Sunday, 26 April 2015

London Butterflies: Body soufflé, scrubs and lotion:

Gorgeous packaging on beauty products is a surefire way to grab my attention and suck me in. Of course, I have to love the products themselves as well, but lovely packaging is a real bonus.

London Butterflies is a skin care brand and their packaging is one of the best I have seen in a long time. This company ticks all the boxes in the packaging department, from the sleek glass tubs to the colourful boxes the products are packaged in, everything is A*. 

Not only do the products look chic on a bedroom dresser, they work wonders on the skin. I have been using the fruit body souffle, the floral body cream and natural salt scrub

The fruit body souffle is wonderfully light and absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving a sticky residue. The souffle, which boasts British Tunda Berries and Meadowsweet with Jojoba Oil. The air-whipped butter not only leaves the skin feeling smooth and supple, but the sweet scent lingers on the skin for several hours after application. 

London Butterflies: Body Butter Souffle: £29.99.

The natural body scrub was my favourite product. Nothing makes my skin feel rejuvenated like a good body scrub to buff away rough and dry patches. 

London Butterflies: Bath Salt Scrub: £29.99

The bath salt scrub contains natural almond oil which helps to really lock in hydration which helps the skin feel soft and smooth. I am quite picky when it comes to face and body scrubs. I cannot stand scrubs with super fine particles which feel like your skin is being tickled. Nope, that just won't do, I need a substantial scrub which really works its way across the skin to make a difference in its feel and appearance. This product does exactly that and what's more it oozes that spa like scent, perfect after a long day. 

London Butterflies: Whipped Body Cream: £29.99

The Whipped Body Cream is another wonderfully scented product from the company. The scent is lighter and more subtle that the fruit body souffle. The cream contains jasmine, starflower and almond oil which London Butterflies says helps with quick absorption to "leave the skin perfectly soft, sensuous and hydrated from top to toe."

London Butterflies also sell products for the face including brightening cream with SPF 20, anti-aging cream with SPF 20 and night cream. 

The company also stocks some great everyday essentials like hand and nail lotions and exfoliating face wash. 

The London based company says: "We are London Butterflies: The scent of England. Indulge in our luxurious bodycare range. 

"Developed expressly for those confident in their skin. Performance products infused with delicate and enchanting fragrance."

(*I was sent these products for review)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Barry M Mint Green with Nail Decals

I love DIY nail art, especially stamping with my Konad kit. However, as much as I love Konad it can take a bit of time, especially with clean up. Nail decals AKA nail tattoos can jazz up a manicure fast and there is no clean up afterwards.

These nail decals were part of a set which I ordered from Amazon. For less than £5 I got hundreds of sheets of different designs, some coloured, some packed with glitter and some were black and white. These black starts have a tiny silver gem in the middle.

I painted my nails with two coats of Barry M's Mint Green Nail Paint and let that dry. Then, using tweezers, I peeled the nail decals off the sheet and placed them in the middle of each nail. I finished the manicure off with a coat of Seche Vite's fast dry top coat. 

With all nail art a good top coat is essential, it helps protect the design making it last longer. Applying nail decals takes a bit of patience as the process is quite fiddly, however it is worth it for a cheap at home manicure. 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Welcome to the world Joshua George Stokes

As some of you may know via my Twitter and Facebook I gave birth to my little boy on Thursday, April 2.

I wanted to do a quick blog post with some pictures to introduce him properly.

Joshua George Stokes was born on April 2 at 7.15pm weighing 6lb. He was a few weeks early as I wasn't due until April 23, however, because I had high blood pressure I was induced. 

I was induced that morning, super quick labour and he was with us by that evening. He is doing well, happy and healthy. I plan to do a more in depth post about the birth soon.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Letterbox Cake and GIVEAWAY

If you have read my blog or ramblings on Twitter you will know I love a good cake and a cup of tea. When I was contacted by BakerDays asking if I wanted to review one of their letterbox cakes and to host a competition I couldn't say no. 

BakerDays is an online company that makes cakes, some of which can be posted through your letterbox. I got very excited by this idea, I hadn't heard of a letterbox cake before. What's more, the team can personalise your cake with your own messages and photographs.

I sent them a picture of my husband and I on our wedding day, this is what they created.

How lovely does this cake look? I also got some colourful balloons and candles for the cake. Love those little touches which makes the surprise extra special. When I opened the tin the smell of sweet icing hit me straight away, made my mouth water. 

The cake was wrapped well which meant it stayed fresh, it tasted delicious too, the sponge was light and the buttercream frosting was sweet but not sickly. 

If you order your BakerDays cake by 2pm they can deliver the cake, which is handmade, the next working day, perfect if you need a quick gift for someone. 

The cakes are round but you can choose from four sizes. The 5 inch letterbox cake has around three to five portions, the small party cake (7 inches) has around 10 to 12 portions. Medium party cake (9 inches) has around 18 to 25 portions and finally, the large party cake (12 inches) has around 40-55 portions.

BakerDays has a load of fun and colourful designs and messages for you to choose from, but you can also email them a picture for them to use on your cake instead. There are several categories to choose from on the BakerDays website including congratulations cakes, keep calm and carry on cakes, humour cakes and celebrity cakes. These are in addition to the traditional birthday, christening and Christmas cakes. 

You can choose the flavour of your cake as well. My 5 inch cake was a gorgeous vanilla cake. You can choose from vanilla, chocolate, fruit, half and half. Taking into account dietary requirements, the team also make gluten and dairy free cakes. 

Depending on what sweet treat you go for will depend on the price. For example, this general birthday cake will cost £14.99 for a 5 inch cake while the largest cake in this design will cost £56.99. 

Now for an exciting giveaway.

BakerDays have kindly said they would give one of my followers a cake as a prize.

To be in with a chance of winning a letterbox cake you MUST:

* Like my Facebook page Nicole Top To Toe 

* Tell me by commenting below that you have done these steps and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win and just for fun, let me know what your fav type of cake is. 

The competition will run until Thursday, April 30 and is open to UK bloggers only. 

Once a winner is drawn I will contact them to say they have won, they have 24 hours to respond. If I don't have a response another winner will be drawn. Your contact details will be given to the team at BakerDays so they can arrange for your prize to be sent out.

(*I was sent a cake to review from

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Newspaper print nail art

Nail art doesn't need to cost a fortune or have lots of complicated steps. I created this newspaper print nail art with only a handful of products and the process itself was quite fast.

I painted my nails with two coats of Snow which is a Barry M polish and part of the Gelly Hi-Shine collection. Once the polish dried I dipped each finger in rubbing alcohol and pressed small sections of a newspaper onto the nail. After pressing the paper on the nail for around 20 seconds the print is transferred. 

To finish off I applied one coat of Seche Vite fast drying top coat. 

I think this method will be trial and error, on some nails the print transferred well, on others the print was quite feint. However, the process was fun and it was nice to do something a little different.

Have you tried newspaper print nails before?

Monday, 13 April 2015

Roots & Rituals: Heated hair towel and deep conditioning hair treatment

I have been colouring my hair for years and so I am always on the look out for a luscious deep conditioning treatment. I have tried so many creams and masks which left my hair feeling soft until the next wash. However, the Roots & Rituals natural hair care range did something for my hair which, in my opinion, even salon products could not do.

Roots & Rituals is a company created by a lovely lady called Karishma. She found a lot of hair care products had a lot of artificial ingredients. Karishma said: "We expose our hair not only to harmful chemicals, but we also straighten, curl, colour and bleach our hair much more frequently."

Karishma is a qualified medical biochemist with more than eight years experience of working if top pharmaceutical companies, so she really knows her stuff. 

She said: "The ultimate objective is to give our crowning glory a break by providing deep nourishment to hair and scalp using effective natural ingredients - hair care as nature intended." That's where the oil and conditioner comes in.

Alongside the Deep Conditioning Oil and Conditioner the kit contains a purple heated towel and this is what helps make the magic happen. Roots & Rituals' products are created with coconut, olive and acocado oils. 

This is because they penetrate through the hair easily and that is what gives that deep nourishment which is great for dry and damaged hair. 

The first step is to apply the oil and wrap your hair up in the towel which heats up. I had my towel on for 45 minutes. The next step is to wash your hair using a clarifying shampoo to make sure all the oil has been washed out. Finally use the conditioner to really boost shine. The whole process is just super relaxing and the different steps makes the routine feel like more of a treat.

Brushing my hair out afterwards was a breeze, no more knots and tangles, my hair felt sleek and smooth without being weighed down. The list of ingredients in the oil alone is impressive. It includes almond, sesame, argan, basil, amla, olive, avocado, hibiscus, abyssinian and coconut oils. 

The heated towel gives the treatment an added boost and helps the oil really sink into the hair. The towel costs £69.99. The conditioner costs £6.49 and the oil costs £15.99. At the moment there are plans to amend the packaging and the viscosity of the conditioner. This is what the new packaging will look like, personally I much prefer this packaging to the bottle, it looks more luxurious  and I love the gold and brown detailing. 

Find Roots and Rituals on Twitter @rootsnrituals and on Facebook and their website


Friday, 10 April 2015

My missing cat returns after seven months thanks to microchip

If you have followed my blog for a while you would know I had two grey and white cats called Moses and Leo. In September Leo went missing and did not come home. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months.

However, after seven months of being missing, Leo was found and he is now safe and sound at home.

Our cats do not go out at night time and so when  Leo didn't come home for supper on September 4th I knew something was wrong. I had hoped he was just being a dirty stop out and had expected him to be waiting at the front door the next morning, but this didn't happen. 

We put on leaflets, knocked on doors, put messages on lost and found sites. We also would walk around shouting his name in the hope he would hear us and come trotting back. 

A few people had contacted me on Facebook to say they thought they had seen Leo nearby our house, but no joy. 

It was devastating to think of what may have happened to Leo. As horrific as it was, if he had been hit by a car and died I would rather know. Not knowing what happened was the worst. 

The days turned into weeks and weeks into months and we began to lose hope.

Then, earlier this month my husband got a phone call at work from a lady saying she had something important of ours. Needless to say we were overjoyed to hear that she worked at a local cattery and they had scanned Leo and found his microchip.

I made my way to the cattery with my mum and husband to see Leo. We all burst into tears when we saw him. He recognised us straight away and started purring. 

The lady who works at the cattery told us a bit about how Leo came to be at the cattery which is also linked to a local animal ambulance. Turns out people in a housing estate about two miles from our house had started feeding him as they thought he was a stray. 

I managed to find some of the ladies who were feeding him via Facebook and they said Leo would never let them get close enough to catch him, until now. After catching him the took him to the cattery where, luckily, his microchip was found. 

His coat was in good condition and he had put on some weight, when we got him home we gave him worming and flea treatment. We are also taking him to the vets for a check up. 

I doubt we would have had Leo back if we didn't have him microchipped. If you are thinking of getting a cat or kitten then please, please, please get the chipped. A collar isn't also enough. 

This is one of the first pictures of Leo reunited with his brother Moses. 

Throwback picture of the pair when they were kittens.