The Weekly Round up



It's been a while since I last did a weekly round up of my latest favorites but that doesn't mean that they haven't been piling in. 

1. With the latest release of Gilmour Girls: A Year in the life and the subsequent inundating PR, I felt compelled to start watching the Gilmour Girls series from the very beginning and have so far been really enjoying 'bing-ing' over the occurrences in Stars Hollow.

2. The Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie was at one point earlier in my life my favorite holiday scent so I made sure to have enough of it to last me half my lifetime. Despite hoarding in, my calculations seem to have been abysmal as the stash is coming to an end. Although this one can get overwhelming at one point its always a favorite of mine to burn during the festive season.
3. On a lyrical note, who doesn't like Katie Melua? She has recently released the new album aptly titled In Winter, and while it is diverse from her previous albums this is perfectly soothing for the holidays.

4. Illustrator Inslee Farris, in collaboration with the Neely and Chloe has recently launched a range of agendas. While the most favored one, the gray has been selling like roasted chestnuts on a cold day other shades are still available here. While I personally would have loved to acquire this agenda, I'm always partial to a filofax and sadly the inserts aren't available on their own. Next year, perhaps?

5. Caudalie has launched a range of gift sets for Christmas and I've been loving the sets they've released. The gift sets contain a full sized product but you pretty much just pay for that and get the other contents in the set for free. Considering that most of these sets contain some of the brands' cult products this is a bargain to stock up on if you use them in your daily regime, or if not, it's simply a great way to try out new products.

6. Following Mindfulness, Hygge seems to be the current fad in terms of lifestyle. This book is filled with pictures to serve as a visual aid to enable you to foster hygge. I loved and nurtured a hygge lifestyle (to an extent) prior to being introduced to the book but this has been nonetheless enjoyable. There are several books available introducing this topic. If you're curious about the hygge way and how to achieve it daily, flipping through this book by Meik Wiking might just about help. 
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The Cozy Edit- Festive Sleepwear Picks

With the temperature rapidly dropping and the holidays in sight, cutesy home wear becomes a must. Or at least that's my excuse.  I love comfortable (and animal themed) sleepwear and as I mentioned in a recent favorites post, I've been loving Etam's selection the most this year. With myriads of penguins, deer and seals motifs how could I not? It seems that each time I visit I can never come out empty handed. I've only visited the store for the first time very recently and don't think I'll be over the brand any time soon. Some items make for cute and non expensive stocking fillers or secret santa gifts. These have been my picks so far and I have been truly enjoying everything. 

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The Weekly Round up




Voluspa Chestnut and Vetiver

This is such a great scent for fall. It is somewhat reminiscent of Christmas, but is not festive enough to list this is a scent I'd exclusively burn during the holidays.

Advent Calendars

The calendars are out! Amidst the endless choice of beauty, chocolate and novelty ones I finally made up my mind and got ones I love. More on that later!

Show: The Crown

This new drama has just been released on Netflix and I'm hooked. If you like the Royal Family you will undoubtedly enjoy this one. The biopic recounts Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne. Claire Foy, playing Queen Elizabeth is somewhat of a dark horse. The attention to detail ranging from speech to mannerism is terrific. A fantastic show from every standpoint be it the performance, the cinematography and the score- it's by no one other than Hans Zimmer. 

Book: The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman's Guide

I follow Shannon's blog on a regular basis and considering I enjoy it so much I recently purchased her book, one pertaining to a genre I tend to gravitate towards. If you love or at least are curious about the French approach to daily living this one should be on your list. Shannon Ables explores ways to achieve contentment in life, a life where quality is supreme. She covers several aspects from hosting, to personal style, decor and travelling. Definitely an enjoyable read. 

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Now that the temperature is dropping I decided to switch up my moisturizer. I have combination skin and it gets dehydrated especially at this time of the year. I've been using the Caudalie vinosource moisturizing sorbet for the past week as part of my morning routine and so far it's been working wonders. The gel consistency makes it feel rather cooling and quite light on the skin. It's easily absorbed too and the skin just feels plump and smooth afterwards. 

Nespresso Festive Editions- Sachertorte

Nespresso have recently launched their festive editions including 3 different variations, namely Sachertorte, Apfelstrudel and Linzertorte. Sachertorte has to be my favorite out of the bunch, but then again I'm always partial to a piece of Sachertorte. The chocolate taste just hits the perfect balance. 

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Easy Chicken Tagine

I quite like tagines but don't own the the clay pot and have thus never been interested enough to recreate a tagine at home. I recently found this recipe and gave it a try. This recipe nly requires a wide pan with a lid. I liked it enough to consider investing in a Le Creuset tagine that I've eyed a couple of times. 

This recipe is and adaptation of the BBC Food recipe found here. The original recipe, as attested by other people's feedback seems too bland so I modified the ingredients to make it more spicy and tasty.


Serves 2

Ingredients

Olive Oil
2 Chicken Tighs, bone in
300ml Chicken Stock
1 large onion
2 inches grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp honey
4 carrots, chopped into sticks
Tumeric, cordamon, and cumin. Add according to taste. 
Salt and cayenne pepper
Squeezed lemon juice
Chopped Parsley
Lemon wedges

Method

Heat the oil in a wide pan. I used this one. Fry the chicken until lightly brown, which takes around 7 minutes per side. 

Add the onion and the grated ginger and fry for another 3 minutes.

Add around 300ml of chicken stock, honey, carrots. and the salt and all the spices. Bring to boil then cover tightly and simmer for circa 40 minutes. Add more stock if required. At this point the chicken should be tender enough for some of the meat to loosen up from the bones. Uncover and let the sauce reduce a little. Add parsley, drizzle lemon juice and serve.

Add lemon wedges when serving for an additional squeeze.
I served this with a side of roasted potatoes.

Enjoy!

Tory Burch Perry Tote

I recently got my hands on the Tory Burch Perry tote in a shade I adore. It's French Gray with a Dark Peony interior. I love the contrast! This shade is easy to use on a regular basis, regardless of the season. This hue is very easy to incorporate in ones wardrobe. I've also been loving how the grained leather just topples over. The leather isn't heavy at all and the lack of hardware gives this bag a more of a casual look. I think this will work wonders as a work tote, considering it can hold just as much as the Neverfull MM does.











The Weekly Round Up

What feels like a lifetime ago, I used to compile lists here on the blog delineating my current favorites. Being the occasional blogger that I was, I ended up phasing those posts out, but seeing as these are turning out to be my favorite posts to read on other blogs I felt a need to bring them back. Every Friday I shall be including a list of movies, books and other fancies which I would have found to be entertaining or in some way, amusing. Here's this weeks pleasures.



The Christmas Season

It is now (finally) socially acceptable to be enthusiastic about Christmas in public. The decorations and gift sets have made their appearance in stores and chocolatiers are adorning their shop windows with delectable advent calendars and festive editions. The season to be officially jolly has arrived and with it the several (jolly) conundrums- which gifts to get, whether the new decorations could fit in nicely, when to dispatch the greeting cards and so on. The older I get, the more enthusiastic I'm getting about the festive season and the excitement in this household is palpable. 


With the festivities in sight, a number of brands have already released festive sleepwear. I'm loving Etam's range this season and will dedicate a post specifically to that very soon. 

I'm currently reading this book by Ann Mah and if like me you too are a francophile you will enjoy this one. Mah recounts her experience while living in Paris when her husband was sent on an Assignment in the city. She had to spend a year on her own in Paris when her husband was given another assignment in Baghdad and she thus recounts her experience in filling her days hunting down France's traditional recipes. Mah does a good job in providing a concise history of the origins of specific dishes of particular regions in France. 


I love sipping green tea at various intervanls during the day and this one has been a favorite. This has been a recent find as I wanted to try something different from this brand which I terribly enjoy. This green tea is composed of citrus and fruity notes. The lemongrass is dominant and I tend to favor those teas in which it does.

Game- Lego Harry Potter for PS4

I'm not ashamed to claim I'm a Potterhead. I've read the first installment way back when I was circa 12 years old, when it first came out and have followed the series ever since. Admittedly I also like (some) video games and enjoyed the first installment of the Lego Harry Potter edition back on the PS3. Following the switch to the PS4, I realized there was no Lego HP available on this console. However, probably thanks to the wizarding world revival induced by the upcoming release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the two installments of the Lego Harry Potter game have been released in one edition for the latest platform. 

I love the brand and am always trying out something new. I recently got the night oil from the Polyphenol range which I had never tested before and have been using it religiously every evening after applying toner. This dry oil has been a pleasure to use so far. This night oil is aimed at repairing the skin and doesn't contain any parabens. I have combination skin and this makes my skin feel smoother and doesn't feel heavy at all.

Dior have recently released a new extensive range of lipsticks in different finishes. The range wasn't fully available at my closest counters and Sephoras' but I have been able to have a look at most of the lipsticks available. I love a good matte formula and loved a good red shade, but while most of the lipsticks seem to be available in red hues I ended up picking the shade in 897, Mysterious Matte. This one is a pinkish-plum hue that hasn't been drying at all. It has the standard Dior lipstick scent  and is encased in  gorgeous packaging. 





Scrumptious and Quick Tart Aux Pommes

Autumn is officially making its presence felt, making the breeze slightly more chilly, turning leaves crispier and devoid of colour. The cosy ambiance at the caf├ęs is more inviting than ever and the whiff of fresh bread at the boulangerie suddenly feels more hearty. Yes, this season truly calls for hearty bakes and comfort food and hence why I decided to try out something simple, traditional, that has stood the test of time and is a firm favorite amongst the French. Quick and fairly easy to make I recently tried my hand at my very first french apple tart.



This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's original recipe found here and in her book The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics



Ingredients:

  • 4 granny smith apples
  • half cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • half cup Bonne Maman apricot jam, warmed up with 2 tablespoons water added in and sieved
  • store bought puff pastry

Ina's method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F/ 204 C. 
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. 
  4. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.
  5. Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baller. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don't worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! 
*Note: At this stage I warmed up the apricot jelly with the water and sieved when runny. Then I brushed the apples and the pastry with the mixture*

      7.   Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn't stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve                   warm or at room temperature.


I had no apple corer available nor a melon baller which made things a bit tricky and was more time consuming but if you don' have either it can still be done by carving carefully around the stem with  sharp knife.

Also I should add that I found the heat/time a bit too much for store bought pastry. I'd recommend 180C for 30-40 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

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Louis Vuitton Alma PM in Epi leather

Around a month ago I got this Louis Vuitton Alma in epi leather. The size is PM and the colour is hot pink. As I mentioned on my channel I originally sought out the vernis alma in the shade amarante but for some reason it didn't tickle my fancy that much when I tried it on. This is my first epi leather piece and I'm smitten! I love how subtle it is and how durable and chic it looks. Why didn't I have a look at epi before? 


Most of the time I'm attracted to larger bags but this size is perfect on my 5'6 frame. Despite not being a large bag this one holds a ton, figuratively speaking! I didn't purchase the strap as I wanted to try it out without having a strap first. I've used it a couple of times and so far loved how it looks and feels without a strap. I did get a quirky porcupine charm from Furla and a Louis Vuitton bandeau scarf to wrap around one handle to make it a bit more fun.



The epi leather almas come exclusively in silver hardware and features 4 feet on the bottom. It has two zipper pulls on the same zip and comes equipped with one lock. On the inside it features microfiber lining and two side pockets.


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Longchamp Purchases & Current Collection

I've been loving Longchamp lately and ever since I got this special release back in February this year I wanted to update a bit my collection which had most certainly seen better days.



This was a limited edition release I blogged about here. It is no longer available but may pop up in outlet stores. I love the detachable pin and the embroidered phrases!



Yet again this is another limited release for the past summer. 



This is the Le Pliage Neo in black and it is what I'm currently using as a travel tote. The size is great to carry on airplanes as a shoulder bag and the dark shade is undoubtley practical for travel. I love the neoprene range and the different array of colours available each season. The black is available throughout the whole year. This size doesn't come with a strap but the smaller ones from the same range do.



Despite being a lover of gold hardware I love the variety of hardware the le pliage come in. The neoprene range features exclusively silver hardware whereas the classic le pliage features gold hardware. Limited edition releases feature different hardware and leather trim colours, depending on the bag in question.

I'm aware that details are hardly visible in the video so I'm posting pictures here. 




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Fall Wishlist






It's officially fall today so what better way to start off the season than to sort out and update the next few months wardrobe. I've been meaning to start a capsule wardrobe project and have been slowly working towards that goal. Planning the items I truly require is key and this wishlist is pretty much what I plan, or at least try my best to focus on this season. 

I always seem to gravitate on accessories more than garments and this season is no exception. I've been eyeing the Tory Burch Perry tote for a while now and have been waiting for the release of a shade that I love and this might be the one. This french gray version has a dark peony coloured interior which makes it also a perfect combination to use during the summer months. I have also been eyeing this necklace by Tiffany's for a while and just love how dainty and classic it looks. A necklace may not necessarily be a desired item for fall but I just love how delicate necklaces look when they pop out of chunky sweaters.

Another perfume is the last thing that I need but this Dark Amber and Ginger Lily scent smells great and has that depth to it that makes it perfect for fall and winter. I haven't tried the Jo Malone's colognes yet so this would be the perfect opportunity to do so.

I've been looking for the perfect neutral scarf and have been longing to get the Burberry cashmere nude scarf,  however, this one in particular seems to fit the bill, despite it not being cashmere, I love that it has an ombre effect making it a much more interesting take on the average scarf. 
I've been trying to focus on footwear lately. I have recently acquired the Repetto Bridgitte flats in black patent and have been loving them (now that I broke them though!) and am thus considering getting the nude patent ones. These will look fantastic in the warmer months but can easily be worn throughout winter as well with the help of some thick hosiery. I've also been eyeing the Stuart Weitzman boots for the past couple of years and even though I'm not entirely convinced whether I should shell out for overknee boots despite it being very tempting. I'm all for investing in classics so truthfully this cheaper version by Zara might be just fine. 

I'm a Wolford girl through and through but have lately been curious about the brand Commando. As much as I love novelty tights you just can't beat a pair of black opaque hosiery to take you through the season. Speaking of Wolford I've been eyeing this body for a number of years and am always hesitant to purchase. However I think this one's a basic staple that could see me through seasons and should be an excellent garment for a capsule wardrobe. 

I've also been loving shirts lately and this one by Whistles has to take cake n terms of originality. I also like this cheaper alternative by Massimo Dutti. We'll just have to see whether they look good on. Despite owing a couple of black coats I'm still on the hunt for the perfect one. I love anything structured, that can be tied or has a bow and this one, also by Whistles, seems to fit the bill. 

What's on your fall wishlist?
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Product Empties- February Edition

It's time for another product empties post and frankly this time I was surprised at the small number of products I ended up using in February. 


1. Zara Home candle Feuille de Figuier. As far as I'm aware this particular scent is no onger available but Zara Home releases limited edition candles every couple of months and normally releases several different scents at once. I love their candles. They're budget friendly and have a nice throw. 

2. L'Occitane foot cream. This one is intended for dry skin and one could easily tell as it's very heavy and needs to be massaged well into the skin to be absorbed. I personally found it to be too rich for what I require but nonetheless this is yet another good product from the brand. 

3. L'Occitane Cherry Blossom hand cream. This one is yet another mini sized product I found in my advent calendar. As with all the brand's hand creams this has been lovely. 

4. L'Occitane Moisturizing Lip Balm. This lip balm was very different from what I normally go for. It's very moisturizing but it's not a typical balm. I would say it looks and feels slightly like a lipgloss which was a bit strange to get used too. But it does the job well. 

5. The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Body Lotion. I love this range from TBS and this lotion was a nice one too. It's not too heavy and is only lightly scented. The scent lingers for a while too but is pretty pleasant. The pump is handy too. It is easily absorbed and would recommend it for normal skin.

6. Nuxe Lait Demaquillant Confort. I've mentioned this one too many times now. This is a staple in my skin care routine and one I always have a backup at hand. 

7. Cattier Masque Argile. This is yet another French pharmacy gem. Essentially it is a very good green clay mask. It feels refreshing and does a superb job at purifying my skin. As with typical French pharmacy skincare this is pretty budget friendly too.

8. Yankee Candle wax tarts: Spiced Orange: Didn't really enjoy this one much as it hardly had any throw. 
Christmas Memories: I love this one and will make sure I have a couple of these come next Christmas. It's the perfect winter/holiday scent. Spicy and warm, this one was great to burn. 
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MAC Zac Posen Dangerously Red

MAC has just released a new collection, this time in collaboration with fashion extraordinaire Zac Posen. The collection itself is a small one and the item that called on to me the most was one of the three lipsticks. As expected it is the red lipstick that has a pink hue named Dangerously Red. It is classified as a matte formula but it does look a bit as if having a slight satin finish instead.




Dangerously Red is slightly similar to Mac Diva-ish which is a pink amplified formula.


The packaging is simple and sleek, a bit reminiscing of Nars audacious square lipstick cases but matte, which also reflects Zac Posen's sublimely polished silhouettes he creates. 


In Geneva this collection is Globus exclusive but is also available online.
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Current Favorites- Winter Edition

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I love reading favorite's posts but every time I try to compile one on a monthly basis I realize that I do not really switch up my favorites that often. If I like a product enough to make it in my personal favorites, chances are that I'll still be loving it for a long while. So instead I'm compiling a seasonal edition including products that I have been loving lately. I also didn't want to limit myself to solely beauty products but rather expand the list to also take into account other things that I have been enjoying as well so as to make it more accurate. 

Marc Jacobs lip pencil in Prim (rose). I love this both with on its own as well as under lipstick. It's the perfect nude shade. Not too pink not too brown. 

Marc Jacobs lipstick in 216 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. This has been my go to lipstick and most of the time I'd wear this over the lip pencil mentioned above. This is a deep rosy nude shade that works great with fair complexions. I had quite a rough start with Marc Jacobs makeup line, thanks to Sephora's terrible customer service. But ordeals apart the three products I tried from the brand all turned out to be great. I'm looking forward to explore more of the brand's line. 

Phyto 9 Day Cream. I recently decided to have balayage done to my hair. After a decade of sporting dark hair, switching over to the light side also meant a change in hair care would be due. At this time of the year my hair gets drier. Add that to the light balayage and the dryness is even more evident. So I decided to give this hyped product a go and it worked wonders. I apply a dab of this product on my hair daily from the shoulders down, expect on the days when my hair is freshly washed. I stir away from products that weigh my hair down or feel greasy and this one does neither. It is easily absorbed. Just brush it through and the hair is softer and still feels light. 

Roll on Anti Stress. I love using essential oils but normally for fragrance purposes around the house and not directly on my skin. I decided to give the roll on range by Nature et Decouvert a try and may I say I'm obsessed. I tried two so far and both have been fantastic. These roll ons feature a blend of essential oils that target specific needs. The one pictured is intended as a stress relief oil. These are quite cheap to. All you need to do is dab a bit on the temples and on the wrists. These are very practical and can be easily carried in your bag. 

EOS Lip Balm. I got two of these lip balms just before the brand made headlines in the media for causing severe breakouts and reactions on several people. I was considering not even bothering with these but I gave them a go and am glad I did as they didn't break me out at all. If you follow my blog you might know that I swear by Nuxe lip balms but after trying EOS I have to admit I'm loving these ones too. They are fragrant, moisturizing and the fact that the range has different ones available makes it fun. 

Embryolisse Hydra-Masque. I love the popular Embryolisse moisturizer and wanted to try out something new from the brand. I picked up this face masque and have to say that this will probably be a staple in my routine. This mask is fantastic. It feels really refreshing once applied and after 15 minutes I get a very moisturized and soft skin. 

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil. I used to swear by this oil back then and went through several bottles of it. I found this mini sized one in the L'Occitane's Advent Calendar and it has rekindled the love I had for this. It smells heavily of almonds and makes the skin very soft. 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. I seem to get paler by the day and none of my foundations were being an exact match so I decided to switch it up a bit and try something that would be able to stay put for hours. I was weary this would end up oxidizing on dry patches but it's been perfect. The coverage is heavier than I normally opt but for what its worth I'll take it! This lasts on for hours without having the need to blot or retouch. The only downside is that this doesn't have a pump. 

What most people reading this post do not know is that apart from beauty and fashion I love video games too. Although I'm not a die hard gamer I love having the odd game to unwind to. Unravel has been released very recently. I gave it a go and I've been loving it. This one is only available to purchase on the Play Station store

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Winter, too cold to bother months also mean there's plenty more time indoors to spend watching Netflix. I have been hooked on Modern Family and Better Call Saul. The irony of it all being that I strongly disliked both at the very beginning. Thank God for persistence. I'm hooked!

Coldplay A Head Full of Dreams Vinyl. This has been the album that's been playing the most in this household. Although not a die hard fan of the band I do love their work. I'm loving the artwork on this album too.
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How To Make The Most Out Of Your Cut Flowers

I love having flowers at home. They brighten up the space and make the house smell naturally fresh and make me happier. 


With flower sales reaching a high this Valentine's weekend, one must keep in mind that in order to make the most out of your bouquet one must help the flowers to thrive and prolong their freshness.


If you want to make the most out of your flowers, prolonging their freshness for up 7-10 days here's a few pointers to follow to keep them going strong.
  • If you're know you're picking up flowers yourself it helps to take along a piece of aluminium foil to wrap around the bottom part of the stems to help the flowers keep their freshness until you get home while also avoiding a mess in your bag. 
  • Pop the flowers in the sink until you prep up the setup. 
  • Start by getting one flower first. Measure roughly how tall you want the flower stem to be, depending on the vase you're using. Cut the bottom stem diagonally. In doing so you're helping the stem absorb more water than it would if you were to cut across horizontally. Use a sharp knife to chop off at least half an inch. Make sure the cut is clean. Avoid using scissors to do the job as this will squash and thus damage the stem. 
  • Use the first flower as an aid to cut the rest, so that all the other stems are roughly the same length.
  • Chop of any leaves on the stems that will be immersed in water. This will prevent dispersion of bacteria in the water. 
  • It is much easier to build a bouquet arrangement by holding the bouquet in your hands and not by popping the flowers one by one in the vase. Look from the top of the bouquet to ensure it looks perfect and symmetrical. 
  • Fill the jar with tepid to slighty cold water. Avoid using very cold or hot water as this will unsettle the flowers. 
  • The flowers I purchase normally include a tiny sachet. If your does too mix this solution with the water in the vase. This contains the nutrients that the flowers will need.
If it doesn't than make your own solution:
  1. Flowers need food too. Mix a teaspoon of sugar with the water in the vase.
  2. Add some lemon juice. I use a small chunk of a lemon and squeeze it to make the equivalent of two teaspoons of juice. This will prevent bacteria build up.
  3. Some also add bleach along with or even instead of the lemon juice, but I personally find bleach too harsh and tend to stick to the lemon and it works for keeping the flowers fresh for longer.  
  • Change the water after two or three days, deepening on how cloudy the water is and then repeat the steps above. Remove any dead leaves and flowers to prevent further bacteria. 


This might all sound very cumbersome but once you get used to the routine it it will only take a couple of minutes and will ultimately result in having flowers fresh for longer.

Having read all these pointers keep in mind that not all flowers are the same.


If the flowers in question are tulips than keep on topping up the water in the vase as tulips require a lot more water than then other flowers. Tulips are highly temperamental and are not to be set in a vase with Daffodils.
If you are working with sunflowers, avoid adding the food solution. Sunflowers won't like that.


Other tips for consideration:

  • Choose younger, un-blossomed flowers when purchasing flowers so that they blossom while you're caring for them and enjoy them for longer. 
  • You may choose to cut the stems under running water in order to avoid air penetrating the stem. 
  • Keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and heat. 
  • When you're done with your flowers clean the vase with soapy water and dry well. 

Enjoy your flowers!
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Product Empties- January Edition

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1. Tresemme Hair Spray- Just an average hair spray. Nothing special. Didn't get to finish the can as there are much better hair sprays out there.

2. John Freida Volume Hair Spray- The concept sounds interesting and it truly does give your hair volume but at a cost. The hair just gets to be a sticky greasy mess, I'd just rather not.

3. CHI Straight Guard- Threw this one out. Hardly did much in keeping my hair straight per se.

4. L'Occitane Shampoo and Conditioner with 5 essential oils- It took some time until I got past the essential oil scent. But if you manage to get past that these are quite lovely. Nothing ground breaking but it's nice to switch it up a bit from the usual routine.

5. Lush Beautiful Shower Gel- I'm not a fan of glitter in shower gels, or in anything really, but as I got this a while before the holiday season it made sense to get it at the time. Realistically, I hardly had much glitter residue as it's been easy to rinse it off. Loved the fresh scent. 

6. Avene Gentle Purifying Facial Scrub- I loved this one. It's really gentle yet invigorating and worked well. I did not repurchase solely so that I could try out another scrub by a different brand but i definitely would pick this one up again. 

7. Lierac Tonique Eclat- This is my favorite facial toner. I've gone through a couple of bottles of this one and finally decided to switch it up a bit and not repurchase. I do notice a (negative) difference in my skin when I stop using this one. 

8. Caudalie Grape Water- I have blogged about this before. It's one of my favorite french pharmacy skincare products and a staple in my regime. I've repurchased this one on end and will keep on doing so until I find one that is on par.

9. Nuxe Reve de miel lip balm- I've blogged about this one before too and have mentioned this one as my favorite lip balm. 

10. Cicabiafine- I had seen this brand several times at french pharmacies but never felt the need to try any of the range. I was given a sample which I kept in case I would need to use it. Lucky me I suffered a painful chemical burn on my upper left hand recently. I used Elizabeth Arden's 8 hour cream to ease the burn and its redness and although that is really effective, it is sticky and thus not really great to use for days on a stretch. After the 8 hour cream I then tried this one and was surprised this worked so well and I now need to purchase a full sized one to have at hand. This eased the redness (which was horrible really) in less than two days. Think of this as an ultra potent moisturizer. It's not sticky and felt rather fresh and soothing at the same time. Bless this product!

11.OPI Avojuice Jasmine hand and body cream- I love this range, from the smell to the texture. The only downside that will make me not repurchase again is the fact that this has parabens in it.

12. Crabtree and Evelyn Handcream in Rosewater- I love this brands' hand creams. The texture is more runny than your standard L'Occitane creams but at the same time it is easily absorbed. I was slightly disappointed with the scent tough. I love roses but I picked up this in rosewater and I have to admit that it does smell exactly like rosewater does, so the brand did a good job there but it just didn't really strike my fancy. 

13. L'Occitane shea butter hand creams- I don't opt for the shea butter ones often but I was glad I had these two mini sizes at hand. My hands got really dry this winter and L'Occitane shea butter creams always do a splendid job, with that thick texture to sort out the dryness.

14. Yankee Candle:  Mandarin and Cranberry. I'm normally not a fan of either the two components of this wax tart but the two combined have been wonderful. It's sweet but not overly sweet as one would imagine it might be. It's been a nice scent for winter.
Honey and Spice- This one was just fine, nothing grand. 

15. Essie Bachlorette Bash- I loved this shade. It's deep magenta which surprisingly also fits well in winter as it's not too bright.

16. Benefit Her Glossiness lipglosses- The consistency turned gross so it's time I tossed these. I hadn't reach for these in a long while. Nothing special really.

17. MAC Lipliner- I believe these format of lip liners have been discontinued. The name of this red one had rubbed off and I'm not too sure of the exact shade but one thing I do know for sure- I will not opt for these again. The product it self is so thin and fragile, it kept breaking. I'll have a regular, fuss free pencil any day.No wonder they're discontinued.
MAC Teddy Eyeliner- I loved this. If you're looking for something softer than a harsh black liner give this one a try. It's a brownish bronze-y shade that is perfect for daytime. 
MAC Engraved eye liner- If you're looking for a liner that stays put this one is it. I had to toss this simply because it's such a pain to remove. Even when using Bioderma, there's too much work and tugging involved. Not for me.

18. MAC cream blush in Britwit. The shade itself was fine but I'm not too fond of cream blush. They might look a tad more natural than a powder one would but I just find the whole ordeal gross and messy. Powder blushes please!

19. Barry M Super Shiny Lipgloss- I don't think I even used this once. Bright orange super shiny gloss? what was I thinking? 

20. Dior Diorkiss in Snow Cherry- I liked how un-pigmented this was as it would only give a slight flush, but it's just way to glossy to wear past the age of 15 which I clearly am well over. 

21. Zara Home Green Herbs Incense Sticks- I said this one too many times but I guess I'll say it one more time. I love these! They smell so good and they're a steal at 4 euros a pop. 
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My Top 5 Favorite Fragrances


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5. Stella Nude

Other Mentions





For further information regarding notes, sillage, longevity and other details, I highly recommend you also consult Fragrantica.
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