Thursday, November 28

The Gardens Of Light | Bournemouth Bloggers Christmas

On Saturday 23rd November, I was kindly invited down to experience everything Bournemouth has to offer at Christmas. The Gardens of Light is designed to bring light and colour to the darkest months of the year, and to celebrate all that’s great about Christmas. Despite living in the area my whole life, I've never spent a full day exploring the German Market or Gardens, but I'm so glad I finally did! We started the day at Flirt Cafe in the Triangle at the top of town. It was packed with people, quirky decor and a menu full of variety. I went for a jacket potato and smoothie before heading down for ice skating!

Outdoor Ice Rink
Back for it's second year, the ice rink is situated in the Lower Gardens and here to stay until Saturday 6th January 2014. I hadn't ice skated in years, but I'm an avid snow skiier so managed to pick it up in no time! The rink isn't very big, but it felt lovely to be skating outside in the fresh air. They even had penguin skating aids for little ones, a real family friendly activity and only £8.50 for an hour. I'm desperate to go at night now, it's beautifully lit with fairy lights and lanterns!

Santa's Grotto
Although I did not participate in meeting Santa, I wanted to mention the beautiful Grotto as I had a sneaky peak inside and chatted with the team of busy elves! Now open until Christmas Eve and only £4.50 to enter, this is a wonderful opportunity to bring the little ones and receive a gift from the man himself. I have countless memories of meeting Santa as a child, it's a family tradition and one that Bournemouth have made even more unique. You can book a time slot here.

Christmas Market
From chestnuts roasting on an open fire, to an authentic German charcoal BBQ and the famous Moose Bar, the market is the heart of Bournemouth at Christmas. I've always loved the little unique pods that sell an array of authentic seasonal gifts and the smell of doughnuts as you walk through the square, mmmm! We visited the Alpine Moose Bar & beer garden serving German lager and mulled wines (not sure how I feel about the taste!) which were served in little boot style mugs! We were then treated to a German Hot Dog which was absolutely delicious, I felt really festive.

The Light Pods
We completed the day with a guided tour of the ten unique, interactive light installations featured in the Gardens. Completely free, each Light Pod is a unique world of light and colour. Designed by Michael Grubb, a local Bournemouth lighting designer whose previous work included the lighting for the London 2012 Olympic Park (wowee!), he has created a wonderful, playful and fun selection of pods which appeals to young and old. I highly recommend visiting at night, it was absolutely beautiful.

So there we have it! A complete summary of what Bournemouth has to offer, I'm sure you'll agree that there's something for absolutely everyone. Massive thank you to Cheryl & Make It Bournemouth for letting us experience the food, festivity and fun, I had a fab day! 

Bloggers featured (from left to right below): Laura, Rhiannon, Katy, Scarlett, Hannah, Georgie, Becca (and of course camera woman Cheryl & Becky). ps. Thanks for some of the photos Cheryl!


Sunday, November 17

Boux Avenue Launch | West Quay, Southampton

On Saturday 16th November, I was kindly invited down to the launch of the 21st Boux Avenue store in West Quay Shopping Centre in Southampton. Owner (& dragon!) Theo Paphitis cut the ribbon and introduced his newest lingerie store. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was absolutely blown away and couldn't fault anything about it. The attention to details is incredible and the shop is an experience in itself. 

Think Victoria Secret cross La Senza, Boux Avenue is fashioned with a contemporary, stylish feel in chic monochrome, yet more comfortable to shop in. As a 19 year old female, I still find high street lingerie shops either too sexy or far too pricey. I can't say I've enjoying shopping with a particular brand and even getting fitted has been an uncomfortable and awkward experience for me. However, the Boux Avenue collection features an array of flirty fabrics and pretty prints, as well as offering every day bra solutions with attractive price points! On average, I noticed the bras retailing at around £30.00, whilst catering from size 30A to 38G and from 6 to 20.

I was absolutely spoilt for choice and loved how the shop was fitted out with white walls, beautiful lighting and classiness. The changing rooms have soft carpeting, diamante door knobs and 'day, dusk, night' buttons, to give you the option on how you'll look and feel in different lighting! They also have slightly cooler air-conditioning, as they understand you often get hot undressing to try on underwear, very clever! I appreciate lots of other little things about the store - the draws, the 'wedding day' selection, actual sizes for things like dressing gowns, little slippers and the TV's showcasing the latest products.

Like I mentioned, it was hard to fault anything about the store and I will certainly be returning. I can't wait to get fitted (never thought I'd say that!) and select a few things I'd like from Santa. We were also given a fab goodie bag filled with socks, a hand warmer and bubble bath PLUS, there was a photo booth, WIN. Megan & I had the best day, giggled far too much, was slightly starstruck by Theo and chatted away to the staff who all were super proud to be working for such a gorgeous up and coming brand. I'm so impressed and highly recommend checking Boux Avenue out!


Sunday, November 10

JewelCandle Review

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by JewelCandle and kindly asked if I'd like to review one of their Candles. I had secretly been eyeing them up after spotting a few reviews and was super excited to share what I thought. I love scented candles but these are a little bit special. 100% handmade and inside each one is either a ring or a pair of earrings worth between £10 - £250! I picked Sweet Cupcake whilst JewelCandle also threw in Strawberry Cupcake "for a friend", but I got a bit carried away and er, burnt them both for myself. Ooops.

Sweet Cupcake | Ring - £24.95*
Firstly, I'll talk about the actual candle itself. Now I don't know whether it's because my room is full of Lush products right now or that my expectations are super high after using Yankee Candles however, the fragrance just wasn't strong enough for me. It didn't leave a scent in my room even after burning for a long period of time. I burnt the candle for 5-6 hours before I was able to scoop out the little package and reveal a ring worth £30.00. It's a pretty piece of jewellery but I have two problems. One, it isn't really my taste and two, it doesn't actually fit. I felt a little disheartened!

After a disappointing first candle, I had low expectations for my Strawberry Cupcake one however, this did create more of a scent which I ended up quite liking. I discovered a pair of earrings inside worth £25.00 which are gorgeous and match lots of my other jewellery. Similarly, I burnt the candle for probably 4 hours until I used tweezers to scoop them out. All the jewellery is wrapped in a special heat resistance foil, so that no wax and harmful heat can damage it.

I'm still really indecisive about how I feel towards JewelCandle. I really like the concept and think they make great gifts however, I felt let down by the quality of the candle itself and can't decide if the jewellery is actually worth the price it says on the little tag. Saying that, I know a few friends that would really appreciate one of these candles and the little details like the glass jar and white bow really make a difference on a mantlepiece/desk. 

What do you think? Have you tried anything similar?

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