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Travel: Our Australian Honeymoon Adventure

In exactly three months today we will be touching down in sunny Sydney for the start of our epic month long honeymoon, and I cannot blaaaaadddyy wait! Now, I already feel a little bit Aussie because my name means Boomerang in Australian so I feel like I’m already into the groove!

Eyre Highway, Nullarbor, SA
Mandatory credit: Sean Scott Photography
Photographer: Sean Scott

So you might be wondering what we’ve got planned for our time away? So here’s a little run down of how our trip is going to look:

·         Sydney
·         Driving to Melbourne in the coolest campervan ever!
·         Melbourne and Christmas with my BFF
·         Whitsunday’s
·         Brisbane
·         Surfer’s Paradise
·         Byron Bay
·         The back to Sydney before flying home

NSW; Byron Bay
Mandatory credit: Tourism Australia
Photographer: Camille Nuttall

When I write it down it does seem like a massive trip and the distance we will be covering is only just dawning on me! I think there will be at least three internal flights and a couple of coach journeys too.

Aside from travelling around there’s a few tours and things that we have decided that we can’t leave Australia without doing. Mr B 100% wants to climb the Harbour Bridge in Sydney and I’m desperate to get out on a boat around the Whitsunday Islands soaking up the sunshine and ocean waves. I also don’t think we can go to Melbourne without taking the classic Neighbours Tour.

Sailaway Reef & Island Tours, Port Douglas, QLD
Mandatory credit: Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree

Challenger Bay Drift at Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef, QLD
Mandatory credit: Tourism Whitsundays
Photographer: Darren Jew

Heart Reef, Great Barrier Reef, QLD
Mandatory credit: Tourism Whitsundays

We’ve kept our hotel accommodation quite modest, as much as I would love for us to stay in five star hotels the whole time we don’t have an endless pot of cash so we’ve decided we’d rather spend it on experiences and making memories than hotel rooms.

If you’ve been to any of the places we’re planning on going let me know! I’d love to hear everyone’s recommendations for places to eat, things to do, bars to drink in – well you get the gist. Also any recommendations for free things to do would also be greatly received!! 
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Travel: Barbados – the island that has it all including a submarine

Those of you lovely lot who are regular readers will know that I love Barbados, I honestly can’t get enough of the island and relish the opportunity when I can bring it up in conversation…… again! So I wanted to give you a run-down of my top five favourite things to do on the island. (Honestly there a millions more but I’d be here forever detailing each one!!).

Bathsheba Barbados
Beautiful Bathsheba

No trip to Bim would be complete without a day out on the ocean on a catamaran. My absolute favourite is Jammin, there’s something about the brightly coloured boat that gives me the warm and fuzzies. (Although that could be the rum on board!) The all day trip includes two turtle swimming spots where the fabulous crew will take you out swimming with the island's native green turtles. On my last trip we didn’t actually see any (I think they were asleep) but, I did see a very cool puffer fish, luckily he chose not to show us his spikes! You also get lunch as part of the trip which is a beautiful buffet including mahi mahi (fish), chicken and the famous macaroni pie. Oh and more rum punch than you can drink!

Jammin Cats Barbados
Life on the ocean waves with Jammin

So Jammin is all about sailing on and swimming in the ocean but what about going to the ocean floor? Atlantis Submarine in Barbados was the first passenger submarine to operate in the Caribbean and it is an amazing experience. It’s quite eerie as you head towards the bottom of the ocean but it’s unlike any snorkelling experience (I’ve never dived so I imagine it like that). On the dive we spotted many Dory fish swimming in and out of the natural coral. This should definitely be on any ‘must do’ list.

Atlantis Submarine Barbados
Under da sea
I’ve mentioned rum before but Mount Gay Rum is the oldest in the world and you can visit the distillery not only to see how the famous brand began and how they produce it but also it’s the perfect opportunity for tastings! We did our tour in the morning and tasting rum at 10am does feel a little early so my advice would be to go in the afternoon if drinking before 12 gives you the guilts! The tour is only £10 per person but that includes loads of tasting opportunities and rum punch!

Mount Gay Rum
All dis rum

Barbados is in the middle of two oceans, the Caribbean and the Atlantic and the East Coast of the island is much more rugged and natural. Bathsheba, half way up the East Coast is one of my favourite places to visit, it’s got such a buzz. You’ll know when you’re there because you’ll see a giant rock in the ocean. There’s a fantastic beach bar which serves up amazing food, I had a huge plate of Mahi Mahi with macaroni pie and coleslaw, all washed down with a local Banks beer.

Bathsheba View

Finally no trip to Barbados would be complete without hitting the beach! None of the beaches in Barbados are private so you can go to anyone, although you can’t use another hotels sun loungers. All of the beaches are beautifully soft white sand and the perfect place to watch the world go by. 

Beaches in Barbados

So that's my top five but there are so many other amazing experiences to be had in Barbados. Have you been? I'd love to hear your recommendations too! 

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Fashion: September Spending

Ok so I’ve been on a self-imposed shopping ban recently to try and rein in my monthly spending as we have Australia coming up at the end of the year. However, I failed dramatically….. Again! Every time I say I’m on a shopping ban I spot literally a zillion things I *need* and simply can’t be without!

ASOS shoes

If you follow me on Insta you will have seen that I’m loving the return of the choker! Back in the 90s and my youth I lived and breathed in a choker until it was no longer cool so I’m soooooooo happy they have returned.

Topshop choker

A few of the things I’ve recently bought were in the sale, so I was basically making money (crazy logic right?!) but as I’ve said we are off to Australia at the end of the year so I need a few summery bits before they disappear from the high street faster than a unicorn on speed.

From Asos I bought these super cute espadrilles which were only £7 down from £12 – see I told you, making money! I’ve already road tested them and they look great with jeans and I’m hoping to rock them with a cute dress or playsuit.

I also bought this green wrap front beach playsuit which again was only £9 down from £18! I love anything green and am always drawn to it, my only reservation with this is the material is the kind which creases the minute you move. They’ve got irons in Australia, right?!

ASOS playsuit

So this dress from Zara wasn’t in the sale but was only £29.99. I don’t normally go for off the shoulder because I always think I have massive shoulders for my size. But when I tried this on it was a really flattering fit.

Zara off the shoulder dress

With autumn on its way bringing that weird in between stage of never being able to dress for the weather, I pick up this sweatshirt from New Look and it was only £14.99.I love New Look and quite a lot of my wardrobe is from there because I find their size 12 fits me like a glove.

New Look glitter star jumper

So there you have it, my self-imposed spending ban turned into a full on spree……………..again!

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Beauty: New from Dermalogica - Phyto Replenish Oil

The fabulous skincare experts over at Dermalogica have today launched their answer to all-day dewy skin – Phyto Replenish Oil, which is not only a feather light facial oil but also smells super dreamy.

Dermologica Phyto Replenish Oil

I’m forever stressing over my skin and will try anything in my quest for a clear and glowing look. I've recently I’ve upped my use of Dermalogica products because they contain natural ingredients rather than any chemical nasties. Since using the special cleansing gel on a regular basis my skin does seem to be clearer and brighter.

Dermologica Phyto Replenish Oil

Now, I have combination skin so I’m always a bit worried about using any kind of oil, purely because I’ve always thought it would make my skin appear greasy. However, the lovely ladies over at the Dermalogica store in One New Change, St Pauls mapped my skin and explained that the oil would absorb to look dewy and showed me how to massage it into my face effectively. My skincare expert explained that as we get older the lipids (the natural protective oils in our skin) diminish leaving our skin looking a little dull and lacklustre. (And can lead to wrinkles!!) 

Dermologica skin mapping

But this is where this fabulous new oil comes in – with the natural plant based ingredients it works to preserve the skin and maintain that youthful, glowing look.

Dermologica Phyto Replenish Oil

The Phyto Replenish Oil smells amazing and I think this is down to the orchid flower extract. I’ve been mixing two drops of the oil into my daily moisturiser which allows it to absorb quicker into my skin and doesn’t slow down my morning routine.

Dermologica Phyto Replenish Oil

Basically it’s the fountain of youth in a bottle!! Hurrah!

The Phyto Replenish Oil is available online and in stores now and costs £62.

*contain PR sample 
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Beauty: L’Oreal Detox Clay Mask Review

I’m sure I’ve banged on about my crazy skin before and I’m always on a quest for products that promise to give me clear and glowing skin. I was having a particularly bad skin day (picture warning, bad skin pic below) and I’d just read London Beauty Queen’s post about the new clay masks and thought I’d give the detox one a go.

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

Off I scooted to Boots to hunt down one of the detox masks, it was the very last one is the whole store which I think is a good sign as it must be popular. Best news of all the clay masks are currently on offer at Boots for just £5 instead of the usual £7.99.
The detox clay mask is charcoal based which is meant to be great for drawing out the skin's toxins but the downside is – it’s black, not so ideal with a white bathroom! But hey, if that’s the price of clear skin then I’ll take it!

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

The formula is really rich and creamy and drew out all the impurities without drying my skin out. I’ve used cream based face masks in the past and found them to be really drying on my skin it’s really easy to apply an even layer across the skin and dries well whilst working its magic.  I did find it a little harder to clean off and be prepared for your bathroom to look like there’s been a bit of an explosion but, I promise the results are worth it! I have taken to relaxing in the bath with it on – so much easier to wash off.

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask
Such an attractive look! 

L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

There are three different clay masks within the new range each offering a different result – Detox - to draw out impurities, Purity - to tone down oily and shiny skin and Glow – to illuminate dull, lacklustre skin. L’Oreal are promoting multi-masking but for me at the moment I’m sticking to detoxing as it seems to be working its magic.
As you can see from my fairly hideous before picture my skin has reverted to my adolescent self but the after picture was taken two weeks after and it’s so much better! Yay for clear skin!

Have you tried any of these masks or do you have a failsafe product you always turn to in a time of need? Let me know, I’m always on the lookout!

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Beauty: Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

I love drifting through the beauty hall at Selfridges, it’s just so dreamy and literally makes me want to throw down my bank card and yell ‘take all of my money and give me pretty things’. But, seeing as I have boring things to pay for like house bills I can’t do this. So when I spied on BeautyJunkieLondon about the exclusive summer beauty box, I knew I had to get my mitts on one.

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

When the postman delivered my beautifully packaged box I could not wait to rip the packaging open. It was housed in a Selfridges box filled with yellow and white tissue paper. It was honestly like unwrapping a gorgeous Christmas present!

So what was hidden beneath the tissue paper? Everything was contained inside an exclusive Alphabet Bags canvas pouch with ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in mint green across the front. For me I think it’s a little too big to be a make-up bag but would make a really gorgeous summer clutch bag.

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box Alphabet Bag

You can’t buy this exact pouch at Selfridges but there are some really nice alternatives, one of my favourites says ‘All that glitters is not gold’.

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

Inside the bag I found the following products:

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

Selfridges Exclusive Summer Beauty Box

Considering I only paid £35 for this whole box it’s worth so much more!

I’ve had beauty boxes in the past but usually monthly ones where the contents are always a surprise but I think I prefer to pay a little more and know exactly what I’m getting.
I’ve had a look online and this box has now sold out but, I imagine they would do other because this has been so popular!

Do you subscribe to any beauty box services? What do you think? Would you prefer to know exactly what you’re getting each month? 
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Lifestyle: Filling my home with fresh flowers from Beards & Daisies

I absolutely love having fresh flowers at home, it really does make everywhere smell glorious. I try to have flowers in my house at least once a month and really do nurture them for as long as possible, I have been known to keep them a little too long and all the petals dropped all over the carpet. Opps.

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

I’ve been wanting to do a floristry course for ages now and I’m still researching the perfect one for me at the moment so when I found out the lovely Jo from Beards & Daisies had retrained as a florist after giving up her job as a business manager I really wanted to discover what her company was all about.

Beards & Daisies deliver gorgeous letterbox flowers which are carefully packaged to fit straight through (surprisingly enough) your letterbox! There’s currently six different bouquet styles on the website to choose from and I zoned in on The Skylark purely because it’s bursting with colour and texture.  

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

My flowers arrived beautiful packaged in gorgeous grey packaging, I don’t know about you, but I think the packaging itself is as important as the contents! Each stem was individually wrapped in netting to protect it during its journey.

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

One of the things I loved the most is the card with a hand written quote – mine said ‘Life and love are very precious, when both are in full bloom’ which is from the book Little Women. It’s the extra little touches which make all the difference.

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

At first I arranged all the flowers in one fancy new wedding vase but decided because there were so many I could split across two (sadly the second isn’t a fancy wedding gift, but hey ho you can’t have it all!) and give each stem a little more room to bloom and look beautiful.

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

Beards & Daisies Letterbox Flowers

With my curiosity about taking a flower arranging course I asked Jo a couple of questions about her inspiration and what advice she would give to anyone thinking about doing it. I was of course after the inside gossip!

Jo, Founder of Beards & Daisies

What inspired you to start Beards & Daisies?
I was starting to feel like a square peg in a round hole after working long hours glued to a laptop in my role as a business manager 
and I was desperate to be doing something more creative. I made the big decision to leave my job and start the business 
after sending a bouquet to my mum for her birthday as I couldn’t be with her in person and 
I felt disappointed that the flowers didn’t look as beautiful a gift as a bouquet from a local florist would have.
So I quit my job and started what my boyfriend fondly refers to as ‘flower school’ where 
I retrained in floristry and trained with an award winning wedding florist. My love of flowers began when I lived on 
London’s famous Columbia Road in my 20’s where the famous flower market is held every Sunday, 
so my house was always filled with flowers!

What's the story behind the name?
I was planning my sister’s wedding which was in her garden at home and she wanted it very natural and rustic.
Her fiance and his friends happened to all have beards and my sister and I coined the phrase that her wedding would be all ‘beards & daisies’…
I'm not sure if alcohol was involved in this conversation initially… 
The phrase stuck and now I like to think of Beards and Daisies representing men (beards) and women (daisies)…
It’s certainly memorable and that can only be a great thing!

How do you decide which flowers will be included in each different bouquet?
I spend a lot of time looking at colour combinations and floral trends and I then mock up all the bouquets in a vase so 
I can see how it will look when my customers receive them to ensure the colours work together, 
it represents value for money. there are enough flowers etc...

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to try their hand at flower arranging?
There are some great courses out there, including 1 day and evening classes where you 
can dip your toe into floristry before committing. If you don’t want to commit to a course then there are some 
great PYO (pick your own) flower farms out there where you can simply grab a bucket and then fill it with 
freshly cut flowers from the fields. 
Then when you get home you can get hands on arranging the flowers in a vase and see what shapes and colours
 work together!

What's your favourite flowers?
I love delicate flowers that look like they have been picked from wild fields or the garden so for a filler I 
love astrantia right now and I can’t get enough of O’Hara roses which have the most stunning 
smell and their petals look like a work of art, they are just so delicate!

Now you can win your very own bouquet from Beards & Daisies. All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Travel: My essential holiday buys

I’ve been chatting to the lovely team over at Cheap Holidays Tenerife and they asked me what my essential holiday buys were, so I thought I’d give you a little run down of how I get ready for my holiday.

Ibiza Town View From A Boat

 I love holiday shopping and in my mind I make everything ‘essential’, purely to justify the money I’m spending! If I really took a good look in my wardrobe I reckon I’ve probably got enough clothes to last me an entire month and that’s without wearing the same thing twice!

But even though I have a wardrobe and dressing table full to bursting with clothes, accessories and make-up I just cannot resist stocking up before I go. I will always buy new bathroom essentials like shampoo, shower gel etc. even if I already have full ones at home. (This is the perfect time for an eye roll emoji!) I just can’t help myself in Boots and always end up with extras like sea salt spray, leave in conditioner – basically anything that shouts summer!

Ooo then it’s a new swimwear despite already owning about 12 different bikinis and swimsuits I still always need want something a little different for each holiday. My current go to places for swimwear at the moment is New Look and Victoria’s Secret both have styles which really seem to fit my shape.  I’m loving this ‘Beach Squad’ black swimsuit from New Look at the moment and it’s only £17.99!

New Look Beach Squad Swimsuit
Image source: New Look

Now, I love the clothes and accessories in both Mango and Zara but if I’m heading off to Spain or the Canary Islands like Tenerife I will always wait until I’m there before splashing out. They are both Spanish brands and always tend to be cheaper there than they do at home, plus I always find there is more choice and exclusives that you can’t find at home. I picked up this super cute clutch bag for just 9 Euros last time I was in Spain and I haven’t seen it in a UK store! Even with the current exchange rate that’s a massive bargain.

Mango Accressories

Mango Accessories

Mango Catus Accessories

I also always wait until I’m holiday to stock up on cute jewellery. You can guarantee that there will always been a little local market selling really unique and inexpensive pieces. I like to try and find really pretty but unusual 
things which I know no one else will have.

What are your pre-holiday essential buys? Is there anything you will always hold off buying until you’re away?

For more information, please visit or call Cheap Holidays Tenerife today on 0800 0124 300

*Sponsored post but all content is my own 
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