Archive for December, 2013

December 4, 2013

Three Good Things:Country Living Christmas Fair edition

It’s been a while since I did a Three Good Things post, and I’ve decided to resurrect the series for Wednesdays, whenever I’ve got enough good things to share! I went to the Country Living Christmas Fair in Harrogate last weekend and had a lovely day buying gifts for people, a few decorations for our new home and a couple of treats for myself! For me, this Fair marks the real start of Christmas, and now it’s finally December, I am starting to feel festive…


Quernus Reindeer

First up is my reindeer from Quernus Crafts. He’s about an inch tall. Kirsten, the creator of these wee creatures, is a lovely friend and her amazing creations never fail to raise a smile. I have several now, including ‘Margot and Barbara’ mice and ‘Coco Chanel’ cat, that I had commissioned. I’m also really looking forward to bringing my Quernus mouse ballet (The Nutcracker, obviously!) back out of storage for Christmas and this little chap is the first decoration I’ve bought for my tree. As we’re three floors up, we’re going for a small, potted tree which will hopefully survive for next Christmas too!


Malinka's fairy

The next decoration I bought is this fabulous tiny Christmas fairy from Halinka’s Fairies. Again, this is entirely hand-made and it’s just beautiful. I can see a collection of these in my Christmas future – the beauty of a small tree is that you need fewer decorations and so each one can be special.

My children are going to be so excited to see both of these new decorations!



I have been wanting a pair of wrist warmers for ever, and these cashmere ones were a bit of a bargain, so I indulged. Sometimes I get really cold even when I’m inside and these really do make me feel better. And they’re super-soft too. Lovely. Pilling already, typically, but lovely nonetheless.

What are your Three Good Things this week? Have you bought any new decorations? Feeling festive? 

December 2, 2013

REN Rosa Centifolia review

I’ve been a fan of REN for a long time. Their famous Rose Otto bath is my favourite bathing treat of all time. I love the combination of the clean, simple packaging and high-tech, yet natural formulas. They’re also free from synthetics, mineral oils, sulphates. And, probably the most important thing, on a day to day basis, they just feel great to use and I’ve never never had a bad reaction from any of their products.

I’ve worked my way through a few of their facial products, but this summer they’ve introduced two new ranges, and I was keen to try some products from the Rosa Centifolia range. Luckily, the way they’ve decided to show the world these new products is by attaching samples of them to the cover of magazines. (Red, earlier this year and InStyle’s October edition) and so I decided to buy the magazines purely for the products. That might sound odd, but given that the products are worth more than the magazines, and I was pretty sure that they’d be great, I decided that it was a good idea. And, of course, with my long battle with a magazine addiction, clearly I was going to, wasn’t I? But I bet I’m not the only person who buys magazines purely for the beauty freebies – it’s genuinely how I’ve got my last three mascaras…

REN skincare

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel: This was initially from a sample on the cover of Red, but I liked it so much, I bought a full sized version. I like to use a wash off cleanser at the start of the day to wake me up properly and this one is gentle, with the beautiful fragrance of rose. It doesn’t foam up, doesn’t leave my skin feeling too tight and is a great product.

REN Vita Mineral Day Cream: This is a lovely, simple day moisturiser. I’ve used the sample up, but I’m not going to buy a full sized version, as I’m  likely to replace it with something a bit more luxurious (I’m old, you see, I need something for my wrinkles!) but if you’re looking for a nice, every day moisturiser, this could well be it.

REN Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water: I bought this product to use at the end of the day, and I love how clean my skin feels once I’ve used this product, with the cotton wool pads clearly showing the grime that’s been removed! Unfortunately, it doesn’t work terribly well on waterproof eye make up, so I need to find something else to remove that. (Incidentally, I recently bought Boots Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Make Up Remover to do that job. It makes my eyes really sting. I should have guessed from the warning not to get it in your eyes. Of all the products I use, eye make up remover really is the one that’s likely to get in my eyes, isn’t it!) Micellar waters have been really popular in Europe for years but we only seem to be seeing them more recently in the UK. I really like how simple they feel to use, literally like using just water, and I’ll buy one again. Though there are a few others that I’d like to try, this REN one is really nice.

REN ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Clarity Serum. I struggle a bit with the fact that my skin is dehydrated yet I have breakouts and blemishes. This product helps deal with the dehydration whilst also helping to reduce any spots I might have. It’s really simple to use, morning and evening on cleansed skin and is relatively frangrance-free. Unlike many spot clearing type products, it’s not astringent, as it’s adding moisture rather than removing it, and I absolutely love it. I’ll definitely be replacing this one once I’ve used it all up.

So, all the new REN products I’ve been using are firmly recommended. I’m going to try a night cream next, so if there’s one from the range that you recommend, do let me know!

Do you use any REN products? Are there any you’d recommend?  And do you buy magazines because of beauty freebies? Or is that just me…