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Life: Monthly Summary December

December 29, 2015



Doing:

  • Spending a lovely long weekend in Lincoln with my parents. We visited the Lincoln Christmas Market (which is always amazing), decorated the Christmas trees and had lots of laughs.
  • Buying a real Christmas tree and a tonne of new decorations from John Lewis! 
  • We went to the theatre for Chris' birthday to see Book of Mormon - hilarious with such catchy songs! 
  • Going to Winter Wonderland a couple of times- I ate candy floss, crepes and pizza and drank a lot of hot chocolate.
  • Having a fun weekend with friends. Lots of girly gossips.
  • Enjoying quite a few Christmas drinks with work- we had our Christmas Party which had a fairytale theme and a team Christmas lunch. We've also had carols in the office so it's been very festive!
  • And obviously enjoying Christmas with all of my wonderful family- we've had a wonderful time and I hope you all have too!

Reading:
  • #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso. This is such a brilliant read and has made me want to start my own business! Very inspiring.

Watching:
  • All of the Christmas films - my favourites are Elf and Love Actually. Make me feel all warm and fuzzy!
  • Lots of Vlogmas videos, it's been hard to keep up! Have been loving the videos from Zoe, Lily and The Michalaks.
  • The final Downton episode- sob! Absolutely loved it though and thought it was a perfect finale.

Life: A Picture to Celebrate Nine Years

December 27, 2015

Chris and I have just celebrated nine years together - nine! We got together at the oh so young age of 19 and although it feels like a very long time ago,  I can't quite believe it's been so many years.

To mark almost a decade together I ordered this print from a lovely artist called Kayleigh - KavonIllustration on Etsy. She created a wonderful portrait of my brother's girlfriend Georgina (it's her as a Disney Princess- so cute!) and I wanted one for myself!

We simply sent Kayleigh a few pictures of ourselves and she worked her magic and made it into this beauty. I love it!


Beauty: Bio-Oil - My Body Philosophy

December 24, 2015

This year, Bio-Oil have been working on their Body Philosophy initiative and it's almost come to an end. Their mission was to inspire a life-time of body confidence and to do this they collected over 10,000 body philosophies from people all over the world. They have been working with the Body Gossip charity who have taken the advice into 20 schools and have hosted body confidence workshops to help inspire teenagers to love their bodies. 

It's such a perfect partnership as bio-oil is all about caring for your skin, and healing it. And I love the whole idea around inspiring body confidence - I think we all remember the awkward teen years where you feel self conscious and uncomfortable most of the time! 

The team have been so overwhelmed with all of the words of wisdom that they decided to create a diary which contains a selection of their favourite pieces of advice - it's really lovely and there are so many great inspiring quotes in there. 

You can read all about the initiative on the My Body Philosophy website and Bio-Oil can be bought from £8.99 here.

Beauty: 2015 Favourites

December 22, 2015


I can't believe that we are so close to the end of 2015! How this year has flown. I'm sure time speeds up as we get older.

Today I wanted to share the 11 products which have made it into my 2015 beauty favourites. I love them all a lot and think I will be repurchasing them for a long time.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk - this was the year of the lipliner (thanks to Kylie Jenner) and this quickly became my absolute favourite. I use it most days - usually before applying lipstick but sometimes just on its own. The colour matches your lips and blends in perfectly which allows you to re-shape and enhance as you wish- it also has a gorgeous moisturising consistency. Buy it here.

Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation* - my favourite foundation of the year, it is gorgeous and I can see why it is one of Vichy's bestsellers. It gives a really flawless and glowy base, and gives great coverage without feeling too heavy. Since receiving it at an event I have been using it most days. Buy it here.

Seventeen Stay Pout Lipstick in Just a Fling - I love this lipstick because it is moisturising, creamy and is a gorgeous nude. I like to wear this with Rimmel's 1000 Kisses Spice Liner. Buy it here.

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Penelope Pink - I've raved about this lipstick numerous times on my blog so won't ramble on to much but this is my all time favourite lipstick (high praise I know!). It's the perfect nude/pink which can be worn day or night and look beautiful. Buy it here.

Collection Fast Stroke Eye Liner - I can't even tell you how many of these I've repurchased. It's my perfect black liquid liner and I wear it most days. It's also an absolute bargain at just under £3! Buy it here.

Seventeen Instant Glow Shimmer Brick - this is more of a summer product but it's an absolute beauty. After seeing a couple of people at work with beautifully glowy cheeks I asked what they were using (naturally!) and this was their secret. I purchased immediately and continued to wear for most of summer! Buy it here.

CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara - when I went to Florida in 2014 I stocked up on this as it's one of my favourite mascaras, and I am still happily going through them. It gives me long, black, volumised lashes and I love it. It's only available in the US but MaxFactor's False Lash Effect mascara is basically the same - you can buy this here.

St Tropez Self Tan Express Mousse - 2015 was the year I really got into fake tan and this was the absolute winner for me. I apply with a tanning mitt, wait three hours (or more, whoops) and then wash off to reveal a gorgeous tan. It also develops a shade darker overnight. I've had no patchy-ness and it is so easy to apply - which is important as a new fake tan user! Buy it here.

Clarins Liquid Bronze Fake Tanning for Face - I don't use the St Tropez tan on my face so this is the product for that. It's a gradual tan for your face and I absolutely adore it- it looks so natural. I've even been using it throughout winter to keep some colour. Buy it here.

Trilogy Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm* - this is only a recent addition to my bathroom but it's gone straight into my favourites. It feels gorgeous to use and leaves my skin feeling so moisturised, soft and clean. Buy it here.

Vichy Idealia Life Serum* - I have been trying to use this most nights and love it. It's very light and absorbs quickly into the skin- it also has an almost rose-gold shimmery colour to it and the scent is just divine. Buy it here.


Beauty: Trilogy Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm

December 20, 2015

Over the summer, Trilogy released a Make-up Cleansing Balm* to add to their growing collection of gorgeous and natural skincare products. Described as melting away make-up it contains a rich blend of mango butter, rosehip oil and coconut oil - all combined to give you clean, supple and hydrated skin.

You simply massage 1/4 teaspoon of the balm onto your dry skin and as it melts concentrate it around your eyelashes and areas where you have heavy make-up. Once massaged in, you rinse the organic cloth (or I use a normal flannel) with warm water and gently wipe over your face.

The last cleansing balm I tried was from Emma Hardie and I didn't get on too well with it, which was disappointing after the rave reviews it had in the blogosphere. It was a few years ago so maybe if I tried it now I'd love it as I am a huge fan of the Trilogy cleansing balm! It smells divine and every time I use it I feel like I am in a spa. I usually take my eye makeup off first with Bioderma or the Garnier Micellar Water, and then use the balm for the rest of my face make up. It feels luxurious and hydrating and leaves my skin feeling so soft and moisturised.

I love Trilogy as a brand (really really need to try their Rosehip Oil next!) and this is a fantastic product of theirs. It's priced at £19.50 and you can buy it here.


Life: 5 Things to do in December

December 10, 2015

Let's be honest, you probably don't need that many ideas of things to do in December as it's all about Christmas, festive gatherings and lots of food. But hey ho, let's give it a go.

1. Visit a Christmas Market. It's just not Christmas without a visit to a market. If you're in London there's the infamous Winter Wonderland. There's also the one on Southbank and Winterville in Victoria Park. Outside of London there are hundreds but I know the Birmingham market is meant to be incredible and I have a special place in my heart for the Leeds German Christmas market.

2. Do some Christmas baking. There are so many amazing recipes out there- Pinterest is your best friend for some inspiration. Even better- make batches of biscuits which will last for a while and can be given to people as Christmas gifts. A big favourite of mine are brookies which are so easy and SO delicious.

3. Mix up your Secret Santa plans. Rather than doing a usual £5 or £10 present, change it to a £1 price limit or make it so that you have to gift someone something from home that you don't want. This is a great idea as people end up getting quite good presents like unwanted DVDs or books!

4. Buy a new board game. I am a huge fan of a board game and we always play them in our family and with friends throughout the Christmas period. It's always exciting to get a shiny new game to play. My favourites at the moment are Rapidough and Articulate.

5. Host a cheese and wine night. At this time of year the supermarkets are filled with so many different types of cheese, and usually in great value sets. Stock up and get your friends round to drink wine and binge of cheese. You could even play a board game at the same time.

Home: Bath & Body Works Candles

December 08, 2015


When a girl from my team told me she was going to Florida for a week and asked if I wanted anything I got very excited. She had a whole spare suitcase left to fill as her parents live over there so I didn't hold back from requesting a few Christmassy candles from Bath & Body Works.

I bought a few bits and bobs from B&BW when I was last in Florida but as we usually go in the Spring or Summer, I've never had the chance to look at all of their wonderful Autumn/Winter goodies.

I went for four of the 1-wick medium candles and 3 of the mini candles in the following scents, all for £35 which is amazing...

♥ Evergreen - this is a Christmas tree scent with fresh fir balsam infused with sparkling mint and white pine. I am yet to burn this but I am forever on the hunt for a real Christmas tree scent and this smells just like one! 

Sweater Weather - this scent is a blend of eucalyptus, juniper berry and fresh sage. It's such a tricky one to describe but has a real cosy, but fresh smell. Perfect for Autumn time.

Mahogany Teakwood - someone told me that this smelt just like Hollister's SoCal so I had to buy it. It smells incredible and just like a beautiful man (haha). It is a mix of mahogany, oak and frosted lavender but I personally can't smell the lavender- just delicious boy scent. Need to get the shower gel next so Chris can use it every day.

Marshmallow Fireside- this is very delicious and exactly what it says on the tin. It's toasted marshmallows mixed with vanilla, blended into a rich smouldering wood.

Fresh Balsam - this is quite similar to Evergreen and is a mix of snow-dusted balsam, fir trees and eucalyptus. Another very lovely Christmas tree fragrance.

'Tis the Season - this is the only candle that I'm not very keen on. It's described as a mix of red apples, green pine and golden cider but all I can smell is cinnamon  It's a truly festive scent and is very spicy- but not my cup of tea!

Winter - I absolutely LOVE this fragrance. To me it smells exactly like Christmas and I want my house to smell like it for the whole of winter. B&BW describe it as pine needles, icy mandarin & winter woods which capture the magic of glittering icicles and sparkling snow and this is spot on. If you're just going to buy one candle- make it this one.

Which Bath & Body Works scents are your favourites? 


Life: Christmas Gift Guide Under £10

December 06, 2015


1. Soap & Glory Happy Pamper Gift Set - £5 - link
2. Joules Floral Mug - £9.95 - link
3. Whittard Mini Chocolate Spoon with Marshmallows - £3 - link
4. Roger & Gallet Creme Sublime Hand & Nail Cream Cracker - £6 - link
5. Accessorize Peach Foil A5 Exercise Books - £5 - link
6. Winter Berry Hair Ties Multi Pack - £5.60 - link
7. Mr and Mrs Sausage Dog Socks - £3.50 - link
8. Topshop Christmas Mini Lip Bullet Pyramid in Motel - £5 - link
9. Manatee Tea Infuser - £6.99 - link


Life: Christmas Gift Guide for Him

December 03, 2015



1. M&S Contrast Trim Textured Washbag - £22.50 - link
2. Victor & Rolf Spicebomb Eau de Toilette - £49 - link
3. Barbour Tattersall Check Scarf - £29 - link
4. Moleskine Ruled Notebook - £14.50 - link
5. For Fox Sake Mug - £6.99 - link
6. Bose Soundlike Mini Bluetooth Speaker - £138.99 - link
7. Smartphone Projector - £15.95 - link
8. Aspinal of London Credit Card Case - £60 - link
9.  Animorphia Colouring and Search Challenge Book - £6.99 - link


Life: Christmas Gift Guide for Her

December 01, 2015




1. H&M Home Metal Basket - £7.99 - link
2. Topshop Supersoft Check Scarf - £22 - link
3. H&M Home Candle - £7.99 - link
4. Whittard Cocoa Creations Hot Chocolate Gift Set - £20 - link
5. Origins 'Mask Marvels' Skincare Gift Set - £30 - link
6. Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 Perfume - £65.50 - link
7. Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Mini Lipstick Trio - £29 - link
8. H&M Home Cotton Cushion Cover - £6.99 - link
9. Kate Spade New York Pencil Pouch - £25 - link
10.  Soap & Glory Soaprise - £16 - link
 

Life: Monthly Summary November

November 29, 2015

Doing:
  • We started the month in Lincoln having a family Halloween Party. I dressed up as a Skeleton which was very fun - the dogs didn't recognise me at all so had to quickly reassure them that it was me!
  • Working hard! The office is always crazy busy in November and December so it's been full on. 
  • Watching the Blackheath Fireworks (they were amazing) and then visiting our friend's lovely new flat nearby.
  • Having my cousin, her boyfriend and 14 month old baby to stay for a couple of days which was lovely, and also very odd to have a baby in our house!
  • Having a couple of super lazy weekends where I caught up on blogging and watched lots of films, music channels and episodes of Friends.
  • Spending another weekend in Lincoln as Chris was in Oxford with friends and I didn't fancy a weekend home alone - I had a lovely time with the family.
  • Celebrating Chris' 29th birthday which is this weekend!

Reading:
  • I haven't been very good with reading this month so the only read to mention is the November issue (technically December) of Glamour magazine with Tanya Burr on the front. It's a brilliant read - so many interesting articles! Still love a good old glossy.
 Watching:
  • I'm a Celeb - it's back! Hooray! I love Ant & Dec and they just make the whole show. I am really enjoying this series.
  • I don't often watch films but I had a couple of nights on my own so watched The Notebook (favourite film ever) and The Age of Adaline. I thought The Age of Adaline was OK. It didn't really hold my interest.

Beauty: Zoeva Rose Golden Vol. 2 Luxury Brush Set

November 24, 2015


Are these not the most beautiful make-up brushes you have ever seen? I am in so much love. I have been eyeing up this set from Zoeva for some time and last weekend I decided to bite the bullet and treat myself. I've heard lots of good things about Zoeva brushes so thought it was a worthy investment - and worth the money just for how gorgeous they look on my dressing table!

I bought the set for £56.95 from Beauty Bay. As an aside, I was so impressed with Beauty Bay - their website is so easy to use, delivery was free and super quick and I even got a free gift as I had spent over £50.

But back to the brushes. This is their Rose Golden Vol. 2 Luxury Brush Set which contains 8 luxury face and eye brushes - they all come in a gorgeous rose gold bag too. The brushes included are;

♥ 104 Buffer Brush 
♥ 109 Luxe Face Paint Brush 
♥ 126 Luxe Cheek Finish Brush 
♥ 228 Crease Brush 
♥ 226 Smudger Brush 
♥ 234 Luxe Smoky Shader Brush
♥ 317 Wing Liner Brush
♥ 322 Brow Line Brush

It's a great selection of brushes and ones I'll be using most days so I'm really pleased. Have you tried Zoeva brushes before?


Beauty: Too Faced Happily Ever Lasting Lips & Cheek Duo

November 22, 2015

I received this Too Faced Happily Ever Lasting Lips & Cheek Duo* in a package from the lovely people at Debenhams and wanted to share as I really rate it. Strangely, I can't find it to purchase anywhere online but you can buy the products separately. 

I like Too Faced but I've never found a product which has wow-ed me. I really like their Shadow Insurance but have tried a few of their eyeshadows and haven't been overly impressed - this was a few years back though so I imagine the formulation has changed since then as I have heard good things recently.

So onto the products - this is a cute little gift set which comes with the Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Nude and the Too Faced Love Flush long-lasting blush in Love Hangover. The blush comes in cute heart packaging and looking at the individual product online I think there should be a mirror in the compact so may be missing from mine. This is a really pigmented blush which claims to last on your skin for hours and Love Hangover is a gorgeous pink shade. 

The real winner for me however is the Melted Lipstick - this is a liquified long wear lipstick and oh, it is just divine and now I want to buy every shade that they have!  I've tried liquid lipsticks before and have found them effective but really drying- this however feels really light and moisturising on my lips. It applies very glossy and quickly dries to a light finish, but still keeps the glossy look. It also lasts for ages. LOVE.

The lipstick costs £17.10 (RRP £19) and the blush costs £22.50 (RRP £25) from Debenhams.

Life: 10 Things to do in London in Winter

November 19, 2015


1. The department stores are well worth a visit in Winter (well, any time really but in Winter they come into their own because of the Christmas sparkle). Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty are the three biggies in London - I love just walking around them and looking at all of the beautiful products. Make sure to visit their Christmas floors too!

2. Watch a TV show being recorded - best of all, this is free! Register to SRO Audiences and Applause Store and see which shows tickle your fancy. You basically request tickets for various dates and if you're lucky you'll be sent an email with the free tickets. My favourite to go and see is the Graham Norton Show (he's such a natural presenter/interview so it's amazing to watch) and Jonathan Ross Show is meant to be great too.

3. Watch a film at the Pillow Cinema. This sounds amazing- you sit on huge beanbags and get give blankets to snuggle with. I need to give it a go soon- although fear I may fall asleep! Book tickets here.

4. Go for food in Duck & Waffle. There are so many great places to eat in London but Duck & Waffle is a special one. Set on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, the views are amazing and the food is brilliant. I recommend the brunch!

5.  Pay the chocolate shop, Choccywoccydoodah a visit- if you haven't heard of them and their amazing creations before have a quick google as they are such a talented bunch- they even have a TV show too (my Auntie works there so I am little biased!). Their shop always looks incredible and they always go all out with their displays over Christmas. Great for Christmas presents too!

6. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland - this is the biggest festive festival in London and it is filled with stalls, good food, rides, lots of mulled wine, a circus show and even an ice rink. It can get packed so I'd recommend visiting on a week night rather than a weekend!

7. Have a wonderful wintery walk in one of the big parks- I love Regents Park or Green Park but there are so many too choose from. Get wrapped up warm, grab a hot chocolate and enjoy experiencing a park in the colder months.

8. Try one of the new flavours of hot chocolates that hit the coffee shops in Winter. My favourite is the Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Costa are doing a Caramel Fudge Hot Chocolate this year which sounds incredible!

9. Visit Borough Market and marvel at the seasonal food that they bring in. You can stock up on Christmas presents with their huge offering of festive jams and chutneys. The full market is open all day Wednesday-Saturday.

10. Go to the Geffrye Museum which is a Museum of the Home - you basically walk through eleven period rooms from 1630 to today. From the 24th November - 3rd January they decorate every room as how it looked at Christmas time so is really interesting to see!



Beauty: The Ingredients for a Perfect Pamper Night

November 17, 2015
I am a huge fan of a pamper night. I regularly make time for them and I love having a whole evening with no plans where I can spend hours in the bath and apply all of the face masks! Here are 5 of my key ingredients for the perfect pamper night - with a big thanks to Debenhams for giving me the PJs and lots of treats to give me the best evening.

1) A great pair of Pyjamas


Key for a pamper night is getting straight into your Pjs when you get home I am in so much love with these from Ted Baker. I am terrible with my pyjamas - I would love to be one of those people who wears flimsy nighties and silk vests but I just get too cold and want to wear big t-shirts and cosy PJ bottoms to bed. I know what you're thinking, my boyfriend is a lucky man. These Ted Baker Navy Jersey Lace Pyjamas* are perfect as they are gorgeous and have such beautiful detail, but they're also really warm and feel super comfy to wear as they are a jersey material. The top is £16.65 here and the bottoms are £20.25 here. You can also get the top in a long sleeve.

2) A big bubbly bath


This is definitely my favourite thing about an evening of treating myself. A big bath full of bubbles. I am such a bath person and they always make me feel relaxed. I especially love them in winter when you have been cold all day and jump into the hot water. Bliss! I probably shouldn't but I always end up watching YouTube videos on my iPad whilst I'm having a soak - a risky game I know. I used the Baylis & Harding Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit bath creme* which made the room smell divine and also came in a gold glittery cracker which made me very happy.

3. A face mask


The third ingredient has to be a face mask. Most of the time I like to apply one before I have a bath as the steam from the hot water is great for opening your pores and making the mask work even more effectively. I adore this set from Origins* and it would make such a perfect Christmas present- it contains four mini sizes of their most popular offerings- the Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, Drink-up Intensive, Mask Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask and the GinZing Refreshing Face Mask. I tried the Charcoal Mask during my pamper evening and have been really impressed- it's left my skin feeling so clear!

4. A great candle, or ten...


We are well and truly into candle season and I am lighting one every evening to give our house a cosy feel. I am rather excited about all of the new Winter candles that are coming out and have just placed a Bath & Body Works order with my friend who is in Florida this week. This Yankee Candle in Snow in Love* is a gorgeous winter-y scent and perfect for a relaxed night in.

5. A hot chocolate


A pamper night wouldn't be complete without a hot chocolate. During the colder months I tend to have a hot chocolate every evening (whoopsie) but when I am treating myself I'll go all out and make it with whipped cream and marshmallows. This Whittard Salted Caramel hot chocolate* is actually incredible and rivals the Starbucks Salted Caramel hot choc! 

What are the ingredients for your perfect pamper night?


Beauty: Recent Nude Lipstick Buys

November 15, 2015

I'm having a bit of a nude lipstick moment. Last week I had twenty minutes to kill in Waterloo Station so decided to have a mooch in Boots and ended up being sucked into their 3 for 2 offer and buying three new lipsticks. Whoops!

L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick - Naomi's Delicate Rose 


I love the L'Oreal Color Riche lipsticks and this one is from their Collection Exclusive Pinks range which are custom made velvet matte lipsticks. As you can tell, each lipstick is named after one of their L'Oreal ambassadors. This is my favourite out of the three lipsticks as it has such a pretty pink colour, feels very moisturising and also smells exactly like love hearts! £6.99 from Boots.

Maybelline Color Drama Lipstick - Minimalist 140


I've heard good things about the Color Drama lipsticks from Maybelline recently as they are often compared to the Nars Velvet Matte lip pencils. Described as an intense velvet lip pencil, it is really easy to apply and leaves a gorgeous finish. The only negative is that it does feel quite drying. £4.99 from Boots.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick - Nude Pink 206


Rimmel's Lasting Finish lipsticks give intense long lasting colour and have a smooth creamy texture so that you can wear it all day. This is probably my least favourite of the three because it has quite a 'shiny' look but I actually love it in this photo and it feels so moisturising. Also smells lovely and sweet. £4.99 from Boots.

Have you found any great nude lipsticks recently?




Life: 10 things you didn't know about me

November 12, 2015


1. My day job is working for a charity in their corporate fundraising team. I absolutely love it and working for a good cause makes me so happy.

2. I am a very positive person.

3. ...but can also be extremely stubborn.

4. My parents have a 5 year old Golden Retriever called Charlie and a 7 month old Cockapoo called Betsy. I love them ridiculous amounts. Charlie is a gentle giant and is scared of hoovers and plugs, whereas Betsy is a little diva and fears nothing!

5. I have been lucky enough to see lots of Europe through holidays and going inter-railing for a month back in 2008. Italy is my favourite European country. 

6. I love the look of Fireworks but they make me quite nervous and I hate the really loud ones! I have to watch them and cover my ears.

7. I grew up in a lovely place called Haslemere in Surrey, but my parents moved a couple of years ago to Lincolnshire to live in a beautiful converted barn, enjoy a different way of life and to be closer to family who live in Yorkshire. It took me a while to get used to the idea of Haslemere not being where our family home was but I learnt quickly that your home is where your family is, and change is a very good thing. 

8. I have been to Florida six times and it will our seventh when we go next April! It's my favourite holiday destination in the world and I'd love to buy a villa out there.

9. Pasta is my all time favourite food.

10. I have a really close family. We have a Facebook group message which we use every day and when we are together we have so many laughs.