Sunday, 25 June 2017

My Favourite Sofa Memory with DFS Sofas

On a Sunday afternoon, there's nothing better than curling up on the sofa to watch a feel good movie.  Whether I'm hungover, feeling under the weather or just tired after a busy week at work, the rest does me the world of good.

Naturally, it has to be the right sofa for me to get cosy on and ours is perfect for movie watching; a squishy leather 3 seater that just gets better with age.  Thanks to its high back, wide arms and deep filled cushions, it is perfect for lounging on regardless of which position you're in.

Comfort is key when you're movie watching so if you're a film buff like I am then you'll need to be looking out for a sofa that is ideal for relaxing on for hours on end.  With DFS Sofas new in-store campaign, Sofa Match Makers, they'll help you to find just that; the sofa thats perfect for you.

One of my most favourite sofa memories is from the day that we watched a very real fairytale movie; our own wedding DVD.

I remember vividly the postman knocking at the door with the parcel to sign for but I recall the yearning to watch it straight away even more strongly.  Mr WLL was away with work and I'd promised to wait until he was home before watching it.

The following weekend we came back from the supermarket loaded with goodies and headed straight into the kitchen to prepare our feast; lamb wellington with all of the trimmings, followed by strawberry and white chocolate crumble to recreate part of our wedding breakfast.

Snuggled up on the sofa, we pressed play and relived our wedding again for the first time.

It's a magical feeling watching your wedding DVD back because you're able to get an insight into what the other person was doing on the morning of the wedding before you get to see them.  For me, that meant seeing Mr WLL add the finishing touches to his suit with the help of my dad and his best man.  The care and attention in creating a smart appearance didn't go unnoticed, nor did the nerves he was desperately trying to hide!

Our wedding day was one of the best days of our lives and so many of our friends have said that it was certainly one of the most enjoyable of theirs.  Watching the footage back from the comfort of our home meant that we could see the happiness on their faces and experience moments that were captured without us knowing.  On your wedding day, you're so wrapped up in the beauty and whirlwind of the day that its easy to miss or forget about small aspects which is why its so lovely to be able to watch it again from another perspective.

I especially loved to see our friends and family enjoying the fireworks display at the end of the night as we had our back to them as we looked out to take in the beautiful sight too!

We'll certainly treasure our DVD, shot by top North East wedding videographers One Digital Image, forever and the memories we made on the day as well as watching it back and I think it will become even more dear to us as our friends and family get older.  You never know what will happen in life so having your loved ones living and breathing on film on such a happy occasion is really something to value.

Whenever my friends get engaged now, I always urge them to have their wedding recorded because it is such a precious day to capture and with a DVD, you're able to relive those memories time and time again.  We have so many fond memories from the day itself but also from having friends and family around after the wedding to watch it back.

There's nothing quite like cozying up on the sofa to watch the footage like we did with our own tasty recreation of our wedding breakfast!  The ultimate fairytale movie...

What would your perfect sofa look and feel like?  What is one of your favourite sofa memories?

*This post is in conjunction with DFS but all thoughts are my own. Visit their website to find out more about their great range of DFS Sofas.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

3 Ways To Switch Off When Life Gets Tough

Yours Clothing Plus Size Outfit Blogger

When life gets tough, its important to remember that a little me time can do you the world of good.  Things have been pretty hectic for me lately but I've been trying to grab a couple of hours each week to do something just for myself.

I like to pick activities that give me time away from my phone so that I can really zone out of social media and be present in the moment.  My current three favourite ways to switch off are exercising at the gym, going to the cinema and having a facial.

Yours Clothing Plus Size Outfit Blogger

2016 was the year I became a real gym bunny and that has only continued this year.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not there every day but I tend to schedule in at least two sessions a week, no matter how busy I am.

It took me a while to get into the gym at first but I found that pushing myself to get there and physically blocking out the time in my calendar really encouraged me to get into the routine of going.  Now, I look forward to it, especially because its 45 minutes to an hour where I'm phone free and if I go for a swim, steam and sauna afterwards?  Well that's even better.

I leave feeling positive and successful, because lets face it, regretting a gym session is virtually unheard of, but also focused, determined and refreshed.  Working out is as good for the mind and soul as it is for the body!

Yours Clothing Plus Size Outfit Blogger

While I work out alone, I've only ever been to the pictures once on my tod.  Instead, I tend to go with a friend and we grab a Starbucks before taking our seats; mines a coffee frapp with coconut milk if you're interested.

The cinema is total escapism and I love that I can get lost in someone else's storyline for a couple of hours.  Pirates of the Caribbean is the film I most recently went to see and while it was great, nothing beats the first one for me!

I like to wear something casual when I go to the cinema; comfort is key but that doesn't mean that my outfit can't look stylish too.  Thankfully, Yours Clothing have lots of pieces that tick of all of these boxes for me and since they're mega affordable, I can update my wardrobe throughout the year with the changing seasons without breaking the bank!

My current top pick is the Yours Clothing Black Mirror Skull Print Cold Shoulder Top which looks effortlessly cool on a cloudy summer day like this one was!  The skull detailing is something new for me and I love that the designers had incorporated roses and sparkly crystals into the design too for a feminine touch.

Black is always effortlessly chic, especially when paired with some leather look leggings, pumps and a black bag.  Its very much a grab and go outfit that looks really put together with very minimal thought and effort.  I recommend that everyone have an outfit like this in their wardrobe as they're particularly handy for days when you're in a rush to get out of the door... aka every day for me!

Yours Clothing Plus Size Outfit Blogger

With all the rushing around that I do, I need to take some time to chill out and switch off, especially when the going gets tough.  A Decleor facial at Pure Bliss in Sunderland is another of the ways that I love to do this.  60 blissful phone free minutes of relaxation and pampering; sometimes I'm even that chilled I'll nod off to sleep!  Awake or snoozing, I leave with a clear mind and glowing skin.

Switching off now and again, especially from social media is so important.  Our lives are bombarded with updates, notifications, likes and shares that it can really get too much, especially if life offline is hectic or hard too.

Give one of my ways to switch off a try and I'm sure you'll feel the benefit!


How do you switch off when life gets tough?  What do you think about this gorgeous Yours Clothing top?

Monday, 19 June 2017

SHOW Beauty Lux Volume Shampoo and Conditioner Review

Luxury haircare and blow-dry brand, SHOW Beauty have launched their new Lux Volume Shampoo and Conditioner.  I've been trying it out over the last month and ever since, I've been loving the gorgeous locks I've been swishing around.  Great hair is worth investing in and enjoying daily!

Imagine if you could only carry one handbag for the rest of your life.  You'd take damn good care of it wouldn't you?

Now think of your hair in the same way.  It is the accessory you never take off; you wear it every single day yet so many people still neglect to look after their hair and give it the best that they can.  Many years ago, I used to spend a lot of money on styling products but I didn't have the basics right when it came to regular salon visits (I'm now a regular at the best hair salon in Sunderland, Frances Marshall) and washing and conditioning my hair.

Since I made the switch to high quality cleansing and conditioning products and treatments, I've noticed such a difference in the strength and health of my hair, how it looks day to day and how long it holds a style for.  In just the same way that makeup sits better on well cared for skin and a great foundation, styling products work so much better on clean hair thats in great condition.

I've always had fine hair but quite a lot of it.  The lack of volume is a challenge for me and in the past I'd really focused on using volumising styling products and back combining which really isn't good for your hair in the long run.  Now I focus on creating volume right from the point of washing and blowdrying my hair and that's where the SHOW Beauty Lux Volume Shampoo and Conditioner come in.

The NEW SHOW Beauty Lux Volume Shampoo is the creme de la creme when it comes to washing your hair.  Enriched with white truffle and wheat protein, it is designed to add weightless lift throughout the hair and a boost of volume at the root to give the hair a fuller appearance and feel.

It smoothes onto hair effortlessly and still lathers up a little as I massage it into my hair which I really like because it makes me feel as though my hair is getting an even more thorough clean.  

The ingredients within this shampoo are second to none and you'll not find many of the chemical nasties within the formula that appear in a lot of lower end shampoos.  Instead, you'll find Caviar, a rich protein source, along with vitamins and amino acids to nourish and moisturise the hair.  It also adds tensile strength to the hair which means that it makes the hair stronger and less prone to breaking when under tension.

To use following the shampoo, SHOW Beauty have released the Lux Volume Conditioner which is packaged just as luxuriously as the shampoo.  There really is something very special about SHOW Beauty products and their premium packaging which looks incredibly swish in my shower!

The SHOW Lux Volume Conditioner aims to give the hair weightless volume and a glossy, healthy finish.  It contains Pro Vitamin B5 for body and bounce, Wheat Protein to improve the density of the hair and Caviar and White Truffle to enrich the hair with amino acids and minerals for moisture and strength.  As with every conditioner I use, I apply the bulk of the product to the mid lengths and ends and leave it on for a couple of minutes, then I smooth the excess over the top part of my hair, right before rinsing.

The SHOW Lux Volume Shampoo and Conditioner work like a dream team together.  A lot of the volumising duos that I've used in the past seem to dry my hair out in order to give it a bit of grit, volume and texture but the volume that these two create is much more subtle and my hair is always touchably soft after use.  Used together, these products give the hair a really weightless bounce and lift.

The volumising effect isn't OTT or massively noticeable to others as you just look like you're having a great hair day everyday which is what I love about it.  I like to call it, low maintenance volume as by using it each time I wash my hair, my hair feels really clean but not stripped or dry at all, and it has a natural fullness and bounce to it.

These products are so luxurious to use and feel like a treat every time I use them.  I love how gorgeous the packaging looks in my shower and how pampered I feel when I use them.  If you're a lover of luxury haircare like I am then I'd definitely recommend checking out SHOW Beauty.


What are your favourite SHOW Beauty products?  How do these ones sound to you?  What do you think of the gorgeous packaging?

Monday, 5 June 2017

5 Things to do Before Your Next Summer Holiday

The day I have been waiting for in beautiful Bali is finally here; I'm off to Bliss Sanctuary in Canggu.  More than a luxury Bali retreat for women, Bliss is a chance to totally relax, unwind and switch off from the world outside with massages and spa treatments, yoga, sightseeing with personal drivers and freshly prepared food; all UNLIMITED!

We all know how much I love to travel and my stay there is set to make this the trip of a lifetime.  I've become a pretty dab hand at planning and organising my vacations over the years and today I thought I'd share some more of my tips with you.  This time, its all about the things to do before you go away.

1. Book your Travel Vaccination Appointment

Once you've booked your summer holiday, the first thing to do is to make an appointment at your doctors to get your inoculations.  There are different travel vaccine recommendations for each country and its important that you check which ones you need before you travel, with plenty of time to spare to get booked in and complete treatment.  Three sites that I find particularly helpful for this are Travel Health ProNaTHNaC and Fit For Travel as they will tell you the recommended injections for each country depending on what area you're going to be staying in and what you're going to be doing while you're there.

In the UK, some injections that you need to have before you travel to another country are free on the NHS such as Hep A, Tetanus and Typhoid, which I needed for Bali, and your nurse will be able to advise you on which ones you aren't up to date with but others need to be paid for privately.  This can get costly but it is essential as its pointless planning a fantastic trip if you're going to end up risking your health for it.  Paying for them through your doctor can be more expensive than through a travel clinic so my advice would be to book in there; Superdrug offer a service, as do Boots who I usually book through.  The appointments are free and you just pay for the cost of the injection or medication that you need.

For Bali, I required Japanese Encephalitis which was two injections, a week apart at £89 a pop.  Not cheap to say the least but definitely worth it to protect me while I'm out here amongst the rice paddies and plantations.  Plus, when I travel to a country where it is required again, a further top up injection will see me covered for 10 years.

Some countries have injections that are mandatory before travel such as Kenya with the Yellow Fever Vaccine.  They must be taken and a certificate of proof given as you can be denied entry to the country otherwise.  At the time that I travelled there, the vaccination was in short supply in the UK so this is one that you really needed to get booked in for, way in advance of your trip.  You'll also have to arrange some malaria prevention too, such as Malarone tablets, as the mosquitos in Kenya can carry deadly malaria.

2. Buy Your Sun Protection

Sun tan lotions aren't the most inexpensive of toiletries to buy but they're the most essential when you're travelling to a sunny climate.  Protecting your skin in the sun is not only going to help to prevent your skin from ageing prematurely but it is also going to dramatically decrease your chance of burning and protect you against skin cancer.

Sun protection is worth investing in to make sure you getting the highest level of protection, quality and skincare benefits.  One of my longstanding favourite brands is Clarins who have a fantastic sun care range.  Whether you love a milk-lotion spray or the oil, there's a formula for you and they even do a separate one for the face that wont clog your pores either.  Clarins SPF is incredibly high quality, smells divine and leaves your skin soft, nourished and well protected.  I like to opt for the highest factors (SPF 30 and 50) in all varieties and have never burnt while using it.

3. Prep Your Skin

Many people are under the misconception that wearing a higher factor SPF stops you from tanning; this is completely untrue, it only prevents you from burning.  You can still achieve a beautiful suntan wearing SPF 50 as I do whenever I go away and you can still help your skin along without risking burning and damaging it.  Prepping your skin before your holiday is essential for this.

Give your whole body a really good exfoliation to get rid of the dead skin cells clogging the surface.  My favourite is the Elemis Lime and Ginger Salt Glow which you can read a review of in this post.  Remove the body hair you'd rather not have; for me that's Nair Hair Removal Cream on my legs, a Hollywood Bikini Wax and shaving under my arms as I'm currently having IPL Laser Hair Removal at top beauty therapy salon, Pure Bliss in Sunderland.

4. Collate Your Travel Sizes

If you're anything like me then you'll have travel sized toiletries from beauty boxes and gifts with purchase all over the place!  Collate these things together and head to Boots for whatever you don't have.  The drugstores always have a great selection of travel sized beauty products and they're often on special offer too.

Whenever I'm given a sample size of a product, I keep it in a draw in my bathroom so that when I travel, I'm able to simply pull out that draw and take out everything that I need.

This particular trip to Bali is a long one for me so these products here are by no means everything that I brought with me but they should give you an idea of what great travel sizes are available.  Look out for the fantastic Gift With Purchase deals that Clarins do throughout the year too as their deluxe sized samples will see you right through a two week trip!

5. Write a Packing List

My final tip is to write a packing list of everything that you need to take with you before you start packing.  Organise it into clothes, shoes, accessories, hair, makeup, skincare, toiletries, sun protection, etc and make sure you don't forget things like chargers and adaptor plugs for each electrical that you pack.

I always write a list of absolutely everything and then I draw a calendar with the days of the week that I'm going to be there on.  In each box, I write the outfit that I'm going to wear, along with accessories and footwear, for the daytime and evening.  Some outfits will overlap, in which case I'll just draw a line through the box, as I tend to take a different outfit for each evening but will wear casual, daytime clothes more than once while I'm away.

Organising myself in this way does take a little time but it ensures that I never over pack, only take what I need and therefore don't end up with ridiculous excess baggage charges!

So there we have it; 5 things to do before your next summer holiday.  I hope my tips help you!

What tips do you have for someone to do before embarking on their summer holiday?

Sunday, 4 June 2017

VICHY Idéalia Peeling: Perfect Overnight Peel for Sensitive Skin!

VICHY Idéalia Peeling Review: Perfect Overnight Peel for Sensitive Skin!

French skincare fave VICHY, the number one anti-ageing brand in European pharmacies, have launched the first hypoallergenic overnight liquid peel that is suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin!

VICHY Idéalia Peeling is designed for the modern day young woman who typically burns the candle at both ends while leading her fast paced lifestyle.  Early morning meetings, late nights out and weekends spent partying don't leave much room for sleep and that excess, together with other lifestyle factors and the environment can show on the skin.

I can always tell when I haven't been getting enough rest or when I am feeling exhausted and stressed as it shows in my skin with it looking lacklustre, dull, drained and quite honestly, a lot older than its years thanks to an increase in dehydration lines and zero radiance!

Through skin research, VICHY has found that the effects of stress and exhaustion have led to the phenomenon of cutaneous exhaustion.  This is said to be where the skin mirrors the effects of lifestyle factors on the body and I have to say that I totally believe in it from the effect that I have seen stress and exhaustion have on my own body.  Through cutaneous exhaustion, damage to the skin's lipids, proteins and DNA is caused and there is a decrease in cell renewal too.

VICHY Laboratories have identified what they claim to be the three main physiological factors that are responsible for skin's exhaustion; oxidative stress which causes changes to cells and molecules and therefore reduces skin quality, glycation which makes the skin look more dull and metabolic disorders which affects the cells energy production and creates a vicious circle of oxidation in the skin.  All of which, VICHY Idéalia Peeling helps to combat.

VICHY Idéalia Peeling Review: Perfect Overnight Peel for Sensitive Skin!

Idéalia Peeling aims to combat exhausted skin, activate radiance and restore the skin's optimum glow overnight in what is the latest addition to their 'life-proofing' skincare range.

It is an overnight skin peel that performs as an antioxidant rich supplement to refine, renew and reenergise the skin.  The unique water-light formula has the power of a serum to refine pores, improve the surface texture of the skin and smooth fine lines.  It aims to do so in only 4 weeks while improving the quality of the skin and giving it a more radiant appearance day after day.

Idéalia Peeling is an acid peel, with 4% Gylcolic Acid and 5% Hepes, that is unlike any out there on the market because it is designed to be used on even the most sensitive of skin types.  Its gentle formula contains 5 key natural extracts; antioxidant rich Blueberry Polyphenols which counteract the effects of oxidative stress, Kombucha Tea Extract which helps to restore the skin's quality with its anti-glycation action, Hepes which is an active ingredient that works as an exfoliating agent to help to shed the excess, dead skin, Glycolic Acid which also exfoliates the skin and helps to improve the softness, brightness and luminosity of the skin and finally the 15 mineral enriched VICHY Mineralising Thermal Water, which is clinically proven to strengthen the skin's barrier function and accelerate surface skin cell renewal... all while being gentle on the skin!

VICHY Idéalia Peeling Review: Perfect Overnight Peel for Sensitive Skin!

I've tried chemical peels in the past as a way of exfoliating my skin but I've always gone back to manual abrasive exfoliators as the acid ones have either been too harsh for my skin or not as effective.

I could get on board with the Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Pads but the Pixi Glow Tonic is one of the most awful products I've ever put on my skin.  It works so incredibly well for so many people but it broke me out horribly; I'm talking big deep, purple scaring spots.  I tweeted them and they recommended using it less frequently and atop a cotton pad soaked with water but it still didn't have the amazing effect that it has on others skin unfortunately.

Then I reluctantly tried the VICHY Idéalia Peeling and the game totally changed.  Sure enough, I read that it was suitable for even the most sensitive skin, having been tested on sensitive skin under dermatological control but I was still skeptical as to whether it would work for me or not.  It absolutely does!

The VICHY Idéalia Peeling liquid is absolutely fabulous; easy to use, super gentle and with no negative side effects.  From the very first use, I noticed a difference in how radiant and healthy my skin looked and after a few weeks of use, I found that my skin looked smoother which benefits my makeup application too, more youthful and naturally perfected which is the reason I have continued to use it.  Especially with summer coming up, I like to wear as little makeup as possible so having my skin look its best is even more important to me than usual and this overnight peel really helps with that.

Unlike many other peels that are designed to be used once every few days, once a week or only when applied by a medical professional, Idéalia Peeling is gentle enough to be used at home, daily.

To apply, simply remove all makeup and cleanse the skin, then apply Idéalia Peeling to a cotton pad and sweep over the skin before applying your chosen night cream.  It doesn't sting, hurt or leave the skin feeling tight or itchy.

Something that I love the most about Idéalia Peeling is that it is advised that you apply your night creams after using it which ensures that it doesn't dry the skin out.  Since the night peel works as like a serum, which again is unusual for products like this, it helps to draw any products that you put on top deeper into the skin.  By increasing the penetration of serums and night creams, they work more effectively and you really get the best out of them.  I've been using my trusted Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum and By Terry Baume de Rose Face Cream (review here) over the top of Idéalia Peeling most often and I feel the benefit of their hydrating and renewing properties even more with this combination.

VICHY Idéalia Peeling Review: Perfect Overnight Peel for Sensitive Skin!

I would highly recommend VICHY Idéalia Peeling as I've seen such fantastic results from it.  If you want glowing, gorgeous skin, pick up a bottle from  Feel Unique, Look Fantastic or Beauty Expert.


How does this sensitive skin wonder product sound to you?  What other VICHY products would you recommend to me?
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