Smells Like Magic* – Maple and Whisky Candle Review

I can’t believe that exactly one year ago Matthew and I were having the most magical time in Walt Disney World! I mean, I know we’ve had the craziest and most incredible year since then, but it still sucks.

In the crazy last year we’ve had though, we did buy our first house, and we’ve spent a lot of time turning it into the home that we love, with a big part of that being adding magical touches throughout to remind ourselves of our favourite places.

Maple and Whisky produce the most incredible scented candles inspired by your favourite Disney memories, including park foods like Mickey Waffles, rides like Soarin’ and resorts like The Grand. Quite frankly, if there’s a smell in a Disney park that you love, chances are, they’ve got it!

I’ve been a lover of Maple and Whisky for a few years now – I’ve got a constant stock of their wax melts on hand! – and they were super kind recently to send me three candles of my choosing to review, which meant I could fill the new house with some magical smells, although the hardest part was choosing just three! I took the opportunity to try two scents I’ve never had before, and to also get a new jar of my favourite M+W scent, Campfire Singalong.

Campfire Singalong smells truly of just that. Imagine toasting marshmallows and melting chocolate on an open fire at a Disney resort, and that’s what this is in a jar – its heavenly! For me, this is the ultimate autumn/winter candle as it fills the room with a wonderful warm scent and glow, but be warned, may cause chocolate cravings!

The second scent I chose was Beach Club, inspired by its eponymous Walt Disney World resort, and I chose it because our of all the resorts in WDW, this is my dream resort which I would absolutely LOVE to stay in one day! The smell is fresh and clean and it really does make me feel like I’ve just stepped into the air-conditioned lobby while taking a walk around the Boardwalk resort loop.

Finally, I picked Spirit of Aloha, which is inspired by the smell of the lobby at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. This time last year when we were in WDW was when Matthew and I joined Disney Vacation Club, and Polynesian is our home resort, so I wanted a candle to remind us of our second ‘home’! Not being the biggest fan of pineapple (and not having a super clear memory in my head of what the resort smelt like), I was slightly worried that I wouldn’t like this one, but actually its lovely! The pineapple is there, but its not at all in your face and is nicely balanced with hints of coconut.

Maple and Whisky offer candles in two sizes, 8oz and 12oz, as well as wax melts, room sprays and reed diffusers. The candles I received were the 8oz size, and they last a good long while! They’ve recently changed the design of their labels, so these aren’t exactly what they look like now but the new labels are even better!

What I absolutely love about these over other scented candles is that not only do they smell amazing up close, but they actually fill the whole room with their glorious scents, and that happens almost instantly, whereas even some big brand candles only smell when you stick your nose into the jar! I would absolutely recommend these candles, and as well as these scents some of my favourites are Adventure is Out There (grape soda scented), Butterbeer (for the Potterheads), Rice Krispie Treats and Sugar Rush! Head on over to their Etsy store to see more!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram
*I was sent these candles for the purpose of review, but all words and views are my own.

4 Shops for First Time Buyers – That Aren’t IKEA

Whether you’re buying your first home, or just moving/re-decorating, its no secret that it ain’t cheap. I mean, its a big enough purchase as it is, but all of a sudden you’ve gone from buying one thing to having a shopping list longer than your arm and a bank account that’s crying just a little bit.

For this, the world has learned to love the wonder that is IKEA. Its the answer to a whole bunch of your home needs and is pretty friendly to any budget, but despite my love for the big blue stores, there are a couple of things that you either can’t get, or I wouldn’t get there, and now I’m actually in the process of becoming a home-owner, I’ve suddenly realised that there’s a world of other stores out there that can also save me a pretty penny.

Home Sense

Sure, it can be hit and miss, but Home Sense is an absolute gem if you’re prepared to do a bit of digging. Stock is completely random, but its big brands for low prices, and you can grab yourself a real bargain – Matthew and I really wanted the pastel blue Smeg toaster and kettle for our kitchen, and would you believe that we randomly came across one tucked on a bottom shelf in our local store for £40 off the RRP! You can also find a lot of brands that are known to be a little pricey, such as Joseph Joseph and Le Crueset, for crazy good prices and there’s always a good range of Pyrex and Tefal. We’ve also picked up some amazing throw blankets and cushions for prices you won’t find in the likes of John Lewis or Next.

TK Maxx

TK Maxx actually own Home Sense, so a lot of the stock can be found in the home section of your local TK Maxx if you don’t have a Home Sense nearby, and unlike Home Sense, TK Maxx have an online store, so you can shop the deals without even leaving the house!

Supermarkets

Do not underestimate the home section of your local supermarket. Both George by Asda and Sainsbury’s home have some really nice ranges of kitchenware, bedding and soft furnishings, and even if their styles don’t take your fancy, they’re also a great place to pick up your basics – white plates, drinking glasses etc – for a good price.

Home Bargains

So the actual home decor stuff can vary from super tacky to actually pretty good – we’ve just bought some decent nest tables for £20 – but even if the home stuff doesn’t take your fancy, Home Bargains is an amazing place to buy a bunch of the things that you probably buy from the supermarket all the time for even cheaper than your rolled-back, price-matched prices; cereal, biscuits, chocolate, ketchup, all branded stuff for lower than your own brand equivalents, so its a great place to do your shopping once you’ve spent all your money on furniture!

Do you have any favourite places to nab a good deal?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

My January Sale Buys

January sales are a weird concept. We’ve just spent all our money showering our friends and relatives with gifts, and have been showered in return, yet the second we see a sale poster in a shop window, or a promotional email slides into our inbox, we suddenly forget our credit card bills and piles or presents and shop til we drop. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a bargain.

As you can see, the majority of my steals were homeware – including the gorgeous throw blanket that I’ve doubled as a backdrop here! Its the prettiest creamy-blush colour, not to mention being crazy supersoft, and d’you know where I got it from? Homesense, £16.99, boom. I’m also completely obsessed with this yellow neon ‘hello’ sign by Talking Tables which I got on ASOS. I had my eye on it before it went on sale, but as soon as I saw it was less than half price, it was in the bag!

Also from ASOS, I picked up two of these amazing pastel furry throw cushions for only £8.50 each, and also this Skinnydip ‘Time to Get Ship-Faced’ bag for future Disney cruises, which was also half price. This little plant pot is one of two which I got from Homesense for just £2 too!

Lastly, Matthew and I picked up some tealights and diffuser oil in Passionflower and Mango, which smells amazing! Both were half price and under £2 from Sainsbury’s of all places.

Have you managed to resist the sales?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

July Favourites

It feels a bit strange writing a monthly favourites post, when I’ve actually spent the majority of the month out of the country, but actually there have been some things that have really stood out as superstars this month, both on my travels and at home!

July Favourites

Sweaty Betty New Balance Vazees

When I saw that two of my favourite fitness brands, Sweaty Betty and New Balance were collaborating on a trainer, I instantly fell in love with their creation. I talked myself out of buying them for a while, but when raiding the SB sale I decided that I would bite the bullet and buy them, and THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE! I’d never run in them because I’m quite picky about my running shoes, but they’re great for the gym and I wore them for the majority of my trip to China because they are so lightweight and beautiful. Definitely worth the purchase!

Mitchum deodorant

So I fell pray to TV advertising.. I wanted to know if it was as good as the advert made it sound, and while I don’t want to be crude, we all sweat guys and there’s nothing wrong with that, but you don’t need to smell. It claims 48 hour protection, and I was so impressed finding that even after 24 hours solid travelling (I’m talking stuffy planes, trains etc) I didn’t feel at all sticky or smell of anything. Also the fragrances are great and not overwhelming like some deodorants can be!

Feel Unique Pick’n’mix

Um, did you know you can try 5 products a month FOR FREE from Feel Unique?! Well, you pay £3.95 for postage, but that comes back to you in the form of a voucher to redeem against a future purchase if you fall in love with the products. I got my hands on a sample of Benefit’s Ka Brow! and a few other cool bits that looked worth a try – I can’t wait to do it again!

Primark scented candles

I went into Primark to pick up some last minute holiday bits, and saw these pink grapefruit tealights on the checkout for something crazy like £1! They smell great and last a good long while; you can’t really go too wrong with tealights but these were better than I thought they would be.

Nyx Euro Trash lipstick

I’m obsessed with this shade! Its perfect for everyday wear and there’s just nothing like a matte lipstick in my opinion, plus its cruelty free!

What have you been loving this month?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Beach Days Wishlist

Beach Day Ready Wishlist

 

I dunno about anyone else, but I am so ready for summer to properly start!

I mean, I know that strictly speaking we are officially in summer now, but no one seems to have CC’ed the weather in on that information and I just want the sun to come out to play, especially with one of the UK’s best beaches just a short walk from my house!

If you read my Summer Bucket List, you’ll have seen the first point was getting my girls down to Bournemouth for a good old fashioned day at the beach, fish and chips and ice-cream not optional, and my desperation for this to happen has inspired a classic Wednesday wishlist of fun beachy bits and bobs!

First up is a bit of a cheat because I’ve bought it second hand from a friend of mine, but seriously how cute is this Hello Kitty Instax?! I’ve been going back and forth a bit with the idea of getting a little one, and I couldn’t resist this for beach days as well as my trip to China next month! And along the tech lines, I think this beach radio from Sunnylife is amazing, and I love that you can connect your phone or mp3 player and use it as speakers.

Next up: beach activities! A donut frisbee? Yes please! I mean, I’ve got no hand/eye coordination for throwing and catching, but I think a donut would motivate me to try at least! Once you’re exhausted from all the throwing and running around, food is next on the agenda, kept cool in this multicoloured beauty of a cool bag from Bando.

Now I already have too many swimsuits, but that doesn’t stop me from checking the Asos sale every now and then anyway.. I’m a sucker for an usual design, and this v-shaped ombre beauty is gorgeous! I’m also absolutely obsessed with Spectrum brushes right now, and I’ve got my eye on two different sets: the 10 piece essentials and Siren Smoke eye brushes; I mean, they’re basically meant for mermaids right?!

What are your beach trip essentials?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Mini Primark Haul

Call me crazy, but I’m not a huge fan of high street shopping. I like to shop from the comfort of my sofa in my pyjamas and avoid the public as much as possible. I think that’s reasonable, right?

There are a few exceptions to this rule: H&M, because I can always find so many more amazing things in store than I can online, and Primark, because they aren’t online, but because I never seem to find the time for regular trips, I tend to do big shops whenever I do make it into town. I’m also always seeing amazing Primark finds posted on Twitter and Instagram so I normally have a little shopping list ready, which is what today’s haul is primarily composed of!

Primark homeware bedding

First up, a little bedding haul! I have a slight addiction to bedding, which can be really pricey at times so I always love when Primark have cute stuff in because its always so much cheaper than elsewhere! The donut duvet set was £11 for a double, then I got the prettiest pastel throw for £5 (its SO SOFT), a double fitted sheet for £6.50 and pillowcases for £2.30; a total steal if you ask me, especially when even IKEA bedding can be £30 for a duvet set at times!

Primark Mickey Mouse shorts

Primark sports bra

Next up, my two £4 bargains! The Mickey Mouse shorts are a little thin in terms of fabric quality, but for wearing round the house in the summer they’ll be perfect, and for the price I really didn’t mind. I’m also totally loving the criss-cross back of this sports bra and the pretty blue band. I don’t imagine its supportive enough for running, but the quality feels good and it’ll be perfect for the gym or beach yoga.

Primark unicorn pyjamas

Lastly, a little bit of unicorn love with this cutesy PJ set – just look at the little sprinkle shorts! – and a three pack of unicorn socks, because if you go to Primark without buying socks, did you really go?

Have you found anything good in Primark recently?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

January Sale Homeware Haul

Being away for the first half of January, I was a little late to the sale shopping game but totally ready to make up for lost time!

SONY DSC

The first bargains I stumbled upon were these amazing cushion covers from h&m, which I’d actually been eyeing up back in December when they were full price. Yes, ok, the text ones are Christmas themed, but I just love white and gold and they were £2(!!!) and the star print was £4, plus isn’t the point of January sales to buy cheap Christmas stuff?!

SONY DSC

I totally blame Kayleigh for my next set of purchases. I am a self-confessed stationery addict, so when she posted her pretty new planner on Instagram, I figured it was time for me to make a purchase. I looked around and decided on Kikki-K, a company I’ve been a little bit obsessed with for a while now, and guess what – they were having a sale! While I can be a sucker for pastels at times, yellow is my one true love, so of course seeing that most of the sale items were yellow just proved it was meant to be! As well as a planner, I got a set of 3 A5 notebooks, some of the cutest little notepads and – non-sale – a happy healthy habits box, which I’ll be reviewing separately once I’ve given it a go! Its all just too cute, I can’t wait to use it!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Last, but definitely by no means least, on Friday 29th I set my alarm for 6.45am in order to be awake for the elusive Nikki McWilliams biscuit sale. Psst.. go look at Nikki McWilliams and you’ll fall in love! In the biscuit sale, products with minor defects are sold off at low, low prices, along with discontinued bits and bobs, and stock flies out in minutes! For example, in the time it took me to add everything I wanted to my basket, three things had already sold out, waa! I did, however, still get some great bargains (and the two cushions I bought haven’t arrived yet) and I look forward to the next!

Did you hit the sales in January?

Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin’