Lucky Dip Club Diner Box...

Every instalment from Lucky Dip Box has left me waiting impatiently for every box, each month I check the website clock countdown which counts down to them being distributed and then gear up to wait for the postman.

This months box is a diner themed collection, utensils of course were not included...!
Wrapped up in gingham and filled with plenty of nostalgic packagings and images.
I actually worked in a 50's themed diner many many years ago, and although it wasn't quite as lovely and brightly coloured as I hoped it would be, this box definitely is.

In previous boxes there has always been a brooch included, and I originally thought that this Pizza Party shape was also a brooch, but it is however actually a fridge magnet.
As my fridge is one of those annoying tiny under counter ones that you have to bend over to get into, I don't really bother adorning it with anything as it just doesn't deserve such adoration, and I may actually turn this into a brooch instead to keep the part of my brain that misses Saved By The Bell happy.
Instead of a brooch this month, the box instead included this golden doughnut necklace.
It's quite different to the items I usually expect from LDC, but it is still pretty cute, and I'm sure I will be giving this a good wearing sometime soon.

At first glance I assumed these were a set of fancy pencils, but they are in fact a set of straws in different cute patterns. 
I think I would only have these in my kitchen for decoration, and hiss at anyone who tried to use them for their intended purpose, they're too cute!
Every month there's always an adorable set of cards, one of which has a personalised message from Leona, the creator of LDC.
I usually stick these up all over my office as I've loved them all so far, I may need to get pin boards for the many I'm hoping to receive.

Kitchen ware was surely a must for this box, the knickerbocker glory tea towel is a lovely touch, but again far too nice to use! Would it be sad to frame it instead as a kitchen decoration?
Each box always contains one crafty item, meaning you will also get your craft on with each new collection and is great for encouraging people to start using their hands again to make lovely items.
This month it's a burger buddy, a cute little package in various shades of pink!
I haven't made mine yet, as I don't actually have any glue in the house, but once I do it shall take a place of pride on my office shelves.

The next chance to order your Lucky Dip Box before they sell out (and they do in a matter of hours!) is in only two days, on the 1st November their Circus themed box will go on sale, and it's finally open for you to nab a subscription just like I did a few months ago.
Remember to set your alarms!!

Lessons Learned in Blogging...

It has now been nine months since the start of this very blog, I can't believe it's been that long already and I have written so so many posts in that time!
Along with all the fun and excitement of blogging, meeting new people, learning about interesting independent companies and so many other things that the blog brings, I have also learned a lot.
Some of these lessons however I learned the hard way....!

1. Always Proof Read your Posts
It seems an obvious one, but everything written needs to be proof read. 
Especially if you're working with a macbook like I do, as they like to sometimes change the spellings or words completely, especially if you're writing about a company or product that has a name that isn't in the usual auto correct dictionary.
These mishaps can really change a whole sentence and ruin an otherwise perfectly put together post.

2. Give Aways can Cost
Give aways are a fun extra to offer, and can really boost traffic to your blog when running a randomised giveaway.
But it is always better to only offer giveaways in your resident country, and I say this as a lesson I really did learn the hard way.
After running my six month giveaway, rafflecopter randomly selected the winner out of all of the entries to make the contest 100% fair, but it did however choose a winner who lived in the USA.
Usually not a problem, but with the give away prizes being so vast and the box so full it actually cost me £45 to send, and that has to come from my own pocket.
In future all give aways will have to be UK only, just as I can't afford to lose so much just on postage!

3. You will buy too much to Test
Whenever I see a product or item that looks really new or interesting and tell yourself that it's worth buying for the blog.
About 40% of these items will never make it onto the blog, as you either forget, get sidetracked, or something better comes along. I have so many items that I just didn't get around to reviewing, however a lot of items I tried and didn't think were worth making a song and dance about, as I only like to share or write about the products I really believe and worth shouting from the rooftops about.

4. Beware of Chancers
Remember that blogging is a form of advertising that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, so what we do highlight many companies, products, and services that others may be interested in.
Therefore a lot of companies are now interested in working with bloggers to show an unbiased, honest, and also a unique view of them.
Most companies I have worked with have been great to work with, I have met some lovely people from those companies, and have also been supplied items to review and try in return.
I have had an experience however (and early on) where a company asked me to write for them, which included travelling for me and Edd (who does a lot of the photography for me), a long day of shooting and interviewing and being out of pocket.
In the end I got only a thanks and a "Glad I could help you" (Funny, I thought I was doing them a favour!) of course I learned that from then on these details must be resolved in advance, but stupidly I thought as they had asked me specially that they would offer something in return, but in the end I actually fell in love with and bought an item, ending up even more out of pocket.

5. Wear Blinkers
A quote I once heard from Joan Rivers was advice from a mafia friend of hers "Always wear blinkers in the race" meaning to not judge your own position by that of others.
There are so many bloggers in so many points of fame or success right now that to try and hold yourself up to their standard of success will only make you feel bad.
Work hard on your blog to be you and make yourself produce something that makes you happy, proud, and that you would read yourself if you weren't you (if that makes sense!).
One day we might all get there, but that takes hard work which could easily be discouraged if you take off those blinkers and blind yourself with someone else's brightly shining star.

What lessons have you had to learn the hard way?

A Christmas Lush....

I'm a christmas Lush, are you?
I do of course mean someone who stocks up on all the Lush christmas goodies, and generally smells christmassy from October through to at least March (stockpiling a we go).
With the Christmas range and gift boxes now in all stores, I have already decided on all my favourites  out of this range, and I'm ready to stockpile these very items!

A regular favourite of the christmas range, The Golden Wonder has been included in this range for a good few years now, and I'm always filled with nostalgia as well as excitement for christmasses, future and past.
Full or orange and lime oils this is quite an uplifting bath bomb, and the extra layers inside make this quite a colourful soak.
If you have never tried this before, you really must grab one.

Two other bath bombs flying off the Lush shelves are the Luxury Lush Pud, the polka dot wonder that creates a bath time full of deep pink, but with spots that detach from the bath bomb itself to create a polka dot both in various colours!
Father Christmas has to be my new favourite seasonal bath bomb, looking like a bath bomb version of one of my dear friends, but also smelling absolutely delicious, despite not smelling christmassy as you would expect, the smell is utterly addictive.

If you're gonna attempt any mountain this winter, it simply must be Candy Mountain.
A shimmering girly bubble bar, that will turn your bath a pale pink while filling it with bubbles, topped off with a gorgeous rich vanilla scent.
For something a bit different, how about Star Light, Star Bright?
Filled with a mix of ginger to warm the skin, lime to give your bath some zest, and lavender to help you relax, this also contains coconut oil to leave your skin soft and smooth.
It'll also be one of the prettiest baths you've ever had.

When I first smelled this soap, before the xmas products launched, I fell in love with the smell that made me think of spicy christmas wines and festive coffee shop offerings.
My heart sank however when I was told that it contained yoghurt.
Luckily however although it is yoghurt, it is in fact soya yoghurt and completely vegan friendly!
It does seem a marmite scent, with those telling me they love it, or that they hate it but it's worth a sniff to see which side of the fence you sit!

Talking christmas flavours and scents, if you grew up in the UK anytime since 1931 (when it was in fact invented) Terry's Chocolate Orange would have featured at some point in your christmas stocking, or sharing round while watching all those christmas specials.
If you want to get nostalgic for all those Morecambe and Wise repeats then this is the body lotion for you!
It really reminds me of Terry's Chocolate Orange, and is jam packed full of kind to skin ingredients.
I had to of course team Celebrate with my vintage Babycham glass.

Everyone loves Snow Fairy, but after trying out this shower gel I'm now sticking with some Hot Toddy in my shower cubicle!
With ginger and cinnamon it's quite warming so perfect for those cold winter mornings when you have to jump into the shower to warm up your toes and try to wake up.
Luckily this gel will help you with both of those while making you smell amazing.

As well as all those lovely products to get you clean and lovely, there is also something to add a little bit of sparkle to your night!
First Snow is a talcum powder type glitter dust, simply dust it over your skin and rub it in for amazing sparkles similar to those of Benefits Kitten powders, only y'know without the £20 price tag or the animal testing...
It also contains orange flower and lime oil to keep your skin smelling sweet while you dance the night away.

Bûche De Noël is a festive cake in a pot, but it's also an amazing facial cleanser and exfoliant.
Full of almonds, fruits, and kaolin it's a gentle scrub to refresh your skin plus seaweed and cocoa butter to leave your skin super soft.
This cleanser will only be around during the festive season, but it seems like it's already well loved so it may be getting snapped up by those who love it and don't want to go without!

There are loads of amazing festive bits and pieces, these products are just the tip of the iceberg!
These are the things I know I'll buy again and again until they disappear until next year, where I will be awaiting their return with impatience!
What is your xmas Lush favourite?

Maribelle by Donna Jane

Pants! Pants in various prints, cuts, style and fabrics!
We all need them, we all buy them, but with so many varieties and styles whatever happened to comfort and practicality?
What if you can have those two things but still buy pants that are not only cute, quirky, and quite charming, but supports an independent company ran by one woman?

Maribelle by Donna Jane features the cutest and quirkiest fabric choices I have ever seen transformed into pant form, featuring fabric prints from Liberty in the softest cotton and various cleverly chosen prints that encapsulate the brand and it's wearers perfectly.

These designs and prints caught my eye on my Facebook feed one day, from a picture of the making of process of these very fox knickers.
Handmade by Donna herself, you can tell when someone gives each item the care and attention we should expect from all of our clothing and accessories, but sadly not often receive.
Luckily however with these prints and designs, you can expect a good quality item as well as buying knickers to suit your personality and loves.

With winter making itself known, high waisted pants give you that extra layer to keep your buns toasty all winter long, and with 100% organic cotton they won't pinch or annoy you like some pants do.
These knickers are really cosy and comfortable, and are perfect under a high waisted pencil skirt or midi skirt, especially to protect you from those up skirt winter breezes!

This pretty peacock knicker features a Liberty Print, but also has a matching camisole too for the cutest little night set or undergarments ever.
The print of the peacock feathers is stunning, and the contrasting pale pink trim set off those shades beautifully captured in the print.
These sit on the hips and stay put, and luckily for us right now, these are 20% off on the online Etsy store!

Although I loved all the prints, this bike print knicker really caught my eye when I saw it in the online store, the perfect mix of classic, interesting, and quirky parisian style I knew I needed these in my life, and on my butt.
These were the first of the three that I wore, and was surprised at how light weight they were. 
I only wish more people could see the print, as I can't really flash my pants just cos the print is so cute, so I hope this is transformed into a cami set too as I would wear the vest as outer wear if it was!

There is a vast array of prints available too, with floral 60's style patterns, more charming critters, and  some almost psychedelic prints, there is something for everyone.
For handmade underwear this should be your first stop for every day and practical while still being fun and adorable.

Thank you so much to Donna Jane for being kind enough to send me these gorgeous knickers to review, I want even more of the designs now and am eyeing up many a cosy high waisted pair to see me through the next few months.
Which print is your favourite?

The Mad Girl Shop....

As you all well know, I'm a huge fan of Etsy and regularly champion small indie companies as often as I possibly can.
The only problem with companies like this is that they aren't generally shops you may come across or hear about, which is exactly why I choose to write about them every chance I get.
Luckily for me my friends are also fans of handmade, indie and pop culture items and this is a company I was actually shown the products of after my friend received some, I fell in love with the products on that tiny whatsapp photo and placed an order straight away.

These are all from The Mad Girl Shop, a one woman ran etsy account with handmade pop culture brooches and the other odd piece of knitted garments.
They are amazing hand illustrated brooches that are eye-catching enough that anyone who gets the reference may double take to check they really saw what they think they did!

At the moment there aren't a huge array of designs but I'm sure these will be getting added to over time, and as I know she is also studying, these are a fun little side project that I hope only grows from here.
They are extremely reasonable in price, costing only £3.37 each meaning it only makes sense to buy three in one go, especially for the combined shipping that is super fast. 
These turned up from Missouri in less than a week!

I decided to treat myself to three pop culture cult classic pins, one of which is of course a Mean Girls inspired pin, featuring Damian and his most famous line "She doesn't even go here!".
I never wear pink on wednesdays tho.

When I first moved to London my friend Fred made me watch Arrested Development for the very first time, and I was hooked.
So when I saw this Tobias Fünke pin I just had to have it, I just wish there was a blue Tobias option too!

As I was ill all last week I binge watched the whole of Parks and Recreation, so seeing these came at the perfect time for me to add a little Ron Swanson in my life, and out of the three I think this one has to be my favourite.

I am eagerly awaiting seeing what will be next from The Mad Girl Shop, and may have added a few suggestions of my own for pins I long to have.
My favourite thing about these pins however is that they are like a little secret code to fellow cult film and programme watchers who may ask in disbelief "Is that Tobias Fünke on your cardigan?!" and start up many a conversation that would confuse those who may overhear it about segways and chicken dances!
But for now I have a sudden urge to watch Mean Girls.....again.

Gifts for a Lush Addict....

Everyone knows at least one friend or relative who is obsessed with Lush and, if they're lucky enough to have visited one, the Lush Spa. 
So what do you get them when it's gift giving time? With it now being nine months since Valentines day there may be some birthdays coming soon (bet you didn't think about that, huh?!) plus christmas coming soon and fast I'm going to tell you now the gift to top all gifts, an exclusive and beautiful box that ever Lush fanatic will covet, and one I bought instantly for myself as soon as I saw it.

This Lush Spa box had me sold without even knowing the contents, a William Morris style with a pop art twist, adorned with huge poppy like flowers and an intriguing way of slotting together that made me want it all the more.
I love boxes, and I seem to be an avid collector of them so this had to belong to me some way or another, even if that way meant treating myself. 
I'm so good to me.

Once I opened it up I fell more and more in love with it, folding out sections like a jewellery box, each section revealing yet another hidden treasure inside.
This gift box is different to the others in that this is a Lush Spa themed box, with only six current Lush Spas in the UK they can be tricky if you don't live locally to one, but this box gives you a little preview of the spa and some of its exclusive products used in treatments that are not available on the shop floor.

Inside this box are three products that are usually never seen outside the Lush Spas, making them a perfect addition to any Lush addict's wish list for products they may have never tried or even heard of before, can you say exclusive?!
There are also some regular favourites and this box has you covered from head down to your toes.

This is the perfect little box for partners too if they want to have a sensual evening together practising their massage skills, perfect after using one of the box exclusives together, with a Comforter? body scrub, usually only used in the Lush Spa treatment also called The Comforter.
This is a chocolate body scrub used warm, melt this bar in a heatproof bowl over a pan before rubbing onto your partners skin for an exfoliating, warm, and intimate experience recommending a 20 minute long massage before rinsing.

Once this has been rinsed off consider dipping into a hot bath with the Golden Slumbers bath bomb, another exclusive to this box and filled with calming lavender and soothing camomile, again the bath could always be shared?

Slightly less sexy but necessary however is the Stepping Stone foot scrub, a foot shaped scrub filled with sea salt, cocoa butter, and lime oils to scrub dead skin off your feet, soften and deodorise them.
Maybe that one is an activity best left solo, unless of course you are into that....some people are, don't judge! 
I will find this quite useful tho, it sounds perfect for my tired out feet.

A store favourite, the Therapy¿ massage bar has been designed to soothe the skin and the mind, a popular product amongst pregnant women for it's amazing stretch mark fading abilities so this is super kind to skin.
If you're sharing this box maybe skip the Stepping Stone and go straight for a couples massage using this Therapy¿ bar, which melts with the heat of skin and works even better after a warm bath.

The final product (in my box anyway....we'll get to that) is perfect for sending you off to sleep after all of these lovely treatments is the final box exclusive, the Dreamtime Temple balm. 
Again this contains lavender and chamomile to help you relax and send you off, perfect after a long hot bath but if you have been sharing this for a couples night in, you may want to er....skip this step too.....!

On their website I noticed the box does also come with Full of Grace, an over night face serum made up of mushrooms and rose oils, I believe my box may have been an earlier incarnation and this was added later, but I have tried Full of Grace before and sadly had an adverse reaction to it as I am actually allergic to mushrooms!
Check the labels instore to see if yours contains all six products, or order online to make sure you get all of the intended items.

This box was an all round winner for me, and I'm planning to use these items for a romantic night in, but as Edd hates everything lavender it may be somewhat tricky.
But I loved how my skin felt after having The Comforter treatment at the spa so I am excited to use this scrub again, and to share that experience with Edd too.
So this would be the perfect gift for that loved one who loves a Lush experience, and an exclusive one to boot, even if that loved one is yourself!
There's nothing wrong with showing yourself some Lush Love.
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