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The Body Shop Mango Duo

This time last year, I was in Australia.

I was in a shopping centre one afternoon with my cousin when I spotted The Body Shop and despite being at the other side of the world, I went in and treated myself to a few of their Mango products simply because they smell wonderful.

A year later, I decided to pick up the exact same products, but only this time, when I was in the Trafford Centre with the other half.

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Continue reading “The Body Shop Mango Duo”

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Review of Everything You Told Me by Lucy Dawson

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Published: 5th January 2017
Publisher: Corvus
Pages: 336

Blurb:

You went to bed at home, just like every other night.
You woke up in the back of a taxi, over 250 miles away.
You have no idea how you got there and no memory of the last ten hours.
You have no phone, no money; just a suicide note in your coat pocket, in your own writing.
You know you weren’t planning to kill yourself.
Your family and friends think you are lying.

Someone knows exactly what happened to you.
But they’re not telling…

Review:

Thank you to Corvus for kindly sending me a review copy.

The narrative opens with our main character, Sally, unconscious in the back of a taxi. Soon enough, everything becomes confusing and she’s left with several unanswered questions. When the plot takes readers back to two days ago, we see Sally in her natural habitat: a mum of two struggling to get her baby in a sleep pattern, bickering with her husband over the silliest of things, accepting help from her mother-in-law and being thrown in at the deep end when she comes face to face with her brother’s new fiancé who Sally, very clearly, does not get on with.

“It hadn’t been me that had ordered too many, it was far more likely to be an online technical glitch. I was almost sure of it.”

With the plot focusing on missing money, a dodgy soon-to-be sister-in-law and a very helpful mother-in-law, Sally has set her sights on blaming one particular person. Lucy’s writing was absolutely superb and I was completely hooked from the opening chapter, the one in which she writes mystery is extremely captivating and the ending, well… I didn’t see that coming a mile off.

“Everything is under control… Except me. I don’t feel under control at all.”

The ending was shocking. There’s no other word for it. Sally’s world was turned upside down in the most heart breaking way possible. The narrative, itself will keep you guessing right until the very end and just when you think you’ve read it all, Lucy will throw in yet another twist and the book will look very different from when it first began. Sheer brilliance.

Twitter // Amazon Books UK

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Lovely Things // Week 52

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today is the last Blogmas post and I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed every single one. I’ve tried to make sure there’s something for everyone – please let me know your favourite!

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Delamere Forest

On Sunday afternoon, the Mr and I drove to Delamere Forest for a long, much needed walk in the crisp, fresh air. We met the most beautiful sausage dog called Bilbo and I’m pretty sure he’s stolen my heart. There were nearly tears. After our walk, we tucked ourselves away in a nearby pub for a carvery before collapsing in bed to watch The Terminal.

Hospital Visits

On Monday and Friday, I spent the morning in two different hospitals for two pre-ops; one for my Grandad which seemed to take forever because the doctor forgot his password (humph!) and then for myself as my operation is just over a week away.

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Movie Night

On Wednesday evening, the Mr and I watched Sully on the Amazon Fire Stick (holy Dumbledore, that was a good copy!) and it was absolutely incredible. It’s based on a true story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommend.

Blogmas

Winter Essentials
Feeling Hygge at Winter
The Trusty Red Lip
A Delicious Winter Warmer
My 2016

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Thank you SO much for supporting my blog this past year. The likes, the comments and tweets mean more than you realise. I hope to see you all again in 2017.

How has your week been? Stressful? Relaxing? Let me know the highlight!

EL xx

 

 

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Feeling Hygge at Winter

Morning all,

If I said ‘cosy’ to you, what would you say?

To me, being cosy is all about being in comfortable clothes (preferably PJs), wrapped up in a blanket, drinking tea, being surrounded by candles and fairy lights so the room has a warming tone. Sounds rather lovely, doesn’t it?

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When Penguin got in touch and told me about a book which is all about feeling cosy no matter the time of the year, I jumped at the chance to share it all with you.

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking is such a lovely book to give this Christmas whether it’s your Mum, sisters, friend or fellow blogger. With discussions about food, clothing, Christmas, home and any season, this book is suitable for anyone!

I wanted to share with you how I get cosy in an evening.

1. Lights

In the evening here in the UK, it tends to get dark between 3:30pm and 4pm and the first thing I do is turn on all the festive lights. This includes the wreath on the front door, the garland around the fire place, the Christmas tree, the fake battery operated candles on the window sill and the fairy lights in my bedroom. For me, it’s all about warm lights and none of those cold, blue ones – we need to keep the room all cosy.

2. Clothing

PJs or onesie – take your pick. During December, I love wearing my tartan Primark PJs because they’re unbelievably cosy. The second I walk through the front door, my day clothes are being thrown on the floor (don’t worry, I do pick them up) and the PJs are thrown on. There’s something quite satisfying about going from normal clothes to cosy clothes. I own more PJs than clothes…

3. Candles

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know that I work with Yankee Candle on a regular basis and I’ve also featured a couple of other candles from Tesco and M&S. I flipping love candles – everything from the packaging to the scent (I’m sure the CCTV people enjoy watching my reactions because some aren’t that pleasant) to lighting them once I’m home. I’ve been loving Christmas Cookie by Yankee Candle quite a lot this December and I deeply regret not purchasing one of the medium jars (oops!) but as well as the sweet scent, I also love citrus ones as well – especially the three wick Citrus Fruit + Ginger one from Tesco because it is simply heaven in a jar.

4. Food

If I’m in the mood for something sweet to eat, I’ll opt for what I call “my Christmas chocolate” which is essentially the Dairy Milk Tree bar; its seriously delicious and only £1 in most supermarkets. If I go for that, then I’ll have a cup of tea. In our household, I’m the chief hot chocolate maker – nobody makes them like I do, so it’s really nice when we’re all cosy in the living room, watching a film and sipping on our hot chocolates. Oh Hygge of us.

5. Goodbye Social Media

 Around 8pm every evening, I like to press the little wifi symbol on my phone so all access to the online world disappears. I’ve been doing this for about a month but a) sometimes you just need a break and b) my sleep is a lot better as I’m switching off earlier.

How did you relax in an evening?

EL xx

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Lovely Things // Week 51

ONE WEEK TO GO!

It’s safe to say that I’ve been ready for Christmas since October. The presents are wrapped, the tree has been decorated, all the baubles have been bought from Bents and Michael Buble is on repeat 24/7.

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Birthday Baking

You may have seen this cute little butterfly cakes on my blog before (recipe post here) and on Monday, my sisters turned 33 so I decided to do a spot of baking for a bit of fun. I did a simply Mary Berry recipe and added some grated flake on top on the jam. It’s safe to say that a) my nephews blew the candles out before ‘happy birthday’ had been finished and b) they inhaled their cakes, ha!

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Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree..

We’re probably the last people in the UK to put up our tree and I’m not really sure why it’s taken us so long. We bought an artificial tree about 3 years ago from a garden centre and honestly, I’m not crazy about it. I love the smell of Christmas trees and those sticks you can buy just smell awful. On Tuesday morning, I had a bit of spare time so I decided to decorate it because who knows when my Mum would have done it? I personally love the way it’s turned out. There’s a few new baubles but my favourite is the glass ballet dancer.

Catch up with this week’s Blogmas:

How’s your week been?

EL xx

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Lovely Things // Week 50

Hello Sunday, we meet again..

This week seems to have gone quite slow which I actually really like because December is going far too quickly for my liking. Slow the fudge cake down, please and thank you.

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Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree..
On Sunday after last week’s Lovely Things post went live, the Mr and I spent a couple of hours tucked away in a cosy pub watching the Liverpool match (more for him, than me) while I read a rather funny Christmas book.


Liverpool
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or following me on Instagram, you’ll know that Liverpool is on my doorstep and I love exploring it with my friends and Mr. On Tuesday, I had a girls day with one of my favourite work colleagues for a spot of brunch and shopping. I came home with one item. ONE ITEM. There’s something wrong with me, I’m certain. Ha! The Christmas markets have moved from outside the shops to in front of St George’s Hall and let me tell you, they’re kind of a disappointment if I’m honest. There’s about fifteen stalls and honestly, it’s worth hopping on a train to Manchester because they’re the best.


Gallstone Update
My operation can not come soon enough. 4th January – hurry up! I woke up on Friday morning at 2am and was wide awake due to the horrible amount of pain that I was suffering with. Thank god for family who live a two-minute walk away because I was suffering really badly. I spent all day in bed catching up with Vlogmas and trying not to scream out in pain.

Catch up with this week’s Blogmas posts:

How has your week been?
EL xx

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Lovely Things // Week 49

Hello December

Christmas, my birthday, family time, snow (if we’re lucky), multiple tins of chocolate, all the trimmings, cosy PJs, fluffy socks, hours upon hours of films and of course, #Blogmas.

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Golden Hour

One late afternoon this week, I managed to capture the view from my bedroom window before the darkness hit. Gorgeous isn’t it? I popped the picture on my Instagram as well.. Get that cheeky promo.

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Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life

Every one and their dog has been excited for the reunion show. I remember binge watching the show whilst I was at University and it’s seriously addictive. I really enjoyed the reunion and those three final words – surely that means we’re getting more of a series? Oh and if you have an Amazon Fire Stick, you’re in luck because it’s on there. Winner!

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Date Night

Pub grub + a movie. How classy we are. You all know that I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and when I heard the news about Fantastic Beasts, I was stupidly excited and believe me, it didn’t disappoint. I did get a little teary eyed right at the beginning when the theme tune began but that’s perfectly okay. The film itself was jam packed with magic, an incredible storyline filled with both good and bad magic but the only little thing I’m confused about is Johnny Depp. Wasn’t he cast as Dumbledore? Why is he popping up as Grindelwald then? Hm… Roll on 2018 for the next part.

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Cosy Nights

On Thursday evening, the Mr and I had the ultimate cosy night in: cottage pie (which I didn’t make enough of, oops) and we watched Home Alone with a bowl of popcorn with all the candles lit. Oh it was divine.

Blogmas

So as you know from reading my blog, I’m doing Blogmas this year. Every day up until Christmas Eve, you’ll get a new post at 9am UK time. I’m still doing Lovely Things every Sunday and you’ll receive the last one on the 24th. In case you’ve missed any posts, I’ll link them below..

1st – Christmas At The Little Beach Street Bakery
2nd – Manchester Christmas Markets
3rd – Exploring York Minster

What was the highlight of this week for you?

EL xx

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Lovely Things // Week 48

Morning all,

Another week has flown by and it’s December on Thursday. 2016, slow the fudge cake down. I’m really looking forward to the festive month – it’s definitely the best time of the year. Not to mention – I’m on my second cold already…

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York

If you read my posts or follow me on Instagram + Twitter, you’ll know that we spent last Sunday and Monday in York – a city which I’ve wanted to visit for quite some time. The weather wasn’t exactly on our side but you can read all about that in my posts for both day one and day two.

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A Little Touch Of Magic

While we were in York, I purchased a new Harry Potter mug which I’m completely obsessed with and drink out of 24/7. I love long cups of tea so this is ideal for me and I really ought to take advice from it as well because the Muggles have been getting me down…

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

If you don’t live in the UK, you might be wondering what it is: 12 celebrities are put into an Australian jungle camp and they do tasks in order to win food. A simple game show but my god, my stomach hurts from laughing. I thought that Scarlett from Gogglebox would be my favourite but it turns out that it’s a toss up between Adam from Emmerdale (his laugh!) and Joel the comedian (what a babe). I can’t stop laughing.

How has your week been? Let me know…

EL xx

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Lovely Things // Week 47

WE’RE OFF TO YORK!

I have waited for this day for weeks. In case you don’t know, I booked a little trip (one night, two days) away for the Mr and I as his birthday present. I’m not going to go into too much detail because there will be blog posts to feast your eyes upon, or so I hope…

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Admin. Planning. Writing. Scheduling…

I’ve had quite a lot of blog related things to do this week, mainly on Monday and Tuesday but I actually enjoying having a to-do list and getting shizzle done. I’ve started to think of December content and seeing as you all enjoyed Blogmas last year, I’ve decided to do it again.. Crazy, right?

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Christmas at Event City

Last Sunday, the Mr and I went with our Mums to the Ideal Home Show at Event City (just across the road from the Trafford Centre) and it was BUSY! It was a Christmas show; full of decorations, ideal presents, food and much more. Around 1pm, we sat front row to watch Jane from GBBO make a Christmas cake – she’s rather nice! My favourite part of the entire day was a) the cupcakes and fudge we bought and b) the choir – oh my god, they were amazing and I felt all festive.

How has your week been? Let me know in the comments below. Make sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for York updates.

EL xx

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Lovely Things // Week 46

Oh, what a week it’s been!

I’m not going to lie: this week has been 90% crap. From President Fart being elected to being bed bound for four/five days, I’m glad it’s all over and the only thing that has been getting me through it all: York. Oh yes! But you’ll hear about that soon…

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Sunday Antics

Our Sunday strolls have become a bit of a tradition now – pub lunch, watch the football (if United or Liverpool are playing), long walk around a gorgeous place and then back to mine for one of my Mum’s incredible roasts. We are living the dream right now.

Last week, I went a little outside my comfort zone and ordered a dish which I would never normally have: sea bass, prawns and scallops in a pea risotto. Unusual for me but seeing as the Mr had it last time (and I stole a few bits), I was won over.

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The Costa Christmas Menu

TIS THE SEASON. The festive drinks have been released, the markets are slowly being opened and the John Lewis advert has been seen by millions (I love it, FYI). After our pub lunch last Sunday, I treated the Mr to a cheeky Costa and I went for the rather delicious toasted marshmallow hot chocolate. YUM! I’m definitely trying the Lindt one next time.

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The BFG

On Monday evening after seeing my nephews, I was struck down with a virus – cue the throwing up, the fever, the headaches, the chesty cough. Man alive, I’ve had it all this week. With our Amazon fire stick, we can pretty much watch any film so I curled up on the sofa with a big mug of tea and watched The BFG. Now, I can’t actually comment on the entire film because I only watched an hour due to falling asleep but oh my, it is incredible! It was one of my favourite books growing up as a child and I’m so happy they made a film of it. I definitely want to watch it all the way through once I’m better.

Date Night At Café Rouge

Last night, we were kindly invited to spend the evening at Café Rouge in Liverpool One to try out their new Autumn and Winter menu. I’ve never been invited to review a new menu before so it was rather exciting stuff (sad of me, I know but we’re not all highly requested bloggers!). There’s a full post coming your way on Wednesday so keep your eyes peeled for that…

Side note: One of my favourite bloggers Maria has started a YouTube channel and I would love it if you went over to support her. She’s an absolute babe with a heart of gold who shouts at avocados (still laughing about that…)

We’re off to the Home Show in Manchester today! What have you been doing this week? Let me know in the comments below.

EL xx