July 01, 2016

Happy Birthday to The Bloggers Hangout and a Very Merry Unbirthday to Me

             The Bloggers Hangout, which organizes events for bloggers to connect with one another and with brands, turned three years old this June. To celebrate, they threw a three-day long summery “birthday party” at The Strand Gallery. I attended on a scorching Friday and was gifted some gorgeous goodies.

The Perfume Shop

             I adore perfume. It’s like I’m spritzing myself with confidence and femininity every time I reach for one of my (many) bottles. It’s the ultimate luxury, yet for many women it has become a necessity – the finishing touch for any outfit.

             This luscious setup from The Perfume Shop (seen in the above two photos) was like the Garden of Eden spread out before me. Although I knew I shouldn’t touch, the temptation was all too much to resist, especially in the form of DKNY’s new neon green apple-shaped bottle for their Be Delicious fragrance. This is the modern-day fruit of good and evil and I gave in to the serpent (except in this case, the serpent was nothing more than my poor self-control). After being lured, there was no turning back. I went spray-happy, wafting all of the new testers under my nose.

             I have my favorite scents, but there’s always room for one more. When is it acceptable to start writing my Christmas list?


             After Nadia Theron suffered severe nail damage and found that she was allergic to certain chemicals in nail polish, she set out to find a solution, and DinkiBelle was born. The brand’s nail wraps operate on the “five free” philosophy, which means all of the wraps are free from the nasty chemicals formaldehyde, diabutyl phthalate, toluene, camphor and formaldehyde resin.

             I am notoriously impatient, in life generally, but especially when it comes to my nails. It’s frustrating to paint them and have them chip off the very same day, or smudge them when I just need to turn the television channel (I'd probably already seen that episode of Dinner Date). That’s why I tend to opt for my beloved fake nails (claws, if you will) or gel manicures. Although, I’m currently giving my nails a breather, because every time I get them done, I’m met with the comment, “Your nails are so weak.” DinkiBelle could be just the thing I need to be kind to my nails, and they last up to 14 days, which is just as good as any gel polish!

             I chose the Sea Foam Sparkle nail wraps, as the glitzy teals and turquoises with splashes of purple and sky blue reminded me of rippling waves. It really was as simple as prepping my nails, sticking on the nail wraps, and then shaping them! I'm looking forward to getting my hands on more of the unique designs, as the number of outfits and occasions they would suit is endless. Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside, especially when it looks as pretty (and sparkly) as this.

Nailed it (and even color coordinated)!
Sass & Belle

             Sass & Belle was first established in 2009 in Covent Garden, named after the founder Richard Stone’s two daughters. It’s a perfect fit for the gift and homeware brand, because it reminds us of our childhood happiness, silliness, and colorfulness, which might have become dulled with the responsibilities of adulthood. Sass & Belle self-proclaims, “We endeavor to create beautiful products you may have never known you wanted.” Now that we do know they exist, we want them – desperately.

            How cute are these tropical trinkets? Sipping a cold beverage (juice, lemonade, a cocktail, you name it!) from the palm tree glass means that summer has well and truly arrived. Or, at least I can trick myself into thinking it has. I hope that the only umbrella I'll be needing soon is a mini paper one that garnishes my cocktail! Filing my nails with a parrot, of all things, means answering the question, "Who's a pretty girl?" has never been easier. 

             With the 5p plastic bag charge, as silly as it sounds, I have thought of ridiculous ways to avoid it ever since the law was introduced. Whether that means stacking everything I’ve bought into a teetering tower as I waddle my way home, or loading up my handbag, it would probably just be easier to give in and buy a bag or two. That’s where Sass & Belle comes in. I’m all for recycling and limiting the amount of waste we use, which is why this bumblebee reusable tote is a sweet (and smart) shopping companion. When you open up the bag, the bee becomes the focal point of the bag’s design, with flowers sprinkled along the bottom, and the words “BUSY BEE” spelled out from the bee’s trail. Fellow shoppers, feel free to be envious.  


             Before we had matcha donuts, ice cream, cheesecakes, cakes, brownies, and marshmallows in a food trend that has only gone from strength to strength, it was known humbly as powdered green tea. Matcha is a superfood, although I’m not sure the same can be said for all of those tasty treats I just mentioned. The tea boosts the body’s metabolism, burns calories, increases energy levels, and lessens fatigue, along with a whole host of other added health benefits.

             Managing Director of T-tox, Johnny Harris, has been working as a personal trainer and sports therapist for the past 15 years. He was on site, serving up “shots” of matcha – chilled. Typically, the powder is whisked with hot water in a bowl to create a frothy tea. Harris mixed his with cold water and suggested adding coconut water as another alternative. In warm weather, you don’t necessarily want your drink to also be warm, so this minor alteration makes perfect sense and tastes great!

             It means you can trade in your usual water bottle at the gym for one of T-tox’s glass shakers. You can create your tea on the go, while the neoprene sleeve keeps the drink cold, or protects your hands from the heat if you want to go down the purist route.

             T-tox offers three matcha powders, but I took home the Recovery one. As well as the matcha powder, peppermint, milk thistle, spirulina, nettle, and lavender powders make this the perfect blend to drink after a workout. The flavor is earthy and natural with ginger undertones. With its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, it also acts as an analgesic and a stress reliever – all of the things you could possibly ask for after a productive session. Now pass me one of those matcha donuts…

Pink Parcel

             Every girl dreads “that time of the month,” but Pink Parcel’s mission is to make it a time to look forward to. All you have to do is pay £10.50 a month (the first box is £6.99 when you subscribe) and choose one of three delivery dates. They’ll then send you a little box of comforts, with chocolate, tea, makeup, and beauty items, and your preferred products. The packaging is discreet, so whether you receive your box at home or at work is completely up to you. I spend way more than £10.50 on one makeup product alone, so I’d say Pink Parcel is on to a good thing! They don’t lock you into a fixed contract, so you can discontinue your subscription at any time, but with what you get each month, why would you want to?

             It’s usually the birthday girl or boy who receives the presents, but as a guest, it turns out that I went home with an overflowing bag of party favors! 

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