Birchbox August Box Reveal and Review

Having taken note of several Birchbox reviews and recent boxes I have been waiting for the right time to sign up and I chose this month for two reasons. The first is because they had a fabulous deal on with free gifts, and the box also contains a Spectrum Brush that is only usually available inside the set of its colour…

So I have had delivered a one off Birchbox to Reveal its contents and Review honestly for you all this week. This unboxing is the contents of the August Box, which has a theme of Mermaids. The box itself is beautiful, a detailed scales design of Blues, Greens and Purples, with a golden trim.

I will tell you honestly why I wanted this box, and it’s more for the Spectrum Brush than any of the other items. Though I was pleasantly surprised by the actual box design quality and the other contents, and I will of course try any product once, and plan to do so with what Birchbox have chosen to send me.

The Birchbox measures 18.2cm in Length, by 12cm Wide and 5cm Deep. The design really stands out against my white backdrop as I begin to photograph the unopened contents.

Now it’s time for the Reveal! Let’s open my Mermaid themed box!

The free gift that I managed to get with my order was a fabulous summery and rather stripey makeup bag, and a Nails Inc Nail Polish. The bag is lilac and yellow and measures 22cm by 16cm. It is adorned with a yellow rope and pink trim that includes zip and the word Birchbox in a clear plastic. The Nails Inc Nail Kale Polish is in the colour of Regal Close and is a nude shade.

Nails Inc is a good brand that I have tried and tested before. I was happy that I was receiving something that was well known. The makeup bag reminds me of Summer with the shades of its stripes. They are two free gifts that I will certainly enjoy.

Here is the full list of the items that I received in my Birchbox. I will be looking at them individually, and photographically, in just a moment.

Spectrum Clam Brush A05

Seba Med Clear Face Mattifying Cream

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray

LOC Eye Shadow Stick

Merci Handy New Wave Love & Hand Gel


Spectrum Clam Brush A05

The A05 Brush by Spectrum Collections is designed for applying blusher or bronzer with precision. It is a beautiful brush that is part of the Spectrum Atlantis Collection, usually only supplied inside the Glam Clam. A turquoise handle and a brush end with bristles of lilac and pink, this makeup brush is finished with a rose gold ferrule.


Seba Med Clear Face Mattifying Cream

This Seba Med Clear Face Cream is designed to be free from oils, it is the ideal PH for the skin at 5.5. A non-greasy and shine-reducing cream, this is meant to be moisturising for oily skin. Containing Aloe Vera and Hyaluronic Acid to keep your skin hydrated and smooth, without clogging pores. This travel size at 10ml is great for a handbag or for travelling.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray

The Oribe Spray can add texture and shine by adding a tousled waves to the hair. It has added proteins and vitamins to give the hair a boost, and can be applied to wet or dry locks. It contains ingredients that have a natural dose of UV protection and natural oils like sunflower and others such as marigolds and amber, to ensure the hair gets nourished. This can is a 37ml size, ideal for going away but be aware this might not be allowed in aeroplane luggage due to being an aerosol.

LOC Eye Shadow Stick

A Birchbox Exclusive, the LOC stick is a precise eye liner shadow pencil which claims to have 11 hours of crease free staying power. It is a compact size but I think from the swatch that I did it will go a long way. In my opinion it is an ideal base for other eye shadow colours to be built up on. Mine was named “Out of your Shell”. The One and Done Eye Shadow Stick is supposed to be easy to apply and comes in a travel size at 1.35g.


Merci Handy New Wave Love & Hand Cleansing Gel

A handy sized sanitiser which is great for handbags or travelling. A simple item but a rather useful one. I received this blue one, called New Wave. I like that it smells nice, it even has glitter inside it for a touch of glam, and it is also supposed to nourish your skin while killing bacteria because it contains Vitamin E and emollient beads. It smells like fruity and clean all at the same time, and is a ‘handy’ 30ml size.

My favourite items from the box are the LOC Eye Shadow Stick and the Spectrum Collections Glam Clam A05 Brush.

My reasons are because I will definitely use these pieces. I wanted the brush so badly to use in blogging and in my makeup. The other items I will all use and/or test, so I just see them as a bonus. I quietly hope that I can use them all despite my sensitive skin.

Here is another image of my items that were inside my August Birchbox.

And below is another shot of the free nail polish and the makeup bag.


Overall I am pleased that I did this Reveal, If I am very happy with any of the individual products then you will no doubt see individual reviews of the items.

Thank you very much for reading this blog post today, I really hope you’ve enjoyed this reveal and of course all of my detailed photography.

If you’re interested in some Birchbox products then please check out their website, they have a shop and you can subscribe to the boxes if you wish to.

Birchbox

If you liked this but want to ‘See’ more then check out my unboxing video, reveal and honest review of the box over on my YouTube Channel.

Thanks Severn Wishes followers, until next time!

✩ Sabrina ✩

A Uniqlo Store T-Shirt Haul – Featuring Designs from the UTGP 2017 in Association with Nintendo

A Uniqlo Store T-Shirt Haul – Featuring Designs from the UTGP 2017 in Association with Nintendo.

Luckily on a recent visit to London my husband wanted to go shopping down Oxford Street. He absolutely loves the work shirts available in Uniqlo. So I agreed to go along with him and give him my opinions of course.

What I didn’t know was that the brand was running a collaboration with Nintendo, where people had designed these awesome T-shirts. Based on Nintendo Video Games and various Characters too, the T-shirts were both for male and female and some were even unisex, at a cost between £11 and £15 each.

Of course I browsed and I couldn’t have left London without getting a few of them. (For those who don’t know it I’m a very keen gamer!) So here are the items in question, with the collaboration details and then I will review them for you.

T-Shirt Design One – Pikachu on Black

My husband bought me this one, he knows I adore Pikachu!

T-Shirt Design Two – The World of Nintendo

This tee brought back so much of my childhood, Mario, DK and hours of fun!

T-Shirt Design Three – Splatoon

I chose this one because of the colours and the googly eyes were fun!

So this T-shirt design contest is held by UNIQLO and people from around the world create and submit original T-Shirt designs based on Nintendo characters. The designs varied with Donkey Kong, Pokemon, Super Mario Brothers, Kirby, Splatoon, Star Fox and of course a Nintendo favourite The Legend of Zelda, all making appearances. All the T-Shirt Characters of course belong to ©Nintendo. A final 25 entries made it to the process of being made, and have been distributed worldwide, with the Winner being a man from Japan who did a Mario inspired design.

For the UT Grand Prix for 2017 and they received more than 16,000 entries, a new record high for the competition. By offering these unique and exciting designs for both men, women and children from its UTGP 2017 Nintendo collection, UNIQLO hopes to bring more joy to the world by giving people the chance to own these one off designs. With the standard being so high this year I cannot wait to see what people come up with for the next one!


There are very few of these wonderful T-Shirt Designs left now, because I went a couple of months ago, and sadly I just hadn’t gotten around to reviewing the items. Anything that is still available can be found in the Summer Sales in stores and online you can fin them here on their website.

Each tee is 100% Cotton, super soft and the designs are all well made and have consistent good quality. The colours are still good after several washes, and I am really pleased I got more than one. There were a few designs that were already sold out, and I am quite disappointed that I didn’t get to buy them. I grew up playing Pokemon on my Gameboy Colour, so I would have adored all of the other Pikachu Tee’s (Numbers 10, 11 and 24 on the list) and I personally think the Mario Star Tee (Number 21) is awesome too! As you can see by the list of pictures I have compiled, the T-shirts are all excellent. I didn’t even see some of these when I went to London in May! Wished I had!


Overall I am happy that my husband wanted to go into Uniqlo that day, otherwise I never would have seen these T-shirts! So it’s thanks to my Ed, I now have them in my wardrobe. For me I wear them as casual tee’s, for doing shopping in, gaming in and general wear. But nevertheless I think they do bring some joy, the comfort and the quirky designs, so I guess Uniqlo have succeeded with their aim, with me anyway.

Soft and well made, these tee’s wash and wear well. So far the colours have remained strong and bold. Because it’s cotton it can be washed on a cool cycle helping the environment. I am a size 6-8 and chose a Small, the sizes fitted well. They are good value for money most definitely. And finally I would like to add that they certainly do look unique.

Thank you very much for reading this blog post today, I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this contest and the designs for this year. As well as my personal review of the items of course. Until next time, thank you.

✩ Sabrina ✩

Oh and I hear that UTGP for 2018 will be a Marvel theme competition!!! :O How awesome is that?!

Using BooHoo Shorts and Iron On Patches to Create my own Unique looking Embroidery Style

Using BooHoo Shorts and Iron On Patches to Create my own Unique looking Embroidery Style Summer Shorts

In the blog post today I am going to be explaining how I managed to make these awesome, unique, and I have to say pretty cool looking embroidery style shorts.

(The Sunflower, Palm Tree and Eye were already sown on).

The original shorts are from BooHoo, I will pop a link to them at the end of the post…

(All the Patches I have had in my Treat Boxes and Artemis and Xena Box!)

The Iron On Patches have all been from past Treat Boxes, the first one I received is from a whole year ago! And it has been sat in a drawer waiting to be used.

I saw the shorts ages ago when I placed an order, to replace an old black pair. And then I had an idea! Seeing as they already had a couple of patches sown on to them, why not add to them! I decided exactly what I was going to do… and this is the result!

If you ever did this as a child, then you had a great childhood! Picking an iron patch in the local shop, taking it home and choosing an item of your clothing for it to go on to. Usually a denim jacket in the 1990’s with patches covering the back! But I wanted to spruce up these already great shorts! I hope you like what I did!

Here are the Treatbox Iron On Instructions and a closer look at the beautiful Rainbow patch that we had last year in our August 2016 box.

Here is a closer look at the Flamingo and Pineapple which were in the July 2017 box.

Recommending to use a handkerchief or an old pillow case to place over the patch while you are ironing is not only a tip but a definite necessity.

This lovely Cup Cake Iron On Patch came out of the Artemis and Xena Box I had earlier on this year in March.

Getting down to the ‘How To Do This’ Part of the blog post now, and basically just be creative! Make sure that you get patches that are good quality, and make sure you choose both areas of the fabric that are easy to iron on to, and choose a fabric that can be ironed on a high heat without it getting damaged!

Otherwise just follow the instructions carefully and make sure you do this with an adult if you’re of a young age.

My final tip is to play around before ironing anything on, you might change your mind. Imagine wearing the item and where the patches will be when you do. Once you’ve made a final decision why not ask someone in your family for their opinion, it couldn’t hurt. And remember this is a creative and fun activity you can do as a family if you all wanted to participate.

Review of BooHoo’s Polly Palm Embroidered Denim Shorts

Comfort 4/5
Value for Money 3/5
Appearance 4/5

Now I’m going to show you a photo of me wearing my finished shorts! I’m really pleased with the way that they turned out.


Here is a link to the boohoo shorts BOOHOO, and don’t forget to check out my category for my Treat Box REVEALS, the Treat Box shop link is also here if anyone wants it SHOP.

If anyone has any questions please feel free to leave me comments, I’m happy to answer them.

✩ Sabrina ✩

SS17 Fashion Trends, How To Wear Them This Season And How To Combine Your Current Wardrobe

Welcome to today’s Blog Post, in this piece I am going to be discussing the main Fashions for this Spring and Summer. How you can wear them this season, and how you can combine new items with your current wardrobe to stay on trend.

There are several main trends this year, and the majority of them have been doubled up to ensure maximum ‘on trend’ efficiency. Brands seem to be fusing together different styles to create new ones. I will give you an example, Denim and Embroidery. A lot of companies are now uniting various denim styles with patches and sown on patterns. Of course this relates back to some of the 1990’s fashion trends that saw embroidery on a variety of things, including jeans. But now it seems to be on everything, from T-Shirts to Jackets, Jeans to Coats… Other examples have been gradually making a come back, hinting on 1920’s and 1930’s fashion, with cold shoulders, bardot tops and dresses and of course lots of lace.

I will now list all of the trends that I have come across through research, personal shopping trips and reading about what is appearing on the latest catwalks, so that you can see what I’m talking about. Here are most of the current trends…

✩ Denim and Embroidery ✩
✩ Embroidery and Lace ✩
✩ Denim and Pink ✩
✩ Lace and Cold Shoulder ✩
✩ Cold Shoulder and Gingham ✩

✩ Gingham and Silver ✩
✩ Bold Prints and Glitter ✩
✩ Floral Prints and Stripes ✩
✩ Stripes and Studs ✩
✩ Ruffles and Mesh ✩
✩ Mesh and Sheer ✩
✩ Sheer and Florals ✩
✩ Stripes and Cold Shoulder ✩
✩ Florals and Gingham ✩
✩Gingham and Bold Prints ✩

Now I’m going to talk about a few of the trends that I like the most, and give examples of my fashion and any styles that I myself have worn during the summer so far.

Stripes are a go in my wardrobe at ALL times of the year and in all seasons. I have striped tops, dresses and various other items, striped pieces in my opinion don’t ever go out of style! Check out my latest Fashion purchases on that named category to see what my latest fashion spends have been on. Mainly T-Shirts if I’m honest, some of which are very much on trend right now…

So what I noticed more about this summer more than any other in recent years, was how many brands got on the ‘Floral’s for Summer’ idea. This is a simple one of course, everyone knows how much flowers thrive in the warmer months of the year. Yet it was different somehow. People were combining unusual colours and prints that had never before seen each other. Next time you’re shopping take a look at Floral Fashions…

Let’s get down to some of my examples now, and how I have recently styled them.

✩ Florals and Gingham / Gingham and Florals ✩

I adore Gingham, and until a couple of years ago I barely had any of it in my wardrobe. These Shorts I already did a separate review on, but I wanted to explain why they were so on trend still. They combine two trends, Floral Print and the Gingham Print, in one item. Not only that but depending on what you choose to partner them with, could mean your outfit ticks several ‘On Trend’ boxes in one go!

Shorts from BooHoo (See My Individual Review For More Details)

Here I am in my Gingham and Floral outfit. I love how the flowers really stand out on the pattern.

✩✩

✩ Sheer and / or Mesh in Fashion ✩

Sheer Mesh T-Shirts are also on trend right now, I had this lovely Floral one from New Look. Check out my review of it by clicking New Look on my categories.


✩✩✩

✩ Florals and Bold Prints ✩

A really good example of Bold Prints and Florals are these other Shorts I got also from BooHoo. Comfortable and affordable, these excellent shorts have such a vibrant pattern, and really stand out. I would pair them with a plain black bardot top, a double Fashion ensemble to ensure a great looking Summer outfit.


✩ Gingham / Chequered Print and Bright Colours ✩

I absolutely love to recycle old clothing into new trends. This year I’ve been able to dig out my ‘vintage’ chequered pieces, such as these two skirts. And then pair them with new items such as bold print and brightly coloured T-Shirts. One is around twelve years old and from New Look, the other is around eight years old and was from Primark (and yes I can still fit in them both). Recycling your older items is a great way to stay up to date with the latest trends, plus you never know when items such as these will be in fashion again, sometimes it’s not very long at all!

(Primark Original)

(New Look Original)

✩ Embroidery and Denim ✩

Another trend I particularly like is the embroidery one. I am really getting into this, it brings back all the 1990’s Fashion from when I was growing up. What I actually plan to do is make my own shorts, but I have cheated slightly, and gotten a pair that was already started with patches. I am going to add my Iron On Patches that I have received inside my various Treat Boxes, on to these shorts to make them unique. Here is a shot of them with the patches, but I have yet to decide on my final design.

You could choose to put patches on any kind of Denim item, I liked how these would brighten up the black, but they work just as well with blue too!

These shorts will look great this Summer with either a crop top or with a white tee with very little pattern to allow the embroidery to take central focus.

Another way Embroidery has been used in Fashion in recent months is to line T-Shirts, on either the hems or the sleeves, or both. Here are examples from Dorothy Perkins that I have purchased this year. They go excellent with a variety of Denim colours. Check out my DP section on the main page for my reviews.


✩ Cold Shoulder / Bardot and Lace ✩

Finally, another style I want to discuss is the Cold Shoulder one. As I mentioned earlier in the post, the Bardot style and the Cold Shoulder trend have both been reinvented for modern day fashion, and I have to say I really took to both. I never thought it would suit me, but actually I am happy to wear both tops and dresses. Here is one example, where I have paired my BooHoo Gingham Shorts with a Lace Cold Shoulder Top from Dorothy Perkins.

Here I am in this outfit. I really like combining trends like these to make my own style.

Thank you for reading this Fashion post today, I really hope you have enjoyed reading about the latest trends and my takes on how to make them unique for yourself.

 Sabrina 

Title Image taken by Megan from Makeup by Megan

X115 New Generation Cream Woman “SOS Total Youth” Review

An in depth Review of the X115 New Generation “SOS Total Youth” Cream for Women from Jarmy SRL in Italy.

When I was recently contacted by Jarmy I jumped at the chance to review a product that is created outside of the United Kingdom. The company is a leading name in Italy and has the appropriate slogan “Beauty For Life”.

The product I have been sent to test is a 15ml bottle of their Women Anti-Aging Cream. Said to bring back the skins youthful appearance by increasing hydration and collagen in the skin. The small bottle is designed to last anything from four to six weeks, so I wanted to test the product accordingly before reporting my findings.

The first thing that I noticed when I began testing this product was that it had no smell, only a light plastic sort of smell and a slight oily scent, I take it that was from being encased in its packaging. However once applied there was no lingering smell. The cream was very light to apply and with a few strokes it soaked into my skin with ease. Even though I have sensitive skin I have had no issues with using this product whatsoever.

The X115 Anti-Aging Cream contains lots of naturally occurring ingredients including Argan Oil, Acai Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado, Cholesterol, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin E Acetate, Lipoic Acid and Vitamin A.

There are some specific reasons why the following ingredients are used in this cream. I will now briefly outline why some of them are so relevant to its effectiveness.

Vitamin E – provides an anti-oxident action by blocking radical reactions.
Vitamin A – improves skins thickness and promotes collagen production.
Lipoic Acid – helps protect cell membranes and protects skin from early aging.

Not only that but it is both Hypoallergenic and is Dermatologically tested. Due to it also being Paraben, Gluten and Fragrance Free, all of these things help prevent any skin irritations. I could tell after a week of using the cream that my skin liked it.

There are a couple of other ingredients that people should be aware of before making a decision to purchase. This cream does contain a muscle relaxant and a type of acid that can cause a tingling sensation in some people.

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) – this ingredient has an inhibiting action upon nerve pulse transmissions, it promotes the reduction in expression lines.

Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 – this ingredient is a micro muscle relaxant that provides a smoothing action to the areas of the skin it is applied, it has been known to contribute to the reduction of facial wrinkles.

I honestly had no problems with the cream, and read all through the accompanying leaflet before first applying it. As I stated earlier with my somewhat sensitive skin I was expecting something, but no, and I have to say I have noticed a slight difference in the quality of my skin.

The X115 is designed to be applied at either the morning routine or the evening one, whichever suits the customer better. I have always preferred to do my more complex routine just before going to bed, that is because I usually struggle to remember to apply everything in a morning when I’m still half asleep!

So how and where can you apply this X115 cream. Well the first thing you must do is make sure your skin is washed thoroughly and then cleansed. I love using my Garnier Micellar Water to clean my face and neck before bed, it is refreshing as well in the warmer months of the year. Make sure you pat your skin dry, before applying the cream.

Jarmy recommend the cream be directly placed on to skin where there are already lines and wrinkles, such as the forehead, around the eyes etc. You only need apply it in small quantities, then with a gentle circular motion rub it in gently until it is fully absorbed. It is recommended that you keep your face relaxed until the cream has fully sunk in.

This cream is not an SPF, so if you are applying it with a morning routine, you must wait several minutes after it has been absorbed, before applying your regular SPF face creams and then any makeup after that. Ensuring that your skin is thoroughly protected from UV Rays will allow the product to work more effectively.

Over all I have found the cream easy to use, and because the bottle is so small it’s easily portable too. I went away for a weekend and just tossed it in my bag with my makeup. The small bottle went a very long way, with an evening routine I have used it consistently for almost six weeks now, with a very small amount remaining.

The bottle has a pump action top, and one squeeze of product onto a finger was enough to do the problem areas on my entire face. This is roughly a large pea sized amount, and honestly this will be all you need. Use the cream sparingly, it isn’t oily at all and is quite thick, but it will absorb quickly if you massage it into your skin gently.

The X115 states that it will act on several levels to ensure that your skin becomes more youthful. It does this by targeting several main areas and skin aging problems. They are; Protect, Nourish, Regenerate, Smooth and Correct issues.

The main problems that women around my age have with their skin are that it is Tired, Stressed, Dry, Sagging, Dehydrated and Wrinkled, but X115 is going to help with all of them in one tiny bottle.

I must admit that I am lucky enough not to look my age, yet! But all the same, using X115 for these past few weeks I have noticed some changes in my skin. The lines that appear on my forehead with certain facial expressions are less noticeable and my skin is definitely better hydrated. (As someone who regularly has dry skin I do drink between 1.5 and 3 litres of water a day though as well and this helps your skin stay hydrated). My face is softer to touch since using this cream and my crows feet are not as prominent as they were three months ago.

I don’t really believe in a ‘before’ and ‘after’ image, because your skin is made up of so many factors, like diet, exercise and hormones. But I have definitely noticed a difference in my facial areas, so much so that I stopped using two other creams a month ago, just so that I was focusing all my attention on the X115. I wanted to see what it could do and see if it could do, in a shorter time period, what my usual products had been attempting to do for months.

I would like to finish my review on a positive note. I am rather glad that Jarmy got in touch with me to review their Anti-Aging Cream. I am currently twenty nine years old, I work full time and blog part time, and I have stress in my life like everyone else does. But looking at my skin now, compared to three months ago, I can see it doesn’t look as stressed and looks healthier. I hope that it was this cream, I definitely haven’t given up my food luxuries like chocolate, so I know it can’t be that!

If you’re interested in knowing more about the incredible products available from Italy, you have two choices. Visit the website and click on the United Kingdom flag to read all about it in English, or you can pop over on to Amazon, where the products can also be purchased from, direct from Jarmy still though. I will leave the links to both of these at the end of my post if you want to take a look.

Thank you for reading this beauty and skin blog post today, I hope that you have enjoyed reading about this interesting X115 Anti-Aging Cream, I know it has been a pleasure testing it for you all to read about. This is an affordable, but high quality product, and I would like to thank Jarmy for choosing me to represent their brand this summer by means of this testing and review.

Thank you very much.

✩ Sabrina ✩

 

X115 Website

X115 on Amazon

Label M Curl Cream Review

On my most recent visit to my favourite Hair Dressers, Toni and Guy, my stylist used their latest curl cream on my hair after my cut. To style this cream she scrunched it through my wet and freshly cut hair and then placed me under a hooded drier for thirty minutes.

I was so impressed with the results afterwards that I asked to see the bottle and know more about the brand. Used at London Fashion Week Label.M is a professional hair care brand developed for use by professional stylists. I decided to purchase some to take home, my hair really seemed to like it and the curls bounced up as it dried fully.

(Above; My Hair straight after having it cut and styled with the curl cream).

Here is the product, it comes in a 150ml bottle but every pump goes a long way. It contains natural ingredients including Jojoba, Bran and Extract of Sunflower. The smell is just apparent as you rub the cream through your hands, and its easy to apply in your hair. Comb it in with your fingers, and then scrunch small sections at a time to create curls. Then either let dry naturally or slow hair dry with a diffuser.


My hair loves this product. I use it twice a week on my hair after shampooing and conditioning, squeezing out the excess water and applying it on my damp hair. After scrunching I let it sit for five minutes in a head towel before blow drying on a medium heat with a diffuser.

Comparing images of my hair from three months ago versus my hair now, you can see how less frizzy it is, overall it looks shinier and healthier since using this product.

Not only does the curl cream suit my type of curly hair but it also contains a complex that protects against both heat styling and UV Rays so it’s good for the whole of your hair.

Honestly, these bottles aren’t cheap, they are around £15.00 each, though the product can be used sparingly and your use would obviously depend upon the length of your hair too. Like I said earlier in the post I only use two pumps on my long hair, twice a week, so it’s taken me almost three months to get through my first bottle.

Right now I don’t use any other hair sprays or frizz control products on my hair because of the way my hair has responded to this treatment cream, I should save money in the long run hopefully.

(Above; My hair after using the product at home).

Final Review and Thoughts

Value for Money 4/5
Product Quality 5/5
Ease of Use 5/5

Overall I adore this Label.M Curl Cream and I will continue to use it while my hair prefers it to my other brands. I have also researched and you can buy this brand online at certain retailers as well.

Thank you for reading this blog post today.

✩ Sabrina ✩

A Spa Day At The Mercure Shrewsbury Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa

I had a warm feeling in my soul while revisiting Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa again.
6 years ago in June I had my Hen Weekend here, where we stayed in the hotel and also used the restaurant, spa and leisure facilities. It was a truly wonderful weekend that we all indulged upon, and so when my mum suggested that I needed some ‘me time’ and time out, due to both some stress at work and difficulties with my health, the first place I thought of going was here.

I will set the scene for you all. In the picturesque Shropshire countryside lies a beautiful old building, it’s an eighteenth century manor house set in gorgeous gardens and grounds, with trees and a lake. The main house is where reception and the main dining area are situated, along with function rooms and a variety of conference suites. Alongside it is the hotel part of the grounds, currently Albrighton Hall has eighty seven contemporary en-suite rooms.

And finally there is the Spa and Leisure section situated off to the left hand side of the grounds. With its own parking area, this has newly been renovated as of 2016, and I looked forward to my visit to take in the changes.

My mum and I decided on a Spa Day, where, for a package price, we received lunch and a hot drink included, with full use of the facilities, plus two spa treatments of our choice from a set list. We were also given complimentary bath robes and slippers to wear during our stay, and towels for the pool area too, so there was very little you required to bring with you.

For lunch we were given a menu to choose from, there was a nice variety, some were cold and some were hot. I decided to be semi healthy and go for a Chicken Caesar with egg (not fish) salad, and an orange juice. As you can see it was well presented, and actually I thought the dish was very tasty for a salad.

The Spa was busy on the day we visited, which meant our lunch was delayed slightly, however staff did apologise, and mum and I were happy to just relax and wait, we were in no rush.


The newly refurbished Spa houses a main room with a salon bar so that Nails and other beauty treatments can be done. In the back there is a selection of rooms where the treatments that require one to lie down are performed. The lighting was very calming, as was the music, and I found the rooms to be clean and well maintained. The Spa was busy, yet all the staff were calm and friendly.


A lovely young lady called Frankie, did my Manicure today. I chose a pearly pink colour, because my Wedding Anniversary was fast approaching.

The nail lacquer that the Spa use is called Orly Beauty, and the colour was called Toast The Couple. The colour was very beautiful, and I liked how smooth it felt once they were fully dry.

I also opted for a Back Massage, to try and relieve some of my stress. Frankie was an excellent masseuse, and did wonders with my shoulders that had previously felt rather knotted. She used an Almond Oil on my skin while massaging, then a Eucalyptus based Oil, followed by a hot towel. The whole treatment made my skin and muscles feel great, and I felt relaxed afterward listening to the calming music in the room also.


Now I hate to criticise, after a lovely experience in the Spa itself, but I feel that the facilities aspect let my visit down. Not due to the choice, but the running of it, let me explain why I was so disappointed.

One thing that didn’t make our day perfect, was that some of the facilities were out of order. However we were not once told this by the staff, we were left to notice the several A4 sheets of paper that were stuck to doors around the building. We were unable to use the steam room or ice room, though we did manage to have a few minutes in the Sauna, but it was rather busy because of the lack of the other rooms available. I only wished this was made aware to us when we booked, which was only a couple of weeks prior. My mum and I would have bought clothing for the gym if we has known that the wet rooms would be unavailable.

Another thing that I hadn’t been aware of before, was that the leisure facilities were open all day for anyone who was a member to use them, but that included children. I have no problem what so ever with children using health and fitness areas, and in fact I was glad in one way to see them here. But what bothered me was that nowhere in booking by phone or online, does it tell you about this.

My mother and I had hoped for a relaxed day, using the facilities at our own pace, and enjoying the package we had paid for, which was all advertised as such online. Except we couldn’t use the pool at all, because when we first changed there were two families in there splashing about with pool floats and pool noodles. Forgive my harshness, but wouldn’t you take your children to a proper sized swimming pool with varying levels of depth in order to teach them how to swim?

We were not the only disgruntled people at the pool side that day wondering if we would get a turn in the water. Mum and I went away and returned later, we had our one turn in the Jacuzzi (groups of people were also waiting to use it as it goes on and off on a timer on the wall). By that time more people had turned up for the pool, this time some teenagers were in the pool, so we sat once again on the loungers. But a while later our time was up and our spa day had ended, I was disappointed not to get a swim in.

I believe that the hotel needs to state online that there are members who use the facilities, and when booking a Spa Day, you can use these facilities, however you may have to wait your turn to do so. This would cover the Spa if it has any future complaints and inquiries from groups about how many other people might be attending.

The Hotel had been catering for a wedding the day and night prior to our visit, which meant generally the hotel and spa were busy. I don’t think I will be booking again if I am made aware of the amount of people staying on the grounds.

Hopefully the next time I visit I can book a quieter day and make sure that mum and I are able to make full use of our spa package and all of the facilities will be available to us.

Overall the Spa Treatments were the best part of our day, and lunch was rather delicious too. However I am still disappointed about the leisure facilities, hopefully when I come again they will be all up and running.

Here are my final review scores for my day the
Mercure Shrewsbury Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa.

Spa Treatment – Massage 5/5
Spa Treatment – Manicure 4/5
Lunch on the Premises – 4/5
Facilities Available 2/5
Facilities Used 4/5
General Facilities 4/5

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope you have enjoyed reading about my experiences.

 Sabrina 

Why I Have Started Wearing More Yellow Clothing And My Latest New Look Purchases

My History With Yellow

When I was younger I wasn’t the greatest fan of the colour yellow within fashion. My wardrobe consisted of only five varieties of colours when I was a teenager, these were a range of blues, purples, browns, reds and of course a large amount of black.

But when I went to University and had regular access to shops like Primark and New Look, I began to branch out and try new things. That included picking colours that I wouldn’t usually do, and styles I wasn’t familiar with to try.

In my twenties my wardrobe doubled in size, and I found that I suddenly had a real enjoyment for fashion. I wanted to create my own styles, I wanted to be on trend but combine areas of fashion together to make my own looks.

Yellow, was a colour that up until recently I only had maybe two vest tops in. For the past five years or so I have tried to make conscious decisions to choose items that are out of my comfort zone to try on. And more often than not, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the results.


My Latest Yellow Purchases

Here are some of my summer 2017 fashion purchases, in the colour yellow predominately, of course. All of the items are from New Look and can be found in store or online. Some items are now in the sale as well so you could grab yourself a bargain if you’re quick!


Yellow Floral Print Mesh T-Shirt

There are some lovely details on the ‘Floral Mesh T-Shirt’ from New Look. It is a little thin but ideal for the warmer summer months. I would recommend you wear a thin tee beneath it, a white or nude would be best so as not to lose the details on the top. The sleeves are a great length, as is the length of the whole T-shirt.
I absolutely love the floral details of this tee, it makes me feel feminine and summery when I wear it. As well as the fact that flowers are on trend, making it a rather ideal piece.
I have worn this with black skinny jeans or pink skinny jeans, with a short sleeved white vest underneath.

Comfort 4/5
Appearance 5/5
Value 5/5

Link On Site


Yellow Floral Print Short Sleeve Top

This beautifully detailed top is ideal for summer time. The top is almost like a thin mesh, with a delicate floral pattern spanning all over it. You need to wear this top with a crop top, vest or t-shirt underneath it, because it is so see-through. Ideal for SS17 due to floral and bright colours being so on trend.
I have been wearing this top with skinny jeans and a short sleeves vest or tee under it, it looks great with a black, khaki green or white beneath it to make the yellow stand out.

Comfort 4/5
Appearance 4/5
Value 4/5

Link On Site


Yellow Boyfriend Cardigan

I have so many of the New Look Boyfriend Cardigan’s, and I decided to get the Yellow version when I saw it online. I must have double figures of these now, but I like to get new versions, especially ones that are unusual. This one is a bright yellow, and it reminds me of summer sunshine. These cardigans are very comfortable, and they wash and wear very well. They are plain with no pattern, and flat except for the two large pockets which are very handy and useful. The long sleeves make them ideal for summer evenings or as a good layer in the cooler months.

Comfort 5/5
Appearance 4/5
Value 4/5

Link On Site

Mela Yellow Lace Tie Waste Dress

The beautiful ‘Mela Yellow Lace Tie Waste Dress’ is currently available at New Look. It has a gorgeous pattern and is comfortable to wear. The tie at the waste is a very good design idea, because it brings the eye across to the ladies waist. Up close the lace details are stunning, and I believe the shape is rather flattering.
This dress needs a delicate wash but is a good piece if you need to go to a late summer wedding or wedding reception. I would pair it with a contrasting clutch bag and heels such as a navy blue shade or a black.

Comfort 4/5
Appearance 5/5
Value 4/5

Link On Site

Thank you very much for reading this fashion post today, I hope you have liked my style advice for these pieces. And I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts on why yellow has become a staple colour in my wardrobe this year.

 Sabrina 

Visiting The Island of Skomer

Skomer Island

The beautiful and unforgiving island that is Skomer is situated 2 miles off the Pembrokeshire coast of South Wales in Great Britain. It is first and foremost a nature reserve, and has been for more than thirty years. It is managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.


During the summer months it can be home to thousands of sea birds. Some of the amazing varieties include Gannets, Puffins, Manx Shearwaters, Owls and Gulls. There are also opportunities (at certain times of the year) to see Dolphins, Porpoises, Atlantic Grey Seals and the unique Skomer Vole, among others.

There is only one way to get on and off Skomer Island, and that is by means of the Dale Sailing boats. The landings only occur from April until September, and only on specific days. Not only that, but weather plays a huge part in whether or not the boat will even run.

(The Boat is Returning to Collect Passengers from Skomer).

Skomer is most famous for its Puffin colonies who are the largest numbers in Southern Britain. This year was a particularly good year for their numbers, and I jumped at the opportunity to explore this island. Because I’m a keen nature and wildlife photographer it was a place that I had always hoped I would get to visit. Unfortunately for me, both the weather (that prevents the boat trips) and my health had previously stopped me from going. That was until June of this year, (hurrah!) when I finally stepped on to this amazing place for the first time!

In this blog post I am going to talk about my experience in detail, I will include some of my photographs, of both the island, the boat, the wildlife and I may even throw in a shot of me ‘in action’… all will become clear! But for those of you, who are intrigued to know more about Skomer then please continue reading. Hopefully by the end of this travel post you will be looking to perhaps visit the island yourself.

(An Oyster Catcher on a Stone Wall on Skomer).

So before we even get anywhere near the island, you have to be prepared for a very early start to your day. There are No Advanced Bookings what so ever, which means if you want a ticket you have to queue up for one. Nature enthusiasts, photographers, walkers, bird watchers, these are all the sorts of people you find who visit Skomer regularly, plus they all know the score. So in order for you to guarantee your place on one of those boat landings, you will need to be parked at the cliff car park (which is National Trust Land) and queue up at seven in the morning.

(View of the Car Park).

The Landing Tickets are issued by the Lockley Lodge which is situated on the hill leading down from the car park towards the sea. They are issued on a first come and first served basis only, so in the height of summer you must be willing to sacrifice a few hours stood and sat about waiting. The ticket office opens around eight to eight thirty in the morning, but the car park and the queue begins building from seven. The boats themselves run at intervals, with only fifty tickets per trip and a maximum person count for the island too, 250 people per day.

The first boat runs at 10am and the first return departs at 3pm. I will put this year’s Sailing information at the bottom of the post. There is a Boat Fee that is payable on the boat itself during sail (I will pop the prices for this year at the end of the post). Lockley Lodge is also a Gift Shop and sells some supplies useful for your day.

(Some of the items we got at the Gift Shop).

What can you do before you go? You can prepare yourself (and any family members) for a long day, ensure they all carry water and snacks, because there are no places to buy anything on the island. You must wear appropriate clothing, footwear and make sure that all persons are clued up on what they day will be like. There is a rather steep climb when you arrive for example, and only one set of toilets on the entire island. These are things to consider if you will have small children or anyone that is classed as elderly in your party. The island has a few rules, and if you cannot stick to them then I suggest you look for another day out. These include, no smoking, taking all rubbish with you, sticking to paths at ALL times and not interacting with the wildlife in a manner that is deemed inappropriate.

(National Trust Car Park at Martin’s Haven).

So as I mentioned earlier, the only way to reach Skomer is by boat, and this is not for the faint hearted. In fact the entire journey there and back can be a little daunting. The fisherman’s boat turned people carrier transports its passengers from the end of the cliffs at Martin’s Haven, just down the road from the village of Marloes. Once again this could be an issue for anyone with height issues, because you must walk along a cliff edge, and step into the boat from a railing and steps carved into the rock face. Once you have traveled on the boat, which is roughly twenty minutes but can depend entirely on the sea and the weather, you arrive to the island, and you will be required to disembark and climb approximately seventy stone and rock steps up to the safety of the flattened island surface.

(Return Boat Docking at Martin’s Haven).

Skomer Island is approximately 2 miles in length and 1.5 miles wide, so it takes a fair time to move around it. Obviously some of the paths do not go close to the cliff edges and this is also due to a safety aspect, for the birds and the visitors.

The best times to visit Skomer Island are when the birds and nesting and breeding. This can be anytime between May and August depending on the type of bird. My family and I were more interested in seeing the Puffin colony than anything else. I had never before seen a Puffin and I was astounded by how sweet and small they were. Would you believe me if I told you that the birds are everywhere? They are walking around, in and out of Burrows. They are flying around you, below on the cliffs edges and over the top of your head. Some are swimming in the sea or even floating upon the surface. But birds are everywhere!

(Farm Houses, Toilet Block and Accommodation on Skomer Island).

I think what I loved most about this island was its unique look, its unusual inhabitants, and also its ability to combine conservation and protection for its wildlife, while still allowing people like myself to visit and take all of it in. Skomer is much underrated in my personal opinion. Of course we don’t want hundreds of people trying to get over there and we certainly don’t want ignorant people who wish to disturb this incredible habitat. What we do need however are nature enthusiasts who don’t mind paying a little money, for an amazing experience, because I assure you that is what you’ll get.

(The Puffins Are Showing Affection).

My Top 5 Tips for a Skomer Trip

1. Ensure you are well prepared with some good footwear. The paths, although neatly laid out, are rather rocky and there are many climbs, wear shoes that have grips, walking shoes are best. You can pick them up reasonably cheap these days at outdoor shops and well stocked shoe shops.

2. Only bring the essentials you will need for half a day, because you will be carrying them with you, but don’t forget all of these very important items or something similar. Waters, Bite Cream, Sun Cream, Thin Waterproof Clothing, Refreshments, Hand Sanitiser, Sweets for Energy, Hydration Tablets if you suffer from Cramps, and finally Tissues. You will also need a carrier bag to take all of your rubbish home with you.

3. Bring a Camera! There will be some awesome opportunities to take photographs of a variety of wildlife and this should not be something that you should pass up on.

4. Think Ahead! If the weather forecast is going to be bad, such as strong winds, high tides and/or torrential rain, then you can almost guarantee that the boats will not be running. Try and decide and make arrangements so that you are prepared for a last minute change of plan. If the boats do run then that’s great, but be prepared for a long and probably wet day on the island. There’s very little shelter on Skomer, when I say that I promise I’m not exaggerating, there’s hardly a tree, and there are only a couple of buildings most of which are reserved mainly for islands staff.

5. Be Realistic On Time. You may underestimate the size of Skomer if you haven’t visited before. It takes time to weave through the paths and enjoy the many views, but you will be given a specific boat time that you must return to the mainland on. Make sure that you take note of what sections of the island you will need. The toilets are situated at the farm buildings in the centre of the island, but the best place to see the Puffin Colony is usually at The Wick.

(A Puffin has Caught Sand Eels).

Finally I’m going to show you some of the photographs that I managed to achieve while on Skomer this June. I wasn’t lucky enough to see the incredible and unique looking Albino Puffin, though someone I know of did manage to photograph this beauty, and they sent me an image so that I could see it, I was so pleased. I will also include an image of myself that my husband took of me while I was photographing.

(A Puffin Stands Proud).

(A Puffin Protects its Burrow).

(Sabrina in Action, Photographing Birds).

Sailing Times and Current Prices for 2017

You can check if boats are running by checking out the Skomer Boat Info on Twitter. Boats only run from Tuesday to Sunday, except Bank Holidays Mondays. The boats also only except cash so make sure you bring sufficient amounts with you by working out the prices for you and your trip mates.
The boats first run at 10am, with that boat returning at 3pm, and so on, until five lots of people have been landed.

Thank you for reading this travel post today, if you visit Skomer after reading my review then please let me know, I would love to hear your thoughts, and I would like to know of anything you may have seen that I did not.

 Sabrina 

My Destiny 2 Beta Experience and Review


Destiny 2 Beta

I was lucky enough to be able to play this Early Access Beta on Tuesday 18th July, in preparation for the new game coming out on the 6th of September. I have to say my first impressions of Destiny 2 are all positive ones. Here is how my night of gaming went, with a bit of opinion thrown in for good measure.

For a gamer like myself who has spent more than 1500 hours on Destiny (the first game) and it’s several incredible expansions, this new chapter posed both excitement and uncertainty.

Having adored the original game to the point where I’ve collected every PlayStation Trophy, completed the main storyline on the game more than once, tried to collect every weapon and armor set available, AND still managed to run the weekly nightfall on reset along with raid missions with my clan members, it’s all been money well spent. I have most certainly got the most out of this amazing PlayStation game.

The arrival of Destiny 2 has been a long time coming, and by that I mean that we knew about this sequel well over a year ago. Yet every single week I’ve still been drawn back to Destiny 1. And yes, before anyone asks I do actually play other games and have gained Platinum on several of them while awaiting this new Destiny adventure. (See my Games section for more of my reviews).

All in all I was adamant about getting this next game, and it has been preordered (which is how I got Beta access). After all the time and effort I have spent playing the original I knew that if it were going to be anything like it, I would want to play it, again and again…

The Beta

So here we are on the Beta week, I received my early access and I’ve been into it alone and with my clan members. (I will pop links to my videos below so that you can see some of my actual game play).

The main similarities with the original Destiny are compromised of the characters layout of armor and weapons slots. Of course there are slight variations, but overall it looks the same. The controls are also identical to the first game, I do love it when sequels don’t change much. I know that Destiny is essentially going straight from our present day playing into this newest adventure and quest line, but there had to be a few minor alterations…

The movement of characters is definitely more fluid, trust me when I say this is a good thing. Easy maneuverability for your gaming is something all players want. Our experience in this reality is also heightened by the incredible graphics that at times, are truly mind blowing. Weapons feel a little heavier to me, compared to Destiny, and their accuracy and impact upon enemies is more realistic.
I cannot yet speak for the storyline because I’ve only had access to small snippets of it. However I will say this, from what I have seen, the originality and the complexity to which the Bungie team have created these new planets and missions, is outstanding.

The small amount of time I’ve played jumping into the Crucible has been… interesting, to say the least. The maps for now are limited, but the graphics are exceptional and the real time damage is also good. There are changes that have been put into place regarding the ammo and the players. Most matches are now 4 vs 4 instead of 6 vs 6. But this just slows down the complexity of the match, and doesn’t take anything away from the experience that the Crucible gives its players.

During the Beta you got to experience a pre-selected character, Bungie has made a Warlock, Titan and Hunter, given them weapons and upgraded parts of their subclasses, so that we might trial them out in the new Destiny world and test their skills. My original character was a Warlock, so in honour to her I chose this as my starting character. She carried me through over one thousand hours of Destiny worlds and fighting aliens as big as buildings, I owed her for my incredible experiences. (Check out my YouTube Channel (link below) to see what I mean about my gaming).


I am hugely passionate about Destiny and all that it stands for. Community is the main thing for me, other than the actual gaming. I have met some amazing people through the game and we have built real friendships from those encounters. I have the most incredible friends that now make up my clan (Acheronian Omada) and we play on the PlayStation with one another regularly. I really hope that Destiny 2 allows us to maintain the levels of friendship and helpfulness that I have seen and been a huge part of, for the past (almost) three years of my life. And when I think of how long I have been playing, it doesn’t seem like that long, it really doesn’t… (then you add up your character game times and convert it into hours and begin to cry).

What do I want from Destiny 2?

I want to astounded and amazed, I want to keep the friend and dedicated spirit of my clan mates alive, but most of all I want to be entertained. I believe, after playing this Beta, that Destiny 2 will do this for me. I am already overwhelmed by the graphics, the attention to detail with the sound effects and all the added extras.

So far the game has me hooked, and it isn’t even out yet! I am so glad that Bungie agreed to do a Beta, and I think they have done a fantastic job in getting it so perfect, I encountered very little issues while in game play, which for a new release is an excellent start. I trust that they will put just as much attention into getting it right on its release day, to ensure all guardians begin their Destiny 2 journey in the best way.

Final Thoughts

Overall I would like to conclude that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these couple of hours exploring the Beta parts of Destiny 2. Including a few of my gasps and awestruck moments thrown in for good measure! I hope that the game will be all I am wanting from a sequel and more. Going to keep playing Destiny 1 until release date of course! And I am now eagerly awaiting the release date on September 6th!

Let me know your thoughts in my comments section if you also played the Beta or are now planning to order the full Destiny 2 game after seeing what it’s like.

My Channel

If you want to view my game play for Destiny 2 or look at any Destiny 1 related videos then please click on the link below.

My YouTube Channel
Destiny 2 First Mission – Homecoming

Thank you for reading this review today guardians, I will leave you now with a few screenshots from my game play, until next time, happy gaming to you all.

Sabrina a.k.a Hitomii-w4l3s