Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Flower Bomb - Viktor and Rolf

I enjoy wearing perfumes and am a great believer that different smells can change your mood and the way you feel. 

When I find a perfume I like, I generally stick with it. My preferred perfume tones are those with a citrus or flowery huge. 

You already know that I love Jo Malone, their Lime Basil and Mandarin perfume being my absolute favourite. But a girl needs an everyday perfume, and my perfume of choice has to be Stella McCartney (Stella and Lily to be exact) both are lovely perfumes that use flowers to create their wonder aroma. 

Lily has a fresh, lily of the valley smell and Stella uses roses, peony and mandarin essences. In Winter both perfumes remind me that Spring is not too far away. 
Lily Stella McCartney

The packaging for both perfumes and the design of the Stella perfume bottles are beautiful. You can tell that an iconic fashion designer had a hand in creating them. 

Lily however has a bit of a fault in which you can never get about 5mls of the perfume out of the end of the bottle. This has happened with every bottle I have had. It drives me up the wall. But the smell I love too much to give it up.  

Lily Stella McCartney

I have gone through bottles and bottles of both perfumes and still very much love the way they make me feel when I have them on.  

But every girl needs a change, and when I smelt Flower Bomb by Viktor and Rolf, lets just say it was an instant match made in heaven. 

Flower Bomb

The smell well if you could bottle happiness it would smell like this. 

Flower Bomb

It has some of my favourite flowers in it freesia, rose and orchid. The smell of orange bergamot is wonderful. The bottle make me chuckle each time I pick it up. Why? Well it smells really feminine but the bottle looks like a grenade. Someone I think had their tongue-in-cheek when designing it. 

Flower Bomb

What are your favourite perfumes? 



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Friday, 24 January 2014

Jo Malone - London

Happy Friday everyone. Hope you've had a good week and have some nice weekend plans. 

I am currently full of a cold so this weekend will be about wrapping up warm and relaxing. Currently have a nose that Rudolf would be proud off. 

Jo Malone

To say I love Jo Malone products would be an understatement. I absolutely love them, they are my guilty pleasure. For any poor person that has the misfortune of being in their London store (Sloane Street, Covent Garden or Brook Streetat the same time as me, I look like a child for whom all their Christmases have come at one. 

Now I'm serious. If you haven't been inside one of their stores, I should start by saying how impeccably they are designed. The black and cream Jo Malone icon design runs throughout their stores.

When I go to any of their stores I wander around smelling everything from their cologne, bath lotions, room fragrances to candles. They all smell so wonderful with citrus, fruity and floral undertones. 

Jo Malone was established in 1994 by no other than Jo herself. Jo Malone has a solid history in beauty originally being a facial therapist, it is this knowledge I think that sets them apart from other brands.  

But all good things have to come to an end and when Jo left in 2006 as Creative Director I must admit that I was worried that the dream would be shattered. I shouldn't have worried I love the brand as much now as I did then. 

I thought I would share some of my favourites. A girl can never have to many candles. Jo Malone candles smell divine and picking a favourite is a real challenge.  

Jo Malone

For me personally I like a candle with a wonderful smell that when burnt a few times doesn't bore me and for this reason my absolute favourite and I mean favourite candle is: Lime Basil and Mandarin  the smell of the lime is good enough to eat and the mandarin reminds me of holidays to Italy. The smell hangs in the air long after the candle has been extinguished. 

So when I got Pomegranate Noir  as a present I was excited to try it. 

                                Jo Malone candles

Sadly I wasn't really that impressed, the smell just wasn't present. I love their pomegranate cologne so thought the smell of the candle would be similar and perfect for winter. 

Jo Malone is known for its wonderful fragrance but this smelled really of very little when burning and certainly not reminiscent of pomegranate. To be honest I think they may have even left the oils out of this one altogether. 

You might have guessed by my top candle pick that I love lime basil and mandarin. I use Jo Malone body lotions always when getting out of the bath. The lime is lovely it softens my skin and the best bit the smell lasts for ages. Generally when wearing this beauty I miss out on perfume or cologne, you just don't need it.  

Jo Malone body lotion

Jo Malone have wonderful British bespoke fragrances, unlike the above candle their pomegranate cologne has wonderful woody, spicy undertones. Perfect for winter and wearing it I have had loads of complements from people. Fancy trying their colognes for yourself visit any of their stores, they have them all out for you to happily sample. 

My top tip is visit, dab on, continue shopping till it dies down and assess if you still like it. If you do go back and purchase it. Cologne is really personal and what smells divine on one person can smell very differently on another.

Jo Malone cologne

Jo Malone has a wonderful talent of making fine and loved fragrances. Jo's recent venture is Jo Loves boutique, I am looking forward and excited to try out some of theor beautiful bath products. Watch this space.






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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Truffle Hunter

The United Kingdom over the last couple of months has had an absolute battering with storms and floods. If you live in the UK like myself you are probably well and truly fed up with the rain and wet weather. 

But there is something that thrives in the damp autumnal weather here in Britain. What I hear you ask?

Truffles absolutely love the British damp climate, their season being between October - January. I have often enjoyed black truffle delicately added to wonderfully cooked meals in restaurants. 

Using truffle at home has always been something that has slightly frightened me as a cook. No let me correct that has terrified me, why mainly because of the cost and the real potential of ruining such an expensive ingredient. 

Truffle Hunter

When I stumbled across Truffle Hunter and their Truffle oils I have to say I thought what a brilliant alternative and was really excited to give it a go. Baby steps after all. 

Their truffle oil comes in two varieties Black Truffle oil (Tuber Melanosporum) super concentrated 100mls £10.85. 

Black Truffle Oil

The oil has a generous addition of real black truffle, so far I have used my oil to create a porcini mushroom sauce for pasta and scallops with spring onion and truffle oil. Both meals were absolutely delicious. The oil has a deep, earthy taste of strong mushroom. I am looking forward to seeing what else I can create with it. Any suggestions?

I have also purchased a bottle of White Truffle Oil (Tuber Magnatum) super concentrated 100mls £10.95 but haven't yet given this a go. When I do I will share some of the creations I make. 

White Truffle Oil

Tempted to have a go at some of your own creations? Check out Truffle Hunters Truffle oil recipes. You really can make some wonderfully delicious meals with these beauties and the best bit they don't cost the earth. Pardon the pun. 

Fancy having a go at cooking with your own truffle oil check out the sites below. 

The Truffle Hunter  @TruffleHunterUK
The Truffle and Mushroom Hunter  
The English Truffle Company 

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Saturday, 18 January 2014

Lush handmade cosmetics

Happy Saturday everyone. I hope that you're all having a great weekend. What have you been up too?

I love weekends, mainly because I can have a lovely long soak in the bath. A bath that is all about relaxation and finding my inner peace. 

My favourite products for the perfect bath are Lush (Twilight bath bomb and the comforter), ILA (Bath Salts for inner peace), Elemis (Aching Muscle Super soak) and Abahna (Frangipani & Orange Blossom Bath Foam). I love to alternate between products based on my mood. 

Ila Bath salts Abahna

This morning when the post came and I was greeted with a wonderful big box and a lovely sweet smell I instantly knew what it was.

I love Lush, they have beautiful fresh handmade cosmetics and the best bit of all they are ethical. 

As part of the January sales I decided that it was time to try some alternative lush products. I love the Twilight bath bomb which is slow to melt, smells divine with lavender and Ylang Ylang oil, and does the job of relaxing me for a good nights sleep.   

My January haul products were all half price meaning double the amount of baths for a fraction of the cost. 

I have seen many bloggers talking about the Christmas penguin and whilst Christmas is over I wanted to give him a good home. 

The Christmas eve bubble bar I hope will be as nice as the comforter, which I normally cut in quarters so I get four baths out of each one. 

The comforter gives wonderful bubbles that last for the entire bath which is better than bubble bath in my experience. 

Lush Bath Bombs

My main purchases were the shoot for the stars ballistic bath bombs the colours are lovely and vibrant. I am not sure they will rival or compare to Twilight but willing to given them a go. 

Shoot for the stars bath bomb

Daisy had taken a strong penchant to them so I might have a fight on my hands to wrestle them away for bath time. 

What are your favourite Lush products? Share in the comments below. 

Wishing you all a lovely weekend x



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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Liz Earl - beauty classics

My mother has always told me look after your skin and it will look after you. The wisdom of these words in my teenage years was well and truly lost, but as I get older how wise she is.

I very rarely drink enough water, nor do I have the recommended eight hours sleep. As a consequence I have bags under my eyes that resemble black holes that Stephen Hawkings would be proud of. As I am allergic to the sun my skin is also rather dry.

But I have found that nature has a little helping hand at the ready in the disguise of Liz Earl beauty classics.

Beauty must-haves:

1. Cleanse & Polish - Hot Cloth Cleanser 
100ml £14.75

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

This product has over 90 prestigious beauty awards and it didn't get them for nothing. With gentle cleansing power of eucalyptus, rosemary, chamomile and cocoa butter it is wonderful at removing dead skin and bringing my skin back to its radiance. 

Tip run a warm bath add bubble bath of choice, massage cleanser on face, rinse muslin cloth under warm water place over face and relax. They suggest removing straight away but I prefer to leave mine on for 10 minutes and then it's ready to come off, run the cloth under warm tap and gentle rub off. 

Liz Earle Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash

After a hard day at work I love nothing more than relaxing in a lovely warm bath and washing with this beauty. It revives the most weary of souls with coconut vitamin E and orange flower water. It smells so good I could eat it. 

3. Instant Boost Skin Tonic 200ml £13.25 

The one below is from the Essential Try - Me Kit £23, so 50ml perfect for travelling.

Liz Earle Skin Tonic
Using cotton wall pour the tonic and sweep over face. Smells divine with rose sented geranium. The aloe Vera and vitamin E is really soothing. 

4. Skin Repair Moisturiser 15ml Tube £7.50

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser

To finish of my facial care regim I use the repair moisturiser it is a must. You put conditioner in your hair, right but what about your face? This is a skin conditioner of avocado oils, echinacea, beta-carotene and Vitamin E. I have really dry skin and since using this my face and skin feels soft and moisturised. 

5. Nourishing Botanical Body Cream 50ml tube £6.75

Liz Earle Body Cream

You have done your face now bring your body back to life. This moisturising cream is great for arms, elbows, legs and knees with shea butter, advocado, echinacea and beta-carotene. The smell of rosemary, orange and rose is divine. 

If you haven't tried Liz Earle products I cannot recommend them enough. Fuss-free, easy to use and based on natures beauty secrets. If you only get one product I would highly recommend Cleanse and Polish - Hot Cloth Cleanser. 

Liz Earle Hot cloth Cleanser

Check them out for yourself 

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Friday, 10 January 2014

Eve Lom - Kiss mix lip balm

The packaging for the Eve Lom Kiss Mix star is lovely. 

In winter I don't know about you but my lips get very dry. If not given some TLC they crack and become very sore. 

I have tried lots of lip balms, but my absolute firm favourites are the Blistex Relief Cream, Burt's Bees and Garnier Ambre Solaire Nourishing Lip Protection Stick. 

I was looking forward to trying Kiss Mix, to see if it could be a new firm favourite. 

The first thing that I notice on using it is the wonderful minty smell it reminds me in this respect to Blistex relief cream. The balm is easy to put on, I am pleased that it has more of a Vaseline texture rather than a waxy consistency. 

As someone who is allergic to sunlight the Zinc Oxide doesn't only calm my lips but also has a natural sunscreen which is brilliant. This would only be suitable protection for me in Winter, Summer I would need a higher sun protection factor (spf). 

It softens my lips and has a nice glossy sheen so adding on top of lipstick is lovely before a night out. It gives a nude glossy look. It can also be added as a base before you put lipstick on to give your lips a good moisturise and shine. 

I would use the Kiss Mix as part of my make up routine as a gloss rather than a lip balm. It is the perfect size for my handbag and leaves a lovely natural shine to my lips. 

I personally wouldn't use this as an everyday lip balm first because of how much it costs and in my mind there are better cheaper alternatives. Secondly I also found with continuous use it began to dry my lips. I am also not sure how hygienic it is to continuously dip your finger in the same pot. 

With over twenty five years expertise in the skincare business I am excited to try some of the other Eve Lom products. I have been using their Age Defying Smoothing Treatment for a while now and these little capsules are like liquid gold. My skin after using is so soft and what I like is there is no shineiness or greasiness.
The moisturiser with 15 spf is next on the wish list which could be a nice alternative to having to additional use sunscreen in Winter.  

Kiss mix can be purchased in loads of different place but buying direct is easy.


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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Crystal Palace Market - British Restaurant

When you think of Crystal Palace you could be forgiven for thinking about the football team rather than its gastronomic exploits. 

Crystal Palace however is a foodies haven where there are lots of great restaurants to choose from. 

The newly opened Crystal Palace Market Place could be a great addition to the high street

The unassuming restaurant which opened its doors in May 2013 has been a mainstay for locals ever since. The concept is simple fresh, flavoursome food sourced locally and in season. Just how Foodie Force likes it.  

As a foodie I was keen to check out The Crystal Palace Market to see if the food was as wonderful and as reliable as Crystal Palace favourites, JoannaThe Exhibition rooms and Yak and Yeti

We begin our meal with some cocktails, a French Martini (Chase vodka shaken with Chambord black raspberry Liqueur, lime juice, and raspberry puree £7.50). Both cocktails have just the right amount of alcohol, raspberry and tartness of lime, delicious. They were however a little on the small side.  

As the restaurant is known for its steak and fish, the choosing of my main meal was easy I plump for the Scottish T-Bone Steak 24.50), french fries (£3) and salad (£2.70)

Yes, yes I know what you are all thinking, its bloody huge. Well if ever there was a definition of a carnivore it would be my picture you would see in the dictionary. Sorry to the vegetarians amongst you. 

My steak was cooked to perfection (medium/rare) was tender and very full of flavour. Is it the best steak I have ever had in my life, no but for a local restaurant it rates high.

The vinaigrette on the salad was lovely and even though I was completely full I enjoyed chomping away on it.

Grilled corn on the cob (£3) straight off the BBQ can never be beat. These were really sweet. 

Overall an enjoyable meal with friendly and efficient staff. I will definitely be back to sample the fish on offer. 

Fancy checking out the menu

Square Meal The Crystal Palace Market on Urbanspoon

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Friday, 3 January 2014

No5 Chanel Paris - Intense Bath Oil

Given the choice I will always opt for a nice warm bath over a shower any day. I don't often have the time however to have a nice relaxing bath, but when I do I like to go all out with nice candles and bath products. 

I have had a few bath oils in the past. Molton Brown Davana Blossom Foaming Bath Oil was lovely because you got the benefits of an oil and bubbles in one but sadly they stopped making it. 

My absolute favourite however is Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin bath oil so delicious you could eat it. The joy of bath oil is that you need very little and it lasts for ages. It nourishes your skin and Jo Malone makes you smell like a fruit grove in Servile beautiful. Jo Malone do such wonderful products and following the bath oil I always follow up with the Lime, Basil & Madarin body lotion which is also divine. 

There has been lots and lots of hype about the iconic No5 Chanel - Intense Bath Oil much of it to be honest passed me by. In my mind if a product is good it sells itself. 

No5 holds fond memories for me. I remember well growing up with No5 perfume being a firm favourite of my mum and aunt. It still is for that matter.

So when I got a bottle of No5 Chanel - Intense Bath Oil as a present and as a lover of baths I was really excited to try it out.


The packaging and bottle is true to the tradition of No5 Chanel. It is iconic and beautiful.



The glass bottle is lovely looking and looks fantastic on the bathroom shelf.

As with any bath oil it is important to gently shake the bottle to mix the oil up. I strongly suggest doing this with dry hands. 


Only a few drops of the pink oil is needed, pour under warm water and a cloudy sweet flowery aroma is released. It does smell true to its Chanel No5 roots and is wonderfully calming and nice to relax in. If you are looking for bubbles then this product isn't for you.

I found my skin was lovely and moisturised after using this oil. My skin smelled beautiful and the additional bonus was there is no need for perfume. 

In summary this is a lovely pampering bath oil that whilst at £65 I would't use everyday I will happily add this beauty to my bathing ritual it is a lovely luxury bath oil.



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