Friday, 13 January 2017

December Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Favourites

December was quite a nice month for me, with the lead up to Christmas and some lovely outings with my family. I also made some Christmas stocking biscuits and had some chill time at home catching up on reading etc. I have a few things to share with you today that I’ve been loving in the month of December. Any Christmas presents favourites will most likely be featured in my Jan favourites, just so I have time to test them out and enjoy them properly. I treated myself to The Sanctuary beauty advent calendar which I appreciated very much, it was so nice to have a treat door to open each day. I’m still in the process of testing out each product as there are so many. Initial ones I was drawn to include the white lily damask rose body wash and body lotion, I’ve had experience with the brand before but have never tried this scent. But let me tell you it smells incredible and so far these two products have been my favs.

I’ve been trying to wear up things in the back on my wardrobe and bring things out I’ve forgotten about. These diamant√© jeans seemed very festive so I wore them quite a number of times in December and I’ve had a few comments on them too. I got them in the New Look sale a good while ago. With the colder nights I dug out my owl hottie, which you heat up in the microwave and use it to keep you warm. I just love the owl design and it’s been very useful this winter. I made a cheeky purchase on Whittard around the end of November, I bought a hot chocolate set heavily reduced in the sale and have slowly been working my way through it. Christmas pudding, and caramel are two flavours I’ve been reaching for.

Finally I have two books that I just adored, both Christmas fiction that I was pleasantly surprised by. The two had a few similarities in the plot, which I only realised afterwards. I gave Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin 4/5 stars for its genuine likeable characters and heated romance around the festive period. Maybe this Christmas by Sarah Morgan blew me away, and although the book started off slow, as the romance developed it became a complete page-turner. I rated it 5/5 stars!! So that’s been my month, how was your December? I’ve had January blues a bit, but as the New Year has progressed I’m looking forward to whats to come.

Do you like Christmas themed novels? What has been your favourite fashion item lately? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Higher Living English Earl Grey Tea

Last summer I tried a new tea brand for the first time called Hiving Living and picked the super fruits variety, review here. Although I discovered the super fruits flavour was a bit sharp for my liking there were other flavours I really wanted to try such as Sweet Dreams and this one English Earl Grey. Although it’s quite a common kind of tea, until now I had never experimented with it before. The taste was lovely, and quite unusual but the floral quality really grew on me. Just like perfumes, I find the scents/tastes of teas remind me of memories. I’m sat sipping on the last teabag on this tea, and it takes me back to September last year when I started drinking it.

It explains on the packaging, this tea works well with a splash of milk or iced with a slice of lemon. I found with milk, it was a lovely drink to have on an afternoon. It’s a nice compromise between herbal and regular tea I think and might even repurchase it sometime. It’s a little pricey at £4.99 so quite an indulgent treat, and even great for gifting. Happily it’s an organic brand plus the packaging is pretty especially the illustrations. Overall I found it very luxurious, and I want to carry on working my way through the range. Buy online here.

Have you ever tried English Earl Grey and was it your thing? 
Do Hiving Living teas interest you? :-) Xx

Saturday, 7 January 2017

January Stationery Haul. Diary, Calendar etc.

Happy New Year to you all! It’s nice to be back blogging after I gave myself a short break. Today is a stationery post from Paperchase and also WHSmiths. For several years now I’ve been shopping for a diary at Paperchase as they just have the most current and classy designs. This pink ombre style one is gorgeous, I fell in love with it straight away plus the twenty seventeen type is in a perfect gold tone. I was browsing their website and came across this marble and rainbow desk planner which you can write things on a page per day. The way it was set out looked really useful, and there were lots of boxes to write things into.

I’ve always been into crafting, and after spotting these gorgeous patterned craft papers I knew I had to have them. They come up really big so I figured they would work well for blog photography backgrounds and I might make some cards with them when I get bored. My obsession with postcards in slowing growing, especially with Paperchases selection, they have so many pretty ones. I couldn’t not buy the “Hello You!” marble and tiger pattern designs. Lastly I went into WHSmiths after seeing this butterfly calendar on their website, it goes with my room design amazingly. I feel a bit more set for the New Year now!

What diary did you pick up? 
Do you enjoy collecting stationery and if so where do you shop? :-) Xx

Pink ombre A5 flexi linen 2017 diary £14.00 (Shop Alternative Here)
Marble daily desk planner £6.00 (Buy Here)
Hello You Marble Postcard 70p (Shop Alternative Here)
Tiger Design Postcard 70p (Shop Alternative Here)
Pastel Designs Paper Pack for Crafting £4.00 (Shop Alternative Here)

Vintage Butterfly Slim Wall Calendar 2017 £5.99 now £2.99 (Buy Here)

Thursday, 29 December 2016

My Christmas Presents 2016

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas this year, our family had a chilled one which was quite nice. I think for me the best part of Christmas is the lead up, and we went to a few small Christmas markets, watched festive TV, went Christmas shopping and of course had some lovely food. I was so pleased to see the presents I had bought my family went down well, and happily I received some great gifts too. I mostly asked for money this year, I’m saving up for something special, maybe for some new camera gear or a rainy day! I think having everything at once in terms of gifts can be a bit overwhelming so I’m planning to spread things out throughout the year. So I will get on with talking about what things I received, hope you enjoy!

I received three books, two of which are Christmas fiction novels, I asked for What Light by Jay Asher which is a fairly new release I’m excited to get stuck into it. Another was One Christmas in Paris, which I’ve never seen before but looks really nice. The non-fiction one was a baking book my brother kindly gifted me, it has so many amazing recipes enclosed I can’t wait to try. Most years I get at least one CD, and I asked for the newest Britney Spears one, I think I need to listen to it a few more times to figure out if I love it. I’m a big Britney fan though! I got a selection of hot chocolate stuff, and the Nesquik one in particular I can’t wait to taste. The 'Hell Yeah!' Primark cup I received is perfect for storing water during the day, it’s also very instagramable too!!

This Baylis & Harding gift set is so pretty, and the fragrances of the products sound appealing! My Dad bought me a Royal Jelly bath set, a brand I’ve never tried before, but the scent from the box is incredible. My Mum bought me some gorgeous cosy socks, I can’t wait to wear them as they are ideal for winter. She also bought me a good quality mini hair brush for travelling, for next year. She received some Poundland makeup which wasn’t her thing so we swapped a gift and I got them. I might do a blog post about the different makeup items once I’ve tested them.

What was your favourite gift this year? Do you like books as gifts like me? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

I Made Christmas Stocking Biscuits

Not long till Christmas now! Are you all looking forward? Today I wanted to share with you another Christmas themed baking post since my last one ‘Cookies for Santa’ seemed to go down well. For this bake I used a kit from Asda, I would look out for these as they are great and super cheap, the kit contained a mix in which to add butter to make the shortbread biscuit, some red icing to roll and a white icing tube to decorate. I had a little trouble with the white icing tube, it wasn’t very squeezy even when warming it up a little, in the end I used normal icing sugar to dust over the red stockings. A template was included to create the stocking shape, which I cut out from the packaging.

I wasn’t sure whether the taste of these biscuits would be a bit artificial but the shortbread turned out just right, with a bit of crunch and the icing on top wasn’t overly sweet. I got some good feedback from my family saying they enjoyed them. Afterwards I took some photos of my bake, using red ribbons and a festive Santa hat, I found adding some fake holly on the biscuit plate made the aesthetic more appealing. I hope you enjoyed this post, I would recommend Asda’s baking kits, they bring out different Christmas themed packs and switch it up each year, last year my Mum kindly bought my a snowman cupcake kit which was so fun. Let me know in the comments if you have been doing some baking, I would love to see! Merry Christmas!

Have you got any baking plans for over Christmas? Have you asked Santa for anything? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Balm NUDE'tude Nude Eyeshadow Palette

Today I am back with a review of this eyeshadow palette that I have been using for a little while now. I actually won it in from Brigitte Hayley’s YouTube channel giveaway earlier in the year and have been so pleased with the quality of this product. I love the quirky packaging and the fun names for each eyeshadow colour. I’ve been mostly going for Stand Offish, Sultry, Selfish and Seductive which are mid-range nude shades in both matte and shimmers. I absolutely love the choice of all the shades, except maybe Serious which is a very dark tone I just haven’t reached for yet. The pigmentation is out of this world, and a little goes a long way. The only thing I would say is there can be a little fallout when reaching for the product with a brush.

Other thoughts on the packaging are its really light weight with it being made from strong card and there is a huge mirror enclosed which is an extra surprise. It would be good for travelling for these reasons. I look out for products being cruelty-free, and on their website it says they are as well as paraben-free. If you are after buying this product, I suggest heading over to Superdrug online as they offer free delivery if you have a beauty card. The palette retails for £29.99 which is pricey but you could treat it as an investment for the year ahead. I can also imagine any lady from a teen to adult would love to find this in their Christmas stocking! I hope you enjoyed this review….link to item here.

Which shade from this palette do you favour? What is your go-to eyeshadow palette? :-) Xx

Monday, 12 December 2016

November Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Favourites

So I’m a little late with my monthly favourites but still wanted to share what I had been loving in the previous month, and I have some special things to discuss. First off my brother bought me a chocolate advent calendar, the Disney illustrations are so pretty and from eating the chocolates so far they are really good for the price he paid. I’ve been trialling different brands of hot chocolate and was delighted to have a few that I thought were amazing. The Wispa one was so bubbly and the Options mint as well as chocolate orange had an authentic flavour. My Mum and I go to a lovely little hair dressers near where we live, and they have started selling fashion accessories, jewellery and homeware goods. It makes the experience of going in for a trim more fun and I also picked up this light up pink bottle. Its battery operated and looks so beautiful in low light.

In November I watched a few Christmas films early, I have The Holiday on DVD, not only is it my fav Christmas film but one of my fav films of all time. Its very heart warming and festive. I watched Love Actually but The Holiday stood out more. I read a book in November, my first from Colleen Hoover an author who I found through Book YouTube. I rated it five out of five stars, the romance was very charged and the plot twists were incredible. I spoke about it previously in my latest book post here. I have a star beauty product, this hair treatment by Percy & Reed. The Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Overnight Recovery has given my hair a moisture boost after I was running low on general conditioner. I actually received it free in a magazine and found it later in one of my draws.

I have two fashion pieces too, this blue faux fur trimmed coat that I’ve had for years, I promised to myself to make more use out of it and have had a few compliments while wearing it out. And finally my good old Next onesie, who doesn’t love the idea of a onesie? This too I’ve had a while, and it’s been perfect to snuggle up in on winter evenings. So that is my November favs wrapped up. What things have you been loving at the moment? Do you own a onesie too? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Cookies for Santa

Cookies are one of the easiest things to bake, and there are so many recipes readily available. If you are looking for something to make with children/family at Christmas time cookies are a great way to go. You could even leave them out for Santa, I’m sure he will be very appreciative! In this post I wanted to share my own cookies with banana and chocolate chips as I was happy with how they turned out. I used a recipe from The Hungry Student Easy Baking book by Charlotte Pike. It’s actually my Mums book, she bought it with the idea of making bakes with affordable ingredients and I love it too! A link to the book here.

Baking is one of my favourite past-times and these biscuits seemed to go down a treat with friends and family. If you have been a blog visitor for a while you know I love to make my baking into a photo project. On this occasion I dug out some Christmas bits such as mini tinsel and pom-poms. I hope that little something extra adds to the photos. Let me know in the comments if I have encouraged you to get baking and what your favourite Christmas treat is. Hope you are having a nice day so far and speak soon! :-) Xx