Sunday, 30 October 2011

Halloween at Alnwick

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Yesterday, Halloween came a day or two early as I took a small trip to Alnwick Gardens in the North of England. Upon entry to the Treehouse Cafe & Restaurant, we found Halloween decorations aplenty in the most perfect setting. Unfortunately the heavens opened as it poured with rain and blew a cold and gusty wind, so we took shelter for a while with coffee and cake, as well as taking time to look bemusedly towards the skeleton in the cafe.

Thankfully I felt snuggly warm in The Échapeau* sent to me recently by L for Lazarus. I love the concept of this scarf and hat combination as the two can be worn together or separate. My choice was the Livvy style in tweed grey, I really like the fact that I can feel warm but still stylish, the two rarely go together!

Readers are being offered a 10% discount until 12th November, using the code Pink Bow 007.

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L for Lazarus Livvy Échapeau ~ Vintage 60's coat via Decades at Etsy ~ Jaeger breton top ~ Zara trousers ~ Jeffrey Campbell boots ~ Top Shop three quarter leather gloves (old) (photos of me by dad)

*Échapeau (Noun): An elegant hat and scarf combination created and named by L for Lazraus. derived from the French word for scarf (écharpe) and hat (chapeau). Can be worn as either one stylish piece, or as a classic hat and scarf set. For women who love to use the accessory to enhance their individuality.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Rose & Lavender

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I had been searching for the perfect rose confiture for a while now, assuming it would be easily found in every Parisian supermarket. But sadly, to no avail. So when I was contacted by Lianne of Everything Goes With Toast, to try a jar each of her Rose and Lavender Jam, I was more than happy to sample the goods. I bought some brioche and poured myself a cup of Marie Antoinette tea, and happily enjoyed the delicate rose and lavender flavours for the perfect Sunday lazy breakfast. Two of my most favourite natural scents, I enjoyed them just as much to eat. I found the lavender to have a slightly stronger taste and the rose to be delicately floral; they both lived up to my very high expectations and are set to become my permanent pantry conserves. As well as sharing the most amazing recipes, Lianne also sells her jams on her blog.

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Autumn Finally

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This year feels as though I have been robbed somewhat of my favourite season. Autumn has always been my favourite time but this year it was delayed by a very unexpected late Indian summer. Hopefully the signs of autumn will last a little longer before winter sets in, despite many weather reports threatening early snow again. Each year, I look forward to an Autumn blog post - see here for last year and here for the year before.

I acquired the most perfect pieces to wear, that work so well with the vibrant carpet of leaves in my favourite local park. A mustard dress from label Love screams autumn to me, as does the colourful print on this tote bag from Fabric and Handle, lots of warm reds and rusts that looks like it was designed with autumn leaves in mind.

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Lui Jo via Zalando jacket ~ Love mustard dress ~ Fabric & Handle Maryl tote bag ~ Tabio 110d black tights ~ Top Shop gold & black velvet belt (old) ~ H&M gold & black velvet wedge shoes (old) ~ Vintage smoky quartz ring ~ MAC lipstick in Morange

Monday, 24 October 2011

Qsilica

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Silica is important for healthy and strong corrective tissue in the body. It plays a key role in the production of collagen in the skin, the maintenance of healthy blood vessels and the metabolism of calcium in the body. Strong, healthy corrective tissue is necessary for smooth and flexible skin, strong hair and nails.

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Although I am in no way a beauty blogger or expert in beauty by any means, I still have what I would consider to be a healthy female interest in beauty products. For the last ten years or so I have stuck quite rigidly to a regime of the Eve Lom range with the odd gap filled with Liz Earle products (for those times when funds are a little tight). Having said that, I am definitely of the opinion that skin, like hair, benefits greatly from a change in one's routine every now and again. Is it just me, but when I change my regular shampoo for something different, my hair takes a definite turn for the better?

And so, when asked to review skincare range Qsilica, I did so with great interest. Qsilica is an Australian brand, distributed through Planet Health. Founded in Australia in 1996, this natural health product business has grown to become a market leader, launching in the UK in January 2010, being stocked in Harrods, Selfridges and many other premium stockists. Most importantly for me, I was keen to learn that these premium natural health products are not tested on animals, contain no sodium laurel sulphate, parabens, petrochemicals, artificial colours or harsh preservatives and are 100% fragrance free. Qsilica promises to Revitalise and Restore from both the inside and out.

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I have now been using the range for six weeks, enough time I think to be able to give an honest and frank opinion of how the products worked for me. My skin was a combination skin-tone with a prone to hormonal spots as a teenager, developing into a normal skin-tone as an adult, with a tendency for tightness of the skin during the winter months. Out of the eight product range, I was given the following to try:

  • Qsilica Colloidal Silica Gel - 10ml to be taken once or twice a day in water or juice
  • Qsilica REMOVE - Make-up & Grime Cleansing Gel - A one-step gentle cleanser to remove make-up and grim leaving skin fresh and ready for moisturisation
  • Qsilica REVITALISE - Smoothing Facial Exfoliator - shed dead skin cells and gently reveal new revitalized skin
  • Qsilica RESTORE - Intensive Facial Oil - A combination of rich, luxurious natural oils to deliver intensive skin restoration

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When it comes to skincare and make-up, smell plays a very important part for me. I can't stand anything with an artificial perfume, I like my beauty products to smell, if anything, medicinal - and this range does just that. So as this range is 100% fragrance free, I immediately knew I would be able to try out the products for a long period of time. The cleansing gel is of a thick consistency that seems to melt away my make-up before washing it off. The exfoliator I found to be equally, although perhaps no better, than any other exfoliator I have used in the past but with the added benefit of being completely natural. My absolute favourite prduct was the Intensive Facial Oil - this I will definitely buy again. I love the feel of a night-time oil on my face after a good exfoliation, to feel like my skin is absolutely smooth and healthy.

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The only stumbling block in the products I tried was the Colloidal Silica Gel to be consumed as a drink within water or juice. As smell plays such a large part in pretty much anything with me, I couldn't quite get past the light fragrance as I was trying to drink the water. Although not particularly over-bearing, my delicate sense of smell found it a little too much. And although I believe that working from the inside as well as the outside when working towards increasing health in skin, hair and nails, is of major benefit; I couldn't quite get used to this product and ended up concentrating instead on the outer products. I do believe that this is more an issue with me though and I wouldn't let this put you off trying it too. Overall, I was very happy with the range. My skin is feeling very healthy and radiant. I seem to have had a growth spurt in both hair and nails recently - although I am not sure this is specifically due to using the range... but you never know! If you plan on trying any of the products and have any questions, I will do my best to answer them for you.

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If you don't have a stockist near to you, products can be bought on-line here.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

At the Market

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It was suggested to us, that on the Sunday morning of our stay in Paris, there was a fresh food and flower market close to our hotel. So we took a stroll down the street, taking in the amazing displays of fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers. Admiring also the shops lining the market filled with cheeses, wines and delectable baked goods. Although the city in which I live boasts an excellent indoor market, the attention to detail over the actual goods and displays is nowhere near anything I saw here. It seemed the fashion to take with you one of those old-fashioned granny-trolleys to hold all of the buys. And although very expensive, I couldn't help but wish that we could have something similar in the UK, it would make food-buying that much more enjoyable than the usual Tesco/Sainsbury scrum.

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