Sunday, 17 December 2017

Bath and Bodyworks Autumn/Winter Haul

I’ve been lusting after Bath and Bodyworks products ever since they first started popping up in people’s blogs, Instagram feeds and YouTube videos, but had always resigned myself to the fact I would never get my hands on them. They don’t have a store in the UK and their website doesn’t ship to the UK either, so I just had to make myself feel better by buying other smellies from UK stores. However, one day I was watching a video from the lovely Charlotte Louise Taylor (if you don’t already, you should go and watch her videos!) and she was talking about buying some Bath and Bodyworks bits from a Facebook group she had found. I’m always a bit wary of Facebook selling groups, but Charlotte had said she’d had positive experiences with it so far, so I decided to join Bath and Bodyworks Fans UK.

Since joining, I’ve ordered off a few different people and have never had a bad experience (obviously it’s down to individual sellers, but so far they’ve all been really good). So I thought I would show you the autumn and winter candles I’ve received. My first little haul was these three autumn three-wick candles. It’s a bit difficult because you can’t smell anything, so I had to decide based on the descriptions on the website (which are actually pretty detailed and helpful) and other people’s recommendations, but the group were really helpful in helping me work out what I might like.

The first candle I went for was Marshmallow Fireside, which is made with notes of toasted marshmallow, smoldering woods, fire-roasted vanilla and crystallized amber. I assumed it would have quite a sweet scent, but actually it’s very subtle. You can definitely smell the sweetness of the marshmallow and vanilla, but the woody/fire scent really pairs this down. To me, it really does smell like sitting round a campfire toasting marshmallows.

The next autumn candle I chose was Pumpkin Apple and it has notes of red delicious apple, fall pumpkin, fresh ground cinnamon and clove buds. I wanted something fruity and fresh, and that’s exactly what I got with this candle. I was a little bit worried about it having cinnamon in it because I’m not really a fan of that scent, but thankfully it isn’t too overpowering at all. You can definitely smell the fruitiness of the apple and pumpkin, but it also smells very homely and cosy, thanks to the cinnamon and clove. This is definitely a good one for autumn.

For my last autumn candle, I knew I had to get Leaves, the one everyone raves about! It’s kind of hard to imagine what leaves might smell like – we have woodland behind our house and you either get that crisp autumn air scent or, when the leaves go soggy, that slightly rotting damp smell! But this candle definitely reminds me more of the first one, with notes of crisp red apple, golden nectar and warm clove spice. I’ve been burning this one a lot, and the scent pretty much ends up filling the whole house. It’s another very cosy scent and for me, the clove is definitely the strongest smell.

One of the things that particularly attracted me to the three-wick candles was the gorgeous lid you get on them. The autumn ones had either a gold leaf or a copper pumpkin and just make the candles look so pretty. I think I watched one of Zoella’s videos a year or so ago, and she said that she uses the lids as coasters once the candle is finished, which I think is a brilliant idea.

Fast forward a month, and the Christmas candles were starting to make an appearance on the group. There were so many amazing scents and I found it so hard to choose just three. I had a long list on my phone, which I kept looking at, trying to reduce it (but actually just ended up adding to it!) Thankfully, I chatted to a few people on the Facebook group, and they helped me whittle down the scents they thought I might enjoy.

The first candle I picked was Champagne Toast. It’s kind of difficult to know what to expect from a candle with this name, as champagne doesn’t really have a particularly strong aroma! But this actually turned out to be one of my favourites, with notes of bubbly champagne, sparkling berries and juicy tangerine. It smells so good! There’s the sweetness of the berries and the slight tang from the tangerine. I’m pretty sure you can even smell the champagne bubbles, which I thought would be impossible.

My next pick was Frosted Cranberry, which just sounded like it should be really Christmassy. I love fruity scents, but wanted to find one that definitely reminded me of Christmas, and this one fit the bill. It has notes of iced cranberries and orange essential oil, giving it a really fresh and crisp scent, perfect for this time of year. It’s not too sweet either, despite it being fruity, which makes quite a nice change to the sweet candles I usually buy.

The last Christmas candle I ordered was Blueberry Sugar (yep, another fruity one!) This one has notes of sweet blueberries, brown sugar and Graham Cracker Crust – it actually smells like a Christmas bakery! Compared to the crispness of the Frosted Cranberry, this one is a lot more sweet and cosy, as you get the baking smell of the sugar and crackers. I didn’t think blueberries could smell that Christmassy, but somehow they’ve managed it with this candle.

Just like the autumn candles, these Christmassy ones also have the patterned lids. Blueberry Sugar and Champagne Toast both have silver lids with a snowflake (which actually reflects onto my ceiling – very pretty!) and Frosted Cranberry has a copper lid with Christmas trees on it. Again, I will be keeping these to use as coasters after I’ve burnt the candles.

There’s no denying that these candles aren’t particularly cheap (I would say they are mid-range, much like Yankee Candles) but the three-wick ones that I bought are huge! They have a good throw and you can smell them even when they’re not lit, which I think is really nice. And when you do light them, my whole family soon knows about it, as the scent travels through the house. Yes, buying through a Facebook group isn’t exactly ideal (and I’m still keeping everything crossed that Bath and Bodyworks might finally decide to come to the UK one day soon!) but so far I’ve only had good experiences buying through the group and am so happy to finally have got my hands on a few candles.

Are you a Bath and Bodyworks fan? What’s your favourite scent? Will you be checking out the Facebook group after reading my post?

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Week in Photos - 10th December 2017

This week has been mega difficult – I’ve had a full week of university, which I struggle with anyway, but I’m also still unwell with this horrible virus and it’s completely flooring me. I’ve worked out it must be about six weeks of having this virus now, which isn’t much fun. I would really like to start feeling a bit better so I can actually enjoy the run-up to Christmas rather than just wanting to curl up under a blanket and sleep!

Is anyone else slightly obsessed with Paperchase postcards?! I seem to always pick a few up whenever I go into the store, so am building up quite a collection. I am trying to send them out now though, as it seems a bit silly just having a pile of them at home doing nothing. These two from my latest purchase really make me chuckle.

Freddie sits in the funniest places and somehow still manages to look comfortable. I was sitting on the sofa this week and he usually likes to snuggle up on my knee. But instead, he climbed round the back of me and perched himself on top of the sides of the cushions!

We’ve finally got the first of our Christmas decorations out – the Advent Candles always look so pretty when it’s dark and cold outside. We haven’t got our tree or anything else up yet (we still need to go and buy our tree, as we have a real one) but I’m hoping we can start to put everything up soon. I’m struggling to feel very Christmassy at the moment, so maybe once we start putting up the decorations it will help get me into the Christmas spirit.

As I said, I was at university for a full week this week. We were doing a ‘news week,’ which is where we simulate a newsroom every day and put out either some online articles or a television news programme. It’s incredibly hard work and can be quite stressful, but it did mean I could treat myself to a Christmassy Starbucks. I’m also addicted to these Salt and Vinegar Pom-Bears at the moment – they’re so good and gluten free too!

To try and help myself feel a bit more Christmassy, I decided to drink my tea in one of my Christmas mugs. This one was from Jilly Jilly and covered in little snowmen and marshmallows. She does so many cute mugs for Christmas and beyond, so I would definitely recommend checking out her website if you’re looking for lovely gifts (or just something for yourself!)

One of the news stories that I decided to cover this week was about a Christmas Tree Festival in a local church. I went to have a look around and do some filming with my friend, Nina, and it was so pretty. There were over 100 trees, each decorated by a different community organization, and it felt totally magical in there. Now I just wish we could get our own Christmas tree up and decorated.

I was meant to be at university all week, but by Wednesday evening I was feeling so unwell that I decided that I needed to take Thursday off and stay at home. I’m not very good at actually resting, so I did a little bit of sorting out and put away some of my birthday presents. This Little Women book was one of my birthday gifts and I just think it looks so pretty. I’ve never actually read the story before, which is terrible considering it’s a classic, but I’m hoping that having such a beautiful copy of it will encourage me to start reading.

Once I’d done a bit of tidying and sorting, I curled up on the sofa and started writing my Christmas cards. I’m determined that, one year; I will have them all written before December even starts. But that hasn’t happened this year (mainly thanks to being unwell and university taking over) so I’m trying to get them done before the last posting dates.

With not being well and having a really sore throat, I’ve been pretty much living on different variations of tea, which means the chance to use lots of cute mugs. This unicorn one was another of my birthday presents, and it made me smile having it sitting there on my coaster while I watched the soaps on TV.

While I was looking online for present ideas for people, I came across the 2017 collection of Disney Christmas TsumTsums. As they were in the Black Friday sale, I just couldn’t help myself, so treated myself to all of them for my TsumTsum collection. They look really cute sitting in this little pyramid on top of one of my DVD towers!

Thankfully I was feeling well enough to go and see my friend Charlie yesterday and her two children, Izzi and Joe. We don’t get to see each other that often, but when we do it’s always lovely to have a good catch up. Charlie had planned lots of nice things for us to do – first we made magic snow, which Izzi and Joe absolutely loved! Then we made Christmas tree decorations and decorated a gingerbread house. I definitely felt more Christmassy by the time I was due to leave.

This was one of the little penguin decorations we made with Izzi and Joe. It was a bit more tricky than we expected, but they turned out really well and look great on Charlie’s tree.

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new Christmassy videos. I have a few more planned too, including some weekly Vlogmas uploads.

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

If you don’t already, please give me a follow on Bloglovin here - I can’t believe I’ve managed to hit 800 followers now! Thank you all so much. I’m planning a giveaway as soon as I can get some bits together!

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Week in Photos - 3rd December 2017

Happy December everyone! It feels pretty crazy that it’s almost Christmas – where has the year gone?! I’m nowhere near ready for Christmas at the moment, so I guess I’d better start organizing myself! It’s been another busy week in the world of Jenny, which a very exciting new arrival for our family. I’ve also been feeling quite drained by university, as we’re coming towards the end of term, which always means deadlines etc. But I have been able to fit in a couple of nice things this week as well, and I’m really conscious of trying to enjoy December this year, rather than just hurrying through it to get out of the other side.

I’m absolutely over the moon to be able to introduce my gorgeous new nephew, Noah Henry Cole. Born on Sunday 26th November 2017 at 3.23am. Massive congratulations to Richard and Lisa, who are doing so brilliantly at being first-time parents – he is just beautiful. I’m so excited to be an auntie and can’t wait to watch him grow. I was able to have cuddles with him at one day old, and look forward to having many more!

This was when Noah met his three ‘Cole’ aunties! Bekkah decided that she will be the fun auntie, Rosiie will be the auntie to get him into horse riding and I will be the auntie that introduces him to Disney (of course!)

The weather has got so much colder this week, so I’ve been enjoying cups of tea in my new Cath Kidston mug, whilst wearing my new Accessorize bedroom boots. They’re so warm and fluffy!

It’s so lovely to snuggle up with Freddie in the evenings. It’s like having a little hot water bottle to cuddle!

I thought I’d rock all the Disney in this mug selfie! With my Primark Aristocats jumper (which, by the way, is very snuggly!) and my Cath Kidston Peter Pan mug. Can you tell I’m a bit obsessed with Disney?!

It’s that time of year when we light the wood burning stove again and Freddie has found his favourite spot right in front of it. I don’t think he’ll be moving any time soon!

Yesterday, I took my Mum out to Costa Coffee at our local Next and treated her to our traditional Christmas drink – a Black Forest Hot Chocolate. After that, we had a look around the store. I might have found a Christmas jumper for this year (plus a couple of presents too).

The chocolate curls on top of the Costa Coffee Black Forest Hot Chocolates are so pretty (and I never thought I’d be saying that about chocolate!) but they’re dusted with pink glitter.

How cute is this biscuit that came in my Tea Tourist box?! Anything that says ‘Shine and Sparkle’ on it is a winner in my eyes!

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new Christmassy videos. I have a few more planned too, including some weekly Vlogmas uploads.

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

If you don’t already, please give me a follow on Bloglovin here - I can’t believe I’ve managed to hit 800 followers now! Thank you all so much. I’m planning a giveaway as soon as I can get some bits together!

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!