October Lust List – What I’ve Loved This Month

Orange leaves, shiny conkers, cold nights and Halloween festivities – the changing of season from Summer to Autumn has been gradual but fun and I’ve really enjoyed October.

With this in mind, I thought I’d try something a bit different and recap what I’ve loved this month!

The Lush Halloween Range

From Sparkly Pumpkins to melt in the bath ghosts, the Lush Halloween range has really impressed me this month and I’m loving it all! Old favourites have made a re-appearance whilst new pieces have pleasantly surprised. Bubble baths are particularly rewarding as the nights get colder, longer and darker. There’s nothing more satisfying than a soak in soft perfumed bubbles whilst it rains bitterly outside.

My favourite from this range was The Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar £3.95

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The Sonny Angel Halloween Series

I’m a sucker for all things Halloween and the new Sonny Angel range is no exception! I’m absolutely loving the adorably spooky designs and was lucky enough to open one of each – including the super-rare Robby!

Sonny Angels £7.50 per blind box. You can buy them at Didi Inspired!

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Mustard Yellow Knits

Scouring the shop rails this month I have seen my favourite autumnal colours pop up once again. Flashes of rust orange, forest greens, burgundy and mustard yellow. With the weather getting colder, chunky knits are a must-have and I’ve picked up a couple of really lovely mustard yellow pieces from Primark as well as knitting up my own scarf in this dreamy and cosy colour.

This lovely cable knit cost just £10 from Primark. If you want one you’ll have to hurry – sizes for these seem to be quite limited.

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Thriller Books

This month I’ve been reading The Book of You by Clare Kendall and Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon- both of which have had me gripped. I love a thriller and trying to work out the mysteries hidden between the pages of a good book. If you’re looking for something a little different, I can’t recommend these novels enough. Perfect for lazy weekend reading.

The Book of You £7.99 and Try Not To Breathe £7.99 both paperbacks from Waterstones.

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Crime Podcasts

I’m a big fan of crime podcasts, and don’t know how I would get through hours of work without them to keep me company. My all time favourite is Sword and Scale (which you can listen to here) This is perfect listening if you have a morbid sense of curiosity and want a snug evening indoors with the heating turned up and the candles on.

I Love Crafty Autumn Kitties Range

I love picking up fun jewellery pieces to add a playful accent to my outfits and I am a big fan of the I Love Crafty X Pony People seasonal kitties collab. Last year I snagged a Halloween and Spring Kitty. This year I was lucky enough to win a fantastic voucher for Etsy in an instagram competition and there was no doubt I’d be spending it on the adorable Autumn kitties range! What a perfect way to celebrate the season in style. I picked up this cute kitty napping on a mushroom.

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Autumn Kitty priced £24 can be found here!

What have you been loving this month?

Visiting Woburn Safari Park

Saturday is usually the day that Gareth and I try to have a day out and do something a bit different. This weekend he decided we would go to Woburn safari park. I had heard a lot of good things about it so was pretty excited. It’s safe to say I wasn’t disappointed – and the day was full of unexpected discoveries!

When you drive through to the park you are greeted by wandering deer and goat. You can either walk through or drive through. We decided to drive through first and then do the walking bit so we could go at a more leisurely pace and see everything.

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As we drove through the park we came across a wide range of fascinating animals. A lot of my photos were taken through the car window so are not perfect and I didn’t manage to snap everything we saw. To give you an idea of what kind of animals reside in this area, we saw bears, tigers, lions, monkeys, giraffes, elephants etc all divided up in to different sections. This was super fun but watch out for hoggers- people who stay in the same spot watching the animals for too long and blocking the road!

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My personal favourite was the lion enclosure. Such beautiful animals. The lions seemed to be everyones favourite so there was a bit of queuing – it was worth it though.

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We also enjoyed driving through the monkey enclosure and spotting the tiny babies- one even sat on our car bonnet which was a pretty fun experience!

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Having a groom on our car

In the monkey enclosure I spotted a black squirrel. I have never seen one of these before and I didn’t even know they existed – my first surprise of the day!

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It probably took us about 40 minutes to drive around and see the animals. It could easily take you less or longer depending on the kind of people that turn up on the day!

Once we felt satisfied we’d seen everything we decided to walk around. Upon entering we were greeted by a lake with swan boats.

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And we discovered some fairy mushrooms! I think these are Fly Algaric but I could be wrong. Either way I was really, really excited to see these as I have never seen them in real life before.

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The area for walking around at Woburn isn’t that large so you probably won’t need a map to get around it all. It is divided up in to different sections though so if there’s something you especially want to see it could be helpful to get one.

The first area we came across was Desert Springs. This was a series of wooden walkways through meercats (a crowd pleaser) mongoose (my personal favourite) and porcupines.

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From there we walked to the Lorikeet walk through. This was an enclosed area with a small pool, bridge, bird feeders and, you guessed it, a lot of lorikeets. You can buy nectar to feed the birds. This costs 70p and is a 70p well spent as it’s so very fun to have them land on you! One landed on my shoulder and proceeded to screech in my ear, evidently not interested in the nectar at all! As Gareth and I are bird people, we really enjoyed this one.

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After this we stopped for lunch in the main canteen area. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest, not after the poor fare we found at London Zoo! However we were both pleasantly surprised at what was on offer and how nice it was! Whilst there wasn’t much in the way of cold food (just a few sandwiches and packets of crisps) the hot food counter had a lot of delicious options on offer. Gareth got a steak and ale pie, chips and gravy whilst I got Cumberland sausage swirls, chips and mushy peas – everything tasted amazing! Although it wasn’t cheap. If you’re bringing a family and don’t want to overspend it might be best to pack something yourself.

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After lunch we stopped by the elephant meadow. There is a gallery of seats on which you can sit and just watch the elephants do their thing

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After that we visited an Australian walkthrough with lots of wallabies and rheas. This was quite a wooded area and it was fun to walk through and get just that little bit closer to the animals.

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Next to this walk through was another filled with tall trees and tiny squirrel monkeys. These were so adorable! We caught them at feeding time when there was much frenzy on the ground and the keeper gave a little talk about them. I loved the little babies clinging to mums back – how cute!

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From here we visited the family of otters. I just love their little faces and cheeky manners. These were also being fed so we were able to get a good view of them.

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There are quite a few walk-through experiences and chances to get close to the animals in Woburn safari. I think this is one aspect I enjoyed most and found quite different from other zoos I have visited. Towards the end of our day we walked through another monkey enclosure across wooden pathways- this one with various types of lemur.  And lastly a meadow filled with chickens and goats who you could stroke if you chose to (we did!)

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All in all we spent about four or five hours at Woburn – this is a lot longer than we usually spend at zoos or attractions. There was a lot to see although it wasn’t spread out over a leg-achingly long distance- it was all quite together and easily manageable to get through.

My favourite part of the day was seeing the Lorikeets and feeding them nectar. Gareth’s was seeing the lions. There is something for everyone here I think so I would definitely recommend it!

Last but not least, I’ll be making some changes to my blog shortly – so please look out for those!

 

 

 

Picking Pumpkins at Foxes Farm

Ever since we spotted the sign at the side of a dirty road some weeks ago and discovered pumpkin patches exist in Essex, we were determined to go.

For some reason fate intervened week after week and for one reason or another, to my extreme dismay, we were unable to make the short trip. However, the sun shone this morning and nothing was stopping us so we finally drove down to Foxes Farm Produce, Basildon and the wonderfully exciting Pumpkin Patch.

We arrived at around 11 o’clock and the carpark was already full with families heaving giant pumpkins in to boots of cars and excited children clad in wellies. Shrieks of laughter hung on the air as families raced ahead with wheelbarrows to find the best pumpkins.

Entry to Foxes Farm Pumpkin Patch is free – you just pay for the pumpkins you take home- and you can take as many as your arms will allow.

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Upon entering the Pumpkin Patch we were greeted with stacked hay bales – which the children clumsily clambered on, and wooden containers holding hundreds of pumpkins in all shapes, sizes and shades. There was also a stall set up serving hot food and drinks. We gave this a miss as we’d already eaten.

Further on was a sprawling field absolutely heaving with pumpkins. These had all been pre-picked for ease of collection (and health and safety) and some sat precariously in huge piles. I was surprised to find white pumpkins (or corpse pumpkins as I called them) as I hadn’t seen these before and didn’t know pumpkins came in different colours! That seems funny to think of now but at the time I hadn’t considered the possibility.

There was also a field with corn in although we didn’t really explore this- we were much too excited racing around the field, finding the best pumpkins (the best pumpkin has a nice twisty stalk) and getting caught up in the excitement around us.

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The corpse pumpkins

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The atmosphere was fantastic. Lots of families, children and couples having fun selecting pumpkins and laughing with delight. If you have children, the Pumpkin Patch is an absolute must.  We easily spent around an hour there just looking around. We wanted to get one of everything we could find so in the end selected a munchkin pumpkin, a regular pumpkin, a corpse pumpkin, a small white pumpkin that looked like a garlic bulb, and a rounded red one that looks just like a giant onion! We also picked up a pumpkin for Gareth’s nephew and a tiny one for his baby niece! In total we spent £14 pound which was a complete bargain for the whole experience.

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Omelette models our haul of pumpkins

 

 

Christmas Lush Haul

Some people may have a problem with my using the ‘C’ word so soon in to October. We haven’t reached Halloween yet so it seems a little early to even be contemplating Christmas. But in the world of Lush (and retail in general) Christmas is pretty much already here. Soz Grinches!  Anyway, Lush released there Christmas goodies just a week after the Halloween stuff. Whilst this was very exciting for me, it did also leave a dent in my bank balance! I wasn’t able to get one of everything from this range but I did pick up a few pieces that I’m very happy with. (And I’m sure I’ll be back for the rest at some point.)

Before I launch in to what I got, I’d like to quickly apologise for the slightly dramatic lighting -it’s a really grey and rainy Sunday and I didn’t manage to catch the weak morning sunlight as I was busy knitting a winter scarf and catching up on Catfish.

The Magic of Christmas  Bubble Bar Wand £5.95

This is a new to me product and, whilst I haven’t actually tried it yet (I wanted to take photographs first) the smell is absolutely amazing and definitely my new favourite. It’s actually quite similar to Sparkly Pumpkin but with a punch cinnamon and almond scent.It smells beautiful – just like Christmas. Already I know I’m going to have to stock up on these!

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Peeping Santa Bubble Bar £3.95

The next thing I got was the Peeping Santa Bubble bar. I’d seen this around previously but I’ve never tried it. I hadn’t smelt it before either and when I bought it online, I wasn’t sure if I’d like the scent but I did know it was super-cute and Christmassy. I’m happy to report that it’s quite nice. I find it very subtle and less ‘perfumey’ than the other goodies. It has organic cocoa and shea butter in so I’m sure it will leave my skin feeling soft. My peeping Santa has slightly strange eyes – they look more like moustaches to me!

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The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar £3.95

Yet another bubble bar in my order, I couldn’t resist the cute Christmas Penguin. This is a citrusy smelling bubble bar with Sicilian lemon and mandarin oils.  Not quite sure what that little yellow splodge is !

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Never Mind The Ballistics Bath Bomb £4.25

Also new to me is the Never Mind The Ballistics Bath Bomb. This bomb smells absolutely AMAZING. It features lime and orange scents – but it smells like pineapple and very much edible. The sweet scent is really strong and I can’t wait to try it out in the bath. The pink side of the bomb feels different in texture – really waxy. The bomb contains fair trade cocoa butter so I’m sure it will leave the skin super soft.

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Shoot For The Stars Bath Bomb £4.25

This is an absolutely beautiful bath bomb with a vibrant blue shade interspersed with glittering gold stars. It’s almost too beautiful to want to use. I say almost because the scent is so lovely. Again this is a new favourite for me. The scent is orange and bergamot but it smells more sweet than fruity. If you like sweet perfume type scents I think you will really appreciate this special bath bomb.

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Luxury Lush Pud Bath Bomb £4.25

Last but not least I picked up the Luxury Lush Pud. I love the design of this one as it’s just so fun and playful! This bomb is very sweet smelling and contains tonka (although I’m not really sure what this is!) and lavender. You can’t really smell the lavender so much though – it’s more of a cake kind of smell. This would be a great bath bomb for the evening though, just before bed and when you want to relax.

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So that’s what I picked up. My boyfriend also bought me a stash of Sparkly Pumpkins because I love them so much. But my Lush Lust List is as follows:

Snow Fairy Shower gel

Fairy Dust Dusting Powder

Candy Mountain Bubble Bar

Golden Wonder Bath Bomb

What is your favourite bath time treat from this range?

 

BKA Bird Fair – Some new friends!

Today we went to the Bird Keepers Association bird fair in St Augustin’s Hall, Thorpe Bay.

Sadly one of our Orange Cheeked Waxbills – Clementine- passed away a few short weeks ago, leaving her little pal Wotsit behind to live with the Owl finches. So our aim today was to get a hen Orange Cheeked Waxbill to befriend Wotsit as he was displaying some behaviours that suggested he might be lonely.

We were in luck! There were lots of absolutely beautiful birds at the fair, including three Orange Cheeks. We picked out a lovely little hen. We haven’t named her yet but we are very happy with her.

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After we purchased the hen we expected to go home. But rarely do we leave a bird fair with just one bird – and today was no exception.

When I spotted this tiny Chinese Painted Quail I just couldn’t help myself. I had to have him. He is much much smaller than our Japanese quail whom we love dearly. And has just spent some time out of his cage chasing them around! (Much to our amusement) We haven’t named him yet but will do shortly. We’re also hoping to buy him a little female friend in the week. I’m so excited – he’s so cute!

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EDIT:

A couple of days later we went to visit a man who kindly gave us two hens to keep our little guy happy (we named him Peep.)

This is Penny:

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And this is Thimble. She’s much whiter than Penny but does also have brown feathers:

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And here’s another shot of our little guy Peep!

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They are all settling in fantastically with Penny and Thimble already laying eggs. They get along perfectly with the Japanese quail so all in all we are very happy!

Lush Autumn/Halloween Haul

Halloween is a very special time of year for me – not least because it means that Lush will release all their special goodies! On the Saturday I headed for the Lakeside store to pick up all the new bits! Unfortunately they didn’t have everything I wanted -but the selection was still good and I managed to get the majority of what I was looking for. Here’s what I got:

Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb £3.75

The first thing I picked up was the Autumn Leaf bath bomb. A beautiful smelling, leaf shaped bomb in autumnal colours. I haven’t seen this before so I think it might be brand new for 2016 (correct me if I’m wrong!) The scent is quite sweet with citrus, bergamot and sandalwood.

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Monster’s Ball Bath Bomb £3.95

The Monster’s Ball bath bomb is, as you can see, a very fun addition to the line up! With its one eye and little horns I just couldn’t resist. It also smells just like sweets! It’s hard to put my thumb on the exact scent – and the website just says ‘perfume’ but it is very sweet smelling. This bomb contains Fair Trade Organic cocoa butter – so although I haven’t tried it yet I can imagine it will leave the skin feeling very soft.

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Lord Of Misrule Bath Bomb £3.95

This bath bomb has a faint glitter running through it (which doesn’t pick up in the photo.) It is described on the website as having a “spicy herbal blend of patchouli and black pepper oil” and a deep wine coloured centre. Out of all the scents this is probably my least favourite but it’s still pleasant and I’m looking forward to giving it a go!

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Pumpkin Bath Bomb £3.95

The Pumpkin bath bomb has to be one of my favourites in terms of design/appearance as I absolutely love the carved pumpkin face! This bath bomb smells very sweet with vanilla and cinnamon recreating the scent of home baking. It also turns your water a very satisfying orange!

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Boo Bath Melt £3.50

This spooky little bath melt has a very subtle smell with hints of ginger and cocoa butter to smooth your skin. Like most of the goodies in this post I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet so I don’t know if it will become a favourite but I couldn’t resist that little face!

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Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar £3.95

Last but not least I picked up the Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble bar. This is my all time favourite Lush product and last year I stocked up on as many of these as I could before the season ended. This time I picked up just two – but I know I will be back for more! The scent is my most favourite of all. It is incredibly sweet – it contains cinnamon, juniper berry, citrus and ‘perfume’. I think it’s the perfume that gives this one its scent but I honestly can’t describe what that is. It’s kind of fruity. Like a bag full of crushed sweets. This bubble bar creates a lot of lovely bubbles and turns the water (as you may have guessed) a bright orange. It has a lot of glitter too which swirls about in the water and sticks to your skin leaving you with a lovely shiny glow!

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All in all I was very happy with my haul and can’t wait to go back and pick up some bits and bobs! What are you loving in Lush right now?

An Autumn Walk (photographs)

You may have read my Autumn bucket list a couple of posts back. If so you’ll know that one of my entries was to take plenty of walks in the countryside, collect conkers and soak up the lovely atmosphere.

On this particular walk I collected up plenty of shiny conkers and met some beautiful deer. I hope you enjoy the photos and they get you in that Autumn mood!

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A Trip to RHS Garden Wisley

A few weekends ago we decided to make the 50 minute drive to RHS Garden Wisley. You may have read about our trip to RHS Hyde Hall recently (if not you can read about it here!) We were so impressed and had such a nice time that we thought we’d visit some more of the RHS gardens.

Entry to RHS Garden Wisley costs £11.70 per adult IF you buy in advance online. (We didn’t do this but I recommend it.)

Upon entering the gardens I was immediately very impressed with them. There’s some beautiful landscaping and the gardens are larger than those at Hyde Hall with separate areas for different shrubs/heather etc.

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My favourite part of the gardens were at the start. The gardens rise up in tiers with concrete steps leading up a hill to further levels and rock gardens. Amongst the rock gardens are some very pretty streams/ponds and waterfalls. At the top you get a magnificent view of the whole park including the greenhouse.

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One thing we really liked about the gardens were the variety of plants including all the pretty wildflowers which added splashes of colour to every walkway and path.

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RHS Wisley has a greenhouse (which I can liken to that of Kew Gardens.) Inside is an assortment of trees, ferns, cacti and succulents and a big waterfall at the heart. This area is set out very well enabling you to get around efficiently and see everything you’d want to.

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There are several lakes and ponds winding through Wisley and the added water features provide plenty of space for ducks and various water fowl.

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One area we found ourselves particularly attracted to was the heather garden which had a beautiful aroma and plenty of colour. At the end of these gardens is a wonderful bird lookout from which we spotted goldfinch. We didn’t get much time to spend in the hide so I’d like to go back again with my camera and see what I can snap!

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Both of us absolutely loved RHS Wisley and can’t recommend it enough. It’s a large garden but two hours should be sufficient enough to see the majority of it making it a great day out for families with younger children. It’s particularly interesting to those with a passion for ornithology or those who enjoy getting back to nature and spending time somewhere particularly beautiful.

Autumn Bucket List

With Autumn just around the corner (c’mon the 22nd September!) I thought it’d be fun to make a little bucket list for the season. Autumn is my most favourite time of year not least because of Halloween, pumpkin spiced lattes, snuggly duvet days reading books whilst it rains outside, piles of golden leaves, shiny conkers and bringing out my favourite knitted jumpers. So here’s what I’m hoping to get up to this season (I may even blog a few of these!)

  • Pumpkin picking
  • Halloween event (to be planned/confirmed)
  • Fireworks/bonfire night
  • Funfair
  • Long walks in the woods / countryside
  • Open the new seasonal Halloween Sonny Angels
  • Lush haul – shop all the new seasonal bath bombs (sparkly pumpkin I’m coming for you!)
  • Movie/book day whilst it rains
  • Collect conkers

and last but not least

  • Eat a toffee apple!

I can’t wait to have a fun and cosy season. I may add some more activities to the list if I think of anything. Let me know what you’re most looking forward to?

Lucky Dip Club August Unboxing Vlog

Hi guys, I decided to make my second vlog today and this one is an unboxing of the ‘Meow and You’ Lucky Dip Club subscription box! I have included photos below so you can get a better look at what’s inside the box this month.

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Bonnie Bling DIY necklace and bangle set
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Bonnie Bling trinket tray
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Hello Harriet enamel pin
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Raffle prize by My Cat And The Moon
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Artwork by Hello Harriet
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Girl Planet zine
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My moment of fame

Bedfords Country Park

I’ve been having a rough time of it lately and I’m pretty scared about the week ahead. With all this noise going on in my head I thought it would be nice to go for a long walk and get back to nature. We decided to try a new to us country park and picked Bedfords Park which is a 15 minute car ride away in Havering. I was not disappointed. The park was abundant with wildlife with captive red deer, lots of birds, bees, butterflies and wildflower meadows. If you find yourself with some free time and the need to walk like I did, I can’t recommend it enough. I managed to snap a few photographs of my favourite wildlife moments – I hope you enjoy.

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This is guys – acorns on the trees mean it’s practically Autumn!

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Where’s your favourite spot to walk when you need to think? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Primark Haul Vlog

Hi guys,

today I thought I’d try my hand at something different and give vlogging a go. I started off with a Primark Haul vid. I may or may not make more of these. I hope you enjoy!

 

 

SIDE NOTE: Sadly the quality has been compromised a little as the original video file was just too large 🙁 hopefully this does not impair your viewing. If you’d like to see more videos, leave me a comment below!

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!

 ANYWAY.

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!

x

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!