I am a beauty obsessed blogger based in the UK. BbyB is my creative outlet where you will find a vast amount of beauty and skincare alongside a bit of food and fitness, travel, lifestyle all thrown in...



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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Ceramic Obsession; Atelier Stella

When redecorating I have found that I focus on single accessories to build a room around. I have no clue if that's standard but I find that over the years I have collected items that inspire me and in-turn have inspired my interior design choices. Recently I have been amassing quite the collection of Ceramics and came across the work of Stella Baggott aka Atelier Stella and fell head over heels in love with her work. 

All pictures in this piece were taken from @atelierstellaceramics 
The pieces she creates are filled with joy and personality and would create a great talking point in the home. Each piece is handcrafted and limited so you know that you have something unique, a collector piece with rustic flare.

"My work is modern, stylish and brings a smile! I lovingly design, hand build, fire in my kiln and glaze small batches of work to give you a truly unique, one of a kind work of art, so if you like a piece grab it while you can!" - Stella Baggott

For me what caught my eye was the range of planters on offer so that I could create a little community of cacti each in their own distinct little pot world. I have been going back through her archive of work and have seen so many pieces I would have loved so I'm now keeping an eye on the shop so my collection can begin! 

I really do love a piece in a room like this to give it a kick or to add something a little unusual. For me having fun art on display in a functional room is important as I don't want a room to feel flat or without a bit of life in the layers on other stuff in it. Plus you add in a cactus and you know I'll want it!

If you love ceramics are on the hunt for something new check out Atelier Stella. I'll include the social links below and make sure to show me what you get!:

Atelier Stella Twitter
Atelier Stella Instagram
Atelier Stella Tumblr

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Meet our new additions: Jam and Toast!

About seven weeks ago and after a lot of research me and the fella decided to expand our family. We always knew that we wanted pets but realistically after moving into a new home and all the financial implications we didn't think we would do it too soon. I had seen a rescue centre online and it kept playing on my mind and I thought well, we can just go visit one weekend and see for the future. You can guess what happened.. we went, fell in love with two little bundles of fluff and the rest well is happening right now.

The centre we visited was great and part of their rehoming program is that after you have chosen your kittens that they come and visit your home to ensure that is suitable for them. I really liked the whole process as the rescue team was friendly, we got to play with the kittens mom so knew they'd be lovely but more importantly they were truly focused on wanting the best home for the kittens. The centre is called Cramar and I couldn't recommend them highly enough to anyone wanting to adopt cats. 

After about 2 weeks of waiting for the kittens to be ok to leave their mom and the home check being completed we got a call to say that we could come get them. This was strange because it still didn't feel real. We had bought all the essentials and set up their space in our house but still, this got real fast! 

The centre is about 25 minutes away from where we live so the drive was tense but super exciting. When we arrived we carried in our pet carry case which the centre took and bought the kittens out in. At this point we were running on sheer excitement and hearing the kittens meow in the little case was lovely but a little nerve wracking - the desperation for them to be happy hit me hard. What was extremely stressful was the drive back as they really did not enjoy that..... anyone with cats will know cats and car rides are not the best of friends!

When we got home we let them adjust at their own pace, sat and played and over the next days got them used to their new lives with us. It took a lot less time than we thought for these little monsters to make themselves at home :)
So here they are.... Jam and Toast! 
(They are brother and sister - Jam on the left is a long haired female and Toast on the right is a short haired male.)

As I'm writing this our little additions are trying to crawl all over the keyboard and I wouldn't have it any other way. In the time we have had them they have caused sheer chaos in our house, had one emergency vet visit (very scary!) and lots of visits from family and friends wanting to play. They are growing fast and their personalities are developing each day so I am excited to see our little lions explore life! 

I wanted to share this as I love them and there will probably be lots of pet posts coming soon! I also wanted to note that the kittens mom Sabrine was adopted quickly alongside all the other kittens in the litter but lots of cats are still in need of adoption. If you are wanting to expand your family I would urge you to visit your local rescue centre and open your hearts to cats/kittens in need. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Healthy Starts with the Brekkie Club

A confession here.. I don't normally start my days very healthy, in fact I do skip breakfast *insert shocked face here.* Yes, yes, I know, a healthy breakfast is the most important meal of the day but for me an extra 10 minutes in bed had too much appeal. So when the Brekkie Club reached out and offered me a week of healthy breakfasts I thought to myself this may be what I need to kick the skipping brekkie habit. 

After jumping at the chance a box arrived on my doorstep (in record time may I add) containing plastic pots of brekkie for each day. A leaflet is provided with what is in each days portion and each pot is clearly labelled with a rather cute coloured sticker. On first appearances it looked so easy that not even I wouldn't be able to do this each morning or make any excuses. 

As the contents of the box normally change each week with the Brekkie Club subscription I thought I'd share the low down on each day of my box. Here's what you see when you open the box: 

Brekkie Club Box

- Quinoa, almond and apricot muffins with soya yoghurt and pomegranate compot

The first time you try something is always a little odd but starting the week with a muffin for breakfast was a rather nice surprise! I opted for a bowl instead of using the pot provided first time around and although it all looked a little brown I actually really enjoyed my first breakfast. It was a nice mix of taste and texture with the cherry on top being one hell of a delicious muffin. I'm a true sweet toother so straying to a non chocolate muffin was something I'd never done before (weird I know) but I'm converted - roll on more muffins! 

- Apricot Kernel and pecan granola served with soya yogurt and pomegrante compot 

I was late for work on this day (damn you traffic) so the bowl went out the window and the full Tuesday contents went into the Tuesday plastic pot. The pot came with me to my desk and I ate as I worked which for sheer easiness was great. No mess, no fuss, just a lovely breakfast on the go.

- Blue B Overnight Barley

Each day I was getting more and more surprised about how much I was liking a healthy brekkie and the simplicity of it all. As instructed for this day and before I left work the day before, I put the oats onto soak in the office kitchen, ready for the next morning. Roll on 8am and I added the little pot of blueberries and the oat milk provided in the pot, stirred and it was done. Honestly I didn't think I'd like this one but the mix of textures and the blueberries was really nice and it felt very light to eat. Plus it was at this point in the week that my colleagues began to bring in breakfasts and chat about healthy eating - a sort of health conversion had begun in our office.

- Pecan and date protein balls with soya yogurt and pomegrante copot

Balls, yep you see them, balls. 
If you have read any health blog, magazine or just been on the internet at some point you would have seen people harping on about protein balls. To be honest I would never have chosen these for myself but I think that is part of the joy of a subscription box in the fact that you get to try new things. I was dubious on the balls but actually really liked them and would even go as far as to say I would have them in a pack alone for snacks in the day. They are one of those things that tasted great but also weren't overly filling so would be good for me at work or when I'm out and about.

- Lychee with Granola and Oat Milk

Lychee with Granola and Oat Milk

Ok so I'd never seen a lychee before and embarrassingly to me I thought it looked like fish. I mixed everything together in the pot as normal, closed my eyes and hoped for the best.... Taste and texture wise I have to be honest and say this wasn't a favourite of the week and I'm glad I tried it but maybe me and lychee's aren't meant to be. 

The Verdict:
So the verdict here is well, obvious. For me the convenience and quality of these healthy breakfasts is brilliant and also are quite good value. I would highly recommend this for those who like to just get up and go in the morning or want breakfast without having to lose that extra sleep time. 
You can choose the 3 Brekkie (£12) or 5 Brekkie a week option (£15) and the lovely people at Brekkie Club are offering BbyB readers a little trial!! If you go to the Brekkie Club and use the code BBYB16 you can try the first week for £10 and see how you feel. 

I'm ending this post feeling a lot brighter throughout the day and with the silly realization that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day - it only took me the Brekkie club showing me the way...
P.S The photos on this were taken by the awesome dude that is Tez Wu - Check out his work HERE

Friday, 8 April 2016

Meet The Super Cool: Felt Mistress

Picture the scene: It's a rainy, moody evening in the artistic heart of Birmingham, Digbeth. I was on my way to Eye Candy Festival for a night of perusing awesome artists work and of course the occasional glass of wine, bottle of beer and it would go on... As the drinks flowed and I wandered around a warehouse filled with wonders, I found myself stood staring up at 'The Great Advisor' whose long blue limbs and subtly knowing expression had me hypnotized. Call it the warmth of the my 5th glass of wine or just my general obsession with creatives and their work, but from that moment on I became a huge fan of the work of Felt Mistress, the awesome creator of many a curious character.
The Great Advisor - Eye Candy Tumblr 

Since that night in 2014 I have followed Felt Mistresses work avidly and have fallen in love with characters along the way. Groam for example (see picture below) is a prime example of a freaking awesome character who believes “the only way to true happiness is through sheer misery.” "He enjoys sitting alone in cold rooms, overcast days and missing the last bus home. When not spreading misery Groam also enjoys playing Ping Pong. - Total babe right?

Groam - The Felt Mistress
Felt Mistress work has been seen all over the globe and their collaborations with Jon Burgerman (amongst many other awesome artists), for Selfridges window displays and their own unique creations have paved the way for a hugely successful career and an amazing world of felty creatures.

The most recent Felt Mistress project is Power Up! Simmer Down (see crew below) which is an exhibition happening now by Felt Mistress and her partner in crime Jonathan Edwards at Cafe Zenon in Tokyo. Myles, who likes sunshine and FM Radio, is the character in yellow headphones who may be my favourite from this lot... but then again this is a seriously cool crew - just check out those sandals! 

Power Up! Simmer Down Crew - The Felt Mistress 
Felt Mistresses work is just so full of fun, randomness and well, just great character that you can't help but love it. This was such a fun post to do and hopefully I can grab an interview from the Felt Mistress crew in the near future! 

Images were taken from the lovely Louise (Felt Mistress) who gave her full consent for me to share them -  go give her a shout out and hello as she is super cool (hence the title!)

Felt Mistress Twitter
Felt Mistress Instagram

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Communicating with your hairdresser

So we've all been there, sat in the hairdressers chair anxiously awaiting that awkward conversation with a person you don't know but someone who will be basically controlling your hair. For me I think I've had way too many of these conversations as my favourite hairdressers over the years have gone travelling, emigrated or changed career so for me a new hairdresser and this conversation is an old game.

My hair before:
Most recently (5 days ago) I went for my second visit to a salon but to my first session with a new hairdresser. I was assured that they were 'great with colour,' bear in mind here I currently have bright purple hair, and that she was 'brilliant.' I sat down and waited to make that awkward small talk whilst making it crystal clear what I wanted. I have done this for so long that I bring images and am very direct with what I need so to ensure nothing untoward happens.  My eyesight is also poor so for me I only really see the full hair result when I pop my glasses back on and trust with a hairdresser is key.
The picture for hair reference I took in below - I asked for purple hair as I normally have with the very tips pale blue:
Roll on 3 hours and the glasses go back on..... *jaw hits the floor.* 
Not only is my hair still damp (not even close to being properly blow dried) but worse there is only purple colour on my roots. I sat there confused.... why would you only do my roots? What have you been doing for all this time? 
I of course ask the question and the hairdresser tells me it looks cool and that I will have to come back to have the rest of my hair finished in another colour. (Picture the horror on my face, then triple it.) 

Why should I have to come back? When did I say I only want purple on my roots? What the hell have you done? 
So many thoughts ran through my mind in a moment. Now, I am not a rude person and I actually find it very difficult to say I don't like something but I think my face clearly gave it away. The awkwardness set back in as a barrage of compliments from her came my way alongside grabbing colleagues to discuss my 'next visit.' I've played this game before so know when a mess is trying to be causally covered and actually if I had been told what was going on or the mistake that was made I think I would have been less upset about it. Needless to say I said my polite piece and went home and dyed the rest myself - what a waste of time and money!

Lesson Learnt: So this story is to illustrate that clear communication goes both ways in a salon. Don't be afraid to say what you want and don't keep your thoughts to yourself if you really hate it. If what happens to me then happens to you then you know there's really nothing you could have done and that maybe, just maybe the hairdresser should be telling you that they are not experienced enough to do what you are asking.

Top Tips for Communicating Clearly with your Hairdresser to avoid the above: 

1) Explain clearly what you want. This can be for colour or cut but remember your 'take 2 inches off' may be different to theirs so don't be afraid to grab your hair and show them. Sounds silly but if that 2 inches turns to 4 you will notice. 

2) Take Pictures: These are reference points for hairdressers and over the years all of the ones I have visited say this is the most useful took in avoiding any miscommunication. 

3) Be nice. I have spoken to several hairdressers over the years who struggle to speak to clients who are rude. I don't blame them because really who wants to deal with that?!?! But seriously, being nice during your visit makes everything easier including a continued discussion on what you want as an end result. 

Now some of you will be reading this and think I am vain because this is a post all about my hair. Some of you will also be like 'it's only hair' and yes I agree on both points but how I feel about my hair is my own personal feelings and this is a storytime/ helpful hints posts for those who are open to it. This post is also NOT an attack on the hairdresser who did my hair or to the lovely hairdressers out there. I love getting my hair done because of the great people I get to meet so I hope this was just a blip on my hair colour spectrum. 

Here's me now (Purple by Arctic Fox)

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

You need a blooming shower!!

Fabulous, Foaming and Floral!

So for Valentines I was lucky enough to be bought roses by the fella and also be sent some 'You Need a Blooming Shower' Rose Body Cleanser by Anatomicals*. Now you may read that and think what..? that's a bit rude, girl you should be offended but if you know me I love any form of skincare especially if it smells of roses. Now full disclosure here I knew Anatomicals were sending me this so no offence was taken but my golly it was one hell of a good gift!


First things first the tube of this body cleanser is huge! Whoever said size doesn't matter is wrong when it comes to body products, for it's the more the merrier. The tube itself is 250ml, bright pink and extremely squeezy which means when it's wet in the shower you can't really drop it. What I really like is the Anatomicals branding and kooky blurbs that go on the products and this on is no different - it felt like it was talking to me (if you get this product you will understand.)
Now other than the result of have super clean, soft skin for me the smell is pretty high up there on turn offs in body products. For me there is nothing worse than using a hugely perfumed product that end sup breaking my skin out and leaving me in a daze as smells affect me in weird ways. Turns out Anatomicals have my back here and feel very similar so aim to get the balance right across their ranges. This products strikes that balance well although if you use too much it can be a little over the top. 

A big thank you to Anatomicals for my Valentines gift and if you wanted to give this a go it's only £3.00 on ASOS - what a bargain!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Home Style Inspiration: Vincent & Barn

Vincent & Barn

From Right to Left:
Wooden Crate Bookshelf (£375) | Iron Coat Hooks (£20) | Laundry Sign (£6.40) | Wire & Wood Low Bookshelf (£245) | Industrial Apothecary Draw Unit (£525) | Industrial Mesh Cupboard (£825) | Industrial Swivel Bar Stool (£95) | Wire Diablo Stool (£720

Since deciding to become a fully fledged adult and buy our first house me and the fella have been perusing interior design magazines and online media for some Inspiration. Through some serous Pinteresting it turns out the Industrial style is a big favourite of mine and that Vincent & Barn (of whom I had previously been a customer) have a huge selection of drool worthy furniture/accessories within this theme. I already own the Tea Sign which hangs proudly in my parents kitchen so for my first home I know I can trust the quality of Vincent & Barn's products. 

I have put together my current Vincent & Barn Industrial Wishlist with that GORGEOUS Apothecary unit being no1 on the 'must save for' list. It would seem our home may become flooded with Industrial stuff if I get my way!!

Do you like the industrial style? 

*NOT sponsored!*

Monday, 15 February 2016

Where is your Clothes Show post?

I'm grateful to have loyal readers of BbyB but sometimes you guys floor me with what you notice! As a long term visitor to the Clothes Show I have always written about my time there but I hadn't written about my 2015 visit and you guys noticed! *huge virtual hugs*

My mom used to take me to the Clothes Show when I was younger and I loved spending time with her shopping, chatting and generally having a fun time. Over the years I have also gone with friends and colleagues but each year I have come away with an uneasy feeling. It felt to me that something important had gone and something cold and cheap had replaced it.

In 2014 I wrote that I may be the wrong age demographic now for it and maybe the memories of me and my mom popping about the place having a brilliant time were because I was young. I still feel like this is the case but there is an air of unabashed consumerism that has taken the fun out of the experience and just left well... alot of rubbish. Now by saying this I don't include alot of the small independent brands as what they are doing is growing and offering products at a fair price but there are those at the clothes show just there to sell cap. There I wrote it, cheap crap. This to me is inexcusable as this should be a place for fun, innovative design that is made accessible to the general public not a marketplace showboating as something grandiose.

I had tried not to write this post as I am grateful to the Clothes Show team for inviting me but so many of you messaged me I couldn't not do this. To me the independent brands and the creative team behind the stunning catwalk show save the Clothes Show for me from being something I will never go to again. I will go each year with hope and support the smaller brands and hopefully one year it will surprise me. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Raw Gorilla Munchies

So you're on that new year diet and you are looking for some healthier snacks to survive those naughty cravings? Or you are like me and hate the 'new year, new me' rubbish and just want to cut down on the sugar and feel a little less yucky. Well I may have found the solution in Raw Gorilla and their lovely Munchies*.

Raw Gorilla Munchies

You will have to excuse the not so great photo of the Munchies as I took these when I first got them at work and then they were gone seconds after - eaten by hungry colleagues. I was sent the Raw Gorilla Raw Maca & Cinnamon Munchies 40g (£1.49) and the Raw Gorilla Raw Cacao & Lucuma Munchies 40g (£1.49) to try, both of which went down a storm! Special praise was given by my coeliac colleague who struggles to find snacks constantly that won't make her ill; I was very popular in the office that day! 

Who are Raw Gorilla?
Raw Gorilla was born in early 2014 by the Founder Fraser Gregory who was on a mission to create healthy snacks/breakfasts that were cheeky, fun but most of all yummy. The brand has grown rapidly and the products can now be found everywhere from health food shops to the high street. 'Raw' food as it is known, is now not only extremely fashionable but also affordable to the masses as it really hadn't been over the past decade. 

What's in the products?
Organic, Sprouted, Raw, Gluten free, Paleo, Vegan, Grain free, non- GM, No added sugar, No added salt, no artificial colourings or preservatives. 

Now you may read the above and ask 'what on earth is sprouted?' which is exactly what my colleagues asked after they had devoured them. I won't do this justice so here's the right answers from the Raw Gorilla website: 

"To create nutritionally superior products we went back to ancient times where sprouting was part of people’s daily lives. Sprouting seeds, beans and legumes are an age old practice with the aim to unlock nutrients and create naturally functioning food which is easier on the body and nourishes at a higher level. By soaking these tiny nutritional nuggets, enzyme inhibitors are broken down as seeds are preparing to grow into a tree! We dry them at their nutritional peak whilst preserving a higher protein, fibre, mineral and vitamin content that is found in non-sprouted food.

Don’t forget, when our body is not working on digesting food it is free to metabolise and function well cleansing, detoxifying and repairing cells. The more light and easily digestible food we eat, the more time our bodies can spend on functioning optimally.

It’s worth remember the benefits of sprouting foods:
- It’s one of the most complete and nutritional food out there
- we can eat less by eating more
- a higher level of vitamins, minerals and enzymes
- the food’s natural protein and fibre is food intaking something? is enhanced
- sprouted food is very alkalising, meaning it creates a friendly environment for the right bacteria in our intestines
- is bursting with antioxidants"

Well with that all elequently put by Raw Gorilla here's the verdict (from me and the work maties):

Raw Gorilla Raw Maca & Cinnamon Munchies (the pink pack)
These were by far the favourites with the team, especially those like me with a severe sugar craving. The texture is crunchy but still has a bit of chew to it which makes them last a little longer when you are eating them. For me I think the sunflower seeds were the flavour I picked out as the strongest but there is a hit of cinnamon which is probably what made my sweet tooth happy. 
It boggles the mind that something this healthy can taste so damn good and as they are moreish you just want more and more. I would say the only downside to these was that they don't currently come in a larger bag or a multipack for sharing. 

Raw Gorilla Raw Cacao & Lucuma Munchies (the purple pack)
This was the pack that people in my office on diets/health regimes preferred. Weird I know but after some discussion they seem to think they've lost the cravings for naughty treats so prefer 'real healthy' things - it's all in the mind I say! Personally I will be picking these up for days when I know the cravings may beat me and I still want to remain somewhat healthy. Plus it's nice to have a snack that my gluten intolerant colleague can share! 

So it's a big thumbs up from me to Raw Gorilla - here's to snacking healthier and starting up my #GymBunny series again. 

*PR Sample - a very yummy one!