Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Anti Bucket List

I've seen a few bloggers doing this, and feeling inspired by Emma's original post (who's blog btw, is my new favourite thing) I decided to give it a go myself.
I'm terrible for putting myself down, and playing things down, and and overanalysing what to/not to post for fear of looking full of myself, but the whole point of this post IS to blow your own trumpet. That's right - we may not all have perfect lives, but we've all done things that make us feel good, right? It doesn't matter how big or small they are, this post is about celebrating the things that made me feel happy in 2015, rather than obsessing about everything I SHOULD have, but DIDN'T do.

1. I went on several staycations at lovely hotels in the UK and loved every one.

2. I passed my Wedding Planning Course with distinction.
3. I managed to run this little blog continuously for the whole year.
4. I visited my favourite place on earth, Nice in the South of France.

5. I found the guts to end several toxic friendships that were doing me no good whatsoever.
6. I also made several new, good friendships. Yay.
7. I went to 4 gigs in a month.

8. Following on from #7, I went to see Fleetwood Mac which was a genuine dream come true.
9. I got asked to be my best friend's bridesmaid (and double brownie points for me as I set them up)
10. I got a new, better job.
11. I went on my first all inclusive holiday.

12. I celebrated a 2 year anniversary.
13. I finally finished both Breaking Bad AND Pretty Little Liars.
14. I stayed in the swankiest hotel in Chester

15. I got my hair and make up done by a Professional.
16.  I got my first proper 'blogging gig' where I was asked to cover an event at The Manchester Renaissance.

17. I grew out the fringe I've had since I was 10. 
18. I went from blonde to brunette.

19. I climbed Snowdon in ridiculously hot temperatures.
20. I managed to nab a limited edition NARS Glossybox (these things never happen to me)
21. I visited my second favourite city, Palma.

22. I had my annual Christmas Jumper and cocktails night.
23. I saw my great-grandfathers name on the war memorial in Liverpool.
24. I finally found the time to do some festive baking.
25. I spent quality time with my family and friends, which is my favourite part.

After writing this post, I can definitely see that motto for 2016 is:
 'do more of what makes you happy'

What have you done in 2015 that makes you happy?


Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Glossybox / December Review

With the Christmas rush, I must say this month's Glossybox passed me by's only now that I'm getting the chance to properly look at what goodies I got!
This month is a collaboration box with blogger Really Ree, and it comes in a beautiful rose gold box. If I'm honest I'm not quite so excited by it as I have been with previous boxes, because I seem to have an abundance of mascaras and 'So Susan' products and it doesn't seem very Christmassy! But here goes:

Etre Belle Golden Skin Caviar Eye Roll-On

This is probably my favourite product in the box, I generally like eye products and this is cooling and hydrating, it's said to make even tired eyes look radiant and refreshed, so here's hoping.

Essence Liquid Lipstick - Show Off

I'm not really a fan of lipglosses and I was a bit disappointed with this, but having said that it's not a bad product, just not one I would have expected. I'll give it a go for a night out, but hopefully it's not too sticky.

So Susan Statement Skin Highlighter Pencil

Initially this product didn't excite me much as there seems to be a So Susan product in every box and I haven't been hugely impressed up to now, but on reading into this more it sounds quite good. We did have a similar product a few months back though which I've never used, so that doesn't really bode well.

Darphin 8 Flower Nectar Oil Cream

Again, there seems to have been a massive amount of eixir type products lately, but this one sounds interesting as its an oil/cream hybrid and uses 8 flower nectar, which is said to keep skin really nourished. As it's winter I'm sure this will come in useful.

KIKO Extra Sculpt Mascara

I definitely wasn't in need of another mascara, but I'm a sucker for nice packaging and this looks really stylish and different. Apparently the brush is hourglass shaped (although I can't tell personally) which is meant to leave lashes ultra curly and voluminous. We can hope!

Starskin Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Mask

This month as it's Christmas and all, we got given a bonus 6th item! I really love a good mask and don't currently have any in my stash, so I'm looking forward to giving this one a go. The fact its said to 'hydrate and pep up pre-party skin' it sounds perfect for NYE!

What do you think of this month's Glossybox?

*I'll also be doing a round-up of my 5 favourite Glossybox products from 2015 soon*

Monday, 28 December 2015

Boxing Day Sales Haul

I've written a couple of posts recently about how I wanted to simplify and de-clutter my life and reduce the amount of possessions I have, but despite all that I still couldn't resist hitting the sales! I've tried to keep the mantra 'quality over quantity' in my head when shopping this year though as I have a habit of buying things just because they're a bargain, regardless of whether I actually need them!
Because we've had terrible floods here, I've mostly shopped from the comfort of my armchair which is always dangerous!
Here's a round-up of what I've bought:

Fat Face
As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I'm slightly obsessed with Fat Face so they were my first port of call. Their sale is really good with amazing reductions, so I nabbed a few things:
1. Pointelle Tunic (I got this in rosebud)
2. Lace 2 in 1 3 Quarter Sleeve Top (I got this in navy)
4. Sherwood Jumper (this is no longer available, and it was £30 not £50 as shown on the link)

My other favourite shop, I could have got thousands of things from ASOS as their sale is fab, but neither my bursting wardrobe or bank balance would have thanked me, so I only got these two tops, mainly to wear for work. Even better, I managed to get a discount code that worked, love it when that happens!

The Outnet
I stumbled across this website by accident, while I was housebound during the bad weather. I've always wanted a pair of Hunter wellies but never been able to justify the price, but when I found this website which is full of discounted designer goods I couldn't resist. With a saving of £37 I would say these are my best sales bargain so far! I got them in navy. I can't wait for them to arrive!

Before this year I never shopped in Clarks because I had an image of them being the place my Mum used to force me to get school shoes from (and have my feet measured) but I genuinely think now they've upped their game and have some really lovely, cool shoes. I picked these two up in the sale and I'm really pleased with them both, they're so comfortable and such good quality. Plus they do half sizes for people with pesky feet like me.

Did you get any Boxing Day bargains?

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Christmas 2015 Round Up

Hi everyone! Well, in the blink of an eye it seems Christmas is over for another year, I swear it goes quicker every year! Hope everyone had a fantastic one, and that Santa brought you all what you want. 
I had a truly lovely Christmas, quality time spent with family and wine, amazing food, card games and Christmas films galore, which for me is really what it's all about.
But present-wise, I also did really well this year, and was very spoilt by family and friends. This post is just a little round up of what I got, I haven't listed every single thing as I don't want to look like a boaster! But below are a few of my favourites (I've also added links where I can):
It definitely seems like my loved ones know me well, because candles, perfume and chocolate are all sure fire winners!
The black studded Sisley bag is absolutely gorgeous, I've searched high and low online but it seems to be sold out from everywhere, I really love it. I went to see 'Brooklyn' last week and loved it, it's such a beautiful and touching film which I'd highly recommend if you haven't seen it. My Mum knew I  loved it and was a bit emosh by the end so she picked me up the book. I've also been wanting to get my craft on for a while, and so with my love of photography I got this Sunography set to try my hand at something new.
I also got this lovely long sleeved pink top from River Islandit's so soft and has a slouchy fit which I love. This adorable set of Chloe Perfumes was also a welcome addition, it has 5 mini perfumes inside and there's something so feminine and iconic about Chloe. Peeking out in the background is a pack of Betsey Johnson socks; I love her funky designs and even her socks are quirky!
In keeping with my Christmas candle obsession, I was lucky to receive a Yankee Candle Set of 5 different votives, as well as two other individual tin candles, which all smell amazing.
This Marc Jacobs Watch is a total dream, I actually knew about this as it's my main present and I chose it myself when I went to Liverpool a few weeks back. I love watches and never in a million years thought I'd own one as beautiful as this, I keep pinching myself when I see it on my wrist!
I absolutely love perfume and am always fortunate enough to get some at Christmas.'Classique' by Jean Paul Gaultier has been on my wishlist for ages now, I love the iconic figure bottles, and the smell is so unique. I was chuffed to bits to get this, I had absolutely no idea it would find its way under my tree!
Finally, I've mentioned on my blog before how much love I have for the artist Rob Ryan, I absolutely adore his work and bought a few things (and lusted over many others) when doing my homeware hauls over the summer. I love this calendar and can't wait to have a whole year's worth of his work on my wall!
Ben got me these Lily England Makeup Brushes which I'm pretty impressed with as he did all the research himself, I don't think we've ever had a conversation about brushes! I love the rose gold touches (love me a bit of rose gold) and the white faux leather bag is cute and stylish too.

Presents aside, it's been a truly lovely Christmas and I feel very blessed to have such wonderful family and friends. Our Christmas dinner was amazing and I've loved spending a few days at home just relaxing and not having to go outside in these awful floods! I'm sure I'll find the time to do some sale shopping though before I go back to work!

How was your Christmas? What did Santa bring you?


Thursday, 24 December 2015

T'was the Night Before Christmas...

It's Christmas Eve! All the planning, and excitement, and anticipation, and present buying and mulled wine drinking has made December fly by and now here we are.
I want to thank all you lovely lot for reading my blog and leaving me lovely comments - 2015 has been my first full and proper year of blogging and I've absolutely loved it.
My Christmas Eve has been spent working this morning, and then doing some festive baking this afternoon. I've made some bacon, brie and cranberry tarts and some mince pies (lets hope they taste better than they look hey?!) and now I plan to sit down with a snowball and some Christmas TV and wait for Santa.

I'll be having a few days break from the internet so I can eat, drink and be merry - so a big MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all! Have an amazing time over the holidays! x


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas Traditions - Birmingham German Markets

One of the best things for me about Christmas is traditions. Whether they're something you've been doing since childhood, or something you started last year - traditions are the best.
For the last 5 years or so my best friend Jen and I have set aside a weekend in December to go to the Christmas Markets in Birmingham for some festive cheer, a ride with all the other children on the carousel, live music, craft stalls and as much food and drink as you can shake a stick at. We absolutely love it, and it's become our 'thing' at Christmas. 

This year was no exception, and on Friday after work we packed up the car and made our way down to Birmingham, armed with Christmas CD's and festive cheer for the journey. Despite the fact it's ridiculously mild and we didn't have the usual freezing temperatures, on Saturday we had a great time laughing, having an epic catch up, and eating bratwurst, potatoes and garlic mushrooms. Mmmmmm. And trying (and failing) to find the carousel horses with our names on to sit on (we never manage it) . Not to mention the fact that this year they had the cutest little gluhwein mugs, I just had to keep mine as a souvenir. 

After a few hours, we headed back to Jen's and watched 'Elf' with a cup of tea and the Christmas tree 
lights twinkling, before heading out in the evening to our favourite pub, The Lyttleton Arms for some more food and drink. I LOVE the fact that we do the same things every year, it's like a reassuring little constant in our lives we can always rely on. We had the most AMAZING lobster brioche roll with twice cooked chips, washed down with a bottle or two of wine and general shenanigans.
Sunday brought a long walk in the forest followed by an amazing roast dinner, before hitting the road. 
The perfect Christmas weekend.

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