Monday 21 December 2015

Sponsored Video: Get More Out Of Christmas

At Christmas time, I love ease. I love being able to pick up my gifts from one place, in one go and to make it as simple as possible. You want Christmas to be fun, to be enjoyable and sometimes present buying can be quite the opposite. It's busy, it's stressful and I always find you come back with nothing that you needed. In fact, I went shopping last weekend and all I came back with was a jar of Nutella. How? My mind is blown, but there's just something about it that I don't like. 

I love I've been a fan of the site and brand for so long. If you've been reading this little space on the internet for a while then you'll know that it's popped up quite a few times since the beginning. It's a site that I feel sells basically everything and that's why, for me, it's my go-to hub for Christmas. Whether it's just to browse and get ideas on what to buy my mum, brother, grandma, best friend or secret santa or to actually do a bulk order and purchase all of my Christmas gifts - it's just there and is always where I go. 

The campaign in the video goes along with this. It shows how great the site is and how easy it is to find what you're looking for. I mean I'm not talking miracles, it won't necessarily find the perfect gift for that uber difficult person you struggle to buy for year on year - I mean it could, but it's more giving you the idea that the gifts will almost find you, instead of you finding them. If you've purchased from before then you'll know how easy to use the site is and how simple the delivery process is. The customer service is great and that's always something I look for. I mean, I experience a lot to do with customer service in my line of work and so I always really appreciate it when I experience something great within a company, and that's coming from personal experience. 

Whether your looking for something to wear for your Christmas party, or gifts for your friends and family then is the perfect place to start your hunt. Internet shopping is ideal for Christmas and I don't quite know what I'd do without it. 

Lorna x

*Post sponsored by Very but as always all views are my own

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Eating in London: Viet Food

After falling in love with Dozo Sushi, as soon as I heard the owners had opened a Vietnamese restaurant I was game and just had to go asap. Viet Food* on Wardour Street is pretty newly opened and prior to popping in my review, overtime I walked past it was always rammed and when I went to visit it was no different. You know you're in for a treat if that's the case. The restaurant has an authentic yet laid back vibe and I really loved that about it. 

We were seated and ordered a couple of their non-alcoholic cocktails. They were so delicious and super refreshing and we just couldn't get enough. To go alongside this their prawn crackers were a necessity. Not like the normal prawn crackers, but something a little more exciting and that bit more delicious. Be sure to ask for some sweet chilli sauce to go with this - it is mind blowing-ly good. 

Onto the actual food... and crikey it was super delicious. If you love small plates then you will 100% love it here. I love trying a bit of everything so this was ideal. We got the Crispy Coconut Calamari with Sweet Chilli Herb Sauce and the Vietnamese herbs five spice soft shell crab. These were incredible. So full of flavour and I wanted so much more once we'd cleared the plates. You. Must. Try. 

Then we ordered the Grilled Scallop and Prawns Saigon Style and the Vietnamese Grilled Chilli Sirloin with a side of Lemongrass Rice and Seafood Fried Rice. These were delicious, as was the rest of the meal and I can't recommend them anymore. Skip on the deserts and order yourself a few extra dishes and you'll leave so so happy. If you've got a big appetite, just make sure you order a little more than this too! It's so worth the trip and I've been hankering for another visit ever since... How long can I wait until I return? Not long, I expect. 

Lorna x

Monday 14 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: Over £30

The last in my Christmas Gift Guide series and of course I've saved the most luxe until last. This time I'm talking my Christmas Gift Guide with the budget of over £30. Some of the most beautiful products and funnily enough... I just want them all. 

I'm going to start with the makeup lover again and Sisley have got some beautiful new additions to their range this year. The Sisley Phyto-Ombre Glow Eye Shadow in Golden* is perfect for the Christmas season. I think it might be the most beautiful gold eyeshadow I've ever seen. It can be applied for a subtle wash of colour or built up into something a bit more intense. The Sisley So Intense Eyeliner* is a great partner to the shadow. It's an easy to use pen liner and my current go-to. The packaging feels super luxurious and I love that. I've always wanted to try Make Up For Ever and I'm sure any makeup lover would feel the same. The Make Up For Ever Cult Make Up Set* is the perfect starter kit for this. It includes all of the products that you'd have heard of from the brand and is homed in a gorgeous makeup bag. The Joan Collins Compact Duo* is also gorgeous. The packaging is what makes this for me as it's super gorgeous and makes applying your lipstick or topping up your powder that bit easier as it's all included in this handy compact that you should be proud of pulling out of your handbag. 

When it comes to beauty at Christmas, I think it's lovely that you're gifting someone with something that can help them to have a little pamper and the next set of products I'm talking are those that are perfect for this. Starting with having a luxurious bath and I think this is one of the most exciting products I'm talking as it's so so stunning. It's the Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Bath Jewels set* and not only are the products themselves incredible but the packaging is so gorgeous. It's like a vanity filled with a tonne of bath oils for so many different occasions. These are incredible and whether you pick this set up, or something smaller you just need to. It really is luxury at its best. Another great option for this is the Paul and Joe Luxurious Body and Bath Collection*. This set includes bath salts, body soap and body butter and not only are the products great but the packaging is stunning - but of course, it's Paul and Joe so I'd expect nothing less. My favourite body butter of the moment is a product thats absolutely blown my mind... and it's had a festive makeover. I'm talking the Kiehls Creme De Corps Whipped Body Butter in collaboration with Peter Max*. This smells incredible, I literally want to eat it and the product sinks in like I've never seen before. It's a beautiful luxe product that makes a great gift for Christmas. Onto hair and I've got two sets from Paul Mitchell that I wanted to mention. The Paul Mitchell Because You're Brilliant set* is a gorgeous luxe hair set for anyone with coloured hair as is the Paul Mitchell Exquisite Repair Gift Set* - these are both incredible and the packaging is gorgeous. A beautiful treat for Christmas indeed. 

Home fragrance again is some of my favourite things to both give and receive at Christmas times. It is what it is, a beautiful candle or reed diffuser but there's just something so exciting about receiving a  super luxe one. It's not often something you'd pick up yourself so getting your hands on it at this time of year is ideal. My absolute favourite is definitely the Neom Organics 3-Wick Christmas Wish Candle* - this scent is so luxurious and so festive. I am so in love with it. Another festive scent is for sure the La Montana Winter Oranges candle*. This is such a strong scent and so incredible. You don't need to burn this for it to be giving off a scent and I love that. I want to be able to smell my candles and this one most definitely does that. If you're looking for something that isn't festive however and can be used all year round then I'd most definitely recommend the Ted Baker Miami Reed Diffuser* - this is super luxe, and the scent is incredible. Also, how beautiful is the packaging? I love the flamingo. For someone who struggles to relax, or just anyone that you think deserves too, finally I think the Aveda A Gift To Melt Away Stress set* is ideal. It includes a candle, cleansing oil and a body cream. It's in gorgeous packaging and Aveda is such a known brand that just about anyone will love it... I've most definitely got a happy home for this to go to. 

I hope my gift guides this year have helped a little - have a lovely Christmas and let me know what you pick up and get! 

Lorna x

Sunday 13 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: £15 to £30

Another post in my Christmas Gift Guide 2015 series and actually we're nearing the end. This is my second to last post and it's a blooming great one if I don't say I do - some firm favourites in here for sure. This time I'm talking a Christmas Gift Guide with a budget of £15 to £30 so a little more luxe than my budget gift guide but we're still not breaking the bank. 

First up, I'm talking the makeup lover... and I have to say I'd be over the moon with any of these gifts. I'd usually save the best until last but I'm going to start by talking one of my favourites and it's the Too Faced Melted Kisses Gift Set*. I blooming love these. I mentioned my love to Too Faced in a falling in love with Too Faced style post recently and that just hasn't changed at all. Some of my favourite liquid lipsticks, in a gift set, in mini form - I mean, what's not to love about it? The Body Shop have a gorgeous Christmas range as I mentioned in a few of the previous posts in this series and The Body Shop Christmas Eyeshadow Palettes* are stunning and well worth a mention for this festive season - you can never go wrong with a palette right? Onto makeup brushes and again I fell in love with another gift set from Eco Tools and the Eco Tools Four Piece Beautiful Complexion set* is dreamy. Four gorgeous quality brushes that make a great addition to any girls makeup collection. This set is super cute as you can fold over the packaging and tie it with a cute bow - not essential to wrap although I think it still makes a cute addition. For nails, I fell in LOVE with the Deborah Lippmann Undressed Nail set*. This is a perfect set for just about anyone, as everyone can pull off a nude nail. The polishes are incredible quality and I just adore the packaging. 

If you've got anyone with children in your life or anyone with kids then I'd 100% recommend the Paul Mitchell Because You're Playful set*. The packaging is gorgeous and will work with the aesthetic of a super slick bathroom. Plus it's a luxe treat - and you can never go wrong with that. Dermalogica is a great brand and if I'm ever stuck for what to buy someone then they're gift sets are always a go-to. The Dermalogica Body Therapy Essentials set* is a great one for this - if you don't know their skin type then a body set is always a great idea. If you do know their skin type or just know that their into skincare then I'd recommend the Pai Instant Calm Discovery Collection*. This set is filled with a cleanser, toner, moisturiser and muslin cloth ideal for people with sensitive, reactive and redness prone skin. I always find my skin goes a little like this during the winter and so it's great for anyone to have in their beauty arsenal as a just in case measure - it's also great for travelling! The Temple Spa Wake Me Up and Wind Me Down Aromatic Mist Duo* is a great go-to set for Christmas. It's a time of year to relax and this is just perfect for that. A duo of mists that can be used in a multitude of ways like spraying in the air, on your pillows or onto your pulse points. Both mists work to target different things and I love them. I love Orla Kiely and the Orla Kiely Geranium Bath & Body Hand Wash and Lotion set is just dreamy. From the packaging of the gorgeous re-usable tin that it's in along with the hand soap and lotion that's actually inside. I know hand soap and lotion can be a bit boring - and I'd never pick up a luxe one like this for myself but at Christmas I LOVE receiving things like this because it feels like such a treat. The same can be said for the Soap & Glory Perfect Scents set*. I love getting a Soap & Glory hand soap and lotion - I often pick up these in bulk during the Boxing Day sales and this set is just dreamy as it has a beautiful smelling reed diffuser included too. I love. 

If you know an Ariana Grande fan or just someone that's a fan of a super sweet scent then I'd recommend picking up the ARI Eau De Parfum* as it's a super sweet scent in a cute bottle with a pom pom. It's a great price too. For someone a little older, the Joan Collins I am Woman Signature set*, is perfect. It comes with a perfume and matching reed diffuser. It's super luxe and a great mixture of a scent and something for the home. Home fragrance is always a great go-to for Christmas. It often feels like something you can't really pick up yourself so it's a great gift for someone else. The My Jolie Candle* is a great option, a gift that keeps on giving as once it's burned down a piece of jewellery is hidden inside. This is such a cute idea and a great incentive to actually burn the candle - I'm always really protective as I don't want to waste them. The Crabtree & Evelyn Windsor Forest candle is super stunning too. A scent for someone a little older than I'd gift the My Jolie Candle too... but this one is completely different. It's more of a natural scent, not quite as sweet as the previous and the candle itself looks just gorgeous. If you're looking for a set, then the Ted Baker Residence Mini Candle Set is ideal. The candles smell incredible and the packaging is super luxe. 

Lorna x

Sunday 6 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: Under £15

The third instalment in my Christmas gift guide series, and guess what? I'm getting blooming festive up in here. Today's post in the series is my Christmas gift guide for under £15 and honestly, some of the products and sets here blow my mind to the point where I'm so surprised that they are this affordable. I've narrowed down the best of the best bits - some of my personal favourites into this gift guide and I just can't wait to show you. 

Yet again, much like in my Stocking Fillers Christmas Gift Guide post there are so many bits from The Body Shop that are so on point. I don't know, we all know I'm a little bias as it just rings so true as a brand to me, but these bits genuinely are a little bit brilliant. The Body Shop Frosted Cranberry Shimmer Lotion* is perfect for the festive season - the festive scent, the hydration and the added shimmer are just so dreamy but if shimmer isn't your or the person you're buying for's thing then The Body Shop Frosted Plum Body Butter* is ideal. The Body Shop Frosted Plum Bath Fizzers* from the same range is also worth checking out. It's a beautiful scent and I love a bath so it is the actual dream (how many times will I say that in this post?).

If you love a pamper or know someone that does then there's definitely a few bits that will be right up your or their street. The LUSH Golden Wonder gift set* is filled with a couple of bath bombs in the most beautiful gift wrapping - perfect Christmas pamper necessities. If you know they love a bath then the Mandara Spa Honey Bath* is a great option also. The Ren Glow and Go* and the Ren Discovery Body* sets are a great addition too - plus they give a chance to try out such a hyped brand for a bargain price. I think these are great as Glow and Go would give you a little facial and Discover Body... well, covers just that, the body. The Mary Kay Sugar and Spice gift set is perfect for this also. The scent is stunning and includes a body lotion and lip balm which is great for just about anyone. The Dirty Works Bath Indulgence* set is perfect for a pamper and it's a blooming bargain as is the Senspa Nourishing Body Duo*. I fell in love with Senspa back when I went to visit the spa, and the brand and products just remind me of that - and I mean, if you want a pamper then a product and range resembling a spa is just what you want. 

Beauty gift sets are always a great option - and as you can probably tell I'm quite the fan. I love nothing more than browsing the beauty counters and the Christmas aisles in Boots and so I get so excited when some of my favourite brands come out with special sets - because, just why wouldn't you! The best bit for me though is some of the packaging. The Burts Bees Treat From The Bees* is a great example of this. It's in a blooming glass honey jar. It is stunning! Filled with a few of my favourite Burts Bees products this is so dreamy and a great gift for just about anyone - whether they're a beauty lover or not as it's super practical products like lip balm and cuticle butter. 

The Sanctuary Little Bag of Joy* is also a great example of this. It comes in a beautiful bag that can be re-used. I love this as I love using this for traveling as a makeup bag - or sometimes these are just great to have around to give things a home and keep it neat and tidy... and it's blooming cute. The Weleda Mini Gift Box in Wild Rose* is super cute, it comes in gorgeous gift wrapping. I love the brown box. Another cracker and very much one for someone who loves to tan and the St. Tropez Express Party Cracker* is filled with a mini instant tan lotion and is stunning. I've already found a home for this and they are so very excited to be getting their hands on it. For someone who looks after their hair, I'd recommend the John Frieda Luxurious Volume Set*. A perfect kit for a pamper, someone who travels a lot or just someone who likes to look after their hair. 

For the makeup lover then I'd recommend Pur Minerals Starry Eyed Kit* I think this might just be my favourite in the whole post. I love Pur Minerals eye shadows so much and this just blows my mind how cheap it is. A palette filled with gorgeous pinky plum shades to get a cranberry toned smokey eye and it's just dreamy. I might be a little bit in love. Another blooming great gift for a makeup lover is the Eco Tools Festive and Flawless Face Set*. Eco Tools brushes are insanely good, some of my favourites alongside Real Techniques actually and it blows my mind - along with the Pur Minerals palette - how great value this is. Top two right here. 

The Superdrug Studio London Makeup Brush* Set is a great addition to someone who likes makeup already as they are surprisingly great quality for the price - but also, great for someone who is just getting into makeup as it's a great amount of brushes with different uses. A great multi-use palette and another good idea for someone getting into makeup, the Sainsbury's Boutique Face Flatterer palette* is a great gift. A great all in one and I just love that. On the nail polish front I'd recommend the Mavala Snow Blossoms* set as the polishes are incredible quality and the packaging is super Christmassy or the Morgan Taylor Winter Garden Mini Nail Polish Set*. 

If I'm stuck for what to get someone, then I'd say I always go for Fragrance, Food and Hand Cream. A weird mix, but something from that bundle is ALWAYS a safe bet. My pick of the fragrance is the Library of Fragrance Egg Nog scent* as it's just, well, festive. This one's for someone who loves a sweet scent for sure. On the hand cream front, I think I've fallen a little bit in love with Crabtree & Evelyn (you'll see this when I chat food in a minute also) as the Crabtree & Evelyn Fruits and Flowers Hand Therapy Tin* is not only covered in beautiful packaging, it is also a really great product. The scents are amazing. 

Onto food, I mean it's only natural that I saved this for last and I am just so surprised that I am including Crabtree & Evelyn in this. Who knew they did edible gifts? Mind blown. My absolute favourite is the Crabree & Evelyn Fine Food Festive Cracker*. This is just stunning. The cracker and packaging is beautiful - and massive and basically just Christmas. It's filled with Fudge, Toffee and Coconut Ice and is perfect for anyone who would like anything like that. A safer bet however, but still in equally beautiful packaging and it is the Fine Foods Handmade Traditional Shortbread Fingers*. Can I just eat it now please? On the chocolate front, something I've never actually tried before but something super luxurious are the Billingtons Sugar Coated Caramel Bomb Chocolates*. These are a collaboration with Paul A Young and are available exclusively in his stores. They taste incredible and are such a treat. My go-to chocolate however is always Lindt. I think I've mentioned this in each of my gift guides so far and rightly so. I love the Lindt Bear Advent Calendar and I know it's a little late but really, it's a great gift whenever right? You don't have to eat it day by day if you don't get given it in time right? Justification at its best... 

Lorna x

Friday 4 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts for Men

Men can be impossible to buy for and so these posts can be a little difficult to write. You can't really narrow down men and give them safe gifts as you can with women. I mean, I'm not saying that every woman will love everything in my female gift guides - but there's likely that something will be appreciated... or even if not appreciated, used. That's my difficulty when it comes to buying for the men in my life. I just know that some of the things I've picked up in the past go without being used for sure. You know when you never spy it again, that you know they've probably forgotten it even exists... but I suppose when that doesn't happen, it makes it all that bit more exciting. 

I like to use Christmas as a time to pick up a few bits that I'd love the men in my life to give ago - alongside some of the bits I just know they will like. I'm an obsessive skincare buyer for men and what usually ends up being the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish for men (as I know it always goes down well), this year I've actually spied a few other bits worth mentioning. The Bulldog skincare sets look great. I'd not actually heard of the brand until recently but after seeing it pop up a few times and hearing about how great it is I thought it was only natural to include a couple of their gift sets in this guide. I'd recommend the Bulldog The Kennel set* and the Bulldog Be Loyal To Your Skin set*. Dr Jackson is also a great skincare brand for both men and women and I love the Dr Jackson Expedition set*. It's super interesting and incorporated with the tea bag, it adds a bit more interest to the gift. 

When I used to work at The Body Shop, I always used to get the men in my life something from there. From this years offerings I'd recommend The Body Shop's Modern Gent's Shaving Kit* and The Body Shop White Musk Sport for Men fragrance*.  The packaging is great and so is what's inside. 

If you're looking for something for the hair, then the Paul Mitchell Dapper Gent set* is the one. The packaging blows my mind. It just looks stunning. The design is out of this world and the luxe set is well worth spending your pennies on. Quality indeed. 

On the other hand, a non-beauty set is very much always welcomed I think when it comes to a man. Even if they do like looking after themselves. For a music lover, I'd recommend picking them up an LP and a record player to go alongside it or perhaps a pair of gig tickets. For a foodie, opt for something a bit different like the Truffle Oils* from Qwerkity - they're perfect Christmas Gifts for Men - or me. I'd quite like a drizzle. Chocolate is always a safe bet too - and again Lindt is a firm favourite. If you're still stumped then I always then go for a 'doing something' gift. Take them to an awesome cinema like Electric Cinema or Screen on the Green to see a movie they're excited for, or out for a nice meal. You know what they're into... and I think a doing gift can also just be that bit nicer. Time spent and all that. 

What will you be getting the men in your life this Christmas? 

Lorna x

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Eating in London: Pizza Union

Fast, affordable and great food is something I'm always looking for in London. Sometimes you just want to pop in somewhere when you're feeling hangry and just, well, eat. Pizza Union* is perfect for that. It reminds me a lot of the whole vibe at Vapiano, but it's just a little bit cooler and a lot more sociable. 

I went for the Giardino minus the Olives and with Pineapple instead and Joe went for the Pollo. With an added bit of chilli oil and a few sprinkles of chilli flakes for good measure, they we're blooming good pizzas. None of that Pizza Hut rubbish, these are just blooming good pizzas and it's making me crave them as I type. At £6 each, the prices just blow me away and they're so so good for this. For desert we went for the Classico Dolce, a warm dough ring filled with Nutella and Mascapone. This was heavenly and a great end to the meal - and worth over the £2.95 it costs. 

If you're after speedy and cheap but super tasty food then you must try out Pizza Union. 

Lorna x