Thursday 27 February 2014

Maille Mustard & Oil Inspiration

Over the last few weeks myself and my husband have been trying out some mustard and oil from the renowned company Maille. Having used Maille products before I knew that the products are not only tasty but excellent quality too. 

The products arrived in some very posh packaging!

A little bit of history.
La Maison Maille was established over 265 years ago, it all started back in 1720 when Antoine-Claude Maille discovered the magical properties of vinegar and he invented the 'Vinegar of the Four Thieves' to save the inhabitants of the Marseille from the deadly plague. in 1742 Antoine-Claude's son (also called Antoine-Claude!) becomes registered as a master vinegar-maker and pays his 'union dues', after a few years in 1747 the 1st boutique is opened and he becomes supplier to the court of Louis XV (ooerrr!) and La Maison Maille is born and the rest is history! I don't know about you but I absolutely love it when things are steeped in history and there is a back story to it, for me I feel like when I purchase these items that I'm helping maintaining a brand that has worked hard to gain respect and be where it is today. 

Currently in the range there are 84 mustard and 120 vinegar's, the ingredients for these are carefully selected and combined using years of expertise to create the tastes and textures of these high quality products. 

We were lucky to be sent 3 items from the Maille range 2 mustard's and 1 oil. When I showed them to my husband he couldn't wait to try them out, he cooks the savoury dishes in the house where as I tend to bake and cook the sweet treats. The 3 items that we were sent were all quite different flavours. 1 mustard was a coarse grain Chablis and Morilles flavour, the other a smooth Mango and Thai Spices and the oil was walnut oil.  When we use these again I will definitely use some of the lovely recipes that are featured on the Maille website, there is loads of delicious foodie inspiration which will leave you drooling. 

Firstly I have to say that they all smell amazing, especially the mustards, such lovely ingredient combinations, also the oil is beautifully thick which reflects the quality of the item.  We found that the Chablis and Morelles mustard simply stunning smeared over a joint of roast beef also mixed with mayonnaise and used on a homemade burger was delicious too. The oil simply on its own used as a dipping oil with crusty bread was fantastic, add a little bit of balsamic and I am in actual heaven, the flavour of the walnut is delightfully subtle, the oil was without a doubt my favourite out of the 3. 

The mango spiced mustard was particularly nice mixed with a small amount of oil and white wine vinegar and tossed into a crisp, green salad and served with a simple pasta dish. Ultimately there are loads of uses for these and we can't wait to experiment some more with the exotic and gourmet flavours that the Maille products offer. 

For more information on any of the items featured within this post you can visit the La Maille Maison Online Boutique I promise you won't be disappointed. 

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* Please note I was kindly sent the items to review free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are that of my own.

Saturday 22 February 2014

GlossyBox February 2014 Review - Be Mine

After the dismal box that was received last month (read the review here) I have to admit my finger hovered above the cancel subscription button a few times but I didn't, I held out for another month, I wanted to receive the Valentine's box as in the back of my mind I was hoping that the January box was just a blip. 

Firstly I have to say well done to Glossybox, it seems they have actually listened to their subscribers, I know there was alot of disappointment surrounding the January box and people felt pretty let down with the items received so I was really pleased when I saw the contents of the February 'Be Mine' box. 

I LOVE the box, it's gorgeous! I like it when Glossybox theme the boxes as it changes things up a bit, this months box is covered in a variety of pink lipstick kisses and inside the products are nestled within white tissue paper tied up with the usual hot pink Glossybox ribbon. The box is so pretty I took quite a few pictures of it as you can see!

What did I receive this month? 

When I looked inside the box I was excited, every single one of the items I love and instead of 5 items I received 6 which was a lovely surprise. 

First up is Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara (full size item received RRP £8.99) This is a brand new product and I was really pleased to receive it, designed with 2 different brushes to ensure an eye-opening effect, I have used this  a couple of times and I can confirm I love it, I would definitely buy this again. Great item to receive!

Next up is NV Chunky Eye Crayon (Full size 4g item received RRP £5.00) Not a brand I'm familiar with but it's lovely to receive another make up item. I love the cute packaging and the shade I received is called Fondant Fancy which is a gorgeous bright, shimmery purple. I have used this a couple of times and it's great, gorgeous colour and applies nicely and seems to be quite versatile in the looks that you can achieve using it. Another great item to receive. After having a browse at the NV Colour website I think it's safe to say I'm a convert and there will be an order coming there way soon and seeing as Glossybox included a 20% off code what better excuse do I have!

The next item that I received is my favourite of the whole box!!!! I am always chuffed when a nail polish is included, especially when it's a Ciate Paint Pot (full size 13.5ml received RRP £9.00). I was sent the shade Plastic Fantastic which is a lovely plummy pink shade. I love everything about Ciate from the gorgeous bottles to the stunning colour, I am very happy to add this to my collection. 

The fourth item included is Nougat London Sparkling Body Shimmer (100ml received, full size 250ml RRP £14.00). This is a gorgeous item, it looks so pretty in the bottle and smells amazing, the scent is cherry blossom which is just lovely. I was expecting it to be like a body cream but it has a lotion consistency in that it's quite runny but once applied it leaves a beautiful sheen where applied. Me loves!

The next item is my least favourite item however I wasn't disappointed to receive them I would just prefer them in bottles rather than sachets. The sachets I received are Giovanni Eco Chic Cosmetics (RRP £7.99 for 251ml). I received the ultra-moist shampoo and conditioner and a deep,deep moisture hair mask. I will of course use these but I just dislike receiving sachets, that being said I love the contents of this box so much I can overlook the whole sachet issue. 

Finally my little extra treat included was a yummy, scrummy Lindt Lindor Treat Bar (full size received RRP 79p) this did not last long and it was delicious!!! Glossybox used to include a little treat several boxes ago which I really liked as I think it's a nice touch so I hope it contiunes. 

Overall I think Glossybox definitely have made much more of an effort with this box, I genuinely did love every single item I received and I really hope they continue to keep the quality up in the future. Thankyou for a great box Glossybox!

Did anyone receive anything different in theirs this month?
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Friday 21 February 2014

Balmi Lip Balm - Review

In all honesty if you were to ask what beauty essential I simply couldn't live without it would have to be lip balm! I love and am obsessed with many beauty products but I don't think I could live without lip balm and there is not one area of the house that doesn't have some type of lip balm in the vicinity. Having bought several lip balms from New York back in December I probably didn't need to purchase anymore but guess what ...... I have! During my food shopping trip in my local Tescos this little beauty found it's way amongst the satsumas, bread, lettuce etc (much to my husbands disapproving looks!).

As you can see this is a cool lip balm, firstly, let me talk to you about the packaging. You can see why I was drawn to it right? It's hot pink, it's cute, it's quirky and it literally jumped into my shopping trolley (obviously!).  There was only the two choices of flavour from Tescos but more are available, I had the choice between strawberry or raspberry and I opted for the latter.

Balmi was created in 2010 and bares a striking similarity to the popular and cult brand EOS which I have read alot about but never tried. However I think that Balmi is up there easily competing with the big boys of lip balms. Let's get back to Balmi though, the actual cube iteslf that contains the lip balm is fabulous, it feels smooth and slightly rubbery to the touch, there is also a little key ring attachment on the actual cube which is adorable. The colour of the cube is as you would expect, a beautiful raspberry pink with the Balmi logo clearly imprinted on the top. It's too cute!!!

The lip balm itself is shaped in a cool conical design which is to enable smooth and efficient application, I love it but it's already losing some shape as I've used it loads already, I can't see this being much of an issue though I'll just use my finger to apply it once it's flattened. 
The balm is made from a lovely blend of ingredients consisting of vitamin E, jojoba oil and shea butter all scented with a delicious raspberry scent which smells just like a bag of skittles, mmmm mmmm!! I've found that it is so smooth to apply, is super moisturising and lasts for a while on my lips, it just smells so yummy too that I keep wanting to apply it!

Costing £4.99 and readily available from both Boots and Tescos I think this is a great lip balm, I'm so pleased it found its way into my trolley. There are 4 flavours currently available which are raspberry, strawberry, mint and coconut. I want to try them all! My next quest is to compare the balmi to an EOS lip balm so that will be my next mission!

Has anyone tried Balmi? Did you love it as much as I did?

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Thursday 20 February 2014

Ozeri Duo Salt and Pepper Grinder - Review

If you'd have asked me a few months ago if I'd be reviewing a salt and pepper mill I quite possibly would have laughed and said well that's an odd thing to review, however here I am reviewing just that, a salt and pepper grinder! That been said this is pretty nifty grinder. 

Now I'm guessing you're all dying to hear what's so good about the Ozeri salt & pepper grinder , well not only does it look pretty cool for a salt and pepper mill but this particular grinder utilizes powerful ceramic gears and is also space saving as the 2 chambers inside house the salt and pepper separately so only one grinder is required. 

The grinder itself as you can see in the pictures is a decent size but is easy to hold and operate. On the top of the grinder there is a P and an S above each chamber and you simply grind one way for salt and the other for pepper. The grain size of the salt and pepper can also be altered simply by turning the adjustment knobs underneath, this will either create a finer or coarser grain, I think this a great little feature to be included.

To set up the grinder it's quite simple the instructions........yes this grinder comes with instructions! These instructions were pretty self explanatory and I soon managed to put the salt flakes and pepper corns in the correct chambers and replace the parts that needed replacing and the grinder was ready for action. I have now used it a few times and it's a decent grinder, it's easy to hold even though it looks quite bulky and it's incredibly lightweight, it also looks very smart with the chrome finish and clear chambers. The chambers being clear is also a useful feature as you are aware as to whether you need to top up the salt or pepper.

Overall as far as salt and pepper grinders go this is a good one and for a reasonable price of £9.99 it certainly doesn't break the bank!

What do you think of the Ozeri salt and pepper grinder? Would you buy it?
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* Please note I was kindly sent the item free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Tuesday 18 February 2014

NOTD - Nails Inc Royal Botanical Gardens

I know, I know, I know I have really let my nail of the day feature slip over the last few weeks but truth be told I needed some new nail varnishes to feature! To remedy my poor show I treated myself to a lucky dip glossy selection from Nails Inc that were on offer for £19.50 for 7 polishes, I mean I could hardly resist could I! So it's likely that the next few featured nail colours will be Nails Inc, sorry about that! 

The first shade I bring to you is Royal Botanical Gardens which is a stunning icy minty green colour, it's gorgeous. It's a pretty fab pop of colour to the nails which is so needed with all this dreary weather. As with most Nails Inc it applies like a dream and providing a decent top coat is applied it has pretty good staying power. 

What do you think of this shade fellow nail polish obsessives?
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Monday 17 February 2014

ZoeJewel - Jewellery Review

It's no secret that I love jewellery and particularly statement jewellery. Amongst my collection I have many statement pieces that I love to dress up an outfit with. When Zoe from zoeJewel offered me the opportunity to review one of her necklaces I obviously  was delighted!

A little bit about Zoe and her business:
Zoe began making jewellery back in the 90's and has gradually expanded her love for jewellery into a reputable and well respected business. Influenced by beautiful designs and natural materials used in Thai jewellery Zoe's pieces are a reflection of this and so are some of the other pieces available on the website. Within her website are pieces from various different designers which pretty much offer something for everyone. 

When I received my package from Zoejewel I loved the little satin bag that the necklace arrived in, when I purchase jewellery having it arrive in lovely packaging is such a selling point in my opinion, it immediately offers you a first impression of the brand.

The necklace I received is a beautiful 3 stranded multi-toned necklace. It feels quite weighty when first handled but once worn this is not the case. I'm not entirely sure what material the necklace is made of but it consists of 3 strands of silver, pewter and bronze colours, the detailing is almost like mini domes stacked on top of one another to create the illusion of one long strand (if you understand what I mean, the photos show this better). 

The detailing on the necklace is beautiful, I love the contrast between not only the colours used but the beaded section above the embellished section. This necklace is a nice length, I quite often wear them a bit longer than this but when worn it hangs just above the bust and it looks really lovely. 

In the above picture you can get an estimate of the size of the hoops on the lower part of the necklace and also a clearer picture of the colours, I think this is such a unique piece I haven't seen anything quite like it, this is a lovely addition to my (growing!) jewellery collection. 

For more information regarding Zoejewel please click on the link
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* Please note I was kindly sent the item free of charge, the thoughts and opinions are that of my own.