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Sephora Favourites

International brand Sephora has a great take on the best beauty products on the market from skincare to make up.

Mr B knows he can be on a work trip anywhere in the world and all he has to do is find a  Sephora store for a winning gift

So good is this ubiquitous hub of beauty and so well trained are the staff that you could point a monkey into a Sephora store and they would leave with a monochrome bag of brilliant beauty finds, tailormade to suit you. No offence to monkeys or Mr B intended!

So what’s hot right now?…..Here’s my pic of current favourites……

Sephora Favourites

Skin Super Foods

Nine delicious super food treats for the skin.  I loved the the black charcoal, peel-off Luminizing Black Mask it removes blackheads, impurities, and excess oil, it leaves your skin bright and polished.

I also love the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser it feels like a thorough cleanse. It clarifies with fresh enzymes, clays, and essential oils leaving a smooth finish.

I’m also now addicted to the Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, it contains Okinawa red algae and hyaluronic acid for a boost of soothing hydration and a luminous complexion. All I know is this makes my skin glow and is going everywhere with me this summer.

 

Sephora Favourites

Give Me Some Nude Lip

Mr B bought something similar in the past, and as ever its a winning combo.  As a lover of a nude lip he cant go wrong with this set.  All the must-haves here to give you the perfect nude lip look, including one full size and five deluxe sizes of nude lip essentials. This multibranded set includes a liquid lipstick, gloss, lipstick, and a lip plumper to help you find your perfect nude hue—including a full-size Ciaté London Liquid Velvet Moisturising Matte Liquid Lipstick. Delicious!

Sephora Collection

Illuminate Palette

If you were a fan of last years highlighting beauty craze then you will love Illuminating powder. Highlight like a pro with this pastel palette that illuminates the face, shoulders, and décolleté. The silky formula, (yes it really is silky) blends seamlessly into the skin, delivering radiance where the light naturally hits. The stunning array of hues enhance every skin tone and can be mixed and matched for a customizable glow.

All in all I find it hard to fault Sephora for quality or choice, unfortunately we still don’t have a Sephora in the UK, perhaps its better that we don’t, it makes holidays and business trips all the more exciting.

You can order online from the US website, shipping is £6. Please note this is not a sponsored post, I just like the brand.

Love, DSB x

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Sunday Supplement #41 |Garden Life 

I think I speak for the whole country when I say thank the Lord for the sun this week.  After a devastating start to the week with events in Manchester, I think everyone spent the beginning of the week feeling sad and slightly down.  I suffer from anxiety and any sort of sad news can work as a trigger.

I relax by watching gardening programs (I know!) I have a particular soft spot for Monty Don, unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the Royal Chelsea Flower Show this year but I did watch it on catch up and its given me some great ideas for a little garden redesign.

 

Talking of which my roses are in full bloom at the moment, and the peonies will be making a show anytime in this next week….Watch this space.

I spent some time in London at press days this week mostly looking ahead to Autumn Winter launches.  As a sneak peak of what’s to come for Autumn check this beautiful burgundy clutch from Jigsaw and silk scarf from Marks and Spencer.


I also love the gold personalized passport holder and these danglers from River Island, all available in shops from September.


Friday was a scorcher of a day in Brighton, I spent the morning meeting with fellow Brighton influencers Style Memos, Hunt Continues, and Natalie Courtois we ate brunch in Mange Tout which was so lip-smackingly good I’m surprised I was able to hold a conversation.

I also walked by the sea and popped into The Grand Brighton to check out its event rooms.  Have you been to the newly refurbished Victoria Terrace recently?  It’s a beautiful Victorian conservatory overlooking the sea, such a beautiful place, I think I will be back very soon.


Love DSB X

PS If you would like to donate to the Manchester Emergency Fund with the British Red Cross you can do so by clicking the link.

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Sunday Supplement #40 – The Other Room

Last weekend I had some of my best friends come to visit, delighted to have visitors I set about sorting the spare room and ‘the other room’.  The spare room was not difficult, my parents stay with us a lot, quick sweep, change of linen, done.  To properly accommodate my friend her husband and two children would mean me tackling The Other Room.

The other room has been many things, an office studio before we built the studio shed.  A bedroom while decorating the spare room and latterly my walk in wardrobe, a study for writing and studio for taking most of my photographs.  It’s also a gatherer of dust, books, magazines, excess tut.

I cleaned and took out all of the tut.  I hung some pictures and made a gallery wall of sorts.  It’s a bit thrown together, I’ve just chucked up a couple of charity shop old paintings and some wedding pictures, I don’t know if it’s all those beautiful people smiling back at me but I like it, it’s kinda chinzy and cozy, I’ve dotted the room with candles and flowers and added a painting I’ve been working on, Grey Storm.

Hmmm, let’s say the painting is a work in progress…..and I need new cushions, but give it time.  In other news, our dire weather has had me reaching for the fake tan.  Skinny Tan sent me a box of lovely products.  As well as the tan mousse, they sent me exfoliator mitt, primer, applicator mitt and a detailed list of how to do it.  I now have a healthy glow, no streaks and importantly non-orange palms!

I’ve also this week felt that seasonal change in skin, not sure if its more walking the dog or exposure to the elements (I can’t really say the sun can I?).  So I’ve been reaching for a moisturizer to combat, tired, uneven lackluster skin.  This Bio-Radiance Face Cream from Christopher Courtney London really works.

As soon as you apply this authentic, ethical, luxurious cream you can feel it tingling and working.  It smells incredible and of course, it’s all natural and made in the UK.  If you don’t  know this company follow this link.

All photographs by me, have a fab week, I’m going to work on the other room.

Love DSB X

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How to Upcycle a Kitchen Dresser

Have you seen the recent trend for dark navy or very deep blue kitchens? I’ve been lusting over these dark kitchens from Devol for ages.  They look so luxurious and expensive.

 

With our extension put off until next year and no budget for a new kitchen, we set about upcycling our existing circa 1980’s Kitchen for the second time.

We visited B&Q and choose a dark shade of Valspar paint suitable for Kitchen units.  It only took us around a day to paint (twice)  we finished the look, I like to call it Dark Shaker with brass handles and white walls.

So the kitchen was finished but not finished….It lacked something.

It took a couple of weeks but I snooped around furniture shops then charity shops and finally, I found a Kitchen Dresser. Pine, in need of TLC, £110.  I snapped it up!

Now rather handily I had the dresser delivered on Saturday morning, Mr. B had it painted by Saturday lunchtime and he fitted brass handles on Saturday night.

We left it to dry thoroughly overnight.  The next day it was ready to dress and ready for bank holiday guests.

Painting it in a dark blue hue took it from 1990’s staple pine kitchen kit to sleek, luxe loveliness for a tiny cost.

What do you think?  Are you tempted to take your Kitchen to the dark side?  Drop me a line and let me know….

Love DSB X

 

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Sunday Supplement #39

Hello!

How are you all for a Sunday?

I had a couple of days off this week with Mr. B, no holiday, no time abroad or even an overnight hotel stay.  Instead, we opted for a staycation, that’s right a week at home in the Boston Abode, time to reset, recharge and do all the jobs we had been putting off for an age.

After the first exciting day of work free home togetherness, i.e. lie-ins, takeaways, and netflix.  We found the garden.  I pruned and weeded, deadheaded and fed the flowers.  Mr. B mowed, hoed and dug a trench for the new front fence and lavender patch, more on that in a later post.

Next, we looked to the studio shed, after running denisonboston and BostonandBoston for almost four years from the studio we had a lot to do.  One and a half days and four runs to the local tip later it’s once again become a cool haven at the bottom of the garden for working and writing.

I cut some flowers and greenery from the garden this morning.  Lilac and the last of the Cherry Blossom, Bluebells, and Muscari, and Ivy for a little deep green.  Then as the Instagram obsessive that I am, I took lots of photos of the arranged flowers.  Mr. B took some photos of me and Blue.

Blue is very photogenic and I don’t look bad for an old gal.  Although, I do have to give some credit here to the serum and moisturizer I’ve been using lately.

It’s a new anti-age cream for women.  Eucerin Elasticity + Filler helps to strengthen the skin’s structure by improving elasticity and plumping the appearance of deep wrinkles.

I’ve been using the Eucerin for four weeks now, it’s defo a good combo, I still have wrinkles but they look a whole lot better, plus I have pruned garden and a tidy studio shed, all set for a beaut of a Spring and Summer, hazy days of laughing and gardening and writing ahead!

Love DSB X

PS Please excuse the double denim, trainers and scraped back hair, natural and not always Insta ready!

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How to Make an Entrance

When we moved into our house just over three years ago decorating the hallway as not a priority.  We had no central heating and no hot water so the hall and staircase got a lick of white paint over the existing wallpaper.  Now we didn’t hate this wallpaper but didn’t love it either.  With some well chosen artwork and wedding and family snaps we created a gallery wall up the staircase to hide our ‘Meh’ wall.

As time went on the hall irritated me more and more.  I loved what we created with the gallery but by now I hated the wallpaper in fact that’s all I could see.

When I suggested to Mr B that we should take off the wall paper he was not at all keen.  It will be a nightmare! Take too long! Make the house like a bomb site etc….

So when Mr B announced he had a week working in New York I had the perfect chance for a fab surprise.  I bought a wallpaper steamer and set about taking off the paper.  The paper came off quite easily but what I didn’t calculate was just what was left.  Walls that were crumbling and in need of sanding, and a staircase that went on forever.  When Mr B arrived home from his week in the States he got a surprise alright but possibly not the surprise I had intended.

After the initial shock (grounds for divorce if ever there were!) we worked together to smooth and paint the walls.  We decided on a dramatic colour scheme of dark and light.  Brilliant white paint for the top half of the staircase wall and Deep Space Echo a very dark almost black green from B&Q’s Valspar range. 

We were keen not to have a dado rail so Mr B drew an imaginary line halfway up the wall which has worked wonderfully as a backdrop to our mostly black and white gallery.

We finished up by flooding the floor with a dark oak floor varnish from Wickes own range. 

What do you think?  Would you go to the dark side? I love the contrast and now I’m delighted to open the door to nothing less than a dramatic entrance. 

Love DSB X 

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Sephora Haul

When Mr B announced he was going to New York with work for a week in January I felt a little green with envy.  Then I remembered one of the basic rules of marriage.  If the husband travels abroad with work thou shalt be rewarded upon his return with gifts.  I think the marriage certificate details this.

And then I remembered Sephora.  If you’re not au fait with Sephora then you soon will be. Sephora is the beauty megastore founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970, with 3,200 stores in 33 countries.  Except the UK, that is until now.  Rumour has it that Sephora is coming to the UK, specifically our London Westfield stores.

Anyway back to my haul, Sephora is as ubiquitous on New York streets as Boots is in London. So I knew Mr B was likely to find one easily. I told him to look for Smashbox Primer and to buy Sephora Favourites, basically a beauty box full of current pics.

The black and white stripes of the Sephora packaging told me he had shopped well.  I’ve almost tried all of the individual products, too many to mention all so here’s my topbuys.

1/ Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Amazing even better than you think!

2/ Sephora Favourites Give Me Some Nude Lip. You cant get enough of a good nude lip

3/  Sephora Favourites Beauty After Last Call The January pick me up package we all need.

You can buy online from the website however you need to spend a minimum of £75 and £6 postage, or you can wait patiently crossing all fingers and toes that a Sephora store will arrive in the UK soon….

Does a clap of excitment….Weeeeeee!

Love DSB x

 

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Honest Christmas Guide for Her

Here it is the definitive gift guide for her. Gentlemen take note you can’t really go wrong  with any of these beautiful buys.


For Her
1. 3 L’Imperatrice, Dolce & Gabbana, Amazon
2. Amazon Fire Tablet, 7” Magenta
3. Heaven by Deborah Mitchell, Bee Kit.
4. Monogrammed Necklace, Thomas Sabo
5. Sanctuary Spa, Votive Candles
6.  Wool Cape, Cos
7. Elemental Herbology, Bathing Infusions, Look Fantastic.
8. Dogs in Vouge, Red Cross Shop Shoreham.
9. Revlon Orofluido Original Hair elixir
10. Makki Black Eel Skin Clutch, Boston & Boston

Hope you like my suggestions, follow links for more information, oh and one more thing fellas, you can never go wrong with a bling cocktail Ring.  The ring pictured above is Victor & Rolf for Atelier Swarovski.  This one is no longer available however you can’t go far wrong with any cocktail ring from Atelier Swarovski.

Happy Christmas

Love DSB X

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Honest Christmas Gift Guide for Him 

Whoa! It’s December. We have bought and dressed the tree.  Lit the fire and candles and we are beginning to feel more than a little festive over at the Boston Abode.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at gifts, actually press days started in July.  So I can’t deny I started looking early.  That said, it’s always a bit of a brain drain to figure out what Mr B wants.  He has always worked with fashion accessories so I’ve always got to think one step ahead of your standard Christmas jumper, socks and cufflinks combo.

So, without giving too much away here we go for this year’s must have Man sized Christmas movers and shakers.

For Him

1. Ralph Lauren Polo socks, pack of three, Mainline.

2. Ultimate car kit, Simoniz.

3. Braun Multi Groomer.

4. Grey jumper, Red Cross Shop, Shoreham.

5. Knitted tie, Cos.

6. Guy Martin, Worms to Catch, Amazon.

7. Beanie hat, Cos

8. Wax fishing jacket, Red Cross Shop Shoreham.

9. Monogram Cufflinks, Boston and Boston

10. Croco Visiting Card Case, Ettinger

Hope you like my suggestions, click the links for more details.

Happy Shopping

Love DSB X

 

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How I tackled Contouring

I know what your thinking, contouring has been around like forever now.  Slow on the uptake I loathed it at first, I’m going to give you my older perhaps wiser way that I tackled it.

So yes contouring has been around for some time and yes it passed me by at first.  Doing this and that in beauty I’ve been invited to a number of events to be contoured, the theory being different shades of makeup placed strategically on your face will define cheek bones, slim nose, forehead, basically give you a face lift with makeup.  Piles of it!


so I was all up for this revolutionary beauty thing.  What could go wrong?  The first time I tried it after sitting in the makeup chair for well over an hour I was shown the mirror. Wow! but not in a good way, I looked like I’d been mak up as a fancy dress tiger.  I had the stripes, light, dark medium shades, all I lacked was the black snout and whiskers.  Put me in a tiger onesie and I would have come first at any fancy dress competition.


After this experience I didn’t try it for a while then some beautician grabbed me unaware and a launch and told me I needed contour. This time it was a little better but with huge fat orange stripes down my face a looked like a 1970’s Farrah Fawcett with sunburn.

So I’ve been a little reticent to try it since.

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Recently I was sent a Fab Contour Kit from Fab Brows .  It’s a neat little compact with a mirror wich comes with three shades of beautifully reflective powder and most importantly a contour brush.  They also include instructions and a diagram.  So each day I’ve been trying it little by little, somehow its worked its way into my beauty regime and now I love it.

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I mean if you want stripes its not for you, this is subtle but used in the right way it works.  I found me some cheekbones and who knew all these years I didn’t need rhinoplasty just a few shades of beige and a brush.

So If like me you are terrified of contouring check this out.  Alternatively, it makes the sweetest Christmas gift.

fabbrows.com

Love DSB x

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Sunday Supplement #38

I’m not too fond of Halloween to be honest.  I think it’s all got too big and American and over the top.  Two entire rows in Tesco were given up to Halloween-themed costumes, plastic pumpkins, and treats.

When I was young I’d never seen a pumpkin, well maybe in an American movie?  No, we carved Turnips, stuck a candle in a Swede and took our odd looking vegetables proudly to school.

Now I know I went to school about a hundred years ago but this seemed to be a civilised way to celebrate Halloween, not some supermarket fueled vampire frenzy. I could happily have skipped Halloween for the rather spectacular and altogether British tradition of Bonfire Night!

Bonfire Night was our own very British festival, fireworks, bonfires, jacket potatoes and pork pies.  Our efforts were not spent on dressing up in supermarket bought latex Witches costumes like our friends across the pond, no.  We used our imaginations.  We stuffed our Mams stockings with paper to make arms and legs, stole our Dads caps to put on a turnip head.  We had our own special Guy Fawkes to throw on top of the bonfire.  And he looked spectacular!

 

I must admit I did dress up for Halloween some of my twenty and thirty something years, but I am happy in the knowledge that I never will again.  The idea of fancy-dress now makes me cringe.  I think it’s my age. And yes you can be too old for face paint!

I’m sure if I had children it would be different and I’d be trick or treating or apple bobbing my way to hell.  I did feel like I missed out on this but now I feel like I’m lucky not to be charging around to my neighbours for something called Candy.

If you live on my street don’t be afraid to call, I did give in and bought orange coloured mini muffins from a sexy witch in our Co-Op.  See.  I’m not a total bah humbug!

Love DSB X

Thanks to Linden Tree Flowers for the Green Chrysanthemums and Green Gourds.  I will admit to loving Pumpkin farm pictures on instagram just hold off on the sexy witchy snaps!

 

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Sunday Supplement #37

I love Sundays.  I’ve spent the day in the most beautiful way, gardening.

The garden is looking very autumnal with our show stopping Virginia Creeper turning the brightest shades of red, crimson, orange and yellow.


The creeper crept all along our fence during the summer offering its green leafy coverage in abundance.  But it’s this time of year that this fast growing vine produces this bold splash of colour turning the entire garden red and creeping into next doors garden and onto their conifer, producing garlands of decorative red leaves.

The red hydrangeas are all but spent.  I cut a few heads for decoration, they have darkened drying out and have turned a lovely claret red.  So I pottered taking pictures and tidying the garden.

So gardening jobs for the weekend.  Gardeners Worlds Monty Don said it was time to take all of the tomatoes from your tomato crop those that are green you should put in a drawer with a banana, they will ripen.  I have a lot of tomatoes now.  I could make a batch of tomato sauce or what about a tomato pickle?

Hmmm autumn sandwiches with beef and tomato relish.  Here’s my relish….

Autumnal Tomato Chutney

Ingredients

  • 500g red onion, finely sliced
  • 1kg tomat0, blanched peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic clove, sliced
  • 4 red chilli, chopped
  • 4 cm piece ginger , peeled and chopped
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 300ml red wine vinegar
  • 5 cardamom seeds
  • ½ to 1 tsp paprika

Method

Tip all the ingredients into a large heavy-based pan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for 1 hr, then bring to a gentle boil so that the mixture turns dark, jammy and shiny. Place into sterilised jars and allow to cool before covering. Will keep for 6 weeks.

Voila, Autumn Tomato Chutney.  Put it in a nice jar and it makes a lovely Christmas gift!

Have a great rest of your Sunday!

Love DSB X

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Galvanic Spa

I read so much about how increasingly you don’t need to go under the knife to achieve youthful skin.  Award winning brand Nu Skin has developed a system called Galvanic Spa, which uses a galvanic current to push moisturizing products into the skin, for the optimum plumped look.  More recently they developed Age Loc.  A range of anti aging treatments which when used with the Galvanic Spa System give you that instant facelift.

My local beautician Kate who owns The Beauti Boss in Shoreham By Sea invited me to try their signature luxury Galvanic Spa Facial.

 

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galvanicspa

The facial starts with Nu Skin’s Polishing Peel, this removes impurities from under the skin.  Then The Galvanic Spa which uses a galvanic current to gently pushes the revolutionary ageLOC anti-aging products deep into your skin.  Effectively making the products work harder.  After this which is not even slightly tingly, just relaxing, it’s a mud mask for more moisture and a head shoulder and arm massage which just really blisses you out!

The whole facial takes an hour and a half, it’s well worth the time and leaves you feeling amazingly refreshed.

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galvanicsystem

Galvanic Spa lifts, tightens and firms the skin, removes fine lines and wrinkles and softens moderate to deep lines and wrinkles.

It visibly reduces the signs of stress such as dullness, under-eye bags and shadows ( which I suffer from a lot!)

It removes impurities from deep within the skin, so your skin is clearer and blemishes reduced, this is certainly the case.

It increases blood and lymph circulation to help remove impurities, so your skin looks healthy and clear.

This really does do what it says; it’s an instant non-invasive facelift in less than 1 hour.

In an ideal world, Kate advises this twice a week, for more information on treatments go to www.thebeautiboss.co.uk or to shop the range of Nu Skin products click here.

Love DSB X

 

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Sunday Supplement #36

A couple of weeks ago over dinner with friends, I was introduced to the Danish idea of ‘Hygge’.  Now I knew the Danes have an amazing sense of style but I knew nothing of this Scandi coated lifestyle nonsense.  Over dinner, I learned it’s the way the Danes get through the cold dark winter by restoring and recharging, and a rule, come ritual by which they live.

My dinner companions were the beautiful and talented Danielle and Natalie from LadyLoves blog.  I’ve since learned a thing or two about Hygge, with the ladies dedicating the month of October to all things Hygge related.

Hygge is about mindfulness and living in the present, it’s enjoying and partaking, friends for dinner, drinks in a nice hotel.  It’s also about making time for yourself in equal amounts doing the little things that give you so much pleasure.

I met a lovely lady this week who said she read my blog, after feeling first embarrassed, then flattered I listened to why she read it.  She explained her favourite post,  I had an unplanned day at home, and with a zillion things to do I drank a pot of tea in the late Summer sun and arranged Hydrangeas!  Totally self-centered gratification.  This is my Hygge.

If Hygge is to be ‘self-indulgent’, no, better word,  ‘self-mindful’ then Sunday is my Hygee.  Waking up late in freshly laundered sheets, a cup of tea and Monty Don on TV with his gardening jobs for the weekend.  We walk the dog on the beach or over The South Downs.  Stopping for a hearty brunch, kippers, eggs, bacon, avacado.  Whatever I like, because I’m in Hygee, I will not count calories, I shall indulge.

Sunday afternoons bring a spell of writing usually in my office surrounded by candles and flowers, today the candles are from Floris and Noble Isle the flowers are the dried smell of wheat, eucalyptus and roses.  Definitely more Autumnal now.

Writing and listening to music is my big indulgence, they are my symbiotic Sunday rights of passage.  As I sit at my desk I can hear the dulcet tones of John Peel from 1970, the sounds and smells provide the background to my Sunday Supplement writing session and make the fabric of my Hygge.  This feels good!

Once I’ve finished writing I’ll throw some meat and veg in a big pot, I might take a bath, swathe myself in delicious body potions, read the Sunday papers or watch a bit of weekend TV.

The night will end curled up on the sofa eating a warm bowl of goodness with a glass of red in hand.  Mr B and Blue doing exactly the same thing next to me.  Maybe Blue won’t have the wine but she loves a Sunday Supper.  And after we will snooze smelling of bath oils in our slippers until the time comes to put out the candle and say goodnight.

Now I know this sounds idyllic, and, of course, it doesn’t always go like this, (how many times did I rearrange the candle and my mug of tea?)  Life is not always as perfect as your Instagram feed.  In this crazy fast paced word in which we live and as a women, in particular, celebrate yourself and all that is good.  I may not go to church but I do practice a religion on a Sunday; me, home, our little loving family and the good things in life.

For more on Hygge check out Lady Loves blog here.

Love DSB

Noble Isle, Rhubarb Rhubarb Candle and Body Hydrator here.

Leonor Greyl hair oil and body oil here.

Monu Spa Recovery Balm and Body Oil here.

All images DSB x