Saturday, November 26

Warner Bros Studio Tour London - The Making Of Harry Potter | #HogwartsInTheSnow

I hate to admit this, but I'm a fairly new Harry Potter fan. Having purchased the box-set and marathon watching the films a year ago now, (but only just beginning to read the Philosopher's Stone), I can't quite fully pledge my love from the phenomenon just yet but trust me, it's there. I'm a proud Slytherin, often ambitious and achievement-oriented. So imagine the excitement I felt on my spontaneous decision to drive three hours from Bournemouth to Watford on Thursday afternoon, to attend the official launch of Hogwarts In The Snow* at the Warner Bros Studio Tours...yup, I was pretty ecstatic. 

I arrived pretty flustered, half an hour early, repeating myself about my long ass drive to the array of team in front of me. They kindly gave me with a goodie bag and glass of mulled wine, and my anxieties of standing alone until Amy arrived quickly disappeared. 

It's my second time visiting the tour and I was absolutely blown away with how beautiful it all looked. Based at the Leavesden film studios just outside London, home for ten years for the cast and crew creating the films, it's now an incredible opportunity for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the magic, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have to point out that even if you've been before (no matter how long you took to go round the place), you'll spot things you missed...because I certainly did!

From now until 29th January 2017, you can experience the tour like no other time of year. Being a huge Christmas lover (my tree was up November shame), I couldn't miss the chance to see the Hogwarts festivities. Starting in The Great Hall, they've lined it with Christmas Trees, special-effects roaring fires, and the dining tables are dressed with seasonal feasts (including flaming Christmas Puddings!). The Gryffindor Common Room and Boys’ Dormitory are decorated with the original props, including handmade Christmas cards, some of which were made by the cast members during production.

It doesn't do justice in photos, but the Hogwarts model castle is covered in a beautiful blanket of snow, which took four days to transform. There's an opportunity to discover how artificial snow and ice is made, and of course, all the usual excitement like drinking butterbeer, flying a broom, riding the Knight Bus (where it was snowing in the lot!), discovering Diagon Alley, climbing on board the original Hogwarts Express (and getting a classic photo with your trolley at Platform 9 3/4) and exploring the gift shop. You honestly won't want to miss it.

Huge thanks to Warner Bros for having me, I can't wait to come back soon.

*Complimentary ticket, press launch invitation.

Wednesday, November 23

Soap & Glory Zing Along Gift Set

If you like lime, you will absolutely love Soap & Glory's Sugar Crush. It's my very favourite scent from their range, and the perfect wake-me-up in the morning! Zesty, fresh and super uplifting.

The Zing Along set comes in the most awesome pink bag. It's universal,  so you can change the shape into a handbag, tote or vanity style case, by folding the sides and popping into place. It's actually a really great quality bag, and I'll be getting plenty of use as a vanity to store my nail varnishes!

Featuring four of the famous Sugar Crush products inside, including the body wash, buttercream, scrub and spray, the Zing Along set is priced at £30.00. All full sized, they'll last you ages too. 

I've got really sensitive eczema-prone skin, but I love the scrub on my legs before shaving. It's a blend of lime and almond oil, macadamia grains, and brown sugar. Next up, the Body Wash is lovely and foamy, with kiwi water juice and exactly the same Sugar Crush scent. For after the shower, the Buttercream is ultra-rich, again with shea and cocoa butter, almond and coconut oil, lime oil and lime tree blossom extract. Yup, it smells exactly as it sounds! INCREDIBLE. And finally, the Body Spray is a cocktail of vanila musk, lime, ginger and smashed brown sugar. Yum. I actually really love spraying this around my flat, it's that good.

If I was gifted this for Christmas, I'd be pretty smitten. Highly recommend.

*PR Sample

Sunday, November 20

YouTubers I've Enjoyed This Week #2

...and we're back! I'm not going to commit to these weekly yet, but I'm going to try my best. Last week, I shared the love in the form of videos I enjoyed which were uploaded during the week. I watch a lot of content, and although I'm loyal to a select few channels, I like finding new stuff too. So here's my round-up of what I've enjoy this week!


I bloomin' love Hazel Hayes. Her 'Time Of The Month' series is one of my favourites, but today, I'm featuring her first animation. I watched it on a day I was particularly emotional, so yes, it did make me cry. Beautiful little video.

Lucy & Lydia produce the prettiest vlogs. I love their style and their travel vlogs are fab. Super jealous they went to Tahiti for the new Disney Moana film, it looked amazing!

I think Steph speaks a lot of truth in this and I admire his approach to discussing politics. It's something I'm going to incorporate into my own channel soon. Worth a watch!

Ellie has been a 'real life' friend of mine for years. If you like my weekly vlogs, you'll also like Ellie's. I watch every week without fail. Congrats on 25K subscribers Ellie!

I found Steve a while ago when I was researching Disneyland Paris. I'm not planning another trip just yet, but I really like his weekly news updates. If you're a DLP fan, you'll want to subscribe. He also does a podcast I'm subscribed to too.

Casey Neistat is amazing. Up there as one of my all-time favourite YouTubers. He's stopping daily vlogging but I particularly like how he put this. "This idea that life or career, my career, is a huge jungle that I'm trying to navigate through, and the only way to get from one side of the jungle to the other, the only way to get to where I want to be in my career, is by swinging from vine to vine and grabbing onto that next opportunity, that next vine, to take me closer to where I want to be."

That's all for this week! Let me know if you like these and I'll continue them every now and again!

Saturday, November 19

The Perfect Sunday Roast | The Curlew, Bournemouth

A few weeks ago, my mum gushed about The Curlew near Bournemouth Airport. It's a pub/restaurant owned by a chain called Vintage Inns, with a really cosy vibe and excellent food. She loved it so much, she's kindly booked it for our Christmas Day dinner too. There's only three of us this year, so we wanted to find a place which was close to home to spend the special day. In light of booking for Christmas, we went down a few weekends ago so my mum could show me for herself. Alas, I had a pretty perfect Sunday Roast.

The building was constructed in the 1800's and served as a farm mostly producing root vegetables. After gaining its license, the building became Mulligan's fish restaurant, then a themed pub, and was more recently called The Manor before settling on being named after the wading bird - the Curlew.

For starter, we all had the prawn and lobster cocktail (£5.95) with avocado, lobster mayonnaise and rustic bread. It was absolutely delicious. On to mains, I went for beef (£11.50), served with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, honey & thyme roast carrots, parsnips, seasonal vegetables and as much gravy as you like. It was so big, I actually couldn't finish it all. The quality of the meat and veg was gorgeous, and the waiter was extremely polite and didn't rush us. For dessert, I was pretty full, but they serve a 'mini pudding and hot drink' for £4.50, so I had bramley apple pie with custard, and a hot chocolate. Absolutely perfect.

I couldn't fault anything about it. I can't wait to go back for Christmas Day dinner!
Cheers, Curlew!

Wednesday, November 16

Walnut Complexion Scrub | Ole Henriksen

This stuff is honestly incredible. Thank you Ole Henriksen, for creating the perfect product, the Walnut Complexion Scrub*. It's been a really long time since I've found a scrub for my sensitive skin which hasn't bought me out in a huge eczema flare up, until now! Mixed with a bit of water, it actives a cleansing foam with finely ground walnut powder. I was so surprised with how much it brightened my complexion, and removed the layer of dead winter dry skin, absolutely adore the way my skin feels after. It also contains Korean Ginseng to support and encourage natural cellular energy, and chamomile and aloe kera for mositurising and softening.

It can be a little messy though. I use a flannel or muslin cloth to gently remove it, but all the walnut powder (basically little brown bits!) stick really easily, so I have to throw them straight in the wash. The scrub can be used 2-3 times a week, but once works perfect for me.

I was kindly gifted this from Escentual in my Bloggers Blog Awards goody bag, and although it's pricey, I honestly think it's worth it. It's actually on offer right now, so grab one!
*I was kindly gifted this from Escentual in a goody bag, but it's made it straight into my favourite skin care products which I'll 100% be repurchasing!

Saturday, November 12

YouTubers I've Enjoyed This Week

I love YouTube right now. I've cancelled my Netflix subscription and I spend most of my free time watching vloggers. My friend Megan came over earlier in the week, and we went through my subscription feed to recommend some great vlog channels for her. So I thought I'd continue sharing the love in this post. In no particular order, here's the videos I've liked a lot this week.

I absolutely love how Lucy edited this. The text over the top is really nice. Plus, how good does her Thai Green Curry look? This is by far my favourite of this style of video.

I don't have a child who I'm going to introduce to a partner, hell I don't even have a child! Hahah. But I absolutely love Louise and hearing her thoughts on how she parents Darcy, and approaches sensitive subjects like this. She's a fab human and a great mum. This was just lovely to listen to.

I found Monica when I was off work ill this work, after getting into a dark YouTube hole of 'how to travel and work'. How amazing would it be, eh? Monica is such a cool, easy-going gal, and makes daily vlogs, based mainly in LA but travelling all over the US.  She's kinda like a female Casey Neistat. Instantly clicked subscribe!

If you're not already subscribed to Charlotte then HELLOOOO where have you been? She's one of my closest IRL friends too, and I might be biased, but her weekly vlogs are one of my favourites. She's a huge Disney lover too, so if like me you adore Disney, Charlotte's ya girl.

I love Becca. This vlog was so lovely to watch, NYX really spoilt them and hosted what I can only described as the ULTIMATE blogging event (super jel). Her little pug Rupert melts my heart, and I love see what they both get up to. A real, genuine girl, with a big heart.

I love the Luxy hair channel. I've been feeling super uninspired to do anything but put my hair in a pony or bun recently, but watching this made me want to re-create it. It's rare I watch tutorial style videos anymore, but I'm a huge fan of this channel.

Bianca is a babe. She's another close friend IRL, but YAY, her weekly vlogs are BACK. You can't help but love B. She's super hard-working, always keeps it real, and I love how it's 30 minutes long too. Perfect for listening to when getting ready in the AM.

Okay, I'm going to stop there today but I've got tons of other favourite YouTubers, so let me know if you'd like me to this again in future!

The Wind In The Willows | Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

I love the theatre. I've seen a few productions like the The Lion King, Wicked, Miss Saigon and Mamma Mia to name a few, so I was dead excited when the Mayflower Theatre* kindly invited myself and the Southampton Bloggers gang to see the latest production of The Wind In The Willows!

Based on Kenneth Grahame’s classic novel, which has captivated generations of readers for over a century, The Wind In The Willows has been adapted for the stage with a book by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, and Olivier Award-winning composer and lyricist duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. They previously collaborated together on the hugely successful international hit musical Mary Poppins, which ran for three years in the West End and six years on Broadway.

Showing at the Mayflower Theatre from 10-20th November prior to opening in London’s West End, The Wind In The Willows is a truly charming show. I genuinely thought it would be aimed at children, but I found myself smiling the whole way through. The set, costume and design was stunning, and visually the show was bright and attractive. It was really engaging, and despite not remembering the story from my childhood too well, they did an excellent job in re-telling the tale. Produced by Jamie Hendry and MJE Productions, in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth, the musical is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, and features some familiar faces such as Rufus Hound who plays Toad.

I honestly really enjoyed the show and would highly recommend getting tickets! They're on sale now and showing until 20th November from Mayflower Theatre Box Office. Huge thank you for having us, I can't wait to see more shows in future!

*This post is not sponsored however, I was kindly gifted the tickets from Mayflower Theatre. This does not hinder my honest opinion. Photos kindly provided by Mayflower.


Tuesday, November 8

OGX Beauty | Cosmopolitan Influencer Awards 2016

On Thursday, I attended the Cosmopolitan Influencer Awards after being shortlisted in three categories - Best Beauty, Best Lifestyle and The Influencers Choice Award. I was completely overwhelmed when I discovered I had WON The Blossom Hill Influencers Choice Award, and had the absolute best evening! You can read my little thank you post here.

Held in The Orangery at Kensington Palace, the venue was really stunning. With blue clouds projected on the high ceiling, a huge pink blossom tree, canap├ęs, garden themed chocolate moose pop tarts (amazing) and beautiful white architecture, it really felt special.

OGX Beauty are a hair care brand I have been loving and using for over a year now. I am a huge fan of the Macadamia Oil Shampoo & Conditioner, which you may have heard me rave about in my vlogs. I have an allergy to some fragrances, but OGX and I have found these ones work best for me, never giving me an itchy scalp...RESULT! I was so excited to hear they were sponsoring the Best Newcomer Award at the Cosmo Influencer Awards this year, they even sent a gorgeous 'Good Luck Vibes' gift a week prior, including the O2 Shampoo, Conditioner and Weightless Oil. Due to my sensitive scalp, I'm quite loyal to the Macadamia Oil range, but I tried out the Oil on wet hair and again the following day on dry hair, and absolutely love it.

On the night of the awards, (and before I even got a drink!), I was drawn into OGX's big illuminated hollywood mirrors, photo booth and display of products. They offered everyone hair braiding and I couldn't resist. A gorgeous lady called Mars (yes, epic name!) did a plait to help keep my fringe out my face. It looked so pretty in the photos, thank you Mars! OGX also had a photo/gif booth, where you could make GIFS AND have photos printed. Bianca and I loved it. They gave everyone who was having their hair done a little 'Good Luck Vibes' box which had a fortune cookie inside too. It's the little touches! Huge thank you to the whole team for making the experience extra special.

Be sure to follow OGX on Facebook & Instagram, and check our their products here!

*This post is kindly sponsored by OGX Beauty.
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