Beauty- my first ever Glossybox

I think pretty much every blogger out there has heard of Glossybox. It was the first subscription box I was ever aware of and tempted by, yet for some reason I had never got around to it.
It would appear that August 2017 was a great month to finally get acquainted with Glossybox as I was pretty impressed with every product inside it. The box itself was pretty special too- a gorgeous pale blue and emblazoned with “girls just wanna have sun” (so very true, I’m so tired of grey skies and rain) which just added to the experience.
As with any kind of subscription box I think it’s pot luck each month as to the actual value of the products included. I haven’t done the maths on this one but I’m pretty certain it exceeds the price paid for the box- and to be honest, the box could be packed through of high value products that were frankly rubbish, just as much as it could contain cheaper items that make a big impact. Although this box was sent to me free of charge I can hand on heart say I would have happily paid for this one.
I was very excited to see Essence products included in the box having already given their my must haves palette a rave review. I love the pretty packaging on this one and the shades included just so happen to be right up my street- for me this was the star product of the August Glossybox and it’s been in near constant use since.
Other highlights included the suede lips pencils from Rodial- again the shade is right up my street and this gives an amazing, soft looking matte lip that lasts.
I’m also a big fan of the safari sun bronzer from model launcher cosmetics. Obviously bronzer is a pretty essential summer product for many and this one is up there with the best I’ve tried in terms of being a good suits everyone shade, and it has a great texture.

I’m yet to try the hair care products- I’m intrigued by the 2in1 shampoo and conditioner from Batiste, it’s designed to shampoo the roots and condition the lengths which sounds perfect for my thick and often unruly hair. I’ll be packing this for my holiday next month as a week in a caravan in the Highlands means dry shampoo is going to be 100% necessary.

Probably the most intriguing product in the box is the ice hair mask from Total Repair- this apparently has a cooling effect which powers up the macadamia oil it contains making even more efficient at hydrating the hair. My hair is in dire need of a cut and colour, it’s long overdue which also means the ends are somewhat fried right now…I’ll be giving this a try next time I was it and will report back if anyone is interested…

Anyone here a Glossybox subscriber? After the success of my first ever box I am sorely tempted to sign up and make it a more regular thing but I do worry that it won’t consistently live up to the hype, I’d love to hear other people’s experiences in the comments.

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Glossybox sent me this box for blog consideration, I was under no obligation to post and all opinions are my own.

Christina Jewellery at watchshop.com

Despite their name it’s not only watches available to buy at watchshop.com, nope- not only do they sell a huge range of watches from well loved brands they also sell a really decent selection of jewellery including popular designers such as Thomas Sabo and Links of London right through to new (to me) brands such as Christina Jewellery

Bracelet c/o watchshop.com

It goes without saying that I absolutely love this “Marguerite” charm bracelet with it’s delicate daisy design. It’s a really pretty, dainty piece that can easily be built upon with a wide selection of charms available. The clasp on this has a magnetic action making it really easy to open and close (something I struggle with when I wear my Pandora bracelet) and it comes in a wide range of sizes so there is bound to be something to fit every wrist. I believe mine is the 18cm model which is actually a little big and the range covers from 17cm up to 21cm.

The additional charms are both super pretty and intricate as well as really affordable. I wouldn’t usually consider mixing metals but I do like this silver and gold combination and when I get a chance to add to my bracelet I’d happily pick and mix between the two.

This is the first time I’ve come across Christina Jewellery and I’m really impressed, it’s definitely a brand I’ll be keeping an eye on and one I’d 100% recommend.

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Spreading Summer Fun with Macabella

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of a delivery from Macabella, the makers of the most divine chocolate base spread ever. I’ve featured, and baked with the brand before as well as giving the spread itself a glowing review so I was more than excited to get the chance to work with them again.

By way of introduction for those who don’t know, Macabella spread is a heavenly fusion of chocolate and macadamia nuts which comes in two varities- velvet smooth and crunchy. It’s now available to buy from Ocado at £3 for a jar- and trust me, it’s well worth every penny.

This time the package included a curious selection of baking accessories along with the spread, including some silicone ice lolly moulds that just begged to be used. Therefore the first recipe I present to you today is for some Macabella ice lollies that use just two ingredients- so simple it can barely be called a recipe!
For these I quite simply took 1/3 cup of Macabella Crunch and 2/3 cup of milk the blended it all together until well combined. I then divided this between four ice lolly moulds- although I could have got six from it and popped in the freezer. I think probably these would have worked better with whole milk rather than semi skimmed but it’s really down to preference- they’d probably also work well with cream for a more indulgent treat! I left mine to freeze over night but did take some out after a couple of hours to pop on some decorations.
The second thing I made was these swirly muffins, inspired by my boyfriend musing about marble cake after we saw it in a coffee shop one Saturday. These turned out so well- the spread makes the cakes super moist and provides a good contrast to the sponge and they’ve already been requested again by aforementioned boyfriend. I used a recipe I found online here but obviously used Macabella (velvet this time) instead. They were really easy to do and I strongly recommend both this recipe and incorporating Macabella in to just about anything you might be planning to bake!
Let me know if you try either of these ideas out, or what else you think I should bake with the spread.

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Bristol Life: The Downs Festival 2017

I might not be a festival goer in the traditional sense of the world. It’s a long time since I packed up my tent and headed away for a weekend- mostly due to cost more than anything else, but I love music and a good gathering so I decided that this year would be the year I head to Bristols very own festival- Downs Festival, taking place on Saturday 2nd September from 13:00 – 23:00. Having missed out on a cracking line up last year, I was keen not to be feeling left out this year.
These images are from last years event at which Massive Attack headlined. This year the all day event has Elbow as it’s headline act (the selling point for me!) as well as Seasick Steve (also a big fan), Soul II Soul, The Districts and De La Soul joining them on the main stage.

The second stage will play host to Groove Armada with a show-stopping DJ set that I can’t wait to experience.

Last year’s festival was the first major music event hosted on Bristols Downs for 27 years and proved that Bristol has what it takes (of course) to host something on this scale. This year it returns with more live music, more bars and more independent food stalls.

‘The Information’ stage will also return, offering a dedicated area for guest speakers, question and answer sessions, film screenings, photography and charity representatives. More information on this will follow shortly.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £45. Last year the event sold out incredibly quick so you’ll want to be acting fast.

All online ticket sales will be subject to a £1 donation with funds going directly to the upkeep and maintenance of The Downs, for all of Bristol to enjoy.

There will be a limited number of reduced price tickets at £25 available to anyone unemployed or on income support. These tickets are only available in person from Bristol Ticket Shop and supporting documentation and ID will be required. Children under 4 are free (though must be wearing adequate hearing protection) and a limited number of tickets for children aged 4- 12 years will be available at all outlets for £10 per ticket. All under 16’s need accompanying by an adult.

Tickets are restricted to six tickets per person/per billing address. Please note that in order to protect our audience from ticket touts we are putting in measures to help eliminate them. The lead booker will need to attend the event (or nominate a 3rd party at the point of purchase) with their guests and will need to show photo ID in order to enter the concert arena.

Tickets are available from the following outlets: The Downs Bristol, Bristol Ticket Shop, Songkick, Seetickets and Gigantic

Have you been to any festivals this year? Who would be your dream headline act?

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Crazy for Ice Cream*

I’ve always said that should I ever get married then my one requirement is that I can have an ice cream van at the reception. I’m an ice cream obsessive- although it’s only recently I’ve felt able to admit this (anorexia banned me from admitting to liking any type of food for far too many years). Childhood holidays are punctuated with memories of Mr Whippy, getting covered in ice cream and red sauce and laughing at my Nan as she inevitably was the first to spill hers down herself, so when this graphic about the evolution of the ice cream van came along courtesy of Van Monster I knew I had to share. Fellow ice cream fanatics read on…
I’m a bit of a history geek so it’s great to finally know the origins of one of the greatest inventions of all time, as well as how things differ around the world. It’s definitely true that there are far less vans on the streets these days, although where I live appears to have quite a dense population of them still- there’s always one parked up near work seemingly all year round!

What was/is your favourite thing to get from the ice cream van? For me it’s a 99 flake with a good squiggle of red sauce…I do recall a place in Cornwall that had a whole rainbow of different sauces though, that really ought to be a thing nationwide!

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