Monday, April 28, 2014

Mini Haul -

Hooray my new little skincare kit has arrived! I've been desperate to try la Roche-Posay since my recent trip to France, the local ladies raved about it, and my lips have been suffering some severe chapping and sensitivity recently so a few Figs and Rouge goodies should sort them out.

I opted for Physiological Micellar Solution from La Roche-Posay to cleanse and remove make-up as well as Rosaliac UV Riche to work on the redness in my cheeks and jawline. I've heard the micellar liquid is a miracle cleansing product so I can't wait to try it! After a week or so I'll review the two products to let you know how I got on.

I've already had my new Figs and Rouge products out of the packaging and tested ( I couldn't resist!).

A delicious Rose Berry Lip Butter which has a subtle pink sheen, Coco Vanilla Balm which can be used on lips, cuticles and dry skin and is amazingly moisturising and long lasting, French Vanilla Lip Balm (which was a free gift) and Coco Rose Hand Cream. The hand cream absorbs really quickly and feels almost gel like at first, but dries to a soft cream that is non-greasy and smells incredible. I've been using the Coco Vanilla balm today to sooth my lips and so far so good!

I'm a huge fan of for discovering new brands and getting discount on my favourites. I got this haul with a wonderful 15% off so it all feels a little extra special.

Barry M Gelly Nail Paints - Spring

A gorgeous new set of beautiful pastel paints for spring. I've never been a huge fan of Barry M Nail Paints as I have found them very streaky and difficult to work with in the past. However, I've seen loads of positive reviews for the Gelly range so I thought I'd give them a go. I just love the cute names for them too! I went for a pale blue, pale blueish-green and a lavender shade to test for wedding nails - I'm attempting to find the absolute perfect shade for my big day. 

My favourite is Huckleburry, the pale blue, which compliments my fair skin but looked great when I got a hint of a tan:

Two coats of these varnishes result in a solid colour with a high shine finish. They are easy enough to use but I still find them a little streaky if applied too thinly or too thickly. I love the range of colours available though, and will definitely be testing some of the brighter shades for summer.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Duty-Free Haul

Obviously I couldn't go through Newcastle Airport without gracing the duty-free department, it would have been rude not to! I had been reliably informed that the weather in France was sunny enough for flip flops so I decided to get some new ones on the way instead of taking my raggy old ones. Once there, of course, I found a gorgeous new bag and set of beautiful pastel stacking rings that had my name on so I had to match the flip flops to those. I chose the most gorgeous lemon yellow cross body bag and floral leather sandals from Accessorize. I got a bit of a shock when I got to the till but went ahead anyway... I was going on holiday! Plus the leather sandals are so beautiful and will last for ages. 

I also treated myself to a brand new Lancome Lip Lover Ultimate Lip Perfector in Lip Lover.

(Before + After)

I adore this lip gloss. I keep calling it my new 'lipstick' because the texture is more of a cream than a gloss. It delivers long-lasting moisture with a punch of face brightening colour. It glides on easily and blends to a smooth, shiny finish. This is a peachy pink shade that suits my fair skin but looks equally good with a tan. I treated Hannah to one in Corail Cabriole, as well as Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep. Love my bestie.

Alpine Adventure!

A week in the Alps to escape my mind, relax my senses and reconnect with my best friend. More like a week of wine and cheese! 

My journey was amazing, driving through the mountains to arrive in the quaint little town of Morzine, built entirely of wooden chalets with panoramic, breathtaking views. 

(View from the chalet balcony.)

I was greeted by my beautiful Hannah with a bottle of sparkling wine (and obligatory reunion selfies...) and we sat in the sunshine devouring champagne truffles and chatting about everything that's happened over the last five months. Within half an hour it was like we'd never been apart. The day continued in much the same fashion, with wine and snacks aplenty. We eventually decided to go for dinner and I was treated to garlic snails - wow! They were absolutely delicious! Kind of like mussels but super savoury and extremely moreish. Hannah had a great knack for getting them out the shells with the little fork but I had to use the clamp thing to crush them out! A pizza, salad and litre (yes, a litre) of red wine later I was introduced to all of her friends, colleagues and housemates. In my hilariously drunken state they played a big practical joke on me and decided to all swap their names around. One guy even had me convinced we were related with the same last name! I spent sooo long trying to remember everyones' names, the next day I was so confused when they all seemed so wrong! Apparently I was very entertaining. 

Tuesday brought, quite possibly, the worst hangover in history. I spent the day wandering around the town in the sunshine, lazing on the sofa and munching on anything I could get my hands on. My first stop in the morning was the much talked-about bakery opposite Hannah's chalet. I'd heard that the cakes were a work of art and the macaroons to die for. So off I trotted and treated myself to a little frangipan tart for breakfast and a box of fruity macaroons to share. Needless to say they didn't last long! The vanilla ones were like a small piece of heaven. Totally delectable. 

We had a lovely cosy night in catching up and watching rubbish telly. Perfect. 

On wednesday we went for a delicious lunch at Hannah's favourite cafe then hiked up to a spectacular waterfall. I was so mesmerised by the scenery I went again the next day to take as many photos as I could. My Nick and Sully would have loved it!

The weather was wonderful the whole time. Sunny and warm with not a cloud in the sky. Perfect for putting my new Dior sunglasses to the test!

Thursday brought another day of enjoying the sunshine and the good food. Hannah decided to come home with me after a bit of an emotional night on wednesday, so we got her all packed up and ready to fly on friday morning. We nearly missed our transfer because we slept in for an hour! Oops... We made it though, and came home smiling and ready for lots of wedding and hen party planning. 

I am so happy to have her home! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Weekend

I've had the most wonderful weekend after returning from France! I was welcomed at the airport by two very excited boys ( one human, one canine ) and whisked off to a lovely family day in the sunshine. A long walk and fish and chips later I was ready for a cosy night in. Unfortunately yesterday saw my descent into post-travel flu. Banging head, sore throat, aches and pains. Bleurgh. My mum practically force-fed me beechams and I've been loading up ever since. I could barely get out of bed this morning but Nick brought me a lemsip and half a chocolate cookie to get me going. Hannah and I took Sully for a lovely walk on the beach to all get a bit of fresh air and I spent this afternoon at my mum's with the family enjoying Easter. The kiddy winks were playing all day, munching on eggs, chasing with the dog and looking forward to mum's delicious roast lamb. I just about managed to make it through the noise and mayhem with my bad head but came home and crashed. Sleep is the only relief for this kind of flu, but my blog has been beckoning! My little monster nephew, Alex, did some posing for me in his Grandpa's specs :)

Stay tuned for a full round up of my Alpine Adventure!

Saturday, April 12, 2014


I'm super excited to go away on Monday. I am literally jumping up and down at the thought of seeing my Hannah! I've been very busy the past couple of days sorting out everything I need like tickets, transfers, Euros etc. so I've forgotten to wash all my lovely new clothes ready to take with me. Looks like tonight will be a laundry night with excited ironing in the morning! I need to pack too, and obviously my list from my last post has changed more than once. The weather forecast for Morzine is warm, bright and sunny. I'm dreaming of lazing by the river drinking wine at lunchtime... Maybe we could have a little 'pre' hen party celebration!

I've also been getting back in the 'wedmin' mood by finally deciding on favours, gifts for the kids, the menu and music choices. The music for the ceremony is very specific (to the second in some cases) so it's a tricky business. It's incredible how many people are actually involved in the planning and execution. On the day there'll be staff helping with all our little details to make it totally perfect, and I've heard the Chef adores making sweet treats... Hello! The countdown to trying on my dress has started. I haven't tried a single dress that actually fit me properly so I'm beyond excited for my very own masterpiece to arrive! My mum and I have been testing hair pieces and tiaras and things. So pretty, there's so much choice. I've finally managed to get all of the lads measurements for their suits so that's brilliant. Pretty much everything is sorted now! Just final cake design, waiting for RSVPs and final decisions with the venue regarding schedule, decoration etc. 


I keep forgetting that we're going to Thailand on honeymoon too, something else to look forward to. My heart leaps inside my chest whenever I think about it - I'll me Mrs Holvast by then!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Packing for the Alps

This time next week I'll be somewhere in Switzerland, possibly crossing over into France, on my way to visit my best friend. I can't wait! A lot has happened while she's been working away and it's about time we had a proper catch up. She's actually coming home at the end of the month but spending some much needed time together in the gorgeous snowy alps was top of my list for destressing! I know she's been having a bit of a rough time too so this trip can't come soon enough. I've been told to bring my snow boots, but also a selection of summery clothes and SPF because it's been so sunny. So now I have the total dilemma of deciding what to take! It's a good job I've pre-paid for hold luggage. So far I have two pairs of boots, two pairs of leggings, four vests, two long sleeved t-shirts, one fluffy jumper and one light one, thermal socks, a pretty blue dress, a wool coat, snood and snow gloves. Then there's the cosmetics and make-up to go in... And of course I need to set some sort of duty-free budget. I'm currently on a spending ban for anything non-essential, but surely buying my bridal make-up at discount prices doesn't count? The Chanel counter is calling my name...

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Roller Coaster

Wow! The last couple of weeks have been a total roller coaster of work/family/friends/wedding! Massive changes are afoot in the business (more on that later...), family get-togethers have been plentiful and eventful, my social calendar is bursting at the seams and I've somehow still managed to get all the wedding invitations addressed and posted within our deadline. Phew. Everything is coming together so well! Hopefully we'll start getting some RSVPs soon. I included little music cards for people to suggest a song to add to our wedding playlist so I'm excited to see what people choose. 

I've been having somewhat of a hard time recently regarding various illnesses in the family and my parents are moving house (going through piles of childhood memories is hard work, talk about an emotional mess!). To make matters worse my best friend has been working in France since November, so when my lovely fiancé has run out of comforting words I desperately miss her. The fabulous good news is I am going to visit her in a week or so! It was the boy's idea because he's seen how stressed I've been. So I'm jetting of to the sunny, snowy Alps for some much needed peace and quiet, rest and relaxation and a good old chin wag with my friend. There may also be some duty-free retail therapy to blog about when I'm home...