Monday, 30 December 2013

What I got for Christmas...

As always with these type of posts, you're either a lover or a hater. I personally love seeing what people got for Christmas as its a very personal thing to share. This year (as always) I was completely overwhelmed by the generosity of all my family. This year was the first year that myself and my two sisters were all in full time jobs and I think we did a little bit more than usual. I received some lovely baking items including piping nozzles and cupcake boxes, pyjamas, Yankee candle (Christmas Eve, if you're wondering) and some Barry M polishes and a beautiful charm for my Pandora bracelet.

From my husband I received a Yankee Candle tart burner, plus a few tarts, some Lush goodies and a MAC eyeshadow (cranberry) for my quad and a MAC lipstick in New York Apple. We agreed on a budget of £50 and picked our own present, so I knew what I was getting but it was still lovely getting them on Christmas Day.

The gifts I received from my parents I had no idea about. I had given my Mum a small list of items I would like to get including a new hairbrush and the Essie winter collection 2013 (I can't wait to try Toggle on Top) but the rest was a complete surprise as I wasn't expecting anything else. I got a big bottle of my favourite drink, Southern Comfort (I will be breaking this open NYE) some more baking goodies, socks, peanut butter related chocolates (my favourite) and a match box holder and Yankee Candles. It was all beautifully presented in a wicker basket which is going to house my make up once I've come round to the idea of taking all the presents out of it! (Its just too pretty to break open!)

Also in the photo is my work secret Santa present which was a 2014 rat calendar and Dr Who DVD (they must know me well) and gifts from two of my work colleagues who got me chocolate scented socks and a nail varnish kit (again, they know me too well!)

I also received some money from my parents and grandparents which has already been earmarked for something special but more to come on that soon!

I can't thank my family and friends enough for their wonderful gifts this year and I hope they enjoyed the gifts I bought for them.

Did you have a lovely Christmas? If you have a link to your post please leave it in the comments.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Tis the season...(to get colds and flu)...

In case you hadn't realised from the title of this post, I am currently tucked up in bed suffering from some kind of lurgy/man flu/black death type illness. I'm really glad I made it past Christmas before getting it but knowing I have to go back to work tomorrow makes it all the more worse!

Hubby has rescued me in my time of need by providing me with all the essentials to make me feel better and doing all the house chores (he's always good at doing those anyway).

Firstly, and most importantly is to get stocked up (and dosed up) with nose spray, vapour rub, ibuprofen and hot lemon (delightful) but also those little things that make being ill just that little bit bearable. The first thing I do, despite how ill I'm feeling is have a shower and wash and cleanse my face. My Ultrabland is wonderful for removing that sicky feeling and I love how my face feels refreshed after. 

Secondly, I grab a nail polish and paint my nails. I usually go for something bright to lighten my mood and even though its not the most seasonal of choices, I picked Watermelon by Essie. There's something about looking down at my bright nails that picks me up.

Finally and most importantly, I grab my tablet and get reading. Normally I'm too busy in the day to sit down and read blogs and find new reads so I take this rare opportunity to sit down and find some lovely new blogs.

So if you're reading this, please feel free to pop your blog link in the comments! I might be here a while!


Saturday, 28 December 2013

My Christmas...

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, I did! I'm sure by now you must have seen your fair share of Christmas posts but I'm going to add mine in too, just for good measure! Here is a snap shot of what Christmas looked like in our house! Hubby and I went to my Mum & Dad's for Christmas,we headed over there about 11.30 and I spent the time before dinner looking at the gorgeous hamper my Mum had arranged my presents in. I almost didn't want to touch anything in it as it looked so pretty! We had a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. My favourites are the Yorkshire puddings! My plate was piled up high and I couldn't eat it all but I made sure I had enough room for the profiterole dessert! After dinner we had our traditional Christmas Day quiz, my Mum, Sisters and Grandparents all join in, and this year hubby and I won!

My Mum always makes a huge effort for Christmas decorations every year (each year there is always something different) and I love how it feels so homely but still magical. This year she made a beautiful table centerpiece using an empty coffee jar, some roses and lots of candy canes. She is so talented!

Apologies for the photo quality, they were taken on my phone! 

How did you spend your Christmas? Did you have a good day?


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!!!!

image from we heart it

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to pop up a really quick post to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a lovely day, whatever you're doing!

I would also like to say thank-you to you all for reading, commenting and following my blog over the last year. I'm really proud of what I have achieved and hope that you will help me continue to grow.

I'm going to be taking a short break from blogging over the next week to spend time with my family etc but I will be back soon with some exciting new posts and my MAC giveaway winner! 

Lots of love,


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

#bigblogmasproject Day 24 | T'was The Night Before Christmas...

image source

...and it's the end of the #bigblogmasproject!

Thank-you for sticking with me during the last month of posts. I must say it has been pretty stressful blogging everyday and working full time too but I made it (and can honestly say that I don't think I will be doing it again!) As much as I love blogging it was really hard to push myself to write everyday and it has definitely made me realise that the blogging schedule I had before I started was perfect for me.

Rest assured that I will be back with normal posts in the New Year!

I hope you are all ready for tomorrow and have a lovely day whatever you're doing. I am looking forward to spending time with my family. 

Sadly, not everyone experiences joy and happiness at Christmas and for some, this time can be a dark and lonely time or a time when emotions such as depression can be heightened. So, I would like to take this opportunity to provide this list of useful helpline numbers and websites.

If you need someone, please call one of these numbers. You are NOT alone over Christmas, there are people out there that care.

Childline: 0800 1111/
NSPCC: 0808 800 5000/
Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90/
Frank: 0300 123 6600/
NHS: 111/
Shelter: 0808 800 4444/
Rethink: 0845 456 045/
MIND: 0300 123 3393/
 Beat: 0845 634 1414/
Cruse Bereavement Care: 0844 477 9400/


Monday, 23 December 2013

#bigblogmasproject Day 23 | Last Minute Stocking Fillers Under £10 Each

There are only a few shopping days left before Christmas so now is definitely the time to run out and get those last few stocking filler items you have been meaning to get! 

Just in case you needed a little inspiration here are a few things I've found that I would love to see in my stocking this year! All the items above are under £10 so they're guaranteed to put a smile on your face as well as theirs!

1 - Topshop iPhone 5 shell in red & blue £8 each
Perfect for the nail polish and iPhone lover these shells look cute and protect your phone. 

2 - The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Handcream 30ml £4
I picked this up on my recent London trip. The scent is so Christmassy. It now lives in my handbag for emergencies. The tube is slightly smaller than I thought it was going to be but it's the perfect size for a stocking filler!

3 - Yankee Candle Small Jars £8.39 each from Clintons (Snowflake Cookie & Merry Marshmallow
I haven't come across anyone yet who doesn't love Yankee Candle and I would be so happy if these turned up in my stocking on Christmas day. The small jars are £8.39 each in Clintons (but I'm sure you can find them cheaper elsewhere) or you could get tarts instead which are only around £1.25 each (so you could stock up on a few for yourself too!)

4 - Lush Star Light, Star Bright £3.30 & Magic Wand £4.95
Another firm favourite of mine, Lush products are usually at the top of my Christmas lists. These are great, inexpensive presents and they smell absolutely amazing! A word of warning about Star Light, Star Bright though, it will create a glittery explosion in your bath, so if you have to clean it, I would pick something else!

5 - Cute ankle socks from Dorothy Perkins £2.50 each
 Socks are the ultimate stocking filler item! I can't remember a time when I haven't received a pair of socks for Christmas and this year I've actually asked for some! Cute prints are everywhere at the moment. I especially love the fairisle ones pictured above!

6 - The Vintage Cosmetic Company Eyelash Curlers £7
A staple for any make up bag, these eyelash curlers come in a beautiful vintage inspired box and are the perfect size to fit in a stocking.

Have you bought all your Christmas presents yet? Or will you be rushing out for last minute items?


Sunday, 22 December 2013

#bigblogmasproject Day 22 | Homemade Gingerbread Latte

Festive drinks are amazing, but until this year not a single festive beverage had made it to my lips (I know right, how did this happen?!) Becca introduced me to my first Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate in Costa on one of our recent London trips and let's just say the rest is history...

There's something really nice about getting cosy under the Christmas blanket and watching Arthur Christmas for the umpteenth time with a (insert favourite festive hot drink here!)

Strangely, I don't seem to live near (well, near enough for me to want to get up and go to) a Starbucks so I set about thinking how to make the perfect Gingerbread Latte at home.

You will need:
A mug (the more festive the better - I only have boring ones)
Your favourite brand of coffee
Gingerbread syrup (I bought mine from Whittards)
Whipped cream in a spray can
A kettle, water, electric and a spoon (if you want to get picky!)

Obviously there isn't really any technical skill required to make this drink, all you have to do is make up your coffee, pour in your milk and then add as much gingerbread syrup as you like! I then decorated mine with the whipped cream and drizzled some more syrup on the top to make it look pretty. The best thing is that you don't use up all the syrup in one use so you can make multiple festive drinks!

Hope you enjoy!


Saturday, 21 December 2013

#bigblogmasproject Day 21 | Maybelline Rosy Rosettes

Tis' the season of glitter and what better colour to choose than a festive red?! This is one of my most recent polish purchases (whilst Boots were having their infamous 3 for 2 across all cosmetics) and has been used on several occasions recently.

I must admit, I don't actually own many Maybelline products, not through dislike, but just because I usually find products from other brands I love and I always tend to miss this stand.

I get most of my nail polish recommendations from Jaye (although I'm not sure she knows this - she does now!) and this one stood out to me on one of her nail posts.

I love the colour, it reminds me of Dorothy's shoes from the Wizard Of Oz. The glitter catches the light and I find myself just staring down at my nails! (Unfortunately my camera wasn't able to pick up the sparkle) I love how it doesn't feel rough on your nails when you touch it like some of the textured polishes and glitters feel and the brush size is decent enough to get a lovely even coverage in a few strokes.

The only niggle I have is that you do need to apply several coats to achieve the right amount of glitter. Rosy Rosettes is actually a full colour polish unlike some glitters which can be used as a top coat so if you are looking for just a glittery top coat this isn't the polish for you.

Rosy Rosettes is part of the Colour Show Brocade collection and costs £2.99. I'm not sure whether it is a Christmas limited edition or whether it is going to be part of the permanent collection though so if you like the look of it I would snap it up pronto. There are also several other glitter colours available including gold and silver.

Have you tried this polish or have any other glitter polishes you love? Share your recommendations in the comments below!


Friday, 20 December 2013

#bigblogmasproject Day 20 | Online Christmas Last Order Dates!

image from we heart it
Personally I don't think there is anything better than snuggling up in a duvet with a nice warm drink and my laptop browsing for Christmas presents! I've been very organised this year and have pretty much got everything bought and wrapped but there always seems to be something I think of last minute so here is a handy little guide to some of the best online retailers and their last order dates for items to arrive before the big day! (I meant to get this post up sooner as I think some of the dates have passed, but you can still choose next day to received your presents in time!)

I hope you find it useful!

Standard Delivery - Saturday 21st December before 7pm
Next Day Delivery - Sunday 22nd December before 2pm
Collect from Store - Monday 23rd December before 2pm
Standard Delivery - Wednesday 18th December
Next Day - Monday 23rd December before 2pm
Feel Unique
Standard Delivery - Wednesday 18th December
Priority Delivery - Friday 20th December before midday
Standard Delivery- Wednesday 18th December
Click and Collect - Thursday 19th December
Nominated/Next Day - Sunday 22nd December 
Beauty Bay
Saver - Monday 16th December
Tracked - Wednesday 18th December
Next Day - Monday 23rd December

Topshop/Miss Selfridge/Dorothy Perkins (Arcadia Group)
Standard Delivery - Friday 20th December
Express Delivery - Monday 23rd December
Standard Delivery - Thursday 19th December
48 Hour Delivery - Thursday 19th December
Next Day Delivery - Monday 23rd December
Super Saver Delivery - Thursday 19th December before 7pm
First Class Delivery - Friday 20th December 
Express Delivery - Monday 23rd December
Standard - Thursday 19th December
Next Day - Monday 23rd December

John Lewis
Free Standard Delivery - Thursday 19th December before 7pm
Click and Collect - Sunday 22nd December before 7pm
Have you got all your Christmas shopping done?


Thursday, 19 December 2013

#bigblogmasproject Day 19 | My favourite Christmas TV Ads

I don't know about you but there are certain TV adverts that really get me into the Christmas spirit. When you first see them on the TV and you get that feeling that Christmas is getting closer, they're also a gentle reminder that I need to get my bum in gear and go Christmas shopping! These ads, past and present have definitely managed to get me into the Christmas spirit!

Holidays are coming - Coca Cola Christmas
Once I've seen this ad - I KNOW its Christmas, last year I hardly saw it at all but this year I've seen it at least half a dozen times (maybe I'm watching more TV this year!) For me, its the original and this ad has been going for as long as I can remember!

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2012
I know everyone is loving the 2013 John Lewis Christmas advert (and don't get me wrong it is amazing) but I still prefer last years ad. The storyline is just beautiful and Gabrielle Aplin's voice is angelic.

M&S Christmas Advert 2013
I love this advert, it has a little bit of all my favourite films, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and even Aladdin! Helena Bohnam Carter playing the green witch is also a lovely touch. I was definitely captivated into watching the whole advert and I really do love M&S - subliminal messaging at its finest!

Have you seen any of these adverts? What are your favourites?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

#bigblogmasproject Day 18 | Bourjois Cream Eyeshadow Petale De Glace

You might remember this little beauty from my recent London Haul, we'll I've been giving it a go over the last week and I'm finally ready to share my thoughts with you all. Becca also purchased one on our shopping trip and we agreed not to talk to each other about it until we had written our posts, so make sure you head over to her blog to check out what she thought too!

I have a little confession to make...this is my first ever cream eyeshadow (shock, horror!) I've just never really been interested in them, but after seeing posts start to pop up on Becca's blog on MAC's Rubenesque and Idyllic paintpots I decided I wanted to give one a try. On our trip to London we ventured into MAC on Carnaby Street to find me one but after decorating my entire right hand in swatches I still wasn't convinced I had found the perfect colour!

Feeling a little disappointed we then made our way to Boots and both fell in love with Bourjois 24H Colour Edition shadow in Petale De Glace. There are six shades available in this collection and I think this is one of the most work friendly shades for me. In the pot the shade looks like a metallic brown, but once applied to the finger or eyelid its more of a neutral shade with some light mauve metallic hues.

The shadow claims to be a cream to powder but I wouldn't say that the formula changed from cream to powder once applied. That being said though, it does last a long time. I put mine on in the morning before work and by the end of the working day it's still going strong. I have read several reviews about these shadows creasing but I can honestly say I haven't had any issues with this.

The one thing I don't like about it, is that because it is applied by my finger I feel like it is quite wasteful. I am yet to find a brush or applicator that I can use to effectively transfer the right amount of shadow and without it just getting stuck to the brush!

The Bourjois 24H Colour Edition shadows are priced at £6.99 each which is great value for money as they will last an extremely long time. I've got my eye on Prune Nocturne next which looks like a lovely cranberry colour shadow.

Have you tried any of these yet?


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

#bigblogmasproject Day 17 | Essie - A Sprinkle In Pink

Who doesn't love a little bit of glitter at Christmas? 

Okay, so pink isn't the most traditional of Christmas colours but you all know how much I love pink!

This is one of Essie's Christmas collections and features Fiji (a beautiful pale pink) and A Cut Above (a sparkly pink glitter). Technically, you could use both of these as stand alone polishes as with several coats A Cut Above looks really pretty but I like to team them both together or use Fiji on the majority of my nails and then use A Cut Above on my ring fingers as an accent nail.

The set comes in a cute little box which you could easily give someone as a gift or use as a stocking filler. It is currently on sale for £12.99 which is really good value as Essie polishes retail at £7.99 each and these are both full size polishes. I was lucky enough to have a £10 Boots voucher so I managed to pick this up for £2.99 and I'm really impressed. I've heard several reviews of some Essie polishes being a little streaky and having only bought mine from Fragrance Direct in the past I was a little skeptical about purchasing some but I'm really glad I did!

Do you like glittery nails at Christmas? Would you wear pink or a more traditional colour?


Monday, 16 December 2013

#bigblogmasproject Day 16 | Sparkle & Shine this Christmas with Monsoon:Accessorize

Christmas is the perfect time of year to add a bit of glitz and glamour to your wardrobe, with numerous parties and events with family and friends. Monsoon:Accessorize have got the festive season covered with their stylish party wear range.

The Dress
In my eyes the LBD is the perfect festive season staple. You can dress it up with so many different styles and colours so if you have to go to several events you can buy several different accessories to go with it and you have several completely different looking outfits! This Romy Bandage Bodycon Dress creates the perfect silhouette with its elegant square neckline and knee length hemline.

The Bag
If you decided to go for a LBD then the bag has to make the statement. I always look for something stylish but practical, especially if I'm heading out for a Christmas party, of course you have the essentials, keys, money, phone but you also need extra room for the all important camera (perfect for capturing shots of your boss so you can tease them after!) and of course the extra make up "essentials" that you need to keep you looking fabulous all night! The Samir Glitter Box Clutch is the perfect size for all these little bits and has a gorgeous diamond clasp opening at the top.

 The Accessories
You can create so many different looks with the LBD by changing up your accessories. I love to keep it simple by going for gold or silver theme. There are several jewellery sets available at Monsoon:Accessorize this year including Lucille which is a stunning gold necklace and earring set and Bette a gorgeous silver collection which features faceted glass for extra sparkle!

Have you been or are you going to a Christmas party this year?

*this is not a sponsored post 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

#bigblogmasproject Day 15 | LUSH Candy Mountain Bubble Bar

On one of my recent trips to London, I picked up one of Lush's Christmas offerings. The Candy Mountain Bubble bar has been a firm favourite with bloggers and I have been wanting to get my hands on one for a while. There isn't a Lush at my local shopping centre (come on Castlepoint, get with the times!) and it's not often I go into my main town so when Becca and I saw Lush at Victoria station we dived in for a quick look!

Bubble bars are my favourite thing to purchase from Lush, I love my bath to be full to the brim with bubbles. I've tried so many other brands which claim to produce big bubbles but the only way to get them is to swish your arms in the water for what feels like eternity, luckily with Lush bubble bars this isn't the case!

Candy Mountain is a sweet smelling, shimmery bubble bar which produces adorable pink tipped bubbles. I love how the glittery bits are just enough to give it some sparkle but not so much that you have to completely clean out the bath afterwards (Star Light, Star Bright, I'm looking at you! My hands were completely covered in glitter just touching it in the shop!)

Candy Mountain is priced at £2.65 each which is a great price as you can get several uses out of it (if you don't just chuck the whole thing in like me!)

Have you tried Candy Mountain or any of the Lush Christmas range?