The UK Blog Awards 2016 

On 29 April, the big day arrived – the UK Blog Awards 2016. Third year in its running, and this year it was at the Park Plaza Westminster, facing Big Ben and in the heart of the city.

I took the day off work, and spent most of the morning steaming with vicks as I had the start of the flu – perfect timing! In the afternoon, I headed to HOB hair salon in Stanmore, where the lovely Janki styled my hair in romantic curls, and did my make up for me.

I whole-heartedly trust Janki with all my big events, and she was by my side during my wedding week as well as the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards.

Photo credit: Janki
My lovely friend Anne met me at HOB Stanmore, after a trip from Bristol, and we both headed to mine to continue getting ready.

BMW UK kindly sent over this amazing complimentary car to pick us up and drop us home at the end of the evening- the swanky new 7 series with a very charming driver called Vasos Papanicolaou.

Photo credit: Aditi
 A big thank you to him for taking our photos and explaining all the cool things the BMW could do. We had a massage function on our individual seats and we could change the colours of the lights in the car. He did offer us champagne but we thought it would be better to behave.

We picked up Aditi from Aditi’s Pen and after a lovely drive through London, arrived at the Park Plaza, Westminster, where we met Michelle from Petite Tea Lover, Seetal from Savla Faire and Mandy.

After a bit of mingling, drinks and canapés, we sat down for the award ceremony, and took a couple of selfies.

And some decent pics….

The screen then lit up and it all commenced!

The hilarious Kate Russell was a fantastic host and she was last year’s winner for best individual digital and technology blog.

The lovely Gemma Newton, founder of the UK Blog Awards gave a fantastic welcome speech to set the scene for the evening an officially opened the awards.

As you know I was a finalist in the Food & Drink category, as well as the Lifestyle category. I didn’t win but am so pleased my friends in the blogging world did. Chris from Tiki Chris  and Kiran from The Swindon got Highly Commended. The lovely husband wife duo Eulanda  and Omo from Hey! Dip your toes in won and I am so happy for them as I absolutely love them.

After the award ceremony, it was mingling and fun. Odeon cinemas had set up a mini cinema area, complete with couches, bean bags and pop corn where they actually had short films on.

In addition, what I looked forward to the whole night, was getting into a bubble by the very talented bubble man from Bubble Inc. It was so much fun!

I had a really good night, it was lovely to glam up and be pampered for the evening and I am so proud and happy to have made it as a finalist for 2 categories. Since I started my blog its been a wonderful experience, have made so many new friends and tried so many different things. Here’s to more fun and new adventures in the future xx

Holiday hair essentials 

Holiday hair can be a nightmare, if especially like my hair, the humidity makes it go all frizzy and unmanageable.

For a recent trip, I took a cordless hair straightener called the Glamoriser Cordless Freestyler Hair Straightener. It is compact, handy, practical and really good. You can even pop it in your bag for excursions which is so good!

It is perfect for straightening or even curling your hair, for a glamorous evening look.

You can purchase it here.

I also took the Braun Satin Hair 7, which is a fabulous brush. It releases ions with the flick of a button and leaves your hair feeling good as well as being an excellent brush. It helps keep your hair moisturised, as well as frizz and tangle free which is absolutely what you need on holiday. For more information go to: http://uk.braun.com/en-gb/hair-care/dryers/satin-hair-7-brush

Do you have any favourite hair essentials or holiday hair tips? Would love to know them in the comments below.

Whats in my bag – Flight edition

 

I am the type of packer who relies on a list to check off (and double-check) to ensure I have taken everything I could possibly need. I like to be prepared and this time we were  taking a 17 hour flight to and from Mauritius so I decided I needed to be extra organised  as once you are on the flight you only have what is in your bag!

I also wanted a really functional but fashionable holdall for the flight itself which would be able to carry everything on my list to get me through the flight.

I chose a Mia Tui bag, which is seriously the perfect travel bag. It is so practical and comes with multiple pockets and slots so you can pack lots in an organised way so it is easy to find things.

It also has 2 pouches, 1 being a clear one you can use for toiletries, which I found so handy. The other pouch was used for holding our passports and travel documents so they were safely in one place.

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Not only was the bag perfect for the flight, it doubled up as a fantastic bag to take on excursions and to the pool & beach too! I could fit in a towel, book, camera, water, sunblock and a change of clothes without it even being over-stuffed.

It is so comfortable to carry due to its long straps and it is available in a whole range of colours. I went for the pewter one.

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I thought it would be useful to share what I packed in my bag in case you are travelling soon and need some inspiration for a packing list.

Important documents

  • Passports
  • Boarding passes
  • Return ticket information
  • Accommodation details
  • Travel insurance policy documents
  • Money
  • Bank cards

Entertainment/Electrical items

  • Macbook/Ipad
  • A good book – I read Not Working by Lisa Owens
  • Earphones
  • Notebook and pen (you never know when inspiration strikes)
  • Phone charger (our flight had a USB slot)
  • Camera

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Facial oil
  • Face cream
  • Hand cream
  • Lip balm
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume
  • Sudacream skin care cream – perfect for dry skin!
  • Face wipes

Medicines

  • Headache tablets
  • Plasters

Make up

  • Mascara
  • Lipstick
  • Tinted moisturiser/light foundation
  • Face powder

Accessories

  • A big scarf – it can be freezing on flights and they double up as an extra pillow
  • Sunglasses
  • Mini mirror
  • Hairbrush

Other

  • Water bottle
  • Snacks

I hope that this is useful for anyone travelling soon!

The  bag is available from  QVC (qvcuk.com) for £44.00 each and available in a range of colours including Terracotta, Pewter, Teal, Blue, Almond and Black.

March Favourites

  March whizzed by and we are already in April! I wanted to share 5 of my favourite beauty products from March.

OGX Coconut Water shampoo and conditioner

If anything screams summer in a bottle it is this and it smells so good! It is light so doesn’t leave your hair feeling greasy. It makes my hair feel soft and more manageable.

https://ogxbeauty.com/hair/

 

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Olverum Bath Oil

30 minutes in the  bath, having a long soak with the Olverum Bath oil set me up for the most relaxing, blissful sleep. It is so luxurious and moisturises your skin really nicely. It has a blend of essential oils, smells so wonderful and left me feeling revived, stress free and happy.

You only need a few drops and so the bottle will last for a very long time.

Olverum Bath Oil is available from https://www.olverum.com or from House of Fraser – http://houseoffraser.co.uk

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Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

This is my everyday essential and it is just wonderful. Feels like a spa treatment every day!

http://uk.lizearle.com

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Laura Mercier Creme Brûlée Honey Bath

This is just amazing. If you are a Creme Brûlée fan you have to resist the temptation to stick it in the oven! It smells superb and feels so nice on the skin.

http://www.johnlewis.com/brand/laura-mercier/_/N-1z13yyf

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Acqua di Gioia Jasmine edition perfume

This is my chosen scent for spring and I absolutely love its clean, crisp tones.

This is available from all perfume shops or department stores.

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Hoppiest time at the world’s first pop up Bunny Spa, London

  One of the  nicest invites I have had so far this year was to the VIP launch night of the world’s first Bunny Spa in London. I had read about it so I was so excited when an invite popped into my inbox unexpectedly and I hopped there straight away as early as I could to get pampered.

The 7th Heaven Bunny Spa is open from March 11-14 at 44 Shelton Street, minutes from Covent garden tube station. You can receive free treatments on a first come first served basis so get there early to book! If you purchase any gift bags, a percentage of the money goes to the RSPCA and RWAF. Both organisations are on site as well to educate visitors about rabbit welfare, rehoming bunnies and buying cruelty-free products, which I am a massive fan of.

  
I have grown up using 7th Heaven face masks for pampering sessions (they were even available in Kenya) so when I heard that this spa was aiming to raise awareness about such a great cause I was up for it. I love the purposeful parody of humans getting “treated on” while the animals run freely. This is a big message to all those beauty brands who do test on animals.

I had a face mask and a hand and nail treatment and felt utterly pampered and relaxed. 7th Heaven have also launched foot masks which I can’t wait to try and get my feet Spring and summer ready!

 

Excuse the unglamourous look
 The two bunnies on site, Lola and Thor are so cute and I really want a bunny now. They had plenty of hay and lovely treats and there are strict rules in place so they don’t feel harassed or uncomfortable at any point.

   
   
So if you want a spot of pampering and do something different this weekend while contributing to a fabulous cause, head on over to the 7th Heaven Bunny Spa and enjoy yourself!

   
 For more information about 7th Heaven go to http://www.my7thheaven.com

For more information about the RSPCA go to: http://www.rspca.org.uk/home

For more information about the RWAF go to: http://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/resources/index.php

 

Spring into the new season with these products

As we bloom towards a new season, it is a fantastic reason to start afresh, to try new things and adopt new habits.

Here are some fabulous products which are perfect for Spring and which I think are fabulous.

Flowers

Spring is when all the flowers start blooming again and it is so nice to have flowers in a home.

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Whether you want to send a special someone a bouquet to make their day or want to order one for yourself for your home, check out the range from Bloomon UK. Their flowers are gorgeous.

Art by Punam

Spruce up your home with a new art print from Art By Punam. I particularly like this yellow abstract Masai tribal print, available from her Etsy store.

‘Masai – Summer Stroll’ The striking contrast between bright Masai dress against a sundrenched backdrop inspired Punam to create this bold, abstract painting. It will bring vibrancy and a pop of colour to any living room, dining room or hallway.

The process used to create the Masai figures is through a layering technique. Each layer is created and then left to dry. The final layer is where I have to work quickly to ensure the paint doesn’t dry before the effects and movement are applied. The original has now sold, but limited edition prints are available to purchase in a variety of sizes to suit your space.

  To buy this print go to: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/262610645/yellow-abstract-masai-tribal-art-print

To see more of her art work go to: www.artbypunam.com/artprints

Honey infused water

Spring is also the start of the beekeeping season and those lovely bees make us lots of honey.

Honey is one of my favourite ingredients and it is so good for you.

I recently found out that there is a brand new refreshing drink on the scene,which is spring water infused with honey, and I am ecstatic about it.

It tastes so good and is healthy too as it natural, refined sugar free and comes in 3 delicious flavours so there is one to suit everyone.

The packaging is awesome as you can pop one in your handbag and they also don’t take up a lot of space in the fridge.

The Apple, Ginger and a hint of honey is my favourite but they all taste good. Really recommend trying this as a different drink to help you stay hydrated.

For more information go to: http://www.justbeedrinks.co.uk

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Photo credit: Just Bee Drinks
Purple Matcha from Williamson Tea

I truly believe Kenyan tea is the best and Williamson Tea are amazing, especially when they support an incredible cause, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is close to my heart, with their #TeaforElephants caddies. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust helps rehabilitate orphaned elephants back into the wild in Kenya, which is my home.

For spring, why not try purple matcha? Matcha has so many health benefits and is a great way to start a new habit in the new season.

Williamson Tea have a brilliant mini Purple Matcha caddy available. The purple matcha is grown on their Changoi far, which is also known as the ‘solar farm’ due to the high levels of sunlight it receives. This makes it the perfect place to grow antioxidant packed Purple Tea.

With a nutty, almost caramel flavour, purple tea leaves are stoneground to produce this Kenyan Matcha. Williamson Tea recommends drinking it in the traditional way, whisked in hot water or alternatively by adding juice to provide natural relaxed alertness.

The caddy is gorgeous and once the tea is finished it makes a brilliant tin to store other things in or simply top it up with more tea!

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Photo credit: Williamson Tea
The mini purple matcha caddy retails at £24.95 and for more information go to: https://www.williamsontea.com/shop/mini-elephant-purple-matcha/

Spring flavours at Starbucks

If coffee is more your thing, then Starbucks have some new flavours for Spring as well as the return of a loved classic.

New Starbucks Vanilla Bean Macchiato

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The sweet and smooth Starbucks Vanilla Bean Macchiato is a delicious spring pick-me-up. Vanilla syrup is blended with freshly steamed milk, topped with two shots of espresso, before being finished with vanilla bean sauce in a crosshatch and double-circle design.

New Starbucks Honey Blossom Macchiato

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The Starbucks Honey Blossom Macchiato is the perfect drink to welcome you into spring. Handcrafted with vanilla syrup and freshly steamed milk, then topped with two shots of espresso, the velvety-rich foam is finished with a Honey Blossom drizzle.

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato

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The signature Starbucks Caramel Macchiato is loved by fans worldwide. Made with a vanilla syrup and freshly steamed milk, it’s finished with a topping of smooth foam, two shots of espresso and a delicious buttery caramel drizzle.

Photo Credits: Starbucks

A fresh new look for Corkers Crisps

My favourite crisps brand have a brand new look. They have amazing flavours in their range and the crisps are absolutely delicious. Perfect match for a nice drink and a chill.

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Photo Credit: Corkers Crisps
http://www.corkerscrisps.co.uk

go ahead snacks

Smart snacking for the new season is all the rage and the lovely folks at go ahead make healthy snack time more fun with innovative food like their new pud bakes and cookie bites.

They also have their original yogurt breaks, fruity bakes and crispy slices which are delicious.

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Photo Credit: go ahead
For more information visit: http://www.goahead.co.uk

Spices from Absolute Spice

Why not start a new habit of using fresh spices in your cooking instead of supermarket brands. I can’t recommend Absolute Spice enough for the variety of fresh spices they have available in their online store.

Using fresh spices makes a massive difference in taste to your food compared to supermarket brands.

You can also step outside your comfort zone and try cooking with spices you have never used before and be inspired to create new dishes.

These spices are such good quality they are even used by Michelin Star chefs, such as Chef Vivek Singh.

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Photo credit: karunakapoor.com
For more information, go to: https://www.absolutespice.com

Lee Stafford Coco Loco Range

It is time to treat your hair to some TLC after the drying effects of winter and get it back to its soft, nourished self in preparation for summer.

Lee Stafford have an amazing Coco Loco Range of hair products which will give you silky, soft, shiny hair. The best part is it uses coconut oil which is really good for your hair! It smells good too.

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The Coco Loco range is available at Boots and you can get a shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, and styling products in the range.

 

 

For more information go to: http://leestafford.com

Lynette Page Define Me Palette

Why not get a new eye shadow palette for the new season? The range from Lynette Page is amazing.

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5 Shadow Palettes

Lynette Page Mascara

Waterproof mascaras are the best for spring, especially if you suffer from hay fever!

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This mascara has got excellent staying power and is so comfortable to use too.

Mascara –

Goddess Rocks

These bronzing rocks are seriously amazing! The perfect pot to give you that healthy, bronzed, goddess look!

They are really unique and look fabulous too.

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Photo credit: Me Me Me
http://www.mememecosmetics.com/shop/face/bronzer-and-contour

Hipanema Maupiti Bracelet from Coco Bay

The Hipanema Maupiti Bracelet is a Brazilian inspired, multi band bracelet with pretty beaded details and elaborate strands in white, silver, aqua, pale blue and pink. The Maupiti Bracelet is finished with the Hipanema silver magnetic metallic clasp.

Cult brand Hipanema have created beautiful holiday accessories made from beads, seashells and multi-coloured thread to liven up all your holiday outfits, both on and off the beach.

This beautiful bracelet makes you look the part on holiday and completes any outfit. Coco Bay has a wide range of bracelets, beach wear and beach accessories in their online store.

 

Photo credit: Coco Bay
 This bracelet is  available for £69 http://www.cocobay.co.uk/hipanema-bracelet-maupiti.html

 

 The LinziClip

The claw clip, is one of the most popular hair clips in the world selling many millions of units worldwide each year, yet there has been no change to its look for 26 years. Yep 26 years!!!

The Linziclip ® is a completely different type of claw clip in a cylindrical shape, a flat back and with a stylish finish which is quick and easy to use. It hides the springs, the wings and the teeth in a completely different way to any of the other traditional hair clips. Once it’s in it, it stays securely in the hair and does not slip. It also looks pretty amazing!
Also, because of the new shape, it is very comfortable to wear and when leaning the head back, the plastic does not dig into the back of the head. Big win!
The Linziclip, available in maxi, midi and mini, comes in a wide range of high fashion colours and prints, to match with on trend clothes and accessories. It also comes in Classic colours like black and tortoiseshell together with a range in crystals. Perfect for all occasions – casual, evening, sport, bridal etc.

Here I am modelling one of the Linziclips.



The Linziclip is perfect for spring as it is so versatile, pretty and revolutionary. For more information visit:http://www.linshell.com

To purchase a Linziclip go to their Amazon store