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Review: Getting a little scent-imental

photo_2 (1)Today, a little something new for the blog, just to keep you all on your toes. I adore scented candles, as I know many of my friends do, and knowing how difficult it is to find one with a delicious scent that isn’t too sickly or bitter, I wanted to share some of my recommendations with you guys. I stocked up last week after spotting Primark had a load of new candles for sale and in a range of gorgeous new scents. I’ve been waiting ages for them to restock these massive candles that take ages to burn away, and was so pleased to see a range of new fruity smells including red berries and orchid. I made sure to grab a large candle in this gorgeous scent and then stocked up on tea lights in all of the different options which included white jasmine and lily, and white vanilla and coconut.

photo_5I have always loved scented candles and the way they can take an ordinary bedroom and make it seem cosy and pretty. They are perfect after a long day at work, when you just fancy a chilled out evening and I often find that they help me to sleep, especially when they contain lavender. I always make sure I have a nice big candle on the go and already had a lovely one from Sainsbury’s in a glass jar that smelled of apple blossom and lotus – another combination of some of my favourite scents.

All of us have our favourite scents and whether you prefer something zingy and fresh, something flowery or something musky, there is a candle out there for all of us. For those who prefer something heavy, perfumed and musky, I can recommend the Jo Malone candles, which are gorgeous and lovely as a present, but I find them very overpriced for what they are. I do use my scented candles very often and find that the more expensive ones tend to burn down too quickly making them very bad value for money. Also lovely, and somewhat better priced, although still expensive, are the lovely Cowshed candles which are very luxurious with¬†100% natural wax made from organic, vegan ingredients. The scents are gorgeous and are lovely when you’ve slathered yourself with their body lotions as well. They are also rather lighter and more floral and natural than the Jo Malone ones.

photo_4 (1)I would actually recommend against spending the money on candles by Sanctuary Spa and Champneys, although their products are all gorgeous and such wonderful treats for your skin (always my favourites for presents) the candles didn’t actually smell very nice to me. Now I know that everyone will have differing tastes in candles and scents, and that some of you guys may really like these, but I was rather disappointed in the scents and was pleased I sniffed before I bought on this occasion, because they are rather expensive if you turn out to not really like them!

I would say that in my experience with various brands, Primark does seem to offer the best scented candles I have found. They are amazing value for money considering the rate at which they burn and they still have lovely aromas with a range of options so you are sure to find the perfect scent and type of candle for you. They offer them in large tinned candles, tea lights and glass jar candles which are perfect options for all the rooms in the house. I personally love the mini-scented tea lights because they are a perfect fit for all the tea light candle holders I have accumulated over the years. I have all shapes, sizes and designs thanks to mine and my mum’s obsession with them – the twinklier and the prettier the better!

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Is there a brand you would recommend for scented candles? What is your favourite scent?

My first attempt at making risotto

Tomorrow I am cooking dinner for the whole family, including my boyfriend, so the pressure is on and I will be trying my hand at a new dish. I am going to attempt to make my first risotto, after falling in love with the dish at a number of restaurants recently. So far I have tried butternut squash and Wensleydale risotto and a salmon and asparagus dish.

I am going to be making Creamy Gorgonzola and Portabello Mushroom Risotto – it sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it! Fingers crossed it all goes well. Click here for the recipe I will be using. I’ll take photos and let you know how it goes!

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Reunited and reliving those precious memories of university

After a long six months, the House of Boobs girls (as we were nicknamed at University of Hertfordshire) were finally reunited for a weekend of catching up, drinking champagne and cocktails, eating copious amounts of chips and dip, and most of all, making enough memories to tide us over until the next meet-up.

After living together and spending nearly all of our time together over the three years of university – supporting each other through the course stresses and deadlines, cheering each other up over boy trouble, staying up into the wee hours with drunken tears, celebrating each other’s achievements and having each others’ backs on every night out. We’ve been through a hell of a lot together over the years and we’ve all come out of it stronger than ever. Boys truly have come and gone in that time, as have jobs and other friends – but the one thing that has stayed constant is that we are all – without fail – always there for each other no matter what.

After arriving in a village near Chelmsford, Essex, at one of my former housemate’s house, we unpacked the mountains of stuff we had brought along, tucked into a delicious dinner and had a quick catch up before heading upstairs to get ready. We all glammed up in our high heels and fabulous outfits – my top is from Missguided and skirt from Ark¬†– and after a couple of glasses of wine and making sure we had all remembered our ID’s, we clambered into the cars and headed out to Leigh-On-Sea.

Our destination was a bar called Bellinis, which was quite small but served great cocktails! To be honest, we could have been anywhere and I wouldn’t have noticed what was going on around us – we were all having so much fun dancing like loons, drinking Jam Doughnut shots and laughing, a lot! It was amazing to be surrounded by the girls again, because they are all the type of women who I wish existed everywhere – none of them will ever put you down or say a bad word about you if they have your back. It was so nice to be surrounded by such supportive friends who were nothing but happy to hear everyone’s news and celebrate everything going on in their lives. It is rare to find a group of girls who honestly act this way, who don’t put each other down, and I am proud to have friends like these.

I have such fabulous friends. Nearly all of them are in very happy, loving relationships with great guys (not something that they could boast in university!) and the ones who are not are confident and happy in going solo. Some are nearly finished battling through their PGCEs and are now teaching classes of little ones, while another is working in Asos marketing department, another travels to Germany and America regularly for work. Another is heading off travelling around South-East Asia and Australia at the end of the year and another is working as a para-legal and loving it. I am proud of everything they have achieved and have yet to.

Am really looking forward to the next meet-up and hopefully we won’t have long to wait. The main DJ from our old student union is holding a huge reunion party so hopefully we will all make it along to that.