The Purrfect Treat for your pet (with a discount!)

Regular readers will know that Mae and I have received quite a few Purrfectboxes* over the last year or so and have very much enjoyed exploring them and reviewing them as a little team.

Today I thought I would go back to basics a bit so that anyone new around here or anyone who is interested but not entirely sure how Purrfectbox works can find out exactly what’s what!

Purrfectbox (and it’s canine equivalent Pawsomebox) is a monthly subscription box for your pet. Designed and developed by a dedicated team of pet lovers each box contains 5-6 items from top brands and typically includes toys, treats and food. Each box costs £14.50 inclusive of p&p which represents excellent value as if you were to buy each product individually you’d be spending far more, it also gives you a great chance to try out new things and discover new favourite toys and treats.
There are various sign up options available- 1 month, 3 months or a 6 month subscription and when you sign up you’ll be asked a few questions about your furry friend to ensure they get a box that is curated to their needs. For every two boxes that get delivered a £1 donation is made to dedicated animal charities so you’re helping to give something back too!
This month Mae was especially taken with the toys although the catnip monkey lost an arm almost straight away as she got a little bit over-excited! The little pet blanket was probably the greatest success- you’ll now often find Mae draped possessively over it, or under it during one of her frequent nap times.
The food inclusions in the boxes are often things we’ve never tried before- this month for example there was a bag of roast chicken cubes which Mae devoured eagerly as well as some sachets of wet food which included chicken and papaya which was wolfed down so fast my feline friend gave herself hiccups!

If you’ve been considering a pet subscription box or I’ve swayed you with one of our many reviews then now is a pretty good time to sign up- use the discount code ukb10oii at the checkout and get a £5 discount off of your first box making it even more of a bargain at £9.50.

Be sure to let me know if you do sign up, I’d love to know what your pet makes of it.

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Wish list- Swatch at House of Watches

How many watches does a girl need? This is a question I have to ask myself every time I catch myself browsing one of the several sites I frequent to get my fix of wrist wear. I already have a rather large collection but upon a recent peruse of House of Watches I’ve found myself coveting a whole new aesthetic in the form of some new designs from Swatch.

Swatch is probably the first watch brand I remember showing an interest in (even pre-dating the “had to have it” Baby G). I’ve always loved their fun and funky designs and cool plastic straps. I recall being very envious when Mum was given a lovely pink Swatch watch for Christmas one year, one that has since come in to my posession- which reminds me I really need to get a new battery for it…

I love a brand that keeps consistent with their designs- they are instantly recognisable yet manage to evolve to fit in with current trends. I’m really taken with the hot pink glitter watch with sparkly dial for a fun and sporty vibe whereas the printed floral ones are great for jazzing up an otherwise dull outfit. It also looks like Swatch are going down a slightly sleeker line with their metallic pink and rose gold offerings- a grown up twist for those who can’t wear, or don’t like to wear a metal watch I suppose.

The watches are also affordable which is good news for me- I’m thinking perhaps my back to work treat to myself will be one of the designs I’ve featured above…I mean, I already own more than a dozen watches but who’s keeping count?

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Quick guide on how to value and sell your Jewellery*

If, like me you could really do with raising some extra cash after the expense of Christmas and the festive season then read on for some top advice on how to get any spare jewellery valued and sold- it needn’t be difficult and is an excellent way to turn your clutter in to cash!
If your interested in selling your jewellery at auction your first step on the road to selling it is to have it valued. Your local auction house will be more than happy to help you value your items but you’ll probably be expected to sell your item with them after the valuation and most auctions take a 25% cut of the sale price as their commission (auctions in Belfast and other major cities may vary). If you have absolutely no idea what your jewellery is worth it might be best for you to have a go at valuing it yourself before you to take it to an expert; that way you’ll be able to get a rough idea of what your piece is worth and won’t have to worry about paying out to be told it’s worthless or getting ripped off.

Many pieces that are sold today are made of gold; if you are selling gold you need to identify the karat and the weight. Gold has a high value and is easily converted into money making its value is fairly easy to determine.

Your first job is to identify the quality of your piece. All pieces of jewellery are hallmarked – however, depending on the age of your piece the Hallmark may have faded or be difficult to read. Not all Hallmarks are good Hallmarks though; some Hallmarks signify that the piece is not real gold but many buyers assume that a Hallmark indicates quality and buy the piece anyway, costing them when they come to sell. Rolled gold and plated gold pieces for example are typically hallmarked but the pieces are not true gold; GP typically indicates that the piece has been plated with gold and the number 900 suggests the piece is made out of silver and has been plated.

Next you need to work out what the karat of your gold is. Your piece may be marked with a ‘k’ sign, a ‘ct’ sign or a 3 digit number – each one tells you something about the karat of the gold. The three digit number simply refers to the quality of the piece in parts per 1000. For example 9 karat gold is 9 parts of 24 gold, or 375 pieces out of 1000- equal to 37.5% gold.

The value of your gold does not depend on its colour but on its weight- inexperienced sellers or owners of jewellery often consider rose gold to be less expensive and white gold to be more expensive than yellow gold but this isn’t the case.

It’s worth noting that other factors not related to weight and quality can affect a piece’s value too. If the piece is an antique then it will likely fetch more than a modern piece of the same karat when it’s sold.

Ultimately though you will have to have your piece valued by a professional as well to identify the true value of your it and decide if and how you want to sell it. You have the choice of selling directly to a jeweller, to a bullion dealer or at an auction. A bullion dealer will give you a very accurate price for your gold but they won’t consider its history; a jeweller will probably give you the lowest amount. Given the current demand for gold pieces selling at auction is probably your best bet (even with the commission you’ll have to pay for the valuation especially if you have a piece that has historic or collectible value.

Let me know if you’ve ever sold a piece of jewellery and if you have any hints or tips in the comments below.

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Detoxing my skin with Sukin Super Greens

Detox is a bit of a buzz word for January. With people everywhere looking to undo the indulgences of the festive season it’s hard to avoid the mention of super-foods, giving up alcohol/sugar/fun and getting up at the crack of dawn to go to the gym.

None of that’s for me though, I’d sooner eat a bag of kale straight up than down a green juice and telling myself I’m doing “dry January” would only leave me wanting to neck a bottle of gin every night. Nope, the only detoxing I’m doing this month is for my skin thanks to a range of products from natural skin care brand Sukin- hopefully getting rid of the evidence of sleeping in my makeup, not getting enough day light and neglecting to stay hydrated during the month of December.

I was sent a couple of products from the range- the super greens detoxifying clay masque* (£11.95 for 100ml) which contains kale, spirulina, chlorella, parsley and baobab and promises to restore a glowing complexion. I’m not the biggest lover of face masks, generally I find them a bit claustrophobic and time consuming but lured in by the promise of glowing skin I’ve slapped this on a couple of times now and I’ll admit it’s almost enough to convert me to regular mask application. After 15 minutes and removal with warm water (bonus points for being really easy to remove) my skin certainly felt cleaner and dare I say more radiant? I think overall it’s too soon to tell if my radiance is restored as I’ve only used this twice but regardless of whether it is or not this is a lovely product and will feature regularly in my new found enjoyment of self-care and pamper time.

The second product I was sent was the nourishing chia seed oil* (£14.95 for 25ml). Chia seeds are one thing I actively avoid in my diet, the texture sends a shiver down my spine although I wish I did like them as the health benefits are well reputed. As well as the chia seeds this oil contains hemp seed oil and baobab oil which with daily use supplies your skin with a good dose of those essential omega fatty acids that chia seeds are so well known and loved for. This oil does have a slight hemp smell about it which in my eyes isn’t a bad thing as I quite like it. I’ve been using it every day at night after taking my makeup off and whilst I’m still not overly sold on the concept of oil as skincare again I have to admit it works and my skin feels amazingly soft and my fine lines are definitely less noticeable (oh the joys of approaching 30!) I’m not a fan of the feeling of oil on my skin and I never have been but with modest use and application of this product I’ve found a level I can tolerate and it’s now an established part of my daily routine.

You can buy Sukin products from lookfantastic.com, FeelUnique and Holland & Barrett among other retailers and there are several more products in the super greens range including a scrub that I plan on treating myself to soon- if anything is going to get my glow back it’ll be exfoliating with a blend of super green ingredients!

How do you repair the excesses of Christmas? Have you tried any of the Sukin products?

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When Jeans met Dress

It’s a long time since I last wore jeans and a dress together. The combination reminds me a bit of when trouser skirts were a thing (hello year 9 school uniform) anything similar since. I was browsing on the Monki website the other day- as I frequently do and happened across my last Christmas money purchase styled over a pair of skinny jeans and loved how it looked so I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a go myself.

Dress: Monki (some sizes still in stock) | Jeans: New Look ((this style)) | Boots: Sarenza | Necklace: Hello Harriet

It’s not often I remember to take a photo of my jewellery, or actually remember to put any on for that matter but this necklace from Hello Harriet is totally worth sharing. I featured Harriet’s shop on the blog in the run up to Christmas and santa must have been reading because on Christmas day I found this necklace hiding in my stocking. It pretty much sums up how I feel about certain things right now but mostly I just love jewellery/clothing/anything with a touch of sarcasm and attitude. I so badly want to get Mae a matching collar tag, but her track record at keeping hold of a collar and it’s tags is poor to say the least and I can’t bear the idea of getting her one of these only for it to turn up squished out of all recognition in a nearby road like the last one did!

Oh, and this dress was a complete bargain by the way- £8! The Monki sale remains my favourite as I picked up so much for so little. New season stock is arriving fast and my wish list is at least as tall as I am…I just loved their oversized pieces and minimal aesthetic. I think it’s probably the one shop that completely sums up my current style and as soon as I’m back at work I’m planning a “well done” spree for getting to my goal.

Which shops sum up your style right now? Did anyone else fall victim to the trouser skirt? (Or am I completely showing my age here?!)

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