Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Love in the Making

How adoreable is the cover of this book? During the time I was reading it I was craving cupcakes every day. So if you are on a diet maybe this is not the book for you!
Hannah is due to celebrate the openening of her little shop 'Cupcakes on the Corner' on the same evening that her boyfriend tells her their relationship is over and he is moving out. This is how the book begins and I was pulled into Hannahs world right from the beginning. But this book is not just about Hannah. It is about the lives and loves of many of the pople living in the little town with the yellow cupcake shop. This story is lovely, sometimes sad but always hopeful. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
This is the first book I have read by Roisin Meaney and I really hope it will not be the last. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Welcome To My World

I recently read this book by Miranda Dickinson. It tells the story of Harri who works as a travel agent but has never been outside of the UK. She dreams of a life full of travel and excitement with her true love(romantic Venice is her ideal destination) but in reality her life is quite lonely and boring. Her boyfriend is obesessed with work  and the highlight of her week is when she meets her friend Alex to hear all about his travels. The book is filled with lovely characters and Harri herself is someone I really warmed to. The village of Stone Yardley where Harri lives sounds idyllic. It was really nice to read a book set in England for a change (usually the books I read are set in Ireland as there are many chick lit writers here!)
A little suspense is added to the book as each chapter begins with a short aside where Harri is locked in a toilet cubicle extermely upset. Therefore while reading the book we are curious as to how she got into that situation and if she will ever achieve her dream.
This is a lovely enjoyable book, the story unravels well and I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a nice easy read.

Monday, November 29, 2010

November Secret Post Club

This month I recieved a wonderful gift from Lise as part of the Secret Post Club. Lise noticed from reading my blog that I like tea and she is certainly correct. I recieved an absoutley lovely tea cosy, some loose tea from the Royal Air Force and a tea strainer.

I sampled the tea this morning and it was really lovely. It was such a nice surprise to recieve this in the post and the tea cosy has pride of place in my kitchen now. Thanks Lise xx

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Vegetable Tagine

Yesterday morning when I opened the curtains the ground was covered by a blanket of white snow. It was the perfect day to stay indoors and cook up a warming vegetable tagine.

I chopped 2 red onions, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 butternut squash and 2 peppers into small pieces. I also grated 2 carrots. I then sauted the onions over a low heat for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and continued to saute for a further 5 minutes. I then added the grated carrots & cooked for 5 minutes before adding the chopped peppers and squash and cooked for a further 5 minutes. It was them time to add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, 1 tin of chickpeas, a little salt and pepper plus some cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, cinammon and lots of chilli powder(I like it nice and spicy!). I then covered and left to cook on a low heat for 20 minutes.  I seved with brown price and garnished with some chopped parsley.

This made a huge pot of tagine (enough for 6 people). I thought it was really yummy and also very healthy. It took quite a while to prepare and make this dish & the butternut squash was quite difficult to chop but I have plenty left over which I will freeze and appreciate again soon.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nothing to Envy

I recently read 'Nothing to Envy Real Lives in North Korea' by Barbara Demick and really enjoyed it so I thought I would write a little review.
This book tells the story of real people from North Korea . It is very interesting because we know so little about this country and the book provides insight into what life is like for ordinary people there. When reading the book I learned so much about Korea but it was told like a story so I did not feel like I was reading a book about politics/history. It is so easy to get lost in the story of the characters that you have to remind yourself that it is not a work of fiction, the sad reality is that this is real life for so many people. It is hard to understand that in our modern world with internet, mobile phones etc there is a place where time stands still and the people struggle so much just to survive. If you have ever thought you would like to know more about North Korea I would highly recommend this book as it provides so much insight into a place that I cannot believe still exists in our world.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A'kin Goodies

This month the mypure bloggers were allowed to choose their own products to review. I chose two A'kin products as I have really liked the A'kin products I have tried in the past.
My first choice was the Jasmine Body Wash:
I chose this because I really wanted to try a natural body wash and the description of this one appealed to me most:
'A'kin Aromatherapy Jasmine Body Wash - Jasmine has long been cherished for its heaven scent qualities of warming the heart, relaxing the body and uplifting the spirit. To this soothing and softening plant derived skin cleanser A'kin have added the finest pure essence of Jasmine.'
When it arrived I was delighted with my choice as I adore the packaging and the smell is lovely. It is a pleasure to use this product. It is priced at £7.49 for 225ml and although this is quite expensive for a shower gel it is something I would definately repurchase as a treat. Although I really want to try the lavender scented one first.
The second product I selected was the Sandalwood & Neroli Pure Facial Cleansing Gel.

I chose this based on the excellent reviews for this product on the mypure website. It is a foaming facial cleanser for combination skin. I found it was gentle on my skin, removed makeup and did not leave my skin feeeling dry. The scent is quite nice - citrus and actually quite masculine. The bottle is huge so I can imagine it will last me a long time. Priced at £13.99 for 225ml I think this is quite good value.
These poducts are available from mypure.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Antique Rose Wedding Bouquet

Almost three months have passed since I became an engaged lady and very few wedding plans have been made...
We have looked at a couple of venues but have not yet seen one we really love. We will be visiting a venue next weekend which looks beautiful online so I am holding out hope on this being the one.
I have been doing a lot of research online and think I have found the wedding bouquet for me. Click here for the link to my ideal bouquet.
It is called the antique rose bouquet. Roses are my favourite flowers and I always adore visiting rose gardens. Different coloured roses have different meanings. Red roses are classic and symbolise love and romance. White roses represent purity and true love. Both colours are therefore ideal for a wedding. I love both red and white roses but my personal favourite are the pale pink ones. Apparently pink roses represent elegance and refinement and show happiness joy and admiration.  They symbolise appreciation and thankfulness. Hopefuly our wedding will be full of these qualities.
What are your favourite flowers and is symbolism important to you?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lush Lovelies

On a recent trip to Belfast I purchased some goodies in Lush. I waited until I was in Belfast to buy these as it is much cheaper to buy them there than in Dublin.

The first item I bought was the 'Angels on Bare Skin' cleanser. This contains very few ingredients mainly  rose and lavender oils plus ground almonds to provide gentle exfoliation. This product leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and never irritates my skin. Plus the smell is amazing. I think this product is suitable for all skin types (mine is combination/sensitive) so if you are looking for a lovely cleanser to leave your skin silky smooth I would recommend giving this a try. The consistency is unusual but you soon get used it is and the tub lasts for ages.

I also bought the big blue bath ballistic with  lemon, lavender and seaweed. This was a pleasure to use and definately my favourite ballistic of all that I have tried so far. It turned my water a lovely shade of blue, the smell was really nice and it only downside was that there were lots of little bits of seaweed left in the bottom of the bath afterwards that I had to clean up. However this would not turn me off and I will definately repurchase this one again as a special treat.

The second bath product I bought was the Karma bubble bar. I had wanted to try this for ages and am definately glad I got to try it. This contains orange and other spices and the smell is lovely. Like all Lush bath bombs it creates fantastic bubbles but is not as big as other bath bombs and I only got 2 uses out of this one. I am not sure I will buy it again as there are other bubble bars I prefer.

Keeping with the citrussy theme the final product I bought was the lemslip soap. I absoutley adore the smell of this soap. It is so lemony and such a happy soap.
Overall I was delighted with my Lush purchases and am looking forward to buying some items from their Christmas line soon.
All images taken from Lush website.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

August Mypure Goodies

I was really happy to recieve my blogger parcel from mypure in august. This month all bloggers were sent different products to suit their hair/skin type. This is what I recieved:

Inika Lip Whip in Berry

This is more of a lip gloss than a lip stick but it is not at all sticky in the way that lip glosses can often be. I think lip whip is the perfect name! The colour (Berry) is perfect for me and is the type of colour I would usually choose. Also I was happy that the colour is quite natural looking and not too bright.The packaging is very nice..simple and sophisticated.  I really like this product and have used it quite a lot over the past few weeks whenever I wanted to add somthing a little extra to my look. This product is priced at £13.99 which I think is a little expensive and the only reason that would put me off repurchasing it.

Evolve Heavenly Body Polish
Evolve Radiance Boost Body Cream

I recieved travel size bottles of both products. The scrub left my skin soft and smooth and the moisturiser worked well without irritating my skin.The scrub differs to other body scrubs in that it should be applied to dry skin. The body cream claims to bring tired skin back to life. I am not quite sure it did that but it was a pleasure to use and did not leave a film on my skin. I liked the smell of both products (I would say they were a little coconutty) and the packaging also appealed to me (purple is my favourite colour!)The beauty cream is £13.99 for 200ml and the body polish is £11.99 for 200ml.

Lovea Bio Tahitian Monoi Moisturising Hair Mask

This is my third Lovea product to review. I was excited to try this as it is a mask for damaged hair and I hoped it would work well to repair my hair. Unfortunately I did not notice any real benefits at all when I used this product so I was quite disappointed. Also I was not keen on the consistency as I felt it was very runny and slipped through my hands when I tried to apply it. This product is £7.99 for 300ml.

It was great to try out all the new goodies this month and as all products from mypure are natural I was very happy to try them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dresses & Diamonds

My absolute favourite shop in the whole world (well ireland at least!) is the Avoca Shop. I would live there if I could.

I do not buy very much there as it is quite expensive so when I do make a purchase it is a real treat. Yesterday was one such occasion when I bought the Zig Zag Dress:

I saw so many pretty things that I am sure I will be returning soon.

Speaking of pretty things I thought I would show you a little pic of my engagement ring:

I have had it for four weeks now but am still not quite used to this lovely sparkly thing on my finger. It is quite simple but I absoutley love it. It is a platinum band with a four claw round brilliant. I tried on many many rings but somehow felt this was 'the one'.

I would love to hear what type of engagement ring would you/did you choose?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A wedding!

A few weeks ago my lovely boyfriend asked me to marry him and I said yes!
So it has been a very exciting and eventful few weeks for us.
I am really looking forward to being married to him and this is the most important thing to me. I would be happy to get married tomorrow, just the two of us.
However we have started to think a little about the type of wedding we might like.
I have picked out a few wedding dresses that appeal to me

Can you tell I am inspired by Jane Austen?!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan

Ellis Island is the first book I have read from the TV Book Club Summer Reads 2010. The story focuses on the character of Ellie. When we first meet Ellie she is a strong willed young girl growing up in a very disciplined household in rural Ireland in the 1908. We follow her as she makes her own way through life falling in love with people and places along the way. I do not want to give the plot away but I will say that this is mainly a story about love. However it is interesting, intelligent and thought provoking and in this way breaks the mould of many other books from the same genre.

It is an absoutley lovely book. I was hooked from the first page and I knew I was going to enjoy it. I think it is the type of story which would be enjoyed by women of all ages. It actually reminded me a little of Brooklyn (by Colm Tobin)but I have to say that Ellis Island is my preferred option.

I finished this book a few days ago and I felt very sad to be leaving Ellie behind.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A trip to Bristol, Bath, Stratford, Hong Kong...


I am so sorry about the lack of posts recently.

Last week I went to England for a few days to attend a wedding and do some sightseeing. We flew into Bristol and I spent a fun day there shopping in Cabot Circus. We also spent a day in Bath which was the part of the trip I was most looking forward to. I was not disappointed. I loved the Jane Austen museum and the Roman Baths but the best part for me was just walking around the city and admiring the lovely architecture. We also went to Stratford where we went to see a Shakespeare play of course! The play we went to see was The Winter’s Tale. It was enjoyable and I am really glad I went to see it. The weather when we were there was pretty mixed but we had a bright sunny day for the wedding which was lovely.

When I was away I finished reading ‘The Piano Teacher’ by Janice Y.K Lee. Initially I found this book hard going and a little slow. However once I got into it I really enjoyed it. The book is set in Hong Kong during the 1940’s and 50’s and tells the story of Hong Kong before, during and after the war. I am really interested in history and particularly enjoy reading novels set at important periods in history because I feel they really give an insight into what life was like for people rather than just stating the facts. I find the characters in these types of books stay in my mind for a long time afterwards. ‘The Piano Teacher’ was compared to ‘Atonement’ on the front cover and this is one of the reasons I picked it up. I can certainly see the similarities as both books are love stories set against a background of war. I have been to Hong Kong before but after reading this book I would really like to return because I feel I know so much more about the place now. I think Hong Kong has such an interesting history. I am now reading ‘Mother of the Bride’ by Marita Conlon McKenna. It is such an easy read and very different to ‘The Piano Teacher’ but enjoyable in its own way.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mypure Goodies

This month I received two products from mypure to review. The first was the Lovea Tahitian Monoi Moisturising Body Lotion for normal skin. This is very similar to the shampoo I received last month. Last month I mentioned in my review that I did not like the packaging or the scent of the shampoo so when I saw that the packing and scent of the mosituriser were exactly the same as the shampoo I was a little disappointed. However I like this product much more than the shampoo. I do not have dry skin so I notice that body moisturisers often take a very long time to absorb and often leave a sticky residue on my skin but this does not. I have also grown to like the scent a little more. Perhaps by the time I finish the bottle I will really like it! One thing I do really like is the pump action on the bottle which works very well. Also as this product is from mypure it is 100% natural which pleases me greatly. If you would like to give this product a try find out more here: http://www.mypure.co.uk/lovea-b136/tahitian-monoi-moisturising-body-lotion-p1156

The other product I received this month was the A'kin Hair Care Jojoba & Lavender Conditioner. I loved the packaging and scent and was hoping I would also really like the product. However it is really not suitable for me because my hair is very dry and I need a much stronger conditioner. I do not want to write a negative review because I am sure this conditioner would work great for people with normal/greasy hair as this is who it is aimed at but unfortunately it was not for me. If you think it might be suitable for you find out more here http://www.mypure.co.uk/akin-hair-care-b2/jojoba-lavender--conditioner-p13

Thanks for reading and I will be back soon with more reviews.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The TV Book Club Summer Reads

The TV Book Club have launched their summer reads for 2010. Check out the selected books here


I was very excited about the list as there are a number of books in it that have caught my eye. I think I will start with 'the weight of silence.'

The TV programme starts tomorrow on More 4.I loved Nathaniel Parker on the show and hope he will be involved in this new series.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sophies Soup

I love Sophie Dahls cookery programme on the BBC and when I saw her make a delicious tomato soup I knew I had to give it a try. The recipe is so easy.
Simply roast the following ingredients in the oven for 40-50 minutes:
2kg/4½lbs large ripe plum tomatoes(halved)
2 large red onions (peeled & quartered)
1 garlic bulb (cut in half horizontally)
a few sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
and a little salt and pepper .
Take it out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before mashing the garlic with the back of a fork & and discarding the skin.
Then blend and pulse everything together until smooth.
Pour the soup into a large saucepan and a little Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar before heating up.
This quantity was plenty for 6 bowls of soup.
I had some this evening with some multigrain bread from the avoca shop and it was simply delicious.

I also want to quickly mention a wonderful film that I went to see last night.
'His and Hers'is a documentary featuring 70 Irish females from little girls to old ladies talking about the significant men in their lives. It is so simply sweet and charming. I absoutley loved it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

One Day

This week I finished reading this wondeful book by David Nicholls. It is certainly a love story but not your classic fairytale. The imperfect hero Dexter and the working class heroine Emma become our friends as we meet them on the same day every year for twenty years. We see the changes in themselves and in their relationship with each other. It is entertaining, thought provoking and funny but also very very sad. If I was alone reading the last few chapters I can image I would be in floods of tears. However I read them sitting on a train so I had to keep a firm control on my sentimental side.

I think this is a book most people would enjoy and I was happy to learn that filming will commence on the movie version of the book later this summer. Emma will be played by Anne Hathaway who I think will suit the role perfectly. The movie will be directed by Lone Scherfig who recieved an Oscar nomination for directing 'An Education' a film which I really enjoyed.

I know many people have already read this book but if you havn't I would recommend it highly.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

This poster perfectly illustrates how I often feel. However I recently heard an interesting radio discussion where the person being interviewed said that there is no such thing as talent and when somebody is good at something it is because they have done an awful lot of practice.

This theory is supported by a 2006 study by cognitive psychology researchers Ericsson and Ward who said that what many people think of as "talent" may just be the motivation and commitment to continually challenge yourself.

Infact Malcolm Gladwell put forward the idea that it takes ten thousand hours or 10 years of practice to become an expert at something. Mozart may have written his first opera when he was 14 but he had been practicing music since he was 3 years old.

If you are considering trying something you thought you had no talent for remember that 'deep practice' is what is important. This means stumbling, making mistakes and slowly learning to master your activity. To encourage a culture of practice in children they should be praised for effort rather than talent.

I am not sure I 100% agree with this viewpoint but it is certainly a much more positive outlook rather than having a belief that there is no possibilty for personal development or growth. What do you think?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kosmea Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum

This is my final review as part of the mypure blogging panel for this month.

This is an anti ageing moisturiser and the packaging says that the powerful combination of hibiscus extract and organic rose hip oil form natures answer to cosmetic surgery giving skin an instant face lift. As I am now in my late 20's I have been considering purchasing an anti ageing night cream for the past few months so I was very happy to try out this one.

The packging is inoffensive. I do not love it but I do not hate it. I do not think it looks particularly high end considering the price. The product is a serum and there is a pump dispenser which makes it very easy to use(you just need 1 pump for whole face). The scent is quite strong(rose scent) but not unappealing to me.

I initially used this only as a night cream because I was concerned it would be too rich under my makeup in the daytime. I was very happy with the consistency of the product. As it is a serum it is not too heavy on my skin and it absorbed quickly although I did feel that it left a little film on my skin. After a few days using this as a night cream I decided to also use it in the morning under my makeup. I was quite happy with the results but I did not work as well as my usual moisturiser (boots botanics oil free sensitive moisturising serum).

Also I noticed after 2 weeks of use my pores were more clogged than usual and I developed one or two spots. I cannot say that this is definately a result of using this moisturiser but I do think that it is maybe a bit rich for me (my skin is combination/sensitive).

With regard to the anti ageing properties of this product I do not feel I can really comment on this. I have not yet noticed any wrikles on my skin (thankfully) so I was using this purely as a preventative measure.

At £25.00 for a 20ml bottle this product is not cheap. I do not think I will repurchase it but I think it is something that might work very well on more mature skin than mine.

To find out more about this product or to purchase it go to the mypure website:

Lovea's Moroccan Argan Brilliance Shine Shampoo

This is my second review as part of the mypure blogging panel.

I was really happy to recieve a shampoo in the package as I love trying out new shampoos. Also I was delighted to try a product which contains Moroccan Argan Oil because I have heard that this works wonders for hair. For reference my hair is coloured and can be quite limp and dry.

Initially I did not find the packaging particularly appealing.The bright yellow colour is a little garish in my opinion and for that reason I probably would have passed it by in a shop. Also I am not particularly fond of the smell of this shampoo. It has a citrus/nutty scent which some people might like but it did not appeal to me.

This shampoo promises to make the hair shiny and stronger. However I felt it made my hair very flyaway and I did not notice any extra shine or moisture. On a positive note I did not find that there was any problem getting the shampoo to lather. Infact it lathered much easier than the Jason lavender shampoo which is only other SLS free shampoo I have tried (however I much prefer the packaging, scent and results of the Jason shampoo).

Overall I would say that this shampoo was average. It is definately not the worst shampoo I have ever tried and I was happy to be using a natural shampoo. However I personally do not feel that it was particularly beneficial to my hair type and I did not love the packaging or scent.
You can find out more about this product and purchase it on the mypure website here http://www.mypure.co.uk/lovea-b136?utm_source=Blogging&utm_medium=May2010&utm_campaign=LoveaShampoo

Saturday, May 29, 2010

[A'kin] Pure Rose Hydrating Facial Mist

Hello lovelies,

This is my first review as part of the mypure blogging panel (http://www.mypure.co.uk/). I am delighted to be part of this panel as mypure only supply natural products and I am loving the opportuntiy to try out new natural products.

One of the items I recently recieved from mypure was the [A'kin] Pure Rose Hydrating Facial Mist. [A'kin] is an Australian brand and none of their products contain parabens or other nasties. This product claims to calm and refresh the skin and it contains sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) which helps to maintain the water levels in our skin as they can be depleted by the stresses of modern life and ageing.

When I recieved this product I immediately liked the packaging which I thought was really pretty and I also liked the smell which I would describe as 'rose milk'.

The website recommends using the mist in dry environments such as air conditioned offices & on long flights. I found it excellent last weekend during a spell of unusually hot weather in Ireland. It was very refreshing on my face and body and did not interfere with my makeup or make my combination skin shiny. I also enjoy using it as a body spray when I come out of the bath/shower. However I think a smaller bottle(my bottle is 125ml) would be more appropriate for air travel or simply just to carry around on a daily basis.

This is probably not a product I would have purchased myself but now that I have tried it I am converted. I think it would make an excellent gift for that person who has everything.
This product costs £12.99 for a 125ml bottle from mypure http://www.mypure.co.uk/akin-skin-care-b98/?utm_source=Blogging&utm_medium=May2010&utm_campaign=AkinMist

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summery Salad

Hi all,

I hope everyone has been enjoying the lovely sunny weather we have been having recently:-)

Today has been another sunny day in Dublin but unfortunately I did not get to enjoy it because I was working. So when I got home I decided to make myself one of my favourite salads, perfect for a sunny day.

I call it 'bombas salad' because it is inspired by a salad of that name in one of my favourite restaurants. It is so easy to make and so tasty. The ingredients are tuna, lettuce, buffalo mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and sweetcorn. Just mix them all around and make a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yummy! I ate mine out on the balcony with some bread and a glass of white wine enjoying the sunshine.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bargain Buys

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I thought I would quickly share a couple of purchases that I got last week.

In New Look I bought this ring:

I also got these earrings:

I bought both items because New Look have a 'buy one get one free' offer on at the moment on jewellery. I got them both for €5.00 and also got a voucher for €5.00 off my next purchase.
I was a little disappointed with the ring because it is a tiny bit too big for me. I bought size S/M and thought it would be fine. I am probably happiest with the earrings. I usually just wear studs so these earrings a bit of a change for me. I will not wear them every day but it is nice to have them for days when I am feeling a little more adventurous.

I also bought this dress in Dorothy Perkins:

It was €30.00 in the sale & I really love it. I think the bow design is very pretty.

Overall I am very happy with these bargain buys. Have you found any bargains in the shops recently?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Body Shop Sweet Lemon Lip Butter

I love lemons, the scent, the taste, the colour, I love everyting about them. I am also quite addicted to lip balms so I thought the body shop lemon lip butter would be a wise purchase for me.

My initial thoughts on buying the lip balm were mixed. I thought the packaging was cute and the lemony scent was amazing but I was not impressed with the price. I felt €5.50 for a lip balm was a little steep.

I have now been using the product for 5 days and I am very disappointed with it. It has made my lips overly dry and I have to apply it very frequently. Infact I had to go out and buy a tin of Vaseline today to try to get my lips back to normal. I will not continue to use the lemon lip butter.

Please bear in mind that these are just my thoughts on this product. I have read other excellent reviews online so it may be that it just didn't suit me.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Garden of Ireland Sweet Lavender Soap

My concern over sodium laureth sulfates and parabens in most shower gels led to look for a more natural alternative.

About a month ago I spotted the Garden of Ireland Sweet Lavender soap in the Kilkenny Shop.It appealed to me because the packaging was so pretty and I loved the scent. I decided to give it a try.

I have not been disappointed with this soap. I love to use it because the smell is so calming and it is really gentle on the skin.

The soap cost €5.00 and when I bought it a month ago I cut off a third of the bar and this has lasted me until today. Therefore it has proved to be very economical. Also the soap comes wrapped in pure linen and this can be used as an exfoliator.

I know this soap may not be everyones cup of tea as some people might feel lavender soap is a bit grannyish. However I like it and I feel there is something really nice and comforting about the scent.

I am also delighted that this lovely product is made locally in the Wicklow countryside which has been the inspiration for the Garden of Ireland collection. The company have created their very own 'field of dreams' within the valley where they grow and harvest their own lavender.Hopefully I will get to try some of the other products from the collection very soon.

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear about your favourite soaps.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Avalon Organics Liquid Hand Soap

A few months ago I was in 'Le Gueuleton' restaurant in Dublin city centre. It is a lovely french restaurant and I had a very nice meal.

When I was there I noticed they had a lovely lavender soap in the bathroom which was made by Avalon Organics. I had not heard of this brand before so when I got home I googled it. The brand is available in Ireland from the online company www.evergreen.ie.
The lavender liquid soap was €4.99 excluding delivery.

The service from Evergreen was very good. My package arrived speedily and I got a free pen and a discount code for my next purchase.

I am really happy that I purchased this soap. I adore the scent and sometimes I find myself washing my hands for a lot longer than necessary. A friend visiting last weekend also commeneted on the 'lovely soap'.

A big plus for this soap in my opinion it is 100% vegetarian and does not contain parabens, harsh preservatives or sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate. It also comes in a variety of scents such as lemon and peppermint if lavender is not your thing.

Thanks for reading and I will be back with more reviews soon xx

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2 in 1 Wash & Mask

I know a lot of people have blogged about this product before but I just wanted to share the love. The 'Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2 in 1 Wash & Mask' is something I have come to rely on as part of my daily skincare routine.
I usually use it as a wash every morning and night.The product is easy to use, has a nice scent and does not irritate my sensitive skin. When I use it I like the cool and tingly feeling it gives.I think it has improved my skin and I have especially noted clearer pores since I started using it.
This product can also be used as a mask.I do this maybe once a week or so. However I do find it quite stubborn to get off when I use it as a mask.
This product is very reasonaly priced(around €5.00 depeding where you buy it from) and it lasts of ages.I bought my current tube about 2 months ago, I have used it every day and there is still plenty left.
Overall I love this product and I will definately be repurchasing it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

East of Sun by Julia Gregson

I have just finished this excellent book by Julia Gregson. Sitting down to read it I was transported to another place and time - India in the late 1920s.

The book tells the story of three english girls who travel to India each with their own reason for going and none quite realising how much India and what happens there will change them and their lives forever.

Reading this book made made me think about how little has changed and how much has changed in the world since then. Also the book really developed my interest in the fascinating history and culture of India.
It is an entertaining and thought provoking read and my favourite book of the year so far.

Friday, April 16, 2010

'Hot Looks' Nail Polish by Natural Collection

The 'Collection 2000 hot looks' nail polish is currently on offer in Boots - 2 for €5.00. I bought two shades:

1. BMX Bandit

The colour is purple/blue. Here it is on my nails:

2. Wham

It is a grey colour. Here it is on my nails:

I really like these polishes as they are easy to apply, quick drying and the colour lasts 3 to 4 days before chipping. There are a lovely range of colours available and I think I will be going back to Boots to buy some more shades.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

'Wonder Products'

Every so often a new product comes on the market which there is an awful lot of hype about.They are usually reviewed in all the magazines and described as the new 'wonder product'.

I have seen two such products in a lot of magazines recently which really interest me. Firstly the Trilogy Rosehip Oil:

Trilogy Rosehip Oil is certified organic and according to their website has been clinically tested and shown to help minimise the appearance of wrinkles, smooth skin and dramatically improve skin moisture levels, leaving the skin's appearance radiant and glowing. This lightweight, non-greasy, golden oil contains Omega 3, 6 & 9, essential fatty acids and antioxidants to restore optimum skin health.

Secondly the 'Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse(multipurpose dry oil)' also interests me:
This has been available in France for years but is new to the Irish market. It can be used on the face, body, hair and contains a unique cocktail of 6 Precious Plant Oils (Borage, St Johnswort, Sweet Almond, Camellia, Hazelnut, Macadamia) with a subtle fragrance for a velvety skin, silky hair and an improved overall aspect of stretch marks.

I love the idea of both these products but I do not have dry skin so I am not too sure they are suitable for me. Apparenty oil is good for combination skin as it helps to balance it out but I am yet to be convinced that it would be a good idea to rub more oil on to my already oily skin. Although I would like to try them in my dry hair and I also believe a few drops of either oil is lovely in a bath.

I have bought 'wonder' products in the past such as 'Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream','Clarins Beauty Flash Balm'and 'YSL Touche Eclat' and did not find that they were anything to write home about.

Have you tried either of these oils or are there any 'wonder' products you were really happy with or disappointed in?