Happy Birthday to me!

It’s wrong to say Happy Birth”day” to me because in actual fact I have a Birth-week not a Birth”day”! I always pack my Birthday week full of fun and days out with family and friends and this year was no exception!

Here’s what I got up to during this AMAZING week!

On Monday, Mum and I caught the megabus to London! Yes it takes ages but it cost us only £8 each for a return from Gloucester to London! The coach stops at Victoria Coach Station which just so happens to be a five-minute walk away from one of my favourite bakery’s in London – Dominique Ansel’s! So, we popped in here for breakfast before starting our busy London adventure!


I had an amazing turkey croque monsieur and one of their Blossoming hot chocolates, which I have wanted to try for ages!

I also had a delicious Cookie Shot, a shot glass sized cup made out of cookie and filled with delicious creamy vanilla milk! I bought a pack of six Cookie Shots to take home with me as well! The cakes in here are incredible – check out these lovely Blizzard Bear cakes!

After our lovely refreshment break we caught an Uber over to Kensington Palace. We had a lovely time here, so much so that I am writing a separate blog on this amazing place – the Diana Exhibition which is currently on was definitely an added bonus! Even better, we didn’t pay the entrance fee because we managed to pay for the tickets using our Tesco Clubcard vouchers!

After a few hours exploring Kensington Palace we moseyed on over to Cutter and Squidge for our Genie’s Cave afternoon tea! I really love attending these themed afternoon teas! I have been trying to get into the Tale as old as Time one for months but it is always fully booked. Then after going to the amazing Mad Hatter’s Tea Party afternoon tea in December last year I was on the hunt for something similar and came across the Genie’s Cave version! This was another brilliant experience with amazing food, so a a separate blog is to follow on this too! A word of warning though – the Genie’s Cave theme is due to end at the end of March so get booking if this is something you fancy!


After stuffing our faces we wandered around and did the only thing we know best – bought more delicious treats to bring home with us! We visited Doughnut Time who sell THE BEST doughnuts ever! Move over KrispyKreme!


After visiting all of our favourite food places we wandered slowly back over to Victoria Coach Station via Buckingham Palace to catch our coach home. What an amazing start to my Birthday week!

Tuesday was far less exciting but definitely a lovely day off – I basically got up at the normal time and got ready and then spent the morning in my local Starbucks catching up with writing my blogs and updating my Instagram and Twitter accounts. I managed to publish a blog every day in December for Blogmas, and over the Christmas holidays I had intended to get my blogs up to date and to have them scheduled several weeks in advance, but unfortunately this fell by the way-side and since mid-January I have been struggling to get my weekly weekend blog published. The week commencing 19th February I didn’t publish anything, which was the first time in a long time. I’ve found it especially hard to focus and get back into the blog writing since our lovely dog Skibba passed away last month as well. Anyway, today gave me a chance to catch up and draft as many blogs as possible, plus drink ridiculous amounts of my favourite coffee! A nice calm and relaxed morning!

After a few hours of getting square eyes I wandered over to the business park next door to have a look in some of the furniture stores to get some decorating ideas for our house. We’ve got the plasterer booked to plaster most of the upstairs and the dining room ceilings next week and after that we can get cracking with the decorating, so I need to start thinking about designs and colour schemes! I’m hoping by the time we have been in the house six months (beginning of June) I can write a blog about the progress we have made so far, but things are moving far slower than I had expected and the weeks and months just seem to be whizzing by!

Anyway, I came across some lovely dining room tables and chairs, bed frames and wallpaper and kitchens and nursery furniture so plenty of food for thought!

In the evening hubby and I went out for a lovely meal to Zizzi’s which is one of my favourite restaurants. Plus, we had £40 worth of Tesco Clubcard vouchers to spend in here, so it was practically a free meal which was brilliant!

On Wednesday, my Mum and I traveled over to the nearby town of Tewkesbury. I’ve always wanted to see Tewkesbury Abbey and, as it is not too far away, Tewkesbury seemed to be a lovely day out. It is a really beautiful building with lots of history so, you guessed it, a separate blog is to follow!


After visiting the Abbey we grabbed lunch at a nearby restaurant called Café E Vino. The lunch was delicious and they had plenty of vegetarian and vegan options which I thought was very impressive! I had a delicious meal of gnocchi in a gorgonzola and speck sauce – really tasty!

After a hearty lunch we wandered down to the waters edge to see the river, although we didn’t hang around for long as it was absolutely freezing and the water level was really high after the recent snowfall had melted.

After a lovely day we hopped in the car to go and collect my amazing Birthday cake from Claire’s Cakes Cheltenham! Isn’t it beautiful!?


She has made several cakes for us over the years including an amazing Winter Wonderland cake, two amazing Game of Thrones themed cakes and a Harry Potter themed cake! This year’s cake was a Geode cake and as usual she has outdone herself and made a spectacular creation! Can’t wait for friends and family to see it tomorrow!

Thursday was my actual Birthday so my Sister and I started the day going to Hubble Bubble, one of our favourite coffee houses, for one of their famous freakshakes! We tried the Easter edition this time!


After our sugar overload we ventured into town for a bit of retail therapy,  coffee  and lunch. The centre of Gloucester isn’t great for shopping however Gloucester Quays Outlet Centre is only a short walk away so we spent most of our time here. I had planned for us to go to The Grill Shed for lunch but unfortunately I woke up this morning with a stinking cold so I didn’t feel up to having a big meal! We ended up having macaroni cheese in Costa instead which was just what we needed!

After our shopping trip I came home and prepared a little buffet for the family and friends who were popping over to visit me for my Birthday! It was really lovely to see everyone and catch up with them and after the buffet we all enjoyed a large slab of Birthday cake! My Mum and my Sister bought me some beautiful flowers and people came over with mounds of presents!

When everyone had gone I had the important task of opening all of my cards and gifts! I just hadn’t had the time so far! As usual, I’ve been absolutely spoilt! My Mum bought me the amazing shoes I included in my Valentine’s Day treats post (and believe me they look as good in real life as they did in that picture!)


My Sister asked me if I wanted anything in particular but she knows me very well and is brilliant at present buying so I told her to surprise me! And she did! As well as my beautiful flowers she bought me a lovely pair of grey trainers, a keyring, a pen and a Columbo boxset! (I LOVE Columbo!!!)

Hubby asked me ages ago what I would like for my Birthday and I really couldn’t think of anything I wanted but as my Sister and I were walking through town today we walked past the Pandora shop to have a peep in the window. I’ve always wanted a Pandora bracelet and really love all the amazing charms you can get, but I have always worn gold jewellery, and all my existing jewellery is in gold! The gold bracelets and charms are available but are really, really expensive and I would never want to spend so much on a bracelet. Anyway, when we looked inside they were promoting the new Pandora Shine collection which is basically thick gold plated jewellery and obvious makes it far more affordable than the solid gold range, so it was as if it was meant to be!

So I had a beautiful gold Pandora bracelet and two charms from hubby in the end! I was so pleased to finally get one and he was pleased I had chosen something I really wanted for my Birthday! I’ve been very spoilt! I also had cash and vouchers from family and friends so I’ll take these with me when I’m working in London next week to see what lovely things I can find!

A perfect evening with family and friends – except the washing up afterwards of course!

The Friday was another brilliant day because I got to spend the day with my Sister and my Mum! It would have been nice to venture over to nearby Cheltenham as there’s plenty of places I would like to visit, but unfortunately my Birthday always lands in the middle of Race week at Cheltenham Racecourse, so Cheltenham and the surrounding areas are jam-packed with people! Even trying to get a restaurant reservation in Gloucester during this week is quite difficult so we thought it would be best to go a bit further afield and visit Blenheim Palace! It is only around an hour away from us and once again we were able to get our tickets using £8 worth of Tesco Clubcard vouchers! We’ve done extremely well over the years exchanging these vouchers for days out or restaurant vouchers!

Before we set off I wanted to treat my Mum and Sister to breakfast so I booked a table at one of our favourite restaurants for breakfast – Cote Brasserie. In fact, I’ve not been here for lunch or an evening meal, only for breakfast! I always have the Croque Monsieur – it is to die for!

After a hearty breakfast we set off for Blenheim Palace. I’ve wanted to visit here for a long, long time so I’m really pleased I finally got round to it! I definitely want to re-visit in December when they have the “Christmas at Blenheim Palace” theme going on. I can imagine the Palace will look even more beautiful at that time of the year!


We spent a few hours here, there is plenty to do and see and to be honest I really underestimated how big this place is! I will have to come back soon to finish looking at the parts of it we hadn’t got around to.

As a special treat I booked for the three of us to  have Afternoon Tea in the Orangery which was really lovely and the food was delicious.


We finally got home after sitting in traffic for ages and luckily I hadn’t made any plans for the evening, so this gave me the chance to have a sort through and edit all the photos I had taken this week (and to have a well earned rest and hot bath!)

On the Saturday night we went over to our friends house and they cooked us a delicious dinner, my friend also made me this beautiful cookie mermaid, rainbow and unicorn display! Isn’t it amazing? She’s so talented!


She also bought me a mound of presents including some sparkly trainers, amazing cocktail liquors chocolates, keyrings and some amazing Pusheen slippers! I’ve been wearing them all weekend!


Our friends only live about a 15 minute walk away so we walked home, and just in time really as shortly after we arrived home the “mini beast from the East” struck and it started heavily snowing again! I don’t ever remember there being snow around my Birthday before! Fingers crossed Spring will be here soon and we can start the Easter celebrations!

Another fantastic Birthday! I’m so grateful to have such great family and friends!

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!


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!


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.


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?


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!


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!


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!


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.


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!


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.


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!

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!


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!


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!


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!


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.


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!).


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


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!


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!


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.


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.


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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.


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!


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!



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!


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.


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!!


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.


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


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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…..


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!


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.


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!



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!


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.


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!


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!



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


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


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!



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


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!


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


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


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!


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


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


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!


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


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.


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


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…


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!




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!

Sugar Tits Bakery!

Hello fellow tasty treat lovers! Have I got a special one for you in todays blog! Another golden Instagram find, introducing – Sugar Tits Bakery!

Sugar Tits have a large range of products which I have noticed are updated very regularly. Most products can be ordered online and delivered around the United Kingdom but there are also some incredible items you can order which are delivered in and around the London area – god I wish I lived in London sometimes (seriously – check out their Galaxy Glitter Bomb Brownies!!)

Here are just a couple of the tasty treats I’ve ordered from them so far:

Bling Box

An amazing box filled with ten fluffy mini bling donuts and ten squishy mini bling brownies. The lovely soft brownies are loaded with white chocolate chunks and the donuts have nutmeg and cinnamon in for a deliciously comforting taste!


These amazing bling boxes come in three metallic shades of gold, silver and even rose gold! They would make amazing gifts for friends!


They should be eaten straight away but will last up to a week if they are kept in an airtight container.


Fairy Floss (The Retro Revival pack)


This pack of three delicious Fairy Flosses includes the following amazing flavours –


A pack of Galaxy inspired candyfloss with starry sprinkles and sherbet flying saucers!


Cola Ice Cream Float

Cola and ice cream candy floss with cola bottles and chewy ice cream sweets!


Banana Split

Banana and ice cream flavour candy floss with banana foam sweets and rainbow sprinkles!


Each individual bag measures 12cm x 20cm and the Candy floss lasts for up to a month when stored in a cool dry place.

Another idea for using the Fairy Floss is to add it to your favourite cocktails or prosecco which seems to be the latest craze at the moment!

Other Fairy Floss flavours are available from Sugar Tits Bakery including Peaches and Cream and Rhubarb and Custard!!

“If you can’t” Cookies


A box of twelve lemon shortbread cookies covered with a lovely fondant icing and embossed the wording “If you can’t handle this sass then you can’t handle this ass”! Very sassy indeed!



Other themed cookies are available from Sugar Tits, including some which say “Girl Gang” and “Sassy and Bad Assy!” Brilliant!

The next couple of items I want to try are the Skull Rainbow Chocolates – A box of eight cookies ‘n’ cream chocolates made with white chocolate and loaded with Oreo cookie pieces and the Unicorn Bark – Beautiful brightly swirled strawberry white chocolate with a rainbow of candy treats, cookie pieces and unicorn sprinkles sprinkled on top! Aren’t they fabulous?? They have lots of products which are ideal as gifts for friends too!

Plus this week they posted on Instagram to say they had made Jade from Little Mix’s Birthday cupcakes! Amazing!

Addicted to Lush Take Five

Hopefully you have been reading my previous blogs containing reviews of products from the regular Lush collection. These have been slightly interrupted over the last few months to make way for the Halloween and Christmas editions but we are back to the regular collection for now!

Having said that, keep your eyes peeled in February for my blog on the Lush Valentines collection!

Butterball Bath Bomb

The Butterball scent is one of Lush’s most popular scents – the cocoa butter content make it really popular, especially in the winter months when your skin could do with as much moisturising as possible.


The Butterball is a very small and plain looking bath bomb, and is designed to moisturise and hydrate the skin. It has sweet vanilla scent around it, and the ylang ylang provides a slightly fruity floral scent.

The Butterball is a loud little fizzer which releases foam containing small bubbles of cocoa butter which look like small blobs of oil and float on the surface. The oil coats your skin and makes it feel incredibly soft and moisturised. I didn’t need to use my normal moisturiser but if you suffer from greasy hair (like I do!), don’t wash your hair in this or it may be like an oil slick for the next few days!


Not an exciting looking bath bomb but definitely one I will be stocking up on for using in the cold wet winter months! Perfect for a lovely warm bath after a cold day out in the wind and rain!

If you have read my Christmas blogs you may have seen the Christmas edition of Butterball, known as Butterbear! I learned after using both Butterball and Butterbear that they are small and mighty because they are designed to be used alongside a regular bath bomb to provide that extra kick of moisture! I will definitely give this a go next time I use a Butterball!

Ickle Baby Bot Bath Bomb 

This tiny little bath bomb is actually designed for babies and toddlers, basically to help them get off to sleep, but seeing as I often suffer from terrible insomnia, I thought it would be worthwhile giving it a try!


The scent of Ickle Baby Bot is a gentle lavender scent and the bath bomb contains sandalwood oil and chamomile oil.

It is a really fast fizzer, and due to its size, it was gone ever so quickly. The scent is incredibly mild and, although the bath water went a nice shade of blue, it didn’t stretch very far. I assume this is because it is designed to be used in a small baby bath, rather than a very full, deep adult sized bath! If you want to give this bath bomb a go, perhaps buy a couple of them for a stronger scent and a more effective bath. It is priced at £1.90, so even buying a couple of them would be cheaper than most of the bath bombs from the range.


Overall I am afraid this really didn’t do much for me and it isn’t a product I would probably buy again, but a great product for children and babies!

Brightside Bubble Bar

This is a good sized bubble bar and will easily last you for at least three or four baths – unless of course you are feeling particularly indulgent!


Brightside contains tangerine oil and mandarin oil which I absolutely love – it is so refreshing and uplifting and zesty! This bubble bar is designed to reduce stress and combat restlessness. It also contains bergamot oil, which is designed to improve circulation and relieve muscle tension.

Simply cut as much as you want to use off your bubble bar and then crumble it under running water, or cut it up and store in an airtight container to use as and when you need it.


The smell is lovely whilst you are in the bath and stays on your skin for a long time afterwards!

The bath water goes a lovely orange colour and the bubble bar makes mounds and mounds of lovely fluffy bubbles! I really didn’t want to get out of the bath!! A definite favourite scent and very moisturising, I’ll definitely be buying more of these!

Whoosh Shower Jelly

Shower jellies are a very strange product, and to be honest, probably one of my least favourite products. I just find them very strange to work with, and more often than not, a lot of effort for little return!

The reason I buy them is because they come in such amazing scents, and Whoosh is no exception to this!


There are several ways that you can use the shower jelly – firstly, you can rub the whole block, or a broken-off piece, directly onto your skin (although this is not my preference as it is very difficult to keep hold of the slippery sucker!)

Secondly, you can break off a piece around the size of a ten pence piece and then rub it into your sponge to lather up before rubbing it into your skin. Some Lushies get the block out of its pot and cut it into bite sized chunks and then store it back in the pot so it is ready to go when they next need it, so I gave this a try.

The other thing about shower jellies is that you can keep them in the fridge or freezer, ideal for using in the showers on those hot sticky summer days!

It lathers up really well once you get the hang of using them and the jelly version of Lush’s shower gels do seem to go a lot further than their liquid counterparts.

A small chunk of the jelly will easily be enough to clean you from head to toe! The downside to shower jellies? They are so difficult to keep hold of (slippery suckers!) which unfortunately can result in a lot of the product breaking off, falling apart and then being washed down the plughole! Not good!

Yellow Submarine Bath Bomb

I love the look of this relatively new bath bomb and I’ve been really looking forward to using it! It’s main ingredients are orange, coriander and lemon grass! Very refreshing!


As soon as this bath bomb hit the water it made a lot of lovely creamy thick yellow and pink coloured foam. It’s a slow release bath bomb and is really quiet!

Once the bomb has dissolved you are left with lovely orange bath water! I really loved the scent of Yellow Submarine but it wasn’t quite strong enough for me and the smell did seem to fade quite quickly, which was bit disappointing!

Although the smell isn’t strong enough for me I do love the scent and would definitely buy it again, my skin was lovely and soft afterwards and I found this bath bomb to be really relaxing…A really cute design with a lovely scent, just make the scent stronger please Lush!

Intergalactic Bath Bomb

Oh my god I love this bath bomb! Intergalactic along with Fizzbanger (now discontinued – annoying!) and Dragon’s Egg are my favourite bath bombs! If I had to choose my favourite out of the three I think it would be this one!


Intergalactic contains popping candy (need I say more?!) and really is one of the most stunning bath bombs on the market. If you want to start adding #bathart to your Instagram account then this is definitely the bath bomb for you!

It’s a lovely looking bath bomb – a vivid blue colour with streaks of pink and yellow throughout. The key ingredients are peppermint, cedarwood and vetivert oil, which make this bath bomb a very minty, fresh and uplifting bath bomb.

This is a fast fizzing bath bomb which creates trails of thick blue foam before the pink, white and yellow elements begin appearing, creating an almost “galaxy” like appearance across the surface of the water. The bath water is also filled with a lovely golden lustre, adding to the beautiful display and crackling noises of the popping candy. The bath water ends up as a beautiful shade of blue – it’s hard to explain, but again it is very deep-space galaxy like!


This bath bomb is very moisturising and the peppermint oil in it also make it very cooling on the skin – an ideal summer bath bomb. This one is an absolute must, must try!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the latest batch of Lush products I’ve used! I’m slowly working my way through the HUGE stash I currently have which is now mostly made up of seasonal products! Keep an eye out for next months blog which as I said earlier will be a review of the Valentines Day collection – I’m really looking forward to trying these amazing looking products!


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.


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!


Inside their goody bags they each had:

Chip coin purse

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



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?


Lumiere coin purse

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


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!


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!



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!


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!


Chip Keyring

They can carry Chip with them everywhere they go now!


Pom Pom bag charm

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


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.


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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.


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!


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!


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!


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!


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.


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!


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


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!


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!


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!


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!


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


Smoked salmon scotch quails egg with caviar and cream cheese



Stack of King of Hearts ham and parmesan croque-monsieur


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


Queen of Hearts rose and strawberry jammy dodger 


Mocha chessboard gateau


Tweedle Dee lemon curd financier 


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


Chocolate and Pistachio Blue Caterpillar 


Wonderland Marshmallow Magic mushrooms


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!)


Alices Cinnamon, apple and peach “Drink Me” potion


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!


What’s on the menu this Christmas?

One of my favourite aspects of Christmas is the incredible food you can buy this time of year! I have to say my favourite place to buy food from for the festive period is Marks and Spencers. In my opinion they overshadow all the other supermarkets and consistently bring out new, exciting and unusual products year after year.

For Christmas Day we will usually choose three or four canapes which I leave out for people to pick at whilst the main meal is cooking away. If the boys have been down the pub for a couple of pints before lunch they are usually rather peckish by the time they come home so they look forward to these!

This year for our canapés we are having Asian chicken lollipops, BBQ pork belly squares and Brie and Cranberry parcels (all from M&S) and a lovely Antipasti platter from Tescos which consists of grilled vegetable antipasti, marinated slow roasted tomatoes, Spanish olives with cheddar cheese, pitted Halkidiki olives with lemon and garlic, feta stuffed peppers, roasted and salted corn and roasted and salted broad beans! Delicious!





We then have our starters – one is usually fish and the other either meat (we don’t have any vegetarians in the family). Past starters have included individual baked Camenbert’s with a range of toppings, gold flaked smoked salmon, cheddar cheese souffle’s, prawn cocktails, pate, and an amazing Lobster Thermidor!

This year we have actually chosen three starters as we couldn’t decide and everyone wanted to try a bit of everything! We have gone for –

Cornish Cruncher cheese and cider bakes (with breads for dipping):


Smoked salmon bauble terrine:


King prawn and poached salmon terrines:


Then onto the main course which is usually the trickier bit to select – we have a half and half split in the family of who likes turkey and who doesn’t, so when there are between 8 and 12 of us having Christmas dinner – I will usually cook a turkey and one other meat (usually either lamb or beef wellington). Everyone likes different vegetables and condiments so we start off with a big list which basically includes everything you can think of and then this is usually cut down a bit after people compromise on a few things! I don’t mind cooking such a huge range of things if people like them but the issue I have found with cooking so many different things is a) getting the timings right so they are all cooked at the same time and b) keeping everything warm whilst you are serving the starters, cutting the meat etc. It really was becoming quite tricky so after having a meltdown one year because the sprouts were stone cold, I decided we had to start limiting our choices slightly!

We have gone for a plain turkey crown this year (no stuffing or bacon) but I am going to add this amazing looking Christmas spiced bacon on top of the turkey! Yum!


After moving into our new house only a couple weeks ago, I was worried about trying to cook two meats in an oven I was still getting used to, and in one which is much smaller than my lovely range oven I had to leave behind at the old house, so in the end I choose this amazing looking gammon joint from Marks and Spencer’s – all cooked and ready to eat! Easy peasy!


Add in pigs in blankets, sage and onion stuffing, yorkshire puddings, peas, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower cheese and green beans and we have a feast fit for a king!



I’ve also bought some delicious bread sauce (Mum’s favourite) and cranberry and port sauce to top it off with.


Then onto the best bit – dessert! We usually end up with a HUGE choice of desserts because again, everyone likes different things! Everyone always takes home a doggy bag of desserts to eat later and I freeze what I can and slowly work my way through them!

For the past three years one of the choices has been the “penguin party cake” from Marks and Spencers! We fell in love with it the first time we had it – the sponge was so light, and the buttercream and icing were delicious! We have bought it every year since and were really hoping that M&S decided to bring it back again this year, but it didn’t feature in their Christmas food catalogue! I tweeted them and they confirmed that it wouldn’t be back this year unfortunately! [insert very sad face emoji!)

This year is no exception on the dessert front and I’ve gone totally overboard AGAIN. I will be eating these until Easter I think!

Santa’s stuck in the chimney cake – really looking forward to trying this one!


White chocolate Snowball Wreath (with raspberry compote inside!)


Chocolate pinecones – I saw these last year but stupidly didn’t get any! Aren’t they lovely?


Salted caramel yule log – I’m OBSESSED with salted caramel flavoured things so this looks like it was made for me!


Mini Mince pies


Then, believe it or not, I actually serve a course of cheese and biscuits! This year I think I got an absolute bargain buying this cheese “cake” from Tescos! It was £30 and weighs almost 3 kilos and consists of Coastal Cheddar, Red Leicester, Blue Stilton, Wensleydale with sweetened dried cranberries and blueberries and St Endellion Brie – so something for everyone’s taste!


Whilst on the subject of cheese, I bought this lovely item from Marks and Spencer’s for several of my cheese loving friends – isn’t it great? It’s called in a pear cheese!


Then the easiest part is usually the drinks! Everyone knows what they like and to be honest I have given up on making surprise cocktails and punches for the guests because they tend to stick with what they know they like!

Some of the most common drinks we partake in during the festive season are Apple and Cinnamon Martinis (apple juice and cinnamon flavoured liqueur – Smirnoff do a good one with gold bits in it!), Snowballs (Advocaat, lemonade and a splash of lime juice), Amaretto sours (amaretto and pre-mixed Finest Call sweet and sour mix – I tend to order in bulk from Syrup’s and Stuff as they do case deals on the Finest Call range) and of course Prosecco with chambord, limoncello or Popaball’s Rose gold shimmer for processo!

Anyway, as it’s almost Christmas Eve I had better go and start prepping! Two more sleeps to go!!!

Christmas Cornflake Wreaths


Now the kids have broken up from school for Christmas, if you are looking for a really fun, easy and cheap treat to make then this is ideal!

To make the Cornflake Wreaths you will need:

-100g soft butter

-200g mini marshmallows

-125g cornflakes

-1 teaspoon of any flavouring you would like such as vanilla or orange – my favourite is almond!


To make the wreaths –

Put a piece of greaseproof paper on a surface ready for the wreaths to set on later.

Put the hob on a low heat and melt the butter and marshmallows in a large pan. Stir continuously until the ingredients are combined.


Take the pan off the heat and add any flavouring you want to use.

Add the cornflakes to the pan and crush them as you stir them so they are easier to shape later on, I find the smaller you crush the cornflakes the easier it is to shape them.


Make sure all the cornflakes are covered in the marshmallow mixture.


When the mixture has cooled down slightly, pull off a ball of mixture around the size of a golfball and flatten it on your baking paper – sounds easy right?? This is the hardest bit as it is REALLY messy! The kids will love it! Even flattening it is hard because the mixture sticks to EVERYTHING!!! Be prepared to get covered in goo!

You should end up with nine or ten wreaths after you’ve fought to flatten them onto the baking  paper.


Once you’ve done this, use the end of a spoon to make a hole in the middle so they look “wreath-like”.

Fairly soon after you do this and before the mixture sets, you need to decorate your wreaths! Do this however you wish but I do find that red and green holly and berry decorations look really good, and I also add a few white stars on them too!!


Finally, sprinkle on some edible glitter and leave them for an hour or so (if you can!) to allow the mixture to set and then indulge!!!

New York at Christmas Time – Day Two

We were all up earlier than I had expected us to be (stupid jet-lag!) but this meant we could get ready and be out stomping the streets of New York as early as possible and cover more ground.

We put the TV on as we were getting ready and were mortified to hear that there had been an attempt to set a bomb off only a few streets away from our hotel but thank god no-one was seriously injured or killed. I take my hat off to the authorities who have to deal with terrible situations like this – they are all so skilled and well trained and professional throughout and I have to say, despite being only a couple of streets away from where disaster could have struck, I never once felt unsafe knowing the best of the best were out there protecting us all. I think it is fair to say that terrorism failed in more than one aspect that day.

Anyway, on a brighter note, off we went on Monday’s adventure. We walked a good twenty minutes to go and have breakfast at Broadway Café – we always have breakfast here at least once during our trips to New York. It is a brilliant place with so much choice, I challenge you not to find something on the breakfast menu that you like! If you get the chance you must pay them a visit!

After a hearty breakfast of pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup and omelettes, oatmeal and sausage sandwiches, we carried on walking South down Broadway, admiring all the shops and window displays.


On our way to the Financial District we came across the Flatiron building – such an amazing design! It was originally called the Fuller Building, is 22 storeys high and was completed in 1902. The name “Flatiron” comes from its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron. The building is often described as “one of the worlds most iconic skyscrapers and a quintessential symbol of New York city.” It is certainly very amazing to look at!


We eventually arrived at Washington Square Park, which looked beautiful as it still had some snow on the ground. The park is a 9.75 acre public park in Greenwich and is one of the best known parks of New York city. At the northern gateway of the park you will find the Washington Square Arch (in the second picture).




We also stopped off at Sugarhut and spent a fortune on sweets! I have never seen so many different types of sweets and treats! I was like a kid in a toy store! You don’t get sweet shops in the UK anymore really do you? It’s mainly the supermarkets you have to get your sugar fix from!


We carried on walking down Fifth Avenue for a few more miles until we reached the Financial District and One World Trade Center’s Freedom Tower. The last time we visited New York in 2013, they were still building here and we all said as soon as the observation deck was finished that we would come back to visit.


One World Trade Center (also known as WTC of Freedom Tower) is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and is the sixth tallest building in the world! The new skyscraper stands on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center building. The building’s architect was David Childs, whose firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) also designed the Burj Khalifa and the Willis Tower.


Construction of below-ground footings and foundations for the Freedom Tower began on 27 April 2006, and when we visited Ground Zero in June 2009, all work was still being completed underground at this point. One World Trade Center became the tallest structure in New York City on 30 April 2012, when it surpassed the height of the Empire State Building. When we visited New York in May 2013, the work which had been completed was incredible – the Tower was almost complete and the final component of the Tower’s spire had just been installed, making the building (including its spire) reach a total height 1,776 feet! The building is 104 standard floors high, but has only 94 actual stories. The height of 1776 feet is deliberate, as it references the year the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. The building officially opened in 3rd November 2014, and the One World Observatory opened on 29th May 2015.

The tower has a three-story observation deck which is located on floors 100–102. The actual viewing space is on the 100th floor, but there is a food court on the 101st floor and a space for events on the 102nd floor. Admission to the Observation Deck is $39 and is well worth the price.

Once you have passed through security you enter a lift which takes you up to the 102nd floor. During the lift journey, screens on the walls of the lift light up and show you how the skyline of New York has developed since the 1900’s. Once you leave the lift you are escorted into a theatre type room which shows another video of New York, its residents and its developments over the years. The video is extremely moving, and once the video has finished, the black back drop lifts up and shows you a beautiful outlook of this amazing city! I cried at the time and thinking about it again as I type this it has made me tearful again! It was so moving and very tastefully done.

You then leave the theatre room and explore the observation deck where you can take some absolutely amazing photographs from all the viewpoints of the city. Keep an eye out for the Brooklyn Bridge, The Statue of Liberty and of course the incredible Empire State Building.

Photographs really do not do it justice, the view is exceptional and I could have stayed there all day looking out at this amazing place.


We didn’t visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum on this occasion as we visited on our trip during 2013, however I urge you to go and visit if you get the chance. I will cover more on the Memorial and Museum in my next New York blog which I hope to publish early next year.

After our amazing (and very emotional) visit to the Freedom Tower, we wandered down further into the financial district to see Wall Street and it’s infamous “Charging Bull”. Despite being to New York a couple of times before, we have never got around to seeing him so we were pleased we got to this time!


We then started making our way back up Fifth Avenue towards our hotel and on the way we visited the Union Square Holiday Market. I was really looking forward to this market but to be honest I was rather disappointed. There were nowhere near as many stalls as I had expected and I couldn’t find any of the stalls I had ear-marked to visit which was a real shame! A very pretty market in the centre of Manhattan but I left here empty handed!

When we visited Union Square market I had made a note to visit a nearby bakery/restaurant called Union Fare, I am so, so pleased I did in the end because I managed to get hold of one of their famous Red Velvet croissants (a red sweet flavoured croissant filled with a delicious cream cheese flavoured filling) and a Birthday Cake croissant (a croissant with multi-coloured sugar strands running through it filled with a white Birthday cake flavoured filling which is again filled with colourful sugar strands)! Delicious! I also bought a very colourful Sugar Cookie which I saved to eat later on when we got back to the hotel!




As we continued on we came across Gingerbread Boulevard in Madison Square Park.

Gingerbread Boulevard features a life-size Gingerbread House, with ginger “bricks”, a “frosting-covered” roof and is covered in candy canes, gum drops and more.


You get to go inside the house where there is a fire lit and a fully-decorated Christmas tree. Inside are TV screens which show the Gingerbread Man decorating his Christmas tree and then running past the windows of his house – it’s probably more for the children but we enjoyed it and thought it was really cute!

It was a bit of a surreal experience but a really good laugh and a great photo opportunity! Plus the house smelt absolutely delicious! We didn’t have to queue to go in and there was no charge so I would highly recommend visiting Gingy in his Gingerbread house if you have the chance!

After finally getting back to our hotel (after a Dunkin’ Donuts stop on the way!), we checked our phones which said we had walked the equivalent of a half marathon!


We decided we wanted to go back to the Rockefeller to do the ice skating tonight (even after walking all that way!) as the forecast was rain for the next day, so after a quick rest at the hotel we wandered back over to the Rockefeller Center.

It was far quieter tonight than it had been the night before which was great. We managed to get into the last ice skating slot of the evening which was from 10:30pm until midnight, and we only had around a 45 minute wait to get onto the ice which I didn’t think was too bad considering you can’t pre-book tickets. I think the slots of an hour and a half are a bit long as the ice skating boots were really uncomfortable and it isn’t the biggest rink in the world but anyway, another amazing experience ticked off the bucket list!


After ice skating at the Rockefeller Centre we headed off back to the hotel and walked past Saks Fifth Avenue – I knew they would put on a spectacular show but I didn’t imagine something as incredible as this! The theme this year was to celebrate 80 years of Snow White so the window displays were all Snow White themed and then on the front of the building was a spectacular light display which went off every hour or so alongside music from Snow White such as the ‘hi ho hi ho’ song! It was truly incredible.




I know now why they call it the city that never sleeps! By the time we got to the hotel we were all absolutely exhausted!! I was worried we would sleep in the next morning and lose precious time on our last day because we were so tired!

New York at Christmas Time – Day One

What an amazing past couple of weeks my family and I have had! My husband and I finally got to move into our dream home, we celebrated my Sisters Birthday, my Mum’s Birthday, had our annual trip to London and two themed afternoon teas and to top it all off, we spent three nights in New York!


The day we moved (Friday 1st December), we were at my Mum’s house in the evening, celebrating my Sister’s Birthday with some cake and champagne when out came four gold envelopes, each containing a note saying how hard we had worked this year and as an extra special Christmas present, Mum had paid for the four of us to spend three nights in New York!

Everyone was (and still is!) absolutely dumbfounded! What an incredibly amazing and perfect present, all four of us have always dreamed of going to New York over Christmas!

We left on the 10th December and battled our way to Heathrow through the most terrifying snow storm I have ever seen! How we all made it to the airport in one piece I will never know! We were lucky we had an early morning flight because even as we were sat on the plane watching it be de-iced by a giant robot, I sat there thinking to myself they are definitely going to cancel lots of flights today due to the snow!

Anyway, we got away on time and around 7 hours later (and after my husband watching Home Alone nearly four times on the plane journey, not joking!) we arrived in the Big Apple!


We were staying at The Roosevelt Hotel on East 45th Street and it looked absolutely stunning inside! Huge Christmas trees and decorations and wreaths and baubles, a really lovely hotel. I have been lucky enough to have visited New York three times over the last 8 years and this is the best hotel I have stayed in so far, I would definitely stay here again.


So, we got checked in and had a quick shower and got changed and out we went! Our first stop was the amazing Bryant Park Winter Village which wasn’t far from our hotel. I couldn’t wait to visit this Christmas Market – it looked like the biggest and had loads of amazing food stalls I wanted to try!

It got dark as we were there so the buildings were all lit up above you whilst you were wondering around the market drinking mulled wine and hot chocolate – it was amazing! There’s an ice skating rink here and plenty of bars and restaurants surround the market too.



Whilst I was there I indulged in some chicken from Chick N Cone which, funnily enough, is bite sized pieces of chicken in a waffle cone! I tried the Cinnamon Maple flavour – it was the best tasting chicken I have ever eaten! I wish I had bought two!


My Sister tried some Mexican Tacos and the boys had a New York Cheese Steak sandwich (they ate these too quickly for me to catch a photo of them!)


I also tried some truffle mozzarella sticks – god they were to die for!

Next we moved onto the dessert stalls – my Sister and I bought three filled Churros to start – one was filled with Dulce De Leche (caramel), one was filled with Boston Cream Pie (kind of a crème pâtissière filling) and the other one was filled with S’more (marshmallow and chocolate filling) – again, amazing! I do love Churros!


I was also really pleased as I managed to get hold of two pots of cookie dough from DO whilst I was there – I follow them on Instagram and love their colourful cookie dough flavours and designs! I had a Birthday cake flavoured cookie dough and their limited edition Winter WonDOland cookie dough! Yum!

After a couple of hours (and a couple of drinks!) at Winter Village we wondered over to the Rockefeller Center to see the infamous Christmas tree and to go ice skating.

On the way to the Rockefeller Center, the streets of New York are lined with beautiful festive decorations and lights everywhere. It really is a magical place this time of year!


When we arrived at the Rockefeller Center we were all speechless! The Christmas tree is absolutely stunning in real life and is HUGE! It is covered in multi-coloured lights and sits happily above the skating rink whilst people skate below!



Aside from the spectacular tree, there are also lots of other beautiful statues and decorations at the Rockefeller Center to celebrate the festive season!


Unfortunately, the skating rink was booked out to a private party this evening so we had a stroll around the Rockefeller Center and took plenty of photos before making our way back to the hotel for the evening. In hindsight, we should have left visiting the Rockefeller Center until the following day as it was absolutely HEAVING with people (as it was a Sunday) so you couldn’t get a very good view or take many good photos!




If you visit New York for the first time I would highly recommend visiting the Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock viewing deck. We have been to New York twice before and done the Top of the Rock both times so we didn’t do it again on this occasion, however the views are incredible and you can visit both during the day or at night – I would recommend visiting at night if you can, as you can see the Empire State Building lit up in all its glory! I would also recommend pre-booking Top of the Rock tickets online as queues can be huge and the last thing you want to do is waste time hanging around in queues when New York has so much else to offer!

There’s also a huge selection of shops and restaurants within the Rockefeller Center for you to visit, and right outside you can also find Radio City Music Hall – their Christmas Spectacular show is infamous across the globe!


We were exhausted by the time we finally got back to the hotel but couldn’t wait for the next day’s adventures!

What an amazing start to an incredible few days in New York!


Christmas in Narnia

I saw an advert for this come up on Facebook and thought it looked brilliant!

As I am usually on the prowl for special events such as this for around my Mum’s Birthday (9th December), and the family are all big The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Chronicles of Narnia fans, it looked absolutely perfect for the occasion!


I commented on the Facebook post with my email address so they could send me a brochure as they were hosting evening events on several dates throughout December at Cheltenham Town Hall. After reading the brochure information I was disappointed that you had to book for a minimum of 8 people for the three course dinner, (as they don’t mix parties for the event), and there would only have been three of us attending.

I was much happier a few days later when they announced they were also doing an afternoon tea party version of the event due to its popularity. The cost was cheaper and the itinerary and style of event were much more suitable for my Sister, my Mum and I.

I contacted Hype Agency they confirmed there was no minimum amount of people you had to book for this event! Even better! So I booked our tickets for our Christmas afternoon tea in Narnia which also fell on Mum’s Birthday – perfect!


When you arrive for afternoon tea you arrive by walking through a wardrobe and into Narnia! Look at Mum’s face – she’s so happy!

You walk through a snow filled tunnel and are met by Mr Tumnus whilst a flurry of snow falls from above!