Monday 27 June 2016

My Summer Shoe Picks from Daniel Footwear

Who uses any excuse there is to buy new shoes?! *Raises hand* Summer is probably the season I enjoy the most for shoe-switching as you can get away with wearing so many different kinds, whether it be sandals, trainers (you all know I love my trainers), flip flops or heels! I don't think you could get away with casually rocking up to a wedding in winter in a pair of lovely sandals, do you?

Daniel Footwear have a whole range of footwear for the summer with some amazing offers at the moment too! Including up to nearly 50% off brands such as Michael Kors, UGG and Ralph Lauren plus lots more! Take a look at 5 of my Top Picks for Summer shoes from the Daniel Footwear range:

1) Melissa Patent Sling Back Sandals £29.99
2) DKNY Trainers £89.99
3) Michael Kors Shoes / Sandals in Jelly Coral £50.00
4) Michael Kors Shoes / Rope Wedge Sandals £110.00
5) Melissa Shoes in Jelly Cream £42.00

If you could take your pick out of the collections on Daniel Footwear, what would you go for?! I love the luxury and affordability of it all and I'd happily take all of these on holiday with me in July - you can dress up the trainers and the sandals or even just wear them on day trips. The Jelly Shoes are perfect for the pool and beach and then the High Sandals are gorgeous for dinner and evening strolls!

You don't need much more than this and if you're looking for some shoes for your kiddies, they have a lovely range too, I love these Disney (Minnie Mouse style) shoes from Melissa - a steal too at just £30!!
(Sponsored post)

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Life Lately

It's been a while since I had a little ramble so I thought I'd fill you all in on what's been going on with me and my little family lately...
So first off, you may have seen over on my social media that back in May I submitted my LAST assignment for my Childhood Degree! It's been a tough few years but I'm so glad that I finished and finally did it! I was working towards a degree in Childhood and Youth Studies which kinda slots in with my full time job in a college, but it was hard. I was stressed, doing it part time alongside a full time job AND having a baby/toddler on top of all of that was really, really tough but I stuck it out and managed to get it done. I just need to wait until July 15th now to receive my results and find out whether I'll be finishing with a 2:1 or 2:2 degree!
Alongside that, my 'little makeup business' is doing amazingly and is growing every month! I joined Younique back in March and I love it! The makeup, the company, the people - It's such a welcoming opportunity and a chance for me to work hard in something I'm passionate about but have fun at the same time. It's also a way of me saving some money without actually feeling like I'm going without anything during the month! Let me know if you'd like to know more about becoming a Younique rep too!
I have 2 weeks left at work until I finish for summer so as you can imagine, it's all hands on deck at the moment to get everything done but once that's over with, we're heading to Gran Canaria! We went a few years back and decided that we wanted to go back as a family so we are! We're staying the Gloria Palace Royal which overlooks the beautiful Amadores Beach in Puerto Rico - Bring on that sunshine!! However, I'm not sure how peaceful it's going to be with a very active 3 year old...
Talking of which, Millie is a proper little girl now. She loves playing outside with the cats and in her Wendy House, she has her own little bedroom that she constantly messes up, she is 100mph from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to bed, but she makes us laugh so much and I love her to bits. She's at the age now though that she could really do with a brother or sister to play with and keep her entertained... Especially when Mummy can't fit in the Wendy house to play picnics!!
And lastly, we're finally on track to get a deposit together for our first home. We've struggled over the last year or two due to work and moving etc but hopefully, by the time Christmas 2017 comes, we should have a good enough deposit to pay for our very first home together! So from now on, it's save, save, save!! Expect lots of budgeting posts and ways to save money... I know we all like to save money wherever we can so send me your top tips or posts if you have done something similar!

Thursday 16 June 2016

Wedding Guest Fashion: Clutch Bags

With approximately 250,000 marriages each year, it’s pretty fair to say that we have all attended at least 1 wedding in our lifetimes, with the majority of us having a few to attend this summer! With that in mind, I’m sure the hunt for the perfect dress and accessories is on!!
House of Fraser have an amazing selection of dresses, accessories including fascinators and hair accessories and also clutch bags. I always struggle to fit whatever I need into a bag that isn’t a massive, horrible looking thing, so searching for the right clutch that is big enough for phone, keys, lipstick, mirror, tissues, confetti and anything else you need to take with you for the day, can prove pretty difficult! With prices starting from £12.00, take a look at some of my top picks of Clutch Bags and see if any will match that dress you bought for that summer wedding…

1)        Ted Baker Floral £89.00 – A lovely strapped, floral bag, with plenty of space for everything you need!
2)    Whistles Croc Print £75.00 – A gorgeous white bag, medium sized to fit everything in!
3)     Oasis Gold Sequin Bag £12.00 – Perfect to dress up a little black dress without feeling too glam.
4)      Michael Kors Purple Clutch £66.50 – A smaller bag if you don’t have much to carry!
5)      Lulu Guiness Pastel Blue £122.50 – A bit of a splurge but this bag will see you through many, many weddings!
6)     Jane Norman Flower Clutch £25.00 – A beautiful addition to a plain, pastel dress. 
7)      Vivienne Westwood Africa Print £49.00 – A bold bag for a bold dress!
Do you have any weddings coming up this summer? Which bag would you go for if you had the choice of any of these!? I think I'd have to go for the Vivienne Westwood one, just because it's a little different but you can ensure everyone will be wanting to know where it's from and you can fit everything you need in it too!
(Sponsored post)

Sunday 12 June 2016

Bondi Sands Tans

Tanning season is officially in full swing! Everyone has their pins out and is dying to add some much needed bronze to their complexion but nobody likes a streaky freak and of course, sunbeds arent all that great for the longer term so what do you do?! I would say that Fake tan is the option for most people who want a gorgeous glow to their skin with spray tans coming close second and then sun beds coming third and with this in mind, what is the thing people look for most? 

Well, I had a little help in answering this from my friends on Facebook and Twitter and it showed that 
a lot of people look for a tan that doesn’t rub off onto clothes or bedding, but most people want a tan that doesn’t leave streaks, so presumably, one they can blend easily with a mitt or can see when applying on the skin. The rest wanted a tan that is buildable and won’t look cloggy or dry on the skin
and a small number of people want a tan that is available in a variety of shades, not just ‘dark’ (based on 25 people who were asked). 

So, where do we go from here?! Bondi Sands is an Australian brand that wish to bring that gorgeous sun kissed skin to everyone, everywhere, using salon quality formulas that last and hydrate your skin making it more natural and sustainable. With a variety of self tanning products and accessories including back applicators (currently sold out), foams, mists, lotions and instant tans, they are sure to have something you’re looking for! Whether it’s a quick fix for a night out or a stay and play tanned look - I can put money on the fact you’ll love whatever you try. 

Now I’m no expert when it comes to fake tan, I do have a naturally olive skin tone so I catch the sun quite quickly but if I want to prolong it, enhance it or bump it up a notch, I’ll stick some fake tan on and hope for the best! Bondi Sands have two amazing products that are perfect for me and all my tanning needs - the Liquid Gold Self Tanning Dry Oil ad the Gradual Tanning Milk

Let’s talk about the Gradual Tanning Milk first... (£11.99 for 375ml
It is what it says, apart from you can’t drink it like you would regular milk of course. It’s an everyday use, buildable tanning lotion which you can use daily or just to maintain a current tan you have. It’s beautifully smooth when you apply it to your skin and the colour lasts and builds nicely over a few days. I’ve used mine for about a week applying every other day and noticed a difference in build up within about 3 uses - it doesn’t leave stains, streaks or marks on your clothes or bedding as the milk sinks straight into your skin leaving it super hydrated and silky soft to the touch. It’s suitable for all areas of the body but I personally wouldn’t recommend using it on the face as makeup could potentially interrupt with how long the build-up lasts. 

I’ve used other variations of gradual tanners and I have to say, the smell of this alone beats the rest but the application, overall coverage and after-effects of the Bondi Sands Milk are what I love about it most. I get really dry knees and ankles so using this is like a 2 in 1 for me - no needs to moisturise then tan... it does it all in one! Plus, no need to use a mitt! Simply rub it in like you would a moisturiser then rinse your hands afterwards! Out of 10, this is a solid 9.5!

Next, is the Liquid Gold Tanning Oil... (£14.99 150ml)
Yes, you read right, oil. Its definitely the first of its kind that I’ve seen and so I was intrigued to see how it worked and more importantly, whether it was as easy to use as the trusty old mousses that I’m used to! So, the tan is in a spray bottle, spritzes a little like an SPF tanning oil that you’d take on holiday, and comes out in a medium brown colour so you can follow where you have sprayed. It’s a light formula but gives enough coverage for one leg in about 6-8 sprays (obviously depending on how long your legs are etc etc). I would recommend using a mitt to apply the tan as it blends the best and you don’t have to worry about staining your hands, but it blends super even and doesn’t leave that nasty residue some lotions or mousses leave once you’ve rubbed it in. Development time is around 8 hours and it takes around 20 minutes to dry completely but you’ll start to see a difference within about 3 hours so remain patient! 

You can then shower and rinse off the excess tan which will leave you with a gorgeous, bronze look that can be added to or will last about 5 washes (showers, not baths). In the pictures below, you’ll see the immediate ‘after’ picture looking a little orange - that is the sunlight! I took the picture when it was glorious outside but you can still see how good it is and how strong the colour is too! The picture after is where I didn’t tan my toes to show you the colour difference once I’d showered, revealing the end result which is a more natural, gold looking tan. 

For the whole process and end result, I’ve got to give the Dry Oil an 8/10. 

I’m absolutely loving my tan at the moment, I’m keeping it up by applying my Milk daily to my upper body and tanning my legs using the Oil whenever I’m brave enough to get my pins out! You can purchase any of Bondi Sands Tanning products either online here or in Boots (don’t forget you can claim your Boots points if you buy online too!)

I’d love to know if you’ve ever tried any of the Bondi Sands products! I already know a few friends who have asked me about this and been and purchased so I’d love to know if you do too! Be sure to let me know if you review it too - I love hearing other people’s opinions on products I love! 

Thursday 9 June 2016

Butterfly Twist Shoes

Who loves a new pair of shoes?! *raises hand* I love trainers but I also love a comfy pair of flats as much as most girls do! Butterfly Twists are a Womens shoe brand who specialise in featherweight, flexible sole, flat shoes - all using the names of Women to give character to each and every pair of dolly shoes, pump and plimsoll! 

With a signature, flexible, rubber sole to give complete comfort to the shoe, these amazingly colourful designs will ensure that there is a style out there for every single one of you! 

Butterfly Twists Zebra Shoes

You can see that the flexible sole mean that the shoes mould to your feet meaning no rubbing, no crippled toes and walking for hours without feeling like your feet are going to detach from your legs! This pair is the Amber Loafer - a gorgeous Colbalt Blue colour in a gorgeously silky leather fabric and a Suede effect Zebra Print. I love the gold detailing they have on most of their shoes too! It really makes the brand stand out without having scribbles all over the shoes themselves. 

It isn’t just basic flats that Butterfly Twists do, you can find Wellies, Sandals and Classy evening shoes too so if you’re looking for a new pair of shoes, head on over and see if they have a pair with your name written on... Quite literally! 

Butterfly Twists Loafer

Butterfly Twists Amber Loafer

Along with these beautiful Amber Loafers, A few of my other favourites have got to be the Floral Jade pump, the Jasmine Loafer and the Rose Gold Zoey Sandal.

I’d love to know what sort of shoe you go for - are you a trainer lover? Do you prefer heels? Or are you a casual flip flop lover than can’t be tamed by a shoe with a full front?! Let me know and be sure to check out Butterfly Twists online and use the discount code FB15 for 15% off your purchase.
(*Sponsored post)

Sunday 5 June 2016

Food: Las Iguanas Review

A few weeks back, we took a little night away and stayed in the amazing Marriott Hotel in Leicester, while we were there, we headed out for food to celebrate 25 years of Las Iguanas and to try their brand new additions to the menu! Starting with 2 for 1 Cocktails we couldn’t wait to order our food...

Las Iguanas is a Latin style Bar and Restaurant with scrumptiously combined flavours and styled foods sourced from South America, Spain, Portugal and Africa and fabulous Cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, it’s the perfect place for a date or catch up with friends! The Leicester Restaurant is ideally located amongst several other bars so it’s a great place to start off a night of fun or to end a days shopping in the city centre. You can walk in but it’s recommended that you book on busier nights Thursday-Sunday. 

Las Iguanas

 The New Menu is full of amazing dishes including starters, tapas dishes, bigger main meals and salads - not to mention the delicious range of deserts! We wanted to try and taste as much as we could so ordered a bit of everything: 

*New Dish* Pao De Queijo - Cheesy, Garlic style Dough balls and Chipotle Butter which was incredible (Adam swore it was the best thing he’d ever tasted!!) 
Holy Guacamole - basically Guacamole in it’s original form! It came as a plate of mashed avocado, tomatoes, onions, coriander and lemon ready for you to mix and dip the tortillas in!
*New Dish* Dadinhos - cubes of Cheese coated in crispy breadcrumbs and a spicy chilli jam. These were yummy however a little underwhelming, as I imagined they’d be bigger!
Albondigas - Lamb Meatballs with Mint and Parmesan sat in a Tomato and Chilli sauce. These were incredible! The meat was so tender and tasty and the mint really came through in the sauce! A little too meaty for a starter though so I would have these if you were having Tapas.

Millie’s food was from the Kids Menu which had so much choice on! She went for the Lamb Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce which were served with a small side of salad and boiled rice! She loved it, ate quite a lot but all she wanted was her ice cream for desert! 

Chipotle Chicken Burrito - everything you know a Burrito to be including a garlicky chipotle sauce. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did the Beef one, I felt like it was a mix between a tortilla and burrito! The chicken was tasty though and the portions were huge!! 
Shredded Beef Burrito - everything you want a Burrito to be! This was the best thing I ate all night! I couldn’t finish mine though so Adam finished it off. It was full of flavour and packed with meat!
Patatas Bravas in Bits - Crispy Potatoes with Chipotle and Alioli, these really disappointed. They did taste ok but there was far too much spice on the potatoes which overwhelmed us both. Unfortunately, we barely ate any of these but did mention it to the staff for future reference. 

Las Iguanas Pao De Queijo

las Iguanas holy guacamole

Las Iguanas Burrito

We simply couldn’t fit desert in however I did have my eyes on the Churros - if I ate anything else I probably would have been sick! The food was really good with a few minor personal taste issues and the restaurant is really lively with lots of room whilst eating and plenty of space at the bar too! They were welcoming when we arrived with Millie, buggy and all, and found a table that was out of the way so that we didn’t disturb or block anyone else in! 

The only fault we both made a comment on once we left was that we were there for over two hours. I do appreciate it was a busy Friday night (our table was at 7pm) but we have a toddler, a toddler who gets bored very easily and trying to keep her entertained whilst we also tried to eat/feed her the rest of her dinner was hard. They did provide crayons and paper but there is only so much you can do until both you and they get bored! We didn’t leave the restaurant until 8:55pm and once we had finished eating we just wanted to go as we had got a little stressed out trying to keep her busy. I know that this isn’t a problem to some people but those who have children who want a ‘sit-down-eat-and-get-out’ meal, this may not be the place for you. 

I’d love to go back and have more of a Tapas style feast, without Millie too and sample some more of the Cocktails! A date night may be on the cards sometime soon... 
(*Sponsored review)