Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Violet Plum Jewellery - Silver Glitter Quartz Ring

Sometimes less really is more. I know that phrase usually comes into play with makeup, however, I find it applies equally well to jewellery especially in the summer. At the moment I am loving something sparkly which catches the eye in the sunshine rather than bold statement pieces.

This Silver Glitter Quartz Ring from Violet Plum Jewellery is dainty and looks gorgeous with a simple French manicure or delicate pastel nail polish. 

This gorgeous piece contains a segment of glitter quartz on a thin double banded silver plated ring. A lot of rings in the shops at the moment have chunky bands and so this delicate piece is unique in my jewellery collection. 

The glitter quartz ring looks different depending on the lighting, sometimes the gem seems a deep navy blue colour and other times it looks purple or black. The glitter within the stone gives it a little something extra too. 

What's more everyone who buys this ring will have a unique piece of jewellery because each segment of quartz is a one off and therefore will vary in size and shape. 

If deep and vampy coloured gems aren't your style then Violet Plum Jewellery has lots of other stones and styles of ring to choose from. The independent business also sell other delightfully dainty rings including their Silver Rose Quartz Bead Ring, Silver Green Jade Bead Ring and Silver Apatite Ring.

Of course the company boast more than just finger bling, they also stock necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Not only is their jewellery unique it is purse friendly. They offer worldwide shipping and free delivery on orders above £30.

I have already written a post all about the background of Violet Plum Jewellery. To recap the company was created by a lovely lady called Jasmin earlier this year. She had spent a long time travelling around not only the UK but also Spain in order to gather inspiration for types of jewellery to add to the collection.

Click here to go to the Violet Plum Jewellery website

Follow the team on Twitter via @violetplumjewel

(*Ring sent for review)

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Nail polish jewellery

I had bought a stunning bracelet made from holographic nail polish by Gingerkitty Designs a few years ago and ever since then I have wanted to get crafty and try making my own jewellery. 

I ordered some glass cabochons, earring posts, butterfly backings and ring mounts. I thought it would be a nice hobby to get into while on maternity leave.

This was my first attempt at making my own studs and matching ring using one of my fav nail polishes.

I used Mystical Dragon by Fashionista to create a matching jewellery set. This duochrome polish was perfect for making jewellery as it shifts different colours in the light going from a teal green to emerald to light blue.

The process itself was easy and didn't take long at all, infact the longest part of the process was being patient and waiting for the nail polish and glue to dry before going on to the next step. 

I can't wait to try different glitter and flakie polishes to make more pieces. I might try water marble and Konad printing on the glass gems. A lot of DIY and craft projects will be trial and error, but for a first attempt I am pretty pleased with how this set turned out. 

Have you ever made your own jewellery? If so, what methods to do use and what have you made? Send me your links to your DIY posts, I would love to read them. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Mystical Dragon with floral nail decals

Joshua went to say the night at his grandparent's house last night so after catching up on housework I had a few moments to give myself a manicure. I used Mystical Dragon by Fashionisa and white floral nail decals. 

I need to go through my nail polish collection more often when I have the chance because I forget all the gorgeous and unusual colours I have. 

Mystical Dragon applies smoothly but stains my nails badly even with a base coat but I find most blue/green nail polishes stain my nails. I used two coats of the polish which shifts between a dark blue and turquoise with flecks of silver laced through. 

After letting both coats of polish dry I used some white nail decals and finished with Seche Vite. 

Monday, 11 May 2015

Eterno Naturals: Les Fleurs De Bach Soothing Shower Gel

Is it just me or does anything from France or with a French name instantly seem more luxurious. I can't be the only person who thinks so. I have been enjoying using a gel shower gel from Les Fleurs De Bach which is both soap and paraben free.

The Harmonie Aux Fleurs de Bach showergel is packed full of soothing properties derived from plants including Bach flower essence and aloe vera. The company, which was set up in 1993, also uses organic methods to produce its products. 

The packaging was a mixture of modern floral prints with the old style font on the label which wouldn't look out of place in an apothecary.

The showergel itself was soothing and cooling, the gel texture turned into a light frothy foam which left my skin feeling supple and soft. The scent was a mixture between floral and fruity. Ingredients in the product were Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, Scleranthus, Roch Rose, Impatiens, Crab Apple and Cherry Plum.

Les Fleurs De Bach is just one organic health brand stocked and distributed by Eterno Naturals to a variety of suppliers in the UK and Ireland. The company had some history on its website about Les Fleurs De Bach. 

Les Fleurs De Bach company itself was the brain child of Dr Bach who studied medicine in London. In 1930 he decided to create a method to naturally help heal his patients. Dr Bach went on to research homeopathy and bacteriology. During his research he found some plants and flowers held specific healing benefits.

The company sells a variety of health and beauty products designed to help soothe and relieve every day stresses. Their Urgency range includes products to help calm and relax. Les Fleurs De Bach also creates anti-stress skin care including cleansing milks, creams and washes as well as essentials oils.

After a long and stressful day it is always nice to take time to de-stress and unwind which is what this company strives to achieve.

(*Product send for review)

Friday, 8 May 2015

My labour and birth story

If you follow me on Twitter you would have seen countless pictures of my baby Joshua. I did a quick post on my blog a few weeks ago just to let everyone know about his safe arrival. 

Joshua George was born on April 2 weighing 6lbs, he was born three weeks early after I was induced for having high blood pressure.

I have had high blood pressure throughout my life and being pregnant made it even higher. I was prescribed betablockers during the last few weeks of pregnancy after high BP tests throughout. I was back and forth at the hospital for blood tests and blood pressure checks at least twice a week until I had reached 37 weeks of pregnancy. 

I went in for my appointment with my consultant at 9am on April 2 when he decided to induce me right there. No warning, early induction at 37 weeks had never been discussed, needless to say the nerves started kicking in.

After being taken into a private room a pessary like device was inserted down under to kick start labour, I was also given a sweep which was very uncomfortable. I was then taken up to a ward with other expectant mums and just had to wait for the magic to happen.

Luckily my husband was with me but seeing as we weren't expecting to be induced that day I didn't have anything with me, no overnight bag, food, baby supplies. I know, super organised!

Within a few hours I started getting period like cramps which worsened, I called for a midwife who told me there was no way the pains could be contractions as the pessary device would not have kicked in that fast. Oh, how wrong she was.

The midwife told me to take a bath, walk around and take some paracetamol. I did as I was told and started pacing the corridors of the maternity ward. I gave it another hour until the pain was unbearable. I called the midwife who proceeded to check me, I was already around 4cm dilated, put into a wheelchair and whisked down to labour ward. It was about mid afternoon by this point and my mum had arrived at the hospital.

The rest of the labour was a bit of a blur filled with a catalogue of niggles at the hospital. My waters had to be broken with a device which I can only describe as looking like a knitting needle. Yep, that one hurt. 

I had requested an epidural early on but by the time the anaesthetist made two attempts with two different size needles to get the epidural in but both failed, I could feel everything. The drip which was meant to feed into the needle in my back didn't work. In the end they took everything out because it wasn't going to help at this late stage as I was now 10cm dilated.

In the end I pushed baby out with gas and air which made me high as a kite, incredibly sick and waffle nonsense. Gas and air didn't take the pain away it just made me feel so spaced out for a split second I lost track of what was happening. Infact, gas and air made me feel like I had drunk far too much on a night out. 

I told the midwife I needed to push, she said I could "push through the pain" but it wouldn't actually do anything. Yeah right, five strong pushes later he was out, the birth was so quick she didn't have time to get her gloves on. 

Joshua was put on my chest for a few mins before being taken to be cleaned up. My husband got to cut the cord as well. I had two cannulas, one in each hand, because the first had failed, to give me fluids. I was given an injection in my thigh to deliver the placenta.

I tore naturally so had to have a few stitches which had to be taken out and redone (yep, let's not go there) but thankfully, four weeks on, they have healed. I gave birth just after 7pm, by now it was gone 10pm and after a shower I was wheeled upstairs to the maternity ward to spend the night. 

Mum and my husband were not allowed to stay once I was on the maternity ward, something which I feel the hospital needs to look at. After an exhausting few hours I was all of a sudden on my own, I needed my family with me rather than just having them turfed out so quickly. 

Luckily the midwives on the maternity ward night shift were brilliant with me and did Joshua's feeding and nappy changes. By 9am hubby was allowed to come back into the maternity ward which was lovely, great to see a friendly and familiar face. 

I was determined to go home that day, so after blood tests and blood pressure checks I was deemed well enough to go home while continuing to take the betablockers. 

Apart from feeling tired following the birth I wasn't doing too badly. I had a huge support network with friends and family coming by with food, treats and goodies for Joshua. 

The birth itself hurt, but actually it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I was lucky the labour was quite fast. I heard some horror stories about first time mums being in labour for days before their babies arrived. 

My mum and husband were my rocks in the delivery room and I can't thank them enough for all their support.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Sunset cocktail in Devon

My husband and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on April 13. My mum offered to baby sit Joshua for us so we could go out for a meal. Joshua was born on April 2 and I felt so guilty for leaving him to have supper out but it was only for a couple of hours and he was in great hands. 

We went to a restaurant in North Devon called The Blue and Green which specialises in woodfire pizza and surf and turf which is apt seeing as the restaurant over looks the sea. I kicked off the evening with a non-alcoholic cocktail which was a delicious blend of fruit and fizz. 

To start with we both went for the individually baked Camemberts which were served with ciabatta bread, caramelised onion and salad. The cheese was also spiked with cloves of garlic and rosemary. 

The starter went down a treat because throughout pregnancy I avoided cheeses, including brie and camembert, which were mould-ripened. Isn't funny when you know you can't/shouldn't have a particular food you crave it more. 

For mains Luke had a calzone and I had a sirloin steak with all the trimmings including onion rings, chips, salad, mushroom and creamy sauce, ah, heaven. 

Neither of us could stomach a pudding after the monster meal so we settled the bill and headed to the beach for a stroll. There was the most amazing sunset and there is something calming about breathing in the salty sea air. 

After the walk we decided there was room for pudding so we grabbed a locally made ice-cream on the way home....

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Amber Eve: Luxury Candles

Candles are my weakness, I have them dotted around the house. From tea-lights to pillar candles to wax melts and scented candles, I love all of them. 

As much as I enjoy lighting my Yankee Candle products there are candles I love even more. Independent businesses which go that extra mile to ensure you have a lovingly made product trumps mass produced products in my opinion.

Amber Eve is an independent candle company which creates the most gorgeous luxury slow burning candles. The candles are hand poured in the company's London studio and are made from soy wax.

I have been testing out a Cassis and Fig as well as a Lime Basil and Mandarin scented candles.

First of all the simplicity of the candles and the packaging oozes luxury and sophistication. From the labels and pink crepe paper to the glass tumblers and ribbon bow on the box, these candles are the perfect package. 

The glass tumblers and white candle wax look chic on my mantelpiece. Sometimes less really is more. 

The scent of the candles was so intense that it wafted through the box. Once lit the scents for both candles didn't take long to fill the living room. Strong and powerful but not headache inducing. 

There are several candle lines within Amber Eve including Lucky Seven, The Dark Side and Travel Buddies

Within each line there are different sizes which have different burn times some of the scents across several ranges include Clean Cotton, Sandalwood and Black Pepper and English Rose.

Lucky Seven candles have 40 hours of burn time and come in a 165g jar and cost £17. There are also larger candles which cost £22.50. The Dark Side candles cost £17 and have 55 hours burning time and come in a 220g tumbler. Travel Buddies, which the name suggests, are dinky candles to take with you on the go and cost £5. You can also get a set of three candles in the Travel Buddy line. 

Amber Eve also sell Thinking Candles which each have a positive quote on the glass jar. Messages including Happy is the Place to be, Keep Calm and be Fabulous and Believe and you are Halfway there. 

If you haven't tried any candles from Amber Eve check them out, they would make great gifts for someone as well as a cheeky present for yourself. 

(*Candles sent for review)