Saturday, 30 November 2013

5 Christmas gift ideas for Dads

My Dad is one of the easiest people to buy for at this time of year, mostly because (like me) he knows exactly what he wants. This is a little guide for those of you who have Dads (brothers/boyfriends/uncles) who are a little harder to buy for! 
If you have a Dad like mine that works long hours, the wake up kit from L'Oreal is a perfect start to the day! My Dad likes to golf, so you could get your Dad something to do with their favourite sport, football, rugby. It's a pretty diverse present, and can be tailored to the individual. Socks, because why not? You could get him that movie that he's always loved, but never go around to buying, or the movie of the year. Yup, even guys get cold, and I love how this jumper would suit most men because of the navy colour which is pretty much universal. 
Hope that gave you some ideas! 

Friday, 29 November 2013

Christmas Jumpers

I've been seeing a LOT of posts like this whirling around the interwebs for a good couple of weeks, and figured why not do one myself? I've never really been into Christmas jumpers, but this year for some reason I really like them. I think that the calibre of the style has definitely increased. I also tried to pick jumpers suitable for different price ranges. 
Here are my favourite picks for Christmas jumpers this year! 
I just love the red gingerbread man jumper (perfect for wearing whilst making gingerbread houses!), and am definitely going to pick up the pink reindeer one from New Look when my pay check comes through! I can totally vouch for the mint fairisle jumper from New Look, it's so warm and fluffy and not itchy at all. I love how the Christmas one from River Island is both a mix of 'fairisle fashion' and one of the ugliest jumpers I've ever seen. The monochrome reindeer jumper would be great paired with red metallic disco pants, or a red glitter hair bow!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

My favourite Christmas songs 2013!

I think a really important thing around this time of year is definitely Christmas music, it can get you really in the mood for Christmas so much! There are obviously the carols, the classics and then there’s the soundtracks. I have a LOT of favourite Christmas songs, and I’ve only just started to really listen to them, so I feel like I held out for a decent amount of time! Here’s a big list of my favourite Christmas songs, past and present. 

Bill Nighy - Christmas is all around 


 If Bill Nighy is in a film, I’ll watch it just because he’s in it, he’s bloody brilliant. Also, I met him in Fortnum and Masons...I’ll let that sit with you for a while. Love Actually isn’t honestly my favourite Christmas film, but I do really enjoy watching it once or twice during the season. Bill Nighy’s introduction in this film is bloody brilliant, and I think it can completely sum the UK’s sense of humour up. 

Bowling for Soup - I melt with you


 

 Bowling for Soup have been on my radar for about a year now, I loved ‘Girl all the bad guys want’. So when I was watching The Snowmen the other day and heard this song, I knew exactly which band was singing it and I was right! I love this song, it’s up beat and cheerful, and is kinda a love song without all the forlorn or lovey dovey Christmassy stuff.


The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York 


 I really don’t think that there’s a better Christmas song than this one. I’m sorry, I just don’t. It’s a complete classic and it wouldn’t be Christmas without it. 

The Muppet’s Christmas Carol - It feels like Christmas 


 Now when I watch this film, I don’t really take in this song, no idea why, but when I listen to it I really love it. There’s something so warm and perfect about it, and I think that having the big chorus really helps, particularly as its a musical. The song stresses how important love is at this time of year, and I think that’s incredibly important. 

Mariah Carey - All I want for Christmas is You


 I may not LOVE this song, but it’s one that I like to shop to...does that sound weird? I like it when the shops play this, yeah, that sounds better. It’s a great shopping track and definitely gets you in the mood for the season, I think that Mariah’s rounded vocals and the bells just work so well together. Yup, that sounds weird. 


The Wombles - Wombling Merry Christmas 



Just for fun. 

So those are my favourite Christmas songs (of all time and) of 2013! I'm tagging my friend Emma over at Anchors Away Beauty to do this too! 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Colour - Review

(Just a quick note, I will have swatches up when I'm feeling a bit better, I don't want to use my makeup products whilst I'm sick)
I’ve been gandering at Benefit’s new Hydra-smooth lip colours ever since they came out with them, and finally decided to take the plunge a couple of weeks back. I’m still testing these out, but so far everything is gong really well. I’m even asking for a couple more for Christmas! First off I’ll say I’m a matte lipstick girl, if it’s matte I must have it - Really excited for the Revlon matte collection! But these lipsticks have definitely changed my mind towards creamier formulas, I used to think that creamier formulas were greasy and basically, the lipstick Devil. I’ve bought several creme lipsticks from MAC and love them because I have  a method of making them matte and long-wearing. But I feel like around this time of year, you need a bit more moisture on yah lips, and these are the perfect thing to do just that! 
Let’s start with the packaging, Benefit is world-renowned for their cute vintage-inspired packaging and they definitely hit the target with these cases! I like how the cardboard is slightly thicker than boxes for other products, as it shows that these bright green cases are meant to be more durable. However, one problem I’ve had is that for some reason the case on Dare Me is a little loose, so I go to pick up the box and the lipstick and inner card casing falls out. But Wing Woman’s casing is fine! I’m just going to give props to Benefit here for having two lipsticks named after things from Tom Cruise films...just added to their awesomeness in my eyes. 
The packaging of the actual lipstick is cream and kinda looks like a greek column but in a vintage 1920’s way, does that make sense? No? Okay. It’s beautiful and one of the things that really draws your eye when looking at your lipstick collection, they stand out amongst the black lipstick cases of other brands. The Benefit girl on the front corresponds to the colour of the lipstick inside, and you do get a little booklet inside the card tubes. 
The lipstick is a strange shape, and I’m not too sure that I like it. 
(Apologies for the blurred photo)
I like the look of it, but for my lip shape it doesn’t correspond particularly well, as I have a more ‘defined’ or ‘pointed’ cupid’s bow. So bare that in mind. But I do like how it makes them look a little more individual, and the shape does visually correspond well with the packaging. However I can see this lipstick turning into more of a ‘nub’ quicker than say a MAC lippy, because of the shape. The formula is light and creamy, but not creamy and slippery like lip balm but just beautiful. 
These glide on so well, and don’t show up any flaws you may have on your lips, being hydrating they don’t show cracks either! They are pigmented and long-wearing, but if you want to wear these out for the day, I’d take it with you because naturally you will need to touch-up. 
Dare Me is a bright red-toned fuscia, it’s on the warmer side rather than the cooler, you can see me wearing it here in my LUSH Christmas haul. I found that the pigment in this slightly stained my lips, leaving them a beautiful pleasant pink when I took it off. I’m considering wearing this on New Year’s eve because it’s so bright, this is definitely the brightest out of all the hydra-smooth lip colours. 
Wing Woman (come on you know...like Wing Man from Top Gun!!!) is a peachy neutral. I usually have a problem with neutrals washing me out, but this one really doesn’t! It looks slightly brown toned in the tube, which actually put me off a little but once tried it is MUCH sheerer than Dare Me and is definitely a peach rather than a brown. Again this is beautiful and moisturising, however has a shorter wear time, more top-ups would be needed. But I really do like this lippie and have asked for Frisky Business (come on...that’s a T Cruise MOVIE!) for Christmas. 
All together I love these lipsticks, they are balmy but not slippery, pigmented and packaged beautifully! I would definitely recommend these, and they might just change other matte lipstick lovers out there like me! May I just say that I’ve had so much writing this post, why? I’m in the car on my way to Falmouth and listening to Bill Nighy sining that song from Love Actually (yes, I have it on my computer and it’s one of my favourite Christmas songs of all-time) and Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. Needless to say I’m feeling VERY festive, so look out for a ‘favourite Christmas songs’ post coming up soon! 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Christmas Giveaway - Gift Two


I'm really happy with how the first Christmas gift giveaway has been going so far, so here's time for the announcement of the second one! 
If you have entered my first giveaway and want to enter this one too, you are welcome to. This is because Giveaway One and Giveaway Two are running side by side. I'm really happy with how these giveaways are going, and remember it's completely free to enter! Check out the video to see what you can win here! 
The Gifts: 
1x LUSH Candy Mountain Bubble Bar
1x LUSH Snowcake Soap
1x Snow White Mini BeauXoXo glitter hair bow
1x Sleek Oh So Special Palette 
1x Merry Marshmallow Yankee Candle Votive

Now for the boring part, the rules and notifications:
  1. You MUST be aged 16 or over to enter this competition or have your parents permission to enter. 
  2. You MUST be living within the United Kingdom, unfortunately I'm not able to make this giveaway international...maybe next time eh? 
  3. Giveaway week one (this one) will be CLOSED on the 1st of December
  4. The winner will be drawn on the 1st of December and notified and contacted personally, within the week following. 
  5. The winner will be announced on the 8th of December on here (my blog), my Twitter and on my YouTube channel. This will be pre-recorded as I am travelling to Berlin on the 8th.
  6. If you enter and WIN one of these gifts, you are then not allowed to enter ANY of the following Christmas 2013 Giveaways, this allows for fairness. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Christmas Giveaway - Gift One

Hey guys! It's that time of year that everything starts to feel a little bit perfect, and you start to feel that little more generous. I recently hit 50 followers on here, which is completely and totally EPIC! It's something I never thought would happen, and I feel very fortunate to have you guys in my life! So, as it's Christmas I have decided to do a few little giveaways. 
I wanted to spread the Christmas cheer as far and wide as possible, so instead of making one big gift to be received by only one person, I am giving away four gifts. I've decided on four, as there are four Sundays leading up to Christmas day, the 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd. 
Check out the prizes for week one below in this YouTube video, and see what you're in with a chance of winning! 

The Gifts:
1x LUSH So White Bath Bomb
1x LUSH Orange Jelly Soap
1x Collection Gothic Glam Lipstick in Revenge
1x Yankee Candle Christmas Eve Votive Candle

Now for the boring part, the rules and notifications:
  1. You MUST be aged 16 or over to enter this competition or have your parents permission to enter. 
  2. You MUST be living within the United Kingdom, unfortunately I'm not able to make this giveaway international...maybe next time eh? 
  3. Giveaway week one (this one) will be CLOSED on the 1st of December
  4. The winner will be drawn on the 1st of December and notified and contacted personally, within either that day or the week following. 
  5. The winner will be announced on the 1st of December on here (my blog), my Twitter and on my YouTube channel
  6. If you enter and WIN one of these gifts, you are then not allowed to enter ANY of the following Christmas 2013 Giveaways, this allows for fairness. 
  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck! 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

My first baking video!

So as you all know I'm making some forays into the big wide world of YouTube, and I think I'm doing okay. It's not like I have 100s of subscribers, but I think that my videos are coming out well, which is the main point right? 
Anyway, I've been watching baking videos for ages on YouTube, people like Beth Mota and Jennifer Ross totally inspire my own videos. So I've decided to do some of my own! Yup! 
My first video is clearly inspired by the Christmas season, and honestly there were some ups and downs, not everything went right but then it was never going to! I used the wrong pan in the beginning, but those mince pies turned out fine anyway. But I absolutely LOVED making this video, and will probably do more the closer it gets to Christmas because let's face it I'm a baker...obviously this video isn't the best example but stick around and watch the bloopers at the end. 
In this video I show you how to make some incredibly easy, idiot proof, mince pies. Literally the village fool could make these, and you can freeze them ahead of time to cook on Christmas Eve! 
I'd definitely recommend the Sainsbury's own mincemeat though, it's bloody brilliant and packed full of fruit. It's only £1.80 ish for the massive jar that I got. Good huh? 
Anyway, sit back, relax and SUBSCRIBE! 
Ps. Be prepared for my NEW FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG to debut in this video...

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Big Project - Where I've been

After a little bit of this...
I'm BAAAAACCCKK!!! 
Yup, I'm back in action and I'm ready to announce why I've been away, and what I've been doing! 
Well (prepare yourselves some long rambling may be happening) I've been dying to really get my claws into YouTube and I think it's finally happening! 
I'm announcing here and now that I am taking part in Vlogmas this year, but am unsure about Blogmas at the moment. You can preview what's happening this Vlogmas below in my 'Coming Soon...' video. 
Yeah.
But that's not my BIG ANNOUNCEMENT...here it comes...I OFFICIALLY OWN MY OWN BUSINESS!
Okay, so it's only an Etsy shop, but it's still a pretty big deal to me...but then again Vlogmas is a big deal to me so...(yes, I just confused myself) 
My shop is called 'The Ever After Nook' and contains jewellery based around fairytales, myths and legends. I've been secretly working on this since the beginning of September and have kept it relatively quiet since then, which is pretty amazing for me. I have some special Christmas earrings up, and some other beautiful pieces. Now I'll shut up and let y'all take a quick look.
So, that's my big announcement and that's where I've been for the past week or so! I'll get back to regular blogging soon enough, but I just wanted to update all of you on where I am and what's going on! 
Also, don't you just LOVE my new Christmas title picture and social media icons? 


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

LUSH Review - Christmas Eve Bubble Bar

The Christmas Eve bubble bar is part of LUSH's Christmas Collection this year, it's something they've brought back from last year but with a little difference. The blue 'sky' section is a lot lighter than it was last year. These bubble bars are £2.95 a piece, and as I said in my last bubble bar review, for bars like this it's easy to pick out the biggest one in a pile. You get more for your money. 
The bar is a circular shape, and is divided into two pieces, a yellow moon and a blue sky. It's meant to look like a crescent moon. 
I broke this bar in two and decided to use the whole thing because my bath is quite large, however if you have a smaller sized bath you could easily cut this in half. If you do this, I'd suggest cutting it horizontally, so you get some yellow and blue in both bits! The blue is swirled which reminded me of Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' a little, it even has the bright yellow crescent moon! 
This bar was slightly squishy and easy to crumble, it created a bright, lime green bath water colour. I really liked the colour of the water, as it was quite unexpected but completely awesome! 
This bar smells like jasmine and a little lavender, its very soothing and calming. I decide to use it after a later shift at work and really enjoyed using it, it's perfect to use after a long day and just before bedtime. It leaves you feeling fantastic, and the scent lingers on the skin for a while which is very relaxing in bed. 
I really enjoyed using this product, and I'd definitely recommend it for newer LUSHies as well as those who love LUSH as much as I do. It's super relaxing but also very refreshing so is great to use at any time of day or night! 
You can see the Christmas Eve Bubble Bar in action in one of my latest vlogs: 
Also, this is my 70th(!) post! 

Monday, 4 November 2013

The 2013 Christmas Tag!

I know, Steff it's only the 4th of November, bonfire night hasn't even happened yet! I know, I know but to be honest, I started feeling Christmassy about midway through October, so I feel like I've held off on this kinda thing for pretty long. I found this tag on Makeup-Pixi3's blog and decided to do it myself, I LOVE tags, can you tell? 

1.  Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or synthetic?
I always have a synthetic Christmas tree, we keep it in the loft all year round and it's always fun struggling to get it down. I guess that's become our families' christmas tree tradition! We have a fake tree because if the cats get curious and eat the pine needles, no idea why they would but just if, it can get stuck in side them and cut them all up inside. So we decide not to risk that, having two VERY curious kittens and have a fake one. We've always had cats since I was born, so we've always had a fake tree, but I LOVE the smell of the trees so always try to buy a candle that smells like them! 

2.  You're in a coffee shop, it's December, what do you pick?
Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate if I'm feeling in the mood for something slightly refreshing and modern, but if I'm in the mood for something cosy hot chocolate with cinnamon. Yum! 

3.  Whats your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree?
Our big tree is more traditional, but it generally has a lot of random things on. Stuff that I made when I was a kid in junior school, baubles from places we've been etc. Our hallway tree is very traditional and is usually decked out in gold and red, with some cinnamon sticks. My NEW (!) tree (Ferdinand the Fern) will be gold and burgundy. 

4.  Giving or receiving?
It's nice opening presents, but my favourite thing is going out and picking or making the perfect gift for someone. I LOVE giving presents at Christmas! 

5.  To mince pie or not to?
BLEURGH! I really hate the taste! But I do make them for my family if asked to do so. 

6.  What's your traditional sunday lunch?
Sunday lunch or Christmas lunch? For me it's basically the same, turkey is my favourite of all meat, roast taters, cranberry sauce, broccoli, carrots and peas, and of course bread sauce and a bucketful of gravy! I also usually make a ham around Christmas, so sometimes my family has some of that too, but I don't eat pork. 

7.  Christmas day fashion
With my family we always dress up smartly for Christmas, the olds like to see us all dressed up. 

8.  What's your favourite Christmas song?
I like a LOT of Christmas songs, literally anything can get me in the Christmas mood! I really love Christmas carols, but (no offence to those that love him, because I'm sure some of you do!) I'm not that keen on Michael Buble, last year at my friends' big Christmas dinner party they played his songs on a constant loop. No Wham, no Wizzard, not even Mariah! 

9.  What's your favourite Christmas film?
ELF! No change doctor. 

10.  Open presents before or after lunch?
We usually open presents after lunch, it means that Mum can stop worrying about the turkey being dry and start opening presents! 

I hope y'all liked that little Christmas tag! I tag my friends Emma from Anchors Away Beauty and Alice from Alice Poppy to do this tag. And you too! If you do this tag, please let me know in the comments below and link it so I can read it! 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Just take my credit card, lock it in a box and throw it in the ocean...

Long post title right? It stemmed from something I posted on Twitter a couple of days ago. I got my first ever pay check on Friday and decided to treat myself to something nice, durable and expensive...my new Ted Baker handbag! I've never gone and bought myself anything like this before, and I LOVE it, his name is Pierre and he's having his first outing tomorrow... I also bought myself some little fashion goodies, a new pair of boots (I can never have too many!) and a slouchy jumper. 
I've also bought a LOT of wrapping paper, more than I should have...and I already have my eye on a few Sainsbury's patterns too...but I got some great deals! 
If you want me to, I can do a full breakdown blog post, but at the moment I have condensed it into a (my first ever!) YouTube haul, check it out here!
Please remember to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel, I've got a LOT of exciting things planned, Christmas DIYs, VLOGMAS (YES!) and some Christmas giveaways! (Yes, plural!) 
Can you tell I'm excited from the amount of exclamation points I'm using? If not, I am! 
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