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

Monday, 5 December 2016

Fruity Shower Gel Collection Gift Set

Hope you are all having a wonderful December so far – todays post is a review of a shower gel gift set by the Superdrug brand Fruity. It’s currently been reduced from £6 to £4 online and if you have a Superdrug points card postage is free. I’ve been enjoying sampling the different scents included, my favourite being cherry and almond but they are all lovely. Others include orange and satsuma, lemon and tea tree, strawberry and raspberry, lime and ginger and last but not least coconut. I was expecting the bottles to be a little bit smaller so was happy to find the portions are a generous size but still good to fit in a travel bag. Each bottle is 100ml and includes the cruelty-free bunny logo which is a big plus.

I gifted this gorgeous set for myself after running low on shower gel, it’s a good way to stock up and have been loving it ever since. I like that they have included lots of different fragrances so there is something for everyone. This would make a great secret Santa gift or a stocking filler for a friend or family member. You could also spilt the gift into six mini treats too. The packaging is really colourful and would brighten up a bathroom shelf. I think the brand is really underrated especially as they offer a cruelty-free option. I have some shampoo and conditioner from them too which I can’t wait to try. Click here to buy the featured gift set.

Have you tried anything by Superdrug’s Fruity brand? 
What scents do you favour in shower gels? :-) Xx

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sanctuary Christmas Advent Calendar

So it’s that time of year again when as bloggers or the beauty obsessed we are thinking about beauty advent calendars. I’ve been enjoying other people’s related content such a Fleur De Forces top ten beauty advent calendars video (link here) which actually included this Sanctuary one I bought for myself. It retails for £25.00 on Boots, (link here) if you are interested. It includes 24 windows waiting to be opened with all sorts of beauty treats. I’m looking forward to experimenting with the brand, I’ve tried some of their products before and had been really impressed.

I’m not going to go into detail about the individual items inside as I want it to be a surprise for me and you. If you do want to know I recommend looking either on Boots or another related blog post. I did have a fair idea before I bought it though and I got the impression this calendar was good value for what you get, and from looking at the packaging it seems excellent quality. The items are along the lines of bath, shower and pampering products. Also my brother very kindly bought me a chocolate calendar from Heron Foods, they are going two for £1 at the moment. I will show that one very soon!

I’m looking forward to December the 1st now! 
Have you got an advent calendar this year? Which ones have caught your eye? :-) X