UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

Christmas with Baker Days // + Giveaway

an image of Baker Days Letterbox Cake review
an image of Baker Days Letterbox Cake review
an image of Baker Days Letterbox Cake review
an image of Baker Days Letterbox Cake review
an image of Baker Days Letterbox Cake review
an image of Baker Days Christmas review
Who's noticing the theme with today's posts? Following on from my custom chocolate post I'm sharing some festive cake mail. The idea of cake being sent in the post is pretty incredible right? It tastes it too AND arrives intact. Baker Days specialise in personalised cakes for all occasions, with the largest selection in the UK. Not only do they offer your standard sized cakes, birthday cakes but also cupcakes and the almighty Letterbox Cake. 

Letterbox Cakes £14.99 are 5 inch cakes serving 3-4 portions with five cake flavours to decide on. In the past I've tried their Chocolate Chip Sponge which is made with only belgian chocolate. This time around I've had the delightfully light Plain Sponge (Madeira) and boy is it delicious. There's also Fruit Cake, Gluten Wheat Free Cake and Dairy Free Cake. The plain sponge was full of flavour & moist while the icing remained thin, it was as equally moist with the design sharp. I decided on the Christmas Robins and Holly, featuring two robins perched on a holly wreath with a seasonal greeting etched. I can't resist items featuring Robins at Christmas - my dearly missed Grandma always said she'd come back as a Robin and you know what...come Christmas morning a little Robin comes to sit by our back door. To accompany the Christmas designs Baker Days are including a festive card and little cracker. They've also changed up the tin design, with the yellow stripes retiring for a mix of pastel shaded stripes. How can a cake stay intact while travelling with Royal Mail? Each tin fits the cake on a cake board snug, there's no room for movement. To remove your cake they've added a little paper strip which enables you to lift without ruining your beautifully designed cake which has been wrapped in plastic. I think Letterbox cakes are a great idea for those of us who have family all over the country who won't be home for Christmas.

Chocolate Creations with // Yucoco

an image of Yucoco chocolate creations review
an image of Yucoco chocolate creations review
an image of yucoco chocolate creations review
an image of yucoco chocolate creations review
an image of custom white chocolate
an image of yucoco chocolate creations review
With Christmas fast approaching we're all looking for something different to gift. Something personal? No matter how much you try to plan ahead theres always one that proves incredibly hard to buy for. I recently stumbled across Yucoco, a handmade chocolate creations company which allows you to create your own chocolate bars online in a matter of minutes. Yucoco was formed by three chocoholics, no longer excited by the bars on the shelves. They searched wide to source the best Belgian chocolate, ethically sourced the cocoa beans and even make the majority of their toppings in their own kitchen. There are hundreds of toppings available to top the four chocolate bar choices (Divine Dark, Marvellous Milk, Wicked White & Terrific Trio) for endless combinations. 

For my ever so creatively named.... The December Bar* I decided on the Wicked white chocolate slab (120g), made with 28% cocoa butter, pure bourbon vanilla & customised with five toppings of Cinder Toffee, Cinnamon Crunch, Chocolate Popping Candy, Cranberries and a sprinkle of Glitter. I'm usually one to avoid white chocolate, it's either super sweet or tastes a little chalky. Who knows what made me pick white over my preferred dark but I'm glad it did. Wicked White really is the creamiest of white chocolate I've tasted, thick dreamy slabs of chocolate with the perfect snap and paired so well with my wintery toppings. The opposite side of the bar has the Yucoco logo embossed, more presentable than other companies I've tried as well as coming wrapped in plastic & fastened in a book style box compared to sleeves. Once you've finished creating your bar a name is required. Again, I settled for The December Bar, fitting within the 15 characters - The and Bar aren't part of your 15 characters. This is then printed onto a label along with a list of toppings and short message. 

The final price of my customised bar came to £7.20, £4 being the bar of chocolate and toppings ranging from 40p to 80p each. I wouldn't place orders each week but for birthdays and other gift giving occasions I would most definitely place future orders with such an array of options and fast delivery - my bar arrived under 48 hours. Lucy x
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Christmas Traditions with // Lime Lace

an image of a personalised hessian christmas sack
an image of a personalised hessian christmas sack
an image of a personalised hessian christmas sack
an image of personalised hessian christmas sack
In the LW household we have numerous traditions when it comes to Christmas. Today's post is sharing a slight "upgrade" to one we've had for two decades. Christmas morning in the LW household consists of opening our stocking's upstairs. We're still holding onto the large red stockings my parents most likely regret buying all those years ago. Once we've pulled out everything from our stockings we head on downstairs in our PJ's to be greeted with our actual presents in the front room. For as long as we can remember we have the majority of our gifts from our parents (and of course Saint Nick back then) in large festive sacks. Two burgundy hessian sacks featuring the last remains of felt Santa 'faces' sit around the tree and will do until they can no longer hold gifts. I love getting them down from the loft, the "christmas scent" that follows them around, hearing the rustle and crinkle of my parents struggling to creep down the stairs Christmas Eve...even as adults the gifts don't seem to lessen.

Now you've had a little LW Christmas family history there, I've a new addition for this years festivities from Lime Lace - an inspirational boutique store offering eclectic home accessories and gifts to customers wanting to create the personalised home environment. A much more unique store compared to my usual sites I spend waste all my spare time on. With various items to pick over I ended up selecting the wonderful Personalised Hessian Christmas Sack* which retails for £20. Designed and Hand Printed in the UK, this hessian Christmas sack features top quality hessian material, drawstring closure and the adorable mail bag design as well as enough space for up to 18 characters of personalisation. Your personalised text will feature on the centre of the design in red capitals. I'm really impressed with the quality of the sack and printing, there's no need to worry about it breaking or text rubbing off. This is by superior to any others on the market. Once you see the smile on the recipients face on Christmas morning this fabulous vintage sack will soon become part of every Christmas celebration. Sizing of the sack is perfect at 80 cm by 50 cm, fitting even the largest of Christmas present piles.

Not wanting Dan to be left out with my rather snazzy new personalised sack on Christmas morning I decided to personalise it for Harry....yep my little four legged chap who was an absolute cutie on his first Christmas last year. You may think I'm mad? He'll look after it. I'm quite aware of being a crazy puppy owner but this little guy loves to shove his head into the hessian and canvas shopping bags. Each week the only way to put away the food shop is to let him have one to sniff, lick and run about the house with. We spoil our little guy on Christmas, this year his gifts are pretty large soft toys and won't fit in the little stocking he loved pulling his gifts from. It's also going to make for a great decoration in the run up to Christmas as well as something to pack your decorations away in after. What do you think? Do you also have this little tradition in your family? It's definitely something I'd carry on if I ever have children. Their own personal sack from the North Pole!? Who wouldn't want one. Lucy xx
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Christmas Gifts For The // Holiday Hound

an image of christmas gifts for dogs
With 5 weeks until the big day there's plenty of time left to treat the little Woof in your life. We've started to pick up pressies for Harry, our little Westie. I can't believe it'll be his second Christmas in the LW household. Here's to hoping he's as well behaved as last year. Being the pampered pooch he is I've decided to follow in last years footsteps and create a Holiday Hound gift guide - who can leave them out!? Who else spoils their little fluff balls? Heck I used to spoil my hamsters too!

Christmas With // Burt's Bees

an image of the Burt's Bees Honey Pot Collection
an image of Burt's Bees Honey Pot Collection
an image of Burt's Bees Honey Pot Collection
an image of Burt's Bees Honey Pot Collection
an image of Burt's Bees Honey Pot Collection
With both Halloween & Bonfire night over with until next year, we can all start to unleash the big kid inside us and start our Christmas Countdown. This year Burt's Bees have excelled themselves with the selection of holiday gift sets on offer. With the impossible decision of picking so many to share, I've dedicated a whole post to one of my most loved natural brands as well as the gift set I'm delighted to own pre-Christmas.

I recently received the Honey Pot Collection*, a small gift but the perfect gift from this years Burt's Bees Christmas range retailing at just £7.99. The Honey Pot is a trio of 100% natural hand and lip products, all of which are true Burt classics in my eyes. All three products either contain Beeswax or Honey and come inside an adorable glass, honey jar which can be used as a candle holder once you've packed them into your handbag. You'll receive two lip balms, both full size and in the 'flavours' of Beeswax & also Honey. All Burt's Bees lip balms are incredibly soothing, hydrating and leave your lips in the perfect condition for applying those holiday, red lip products. The last of the trio is a mini Hand Salve tin (8.5g) with a little fetching a long, long way. Hand Salve is a incredibly hard balm packed with botanical oils, beeswax and herbs. It doesn't carry the nicest of fragrances but it sure is great for hard-working hands as an every day miracle.
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

The Best Beauty Advent Calendars for // 2014

an image of the best beauty advent calendars for 2014
Chocolate Advent Calendars are a thing of the past, it's all about the beauty countdowns. With even more hitting the market this year, the decision just got harder with the selection I'm sharing on LW. A few of my favourites have to be Yankee Candle's 3D house, though the returning wreath calendar is just as tempting while You Beauty and The Body Shop's proving to be great value for money. Have any of this years beauty advents taken your fancy? Lucy x

1. Lush 12 Days of Christmas
My first beauty countdown may be classed as cheating. It's not your standard 24 day countdown though its pretty incredible. Lush are known for their fabulous ways of packaging gift sets and this year is no exception. The 12 days of Christmas is brand new and something I was hoping they'd do. Do any other Lush fans create imaginary products? Inside the giant fairytale book you'll find 9 festive treats and 3 classics to celebrate the festive season in style...or bring the festive cheer you may be missing. With Holly Golightly, Hot Toddy, Snow Angel and Lord of Misrule to name a few, whether you're buying as a gift or for yourself there will be no disappointment.

2. Ciate Mini Mani Manor
Each year everyone seems to go crazy for the Ciate advent calendars and who can blame them? The Calendar gives you the perfect excuse to take some time out and paint your nails each day of December or to simply build up your collection. You'll usually find a couple limited edition Ciate products within the 15 mini paint pots, 8 nail effects and 1 large paint pot - on Christmas Eve of course.

3. Jo Malone
Jo Malone have created the kind of beauty advents this year. Behind each town house door and window are 23 miniature luxury products and one 50ml Body Creme. If you're lucky enough to have one of these this year I'm sure I won't be the only one who's incredibly jealous. This will be available nationwide on November 10th.

4. No7
Last year saw Boots' first venture into the advent calendar world, this year they've focused around the No7 brand. Behind each of the 24 doors you'll find full sizes and generous samples of their best selling beauty, makeup and skincare products.

5. Boohoo Assorted Gift Advent
This advent won't be for everyone, in fact I'd say it's aimed at teenagers just starting out with makeup. I've spotted the unbranded advent floating around on multiple sites online. Inside you'll find a mixture of makeup items from glitter eyeshadow to nail polish to jewellery. It'll definitely be a talking point with their friends on the first morning of countdown.

6. Selfridges
The fairytale theme for beauty advents carries on with Selfridges addition which sadly has also now sold out. All is not lost with the incredible range of beauty gift sets and other advent calendars on offer from fill your own, whiskey and charm bracelets. You never know, someone special may have you one hidden away.

7. The Body Shop
The Body Shop return with another fantastic 24 day countdown, packaged in a red townhouse. Full of their best selling body and face to their iconic fragrance and latest additions from the Glazed Apple, Wild Argan Oil ranges and Colour Crush Nail Colours. It's one you sure don't want to miss out on.

8. Yankee Candle 3D House
With the success of last years advent calendar Yankee Candle have two on offer for us this year. My favourite of the two is the 3D house - Christmas Past advent calendar featuring tea-lights of Candy Cane Lane, Christmas Garland, Snowflake Cookie (my absolute favourite), Sugared Apple, Christmas Cookie, Christmas memories and Spiced Orange with an additional Christmas Eve votive candle on you guessed it...Christmas Eve.

9. Elemis
Elemis have also decided to join in with their 12 days of beauty, with a total value of £113. Inside you'll find their famous cleansing balm, enzyme peel, Monoi Body range to their Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules. You'll have perfectly clear skin in time for the big day.

10. Yankee Candle Wreath
Who had the wreath shaped advent calendar from Yankee Candle last year? It sound out pretty fast and it's also sold out on some sites already!? We've only just entered November.. Inside you'll find a tea-light candle each day either of Icicles, Angel's Wings, Snowflake Cookie, Cranberry Ice, Christmas Cookie and Christmas Garland with another votive on Christmas Eve.

11. L'occitane
The L'occitane Advent Calendar has only just become available and from the image above how incredible do the generous product sizes look!? What a perfect excuse to try more of such a fabulous brand right?

12. Liberty London
I think I'll take back calling the Jo Malone advent the king of beauty advent calendars. How incredible does the Liberty London advent calendar look!? Inside each of the 24 drawers you'll find top luxury skincare, beauty and fragrance deluxe samples. Heck there's even an adorable miniature Nars Blush & Diptyque Mini Baies Candle.

13. Benefit
Benefit have gone down the sweetie shop route this year, I'm not usually a fan of the brand though I have to say how incredibly cute this years has been packaged, as has all of their holiday gift sets. Each day you'll open a door to find miniature products and the occasional surprise non-makeup gift. Spoiler alert - notepads, sticky notes, hair ties and charms.

14. You Beauty
You Beauty are back with yet another incredible beauty advent calendar that I'm SO SO tempted to treat myself to after seeing so many of my favourite bloggers tweeting, posting and instagraming theirs. Just under £50, this treasure box has a whopping value of £240. The amount of luxury samples in this years is crazy, you have Molton Brown, Liz Earle, Glam Glow, Caudalie, full size Essie polishes & so much more.

Lush // Northern Lights Review

an image of northern lights bath bomb review
an image northern lights bath bomb review
an image of northern lights bath bomb review
an image of northern lights bath bomb review
an image of northern lights bath bomb review
You're right to assume that I've been living in my bath tub since both the Lush Halloween & Christmas collections arrived. With Bonfire Night earlier this week there was no better time to whip out Sparkler bath bombs sibling Northern Lights bath bomb £3.50 - who's also staying around until the end of the year. I wasn't expecting to like Northern Lights as much as I do, I thought out of the two Sparkler would be the one for me. Like the gold infested bath bomb, this is another long bath bomb compared to the round balls we're all used to. Though inside you'll find they differ a lot.

Once Northern Lights has entered the tub, the most incredible show will appear in front of your eyes with the waters transformed into a winter nights sky, complete with twinkling stars. While the purple outer casing starts to fizz, froth and spin around your tub it's not long until the surprise centre reveals blue & yellow streams followed by stars that eventually dissolve. If you're already a fan of the bath bomb Sex Bomb you'll love Northern Lights as they're very similar, if not the same. Both carry fragrances using seductive Jasmine Absolute and the sweet, yet floral Ylang Ylang oil. I usually find Ylang Ylang to be quite heavy and found paired with musky scents but I've truly loved in Northern Lights. Northern Lights has the perfect mix of fun while carrying such a pretty, relaxing and seductive fragrance that lingers on the skin & around the house for hours after.

The only negative I can find for Northern Lights as well as Sparkler bath bomb is the lack of secure packaging when ordering online causing as lot of breakages and dampness in my first couple. Obviously Lush like to keep packaging to a minimum though the sugar scrubs and past Xmas item Cracker-snap bath bomb arrived in moulds. Have you tried either of the bath bombs yet? Lucy xx
© Lucyy Writes

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