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Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 - The year that was.

Happy New Years Eve!

So another year done with, we had planned to go out into London but the weather is pants so we're stopping in instead. So I thought I would look back over 2013 and the resolutions that I made :

Last years resolutions
- Be more organised with money - well I've got better, saved a lot and paired off a lot of the debt but there's still a lot to go!
- Get back on the bike - this started off so well but someone nicked my back brake from where my bike was stored so that buggered it!
- Learn more about photography - I've learnt more, but couldn't tell you what. I need to do an online course
- Visit more places - this didn't happen as much as I would have wanted, but the next point will explain why
- Buy first home - YES! We've done it, now just going through the process and waiting for our moving date! Hence no money to visit places.
- Go abroad - yup, we headed off to Spain with the boys family, it was a lovely week away :)

Overall, 2013 has been a good year, I've blogged more, taken on new challenges at school and have an exciting year to come - how was your year? Xx

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Winter Skincare - Nightly Routine

Winter is when my oily skin becomes really dehydrated and confused! So I've been trying to get into a consistent Skincare routine and it is paying off - I'm only getting the odd spot on my chin now!

As soon as I get in from work, I take all my make up off using Bioderma for my skin and Boots Botanics Eye Makeup remover - there's nothing better then clean skin in the evening.

Before bed I will double cleanse, first with Soap & Glory's Peaches and Clean and then the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm. I use a flannel to do this as it gets my skin really clean.

After cleansing I use La Roche Posay Effaclar Astrigent Toner to tone - this doesn't sting unless I've had a blackhead clearing session!

If my skin is feeling clogged up then il use Origins * Mask to unclog, I can actually feel my skin sighing with relief after this!

Once clean, I apply a little bit of Hudraluron where I need it most and then  a bit of Benefits EyeCon eye cream and the Origins Make a Difference - Plus + as it's a great, thick cream.

Overall, my skin has been much more settled since I've started this - it's amazing what a routine can do! 

What bits have you used this winter?! Xx

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Advent Door 21 - Wandering around London


So the other weekend, the boy and I went ice skating at the Natural History Museum. We booked the 6:00 skate so that it would be dark and the lights would be on!

Skating was great fun but I'm awful at it! Once we got off the ice we went for a wander around London to look at the lights, I took so many pictures! We visited Leicester Square where there was a winter wonderland style experiance, Picadilly Circus, Covent Garden and Carnaby Street.

I love wandering around looking at the lights of the city, so pretty! Perfect for getting in the Xmas mood! Xx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Advent Door 19 - Lush Candy Mountain Bubble Bar

1 Day to go!! I'm sure every teacher everywhere is breathing a massive sigh of relief; we are so close to a well-deserved break! As a treat, I picked up some bits from Lush to help me relax, lord knows I need to!

A firm favourite every year is the Candy Mountain Bubble Bar, I love Snow Fairy, but I have a stash of other shower gels to use first, so this will have to fulfil my Snow Fairy Fix.

Candy Mountain is the Bubble Bar equivalent of Snow Fairy, all in a cute, twisted candy mountain. It smells amazing, plus it’s pink and sparkly!

I use 1/4 of this in my bath and get loads of bubbles, plus it turns the water pink! I got 4 baths out of this, if you pop it into the fridge it goes hard so it’s easier to cut up into smaller chunks! Each piece gave the same amount of bubbles so I wasn't bothered about using a smaller amount! 

For £2.65, this is great at 66p per use; I have already stocked up a few more ready for once these are no longer available! 

I can't wait to use the rest of my bits; hopefully I will be all nice and relaxed! 

What’s your favourite Christmas Lush item? Xx

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Advent Door 18 - Review GHD Straight & Tame Cream

3 days today, today we have Xmas dinner at school; it’s always a highlight of the festive season! 

So I always seem to have an  on-going battle with my hair, its naturally very wavy, as my kids describe it, it’s a bit like mermaid hair when its curly, so when I straighten it, the battle of the curl is an ever present threat - a single drop of moisture and I represent Monica from Friends on Holiday in Barbados! However I think I have found something that helps!

ghd Style Straight & Tame Cream calms and smoothes frizz prone hair, helping you to bring curly and unmanageable hair under control. As well as taming your locks, this luxurious cream also offers protection against heat styling.

I tried it out last week for my work Xmas do, which was on a typical, rainy night, so straight hair was a massive risk for me. I put the recommended 5 pumps into my hands and then worked it through damp hair before blow drying. This resulted in massive hair, but it was all fairly straight. As this has heat protection within it, I then brushed through and used my straighteners, and I had straight hair.

I put this to the test that night, and even the rain didn't affect it! My hair didn't get tangly or start to curl, plus it didn't feel weighed down with product! It lasted really well, 3 days later; I still had straight hair, with no new damage which was great! 

I think this will become a new, firm favourite, I think straight hair will be happening a lot more during the week for work! 

You can pick this up from for the grand sum of £14.95, I can't fault it really - what do you think? What do you use to keep your hair tamed but protected? Xx

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Advent Door 17 - WIWT Check & Pleather

4 days to go until we break up for Xmas, I cannot wait! This term has been a long, old slog! 

So this is what I wore to work the other week, looking back at these pictures I realise I need to get back to the gym, I'm feeling very squidgy at the moment :(

I picked up this dress from Primark the other week; I love tartan and check at the moment so this was a good choice for me. I teamed it with my cut out boots from New look and some thick black tights. It was comfy and cosy for the day, but I wish I had realised how big I looked in the morning rather than spending all day like this :(

Oh well, what have you been wearing this week? Xx

Monday, 16 December 2013

Advent Door 16 - Lincoln Xmas Market

So last weekend (7th - 8th) me and the boy jumped in the car and headed back up to Lincoln for the Xmas market. I love being back at home for this, my parents look after me, plus the area is so pretty!

We bundled ourselves up and headed off for the walk up Steep Hill; it’s not called Steep Hill for nothing. A quick stop off at the Gluhwein stand for refreshments, we then headed into the Castle grounds for a wander around the stands. The men headed off to the pub, whilst we picked up bits from the different homemade craft stands - I nearly bought a sheepskin hat but felt really silly in it!

We collected the men again and wandered around the rest of the stands, eating our way around, sampling mince pies, fudge, spiced nuts and not forgetting the Bratwurst (excuse my dad!)

We then wandered around the Cathedral and the Big Wheel before wandering back down the hill to head home. I love a good Xmas market, although Lincoln is my favourite but then I might be biased!

Have you been to a Xmas market this year? Xx

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Advent Door 15 - NOTD Maybelline Colour Show Brocades Woven Skyline


A bit late with today's post, oh well - I've been run off my feet this week with doing and marking assessments for school, nearly all done now! 

Last weekend I picked up some bits & pieces when I was in Boots, and the sparkles of the Maybelline Colour Show Brocades caught my eye. I picked up Woven Skyline, I prefer darker sparkles to gold, plus the grey colour is gorgeous.

I think these are designed to be built up, or worn over the top of a similar colour as a topper; I used it in layers to build up one full colour. It’s packed with loads of gun grey glitter pieces, as well as some blue and silver sparkles in different sizes. I love the finish this gives, its sparkly without being over the top. 

It lasted a couple of days before it started to flake, and when it flaked it went in huge chunks :( So I think this would be better for a night out, or maybe Christmas day nails. For only £3.99, these are a good way to add some sparkle; I wouldn't mind checking out some of the others of these! 

What do you think? Have you tried any of the other colours? Xx

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Advent Door 14 - Review: Origins Make A Difference Plus +

Oh my God, my skin is having a real mare at the moment, I know its because it's winter but really, do I need to break out every couple of days! In a bid to clear my skin up, especially for Xmas, I've ramped up my skin care and have developed a really good, consistent routine!

One thing I find in winter is that my skin gets really dehydrated, even though it is oily I get lots of dryness on my cheeks and nose. So I popped down to the Origins counter in John Lewis and enjoyed a free facial and the lady recommended this as a night cream, Make a Difference Plus + is a rejuvenating moisturiser that is soothing and calming on the skin. I love how this looks and feels really thick, just goes on really lightly and sinks in.

There isn't an obvious scent, so it doesn't irritate the skin. I've noticed that since starting to use it, my skin it a lot more hydrated by the morning and it copes with the weather a lot better, however the spots are still an issue :( For £30.60, this isn't cheap, however I feel its important to use quality skin care and not just any old crap!

Next on my list is the Ginzing Moisturiser, maybe Santa will bring me it! Hows your skin this winter? Whats your routine like? xx

Friday, 13 December 2013

Advent Door 13 - Review: Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara

 Mascara is one of those things that I'm always searching for the Holy Grail of - one that will give volume and length, as well as holding curl in my straight lashes!

Rimmel brought out their Scandaleyes Retro Glam mascara back in the summer and it has been one on my go to products every week. It claimed to give; a wide-eyed false lash look, Fanned out volume. No clumps, Lashes Up, out and over the top.

Big claims from Rimmel but ones that it does stand up to. I find with this mascara that two coats gives really full, black lashes that stand out and last all day. I feel more so than some other, this does help to give the appearance of wide eyes, maybe not quite false lash but still really well.

For me, I really need there to be no clumps as this leads to flaking! I think this is really good for no clumps; this is down to the brush shape I think. A nice, thick brush that drags through the lashes, leaving a smooth finish on the lashes. For a lower cost mascara, I can't really fault it!

Rimmel products always seem to be on some sort of offer, currently you can pick this up for £6.99 so a low-mid priced product, but I'm happy to pay that for the lash effect that you get! 

What do you think? Have you tried this mascara yet? Xx

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Advent Door 12 - Pandora Xmas Collection

Pandora Xmas Collection

I love my Pandora bracelet - I got my first for my 21st birthday and am now onto my second. All of my beads and bracelets have been bought from John Greed as it was a little shop in town, however now it’s much bigger! I love getting a new bead to mark a new chapter or a life event - I'm hoping for a little house this year! 

I've been looking for a gift for a family member, I know they have a bracelet so a charm would be the perfect gift, and the Christmas collection this year is gorgeous! I've picked my 7 favourites, all of these ranges between £30 and £45.

My favourite out of the collection is the little snowflake, I love how sparkly it is - I don't have very many dangling charms but this one is super cute. I think I would get the gloves or the reindeer for the boy's sister, my mum would love the gingerbread man or the candy cane, whilst the angel and the Santa are perfect for my friends!!

So those are my picks from John Greed, hoping to find something sparkly under the tree from Santa this year! Which one would you pick?


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Advent Door 11 - Christmas Alphabet Tag

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In school at the minute, we're preparing for Christmas and it's got me thinking about using songs for tags. I looked for one like this but couldn't find one, so I've made my own! 

C is for
- Candles. Probably an obvious one but I love using lots of candles at this time of year. My favourite are the Tindra candles from Ikea, so cheap plus they smell amazing.

H is for 
Being at home! I love being at home with my family for Christmas, we have our own traditions that feel odd at the boy's family, I can still be a big kid at home, putting out Santas mince pie (I don't even care that I'm nearly 26!)

R is for
Redecorating for Christmas. I love adding all the Xmas decorations around the flat, the fairy lights around the windows, tinsel on the fireplace and a big wreath on the front door.

I is for
Ice skating. I have no desire to skate, I cannot skate, however there is something about going skating in the winter, getting wrapped up warm and wobbling around like bambi.

S is for
Seeing friends again. I love a long way away from my school friends so its nice to get together over christmas and have a catch up, it hasn't changed since we were 16!

T is for
The tree. I'm one of those people who would put the tree up early if I was allowed. Our tree comes down on the last day of November and it up on the 1st of December - I love having the tree up, it makes the whole flat feel warm and cosy.

M is for
Making things. I love having some time to make and create. I bake, make little gifts, christmas cards, I try and make something new every year - this year I've been baking quite a lot!

A is for
Advent Calendars - the only time it's acceptable to accompany a healthy breakfast with a little square of chocolate. 

S is for
Stocking fillers. My family have a tradition where by Santa puts lots of random things in our stockings as well as our little gifts. One year I ended up with half of the dogs bone, and my sister ended up with the remote to the TV but no batteries. I've carried this tradition over to with my boyfriend and we have a budget for lots of silly little things - I have a set of penguin rubbers and a grow your own penguin from him that sit on the shelf in the spare room! Its just a fun tradition!!

So that is my Christmas Alphabet - lots of things that make christmas for me. I tag everyone that reads this, you can either answer my questions or link to this tag on your blog - I can't wait to read all the answers! xxxx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Advent Door 10 - Sweater Weather Tag

Sweater weather
Woohoo - Door 10, that means 15 days to go! School is starting to get very Xmassy now; I love this time of year! I've seen this tag on quite a few blogs; I can't remember who started it but still its fun!

1. Favourite candle scent?

I love warm, berry scented candles during the cold weather - I get most of mine from Ikea, the Tindra Berry candles are great, plus really well priced!

2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

I'm a massive tea drinker, as a teacher it’s the only thing that gets me through the day a lot of the time. However when it starts to get colder, I love a good hot chocolate, with cream and marshmallows. I love the Cadbury Options in Chocolate Orange.

3. What's the best fall memory you have?

I don't have it as a memory because I was too little, however I know from talking to my family, when I was little I used to think that autumn was what the leaves were called when they fell off the trees, so I used to run through the park near our house asking my Grandma to play in the autumn with me! I still love walking through the leaves now, especially when the piles are really deep and you can kick them about!

4. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner? 

Dark lips are something I like a lot. I'm getting better with liner but lips are so easy, they add so much drama to a look very quickly, plus they can pull an outfit from day to night really quickly.

5. Best fragrance for fall?

I reach for Burberry Weekend a lot at this time, as well as CK Shock. I love the warming scents.

6. Favourite Thanksgiving food?

Thanksgiving has been and gone now - we don't celebrate thanksgiving but if we did then I would love the roast turkey with stuffing, I love a good roast dinner! 

7. What is autumn weather like where you live?

Autumn/Winter here is normally very cold and wet, however it’s been quite dry and crisp. I love the clear, sunny days you get when it’s cold but being wrapped up makes it nice to be outside.

8. Most worn sweater?

I have a white jumper from Topshop that has pink speech marks on it - I love it as it’s quite a long jumper so is nice and snuggly, plus I can wear it with disco pants or jeans and it covers my bottom.

9. Must-have nail polish this fall?

Illamasqua Boosh is one I've picked quite a lot because it’s a shiny black that goes with so many different toppers - it makes a great base for sparkles!

10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?

Jumping in Leaf Piles for sure. It’s just so much more fun!! 

11. Skinny jeans or leggings?

Definitely Skinny Jeans. I would wear them a lot more than Leggings and they are perfect for dressing up and down.

12. Combat boots or Uggs?

I love big, chunky combat boots, layered with chunky socks, these are my favourite, I have a pair of walking boots which I wear a lot at this time with chunky socks.

13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?

Bleaurgh - nope!

14. Favourite fall TV show?

Made in Chelsea is my go to, but I love all the documentaries that are on at the moment - my inner geek is happy to stay in! 

15. What song really gets you into the fall spirit?

I'm loving Bastille at the moment, plus Lily Allen for the John Lewis Advert.
So there it is my answers to the Sweater Tag! Link me up if you've done the tag :) xx

Monday, 9 December 2013

Advent Door 9 - Christmas Socks

I love socks, almost as much as I love nail polish, and what better way to keep war then by wearing Christmas Socks. 

I think they are the forgotten about Christmas Present, we each got a new pack every Xmas from my Godmother. We joked about it at the time, but I miss not getting them now!

I picked up some new socks last weekend from Topshop as they do some good socks, plus they are always on offer for 3 for £8. I couldn't resist the traditional Gingerbread pattern as well as the navy and red version of the fairisle print. I picked up an extra pair for a gift for someone - I think socks should be considered more rock and roll then they are, after all everyone needs socks!

Do you love socks as much as me? Did you get socks for Xmas? xx

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Advent Door 8 - FOTD Christmas Shopping

So the Christmas shopping has been started, some gifts purchased and wrapped. I decided to brave the shops in Watford last weekend, and this is the make up I wore for the day. I wanted my make up to be natural-ish, but still with a flawless base and the focus on eyes.

I used Benefit's Hello Flawless foundation as the base, buffed into the skin with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. It's a good foundation that lasts well in the stressful shopping situation. On my cheeks I've got a light dusting of Bella Bamba, also from Benefit to give a nice rosy flush.

On the eyes I have MUA's Eye Primer, MUAs Undressed Too palette and Smashbox HyperLash mascara.  Topped off with Benefit Browzing, its just a quick look for those days I don't want too much make up but to still look nice and not scare the general public.

Just a quick FOTD, I tend to wear this a lot for work as well. 

What do you wear when you're out shopping? xx