Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Beauty Boost

Just over three years ago I was introduced to, what I feel, is a great skincare brand and now I want to share this with you.  

I was super lucky to go on several mini spa evenings at the Malmaison Hotel in Manchester and, like a gift from above, ESPA came into my life.  I've always had problem skin, suffering with acne whilst going through my teenage years (thanks hormones!) and still do every now and then (again, thanks hormones!) so I am not saying that ESPA is a miracle product.  I just think it's a damn good one.  

I used to use cheap products, usually selected by what was on offer or had a shiny-new advertising campaign.  Plus, make up wipes were my cleansing routine.  Thanks to several informative chats with the spa staff I saw the error of my ways and decided to do something about it.  First course of action, out with the facewipes.  FOREVER.  (Ok, I keep some hidden in the depths of my bathroom cupboard but they're only for, let's say, intoxicated emergencies).  Next course of action, fill up said bathroom cupboard with ESPA goodness.  

I use a fair few ESPA products so I'll introduce my 'team' in several posts, so not to waffle on too much.  
Photo by me
My now trusted cleanser is ESPA's Hydrating Cleansing Milk.  This beautifully gentle cleanser clears all make up away and leaves your skin feeling soft and not starved.  It comes highly recommended and at £13.50 it won't break the bank!  
Image credit
I tend to buy ESPA from Harvey Nicholls, Manchester.  They do facials (30 mins £25 and 1 hour £50) and what you pay is completely redeemable against products.  Bonus!  And, I must say that every time I pop in to stock up each staff member is amazingly friendly, helpful and generous.  I constantly get to try out new products as the ESPA staff gift you free samples.  This is also true if you buy products online as you receive two complimentary trial-size samples with every order.  This company is just lovely!  And it's British and close to 100% natural.  

It really does sound like I'm on some sort of commission.  I wish I was!  I've already converted several family members, which means birthdays and Christmas gifts are always taken care of.  

I hope I've not bored you too much!  


Thursday, 9 January 2014



I just wanted to point you in the direction of a blog's feature that I am currently enjoying and trying to participate in.  Florence Finds has embarked on spreading some 'January Joy'.  Basically, a selection of hints and suggestions to make January less, well, blah.  

Take a look and perhaps give some of them a go...

Here's what I've been up to...
  • I have already made one pretty specific resolution which isn't something I fancy sharing as yet but I hope to as the year goes on.  
  • I'm already pretty serious about my skin but I guess I could do the usual of drinking more water etc and I hope to do a post about products that I like.  If there's one thing you do this year, I suggest you throw out ANY facial wipes.  They are bad news, trust me.  
  • I've emailed some of my uni girl friends who I've not seen in a while and we're hoping to meet up soon for a much needed catch up.  
  • I have already made a calendar using Snapfish and it hangs proudly in my kitchen :-).
  • I LOVE the feature about clean eats on Florence Finds by Michelle from Pocketful of Dreams and I will be putting some of her recipes into practice.  

Now, the post that I have felt inspired by the most was 'Manage your time'.  I think most of us would agree that things can get a little hectic when we're trying to do what seems to be a thousand things, all at once.  I need to take heed of some of Rebecca's advice PLUS I've been trying to get my husband to agree to a cleaner for some time.  I think I'm just going to book one.  Eek!  

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the rest of the month and generally sorting myself out.  

Good luck!



Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Inner Child

Today I'd like to give a little shout out to some of my top presents from Christmas 2013.  I have been a full blown adult for quite some time, but the presents thing does not wane.  I wake up on Christmas morning and yes, I cannot wait to get some present action.  This may sound pretty shallow but I do also know the true meaning of Christmas - please trust me on that one.

My husband made the big mistake* of proposing on Christmas day several years ago, so he basically scuppered any chances of ever trumping the engagement ring that he presented to me on that fine day.  However, 2013 saw me get a great haul.  

First present...a kindle!  Finally, I am the proud owner of an e-reader.  I didn't want one of the fancy ones that can do just about everything except the washing up.  (Read: being able to use it as a tablet would mean I'd sit and read blogs all day instead of actual books)  Looking forward to not having to lug around heavy books in my dainty handbag.  

Next pressie...artwork!  I love my little house, I truly do.  However, it is crying out for more artwork.  I am always on the lookout for reasonably priced pieces but have been failing in my attempts - suggestions would be gratefully received.  But wait, what's that over the horizon??  Why, it's my brothers coming to save the day.  Younger sibling buys me these gorgeous butterfly prints from Rockett St George.  Older sibling creates his own prints and frames them for me.  LOVE them.  Thank you very much.  And, instead of leaving them unhung (new word?) my husband and I have already got them up in our hallway.  Take a look...

Last up that I wanted to share is a CD that I got. Chvrches.  A cool synth-pop band from Scotland.  Have a listen and see if they're your thing.

Hope you were pleased with your gifts!


*note - he did not make a mistake in marrying me ;-)
Photos - shots of prints in situ by me

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Sunday Sharing 3

Ok, so Christmas has only just finished - but there are still the sales!  Personally, I come over all funny at the thought of hitting the actual highstreet in hopes of a bargain.  I just cannot deal with all the people.  However, the virtual highstreet is a much more appealing place for me.  So let's take a trip...

I want to point you in the direction of some of the online retailers where I like to gain inspiration and inevitably spend some of my hard-earned cash.  To begin, I recently had my clicking finger pointed in the direction of House Envy.  This was another wonderful tip by the beloved Bright Bazaar blog.  

The website has a wonderful selection of homewares, gifts and accessories.  Everything looks so beautiful that my check out bag easily gets filled.  It's the perfect place to find a gift for a friend or relative or to treat yourself ;-)

To run you through a few of my faves:  
Recycled Glass Bottles - pretty up any shelves
Bird hooks - I am now the proud owner of a set of these (thanks to my brother)

'Love' Burlap Cushion - swoooooon!
'Eat' sign - perfect for my kitchen
Grey Velvet Feather Cushion - ok, I have a slight obsession with cushions
Happy sale shopping! 


Friday, 3 January 2014

Well hello, 2014

Wooah, 2014 has just swooped up in here with all the promises that a new year can boast.  The one thing I know I need to remind myself is that no one else can change my direction in life.  I am the only person that can steer my path through the year ahead.  Obviously there might be events, happenings and other such-like that can pop up unexpectedly, and send us off course temporarily, but we are ultimately in the driving seat.  There is a certain direction that I would like to head this year - if only there was a tomtom for life!  Anyway, I'm excited to see what the new year will hold.  


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