Month: July 2016

Mini Lush Haul

Yesterday was payday and I happened to find myself in Southampton travelling back from a holiday we’d spent in Dorset. With post holiday blues weighing on my mind some retail therapy was a must. Whilst I spent a majority of my hard-earned cash on presents for a friend, I did stop off at Lush to replenish my depleted pile of bath time treats. Here’s what I got:

Avobath bath bomb, £3.50

Like every Lushie I have my favourites. My go-to treats for when I need a pick me up. I am a big fan of the Avobath bath bomb. The main appeal for me is that it smells absolutely divine. I am a big fan of fruit/sweet smells and tend to steer clear of the more floral scents. Avobath smells very citrusy and refreshing, turns your bath water an appealing minty green colour and leaves your skin feeling very smooth. I find this to be a great morning treat as the citrus is good for waking me up and putting me in the right frame of mind to tackle a new day. As the name suggests one of the main ingredients in Avobath is avocado – is there anything this magical fruit isn’t good for?!

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The Comforter Bubble Bar, £4.95

I also purchased one of my favourite bubble bars. The comforter is amazing and very sweet smelling. To me it’s quite similar in scent to Snow Fairy with definite candy floss undertones. The main scent however is ‘blackberry’. The comforter will always be a favourite of mine because it smells amazing, produces lots of super-soft bubbles and turns your bath water a pretty shade of pink! What’s more is that you don’t need to use the bar all in one go which makes it great value for money. Depending on how luxuriously bubbly my baths are I can make this bar last up to four baths which is great. Three is a good average though for luxurious bubble goodness.

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Melting Marshmallow Moment Bath Oil, £2.00

My next purchase was the Melting Marshmallow Moment bath oil. This is a new one for me and I haven’t seen it on the shop floor before either. I haven’t tried it yet but what I can say is that it looks and smells completely edible! This is also similar in scent to Snow Fairy (which happens to be my favourite scent of all time.) The colours remind me of rhubarb and custard sweets! The Lush bath oils usually leave your skin in a fantastically soft state, so I can’t wait to try this one.

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Percup Massage Bar, £6.50

Another new one for me I decided to give the Percup massage bar a go after reading rave reviews online. One particular review suggested this massage bar was good for smoothing out cellulite and, being of the thick-thighed female variety I thought I’d give this a go to see if I could smooth out my legs a little. When I picked it up in store I wasn’t immediately converted. The bar has real coffee beans in it and it does smell quite like a strong cup of coffee! However, I gave it a go when I got home and when it melts in your hand the smell is much more subtle – and a lot nicer! The bar melts in to a luxurious oil that left my skin feeling nothing short of amazing! I’m not sure how well it will help with my lovely lady lumps but I will continue to use this because I love the silky smooth feeling it gives me. This is great for legs but I should imagine you could use it all over. This bar claims to boost circulation and hydrate your skin. It contains fair trade organic cocoa butter, fair trade shea butter and organic jojoba oil (plus some other lovely ingredients.)

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Sea Salted Caramel Soap, £4.25/100g

Last but not least is the sea salted caramel soap which is another new one for me. Why did I pick this up? Quite simply the smell is good enough to eat! Lush describes the scent as: “somewhere between a hot pudding, dripping in caramel, and crunchy cinder toffee.” And boy does it smell good!  I am a big fan of Lush soaps as they last for a very long time and the scent really stays on your skin. I also find these ideal for when I have to shower in the morning and there’s no time for a lovely bath. I haven’t used this yet (have just inhaled it) but I’m looking forward to walking around and smelling like a pudding all day.

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What have you been buying in Lush lately?

Didi Inspired Gifts and Toys Shop Review

If you follow me over on the ‘gram, you’ll know that my latest obsession is Sonny Angels – a cute, miniature kewpie doll with fun headgear that hails from Japan. I bought a couple a few months ago and from there it spiralled. I have a nice collection of them now (but no home for them so if anyone can link me to some fun shelving that’d be great) and it is ever-growing. These little toys are highly collectable and secret versions command good money. I don’t care about all that though – I just love their cute little faces!

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In a previous post I mentioned one of my favourite shops to buy these little guys from; Retro Kids. In this post I’d like to mention another – Didi Inspired Gifts and Toys which you can find here. Didi Inspired Gifts and Toys is an independent online shop run by the lovely Fiona. This shop is amazing for Sonny Angels (and other cute collectables) so if you’re looking to grow your collection I really can’t recommend it enough. As always with these types of posts, I’m shouting out Didi Inspired because it is an indie, small business that provides amazing service. If you don’t already you really should start – shop small.

 I first discovered Didi Inspired through eBay as Fiona has a shop over on there too. I had been searching in vain for the elusive Sonny Angel Halloween series and just couldn’t find it anywhere – so I hopped on over to eBay and to my luck found that Didi Inspired sold the series. From there I realised that there was also a site, and it was filled with Angel goodness!

I have lost count now how many times I have shopped at Didi Inspired but I am so impressed with the service I have received every time. Firstly, Fiona is very helpful, accommodating and just a lovely woman to chat to – and that’s something I really value and look for in small business. If you have a query Fiona will get back to you promptly and she’s always happy to help. Delivery is always very prompt also, another biggie for me as I’m super impatient! Everything is always packaged well and Fiona always leaves a little note of thanks and discount code for the next time. It’s small details like these that make you feel valued as a customer (and of course, want to come back to shop again!)

The last order I made with Didi Inspired was for an entire box of Sonny Angel Animal Series one. I was really excited to discover that these were on sale at the quite frankly amazing price of £59.99 – I think this is the cheapest you’ll find these anywhere online. Naturally when I saw the price I had to get them! If you’d like a whole box of Sonny goodness you grab one here! But please don’t grab them all as I would like to come back for more!

Anyway, my order arrived wrapped up securely and I was surprised and delighted to discover Fiona had thrown in a little freebie parrot! I love a good freebie so this discovery literally made my day. As I say, I have been shopping with Didi Inspired very frequently (so don’t expect a freebie with every order!)

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The contents of my order

 

 

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What a …kewpie pie 😉

Inside one full series box you will get 12 individual boxes. These should, in theory contain one of each of the series. However you could get lucky with a secret. I do like the secrets but I’m not usually that lucky and anyway, I love having the full set. You can imagine how excited I was to open 12 of these little guys!

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I guess you’re wondering who I got? Well, the full series duh! Here’s the line up…

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Frog, monkey, rabbit, elephant
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Lion, Koala, Crocodile, Dalmation
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Panda, Tiger, Leopard, Cockerel

And the full Animal series one line up together:

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The usual suspects!

I had another fantastic shopping experience with Didi Inspired and was very happy with my order. In case you were wondering, the little rabbit is my favourite!

Didi Inspired Gifts and Toys doesn’t just sell Sonny Angels though, it’s packed full of cute collectables and goodies for children and adults alike. Some of my personal favourites:

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Okay. One more Sonny Angel. But this isn’t a regular one – it’s part of the Artist Collection and it’s a lot larger. £20.99 (it’s on my birthday wishlist)
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Super cute Bumble Bee Money Box by Kiddiwinks £9.99
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Adorable Moofia collectables from Toki Doki £9.20
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How adorable is this little guy?! Range of Smitties cuddly plushes £8.50
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Pick up a baby penguin plush (adorably squinty eyes included) for £6.50

 

Happy shopping people – if you grab yourself something lovely please let Fiona know I sent you!

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Please note, I have not been paid or gifted to write this post, I have done so of my own accord because I have had a great experience and want to support this shop. Where this is not the case I will always express so within the post. If you would like me to review your shop you can get in touch at prettylittlefinch@hotmail.com

A visit to RHS Garden Hyde Hall

Today we woke up and decided upon adventure. Our last few weekends have been lovely but incredibly lazy and we thought it time we got out exploring again. Luckily for me the weather was somewhat overcast (perfect for healing tattooed arms) yet warm with a cool breeze. After some researching we settled on RHS Garden Hyde Hall because it’s a 20 minute drive from us, a relatively cheap day out and because we’d almost visited before – before turning away at the last moment.

I have to say, I may have just found my new favourite place in Essex! I am so glad we paid a visit.

Upon arrival the staff were very helpful, explaining to us where everything was and highlights of the park. We were handed a map and headed off in search of flowers! The garden itself is not huge although it is a good size with plenty to see and explore. If you’re going to pay a visit an ideal amount of time to allocate to your trip would be about 3-4 hours. You can easily explore the gardens in around 2 hours but if you want to take your time (and lots of photos) it’s best to allow for a little more than that.

The gardens are divided up in to sections, with a large pond and converted barn at the very heart. The converted barn cafe is a gorgeous building strung with fairy lights and serving fresh handmade cakes, sandwiches, soups and more. I tried the Victoria sponge with a cup of tea whilst Gareth went for chocolate – we were both surprised and delighted with our choices – if you’re paying a visit to RHS gardens I can’t recommend the cake enough!

The gardens are full to the brim with beautiful flowers, sprawling herbaceous borders, shrubs and fragrant pines.  Alongside all this natural beauty you will find a plethora of birds including goldfinches, blue tits, great tits, sparrows, pigeons, song thrushes and many many more. I happily snapped away at as many birds as I could – feeling particularly excited at spotting some goldfinches.

We spent a good few hours in the gardens just marvelling at how beautiful everything was. Both myself and my lovely boyfriend were very impressed and will be visiting again. I took far too many photos to edit, but here’s a snapshot of our day.

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Mama duck and her ducklings. Aren’t they sweet?

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A beautiful song thrush taking a load off on a bench.

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The stunning goldfinch is my favourite bird – so we were happy to spot lots of them!

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Swift.

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Are these giant leaves or do I have a tiny boyfriend? You decide!

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Another beautiful song thrush

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Juvenile

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We found a fried egg!

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A bumble bee rearranges his pollen.

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Gareth caught this little sparrow in flight

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The beautiful converted barn

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An unusual spot for England!

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Blackbird pecks eagerly among the shrubs

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This song thrush was in the process of smashing a poor snail against a rock!

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Thanks for reading!

Beautiful Paris; The Catacombs & Notre Dame (unedited photos)

In March my feet started to itch and I decided I wanted to visit Paris. I had been only the year previous in February but it’s such a lovely city that I wanted to visit again and this time, with my lovely boyfriend in tow. So I booked us an impromptu and very last minute trip and off we went! For three nights and four days we spent our time wandering around the beautiful city and soaking up the familiar yet exhilarating sights. I toiled with the idea of blogging about our adventures for some time yet life got in the way and two months rolled around without me doing a single thing with the amazing photos I took. So here it is now – a little late. Just some unedited photos of our trip and some brief descriptions of famous landmarks!

The Catacombs of Paris

Picture the scene; it’s dark, the air is thick with the smell of damp and the cold stone floors are slick with water that drips methodically from the jagged rock ceiling. You’re in a dark, twisting tunnel with loose, gritty floor. You find yourself there after descending an impossibly curved staircase that seems to spiral down in to the very centre of the earth. You know that at any corner you could be faced with the grostequely fascinating – hundreds of skulls and ribcages and thighbones – arranged intricately to form columns and designs. Sounds like a scene straight from an Indiana Jones movie doesn’t it? And that’s because visiting the catacombs of Paris is the closest you’ll get to feeling like you’ve stepped straight in to a lost world. I have visited the catacombs before and I will visit again. It is unlike anything else you will experience. Whilst I don’t know the exact history of these winding caves I can tell you it is beyond fascinating. The tunnels wind on for what feels like a lifetime – all the while as you ramble through them you have that prickle of dread and anticipation – because seeing human skulls laid out like they are is a really crazy experience that will stay with you. I found myself thinking about who the remains belonged to, what they would have looked like, how they got there etc. This is definitely one for the adventure seekers at heart.

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Notre Dame

Notre Dame is impossibly beautiful. It rises up magnificently to the sky and, it stands alone which seems to make it all the more impressive. Architecturally it is stunning – with carved columns and huge stained glass windows. I feel like I throw the word ‘beautiful’ around a lot when I’m describing the sites in Paris but this is just…wow. Breathtaking. Again, I have visited Notre Dame before and I will again. It is without any doubt my favourite thing in the entire city topping even the Catacombs. The ceilings rise up and away and even though Notre Dame is permanently crammed full of tourists it feels very spacious. The stained glass windows are a real treat for the eyes – with the sun filtering through beautiful shades of gold, red and blues they look like jewels. I don’t have the words to do this place justice so you’ll have to go by the unedited photos and take a look for yourself.

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Thanks for reading – there’s more to follow soon!