The Charming Candle Co Review

A few weeks ago The Charming Candle Co sent me one of the most lovely gifts and I thought I’d tell you what I thought of it.

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The Charming Candle Co was founded in 2017, with a mission to shake up gift-giving.  They think gifts should be interesting. Each candle is fully made in the UK. The candle jar design is a bespoke illustration by a local designer. They’re all printed locally. Their wax and scents are sourced, melted, mixed and hand-poured, locally. All candles have a secret charm or ring hidden inside the candle to add a surprise.

I was sent the Piña Colada scented candle, which is one of the nicest things I’ve ever smelt. The pineapple comes through so much, but doesn’t overpower the nice creamy scent of the coconut. Even when the candle isn’t burning, the room is filled with the lovely smell.

The main thing that struck me was my anticipation to see which charm I had received. I must admit, I burnt my candle very regularly to get to the charm. I was really excited to see the little gold foil parcel poking out of the wax one day. I quickly grabbed some tweezers and pulled it out. After it had cooled down I opened the parcel to find a very sweet dainty ring.

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I like this ring because it goes will anything, and I think it suits a lot of different styles. All my friends have been interested in the candles, as they make a perfect gift which has a bit of personality.

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If you would like to purchase one of these lovely candles for a friend, relative or even yourself, go to https://www.thecharmingcandle.co and you won’t be disappointed.

Vegan Nutty Marzipan Cake

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This is my twist on an Easter Simnel cake. I’d gladly eat it all year round!

Ingredients

170g Raisins

170g Sultanas

1 Orange Zest

5 Tbsps Disaronno

170g Unsalted butter

170g Chopped Mixed nuts

170g Light brown sugar

4 Portions of egg replacer

170g Plain Flour

85g Ground Almonds

1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 Tsp Apricot Jam

Dr Oetker Marzipan

Instructions

  1. The day before baking the cake, put the dried fruit and orange zest in a bowl. Soak ingredients in the disaronno overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Lightly grease the base and sides of a deep round cake tin.  Put the mixed nuts for the cake onto baking sheets and roast in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees. For the cake batter, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg replacer a little at a time, beating until combined before adding more. Tip in the dry ingredients and add a pinch of salt and fold together. Add the mixed nuts, dried fruit and mix it all together. Scrape the the batter into the prepared cake tin and for about 2 hours. Take out of the oven and leave to cool.
  4. Cut the marzipan to desired shape and add to the top of the cake. Decorate as desired!

A Full Body Service with Anatomicals*

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I love Anatomicals. It has long been one of my favourite brands. I think the packaging is by far one of the best around, and the smell of the products is better than any other. So, I was very excited to receive a parcel from them, to whip my body into shape. I’ve been neglecting my beauty regime a bit recently, so I thought I’d give myself a full body service!

Hands and Feet

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I suffer with dry skin, and the first thing to go is always my hands and feet. The hand cream has already become one of my favourite hand creams. It smells amazing and has a gorgeous texture. It also adds a lovely shine to your nails. The shea butter is deeply moisturising but not heavy.

The foot cream smells just like a spa! It feels like you’re having your own pamper session. The eucalyptus scent is invigorating and refreshing. My feet are definitely softer and less callused.

You can purchase the hand cream here and the foot cream here.

Lips and Eyes

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I love these lip balms. I usually buy a stick lip balm, but these are liquid. The nice thing about them is that they are really softening but don’t like an early 2000s over glossed look. They definitely protect your lips properly from the elements and make them look plump and kissable! The spf element is definitely a winner too.

The eye gel is incredibly cooling and not heavy. Exactly what you want to waken your eyes up. It is not sticky and soaks into the skin immediately. Dark circles and lines visibly reduce using this. A little bit goes a long way! Works on my sensitive skin, so I believe it is safe to use on all skin types.

You can buy the lip balm due here and the eye gel here

 

Skin, Muscles and Joints

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So I have some areas which get particularly dry. One knuckle on my left hand seems to be a real bugger to get rid of. I like this balm, because it does seem to be keeping it a bit more in check than usual. It’s definitely less angry looking. I have been applying it around 3 times a day. I think a few more times a day and it could well be almost gone in a couple of weeks.

I get the occasional bout of muscle aching and joint pain in my knees and fingers due to hypermobility, so it’s always good to have something handy to reach for other than a load of pain meds. I like this rub because it uses arnica, which is amazing for inflammation and pain.

You can buy the both here.

Hair and Body

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I like these because they smell lovely…obvs, and they’re really handy to take to the gym and swimming with me. I’m not often one for 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioners, but I like this one because it’s not so conditioning that it makes your hair greasy.

These come from the Jet Set Saviour Pack, which is one of my favourite weekend away kits. You can also find the lip balm and dry skin balm in this pack, which is an absolute bargain. It also includes my all time favourite body lotion.

Full Body

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My legs have been really flakey recently, I don’t know why. I wanted to find a scrub to use in the shower that wasn’t too rough and also didn’t leave that over-the-top greasy residue on the skin or gravely bits in the bath. This is a really great scrub because of course it smells amazing (duh) but it’s a nice texture and does the job I’m looking for. My skin feels freshened up and soft after using it, but not red and scratched. Also, importantly it is microbead and paraben free. It uses walnut shell to revitalise skin.

To add the finishing touches, the Mango and Coconut Body Lotion (guess what I think about the smell of this product) is perfect. It is enriched with vitamin E, so leaves the skin silky soft and you feel like you’re on a tropical holiday using it.

You can buy the scrub here and the lotion here.

I really do love everything about this brand. It’s cruelty free, well packed, smells AMAZING, does what it says and is a great price for what you are getting.

Anatomicals is sold through ASOS, Superdrug, Ulta Beauty and…Anatomicals 😉

*Some of these products were gifted to me, but all the opinions are honest and my own.

Pairfum Innocent Vanilla Reed Diffuser Review*

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I love all things smelly, (good smelly of course). I am constantly trying out new scented candles and air fresheners. The only thing is…I’m rather allergic to a lot of things. So, I was looking for something which would keep my room smelling fresh and inviting without making my skin and eyes itch!

I was very kindly sent the Pairfum Large Reed Diffuser (£37.50) in the ‘Innocent Vanilla’ scent from the lovely people are Pairfum. The diffuser contains 250ml of fragrance which is composed of natural and organic essential oils that are non-toxic, non-flammable and non-carcinogenic. The perfume oil in the diffuser is non-VOC which is safer to use and VOC oils are not healthy for the lungs and they deplete the ozone layer so this one is much safer to use and better for the environment as it is contains a non-VOC fragrance oil.

I had absolutely no negative reactions to this, so was really pleased. It also fit really well into my newly decorated room.

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The bell shape bottle and black looks really classy and simple. The box it arrived in was lovely, so would making an excellent gift for someone.

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The scent is also just as classy and simple, it isn’t overpowering sweet fake vanilla smell, like a lot of scents. It is clean and smooth vanilla. You can change the intensity of the scent depending on how many reeds you use. I’ve been using five, but since I like the smell so much I’m thinking of putting in the rest of the reeds.  The more reeds you use and how often you turn them, the stronger the fragrance will be.

The diffuser should last between 6 to 9 months which sounds fantastic, so really it is rather economical compared to ‘cheaper ones’.

Pairfum offer a range of perfume products, such as candles, perfumed botanicals, room and linen sprays. Not only do they add a wonderful smell to your house, but they can be part of the overall decor. I will certainly be buying some other products from the range and cannot wait to try some of their other scents!

You can follow them on Instagram here and Twiter here.

*this product was gifted to me, but all the opinions are honest and my own.

Vegan Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

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I love chocolate and I love peanut butter. So of course I love Reese’s. But they’re not so vegan friendly and they also contain soya lecithin, which can cause allergies.

Here’s how you can make your own at home to your own preferences.

Ingredients

350g Chocolate of your choice

100g Peanut Butter of your choice (I used smooth)

50g of Icing Sugar

Splash of Vanilla Essence

Method

  1. Melt down your chocolate in the microwave and pour halfway up into cupcake cases.
  2. Mix the peanut butter, vanilla essence and icing sugar together then add a small spoon of it to the cupcake cases.
  3. Pour on the remaining chocolate up to the top of the cases.
  4. Put in the fridge to set for an hour.
  5. Dust with icing sugar (optional).
  6. Enjoy!

 

Linziclip Review*

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Linziclip® sent me a selection of clips to try out last week, and I couldn’t wait to give them a go. I love trying out different hair styles because I feel like my hair is a bit boring on it’s own!

The Linziclip® is a revolutionary new hair clip which thanks to its patented advanced gripping mechanism and two spring device, camouflages the inner workings of the old style claw clip whilst gripping the hair better than ever before. And the springs are hidden.

Linziclip® come in different sizes, for different styles. It is also available for different thicknesses of hair. I used medium thickness on my hair.

I found the clips really easy to use and quite handy for keeping my hair out of the way for going out on a night out and going to interviews.

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They come in lots of different designs and colour, so you can always match them with your outfit or mood.

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I liked the larger ones most, as I found they held my hair in place better, because it is so long. I think the little ones are lovely and would suit short hair styles really well.

If you fancy having a go at some interesting hairstyles with Linziclip®, have a look here

*This product was gifted to me, but all the opinion are honest and my own.

Esocare African Raw Black Soap Review*

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I’ve read a lot about African Raw Black Soap, so have been keen to try it for a long time. I was very excited when Esocare sent me some to try out.

African Raw Black Soap is one of the most beneficial, yet unheard of soaps you will ever find. It is a natural source of vitamins A & E, iron and an all-natural cleanser. It helps relieve rashes, scalp irritations, oily skin, dry skin, acne, blemishes, eczema, and other skin problems.

It has a delicate texture and a natural, earthy smell. It is not oily, and can be used for hands, face, body and hair. It’s most commonly found in Ghana, however other countries have their versions of black soap as well. Other words for black soap are Alata Samina, Anago Samina which comes from the Twi language in northern Ghana.

I’ll be honest, I’d never actually seen African Raw Black Soap before, so didn’t know what to expect. It has a very unusual appearance, but I think this is because we are so used to laboratory made, chemical based beauty products. It has a very natural, raw and organic appearance.

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I have rather dry skin, so have been using it in the shower as a body wash. It lathers up so much! I did not expect it to create so many bubbles. It leaves your skin feeling very soft and extremely clean after using it.  It feels so much like a way of pampering yourself in the shower, and you know you’re also treating your skin well.

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I recommend buying this soap through Esocare because, all their products are plant based, vegan and organic. Suitable for the whole family and can be used, on hair and skin.

Each product is packed with an affirmation card in which you use whilst nourishing yourself. It is owner Luna Afriyie‘s belief that, absorbing an affirmation with your daily skin care/ beauty routine helps to recharge and reprogram your subconscious mind. She is trained in Neuro Linguistics Programming, so understands a lot about psychology and the power of the subconscious mind.

Try adding this product and affirmation into your daily routine and I’m sure you will feel the difference!

https://www.esocare.co.uk

*This product was gifted to me, but all the opinions are honest and my own.

 

 

Invisible Disabilities and Gigs

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So, I went to a gig last week. I’ve been going to gigs regularly for years, but over the past year my hypermobility and dyspraxia are manifesting themselves in a way that is making it really hard and painful for me to stand for long periods now. I always buy a seated ticket when available, but I’m finding it hard to accept not being able to go to gigs which aren’t in seated venues. Why should I miss out?

There are some gigs that I understand, aren’t suitable for me anymore, but the one I was at last week was far from it. The standing section had little cut out sections at the sides for disabled people, with seats and a little area of flat ground standing area (the venue had a sloped floor, which was really hard to stand on). I had spoken about not being able to stand very well (I also have a broken toe at the moment!) with the venue beforehand, but they said seating was not available. When I’d booked the gig, I hadn’t broken my toe, so I thought I’d just about manage standing. (I would probably have been wrong anyway!)

When I noticed the little area, I waited until the main band came on stage, to see if anyone else needed to use that area, and only two other people had gone in. So, I stood on the flat bit of floor at the very back of the area, in case others needed to use the chairs, or wheelchair users needed floor space. I felt happy, because I could cope better with standing on the flat floor.

About 3 songs into the main band, a lady in a wheelchair came into the area, so of course I moved further back to make sure she had enough room, then the security guard came in and told me to get out and that I wasn’t allowed to be there, it wasn’t for me. Then a large group of people dancing pushed past me to get in the space. I can’t comment about whether they were disabled, because this is the point of this blog. I don’t blame the security man, but this is an issue which is very prevalent in society. I felt really embarrassed and like I had to qualify my disabilities to him. Sometimes I feel ashamed, as if they think I’m lying, because I look fine.

We are so quick to judge people’s health or ability without knowing anything about them. I look like a ‘fit healthy young woman’, but I’m not. Some days, I can’t walk very well at all, and have to tape up my joints which are in shooting pain. Other days, I’m at the gym on the cross trainer (not being the most graceful though, I must add!). It’s confusing for me, so I know it must be confusing for others.

A lot of health and disabilities fluctuate massively, so why can’t we get this is our heads? And it’s not just able bodied people who do this, people with health conditions do it to.

My friend has hEDS, Fibromyalgia and POTS and uses a wheelchair or a walking stick. She was sitting behind a counter at work and a man who was a wheelchair user buying a ticket from her said ‘you don’t know what it’s like to be disabled!’ I’m sure, he must’ve been having a particularly bad day and was feeling frustrated…but he shouldn’t have made that assumption.

I think the main thing to take a away from both mine and my friend’s experience is, to never make assumptions about anyone’s situation. I’m still training myself to do this, in other areas of life.

As for gigs, I really hope there are more areas like this in gig venues, because I thought it was a great idea, but there needs to be more communication between the venue and people who need to use those areas. It would’ve been better, if I could’ve privately explained my situation to someone and they gave me a wrist band for the area, avoiding embracing questioning.  I’m sure people with visible disabilities also get these sort of issues arise at gigs also. I sometimes look at venues and think ‘this is definitely not accessible’ and there’s really no need. I’m not expecting to be right up the front and stage diving, but I think everyone has a right to watch a show they want to see.

What happens when you assume…

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Loaf

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So, I accidentally bought too many bananas as usual. So, of course I made some banana bread. I wanted to make a slightly different one. So I put together my favourite things: chocolate and peanut butter!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter, slightly melted
  • ¾ cups sugar or stevia
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • banana slices (optional)
  • Chocolate chips (dairy or non dairy)
  1. Preheat oven to 180. Line a large loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the slightly melted peanut butter, sugar, mashed bananas, oil, and eggs. After mixing, stir in cocoa, salt, chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir in flour last.
  3. Pour into loaf pan and top with thinly sliced banana pieces. I used 1 banana for this part. Bake for roughly 55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
  4. Serve!

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