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Friday, 29 December 2017

December Favourites - Christmas, Weddings & Presents...

The end of December already! How has this happened?! This year has flown by but I'm definitely not sad to see the back of it. For my last monthly favourites of the year, there is a mix of tv (as always) food, wedding stuff and of course christmas.
Getting Married - I couldn't do my last favourites post of the year and not mention getting married. I'm going to try not to go on about it too much because I'm sure you'll all get sick of it but I'm still in that little wedding bubble right now and I just want to shout about it! I did a little post all about it which you can find here but it was very simple and no fuss. I couldn't think of anything worse than walking down an aisle, with people looking at me and having to speak in front of them, so the way we did it was perfect. The day was a bit of a blur really and over so fast but I know we'll always remember it and be so happy with how it went. I can't believe it finally happened! And I absolutely love my wedding ring, I can't stop looking at it.
Christmas - Christmas seemed to come around so fast this year! Some days I felt really prepared and like we had it all sorted, and others it seemed like there was still so much left to buy and wrap but it when Christmas day arrived, it was so lovely. Like most things for us, it was really chilled out but again, exactly what we wanted. I made Christmas Dinner which pretty good if I do say so myself, we watched films, opened presents, drank Bucks Fizz, and it really was amazing. I'm so sad it's over already! We went all out this year with decorations around the flat and all the festive food, I loved waking up each day and seeing it all. It's just the best time of year.
Yankee Candle - I really wasn't expecting for us to get any wedding presents but just a few days after we told people, this beautiful candle arrived and I'm a little bit in love with it. First of all it's absolutely huge! I've never bought a Yankee Candle this big before so it's going to last ages and it's such a beautiful scent. With it being the Wedding Day scent, I think it's always going to be a bit special for us now and I'm sure it's one we'll buy in future when this eventually runs out. It arrived in perfect time as my big marks and spencers candle had just run out in the living room!
Wedding Prints - Something that took me totally by surprise last week was this beautiful print from one of my blogger friends Zoe. She was one of the first to congratulate us on our wedding and then a few days later this print arrived that she had made for us. It's a drawing of the picture at the start of this post which I took, our wedding rings on a bauble on the tree, and hasn't she done an amazing job?! I was in shock when I opened this as it was so unexpected and just such a lovely act of kindness. It really did make our day. I'm going to have to order some prints from Zoe's Etsy store next year as she has so many wonderful ones and you can tell so much time, effort and care goes into each one. I just need to find a frame for this one so it can be put somewhere special in the living room, on show. Zoe you are so, so talented, thank you so much.
Max Factor Lipstick - I am a little obsessed with this lipstick! I picked it up from Chemist4U recently, you can find my haul here, and now I don't want to stop wearing it! I don't wear lipstick often as I just find most colours are too out there and don't look right on me but everything about this is gorgeous. It's from Max Factor and it's the shade Burnt Caramel, it's a pretty, subtle nudey pink colour and really does look so nice on. I feel like it's just 'me' and I already know I'll have to pick it up again in future. It was the lipstick I wore on our wedding day and I love how it looks in the photos we took.
Love, Lies & Records - There have been so many good dramas on TV this year but one that I absolutely loved and is definitely a contender for my favourite of the year is Love, Lies and Records. It starred Ashley Jensen as Kate who is a registrar trying to deal with being blackmailed at work, a colleague she's in love with, and a family at home that are a bit all over the place. There were several things going on in each episode and each was full of drama, but they were all so good. I was hooked after the first episode and the wait each week for the next episode was awful, I just wanted to watch them all in one go. I so wanted her and her colleague Rick to be together, but I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it, obviously nothing is a straightforward as it should be though. I highly recommend giving this a watch if you didn't see it when it was on, it's one of the best shows I've seen I think!
Trolls Holiday - Trolls is one of my all time favourite films, there is just something about it that makes my heart so happy, so when they announced they were doing a mini christmas special I couldn't wait for it! We watched this a few weeks ago now and it was just lovely. Obviously as it was only about 25 minutes long, it wasn't as great as the original film but still so funny and I loved what they did with the story. I love the characters so much and I can't wait the second film in a few years time, it's just one of those films I can go back and watch over and over.
Source

So that's my favourites for 2017 done! I didn't think I'd be able to keep up with a favourites post each month as I just don't try that many new things but I've managed it and I'm sure I'll carry on next year.

Did you see any of the shows I mentioned in the post? How was your December?

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Thursday, 28 December 2017

An End Of Year Look At My 2017 Goals...

At the start of 2017 I set myself several goals and I think it's about time I go back over them and see what I did and didn't achieve. I set myself some personal ones which are the ones in this post and I also set myself some blogging goals so lookout for a follow up post on those next week.
Find Part Time Work - Well this didn't work out how I planned. I had given myself until March before starting to look for a part time job but I just wasn't well enough. My anxiety has been so bad this year and there was no way I could possibly go back into a work environment full of people I don't know. I've also physically not been well with girl things causing all sorts of problems for me, that and anxiety combined have not been good and it's just been a bit of a disaster on the work front. I'm feeling so much better now and I'm really hoping 2018 is the year I get back into work. There was no point forcing myself just because I was worried about what others thought, because it just wasn't the right time this year for it.

Stick To Slimming World - Yep, another thing which didn't go how I planned. This is a hard one to explain as it's something else that relates to my anxiety. Because a lot of my anxiety is health related, if I get a tiny bit ill or don't feel well, I go straight into OMG I'M DYING I NEED TO PLAN MY FUNERAL. That's just what health anxiety is like and therefore if I lose any weight, it's hard for my mind to work out that it's because I've been TRYING to not because I'm ill. My head just goes straight to, well I'm losing weight so I must be really ill? It makes following something like Slimming World very difficult and it wasn't something I could really properly focus on until that was under control. I do want to lose weight as I just don't feel that comfortable at the moment and I want to be as healthy as possible and it's not for want of trying, this year just hasn't been the year for it. I've definitely not been an angel with food but I've also not been awful so it's not a massive fail on this but also not a win either.

Stress Less - I think for the majority of this year I've just been one big ball of stress. I have good months and bad months and it depends what sorts of things there are to trigger it. For example around my birthday I was really, really stressed because I just felt like no one cared or would even send a card, and it kind of spiralled after that. Other events and things have happened throughout the year that have stressed me out, some I've dealt with well and other I haven't really been able to get out my head and I think I'll always be like that. Over the last few months though I've definitely calmed down A LOT and I'll explain more in the anxiety point below, but at the moment I'm definitely not stressing as much as before and just taking everything as it comes. Another mixed one. I'm not doing too well with these am I.

Treat Others How They Treat Me - I definitely think I've been much firmer this year with people. I like to think I'm a very nice person so it can be very hard to not get walked all over sometimes and just let things slide, but after a tough year, I'm now so done with trying with those that don't with me anymore. I'm someone who tries and tries with people and does nice thing after nice thing to never get it returned but I've reached that point with people now where I just won't carry on with it. I'm definitely treating others how they treat me now more, I just can't deal with the stress of it. If people are good to me I'll be good to them but if they're not bothered, I'm not anymore either.

Read More - I've not read loads this year but definitely more than 2016 so that's a bonus! I love getting stuck into a good book but my phone is just attached to my hand the majority of the time so it doesn't happen often. I read Jim Chapmans book a few months ago which really gave me the reading bug again and I'm just about to start Frazzled by Ruby Wax.

Get A Hold Of My Anxiety - It's took a long time but I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere. As I've not been well on and off this year my anxiety has been all over the place. When I'm not well my anxiety goes mental because I just get convinced I'm dying. Luckily I seem to be coming out of the other end of it after a good chat with my DR and it seems like I finally have some support and understanding. I'm actually now on tablets for my anxiety, this is my first time mentioning it on my blog which I'm a little scared about, but they are helping massively! I was so set on not having medication for it for a long, long time, even though it was suggested to me the first time I went to a DR about anxiety, but I just had a feeling a few months ago that it was time. I knew that just waiting for councelling wasn't working and I needed something more and I can't even tell you how much better I'm feeling. I'm not saying it's all sorted because there are still things I need help with and need to talk through but they've took the edge of and I can get through the day now feeling 10x better than I did before. It won't be a long term thing but for now it's a good thing and I definitely think I'm on track to getting a hold of my anxiety properly.

It's safe to say these personal goals didn't really go to plan but there's nothing I can do about it now. I did my best with every single thing and at least I achieved some of them! Hopefully next years goals will go better than these, but I'm just glad at least some of them have worked out.

Did you set yourself any goals this year?

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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Christmas 2017...

I've done a blog post about our Christmas each year since I started my blog, so it's only right I do the same this year too, especially as it was such a special one for us. As you might know by now, me and George actually got married a few days before Christmas so it was a really exciting time for us and only made the day even more special. It was just the two of us as it has been for a long time now but that's exactly how we like it and as always we ended up having such a lovely day. 
We started Christmas with a cinema trip on Christmas Eve which has become a little tradition of ours now and it's one I hope we keep up every year. This year we went to see Pitch Perfect 3 which I'd been really looking forward too, but unfortunately I wasn't too impressed, it just wasn't the same as the others I think but regardless we still had a nice time. When we got home we opened our Christmas cards and this was so exciting because we got our first husband and wife cards. I absolutely love mine, it's adorable and I know it'll be one I keep forever. After a pretty restless nights sleep, because we're basically still kids who are too excited about opening presents, we started off Christmas Day with Bucks Fizz and White Christmas. I was never too fussed about this film before but each year it grows on me more and more and it probably wouldn't be the same Christmas for us without it now! We then got onto opening our presents, so if you don't like what I got for Christmas posts, you can stop reading now! It's not bragging in any way, I'm so grateful for everything I got and just want to show it!
As always we set ourselves a budget as otherwise we would just go overboard on presents and I'm so happy with what I unwrapped. George knows me so well. He got me a DVD which I'd been wanting for such a long time because it's so funny, Daddy's Home and he also got Kingsman too which is one I felt we needed to add to our collection this year, it's brilliant. Darker (Christian's perspective) was something I had been hoping for so I was really happy to see this, I just love the Fifty Shades books and it's nice to read them all over again from a different persons point of view. A few pamper bits he got me was the Lush Snow Fairy Sparkle Jar which is a massage bar, it smells gorgeous! I wasn't expecting anything from Lush and it's nice to try something different from there because I tend to just buy their bath bombs. And he also got me the Imperial Leather Foamburst in the scent Lime and Grapefruit. I always look at these in Superdrug but never buy them so I can't wait to use this, what a refreshing scent too. A few other bits he got me were a Cinnamon Sugared Doughnut Candle which I've been after for a while, a little Trolls keyring (YES!) a jam set (I've been eyeing these up for so long!) my favourite Peach Fanta, Toblerone Fruit and Nut, a huge bar of Cadbury and a stocking full of little chocolates and american sweets. He totally spoilt me and I love every single thing. We don't go all out and get each other fancy things, just DVDs, books, food, that sort of thing and it couldn't be any better.
I pretty much got straight on with Christmas Dinner after opening our presents and I think it ended up being the best yet! Roast chicken, beef dripping yorkshire puddings, honey glazed parsnips and carrots, stuffing, chipolatas wrapped in bacon and of course roast potatoes, it was incredible. This year I followed a Jamie Oliver recipe for the perfect roast potatoes and they really were the best ever, I don't think I'll ever do them any other way now. Dessert was Raspberry Roulade which is one of my absolute favourites and then we ended up just watching films and napping, because is it really Christmas Day without a nap?
We finished the day with leftover sandwiches, a glass of wine and all the Christmas soaps on TV. The Christmas specials of Eastenders and Coronation Street make my day each year 😂 It was just the best, every year it seems to get better and better and it was exactly what we needed after a rough few months. I'm already so sad it's over though, so much build up for it all and then it goes by so quickly! I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Did you have a good Christmas? Did you get anything special?

Similar Posts - Christmas 2016 // Christmas 2015

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Friday, 22 December 2017

We Got Married!

Finally! After literally years talking about it on my blog, me and George finally went and got married! I really wasn't sure what I was going to say and when I'd say it but today felt right and I couldn't keep something like this away from my blog for too long.
We got married on the 20th of December 2017, late afternoon and it was everything we had hoped for. Just us and two witnesses, that was all we wanted. We had known for a long time we didn't want a fuss, all we wanted was to be married and have the same last name and be a proper tiny little family of our own. It didn't matter about the venue, the clothes, a cake, anything like that, so we kept it really simple. We had a registry office wedding, both in quite casual clothes, though I did have some pretty stunning shoes (which wrecked my feet) and we got cake from Patisserie Valerie afterwards. 

I know to some people that might seem really random and not very weddingey (if that's a word) at all but we really didn't want a big thing and for us it really was perfect. I know we'll look back one day and be happy with how we did it because it was our way, we didn't fall into the pressure of inviting everyone and spending loads of money, and we had waited for it for such a long time. We booked it months ago and managed to keep it a secret so when the day finally arrived, it didn't even feel real! After being engaged for 3 years, it was just the right time and I'm so happy we're finally husband and wife. I can't stop looking at my wedding ring, it goes so well with my engagement one and they are just beautiful, exactly what I wanted. Of course planning a wedding no matter how small is stressful and there were definitely things in the run up to it that I couldn't stop thinking about but on the day it literally all went away, I don't think I'd ever felt so calm and relaxed. It just felt right. I still can't believe it's real!

I don't really think there is too much else to say at the moment, and I don't want this post to go on for ages, we're just really happy and so excited now for Chrismas! Maybe early next year I'll talk about how we planned it all and the makeup I wore, things like that, if anyone would be interested. I just wanted to get this post up now before Christmas as it's just such an exciting time and I couldn't keep it in any longer. I'm hoping to get back to blogging some time next week but for now I'm going to enjoy a well deserved break over Christmas and hopefully come back raring to go again soon! 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and to those who have already said Congratulations and sent well wishes, thank you so much!

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Thursday, 21 December 2017

Would You Rather - Christmas Edition...

I was recently tagged by the lovely Louisa to take part in the Would You Rather Christmas Tag, and these sorts of posts are always so fun to write so I couldn't wait to get it up! I'm not tagging anyone specific as it's so close to Christmas now but feel free to copy the questions if you would like to take part. 
Eat Brussel Sprouts or Cauliflower Cheese?
I love Cauliflower Cheese so I would always choose that.

Have Twinkling Lights or Still Lights?
Probably still lights.

Eat Gingerbread or Ferrero Rocher?
OMG I love both. Probably Ferrero Rocher though.

Open Presents With Immediate Family or With All Of Your Family?
Immediate family. I always feel so under pressure when I open presents to have the right reaction 😂

Cook Christmas Dinner or Don't Eat Christmas Dinner At All?
I've made Christmas Dinner for the last few years so it doesn't really make a difference to me, I love doing the cooking on Christmas day.

Have A Real Christmas Tree or A Fake One?
A fake one, I couldn't deal with having to hoover all of the time around the tree.

Use Blue, Yellow, White or Multi Coloured Lights? 
I tend to just have white lights on the tree.

Eat Mince Pies or Christmas Pudding?
Neither? I'm not a fan of either of them but if I had to choose I'd probably say Mince Pies as you can get so many different types now.

Wake Up At 6am or 10am?
10am, I love my sleep too much and as we don't have kids there isn't really a reason to get up too early.

Drink Champagne or Hot Chocolate?
This is difficult! I don't really drink much so champagne would be very nice at Christmas but you also can't beat hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows 😍

Eat Heroes or Roses?
I love all the tubs of Christmas chocolate but I'd probably choose Heroes out of these two.

Get A Puppy or A Kitten For Christmas?
A puppy, without a doubt. I'd love any pet to be honest but it's my dream to have a dog over the next few years so that would be amazing. 

Watch Elf or Home Alone?
Elf is one of my all time favourite Christmas films so always that!

Only Be Able To Listen To Christmas Music All Year Round or Never Hear A Christmas Song Again?
I think it would get very annoying if you had to listen to it all year round, so I'd probably say never listen to it again!

Wake Up Bright and Early and Get All The Boxing Day Sale Goodies or Stay Warm and Cosy In Bed Wearing Your New Christmas Pyjamas?
Stay warm and cosy in bed! If there is anything I want to pick up in the sales, I just look online.

I always love would you rather questions, so let me know if you take part so I can read your answers. I can't believe Christmas is only a few days away. I have one more post going up tomorrow and then that's it until afterwards, this year has gone so fast!

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Wednesday, 20 December 2017

My Christmas Playlist...

Oh I'm feeling so festive at the moment! All of the decorations are up, we've had a Christmassy trip to London, the spare room is full of tubs of chocolate, and I'm just ready for it all now. One of my favourite things about the festive period is all of the music, isn't it just the best when you start hearing it in the shops and on TV adverts? I love it and at the moment I've got so many songs just on repeat each day. As I've posted a few playlists on my blog, my most recent being this musical one, I thought I would list a few of my favourite festive songs that I tend to go always go back to each year!
1. Elton John - Step Into Christmas
2. Michael Buble - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
3. Leona Lewis - One More Sleep
4. Michael Buble - Santa Clause Is Coming To Town
5. Kelly Clarkson - Underneath The Tree
6. Wham - Last Christmas
7. Chris Rea - Driving Home For Christmas
8. Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas
9. Coldplay - Christmas Lights
10. Gabriella Aplin - The Power Of Love
11. Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
12. East 17 - Stay Another Day
13. Michael Buble and Idina Menzel - Baby It's Cold Outside
14. Dean Martin - A Marshmallow World
15. The Pogues - Fairytale Of New York
16. Michael Buble - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
17. Sia - Ho Ho Ho

What's on your Christmas playlist? Do you love any of these?

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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Food I Have Been Loving This Week #23

It's the last Food I Have Been Loving This Week post of the year! I've posted quite a lot of these year but I've absolutely loved it. I always like putting together these posts as they are just full of the best food and I can't wait for more next year! People seem to enjoy reading them too which is nice and I keep them very real, I like to show so many different things. I've included quite a few things this time as it's the last one for a while so it's a bit longer than usual.
Cups Of Tea - I've gone through so many cups of tea over the last few weeks! This cold weather just makes me want to get so snug and cosy in the evening with a hot drink and biscuits. You just can't beat it and it always makes me feel so calm and ready for bed in the evening.

Toad In The Hole - This is a meal I've probably only made 2 or 3 times but it's always so tasty! It might not look the best and I definitely wasn't sure whether to include a picture or not, but it tasted good and that's all that matters. The sausages look a bit burnt but trust me they weren't, they are the best sausages ever (Asda Extra Special Cumberland ones, try them!) and who doesn't love a massive yorkshire pudding? We had this a few weeks ago now and it was such a perfect winter meal on a cold evening and so filling.

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken - I posted a recipe for this a while ago which I'll leave here if you want to give it a try. This is one of those meals that takes so little effort and time and is a bit of a life saver for the days when you just can't be bothered. I chuck chicken, chopped tomatoes and a load of different herbs and spices in the slow cooker and just leave it on high for at least 4 hours. It's a meal that if you leave it cooking for longer, it only makes it even better. The chicken becomes so juicy and just breaks apart. It's lovely with rice and is definitely one of my go to slow cooker meals.

Crosstown Doughnuts - I couldn't do my last one of these posts for a while without mentioning the amazing doughnuts we had when we were in London in November. I've mentioned these before in posts like this and I'm sure I will again in future because they are just delicious. Crossdown Doughnuts really are the best, they do so many different ones and are so worth the money. Last time we went we got a Glazed Vanilla one which is so simple but incredible and a Chocolate Truffle one which is like the ultimate indulgence. I'm already missing them.

Hotel Chocolate - When I did a bit of shopping in London while George was working, I popped in Hotel Chocolate and decided to pick up a few bits. I very rarely get anything from there because it can be expensive but they had so many chocolates on offer for 3 for £10 so I picked some up and they were gorgeous. One of the packets I got was the Praline Collection and each chocolate in their was gorgeous. I'm going to have to go back soon and get us more.

Slimming World Chilli - I have become a little bit obsessed with Chilli over the last month or so! We've made it countless times. Chilli has been a favourite of mine for ages anyway but recently I've just wanted to make it all the time, and it's a meal that I think does get better every time I make it. It's so simple to do and really doesn't require much effort which is always a bonus, and I always find it so filling.

Dominos Pizza - Something else we had in London was Dominos! I've mentioned before that it's almost a little tradition of ours now to have it whenever we go to London because they don't deliver to our flat at home and we miss it so much! It's probably good they don't deliver to us as I'm sure we'd get it far too much, but it's always a nice treat when we have it in London. We had pizza, garlic bread, wedges, and cookies and it was just amazing after a long day out.

Marks & Spencers Crisps - Okay I have a serious addiction to these Marks and Spencers Onion Ring Crisps at the moment! I picked a packet up a while ago as they were about 90p and I just love crisps but I've genuinely not stopped thinking about them since. I've picked a few bags up since and I go through them so quickly it's embarrassing. I don't know what it is about them but I just love them, it's an actual problem.

I absolutely love writing these posts and hope you're looking forward to more next year. Food is just my best friend 😂

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Monday, 18 December 2017

A Little Chemist4u Beauty and Essentials Haul*

A few weeks ago I ordered a few bits from Chemist4U so why not do a little haul?! I'd seen this store online quite a few times so I was very happy to have the chance to order a few bits and I got such a range of things! Chemist4U are an online pharmacy and they stock just about everything you could possibly need from haircare to skincare to beauty and so much more so keep reading if you want to know what I picked up.
I first started with some essentials rather than going straight for the beauty stuff! The first thing I picked up was the T-Zone Spot Zapping Gel which I absolutely love! I reviewed this a while ago along with some other Newtons Labs products and this was the best out of them all. I had ran out and as it's only 75p I had to get another. I then got myself a fresh pack of Simply Venus Disposable Razors because these are something I always forget to repurchase until I'm in the shower and the razor is on it's last legs. I love packets like this as they are so cheap and personally I think they work just as well as the more expensive ones. These were £2.25. I then spotted the Carex Handwash in the scent Strawberry Laces which I couldn't turn down. I'm really into getting the cool scented hand washes at the moment, we most recently had a Love Hearts one and that was so sweet. Things like this are perfect to stock up on for the bathroom. This was £1.98.
I couldn't order a few essentials and miss George out so I got a few bits for him too. I was pleasantly surprised at the range of products available for men and the brands which were on offer! I got his favourite body spray which is the Original Old Spice and this was £2.41 which is actually the cheapest I've seen it in a while. I then stocked up on some shower gel for him and I went for the Ginseng and Cracked Pepper Imperial Leather one which was £1.20 and it smells so nice! The last thing I decided to get for George was actually an aftershave as I thought it would be a nice little gift and it really wasn't too pricey. The David Beckham Homme one was £8.49 which I think is amazing for such a big name. Aftershaves and perfumes tend to cost the world in most shops now so I was really happy to see so many available for such a good price. Definitely worth considering for some last minute shopping!
The last 'essential' bits I decided to get were my usual Alberto Balsam Shampoo and Conditioner. This brand is just fab and one I go back to time and time again. These are so cheap yet leave my hair feeling amazing and just as good as it does when I use more expensive brands. I went for the Tea Tree scent as it's so refreshing! These were around £1 each.
Now onto the exciting stuff! I only got myself 3 beauty bits because I really didn't need much but I'm so happy with what I got. First of all I had to have a look at the nail polish as I'd heard before they do some really big brands. I found some OPI polishes for just a few pound each which is amazing as these are usually so expensive. I got two nail polishes in the shades Christmas Gone Plaid and First Class Desires which are both perfect winter colours. I then treated myself to a new lipstick as it's something I never ever buy! I chose the Max Factor Elixir Lipstick in the shade Burnt Caramel which is gorgeous! It looks so pretty on and it's definitely one of those your lips but better colours. I think this will be my go to lipstick for a long time. This was £4.49 too and the polishes were £2.99 each.
I am so impressed with Chemist4U and love everything I got! It was great to stock up on some essentials ready for when we next run out and I also found some great bargains with the makeup and the aftershave. It was good to see so many big brands that you'd find in places like Boots and Superdrug all for really reasonable prices. They do such a variety of things so I definitely recommend having a quick look if you're still in need of a few xmas presents.

*I was provided with a voucher to purchase whatever I liked. I only work with brands relevant to me and my blog

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Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Horror Films You Need To Watch...

I know for the huge amount of people who love a good horror film, there are so many that couldn't think of anything worse, so if you're someone who doesn't like them, this post probably isn't for you! I personally love them, I don't know if it's the suspense of them that gets me, never knowing what's going to happen next, or if it's genuinely just that stories are quite interesting, I just love them and have some real favourites now after watching loads and loads over the last few years. I've never actually done a post like this before for horrors which is odd but I just thought I'd write about a few of the ones I like to re-watch and I'd love to know if you like them too.
1. The Conjuring - I think all of the films in the conjuring series so far are brilliant. The conjuring series has the original conjuring which is about demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren helping a family who are experiencing disturbing events at their home in the 1970s. So many creepy things happen throughout and some parts kind of genuinely terrify me. Because the first film was so good I really hoped the second one would be, but I actually think I prefer it. In the second film, the Warrens are back but this time they're in London and the whole film is based on true events, the Enfield Poltergeist case. I think because the second film is about something that a lot of people know about and is so close to home, it almost made it scarier. It was strange to watch something, that people claim happened in real life. Also in the conjuring series is Annabelle and Annabelle Creation, both based on the doll we see in the first conjuring film. I'm so glad they made these films as I thought the story for both was so interesting. There are supposed to be a few more films coming out yet in the series so I can't wait for those.

2. The Purge - I'm not sure if you can technically count The Purge series as horror and it's not really that they're scary but I did feel they were worth a mention in this post. I think the reason I find these three films so creepy is because it does genuinely feel like something like it could happen one day, and that's pretty terrifying. If you've not seen any of them before, the three purge films are all based on this one day a year in America where for 12 hours absolutely anything is legal. Any crime you commit in those 12 hours, is basically fine. The first film is based around one family who try to completely protect themselves from it all until several people manage to get into their house and it's then all about who manages to survive. The second one was a little bit different in that it was more about people who still out once the purge had started and if/how they manage to get to safety. There is a part in this film that always makes my heart race and it's quite near the beginning, a couple are on their way home but their car breaks down, the siren goes off to signal the start of the purge and you can see these people looking at them ready to chase them with weapons and they have no choice but to just run to safety. Every single time it terrifies me as I can't imagine what you would do in that situation! The third film is based on an election set in 2040. A woman running for president witnessed her whole family get killed when she was young in a previous purge so she's campaigning to end it all. There is obviously more to the story and it's not as straight forward as that but it was just as good as the previous two. Highly recommend all three of these if you haven't seen them.

3. Paranormal Activity - I think the paranormal activity films are a bit of a classic now aren't they? I remember going to see the first few in the cinema and full on screaming at one point which always makes me cringe when I think back to it but they are so jumpy! These are all sort of supernatural horror films and the first one is centered around young couple Katie and Micah who are haunted by a presence in their home. The second one then ties in with that and we see the presence now haunting Katie's sister and as the films go on we find out more and more about why they are the ones that have been picked and how it all started. I think there are 4 or 5 films in total and then a few spinoffs but the main ones are all linked and it's actually really interesting to see how it's all connected. They're probably not the best horrors ever and I think at times they do go on a bit before anything happens but are still worth watching, and definitely a little creepy! They always freak me out a bit.

4. Scream - A bit of a different horror series now and probably not that scary but a cult classic. The scream films have been out for years and years now, and there is 4 in total, and all pretty good I think! I remember years ago when I first used to stay over at Georges for the weekend we got through all the films or the majority of them and now whenever I see they're on TV, I like to watch them. The films are all about a girl called Sidney Prescott and her battle against a succession of murderers who adopt the disguise of Ghostface to stalk and torment their victims. She is supported in the films by TV reporter Gale Weathers, played by Courteney Cox and it's so strange to see her in something other than Friends! There's a reason these films are so popular and did so well, they might not necessarily be that scary but they are jumpy at times and keep you wondering who the murderers are and who's going to be next. If you've not given these a watch yet, definitely do, they are just classic horror films.

I've watched so many different horrors recently and loads of new ones but I felt like these were all ones worth mentioning, even if I haven't described them all very well! They are all quite popular anyway so most people might have seen these but a lot of horrors that come out now tend to be more funny than scary, whereas some of these are just brilliant and you can see why they all do so well. I'd love to know if you've seen any of these? Are you a fan of horror films?

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Friday, 15 December 2017

Pago Premium Fruit Juices Review*

A few weeks ago the people over at Pago sent me a pack of their premium fruit juice to try and I couldn't wait to get this review up about them! Pago are dedicated to providing the best premium fruit juice in the UK and are clearly very popular with a lot of people as they've been going for over 125 years and are sold in over 30 countries! I was lucky enough to choose a flavour out of the wide variety they do and I went for Peach as I'm all about anything peach flavoured!
The first thing I noticed about these when I had a look on their website was how much they reminded me of holidays abroad. They are exactly the sort of thing I used to find in little shops and in hotels on holiday years and years ago and just the look of the little green bottle instantly took me back. As I've already said Pago Juices have been going for such a long time now, being created in Austria many years ago and now expanding into lots of European countries, and it's easy to see why. Their juice drinks are all produced from natural ingredients which are sourced from only the best producers in the world and they have so many delicious flavours to choose from ranging from Cloudy Apple to Mango to Pineapple to Pink Grapefruit and so many more! There is literally something for everyone.

It was obvious to me straight away I had to try the Peach flavour and it really hasn't disappointed me. This is made from carefully selected tree-ripened peaches and the flavour is just perfect. It doesn't feel full of sugar or artificial in anyway, just pure fruit and it's so refreshing. The ripe peaches create a really silky juice, no bits which I was very happy about, and very smoothie like so perfect to grab in the morning. I was actually a little surprised when I first tried it as I didn't expect it to be so much like a smoothie but as I do love them, just don't like making them, this only makes them even better. That along with them being are so convenient to drink early in the morning or take on the go with you to work makes them a really great little drink.
Something I really like about these little green bottles of juice is that they can actually be used for far more than just drinking! On the Pago website you can find a variety of recipes, even some from bloggers, and so many of them look amazing! You can add it to Ice Cream or Frozen Yoghurt which I think would be an extremely refreshing dessert in the summer! or you can experiment with cocktails maybe if you have a night with friends planned? They even have ideas on food pairings with information on why certain flavours of juice go with certain meals. So many things I had no idea about.

Me and George got through these bottles so quickly (he absolutely loved them!) and I won't hesitate to pick up more in future. I'm really excited to try out so more of the flavours as they all look so tasty. If you would like to try any, Pago can be found in a range of bars, restaurants, cafes and delis throughout the country and there is information on the website of how to buy online. Something great about buying Pago if you're in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire is that 24p per case gets donated to Weston Park Charity! Such a great cause and a brilliant idea so definitely worth thinking about.
Have you ever tried anything from Pago before? What flavour would you choose?

*Products sent for the purpose of this review. I only work with brands relevant to me and my blog

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Thursday, 14 December 2017

Birchbox Unboxing and Review - December 2017...

I've been posting Birchbox unboxing and reviews since August but it's time for my final one. When I joined the free gift was too good to miss out on but I never intended to stay for ages. I thought I'll just get a few and then leave it but I've ended up sticking with it for nearly 6 months! Most of the boxes have been quite mixed and a few have been quite disappointing so I just didn't think it was worth the money anymore and this close to Christmas, I don't just want to be wasting it. I thought I would do a final review of the December box on my blog and then if I join any other subscription things next year I'll start them up again.
As always with Birchbox, the box has such a stunning design! That's one thing I love about them, each of the boxes are so handy for storing things and look lovely so they never go to waste. This month they've teamed up with Matthew Williamson and the box is beautiful. This will be going with the others in the spare room and will be so useful for storage in the new year. Each month you get to choose a product out of two and you also get told what the other product is that everyone gets, the rest is then a surprise. This month the product everyone got was a Spectrum brush and the product I chose out of two lip products was the Pixi Lip Balm. I loved the look of the Lip Balm as it's a really subtle colour and as it's a balm it should be really nourishing too. I've always wanted to try something from Pixi so I am really happy with this. The Spectrum brush looks okay but it's more for eyeshadow and I just don't ever wear it. I'm sure I'll find use for it for maybe concealer or highlighter? and it is a very good brand so I don't want it to just go to waste. I did receive another Spectrum brush a few months ago though so it does seem like a bit of a repeat. A product I didn't know I was getting was the Model Co Contour Stick. This was an option a few months ago, you could either have this or a mascara and I went for the mascara because I know a contour stick just wouldn't be used, so it's a little disappointing to now get it so close afterwards. My first impression with this box was that it seemed like anything that was sort of leftover from previous boxes was just put in.
I then got a few skincare bits, the first one being a Detoxify and Brighten Pink Clay Mask. I'm really into face masks at the moment so I'm sure I'll give this a try at some point but as I've already got so many in a cupboard left to use I'm not sure when I'll get round to it. Lastly there was Caramelised Honey Body Scrub which smells lovely. It's so, so sweet but I think it will be really nice to use. I love body scrubs but don't currently have one so I'll be using this soon. I like the little pot it comes in but that did mean the box didn't close properly and is now a little damaged. It's just something else that makes me think not much care or thought was put into this one for some reason? I don't know, I think I'm being quite harsh but it's disappointing when you spend money on something and it's a bit of a let down.
As with most of my Birchboxes, I've got very mixed feelings about this one. I love the look of the lip balm and the scrub but the others are all a little 'meh' if that makes sense. I know boxes like this are hit and miss and you can't expect everything to be to your taste but from what other people have said too, it does seem like a lot of repeat products and samples are just put in and not much thought is always there. I am glad I gave it a go though and luckily my November box was brilliant. I have tried out some great products over the last few months so it's not all bad and it's not put me off trying another beauty box in future. I'm just not sure I'll be heading back to Birchbox for a while!

I'd love to know if you've felt the same about beauty boxes before? Are you subscribed to any?

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Iluma Intense Brightening Exfoliating Powder Review*

Skincare is something I've really, really got into over the last few months. I now have some sort of actual routine with it and over time I've added in a few different products that have all done wonders for my skin. The latest being the Iluma Intense Brightening Exfoliating Powder from Image Skincare.
I actually meant to blog about this around Halloween as it contains pumpkin enzymes and it just made sense to talk about it then, but as couriers just don't like my flat it didn't arrive in time. No fault of anyone though really, sometimes things like just can't be helped but as it's a product that can be used all year round, it's definitely still worth telling you all about!

Image Skincare are a clinical skincare brand all about making sure you have the healthiest skin possible from their safe, proven ingredients and smart botanicals. Their Iluma Exfoliating Powder really intrigued me as it's nothing like I've ever used before! First of all I love the packaging. The packaging of a product is really important for me, if it doesn't look attractive I'm very unlikely to buy it but this is really striking and stands out because of the purple detail. It's very easy to hold and use and doesn't require much effort at all as part of your skincare routine. The way to use this is to shake a small amount into wet hands and activate it by rubbing them together, this forms a light foam and can then be gently massaged into skin. I tend to use this in the morning as it really wakes me up and leaves me feeling refreshed and then sometimes I'll use in the evening too along with my DHC Cleansing Oil and Indeed Labs products.
I love an exfoliater and always enjoy using them but as I'd never used anything like this before, I really had no idea how it would feel and what effects it would have on my skin, if any. The main thing this is supposed to do is remove any debris and oil from pores but also provide hydration and age-defying benefits to your skin. When first using this, I noticed immediately how much clearer my skin looked. I know it's not possible for spots and pores to go away after just one use but my skin really did look so much better, like there was a brand new layer if that makes sense. Not only did it look much brighter and healthier, it also felt it. My skin was genuinely so soft to touch and I really did feel that it had hydrated it and got rid of any bacteria. Everytime I use this, I straight away feel so much better about my skin, it just looks fresh and I can tell the product has actually done something! One thing I did like about this was the smell, which is unusual for a skincare product. It really does smell like cake! As it has pumpkin enzymes in it, it really does have that scent and even though I'm not usually the biggest fan of anything pumpkin scented, this is really nice. It is just like baked goods and who doesn't love that?!
Overall, I'm so impressed with this and it's been a welcome addition to my little skincare cabinet! This is definitely different to your usual exfoliaters but so worth trying it. It's a different way of adding exfoliation to your skincare routine that makes your skin look much brighter and healthier, and it also smells pretty amazing! What's not to love?

Have you tried anything from Image Skincare before?

*Product sent for the purpose of this post. I only work with brands relevant to me and my blog

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Influenster Voxbox - Real Techniques PowderBleu Collection...

I GOT MY FIRST INFLUENSTER VOXBOX! I felt like I had been waiting so long for this. I signed up to Influenster a while ago after I saw quite a few bloggers having success with it. If you're not sure what I'm on about, Influenster is basically another network that can get you working with brands and trying out new products, and to be picked all you have to do is complete as many surveys as possible and leave reviews on products you've used in the past. I'd just about given up on it as I just didn't seem to be getting picked for anything and then one day I had an email saying my Real Techniques Voxbox was on the way! So if you're unsure of whether to carry on with it, DO! I think people are just kind of picked at random so definitely stick with it.
I was so happy to receive this box as Real Techniques are my go to brush brand and I don't often buy new makeup for myself. I'd seen the PowderBleu collection online before but at around £22 a brush, they were just too out of my price range and I never thought I'd get the chance to try them. Luckily I was sent 4 brushes from the collection - Soft Complexion Brush, Soft Powder Brush, Soft Finishing Brush and Soft Shadow Brush, so let me tell you what I think of them all!
First of all, aren't they the most stunning brushes?! I love the dark navy blue colour of them, they are so striking and look beautiful in photos. You can also tell when you hold them how good quality they are, they are quite heavy but comfortable and the actual brush is so incredibly soft. I've been using all four of these as part of my makeup routine and they have all been brilliant. I use the B03 Complexion Brush first for my foundation and it applies it so well! It has a domed, dense head so is great for buffing and blending foundation onto the skin but it can also be used for powder too. When I use this I find my base stays for so much longer and at the end of the day my makeup is in a much better condition than usual.

The next brush I tend to use is the B04 Shadow Brush. I don't really ever wear eyeshadow but this can also be used for concealer and even highlighter. I've been using this to blend any concealer under my eyes and then I tend to go back to it later to dust a bit of highlighter over my cheekbones. I've found it's brilliant for both and now I don't know what I'd do without it as it's so versatile.
I then go for the B02 Finishing Brush as it's great for contouring! I don't know how but everytime it picks up the perfect amount of product and gently sweeps on. It's really good for blending and as it's such a soft brush it doesn't feel like I'm putting loads and loads on my face! I then sometimes use this for blusher too and then I'll use the brush I mentioned before for highlight. The last brush I use is the B01 Powder Brush which is perfect for adding that finishing touch to your makeup. I use this to apply a bit of powder everywhere and really blend in my bronzer and blusher and it's just excellent. Again as I've already said, as it's so soft and light I don't worry about applying loads to my face and it just buffs everything together so well.
Overall I just love these brushes! They are definitely the best I've ever used and are so worth the money. They are pricey but if you want to invest in some new makeup brushes, then these have to be the ones you go for. All of them can be used for a variety of things so you can get multiple uses out of them and they also just look extremely pretty and would be gorgeous on a dressing table!

If you want to give Real Techniques brushes a go, they are available at Boots and Superdrug and they have so many to choose from.

Are Real Techniques your fave too?

*Products sent complimentary via Influenster. I only work with brands relevant to me and my blog. Affiliate links used in this post

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Friday, 8 December 2017

Birthday Wishlist 2018...

I might have only put my Christmas Wishlist up a few weeks ago but it's actually my birthday at the start of January so I really wanted to do one for that too. I've got so many other posts planned for the final few weeks of 2017 so this had to go up a bit early. As I said in my previous wislist, I really don't expect much at all, I just love spending time with people and to be honest I'm not usually that much of a fan of my birthday. I'm feeling a bit more positive than last year though and I'm hoping it's going to be a good day!
I've found a few things online which I would absolutely love from places like Paperchase, New Look, Home Bargains and more so keep reading if you want to know what's on my wishlist.
My Mindful Mind Journal - I saw this book while I was in Covent Garden a few weeks ago and instantly thought it was something I need to have! It's a little journal that is all about embracing mindfulness and encouraging you to live in the moment, through various different prompts. There are sections for you to write about things you love about yourself, choosing a song and really listening to the lyrics and so many other sections. I just think it would be so interesting to go through and would make me have a bit of time out each day!

Black Boots - I recently bought a pair of black jeans which I haven't had for such a long time and now I'm desperate for some black boots to go with them for winter. I have a few other pairs of boots and shoes that go with my other jeans but I just don't think they go with the black and I'm a little bit fussy sometimes! I've found a few pairs recently that I like for quite good prices including these Suedette Slouch ones and these Western ones.

Red Tartan Scarf - Sticking with the winter theme, I'd love another chunky scarf. It's so cold at the moment and whenever I go out I like to be wrapped up well so a scarf is a must. I have a few already but one I don't have is a proper red tartan scarf and I just think they look so nice on. I'd love one a bit similar to this one from Asos but I know places like Primark do them for much cheaper.

Letter Board From Home Bargains - I've seen these letterboards all over for months and months now but I've always thought they are just too expensive and wouldn't be worth it. That was until I knew Home Bargains had brought one out for only £5.99! They look pretty big aswell and you can choose either copper or silver, and I would just love one of these for the spare room. I think it would make a pretty good blog prop too!

Susannah Constantine After The Snow Book - I'm really trying to get back into reading at the moment as I used to absolutely love it. I don't spend as much time now getting lost in a book as like most people, I'm just always on my phone, but whenever I do, I enjoy it so much. One book I'd really like to read is called After The Snow by Susannah Constantine. I saw an interview with her recently on Loose Women and she was explaining the story and I just felt like it was a book I had to get. I'm not sure why, it's just one I think would be so interesting and a really different one to what I have at the moment.

Paddington 2 DVD - I'm not sure if this will be out on DVD by the time my birthday comes around as it only came out in cinemas at the start of November but if it is, I would love it. I'm such a big fan of the films and the first one I put on quite a lot because it makes me so happy, so I'd love the second one too. I think it's one I could watch over and over, and it's just as good as the first!

Address Book - This might seem like a bit of a random thing to want but we desperately need an address book! Every year we have the same dilemma where we're not sure where we've written everyones addresses down so when it comes to Christmas cards and Birthday cards, it can be a bit of a struggle! I've literally just written them all down again in a specific notebook so hopefully we'll remember next time but a proper little address book would just be a bit of a life saver! I really like this one from Paperchase but to be honest any cheap one would do, an address book is just that isn't it?

Pop Tarts - Another one that might seem a bit random but it's kind of a tradition that every year either at Christmas or for our birthdays, me and George will get each other Pop Tarts. I've no idea why or how this started but we both love them and there are so many different flavours available now, that there is always a new one to try! To be honest I love the plain strawberry ones and chocolates ones a lot but they do have some amazing american ones now too which I'm never going to turn down!

Toblerone Fruit and Nut - I am a Toblerone fiend. I love it so much! I love it all year round but especially at Christmas. The milk and the dark ones are my favourite but I saw recently, in WHSmith I think, that they now have a fruit and nut one. I love Cadbury Fruit and Nut so I know I would love this. It's like two of my favourite things put together. I would love love love to try this.

Wicked Mug - I really don't need more mugs, it's actually becoming a bit of a problem but one I would really, really love to unwrap would be this Wicked one. When we went in January to see the show for the second time, I kept looking at these mugs but decided I didn't need it. That was until the end of the show and I thought no I have to have it, got to the counter and they had completely sold out. I so wish I'd just got one at the start now! They sell them on the official Wicked website so I would love to have it one day, even if not quite for my birthday as I do have a cupboard full already.

So, that's just about everything I could think of this year. After a pretty difficult year I'm just looking forward to 2018 and a good birthday, full of cake probably!

*Affiliate links used in this post

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Thursday, 7 December 2017

How I'm Prepping For Christmas And A Hello Fresh Giveaway*

I'm sure I've said this in many posts over the last few weeks but how fast has this year gone?! I genuinely can't get over that we're in December now and Christmas is only a few weeks away. As Christmas is just around the corner I'm really trying to get sorted now and I've been prepping for a good few weeks so I've teamed up with Hello Fresh to tell you all about it! Keep reading to see how I'm preparing for the festive season and I also have a giveaway at the end of this post where you can win your own classic box!
HOW I'M PREPPING FOR CHRISTMAS
One thing I've been doing for a few weeks now in preperation for Christmas, is stocking up early! This is something I do every year and it just makes life much easier. Once the Christmas food comes out in shops, I start picking bits up each week in the food shop and I store anything I can in our spare room. It means that room looks like a bomb has hit it for a while but it's worth it. I like to get as many tubs of chocolate, bags of crisps, bottles of bucks fizz etc as possible, so not only are we prepared in plenty of time, it also spreads the cost out really well! I dread to think what our food shop would cost the week of Christmas if I didn't do this each year. I also like to get any frozen stuff we need a few weeks in advance so things like pigs in blankets, vegetables etc don't even really need to be thought about until the day. This means when we get our Christmas food shop we can just focus on all of the fresh stuff we need and we don't need to worry about things not been in stock and missing out.
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- Something else I like to do to prepare for Christmas and save as much money as possible is try and earn vouchers. I mentioned this in my latest money saving post but sites where you can earn money and vouchers for doing surveys is brilliant for this time of year. I've managed to get loads over the last few months and it's meant that I've been able to get bits from places like Marks and Spencers for absolutely nothing and it's been such a massive help.

- The last thing I'm currently thinking about now for Christmas Day is all of the timings for Christmas dinner! The food is one of the best bits of the day isn't it? so I want to get it right and I always like to try and out do the year before. I'm already thinking about what I'll be cooking first and what will need to defrost, just to make everything a little easier for me on the day. There's no doubt about it, making Christmas dinner can be such a stressful thing but it really doesn't have to be this year as Hello Fresh have put together a Cheat Sheet to help you with it all. Their Christmas Dinner Guide tells you everything you need to know about preparing the feast, including important timings and recipes for perfect roast potatoes, a delicious turkey and even a secret gravy recipe!
GIVEAWAY!
Now onto the giveaway which I'm sure wouldn't go amiss in the run up to Christmas.Why not take the stress off for a few meals of the week with Hello Fresh? No need to worry about popping to the shops or coming up with exciting meals, one of their boxes has it all sorted for you. All you have to do to have a chance of winning is enter the giveaway below, complete as many entries as you would like but the mandatory one is for you to go and download the cheat sheet. Open to residents of the UK and over 18's only.

GOOD LUCK!
Have you started prepping for Christmas?!

*Sponsored post. I only work with brands relevant to me and my blog

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