Saturday, 30 January 2016

Show a little Love this Valentine's Day

valentines, cards, gifts, zazzle

Valentine's Day. <3
A day to celebrate love, romance and coupledom in all it's glory.
But not everyone celebrates Valentine's... and not everybody has somebody to romance.

But Zazzle have thought of everything (as usual!), not only do they have an extensive range of cards and Valentine's Gifts to spoil the love of your life, they also have some funny, quirky, and down right cheeky bits to have a little giggle with your other half and lighten the mood of Valentine's if you're not all about the cute stuff or ready to say the L word, just yet! 

As well as this, they also have some fab bits to celebrate the platonic kind of love! The kind you have with your bestie, your sibling, a work colleague...
It's not always you get the chance to tell them that they're ace and you bloomin' well love them! (except after a few cheeky cocktails, of course!) so Zazzle have some amazing cards and gifts to surprise that special someone with a little token of appreciation this Valentine's Day.

valentines, cards, gifts, zazzle

So, James & I can be a bit soppy. Any opportunity for a bit of romance! <3 And I thought this card (£2.40*) was rather cute!! As always, the cards are great quality, with a high gloss finish and totally customisable inside and out! (which I probably should have thought of, since I forgot to change the name inside the card. Oops. Too late to change my name to Annabelle before Valentine's Day? haha

It was a toss up between this and the 'Meh... You'll Do' card ;) (just kidding!)


valentines, cards, gifts, zazzle

Everyone needs a little pick me up now and then, so I snapped up these super cute postcards (70p* each) with the slogan 'You Are Amazing - Remember That'. I love this slogan, and my friends are definitely amazing. A fantastic idea to make someone smile!

valentines, cards, gifts, zazzle
I Got Your Back (£2.45*) - You Are Amazing (£2.40) - You're the Friend (£2.45)

Take a look at these cards, just perfect for sending a little love to someone other than your lover this Valentine's, or at any time of the year.

I have some amazing friends that for the past couple of years I have spoke to every single day. They care about me, check up on me, they take interest in my children, listen to me moan and when I'm happy, they're happy for me. I'm so lucky to have them, so I want to send them something this Valentine's Day to say thank you for being there and let them know that I think they're rather fab!

valentines, cards, gifts, zazzle

valentines, cards, gifts, zazzle

Zazzle stickers are great, they're perfect for sticking down envelopes, decorating the inside of cards or anything you wish. They have SO many gorgeous Valentine's themed stickers (I'm a sucker for a cute love heart!) and I love these Vintage Retro Heart stickers (£4.00* for 20), I think I'm gonna steal a few for my personal planner! :)

valentines, cards, gifts, zazzle
You are my Sunshine (£11.60*) - You are Amazing (£11.60*)
valentines, cards, gifts, zazzle

Amongst all the fab gifts, I thought I'd pick up a couple of mugs for my friends, which I personalised with their names on the back. You can completely customise the mugs with your own design, a chosen template, change the colours, text, anything you like!
I can't get enough of that 'You are Amazing' slogan as you've probably gathered!


valentines, cards, gifts, zazzle

valentines, cards, gifts, zazzle
The polyester pillows come in 3 sizes and as always can be customisable as you wish. I adore this Infinity logo, so added our names and snapped it up as a little gift for my beau. :)

Zazzle currently have 40% off cards and 15% off everything else, so be quick! Let that special someone in your life know how much you love them!


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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The Body Shop's Exclusive Launch of 'Drops of Youth'

The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare


This weekend I was invited to a bloggers only Exclusive Launch at The Body Shop for their new 'Drops of Youth' products. 

I've been a fan of The Body Shop since I was back at school. My PE bag wasn't complete without my Dewberry Body Spray and my bathroom was full of little bottles of Ananya shower gel, complete with the little green labels. :)
I've used their products ever since and they've just got better and better. Their body butters are unbeatable and their skin care range is great, with something for everyone, and with a reasonable price tag too.

I'm a big fan of their Vitamin E skincare and use this regularly, it makes my skin feel amazing.


The Body Shop, Skincare

The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare

The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare

Their latest launch includes new additions to their 'Drops of Youth' skincare range. 
They've added a new day-to-night skincare routine to this youth-enhancing range, offering you a daily dose of more youthful looking skin.

Myself and my local blogger friends were met by the staff at the Leicester, Clock Tower store to introduce us to the new range. 

Being over 30, my skin is beginning to show it's age, with a few fine lines here and there, so skincare is pretty important to me and I was super excited to hear all about them!

The staff were absolutely lovely; all smiles, very friendly, approachable and most importantly, you could see just how passionate they were about the brand.

They told us about the new products and gave us a chance to have a little look for ourselves and take a few photos whilst enjoying some light refreshments which they'd kindly set out for us. 

We were then shown a demonstration of the products on one of the lovely ladies, while being told all about each one in turn, how best to apply them and in which order, for the best results.

We also had the opportunity to have our own skin consultation on our faces or hands, to try out the products for ourselves. 
The products had a lovely, fresh scent and my skin felt lovely and smooth afterwards.

The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare


The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare

The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare

There are currently 6 products in the 'Drops of Youth' range;

A gel-to-water liquid to be used as the first step after cleansing, to prepare skin for the next steps. Infused with 3 plant stem cells, it feels lovely on the skin, very smooth and not at all sticky, which I originally thought it may do.

A skin enhancing liquid containing almost 100% natural ingredients that instantly smoothes and moisturises, tightening pores and smoothing fine lines.

With a cooling roller-ball pump applicator, this concentrate, enriched with edelweiss plant stem cells, refreshes the eye contour and helps smooth the appearance of lines, bags and tired eyes.

The star of the show, 'a velvety air-whipped moisturising cream to leave skin smoother, more supple and refined with a youthful-looking bounce'. Also infused with 3 plant stem cells, this moisturiser sinks into the skin beautifully. 

A lightweight 'blurring' primer, to smooth fine lines and pores for a smooth, flawless finish before the application of makeup.

With a unique, bouncy, memory shape texture, this night cream, with it's youth-enhancing edelweiss stem cells formula, leaves skin looking bouncier and more replenished after a good night's sleep.

The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare

The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare

The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare

The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare

The Body Shop, Drops of Youth, Skincare

I had a fantastic time being introduced to the products by the staff at The Body Shop, they put on a great event and were full of information and happily answered any questions I had.

Huge thank you to them for inviting me, and for the lovely gift bag full of fab little samples to try out for myself.

I've been using the samples of the Concentrate & Youth Cream for the past couple of days and it feels lovely on my skin, I can't stop touching it after I've applied it. It dries super quick, so I could apply my make up straight away and my skin feels smooth and supple to the touch. I'm definitely going back for some full size goodies come pay day!! I'm really interested in trying out the Eye Concentrate too! 

The Body Shop


Visit thebodyshop.co.uk for more information on the Drops of Youth range and much more.



Have you found a fantastic skincare range recently?


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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Leicester's Music & Comedy Venue launch 'The Kitchen'


launch night, the kitchen, the cookie, Leicester

This week saw one of Leicester's most popular music and comedy venues 'The Cookie' launch 
'The Kitchen' and I was lucky enough to attend the VIP launch night to sample some of their new menu.

Food? Drink? Friends? I'm there!

The Cookie has been taking centre stage on Leicester's High Street for over 10 years, bringing us top names such as Russell Kane and George Ezra. 
They launched their intimate cocktail bar upstairs and aptly named it 'The Attic' and now they bring us 'The Kitchen' offering fresh, homemade, locally sourced food to fit our breakfast, lunch and early evening needs.

It was a fab night, the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends, while trying out some new grub and amazing cocktails (and believe me, they're amazing!) and I'll definitely be back for a full size fish and chips and more of those cocktails very soon!

Take a look at my photos from the evening...

launch night, the kitchen, the cookie, Leicester

launch night, the kitchen, the cookie, Leicester

launch night, the kitchen, the cookie, Leicester
Complimentary Prosecco anyone?
launch night, the kitchen, the cookie, Leicester

launch night, the kitchen, the cookie, Leicester, food, macaroni cheese
Sampling the Macaroni Cheese 
the kitchen, the cookie, launch night, food, Leicester
Homemade fish and chips - which were SO good!
the kitchen, the cookie, launch night, food, Leicester
Tucking into a grilled sandwich

the kitchen, the cookie, launch night, food, Leicester
Brownies - which I didn't get to sample as was too busy chasing cocktails!
the kitchen, the cookie, launch night, food, Leicester, drink
Intimate cocktail and gin bar - The Attic
the kitchen, the cookie, launch night, food, Leicester, drink
Cocktail surprise!


the kitchen, the cookie, launch night, food, Leicester, drink
It tastes as good as it looks - it was AH-MAY-ZING!!
the kitchen, the cookie, launch night, food, Leicester, drink
Steph & Radhika tucking in!



The Kitchen will be open until 7pm
Wednesday - Sunday's
If you're local to Leicester 
check them out!


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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Goodbye Chicken Skin? | Ameliorate Skincare : the review


ameliorate, keratosis pilaris, KP, chicken skin


I've been on a mission to banish my 'chicken skin' (properly termed Keratosis Pilaris) for as long as I can remember. 
KP is an unsightly skin condition, usually in the form of dry, rough, red bumps on the arms, legs and other areas of the body. 
You can read more in my previous post, but in short, KP occurs when the skin over-produces keratin and builds up in the hair follicles forming keratin plugs causing 'bumps' in the skin.

I was very kindly sent these skin smoothing, 'alpha hydroxy therapy' products by Ameliorate which were specially developed to provide a solution to chicken skin. 

The founder, the very lovely Annette, like me grew up plagued by this annoying skin condition and after spending years trying different lotions and potions in the hope for smooth, silky arms to no avail, she set out to develop a body lotion that would provide an answer to KP. A product which she is extremely proud of and they have since released accompanying products.

ameliorate, keratosis pilaris, KP, chicken skin


I've been using these products for a few months now, giving them a good time to see how well they work [nothing happens over night of course!], and now they're almost empty I can review them for you.

ameliorate, keratosis pilaris, KP, chicken skin, body lotion

Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Lotion* (£27.50)

The star of the show, their body lotion is the first UK made lotion specially developed to help with the appearance of KP. It contains lactic acid providing intense hydration and encouraging the skins natural exfoliation process, breaking down the keratin inside the hair follicle and encouraging the natural shedding process.
It has won many awards including the Cosmopolitan Beauty Lab Awards 2015 & Pure Beauty Awards 2015.

I was advised to use this twice a day for best results, which I did, in the morning before getting dressed and in the evening after my shower. I soon learnt not to use it after shaving in the shower though as it stings a little. Ouch! The cream is a really nice, thick consistency and dries really quick, so I could dress straight away.

ameliorate, keratosis pilaris, KP, chicken skin, body polish

Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Polish* (£19.50)

This polish contains gently exfoliating lactic acid with micro-dermabrasion granules and a unique multi-active moisturising complex to slough away dead skin cells, moisturising and conditioning.

I was advised to use the polish BEFORE getting into the shower, which was a new one for me. But I guess it makes sense, so the granules are not just washed away before they're given chance to work. I use this around 2-3 times a week. It's a real 'scrubby-scrub', which I love.


ameliorate, keratosis pilaris, KP, chicken skin, body mitt

Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Mitt* (£12.50)

To kick start the exfoliation process, this mitt, made from an innovative fabric weave, is designed to be gentle on the skin to sweep away the top layer of dead skin cells to allow for the products to work effectively. 

I use this mitt every evening before my shower. It's not at all abrasive and the fact that it's black means you can actually see the dead skin cells on the mitt after use!


ameliorate, keratosis pilaris, KP, chicken skin, shower cream


The shower cream includes moisturising ingredients that replace vital moisture in the skin that many shower products may strip away, re enforcing it's natural moisture barrier. The ingredients help to nourish and condition while cleaning your skin.

I've been using this every single evening in the shower. It's un-fragranced and feels lovely on the skin.


ameliorate, keratosis pilaris, KP, chicken skin

I was really excited to see results after using these products. As a range, I think it's fantastic. The packaging is perfect and the passion behind the products is clear. 

I enjoyed using all the products, they're all lovely to use and feel great on the skin. 

Unfortunately, I haven't had the great results I was hoping for. I've read amazing reviews, so maybe my skin is just in a league of it's own!! I adore the body polish, if you read my blog often you'll know I have a bit of a thing for body scrubs, and this is up there in my favourites. My skin does feel a little smoother after I use the products, but after a couple of hours, it's back to it's dry, bumpy state. I'm really disappointed as I was hoping I'd be rid of my KP but it's very much still there.

Please try it for yourself though. The products really are lovely and are surrounded by positive reviews, so give them a go, I hope they work for you! 

Me... I'm still on the mission to get rid of my chicken skin!



Any tips?

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*Products kindly sent to me for review
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