If you're a regular reader you know I adore my vanilla scents. But I'm quite the vanilla fiend so my nose is always drawn to true vanilla (trust me, synthetic just doesn't beat the real stuff!). Many years ago, in my LUSH days, my friend came home from a Paris perfume trip and gave me a sample of this scent by Annick Goutal called 'Vanilla Exquise' and I instantly knew I had found my scent. I was determined after using every last drop that one day I would get the full size bottle from Paris (but you can actually find it in Selfridges UK'ers), and if you read the post about my trip you'll know that's when I got it. It's the most beautiful vanilla fragrance I have found that's what I would describe as: Oriental vanilla. It's a stunning, heady mix of angelica, almond, vanilla, musk, sandalwood and guaiac wood. It's perfect. It's quite intense when you first apply it, but after a moment or two it settles in to become a very authentic, warm and cosy vanilla. Almost like a smokey bonfire vanilla, if that makes sense!
Water: we all need it. And we need lots of it. The problem is that for so many it seems a hard good habit to keep up. My favourite solution is the Brita Water Filter (and it helps this one is pink and eye-catching enough!). You can get these everywhere at the moment but when I spied this pink pretty I HAD to get it. It’s so easy to use and maintain and I have mentioned it was pink with lips on, right? You can get lots of different colours and designs and it definitely reminds me to get my 8 glasses a day. If you click here you can find the exact design I have. I also adore the purple butterfly print!
A few months ago my Mum and Dad went to New Zealand and came home with a lot of lovely of beauty treats for me from not only New Zealand, but Australia as well. You can see my haul post here but in particular I'm loving Jojoba Oil, which is raved about so much across the other side of the world (in particular New Zealand babes Sally Jo and Shaaanxo). It doesn’t feel greasy at all and my skin feels so moisturised, less angry and more even. I apply it at night and trust me your skin will be so radiant the next day. I highly love and highly recommend! And if you have skin prone to oiliness don't be scared of this: just massage a little in at night and let it surprise you. For more info click here.
My hometown of Bournemouth, Dorset has recently been chosen to have five stunning beach huts decorated in Cath Kinston’s iconic and current season prints. I’m absolutely obsessed with them, and I just wish we could have them forever! They look so pretty on the sea front. If you want to see more photos I made a blog post right here. But if you’re interested in seeing them in the flesh you have until September and in that post just linked, I provide details in case you fancy renting one out!
As some of you know I'm allergic to dairy and therefore I definitely have to be very aware about what I eat. Over the last few years I just made the decision to cut the headache out of eating generally and just eat things that were natural as nature intended, and thus, no more reading packets with a fine tooth comb (because trust me beyond that it's common sense!). There are so many wonderful nutritional writers out there at the moment and I think healthy eating has become incredibly 'in' in the last few years (I'm however not a fan of the term 'eat clean'...!). I'm a huge fan of Deliciously Ella, Honestly Healthy, Hemsley and Hemsley and of course my beloved Karen Fischer (author of Healthy Skin Diet who saved my eczema ridden skin). The latter two were highly praised by my dietician when I showed her some of my books, and she also high rated Madeline Shaw's book 'Get The Glow'.
I absolutely love Madeline! I kind of want to be BFFs with her and cook with her! She seems so down to earth, so friendly, and her recipes are easy to make and absolutely delicious (plus the ingredients are easy-peasy to source). The majority are dairy free so it's so easy to make everything and did I mention I just love her? No wonder she has a whole stream of A-list fans including the Millie Mackintosh, Caggie Dunlop and Tanya Burr. Grab a copy of her book here and thank me later ;).
Not really surprising is it? I of course had to pick Paris as one of my favourite things lately as it truly is one of my most favourite everything(s) full stop. Paris is to me, one of the most beautiful cities in the whole world. It's a place full of history of prestige and of grandeur. I so love and admire how the French put so much effort in preserving its beauty. For more photos and a little homemade (*cough* amateur *cough*) video head to this post here.
Something that goes hand in hand with the above is getting very, very good at French because I will be there so much this year. French has always been one of my main languages but I spent a lot of time trying to improve my Spanish and German a few years ago I let my French go. This year I've made it my priority to immerse myself in this beautiful language again so I've been watching French Youtubers, reading French blogs and reading French magazines. To go along with this, I've become truly obsessed with a little app called Duolingo. It's completely free and works similar to a game really with different modules you pass before moving onto the next. It's so fun and user friendly and I know I might be a bit sad, but I can't put it down sometimes! I literally play no games and don't have a lot of apps because I dislike how they suck the time out of you, but Duolingo is so wonderful. Pick a language to start today and give it a go! If you do, let me know!
Favourite music: Vanessa Carlton 'Liberman'
Did you know that Vanessa Carlton is one of my very favourite musicians? I think was 12 when 'A Thousand Miles' was released and I've loved her ever since. Many just see her as a one-hit-wonder from this runaway song but I've loved her ever since and so admire her musical evolution to date, and for always being true to herself and style. Her new track 'Blue Pool' is just perfect. The waltzy piano is truly magical and you feel transported to an 18th century classical symphony which ebbs and flows and feels like you're transcended into a truly calming, beautiful oasis.