January Favourites

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So first favourites of 2015, woo woo. January has seemed like a long month with coursework, semester A exams and the start of semester b of my final year its been busy, I’ve also be lucky to have a week off where I took part in some pampering and retail therapy. So on with the favourites . . .

Ted Baker London Body Spray: I got this in a set from my sister for Christmas and I love the scent I’m unsure how to describe it but its mean to be rose, sandalwood and raspberry which is probably true its a floral fruity cross. This essentially fits in bag and is so handy the perfect go to scent/spray.

Tanya Burr Nail Polish in Midnight Sparkles: Another beautiful nail polish from the Tanya Burr cosmetic line this is a beautiful dark purple with glittery flecks, perfect for these colder months and I haven”t gotten over glitter nails yet so I can still keep the festive glitter in a more subtle way.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair: A long time youtube/beauty blogger favourite and definitely mine, so in expensive and such good quality its thick and creamy so is ideal for hiding anything you may want to hide. A savoir during late night study sessions, early morning exams and balancing life in general. If you haven’t tried it yet, then why haven’t you?

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy in 1 Lush Coconut: (Glossy Balm Crystal Colour) So I got this as a gift from my loving boyfriend and I’m in love, I wanted this for ages and as there was nothing else to get me he brought me this. The sheer candy just add a subtle wash of colour to your lips and its simply perfect I wear it everyday.

Hello Kitty Shimmer Dust in Dappled: My mum brought me a bunch of cutesy hello kitty stuff for Christmas and she picked this up, despite been hesitant at first to use it I finally took the plunge and tried it and I love it, its a purple neutral shade ideal for every day or romantic looks. Basically a complete surprise but it is absolutely amazing.

So those are my monthly favourites, I’ve limited it to five but I’m trying to work out if that is the right amount or not, let me know. What have you guys been loving this month, let me know?

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xox

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Getting My Blog Organised

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Hey Guys, so a while back I announced a new schedule for my blog as part of my getting organised in my life and blog. So I thought I’d show you how I’ve got organised and keeping on top of things.

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Hey Guys, so a while back I announced a new schedule for my blog as part of my getting organised in my life and blog. So I thought I’d show you how I’ve got organised and keeping on top of things.

So first up is actually organising posts, I list out the dates and then decide what posts are going when with the last post of the month obviously being reserved for monthly favourites posts. I’m aiming to post twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday, then additional posts depend on how much time I have and if I have something to say that’s time dependant. The idea from the tick list is what I’d seen Lilly Pebbles show on a vlog and its a great idea so you can make sure everything’s done.

So essentially I write what post is ready for that date and then go through the list, the best thing is that nothing has to be done in order I can look and do photos when I have good lighting and do 4/5 posts worth of  photos and with the tick chart I know they are there. The tick categories I have are writing, pictures, tags, links and social media, which covers everything especially as I tend to forget social media. This year I decided to get to get HootSuite and its so convenient and ideal for scheduling tweets (follow me here *wink face*) while sitting and scheduling a few posts is great.

It just helps keep everything in order and if I can see it laid out over a page its easier to keep everything planned and on schedule.

Next thing is keeping up with content so I dedicated a few pages to it and probably many more as the year goes on. I just feel like its best to note it down.

First up I have 3 pages for monthly favourites with a small sticky note per month. The small size is so I have keep the number of items low it’s easy to get ahead of yourself and put everything you’ve used in a monthly favourites. Its also handy for looking back at the end of the year for yearly favourites as I can also note reoccurring favourites that I may not wish to post about all the time.

After that I have a few pages of post ideas where I can note down everything I come up with that I can check out another day. Hopefully preventing writers block, unless the writers blocks lasts weeks. Even if you don’t plan out to such extent noting down ideas somewhere is well worth doing.

And finally I have notes for reviews, here’s the notes for my smash box review the rest of the page is filled with yet unwritten reviews. Therefore I can see initial reactions I had when it comes yo writing my reviews as opinions can change over a few weeks of use and its fairly helpful. I’m currently trying out a few primers and mascaras.

So that’s how I got myself organised if you have any more questions just let me know.

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xxx

Empties #3

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Its seems ages to have empties then I have them all at once. I always love these types of things as because someone’s tried them in full you get a clearer idea of what they are really like so here we go.

Skincare
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Superdrug’s Sugar and Spice Self-heating mask: I haven’t used the sauna/self-heating mask in years and I just had an urge to have it plus it vanilla and I cannot resist anything vanilla. I put it on while I had a lovely long relaxing bath and it was so nice highly recommend trying out. Available from Superdrug for £0.99.

Superdrug’s Fruit Sorbet Antioxidant Peel-Off Mask: Another from my mask buying spree before I brought a tube of one. I love peel off ones as I always feel like they do more for clearing your skin, I don’t think they always do but I always feel better after. Its beautifully subtle fruity fragrance as sometimes fruity scents are really overpowering. Available from Superdrug for £0.99.Superdrug’s Cleansing Facial Wipes (for sensitive skin): These were a complete dud, really dry and barely took off any make up. To hope to get any make up off I’d really have to scrub my face and eye area which is no good for my eye health. In the end my boyfriend just used them occasionally or used them as hand wipes. I’m now back to my tesco everyday value face wipes as they are 50p and so amazing. Available from Superdrug for £0.99.

Superdrug’s Pore Cleansing Pads: Initially I picked these up for my boyfriend but now we both use them in just a very quick and simple step to add to my skin routine. Also pretty much all of Superdrug’s own brand stuff is on offer and I love most of the stuff I’ve tried so far, inexpensive and amazing. Available at Superdrug for £2.69 however, its always on buy one get one free.

Escenti Tea Tree Facial Wash Gel: This got dropped on the floor and the cap broke, it just went every where which really sucks so half of it was wasted. A good inexpensive face wash and tea tree has great benefits although as its body care and there isn’t one in my university town I’ve replaced it with a face was from the Superdrug tea tree range.

Makeup

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Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Light Porcelain: I’ve already repurchased this as its such a great foundation especially for us very fair skinned girls which often find it hard to find a good drugstore foundation shade. Although I think by now pretty much everyone has seen/tried it so there is no point going on and on. Available at Boots and Superdrug for £8.99.NYC All Day Long Smooth Skin Foundation in Classic Ivory: This is one of those never mentioned products but is actually really good and its great value for money, also its so inexpensive and great for those trying out. I haven’t repurchased as this is the lightest shade and its too dark and pretty much done so its time to throw it out. Available from Superdrug for £3.99.MUA Cover and Conceal Concealer in Light: Super cheap and not a bad colour match consider there are only 3 colours but they are way too limited. I found the formula really watery and it only hides tiny flaws so not really a ‘concealer’. Definitely better to spend more or a better concelear as there are such good ones available at the drug store. Available from MUA and Superdrug for £1.00.

MUA Blush in Bon Bon: I love this blush but I dropped it and it smashed but as its £1.00 and its more effort than its worth to replace it so I simply brought a new one. It just adds a subtle flush to your face, definitely worth looking at the MUA blush range and at £1.00 each there is no excuse not too. Available from MUA and Superdrug for £1.00.

Other

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The Body Shop Passion Fruit Shower Gel: I love passion fruit and this is amazing. Okay as far as I’m concerned shower gel is shower gel, I’m clean that is all that matters but it smells amazing. Available from The Body Shop for £4.00 £2.00.Dove Go Fresh Compressed in Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena: I’ve had this in my other empties and there isn’t much to say. Works well. Smells nice. Its deodorant what more is there to add. Available everywhere.

And 2 dried out unknown nail varnishes and a knock of beauty blender.

Lots of Love,
Gwenllian Branwen
xxx

Canadian Beauty Swap

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So towards the end of last year me and the beautiful Danielle of Just Add Mascara arranged a swap. She received my package before Christmas and you can check out what I got her here while mine arrived mid January, the problems with cross Atlantic swaps. So if you want to read what she got me carry on reading . . . (see what I got her here)

Skincare Bits

DSCF4409Yves Rocher 7 day programme for Normal to Combination Skin: This is a cute little trio containing a hydrating cleansing milk; hydrating toner and 24hr Intense hydrating Gel Cream. All of them contain botanical saps such as the saps from maple trees and blue agave plants combined which are meant to look in moisture in the skin so I’m excited to try them out. I’m thinking of saving these for a holiday later in the year as they are an ideal size for travelling and mini pamper products are perfect for these.

Real Nature Face masks in Acai Berry, Green Tea and Avocado: So these are three are cloth masks I love treating my self to a face mask once or twice a week. The first night I used the green tea mask after a long shift a work and its a proper moist well made cloth mask which stays in place while sitting up meaning I could sort out blog bits and watch TV its ideal as some masks don’t stay and you have to lie back to get it to stay on.

The Face Shop Sparking Wine Face Mask: Another small cloth face mask and a really convenient size packet although I’m likely to use it before going anywhere it would be great for travelling.

Yves Richer Pink Grapefruit Face Mist: This is both a skin refresher and  a make up setting spray. I’ve loved this to make my make up last all day and keeps my skin feeling hydrated no matter what I’m up to. The scent isn’t particularly strong but the product is amazing so it doesn’t really matter.

Nip + Fabn Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads: I’m currently half way though my current tub of exfoliating pads so I’ll start these soon. I’m always curious about nip+fan so I’m excited to try something of theirs out.

Make Up

DSCF4411Wet n’ Wild Color Icon Palette in 738 Comfort Zone: I was so excited about this as I’ve heard such good things about wet n wild eye shadows and they aren’t available over here. Its a beautiful neutral toned palette containing 8 beautifully pigmented shades. I used it straight away (well straight after I’d taken the pictures) for my make up that morning and its so good. I’ve loved having a little play with this.

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Warm Neutral: First and foremost the packaging is so damn pretty the packaging with lace detailing and ribbons its so pretty. Its a warm neutral palette with rose gold/pink toned shades, the palette is meant to be 3 looks with a highlight, base and liner for each a unique foam applicator meaning you could attempt these looks without the tools although the success level is debatable. The three looks are Natural which is a subtle everyday look, Playful still natural but a slightly fun twist with the highlight colour and finally a night time look Dramatic which in essence is for a brown smokey eye.

Annabelle Bigger Bronzer, Zebra Print Bronzing Powder in Haute Gold: I’m yet to use this as I tend to opt for contouring over bronzing in the winter months but it will be great for summer. When I’ve swatched it on my hand and nice warm shimmer colour so come summer it will get a lot of use.

Pixi by Petra Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Plum Quartz: Pixi always surprises me that in other countries Pixi is affordable and even drug store yet over here its hard to find and fairly expensive so I was delighted to receive two pixi items in my swap. The shadows are so pigmented and creamy, I love the colours and I’m playing about with them for a valentines look. Maybe I’ll part with my hard earned cash to try more pixi products.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush: This is my second pixi item a very highly pigmented lip balm I was actually so surprised how good the colour pay off hydrated lips and pretty coral colour. The only thing I’m not sure is the flat cut top opposed the the rounded or lipstick shape you usually get with balms although it will round off with time it just makes initial applications trickier.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in 617 Iced Mocha: I feel like this may soon work its way into my “I rather have 15 more minutes in bed than do full make up” make up routine, a soft neutral eye pencil is somewhat of a student essential or at least should be.

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Salsa: This is the perfect everyday natural pink lip colour so I’m bound to get loads of wear. Also its a really silky smooth non-sticky lip gloss, its closest to the Tanya Burr lip glosses although the Tanya Burr ones are slightly thicker. The doe foot applicator is really nice and bonus the lid and a bow moulded on it subtle but pretty. Bound to end up in my handbag for a go to lip product. Its kinda like having a touch up naked 3 palette although I haven’t put them side by side if its a good dupe I will let you guys know.

Other

DSCF4413Peanut Butter M&Ms: These didn’t last beyond a day they are so yummy.

Yves Rocher Bath Fizz in Pear Caramel: Okay this smells amazing the closest thing I can think of that smells like this is the body shop honey range. The packet is cute too kinda looks like the fancy chocolates you get on the pillows at fancy hotels, although it probably doesn’t taste as good though.

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum: I’ve yet to try this as I’m currently using a hair oil but I’ve been converted as they make my hair much more manageable.

So big love and thanks to the lovely Danielle, I love all my Canadian beauty bits. Beauty swaps are a great experience, so much fun and you get to make new friends I’d highly recommend it.

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xxx

Student Room Tour

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I’d been meaning to do this post for a while but its taken a lot of time to get it in a semi presentable state in order to photograph. This is my second student house and this time I actually have a decent sized room which I share with my boyfriend.

Its pretty damn basic but I’ve made it cosy with candles and fairy lights. Cute plushies on the bed are always a nice addition, we have Frodo and Gandalf as we are both Tolken obsessed.

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As for the desk area as you can see I have most beauty items on the shelf underneath while my brushes and everyday sit on top with my blogging note book, diary and laptop. I’m not really sure what to say about it so if you want to know more about student living or anything just ask in the comments below.

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xxx

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Review*

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So the other day this dropped through my letter box and I squeaked with excitement. I always look at smashbox and never know if I should take the plunge so having to opportunity to try it out for a few days. I received a few sachets and tried it over a week with a few different  looks/make up products.

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So I tried the primer over several days trying to get the most from it and fully put it to the test.

It has a thick creamy texture, that feels very gritty and drying. From the moment I put it on the back of my hand I couldn’t see how it was going to work but I thought I’d go for it it. It instantly smoothed into the skin but I noticed no visible change to my skin. After I applied my make up top, the first day with my L’Oreal True Match Perfection foundation and it just didn’t sit right, my whole make up didn’t look right no matter how much blending and work I did it just wasn’t sitting right.

Later in the week I tried it with my Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, my ultimate favourite go to foundation. Still endless blending and I got it to look okay but after and morning in the library my make up wasn’t staying put and my skin felt dry desperate for hydration. So despite giving it a damn good go its drying, think and reduced my makeups staying power. I’m so disappointed as I had high hopes for smash box yet I am glad I did not have to pay for it and haven’t wasted the £25.00 for 30ml.

I wouldn’t recommend it, although I am yet to find the holy grail primer this time save your money. Let me know what primers you love at the moment and what I should try out.

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xxx

The Body Shop Haul

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First up my Body Shop goodies that I couldn’t resist in the sale as well as using additional discount codes. I got some pretty good deals although I don’t really need anymore body things (the extent I have currently I may do a post on soon), most of it was a too good a deal not to miss.
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 Special Edition Blueberry Body Butter: I’m starting to get better at remembering to use body butter again and I love the scent of the blueberry stuff so I thought why not. The Body Shop body butters are amazing you just have to find the scent that’s right for you. Price paid £13.00 £6.50.
 Special Edition Blueberry Body Scrub-Gelee: I’ve wanted to try one of the scrubs for ages but have always been put off by the insane price, on offer it comes into line more with the soap and glory body scrub so I thought I’d give it a go once that ones used up. Price paid £13.00 £6.50.
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Vanilla Brulee Shower Gel: I adore the vanilla range that came out over Christmas and couldn’t resist buying a few bits. I now have loads as after ordering I received the vanilla brulee gift tin from my boyfriends parents, I now have enough to last ages. Price paid £4.00 £2.00.
Vanilla Brulee Eau De Toilette: This is beautiful and I’m glad to finally own it, my friend brought 5 in the sale. Its just a perfect every day and occasion scent. Price paid £8.00 £4.50.
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Frosted Cranberry Body Polish: I never smelt much of this years cranberry scent but I’ve loved their previous cranberry scents but to be safe I went for the safe body polish. I went for body polish as its a smallish bottle and if I’m not keen on the scent it doesn’t matter. Price paid £5.00  £3.50.
Brazil Nut Shower Cream: A pure impulse buy as I’ve never smelt it but I was curious and for £1.40 you can’t really go wrong. It actually smells amazing a sweet toffee/vanilla sweet type of scent and I cannot wait to use it. Price paid £4.00 £2.00 £1.40.
Muslin Cleansing Cloth: I am forever looking for ways to up my skin care game and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the body shop cleansing cloth so watch this space. Price paid £2.50 £1.75.
I’m so excited to try out all my body shop bits and some bits I may review, let me know which ones you would like to know more about.
Love
Gwenllian Branwen
xxx

First Impressions: Umberto Giannini Miracle Worker with Argan Oil

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First and foremost I wish to apologise about the typo(s) in the picture but at this point I am way to lazy to fix it, especially as the editing software I used isn’t on my laptop.

So I got this in the Boots after Christmas in a little gift set for £4.00 down from £8.00 with some hair bands and stuff. The size of the oil is 125ml so full size and retails for £8.00 on its own so really its a bargain in the set. The packaging in the Christmas set that I have is slightly different although the product is identical, its obvious the were marketing it slightly differently for Christmas pushing it as a ‘miracle’ hair product rather than specially for frizzy hair.

So this is my first experience with hair oil as I’ve always wondered whether they are worth the price and due to the amazing offer I thought why not. I’ve tried this out a few times and I thought I’d give a bit of my first impressions.

So I followed the instructions on the back putting it on wet hair before I styled it or blow dried it essentially. It says to use as much or as little as you want depending on the frizzyness and how much your hair is damaged and I’ve found that two pumps works best. I just work it in with my fingers then I brushed it through just to make sure before I start styling.

I couldn’t believe the results after the first time after blow drying and straightening my hair it instantly felt silkier a clear improvement. I’ve tried it a few more times and even my boyfriend noticed that my hair looked different but ‘good different’ as he put it, he also enjoyed the smell. I can’t quite describe it and even after straightening the smell remains which is so nice have sweet smelling hair.

So would I recommend it? Yes I would, even at full price its totally worth it as it works amazingly well and its a good sized product so it will last you ages so it is very cost effective if that is what you worry about when considering if and what to try in regards to hair oils.

Umberto Giannini Miracle Worker with Argan Oil is available from Boots for £8.00.

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xox

Scheduling Announcement

Hi everyone,
So with a new year I told myself I’d be better organised with every aspect of my life so I’ve come up with a proper schedule for my blog. Therefore from now on new posts will go up every Tuesday and Friday at 5pm (GMT). In doing this and sticking to a schedule it hopefully means that posts are still regular while keeping a quality of content that I’m happy with. Basically it should be better all round.

I hope to keep to this schedule and if it changes I will hope to let you know. Also here’s a mini poll in which I’m interested to know what content you wish to see, so I’d be glad to hear your feedback.

Also I’m soon going to reach 150 followers at this point I am planning to do a giveaway with something like Mac or Benefit type products. Watch this space.

Lots of love,
Gwenllian Branwen

DIY Pamper Box

So its my best friends birthday today and I thought I’d show you all the cute little DIY pamper box I made for her. These as DIY Pamper Jars as gifts have been floating all over youtube and the blogosphere. So I thought I’d show you my own take on the box.

You Will Need:

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A box; tissue paper; ribbon and embellishments;

and all the pamper bits you want to use.

Step One:Place a Layer of tissue paper in the bottom of the box and loosely up the side how neat you wish to do this depends on what effect you want.

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Step Two: Wrap up all of your goodies, add extra embellishments or make them all different colours I just chose to keep the whole thing simple with just purple tissue paper.

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Step Three: Arrange your box, depending how much you’ve got and the size of the box can really cause a difference in the time this can take. Mine only all just fitted in so it took some doing, if you have extra space just pad it out with additional tissue paper.

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Step Four: Close your box, and begin to decorate. I used a 2m length of ribbon and wrapped it round before sticking on a pretty decorative box. And there you go simple but a great personal gift.

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Hope you liked the simple but adorable DIY  gift idea if I do any more I’m sure to let you know. However I thought I’d go into a bit more of what I got and how you can get ideas as to what to put into your box. If you’re not interested please press like if you liked the DIY and I’ll be back in a few days.

The Box and Decorations:

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I brought all of these bits from Card Factory so they are all fairly inexpensive, usually they have loads of pretty boxes but at this time of year its hard to find a huge variety so I went for silver glittery box while the purple ribbons and tissue paper is because those are my best friends favourite colour. You can stay simple like this or go for all sorts of fancy embellishments just to doll it up and make it something special.

Gift Ideas One: Gift Sets 

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These bits I picked up in boots half price gift bits in the sale, things like these mean you can get great gifts for a fraction of the price so your money can go further. The Champneys Moisturiser was only £2.00 and the Candle set was £6.00 basically great value for money and were great additions to my pamper set. Sometimes you can split up gift sets for multiple gifts or you can simply take them out and repackage them so they look so much nicer. These two I kept in their respective packaging as it was cute and worked for what I wanted.

Gift Ideas Two: Travel Sized Items

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Travel items are great for these sorts of things, any minis or sample sizes as you can pick a variety especially if you aren’t sure what they like or want to give them a taste of something you’ve loved but don’t now if they will. Therefore they are such a good idea and you can find them everywhere for a variety of prices and are well worth looking into especially as you can get more and it looks like more despite been less.

Gift Idea Three: Make Up/Nail Varnishes

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A bit of beauty is a great thing to slip into any pamper kit and if you aren’t sure exactly what they like nail varnish are a good way to go as you can just pick some pretty colours. I find people are more likely to experiment with pretty colours on their nails than they are to go out of their comfort zone with make up. So stick to fairly safe but pretty neutral tones, or go for pretty nails stuff.

Gift Idea Four: Sachets Yes or No?

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Do you include sachets in these types of things and I think it depends what it is? Hair masks, face masks, and foot packs sure one off items that are a bit special and I think you can. I also think it makes a difference as to what the size of the potted/bottled version against the sachet as if they potted version is too big then there is no point buying the full one. Basically weigh it up in your own head as to whether you think it is worth it.

Hope these gave you a few ideas and if you try this out let me know I’d love to see what your DIY Pamper Boxes look like.

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xox