Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

On Thursday evening I had the opportunity to visit Hopefield Animal Sanctuary for an Influencer event that they were hosting .I took my Son along with me as I knew he would enjoy meeting the animals.

We were given a guided tour of the sanctuary and an informative talk telling us all about the necessary work that they do at Hopefield. After our tour we were then treated to a delicious vegan afternoon tea served up in their on site tearoom.

The sanctuary is located in Brentwood, not far from where I live in Essex. I had driven past it on many occasions as the paddocks back onto the A12, a road that I use regularly, but I had never actually visited. My view from the A12 gave the impression that Hopefield is a small horse sanctuary, which of course it is, however it is actually so much more.

The Sanctuary was founded In 1983 by Paula and Ernie Clark, after seeing the plight of the increasing number of abandoned ponies and cobs being left abandoned on Rainham Marshes. Today the Sanctuary is home to over 450 rescued animals, not just horses. They range from unwanted pet rabbits and cats, horses and cattle to the more exotic including tortoises, snakes, raccoons, alpaca and reindeer,

One of Hopefield’s first residents was Hope a 35 year old horse. Hope was rescued at just 6 months old from the meat market where she had been separated from her mother and was found hiding in a corner scared and alone.

Hope is a lovely horse and thanks to the care she has received is now quite used to human contact.

Hope suffers from a foot condition so cannot walk in mud. This is why her paddock is floored with concrete. It allows her to enjoy being outdoors even in wet conditions. This is just one example of how Hopefield will adapt its facilities to match an individual animals needs.

Hopefield operates with a no kill policy meaning that they will never put a healthy animal down. Some of the animals have been rescued from terrible conditions, injured, malnourished and with complex physiological issues. The team will do their best to provide the specialist care and treatment required.

Some of animals have found their way to Hopefield as they have been considered to no longer have any value for their previous owners. These male dairy cows for example would usually be destroyed at birth considered worthless.

Other residents have found themselves at Hopefield due to being purchased as unsuitable pets. These Racoon dogs might  look very cute but do not make good pets. They found their way into the UK pet market from China. They are a wild animal though and cannot be domesticated. Luckily they were able to find a home at the sanctuary. Often unwanted animals are just dumped by their previous owners.

Hopefield do such fantastic work rescuing animals that would otherwise live a life that is full of suffering. They can only do this through fundraising and with the help of volunteers.

If you want to help you can do so by making a donation via their website. There is also an animal adoption scheme. We plan on adopting Slow Coach, the tortoise on the left in the picture below. He has scarring on his shell as he was kept in too small an enclosure. The heat lamps where so low they burnt his shell. This shell damage is permanent and will not grow back. It doesn’t slow him down though he was actually quite fast for a tortoise!

My Son instantly fell in love with Slow coach. He loves tortoises and wants one as a pet. We have had to tell him no though as it would be irresponsible of us to even entertain the idea. It is just not possible for us to provide the required home for one. My Son is excited to adopt Slow Coach though and will be able to visit him at Hopefield.

If you wanted to visit the Sanctuary and meet the animals for yourself it is open to the public. Opening times are  Fridays through to Monday, between 11 and 4pm.

Entry fees are very reasonable at just £16 for a family ticket. (2 adults, 2 children).

A visit makes for a lovely afternoon out, not only to you get to see a wide variety of different animals but it is very educational and helps to support their ongoing work. The tea room is also a great place to grab refreshments whilst you are there. We really enjoyed our afternoon tea!

If you could adopt an animal what kind of animal would you adopt? Let me know in the comments.

A #Fabulousnight in with Fabulous Mag

On Tuesday evening myself and little sister, fellow blogger Ashliegh,  took a trip up to London to attend Fabulous Magazines #Fabulousnightin.  Do go check out her blog, she writes about a wide variety of topics. 

The event was held on the top floor of News UK’s rather swanky building in London Bridge. The views from the 17th floor are quite amazing. With floor to ceiling Windows you get an amazing panaramic view of Londons Southbank. I tried to get some photos to share but as it was dark the internal lights kept reflecting in my lense. Bummer! 

When we arrived we had the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine from i heart WINES. Don’t mind if I do! 

If you want to find out more about the brand then check out their website

Whilst sipping on our drinks we sat down to watch the Q&A session led by Claire Frost. 

The panel of authors included Lindsey Kelk (I’m a bit of a fan girl), Giovanna Fletcher and last but not least Mhairi McFarlane. This was live streamed on Fabulous Magazines Facebook page. 

There was plenty of laughter and valuable advice for aspiring authors. The video is worth a watch if you want some advice and industry insider tips. 

We then had the opportunity to meet each of the lovely ladies in person and have our books signed. They were fab and took time to have a chat and pose for a photo with everyone. Well done ladies! 

Posing with Lindsey Kelk

So with some new books to read (other than my business studies textbooks) I will do my best to share some reviews with you in the new future.

LDNmeetups #BigBloggerExpo

Sunday saw me heading up to London with my blogging partner in crime, aka my little sister Ashleigh. 

We were heading to The Danubius Hotel Regents Park for the #BigBloggerExpo organised by LDNmeetup’s Lauren and Abi. Once again the girls outdid themselves and arranged another fab blogging event. 

The premis of this event was to meet with brands whilst making connections for future collaboration opportunities and to meet and chat with other bloggers. There was also a fundraising element to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. One of my favourite things about LDNmeetup is they like to give back. In fact this weekend several bloggers are volunteering at Race for Life Hyde Park providing essential support in the running of the event. 

When we arrived we were signed in and each given a stamp card with all the brands we would be meeting listed. We then were free to collect the stamps from each brand and would recieve a goody bag if we filled our card. I think this is a great idea as it means you don’t accidentally miss out on meeting any of the brands. I’m also a kid at heart and liked collecting the stamps. It reminded me of the merit stamps your teacher would give for good work at school. 

The event was sponsored by some excellent brands including Jewellerybox.co.uk, a London based online company specialising in real jewellery at costume jewellery prices. They have some super cute designs that arrive beautifully gift packages. 

Bouroughbox, another sponsor, are an exciting company that offer a monthly subscription service delivering artisan food products straight to your door. This is one for foodies as there are so many exciting and unique brands included. I’m desperate to sign up but sadly can’t afford it at the moment. (Fingers crossed I get the job I’m interviewing for next week, then I might be able to)

So many exciting brands were exhibiting on the day, too many to feature in one blog post. They included Dr Paw Paw, Living Proof, Heaven skincare, Westlab, Instant Effects, Bonnie Boo Gifts and many many more. 

All the brands were very generous and gifted us with lots of samples to try so do keep your eye out for my reviews that will follow over the next couple of weeks. 

For now though I will leave you with some pictures of the event.

Bonnie Boo Gifts
Jody Bell
Dr Paw Paw
Two Three / Clothing Brand

Don’t forget to look out for the upcoming product reviews. 

If you want to find out more about Ldnmeetup blogger events you can do so here. 

An afternoon of crafting | #VikingArtyParty

Last Saturday I was very fortunate to be able to attend the #VikingArtyParty held in The Gallery at Lumiere London.

This was such a fun afternoon and has left me very inspired. 

We had the opportunity to take part in three different craft workshops including calligraphy, origami and block printing,  all of which where led by some very talented people. 

There was a chance to meet and chat to fellow bloggers whislt indulging in plenty of tea and pastries to help fuel our creativity. Yum! 

image courtesy of Search Laboratory

For the activities we were split into to three groups. My groups first activity was modern calligraphy. 

 The class was led by Suzie who is a very talented Calligrapher and teaches classes at Tea & Crafting in Camden. She is super friendly and patient, which was a godsend as I am definitely not a natural Calligrapher. 

I’m determined to practice though as this is a skill I would love to have. We were able to take home the supplies to practice at home courtesy of Suzie’s high end stationers business A-liaise.co.uk. Here you can find all the calligraphy equipment you should need including some pretty funky looking neon inks. She also offers a hand written calligraphy service for wedding invitations etc. 

Our next activity was Mindful Origami. The class was lead by Samual Tsang who is the author of The book of Mindful Origami (available from Amazon) and brains and talent behind Sesames.co.uk hand crafted paper origami floral bouquets. 

The picture below shows a tulip bouquet but he is able to create so many other variations of flower that I urge you to check out his gallery in the link above. 

Now your probably thinking what the hell is mindful origami? 

I would describe it as using the art form of origami as a way of decluttering the mind and focusing on positive thoughts. You can find more about it though in Samual’s book. 

Our last activity was block printing. This was so much fun and is a simple yet effective way of decorating. Depending on the paint you used it can be done on most mediums including fabric, wood, card and even coated card like on our file boxes we created. 

I decided to print little lipsticks on mine. I’m very pleased with how they turned out. 

image courtesy of Search Laboratory

The class was led by Jane, founder of tea and crafting workshops. Located in Camden they offer all manor of workshops ranging from knitting, cake decorating, weaving, calligraphy, paper cutting and much more. They even offer hen parties. 

Of course I couldn’t fail to mention the events organisers from search laboratory, especially Jenny who invited me after meeting her at last weeks #bloggersball, and their sponsors Viking-direct. Viking are one of the UK’s largest stationary and office suppliers. They are also a great place to find and wide range of crafting supplies and supplied us all with a goody bag so we can try out some more crafting at home. 

I have an offer code to share with you that will save you 15% off any future purchase from A-Laise.co.uk. Neon coloured calligraphy anyone? Yes please! 

It is SUPER15

This is valid until the end of August

All that’s left to say is a huge thank you to everyone involved in organising this event. It was such fun and has really inspired me to try out some different crafts. 

*Featured image credit – Search Laboratory

Lush Valentines Evening – what’s in store? 

Last Friday I was in my element. Why?? Well I got to attend a valentines event at my local lush store. I love lush events as they are very hands on, meaning lots of fun. 

Annoyingly I forgot my camara so I haven’t got pictures of the evening. Doh!! I can show you some of the new valentines goodies I picked up though, and a very special bubble bar that we made on the evening. 


Unicorn Horn £4.25 – A lustre filled lavender, ylang ylang and neroli bubble bar. 


This was the last unicorn horn in Chelmsford, they have been very popular. Naturally I nabbed one pronto before anyone else could Mwah ha ha ha ha! 

Lover Lamp £3.95 – This is a bath bomb that contains Brazillian orange oil, fair trade vanilla absolute and fair trade and organic cocoa butter hearts.  

 This was so pretty when they demonstrated, I cannot wait to find a free half hour to have a bath with this. 

Roses all the Way £4.25 – How pretty is this heart shaped turkish rose oil soap. I just had to bring one home with me. 


This is inspired by Disneys Alice in Wonderlands “we’re painting the roses red” scene. The more you use the soap the red rose fades into a white rose. 

Sex Bomb £3.50 – Okay so this is not strictly part of the valentines range, though it does feature in many of the valentines gift sets. 


I just thought it was super pretty and want to see how this performs in the bath. I’ll let you know. 

Aside from getting the opportunity to shop for lush goodies we were also shown how to give hand massages. We paired up and took it in turns as we were talked through how to do them.

We also had the chance to make our very own heart shaped creamy candy £2.95 bubble bars. Messy but fun. No one else has these in a heart shape  either! 


If you are interested then do keep your  eyes peeled for some related product reviews coming over the next week or so, once I’ve had the chance to use them. 

Let me know if you have tried any of the valentines products from Lush, and what you thought of them in the comments section below. 

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Lush’s Halloween & Christmas Launch Evening

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the Halloween and Christmas blogger event at my local lush store. The Lush Christmas launch has to be my favourite time of year at Lush. The products are so exciting, even returning old favourites have had little tweaks to them. Expect lots of colour, glitter and even products with sounds elements. Yes you can have a bath inspired by the sound of a crackling fire!

As ever the team at Lush were super knowledgeable about every single product launched, no crib sheets either! There enthusiasm and passion for Lush products is clearly evident.

So let’s have a peek at some of those goodies.

My top Bubble bar picks include Holly Golightly, Peeping Santa and Five Gold Rings. 

Holly Golightly Bubble Bar


This is a fairly grown up sent. Containing Patchouli, Lime, Cinnamon Leaf and orange oil this really does smell of Chrismas. Expect a gorgously intense green bath with some added sparkle.

Peeping Santa Bubble Bar

Do you like the scent of strawberries? This little cutie packs a punch and is super nourishing thanks to the layer of Shea butter.  Can we just take a moment to appriciate how amazing the colour it will turn the bath water.

Five Gold Rings is Inspired by the classic christmas carol 12 days of christmas. I love the idea of this bubble bar as you can actually get 5 baths out of one product if you use one ring per bath.

This is a visually pleasing product with a lovely light vanilla and tonka fragrance. 
Next up my top bath bomb picks are;  Cinders, Father Christmas and Lord of Misrule.

Cinders Bath Bomb

Remember I eluded to a a crackling fireside inspired bath? Well this bath bomb may be small but it don’t let that dissolution you.

Expect a visually spectacular orange coloured bath that actually smokes and crackles. Oh and it has a pretty fab hot fruit punch scent as well.

Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb

This bath bomb is just beautiful, check this little demo out below. Fans or Lord of Misrule show gel will love this one.

I had this bath bomb as a christmas gift from my son last year. It has a lovely sweet but not too sweet scent and provided a gorgous coloured bath. I won’t ruin this one for you as it’s not what you expect.

Father Christmas Bath Bomb

My Top picks from the rest include Sants’s Belly shower jelly, Snakes & Ladders fun, Old Father Time soap and the daddy of Chrismas selection boxes 12 Days of Christmas which includes a selection of 12 of the christmas limited edition products.

Santa’s Belly Shower Jelly

Love apple scents and red wine? This one is for you. Oh and how cute are those stars.

Snakes & Ladders Fun

Lovers of play dough will love this. it doubles up as soap and shampoo and not to mention some modelling fun. We have has snowman fun in the past and the black section made a big mess so I would definately opt for this one over that.

Old Father Time Soap

I love both of these soaps and would love to have the whole round. It’s not just a bit of soap they’re a work of art. They both smell fab aswell.


12 days of christmas

I would love to own this bit I couldn’t warrant spending £49.95 on it myself, but if you can and know a Lush fan this would make an amazing gift

This is just a small selection of the christmas products recently launched at Lush. To feature them all on the blog would probably bore you to death so if you want to see more then pop in to you local Lush store if you get the chance.

I was lucky to receive a couple of products to take home which I will feature in review posts over thecoming  weeks so keep you eyes peeled for those.

Fow now I owe a huge thanks to the team at Lush for having me.

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The #BigBloggerConference 

Yesterday I was fortunate to be able to attend the much anticipated #BigBloggerConference. If you didn’t know already this event was organised by the @LDNMeetup twitter network. The trio of bloggers, Lauren, Jenny and Abigail have a talent for arranging excellent events that are to the benefit of both bloggers and brands. 

The conference was held at The Russell Square Hotel in Bloomsbury London. We were treated to a morning of educational blogging workshops with some excellent guest speakers, followed by a Brand Exhibition in the afternoon.

Elizerbeth Sellers a Pro Blogger and UK brand Ambassdor for Pinterest UK, talked to us about how Pinterest can be used as a tool to generate blog traffic. I could go on for an entire blog post about this as it was so interesting. 

Let’s just say I had been using Pinterest in totally the wrong way with regards to sharing my own content. Today I have spent all day fixing this, my boards are now organised, with well described pins and get this You can now pin directly from my blog to Pinterest hassle free. 

I was so excited I had a bit of a fangirl moment tweeting Elizabeth with my progress. She was lovely though and checked out my page and pointed me in the direction of how I can tweak it to improve it even more. Do check out her blog Rosalilium.Com, I’ve been having a good old read today and it’s great. S’mores Pie Recipe, yes please!

Next up we had a talk from Jasmine Charlotte about SEO and SMO. This girl knows her stuff, I knew a little bit about Search Engine Optimisation already but the idea of Social Media optimisation is something I knew nothing about. 
I loved her talk as I’m turning into a bit of a tech geek. I get as excited about the tech side of blogging as I do creating the content itself. Her blog Jasminecharlotte.com has lots of useful blogging tips post as well as some great lifestyle features. 

Lastly we had a talk from Sarah of TheProseccodiaries.com.com all about ways in which we could monetise our blogs. I know there is great debate about this at the moment as some people see blogging as a hobby and others would like to make a career of blogging, but it was interesting to know what opportunities you could have if you put the time and effort in to growing your blog. 

Even maintaining a small blog takes a lot of time and effort and not to forget site hosting fees so I be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t want to see any financial gain from it in the future. 

Tricky subject over we had lunch in Russell Square park. I met some lovely fellow Essex based bloggers who educated me on the new live streaming platform Periscope, I hadn’t a clue. I think I’m going to give it a go, maybe? We shall see If I have the guts – Eeek!

Lunch over we had the chance to attend the Brand exhibition. This was great fun, making  connections with brands, and going on a twitter scavenger hunt. This idea was inspired girls, well done! 


Bee Good Natural Skincare


Heaven Silver Bee Venom Masks from Deborah Mitchell

There was even the chance to have our hair done by the talented stylists from The Parlour London. 
Check out my braided crown of hair, this was perfect for keeping me cool as it was such a hot day.  

We were very lucky and came away with a goody bag as a result of our twitter scavenger hunt. I’m looking forward to trying out some of these goodies and sharing my thoughts about them here on the blog in the future. 


So all that’s left for me to say is a huge thanks to Lauren, Abigail and Jenny they arranged a super conference and I was honoured to be able to attend.   

CAMRA Beer & Cider festival – An English Summer evening

Earlier this week my husband and I did the unthinkable and managed to get out on a school night. We popped along to the first evening of the CAMRA Chelmsford Summer Beer & Cider Festival. Combined with the opportunity to listen to some live music,  what better way is there to spend a summers evening than supping artisan beers in the sun?

photo 1 (3)

Running for 37 years this has to be one of my favourite beer festivals, there is  such a diverse range of beers and ciders available to try.  I challenge anyone not to find one that they enjoy. What is even more special about this event is that it is only made possible by the volunteers that give up their time to man the various bars or take on the other roles needed to make this event happen.

photo 4 (1)
Poser! Pretending I know what I’m doing when it comes to choosing a beer
Favourites beers for me included the Brentwood Blonde a golden bitter with full fruit flavours and a crisp finish, and Lindemans Kriek Cherry Beer which is a Belgian draught beer.

Lindenams Cherry Beer
Lindenams Cherry Beer
Alongside the beers there were various food stalls offering goodies ranging from vegetarian curries, to bratwursts and burgers. If you have sweet tooth then doughnuts and handmade chocolate is available to try. I may have eaten one to many cinnamon doughnuts, whoops!

photo 5 We had a very funny moment when I thought it would be a good idea to try Scorpion Death Chilli Chocolate. It was freeking ho!! I promptly guzzled my cherry beer very quickly to try to cool down the burn.

image (24)If you are in Essex then there is still time to be paying a visit to the Chelmsford Summer Beer & Cider festival,  it runs until  Saturday 11th July.


Wimbledon Afternoon Tea at The Landmark Hotel

Yesterday was a very good day, It was one of those day’s that is filled with fun, good food and great conversation.

I was very fortunate to be invited to The Landmark Hotel in Marylbone to join 11 other bloggers for a Wimbledon Themed afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is taken within the stunning Winter Gardens.

The space is truely awe inspiring and reminded me of the spectacular lobby’s found in Caribbean  hotels, with sweeping staircases, palms and a beautiful glass ceiling. For a while I completely forgot I was actually still in the busy centre of London.

The event was hosted by Ladbrokes Bingo, and was a brilliant opportunity to meet some other bloggers and the charming and very easy on the eye #BuffBallBoys. If your heading to Wimbledon this year do keep your eye out for them.


Photo Call for the #BuffBallBoys

We were treated to a champagne afternoon tea that consisted of delicate finger sandwiches, traditional scones with jam and cream and miniature deserts.
 The sandwiches though traditional had a special twist as they were made using artisan flavoured breads. My favourite had to be chicken and tarragon on a walnut bread.

Sweet favourites for me had to be the Pimms Jelly, infused with Mint and a pistachio sponge with Ros’e Champagne cream.

Once again thank you to Ladbrokes and to Lucy for making this experience possible. This was a lovely way to spend a Monday Afternoon and to meet some people with similar interests.

The special Wimbledon Tea is available  until 12th July, so if you want to experience it then don’t hang around.

Are you a fan of afternoon tea? Do you have any recommendations of other places I need to visit for afternoon tea?

A Lush spa experience evening at Lush Chelmsford 

On Friday evening I was very fortunate to have been invited to a spa experience evening, at my local Lush Store. The event focused on some of the amazing treatments available at Lush Spa’s , particularly the new and quite epic Planets Treatment. I shall tell you more about that later though.

First up let me share some of the experiences of Friday evening with you. Be prepared for lots of pictures.

On arrival we were greeted by the very welcoming Chelmsford Lush team. We were given name badges and offered herbal tea, candy floss and biscuits. Typical me, shortly after being giving my tea spilt it everywhere, cringe!

Accident behind us though, we were given a talk about the spa and then split off into groups to move around and sample some  of the treatments the spa has to offer.

IMG_4816        IMG_4785IMG_4782

IMG_4766IMG_4810As you can see from the pictures this included hand and arm massages, mini facials and foot soaks. There where also listening stations where you had a chance to listen to the music that accompanies each unique treatment.

It was a brilliant evening as we got to see products in use the way the clever creators at lush intended.

A personal favourite had to be the Big Blue bath ballistic. This was created to provide the sensatory part of The Good Hour deep tissue massage £80. Inspired by sea shanties and the movement aboard a ship, this was dreamed up when it’s creator was having back related problems.

Put it this way I need this treatment, I shall be saving my pennies for a trip to the Oxford Street Spa. For now though I have contented myself with a cheeky purchase of the big blue to try out at home.

Lush Big Blue Bath BombLush big blue demoLush big blue bath bomb

We also were able to have a go at creating a fresh face mask to take home with us.  We made the Catastrophe Cosmetic mask. This is a detoxifying mask containing blueberries, yum! (Yeah I know, your not supposed to eat it).



How amazing does the fresh face mask stand look though? definitely good enough to eat.

So that is a round-up of the goings on last Friday at Lush Chelmsford. It was a truly amazing experience. I need to get saving now so I can treat myself to the good hour massage. For now though let me tell you a bit more about the planets treatment.

The Planets Treatment lasts an amazing 3 hours and is Inspired by the planets in our solar system. The treatment is divided into three distinct phases focusing on the past present and future. It includes different massage techniques, palm readings and a lifted facial combined with unique Lush sensatory elements.

This is a completely different experience,  priced at £285 (cough) this would make the ultimate gift for someone special. One can dream any way can’t they?

Have you been to the lush spa before? I would love to hear about your experience. If these taster treatments are anything to go by then I can imagine it is truly amazing.

Once again a massive thank you needs to go out to the team at Lush Chelmsford, they are all incredibly talented and full of knowledge.

By for now, Katy 🙂