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Travel: Going back to Barbados for Crop Over

I’m so excited I could explode, I’m going back to Barbados next week for Crop Over which is basically carnival on the island. I went last year and had the most fun ever! You can check out my photo diary from last year here.

Crop Over 2015


This time I’m going to be staying on the beautiful South Coast at the four star Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels. I’ve already been nosing at the website and it looks so dreamy.

Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels

Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels


I’ve already been checking out the itinerary for my trip and it’s going to include things like T20 at Kensington Oval which is the home of cricket (I’ll need to brush up on my cricket knowledge), a tour of the island in a jeep, touring the island by boat which is one of my absolute favourite things to do in Barbados and the finale is Grand Kadooment.

Keep an eye on my Instagram for updates (of which there will be many) and also find me on Snapchat, username – Kylievj
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Lifestyle: John Lewis has got Christmas all wrapped up

I’m a fully fledged John Lewis fan and I basically want to kit my entire house out with things from their store. So when my friend Becky from English Mum asked if I fancied checking out what they have in store for Christmas, I of course leapt at the chance.

 
John Lewis Christmas Table
 

John Lewis Christmas Tree


John Lewis Christmas Tree

Now, I know what you’re thinking ‘not more talk of Christmas’ especially on the hottest day of the year, but it was all just so pretty and not to mention sparkly!

English mum and John Lewis stag
Becky made a new friend

We were greeted with winter gin & tonics from Sipsmith Gin which included a dash of sloe gin and wedge of orange, I think I will definitely be recreating these for Christmas. The lovely ladies from Sipmith gave me the recipe to share with you:

INGREDIENTS
·         25ml London Dry Gin
·         20ml Sloe Gin
·         Great quality tonic (Fever Tree is my favourite)
·         Orange

METHOD
1.       Fill a highball with ice
2.       Add 25ml of Sipsmith London Dry gin
3.       Top with a great quality tonic
4.       Drizzle 20ml Sipsmith Sloe Gin on the top
5.       Garnish with a fresh wedge of Orange

Sipsmith winter gin and tonic

Sipsmith winter gin and tonic

I found the handbag of my dreams – how beautiful is this Kate Spade bunny bag?! I’m just waiting for it to hit stores so I can get my paws on it.

Kate Spade bunny bag


We were also let into a little secret, the fabulous online clothing brand Hush are opening their first concessions in John Lewis stores in Chelmsford, Oxford Street, Leeds and Birmingham and their autumn/winter range looks gorgeous. How fabulous is this sparkly maxi dress and love jumper! (Sorry the pictures aren’t my best work, the spotlights were conspiring against me!).  

Hush autumn winter collection

Hush autumn winter collection


The ladies from my favourite biscuit company of all time, Biscuiteers were on hand to show off their new Christmas range as well as personalising cute Christmas jumpers for us. I think this is the first time ever my name has been on anything! It was almost too cute to eat, well almost!


Biscuiteers Christmas collection

Biscuiteers Christmas collection
So happy with my personalised Christmas jumper
I have to say the goodie bag we were given on our way out in the sunshine was gorgeous and included some cosy grey winter socks, a silver star bracelet from Hush, the best chocolate ever from Simply Chocolate and a Christmas cracker. 

John Lewis goodie bag

John Lewis goodie bag

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Beauty: Let’s get Naked……… with Urban Decay

I’m so slow to the Naked palette party and I know many of you would have been using it for yonks! But, I’ve now joined the gang and got myself a Naked Basics Palette. And I have to be honest, I don’t know what I did before I owned it! It’s sooooooooo good.

Naked Basics Urban Decay


I’ve steered towards using Venus (a light cream colour) as a base colour taking it right up to my brow bone and then using Naked 2 (light beige brown) across my lids and then using Faint (darker brown) in the crease of my lid to give it a slight smokey eye look.

Naked Basics Urban Decay


It’s basically become my go to daily eye makeup look because it’s subtle enough for work and gives me the little extra confidence to tackle the day.

Naked Basics Urban Decay

Naked Basics Urban Decay



Have you used any of the Naked palettes? Which is your favourite, I’d love to hear your tips of how you use it. 
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Lifestyle: Christmas in July with Etsy and Bloom&Wild

I know, I know, you’re thinking please don’t mention the C-Word we haven’t really had a proper summer yet but, I can’t not tell you about the fabulous press day Etsy held to showcase their Christmas lookbook.

Etsy Christmas LookBook

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PapioPress
Gorgeous stationary from Papio Press

Etsy Christmas

Etsy Christmas


Before I launch into all the exciting things coming up for Christmas and you think I’ve turned into a one woman Christmas elf I want to say how much I LOVE ETSY! I bought so many things from amazing different sellers for my wedding I actually had to stop myself from going overboard.

So back to Christmas, it’s a time of year I really love, spending time with family and friends and gift buying. I always find gift buying so satisfying, spending time finding the perfect present for someone and then seeing how happy (hopefully) they are when they open it. I really like to try and find unique gifts for people which is where Etsy comes in!

Etsy’s Christmas in July event was combined with flower arranging from the fabulous letterbox flower delivery service Bloom&Wild. If you’ve not heard of these guys you have to check them out, I use them to send flowers all the time. The flowers are always carefully packed and last so long! Bloom and Wild are soon to launch their new posy party collection which they let us unleash our creative skills and arrange our own. Flower arranging is my new favourite thing!

Bloom&Wild

Flower arranging with bloom and wild
Posy making

flower arranging

flower arranging
Two of my finished posy's 

christmas flowers from bloom&wild

selfie
Accidental side selfie with my posy

The goodie bag I received from the day was so cute. To start off you had to complete a Sugar magazine style flowchart to decide what ‘type of mug’ you are. Mine was Trend-Dodger and the bag I was given corresponded with your chosen mug. So what was in the bag I hear you yell? Well, a pack of super cute pencils from Newton and the Apple, a notebook for super-secret evil plans from Thriftbox, and Etsy gift voucher and the coolest mug ever from We Are Paper Plane.

Prosecco mug etsy

christmas goodie bag
Aren't the pencils the coolest


From the lookbook I’ve pulled together a few of my favourite things which I think I’m going to *need* (obvs buy as gifts!) 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/245181900/gold-drip-bone-china-mug
Gold drip mug £18

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/262084940/sweatshirt-gris-clair-chine-brode
Grey sweatshirt with dove design £43
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/266812071/personalized-bracelet-cuff-bracelet
Customised Silver Bangle £42

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/154642514/stationery-notebook-journal-diary-book?ref=shop_home_active_10
Notebook with gold finishing £12.50

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/256400497/gym-gin-water-bottle-gym-and-tonic-gin?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=gym%20gin%20water%20bottle&ref=sr_gallery_1
Gym Gin Water Bottle £13



How early do you start your Christmas shopping? Are you a super keenie and get it done early or are you a last minute Minnie and leave it to Christmas Eve? 
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Sunday Sessions: I’ve had the chop

Ok, so it’s not as dramatic as the title suggests but yesterday I was finally allowed to have my hair cut! Now, I don’t just mean a tiny smidge off the ends to tidy it up, but a full on 8 inch chop! For the last year my hairdresser had forbidden me from having it cut because it’s much easier to do an up do with long hair!

Blonde Haircut
Before

Short Blonde Hair
After

I had a really fun week last week and went to my first Christmas in July events with John Lewis and Etsy. I’ve got so much to tell you but I’ll save that for another day.  Although I think I found a new vocation – flower arranging. The fabulous team from letterbox flower delivery service, Bloom & Wild were at the Etsy event giving everyone the chance to turn their hand to flower arranging. It is so therapeutic, I’m really considering signing myself up for an actual course. If you fancy ordering yourself some beautiful blooms, click here and get £10 off your first order! 

Bloom&Wild Flowers

Blogger office
How cute does my desk look with these flowers?

This coming week I’m getting back on the fitness wagon, I’ve let myself laze for a bit post wedding but I’m really starting to feel it and some of my clothes which did feel great are starting to not feel so great. So rather than stress myself out by getting on the scales I’m just going to hit the gym and get back to making some fab recipes from the Lean in 15 book.


I know I’ve missed a few Sunday Sessions recently but here’s a dose of Nigel being disobedient and taking no notice of my ‘no Nigel’s on the bed’ rule. 

black cat

black cat

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Lifestyle: Cheers to the weekend with a Vodka Bramble

Last week I had a fabulous time on holiday in Turkey at the Neilson Seaside Hotel in Ortakent. I’ve been visiting Turkey on holiday since I was young and have always loved it! Not only is the food amazing, the scenery beautiful but the people are some of the kindest I’ve ever met.


Turkish Coast
A slightly windswept selfie

Turkish Sunset


Whilst on holiday I took part in a cocktail making session set against the backdrop of the beautiful ocean. I want to share with you one of the cocktail recipes we made – the Vodka Bramble purely because it was my absolute favourite.

cocktail making in Turkey

cocktail making in Turkey


What you need:
Boston shaker
Cocktail strainer
Measuring jig
Absolute Vanilla Vodka
Lemon Juice
Sugar Syrup
Blackcurrant liquor
Blackberries
Crushed Ice

Method:

1.       Fill the Boston Shaker with ice
2.       Add 40ml lemon juice, 40ml Absolut vanilla vodka, 20ml blackcurrant liquor and 20ml sugar syrup
3.       Shake (like Tom Cruise in Cocktail)
4.       Fill a jam jar glass with ice
5.       Use the strainer to pour over the ice
6.       Top with crushed ice, two straws and a couple of blackberries

Vodka Bramble




Enjoy! 
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Sunday Sessions - I’m a wife!!

I’ve been a bit quiet on the Sunday Sessions front recently because we have been in mad final planning stages for our wedding and last weekend on the 11th June we finally did it! I’m now a wife, which does still sound weird and all a bit too grown up!



Aside from having an incredible day with all of our family and friends, not a lot has actually changed, well apart from my name which is taking quite a bit of getting used too.





Not a lot else has been happening which hasn’t been wedding based but I have discovered the most amazing product from No. 7 – green primer. This stuff is a miracle worker, why I haven’t used it sooner I don’t know! 
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