Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 Highlights


This year in general has been amazing, yes there's been lows, I'm not going to pretend that at times it's not been hard, lots of people have left my life, but lots of new ones have come into it, there is nothing to be ashamed of, it's your life, and what's happened has shaped who you are now, so today I thought I would share with you my high points of 2015.


1 - My birthday this year was spent in Puerto Banus with Tom, I had an incredible time and loved every second of being there, this picture was taken at Selwo Aventura which was the best zoo/safari park I've ever been to.
2 - This year has been full of blog events and fun things blog related, one of the most memorable was an evening spent at 'blingo', it definitely wasn't what we had expected, but we spent the night in hysterics laughing, and all quite glad we didn't win!
3 - I've met so many wonderful girls this year through blogging, and I couldn't be happier I've met them, this picture is from the Soton Bloggers Meet Up back in August, and these are the girls I met beforehand for a coffee and a chat! There are definitely a few faces missing from these pictures, but it's impossible for us all to be at an event together, everyones too busy!
4 - As I said, I love all the girls I've met through blogging, but these two are particularly fab ;) Alice and Rachel just get it, whether we're having coffee or food, these girls never fail to put a smile on my face, and also share the bad pictures of my face....
5 - Then you've got Lexie & Anna, equally as lovely, this was taken on Pub Golf, they're so much fun and there's never a dull moment with them around, and they also put up with me shopping in London in September too so hats off to them!
6- I never really go into much detail about Tom, but he's my rock, we've been together 4 years in February and I genuinely wouldn't know what I'd do without him, he's there supporting me in everything I do, and he always knows what to do and say. We've had a year full of adventures and memories, and I cannot wait for another.

What have been your highlights of 2015?



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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Sephora | Pomegranate Mask

Last week, I was very aware that the cold weather was having horrible effects on my skin, with it becoming more dry and tired looking every day, when I found this in my stash! I picked up the Sephora Pomegranate Mask back in April on my holiday, and I couldn't have found it at a better time.

The mask itself is a sheet, which as I discovered, makes you look both terrifying and hilarious at the same time, this particular one claims to be anti-fatigue & energising, and after I'd left it for the fifteen minutes, I really could see a difference in my skin, there was more of a glow, the skin looked less tight, and the bags under my eyes were certainly less puffy.

I have to be really careful with face masks, and over the last few months I have had some disasters, but this one is definitely going to stocked up next time I can get to a Sephora! 


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Monday, 28 December 2015

What I got for Christmas

This year, I was lucky enough to be gifted with some beautiful gifts from both my family and Tom's, and this post is in no way me showing off or anything like that, I personally love reading these posts, so thought it only right that I did my own!


Very few of you will know that I will be beginning my teacher training in September, so my mum's boyfriend got me this amazing tin, and filled it with tons of stationary essentials to get me started!


Apple scented things are my absolute favourite, so Tom hit gold with some essentials from The Body Shop, he also got a gorgeous Christmas Candle and his mum gave me the Yankee Candle, the gorgeous candle holder, and also the zara perfume, which is 1000% my new favourite!


Christmas wouldn't be the same without some beauty related bits, and I finally got my hands on the No.7 LED light thanks to Tom's Dad, and his brother ordered this amazing wooden lipstick storage with my blog engraved on - safe to say I was very impressed.


My main present from my Mum this year was the lusted after Urban Decay Vice 4, I've never owned a Vice palette before, and we're inseparable already - this will be appearing again very soon!


Tom's Mum knew I didn't have anywhere to store all of my jewellery, and so picked up this incredible  mirrored jewellery box from Laura Ashley, it's so precious, and I am obsessed with it!


I knew this ring was coming, because the second I saw it I fell head over heels, and the stock was incredibly low and I had to try it on, but it doesn't make it any less special, I tend to always get some jewellery from Tom, and I think this is one of my favourite pieces yet, it's captivating to look at, but also so delicate when wearing it! 

I received so many other amazing gifts too, and Tom got me some gorgeous clothing pieces so expect some outfit posts soon! I would just like to thank everyone for not only all the gifts, but a wonderful Christmas overall!

Have you done a post? Send me your links!!

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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas

How is it Christmas Eve already?! 

I am very excited about tomorrow, and spending time with my loved ones, and seeing them open all of their gifts, and to eat lots of chocolates and yummy food! This Christmas, as tempting as it may be, stay off of your phones, put your laptop down, and just enjoy yourself! There is nothing more special than simply appreciating those around the tree with you on Christmas, so I wish you all a wonderful Christmas!

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Prairie Charms - Stocking Stuffers

When an email landed in my inbox from Prairie Charms with the information for the stocking stuffers, I couldn't wait to order one, the premise is that you have no idea what is coming, you receive 3-5 individually wrapped parcels that you can give away as Christmas presents, and it only costs £5! When mine arrived, me and my mum shared out the parcels, and opened them early!

 I received the cutest bow in the world, adorned with reindeer, which I've already planned to wear on Christmas day, a gingerbread necklace that is too short for me so is back under the tree to go to a living home, a star clip which my mum has claimed, and also two gorgeous hair bobbles!

The only two things I wouldn't personally use are the star grip, but my mum wanted this one anyway, and the gingerbread man necklace, and that's only because it's too short, because IT IS AMAZING! This is actually my first purchase from Prairie Charms, but it certainly won't be my last!!

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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

#bubblebeard

Bathstore are challenging the nation to create your very own #bubblebeard this December to help raise money for people affected by Bowel Cancer. It is really easy to make a donation, you can text BUBL15 £2 to 70070. If you can't make a donation, then you can still get involved by sharing your own creation on social media and get the word out!

Bowel Cancer is the 2nd biggest cancer killer in the UK, and so it's really important to raise as much money as possible to support those suffering, and try and increase early diagnosis as if it is caught early enough then up to 90% of patients can be successfully treated! 

We had so much fun creating our beards, so please get involved too!


*some pr samples were used.

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Monday, 21 December 2015

Homesense - Hang a Bauble


HomeSense is associated with all things homeware, and at Christmas time, it's like entering a Winter Wonderland. For six years now they have been working with Action for Children on their Hang a Bauble campaign, the idea is that you go into store, make a donation, write a message on a bauble and hang it on the tree, it's such a wonderful idea and a brilliant way to give to those in need whilst finishing off your christmas shopping! 

HomeSense have some gorgeous christmas decorations in too, as you can see, and they look like they are worth so much more than the tiny price tag they come with! I picked up these adorable snowmen lights when I was in, and didn't think I was putting my christmas tree in my room up this year, but now I am, I'm popping back in to grab some gorgeous baubles to hang on it!

Will you be hanging a message on the tree this year?



*pr sample


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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Lush Christmas Haul

I've been picking up bits and pieces from the Lush Winter Range since it dropped, but last week I was feeling terrible, I was in Southampton, and we had to go to Lush to pick up some presents, and I just kept adding to my basket! So White is my absolute favourite, any one of my friends can tell you how much I love the crisp apple scent of the white ball of heaven, *spoiler alert* it is more exciting inside! Golden Wonder is one that I pick up once a year, mainly due to the cost, it is a lot larger than their standard products, and if you shake the box you can hear the surprises inside rattling away!

Father Christmas is one of the winter favourites, with a sweet scent and a cute santa face, however the claim to be snow fairy scented?! I personally don't sniff it, I don't particularly like the scent of Luxury Lush Pud as it is Lavender, however if a batch comes in that isn't particularly strongly scented I do tend to pick one up as they make some of the most beautiful baths. Finally, I couldn't not pick one up, it's snow fairy scented, reusable, pink, gives bubbles, and in the shape of a star?! Magic Wand speaks for itself, but the one thing I will say is that I'm unsure of the glitter addition this year, fingers crossed it won't stick to either me or the bath!

lush christmas
lush golden wonder
lush father christmas

What are your favourites of the Winter Range?
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Monday, 7 December 2015

Charlotte Tilbury - Sweet Stiletto

A few weeks back, John Lewis price match was in full swing, and I saw online there was 15% off Charlotte Tilbury... I was extremely restrained and only picked up a lip gloss, but this one has definitely left me wanting more shades!

Sweet Stiletto is a gorgeous peachy nude shade, with not a single fleck of shimmer, meaning it is perfect for me, it is extremely long lasting, not sticky and doesn't transfer when eating and drinking! With the perfect size doe foot applicator, and rose gold packaging, this one ticks all the boxes for me! 

The standard pricing of £16.50 may seem a bit steep in comparison to your £15.50 MAC favourites, but this outdoes all other lip glosses I've used, and has actually been used more than my normal lipsticks over the last few weeks! Pair this with a gorgeous bronze smoky eye, and you've got the perfect party look for those of us who find those darker shades just too scary!
Pink Lip Gloss
Pink Lip Gloss
Pink Lip Gloss

Have you tried any of the other shades?
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Friday, 4 December 2015

Debenhams Flowers

Having fresh flowers in my room is one of my favourite things, it makes me feel happier, and I love walking in and seeing them, so when Debenhams Flowers let me choose a bouquet from their Autumn range I couldn't wait! I chose the Designer Honey Blossom* bouquet, which are absolutely stunning, now I have to admit that this post is very late, but that has a very good reason, my bouquet lasted THREE WEEKS, I didn't do anything special to them, they sat in their vase, and they lasted so much longer than a standard bouquet would! 

As much as I love both my bouquet and the entire Autumn range, they have moved into their Christmas range, which are absolutely stunning. With gorgeous reds and green shades, but also a few light and fresh options available, there is definitely something for everyone! I can see me placing an order for myself very soon!

The service is amazing, where you order and dedicate a specific day that you would like your bouquet arriving on, they arrive in a large box, with the bouquet upright, and even having their own little water container ensuring they stay fresh whilst on their journey to you!

These would make the perfect give for someone, or even yourself! Debenhams also provide hampers, and flowers and chocolates too! If you did want to order some at any point, then I have a discount code which will give you 25% off which will never expire - DFBLOG25 - never say I don't treat you!

*PR Sample sent for review, but all views and opinions are my own
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Saturday, 21 November 2015

MAC Please Me

I was happily just walking through John Lewis, and the new packaging caught my eye like a magpie! Please Me is part of the Magic of the Night collection, but is actually a shade from the standard matte range, so save yourself the £1.50 and grab the original packaging, because although it is beautiful in the iridescent purple, I would have been annoyed if I didn't get 10% off for the price match! I'll be sure to read the shade name before running to the till next time!
    This is the first Matte shade I've tried from MAC, and it definitely doesn't disappoint! It doesn't drag on the lips, isn't at all drying, and it does not budge! It's like no nude I already have, because of the purple tones, and it's already one of my favourites. A good matte nude is hard to come across, but MAC have outdone themselves with this one!
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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment



After a new design, new size, and improved scent, Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment is back, and it's earned a spot in my favourite products from LUSH! It's a bath oil, which means that you just pop it in your bath, jump in, and relax... it leaves your skin super soft and moisturised! It is rather glittery, but it doesn't stick to you or the bath - I'm looking at you Sparkly Pumpkin! The original one was a lot bigger, and double the price, and you really didn't need that much, and £2 for this heavenly scented pink delight, is a bargain!

Will you be picking up one?
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Monday, 16 November 2015

Nail Varnish Removers

Removing your nail varnish is one of those tasks that the majority of us hate, it's so annoying having to pour it out of bottle, tidy up the mess you've made my dripping it everywhere, and then it tearing apart your cotton pads or tissue. All that faff is no more, with the more practical options coming in, two of my favourites are the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover, and the Boots Moisturising Nail Polish Remover Pads. The Bourjois offering is a sponge holding the solution, which is very very quick to remove all traces of colour, however this does leave a lingering alcohol scent despite claiming to smell like red fruits and vanilla, and you can forget putting your fingers anywhere near your mouth for hours, despite multiple washes. The Boots option does take longer, by a few seconds, you simply take one pad, and put pressure onto the nail, I tend to use one pad per hand! This one does smell of fruit, without even stating it, and after a single hand wash, the taste disappears! The one I find myself reaching for more, and the one that is so much easier to pop in your bag is the Boots one, and coming in at £1.50 compared to £4.99 is a bargain!

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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Winter TV Favourites*

When winter hits, we all love the cosy evenings spent snuggled up with lots of blankets, pyjamas, hot chocolates, snacks, and your favourite programmes on the TV! The TV is one of the most pivotal aspects of a family room, and if you're going to do it, then do it right! In my room I have a TV I picked up a few years ago on Black Friday, it does the job, but it's definitely nothing special, something I will be looking at getting next will be one of a better quality, the majority these days are 4K, Smart TVs, which make it so much easier and clearer, for not only your standard TV but also your netflix needs - there's no shame in that 'are you still there?' message - I get it! One that I've seen a lot about in particular is the Panasonic Viera 4K Range*  and if you're not very tech-minded their website explains it all for you!



Netflix is one of the main ways that I watch all of my shows, and I currently have a Chromecast that enables you to access it on your TV! My favourite shows have been discovered through their service!

If you haven't heard about PLL, and how frustrating it constantly is to watchers then where have you been?! It looks like your typical girly show, but it is so much more than that, with content twists and dark dark storylines that make you question everyone - this is definitely worth a watch! If you don't know who A is, avoid all forms of social media and you'll be fine!

I stumbled across Suits by complete accident, and oh my what a happy accident! This focuses on a law firm, and the life that one man manages to swindle his way into, you feel yourself slowly becoming more intelligent as they talk about the law, you grow to love the characters, everyone needs a Donna, and I even found myself crying at the end of series 5.... Seasons 1-3 are currently available on netflix, I purchased season 4 as I was too impatient, and then as I finished that, season 5 was premiering on Dave! Perfect timing, and now I'm left in a world without suits, praying it comes back!

It was late one night, and I wanted something corny to watch, and on first impressions I thought this was a film, it's not, and it's hilariously cheesy. Based on a young girl who has grown up in foster care and applies for emancipation, but instead gets placed in the care of her incapable biological parents, when season 2 launched I had a little squeal of delight! This is definitely my guilty pleasure!

I was so late to the party for this one, I began watching after season 3 dropped, then I binge watched for days on end, and am now left waiting on season 4, addictive, hilarious and a catchy theme tune? This one has it all!

You must think I spend all my time on netflix.... sometimes I manage to squeeze in a bit of normal tv too -

There is something weirdly appealing about seeing a group of adults failing at tasks and get their dreams dashed when getting delivered the dreaded 'You're fired', more recently I also love reading along on twitter, online commentaries are hilarious, especially Lord Sugar's himself!

I'll confess, I haven't religiously watched every season and episode, but this is one of those shows that you don't need to! You can just delve in to an episode when it's on and not have to worry about catching up! Again, classed as education right? Right...

What are your TV favourites?

*Paid collaboration with Share it Quick, all views and opinions are my own

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Monday, 2 November 2015

#WEChildhoodDream

Blogging is seen as a job that is primarily done at home, with the assumption that we all sit in our pjs with no make up on, and our hair on the top of our head - wherever did they get that idea from....

When Workwear Express asked if I wanted to get involved in their Bloggers Uniform campaign I couldn't wait, they've acknowledged that as it's not a typical job we don't have a standard uniform, and kindly provided me with one!

The campaign focuses around the changing career goals over childhood, and with the increasing popularity of blogging. When I was younger I always wanted to be a teacher, I was never one to be a vet, or a superhero, being a teacher was the dream, and I'm on my way there, in my third year of university and hopefully continuing my studies with teacher training. 

A box arrived on my doorstep containing the cosiest hoody ever!! With the front stating 'I wanted to be ___' and the back 'But blogging will do!'. There was also some goodies to help us bloggers along the way, including a travel mug which is super handy for my commute to uni, some chocolate flavour tea - definitely not to my taste - some gorgeous little notebooks which are super handy to have on you for when you suddenly get that brilliant post idea, and a little Hetty Hoover to keep your work area nice and clean!

You can get involved in the conversation on twitter by using #WEChildhoodDream


I would just like to thank Workwear Express for their lovely parcel, I've already had so much use out of it!

*pr samples, all views & opinions are my own

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Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Bailey Family Apple Cake

When Wren Kitchens got in contact about their Wren Family Favourites campaign and challenged me to get cooking a family recipe, I turned straight to Tom. Together me, Tom, his Mum Sandra and Grandad Les decided on their Apple Cake. It's based upon Tom's Gran's recipe, but as close as possible as we don't have the original! This cake is perfect for an alternative to chocolate and jam cakes! 

           Ingredients
- 4oz/115g Demerara Sugar
- 4oz/115g Butter
- 8oz/230g Self Raising Flour
- 8oz/230g Cooking Apples
- 1 Teaspoon Mixed Spice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2/3 Eggs (depending on size)
- 8 Inch Baking Tin
- Greaseproof Paper                     

        Method
1 - Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2 - Grease the baking tin and line with greaseproof paper.
3 - Cream together the Butter and Sugar in a large mixing bowl.
4 - Whisk in the Eggs one at a time until combined.
5 - Fold in the Flour, Mixed Spice and Baking Powder
6 - Peel Apples and chop to roughly 1 cm pieces.
7 - Stir in Apple ensuring it is evenly distributed in mix.
8 - Spoon into baking tin.
9 - Sprinkle some Demerara Sugar on the top
10 - Cook for 45 - 50 minutes until golden brown.
11 - Remove from oven and leave to cool for 5 - 10 minutes.
12 - Transfer to cooling rack or plate.
13 - Leave to cool further, or carefully slice to enjoy warm


This apple cake is gorgeous both freshly baked and warm with a cup of tea, or equally as nice after it's fully cooled too. It is sweet enough to be a treat, but isn't sickly at all!

A special thank you to Tom, Sandra & Les, for your help baking, and for sharing your recipe with me! 

Wren Kitchens also have a competition on Instagram, to enter all you need to is get cooking a family recipe, and use #WrenFamilyFavourites and the winner will get to win a cooking appliance! 

You can also see other recipes and information here - including some other bloggers' family favourites too!
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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Home Sense Hedge End Opening

Last Thursday, the new Home Sense and TKMaxx stores opened in Hedge End in Southampton, and on the Wednesday evening we were invited along to have a snoop around the new store!

It is super handy having the two shops conjoined, it really is like a superstore in there now, with Homeware heaven on one side, and then fashion, beauty & accessories galore on the other! I've always been a fan, because they're prices are up to 60% off the RRP, but always get caught out, because if you want something, you'd better buy it there and then otherwise you'll be having nightmares over losing it!
The front of the shop was a winter wonderland, and it definitely made me feel more festive, even though we still have two months to go! I will definitely be popping back to grab some cute christmas decorations this year!
They had us all swooning with the gorgeous displays and colour schemes they had, I cannot wait until I have my own house and I can get creative! 
The stationary aisles had us all snapping away, with gorgeous notebooks adorned with gold foiling and inspirational quotes, I think I was one of few who managed to persuade themselves I didn't need one, I'm not sure how many of us did though!
The pineapple was something that some of fell for instantly, it's so quirky and the metallic detailing just gives it that something special! Of course, we all descended upon the beauty section where there were some absolute bargains! TKMaxx are known for their beauty bargains but it's hard to get them before others have destroyed them!
We were kindly given a gift voucher to spend and treat ourselves, and I found the £25 went such a long way! I picked up a candle from Celerie that smells exactly fresh apples which is my favourite scent! I also found a gorgeous muted brown nail varnish from Illamasqua and a translucent powder from Too Faced. I was then templed to a huge box of Lindt chocolate when paying... All of this, and I even managed to still have 24p on my gift card! 


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