Sunday, 24 December 2017

Feeling Festive

Hello again guys; it’s Christmas Eve, which means that finally my household has put up the Christmas tree. It’s crazy to look about on the last month, how quickly the time has flown and how many blog posts have been written and shared by me; some are good, some weren’t as good as I feel that they should have been but overall I produced some content that I was really proud of. Since getting a new camera I do feel like my content has improved somewhat, but maybe that’s wishful thinking, haha. Seeing as next year I’ll be spending the Christmas period in Poland, I’m enjoying chilling out and having some family time this Christmas. It’s strange how you forget how many decorations and pretty things you own for the festive season over the course of a year; so many of these decorations I had forgotten about and I have no idea how I did. They’re so stunning, particularly against the green tones of the Christmas tree. Tonight I’m planning to vegetate in front of the tv with a hot chocolate and some Pringles, so excited haha. It’s taken me a while to get into the Christmas spirit so I’m going to revel in it over the next couple of days. Merry Christmas 🎄 










Saturday, 23 December 2017

Top 5 Christmas Films




Hello again guys; sorry for missing a day yesterday, I needed to wrap all of the presents for the family and my god it was an absolute nightmare... I’m definitely not a Pinterest worthy wrapper, sadly. I can’t believe that it’s day 21 of December already and the house doesn’t even have any Christmas decorations or even the Christmas tree up, I’m such a failure of a blogger haha. Over the festive season I do like to watch a lot of films, not all of them are particularly Christmassy, but I enjoy sitting back and relaxing. (Which is actually exactly what I’m doing at the minute, plus a huge bar of chocolate. Christmas is definitely almost here, lol).

Love Actually

This one is an absolute Christmas classic. I enjoy it because it’s not a stereotypical Christmas film, such as The Grinch in that it feels real, about real people. Not everything is a happy ending, not everyone is having the best time; people die, people have affairs but I love that you really have to concentrate to understand the range of narratives running through the film. It’s one of the films that I have to watch every Christmas as it just doesn’t feel right to watch it any other time of the year.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

This is a bit of a random choice, but it’s a cute and funny film that always makes me think. I like the idea that life has a playlist, that everything has a song to accompany it and people can shape their lives by the songs that they love. Plus, Kat Dennings is an absolute stunner and that always helps. I’ve watched this film so many times now that I know everything that will happen and yet I still enjoy it every single time.

Frozen

Everyone needs a bit of Disney in their lives at Christmas and I love everything about this film (except bloody Olaf...) the soundtrack is great and I like that the two sisters are such strong role models, too. I watched this recently with my boyfriend after I realised that he’d never even seen it (how he hasn’t, I have no idea) if I was a child I definitely would be one of those girls dressing up as Anna or Elsa, although in my opinion Elsa is a tiny bit more awesome.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Last Christmas I watched this with my family and so it always reminds me of my first Christmas spent with my boyfriend. Alongside that, I grew up a massive Potterhead and anything to do with magical world has me completely and utterly stunned. Any addition to the Harry Potter series is always welcome to me; as soon as I saw this film I was instantly in love with all of the characters, but Queenie and Jacob were definitely my favourites. Every Christmas it’s necessary to watch a magical film.

Bridesmaids

Another absolute must, everyone needs a girly film at Christmas and this one is my preferred choice, every time. Again, it’s a bit more of a reality check, the characters fight, they don’t always have the best time for various reasons but in end everything works out ok. I love it because honestly, it’s hilarious from start to finish, particularly when the girls have the shits after a meal. (That’s a lovely image for you, haha). This one is great for a girly night in as it’s just incredibly funny.


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Christmas Wish List



Hello again guys; I actually cannot believe that it’s day 18 of Blogmas already! I’m also amazed that this far I’m not doing abysmally in terms of managing to blog each day. Yes, I missed one day but 17 days out of 18 isn’t bad, particularly as I’ve never attempted to blog so much before. I like it, I’ve been feeling really inspired this month although I admit that it has been incredibly difficult at times to keep up with the demands and pressure that I’ve been putting upon myself to deliver posts that contain good content, rather than simply posting just any old shit every day (I admit, there have been many days where I’ve been so tempted to simply post one photograph and barely write anything). However, I’ve tried really hard to keep creating good content (at least I hope it’s good) particularly in terms of the written content. Today’s post is a bit of a random, yet personal one. I wanted to create a list of things that I would like for Christmas after writing some Christmas Gift Guides recently; I feel like I want (need) to add a bit of myself into these blogmas posts and so here is a reasonably short and affordable list of things I’d like for Christmas. As I get older, I’m starting to realise that I prefer memories and the little things, not massive gestures. Let me know in the comments if you’ve been enjoying my attempts at blogmas :)


Christmas Dinner

Ok, so I am fully aware that this is a bit of a basic Christmas requirement, but I love a good Christmas dinner. I’ve definitely piled on the pounds over the course of 2017 so I want to have a fully fattening Christmas and New Year before I attempt to start a health kick in 2018. I love a Christmas dinner with the full trimmings; I’m an absolute sucker for pigs in blankets and Yorkshire puddings more than anything else, but I also love cabbage, sprouts, roasted asparagus and carrots amongst so many other things. This year I’m really looking forward to a traditional Christmas dinner with my mum, nana and boyfriend with crackers and all of our family animals around us. There’s something about Christmas Day that really needs and a,aging spread for it to really feel festive.

Harry Potter Book Set

If you’re someone who regularly reads my blog posts, then you’ll know that I’m a collector of the Harry Potter series, I’m attempting to collect all of the covers but by bit from various places. The 2014 set of UK covers are absolutely lovely, particularly the Prisoner of Azkaban, with its illustration of the stag Patronus dominating the cover. They’re not particularly cheap, priced at £40 in paperback and around £80 in hardback but then it does include the full seven books so that’s not an unreasonable amount. I would love to own these in hardback at some point, but realistically due to price I’ll be more likely to eventually own the paperback set as they’re more affordable overall. Either way, I really want this set to add to my collection of four other sets.

Simple Skincare Set

Over the past year I’ve started actively taking more care of my skin as I have incredibly dry skin so moisturising, cleansing and toning is extremely important for my skin. Since making use of the Simple Gift Set that I received for Christmas last year, I’ve noticed such a difference in my skin; yes, I still have bad dark circles under my eyes but that’s obviously something to expected for my pale skin tone. However, I’ve noticed that overall my skin is much clearer and feels a lot softer with no dry patches, even in these harsh winter months. For £12, you get three full sized products so these kinds of sets are really good value for money. 

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Edition

As soon as I saw these official Hogwarts House editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone I was determined to eventually own all four of them; at the minute I actually own the Slytherin version, which I snapped up from eBay. Pottermore sorted me into Gryffindor, so I’m expecting that one of my relatives will have purchased that version for me for Christmas. Priced at £9, I really like the added information about the House founders at the start of the books, as well as the beautiful illustrations throughout. Over the next year I’m definitely going to be owning each version of these, I’m in love.

Perfume

I’m a massive lover of perfume; my all time favourite brand is Marc Jacobs, particularly the Daisy range. They’re fairly expensive, at £50+ but they’re worth the money that they smell insanely lovely and the bottles make fantastic displays in my room. At the minute I’d love to get the Daisy Dream Kiss, or the Daisy Dream Forever, but in all honesty I’d love any new perfume, I wear perfume all the time and I love much more confident I feel once I’ve sprayed some on. Anything fruity and/or floral is completely to my taste and I’ve worn perfumes for £12 and £60, price isn’t important, the smell is always what’s important. 

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban - Illustrated Version

Having received the first two illustrated books for the past two years at Christmas from my mama, I’m expecting that I’ll be receiving the third illustrated book for this Christmas. I have really high hopes for this illustrated book as it’s my favourite of the seven part series and it has been since I first read it as a child. The cover is stunning, it definitely doesn’t disappoint and I love the darker shading as it reflects the storylines getting slowly darker and more dangerous too. Priced at £20, it’s not too expensive to spend on a present but it’s definitely worth every penny for someone like me who absolutely loves Harry Potter and all of the merchandise that keeps coming out.

Harry Potter Cauldron Mug

Ever since I saw that Primark were expanding their Harry Potter range, I was desperate to hunt down this mug and so far I’ve been unsuccessful in my search, which is so disappointing. In fairness, being priced at £6 it was never going to hang around for long but I refuse to give up on ever finding it. I’ve found it online through eBay, but it goes for higher than the RRP which irritates me, so I’m hoping that someone who knows me will have been able to find it, if not then I’ll just have to get something similar at some point. It’s one of the cheapest items on the list, so fingers crossed I might be lucky!

Harry Potter - A History of Magic British Library Exhibition

There are so many new Harry Potter related books that have been released this year and this one is definitely high on my must have list; I love that it’s about all of the things that inspired J. K. Rowling’s magical literary world. It adds a bit more information about the background of the novels, her influences and interpretation of what she included within the novels, however big or s,all a part it played in the series. Priced at £25, it is still fairly affordable in terms of gifting, I’d love to add this to my already huge collection of Harry Potter related books, so fingers crossed I’ll have a nice surprise this Christmas. 

Lindt Teddy

As a small child, I used love lugging my favourite toy around all day, every day. Her name was (is) Teddy, and she was a teddy bear. I was literally obsessed with teddies, I was never into cars or dolls. I think that’s why I adore the Lindt teddies so, so much; the shape of the teddy really reminds of my teddy, as she also wore clothes (way before Build-A-Bear was a thing, haha) so the Lindt Teddy with the little Christmas jumper is always my chocolate of choice over Christmas. Priced at £4, it’s super affordable and something that never fails to bring a smile onto my face; as I said earlier, the little things are often the most important. Plus, the chocolate is amazing.





Monday, 18 December 2017

Beauty Review: Rimmel London Rita Ora Nail Polish




Hello again guys; it’s now day 18 of Blogmas and I missed day 16 because I’m an unorganised mess went out and was too drunk to post when I got home (honesty is always best, haha) so we’ll just leave that there and focus on today’s post. Since I left a job in the food industry, I’ve been really enjoying working a job that allows nice nails. Recently I considered paying to have false nails, but honestly I decided it was too much money to spend often, so instead I’ve been buying nail varnish and painting them myself. I don’t bite my nails, so they’re not too bad but I do have some pretty bad eczema on my hands, so painting the nails is a good way of giving the illusion that my hands are nice to look at, haha. I tend to buy my nail polishes from Poundland, and I was lucky enough to find the Rimmel London 60 Seconds Super Shine by Rita Ora one day on a random trip. From the drugstore it’s priced at £2.99, so still affordable but £1 is always a good bargain. The shade that I picked up, Bestival Blue is a perfect cornflower blue shade and really stands out beautifully on any skin tone.




The nail polish has a really lovely, glossy effect when dried and after wearing it for a week already, it’s hardly chipped and colour is as vibrant as it was when it was first painted. Which, for me is an absolute win as usually I’m chipped to buggery after only a couple of days. I’m not usually one for favouring the colour blue but I’m actually in love with this shade, I’m so happy with how it looks and I’ve actually had a lot of compliments on it. The packaging of the nail polish is also really nice, with the black lid and blue bottle with little daisies and Rita Ora’s signature on it. For £1 I’m really pleased with it and I’ll definitely be considering buying some of the other shades in the range as I’ve been so satisfied with this one. I’ve never tried Rimmel nail polishes before, but I definitely want to try more of them sometime in the future! See you again tomorrow, for the next blogmas post! :)







Sunday, 17 December 2017

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 // For Him




Hello again guys! It’s now day 18 of Blogmas and I feel like I’m getting back onto some kind of level of organisation... It’s so cold and wet outside at at the minute that it’s hard to force yourself into some kind of routine as literally all I want to do is stay comfy and cosy in bed. Today’s post was actually a really difficult one to plan for, as I do kind that buying presents for men is much more difficult for me, even when I know someone really well. That being said, it was really satisfying to be able to come up with a few different ideas of things to buy for the male in someone’s life. Some of the items are affordable, some pretty expensive but I did want to try and cover different budget ranges as obviously we have different amounts that we’re able to spend. I do enjoy writing these kinds of posts, so please feel free to let me know in the comments if these kinds of posts are enjoyable for you, too.

iPhone 7 (Product) Red 128gb

This item is definitely the most expensive and ‘extravagant’ item on this list, but it’s arguably worth the money. The cheapest iPhone available on the market is around £400 and the most expensive is around £1000+ so this isn’t something you would buy for just anyone, but whoever you decide to gift an iPhone would be a very happy bunny for sure. I like that there’s a range of colours, sizes and styles to choose from, so whatever you choose for your loved one is something fairly personalised as it’d be chosen for them. If buying a phone is too much money, you could always buy a case or an accessory such as headphones as an alternative way of showing your love. There are so many nice phone cases from so many different brands available from various places such as Amazon and for all different prices and cater for all types of phones.

Ted Baker Leather Wallet Gift Set

This is a fairly average present idea, but everyone and anyone needs a place to keep their money and cards safe and this set is really good value for money I think as it’s good quality and comes with two options. Priced at £69, it is one of the pricier items on the list, but I’m sure there must be some more affordable alternatives available online or on the high street. The reason that this gift set looks like it could well for any man is that there is a traditional style of wallet alongside a card holder, so if you’re going for a night out, the card holder is great and for everyday, the wallet is perfect. Also, for a gift the set arrives in beautiful packaging in the form of a gift box so will look good if there’s somebody that you want to impress, or simply spoil over the festive season.

Fossil Grant Chronograph Men’s Watch

Again, I feel like a watch is a pretty standard gift idea, but as there are so many styles and designs to choose from, it is fairly easy to customise your decision based on the person who you have in mind to buy for. Fossil are a good, well known and reviewed brand and often have watches on sale at this time of year. The one pictured is currently on sale online for £90 which isn’t too unreasonable, but obviously if that is out of your budget (which it is for me) there are other styles and brands to choose from for as little as £15, a watch is something that the majority of people wear every day and it’s hard to choose that that someone won’t like. For men, I’d say that a darker colour, black or navy is a safe bet as most men wear a lot of darker colours and if they wear brights then a darker shade of watch will work better with their chosen outfit anyway.

iPad

Another slightly more expensive choice, for any gadget fan a tablet is a bit of a must. There are so many sizes, colours, and even brands to choose from. iPads start from about £300 at the cheapest model and roughly £900 for the most expensive, although that’s for the latest models, so the older models would probably be less than that. One thing I would say is that if a tablet is out of your price range for a gift, again you can always buy a case or accessory for your loved ones tablet instead. There are websites that personalise tablet cases with photographs or text, or you can buy a standard leather or Apple branded case for various prices, just make sure you’ve purchased one that fits the model that they have.

FiloFax Organiser

If any male in your life is in need of a little organisation, a Filofax is a slightly more traditional option to having an electronic organiser but more classic alternative to a diary. Priced at £30, it’s reasonably within a mid range budget but there are cheaper versions available from places like Amazon or Paperchase (amongst many others). What I personally love about the Filofax range is that you can also purchase optional inserts for the organiser, for events, etc. They’re super useful to have and it’s also nice to be able to keep everything all in one place. I love the look of the leather ones for men or women as they look really elegant and sophisticated.

Converse One Star Leather Mens

I feel like shoes are a really obvious option, but a good one as everyone needs a good pair of shoes. The Converse One Star range are a great alternative to regularly converse as they’re not as commonly seen and they’re also available in leather and suede, not only canvas. You can also choose from a variety of different colours so you can find a pair to suit anyone’s tastes, too. For £65 they are a fairly expensive gift, but that’s also likely to be because men’s shoes are usually more expensive than women’s as they’re usually larger. The only thing you need to find out before buying shoes is what size they need, which I did by looking at his other pairs of shoes, haha. 

Camper Van Mug

This is the cheapest item on this list of present ideas, but that doesn’t mean it’s of lesser quality in any way. Everyone loves a good mug and for £8.50 via Amazon, this is a really affordable, novelty but useful gift. There are so many mugs that are great to give as a gift, such as personalised ones with text or photographs, different colours and sizes or even a travel mug if the person you’re buying for is often travelling to work or elsewhere. You can never have too many mugs, they’re practical and a nice gift to give and receive.

Ted Baker Skinwear Limited Edition 

Not gonna lie, I’m one of those people who definitely judges how people smell; I love a good smell. Aftershave or perfume is always a good gift, although it’s probably good to find out what kind of smells your giftee likes before purchasing, just in case. I love the Ted Baker Skinwear aftershaves, I think that the bottle is super classy and stunning, the smell is always gorgeous, every year and every edition. It’s also incredibly reasonably priced at £20, it fits well into smaller budgets but looks very expensive. You can pick a more expensive version if you have the money, but honestly the smell is lovely and good value as it’s 100ml so will last a good few months, too.

Harry Potter Bathrobe

My boyfriend loves to be comfy and cosy, which I’m sure that we all do, to be honest. Therefore, something like a bathrobe/dressing gown is a great gift as it fits into both of those categories, particularly during the cold winter months. This Harry Potter themed version is an absolute steal from Primark at £16 as it’s so affordable and a lovely design, burgundy with gold stitched detailing and black piping, it’s definitely one for the Gryffindors, but it would work well for any Potterhead to be honest. As an alternative, Primark do have regular bathrobes for men, as well as other fandoms such as the Simpsons or Star Wars to choose from, so it’s easy to find something for everyone.





Friday, 15 December 2017

Festive Playlist!




Hello again guys; it’s the fifteenth day of Blogmas and I’m definitely struggling a little with the whole blogging every day idea. I’m one of those bloggers that’s genuinely so bloody disorganised, I never schedule posts and I rarely plan posts in advance so I’m literally writing a post a day and posting it on the same day, oops. This month I posted a stereotypical version of my monthly playlists, but I decided to wait until I had started to feel the Christmas spirit before posting a more festive version. Today, is the day for the festive version of a monthly playlist at last, as over the past week I’ve started listening to Christmas songs. I like a mixture of the older Christmas songs and the newer ones, for example the covers of traditional songs from Christmas adverts over the past few years and  Disney’s Frozen alongside the legendary Band Aid and The Pogues. I’m one of those people that enjoys Christmas but I have to feel it getting slowly closer before joining in with any festivities, haha. Are there any songs on this list that you love? Or have I missed off your favourite? Let me know in the comments! :)

1. The First Noel - Annie Lennox
2. Last Christmas - Wham!
3. Stay Another Day - East 17
4. All I Want for Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
5. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) - The Darkness
6. Your Song - Ellie Goulding
7. Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant - Annie Lennox
8. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
9. Let It Go - Idina Menzel
10. Somewhere Only We Know - Lily Allen
11. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard
12. Stop The Calvary - Jona Lewie 
13. The Power of Love - Gabrielle Aplin
14. Let It Go - Demi Lovato
15. Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin’ Stevens


Thursday, 14 December 2017

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 // For Her



Hello again guys; so it’s already 14 days into Blogmas and the big day is getting ever nearer. In all honestly, I’m not an amazing present buyer, but I’m not too bad (I hope). Last year, I did a Christmas gift guide and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d give it another go for 2017. Maybe I’m a little biased, but I feel like it is easier to buy presents for girls/women than it is for men or children. There’s so many different things of different prices, sizes and ages. That being said, I feel like my tastes have changed a fair bit over the last few years, but even so, here are a few different ideas for what you could buy a female in your life (some of these things are applicable for children and men, too, but that is entirely dependant on the person). Some of the items listed are reasonably priced, others are more high end pricing. If you like these kinds of posts, please let me know in the comments :)

1. Balmain x L’Oréal Colour Riche Lipsticks.

Ok, so I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m actually obsessed with how beautiful these lipsticks are. Priced at £12.99, they’re affordable but still a bit of a splurge for the majority of people. The packaging is gorgeous, they smell amazing and they’re available in 12 different shades so there’s a shade for everyone. One of these lipsticks would make a great gift as they’re slightly more expensive so not necessarily something that someone would consider buying for themselves on an everyday basis. They’re not so expensive that you would embarrass your friend or partner, but they’re definitely a product that would make them extremely happy as the formula and packaging of the lipsticks is excellent quality and therefore good value for money.

2. Marc Jacobs Daisy Perfume

An obvious choice for anyone, male or female is perfume. One of the most popular brands of perfume is Marc Jacobs and the Daisy range is definitely the best selling. They’re fairly expensive, priced at £35-70 dependant on the style, price and size of the product. However, they look absolutely beautiful and all of them smell incredible, they definitely feel like a more high end product but the price isn’t too expensive if you shop around online (always pay via PayPal for protection if you decide to do that) and I know so many people that own at least one Daisy perfume that it’s more or less a failsafe gift; it’s a flirty, floral perfume that most people love.

3. The Body Shop Christmas Gift Set

Any products by the Body Shop are of excellent quality and are hypoallergenic so suit any skin type, although I love that you can buy products specifically for certain skin types. One of the gift sets that looks like great value is the Frosted Berries Festive Tin, priced at £20 it includes a shower gel, hand cream, body scrub and a body butter all in the Limited Edition berry fragrance. They’re full sized products, so altogether they would come to more than the price of the gift set, plus the product last for ages, so it’s a good gift for anyone into skincare. Any Christmas skincare related gift set is pretty good value for money, so any gift set would be appreciated by anyone as they’re a good staple during the winter months when skin has a tendency to dry out.

4. Harry Potter Book Set

Growing up with the Harry Potter series, waiting for the films and books to be released I’m definitely a massive Harry Potter fan, but many of the people of my age (in fairness, all ages) like the series so buying someone a new Harry Potter book set, will likely go down very well as most people will have ruined their original copies years ago from constant reading... I know I did. A full set of the new paperback editions will set you back around £40, the hardbacks are more, but considering you do get 7 books for the price, that’s a good deal. This gift idea can be applied to any books, for example another series like the Hunger Games or the Divergent Series. Books are always a great gift idea, regardless of age.

5. Cath Kidston Cat Bag

Bags from Cath Kidston are always dreamy, but the cross body bags that are available in funky shapes at the minute have taken kitsch to a whole new level. Any cat lover will instantly fall in love with this bag, for £48 it’s a pretty good deal as it’ll be great quality for that price. Ted Baker have a similar design for a far higher price tag, so the Cath Kidston version is a great way of getting a fashionable item for someone on more of a budget. A quirky but cute bag can update any outfit and works for any time of the year, so this is a great purchase for any loved one any time of the year. It’s hard oilcloth, so it’s waterproof too, which is a bonus.

6. Anastasia Beverley Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

So many people have been raving about this palette online, it’s one of the most sought after eyeshadow palettes for any beauty lover, particularly those who love warm toned eyeshadows. Priced at £43, available in the UK from Cult Beauty, it is a more high end beauty product but the reviews say it all. The range of shades available in the palette are great, there are many shimmers and mattes, bright and neutrals. If this items is a bit out of your budget, there are some drugstore dupes available, for example I can think of a fantastic alternative from MakeUp Revolution; but if you want to go all out for a loved one at Christmas, the high end version is absolutely stunning. 

7. Olivia Burton Watch

A watch is one of those present ideas that will always be useful; the Olivia Burton brand of watches are so beautiful and have a massive range of designs and sizes to choose from. The bees and floral designs are the ones that appeal to me the most, but one of the things that I like about this brand is that you can choose a design to suit whoever you want to buy for. The watches retail from £70+ depending on size, design and shape but I feel like a watch is a good investment and if you want to buy a present that someone is guaranteed to appreciate, a watch is a good bet. If this brand is out of your price range, there are similar options available from Accessorize for roughly £20, which is a bargain. A cute watch is always a good accessory all year round, too.

8. Punky Pins ‘Festive As Fuck’

This is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas in a classy way! Priced at £7, it’s a super affordable and funny gift that would be great in a secret Santa or for family and friends who would appreciate a cheeky pun on a pin. As soon as I spotted this, I had someone in mind and for the price, it’s such a good choice of gift. It’s a bit more Christmas related than some of the other items on this list, but it’s also a lot cheaper, which is nice. It’s always good to have a funny and cheap option. That said, the pins bu this brand are always really well made and have good lasting power.

9. Harry Potter Baubles & Bunting

Similarly to the idea of buying the Harry Potter series as a gift set, in Primark they have an amazing range of Harry Potter branded merchandise at the moment; the two baubles are £5 each and pretty large too. The bunting is £3 and is a great way to jazz up the house for a slightly more alternative Christmas. All of these items are a super affordable way to celebrate Christmas and gift someone when you’re on a budget. I’m in love with the range available at Primark a they’re good quality for the price but not so expensive that you would worry about buying three or four different items. Definitely some must have gifts for any Potterhead.








Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Piercing Tag




1. How many piercings do you have?

In total, I have 20 piercings.

2. Where are they?

Left ear: tragus, conch, 4 lobes, daith and 5 helix piercings. Right ear: tragus, rook, auricle and 3 lobe piercings. I have my nose pierced on the left side, my left nipple and my belly button.

3. How old were you when you got them?

For my first lobes, I was 6 years old. My second and third lobes, 18 years old. For my right tragus, the auricle and the rook, 19 years old. I was 19 when I got a helix on my left ear, 4th lobe on the left and my belly button, too. At 20 years old, I got the conch on my left ear and at 22 I got my nipple pierced. At 24, I got the daith, left tragus, nose and 4 helix piercings.

4. On the scale of 1-5, how bad did it hurt?

Lobes: 1/5
Tragus: 3/5
Rook: 4/5
Daith: 2/5 *this one was the most painful to heal. Swelled up a LOT.
Nipple: 3/5 *two years later and it still isn’t fully healed.
Belly Button: 2/5
Conch: 3/5 *this piercing was the easiest to heal of the more unconventional piercings.
Auricle: 1/5
Helix: 2/5
Nose: 

5. Which one hurt the most?

The rook was so, so painful. It hurt more than the nipple did to pierce, and it swelled for like 5 days after which didn’t help at all. The jewellery fell out due to swelling, luckily once longer jewellery was put in I didn’t have any issues after that. The daith has been the most difficult one to heal, the swelling lasted around 2 weeks and still feels painful. (The daith is my most recent piercing).

6. Which one is your favourite?

On both ears, I love the tragus piercing, I think it’s really cute and also quite subtle, it suits a lot of people. But if I was going to pick one of my more unusual piercings, I’d probably say the nipple. 

7. Do you regret any of your piercings?

No, I like all of them. I usually get told that I have too many piercings, but I like them. I’m addicted, haha. One thing I dislike about fresh/healing piercings is that I have to wait to change the jewellery as I prefer gold jewellery.

8. Do you want any more piercings?

Yes I do; I’m interested in getting a forward helix, an anti tragus, a conch on my right ear and a vertical tragus. Now many more to go, haha.




Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A Family Christmas Present // 3 Years Old

Hello again guys; I’m really, really, really wishing that I was more organised in terms of blogging. This month I’ve been feeling super inspired to blog regularly (erm... everyday!) and this far, I’ve been really proud of the content and also the amount of engagement that my blog is getting. Today, I’m looking back to Christmas 2014, when I was at university and working part time. As a family, we decided to get a dog; although that isn’t so unusual, at the end of the day, many people get a pet every day, it was a massive step for us. At this point, we had 4 cats, a fish and a rabbit and were dealing with the loss of another dog. However, it had been 5 months and Scarlett looked perfect for us. A small dog, with fluffy hair and a big heart; we adopted her from a Spain through an animal charity. 3 years ago, we were suddenly told that she would arrive just in time for Christmas, which she did. As was a rescue dog, she did have some issues. As a young puppy, she had her tail chopped off and she can be very nervous, particularly around new people. However, three years later and she’s a happy and healthy little dog with a bad habit of barking whenever anyone knocks on the door. The main reason for this post is that, in 2017 we’ve now taken the steps to adopt another rescue dog, due to arrive in January 2018. As a family we now have 3 cats, a rabbit, a hamster and soon to be two dogs! It’s crazy in so many ways, but I love having so many pets, they’re family. I’m so excited to see how Scarlett likes having a sister, and how the puppy will fit into our household. Scarlett has been the best Christmas present to us over the past three years and she genuinely has all of us wrapped around her paws at all time! Do any of you have any furbabies? Let me know in the comments :)









Monday, 11 December 2017

MakeUp Review: Maybelline the Colossal Big Shot Mascara

Hello again; it feels like blogmas is taking over my life this December, haha. I really need to get myself more organised, I spent the majority of my days either writing non-stop to get posts ready in time for upload in the evening or taking photographs last minute, oops. Definitely need to step up my game, but I feel like despite this, I'm not doing a bad job of getting a post out each day. This post is another make up review, one that I'm really excited for as I genuinely love reading and writing posts like this; before I buy a product, I always read or watch reviews because I hate wasting money. I've always been a fan of Maybelline mascaras in general, so after seeing some good reviews of the Colossal Big Shot it was time to buy it and see how it worked for me. Priced at £7.99, I had high hopes that I would love this mascara as it is always useful to find another amazing drugstore mascara for a decent price, but that said, Maybelline mascaras generally average at a reasonable amount. I love pocket friendly make up products every day of the week.





The packaging is one that stands out in a crowd, shiny and gold alongside contrasting purple typography and a matching purple stripe along the lid. Staying true to the theme of the name 'big' is written larger than the other words which definitely draws your attention in. I do really like the design of the packaging, it's one that stands out even in a make up bag or storage even amongst other products. I took photographs that showed the mascara mixed in with other beauty related products to show how it looks in comparison, as well as demonstrate how it stands out due to the contrasting colour scheme used by the brand. Although the packaging is plastic, it feels hard wearing and it doesn't feel cheap, which is good as I'm always worried that make up is going to brake and spill all over the stuff in my bag (not something that I ever want to happen to me).






The wand is one that I generally like; on the whole I prefer to apply mascara with a large applicator, this is medium sized, with fiber bristles that are incredibly flexible. For me personally, I don't usually like fiber bristled wands because I'm a messy mascara applier and I find the fibers put little blobs of mascara all over my face, oops. However, this wand is a reasonable enough size that the fibers didn't do that as long as I was a little more careful (basically I had to apply the mascara slowly, not in a rush). It's a light wand, so that if you need to apply multiple coats it isn't too difficult and the formula is a fairly dry one, so the lashes don't stick together.





I love this mascara far more than I expected to, as on the whole I generally don't work well with fiber bristles wands, but this mascara definitely bucks that trend for me. The mascara applies evenly and nicely, with no excess mascara blobs anywhere on my face, plus the colour is a nice true dark toned black which is something that I love in any mascara. I know that I've mentioned on the blog before how much I love to have long, spidery lashes that pop and this mascara achieves that look for me with ease. The only downside that I can think of is that it takes about 3 coats before I'm satisfied so I'll definitely need to repurchase this mascara at some point because it won't last forever. I'm converted into trying out other fiber based mascaras now and that is saying something; even my boyfriend commented on my eyelashes, so it must be a winner as he never usually notices haha! My lashes look so volumised, lengthened and separated with only a hint of clumpiness. Honestly, I don't feel like I'll ever stop raving about this mascara, I love, love LOVE it.




Sunday, 10 December 2017

Book Review: Tin Man



Another incredibly moving and beautifully written book by Sarah Winman. Having read her other two novels I had high expectations for this one, but I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. Her novels always have eye catching, intricately designed cover artwork and this one is no exception. The image of a lone man cycling into the distance toward a line drawing of a town is haunting and only foreshadows the content of what the pages inside entail. To begin with, we meet Mr and Mrs Judd, who in front of lots of friends and acquaintances, embarrasses her husband when she ignores his wish for whisky and instead picks a painting for a raffle prize. Heavily pregnant, that is the beginning of her standing up for what she loves; life and the arts. The novel expands softly, describing a man who is well and truly stuck in a rut; after his wife died he has lost who is he, where he is and what he is. Grief has completely and utterly overtaken him to the point that even day to day living has become a painful act of wake, sleep, work.

Ellis is the kind of man that everyone knows; as in, you all know somebody who resembles him. Constantly living but not to the full; forever pleasant, but always holding something back. He’s an unhappy man, having lived through too much sadness to the point that it is painful to dwell on the past but is unable to leave the past behind. Losing his mother affected him in many ways, but his lifelong love of the arts definitely suffered; he stopped sketching, stopped appreciating art. His mother loved art, often taught him about outside of the box and often, Ellis wondered where his mothers painting had gone after her death. There on the wall one day, off the wall the next and a new step mother instead. Michael was his long term best friend, the way that Ellis tells the reader about his memories of him, he sounds like the life and soul of any day, let alone a party. Flamboyant, confident and constantly by his side, Michael was as fond of Mrs Judd (Dora) as Ellis was. Both boys have their own story, their own struggles. I loved how they both helped out in Mabel’s shop, and that she treated both of them as grandchildren in the same way that Dora considered Michael a second son.

Michael has a sad life, there’s a reason why he’s being raised by his grandmother, although that isn’t fully touched on until the latter half of the novel. The development of the relationship between Michael and Ellis was amazing, it was easy to sense the chemistry between them, as well as understand that teenagers often experiment along the path of finding themselves. Annie, Ellis’ eventual wife was an excellent addition to the trio, it made the image of three being a crowd an absolute reality; there was a sense that she knew of their original relationship, although it was clear that her part in the trio definitely changed up the dynamic between Ellis and Michael. It is hard as the novel continues to realise that more or less every important person in Ellis’ life has passed away, other than his father (with whom his relationship has always been strained) and his step mother, Carol. Structurally, the novl begins with Ellis as the narrative voice, then around half way switches to Michael as the narrative voice, before ending with Ellis as the narrator. It sounds confusing, but it was clearly laid out and a great way to decipher the gaps in the memories of both boys as they turned into men.

In all honesty, I knew before I started this novel that I would love it. Sarah Winman is easily on a list of my all time favourite authors as every one of her books is something special; they always have a beautifully simplistic yet creative way with prose. For example, in this novel it was lovely to read the conversations between characters as there is no punctuation, encouraging the text to flow. Tin Man is a story of loss and love, the writing is so sensual and considered that each moment feels like your own imagination is running wild. In places it is fairly fragmented as it works the past and present of Ellis and/or Michael’s memories in together, however I loved reading the same memories from each mans perspective, how they lived their lives based on a series of decisions made by one of them. Ultimately there are a lot of subjects that are laid bare across the pages of this novel, I don’t think I’ll ever read a novel like it again. It’s a slow start, but as you delve in further you become engrossed. It’s a definite recommend from me, it is simply beautiful, I don’t know how else to describe it.





Saturday, 9 December 2017

Favourite YouTubers // Vlogmas Edition!

Hello again guys; it’s now day 9 of Blog,as and it feels like Christmas is creeping ever closer! It’s time to start wrapping presents and writing out Christmas cards, eek. One thing that makes me feel festive automatically is watching Vlogmas videos on YouTube, as there’s something nice about watching how other people prepare and celebrate the festive season throughout the month of December. Basically, I’m a nosy person and enjoy seeing how other people live their lives, so I’m a massive fan of watching vlogs. Everyone celebrates Christmas differently, some people decorate very little, some go all out, either way I really enjoy seeing how people choose to celebrate, getting into the spirit and also how much more outgoing and sociable people are during the festive season. As it is blogmas, it made sense to do a vlogmas themed post, so the five ladies below are five channels that I’ve been obsessed with this vlogmas!




Sopherina

I originally started following on Instagram after finding her blog. Her YouTube channel definitely seems to be going from strength to strength; full of hauls and tags, but at the minute I’m loving her ‘24 Days of Sopherina’, which is alternative version of vlogmas. Each day, we see her day to day life but I’m really loving seeing the unboxing of advent calendars and new products. I always feel like the camera just loves her but at the same time she does come across as a normal girl who simply loves life. My favourite vlog so far has been the one featuring her favourite Christmas films as it was the perfect way to get into the festive season and there were some absolute classics included in the list!




RhiannonAshleeVlogs 

As any regular readers of my blog will know, I’m a massive fan of Rhiannon and have been for years now; we’re the same age but live completely different lives and that’s one of the reasons why I adore her vlogs so much. I always look forward to her Vlogmas series as her vlogs in general are really chilled and down to earth, viewers get to see her day to day life and her daughter is so lovely to watch, especially as she’s getting older and able to talk and be more involved. I can’t wait to see their family continue to grow and see them enjoy the festive season together, after all, Christmas is always more enjoyable when they are children around to boost the happy moods. Even if her vlogs aren’t the most eventful, I love her honest view of everyday life and watching her cook is so relaxing.




Sophie Louise Porter

I’ve been subscribed to Sophie for a while, after finding her Harry Potter related videos and so I was excited to see that she was participating in vlogmas this year. Her channel has actually grown so much lately, but her content is the same as ever, which is something that is lovely to see. Her vlogmas series have been pretty full on, it seems like she leads the busiest of lives, she’s always shopping, cooking or cleaning! I just love how down to earth she is, as well as how open she is about her love of Disney... I mean, a Disney themed tree is the dream for most people, so she’s living the good life. Her vlogs are definitely getting little old me ready for Christmas!




Katie Snooks

Usually I watch Katie’s weekly vlogs, so I was amazed to see some daily vlogs; her voice is really soft and calming, which is always a good sign for any vlogs haha. I like seeing her confidence grow as her acne begins to disappear more and more, as well as watching her declutter her house, her make up collection and her wardrobe, it feels so realistic as that’s the kind of everyday things that everyone does. I loved her Blogger Bake Off vlogmas episode, seeing her bake and be creative and every loves a bit of GBBO and it was basically the blogger version. Katie is super honest with her viewers, talking about how she’s feeling and her anxiety levels a lot, but at the same time she makes an effort to enjoy life and that’s why I like her vlogs so much, she does her best to make the most of life.




SophDoesVlogs

Recently I subscribed to Sophie’s vlogging channel after being an avid watcher of her main channel for months. She actually vlogs pretty regularly, and during vlogmas she’s uploading even more regularly, which is nice. I liked watching her choose a Christmas tree and decorating her house; it was such a basic thing to watch but actually really interesting. She also vlogger her attendance of the Blogger Bake Off, where she had a bit of a creative meltdown, haha. She’s definitely one of the more relatable YouTubers, she fangirls a lot and I liked seeing her talk about her tattoos and piercings without lecturing on how to care for them. She’s genuinely excited by the opportunities she gets and her vlogs are a great way to nose around her life.




Friday, 8 December 2017

The Christmas Tag // 2017 Edition!



Have you ever had a white Christmas?

No, England (more specifically London) isn’t really a country (city) that really gets much snow, although at the minute it definitely feels cold enough for some snow... But next year I’m likely to be spending Christmas in Poland so I’m sure that I’ll be seeing a white Christmas, which is exciting as seeing a white Christmas is a bit of a dream for most people!


Where do you usually spend your holiday?

Always at home with my family and for the past couple of years, my boyfriend. I like a quiet, chilled Christmas with good food and hours spent watching the Christmas themed tv shows and films just because it’s always nice to get in the spirit of things and basically relax. A lie in is always key to having a good Christmas too, alongside all of the good foodie stuff like Yorkshire puddings and pigs in blankets!

What is your favourite Christmas song?

This is actually really difficult! I like so many Christmas songs although I do love the ‘Power of Love’; both versions, but I do prefer the Gabrielle Aplin version that was used in the John Lewis advert a few years back. I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘The Fairytale of New York’ by the Pogues and Kirsty McColl too as it’s my Nana’s lifelong favourite so it’s a Christmas staple in my household - I’ve lost count of how many she’s played it in the house already this month, haha.

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

No, I never have, although that is likely to change if I do celebrate Christmas in Poland next year as they celebrate present giving on Christmas Eve. But in the UK (e.g. Christmas with my family) we always celebrate on Christmas Day and spend Christmas Eve preparing for the next day. I think generally it depends on what traditions you and your family uphold.

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Erm, no... I get stuck after Rudolph, Dancer, Prancer. Oops.

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

I’m so ready to open a box of Celebrations after Christmas Dinner and pudding... We always sit and watch crappy tv whilst eating chocolate and other naughty but nice food bits whilst relaxing and just enjoying having a day spent being happy and together as everyone in my house works different jobs and shifts so it’s a rare occasion to all be together. 

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Always fake, personally I find it easier to just whip it up and decorate every year, although real trees are beautiful and the smell of a real tree is gorgeous, let’s be honest I’m a lazy Christmas decorator and so fake is easier and cleaner haha.


What is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?

I’m a sucker for a pig in a blanket, although Lindt reindeer’s are definitely another item high up on my list of must haves for a good old Christmas Day dinner and treat. This tag is really getting me ready for Christmas dinner...

Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?

If I’m honest, I’m a bit of both person. I like seeing what my family and friends buy me as it’s nice to see how well that they know me, but I also like the process of picking out presents for those that I love. This year I’m being a bit more creative in terms of giving and I’ve had a wardrobe clear out with the intention of donating to my local charity shop, as well as donating some food to the local food bank. At the end of the day, I don’t care how many presents I get, I love spending the time relaxing with those I love.

What is the best Christmas present you ever received?

I’m a walking cliché but every year I get something Harry Potter related, for example the illustrated versions of the original series and I always love whatever book I receive each year. It sounds strange, but getting Harry Potter books as a gift was a massive part of my childhood and so I like that those gifts have carried on into adulthood.

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

Realistically, I’m really looking forward to going to Poland for Christmas next year; my boyfriend is Polish and I’ve fallen in love with the country more each time that I visited (even if learning the language is a nightmare for me) but in all honesty, I’d love to go to Iceland and see a proper wintery, snowy Christmas with the Northern Lights in the background. That is the dream.

Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

Hah, definitely a failure of a present wrapper... I absolute hate wrapping anything as it is, but Christmas is the worst as there’s so many gifts to wrap as in my household we wrap everyone’s presents for everyone altogether, it’s literally the most stressful part of the season for me. Luckily my mum is a pro!

Most memorable Christmas moment?

Last year was the first Christmas as a couple for my boyfriend and I, as well as the first time he had spent Christmas with me and family and I loved seeing his confused face at receiving so many presents from various members of my family. Neither of us expected it, but it was nice to realise that he was being properly included even if my Nana made millions of jokes about him being spoilt because he’s was a guest and not family... Generally Christmas Day for my family is really quiet so we don’t have any wacky moments as such.
What makes the holidays special for you?

I love being able to chill out, eat as much as I want with the excuse that I’ll start a diet in January (which never works haha) and just spending time with family and not stressing about work or anything. It’s great to just enjoy life and relax knowing that you’ve got a bit of time to yourself at home, all comfy and cozy in a crazy Christmas jumper and pajamas. I feel like it’s the only time of year that people noticeably care for one another, friends, family or strangers; a lot more love is shown at Christmas in terms of giving and I like that.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

MakeUp Review: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara

Hello again guys; so it's day 7 of blogmas already and I hope that it's not only me that cannot believe how soon the Christmas and New Year season is approaching? It seemed so far away and yet in a couple of weeks it'll soon be upon us! This post is all about a mascara that I've been using recently; the Max Factor 2000 Calorie. I was tempted to buy it after seeing hat felt like millions of bloggers and YouTubers rave about it. If we start by looking at the price of the product, £7.99 isn't unreasonable for a decent mascara, in fact that is fairly average in price when compared to the other options available in the drugstores. In all honesty, I was expecting this mascara to be at a higher price point as usually Max Factor products are more 'high end' drugstore so it was a bit of a pleasant surprise, no complaints for the price. For the price, I had high hopes to love this product as the price is good enough that I consider repurchasing if necessary in the future.





The packaging is nice and pretty understated actually; a simple bottle in black with gold typography and a matching gold rim around the top of the base, below the lid. It doesn't stand out in a make up bag when in comparison to all of the brightly coloured, glossy packaging of other products, but when in a line of mascaras from other brands such as Maybelline, it does stand out for being fairly plain packaging. That being said, it is more about what it inside the bottle than the external packaging in a way; but overall it won't be the most appealing packaging to everyone but personally, I really like it. I deliberately look photographs that showcased the mascara surrounded by other beauty related products so that you as a reader can see how much this mascara has the potential to blend in rather than stand out in a make up bag or collection. 






The mascara wand is much smaller than I'm used to using; on the whole I prefer large, thick wands that add a lot of volume to the lashes, but we can't have everything we want in every product. That said, this wand was really easy to use on the lashes, particularly on the lower lashes and I was surprised by the lack of smudges (generally I'm a very smudgy mascara applier, not even lying!) although that is likely because of the wand being much smaller than I usually would use. The prdouct is nice and dark black which is something that I always want in a mascara and separates the lashes really nicely. The lashes look really long, but no particularly separated. Although, there is no clumps or sticky lashes, which is really nice and very unusual for me, haha.




All in all, I was happy with the effect that this mascara had on my eyelashes. As you can see from the photograph, the eyelashes are beautifully separated and look insanely long, without being spidery or clumpy. I've said before that I love my eyelashes to look spidery, and I do. However, I feel like this mascara will be lovely for work or everyday life as they're noticeably different but not as obvious. The price is amazing, as you don't need to apply much mascara to your lashes, only 1-2 coats so a little goes a long way. When you remove this mascara you need a lot of patience because it doesn't seem to want to come off, although I've found that removing this mascara with eye make up remover gel fares much faster results than make up wipes did, so that is something to bare in mind. I will definitely be purchasing this mascara again (once this one runs out) as I do feel like this is fast becoming a staple in my everyday make up bag. I wouldn't recommend this for nights out, but to boost your natural eyelashes this is perfect!



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