Thursday, 13 April 2017

The best candles for your home

I feel like I write here too often that I'm obsessed with a certain thing. In fact, I'm currently drafting a skincare post alongside this candle feature and I've already written about my skincare obsession in that one but when starting this feature, it felt so natural to begin it by expressing my love of candles (and subsequently my candle obsession). There's just something about them that gets me. From the packaging, usually super luxurious to the scents themselves. 

There are so many candles out there - from brands, to scents and packaging that gives me the "gotta catch em all" kind of vibe which is where my hoarding comes into play. I wouldn't even want to know how many candles I have stashed in my current home. I'm moving next month, so I'm using it as an excuse as I'll need to fill a whole flat with them and not just my bedroom in my current shared house. Put it this way, if I look around my room right now, I can see 13 - and that's not including the ones I know are stashed away in other hidden places.  I just blooming love them. 

My favourite thing is trying out a new candle and with that, I've very much tried most of them out there so I know which are the best to pick up. From luxury to affordable and from enormous to mini, here are my candle picks. Get yourself a cuppa tea, I can feel a long one coming on. 

Jo Malone Green Tomato Leaf Home Candle, £44

Jo Malone candles are probably one of the candles I get the most excited about and ever since I first smelt the Green Tomato Leaf scent I have been in love. I'd heard great things, but you don't really know if it's going to be for you until you really give it a smell for yourself. This scent is fresh, fruity, earthy and so clean. I absolutely adore it - it's my current favourite day time scent. If you've tried a Jo Malone candle before, then you'll know about the incredible quality - but if you don't, the burn quality, scent pay off and packaging make the price so worthwhile. 

"Glasshouse tomatoes. Earthy, leafy and full of sunshine. Crisp with stem-green galbanum. Lively with artemesia, fruity with cassis, resting on a cushion of moss. Tangy and evocative."

Timothy Dunn Tiger Eye Home Candle, £36

If you're a candle fan, chances are you're always on the hunt for a new home fragrance brand and if you've not tried it yet, Timothy Dunn is the one. Their candles are so luxurious and the scents are different to what I've tried before. My absolute favourite is Tiger Eye. It comes in beautiful luxurious black packaging and feels like an absolute treat. It's quite a grown up scent and actually was one of the first I got my hands on since my Yankee Candle Apple candle days. Its warming and I adore burning this in the evening. The quality is amazing and I'm feeling the need to pick up a new scent as they all sound amazing!

Top notes: Orange Blossom, Petitgrain, Jasmine
Heart notes: Lily, Cyclamen, Sandalwood
Base notes: Vanilla, Amberwood, Patchouli

Cochine Saigon Scented Candle in Vietnamese Rose & Delentii, £45

The thing that first gets me about the Cochine Saigon candles is the beautiful packaging. It's a metallic silver glass candle and feels so so luxurious. I fell in love with this brand for the luxurious packaging and it's what's kept me going back to the candle I've got in my stash time and time again. I've got the Vietnamese Rose & Delentii scent and although it is nice, and I can appreciate it it's not really my cup of tea completely. I adore it for the packaging but this scent is not very me. If you love rose, you'll love this but if not I'd suggest giving one of the others a go. I am already eyeing up the other candles in the range, especially Vanille & Tabac Noir, Juniper & Ginger and Tuberose & Wild Fig - as I need to get this beautiful packaging in some other scents. Perhaps I could pick them up as a new house treat? 

Top notes: Rose, Bergamot
Heart notes: Violet, Rosewood
Base notes: Delentii

Annick Goutal Eau D'Hadrien Candle, £45

Again for this one, it was the packaging that got me. The branded gold embossing on the candle glass has an incredibly luxurious feel which is what I absolutely love. The scent of the candle is incredible. It's citrus-esque but with a slight spice it. It burns beautifully and 

Top notes: Sicilian Lemon, Grapefruit
Heart notes: Citron, Green Mandarin, Ylang Ylang
Base notes: Cypress, Bergamot

Liz Earle Eucalyptus and Rosemary Botanical Candle, £40

Liz Earle has been one of my favourite beauty brands for many years. In fact, probably since around the time I actually started getting into beauty and blogging. I fell in love with their Cleanse and Polish  ad have subsequently fallen in love with everything else I've ever tried from them since - candle included. The Eucalyptus and Rosemary candle is incredible. It has great scent pay off and if you love a clean, fresh scent this is perfect for you. It's inspired by the botanicals in the Cleanse and Polish, so if you love that then you'll probably love this. This one is going straight in my bathroom in my new place and I can't wait to find it a spot and relax in the bath with it burning.  

Top notes: Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Birch, Cypress, Pine Needle, Black Pepper
Heart notes: Amber
Base notes: Patchouli, Vetiver

this works Deep Sleep Heavenly Candle, £25

I've got into the routine of burning a specific scented candle in the evening before bed, and this is one of those. The calming scent really relaxes me before bed - especially when paired with their pillow mist. It's on the affordable side of the candle spectrum which is great considering I pretty much burn this every night. It's simple with its white packaging and looks perfect in the bedroom. It's a little sexier than the usual lavender-esque sleep candle. which makes for a nice change and is probably why I love it so much. 

Notes: Lavender, Chamomile 

Aromatherapy Associates Relax Candle, £38

Again, like the this works candle, this is one of my other pre-sleep candle go-to's. If you love the Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax bath oil scent, you'll love this. It's intense on the relaxing front and is my favourite if I need calming down or if I've had a long day. It's luxurious, I adore the brand and my love of their products doesn't stop here. 

Notes: West Indian Bay, Myrrh

Orla Kiely Geranium Scented Candle, £25

I have loved Orla Kiely candles for so long. As a self-confessed big fan of Orla Kiely in general I had always dreamed of owning some of their pieces and in fact I think the now discontinued, Orla Kiely Rhubarb candle was one of my first, if not the first luxurious home fragrance buys I got my hands on. I fell in love with the beautiful Orla Kiely designed glass on the candle and that is what keeps me going back every time. Their packaging is iconic and their candles don't disappoint either. The one I got recently is the Geranium scent and it's beautiful. A little girlier, but fresh and a go-to day time scent for me at the moment. 

Notes: White Geranium, Eucalyptus and Clary Sage

Mini Moderns Paisley Crescent Candle, £24

Again, much like the Orla Kiely candles it's the unique design of the Mini Moderns candles that made me fall in love with them. The Paisley candle not only has a beautiful bold design but it smells incredible. It's a little more on the masculine side compared to some of my other favourites but that's why I love it so much. It's warming and so beautiful. Even my boyfriend loves it. 
If you're a gin fan or are after something a bit fresher, you need to smell the Mini Moderns Pavilion Candle, £24 - its light and fresh and so delicious and will be right up your street. 

Notes: Jasmine, Orange blossom and hints of Cardamom

Neom Happiness Scented Candle (3 Wicks), £45

Neom candles are some of my all time favourites and in fact, I couldn't even tell you when they first came into my life. I've had many Neom candles as generally they are some of the best I've ever burnt (plus they have great customer service if you have any problems)! Their scent range is always on pointbut my current obsession is the Happiness scent. It relaxes me but it's so uplifting at the same time. It boosts my mood and there's just something about the three wick candles that get me excited in their own right. 

Another of my favourites from the brand is the Neom Christmas Wish Candle (3 Wicks), £45. It's not currently available but it's been out for the last two years and is the best festive candle I've tried. Yes, I have a stock of it. Yes, I have two already stashed away for Christmas this year and yes, I can't wait to burn them. 

"A dew-carpeted garden on a fresh spring morning. A sparkling blend of white neroli, mimosa and lemon is combined with natural fresh grass notes to create a scent evocative of the awakening of spring."

Yankee Candle Linden Tree Small Jar Candle, £8.99

When it comes to Yankee Candle's, I hate to pick which is why I love their small jar candles. They are affordable and you can pick up a few to see which is your favourite before purchasing one of the larger ones. At the moment my favourite is definitely the Linden Tree scent as it smells like freshly washed clothes or a fresh summers day. If you're looking for a few others to pick up, I'd recommend the Yankee Candle Wild Mint scent or the Yankee Candle Cherry Blossom scent. 

Top notes: Hosta Leaves, Linden Blossom
Heart notes: Viburnum 
Base notes: Musk, Cedarwood

What are your favourite candles?

Lorna x

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Happy 20th Birthday KIKO

KIKO is one of the best budget beauty brands out there. Not only is it incredibly affordable but the quality of the products are always on point. They are celebrating 20 years since launching and are doing so with seven limited edition collections in collaboration with emerging designers that will be launched throughout the year. 

KIKO are forever launching new ranges and collections and the packaging that goes along with them is always new and exciting. The latest launch and the first of the limited edition collections to celebrate their anniversary is their Less is Better collection and is perfect for those of you who like a natural, but enhanced look.

The range includes the super pigmented KIKO Less is Better matte liquid lipsticks, £6.90 in natural nudes, rosy pinks and deep browns. These liquid lipstick are in super cute pastel pink packaging and are small enough for popping in your handbag and topping up on the go. They last super well too! 

For eyes the KIKO Less is Better Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow, £6.90 comes in three natural but glowy shades. These are great for brighting up the eye area and applying if you're in a rush as they can be blended in quickly with your finger. If you're more of an eyeshadow palette kinda gal, then the KIKO Less is Better Eyeshadow Palette, £11.90 is going to be your new favourite palette for on the go. It's a neutral lovers dream as it includes 9 brown and nude shades in a variety of finishes. It's super small, so perfect for taking on-the-go. 

For highlight, the KIKO Less is Better Fluid Highlighter, £11.90 is perfect for strobing. It comes in two shades, a lighter champagne shade and a slightly darker golden shade and is enormous for the price. You get so much product in here, so much so I couldn't ever imagine ever running out. It blends well and gives the skin a beautiful, enhanced natural glow. To finish off the skin, the KIKO Less is Better Cream Blush, £8.90 is perfect. It comes in a large tub and feels super luxurious. It comes in two shades a rose and a slightly darker mauve and they blend into the skin well while still having great colour pay off. It leaves the skin looking flushed but still dewy. 

Finally, the last product in the range is perfect for the makeup removal process as the KIKO Less is Better Konjac Sponge, £5.90 is also included in the collection. It deeply cleanses your skin gently and preps it for makeup application (or helps to remove)!

Like I said, KIKO is one of my favourite budget beauty brands and this range doesn't disappoint. I am already excited for the other limited edition designed collections to come out later in the year as this design is so beautiful. Roll on the rest of 2017... 

Lorna x

This feature may contain products gifted by brands or affiliate links but as always all thoughts are my own

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Mother's Day Gift Guide

REMINDER. It's Mother's Day on Sunday! If you're anything like me then you still won't have picked anything up just yet. In fact, if I wasn't writing this post (or yesterday's) then it would have barely crossed my mind. Oopsie. 

For Every Mum

Yes. Trust me, every Mum will LOVE this. I wrote a post with The White Company yesterday on their Mother's Day gifting and just wanted to reaffirm that I really do blooming love it.  The stunning but simple white packaging is what always gets me and I generally find it hard to narrow down what I want from them - and gifting is no different. The White Company have a great Mother's Day gift guide on site but my top pick from the brand is the Seychelles Luxury Gift Set, £49. The set includes a signature candle (around 28 hours burn time), a bath and shower gel (250ml), a body lotion (250ml) and a triple milled soap (150g) all in the incredible Seychelles scent. 

For The Tea Addict

Everyone knows someone that loves tea - and if that's your Mum, you need to get your hands on this set. The Clipper Tea's A Sublime Selection Gift Set, £12 includes a selection of teas (60 envelopes to be precise) across the Skinni Vanilli, Happy Mondays, Skinny Mintie, Snore & Peace, Calmer Chameleon and Flower Power flavours - delicious!

For The Makeup Addict 

Clarins have released the Tender Moment's range for Mother's Day. If you're Mum likes makeup and you want to get a little soppy then this range is definitely worth eyeing up. The Skin Illusion Blush, £16 and the Daily Energiser Lovely Lip Balm, £16 makes up this collection filled with love and kisses (and embossed with them too). The products are natural looking - so won't be too bright or bold for your Mum but a really lovely, and sweet addition to her makeup bag. 

For The Skincare Addict

If I wanted to treat my Mum skincare-wise then Decleor would most definitely be one of my go-to options. For one, my Mum (and most Mum's) know the brand so they know the luxurious quality of it and two, it delivers. The Decleor Recharge Your Life Awakening Box, £35 is a lovely idea. It encompasses the wellness trend and gives you what you need to have a pamper - and give your skin a glow boost too for, as they say, "total body radiance". I love this idea and the notebook is super cute too. 

For The Mum With A Sweet Tooth

Crabtree & Evelyn are so well known for their hand creams, and rightly so - they are some of the best but this Mother's Day I'm talking the lesser known part of the brand - the food. Crabtree & Evelyn do some of the most delicious treats and the Limited Edition All Butter Rose & White Chocolate Biscuits, £5 are a must-buy for any Mum's with a sweet tooth. Pick up one of the mini hand creams, like the Rosewater Hand Therapy, £6 to go alongside it for pink perfection. 

For The Au Natural Mum 

Know someone that goes down the natural route for beauty products? This year Balance Me have launched a gift set featuring their best selling Rose Otto range - a personal favourite of mine. The Balance Me Balancing Rose Otto Gift Set, £40 is a great option for Natural lovers or Mum's with sensitive skin as the products are great and come in generous sizes - steer clear though if they're not a fan of a rose scent. It smells delicious if they are however. 

For the Sanctuary Obsessive

Much like everyone knows someone that loves tea, everyone also knows someone that loves Sanctuary. It can be a bit of a Marmite brand but it's on such a high at the moment and this budget friendly gift set is sure to bring a big smile to your Mum's face. Pick up the Sanctuary With Love Mother's Day Gift, £22 for the wow factor without breaking the bank.  

For The Mum Who Loves A Throwback 

If you mention Vera Wang Princess to any girl, they've got a story. Whether they owned it and adored it when they were younger or it was so high up on their wishlist they literally couldn't reach it - it's part of most girls stories, and Mum's will most definitely rememeber that. Vera Wang have recently released the latest addition to the Princess range - the Vera Wang Princess Of Hearts EDT, £19.99. 

Fragrance notes: Top notes of Bergamot, Watermelon, Wild Strawberry. Heart notes of Lily of the Valley, Star Jasmine. Base notes of Cedar, Musk, Vanilla. 

It's a sweet as the original scent but a little bit more "wearable" today. It's sweet, it doesn't break the bank and it's a lovely memory-inducing beauty gift that gives so much more than just the fragrance. Now let's not forget the secret ring on the bottle...

For The Difficult-To-Buy-For Mum

If your Mum is one of those, 'I've got everything' or 'I don't really like anything' kind of women then picking up products that everyone uses in their everyday lives are a great option. No7 doesn't break the bank but also is great quality for what you get. The No7 Indulgence Collection, £25 includes everyday essentials like hand cream and body wash in a beautifully packaged gift set. The products are nicely sized and I adore the pretty Spring-like packaging of the products. 

For The Mum Who's Not A Gift Set Fan

I know quite a few people who think that gift sets around "gift giving" times are the absolute bane of their life and so finding that one product to give to someone who feels this way can often be a little on the difficult side. I'd generally recommend picking up something from The White Company - as like I said earlier in the post, they really can do no wrong in my eyes and are the perfect spot for a gift. But as I've already raved about them, I'm going to give another option. The Cochine Saigon Vietnamese Rose & Delentii Scented Candle, £45 is a great option. From the beautiful packaging to the luxurious scented candle in side - it's a great option to treat your Mum all year round. 

What are you eyeing up for your Mum this Mother's Day? Let me know in the comments below. 

Lorna x

Some of the products in this post have been gifted to me for features on Studs and Dreams

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Mother's Day with The White Company | AD

The White Company is my go-to for gift shopping for any woman all year round. You just can't go wrong with them. In fact, I'd go as far as saying I don't know anyone that isn't a fan - men included if they know about the brand. From the moment I step into the store or click on the website, there isn't anything that I don't dream about owning. The White Company is classic and simple and incredibly luxurious, but at price points that are attainable and that's what keeps me going back again and again. I love what I can see and I know I'll be able to buy what I've got my eye on at some point or another. 

The White Company have a great Mother's Day gift guide on site but my top pick from the brand is the Seychelles Luxury Gift Set, £49. The set includes a signature candle (around 28 hours burn time), a bath and shower gel (250ml), a body lotion (250ml) and a triple milled soap (150g) all in the incredible Seychelles scent. 

Fragrance Notes: Fresh bergamot, bright orange and rich amber with warming notes of exotic coconut, vanilla and almond

This fragrance reminds me of holidays, the fresh scent you get when you're walking on the beach. It's warming but a little sweet and fresh. If you can't take your Mum to the Seychelles, give her the next best thing - this gift set.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you'll probably know about my obsession and love of beauty and home fragrance and so that's why my go-to is the beauty section and that's why this one is my pick - but have a look through the guide if this isn't up your street, trust me, there will be something that is. 

This gift set includes everything your Mum will need for a pamper - and a luxurious, good quality one at that. Their candles are the most incredible quality for the price and the simplicity of the packaging makes it fit in every room of everyones home. This set features a smaller candle - but if you are a candle lover, make sure you pick up a huge one for yourself while you're getting your Mum a gift. They burn like no other and the fragrance is incredible. 

Give your Mum this gift set this Mother's Day. Run the bath for her, get the candle burning and give her time for herself - she really blooming deserves it. 

What have you got planned for Mother's Day this year? Let me know in the comments below. 

Lorna x

This post has been sponsored by The White Company, but as always all views are my own

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Introducing The Hayo’u Method and WIN a ‘Glow & Go’ set worth £98

Stress is something that gets us all. Whether we consciously realise that we're dealing with it or or are struggling with it to the point we can't see a way out, it's there for all of us and finding a way to tackle  it is something we should all be aware of. We all work so bloody hard and with the constant demand of our day-to-day jobs (don't even get me started on life admin) it can be easy for it all to pile on top and become a bit too much. If you can address stress head on, it means you're more likely to live a healthier life - better quality too and become less ill all the time.

Chinese medicine can have a bit of a bad rep, which was why I was a little sceptical about The Hayo'u Method when I first heard about it, as it is just that. But scam perception aside, in actual fact it's a concept that's steeped in centuries of effective traditions and long-standing practice - and where The Hayo'u method is concerned it very much takes that in it's stride. It isn't accupuncture-esque - no needles involved here like my first thought may have been. It is in fact a speedy ritual, that you can add into your daily routine with very little effort. It's relaxing, and it gives you a moment for 'you' in your daily routine, which for me is incredibly important. 

When I met Katie Brindle, a Chinese Medicine Practitioner and founder of Hayo’u my eyes were completely opened up to the world of Chinese Medicine and how quickly and effectively a simple movement have an effect. It's deeper than the usual 'just take a paracetamol' outlook we all generally have on life. By following the Hayo'u method, just for a few minutes a day it can help to cleanse and make your body, generally, a more happy place. 

For detailed information on the rituals Katie recommends, head to The Hayo'u Method but today I want to delve a little deeper into the product they have on offer.

I'm giving you a chance to win The Hayo'u Glow and Go set worth £98! The set includes the Beauty Restorer Jade Gua Sha Massage Tool, £35. This stone is my absolute favourite. Use the stone to press gently across the face to draw out tension. It plumps and boosts radiation - and it is my absolute go-to for cooling puffy under eyes. 

The set also includes the Hayo'u Treat-Rite Face Oil, £33 which is my favourite oil to use when using the Gua Sha. It hydrates, illuminates and has an incredibly calming scent which makes it a favourite of mine for calming down in the evening. 

Finally the set includes the Hayo'u Bathe-Rite Shower Minerals, £28. First things first, this smells incredible and is so relaxing like the Face Oil. The body wash is a concentrated formula of himalayan pink salt, lotus flower and frankinsense to de-stress the body. If you combine the use of this, with a quick one-minute breathing ritual as detailed on the site you'll come out of the shower like a new Woman. I am hooked. 

Enter to win my favourite products from the Hayo'u range in the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lorna x

The products and prize for this giveaway were kindly gifted by Hayo'u but as always all views are my own

Monday, 13 March 2017

Why Should We Choose Fairtrade? | AD

Can't start your day without your Black Americano? Prone to an Almond Milk Latte? Perhaps your coffee of choice is a Cappuccino with an extra shot? Whichever is your coffee of choice, have you ever thought about where the coffee your choosing is coming from? Or checked to see if it's Fairtrade?

I, alongside so many aren't consciously making this choice and after spending an evening with Fairtrade and Greggs (yes, Greggs - more on that later!) it has opened my eyes up to what I just wasn't really thinking of. Of course, I was aware about it but it rarely passed further than the label on a bar of chocolate I passed on the shelves at Co-op when I do my weekly shop. But it is so important and I'm here to give you the 411 on why it's something we should be more aware of. 

So what exactly is Fairtrade? 

Fairtrade is a global movement and it's so active in the UK which makes it incredibly easy for us to get involved. By shopping Fairtrade, you are supporting the movement for better prices, decent working conditions and better terms for the farmers and workers that are producing the food we eat and the drinks we drink. People are at the heart of this Fairtrade system and by supporting it, you are supporting them too. 

When I hung out with Fairtrade and Greggs, we focused on coffee as it's a daily essential for some (and a nicety for most) and for me, I just bloomin' love it - but I never consciously thought about the coffee I drank or where it came from. For me? It's all about convenience, and generally I just go wherever I'm next to at the time. Needs must and all that but I didn't realise how easy it was to make that choice. 

I'm a lazy girl at heart (hello my 'Lazy Girl's Guide To' series) and so it can be a little on the testing side to go out of my way to make a good choice when all I want to do is go for the closest option - but that's what I'm here to tell you. As you might have guessed, if you put two and two together... I'm here to tell you that Greggs - yes Greggs - the bakery on pretty much every high street, has you covered on the Fairtrade coffee front - and it has been for 10 years!

After many an Espresso Martini and my coffee of choice (at the mo anyway), White Americano - we were revealed that the Fairtrade coffee were drinking that evening was actually the blend that Greggs serves up in all of their shops. All Greggs hot drinks are certified Fairtrade. From their Flat Whites to their Green Teas, and from their Hot Chocolates straight through to their Espressos. They are all Fairtrade and they don't break the bank. 

I am the first to admit that I assumed that making better choices like choosing Fairtrade would break the bank - or you know, just add a few extra pounds onto something I sometimes feel a little on the guilty side for buying it out some days anyway. I am that person, that heads to a fancy local coffee shop, is sucked into buying many things alongside my coffee, and don't necessarily enjoy it anyway. £8 later and not much happier. 

I had never thought of going to Greggs for coffee before. The odd pastry - Cheese and Onion Pasty for me, Sausage Roll for the boyf, but never coffee. I guess it's just the norm, you have your go-to coffee places and that's that BUT IT'S TIME TO BREAK THAT MOULD

Greggs coffee is made with unique blend of freshly ground Arabica and Robusta coffee beans which are slow-roasted and it creates a delicious full flavour. I love my coffee - and my boyfriend even more so, and since I've got him hooked. It tastes incredible and it's so affordable. 

By picking up your coffee from Greggs, your supporting the Fairtrade movement and you're supporting the people who grow and make your coffee in the first place. If we can make that choice and it doesn't cost us any extra and it's easily accessible then why shouldn't we? 

I wasn't aware how easy making the choice was. I wasn't aware how to do it. I wasn't even really aware what it meant to support it and what it would actually do for the makers of the produce. You're improving their lives, you're improving their communities. It's not a charity, we're not asking for you to donate money, we're just asking you make a choice and buy something that you already would be buying to support those who work hard for our produce - and they deserve to earn a decent living for that right? We work hard to earn our wages, and so do they and I want to support that. 

Greggs have been certified Fairtrade for 10 years and they are continuing to support the movement. Whether I'm picking up my coffee from my local Greggs or keeping my eyes peeled for the Fairtrade logo when I'm doing my shopping - I'll be making a conscious effort to buy Fairtrade as I really can't express how important it is. Will you? 

Lorna x

This feature has been sponsored by Greggs and Fairtrade but as always all thoughts are my own. 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Getting To Know... Megan Lillie aka Thumbelina Lillie

Images - @meganjanelillie

In the second of my 'Meet The Blogger'-esque series, I'm chatting to a blogger that I've known in the blogosphere for years. Megan Lillie, or as you might know her Thumbelina Lillie is super beautiful, relatable and creates bloody good content across her platforms - and because of this it only made sense that we got the down low on her beauty history and blogging future. Read on for the lowdown...

Introduce yourself and your blog in one sentence
My name is Megan and I blog at, my little space where I share all my thoughts and feelings!

When did you start blogging and why?

I started blogging October 2012 after deciding to take a year out in between college and University. I had been reading blogs for around 6 months and had always had a love for writing, as well as makeup and fashion. It just kind of all fell together, and I'm so glad that it did!

What was your first ever beauty product?
Probably a Groovy Chick Glitter Roll-On - ha! Those things were the best back in the 90's!

Best budget beauty buy?
Hmm, any Rimmel lipstick! I think they are such good value for money.

What one product do you always repurchase?
I have purchased the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation god knows how many time! It's the perfect every day, lightweight foundation for work!

Bold eyes or bold lips?
Lips - every time!

Your biggest beauty disaster?
Probably when I went into the hairdressers asking for ombre, and came out 4/5 platinum blonde!

Most cherished piece of clothing?
Probably my uber-princess Cosmo Awards dress. I've only wore it twice, but I absolutely love it!

What’s your go-to outfit?
Any kind of smock dress, my ultimate go-to!

Granny pants or thongs?

What’s in your handbag right now?
Just my purse and keys, I'm a regular packer of whatever I need. I'm not a fan of clutter!

Night out or night in?

IN! 75% of the time ha!

What’s your favourite meal?
Gimme Tapas any day! I love little picky bits so that I don't have to dedicate to one meal!

What’s your spirit animal?
Probably like a little micro-pig haha!

Who is your beauty/style icon?
I don't really have one person that I obsess over! But I love Charlotte Tilbury as a general makeup queen!

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My collection of cosy, big, baggy jumpers!

What’s your guilty pleasure?
I'm not guilty of anything! I mean, I'm totally proud to be an avid Busted and High School Musical fan.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed?
Scroll through Instagram - guilty!

Top blogging tip?
Let it flow naturally and don't force anything!

What do you see in the future for yourself and your blog?
Just continuing to love writing and creating the content that I want to create!

Follow Megan @meganjanelillie and check out her blog here.

Anything else you want to know, or who do you want me to ask next? Let me know in the comments below.

Lorna x

Monday, 6 March 2017

Eating in London: Pan Chai, Harrods review

I bloody love sushi. It's my absolute favourite food when I go out and I am forever on the hunt for the next best Asian joint. I was invited down to try Pan Chai in Harrods to add into my 'Eating in London' series and give my two cents on and I have to admit, I was incredibly excited. 

If you have ever been to Harrods and ventured into the food court, then you've probably stumbled upon Pan Chai without even realising it. It's the sushi bar nestled away in the corner of the court. At first, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this. I quite like my restaurant to be a restaurant but as you were facing the chefs and watching all of the action at first hand, I swiftly forgot all about it. 

The staff are extremely helpful and are on hand to recommend personal favourites and popular dishes on the menu. We tried a lot, a lot more than any two people would ever need - so don't feel like you need to order this much. A few dishes would be plenty. 

With a delicious and luxurious Bellini in hand, we started with some Edamame - an essential for any Asian feast. They are my absolute favourite and perfectly accompanied the Omekase Platter we had along side it. This was a must try as the platter includes a mixture of sashimi and sushi all picked by the Chef that day - this way you know what you're going to get is super fresh and super tasty - and it didn't disappoint. 

The next couple of dishes came at the recommendation of our waiter. The Salmon Skin Maki was unlike anything I'd ever tried before. I've not tried salmon skin in sushi before but the salmon skin was crisp against the soft rice and so delicious. 

If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you'll know that I've not been a meat eater for some time. Fish, I love but meat was something I'd steered clear of for a few years. I've never been against eating it etc. but I just really didn't like it at all. I'd always said that if I ever wanted to try something again, then I would and recently I've been doing just that. We gave the Duck and Watermelon Salad, a popular favourite in the restaurant, a go and it was so delicious. It was a mixture of an incredible amount of duck, watermelon and cashew nuts with a drizzle of sauce. As someone who doesn't eat meat often, this was really tasty and I really recommend getting it if you go. 

The Harrods Special Sushi Rolls came highly recommended and didn't disappoint either. Filled with fresh snow crab, avocado and spicy mayonnaise and topped with seared scallops, orange and black caviar and spring onions - this was the perfect mixture of soft and crispy textures. 

I adore a buttery fish and black cod most definitely is my favourite when going to restaurants like this. We were recommended the Grilled Plum Sea Bass as it's supposedly better. I'm not sure it's better, but it was just as good. A soft buttery fillet of fish in a delicious plum and miso sauce. Fresh, tasty and so easy to eat. 

Finally, when we very much thought we could burst, the last two dishes arrived. My favourite of all of the things we tried was most definitely the Mixed Tempura Platter. The dish included beautifully battered rock shrimp, lobster and soft shell crab with a orange ponzu dip. This dish absolutely blew my mind. We had never tried tempura quite like it. Usually tempura can be incredibly heavy but this dish was so light and flavourful - and as someone who hasn't always got the lobster hype - this most definitely changed my mind. 

The last dish we tried (although, I have to admit I gave this one a miss as I am still a little unsure of some meats!) was the Wagyu Beef Bulogi. Grilled sirloin wagyu beef with korean barbecue sauce. Joe absolutely adored this. It was succulent and flavourful and so moreish. The asparagus underneath was also cooked perfectly and worked so well with the sauce. 

Eating in Harrods was a luxury and most definitely is a treat. It does have a high price point but for the quality of what you get and the experience and service it is most definitely worth it. Just do make sure not to over order - you can always order some more if you need as the staff are super helpful. Wash it all down with their delicious bellini's and finish it with a browse of the pastries in the food court and you'll leave incredibly happy. 

Have you ever eaten in the Harrods food court before? 

Lorna x

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The London Blow Dry You Need To Try

A good blow dry is something that surprisingly can be hard to come by. I've been for so many where I leave feeling a bit 'meh' knowing that I could achieve pretty much the same effect at home, sometimes a little bit more to my taste - so when I find a blow dry I adore, I really want to sing it from the rooftops and let you all know about why I loved it so much. 

I went to Gielly Green in Marylebone recently and absolutely fell in love with it. In short, everything from the service to the salon to the hair was incredible. 

The salon is super beautiful, I fell in love with it as I stepped through the door. It was luxurious, but not so much so that it felt unattainable and I most definitely wasn't left feeling out of place. From stepping into the salon, you are treated well and it feels like you're going in for much more than a blow dry. I've often been in and out for a blow dry in speed time but if I'm not in a rush that's not exactly what I'm going for. I don't generally go for a blow dry out of need, I go out of wanting to be pampered and for that, a certain amount of time is usually needed. 

From the cup of tea with the quick chat with your stylist, through to the in-depth shampoo and head massage (in the most comfortable chair by the way) to the stylist actually taking the time to get the blow dry right and as you want it. That's the process and experience I got at Gielly Green and I absolutely adored every minute of it. 

My stylist, Ben Straughan was super skilled (ask for him when you book) and knew exactly how to create the look I was after - big waves, volume and not too neat. He made me feel at ease, something I don't always feel when I'm at a salon - your hair is at the hands of someone else (this does come into play a little more when it's being cut and coloured though) and so you want to feel as though they know what they're doing and be happy with the finished effect. 

The best bit? It left my hair feeling incredible for days. If you can't get down to the salon, try out the Gielly Green hair care range - it's got the most beautiful packaging, smells incredible and gives a really great finish. 

Where do you love going for a blow dry? Let me know in the comments below. 

Lorna x

I was invited to try Gielly Green for free in exchange for this review, but as always all thoughts are my own.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

7 things not to do when looking for new housemates

I've lived with housemates for around 3 years now. Either people I knew or people I found on Spare Room. Anyone that has gone through it will know what a task it is. I've actually just gone through it. We found two brand spanking new housemates in the last week or so and they'll be moving into our house of 5 very soon, and so when The Law House Chiswick property lawyers got in touch last week to collaborate on a post together, I thought it couldn't be better timing. I'm talking how to create the perfect house date, and what not to blooming do when you've got housemate "interviews". Think of it like a date, it's extremely similar. 

1. Don't offer or ask for a hot drink. 

Just don't do it, promise? If it's not going well, you'll all be left there waiting for said drink to be finished or if you're the drink-ee, left with a scalding burnt mouth. It's not worth the pain. 

2. Don't ask them what they're hobbies are. 

No one has hobbies. Everyone comes home, flops on the sofa, pops on Geordie Shore (or a programme of similar calibre) and endlessly scrolls through Instagram all night. 

3. Don't forget to add an image to your profile. 

Unless you don't want a response or want your potential new housemates to think that you're a super shady character. 

4. Don't lie.

In the horribly awkward moment when a stranger sits down on the sofa in front of you, it can be tempting to blurt out a lie out to fill the yawning silence. Just remember, you will be found out. 

5. Don't tell the truth. 

On the other hand, no one wants to know if you fell out with all of your previous housemates or your dark and dirty secrets. Let them wait and find out when you/they move in.

6. Don't just choose the hotties. 

Or the ones you fancy. It's extremely unlikely to work out in the end... Although that being said I met my boyfriend in my house. Oopsie. 

7. Don't forget that the other person is also judging you. 

They might need a new person to move in or you might need a new house to live in but it's a decision you both are making. Don't forget, you have to sleep under the same roof.

Have you gone through a hunt for housemates? Let me know your recommendations below. 

Lorna x

This post was written in collaboration with The Law House Chiswick but as always all thoughts are my own! 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The one where I got my fashion on for the first time in years

This post has been a long time coming. I absolutely adore fashion blogs and in fact, this little space on the internet started out as just that and the first part of it's name (studs) came from a pair of beautiful studded shorts I picked up all those years ago. It's something I've wanted to bring back for the many years I haven't been doing it, and in fact, I think there were probably many times that I said I would but something would always get in the way and I just didn't. 

Don't get me wrong, there have been a few appearances in the past few years. The Next Mother's Day post most notably but it hasn't been a regular occurrence since the days I used my parents spare room, a tripod and remote control to take posey outfit pictures against that plain white wall. If you go back far enough, you'll see what I mean. 

I adore reading fashion blogs, in fact, some are my favourite blogs/vlogs/bloggers of all time, ahem Megan Ellaby I'm looking at you. Your style and images totally rock my world - and best of all, inspired me to create great content. I studied photography at University and so I wanted my content to be the best it could be, if I did finally seize the day and get back on the fashion blogger bandwagon. 

All these years later, I grouped together with my absolute favourite Holly Rose Stones. She takes the most beautiful images and I was so excited to finally create something together, years after we first talked about it. 

I am very much an outfit repeater, and this outfit or very similar has been my go-to for a long time. I'm forever matching a casual tee with leather jacket, jeans/skirt/plisse trousers and boots or trainers. It's comfortable and I absolutely adore the casual look of it. 

The day before I shot these with Holly, I popped into a launch event with Garnier and I found out all about their new #SkinActivist campaign, the new launches and they gave me this super cute tee with the hashtag on it. I fell in love and I just had to wear it right away. I have an ever growing collection of t-shirts. Most are either vintage or band tees but I love it when they remind you of something and this one does just that. I'll be giving the new launches a go asap so I'm sure you'll see them featured on here soon. 


Leather Jacket - All Saints
T-Shirt - Garnier for their #SkinActivist campaign but check out Rokit for similar tee's (if in doubt, go vintage) 
Black Plisse Trousers - Topshop 
Grey Boots - Topshop (similar here, here, here
Layering Chokers - Urban Outfitters

I absolutely adored shooting with Holly and I'm so excited to be getting back into fashion on here. Let me know if there's anything specific you'd like to see!

Check out Holly's photography portfolio here and wedding portfolio here. Follow Holly @hollyrosestones and on YouTube here

Lorna x