November Empties 2017

I cannot believe that it is actually December and Christmas is just around the corner! Honestly, where has this year gone?! November has been pretty busy but it’s safe to say i’m ready for the festivities to begin and to have a couple of weeks off work with the family. Of course, the end of the month means it’s empties time again and this months is definitely smaller than the previous two but there’s some interesting bits and pieces to talk about!

Bath & Body

Naturally, there is of course a Body Shop shower gel included in this months empties but this time it’s the limited edition Vanilla Pumpkin scent that was released around Halloween. This is absolutely gorgeous but it’s definitely more of a cream than a gel consistency. I have another bottle of this in reserve but i’d definitely buy more in the future. I have been using this in both the bath and the shower throughout the month and I’ve loved it. I’ve also been using the Oliver Bonas Pink Fizz Bath Salts as they smell absolutely gorgeous. The little box lasted about 6 baths and would make a lovely gift to someone for Christmas.

I’m doing quite well at finishing off all my perfumes at the moment and I’ve sadly come to the end of my bottle of Coach EDP this month. It was a 50ml bottle that I bought in the sale last year and I love it for a nice light everyday scent. The bottle could definitely be a bit more ‘special’ but that aside, I would buy this again. Another regular in these empties posts is of course my trusty Dove deodorant stick. An old favourite and even when I deviate away from this I always end up using it again.

The final ‘body’ product is actually a hand gel from Bath & Bodyworks and I’m actually pretty sad that it’s over. It’s the Stress Relief eucalyptus and spearmint anti bac hand gel. I absolutely love these gels and will always buy them when I go over to the states or Canada. This one is one of the few scents that I don’t get bored of by the end of the bottle and I’m sad to see this go!

Skincare

I can’t quite remember where I picked up this sample of Omorovicza Intensive Hydralifting Cream but I liked the feel and effects of this moisturiser but the scent was hideous. It smelt incredibly strongly of roses and definitely not in a good way! The scent really lingered on the skin and that alone would 100% put me off buying it. I’ve also just looked and it’s safe to say that the hefty price tag of £130 and upwards for only 50ml has sealed the deal that I will not be buying the full size!

Sticking on the theme of moisturisers, I also finished up a travel size of the Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer. This was a weird one for me as it was quite mattifying but felt more like a primer than a moisturiser and, in my opinion, it didn’t provide much ‘moisture’. It felt very thick and silicone based when applied to the skin and I didn’t know whether to apply a primer or not after using this. I wouldn’t buy the full size of this to be honest as it’s not the kind of consistency that I like from a moisturiser.

As a lover of sheet masks, I was intrigued to try the Boots Charcoal and Willow Bark one that Tom brought home the other week. It aims to be cleansing and purifying and is actually made in Korea. I was really pleasantly surprised with this, it fit the face well, had a good amount of product on it and didn’t leave a horrible film on the skin. For only  a couple of pounds, this definitely rivals similarly priced sheet masks that I’ve tried. I would probably give this another try at some point.

The final thing I’ve finished up this month was a sample of the Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm. To be honest, I have a tonne of lip balms lying around and it’s not my favourite product to buy or use but this was bloody lovely. It was really nourishing without being thick or greasy and left my lips so soft. The smell (and taste) was really nice and subtle, but set it apart from other balms I’ve used in the past. If I didn’t have about 100 lip balms lying around and this wasn’t a pricey £15 a pot I would be sure to buy myself some!

What have you guys finished up this month? If you have any good recommendations then please leave them below!

Much Love

xoxo

*Post may contain affiliate links

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A Trip to Burleigh’s Gin Distillery!

If you’ve followed me for any length of time at all, you’ll probably know just how much I love gin. It’s a drink I never used to ‘get’ and I genuinely couldn’t understand what there was to like about it. Fast forward a couple of years though and I’m obsessed. I don’t think I can tell you how many different gins i’ve tried or how much money i’ve spent on G&T’s, it’s quite simply one of life’s finer things for me!

So a couple of weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to visit the distillery of one of my favourite local gins, Burleigh’s and it was every gin lovers dream! As someone that loves to discover new things, it’s safe to say i’m a bit of a gin ‘buff’ and I know so many facts about the stuff I sometimes think I should write a book (joking obviously!). The Burleigh’s gin tour, however, aims to teach you all about their individual production techniques and gives an insight into how they get their product out on the shelves.

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Mum got to enjoy a cheeky G&T too!

We were greeted with a lovely gin and tonic served in one of their own copa glasses, complete with garnishes to boot. The particular gin used was their ‘Signature’ London Dry Gin and was served with a fresh orange wedge and plenty of ice. They also served it with the new Schwepps premium tonic which I had yet to try. I’m still a Fevertree girl at heart and I love experimenting with different brands but this was still a nice mixer and let the gin and the orange come through nicely. As a little side note, London Dry doesn’t actually have anything to do with the ‘dryness’ of the gin, it is actually a method of producing gin that has been going for years and years!IMG_0401.jpg

Our tour started with their huge copper pot still, affectionately named ‘Messy Bessy’. This is where all the real magic happens! It’s a floor to ceiling, custom-made device that has a capacity of 450 litres, which may sound big to us average joes, but is in fact quite small in the world of gin distillery. The design of this copper pot has been crafted to maximise the flavour of the gin and even to remove some of those nasty sulphites that can cause us to feel rather ‘worse-for-wear’ the next morning.

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What is gin without juniper… vodka!

The botanicals, water and pure alcohol are popped into the still and the temperature is increased and so begins the process of making gin. In the UK to legally be ‘gin’ there are two key factors. Firstly, the alcohol has to be at least 37.5% ABV and secondly, the main flavour of the gin has to be juniper. As part of the tour, we were shown some of the botanicals that go into the Burleigh’s range and some were definitely more unusual than others! I for one did not know that Silver Birch could even go in a gin!? IMG_0405.jpg

After producing the actual flavours of the gin, of course we need to bottle all that good stuff and believe it or not, this is all done by hand! Cleaning the bottles, actually bottling the gin, applying the labels and popping in the cork is all done by two people on site. For me this personal touch really appeals as it shows how much love and care go into each individual bottle and it’s nice to know that you’re not just getting something that’s mass produced.

IMG_0446Finally, we got to go and check out the full range of gins they had to offer. Of course we’ve already mentioned the ‘signature’ range which is quite a fresh number with notes of eucalyptus, pine and citrus. This has an ABV of 40% which, from past experience, is about standard for a more niche gin. They also produce an Export Strength gin which follows the same recipe as the Signature but has an ABV of 47% this is perfect for popping in cocktails when you don’t want the flavour of the gin to be masked or even just for those who like a stronger tasting gin. Personally, I don’t usually opt for gins with such a high ABV% as I find it a bit overpowering.

IMG_0419The Distillers Cut was a really lovely gin as this was a softer and more floral flavour. With hints of violet and a slight hint of pepper, this was a real winner for me and something I can definitely see myself drinking! The Burleigh’s pink edition was actually the first gin i’d tried from them. With Japanese Cherry Blossom, hibiscus, rose and pink grapefruit, it really is a very unique flavour. I had this with Fevertree Aromatic tonic and a wedge of pink grapefruit and it was to die for! IMG_0418

The final gin was a real surprise to me and it’s their Leicester City Football Club edition! It follows on from Leicester’s win in the Premier League and the fact that they wanted to celebrate the amazing things the city had to offer. Strangely, it is inspired by a pork pie, but don’t worry ‘inspired’ is the key word here. Thyme, sage and nutmeg provide a herbal flavour and make this similar to Mediterranean style gins such as Gin Mare. This was possibly my favourite and I’m hoping to get my hands on a bottle of this (and maybe a pink) for Christmas! IMG_0415

As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed my trip to the Burleigh’s gin distillery, I’ve got my eye on their gin school and I really hope to head back there in the future. Tickets for the tour cost £20 per person and are available on Wednesday evenings throughout the year.

Do you like gin? Please leave me suggestions to your favourites below as I always want to discover new brands!

Much Love

xoxo

*Tour provided for PR.

Xtava Infrared Straighteners and GIVEAWAY!

My unruly hair is pretty much the bane of my life. I’ve spent years looking for serums and lotions and potions to help tame it slightly, but unlike with makeup or skincare, my heart really isn’t in it! I do straighten my hair from time to time using my Mums GHD’s but they’re too thin and I didn’t really want to splurge on the wide plate version. So when an opportunity came up to try out the Xtava Infrared Straighteners*, I thought I’d put them to the test as anything that can cope with my hair, must be pretty damn good!

First things first, these are wide plate straighteners so they’re definitely made with thicker hair types in mind. The plates are 5cm wide meaning I can take bigger sections at a time and cut the length of time it takes me to do my hair almost in half! I was so chuffed with how I didn’t have to go over each section hundreds of times, two or three did the trick!

In terms of ease of use, I don’t think these could be any easier! There’s an on/off button and increase and decrease temperature buttons and that’s about it. A small screen lets you set the temperature you would like and it also lets you know when it’s reached the temperature. There are 11 temperature settings to choose from between 130 and 230 degree celsius and it only takes up to 90 seconds for the straighteners to come up to temperature. Perfect if, like me, you want things done yesterday!

IMG_0033.jpgI feel like the design of these straighteners is both simple yet well thought out. It has a nice long cord which rotates 360 degrees to avoid those awkward moments of getting tangled around your dressing table! The bag that these come in is entirely heat proof so you won’t be burning any surfaces or holding them until they’ve cooled down. I found this to be perfect for travelling and it also kept them away from anything else in my bag. I also liked the matte black casing and I felt that they really matched the design quality of brands that are a lot more expensive!

For me though, the best thing about these is the price, they retail for only £29.99 and I would happily pay double that! Anything that can manage my hair is a huge deal for me and I have exclusively been using these on my hair since I received them. They are available on Amazon and if you have prime then they can be delivered the very next day. The best part of this post is that I have a pair to give away to one of you too! All you have to do is click the link here: Win the xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Straighteners.

I can’t wait to see which one of you wins these and I really hope whoever does loves them as much as I do! Above is a quick before and after of my hair, these aren’t taken on the same day but on the left is what my hair looks like if I do nothing to it and on the right is after using these straighteners.

Much Love

xoxo

 

 

September & October Empties 2017

Yep, I did it again… I left my empties to build up over two months. Damn, I really should have learnt from my mistakes! Either way, here I am with a mountain of products to get through so i’m going to cut to the chase and get started!

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  • Wilko’s Dry Shampoo – just as good, if not better, than brands like Batiste but for only £1 a can. I use the one for all hair types but there’s also fragranced, volume and brunette varieties up for grabs! I will continue to keep buying this but I’m contemplating trying a fragranced one next time too!
  • Mark Hill MiracOILous Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner minis – these came in a set from Christmas last year and I used them up whilst travelling. I actually quite liked them and they worked well with my hair. I wouldn’t say no to buying them again and the 50ml sizes were ideal!
  • Kérastase Lait Vital – this is the conditioner from the nutritive range and it’s okay. I personally like something a bit more heavy duty for my hair so this wasn’t really worth it for the price for me at £18.50. The mask is definitely better than this so I would buy that again instead. However if you don’t need something so nourishing then this may be suitable for finer hair!

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Not a category i’ve ever had before but I had two products so thought why not. The first one is something I’ve had for a VERY long time and that’s the No 7 Makeup Brush Cleanser. It comes in a pump dispenser and it’s really handy for spot cleaning or wiping down products. I really like it actually and I would consider buying it again although I do fancy trying the MAC one out too! The second product is the Sephora Solid Brush Cleaner and I absolutely love this. I bought a replacement when I was last in the states and I find that this works wonders at deep cleaning my brushes and it also does a great job on my beauty blender too!

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  • The Body Shop Spiced Apple Shower Gel – I’m sad to say that I believe this was the last bottle I’d hoarded away in my collection. However, I think this might actually be back in stores for this year so I will be heading off to replenish my shelves any day now thank God!
  • Baylis & Harding Sweet Mandarin and Grapefruit Luxury Body Wash – How anyone can call this luxury is beyond me. Possibly the worst body wash i’ve ever used, the texture was like someone had watered down a regular shower gel and there was absolutely zero scent to it. Never buying this again in a million years.
  • Aveda Stress-fix Body Lotion – there’s still actually product left in this but I hate the smell so much I can’t use it. It’s very strongly lavender based and it lingers for ages on the skin. From what I did use, a little does go a long way so if you like lavender then this may be for you but it’s 100% not for me.
  • Dove Invisible Dry Deodorant – An old faithful that I will keep repurchasing in between my attempts at branching out to other contenders.
  • L’Occitane Amande Hand Cream – firstly, my sleepy brain has included this in the ‘makeup photo’ oops! This is my favourite hand cream ever and I can’t think how many tubes i’ve been through. I would seriously cry if this was ever discontinued! I think I have at least two back ups but this always gets repurchased.
  • J’Adore Dior Edp 30ml – This is probably my favourite perfume ever and I was honestly so sad that it ran out. With Christmas coming up, i’m not going to replace it myself but it will be top of my list this year. My Grandad loves buying us perfume so i’m sure he’ll be chuffed to go along to Boots to pick this up (seriously his Boots points are off the scale after buying for us all!!).

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  • Avril Cosmetiques Cleansing Oil – I’ve written a whole post on Avril here, but to keep it brief, this is a nice light cleansing oil that gets every last scrap of makeup off with minimal effort. I liked that it was scent free and didn’t leave a residue on the skin, definitely a product to consider if you like natural products!
  • Figs & Rouge Hydra Active Smart Nutrient Day Cream – I’m pretty sure I was given this by a fellow blogger to try and sadly I didn’t really like it. To say this retails for £28 full size (50ml) this felt like that Diprobase cream you’re given when you have eczema! It was really greasy and even smelt the same and even though my skin can be quite dehydrated, this was wayyyy too much! Quite glad to see this go to be honest!
  • Neutrogena Visibly Clear Spot Clearing Facial Wash – This was quite handy just to have in the shower when you wanted to quickly wash your face, especially with the pump dispenser. I didn’t really find it kept my skin any clearer but it was a cheap and cheerful product. My brother actually ended up using it and he’s 16 so maybe he’s more the target market for it. Not bad but I don’t think i’d buy it again.
  • Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Cleansing Oil – As cleansing oils go, this was not too bad although it had a bit of a weird smell that I wasn’t a fan of. It did the job of removing my makeup but not as well as other cleansing oils so I probably wouldn’t pick up the full size.
  • Lancôme Hydra Zen Moisturiser – I really really loved this product and the night cream that was featured in my last empties. However, they are so bloody expensive that I just don’t know whether I can justify it! They really did work well with my skin though so now that i’m working, perhaps I just need to suck it up and buy them!

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  • Too Faced Hangover Face Primer – I had seriously high hopes for this primer after everyone and their mother went on and on about it. For me though, it was just like adding another moisturiser to my face and it didn’t really do much ‘priming’. It left my face feeling hydrated so maybe that’s why they’ve likened it to a hangover cure as it did give my skin a boost when it felt dehydrated. However, I don’t think it kept my makeup on any longer nor did it make it apply any better so I don’t think i’ll be repurchasing this again any time soon.
  • L’oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara – I had actually planned to do a whole review of this mascara but with starting work, it’s actually dried up before I got the chance! This has been hyped up by just about every blogger going and it is actually a pretty good mascara. It has a slightly curved wand with proper bristles rather than plastic and it coats the lashes really well. The one thing I found though was that the formula was quite dry so it had the potential to make things quite clumpy! For under £10 I would definitely use this again, it’s not become my new favourite but it’s definitely not bad either! DSCF0598
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray – I love this setting spray and I will always go back and pick up more bottles as it does such a good job of keeping things in place. I’m trying out and finishing off a few others at the moment but there will no doubt be another bottle of this in rotation some time soon!
  • Benefit Porefessional Primer – I’ve had so many of these samples and I’ve never really found myself raving about it. For me it clings to dry patches and things can start looking a bit cakey and crusty very quickly. I recently received some of the new version of the Porefessional though which has a more hydrating base so I’m hoping that’s more suitable for my skin type! I’ll report back on that one!
  • EOS Strawberry Lip Balm – I liked the actual formula of the balm with this and it was handy to carry around on the go, however the shape of it was a little bit annoying and gradually got harder and harder to use as time went on. I have about a million lip balms to finish off so I can’t see myself replacing this any time soon.
  • Covergirl Outlast All Day Concealer – I picked this up on my trip to the States in April and I was pleasantly surprised. It was hydrating and easy to blend yet delivered a good amount of coverage too! If you can get your hands on this then give it a try as it’s surprisingly very good! The only thing I don’t like is the sponge applicator but overall I was pretty happy with it!

If you’ve made it to the end, I salute you! These posts always take the longest to write but I love reading them myself as you get mini reviews of lots of different products! Let me know what you’ve finished off recently and whether you’ve tried any of the products i’ve mentioned!

Much Love

xoxo

 

Rimmel London’s New Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation!

Hello Everyone! Long time no speak! I’ve finally found some time to get back to writing a blog post and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the latest Rimmel foundation. Regular readers will probably already know that Rimmel is my favourite affordable makeup brand, with their Match Perfection foundation being one of my favourites ever!

So when Influenster invited me to take part in their latest VoxBox campaign featuring the one and only Rimmel, I jumped at the chance! The main aim of the box is to review their new foundation*. It’s an adaptation of their popular Lasting Finish formula but with a more breathable and hydrating finish. I quite like the regular Lasting Finish formula so I had pretty high hopes for the new breathable one before I even tried it!

The bottle is almost identical to the regular packaging, except it has a silver colour scheme rather than red. The main packaging difference though is that rather than a pump, the breathable formula has a large doe-foot applicator! To be honest, this is the main thing I don’t actually like about this foundation as it feels quite unhygienic! If like me, you have quite spot prone skin, then applying foundation with an applicator directly onto problem areas can help it to spread. You then obviously have to put the applicator back into the bottle to shut the lid so to me it seems a bit dirty! Imagine all the bacteria being locked in the bottle to fester until the next use. For me, this is a big no no! IMG_0211

The actual formula though is really nice! It’s lightweight, yet medium in coverage. It sets to a nice satin finish and blends really well. There are 17 shades to choose from and they vary in tone from yellow toned to pink toned. I matched to shade 103 and it’s a pretty good winter shade for my skin tone. I would say that this is a lighter coverage than the regular Lasting Finish formula though and I wouldn’t have personally marketed them as from the same formula base as they are so different. They do both claim to have ’25 hour wear’ which I always find pretty ridiculous as no-one would ever keep foundation on their face for that long and expect it to live to tell the tale! It lasts reasonably well throughout the day in my opinion. I’ve definitely had worse but i’ve also had better resilience for other brands’ formulas.

Along with the foundation, Rimmel launched a matching concealer* in the range. It claims to be the perfect partner for the foundation and has a medium coverage. Again, for me, Rimmel have really shot themselves in the foot with the packaging here. The applicator is a ball shaped sponge which is neither good at blending nor hygienic! It’s a very firm sponge tip that I found to be quite uncomfortable under the eyes! There is no way anyone can actually blend the concealer in with this so it’s actually pretty useless. When I use it, I just dispense it straight onto a brush to avoid any unwanted bacteria lingering on the product.

Like with the foundation, the formula is actually quite nice. Very lightweight feeling, easily blended and quite runny in consistency. I would personally like a little more coverage from a concealer and I haven’t actually reached for this as much as I thought I would. It’s quite a nice product if you have minimal touch ups to do after your foundation, but for me, I need a bit more!

The next item in the box is actually a product that has been available for a while now but has been something I’ve wanted to buy for a while now. It’s the Kate Sculpting Palette* in the shade Coral Glow. Inside there are three powder shades, one to highlight, one to contour/bronze and one blush shade. I really liked the idea of having three shades in one palettes as it’s really travel friendly as the packaging is so slim. The contour and blush shades I absolutely love but the highlighter is very underwhelming. If like me you like a ‘proper highlight’ then this is not it. It’s not very shimmery and doesn’t show up very well on the skin. As I mentioned though, the blush and contour shades are pretty damn good. The powder blends well, is nicely pigmented and works well with fair to medium skin tones. The contour shade is cool enough to add shadow, but is warm enough that it could double up as a bronzer too. The blusher is very similar to NARS Orgasm or Benefit Coralista and those are the blush shades I always seem to gravitate towards! IMG_0207.jpg

My only gripe with this product is how thin the pans are. If, like me, you lean towards large fluffy brushes when applying face powders then you’ll find this quite a challenge. I had to be incredibly precise when dipping my brush into the palette as the space between the pans was incredibly small. Overall not a bad product for the price though, I personally think that £6.99 is quite a bargain!

The final product included in the box was one of their Moisture Renew Lipsticks* in the shade Vintage Pink. Ironically I only own one of these lipsticks and it’s in this shade so I will be passing this on to a friend to enjoy! I absolutely love the colour of this lipstick as it’s a slightly purple toned nude and looks lovely on the lips! The actual formula is very hydrating and glides on nice and smoothly. They are highly pigmented and very comfortable to wear. I would liken them to MAC’s creamsheen finishes so you would need to reapply this throughout the day as it does wear off quicker than say a matte would.  These retail for £6.49 and I do feel you are getting a much higher quality here than you would expect from the price!

Overall I would say it was a nice selection of items. I got to try things that i’d been after for a while and some new ones too. I feel like the packaging let down 3 out of four of the items as it just wasn’t well thought out. Yes Rimmel is a more affordable brand and it’s the product inside that matters, but if you are experimenting with packaging to make the product more appealing, then a bit of research into whether it’s a good idea probably wouldn’t have gone amiss! I will continue to use the products as I do love the brand and think they formulate things well in general but I feel like a few tweaks are needed if they want them to be real hits with the masses!

Have you tried any of these products? If so what did you think of them?

Much Love

xoxo

*Received free of charge from Influenster in exchange for a review.

 

 

The Travel Diaries| Brighton August 2017 With Brighton Getaways!

Over bank holiday weekend last month, Tom and I were invited down to Brighton by the guys at Brighton Getaways to test out one of their apartments. Having never been to Brighton, we jumped at the chance and hopped in the car for a mini break. We were completely lucky with the weather during the two days we were there as it was the mini bank holiday heatwave and it was glorious!

We set off bright and early on the Monday morning to make sure we got a full day in, so we arrived in Brighton at about 10 am and decided to have breakfast in a little cafe and do some wandering. At around midday, we were able to head to the apartment to check in and see where we’d be staying. We were actually given the Artists Studio*  which was walking distance to everything we wanted to see and was located in the North Laines. It was very quirky, with a huge graffiti style mural along one wall, yet it had a really cosy feel about it.IMG_0058 Being a studio, it was on the smaller side and was based around one main room, however we felt like we had plenty of space and were really comfortable throughout. The studio also had a kitchenette, free wifi and a really nice shower ‘pod’ type set up which I really liked!

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This was the shower ‘pod’ that was in our room!

If we stayed in Brighton again, which we have said we’d like to, we’d definitely look at the rentals available on Brighton Getaways as ours completely fit what we needed and was spotlessly clean and very well located. The two guys I spoke to with regards to booking and checking in were really friendly and helpful too which was lovely!

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Shopping in the North Laines

With only a short period of time in Brighton, we decided to check out the pier as that’s a must-see tourist attraction. It has very typical ‘British holiday’ vibes to it but to be honest, I really loved it. We watched all the fair ground rides and had a look at the amusement arcades and generally just soaked up the atmosphere. There was so much going on and as it was bank holiday Monday and beautiful weather, it was absolutely packed! It didn’t feel too crowded though and I really liked that.

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The view from the Pier

One thing I didn’t expect was how beautiful the beach would be. The sea was so clear and really made us feel we were on holiday abroad rather than in the UK. There was such a buzz along the front with performers and holiday goers and plenty of shops for a quick ice cream break. I wish we’d been able to take JJ with us this time as he would have loved it all! IMG_0050.jpg

One thing I said I wanted to see was the Choccywoccydoodah shop as I’ve spent many hours watching that show and the displays always blow my mind. Needless to say it was just as good as i’d imagined and I loved being able to actually see them in person rather than just on the TV. The Laines are such an unusual way to shop and we loved wandering around them and seeing the independent stores that they held. It had such a nice vibe to it and it felt very very inclusive as a town, no matter who you were.

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Possibly my favourite Graffiti EVER.

Right near our accommodation was the Pavilion Gardens and the Royal Pavilion inside was really beautiful. It almost felt like a temple rather than a pavilion and I hadn’t expected to find that just round the corner at all. It seemed like a really popular place to picnic or stop and have a chat and I wish we had something similar near us as it was such an unusual building!

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Royal Pavilion

In the evening, Tom being the foodie that he is, has sussed out a place to eat that promised to be pretty special. Its a restaurant called 64 degrees and is run by someone from Master Chef I believe. It’s won plenty of awards and is considered the best restaurant in Brighton. It serves small plates that promise big flavour and the general experience we had was unlike any other restaurant i’ve ever been to. We were actually seated on the pass so we got a great view of all the cooking and each component that went into every dish.

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This was how close we were actually sat, no zoom needed!

The menus change regularly dependant on what’s in season and what produce they could get hold of. My favourite thing I had was probably either the Lasagnette or the Rum Bear. The first, being a deconstructed veggie lasagna that was simply incredible and the latter was their equivalent of a Haribo bear but with lots of rum and their own sherbet. It was amazing!

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That Rum Bear!

It was a very whistle stop trip to Brighton, but we had such a lovely time and I know we’d both love to return. A huge thank you to the guys at Brighton Getaways for giving us the chance to see such a lovely town and putting us up in such perfect accommodation. I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re back!

Much Love

xoxo

*Accommodation provided for PR purposes. All other things mentioned in this post were paid for entirely by ourselves.

Book Review| Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

Today i’ve got something quite exciting to share with you, my participation in my first ever book tour! I saw the opportunity a while ago and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and read a new book, by an author I’d not actually heard of before. The start of this post will be my review and then towards the end of the post there will be all the information regarding the author, Kaira Rouda, and the synopsis of the book itself. Make sure you check out the sneaky little giveaway too, where you can win Amazon vouchers of money through Paypal! It’s even open world wide!

Review

A perfect husband and wife duo? Or so it seems! Paul & Mia have been together around 10 years when Paul decides the stress of their daily lives means they need a little trip away together to their holiday cottage on Lake Eerie. Leaving the kids at home with a babysitter, who it seems conveniently made passes at him at the office, the set off for what Paul describes will be “the best day ever’.

It’s safe to say that the character of Paul really didn’t appeal to me. He seemed like the kind of husband that I would hate to be married to, over-bearing and generally a bit disinterested. He has very traditional views of women being the homemakers and carers of the children and through the chapters, it seems that he feels his wife, Mia, is incapable of many things, but more so than that, it seems he is hiding things from her too. Although there are snippets of a time where he seems to admire her, or at the very least desire her, the majority of the first third of the book he seems to have simply wanted her to help him live out the all American family dream with the house with the white picket fence and the 2.4 kids.

As the book is written in first person, we get to catch a good old glimpse into his mind to see what is actually making him tick. I feel like we are meant to not actually like him and that’s what makes the book so interesting. Its clear that he has sunk to pretty low levels to dominate Mia’s life prior to the day the book is set and he appears to be the perfect family man from the outside but the perfect psychopath on the inside! Throughout the book, we discover the lengths he has gone to to manipulate things in his life to get his own way and it’s very alarming as they seem to fall under the radar so he’s clearly very good!

What was different about the book for me is that each chapter was actually a period of time during one day and seemed to be set in half hour intervals. At first I felt like this was making the book drag out, but in fact it was allowing the tension to mount throughout the story to really keep you on the edge of your seat! I really liked this actually as you could get a real picture of what was happening and it felt like you were going through the day with them.

I’m trying to keep this review spoiler free so you can go and enjoy it for yourselves. I always find thrillers the hardest genre to review as the most exciting part is obviously the ending when all becomes revealed and secrets are exposed. I love it when you finish a book and get all the answers you were looking for, especially if there’s a nice twist to the plot too. I’m going to say no more and suggest that you grab a copy yourselves so you can see what went down on Lake Eerie with Paul & Mia! If you give it a read, definitely let me know what you think! I would give this a solid 4/5 rating myself and I’m going to be passing it on to my Mum to read next!

Much Love

xoxo

More details about the book and author below:

New Release….

A loving husband. The perfect killer?

‘I wonder if Mia thinks I have a dark side. Most likely as far as she knows, I am just her dear loving husband.’ 

Paul Strom has spent years building his perfect life: glittering career, beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in the suburbs.

But he also has his secrets. That’s why Paul has promised his wife a romantic weekend getaway. He proclaims this day, a warm Friday in May, will be the best day ever.

Paul loves his wife, really, he does. But he also wants to get rid of her. And with every hour that passes, Paul ticks off another stage in his elaborately laid plan…

Behind Closed Doors meets Liane Moriarty in this creepy, fast-paced psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming!

Book available to buy from….
Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.com   Google Play   Barnes and Noble   iBooks   Kobo   Waterstones   HarperCollins

‘A tensely written, shocking book that will hold readers on the edge of their seats to the very last page.’  Publishers Weekly

‘Fast-paced, dark, and slightly disturbing, you won’t be able to put this book down until its jaw-dropping ending… Absolutely brilliant!’
Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Keep

‘Through self-conscious charm and a chilling wit, Rouda’s narrator creates laugh-out-loud moments that will feel like guilty pleasures. This may well be the most entertaining read of your year.’  Kathryn Craft, award-winning author of The Far End of Happy, on Best Day Ever

‘Deliciously diabolical and highly readable, BEST DAY EVER kept me flipping the pages with anticipation and fascination. Unputdownable!’ A. J. Banner, USA Today bestselling author of The Twilight Wife

About the Author
Kaira Rouda is a USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction and sexy modern romance novels that sparkle with humor and heart. Her women’s fiction titles include HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE, IN THE MIRROR and THE GOODBYE YEAR (April 2016). Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER’S DAY. Kaira’s work has won the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader’s Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest International Book Awards. Her books have been widely reviewed and featured in leading magazines.

Her sexy contemporary romance series set on INDIGO ISLAND includes: WEEKEND WITH THE TYCOON, Book 1; HER FORBIDDEN LOVE, Book 2; THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTMAS, Book 3; and THE BILLIONAIRE’S BID, Book 4. Each of these novellas can be read as a stand alone, or enjoyed as a series. Her new series is set in LAGUNA BEACH and includes: LAGUNA NIGHTS, Book 1; LAGUNA HEIGHTS, Book 2; and LAGUNA LIGHTS, Book 3, and LAGUNA SIGHTS, coming winter 2016. She also helped launch Melissa Foster’s The Remington’s Kindle World with her bestselling novella, SPOTLIGHT ON LOVE and in the Dare to Love Kindle World, THE CELEBRITY DARE.

Her nonfiction titles, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, and REAL YOU FOR AUTHORS: 8 Essentials for Women Writers, continue to inspire.

She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids, and is at work on her next novel.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Google+   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

Other Women’s Fiction books by the author…

 

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY !!

Win $25 Amazon.com or Paypal Cash

(£20 Amazon.co.uk or Paypal Cash for UK winners) (winners choice) Ending on Sunday 1st October at 11.59pm 

Open Worldwide

Enter Below & Good Luck !!

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