Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rhubarb at Prestonfield House Hotel

Rhubarb at Prestonfield House Hotel link
I return to my Edinburgh adventures to share the chosen venue for dinner to celebrate Ben's birthday. The Rhubarb at Prestonfield House Hotel is a favourite of his sisters and one she often chooses to celebrate her own birthdays, engagements and the like so we were all quite excited to see what was on offer.

Car doors were opened by kilted members of staff and we were led through the double doors and up stairs to one of the many dining rooms. The whole setting was amazing although slightly lacking in atmosphere, it was all very quiet and we were slightly disappointed that despite numerous tables available we were sat next to a couple who were clearly not going to receive any privacy that evening and any sweet nothings would have to be whispered very quietly. 

Those of you that know will not be surprised that I had already scanned the menu and was aware that my dinner was going to be very similar to that of The Witchery but I did spot soup available to start so I could mix things up a little. Once handed our menus' there was no soup to be found and whilst I feared it would be beetroot and goats cheese once again for me on asking one of our waiters we were brought an additional menu we could also choose from. This was similar of the small touches that were missing at the Rhubarb that made our experience slightly lacklustre. Whilst we were lucky enough to layer our tables with cocktails it took some time between drinks being brought, ordering our wine and then of course our food orders that left us checking our watches and having to call waiters over rather than them come to us.

Gressingham duck and foie gras terrin, lime brioche, nibbed cacao and macerated blueberries
Isle of Mull scallops, saffron-braised chicken wings, charred spring onion and crispy anchovy

Starters arrived and I'm so glad I tracked the soup down as it was delicious. My memory is a little hazy but I'm pretty sure it was a butternut squash soup of some description. It was actually served with some goodies (blog speak for I can't remember what) at the bottom of the bowl and the soup poured in by the waiter which was a nice touch. My fellow diners were for the scallops and terrine which I hear were delicious also.

This evening Ben was happy to have steak too so we all ended up choosing the Chauteaubriand which was served in delicious platters. Whilst the spectacle was quite nice having the waiters serve it felt time consuming when all I wanted to do was dive in! It was something of a carb overload (no Aitkens fans here) with crushed potatoes and the most amazing crunchy yet smooth potato croquettes that unlike the previous days dinner after eating a full plateful I was beyond stuffed and ready for a snooze. A subsequent picture of me went on Facebook of me pretending to fall asleep in the restaurant that far too many people fell for and I was living with 'I can't believe you fell asleep in the restaurant' comments for days.

Chateaubriand for two

Belly fit for bursting I chose the mix of ice cream, sorbets and sherbets needing something a little lighter whilst Lavinia was slightly braver and kept going with a chocolate fondant which was melt in the mouth delicious.

Freshly churned ices

Whilst I'm glad to have visited the Rhubarb and I'd be interested to return in the Summer as the grounds were amazing and would love to stay there and perhaps try their Afternoon Tea the evening was slightly lacking. In comparison to The Witchery were there was a gothic ambience Rhubarb felt too stuffy. It was a shame that the rather large table next to us below wasn't filled earlier in our evening. When the group did arrive in full kilts and evening wear they added the energy our evening needed.

That said and despite all that food I still managed to pinch a cake leftover from Afternoon Tea on my way out! 

Have you ever visited this restaurant? 

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring Scents with Bomb Cosmetics

Bomb Cosmetics* link
When Bath Cosmetics asked if I wanted to sample a few items from their Spring releases and a huge and delicious smelling box arrived I couldn't wait to dive into the multicoloured peanuts and see what I had to play with. Unfortunately I had to wait a day or two before I could put them to the test and I must say that even without using for their designated purposes I'd happily purchase for their scent alone. My spare room smelt amazing whilst I stored them in there.

I had vaguely heard about Bomb Cosmetics and unwittingly spotted their items, more often the 'Bath Blasters' in local independent stores but wasn't as aware of the variety on offer. As a brand it's worth noting all products are handmade, filled with natural butters and pure essential oils and they do not test on animals and more often than not, look good enough to eat. 

Baby Shower Blaster* link
Blueberry Funday Blaster* link
As I have already mentioned I have often seen Bomb Cosmetics range of Bath Blasters, Melts and the like in stores because how could you not they are very aesthetically pleasing. Whilst that other well known bath bomb stockists releases their more fun items seasonally Bomb Cosmetics bath blasters designed to look like cupcakes, donuts or with cute bows on top are available all year round. 

I haven't had a chance to use Baby Shower yet (it's earmarked for this evenings bath) but that familiar scent of baby powder is evident and anything with shea butter gets a tick from me and would certainly make a fantastic Baby Shower gift.

The Blueberry Funday blaster on the other hand I have used and the scent is amazing and probably the one I particularly found filled my spare room so deliciously. There are no bubbles with these blasters but it did make me laugh as it fizzed away in the bath and it turned the water a wonderful shade of blue that it was almost like bathing in the ocean. Unfortunately it did sink to the bottom so the fizzing was below surface and instead I found myself picking it up to enjoy the fizzing. 

Miss Tangleberry Soap* link
I'm not really one for using soap, if only because of the numerous bottles of shower gel in my possession and would probably have thrown Miss Tangleberry in a drawer to scent my clothing were it a gift from a friend. Having been sent it for review I did of course use as intended and the fruity scent to 'blow away fatigue' with it's Mandarin and Bergamot essential oils was rather pleasant. I was even impressed with the lather I was able to build up to shave my legs without any irritation. 

Sweet as Cherry Pie Body Lotion* link
We all have those products that you have to remind yourself it's not edible and the Sweet as Cherry Pie Body Lotion is definitely on that list. The scent of cherry is strong in this body lotion but without being synthetic or overbearing. Of course if you're not a fan of the sweeter, fruity scents then you are unlikely to enjoy this body lotion but for me, who whilst not the no 1 sweet scented fan I love this body lotion. Aside from the scent I love a body lotion in a pump dispenser which I find far easier to use than tubs and tubes. The packaging is pretty and decorative enough to sit atop my dressing table which means I reach for it often. Thick enough to moisturise but light enough with a formula that doesn't leave skin sticky this is definitely going to be the product I'm enjoying using throughout Spring. 

Piped Candles* link
Finally we have possibly the cutest candle ever that broke my heart to burn - the things us bloggers have to do! I received the Summer picnic candle which evokes juicy pineapple, wedges of pear and sweet strawberries. Another item I could've used for scent even before setting light to it. 

Overall I'm pretty impressed with Bomb Cosmetics on all three levels, scent, appearance and function. I'd definitely purchase Bomb Cosmetics for myself or as gifts for others. I love their ranges mean you can mix and match to create a personalised gift for any friends and family.

Are you familiar with Bomb Cosmetics? 

*PR Sample

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rocket Dog Footwear | The JAZZIN long legs

JAZZIN long legs in pink* by Rocket Dog link
Rocket Dog is a brand I was vaguely aware existed but never explored. Of course they caught my attention when they published photos of their flamingo print design on Twitter. After expressing my love for them the Rocket Dog team kindly sent me a pair to try out.

Firstly a little about Rocket Dog. Their brand originated in Southern California in 1997 and their inspiration (and logo!) an energetic pet dog named Max. The brand wanted to encapsulate the laid back Californian lifestyle and become the brand that all young females wanted to be seen it.

The ranges vary from wedges, flip flops to the Jazzin, a lace-up sneaker which I chose. You can pick from all manner of designs but of course as mentioned it was the long legged pink flamingo printed ones that captured my heart.

I admit I'm not one for wearing this type of shoe on a regular basis until recently but lazy Sunday's after a week in heels at work sometimes I just want something comfortable to throw on to pop to the supermarket and these sneakers are the perfect way to do this whilst injecting a little fun.

I've just recently picked up a pair of white jeans for Spring/Summer and they work perfectly with my pink flamingos and I hope to share some OOTD photos with you in due course.

Are you a Rocket Dog fan?

*PR Sample

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beauty Empties | March 2015

A somewhat earlier empties post for March solely which seems appropriate because if I left it any longer I don't know how many more empties would feature in this post! Lets get straight into my beauty trash.

The John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Shampoo is a favourite of mine and one you would have seen repurchased here. I will definitely repurchase this again once I've said goodbye to the other six or seven bottles of shampoo sitting in my bathroom.
I like to use Micellar Waters to remove my make up before going in for cleansing of an evening although my preference is for the Garnier one which has been repurchased. You can see the battle of these two micellar waters here
I just reviewed here the  Electric Volume Liquid Mist and it's a great product which unlike many sprays  I apply to wet hair before blow drying. For my casual day to day look it's perfect and fuss free which is ideal for the mornings when I'm getting ready for work. I would consider repurchasing if visiting the salon although with more affordable options available it would have to be for a splurge or treating myself.
There is nothing I like better than a foot rub, sadly I have to provide my own but it's made somewhat better by the delicious scent of Lotil's foot cream. If you're a fan of marzipan you will love this. You can see my earlier review here
Another product you may remember I reviewed hereI enjoyed using this oil and would definitely repurchase when a need comes. For now I have an overflowing basket of skincare to work through.

Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Facewipes
I have little to say about the Brightening Facewipes from Yes to. In fact I must stop buying face wipes as I find they make me lazy knowing they're in the drawer. I picked these up in the US when the brand was on my radar popping up on other sites.

Goya Black Rose* link
Sadly despite loving it's vintage origins the Black Rose fragrance from Goya isn't for me. You can read more about this 50s revival here

nspa Nourishing Eye and Lip Treatment link
I have had this tube of eye and lip cream floating around in my skincare basket for years. It's handy tube size has accompanied me on many a flight and I finally decided to use up so it could move on - I'm slightly dubious the length of time I've had it whether it was even serving it's purpose.

Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara* link
I enjoyed this mascara from a 'new to me' brand Eye of Horus who really do live their brand using Moringa Oil, a rare and precious oil found in King Tutankhamum's tomb. No paragons but plenty of Vitamins and antioxidants this is one mascara that wants to take care of your lashes.
Whist it didn't give the va va voom I'd like for evenings on first coat it was certainly perfect for day when you might find yourself heading for after work drinks another layer builds up nicely. I have some photos of me wearing which I'll pop on Instagram.

YSL Volume Enhancing Mascara link
Another product that has been in my collection for some time and no surprises has dried out as I sample other mascara's. This mascara was my holy grail 'back in the day' and was repurchased often. I don't really need to replace although I may treat myself at Duty Free in May!

MAC Wonder Woman Blusher in Amazon Princess  link
This blush has been in my collection since 2011 when the Wonder Woman collection was released by Mac. I actually had quite a lot from the line when it was released although all that remains were this blush and two lipsticks. Unfortunately despite only rediscovering the blush in my collection early last year I subsequently dropped and shattered the blush to pieces. Gutted isn't the word. Now I'm in two minds as to whether to keep the compact for memories sake. I believe I have some photos of the blush in it's pink glory which again I'll post on Instagram. Do you remember this collection?

Maybelline Baby Lips, Peach Kiss link
I want to do a celebratory dance that I have finished a lip balm - I think this might be one of the few times this has happened! I originally posted on my Baby Lips purchase in this post and whilst I wasn't wowed it held a worthy place in my lip balm collection (which is massive might I add and there is a post forthcoming)

What have you been using up this month?

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Monday, March 23, 2015

The Straight n Go Brush

Straight 'n' Go* link
I've mentioned numerous times how hair styling is not my thing. Whilst I love a visit to the hairdressers and I can manage an amateur curl my day to day styling is pretty minimal. I've also never owned a pair of hair straighteners due to no desire nor need so I was interested to see what I would think of the Straight 'n' Go brush. 

To look at the Straight 'n' Go you can obviously see it's hybrid of straighteners and brush. Ceramic plates for aiding hair straightening and a vented design to allow for fast drying. The brushes bristles are designed for untangling and the interlocking rows for creating shine. 

Hair should be slightly damp when using and then you use as you would a normal styling brush and hairdryer. As already mentioned I do not want my hair to be poker straight but am aware it would look somewhat better with some attention to detail but speed is of the essence when I'm getting ready for work in the morning.

I've found using the Straight 'n' Go has been quick, easy and gives great results. Whilst I still like my Wet Brush for combing through to add some style to my hair the Straight 'n' Go does what it says on the tin. It's simple to use and not fussy at all. The only area I struggle with is the back and that's mainly due to the speedy process I adopt rather than attention to detail by sectioning the hair. I tend to just grab sections of hair with a tilt of the head and brush through with the hairdryer. 

This might seem a gimmick and something you don't need but I'd certainly say it's worth a try, especially if you want some sleekness to your hair rather than all out straightening. It's also far cheaper than a pair of straighteners and the perfect brush for travelling when you're concerned about plugging in appliances abroad. I've also noticed 'less frizz' from using the Straight 'n' Go which is definitely a plus point. 

The Straight 'n' Go certainly falls into the 'I didn't know I needed it till I tried it' category and I'm pretty glad I've been introduced to it. Does this sound like something you'd be interested in?

*PR Sample

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Morgan Taylor Cinderella Nail Polish Collection

Morgan Taylor Party at the Palace* link
Morgan Taylor Best Ball Gown Ever* link
If you missed out on the Mac Cinderella Collection last week then I might have just the thing today to make up for your disappointment. Mac isn't the only brand capitalising on Disney's latest live action fairytale, Cinderella, so too is Morgan Taylor. 

Morgan Taylor are bringing you six shades inspired by the movie and I have two to talk about today. Party at the Palace* is a gorgeous aqua with an iridescent shimmer running through it. I'm not a fan of glitter polishes as you know but this shimmer suits me quite well and feels slightly more grown up whilst channelling my inner Disney Princess. 

Best Ball Gown Ever* is a pale blue, again with a similar shimmer to it and of course it's certainly modelled on that beautiful dress Cinders Fairy Godmother conjures up. Again whilst I'm not usually a fan of the more pastel colours I found these very wearable and perfect as we transition to Spring.

This is the first time I've used a polish by Morgan Taylor and managed 4 days with only minor chips starting to show. Despite their sheerness the opacity is there and I enjoyed wearing a pastel that caught the light without my feeling too girlie as glitter would do. I'm afraid the swatches below will not do the colours justice but do take my word for it.

Now I have my nails ready for Prince Charming it's just waiting for it's cinema release.

Will you be going to watch Cinderella next week?

*PR Sample

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Lightest Suitcase in the world

IT Lightest Suitcase in the World link
Last Summer I was lucky enough to travel to San Francisco, Hawaii and LA but in the spirit of #firstworldproblems I could only take one suitcase for the main duration of my trip. Any extra luggage would be chargeable on each flight and with four flights in total that would be costly.

With over fourteen nights away from home and various costume changes required the search began for a suitcase that would avoid any excess baggage charges whilst still allowing me to pack everything I needed. My search led me to what is claimed 'the lightest suitcase in the world'. Well that had to be the one didn't it.

The case indeed is very light due to it's fibreglass frame and 'ultra-strong' polyester casing which they tell me is 'built to last'. I thought if there is anyway to put this to the test it was certainly a trip where numerous baggage handlers would enjoy throwing it around the hold if not slightly concerned that I would arrive at various destinations to see my underwear going round the luggage carousel and what was left inside smashed to smithereens.

I'm pleased to report that this didn't happen and my case accompanied me to Las Vegas later in the year with equal success. I don't know if I simply pack too much or the internal luggage allowance wasn't on my side when I flew from Hawaii to LA (where I brought a second case to return to the UK so I could finally do some proper shopping!) and I was told I was over weight (story of my life!). I was prepared and had used packing cubes so whipped one of them out and popped it in my hand luggage and all was right with the world.

My only criticism is that it has a handle which you pull rather than many designs with four wheels which you can push. As such it may not be ideal for everyone as it does make things heavier when it's filled.

I'm very happy with my suitcase and the price was comparable to those on the market. Would I prefer to push than pull? Yes, but that's a small price to pay for being able to pack that second pair of heels!

Please tell me I'm not the only one that has a need for 'the lightest suitcase' due to overpacking.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chanel Cream Blush in Affinite

Chanel Le Blush Creme - Affinite link
Chanel Cream Blush made an appearance as winner of the 'best cream blusher' in InStyle's Beauty Awards this year and I can see why as they are a lovely product.

I have the shade Affinite which is a bright pink that creates the perfect flush of colour on cheeks. I always reach for this blush when I want something I can rely on, know it will suit most fashion looks and can be applied either with a stippling brush or fingers.

For the reason it can applied so easily I often have this in my in flight make up bag as you may remember from this post. Heavily pigmented a few dabs on the cheeks can be blended out nicely to give the perfect look.

Chamade a red tone has been on mind for sometime and I think the fact it's never lost my consciousness its time to put those Boots Advantage Card points to use.

Have you used Chanel Cream Blushes?

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File | An Update

Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File link
I first reviewed the Leighton Denny in September 2013 and over a year on and with it winning the 'best nail file in the InStyle Beauty Awards I thought it was worth mentioning again. 

I was a fan of the file back in 2013 and the fandom remains in 2015. This is as essential in my handbag as my iPhone and debit card are. When I happen to have used it at home and it's not in my bag I can't bear using a traditional emery board.

With the traditional emery board I find I end up filing the length of the nail away as I struggle to neaten things up but the Leighton Denny neatly turns your nail to dust and with one swipe acts quickly to deal with any damage and as it helps to seal with end of the nail it prevents splitting which is something I suffer from less now than I did back in 2013.

A year on my nail file is still in perfect condition and working just as efficiently as ever so aids my thrifty theme for 2015. I'm very tempted to buy the larger size to keep at home and avoid leaving it out of my handbag by mistake and causing the trauma of discovering it's not there!

Since purchasing myself both my mum and I have made this our staple gift for friends and family and if you haven't tried this for yourself I would recommend you do. Ultimately this update is merely repeating what I said before or more like reiterating that this was a worthy purchase and my opinions still stand. 

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