them ages to create it and you can see how much time and effort has gone into it! Amazing!

F12A04C8-77FC-40C6-BC06-4715E896AFEF

4D5B371A-14AB-448C-89AC-47A338B512B3

On Halloween my Mum, my Sister and I spent the day together (and admittedly started discussing our Christmas plans!) but spent a lot of the day munching on our Halloween chocolate whilst watching the new Netflix programme The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell – if you haven’t watched it yet, you really must!! The only way I can describe it is a cross between the film Labyrinth and a Nigella Lawson cookery programme! It is seriously corny, but seriously good, and a perfect programme to watch over the spooky period!

8046CD92-8A3A-46E5-AC11-740873BCF4BD

After a day of errands on the Thursday, on the Friday we paid a visit to Puzzlewood! This was my Sisters choice as she said she has always wanted to visit, and to be honest I didn’t know much about the place – I just assumed it was a woodland trail! Well there is so much more to it than this! So I have written a separate blog all about it!

C2DB7050-28A6-48EA-B35D-5E34CFB2571F

So as you can see we have had a fun-filled week full of Halloween and autumn themed activities! It is such a shame when all the decorations have to come down again for another year. Plus as soon as they do it means I have to really start putting my Christmas plans into action!

 

Pumpkin Picking!

I made a pact with my Sister last year that we would go pumpkin picking this year after seeing all of the amazing photos on instagram of all the autumnally dressed people stood in the fields of pumpkins!

In the last couple of years there’s also been a real surge in unusual hybrid type pumpkins too! It started with the all white Ghost pumpkins and went onto the adorable miniature Munchkin pumpkins, and now all the pumpkin growers are coming up with all sorts of weird and wonderful looking pumpkins, gourds and squashes!

1058D6FC-9D88-4DB2-A9C5-5161851A0338

We looked at some of the places that people had been tagged in on Instagram and decided on visiting Pumpkins R Us, which is around an hours drive away from us.

There’s no fee to get in and there were lots of amazing decorations (including an incredibly scary clown!) to have a look at as you walk around the marquee full of pumpkins.

7FBD3922-B449-4923-A46C-58E8976FEE80

98AAB115-0F2D-4066-9BAB-13298688EDB6

The selection really was incredible! I had already bought a few pumpkins from the supermarket the week before we had visited so I had only planned on looking but some of them were so unusual looking I just had to give them a home! If you pay a visit, grab a little trolley to wheel all your goodies around – they weigh an absolute tonne!

There was a huge array of different types and colours and sizes (seriously, some were absolutely MASSIVE!), and all of them were reasonably priced.

The only downside we found was that we didn’t actually get to go out to the field to pick the pumpkins, they were already picked and crated up for us. Having said that, it was nice to have the same types all grouped together so you could compare them size wise!

33A9D42D-F8B0-4452-8419-635A1757A15F
My cart was quite full by the end!

On the way out there was also a little shop you could visit and buy unusual ornaments and decorations and bits for the kids for their night out trick or treating.

AF77609D-0DE1-4F80-8A58-A435192D45AD

We really enjoyed going and it was well-worth the trip – I’m pretty sure we will be paying a returning visit next year and I can see a new annual family tradition developing!

 

The Lush Halloween Collection

I couldn’t wait for this years Lush Halloween collection to be released! Last years collection was brilliant and I fell in love with some of the returning classics. I just hoped that some of my favourites would be returning this year as well!

E11B510F-0C87-4D48-B199-2B3FFE0E3CAB

When the collection was announced I was surprised at how small it was compared to some previous years. I found out shortly afterwards that this was probably because Lush were putting far more resource into their HUGE Christmas range, which was being released only two weeks later!

Anyway, here is the down low with this years selection of spooky soaks!

I reviewed the Bewitched bubble bar as part of last years Lush Halloween collection and I really loved it so I’m pleased it has returned this year!

311C456C-0694-425E-9045-38AD2217942F

Bewitched produces mounds of lovely fluffy bubbles and a deep, dark black bath water! But fear not, it doesn’t leave any black rims or stains on the bath tub after use!

It contains blackberry, bergamot and frankincense oils and is one of the nicest smells I have come across in a bubble bar. The oils make the water incredibly moisturising and once I was in the bath I really didn’t want to get out!

The Eyeball bath bomb is new for this year and is a great design – I can’t believe it hasn’t been done before!

5E4B70AC-B51F-43F7-BABB-94817A9E1EDB

Although the design is great I was really surprised about the scent –  it contains lavender oil, Brazilian orange oil, rose absolute and ylang ylang oil. I love lavender and orange scents but I found the rose absolute to be the most prominent scent.

The scent is really quite floral, which seems rather strange for a product which forms part of the Halloween range, especially when it is something as gory as an eyeball!

I bought three of the Eyeball bath bombs and have used two of them so far, I wasn’t too keen on the scent at first but have found that it’s grown on me since.

One thing I will say about Eyeball bath bomb is that it is fascinating to watch when it is bobbing around in the bath water!

Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without my absolute favourite bath bomb, Monsters Ball! 

F0B70C9D-7191-4907-98A0-DC22279428F5

They are a regular of the Lush Halloween range and so I always stock up on plenty to last me throughout the year! It may be because I have been using some Monsters Ball from last Halloween (and Lush always say you get the best results using their products fresh), but I’ve noticed the ones this year seem to be better than ever! The scent is stronger and the bath art is out of this world!

Monsters Ball contains lime and neroli oil and shares its scent with the Calacas range. It also contains olibanum oil which is great for cleansing as well as softening, healing and hydrating purposes. Just what you need on those cold winter evenings!

Monsters Ball is an amazing bath bomb that I will keep stocking up on year after year – let’s just hope that Lush keep on bringing it back every Halloween!

So this year the Halloween range is actually quite a small range but Lush have focussed most of their efforts on bringing out a new Ectoplasm range. The Ectoplasm Jelly Bomb was part of last years range and to be honest, after a buying a few, I was really disappointed with it. The bath I had bought did not produce much jelly and left hard bath bomb chunks in the bath which just would not dissolve.

B19CBC9B-4D28-4B9D-A1B7-E09644B21E2D

When I heard it was coming back again this year I had already decided that I wasn’t going to buy anymore. It was only because I went to Lush in Cheltenham on the day the Halloween range was released and the team did a demo for me that I realised the recipe and design had been far improved this year.

B850DE43-71CF-4444-B9C4-9527AA89BE5A

The scent on the new jelly bomb was far stronger and really zesty. This years Ectoplasm also produces far more thicker jelly than last years version and there weren’t any hard lumps left behind like I had experienced with last years.

Ectoplasm contains tangerine oil, grapefruit oil and litsea cubeba oil. The scent is predominantly grapefruit and is absolutely addictive! I’m so pleased I gave it another chance this year and that I also bought the other products from this collection!

Another product from the Ectoplasm range is the Ectoplasm Wash Card. I’ve only used one wash card from Lush so far and this was the Kiss Me Quick wash card which was released as part of the Valentine’s Day collection earlier this year.

39B40911-D264-45A6-BD7C-AFF961FC75C1

To be honest I’m not keen on the whole wash card idea but I thought I would give it a try because I loved the other products which had the Ectoplasm scent.

It is a bit of a strange sensation using a wash card, I felt a bit like I was rubbing a small piece of leather across my skin! The Ectoplasm Wash Card includes fresh apple pulp, tangerine oil, grapefruit oil and litsea cubeba oil. It smells amazing and does leave your skin feeling lovely and soft but I find that the wash cards don’t lather up as much as I would like.

I’m glad I tried a new type of wash card but they aren’t one of my favourite products, sorry!

The product from the new Ectoplasm range I was looking forward to using most was the Ectoplasm Shower Scream! 

054A6D58-8FBE-4EF8-B2E3-157840543011

Again the scent is incredibly zesty due to its tangerine and grapefruit oils and juices and it also contains fair trade cocoa butter, almond oil and litsea cubeba oil to leave your skin soft and moisturised.

87ED27B7-34B2-45BD-9C68-B179AAD3780F

The cream is fluorescent yellow and as soon as I smelt its scent I fell in love with it and bought two massive bottles! I just hope it is here to stay and returns year after year for the Halloween collection!

I’m still not completely sold on the idea of the Naked Lush products (products with no packaging of any sort), but because I loved the Ectoplasm scent, I invested in an Ectoplasm Naked Shower Scream, as I thought I could use it like a soap to complement the jelly bombs.

06692563-77E1-463C-9CDE-73E0A390EF43

The first thing I noticed when the Ectoplasm Naked Shower Scream arrived with my order was that it was far softer and more malleable than the other naked products I had used before. I’m not sure why Lush have done this and I think it will make the products slightly easier to us, but I found the product starting to melt after only holding it in my hand for a minute. I can’t see this product is going to last very long if it is held for longer periods under hot running water.

Still, I did enjoy using the product and found that it left my skin feeling really soft and moisturised. The scent was lovely but no where near as strong as the liquid counterparts.  I’m glad I bought it but I won’t be changing the normal shower gels and creams for the Naked products any time soon I’m afraid.

Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb is another regular to the Lush Halloween collection and is a close second favourite to Monster’s Ball.

91FA4C8F-E8F0-4A53-AAD7-3B66CE5A608F

Lord of Misrule bath bomb is inspired by the ruler of the Pagan Feast of Fools! It contains black pepper, patchouli oil and vanilla absolute. It has had a bit of a makeover this year and is now a darker all over green colour and had also had a change in recipe which has made the scent stronger and the foam smoother.

It is a very fascinating bath bomb to watch and produces some amazing looking bath art which is really hypnotic to watch. After a lot of green foam, the centre cracks open and out drools a thick, dark red centre. The bath water goes from a light green colour to a dark red colour and the end bath water colour is stunning. The scent is quite strong but not off putting, you can detect the black pepper which gives it a warm and spicy feel, and the scent lingers for a long time after you’ve hopped out of the bath.

Lord of Misrule definitely suits its name – calming green followed by chaotic splashes of red – it is easily another all time favourite!

The fait accompli for Lush this year has to be the Ghost in the Dark Soap! I am absolutely in love with this scent and design! So much so that I bought three of them!

A9237381-B081-422C-9CF9-297B2D366F75

Ghost in the Dark contains lemongrass and bergamot oil which smells so fresh and zesty! It also contains fair trade organic cocoa butter, extra virgin coconut oil and organic castor oil to leave your skin feeling lovely and soft and moisturised.

This one is a firm favourite which I hope will return year after year! And if all of this isn’t enough for you – this soap GLOWS IN THE DARK!

4C06A027-9EBA-49B6-BFEA-60761D86D3DC

One thing I found quite unusual about this years Halloween range was the lack of pumpkins! Last year’s range had Pumpkin Bath Bomb, Pink Pumpkin Bubble Bar and Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar, and this year, only Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar has made a reappearance.

705F00AA-F3CE-4DFE-9F03-74ECF3DD2F46

Sparkly pumpkin very much lives up to its name – you get glitter absolutely EVERYWHERE! It is very much autumn in a bubble bar, simply crumble it under running bath water for a lovely orangey glitter coloured water and mounds of soft fluffy bubbles!

Sparkly Pumpkin contains juniper berry oil, lime oil and grapefruit oil and is topped off with a little cinnamon stick for that real autumnal effect! The water is amazingly soft and silky and is just what is required after one of those cold wet days!

I’m glad it made a reappearance this year and have stocked up on a few to keep me going!

I hope you all had a great Halloween – I’m afraid I am one of those really irritating people who, come 1st November, jump straight from Halloween celebrations to Christmas countdowns!

 

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! I assume you all did most of your celebrating over the weekend seeing as Halloween awkwardly falls on a Tuesday this year!

We didn’t celebrate this year as much as we normally do – we are all packed up and ready to move house! We were hoping to be moved out well in advance of Halloween but unfortunately everything (including all my Halloween decor!) is still packed away in boxes eagerly awaiting our moving date….

I found it really depressing that we couldn’t decorate or throw a big party like we normally do every year, but I still had a great time having a small Halloween celebration with my Mum and Sister’s over the weekend!

We carved pumpkins and made apple tea light candles which was really messy but good fun! I made a puking pumpkin which Mum wasn’t very happy with!! Sorry Mum!

D39C984A-79F0-43B9-BBA1-DCC19587A734

550981F9-9AB4-4CAC-A943-03EE66670AE2

We then watched Hocus Pocus! What a brilliant family Halloween film!

C302CF3F-89D9-4E5A-AE41-A6A1FD7DA5AA

Whilst we were watching Hocus Locus we toasted marshmallows! Yes, indoors! I bought us this amazing toasting marshmallow kit from the Naked Marshmallow Company! I’m not going to talk too much about it or post too many photos because I think a separate blog is in order for this brilliant kit! Watch this space….

7394F8A9-5A90-4071-B91F-A628A6468E01

536AEF2F-F625-404E-B7FA-420922AA7BA2

3933FDD1-8242-4C7F-A1E9-D97D6B5F9EC1

I also did my yearly goody bags for family and friends and treated myself to some fantastic Halloween treats!

The Pumpkin and Frankenstein goody bags were from good old Marks and Spencer’s! They were also in the three for two offer! Bonus!

2BAA58D0-A1B9-46DE-A226-A38500258CF9

EF43F357-D3BE-43B3-BA5C-FB66B54431E3

Our family love Yankee Candles so it would have been wrong not to include some lovely autumnal scents in this years goody bags! The scents I used this year were Crackling Wood Fire, Autumn Night and Fireside Treats! Perfect to light on a cold, wet autumnal evening! The Autumn Night one is burning away on the hall shelf as I write this.

F5EA0219-8778-4DAB-B91B-D820BD0D7BED

I used good old Marks and Spencer’s again for the Goody Bag sweets – check out these Percy Pumpkins, Freaky Frogs, Zombie Owls and Scary Spiders!

E95EA698-71C9-4DEC-896A-0AE0AF140795

AF9217E9-BDA0-4B87-81FC-6C4E29AEB923

For the adult recipients I thought these Crystal Skull Vodkas were brilliant! You can get them in several places but the cheapest place I found them were from the Drink Shop as they were in the sale!

09AFD43F-366C-4ECE-9D85-5E1D95EF95B2

The vodka is made by Dan Ackroyd and contains no additives, sugar, or citrus oils – the emphasis on this product is its purity. Was I sold by this? Not really – I literally bought them because they are in an amazing skull bottle which is perfect for Halloween!

26FFF50A-D8A2-4BA4-AF1D-8259FE1441C4

These little guys have been in our Halloween gift bags for as long as I can remember!

Plus I also found these great chocolate lollipops from Marks and Spencer’s (again on the three for two offer).

I got these amazing cake pops and other treats from Popadoodledo! They were so well made and so tasty I think I will do a separate blog on this brilliant company too! I can’t wait for her Christmas range to come out!

57FFF090-B9F9-4AEC-BF98-47E8302E8DC7

Check out these white chocolate fingers with white chocolate “blood dip”! Brilliant!

04B1B7AE-1CDA-462E-84FC-3D458DFDFF2E

and these little guys, believe it or not, are mini Oreos covered in white chocolate!

5BAA091D-2CE4-4715-A740-0B2355BAD277

I also treated myself to these extra special treats from The Whimsical Cake Company through Not On The High Street, aren’t they stunning? Almost too good too eat…. almost.

97446B5E-E30B-4FC8-A9A4-74F23E7A7CC1

6C5E94E0-4882-40B7-9BC7-5AE9F263CCFC

Some lucky people had some extra special chocolate from Hotel Chocolat because they will only eat dark chocolate (you know who you are!)

D3382CDA-B223-4434-B686-F0C15DF9B6FA

I especially loved this Hotel Chocolat Yumpkin! Tasty dark chocolate and vegan friendly!

B1CDC5E2-9975-42AC-83A9-B672E1C218A6

How cute are these tiddly little dark chocolate vampires??

Plus some lucky recipients also got some Halloween themed Lush Cosmetics products! You can read more about these in my “A Lush Halloween” blog which was published on Sunday!

So as you can see we were all a little bit spoilt over the Halloween weekend! Sort of makes up for not being able to decorate the house properly and have a big party, but not quite!

We should be in our new house for next Halloween so I’ll have to push the boat out on next years party instead! I’m thinking something along the lines of this amazing house I found on Pinterest

C2CCC1F3-FD93-45BE-9ACE-9CF2A9183301

Not sure we would get many lovely Trick or Treaters though!

 

A Lush Halloween!

Woohoo! I’ve been looking forward to getting hold of this years Lush Halloween collection for absolutely ages! They do have some products which come back year after year but also release several new exciting products! Here are the lovely Lush autumn warmers I recommend for this time of year;

Ghost Shower Gel

This was released as part of a Game of Thrones themed Lush kitchen week and I couldn’t wait to try it because all the reviews I have seen have been really positive!

IMG_6935

Ghost has the scent of lillies, jasmine, ylang ylang and neroli and is made with rose water and dove orchid infusion, so I was obviously expecting a bouquet of floral scents. The rose water scent is lovely and isn’t  overpowering, and you can also smell the sweetness of the jasmine and the almost grassy aroma of the neroli.

The shower gel also contains jojoba oil to moisturise and soften the skin, and you can notice this straight after using it. Due to the oils in the gel, it doesn’t lather up incredibly well, creating more of a foam than a lather, but this really doesn’t matter when you see the moisturising effect it has on your skin.

054C9C8D-BF84-490E-973F-B7B172E6A2ED

The gel also contains snowflake lustre which gives it its shimmering texture, but it doesn’t leave you absolutely covered in glitter after using it, in fact it is a very very subtle shimmer.

I really liked this shower gel but not sure I would buy it again, which surprised me after the rave reviews it received from other Lushie’s – flowery scent’s just really aren’t my bag and I didn’t really think the scent went very well with the name? Maybe it is just me…

Monsters Ball Bath Bomb

I couldn’t wait to get hold of a few of these little guys as they have had such good reviews online! Aren’t they great!?

IMG_9962

Monster’s Ball contains lime and neroli oil and this bath bomb gives off a bright, zesty lime smell. It also includes olibanum oil so overall the bath bomb is great for cleansing as well as softening, healing and hydrating purposes! Just what is needed on those cold October nights!

IMG_0134

As if that isn’t enough, this lovely bomb also contains Himalayan rock salt and cocoa butter! The rock salt is great as a natural healer to hydrate the skin and the Cocoa butter of course moisturises for some time after you step out of the bath.

The cocoa butter forms the centre of the bath bomb, which dissolves slowly once the rest of the bomb has disappeared and adds just enough oil to the bath so the water doesn’t become greasy.

IMG_0139

The bath art you get as a result of the lovely pink and blue colours which come streaming out also make this bath bomb a worth while choice! The combination of the pink and blue colours leave you with a lovely deep purple coloured water – in my opinion, the best bath water colour from a bath bomb so far!!

Just to think I only bought this bath bomb because I thought it looked like a great novel design but it has actually turned out to be one of my most favourite! Better stock up on a few whilst the Halloween range is available!

The only downside was that I didn’t find the scent to be strong enough for me, and it didn’t last as long long on my skin after the bath as I had hoped it would. But still, a highly recommended bath bomb!

Lord of Misrule Shower Cream

This was another scent I had heard lots about and couldn’t wait to try! It is bright green in colour and as this is the first of Lush’s shower creams I have tried, I was surprised at how much thicker it is compared to normal shower gel.

IMG_9982

Lord of Misrule shower cream contains patchouli and black pepper which gives it it’s very distinctive and unusual fragrance! To add a layer of sweetness it also contains vanilla absolute which also reduces the kick of the black pepper. It also contains wheatgerm oil which is full of nutrients including vitamin A, B and D to condition the skin, and vitamin E which is known for reducing skin damage.

40967A47-3AA4-4737-85AE-8FC0C2A1773A

Use your shower cream in exactly the same way you do your shower gel – I found it  funny because the label on the shower cream says under the how to use section “if you really don’t know how then we suggest you find someone you really like and invite them into the shower with you to demonstrate”. Brilliant!

Anyway, I lather it up in a sponge which turns it into a nice thick foam. Immediately it feels really lovely and moisturising on the skin, and for several hours after you step out of the shower too. The scent also lasts a long time afterwards, and the smell is really gorgeous! I am really looking forward to using the Lord of Misrule bath bombs now too! Another favourite scent to add to the list! Why are most of my favourite scents seasonal??? I will have to bulk buy some more before they stop making them until next autumn!

Bewitched Bubble Bar

The Bewitched bubble bar is new for Halloween 2017 and I’ve seen some really good reviews of it so far! Doesn’t it look great!?

IMG_9985

As with all my other bubble bars I cut this one up and crumbled it (it was quite difficult to cut with a knife so go carefully!) and then sprinkled about a third of it under running bath water. This bubble bar isn’t very big but don’t let that fool you into using too much – some people have halved it and found this to be a bit too overindulgent! You should easily get three baths out of one of these bubble bars.

It created mounds of lovely bubbles and made the bath water a dark grey colour which I am pleased to say didn’t leave any marks on the bath afterwards!

This bubble bar contains blackberry and bergamot and frankincense oils and is one of the nicest smells I’ve had in a bubble bar! The oils made the water incredibly moisturizing and I didn’t want to get out of the bath once I was in because of its amazing scent and moisturizing effect!!!

I bought three of these in the end so I am well stocked up and a couple of these will be appearing in my famous Halloween goody bags I give to friends and family too!

Black Rose Naked Lip Scrub

I’ve not tried a naked lip scrub before (no little glass pot so it saves on packaging) so I wasn’t really too sure what to expect. I have to admit I don’t find it ideal – if you are using it on your lips one end then it means that you are handling it the other end which only makes me think of germs building up each time you are using it! Still, I can see why they have introduced them.

IMG_9965

The naked lip scrub is like a little bar of soap! I was really pleasantly surprised when I used it – go steady as you swipe it across your lips to buff and smooth as it really does give your lips a harsh scrub if you do it too hard!

The scrub contains illipe butter, extra virgin coconut oil, mood lifting ylang ylang and Sicilian mandarin oils. The caster sugar content exfoliates and keeps your lips soft and smooth whilst the organic jojoba oil moisturises.

I was really impressed with the design and found it easier and far less messy to use than the normal pots of lip scrubs – I am definitely going to buy some more of the available scrubs in this design!

Pumpkin Bath Bomb

A perfect little Halloween bath bomb and one which returns year after year!

Pumpkin bath bomb contains vanilla absolute and pimento berry and is designed to give off an aroma reminiscent of pumpkin pie! The funny thing is, although I love the smell of this bath bomb – I don’t even like pumpkin! I just get excited when it is the time of year that pumpkin flavoured items are released as it means Autumn is finally on the way! This includes Pumpkin Spiced Lattes at Starbucks!

IMG_9964

This bath bomb has a lovely strong flavour which is apparent as soon as you open your Lush parcel! On some occasions the scent almost smelt fruity, which was something I wasn’t expecting! The bath bomb also contains cinnamon and vanilla which gives it its lovely autumnal warming scent which is definitely something I would describe as a “home baking” scent.

IMG_0172

This one is a fast fizzer (seriously – gone in seconds!) which let off streams of orange coloured fizz which was followed by a lovely yellow coloured core. The smell remained strong during my bath and stayed on my skin for a long time afterwards too! It doesn’t put on much of a show as it is gone so quickly but you can’t have everything can you??

Not the most moisturising of bath bombs and I wish the cinnamon scent was stronger, as cinnamon is my favourite scent, but Pumpkin is still an incredibly enjoyable bath bomb which left my skin feeling lovely and soft – I can see why it is a firm favourite in the Halloween collection!

Magic Wand Soap

I don’t normally buy soaps from Lush as I am not a soap person (I prefer shower gels, jellies and creams!) as I find soaps quite drying on my skin, but when I saw the soap range that Lush had released for Halloween and Christmas I knew I just had to try them!

IMG_9979

This lovely looking soap features tangerine oil and orange oil (two of my favourite scents!) and pomegranate molasses which give this soap a lovely strong, fruity scent. The scent isn’t very strong until you actually start using the soap, but it is amazing once you start lathering it onto your skin! Both of these fruits are natural cleansers and are great on the skin for clearing out pores.

The soap also features charcoal (its black outer core) and coconut oil. The charcoal is a great exfoliator and of course coconut oil is great for moisturising and replenishing the skin. I was slightly worried that the black charcoal colour would stain my skin or the tiles in the shower but fear not – although the soaps lather was a dark grey colour as a result of the charcoal, it didn’t stain anything and just washes away with water which is great (I’m still getting over cleaning up the mess after the Dark Arts jelly bomb – I think I am scarred for life after that one!)

When you order a soap from Lush they arrive in rather large chunks, so fellow Lushie’s do tend to cut a chunk off to use, rather than taking the entire block into the bath/shower. Don’t cut the pieces of soap too small though – they are slippery and difficult to keep hold of anyway so it would make it even worse if you are trying to keep hold of a tiny piece!

I’m so pleased I took the risk and bought this one – it didn’t leave my skin feeling dry afterwards (which is what I experience with normal soaps) and the smell is really lovely, and definitely one of my top Lush scents.

IMG_0691

Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb

Obviously the same scent as the Lord of Misrule shower cream I’ve already covered, apparently this bath bomb is inspired by the the ruler of the Pagan Feast of Fools!

IMG_9973

Again containing ingredients of black pepper and patchouli oil with vanilla absolute, this bath bomb almost looked a bit Christmassy due to its bright green colour with specks of pink and white.

This bath bomb was a violent but very slow fizzer – after fifteen minutes it was still going! It is very hypnotic though! After a lot of green fluffy foam, eventually the centre cracks open and out comes this very dark red centre! It is very fascinating to watch!

The water goes from a light green colour to a dark red colour once the centre cracks open but remember to warn the husband/boyfriend of this because when mine poked his head round the bathroom door he thought there had been a horrible accident! I’m not really selling this am I?! Let me put it another way – the end result bath water is one of the most stunning colours I have seen from a bath bomb!

It definitely suits its name – calming green followed by chaotic splashes of red which completely transform the water – this is definitely one of my favourites and is very beautiful to watch!

IMG_0486

The scent is quite strong but not off-putting – you can definitely smell the pepper in it and  it lingers for a long time after you’ve hopped out of the bath.

I wish this bath bomb was a member of the permanent range! Love, love, love it!

Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar

The Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar is bright gold and orange and is COVERED in glitter! The scent isn’t one of my favourites, but it is definitely autumnal!

IMG_9974

The bubble bar is made using lime, juniperberry and grapefruit oils, so it has a warming, zesty and almost woody scent. It also contains lime oil for a bit of a citrus twist and cinnamon stick (the “pumpkin” stem).

It isn’t a particularly big bubble bar – I sliced mine and cut it up like I do with my other bubble bars and found it fit into a much smaller pot than my usual bubble bars. I reckon you will get maybe three baths’ worth out of each one of these little glitter balls.

If you don’t fancy cutting it all up, slice a chunk off and then just crumble it under running water – be warned though – the glitter on the outside of the bubble bar will go everywhere!

Whichever way you break up your bubble bar, once it is crumbled under running water you get a bath full of lovely fluffy bubbles. After having my bath I was expecting to be covered head to toe in glitter, but the glitter was actually subtle in the bath water and didn’t stick to my skin at all. Even better, there was no glitter left in the bath tub at all afterwards, and it all just washed away with the bath water.

IMG_0547

I found the scent of the bubble bar to be relaxing, but not quite as strong as I would like. It also wasn’t as moisturising as some of the other bubble bars I have used, although my skin did feel lovely and soft afterwards.

I enjoyed using the Sparkly Pumpkin bar but it wasn’t one of my favourites. I bought a couple as soon as the Lush Halloween range was released – would I buy it again? Not sure, the smell is growing on me each time I use it….

Hedgewitch Soap

As I said with the Magic Wand soap, I am not really a soap fan in general but I was completely captivated with the Halloween and Christmas range of soaps so I ordered a few to try, and I am so pleased I did!!

I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this soap smells! It is really incredible and I have used it everyday since I bought it! I will definitely have to buy myself several more before the Halloween range is no longer on sale! I’ve bought one for my Mum and Sister too!

IMG_9968

I cut a chunk off my soaps so I use them just a bit at a time and keep the remainder in a sealed Tupperware box for freshness.

This soap contains honeysuckle flower infusion, cocoa butter, coconut oil, organic caster oil, Sicilian mandarin oil, osmanthus absolute and gardenia extract – I think I would go so far as to say this is my absolute favourite soap EVER. It lathers up really nicely (I lather it up on a sponge) and the smell is so addictive that I find myself lathering up several more sponges full of soapy bubbles just to savour the scent for a little bit longer!

Honestly, if you are passing a Lush store, go in and ask them to smell this soap and let me know what you think!

Ectoplasm Jelly Bomb

I couldn’t wait to try this one! A bath bomb named after the green slime that ghosts vomit all over people in films like Ghostbusters!

A relatively harmless looking purple jelly bomb with yellow dots and a little ghost shape on top, Ectoplasm smells absolutely incredible! It contains tangerine, grapefruit and litsea cubeba oil which gives off a gentle zesty lemony kind of scent, which is very refreshing and uplifting.

IMG_8495

This jelly bomb appears to start fizzing quite quickly but overall the bomb took ages to dissolve, and after around half an hour I actually crushed it up in my hands to try and get it to dissolve a little bit quicker! Even after this there were big chunks of the bomb left floating in the bath which I found a bit disappointing!

I was also disappointed because it didn’t let off much jelly – just a bit of purple coloured whisps, and (due to the name) I assumed it would at least resemble something green and slimy which wouldn’t look out of place in a horror movie! You did get a few blobs of fluorescent slime though which was pretty cool!

The smell was incredible and I would buy it again just for the scent, but it was the most disappointing jelly bomb I have tried, jelly wise! I stocked up on a few of these to put in family and friends Halloween gift boxes which I do every year, I hope they aren’t disappointed with them!!

IMG_8534

Goth Fairy Shimmer Bar

I must admit I was quite surprised at how small this little buy was when he arrived because he wasn’t particularly cheap (£5.95 I think), so I was expecting something around the size of a small bubble bar!

IMG_9978

This cute little guy contains grapefruit and bergamot but has an almost creamy blackcurrant scent which is really lovely – definitely more a “berry” fragrance than a “citrus” fragrance. The bar also contains cupuacu, illipe and almond butters and oils for moisturizing.

The idea behind the Goth Fairy Shimmer Bar is to apply your normal moisturizer and then use the shimmer bar on top to add a beautiful scent and a layer of sparkle on your skin. You can use it as the sole moisturizer if you like but due to the size, you would probably end up getting through a bar quite quickly.

When you use the bar it melts slightly due to the warmth of your skin but it is not sticky or messy like some products of a similar nature, such as a massage bar. You can even add the product to your face as part of your makeup routine! It would make quite a nice highlighter I think!

I found the bar to be really moisturizing as well as really effective due to its shimmer, and I didn’t have to wait ages for the butters and oils to be absorbed into my skin.

Be warned that I found the lustre quite difficult to remove – so take it easy if you don’t want to turn up to a business conference looking like a mermaid! Even after having a bath I still found some of the gold, green, silver and purple lustre on my skin a day or so later! Its is very difficult to catch the full shimmery effect on camera but this might give you an idea –

AB9399F8-7AE5-4AC7-A772-BA3ED355C78F

Due to this I would probably only use the bar when going on a girls night out or to a party, and as I don’t do this very often (I’m usually spending my time at work, in the gym, walking the dogs or in my pyjamas watching Netflix or blogging!) so it probably isn’t a product I would use very often. Having said that, I did buy a couple for my sister and best friend to use because I think they are cute and again would be something they would use before a girls night out!

Pink Pumpkin Bubble Bar

To be honest I wasn’t really looking forward to using this bubble bar because I was a bit disappointed with the sparkly pumpkin version and in my mind I tarred these two with the same brush!

Pink Pumpkin is a lighter more floral scent as it contains geranium oil, bergamot oil and jasmine absolute alongside some cinnamon stick which acts as the pumpkin “stem” decoration. I cut the bubble bar up as I would normally and sprinkled a handful under running bath water. Pink Pumpkin produces a mass of lovely fluffy bubbles and turns the water a beautiful rose pink colour. I am not normally a fan of floral scents but I preferred this scent to that of the Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar.

IMG_9986

The thing I was most surprised about with pink pumpkin was how moisturising it was when I got in the bath. You could feel the oils moisturising your skin straight away but without the bath water being oily so it would still be ok to wash your hair in. It was in fact probably one of the most moisturising baths I have had and a bath I really didn’t want to get out of! So pleasantly surprised with this one!

So there you have it – this years Lush Halloween range! I have already purchased the Christmas range too which is HUGE this year so by the time you read this blog I will be well underway trying out these lovely seasonal products!

Keep an eye out for my Christmas Lush blogs in December which will form part of my “Blogmas” attempt this year!

 

Halloween in the Evans’ house!

Wow I really love the autumnal season! Yes the days get cooler but you still have the occasional bright sunny day with that fresh autumnal breeze, ideal for going for long walks with the dogs, and the best part of autumn of course, has to be Halloween!

Now I don’t ever need an excuse to have a party and to celebrate with friends and family, so needless to say, Halloween is always a big event in the Evans’ household! The celebrations usually continue over the entire Halloween weekend, with the first event being a good old trip to the cinema on the Friday evening of Halloween weekend to watch the latest scary horror film! Past films include Insidious and Paranormal Activity – several evenings of no sleep and jumping at every sound the house makes usually follow this!

On the Saturday of Halloween weekend I spend the day decorating the house with all the spooky decs! I have a LOT because every year I come across more decorations I like and I just can’t resist adding them to my collection!

IMG_0524

IMG_0522

The real focus of the decorating is the dinner table! Sometimes I host three course dinner parties and other years I just set the table up with buffet food so people can help themselves if we have a lot of party guests!

IMG_5233

IMG_5275

Every year I also make up goody bags for family and party guests – these boxes I came across on eBay are brilliant! I bought a load in orange and black and just printed off some spooky pictures, add the persons name and they are ready to be filled with sweets and treats!

IMG_5219

Aside from sweets, I also buy other bits and pieces to go with the goody bags, such as these brilliant spooky balloons (99p each from Clinton Cards) and these great orange flowers complete with Scary witch (from Morrisons).

You can read about what appeared in this years goody bags in my Happy Halloween blog which is being published on Tuesday! I can’t give the game away before everyone has had theirs and ruin the surprise!

If we are having guests over for Halloween parties we usually insist on them wearing Halloween outfits! Some of the outfits we’ve seen over the years have been absolutely amazing! So much time, effort and money has gone into them – so most years I will award a trophy to the best dressed guest! Check out some of these scary characters!

IMG_6653

IMG_0547

To keep the guests entertained we usually do a few games and activities – we tried apple bobbing one year – it didn’t end well so we scrapped that! Yearly activities usually now include pumpkin carving and the standard party drinking games!

After our normal yearly Halloween parties, most of the day after is spent clearing up and rescuing the earrings out of the toilet and trying to get the red wine out of the curtains (yes – really!!) but we usually put aside some time to finish off our Halloween weekend with something spooky such as a visit to Frightmare. Frightmare takes place a few miles away and has become so popular over the last few years that the tickets sell out within hours for some of the most popular dates! Each year is a different theme and each ticket gets you entry to five different attractions including the Haunted Hayride, Séance, the Offering, and Caged!

I highly recommend getting tickets if you can – it’s a brilliant event which is really well planned and of course is absolutely terrifying! If you are a bit nervous and think you might not be able to take part in the full experience, they also offer Slightmare, which is a toned down version of the main event!

Have a great Halloween weekend everyone!!!

IMG_0551

Halloween Eats!

Hooray! It’s finally Halloween weekend! I’ve got some great things planned for this weekend but it wouldn’t be a real Halloween celebration without my favourite Halloween recipes I make year after year!

Ghost Cakes

All you need for these is your normal cupcake recipe (vanilla, chocolate, whatever you fancy) and a set of dariole moulds (usually sold in a set of six). Dariole moulds are quite difficult to get hold of in everyday shops, so try somewhere like eBay or Lakeland.

Make sure the dariole moulds are greased and lined and fill to about two-thirds full to allow the cakes space to rise. Once the cakes are cooked, allow them to cool and then carefully remove from the moulds (you might need to cut a bit off the base so that the cakes can stand upright) then all you need to do is roll out some pre-made royal icing and fold it over the top of the cakes so that it looks ghost-like! Add two raisins or dots of black icing for the eyes and voila!

IMG_5203

Welsh-rarebit Ghosts

These are so easy!

Just buy yourself a ghost-shaped cookie cutter and cut ghost shapes out of any type of bread. In a saucepan add 225g of strong cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 2 teaspoons of plain flour and cook over a low heat until melted. At this point you can even add a couple of tablespoons of your favourite beer if you like! Stir the ingredients until they become paste-like.

Toast the one side of the bread, then spread the rarebit over the non-toasted side and brown off under the grill. Only down-side to these are they do need eating straight away after they have been served, but they go down brilliantly as a drunken party goers midnight snack! Delicious!

IMG_5267

Chocolate Frogs

Easy-peasy! Buy the mould from Ebay, choose what chocolate you want to turn into frogs (I use dark chocolate, milk chocolate and cookies and cream chocolate), melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave (do 30 seconds then stir and repeat until all the chocolate is melted) and then pour into the moulds and leave to set.

Hint: do these a couple of days in advance a few at a time, don’t rush them and don’t put them into the fridge to get them to set – changing the temperature too quickly will make the chocolate go white and although it doesn’t do you any harm to eat, it doesn’t look very appetising and your frogs will look mouldy!

IMG_5231

IMG_5288

Shattered Glass Cupcakes

These are really popular at my parties, people always comment at how great they look!

Take your normal cupcake recipe, again any flavour you like, and make the cupcakes as normal. When you go to ice the cakes, use a plain vanilla buttercream or cream cheese as these look the most effective.

A couple of hours before the guests are due to arrive, begin making the shattered glass. The glass needs to be made last minute as when it is left on the cakes for long periods of time, the glass begins to melt and doesn’t look anywhere near as effective. The recipe for making the glass is basically the same as for making caramel, you just don’t leave it cooking as long so the liquid stays clear.

Put 275g of granulated sugar and 175ml of water in a small saucepan with high sides and bring to the boil whilst stirring to make sure all the sugar has dissolved (keep kids well away from this!). Reduce the heat to medium/high and leave to cook until the mixture starts to go golden brown around the edges. This can take a while – around 15 to 20 minutes but keep an eye on it at all times! As soon as this happens, remove the mixture from the heat and pour onto a rimmed baking sheet, tilting the baking sheet slightly as you pour so it spreads evenly and makes a thin layer. Be REALLY careful at this stage – this mixture is incredibly hot!!

Let the mixture cool so it hardens (around 30 minutes). Once the mixture has set, twist the baking sheet slightly and hit the mixture with a rolling pin to crack it like glass (again be careful, these shards can be as sharp as glass) and start adding the shards to the cupcakes.

To finish off, drizzle a blood like mixture over the top of the cupcakes (I make runny icing using royal icing sugar, water and red food colouring, but you can also use jam or cherry preserves etc – I even found pre-made red runny icing in the supermarket last year).

Serve up the cupcakes straight away and watch jaws drop! Oh and teeth break if they don’t go steady on the hardened sugar!

IMG_0533

IMG_0535

DEC80067-84FB-491F-8B58-565BC5A41F76

Mummy Hotdogs

Love these! I could eat the whole lot!

Again so simple to make! Buy a tin of hotdogs, buy a pre-made pack of croissant dough, unroll the dough and cut into thin slices to use as the “bandages”, wrap the dough around the hotdogs to look like mummys and put them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the dough starts going golden brown and the hotdogs are cooked. For the eyes, add two dots of mustard! Really tasty!

IMG_0542

Rice Krispie Pumpkins

I’ve only made these once and they didn’t turn out quite as expected (I didn’t use enough orange food colouring!) but again they are very easy to make and are quite effective! Make up your normal batch of Rice Krispie cakes, add orange food colouring, shape into a ball shape and decorate the eyes, nose, mouth and stalks with black and green ready rolled icing.

IMG_5290

Witches Fingers

There are a couple of recipes for Witches Fingers on the internet – both sweet (Almond Witches Fingers) and savoury (Cheesy Witches Fingers). Both are really effective and very tasty!

IMG_0544
Almond Witches Fingers

Peanut Butter Eyeballs

These are quite easy to make but take bloody ages to decorate so be warned!!! I took a batch of them into work for my work colleagues a couple of years ago and they went down really well though! The recipe does make a lot, which is probably why they take so long to decorate! Find the recipe here.
IMG_0545

I hope this has given you some ideas of some easy but effective Halloween treats! I’m off to start working my way through the bowl of sweets we put aside for the trick or treaters!

Have a great Halloween weekend!