Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Scents: Potters Crouch Scented Candles

Would you look at these beauties?

I'm a sucker for a good scented candle, and the latest to join my summer collection are from a great new brand - or at least new to me - called Potters Crouch.

They were kind enough to send me over a couple of seasonal scents to try out - Lemongrass and Summer Fruits - and ohh was I excited when I ripped open the box to find this pair. Not only do they smell incredible, but they are absolutely beautiful, too. Housed in handy lidded tins, each one burns for around an impressive fifty hours, and I can confirm they smell absolutely divine.

Potters Crouch use only the highest quality natural perfumes and essential oils created just for them in Grasse, France. Add in the highest grades of wax available, and you've got some seriously long-lasting, strong-smelling candles.

When I say strong, I mean gorgeous - these have got excellent throw, and there is nothing heavy or potent about the fragrances. They scent my living room fantastically, and look amazing, too - how many candles do you know that come with a serving of pretty, glittery bits on top?

Priced at £8.50 each, they are much more affordable than some of the other big brands out there, and I'd say they more than measure up.

I'm really pleased to have been introduced to these, and will definitely be stocking up on some more come the winter months when I burn candles the most - I've already had a sneaky peak, and there are some delicious-sounding scents!

What are your favourite summer scents for the home?


Monday, July 7, 2014

The Health Series: Molkosan Fruit

Probiotics have received a lot of press attention in recent years, with the spotlight very much focused on the all-round benefits they offer in the health department. Contrary to popular belief, there's more to them than just their effect on the digestive system, although this, in itself is a great reason to take them.
Not only can they help to support normal function of digestive enzymes, but they also have a whole host of other benefits, from boosting the immune system to improving mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Yep, that's right - it might sound unlikely, but there is a wealth of evidence showing intestinal involvement in a variety of neurological disorders. We have neurons in the gut as well as the brain, which produce neurotransmittors such as serotonin, and if the balance is upset then it could result in some unexpected issues.

Recently, I have added Molkosan Fruit* to my daily routine. Made from 100% natural fermented whey and rich in L+ lactic acid to supports good gut bacteria, a small amount (20ml) is added to a glass of water or juice and taken first thing in the morning. The tonic also contains added calcium, and is 
enriched and naturally sweetened with aronia berry and pomegranate, which are crammed full of natural antioxidants.  Taken regularly, it contributes to the normal function of digestive enzymes, making it a great daily tonic for digestive balance.

Unlike some supplements, this one tastes really pleasant - in fact, it's more or less like having a yoghurt drink as it tastes really fruity and quite creamy.

Now, personally I don't really have a problem in the stomach department, although I do feel a bit bloated on occasion. However, for those of you who do have 'troubles' in that area (and we are talking all sorts), this is a great option for restoring the balance.

I generally take Molkosan Fruit for its overall health benefits - it supports the metabolism, and should it have any effect on mood then I'm certainly not going to complain, as I'm the first to admit that a bit of help in that department wouldn't go amiss at times! I think this is probably the case for most of us, and so if we can prevent as well as aid any such issues then it makes sense to do so.

I've noticed that I am less bloated since starting to take Molkosan - funnily enough, I didn't really realise that this was an issue until it began to subside, so it just goes to show that we can become all too used to some things when actually, they are not necessarily normal - or if they are, we don't always have to tolerate them.

There are also other ways in which we can help our good gut bacteria to flourish. Eating a diet low in refined sugars and yeast and cutting down on wheat, while eating more foods containing inulin (artichokes, onions, chicory, garlic) and boosting your intake of short-grain brown rice can all do the trick, so if you're in need of an overhaul in that department then why not give it a try?

Molkosan Fruit is priced at £6.96 at


Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Summer Sunday Round-Up

Just looking back at these photos reminds me what a fantastic summer I've had so far. The month of June was packed full of great days out, delicious food and the best company, and fingers crossed there's plenty more of that to come over the next couple of months! The weather does seem to have taken an awkward turn this week, but in all honesty, a dreary weekend was fine by me, purely because it has meant I've got stuff done that I've recently been ditching in favour of enjoying the sunshine. Ok, so I'm not talking about the most thrilling tasks in the world, but they had to be done - plus, it's meant that I've had more time available for blogging.

Last week, we took a few days off work and made the most of the sunny weather, and we couldn't have timed it better if we'd tried. Each day was more of a scorcher than the last with azure skies and not a cloud in sight. We headed down to Padstow in Cornwall and did the infamous Camel Trail, a bike trail which starts in Weymouth and continues on to Padstow. It's about a 45 minute cycle, and it's a coastal path all the way, meaning we had stunning views across Cornwall as we made our way along it. As you can see from the photos, the sea was an absolutely amazing colour, and it serves as a reminder of just how beautiful the UK can be in the summer months. It was quite a nostalgic trip, too, as I hadn't done the trail for about fifteen years!

On arrival on Padstow, we chowed down on some of Rick Stein's posh (and overpriced!) fish and chips, which were delicious but cost us a small fortune! We wandered along the seafront before getting the ferry across to the beach, and being able to get my bikini on and lie in the sun to relax was utter bliss. Unfortunately though, we had to skip ice creams, as having overestimated the time for which we had parked back in Weymouth, we suddenly realised we were running late, and the cycle back was fraught to say the least! We made it back in the nick of time, and by then we had definitely earned our 99s!

We spent the rest of our break brunching at our favourite haunts and visiting local parks, castles and other pretty sights with picnics. We definitely had our share of cream teas and pink lemonade, too.

The same week, we were lucky enough to go and see Kasabian live, and it's safe to say they did not diappoint. Unlike some, they really pull it out of the bag when performing live, so it was great to have a dance and sip on a few ciders while we watched. I've seen them in the past at various festivals, but this time was definitely the best.

There are plenty of things coming up over the next few weeks, with more live music, friends visiting and holidays to look forward to, so after these dull couple of days have passed, long may the sunshine continue! I'll be sure to keep snapping away with the camera so that I've got some pretty pictures to share with you as we go along.

How have you been enjoying the summer so far?


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Review: Kosmea Skincare

If you know me at all from reading my posts, you'll know how much I love trying out new skincare brands, and particularly those based around lots of great, natural ingredients. Sometimes they are OK, and sometimes perhaps not so much for me. But sometimes, I find some real gems, and Kosmea Skincare definitely falls into the latter category.

An Australian brand, Kosmea believes very much in 'skincare as nature intended', formulated with
no mineral oils, petrochemicals, artificial colours or fragrances, no sodium lauryl sulphate (often referred to as SLS) and no animal ingredients. None of the products are tested on animals, and the packaging is recyclable, too!

A natural skincare range formulated around organic rosehip oil and the finest herbal, plant and flower extracts from Australia and around the world, Kosmea instantly piqued my interest, and over the past few weeks I have been testing out three of the brand's products: The Clarifying Facial Wash*,  Hydrating Rosewater Mist* and Replenishing Moisture Cream*.

At first glance, I wasn't sold on the concept of the cleanser, mainly because I tend to go for creams and balms due to their intensely moisturising properties. The Clarifying Facial Wash is somewhere between a gel and a cream, milky in appearance and quite liquid in consistency, and actually, I couldn't have been more wrong.

With Australian Lilly Pilly and Quandong extracts to clarify and tone, the cleanser is packed with hydrating rosehip and macadamia oils to leave skin soft, smooth and free to breathe.

To use, I massage a small amount into dry or damp skin for about a minute, and rinse. I have to say, after the first use I really was blown away by how soft and hydrated this left my skin, and couldn't stop touching it! It's rare to find a cleanser which offers such a noticeable and immediate effect alone - and this one smells incredible, too.

The Hydrating Rosewater Mist, unsurprisingly, comes in a handy spray bottle, and I generally mist some over my skin post-cleanse, but it's also great for a quick pick-me-up for a tired and weary complexion during the working day, so I tend to keep it on hand. Gentle, soothing, cooling and hydrating, this is definitely one of my favourite facial spritzes yet, which is no mean feat considering the number I have tried. The gentle rose fragrance is simultaneously uplifting and calming, and it's the perfect follow-up to both my morning and evening cleanse.

The Replenishing Moisture Cream is an impressive conclusion to the three-step routine, and is easily absorbed into the skin. Rosehip oil nurtures and protects the skin with antioxidants and essential fatty acids, while carrot oil provides a natural source of Vitamin A to help improve elasticity. Add to that a shot of horsetail and nettle extract to aid in the rebuilding of collage, and skin is left plumped, smooth, replenished and rehydrated.

I don't often say this, but I really cannot recommend this range highly enough. I feel that it has done my skin the world of good, and having come to the end of my samples I am eager to replace them, integrating them into my skincare routine for the long-term.

If you haven't heard of Kosmea and you're a fan of good, natural skincare with a whole host of benefits then I'd definitely suggest checking them out. And if you're yet to make the move over to natural ingredients and fewer chemical nasties, then give it a try - you'll wish you'd done it sooner!

Are you a fan of natural skincare? What are your favourite products?


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