A picnic at The Bush Inn

For all of you who love a good old Afternoon Tea, have I got a treat for you! This is no ordinary Afternoon Tea, it is called a Picnic Bench and is piled high with delicious home-made treats, and it can only be found at a place called The Bush Inn in Hereford.

I have been meaning to visit here since towards the end of last year after seeing their amazing Winter Picnic Bench doing the rounds on Facebook, but with the house move going on and loads of family events, I just didn’t get round to going!

My friends husband booked for them to go as a surprise for Valentines Day and as soon as I saw the photos I knew I had to go as soon as possible! My friend booked the four of us in at the end of April and I was counting down the days until we could go!

Anyway, we booked just in time for their Spring range of picnic benches, and the food on offer was all of my absolute favourites!! I couldn’t believe it when the menu was released,  it was like it was made especially for me!

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Here’s what the Spring picnic bench is made up of:

Chicken burger with salad

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Mozzarella stick with salsa

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Basket of seasoned waffle fries

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Mini macaroni cheese

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Mint Aero cheesecake in a shot glass

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Citrus jelly in a shot glass

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Mini jam jar of passion fruit posset

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Rocky Road slice

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Lemon Victoria sponge cake

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White chocolate coated cake pop

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all served with a mini bottle of Berry Fizz and a Mini Mojito!

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A vegetarian version is available on request – this option is a nut roast burger as an alternative to the chicken burger and everything else remains the same as it is all suitable for vegetarians.

You can only book by calling them directly (01432 830206) and 24 hours notice is required – although be warned, they only serve their picnic benches for a couple of hours a day (12pm to 2pm Tuesday to Saturday, 6:30pm to 8:30pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Fridays 6:00pm to 8:30pm and Saturdays 5:45pm to 7pm) and so places sell out extremely quickly!

The price is £16.50 per person which is an absolute bargain for the amount and quality of food you get per person, I have paid double this for a posh afternoon tea which left me feeling hungry afterwards!

They don’t have a specific website but if you are on Facebook you can find their Facebook page here.

I highly recommend paying a visit if you have the opportunity! I will definitely be coming back! The seasonal picnic benches they have are brilliant. The Easter one they served recently looked delicious and the Winter version they had last year looked incredible so I would definitely like to try another seasonal one at some point! They are currently considering doing a Summer Picnic Bench and a Royal Wedding themed Picnic Bench in May to celebrate Harry and Meghan getting married – sounds a great idea to me!

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Popaball Drink Shimmers

I first wrote a review over a year ago on Popaball’s amazing Rose Gold shimmer for prosecco, but things have come on a long way since then and Popaball now have a range of SIX of these amazing drinks shimmers, so I thought it was time to write an updated blog!

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Here is the full range of lovely drink shimmers you can currently get from Popaball;

Violet Shimmer

This one tastes delicious! It is blackcurrant flavour and can be used in any drink from champagne to lemonade!

Simply add 1/3 of a teaspoon of the shimmer to a glass of drink which is about half full and watch your drink turn a multicoloured unicorn effect until the bubbles settle, revealing your drink as a beautiful violet purple colour.

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This can also be used in cocktails as an alternative to creme de cassis! It is my favourite shimmer flavour-wise!

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Rose Gold Shimmer

The original drinks shimmer – I love this stuff! I bought several packs when it was released and it was brilliant to take to parties and on girls nights out to jazz up your prosecco. I’ve also bought several as gifts for family and friends!

Everyone loves the shimmery rose gold effect it creates in prosecco! It is raspberry flavoured and also contains edible gold leaf hearts!

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Just fill your glass 3/4 full with prosecco, slowly sprinkle in 1/3 of a teaspoon of the shimmer powder, watch it bubble up and then reveal a beautiful rose gold shimmering unicorn style prosecco! My favourite overall shimmer from the selection so far!

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Blue Pearl shimmer for Gin

This shimmer is designed to be used in gin and tonics, however, I don’t like gin so I have been drinking this in my prosecco just like the other flavours!

The Blue Pearl is blueberry flavoured and (if you are using it in your gin and tonics) you just need to fill 1/2 a glass with ice, add 25ml of gin, and top with tonic water, slowly sprinkle in 1/3 teaspoon of the shimmer powder and watch your gin bubble and then reveal a beautiful blue pearl mermaid style shimmery drink!

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If, like me, gin isn’t your thing, then as with the violet and rose gold shimmer, simply add 1/3 of a teaspoon in with your prosecco/champagne/lemonade or whatever you happen to be drinking!

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Popaball’s latest releases are the Gold, Silver and Bronze drink shimmers which are designed for any drink as they are completely flavourless. As with all the others just fill your glass 2/3 full with a sparkling drink of your choice and add 1/3 of a teaspoon of shimmer, watch it bubble up and then reveal either a lovely gold, silver or bronze coloured shimmery drink!

Gold Drink Shimmer

I was looking forward to trying the gold one most of all as gold is my favourite colour and we had gold and cream as our wedding colours!

When I used it for the first time I wish it had been around when we had got married – we could have put some in everyone’s toasting champagne so it matched our wedding theme!

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The gold one is lovely – really effective and really shimmery!

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Silver Drink Shimmer

This was the colour I was least bothered about out of the three, and when I first sprinkled the powder in I thought it didn’t have much of an effect….

However once all the bubbles have gone and you give the drink a good swirl, the silver colour is actually one of the most effective shimmers of the range!

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Again, if you are getting married this year and silver forms part of your colour theme, I would highly recommend the silver shimmer if one of your arrival or toasting drinks is prosecco or champagne!

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Bronze Drink Shimmer

I wasn’t too sure about this one as although I love bronze/copper colours at the moment, I thought the colouring might be a little bit too dark….. how wrong I was!

It’s true this is the darkest of all the colours from the range but it is also the most shimmery and effective.

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The pictures really don’t do it justice – I thought this had the best “shimmering” effect by far – maybe because the colour is so dark the golden glitter and sparkles stand out far better? This one is definitely another favourite of the range and will probably be the go-to shimmer as unlike my other favourites, the violet and the rose gold, this one is flavourless and so will go with any type of drink!

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I really highly recommend you trying them, the pictures really don’t do the shimmers justice and they are great for all kinds of occasions!

The shimmers cost £7.49 each, are 21 gram packs and each pack contains approximately 21 servings, so although the pots look small, they do last ages!

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Add more shimmer than recommended if you would like a greater effect and taste, but add only a little at a time because the shimmer does cause the drinks to fizz up and overflow if you aren’t careful! I’ve been caught out many times with this!

I wouldn’t add anymore than the recommended amount of the violet shimmer as the blackcurrant taste of this shimmer is quite strong and you only need a little bit for a great taste effect!

I have placed multiple orders with Popaball over the past year or so for their shimmers and bubbles, (and that doesn’t include their products I’ve bought from my local Lakeland), but over the Christmas period they sent me a free double pack of their bursting bubbles to say thank you for my custom over the past year!

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I thought this was a really lovely touch and customer service at its best! Thank you Popaball, it was much appreciated!

You can buy the whole range of shimmers and bubbles online at Popball’s website.

Casa Das Bolita’s Dough Balls

I came across Casa Das Bolita’s dough balls at one of the Gloucester Quays food fayres last year. I’d gone with my Mum and my Sister and the weather was absolutely awful! So much so we made the decision to call it a day and miss out on those stalls we hadn’t had the chance to visit yet. On our way battling back towards the car park I spotted the Casa Das Bolita’s dough balls stall and knew I just had to try some! They were being cooked fresh but because the weather was so bad I didn’t want to risk them getting soaking wet and soggy! I was so pleased when they told me they sold them in frozen packs to take home so I just needed to heat them up in the oven!

It was so difficult choosing the flavour I thought I would like best so I settled on playing it safe and bought a pack of the cheddar ones.

I put some of them in the oven a bit later on that day and was blown away by how delicious they were! I went online straight away to see what other flavours there were and put an order in a couple of weeks later for one pack of every flavour!

So, what makes these dough balls different from normal dough balls? Well, to start with, they are Gluten, Wheat, Yeast, and Nut free! They are made from all natural ingredients, have no added sugar and no added preservatives. These “Bolitas” are the most popular Brazilian snack – they are cheese dough balls made from cassava flour and cheese, and they are ideal as snacks or appetisers. Simply pop them on some greaseproof paper and put them in the oven for a few minutes and serve warm! Delicious!

Here are all the different flavours I’ve sampled so far:

Cheddar

Good old cheddar flavoured – you can’t go wrong with these! Just pop them in the oven from frozen until they start going golden brown and serve immediately! The cheddar ones are one of my favourite flavours!

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Garlic Cheese

Another of my favourites is the garlic cheese – I love garlic and this gives the dough balls that little extra bit of flavour.

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Halloumi

I love halloumi, we often slice it and grill it and have it for dinner as a side so I knew I would love the dough ball version too!

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Mozzarella and Oregano

I love how the Mozzarella goes all stringy and gooey when you cook these! The addition of the oregano makes these extra tasty too!

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Chicken

I was really looking forward to trying these!

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They are bigger than the normal dough balls, are stuffed with tasty seasoned chicken and are absolutely delicious!

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Sausage Rolls

I have to say these are my least favourite from the collection but this is no reflection on the product – it’s purely because I am just not a fan of sausage rolls! I would never buy sausage rolls from the supermarket or bakery, but I thought I would give these a try!

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They are slightly bigger than the regular dough balls, and each one consists of a small sausage wrapped in cheesy dough. Like with all the others, cook them in the oven from frozen until they just start turning golden brown and then serve immediately. Great for buffets and parties.

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You can order Casa Das Bolita’s Dough balls online by visiting their website. All orders are even sent out frozen for 24 hour delivery!

They also offer sweet flavoured dough balls in fudge, guava and chocolate! I will definitely have to try the sweet versions next time I put an order in!

Having a Lush Easter!

I have to say after the Lush Mother’s Day collection contained so many great and innovative new products, I was rather disappointed when they released the details of the Easter range! I was expecting far more products (akin to the Halloween or Christmas range) and for some reason I was also expecting them to release a giant bath bomb of some sort – like the giant rose bombshell bath bomb they released as part of the Valentine’s Day range.

Anyway, as soon as the Easter range was released I quickly went online and ordered one of everything in order to test them out. It was only when I was half way through trying them all out that I realised the mistake I had made, which was that several of the products, although they looked different, were exactly the same product with exactly the same scent! It was completely my fault, I should have checked the ingredients of them all before I ordered them and I would have realised, however I’ve ended up with several duplicates which of course also means the Easter range was far smaller than I first thought!

Anyway, here’s what I thought of the Easter 2018 range:

Free Rangers Bath Bombs (blue, orange and purple)

The blue one was the first of the three Free Rangers bath bombs I used and it was at this point I realised that all three colours of Free Ranger bath bombs all have the same ingredients and the same scent! If I had known I think I would have just bought myself the purple one and not all three! Anyway, they come in blue, orange and purple.

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The Free Ranger bath bombs are incredibly fast dissolving bath bombs, especially in view of their large size, (seriously, blink a couple of times and you will miss them dissolving!), but the thing I found most disappointing about these bath bombs was the complete lack of scent they seemed to contain!

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After using the first one, I seriously wondered if it had been a dud – I honestly couldn’t smell anything when I was using it and the ingredients Free Rangers contains (Bergamot Oil, Blackcurrant Absolute and Cypress Oil) all should be smells which I think should be really prominent?

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Reviews of this bath bomb say the scent should be similar to that of the Comforter bubble bar which is a truly lovely blackcurranty berry smelling scent, but I couldn’t detect anything even remotely similar to this, so I’m really disappointed, especially in view of the £5.95 price tag.

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The bath water itself was moisturising but no where near as much as I had expected in view of the size and the ingredients it contains. I wish I had checked first and realised that they were all the same scent and then perhaps I wouldn’t have spent nearly £18 on three bath bombs that I don’t love! Having said that, I have bought a couple of these as Easter presents because the design is great (and as the smell is so weak it is unlikely that anyone I give them to will dislike it!)

Poisson D’Avril Bubble Bar

I really didn’t want to have to cut this little guy up as he looks so adorable! I knew I was going to love this bubble bar before it even arrived and I got to smell it and use it, just by checking out the ingredients it contained!

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Packed into this little guy is black pepper oil, cinnamon leaf oil, oak moss absolute and neroli oil – some of my most favourite ingredients!

Despite its size I think you would easily get three good baths out of one little fishy – he’s small but very compact! I used half in one go because I’d been on the sun bed earlier in the day so I could do with the extra moisturising and knew I would love the smell!

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I sprinkled half the chopped bubble bar under running water and this produced a huge amount of lovely thick bubbles and a deep red shimmery mermaid style bath water. The scent is extremely relaxing and warming, almost to the point of spicy but not quite. The water was so soft you could almost feel it working as you spent your time lazing in the tub. I seriously did not want to get out of this bath – if I could have got away with staying in there all night then I would have!

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As predicted, I absolutely love this bubble bar! I’d be hard pushed to say that it wasn’t my absolute favourite – I’m sat here struggling to think of any over bubble bars that even come close to how much I love this bubble bar. Onto the website I go to buy them all!

April Showers Bath Bomb

Not a very Eastery design but definitely an April design! It hasn’t stopped raining for most of the weekend!

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April Showers smells amazing! It dissolves pretty quickly but releases these lovely pink and purple blobs of oil to make your bath water lovely and moisturising. For those of you who are familiar with the now discontinued Lava Lamp bath bomb, this design is very much reminiscent of it.

April Showers contains an abundance of ingredients to make your bath water lovely and soft and make your skin incredibly moisturised! It contains fair trade organic cocoa butter, cypress oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, and organic castor oil. To give it its wonderful scent, April Showers also contains cedar wood, violet leaf absolute, and tonka absolute, so all in all it creates a woody, flowery and sweet scent all in one!

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April Showers is definitely one of my favourites from the Easter range and it’s great they are reusing the Lava Lamp idea after discontinuing it early last year. My boxes of Lush supplies are bursting at the seams at the moment but I may have to grab a few more of these before the Easter range is discontinued!

Which Came First Bath Bomb – Stripes or Spots

These two were the second “duplicate” mistake I made – both contain exactly the same ingredients but just look slightly different!

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These egg shaped bath bombs are slightly bigger than the usual bath bomb, but seriously, after dropping these in the bath, just like the Free Rangers bath bombs, blink and you will miss them! They are probably some of the quickest dissolving bath bombs I’ve ever used!

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They are also a little bit disappointing on the bath art side of things – a lot of pink foam and little bubbles which leaves you with a nice pink coloured bath water, but not much else….

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I liked the scent of these bath bombs but didn’t think the scent was very strong considering their size and their prominent smelling ingredients such as grapefruit oil and sicilian lemon oil. These bombs do also contain vanilla absolute to sweeten the scent slightly, but they still didn’t smell anywhere near as strong as I would have liked.

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Being as they dissolved incredibly quickly, and didn’t smell very strong or provide me with much bath art, I was hoping that they would at least be incredibly moisturising to make up for the lack in other areas….

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The water WAS lovely and moisturising as I had hoped, however I then remembered that these bath bombs are a lot bigger than regular bath bombs and thought to myself, so they should be!

They aren’t my least favourite bath bomb but they certainly aren’t “memorable” by any stretch of the imagination which is a real shame…

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A bit of a let down I’m afraid, especially in view of the £6.95 price tag they each had…

Cream Egg Bubbleroons in Spotty, Circles and Marbled

And finally, the third set of “duplicates” I ordered! I think I could be forgiven for these as they do all look completely different despite having the same name!

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The Cream Egg Bubbleroons come in Spotty, Circles and Marbled designs and are two pieces of bubble bar sandwiched together with a cocoa butter type cream.

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I’ve been chopping each of these in half and then crumbling them up to use half at a time and this seems to be the perfect amount for a lovely bath.

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The bubbleroons contain fair trade organic cocoa butter and fair trade shea butter for moisturising.

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The bubbleroons also contain spearmint oil. Mint is one of my least favourite scents but the cocoa butter and shea butter make them smell sweet and creamy.

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Half of the bubbleroon produces a lovely bath full of fluffy bubbles and soft moisturising water.

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As I say, they all have the same scent but I think that my favourite is the marbled one as the pink and blue create really lovely bath art when you sprinkle them in the bath water!

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A very nice bubbleroon which is just perfect for Easter, I am glad I bought three of them in the end! I’ve nearly used all three!

Bunch of Carrots Re-useable Bubble Bar

I really like the design of this one! Very clever! please ignore the glitter on it, it doesn’t come with any glitter on, its just the Golden Egg bath bomb glitter got EVERYWHERE as usual!

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Although I love the design, I am still a bit dubious of these re-useable bubble bars after my initial experience with the Magic of Christmas bubble wand I used as part of the Christmas collection. This was the first re-useable bubble bar I had used and after swishing it about for a few seconds and holding it under running water (as you are supposed to do!) the bubble bar basically disintegrated and fell into the bath in one clump!

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I held the Bunch of Carrots under the running water and swished it around a bit and it seemed fine but after a few minutes, again the same thing happened and the “carrots” came away from the green stalks! Luckily they came away still in one piece, and to be fair, if for my next three baths I used one whole carrot, I’m still going to get a total of four baths out of this reusable bubble bar, so it is pretty good value for money.

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The bubble bar does make a lot of lovely fluffy bubbles and I do really like the scent. Bunch of Carrots includes buchu oil, sicilian lemon oil and bergamot oil – some of my favourite ingredients! I am just not completely sold on the reusable bubble bar idea still, although if they made another product with this scent, I would definitely buy it!

Another thing to note with this product – be ever so careful once it is wet as the colours in the product are very vivid and will likely stain everything in sight!

Seven Deadly Spins Bubble Spinner

I am a bit unsure about this product, I’m not too sure what it is supposed to be based on but it very much reminds me of a golden snitch from Harry Potter!

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The first thing I noticed about Seven Deadly Spins was how small it was! I know it is a re-useable bubble bar but still, if it is this size it must pack a real punch surely?

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I held the little guy under running water and it did produce a lot of bubbles very quickly without reducing in size at all but I was shocked to see the colour of the water! It was bright yellow and almost radioactive looking!

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I did like its unusual scent (it contains bergamot oil, litsea Cubeba oil and benzoin resinoid, so an almost orangey/lemony/woody scent) but again didn’t find it to be strong enough for my liking! I’m starting to think I need my sense of smell checking!

Although it didn’t reduce in size at all after one use, I think going forward I will chop it and crumble it up and then use it like a normal bubble bar rather than the reusable spinner it is designed as, which kind of defeats the point I suppose!

The other thing which annoyed me about this product was that it stained my lovely white bath rack! None of the other products I have used, even the bright vividly coloured ones have done this before! It has left a bright luminous green/yellow stain on it which I just can’t get off which was very disappointing….

Here Comes the Sun Naked Shower Cream

I wasn’t entirely convinced about these new Naked products but I am definitely coming around to them, mainly because I think of them as being a far stronger and more potent version of a soap! I do like my scents strong!

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Here comes the sun naked shower cream is jam packed with a range of both familiar and really unusual ingredients! Some of the more familiar ingredients in here include fair trade shea butter for softness along with Mandarin Oil, tangerine Oil, bergamot oil, and good old fresh orange juice! The more unusual ingredients are St John’s Wort infusion, organic avocado oil and cup mushroom?? Very strange.

Looking at these ingredients written down I would have thought that they would be one of my favourite scents ever, but I did have concerns with the St John’s Wort infusion….excellent as an anti-inflammatory for the skin, but doesn’t smell particularly appealing to me (a kind of resinous scent). Still, the St John’s Wort is very faint and so I think this may be one of my favourite Naked smelling products!

It glides thickly onto the skin, smells amazing and leaves your skin feeling lovely and soft  – what more could you want?

Carrot Soap

How great looking is this soap?? Brilliant! I bought one for my Sister for Easter too as she didn’t want chocolate this year!

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Carrot soap, surprisingly enough, contains fresh carrot infusion and carrot powder to give it its very faint carroty scent! It also contains cedarwood oil, tangerine oil, and gardenia extract to add a woody and citrusy scent and fair trade organic cocoa butter, extra virgin coconut oil and organic castor oil to moisturise your skin.

Carrot lathers up really nicely and leaves your skin feeling lovely and soft – it is a delicate scent and don’t be put off by the carrot ingredient – you can barely detect it and you won’t get out of the shower smelling like Peter Rabbit’s next meal!

Golden Egg Bath Bomb Melt

I have reviewed the Golden egg bath bomb melt before and thought twice about buying another one as although I love the scent of it and the bath water leaves your skin feeling amazing, the glitter is just a little bit too much to cope with!

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I am really pleased that I invested in another one as part of this years collection as the one I bought last year sank like a stone when I put it in the bath! This one bobbed along quite merrily in the bath water as it should do!

When you order one of these little blighters and you unpack your box of goodies, just be warned that this bath bomb will get glitter EVERYWHERE. Then when you get them out of the box to put them away you will get even more glitter EVERYWHERE!

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This bomb is unique in a way because it is part bath bomb, part bath melt. Underneath the top shell of thick golden glitter is another shell of cocoa butter with orange oil which melts away into a lovely yellow foam when it’s submerged in the bath water. Once the middle is exposed, a white foam is revealed which mixes with the yellow, resulting in golden yellow shimmery bath water.

It has some lovely ingredients which give it its delicious scent – brazilian orange oil, bergamot oil and gardenia extract, and also contains fair trade organic cocoa butter,  fair trade olive oil and almond oil which is what makes this such a luxurious bath.

I’m a big fan of the scent and how moisturising it is but not the design – the glitter really is just too much! I will say though, the glitter does wash away very easily with the bath water – no hours of scrubbing the bath as I had expected after all!!

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the long Easter weekend and have been spoilt! It’s nice to have a short week this week – back to the gym tomorrow and hopefully a showing of Peter Rabbit at the cinema with my Sister too!

Genie’s Cave Afternoon Tea

I’ve got a real thing lately for afternoon tea’s – especially themed ones – so when an advert for the Genie’s Cave afternoon tea at Cutter and Squidge in London came up, I knew I had to pay them a visit!

Upstairs in Cutter and Squidge there is a beautiful tea room filled with incredible looking cakes and treats. For the Genie’s Cave afternoon tea you are escorted downstairs into an underground treasure trove where the walls are painted pink and purple and are adorned with all sorts of brightly coloured jewels, gold pieces and gold coins! It is just like a little cave of treasure!

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The only downside with this was that the lighting was so low that my camera didn’t take very good pictures so apologies for that, but hopefully you’ll get an idea of what to expect!

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A Genie’s Welcome

The first part of the afternoon tea was very unusual as it was a dessert type treat! The Genie’s Welcome comes in a little round glass bowl and is a raspberry flavoured yogurt type treat with raspberry sauce, raspberries and pomegranate seeds mixed in. This is then topped with pashmak which is a type of Iranian Candy Floss sometimes referred to as “Dragon’s Beard! They sell pashmak in Selfridges and I’ve always fancied trying it! It is very similar to candy floss but not as gritty, it is a bit “hair” like for my liking though, hence the Dragon’s Bear name!! This is then topped with a lovely home made thick fluffy meringue which has been torched on the one side.

Selection of Finger Sandwiches

Probably the most boring part of all afternoon teas but some people like sandwiches! The selection was Cucumber and Fresh Mint, Cheese and Tomato Jam and Coronation Chicken.

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Savoury Wishes

The Savoury Wishes part of the afternoon tea included these lovely delights:

  • Dessert Rose Tart with thinly sliced roasted vegetables

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  • Savoury Scones Swirls with roasted peppers and Feta cheese – These were really tasty – swirled pastry with roasted vegetables and feta cheese in. A nice alternative to “normal” scones as they aren’t as thick and heavy!

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  • Golden Cheese Clouds  – These were lovely, I really liked these! Imagine a savoury profiterole style choux bun is the best way to describe them! Very light and very cheesy! Yum!

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Sweet Wishes

The Sweet Wishes part of the afternoon tea included:

  • Raspberry and Rose Tart sprinkled with pistachio emeralds – tiny little pastry tarts filled with raspberry cream centres and topped with crumbled pistachios.

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  • Hidden gem Macaron with peanut butter and jelly.

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  • Magic Carpet Cookies – lovely little carpet shaped melt in the mouth shortbread biscuits topped with cocoa patterns.

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Ruby Dream Cake

A vanilla and strawberry cake with orange glaze and jelly ruby.

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Golden Treasure Biskie

Two chocolate cookie like biscuits with a delicious chocolate mousse in the middle decorated with 24 carat Gold! This was my favourite!

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The afternoon tea is £29.50 per person or £34.50 per person with a glass of bubbly, and Wheat free or dairy free options are also available for the afternoon tea which include a £5 surcharge. When we left they also gave us this lovely little treat to take with you which I thought was a lovely touch.

They are changing the theme at the end of March so get in there quickly if you want to experience it! The staff wouldn’t tell me what the new theme was as they have been sworn to secrecy but I’m looking forward to seeing what the next themed afternoon tea will be!

Lush Cosmetics – The Mother’s Day Collection

To be totally honest, I didn’t have high hopes for the Lush Cosmetics Mother’s Day collection when it was first released. I didn’t even realise they released a collection especially for Mother’s Day! The products included in the collection surprised me slightly – there were a few great looking items I wanted to try, but overall I thought to myself, there are far too many different soaps making up this collection! Do Mum’s like getting soaps for Mother’s Day more than any other product I wonder? It just seemed a tad odd to me that’s all!

Anyway, here is the full range of Mother’s Day products and what I thought of each one:

Madame President Bath Bomb

How stunning looking is this bath bomb to start off the Mother’s Day collection?! What a fantastic design!

Not only does Madame President look great, but the ingredients it contains (grapefruit oil and petitgrain oil) also make it a winner!

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Madame President is a very, very fast fizzer – I struggled to hold it still in time for a photo! It also produces the most amazing looking bath art, particularly when the stars separate from the bath bomb and float around the bath!

I really love the scent of this bath bomb but it has received mixed reviews from other Lushies who don’t like the stronger scent of the petitgrain oil, but I find it very different and refreshing.

I also found this to be one of the most moisturising bath bombs I’ve used. The water was so soft and silky, but without being oily or greasy. I’ll definitely be stocking up on a few of these before they are discontinued!

Looks like we are off to a good start with the Mother’s Day collection so far!

Mother of Pearl Marbled Bubbleroon

I used this bubbleroon first and didn’t even look at the ingredients so I was really pleased when I crumbled half under the hot running water and instantly recognised the scent as being the same as one of my favourite products – Rub Rub Rub shower scrub! As soon as I realised, I knew this was going to be one of my favourite products and I knew I would have to go and stock up on some more before the Mother’s Day collection disappeared!

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Mother of Pearl contains the same ingredients for softening and moisturising as the other bubbleroons in the range – fair trade organic cocoa butter, murumuru butter, and fair trade shea butter, and also contains jasmine absolute, mimosa absolute and orange flower absolute! Lovely!

The scent is really citrusy and quite lemony – I’m still surprised that lemon is not one of the main ingredients in this product! I can see that some people are going to have the same issues with this product as they have with Rub Rub Rub shower scrub, and that is that the scent is slightly reminiscent of lemon toilet cleaner! That makes it sound horrible, and I can see why some people think that, but this is truly one of my favourite scents from the Lush range.

I was hoping to pop to my local Lush to get some more of these last weekend however as we were completely snowed in, I wasn’t going anywhere! I’ll have to put in another online order to make sure I don’t miss out on these beauties!

Chamomile Lawn Soap

I didn’t like the scent of this one when it arrived and it seemed to overpower all the other scents in my Lush delivery box! To be honest with you, even after using the soap I am still unsure about the scent – I don’t like it, yet don’t dislike it…. a very strange and unusual scent is the only way I can really describe it.

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Chamomile Lawn soap, I was surprised to learn, contains lavender oil and lavender absolute – this is definitely not an ingredient I can detect in the soap either before or during use, which is a shame because I do like delicately scented lavender products.

For softness and moisturising, the soap contains fair trade organic cocoa butter, extra virgin coconut oil, organic castor oil, chamomile blue oil and neroli oil (neroli oil is also known as orange blossom).

The final ingredient is what gives this product its name – German chamomile infusion. I think this is the ingredient which gives this product its unusual scent and is perhaps the ingredient which I am not too keen on. I think it is this ingredient which gives this soap it’s “medicinal” scent.

The soap lathers up really well and does leave your skin feeling lovely and soft – the scent is not my favourite but is definitely unlike anything else I have used before. I probably wouldn’t buy anymore of this product but I will carry on using the one I have already got. If any of you guys come across it I would be interested to see what you all thought of it?

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Mum, Look What I Made For You Bath Bomb

This is so cute looking! What a great idea! A bath bomb which looks like something your little one would conjure up during an arts and crafts afternoon!

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I don’t know what I expected this bath bomb to smell like – perhaps something floral seeing as it is designed in the shape of a flower, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! Look What I Made For You bath bomb is made up of some lovely ingredients including coconut milk powder, cocoa absolute, almond essential oil, coconut blossom nectar, and chocolate extract!

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You can definitely smell the chocolate extract as one of the most prominent smells, and I was surprised to learn that this put some other Lushie’s off the scent! I think it’s really nice – it is chocolatey and sweet by by no means overpowering. The coconut milk powder gives it that creamy scent and the almond oil give it a little bit of sweetness and bitterness all rolled into one!

It also produces beautiful bath art so overall this is one of my favourites of the Mother’s Day range! Not the most attractive looking of bath bombs I must admit, but it isn’t supposed to be is it!? Plus you won’t have to put it up on the fridge for the next five years like most of the strange creations and drawings the little ones bring home for you for Mother’s Day!

I’m definitely going to grab a couple more of these whilst they are still around!

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Purple Drain Marbled Bubbleroon

This was the second out of the three bubbleroons I tried, and I was really looking forward to using it when I saw the ingredients it contained!

As with all these new marbled bubbleroons, Purple Drain contains fair trade organic cocoa butter, murumuru butter and fair trade shea butter for moisturising and softness.

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I was particularly looking forward to using this bubbleroon because it contained clove bud oil, black pepper oil and peppermint oil – a really dark and potent mix – or so you would think…..

I was hoping the scent would be similar to that of one of my favourite scents “Lord of Misrule”, but unfortunately it was nothing like it! Well from what I could smell of Purple Drain it didn’t seem to be anything like it! I found Purple Drain to be a really faintly scented product, so much so, I wondered whether I should have used the entire bubbleroon in one go? This would seem to be a very expensive way to get a decent scent from a product though!

I’ve gone back and had another smell of the left over half of the bubbleroon – you can faintly detect the smell of the black pepper oil but definitely nothing remotely like peppermint. Maybe the one I had was a dud – if any of you have used Purple Drain and think differently I would love to hear from you – it might mean I can invest in another one and have an entirely different experience!

Lovely idea for a scent but no where near strong enough for me, what a shame.

Raspberry Milkshake Soap

I had really high hopes for this one – other Lushie’s were saying they loved the scent and design of this product so I was looking forward to using it!

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Raspberry Milkshake soap contains almond milk, fair trade organic cocoa butter, extra virgin coconut oil, and organic castor oil for softness and moisturising. It’s other ingredients are fresh raspberry juice, raspberry seeds, dried larkspur frosted blue (a lavender type looking flower), vanilla absolute, davana oil, and sicilian lemon oil.

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The soap lathered up really well but I was a bit concerned about the amount of dark pink (almost red) colouring which seemed to be pouring out of it! It washed off my skin but has left a slight tinge on my hands where I was rubbing the soap into the sponge! Be careful with white towels and favourite clothes lying within splash distance!

The lather did leave my skin feeling really soft but I have to say, I was very underwhelmed with the scent of this soap. The overall scent is very weak and I was expecting a creamy raspberry smell, but I could only just detect the raspberry at all! There is a faint vanilla smell there too, but I couldn’t detect the lemon juice aspect of it in any way.

I thought this would be one of my favourites but unfortunately not! I don’t dislike the scent, and the soap is lovely and moisturising, I just wouldn’t buy any more because there are so many other lovely Lush soaps out there that I would rather use!

Incredible Mum Bath Bomb

Hats off to the person who came up with the idea for this bath bomb! It’s brilliant! It even has it’s own little paper superhero cape! Amazing!

Anyway, after seeing the design of this one, I had big expectations for Incredible Mum Bath Bomb! I loved the sound of the ingredients –  bergamot oil, orange flower absolute, and ylang ylang oil. Just my sort of scent!

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It’s fair to say when I expected big things from this little bath bomb that I wasn’t disappointed! It created some of the most beautiful bath art I have seen and the scent of the bath bomb was absolutely gorgeous! I didn’t want to get out of the bath!

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The bath is soon filled with stunning pink, orange and yellow colours, and I loved how after the bath bomb had fully dissolved that the little cape was left behind, floating along the top of the water.

If you only buy one item for your Mum from the Mother’s Day collection then I think this may be the product for you! It looks spectacular, smells amazing and is perfect for every superhero Mum out there!

Baa Bar Bubble Bar

Baa Bar Bubble bar is not a new product, however the recipe for it has changed this year which has resulted in mixed opinions amongst the Lushie community!

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I am afraid I can’t make a comparison with the previous Baa Bar, as unfortunately I didn’t get to use the previous design. All I can tell you is that this latest design is “Twilight” scented and after using half a bubble bar for my bath I am an absolute addict!

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I think I actually prefer this bubble bar to its Twilight bath bomb counterpart – the scent is incredible and just half a bar produces mounds of lovely fluffy bubbles with really silky and moisturising water. Plus, the Twilight scent is designed to help relax you and ease you into a good nights sleep, and anything which helps me get off to the land of nod is a bonus to me!

Baa Bar Bubble Bar contains Lavender Oil, Tonka Absolute, Ylang Ylang Oil, Lavender Powder and Soya Milk and is a perfect combination!
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I would tell you all to go out and buy several of these but as they are limited editions for Mother’s Day I don’t want them selling out before I can get my hands on at least five more!

Lemon Zest Soap

As I say, one of the first things I noticed about the Mother’s Day collection was how many soaps there were! When I looked at them all I had a sneaky feeling that this one was going to be my favourite! I love lemony and zesty fresh scents and believe me, Lemon Zest did not disappoint!

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Lemon Zest is overwhelmingly zesty and I love it! It contains fair trade organic cocoa butter, extra virgin coconut oil, organic castor oil, and murumuru butter for moisturising and softness, and lemon oil, fresh lemon peel, rosewood oil, lemon myrtle oil, and almond oil to make a perfect scent combination. Wow!

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The soap lathers up really well and leaves your skin feeling not only soft and smooth but really cleansed and refreshed. I used loads and loads of it the first time I used it because I adore the scent but I was pleased that the size of the soap hardly reduced at all!

This is definitely one of my favourite Lush soaps ever – if you like lemony zesty scents then buy, buy, buy!

Antiope Naked Shower Gel

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the new “Naked” products available from Lush because I’ve done a separate blog on what I think about these new creations which I am hoping will be released in the next couple of weeks. What I will say is this is probably the most perfectly made Naked shower gel I have come across so far!

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I read the ingredients for this one and even after studying them quite closely I was still quite unsure of what to expect with this scent. Antiope has some really unusual ingredients in it that I’ve not come across before such as suma root infusion (aids blood circulation and increases endurance and strength), pequi oil (great for eczema and skin lesions and hair treatments), davana oil (an oil with a really powerful fruity and sweetly herbaceous aroma), and galbanum oil (aids poor circulation and eases aches and pains in joints and muscles). In fact, I’ve only ever heard of two of the ingredients Antiope is made up of, which are white amazonian clay and brazilian orange oil!

After I’ve listed all these ingredients and their properties, Antiope appears to be one amazing product! The naked shower gel lathers up really well and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth and refreshed. The only downside? As with Chamomile Lawn soap above, there’s an ingredient in Antiope which makes me dislike the scent somewhat. I love Brazilian orange oil so, going from the description of the ingredients, I can only put it down to it being the davana oil that I dislike the smell of.

It’s such a shame, although you can detect the smell of Brazilian orange oil, it is far outweighed by the unusual scent of, presumably, the davana oil. If the Brazilian orange oil was the stronger scent here, I would really love this product. Unfortunately, as it stands, this is probably my least favourite Naked Shower Gel from the range!

Citrus Are Doing It For Themselves Marbled Bubbleroon

This was the last one of the Marbled bubbleroons that I tried, and so far I’ve used one that I really loved and one that I wasn’t too bothered about, so this third one really could go either way!

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After my disappointment with Purple Drain, I wondered to myself whether I should have been using all of the marbled bubbleroons in one go? I’d not done this very often and thought to myself that this would work out expensive going forward, but I thought is it better to have one bath you really enjoyed with the strength of the scent being just right, or two or three baths you were disappointed with because you could barely detect the scent of the product?

Anyway, I decided on chopping up just half of the bubbleroon as I had been doing with the others, and I am very pleased I did because half of Citrus are doing it for themselves was more than enough for a bath of lovely fluffy bubbles and soft moisturising water.

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I was looking forward to using this one because the ingredients looked perfect to me – fairtrade organic cocoa butter, murumuru butter and fair trade shea butter for moisturising (just like the other bubbleroons) plus lemon oil, grapefruit oil, lime oil and lemon myrtle oil – it doesn’t get more citrusy than that! If you are not a fan of citrusy smells then you need to steer clear of this one I’m afraid!

I really loved the scent of this bubbleroon – I’m not going to lie, the citrus scent was very overpowering but I loved it! It was so refreshing, and just what I needed when the snow was heavily falling outside!

 

Honey Bear Massage Bar

Look at this cute little guy! Almost too good to use isn’t he?

Now I am not a fan of moisturising. I know I should do more of it and my skin really needs it but I just can’t stand how it feels! all greasy and slippery and sticking to everything! So it’s fair to say I moisturise as little as possible, which is why, I suppose, I enjoy the really moisturising bath bombs and bubble bars.

Anyway, I didn’t want to put this little guy at a disadvantage so I made the effort to make sure I used the Honey Bear Massage Bar properly! Honey Bear is made up of fair trade organic cocoa butter, fair trade shea butter, almond oil (I LOVE almond scented products!) clove leaf oil, tonka absolute, Brazilian vetiver oil, vanilla absolute, honey, and vegan dark chocolate! Wow! I didn’t know whether to moisturise with him or eat him (don’t judge – I’d been snowed in for two days when I wrote this blog so cabin fever was starting to set in!).

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Anyway, I gave it a try….I was pleased that when I was using it on my skin it didn’t seem to melt as quickly as some of the other massage bars I’ve tried, which meant I didn’t get buttery massage bar grease all over my hands like I have done with some of them!

It left my skin looking really moisturised, but not with so much product that I thought it might take 12 hours for my skin to absorb it all! The scent is really nice, but I can imagine that some people would find it to be a bit too sweet for them! The smell is predominately honey and cocoa butter scented, and is comforting and relaxing.

As I’ve said, I’m not a fan of moisturising products, but as far as Honey Bear goes, I will carry on using it and think it’s a great product, especially for this time of year when your skin has been suffering with the cold, wild weather and constant central heating.

Mum In A Spin Bubble Spinner

I can’t go as far as to say I wasn’t looking forward to using the Mum in a Spin Bubble spinner because I look forward to trying all of my Lush products – I wouldn’t buy them otherwise! However, I’ve bought a similar product from Lush – the original Bubble Spinner reusable bubble bar, and when it arrived I was a bit disappointed at the size and overall product to be honest, so it went to the bottom of the pile and I haven’t used it yet!

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However, I do like to be proven wrong on some of these products I completely mis-judge, and the Mum in a Spin Bubble Spinner was no exception!

As soon as I held it under running water and the scent started to become more apparent, I knew I was going to enjoy this one! Mum in a Spin Bubble Spinner contains lavender oil, tonka absolute and ylang ylang oil, and smells incredible!

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The other thing I really loved about this product is, despite holding it under running water for ages and swishing it around in the bath water, the product didn’t reduce in size at all and I had a lovely bath full of lovely fluffy bubbles and beautiful pink bath water!

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Despite its size I reckon you will get at least four decent baths out of this one, which is double what you will get from the marbled bubbleroons of the Mother’s Day collection!

I’m really pleased I bought this in the end, the scent is lovely and the water is really soft and moisturising! Not my absolute favourite from the collection but definitely near the top of the list!

Rosebud Soap

As you know I am not a fan of rose scented products! I can normally get away with using them when they have additional scents such as vanilla in, to try and sweeten up the scent, but Rosebud soap didn’t seem to have any such additional ingredient so I didn’t hold out much hope that this would be one of my favourites!

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Although it is obvious that the scent is going to be predominately rose, I did find the scent very overpowering, even for me! Rosebud soap contains white rose petal infusion, tuberose absolute (described as one of the most exotic and intoxicating materials of the plant kingdom!), oat milk, organic extra virgin olive oil and rose water.

There’s a distinct rose smell but also something else which I couldn’t quite pick out, maybe it is the tuberose absolute, but whatever it is, it makes this scent even less appealing to me than any rose scented product normally would!

It lathers up nicely but that is about it for this soap – I didn’t find it to be particularly moisturising in addition to really disliking the smell! I’ve left the remainder of the soap in the downstairs toilet for guests to use when they wash their hands but I can’t see they will appreciate this if they have similar tastes in scents to me!

Sorry, but this is probably one, if not my least favourite scent from Lush so far!

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Purple Loosestrife Soap

I saved this one until last because (SPOILER ALERT – don’t read this next sentence if you don’t want to know!) I heard on the grapevine that this soap has a lovely surprise golden middle!

Purple Loosestrife is made up of fair trade organic cocoa butter, extra virgin coconut oil, organic castor oil, rose syrup, hibiscus syrup, lavender syrup, violet leaf absolute, rose absolute, bergamot oil, and caning oil and smells lovely.

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It’s quite a hard soap compared to the others I’ve used and is slightly more difficult to lather up but I noticed how soft this soap made my skin straight away! The scent is flowery but not overwhelmingly so. You can definitely detect the lavender, rose and hibiscus but the scent is perfectly balanced so it is delicate and sweet as well as flowery.

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The centre is a beautiful golden glittery colour which slowly melts under the warmth of the water. It leaves a slight shimmer on your skin but doesn’t leave you absolutely covered in glitter, and the majority of the glitter washes away from your skin when you stand under the running water. I think it’s a really lovely feature of the soap and I’m sure it’s this golden buttery centre which makes your skin so soft and moisturised.

Another thing I loved about this soap is the scent lasted on my skin for ages after I stepped out of the shower – in fact I could smell the scent on my skin hours later, which is really rare with all the other Lush soaps I’ve used.

I really love this soap! I think I will treat myself to another one from the collection until they are no longer available! I am literally getting to full capacity of soaps now though – I mustn’t buy anymore! Luckily there’s only one soap in this years Lush Easter collection!

And there you have it – the Mother’s Day collection from Lush. I was impressed with most of the products and think this collection is actually potentially a better collection than the Easter one which has not long been released.

I’ll soon find out as I am going to start using the products from the Easter range in the next few days, so watch this space!

In Love with Lush – the Valentine’s Day collection

Hey my little love bugs! I hope you’ve all got something nice planned for Valentine’s Day? We don’t tend to do much ourselves, especially when it lands on a Wednesday like it has done this year, but I do like to make a nice meal and decorate the dining room table for the occasion!

Anyway, if like me you are still wading through all the remaining Christmas chocolates and sweets and biscuits, and fancy something a bit different, then the Valentine’s Day Lush collection might include something you fancy! Here are the products the 2018 collection is made up of:

Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb

I have actually already reviewed the Rose bombshell bath bomb as part of my regular Lush blogs but it is a brilliant Valentine’s Day bath bomb so I bought another one to treat myself! Plus I wanted to use the regular sized bath bomb to compare it to the GIANT rose bombshell bath bomb Lush have produced as part of their Valentine’s Day range!

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It has a very potent flower smell – a sweet rose fragrance coupled with geranium and a slight lemony citrus aroma. I didn’t particularly enjoy this bath bomb the first time round, but this scent seems to be much more delicate, and no where near as overpowering – I wonder if Lush have adjusted the recipe for it, or whether I just had a really strong scented one the first time round? Either way, I enjoyed the rose bombshell far more this time around!

It is a fast fizzer (gone in only a few seconds!) and before you know it you have a lovely pink coloured rose scented bath water to relax in.

When the bomb is almost dissolved the centre opens up and spills out a handful of yellow rose petals, which is really lovely. As well as rose absolute, rose bombshell contains rose oil, sicilian lemon oil and geranium oil, which make it a very moisturising bath experience.

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I’m really pleased I gave this bath bomb another try and am especially looking forward to trying the giant version now!

Unicorn Horn

I bought a whole batch of unicorn horns the last time they were available from the Lush kitchen but they have had a makeover for the Valentine’s Collection!

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I used half of the Unicorn Horn in one go so this bubble bar will easily get you two baths worth. It looks amazing when you are chopping it up and when it is sprinkled under running bath water it creates beautiful bath art and mounds of lovely soft and fluffy bubbles!

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The water is really soft and silky and incredibly moisturising due to the lovely oils Unicorn Horn contains – lavender, Ylang Ylang and Neroli. The smell of the bubble bar is predominately lavender but it is by no means overpowering and is incredibly relaxing. I don’t know whether Lush have changed the recipe but I’m sure I don’t remember my other Unicorn Horns smelling so much of lavender? I will have to dig out my bubble bar pots from the spare room and double check!

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Anyway, I much prefer the look of the latest version and will always stock up on Unicorn Horns when they are released for a limited time so I’ll definitely be stocking up on a few on these to tie me over for a while!

Tisty Totsy Bath Bomb

I think Tisty Totsy was part of the regular Lush range but was discontinued. The original version was white, and now Lush have reinvented it and released it for a limited time as part of the Valentine’s Day range.

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Tisty Totsy contains seven rosebuds as part of its decoration, and once the bath bomb has dissolved, the little rose buds float along the top of the water.

Tisty Totsy is similar in ingredients to the rose bombshell bath bomb in that it also contains rose absolute, geranium oil and lemon oil but with an added extra ingredient of jasmine absolute.

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Tisty Totsy is a fast fizzer and soon the bath water is a lovely pink colour which smells of roses! I’m not a huge fan of rose scented products but this was really lovely and perfect for a Valentine’s Day evening bath! If you want to prepare the bathroom for your loved one to come home to on Valentine’s Day, then this is the bath bomb for that occasion!

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The Kiss Lip Scrub

For all this time I thought that the Sugar Plum Fairy lip scrub scent was my favourite but oh my god, this is now my absolute favourite! These tubs of lip scrub last for ages but I am still going to go and buy two more when I next pop into my local Lush store, this lip scrub smells incredible and tastes even better when you are scrubbing your lips with it!

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It is almost a fizzy sensation and contains both sugar and salt, a combination I really like but one which hasn’t been so well received by other Lushies! Thrown in with the fine sea salt and caster sugar is safflower oil, fair-trade organic cocoa butter, sicilian mandarin oil and almond essential oil to leave your lips soft and smooth and beautifully moisturised. As an added extra there are tiny little red edible hearts in the scrub as well! They look really cute but can be quite annoying when you are sat at work with random little red hearts scattered all across your chops! I thought people were looking at me strange!

I’ve done a couple of Valentine’s gift bags for my friends this year so I put a pot of The Kiss lip scrub in there for them! I hope they love it as much as I do!

Kiss Me Quick Wash Card

I wasn’t too sure what to make of these Wash Cards that Lush produce? I’ve seen some others for the range but have never really felt compelled to try them. As I was buying at least one of all the other products from the range I thought I would give it a go!

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I wasn’t too sure what to make of these Wash Cards that Lush produce? I’ve seen some others for the range but have never really felt compelled to try them. As I was buying at least one of all the other products from the range I thought I would give it a go!

I like the smell of Kiss Me Quick – it contains fresh apple pulp, clove bud absolute, mimosa absolute and tonka absolute. Basically when you are in the shower or bath you rub the card over your skin until it produces a lovely smelling lather. Although I liked the scent, I wasn’t overly keen on the sensation of using the Kiss Me Quick wash card, it felt like I was rubbing an old piece of thin leather across my skin!

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I used it sparingly as I got the impression the design of the product meant it wasn’t designed to last for several uses and, as expected, after only using it briefly, it started to fall apart and turn to mush! In the end I squashed the left over mush into my sponge and lathered it up with water but still, even for a one time use product, I don’t think I got much out of it!

It’s a good novel idea, and something which can be snuck into a Valentine’s Day card which is a nice touch but would I buy Kiss Me Quick or another style of wash card again? Probably not I’m afraid…..

Love Boat Bath Bomb

This was the one item I was really excited to try! What a brilliant idea! As I already love the Rocket Science and Yellow submarine bath bombs, I knew that Love Boat was not going to disappoint!

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The top of Love Boat is pink and blue with a lovely pink heart on the front and the underneath is bright yellow with lots of tiny little red hearts which are released when the bath bomb dissolves and float around in the bath water.

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Love Boat produces lovely thick colourful foam and this results in some of the most amazing bath art I’ve ever seen from a bath bomb!

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My little boat took a bit of a nose dive but luckily this meant the little heart on the front detached from the boat and floated around the top of the water which looked lovely!

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Love Boat has an amazing scent and contains sicilian lemon oil, organic sweet orange oil, and rose oil which is a lovely combination. The scent isn’t incredibly strong but is very relaxing and leaves your skin feeling lovely and soft – this is a definite favourite of mine! I’ve since bought three more but would really like Lush to make this part of their permanent range!

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I’ve also popped a couple of these in my friends Valentine’s goody bags as I am sure they will love them!

Whole Lotta Love Bubbleroon

I love the design of this bubble bar but it is rather small…. I can’t see that you would get any more than two baths out of it, so I cut it in half and chopped it up and then sprinkled it under hot running water.

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The bubbleroon makes a huge amount of bubbles and the water is really softening, the middle is very glittery but the glitter is really subtle when it is in the bath water. the water soon turns a lovely light pink colour and you are surrounded by lovely fluffy bubbles!!

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Whole Lotta Love contains bergamot oil, jasmine absolute, lemongrass oil, rose absolute, ylang ylang absolute and gardenia extract. Due to the amount of other products from the range which contain rose scents, I was worried this one would be overpowering but the rose scent is very delicate, and compliments the bergamot and jasmine really well. It is a flowery scent but is also very refreshing and uplifting.

It leaves your skin feeling really soft and moisturised because it contains fair-trade organic cocoa butter, murumuru butter and organic shea butter! Lovely.

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Not an absolute favourite but would definitely buy again and I think it would make a lovely Valentine’s Day present for those people who aren’t too fussed on chocolates and a bunch of flowers!

Heart of Enlightened Expectation Bubble Bar Melt

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I messed up using this product for the first time because I completely misunderstood what type of a product it was! I looked at the word “melt” and basically sat it in the bath water and watched it floating about doing absolutely nothing! It was then I realised it is a hybrid product and is a bubble bar melt! So I fished him out of the water and crumbled it under the running water. I didn’t get too many bubbles out of it because the bath was already full when I realised and started crumbling it and swishing it about! You can’t win them all as they say!

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Anyway, once I had crumbled it all into the bath, the water turned a lovely bright orange colour. Looking at the colour I was really surprised that it didn’t have an orange scent! It is in fact a delicate flower scent due to it containing geranium oil, bergamot oil, jasmine absolute, and rose absolute! I was really surprised when I read the ingredients because I am not a flowery scent fan, but I really loved this scent, probably because it was so delicate and subtle. This was one of the scents where I don’t want to get out of the bath because it feels like such a waste washing it all down the plughole never to be seen again, so I end up leaving the water in the bath long after I get out so the bathroom smells nice for hours afterwards!

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This was also a moisturising bubble bar melt (but not so much so that you can’t wash your hair in the bath water for fear of making your hair really greasy) due to the fair trade organic cocoa butter and the ylang ylang oil it contains.

I wasn’t too bothered about the look or scent of this product but it is definitely one I would buy again, but I’ll try and use it for the purpose it was intended next time!

Melt My Heart Massage Bar

I’m still not completely sold on massage bars, not because of the type of product that they are but basically because I hate moisturising full stop! Whether it’s moisturising creams, gels, sprays, butters or these types of solid bars, moisturising really is just my least favourite thing!

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The Melt my Heart massage bar is a good sized bar and every time I look at it I think to myself how much it looks like a bar of white chocolate!

I was a bit undecided about the scent of the massage bar but it is definitely a scent which has grown on me and smells far better once it is rubbed into your skin. Melt my Heart is made up of fair-trade organic cocoa butter, fair trade shea butter, safflower oil, dried rose petals, orris root powder, cypress oil, orange flower absolute and violet leaf absolute, so has quite an unusual combination of ingredients! I thought the overall scent was quite creamy (from the cocoa butter) as opposed to all the floral scents it contained, and to be honest I even kept forgetting the little red pieces in the bar were rose petals!

I used it quite a lot the first time so I could figure out what i really thought of the smell – it did grow on me when I started using it and the scent lasted a long time however I did find that after just one use I had worked my way through quite a bit of the product. I will carry on using it, but can’t see that it is going to last that long with regular use!

Cherryish Body Scrub

I’ve come across a lot of Lushies on Instagram who have said they aren’t keen on the smell of Cherryish, but I think it’s amazing! I used this body scrub once and I decided then and there that I was going to buy a couple more the next time I popped into Lush! So that is exactly what I did!

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Cherryish is made up of some amazing ingredients – for exfoliation it contains fine sea salt, ground cherry stones and dried cherries (hence the name) and for moisturising it contains fair trade organic cocoa butter, murumuru butter, organic illipe butter, fair trade shea butter, almond essential oil and extra virgin coconut oil!

It also contains vegan white chocolate, cocoa absolute and fresh apple pulp! Wow!

This scrub is amazing, it is quite abrasive so really does the trick but is also incredibly nourishing on the skin due to all the wonderful oils it contains. I loved using this product so I think I will end up using it really quickly, it’s definitely my favourite body scrub so far!

Tunnel of Love Soap

I love, love, love the smell of this soap! I bought four more and put one in my Sister’s and friends Valentine’s gift bags, I hope they love the scent as much as I do!

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Tunnel of Love is made with rose water, sweet wild orange oil and lime oil. I have to say I can barely detect the scent of rose water, but can definitely detect the lovely zesty smell of orange and lime. The soap produces lovely thick creamy bubbles which make your skin feel nice and soft and moisturised, the only down side with this soap is because I love the scent so much I used and used and re-used it loads of times throughout one shower, so I’d imagine I am going to get through each soap really, really quickly!

To keep your skin soft, Tunnel of Love also contains fair trade organic cocoa butter and extra virgin coconut oil – I seriously urge you to go and smell this in your local Lush store before they stop selling them – I wish they made this scent part of the permanent range. It is definitely one of my favourite scents so far and makes a perfect Valentine’s Day scent – delicate but refreshing and uplifting.

Tender is the Night Naked Shower Cream

I am still not completely sold by these Naked products. Don’t get me wrong I think they are a great idea to reduce on packaging and help reduce damage to the environment but I’m just not convinced they are all they are cracked up to be. I’ve written a separate blog on all the Naked products I’ve used so far which will be published in the next couple of weeks so I’ll leave it until then to go into any further detail….

Anyway, regardless of whether or not this product was a Naked product, I just can’t get used to it’s unusual smell! I don’t hate it, but there’s an ingredient in this scent which I’m just not keen on and I can’t quite figure out which one it is! It is really hard to explain but  it is almost like a musky smell…..

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Although relatively small in size, Naked shower gels are double the concentrate of the liquid shower gels they should theoretically last for twice as long. A bit disappointing as I’m not a fan of this scent but still, they look ever so pretty in the bathroom!

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Tender is the Night does lather up really well – I use a sponge to produce lots of fluffy soft bubbles – and does leave your skin feeling really soft. I didn’t feel like this scent was as concentrated as some of the other Naked products and didn’t find the smell to become much stronger when I was using it which I thought was pretty unusual.

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Tender is the Night contains Jasmine flower infusion, ylang ylang flower infusion, murumuru butter, fair trade shea butter, jasmine absolute, ylang ylang oil, vanilla absolute – all ingredients which I love the scent of individually, so this is why I am just not sure why I don’t like the combination of them!

The butters in the shower gel leave your skin feeling lovely and soft and moisturised, but this isn’t a scent I would buy again, in any other kind of product. I’d be interested to know what any of you guys thought if you have smelled this scent or tried this product…..

Giant Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb

I couldn’t wait to try this!! A MASSIVE version of the rose bomb shell bath bomb! In the past I have bought the giant Golden Wonder and the giant Dragons egg bath bomb called Mother of Dragons and I am really loving the giant versions of these great products! Yes they are expensive (£14.95 for the giant rose bombshell bath bomb), but they create the most luxurious bath you will ever have!

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Exactly the same as the smaller versions but on a much larger scale, this huge bath bomb fizzes away quite violently and spews out mounds of lovely yellow rose petals. Soon your bath water is a beautiful pink colour filled with petals floating around the surface. This is the perfect Valentine’s Day bath product! It doesn’t get much better than this!

The water is so soft and silky and the rose, lemon and germanium oil leave your skin feeling incredibly moisturised. I bought another one after using this one, I think I will save it until my Birthday next month! I wish the giant bath bombs were part of the permanent Lush range!

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So there you have it! The Lush cosmetics Valentine’s Day range! I hope you’ve all had a lovely romantic and special Valentine’s Day with your loved ones!

Valentine’s Day treats!

I never used to make an effort for Valentine’s Day, hubby and I always used to get each other a nice card, but I was never really sold on all of the red fluffy toys, fake red roses and red underwear! I love eating out but Valentine’s Day means all of the restaurants are absolutely jam-packed and are usually offering some sort of set menu, and I find that I don’t like the majority of food they have on offer!

So, to be honest, we usually stay at home and have a nice dinner together. My usual go to place is Marks and Spencers for their dine in for two Valentine’s Day offer for £20, which always has a nice selection of things we both like.

Last year I made a bit more of an effort and bought some lovely red roses for the dinner table, bought us a lovely three course meal and made us up a gift bag each with treats and presents in. We had a real nice time last year so I wanted to do something similar this year again.

Anyway, here are some of the lovely treats and presents which have caught my eye for this years Valentine’s Day:

Marks and Spencers chocolate heart filled with chocolate ganache and decorated with gold leaf – £3.00.

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Marks and Spencer’s chocolate hearts (4 pack) – £1.50. I thought these were lovely and really reasonably priced so I bought a few packs for my friends to put in their Valentine’s Day gifts bags!

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Marks and Spencers Pink Himalayan Salted Caramels – £6.00. I gave in and bought these for myself! I had a peek inside the box and they look really pretty! Can’t wait to try these! Let’s hope I can resist eating them all before Valentine’s Day!

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Marks and Spencers red Love You Heart – I love these little chocolate hearts – and they are only 50p each!

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Morrison’s Heart Marshmallow Biscuit lollipop – £1.00. This didn’t last long after I bought it! I loved the fluffy mallow inside!

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Dr Oetker Heart Marshmallows – £1.00. I found these in Morrison’s but I’m sure other supermarkets will sell these too – perfect for a Valentine’s hot chocolate!

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Morrison’s Valentine’s jammy heart biscuit – £1.00. Hubby scoffed this one before I had the chance to hide it!

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Morrisons gingerbread hearts – £2.00 for this bag of one big gingerbread heart and three small gingerbread hearts.

Hotel Chocolat Salted caramel hearts – £3.50 – delicious!

Hotel Chocolat Raspberry daiquiri hearts – £3.50 – I bought a few of these for friends  and family and put them in their Valentine’s gift bag.

Hotel Chocolat dark chocolate heart melts – £5.50 – got these for Mum as she only likes dark chocolate! I hope she likes them!

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Waitrose gingerbread hearts – £2.00 – these little bags of pink iced gingerbread hearts are lovely.

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And to put all these lovely sweet treats in I bought these lovely gift bags from Clinton cards for £2.50 each

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If food and sweet things aren’t really your thing – how about some nice Valentine’s themed jewellery? These are just some of the lovely items I’ve come across in the last few weeks –

Rose detail chain bracelets from ASOS – £8.00 – great for a Beauty and the Beast fan! They’ve also got matching hoop earrings and a set of five rings!

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I love these Ted Baker Crystal Heart earrings – £29.00 from ASOS!

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Or, this handy “LOVE” ring holder from Next for £6.00?

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Who knew they did Valentine’s themed handbags?? These are my favourites so far:

This heart coin purse from ASOS is only £8.00 – bargain!

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How cute is this SkinnyDip heart crossover body bag – again from ASOS and only £30.00 – I love the faux fur detail!

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If you are willing to spend a bit more on a Valentine’s themed bag then I love this red Dune heart bag for £65.00.

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And, believe it or not, Valentine’s Day SHOES!!!! I love these Mistress barely there sandals from Dune for £85.00.

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Plus I’ve spotted these gorgeous babies on Instagram and I am desperate to get my hands on a pair! They are by ALDO but for some reason they don’t stock them on their UK website????? My quest continues! They do them in red too…

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If you are having a cosy night in then what about some Valentine’s pyjamas?? There are hundreds to choose from on sites like ASOS, Very, Next, Boohoo…. the list goes on!

My absolute favourites are these Mr and Mrs Pyjama sets from Next – £22.00 for women’s and £24.00 for men’s. I’m so disappointed as I went to order these for hubby and I but they are completely sold out in the men’s sizes! Gutted! I knew I should have ordered them when I first saw them!

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And if all of this doesn’t float your boat this Valentine’s Day, I’ve reviewed the entire Lush Cosmetics Valentine’s Day range and I can assure you there is bound to be something from their collection which you will love! My blog on their Valentine’s range goes live tomorrow to mark the big day, so watch this space!

Happy New Year! My plans for 2018..

You’ll be pleased to know that this blog is going to be a pretty short one! This month has most certainly got the best of me, with moving house, three family Birthdays, Christmas meals and parties, planning, buying and wrapping Christmas presents, Christmas Eve boxes and Advent Calendars, three days in New York and actually completing Blogmas (I don’t know how you guys do this every year it’s almost killed me!) so I think a few days rest has been in order!

2017 was a very busy year, and I am ashamed to say that for most of the agonising months we were waiting to move, we literally just hibernated, didn’t make any plans, went to work and basically just wished our lives away until we could move and start our brand new chapter, not really the best way to live really is it?

Anyway, now all the house move stress has gone, these are my aims for 2018:

-Lose some of my Christmas weight! Yes it is a complete cliche but I have been stuffing my face and neglecting the gym for far longer than just the festive period! The stress of the house move basically made me want to come home, stuff my face and climb into bed! This time last year I had just run a 10k charity run that I had been training for for a few months – I don’t even think I could run 1k without stopping at the moment! To get back to that place would make me very happy! Not looking forward to the gym though – it’s always HEAVING in January with thousands of other people having the same idea!

-Get some house decorating done! We are by no means rushing this as we have a lot that we want to get done, but it would be nice to have a couple of the quick wins done by the end of the year – the three spare bedrooms would be a good start (nursery, guest bedroom and dressing room). This brings me onto –

-Creating my house project book! Although we probably won’t get much actually done in the house, I want to go from room to room, measure up properly and get reading Pinterest and lots of interior design blogs to perfectly design each space – I’m really looking forward to this project! I love Pinterest!

-Go on some good days out! As we have just bought our forever home and want to do lots to it, money is going to be tight for this next coming year which means I will have to say goodbye to my amazing travels for a while! Still, there are some incredible places to visit in this country at a fraction of the cost and I’ve already got my eye on visiting Eastnor Castle, Tewkesbury Abbey, Blenheim Palace, Stonehenge and the Eden Project!

-Start a family! Kind of a major plan! Now the first part of or plan is complete after moving into our forever home, the next stage will be to start a family of our own! Hopefully 2018 will be our year!

I thought this would be quite a big list but to be fair I am happy with everything else that is going on at the moment so there’s not much more to change!

I hope you all have an amazing new year and a fantastic 2018! Make it your best one yet! It’s around a year ago I started blogging and I’ve never met a nicer bunch of people along the way, everyone has been helpful and supportive and really, really kind.

I’m really looking forward to continuing being a part of the blogger community in 2018 as well!

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!! xx

A Beauty and the Beast themed party!

If you have read my Christmas Countdown blog you will hopefully remember that I mentioned the themed parties I host every Christmas for my Sisters, my Mum and I. It started out as being just a bit of fun and so us four girls could spend some time together over the Christmas period (and to give us something to look forward to during the “in-between” time of Christmas and New Year) and to be honest it’s just stuck and become one of our regular traditions! My older Sister is severely autistic and especially looks forward to these themed parties, and now we are in a routine of doing them, not doing them would be most upsetting for her, so I’ve kind of pasted myself into a corner really!

Previous themes for these parties have included Harry Potter, Frozen and the Polar Express and, as you have probably guessed from the title of this blog, this years theme is Beauty and the Beast!

We all went to watch the new version of Beauty and the Beast at the cinema earlier on in the year and fell in love with this fantastic film. Shortly after, Primark started releasing all their amazing Beauty and the Beast products and so it seemed fitting that this would be the theme for this years party.

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I normally don’t start buying things for our Christmas themed parties until December, once I have done all my regular Christmas shopping, however, because most of the items in the Primark range were so difficult to get hold of, I grabbed as many as I could each time I spotted some in my local store (even this was difficult because they only allowed you to buy two at a time of the most popular items!)

These parties will always consist of a goody bag which fits in with the theme of the party. The contents vary depending on the theme but it’s fair to say the girls had an extra large goody bag full of treats this year!

Beauty and the Beast shopping bags:

There were so many pressies this year, I had to buy these huge shopping bags to fit them all in! They were £4 each but they are HUGE and at least the girls can re-use them for shopping in the future!

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Inside their goody bags they each had:

Chip coin purse

So cute – and very difficult to get hold of! Only £4 from Primark!

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Chip mug

Again, extremely difficult to get hold of! I’m so pleased I did – they look really effective and are far better designed than the official Disney ones. These are £5 from Primark, whereas the official Disney ones are in the region of £15-£20!

Beauty and the Beast pyjamas

Is there any better place to get pyjamas from than Primark?? Mum and I had the grey pair and my two Sisters had the pink trousers with the blue tops. The tops and bottoms are sold separately – I think the bottoms were £8 each and the tops were £6 each – still very cheap in comparison with other pyjama sets from elsewhere!

Beauty and the Beast socks

They aren’t actually socks but shoe liners – you can never have enough of these can you??

Mrs Potts coin purse

You can’t buy a Chip purse and not buy Mrs Potts to look after him can you?

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Lumiere coin purse

Another coin purse for the collection! I love the design of this one!

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Cogsworth Clock coin purse

And of course not forgetting Cogsworth! I must admit he is my least favourite design out of the collection, mainly because if you watch the films, Cogsworth is a bit of a miserable git and so this big laughing smiling face design doesn’t suit him I don’t think! There is also a Cogsworth Clock available from the Primark collection, but I haven’t managed to get my hands on one yet!

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Enchanted Rose drinking cup

Love this – isn’t it great? And only £5! You’ll pay triple that for a cup similar to this with a plain design! Plus I thought the design was great – you can unscrew the rose from the cup to make sure it’s washed properly and everything!

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Beauty and the Beast slippers

£5 for a pair of slippers! You can’t go wrong!

Beauty and the Beast footlets

I love the slippers but also like these “footlets” that Primark do – they are almost like thick socks but have a non-slip tread on the bottom of them so are ideal for wearing around the house. These are even cheaper at only £4!

Mrs Potts money box

How lovely is she? Primark also make a Mrs Potts actual teapot but I haven’t been able to get my hands on her yet! I think the money box is a lovely idea too though!

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Chip Jumper

I only saw these a few weeks back and I went away and gave it some thought as to whether to get them or not as I had already got so much stuff, but I couldn’t resist! Plus I love how they come in these lovely presentation boxes too!

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Chip Keyring

They can carry Chip with them everywhere they go now!

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Pom Pom bag charm

And this is really cute to brighten up an everyday handbag!

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Bell jar light

I haven’t got mine out of the box yet but thought these would look great on everyones dressing tables! The pictures really don’t do the bell jar justice, they look really lovely.

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Lumiere Tealight holder

And I was lucky enough to get a Lumiere Tealight holder from my friend for Christmas! She certainly knows me very well – I’ve not seen these anywhere!

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So as you can see the girls were all very spoilt and each now have a brilliant collection to cherish! All these Primark items go for a fortune on eBay at the moment so I’m hoping they will be worth even more in a few years time when they are collectors items!

We spent the day unwrapping our presents and watched the new version of the film whilst we munched our way through some delicious party food and drink! Another perfect family themed party!

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God knows how I am going to top this next year though – I think a more low-key party is in order after this years!

A Lush Christmas – The Online Exclusives!

So after reviewing over forty items from this years Lush Christmas range I was quite pleased I had managed to try them all despite the bank balance taking a severe hit!

Anyway, the other day I was on the Lush website looking at a products ingredients when on the home page there was a link to “exclusives”, and lo and behold there was another batch of Christmas themed items which hadn’t been released yet! Me being me I couldn’t be without them so I ordered the exclusive items, and it was lucky I did because the majority of them are now completely sold out!

Here are most of the items from the exclusive online range-

Jingle Spells Bath Bomb

I loved the look and the ingredients of this one! This purple bomb with tiny gold soluble stars embedded in it contains juniperberry oil, tangerine oil, fennel oil,  and ylang ylang oil!

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Jingle Spells smells lovely and is a really fast fizzer. It leaves the bath water a beautiful purply/pink colour whilst the little golden stars float on top of the water.

This bath bomb ticks the boxes so far – it looks beautiful, smells amazing and it contains several of my favourite ingredients, so why was I slightly disappointed with it? Because basically I didn’t find it moisturising at all which was a real shame! In fact I would go so far as to say it was one of the least moisturising bath bombs I’ve ever used! Handy though if you want to use a bath bomb as well as wash your hair in the bath water as I think it is unlikely your hair will become greasy in this bath water!

Still, a very pretty and lovely smelling bath bomb, and ideal to buy as presents for people who are new to the bath bomb experience!

Hot Toddy Shower Gel

God as soon as I opened this bottle and gave it a sniff I knew I had made the right choice to buy two bottles!

This literally smells like Christmas in a bottle, and when I list off all the ingredients you will see why! Ready for it? Here goes – ginger infusion, fair trade aloe vera gel, fresh organic lemon juice, fine sea salt, clove leaf oil, patchouli oil, lime oil, cinnamon leaf oil, sweet orange oil and carrageenan extract!

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The shower gel itself is bright with lots of glitter in, however I didn’t notice any glitter on my skin when I got out the shower – even hubby used some and he won’t use anything which leaves him covered in glitter!

The shower gel foams up really well and produces a lovely thick foam which smells incredible! I found the shower gel to be really moisturising as well!

A definite favourite! As soon as I jumped out the shower after using it the first time I went online to try and order a couple more bottles to stock up as they are limited edition, but of course, I was already too late and they had completely sold out! If you can get your hands on a bottle or two of this stuff then do it!!!

Calacas Shower Gel

I’m not 100% convinced this is part of the Christmas range – the terminology they use on the label seems to suggest it would be more suited to the Halloween range!

This shower gel looks great – a darker orange colour at the bottom of the bottle lightening to a bright yellow gel nearer the top of the bottle! An almost ombre effect!

This lovely smelling shower gel contains aloe vera gel, lime oil, olibanum oil and neroli oil – great for cooling, replenishing and moisturising the skin!

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The description on the Lush website says this shower gel will leave your skin smelling like jelly beans! They aren’t wrong! A lovely shower gel but definitely a second best when compared to Hot Toddy!

Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar

This little guy is so cute! I must admit when I first saw him I made an assumption that he was going to have a minty scent, but when I saw the list of ingredients he contained I was surprised but still couldn’t wait to use him!

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Seeing as it is the Christmas holidays and I am feeling particularly indulgent (and lazy!) I couldn’t be bothered to chop up my bubble bars from this Lush order and so crumbled the entire thing straight under running water! It’s the first time I’ve used whole bubble bars all in one go and they did not disappoint!

This little guy is made up of lots of my most favourite ingredients – bergamot oil, sicilian lemon oil, orange flower absolute and sicilian mandarin oil! Lovely!

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I must say I am pleased I used the entire bubble bar as I didn’t find the scent to be as strong as I had anticipated which was a bit disappointing, but still I had a lovely bath full of fluffy silky bubbles.

The bath water was really moisturising, so much so I didn’t want to get out of the bath! Highly recommended if you are after a relaxing yet uplifting bath, that’s if of course, if you can get your hands on one of the little blighters!

Dashing Santa Bath Bomb

I love the design of this one – so simple yet effective! And one of the cheaper bath bombs available at the moment priced at £2.95!

Dashing Santa contains mandarin oil, bergamot oil and orange flower absolute – some of my most favourite ingredients!

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Dashing Santa is a relatively slow fizzer which spews out really thick white and red foam  mixed in with gold glitter foam from Santa’s gold boots!

The bath water goes a lovely reddish colour and smells amazing! For a little guy he certainly packs a punch of a scent!

The bath water is left lovely and silky and moisturising and the scent is incredibly relaxing and lasts a long time after you get out of the bath. I’m glad I bought a few of these to get stocked up because, you guessed it, they are already sold out online as well!

Peeping Santa Bubble Bar

Peeping Santa has been around for a few years but I have never managed to get my hands on one! I was really disappointed when I came across the huge Lush festive range to find that he wasn’t making an appearance this year, so I was over the moon when I managed to get my hands on a few as a result of the online exclusives collection!

I couldn’t wait to try this little guy! He is made with fair trade organic cocoa butter, bergamot oil, olibanum oil, geranium oil and fair trade shea butter with two little dark chocolate eyes!

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As I said above, I couldn’t be bothered to chop up all my bubble bars with this order so I knew I was in for a treat when I used the whole of this little guy for one bath!

The red outer part of the bubble bar crumbles really easily under the running bath water, whilst the shea butter middle slowly melts into the water. Soon the bath is filled with lovely fluffy bubbles and the water soon turns a lovely Christmassy red colour.

I knew before I even used the Peeping Santa bubble bar I would absolutely love it, it is one of the most moisturising bubble bars I have used so far and smells absolutely divine!  The cocoa butter stays on your skin for several hours after getting out of the bath and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth, I’m so pleased I bought three of these little guys when I got the chance!

Calavera Bath Bomb

This bath bomb has been available a couple of times throughout the year as part of the Lush kitchen range but they sold out really quickly and so I kept missing out! As soon as I saw these were available as part of the exclusive selection I ordered myself several!

It’s strange really, when you’ve been ordering bath bombs for a while, you start to learn which ones you will like and which ones you won’t just by simply looking at them without even checking the ingredients! When I saw Calavera on the website for the first time, I knew this was going to be a bath bomb that I absolutely loved!!

Calavera contains lime oil, olibanum resinoid and neroli oil. It’s outer core is beautiful – a white bath bomb encrusted with pink, yellow and blue sugar granules which almost make it look like a geode rock.

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The bomb I tried was unfortunately a bit of a dud as it kept sinking to the bottom of the bath so I had to hold it in place and then crush it towards the end to see its true colours revealed!

It is a very fast fizzer which starts off by spewing out mounds of white foam shortly followed by small strands of pink and yellow from the sugar coating on the outside. Once the middle cracks open, blue and bright green foam starts to pour out alongside loads of marigold petals which were completely unexpected!

The bath water does go a bizarre luminous green colour but the petals floating around the bath are a really lovely touch and the scent is really lovely, this one is a definite favourite!

The water is really moisturising and smells amazing – I think this one should become part of the regular range but until then, I bought five to keep me going!

Bling Crosby Bubble Bar

Lush items which leave everything (including you!) covered in glitter will always unfortunately find their way to the bottom of the review list, basically because I worry about the mess they will make and how long I will be sparkling for afterwards!


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I was feeling lazy and couldn’t be bothered to cut this bubble bar up and put it all in a pot so I crumbled the entire bar under running bath water. The water turns a lovely golden yellow colour and the glitter is really small and delicate. You do end up with tiny bits of glitter on your skin afterwards but it isn’t overpowering, and you will be pleased to know that the glitter just washed away with the bath water and the bath didn’t need a good clean afterwards!

The ingredients in this bubble bar are lovely – lavindin oil, lemongrass oil, brazilian orange oil, patchouli oil, pine oil and gardenia extract – interesting!

Although I like the scent of the bubble bar, I did find it very subtle and underwhelming, and I really do like strong smelling scents. The smell hung around for a while in the bathroom but I couldn’t detect the smell on my skin at all afterwards.

I didn’t dislike this bubble bar but I was a bit non-plussed about it to be honest – I have got a couple more left, but would I buy some again if they were re-released? Probably not….

 

So White Bath Bomb

I wasn’t too sure what to make of this one – it looks like an apple, it smells like an apple yet when you check the ingredients online, not an apple to be seen! Honestly! I triple checked!

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This lovely bath bomb is made up of bergamot oil, brazilian orange oil, rose absolute, orange flower absolute, neroli oil and gardenia extract. Unfortunately this one was also a bit of a sinker at the start but then started to float once the white foam had finished dispersing and the middle cracked open to let out mounds of dark blue foam.

It’s really strange but it is a fast fizzer which really reminded me of apple bobbing, the way it “bobbed” around the water!

Once the middle had completely cracked open, the water turned a lovely blue colour and the scent was like crisp apples. It wasn’t the most moisturising of bath bombs but I did still enjoy my bath – I just think I am overall a bit non-plussed about this one too though!

Very pretty bath art and a good present for people who are new to the bath bomb experience, I would definitely use it again but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was one of my favourites. Shortly after I placed my Lush order online they released this scent in a shower gel format, but to be honest I wasn’t particularly bothered that I had missed out on it!

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Bombardino Bath Bomb

I’ve been fooled by little guys like this before – thinking they are going to be really weak and not much to write home about, but what I find with tiny Lush bath bombs such as Bombardino is that they really pack a cocoa butter punch!

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Bombardino is made up of fair trade organic cocoa butter, soya milk powder, vanilla absolute, sicilian lemon oil, bergamot oil and gardenia extract! Lovely!

So, I tied my hair up so I wouldn’t get it in the cocoa butter rich water and watched Bombardino do his thing!

He’s quite a slow fizzer for a little guy, but soon he was bobbing around the water, releasing little pearls of cocoa butter! I just admit the cocoa butter is the overpowering scent here, and I really couldn’t detect any of the lemon or bergamot oil.

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Needless to say this is one of the most moisturising baths I’ve had – Bombardino is certainly on a par with Butterball and the Christmas edition of Butterball, Butterbear.

Packed full of cocoa butter and oils, this is exactly what you need for those cold winter months! The scent of cocoa butter stayed on my skin for hours after my bath which was really relaxing and my skin felt amazingly soft and smooth. A definite must buy, I hope they will make Bombardino part of the regular Lush collection and, like Butterball/Butterbear, I think it would compliment some of the larger bath bombs which need a bit of a cocoa butter injection!

Yognog Soap

God this soap smells absolutely amazing! I only ordered two and I should have ordered more because it is sold out now!

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Yognog soap is made up of rapeseed oil and coconut oil, soya yogurt, clove leaf oil (really Christmassy!) ylang ylang oil, gardenia extract and is topped with cocoa powder and nutmeg powder! It is literally like Christmas in a soap bar and smells like creamy eggnog!!

It produces lots of lovely thick, creamy foam and the scent only gets better (if that is even possible!) when you are in the shower! Honestly, the smell is so good you almost want to eat it!

I found the soap really soft on the skin and the scent stays on your skin for hours after you use it, in fact, many people commented on the unusual scent!

Please Lush, please make some more products with this scent in future! I love it!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading my “mop up” session of Christmas Lush products! Things will start returning to normal in the new year with the regular line of products being reviewed (and in much smaller doses you’ll be pleased to hear!) I wouldn’t even want to guess how many long baths I have had throughout December trying all the festive Lush products out! That is probably the reason I was so far behind on all of my Christmas shopping and present wrapping!!

A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

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I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! I must admit I do struggle in the days after Christmas – I feel really down and depressed that it’s all over for another year! You look forward to it for so long and then it seems to come and go in the blink of an eye!

Anyway, if you have read my London at Christmas Time blog you’ll know that my Mum, my Sister and I go to London every December to check out all the festivities – this year we decided we wanted to do Afternoon Tea whilst we were there.

We looked at several Afternoon Tea options including Fortnum and Mason and the Ritz and tried really hard to get us into the Tale as old as time Beauty and the Beast themed Afternoon Tea at The Kensington but it was completely fully booked until the end of January!

I eventually came across this amazing Alice In Wonderland Mad Hatter’s Tea Party afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel. It looked perfect for what we wanted, and I managed to book it for a special price which included a free cocktail because we were visiting on a weekday!

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We booked for 1pm and the place was empty when we arrived which was really nice – I think we booked slightly early for afternoon tea but after getting up early to catch the coach to London I knew we would all be starving by 1pm!

We sat down and they gave us the selection of their lovely teas – you get a teapot of your selected tea each so we all chose a different one so we could try each others!

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Here was the selection –

White Rabbit – China white silver needles infused with white grapefruit, vanilla and almond white chrysanthemums.

Queen of Hearts – Red Rose congu infused with red rose petals and a hint of vanilla and chocolate.

Mad Hatter – Green tea infused with passion fruit, guava and mango.

Cheshire Cat – Marmalade orange oolong infused with chocolate and hugging orange.

Alice – China black tea infused with hints of blackcurrant, vanilla, caramel, citrus, bergamot, blue cornflowers and blue mallow flowers.

I choose White Rabbit, my Mum choose Alice and my Sister chose Queen of Hearts – all were very different but absolutely delicious! You can also buy the teas to take home with you as well if you choose!

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The cocktail arrived shortly afterwards and I was a bit worried because they said it was gin-based and I am not a fan of gin but the cocktail was also delicious – they said it was a Sanderson special so I didn’t get to find out the ingredients!

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Then the amazing food started coming out…. Here’s what was on the menu –

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Smoked salmon scotch quails egg with caviar and cream cheese

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Stack of King of Hearts ham and parmesan croque-monsieur

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Cornish crab bridge roll with dill, lemon, creme fraiche and avocado and White rabbit cucumber and cream cheese sandwich on pesto bread 

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Queen of Hearts rose and strawberry jammy dodger 

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Mocha chessboard gateau

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Tweedle Dee lemon curd financier 

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Mad March Hare vanilla pocket watch macaroon (my favourite!)

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Chocolate and Pistachio Blue Caterpillar 

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Wonderland Marshmallow Magic mushrooms

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Mad Hatters Lost Carrot and Fennel Meringue (hidden away in the “grass” in the teacup on the top – two little red shell shaped meringues – really cute!)

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Alices Cinnamon, apple and peach “Drink Me” potion

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And if that isn’t enough you also get Sanderson’s warm scones served with Cornish clotted cream and fruit preserve!

The staff asked us if we were celebrating a special occasion and we said we had decided to do it because it was my Sister’s Birthday the Friday before and it was my Mum’s Birthday the following Saturday, so they brought them out this beautiful slate with two delicious pieces of cake on and Happy Birthday written in icing! How lovely!

A really lovely afternoon – the hotel is beautiful and the staff were amazing. I would definitely re-book to go back here again the next time we pay a visit to London!

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Sudeley Castle Spectacle Of Light

As my sister’s Birthday is the 1st December, we always try and do something a bit different on her Birthday or the weekend closest to it. She is definitely a winter baby and loves this time of year so we generally tie in her Birthday day out with something that is Christmas themed as well! Past days out have included a trip to Longleat Safari, ice skating at Cribbs Causeway and of course for her last milestone Birthday, an amazing trip to Iceland!

Last year I came across an event which was being hosted at Sudeley Castle called the Spectacle of Light. Last year was the first time they had hosted such an event and as several of us have been meaning to visit Sudeley Castle for some time, this event looked perfect for the occasion!

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The event is hosted after dark, and the Castle and grounds are lit up and decorated for a wonderful spectacle of light and sound. You follow a trail of light around the stunning castle grounds, magical gardens with majestic trees and into the romantic ruins where ideal photo opportunities await you! Music is also played as you wander the trail!

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We attended on the 1st December last year, but this year the dates span from the 8th to 30th December 2017.

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After you are done exploring, the café is open where mulled wine, cider and hot chocolate are served alongside other winter warmers like soup and hotdogs.

Entry times for the event are every half an hour from 5pm until 7:30pm – when we went last year we booked the latest entry time of 8:30pm, however they contacted us a few days before to ask if we could arrive for 8pm as they were short on staff – it looks as if they have reduced the amount of entry times this year as a result.

When we wandered the trail it was extremely quiet and peaceful, there were only a handful of other people who were there with us which made it all the more special! The weather was perfect December weather as well – cold but dry – we were very lucky on this occasion as I would imagine it to be a very different experience in the torrential rain!

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If you pre-book your tickets online you can also save 10% on the ticket prices – adult ticket price is £15.75 per person (normally £17.50) and child price is £9.90 (normally £11.00). Family tickets are also available.

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A typical walk will be approximately 60 -75 minutes, although if you wish to stay longer you are very welcome.

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According to the website, they have some new additions to the event this year including an “amazing kaleidoscope of illuminated parasols, an enchanting tree energising its sparkling roots and a friendly roar in the tower dungeon!”

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A highly recommended event, particularly for you budding photographers! We were slightly disappointed that our tickets did not give us full access to the Castle as this is a separately hosted event, however this just meant we were looking forward to re-visiting the Castle again in the daytime to see all that it had to offer!

CocoChlo’s Christmas Day

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely day! I’m sat here in front of the TV feeling extremely full, surrounded by amazing tasty treats and am admiring all the beautiful presents I’ve received from my amazing friends and family.

I got up relatively early to do all the preparation for Christmas dinner but found I had plenty of free time this year just because of one small change – I cooked the turkey overnight last night so it was ready this morning! Friends have done this for years – I’ve never done it but I am definitely a convert now! It saved me loads of time and worry about whether the turkey was cooked and saved me loads of space in the oven so I could cook all the other bits and pieces! I will definitely do the same again next year!

We only got the chance to open a couple of presents this morning before people started arriving, I am incredibly lucky and got the Mulberry handbag and Tiffany perfume I was after! Completely unexpected and a real surprise! We decided we were going to save the rest of our presents until the evening when everyone had gone home so we weren’t rushing.

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Hubby then popped down the pub with a couple of friends whilst I cooked and prepared the rest of the dinner – this year I didn’t leave the kitchen as we only moved house a few weeks back and I’m still not used to using the oven and hob yet so was being over cautious – especially when there’s twenty different things to cook for Christmas dinner!

Anyway, I must have done something right because all my timings were pretty much spot on and everyone loved this years Christmas menu! As usual I bought way too much food and everyone ended up going home with huge doggy bags!

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Our canapés – BBQ Pork Belly Squares and Asian Chicken Lollipops
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Brie and Cranberry parcels
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Our amazing mediterranean platter
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Our yummy turkey, the first time I’ve cooked a roast in our new oven! It even had Christmas Spiced Bacon on the top (see below!)

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And our second meat was this amazing Christmas spiced gammon, ready to carve and eat (should the worst have happened with the turkey!)
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I don’t like Christmas cake myself but they always look so pretty don’t they?
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These bite-sized mini mince pies went down well with everyone!
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The Santa Stuck in the Chimney cake was AMAZING! A red velvet fudge cake inside, probably one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten! And I’ve eaten A LOT OF CAKE!
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See what I mean? It tasted amazing!
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These chocolate mousse glitter pinecones went down a treat too! So pretty!
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Everyone went home with a lot of cheese! This amazing “Cheese” cake was from Tescos and was made up from Cheddar, Red Leicester, Stilton, Wensleydale with cranberries and Brie! Yum!

For place cards I bought these amazing Reindeer cake pops with little name tags, aren’t they lovely?

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And for favours I bought these lovely Nutcracker and Gingerbread Man bottle bags from Paperchase and filled them with Lindt truffles –

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Every year my Sister and my Mum buy me beautiful flowers to say thank you for hosting Christmas dinner, this year my Mum bought me a beautiful Christmas pudding flower arrangement from Marks and Spencers and my sister bought me a stunning snowglobe style flower arrangement (also from Marks and Spencer’s). I say this a lot but the photos really don’t do them justice!

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plus my Sister popped into Tesco’s to get some last minute Christmas bits and came across these beautiful Nutcracker flowers so she just had to buy them for me! I’m absolutely spoilt!

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The day completely flew by which is always such a shame, I hate it when it gets to the point where people have to leave! Especially today as we had a bit of a mini storm going on outside so everyone got soaking wet and blown away in the storm on the way to their cars! That will teach them not to leave won’t it!?

After everyone had gone, laden up with doggy bags and left overs, we finally sat down and opened the mounds and mounds of presents we had from friends and family. There was definitely a Nutcracker, Harry Potter and Beauty and the beast theme going on with my presents! My friends certainly know me very well! Here’s just some of the lovely gifts I had from friends and family-

Lots of sweets and treats:

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Elf cake Pop’s from Popalicious cake pops!

SO.MANY.PYJAMAS!!!! My favourite!

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And this brilliant Pusheen T-shirt! Pusheen is my spirit animal!

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Plus lots of smelly stuff, perfumes, bath bombs and hair treatments!

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Looking forward to using these! Anyone else used Philip Kingsley stuff before?

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Plus I was also given a pair of gold Beats headphones and BOTH pairs of trainers I wanted! I’m so lucky!

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All this followed by a short doze and nibbling leftovers and cheese and biscuits on the sofa whilst watching Christmas TV makes this my perfect Christmas Day!

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I hope you’ve all had an amazing day full of love and laughter with your families and friends! I’m looking forward to Boxing Day when I usually have a good clear out of my wardrobe to give unwanted items to charity and to put away all my lovely new presents!

Merry Christmas everyone! xx

CocoChlo’s Christmas Eve

I can’t believe it’s here already! The best day of the year! I actually prefer Christmas Eve to Christmas Day – there’s no better feeling than the evening of Christmas Eve when you finally sit down and everything is wrapped and prepared ready for tomorrow! Here’s how my favourite day of the year unravelled in 2017 –

We usually get up early and bundle the two dogs in the car and drive up to Painswick Beacon for a lovely long Christmas Eve walk. A few years ago some fellow dog walkers chose a beautiful big tree along the dog walkers path and started hanging baubles and decorations alongside photographs of their beloved dogs who have passed on.

It’s such a lovely tribute, putting their pictures where they enjoyed frolicking in the woods and chasing across the golf course to annoy the golfers! We added a tribute to our dog Scampy who died in 2006 – he was such a lovely dog and was incredibly loyal to his family of us girls!

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After our long walk we come home and have some breakfast – usually bacon rolls or Christmas morning muffins – and then we will start going about our day visiting people and dropping peoples presents and Christmas Eve boxes off (there were a LOT of Christmas Eve boxes to drop off this year!)

We visit several of our good friends on Christmas Eve, and some of these friends we struggle to catch up with for most, if not all, of the year! So it is great to catch up with them and hear how they’ve been getting on for the past few months/year.

I have a lovely lunch at my friends Mum’s house, I’ve known this particular friend for a VERY long time (since we were about five years old!) so it is great to catch up with her lovely family and my beautiful god-daughter. Her Mum buys all these amazing cheese bakes which she puts in the oven and we then eat with fresh bread and bread sticks! Delicious!

By the time we have been round to everyone and dropped off all the presents and/or Christmas Eve boxes, it us usually around 5/6pm, so we finally get to settle down at home and watch our Christmas movies and have some party food, and open our own Christmas Eve boxes! It also gives me a chance to have a bit of a tidy up and to start preparing some food and drink bits and to decorate the dining room table ready for the guests tomorrow.

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Here’s what we had in this years Christmas Eve boxes:

Yankee Candles

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Christmas Pyjamas

I normally get one set in my Christmas Eve box but had an Elf set and a Grinch set this year!

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Plus some matching Grinch slippers!

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I also had some lovely Gingerbread Men tea light candles, rose gold reindeer tea lights (which went really well with my existing reindeer set!), some lovely salted caramel chocolate pinecones from Marks and Spencers, a pegasus ornament to hang on our Christmas tree and a sparkle and fizz chocolate bar from Marks and Spencers!

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Between us, hubby and I also had the entire set of hot chocolates from Wilkinsons – regular hot chocolate, white hot chocolate, gingerbread hot chocolate and marshmallow hot chocolate! Yummy!

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To make things easier, we normally cook a batch of party food for dinner tonight, so we can graze at it over the course of the evening!