LAHENDO2016 PART ONE

I have been so excited about posting this post, as this will no doubt have everyone jumping up and down. The time is almost upon us (in 9 days to be exact), and I am here to share some great moments with you from my Hen Party weekend extravaganza! LAHENDO2016 Part One will cover the theme, the journey, the place and also some amazing surprises too for the party. I invited along 15 girls (one of which I have to mention was very missed 🙁 ) for the #LAHENDO2016.  So for those who don’t know, my mother owns a motorhome. This was decked out- much to my surprise- with designs on the back and sides to let the whole world know of course that we were having a hen party. My sister Evie was in  charge of the whole thing from start to finish as she’s my maid of honour and the one with the design skills! She expertly took the colour scheme of the wedding (dark red, white and light grey) to decorate the motorhome and used a font very recognisable to those Twilight fans out there. The wedding will be based around Twilight in certain areas (I’m not giving away too much) as Paul and I met at a Twilight event, so very fitting! lahendo2016_ lahendo2016_-2

So we set off from Ipswich and were headed to Manchester. We had booked a luxury stay in a gorgeous house through Celebration Cottages. The house we stayed in sleeps up to 20 people and was ideal for the kind of thing I was looking for in a hen do. I am not a party goer nor a fan of excessive drinking and so I opted for the girly sleepover sort of vibe instead which I wouldn’t change for the world. lahendo2016_-137

This shot was taken on the last day but it shows the artwork from the sides so you can see. Plus some more hens too!

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We stayed in a house called The White House, and as soon as we pulled up after our 6 hour journey I knew that we were going to love it. The front of the house was made of glass (similar to the Cullen’s house in Twilight) so that made me very happy! The house itself was beautiful. It had a stunning design, more of which you will see later, and it had everything we could possibly need from the marble kitchen to the cinema room. Now I had been working very hard on something for all the hens involoved. As a blogger I wanted to make the most of this beautiful location and this special occasion, and so I had a little help from some of my favourite brands.

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Each hen was presented with a bag full of a variety of things for the weekend and they loved it!lahendo2016_-13 lahendo2016_-14

So in their gift pack they found:

Premier Estates Wine

I love the Prosecco from Premier Estates. It is crisp and so light and delightful. We all enjoyed this Prosecco throughout the weekend and you can see more of them in Part Two! The bottles fit right in with the designer kitchen and our glasses were at the ready!lahendo2016_-61

Mr Stanley’s

Mr Stanley’s went above and beyond for the hen. Each hen had a glorious selection on confectionary from chocolate moustaches to fudge and lemon fizzies. This was so perfect for the hen party as we had vegetarians, coeliacs and lactose free requirements so there were treats for everyone. lahendo2016_-63

Amie Skincare

I took advantage of using the master bathroom for this shot! Equipped with television et al, we really enjoyed a selection of treats from Amie Skincare who I am a big fan of. We had the best micellar water for our makeup removing needs, moisturiser and a selection of their new face masks which I will be reviewing separately on the blog.

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Sass and Belle

Sass and Belle are one of my go-to brands for gifts and homeware. They provided us with the cutest notebooks for our games and quizes which I shall be talking more about in Part Two! Their designs were loved by the hen party as each couldn’t wait to open these up and take a peek inside! lahendo2016_-66

KIND Snacks

KIND Snacks are the perfect snack for a big sleepover weekend, especially when you have a lot of guests with different diets. KIND snacks kindly sent us a range of flavours for the weekend which are all gluten and dairy free. My favourite was the dark chocolate and cherry bar- so delicious!

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So the first day/evening of the hen was fairly chilled. We explored every inch of our quarters, chose our bedrooms and took a lot of silly photos as we waited for the whole party to arrive. I have to give 3 hens a massive applause who came from Wales, and the journey took them 9 hours in a small car! Every hour or so we would receive an update from them in the form of a dubsmash song 🙂 lahendo2016_-20

Here we are having fun with our chocolate moustaches!

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Stay Tuned for LAHENDO Part Two, there’s so much more to see including games, knickers and jacuzzi fun!

Saharasplash x Bride to be

 

Dragonfly Tea celebrates 15 years

I usually am pretty good at getting to events on time as I like to think I am quite organised and a fairly good planner. On the evening of this event however, I don’t think that I could say either of these things as I ended up getting incredibly lost around Kings Cross station. I was hopelessly following my Google maps directions in circles and by this point I was starting to feel like I would never get to the event which had begun well over an hour ago. I ended up calling one of the girls who had invited me who was so great at directing me and 10 minutes later (feeling very puffed out and silly) I arrived at the DFMasterclass!

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If you haven’t seen my previous post on Dragonfly Tea, they are a family owned British company who are just so passionate about bringing the best quality teas to the British high street. This year Dragonfly Tea celebrates 15 years and to mark this they have brought out a fantastic new range of teas called the tea house collection. They were also kind enough to host a select few of us for this fabulous tea masterclass!

dragonfly-tea-celebrates-15-years-3The location (which I will now remember for the rest of my days) was at the Waitrose cooking school and I was so happy to see it when I arrived. I had missed a little bit of the tea trivia but the staff and hosts were so gracious and set me up with a Long Island green tea straight away.

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Our host Georgia Ginsberg from Dragonfly Tea talked us through what would happen next, which was a tea test! We had 10 teapots around the kitchen and we had to taste, smell and work out which one was which from the new collection. The academic in me always jumps at the chance to take a test so I was straight in there!

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Even though I missed the first part, my tastebuds did me proud and I got 7 out of 10! I do like to drink a range of teas so I think this helped a lot 🙂

We had a great time taking photos of all the teas and flowers, it was one of the most amazing blogger events I’ve been to this year!

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Dragonfly Tea celebrates 15 years in style, as not only do they have the brand new tea house collection, they have also brought out a luxury candle. This candle is super lovely and it’s definitely something everyone should have when taking a relaxing bath. The scent is homely, woody and just right for the transition into the cold season. I had the best blogger evening at the DFMasterclass and want to thank the Babushka Comms team for inviting me along!

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Saharasplash x

Head over to my latest beauty post about my 12 week trial with SmoothSkin IPL here

Smoothskin Gold IPL 12 week trial

Quite a while ago (3 months ago actually) I went to a Bloggers Ball. Now at this Bloggers Ball I met a wonderful range of people. Friends, brands and the usual. But one in particular stood out for me, and I was lucky enough to have been working with these guys over the past 12 weeks on a 12 week trial. I’m talking about SmoothSkin and their very popular hair removal device. So continue reading if you want to find out all about my Smoothskin Gold IPL 12 week trial…

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I want to tell you a little bit about SmoothSkin. You can check out their website here and follow them on Twitter here. So how does the device work? So the IPL device uses intense pulse light technology to disable your hair follicle and prevent regrowth. Of course this doesn’t happen overnight which is why I’ve been doing a 12 week trial and the results are just fantastic. The SmoothSkin Gold is so simple and easy to use- you can use the glide mode on large areas like your legs, or single pulse for areas like your underarms or your bikini line.

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Before starting my Smoothskin Gold IPL 12 week trial I read all the instructions and the manual cover to cover to make sure that I understood how it worked. Unfortunately this doesn’t work on extremely dark skin and is not recommended for red, grey or extremely light hair follicles becuase they can’t absorb the light treatment safely. It is perfect for brunettes and for those with dark hair like me.

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There is a little light up bar system on the side of the device telling you if the area of skin is suitable. It’s best to hold it flat down instead of at an angle to make sure the target area is as good as possible. Once ready you look away as to not get flashed in the eyes (as that’s dangerouss!) and you push the button, et voila! Piece of cake. My legs usually take me ten mins to do, and bikini/underarms a matter of minutes so it’s easy to work it into a routine once a week.

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Now I know you have probably seen a lot of people on TV getting laser hair removal and they are in a lot of pain. SmoothSkin Gold really isn’t that painful at all. You can control how intense you’d like the device to work as there is a soft mode too, but other than being a little warm for a split second, that’s it. There were no tears and no putting me off using this brilliant machine- and the results are just great. Before my 12 week trial I would shave my legs every time I washed my hair, so every 3-4 days. Now I’m finding myself not being able to remember the last time I picked up a razor for my legs which is amazing. My thicker hair on my underarms and bikini line is also improved, though the best results are by far with my legs.

I’m so happy to say goodbye to my unwanted hair after my 12 week trial, now I’ll be taking a break and seeing if my hair manages to stay away for my wedding next month!

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If you’d like to try the SmoothSkin Gold for yourself, take a look at the website and see what happens after 12 weeks! Price wise the device ranges from £249-£299.

Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading! Why not check out something fashion related next? My London Fashion Week diaries is just waiting for you!

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London Fashion Week Day Five

Woohoo we made it to day five! Or rather I did haha! I think I saved my best look till last as a lot of thought went into this outfit inspired by Harley Quinn. For those of you who have experienced fashion week you will know when I say how much hard work it is. I mean I’m still covering it and we are now in October! It’s not just about the shows, it’s about you, your friends, making new contacts and above all having a good time. So that’s why it is so important to not overdo it, to not try and go to absolutely everything because it’s just not possible. Choose smart and whatever happens, wear flats on the last day! Here is London Fashion Week Day Five for you…

My Outfit

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My outfit number five consists of a custom made Harley Quinn jacket (because I just had to!) and I ‘m wearing ripped denim shorts and a dark red bralette/choker set from Boohoo. My bag as ever is by the fantastic brand Today I’m Me. I want to thank Today I’m Me for helping make each outfit look so great and it’s always a pleasure working with my favourite bag boutique!

Little Extras

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These stunning earrings are by Roz Buehrlen, a British designer who is based in Kent. These are Gold Swallow earrings which also come in silver too. I think this adds something a little extra to the look but still manages to maintain its concept.

Catwalk Highlights

Fun Affair

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Fun Affair was such a great show. We had lots of variety and I got the best views from the front row. I would definitely use the caption ‘woke up like this’ to describe this show. It was effortless dishelvement as clothes were put on backwards with bralette on top of a crisp white shirt- I’ve actually seen this out and about recently so very on trend! It was mix and match but done very stylishly and I could see that a lot of thought had gone into each look.

David Ferreira

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These last ones came out a little dark so apologies for that. Lighting isn’t always something that can be counted on for a fashion show especially as the music and light work together to reflect the mood of the designs. David Ferreira was absolutely worth the wait and I didn’t care that I didn’t have a seat either. For me this season reminded me of the inspirational Lady Gaga so much. The powerful message to ‘break free from your stereotype’ along with some exquisite garments really stuck wth me and I think that Gaga would definitely rock any one of these looks.

Saharasplash x

Thank you so much for reading my five part fashion series, to catch up on the previous posts just click here

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My October Wishlist

Guess what October means? It’s my birthday!!! Yes I’m still in the mid-twenty range of being excited every time my birthday comes around. I do wonder though that as my twenties begin to fade around me whether I will have the same enthusiasm- but for now, I’m still cool with celebrating another year older and hopefully wiser in just 7 days time.
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It won’t be a big celebration this year, mainly down to the fact that all the money we have will be going towards the wedding in November, but I’d like to think that my birthday this year will be spent surrounded by the ones I care about the most. This includes the French dip gluten free burger from TGIs- if you haven’t tried it, you are missing out! I thought that I would do an October wishlist to mark the occasion. Here are just a few things that I’m crushing over right now, I’d love to know if you are lusting over any of these too!

1. Dyson hairdryer

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This is something that I’ve been wanting to try out for ages. The advert even came on as I was sat in the cinema waiting for the new Bridget Jones movie to start. Everywhere I turn I keep getting glimpses of this marvellous device and I am just itching to give this a whirl through my hair!

2. L’Occitane shampoo

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L’Occitane is a brand I keep coming back to. This time I’m daydreaming about their fabulous shampoo L´Occitane. I’d love to lather up with their body and strength or the citrus verbena shampoo as they both look divine.

3. Magic Mike Live tickets

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 So I can’t get this out of my head ever since I found out that Magic Mike was being turned into a live show in Vegas. I signed up to the alerts newsletter (obviously) and recently Cosmo’s snapchat has been giving us some amazing backstage peeks of the pecks! So naturally tickets to this show (starting March time next year) is on my October wishlist.

4. Some new lingerie

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Ever since getting Now TV, I have been re-watching some of my favourite shows in my spare time (not that there is much of that!) I’ve been watching Sex and the City, and this really has awakened a newfound desire to get some good lingerie. The 4 New York fashionistas really do get to wear the most stunning undergarments and as each episode passes I hear La Perla calling out to me, though I am trying to ignore it as best I can!

5. Celicioso cupcakes

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This last one is something a little bit more personal. For those of you who aren’t gluten free and haven’t lived/ been to Madrid you probably won’t know about the most fantastic gluten free bakery called Celicioso. I discovered Celicioso while on my year abroad there and it’s a bakery 100% devoted to gluten free delicacies. I went there practically every week and now 3 years on I miss their cupcakes so much!

 

So there you have it- my October wishlist. Obviously some more attainable than others, but hey, it’s just a wishlist right? Why not dream big? I know that whatever happens my October will be the best yet regardless of what I get, as October officially marks the month of my hen party, and what’s more exciting than that?!

 

Saharasplash X

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That Perfect Dress from In One Clothing

One of my favourite things to do on a sunny day in London is take a gorgeous dress out and take a million photos. So recently, that’s just what happened after I got in touch with Nicole, a London based photographer. This dress is a very special dress that I have been holding onto for quite a while now as I wanted to wait for the exact moment to show this stunner off to you all. The dress is a multi-way piece from In One Clothing, and I really do think that it is the perfect dress. Not only can you wear it multiple ways according to your mood and the occasion, it comes in the most vibrant colours too. Nicole and I had such a fabulous time shooting this sassy number in Holland park and so without further ado, here are the shots and three ways to wear that perfect dress from In One Clothing.

Look One- The Sexy Halter

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Nicole managed to capture the flowing material of the dress in this first look we went for. It has a plentiful supply to wrap around your waist and criss-cross over your back. I decided to tie it up twice at the front and leave the material to hang instead of opting for the bow tie effect.

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Look Two- The Belle of the Ball

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For this look, I simply untwisted the halter neck and let it fall around my shoulders. This look would be perfect to go dancing in as you sashay across the dance floor. I was amazed at how this one simple change completely altered the look of the dress.

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Look Three- The Fairy Nymph

Lauren-28We moved to a wonderful spot for these shots. Holland Park was so quiet on a Monday morning, we had no trouble finding many hidden corners and places to take these photos which turned out great! For this look I wrapped the lengths of purple around my torso from front to back and created a beautiful sweetheart effect. The material is so versatile there are countless ways to wear the dress, and it conveniently comes with a matching bandeau too so you can wear this underneath the dress or use it to help add another dimension to your outfit. Nicole came prepared and brought this stunning flower crown with her which made me feel like taking my shoes off and so I did these shots barefoot.

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Details

I took with me a contrasting blue satchel to match my blue nails, and I wore some white heels from Primark.

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How amazing is this dress? I am so happy with it that my bridesmaids will all be wearing In One Clothing for my wedding in a lovely burgundy. I cannot wait to see how they each choose to style their dress up! I cannot recommend this brand enough, the quality is simply out of this world and the idea is a must for anyone wanting to please their bridal party! I’m so glad I found That Perfect Dress from In One Clothing and I have a feeling I’m going to need a few more of these to add to my wardrobe too!

Saharasplash x

Up for some more? Then check out this post on a fabulous foodie box here

 

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