Happy Monday lovelies!

I thought this week I’d kick off the blogging with a review from a fantastic product which I had the pleasure of reviewing over the weekend. On Friday last week I was invited to an event at Superdrug Surrey Quays to celebrate the launch of the imPRESS press-on manicure nails. Not only was this an exciting event with product testing, other bloggers, photos and cake (no event is complete without cake!) I was also super excited to meet the amazingly talented Rachel Leary, YouTube makeup extraordinaire who was there too!

The event was fab and I was lucky enough to take away a couple of samples of the imPRESS nails to try at home and since I was going to a party on Friday evening I thought it was a great opportunity to try out my favourite style which was the beige and silver.

About the product

The imPRESS press-on mani is a ‘press and go’ manicure which enables you to have fabulous looking nails in half the time (and a fraction of the price!) of getting them done professionally. The nails are easy to use with no glue; simply match up a false nail to the size of your own, peel off the plastic on the back of the nail and press down onto your natural nail. The imPRESS nails have a new super-hold technology which means that the adhesive is really strong allowing maximum wear time and less chance of nail related incidents at events! They are also super easy to remove at the end of the night with no painful removal and no damage to the natural nails underneath.

What I thought

My past experience of ‘stick-on’ nails has been limited. I have used a few brands which use nail glue before but have always been disappointed by having nails ping off in the middle of parties! As a previous acrylic addict, my natural nails are pretty ruined so while I am waiting for them to become stronger something which can give me low maintence and easy pretty nails for an evening would be perfect for me – needless to say I was excited to try the imPRESS manicure!

I am delighted to report that the imPRESS press-on manicure nails live up to all of their claims and my expectations! They were super easy to apply, even including a nail prep pad and cuticle stick within the pack to help prepare nails to ensure optimium application! Something else which I love about this product, that sets it apart from others on the market, is that it contains 30 nails in a pack including lots of different sizes so it was easy to find one to fit each finger. The application itself really was as easy as ‘press and go’ and they felt very sturdy all evening.

So did they last? Yes! They lasted all evening and I only lost one before I went to bed. I removed them the next morning which was easy and painless, considering how strongly stuck down they felt it was actually surpisingly easy to pull them off. I really like the fact that the imPRESS nails are shorter than others on the market which I think helps add to the durability and still look fab with less risk of losing one! I found that pressing them down regularly throughout the evening helped keep them strong.

I absolutely loved this design in particular and imPRESS make sooo many cute designs – plus the fact that every pack includes accent nails if you want to shake it up and add something different to your mani! I received loads of compliments on my nails and no one could believe they were out of a packet! For a quick and easy manicure that looks natural and lasts I would thoroughly recommend the imPRESS press-on manicure.

**Please note: I was given this product for reviewing purposes but the opinions, as always, are my own**

 

Have you tried this product? What are your thoughts on press-on nails?

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I absolutely love ‘what’s in my bag‘ posts. Maybe I’m a bit nosy but I love seeing what others keep in their bags. I’d love to do a ‘what’s in my handbag?’ post, but I’m afraid it’s in no fit state for it’s insides to be seen at the moment! It needs a real clear out and several hundred old receipts and sweet wrappers removed before I can start that one.

However, my gym bag is a lot more organised! Plus, handbags can be a bit samey, but what we keep in our workout kits can vary hugely from person to person. I go to the gym 5 mornings a week so it’s a big part of my life. I also go before work at silly-o-clock in the morning, so it’s important for me to keep what I take streamlined, organised and to make sure I have everything I need. I hope you find this interesting and it might give you an insight into me and my fitness lifestyle.

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Workout Essentials

Gym towel – total essential if you are going to work HARD and get SWEATY!

Nike gym gloves – also really important if you are lifting weights of any size; callouses are not nice.

Phillips Bluetooth headphones – I literally can’t work out without my music blaring in my ears and I can’t be dealing with wires they get in my way. I love that these are white too they look awesome.

USA Pro hair bands – the best hair elastics for workouts; they hold my ponytail for an entire workout without needing fussing or redoing, plus the patterns and colours are so cool.

Digital sports watch – for timing exercises, rest periods or just keeping an eye on the time, having a digital watch is pretty essential for me in the gym.

Beauty Bits

After my workout I usually have a quick shower and shoot off for work, I only carry a few beauty products but they all do their job and are perfect for beauty on-the-go.

Molton Brown mini shower gel – the most compact shower gels I’ve one across, and they smell divine.

Clarins satin smooth body lotion – winter dry skin BE GONE! I use this on my hands too.

Impulse body spray – much lighter and less bulky than a bottle of perfume but still keeps me smelling nice!

Liz Earle instant boost skin tonic spritz – essential for rejuvinating my skin and making me feel awake and ready to take the day!

The Body Shop Seaweed Oil moisturiser – a lightweight cream which works wonders on my skin.

Cotton Wool

Makeup

I hardly wear any makeup to work – I work with kids so it’s not like it would stay perfectly on my face anyway! And plus, I simply don’t have the time in the morning. But I do keep two things in my bag at all times just incase.

Bare Minerals liquid under eye concealer – for the tired eye days.

Burts Bees lip balm – this keeps my lips hydrated even in this weather.

Miscellaneous

Workout print out – I find deciding what workout I’m going to do in advance and having a print out of it helps me to focus in the gym and waste less time wandering around.

Pen- I like to write down my weights/ times on the workout sheet to try to improve next time.

Gym card

Phone – occasionally I feel the urge to take a gym selfie!

And that’s it! How about you? I’d love to know what’s in your gym bag!

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I’m so excited to finally share this news because I’ve been keeping it secret for ages just incase. I’m so happy to finally confirm that our wedding was selected for the Real Weddings section of national magazine Wedding Ideas Mag! We are in the December issue which is on supermarket shelves now!

I was delighted when they wanted to feature some of our photography and even more delighted when they asked me to write the article that accompanied the photos- seeing my words in print for the first time is truly special and has spurred me on even more to continue with my writing.

When we got the email confirming that our issue was released we rushed down to the supermarket right away and bought a few copies. I could barely contain my excitement as I ripped one open and saw our name on the contents page! Maybe it sounds vain but I was so excited to see us in a magazine. I hope that all the information and ideas that we provided will give some inspiration to other couples thinking of a relaxed beach wedding.

So – that’s my exciting news! Big thanks to Wedding Ideas Magazine for choosing us and here’s to much more writing in magazines in the future!!! Fingers crossed.

Would you ever send your wedding pictures to a magazine?

Want to see more of our wedding? Follow my insta or Facebook page for wedding photos.

 

We all love our holidays; hot or cold, far or near our holidays are our saviours in a world where we are always working. I love going abroad and exploring new places, however, in recent years with the rise of the ‘stay-cation’ it has come to my attention that there are plenty of beautiful and well worthy places to visit in the UK. I mean we are seriously blessed with stunning coastline, rolling green hills and absolutely picture perfect countryside. If not always the weather to go with it – but hey ho! So, my husband and I seem to have found ourselves partaking in the fast growing trend of ‘glamping’ for some of our holidays.

So what is glamping?

Well, essentially it’s glam camping. Hence the name. All the beauty and wildness of camping – but with a few luxuries thrown in. The luxury element can vary – sometimes you could stay in a fully heated yurt or bell tent with a full sized double bed, or it could mean a tree house in the forest with a compost loo. The facilities are not what makes it glamping – it’s the fact that it’s camping, with a difference. Something a bit special that sets the experience apart from the rest.

I’d like to share one of our favourite glamping experiences with you. We use the website ‘Canopy and Stars’ to choose our trips and they are fantastic. They can be expensive but they only advertise the best, most different, vintage, kitch and crazy glamping opportunities out there. Eco treehouses, camping pods, lodges and even a bedroom in a sphere suspended in the middle of a forest in Cornwall are all among their offerings. There are other sites but I have found them to be the best and their write ups of the sites are very detailed and accurate. You know what you’re getting into!

Ges the Horsebox – £135 per night

‘Ges’ (coincidently pronounced Jess) is a traditional horse box and pony trap situated in the Surrey countryside; a combination of staying in a retro, up cycled vehicle and camping in total isolation and peace. Ges is sitting in a field, in the middle of another field, which can only be reached by driving down a deserted country road in the most rural part of surrey. To my delight, apart from the staff in co op when buying out supplies for the weekend, we didn’t see another human for the entire weekend. Pure escapism. Seriously, the interior was gorgeous, and to say that the owners had thought of everything was an understatement.

The little pony trap was converted into a stunning modern bathroom with luxury toiletries. There was a picnic set, board games, colouring books, fairy lights, hot water bottle. The back porch was complete with bunting and a tambourine! I felt like I had wondered into a 1960’s hippy festival daydream.

I’m a huge advocate of the ‘digital detox’ – even as a blogger! I think it’s really important to step back from our devices and reconnect with nature once in a while, whether that be as a person, as a couple or as a family. It’s so nice to have no TV or distractions, just each other. Time to talk, laugh and truly enjoy each other’s company. We had no electricity, no signal, a gas stove to boil a traditional kettle or grill some toast and a BBQ which we used have burgers for dinner. Other than that we munched on the home made cake and bread which was provided in our gorgeous hamper when we arrived, along with milk, water and a few other essentials. It was blissful. I’d recommend this glamping trip without a doubt.

You can view Ges & other amazing glamping experiences on the canopy & stars website.

Have you ever been glamping??

I’m the baker in our family so I’m usually asked or I offer to make the cakes for special birthdays. I’ve made novelty cakes in the past, kids cakes, cakes in the shape of cars, shoes etc to suit the person. For my sister in law’s 40th birthday I was determined to make something classy, tasty and most importantly – visually amazing!

I must stress that I am more of a cake decorator than actual baker. My recipe is by no means a fail safe perfect sponge – my cakes always come out a bit dense and never rise, but it’s all about the decor baby!

I decided to make a pink ‘ombré’ cake that I had seen on Pinterest. Here is the link to the picture and method I was working to. WARNING this article makes it sounds extremely easy. It was not. Baking 5 sponges with varying amounts of food colouring in to range from lightest to darkest is a lot easier said than done and it basically took me 2 days and a fair few tantrums! But overall I am really happy with how it turned out.

It ended up absolutely huge and I needed A TON of butter icing to pipe it all which took hours but lookkkk how pretty it is! Totally worth it. And the birthday girl loved it.

So, if you fancy taking on this marathon of a cake; here’s what I did.

CAKE MIX (BBC FOOD RECIPE)

125g/4oz butter or margarine, softened

125g/4oz caster sugar

2 medium eggs

125g/4oz self raising flour

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs in with a whisk.
  4. Gradually add the flour and fold it in trying to get it all nice and air bubbly!
  5. Mix in food colouring (more on that later).
  6. Mix well and divide between 2 cake tins WELL GREASED (I lost one sponge to a sticky tin haha).
  7. Bake for 20-25 mins.

 

Right now for the tricky part: getting the ombré layers:

You will need to repeat the above method for 5/6 sponges. I made 6 but lost one as mentioned above and it was still huge with 5. You need to seperate the cake mix add varying amounts of food colouring to each mix before baking. I started with zero in the top layer and about 4 teaspoons in the bottoms layer. You can sort of guess it but REMEMBER THE ORDER before you bake because once done it’s difficult to tell the subtle differences between the levels of pink. Don’t worry though, when you cut into it you’ll get the full effect 🙂

Once all this is done, simply stack the cakes in order with some butter icing in between each layer and then decorate once cooled. I don’t follow a recipe for butter icing but I knew I needed a whole ton so I used a whole 250g pack of butter and about 500g of icing sugar plus a few drops of milk.

I decided to decorate by hand piping the entire thing – this is a BIG JOB and it look hours, but I think the effect is worth it. It was a last minute decision to add hundreds and thousands too much I love how they turned out. Everyone was so impressed with the look of the cake – and no one was expecting the colours when they cut into it! Overall it’s an amazing cake to bake for a special occasion but you need to be aware it is quite time consuming! But the birthday girl loved it and it was enough to feed a large family party so perfect for what I wanted to make.

Let me know if you give the ombré cake a go! Good luck!

xox