FASHION - FEMMELUXE - WFH EDITION

Hello gorgeous people!

and thank you for stopping into another one of my FemmeLuxe Hauls! 

I have teamed up with Femme Luxe again to who have kindly gifted me some items for my work from home situation. I'm actually very fortunate and have been able to continue working throughout the pandemic because I work for the NHS - but that doesn't mean I'm not going to take full advantage of the lock down attire.


You'll have to excuse the image quality on this set, I've recently moved to a new flat in the city centre and the lightings now what I'm use to. My studio kit is also at my parents until we find our next place so I've done what I can with what I have.

The first item I want to show you are these BEA-U-TI-FUL Marble Print Joggers. They're made of a super soft material inside so very comfy for wearing around the house in the cold British weather. 
I love that the draw string is on the inside of the joggers so it's easy to hide. In regards to sizing, I'm normally a size 12, and I'm 5ft 7 for references. I bought these in a size 8 and they're perfectly baggy for my liking, they sit nicely - my only wish is that they were a little bit longer to cover my ankles.


These slippers are also a go to for me as you'll see haha.

My second gifted item are these cute pink joggers, exactly the same as the marble ones apart from I bought a size 10 (12's were out of stock). As you can tell, they're slightly less flattering on my waistline, but that's just because it's not the correct size for me. The quality is second to none, I wear these pretty much every single night and they haven't started to bobble yet. They're also washed very frequently and the colour has not faded at all. They should be a go to in everybody's wardrobe for sure.


There's those slippers again....

Lastly, my favourite item from this haul is this gorgeous brown, ribbed two piece Co-Ord. The flared bottoms are super flattering for us slightly curvier girls and really amplify your natural shape. I bought these in a size 12 as I didn't want to look like a squished sausage and it fits perfectly! 
The top is very supportive so there is no need for me to wear a bra with it. It's lightweight material means that it's very cosy and airy, and also means it doesn't take too long to dry after washing either.
I love this outfit so much I've just ordered the black version too :) 



I hope you've enjoyed my little haul and that you're all staying safe during these crazy time. 
I can't wait to see what Femmeluxe brings out next.







GAMING - JMALL - JL Comfurni Gaming Chair review and help!


Hello again you beautiful, beautiful people!
Hope you are all doing well in these crazy times, it's it insane to think we've been locked down for coming up to 6 months now. In these uncertain times we've really pulled together and started to focus on the things were grateful for, and also the things many things that technology has allowed up to do. 
From Live webcam chats with family, those important work meetings via Zoom and for me, all the wonderful games I've managed to start playing because I wasn't allowed out haha.

I was very fortunate to be able to collaborate with JMALL - JL Comfurni during lock down. They kindly provided me with a brand new, gorgeous gaming chair to allow me to play in perfect style and comfort. This post is telling you about my experience with JMALL, how to order, and briefly how I put it together.. with some hits on how to not do the same silly mistakes I did putting my chair together. 

First off, How to order.
JMALL have a LARGE variety of chairs to choose from. There really is something for everyone, a simplistic office stool, all the way through to luxury gaming chairs to match everyone's needs and at a very affordable price. 

You are able to find the items on the JMALL WEBSITE, AMAZON and EBAY.
If you purchase through their website and use code GAMERBLOND, you can get up to £23 off :) (You're welcome).

I opted for the JL Comfurni - Narkissis Series Gaming Chair with Footrest in pink - ITEM NUMBER [ND2-PKW+JDPINK]


I ordered on Monday 23rd of August, and it was delivered by courier on the 25th. I might have missed it due to being in work, but easily collected it the next day from the depot. The item came in two parts, a MASSIVE box holding the main segments of the chair (top and bottom of chair, stand, arms) and the smaller box held the foot rest and bolts. 


Included with the main box was an envelope, this had a thank you message and a VIP card - Use the VIP card to sign up and leave a HONEST review on their Amazon page.

ASSEMBLE.
Within the envelope, there's an instructions manual. I'd highly recommend using it because some steps are a little bit tricky - even with the instructions.

  


I started firstly with the chair base and added each wheel. Very easy, just insert the wheels into the holes and PUSH. Step 1 is already complete.

Step 2, connecting the arms to the bottom of the chair. Screw the arm attachments into the underside of the seat. It will be the screws on either side, not in the center. Once the arms are added, start to attach the base stand using those center screws. It should look like this; 




In one of the smaller boxes, you will find two 'L shaped' brackets, one with a recliner mechanism and one without. start with the recliner side, (I didn't, which made it a lot harder).
I started with putting the two screws into the side of seat bottom. This bit would be easier with a second person to help, but it's doable alone with a little bit of hard work. Line up the back of the chairs screws to the brackets, you'll have to hold it pretty still to make sure it lines up properly. Screw each one a little bit, just enough to make it stay in place, then work on tightening the bolts.  Do the same on the other side and we've got ourselves a chair!!



The next step is super easy... Place the chair on top of the base stand and sit on it. You're welcome. You now have a working chair :D



Now to cover the fixtures on the side of the chair. There should be 4 pieces of plastic in the smaller cardboard box. Put the rectangular piece into the hole on the bottom piece to hold it in place. This bits a bit fiddly, but slide the cover over the bracket and screw it into place. I'd recommend starting on the recliner side again first to get to grips with attaching it. 


If you bought the chair without the foot rest, YOU'RE ALL DONE! Enjoy your chair :)

Keep reading on if you've got the foot rest...

This is pretty straight forward but so so easy to put it on backwards. You'll have a metal base piece, and two larger metal poles and a smaller one. Line the smaller pole up with the holes on either side of the larger pieces and connect it to the metal base. This is the sliding part of the footrest complete.


Next, turn the foot cushion upside down and loosen the screws, place them through the holes on the base plate and then screw it back in. 
There should be two additional black plastic pieces in the box. They look like handles with a hole either side. 
Screw them into the last two places under the seat, this creates the slot to slide the metal poles through to make the rest. Ensure the foot cushion is facing the right way up before placing the poles into place. 

Push them as far back as possible to start and then slide the rubber rings over the back to secure them in place.


I hope these instructions have been semi useful for you and your purchase! You will not be disappointed by the quality of this build. It's sturdy and comfortable, with and without the additional support pillows provided. 






Stephanie xox


FASHION - FEMME LUXE FINERY HAUL! 2020. #GIFTED

FEMME LUXE FINERY DRESS HAUL


Hello old friends!
Long time no speak bambinos, but guess who's back, not with a brand new rap... but bringing a brand new haul from Femme Luxe Finery instead!
I was lucky enough to be approached by the wonderful team over at Femme Luxe Finery in order to create some content showcasing some of their gorgeous Going Out Dresses. Now, I know none of us are actually going OUT OUT (I bloody well hope not anyways).

But who doesn't like to get all dolled up every once in a while. Whether it's for an at home/face time date night, or just because you want to look dammmnnn fine watching Netflix in the comfort of your own home.. there's something for everyone over on Femme Luxe Finery's website.

I choose 4 dresses that I would love to share with you, with my honest opinion on all of them. I hadn't put make up on for around 9 weeks before I made a little home photoshoot for this blog post. I loved having an excuse to put on a face and feel confident and empowered again after being in a lockdown limbo for so long.

Let's start with this GORGEOUS Red square neck rushed dress!

Now, I'm a size 10/12 with larger than average thighs and a smaller waist. All the dresses I chose were size 10 (So I was a little panicy with this one!).
The dress fit PERFECTLY, my thighs didn't feel confined and I felt it hugged my waistline beautifully. I have received nothing but compliments for this outfit over on the socials, with plenty on IG asking me where to get it - and now you know!
I personally get really warm with long sleeves, but the material is super breatheable and comfortable. I thought with the dress being so reasonably priced it would be a little see-through, but I was wrong! Yes, VPLs do appear as expected, but no colours show through so feel comfortable wearing any you like.
I am in love with the square neck detail on this dress, and the ruched panels help to hide any lumps and bumps for those who are a little more conscious. (We love all lady lumps here though!)
I personally would normally go for a shorter length dress such as this, but I absolute adore the shape. It's 100% the first dress I'm wearing for date night/a night out when we're allowed/I feel safe enough too. Even if it's just an all day breakfast at Spoons haha.




This beautiful Camel, slinky ruched thin strap dress number hugs to me in all the right places. I bought this in a size 10 again, but its so stretchy I probably should size down (it's currently held in with a hair bobble for these pics).
Again, the rushed fabric hides any unwanted lumps and bumps and really accentuates my curves. I was again really surprised by the thicker material which helped me feel more secure with my undergarment choices, and the material also offers support at the top! No need for bras here, even with the slightly bigger sizing. The material is lightweight, breathable and VERY comfortable. I could wear this dress all day. Perfect on it's own, or spiced up with a leather jacket for a more casual vibe. This is a must have addition to any wardrobe!


Now, I'm not sure about you, but at family get togethers, I personally prefer to cover up a little bit more, purely for appearances. This Beige one shoulder ruched slinky midi dress is the perfect outfit for close shindigs. The little bit more coverage helps me feel more relaxed in busy areas, with the one shoulder on view oozeing nothing but class and elegance. Easy to dress up with a sparkly bag and a nice pair of heels - it screams luxury, but in the most simplistic way.
Also perfect for some summer holidays as still made of light, airy material which doesn't get too sweaty. If you wanted something fancier for hitting the bars with the ladies or just a smart family meal I would highly recommend this little number.


Last but definitely not least is this stunning Wine bardot cowl neck ruched midi dress, I can honestly say I felt like Scarlett Johansson in this beauty (One could wish ai?)
I didn't quite understand where the arm bits were meant to sit, but they looked great draped across my upper arms our pulled back like in the image above.
The fit is elegant and flattering, offering a glimpse of the fun bags, but still leaving enough to the imagination, (Please tell me I'm not the only one who talks like this? haha).
The same material of the previous 2 dresses, again its comfortable to wear, super stretchy and not too warm. The fit is perfect for my body shape and comes slightly below the knee.

And there you have it!
These are my four pieces from Femme Luxe Finery, that I CANNOT wait to wear out and about with my favourite people! Overall, sizing was great, materials were high quality and perfect for our weird british weather. All fits were flattering to my body shape and still left room to breathe comfortably and all of the outfits made me feel like a million bucks!

Shop the whole collection of dress at https://femmeluxefinery.co.uk/collections/dresses - I promise you will not be disappointed!
Until next time bambinos!

Love Stephanie xoxo




TRAVEL - South Wales Glamping: Hidden Valley Yurts Review




South Wales Glamping: Hidden Valley Yurts Review




I was lucky enough to be invited on a South Wales glamping adventure and so I spent three days At Hidden Valley Hurts in the Wye Valley.
Hidden Valley Yurts and Lake House is a stunning hidden gem located within 80 acres of secluded forestry in Llanishen, Monmouthshire. The wonderful glamping site is home to 5 authentic Mongolian luxury yurts, decorated with hand-painted Mongolian wood furniture that adds masses of character to the beautifully designed architecture.
The land is rich with a mix of ancient woodland full of history, alongside beautiful wildflowers that decorate the location, not forgetting the calming stream that runs through the forests and past the Yurts. Wildlife such as deer, foxes, and highland cows also roam the spacious valley in harmony.
I stayed in Yurt One with two fellow bloggers during the week-long retreat.



The yurt was very spacious, with enough room to fit five adults comfortably along with all their possessions. Each glamping yurt has hand painted woodwork, decorated with floral designs as explained by Hidden Valley owner Mike. The attention to detail was superb. Each Yurt has a double bed, a single hand painted wooden bed (nicknamed the Princess bed) and a number of chairs that turn into a sleep space.
The rooms also included small hand painted tables equipped with lanterns and tea lights which alongside the wood burner created a cozy, warm atmosphere. The owner’s event went as far as providing fleece ponchos for the colder nights, boxes for dirty wellies, torches and fresh flowers provided by local flower farm Far Hill Flowers.
The list is endless – the amount of love and attention Hidden Valley Yurts has put into their accommodation truly makes the site unique and unmissable.
 WHAT TO BrING FOR A GREAT GLAM CAMPING EXPERIENCE
In regards to sleeping arrangements. You need to take bedding (duvet and covers, sheets and pillowcases) – but a sleeping bag is perfectly fine. You’re also advised to bring your own towel and toiletries, but previous guests have left a number of used shower goodies if you do forget.
Fortunately, Yurt One at Hidden Valley came with its very own kitchen, beautifully made by Hidden Valley’s very own woodworker Rory.
I am certainly impressed by the craftsmanship that went into making our kitchen, and all the facilities included! I was preparing myself for the bare basics, but we were given a large fridge freezer, oven, kettle, toaster, coffee machine and all the cutlery you could wish for.
 FACILITIES AT HIDDEN VALLEY YURTS

The accommodation also has a communal area which includes a kitchen, bathrooms and a large decked area full of tables and chairs for everyone to enjoy their dinners and socialize together. Each yurt comes with its own numbered fridge and plenty of storage cupboards.
Again, the kitchen provides everything you could need and more – even a bread maker and dishwasher! There were also fresh herbs that you could help yourself to during your stay.
Don’t worry if you forget breakfast, there are chickens on site that lay eggs every day and you’re allowed to take what you need.
All the shared facilities are cleaned and restored every day around midday by Mike which meant we wouldn’t ever be short of anything.
The yurts are perfect for everybody, families, friends or even for a hen do.
Mike, the owner of Hidden Valley Yurts was nice enough to take us on tour of his land. The woodland was full of homemade swings, a number of waterfalls and hidden trails. Giving us a brief history of the owners of Hidden Valley, the natural conservation of the woodlands and how it came to be in his hands.

THINGS TO DO IN THE LOCAL AREA

If you fancy something other than relaxing in the yurts around a glorious campfire there are many activities you can attend around the local area.
 FOREST OF DEAN & WYE VALLEY TOUR GUIDES
On our second day at Hidden Valley Yurts, we were invited to walk The Wye River with Jon from the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour guides. Jon took us on a guided walk and talk around the Wye Valley. We started our walk near the back of Best Western Royal George Hotel in Tintern, Chepstow.



Next, we crossed a small bridge that took us over The River Wye and into Gloucestershire, arriving at the Forest of Dean. We headed into Brockweir, a small village about a mile east from Tintern. We stopped for a look around Brockweir Moravian Church in the heart of the village. Known for being one of the most lawless places in the country, the Duke of Beaufort decided to request for the Moravian Church to be erected and bring peace to the area.
The rain poured from start to finish so our guide took us through the estimate two and a half hour walk swiftly, our finishing point was the stunning Tintern Abbey – One of my favorite Welsh landmarks.
 THE ANCHOR INN



After finishing our walk, we were welcomed into an award-winning free house called The Anchor Inn, located just opposite the Abbey with a fantastic view of the historic site.
The Anchor Inn provides locally sourced fresh food that is cooked on site and has something for everyone. We were greeted with a selection of cakes (my personal favorite being the freshly made Red Velvet Cake). These cakes also included a gluten-free and Vegan selection, all served alongside our individual teapots.
INSPIRE2ADVENTURE
We were lucky enough to spend a few hours with Inspire2Adventure on an organized gorge scrambling trip. Insire2Adventure is an outdoor activity provider who put on a number of fun days out for everyone. Whether you’re a family, stag/hen do or even school and work trips – they have something to offer for all ages. Inspire2Adventure offer activities in The Forest of Dean, Wye Valley, and Abergavenny. If you’re looking for something fun to do which is provided within mother nature then look no further.
We met the team at the local community center in Abergavenny, just on the outskirts of the Brecon Beacons; where we were provided with water-resistant t-shirts/jackets, helmets and harness to ensure we were able to take part in the activity safely.
Before attending the activity, we were advised to wear trainers or walking boots and comfortable but suitable bottoms such as joggers or yoga pants which wouldn’t hold onto moisture or become heavy and some spare clothes to wear on the way home.
After our briefing, we made our way through the streets and hills of the small village and slowly, one by one heading over the rocks and into the water. To start, our two guildsmen advised us to try and walk over the rocks to enable our feet would stay dry.  
This was easier said than done and within seconds we all had wet toes and started to tread through the water instead. The rocks underneath were very slippery due to the algae from the trees above which meant as a team we had to advise each other about the safest routes along our course.
 WATERFALL CLIMBING

Once we finished zigzagging along the first section of the gorge we were met by our first obstacle. This involved ducking under a small ledge until we found ourselves in a small thigh-deep pool before facing a waterfall climb. We were through our rope and asked to attach the loop to our carabiner and find our first foot and hand holes, as guided by our instructors.
I struggled at first as my arms are not the strongest but was advised to push with my legs which made the journey up the waterfall a lot easier with help from the team. With such a large group we expected to have to wait around – and those waits were very cold! A lot of little dances to keep warm helped but we managed to make it through with a smile on our faces.
After another short walk up the gorge, we headed to the most challenging, but my favorite waterfall of the course. One instructor headed to the top of the waterfall to secure our rope while the other explained the best possible way to reach the top. Throwing rocks to show us designated areas to place our hands and feet.
He knew the spaces like the back of his hand which made me us feel like we were in capable hands. After arriving at the foot of the waterfall, stood waist deep in a crater our rope was thrown down and once again fastened.
Following our previous instructions, we’d climb our way up the fall – only a few managing to dodge the small ledge halfway up (good thing we were given helmets). Once at the top you could see the distance we had traveled up the course as this took us around an hour and a half to reach the point.   
Our last obstacle was the tunnel. A long, straight pitch-black tunnel that was potentially used for mining before but no longer in use. We were given the option to try and walk along a ridge to reach the tunnel or a swim to reach a short waterfall at the entrance. I opted for the swim as the rest of me had already become wet.
Thankfully, due to the lack of sunlight in the tunnel the stone floor wasn’t able to develop a slippy, algae covered floor which meant we could walk more comfortably. At least if you walked on the left-hand side as there was a grove in the center which was uneven.
We followed suit one by one through the dark tunnel and made our way along by feeling the holes in the wall and taking advice from those at the front of any changes to the path.
At the end of the tunnel, we ended our last short ascent to the finish line. We were able to look over the top of the valley to see just how high we climbed. The gorge walk didn’t seem to elevate as much as we thought so it was a big shock to see how far we’d come from the village car park we started in.
Overall the gorge scrambling experience was a great activity. The staff were professional and made us feel at ease. Communicating as a team to ensure we finish the walk in once piece really brought us together and we also had a good few laughs along the way. I would highly recommend this activity to adrenaline junkies and anybody who just wants to get out and have some fun during their stay in South Wales. I’d also advise taking a few extra layers, or even a wetsuit if you are able to as it can get cold waiting around.
INFAMOUS CATERING
Want to make your stay a little bit easier? Rather than prepping and cooking a meal in the small kitchen areas – why not hire a chef to cook at the Hidden Valley Yurts instead?

On my last day at the Yurts, the other bloggers and I were treated to a wonderful vegan feast thanks to Barney at Infamous Catering.
Barney had prepped our starters ready for when we arrived back from our gorge scrambling event. Being greeted by homemade wild garlic and Gorgonzola dip served on Melba toast was enough to get my taste buds watering. They were served as canapes alongside poppadom, mango chutney and a number of homemade, locally sourced toppings.
If that wasn’t enough, Barney went on to prepare a Vegan main course. Combining a creamy lentil dahl, cauliflower and chickpea curry alongside coconut rice. There was a real punch of flavor alongside a hint of spice which tasted so amazing. Everybody had seconds and plenty left over for lunch the next day.
To finish it all off, we were presented with a delicious chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake made from leftovers found in barney’s cupboards, (and his wife’s peanut butter). The base was made using peanut butter, coconut flour, and maple syrup, with chocolate mousse topping being made from vegan crème cheese, melted chocolate, orange blossom and vanilla.
Barney also offered cooking lessons, if you’re staying in a large group I would highly recommend learning how to make your own meals out of natural ingredients you can find yourself in the wild.
Stephanie xoxo

TRAVEL - Wondering Where To Stay In Taipei? NK HOSTEL! - REVIEW!


After 5 long months travelling down the East Coast of Australia, I am now happy to say I am back in my favourite place - ASIA!
Originally we planned on heading to New Zealand, but after much consideration we decided to exchange our flights for Taiwan and Hong Kong instead! Although it'd be nice to travel NZ, what we would pay for once week in NZ could get us 3/4 in Taiwan (and I just honestly prefer Asia over everywhere else....)

Our first stop in Taiwan is non other than the capitol, Taipei! This post is a collaboration with NK Hostel in the Songshan district. We were lucky enough to be gifted three nights in their fantastic hostel as our home base for our time in Taipei. I am so thankful to them as the hostel was perfect for us! We loved being able to come straight from the airport to relax in our room after a LONG flight from Sydney.






The NK Hostel building may just look like any other apartment lobby downstairs, but once you jump into the lift head to floor 5 - It instantly becomes your home away from home. The open plan reception, dinning and kitchen area is full of natural light which makes it the perfect place to relax. The staff are very welcoming and are able to speak English so no need to worry about a language barrier. You'll be in this room most of your time in the hostel. It's the best place to relax and read a book or chat with friends on the balcony. Also, your free complimentary buffet breakfast is served here - Take full advantage! (I'm talking potatoe smiley faces guys!)



The Room


I loved our room! We stayed in a private double room with our own en-suite. The room was located on the 15th floor which offered a FANTASTIC view of the river. Having the large window helped flood our room with natural light that made it feel bright and airy! The room was big, we could fit out bags under the desk easily and were able to enjoy our space. We had a sofa, desk, television and even a chest of drawers to store our clothes. 



 I don't know about you, but I can't relax in a dirty place- but I felt right at home here! The room was spotless! Literally not a single thing I could find wrong with our space and I felt comfortable instantly. Taiwan is VERY hot, between 32-34oC since we’ve arrived, so each room includes a very good air conditioning system to help cool you down after a busy day of exploring this wonderful city.
Our en-suite bathroom was gorgeous also, I loved the minimal design and all the little extras we were given. My first purchase when we head back to the UK will be a Toto toilet seat haha. The bathroom came with everything you could possibly need, Hair comb, drier, ear buds, hair net, shaver, shampoo, condition and even more. Again, the room was super clean and just pleasant to see.



The Location

I personally thought NK Hostel was in an ideal location. There’s an awesome bar called Tipsy Dragon just next door, it’s a 5 minute walk to the local night market and plenty of restaurants and cafes to enjoy! Although the bars and restaurants are busy, it is actually located in a quieter part of town, so if you just want to relax theirs not much noise to stop you chilling out. Getting around is easy to, with buses on all corners and Nanjing Sanmin train station minutes away you can go anywhere within minutes.


Others

The hostel offers a large variety of different rooms, so there really is something for everybody. There are male/female/mixed dorms - These are LARGE cube rooms. Although they are shared dorms, the curtains and size of cube offer a lot of privacy, and the female dorms also have an additional changing room included. All rooms have big windows to let natural light in.
The shared bathrooms are very modern! Made me think of the hotel bathrooms that appeared in Gossip Girl. I loved the counter tops, whoever designed the interior put a lot of thought into making it look like a fancy hotel rather than a hostel.




They also offer family rooms, with large beds for mum and dad, and bunk beds for the kids. 6 Bed dorms for sports teams to share and my personal favourite, master rooms with BIG beds, a small kitchen and a BATH (I have never seen a bath in a hostel! It's amazing!)



Overall, We loved our experience at NK Hostel. Kay (The Manager) is really friendly and knows exactly what is needed for an exceptional stay with him. (plus his wife and baby are just the cutest!)
It's more like a hotel, but with the low price of a hostel! The cheapest way to book your stay is directly through the NK HOSTEL WEBSITE. You will save money by using the website over Booking/Hostel World (No brainer!)

Thank you soo much for hosting us NK Hostel, we really appreciate it and hope to see you again one day!

Stephanie xoxo