Storybook Beauty

Storybook Beauty

La Maltese

Well folks: The time is soon upon us. I’m referring of course, to my imminent departure to sunnier climes: Santorini in Greece. Santorini is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places I’ve ever seen, with¬†it’s rugged coastlines, white cave houses and magical sunsets, and let us not forget about the food! Fresh seafood and vegetables allday long! ūüôā

Santorini has been high on my list of places that I’d like to visit for a couple of years now so I’m very excited that I will finally get to visit. October is meant to¬†be¬†the perfect time to visit because of it’s milder temperature (which can get up to the mid to high¬†30’s in the summer)¬†and less tourists.

We will be staying at La Maltese Estate in Imerovigli. Asides from it being very beautiful and serene, La Maltese has the benefit of being located at the highest point of the caldera and so comes with some pretty spectacular views!

La Maltese 2

La Maltese 4

La Maltese 3

Whilst we’re there we’d like to go to the Open Air Cinema: ¬†http://www.cinekamari.gr/

To the Red Bull Art of Motion competition where there will freerunners using the dramatically  beautiful background of Santorini as there playground! https://www.facebook.com/rbafm?fref=ts

Restaurants we’d like to visit:

Kapari: http://www.kaparisantorini.gr/pages/gastronomy.asp?p=gs

Ammoudi: http://www.ammoudi-santorini.gr/index.html

Metaximas: http://www.santorini-metaximas.gr/en/

Naturally I will let you know if the dream was indeed the reality upon my return!

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The way of the sponge!

The way of the sponge!

Bath Sponge

Last week I heard of a very peculiar thing that had me immediately intrigued: A bath sponge being used as a styling tool!

Now if you’ve never heard of this before then your probably thinking; What on earth is she banging on about? but I can assure you tis no exaggeration: people are doing this technique all over the country using a SPONGE with holes in it to create texture/curls/definition/twists even dreds in there natural hair.

This ingenious and very simple piece of apparatus was created in America and has gradually spread over to the UK. You can buy one from Nudred, their versions costs around $25, but if your not based in the US then you also have to pay shipping costs which can be up to $12. So, pretty expensive for what it is.

Another alternative for this magic sponge is to DIY. And this is what I done!

The¬†sponge is essentially a regular bath sponge that you can buy in any hardware store, or even at the Supermarket. I got mine from Tesco’s and it cost me 58p for 2 sponges. As I paid by self checkout and there was 50p left in the change area from the last customer I actually only paid 8p, so they cost me¬†4 pence each: Bargain!

Then I watched THIS video, showing how to cut the holes into your sponge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h05okD0hAe0

And I went home and done my own. I also done one for my friend who doesn’t yet know about this technique and I cannot wait to show her/give it to her!

Aside from the extreme affordability of the sponge and how¬†easy it is to make one yourself at home, I LOVE the effect the sponge creates in my hair, the ease of usage, the fact that the sponge technique doesn’t harm the hair, the time it takes to get the desired affect (literally only between 2 to 5 minutes). Also it’s¬†quite relaxing to use – almost like a massage affect as you literally rub it¬† gently over your head.

See this video to see how the sponge technique is created: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkXuCf-saME

I think it’s brilliant. I haven’t got the time nor the inclination to sit there preening myself for 30 minutes each morning, really I don’t and this sponge takes the hassel out of¬†grooming and does what you want it to do in much less than half the time: Genius!¬†¬†¬†

So far I’ve been using it everyday and I’ve had quite a few compliments and I just ADORE telling people about my cheap and cheerful routine.¬†I hope all you lovely natural haired people out there give this a try, you won’t regret it I promise!¬†This sponge technique is good for both men and women and is particularly effective when the hair is slightly damp. You can still use your usual styling products but it’s better to use them before you sponge curl rather then afterwards otherwise it may take some of the definition from your hairstyle.

What do you think of the sponge curl technique? have you tried it yourself? do you have any good, or bad things to say about it? did you make or buy yours? do you know any special techniques?

 

 

 

 

Kisanii Festival

Kisanii Festival

Kisanii

I have finished my soap favors for the Kisanii festival in October!

In the end I made 2 types of soap: Meadowfoam¬†& Neroli Rebatched Soap and Cocoa Butter & Rose Soap. I also made 2 types of solid lotion bar: Rose & Lavender Solid Lotion Bar and Vanilla & Ylang Ylang Solid Lotion Bar, and some Travel Candles. I’m really happy with them and think that people will really like them too!

My cousin who is organising the event told me¬†last night¬†that it has been postponed due to a sponsorship and venue¬†issues, so it won’t be happening in October anymore but later on in the¬†year¬†or mid next year so I’ve promised her that I’ll save them¬†for her to¬†use¬†at another event instead. It’s a bit of a shame but at least they won’t be going to waste.

The soaps are in the process of being cured so I haven’t had a chance to use them yet but I’m very much looking forward to sampling them. According to the Soap Calculator they both¬†have some pretty good properties!

Now that I’ve done a bit more soapmaking I’m much more comfortable (though not completely comfortable you understand!), about doing more. I’m feeling much more adventurous and it IS exciting coming up with new recipes and creating new fragrances – it’s also what I do best!

 

Roses

 

 

 

Style & Substance

Style & Substance

minimale animale < Minimale Animale

I. LOVE.DRESSES

I know I’ve told you this before but I just¬†felt inspired to remind you ūüôā

It has occurred to me over these past few years of my internet shopping career (well it’s not a career exactly but it’s¬†certainly¬†a favourite pastime), that I am a lover of¬†design that is created underneath the sun. And by that I mean, I love #fashion that is designed in hot country’s, preferably ones with a beach inspired lifestyle. It’s far from intentional, but infact refreshingly coincidental.

It all started with Wheels and Dollbaby, who had a small commission store at one time in the now defunct Allders. I liked their branding and so I bought a top from them. It also came with a removable badge, which I quite liked. Soon after that I had a look on there website, where I was amazed and quite frankly horrified to find that not only were they based in Sydney #Australia, all the way on the other side of the world, but that the prices of their clothing was extortionate, certainly not very reasonable at all. Alas, I was determined to have a particular dress that I had my eye on so I sent an email to my work colleagues asking them for a donation to my #birthday dress fund (I kid you not). In addition to this I also sent round a picture of the said Wheels and Dollbaby dress in an internal mail envelope asking for contributions so that I could acquire this beauteous frock. It worked! Whether through my sheer audacity, compassion or because they really liked the dress it paid off. The dress was over a hundred pounds and included a pretty horrible shipping fee too. Alas I love the dress and still wear it to this day.

http://www.wheelsanddollbaby.com/Default.aspx

Then there was #Stylestalker (Australia). I fell in love with a beautiful floaty white dress with a dipped back and shiny gold shoulder studs and bought it immediately. It was almost ¬£150 but as Stylestalker was stocked by my beloved #Asos I was able to bypass the extortionate shipping fees which was alright by me.¬†Even though I’ve owned it for a few years now it¬†remains my¬†favourite dress¬†and is perfect for warm balmy nights. It is far too nice to wear in this cold country but was made for #holidays. They have a number of drool worthy clothes in there collection to warrant inclusion on my favourite #brands list.

http://www.stylestalker.com/

Asos also stocked another Australian brand called #Nookie Beach. Not only was there brand name impressive, but there #swimwear was too. I bought a lovely khaki coloured cover up from them and drooled over the rest of their swimwear range. I really liked there stuff but could not justify their prices. They were far from reasonable and almost unaffordable.

http://www.nookie.com.au/

I soon found a brand called #Celeb Boutique (UK), who designed sexy evening dresses just a tad over the reasonably bold and daring mark. There dresses were not only designed well, but they fit very well and came in a lovely array of colours too. They are very expensive however so I usually only buy myself a dress from Celeb Boutique on special occasions. Thankfully my darling boyfriend has surprised me with a Celeb Boutique dress at #Christmas 3 years in a row. I do love him!

http://www.houseofcb.com/?sl=EN

Asos introduced me to another UK (and Delhi) based clothing brand called Needle & Thread ( I know I’ve mentioned them before). They have an absolutely beautiful array of hand embroidered dresses. I can see the craftsmanship in everything they design and despite me not owning one of their designs (because of the hefty pricetag that though warranted is not affordable for me at all!), I still admire them.

http://www.needleandthread.com/

And then I found Nasty Gal (California). Nasty Gal introduced me not only to there very unique and very beach/boho inspired designs but to similar brands that I loved.

http://www.nastygal.com/

They included:

Minimale Animale (based in #California). They do the sexiest swimwear you’ve ever seen!

http://minimale-animale.com/

Bless’ed are the Meek (Australia). Gorgeous dresses amongst other things.

http://blessedarethemeek.com.au/

Lisa Maree (Australia) Some really lovely hand crochet dresses

http://lisamaree.com.au/

Vitamin A (California). Sexy swimwear California style!

http://www.vitaminaswim.com/

And a personal favourite of mine: For Love and Lemons, who are based in California but there 2 designers admit that they are inspired by Australian designers. There clothes are designed using delicate fabrics and intricate patterns, and they are¬†sexy, unique¬†and fresh. I don’t own anything from them (yet), but when I’ve saved up I will! lol

http://www.forloveandlemons.com/

And last, but by no means least, is #Berta Bridal (Israel) who have a breathtakingly beautiful array of wedding dresses. I didn’t know you were getting married? you might ask. I’m not! I just have a deep love and appreciation for these dress designs and I have said very openly to my boyfriend that if we were ever to get married I would be wearing a dress designed by Berta. End of. I’ve decided, and there really is nothing else I need to contemplate because she is the one for me!

http://www.bertabridal.com/

So you see most of the brands I like are either based on the Californian beaches or the Australian beaches! I’m a child of the sun. Born in the month of July. My starsign is¬†Leo. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I love the casual boho/beach sexy of these brands.

Look, see!

For Love and Lemons

 

 

For love and lemons

Berta Bridal

berta bride

Lisa Maree

lisa maree

Basic Natural Hair Shampoo Recipe

Basic Natural Hair Shampoo Recipe

 

I’ve been doing this natural shampoo recipe for a couple of weeks now and I’m pretty happy with the outcome. For one I’m not putting any “nasties” (chemicals) onto my scalp or my hair, I know exactly¬†what’s in the shampoo, there are no questionable ingredients in it whatsoever and I’m using products that are effective aswell as¬†safe and easily acquired.

So now I’m going to share with you my homemade shampoo and rinse recipe and I encourage you to give it a try!

What you will need for your Shampoo:

1 tbsp. Baking Soda

1 cup Water

A Clean Empty Shampoo Bottle

A few drops of Essential Oils (optional)

Vitamin E (optional)

Directions: Mix¬†your Baking Soda and¬†Water in your shampoo bottle. Double up if necessary to fill it up. I used a glass kilner bottle. Once you’ve mixed together you can add your Vitamin E and Essential Oils if using. Then simply pour onto your hair and scalp and massage in. Once you have dispersed your shampoo mix throughout your hair you need to leave it for a couple of minutes (2-3) to do it’s work. Remember, this is a homemade shampoo and not a fancy,¬†bubbly, shampoo packed with chemicals¬†that claims to do wonders but actually does nothing more then strip your hair of it’s natural oils. So don’t be alarmed when you don’t see any foam or lather. It doesn’t foam or lather, but it does clean! After your shampoo has been in for the required amount of time you can wash it out. Make sure the water isn’t too hot when you do this as hot water strips the hair.

What you will need for your Shampoo Rinse:

1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 cup of Water

A Clean Empty Shampoo Bottle

A few drops of Essential Oils (I used Sweet Marjoram and Lemongrass)

Directions: Mix your Apple Cider Vinegar and Water together in your bottle. Add the Essential Oils a drop at a time then shake together to fully incorporate. Despite the ingredient Apple Cider Vinegar having quite a distinctive smell the Essential Oils will mask this when you combine them. Pour the Shampoo rinse mix onto your hair then wash out with cold water. The Vinegar is an excellent ingredient to use as it restores the natural PH of your hair and smoothes the hair cuticle.

There are infact a number of other amazing and effective natural shampoo recipes out there and quite a few that I’d like¬†to try out including one using¬†¬†Liquid Castille Soap that you can either make yourself at home or buy or one using Coconut Milk. So, watch this space!

Aromatherapy Candle Properties Explained: Ylang Ylang & Vanilla

Aromatherapy Candle Properties Explained: Ylang Ylang & Vanilla

Each of our Aromatherapy candles have been handmade with 100% natural ingredients: A combination of Soy Wax (a vegetable based wax), and harmonious and beautifully scented essential oil accords that have a variety of highly effective Aromatherapy properties. The exotic, floral, creamy, sweetly tantalising blend of Ylang Ylang and Vanilla make this candle the perfect gift and a perfect addition to the home!

The essential oils used in our Ylang Ylang & Vanilla Aromatherapy Candle have the following health benefits:

Ylang Ylang: Soothing, Hair Stimulating, Aphrodisiac, Anti-depressant, Sedative, Antiseptic (to name just a few)

Vanilla: Relaxing, Aphrodisiac, Febrifuge, Sedative, Antioxidant (to name just a few)

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/thesecretscentsociete/product/aromatherapy-ylang-ylang-soy-candle

Ylang Ylang Candle 3