Saturday, 30 March 2019

Celebrating Mothers Day without a Mun

Mothers day, fathers day and all the celebration days in between can be the most fantastic days, but it can truly be heart wrenching for others and unfortunately that's me.

Doing this blog and social media, I am super lucky to be offered some great gifts and collaborations, and when some emails came through this year again about Mothers Day, like every year I kindly decline and dont think too much more about the emails, but this year one email that came in really made me think. How can we celebrate Mother's Day when you don't have a Mum.

The great people at Newbridge Silverware asked if they could gift something for the day to me, and myself and the PR got chatting and the next day, this stunning locket came in and it is so stunning, and I truly think this could be a really beautiful gift to give someone if their mum has passed away and you want to let them know you're thinking of them. You can find this stunning piece here

Jewellery can bring up so many memories, and create new ones, and I think you could even give this to a friend who has lost their mum just to let them know they are loved. 

Of course it doesn't have to be mothers day to buy this gift, it is such a classic piece of jewellery it would be an amazing gift for all occasions.

This lovely slate heart is from Very, and it's what I have bought for my mummy's grave this year. I always struggle to put something on the grave but this really stood out to me and it was very reasonably priced and the fact I was able to personalise it was so special.

Prestige flowers is a company I collaborate with quite regularly and they sent these beautiful flowers over. This is the Orion bouquet and you can find it here on the site. It is stunning roses and cala lilies and if you're still struggling on a way to celebrate maybe do this with some flowers. Split a bunch or buy 2 smaller ones and have the same at your home and with your loved one, it has actually given me a sense of being close to her because I took a few stems out and popped them with me at home. They have lots of flowers and budgets so definitely you will find something there.

Another great way to celebrate is to make your mums favourite meal. If you're anything like me the thought of going out on mother's day to commemorate mummy would kill me. So I always make a nice meal with daddy and Scott and near the end mummy loved me making her bolognaise and brown rice so I think we will do that this year.

A beautiful picture framed is always appreciated and when snappy snaps reached out to collaborate and again we discussed my situation and we felt a lovely photo would be a nice way to celebrate mummy. Snappy snaps have loads of different photo gifts and there is something for everyone again with great styles and budgets. Pop over here to see all their photo gifts, I have my eye on a couple for sure now

I can't begin to say how hard Mothers Day is for me, but these little ways to remember Mummy will definitely will to celebrate the day.

Thank you to the companies that gifted me the gorgeous pieces for some of this piece, but as always opinions are my own.  Till next time lovelies, stay smiling


Monday, 18 February 2019

Sheet masking with Procoal

Hey lovelies,hope we are all starting to enjoy the lighter evenings. I for one definitely am. If you know me at all, you will know I love sheet masks, I find them great for a quick boost of energy, and feel they are super relaxing when I need ten minutes to myself.

When the team from Procoal got in contact to see if i fancied trying their Marine Moisture mask which incorporated charcoal and B5 roperties, I was excited to try them, as I love using charcoal as a way of extrracting impurities etc from my skin,  and the thought of using it in conjunction with hydrating properties really interested me.

The team kindly sent me out their 4 pack of the Marine Moisture masks, which are full of antioxidants, botanical properties and B5 for lots of moisture and hydration. These masks are free from any nasties including, parabens, silicons and any SLS properties.

Each mask is soaked in 25ml of serum,which is perfect if your skin is feeling extra dry, also each mask comes in a seperate pouch and the mask itself is really well soaked in the serum. I did however have to squeeze some of the serum out into a little pot as when I put the mask on, the serum was literally running off it, and I didn't want  to waste any of the serum.

I kept the mask on for ten mins, whilst catching up on a little Neighbours, and my skin felt lovely and plump afterwards.
At 13. 99 for 4 masks, they are on the higher side of high street, but the fact I was able to put quite a bit of serum from the mask into a pot for another 2 nights use, I would be happy enough to pay that for 4 masks.

To be honest, in terms of the charcoal properties I did't see anything great with this, it was the hydration levels I was most impressed with, and I think because of this, these could be a great gift for anyone, as any skin type, could always do with a hydration boost.

I am definitely going to look into the brand more to see their other charcoal products, and let me know below if you guys use charcoal at all.

If you want to check out the masks pop over to the site Here

Till next time lovelies, keep smiling and striving
Ali x

Sunday, 17 February 2019

My Netflix Faves

Hey lovelies, so it's safe to say Netflix is taking over the viewing world, and there's nothing I love more than finding a great series to snuggle up on a rainy afternoon and binge watch a few episodes, or find a great movie to get stuck into.

I must admit I have a really varied range of tastes when it comes to TV and film. One day you could see me watching a documentary on how the latest aircraft engines are made and next day I might be binging on a series about teenagers dancing for a place in an elite school, varied isn't it!! I thought I would give my top 10 series to watch  that I have been loving recently, but don't worry I have kept these all pretty mainstream so no random aircraft or dancing here.

There are no big spoiler reveals or anything here!

So have a nosey and find something new to enjoy

Peaky Blinders
Set after the War in 1919, Peaky Blinders is all about a gangster family in Birmingham who notoriously use razor blades in their peak caps, to deal with enemies just say. Between love, rivals, mafia and everything in between, its one of those shows that I will rewatch again and again.

This is a show based on the old Archie Comics, all about a group of high school students, seemingly in a beautiful quiet town, but what unfolds is murder, secrets, lies and lots of love to make it a little easier. Although it's into its third series and I have to admit a little far fetched now, I still can't help myself watching it. Definitely one to just sit and chill out to.

Girls Incarcerated
This is one of the rare finds, when looking through some suggested shows. All about young teen girls in a young prison in Madison USA, it shows how life can be when you don't follow the law. This was fab as it showed different sides to the girls and how they dealt with not being near family, new relationships and not getting their way 24/7

This is a real recent one for me, and from the 1st episode I was hooked. I binge watched this series over a day when my fybromyalgia was really bad and I was in bed. Starting off with a seemingly innocent encounter with two people, it all turns very very strange indeed. The stalker uses social media to really get into her head and I have to admit, I went from anger, to sadness to everything in between. If you love twists and turns definitely put this on your list.

Sex Education
Without a doubt one of the funniest shows in a while!! Otis the lead character is your typical boy with no girl experience type of character but the main difference is he has a sex therapist as a mum played by the amazing Gillian Anderson. Somehow it ends up with him trying to give sex advice and leads to some hilarious disasters.

Marie Kondo
If you haven't heard of this decluttering queen recently, you must have been living under a rock the past few months. Believing in the power of decluttering to enrich and fulfill your life, Marie joins families as they try and deal with different areas of their life and I have to admit the results are always amazing. From thanking your possessions and bringing all your clothes into one pile in one room it can definitely be a little overwhelming to begin with, but when you master her folding technique it's plain sailing after that. Needless to say I have been Marie Kondoing lots in the house.

The Crown
All based on the play "The Audience" it shows Queen Elizabeth the second, ascending to the throne at the age of 25 after the death of her father. Showing her relationships, political issues and lots of drama, I can't wait for the next series to be back this year.

Black Mirror
This is definitely a show that makes you think. All one off episodes so no need to worry about keeping up with story lines, Black Mirror bridges that gap between what is real life now and what could easily be real life through technologies new and old. Definitely one to watch to make you think about what could be real with just a few tweaks of technology.

This has to be one of the best underrated shows on Netflix. All based on the 80s glamorous ladies of wrestling.,it shows all the ups and downs they go through from personal relationships to producing a show when everything is against them. I adored this show and all the 80s glam helped!!

This is a show I go back to time and time again ever since it came onto Netflix. Group of friends, lots of coffee, lots of laughs and it's perfect to binge watch, what more do you need.

There you have it, my top ten series I have been loving recently.
Let me know what you have been loving.

Till next time lovelies
Keep smiling


Sunday, 3 February 2019

Valentines treats with Prestige Flowers

Hey lovelies, hope you're all well and getting over the crazy snow we have been having.

Even though I believe we should be able to show our loved ones how much we love them any day of the year, when it's comes to Valentines Day it's a great day to give an extra special treat to a loved one, whether it be your partner, friend or parent.

I do love fresh flowers in the house and I think they can really brighten the place and also lift your mood. I also love to send flowers for different occasions, but I do worry about postage etc so when Prestige Flowers asked if I wanted to receive one of their special Valentines day bouquets again this year I was chuffed.

They have a great range of bouquets on offer to suit budgets and also what type of flowers you would like to send.

The next day I received this great big box with a stunning bouquet inside. The flowers where secure inside but by no means squashed, and inside a bag with a wet pouch to allow the stems to stay hydrated. There was also the cutest Teddy in the box and gorgeous chocolates, which I won't lie where eaten by the time the flowers were out of box. Dad and hubby were very thankful for those indeed.

The bouquet I received is the Paris and you can find it here. You can add on lots of little extras to personalise the gift which definitely adds to the fun of it all.

I did notice that a few of the flowers were still in bud, and I think this is a great idea because it gives your recipient the opportunity to enjoy their flowers for the longest time which is without a doubt what you want.

The Paris bouquet is definitely worth the £35 as I had to use two vases in the end up when the lilies started to open up, so without a doubt great value.

You can find their range of special Valentines Flowers here let me know what your fave bouquet is!

Till next time my lovelies, I hope you all have an amazing week
Love Ali x

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Ethical Jewelery with Ingle & Rhode

Hey lovelies, I am back today with a lovely piece on what I feel is a really important topic at present. We are getting more aware of issues surrounding companies using unethical products and suppliers and without a doubt; it's a subject that has interested me more the past year.

You may remember me talking about starting to invest in key items and moving away from fast fashion etc. but as a plus size girl, it’s very hard to find these pieces of clothes, so my way is to invest in pieces of jewellery, handbags etc. that I know can be styled many ways, will last many years and I am aiming to shop from more ethically minded stores. In this piece I have been speaking with the team behind the brand.

In 2006 David Rhode was looking for an engagement ring, but wanted to find a jeweller who could trace the diamonds and he found this near impossible to do. He looked into the jewellery industry and found so many areas that he felt uneasy about varying from blood diamonds to child labour.
David and his friend Tim Ingle knew they had to address this and this is where the brand was born.
The independent luxury jeweller use fully traceable diamonds and other gemstones, including a range of emeralds and sapphires, and are fully on board with an ethical supply chain. Their core message is that everything is traceable and that they are also fully transparent, this in today’s market place in the jewellery industry is so important.

When I was approached by the brand and did a little research, I got the feeling that they truly wanted to look after their suppliers, and they are so passionate about using suppliers who treat their workers with dignity and respect. They are also very keen to limit the impact to the environment, and I think you can agree that without a doubt it’s a company lots of others could take a close look at. Their gold and platinum all come from only certified Fairtrade and recycled sources and all gems used come from conflict free zones and as stated earlier are fully traceable back to their mine of origin. Personally, I think there is something really special about this. Demand for ethical jewellery is growing rapidly, and Ingle & Rhode have all their jewellery made in the UK, so this gives a great boost to the UK economy.

The company themselves have the most stunning range of engagement and wedding rings, and this is what they are mostly known for, you can find their range of engagement rings here and wedding bands here. They also have a selection of stunningly elegant eternity bands and I may or may not be saving a link to my desktop as a little hint to hubby, hands up who thinks it will work. If you want to leave a link for your loved one, pop over here to have a look. They have a range of key pieces within each section, but if you want to truly make your piece unique, the company do an amazing bespoke service, where they will work with you every step of the way to make your dream piece. You can tailor make your piece to the last detail, do you want a classic rose gold, or opt for something a little more modern like, white gold, platinum or rose gold, and what about diamonds and gemstones, you can even decide on the shape of stones, especially great if you love a vintage piece with a trilogy style, or maybe had your heart set on an ultra modern piece set with a solitaire.

If you aren’t in the market for some bridal jewellery but love the idea of the company etc., then they have a gorgeous silver collection, and this is the collection I was kindly gifted an item from.  I was kindly sent the droplet earrings and they are even more stunning in person than in the pictures. These are fair mined sterling silver droplet earrings and each one is set with a stunning brilliant cut Canadian diamond. You can find the earrings here the earrings are £375 and would make the most beautiful gift for a loved one. They also have a matching pendant but what I have found is if you invest in key classic pieces you can pair them up with so many other styles.  Included in the silver collection are some stunning cufflinks, and some classic pieces like the knot earrings here.

I have worn the earrings a few times now, and I must admit knowing that they come from a place of love, ethically mined etc. does your heart good, and I know without a doubt, I will be looking for more ethically sourced pieces this year.
If you want to get in contact with Ingle & Rhode you can give them a call on 020 34687917 or pop into their offices in Marylebone, London.
Thanks again to the team for the beautiful gift, as always opinions are my own.

Till next time lovelies
Keep smiling
Ali x

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