29 November 2016

Multiroom Wifi Speakers by August: Review

Who else loves dancing around the house blasting music when they are doing housework?  For me it’s the only way to get through it.  It’s something I get from my mum, belting out Elvis and Motown as she mops the floors or does the ironing so I know I’m not alone!  For me it’s more likely to be pop-punk and metal, but either way I find it frustrating when you are going from room-to-room and the sound doesn't follow!

My mum has a bungalow, and I live in a one floor flat so you’d think you’d be able to hear the sound wherever you are but this isn’t the case, and it’s so annoying.  Having to plug and unplug speakers is frustrating and really impractical, and blasting the sound loud enough to hear everywhere distorts the sound (a real issue for my sound engineer boyfriend in particular!) and it’s a sure-fire way to annoy the neighbours.

Luckily August have come to my rescue for this issue by giving me two of their wireless, multiroom speakers to try out.  The first, the smaller WS150 retailing at £80 and the second, the larger WS300 retailing at £100.  

So let’s start with the basic; sound quality.  The first one offers a clear sound, with a decent base.  however when you turn it up to its maximum capacity the sound does suffer from some distortion.  Luckily the louder model did not suffer from this issue, with clarity and all volumes and a decent bass.  
Usability wise, both have large, clear buttons on the top which couldn’t be simpler to use, and a simple on-off button on the back.  The wireless function works well although the pairing of the speakers through the app took a few attempts to get them to work together.  The speakers charge through USB so they can then be transported wherever you need them without annoying cables or replacing batteries.  I love using them in the bathroom for this reason, playing some soothing music in the bath is best way to relax!  

There is only a £20 price difference between the smaller and the larger speakers, so I think if I were to choose one I would pick the larger WS300.  The sound difference alone is worth the extra money.  Plus, there is a special discount code you can get here for a HUGE 40% discount that actually makes it cheaper than the WS150, a total win/win!

What do you love to listen to at home?
*products sent for honest review, all words and opinions my own. Also contains affiliate links.

23 November 2016

Bath & Shower Skin Care Tips For The Winter Months

Bathing and showering are routine things we do every day and take for granted. But, it is a big part our skincare routine. Did you know that the most common factors that can lead to dry skin include; hot baths, harsh soaps, too much washing without the use of moisturiser, to name but a few. Dry skin is extremely common and can be worse in the winter months. When your skin is dry, it’s not because it doesn’t contain enough oil, it’s because the skin isn’t retaining its moisture (water). Keeping the skin moisturised is super-important, especially when bathing or showering. Here are my 6 top tips to do just that -

6 SIMPLE STEPS

1. Limit the length and temperature of your showering and bathing.
This is a really hard one I know, and one that I often struggle with. Although pleasant, having a long hot bath or shower can actually rob your skin of that much-needed moisture. Try to limit yourself to water that is warm at best for no longer than 15-20 minutes.

2. Wash with a moisturiser based body cleanser
Try to use a shower cream / bath product with a moisturising element to it. This is a great way to replenish and lock the moisture into your skin.

My favourites are Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash and Aveeno Body Wash with Naturally Active Oat Essence for Dry & Sensitive Skin. Some soaps can be moisturising too - like Au Lait Luxury milk soap. If you love a bubble bath like me then I love to use Lush Bath Melt Ceridwen's Cauldron - it contains organic fair trade cocoa butter and creamy oatmilk.

3. Use Bath Oils
Adding just a few drops of a moisturising oil - such as argan, coconut, jojoba, olive or even grapeseed oil can make all the difference in keeping your skin moist and supple. (just be careful as these can be slippery! Always wash the bath after use! )

4. Blot your skin gently with a dry towel
Blotting your skin instead of rubbing his helps to quickly remove water from the skin before evaporation has an opportunity to dehydrate it. It also helps to keep a lot of the moisture in the skin. Avoid rubbing - gently blot dry!

5. Moisturise immediately after bathing within 3 mins after bathing
For maximum hydration, apply a moisturiser and try to finish doing this within three minutes after bathing or showering, according to the National Eczema society. Get your timers on! hehe

6. Use an ointment OR cream rather than a lotion.
After you towel dry, increase the moisture content in your skin by applying the right moisturisers immediately. Ointments and creams are more effective and less irritating than lotions. Look for a cream or ointment that contains an oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil. Shea butter also works well. Other ingredients that help to soothe dry skin include glycerin, lanolin, and petrolatum.

Both bathing and showering are equally effective in keeping the skin hydrated... But as you know, I'm partial to a warm relaxing bath. ;-)

These simple and easy to do shower and bath routine tips to help you avoid dry skin this winter.

About me
Hi, my name is Aj. I'm a 30-year-old Piscean with a penchant for luxurious baths and indulgent pampering and self-care. I pretty much love everything bath and bath related…. I just can’t say no to a gorgeously packaged and scented bath product! On my blog, www.allthingsbathnbeautiful.com you can find content not just related baths and skin care, but also tips on meditation, wellness, relaxation, lifestyle and interiors. I hope you have a look around. Much love, Aj x


14 November 2016

Trainspotting Live at The Vaults

Irvine Walsh is one of my favourite authors,  and I have vivid memories of seeing Trainspotting when I was far too young.  Sneakingly catching a late night showing on Channel Four, and it's not just me.  Trainspotting has become so iconic, so infamous, that is is almost part of the national conscious.  So you'd think that a production in 2016 might be impossible to do without it seeming like a mimicry.  Well, when the ticket you are handed is a glow stick you get the feeling you might be in for something a little more unusual.  Not only does newly opened production at The Vaults prove to be as fresh as it was when it was first discovered, but it will leave you wanting to coming back for more.

This production feels new and whilst also being pleasantly familiar.  The nostalgia is present, but so is the sense of edge-of-your-seat excitement.  Not least because you are worried what might be hurled at you next, quite literally, in this in your heightened theatre performance.

Speaking of which, this performance manages to be shocking without feeling like it's trying too hard, there is a sense of fun about it rather than it being a full on attack on the audience.  It's heart-racing, adrenaline-producing, stomach-clenching stuff, which is ramped up by the great use of sound and lighting.  The Trainspotting movie has one of the most well-remembered soundtracks in British cinema, and likewise the music is used well here to add a sense of immediacy as the show careers onwards.  My only slight criticism is that the smoke effects could have done with being dialled back a little at the start, as I struggled to see the actors through it for the first few scenes.

The Vault's dingy decor, with the ever audible rumble of tube trains,  add to the feeling of grimy, claustrophobic, unpredictable life of the drug addicts in this piece.  The unusual stage setting added to the sense of unpredictability, with audience members seemingly sitting anywhere they can be crammed into.  And don't think you are safe from being part of the action of you choose a traditional theatre seat either!  Unfortunately our seats, which were side on facing a wall at one end, meant it was very difficult to see and I felt like I missed a lot of the action.  I would recommend getting there early, grabbing a can of beer securing a good position.

This isn't despairing, mellow dramatic stuff as you may expect.  There are more laugh loud moments in this then there has been in most comedies I have seen this year, and it's ability to play on your emotions, from anxiety to laughter, is what makes this performance a real winner.

This show is masculine, aggressive and whilst still being heartfelt but it's certainly not for everyone. If you are easily offended it's fair to say this one isn't for you.  I think it is best summed up in this quote by Irvine Walsh after seeing the show:

"I was shocked and I wrote the fucking thing!"
I did my first vlog this day as I went to check out the show:

Trainspotting Live is on till 15th of January 2017

9 November 2016

11 Things I’ve learned about Commuting in London

Waiting for the green man is more a suggestion than a rule
You know that lesson you learned as a kid, you wait for the green man until you cross the road right? Wrong! No one in London waits for anything. If you see a gap you run, even sometimes if you don't, you just dodge around the bike and hope for the best.

You’ll fit into spaces you never thought possible
The first time I tried to get onto the tube in rush hour I thought I knew when the carriage was full, but then people would jump around me as I waited for the next tube and fill that space I didn't even realise was there. The golden rule seems to be if there's enough room to get your feet on, you can just lean in and squish the rest of yourself in. Uncomfortable yes, but it's something you get used to surprisingly fast. Even if a guy did once use my head as a chin rest. Yes that really did happen.

You’ll know what day it is by what newspaper or magazine is being handed to you outside the tube station
Everyone knows Time Out Tuesday is the best!

Free food outside the tube station will make your day
Thanks to these promotions I can have anything free cookies and coconut water for breakfast and think nothing of it.

Every transport group hates each other
Car drivers hate pedestrians, pedestrians hate cyclists, cyclists hate car drivers. It's a triangle of hate.

You’ll dread hot days
Unless the feeling of a bead of sweat, slowly running down your leg while you pray no one notices

You’ll find it normal to see a man riding an electronic unicycle or a business man on a push along scooter.
Both things I saw on my lunch break just today. Standard.

Getting on the Northern line that goes on your side of the split is totally fist pump worthy
"Via charring cross? It’s my lucky day!"

Night buses aren't actually as bad as you think they will be.
Although that might be just because you are drunk, and you still can't wait for the night tube to hit your area.

Everything under an hour is a walkable distance now
You can't believe that you used to jump in the car to go to the corner shop, save the pennies, see the views and walk those streets!

You will have a favorite tube line and judge people who take others
"He lives on the Bakerloo line? Poor guy"

So there you have it, just a couple of things I've learned in the few months since I've been living here. Do you have any commuting anecdotes? I'd love to hear them.

7 November 2016

Creating a Cosy Living Space for Winter


Is it just me, or did it suddenly become freezing here in the UK? Don't get me wrong, I love it when it's cold for Bonfire Night but there was no subtly here, just BAM ice cold! What with the night arriving before I’ve finished work, the trick or treaters already being a distant memory and the heating finally being turned on, I am in hibernation mode.

One of my favourite things about winter is getting all cosy in my home, ignoring the outside world and having some relaxation time. Whether it's snuggling up with a book, watching a film or listening to music, there is something about this time of year that feels really magical if you add just a few simple things to your home space, no matter what the size.

The Danish philosophy of hyyge is all the rage right now, and one of the first things that it will tell you is that lighting is really important to gain that cosy feeling. The first thing I am reaching for on this list is the blogger classic of a candle. My current favourite is this Fireside Treats Yankee Candle which I actually won last year and I am still only half way down. There is something about this candle I just love, it's sweet without being overly so, and just reminds me of the colder months. I'll be burning this constantly until I pull the Christmas candles out in December.

Fairy lights are an essential for me, they can transform a home so easily and affordably, so I've chosen two sets here. The first are string lights which are really adaptable and can become a feature easily, either dropping down a wall or winding around a bannister. I'm loving the colour of these party lights, they are so warm and inviting and they'd also make a great background for Instagram shots lets face it! There are a few rooms in my flat I think could really do with a good lamp brighten it up. This Tripod Floor Lamp has a 50's feel that I just love and a really good price point, I think I might get one or two of these next pay day.

You can't have a cosy living room without a cosy sofa, and I've been after a corner sofa ever since my friend had one as a kid. I just think they fill a space so neatly while still leaving more than enough room for two to sprawl out! I'm loving the vintage feel of this Jasper corner sofa with it's splayed legs and autumnal colour. It looks super soft and comfortable too. Adding this tartan pure wool throw would definitely help keep the cold at bay, while this vintage style champagne trunk is something I've had my eye on for a while. Not only would it be great for sitting a cup of tea on but the inside would be great for filling with all my board games.

What is your essential for a cosy night in?
This post contains sponsored and affiliate links.

3 November 2016

Moments: October 2016


Hello!  This month’s round up feels like a strange one because I spent most of this month in Florida, and have a ton of posts I want to write on that. So don’t want to go into too much detail here. Also, because I was there my September round up went up only a few weeks ago.  So here is a brief edition of my October round up.


I’ve Visited

Walt Disney World-
Just a quick round up as there will be some many posts on this coming your way soon!  Needless to say, I had a blast in all four parks, even if we were confined to the room during the hurricane for a while!  I even did a backstage tour which I can’t wait to tell you guys all about!  
Universal Studios
Universal has come such a long way, and the new additions to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are incredible!  My love for these parks grows all the time.  
Home
A quick call in for a refresh of my hair and a catch up with my family.  
Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Seemingly the Wizarding World wasn’t enough for me this month, so I went here with Sarah just a few days after I got back from Florida. I’m sure there are not many people who can say that!  I actually did the tour years ago on my own, before I started blogging, and I loved seeing what has been added since then.  I even got to ride on a broomstick and the Hogwarts express.  

I’ve Read

Small Island by Andrea Levy
My mother and I have very different taste in books, so when she lent me this book I am sorry to say it took me around 8 years to getting around to actually reading it.  The book centers around the reaction British people gave to Jamaicans when they came to the UK after fighting in WWI.  It centered mainly around 4 main characters, switching between their different perspectives.  I really enjoyed this book, I thought the characters and character development was really good, and the story was domestic but still really interesting.
The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton
You might have noticed this beautiful book included in my Autumn Books post.  I read it almost straight away and I loved the story, which is slightly different from the film.  The illustrations are beautiful.
Here Come the Girls by Milly Johnson
As I spent so long avoiding the first book my Mum lent me and then actually ended up enjoying it, I thought I’d read this one she lent me straight away.  Not my usual kind of thing but I was assured the references to Barnsley and the humor would make it worthwhile.  Unfortunately, while I did enjoy the references to my home town, the poor writing was impossible to look past.

I’ve seen

Black is the Colour of my Voice
This amazing performance came in two parts, the first telling the story of Nina Simon's life and the second acting as more of a musical review.  The actress playing Nina is fantastic, and sang just like her to boot. There is some serious talent here!

I’ve been up to

Driving in London
My gorgeous little car, Peggy Sue, has finally made her way to London. She has a residence permit and everything which makes her arrival here feel more official than mine does.  I’ve been making myself drive in London and I’m slowly getting used to it, I do love being able to drive again.

I’ve eaten

In so many places this month thanks to the Disney Dining Plan, but again, more on this to follow!

This whole post feels like one big tease so I hope you don’t mind that too much!  If there is anything you are desperate to know about Florida, do let me know and I’ll try and prioritise it.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...