28/01/2016

MY GOSEND SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

I've been to America once (New York to be precise) once and I made sure to take full advantage of getting hold of some products that you can't get in the UK. For me, it's the only way to avoid ridiculous shipping charges if ordering from America to the UK. There's also handling costs for when  your parcel arrives in the UK, plus those nasty added taxes.

A few months ago, I was introduced to a company called Gosend. GoSend are a world-wide e-commerce and shipping companies which offers consumers the chance to order items from American retailers and save on tax and shipping costs. When I was given the chance to trial out the service, I was very intrigued and decided to give it a go.


All I was told to do was sign up to the website and then I could start shopping. Signing up only took a matter of minutes and once I was logged in, I found I was able to shop around at some American retailers which I've never had the chance of shopping at before. You can even shop online at tax free retailers such as Sephora and Macy's.

So, how does it work?

Signing up to GoSend is free which gives you a discount on shipping costs. However, there is another version which costs £6 per month and offers you even bigger discounts and extra shipping costs. So, if you're someone who shops a lot online from U.S retailers, then it's definitely worth signing up to the paid membership.

Once you choose which products you want to order using GoSend's Shop Assist service. Once your order is complete, your items remain in your 'GoSend Locker' which is basically your online shopping 'basket'. GoSend give you a U.S shipping address which obviously qualifies for free or low-cost shipping as it's an American address. The address in question is in Delaware which is a state that doesn't add on any tax to products. Even better! Payment is given directly to GoSend who use the money to order your product rather than you paying the retailer directly.


I decided to finally get some Adidas Superstar Trainers* which have been on my wish list for absolutely AGES. I love them on other people but I do find they are just a bit too popular which I guess has always put me off of ordering myself a pair! However, I headed over to the US Adidas website and saw you can design your own pair. So, that's exactly what I did!


Once I decided on what options I wanted including colours, textures and materials, I made a note of these and popped them into GoSend's Shop Assist service, alongside the link to the trainers. They cost a total of $113 with free shipping including personalisation with my name on them!

I received an email to let me know when they had arrived at their end which included photographs of the trainers that GoSend had taken. I think this is a great added feature because if I didn't like something, they could send back the product and re-order it for me. These were then sent out to me once they reached the GoSend warehouse. They took around 4 weeks to arrive but it took a little longer as they were caught up in the Christmas demand.


If ordering items from different retailers, GoSend can collect them and send them together in one parcel to save on shipping costs. Although sometimes you do have to pay UK duties and VAT taxes, you do still save a lot of money ordering through GoSend. It takes a little longer to reach you but I would rather wait an extra week and save myself some money.

I really recommend signing up to GoSend if you shop a lot on American retailers and hate paying extreme shipping and VAT costs. Even if you just order one thing, it's definitely worth it to save some money!

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with GoSend. I was asked if I wanted to trial out the service and having an interest in how it works, I decided to work with them on a trial service. I honestly think the service is outstanding so as always, all opinions are unbiased and are my own. 
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25/01/2016

LUSH VALENTINE'S DAY COLLECTION

LUSH cosmetics. That smelly shop that most men hate and nearly all women love. The place where it's perfectly acceptable to spend £4 on a one-time use bath bomb and where all bath fans anticipate the release of the next seasonal collection.

February 14th is coming whether you like it or not. In all honesty, I think it's a way overrated day and we should love our partners as much on the other 364 days of the year. However, there's no avoiding the sickly couples everywhere, the hearts plastered everywhere down that aisle in the local supermarket or feeling extra lonely.

The Valentine's Day collection at Lush is the perfect excuse to unwind on Valentine's Day and have a little 'me time'. Self-love is so important and I make sure to have a 'me day' at least once a week. That will begin by turning my phone off, having a long soak in a bubble filled bath, hair and face masks, a glass of wine, chocolate and a few episodes (or ten) of Gossip Girl. Perfect.


The Valentine's collection at Lush features a bubble bar, shower cream, lipgloss, a soap, bath bomb and a lip scrub.


The bubble bar of choice in this collection is the Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar*. Bubble bars are great as they can be used multiple times for a few different baths. They work by breaking off a bit of the bar for each bath and crumbling it under running hot water. Watch how the bubbles form - they're so good! The Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar is £4.25 and is multi-coloured. It smells of lavender so it's truly relaxing and sends you to a magical fairy land with unicorns themselves as you lay back and take in the lavender fragrance.


Next up is this year's Valentine's Lover Lamp Bath Bomb*. It's a one-time use bath bomb priced at £3.95. It looks pretty simple, however, it's packed full of cocoa butter so it's the perfect choice for a pamper night in. The cocoa butter red hearts inside the bath bomb will float on top of your bath water and eventually melt into the water which will leave your skin feeling silky smooth (get those fresh pyjamas and bed sheets ready girls!). It smells quite citrusy and is almost edible so if you like bath bombs that aren't O.T.T but are still worth the money, then the Lover Lamp is the one for you.


Lip scrubs are something that I absolutely love. I have had a few over the years and tend to pick up the new collection ones because... well, why not?!

This year's Valentine's one is called The Kiss Lip Scrub*. Priced at £5.50, it is very much like the other scrubs Lush have in that it's made of sugar, salt and cocoa butter... and actually IS edible! This particular one is bright pink, smells like sweets and candy floss and has edible red hearts scattered amongst the sugar scrub. I used this yesterday by massaging it into my lips and licking it off and it left my lips feeling rather lovely!


The Valentine's collection is now available online and in-stores and is subject to availability. Once it's gone, it's gone and won't be re-stocked!

Will you be getting your hands on any of the collection this year?

Disclaimer: Products were sent to me by Lush for a review but all opinions and photographs are my own. 

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21/01/2016

XUPES LUXURY WATCH WISHLIST

Watches are one of my favourite things to splurge on after a good payday. I have a couple of more luxury designer watches in my collection but there's definitely room for one more! 

I have been lusting over many items over on the Xupes which is a website stocking designer and luxury items that are discounted up to 70% off the RRP price. 

So, it got me thinking...

If I had unlimited money, what would be the first watch I purchased? As hard as it would to narrow it down and pick my top four watches amongst the 7000 products Xupes have to offer, my choices are perfect and all individually different in their own little way.

Products featured: Rolex Datejust 178271, Chanel J12 H2566, Cartier Must de Cartier 2996, Jaegar-LeColtre Vintage Cal.886 20007

Xupes have so many brands to offer including big designer names such as Cartier and Rolex. The great thing that Xupes offers which I haven't seen anywhere else is that you can get a Rolex on finance. It's no secret that Rolex watches are incredibly expensive (but beautiful) but you can own one quite easily thanks to Xupes. Most are pre-owned but are fully inspected by the in-house watchmakers  to make sure the watches are in top-notch re-sellable condition. Let's not forget that the price on a Rolex increases over time so whilst £6,000 for a watch seems like a lot of money... it could be worth 60,000 in a few decades time. It's always worth investing in a Rolex as opposed to other luxury watches!

My favourite Rolex for her has to be the Rolex Datejust 178271 model. It features an 18k stainless steel and rose gold face (typical blogger pick!), pink diamond markers on the face and crystal glass to finish everything off. Ah, perfection!

If Rolex doesn't tickle your fancy, there's plenty of other designer watches for him AND her available. There are also handbags and jewellery - could it get any better ladies?!

** Disclaimer: In collaboration with Xupes.com. All words/opinions are my own.
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18/01/2016

MEET MY NEW PUPPY, ELSIE!


Meet my new pride and joy, Elsie. I had been toying with the idea of getting a new dog for the family for a couple of weeks and found myself visiting The Dog's Trust a few times to try and find one that chose me. 

It's approaching a year ago that we lost our beloved Maisy. If you haven't already, you can read Maisy's story here. No dog will ever replace her but we have so much love to give so I felt it was the right time to offer it to another pooch and begin the journey of having a four legged best friend once again.


I bought Elsie from a breeder in Essex and it's not been a very pleasant experience. I paid £400 for her and was told numerous times that the breeder has a litter of "healthy puppies". It's safe to say that some people lie and only breed dogs in order to earn as much profit as possible. Sadly (and regrettably), I think this breeder was indeed one of those bad people. However, I wouldn't change Elsie for the world. I'm just very angry.

Elsie settled in fine but then started bleeding in her poop after just two days of having her. When I contacted the breeder to ask them if they had wormed her, I got a reply saying "I think so, I don't know". That was verification to me that I wasn't dealing with someone who genuinely cared for these puppies. I was dealing with a money obsessed idiot.


Despite being ten weeks old the day after I bought her, the breeder was advertising them as 8 weeks old and none of the puppies had received their first vaccination jabs. Not only this, but the breeder had no idea what food he had been feeding the puppies when I rang him regarding what food I should buy for the first week.

I felt Elsie was in pain when going to the toilet, so I took her to the vet on Friday and they told me she has colitis. This is caused by having worms in her system for so long without being treated. They have now attacked her intestine and caused swelling in her stomach. She is now on medications to remove the worms and sort out her digestive system. I dread to think what may have happened if I left it any longer without consulting a vet.


I am going to do a separate post on the do's and don'ts of buying a puppy (or any animal) through an internet advert. I was naive to say the least and have learnt a lot about what you should look out for when buying a healthy puppy, what questions to ask the breeder themselves and what things should make you turn away from a breeder.

Onto Elsie herself...

Elsie is a 10 week old chocolate labrador who was born on 5th November 2015. Her dad is a golden retriever, her mum is a black labrador and they had a litter of 5 pups, including Elsie. She has settled in really well and definitely sees me as her mum. She follows me EVERYWHERE and has me up at 5am on the dot every single morning wanting to play tug of war with her teething toys. It's a good job she's cute!


She is on a particular diet of boiled eggs and rice at the moment to make her stomach better but she seems to wolf it down quicker than her regular puppy food! Elsie LOVES to chew everything and anything; shoes, firewood, handbags, phone chargers, tissue and even her fluffy bed.

Basically... remove everything off the floor unless you intend on it being destroyed.

Her training is slow but going well. She has been sleeping next to me in bed every night whilst she settles in but as of tomorrow, she will be trained to sleep in the kitchen over night. Her toilet training is going very well and I feel like a proud mummy every time I see her sniffing the floor and squatting to release herself on her puppy mats. Of course, there's an accident every now and then but she seems to have the hang of it already!


Elsie is yet to start her vaccinations so 'walkies' are on hold for the time being... boo!! However, I intend on letting her off the lead and training her to stay within a reasonable distance.

I am going to give Elsie her own little feature on my blog with regular updates of how she's getting on throughout her life so I hope you enjoy the journey that me and Elsie are beginning and come along for the ride too!

If you have any particular questions about puppies, buying puppies, training or anything else, do leave them in the comments below and I'll get back to you!

Love, Ashleigh and Elsie x

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15/01/2016

NOBODY LIKES YOU WHEN YOU'RE 23

That's it. I'm officially old. Time to go zimmer-frame shopping. I turned 23 last weekend (if you didn't guess already with the Blink title reference). So, let's have a chat about how it's been being a week old 23 year old.

In all honesty, I feel absolutely the same. 

The one thing I really despise about my birthday being the 3rd day of every year is that it's gone before I know it. Everyone in my life has a birthday much later in the year but bang, before I know it, mine's over and done with without even being half way through January but hey-ho... that's something I'm never going to be able to change so I should really quit moaning, right?


It was a quiet but lovely (and quick!) birthday though! I went out for a boogie or three with my sister and friend and a few days later had a family meal at a steakhouse which saw me ordering my first ever restaurant steak!


I'm sorry blogging has been a bit slow this week. I have a new addition in my family with four legs so I'm exhausted and distracted but more on that soon...

Don't forget to enter my giveaway though! It ends 25th January and I'm so excited to give away a pair of Ray-bans to someone! Good luck! x

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11/01/2016

(NOW CLOSED) GIVEAWAY! WIN RAYBAN SUNGLASSES OF YOUR CHOICE

Okay okay, I know we are now ten days into January and it's been raining non-stop in London recently, but that's not a good enough reason for me to not wear sunglasses all year round. 

I've featured a few different pairs over the years on here so it's to no surprise that I have another pair to show off in all their glory... with a cheeky giveaway too! YES, that's right!


I have teamed up with the fabulous Sunglasses Shop who are offering one lucky reader of my blog a pair of Ray-ban Sunglasses of their choice (but do check my T&C's below).

I was eyeing up (pardon the pun) these round metal Ray Ban 3447's* for absolutely ages so you can imagine how happy I am to finally have a pair! They are an easy to wear mirrored round frame which let's be honest... are effortlessly chic and add that 'cool' something to any outfit... especially an all black outfit!


There's a wide range of different coloured frame options too but I played it safe and went for the silver...but I do really like the red ones. Round sunglasses always make me feel very John Lennon!


Fancy winning yourself a pair of new Ray-bans? Of course you do! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below!

T&C'S:

  • There will be ONE winner only. The prize is for a pair of brand new Ray-ban sunglasses which the winner can select from The Sunglasses Shop.
  • Prize EXCLUDES titanium, polarised and limited edition frames.
  • The prize will be sent out directly from The Sunglasses Shop.
  • No cash or prize alternative.
  • Giveaway ends 25th January. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway





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05/01/2016

THAT OVER-EXPECTED 2016 GOALS POST


In all honesty, I've not known whether to jump in with the hype of these posts and add my two cents. I'm sure you're probably bored of just about everyone letting the world know what blog goals they want to achieve in 2016 so I apologise in advance if I bore you even more. Even more sorry if you're now about to cry into your tea.

I have spent a couple of days jotting things down and I'm not going to bother writing things like I promise to start saving £100 per month ready to move out by the end of the year. That won't happen. Nor will the moving out part. Unless Chuck Bass is reading and wants me to move into his NYC apartment suite with him; then by all means, get in touch honey. 

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