Tuesday, 30 December 2014

What I Got For Christmas 2014

I know these posts are very controversial, but I love reading them and therefore I think others love reading them too, many of us are nosey and like to see what other people got for Christmas! As always I am not showing off in what I got at all, read if you like these kind of posts and ignore if you don't. I'm ever so grateful for everything everyone bought me and I love it all! I haven't photographed everything, I did get money also and I haven't photographed that either.

I got plenty of chocolate for Christmas, as everyone always does! It's one of the best parts. Even when the beautiful Christmas dinner is gone you still have your chocolates to look forward to. My favourite chocolates are Strawberry, I'm so glad Ryan bought me some from Thorntons and my Mom bought me a cute Quality Street tub of them. I got two Lindt figures, which taste absolutely amazing. I also got a box of Milk Tray, Chocolate Penguins, Lindt Lindor Milk and White, a Giant Wispa and the classic Chocolate Orange. 

In the way of beauty, I got a Cranberry and Pomegranate set with body butter, body lotion, shower gel and a bath puff from my sister. From my other sister I got The Body Shop's Tea Tree Skincare Gift set with cleansing wipes, exfoliating pads, skin clearing lotion and a headband. I also got Bomb Cosmetics Parma Violet shower soap and the Latest in Beauty crackers (which were very exciting!) from my friend. Chloe also bought me the cutest hand cream in a penguin pot, Elegant Touch Little Mix nail wraps in gorgeous designs and L'Oréal Glam Shine Stain in Romy, which is gorgeous. My Auntie and Uncle bought me my favourite mascara, Le Volume De Chanel and I'm so happy to own it again!

I got quite a few gift cards this Christmas as I couldn't think of anything I wanted! I got a Superdrug gift card from my friend, one from New Look from Ryan's family and a few from Victoria's Secret from my Mom, brother and my friend. I can't wait to spend these - as I usually have no money left after Christmas!

I got a few bits of jewellery and a few random bits and pieces for Christmas which I love. Ryan's auntie bought me a lovely red dressing gown and bracelet & necklace set and my cousin and his wife bought me a bracelet with my initial on it. My friend bought me the cutest penguin coin purse and Christmas measuring spoons. Ryan's family also bought me a little penguin, if you haven't guessed by now I'm obsessed with penguins! My friend bought me an amazing Green Day Dookie T-Shirt which I was so happy to open, I love it. Chloe also bought me a head massager which will be amazing after stressful days at college! My brother's girlfriend bought me a cute Alice in Wonderland Diary and a box of Alice in Wonderland pencils. I absolutely love stationery and will get so much use out of them. 

My main presents from my Mom were my Canon 50mm lens for my 600D which I absolutely love and my Little Mermaid Lego, which to be honest I was really excited about because I've never had any Lego! So it's time the big kid came out and played with Little Mermaid lego! She also bought me some of my favourite films on DVD, which included Click, Seeing Double and Clueless.

I absolutely can't get over what Ryan bought me I was so happy! He bought me the most gorgeous Vivienne Westwood earrings, which I can't stop wearing and staring at. I'm obsessed with them! I genuinely wanted to cry with happiness when I opened them. He also bought me Little Big Planet 3 for PS4, which I didn't think I'd be able to buy for a few months, but now I can! (When PSN actually works). I'm ever so happy with what he bought me, both the earrings and the game are amazing.

What did you get for Christmas?
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Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

I'm taking a break until the New Year, as I have now posted 25 times in December! It's taken a lot of work but I have enjoyed sharing my Christmas feelings. I hope you all have an amazing Christmas, I'm definitely excited to be opening my presents and eating my Mom's amazing Christmas dinner. This is my favourite day of the year and I'm so happy! Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have an amazing New Year also.
I thought I'd also update you on what I got in my Smiggle Calendar! I got a pencil sharpener on the 23rd, another crayon on the 24th and a multicolour pen today! You can read my previous posts about the calendar here.
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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Eve Traditions

On Christmas Eve, I think we all have certain traditions we follow. I have a few little traditions that I follow each year, even if they're only small. I always wear a Santa hat the whole of Christmas Eve. I know they make your head all hot and itchy but they're fun! My Christmas jumper is also worn a fair bit on Christmas Eve, because why not?! I'm usually sorting out the last bits for Christmas Day on Christmas Eve, for example giving people their presents. That includes seeing my boyfriend Ryan and swapping each others presents, which is the most exciting part of the day, we take Christmassy photos and watch Christmas films. Another Christmas tradition of mine is opening up the glass bottles of Coke, it tastes so much better in a glass bottle and it reminds me of Christmas. The past few years I've also baked gingerbread or cookies on Christmas eve. This year I decided to pass on that as I don't finish work until 9 and baking after then would be a bit silly the night before Christmas.

What are your Christmas Eve traditions?
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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Baking

Earlier this month I spotted some amazing cookie cutters in Paperchase. They cut on the outside, and imprint the cookie in the middle which I think is amazing. I decided with these I'd make some biscuits, possibly as presents depending on how well they turned out! I used an old Bero recipe book and their recipe for biscuits to make them. I originally wanted to decorate them with white icing and silver balls but due to Christmas being so close I couldn't find any. 
The cutters didn't cut amazingly - I think the designs may have been too intricate and I'm now wishing I'd bought the other Paperchase cutters which were next to these! However they were certainly yummy and they were really easy to make. I was surprised I could find this recipe on the internet, so if you'd like to use it here it is. I can't wait to give these out as presents.
Do you enjoy Christmas baking?
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Monday, 22 December 2014

Smiggle Advent Calendar Part 2

13th December: Stackable Pencil
14th December: Spy Pen
15th December: Green Crayon
16th December: Stackable Crayon
17th December: Slinky
18th December: Orange Gel Pen
19th December: Stacker Stamps
20th December: Crayon
21st December: Bone Highlighter
22nd December: Star Stamp

The majority of the calendar has been quite good and would be quite good for children. It hasn't really wowed me much, but that's probably because I like nice pens and notebooks in the way of 
stationery. That being said, if I was a child I definitely wouldn't have been able to open the windows on this advent calendar, I've found it hard enough as an 18 year old!
On the 13th December I got a stackable pencil which may come in handy at some point, you always need a pencil for something. The Spy Pen on the 14th was slightly different, I don't think I'll ever use one of these again as I outgrew them when I was about 10! They are certainly fun for children though. The Green Crayon on the 15th December is a bit random and I think if I wanted to do some colouring more colours may be nice! On the 16th December I got a stackable crayon, which would help with the day before dilemma only having a green crayon. The Slinky on the 17th has by far been my favourite item in the advent calendar, I used to have hours of fun with slinky's when I was younger and clearly still do.

On the 18th of December I got an orange gel pen. This wasn't too exciting as I already got loads from their launch in the Bullring. The Stacker Stamps I got on the 19th may come in handy when writing birthday cards or things like that for children in my family. On the 20th, I got a crayon, which I originally thought was dried up plasticine, so I definitely was not impressed straight away with that one! I got another bone highlighter for the 21st, which will come in handy as I am a student, when don't you need highlighters! The last thing I got on the 22nd was a star stamp, which I will probably only use for Christmas tags, other than that I'm not really sure.

Overall I think this calendar would be amazing at who it is aimed at, children 6+. It definitely has not excited me as much as I thought it would, especially since I was so wowed by the products in the store. Smiggle, if you're planning on doing one next year, please add the scented pencils into one of the windows!


Saturday, 20 December 2014

Festive Nails

This year for my Christmas nails, I booked an appointment with Rosie (nailsbyrosie) but I couldn't make it due to having work! As I recently bought the Sensationail starter kit, I decided to do my nails myself, not as well but decently! However before using that I thought I'd use some of my favourite Ciaté colours. I used Sugar Plum and Locket, which look Christmassy and remind me of the Sugar Plum Fairy, quite Christmassy feeling. I will be repainting them with my Sensationail starter kit before Christmas Eve so I'll update this post as soon as I do!

What do you do for your Christmas nails?!
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Friday, 19 December 2014

My Favourite Classic Christmas Songs

When I was younger, for me it was all about Christmas carols and older Christmas songs by artists from the 40's and 50's. I knew all the words to all of the Christmas carols and classic children's Christmas songs like Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer, which I loved. I would sing and dance around to these all the time from when I was very small. It's definitely not Christmas without listening to carols and Christmas songs, for me it's also not Christmas without listening to a record or two! It just makes it feel all the more Christmassy because it's so old fashioned.

I also love the pop Christmas classics like 'I wish it could be Christmas everyday' and 'Merry Christmas Everyone', I've been constantly been listening to them on my journeys to work and college everyday. My favourite Christmas album at the moment is 'A Very She & Him Christmas' by She & Him, made up of Zooey Deschanel and M.Ward. They both have really nice voices and their songs sound old fashioned but new at the same time, I love it so much.

What are your favourite Christmas songs?
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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Christmas Candles

There's nothing that smells better than a Christmas scented candle, except Christmas food possibly! Yankee Candles are some of the best out there, everyone loves the way they smell and loves their Christmas scents.

This year I had four to burn. The first was Merry Marshmallow, this isn't pictured because I was too excited to burn it, but I can tell you it smells delicious! This is why I also picked up Fireside Treats, I love the marshmallows sweet smell especially in a candle. The Fireside Treats scent smells exactly like a toasted marshmallow which makes me want to eat it so much.

Gingerbread smells exactly as it says on the candle. Of warm gingerbread cooking in the oven, which is delicious. Last year I made gingerbread on Christmas Eve and the candle smells exactly like that so it reminds me of that! 

The Snowflake Cookie smells exactly like sugary Christmas cookies and it's so sweet I love it! I also love the pink colour, it's so cute.

What's your favourite Christmas candle?
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Birmingham's German Market

Every year since 2008 I have been to the German Market at least twice a year. This year I've been a countless amount of times because of college trips and everything! I first went with my friends when it was first opened, then yesterday I went with my Mom and decided I would write about it!

I love the atmosphere of the German Market and it certainly isn't Christmas if you live in Birmingham and you haven't been at least once in December! I just love walking around and feeling the warm atmosphere from everyone awaiting Christmas time. The stalls laced with decorations, gifts and food make me feel so festive!

The stall I always go to is the Chocolate Fountain Company Stall, I love melted white chocolate over donuts it tastes absolutely delicious! Especially for £2 you can't go wrong. My Mom had one of the spicy sausages from the stand nearest the steps and the town hall, which is always everyone's pick for a German sausage - I don't really eat them personally so I decided to pass on that one! 

The Ferris wheel and Library look gorgeous all lit up, but unfortunately the library had closed so I couldn't take a photo from the outside balcony which I was fairly gutted about.

I'm so happy we have the Frankfurt market in Birmingham to visit, it makes everyone feel that little bit more festive and really gets you ready for the season of giving.

Do you visit the Christmas market in your city/town?
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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Festive Treats

This year for Christmas I decided to finally make Christmas chocolates to give out as presents. I bought some cellophane presentation bags from Lakeland alongside some stickers that say 'Home Made' to put it in, for added effect. The mould for the chocolates I also got from Lakeland, it is clearly the best place to pick up all the baking items you need!

All I did to make the chocolates was melt some Dairy Milk and spoon the chocolate into the moulds. I think when I make them for presents I'll be using a squeezy bottle of some sort to make them a bit neater! I then put them in the fridge to set, as this is what one of the women at Lakeland told me to do. She said to keep the chocolates in the fridge until I'm giving them out, otherwise they will return to their natural state. When I've made these for presents I'll package them up and put them in the fridge until they're ready to go!

Have you ever made home made chocolates?
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Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Memories

Ever since I can remember, I have loved Christmas so much and been forever excited about it all year round. It's never really even the presents I'm super excited for, it's the Christmas feeling you get! My first memory of Christmas is probably when I was at Nursery (see photo above)! I was an angel in the nativity play and I remember it really clearly. I also remember meeting Santa and the Christmas party we had. I can still remember opening one of my Christmas presents extra clearly. It was Christmas Day 2000 and I opened a present containing S Club 7's album '7'. It's still one of my favourite presents and I was so happy with it! 

When I was smaller and decorating the tree, the best feeling ever was being picked up to put the angel on the top of the tree. Also when we used to decorate the tree, me, my Mom and Dad would dance around to Christmas music playing from our many records! Yes, records, I don't think we owned a Christmas CD until about 2002...but records make me all the more nostalgic. 

Every year at school, Christmas was built up to. With Christmas assemblies and plays, it was amazing. Another of my favourite memories was helping to decorate the Christmas tree in primary school, it felt like such a grown up job. The Christmas plays I danced in were also exciting!

What are your favourite Christmas memories?
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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Present Wrapping Ideas

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There are many ways I like to wrap my Christmas presents and I put great care into them all. I wrap presents differently for adults and children, as adults see their presents for longer whilst children only tend to see them on Christmas morning and they tend to be more excited about what is inside! For children's presents I use a child wrapping paper, for example this year I have Frozen, Disney Princess and penguin paper. I'll wrap the present up in the paper and then add a home made tag and a bow.
I like the look of wrapping presents in brown paper, with coloured ribbon, bows and tags. It is a cheaper option and it looks more home made and old fashioned too! At Paperchase they have bauble present toppers which I think would look perfect with that type of wrapping. It also looks extra cute to wrap string around the ribbon for a more rustic look!
Because I tend to buy people more than one present, another favourite idea of mine is when you've bought someone quite a few presents, to wrap them all up separately and tie them all together with ribbon so it looks like a little few parcels! Another idea if you have quite a few presents to give someone is putting them in a gift box with shredded tissue paper, it makes it look like you've gone to loads of effort for their present and people appreciate that!
How do you like to wrap your gifts?
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Saturday, 13 December 2014

Topshop Inspired Party Outfit

Plunge Bandeau Jumpsuit - Ponte Boyfriend Blazer - Lena Platform Sandals - Sequin Bag - Black Stone Collar
I decided to make this mood board as I was lusting after a few items Christmas wise, but I don't actually have a Christmas party to go to so this is a kind of wishlist. I think this would be the perfect outfit for the Christmas season, for parties, nights out, you name it! I love this red jumpsuit, I keep walking into Topshop and admiring it but I could never pull it off, otherwise I'd definitely be buying it right now! I think the oversized boyfriend blazer would be the perfect jacket for it to go with, it would make it look really 80's inspired and I LOVE 80's style. The perfect shoes to go with this I decided were platform sandals, they'd just look gorgeous and add extra classiness and femininity to the outfit. The collar necklace is absolutely gorgeous, I love how chunky it is. This would go so well in that bare space above the neckline of the jumpsuit! Lastly I am lusting over the sequin clutch bag. It is gorgeous and would go with absolutely any outfit, it would also be perfect for New Years!
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Friday, 12 December 2014

Smiggle Advent Calendar

1st December: Puzzle Eraser
2nd December: Mini Purple Gel Pen
3rd December: Bouncy Ball
4th December: Snap Bracelet
5th December: Crayon Eraser
6th December: Dice Eraser
7th December: Another Dice Eraser...
8th December: Stackable Pencil
9th December: Bone Highlighter
10th December: Twisty Eraser
11th December: ABC Stencil Ruler
12th December: Keyring

The Smiggle advent calendar is certainly fun and targeted perfectly towards its audience of children. I recieved this calendar at the Smiggle Bloggers Event last month, which was such a good event! I was excited for this advent calendar. I'm happy to say I'm not extremely disappointed (except from the 7th), even though the calendar is not targeted at my age range!

I have recieved 5 erasers in this advent calendar, which are all shaped quite quirky. I don't really use pencils but I think some of them are cute anyway! I love the crayon one as it is so different, I've never seen one like it. I was a bit disappointed about receiving the dice eraser twice, unless it is meant to be like that for a pair of dice but I don't really need two. Smiggle is aimed at children and as a child I would've used the erasers constantly.

I got a purple gel pen on the 2nd which was great as it was purple and that's my favourite colour. I'd use this to write gift tags for peoples birthdays as it's more fun than writing in a plain biro.  On the 3rd I got a bouncy ball, even as an 18 year old I will admit I still find these a bit fun to fill that few seconds of boredom. On the 4th I got a snap bracelet and I had a fair few minutes of fun playing with it, I am a child at heart clearly! I got a stackable pencil on the 8th, which will come in handy for all those erasers, I was happy about that so I get to use the erasers! I got a bone highlighter on the 9th, but this will come in handy for my college work and is shaped more fun than a regular highlighter. The ABC Stencil Ruler I received on the 11th is something I would have absolutely loved as a child, I think I may use this for arty projects. On the 12th I got the keyring, which is quite cute and you could even attach the clip to your belt loop for safe keeping.

If you have this calendar, are you enjoying it so far? 
I'll be updating you next on the 23rd December!
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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Pink Parcel

Pink Parcel November 2014* - £5.95/£9.99

I heard of Pink Parcel recently when reading through a few blog posts about it. I thought it was a wonderful idea and when I was asked if I'd like to review one I obviously said yes! A subscription box for every woman, it is literally the perfect idea.

The box is really discreet. Until you've opened it, you can't tell what it is for, which is great. To order your box, you select the brand of sanitary items you would like, put in your dates and they'll send it to your house within plenty of time. The little bag says 'For Now' and is packed with a few tampons (or towels) which you can carry around in your bag discreetly. There are two boxes saying 'For Later' filled with tampons or towels that will last the whole of your time of the month.

The last box is 'For You' and is the most exciting. In every box, there is tea, chocolate and a few things to make yourself feel better. In November's box I got two pairs of lashes, gluco tabs, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, ROC Multi-Correxion 5-in-1 Anti-Age moisturiser, Goji & Orange organic chocolate and Teapigs Chocolate Flake Tea. I know chocolate and good skincare certainly gets my mood up around that time of the month!

Your first box from Pink Parcel costs £5.95 for the first month and £9.99 each month thereafter. I think it's amazing value for money considering what you'd spent on sanitary products each month anyway, it's also more convenient to have them sent right to your door!

Would you or have you subscribed to Pink Parcel?
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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Clothes Show Live 2014

Yesterday I went to Clothes Show Live at the NEC. I went in 2012 and picked up some amazing bargains, however most were the goody bags and I never really got around to using most of the stuff inside them! So this time I decided it would be pointless to waste money and only spend money on what I really wanted. I didn't think much of the clothes there this time, most of it seemed like market stall stuff that I would never buy. I did splurge on a few items though, just not clothing! I went to the Sensationail stand, I have wanted one of their kits for over a year and yesterday I finally bought one. It cost me £54 for the starter kit and two other nail varnishes, which is amazing as the starter kit usually retails for £69.99 and at the moment is £55 on its own at Boots. That was my bargain of the day!

I bought the Ciaté goody bag which was certainly worth the money. It was £10 for the Corrupted Neon Manicure Kit, the Beach House Collection, the Dolls House Mini Polish Set and a little bag with 3 mini polishes, 2 glitters, a sponge and a file. Considering what the kits first retailed for that is an amazing lot for £10! The Vintage Cosmetic Company were also doing a goody bag for £10 and it had some really good brushes in so I bought that! My bag included the bronzer brush, angled shadow brush, foundation and eyeliner brush. There was also a really good stand selling Henry Holland nails and Eylure lashes, so I bought two packs of nails and a pair of lashes. It only came to £5 which was amazing! The last thing I bought at the show was a years subscription to Cosmo for £12 for 12 months which is amazing! I also got some free Elemis skincare for subscribing. 

The actual fashion show was amazing as always, I'm just gutted I wasn't there on the day Henry Holland was presenting! Jamie Laing presented on the day I went. I love watching catwalk shows and it was definitely worth going on a trip with college for. I will definitely be going next year and I'm already looking forward to it.

Have you ever been to the Clothes Show?
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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Christmas Decorations

I get so excited decorating my house for Christmas and I now decorate my room as well as downstairs. Downstairs we have the classic Christmas tree with lights and baubles! When it's up I literally feel so Christmassy and Christmas music must be played 24/7. Underneath the tree, we have a tree skirt. My Mom made it and I think it looks so much better than just having the boring old plastic tree stand showing! I love penguins so you can tell that I chose the sewing pattern for them. The garland and stockings make the fireplace look like the best feature of the room, I'm so glad to have stockings and decorations on the fireplace - without them I think it would look boring at Christmas! The nativity is always my job to put up, I love it. My Dad made the crib and I think it's amazing. Even though I'm not religious this is one of my favourite decorations.

I bought some new decorations for my room this year, including my bargain of a tree, 3ft for £2.50. I love bows and beads on Christmas trees so I decided on these for my tree. I prefer angels on the top of the tree but as my tree is so small I think it would be better with a star on top. I also got a Merry Christmas hanging ornament in red glitter, which is sitting nicely above my dressing table. I bought some white rose lights to sit on top of my dressing table mirror and they look absolutely gorgeous. 

What are your favourite Christmas decorations?
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