Friday, 31 July 2015

Another Throwback Playlist | The Beach Days

When I posted my first throwback playlist here I was excited to put together another.  There's just something about the music from my youth that puts a big smile on my face.

This time its of the songs that were out when I first started going clubbing down the town in a night club called Beach.  Those were the days!








What are your favourite songs from years gone by?

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Headaches, Stress Relief and Tension

Headaches, Stress Relief, Tension, Syndol

Many, many moons ago, I used to work in a call centre for a catalogue company.  The office was literally under the ground with no natural light.  The computer screens and the artificial lights were so bright in a bid to compensate for the lack of natural lighting and the air conditioning was always turned up so high it was as dry as a desert.

Every single day that I worked, I would go home stressed, with a really bad headache.  While it clearly wasn't the best environment for me to be working in, I did quickly learn the best way for me to get rid of my headaches and relax and the methods have stayed with me over the years.

Headaches and migraines affect more than 10 million people in the UK with around 25 million days lost at work or school because of their symptoms.  There are so many different types of headaches but many of them are brought on by a lot of the same things such as stress, dehydration and hunger, tiredness and lack of sleep, too much light, heat or noise, eye strain and alcohol.  If its the latter, I'm afraid I have no sympathy for you!


Headaches, Stress Relief, Tension, Syndol

We all seem to have such busy lives these days and a huge chunk of the time we spend awake it spent looking a screen of some description.  If you're finding you're getting a headache while at the computer or when you're on your phone, it could be because you need the brightness of the screen adjusted or it might be because your eyes are feeling strained, especially if you have a feeling of your eyes pulling and an aching feeling on both sides of your head.  If that's something you're experiencing, you're best off visiting an optician to get your eyes tested.  You never know, you might need glasses as your eyesight may be the cause of your headaches.  If not, then you'll be able to treat your headache either with medication or by finding a technique that suits you.

There are so many different types of tablets out there to treat headaches and migraines, many of which are available over the counter at a pharmacy.  This includes Syndol Headache Relief Tablets which have been specifically designed to help to provide rapid relief from headache and migraine pain so that you can get on with your day.  If you want fast acting, short term pain relief then these are a good option for a range of acute pain types including headaches, period pain, rheumatic pain and toothache.

They have a triple action formula that aim to work together to reduce the pain symptoms and restore calm.  Within this formula is Paracetamol which helps to block the nerves transmitting the pain impulse to the brain, Codeine which works to reduce the brain's awareness of these pain impulses, providing effective pain relief and caffeine which acts on the central nervous system to help to increase mental activity and sharpness.  Like with all medication, make sure you read the label and speak to a qualified pharmacist to make sure that these tablets are ok for you and that they don't interact with anything else that you're taking.  There are plenty of options out there and I'm sure your local pharmacist or health care professional will be able to advise you best.

The Syndol Headache Relief Tablets have just launched in packs of 30 and 10 tablets and they're available in Boots as well as many other pharmacies.  To coincide with the launch, Syndol have created a new website that offers tips and advice to those who suffer from headaches and migraines on how to manage the symptoms and there's also an area for users to 'find their better place' by selecting calm settings, tailored music and different relaxation exercises.

Headaches, Stress Relief, Tension, Syndol

I find that music really helps me in a lot of situations in particular.  I suffer from anxiety and use an app on my phone called Calm which has some really relaxing music that really help me to feel calm and stress free.  It also has some guided meditations and breathing techniques on there so if you are feeling stressed or you have a headache, they can really help you to clear your mind.

Since tension and stress are the cause of so many headaches, its important to spot when you have a headache because of these and then you can work towards reducing them.  Sometimes even having a cup of your favourite herbal tea and just sitting in a quiet space can really help to chill you out and banish tension headaches.

Aside from taking medication, if I have the time, I love nothing more than going for a lie down in a dark, cool room when I have a headache.  The heat, light and sunshine just seem to make them so much worse so being out of that kind of environment, where I'm feeling comfortable and cool really helps.  I have a black out blind in my room and also like to use an eye mask, especially for on the go and travelling but also for at home.  The eye mask that I'm using at the moment is this one which has a very subtle lavender scent that is very relaxing but what I like the most about it is how thick and large it is.  It blocks out all light and with the elasticated band, it is very comfortable to wear.

Headaches, Stress Relief and Tension Syndol

Sometimes when you're stressed, its good to take some time out to relax and head to a better place.  You can easily take some time out of your day to chill out, even if its just for five minutes each morning and night to gather your thoughts while you complete your skincare routine.  Finding the right products that work for you can have not just a great effect on your skin but on your wellbeing too as they often provide a sensory experience through their scent and you actually applying them to your skin.

The kit that I've featured here is the Nourish Protect Starter Collection and it contains a cleanser, toning mist, serum and moisturiser which feel so relaxing and calming to use.  I love taking time out of my day to focus on my skincare and if I ever have a headache, I find that by the time I've taken a couple of tablets and completed my skincare routine, they've kicked in and I'm ready to relax in front of my new favourite show, Wentworth Prison!

How do you chill out, de stress and get rid of your headaches?

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

My Top 5 Tips for Fresh, Healthy Skin & Fave Skincare Posts


When it comes to skin care, it seems that we are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest products, tips and tricks that can help us to keeping our skin fresh and healthy. If you've been reading my blog over the years then you'll know that I love my skincare and taking care of my skin.  I'm of the belief that you only have one face so you should look after it as best you can.  Otherwise you might get to 50 and really regret not looking after it while you were young.

Its a lot easier to prevent, or rather delay, premature skin ageing than it is to fix the skin once it has aged.  There are a number of factors that can trigger skin ageing: from genetics, to skin care routine, to sun exposure, and much more. Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take to achieve gorgeous, glowing skin, and a number of brands like Osmosis, that deliver products that are strong enough to provide beautiful results.

Today, I wanted to share with you my top 5 tips for getting fresh, healthy skin and collate some of my favourite skincare posts together for you.  Now it goes without saying that my ultimate tip is to drink plenty of water, get lots of sleep (I'm working on this one myself!) and stay away from cigarettes but I'm sure you've all heard that plenty of times so I'll not preach any more than I have done in the past!

While I do switch up my cleansing products, the types of products remain the same. Read about them here.
Tip 1: Cleanse Your Face Each and Every Day

This skincare step is one that is surprisingly skipped by many.  I have so many people who ask me about advice for their skincare and when I ask them what they use to cleanse their face with, they often say either face wipes or they say that they only cleanse now and again.

Cleansing your face morning and night every single day is SO important.  Cleansing in the morning cleans the skin of the dirt that is on your face from your pillow and the excess sebum and sweat that your skin has created through the night whereas cleansing at night removes makeup dirt and impurities from the day and cleans the skin.  Cleansing helps to prepare your skin for your skin care products, and ensures that they will be properly absorbed.

This is a fabulous face scrub if you like something gritty and you're on a budget.  Review here.
Tip 2: Exfoliate Your Skin

Exfoliation is more than a simple luxury. This skin care step is crucial for stopping dead skin cells from building up and it boosts cellular turnover to help slow ageing and boost skin health.  I love the immediate effects that exfoliating gives- soft and smooth skin that creates a great base for make up.  This is my ultimate favourite.

This is the best serum I've used in a long time.  Read about it in this post.
Tip 3: Smooth on a Serum
Serums are yet another step that many people view as a luxury, but they are in fact very important for beautiful skin, especially during the colder months.  High quality serums are typically very potent, and are thin enough to penetrate the skin to work deep.  They also help your moisturiser to be absorbed better too.  The Osmosis Catalyst is a wonderful example of a serum that works on multiple levels to replenish the moisture in the skin.  It is a skin restoration and DNA repair serum that works to improve the health of the skin from the inside out, delivering anti-ageing benefits that look and feel amazing. If you want to fight fine lines and pigmentation issues while giving your skin plenty of important vitamins and nutrients, then this one is worth a try.


Tip 4: Moisturise
Suggesting to moisturise as a tip for fresh, healthy skin seems like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people skimp on moisturiser, especially if they have oily skin as they think that its oily enough, why should they moisturise on top.  The key is to find out your skin type and then match your moisturiser to that.  You need to make sure that your moisturiser works for your skin type so that you get the maximum benefit from it.  For instance, if you have oily skin you still need to moisturise so that your skin doesn't think that its been completely stripped of all moisture and then produces more to over compensate; its oily enough already!  Pick a moisturising product thats made for oily skin and you'll find that it'll absorb into your skin effectively and hydrate your skin whereas if you choose an ultra rich formula designed for dry skin types then your skin may be left feeling heavy and greasy.

The two that I'm using at the moment are in the picture about.  You can read all about them in this post where I write about my skincare routine for my oily skin.  If you're a shiny skin girl like me, you might just benefit from it!


Tip 5: SPF Protect
Sun damage is known for many things, cancer being the worst among them. But did you know that it is also a leading cause of wrinkles and hyper pigmentation as well? I suggest applying a sunscreen product daily to help you to achieve your freshest, healthiest skin while protecting it from sun damage and premature ageing.

You could pick a moisturiser with SPF coverage and even a foundation with SPF in too.  I like to use a separate one regardless of the SPF factor in the skincare and makeup I'm using.  I have reviewed my favourites in this post but I'll keep you updated in case I find any that I like more.  So far, these are the best that I've tried and I can't see anything beating them but you never know!

For days were you're looking for a lighter coverage, you could always opt for a tinted moisturiser as a lot of these have SPF in them, just check on the bottle first.

Either way, if you're out in the sun for a prolonged period, particularly if you're sun bathing, then make sure you reapply your sunscreen regularly on your face as well as your body as it is so easy to burn which can cause wrinkles at the very least and we don't want those do we?  SPF tends to take about 15 to 30 minutes to start working after you've first applied it so keep that in mind when you're going out and about.  It should usually be reapplied every 1-2 hours depending on how much time you spend in the sun and your level of activity.

I hope my tips have helped you in some way.  They might not sound like nothing new but its surprising the amount of people who neglect these steps.  All in all, achieving beautiful skin is about being dedicated to taking care of it.  You only have one face so look after it!  Neglecting to cleanse, nourish, and protect are three quick and easy ways to see signs of premature skin ageing, fast! No matter how simple you keep it, just be sure to keep the essentials in mind when it comes to nourishing your beautiful skin as a few minutes each morning and night really make all of the difference!

I'm proud of my skin and you should be of yours too!

What are your top skincare tips?


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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Northern Goldsmiths Iconic Newcastle Store Relaunch


Standing proud on the corner of Blackett Street, where it joins with Pilgrim Street, you'll find one of the most photographed buildings in the city centre of Newcastle; Northern Goldsmiths.

This flagship jewellery store has become somewhat of a Newcastle landmark not only because it is a beautiful building but because of the golden lady, Venus and the stunning 24 carat gold leaf clock on the corner of the building.




You'll notice here that the clock has been newly painted, the gold is so bright that it literally glistens as the sun hits it.  However it isn't just the clock that has had a little revamp recently.  The whole store has been closed for the last couple of months while it has undergone an incredible £1 million transformation and I was lucky enough to be invited along to their VIP reopening as part of their #NorthernGoldsmithsBigDay celebrations.

Northern Goldsmiths first opened its doors in 1892 and walking through the doors some 123 years later felt just as grand as I'm sure it did back then.  The brass band playing outside made the experience that little more special.




This renovation hasn't just been a quick lick of paint to freshen the place up though, this is the most significant refurbishment the store has seen since it first opened all of those years ago.  They have taken the time to fully close the store to the public so that the creative vision of restoring the listed building to its grand decor of the 1890s could be brought to life.


Image credited to the Goldsmiths photographer
Stepping into the new look showroom with its fresh cream interior and gold accents was captivating and inviting in equal proportions.  Local celebrities, including North East Hero Robson Green, Camilla Priest from the TV show Model Behaviour and adopted Geordie Faye Tozer from Steps were there to celebrate along with a number of journalists, bloggers, customers and staff past and present.



The Lakes Distillery and Fentimans were there to keep us all watered, while the 21 Hospitality Group provided the most delicious canapés throughout the evening.




With a champagne flute between each of our hands, my blogger friends and I wandered around the store chatting to the staff who were happy to share anecdotes of the store's history while we admired the fixtures and sparkling jewels enclosed in the polished cabinets.


Image courtesy of Northern Goldsmiths
Many of the existing store fixtures are listed which means that they have been more complex to restore and required a higher level of craftsmanship to be able to sympathetically restore them in accordance with local authority planning and listed building consent.  This has ensured that the historic aspects of the store have been preserved and maintained for generations to come and enjoy.




Previous customers of Northern Goldsmiths will no doubt be pleased to hear that the beautiful Grandfather clock with the mercury pendulum as well as the original chandeliers and 'The Birdcage', an ornate product showcase cabinet, have all remained in the store and are looking even more spectacular than than they always have.



Northern Goldsmiths have also brought in some new additional fixtures to compliment the existing ones to further enhance the look and feel of the showroom.  While being very grand and steeped in tradition, the whole shop floor had a feeling of being at ease and comfortable.  It is definitely a store that you could feel relaxed to shop in, in a welcoming environment where you can take your time over deciding upon the purchase that you would like to make.  This is the best way to shop in my opinion as theres nothing worse than feeling rushed or as though you are in an uncomfortable, pretentious environment, especially if you're making a big purchase like your wedding rings or wedding jewellery.




As a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, Goldsmiths have over 230 years of experience and tradition selling fine jewellery and diamonds from not only their own jewellery makers but also from some exclusive brands such as Vera Wang and Canadian Ice, so you know that you're in safe hands when shopping there.  They also operate the largest distribution network for Rolex, Omega and TAG Heuer.





Downstairs at the Newcastle store are the mini boutiques that Goldsmiths have worked alongside their luxury watch brands to create within their store so that their customers can continue to expect the first class choice and expert service that they expect and love from Northern Goldsmiths.  They have extended their existing Rolex Boutique and introduced a brand new Omega Boutique.

A Rolex has been on my wishlist for years now and a piece that I am working towards saving for and after seeing the boutique, I couldn't think of anywhere better than here to make my purchase when the time comes!


Upstairs on the first floor, there is a dedicated Goldsmiths Services area that deals with client repairs, including a specialist watch repairing section, as well as additional seating for customers and more consultation space.  This ensures that each customer gets the care and attention that they deserve.  It is also here that you'll find the stunning artwork that was inspired by the kissing clock.  I spent far too long admiring it in between taking selfies with my blogging friends- thanks for the photo North East Family Fun!



The enormous chandelier at the head of the stairs is undoubtedly my favourite fixture in the building, even beating the original tiles that were up a secret staircase.  Although I do feel sorry for whoever has to clean the chandelier; such an intricate piece would require so much special care and attention!


During the welcoming speeches at the event, we were told stories of times gone by, including how some couples would engaged underneath the clock outside and then race into the store to pick out their engagement ring.



Known locally as the kissing clock, it is as important to Geordies as the building is itself.  Before the days of WhatsApp and iPhones, courting couples would meet under the clock for date nights and so many people locally have romantic stories to tell connected to the store.



While I didn't get engaged in this way, it did make me think of Mr WLL who picked out my own engagement ring from Northern Goldsmiths.

That's the great thing about Northern Goldsmiths, aside from being diamond specialists, the staff are incredibly knowledgable.  They're able to help you to pick out the ring, or indeed another piece of jewellery, that is perfect for the person that you're going to be giving it to.  I couldn't love my engagement ring any more than I do.  I always wanted something that was super sparkly, timeless and understated so that I would love wearing it just as much in years and years to come as I do now.  That's exactly what I got and I wouldn't change it for the world.




Back downstairs, the party was in full swing with the brass band having moved inside and magician Chris Cross working his magic on the attendees.  This guy is definitely a one off and if you've ever met him at an event before then you'll completely understand where I'm coming from.



He's an incredible magician but he's also hilariously funny, he'll have you in stitches while amazing you with his magic tricks.  I've seen him at a couple of events before and to this day, I still haven't been able to work out how he does his tricks.  Its just a shame he couldn't magic a diamond ring from one of the cabinets!


While the staff were on hand for ring fittings and jewellery and watch consultations, there was a silent auction to win this stunning diamond necklace that was donated so that the proceeds could be given to charity.  It was no doubt worth a small fortune and whoever won it is incredibly lucky!



To celebrate the relaunch of the store, Northern Goldsmiths are calling for the people of the North East to come forward with their nostalgic items for them to borrow.  They will become part of an archive collection that will serve as a visual representation of Northern Goldsmiths that can be admired and enjoyed in the store for years to come.

Specifically, they are also looking for someone who has an 'original Northern Goldsmiths' timepiece that was manufactured in the workshop above the Newcastle showroom.  At the moment, Northern Goldsmiths only have a visual of one of the watches but they would really love to source an actual piece.

If you or anyone you know would like to put their nostalgic items forward then pop NorthernGoldsmiths@opr.co.uk an email with a photo and brief description of the item.  I'm sure they'd love to hear from you!



Here are some of the pieces from Goldsmiths that have got me feeling all heart eye emoji (each picture is clickable and will take you through to the Goldsmiths website for easy shopping... or wishlist shopping such as my case!).


I had such a great time at the #NorthernGoldsmithsBigDay event and can't wait to share more about the fabulous jewels available at Goldsmiths with you all!

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Monday, 27 July 2015

Lush Top Coat You Need | Nails Inc Cherry Garden Street

Nails Inc Cherry Garden Street Blossom Collection Limited Edition Review

If ever there were a confetti style top coat that you needed in your collection then it would have to be Cherry Garden Street from the Blossom range at Nails Inc.

As we say in the North East, this nail polish is pretty lush.  The limited edition, grab it while you can, Blossom collection encompasses springtime perfectly with its unique mix of fine white particles mixed together with other light coloured confetti style pieces set in a clear polish.  Nails Inc were inspired by the beauty of blossom trees around the world when they were creating these polishes.


Nails Inc Cherry Garden Street Blossom Collection Limited Edition Review
Nails Inc Cherry Garden Street*
There are four different colour ways in the collection, of which I have Cherry Garden Street which combines white with pink and yellow/muted gold for a very pretty, feminine look.  I can see why Nails Inc were inspired by blossom trees, especially when creating this nail polish as it actually reminds me of the cherry blossom in our back garden, which is so pretty but very annoying when the petals fall and cover the grass!


Nails Inc Cherry Garden Street Blossom Collection Limited Edition Review

The nail polish can either be used on its own and built up to your desired effect or layered over another nail polish, perhaps a pastel or pale shade for a cutesy spring look.  Here I have layered it over a pastel pink nail polish and a barbie pink which I think looks so effective.  I think it helps to tone down the brightness of the barbie pink polish and the randomness of the confetti makes this nail look different every time I use it.


Nails Inc Cherry Garden Street Blossom Collection Limited Edition Review

I have only used one coat over the top of my existing polish as I find that it really doesn't need any more than that, even though Nails Inc recommend 2-3 coats.  The particles in the polish are distributed really well on the nail and relatively evenly thanks to the wide and curved brush that the Nails Inc Nail polish has.


Nails Inc Cherry Garden Street Blossom Collection Limited Edition Review

The Blossom collection has an exclusive Regenerating Complex in it which boosts the production of keratin for stronger, harder and healthier nails.  I haven't been wearing the nail polish continuously enough to fully test this out but what I will say is that the nail polish itself is very hard wearing and hasn't caused any damaged to my nails underneath.

Despite being a polish with lots of texture in it, the finish of Cherry Garden Street is surprisingly shiny and after applying my favourite quick drying top coat, I find that it lasts an incredibly long time on my nails.  I usually get to about day 5 and get bored of my nail colour, take it off and apply something else.


Nails Inc Cherry Garden Street Blossom Collection Limited Edition Review

After trying out Cherry Garden Street, I'll definitely be looking for more top coat style polishes from Nails Inc.

You can shop Cherry Garden Street here and check out the rest of the limited edition Blossom collection here.



What are your favourite top coats?  Which Nails Inc polishes would you recommend to me? I'm dying to try Baker Street next I think!

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