Monday, 20 November 2017

Snapfish - Get Ready for 2018

Create your own personal calendar with Snapfish!

I received a code to make a free photo calendar and I loved exploring the new designs that Snapfish have! 

Snapfish is a wonderful little spot on the internet when you can turn beautiful photos into personalised items. And with Christmas coming up why not think about creating some amazingly thoughtful gifts! There's so many different things you can pop your photos on to - photo books, canvas prints, photo blankets, cushions, phone cases, mugs.... everything you could dream of and your bound to find the perfect present for anyone and everyone. 

I though, used Snapfish to create a really lovely calendar to keep me organised for next year.

There are so many options when it comes to designing your calendar and you can really make it your own. You can choose what size you want, what theme, what colours and there's all kinds of cute patterns and designs. Make yourself a cuppa and get settled in though it's easy to get lost in all the beautiful creations!

I'm a bit of an instagram addict so I was really pleased when I found the Instagram theme. Creating a calendar with all your instagram posts is a really lovely way to use the photos that you've collected. I picked images for each month from exactly the same time this year or last. It was a lovely way to collect memories and look back on adventures!

There are so many different designs, backgrounds and layouts to choose from and you can even add little stickers, as well as personalising dates - you'll never forget a birthday again!

I kept my design pretty simple with black and white. I wanted to keep it clean so that the photos would stand-out. But, there's so many colourful backgrounds that you can make it as bright and beautiful as you want!

The creation process is really easy as well. You just need to upload your photos, from your computer, Facebook and even Instagram, pick your layout and drop the image in where you want it. Snapfish is pretty clever as well and will tell you if the photo is too low-res for print so that you get the perfect picture. 

If you fancy designing your own personalised item or making your Christmas presents extra personal this year then you can get 40% off Snapfish with the code KIRSTEN40 - happy designing! 

x x x 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

T2 - Joy 2 the Wild

This is simply the best time of year to cosy up with a cup of tea.

You might remember a little while ago I introduced you to the wondrous T2 and the amazing Scots Breakfast tea. But, did you know T2 is in actual fact the best place to start your Christmas shopping as their new Christmas collection is simply fabulous and perfect for any tea-lover.

T2 have just launched their new Christmas nature-inspired campaign - Joy 2 the Wild - and as they say "It's time to reignite our relationship with nature". The Australian tea company see winter as the perfect time to reconnect with the natural world "celebrating the hidden flavours, patterns and rhythms found in the outside world". The beautiful collection has a real emphasis on the beauty of nature and it's wonderfully refreshing for this time of year.

T2 has literally every type of tea you can imagine and the new collection is just divine.

There's CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST which is filled with festive flavours, the classic gingerbread with a hint of vanilla. The amazing MULLED WINE MAGIC which just tastes like Christmas evenings in the cold. It's really aromatic and has the perfect touch of spice. One of my favourites was also the CHOC MOLTEN MARVEL an absolute treat in a tea-cup that keeps you toasty with its indulgent pudding-like notes.

As always the amazing tea-ware also had me creating a mental wish-list for Santa.

I was lucky enough to be treated to a LUNA NIGHTS STARFISH SKY TEA FOR ONE - so adorable and the perfect gift to find under the tree.

The cute little teapot is perfect for one and you can keep the adorable little tea-cup that comes as part of it filled up with delicious tea. The most amazing present for tea-lovers. The sweet pattern is described as having "sea anemones dance alongside starfish patterns under the night sky". How dreamy does that sound?! It even has a tea strainer in the pot and makes the loveliest gift to keep you cosy on chilly winters afternoons.

Of course all the tea-ware is just beautiful.

They've added to their already fabulous offering with collections like DANCING MAGNOLIA which takes inspiration from the "geometric marvels found in nature" and it also come in five colour combinations that you can mix and match. I think the LUSCIOUS is just gorgeous and is definitely going to be written on my list for Santa. It's all green goodness with jungle print and white poppies. There's also the MOON DANCE and DAZED AND DAZZLED that are just as fantastic.

Even the teaspoons are the best thing ever!

I'm still completely in love with T2 it's a really enchanting place and it feels like you've stepped into a tea-themed fairytale every time you step into the shop. Making a cup of T2 tea takes a little more time, it's indulgent and you feel like you're spoiling yourself giving yourself ten minutes to treat yourself and enjoy the most delicious cup of tea.

Thanks so much to T2 for having me - now pop the kettle on!

x x x 

Monday, 6 November 2017

A Weekend in Paris: Versailles

The most luxurious garden I've ever been to...

I've been dreaming about going to the Palace of Versailles for a very long time. The name just conjures magical images of opulence from a bygone era, a lavish lifestyle that really belongs in storybooks. The legendary destination is somewhere that truly belongs in dreams. When we popped over to Paris for a long weekend in September Versailles was top of the itinerary.

The Palace is just a short walk from the train station and as everyone approaches the golden gates there's definitely a twinkle of excitement in the air and the Palace appears in all its grandeur.

It really is an amazing place. It's over-the-top opulence and grandeur and is fabulously lavish. As Royal chateaus go this one is pretty unbeatable. There's just something magic about it and you're filled with mystical promise as you peer through the golden gates.

The building dates back to the 11th century, when it was a slightly more modest affair, with the expansion beginning in 1661 and lasting 40 years. The King was adamant that every detail was correct and that the house that he built was unrivalled and to say its extravagant is somewhat of an understatement.

Even though the house did take my breath away without a doubt my favourite part was the gardens. Even when I was in the house I found myself peeking out of the windows so excited to get outside and start exploring.

The gardens are vast, I mean they're just huge. There's around 400 sculptures, 50 fountains, 200,000 trees and 210,000 flowers planted annually. I've never been anywhere like it and there's just nothing to compare.

We were lucky enough to visit on a beautiful sunny day and spent hours just wandering. It's a place where you're happy to get lost, stumbling across different treasures at every turn. It's a fairytale and it kind of reminds me of that scene in Alice in Wonderland where she's in the Queen of Hearts garden.

It really is monumental and also so luxurious. Classical music is playing throughout and fountains erupt with musical shows. There's manicured lawns, hidden passageways, corners that tell stories and huge open spaces and after years of work it's said that the gardens have been almost fully restored to how they would have looked in the time of King Louis XIV.

This is a place to explore in bewilderment. It's a dreamworld which whispers stories of the past and delights you at every turn.

We spent all day there, but I'm already dreaming about going back...

x x x

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Chatsworth - House Style

The most fabulous exhibition opening a time capsule of fashion.

The Peak District may not seem like a fashion hot spot, but for a few months this year it definitely was. The beautiful old house, Chatsworth, which the Cavendish family made their home in the mid-sixteenth century, was host to the enchanting exhibition - House Style: Five Centuries of Style at Chatsworth. I wasn't sure whether to share this post with you or not, as the exhibition is now closed, buuuuut I just adored it so much and thought it would be a nice way for those of you who didn't get the chance to go to enjoy the show.

I'd heard about the exhibition when I visited Chatsworth earlier in the year and peered through the golden gates and since then I'd really wanted to go!

Hamish Bowles the International Editor-at-Large at American Vogue curated the show and its basic aim is to demonstrate fashion through the ages using the different looks and tastes of all the different occupants of Chatsworth. In partnership with Gucci it's all about how the family have expressed themselves through clothes.

We went from tattered slippers...

... to elaborate wedding dresses.

You take a look Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, also known as the 'Empress of Style' and beautifully portrayed by Kiera Knightley in 'The Duchess', as well as British model Stella Tennant and 'Kick' Kennedy, sister to the Kennedy brothers. We see everything from their casual clothes to the costumes from extravagant parties, their royal couture and comfy jumpers. You get a real insight into their fashion favourites, including the designers such as Dior, Gucci and Givenchy.

Everywhere you turn there's a new delight, from elaborate gowns to intricate jewels.

And the opulent setting certainly adds to the magnificent gowns.

Every room in Chatsworth House is breath-taking. It's a perfectly regal and noble background to the show and the exhibition blends beautifully into every room of the house, it doesn't take away the grandeur, but adds to it. The clothes and rooms play with each other and interact to tell a story. Everywhere oozes luxury and extravagance, but this is balanced by the places like the fairytale library that is still used by the family.

The clothes that were also worn by the family are transformed into pieces of art. Everything is so glamorous, but there's also fun touches of personality. The enchanting pieces from bygone eras are also balanced with current and contemporary details, bring every part of the exhibition into perfect harmony.

The Galliano ball-gown in the pretty turquoise blue, Georgiana corridor was definetely a favourite.

There was also delightful stories in every room and the staff who we met on the journey really wanted to share the magical anecdotes with you and it was clear that they loved being part of the exhibition. One of my favourite stories was about two outfits, a boy and a girl, who met at one of the sumptuous balls thrown at the House and went on to marry!

There was even a room re-creating a party with outfits that the family wore to various celebrations.

The treasures that were found in the attic really helped to bring the house and the family history to life. Every room feels alive and full of characters telling there story and sharing family tales. It's got a magical, glittering feel to it and I was blown away by every room I entered, with the stunning, sumptuous surroundings adding to the theatrical drama.

I was so excited to see the exhibition at Chatsworth House and I wasn't disappointed - it was all I had been hoping for and more!

x x x 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

REVIEW: Mon Guerlain

A new perfume that definitely feels like a classic.

Guerlain is a really fascinating brand. I was lucky enough to hear all its storied at a St Enoch Centre event and I have to admit I was enchanted. In 1798 Pierre Francois-Pascal Guerlain began the iconic French brand. And they certainly made their mark on the beauty industry. They not only invented the 1st lipstick in 1871, but they also invented the first bronzing powder, Terracotta in 1984 - and even now one is sold every 20 seconds! Guerlain is also a brand that innovates and they discovered many of the ingredients that are found in skincare today.

But on to the perfume, Mon Guerlain, and how pretty, feminine and graceful is it - it's made for decorating dressing tables!

Guerlain has developed a unique signature when it comes to its scents, known as Guerlinade. Their favourite raw materials include Tonka Bean, Iris, Vanilla, Rose, Jasmine and Bergamont that all mix together to create the most mesmerising smells.

"This is a fragrance that is all about you. Like, an invisible tattoo, it reveals the accomplished, strong and liberated woman of today." 

Mon Guerlain is feminine and elegant. Lavender, jasmine, vanilla and sandalwood all create a really beautiful fragrance and when you wear the perfume with the body lotion the fresh and oriental smell is even more intense. It's just so charming, delicate but strong at the same time. It also lasted really well and I could still smell it at the end of the day.

The beautiful Mon Guerlain is french chic and a touch of glamour. Even though it's new for me it already feels like a classic that I'll wear for years and years to come, there's something inherently nostalgic about it. Like I've already seen it on a Grandmother's dressing table. It's rare and very special to find something brand new that gives you this feeling.

Mon Guerlain is without a doubt a new favourite of mine and every time I wear it I feel like I'm treating myself to a spritz of indulgence.

x x x

** This item was gifted to me, but I was not obliged to review it 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Come With Me On Maggie's Culture Crawl

A night-time adventure through the streets of Glasgow with some amazing stops on the way!

You might remember a little while ago I tried to persuade you to join me on Maggie's Culture Crawl? Well I thought I'd let you know what we actually got up to on the night! Just to re-fresh your memory the Culture Crawl is a night walk round Glasgow to raise money for the fabulous charity that is Maggie's.

It's a really special night to raise essential funds to keep their centres running. These amazing places offer practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their friends and family for free.

The Culture Crawl is an adventure through the city, visiting well-known spots and being treated to some cultural performances.

We started our journey at Kelvingrove museum. The iconic Glasgow venue was where we signed-up, got our beautiful, bright orange t-shirts and a map - we were all set. We just needed a little warm-up so some Highland Dancers got us moving with some improvised dancing. There was an air of excitement as everyone got going. We were then piped down the street in a sea of orange - we were off!

Our first destination was the Mitchell Library, a really beautiful building. We got to visit some of the top rooms that aren't always open and we were treated to a gorgeous performance from a talented violinist. There was also a poetry station where people could flex their creative muscles. This was one of my favourites I found!

Next up - Merchant's House. The House was originally built in 1605, for the culture crawl it was transformed into a party venue and the old building was absolutely bouncing! We were greeted by a Brewdog beer before we went next door where everyone was dancing to an amazing pipe band. There was even an impromptu ceilidh. Definitely my favourite stop.

The next stop was a little more subdued, but a touch more enchanting. I'd actually never been to Glasgow Cathedral before, which is pretty shameful to admit considering how many years I've lived in Glasgow. It's a stunning building with a majestic feel to it. Inside there was a beautiful singer performing traditional Scots songs, perfectly adding to the magical air of the place.

We were beginning to feel a little peckish now so thankfully our next stop, Barras Art and Design Centre was a much needed food break. The cute courtyard had been decorated with Maggie's balloons and flags and a DJ added to the party atmosphere. We re-fuelled with some tasty burgers before we headed off again. It was a really nice chance just to chill out for a bit and take it all in.

We then headed to The Briggait. The Grade A listed building first appeared in 1873 when it was the city's fish market. Today it has been transformed into a new home for visual artists and cultural organisations. We were welcomed by a jazz singer who had us bopping along. And then oh my goodness we had the best eclairs I've ever tasted.

I was wondering how what would be happening at the next stop as all it said was, Brodies. Brodies are the official sponsors of the event, but I did wonder how the stop at the state-of-the-art offices would fit into our cultural crawl. But is was really great! The lobby was filled with all kinds of experiments and games from Glasgow Science Centre. We tested out our focus, balance and reactions before leaving for the penultimate stop.

I'm not going to lie by this point we were feeling a little tired. The Project Cafe was a really lovely spot just to rest our weary legs with a cup of tea and some home-baking. There was also some gorgeous live performers who we loved listening to before we embarked on the last leg of the journey.

And we did it! The Hunterian was the final stop and we were treated to a glass of prosecco and a shiny medal for our efforts.

We had such a fantastic night and really loved it. It was so nice to have a sense of achievement at the end and know that you've helped out a really fabulous charity that does some amazing work. I'm so looking forward to getting a big group of the girls together next year and doing it all over again!

Thank you so much Maggie's!

x x x

** This was a collaborative post