Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Zoe Jewel - A Review

Zoe Jewel - A Review

I have been fortunate to have been sent a beautiful necklace from Zoe Jewel to review for you all. Zoe contacted me to ask if it was something I would be interested in and as a lover of all jewellery I jumped at the chance! I selected this beautiful necklace;


It arrived really quickly and by secure delivery which I was really impressed with, as well as it arriving in a beautiful bag which can be seen in the photo above.

The necklace I chose has beautiful black stones which also have different colours shimmering through them when it catches the light. This one is a short necklace, but that doesn't take away how lovely it is. I've worn it a few times since I received it and have always received lots of compliments on the style of it and how lovely it is when it catches the light. The quality of the products are also really good and I feel confident that I will be able to wear this necklace for many years to come. The pictures really don't do it justice but I hope you can see the lovely different colours throughout. 




Please take a look through her website as although, sadly, the necklace I have reviewed, is no longer available, there are many others which are just as beautiful and unique. Zoe's website can be found at www.zoejewel.com

This necklace was provided to me for the purpose of a review, but this has no impact on the honesty or integrity of the post.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Film Round Up

Hubs and I have had Unlimited cards for our local cinema for quite a few years now, but recently the amount of use we get out of them has dwindled signifcantly. With the thought of paying for almost £16 a month for barely one trip to the cinema in a month, we made a pact between us to visit more often - if we haven't increased our visits to the cinema by the end of March we would cancel our subscription.

In our heart of hearts, we don't want to cancel it because it's nice when we do want something to do, and it can work out great value for money - if you use it enough! So here's a round up of the latest films we have seen.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues



This was the choice of hubs, and not something I would have picked of my own back. We tossed a coin to decide who would pick the film, so true to our agreement we went to see the film he had chosen.

It's hard to write a review on this one because it's not something that I would normally watch and I really didn't enjoy it. I'm not a massive fan of Will Farrell anyway and this film just further emphasises why.  I know it's meant to be a bit silly, but for me it goes overboard on every level. For me, the only half decent part of the film (apart from the end) was the news teams fighting at the end, and that was only made bareable by the various cameos. I won't spoil it for you by telling who turns up, but it kept me entertained by pointing out who was who! If you loved the first movie (I didn't), then I'm sure you will love this one. But if you've always thought it was all a bit silly and over the top, I would recommend giving this one a miss - unless you are forced into it too!

Delivery Man



This one was my choice, as I do like Vince Vaughn, although his movies can be a bit 'samey'. I really enjoyed The Delivery Man. Yes, it might be a bit cliched and a bit of the expected but it's a great film to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon or when you just want something easy watching to watch. It doesn't require a lot of effort or thought so it gets a big thumbs up from me!

Grudge Match



I wasn't really sure what to think of this one to be honest. It was one of those films that I wasn't really bothered about either way, but part of the new pact was to watch films we would otherwise leave 'for DVD'. It was an 'ok' film, and that pretty much sums it up. The idea of Slyvester Stallone fighting reminds me of the last Rocky film and in parts it was a bit cringeworthy. That said, much like Delivery Man, it was an easy watching film but it did seem to drag on a little bit too much and I feel like the film could have been wrapped up sooner which made me do a bit of clock watching in the last 45 minutes or so.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit



I loved this film! I am a lover of Chris Pine (ever since Unstoppable) so I was immediately drawn to this. If you loved the first couple of Bourne films, you will love this too. There's not too much to say without giving away the plot, but I really do recommend you see it. The only off putting thing is Kiera Knightley's fake American accent, but if you can look past that you're onto a winner.

That Awkward Moment



I really enjoyed this one too. The basis of the film may be a little typical but the way it is played out is excellent. It was much funnier than I expected, and it sheds Zac Efron in a whole new (more adult) light. The casting is wonderful and works together perfectly. It's a great film to watch with your girl friends but not so much one to watch with your parents! All in all a thoroughly enjoyable film. 

The Dallas Buyer's Club

This was a bit of strange one. Matthew Mcconaughey is unrecognisable as Ron Woodroof but it's a role that he is perfect for. His acting is really impressive and he makes the film worth sticking with. It did feel like it was a little too stretched out in places, and I did find myself looking at my watch a few times towards the end, but I did enjoy it overall. Jennifer Garner is also wonderful as Dr. Eve Saks, and two have a great on screen interaction. Again, not one to watch with your parents but worth a watch nonetheless.

Coming Soon...

The Lego Movie in 3D
The Monuments Men
Cuban Fury
Endless Love


Sunday, 19 January 2014

2014 - The Challenges

50 Books in 2014 

This is a challenge which I'm really excited about as I hope that it will reignite my love for books and get me reading much more than I currently do. I own a Kindle but the books I read are a mixture of e-books and physical books, more details of this challenge can be found here http://liveforabeautifullife.blogspot.co.uk/p/book-reviews.html

Project 52

So the first aim is to to compete in the Project 52 challenge, this is where a different topic is set each week for a theme of photography. There are several groups out there which participate in this particular challenge and it is this particular group on Facebook which I am using as the set list of themes, https://www.facebook.com/groups/241048566061667/ 

The main camera we use is a Fujifilm HS10, which I would class as a bridge camera (between a point and shoot, and a DSLR) but this may also be combined with the occasional picture taken with the Nikon Coolpix which we also own as a basic point and shoot camera. I am still quite new to photography, and whilst I do understand the basics of the more established camera functions, I am no where near the standard I would like to be at. I will be charting my progress with you so that you can and hopefully join in too. Please feel free to comment with your own thoughts or pictures.

Week 1 - New Year/Newness


Each topic can be interpreted in the photographer's own way and for this I have gone with 'A New Day' taken with the HS10.

Week 2 - Cold


This one is a really lazy one - sorry! I just haven't had the time this week to focus on a 'cold' picture properly, so I'm afraid this is my submission for week 2...hearmuffs taken in the car. These are the ones which have built in earphones, I love them!


Skin Care Products & Shampoo/Condition Review

Sunday 19th January 2014

I'm ashamed to admit, that up until now, I haven't looked after my skin and I hardly ever wear make up. On the rare occasions that I do, I'm always a bit nervous about applying it and how I look. There don't seem to be many blogs out there which feature skincare and make up for newbies, so I thought I would turn my hand at it and hope it will be beneficial to others.

One of my main aims for this year is to look after my skin more and learn how to apply/wear make up as it should be. With this in mind, I headed into Superdrug yesterday to buy some bits and bobs which I thought would help improve the condition of my skin. The reasons for choosing Superdrug are a) because they seem to have a good range of products and b) they offer students a 10% discount on top of, what I think, are already reasonable prices.

Here's what I purchased;





So we have, my favourite shampoo Colour Mate from the Aussie range, along with the corresponding conditioner from when I first starting colouring my hair and I feel it has prolonged the colour of my hair. This is something my hairdresser agreed with on my last visit. These are the large bottles, 500ml of shampoo and 400ml of conditioner. They are, what I would consider, to be slightly pricey but I think they are worth it. Both of these bottles are currently at £5 each in Superdrug, although there is occasionally an offer to be had. I love these products, the packaging, the colour and the way they treat my hair is amazing, I couldn't recommend highly enough. If you don't have coloured hair, I also highly recommend the Mega shampoo and conditioner which is perfect for natural hair. 



Next up, is the Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser which is £3.79 for 125ml. I've only briefly used facial moisturisers before. However, this one is beautifully light on your skin and a little goes a long way. I expected it to have a slightly greasy feel to it, but it doesn't at all and feels lovely. Also, I can imagine the bottle lasting quite some time as I did get quite good coverage for the small amount that I used.



This is virtually scent free too, so it doesn't smell overpowering when it is applied. The packaging claims that it lasts 12 hours, and I can back this up. I applied it over 12 hours ago and my skin still feels very soft and hydrated.



Another area I suffer from greatly, is the dark circles and bags under my eyes. It's always been something I've been a bit conscious of but I never know what products to use to make them better. This is where I decided to give the Garnier Caffeine Eye Roll-On a go for instant relief of dark circles and bags under the eye. This one was £5.08 for a 15ml applicator, this was on offer and would normally be £10.49. This is probably a bit more than I would like to pay, but if it does what is says it will, it will be worth it. First impressions are that it is cool and soothing on your skin. I will continue to use it as suggested on the box 'as and when your eyes look tired' and monitor the progress to see if there is an improvement, so check back for an update :)



The final 'main' product is the Simple Kind to Skin Refreshing Facial Wash Gel. The moisturiser reviewed above states that these products work well in conjuction together so I thought it would be a good place to start. This gel can be a little sticky when applying but it does get better as it is massaged in and I found my skin feeling refreshed when it had been washed off. However, it does also make my skin feel a little dry but I think that's probably why it is recommended for use with the moisturiser. Again, I will be sure to keep you updated as I think this is a product which will only improve the more I use it :)



I also purchased 4 face packs as they were only 99p each and on an offer of 4 for 3. These are all Superdrug products and are; Tropical Smoothie Self-Heating Mask, Sugar & Spice Self-Heating Mask, Strawberry Exfoliating Mask and a White Chocolate Mousse Mask (must remember not to try and eat this one!). 



I've only used the Tropical Smoothie face pack so far and it is certainly self heating. As soon as I applied it, the heat began coming through. It is not hot, but it is warming and gets quite cosy whilst you are waiting for the 10-15 minutes to be up. When the time was up and I washed it off, my skin did feel really soft and looks more radiant already (although that could be the heat!). Thoroughly recommend this one.

Why not subscribe with the boxes on the right to keep up to date with my posts? I will be sure to post about these products in a couple of weeks, with an update after regular use :)

What skincare regime do you use? Are there are any products you could recommend for beginners or any that you would like to see me review? Please feel free to leave your comments below :)

These views are 100% my own and all items were completely paid for by myself. 

Monday, 13 January 2014

Dear Rose, With Love - Review

Monday 13th January 2014 - Dear Rose, With Love

I was very excited to receive two beautiful necklaces in the post today for the lovely website Dear Rose, With Love. I'm fairly new to the website, having first discovered it just before Christmas as a 'suggested' page on Facebook. They offer a range of jewellery items, some of which are vintage and others which are home made, by the very talented Joanna, but still with a vintage style, all equally beautiful. I am always very careful about buying online and did a fair amount of research before buying from them for the first time. Prior to the delivery received today, I have ordered necklaces, earrings and a small gift box set as a Christmas present stocking filler. 

Having now got some previous trading experience with the company, I have become very confident with buying from them and it is from this that I decided to purchase two more beautiful necklaces. I am very keen on long 'jumper' necklaces and there were two which stood out for me over the others which are currently available, although it was definitely a tough choice. 

This is the first one, a vintage key necklace with a small timepiece embedded in the key. This one has a 27" chain. First impressions show this necklace to be every bit as beautiful as the other pieces I have previously ordered. This piece has been restored wonderfully, but you can still tell that there is a story behind it.


The time was very easy to set and it is in full working order. It also looks to be very simple to change the battery when the time comes.

The second necklace, is this cute little owl piece which also has a small timepiece embedded. Again, the length of the chain is 27" which is just the right length for me to sit over a jumper. I absolutely adore this necklace and can't wait to wear it and start showing it over. The time was a little trickier to set due to the location of the dial between the legs of the owl, meaning there isn't much room for manoeuvre. However, this still didn't take very long at all to do and it was up and running in no time. Again, this also seems to be very easy to change the battery when the time comes.


I absolutely cannot fault these pieces and I know I will wear them with pride for many years to come. 



The service received from Dear Rose, With Love has also been impeccable across the orders I have made with them. Even over the busy Christmas period, my items were received very quickly and packaged very securely. 

The only tough thing is trying to decide what to buy first and stopping myself from buying the lot! If you would like to see their beautiful items for yourself, the website is www.dearrosewithlove.co.uk or they can be found on Facebook, www.facebook.com/dearrosewithlove



These items were completely paid for by myself and no compensation was received for this review.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

My Blog and Me

Welcome to A Beautiful Life! Thank you for coming to see me. This is where we will explore the UK together and all the beautiful things we have here, material and natural. I'm Emma, married and there's just the two of us (for the time being!). I work full time and I am also studying for a degree with the Open University, with one year to go. I love exploring the country and I love beautiful things. Our main interests are fashion, beauty, reading, photography, running, decorating our home and trying new household products. We also love exploring Britain and our beautiful countryside and I want to share all of these things with you, there will be adventures, reviews and general chit-chat, along with (hopefully) a competition or two in time to come. So come in and have a look around, stay as long as you want :)