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Emily

Music

Music Monday: Keala Settle and Hugh Jackman!

 

The Greatest Showman - Hugh Jackman!

This weeks Music Monday is a good one! The Greatest Showman just landed at the cinema and I very much advice that you go and see it. It’s a project that took 7 and a half years from start to finish and it hasn’t failed to steal hearts as it covers the story of P.T. Barnum and the start of the famous Barnum and Bailey Circus.

It was difficult to choose just one song to have for this weeks post because the film is just full of  powerful yet emotional songs. Each one was written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the same writers that wrote the songs from the critically aclaimed film La La Land.

I’ve decided to choose two songs – one thing you don’t see much of is the behind the scenes footage and so when these two videos of the first read or sing through of the film ap, the kind of blew me away. The singing is awesome, both Hugh Jackman and Keala Settle show their extreme singing skills. The songs are passionate, catchy, they have great messages to share with the world and well the whole film is very cheesy but if you love a good musical, you’ll love the songs and the film.

Check the videos below and let me know what you think over on Twitter!

Happy Listening!

Lifestyle

Choosing a Prom Dress

As many of you know I love trying new things, and jetting off abroad to discover new food, cultures and ways of life is something I think I’ll never grow tired of. Lately though I’ve been thinking about how many traditions from abroad have started creeping into the UK over recent years and found a home. Black Friday used to be something you only saw on Youtube when videos came out showing Americans climbing over each other for cut priced TVs, now it’s not only well established it’s taken on its own life here – lasting almost two weeks as we go mad for sales leading up to Christmas. Chinese New Year is getting bigger, and I’m slowly starting to hear of more and more friends going to Thanksgiving dinners each year. Another big tradition that seems to have come from abroad and stuck is the prom.

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Proms are something you used to see in movies like American Pie – it was a big night with an even bigger buildup. You had to carefully consider who to ask to the prom and whether they already had a date, what dress you were going to wear, and whether you could sneak out some alcohol from your parents cupboard to try on your last night with your friends before you all departed for different colleges. In real life there’s much less pressure and drama, as they’re usually held as you progress up from one school to another with the same friends. However choosing what to wear is still a big deal, and for a lot of teenagers finding the right prom dress is the equivalent of an adult having to choose their wedding dress. Having been through the drama of choosing a wedding dress I would have really appreciated a practice run by choosing a prom dress!

I know I have quite a few young readers, so I want to do my best to give them a few tips on how to choose the right dress for their big night. Let’s go for it!

Start Looking Early

My biggest piece of advice when starting to find your prom dress is to give yourself enough time! I cannot overstate how important this is. There’s a lot of dresses out there and you need enough time to figure out what works for you and to have any adjustments made if necessary. You don’t want to end up panic buying or having to settle for a dress that you’re not that keen on just because time got away from you, so start shopping early and nail it with weeks to spare.

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Ignore Trends

This is a tough one, but when choosing a dress go with what suits you over what’s hot right now. Your hair, body type and own personal style should dictate your dress, not the other way around. You want to this to look effortless, so if you buy a dress that’s bang on trend but doesn’t match you then you’re going to put in some serious time and cost to make it work, and then you run the risk of it looking that way. Also when you look back on your photos in the future you don’t cringe up if whatever was in at the time is now very much out.

Match Your Date

Got a prom date? Lucky you! Ask him what he’s wearing. If you’re arriving together, dancing together and having your photo taken together you’ll want to make sure what you’re wearing doesn’t clash horribly or look too similar. Your outfits should compliment one another, so plan them together if you can.

Are you heading to a prom this summer or have a daughter who might be? Hop onto Twitter and share your dress buying tips or photos.

Happy shopping!

*This post is sponsored by the lovely people at promdressfinder.co.uk

Travel

5 places I really want to visit in 2018!

At the start of a new year I like to reflect on the previous one, looking at the places that I’ve travelled and where I would like to go next. In 2018 there are lots of places on my list but for this post I’ve narrowed it down to just 5.

Riga, Latvia

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I’ve already been here before but this year there’s lots of reasons to go back. Aside from visiting family I haven’t seen for a while, this is a special and important year for Latvia and its capital. 2018 marks 100 years of independence which coincides with their traditional music and arts festival that’s held every 4 years. So there’s guaranteed to be a good feeling around the city this summer and plenty of celebrating to be done.

Dublin, Ireland

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Regular readers will know I’m rather fond of Suffolk’s own Ed Sheeran, and for Christmas my husband bought me tickets to see pop’s favourite redhead at Phoenix Park in May. We’re travelling up with some friends to make a week of it and explore the city, the zoo and of course the Guinness factory. I’ve seen Ed play before and it was incredible to hear him play, so I’m very much looking forward to this week in May!

Lisbon, Portugal

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Lisbon is a really up and coming city which has changed a lot in the past few years, attracting more young travellers due to its modernisation and newfound nightlife. The castle looks incredible, and the city on the whole appears to be a perfect mix of old and new. I recently read that it was the most sunlight in Europe, which as a permanent chaser of the sun means I simply have to go!

Madrid, Spain

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Last year I visited Barcelona, and but was considering Spain’s capital too, so it’s time to see another side of the country that I have such fond memories of. My friend who lives in Barcelona told me that Madrid is a wonderful vibrant city full of friendly people and isn’t too hard on your wallet. The city hosts an incredible cathedral, palace and the world famous Bernabeu stadium, home to Real Madrid which looks well worth a visit whether you’re into football or not.

Bali, Indonesia

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While the other destinations I’ve written about here are city breaks, Bali sits very much within holiday category. A long haul flight away with a stop in Asia, Bali is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. With beautiful beaches, coral reefs, mountains and an active volcano which actually erupted last year – Bali is perfect for both explorers and those who want to relax and get away from it all. I can’t wait to do both!

What’s on your list of places to visit this year? Hop on Twitter and let me know.

Happy travelling!

Lifestyle

Advice Corner – Planning Your Wedding Day!

While I sit writing this it’s snowing outside and will be dark in a few hours. This time of year can be a bit of a grind, but the thing that pushes me through the miserable weather and short days is the thought of the summer getting closer and all the wonderful things that come along with spring and summer when they finally arrive.

Weddings are one of things I always look forward to, and so far this year I’ve already had a few invites for friends’ big days to come in the months ahead. Some are jetting off to exotic locations and others are going for a more traditional approach closer to home. And while I’ve been lucky enough to successfully plan and survive a wedding day of my own, I can only imagine that my friends whose specials days are creeping ever closer and getting more nervous, excited and stressed in equal measures.

One of the things that makes me happiest is helping others, but I hate to step on my friends’ toes and try and give too much advice when it comes to planning a wedding, and I know that when I was planning mine so many people had their advice to give me on how things could be done and how they think our wedding should be. While they mean well sometimes it’s not always helpful and can quickly turn into a case of too many cooks, while you want to keep your wedding unique, special and personal – so taking lead from how others did things isn’t always that useful.

With that in mind I wanted to share a bit of my own advice here, mainly for people who are starting out with wedding planning. With the Christmas period just gone so many people are newly engaged, and with Valentine’s Day approaching I’m certain there’ll be plenty more. So let’s dive in and look at some of the basics when it comes to planning your wedding day.

Roles and Duties

One of the first things to do is to pick your team! There’s no way you can do this alone, so you’re going to need to bring in your friends and family who can help and support you on the day and throughout the buildup. Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and Ushers are obvious ones, but think about having a toastmaster who will organise your guests and keep things ticking on the day as they make announcements, draw people into the correct place at key times such as speeches and cake cutting and offer crowd control when needed! Lastly make sure that you get your wedding party little gifts to say thank you. Have a look at websites like confetti.co.uk for inspiration, and try and make as many of them personalised if possible – it adds a little extra special touch. We tried to hand make a lot of the gifts that we’d seen online – it was time consuming but worth it!

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Don’t Cut Corners on Photography

There’s no way around it, weddings are expensive and you pay a premium for seemingly normal thing. Flowers, cakes and photography all cost more if they’re for a wedding, so when you’re budgeting you’re going to cut a few corners and get people you know to do you favours. However one of the areas you really shouldn’t cut corners on is the photography. You may have an uncle with a great camera, but unless he’s a wedding photographer he won’t know how to get the right shot and the right time and the pictures of your special day are going to be below-par. Do your research and plenty of it when it comes to photographers – meet them, look at their work, ask their opinions on your ideas and see how knowledgable they are. It’s crucial that you get great photos, because when the day is over all you’ll have left is your memories and the picture, so make sure they’re fantastic! Just don’t hang around, the best ones get booked up fast.

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The Wedding Dress

Okay – the big one, the dress! It’s a huge decision to make, and you may have always dreamed of a certain style of dress and see them in shop windows, but when you put it on and look in the mirror it’s a different ball game! My best advice would be have an open mind about styles – lots of my friends have had a really clear idea about the kind of dress they wanted when they walked into a shop, but walked out with something they never expected to buy. Browse online first to get an understanding of all the different styles that are out there, and try on dresses you don’t think will suit you, so you have a true perspective. And most importantly, take an entourage of people with you – your closest friends and family, people who aren’t afraid to tell you truth. If your bum looks big your dream dress then you need to know about it!

If you’re married, hop on over to Twitter and let me know your biggest wedding tips! How did you day go and what would you do differently if you could go back and do it all again?

Happy planning!

*This post is in collaboration with the lovely people at Confetti.co.uk

Beauty

My Winter go-to make up!

The colder weather calls for moisturising products to help keep your skin feeling fresh. Along with a more winter friendly skin care regime, I’ve also changed up my make up slightly. There are a few trusty products that I keep going back to so I’ve gathered them together and popped them in a post to share with you.

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First up is a light weight brightening cream from Rosie by Autograph at Marks & Spencers, one of the main products from the collaboration with model Rosie Huntington Whitely. This product gives a beautiful radiant glow when layered lightly over the skin and it’s also a great base to work with too. It’s moisturising and can be worn on it’s own for those lazy days or under foundation for a more dressed up look. It also has a low level SPF in which is great on those days when you’re out in the sun a little. Best of all, it leaves my skin looking more healthy even when I’m not feeling it and it’s good for both vegetarians and vegans to use which is an added bonus.

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Next up is Bye Bye Under Eye from It Cosmetics. As I’ve said before, I’ve heard a lot of bloggers and Youtubers rave about this concealer so when I recently saw it in Selfridges, I nabbed a few testers to see what the fuss was about. When applied, it feels like a wonder product as when warmed up and applied in the under eye area, it really does conceal. It is heavy though so the one thing that I’ve noticed is that with great application comes a great setting powder and a fab make up remover/ cleansing routine in the evening. Trust me your skin will thank me and needless to say I went back to get the full size too.

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Next up is the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Glow palette. It has three gorgeous eye shadows in that help you gain a great day time look. Start with the lightest first all over the lid, pop the middle colour over the middle and outer edge of the eye with a little to be pulled underneath. Leaving the darkest colour to be fluffed into the crease. Darken this up a little more for an evening look too.

Next up is the contour, now I don’t use this much as it’s a tad dark for my colouring but pop a hint just under the cheek bones in a line towards your ear and blend in till theres just a hint of colour. You could also go around the hair line lightly, down each side of your nose lightly and under the edge of your jaws. Looks great! Next up is the blush, theres two in this palette, the top one is a little dark for me so I just use the lighter one as a pop of colour. It looks so pretty.

Lastly the highlight is for the tops of your cheek bones, the outer half of the brow bone, also maybe a little down the nose and on the cupids bow on the top lip. It’s a beautiful subtle golden colour that’s loved by everyone that uses it.

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I apply a little mascara on my eye lashes next, I’ve been testing so many out recently that I couldn’t decide on one to show. I like length, colour and definition with something like the IT Cosmetics Superhero or Armani Eccentrico both give.

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Next up is eye brows. I’ve long been a long time fan of Fleur De Force eyebrow products so this double ended brow define pencil is perfect for filling in those pesky sparse areas. With both a darker and a light shade, it covers all bases.

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If the eye shadow isn’t dark enough for an evening look, freshen it up a little with a subtle shimmer of the Havana Mac eye shadow. A little in the crease is all it needs to make the look pop!

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Last up is this gorgeous Collection eye liner – it’s a hard nibbed pen is great for creating a perfect cat eye flick or a subtle line to make your lashes look a little thinker. The long handle allows for precise movement and application and the formula is long lasting.

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Finish the look with a killer lipstick. My favourite is the Charlotte Tilbury in Pillow Talk, a beauty of a colour that looks like your lips but better. Perfect for everyday. The second is this pretty  Tom Ford creation in Indian Rose. It’s a perfect nude pink to pull any look together and a perfect way to make your make up look and feel a so special. Perfect for a birthday meal or a wedding!

Let me what do you think of the products used and if you’ve been liking any  message me over on Twitter to let me know.

Happy Shopping!

Music

Music Monday – Crystal Bats

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Happy Music Monday! This week I’m pleased to finally write about a band I’ve featured here before, Norwich duo Will Jones & Will Vaughan – best known as Crystal Bats.

The two Wills first grabbed my attention 3 years ago with their track Falling in Love, and since then I’d heard very little from them. After that track come up on a shuffled playlist recently I decided to see what they’re up to. Looks like they’ve been busy this year with a couple of new songs and videos, and the one I’ve picked out this week is their track Killing Me.

A collaboration with vocalist Whinnie Williams, this smooth track is so 80’s it hurts, and the video captures what the pair are all about – guitars, loud suits, hairspray, synths and sunsets. The song is as catchy as it is retro, and it’s a real step up in quality from their earlier tune. I’m excited to see what’s next from Crystal Bats this year!

Take a listen below and Tweet me and let me know what you think.

Happy listening!

Performance

Interview Series: Alexander Campbell

I’m starting a new series where once a month I interview somebody of interest. This month I’ve teamed up with Australian born Alexander Campbell, an up coming star of the the Royal Ballet.

He trained at the Royal Ballet School, and went on to perform with the Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) and the Australian Ballet where he still often makes guest appearances. He was promoted to principle just a few years ago in 2016 and has danced some of the most well loved leading roles ever since.  He dances with many partners but one of his main collaborations is with Francesca Hayward, and together they’re one of my favourite duos. I’ve seen the pair most recently perform Peter Wright’s classical yet festive Nutcracker, and Canadian choreographer Robert Binet’s The Dreamers Ever Leave You – a site specific hypnotic and immersive dance experience staged at London’s Printworks, both of which were stunning.

Now enough background, lets hear from the man himself. Enjoy!

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1. How did you get into dancing?

I went to see a performance by a school that my grandmother was teaching at when I was about 5 years old. I don’t remember much about the show but apparently I went home and said ‘that’s what I want to do!’

2. In the past you played a lot of cricket but made the choice to pursue ballet instead. Is there anything you learned from cricket that has helped you in your dancing career?

Through my connection with cricket, I learnt a lot about the importance of training and how best to look after your body. I remember being told about Skins when they first came out and learning about the value of compression as a recovery tool. Little things like that were really helpful to go alongside my ballet training.

3. Your biggest influence in the world of dance is Mikhail Baryshnikov – have you ever met him and if so what was he like?

I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Mikhail Baryshnikov but I had the opportunity to see him perform in Sydney when his White Oak Project toured to Australia. It was so exciting to see the person who I had watched numerous times on video in real life!

The Dreamers Ever Leave You - Francesca Hayward and Alexander Campbell

4. Who is your biggest influence outside the world of dancing?

Probably the members of my family. It would be impossible to pick one of them out as they all have different things I can talk to them about. I look up to each of them in different ways and I’m the person I am today because of them.

5. As a dancer you have to watch what you eat, but which food is your guilty pleasure?

I love biscuits … it’s probably a good thing that I don’t live in Australia near the Tim Tams or the Mint Slices! I struggle to say no to a good burger too.

6. Dancers travel a lot – what’s your weirdest airport experience?

I remember sitting in Dubai airport as I waited for a flight and seeing someone in the gate next to ours doing a series of ballet exercises. I tried not to stare but it very quickly became apparent that this was a professional so I had a closer look and was surprised to find that it was Amber Scott, Principal of the Australian Ballet. I’m not sure we’d ever met before then but I had worked with her brother, Glyn, whilst in Birmingham Royal Ballet so I went over to say hello. We had a nice chat then we flew in opposite directions as she was returning to Australia whilst I was going back to London!

7. You’ve danced all over the world, but where’s one place you haven’t danced yet that you would like to?

The Palais Garnier in Paris – such a beautiful opera house.

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8. You’ve had many partners over the years, is there one dancer living or dead who you like to dance with the most?

Having worked quite a lot recently with Francesca Hayward I feel like we could develop something really quite special. I love what she does onstage during performances and I’m intrigued to see how we would work together on meatier, more dramatic roles. It is my hope that we will have the opportunity to develop our onstage relationship. In saying that, I feel very fortunate to have worked with some really wonderful partners; Natasha Oughtred, Momoko Hirata, Yuhui Choe, Laura Morera and Akane Takada to name but a few!

9. How did presenting for the live insights come about?

I was asked if I’d ever be interested in presenting one of the insights and I remember thinking ‘why not?’. I saw it as an opportunity to try something new and I liked the idea of developing a different skill. If you’d have told me that within a couple of years I’d be co-presenting a live cinema relay opposite Darcey Bussell, going out to over 30 countries worldwide, I probably would have laughed and said you were crazy, but it was an incredible experience and I hope to do it again soon!

10. What do you like to do in London when you get a day off?

I’m quite a morning person so I like to get up and have breakfast somewhere on my day off. My current favourite is a café in Tooting called Mud. Good coffee, delicious food. After that, it could be anything! I enjoy going to the cinema and seeing a good film. I enjoy going to the Victoria and Albert Museum and walking around – even though I’ve lived here in London for 15 years I still get excited about the historical buildings and the wonderful things to see. All that said, I’m also a bit of a homebody, so I’m perfectly happy to put my feet up and watch some sport on the TV!

You can follow Alexander Campbell on Instagram on @acampbell_1  and on Twitter at @Acampbell_1.

Happy Dancing!

Beauty

My Winter Favourites!

Over the colder months I have been adding to my beauty collection and loving quite a few lifestyle items too so I thought I would share them in this Winter Favourites post.

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Fearne Cotton – Happy

Fearne Cotton has written a few books in the last few years, one of which was a book called Happy. She draws on her own experiences with happiness and gives her own tips and hints to what helped her on her journey. It’s a great read and after the success of the book, she went on to write a journal where she gives daily tips and hints. There are exercises to complete, things to think about and music to listen to. It goes through the whole of the year, I’ve been loving reading this and I’m looking forward to popping this into my daily routine.

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Rosie by Autograph – Amazing Radiance Cream

The first make up product I have to share with you is the Rosie by Autograph – Amazing Radiance Cream, part of the collaboration with Rosie Huntington Whitely. I love this stuff because of it’s subtle yet gorgeous radiance it gives you. You can wear it both under foundation and on it’s own, either way it gives you a healthy glow. It was also a finalist in the 2017 CEW Beauty Awards and I can see why, now I’ve used it.

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Mac – Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Havana

The Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in the colour Havana from Mac is a really pretty deep copper brown. It’s not a colour I had seen before I had bought it but I’ve been wearing this quite a lot over the past few months.  A light dusting over the full lid in the day time or a darker dusting just in the crease in the evening. It has some really lovely pigmentation and shimmer which is even deeper with a little fix spray.

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IT Cosmetics – ByeBy Under Eye Concealer

It Cosmetics is a brand that  keep hearing a lot about so when I needed a concealer recently I thought that I could try out the Bye Bye Under Eyes Concealer and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s high coverage so it really does cover a multitude of sins although it does come in only six colours. It’s also infused with peptides, vitamins, hyaluronic acid and more.

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L’Occitane – Precious Light Cream

L’Occitane is a company that I’ve always loved so when I had the Precious Light cream was sent to me recently I knew that would love it straight away. It’s a light moisturiser that can be used daily. It really smooths and firms the skin. It also absorbs quickly and contains SPF20 which it perfect all year around to protect from harmful UV rays.

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Becca – Luminous Blush in Chameleon

The last product that I’ve been loving this winter is this Becca Luminous blush in the beautiful colour Chameleon. It’s a purple/pink colour goes really well with a Winter or Summer styled make up. It’s subtle but creates a gorgeous flush on the cheeks and I love using it.

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Do let me know if you love any of these products as much as me in the comments below or over on Twitter.

Happy Shopping!

Music

Music Monday – Wet

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Happy Music Monday! It’s the second week of the year and so far so good. Music-wise I’m yet to discover anything incredible to come out in 2018 but it’s still early, so I’m dipping into the archives for a fantastic track this week.

Wet are a 3 piece indie band from New York who met at New York University and started writing songs together back in 2012 after a few different failed projects with different members. After finally settling on the name Wet, they released their self-titled first EP in late 2013. Shortly after the group moved away from New York to Massachusetts where they began working on their debut album Don’t You, which peaked at 55 in the indie charts.

I’ve picked out their single from that album Deadwater, a hauntingly beautiful song which features pianos and slinky guitars that remind me of a slower and less intense incarnation of The War on Drugs. The jewel in Wet’s crown is singer Kelly Zutrau’s vocals, and this track showcases her talents with exquisite harmonies that she seems to pull off with ease. I’m hoping to hear new material from Wet in 2018, a follow up album would be very welcome!

Hit the play button below and Tweet me and let me know what you’ve been listening to lately!

Beauty

Crabtree & Evelyn Sale Picks!

The start of the new year brings sales and there are some great bargains to be had. One of my favourite companies and one that I’ve heard a lot about from my family over the years is Crabtree & Evelyn. I’ve been   lucky enough collaborate with Crabtree & Evelyn before and I thought that I would choose a few of my favourite products that you should buy in the January sales.

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First up is this White Cardamom body scrub. The whole collection which features a body cream, room spray, diffuser, hand cream, candle and more smell heavenly. The scent is a sweet and delicate mix of iced vanilla, mid winter mimosa and mulled spice cardamom. The body scrub has a wintery blend of sugars and rich oils that gently scrub and polish your skin leaving it looking silky smooth and beautifully prepped ready for the Spring/Summer season to come. It’s a fab product that needs to be sampled to be believed.

IMG_1702I love a great scent especially a perfume or a candle but when I was sent this gorgeous room fragrance from the Noel collection I loved it straight away. It’s festive and wintery with a combination of citrus fruits and mulled spices.  The Noel Collection includes a diffuser and candles as well as the room spray. As it’s a seasonal limited edition, you’ll want to snap any of this collection up before it’s gone.

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The La Source Collection is one that I’ve featured on the site before. It’s part of Crabtree & Evelyn main line and it’s a firm favourite for me. They have a few festive sets that feature this gorgeous ultra moisturising hand cream which is a winter essentual so go seek it out before it goes out of stock.

IMG_1704Crabtree and Evelyn have some amazing products and I’m really looking forward to trying out more in the future.

Let me know if you’ve been liking any of these products featured in the comments below or over on Twitter.

Happy shopping!

 

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