Monday, 31 July 2017

Love Lula: The Ohm Collection - Deo Dorant Powder - Neroli

I was lucky to be selected as Love Lula's most helpful member on their Facebook Group a couple of weeks ago (the most helpful member of the week gets £50 to spend instore) which is really generous of Love Lula. I picked a lovely selection of items which you can see below:

As soon as the new The Ohm Collection arrived I knew I'd be keen to try one of the Deo Dorants (I chose Neroli at £21 for 120g) but the range starts at £11 (60g) - see HERE.

The sifter style top has three modes - full, larger sprinkle holes and smaller ones making it easy to pour the exact amount needed from the tub.

The range is Dutch and created by "a group of young pioneers who love to make products that work. Beautiful, effective products that benefit both people and the planet".

I've found the Deo Dorant to be easy to use, smells great and keeps me fresh all day long. The powder is wild crafted, all natural and Vegan and lasts up to 24 hours. The longer you use Ohm the less you need. The scent is quite light but pleasant, fruity, sweet and slightly floral.

To use: put a small amount of powder on your fingertips and apply to your armpits patting gently (do not rub).

Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate (food grade, aluminium-free), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Citrus aurantium**, Calendula officinalis powder**, Lepidium Meyenii Root Powder**, Amethyst Powder (Non Nano), Cedrus Atlantica Wood Oil**, Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil**. * wildcrafted: these plants have been grown wild in nature without human intervention and harvested with respect for mother nature. ​** organic certified: these plants have been cultivated by natural means on unpolluted land without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Nor have they been fumigated, irradiated, or genetically altered.

I'm very impressed with the deodorant and I'll be replenishing this pot when it's finished. Do you have a favourite scent from the RANGE?

Sunday, 30 July 2017

July Books

Here's what I've been reading in July:

The Serial Killer's Daughter by Lesley Welsh* -  Suzanne's not seen her dad in 10 years when the woman who was living with him asks to meet up. She tells her that he recently died and that she wants her to have his possessions including what seems like his life story...and includes photographs of young women including one of her mother. While flicking through these Suzanne is shocked to the core to see her friend Sophie among them. Sophie died 10 years ago in a fire at the studio they shared.

Something tells Suzanne that she has to investigate her father's life more closely and what she finds out will have devastating consequences. A fast paced and twisty story - her father is not what he seems - he's a ladies man, a charmer, a bully and a smooth talker who thinks he's one step ahead..A creepy read which I couldn't put down.

Ice Lake by John A Lenahan** - I took part in the blog tour for Ice Lake. See my review HERE.

We've come to take you home by Susan Gandar*** - this is a cracking read. The two stories told are cleverly interwoven. Jessica's dad leaves for war and the family - her mum and brother struggle on until they receive a telegram stating that her father has been killed in action. Jess has to take on the role of breadwinner and goes into service as a maid of all work. Life is hard but she does have glimpses of joy and happiness.

Four generations later in the present day Sam Foster's father is admitted to hospital with life changing injuries. She struggles to come to terms with it. Her dreams become more intense and she quickly realises she is seeing things which happened in the past - flashbacks to the war, the suffering, devastation and pain.

It's a story of war, family, daily life, love and heartbreak so carefully narrated. Oh and that ending made me cry. Absolutely loved it (one of my favs this year).

Marching on Together by P J Whiteley - It's August 2014 and six Leeds United supporters set off for a break in Bruges. They are all football daft and the book is littered with banter and reminiscence of previous games in the past.

They are visiting Allan and Johnny's grandad's grave on the Western Front. I found the characters interesting with their own personalities and stories. Allan is the "supposedly" successful businessman, Johnny is just out of prison and wondering if he'll ever find love and a job.  Johnny's mates Craig and Terry are there as is tomboy Petra. The sixth is Yvonne, a middle aged lady whose marriage is breaking down. She's the one who can remember all the football stories from the past and we'll find out if she "can finally accept the result of the 1975 cup final and begin to move on with her life". With great characters and storylines I loved it!

Charlie's Promise by Annmarie Allan*** - The story is set at Morison's Haven, a small harbour at Prestongrange just before the start of WW2. Charlie finds a starving German boy called Josef hiding in the woods near his home. Terrified and unable to speak English Charlie and his friend Jean manage to establish that he's got family in the city of Edinburgh along the coast.  They travel with Josef to Edinburgh and after a few scrapes reunite him with his family. A great read which I thorough enjoyed and read in two sittings!

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck* - I found this story absolutely gripping. It's fast paced and captivating.

Audrey Kinney and her two children are fleeing her abusive ex and are driving through Arizona on the way to California. She's stopped by a Sheriff who insists her car is not fit to drive. What follows is a creepy search of both her and her car. He supposedly finds drugs on her and arrests her calling on his deputy to take her children to a safe place. Audrey feels her ex must be behind this ordeal.

What follows is unbelievable. No one believes Audrey when she tells them her children were taken. They all believe she murdered them and hid the bodies. A fast paced and relentless tale we are left hoping against hope that the truth will win through. Loved it.

Together by Julie Cohen* - WOW what a book. I simply loved it. Brilliant characters and such a clever, clever storyline. One of my favourite books of 2017.  The story starts in the current day and goes back in time. The main characters of Robbie and Emily are just incredible and I loved their story. 

The story starts in 2016 and goes backwards in time. Robbie and Emily have been together for years (and what a love story theirs is!) They have two sons and family around them when they tell them their dad and granddad has dementia. Robbie has always been the strong one so it comes as a blow to their son Adam.

As the story goes back in time we find out how they met and their lives before and after. Early on we are told of a secret (I was guessing up all sorts of things - all of them wrong!) and the story has a huge twist that I'm still thinking of long since finishing the book.

My final read this month is the brilliant The Night Stalker by Clare Donoghue***. It's the fourth in the DI Lockyer series. It's not published until 10th August so I'll share my thoughts round about then.

What have you been reading this month?

*copy from Netgalley
**copy from Publisher
***copy from the author

Friday, 28 July 2017

July: Lately I've been Loving

I picked up this beautiful candle by JoJo Co at Stockbridge Market which is absolutely gorgeous - expect a full review shortly. The scent is divine and I love the simple but pretty packaging.

I've been really impressed with this reed diffuser* by The Handmade Soap Company which is available at Love Lula as it's so long lasting and I love the scent. See my review HERE.

Sunflowers down the allotment always cheer me up and make me smile.

My paperback TBR pile (which is going down slowly) I love having loads of choice of what to read next (I've also got 300 books on the kindle!)

Discovering gorgeous Bliss Botanicals thanks for enabling Ali. The products are all beautiful. See my review HERE. The Vanilla & Rose melts are exquisite.

Hake Gravalax - Jersey Royals - Lime - Balsamic

Seabass - Salmon - Cod - Sour Dough - Black Garlic - Bisque

Strawberry Tart - Woodruff - Elderflower - Custard

We had lunch at Restaurant Mark Greenaway which was delicious - it's been a while! We really enjoyed it and can't wait to go back! We went for the Market Menu 3 courses for £29.50.

We also ate at teeny tiny El Cartel Mexicana which was amazing - and I can't wait to go back! The frozen margaritas are incredible! The one above was Apricot & Blood Orange. Mmmm..

Guacamole - Plantain chips

Tacos - Baja Cod - Battered Cod - Chipotle Crema - Pomegranate Salad

Tacos - Duck Carnitas - Chipotle Pecan Salsa - Crema - Pico de Gallo - pumpkin seeds

What have you been loving this month?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Botanical Brands: Living Nature Hydrating Gel Mask

I've been testing out Living Nature's fabulous Hydrating Gel Mask 50ml* (£28.50) which helps to brighten and revitalise the skin.

The gel mask is formulated with Active Manuka Honey which is a healing humectant which helps to maintain the skin's moisture levels and Harakeke Flax gel which soothes the skin. The mask does have quite a powerful herbal type scent which I think you'd either love or hate - luckily I love it!

To use: once or twice a week smoothing onto face and neck avoiding the eyes. Leave for 20 minutes (it sets on the skin but doesn't feel tight or uncomfortable) before rinsing with warm water. You can also massage the mask into the skin before wiping away the residue. Suitable for normal to dehydrated and mature skins.

My thoughts?

The mask is easy to use and it left my skin is left looking radiant, bright and hydrated. I think it would be the perfect face mask to use in summer for the added moisture boost.

Have you tried this mask before? What's your favourite Living Nature product?


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bloomtown Eco-Friendly Gift Set for Travellers

As you'll know I'm a huge fan of Bloomtown having initially reviewed some of their products way back in July 2016 and then updated my thoughts about the products in September 2016. can get 20% off with code BBALM20

I picked myself up their Eco-Friendly Gift Set for Travellers (£19) which includes 3 items. The set can be gift wrapped (this is complimentary) which I think is a nice touch.

Nestled inside is:

A mini jar of travel soaps (9), a peppermint & lemongrass lip balm (you can chose tinted or original) and a roll-on perfume oil. I chose the rose garden as it's my favourite Bloomtown scent.

The range includes:

The Meadow: Lavender, Rose Geranium & Chamomile
The Grove: Blood Orange & Pink Grapefruit
The Woods: Vetiver, Cedar & Bergamot
The Cafe: Hazelnut & Vanilla
The Rose Garden: Musk Rose & White Florals
The Hedgerow: Blackberry & Honeysuckle

What's your favourite Bloomtown product and scent?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Giveaway with Lyonsleaf! - it's over!

I've got a lovely giveaway in collaboration with Lyonsleaf today. One of my readers can win their very own bottle of the new Marshmallow Soften & Rejuvenate Facial Oil 30ml (in either the scented or unscented version). See HERE. The scented version is quite woody and earthy. It contains essential oils of Vetiver, Rose and Geranium.

It's an absolute fantastic oil - I received one in my July Love Lula Beauty Box*. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below & good luck! (UK only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 24 July 2017

July Empties

Here's what I've been using up in July (hardly anything!) I'm not going to use anything up before the month's end - so here are my July empties:

Schmidt's Jasmine Tea Sensitive Skin Deodorant Trial Size - just loved this and full size will be bought next! At the same time I bought full size of Coconut Pineapple but I much prefer this one.

mallow+white Revitalise Face Mask 30g* - this was beautiful and lasted ages! I'd buy when my stash reduces a bit. See my review HERE.

Sunday Riley Tidal 15g - I really liked this. It had a gel cream texture which absorbed quickly plumping and hydrating the skin. I'll probably pick this up again at some point.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Demolition - I loved this dark brown shade and would buy again (this is the only make up item I ever finish!)

Awake Organics Frankin-Sense Divine Face Care 30ml* - I adored this beautiful luxe cream. See my review HERE. Again, another one I'd buy when my stash reduces a bit.

Apple & Bears Grapefruit & Seaweed body Wash 50ml* and Body Silk 50ml* - I absolutely loved this duo. See my review HERE. Again, I'll buy these once my stash reduces a bit.

BioExtracts Lifting Boost 1ml and BioExtracts Face Cream Rich 2ml - these seemed lovely. I'm definitely adding full sizes to the ever expanding wishlist. I'm currently testing out their Eye Contour cream* which is fantastic.

Lavera Hand & Cuticle Cream 2-in-1 1ml sachet - this cream is really nourishing but I don't like the scent so wouldn't buy.

Living Naturally Hibiscus & Lavender Bath Tea* - this was nice (came with a little bag to stop the bits getting stuck all over the bath). See my review HERE. I don't think I'd buy it again however I loved their Coconut Milk & Chai Bathtub Tea and would buy. See my review HERE.

What have you been using up this month?


Sunday, 23 July 2017

Supernatural Cosmetics: Sister & Co Jet Set Kit

I'm a huge fan of Sister & Co products so when I spotted the Jet Set Kit over at Supernatural Cosmetics I knew I'd have to make it mine! The large branded bag contains 4 Sister & Co travel sizes (although one is actually full size) (two of which had been on my wishlist a while!). It only costs £20 making it an affordable treat.

Inside is a 60ml Pot of Coconut Oil, the beauty staple which you can also cook with and Raw Coconut Drink for Hair 30ml (one of the items I'd been dying to try!) Apply to dry hair and leave on for at least 20 minutes before washing (expect a fuller review soon!)

The Raw Coconut & Matcha Green Tea Sugar Scrub 100ml is fantastic. It deeply exfoliates the skin leaving it feeling soft and smooth. 

This Raw Coconut Lip Tonic with Rose Otto & Cardamon (full size 15ml and worth £9) had been on the wishlist a while. It's a beautiful nourishing blend with a hint of spice. Love!

I recently reviewed their Apricot, Lemon & Vanilla Body Melt (link). What's your favourite Sister & Co product?

It's a great value set. Pick yours up HERE.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Current Favourite Scents

I adore smaller size perfumes and rollerballs, the 15ml or less variety and the ones above I keep reaching for again and again.

One I've talked about time and time again on here is Diptyque's Philosykos EdT (12ml) which for me smells of summer on the Greek islands. It just takes me back!

I'm a huge kai fan and I always have this tiny roller-ball (4ml) of perfume oil in my stash. It is tropical beaches with lush fragrant gardenia and spiked with green notes.

From Bamford - One Evening Splash (10ml) which is blended to scent the whole body and contains notes of woodsmoke, vetiver, incense, cedar, musk and oakmoss. Pick it up at Naturisimo.

I love 4160Tuesdays perfumes. They are just so artisan - handmade with love, care and passion. My absolute favourite if I had to choose is the lemongrass spiked London 1969 (I've gone through countless bottles since I found it). Check it out HERE.

The first Jo Malone perfume I bought was grapefruit cologne (love the classic layer with Lime, Basil & Mandarin) and I'll always love it. Refreshing, bright and zingy.

Last December, Santal33 EdP 15ml by Le Labo was in one of the drawers of the Liberty Advent Calendar last year. It's a beautiful blend freshly formulated with notes of leather, iris, violet, cardamon, ambrox, musk, sandalwood, cedar and woods. It's one of my favourite handbag (or pocket) sized scents.

Laura Mercier's Tart au Citron 15ml EdT which I reviewed HERE. It really is a beautiful gourmand scent.

My final two are by the gorgeous Ancienne Ambiance - Colonia VI* which has notes of orange, lemon, blackcurrant and geranium which is sweet and delicious. See my review HERE. Also from Ancienne Ambiance is Colonia VII which is figgy with greens and woods. See my review HERE.

Do we share any favourites?


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

My Top Reads: January to June 2017

I'm picking one book a month this year (or two if I really can't decide) which has been my top read. Here's my January - June picks:


In January, I read 6 books (review) and my top read was Secrets we Keep by Faith Hogan.


In February, I read 6 books (review) and my top read was Sealskin by Su Bristow. I also adored Sister Sister by Sue Fortin.


In March, I read 6 books (review) and this month again I can't choose! I adore M J Arlidge's DI Helen Grace series and have happily found a love of the Mirabelle Bevan series by Sara Sheridan.


In April, I read 8 books (review) and my top book was The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve.


In May, I read 8 books (review) and my top book was The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie. I also loved A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys.


In June I read 7 books (see here). My top book is Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. I also loved Amanda Prowse's The Idea of You.

Are any of these in your top reads of 2017?

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Bliss Botanicals

I first became aware of gorgeous Bliss Botanicals when I spotted them on Ali's Instagram. Being a lover of all things rose I knew they had to be mine too! So I think it was definitely a case of the blogger made me buy it! Check out Ali's blog HERE.

Rebecca (blogs at The Sparkle Nest) is the creator and formulator and the products combine her love of plants, fragrance and organic natural skincare. She's been making candles, soaps and skincare products for over 10 years.

She's currently studying for qualifications in Holistic Herbalism & Aromatherapy. All the products are charged with healing energy, comply with EU safety regulations and are handmade with love in small batches.

The products are absolutely exquisite as well as great value for money. For £4.50 you get 10 soy wax melts. The Vanilla & Rose ones come in a little bag with rose petals (making them perfect for gifting if you can bear to part with them that is!) I also love the sparkles which become more apparent when you pop the melt on the burner.  The scent is very rosey with a warm vanilla edge, has a good throw and I just love them!

The weekend I ordered Rebecca was offering free samples of the other melts so I'm looking forward to trying them also. See the range HERE.

She also sent me a new product which isn't available in the shop yet - Rose Geranium Lip Balm which deeply nourishes the lips and leaves them smelling of roses (it's one of the best lip balms I've ever used!)

I also picked up a soap - Happiness Soap - Lavender & Clary Sage (£4.75 - 90g) which is a cold process soap made with olive and coconut oils, shea butter and essential oils of lavender and clary sage. This is so beautifully gift wrapped. I've not tried it yet - review will follow!

Have you tried any products from Bliss Botanicals?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Love Lula: The Handmade Soap Co: Lemongrass & Cedarwood Essential Oil Diffuser

I'm a huge fan of The Handmade Soap Co. I first tried some of their products back in April last year (review) and I was delighted to see recently that they'd created Reed Diffusers as I'm always looking for the perfect natural one. These ones are made with a solvent which is made from a renewable source with excellent solubilising power, low evaporation rate and low odor.

I chose Lemongrass & Cedarwood Essential Oil Diffuser* (200ml - £24.95) which comes packaged in a sturdy recyclable box. The other scents available are Sweet Orange, Frankincense & Basil, Grapefruit & May Chang and Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme & Mint.

Inside the box is the Diffuser oil with 10 reeds.

It's a beautiful blend of fresh lemongrass with a hint of woods. The scent is calming and fragrant with a good throw. The oil is very long lasting - I've been using it since 5th July and only a small amount of the oil has been used - I'm very impressed with it and I'd buy one in the future either in this scent again or one of the others.

Do you have a favourite natural diffuser?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. My post contains two affiliate links