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Life: Monthly Summary November

November 29, 2015

  • 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!

  • 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.
  • 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.

Film: My Favourite Film Scenes

November 10, 2015
I thought I'd do a little bit of a different post today sharing my favourite film scenes. Last Friday I had a quiet night in and it was wonderful - I got sushi takeway and watched The Notebook before going to bed super early - I'm always so tired on a Friday! But I digress, it was so nice to sit down and watch a film and it got me thinking about my favourite film scenes. There are a few spoilers so maybe don't read if you don't want to hear any of them! So here they are, in no particular order...

The Notebook - 'If you're a bird...'

There are so many scenes in The Notebook that I could put in this list as it's just the most incredible film. In case you hadn't guessed, it's one of my all-time favourite movies. I cried my eyes out on Friday! The scene people usually cite as their favourite is the famous 'It wasn't over, it still isn't over...' but I love 'If you're a bird...' just because the way Noah looks at her the whole way through the scene is so beautiful - he loves her so so much! Another close one would be when Ali gets out of the car after choosing Noah over her fiance, and just shrugs before running over to him. OH I JUST LOVE THE NOTEBOOK. Watch the full scene here.

Romeo and Juliet - Fish Tank Scene

I adore the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo & Juliet. I had a huge poster of the film cover in my room when I was younger. It's so well done and obviously Leonardo Di Caprio makes the most perfect Romeo. I love the Fish Tank scene and the whole section when they have just met- the music (Des'ree- I'm Kissing You) adds so much to it and makes it so romantic and the whole scene just reminds of when you first like someone and it's all exciting and you just want to be together. Ahh romance. Watch the full scene here.

Gladiator - The Death of Maximus

Gladiator has a special place in my heart. It's Chris' favourite film and he introduced me to it years ago. We have watched it so much, and also went to see it at the Royal Albert Hall with the live Philharmonic Orchestra which was the most incredible thing I've ever seen- it's actually back next year and we've booked to see it again! The music in the final scene is beautiful and it's so emotional that he's going to be back with his family again. Watch the full scene here.

Love Actually - 'To me, you are perfect'

I think Love Actually will be the next film watched in my house, especially as we're approaching December. It's such a great Richard Curtis film and I love the different stories- I know that some say there are too many different things to follow but I think it works well. This scene is a classic and I remember watching it aged 16 and wanting so badly for someone to do this for me! Totally fancy Andrew Lincoln too. Watch the full scene here.

Beetlejuice - Day-Oh!

This is more of a random one but I think this scene is brilliant! We used to watch Beetlejuice a lot when I was little and if you haven't seen it, it's well worth a watch. It's a Tim Burton film and has some great people in it - Winona Ryder, Geena Davis and Michael Keaton to name a few. The songs are brilliant too and this makes the 'table scene'. Watch the full scene here.

What are your favourite film scenes? Any of the above?

Beauty: Christmas Beauty Advent Calendars

November 08, 2015
I know, I know - it's not even December. But I had to post about some of the amazing beauty Advent Calendars which are available this year as they always sell out quickly. Beauty Advent Calendars have exploded in popularity the past couple of years and I absolutely love that so many brands are now doing them. Here are my best picks with a range of prices so there should be something to suit every budget. I've listed a couple of the products in each calendar so don't read if you don't like advent calendar spoilers!

No7 25 Days of Beauty Wonders - £38
This calendar gives you lots of different skincare and beauty treats and also includes 6 full sized products. Products include the Stay Perfect Amazing Eyes Pencil in Black, Skin Illuminator in Peach and the Extravagant Volume Waterproof Mascara. Buy it here.

The Body Shop Beauty Advent Calendar - £60
The offering from The Body Shop is worth £93 and it comes with a mix of their bestselling bath and body care products which include their Vitamin E Moisture Cream, Frosted Cranberry Heart Soap and an Eyeshadow Brush. Buy it here.

Selfridges Beauty Workshop Advent Calendar - £60
This is a more affordable advent calendar from Selfridges (they have previously done, and may have done this year also a more pricy version) and has 24 miniature beauty treats which include Tweezerman tweezers, Caudalie Divine Oil and Ole Henrikson Truth Serum. Buy it here.

Charlotte Tilbury The Book of Magic Makeup - £150
I think this is the advent calendar that I am most excited about. It only has 12 doors but is a mix of full and mini sized versions of all of her bestselling products. It also has a sample of her Magic Night Cream which hasn't even launched yet. Other products include the Goddess Skin Clay Mask and a mini Rock 'n' Kohl eyeliner. Buy it here.

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar - £149
The Liberty calendar is expensive but is incredible value as is worth over £400! The brands included are amazing and there are eleven full-sized products in addition to lots of minis. Products included are the Diptyque Figuier Candle, Dr Sebagh Serum Repair and an Eve Lom Cleanser. Buy it here.

Jo Malone Advent Calendar - £260
I don't think many people can justify spending £260 on an advent calendar but if you're going to do it, Jo Malone's offering is a worthy investment! A fragrance lovers dream, this is filled with little luxuries which include their famous Colognes and beautiful Body Cremes. Buy it here.

Life: 5 Things to Do in November

November 05, 2015

November is a bit of a funny month. It starts off with the excitement of Halloween and Bonfire night and then becomes a big build up to December and all of the Christmas fun. As I did last month, here are some suggestions of things you could get up to in November. 

1) Obviously Bonfire Night is the biggie for November and all of the firework displays that are put on. Find your nearest event, get wrapped up and head down there for fireworks and general festivities. I am planning to go to the Blackheath Fireworks this Saturday which is free and is meant to be brilliant.

2) Visit a museum or gallery which you'd never usually consider. It's good to open your mind to topics that you wouldn't usually be interested in as you may be surprised. I visited the Imperial War Museum last year and although it's not a place I would have thought I'd enjoy, I actually found it really interesting! There are so many museums and galleries across the country- have a google and see what's nearby.

3) Make the ultimate Nutella hot chocolate. If you haven't tried Nutella hot chocolate, you need to make it immediately. It's so easy- simply warm some milk in a pan (using almond milk makes it extra creamy) and dissolve a big tablespoon of Nutella in it - if you have a real sweet tooth you can add more to taste, or obviously add less if you like a lighter flavour. Add a big dollop of whipped cream and lots of marshmallows. 

4) Re-live the sleepovers you used to love when you were 12 years old. Invite your girl friends over, put face masks on, enjoy loads of sweets and treats - maybe even make an ice cream sundae if you fancy going all out and watch girly movies like Mean Girls and Never Been Kissed. 

5) Get your Pinterest on. I am a huge fan of Pinterest. Spend an evening devoted to it, sort out all of your boards (or get creating them if you're new to it) and get inspired with the huge number of pins that are on there. If I am ever stuck for inspiration for anything - food, clothes, hair - then Pinterest is my go to place.

Hope you enjoyed this and as ever, do let me know any suggestions of things to get up to in November!

Beauty: Face of the Day

November 03, 2015

Ooh it's been a while since I've done any kind of 'Face of the Day' post so this is quite novel - and feels like 2009 blogging again. Generally my make-up is quite similar from day to day but thought I'd share what I've been doing recently.

I used my favourite foundation of the moment which is Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation, mixed with a little of Bourjois' Healthy Mix Serum to get the correct colour. The Dermablend foundation is such a dream - it lasts all day long and gives such a beautiful finish. On my cheeks I used the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blusher in Blissful and a little of the Nars Copacabana Illuminator (not that you can see it in the photo!).

For my eyebrows, I just used MAC's Omega eyeshadow to fill them in a little - I generally keep them quite natural looking. For eyeshadow I used one of my all-time favourites which is MAC Patina and then my trusty Collection liquid eyeliner. Mascara was CoverGirl's LashBlast (I'm still going through the back-ups which I bought from Florida last year!). I also used a little Rimmel pencil eyeliner under my eyes. 

This is my favourite lip combo at the moment, thanks to Charlotte Tilbury and her beautiful lip products. I'm wearing her Lip Cheat lipliner in Pillow Talk and her K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in Penelope Pink. I did realise that my cupids bow is a little too overlined following this picture so did pair this back slightly when I went out! I quite enjoy the Kylie Jenner look though.

Life: Five day trips you can do from London

November 01, 2015

Living in London is great, and you have a million things on your doorstep to see and do. However sometimes it's nice to get out of the city and see some new places. The country is so well connected and you can see some amazing towns and cities by taking a quick train - probably in the same time that it usually takes to cross London! Here are some suggestions from me - do leave comments with your recommendations of places to visit too.

1. Brighton - Brighton is such a brilliant city and full of things to do, without being overwhelmingly big. You can go shopping, eat in a cute little cafe, walk along the pier, visit the beach and go out dancing at the end of the night if you fancy! Brighton is 55 minutes from Victoria or an hour from London Bridge.

2. Cambridge - I adore Cambridge. It is truly beautiful - probably the most beautiful city I've ever seen actually. It feels so British, if that makes sense. Cambridge is obviously home to the famous University and you can't miss the colleges which are pretty breathtaking. If you visit when it's warm you can go punting on the river which I am still yet to do! Cambridge is 50 minutes from London KX.

3. Henley-on-Thames - Henley is a lovely town set by the Thames. It's home to the famous Henley Regatta which is always a very fun day out! I visited in the summer for a hen do and we hired a self-drive boat which I would highly recommend- if only to nosy at the spectacular houses by the river. The Chocolate Cafe is also meant to be a real treat. Henley is 45 minutes from Paddington.

4. Oxford - Oxford is famous for its University colleges which feature in many of the early Harry Potter films and there are many trails you can do to see all of the HP sights. It's also home to a lot of history and countless lovely little pubs and cocktail bars. Oxford is an hour from Paddington.

5. Bath - Bath is a little further afield but well worth it. All of the buildings are gorgeous and it is the only place in the UK where you can bathe in naturally hot spa water - their Roman Style Baths are just amazing. Bath is an hour and a half from Paddington.