Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Review // PurePotions Natural Shampoo & Conditioner

I have mentioned here recently that I am in the process of making sure that all the products I use from now on are of the cruelty free variety. Buying cruelty free is something that I am passionate about but I also have super sensitive skin that seemingly reacts to almost everything. Finding suitable cruelty free alternatives for people with sensitive skin is not an easy quest, let me tell ya!

Let me introduce you to PurePotions though. I had not heard of this brand until very recently but after a browse on their website, I was thrilled to see that they specialise in products that have been carefully formulated so that they are suitable for people with sensitive skin or those who may be prone to skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis.

PurePotions use the very finest ingredients in creating their products with nothing unnecessary added, ever. Not only this, PurePotions do not use ingredients that have been tested on animals and all of their products are made in their own UK workshop. No nasty chemicals, you know exactly what you're putting on your skin! Perfect! 

PurePotions very kindly sent me a natural shampoo and a natural conditioner recently to try out* and today I would love to share my thoughts on these two products if you are also looking to make the switch from cheaper, chemical filled brands too!

Firstly, the Natural Shampoo. This beautiful shampoo is remarkably mild and gentle and is perfect for those with dry or sensitive skin. On opening the bottle, I was impressed by the scent which smells deliciously natural. You can really pick up on the blend of incredible essential oils and herbal extracts which include honeysuckle, sweet basil, clove and lemongrass. Yummy!

Because this shampoo is soap free and doesn't contain foaming agents such as SLS, this shampoo doesn't bubble up like a traditional shampoo so I found that for the first few hair washes with this product it was tempting to use more than I usually would. I soon got used to the feeling though and adapted the amount of product I was using to suit my hair!

I found the shampoo to be very cleansing. I don't use any products on my hair so I can't comment on how well it would handle the breakdown of hairsprays and other products but for general everyday build up, I found that it is absolutely super.

The shampoo is a genuinely natural product and is not only great for the hair but the scalp too. No build up of product or toxins, just nice clean hair!

The Natural Conditioner is the perfect partner to the shampoo. Once again, this product is of 99% natural origin and has been specially formulated for those with dry, sensitive or allergy-prone scalps. Ingredients include calendula, chamomile, nettle, moisturising oatmeal and chickweed.

The lack of harsh synthetic ingredients in this product means that it has less 'glide' as you apply it to your hair. The product is a thick paste and with this one I find that I have to use more of it to get all the way through my hair which is naturally very thick. I'll admit that I find it quite hard to work into my hair but I must say that the results after using it are very pleasing. Once dry and styled, my hair is soft, smooth and tangle-free. It also smells delicious, I just love the scent of these products!

Overall I really love both of these products. They perform really well and leave my hair feeling soft, smooth, clean and tangle free. I love that these products are natural, cruelty free and have absolutely no nasties in them. No perfumes, no perfumes, no SLS, etc.

Both of these products are 200ml in size and are priced at £18.00 per bottle (QVC also sell them in a bundle at a special price, well worth a look!).

Take a look at the PurePotions website for more information and to see their full range of products which includes baby skincare, lip balms, cleansing products and much more!

* I was sent these products to try out in exchange for an honest review but as always, all words and opinions are my own

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Ideas for creating a relaxing and peaceful bedroom space

There's no denying that your bedroom should be a sanctuary, a peaceful place for relaxation. Getting a good night's sleep though can sometimes proves to be quite a challenge when you lead a busy life in a tech-obsessed and fast-paced world. With this in mind, I have recently been trying to make simple changes to our sleeping space that will hopefully add up to make a big difference to our sleep quality. From not taking my phone to bed (yep, totally guilty of that!) to updating the decor and bedding to create a cosy yet functional space that's just right for perfect sleep.

Today I wanted to share a few of the ways that I have updated our sleeping space or things that I'd like to add to improve our sleep quality and general enjoyment in the bedroom!

De-clutter everything

When we started our de-cluttering mission, the first room I wanted to tackle once and for all was the bedroom. I'm pleased to say that with a bit of determination we achieved this and have stuck to it ever since. The benefits have been incredible. No stuff out means no distractions! Absolute bliss! We don't own more 'stuff' than we need to and I make sure that everything we bring into this room has a proper home. I religiously keep the laundry basket clear, I keep bedside tables tidy and make sure everything is 'away' before bed each night. If you'd like some help de-cluttering and simplifying your life then pop over to Becoming Minimalist or The Minimalists for some inspiration! 

Update the bedroom

Whether it's a fresh lick of paint in a soothing colour (white all the way for me!) or ensuring that lighting is adequate, updates to the bedroom can make all the difference! I have been toying with the idea of moving our bedroom into the attic at some point. This would mean that kiddo could have our current bedroom so she has more space but the only thing that puts me off is the awkward position of the window in the attic which is currently right over the stairs and can only be opened with a pole! Such a faff! We'd definitely need to update this if we were to swap rooms and recently I have seen that VELUX roof windows offer a range of electric roof windows that can be opened at the touch of a button. Not only this, these windows come with an electric rain sensor that closes the window automatically should it rain. I'm a girl that likes fresh air at night and just imagine no having to worry about the rain if you left the window open! It would be an amazing no fuss solution to our window problem!

All the plants

I am a huge advocate for plants in the bedroom. Not only do they look amazing and create that relaxed vibe in an instant, plants have the amazing ability to cleanse the air, absorb odours and sustain oxygen levels which in turn will promote a better nights sleep. There's no need to spend a lot of money on plants for the home though! I am a huge fan of the range available at IKEA where everything is reasonably priced. Also you can find plants at car boot sales, summer fairs or at the local supermarket for next to nothing!

Ban the gadgets

We don't have a television or even a radio in the bedroom but I am super guilty of taking my phone to bed at night. Mostly because I set the alarm on it for the morning but also because I am addicted to that late night social media scrolling! So bad, I know! Getting rid of this distraction would make a world of difference, for sure!

Spruce up the bedding

I love bedding and there's nothing like slipping into fresh, clean sheets at the end of the day. Recently though, I made the decision to ditch the expensive bedding I owned and opt for no-fuss cheaper options that could be switched up according to the season. One of my more recent purchases was this SKÖRPIL quilt cover and 4 pillowcase set from IKEA which was a complete bargain at just £13 for the set. It's amazing, the fabric is silky soft, it washes easily and most importantly, it doesn't need ironing. Literally no going back after this, I love waking up in soft sheets that haven't crinkled up overnight!

In the winter, I love my Cozee Home fleece bedding set which is literally the best winter bedding ever. Honestly, I sleep so well with it and can thoroughly recommend it if you struggle to sleep in the colder months!

Do you have any tips for getting a good nights sleep? I'd love to hear! Let me know in a comment below.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Zippo's Circus // Jigit

One of the many reasons that I love living in Sheffield is there is always so much to do. I literally cannot believe that we are half way through the summer holidays already, there has been so much going on around the city and the surrounding areas that we haven't had a single day of boredom in our house.... hurrah! We've had a real treat this week though with the annual arrival of Zippo's Circus at Endcliffe Park who are here with their brand new action packed show "Jigit!".

Honestly, when it comes to family friendly shows, you really can't get much better than Zippo's Circus. A true circus, far removed from corporate counterparts... with Zippo's you get the real deal. No creepy clowns though, I promise!

I am in complete awe of the shows they put together. Each year they get better and better and 2017 is no exception. The title of the show "jigit" translates as skillful and brave, a perfectly fitting title for a jaw dropping show where artistes reach the absolute pinnacle of these qualities for the sheer enjoyment of the audience.

We had ringside seats for the 3pm show on Friday and we were seated nice and early ready for the show to begin, not before purchasing the obligatorily brochure, light up wand for kiddo and yummy circus snacks though!

I'm one of those people that wants to buy all the things at shows, I'm not gonna try and hide it!

Firstly, let me tell you if you can get ringside seats then do it! There's literally no better way of getting up close to the action, you'll be able to see everything in incredible detail. Well worth every penny!

The two part, two hour show was simply mesmerising. They have managed to cram in everything from the thundering hooves of acrobatic Cossack riding to heart stopping knife throwing and from performing budgies to a daring trapeze act, foot juggling with actual fire and much, much more. Let's not forget the world's greatest ringmaster either, Norman Barrett MBE, who is just an absolute legend! The acts were varied providing something for everyone!

Our group left the show all with a different favourite act. Kiddo loved the slapstick comedy from Emilion Delbosq and Norman Barrett with his budgies, of course! I couldn't possibly narrow it down to just one though so without further ado, here are my top five personal highlights from this year's show!

Kimberley on the trapeze

I love, love, love a good trapeze act (I even have a trapeze lady tattoo... I'm slightly obsessed!) and as one of the shows opening acts, well I just thought that it was beautiful. Her grace, personality and strength combined with the fact that this lady uses absolutely no safety nets as she dangles above the circus ring (by her heels, her heels for goodness sake!) meant that this act was absolute perfection.

(Photo - Piet-Hein Out)

Los Carmonas del Sol - Bola sensations

This act was loud, dangerous, energetic and tremendously hypnotic to watch. I didn't want it to end! I loved everything about this performance; the energy, the costumes, the absolute precision. Bolas are traditionally used by gauchos to capture animals by entangling their legs but the twirling of the bolas is also a beautiful art form. Definitely not one to try at home though! Kiddo found this one a little too loud but for me, I could have watched it all day!

(Photo - Piet-Hein Out)

The Khadikov Troupe and the "Jigit!" cossack horses

One of two animal acts in this year's show, this act was both astonishing and fearless. Sitting ringside for this was incredible as horses raced around the ring at breathtaking speed. Their impeccably skilled riders leapt from the horses, bounced onto the ground and re-mounted themselves in the blink of an eye. A real treat to witness the special relationship between man and horse in the circus ring.

(Photo - Piet-Hein Out)

By the way, if you're interested in how the animals are looked after at Zippo's Circus then you can pop along to one of their free open house days at most locations where you are able to see animals in their quarters and their trainers are available to answer any questions! I've been to these before in the past and they are so insightful, really putting your mind at rest when it comes to the welfare of the animals at Zippo's Circus! Happy, healthy, talented and beautiful!

Zulu Warriors

I have seen these guys so many times in the past but my goodness, their energy and positivity is infectious. They never disappoint. You literally cannot do anything other than smile and be amazed at this act! High speed acrobatics, human pyramid building and hoop jumping at breakneck speed. Also, they are so flipping cheerful. What's not to love?!

(Photo - Piet-Hein Out)

Lucius Troupe

The highlight and the closing act of the show, the Lucius Troupe are modern day "Jigit" riders in every way. A petrol-fuelled hair raising act where five riders entered the 'globe of death' whizzing around within mere feet of each other. If this wasn't frightening enough, at one point the globe splits into two whilst motorbikes hurtle round. It's brave, it's mind-boggling and you really have to see it to believe it.... that's if you can watch it without covering your eyes!

(Photo - Piet-Hein Out)

Zippo's Circus is currently touring the UK and is in Sheffield (Endcliffe Park, S11 7AB) until Monday 14th August 2017 so make sure you get your tickets to see this amazing show before they leave! Tickets are available from the circus box office on site or you can book in advance over on the Zippo's website where you can also find venue details, show times and lots more information!

* We were given complimentary tickets for the show but as always, all words and opinions are my own!

Beautiful on a budget // Decorating your first home

There are few things more exciting than moving into your very first home. It’s a chance for you to truly live independently as an adult, and this little space you rent or buy is symbolic of a brand new chapter in your life. Chances are you will want to make your new home as personal to you as possible, not only because it’s a fun and exciting thing to do but because it will help you feel far more ‘at home’ as quickly as possible. There’s only one problem - budget. Most people moving into their first home don’t have a tonne of cash, and so you might have to get thrifty to get the most for your money.

Here are some ideas for things to try!

Search for sales

For some items, paying for quality is always your best bet. Mattresses and sofas for example will last much longer and be more comfortable than going for a cheaper alternative. But you don’t have to pay full price, keep an eye out for sales; this chesterfield sofa sale for instance has thirty percent off which could mean a saving of hundreds. At least then you have a beautiful, comfortable piece of furniture that will last you for many years, rather than replacing springy and worn pieces constantly (which will cost a lot more in the long run). Instead of buying cheap with these two things, try to find better quality but at discounted prices.

Raid bargain shops and websites

For other items, going cheap is the best way to go when you’re first starting out. From Ikea’s 50p plates and bowls to photo frames and knick knacks in the Pound shop to throws and cushions on eBay. B&M, The Range, Matalan, and supermarkets all sell very inexpensive but lovely home-ware, you’ll find you can kit out your place and make it feel like your own but without spending much money.

Check Out Facebook Groups and Classified Sites People often upgrade their appliances and furniture long before it’s worn out meaning you can grab some great second-hand bargains. Things like washing machines, cookers and fridges can be expensive to buy new but incredibly cheap second hand. Providing they look OK and still work properly it’s a win- win for you, give them a good clean, and you’ve saved yourself hundreds. You could always work on saving and upgrading these as time goes on.

Buy items before you move

Finally, one of the best ways you can spread the cost is by buying items before you move. You could get hold of a couple of big boxes and label them ‘bedroom’ ‘kitchen’ ‘living room’ ‘bathroom’ etc. and put any items you’re able to get before you go into these. At least you then have a few things to get you started. Pick up things like a bath mat and towels, kitchen utensils, bedding and other essential items that you’ll need to start using right away.

What tips would you give to someone who is planning on moving into their first home soon?

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

A Disney Wish List

You all know i'm am obsessed with anything Disney related but it might surprise you to know that I don't actually own that much Disney "stuff". I don't collect pins, plush toys (kiddo does though, don't get me started!) or ornaments and I sold my vast snow-globe collection on eBay over the past few years. I just don't like having stuff cluttering up our home as I much prefer to save my pennies for Disney holidays! 

That said though, i'm all for buying Disney products that have an actual use. Things that I can incorporate into my everyday life instead of sitting on a shelf gathering dust. I rarely buy much for myself anymore but I've noticed over the past month or so that I have a growing collection of items that i'd really like to own so today I thought that I would share some of these with you! 

Some of these items are more frivolous than others but they are items i'll definitely be hinting for when it comes to gift giving occasions! So without further ado, here are five Disney items that I have had my eye on recently....

Primark Beauty & the Beast "Bonjour" Duvet Set

I really have tried so hard to bypass most of the much hyped Beauty & the Beast merch at Primark over the past few months but I have decided that this duvet set is something I need in my life! I have such a soft spot for bedding and this set is just perfect in every way. Just look at the pillowcases! So cute! If I can't find this in store then I'll most definitely be hunting for it on eBay (even if the prices are hugely inflated! They most definitely will be). 

Disney Couture Lion King Simba Necklace

I'm not a huge jewellery wearer but I do own a fair few Disney Couture pieces that I like to dig out on special occasions. This gold-plated Simba outline would be the perfect addition to my collection. It's understated, simple, so pretty and such a bargain too! Sending this one out to my husband as a wedding anniversary hint, for sure! It would be so amazing to wear in Animal Kingdom, my favourite Disney park!

Cars 3 'Doc Hudson' mug

You honestly can't beat a good Disney mug! My kitchen cupboards are literally filled with them but you can never have too many in my opinion, especially when all my guests love a good cuppa as much as me! I thoroughly enjoyed Cars 3 and this mug from the Disney Store is super fun with it's glossy metallic finish and Doc Hudson motor oil design! 


Mrs Potts & Chip lip balm duo

So many people have posted photos of this cute little duo over the past week or so and of course, I'm gonna have to get my hands on them somehow! These cuties are expected to arrived on the 8th September 2017 over on Truffle Shuffle. I can imagine they won't be around for long though so I'll have to be quick! 

Irregular Choice 'Faith in Dreams' Cinderella heels

These limited edition beauties are just dreamy in every way! In many ways I prefer the Cinderella collection to the Mickey Mouse collection, which is strange because in reality I am not that into Cinderella. I love everything about these heels though, they are so precious! Unashamedly Disney and everything you expect from Irregular Choice. I think being realistic (and practical) I'd probably opt for the sparkly Cinderella flats instead but these would be amazing for nights out and special occasions. I really want these in my life!

What Disney items have you been lusting over recently? Let me know in a comment below!

Sunday, 6 August 2017


A little Sunday round-up, some of the little things that I've been loving this week!

A new tattoo

This weekend I had my first tattoo in a few months and I can't even begin to tell you how super happy I am with it! I took a break from being tattooed due to illness (never ending tonsillitis of doom) and I think the longer the break got, the more nervous I became about getting the next one. I shouldn't have worried though, it was absolutely fine! She's on the back of my thigh and I've already booked to get the other leg done too next month. Roll on September, ay?! 

Cranes Cranberry Cider

One of my favourite things about summer is getting the chance to spend more time outdoors, eating out in the garden and making the most of those long, light evenings. Summer eating for me is all about fresh produce, lots of salads and refreshing summer drinks. So when the lovely folk at Cranes cider recently sent me some of their delicious sounding ciders to try out*, I thought it was the perfect chance to enjoy them out in the garden at the end of a long and busy week!

I love a good cider but I dislike how sickly sweet some of the more commercial brands tend to be. Cranes offer a perfectly balanced cider, sweet but not overly sweet and beautifully refreshing. Perfect for summer. These unique new drinks amazingly have 30% less calories in comparison to brand leaders as they utilise the natural sweetness of fruit. 

Cranes cider is a relatively new start up and was founded by twin brothers Ben and Dan. Their cider is currently available in three flavours; cranberries and limes, raspberries and pomegranates and blueberries and apples. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed all three of the flavours but my particular favourite is the cranberries and limes as it is super refreshing. Just how I like my cider! I absolutely love the juicy red colour of these ciders, they are so different and well worth a try. 

Fingers crossed for many more days filled with sunshine and no rain so we can continue to enjoy eating, drinking and having fun outside before autumn arrives!

A car boot sale

As much as I love buying at a car boot sale, I flipping hate actually doing one. Waking up at the crack of dawn is really not my thing but this weekend we forced ourselves out of bed, filled up the car and headed out to the Peak District to one of our favourite boot sale destinations. Yes, we are still getting rid of stuff. No, I have no idea where it is all still coming from! 

We mostly had baby equipment and baby toys to sell and I am absolutely loving that feeling of freeing up yet more space in our home. It's so good! This reminds me, I need to update you on our de-cluttering mission. Separate blog post coming soon!

Making the most of the summer holidays

This summer is our first proper experience of the summer holidays as kiddo is off nursery for a whopping 6.5 weeks. I must admit I had some initial panic as to what we'd get up to for that length of time, especially as the classes she attends have also finished for summer. We're having an absolutely lovely time though getting out and about, summer classes, taking regular trips to the cinema, local farms or the park, booking trips away and trying to make the most of every day! For the rainy days we have been enjoying lazy mornings, plenty of stories, all the Disney movies, puzzles, colouring.... ah, it's endless but you're only little once. I want to make sure she's having the best time! 

Disney Vlogs

Honestly, I am addicted to watching other people's Disney holidays on YouTube. Cruises, Florida, Paris, Anaheim, Tokyo.... literally does not matter as long as it's Disney! I already have a million channels that I am subscribed to but if you have any more recommendations or vlogged your Disney holiday then please do let me know. I can't get enough!

What have you been loving this week? Let me know in a comment below!

* I received these samples to try out but as always, all words and thoughts are my own!

Friday, 4 August 2017

The property ladder and why people get on it

Moving into the real estate market is a big decision regardless of what stage you are at in your life. As you are making such a big commitment, it is worth taking the time to consider what the implications will be for you are your lifestyle. But there are a number of positive factors that you should know about that are all worth looking at in closer detail. So, here are five of the main reasons why people decide that they want to invest in property! 

To get out of renting

Instead of contributing to other people’s mortgage payments, you could be channelling this money into paying for your own instead. There are all kinds of schemes out there designed to help first time buyers. And many people find that their mortgage repayments are actually cheaper than their rent, so this is another positive factor to consider. Plus, the overall satisfaction of having a place to call your own rather than living in someone else’s house is high.

To make an investment

As the price of real estate continues to rise year on year, many people see property as an investment that it just makes sense to make. Once you get one house and you firmly establish yourself on the property ladder, you have more of an option to look at more investment properties and you can start generating even more revenue. Ultimately, property is one of the safest investments that you can make.

To provide security

When you own a property, you have the security of knowing that it is yours and you are out of the unstable renting situation. Plus, you don’t have the constant worry of whether your monthly payments will go up. And when you have this level of security, you feel much more comfortable turning the place into your home rather than constantly viewing it a temporary living situation.

To give a sense of community

When you have bought a house and have committed to staying in that property for a reasonable length of time, you start to feel much more a part of the neighbourhood. This feeling of permanence means that you can form lasting friendships, join community organisations and contribute to the overall livability of the area.

To give freedom to personalise

When you are living in a rental place, you have to always get permission if you want to make any changes. When you own a property, you have much more freedom to do as you choose and adapt the place to your personal tastes. Many people view a home as a constant work in progress, so you also have the option of doing major renovations jobs like extensions and conversions.

These are just five reasons why people get on the property ladder which you can factor into your decision making. Ultimately though, it is all about the pride of ownership, flexibility to do what you want with the place and sense of making a good investment!