Bliss! It’s a Bathing Under the Sky pop-up

Bathing Under the Sky is made those amazingly lush red cedar outdoor spa wood fired bath tube that have been successfully gracing festivals for quite some time and I was really lucky to try back in 2015 at the Innocent Unplugged festival.

Now, why wait for a festival to enjoy this amazing experience? You don’t have to! Bathing Under the Sky now has an amazing pop-up at the Bourn Gold Club, near Cambridge.

In the next month or so you can book your ticket to experience the 40 degree bliss.

The combination of the hot water, the wood burning, the cold weather (and even the rain) is a relaxing and re-energising antidote to rushed modern life.

Apart from the baths, they also have the amazing barrel sauna on location, a bar, changing facilities and showers.

And while the weather was truly horrible, once you get in the bath, all the miserableness is magically wiped away and all is left is relaxation.

And the feeling you can never, ever actually leave the bath.

Each ticket gives you access to the site for 3 hours and of course, to the Swedish-style wood-fired hot tubs, the dry Finnish barrel sauna with cooling shower, one complimentary drink served to your hot tub, chill out area with deck chairs, fire-pitches and blankets, hair-dryers, straighteners and mirrors, one sarong style towel, showers with toiletries and lockers for valuables. Phew.

All that for £28 per person!

Also worth noting that this a lovely family business, grown around Cambridge where all members work hard to give you the best experience. Plus they are just so adorable!

I thoroughly recommend this experience. And fear not, if you miss the pop-up, I am sure you’ll be able to catch Bathing Under the Sky in a festival near you!

They will be at Bourn Golf & Leisure, Toft Rd, Cambridge CB23 2TT on the weekends of 11-12/25-26 March, 8-9 April, 29 April – 1st May and 13-14/27-29 May. More dates will be confirmed soon for the summer and they have another location, Fanhams Hall, Ware, Herts SG12 7PZ, in the pipeline!

To book, go to bathingunderthesky.com.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains an experience offered by PR. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Party transformation: from desk to dance floor

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-1We’ve all been there: great party straight out of a stressful day in the office. And now with the end of year parties in full swing, it is likely you are finding yourself in that situation more often than not.

So you can shine from desk to dance floor, I put a few tips and saviour products together that at this time of the year are dead certain to give you that helping hand, especially when you keep it going a few nights in a row.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-2For skin that has been in the office (and in party mode) the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster is a god-send.

I love applying it lightly on my skin throughout the day to retain and maximise moisture; it is also great dabbed on top of make up for an extra glow and to take that powdery finish away from the skin.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-12To refresh your makeup, invest in a little multi-tasking palette which doesn’t take much space and will go a long way.

This Sleek Eye and Cheek palette fits the bill and even has a sparkly shade to build on top of the neutrals after hours and turn up the party vibe!

I also decant my foundation into small pots to carry on the go, and use small makeup brushes to apply.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-11For you lips, my newest obsession, liquid lipsticks are just perfect as they are quick to apply. At the moment, Kat Von D Vampira is my autumn go-to shade and scream edgy party look.

Taking about that, the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray is great to fix your makeup in place and keep it going all night long!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-4A small deodorant goes a long way – I love the little Dove Invisible Dry that ensures your black or colourful attires are free from marks. very important in a hurry!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-8Sore feet? Carnation has a fabulous range to maximise your heel-wearing span and I love this Anti-Blister Stick, which minimises the party-busting shoe rubbing.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-5Make sure you always carry flats; I love these Sinderella foldable pumps as they are super comfy to walk on. Perfect for moving in-between parties if your Uber budget is getting close to exhausted!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-3For extra hair oomph use a good dry shampoo. I love the Swell Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo as it has no nasties and refreshes hair as well as giving some volume!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-6I always carry a good brush with me, and this mini Wet Brush is brilliant!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-7Has barely made it home for a shower? This tiny Gillette Venus razor is perfect for shaving on the go. Showers in the office or the gym? Done! Just make sure you rinse the floor well :)!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-8And talking about those pins, at this time of the year nothing beats a little bit of fake tan. Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer is a fine dry mist that is easy to apply and you don;t need to rub in! It’s available for face too!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-9Finally, to smell good, nothing better than a roller ball fragrance. The Gucci Guilty is my festive one of choice at the moment – and perfect for the handbag! Many fragrances now have a roll on version available and I just love it!

Do you have any office to party hacks? Do share. And happy celebrations!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a mix of products I have bought myself and PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

That festive smell

crabtree-evelyn-rose-pineapple-review-1For me, Crabtree & Evelyn have the best hand creams in the market. Undisputed. When they add a festive spin to the scents, they become unbeatable.

crabtree-evelyn-rose-pineapple-review-4This season sees the rise of Rose Pineapple, a gorgeous scent that combines the classic delicate and subtle rose with the tropical, sweet zing of pineapple. It’s like something you never smelt before.

I wouldn’t need to say much more apart from the name of this scent: Festive Fig. I love figs, especially festive ones! This scent is warm, combining ripe fig, damson plum, black pepper, resinous wood and winter flowers.

crabtree-evelyn-rose-pineapple-review-3Having loved the two fragrances about, I must confess my biggest surprise was the gorgeous Spiced Earl Grey fragrance. It’s got a sweet spice scent with a hint of lemon that is totally intoxicating and soothing.

On those three fantastic scents I got to try the hand therapy, which comes as the Festive Hand Therapy Trio that at a reasonable £15, comes with one 25g cream of each scent.

crabtree-evelyn-rose-pineapple-review-2I also have the fabulous Christmas cracker, which also comes with the three seasonal hand therapy creams in a handy 10g.

Worth pointing out you can get the 100ml Hand Therapy Cream in each one of the festive scents (and the packaging is lovely!) separately, for £16.

However fabulous the hand therapy creams are, the star of my festive Crabtree & Evelyn collection has to be, doubtless, this amazing three tier candle.

crabtree-evelyn-rose-pineapple-review-5Prettily set on frosted glass rectangles and stackable, they deliver a durable punch of the fabulous festive scents to really set the mood and create that seasonal ambiance.

The Triple Scented Candle costs £45 and together burns for around 6 hours per candle. Best thing? You get it free when you spend £100. Deliveries are free on purchases over £50.

And if you think that’s all for Crabtree & Evelyn Christmas love, you’re very wrong! From home scents to foods, the selection is just wonderful – their Christmas shop is a must visit!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Organic Beauty Week is coming!

soil-association-organic-beauty-week-hero-products - 1As a beauty lover, I am looking out for the best for my skin. And organic is proven to be better for the skin, and the environment, so I was really happy to get involved with the UK’s leading organic certifier, Soil Association, to promote their “Look for the Logo” campaign, as part of Organic Beauty Week, starting on the 19th September.

The biggest and best organic beauty brands and experts will be together to increase awareness of the segment and products available, as well as some of the ground work these companies are involved with.

The only way to be certain a product is certified organic is to look out for the logo. When you see the Soil Association logo in there, you know that product is truly organic, free from synthetics, sustainable for the communities and very importantly, kinder to the skin.

And to illustrate the depth and breadth of the organic beauty offering available, they picked a few hero products I am absolutely in love with.

I think what really comes across here, apart from the superb quality, is that organic beauty products can be much more than affordable than what we think and it is well worth exploring the possibilities and giving new brands a chance (which is my favourite thing to do!).

soil-association-organic-beauty-week-hero-products - 2I featured the Herbfarmacy before and of course, they have heroes here too. The gorgeous Mallow Beauty Balm is a multitasking product fit for many beauty needs – moisturising, nourishing and radiance-boosting, it can be used as a cleanser, moisturiser or deep skin repairer. Costs £18 for 30ml.

Skin & Tonic is a company I’ve been following at a distance and finally got to try one of their products: it was everything I was hoping for. The Naked Beauty Oil feels amazing on the skin and helps heal, refine, hydrate and soothe. It sells for an amazing £25 for 30ml.

Love at first sight was with Made for Life by Spiezia Organics. Not only they have soul mending products, but their ethos is fantastic. This little box of calm, energy and focus really makes a difference in busy lives. Costs £25 for 3x 10ml.

Plus, at the launch event, I got to meet the founder, the beautiful Amanda Barlow (also entitled Queen of Hugs) and that hug I received from her filled me with joy and hope, and still keeps me going just by thinking about it.

Most people are familiar with Neal’s Yard Remedies and their products never disappoint. The gorgeous Oil Free Hydrating Serum is a bliss for hydration boost in the daytime. Costs £30 for 30ml.

soil-association-organic-beauty-week-hero-products - 3Therapi is another beautiful company that has honey based products. Their Lemons Myrtle Honey Gel Cleanser is gorgeous on the skin and the

Pai is also known brand from the organic world and their Treatment Masks are great. Loaded with nutrients, they are gentle and effective. Costs £30 per 75ml.

A body oil also features amongst the horoes: Voya Nourishing Body Oil is super-hydrating and has citrus and sea fragrances, as well as added rosehip. Costs £32 for 100ml.

Organic face wipes? Natracare has it. Made of organic cotton, 99% biodegradable, they are infused with oils and SLS and parabens free. They are gentle an affective. Costs £3.99 per pack.

Bamford is a massive authority in organics and their Hand and Body Wash and Lotion Duo are gentle and plant based, to clean, nourish, protect and hydrate the skin. Costs £22 for 250ml.

Finally, Terri Verde FranChouliPom Facial Serum has frankincense, patchouli an pomegranate oils, as well as argan to boost skin suppleness and nourishment. Costs £27 for 30ml.

Organic Beauty Week also aims to clarify what organic certification means with events, shopping discounts, panel discussions, Twitter Q&As and much more.

Get involved – check the Soil Association website to find out how to get into a whole month or organic awareness and discovery.signature1

This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Cool down, deliciously

img_7066Summer. The last couple of weeks have really felt there is a summer in the UK, albeit late I’ve been enjoying every bit I can.

And to help me keep cool, and have a deserved break during my working hours, I was sent me some delicious Magnum Double – Chocolate, Caramel and the new (my favourite), Peanut Butter.

img_7063Perfect for these days, The Magnum Double Peanut Butter is one of those indulgences that doesn’t cost a lot, under £2 per ice cream.

The sweetness of the chocolate and the ice cream are balanced by the saltiness of the peanut butter, making this the perfect ice cream for me.

img_7075Each Double has the normal velvety ice cream encased in chocolate, a layer of smooth sauce and another layers of chocolate. Biting into it is pure luxury for the senses: the taste, the textures, the sound of the crunch…

With the scorching sun, I took a break in my busy day to have lunch, clear my mind, enjoy the sun in Bloomsbury Square and treat myself to a delicious Magnum. Yum.

img_7067London certainly looked better that day! And there is still time to grab one to enjoy this warm bank holiday!

You can buy the Magnum Doubles in supermarkets nationwide. Multipacks are £3.35, for 3 and individual ice cream cost £1.90.

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

Step back to 1877 with Stella Artois Time Portal

We love London, right? And we love Wimbledon. Plus we have a penchant for all things Victorian…

No surprises then when Stella Artois, the official beer of Wimbledon, invited me to The Time Portal, an immersive theatre experience that took me back to Victorian London in the search of the first Wimbledon tournament, I couldn’t say no.

img_5056Under a cinema sign on Stoke Newington Road in Dalston, East London, I was taken into an adventure to help someone make their little tennis tournament known. And guess what? At the same time a certain beer, was also just starting out.

Full of one to one interactions, last night I stepped into a time machine, came off into a Victorian market and helped little pickpockets perform their tricks, solve a murder and give Scrooge peace of mind – all for the noble cause of helping Spencer Gore win the very first Wimbledon Championships and get the cup from Queen Victoria herself.

After my little adventure, I was transported to a bar where I quenched my thirst with some Stella Artois beer and cidre.

The whole experience was very dynamic, lively and a lot of fun, loaded with East London cheekiness, as well as nicely set – be prepared for that eastend rundown vibe.

For four days only, you can experience this trip back in time, by acclaimed theatre companies Olivier Award nominated Les Enfants Terribles and Framestore, especially commissioned by Stella Artois, that inspired me a bit to think how I’m making my own mark in the world.

The Time Portal run from 7-10 July and is priced from £13.50 – £18 (including a £1 booking fee), lasts 40 minutes and includes two complimentary drinks.

Of course, the bar will be open for business if fancy more!

You can book your tickets on the Stella Artois Time Portal site – and hurry, just like going back into the past, if you blink, you’ll miss this one!

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Stella Artois kindly took me to 1877 – thanks! – but opinions are my own. 

Famous at Ibis – glamour on a budget

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When you think Ibis hotel, luxury does not necessarily come to mind, but who said you cannot be stylish and glamourous on a budget?

Ibis has teamed up with stylist to the stars Alex Longmore to prove just that. I was lucky enoug to witness first hand how a great location, modern decor, comfort and great service do inject some glamour into everyday life.

ibis_blackfriars_roomI stayed at the Ibis London Blackfriars for a day of fashion and style. The Ibis Blackfriars is minutes walking from Southwark and Waterloo, walking distance to Southbank and super easy access to all tourist attractions. Very handy and pocket friendly.

The decor is contemporary and clean; rooms are simple but very well equipped, with comfort at their centre. Service was friendly and attentive, always with a smile.

ibis_blackfriars_receptionAlex talked about trends for the coming season, all high street and pocket friendly – and I must say I have already adopted a bomber jacket, from New Look, at an affordable £26).

After talking fashion, we were treated to a fab lunch at the hotel’s Fogg’s restaurant, which has delicious, filling and super affordable lunch and dinner options.

Ibis London Blackfriars H7943

After lunch, we were taken to explore the Vogue 100 exhibition at the British Library. Alex took us through the Vogue 100 years of fabulous photography, dousing her extensive knowledge of fashion, style and celebrities over us.

After that, we had some free time to explore the city, which I passed, as London is home, and shopping, which I welcomed, as I was eaget to put the Alex’s style tips into practice!

I had a friend’s birthday that evening and returned to spend the night at my comfy bed at the Ibis. Of course I had a Sweet Bed by Ibis, which offers extra comfort.

When I woke up, I was treated to an amazing breakfast – they even have guacamole, fruit or green smoothies, and the most delicious black rice and coconut rice pudding, healthy options alongside your traditional continental and cooked breakfast items such as bacon, eggs, pastries, and much more.

Even better, breakfast was available until midday (continental; cooked items available until 10).

ibis_blackfriars_loungeWith my tummy full, I returned to my room to do a bit of blogging and opted for a late check-out for extra relaxation.

After my experience, I did feel a little bit #FamousAtIbis! 🙂

The hotel is perfect for a night out in town, families, short breaks, business… it does cater for all needs with its great location, facilities and prices. Daily rates at the Ibis London Blackfriars (3*) start from £91!

Thank you so much Ibis for having me and looking after me so well and Alex for all the knowledge (it was great seeing you again!)

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I was invited to take part in this experience by Ibis, but opinions are my own.

#BloggersBelowZero at the ICEBAR London

icebar_rocks_barOh, how fun it is to be a blogger…. even below zero!

Well, it was indeed! I was very lucky to be invited by the lovely Lauren from Blonde Vision (who is an event organiser extraordinaire!) to attend an event at the ICEBAR London.

icebar_rocks_rock_girlI had been before, many years ago, so thought I knew it was going to be the same. What I didn’t know is that they change their theme every year.

For 2016, it’s something close to my heart: rock ‘n’ roll. Oh yeah. Think skulls, bleeding hearts and hot rock chicks.

img_7589My favourite bit is, doubtless, the huge skull, which weighs 1 tonne and you can get inside! Huge photo opportunity, right there.

All 40 tonnes of ice, sustainably sourced, come from Sweden, from the same river the famous Ice hotel is built from.

In fact, the same creative team working on the hotel makes the London ice bar! And they are already working on the ext theme, launching September 2016 (maybe for my birthday? Just saying…)

29th JulyThere are extremely detailed – and ambitious – sculptures.  Just check the original artwork from Joey Hifi and spot the hidden references, including Bowie, on the rock singer tattoos.

The walls also have a lot of detail this time, including over 260 hand carved studs.

You can get all the info on the work on the video below – it’s fascinating.

And why not see it being destroyed to give way to the new one? It takes seven days to remove and build a new one!!! Chainsaws at hand!

By the way, I am totally free at the end of August, if you need a hand at operation DESTROY!

And the ICEBAR London is an experience that will not cost you an arm and a leg (and within your allocated slot you shall not lose them to frostbite!).

BloggersbelowzeroRDA-111From only £13.50 or £16.50, you get 40 minutes at -5 degrees and a delicious cocktail (bigger than it looks!) inside an ice glass. Cool, eh?

Also, they have great events packages well worth checking! For all info, check the ICEBAR London website or call

A huge thank you to Lauren for organising and the ICEBAR London team for being so welcoming, lovely and helpful.

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This post was written based on a PR experience. Opinions are my own.

You shall go to the ball. Sinderella pumps will take you home!

sinderella_foldable_ballet_pumps_review - 2If you a heels lover like me, and especially if you live in London, you know how hard it is to navigate the streets and public transport in towering heels. The struggle is real.

I’ve been a fan of carrying flat pump in my bag to change for quite sometime now and the foldable pump changed my life.

sinderella_foldable_ballet_pumps_review - 7The main problem is most of the ones I tried are pretty much disposable: flimsy and uncomfortable, a few wears and its paper thin sole is coming apart.

Not great if you ask me.

sinderella_foldable_ballet_pumps_review - 5That’s why I was rather impressed with the Sinderella foldable ballet pumps.

As far as foldable pumps go, It has a decent non-slip rubber sole, strong “vegan leather” upper and my best surprise: a very comfortable, cushioned and soft inner, thanks to its memory foam insoles.

They feel super comfortable to wear and take weather quite well. I love the sole goes over back the end of the shoe to help avoid it dragging on the floor and then ruining the pumps in no time, as it happens to most.

sinderella_foldable_ballet_pumps_review - 9Folding is easy and it folds to some 2.5cm (d) x 13cm (l) x 8cm (w). It comes in a pouch and with a carry back and my only complaint would be that bag is not big enough to fit my heels (I’m only size 4!) when I am wearing the pumps.

The Sinderella foldable ballet pumps are really a step ahead of the others.

They come in a few different colours and mine is London, a black with diamond shape stitching. They usually sell for £29.99 but at the moment they have a fab sale on and you can grab yours for £19.99 a pair!

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Stepping into another era in Camden, with Collectif Vintage Clothing

100 dresses. No, it is not number I go through every morning before deciding what to wear, silly. It is the number of Collectif dresses donned by lovely ladies at the Collectif Big Camden Party, which lived up to its “night of style, sass and swing” tagline wonderfully.

Choosing from seven beautiful Collectif vintage inspired dresses, we were treated to a fabulous retro hair do as well as a few glasses of prosecco and an unlimited amount of fun at the Collectif shop at Stables Market, in the heart of Camden Town.

I am a huge vintage inspired clothing fan. I don’t make it a lifestyle and don’t really stick to an era, but I pepper it around my own style; and the 50s are by far favourite time.

I love pencil skirts, cinched waists and I think that’s the best shape for my body; I feel comfortable and of course, pretty!

After squeezing myself into the gorgeous Yvonne Hanna Check Trim pencil dress and with my head suitably adorned with Victory rolls (by Lucy’s Vintage Hair) we moved on to Solomon’s Yard for the party.

And what a party it was. We were promised live bands, DJs, burlesque, magic, hoola hooping and Unicorns (yes, UNICORNS) ad boy, did they deliver that and more.

Welcomed by a vintage car and motorbikes, the stage was always filled with the most amazing acts: the Victory Sisters, an impeccable wartime vocal trio wearing pretty Collectif Maria Woodland Bloom Swing dresses.

There was beyond sassy burlesque from stunners The Folly Mixtures, with two cute and sexy acts, music spanning the eras between performances, courtesy of DJ Gem Precious and Diana Thompson.

Fabulous in orange drag queen Meth killed the comedy lip-syncing and got us all singing and laughing, and I even got some bonus spanking from the hilarious Levitating Elvis, with his boxing glove hair, an act so weird that is wonderful.

I do have to single out the not only gorgeous but super talented The Tootsie Rollers.

All five of them wore sultry siren Ingrid Fishtail evening dresses and left me smiling throughout the whole performance of pop sons with a swing twist. Extraordinary.

Finally, the unicorns. They came all the way from The Fabulus of Unicorns, a group of horn wearing, glitter-spreading people whose sole purpose is to disseminate love and happiness among humans. I mean, I just felt so happy around them that it’s not even funny.

I was of course, “kissed” by a unicorn and can still find glitter all over my house.

And there was dancing. Laughing. Such a fabulous atmosphere, fantastic happy people, all supporting a great brand with glamour that keeps giving.

My dress (and all the others I tried – sorry guys, you were fabulous and so kind trying to accommodate me) has an excellent finish and detailing, amazing cut, fits well and made me feel a million dollars.

All their clothes are amazing, the designs are obviously, vintage inspired, but very wearable. I have my eyes on a few little numbers, I tell you!

You can browse the beautiful Collectif Vintage Clothing collection on their website, I highly recommend it.

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