24 Apr 2015

JewelStreet | Astrid & Miyu

Jewel Street Astrid and Miyu
If like me you have a penchant for jewellery that is both unique and beautiful then look no further as I may just have the perfect place for you. JewelStreet is a global marketplace for online jewellery that provides home to a range of on trend designs as well as timeless classics put forward by independent jewellery designers. As customers we often buy most of our jewellery from high street retailers yet  in doing so this often results in the retailer making more from a sale than the designer themselves. JewelStreet however provides something different in that by cutting out the middle man, that's the retailer, they are then able to ensure that the hard working designers receive a higher percentage of the final retail price; naturally allowing them to carry on producing quality jewellery.

JewelStreet has a wide range of different jewellery designers on there, some you may have heard of some you may not. A few weeks ago now I very kindly had the opportunity to pick out an item from the website where I found myself at the modest but utterly beautiful collection from Astrid and Miyu. This was a brand that I had heard of before and was one that I had always admired as I think their jewellery is extremely feminine and elegant.

Jewel Street Astrid and Miyu
The Silver Wishbone Ring* was the item that I chose as it looked like the exact type of thing I was looking for, I'd also seen the wishbone collection numerous times from the brand in the past and had always taken a liking to it. As well as this the design of it was completely different to any other rings that I owned therefore I thought it would be nice to go for something more unusual yet still relatively simple and reserved. Whilst this isn't sterling silver, it is in fact rhodium plated brass which gives it a really nice silver finish; it's actually really quite beautiful and if I hadn't had known I honestly would have thought it was sterling silver. I think that the quality of this is very good indeed as it feels strong enough to warrant being worn regularly and is relatively adjustable in regards to size too. When it first arrived I thought it may have been a bit too small however luckily with this type of ring there is always room for a little bit of manoeuvring as it were.

Overall I have been really impressed with JewelStreet and the sheer variety of jewellery that they have on offer. Their prices start off extremely reasonable for handmade jewellery and of course increase depending on the types of metals and stones used. They also do student discount which was something I only discovered whilst writing this post, I'll definitely bear that in mind before I finish university that's for sure!

Have you spotted anything on JewelStreet?
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22 Apr 2015

Top Cat

More Than Pet Insurance

In collaboration with More Than Insurance - It is hard to believe that I have had my cat Oliver for nearly fifteen years, that's more than half my age! Clearly from that mere fact alone it is safe to say that this little fella means the absolute world to me. I've grown up with him if I'm honest as I was almost 11 years of age when we first got him where on that very night we all sat deliberating various names for him before we finally settled on the name Oliver. Named aptly from the Walt Disney film Oliver and Company, Oliver however hasn't quite lived up to the name though as whilst he was and still is incredibly mischievous, he absolutely hates dogs and company for that matter!

In the time that we have had Oliver we have had some extremely funny moments alongside some rather worrying ones too. Alongside that we've had two house moves, a lodger who he hated (of the female cat variety) and one too many trips to the vets after his countless escapades. 

Like most cats, or should I say the stereotype formed about them, Oliver cannot stand water! Although having said that I have known him to lie in the sink on more than one occasion, completely oblivious to the fact that the tap is dripping onto his back. I still remember the early days when he was quite young when he used to have sporadic crazy hours running around the house when he ended up diving into the bath unknowing to him that it was half full with water. To put it bluntly he looked like a skinny rat when he got out as all his fur had stuck to him making him look like half his size! He was a sight for sore eyes as he sat there in the hallway licking himself dry, I naturally of course took pity on him and tried to dry him with a towel yet in all these years later he has never appreciated being dried off when he has been out in the rain; he has also never made the mistake of jumping into the bath again either!

I bet not many cat owners can claim that their cat has been held to ransom by a black bird; it's an odd prospect yet trust me I'm one of them. Again this happened when he was quite young so I guess his street credit cannot be too dented, although we do still keep it all hush hush. Oliver had managed to corner a young bird in the garden yet had found himself face to face with what I can only presume was the parent of this young bird who was, I can assure you taking no prisoners that day! I can still see this as clearly as if it had happened yesterday as it was such an odd situation to be witnessing. The brave little bird circled Oliver three or four times over all whilst tweeting at him like crazy! Oliver had no idea what to do at all, in fact he sat there rather perplexed until the bird attacked him on the head resulting in him running swiftly back into the house with his tail down between his legs in humiliation. Oh the shame, beaten by a bird!

Recently as some of you may have read we have moved house which has been quite the upheaval for Oliver, particularly when you consider how old he is. It's a big, big thing moving house with a cat in tow as they do not like change at all. It has taken nearly two months I would say for his confidence to return to a similar level to where it was before. He has always been an outdoor cat at heart yet he had not being staying out for more than twenty minutes at a time until I would say this weekend where he has seemed to hit a turning point; maybe it has been the glorious weather that we have had which has made him want to bask in the sunshine. Just yesterday in fact he was rolling in a big patch of dirt (we're clearing the garden at the moment for new plants) where I honestly cannot express to you just how nice it was to see him having a bit of fun; seeing him so relaxed made me not feel as guilty as I had been doing as I know the move had knocked him right out of his routine.

Whilst having a pet can bring you so much joy there is always something that you should bear in mind and that is fact that at some point they will probably need to see the vet for something, especially if you have the neighbourhood terror like we do who gets himself into more mischief than the Weasley twins put together! To make vet trips easier on you and your purse strings More Than offer a wide range of pet insurance policies that suit a variety of budgets, they also do multi pet policies which is actually something I'm making note of as I wasn't aware of this; for reference I want a cat and dog of my own one day when I have my own place so it's nice to know you can cover them both all within one policy. By insuring your dog or puppy with More Than (this also applies to cats too) you not only protect your puppy, you also help other animals across the country as currently for each policy sold £20 is donated to the RSPCA. This is a charity that I whole heartedly support myself as they work tirelessly to help unwanted and neglected animals across the UK, which, if you're a pet owner yourself you probably already agree that this helps to support a very good cause.
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20 Apr 2015

Jewellery Box

Jewellery Box Jewellery Box
To say that jewellery would be one of my favourite things would be quite simply an understatement. From intricate designs found in minimal pieces to chunky statement watches I find that my taste can be far reaching, where, if I'm honest I don't think I fall into one particular category where jewellery is concerned. That being said the only thing I do tend to do is look for assurance that the jewellery I'm buying is the real deal in terms of the metal used; the only reason for this is that I do not like jewellery turning green.

When Jewellery Box got in touch with me back in March I must admit that it was a company that I had not heard of before however after learning more about them and being able to see what they sold I was pretty impressed at not just the range on offer but also the prices.  There's everything on Jewellery Box from rings, necklaces, nose studs, earrings and much more which are offered in various metals such as sterling silver, gold, white gold and rose gold so it's well worth a look if you're in the market for some new pieces.

Jewellery Box

The Sterling Silver and Purple Quartz Gemstone Heart Necklace* at £9 is a pretty little necklace that is relatively discrete yet offers something a little bit different to anything else that I own. It's easily an item of jewellery that could be worn regularly as it's small as I do find that if I have quite large necklaces or pendants then I'm less inclined to reach for them whereas if they're small like this I find that I just wear them all of the time and rarely take them off. The chain on this seems great quality and is super shiny to boot, in fact I really do like this necklace on a whole and have considered ordering the Black Agate pendant as an alternative to this one as I like the idea of that and do feel that it would suit my style a little bit more.

Most appropriate for a few weeks ago when it was Easter the Sterling Silver Bunny Rabbit Stud Earrings* at £4.40 are incredibly cute and have in some way reminded me of when I was younger as I had something similar only in the shape of ladybirds. These are as I said extremely cute and delicate and would make a wonderful gift to anybody, especially someone who is fond of rabbits.

If you're one for wearing sandals in summer then I think being able to add a little decoration to your feet is a great thing to do in order to add something a little special, for me it gives off a typical boho vibe which is a look I absolutely adore! Whether you opt for an ankle bracelet or a toe ring such as the Sterling Silver Laurel Crown Toe Ring* at £4.60 or even both, I think you'll be perfectly set for the sunshine; why not paint your toenails too and go all out whilst you're at it! Here in the UK we don't have sunshine enough as it is so make the most of it whilst you can.

Jewellery is obviously extremely personal to each individual although from my own experience with Jewellery Box I'm quite certain that there is something that will catch the eye of many.
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18 Apr 2015

An Ode to Soap and Glory

An Ode to Soap and Glory

There comes a point when I feel as though I need to share with you just how good one particular brand is. It is not very often that I write posts like these because to me it is a big statement to make, however that being said when I feel like my experience has been that good I really do feel as though posts like these are warranted; it feels good to shout about a brand that you love.

Soap and Glory is a brand that I have being using now longer than I have being blogging. I still remember the very first time I was introduced to the brand when my mum brought both me and my sister the Soap and Glory Pink Tote Gift Set at Christmas which was filled the brim with what would soon become firm favourites of mine. From make up to skincare and pampering body treats Soap and Glory really does have you covered with some of the best (in my opinion) products on the high street; they're also pretty affordable too!

The Breakfast Scrub instantly springs to mind as one of my firm favourites as to this day it is still my favourite body scrub. To me it smells utterly incredible like maple syrup which is just one of the reasons as to why I like it so much, it also leaves my skin feeling beautifully smooth and hydrated. Likewise I also think Flake Away is pretty awesome too yet it doesn't get mentioned half as much which I think is a shame because it does the job just as good as the Breakfast Scrub. The only real difference that I have personally noticed is the scent because Flake Away follows the more traditional scent of Soap and Glory which is fruitier in comparison. 

Once dead skin has been buffed away you'll want to treat your skin to something extra nice which is where products such as Butter Yourself and The Righteous Butter come in. Both of these are fantastic body moisturisers that once again smell delightful! I know that I have been through a fair few tubs of The Righteous Butter in the past which is a favourite of mine for the winter time as it is thicker in texture to Butter Yourself. Generally speaking I'm a huge fan of the original Soap and Glory scent where in comparison I'm not too keen on Orangeasm; although having said that I do quite like Sugar Crush! There quite a wide variety of products available now which I think is awesome, of which after narrowing it down Smoothie Star is next on my list.

From the make up range on offer I have tried very little so far however there has been one product that I have tried which has impressed me immensely, so much so in fact that I have already gone out and purchased a backup. The Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil* in the shade Hot Chocolate was originally sent to me to try in which at the time I had heard very good things about it but if I'm honest I wasn't too sure how I would personally get on with it. I think purchasing it myself so soon already speaks for itself but if you're looking for a decent brow pencil that looks natural, is easy to use and doesn't cost a small fortune then for £8 it is worth checking out; my only real gripe is that the shade range is too small. 

Whilst in the past I have used the Supercat Liner and loved it, I have recently being trying out the Supercat Fat Eyeliner* which is essentially is the same thing only with a much thicker tip that has a slant to it. This was a product that took me a little while to get used to because the pen is much thicker than I'm used to however once I had got the hang of it I was left feeling pretty impressed. It is just as good as the original Supercat Liner for me in terms of pigmentation and longevity however I do generally prefer a thinner line for my eye liner. If however you are looking for a chunky liner and want to achieve an awesome cat flick in the process then again this is one to check out. Sticking with make up for one moment more I'll mention briefly the Sexy Mother Blusher* in the shade Berry Jamm which is quite a bright pink cream blush at first instance however once applied it is easily blended out to create a soft summer flush to the cheeks. Sadly when I opened this particular one the whole thing fell out of the packaging onto my big white A3 card that I use for blog photographs, uh oh! That was a bit disappointing however aside from that one aspect the product itself is actually pretty nice as it blends out beautifully from what is a cream to powder finish. Personally I really do like this one, it'll be one I reach for in summer a lot although if I could say one thing about this it would be that I would have preferred this to have been in a little pot as opposed to a tube as I do think the packaging could have been designed better.

Finally onto skincare there is a now quite a few products within the line however a stand out to me in the past has been No Clogs Allowed which was one of the very first products I purchased from Soap and Glory back in the day when it still had silver packaging. At the moment I'm giving the Drama Clean Micellar Water* a whirl although if I'm honest this will only be a product I reach for on light make up days because so far I have found that it struggles against heavy eye make up. To be honest for me this is something that I would put into a toner category more so than a make up remover as I found that ultimately it didn't do a good job in that department.

Upon reaching the end of this post I do feel a little sad that I've ended on somewhat of a dim note, yet when I actually sat down and thought about it, out of what must have been almost fifteen different products or more that I have tried from Soap and Glory in over three years I think that only finding one that I wasn't too keen on is actually a pretty darn good achievement. For me Soap and Glory have created a brand that is fun, creative, affordable and accessible in which nine times out of ten the products actually work and do what they claim to do , which is why I ultimately felt that an ode to Soap and Glory was warranted here today.

What are your favourite products from Soap and Glory? I'd love some more recommendations.

Soap and Glory can be found at Boots.
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17 Apr 2015

A Little Fine Tuning

A Little Boat Sailing
Today's post has been long overdue, in fact it was just before Christmas last year when I had a little revamp over here on A Little Boat Sailing and opted to find a sleek, professional looking blogger design that wouldn't cost me a small fortune. 

Many of you by now will have heard of Pipdig, a professional blog designer whose designs are modern, sleek and professional, all of which were things that I was looking for; in a nut shell they are pretty perfect. It has been a while now since I picked my design and had it installed for me where to this day I haven't had any real urge to change anything because quite simply I have loved it so much. 

Pipdig offers a variety of pre-made templates for both Blogger and WordPress which are affordable and easy to install. If however like me you're a little bit intimidated by the prospect of installing it yourself then Pipdig is on hand to help you with that too! There's also the option to have a blog design custom made if that tickles your fancy which would allow you to have complete control over a design that would be unique to your blog.

Many of you who have been long time readers on here will have noticed that there has been a little bit of a change in colour scheme overnight. This had been something that I had wanted to do for around a month now in order to add my own spin to the overall appearance because seeing as I had picked out a pre-made template, I chose London Calling, this meant that more than one person could ultimately have the same one. This isn't something I mind too much because like with all of the templates from Pipdig they are customisable. Despite this I didn't want to actually loose the physical design of this template because it works so well for me, it's simple, clean and easy to move around therefore slightly changing the colour scheme and designing my own header like in the good old days seemed like the perfect way to achieve what I wanted.  

For a very long time thinking about my past blog design history I have stuck to somewhat of a blue and purple theme. Recently however I found my tastes veering very much towards monochrome which whilst it is still something that I absolutely love I did feel as though my blog felt a little too formal. Whilst I do remain professional in terms of communication and general day to day ramblings on here I did feel as though my blog didn't represent me as well as it could. Therefore after a few hours and around six different blog header designs later I finally decided to make a few tweaks here and there in order to give A Little Boat Sailing a little spring clean.

I really wanted to share my blog design and the few tweaks that I have made with you because my blog is a huge part of my day to day life yet more importantly I wanted to highlight the talent and hard work of Pipdig. From the get go I felt extremely confident in Pipdig after reading so much positive feedback from others; it was such a blessing to work with somebody who knew what they were doing and could help me achieve what I wanted. For a lot of bloggers it's not just the design that is important it is having the confidence to let someone take control on that front because if I'm honest I would not even know where to start when it comes to designing a blogger template; a blog header is as far as it goes for me!

Overall my experience with Pigdig has always been absolutely wonderful! From swift responses, awesome designs, friendly helpful advice and a professional manner I have always been left feeling confident and delighted with the results. If you're in the market for a new blog design or know somebody that is then I simply could not recommend Pipdig any more even if I tried.

For the record this was not a sponsored post or anything like that, in fact I simply wanted to acknowledge the hard work of Pipdig because, like all good work it should be recognised. 
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