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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

My blogs second birthday and giveaway

 So this week my blog is two years old. I can't believe it! Two whole years since I set up my little corner of the internet and started rambling away. Today I am celebrating my blogs second birthday and I have a little giveaway at the end as a thank you for sticking with me.

My blogs second birthday - why I started blogging

I started my blogging journey with a nail instagram account, Hellz Nails  ,6 years ago. Eventually I branched that in to a blog. Nail blogging and nail art was and still is a huge passion of mine. But, after 6 years of talking about nail polishes and "how to" nail art tutuorials, I was getting bored. I want to talk about other things I love. Having such a specific niche makes branching out in to other areas hard. People follow my nail instagram account and blog to see nails and don't want to see other things. So, a second blog had to happen and Helerina Blogs was born. This blog is a "lifestyle" blog. No niche and I can talk about all of my passions and interests. I love all aspects of beauty and skincare, I love travelling and I love food. Here I can talk about all of those things and share my thoughts and feelings.

As is often the case once second blogs are started one of them has to give. Running two blogs and individual social medias for them both is very time consuming. Last year I made the decision to quit nail blogging. My domain expires later this month and I won't be renewing it.

My blogs second birthday - my favourite blog posts

I am choosing six of my personal favourite blog post from the past two years to share with you again today.

  • Firstly, my gin tasting Guinness World Record post. This was the very first blogging event I attended and it was such a good night. Plus I'm part of a Guinness World Record now!
  • This is another blogging event, my meeting Scotty T post. I have been a big Geordie Shore fan right from the beginning so meeting someone I have been a fan of for many years was an amazing experience. I love that I got to take Ellie along too so she could meet him as well.
  • The One Love Manchester post is a blogpost very close to my heart. The awful terrorist attack in Manchester touched the entire world and I was so honoured and privileged to have been able to attend the charity concert for it.
  • I am incredibly proud of my photography in my Wagamama blog post. I had just started taking my DSLR out and the difference in photograph quality compared to my old iPhone photos is so noticeable.
  • We also got to meet Brooklyn Beckham at his book signing event in Manchester. Ellie was thrilled to meet him and I was incredibly surprised at what a lovely, down to earth guy he is.
  • Out of all of my travel posts, Spending a day in Palma is my favourite. Palma is a place that captured my heart. The cathedral and its surroundings is just stunning. We never go back to the same country twice as we like to cross new countries off our list each time. But I could quite happily to back to Palma time and time again.

My blogs second birthday - your favourite blog posts

And from my stats I can also tell you what your favourite blog posts have been over the years. I'm not going to include any posts with a giveaway in this.

Seeing my stats has been quite surprising. I have some high end beauty products posts but the budget, drug store brands seem more popular. I'll definitely be keeping this in mind for current posts.

My blogs second birthday - giveaway

As I mentioned earlier in the post I have a little giveaway to celebrate my blogs second birthday. I want to say thank you to everyone for reading, following and supporting me.

One winner will receive a box full of gorgeously scented things to make their skin and home smell amazing. There are skin care, hair care and bath goodies along with some wax melts for the home.

My blogs second birthday giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget I'm currently raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. You can sponsor me here.


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Bringing New York home, Photowall canvas review

 Since redecorating my living room I am looking out for new "finishing touches" to add to it. My living room is quite big and the walls are looking quite bare at the moment. So Photowall getting in touch with me to collaborate is perfect timing. Keep reading and you can see how I am bringing New York in to my home in my Photowall canvas review. 

Photowall canvas review - Who are Photowall?

Photowall is a Swedish company with a passion for design and quality. They make wall murals and canvas prints in various sizes. There are photographs on their site to choose from or you can upload your own images. Everything is environmentally friendly and does not fade in sunlight.

Photowall canvas review - My canvas

There is a huge choice in both the wall murals and canvas' at Photowall. We have chosen a canvas as we can move it around it we want to and it doesn't need wall papering to the wall. (I'm pretty useless at wall papering!) The choices are broken down in to categories such as nature, cities, tv and film etc or you can search for something specific.

Me and Ellie decided to get a city canvas and went for somewhere we have both been dreaming of going for a long time. New York. The canvas is 150cm wide and 100cm tall. It is quite an unusual scene and the colours match our grey and purple colour scheme in the room.

New York City Photowall canvas review

New York City Photowall canvas review

Photowall canvas review

New York City Photowall canvas review

The canvas arrives rolled and you will need to assemble the frame and attach the canvas yourself. It is quite fiddly and you definitely need two pairs of hands. Especially if you have a larger size like this one.

From ordering the canvas to delivery was 4 days and it arrives via courier. That is worth remembering before you order if you are out at work all day as it won't go to the sorting office.

The canvas itself is thick and feels really good quality. The printing quality really is amazing. The picture is clear and crisp even in the smaller details. I love that you can see each individual window in the iconic sky scrapers and even the ripples in the water below.

New York City Photowall canvas review close up

New York City Photowall canvas review close up

I'm utterly in love with our New York Photowall canvas. It looks gorgeous up on the wall and goes perfectly in our living room.

New York City Photowall canvas review

You can order your own Photowall canvas or mural here. I am definitely going to be adding more to my home and think I will try adding one of my own photographs to the next one.


Monday, 18 December 2017

Maplin Fizz chocolate fountain review

 No kitchen appliance quite has the wow factor like a chocolate fountain. No matter how young or old you are seeing pools of warm liquid chocolate and treats to dip in it instantly makes your mouth water. Me and Ellie have been testing out the Maplin Fizz chocolate fountain to see what we think of it.

Maplin fizz chocolate fountain boxed

The Maplin Fizz chocolate fountain specifics

The Maplin Fizz chocolate fountain is mains operated and it is about 9 inches tall. It is £15.99.

Maplin fizz chocolate fountain

How to use the Maplin Fizz chocolate fountain

Assemble the Maplin Fizz chocolate fountain. Melt chocolate either over a saucepan or in the microwave. Add the liquid chocolate to the fountain and turn on. Watch it cascade and enjoy!

Maplin fizz chocolate fountain

My Maplin Fizz chocolate fountain review

The Maplin Fizz chocolate fountain is really easy to assemble, even if you don't read the instructions. Once you add the molten chocolate it starts flowing within seconds and is ready to use.

We love dipping fruit, biscuits and wafers but our favourite has to be marshmallows. Marshmallow and warm chocolate is just the perfect combination.

Maplin fizz chocolate fountain dipped marshmallow

The instructions recommend using vegetable oil to thin the chocolate out ready to use. We add milk whilst the chocolate is melting and that gets it to a perfect consistency too. Don't add cold milk to already melted chocolate or you will get lumps.

The chocolate stays warm and molten for as long as the fountain is on. I really like that you can turn the motor off and switch it to heat only mode. It means you can stop the cascading chocolate and have a break from eating but keep the chocolate useable.

It is easy to take apart afterwards for washing. My only criticism is that the base doesn't come off as this would make cleaning it even easier.

I can't recommend enough cleaning it as soon as you turn it off. I scrape any left over chocolate into a sandwich bag, put the loose parts in to boiling hot, soapy water and wipe out the base with kitchen roll then a soapy dishcloth.

The chocolate fountain fits back in to the box easily so it can be put away in the kitchen cupboard easily.

The Maplin Fizz chocolate fountain final thoughts

We are loving the chocolate fountain. It's a great treat for me and Ellie and a really good party piece too. I'm sure I will be using it when I have the girls around for drinks or a BBQ. I can see Ellie wanting to get it out at her next sleepover too.

Although it is small it works perfectly and it is a great size to have at home. It still has the wow factor once you turn it on and see the chocolate cascading.

You can get the Maplin Fizz chocolate fountain for £15.99 here and find more novelty cookware that is perfect for parties here.


Monday, 11 December 2017

Stag and Raven tattoo art mermaid print

 *AD - GIFTED* If you have been reading my Christmas gift guides you might have already seen todays product in my stocking filler gift guide. Today I am talking about my Stag and Raven Mermaid print by Emily Dawson.

Stag and Raven mermaid art print by Emily Dawson

Who are Stag and Raven?

Stag and Raven are a tattoo art brand who support tattooists and creatives by selling their work. Each piece is commissioned from tattoo artists and turned in to products for customers. Stag and Raven sell art prints, limited edition prints, clothing, mugs, jewellery, cushions, bags and accessories. Their prices are all incredibly reasonable and there is something in every tattoo art style. As well as the online site, they have a store in Afflecks, Manchester and you can also find them at tattoo conventions too.

Stag and Raven postcard

My Stag and Raven Mermaid print by Emily Dawson

My choice from the Stag and Raven prints has to be the mermaid print by Emily Dawson. The print is a beautiful mermaid with gorgeous girly details. The artwork is beautiful and it is a really high quality print. The paper is thick and bright white with really crisp printing details.

Stag and Raven mermaid art print by Emily Dawson

I have my print in a white frame but it will look just as good in a chunky black frame too.

The postcards that come with the print need a mention too. The artwork on these is amazing and I'm going to try and find a use for them. I might laminate this one and use it as a coaster.

Stag and Raven postcard

My Stag and Raven wishlist

I have quite a few other items on my Stag and Raven wishlist that I'm going to treat myself to after Christmas.

Firstly the Aura of Death print by Kasi / Simon Knowles. I really love the watercolour background and geometric pattern.

Stag and Raven Aura of Death print

The Antlers print by Daryl Watson is another print on my wishlist. I'm a bit fan of anything stag, especially at this time of year. The deep jewel colours make the print really eye catching.

Stag and Raven Antlers print

And finally the Tattoo tea mug. I really love that this is the traditional old style tattoo artwork. It will be great to take to work for my cups of tea there.

Stag and Raven tattoo tea mug

My final thoughts on Stag and Raven

I love my mermaid print from Stag and Raven and couldn't be happier with it now it is framed and on display. I highly recommend the artwork from them, especially any fans of tattoo artwork or just art in general. There are lots of choices and something from all genres of tattoo art. Why not see if your favourite tattooist has a piece on there and support them too? The prints will make perfect presents for people or even treats for yourself. Make sure you check out the Stag and Raven site here.

Are you a lover of tattoo artwork? What do you think of my Stag and Raven mermaid print?


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Dreamlights Advent calendar wax melts

This year I have decided to try something a bit different for an advent calendar. My lovely friend Sam mentioned she was ordering a wax melt advent calendar from an indie seller that I hadn't heard of before, so I had to try one out for myself! This is the Dreamlights advent calendar.

Dreamlights is a UK wax melt seller, their website is currently under construction but you can find them on Facebook and order there.

My advent calendar arrived just a few days after ordering it and was so much nicer than I expected! It is a felt Santa scene with 24 small pockets and each pocket has a different scent wax melt inside.

Dreamlights advent calendar

Inside each pocket are small wax melts in 13 different scents. On cold smell they all smell amazing and they are all strongly scented which I really like. I love to be able to smell them all over the house and I think these will definitely be like that!

Dreamlights advent calendar wax melt scents

  1. Apple strudel.
  2. Egg nog.
  3. Chocolate orange.
  4. Cranberry, orange and cinnamon.
  5. Gingerbread.
  6. Candy cane.
  7. Christmas pudding.
  8. Reindeer poo.
  9. Chocolate orange.
  10. Elf sweat.
  11. Sleigh ride.
  12. Nutcracker.
  13. Gingerbread.
  14. Apple strudel.
  15. Mulled wine.
  16. Candy cane.
  17. Cranberry, orange and cinnamon.
  18. Egg nog.
  19. Christmas pudding.
  20. Reindeer poo.
  21. Chocolate orange.
  22. Santa cookies.
  23. Gingerbread.
  24. Christmas night.

My Dreamlights advent calendar was £10 plus p&p which I think is really good value! It looks lovely hanging up and I can't wait to start melting the waxes each day. I really like that the actual calendar will be able to be reused too.

My first impression of the Dreamlights advent calendar is really good and I will definitely be ordering more from them.

What kind of advent calendar do you have this year? Do you have a traditional chocolate calendar or something different?

*Edit 12/03/19 - unfortunately Dreamlights no longer seem to be running through their website or social media*


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Cosy bedrooms with Yorkshire Linen curtains

*AD - SPONSORED POST* Now the colder days and nights are here I want to hibernate in my bedroom and feel as warm as possible. Along with layering up bedding and turning the heating up a few degrees, curtains are  way of warming up the bedroom and giving it an inviting, cosy look that people often overlook. Yorkshire Linen curtains are gorgeous, can help achieve a warm bedroom and they are up to 50% off at the moment.

These full length velvet mink Yorkshire Linen curtains will really keep the cold out of a room and give it a luxurious feel as well as being right on trend too. Their neutral colour means they will fit right in with most colour schemes. They are on offer at the moment at £29.99 - £79.99 depending on the size.

Yorkshire Linen classic velvet mink curtains

Cranberry pencil pleat curtains will add a gorgeous pop of warm colour to any room. They are also full length so will keep any drafts out and are black-out curtains so perfect for hibernating days as well. This set is currently on offer and are just £19.99 - £104.99 depending on the size This set is currently on offer and are just £19.99 – £104.99 depending on the size. Pencil pleat curtains are up to 50% off at Yorkshire LinenCo  and are a great bargain for the home.

Yorkshire Linen Belvedere cranberry pencil pleat curtains

Layering up your bedding with this thick, chunky plum bedspread will instantly make a bed warm and snug and give a bedroom a boudoir look. At £174.99 it is an investment piece but should last for many winters. 

Yorkshire Linen Annecy plum bedspread

Black and gold pencil pleat Yorkshire Linen curtains will make a bedroom warm and cozy and will look incredibly stylish too. These are on offer and are £24.99-£79.99.

Yorkshire Linen Oakley black and gold pencil pleat curtains

A black Teddy bear throw will look perfect in any room and as well as keeping the bed warm will feel amazing to snuggle up in. At just £17.99 it is really budget friendly too!

Yorkshire Linen black teddy bear throw

Which is your favourite from the pieces I've chosen? Have you thought of using curtains to add warmth and style to a room?



Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Happy Mail unboxing from The Lifestyle Files

You know when you're having a really bad week then someone does something so kind you could almost cry? That happened to me last week when, after a bad few days, my lovely blogging friend messaged me to say she had something for me. Like me, my friend Sam began as a nail blogger at The Nail and Beauty Files. She has recently branched out into lifestyle blogging at The Lifestyle Files. A couple of days after messaging me a happy mail packed full of goodies landed at my door.

Happy Mail unboxing

Sam has wrapped everything up in the most gorgeous wrapping paper that instantly made me smile. Because there are so many beautiful little presents unwrapping it all was like Christmas morning! 

Happy Mail unboxing

Sam has sent me so many beautiful gifts and they are all my favourite things! There is nail polish, wax, chocolate (yum!), lipstick, stationery, lint rollers (it's a nail thing) and a face mask. She has also sent me a gorgeous angel wing charm bracelet that I am loving. So many things are new to me brands so I just can't wait to try them out.

Happy Mail unboxing

A massive thank you again to Sam for such a thoughtful and lovely gift xx 

Please do check out Sams new blog here and show her some love.


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