Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Soap & Glory The Next Big Thing - now only £30!

Soap & Glory is without a doubt one of my favourite beauty ranges, we all know that every year boots have the best half price sales on all their gift sets from Boxing day onwards. But it's a well known fact that the biggest Soap & Glory set always drops down to half price a couple of days before Christmas. I didn't receive one for Christmas but got plenty of other beauty goodies so I wasn't that fussed. When I went into boots on Saturday I had no idea there would be any of The Next Big Thing set left as they usually sell out immediately. I was SO happy to get my hands on this amazing set, it's RRP is £60 which is still great value for money but seriously £30 is like giving the thing away when the individual sizes cost around £10 each, the set is worth over £75 so you're really grabbing yourself  a bargain with this one. 
The packaging is amazing of the box itself, you really don't expect any less from Soap & Glory! The box is designed by Hattie Stewart and it has a lovely leather handle to carry it with and I will definitely be using it as a storage box afterwards!
I love the little pink draw string cloth bag all the products come inside, another handy little bag to store more beauty products in...
The best is yet to come..
 The amazing set contains a whopping ten full size products including:
Hand dream super cream 100ml £7
The righteous butter body butter 300ml £10
Thick & fast super volume mascara 10ml £10
I've linked all the above items from the box and out of curiosity I added up all of the products which comes to a staggering £75.50 making this discounted box more than worth the money, it's almost too good to be true, its like there's 'no such thing as a free lunch', but on this occasion there really is an exception to the rule!
As I said before I absolutely adore Soap & Glory but there are a fair few products in the box that I've not tried before so I'm super excited to test them out, I'm sure you'll be seeing some of these pop up in favourite posts over the next few months. I would already recommend the righteous butter to anyone because it smells sooo good, its super nourishing too and stays put on your skin all day. The breakfast scrub is also amazing, I've not tried the sugar crush scrub out so I will definitely have to compare these two at some point. The 500ml size bottles last forever so it's safe to say this little lot will last me until when next years box comes out eek!
 This set is unfortunately sold out online but if you didn't find one under you tree at Christmas head to your local Boots now as my store in Plymouth had loads left but they are sure to sell out fast at the ridiculous price of £30! You would be mad not to miss out of this little stash if you are a soap & Glory fan too!

Did you get this set for Christmas or pick it up for yourself? Would you like this set? Do you like Soap & Glory products as much as me? Whats your favourite Soap & Glory product?
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Sunday, December 28, 2014

What I got for Christmas!

Weeks were spent in anticipation for Christmas day which as always the big day flashed before our eyes! I had the best Christmas and was lucky enough to get Boxing day off work too at the last minute which I was eternally grateful for as I landed myself a horrible cold which was probably overdue seeing as I hadn't had one in 2 years!! Anyway, I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas too? I feel incredibly lucky for the lovely presents I received from my family and James, and like I did last year I thought I would share with you what I got! I love having a good nosey at what other bloggers got for Christmas too so please link me up below if you've also shared your presents! I'll let the presents do the talking in this post, enjoy!
 Santa came...
 Paddington Bear and Paddington bear pjs from Primark - I am obsessed! 
 Lush probably makes me the happiest girl in the world, delicious smelling rose jam shower gel, candy mountain bubble bar and a gift voucher to buy some more beautifully smelling bath bombs!
 Boots extracts body butters and A FROSTED FLAKES LIP BALM!! So the blog Christmas wishlists were successful after all hehe!
Lee Stafford nourishing shampoo and deep nourishing hair treatment. Lush charity post body lotion and macadamia dry styling hair oil - this is such great stuff, I swore by it when I was working in the states for hydrating my sun damaged hair! Beauty products make me way too happy..
 Hair towel wraps and a frog shower cap!
 H&M boots! I pretty much searched 30 H&M stores in the UK for these, finally found these in London, they are soooo gorgeous and well worth the wait!!
EEEK! Best present that I could have asked for from James, a virgin experience which includes a view from the shard and a Thames sightseeing cruise. Sooo excited to get to do this together in the New Year!
 Elf DVD and vue cinema voucher!
 Hot water bottle and socks - so cosy!
 Mini purse from accessorize and OPI the Muppets polishes!
 Carte Blanche snow globe - so pretty!
This is legit the cosiest, fluffiest and warmest dressing gown that I have ever owned, it's like being hugged by a massive marshmallow, it's heavenly!
Bamboo tights - they last for soo long! Happy Jackson lunch boxes, yey! I finally have the full set and they are sooo cute, great incentive to eat healthier snacks in the new year.
The most boring present award goes to...haha only joking although my mum said this before I opened it, but it's an essential as I work so early in the mornings that I can get a much faster getaway with this baby!
So that's another Christmas been and gone, another one that I am truly thankful for and grateful for spending a lovely time with my family! Now roll on New Years, Christmas day and boxing day might be over but let the indulging of festive foods continue to the New year hehe! Hope you are all having a lovely, relaxing weekend!

Please link me up below if you've done a similar post, I love a good nosey :) What did you get for Christmas? What do you think of my presents? Did you find any of these under your tree?
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December Degustabox Review & discount code!

In case you didn't know its only two more sleeps to go until the big day!! To get you in the festive spirit I'm sharing with you the December Degustabox* filled with lots of yummy festive food. I've reviewed a good few boxes of these now but if you're not familiar with them, the Degustabox is a monthly food subscription box priced at £12.99 which always includes 9 to 14 surprise good products, a lot of which are new to the market. This months was a good'un!
I loved the festive theme of this box..
 Popchips £1.79
I have seen so many people rave about how nice pop chips are and I can definitely vouch for it that these do taste amazing! These are baked as opposed to fried which makes them a lot healthier than standard crisps. There is less than 100 calories in each serving too, the barbecue flavour is fairly strong without leaving a taste in your mouth, definitely going to try out the other flavours in the new year!
 Pukka herbs £2.39
I have been wanting to try out green tea forever now as I know they are so good for you and can help aid a detox. They contain a blend of Sicillian lemons and the freshness of dandelion roots, my new years resolution is definitely to drink healthy teas so these will come in very handy!
 Eisburg alcohol free wine £3.49
Never have I ever come across alcohol free wine! This was a perfect addition to the box for me seeing as I can't drink. I never liked the taste of wine anyway but will enjoy testing this out over Christmas, not too sure what it will taste like though.. It's a perfect alternative for anyone else who cant drink or is thinking of giving up alcohol in the new year.
 Gloworm £1.50 each
These cute cans can be used alone but are designed specifically for mixers each for a specific spirit drink. They are sugar free but I could definitely taste the sweeteners that were put into these. I tried it by itself but can definitely see that they would be better with an alcoholic beverage as it states.
 Bahlsen biscuits £3.58
Bahlsen has become my new favourite biscuit brand since I discovered it in the Degustabox. These biscuits are well known anyway in my household as they are soo good, I've never tried the caramel ones before but can imagine they are equally as delicious. Plenty of these will be eaten throughout the Christmas period!
 Kent's Kitchen £2.50
This kit was also feautred in the Degustabox previously. The set contains 3 pots which you simply add to whatever food you're cooking to help create an authentic and good quality meal. It's not really anything I would use with food myself as I have to eat so simply but it's a great idea for people on the go who don't have much time to cook.
 Frylight Infuse Garlic £2.00
I swear by the fry light in the original flavour as it's soo easy to use when cooking with food and no issues about pouring in too much oil to your cooking. I didn't even know they did a different flavour, I would definitely be testing this out with omelettes and other meals in the future, it also suggests trying it out whilst making garlic bread which I think would taste great. The spray really is soo easy to use and they last for ages,
 The Chia Co £1.70
Chia seeds are so well known for being a super food. This little sachet of oats and chia just needs water adding to it to deliver a a smooth and creamy texture like porridge but without the dairy products. These definitely offer a much healthier alternative for taking on holidays than the golden oats and porridge pots you see in the shops, as they are full of sugar. The sachet alone with the chia seeds offers omega 3, fibre, protein as well as being packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
 Bonne Maman Marmalade £2.30
Bonne Maman is such a well known brand but it is slightly on the expensive side as far as jams go so it was really nice to receive this in the box. I love the traditional packaging of the jar too. After watching Paddington bear at the cinema I wouldn't be surprised if marmalade sales went through the roof, I'm expecting this one to be delicious for the price!
It was another great box from Degustabox this month with lots of goodies to help us through the festive period and some healthier options which I will definitely be in need of in January! I don't know about everyone else but I cant wait to indulge in some yummy Christmas food now!

Degustabox have also kindly offered all of my readers a £3.00 discount, just enter the code: WTG3F when registering!

To find out more about Degustabox you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

This will be my last post before Christmas so I would just like to wish you all a very happy Christmas!! I hope you have a lovely day with your family and friends, eat lots of food and that Father Christmas brings you lots of presents, ho ho ho!

What did you think of this months box? Would you like to receive this box each month? Have you tried any of these products?

*Products marked with an asterix (*) have been sent to me for review. However, all opinions in this post are 100% my own
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas in Exeter with the Mercure Southgate Hotel

On the weekend I headed down to Exeter with my mum for a relaxing weekend before the festivities begin this week! I was kindly invited to stay at the Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel for the night. Exeter is only 45 minutes from where I live and I regularly visit for shopping visits but never actually think to stay for the night, so I've never really even seen Exeter by night. The whole stay, weekend and atmosphere was amazing and it was so lovely to have such a relaxing weekend before Christmas. A lot of relaxation, food and shopping occurred...
The hotel is very central to the centre of Exeter. It's a short walk past the cathedral and a stones throw to the Princess hay shopping mall which is an ideal location for anyone staying for leisure or business. We caught the train up from Plymouth and from the station itself it only took us about 20 minutes to walk in.
As you can see from my first picture the entrance and lobby is so grand and it was beautifully decorated for Christmas as you can see. We even received a text beforehand to let us know that our room was ready for check in and there were bowls of delicious Christmas chocolates around the hotel for check in, another lovely personal touch to our stay.
We stayed in a Privilege guest room which was nothing short of luxurious. The Privilege room includes a few little extras including a complimentary newspaper, free wifi which actually worked which was great, so many hotels I've stayed at claim to have it but it never works so that definitely did impress me! There was also a bathrobe and slippers and a selection of free refreshments and a coffee machine! We also had a stunning view overlooking the Cathedral, we really could not have asked for a better room to be in.
I am still yet to try breakfast room service anywhere, probably because I'm greedy and end up eating much more than if you ordered it to your room. But it's definitely on the bucket list and it is good to know that the option is there.
The bathroom was really spacious and I love the colour scheme with the tiles, you can definitely tell that the privilege rooms are built in a modern and contemporary style as the website states.
In the bathroom we were left with a generous selection of bath and beauty goodies, they literally did cover everything from toothpaste to shoe shine, I always end up forgetting something when I go somewhere for the night so the Mercure definitely have that covered! After checking in to our room we headed down to the leisure facilities. There aren't many hotels that offer this kind of facility, in Exeter anyway. There was a heated pool which I would say was about 20m in length, a jacuzzi, sauna and fitness suite. It was so relaxing after arriving to jump in the pool having worked all day, well all week for that fact and it really did feel like I was on a holiday and that I was much further from home than Exeter! 
As it was the weekend before Christmas it was really hard to find a restaurant where bookings were left. Because of this we decided to book into a place which wasn't a chain but turned out to be one of the nicest places we have eaten at, it's so refreshing to eat at an independent restaurant for once and I always feel they make much more of an effort. It was called On The Waterfront which is a pretty self explanatory name and it is spotted on one side of the canal which was again only about a 5 minute walk from the hotel. From the outside the restaurant just looked like an ordinary pub but inside it was like a cave with pretty lights lining the walls, it was so relaxing. My dessert was literally amazing as you can see above, I had chocolate junk yard, I could so eat this again right now! They are most well known for their pizzas which looked and smelt amazing, I would recommend this place to anyone.
In the morning we went down for an early breakfast in preparation for the busy day of shopping ahead, I managed to take some more pictures of their gorgeous Christmas decorations leading on to the breakfast room.
Hotel breakfasts are always the favourite part of my stay and this one in particular was definitely one of the best that I have had. There was an extensive selection of hot foods as well as the continental breakfast including cereals, fruits, cheeses, breads yoghurts and lots of delicious pastries, it would be rude not to! Again it was a relaxing experience, the breakfast room was beautifully decorated and the staff attended to our every need.
In the morning we had a stroll around the cathedral and of course checked out the Christmas Market. I've seen a few Christmas markets this year as well as visiting Winter Wonderland in London and can honestly say this was the nicest one that I've visited. It was really nicely laid out, there was plenty of room to walk around and the location of it next to the cathedral was so pretty. During the day we were also planning on visiting the underground tunnels in Exeter which is a really fun thing to do, I also did it about 10 years ago. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time as someone (*me*) still had Christmas shopping to do, the weather wasn't also that great during the day but if you ever find yourself in Exeter I would fully recommend a visit to the tunnels. Apart from that everything to do in Exeter really is free and you can still have a great time!
I love the old streets in Exeter.
The Christmas market was beautiful at night time, we passed it on our way to the hotel on the Friday and revisited on the Saturday to properly have a look around.
Forever drawn to the cupcakes at Christmas markets, mmm..
These are sooo adorable, I actually regret not picking one of these up to put outside our door at home.
On the Saturday afternoon after a busy morning battling the crowds we headed back down to the canal where we had been the previous night which was a much welcomed change and rest from the hectic crowds.
It was so peaceful and was just a perfect way to end a relaxing weekend with a long walk around the canal.
Along the canal there were lots of different little shops in what appeared to look like caves, selling lots of lovely vintage, shabby chic and reworked items. The best thing was that there was hardly anyone around so we could browse to our hearts content.
I loved this little Christmas tree made out of driftwood! Before heading home we popped into a HUGE tk maxx which literally had everything, apart from the dune shoes in my size!! But even that couldn't ruin my amazing weekend away in Exeter.
I really did have the nicest weekend in Exeter and I wish I could redo it all again! A big thank you to the Mercure Southgate Hotel for helping my mum and I to have such a relaxing stay, despite being in the centre of the city the hotel was so quiet at night time and we were not disturbed once, our stay really was nothing short of perfect. The location, facilities and staff definitely make this a hotel worth staying at and I will definitely be revisiting again in the New Year! Despite only being 45 minutes away from home it felt like I was on holiday and it is something that I will be doing more often in the New Year as I had such a good time, staying in a hotel not far from home really is refreshing!

Have you visited Exeter before? Would you stay in the Mercure Southgate Hotel? Would you like to visit Exeter?
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