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6/15/2014

Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser | Just Add Ginger

Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser

My skin has always been a big issue for me. During my oh-so-graceful (not) teenage years, my face literally looked like a big pepperoni pizza. I couldn't even tell you how many spots I had. All I know is that they were huge, red, and didn't go away until I was about 18! It was so embarrassing. I honestly felt like I was the only girl in my year that had massive skin issues. And to be honest, I think I was. 

So, once I hit 18, I thought "Great, this is it, clear skin ahoy!" Oh no. Not for me. My skin has never been completely clear. Whether it's hormonal break-outs, or because I've eaten too much chocolate, there isn't really a day goes by where I don't have a spot on my face. It can make me feel really frustrated. But I've just learnt that for me, that's the way it has to be.

I have tried a lot of skincare products over the years. Mostly from the high street. I'm always looking for the easy option. I am the laziest person when it comes to skincare, and the fact that I am is something that really annoys me. I know that if I had a better skincare routine I wouldn't be having so many issues, but at the end of the day....I just can't be arsed. When I come home at night, I'd rather slob around in my pjs & watching Game of Thrones, go to the gym, or blog. Anything that is going to help my wind down. My skin is the last thing on my mind. (All feel free to mentally slap my wrist now.) 

The thing is about my skin is that it is combination and really sensitive. Even the products that claim to be gentle, or full of natural products tend to react to my skin, and now, because I am on Cilest (read my post about that here,) my skin is just a bit more unpredictable. I have to be really, really careful. 

Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser


I'd heard about Lush's Ultrabland Facial Cleanser mentioned a little bit online. And it was hearing Amelia (xameliax) mention it in a video, and a blogpost that really got me intrigued. I decided I had to give it a go.

Ultrabland really appealed to me because I knew that it would be full of natural products that wouldn't irritate my little face. And I wasn't disappointed. Ultrabland contains a blend of almond oil, rose water, beeswax, honey & iris extract (sounds delicious doesn't it?) The combination of ingredients work to hydrate, sooth and moisturise the skin. So, for me, who always has skin qualms (love that word,) it sounded like heaven for my skin. 

And oh boy. It has been. Since using Ultrabland my skin has been kissed back to life. If I have a big confidence-bursting breakout, using Ultrabland immediately nurses my skin, and ALMOST overnight it looks and feels so much clearer. Because of my skin tone, I am really really unlucky when it comes to redness. Spots always leave their mark on my skin, but with Ultrabland, my skin tone evens itself out. 

Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser

Using Ultrabland is so easy. All you need to do is smooth a bit all over your dry face, then using a hot flannel to wipe it all away. I think you can use cotton wool to take it off as well, but I don't want to risk getting any stuck to my face. The consistency is really light and smooth and easy to apply. Simply wipe away the product with flannel/cotton wool and you're done. How easy is that?

And the result? Skin that feels hydrated but not overwhelmed, and a face that is gorgeously smooth. The only thing that I've found with taking off Ultrabland is that it does leave a little bit of residue on the skin, but it really doesn't bother me. It doesn't linger, and in the morning, my skin feels amazing. 

The scent is also a bit odd. Odd because it doesn't really smell of anything that I can describe. Boyfriend has said that it smells like rose, but I'm just not sure. It's not an unpleasant smell (at least to me anyway,) but what it does smell of is *sniffs pot*.... kind of a suncreamy/beeswax/almond oil concoction. To describe it plainly, it smells natural. 

I know I've rambled a bit, but I really an so passionate about this product. It is a wonder-product for me and has really perked my skin up and helped in the Battle of the Blemishes. Even Boyfriend is impressed, and he is very difficult to please when it comes to skincare products. He used it over the weekend, and couldn't get over how smooth his skin felt afterwards. He was in awe. 

If you are like me and do suffer from problematic, spot-prone skin, I'd really recommend giving Ultrabland a go. It really has done wonders for my skin, and now that I've found it, there's no going back. It's in my bathroom and it's there to stay. 
Ultrabland retails for £6.95 for a small pot and £10.95 for a big pot. For more information about Ultrabland, or any of the other LUSH product, go to: 


6/11/2014

Ginger's Jollies: Camping at Cae Du Rhoslefain



The last bank holiday weekend we had, Boyfriend & I decided that it would be a great opportunity for us both to stretch out adventurous legs, and have a camping weekend away. Me,having been camping before - but never in England - left Boyfriend on a mission to decide where we were going to go. With so many options out there, there is no way I could have decided where to go! 

It wasn't until the Monday before the bank holiday that Boyfriend sat me down and told me that he had found the perfect place for us to camp. Within about ten seconds of me looking at his laptop screen, my wanderlust kicked off....Big time.


Cae Du Rhoslefain is nestled on the Welsh coast. It is one of those places that immediately struck me as the type that if you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't know about it at all. Which, for us, was perfect. The campsite is quite large, and although when we went it wasn't too busy, you can tell that in the summer, it must be fit to burst with happy campers.

I have never seen a campsite like it. You are literally right on top of the sea. All day the melodic sounds of waves lapping against the shore, and distant sea birds tickle your ears. Visiting Cae Du was like entering a bubble. Being there makes you feel completely detached from the rest of the world.


We made the decision to not take the car, but to get the train down instead. This was the first time I had ever carried a "proper" camping bag. To be honest I didn't think I was going to be able to do it. Between us, we literally took everything with us that we needed. And that meant our bahs weighed an absolute tonne. Even with all the clasps strapped around me, I knew that with one wrong step, I would easily topple over! 

Photo Credit: Boyfriend

But, being the stubborn old goat that I am, I knew I had to do this. Carrying the bag from train to train wasn't that bad, but when we got off the train at our final destination, reality kicked in a little bit. I had to carry my 10kg bag to the campsite. By myself. Oh shit. 

After about a 2.5 mile walk full of gorgeous scenery, nature, animals...and very colourful language, we arrived at the campsite, checked in with the farmer, and began to set up camp. We chose a spot on top of a slight incline overlooking the sea. It had started to rain, and we didn't want to take the risk of being too close to the water and freezing to death. As it happens, we pitched right in front of the railway line (don't worry there is a stone wall and shrubbery to separate campsite and track) but with trains passing once every few hours, and stopping before midnight, we barely even noticed. Alongside the bleating of lambs and calls of the sheep, it made for very atmospheric background noise.

The Cae Du Rhoslefain campsite offers toilet and shower facilities, as well as a sheltered area to sit and cook should it decide to pelt down with rain. You can also buy lamb burgers and fresh eggs from the farmhouse if you need supplies. Just having these little luxuries to hand made the whole weekend more comfortable. I don't mind roughing it in the slightest, but knowing that there was a toilet close by did put me more at ease. We were also very lucky and had lovely neighbours who lent us some fire-starters for our campfire, which, for some reason, just refused to stay aflame. 



That was one of the things that I thought was great about Cae Du Rhoslefain; they let you have campfires. In fact, at the top end of each pitch there is a pit surrounded by stones should you want to build a fire. This was one of the many cherries on the cake that weekend. I'm renowned for feeling the cold really, really easily. Amongst my friends I'm known as the reptilian woman because even a cool summer breeze is enough to make me shiver. So to be able to have a fire was my saving grace at night. And we didn't have to find our own firewood either. The farmer's son also came around with bundles of wood for sale each evening for £5.00 each. With two bundles bought each night, we were well sorted and kept nice and toasty, roasting marshmallows, listening to Pink Floyd, drinking wine, and looking up at the stars.


It did rain a bit during the weekend. But that didn't bother us. When you live in England you come to realise that just a bit of rain can't stop you from doing anything, because, well, you'd never get anywhere. There is something really therapeutic about sitting in your tent and listening to the rain too.  And it didn't hinder us. Boyfriend could still light the fire so we could cook and make hit drinks, and showery bursts always stopped just in time for an evening round the fire. It was just heavenly.

On the first day we hopped on the train and went a few stops down the line to Machynlleth, or "Mac" as we affectionately refer to it. Stopping there was a completely off-the-cuff decision. The sky on the Sunday started out very grey, and after our walk to the station, the heavens opened and it lashed it down. Visiting "Mac" was the result of a quick Google. 

And boy am I really happy we found it! "Mac" was a lovely place to visit on a rainy day. There are a plethora of little shops to go in to, cafes, and pubs. We stopped off a few times along our jaunt through the village. Had some lunch. Picked up charcoal and fire-lighters and more wine, and then went for a cheeky afternoon beer in the local pub. 

Churchyard in "Mac."

Staying in Cae Du Rhoslefain was just amazing. Because we were in such a bubble, I rarely had phone signal, so wasn't constantly going on Twitter, Facebook, and checking my emails. Boyfriend and I really got to spend some quality time together, doing the things that we love and being outside amidst rolling hills, trees, and the coat. We joked how we are both just as bad when it comes to checking our phones, but on our weekend away, it was just the two of us. 

On Monday, we set out a little early to do some more exploring. The farmer's wife kindly ordered us a taxi from a company she knew, and soon after, a taxi arrived. We were all set and ready to head to Tywyn top find something to eat, but our taxi driver suggested that instead, we go to Aberdovey. It was honestly like having our own private tour guide. If you have never been to that part of Wales before you wouldn't have a clue where to go, but we got lots of recommendations of places to go in Aberdovey, things we could do, and where we could get food before our journey home. We even got help knowing which train station to go to to hop of the train back to "Mac" ( back to Mac - hehe.)

Photo credit: Boyfriend

We ended up going to the Penhelig Arms for some lunch before the journey home. It is such a gorgeous little pub/restaurant filled with sea-related décor, and located a stones-throw away from the water. The food was delicious, and definitely enough to keep us going. After getting our fill, Boyfriend and I headed across the road and just looked out over the water. It was just gorgeous. 

Even though we were only away Saturday - Monday it honestly felt like we had been on an extended summer break. We got home so relaxed and at ease that it felt like we had been away for ages. 

If you love camping and being outdoors, then I cannot recommend Cae Du Rhoslefain enough. It is a hidden gem on the Welsh coast and surrounded by amazingly picturesque landscapes. There are so many things to do and see and experience that I could happily stay again and again and not get bored. How could you tire of looking out at the sea everyday? Whether you take your car, or walk/train it like us, it is definitely somewhere every camping-lover needs to go.

For more information about the Cae Du Rhoslefain campsite, visit: 



6/08/2014

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day Gift Guide


If you live in the UK, Father's Day is only just around the corner (next weekend) and if you're still trying to think about what you can get your dad for his special day, or lacking in an inspiration, I have compiled a few gift ideas for you to think about. 

I've always been a strong believer that buying gifts should be a really personalised experience for the recipient. You may have to think for a while about what they will appreciate the most, but there will always be something - no matter how big or small a gift - that will fill them full of joy. 

Papa Ginger, for example, has always been an appreciator of a fine beer. He scoffs all the time (along with Boyfriend) at my beers of choice. Treating him to a pint glass like the one above, particularly one with a funny message, would be something I think he'd really enjoy. 

If you are feeling in more a creative mood, making or customising a gift always adds a really personalised and meaningful touch. It doesn't have to be anything huge. How about selecting a few of your favourite photos of you and your dad and displaying them in a frame? Or if you like to express your creative side, find your sketching pencils, paints or pastels and create your own masterpiece. One of my sketches is up on the wall in PG's study, and knowing it's up there and he enjoys it so much really fills me with a warm fuzzy feeling. 

Does your dad always start the day with his hot drink of choice? How about an upgrade on his tea/coffee-making device? It can be a bit more of a pricey gift, but if you know it is something he will appreciate and use daily, you will definitely get bank for your buck. Before you know it, he'll be a barista in training!

They may seem like very traditional gifts, but I quite like the nostalgic-feel of giving the gift of a tie or dressing gown. Maybe it's because I love to lounge around in mine so much, or maybe it's because deep inside I'm a little Ginger Granny who loves to be cosy all the time. Either way, if your dad's dressing gown looks as though it's seen better days, or he works in a job where he needs to war a tie, treating him to some new apparel could be the perfect gift. There are some really, really lovely colours, styles and designs out there to suit all price ranges. Finding a luxurious looking tie or dressing gown will help your dad feel very much like the dapper superhero. 

Papa Ginger doesn't drive, but if your dad does, how about an experience day driving a fast car? He will feel like James Bond/ an F1 star in the making. I know that if you're in the UK, Red Letter Days & Buyagift offer a range of experiences to choose from (I've used Buyagift in the past.) From Supercars, to tanks, to adventure days gal;ore. If your dad is a bit of a daredevil, an experience day will definitely get that adrenalin pumping. And if it's something you can do together, it'll be a marvellous way to create new memories! 

If you are a GoT addict, please raise your hand. Yep. Me too. And I am not ashamed. If your papa is a Game of Thrones devotee too, then why not treat him to a series boxset or two. That way he can re-live his favourite episodes....Especially in the long wait that there usually is between seasons. They do like to keep us wanting more, don't they?

Personalised gifts are one of my most favourite things to shop for. Something that is quite an ordinary gift can be instantly given a sentimental touch by adding a special message, quote or date. Two of my favourite ideas for dads (aside from the beer glass) are a good watch, or a keyring. A lovely-looking timepiece with a little message personal to you and your dad will always have special meaning, and the keyring option he will see every time he goes open the car or unlock the house. With so many different choices, and price ranges out there, you can really go to town creating a very special gift.

What are you getting your dad this year/? Any other cool ideas, share them in the comments below.


6/07/2014

South Beach Bloggers Event

 Photo Credit: Rachel @ Times2Style

Photo Credit (main & bottom photo) Rachel @ Times2Style



Last week, myself and the gorgeous Rachel from Times2Style headed into Manchester to attend the South Beach Bloggers Event, which was held at Lola's Cocktail Lounge, in the city's northern quarter. One of my favourite parts of being a blogger is meeting & getting to know so many lovely bloggers, so when I heard about the event, I was uber-excited. 

It has really only been in the last year or so that I have gotten back in to the idea of donning a swimming costume and going to the beach again. I am not the most confident when it comes to flashing the flesh in a bikini, and am always on the lookout for pretty swimming costumes and cover-ups that I can put on to help me feel beach-ready. 

So imagine my delight when, out of the corner of my eye, I began to spot the two colourful racks of South Beach's swim, beach, and lounge wear. Colourful beach bags and sexy shorts hung from the trees and decorated the seating area. Lola's was the perfect place for the event because stepping inside was like going to your favourite beach bar. And together with the delicious custom cocktails, I was instantly in Summer-mode. 


South Beach went absolutely all-out to make this event as colourful and fun-filled as possible. There were amazing beach-themed cakes we could tuck in to, free manicures, bar snacks, a photo area with beach-themed props ready for us bloggers to strike our best poses, and.....wait for it....a piñata! Yes, you heard me right everybody. How darn cool is that? 

What I loved so much about the South Beach collection is that there was something there for everybody, and every piece was detailed, bright and pretty. The bikinis were all stunning, with various colours and styles to suit all of our sexy skin tones. And the one-pieces were just as pretty. I don't know about you ladies but sometimes I find it really hard to find swimming costumes that are just as gorgeous as the bikinis I see. Just because we may not feel confident or comfortable enough to wear a bikini all the times, it doesn't mean we don't want to look and feel like a sexy summer goddess, does it? South Beach showcased a range of swimsuits and bikinis that really made me smile inside. Not only were there beautiful bikinis, but also choices with a more vintage-inspired style, with high-waisted shorts and longer line tops. And the swimsuits were just as sexy.

I was immediately drawn to this pretty little number (The Caroline Low Back Frill Swimsuit.) I loved it because it gives the front full-coverage, but the back dips lower.The frills look like they would hang in a really flattering way too. When I saw it I knew that wearing it, I'd feel like a Bond Girl. 

Instagram: @Gingerjax
The atmosphere at the event was amazing. We all mingled and giggled and oogled at the awesome array of swim and beach wear South Beach showed us. 

I even had a go at helping to make my own cocktail....Let's just say being a mixologist is not on the cards for my future.

Photo Credit: Rachel @Times2Style
Rachel and I had an amazing time at the event, and it was so lovely to spend time mingling with lots of lovely blogging ladies. We were all so well looked-after and spoilt, and the goody bags we got to take home with us were so generous. Rachel and I were in awe getting the train back home. 

Thank you to South Beach for putting on a really fun and enjoyable event, and to Lola's and the staff for adding to the atmosphere. If you're looking to indulge in some sexy swimwear for the summer, definitely give South Beach a look. 

Did I mention how affordable it is too? 

For more information on South Beach, or to look at all the gorgeous things they have, go to: