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Marley and Wood Jewellery

Today I wanted to share an amazing little jewellery company founded by my friends Cat and Kim.

Marley and Wood specialise in ethically-sourced gemstone necklaces. Each comes in beautiful navy and gold packaging and is named after inspiring women in their lives.

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I was lucky enough to receive the ‘Simone’ in white howlite, a stunning marble-effect gem. You can have these on silk cord (my personal preference) or gold and they are really reasonably priced for the range and quality…the hardest part is choosing which beautiful design to buy!

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Latest Purchases #107 – A Space NK Haul

Well, Trump was sworn in yesterday thus beginning one of the strangest eras in American politics. I wasn’t able to attend one of the #WomenMarch protests today but it was incredible to see so many people turning up to make their voices heard…with a fab selection of placards too!

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Anyway, onto slightly happier things: a little box of goodies that arrived from Space NK. Most of these items were in the sale, some of which I needed, others were a treat.

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First up, Space NK’s own brand Daily Fix Body Lotion. I like this range and use the bath soak when I need to really relax. This is very simple packaging-wise and I think the product is the same – not overly-fragranced, fresh and fast absorbing. My skin is quite sensitive at the moment so this simple body lotion is ideal for me and was actually reduced to just £1.50 for this large tube.

Next, I bought two products from luxe nail brand Rococo. Firstly, in the most beautiful packaging, was the Ultimate Nail Basecoat (£12 reduced to £3). This is meant to have dual qualities; to strengthen your nails and also to make your nail varnish look brighter and last longer. You can use this alone and keep layering on the product or as a traditional basecoat.

Also from Rococo is their Nail Varnish Remover which I stocked up on (£10 to £1.50)! This is acetone-free, which is meant to be slightly kinder on the nail, and I love the packaging. The actual bottle is great too – you simply press a cotton pad on the top of the dispenser and the perfect amount of product is released.

A bit of luxury next in the form of my first ever Diptyque candle. I have wanted to try one of these candles for years but could never quite bring myself to spend so much on a candle. However, when I spotted this one at half price (£28 down to £14) I decided to treat myself. Firstly, the packaging – in collaboration with artist Julien Colombier – is beautiful and I will definitely be keeping the glass after the candle has finished. The scent, Oliban, is not my usual choice but is a deep, sexy, spicy, oriental one. This was part of their Christmas range but is not noticeably festive-scented.

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One thing I love about ordering from Space NK is the samples! I chose a couple of acid peels and a REN BB cream to try which I just think are lovely little extras.

I feel I was quite restrained in this recent haul – there was a Laura Mercier palette I was hovering over for quite a while but I got more than enough lovely things for Christmas that I want to work my way through before buying anything else.

Five Friday Favourites #3

This has been a long ol’ week! I knew January was going to be a bit manic work-wise so I have purposely left my weekends relatively free to relax and reboot. However there have been some highlights this week…

The Moonraker

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Ian very kindly surprised me with a 5-course tasting menu at this lovely pub last night. The food here is always great with lots grown on site. My particular favourites were some tasty venison arancini balls and the pudding which was a banana sticky toffee pudding.

Secret in Their Eyes

We are quite partial to a Saturday night film and this one we watched last weekend was excellent. A very dark thriller with a great twist and a top notch cast.

Fresh Flowers

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I treated myself to a bunch of roses this week and they really do cheer me up when I see them sat on the table.

Getting Sorted

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I try and set myself a mini task to achieve over the weekend, and this time it was to sort out our hallway. We bought a lovely little vintage ladder that I use to hang scarves from but it had become a bit of a mess. I had a good sort out, sent several scarves and snoods off to the charity shop and can now actually see what I want to wear rather than rifling through a big mess.

Good Coffee

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We toyed with the idea of getting a new coffee machine in the January sales but I have read so much about how awful the pods are for the environment that it put me off. Instead, we got a new coffee pot and have been enjoying freshly brewed ‘proper’ coffee in bed at the weekend and it is lovely!

Latest Purchases #106 – Two Urban Outfitters Books

I really like browsing the homeware and gift section of Urban Outfitters. I think they have some really original products and we have a few of them dotted around the house. I was looking through the book section and found these two.

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The first is ‘Bringing the Outside In’ by Val Bradley. This is a guide to growing cacti and succulents with sections on how to display hanging planters and terrariums.

My parents got me a beautiful copper terrarium for Christmas but I’m a bit clueless on how to start it off so this is ideal for knowing which plants to use and how to best care for them.

As well as having lots of handy hints and tips for all things plant-related, this is a really beautiful book and I really like the photography throughout.

The second book I bought was this lovely Daily Journal. I have to admit it was the marble green cover that pulled me in but the content is pretty great too. I am constantly making to-do lists to keep me on top of things and this has several sections to work through. I really like the fact that the pages aren’t dated so I can use it as and when I want to.

So, hopefully these two books will get me organised and green-fingered in no time! x

Mani Monday – Etude House Ice Cream Nails

My nails are not in great condition at the moment so I decided to cut them really short and pile on the conditioning treatments last week. They seem to be slightly healthier looking but when they are short, I don’t like wearing dark nail varnish and when I was looking through my stash for a nude, I rediscovered this bottle from Korean brand Etude House.

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This is such cute packaging, something which is commonplace with Korean products. I am actually going to South Korea this summer for a day as part of our Japanese cruise and I plan on stocking up on unique beauty items when I’m there.

This ice-cream bottle contains the shade Strawberry Stars Candy: a pale pastel pink with pink, purple and blue glitter pieces. I like the speckled finish this gives as you add more layers and it always reminds me of Mini-Eggs (sidenote: I have already spotted these and Creme Eggs in supermarkets!)

I used two layers of polish and then finished with a layer of Seche Vite which helped smooth down the odd piece of glitter that wasn’t sitting flat against the nail.

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I’m planning on only wearing nail varnish for half the week (or when my manicures usually start to chip) then having a few days ‘off’ applying treatments to try and remedy my rather sorry-looking nails.

Recipe – Lime and Coriander Chicken

In an effort to eat a little better after the over-indulgence that was Christmas, I have been playing around with different ways to flavour my food to make it a little bit more exciting. Let’s face it, we all know courgetti is never going to taste better than a proper bowl of spaghetti but with the right herbs and spices, it can taste pretty good!

I have made this recipe every week for the past three weeks and every time, I think how fresh and tasty it is. I have stuck to chicken breasts but I’m sure it would work well with turkey or even pork.

Ingredients

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The juice of two limes

A handful of chopped fresh coriander

A good glug of olive oil

A pinch of dried chilli flakes

2 cloves of crushed garlic

Half a teaspoon of paprika

Salt and pepper

4 x chicken breasts

How to make it

  • Make the marinade by mixing together the lime juice, coriander, olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl

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  • Add the chicken breasts and ensure they are well coated in the marinade

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  • Leave for at least 2 hours (I pop some clingfilm over the bowl and put it in the fridge)
  • To cook, heat a large frying or griddle pan on a medium-high heat and cook for 8-10 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through
  • I like to serve mine with a giant cous cous salad with the juices from the pan drizzled over

(These chicken breasts are also really tasty cold in a salad for lunch the next day!)

Beauty Review – January Birchbox

Hello and happy Saturday. I have had a relaxed yet productive weekend so far (the best type in my opinion) and am now sat with a bowl of sweet and salty popcorn, candles are lit and we have lined up a film to watch later on.

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My first Birchbox of the year arrived this week full of products meant to get 2017 off to a great start. I like the design on the box and was keen to see what was inside.

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The first item was a Nails Inc polish in a pretty pale pastel blue. Now, I love Nails Inc as a brand and would normally be chuffed to receive something for my nails but I already have this exact colour! I have seen on social media that there were a range of colours included so I obviously was a bit unlucky with the one I received.

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Next was a handcream from French brand Merci Handy. I received the scent Flower Power and it is a sweet-smelling, rich cream that I will use to try and counteract this harsh weather.

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An interesting product next from Lord and Berry. I own a couple of lip items from this brand and at first thought this was another nude shade. However, I received their Conceal-It Crayon in the shade Beige. It is a pencil concealer which, at first, I really wasn’t sure of. I thought it would be too dry to blend well and almost made my mind up not to like it. After testing it out, I was impressed to see it was a great colour match for me and was actually quite creamy when applied and blended with my fingertips. I have put it with my current foundation to test out a bit more next week but I actually quite like this.

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A brand I have been wanting to try out for a while now – Yes To. I got the Yes to Carrots Moisturising Eye Cream and I was really impressed that this was a full-sized product. This is a nourishing eye cream that I have swatched and am looking forward to using. I was just coming to the end of my Benefit eye cream so this was perfect timing.

Finally, I received a good-sized sample of Monu’s Rosewood Reviving Mist. I love rose-scents and I enjoy a good facial spritz so this was a good inclusion for me. It is refreshing and smells great but I probably wouldn’t spend the £20 to repurchase it.

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Overall, this was actually quite a good box but I can’t help but feel a bit ‘over’ beauty boxes. I have so many samples now, I struggle to use them all and I just don’t get as excited anymore when my Birchbox arrives. Saying that, I think I would miss it if I cancelled my subscription as it pushes you out of your make-up comfort zone and almost forces you to try products you might not try but end up loving.

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