Sunday, 31 March 2019

March Book Round-Up

*gifted for review/blog tours (from the publisher directly or via Netgalley) 

As with my beauty empties my reading has been small this month!

*The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary - oh how I loved this laugh out loud and witty story. It's not published until April so I'll share my review in my April Book Round-up (it's fabulous).

*Final Betrayal DI Lottie Parker #6 by Patricia Gibney* - I swear this series keeps getting better and better and I just love Lottie Parker! Again, it's not published until April so I'll share my review in my April Book Round-Up.

*Runaway (Harcus & Laird #3) by Claire MacLeary - oh I just love Maggie & Big Wilma! I took part in the recent blog tour. See my review HERE. I'm now patiently waiting for book #4. It's a cracking series which I so recommend.

*The Oceans Between Us by Gill Thompson - I took part in the blog tour. See my review HERE. I simply loved this story.

*The American Agent - Maisie Dobbs #15 by Jacqueline Winspear - It just didn't click that this was a series when I signed up to the blog tour (see my post next week) but I absolutely loved this story and am going to go back and start again at the beginning (huge Maisie Dobbs fan!)

From last month:

*Nobody's Wife by Laura Pearson - this un-put-downable read hadn't be published last month when I shared my book round-up so I'm sharing my review now. 

Emily and Josephine are sisters who live together and are best friends. Emily marries Michael, who is head over heels in love with her and Josephine wonders if Emily will still have time for her.

Josephine meets a guy called Jack who she really likes. She's nervous before introducing him to her sister because she likes him so much. Emily feels an instant connection to Jack, like nothing she's ever felt before. It seems Jack feels exactly the same way...

They start a forbidden, exciting and passionate affair. They can't seem to get enough of each other and begin to take risks.. Josephine finds out quite randomly and there's no going back from what unfolds... and omg that twist! 

I absolutely adored this book and am still thinking of it now.

What have you been reading this month?

Saturday, 30 March 2019

March: Lately I've been Loving

I can't believe it's nearly the end of the month again! Here's what I've been loving in March:


I'm taking part in the Blog Tour for the absolutely fabulous The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear* early next month. I didn't really realise that this is book #15 when I signed up! It is in a similar vein to my all time favourite character Mirabelle Bevan (written by Sara Sheridan) so you know what's going to happen I'm going to go back to the beginning and start again! Catch my review on the 2nd.

I'm absolutely obsessed with Oval Tube Station's "Thought of the Day" and more often than not their quotes mean everything to me. I loved this one above. Follow them HERE.

Discovering Belenos Skin Botanique via my fab beauty box subscription with Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box. I just loved this repair serum & went on to buy their Feng Shui Love Body Oil. See my review HERE. Remember you can get 10% off your first box Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box with BEAUTYBALM10.

We spend (well hubby did most of it!) over 3 hours last weekend building our new unit from NEXT. It was meant to take 30 minutes (haha). After a lot of frustration (and swearing) it was built and is absolutely beautiful. I'm looking forward to filling it up (and will probably ring the changes with the seasons or how I'm feeling at that particular time).

We had a trip back to the rather fabulous Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island (it rained all weekend but we managed a trip through the rain to the warmth of the hot tub!) and had a trip to Oban and Port Appin and of course ate some glorious food.

We very surprisingly got exactly the same Spa Suite as last time

We went to The Pierhouse Hotel at Port Appin to enjoy their roaring fire and hot chocolate (for me!)

I also loved Port Appin's little "sharing" telephone box Library.

Food at Isle of Eriska Hotel was gorgeous and we had a great mini break! I'm always excited by nice toiletries and the ones by Penhaligon's didn't disappoint!

What have you been loving this month?

Friday, 29 March 2019

*The Rose Tree: Calming Aromatherapy Rollerball with Rose & Ylang Ylang

*gifted. I've been trying out The Rose Tree Calming Aromatherapy Rollerball with Rose & Ylang Ylang (10ml - £13.50)* which is a real treat for the skin and senses. The scent is truly luxurious, deeply floral with a rosy edge and totally lush!

It's perfect to calm and relax on the go (I've been using it like perfume on my pulse points, inhaling a few drops in cupped hands to relax and de-stress. I've also used it for flyaways and cuticles). It really is a wonder product.

Formulated with pure essential oils in 100% organic Jojoba. 

You can also pick up a set with all three blends for £34 which would make the perfect gift (if you could bear to give it away, that is!)

The other two in the range are De-Stress Aromatherapy Rollerball with Juniper & Grapefruit which will de-stress and Soothing Aromatherapy Rollerball with Geranium, Cypress & Lavender which will calm and soothe.

I've been so impressed with this lovely "calming" variety. It does exactly what it says it will and would be perfect for the commute or travelling. Pick yours up HERE.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

*Blog Tour: The Oceans Between Us by Gill Thompson

*gifted book for review

Today I'm on the blog tour for the rather fabulous The Oceans Between Us by Gill Thompson.

Inspired by heartrending real events, a mother fights to find her son and a child battles for survival in this riveting debut novel.

For readers of Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, The Letter by Kathryn Hughes, and Remember Me by Lesley Pearse.

A woman is found wandering injured in London after an air raid. She remembers nothing of who she is. Only that she has lost something very precious.

As the little boy waits in the orphanage, he hopes his mother will return. But then he finds himself on board a ship bound for Australia, the promise of a golden life ahead, and wonders: how will she find him in a land across the oceans?

In Perth, a lonely wife takes in the orphaned child. But then she discovers the secret of his past. Should she keep quiet? Or tell the truth and risk losing the boy who has become her life?

My thoughts?

I absolutely loved this easy reading story which is based upon things which happened in real life.

During the Blitz there's a bomb blast and a woman is left injured and displaced. She's lost her memory and spends many years in hospital. She's got a strong sense that she's lost something important to her. It takes her a long time to remember what it is.

When his mum can't be traced Jack is placed in an Orphanage. Jack has a very strong sense that his mum is alive and she'll come for him when she can. At the end of WWII orphans are being given the chance of a better life in Australia and Jack finds himself being shipped out. On arrival, they find the promises are all so very different than what the reality is.

A woman, Kathleen, who is unable to have children of her own comes across Jack through her husband's job and she finds she's drawn to him. The Sullivans give Jack a good life but he always feels there's something missing.

Meanwhile, back in London Molly has remembered what she's lost. She spends years searching and has lots of set-backs but never stops looking...

An absolute triumph of a book which I absolutely adored. Highly recommend.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Latest Buys

I've been picking up a few bits here and there over the last few weeks:

I bought Beauty Shortlist Award winning, 79 Lux Ultra Nourishing Body Balm when Cult's Goody Bag was on offer recently. It had literally just arrived and I found out it had won an award. It's really luxurious and beautiful. A review will come.

I couldn't resist Natural Wellness Box The Sleep Collection - see my review HERE. I love that I'll use everything in it.

I love candles and these tealight samples (£1 each) are gorgeous (and such a great idea!) from Hopping Hare Candles. Of course I now want all the candles full size.

It was great to meet founder Sarah at Leith Market recently. I had to pick up a pot of the seriously gorgeous Free From Skincare Awards Shortlisted 2018 Amaranthine Body Creme which is a deliciously scented neroli and sweet orange butter formulated with skin loving ingredients including Sea Buckthorn and Shea Butter. Expect a full review soon (it's lush).

Oh squeals, what beautiful packaging and branding. It's great to finally try Lost in Scent, Vegan and Soy Wax candles. 

I loved Cocorosa Beauty's Egyptian Neroli Cleansing Oil which I received in my Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box last month and so I rushed over to buy full size. Inside the package were exquisite scented rose petals which I could smell through the box. I was very grateful to receive the lovely extras too. Again, a review will follow.

What have you been buying lately?

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

March Empties

*gifted/for review
**sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program

I'm not sure what's happened this month but I've hardly used a thing! I'm not going to use anything else up so here are my March empties:

Clarins Fig Leaf Hand & Nail Cream 30ml - this was very moisturising and had a lovely fig type scent. I think it was limited edition so not sure if it's still available. Might or might not buy again.

*Dr Jackson's 07 Face Wash 1.5ml - which won best foaming cleanser at the recent Beauty Shortlist Awards was lovely to use and the perfect try-me size (I got two uses from this sachet). I loved this and would buy full size.

*Dr Jackson's 06 Body Gel - I loved this - it had a silky texture and a gorgeous scent. Would buy.  The final Dr Jackson's item in my empties was a 2ml sachet of their 01 Day Cream which I quite liked. Reviews of these and other Dr Jackson's products is forthcoming but I'm suitably impressed with the brand.

Evering Botanique Agrume Face Oil 15ml - I won this on an instagram competition - see HERE. I loved this citrus+neroli scented skin treat and would buy.

Penhaligons Quercus Bath & Shower Gel 50ml - the Quercus range was in our hotel bathroom last week (luxurious) and this unisex wash was lovely (I have used this scent before). I really enjoyed using it again and would buy full size (I also love Penhaligon's Bluebell range).

BYBI Beauty Babe Balm 30ml - this luxe balm is gorgeous. I have since cracked open a new one. See my review HERE.

My final March empty is **Alteya Organics Rose Oil Hand Cream 30ml - which is a deliciously rich and buttery hand cream scented with rose. It's a delight. See my review HERE. I've since opened a new one.

What have you been using up this month?

Monday, 25 March 2019

*Love Lula: Ere Perez Moringa All-Beauty Crème

*gifted/sample I've been testing out new launch Ere Perez Moringa All-Beauty Crème (50g - £30)* which is available to buy at Love Lula.

The Beauty Crème absorbs almost instantly and very lightly moisturises the skin (I think it would suit my skin better as a moisturiser in the summer months/on holiday) although I've found it works well as a primer and it definitely makes my skin look more glowy.

Formulated with ingredients such as Moringa which accelerates cell renewal, Apricot Kernel which tones and firms, antioxidant Lemon Balm and Prickly Pear oil which is high in Vitamin E.

To use: apply over the face, neck and decolletage AM/PM

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

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Natural Wellness Box - The Sleep Collection

I spotted the first and second items which were in Natural Wellness Box's Sleep Collection and couldn't resist getting a one-off box with 10% discount (first order). You can also sign up Bi-Monthly, six months pre-pay (3 boxes) or twelve months pre-pay (6 boxes). See more details HERE.


Having been introduced to Farryn Amber last month in my Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box (REVIEW) I was keen to try more from the range. Inside is their Lunar Evening Facial Oil (huge 50ml and worth £26). It's formulated with skin loving botanical oils and scented with bergamot+lavender. It's truly lush and a review will follow.

From Nathalie Bond is their Unwind Body Oil (30ml - £10) which is a luxurious blend scented with calming Lavender & Bergamot. This is gorgeous to use before bed for a relaxing sleep (I've used this brand before so know the products are gorgeous).

I've also tried Better You's Magnesium Foot & Body Soak before. Inside is a single use sachet worth £3.99. It'll help improve sleep quality and relax the body before sleep.

The second item which made me want to buy the collection was a NEW supplement from We+People entitled Sleep Well (£26 for 120 caps). Again, excited to try and a review will be forthcoming soon!

I love Zojo Elixirs The Bikini Body Formula (REVIEW) so was excited to see a try-me pot of their new Golden Adapto Latte which is the perfect bedtime drink.

From Teapigs there are 2 x Snooze Sleepy Tea bags which contain chamomile, lavender and apple and will help to relax and calm before bed. The final item is a Superfood Bar (£2.29) by Navitas Organics (delicious - I ate it at my desk one afternoon this week).

It's a brilliant box for me this time - I love that I'll use everything in it too. I'll definitely be checking out the next box in two months time! Did you pick one up or are you a subscriber?

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box: March: Awaken

March's Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box is entitled #Awaken and is stuffed full of gorgeous products 4 x full sizes and 1 x trial size.

And for a closer look..

There is one completely new to me brand inside - Kushboo Soaps and inside is a bar of their Verbena & Turmeric Soap which is worth £6.50. I'm a huge bar of soap fan so looking forward to trying it (it smells pretty good through the wrapper!)

There's a trial size sachet of Coffee & Peppermint Body Scrub from The Base Body Co. inside (I've got one of these in a different scent which was a Latest in Beauty pick still to try). This retails at £4.

Lovely Bespoke Aroma has been in previous boxes and inside is their Uplifting Bath Tea Infusion (£4.95) which is best used in the morning! This smells lovely and I'm looking forward to an uplifting soak.

From Skin Alchemists Apothecary is their simply stunning The Humble Warrior Complete Cleansing Oil 100ml which is worth £50! It's a simply amazing oil which is rich, luxurious and has a glorious scent and which deeply, deeply cleanses the skin. A review will follow! (it's love already!)

Last but by no means least is Unearthd by Naissance and we have their The Mane Attraction Organic Hair Serum (£23.99). It won an Editor's Choice award in the recent The Beauty Shortlist Awards.

As ever it's a great box and fabulous value! Are you a subscriber?

Friday, 22 March 2019

*Love Lula: The Organic Pharmacy: Mini Travel Essentials Kit

*gifted/sample - sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program As you'll know I'm a huge fan of The Organic Pharmacy - their ranges just work for me. This month I had a fab weekend away up in the North of Scotland. The weather could have been better but I had their Mini Travel Essentials Kit with me (4 x 65ml - £25) which are perfect for a weekend away, a fortnight's holiday or as a try me treat.

Inside is:

Rose Shower Gel which gently cleanses the skin and leaves it scented with roses. It can also be used as a bubble bath. It uplifts the senses and refreshes the skin (and I think would be the perfect after sunbathing refresher.) As with their Rose Body Lotion, the duo is infused with Persian Rose extract which has a glorious uplifting rosy scent. The lotion absorbs easily leaving the skin feeling nourished and delicately scented - I think you can guess I've kind of fallen for this pair.

Jasmine High Gloss Shampoo is an absolute delight. This is luxury. The high gloss shampoo is easy to massage into damp hair for lusciously scented and supersoft hair. It's a must to use with the matching Jasmine High Gloss Conditioner for shiny and healthy glossy hair. Again, a totally amazing duo.

I've been very impressed with all these products from The Organic Pharmacy. I'll definitely pick up this kit again. What's your favourites from brand?

*my post contains one affiliate link

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Mother's Day Giveaway with Stella Says Apothecary - It's over!

#gifted/sample I've got a lovely Mother's Day Giveaway for one of my readers which Stella has very kindly provided. You can check out the whole range available HERE (I also love their hand balms and diffusers). 

What you'll win is a lovely boxed pot of her brand new Verbena, Ginger & Cedarwood Whipped Body Balm which is a pot of fluffy gorgeous-ness. It's perfect for gifting if you can bear to part with it!

I've been testing out my very own pot and I can vouch for how lovely it is and how great it it to prep the skin for spring and summer leaving it nourished and smelling oh so sweet!

To win your very own pot for you (or your mum) all you need to do is enter via the rafflecopter below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

*Review: Micheline Arcier Aromatherapie: Cold Season


I've been testing out products from Micheline Arcier Aromatherapie's Cold Season* range. As you'll know I'm a huge fan of the award winning brand - see previous reviews HEREHERE and HERE.

I've actually had a cold this month so these products have been an absolute godsend to me. I was sent their Protection - Saisons et VoyagesVigeur Aromatherapie Body & Chest Oil and a sample of their Cristal Clair Burning Essence.

Inside Protection - Saisons et Voyages is a duo of Vigeur Aromatherapie Bath Oil 15ml and Therapeutic Essentials Air Pur 5ml which will provide natural protection against a polluted atmosphere and seasonal colds. It's also great for travelling and providing some TLC. 

The range is formulated with a heady blend of eucalyptus, pine and niaouli and both the bath oil and air pur will clear the sinuses and head while soothing the effects of a cold. Air Pur Therapeutic Essential helps to prevent or minimise colds and flu. To use: apply a drop to a tissue and inhale (it's also great to use on flights to minimise germs).  Vigeur Aromatherapie Bath Oil, an Arcier best-seller can be used when suffering a cold or flu and is the perfect travelling companion. To use: apply a couple of drops to a warm bath for a soothing and clearing soak.

Vigeur Aromatherapie Body & Chest Oil is comforting and soothing when suffering from a cold/flu or the onset of a cold. It'll help to optimise a health immune system and application to the chest and upper back will ease congestion and soothe breathing.  To use: apply as often as needed to clear and soothe.

The final item from the range I was sent was a sample of their Cristal Clair Burning Essence which can be used in a diffuser or electric fragrance burner and is formulated with cajeput, niaouli and bay. It's absolutely fantastic and helps to clear the atmosphere of bugs as well as soothing and decongesting your airwaves.

The range is a must-have if you are suffering a cold and or flu, if you feel you are about to become ill or for travelling. As ever, totally luxurious and pampering. Pick yours up HERE.