Thursday, 17 September 2020

Skin Alchemists | The Chocolate Cove

It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote a post about another Skin Alchemist product, The Humble Warrior. A wonderful facial oil that has fast become a favorite within my day to day routine. I have since received another product via my Moi-meme monthly subscription box, ‘The Chocolate Cove’ which is an exfoliating product for your body. 

I wrote a little about the brand in my previous post, but for those who missed it you’ll soon see why it’s a brand I love. The brands story begins with the founder, Theresa. Theresa was born and raised in the Caribbean, and after migrating to London found that the combination of a fast-paced city life, processed food and of course the polluted air had a negative effect on her skin. Upon returning to St Lucia, with the fresh food and clean air her skin quickly became clear and healthy again. Having come from a family of herbalists, Theresa was inspired to replicate the natural benefits of the Caribbean upon her return to London in the form of organic skincare, and thus Skin Alchemists was born.

 

All products are created in small batches to ensure maximum freshness and potency. Their products are formulated with 100% natural, organic, unrefined and unbleached butters and oils. Each and every batch is bespoke, meaning products can vary slightly in terms of colour, texture and fragrance as the various harvest seasons change. The Chocolate Cove is a nourishing body exfoliate, and much like the much loved Humble Warrior it’s a product that just screams luxury. From the decadent packaging, to the scent, even the instructions are centered around relaxation, calm and treating yourself.

 

"Massage a generous amount of this chocolate goodness on damp skin or on dry for extra exfoliation. Relax. Use circular movements towards your heart. Rinse thoroughly afterwards and gently towel dry your now soft, smooth and glowing skin. For the most indulgent ritual, after scrubbing the chocolate cove all over, lie in a warm bath allowing your skin to absorb the salt minerals before rinsing."

 

As you’ll have possibly guessed from the name, an important ingredient in this exfoliate is the raw cacao. This is known to be rich in antioxidants, high in magnesium, vitamin C and the fatty acid Omega 6. Together these help promote cell repair to rejuvenate the skin. These are further benefited by the unrefined cocoa butter that gives this exfoliate a lot of its texture. You’ll have seen mention of salt minerals within my extract above, and these are pink Himalayan and Dead Sea salts. Containing over 70 different minerals, these help to soothe itching caused by dry skin. Finally there is nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom, all of which bring with them antibacterial properties. The result of all these wonderful ingredients is a scrub that gently buffs away dead skin cells whilst hydrating and nourishing the living skin underneath. 

 

The scent isn’t as chocolate like as I’d thought it would be, it very much makes me think of a dark chocolate, and the scent of the cinnamon pulls through the strongest without being overpowering. I had been slightly concerned that being a chocolate scent, this product could be sickly, but it isn't at all. 


When I came to use this scrub for the first time, I found that the salt within the product is the perfect size to exfoliate the skin properly, without over exfoliating and causing skin irritation. The first time I tried this scrub, I did so in the bath and was pleased to find that the salt does indeed dissolve into the water, and you don't end up being sat in a gritty tub. I continued the rest of my routine as normal, and once out and dry felt that my skin felt smoother without being dried out.


My skin goes through phases of being either very tolerant, or very sensitive. At the time of trying this product it was being a little sensitive, but I found that this scrub didn't aggravate it at all. In fact it helped reduce some of the bumps that had flared up on my upper arms. Much like the facial oil I tried before I have fallen in love with this product, and will be re-stocking when I eventually run out.


Have you ever tried any products from Skin Alchemists? What did you think?



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Monday, 14 September 2020 / Norwich, UK

September Goals 2020



Hey guys! I'm so sorry this post is so late in the month, but if you saw my previous post you'll see I had good reason to be awol (spoiler alert, we got married!)


It feels like quite a long time ago that we were starting August, yet here we are half way into September! The year is disappearing pretty fast, and I’ve even started to hear the ‘C’ word a few times already.

 As with every time I do write about a fresh set of goals, lets have a look over my previous lot and see how well (or not well) I did;

  

Have some date nights

We didn’t actually go anywhere for ‘Eat out to help out’ in the end, but we did have a couple of nice walks, movie nights and a trip to the beach together for ice-cream and chips.  


Drop a little more weight

Yes! I lost just under 7 pounds between setting the goal and our wedding day! I did admittedly then put a pound or two back on during our wedding week, but I’m still down overall, plus in the days after the wedding I just wanted to chill out, eat junk food, and enjoy our week off together as a newly married couple.

 

Start getting up earlier

I did it once, and once only so I’m going to count this as a fail.

 

Beat last month’s blog views

YES! Not only did I beat my views for the previous month, but last month I got more views than any other month since I started, so I'm really pleased.

 

Have a day on the coast

I managed one trip to the coast on one of the date nights out I mentioned earlier.

 

Get back in the gym

Well, I didn’t really do this. I went to the gym once to use the pool and that’s it. I have however been running consistently a few times a week, even managing to do a few 10k runs (which is the longest I've ever run) so I’m not that bothered that it was in a field rather than a treadmill.


Refresh some more posts

I did a teeny tiny update on one post, so I can’t really say that was a raging success if I'm honest.



I think it’s fair to say I didn’t do all that great with my August goals, but at the same time it wasn’t terrible. Plus a lot of late August became totally focused on the final preparations for our wedding, so I’m not at all worried (or surprised) that these were put on the back burner. I’m now free to focus back on the blog and so with that in mind comes my goals for September!

 

Keep up the weight loss

I’m pretty pleased with my progress so far, but I have a target that I would like to get to. I am doing it quite slowly however, and in a way I can sustain easily when I do get to my target. I’ve never been one for yoyo diets and I don’t intend to start now.

 

Beat last month’s blog views

As I mentioned, last month was the highest view numbers I’ve ever had, so I want to try and beat it this month!

 

Sponsored content

Another blog based goal! Last month I was lucky enough to secure not one, but two sponsored posts! As blogging is very much a hobby for me I don’t rely on it for income, but it is certainly a nice bonus! I’d like to try and secure at least one sponsored post this month if I can.


Sort my plant collection

I have an ever growing collection of plants in my home, and many now need re-potting, rearranging and I even have a few that don't really have permanent homes. I'd like to take some cuttings of some of them too, and see if I can propagate some new plant babies!


Do some painting

We have a few walls in our house that need a bit of a refresh, namely the one with the red wine stain all over it.. I got some paint a few weeks ago and just need to find the time to touch up the areas that look a bit worn. Although to be honest, I'm half tempted to just repaint entire walls so that everything looks fresh.


Get some candles

Something I love as we start to move into the Autumn is to make my home nice and cosy in the evenings, and one way I like to do that is candles, in particular scented ones. Mike feels we don't need any more candles at the moment, so I'll probably just sneak a few into the house when he's not looking..


Bath Bombs

If you know me you'll know that I love collecting and using bath bombs, and I'm currently running low. Which in a way is kind of good timing really as Lush will have launched their Halloween range by now! I'm going to try and be sensible and not grab too many, but we all know I can get a little trigger happy with the 'add to cart' button!


Start putting money aside

Now is the time of year that I typically start to put a little money aside for Christmas. Aside from Christmas itself having the potential to be quite costly, I have a lot of friends with birthdays in December and January, so I want to start getting things sorted for them nice and early too.  



That just about sums up all of my goals for the rest of the month. All pretty simple and hopefully achievable, and hopefully when I check back next month I'll have done most, if not all of them!


Do you have any goals for September?


                                      

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Tuesday, 8 September 2020

We got married!!



It’s been a little while since I’ve done a chatty life update, or any posts at all for that matter, but I have been away for a good reason, for which I’m sure you’ll forgive me! Especially as I have some exciting news to share… we finally got married!


I feel like years have passed since my ‘let’s catch up’ post – in fact, given that it was back in March I suppose it was actually quite a long time ago! So much has changed since then. Back when I wrote that post we were 11 weeks away to traveling to Tennessee to have a beautiful wedding and finally get married. Travel from the UK to USA was still happening at that time, but we were unsure as to whether or not that would continue to be the case.


Obviously the seriousness of the virus became very apparent in the weeks that followed that post and we ended up making the difficult decision to postpone our American wedding for a year. It was just as well we did really given that it wasn’t long before our hands would have been forced and travel was stopped, which would have made our trip impossible even if we did still intend to go.


 


We had planned to have our wedding in two parts, with America being the side that looks like a conventional wedding, with the dress, the bridesmaids, the groomsman, the guests and of course the pretty ceremony. Shortly after arriving back home in the UK we were going to them pop down to the registry office for the legal side, which would just consist of signing the paperwork and getting our marriage certificates, but not really be considered to be 'important' compared to the side taking place in Tennessee.


Having ‘two’ weddings did mean we could hold out a little bit of hope while lockdown was starting to take hold for the UK portion of our wedding to still go ahead and we’d get something, even if it was just a marriage certificate, but sadly it couldn’t. This was probably more frustrating, given that it was the time that many clothing and ‘non-essential’ stores were opening back up. So we could go to Primark with  hundreds of other people, but we couldn’t go with two witnesses to have our wedding.


 



After our weddings were pulled we waited, having been told by our local council that they would contact couples in date order to re-book ceremonies as soon as they were able to go ahead with them again. The announcement finally came from the government that weddings could go ahead, but our council didn’t open them up right away as they wanted to take more time to plan. We continued to wait, but with the end of our notice period approaching we were worried that we were going to have to pay and go through the process of giving notice all over again. Bearing in mind couples can’t currently give notice in Norfolk, that would potentially mean waiting for a very long time.


Finally in late August we finally managed to get a new wedding date set for 1st September!


We only had two weeks to get something together, plus as I mentioned before, this side of the wedding really is only intended to be the formality. Our ‘proper’ wedding will still be going ahead in Nashville, Tennessee as we had originally planned, just not quite at the time we planned it.


Despite being extremely strapped for time we managed to pull something together last minute. We borrowed a gazebo from a friend of a friend, and my bridesmaids and I spent the day before decorating it with banners, flower garlands and lots of fairy lights. We have a little bar area our in our garage which we decorated as well. Not having an kind of wedding dress, I ended up ordering a duplicate of the bridesmaids dresses via ASOS next day delivery, but in a lighter colour so that I had something that at least looked kind of like a wedding dress. We even had a friend bring along a birthday cake which they had scrawled ‘just married’ over the top with writing icing!

 


Whilst the day certainly wasn’t quite what we had originally planned, and our trip to Nashville next year is very much still going to be our ‘wedding’. As far as we are concerned what we did have was an absolutely wonderful day full of smiles and laughter. There’s many people we’d have loved to have spent the day with, and we hopefully will do exactly that next year but for us it was perfect just as it was none the less. Our friends really pulled together and were a fantastic help (especially my bridesmaids!) in getting everything in place and making it a truly special day.


Now the countdown begins again for America! 

   

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