Mrs Valente

We did it! On the 12th of May, we tied the knot! It honestly was the most amazing day of my life, and I now can introduce you to my Husband (eeeek!), Dino. We have been together for just over five years, and as you may have read before we got engaged last July in Disneyland Paris. I wrote a few posts about the intricate process of wedding planning, but since we only gave ourselves nine months, I’m afraid I didn’t get around to sharing too much.

We had an outdoor Humanist ceremony at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh, which had the most picturesque backdrop of the Arthurs Seat which was covered in the yellow veil of broom. Which happens to be one of my most favourite sites of Scotland in the Spring time. We then danced the night away at the same venue celebrating with our nearest and dearest, who travelled from all over (and we mean all over, like Canada, the US, Japan, Italy and Germany!)

Dino and I were beyond lucky to be able to have the most stunning day of our lives becoming Mr and Mrs Valente.

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A Primark Jo Malone Dupe?

I’m going to fully admit it, I’ve never purchased a Jo Malone product. They are on the pricey side, but I know the quality of the product is well worth it. I lust after their colognes and candles, and even just last week when I was heading to Italy on holiday I had to sample nearly every product at Edinburgh Airport.

When I was browsing my local Primark I decided to head to the beauty section- as you get some decent beauty bargains there- and I kept smelling this gorgeous aroma. I eventually found a new stand which had a selection of reed diffusers, perfumes and home sprays. I was really impressed with the range of scents and how amazing they smelt.

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They have very similar scents to the Jo Malone products, such as Primark’s mandarin & basil, which smelt almost identical to Jo Malone’s lime, mandarin and basil cologne.

This was obviously a very popular product as the majority was sold out. But I managed to get my hands on the mandarin & basil room spray and the eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection which was perfect as I was able to try out each scent.

The eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection set came with 6 miniatures of each of their scents. This included; Vanilla Absolute, Amber Noir, Mandarin & Basil, Rose Out, Pomegranate & Black Tea, and Jasmine & Honey.

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I’m fully aware that the quality of these perfumes don’t match Jo Malone products, however I was very impressed with the actually scent of them. The only thing that I have noticed is the staying power. They are strong when put on, but the scent doesn’t stick around for long. This ended up making me apply more perfume as a top up throughout the day, but I didn’t mind seeing as I only paid £8 for the roller ball set.

Overall I’d probably buy the room sprays again and I’ll definitely be back to try out the reed diffusers. I’d say the perfume is good if you just want a light scent, but I can see myself treating myself to a Jo Malone cologne in the future.

 

 

Pink Parcel March 2017

I was thrilled with my first Pink Parcel back in February. If you haven’t read my review on it you can check it out here! So I decided to keep my subscription to the service, as what girl doesn’t deserve a little pick me up each month?

I received my March Pink Parcel around a week ago and was so excited to open it and see what goodies were inside. I was pleasantly surprised again with the selection of beauty bits, accessories and sweets.

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As with every box you receive a top up supply on your choice of either sanitary towels or tampons. I didn’t realise how handy this actually was until the last two months since I subscribed to Pink Parcel. I think everyone can relate to the panic of not having one handy or running out completely!

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The first thing that caught my eye was the cute pin from ‘Lapel Yeah’ . It says “Happy Everything”. I love the colour and think it will jazz up a jacket or bag! I’ve got a few Disney Pins on my gym bag so it will fit in perfectly.

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I love having a big selection of lipsticks so I was thrilled to see a full size of Rimmel’s new ‘The Only 1’ lipstick in this months parcel. I fell in love with the colour and thought it was the right timing with Spring just around the corner. The shade I received was ‘120 You’re All Mine’ which is a gorgeous pop of pink. I tested it out and found it very pigmented and moisturising.

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I feel like Pink Parcel know me too well- with last month sending me my favourite peppermint tea- as this month they included a little sachet of ‘Kneipp Bath Crystals Cold Season in Eucalyptus. This was perfect timing as I was on the brink of a nasty cold so this helped me feel so much better.

I’m not a coffee fan, however I wish I was as I love the concept of this next gift, as it is a coffee bag! Yes just like a tea bag but for coffee. It is by ‘London Coffee Bag’  and they specialise in gourmey coffee on the go.

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I also received some lovely toiletries this month; a little sample-size of Dove’s new ‘Advanced Hair Series’ range, the Pure Care Dry Oil Shampoo, and a lovely smelling ‘Boozi Bodycare’ Cheeky Woo Woo Body Wash sample.

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A little packet of the ‘Beauty Papier- Green Tea Blotthing Paper’ was included in the parcel as well. I love the bright leaf print on the packaging! I’ve never actually used blotting paper as I find my skin is dry and I don’t get too much excess oil throughout the day, but I may find these useful during the summer or if I’m on holiday.

Last but not least, I received a treat size ‘Maza Chocolate’ bar- just perfect!

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Mystery Blogger Award

I love blog award nominations! I think they’re such a fun way to connect with other bloggers and channel a little bit of your personality into your blog. I was kindly nominated for the ‘Mystery Blogger Award’ by Fun Fashion Freedom , thank you so much!

The “Mystery Blogger Award” was started by  Enigma, which is a good initiative for all those bloggers who are starting out.

I’ve nominated 5 lovely bloggers at the end of this post.

Rules: 

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

6. You have to nominate 10-20 people.

7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question.

9. Share a link to your best post(s).

3 Things About Myself: 

1. I’m addicted to peppermint tea!

2. I’m Scottish and Canadian- I was born in Scotland and my Mum is Canadian. I lived in Canada for several years when I was younger as well.

3. My favourite musicals have to be South Pacific or Mama Mia.

5 Questions from my nominee: 

  1. What are your future goals for your blog?

I’d love to keep writing about things that I enjoy. I hope to share more of my own recipes for baking, branch out into fitness as I’m on my own fitness journey, and write more reviews on a wider variety of beauty products.

  1. What is the funniest incident that has ever happened with you?

This was a tough one! Probably because any funny incidents that have happened to me I try to forget because they’re so embarrassing!

  1. Name your favourite movie.

Dirty Dancing, hands down!

  1. What is the first thing you would do if you were a guy/girl?

Pee standing up! How efficient would that be? Hahah!

  1. Name the colour which aptly describes you.

Probably my favourite colour, pink!

5 Questions for my nominees: 

  1. Are you a cat or a dog person?
  2. Top 3 Netflix/TV series?
  3. If you were stranded on a desert island, what one beauty product would you have?
  4. What is your favourite Disney film?
  5. Do you have any nicknames?

Best Posts: 

  1. My Malteser Cake Recipe (seriously so yummy!)
  2. Toronto Blog 
  3. NYX Extra Creamy Lipstick Review 

Nominees: 

  1. Rachel’s Wardrobe 
  2. The Fabulush
  3. Lushtivity 
  4. Clare Evans 
  5. Quite Simply Stella 

 

Thank you again Fun Fashion Freedom for my nomination!

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February’s Pink Parcel

Since I stopped subscribing to Birch Box a few months ago, I was on the hunt for my next subscription box. I read lots of reviews and posts about lots of different types of monthly boxes, but I just couldn’t make up my mind! I finally decided to try the Pink Parcel. I thought it would be a nice pick me up to make that time of the month a little bit better.

If you haven’t heard of Pink Parcel before, they are a period subscription box & monthly beauty box. They conveniently deliver your box a date that is closest to your period each month, and supply you with plenty of your chosen tampons or sanitary towels, as well as a little box of goodies.

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Signing up to Pink Parcel is super easy. I headed over to their website, created my account and filled in a few details. I picked out whether I wanted tampons or towels and chose my favourite brand (they actually have pretty much every brand out there!). I then chose one out of three of their delivery dates that were closest to my period. My first box this month was delivered about 4 days before I was due, but its good that the dates are flexible for if you aren’t always regular.

The nice thing about the boxes (like other monthly subscription boxes) are that you don’t know what you’re going to get each month. It’s a little surprise to look forward to!

So heres what I got inside my first Pink Parcel for February…

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Yuyo Yerba Peppermint Tea – It seems like Pink Parcel know me too well already! I’m a peppermint tea addict. It’s perfect for settling an upset tummy, and so refreshing to sip away on.

Cite Nail Polish 

Divine White Chocolate Bar–  Who doesn’t love a little (or a lot!) of chocolate?

Lavorio Fondant Lovelies

Pom Heart Hoop Necklace– This necklace is so gorgeous and delicate.

Merci Handy Toothpaste in Berry Cool

Soap’n’skin Himalayan Bath Salts– I adore anything bath related. These smell so fresh  and will be perfect to soak in.

Trifle Cosmetics Buttercream Hydrating Body Lotion 

Vitamasques Pomegranate Moisturing Korean Face Mask– I love sheet masks, they provide all the benefits of a relaxing face mask without the mess. I stocked up on Sephora’s masks when I was in Florida, so I can’t wait to try this one out and see how it fares.

As you can see there are lots of little treats to make Aunt Flow’s visit a bit nicer! My favourite from this month’s box has to be the Ciate Nail Polish, I love nude colours and this pale pink is perfect.

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I received a good supply of towels to keep me going. They popped a good mix of liners and towels for night time as well which was nice. I also got a little velvet bag to keep in my handbag for them which is very smart. I think the best bit about signing up to Pink Parcel is not having to worry about making sure you have pads at home and knowing that you won’t run out each month.

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I’m planning on keeping my subscription with Pink Parcel so I’ll provide reviews on each monthly box.

Thanks for reading!

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Joining the Anthony Nolan Register

Anthony Nolan is a charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer by matching the bone marrow (or stem cells) of their donors to patients who are in need of a transplant. As well as this, they also partake in essential research to make stem cell transplants as successful as possible.

For me, it didn’t even seem like a question whether or not I should become part of the register, and they make it so easy to become a donor as well.

If you are aged 16-30 you can become a donor. Simply answer a few questions and fill in your details online, and in a few days you will receive a saliva sampling kit, that once you complete you send back to them free of charge.

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If you can’t become a donor, you can always donate!

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Thanks for reading. X

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Praia da Rocha

 

Praia da Rocha, AKA ‘The beach of rocks’, is a popular, yet peaceful, holiday resort just south of the town of Portimão, on the Algarve. I travelled here for a mini break in October with my family, for some last minute sun before the Winter set in.

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We stayed at the Hotel da Rocha. A 4 star hotel overlooking the beach front. I couldn’t recommend this hotel more; all of the staff were very friendly & helpful, the food was spot on with a brilliant selection of local cuisine (which includes a lot of fresh fish!) and the rooms were modern, spacious and very comfortable! Facilities included a good sized pool, good for a refreshing dip in the mornings and a fully equipped gym which I tested out a couple of times.

Praia da Rocha has one of the largest beaches on the Portimão coastline. The golden sand is marked with large rocks and boulders wth hidden caves and that is why it is known as ‘the beach of rocks’. Even in October I managed to take a brisk  dip in the Atlantic Ocean! But, if you don’t want too sandy, then you can take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk which stretches along the majority of the beach.

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My family loves keeping active on holidays so we didn’t just spend our days sun seeking on the beach! Praia da Rocha and the surrounding areas are perfect for shorts strolls, hikes among the dusty paths and slightly longer walks to stretch your legs. The larger town of Portimão is just over 3km away and is full of local shops, cafes, and lovely architecture.

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We decided to check out the neighbouring fishing village of Alvor one morning, so we followed the costal path along the beach, which eventually took us up along the cliffs which provided breathtaking views! When we got to Alvor we wondered along the river front lined with bars and seafood restaurants. We then wondered up the narrow cobbled lanes which led us into the old town and onto the 16th century Igreja Matriz church (fun fact: I love seeing churches while on holiday, I just enjoy the atmosphere and design of them!) which sits proudly above the village. In the evenings we would usually take short strolls along the boardwalk, or down the street to the Fort of Santa Catarina, a medieval fort which is lit up at night and gives stunning views to the coastline.

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Praia da Rocha is a gorgeous resort for little breaks and longer holidays. I enjoyed every minute of my time here and would visit again to explore in a heart beat!

Thanks for reading!

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Boo Tea 14 Day ‘Teatox’ Review

I love a good cup of tea, and when I heard rave reviews about Boo Tea, I had to give it a go. I’ve been getting really into fitness lately, and I really felt like I needed to ‘detox’ to help clear out my system after a few over indulgent holidays!

I ordered the Day Time and Bed Time tea. You are supposed to have a cup of the day time tea in the morning, and a cup of the night time blend every second day in the evening. I received 14 Day Time tea bags, and 7 Night Time tea bags in the order. Enough for the 2 week cleanse. The tea is loose leaf and comes in good quality tea bags in a resealable pouch to keep them fresh.

Day Time Tea 

I loved the taste of this tea. It was very refreshing and actually enjoyable to drink. I think if you’re used to herbal teas then this will be no problem at all to sip on. I found it had a lemon taste to it, and was brilliant for making you feel awake and refreshed in the mornings.

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Bed Time Tea 

On the other hand, I honestly struggled to drink the night time blend after a few days. I couldn’t really pin point the flavour of this tea, but it definitely wasn’t as nice as the day time one- I got to the point I was gulping the cup down to finish it- so it was definitely not as enjoyable! I felt as though the Bed Time tea was the one that really ‘flushed’ your system out, as you felt the effects the next morning after drinking it. So be prepared to go to the bathroom a few times the next day… It’s called a cleanse for a reason!

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Experience 

During the experience I was trying not to weigh myself, and based the effectiveness on how I felt. After completing the 2 week course, I definitely felt as though my body had gone through a good detox, and I did feel a bit healthier! My stomach, which is usually bloated by the end of the day,  felt & looked slimmer.

So, if you want to try Boo Tea, don’t expect any miracles or quick fixes in regards to weight loss. It may aid your fitness journey, however you need to combine it with a healthy balanced diet and a regular exercise routine.

Have you tried BooTea? What did you think of it?

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Top 3 Tips for Keeping Organised

I feel like I’ve always been a pretty organised person. Yeah sure there have been times that I’ve been a little bit all over the place, but give me a little while, and I’ll be back on track. Having gotten through tough Uni exams and nearly a year into graduate working life, I think I’ve gotten into the swing of day to day life. So I thought I’d share with you my 3 top tips for keeping organised day to day!

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Keep a diary/ calendar to keep track of events and give yourself reminders…

I’ve always kept a diary, and I recently bought this gorgeous new one while I was in Florida. It’s by the brand Sugar Paper, and was about $10 from Target. I’ll also use it to keep a note of my work hours, deadlines and little reminders.

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I love this wall calendar from Primark which helps to keep myself right on what I’m doing each day. I’ve got it hanging in my bedroom just now as I still live at home.

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Pack your bag the night before and plan your outfit…

I admit I don’t do this every day as I wear pyjamas (aka scrubs) to work everyday, but on my days off and if I have a day out planned the next day I love laying out my outfit for the next day the night before. That way I’m not running around like crazy the next morning deciding what to wear, and have more time to spend on the importance things like breakfast and catching up on Instagram! I usually have everything I need in my handbag, but sometimes I’ll go through it and pop in anything that I’ll specifically need for the next day.

And Finally, Lists…

Yes, I’m one of those sad people who just love lists. Wether it’s for shopping, or things to do, I have to make one to ensure I’m not going to forget anything! I love using the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone for this as I always have it on hand. I feel like if I have 101 things to do, it sets it out clearer for me and keeps me right.

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Toronto Blog

It’s been a few weeks since returning from the True North and I’m missing it so much! I thought I’d write up a little recap of what I got up to when I was exploring Toronto and the Niagara Region with my sisters!

 

Niagara Falls 

This was one of my many visits to Niagara Falls in my life. We had a wonder down by the falls and then went for a wonder up and around Clifton Hill. We stopped by Hershey World for a look around as well.

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My Sister was lucky enough to be working at this music festival doing photography so we got to tag along and help out. It was an amazing experience and we saw some brilliant bands like The Wombats (flash back to 2009!), Daughter, and The Cure.

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Food

Oh my how I missed the food! I may not have been the healthiest, but I was only there for a week, can you blame me? Timmies was first on my list for a food pit stop, and ice caps and the maple dip donut are my new favourites. We took a trip to Fran’s Diner, and had the most amazing diner experience! I would highly recommend the chilli!

To top everything off we went round the corner to Dutch Dreams… A family run ice cream parlour who go above and beyond your average ice cream cone. I had mint choc chip and mango ice cream and said yes to the ‘free toppings’ = cotton candy and lots of fruit!

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 

I have to be completely honest and say that Macklemore is the best performer I’ve ever seen live, it’s not just his music, but his personality comes out so well during the show. I had the best night down at Echo Beach- which is also a really cool venue, right on the lake front with sand by the stage- singing my heart out (and trying to rap…) to Downtown and Thrift Shop!

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Take me out to the ball game…! 

We got last minute tickets to see the Blue Jays play against Philly at the Rogers Centre. We won by a whopping 3-11! The atmosphere was crazy. It’s a must do when visiting Toronto!

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Toronto Islands 

On one of the nicest days we took a trip over Lake Ontario to Wards Islands (the Eastern End of the Centre Island). We had a little swim in the lake and had a wonder around seeing all the cute houses. You get the most amazing view of the Toronto skyline at the island as well as on the ferry.

 

Thanks for reading! XSignature