Friday, 23 May 2014

The Forest of Dean - A perfect 'getaway' for the whole family!

Holiday family photos are a must!

You may have noticed the lack of posts over the last week, well this was due to a break spent in the Forest of Dean with the whole family including dogs!!! With my eldest son Simon living in South Wales and the rest of us always busy on the South coast it's a good opportunity to all get together and chill. Below are just a few snaps taken while away, I hope you enjoy.

 View from Symonds Yate West of the Saracens Head pub and ferry.

    The dogs weren't so sure about crossing the river on the ferry.
Mr Moonstone, myself & Arthur.

If you are a keen photographer then there are many opportunities to snap the fantastic views while out walking in the woods. There's also mountain biking and horse riding for the more adventurous but beware the wild boars, we saw plenty of evidence but not one boar!

 Lisa and myself on ponies, eek!

While the boys went mountain biking, making themselves sore in places a mother would rather not think about, Lisa and I decided to give pony trekking a go. I haven't ridden for many years and Lisa has always been scared of horses from a very early age when a horse mistook her hair for hay so this had the potential to be quite an adventure. We needn't have worried, it proved to be very tame and a very enjoyable way to see the beautiful countryside, despite a near fall, I may even be tempted to take lessons again. Later that day we visited Symonds Yate where the views are absolutely spectacular!

After a lot of walking and riding some good food and drink was required. I would definitely recommend both the Saracens Head pub and the Royal Lodge in Symonds Yate East.

 Group shot!
From left to right, Will, Willow, Si, me, Arthur, Mr Moonstone and Lisa

By the end of the week we'd taken part in many activities, come second in the weekly quiz and completely worn out two very energetic dogs, I'd say that would indicate a brilliant time was had by all!!!

To see more photos and info then you should hop on over to Lisa's blog, Topaz & May where she's written several posts on the holiday, a good read.

If you are interested in visiting the Forest of Dean then check out the Forest Holiday site here, I would really recommend it, this was our second visit and we will definitely be going back again next year.

What's your favourite family holiday location in the UK?


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Blooming Marvellous!!!

Accessorize 'Camilia' statement necklace and ring - £19 & £10

Firstly, let me apologise for the lack of recent posts. We've been away on a family break to the Forest of Dean, a beautiful part of the English countryside best appreciated on foot, mountain bike or horse and a definite must for all dogs! Look out for an upcoming post on our holiday or nip over to Topaz & May to see what we got up to.

As I'm sure you're aware it's the Chelsea Flower Show this week so I thought it would be a good time to review this beautiful 'Camilia' statement flower necklace and ring from Accessorize. I bought these two a few weeks ago and they've already proved to be a very useful addition to my wardrobe. I'm a big fan of the 'statement' necklace anyway but I immediately fell in love with the lovely flower design of these pieces, a little different from the brightly bejewelled items so popular on the highstreet at the moment.

The delicate blush ivory colour means you can wear these with just about any shade although it probably wouldn't work too well with a highly patterned outfit, simplicity is key. I'd also keep my earrings very simple too, maybe a pretty pair of diamond studs to finish off the look.

At £19 for the necklace and £10 for the ring I thought these were fairly reasonably priced, especially if you are going to wear them as much as I have already. If you have a wedding to go to this summer these would be the perfect accesory to compliment your outfit, they'd also work really well with this seasons florals, so versatile!

What's your favourite accessory this summer?


Thursday, 8 May 2014

REVIEW-Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge Lengthening Mascara - Don't go on holiday without it!!!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge Lengthening Mascara (black), £20.50

When it comes to repurchased beauty items this little gem is right up there at the top of my list. I am a big fan of Estee Lauder's Double Wear products anyway but this one is an essential part of my make-up bag and I've been using it for many years. You can even forget about buying a 'waterproof' mascara for your summer holiday (let's face it, none of them really work) as this one does the job.

Last year I decided to give Estee Lauder's Sumptuous Extreme Waterproof Mascara a go but was a little disappointed with the results, one dip in the pool and I faintly resembled a panda. It also smudged when the temperatures rose and I began to glow, thank goodness for sunglasses, so not a good look!!!

I've tried other luxury brands including Chanel but the results have always been the same and that's when I turned to my old faithful Double Wear product. I can honestly say that it really is ZERO SMUDGE even after a day spent by the pool, I wouldn't go back to waterproof mascara's again. This mascara is still in place at the end of the day and needs a good quality eye make-up remover for complete cleansing.

The product itself is really simple to apply and doesn't leave you with unsightly clumpy lashes. A couple of coats gives the eye lashes a little extra length and definition staying in place throughout the day, however, this may not be the mascara for you if you prefer a really thick dramatic look. The packaging is really stylish incorperating Estee Lauder's trademark blue and gold, it always looks good in your make-up bag or handbag. At £20.50 it's actually one of the cheaper mascara's from Estee Lauder and is certainly competative with some of the other luxury brands on the market making I think making it well worth a go.

I'd love to hear what your favourite brand of mascara is and have you discovered a waterproof one that actually works?


UPDATE - Arthur and I have just returned from a very very wet and windy dog walk, notice NO SMUDGING, however, my damp thighs seem to suggest that my waterproofs aren't quite as waterproof as they used to be!!!

Arthur and Deborah

Sunday, 4 May 2014

The Body Shop haul - Early-Harvest Raspberry and Amazonian Wild Lily!


 The Body Shop Early-Harvest Raspberry Body Scrub, £12.50
Body Butter, £13 and Body Lotion, £8 (3 for 2)
Amazonian Wild Lily perfumed oil, £7 (free as part of a promotion)

A recent trip to my local Body Shop proved to be very beneficial, not only did I take advantage of their 3 for 2 offer on their new Early-Harvest Raspberry products, I also signed up for one of their loyalty cards (check out the benefits here) which included this beautiful Amazonian Wild Lily perfume oil and 10% off my purchases. The result being, the total bill of £38.50 (including £5 sign-up charge for card) came to £27.95 and I walked away with two free products, RESULT!!!

Early-Harvest Raspberry body scrub - This was the product that first tempted me into the Body Shop when I spotted it at the entrance. It looks pretty much like raspberry jam with bits of fruit contained within the scrub. Instead of spreading it on your toast (I wouldn't recommend this), rub it into your skin, particularly those stubborn dry areas such as elbows, knees & feet. Although it can seem a little messy to apply, after exfoliation and rinsing the skin feels really soft and smooth and smells divine. I suggest you follow-up the body scrub with the Body Shop's famous body butter in the same fragrance.

Early-Harvest Raspberry body butter - One of my most frequently bought products from the Body Shop has to be their body butter. I always stock-up on the travel sized Coconut one before going on holiday, it's a MUST HAVE! I love the extra creamy buttery texture of the body butter, it's ideal for sun-dried skin, easy to apply and always leaves my skin feeling richly moisturised and silky smooth. Again, the smell of this new fragrance is so lovely and sweet, imagine the yummyest raspberry and cream dessert, a real essence of summer. 

Early-Harvest Raspberry body lotion - It's not always necessary to use such a thick buttery moisturiser and that's when I reach instead for the body lotion. This product still leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated but is less intensive than the body butter. It's easily dispensed with the press down top and quickly absorbs into the skin with gentle rubbing, a slightly quicker method of moisturisation than the butter. Again this smells lovely but a little more subtle than the other two products mentioned. I would probably use this each morning for general body hydration and leave the body butter as a more intensive treatment, especially after using the body scrub.

You can view the full range of Early-Harvest Raspberry products on the Body Shop website here, these include a shower gel and eau de toilette, they are certainly worth checking out.

Amazonian Wild Lily perfume oil - This product was a welcome bonus to my Body Shop haul. I haven't tried their perfume oil range before so was keen to give it a go. The scent is alcohol free and because it is oil based, lasts longer than an eau de toilette. It has a lovely fresh fragrance described as a 'blend of floral and aquatic accords inspired by the rain-kissed cool of the jungle' making it a very easy and pretty scent to wear. The Body Shop are really good at bringing out several products in the same fragrance, you can check out the Amazonian Wild Lily range on the website here, again including shower gel and body lotion.

Overall, I'd say I had a pretty good day when it came to both value for money and quality of product, thanks Body Shop!

What are your favourite Body Shop products?

Hope you are having a great Bank Holiday weekend!