Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Hello 2015!

I can't actually believe 2014 is at an end! It has flown by, particularly this last month or so over Christmas while I've been at home. I've been poorly over the last few days, so apologies for not having posted. As I'm still a little under the weather, I thought I would spend the night in cosied up, and thought I would do a quick post about what I hope 2015 will bring and my New Year's Resolutions.

I want to keep up with my running, and push myself even further
Over the last few weeks, my running routine has slipped a little due to the frosty and icy weather and the fact I've been feeling a little rubbish. However I am pleased to report I completed a nice little 30 minute run today and plan to keep this up throughout 2015 and into my future. I feel so much healthier and sometimes I love being able to just go out for a jog and clear my head. In 2015 I would love to complete at least one run for charity. My brother is organising a 5k Family Fun Run in my hometown for a local hospice which I will be entering if it goes ahead, and I am going to look into doing a Cancer Research Race for Life because it is something I've always wanted to do and it's for one of my favourite charities which I really care about.

Lose a few more pounds
I am below my original target weight at the moment, but I've put on about 2-3 pounds over Christmas which I would like to shed in the first month or so of 2015. Once Christmas and New Year's is over with I know I'll go back to eating a lot healthier so this is one resolution I'm quite confident about!

Gain pounds
Financially! I've been pretty good at saving during my time at uni, but I'm also hoping to continue saving throughout 2015, so I've got a nice little rainy day savings fund, because let's face it, you never know what the future might bring! I also need to find a job for when I leave university, so fingers crossed for that!

Keep my head on during my final year
While I've finished my first term at university, I can feel the stress increasing dramatically for second and third terms, which is when my assessed essays, dissertation and exams will all be. I get terribly anxious and make myself so poorly with stress when it comes to studying, and so I want to try and keep my head on and enjoy final year, because before I know it, I'm sure it will be gone!

Blog more!
I got into a really good routine of blogging regularly, but unfortunately in the last month or so I've really let it slip! Once I'm back at university on Sunday I hope to get back into a better routine. Sorry! 

Hopefully I stick to them - if I don't feel free to tell me off in the comments of future posts! What are your New Year's Resolutions? Happy New Year everyone and all the best for 2015!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Frozen Inspired Nails

It wasn't until these were dry that I thought they looked like something Elsa from Frozen would have. I just generally love both blue and glittery polishes, and I'm really pleased with how these have turned out, even if it wasn't my intention to create Frozen inspired nails! 

I used Ciate Pepperminty for the base topped off with Ciate Snow Globe which is one of my favourite glitter polishes. The large clear chunks of glitter look beautiful in the light and make my nails look icy, which is perfect for this cold and frosty spell of weather we have been having over the past few days here in Lincolnshire! 

Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas Make Up

I was pretty chuffed with my make up for Christmas Eve and Day, so I thought I would share the look with you.

The main base products I use are the Benefit Hellow Oxygen Wow! Flawless foundation which I absolutely love. One bottle lasts forever, and I love the dewy bright finish it gives my skin. Not to mention the fact it holds well all day. In terms of concealer, I've been applying Seventeen Phwoar Under Eye Heavy Duty Paint Concealer after reading lots of reviews, and I've been very happy with the results so far. 

My cheeks owe it all to Soap and Glory, as I am currently using the Love at First Blush and the Glow All Night Luminizing Face Powder across the tip of my cheekbones. I think both complement each other really well for a every day effortless look.

I use Benefit's Browzings on my eyebrows, which is literally the holy grail of eyebrow products in my opinion. It holds in place the entire day and one pot lasts for two years! 

On my eyes I have used the W7 In The Nude palette which is a Urban Decay Naked Palette dupe, which I purchased for £5 at the clothes show. These are great for an everyday or subtle look, although I wish they were slightly more pigmented (But I think for the price it does the job) and I've finished it off with a Collection Liquid Eyeliner and Maybelline Rocket Volume Mascara

As for my glitter lips, I purchased this kit at the Clothes Show. You apply a thin layer of face friendly cosmetic glue and then layer on loose glitter. There were hundreds of colours to choose from but I decided upon this pink as I felt I was a little too pale for the red! I haven't used any editing or filters on these photos, which I think really shows how good the product really is. It has been perfect over the Christmas season.

What are your favourite make up looks at the moment? If you've blogged about any lately please leave a link in the comments below as I would love to check them out! 


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Ciate Christmas Nail Advent Calendar

After opening the final door on my Ciate Advent Calendar, I thought I would share the full 24 polishes with you in case you are considering purchasing one of the advent calendars for next year. I'm really happy with the contents of my advent calendar, and I've already bought another one in the sale ready for next year because I think they are so pretty and really great value for money. The variety of colours you receive, and the fact you receive two of the Ciate Caviar Pearls as well as a full size polish on Christmas Eve, makes this my favourite beauty advent calendar on the market.

 Sequin Miss Mistletoe - Encore! - Glitter Jingle Belle - Amazing Gracie - Ferris Wheel - Confetti

Party shoes - Ivory queen - Kiss Chase - Underwear (Base Coat) - Speed Coat (Top coat) - Boudoir

Pepperminty - Members Only - Pillow Fight - Snow Globe - CaviarPearls Frost Yourself - Hopscotch

Fit for a Queen - ChistmasTree CaviarPearls - FullSize Serendipity - Sugar Plum - Locket - Play Date

Behind each door, there is a quote as well which I think is super cute! Here is a photo of me opening my final door today on Christmas eve!

Which advent calendar did you have this year? Were you pleased with the contents?

Happy Christmas Eve everyone, and I hope you have a very merry Christmas tomorrow! 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Winter Tag

I found this tag on Ella's World and thought I would give it a whirl, because I haven't been posting much lately and I promised I would... oops.

What are your favourite things about Winter?
Drinking endless hot drinks, opening advent calendars, watching Christmas films, the Christmas lights filling the streets and the candles that are released during winter. Although I LOVE crisp, white snow and building snowmans and sledding with my nieces and nephews, I'm not a fan of the cold weather in general. I also hate the grey slush left over when the snow is melting, I call it Post-Snow depression because it is just so annoying!

What is your favourite Winter outfit?
A jumper with jewel detail around the collar, with blue skinny jeans and my Vagabond boots, with a tartan scarf and my duffle coat. And to top all that off, my fluffy earmuffs!

What is your favourite Winter food?
Definitely a roast dinner! I could eat one every single day, especially Roast Lamb or Pork.

Favourite Winter drink?
Hot Chocolate with cream and marshmallows for sure, although with me dieting this winter I've had to be really strict with myself!

What is your dream way to spend a Winter's day?
In my fleecy pyjamas with my fleecy dressing gown, wooly socks and slippers, with endless blankets curled up watching Christmas film after Christmas film with a cup of tea! 

How do you like to do your makeup in the Winter?
I definitely use a lot more moisturiser pre-make up, and I like to use more brightening make up than I do during Summer. Benefit's Hello Wow! Oxygen Flawless Foundation is perfect for brightening the skin, and I've recently purchased Girl Meets Pearl brightening Primer. I also use a lighter pink shimmery highlight. I hate winter skin, particularly as mine is so sensitive, and I refuse to let my skin dull at all! I tend to switch to  berry and darker shades of lipstick too.

What are you hoping Santa brings you?
A Take That concert ticket, Lush cosmetics, fluffy bedsocks, slippers, some DVDs, anything with Bambi on! And some perfume (preferably La Vie est Belle if you're reading Santa!)

What are the first three things that remind you of Winter?
The Coca Cola advert being on TV, clothes changing in the shops and having to defrost and clean my car more!

What is your favourite Winter song?
The Michael Buble Christmas album is absolutely perfect, but my favourite song of all time is definitely Fairytale of New York!

What is your favourite Winter memory?
Probably building snowmans and sledding with my nieces and nephews, we had a lot of fun that day! I loved when it used to snow at school as well and we would be sent home haha!

What is your favourite Winter scent?
At the moment I'm loving Yankee Candle's Angel's Wings candle, or Glade's Honey and Chocolate candle!

Finish this sentence…If I could have one wish this Christmas it would be..
..for everyone to have an amazing Christmas and to be happy, and for me to lose more weight!

If you've done this Winter Tag, please let me know in the comments below as I would love to have a read!

Bloglovin | Instagram | Twitter

Friday, 19 December 2014

Handmade Creaseless Kink-Free Elastic Hair Ties

For months now I've been trying to grow my hair, and I dread to think how long I have spent Google-ing solutions. One of the things I found that kept being mentioned is how much damage standard hair bobbles can do to your hair. When I first read it, I thought it was an overly dramatic statement, but then I started noticing how much I tugged on hair bobbles to take them out, and how much hair gets wrapped around them which is pulled out. The main problem is the metal used in them!

So I started looking for creaseless hair ties like these. They are made of strong elastic with no metal. The reviews were correct - from the few days of me wearing my set, I find they are a lot comfier, I barely feel it there. You can also pull them out as hard as you can and you'll find it doesn't hurt half as much and I am losing less hair. They are perhaps slightly more expensive than standard hair ties, but I think they are prettier and the benefits to your hair are definitely worth it!

I love crafting and making things, so I decided to make my own. I'm so glad I decided to try them and I have had several family members already texting me asking me to make them some!

When I purchased the elastic to make my own, I accidentally bought far too much material, not realising how little elastic would be needed for each hair bobble. Well anyway, to cut a long story short, as I was sat making these I realised I had made in total of 45 hair bobbles out of the elastic I had bought!

So, I have wrapped one of each colour on some recycled card which I have made look super cute with a little cut out heart, and I'm selling some sets on eBay. These would make perfect presents, or a nice little treat for you if you are also trying to grow your hair or just be kinder to it!

The link to them is here

What do you think of the hair ties? Do you have any other tips of ways I can look after my hair and help it to grow?

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Bargain Ciate Nail Advent Calendar

Today I just happened to pop into my local TK Maxx while running a few errands, and my eyes were almost magnetically drawn like a magpie to a Ciate Christmas display! I wanted to buy it all, but the highlight for me was definitely the Ciate Mini Mani Manor House Advent Calendar.

I purchased this for £24.99, and this is currently retailing at £49! I know it's nearly Christmas now, but for what you get this is such good value! They are mini pots with one full size pot, but I actually prefer that because I have so many nail varnishes and find they all dry out before I get to use them, so I actually prefer having lots of mini pots. 

I would much rather buy them in the sale or while they are on offer and put them away for a few months, rather than pay the full retail price. I was quite disappointed this year by how expensive the beauty advent calendars were, and was sceptical of the make up ones because I'm so fussy with lip colours, eyeshadows and I'm so ridiculously pale I was worried I wouldn't end up using half of the stuff.

For me, these advent calendars are perfect. The variety of colours is brilliant and they are genuinely nice colours, rather than making an advent calendar of all of the colours they couldn't sell, if that makes sense. The packaging as well is SO CUTE and remembers me of Benefit Cosmetics/ Ted Baker's Christmas Gift Sets packaging.

The TK Maxx display were also selling the Ciate Candy Cane House for £7.99 which retails at £25.00! It includes four mini Christmassy glitter polishes which are 'Christmas scented'!

It also had a set of six Ciate 'trinket' baubles, which are clear with a Ciate full sized polish in each. For all six they are only charging £12, and they are currently retailing for £8 for one bauble on Ciate's website. So I would definitely recommend heading to your local TK Maxx to try and pick up some bargains - whether for yourself, or for the perfect Christmas presents!

I am putting this advent calendar away for next year - but am so tempted to open it already! Which advent calendar have you had this year? Were you pleased with the contents?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Easy Christmas Nails

In previous years, I've been known to attempt some really elaborate over the top Christmassy nail art that has taken me HOURS. Unfortunately this year, I haven't had a lot of free time, and I've also been having Gel Nails whenever I'm home, so I only really have to paint my nails for the few days between my appointments.

Mum's Secret Santa at work bought her this China Glaze red glitter nail varnish, called 'Ruby Pumps' - the photo doesn't do it justice, it reminds me of Dorothy's shoes from the Wizard of Oz! It looks amazing under the light and I love it because the glitter is very small and thin, and so I only needed two coats in comparison with some of the chunkier glitter polishes (and I imagine it will be a lot easier to remove!)

The snowflake stickers I purchased on eBay about a week ago - if you would like to buy them, you can find the link here. It is only 99p for a sheet of stickers which I think is an absolute bargain, and even though I've only chosen to do one finger on each hand, one sheet would definitely cover all ten if that's what you wanted! There are lots of different designs from that seller, the stickers I used on my nails have the code: 'SN105' from the drop down menu.

They are the easiest things to apply, and then I just sealed it all in with a top coat. The China Glaze polish literally took seconds to dry as well, so this nail design only took me 5 minutes in total, which is great for any of you rushing off to your Christmas party or who doesn't have much spare time at the moment!

What do you think of my simply Christmas nail design? If any of you have posted about your Christmas nails, please post the link below as I would love to have a nosey! 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day

Yesterday, Friday 12th December, was Save the Children's third annual Christmas Jumper Day. The idea behind the concept is that you wear your favourite Christmas Jumper, and donate whatever you can, to support Save the Children in their charity work in over 120 countries.

I decided to hold a Christmas Jumper Tea Party and Craft day today at my house, and we had so much fun! Unfortunately I didn't get many photos because I was so busy running around organising everything and getting everyone drinks and things. We ate lots and lots of mince pies, christmas cake and biscuits, and I invented lots of different Christmassy games and activities to keep the kids busy. We decorated Christmas Jumper cards, I held a Design the best Christmas Jumper competition (the winner won a Cadbury's selection box, I'm so jealous) and we also decorated Christmas jumper biscuits me and my Mum baked this morning. Save the Children also sent me a fundraising kit including a sweepstake, which raised £60, £30 of which was given to the winner of the sweepstake, which was my Mum! We also played Pin the Nose on Rudolph, which got extremely competitive! The winner won a Cadbury's selection box.

We only invited close family because there was so much going on in every room of our house and my nieces and nephews always run riot when we get them all together! I raised £80 which I was really chuffed about considering my tea party was only around 2 hours long. Best of all, the UK government has promised to double the total amount Save the Children UK raise, and so far the official total is £550,000 which is great when you consider that that will be doubled!

Just £2 will buy life-saving antibiotics for 3 babies in various developing countries, but Save the Children also support children in the UK as well, which is why it really appeals to me as a charity, because it really is so international.

If you feel like donating, text 'WOOLLY' to 70050 to donate £2 to Save the Children.

Did you do anything for National Christmas Jumper Day? I hope you all had fun if you did!


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

My Christmas Tree

One of my favourite things about Christmas is definitely the decorations! I have to admit I'm very proud of my tree. It isn't your traditional Christmas tree, but there is a story behind every main decoration and I thought I would share it with you!

It is only a tiny tree in my bedroom with built in battery powered lights, but I can't wait to expand my collection of decorations when I get my own place and get a huge 6 foot tree!

I purchased most of these Christmas decorations in Times Square in New York on my holiday last year.

This is definitely one of my favourites on the tree, I've never seen it anywhere else before and everyone always comments on how cute it is. The Grinch is one of my all time favourite Christmas films, I can probably quote the whole thing to you! He always takes pride of place near the top.

I love this little cute glass bottle of Coke with a Christmassy ribbon wrapped around it. Not only do I love Coke, but when I see the Coke Christmas Advert I know Christmas is definitely coming! 

Everyone who knows me, knows I am basically a magpie when it comes to anything sparkly, and knows I love anything Bambi, so I couldn't resist purchasing this. It was only £2.50 from Paperchase and I only bought it a few weeks ago so it should still be in stores.

FRIENDS is my all time favourite programme. I've seen each episode a gazillion and one times, and am so sad I often reference scenes in my day to day life when something reminds me of it! "We were on a break", "Joey doesn't share food!" "He is her lobster", "Regina Flange", "I got off the plane"... it still cracks me up every time I rewatch episodes. I picked this up in the NBC store in New York.

No matter how many people tell me this looks nothing like Marilyn, I don't care, I LOVE IT! I love Marilyn and am a huge fan of her films and think she is literally the most beautiful woman to have ever walked the earth! I picked this up in New York as well, and purchased the little diamond decorations from Asda here in the UK to complete the whole "Marilyn - Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" look

And finally, this is my Big Apple New York 2013 Decoration. Even though I went to New York in 2011, my trip in 2013 was definitely a once in a lifetime, pinch me I'm dreaming moments. My parents paid for us to go for my 18th birthday, and we had such an amazing time. We literally did everything touristy in New York, and I will never forget driving over Brooklyn Bridge and getting some amazing night time photographs of the skyline. This ornament is to remind me of my trip!

I hope you liked my Christmas tree. I know it isn't the most conventional tree, but I love how every ornament is so 'Shannon'! 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Clothes Show Live! Birmingham

Apologies for not having blogged for a while - I have been completely run off my feet with job applications, essays and never ending reading lists! I'm really looking forward to 4 weeks at home when hopefully I will be blogging a lot, so keep your eyes peeled!

So on Saturday, I went to the Clothes Show in Birmingham with one of my best friends Beth. It's only about half an hour from where I am at uni, and we both went about 4 years ago and fancied going again. I was so excited and I can't wait to book my tickets for next year's already!

First of all we watched the Catwalk Fashion/Dance Show. For me, this is A-MAZ-ING. Not only do models do that flawless walk down the catwalk, the hesitation at the end, and the strut back that we all envy let's face it, but there were also 3 or 4 dance scenes of the models and the theme this year was New York/America - my favourite place on earth! So it is really really entertaining.

Rick Edwards hosted this year, I managed to get a photo of him with this topless model giving a goody bag out - the girl who received this got to go on stage and get a cuddle and kisses from him and I'm still jealous today!

Jetta performed, who I had never heard of before but I couldn't believe how amazing her voice was. She was absolutely stunning and her performance was unbelievable. 

Here are some photos from the catwalk / dance show. It really was amazing and I think I sat with my jaw open for the whole hour or so!

We then walked round the endless rows of stalls spending like there was no tomorrow - I spotted Lauren Goodger and had major hair envy!! The queues to have photos with the TOWIE/MIC cast were huge so we just tried to grab snaps from afar - sneaky!

I purchased some Sparkly Lips lipstick - it's not actually a lipstick, it is a hypo allergenic glue and then you use the applicator to roll loose glitter (also face friendly!) over the top. I am such a magpie to anything sparkly and we couldn't wait to try it. I fell in love so much I purchased a tub of the Rose Pink-Red to bring home, and can't wait to wear it to all the Christmas parties and meals over the festive season! 

Barry M had their infamous £10 goody bags which are just incredible. They are so popular girls were running over and handing £10 over without even asking what came in the goody bag. You couldn't choose the things in them but I think it is such good value for money. I received 6 nail varnishes (Gold Crackle Effect, a Metallic Grey which I love, Baby Blue Textured Effects, Black and Gold Glitter, Magnetic Metallic Grey polish and a Limited Edition coral pink colour. I also received 2 dazzle dusts, three eyeliners AND a lipgloss!)

I also purchased the £10 Models Own Goody Bag. What I loved about this was that you chose your three Models Own Nail varnishes, and they put them in a goody bag with the other items for you for £10. As these polishes retail at £5 each I wasn't even bothered what they put in the bag, but it was actually really nice stuff! I received eyelash curlers, four eyeshadow applicators and two make up sponges which I am constantly in need of, two eyeliners, a nail art pen, a lip balm, a pocket mirror and a four sided nail file and buff. Wow!

I also purchased the W7 In the Nude Palette on a whim. These retail at about £7-£8 each, and I managed to bag this for £5. You could get 3 for £10 which is an absolute steal, but I just couldn't think who to buy them for! It is clearly a Urban Decay Palette Dupe, and I was really keen to try this because I've been meaning to start wearing eyeshadow for a while. I've never really been one for eyeshadow, as I'm generally awful at applying it, but I thought for £5 I can't go wrong! If I like it I may make the Urban Decay investment!

Did any of you attend the Clothes Show this weekend? If so, what were your favourite purchases? For those of you who didn't, what do you think of the bargains I managed to pick up? I'd love to hear from you all in the comments below

Sunday, 30 November 2014

November Favourites

Hi everyone! Sorry for not blogging as much as usual, I've been so busy over the last few weeks getting reading done, essays written and dissertation planned ready for Christmas deadlines! Term ends on Friday, so I will be blogging a lot more again within the next few weeks.

Here are my November favourites - not all are Beauty related! I hope you enjoy, and if you post a November favourites, comment below with the link as I would love to read them all!

Save the Children Robin Christmas Jumper I haven't actually worn this yet, because I think it is against the law to wear a Christmas Jumper before 1st December (not the fairisle ones, they're OK, just the full on novelty ones!) But this is a firm favourite of mine for November because I really can't wait to wear it. I'm holding a Christmas Jumper fundraiser round my house for Save the Children which I will be blogging all about afterwards, so it will be perfect for that, and I'm so glad some of the money I spent on this jumper went to the charity. Everyone who knows me knows I have an obsession with bird prints so Robins are perfect for me, and I love the pom poms!

2-in-1 Cuticle Trimmer I have the world's worst cuticles, especially in winter. They seem to grow so quickly and get quite painful when they are dry, and make my nails just look awful! I've tried every cream, oil and cuticle pusher under the sun, but this 2-in-1 trimmer is definitely the answer to my cuticle crisis. I was a bit nervous as it is quite sharp, but if you apply gentle force as you push along your cuticle, you remove so much more than any other cuticle product I've tried. I would definitely recommend this if you suffer with dry and overgrown cuticles.

Kate Moss Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick in '107' I do love pretty lipsticks, but I am not the most confident person when it comes to branching out and wearing anything more than a subtle colour. I saw this Kate Moss lipstick in Boots though, and thought it was about time I started wearing whatever I like, and I'm so glad I did. I love this berry purple-red colour and think it is perfect for Autumn/Winter. I've received several compliments on this and feel it really adds the perfect final touch to my make up.

Glade Honey and Chocolate Candle In the last few weeks or so I've really developed a candle obsession. I saw this in Tesco on offer for £2 when doing my weekly shop, and when I smelt it I just had to buy it! It smells so dreamy, and I think Honey and Chocolate really compliment each other well. I'm not a huge fan of Christmassy candle smells in general (although I am lusting over the Yankee Candle Angels Wings one) but this still has that warm and rich Autumn-Winter smell perfect for a candle at this time of year.

Take That and Olly Murs tickets I haven't actually received my tickets yet so couldn't include these in the photo, and they aren't really a product you would typically find in any blogger's favourites, but I just wanted to scream from the rooftops that within the last fortnight I've managed to get tickets for my two most favourite music artists. After spending a nervous hour or so before the 9am ticket release sat refreshing ticket master, I managed to get both within 10 minutes of them being released - which any Take That fan will know is unbelievable! (On the last tour it took me 6 hours at my computer to find some tickets). I'm really really excited, and they are both within a fortnight of each other in May 2015 so even though I'll have exams around then, I've still got things to look forward to.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post - if you would like regular updates, please follow me on Bloglovin', Instagram or Twitter - the links are posted below. I'm a few followers off 200 on Twitter so I would appreciate your help in getting me to hit the next big round number!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Liebster Award

So the lovely Chloe from I See Chloe (link to her blog here) nominated me for a Liebster Award, so I'm extremely chuffed as it is my third nomination overall!

First off I'm going to answer Chloe's questions, then I'm going to pose 10 questions myself for bloggers I nominate to answer. I think this award is a great opportunity to learn more about us bloggers but also to enhance that real 'community feel' that I think you get as a blogger.

Chloe's questions to me

1. Do you still see yourself blogging in a year's time? I really really do. I'll (hopefully) have graduated and started working full time, and so I would love to continue blogging through such an important transition in my life. I actually think I'll have a lot more time to blog as well, and a lot more things to blog about! At the moment I'm a poor student with a huge workload, so I just don't get to do as many of the things that I would like, that I would love to blog about.

2. What made you choose your blog theme? E.g. beauty/lifestyle I chose to write a lifestyle blog because the original aim was to keep my family and friends all over the globe up to date with what I was doing, and so I could record everything for me to look back on and reflect upon. I've eventually moved into beauty as well now I guess, purely because I am addicted to make up and spend so much of my money on it! So I feel I might as well as share what I've learnt from products to help others.

3. Do you have an embarrassing story about your younger self? If so, what is it? I think the most embarrassing thing about me in general is that I was always bloody naked as a toddler! On the beach and around the house, you just couldn't get clothes on me for the life of me it seems! I just think I was a bit of a free spirit haha.

4. Are you more of a morning person or a night owl? ABSOLUTELY a night owl. I struggle to get to sleep any earlier than 1am and every morning I feel like someone is standing on my head, and really struggle to get out of bed.

5. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? This is an idealistic question, so I'm going to give it an idealistic answer - I wish people didn't die. I know there are bad sides of this, because evil people would just live forever and conflicts would be so much more difficult, but I just think death and loss is the absolute worst thing in my life. I don't think you are ever ready for it, even though we all know it's a part of life. Death is the thing I'm most scared of in this world - not just my own, but everyone I love around me.

6. What is your favourite thing to see on a blog? Personality in blog posts I think is my favourite thing. Some blogs are sooo good at doing this - I think Louise at Sprinkle of Glitter's is one of my favourites for this reason!

7. Jeans or skirts? Definitely jeans, skinny jeans at that! Everyone always comments on how funny I walk, and I feel conscious that it is more noticeable when I wear skirts!

8. Have you ever dyed your hair? If so, what colour? I've dyed my hair non-stop since I was about 11 now. Originally it was blonde with bits of red in, then I went solid blonde, then brown with blonde streaks, then solid white blonde, and now more of a natural brown with blonde highlights. I'll continue to do it forever because I hate my natural hair colour!

9. Where do you usually find your blog post inspiration? Often random ideas just pop into my head, or when I've done a successful shopping trip or had a really amazing day out I mainly love to blog about those kinds of things. I also get ideas from blogs such as Zoella's, Sprinkle of Glitter's, Faye's Fix and Meg's Boutique because they're some of my favourite blogs.

10. Twitter or Facebook? Definitely Twitter. I've really gone off Facebook in the last year or two, and find that it is now just used to Facebook stalk each other who we don't like, spread gossip, or to show off about the amazing things we have bought or are going to see/do. I'm just as guilty of doing it. I just use it now to stay in touch with friends and family at home. 

My questions to my nominated bloggers
1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
2. Would you ever appear on a Reality TV show? If so, which one?
3. What is your favourite thing about Christmas?
4. If you had to be a Disney character for a day, who would it be and why?
5. Which three famous people (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party?
6. What made you decide to start a blog?
7. What would you say your secret guilty pleasure is?
8. Name a beauty product you couldn't live without
9. Which celebrity would you say is the 'best dressed' or you get the most fashion inspiration from?
10. What is your favourite perfume/body spray?

I nominate:

Let me know when you've posted your answers on your blogs as I would love to read them

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Christmas Tag!

The most Christmassy photo I have taken so far this year - at the Birmingham Christmas Market last weekend

12 days after today and my Christmas holidays will officially begin! I am so excited now, I really am a big kid when it comes to Christmas. I just love having the opportunity to spend so long at home!

I spotted this tag over on the Make Up Savvy blog (here) and couldn't resist posting my own version as the Christmas mad blogger that I am!

1. What is/are your favourite Christmas movie/s?
I love spending evenings watching Christmas films, so this is quite difficult but if I had to narrow it down I would say... Home Alone 1 and 2, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Such classics!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
We open one little present on Christmas Eve each in my house, but open the rest on Christmas morning. I couldn't imagine not opening them on Christmas Day, I love waking up, going downstairs and everyone just sitting together opening them all!

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
Not really, every Christmas I've ever known has been so special, and each is unique in it's own little way. Nothing in particular really stands out for me! My favourite part of Christmas Day is opening the presents as a family, then going to see my nephews and nieces open theirs - and Christmas Dinner of course!

4. Favourite festive food?
Pigs in Blankets! Every year I get absolutely addicted. I'll eat them for breakfast with a fried egg, in a sandwich and obviously with a Roast Dinner on Christmas Day. My Mum always jokes that she's stocked up before I come home.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?
I have been so lucky in my life to receive some really amazing Christmas presents, so I find it difficult to pinpoint just one or two. I'm grateful for any gift I receive and love the effort people go to when choosing presents for me. Within the last year or so my favourite presents have probably been tickets - last Christmas I got tickets for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London, this Christmas one of my presents is a ticket to see Matilda in London (notice the theme haha!) and this year I'm also getting TAKE THAT TICKETS which is just the best news ever because I am the biggest fan in the world!

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Lush's Snow Fairy, Yankee Candles Angel's Wings and Glade's Honey and Chocolate are my favourite Christmassy scents this year!

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Opening a little present each is probably the main one, but we also go to my oldest brother's house to have a Roast Ham dinner with him and his little family which is always great. I also tend to have a really amazing breakfast - including of course, pigs in blankets, and we tend to just stay in in the evening wrapped up watching all the Christmas Specials!

8. What tops your tree?
I have a mini tree in my bedroom, but it is so small nothing tends to balance on top unfortunately. On the main tree in our house though, we have this really big old fashioned Santa which is so cute! If I could choose a tree topper I would probably have a sparkly star or angel.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
I actually asked Santa for a car when I was six! He started choking he was laughing so hard, and my family thought it was hilarious. At the time I was so confused, but looking back I can't believe I asked for a sports car, when the kids in the queue in front of me had asked for a Barbie or something. Trust me! My excuse is that Mum had been banging on about wanting the car for months to my Dad, and so I feel I was actually the most selfless child, because the gift would obviously have gone to my Mum! Unfortunately Santa couldn't fit a soft top into his Sleigh that year...

10. What is the best part about Christmas for you?
Definitely overindulging on all the food. I think I'm going to love this even more now I've been on a healthy eating kick for the past few months. I also just love seeing everyone - being away at uni makes me so sad sometimes, and I am such a homebird without a doubt. For Christmas I get four perfect weeks off, and everyone is so happy because it's Christmas so it's just a really lovely time.

If any of you bloggers reading this decide to post your own, please comment in the link below as I would love to read your answers. If you don't have a blog, please feel free to post your answers in a comment below!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Lush Coventry Christmas Blogger Meet Up

Yesterday I attended a christmassy Blogger Meet Up organised by the very lovely Emily from Drained Beauty. It was one of the most fun evenings I've had in ages, and was just such an incredible experience for me.

Lush in Coventry very kindly opened the shop after hours for a handful of bloggers from the Coventry and Birmingham area, specialising in Beauty, but also Fashion and Lifestyle. It was really nice meeting people who enjoy the same hobby as you and who you can chat away to about beauty routines and favourite products and things.

After a mingling session with drinks and nibbles, we all were given the opportunity by the very lovely staff at Lush to make our own bath bomb. I was sooo excited by this, as I love making things and love Lush, so I guess it was a match made in heaven! We were allowed to make the Cinders Ballistic Bath Bomb, which not only has popping candy but cinnamon leaf oil, so it is very christmassy and relaxing!

We then wandered around the shop, trying out various products. The staff were incredibly helpful, and I can honestly say it was difficult leaving the shop without buying one of everything. I told them about my dry and sensitive winter skin, or the fact I'm worried about my hair thinning out and not growing as much, and they literally had a cure for everything! My favourite picks were:

The Christmas Hedgehog Bubble Bar I'm a huge fan of the Lush Bubble bars. you basically crumble part of them under running water and they create an endless stream of sweet smelling bubbles. The Hedgehog is not only the cutest thing I've ever seen, but is made from Shea, Cocoa butter to moisturise your skin and essential oils including rose and ylang ylang, which was just the perfect combination for me.

Pearl Massage Bar One of the staff kindly gave me a hand massage using the Pearl Massage Bar and I'm seriously kicking myself for not buying it. It was the first time I had tried any of the massage bars, and I found that it was not just relaxing but also so much better to many moisturisers I've tried. No water is required, you simply rub the massage bar up and down until it melts into your skin, and then follow this up by massaging it in. It left my skin feeling really refreshed and glowing, and there was no sticky after-effect at all. Again, this was a rose scented product, you're probably noticing a pattern here in my tastes and preferences...

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner Again, I would have loved to have bought this product there and then, but instead I thought it would be more sensible to add things onto my Christmas list. You basically use this in the shower, rubbing it into wet skin and then rinsing off, almost like a shampoo or conditioner on your hair. By the end of the evening, my skin felt thoroughly refreshed, and I was so thankful of how friendly and helpful the staff were.

Reindeer Rock Soap Out of the soaps on offer, this or the Honey one were definitely my top picks. The staff were absolutely wonderful and gave us all a free sample of this, and I can't wait to start using it. Not only does it have a reindeer print all over and so is perfect for the Christmas period, but it has a lingonberry scent, which was just beautiful!

Northern Lights Bath Bomb This is another Lush product that has gone on my Christmas list (sorry Mum and Dad!) Harry at Lush demonstrated this product, and I just couldn't believe how pretty the water became. The bomb fizzes away to reveal blue and neon green tints, and while the colours are sharp, the scent is very subtle, with a jasmine and ylang ylang base, which I thought was perfect for when all you want is a nice hot relaxing bath after a long day!

The staff then talked us through all of the various Christmas gift sets, which not only contained all of the amazing Christmas range on offer, but were wrapped so nicely. You definitely wouldn't need to wrap these gift sets - I think they make the perfect gift for anyone of any age. The Snow Time Gift Set had glow in the dark wrapping paper which I thought was pretty cool, but my favourite was definitely the Jingle Bells gift set - and yes it has real bells on it! For under £30 you receive two reusable bubble bars which will last for endless baths, The Comforter bubble bar, the Golden Wonder bath bomb which is A-MAZ-ING by the way (definitely check it out next time you're in Lush), the Luxury Lush Pud and the ever so cute Christmas Hedgehog.
I would definitely recommend checking the Christmas gift sets out online here

I then purchased a few things - mainly Christmas presents for other people so I won't list the items specifically on here! But one of the things I bought was a Lush Wrap Knot - I hadn't heard of these before but they are so pretty! For around £4, you receive a silk scarf type material which can be used as a scarf, headband, or to wrap the Lush goodies in, either for you or for a gift for someone else. And wrapping paper that doubles as an accessory sounds pretty cool to me! I purchased the Bambi scarf, because I have a bit of an obsession.

I had such an amazing evening, as I'm sure you can tell. A big big big thank you to Emily from Drained Beauty blog for organising the event - you did an amazing job and I think it was clear that everyone had a great time.
Also a big thank you to The Blogger Programme for the goody bags that we received - being a part of the Blogger Programme has really helped me connect with other bloggers and businesses, and I've really fallen in love with blogging as a result. I can't wait to review all of the free goodies on here!
And FINALLY, a HUGE thank you to Lush in Coventry - you were so accommodating and friendly, and I am so grateful that you allowed me to try so many amazing products and to receive all the samples and free products that we did. Several of you really made me giggle, and you really took my tastes into account when showing me products, and also recommended products based on my skin type or that were good for my beauty dilemmas. If any of you reading this are ever in the Coventry area, definitely stop by! I am so ready for Christmas now, and my Christmas wishlist has grown that little bit longer thanks to Lush!

Do you have any Lush products you would recommend? I think my love of Lush is literally bordering on addiction!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A Guide to Student Well Being

If you are not a student- I still encourage you to read this. Many of the tips will be extremely useful for anyone who gets stressed or anxious :) I am just writing this as a student, because 95% of the stress and worry I face is the side effect of being a student - exam and essay deadline stress, increasing workloads, balancing work-social life, missing home too much... and so on.

As a Student Blogger paid by my university (a different blog - I'm not paid for this one), I decided to attend a course with the Student Support Services at my uni to discuss Student Wellbeing, my own experiences, and also to learn about the various things we can do to improve our wellbeing. This can be seeking further help, but can also be as simple as many home remedies, or techniques to try by yourself at home.
There is an awful stigma attached to the idea of 'wellbeing' and 'mental health'. It is important to remember that you are not alone in any feelings you have - the entire student experience can be extremely stressful. We are under pressure (both externally by society, but let's face it, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves too!) to get the best degree possible, to do hundreds and thousands of extra curricular activities and to have a job, all to look good on your CV so at the end of three years, you either get on to an incredible Masters programme or land ourselves the perfect job. Student culture seems to have become this rigid perfect plan for a lot of us, and it is important to discuss student wellbeing.
A lot of people define wellbeing as being 'happy'. I would have agreed before I attended the course earlier. But let's face it, no one is 100% happy 100% of the time! Wellbeing is about realising your full potential, being able to balance high challenges and stress with engaging in activities we enjoy, and having a social life.
We were asked to discuss our own wellbeing, and it got me to thinking which activities in my life allow me to thrive, and which activities give me the balance to stop me becoming too stressed and unwell. I am a member of a Dance Society on campus, and also help to run the Politics Society. I've also taken up jogging since summer and I'm really enjoying all of these activities. It is nice to break up reading with a nice jog, or to see my friends and to do something meaningful. Sometimes it's great I guess to just finish an article, and ring my parents to see how they are. Little things like this are well and truly BRILLIANT for maintaining a good wellbeing.
How to monitor your own wellbeing - have you noticed changes to...
  • Your sleep routine and subsequently your energy levels?
  • Are you lacking motivation? Procrastinating?
  • Are you no longer enjoying hobbies and activities that used to make you really happy?
  • Are you focusing all of your efforts on one aspect of your life at the expense of everything else? E.g. are you focusing too much on your academic work, and not seeing your family and friends, and is your house a mess?
  • Finding that you are not as effective in your work as usual?
Top Tips
  • The NHS 5 ways to feeling good - connect with others, be active (exercise!), take notice of your health and emotions, keep learning, give time to yourself.
  • Be realistic - break the jobs you need to do into small manageable chunks. Timetable, but include "me" time and allow for spontaneous fun plans!
  • Celebrate your achievement
  • Seek support when things aren't going to plan!
  • Make one change at a time - don't try correcting everything that may be going wrong at once. There is a tendency to feel over pressured and you concentrate on the negatives
  • Talk to yourself the way you would talk to others
  • Try not to compare how you FEEL to how you SEE others. You don't know how they are feeling and what is going on with them because you are not in their shoes!
  • Stay hydrated and eat a healthy, balanced diet with an occasional diet!
  • Ask yourself, have you already tried to remedy the problem you are dealing with yourself? If this failed, then maybe it's time to seek Student Support Services' help!
I hope you found this blog post useful. Over the last few weeks I have been stressed to the max, and I think it is difficult sometimes to say 'no' to extra commitments and responsibilities and to try and find time for yourself to just relax and enjoy yourself!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...