Tuesday, 31 December 2013

What Santa left me this year...

I've loved reading what other people got for Christmas -I'm just nosey really! I did end up adding things to a list of products I want to buy in the sales too, it's dangerous reading, but oh so good!

If you think about it, it's quite strange how we all get totally spoilt with new things at Christmas but it just isn't enough, we feel the need to buy more just a few days afterwards! I made the mistake of going to Westfield the year it opened on Boxing day, it was horrible. There were so many people and loads of tourists taking pictures everywhere. It's like.. 'can you not?' It's mighty inconvenient on the busiest shopping day of the year! I've vowed to never do sale shopping on boxing day again, at least not in the shops anyway. I much prefer sale shopping from the comfort of my own living room! 

I thought I'd share with you a few of the lovely bits I got from my friends and family this year. I'm so happy with the presents I got, it's the one year that everyone has got everything SO right! Not one unwanted present in sight! hooray!

My bestie got me spot on with the most incredible shower gel I've ever smelt! I'm sure you'll all have heard about Snow Fairy from Lush, it's so worth the hype! I actually called out to Sam while in the shower 'Sam! I Smell AMAZING!' Turns out my friend did the same to her partner! We're so alike it's scary, you can tell we grew up together! It's so sweet and gorgeous! I'm actually a bit sad that it's limited edition and I can't have it on tap forever!  Luckily you don't have to use lots of it to get a good lather so I can make it last a while at least!

She also got me a giant version of my favourite pick and mix sweet AWESOME! and a bath bomb. I must remember there's a best before date with the Lush goodies, I've been burnt before! (not literally burnt.. you know what I mean!) It's a great excuse  to make some 'me time' to have a relaxing bath!

My parents got me a set from Lauren's Way with the tan that I've been dying to try, darker than dark. I've heard from certain tanning addicts that it's really impressive. I have sleep rollers already but it's always good to have a few more! and of course I'll  always use a pair of new lashes!

After a bit of drama with receiving a cracked palette in the post my boyfriend eventually got me the Naked 3 and I can honestly say I don't need to buy another eyeshadow again (ok a bit drastic, calm down Jenn! -but it's very good) He got me a lovely underwear set by Caprice and a HD Brows bronzer in a bag signed by Amy Childs -he was at the ideal home exhibition while she was there and got it signed for me, of course it meant he got to meet her too! 

My parents also got me a Hugo Boss Orange set which came with a clutch bag and a little atomiser as well as the usual body bits. I usually think it's better to get a bigger bottle of perfume than a gift set but I really do love this one!

Of course there had to be a Benefit product too. 'How to look the best at everything' was on my list so I get to try out a few foundations and concealers that I've not tried before. I love the box too, the colour is very me! I'm really looking forward to having a play with this kit. I'm already very impressed with the powder.

My brother and his girlfriend know me so well, they got me shoes! Boots to be exact, boots with a great big heel! They did excellently! You won't believe me but they are really comfy too!

My bestie and lovely boyfriend both fed my Yankee candle addiction. There are so many Christmas scented wax tarts I've had to put some in a box to get out next Christmas. The black coconut jar smells soooo nice!


A lovely friend of mine got me some nail wraps and the Latest in Beauty Glamour Beauty Box which has some amazing bits in it. The much loved 'They're Real' mascara by Benefit, some great eyelash curlers and my favourite of the lot has to be the HD brows brow kit, I don't think I'll use a brow pencil again! This kit is great! The pigmentation is incredible and it does a great job of giving my brows more definition. 

I've been meaning to get 'Lady and the Tramp' to add to my Disney collection so I was really pleased to find my boyfriend had got it for me. I also received 'Les Miserables' on Blue Ray and 'Oz, the great and powerful', 2 of my favourite films of this year.

M got me a lovely rose gold necklace with an M on it. I love how it has the initial on the chain rather than hanging on a pendant. It makes it a little bit different.

So that's a peek at a few of the bits I received. I love everything and I've been really lucky, not just with presents but with the support from friends and family the last few months. Everything is looking up and I've had a really lovely Christmas.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas!
I'm really looking forward to 2014!


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Dutch Ya Just Love OPI Review

We've all been there, you're shopping for a few little bits as part of a present but you actually end up with more for yourself! "One for you, one for me" gets a little out of control! 

I bought this nail shade for someone I used to know but I liked it so much I decided to keep it for myself. I'm glad I did. 

Dutch Ya just love OPI is from the 2012 Holland collection and is a red toned purple with a slight coppery shimmer to it when the light hits. As I find with OPI polishes the formula is great, 1 coat is enough for a good even coverage but 2 coats is perfect.


I got this from good old fragrance direct for the bargain price of £3.99. I really recommend having a look through to pick up older shades that are a fraction of the cost of the retail price.

Plum shades are great for this season and OPI is slowly becoming one of my favourite nail polish brands. 


I'm tempted to treat myself to a few new shades after Christmas.


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Winter Project | Christmas Make up

I can't believe the Winter project is almost over! Next week is the last one and that means it's so close to Christmas now! (...must finish my Christmas shopping!) I'm really getting into it all now.  Our tree is up, our lights are hung in the window, I'm even embracing the cold!

So here are a few of my favourite products for a Christmas make-up look.

don't think I could do Christmassy eyes without using golden shades, they really compliment blue eyes and can work throughout the day so you don't look too overdone. I've finally invested in the Naked 2 palette and it came in really handy to do these looks. 

don't like to be too OTT on Christmas day, it seems a bit silly to dress up to hang about at home. But I like to make a bit of effort, it's Christmas after all! So a simple mixture of a bit of sparkle and some liquid eyeliner is all you need.  
excuse the bad photos, the dark skies are becoming a bit of a pain!

For a more subtle look I just line the outer corners with black and the centre with a gold shimmer.  Obviously adding a bit go highlighter to the brow and some mascara too!

I love any excuse to wear a red lip, not overly practical on a day where you are constantly eating but it looks good. And a trick to give the red lippy a bit more of the 'wow factor' is to add a bit of highlighter to the centre of the lips. I used Revlon Red with a touch of Benefit high beam dabbed over the centre for a bit of shine.

Nails need to be a little bit special too. I've been playing about with a few designs lately and I came up with a few of these using Models Own nail art pens and some glitter polishes.
just look at the little penguin!

There's been a lot of hype over Essie's Bahama Mama, and I have to say I'm just not a fan. The colour is lovely but it needs two coats to make it even and when a second coat is added the colour is so much darker it's just not as nice. I still manage to get some use out of it though as covering it in Barry M's glitter paint in Magenta makes it a gorgeous glittery purple which is great for this season.


So that's that! I can't believe it's nearly Christmas! Where has this year gone?!
I f you want to take a look at some of the past Winter Project posts they are here...

   Week 1- Winter Nails      Week 2- Winter Accessories      
                 Week 3- Winter Scent      Week 4- Gift Ideas      Week 5- Christmas Accessories 


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Getting Personal

This year I happened to get quite a bit of Christmas shopping done in November, I was quite impressed with myself for being so organised! But with it being December now it's time for it to step up a notch. Especially as it's now 2 weeks away! It comes round so fast and then it's over in a flash... Christ I sound old! And I don't know about you but each year there seems to be more and more people to buy for. I like to make sure I buy something that will mean something and also be practical, when I was younger a novelty gift would have done but now I'm aware stuff like that gets thrown to the back of a drawer and forgotten about. This is where getting personal has come in incredibly handy.

There's gifts for every member of the family and you are bound to find something for each of them. The best part is there's the option to personalise the gifts too. So something that would already be a great present is now made extra special with no extra cost.

I was lucky enough to be given the chance to pick a few products to review. It was a tough choice as there are so many gorgeous products! 

I decided on these little beauties...


This little compact mirror is great for a friend, Mum, Grandma, Auntie, niece... anyone who carries a handbag around really. It has one normal mirror and another which magnifies. 

And as the name of the website might suggest, it also comes personalised! There's space for 4 lines of 20 characters so plenty of room to write what you like. I love the little hearts on top, that's a nice touch.


The quote I chose is a little tongue-in-cheek phrase that I already have printed on a big mirror in my room. It was a gift hinting at the fat that I constantly check myself in reflections of things! -everybody does it! You could engrave a nickname, a little quote or a message wishing them a Merry Christmas! 

They have a range of different compact mirrors starting from as little as £8.99 up to £19.99. I think it's a great little stocking filler and a great Secret Santa present!


I felt I needed to choose something Christmassy, 'tis the season after all. I couldn't miss the range of Christmas Sacks they have. The design I preferred was the postal sack, available in a few different designs but there are also more traditional red Santa sacks too which of course can also be personalised.

It's M's 2nd Christmas but he was only 4 months old last year so didn't really take anything in. He's still a bit young to understand the whole Christmas thing so we'll be going all-out next year but for now the Christmas magic is more for us. I thought this Christmas sack was so lovely and he'll keep it forever. 

It adds to the excitement and the magic that Santa has really been. That he has a whole sleigh of sacks all labled and this is the one for you.. There's proof it's from him and his reindeer! 

There's 12 characters for the first name and 12 for the surname which is plenty of space. It is a hessain sack so it's a natural product as well as being durable so it will really last.  The writing is meant to look a bit weathered, so it just adds to the rustic look as though the sack has spent a long night travelling around the world on a sleigh!
 I was impressed by how big it is, there's room to fit loads of presents in and I know Mason will have a great time rummaging through it for years to come! For £19.99 its really an investment and is so much more exciting than a plain sack.


Being the true blogger that I am I had to chose a note book as my last product to try out. I love my stationary!


This little A5 journal is a great gift for anyone really. There are so many different designs to choose from but I went for this one as I find a lot of what I write down is a load of notes that only make sense to me, so the 'blah blah blah' theme was perfect! I chose pale blue but it comes in pink too.  I always need a notebook for moments of inspiration and on long train journeys I often jot down my thoughts or do a bit of drawing. Anyone who uses a notebook or journal is bound to love one of these, it's got 80 plain pages inside so it works for writers as well as budding artists. The personal touch shows you have put in a lot more thought than just buying a plain notebook. There is space for 18 characters to add what ever name you like. The price is really good too, £8.99 isn't far off what you'd pay for something that isn't personalised.

I was really impressed with how quickly all these gifts arrived. They were on my doorstep within 3 days so if you're stuck for a last minute gift you've got time to order something.

I really think you can find something for everyone!


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Winter Project | Christmas Accessories

I have to admit I was a bit stumped when I read that Christmas Accessories were the subject of this weeks Winter Project. I didn't think I really had any Christmas accessories. But with a little thought I realised that I do, I have my Christmas tshirt! I'm not one for Christmas jumpers, they are too stuffy for me and I just can't pull them off, I get too hot in anything with sleeves below my elbows anyway. So when I saw this Tshirt from River Island last year I knew I had to have it.


With the shoe theme it felt like it was made for me! I wish I could make a Christmas tree out of shoes! how amazing would that look?! *makes note to self to make one when I am a millionaire!*
I wore this top last year on Christmas day with some leggings and boots and I'll be sure to get it out a lot more in the lead up to Christmas this year. I still event put my decorations up, it seems too early for me and I was always told it should be done 12 days before Christmas. Not long now though! Once they are up I will properly get in the Christmas spirit!

Another item of clothing with a Christmas theme are my 
Candy cane socks. These are more of a novelty and have been worn to a a couple of Christmas themed parties but I still think they're cute.

candy cane-legs-stockings

We're going to put up our decorations and write our cards this weekend. I make sure I buy a new decoration every year to add to it. I try to make sure it means something and relates to something that happened that year. Last year was a bauble with Masons name on as it was the year he was born and his first Christmas. For this year I bought this cute little tree decoration from M&S. We moved into our new place this summer so the front door with the year on it was very fitting. 

I love that my tree tells a story! Even if it is pretty mis-matched!

It won't be long before I'll wrap up all the presents while watching Muppets Christmas Carol! Another Christmas tradition of mine! ooooo I love Christmas!

I'm so excited about it this year!

Take a look and some of the past Winter Project posts and leave me your link if you've taken part too

            Week 1- Winter Nails      
       Week 3- Winter Scent     


Sunday, 8 December 2013

My Dad

Today is my Dad's Birthday. 

My dad is possibly one of my favourite people in the world, I wouldn’t say I’m a ‘daddy’s girl’ as such but he’s the man I most admire. I've always got on with my parents, I've never understood families that argue all the time. I guess I'm lucky in that respect. 

My Dad has always had the right balance, he's like a good teacher  -strict but fair. When I was younger I was so scared of doing anything to annoy him, not because he’d shout at me or anything, but because I just hated letting him down. 

He has a way of being so diplomatic, If he doesn’t agree with something he’ll put his argument across in a calm way until you see sense. He’s never been one for interfering in my life, but he always guides me. Because of him (and my mum) I switch off when people raise their voice to me, I've been taught to put points across with facts, not to shout.

I remember Dad having a saying framed by his bed ‘always behave like a duck, be calm and unruffled on surface but paddle like f**k underneath’ he lives by this, and it’s something I try my best to do. Dad always seems to be in control, you rarely see him crack.

He’s the hardest working person I know, he never stops. You could never accuse my dad of being lazy or boring. He’s always up for doing new things, making the most of a day. He works hard but he knows how to play hard too. Some of my best times as a kid was when he’d take us out for dinner and we’d talk for hours and he’d tell us stories of when he worked in a casino or as a limo driver. He has the best stories. Even tales of the ‘olden days’ as we’d put it, to me, as a 6 year old, he seemed to know the answers to everything. He still does.

I don’t know if there are some deep set issues I have that only a psychiatrist can explain but the one thing that can get me bawling my eyes out is anything Dad-related.

I was told by my boyfriend that I’d cry watching Armageddon, when the story got going I saw why. I was crying before 'it' even happened. Probably more so than Liv Tyler, she wasn’t half as upset as she should have been in my opinion! And everyone cries at that scene in the Lion King, right? 

My biggest wish is to make my Dad's life easier. I know money doesn't solve everything but it would really help with a few things. He's a person that deserves to live the high life and he'd do it bloody well! He's make sure all his family were taken care of but also make sure he did some really exciting things. 

There's nothing he wouldn't do for his kids. He's helped us all out of so many situations. Not just by lending money (which Dads are great for, I think you'll agree!) but by being a shoulder to cry on and to be the person to hear you when no one else will listen. He knows that not everything needs a solution, sometimes you just need to let things out. He always says that life has ups and downs, that's just how it is. Sometimes the downs are really low but the huge ups will make all the struggles worth it.

I have so many of my Dad's characteristics, being too opinionated, sarcastic, easily irritated by bad manners, having high standards, and being might stubborn but I wouldn't want it any other way.  I'm also lucky enough to have the strong mind, sense of humour, the intuition, the class and morals that he has.

Me and my Dad this Summer

He's always taught me to never tip with silvers, that swearing makes you seem uneducated and you lose any argument if you shout first. He taught me how to ride a bike, to play pool, darts and many card games and tricks from his casino days.

I adore my dad, I'm not sure even he knows how much.
If my son grows up to be like him I'll be a very happy girl.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Winter project | Christmas Gifts

This week's 'Winter Project' post is on Christmas Gift ideas. I've really loved looking for gifts this year and I can't wait to  give the presents to my friends and family - I really love giving gifts! Everyone's  been so good to me this year I just can't wait to see their faces when they open what I've picked up for them!
It was really hard to write this post without giving away too many presents that I've bought! So I've tried to keep it to the things I almost bought them or thought I'd like for myself. You might get a few ideas yourself. 

1. An Essie gift set. I almost bought this for a girl who's love for nail polish is as big as mine but I thought better of it as I thought she probably has these colours already. The Essie Winter collection 2013 mini cube is such a lovely little gift. This seasons colours are all amazing so the person receiving the gift is bound to love them. A good place to look for little nail polish sets is TK MAXX, if you are in the mood for a little digging around you can often find great brands like Nails inc, Essie and OPI in there. 

2. I planned to buy my boyfriend some new chelsea boots but he was one step ahead of me and treated himself to some the other week. He's getting the shoe bug from me and is slowly catching up! I know I can't go wrong with a pair of new shoes and I really like a couple of this season's boots from Kurt Geiger, they're practical and bound to put a smile on his face.

3. I bought myself a Liz Earle Set. Liz Earle sets are  great for anyone who's into their skincare. John Lewis have some exclusive sets where you get their amazing  Hot Cloth Cleanser, Instant Boost Tonic and Eye Soothing Lotion for just under £20. 

4. For anyone who gets the train or bus to work needs some gloves in this weather and a pair of touch-screen gloves mean they can use their phone without getting their hands cold. An excellent little stocking filler and practical too.

5. For make-up lovers you can't go wrong with Benefit and they have some amazing kits for Christmas. I really like 'Gimme Some Lovin' which has a full sized Hoola bronzer,  They're Real, Highbeam, and POREfessional in a limited edition tin.

Boots are doing the Best of Benefit set which contains all their best sellers for only £24.50 with almost  £50 worth of products in it. I had to resist purchasing this for myself!

6. I love the smell of gingerbread and the Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Shower, Scrub and Moisture Collection is perfect for a Christmas present. It comes in a in a cute Gingerbread man tin full of lovely bath bits. The body butter s a favourite of mine and I love wearing it during the Christmas season. 

7. I had  to add a mens fragrance to the list and so many guys I know love Diesel Only the Brave. There's also a tattoo version so if your man is into tattoos it would be a perfect present. 

8. Stick on nails are a great stocking filler. Nail Rock have some really  festive ones with cute patterns on them. They are so easy to apply too so you can go all out without doing anything too fiddly!

There's always those people who have everything. The ones that are the last ones on your list as you just don't know what to get them. I always opt for a voucher for a restaurant, coffee shop or their local cinema. These kind of things always get used and it gives them an excuse to treat themselves to night out or a nice lunch.

I hope this list gives you a bit of inspiration and helps you with some Christmas shopping!

Week 1- Winter Nails      Week 2- Winter Accessories       Week 3- Winter Scent