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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Goodbye 2014

I love New Year, it's nice to look back on the achievements of the year and reflect on what went well and what not so well.

This year we...
- Bought a house
- Bought a pug
- Learnt to wall paper, lay a wooden floor, garden
- Visited Paris & Sephora 
- Reached 300 Followers on the blog
- Saw Tim Minchin at BST in Hyde Park

This year I didn't...
- Lose the weight I wanted to
- Read enough books
- Drink enough water
- Do a photography course
- Print any pictures
- Travel enough 

Overall 2014 has been a good year, I've got lots of plans for 2015, but that's another post for another day.

How was your 2014?! Xx

Monday, 29 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 29 - Project Round Up

I can't believe I've managed to write so many posts over this month, looking back at it like this amazes me how many different posts I've written, can't wait to keep blogging with a new schedule into the new year! 

Over the course of the month we've written about everything from food to films and wishlists to playlists but some of my favourite posts have been written by other people.

- Jess Tastics Christmas Jumper - I want a jumper like this sooo much! 
- Geek gets Glam Christmas Nail Inspiration - Some gorgeous design that I would love to try!
- BeautybyKaris Best Beauty Finds 2014 - I love seeing what others love, although it is a massive enabler to my shopping habits! 

Those are just some of my favourites, I think I've read more posts this month then ever before! 

What have been your favourite posts either from mine or other this month? xx

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 24 - Christmas Eve Traditions

Christmas Eve has always been a big deal in my house - growing up we had a lot of traditions that I still try and make happen, even though we're all grown up and moved out.

Traditionally, we spend the whole day baking, We make mince pies, sausage rolls and ginger bread biscuits. I love this as the whole house smells of yummy food, plus its great to spend time in the kitchen with the family. After that, we normally make bits that will go with either Christmas dinner or for the Boxing day feast.

Once all the cooking is done, we normally sit down to an easy dinner and getting the house ready. Although I'm now the wrong side of 25 I still get excited about getting things set up for Santa, we set out the stockings by the fireplace as well as the mince pie and whiskey for Santa and a bowl of water and a carrot for the reindeer. When everything is ready we settle down with trashy tv or a film and then its bed time - not that I can ever sleep!

Throughout the whole day, I get a tad obsessive checking the NORAD Santa Tracker - seeing him move around the world makes me so excited!!!

I adore the buildup to Christmas Day, its so exciting and I hope we can keep these family traditions going forever!

What are your Christmas Eve traditions? xx

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 23 - The Christmas Jumper

Happy Christmas Eve Eve - I hope wherever you are you're snuggled up warm.

I love a good Christmas jumper, the more trashy the better! My Christmas jumper this year is from Primark, it was love at first sight as it has bells and lots of colour but is still black so it really stands out! 

I love throwing this on as it's super snugly but not overly toasty or itchy which does happen with jumpers.

Oh and Ted is wearing one of his jumpers today - what do you think? 

What's your xmas jumper like? Xx

Monday, 22 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 22 - Short Crust Mince Pies

I have a confession to make - these are not my mince pies, the boy made these. I can't stand mince pies, I don't really like the filling so I tend to avoid them. So every year he sets about making these and I bake lots of other bits and pieces.

For this Christmas, the boy has gone for a short crust pastry recipie rather then the traditional puff pasty. I think this is one of the easiest recipies he's attempted, there was a lot less swearing then normal - it's from the BBC's Good Food and is very simple, no cutters or rolling needed!

  • 225g cold butter, diced
  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 280g mincemeat
  • 1 small egg
  • icing sugar, to dust


  1. To make the pastry, rub 225g cold, diced butter into 350g plain flour, then mix in 100g golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a ball – don’t add liquid – and knead it briefly. The dough will be fairly firm, like shortbread dough. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole patty tins, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each hole. Spoon 280g mincemeat into the pies.
  3. Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal – you don’t need to seal them with milk or egg as they will stick on their own. (The pies may now be frozen for up to 1 month).
  4. Beat 1 small egg and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar. They will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.
A dead easy recipe and plenty of pastry left over for other pies that I can eat!

What do you think of mince pies? 

Sunday, 21 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 21 - Christmas Playlist

Spotify Christmas Playlist
I love Christmas music, I would listen to it all year long if I could! I love the old classics by the greats like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin as well as the cheese like Mariah Carey and Shakin Stevens. I have a playlist which I play constantly when I can, mostly at school but it gets played a fair bit at home now, through my Ipad or on the laptop, plus it will be played on the big day its self"

I'm not going to go through all of the music as I'm sure that you will be sick to death of Xmas songs by now but pop over to my Spotify and have a look if you fancy!

What songs do you love or loathe at this time of year? xx

Saturday, 20 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 20 - Winter Yankee Candle Wishlist

I have a confession to make - I don't get the fuss about Yankee Candles yes they look and smell nice, yes they are a cult brand but I really don't get it. So something strange has happened this month and I've been hunting for the perfect Christmas Candle to have and light on Christmas day. 

I've got five on my Wishlist, all in the medium jar as the large ones are a pain to get to burn evenly! They are a mix of traditional scents such as cinnamon and cloves as well as much cleaner scents like vanilla and jasmine. I think that the candles would make lovely last minute gifts or just little stocking fillers for people.

Those are the candles on my wish list - if anyone can explain the fuss then I would be more then greatful! 

What candles are on your wishlist? xx 

Friday, 19 December 2014

#Bigblogmasproject 2014 Day 19 - Favourite Blog Posts

It's the half term!!!! I could not be happier at the moment, by 5 O'clock today I will have time off from school and can really get into the Christmas Spirit!

Today's topic is my favourite blog posts, I've tried to pick ones that I have either saved or just loved reading over the month of December.

These are just a few of my favourite blog posts from recent weeks - I can 't do all my favourite saves but there are quite a few! 
Please link me up with your favourites as well!! xx

Thursday, 18 December 2014

#Bigblogmasproject2014 Day 18 - Xmas Outfits from @Boohoo

Xmas Outfits from Boohoo

So close to the holidays!!!!! I'm literally counting down the hours now. With only a week to go, one thing that I keep thinking about is what I need to pack whilst travelling around this Christmas. I tend to not really dress up too much over the xmas season, there is too much eating and and chillding out to need overly fancy outfits so the casual style of Boohoo is perfect.

I've picked a range of midi skirts as they are appropriate for most occasions, can easily be dressed up or down and are still flattering, even with a Christmas food baby! Thrown over the top is the obligitory Xmas jumper, I love this one for Xmas eve!

A couple of different dresses to throw on when a dress is needed, but not one that can't be layered under other clothes and even a casual tshirt dress for slobbing out infront of the tv with a pair of leggings or disco pants (does anyone still wear theirs?!)

These are just a few of the bits I might have to pick up or pack into my bag - pop over to Boohoo to have a look, hurry though as delivery before Christmas ends soon.

What bits would you pick? What do you normally wear over the Christmas Period?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 17 - Christmas Drinks FOTD


Time is racing now - only 3 days left at school until the holidays and really it can't come fast enough - only the panto and Christmas Dinner to get through! Last Friday, a couple of the lovelies from work got together for some Christmas drinks and I threw this on after work on top of what I already had on.

Base was L'oreal True Match which is a mix of Ivory and True Beige as its the only way to get a true enough colour for my skin plus this leaves a great base that lasts, mixed with a little Benefit That Girl for extra staying power. Those end of term eye bags are covered with Benefit's Fake Up - so well loved that I need to pick up a new one.

Onto the eyes and a new product in the shape of Naked 2 - I adore the neutral colours and the little palette is perfect for in my make up bag to carry around. Brows took shape with the gorgeous Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade, the perfect shade for me and it's love really, a good brow day most days now! Lashes thanks to Rimmel Scandaleyes, love it!

Cheeks and lips now - Cheeks with Benefit's Dallas to give a bit of warm flush, I'm no good with pink blushes but this is awesome, On the lips its Rimmel's Moisture Renew in Sloane's Plum, a gorgeous plum colour that is hydrating and looks lovely! 

So that's what I threw on my face for the day and some drinks, what do you think? What are you wearing at the moment? xx

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 16 - Favourite Bloggers

Like most bloggers , my reading list is miles long - but there are blogs that I visit everyday or at least everytime there is a post. My most visited blogs probably read like most peoples

I have a load more blogs that I follow if you wanted to check out my reading list and leave your favourties or your own in the comments for me to add and check out later.


Monday, 15 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 - Day 15 - Favourite Christmas Films

Morning all - Day 15, only 11 sleeps to go!! I've spent my weekend doing lots of prep for the last week of school and watching some of my favourite Christmas films. 

I have so many favourites that I start watching from the very first day of  December, its an easy way to get into the Christmas Spirit without getting too excited! Trying to narrow down the choice has been hard but this would be the final 5 I watch in the run up to the big day!

First up is the Grinch, I have introduced my class to this film last week as part of our Literacy learning, I love the book and the film is brilliant as well, really childish, but I know it word for word! Next up, an old favourite in Love Actually, it wouldn't be Christmas without the roller-coaster ride of emotions!  Everyone's favourite has to be Elf, so many quotes from this film that are used throughout December!

A real classic comes next in the form of Miricle on 34th Street - I love it, full of Christmas cheer and a warm, fuzzy feeling, Finally, and one that as a teacher I shouldn't like but feel it reflects the chaos of the Christmas production is Nativity. A truly funny film.

My list is actually endless, I could watch a Christmas film a night and still not get through my full list!

What's your favourite Christmas film? xx

Sunday, 14 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject Day 14 - Christmas Fitness Inspiration

Day 14 and the Christmas party train has well and truly left the station. The food is out and going out for drinks is becoming the norm. With all of this available, its easy to fall off the fitness train and pile on the pounds.

So to help combat this, I'm trying my hardest to stay on track, to do this and keep me motivated, I've created a Christmas board filled with Xmas themed fitness and yummy recipes which are perfect for the season. My favourites include the Running playlist and the Planksmas, the boy and I do this every morning before breakfast along with a Blogilates work out. Also, the Digestive Biscuit Snowman have been made and went down a treat with the children in school (and the big children in the staffroom!)

I try to update this daily to help keep me motivated and inspired. How are you keeping fit in the build up to christmas? xx

Follow Sarah's board Christmas on Pinterest.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject Day 13 - Top 5 Winter Lip colours

Half way through, I'm loving having so many posts on the blog! Today we're taking a look at my current 5 favourite Winter lip colours. I've never been much of a lip product wearer but this year 
I've got into them in a big way! I struggled to narrow down my choices as I reach for a lot of colours but these 5 are my most used.

First up is Maybelline's Colour Drama in Keep it Classy. I love how this sticks around all day, perfect for shopping or going out for drinks.  Next up is Topshop's Wicked. I've had this for ages but don't often reach for it, A very purple berry colour, this looks awesome but needs re-applying. After that is everyones favourite Kate Moss in 107. This is a repurchase as I wore it so much last year, I love it! A super flattering red berry colour. A new one and one that is slowly becoming a regular we have L'Oreal Colour Riche in Blake's Red - a true blue toned red, I have to be careful with what makeup I wear this with but I like it with glowy skin. Finally is Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Grand Cru, I love this, one that I keep reaching for. All of these last a fair amount of time so are great for people like me who apply once and then forget about them! 

I've got plenty of other colours that I'm loving, what colours are you loving at the minute? xx

Thursday, 11 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 11 - Winter Skincare Essential

For some reason, Winter is the time where I stop and think more about skin care then any other time of the year, I think it's because I need to use lots of different bits, plus my skin does some really weird things!

Every year I try new things, but there is one product that is always repurchased - the wonderful Mega Mushroom Skin Relief from Origins. A super hydrating mask, this really packs a punch when your skin is feeling dry and tried thanks to the central heating, alcohol and the weather.

A thick cream that you slather on your face after cleansing and leave on. You can feel your skin literally soak up as much of the hydration as it needs. A quick wipe with a tissue to get rid of the excess and then you are left with super soft, hydrated skin. I love this, I can';t get through winter without it.

What are your go to skin care products for winter? xx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 10 - One for the boys!

One for the Boys

Morning all, sorry for the lack of post on the 8th, I just needed a day off, plus my photo diary was rubbish!!!

Up today,its time for a post for the men in our lives. I've chosen to go with the big kid adult men in my family and pick a mix of fun and proper presents. All of these are in the Boots 3 for 2 or Christmas offers as its the place I head to first for inspiration or low cost gifts.

Starting off with smellies, I adore the smell of the Boss fragrance, its a repurchase for my boy every year! Add to that a full set from Clarins to keep him clean and handsome for another year.

For a few silly teats, I love the FM shower radio and the Stags head, perfect in our little house. Add to that, something for the boys desk, somewhere to rest his phone or for me to steal!

So we have just a few bits for the boys, I'm sure there are loads more but these are my favourites! What do you think of my choices?! xx

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 9 - Buche de Noel

I've kinda cheated for this one as this is something I made a previous Christmas but I haven't had a chance to stop and make a couple, but a few shall be made this year. Buche de Noel is a traditional Yule log, a chocolate Swiss roll covered in chocolate ganache - it looks amazing but is surprisingly easy to make. I follow this recipe by good old Mary Berry.

For the chocolate sponge
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 65g/2½oz self-raising flour
  • 40g/1½oz cocoa powder
For the chocolate ganache topping
  • 300ml/½ pint double cream
  • 300g/10½oz dark chocolate (around 35-40% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
For the cream filling
  • 300ml/½ pint double cream, whipped

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Lightly grease a 33x23cm/13x9in Swiss roll tin, and line with non-stick paper or baking parchment, pushing it into the corners.
  2. For the sponge, in a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar using an electric hand whisk until the mixture is pale in colour, light and frothy. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and carefully cut and fold together, using a spatula, until all the cocoa and flour are incorporated into the egg mixture. (Be careful not to beat any of the air out of the mixture).
  3. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and spread evenly out into the corners. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes, or until well risen and firm to the touch and the sides are shrinking away from the edge of the tin.
  4. Place a piece of baking parchment bigger than the Swiss roll tin on the work surface. Dust with icing sugar generously. Carefully invert the cake onto the paper and remove the bottom lining piece of paper.
  5. Cut a score mark 2.5cm/1in in along one of the longer edges. Starting with this edge, begin to tightly roll up the sponge using the paper. Roll with the paper inside and sit the roll on top of its outside edge to cool completely.
  6. While the cake is cooling, make the ganache topping. Heat the cream in a pan, just so as you can keep your finger in it. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until it is melted. Cool to room temperature, then put into the fridge to firm up (this icing needs to be very thick for piping).
  7. Uncurl the cold Swiss roll and remove the paper. Spread the whipped cream on top, and re-roll tightly. Cut a quarter of the cake off from the end on the diagonal. Transfer the large piece of cake to a serving plate and angle the cut end in to the middle of the large cake to make a branch.
  8. Cover the cake with the ganache mixture and then score with a fork to make the tree texture and swirl the ends. Dust with icing sugar is wanted.

This always goes down well for a party or just for a nice dinner - if you want more info then ask or keep a look out for when I bake a couple more - I'm sure I will pop them up on my Instagram . I have another couple of bakes coming up - keep a look out!!!

What are you baking this holiday season? xx

Sunday, 7 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject Day 7 - Xmas 2014 Wishlist

Xmas 2014 Wishlist

Day 7, we're a full week into this now and I'm getting far too excited really! Today's post is a sneaky peak at what's in my letter to Santa this year - lots of these are things that I would love to recieve but it doesn't matter if I get them or not!

- Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in Glastonberry
- MAC Pro Palette and 15pan insert
- MAC 217 Brush
- Laura Mercier Eyes and Cheeks set
- Nics Picks Real Technique brush collection

- Topshop Giftcard

- Short Ugg Boots in Chestnut
- Fitbit tracker in Black
- Sims 3 Dragon Alley
- Sims 4

These are just a few bits, if you want to see them in more detail, click the little picture underneath!

What's on your list?! xx

Saturday, 6 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 6 - Cosy Winter Night Lush Stash

There is nothing I love more in Winter then having a good old soak in the bath, so I thought it was high time to show you what I plan on using up to get warm and cosy.

Back in October I made a fairly large Lush order to restock my stash, since then I've used up a lot, but this is what I have left. First up is Butter Bear. I bought two of these, the first went straight in the bath and gives the most creamy and moisturing bath I have had in a long time, no bubbles but leaves your skin all soft and buttery. Next is my Dashing Santa which I picked up on a whim more then anything and he smells amazing, a lovely citrus scent. Two more products that I picked up on smell alone are Northern Lights and The Christmas Hedgehog - have read a few reviews and can't wait to use them. 

A regular in my stash this time of year is Cinders. This is my favourite and if they stop making this one year I might cry! I love the warm smell of christmas this gives off, and the way it fizzes its way around the bath!

Finnaly, two unknowns that I just fancied the look of  are the Snow Angel and the Luxury Lush Pud - what would Christmas be without a pudding and an angel or two - will report back when I have tried these ones out!

So these are what's left in my stash at the moment - I can't wait to get them used and then stock up again, perfect for cosy nights throughout winter!!! 

What is in your Lush stash? xx

Friday, 5 December 2014

#BigBlogmasproject2014 Day 5 - The December Reading List

I don't often get to sit down and just pick up a book - school work takes up a lot of my time and then fitting in reading blogs, blogging myself and making time for myself, the pile of books that I have is slowly growing. With that in mind, I'm forcing myself to switch off a bit earlier - getting myself settled in bed and reading through the pile. This month I've picked 5 books which I've had for a while and can't wait to read.

A mix of different genres of books - I'm most looking forward to getting into the Jojo Moyes book as she is one of my favourite authors and anything Christmassy is a winner so the Chrissie Manby book will be enjoyed with a hot chocolate at some point.

Now, time to go a curl up again - what recommendations have you got for me for next month? xx