AD] My Christmas Gift Guide 2019!

This is a gifted/sponsored post in collaboration with the brands below. All thoughts and views my own.

This year I am doing things slightly differently. In the past, I have separated out men’s and women’s things, but for some reason I just can’t do it this year. Labels, sections and lines are being removed from our society day by day, especially in the beauty industry, so why should I have to put certain things under a certain label? Short answer is, I don’t, so I won’t. I have three amazing sections this year…Category is… ok I’m laughing at that one a little too much, if you’re a RuPaul fan then you’ll get why. If not, let’s just move on swiftly to my big fat Christmas gift guide 2019.

Looking and smelling good as hell  

Cienna Rose

Cienna Rose are a vegan and non-toxic brand that create the most beautiful shades, especially this time of year. Below are shades “Let it Snow” (clear with holographic glitter flakes) and “Ice Cream Sundae” (pink, orange, blue and white micro glitter) along with “Plump it up High Shine Gel Effect Top Coat”.

Nail Colours: £9
Gel Effect Top Coat: £10.50

Mavala

Mavala are a Swiss-based brand that I cannot get enough of. They have a stunning range of makeup and skincare, but I particularly wanted to showcase their “Cyber Chic Collection” in the form of this festive, mini trio set. I highly recommend their waterproof mascara too for a great stocking filler.

Cyber Collection Individual Minis: £5
Waterproof Mascara: £10

Spacemasks

In aid of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Spacemasks have designed a beautifully packaged pack of five masks. The amazing thing about these masks (with ingredients of essence of rose and iron) is that they react with oxygen once applied and gently heat up for 15 minutes of bliss.

5 Pack of Spacemasks: £15

Pevonia

A company very close to home are Suffolk-based skincare experts Pevonia. With a very enticing Christmas gift section, you’ll have no trouble finding a perfect preside. Below are some favourites from the “Spa at Home” collection, including body moisturiser and shower gel.

Spa at Home Moisturiser: £6
Spa at Home Shower Gel: £6

REN Skincare

I have been a REN Skincare enthusiast ever since I discovered their miracle allergy spray. They have their ultimate season staples all wrapped up in one complete package here in the “Face Favourites” skincare gift set. Containing three bestselling facial products for glowing, hydrated and youthful looking skin.

Face Favourites Gift Set: £35

American Crew

Est. 1994, American Crew is distributed in more than 30,000 salons across over 40 countries. This “Essential Grooming Gift” can go anywhere with you, and nothing from this selection will go to waste. I just love a gift that’s thought of it all, and American Crew definitely has! Contains shaving gel, lotion, 3-in-1, cream pomade in this stylish bag.

Essential Grooming Gift: £35

Olverum

Taking its name from the Latin “oleum verum” (meaning ‘true oil’) Olverum will prove to be the hit of the household. Only half a capful needed per bath, a little will go a very long way. A sublime gift for anyone needing a bit of R&R this Christmas- can you smell the lavender already?

Olverum Bath Oil: £35 (125ml)

Saint Iris Adriatica

Such a beautiful name for a brand, don’t you agree? It’s named after the Sweet Iris of Dalmatia and uses sustainable ingredients such as wild plant oils, healing honey and pomegranate. This “Everybody Energy Cleanse” will invigorate the sleepy soul and awaken a newfound sense of self. Trust me, I’ve tried and tested it.

Every Body Energy Cleanse: £29

Quirky things, bubbles and gold

Moving onto section two of my Christmas Gift Guide 2019. I think you’ll find a few things in here to rival anyone’s standard Christmas list…

Zap-It!

If you have a friend or family member that tends to shy away from getting into the festive spirit, or maybe you know someone who is choosing to go it abroad this year, then hear more about Zap-It! Perfect for winter sun, beaches and picnics, this device generates a harmless, low electrical impulse that stops the itching of an insect bite within minutes. Bet you’ve never heard of a gift quite like this before?! Available via Asda, Superdrug and Amazon.

Zap-It: £5.95

Beds.Net

If you are looking for an ultimate gift to spruce up your favourite couple’s home, then how about a beautiful piece of furniture? Grey Chenille Bedroom Accessories like this one can become a nursery toy box, or a blanket storage system/seat to sit at the end of a bed. I love its versatility and thanks to IG’s newfound home interior craze, you’d be number one on anyone’s list well into 2020 with this gift-giving expertise.

Grey Storage Chest: £89

Yeti & The Fox

Be prepared for another mind-blowing stocking filler. This gift comes with the notion of forward-planning for those times where festivities+alcohol=bad next day. With the gift of Yeti & The Fox capsules, your recipient will receive a present that will help promote optimum health when they most need it. These capsules aid in replenishing the body with much needed glutathione, which plays a significant role in energy metabolism. For a better description, no more feeling dodgy after you’ve gone too hard.

Prices vary from £6 to £50 depending on quantity of sachets

The Hugg Shop

Hashtag trending, if you didn’t know, is all things CBD this year. Completely legal might I add, with a variety of benefits, I bring you the “Hugg CBD Gift Kit”. Containing CBD Oil (to be used sublingually) as well as CBD bath salts, this gift kit will be perfect for someone who deserves a long bath and some royal treatment. FYI the bath salts contain coconut oil, orange and ginger root essential oils that will remain fragrant on your skin long after the bath is over.

Hugg Gift Kit: £32.99

Natural Deodorant Co.

Eco-friendly and sustainable are words on everyone’s lips right now. The Natural Deodorant Co. is the ultimate go-to choice for many a celeb with all products free from palm oil, synthetics and pore-blocking preservatives. These velvety balms melt into the skin helping nourish, banish odours and provide all-day protection. The Natural Deodorant Co. are the only deodorants to have been selected by Selfridges to be part of their Project Ocean campaign. Current best sellers are Fearne Cotton’s favourite, “Clean Orange + Bergamot” and refreshing “Active Coriander + Lime”.

Prices vary from £2.50 to £11 and come in 3 different sizes

Barefoot Wine & Bubbly

Now it wouldn’t be a proper Christmas Gift Guide without a little tipple would it? I have never really been hugely interested in alcohol, especially wines. That was until I tried Barefoot. These guys adorned the tables at my wedding and they are always on my Christmas list each year. Introduced into the UK market in 2007, the brand now boasts an extensive collection of still and sparkling wines. My favourite has to be the Pink Pino Grigio.

Barefoot Pink Pino Grigiot: £6.75

Seol + Gold

Seol originates from the Anglo-Saxon word for silver “Seolfor”, originally used for sterling coins. Seol + Gold caters for all vibes, from delicate 9ct gold flourishes to richly plated statement jewellery for layering. I have on show below the beautiful “North Star Studs”, totally worth a double-tap am I right?!

North Star Studs: £14.95

One for the Kids

Now onto my final section, for the kiddos in your lives that you generally have no clue what to get for them because they already own everything.

Gift Giving All Wrapped Up

Peppa Pig, an icon of this day and age. Whether you love her or hate her, you have to admit that this character has stolen the hearts of our mini nation. We love Peppa in our household and so here are a few lovely ideas from Gift Giving All Wrapped up to score some major points from those little angels this season.

Peppa Pig Christmas Bauble £9.95
Bamboo mug £4.95
Bamboo Christmas Eve Set £12 

Little Siberica

For the kids who really have got the lot, or maybe the parents have asked you not to splurge out on toys and chocolate, Little Siberica is a great option. Organic birch extract in the baby soap softens the skin and relieves irritation, while organic extracts of chamomile heals and relieves in the baby daily care cream. Both these wondrous gifts provide gentle care of baby and child’s delicate skin for 24 hours.

Baby Soap £8.99
Baby Daily Care Cream: £4.50

Babyblooms

If you are considering spoiling your niece or nephew rotten this year, then I would love to introduce you to Babyblooms. Equipped with personalisation services and a gift-wrapped box next to none, just take a look at these gorgeous and thoughtful gift ideas below. I just cannot get over the personalised toy makeup set with palette, lipstick, compact mirror and brush. Not a piece of plastic in sight, and utterly stunning. Also featured below is the “Personalised Little Bunny Christmas Breakfast Set and Christmas Eve Box”- you just can’t go wrong.

Personalised Little Bunny Christmas Breakfast Set and Christmas Eve Box £65
Personalised Toy Makeup Set – £38 

Caran d’Ache

A second Swiss-made company on my list, and this time it’s for the art lovers out there. A present like these beautiful neocolor pastels will receive enjoyment from all ages, and they are perfect for many surfaces from paper, cardboard, glass, to wood, leather, fabric and even stone! Alice loves drawing and painting, so a gift like this is perfect for my budding little artiste.

Caran d’Ache Neocolor I: £25.99

Chelsea Peers NYC

Last, but certainly no means least on my Christmas Gift Guide extravaganza list is a beautiful set of pjamas from Chelsea Peers NYC. I can honestly say I’ve never felt pyjamas so soft before. Both Alice and I had such fun taking these shots while having a snowball fight with daddy! You can see more matching sets on the website, below we are wearing “Bearly Awake Long PJ Sets” in adult and mini size.

Bearly Awake Mini Me Long PJ Set: £25
Bearly Awake Adult Size: £32 

Et voila, fin, ende, final and any other language you can add in here. I hope you loved reading through the plethora of amazing suggestions as much as I did compiling it. Of course, my gift guide would not be half as possible or fun without the support of the brands involved, so my final thanks extends to you all,

A Merry Christmas and Goodnight!

Saharasplash x

AD] Lucky number 13 for WICKED!

NB: This is a no-spoiler, press invite review of WICKED the musical, all thoughts and views my own.

I had been wanting to see WICKED the musical since it first came to the West End in 2006, so literally 13 years! It may be an unlucky number for some, but this year I was invited to see the show on a very special press night along with many other bloggers and celebrities. I felt so honoured to be sat in the theatre among the likes of Dame Kelly Holmes and Craig Revel Horwood as the 13-year anniversary show made its debut. 

In my opinion, it was imperative to wear green and so I pulled out a floral kimono that I last wore on my 42nd week of pregnancy! It was perfect for the occasion. I left at 3pm and drove to the Intercontinental Hotel near the O2 where I was staying for the night to drop my bags off and get ready. I met my husband, Paul near the Apollo Theatre Victoria to grab some quick dinner before the show started. 

On the night

At 7pm sharp we were outside the theatre to take in the atmosphere and of course, to get the shots. We took about a hundred to get the perfect one before we went inside. The entrance was filled with the hustle and bustle of people arriving, getting drinks, their tickets and waiting to be seated. The crowds were also being filmed from every angle for the 13thanniversary video (which you can now see on the WIKED social channels). There were so many things to take in before the show started, like costumes hidden all around the theatre and an ‘Ozdust Boutique’ for souvenirs just as you entered the main theatre. 

The performance was wonderful. I’m not going to post any spoilers for my readers who still haven’t seen it and are planning to. The show was magical, uplifting and absolutely worth the long wait to see. I knew a few of the songs throughout the performance, as well as a very good idea to how the story was going to play out based on my knowledge of the world of Oz. It was lovely to see old characters come to the stage from a previous timeline, as well as meet the new ones like Fiyero and Madame Morrible. It was in some ways a standalone, and what I mean by this is that you don’t need to know much about the Wizard of Oz to enjoy it. The characters of Elphaba and Glinda are simply spell-binding and I cannot believe I waited this long to see it. 

The After Party 

Once the curtains closed and the sea of green balloons cleared, we made a swift exit and headed down the street to the Park Plaza for the after party. It was such a thrill to not only see the show, but to meet the actors afterwards too and get to speak with some of them. I got the chance to share a moment with the beautiful Nikki Bentley who plays Elphaba and also Idriss Kargbo who is currently Boq.  

Needless to say, I listened to the soundtrack all the way home the next day and couldn’t stop singing the songs (in a good way). I want to sincerely thank the Official London Theatre for arranging this magical escapade; I hope it’s not too long until my next visit to the West End.

Saharasplash x 

Let me know if you have seen WICKED yet, or if it is on your bucket list in the comments below! 

My big fat Christmas gift guide 2018

Ok, so you had better be ready for my biggest post of the year. I’m suggesting you go put the kettle on, pause Netflix and have a good read of my big fat Christmas gift guide 2018. Featuring some of the best brands on the market for her, him and baby. In my opinion, this is as far as you need to look with your list of who to get for next to you and get it all done in one sitting! I’ve spent a lot of time and research on this piece so you don’t have to start googling ideas for Christmas presents, because lord knows that involves a serious amount of wine and chocolate. So, shall we begin?

FOR HER

NEW CID I-GLOW AURORA- £27.50

New CID Cosmetics are one of the best makeup brands I have ever tried, hands down. Their products are simply stunning and the new Aurora highlighter compact looks like it is made straight from unicorn rainbow dust. Super fine powder, it leaves your face glowing and radiant. I always get compliments when I’m wearing a New CID product, and no doubt this new highlighter will achieve the same result as I wear it over the Christmas season.

VIRGINIA CORAM- £30-38

Virginia Coram is one of the few English producers of pure liquid soap using the traditional method. Featured below is the Bathtub Lotion with Rose, Geranium & Sage – a floral scent reviving the body and stimulating the mind. Also the Governess Lotion with Orange, Lavender & Vanilla – a lively fragrance with sweet tones and revitalising qualities. All their products are 100% vegan.

HEYLAND AND WHITTLE- £30 

Heyland and Whittle is all about detail and style. Their Frankincense candle (made from soy wax) can help relieve stress and anxiety due to its aromatic properties. The winter spice rattan reed diffuser brings a sense of Christmas spirit that can only be found through the mix of joyful scents such as orange, nutmeg and clove.

JML HOLLYWOOD PANTS- £39.98

JML Direct is always a great shout for a range of innovative and practical gifts. This 3-pack of leggings are stylish, high-waisted and guaranteed to make the most out of your natural shape. I just love wearing them for comfort, warmth and ease as they go with just about anything. I love the three distinct designs and can see these becoming a favourite in my wardrobe over the next few months.

NYK1 SECRETS- £32.95-34.95

NYK1 Secrets have launched several products that every girl needs and I’ve got two of them right here. LASHFORCE lash and brow growth serum & TANFORCE. These beauties will have you brow-ready with glowing skin to rock that amazing new outfit you got on black friday.

BIOGLAN BEAUTY COLLAGEN- £18.99-29.99

Bioglan beauty collagen is a brand new range to Bioglan this season. There’s gummies for busy, on the go commuters and a powder form if you’re into breakfast smoothies instead. These supplements are packed with all the things your skin needs like Vitamin C, A and hyaluronic acid (which I’m sure you beauty lovers know is all the craze right now).

NIVEA GIFT pack- £3.50

Nivea Get Up and Glow gift pack features a duo of urban fresh shower gel in acai and goji berry scents. Along with a really cute sponge, this is the best stocking filler if I ever saw one 🙂

FOR BABY

PAW PATROL 2019 CALENDAR- £9.99

Danilo literally have something for everyone to get them set and ready for the new year ahead. Kids ranges include Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig and then you have something for the Newt Scamander fans as well. For the non-magic folk, a series of Disney-themed diaries perhaps? Go take a look at their fabulous range.

MESSY ME TUNIC BIB- £9.50

Messy Me are a weaning accessory brand set up by a mum of three. All handmade in the UK, I just can’t get enough of these handy bibs and tunics for Alice as she grows. This tunic bib with star pattern is going to be used on Christmas Day for sure!

ALDI LITTLETOWN GROCERIES- prices vary

I have worked with Aldi a lot since having Alice, and time and time again they always come up with something new for the younger generation. I went to the Christmas in July press day with Alice and she fell in love with all the wooden toy sets for the kitchen. So, guess what’s under her tree this year?!

THE SANTA SACKS CO- £6.50 ON SALE

The Santa Sacks Co have really gone to town with their personalised Santa Sacks. This year, we are celebrating a little more with Alice now that she can appreciate and understand this special time of year. So, we have a sack for her which will hopefully become a part of our family tradition, just as I remember having one as a child each year.

BOOTS MINI CLUB- prices vary

Boots Mini Club is a new discovery this Christmas for me. After celebrating the launch of their Fearne Cotton range, I knew the Christmas collection was going to be just as amazing. A fluffy pink reindeer jumper… yes please!

OH SO CHERISHED CHRISTMAS EVE BOX- £32

This next gift is currently on arrival from Oh So Cherished so I’ve included a few pics from their website to show you all about the brand. Personalised gifts such as these are great all year round, for Christenings, birthdays, and of course a Christmas Eve box featured below. These are becoming increasingly popular and it’s a great way to share the festive excitement with children.

FOR HIM

CLIVE CHRISTIAN- £145

Clive Christian is one brand I am very excited about including in my big fat Christmas gift guide 2018. The brand’s predecessor, the Crown Perfumery Company established in 1872, is the only house ever to have been granted permission to use Queen Victoria’s crown on its bottles. An image that defines every bottle of Clive Christian perfume to this day. These perfumes are sold online and by luxury, prestigious retailers around the globe. New this year is a 2 x 10ml original gift set, and their perfume ‘No1’ is the most expensive perfume in the world per ounce! There is a stunning range of gift sets available via the website, is if you are looking to really treat someone special this Christmas, here is your gift.

BELOW THE BELT- £5.95-9.95

Below the belt grooming is the epitome of a man’s gift. Direct and to the point, these products are to take care of everything below the belt, which I’m guessing needs just as much attention as females. These gifts are unique, sort of whimsical, but totally necessary if you ask me. They are great value and perfect if you are stuck on what to get for that difficult customer.

ROSS AND ROSS MAN BOX- £22

Ross and Ross have designed a man box which is right up any artisan’s street with a great palette. The man box comes with a premium lager, British salami, smoked apple chutney and some pork crackling. This looks like a tempting boxing day treat which anyone would be thrilled to receive (as long as they’re a carnivore obvs).

POPCORN SHED- £3.50

Popcorn Shed have to win the prize for the cutest design right? The adorable popcorn houses with window panes make for such a delicate gift, and the flavours are so interesting too. We have a cheese flavoured popcorn, salted caramel and berry but there are lots more to discover from the collection on the website.

CYBERJAMMIES- £50

Cyberjammies are a staple in my pyjama drawer and so I thought it best to even the score a little. This Austin pyjama set for men is so stylish, and trust me these pjs are the cats pyjamas no lie! Super soft, great pattern choices and of course the possibilities are endless for matching Christmas outfit selfies.

Phew, did you make it through? I hope you found some new ideas in there and if you haven’t started your Christmas shopping, here is the perfect place to commence, queue the carol singers! Thanks for reading my big fat Christmas gift guide 2018, see you again this time next year,

Saharasplash x

PR Samples included, all thoughts and views my own 

Make your father’s day a memorable one

Us mums can be a bit guilty of stealing our babies from other members of our family, including daddy. Thinking back to a recent dinner time, I was making a main meal and Paul was in charge of feeding Alice. But within the space of a few minutes I found myself taking over and trying to do everything and pushing him aside. I’m guilty as charged, and I think that it’s time the dads had a bit more credit where credit is well due. In just under two week’s time the nation will be celebrating Father’s Day, and in 2018 we are celebrating Paul’s first one with Alice. I’m really pleased to say we are going to make our first Father’s Day a memorable one, and we are starting it early to get in good spirits!

Paul is such a loving and devoted father as I knew he would be. Alice’s face just lights up when he comes into the room and I’ve been lucky enough to watch their relationship grow this past 7 months.

I’ve teamed up with Prestige Hampers to give Paul a well-deserved surprise for his first Father’s Day this year…

This hamper is perfect for any dad who loves an after-dinner cheese fest, and Paul certainly is that dad!

Such a lovely selection of hand-picked products to make your Father’s Day a memorable one.

Alice just loved helping dada open his hamper of cheese and wine. No doubt she will also love to help eat it with him later!

Paul is always there to pick Alice up for a cuddle, although sometimes they have a bit too much fun if you ask me! Secretly I know Paul delights in the fact that he has a little baby girl to spoil, even though he keeps saying we’re going for a boy next time!

Make your Father’s Day a memorable one this year and see what other amazing gifts Prestige Hampers have to offer right here.

Saharasplash x

Find out how we got on when Fantastic Services came round to spruce up our oven!

Disclaimer: PR samples included, all thoughts and views my own