Showcase: natural soaps

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Soap has become one of those things that I never thought I'd like using because there are, let's be honest, more practical alternatives, but soap is just as lovely and lathery (totally a word) and feels great when used directly on your skin, since it can also double as a massage bar (like the ones you can buy from Lush).

I've recently started using a soap I bought from TKMaxx quite a long time ago that I used to have sitting on my shelf still in its packaging. It's lavender scented and I use it mainly with a nail scrubbing brush to get ground coffee out from under my fingernails (😷) but I also use it as a shower gel alternative. I love that soaps tend to linger longer on the skin, so I can smell the lavender for hours after, which I don't always get with shower gel, since they're sometimes not as moisturising and the scent is not as long-lasting.

I scoured the internet for some lovely natural soaps from all kinds of independent online stores and brands, and I've also included a couple of high street finds. I've included all the ethical information I could find about each shop/brand underneath the product.

Boricha by Binu Binu from Steven Alan - 100% natural, fragrance free, no palm oils, no artificial colourants, no parabens, no sulphates, no animal products, no synthetic detergents

Cocoa butter and vanilla from Coconut Blush - no artificial fragrance, no parabens, no sodium lauryl sulphates, no harsh chemicals

Rose geranium and patchouli from Nathalie Bond Organics - certified organic ingredients, irritant free, not tested on animals, majority of products vegan friendly

Kiwi and juniperberry oil from Lush - not tested on animals, 100% vegetarian, majority of products vegan friendly, ethically sourced fresh ingredients

Dead sea clay from RavensCtApothecary - majority of products vegan friendly, natural ingredients, no palm oil, uses botanical fragrances, 100% UK origin beeswax, not tested on animals

Pineapple and lime from Faith in Nature - 100% natural fragrance, no parabens, no sodium lauryl sulphates, no genetically modified ingredients, no synthetic colouring, no artificial preservatives, 100% vegetarian, majority of products vegan friendly, not tested on animals, no methylisothiazolinone

Black poppy and wild fig from The Soap Co. - sustainable palm oil, uses natural extracts, no parabens, not tested on animals, 100% recyclable packaging

Moringa from The Body Shop - not tested on animals, raw ingredients sourced from around the world, founding member of the Ethical Trading initiative

Lavender from SouthseaBathingHut - natural ingredients, vegan friendly, kind to all skin types, not tested on animals, no parabens, fragrance from essential oils

Carrot, honey and coconut from WestwoodNaturals - natural local ingredients, majority of products contain unrefined shea butter and organic castor oil, no palm oil, uses essential oils

A walk through the park & more cross stitch patterns

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hey! Hope you all had a lovely weekend, I genuinely can't remember what I did - I think I spent most of it at work or in bed. I know, so exciting.

Yesterday, after I'd finished at an appointment, I walked into town to have some lunch and decided to cut through the park to take some nice pics while the sun was out. The one of the church turned out so nice, I'm fairly certain the path in the photo leads into a sensory garden which I've never explored despite living in this town since, well, birth. I don't actually wander around my hometown on foot that often, which is quite sad but I don't think many people take time to explore their own hometown, you sort of just take it for granted.

Last week I also started working on a new cross stitch project. My mum found an old cross stitch design I did at primary school(!) while cleaning out her room so I decided to copy it onto some nice clean white Aida cloth. The stitching has been really fun to play around with.

I even copied the thread colours over too (except I swapped white for pink), which is why nothing matches and kind of looks like garbage, but I wanted to be as accurate as possible. 😅

So that's that. Hope you guys all have a good week.

P.S. This is my 100th post on Battlewind! 🎉

Twilight bath bomb from Lush

Saturday, June 25, 2016

This is the Twilight bath bomb from Lush. It has become a firm favourite as of today. The description on their website is as follows:

If sleep is evading you, this combination of essential oils will help get you ready for a good night's rest. As Twilight dissolves, it turns from the colour of the setting sun and gets darker, turning your water a shimmering deep purple. The fragrance has been designed to help you sleep: lavender is a soothing, mind-clearing and calming fragrance, used in aromatherapy to treat insomnia and aid restful sleep, while benzoin and tonka call to mind a milky caramel malt drink.

As you can see in the photos, the bath bomb made a crater in the middle and then all this gorgeous turquoise froth started bubbling out. I've actually never tried Twilight before, so this was a nice surprise. Thought it might be a bit like Sakura (another fave), but Twilight is admittedly a bit more exciting. The smell is something I can't describe, it's beyond dreamy. Definitely a winner.

Car boot sales & little cat adventures

Thursday, June 23, 2016


My family and I went car-booting on Sunday. I got a book on cross stitch patterns which I'm aware makes me sound like a pensioner but it's such a good book, lots of pretty floral patterns to try. The weather was really nice and it was the first time in about a fortnight that I got to take my jacket off and enjoy bare arms 😵. You wouldn't think it was June. It pains me that July is almost here and we've hardly had any proper sunny hot days. Absolute nonsense. I think Britain has just decided to bypass summer altogether.

Sunday was actually such a nice day. We had dinner at my brother's house and I had a little glass of gin, lime, and lemonade - my favourite bevvy thanks to a friend who introduced me to it last year.

In other news, we've recently been letting my cat wander about outside for the first time. Today she was out for a good half hour. We initially wanted her to be an indoor cat because we've had a few cats in the past that have sadly lost their lives thanks to the busy road we live on and we didn't want to repeat history, but our current cat was so desperate to go out we decided to let her in the garden and see what she does. So far she doesn't seem interested in what's over the gate (the road), and instead likes to sit on the garden path and watch the birds. I'm perfectly OK with that, so long as there's one of us outside to keep an eye on her. I'm nervous to let her out, but she seems to love it.

I have another day off tomorrow and my mum and I may or may not be going to IKEA... pay day is also tomorrow which does not bode well for my debit card.

Birthday celebrations & beauty purchases

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hi! My mum celebrated her birthday yesterday so I dragged her shopping because she'd received a couple of lovely gift cards and vouchers in her birthday cards, and apparently I'm quite good at influencing people to spend money. Not sure if it's a gift or a curse.

I took some pictures in White Stuff because their stores always make me happy, the colours really pack a punch and I just love the whole vibe.

I never knew that White Stuff sells books, bath products, make-up bags, candles, kitchenware, and cushions among lots of other cute homey things - everything was just so perfect. I want my future house to look like White Stuff.

My mum bought some bath bombs from Lush and I got the Rose Jam bubbleroon which I'd never seen before - I've had the Rose Jam shower gel that they release over Christmas, but I had no idea it came in bubbleroon form too. I shrieked when I spotted it. I can't even explain how much I love the smell, it is out of this world.

I also pulled my mum into Kiko because I had to show her all the nail polishes they do. She bought a gorgeous teal colour (34 Emerald) and the green candy sprinkles to go on top. I got a summery pink shade (25 Azalea), some wet and dry powder foundation, and a pencil lip gloss (10 Dark Rose).

We had a really good day, I'm so pleased with what I got and I'm so happy my mum had a nice day too. I handmade her a card and present this year which I'll make sure to photograph and feature on the blog next. I bought an embroidery hoop and did her a summer-themed embroidery with her name in the middle - it was my first proper attempt at freehand embroidery and I really enjoyed it! Can't wait to buy more hoops and practice with some different materials.

Now back to work - I've got a couple of long weeks ahead of me so forgive me if the blog goes a bit dormant.

Dog-sitting & returning to writing

Saturday, June 11, 2016


On Thursday, my ma and I were asked to dog-sit at my brother's house while his kitchen carpet was being cleaned. We were essentially there to keep the dog occupied outside (a.k.a. stop him from getting in the way) while the cleaner did his job. It was really hot and sunny on Thursday morning, and this afternoon I look out of my window and it's raining, muggy, dull, and foggy. That's basically summer over, then! 🌦

Once we'd finished our dog-sitting duties, we headed out somewhere really exciting... good ol' Asda! A tiny bit of sarcasm there, but I actually lowkey love Asda. Their homeware and bedding is lovely - I actually picked up a new white fitted sheet and set of Oxford pillow cases while I was there, as well as a couple of less noteworthy things such as a massive bag of Maltesers (all for myself, obvs) and the latest issue of HouseBeautiful.

That was my exciting Thursday.

Yesterday evening was an interesting one. I've been feeling super motivated to write recently and decided to finally open Microsoft Word and give it a go. I've been writing a fantasy story on/off for years now, but I went on an indefinite hiatus in December. I never really thought I'd want to return to it but last night I dived straight back in. I started from the very beginning, made a few little tweaks, and I managed to write a solid paragraph before bed. Since then I've written another paragraph, but nothing seems to live up to the first. Anyone else have this problem? Sometimes I'll turn out the most amazing paragraph or sentence ever, then everything else that follows is utter garbage compared. 😤 I'll keep pushing through.

I'm not sure what my plans are tomorrow but if the weather's still like this, it doesn't look like I'll be doing anything thrilling. Hope you all have a fun weekend despite the naff weather!!

Showcase: terrariums

Thursday, June 09, 2016

I love terrariums, I think they're so pretty and elegant. I would have a house full of them if I had the space. There's something about keeping plants and succulents in little glass houses that I find really appealing, I suppose they're just like tiny greenhouses, and what's not to love about tiny greenhouses? I feel like if you have a room that needs a little finishing touch, something contemporary to bring the space together, a terrarium will fit the bill. They're a good all-rounder.

I thought I'd showcase 10 of my favourite terrariums here. I feel very strongly towards the 1st one and the 8th one, I think the copper ones are especially pleasing to the eye.

Slow shopping & brilliant blooms

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Hi! So it's been... a fair bit since my last blog post. I mentioned on Twitter that I was struggling for blog ideas as well as being busy at work, so unfortunately I had to neglect the blog for just a wee bit. I haven't actually been anywhere except work for a week so it's not as if I had anything interesting to blog about anyway!

My ma and I went shopping today. It was a nice relaxing shop since the shopping centre we went to was practically empty all day. That's Sunday for you.

I spent a pretty penny in Lush on a 250g bottle of Daddy-O shampoo as well as the H'Suan Wen Hua hair moisturiser. I'm on a mission to achieve shinier hair this summer (a hair cut and fresh dye would also help), and Lush was my first port of call. I'm obsessed with Daddy-O so that was a repurchase (don't think I've actually ever finished a shampoo all the way to the bottom before) and I love how it smells like Parma Violets. ❤️ Perfect for blondes and I love how clean it makes my hair feel.

I also picked up some jewellery from Topshop (they had BOGOF on all Freedom jewellery), a red and white striped t-shirt from Red Herring (MASSIVELY discounted), and an insect house from Matalan I just so happened to feature in this post last month!

When we got home, we were straight out in the garden - far too hot to be inside today. We ate a late lunch on the patio and admired the lovely flowers. Note: none of these photos have been edited, I purposely left them as they were to emphasise the colours!

Many of them have bloomed really nicely now. I think they were finding it difficult when the weather was a bit naff last week/earlier this week, but now they look very happy.

And here's the newest addition to the garden - an insect house! I've been on the hunt for this thing for ages and I finally found it. I was adamant not to order it online because I really don't have the patience for online shopping. The insect house will eventually be going up on the side of our garage where it will get lots of sunlight and hopefully lots of bee inhabitants.

I've had quite a tiring but very fun Sunday. Really love my days off sometimes. I'm starting to value them more the more I work. I've been looking forward to this day all week and it's been a very nice one indeed spent with my favourite people.

How was your weekend? Who else is super chuffed that it's finally sunny and warm? Thanks for eventually realising it's not the middle of winter, June. Better late than never I suppose. Oh, and this is actually my first post of the month!
marchninetyfour | A UK lifestyle blog