Eveningwear Ideas from BHS Bridal Department

Friday, 20 February 2015

Unless you're actually looking for wedding stuff, you'd probably never think to look in BHS's wedding department. I have to admit whenever I'm in BHS I make a bee line for their lighting section (I'm obsessed with their chandeliers!) but I recently had a really good look through their bridal stuff, and was surprised at just how many lovely pieces they have that you could wear without a wedding in sight. Shoes, bags and jewellery pieces are usually pretty versatile anyway so it makes sense, but with these being designed for weddings the quality is absolutely stunning and much better than anything you'd find on the highstreet. So if you have an event coming up or are just after some high quality pieces for your evening wardrobe, head on down to BHS and take a look at their wedding accessories!

Lets just take a minute to appreciate the golden sparkly goodness... These are the most beautiful shoes I've seen in a long time, they're quite frankly magical to look at! Not only are they pretty but the quality is just exceptional too, they're made of a gorgeous sturdy sequin fabric and catch the light when you walk. Another thing I love about these is the height of the heel, it looks quite low from the angle of the picture but it's actually a good size while still being comfortable to wear. I'm not a fan of massively high shoes and can rarely last the night in heels that are too high, but these are perfect and you could easily get a couple of hours on the dancefloor before your feet started to ache. These are on the site as bridesmaids shoes but they'd be ideal for any kind of evening special occasion or night out. In fact there's not an LBD in the world these wouldn't look good with in my opinion, and as an avid black dress fan I'll certainly be getting my use from them!

These would of course be perfect for bridesmaids (or brides wanting to wear flats on their wedding day) but with them being ballerina style pumps they're so versatile. You could dress them up or down pretty much any way you want, they'd look good with a wedding or bridesmaid gown but would equally be cute with a pair of jeans and a jacket. They have memory foam soles so are really comfy, much kinder on the feet if you're having to do a lot of standing or walking. As with the heels these are incredibly sturdy, a world of difference to the flimsy ballet pumps I've had in the past.

I've been in need of a dressy clutch bag for a while, whenever an event crops up I constantly find myself lugging my huge handbag along where I don't have anything smaller. Again this would be gorgeous for brides or bridesmaids but just as nice for wedding guests, parties, nights out or any kind of evening event when you need something a bit more elegant (and less like your bulky daytime handbag!) The simple design looks really classy, and with the other two items it has such a luxe and quality feel to it.  I like that this has a little chain you you can wear it over your shoulder, or tuck it in and hold it as a standard clutch

Have you ever checked out BHS bridal department?

Five Handy Beauty Products You Need in Your Stash

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Strangely it's some of my most used products that get the least amount of time in the spotlight when it comes to blogging. Maybe it's because when you use something all the time (and it becomes so ingrained into your routine) it's not until you run out or are stuck without it that you realise just how important it is. We all love a beautifully packed high end lipstick, but it's the more modest staples that we probably couldn't live without when it comes down to it. I thought I'd pay homage to some of my handy little staples, and show you five beauty products that I think everyone would benefit from having in their stash!

Micellar Water
I like: Nivea Sensitive Micellar Water: £4.09 from Superdrug
 Micellar water got a lot of hype the summer before last, everyone was raving about Bioderma and revelling in the fact that highstreet brands were bringing out affordable and easy to find alternatives. I've probably bought a hundred bottles since then, and I'm not sure which point it went from 'wow this is incredible' to completely taking it forgranted but I wanted to stop and show a bit of love for this amazing little product. Thanks to this there's no more messing around with greasy makeup removers every night or having to resort to face wipes, a few drops on a cotton pad and even waterproof mascara and lip stains don't stand a chance. It really is one of the best things to come out of the beauty world in the last few years in my opinion, and on the odd occasion I run out before I'm able to repurchase I realise just how much I rely on the stuff. If you wear makeup it's just an absolute essential.

Fake Tan Remover
We've all been there- dreaded fake tan hands. I don't know how I can still make this mistake after years of using fake tans, but every now and again (usually if I can't find my tanning mitt) I decide to dice with death and commit one of the worst beauty sins and apply it with bare hands. In my mind I think I'll quickly apply it, run to the bathroom and scrub my hands before they can stain. Turns out I'm rarely quick enough, and have to spend the following day with my hands in my pockets....smooooth. My life was made when I discovered fake tan remover existed, it's a powerful exfoliator with lots of fine grit which really gets in there and lifts off the colour. It's also handy for the days after fake tanning when your overall shade is starting to look patchy and worse for wear, rather than having to wait for it to completely fade this helps get you looking nice and even again. With it being an exfoliator it leaves you super smooth too, perfect if you're planning on tanning again right after.

Dental Floss Sticks 
I like: Dentek Floss Picks £2.99 from Boots
It's recommended that you floss your teeth daily, but it's a pain having to battle with huge strips of floss that always seem to get everywhere. When you're tired at the end of the day, it's so easy to quickly brush your teeth and decide that's enough and that flossing can wait until tomorrow. So I highly recommend having some floss picks on hand, they're so easy and convenient to use that you have no excuse not to do it. I particularly like the Dentek ones as they come in cases which protects them and stops them from getting everywhere. You can buy larger packs too to refill them, they're really cheap and just a million times more convenient than regular floss. 

Dry Shampoo
I like: Macadamia Volumising Dry Shampoo £15.60 from LookFantastic
People seem to have mixed opinions about dry shampoo, I think the best thing is to be aware of what it can and can't do. If you haven't washed your hair in days and it's looking like a terrible greasy mess then dry shampoo probably isn't going to do much for you, however it's perfect for second day hair or giving some volume to freshly washed hair. Having such fine and straight hair means mine gets greasy quickly, I could quite happily wash it every day (which I did for years) but since learning more about hair and discovering that over washing isn't brilliant for it I try not to. So having a tin of dry shampoo on hand helps me stretch out hair washes to two or three days without looking like someone has poured a bottle of Crisp n Dry over my head. If you're regularly having to shove up your hair into a ponytail or bun because it looks greasy after a day, grab a bottle of dry shampoo next time you get the chance- you'll at least get another day of hair that looks nice.

The humble tin of Vaseline truly is a multi- use product. Not only is it good for moisturising chapped lips and dry cuticles, but applied to eyelashes before bed will condition and moisturise them to keep them strong and healthy. If you dye your hair at home having some Vaseline on hand is essential, applied around the hairline it keeps the hair dye from staining your skin and keeps the chemicals off your face. Another handy use for Vaseline is applying a small amount to your pulse points before spraying on perfume, it makes the scent stick around for much longer! I've shown the smaller tin version here which is great for your handbag, but I actually recommend buying a big pot to keep in the house- it's only a couple of pounds and will last forever.

What products can't you live without?

1st Product Added to Basket is FREE: Yves Rocher

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


If you've read any of my past posts you'll probably know that Yves Rocher is one of my very favourite beauty brands; they use all natural ingredients, don't test on animals and the products are always just beautiful. For the next four days (18th- 22nd February) the first product you add to your basket is absolutely free when you spend just £15! There's some potential bargains to be had here, so if you're an Yves Rocher fan or hoping to try something new from a gorgeous luxurious brand now is definitely the time to do so.

You can shop at Yves Rocher to get this great deal HERE

Keeping Your Relationship Strong and Happy

Monday, 16 February 2015


There's no such thing as the perfect relationship, because no two people are perfect. Relationships can take time, dedication and compromise in order to flourish; it's easy to get along when everything is going well but life often isn't like that. There are ups and downs and bumps in the road, when you take into consideration that 40-50% of marriages end in divorce it's fair to say that only the strongest relationships will last through the years, and survive all of the trials and tribulations that life can dish out. In my opinion a relationship should never feel like constant hard work, sometimes accepting that you and your partner are just not a good match and the relationship is going nowhere can save a lot of heartache later down the line. However even if you're in a good place, even the best of couples require a little effort and maintenance to keep the relationship strong. Now that Valentines Day is over and it's back to reality, here are a few tips that have been shown to keep relationships in good working order.

Make Time For Each Other
Sounds obvious, but the world that we live in often means people are working longer hours (even opposite shift patterns) and have a million commitments and things they have to spend time on. So when you do get free time, make sure to spend some of it with your partner. Whether you choose to go out or stay in, as long as it's quality time spent it helps to tighten the bond between you and prevents you from simply being two people who live in the same house. If you have to spend a lot of time apart for whatever reason, make the time to give them a call on your lunchbreak or arrange to do something together on your day off.

Have your Own Interests
As well as spending time together, it's important that you both still have your own interests too. Getting into a relationship doesn't mean giving up who you are as a person, if you both maintain your separate friendships and enjoy the same activities that you've always enjoyed (even if it's less often) you'll find it has a positive impact on your relationship and your life in general. Well rounded people with their own hobbies and interests tend to make happier people, and therefore are happier in relationships. Be responsible for your own happiness- placing this kind of obligation onto your partner can lead to resentment and arguments when things aren't going your way.

Show Them You're Committed
This definitely isn't a decision to make lightly, but if you truly believe your partner is the one you want to spend your life with (and know that they feel the same!) offering commitment in the form of engagement is a good way to go. Strong, elegant and beautiful a diamond is the perfect choice, you could either go for a ready made ring at a jeweller or find somewhere like diamondqueensland.com.au selling wholesale diamonds and have your own custom ring created for something extra special. Either way, engagement shows you're committed and ready to take the relationship to the next level.

Communication is Key
Whether you've been together for a month or twenty years, good communication is always one of the most important things in a healthy relationship. There's a quote I like which goes 'most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.' If you know you're not the best listener- teach yourself. Good listening skills can provide you with a deeper level of understanding about your partners situation, and allows you to empathise and understand by seeing things through their eyes. Equally, speak up about anything that you feel needs to be said rather than bottle things up. Being open and honest with your thoughts and emotions (and avoiding secrets) means you're quickly able to resolve problems as they happen.

What's your advice for keeping a happy and strong relationship?

Barkbeats: Monthly Treat Boxes For Dogs

Sunday, 15 February 2015

You can get monthly boxes for just about everything these days, from beauty products to healthy snacks and even books. But the fact that you can get monthly treat boxes for your dog makes me the happiest of all- if you're a fellow pet owner I'm sure you'll be exactly the same! I was recently introduced to Barkbeats whose boxes contain a mixture of toys, treats and grooming products. They can be purchased as six or twelve monthly subscriptions, or simply as one-off boxes with no commitment. They're tailored for your dog's size so you're always sent products that are suitable for them, and contain a mixture of brands from the well known to smaller, independent companies which I think is really nice. They're so dedicated to the health and happiness of dogs everywhere that at least 10% of their profits go to animal charities, so not only are you treating your own pet but some of the money is going to a good cause too. This box was Valentines inspired, and contained: Ancol plush dog lips toy, Oh My Dog protein shampoo, Barks and Sparks carob heart snack, Gooddogs jerky treats and Pet Brand dog chocolate.

My two dogs are Bowser, a two year old rottweiler/ bullmastiff cross and Romeo who's a seven year old terrier cross. Even though this box was shared between the both of them, there was plenty in there and easily enough for two. If you're a multi-dog household and feel that more than one box a month is out of your budget, one to share is definitely enough. Bowser's favourite thing by far was the lips toy (which I knew it would be, he's obsessed with toys) when they hold it in their mouth a certain way it looks like they have huge lips with a tongue and teeth sticking out which is hilarious. I wasn't able to get a picture of him like that as he was too busy going crazy throwing it around, but you can probably see from the pictures it went down very well! They both snapped up the treats with absolutely no complaints, admittedly these are not fussy dogs when it comes to food and will eat anything given the chance but they were extremely enthusiatic about these. I usually buy packs of biscuit treats from Pets at Home, and while they love them what was in this box was obviously a lot tastier judging by how they wolfed them down. I think it's cute that a doggy chocolate bar was included with it being a Valentines box, of course normal chocolate is toxic to dogs and so this is a dog- friendly version. You can break it up into squares like a regular chocolate bar so is easy to portion out, after they'd had a couple of bites I put the rest into their treat jar to have throughout the month.

At £14.90 the boxes are very good value for money, and what you get inside is well worth it and definitely adds up to more than the cost of the box- especially when delivery is free there are no hidden charges on top. It's a great way to discover new brands and give your dogs a mixture of things that they've probably never tried before- if I'm honest I wouldn't have a clue where to buy healthy homemade pet snacks from independent sellers, so this is a great way to introduce them to different things. If you buy a six month or yearly subscription the boxes work out a bit cheaper, and so if this is something you know you'd buy every month it's well worth signing up for. You could even buy a one off box first as a trial to decide if it's something you want to go ahead with.

Looking to give Barkbeats a go? You can get £5 off your first box with the code 'Beautiful5' 
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