Dear July...

Friday, 31 July 2015

First of all can I say July, you've been too cold. I normally hate the Summer time and the stagnant heat but I do like to experience those couple of weeks, just so I can say that I have had a Summer. But this year you've really kept our sun away, hopefully you're storing it up for August/Septemeber when I'm off work, yes? July you've been a great month overall, you began with a trip to London as a late Birthday present from my Auntie, there I saw The Harry Potter Studio Tour and The Savage Beauty Alexander McQueen Exhibition, we also had a little wander around Oxford Street and Covent Garden, saw Les Miserables in The Queens Theatre and even experienced my first Tube journey! It was a packed full three days but I absolutely loved it and really started the month off on a positive. Knowing I can cope going to London and being in a packed train full of people and even walk down a busy city street has really opened my eyes to what I can actually achieve with my anxiousness. When we got back from London the next few weekends were full of work and various trips to cocktail bars and even a trip to the Lake District which, I always forget is directly on my doorstep and after visiting there again I promised never to take it for granted again, I live in a beautiful place and I need to appreciate it more. Speaking of appreciation I will say this July, you've given us some amazing sunsets and I'm so glad I can just nip down to the beach with my friends and watch them, there is nothing, and I mean nothing better than a Cumbrian sunset! July, you also opened my eyes and started my vegan journey, that's right I am becoming vegan. It just seems silly to me that I have been a vegetarian for almost 9 years now but still buy products that give money to the meat industry. This month has been a month for research and the things I found has really opened my eyes into the dairy industry especially. Slowly going vegan has made me feel more re-vitalised and I am full of energy, also July you bring the (almost) sunny weather, but you also bring the delicious in season fruit with you, I've been living off watermelons and strawberries, perfect July food! I also spontaneously attended a Call and Response open night and returned home with an official certificate in CPR, something that is an incredibly important thing to have especially if you are a student, it only took me an hour and you get freebies! You also brought along the annual music festival that comes to my local town, which also brings along lots of drinking, sun (usually) and great local bands. Also Blues Festival encourages everybody from your school that you appear to have forgotten about to come out of the woodwork, there's only so many times you can say 'oh I didn't realise you were pregnant again' or 'Is such-and-such still in jail?' It was a great weekend with great people and great drinks and didn't I mention that I managed to get it off work? That was a plus. 

July you've been great, even though it was slightly cold. I've achieved a lot and I have been able to spend time with the people that I like the most. It was like being off from school on my summer holidays again! More months like this one please. 

How was your July?

A Whole Lotta' LUSH

Thursday, 30 July 2015

After acquiring lots of Lush-style Birthday gifts and a trip to the Oxford Street store in London, I have come to the conclusion that I now have a plentiful amount of this shop's stock and therefore I must stop. This will probably take me months to use up because when it comes to bath bombs I'm super scrimpy (I cut them in half) especially with the ones I love the most. This has to be the biggest collection of Lush stock I have ever owned and oh my it feels good! 

I obviously haven't tried them all yet, but I am still going to try and do a review of the ones I have and maybe just visually analyse the ones I haven't? Because come on now they're all so pretty!

Lets start from left to right shall we?:

After using a Lush shampoo bar for the first time in May I have become one of their biggest fans, I think the whole concept of using a solid shampoo is such a great idea and because they are made without all those nasty chemicals like regular in-store shampoos, my hair has really felt the benefit. So when I saw this in my local store I smelled it and immediately was hooked seems as Karma is my favourite Lush scent, also the little pressed flower in the middle tops it off. I'm so excited to use this after my Brazilliant bar runs out. 

- Guardians of the Forest Bath Bomb - 

This isn't actually on the website because it is exclusive to Lush's Oxford Street store. I am so excited to use this, so excited that I might actually put it in all in one instead of cutting it in half (shock horror) All I can say about this bath bomb is that it smells of moss? and all things green. Which might not be to everyone's taste. I love the smell of like, a damp forest and that's all I can explain it as!

- #Rightsforanimals Special Edition Bath Bomb - 

Now I have to say that I was disappointed with this one. I thought from the sound of it that maybe it has things in or it was multi-coloured inside, but it just left my bath a strange cream colour. There was though, a slip that popped out of the bath bomb which stated '#rightsforanimals' which was nice. It was maybe disappointing but it did smell nice and the money went towards an incredible cause so I honestly didn't mind my white bath. 

Ah yes, a personal favourite of mine. I have purchased this bath bomb multiple times because I love the effect it has on my skin because it contains exfoliating seaweed and all sorts of salts and things. It's also great for the mind and now I have used this so often the smell actually relaxes me as soon as I pop it in my bath. The only problem is getting the seaweed out of the plug hole but after a long, relaxing, 3 hour bath of blue Heaven, that's not a lot to complain about!

Another oldie' but I haven't actually, ever tried this. It smells so nice though and I imagine that it would make your water green? I am saving this for an early morning wake up, because I think it would be a prefect pick-me-up for a long day ahead. 

Another Oxford Street exclusive, it's a huge golden, purple and orange pyramid, what more do you want in a luxury bubble bar?! When I saw this I knew I had to have it, I asked the lady if they had any in stock and alas, not on there own. But there was still hope in the form of a gift box with all the new Oxford Street bubble bars and low and behold, the karma pyramid was there, along with some of the others I'll talk about later. I have not used this bar yet because I'm saving it for a special occasion, come on now it's a fabulous pyramid with gold glitter you can't use that on an everyday occurrence! But hopefully soon I will get to sample it's delights. 

Another old time classic. I normally only purchase this soap at Christmas time, but I wasn't complaining when I got it as a birthday gift. I love the smell of this, it's so sweet and comforting, something about it to me is retro and almost nostalgic, I think it's the subtle scent of palma violets and vanilla and the classic, simple pastel-y shade. 

One of my all time favourites. I love savouring this special little guy when I've had a particularly hard day and just want to relax surrounded by toffee scents and little bits of shea butter that moisturise my skin. 

I know it's been out for a while but I have never actually tried this little pink beauty and am excited to have a lovely bright pink bath. It looks moisturising so I'm definitely going to save this bubble bar for a pamper night. 

- Big Bang Bubblebar - 

Another Oxford Street purchase, I was very excited when I picked this up because it appears to be a bubblebar and a bath melt all in one, with a bubble bar outer and a bath melt centre, delicious! It also smells like a mixture of Rockstar soap and this new, sweet scent that I haven't experienced before. This bubble bar is fun and exciting and I would say, one of my favourites from Oxford Street. 

- AmandaPondo Bubblebar - 

It took me so long to find out what this is called, because I believe it's been discontinued now. It looks boring but, it smells magical and the rosey' smell you get from it is almost over powering. I'm not a massive fan of rose, but I still think I will enjoy this when mixed into the water. 

- Karma Bubblebar - 

Before the fantastical pyramid came along, there was this. And it's still as magical as a pyramid covered in glitter in my opinion and the luminous orange colour it makes your bath go? Well I'm going to miss that so much.      

I love how this one has so many different colour combinations but it's all the same smell, I find that pretty special. It smells of oranges and I am excited to 'pop' it in my bath. (See what I did there?)

- Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds Bubblebar - 

This bubblebar has the same concept and shape as The Comforter, but a completely different smell. Un-like the comforter this has a very 'get-up-and-go' smell, it's great for baths before long journeys as I have found out and because of the size of it, you only need a little bit to create a brilliantly bubbly bath. 

- Flowering Tea Bath Dunk - 

When I saw this I was so confused and excited. When my slow brain grasped the overall concept of dunking the product into the water multiple times like a tea bag, I was sold. This thing is huge and if used carefully, will last for around 10 baths I think! You only need a tiny bit aswell and the process of dunking and swirling it in the water is very rewarding. It does not create bubbles but instead emits lovely flowery oils to massage and relax your body. It is another of my faves from Oxford street. (They all seem to be my faves!)

- Grass Bubblebar - 

It literally is what it says on the tin, Grass. But if you're like me and love the smell of all thing foliage, this is the bubble bar for you. Like Big Bang, this bubble bar also contains bath melts in the middle, shaped as little flowers. I imagine when I use this it will be like lying in a meadow, without the hayfever! I really hope so. 

- Lip Tint in Sunkissed - 

I know what everyone's thinking; 'Ciara the Oxford Street Store has Lush makeup did you not realise this? Why haven't you bought any?!' Well my fellow questioning people, I had a good long look at the makeup section and found that I wasn't too impressed if I'm honest. I tried a few lipsticks and the pigmentation wasn't very good and the eyeshadows and eyeliners were so pretty, but so expensive! I did fall in love with this lovely black eyeshadow segment, but for the size of it, the cost was extortionate and I had nearly already spent all my money on bathbombs! So, instead of leaving empty handed I picked up this lovely lip tint in a really unusual nudey' shade and I am very happy with it. It;s subtle enough to wear during the day but when layering it you can create this really nice bold nude lip, I like versatility in products as you know! And did I not mention it tastes like strawberries?!

- Lush Spa Tote Bag - 

I have been looking for the perfect tote bag for a while now and when I saw this one at Oxford Street I knew I had to have it. I love the design and the size, it's got everything you need for a tote bag! 

Wow that was a lengthy post, I have so much Lush it's unreal! (Not that I'm complaining) I hope my reviews weren't too rambly and you didn't mind the lack of articulation. I'm going to go and lie in a bath now and spend around an age wondering which bath product to use this time! 

Famous Yellow Raincoat

Monday, 20 July 2015

*Applause for the people that guessed the Leonard Cohen reference* First of all a big hats off to my wonderful friend Emily who took all these photos while I was flouncing around like an idiot on the beach. Her blog is beautiful and you should all go have a look! 

I acquired this dazzling piece of sunshine of a coat after looking through photos of yellow rain-macs and thinking 'actually, I might suit that'. You see my wardrobe has always been made up of blacks and greys and if the colours are brighter, they would be muted. I've never been a fan of bright clothing, I think because I have pretty bright hair so I can get away with wearing dull clothes all the time. But when I saw this coat on Asos I had this strange colourful epiphany and thought 'might aswell give it a go' So it went in the basket and it arrived around a week later and ever since I tried it on it has been stuck to me. My friends complain at me because I'll even wear it on really hot, sunny days with no rain in sight! I just think this colour is perfect for summer and really brightens up any outfit, it also goes with anything (apart from maybe a yellow shirt or something) which I didn't think it would. 
It states on Asos that the colour is not preferably 'yellow' it's 'lemon' which is in fact a muted tone (me and my muted tones) but I think it's a lot nicer than a warmer yellow. The zip and buttons are lined with white, giving it a 60's look and once fully zipped up, there is a button and flap which goes across the hood to makesure it stays up during those really stormy days. And before you ask, yes I will be wearing it during the winter too, it's a raincoat afterall. 

This photoshoot was topped off by a lovely, seaside sunset which we couldn't ignore. There's nothing better than a Cumbrian sunset. If you want this lovely rain coat here's the link to it here on Asos. 

Totally LUSH Pamper Day | Hayton Castle

Friday, 10 July 2015

On Saturday our little village was the face of a huge fund raising pamper day supported by Lush. This was a huge deal seems as nothing at all, ever happens in this picturesque little bit of no-where that I live in so I was straight on the bandwagon. A pamper day, supported my all time favourite shop, on my doorstep? How could I miss it?! The day was cram packed with therapy sessions such as reflexology and Indian head massages and cute little stalls, we were also given afternoon tea and cake and free roam of the gorgeous castle grounds. Hayton castle is a historic mansion with a beautiful view, it was the perfect place to throw something like this, the fact that the day took place in a castle gave it a feeling of complete sophistication.

All of the remedies and products used were completely ethical and organically sourced. The remedies and therapies that were available were: Indian head massages, reflexology, Bio energy massage, manicure or pedicure and facial and back massages.

 Because I am not much of a massage fan (personal bubble and such) I opted for a manicure and I wasn't disappointed, the lovely ladies from Serenity Room Aspatria gave me a lovely gel nail manicure in a dark green colour. Emily also got a manicure in a really lovely midnight blue 

The stalls that featured were a real variety, from Aloe Vera oils to plants. But they still suited the vibe of the day. One of my favourite stalls was the Lush one, they brought a selection of their best selling stock from their Carlisle store and set it out all lovely. As usual the staff that were there were so lovely and it was a little worrying that they knew me because I'm in that shop almost everyday! I was very good though and only bought one thing because I was going to London and would be stepping foot in the huge Oxford Street store soon! The thing I did buy though was the ever so famous Twilight bath bomb, even though it has been around for a while now, I have never tried it before so I thought, seems as this was literally down the road from my house and I was so lucky, that I had to get something I hadn't tried before, I wasn't disappointed as usual!

My second favourite stall was lovely Em's stall, who volunteered for the castle for a while and she is a very creative individual. Her stall was filled with homemade trinkets and plants in teacups (who doesn't love a plant in a teacup though?) I bought a huge cluster of succulents in a glass jar for only £3 which I feel is a complete bargain! I fell in love with Em's stall and wanted everything, glad she's in the process of making an Etsy store then eh?! Here is her facebook page for now, but I urge you all to go look at her Etsy when it's up and running! 

There were other stalls there aswell that sold: jewellery I had my eye on a ring, but alas my thick knuckles! Clothing, some really nice bright summer dresses and scarves, homemade candles which smelled so dreamy, an aloe vera stall where I tried my first taste of aloe vera toothpaste and some other health creams that were very beneficial to the skin and some with (drumroll) free samples! There was also a raffle to take part in as well, I do love a raffle. 

Because the castle grounds were teaming with wildlife and plant life me and Emily decided to take a walk around and discovered a small farm outside! From pigs to peacocks and ducklings to chicks, they were all incredibly friendly and it was a lovely way of passing the time whilst waiting for a treatment, had to wash my hands before getting my nails done though, those pigs loved getting their mucky ears scratched! 

A great day was had by all! And so much money was raised to go towards more projects for Hayton Castle. It's brilliant to see something like this happening in such a quiet village that only has one shop and a church. It's a real breath of fresh air for the bored locals to take in and I have incredibly high hopes for what the future holds for our tiny, but treasured village. If you want to check out any of the projects that Hayton Castle Fields is currently creating you can find their Facebook page, they have already been working incredibly hard to refurbish an old field into a sensory garden for local children and have many other things in their sights. I don't know about you but I'm excited! 

This pamper day was perfect for the summer and a brilliant idea for a small community to work together, I enjoyed every minute of it. Good work Katie and Stevie and I can't wait to see what other events you have in store!