Thoughts | 2016 Bucket List

Hello one and all and welcome to the end of the grand old year that has been 2015! I hope you have an ever so lovely start to the brand new year and I do hope 2016 is kind to every single one of you. 

Regular readers will already be aware that I am in the process of completing a 101 in 1001 challenge and - whilst I can assure you that this is still a work in process, I thought it would be a good idea to choose a number of those goals for completion of the next year. I have all my fingers and toes crossed that I will indeed manage to complete even more of the noted tasks and trials than I have scheduled for this particular year, but for now I feel like this is a good goal. And any excuse for another good tick list hey?
1. See more of the UK
2. Spend a Weekend Away with Friends
3. Go to Clothes Show Live
4. See a Comedy Show
5. Visit The Warner Brothers Studio Tour
6. Watch Les Miserables in the West End
7. Attend a Blogging Event
8. Go on the Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
9. Read all of the books on my To-Read in 2016 List
10. Complete more Pinterest-inspired DIY Projects
11. Watch 50 new films
12. Refurbish a Car Boot Sale Find
13. Try Zumba
14. Take Vitamins Religiously
15. Complete a Juice Cleanse
16. Do the Race for Life
17. Pass my A-Levels
18. Learn to Drive
19. Complete a Wreck This Journal
20. Have A Harry Potter Movie Marathon
 What are you hoping to achieve in the grand old year that is 2016?

Books | To Read in 2016

It's completely fair to say that my 'To Read in 2015' challenge failed with a capital and a cherry on the top. I aspired to read a collection of 60 titles, predominantly from the Young Adult genre, but actually managed a grand total of 5 of the books from that specified selection. Of course I did manage to get my nose into a fair few more books over the course of the year, but in regards to my specifically chosen list I did absolutely appallingly. I'm the kind of person to walk into a charity shop or a book shop and come out with an arm full of new books to add to my already out of control to-read pile, so I simply didn't get round to ordering these specific titles.
So I've decided to get myself the challenge again. To make it ever so slightly easier I'm going to cut the total number of titles down to 52; that's one book a week for the entirety of twenty-sixteen. A fair few of the 55 books that were carelessly abandoned during last years challenge will be making a reappearance alongside a handful of new beauties that have caught my eye in recent months.

I aim to review as many of these little beauties as possible as and when I get my nose in them when the new year comes round. If any of these titles particularly takes your fancy, let me know and I'll make sure that it makes the cut.

Have you planned your reading list for the new year?

Lifestyle | Five Happy Things #1

In an attempt to encourage a more positive outlook on life, I've decided to start my own little Five Happy Things Project, to share with you, every so often, what things are keeping my spirits up as of late. And what better time to start than when festive cheer is rife?

Here's what has made me happy recently:

1. Catching Up With A Good Book
For me the winter months are when my inner bookworm truly comes out to play and I've been thoroughly enjoying getting my nose into more titles. I've had a rather extensive list of books I aimed to get my hands on over the past year but sadly this list has had to be pushed forward to 2016 as I've been well and truly lacking in reading time recently (ever so slightly off topic but you will be able to have a peek at my "To Read in 2016" list at some point in the coming weeks; keep your eyes peeled). I made my first library trip of the past few months earlier in the week and picked up a range of books that I've been obsessing over so far, so expect a review or two in the not so distant future.

2. Surprise Texts
It's always nice when someone takes time out of their day to send you a little text to let you know they're thinking about you. Recently I was lucky enough to have a lovely individual send me an impromptu message just to check how I was following a rather tough day and it really made me smile knowing that someone cared enough to ask, particularly someone who I wouldn't expect to.

3. Pyjamas
I'm a little embarrassed to admit just how much time I have spent in my pyjamas this past week. Primark do some wonderful little bedtime beauties; enough said.

4. The Michalak Family Vlogs
Oh how I do love this little family. Their weekly vlogs are normally the highlight of my Sunday evenings (they make the perfect partner to a warm mug of hot chocolate following a long shift at work) and now I'm really rather loving watching their Vlogmas videos. I really struggle to understand how they do not have a billion and one more subscribers; their videos are the definition of perfection (although I do have to admit that watching their adorable son Grayson grow up is making me ever so slightly broody - but let's just keep that between us).

If you have never been blessed with the viewing of one of their vlogs, you can find them here. Enjoy.

5. Movie Nights
When it's rather freezing outside there truly is nothing better than watching a good film on Netflix (particularly something festive at this time of year; Love Actually I'm looking at you) whilst all snuggled up in bed with a pair of cosy pyjamas and a hot chocolate in hand.

And to spread some joy I thought it would be a lovely idea to share with you a handful of the posts by fellow bloggers that have taken my liking recently:

1. "My 2015 in Theatre" by Ellie at Little Ellie Mae

2. "Why It's Okay To Unfollow" by Megan at Lazy Thoughts

3. "2016 Travel Bucket List" by Hannah at Hannah Heartss

4. "How To Survive Christmas Without Getting Stressed" by Asia at Asia Jade

5. "Inspirational Living: Random Acts of Kindness" by Della at Della Loves Nutella
What has made you happy recently?

Blogmas | Festive Teen Bloggers Meet Up

After opening the thirteenth door of my advent calender, I hopped on a train down to London for a festive teen bloggers shindig. There really is nothing I love more than catching up with the blogging girlies for a natter, a shop and a bite to eat, so the meet up was the perfect way to wrap up the year in style.

Although our numbers decreased on the day due to that pesky winter cough and cold stealing all the bloggers away, I couldn't have asked for a lovelier bunch of girls to spend the day with. It was a lovely blend of old chums and new faces, but soon enough we were all chatting like we'd known each other forever.

The festive celebrations began at 12:30 when we met at Starbucks in Covent Garden. Our plan was to sit down and have a nice cuppa (or a hot chocolate in the case of us non tea drinkers) and a natter but we didn't really factor in just how busy London can get, so it was virtually impossible to find enough chairs to cater for us all, so we ended up starting our shopping earlier. After spending far too much time and money in the likes of Boots, The Body Shop and MAC, we headed on over to our lunch location Zizzi's.

Zizzi's is one of my favourite restaurants to go to for a bite to eat, and there really is something for everybody on the menu. I had the lasagna and shared a side with one or two of the girls, followed by a 'Chocolate Melt' dessert which was simply heavenly. During our lunch we played a festive game of pass the parcel of sorts, and took part in a secret santa  box swap. I recieved a lovely selection of bits and pieces from Asia, all of which I will be featuring on here at some point.

After the meal, Tori, Becca and I had a mooch around some of the other shops Covent Garden has on offer, admiring (and photographing) all the stunning festive window displays on the way. Expect a post in the not so distant future dedicated to just how beautiful London is at Christmas.

I was oh so lucky to be able to work with a selection of lovely beauty brands to put together a festive goodie bag for each attendee. It was my little christmas gift to them, as they all deserve a special something for working so hard on their blogs this year (of course, all of the other bloggers in the land deserve something too but I don't have the magical present-delivering powers Santa has, so I was only able to treat those who were there on the day). I'm going to be dedicating a post to the goodie bags (with a full review of each product coming in due course) so keep your eyes peeled over the next few days.

I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to attend the meet up. It was lovely to see you all, and I really hope I'll be able to see you very soon.


What christmas adventures have you been having?

P.S: I'm considering hosting a third teen bloggers meet up sometime around easter (late march/early april) time, so if you'd be interested in attending, let me know so I can have an idea of how many people would be up for it. x

December | Festive Pins Of Interest

My oh my, hasn't it been a fair while since I've done a Pins of Interest post? Despite the halt in posts, I can assure you there has been no halt in my pinterest activities. Pinterest is still my one true love in the app world and I can easily spend hours on end scrolling through my feed and repinning anything and everything that takes my fancy. Today I thought I'd take the opportunity to give you a little glimpse into some of the things that have caught my eye over the last month whilst I've been pinning away.

Recently I've been pinning a lot of lovely and festive images, to help me get into the Christmas spirit and to provide me with a bit of inspiration for snaps to take over the season. This year more than ever I've been loving a good festive wrapping picture, as I truly do love taking the time and effort to get everything all wrapped up and looking lovely. I've also been a massive fan of Christmassy home pins that can provide me with a little bit of inspiration for getting my bedroom ready for the festive season.

Are you a fellow pinterest geek? Make sure to leave me your details so I can have a nosey.

Currently | December

I thought it would be ever so nice to start my own little version of the 'Currently' series that the blogging world seems to have fallen in love with. So without further ado, here's what's been happening in my life as of late:
 My current bedside read is The End Of Everything by Megan Abbott. So far I'm struggling ever so slightly to get into it but I'm sure a couple more cosy nights in with a mug of hot chocolate in one hand and a book in the other will leave me madly in love with the tale.
I'll have to admit, I'm pretty devastated good ol' I'm A Celebrity is all done and dusted for the year. But wasn't it good? My current one true love in the TV world is, and has been for a while, Impractical Jokers. I constantly find myself watching re-runs and clips online and I've been rather loving watching the new series of a Monday night.
In the film world I'm continuing the challenge (as set in my 101 in 1001 post) to watch 100 new films. So far Netflix has shared four new movie beauties with me (The Rebound has been my definite favourite so far) and I must say I am rather loving having an extra excuse to have a cosy night in.
It's December... it's Christmas music time. I'll be honest, my Christmas playlist never leaves my Spotify account but now that the world's getting a bit more christmassy I feel like it's completely ok to be open about my festive listening.
I seem to be living in my pajamas at the moment. Primark and Misguided are doing themselves proud at the moment in the nightwear department at the moment and that's making me ever so happy.
The good TV that we seem to have been blessed with recently. I know not everyone's going to be a fan but this time of year welcomes some of my favourite shows (for example; I'm a Celebrity, Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice) alongside some new little beauties (namely Cuffs).
This is going to be a random one but I'm madly in love with the cereal Krave at the moment. Krave is something that I've been a fan of since it first hit the shelves way back when, but for some reason at the moment I'm finding myself enjoying it for practically every meal.
If you haven't tried the Costa 'Caramel Fudge' Hot Chocolate from their wonderful festive menu, you're missing out; enough said.
Every so Christmassy. Lots of Christmas shopping and talks of great Christmas do's with some of my favourite people have left me feeling ever so festive.
Needing To
Finish buying all of my Christmas presents. I sadly think I've splashed more cash on fancy festive wrapping bits and pieces than I have presents at the moment!
Looking Forward To
The festive period of course.
I was lucky enough to nab a rather nice pay packet last month as a result of rather a lot of overtime and I've definitely treated myself to a nice little gift or two. I definitely enjoyed the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and managed to get my hands on many a bargain.
A chilled out festive period. The past few months haven't been the nicest for me so I'm craving some "me time" and time spent relaxing with my loved ones.
For a white Christmas? A girl can dream can't she. I'd mention a good ol' kiss under the mistletoe but let's be realistic.

How's your December going for you?

Nails | KIKO Nail Polish "Beige Chrome"

Before a little venture into their Covent Garden store with the girls from the winter #tbloggers meet up, I was a KIKO virgin. But boy was I missing out.
As soon as I entered the store my eyes were drawn to their many many beautiful nail polishes. For me Sunday night is manicure night and I wanted to gift myself a new little polish (or two) that I could treat my nails to when that time of the week came around again.

Now that we're well and truly into the festive period I wanted to go for something fairly Christmassy, without going for a stereotypical red shade (as I own far too many of them already). I ended up peering at the more nude shades and as soon as I clapped eyes on "Beige Chrome" it was love.
"Beige Chrome" is a stunning sparkling champagne shade that is just perfect if you want a more discreet yet beautiful shade for Christmas. It would also be ever so lovely for New Years Eve, mind you.
Considering the ever so cheap price of this polish (I only had to part with a mere £2.50 to get my hands on it) I wasn't expecting it to be up to much standard-wise. But I was pleasantly surprised, I must admit. It applied ever so smoothly and didn't take that long at all to dry. Although I must note that I did also use my current beauty-obsession the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat just to speed up the drying process of the last coat. Back to this particular polish, it survived completely chip free for about five days, followed by a further two or three once I'd done a few touch-ups here and there. What more could you ask for?
(P.S: It's Henna on my fingers, just in case you were wondering)
I would like to say that I'm really not a fan of the name KIKO have given to this little beauty. A name such as "beige chrome" really doesn't paint this polish in the beautiful light that it deserves. Take notes KIKO bosses.
This polish retails at £3.90, although it is currently on offer for £2.50, and can be found online here.

Thoughts | A Winter Update

Boy it's been a little while hasn't it? The first sixth months of my eighteenth year of life (since I turned the ripe old age of seventeen for all of those among us who aren't particularly keen mathematicians) have been a rather hectic bunch to say the least, so sadly my little blog has been left to gather dust in the corner. 

Before I proceed to get my blogging backside into gear and return to my regular little rambles, I thought it would be a jolly nice idea to sit down together and have a bit of a catch up. I must admit, one of the things that fuels my passion for blogging is my inner nosiness; I'm a sucker for a good in-depth life lately ramble so that is exactly what I've got up my sleeve today.

Looking back at the horror that is the sure lack of posts on this little blog over the past few months, I noticed that my last good ol' catch up post dates back to around May 2015. Not wanting to miss a single instagrammed piece of cake or shopping trip splurge, I think I'll start all the way back then. However as I'm sure you have far too many advent calendars to be eating and Christmas carols to be singing (it is now December after all) I'll try and keep it short and sweet.

Being seventeen, my life revolves around the joy that is school. I sat my AS Levels in May and achieved results that I was (mostly) thoroughly surprised, yet pleased about. Not achieving complete-failure allowed me to pass through the gates into year thirteen; something I've definitely been having a love/hate relationship with so far. I study English Literature, Religious Studies and Sociology, three subjects that - for the most part - I completely adore. The workload has indeed been tremendous and the pressure rocketing sky-high but I dare say I'm slowly but surely getting it under my belt. I'm now thinking ahead to my desired location come September 2016 and have battled the terror that is UCAS to apply to a university, or five. My plan for next year is not 100% set in stone yet but I'm simply trying to live in the present, keeping my options open and preparing to cross that decision-making bridge as and when I reach it.

Since we last spoke I also feel like I've come on leaps and bounds working part-time. I'm going to be honest, for the best part of twenty-fifteen my job has been an extra source of anxiety, as a result of my desire to constantly achieve perfection and keep everybody (customers and colleagues alike) as happy as possible. I feel like in the last few months I've learnt how to enjoy my job. That may sound silly, but I genuinely love going to work now. I adore the people I work with and love interacting with the customers (for the most part that is, there's always going to be a couple that aren't your cup of tea and leave you smiling through gritted teeth). Finding a job that you genuinely love, particularly when you're working part-time as a student, is a rarity it seems so I couldn't be happier.

(I have just realised how so incredibly soppy that previous paragraph sounds so, if you come across me in a work environment as a customer or colleague please don't judge me too much.)

  A further new entry to my life is a level of self-confidence. Whilst I've always on the whole been a fairly confident person (or so I like to make out to those around me), I definitely have some insecurities; particularly in regards to my appearance. Don't get me wrong, these insecurities have by no means disappeared and there is still many a day where I stand by my mirror wishing that my skin was clearer or x part of my body looked different. But in general, I've become much more accepting of the way I look. Such an idea is well represented by the ever increasing number of photos featuring my face on social media. Whilst a solo selfie may still be a rarity in my life, I'm slowly but surely getting into a position of enjoying being the one in front of the lens as opposed to behind it, as a result of my increased acceptance of myself.

So that's us well and truly re-acquainted, don't you think? I'm going to try my upmost hardest to get my blogging schedule back up to scratch over the month of December, I promise. Whilst I don't think Blogmas is an at all attainable goal, perhaps a target of at least three posts a week will suit me nicely?

I hope you're having a truly lovely start to December, wherever in the world your feet currently tred.

Lifestyle | 101 in 1001

As I'm growing ever closer to the terrifying thing that is adulthood (six months and counting - get the champagne glasses at the ready) I'm constantly being reminded that my days before I settle down with a career and all that jazz are getting fewer. Sure, I may have almost a decade before I plan on even considering 'settling down' with a family but there are so many amazing things that I'd love to achieve and experience before that day comes.

I'm all about planning ahead. My head is a constant array of lists of things that I want to see; places I want to go; people I want to meet. The concept of my life truly being whatever I make it to be really fascinates me and I know I owe it to myself to make it an incredible one. Sadly, my constant focus on what lies ahead does sometime hinder my ability to live in the moment and seize the day, but that is why I love concepts such as bucket lists and the 101 in 1001 project.

The 101 in 1001 project was created by the Day Zero Project and is rather brilliant, if you ask me. Tens of thousands of people have given themselves the challenge of creating and completing a list of realistic yet stretching tasks that interest and excite them. The 1001 day time period provides the key to beating procrastination whilst still making it achievable.

I've tried to make sure that every single one of the things on this little list of mine are realistic in the space of time that I have to work with and - fingers crossed - they all will be. I'm looking forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone and finally getting around to do so many of the things I've been aspiring to for years. I've also tried to include many ideas that can be done within a group (whether it be friends or family) because life's better when you've got someone to enjoy it with, isn't it?

Start date: 2nd November 2015
End date: 30th July 2018

In Progress
1. Go on a road trip around the UK
2. Visit Disneyland
3. See the Sun rise over Stonehenge
4. See more of Europe
5. Visit the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
6. Travel first class
7. See the Northern Lights
8. Take my sister away for the weekend
9. Go glamping
10. Visit Paris
11. See Giant's Causeway
12. Stay in the Hard Days Night Hotel, Liverpool (again)
13.Visit Italy
14. Go on a mother-daughter trip
15. See more of the UK (Posts - Norfolk, Nottingham)
16. Go on a spontaneous trip
17. Visit a Christmas market abroad
18. Stay in Portmeirion (again)
19. Visit Madam Tussauds
20. Visit the Lavender Fields, Banstead, England

Events and Attractions
21. Go to a drive-in movie
22. Attend a fashion show
23.Go to Clothes Show Live
24. Watch a movie at the hot tub cinema
25. Attend a music festival
26. Throw a surprise party
27. Go to IMATS
28. Watch five new-to-me musicals in the West End
29. Attend the filming of a TV show
30. See a Comedy show
31. Visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour
32. Have Afternoon Tea (Post - Muriel's Kitchen)
33. Attend a murder mystery dinner
34. Watch Les Miserables in the West End
35. Attend a blogging event
36. Ride the London Cable Cars
37. Attend a food festival
38. See the British Firework Championships in Plymouth
39. Attend the first screening of a new film
40. Throw a dinner party
41. Attend a film festival
42. Go to the cinema on my own
43. See a traditional Christmas pantomime
44. Go on the Jack The Ripper Walking Tour, London
45. Have a spa day
46. Read 100 new books (2/100)
47. Learn to cook a signature dish
48. Begin to learn a new language
49. Complete 10 DIY projects (Pinterest sourced; most likely)
50. Watch 100 new films (3/100)
51. Take a cocktail making class
52. Start dancing again
53. Put together a scrapbook
54. Refurbish a Car Boot Sale find
55. Learn basic sign language
56. Join Postcrossing and collect postcards
57. Start a recipe notebook
Health, Beauty and Fitness
58. Join a gym
59. Take the Couch to 5k challenge
60. Try Zumba
61. Take part in the Moonwalk in London
62. Start (and regularly practise) yoga
63. Try pole fitness
64. Take part in the Colour Run
65. Take vitamins religiously
66. Complete a Juice Cleanse
67. Try a Barre Class
68. Be able to do the splits
69. Do the Race for Life
70. Get a massage
71. Drink 2 litres of water a day for a month
72. Sign up to the organ donor register
73. Go hiking
74. Experience a floatation tank
Education and Work
75. Pass my A Levels *Blog Post Coming Soon*
76. Get into University *Blog Post Coming Soon*
77. Volunteer for a cause I'm passionate about
78. Work at a Summer Camp
79. Complete a first aid course
80. Take 10 classes/workshops to learn new skills
81. Create the perfect workspace/desk
82. Reach 1000 blog followers
83. Learn to drive
84. Have professional photos taken
85. Send more handwritten notes and cards
86. Ride a Segway
87. Write a letter to my future self
88. Ride a Quad Bike
89. Go Zorbing
 90. Adopt an endangered animal
91. Wake up early to watch the sunrise
92. Complete a Wreck This Journal
93. Ride in a hot air balloon
94. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon
95. Go indoor rock-climbing
96. Buy a lottery ticket
97. Order room service
98. Leave an inspirational message in a public place
99. Learn self defence
100. Put a secret in a balloon and let it fly away
101. Do something I'm afraid of
I plan on documenting most - if not all - of these things here on my blog so you can join me on my little adventure. To be honest I think the potential for some rather wonderful blog and Instagram posts will further motivate me to really get my derriere in gear and get cracking on the list.
Have you started a 101 in 1001 challenge of you own? I'd love to know what you're planning on doing. Also, if any of you have done any of the items featured on my list and can provide any fancy tips and tricks then I'll honestly love you forever.

Nails | Barry M "Ballerina"

"Ballerina" is a truly stunning dusty rose shade that's perfect if you're after something that moves away from your traditional pale pink colours yet still holds the beautiful femininity that can be seen to come with pink nails. To achieve this look I used this shade with the Maybelline Dr Rescue Nail Care CC Base Coat and the Barry M Top Coat.

You can't really go wrong with this brand can you? Anything from the nail gods at Barry M is guaranteed to tick every box a beauty lover can throw at them. They're particularly handy at offering a budget-friendly dupe of the best high-end shades. Hands up who wants a manicure that lasts for days? Or a colour that's perfect for every occasion? Don't you worry your pretty little head, Barry M have your back. Aside from the 'Speedy' Quick Dry range incident (I'll save that story for a later date), I've never had even the slightest bit of an issue with their products and not only that, beauty with compassion (aka. cruelty free) is right at the very core of their company so it's fair to say that Barry M hold a very special place in my heart.

As with all of the Barry M original nail paint collection, the formula is a dream to work with. It applies really smoothly - although thin coats does work best to avoid unnecessary mess down the sides of your nails - and two coats is enough to achieve optimum opacity.

Although this has a beautiful gloss finish, I'm dying to try this shade with a matte top coat (the OPI one is on my mind but I may need a helping hand on choosing which one to nab); I'm sure it'll just look stunning. I always find matte topcoats to do a wonderful job of toughing up those particularly girly shades and this is particularly handy now that we're moving into the winter months.

"Ballerina" is priced at £2.99 and available online at Boots here (or here if you're more of a Superdrug fan).

Beauty | Pure Body Butters Cocoa Butter & Apricot Oil Daily Moisturiser*

A good ol' body butter is a complete beauty necessity for me. I use it almost every day so my standards are pretty high. Recently I was given the opportunity to add a new product to my collection - the Pure Body Butters Cocoa Butter and Apricot Oil Daily Moisturiser - and I jumped at the chance.

Pure Body Butters offer 100% natural handmade products with a cracker of a story behind them. The company was born out of a desire for good moisturisers that come minus all of the harmful ingredients that can be found in many of our day to day beauty products. None of their products contain artificial, synthetic or toxic ingredients and they are completely paraben free. Plus, of course, they have not been tested on animals. What more could you ask for?

I received their Cocoa Butter and Apricot Oil Daily Moisturiser and this struck me as a fancy-pants Terry's chocolate orange in moisturiser form. It holds a mild chocolaty aroma, making it perfect for not only all you chocoholics but also those of us who tend to prefer more natural fragrances in regards to their skincare. The scent isn't too long-lasting, which could be seen as a concern for some but personally I like something that isn't going to have any effect on my perfume of the day so this is just perfect.

I was pleasantly surprised by the absorption-time of this product. Despite my love affair with all things beauty, I do have little patience for products that claim more of my time than absolutely necessary so this little beauty ticks all the boxes. As a morning-moisturiser, the extra few minutes in bed each morning that the introduction of this particular product into my beauty regime has granted me are a god-sent.

Anyway, it's not just laziness that fuels my love for this product. I've found this product to be really moisturising, but long lasting, a hard combo. This is down to the fact that it's "rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help you maintain radiant skin". I've been using it primarily on my hands, knees, feet and neck: all of the bits and pieces that seem to have had a rather negative response to the cold weather that's approaching. I must say that although I found it perfect for the joints, it seemed to be less well-suited to the softer areas of skin as a result of the fairly thick consistency. It was much harder to cover areas such as my arms and legs but I tend to have less of a problem with dry skin in these areas so it's not a particular concern of mine.

I received a 24g pot, retailing at a mere £4.00 (but you can also get your hands on a 90g tub for £12.50 if you're one of those 'go big or go home' types). Although this appears rather tiny, the saying a little goes a long way is a complete understatement with this product. I've had close to two weeks everyday use and I've barely made a dent. The small nature of the pot makes it a great purse-friendly beauty product if you're one to moisturise on the go.

The lovely team at Pure Body Butters also treated me by packaging the product in one of their cute little gift boxes.. This provides the perfect excuse for you to treat someone you love to a body butter.

Ultimately I've been thoroughly impressed by this product and it's most definitely taken on the role of a daily treat to my skin. A wonderful body butter is a complete staple in any beauty routine during the winter months and this ticks all of the boxes.

You can purchase this product (or have a browse of their other beautiful products) online.
(2018 Update: The Pure Body Butters Website Is No Longer Live)

Have you got a favourite body butter?

*Disclaimer: This product was kindly gifted by Pure Body Butters,  for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions shared on Yours, Chloe x are always honest and unbiased regardless of whether or not the product has been gifted to me.

Lifestyle | Teatox by Slimming Solutions*

The concept of detox teas has been floating around the blogging world - and the health food market - for a little while now and it's definitely something that has tempted me many a time. So when I was offered the opportunity to embark on and review the Slimming Solutions Teatox, I jumped at the chance.

Teatoxing is designed to assist with weight loss, bloating, boosting your metabolism and overall just cleansing your system of any nasty bits. There are a hundred and one different Teatoxing options on the market at the moment but for me, the Slimming Solutions course has ticked all the boxes.

Slimming Solutions offer two different Teatox courses, one lasting fourteen days and one lasting twenty-eight days. I tried and tested the shorter of the two options, which was the perfect length for a Teatox-newbie. If you're after slightly more of a thorough cleanse, however, I would point you in the direction of the four-week course which should suit you nicely.

This Teatox comes in two different blends: one to replace your morning cuppa and one for you to enjoy of an evening. The daytime blend is best enjoyed each day as soon after waking up as possible and features all sorts of lovely ingredients such as Chinese Oolong tea, Siberian Ginseng, Fennel, Lemongrass, Nettle leaves, Ginger root and Dandelion leaf. The evening blend is for every other night and should be enjoyed just before bed (at least thirty minutes after your last meal of the day). It contains ingredients such as Senna leaves, Hawthorn leaves, Lotus leaves, Burdock root, Peppermint and Liquorice root. How lovely and natural. Each brew needs to be left to infuse for 2-3 minutes in hot (but not boiling) water.

Let's talk taste. Part of the reason I've avoided teatoxing in the past is the fear of disliking the taste. I've had varying experiences with herbal and fruit teas in the past so I was slightly apprehensive about committing my taste buds to a potentially awful tasting concoction once or twice a day. But I'm so glad to tell you that my fears were unnecessary as both the morning and the evening tea taste rather nice. The evening tea did have something special about it that made my taste buds extra happy (which particular ingredient this was I am yet to put my finger on though) so I was rather disappointed that I only got to enjoy it every other evening but I did enjoy them both. If taste is a concern for you, you can simply keep adding a dash of honey or lemon until it starts to take your fancy.

The packaging does warn about the potential for the evening tea to have a mild laxative effect but (although this isn't something I can comment on from experience - luckily) I'm sure this just works as another way for the tea to cleanse your system. But I would suggest starting your Teatox at the weekend or on your day off just to be on the safe side.

I'll be honest, I did surprise myself with my commitment to the detox. I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that I could pretty much immediately see the benefit of the tea, but I never really expected to last the full two weeks. Regardless of whether or not you're normally an avid tea drinker (I'm definitely not part of this category), putting the kettle on simply becomes part of your daily routine and part of me has forgotten what it was like to not start an early shift at work with a mug of tea in hand.

On to the results. As the motivation for my Teatox was purely a health-kick as opposed to a weight-loss attempt, I didn't make any large changes to my diet or my attitude to exercise (I walk around two miles each day and go on fairly regular jogs anyway). Slimming Solutions advise that you follow a clean diet plan during your detox, so make sure your eat your veggies! I didn't drop any pounds as a result of the tea, but I did notice that any problems with bloating were as good as gone. Bloating is something that I fight a constant battle against, especially during that time of the month, so this was so amazing to see.

I found that the tea not only boosted my energy levels throughout the day but also had a surprisingly positive effect on my sleep patterns. Of course I'm sure that these two effects went hand in hand. Perhaps it had something to do with drinking a warm drink just before bed but I don't think I've slept as well as I did during the teatox for a very long time.

Rumour has it Teatoxing can also work wonders at clearing the skin which sounds like a heaven-sent gift. I can confirm that I did see a slight positive difference in the condition of my skin during the Teatox but I think it'll take a longer course for it to work any wonders.

Overall it's been just over a week since my Teatox ended and I really am missing it. I was so impressed with the anti-bloating magic it worked and just generally how good it made my body feel. I'm definitely going to be Teatoxing again in the not so distant future and I know that the Slimming Solutions course is going to be top of my list.

Slimming Solutions are currently offering 50% off their Teatox products, pricing their 14 day pack at £19.99 and their 28 day pack at £34.99. Plus, if you order during the month of September you'll be able to get your hands on two packs for the price of one as part of their 'Buy One Get One Free September Promotion'. So you'll never find a better time than now to join the Teatox club.

You can order the Slimming Solutions Teatox online here.

Are you a fan of the Teatox concept?

*Disclaimer: This product was kindly gifted by Mediaworks Creative Agency on behalf of Slimming Solutions,  for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions shared on Yours, Chloe x are always honest and unbiased regardless of whether or not the product has been gifted to me.

Lifestyle | Prairie Pizzazz "Luau Party" Unboxing

Prairie Charms are a "completely handmade accessories boutique specialising in all things girly, floral, quirky and whimsical". Doesn't that just sound like a bloggers paradise? The latest project the team at Prairie Charms HQ have been working on comes under the name "The Prairie Pizzazz". It's a monthly accessory and lifestyle box that comes full to the brim with beautiful bits and pieces that all fit into that particular months theme. Last month (with assistance from their team of bloggers) the theme of "Festivals" was chosen and this month it was the turn of "Luau Party".

This was my first introduction to the Prairie Pizzazz concept (although I'm not too late to the party; this is only their second box) and I have to say I'm super impressed! I'm lucky enough to be part of their bloggers team and my eagerness to get my hands on one of the boxes has just grown and grown as the month has passed and I've received box development updates from Prairie Charms HQ. Yesterday delivery day was finally here and I can't even begin to explain the excitement I felt when my box reached my doorstep.

I'll be honest with you, I fell in love with the box as soon as it reached my front door. It's clear that - unlike some subscription box companies - the Prairie Charms team have taken a great deal of care with every single element of their box, including their packaging. Each box is a takeaway pizza style, which is so different to your more traditional subscription boxes. The box is wrapped with a brightly coloured flamingo-print tape and although this may rest a little bit on the simple side of packaging, it's the simplicity that makes it so beautiful. The colours are sure to, quite literally, brighten up the postman's day so it's happy faces all round isn't it? 

Their attention to detail continues when you delve inside this little box of wonder. The contents is wrapped up in tissue paper and inside you'll find sequins galore, which definitely adds lots of 'pizzazz' to the box.

Arguably the feature piece of the box was the Eda Bespoke Floral Lei. Can we just pause for a minute and admire the beauty of this piece? To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the flower crown trend overall but if there's anything that's going to convert me, it's this. It's the perfect piece to give your wardrobe a colourful wake-up call and each lei is unique so there's no chance of a fellow hula girl rockin' up to the luau in the same style. I didn't get to show my admiration for this particular gift for too long, however, as it was quickly nabbed by my flower-power fan of a little sister. I'll let her off on this occurrence though as she did make a beautiful model.

The next little package that caught my eye contained two Caterina No Snag Knot Ties. This sort of thing makes the perfect pretty alternative to your traditional elastic bands, and it's a darn lot better for your locks. I've always been the kind of girl to leave my hair down and flowing so I'm going to be popping them on my wrist to jazz up the more simple outfits.

We were lucky enough to have not just two but four hair accessories included in this box. The Lei and hair ties were followed by a Hana Bow Tie Scrunchie and a single Faryn Hair Clip so you're bound to find something that floats your boat, no matter what your hair-style preference tends to be.

One of my favourite pieces in the box was the Paloma Vintage Bead Drop Anklet. I'm a massive fan of anklets and I think they look just beautiful this time of year with midi-skirts, if you're willing to go bare-legged. I have absolutely no doubt you're going to be seeing this piece in future outfit posts so keep your eyes peeled.

The Prairie Charms team have a special trick up their sleeves with their pizzazz boxes, in the form of of cute and simple DIY projects. Each package contains at least one easy peasy project, in keeping with the box theme of course, to get your creative juices flowing. In this box I received the Acadia Tropical Punch Drink Set, which contains everything you need to create a beautiful tropical beverage to enjoy whilst you hula the night away. I also received the Sweet As Honey Studio Make a Mess Confetti, to help in the decoration department of your party preparations.

To continue your creative flair, there's also a teeny tiny pack of Dakota Custom Nail Glitter. After all, what's a party outfit without a bit of sparkle? My go-to party nail look tends to be a splash of colour with a twinkle of glitter, so this little gift was right up my street.

Now the prairie pizzazz boxes don't just contain fashion accessories and DIY goodness, oh no. I also received a Una Coconut S'more Snack Pack, which would make a perfect post-luau party midnight feast. This would go hand in hand with the Tropical Punch drink to get your tummy in the Luau party spirit.

It's fair to say that the Prairie Pizzazz Luau Party Edition ticks every sparkle-filled box. I take my new Lei flower crown off to you Prairie Charms, you've done a grand job. Where do I sign up for the next one?

If you're keen to get your hands on a Pizzazz box, you can find the treasure trove that is the Prairie Charms website here. They typically retail at around £35.00 (plus delivery costs) but you receive over £75 worth of gorgeous pieces. Prairie Charms also sell a gorgeous range of jewellery, hair accessories and more - including many of the products that can be found in the Pizzazz boxes - if you're just after a single product or two.