Friday, 30 March 2018

Agua Spa at the Sanderson Hotel

Agua Spa
If you want to get away from the world, relax and recharge your batteries the Sanderson Hotel London has to be experienced. 

For those of you who have been following for a while, you will know we love the Sanderson Hotel especially their Mad Hatter's afternoon tea. If you haven't been I definitely recommend it. 
Afternoon tea
Since having Noah (over two years ago) me and the other half haven't had a date night, so we decided to have a date day instead. So on a recent day off we decided that a visit to the Agua Spa at the Sanderson hotel was very much needed. 

To get to the spa, you are transported via a lift decorated with images of space and stars imprinted on the walls. 
Sanderson Hotel
On entering the spa, you instantly relax with softly spoken staff, candles, floor to ceiling drapes which all add to a dream like and serene ambience. 
Agua Spa Sanderson Hotel
Agua Spa Sanderson Hotel
The friendly staff show us to the beautifully designed changing area with large mirrors and beauty desks. 
Agua spa Sanderson Hotel
I started with a relaxing sit in the female only steam room to clear the airways, followed by a nice shower.

Hidden away amongst the drapes, the spa offers private areas containing pods to melt into and relax. The pods which are small armchair beds, for me offered the best relaxation where you could snuggle up under a Goose feather duvet for hours. They were so comfortable, I thought I was in heaven.
Agua Spa Sanderson Hotel
Whilst in the pods you can enjoy a yummy smoothie of blackberry, strawberry and raspberry or choose something else from the food and drink menu.
Agua Spa Sanderson Hotel
The spa offers a range of massages, body treatments, manicures and pedicures. We opted for a couples soothing Swedish massage. Matt who did mine definitely has to be one of the best masseuses I have experienced. His fingers worked like magic to unwind and remove the knots from a tightly coiled back. 
Agua Spa Sanderson Hotel
I seriously felt like a new woman after my massage,  it helped to relieve my stress and I definitely felt re-energised. The benefits lasted for a good week afterwards.   

So all in all a wonderful day. If your looking for a spa  to unwind from the busyness of modern life, the Sanderson spa and hotel offers the perfect place to relax. 

www.morganshotelgroup.com

Do you have any other spa recommendations for us? Share them in the comments below.

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Monday, 19 March 2018

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens
What on earth is up with the weather? At this moment London is absolutely freezing, I personally will be so glad when the weather starts to warm up. 

So to cheer us all up I thought I would share a recent visit we made to Kew Gardens, when the weather was much nicer. 

You know your getting older when you get excited by the prospect of visiting a garden for a day out. The Royal Botanic gardens, Kew might just be the exception; thirty minutes outside of London in Richmond it has something for all ages. 
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew is set in 300 acres of stunning grounds and houses the largest botanical gardens in the world. In this post I will share with you my highlights:

1. Palm House: A Victorian Glasshouse with a rainforest climate that houses spectacular canopy palms. 
Kew Gardens
2. Welcome to the tropics, the Prince of Wales Conservatory houses beautiful orchids, an amazing cactus collection and ferns.
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens

3. The Hive is a new installation created by artist Wolfgang Buttress, as a celebration to the importance of honeybees. At least one third of our global crops are dependent on honeybees as pollinators. 
Kew Gardens
At 17 metres high the Hive is a vast honey bee hive. A thousand lights flicker in time to the vibrations of the bees and sounds linked to a real hive in Kew Gardens, its a sight to behold. 
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Noah was absolutely memorised by the sounds, glass flooring and lights. 
 
4. Walk tall amongst the trees, set 18 metres off the woodland floor the TreeTop walkway is a great way to get a top down view over Kew. 
Kew Gardens
If your eagled eyed you might even spot some beautiful birds high in the canopies. 
Kew Gardens
So when the weather warms up in a few weeks, head over to Kew Gardens for a great day out. Make sure you leave enough time for tea and scones at the cafe though.
Kew Gardens
Opening times:
Open daily at 10am 

Ticket Prices:
Online ticket prices (until 31 October 2018)
Adults £17.75* / £16
Children (4–16) £4
Children under 4 free
Concessions £15.50* / £14
* Includes a voluntary donation

www.kew.org

What's your favourite garden or day out? Share in the comments below...

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Monday, 26 February 2018

The realities of early parenthood

Parenting Tips
When you first have a baby you are absolutely overwhelmed; the emotion of having a little person that is solely dependent on you and the physical act of looking after a baby, is both physically and emotionally taxing.You are constantly balancing everything. 
Parenting tips
It takes a good few months for your life to have any resemblance of an equilibrium. Well to be honest it took us a whole year and even now I'm not sure we've mastered it. Life is fundamentally different and whilst I wouldn't change it for all the world, it can be hard being a parent. If you are expecting a baby or have just had a baby, make sure you check out my tips for the first six weeks here

So what have I learnt being a parent?


1.A baby makes you appreciate time, I have become more than ever aware of how precious life is. Don't wish it all away as you will unbelievably want it all back again: the sick, the poop and the sleepless nights. 

2.So much happens from the moment a baby is born that you find yourself recording their every moment and developmental success. Time to increase your cloud storage. 
Parenting Tips
3.Parenthood is a full time job. There are no rest days, so take any help where it is offered. Making time for yourself it's important, it will keep you sane and also make you feel like your old self. 

4.Even when your not with your baby, you will be thinking about them. Your child will fill your every waking hour. 


5. Parent guilt is real, you will always feel like you are not doing a good enough job and should be doing something elseYou will analyse, criticise and feel like everyone else is doing a better job than you. Stop fretting! 

6.Babies constantly change; as soon as you have mastered one stage, they change and you find yourself having to master another. Anyone who pretends they have it mastered hasn’t really. 

7.You need a routine. A routine means a life, find what works for you and stick to it. Absolutely don't deviate from the routine. 

Parenting Tips
8.Everyone will offer you advice: breastfeeding, cosleeping, cry it out method, discipline, potty training. Just because they offer it doesn’t mean you have to take it. Just smile sweetly and say thank you. Do what works for you. 

9.Leave all your ideals behind, you will do all the things that you think you wont. You will let your child watch TV for just ten minutes of peace and give in to your child whims just so they don't cause a scene.  

10.Anyone who has a child over three take their advice with caution, they have long since forgotten what it's like to have a small baby.

11.
Just because life feels like it's running at super speed doesn’t mean you have too, there is something about enjoying the moment. The washing can wait!

12.Going to the toilet on your own is no longer a one person pursuit. Surprisingly you will be OK with this. 

13.Eating a meal warm is a thing of the past. Accept it and move on. 

14.Coffee and cake will be your new best friends. 
Parenting Tips
15.Supermarkets hold a new found appeal that they didn't previously.  

16.Stop Googling about your child, nothing good can come of your search. If you want information or are worried about something, ask the health visitor or GP.

17.You will do absolutely anything to make your child smile even if you look like a crazy person. 

18.You will love your child more that you have ever loved anything in your whole life and they will be by far the best thing you have ever achieved. That is until they reach their teenage years. 

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Monday, 29 January 2018

Give your nails some TLC

How to strengthen weak nails
I’ve never really looked after my nails. For the first seventeen years of my life, I was an avid nail-biter. I was that person who when I got nervous or anxious would be found nibbling my nails. 

I was incredibly ashamed of my half chewed nails, mostly because of the reaction and constant telling off that friends and family gave me. 

I used to look at people with their beautifully manicured nails and feel a pang of disappointment. Part of me wondered if I would ever have nice enough nails, that I could wear nail varnish. 


The good news is somehow I managed to stop and  you would never know now that I was ever a nail-biter. I managed to strengthen my nails using the following tips.

How to strengthen weak nails:

1. Be kind to your hands as we put our hands through a lot. Regular washing, using cleaning products without gloves and doing outside activities can all dry our hands and nails out. Use a moisturising hand cream regularly. I love applying a good coating at night.
2.Regularly cut your nails to strengthen them up. 
Keep them short until they gain strength they are also easier to manage. If you have just started growing your nails an oval shape works best. Less temptation to bite them.
3.Have a emery board and nail cutters in your bag so that if you get a broken nail your not tempted to bite it off. When filing your nails use one sweeping motion don't go back and forth as this weakens your nails.  
4.Use a base coat and top coat when painting your nails so as to protect your nail. 
5.Don’t forget to look after your cuticles: Don't cut your cuticles, either push them down or use a cuticle remover instead. For the best result soften your cuticles with cuticle oil. 


Nail Varnishes I'm loving:
For Christmas I was treated to some new Nails inc. nail varnishes: Wishes & Kisses Nail Polish gift set. It's currently reduced on the Nails Inc website to £14.50.
Nail varnish
The first thing to say is that the packaging for this gift set is so pretty. The pack contains four full size nail varnishes (14ml), which is brilliant value given that one nail varnish costs £15. It offers a really lovely mix of colours perfect for both day time and adding some sparkle to a night out. 
Nail Varnish
Status Ready: I'm a creature of routine and if there is a go to nail varnish colour for me it would have to be red. 
Nail Varnish
I love having a pedicure and manicure before a holiday and red is most definitely the colour of choice. Status Ready is a striking and vibrant red with a lovely glossy finish. 

Applying a base coat, the nail varnish requires two coats to get an even finish. After a week of wear I was surprised at how well it lasted.  I will most definitely be picking up another one of these when it runs out. 
Life Hack:Now if I had seen this colour in a shop I have to be honest it wouldn't have been a colour of choice. But that's the wonderful thing about gift sets it forces you to try new things. 
Nails Inc
Life Hack is a perky peach and perfect for summer, and a lovely change to my go to red. 
Nail Varnish
Glow on & Get It: Again this is not a colour I would have picked up but I love it. 
Nail Varnish
The nail-varnish has a chrome and pearl tone to it almost reminiscent of petrol marbling.    
Nail Varnish
One thing to note it did require an additional coat (three) to get a consistent colour.

Belsize Road: Everyone needs a bit of sparkle in their lives.
Nail Varnish
This beauty is a perfect addition to top off the nail-varnishes, helping to add some sparkle or perfect on its own. 

Stuck for time or fancy a treat, Nails inc also have nail bars throughout the UK who can do manicures and pedicures.

What's your favourite nail tip or nail polish? Share in the comments below. 

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Friday, 19 January 2018

De Mamiel

De Mamiel
I haven’t really tried any new beauty products in a while, partly as I’ve been trying to finish up products that I had squirrelled away. I’ve done really well in using up loads of older products, so I treated myself to something new.

The de Mamiel collection is made by Annee and to be honest without knowing it when purchasing, it’s a product and company close to my heart. 


The products were created when Annee was going through chemo and radiotherapy. Annee built de Mamiel out of a personal need to create a product that was moisturising, nourishing and perfect for sensitive skin at the same time. 

De Mamiel do loads of great products, but the Long Weekender (£80) set seemed the perfect way to try out the brand and experience the best of their products. 

De Mamiel
I travel regularly and beauty products can take up loads of room and to be honest lots of my favourites just get left behind due to not having enough space.The weekender also has the perfect travel sized products that I can grab and run with, ideal for hand luggage.
De Mamiel
The products come in a lovely makeup bag which you can have personalised. Sadly I missed this entirely when buying. 

De Mamiel
On the purchase you just have to note what you want embroidered in the comments section. Perfect as a present for someone or a special occasion.

So what do you get?

Until I started using cleansing balms I used to think they were massively over hyped. But having seen great improvements in my skins appearance, I’m pleased to admit I was wrong. It’s the easy and lazy way of doing skin care. 

Taking a pea sized amount of this little beauty, massage between palms and apply to face. You then take it off with the lovely soft cleansing cloth included.
Organic skincare

Organic Skincare
It smells divine of rose, geranium and lemon some of my favourite scents. If you can imagine the most luxurious spa, with low set lighting, burning candles and the gentle aroma of oil, this is that feeling in a jar. 

I love that it removes dead skin and the texture of my skin after applying feels really clean, smooth and wonderfully moisturised. I will definitely be repurchasing this even though it's expensive as a full sized product. Given the size of the jar and the amount you use each time, it would last for ages. 

The Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar SPF30 5ml:
I have incredibly dry skin, mixed with this I burn easily, so I like to use a moisturiser that has sun protection built in. The Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar SPF30 is perfect for me, not only is it moisturising but also has a built in SPF. 

Skincare
The product does say that it has anti pollution properties and whilst I wouldn't buy it for this reason, living in London it is a great addition. The oil does have some skin coverage but it is not equivalent to using foundation, which for me is a big plus. I've been using it for a while and haven't even made a dent in it; the product just keeps going, great value for money. 

Organic Skincare
This product has some amazing ingredients, rapeseed, ylang ylang, Beaumont, wild rose, jasmine, lavender and frankincense. But for me it probably was the most underwhelming of the four products. It definitely gave my skin a moisturiser boost but I'm not sure I noticed enough difference that I would repurchase again at the larger size. 

Organic skincare
This beauty is best used straight out of the bath or shower. A little goes an incredibly long way. It has a small amount of shimmer and definitely perks up the appearance of my skin. I did notice a reduction in my Keratosis Pilaris, the small bumps you can get at the tops of your arms. Which appears to be due to the plant oils that the product contains: argan, nut oil, sandal wood and prickly pear which are naturally high in vitamin e and antioxidants. 

Again the product smells divine with lemon and orange scents. 

Overall a great new brand that uses high quality ingredients and I've definitely found some new favourites that I will be repurchasing at the larger size, once I've saved some pennies up.

Have you tried any new skincare products recently that you would recommend?





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Monday, 8 January 2018

Arundel by candlelight

Arundel
First things first, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all a very Happy New Year. We had a lovely Christmas, for the first time Noah really grasped the concept of Christmas and the idea of Santa Claus.

We’ve had some wonderful firsts this Christmas; the excitement of a tree, unwrapping presents (Noah certainly enjoyed unwrapping his and everyone else's for that matter) and his first Christmas lunch. Like a true foodie he polished it off.

Arundel
I’m currently wrapped up like a woolly mammoth as the temperatures in London have plummeted; it’s bloody freezing and we’re having a deluge of rain.

I’m not quite ready to acknowledge January, I'm in denial. So I thought I would do a flash back and share with you our visit to the Arundel by Candlelight festival. 

Every December the historic town of Arundel in South England holds a candlelight festival. 

Arundel
Set against what Arundel is most famous for its picturesque castle, which looks like a scene from Hogwarts. 
Arundel
Mary, Joseph, a choir of angels, an adornment of animals (including the prised turkey) and the three kings gather. They are here to kick the festivities off and sing all the famous carols.
Arundel
Arundel
Houses are adorned with beautiful Christmas trees, with white lights and traditional wreaths.
Arundel
Shops become all festive, wowing me with their Instagram beauty. 
Arundel
Arundel
Arundel
Choirs, musicians and brass bands add a beautiful backing track to the festivities as you wander round the Christmas markets and the children have a few cheeky goes on the funfair. 
Arundel
Arundel

Arundel

I can recommend a yummy hot chocolate and Noah had fun racing in an old fashion car. 
Arundel
Arundel
The town has a wonderful array of traditional pubs, restaurants and antique shops. Shopping and food for me is a marriage made in heaven. 

So The Loft at Sparks Yard in Arundel has to be my perfect place; a lovely restaurant with beautiful views above a shop adorned with gifts and cooking goods.
Places to eat Arundel
Places to eat Arundel
Noah gave it a big thumbs up, as did we. 
The Loft Arundel
We finished our day visiting the Arundel Brewery and getting some supplies for Christmas. 
Arundel Brewery
Arundel Brewery

Overall a wonderful day out and one I really recommend. We are looking forward to going back in the Summer months, when it is slightly warmer to look round the castle and taste more of the delights Arundel has to offer. 

What did you do to get in the Christmas spirit? 
Have you set any New Year resolutions or are you giving them a miss? Share in the comments below. 

www.arundel.org.uk

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