These Godiva chocolates are delicious! I had a little box of 5 truffles, one of the True Love boxes from this years Valentine’s Day collection. The box is a cute heart shape and I like the design on the front. The chocolates themselves are also heart shaped and look almost as good as they taste. Definitely a great gift for Valentine’s Day….
I made these cupcakes using a heart shaped silicon mould and was quite impressed by how heart like they turned out! The icing on the other hand, did not work! I was going for blue and red but the food colouring I had was a bit rubbish. Both of them are ASDA own brand ones so I’m not sure I’m going to buy them again. The red one tasted really odd – I thought food colouring wasn’t meant to taste of anything? The blue one looks bright blue on the front of the packet but in tiny writing on the back it says it’s actually pastel blue. I didn’t notice that until I got home but thought I’d try it anyway. The icing still just looks grey even though I used nearly half of the bottle. The cake tasted good though and so did the blue (well grey) icing!
Over Christmas I had an Orange and Cinnamon candle tin from the St Eval Candle Company which smelled amazing. My second candle from the same company is the Rustic Rose Pillar Candle which also smells gorgeous. It costs £11 and should burn for 90 hours. I would definitely recommend it especially with Valentine’s Day coming up!
St Eval Candle Company has so many lovely candles you’re sure to find something. They have tealights, pillar candles, candles in tins or glasses with different colours and patterns as well as a few outdoor candles and even garden flares! Although they are quite expensive compared to places like IKEA, it’s worth it as they smell more natural somehow and don’t give off the soot you can get from cheaper candles.
You can either buy online or from one of the stockists listed here.
I think most people have tried the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Seashells which are absolutely delicious. Guylian now have a special box of hazelnut praline hearts especially for Valentine’s Day. These also taste amazing and come in a cute heart shaped box. I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if I received a box of these this Valentine’s Day! You can buy them from all of the big supermarkets and cost £4.29 for 125g or £1.59 for a 50g box.
Love Letter is a new solid perfume by The Green Grocery. It is 100% organic and comes in a 100% recyclable tin inside a cute gift box. The scent is a mixture of rose, jasmine and sandalwood. It smells gorgeous, not overwhelming, and lasts for hours as well but the tin is small enough to fit in your bag if you do need a top up during the day. There is no alcohol in the perfume as some perfumers believe that the scent from the essential oils can be lost when mixed with alcohol so it is hand-blended using traditional methods instead which takes over two weeks. And here’s the best bit – it only costs £9.99 so is lots cheaper than most perfumes out there!
“Dr Organic is committed to creating unique, natural products which are functional by design and formulated to capture the key active properties within each of the ingredients used” – according to their website.
I was quite excited to try out the Rose Otto Cleansing Milk and Skin Toner as rose products are supposed to be very good for your skin. However, I had quite a painful allergic reaction to the products which left my face bright red for almost an hour – I’m just glad I tried them in the evening rather than first thing in the morning! I thought it would just be me who had the reaction so I got my mum to try them out too but the same thing happened. It seems odd that we would have a reaction from a natural product, especially as I have never been allergic to any beauty products before and these Dr Organic ones are supposed to be particularly suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Looking at the ingredients list, the natural ones are written in big, bold font but underneath are the unnatural ingredients in tiny writing. I think that’s bit misleading as the website clearly says they create “unique, natural products”.
I reached the end of Level 1 on my Rosetta Stone Japanese course yesterday! The very last exercise really tested what I’d already learnt. It was a series of photos showing a group of people on a camping trip taken from the point of view of the person you are pretending to be (does that make sense?). The other people in the group talk to you and you have to think of your reply off the top of your head. You also have to be able to ask questions yourself based on the next photo in the sequence. I thought it was a really good exercise as it was completely speaking based so is what it would be like of you actually went to another country and had to try and interact with others. Now onto Level 2….
Pulling up at the Allt Yr Ynys Country Hotel we were impressed with how beautiful the building was. The Allt Yr Ynys is a converted 16th century manor house set in the countryside near Abergavenney and has some stunning views of the Welsh mountains.
After checking in, we were shown to our room and even had our bags carried for us which was a bit of a luxury. Our room (a standard room) was in one of the converted outbuildings. The decoration of the room really didn’t appeal to either me or my boyfriend; it was very frilly and old fashioned and even had a porcelain jug and plates on the wall.
This was a complete contrast to the reception area with the restaurant and lounge area, which has been recently refurbished in a cosy but modern style with real log fires, slate floors and expensive looking furniture. Decoration aside, our room was spacious, spotless and cosy and we had a lovely view of the river.
The bathroom looked like it had been newly fitted and was sparklingly clean with the only downside bring that the shower was really not very powerful at all.
We decided to go for a swim and relax in the sauna and Jacuzzi. The pool area looks great, but to be honest it was far too cold to relax in! The pool itself could only be called freezing (one couple got changed and left after just dipping in their toes) so we opted to get straight in the Jacuzzi. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a button to switch on the bubbles but at least it was slightly warmer. The sauna really warmed us up, however I was a bit disappointed we didn’t manage to sit reading our books on the loungers at the edge of the pool as the air was just so cold!
Dinner in the evening completely made up for the fact that the pool wasn’t what we’d hoped. Our menus were brought to the sofa in front of a log fire, where we sat with a glass of wine until our starters were ready. The food was amazing, very well presented, and we didn’t feel at all rushed. The restaurant, although small, was busy so there was a good atmosphere. We just about managed our three courses as the portions weren’t the tiny portions you sometimes get but it was definitely worth squeezing in pudding. I had a chocolate and coffee mouse with homemade pistachio shortbread which was absolutely gorgeous. I think I would say that this was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
We had a brilliant stay at the Allt Yr Ynys but if we had to make one suggestion it would be to try and heat the pool area, as well as the pool itself, a bit better!
The shampoo comes in a tall, skinny, stylish bottle and smells good – I don’t think it has a specific smell but it’s kind of melon like. The conditioner comes in a matching bottle and is actually called a ‘Daily Treatment’ but basically does the same as a conditioner. I hardly needed to use any of it to make my hair lovely and soft which is practically unheard of with my hair (usually I need to use handfuls of conditioner for it to have any effect!).
There are a few other products in the range but the one I’ve been using to style my hair is the Super Skinny Serum. The bottle says to apply one pump of serum to your hair but as mine is so frizzy I decided to use two instead, which turned out to be the perfect amount for my hair. I’ve used the Frizz-Ease serum before but found that I had to use loads of it to combat the frizz and then my hair would end up looking greasy. It wasn’t really worth the money as the bottle really didn’t last very long. This Super Skinny Serum though has got rid of the frizz while leaving my hair looking like I’ve got no product on. It’s also made my hair the softest it’s ever been.
The serum costs £14.25 for 150ml, the shampoo is £9.30 for 300ml and the conditioner is £11.50 for 300ml. As I don’t need to use very much of the serum, the bottle should last me a while so I think it’s certainly worth the money. I really like the shampoo and conditioner as well but they are quite expensive so I would probably just buy them as a treat every now and again!
One last thing about the Super Skinny Range – it is supposed to reduce dry time although I haven’t noticed any difference in the time it takes for my hair to dry. This doesn’t make much difference to me though; I would still buy the products.