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Beauty Fashion Lifestyle

The Birthday Wishlist 2018!


My birthday is rapidly approaching and one of my favourite posts to write every year is my birthday wish list with some of the products that I’ve been lusting over and why. This years products have a little bit of a theme as they’re unintentionally very pink/nude.

1.First up is this super cute Olivia Burton ladies Midi 3D Bee Grey Dial & Rose Gold Watch. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know I love a bee on anything and everything so this watch ticks all of he boxes for me. I love all of the Olivia Burton watches, and colours but I’ve chosen this darker grey as I feel it would be a little more durable. It would be an amazing accent for any outfit too.

2. The Armani Si Nacre Edition perfume is super pretty. It’s a little on the pricey side but it’s limited edition. It has a glitter that runs through it which comes out when sprayed and leaves a subtle sparkle on your clothes or body.  The perfume smells amazing with top notes of apricot that lingers so beautifully. What’s not to love.

3. Next up is an Apple iPad. This might seem like an extravagant thing to go on my wish list but I watch and listen to quite a lot of films, music and programs and I thought that maybe an iPad might be a good way of playing these. It’s also so much more portable than my main computer and much lighter too which means no arm pain from dragging around my heavy laptop everywhere. Bonus!

4. Pink Vans are trainers that I’ve been wanting to get my hands on for a while. I love the vintage look and these Vans scream vintage with that stripe and the style but they’re still ultra cool. They’ll also go with loads of outfits, from summer dresses to jeans and a leather jacket.

5. One of my favourite make up products that I would love to own is the Too Faced Natural Matte palette. It’s so pretty, has great product pay off and is really natural too. It’s also very photogenic.

Are you loving any of the products in my birthday wish list, maybe you have one or two of them and you want to give me your reviews or maybe you’re planning on getting a few of them too? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Shopping!

Lifestyle Vegan

The Nourish Co: A Review

I’ve lived in Colchester for almost 5 years now and it really feels like home. One of the things I love about the town is how the vegan community has grown in the past few years, from seemingly nothing to one of the largest in the area.

Vegans and veggies in Colchester are growing in numbers and spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out. We have a number of specialist vegan cafes and others that have dedicated vegan menus or special vegan nights. It’s no coincidence that the Essex vegan festival is held in Colchester each year in the Spring, as well as our own Colchester vegan festival that takes place in the autumn.

The first two vegan cafes to open in Colchester while I’ve lived here were The Den, which specialised in burgers, hotdogs, and toasted sandwiches; and Nourish, a smaller place at the back of a guitar shop which served up soups, cookies, energy balls and their signature lentil sausage rolls. Sadly the Den announced they were to close at the start of the year, but thankfully we weren’t left short as April and Cleo from Nourish took on the challenge of moving into the space and making it their own.

The Den was rather legendary in Colchester – they paved the way for others and really served as proof that an all-vegan cafe could succeed, showing that there was an audience in the area, with vegans and non-vegans packing the place out every weekend. So the girls from Nourish had big boots to fill.

I was keen to see what they would do with the space, and was not disappointed when they opened their doors on Easter weekend. The place feels very warm and natural, with wooden fixtures and lush green plants almost everywhere you look. Upstairs feels very homely, with a large wooden table taking up much of the floor, but leaving enough space for a cushioned area beside the windows, perfect for relaxing with a magazine and coffee on a midweek afternoon.

The Nourish menu has expanded from their early days, and is split into 3 sections. Their daily eats are perfect for brunch, with toasted sourdough and bagels available with a range of sweet or savoury toppings. The acai smoothie bowl makes for a delicious breakfast.

The menu also includes Warming Bowls and Salad Bowls, which both rotate daily. The warming bowls on offer are a noodle soup, Indian buddha bowl, Burrito bowl and a vegetable curry. The salad bowls rotate between Thai satay, a vegetable sushi, quinoa & falafel, and a kale and avocado caesar. My favourites are the noodle soup and the vegetable sushi, although I haven’t managed to try them all yet!

Nourish also regularly hosts special events, with guests coming in for one-off pizza nights, smoothie workshops and Sunday brunches and more. You can find all the details on their Facebook page – I’m particularly looking forward to the Fully Raw Mexican Night next week! The support for local chefs and creators doesn’t stop with the events, as plenty of ethical items from local makers are on sale in the shop. You can find wonderful artisan coffee, snacks and granola packs for sale, and as well as the recent addition of a beautiful selection of little faux marble plant pots which are made by a local girl.

I love what the girls April and Cleo from Nourish have done with their new space and the cafe is a warm, friendly place where everyone is made to feel welcome. It’s great to see them go from their early days to where they are now, and I’m proud of what they’re helping to build in Colchester as the vegan community continues to thrive!

You can find Nourish at 23 Crouch Street in Colchester, open 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday. Check out their website for the full menu and give them a follow on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with what they’ve got going on.

Have you visited The Nourish Co in Colchester, if not what on their menu takes your fancy? Hop on Twitter and let me know.

Happy eating!


Music Monday – Surfer Blood

Happy Music Monday! I’ve had an action packed weekend and feel ready to drop and the week’s only just started! I needed a serious pickup today after running around town baby clothes shopping, fathers day shopping and heading out for family dinners.

Luckily the pickup arrived in my Spotify discover weekly playlist, a track from Surfer Blood. The band are a 4-piece from Florida who originally formed under the name Jabroni Sandwich, eventually forming the band they are today after a lineup shuffle and renaming after the singer’s favourite high school backpack!

The track I picked is called Other Desert Cities, from their 2015 album 1000 Palms, their 3rd LP and most successful to date. It’s short but sweet, and I love the guitar loops and the upbeat summer vibe. I haven’t heard much from this band before, so I’m ready to dive into their back catalogue and explore what they’ve got to offer!

Take a listen to the tune below, and hop on Twitter and let me know music you’ve been enjoying lately.

Happy listening!




Father’s Day Gifts with L’Occitane

June is always a busy month for me. Aside from my own birthday and all the summer shenanigans that fill up every weekend, it’s also my dad’s birthday and of course Father’s Day. It can be tough to know what to buy for my Dad, he’s one of those people who has everything he wants, and if he sees something he fancies he’ll just get it. This year he’s in for a real treat however, because the lovely people at L’Occitane got in touch and offered to help out.

Aftershave is always a great male gift idea, I find men are less personal about their scent as long as it smells fantastic. With that in mind I decided to pick out L’Occitane’s Cologne Cedrat Collection. The scent mixes citrus, aqua and a spicy ginger to create something fresh and exotic.

The Cedrat collection features a 75ml Eau de Toilette, a shower gel and a deodorant, so the scent can get daily wear or just for special occasions. I love it, and while I haven’t really thought of L’Occitane for men’s fragrance in the past I’m excited to see what they have later this year for Christmas!

The L’Occitane’s Cologne Cedrat Collection is available online or at most department stores, usually for around £79.00.

What are you getting your dad for Father’s day this year? Hop on Twitter and share your gift ideas.

Happy shopping!

In collaboration with the lovely people at L’Occitane


The Wednesday Wishlist!

One of my favourite times of the year is Spring/Summer and I love to wear the cool and quirky clothes that come out. Cute dresses, espadrilles and straw bags sing to me when I’m out so I’ve picked up a few of my favourite items that I just can’t do without.

1. Stripes and dots are big this season and so they’re featuring heavily in most peoples wardrobes at the moment. This gorgeous little stripe wrap dress from Miss Selfridge is super cute and will be perfect with a little pair of wedges, a straw round bag teamed with a denim jacket when it gets a little cooler in the evening.

2. Joy The store is one of my favourite shops especially during the summer months. They have some real gems and this sleeveless stripe dress is perfect for the warmer whether. Team it with some white trainers and enjoy the complements as it will suit everyone!

3. I love a nice slip dress especially one with spots so this Spot Plisse Slip Dress from Topshop is a winner. The lace really sets off the look. Team it with trainers and a denim jacket for the daytime or some heels and a jacket for a date night.

4. Red is a fab colour and this red drop hem Kaia dress from Hush is perfect for Spring/Summer. The style hides a multitude of sins and it’ll be perfect with a straw hat and flip flops or a white pair of trainers.

5. I have a real thing for cross body bags at the moment so this Katrina Tan Tassel Saddle Bag from Mint Velvet is perfect. A tan bag really goes with everything, and looks great too.

6. A wedge heel is a fab shoe for the spring and summer. There are lots of types of wedge and this delicate mid heel espadrille from Kurt Geiger are gorgeous and perfect to wear with a summer dress and denim jacket.  Kate Middleton is even a fan of them.

Let me know in the comments below what items you’re loving this week and if you love any of the chosen pieces in my wish list in the comments below or over on Twitter.

Happy Shopping!


Music Monday: Selena Gomez


Happy Monday!

This week me and the bump have been listening to all kinds of new music and along with enjoying the new tunes from James Bay, Selena Gomez ha been singing up a storm. Her new track Back to You was released just a few weeks ago and is from the the sound track of the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why, adapted from the book of the same name written by Jay Asher.

The track is really fun but has an emotional theme and message. You can tell that it has lots of influences, there’s country or Irish vibes, Acoustic fun and you can even hear some Kygo sound in there too with that summery vibe. The song was produced by Ian Kirkpatrick who’s worked with Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Nick Jonas and more.

Let me know what you’ve been listening to this week and whether you’ve been loving Selena Gomez’ tunes in the comments below or hop over on Twitter too.

Happy Listening!


The Tiptree Jam Jar Bar at Fenwick

On a recent journey home I took a scenic route back through some of the Essex countryside, and found myself driving through a stunning little village. Lined with extravagant homes and beautifully quaint cottages, it turned out to be Tiptree, a name I recognised from the company known for their jams, honeys and gins. Originally called Wilkin & Sons but recently rebranded to just Tiptree, their farm has been growing and selling fruit since 1865, so they know a thing or two about sweet treats!

Tiptree have been making waves in the last few years with their delicious range of fruit gins, and this Saturday they launched their new pop-up bar on the top floor of Fenwick in Colchester, which just so happened to be World Gin Day! So I grabbed my camera and went down to take a look.

Two months in the making, the wonderfully-named Jam Jar Bar opened for business with a selection of fruit gin liqueurs, cocktails, mocktails, wines, smoothies and shakes being prepared by a team of friendly mixologists. The bar area is beautifully decorated with rose gold lights hanging above a faux marble bar topped with small wooden boxes full of fresh fruit. A beautiful blossoming tree sits at the back of the room by the windows that flood the area with natural light, with the surrounding tables decorated with fresh flowers.

As well as their signature Tiptree gins, other local products from the likes of Adnams, Aspall and a range of wines selected by Peter Watts of Coggeshall were available. There was a really relaxed vibe, and an opportunity to soak in the view of Colchester from the top floor of Fenwick.

I flicked straight through to the mocktails, and picked out the Elderflower Sherbert, which contained a wonderful combination of Tiptree apple juice, lime marmalade, elderflower, lemon, cucumber and grapes. It was sweet and fizzy, and the fruit gave it a taste reminiscent of the little fizzy sweets I used to have as a kid, while the cucumber and ice kept it light and refreshing.

My husband opted for the Virgin Pina Colada, which contained Tipree Pineapple conserve, pineapple chunks and coconut cream. This was thick and fruity and like any Pina Colada tasted just like holidays! It had little pieces of dried pineapple on top and like my elderflower sherbet was served in a cute little Tiptree jam jar.

The Tiptree Jam Jar bar is open on the top floor of Fenwick in Colchester until the end of the year, so if you’re in the area be sure to check it out. And if you do then hop on Twitter and let me know what you went for.

Happy slurping!


Music Monday – Beach House

Happy Music Monday! I have no idea what happened to this weekend, it seemed to disappear in a flash! I did manage to get along to see Carlos Acosta dance in Norwich, one of my favourite all time performers and the man himself did not disappoint.

Another one of my favourite all time performers are the Baltimore duo who I’ve written about many times before, the wonderful Beach House. It feels like they’ve been away for years, I had to look it up – they released their last two LPs a fortnight apart way back in 2015. It looks like they’ve been hard at work because they’re back with their seventh album, aptly titled 7.

The album sees the band move into slightly different territory, speeding things up with a bit more energy injected into the majority of their new material, however they still retain that signature sound.

I’ve picked out the lead single Lemon Glow, a trippy song full of mesmerising loops. It’s so unmistakably Beach House, mixing the best of their older and newer sounds to create something that somehow still feels fresh.

Take a listen to the track below, and hop on Twitter and let me know what music you’ve been into this past week.

Happy listening!


Seven Products for Summer!

The shops are full of colourful products and I’m loving navigating Summer fashion now the weather is finally starting to get a little hotter. Stripes and spots are seeing their time once again and are some of the biggest trends this season.  I’m loving finding little gems to wear. I thought I would gather some of my favourite pieces that I’ve seen in the shops recently.

  1. First up is this gorgeous bright yellow wrap dress from Topshop. The short sleeves are slightly longer than normal but if you love to hide your upper arms in Summer this is a dress to try out. The length of skirt is key this season as it’s a really flattering to wear and the bright colour suits so many people. It will even brighten your mood too. Team it with a pair of trainers and a denim jacket or heels and a belt for the ultimate cool look.
  2. My second pick is this really gorgeous Y.A.S Dot and Stripe Ruffle Dress I love a shorter style dress or skirt in the summer and this Y.A.S choice looks so cute. It has both spot and stripes which work together well and the ruffle detail makes this dress especially playful. Team it with some converse or vans and a cross body bag for a funky vibe.
  3. Rompers or Playsuits are great for the warmer weather, and this Tropical Map Print Romper from And Other Stories is a winner. Such a pretty colour and I love a fun print in the summer too. Team this with some sandals or mules for the day time or a heel for the evening with a jacket to keep the cold at bay.
  4. Culottes are huge this season and if your searching for the perfect pair, these Lost Ink Wide Leg polka dot trousers might just be the ones for you. Team them with a lightweight jumper and a pair of wrap around wedges  and you’ll be right on trend.
  5. The summer season isn’t complete without the perfect red dress and I love a long wrap around one. It’s perfect for an evening out or for a special occasion. Curved Hem Maxi Dress from And Other stories is super cute with the ditsy print. Team it with black accessories, handbag and heels and maybe a leather jacket to pop around your shoulders for when the night get chillier.
  6. Straw bags are gorgeous and the accessory to have with you this summer. I spotted this super cute large embroidered circle bag in Accessorize. The bright embroidery will brighten any outfit! Team it with a denim skirt, floaty top and sandals for the perfect Summertime look.
  7. A great pair of dressy heels for summer should include a block heel. They don’t sink into grass garden parties and they’re a lot my comfy than your avarage court shoe. My final summer pick are these gorgeous Kurt Geiger Burlington Shoes   , they’re stylish and will go with anything. They also come in a red which is great for a pop of colour in an outfit.

Let me know what your favourite pieces are from the choices above and what you are loving wearing this season in the comments below or over on Twitter.

Happy Shopping!


Review: Phoenix Dance Theatre

Phoenix Dance Theatre – A Mixed Bill Review.

Phoenix Dance Theatre have recently been on tour with a mixed bill of work from a range of emerging and well known choreographers such as Sandrine Monin, Christopher Bruce and Sharon Watson. The mixed bill included 3 pieces – 2 shorter, and a longer one after an interval.

Calyx choreographed by Sandrine Monin was the first. It was choreographed by talented french dancer who also dances with the company and was on stage herself in this triple bill later in the evening. Monin interested in Calyx, the name given to the waxy casing that protects but later supports a flower throughout it’s life span uses this as basis for the piece and the book of poems Flowers if Evil by Charles Baudelaire. There is a subtlety of the meaning of Calyx that comes through in the contortion of creature like movement that’s threaded throughout this performance.

The use of props and material cubes gave the movement somewhere to originate as well as filling the giant space of the stage but at points their presence occasionally disrupted the flow of movement. Poison Ivy inspired costumes by Emma Louise James with vine like artwork on the upper body and the deep red of the velvet was that of roses that you would give to a loved one. They really added to the atmosphere and are beautiful made. The eeary piano music of composer Roberto Roscoe ran through much of the piece and gave just enough uncertainty to make the audience to make them feel on edge but still get lost in the movement. There was a particularly stunning trio towards the end of the choreography that could be played in repeat.

The second performance on the bill was called Shadows, a short piece by well known and loved choreographer Christopher Bruce, an oiginal put together specifically for Phoenix Dance Theatre and draws on the companies storytelling forté. With the likes of Ghost Dances, Rooster and Swansong in the choreographers back catalogue Bruce is well known for his politically aware choreography that can ruffle feathers. It’s an interesting factor and you can tell that every piece that Bruce choreographs has a little bit of his heart and his passion for his chosen subjects shine through.

Shadows draws from experiences reminiscent of family in war torn situations. The piece is subtle and set in a minimalist yet intimate family living room with two benches, a table and a coat hook in the space. There is a distinct sense of loss and sadness to the choreography with the melancholic yet melodic music of . The dancing was beautifully performed by the dancers although there is a lot of movement crammed into the piece, something Bruce is well known for doing but it works none the less. His pieces are often chosen to be part of the GCSE curriculum and Shadows is no exception. You can draw your own conclusion to the meaning, whether literal or otherwise and it’s something Bruce has been quoted as saying. Originally choreographed in 2014, it was so well received it’s toured a few times since so this is a much called for revival. The piece was enjoyed and well received though the pace did feel a little slower in contrast to the other dancing in this bill.

Staying with the political theme, the bill concluded with the main and most lengthy choreography Windrush: Movement of the People. Based on the story of the boat Empire Windrush that brought many Caribbean Immigrants to Britain 70 year ago. In the 10 years following 170,000 followed. The piece is choreographed by the companies award winning Artistic Director Sharon Watson, and Watson’s parents were two that settled in Leeds so it’s a story somewhat close to her heart.

The piece she’s created is truly beautiful and tells an over view of some of the many stories that could have been experienced. From the docks where excited people gathered to board Windrush and the cool reggae beats were enjoyed as the boat left to the horrific racism that was encountered once they had arrived into Britain. The sounds of poem ‘You Called, We came’ were loud and clear showing the unsettling seriousness that was experienced interlinked with happiness and interesting Caribbean culture that was brought into the country with live gospel singers and energetic dancing. It’s ultimately an uplifting piece that highlights the history of Windrush beautifully and it’s truly a piece to be proud of.

Overall, I’d say Phoenix Dance Theatres Mixed Bill is one to watch. It’ll have you tapping your foot and dancing in your seat. It goes on to be performed at York Theatre Royal and Barnsley Civic in November and it’s thoroughly recommended.

Happy dancing!