Ugly Young Thing

Ugly Young Thing is a mystery/thriller by Jennifer Jaynes. It’s about 16 year old Allie whose mum and brother both suffered from mental illness. After their deaths, she moves into a foster home where she begins to worry that she may end up suffering the same fate…
imageThis book is a real page-turner! I read it over the weekend and picked it up every chance I got, even when brushing my teeth or just waiting for the kettle to boil! It’s an easy read but draws you in right from the start. I thought that I had been clever and figured out who the bad guy was pretty early on but it turned out I was way off. I love being surprised by a book! The fast moving story really built up the tension and I found myself jumping out of my skin when my boyfriend loudly slammed the front door when he arrived home!

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Botanicals Beautiful Hands Serum

The Beautiful Hands Anti Aging Serum from Botanicals is a real treat to use. I am a little bit addicted to hand cream so was extremely excited when this serum arrived at through the door! imageThe first thing I love about the serum is the packaging. The little bottle with the pipette is just so cute! The scent is fabulous too, a mixture of rosehip and frankincense …… It reminds me of relaxing in a spa…. I mainly use the serum on its own but sometimes I use it before a hand cream for some extra moisture. It costs £13.95 for a 10ml bottle. It sounds like 10ml would be finished in no time but as the serum is so concentrated, a little goes a really long way. Much further than a normal hand cream. I have been using it every few days for nearly two months now and have only got through about 1/8th of the bottle! I can’t recommend it enough!

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Pink Parcel

Pink Parcel is a beauty box subscription with a bit of a difference. The idea is that it arrives a day or so before your period is due and, as well as containing beauty products for you to try out, it also has tampons and some extra treats to get you through your period. The box costs £5.95 for the first month and is £9.95 thereafter and the great thing is that you can cancel at any time, unlike some of the other beauty boxes out there. When you sign up, you choose the strength and brand of the tampons or pads you would like and put in your cycle dates so that your box will arrive at the right time of the month.
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I received the December box which included a 30ml Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, Roc Multi Correxion Crème, Eldora False Lashes, a Tea Pigs chocolate tea bag and some Daisy & Dam chocolate as well as plenty of tampons. Although I would personally probably never buy false eyelashes, I have loved trying everything else out! I think the box is a really good idea, who doesn’t need a bit of cheering up during their time of the month?! It is also very good value as just the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream costs £26 for 50 ml if you buy it in Boots. Sign up here to try out a box!

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A Winter BBQ

On New Year’s Eve (or Hogmanay I suppose I should say, now that I am living in Scotland), we had family staying at our flat. With my messy cooking style, making dinner for just the two of us can be a challenge in our smallish kitchen, so we needed to find an easy way to cook something tasty for lots of people. That’s where the Teppanyaki Grill came in. It is essentially an indoor BBQ – a temperature controlled hot plate which lets you grill your food safely indoors in a more exciting way than using the grill in the oven! It was much more sociable than being tucked away in the kitchen but, be warned, it gives off enough smoke to set the fire alarm going! We decided to go for some simple marinated chicken as this was our first attempt at using the grill. We used some of the Tabasco table sauces as marinades which worked fabulously and the flavour really came through (on another note, the Chipotle and Bourbon Tabasco sauce makes a really tasty and easy flavouring for pulled pork…).
Domu Teppanyaki Grill
Domu Teppanyaki Grill

Tabasco

Teppanyaki GrillThe Teppanyaki grill was great fun to use and I bet we will be using lots more of it, especially during the summer as we have no garden to BBQ properly in! It is also super easy to clean up once you’ve finished coooking. We got our grill from Domu and at the moment it is on sale for an amazing £16.99! Definitely worth it!

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Instagram Round Up #23

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1. Our mini Christmas tree
2 & 4. Christmas nails
3. Lovely Botanicals hand serum
5. My Christmas cake
6. Gorgeous Christmas candle
7. Mum’s Christmas cake
8. Christmas pudding
9. Walking off the turkey!

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NOTW: Christmas Frost

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My attempt at a sparkly gradient for my work Christmas meal! The photos don’t show it too well but I used a Nubar holographic glitter over the top which is my favourite!

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Avon Planet Spa Heavenly Hydration Face Mask

imagel have found myself reaching for the Planet Spa Heavenly Hydration face mask from Avon pretty regularly over the past few months. It doesn’t smell of anything in particular and doesn’t have an exciting face mask colour, but it promises hydrated skin and it definitely delivers on that front! The mask has an olive oil base which is a fantastic moisturiser. The mask glides onto your skin and, after around 15 minutes, leaves your skin feeling unbelievably silky. The smooth and moisturised feeling lasts for a few days after use which I love! I think this should be a winter staple for everyone!

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Macdonald Houston House Hotel

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Last month we spent my birthday weekend at the Macdonald Houston House near Edinburgh. The main building is an impressive 16th century Tower House and the hotel is equipped with a spa, a 2 AA rosette restaurant and a very cosy bar. Although slightly dated, our room was massive, spotlessly clean, with an extremely comfy bed. I was also pleased to find that the room was snug and warm as I really feel the cold, so am a little wary of old buildings!

After checking in, we had a quick explore of the hotel and gardens before I headed off to the spa for a facial. I really do love a facial and as I don’t have them often it was a real treat. The waiting room was lovely and relaxing with scented candles and bubbly spa music and the facial itself was amazing. My therapist was lovely and put me at ease – I am usually a little nervous at the start of a facial as it is a bit weird having someone prodding your face! Within ten minutes I was more relaxed than I had been for months and I think I even drifted off for a while!

With my skin all preened and feeling very soft, we headed to the bar for our dinner. The bar is in a snug room with the thickest walls you’ve ever seen and a roaring log fire to keep it toasty. We both ordered a burger and a glass of wine and continued relaxing. The food was fantastic and just what we needed after the drive down to Edinburgh and the strenuous (!) facial!

Next morning, after the excitement of opening birthday presents was over, we had a hearty breakfast in the restaurant before catching the train into Edinburgh. The train station was just a fifteen minute walk away with regular, direct trains into the city. All day we were looking forward to that evenings dinner! We hadn’t remembered to book the Jeremy Wares restaurant in the hotel in advance so we ended up having to eat incredibly early, I think around quarter to 6, as that was the only slot available when we checked in! There was no way we were going to miss the chance of eating in the 2 AA rosette restaurant – we would have taken any time slot they gave us! The meal was totally worth hurrying back from town. The service was impeccable and food was delicious. Everything was cooked to perfection and we really enjoyed the whole experience.

We’d definitely love to visit the hotel again. It was such a relaxing weekend and we both managed to completely switch off which was nice as we had been so busy for what felt like months beforehand!

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Instagram Round Up #22

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1. Cocktails with mum.
2. Fireworks night.
3. My red velvet birthday cake!
4. Birthday weekend at MacDonald Houston House.
5. Homemade raspberry and white chocolate cake.
6. Christmas time!
7. L’Occitane Cinnamon Spice scented candle.
8. A relaxing Lush bath!
9. The Christmas mug is back!

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Botanicals Calming Lotion Lavender & Tea Tree

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The Botanicals Lavender and Tea Tree body lotion is absolutely gorgeous. It has a beautiful, subtle scent, which on its own would be enough to make me love it, but it is also a great moisturiser. It is really soothing which is down to the aloe vera and keeps my skin feeling hydrated all day. It takes a minute or two to sink in but it worth the wait! The body lotion costs £14.75 for 100ml which is on the pricy side but it really is a fab moisturiser, so if your budget will allow, I would recommend giving it a go!

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