June 2016Cherry Pie : June 2016

29 June 2016

Summer scent-sations from Yankee Candle Riviera Escape collection

Yankee Candle Riviera Escape collection

Looking around my lounge I can count 11 Yankee Candle jars...it's safe to say I have a bit of a problem, but looking around my lounge, I can't actually count many non-Christmassy/autumnal candles so that's my excuse for recently receiving four jars from the new Riviera Escape collection!

I was definitely in the market for something a bit less autumnal and a bit more refreshing. The Riviera Escape collection from Yankee Candle at Love Aroma includes four different candles, Olive & Thyme, Sea Salt & Sage, Summer Peach and Riviera Escape, all of which are super refreshing and uplifting but completely different from one another at the same time.

Yankee Candle Riviera Escape collection
Yankee Candle Riviera Escape collection
Yankee Candle Riviera Escape collection

Olive & Thyme - the lime green colour of this candle looks great and reminds me of green grass in summer. It definitely has a citrus scent in there but it's not too heavy, but very invigorating, almost like a citrus shower gel that wakes you up in the morning.

Sea Salt & Sage - crisp white candles like this one are always so aesthetically pleasing. This one not only looks good on my shelves but the scent is really light and clean. The sage isn't too overpowering and it definitely has a whiff that takes me straight to my happy place of walking along the seafront.

Riviera Escape - this one also has a coastal/seaside scent to it combined with a beautiful blossom. It's another crisp and fresh scent that's perfect if you want something lighter during the day time.

Summer peach - this one is a superbly juicy peachy scent that's not too sickening when you give it a sniff. Another great one if you want something light during the day time, it would work equally well in the bathroom if you want a nice, relaxing candle lit bath.

Yankee Candle Riviera Escape collection

The Riviera Escape collection is a really nice, well rounded mix of colours and scents. Each scent is quite simple and not too over complicated. When you think of summer, you think of holidays, the beach and fresh fruit smells and this range delivers on all of these. They're all very refreshing and crisp scents so won't fill up a room too heavily like an autumnal candle can and they can be used individually as well as lit together to create more scent-sations.

Have you tried any of the Yankee Candle Riviera Escape collection yet? Let me know your fave in the comments.

*This post contains PR samples.

24 June 2016

Rediscovering my love of reading

Rediscovering reading

Ever since I was little I have absolutely loved reading. I have saved all my childhood books (I'm not quite sure why) in a huge box that I can't lift anymore and I have stacks of the things on my shelves in my living room but over the past few years I guess life has taken over and reading has been pushed to the side quite a bit, so much so that I was picking up a book but just couldn't get into it anymore. I would keep getting distracted, skim reading and just generally not enjoy it. With blogging, the internet in general and working full time the chances I got to read were pretty few and far between until very recently when I picked up Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

Now, this post isn't a review of the book but it's about how the book got me back into reading. After years of picking up and putting down books and being unable to really get into them, this book changed it all and I literally couldn't put it down.

My mum had bought The Girl on the Train and literally read it within two days (she absolutelt whizzes through books, even reading more than one at a time!) so I borrowed it from her and one Sunday afternoon I decided I'd give it a go. Before I knew it I was chapters into the book and loving the way it was written, from the different character's point of view.

I finished it probably within less than a week and it was one of those books where I could read it on the sofa, with the TV on and with Vince chattering away, yet I could still concentrate on it. I managed to block everything else out and get lost in this whole other world, which is why I loved books in the first place.

I also know when I really, really love a book because once I've put it down, I literally can't think of anything else and I'm constantly waiting to just pick it up again and get stuck in again.

I found that I made time for reading with this book. When I'd usually pick up my laptop and browse the internet, I would instead pick up my book and curl up with it on the sofa. Having previously read a lot of YA fiction in the past, it could be the change of genre that really did it for me - perhaps I was getting tired of the fluffy stories and needed something a bit more grown up to really open that door again to wherever my love of reading went in the first place.

This post is a bit rambly and I'm not quite sure what the point of it is but I felt like I wanted to get my thoughts down somehow. I am now so much more determined to read more and make more time for reading in general. I want to discover new favourite authors and genres so if you can recommend anything, please let me know in the comments.


22 June 2016

Beginner beauty: Natural Collection (plus giveaway)

Beginner beauty Natural Collection

Do you remember when you first discovered make-up or when you first popped into your local Boots or Superdrug and saw the rows and rows of make-up stands and all the pretty colours and products staring back at you? I'm pretty sure my first make-up experimentations included some awfully bright colour of Barry M Dazzle Dust smeared across my face.

My first foray into face products such as moisturiser/foundation/blush etc all started with Natural Collection, which is a brand that has been a staple at Boots stores for the past 25 years. When I was recently sent a little goody box of products from the brand it took me right back to my early teens and the idea for this little post came together.

Beginner beauty Natural Collection
Beginner beauty Natural Collection

You can discover make-up at any age of course, you don't have to be young. Some people don't discover it properly until they're much older but a brand like Natural Collection is such a good place to start as the products are so straight forward, from their uses right down to their simple packaging. Everything is super cheap too so it's great for children/teens who want to spend their pocket money or just great for those on a bit of a budget.

Beginner beauty Natural Collection

The Natural Collection Tinted Moisturiser was always a holy grail product for me as I wasn't a big fan of wearing foundation all day every day. Using a tinted moisturiser gives you a little bit of colour if like me, you're super pale. I usually have to go for the lightest shade as they can come up a bit orange, but you could counteract by mixing a lightener or even adding more moisturiser to it to even the colour up a bit.

As I mentioned Natural Collection really focuses on the basics of make-up and carries a range of bases, bronzes and blushes to enable you to get a simple, radiant look. They're all only £1.99 each, which is a complete bargain. The blushes are my absolute fave, they're small enough to pop in your handbag or even purse and give a lovely pigmented but natural looking peachiness to your cheeks.

The brand is really great at not making its products look intimidating. The pressed powder is great for reducing shine and fixing make-up in place. You just need a simple sweep of the brush and your done. The same goes for the bronzer. I'm not a fan of bronzer personally, they are always way too dark and scary looking but this one from Natural Collection is lovely and pigmented and gives a soft, natural glow thanks to the slight shimmer.

Altogether these Natural Collection products are so simple to use to create an every day look and they're great for beginners or for anyone who is scared of using certain products/doesn't use things like bronze and blush very often. I'd definitely recommend them to anyone who isn't confident with make-up.

This is a brand that a lot of people pass by when in Boots but I'd definitely recommend giving it a go, even if you're accomplished at applying make-up. I swear by the brand's lash length mascara, I use it everyday and it's absolutely brilliant!

Have you tried anything from Natural Collection before? Let me know in the comments.

If you want to win all the Natural Collection products featured in this post then just follow the below: (UK only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post contains PR samples.

20 June 2016

Manicure Monday: Colour pop nails from Maybelline Color Show

Maybelline Color Show 60 Seconds Nail Polish
Maybelline Color Show 60 Seconds Nail Polish

Back in April I featured Maybelline's Color Show Blushed Nudes polishes and they were a huge hit with me (and you!) so this time while browsing the Maybelline stands in Boots, I decided to go for some bright, fun and funky polishes to create a bit of a 'colour pop' look on my nails. Perfect for summer, even if the sun doesn't come out!

I feel like pink and mint nail polishes always work well together so I picked up two of the Color Show 60 seconds polishes in Roof Terrace (mint green) and NY Princess (pink) and well, I hate to say I told you so but these work brilliantly together. I think the label colours are really true to how they actually come out once on the nail, they're super bright and fun and have a lovely, shiney finish to them.

Maybelline Color Show 60 Seconds Nail Polish

The application was good, I would have liked more fanned out brushes, but I say that for all polishes without a fanned brush, and I only needed two layers or each polish to get a good coverage. They did dry super quickly. Unfortunately I didn't actually time them (I know I should have) but they were really fast drying, so no annoying hanging around waiting for your nails to dry before you can do anything. I was going about my usual business within a matter of minutes...one minute in fact.

Maybelline Color Show 60 Seconds Nail Polish

I think these are absolutely perfect for brightening up your mood as well as your nails. I pretty much have a different polish on my nails every week and the thing I enjoy most about nail polish is when you're typing at a computer (I work on a computer all day) and you can see your coloured nails bouncing off the keys, giving you a little flash of colour every now. These are the perfect pick-me-up colours and a great little colour pop for your day.

Have you tried the Maybelline Color Show polishes? What nail polish colours brighten up your day? Let me know in the comments.

17 June 2016

New Look blog photo prop haul

New Look blog photo prop haul
New Look blog photo prop haul

I was recently trying to think of some blog post ideas and wondered if people might like to see what blog props I used in my photos. I remembered I had recently bought a few little props that I'm loving so much at the mo and then I realised they're all from New Look and so the idea for this mini haul post was born.

New Look Copper Candle Holder

You really know you're a blogger when you're browsing the home section of any shop and instead of seeing ornaments or bits and pieces for your home you instead see blog photo props. I have more than enough candles around the house but no tealights, so of course I bought copper tealight holders, but these aren't for holding candles, they're for my blog photos. I love the copper cage style holder and as you can see, it's perfect for placing a nail polish into for a really nice framed shot. It's also great for make-up brush shots. It can be a little difficult with focusing but it's definitely my fave prop at the moment, it's literally in every single photo I take!

New Look blog photo prop haul
New Look blog photo prop haul

Recently I was in New Look again and a lot of the home items were reduced so I picked up the two smaller copper tealight holders. These are super cute for blog photos and work nicely with the other one I have. They're great for holding rings/jewellery in a shot or to just place in the background to fill a space.

New Look blog photo prop haul

I also picked up a really cute white heart shaped light, which is probably not something I'd ever have in my house as I just have nowhere to put it but it makes a great photo prop. At the moment I'm using it to fill some space in photos so you can only really see it poking into the corner of a photo but it's also great for using as a white background for a little product such as a nail polish.

So these are my go-to blog photo props at the moment. I love seeing what other bloggers use in their pics so hopefully you found this semi-interesting. Do let me know what blog props you use in the comments.

15 June 2016

The realities of finishing University

I remember the night I found out I was going to graduate Uni with a 2:1 (six years ago may I add, omg!). Our results were available on the University portal at midnight and I remember logging in, taking a deep breath and clicking to reveal my grade. I was so relieved! Three years of hard work (and maybe a bit of partying) had paid off, but once it had sunk in I was like 'so, what now?'.

When I was at Uni I had this great dream that I was going to graduate and immediately get a job thanks to my degree. For the small majority this might be the case but for most people the reality is that you'll probably be going back home for a considerable amount of time in order to job hunt. I moved back home and went to work at a holiday camp while job searching. It took around a year or so before I found something but I went through lots of interviews and lots of knockbacks before getting a job, which I might add isn't in a glitzy magazine in London that I so naively thought it would be when I first started my course.

Looking back it was so unrealistic to think I'd simply go straight into a job and I feel like it's so important that students know that it's not a race. You have to do what's best for you and if that's moving home and working in a retail job or in a bar or anything like that then there's no shame in it. In fact taking time out after Uni to do something completely different and just get used to not being a student anymore is probably a good thing because you can have a good hard think about what it is you actually want to do. You might want to go traveling for instance. I thought what I wanted was a glitzy magazine job in London but now I couldn't think of anything worse than living in London to be honest!

In the end I got a job in PR and while it wasn't a magazine there was/is still lots of writing involved and I've discovered a love for blogging and social media, something I didn't really have while at Uni.

I certainly don't want to put anyone down if they've just received their final grade but I think it's so important that people are realistic about what happens after Uni. Personally I think it should be something that is told/taught to us before we even start. You might go straight into a job with your degree and that's great or you might end up doing something completely different and that's great too. Don't get too bogged down in finding the 'dream' job and just see where life takes you.

13 June 2016

Manicure Monday: Barry M Limited Edition Boots Summer 2016 Nail Polish

Barry M Limited Edition Boots Nail Polish

Here we go again, Barry M putting out yet another new range of polishes, not that I'm complaining! They're releasing so many polishes that I literally cannot keep up, I had no idea these were coming so it was a complete surprise to see them sitting there on the shelves of Boots in all their peachy/nudey goodness.

Barry M Limited Edition Boots Nail Polish
Barry M Limited Edition Boots Nail Polish

There are actually four new summer 2016 polishes in the range, two of which are exclusive to Boots and two are exclusive to Superdrug. I definitely think Boots got the better of the two shades. Beachy Keen is a dark nude colour but Golden Sands is the showstopper as it is such a lovely peach shade with a hint of gold shimmer.

These aren't your typical summer colours. When you think of summer polishes you think of the ones I featured last week from Orly, brightly coloured and very out there but these polishes are the complete opposite, yet they've still got a lovely summery vibe.

Barry M Limited Edition Boots Nail Polish

Beachy Keen applies like a dream as most Barry M polishes do. It has a lovely glossy finish too, while Golden Sands dries matte. You need a couple of layers to build up a nice finish and so you can't see the nail underneath but the finished look is so, so pretty and it catches the light really well. Individually both polishes are gorgeous but together they work so well. They're the perfect alternative summer shades too, ideal if you're going bright with your outfit or bikini and want something a bit more subtle for your nails.

Have you tried the new Barry M Limited Edition Boots Summer 2016 Nail Polish? Let me know in the comments.

8 June 2016

How to stop living for the weekend

Stop living for the weekend

When you're working full time 9am - 5pm (ish) it's hard to not live for the weekends. Long lovely lie-ins, tea in a snuggly bed and two days of no stress stretching out before you.

It's all too easy to clock watch, finally get home and then slump on the sofa in-front of the TV for the rest of the evening. While you may not feel like doing anything after a hard day's work, popping various activities into your week nights actually gives you something other than the weekend to look forward to and it helps the week appear as if it's going faster too. I thought I'd share a few tips you could try to keep yourself busy during the week in order to stop yourself living for the weekend.

Take up a hobby
Taking up a new hobby to keep you occupied during the week is a great idea. I've been attending crochet classes every other Thursday and I really look forward to them. The hobby also stretches to outside of classes as I can come home from work and spend the evening with my hands full of wool, creating something lovely. It's very therapeutic and relaxing too.

Hit an exercise class
If you want something a bit more active then signing up to an exercise class is a good idea too. Last year I took up spin and now my mum and I attend Yoga every week. I also have a spin bike in my garage, which technically is still at home, but I have to go through the garden to the garage so I technically get away from the house and can shut myself away with no distractions. Exercise is a great way of getting your stresses of the day out - especially if you have a particularly stressful job!

Cook up a storm
Cooking is something I've been doing more and more of recently. When I get home from work I pop some music on and hit up one of my recipe books. It may seem pretty simple but cooking/eating is definitely something to look forward to, especially if like me you don't think of anything else but food!

It's a lot easier to go for a nice walk with all this lovely weather we're having. We have two beaches near us so I love to walk along the sea front. We also have a woods, which I like to visit too. It's good to get some fresh air into your lungs and again, it's something to look forward to while you're daydreaming out of the office window.

Get your blog on
Another one that's easier with the lighter evenings is getting on with some blogging in the evenings. If you spend all day on a computer you may not be keen on the writing bit but perhaps you could take some photos, get organised, write lists, sort out all your products or work on the layout side of things.

I definitely need to take my own advice with this one as blogging for me is usually left until a Sunday and I then feel it's eating into my weekend, so if I got organised and got my blog on during the week nights it would definitely leave me more free time!

Sometimes all you want to do is come home and chill out in-front of the sofa and once you've finished work you probably can't muster the energy for a workout or going for a walk but once you've done it you feel so much better. It feels like you've lengthened the day a bit, that your whole day hasn't been surrounded by work and you have some kind of life again.

P.S - I haven't been able to get that awful Hard-Fi 'Living for the Weekend' song out of my head since writing this post.

6 June 2016

Manicure Monday: Orly Pacific Coast Highway Summer 2016

Orly Pacific Coast Highway Summer 2016
Orly Pacific Coast Highway Summer 2016
Orly Pacific Coast Highway Summer 2016
Orly Pacific Coast Highway Summer 2016

For the past week I feel like my nails have been brighter than the sun! I was recently sent a couple of polishes from the new Orly Pacific Coast Highway Summer 2016 collection, in particular the super bright, almost neon 'Road Trippin' and the pretty purple 'Scenic Route'.

The range actually consists of six polishes in total, a collection of yellow/orange/pinks and purples to reflect the summer time. The polishes come in the normal Orly Lacquer, which I was gifted and which claims to last around three to five days, the Epix Flexible Color, lasting six to 10 days and the Gel FX, which claims to last 10 to 14 days.

Orly isn't a brand I get to try very often but I am really impressed. £10.90 admitedly is a lot more than I would spend on a polish but the bottle sizes are huge and the lids long and slender to ease application. I wasn't keen on the brushes on these polishes though. I have now gotten so used to wide, fanned out brushes, which help distribute the polish more easily that I'm really not used to normal brushes anymore. I found these brushes picked up a lot of excess polish and even after wiping the brush on the rim, more excess polish would make its way down the middle of the brush, blobbing out onto the nail. The yellow in particular, which is always a tricky colour to work with. I always find yellow polishes need quite a few layers to get a good, streak free finish. I probably used around three or four layers of the Orly yellow and it did start chipping in around two days, nothing too dramatic until probably the fourth or fifth day where I was able to peel off an entire nail of polish.

The colour is fantastic though, it's a real pop against the purple as I wore them together. It's so bright and fun that I was able to forgive the extra layers needed as everytime I looked at my nails I just got a sharp hit of summer vibes.

The purple polish is definitely fun and bright too, just not as much as the yellow. It looks fab with the yellow but would also look fab on it's own if you wanted something a little less out there.

Overall I loved wearing these polishes as they really do scream summer. I was a little disappointed with the brush and excess polish but can certainly get over that thanks to the great colour pay off.

Have you tried any of the Orly Pacific Coast Highway Summer 2016 collection?

*This post contains PR samples

1 June 2016

If you like Piña Coladas...The Body Shop Piñita Colada Shower Gel

The Body Shop Piñita Colada Shower Gel
The Body Shop Piñita Colada Shower Gel

I literally have not got the 'if you like Piña Coladas' song out of my head since I set eyes on The Body Shop's new range. It just won't budge, so I took it as a sign that I needed to get myself some of the items from the collection. I found myself in The Body Shop recently having a little browse and couldn't decide what to pick up. I was going to go for the sorbet but I remembered I still had one of the Green Tea sorbets taking up room in my bathroom cupboard, so didn't fancy adding to it any further. I was going to go for the scrub too but it's a pretty big tub and to be honest I wouldn't use it that often so I opted for the shower gel as I know I'll definitely use it regularly.

It was £5, which isn't too pricey for The Body Shop. Some of the bits in there can get a little on the expensive side. The scent is more than worth the money though and I love the style of bottle as opposed to the brand's usual ones. I much prefer the milk bottle look of this one.

When it comes to the actual product itself, well it's just delicious. It's obviously got a cocnutty Piña Colada scent that just takes me straight back to my childhood and to the scent of holidaying abroad. If I can't go away on holiday then at least using this in the shower will make it feel like I'm somewhere hot and sunny!

As well as smelling gorgeous the shower gel is quite nice and thick and really lathers well. You only need a small drop so this will last absolutely ages and the coconut scent stays on the skin for hours after use. I'm super happy I picked this up, even if I didn't need a shower gel at all! It's a lovely little pick-me-up for the mornings so I'd definitely recommend picking up a bottle if you can.

Have you tried anything from The Body Shop's Piñita Colada collection? Let me know in the comments.
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