How To Grow Your Instagram |600 New Followers in Under 4 Months!

I posted on Twitter the other day how proud I was of how much my Instagram has grown this year! I started March with just under 400 followers and I’m now sitting at just under 1000. So many people commented saying they’d love to know how I’d done it and some tips and trips for growing Instagram organically so I thought I’d share some tips today that i’ve found have made a feel improvement to my following!

  1. Picture Quality – I’ve found that taking more pictures on my camera rather than my iPhone or even just spending longer editing pictures definitely increases engagement! Having said that, the majority of my highly ranked pictures have been taken on Tom’s iPhone 7+ so you can work with what you’ve got!
  2. Follow People Back! – It may sound obvious but it seems so many bloggers nowadays feel ‘above’ us lowly small bloggers and refuse to follow you back in order to have a really high ratio of followers to following. It’s a load of crap! Follow back people who’s accounts you like and you’re more likely to keep your followers! Yes the whole follow-unfollow scenario is rife at the moment but this is a good way to maintain some of those new followers.
  3. Keep Track – I use Followers+ to keep track of my followers. This tells you new people that have followed or unfollowed you. If i’m following someone who unfollows me then I simply unfollow them. It sounds petty but if they can’t be bothered to engage with me then I can’t be bothered to engage with them. Simple.
  4. Post More Regularly – I was at the Ice Lolly Blogger At The Beach event earlier this month and Rhianna from Rhianna Olivia (formerly RoboweCop) and she mentioned that she had seen a real improvement from posting 3 times a day. Now I honestly do not have time for that everyday but since trying to post daily, I have noticed a vast improvement as you are constantly refreshing your presence in peoples feeds and hashtags!
  5. Join Follow Threads – I’ve been part of a couple of these through Twitter where people, fed up with low engagement and mass unfollowers, post their links in a thread and everyone follows each other. These have been amazing for growing my following recently and can increase your number by up to 30 or 40 in one day! If you are interested in one, tweet me (@RoseBeautyFiles) and I’ll set a new one up and tag you in it!
  6. Comment On Posts – If you engage with others then they are way more likely to look at your account and engage back. This also works with liking pictures you are genuinely interested in and leaving useful and unique comments. Nobody likes the standard ‘Great Pic’ comment. Quite frankly its annoying and shit!
  7. To Theme or Not to Theme? – I do not have a theme on my instagram. I see the appeal and I do admit the feed look ‘neater’ with a theme, but your instagram has to reflect your personality and your blog and inspire people to want to follow you. I love talking and posting about a mixture of things so I just post pictures of whatever takes my fancy that day. You can easily see a correlation with what your followers actually like so reflect on this but don’t let low likes on one picture stop you posting about things you are interested in.

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    Just call me No Theme Molly
  8. Explore Hashtags – I was recently introduced to the wonderful world of the ‘Discoverunder’ hashtags, where you are appealing to people who are looking for smaller accounts. I always use the #discoverunder1k, #discoverunder10k and #discoverunder100k ones nows but I’ve found the under 1k hashtag seems to work the best. I often click on that one and look for new, likeminded feeds that I’m interested in and follow them and comment on their pictures. Most people, like I would, appreciate the engagement and do the same in return. It’s a win-win for everyone!
  9. Link your Instagram to other Social Media – Post your instagram pictures to your blog sidebar, your twitter and your Facebook to ensure that they get the maximum exposure! I often find that there’s people I love on Twitter that I hadn’t realised I’m not following on Instagram! This helps to easily allow people to associate the Twitter user they love with an instagram account to match!
  10. Questions – This final point is another Rhianna special that was too useful not to include. To increase your engagement, why not add a question to the end of your picture description! It almost seems like it’s targeted directly at you so you can’t help but answer it! More comments is always a good thing!

I hope you liked this post and that it helps you out. I often feel Instagram has become a bit of a chore but since i’ve been doing these things it’s really boosted my confidence as my followers have increased! Why not leave your Instagram handle in the comments so we can all find some new accounts to follow? FYI mine is the same as Twitter – @RoseBeautyFiles and my latest feed is always displayed in the side bar of this blog!

Much Love

xoxo

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April & May Empties 2017!

Last month, I decided I didn’t have enough empties to warrant a whole post as I’d used so many things whilst I was away and I hadn’t bothered to drag the empties back home! I thought i’d roll April & May into one post and now two months have gone by, my empties box is literally full to the brim! I wanted to try and use a lot of samples up as they seem to be taking over my room and I’m quickly running out of space! Hopefully that will explain the explosion of empties you’re about to see and why there are just so many minis!

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  • MAC Shanghai Spice Lipstick – This has been the most easy to wear lipstick! It’s a gorgeous peachy nude and just perfect for chucking on on a daily basis! I saved this for my back to MAC and I am hoping to get this lippie again in the future!
  • Body Shop Instablur Primer – I honestly feel that this is one of the only primer I have ever used that actually works! Ive written a whole post on it so I won’t go into too much detail but I am definitely sad that this is over! I would definitely pick this up again!
  • LA Girl Pro Conceal – This is a great concealer that also adds a touch of highlight under the eyes when you use a lighter shade! I’ve got some other concealers to use up but this is a bargain and I’d totally buy it again!
  • Too Faced Born This Way Foundation – I can’t believe how quickly I made it through this bottle to say I use so little each time! It provides a nearly flawless base and blends in like a dream. The shades do lean towards the yellow end of the spectrum but personally I really like this! I have a few foundations to use up but I’d buy this again!
  • Clinique Superbalanced Silk Foundation Sample – This is what started off my love for this foundation! This sample lasted ages and now I’m finally onto my full bottle!
  • 3 MAC Nail Varnishes – These were in the shades Nightfall, Steamy & Rougemarie (I think this was the red one, i’m not 100% sure). These had just gotten old and seeing as I have acrylics now, I thought I would back to MAC them so I could FINALLY get a new lipstick with my empties!
  • Chanel Mascara Sample – I honestly can’t even remember a) the full name of this or b) whether it was any good or not. In my mind that means it can’t have been too great so I’m not going to think much about it now!

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  • Chanel Chance Eau Tendre Refill – My God Mother bought me a gorgeous Chanel perfume set at Christmas which came with a perfume spray and 3 20ml refill containers to fit inside. I have made my way through the first one and in typical Chanel Chance fashion, it is fresh and easy to wear on a day to day basis! Lucky for me I have two more refills to go!
  • YSL Mon Paris Sample – I can’t remember where I got this but it was pretty average. A bit sweet for my liking and not nice enough to make me want to buy it.
  • Chanel Chance Eau Vivre Sample – Nordstrom have this amazing sample system where you can try things out at your own leisure before you buy. I completely took advantage of this and got so many samples! This was one of my favourite perfumes last summer and having this sample rekindled my love with it. Now I want a full size bottle, damn!

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  • REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial – I really like this face mask but it goes off so quickly! Once oxygen gets to the tube the product goes a really weird colour and has a pretty gross smell. Despite liking it a lot, I wouldn’t buy it again as I don’t use it often enough to stop it going off!
  • Evolve Beauty Hyaluronic Serum
  • Simple Cleansing Oil – This is amazing and such a bargain! It left my skin clean and soft without feeling stripped! If you are on a budget then definitely pick this up, I honestly would pay double the price for this!
  • Dior Hydra Life Micellar Water – I LOVED this but I made a boo boo and dropped it and lost a good third of the bottle on the floor! It’s pricey but I found it to be one of the nicest micellar waters I’ve ever tried. I’m trying to psych myself up to shell out over £20 for the full bottle. Damn you Dior!
  • Lancôme Bi Facil Eye Makeup Remover – I’m pretty sure i’ve had one of these before and its a nice eye makeup remover but not so amazing that I have to run out and buy the full size.
  • MAC Eye Makeup Remover Sample – I was pleased to see a new MAC sample available at the checkout when I placed an order a while ago! This was nice and unlike bi-phase it wasn’t oily in the slightest. I think I probably would pick this up at some point as it was so gentle yet effective!
  • Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter – By far the nicest eye cream I’ve ever got to use! It brightened and nourished and was really enjoyable to use! If it becomes easier to buy in the UK i’d buy the full size!
  • LUSH Ultra Bland Cleanser Sample – I HATED this with a passion! When I tried this in the store at the Nottingham event it looked really effective but one use of this at home on an actual face of makeup, it was useless. I didn’t even finish this sample and I definitely won’t be buying it as it left 90% of my makeup on my face!
  • Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm Sample – In contrast to the LUSH sample, I really really enjoyed this and it was so effective at taking my makeup off without having to rub at my skin. I’ve got a stack of cleansers but I’m buying this when some of them have been used!
  • Eve Lom Cleanser Sample – This was lovely but it is pretty pricey! Did the job but I think there are plenty of other good cleansers that are a hell of a lot cheaper!
  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Sample – I’ve read so many good reviews of this but I honestly found it did nothing. On my hand it showed great potential but on my face, nothing!
  • Sunday Riley Blue Moon Cleansing Balm Sample – I’ve never tried any Sunday Riley products and this cleansing balm really was lovely. It felt luxurious but I don’t think it’s worth £46 in my opinion so I won’t buy the full size!

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  • Sephora Lotus Face Mask – Possibly the best sheet mask I have ever used! It’s so nourishing and soaks into the skin really well. Damn Sephora for not being in the UK as I would definitely make sure I had a constant supply of these otherwise!
  • Tony Moly Broccoli Face Mask – I’m still unsure whether the Tony Moly Masks actually do anything of real benefit. This was one of the better ones weirdly but not so much so that I want to buy more sadly.
  • Daiso BB Face Mask with Hyaluronic Acid – I picked this up from the Daiso store in Seattle and it came in a pack of 2 for something like $1.85. It was definitely worth the price and was quite plumping and nourishing! Give it a try if you have a Daiso store nearby!
  • Kiehls Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser Sample – I didn’t like this at all, it felt very drying and stripping and just generally a bit too harsh for my liking. Totally not worth the hype in my opinion!
  • Tarte Pack Your Bags 911 Undereye Rescue Patches – I really really enjoyed using these! They were so cooling and the jelly texture meant they actually stayed on my face for the duration! If I could pick these up easily, I would in a heartbeat!
  • Aesop Parsley Seed Mask Sample – I’ve heard great things about this from bloggers and I did really like it actually. It’s a while since I used this sample but I have another one too so I’ll give you a better review next time i’ve used it as I just cannot remember! I know I really liked it though!

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  • Body Shop Vanilla Chai Shower Gel – I normally love Body Shop shower gels but this was incredibly thick and hard to get out of the bottle. The scent was a bit average too. It was limited edition at Christmas but i’m really glad I bought more of the Spiced Apple instead to last me throughout the year!
  • Nivea Stress Protect Deodorant – Randomly I had a deodorant change as I seemed to have waded my way through my huge backlog! This was pretty good actually and lasted well through out the day! Nivea, Dove and Vaseline are definitely my deodorants of choice!
  • Yankee Candle Small Jar in Sea Salt & Sage – Sadly another limited edition product! I couldn’t understand why as the scent was so lovely and fresh, however it was not very strong when it was burning. I mean I really don’t like strong candles but this was potentially even a little too subtle for me! I went through three of the votives in this scent too during May and I have one and a half votives left to use up.
  • Bath & Body Works Pink Hibiscus Hand Gel – When I was travelling with Emily, she gave me this as she said she was fed up with the scent. I actually really liked it as it was fresh and not too sickly unlike many of the other Bath & Body works scents! I wish I’d got another one in this fragrance!
  • LUSH The Mod Father Bubble Bar – This came from the Nottingham Event alongside a couple of other products in this empties post. However, this is the one i’m most sad about finishing. I think I counted that it lasted my 7 whole baths which is really good value for money! The scent was a refreshing orange fragrance and the bubbles were gorgeous! Thankfully it also didn’t stain the bath, which for LUSH is a minor miracle! It’s a real shame that this is only around for Fathers Day! DSCF0417
  • LUSH Tooth Fairy Sample – A very weird concept of using a powder rather than paste to clean your teeth, however I surprisingly really liked this! The flavour was bubble gum which would not have been my preference, however my teeth felt noticeably cleaner than when I use a normal paste! I think a little purchase may be in order!
  • Mark Hill MiracOILous Hair Mask – Any hair masks with argan oil in are usually pretty good on my hair and this one was no different. It was nice and nourishing without weighing my hair down or making it greasy! Quite a good budget hair mask option!

Thank god we’ve made it to the end! I’ve had this post in drafts for a couple of weeks now and i’ve been trying to build up to writing it as I knew it would be a long one! If you read all the way through then thank you, you deserve a medal! What did you finish up this month?

Much Love

xoxo

Trying Something New With Hot Pod Yoga Nottinghamshire!

A few weeks ago, I organised a Bloggers Hot Pod Yoga session with the lovely Sarah who runs the Nottinghamshire service. I have done some yoga in the past during my Ice Skating days, however I’ve never tried Hot Yoga! Being a regular watcher of Hannah Michalak, I really wanted to try it out and so myself and lovely local bloggers headed into Nottingham City centre to give it a try!

Nottinghams studio is in a lovely building and is equip with full showers and changing facilities too, something I had totally not expected! The actual yoga ‘pod’ is inflated in a huge room every day. It was so strange walking into a regular room and finding it filled to the brim with a inflatable tent-like structure! All the mats and heaters are set up inside the pod and you’re zipped in to keep all the heat inside. Inside there are 4 Dyson heaters set at a rather tropical temperature of 37 degrees celsius and there is a humidifier too (at around 70% if my memory serves me correctly!) to ensure that it’s more of a ‘wet’ heat as dry heat can be much harder to work in. There are also subtle lights and an aromatherapy machine to create the absolute perfect ambiance to find your zen and relax!

I am probably the least flexible person in the world and I also really hate being too hot so I was worried that the session would not suit me. However, Sarah was incredibly encouraging and gave multiple options that you could choose from so you knew how far to push yourself. It was also encouraged to take plenty of breaks and I regularly found myself lying on the mat taking a few moments to cool off. The hour went incredibly quickly and I felt absolutely amazing afterwards! I genuinely don’t think I have ever sweat that much in my life and it was such a cathartic feeling afterwards. The session was actually during my revision and I felt so calm and relaxed afterwards and ready to tackle the rest of the hard work that had to follow!

Sarah had teamed up with the Wholesome Juicery in Nottingham to provide us with the perfect drinks to refuel us and rehydrate us after our session. The juice felt like the perfect kick of goodness that my body needed after sweating out all the bad stuff in my body! They were absolutely delicious and I would definitely recommend checking them out if you are ever in Nottingham! The Nottingham Hot Pod Yoga studios are actually going to be selling them after their sessions so definitely give it a try!

As someone that hates any form of intense exercise, I loved the Hot Pod Yoga session. I felt amazing afterwards and I definitely plan on going again, even to just ease myself back into some exercise again! The thing I really love about the sessions is that there are multiple group discounts and payment options to make it incredibly flexible around busy lifestyles! Now that exams are over I’m going to head back to the pod to try and increase my flexibility! I am incredibly lucky as one of the pop up sessions actually happens just around the corner from my house! I really have no excuse now! Thank you so much to Sarah and the Wholesome Juicery for providing such an enjoyable experience, I can’t wait to try it again! Have you ever done Hot Yoga?

Much Love

xoxo

The Travel Diaries |Seattle April 2017

Hello! Long time no see! My exams are FINALLY done and I have officially finished my degree so back to blogging it is! I’ve got so many posts in drafts and I can’t wait to get back to it! I put a poll up on twitter to see what you wanted to see first and the majority said it was time for my Seattle Travel Diaries! I honestly cannot believe how long i’ve been back now and how much has happened since! I love writing these posts though as I kind of get to relive the whole holiday again! IMG_9007.jpg

My last post finished with us leaving San Francisco to get the plane to Seattle, a brief journey of just over an hour! When we arrived we found our hostel and dumped our bags in order to find some much needed food! We found this amazing restaurant just around the corner from our hostel called Local 360, if you ever go to Seattle definitely check it out as everything from the drinks to the food is all from nearby and as much as possible is actually from Seattle! The food was delicious and set us up for an afternoon of wandering round the waterfront.DSCF0275.JPG We got to see the famous Seattle wheel, an icon in the  scene from Grey’s Anatomy that is played nearly every episode! At the waterfront, yet again we were greeted with some gorgeous Sea Lions and beautiful views over the water. We also had a look around Pike Place Market, one of the key tourist attractions in Seattle where you can buy just about anything you can think of! DSCF0280.JPG

The market was full of beautiful blooms, homemade produce and fresh fish, caught by the local fishermen. I could have spent hours wandering around the market just taking in the gorgeous array of things. IMG_9039.jpgI can imagine that if you were local then it would be the ideal place to go shopping each week! I feel like Seattle involved a lot of eating and remarkably we had become hungry in that short space of time so we visited a local cheese shop called Beechers who made the most delicious cheese I think i’ve ever tasted! They are inundated with customers wanting to try out their Mac N Cheese which is made from their own cheese! I have got to say it was hands down the best Mac I have ever tasted! Do not miss out on this is you go to Seattle, they also do an incredible tomato soup too! DSCF0274.JPG

The next day we decided to try and take in more sights and we of course headed straight to the Space Needle! This is a iconic monument in the Seattle skyline and it was amazing to see it in person! We headed to the top (in something silly like 40 seconds) and walked out onto the observation deck to see 360 degree views of Seattle! It was beautiful! They even have a brilliant way of taking a picture for you at the top with the scenery in the background! DSCF0295.JPGWe’d bought a twin ticket which enabled us to get into Chihuly Gardens & Glass too. I had no idea what to expect with this but it was a beautiful combination of intricate, coloured glass sculptures set amongst gardens. DSCF0299.JPGThe work was absolutely incredible and we even managed to watch a glass blowing demonstration too which was fascinating! The whole city seems to love handblown glass so there are always shops with demos going on too but i’d definitely recommend a visit to Chihuly! IMG_8990.jpg

In the evening, we got to do something that I found really special. Before I was born, my mum was actually an air hostess for British Airways. She travelled all over the world but always spoke about a restaurant in Seattle that she always visited called Cutters Crabhouse. She said that if it was still there, down by the waterfront, then we should definitely go. Luckily for us it was and it was a lovely experience being able to eat a gorgeous dinner, overlooking the water with my best friend, in a restaurant that my mum has such fond memories of. It was an evening that I will always remember for great food, company and the fact I got to make my own fond memories there too!

The next day we decided to do some shopping and have a more chilled day. However, to head down to the shops we hopped on the monorail to take us there! They are such weird little trains that drive above the road. It was a really quick but enjoyable ride and I’m glad we got to try it out! We got off the monorail and hit the shops, Sephora definitely took a bit of a battering that day! I’m totally not sorry!

For our final day, we decided to have brunch to start the day off right. We headed to a popular cafe called Tilikum to enjoy some incredibly thick, but delicious pancakes! I can safely say it started the day off perfectly! IMG_9025.jpg We’d read online about the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and decided to go and check it out for ourselves. It focuses on conservation and has some native creatures from the Pacific North West that i’d never seen before! I actually got to see a huge brown bear that day and they were as stunning as i’d imagined! The park was fantastically well maintained and the beautiful array of creatures was amazing! There was even a porcupine and mountain goats!IMG_2950.JPG We spent a good few hours wandering around with the bird enclosures being some of my favourites as you could get right up close and feed them! We headed off to see the troll statue under the bridge after this as it was only a short walk away. It’s so strange to be in a little residential area and then suddenly see a huge statue of a troll holding a car! Very random but quite a funny little sight to see!IMG_9029.jpg We decided to eat at Cutters again that evening for our final goodbye meal in Seattle and to celebrate visiting another fantastic city! Washington was such a stunning state and i’d love to go and do a few more outdoor activities there in the future as I bet it’s brilliant! DSCF0285.JPG

The following day we got the Greyhound up to Vancouver to start the next leg of our journey. I had such a lovely few days in Seattle and I’m so glad I got a chance to visit! Have you been to Seattle? If so what was your favourite bit about it?

imagesMuch Love

xoxo

The Travel Diaries |San Francisco April 2017

It’s been nearly five weeks now since I got back from one of the most fantastic trips of my life. I went travelling along the west coast of America and Canada and had the absolute time of my life. I spent 16 days with my best friend and we had so much fun. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to do such a great trip and I wanted to share plenty of pictures and highlights with you today! My first stop was San Francisco, a place I’d always dreamed of visiting and experiencing the Californian lifestyle.

I arrived in San Francisco on the 6th June after an eleven hour solo flight, a huge huge challenge for me! I was absolutely shattered so headed to bed at about 9 in order to make the most out of the next day. We decided we’d head to the infamous Pier 39 first to check out the sea lions and see what was going on in the Fishermans Wharf area. This is such a lively and bustling part of the city and a definite must-see if you head to the city. DSCF0188.JPGPier 39 has been inhabited by a large group of sea lions who like to show off to the crowds that flock to see them. They are such beautiful creatures and it was hilarious to watch the dominant males fight each other off the ladies! We were really lucky when one sea lion just happened to swim right up to where we were standing! DSCF0194.JPGWe spent the rest of the day doing what my Grandad would call ‘a recce’, sussing out the surroundings and deciding what we wanted to do on each day. I tell you one thing I didn’t know about the city, how bloody hilly it is! Literally the roads are almost vertical! We staggered up a particularly steep one to get to the top of Lombard Street which is the most insanely curly road! I would LOVE to drive down it at some point!DSCF0220.JPG

Day two saw some of the most glorious weather so we headed to see the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge in the sun. It is such a work of art and look even more amazing in person than I can ever describe.DSCF0239.JPG The colour is such a vivid red and is so striking against the backdrop. It’s about a 1.5km walk across the bridge each way so we decided to walk all the way over and just sit for half an hour on the other side before heading back. We both managed to catch the sun that day and the walk across was lovely, there are plenty of points to stop and take pictures! Once we’d walked back we decided to check out China Town which was incredibly beautiful! Lanterns were strung down the middle of the street and shops sold authentic Chinese food and goods. I honestly thought we’d been transported to China! After a lovely day we headed out for some dinner at a restaurant called Puccini Pinetti for some good old Italian food and then went for cocktails afterwards at a bar called Benjamin Cooper. I’m telling you now, they were some of the strongest cocktails I have ever experienced in my life! It’s safe to say I definitely felt worse for wear the next day!!

The following day Emily had to drag me up as I felt like i’d taken a sledgehammer to the head! We plodded on in the heat to find the Cherry Blossom Festival which is a celebration of Japanese culture. It was full of stalls to wander around but I was a bit disappointed there was no actual Cherry Blossom! We carried on walking until we found the house that was in the Mrs Doubtfire movie!IMG_8886 I found it so weird that it is in fact just a house and we saw a regular family who now lived in it! I kind of hoped they would have kept it as a shrine for the movie but it really was a beautiful property! Back up the hills we went to see the painted ladies – apparently the first brightly painted row of houses in the city. They reminded me a little bit of the children’s programme Balamory but in entirely pastel hues! For the afternoon we wandered around the quirky Haight Ashbury and I did a little bit of shopping to cure my hangover whilst Emily headed to Golden Gate park. We of course needed some more sustenance in the evening so went to a beautiful restaurant called Tratto for a pick me up (sans alcohol this time!).IMG_8825

For our final day in San Fran we decided to start the day off American Style by heading to Pine Crest Diner for brunch. How I walked around for the rest of the day I don’t know as that was one huge pile of waffles and pancakes! We wanted to have a quick look around the Yerba Buena Gardens where the Martin Luther King memorial is. It’s a lovely water feature with a path around the back and quote etched into the marble walls, a really special tribute! We spent the rest of the day by the water front and basking in the sun. In the evening we decided to head to Buena Vista Cafe where apparently the first ever Irish Coffee was served in the city. The tables were actually shared so we had a lovely family sat with us who actually lived in San Francisco. IMG_8931To top off an incredible few days we headed back to the hostel in style… on a cable car of course! I think we got luck as our driver was hilarious and really added to the experience, joking with us all, singing songs and pretending that we were going at about 70 miles per hour! It was something I’d longed to do and definitely something I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.IMG_8946.jpg

Sadly that marked the end of our time in California and we went to bed to get up bright and early for our flight to Seattle, Washington. I’ll be continue the travel diaries as soon as I can with my Seattle adventure but in the mean time I really hope you enjoyed this post! Have you ever been to San Francisco? What was your favourite part if you have?love-from-san-francisco-art-by-linda-woods-linda-woods

Much Love

xoxo

A Evening With LUSH Nottingham!

Last Friday evening, I was invited to LUSH’s Nottingham store to see what new goodies they have on offer. I’m going to be honest and say that’s not a huge LUSH fan as I find the products a bit too heavily scented, however, I was intrigued to see whether I could find some bits that I really liked!

Previously, the only LUSH product I have loved was the Lover Lamp Bath Bomb and this was of course limited edition! I always seem to do this, find lovely products that aren’t always available… Damn it! I am definitely a bath girl so LUSH should really be my jam, but getting the bleach out to clean brightly coloured stains off the bath before mum explodes in anger is totally not what I want after a relaxing bath! Oh and don’t get me started on the glitter clean up! All this being said, I went in with an open mind and tried to discover some new goodies! img_2400_fotor

We were greeted by a huge team of staff who were ready to help us out on whatever station we were interested in. My ears pricked up at the word ‘spa’ and so I headed off to there first to find out more. I can honestly say I had no idea LUSH had spas around the country and the lovely girl telling me all about them asked if I would like to try a mini treatment. Hell yes to that! I got to pick a massage bar, I chose the peace bar FYI, and she let me indulge in a hand and arm massage for the next ten minutes. It was such a lovely experience and I really liked the feel of the product! Definitely easier than body lotion and it was a really subtle smell too! DSCF0392.JPG

I can’t honestly say what happened for the next hour, except that it absolutely whizzed by! I did make a stop at the skincare section and I of course ate some of the amazing Doughnuts that they’d brought us from the infamous DoughNotts! The skincare section was something I’d been aiming to visit from the start and I did try out a few goodies. The girl demo’d the Ultrabland cleanser, which seemed to work absolute wonders, so I asked if I could take home a sample to try to see if it beat some of my favourites. I tried it out that night and was sadly incredibly disappointed! Although I loved the feel of it, it left all of my eye makeup on and I had to end up triple cleansing just to get it all off! Sadly a bit of a fail for me!

Not to bring down the whole skincare section, I did decide to buy some of the Tea Tree Toner Water, on recommendation from Sophie. So far i’ve been liking it a lot, although I’m not sure whether thats just because of the amazing spritzer or not! You do get a decent amount of product for just under a fiver but I do think you could recreate it at home. When it runs out I am going to try a DIY version and see how it compares, I’ll keep you posted!

The girls let us put together an absolutely brilliant goodie bag and I feel like these are where the real winners have been for me! We were asked if we preferred baths or showers and I immediately said baths. However, out of the corner of my eye I saw that one of the shower options was The Comforter Shower Cream and I almost went mad saying I had to try it. I have smelt that stuff so many times and it’s been the one scent that really really drew me in. So that was the first product in the bag and I made a great choice. It is DIVINE! Even Tom loves the smell and it really does linger on the skin after use.DSCF0422_Fotor

The next item in the goodie bag was a choice of one of the three items from the Fathers Day range. We could pick the bath bomb, the soap or the bubble bar. Having never tried a bubble bar, I opted for that and this one is called The Modfather, aptly decorated in the form of a mod logo. These are meant to last you a couple of baths but because I don’t like too strong a scent or colour intensity, this is easily going to last me 6-7. The scent is quite orangey, which I like and with a small amount of the bar the bath goes a gorgeous turquoise blue! The bubbles are also really fluffy and last well which is nice! I may do a whole post on this, it depends if I have time as I have a billion posts in drafts just waiting for my exams to be over! DSCF0417.JPG

The final item was something from their self preserving range. This is a range that contains no chemical preservatives and is just kept with natural ingredients such as salt. There were two to choose from, a scrub or a mask but me being me, I went for the mask. It’s the Mask of Magnaminty which I have heard so much about in the past. I have only managed to use this once so far but I loved the consistency and I really liked how soft my skin felt afterwards. In typical LUSH fashion, the scent was a bit strong for me, but for the short time it’s on my face, it’s something I can get over. DSCF0421.JPG

I did manage to bag one more sneaky sample of one of their most intriguing products, the Tooth Fairy Tooth Powder. This is a bit like using activated charcoal but had a bubble gum taste to it that took a bit of getting used to! I absolutely loved using the powder though as I found the grittiness of it helped my teeth to feel cleaner and smoother. I think I will actually buy another one of these but perhaps in a more refreshing flavour. The Ultrabast one sounds more refreshing (the wasabi does put me off slightly) so perhaps I’ll try that. If you’ve tried that one let me know what you think! IMG_2957

I just want to say another huge thank you to LUSH Nottingham for having me! I had such a lovely evening and felt very welcome. I have some new goodies to review for you all and my showers have never been the same since the new bae (The Comforter obviously) has been joining me in there!

Much Love

xoxo

The Gin Festival!

On Sunday I headed off to the Gin Festival in Nottingham with my Grandad and Mum. I’d bought the ticket months ago so I couldn’t believe that it had finally arrived! The event was held at the Nottingham Conference centre, part of Nottingham Trent University in the city centre. As three avid gin lovers we were quite excited to see what was going to unfold during the afternoon and whether we would discover a new favourite!

The event started at 12.30pm and we were greeted with a gin glass (something I was very excited about) and what I assumed was a brochure. Little did I know that it was actually something I am now naming ‘The Gin Bible’, full of hundred of different gins, what mixer to pair them with and how to garnish them. It is honestly incredible and I am going to be ploughing my way through that little book from now on! The tickets to the event were £9 each and I’m not going to lie, I thought you might get one drink included with that but alas, that was not to be the case!

Once inside you bought tokens for £5 each which got you a gin of your choice (single shot) from the extensive bible and it’s appropriate mixer and garnish. There were 4 bars to choose from, two british gin bars, one international gin bar and one flavoured and sloe gin bar. We decided we would each pick a different gin from each bar so that by the end of the event we would have tried 12 different gins and their mixers. My grandad and I also wandered into the Mason’s masterclass to hear all about their offerings too so we got to try some of the original Masons gin too, made just up the road from my grandparents in Harrogate! I have to say that the Mason’s gin was hands down my favourite gin for a regular gin and tonic, it was so smooth and like nothing I had ever tried before, it was a total winner for me!

There was plenty going on throughout the day including more masterclasses, live music, cocktail making and of course, lots of gin drinking! I didn’t think the price of £5 per drink was too bad but the £10 a cocktail sadly put me off, that is really quite pricey in my eyes! They also had a lovely little ‘off license’ where you could buy cute merchandise and even bottles of your favourite gin on the day.

We had such a fab time and I wanted to write a little post just in case the gin festival is visiting a town near you soon as it is an annual event and actually tours around the UK! It is well worth a visit if you like gin and makes a great afternoon or evening out with friends and family! I am 100% going to try and go again next year and perhaps start making it a little family tradition! Have you been to the gin festival before? What gin would you recommend that I try?

Much Love

xoxo