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Lifestyle: International Gin & Tonic Day

OMG, International Gin & Tonic Day is a legitimate real thing and it means I can drink guilt free G&T's all night (and it's a school night!!) and not feel bad about it.

International Gin and Tonic Day

So according to a stat I read online, gin sales topped £1billion last year for the first time ever and the great thing I have noticed is loads of little independent gin distilleries popping up.

If you head down to Maltby Street Market in London town at the weekend you can find both Little Bird and Jensen's Gin. You can visit the Jensen's distillery which is at the end of the market and see how they make their fabulous gin as well as consuming and purchasing your own to take home. They make some fabulous limited edition gins like orange blossom (which is lush).

Jensen's Gin

Jensen's Gin

Jensen's Gin

Jensen's Gin

Little Bird gin has the coolest rectangle bottles with a pin up lady on the front called Miss Ginger - who looks smokin! On my last visit to Maltby Street I was drinking Little Bird's perfect g&t which was made like this:


50ml Little Bird Gin
Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic
Pour your Little Bird Gin into your favourite glass filled with ice and top with Fever Tree.
Garnish with a thinly sliced cross section of pink grapefruit.

Little Bird Gin

Little Bird Gin

Little Bird Gin

I usually have lime in my gin but the pink grapefruit made it taste so fresh and light. 

One of my other favourite independent gin distillers is Portobello Road Gin which I discovered at Stylist Live last year, although i'm sad to say my stock has been diminished. I've been checking out their website and they have loads of great gin cocktail recipes which I'm definitely going to be trying out. 

What's your favourite Gin & Tonic combination?  

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Beauty: Moschino Fresh Couture Perfume

I've already mentioned that I can't go through an airport without buying anything and since I only ever buy perfume in duty free, I thought I'd share with you my latest purchase.

Moschino Frest Couture Perfume

There's a little bit of a back story to this purchase - not a long one I promise!

I received a sample of Fresh in a monthly subscription box and fell in love with the scent, literally straight away. It is very light and citrusy and you already know I love anything citrus.

I first spied the full size bottle when I was travelling through Stansted Airport to Ibiza and literally swooned! I mean is it even possible to swoon at a perfume bottle? But I was on a pre-wedding spending ban and had to put all of my will power into action to resist!

The bottle is designed to look like a window cleaning product shaped like a pump spray. My only disappointment it that the spray lid is only for decoration and doesn't actually spray the perfume!

Back at the airport again, Gatwick this time and my spending ban willpower gets left at the check in desk meaning Moschino Fresh is now mine! Hurrah! It cost £62.50 for the 100ml bottle which I thought was fairly reasonable for perfume.

Have you ever been drawn in my the bottle before the actual scent?
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Beauty: Duty Free Beauty - Clarins Christmas Set

Whenever I'm travelling through and airport I cannot resist buying something beauty related in duty free. As much as I tell myself I'm on a spending ban all rational thinking gets left at the check in desk and my recent airport visit was no different!

Clarins Christmas Set

I really love all of the airport beauty exclusives the big brands have, its almost a justification for my spending!

On my recent travel through Gatwick I hit up Clarins because they had their really gorgeous Christmas gift sets on display. I'm like a magpie when it comes to travel exclusives and sets - oooooooh shiny.

Now I know what you're thinking - Christmas is forever away but these sets really were a bargain.

Clarins isn't a brand I've ever actually bought before but I received the Eau des Jardins smoothing body cream in my summer Selfridges box which smelled sooooo amazing and the texture was so light I couldn't resist trying more of their products.

I picked up this Moisturise, energise and revive set for only £17.30 not only was it an absolute bargain but it also came with a very handy sized pouch. In the set is 30ml bottles of Daily Energizer Cream, Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel and Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster.

Clarins Christmas Set

I do suffer with my skin and am always wary of trying new products in case they cause flair ups but I've been using these three for the last week and my face feels so good. I'm always a bit useless with cleansing, purely because I always forget! But I've been making a conscious effort this time and building it into my morning and evening routine.

Each product is very light in texture and not greasy in the slightest. The moisturiser absorbs quickly and leaves my skin looking light and glowing.

This set has been a great introduction to Clarins products without me making a huge investment in something that might not have suited. I think I will definitely be buying the full sized products when these run out.

Are you a magpie at the airport and can't resist buying something? Which brands do you always get drawn too?
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Fashion: Swimsuit Style

When I was younger I used to think that swimsuits were either for swimmers in training or the older lady. I’ve since changed my mind completely especially as I’ve reached my, gasp, early 30s! Last year my lovely friend Becky from English Mum had a really gorgeous Eat, Sleep, Tan Repeat suit from New Look the shape and fit are amazing – I of course bought it, especially as it was only £19.99! 

Image result for new look eat sleep tan repeat

I wore it recently in Barbados and had so many lovely comments from people on the beach, which really gave me a nice confidence boost. As i've got older i'm finally at a stage where i'm at the most comfortable i've been with my body and my shape. I've also realised that most women will all have those same niggling thoughts that I have when they put a swimsuit/bikini on so we're all in the same boat or hammock!

I’ve been looking online at BooHoo recently, it’s not a brand I normally shop from but they have such a fabulous selection of swimsuits I thought I’d share my wishlist with you and the best bit – they are all around 20 quid!

My absolute favourite out of the list below is the black with the strategically placed palm trees. I love the simple shape with super low back.

Do you have a go-to swimwear style which you always feel super confident rocking on the beach? 

How many swimsuits is too many to take on a month long Australian holiday?  

Asking for a friend! 
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Beauty: Skincare staple - Papaya Gold Paw Paw

So I know I *may* have mentioned that I've been back to Barbados once or twice recently but I've finally found my absolute travel essential and I simply had to share it with you. 

Papaya Gold Paw Paw

Papaya Gold Paw Paw is quite simply amazing and does a multitude of things in just one product! Not only is it ideal for dry skin but it's also amazing for bites! 

The sand flies in Barbados took a fancy to me this time and left me with a number tiny red bites and although they aren't harmful they are super itchy! Like so itchy that I should be wearing oven gloves ala Rachael from Friends to stop myself. 

Image result for rachel from friends oven gloves

But after applying this little tube of dreaminess the irritation stopped almost immediately! 

I've also been obsessively applying it to my lips to keep them hydrated and soft and using it on my elbows. I don't know about you but for some reason I always get really dry elbows! 

This little red tube has not only because a travel essential but also an absolute skincare staple. 

It's available in Boots and only costs £5.99 

*contains PR sample 

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Beauty: Philip Kingsley Citrus Sunshine Swimcap review

I'm back in sunny Barbados and have finally got round to trying out the Philip Kingsley Citrus Sunshine Swimcap which came in my Selfridges summer beauty box.

Being blonde I do always worry about the effect the sun has on my hair so am always looking for protector products which will combat the suns rays! Firstly it smells incredible! Although that might have something to do with it being infused with Citrus, rose and bergamot. I'm a sucker for anything with a citrus scent so I knew this would be a winner!

The texture is very thick, in fact it was like putting actual sun cream in my hair, which I suppose it is really. When I first rubbed it into my damp hair I was a little concerned at how thick the cream was and if it would leave my hair looking greasy but after letting it dry naturally in the sun it looked fine!

After a day out in the sun I washed it out and my hair still felt super soft and not dry or straw like in any way. Hurrah!

I think this is going to become a regular feature in my travel toiletries!
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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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