September favourites

You may have noticed some recent changes to The Fourth Month. I’m now residing at thefourthmonth.blog and pages like Food, Wellbeing and Shopping have returned to the site. In February, I wrote a blog about Changes, where I announced The Fourth Month would focus solely on the publishing industry and books. However, since I made this ‘niche’ for myself, I found myself completely uninspired. So I’ve decided to go back to my roots and The Fourth Month will be a mix and match of anything and everything once again.

In the spirit of embracing chaos, I am starting a monthly ‘favourites’ blog, which will be a list of random products from books and magazines to beauty and candles to delicious foodie treats.

Enjoy x


Breathe & Teen Breathe Magazine

I featured Issue One of Breathe Magazine in a blog last year (August 2016 Home Inspiration) when I first discovered this amazing publication. A year on and they have recently launched their sister magazine, Teen Breathe, which aims to help teens and young adults find a bit of peace and quiet in their hectic, social-media driven lives. The beautiful illustrations and peaceful content of Breathe magazines have resonated with me from day one. A year later and I’m still enjoying every issue. Not only does it look great on your coffee table but it’s bursting with ideas to improve your mental and physical wellbeing. I also think it’s pretty inexpensive as far as luxury magazines go. I recently subscribed so that I never miss an issue – I love it that much!

Get an annual subscription to Breathe for your Amazon Kindle.

If you’d like me to do a full review of the recent issues of Breathe magazine then please comment below or drop me a line at thefourthmonth@icloud.com.

Rustic bath shelf from Sainsbury’s

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Face cloths from Asda, candles from Aldi and Wax Lyrical UK, face mask and body scrub from Lush Cosmetics

I’ve been desperate for a bath shelf for AGES. I love running a hot bubble bath after a stressful day and some over-the-bath storage is the perfect addition to a soak in the tub. I picked this up in Sainsbury’s – their homeware selection is gorgeous – and I like to use it to show off my favourite bath time products: some rolled-up face cloths, Lush cosmetics and a couple of gorgeous candles. It’s like my own mini spa. There’s also room for a glass of wine (or two). If you’re on a budget, you can up-cycle an old wooden shelf for the same (if not better) effect.

Aldi Lime, Basil and Mandarin Candle

This Jo Malone dupe is getting ALL THE HYPE lately and I can see why. At £3.99, this supermarket candle will cost you 90% less than the real deal. While I’m not convinced about the ethics behind such a cheap dupe, I can confidently say that this candle smells just like the Jo Malone original and leaves a long-lasting, strong fragrance in the air. It also looks really luxurious and mimics the classic Jo Malone style beautifully. Ultimately, I will probably continue to splash out on a real Jo Malone candle once in a blue moon because you always get what you pay for but this Aldi dupe will definitely keep me going in-between – I’ve already bought three!

Mini lavender pots

I love a bargain! So I was pretty excited when I saw this set of three artificial miniature lavender plants in a cream wire basket reduced to £7 in Tesco. I skipped to the checkout and to my delight, these cuties were reduced even further – to £1.70! I couldn’t believe it. I love seeing these lavender plants perched on my kitchen windowsill every morning. I haven’t seen them in any local Tesco stores since and I can’t find them online but you can get a similar set from Melody Maison for only £8.95.

Try adding a couple of drops of real lavender essence to give some authenticity your artificial plants. Lavender oil has some wonderful healing properties which make it a great bedtime companion.

Lazy Sunday Coffee

Jamie and I recently bought a coffee grinder and French Press from IKEA so that we could enjoy freshly ground coffee in the mornings instead of instant. However, I often find fresh coffee too strong or too bitter but I was pleasantly surprised by Taylor’s of Harrogate’s ‘Lazy Sunday’ coffee. With hints of hazelnut and citrus, these coffee beans don’t claim to be “knock-your-socks-off, drag-you-awake coffee.” Instead, this is “coffee for lie-ins and Sunday papers, for lazy mornings with your feet on the sofa.” If I was a cup of coffee, this is what I would be.

You can buy three bags of Taylors of Harrogate Lazy Sunday Medium Roast Ground Coffee for £8.65 on Amazon.

On the subject of coffee, we’re thinking about getting a proper barista coffee machine for our Christmas this year. Do you have any recommendations or know of any coffee machines we should steer clear of? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on Instagram.


What are you loving this September? The weather is cooling and it’s time to break out the hats and scarves again. Do you have any go-to products for Autumn? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram.

Christmas ‘Good Gift’ Guide – Under £25

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll probably have seen me talking about ethical shopping quite a bit. I am far from perfect (sometimes Amazon Next Day Delivery is just TOO CONVENIENT) but I have been trying to buy my gifts from local or independent sellers. It’s important to be aware of where your things come from and what you’re spending your hard earned cash on. A ‘good gift’ supports independent shopping and ethical products.
To celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, I have put together a collection of some gorgeous gift ideas from Etsy that won’t break the bank . I came across all of these while doing my own Christmas shopping but they didn’t make the final cut so I thought I would share them with you all instead.

Candles & Lights

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Song of the Sea Candle from Candleisima – £9.99

Candleisima candles are officially at the top of my wish list. They are so classy and this one is scented like juniper, salt and seaweed, which makes it a perfect gift for anyone that loves being by the coast.

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Floral Votive Gift Set from Lace Emporium – £16.99

These delicate floral candles are so pretty I would be too frightened to burn them. They’re also organic and come in recycled packaging!

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Harry Potter Fairy Lights from Bristol Folds – from £22.50

OMG. These origami heart fairy lights are made from pages of Harry Potter making it the most adorable and unique gift for your favourite muggle.


Kitchen & Bathroom

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Girl Boss Mug from TheBestOfMeDesigns – £10

This mug is ideal for any badass women who are getting sh** done. Be quick: if you want to get this mug in time for Christmas you need to order by the 12th December.

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Personalised Breakfast Tray from Applecratescouk – £15.99

I actually saw this a few months ago and added it to my own personal wish list. It’s a lovely idea especially for a couple who have just moved into a new home.


Edible

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Vegan Drinking Chocolate with Raw Chocolate Hearts from Lovelight Chocolate – £12

Why don’t you spread a little cruelty-free cheer this Christmas with Lovelight’s vegan and organic chocolate gifts? All the festive indulgence with none of the guilt.

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Tea Taster Selection from Tea Belly Teas – £10

This gift box is the ultimate pressie for tea lovers. It contains Double Mint Brew, Sleepy Brew, Lemon & Ginger Brew, Detox Brew & Rosen-Berry Brew and each taster pack makes 3-4 cups of herbal tea. Absolute bargain!


Beauty

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Men’s Grooming Gift Set from Emina Botanic Boutique – £20

I don’t know about you but I really struggle to buy for the men in my life but this dreamy gift set (all natural and vegan) would make a gorgeous gift for under the tree. Hey, eucalyptus and peppermint aren’t reserved for men so it would be a lovely gift for ladies too.

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It’s a Wonderful Life soap from Wee Tree Soap – £4

You guys already know I love Wee Tree Soap so I don’t need to tell you why these vegan, natural soaps are awesome but this limited edition has the added bonus of Christmas joy! At four quid, it’d make a brilliant stocking filler.


What ethical gifts have you bought this year? I’d love to chat all things Christmas over on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

5 Reasons to Buy Mulderie Wood Candles

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Mulderie Wood pride themselves in bringing the Highland woodlands into your living room with their stunning handcrafted and eco-friendly candles. Check out my five reasons to buy a Mulderie Wood candle and when you’re done head over the Mulderie Wood shop where you can use my 10% off code FOURTHMONTH10.

1. Their incredible scents.
I am lucky enough to be trialling three of Mulderie Wood‘s amazing fragrances: Daffodil, Bergamot and Baby Powder. Each of these scents is unique and fill your desired room with beautiful smells. I’ve already mentioned how much I hate candles with a low scent payoff but this is not something you can accuse Mulderie Wood of. They use the finest aromatherapy oils and ingredients to create amazing smells. Just lifting the lid, without even burning the wick, seems to fill my bedroom with the sweet smell of baby powder and daffodils. Other scents include apple, sweet bluebell, and cranberry marmalade among many others that you can check out on their page.

2. Their eco-friendliness.
As a vegetarian, I’m all about promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle but I seem to find it so much harder to find ethical beauty and home products than eating a meat-free diet. I made it my mission in 2016 to use only cruelty-free beauty products and candles but it is surprisingly difficult to find the correct information before purchasing. However, Mulderie Wood make it clear that they use EcoSoya wax in all of their candles. This means they are made with 100% pure soy oil. They’re free from pesticides, genetically modified materials, and herbicides. They’re completely cruelty-free and contain no animal products which makes me a very happy candle lover.

3. They are handcrafted in Scotland (with love) 
One of my main missions in starting my blog was to promote local Scottish businesses and artists. As a Scottish blogger, I think it’s really important to shed light on the incredible work going on in our country instead of sourcing your products from huge corporate companies. By purchasing from Mulderie Woods, you are not only getting a beautiful scented candle but you’re pushing your money directly into the Scottish economy and in such a troubling economic time I’m sure we can all agree that this is a bonus. Plus, each candle is handcrafted with love and attention to detail – ensuring incredibly high standards every time.

4. Their beautiful, quaint packaging.
It seems a bonus to me when a candle can look great as well as smell wonderful. I love the added touches of the silky tartan ribbon around the tins. There is something incredibly authentic and warming about the silver tins. They look so pretty and dainty sitting on your bedside cabinet or coffee table. If you buy a candle, they come in the most delightful floral jute drawstring bag or if you buy a gift set, they come in a gorgeous gift bag. This makes their candles an excellent gift for a friend or family member.

5. Their reasonable price.
Being a candle lover doesn’t always come cheap. My guilty pleasure has made a serious dent in my bank account over the years but I was so surprised at how reasonable the Mulderie Wood candles are considering how strong the scents are and how much detail goes into their packaging. A small candle which burns for 20+ hours will only set you back £4. For their larger candle which burns for 40+ hours, it will cost you a measly £8! They also offer a gift set of two small tins at £10 which makes a lovely gift. If you prefer a wax melt to a candle, they offer 4 pure soy wax scented melts for £4 in any fragrance you like. To make matters even better, you can use my promo code FOURTHMONTH10 to receive a further 10% off your purchase. Just apply it at the checkout.

You can visit Mulderie Wood on EtsyFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

If you’re still with me and haven’t already headed over to the Etsy page to fill your basket with all these delectable scented candles then thank you for reading my blog. Let me know if you buy one of these amazing products and what you think of them. Keep up to date with my home style ideas on my Instagram page. 

June 2016 Homespiration

1. Jane Eyre Quote Framed Print by Bookishly
This stunning framed print was a graduation gift and it is the perfect present for any book lover. It happens to be my favourite quote from my favourite book but even if you haven’t read this Brontë classic it still makes a great addition to your home. Jane Eyre epitomises the strong independent woman and every time you look at this quote you can feel empowered and inspired by her strength. The print comes in a black wooden frame and features a page straight out of the book as the background to the quote. However, if you’re really not a fan of the Brontë sisters, Bookishly also do jewellery, notebooks and greeting cards among other things in a range of different bookish themes. All of their products make an amazing gift for the book lover in your life.

2.  ‘The Poet’ Range by McKelvie Candles
If you have already read my full review on these candles then you will know how much I love them. I cannot get enough of ‘Little White Rose’ and ‘Eriskay Love.’ Not only do they have a high-pay-off fragrance, they also look beautiful on your bookshelf or coffee table and they have a fascinating literary story behind them, which you can read about in my original blog. Ditch your big corporate candle companies and get hours of enjoyment out of a product that is handcrafted with love and steeped in Scottish history. If you’re not a poetry lover, they do other year-round ranges such as Granny’s Kitchen which even boasts a Scottish Tablet candle – yum! Visit their site to find your local stockist.

3. Scottish Quote Mini Hanging Signs & Magnets by Amy Kay Illustration & Design
These little keepsakes are created by a very talented Scottish artist. Each of Amy’s designs are made with a whole lot of love and attention to detail. Not only are they gorgeous and quirky but these mini hanging signs are only £1 each so they make a great addition to any gift. They’re so tiny you could pop them inside a birthday card as a mini surprise for your loved one. They would look super cute hanging on a jewellery stand or pinned up on a notice board. Amy makes a variety of different hanging signs and prints with a range of lovely, inspirational messages to choose from. There is something for everyone from ‘Eat, Sleep, Contour’ signs for make-up junkies to stunning thank you gifts for teachers. Check out her Etsy page here.

4. Patchwork Map Magnetic Journal by Paperchase 
I am a stationary geek and I have fallen victim to a Paperchase haul too many a time. It is easily my favourite shop on the high street. Everything is just so pretty. This journal was a gift from two close friends as a 3-in-1 Get Well Soon/Graduation/Leaving Work Gift and I have already decided it is my designated notebook for starting my Masters degree in Publishing in September. This notebook is chunky, luxurious and the beautiful patchwork map design makes it a must-have item for anyone suffering with a case of wanderlust. It would make a beautiful travel journal too if you’re going away this summer.

The Poets range by McKelvie Candles

I have completely fallen in love with these candles. They combine my love for candles, literature and Scotland all in one beautiful product. Last week, I was on the hunt for Scottish businesses to get involved with my Instagram giveaway when I came across McKelvie candles. Straight away I knew I had to get my hands on them. Not only are they beautiful but they come in fragrances like Vanilla Tablet and Aipple Tert from Granny’s Kitchen range. However, while I was very excited about the prospect of tablet scented candles, it was The Poets range that really caught my eye.
As a writer, a lover of everything literary and a self-confessed candle addict, the idea of poetry inspired candles was just too good to be true. The Poets candles come in the following scents: Lady Mary Ann, Little White Rose, Eriskay Love, Fingal’s Cave, Mountain Daisy and Cotter’s Ingle. Some are inspired by Burns poetry, others by Keats or Scottish poet Hugh Macdiarmid.
When I contacted McKelvie candles about getting involved with my Scottish giveaway, I was even more intrigued by the fascinating tale that inspired The Poets range. The woman photographed on the lid (see photo above) is David from McKelvie Candles’ Granny. She went to Ecclesmauchan school near Broxburn where she fostered a great love of books and poetry and showed great academic promise. She graduated in 1911 and her headmaster pleaded with her to study English/Poetry at University – he even planned to arrange funding for her. However, it being 1911, her mother “ruled the roost” and told her “what’s the point in wasting time and money educating a lassie – she’ll gan oot tae service like the rest o’ them.” Heartbroken, David’s grandmother still continued to write poetry and share it with her family over the years. When they decided to launch a series of poetry inspired candles they decided to honour their granny by using her picture (aged 14) on the tin lids.
I was totally moved by this story being a female Scottish writer who was lucky enough to have the opportunity to follow my dreams and have just graduated with Joint Honours at the University of Glasgow in MA Comparative & English Literature. I paused to consider all the talented female writers who have never had their work heard or published throughout the years because of social expectations. However, I like to think justice is being served as Granny is getting her photo on a set of stunning candles and her story can be shared by many readers too.
With all this in mind, I was absolutely over the moon when David from McKelvie candles agreed to send me a couple of their candles to use as part of my Instagram giveaway. I’ve managed to get my hands on Eriskay Love, a lilac coloured floral and citrusy candle, and Little White Rose, white in colour and sweet in nature as the name suggests. They are beautiful. I can’t stress how lovely they smell and their tartan tins really finish it off for me. I especially love the added detail of decorative crystals.
You can check out McKelvie candles on their webpage or like their page on Facebook. Buy your own luxury scented candle by locating a store near you. If, like me, you’re from Ayrshire you can find McKelvie candles in Grassroots Fine Flowers in Irvine, Hayes Garden Centre in Symington or Forever Young in Kilmarnock among many others!