28 October 2016

Gifts From Provence With L'Occitane

*This post has been sponsored - all thoughts and preferences are my own (as always!). 

Is it too early to start thinking, or even writing, about Christmas? I think not - the earlier presents are prepped, the more time you have to relax with a glass of eggnog, prosecco or mulled wine and enjoy the holiday season - avoiding a manic present rush. 
Presents are tricky to find for individuals who either respond with "I don't really want anything" and you have no idea what they actually may need; or those who genuinely have everything they need. So what do you buy them? 

I've always gone for high end skincare for the tricky women in my life - and it works for everyone: mums, friends, sisters, in-laws. L'Occitane is one of my favourites to go to because they have a range of sets within the "gifts for her" section on their website: from body care, to fragrances, and candles there is something for everyone. Plus you have the packaging which is beautifully presented in Provencal-style boxes and bags - admit it, we're all suckers for good packaging and wrapping, otherwise why would we spend £10 on wrapping a present from Paperchase?! 

L'Occitane was founded in Haute-Provence in 1976 with a tie to the local region and a natural vibe. The brand uses local products when creating their products which is lovely - I love items which support their local region and it gives this big brand more authenticity knowing they have used flowers and herbs from Provence. 

I love The Best of L'Occitane gift box which contains the best selling products from the brand including: Almond Shower Oil; Lavender Foaming Bath; Shea Butter Foot Cream; among many others, beautifully wrapped up in their signature gift box. What's even better is that L'Occitane will donate £10 to Blind Children UK from every gift box sold - not only are you treating your loved ones, but you are also supporting a great cause!
The Relaxing Lavender Collection is also a favourite, because I love lavender and within presents it's always a little luxurious as well as classic! And when the lavender comes from Haute-Provence, well you know you're on to a winner! 
Another special mention is the L'Occitane Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar - although sold out online, do check in store because this is definitely a gift that anyone would want (including yourself!). Worth £80, the RRP is £42 and you get so much goodness from this calendar! Everything you can get into 25 days of treats: soap, shower gel, lotion, oil, shampoo, fragrance. Do I have to carry on? You've got to find it! I know what I'll be hunting for in stores!

There are also cute stocking fillers like hand cream duos, cult products, and themed skincare duo sets which are great for gifts like Secret Santa in the office - and won't break the bank.

Buying gifts for those who "don't want anything" can be tricksy - but you can't go wrong with a luxury skincare set. L'Occitane have enough gifts for her to save you hours of walking around shops in hopes of finding something that catches your eye - what set will you go for this year? 

23 October 2016

Welcome To My Humble Abode

Dalry Rose blog, vintage home decor, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, vintage home decor, what makes a house a home

As exciting as travels are, as important as work trips will always be, as cosy as Winter countryside walks - my home will always be my number one destination and my place of safety, comfort and joy. I've always been a homebird - even through we travelled a lot for my mums job when I was a child, the moment I got my own home I knew it meant everything to me. Especially now in the Autumn and Winter months when we all want to feel safe and warm, the home (never a house, always a home) has become my most wanted destination.

I wanted to share a personal post with you guys to let you into my humble space on this planet and share some of my favourite things that make a house a home.

1. Decoration. Decoration within our house is not fancy, neither is it expensive. I prefer rummaging in vintage and antique stores for a bargain, or hitting up the H&M Home sale (last year I may have gone slightly overboard with candles and other teeny decor items - which I ended up spending £200 on. Massive WHOOOPS!). Vintage vases with character, big vases to store fresh flowers in, and furniture with a little bit of history and personality. Add in some gorgeous mood lights for cosy evenings in - I can't stand harsh main lights when I get home from a busy day at work. I like to build a cosy and relaxed atmosphere, and lamps and small lights are the best. I love my star shaped light* from I Just Love It which keeps moving around the living room dependant on my mood. It projects just enough light to see around you, yet be super cosy. Perfect item for the living room or the kitchen.

Dalry Rose blog, vintage home decor, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, vintage home decor, what makes a house a home

2. Candles. For me, candles make all the difference. I always make sure we have a drawer stocked up on scented candles  - my favourite places to buy from are: Homesense; H&M Home; Primark and Wilkinsons for cheap, long lasting and deliciously scented candles. I read The Little Book of Hygge recently and genuinely feel the time of my childhood spent living near Copenhagen has had an impact because I have been living a very hygge lifestyle for a very long time! And you'll see that candles are pretty much the number one item on the Danes list of things that help one achieve hygge.
When I can grab a candle that looks and smells great, I know I've got to get it. Like this vanilla and sandalwood candle* from I Just Love It, which quotes 'This House Runs On Love, Laughter And Prosecco.' which I think is hilarious and slightly true!

Dalry Rose blog, home decor, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, vintage home decor, what makes a house a home

3. Flowers. When Liam and I first started dating, he promised me that as long as he was around I will always have fresh flowers. And I have to say that 90% of the time, that rule still stands strong even three and a half years later! I love fresh flowers - and if I could, I would fill the whole house with them. I usually have fresh flowers in the kitchen as it's the busiest part of our house; also the living room to brighten it up; and in the bedroom I have a dry bouquet of lavender which sits on the chest of drawers next to the bed. Flowers really make me smile, and help create beautiful flatlays for Instagram and my blog.

Dalry Rose blog, home made bread, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, organic eggs, smoked garlic, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, fresh bread and prosciutto, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, home cooking, what makes a house a home

4. Food. Ok, ok - you knew food was going to come in to the mix at some stage right? The smell of homecooking is what really makes a 'home' for me. I am so proud to say that most people who have entered our home have left and said that they feel really cosy and really welcome here - and I truly believe that's partly because there is always something in the oven or on the stove. I love cooking, the ritual is like a medicine for stress and periods of feeling down - even better when friends and family come over so I can cook and socialise at the same time! Comfort food is my favourite to make, but I also love experimenting with new recipes and challenging myself. You can find a stack of some of my favourite recipes to cook here and give them a go! 

Dalry Rose blog, vintage home decor, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, Hampshire pheasants, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, what makes a house a home

5. Kitchen. It's not all about the food in our kitchen - it's also our favourite place to socialise. When friends come over, there will always be snacks, some drinks and a warm atmosphere. Our kitchen is also where me and Liam spend time catching up after busy days at work or when he's been away on a work trip. The kitchen is used for cooking, working, blogging, socialising, brainstorming, drinking, dancing, and taking a long sigh of relief on a Friday night with a glass of wine in hand. Living in the countryside, we have to take advantage of local produce from the woods and fields around us, and even the sea which isn't far away at all! In the Summer, we plan food festivals and where we'd like to go; in the Winter we get together to experiment with eggnog recipes and catch up over a yummy roast dinner. 

Dalry Rose blog, home decor, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, home decor, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, home decor, what makes a house a home
Dalry Rose blog, home decor, what makes a house a home

6. Sundays. Sundays are sacred - these days are made to spend with family, and on your own wellbeing. Lives are so busy, jobs have long hours, and stress has almost become normal. But no one and nothing is allowed to touch our Sundays. As a freelancer, I don't take calls or emails on Sundays as a rule; if I blog, I blog because I want to not because I have to. I think traditions and rituals are important to keep as families, and when you start your own family you can introduce new traditions. Some of our traditions are:
- We always have Sundays as family days with a roast dinner. I like to cook the dinner whilst everyone chats and catches up! But occasionally my mum does the roast which tastes amazing and so homey!
- Sundays are also the days that Harvey is allowed to come to bed in the morning to snuggle, sleep and most of the time play
- Friday evening is for catching up with each other and/or friends with a glass (or three) of wine to wind down after the week
- On Boxing Day, we always have leftover turkey curry cooked by Liam - it's become his speciality!

Dalry Rose blog, home decor, what makes a house a home

 I hope you enjoyed this post, and got to know me a little more! Liam and I were talking about winning the lottery last night and he wouldn't believe me when I said if I won the lottery I'd buy a nice cottage in the sticks, shop in organic produce isles, and buy my mum a house - but I would keep my car (unless it broke which it sounds like it may do soon) and save the rest of the money for when I or someone else in my family needs it. The older I get, the more I realise it's not about flashy expensive things - it's really about what makes you happy. And a cosy house that is scented by warm candles and stuffed with fleece and wool blankets is my idea of heaven.

What makes a house a home to you? Share your tips below in the comments!



16 October 2016

United in Pink by Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell United in Pink, beauty bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, Dalry Rose Blog

This post was written in collaboration with Paul Mitchell - products in the post were kindly provided c/o of Salon Success.

Paul Mitchell has teamed up with Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organisation focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, to produce a set of limited edition hair care items. The project is called United in Pink and their aim is to educate, support and empower young women to live proactively at a young age.

"1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime—it’s the leading cancer diagnosis among women. 1 in 75 women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime, and 2/3 of those diagnosed will die from their disease." Bright Pink, link to stat here.

These facts are pretty scary. But associations like Bright Pink want to educate young women on the importance of prevention and early detection of signs of cancer. When it's caught early, the 5 year survival rate for breast and ovarian cancer can be greater than 92%. Want another interesting stat? 80% of breast cancers in young women are self discovered, and are only later confirmed by a medical professional. So let's get checking ladies! 

Paul Mitchell United in Pink, beauty bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, Dalry Rose Blog, tips on how to spot cancer

Here are a few things you can do to help prevent and detect any signs of cancer early: 

1. Ask your family about their medical history. Breast and ovarian cancer can be linked with families, and are associated with other cancers. Finding out from both of your parents if anyone has been diagnosed with cancer will help you when speaking to your doctor.

2. Assess your risk. Bright Pink created a tool which helps you assess your personal risk level for breast and ovarian cancers. This quick and easy self assessment tool asks you a number of questions following which it gives you a risk percentage, what your answers mean, and what you can do to change your life for the better. I took the test and came back with a 12% chance of developing breast cancer, and 1.3% chance of developing ovarian cancer. The risk on breast cancer is clear - some of my bad lifestyle habits and a lack of exercise; things that make it better is that I don't have history of cancer in my family. I'm now motivated to get to the gym, start a healthier lifestyle and reduce that risk! If you want to take the test, you can find it here.

3. If you haven't already, go and get your smear test done - ASAP. I know some women have reservations about it but trust me, 1 minute of slight discomfort can save your life. Do it, don't hesitate - it's way too important. 

4. Feel yourself up. Checking for anything out of the ordinary - shape, size, colour, rash, itching or a lump (which feels a little like a frozen pea). If you notice something that's not quite right - make an appointment with your GP who will be able to examine you further. Of course, breasts change during certain times of the month so be mindful of your body when checking yourself out! 

Following a set of simple steps that really don't take any time or effort when you think of your life as a bigger picture - can save your life

Paul Mitchell United in Pink, beauty bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, Dalry Rose Blog, tips on how to spot cancer
Paul Mitchell United in Pink, beauty bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, Dalry Rose Blog, tips on how to spot cancer

Some of my favourite Paul Mitchells United in Pink items include the sculpting brush* which is adorned with the Bright Pink ribbon - this brush works wonders on a blow dry; the Super Skinny Serum* which helps keep hair smooth especially at the ends (lifesaver for anyone like me who has split ends two days after a trip to the hairdressers!); and the Limited Edition Blow Out Cancer Gift Set* which contains the cult Extra Body Daily Shampoo, Extra Body Daily Rinse, Thicken Up, and the Sculpting Brush - all in a handy wash bag!



4 October 2016

I Love... Lip Crayons

I Love Lip Crayons, beauty bloggers UK, cheap lip crayons

Fruity, fun, moisturising and best of all - a bargain. This is how I would describe the I Love… Lip Crayons range. I struggle to have lipstick on throughout the day as I just don’t have the patience to carry lipstick around and then really concentrate when putting it on in a bathroom mirror somewhere. Which is why I love lip crayons - genuinely, I love them. My obsession started when I tried a Revlon lip crayon - and I absolutely adore the Clinique lip crayons! But at their prices, unfortunately my obsession is just not sustainable. Which is why I got super excited when I found out I Love… produce lip crayons in an array of colours AND they cost £2.99 at Superdrug!!

I Love Lip Crayons, beauty bloggers UK, cheap lip crayons
I Love Lip Crayons, beauty bloggers UK, cheap lip crayons
From left: Strawberry, Grape, Dark Cherry

The lip crayons come in a range of colours and flavours:
- Grape
- Raspberry
- Peach
- Strawberry
- Dark Cherry
- Vanilla Bean

All of the lip colours are packed with appropriate flavours and Shea butter to keep lips soft and moisturised. These crayons are easy to use, have got excellent pigmentation and delicious flavour - although please don’t eat them!! I Love… is often seen as a younger brand, but these lip crayons are perfect for anyone who is looking for some colour on their lips, easy application and a little bit of staying power!

You can grab these bargain lip crayons at Superdrug for only £2.99!
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