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