The Wood Watch

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I'll be completely honest - when I first received an email from Jord Watches asking if I'd like to review one of their products, I thought I'd hate it. Whoever heard of a watch made of wood? Fred Flintstone, maybe, but other than that...

But for curiosity's sake, I took a look at the website, and I was intrigued. The pieces looked really well made, and I liked the brand's message. Wood watches are "sustainable, efficient, simple, and influenced by experiential living", making them totally appropriate to modern lifestyles. I loved this idea, so I decided to go for it. There are several women's styles to choose from, and I went for the Cora, mainly because it is one of the smaller models and I have tiny wrists. Of the various colour ways available, I opted for zebrawood and turquoise. Jord sized it for me and shipped it out, and a few days later, this rather lovely box arrived in the post.

Jord Watch packaging

I loved the packaging, and couldn't wait to open it up and see what my new watch looked like in the flesh. I certainly wasn't disappointed.

Jord Watch - Cora in zebrawood with turquoise face

Jord Watch - Cora in zebrawood with turquoise face

The watch is simply stunning. The combination of the jewelled face with the earthiness of the wood is like nothing I've ever seen before, and I can't stop looking at it when it's on my wrist. It feels smooth to hold and I love that you can smell the wood, in a subtle, natural sort of way.

My only other watch is a very dainty silver number which has featured on this blog numerous times. It couldn't be more different to this. I still love that watch, but it has been my only one for over a decade so it's great to try something new! I always used to think I couldn't wear a larger watch due to my aforementioned spindly chicken arms, but this one seems to fit beautifully.  

Jord Watch

Jord Watch

OOTD featuring Jord Watches, Zara and River Island

Jord Watch and Accessorize bracelet

Jord Watch and Accessorize bracelet

Jord Watch and Accessorize bracelet


Blazer, bag - Zara, T-shirt, jeans, boots - River Island, Bracelet, ring - Accessorize, Watch - Jord Watches

I am totally converted to the idea of a wood watch. It might have been a slow burning love affair, but they do say those are the strongest!

What do you guys think? Would you wear a watch like this? Have a browse and let me know.

Kate x
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L'Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss

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My husband left me unattended in Asda the other day, and the result was that I bought makeup I didn't really need. (I suppose it could have been worse, had he left me unattended in Selfridges or Harvey Nicks, for example.) As I said, I didn't really need anything, but I was browsing the L'Oreal stand and these Infallible Mega Glosses caught my eye. According to my local Asda, they're new, and I certainly hadn't seen them before that day.

I haven't worn lip gloss for the longest time, and something about the neat packaging of these really attracted me to them.

L'Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss, Cream, 103 Protest Queen, and Xtreme Resist, 509 You Know You Love Me

Another thing I liked about them was the fact that there are different formulations available within the range, offering variations in finish as well as in shade. I bought two: 103 Protest Queen, from the "cream" selection, and 509 You Know You Love Me from "xtreme resist", which seems to be the most sparkly of the categories. You Know You Love Me is on the left in the photo above and you can see it is packed full of silvery glitter particles, making it significantly more bling than the creamy Protest Queen.

L'Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss, Cream, 103 Protest Queen, and Xtreme Resist, 509 You Know You Love Me

Application is nice and easy thanks to this nifty little applicator. The angled side hugs your lips and allows you to get a good dollop of product on smoothly, while the other side is perfect when it comes to getting the edges neat.

Applicator - L'Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss in 103 Protest Queen and 509 You Know You Love Me

The glosses feel very comfortable to wear. They're not sticky, plus they contain hyaluronic acid so will moisturise your lips rather than dry them out... or at least that's the theory. Personally I can't say that I ever find products like this actually moisturise my lips, but they're not drying, and that's good enough for me! Lasting power is about what I would expect from a lip gloss - two to three hours and I need to reapply, especially if I've been eating and drinking. (And believe me, if two to three hours have passed, I've eaten.) They fade very nicely though. As I said, they're not drying, so there's none of that unsightly clinging to dry patches business.

Swatch - L'Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss in 103 Protest Queen and 509 You Know You Love Me

As you can see, they're both the exact same colour as my hand, which makes swatching them an absolute doddle. Super sparkly You Know You Love Me is on the left, and creamy Protest Queen on the right. They're semi-sheer and do work worn on their own, but I personally prefer them layered over a lipstick. Here's me wearing Protest Queen over Maybelline Tantalizing Taupe

 FOTD - L'Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss in 103 Protest Queen

This one is my favourite. I love this soft, healthy shine for an everyday lip look and I'll definitely be looking to pick up more cream shades.

And here's You Know You Love Me worn over Chanel Rouge Allure 05 Desirable. (Yes, it was one of those days where I just couldn't get a decent shot looking at the camera.)

FOTD - L'Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss in 509 You Know You Love Me

Just look at the sparkle on that! I love the idea of this lip on a night out, perhaps with a nice sharp slick of black eyeliner.

Have you tried the L'Oreal Infallible Mega Glosses? Which is your favourite?

Kate x
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Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate, Day Two

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In my last post, I wrote about the first part of my little trip to Harrogate. (You can read it here if you like.) It was a lightning visit, arriving in the morning, spending one night at the gorgeous Rudding Park Hotel and then leaving for home the next day. My Aunt and Uncle organised the trip, and they had promised us a picturesque route back, so we were looking forward to it. But first, Mike and I took the opportunity to explore the hotel a little more before check out time.

As I mentioned in my last post, the décor at Rudding Park is stunning and there are all sorts of quirky little touches to be discovered when you start nosing around. I loved this little library, for example. If I ever have one of my own, I'm totally colour-coding my books like they've done here.

Library, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

Library, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate
Cute, no?
 
The grounds outside are equally impressive, boasting landscaped gardens and lawns that go on for miles. They make you feel like you want to dress up in a long gown and stroll around with a parasol, playing at Lady of the Manor. It even has its own chapel, and it's no surprise that it's a very popular wedding venue. It almost makes me wish that Mike and I hadn't already tied the knot, as this would be such a perfect place to do it.

Chapel, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

Exterior, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

Exterior, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

Welcome to my home! (I wish!)

OOTD Featuring Zara, Topshop, H&M and River Island
 
Coat, bag - Zara, Jeans, shirt - Topshop, Shoes - H&M, Sunglasses - River Island

 Exterior, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

OOTD Featuring Zara, Topshop, H&M and River Island

Exterior, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

Exterior, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

I could have stayed much longer at this beautiful place - actually, I would quite like to live in it forever, if somebody could arrange that - but the morning was ticking by and it was time to check out. So we bid a fond farewell to Rudding Park, vowing to be back before too long, and set off on our circuitous route home.
 
The plan was to stop at a couple of beauty spots on the way, and up first was the village of Timble in the Washburn Valley, where my Aunt and Uncle had spent a weekend once. It was so incredibly quiet here. We heard no cars, no people, nothing but birdsong and our own footsteps as we wandered up and down the street, admiring the picture perfect cottages and their lovingly-tended gardens.

Timble, North Yorkshire

OOTD Featuring Topshop and H&M
 
The phone inside wasn't working, sadly!

imble, North Yorkshire

After a short walk and a long cool drink in the garden of a nearby pub, we got back in the car and headed off to our next port of call - Ripley Castle.
 
While there wasn't time to properly explore the inside of the castle, we thoroughly enjoyed looking at the grounds, as well as grabbing a bite of lunch at the café. I would definitely come back to tour the inside on another occasion, though, as it looks like a fascinating place with a long and colourful history. And I'm quite the history geek, so anything like this is right up my street!

Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire

Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire

Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire

Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire

Alongside the castle, there is a winding little path that leads you down to a river, with some lovely views along the way. Perfect for walking off our lunch!
 
North Yorkshire Countryside
 
North Yorkshire Countryside

North Yorkshire Countryside

North Yorkshire Countryside

We strolled along for a while, chatting away and enjoying the scenery, but the hour was growing late. And finally, no matter how hard I clung to this wall and vowed that I wasn't going to budge, it really was time to leave this beautiful part of North Yorkshire behind us and head for home.

OOTD featuring Zara and River Island

Oh well. All good things must come to an end, I suppose!

Have you visited North Yorkshire? Any recommendations of beautiful places to see?

Kate x
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Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate, Day One

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A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were invited on a little adventure. My Aunt and Uncle know all the best places to go in Yorkshire, and when they happened to spot a good deal at one of their favourite hotels, they asked if Mike and I would like to go with them, spend a night there and have a look around the famous spa town of Harrogate. We didn't need asking twice! So we packed an overnight bag, jumped into the car, and arrived an hour or so later at Rudding Park.

Exterior, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

Spend a night at this place? Well, it's tough, but someone's got to do it.

Shall we go inside?

Entrance, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

Rudding Park hotel is just stunning, and I fell in love with it the moment I walked through the doors. Every inch of it has been decorated with an expert hand, reflecting the traditional style of the Georgian manor in which it's housed, but with a quirky, modern twist. It's probably one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever been to, both inside and out. 

Lobby, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

After receiving a very warm welcome from the reception staff, we were shown to our rooms. Given the splendid entrance, I was expecting great things, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. There are some hotel rooms you just want to curl up and luxuriate in, and this was definitely one of them. I was particularly enamoured with the monogrammed cushions. "R" and "P" may stand for Rudding Park, but they're also my parents' initials, so part of me felt that they should be staying here instead!

Bedroom, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

The bathroom wasn't bad either.

Bathroom, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

To be perfectly honest, I would have been quite happy to spend the whole day in the room, running a bubble bath, pampering myself and ordering room service, but the point of the trip was to explore Harrogate. So, after having a good nose around (and making sure my Aunty's room wasn't better than ours), we quickly freshened up, and off we went.

I'd been to Harrogate before, years ago, and remembered it as a pretty place, but as soon as we arrived in the town centre, I realised that it was even lovelier than I recalled. There was so much beautiful architecture around every corner that we couldn't help but get a little trigger-happy with the camera. It is definitely one of the most picturesque towns I have ever visited.

Architecture, Harrogate

Architecture, Harrogate

Architecture, Harrogate

Architecture, Harrogate

Architecture, Harrogate

Architecture, Harrogate

OOTD featuring Zara, H&M, Topshop and River Island

Coat - Zara, Jumper - H&M, Jeans - Topshop, Boots and sunglasses - River Island

There were open spaces bursting with flowers, right in the heart of the town.

Flowers, Harrogate

Flowers, Harrogate

Flowers, Harrogate

Not to mention some very interesting shops, including many independent boutiques, jewellers, art and antique shops. Much gazing through windows was done.

Shopping, Harrogate

We may or may not have made a few purchases in this one. I couldn't possibly comment.

Shopping, Harrogate

Sweet Shop, Harrogate

And of course, no visit to Harrogate would be complete without dropping in to Betty's Tea Room. It's been here since 1919, which I think is just wonderful. I love the idea that someone in the 1920s might have enjoyed a cup of tea in the exact same spot as me, gazing through the same window at the hustle and bustle on the same street outside. Today, Betty's is as popular as ever, with locals and tourists alike, and queuing for a table is not unusual. We weren't here long enough to really do this place justice, and it definitely deserves a blog post of its own, so I'll just have to come back here one day soon for a full on afternoon tea. Oh, the sacrifices I make!

Betty's Tea Room, Harrogate

Betty's Tea Room, Harrogate

After a nice pot of tea (and a sneaky macaroon) we headed back to the hotel, where the early evening sunlight was falling beautifully across the patio. It was so warm and inviting out there that it felt only right to order a bottle of crisp white wine and while away another hour in idle conversation before it was time to get ready for dinner. Torture, really.

Patio, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

That night, we dined in the hotel restaurant. This post is getting pretty long so I won't go into great detail about the meal, but in brief, this is what I had:
 
Scallops and prawns in a satay sauce to start. This was delicious - my favourite dish of the night.

Restaurant, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

Followed by steak and chips (because, you know, when in a classy establishment...)
 
Restaurant, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

And for dessert, I chose a chocolate and salted caramel delice with blackberry ice cream.

Restaurant, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

Everything was wonderful... except the steak, which was unfortunately quite tough. In all honesty, I think I was just unlucky with it. Everything else I had to eat was fantastic and the others all thoroughly enjoyed their meals. And the truth was, it really didn't bother me. I was loving the hotel and the whole experience far too much to worry about it. I also came to the conclusion during that meal that I need one of these pink chandeliers for my bedroom. (I haven't told Mike yet, but I'm sure he'll be fine with it.)

Pink Chandelier, Restaurant, Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate

With the meal over, it was finally time to turn in for the night. We said goodnight to my Aunt and Uncle and settled down in our room. Mike found a film to watch and I headed straight for that bubble bath. We had lots more adventures to look forward to in the morning... and I'll tell you all about them in the next post!

Anyone ever visited Harrogate?

Kate x
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