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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Blogmas Day 23: Christmas Meal and Carol Service...

I always feel very lucky to have such a lovely bunch of Family and Friends but at Christmas time these feelings of gratitude are amplified. I am especially grateful this year as I get to have 2 Christmas dinners! Here's how I spent the first...

It's a school tradition for alumni to gather at school for a special carol service. This year will be our first year as alumni so we decided to make the most of the night and gathered a small group of friends for a Christmas Meal together at a place called the Grange Farm.

Having visited the Grange Farm before, I knew that it was a homely and rustic place to eat with great staff and delicious food and I was not disappointed. The Herb Encrusted Salmon was divine as were the accompanying vegetables, but the stand out was the desert; a Double Chocolate Torte!
The atmosphere were also perfect for a Christmas meal. It was quiet enough to be able to sustain conversations but not too quiet to make any lulls awkward. The service was also great and it was the perfect backdrop to a wonderful catch-up!

After our meal was over, we piled into cars and drove to school where we had a few brief moments of catching up with other school friends before we were ushered into the service. Although I never thought I'd be nostalgic for lengthy school services I certainly was and the carol service was a pleasure to attend. The readings were broken up by traditional hymns (I was disheartened to see no Shine Jesus Shine in the programme!) which made the whole service fly by!

Post-service we filed out into the foyer and were greeted by mince pies and treats as well as mulled wine. We mingled with previous student and teachers whilst nibbling on the snacks.
It was great to see teachers and friends alike and a lovely Christmas treat.

I can honestly say I will be looking forward to these alumni events for years to come!

Thanks for Reading! :)

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Blogmas Day 22: Red Lip Make-Up...

Several posts ago I shared my Top 3 Christmas Red Lips (Read Here), so it only seemed right to share how to do a quick and easy Red Lip look!

For the Base I simply used my Mac Studio Sculpt Foundation in NC20 and concealed underneath my eyes with the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in Ivory. The concealer really brightens up the area and has great coverage.
For eyes I packed on a dark brown MUA eyeshadow in the Shade Delicious all over the lid. I then used a clean brush and smudged out the outer corners to ensure there are no harsh lines. Next I used the Revlon Colorstay black eyeliner which like the eyeshadow is matte. To finish off the eyes I curled my lashes and used the Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara.

Finally for the lips I used the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Stain in Striking...

Thanks for Reading :)

Monday, 21 December 2015

Blogmas Day 21: 5 Under £5 - One for the Music Lover...

As a huge music lover, I listen to music a lot during the day. I especially like to plug in some earphones and turn the music up when I'm travelling.
Because of the amount of time I spend with earphones on I know how important it is to have good quality and comfortable headphones. These Gummy earphones are my favourite affordable yet decent quality pair...

Everyone uses earphones now and again and it never hurts to have a spare pair as back up, so these are a great unisex present not only for music lovers, but for everyone!

Thanks for Reading! :)

Do you prefer listening to music with or without earphones?

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Blogmas Day 20: Christmas Outfit...

A Christmas outfit for me has to look smart but be comfortable enough to wear all day (and most of the night!). This can be a tricky combo to find so this year I planned ahead...

I chose this Dark Plum Coloured Lace Dress from H&M. The straight cut may not be the most flattering, but makes it comfy and ensures the skirt wont fly up with the wind!
The colour is a rich wintery purple colour and the lace pattern makes it look quite classic. It's the type of dress you can dress up or dress down. In this case I chose to dress it down...

I styled the dress with black chunky heeled boots, which work well with the dress thanks to the length and I softened them up by adding some frilly ankle socks. Because of the  silver detailing on the shoes I chose a chunky silver necklace which sat nicely with  the high neckline of the dress. To finish the look off I carried a small black bag with some tassels, to carry any small items around with me.

Thus outfit was easy to put together and is quite a laid back making it perfect for a Christmas with the family!

Thanks for Reading :)

What are your Christmas outfit plans?

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Blogmas Day 19: DIY Christmas Card...

I've received a fair share of handmade Christmas cards and I'm always amazed at how good they look.
I always stuck to shop bought cards because I thought I wouldn't have enough time or be able to collect the materials to make my own. But with more free time on my hands I've been able to try out some more DIY projects. One of these has included making my own Christmas cards...

All the materials and tools are household items, so sourcing them shouldn't be a problem and no special skills apart from being able to hold scissors are required!

Step 1: Fold your A5 piece of card in half
Step 2: Measure out a piece of foil a bit smaller than A6. Tear the edges to give a more rugged effect.
Step 3: Stick the foil to the front of the card nearer the bottom of the page.
Step 4: Use the A4 paper to create around 3 paper snowflakes that'll fit on the foil. You can use blue toned pens to add some simple patterns to them.
Step 5: Stick the Snowflakes on the foil section of the card.
Step 6: Write Merry Christmas above the foil section (as the card is handmade you can personalise the greeting at the top!)
Step 7: Fill the inside with a message to the recipient and mail off!

Thanks for Reading! :)

Friday, 18 December 2015

Blogmas Day 18: Festive Teacakes...

Christmas Party treats are abundant at this time of year and having had a go at a few myself this year I thought I'd share one of my favourites; Festive Teacakes. You can transform your Teacakes (available in most supermarkets) into a Christmas pudding or Rudolph with these ingredients;

10 Teacakes, icing in Green, Red, White and Black and 2 Curly Wurly's...

Use a Knife to make 2 incisions at the top of the Teacakes. Cut the Curly Wurly into small pieces that look like antlers. Push these into the incisions.
Finally ice on Eyes a nose and a mouth.
Christmas Puddings:
Ice a large circle onto the top of the Teacake. Use the nozzle of the icing tube to tease bits of icing down the sides.
Use the red and green icing to draw on holly.

I hope you enjoy trying out some of these treats and if you have any suggestions let me know in the comments!

Thanks for Reading! :)

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Blogmas Day 17: Natural Christmas Look

My Christmas Day Make-up varies from year to year. I don't tend to plan my Make-up beforehand however seeing as last year I went for glitter galore this year I may tone it down and do my current Natural Make-up look...

I started by using a Maybelline 24 hour Colour Tattoo in the shade Crème de Nude to cover any veins and lighten the area. On top of this I added some translucent powder (similar to Rimmel Stay Matte) so set this and prevent creasing. In the inner corner I put on a bit of a light white shade called 'Latte' from a 'Natural Collection Duo' to open up the eyes. For the crease I added a slightly darker brown from the Make-up Revolution Flawless Palette in the shade 'Almost There' just to deepen up the socket. Next I used a thin eyeliner brush to press on a very thin line of black shadow above my eyelashes. I didn't add a flick at the end so as to keep it quite natural. I then used the shade latte on my brow bone to highlight. Finally I curled and lashes and applied the Rimmel Rockin' Curves Mascara.
I kept the base very minimal using only 3 products. For foundation I used the Rimmel Match Perfection in True Ivory for a medium coverage finish. Next I used the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer also in True Ivory under my eyes to hide any darkness and down the bridge of my nose as a subtly highlight.

Since any Christmas Day lip has to last all day I went for a long lasting lip. I chose the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-ist. The formula is matte, so looks quite natural and is the most comfortable matte lip I've ever used (read more about the formula here). The colour is very pink for a nude, but with no blush on it's not too overwhelming!

I won't know how I'm going to do my make-up until the big day, but this is look would be a good choice as it lasts all day with out touch ups! (Photo to the left was taken 11 hours after application and all the make-up was intact)

Thanks for Reading! :)

P.s Check back for a more Glitzy and Glam Christmas look soon!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Blogmas Day 16: 5 Under £5 - One for the Sentimental One...

L-R frame from Tiger, Photobox from Prezzybox
The presents I tend to cherish the most are ones that are personalised or including photos. So it's no surprise that a picture frame would be a present suggestion by me! This frame from tiger is a bit different in that the individual frames included are painted in metallic hues and are textured with patterns. It gives a more colourful and fun look to a cute frame.

It doesn't take much effort to select some photos of the recipient and friends, but picking just the right group of photos can make the frame so much more valuable to the receiver! I also did a post only yesterday on how you can make a Photo Hanger (read here), if your a bit strapped for cash!

Thanks For Reading! :)

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Blogmas Day 15: DIY Washing Line Photo Hanger...

With Christmas Holidays now upon us everyone's sure to have a couple of hours free and no idea what to do with them! Personally I hate being idle and love doing craft things, so this post shows one of the DIY ideas I came up with this year, a Washing Line Photo Hanger!
It's a cute homemade alternative to a store bought frame and pretty simple to make and adapt, so here's how to make it...

What you'll need:
Cardboard (30cm x 30cm), String, Paper Fasteners (20mm), Mini Pegs, Photos
What to do:
  • Push 6 pairs of Fasteners parallel to each other on the cardboard at the top, middle and bottom of the cardboard but do not spread out the backs
  • Take the string and tie it from one parallel pin to the other (like a washing line!)
  • Now spread out the backs so they're securely fixed in
  • Use the Mini Pegs to pin the Pictures to the string securely

These can be displayed anywhere; on a shelf in a book case or you can simply bluetack it to a wall.
You can even give this away as a present in a frame, such as this one!
The homemade feel of these makes them a much more thoughtful present than a store bought frame :)

Thanks for Reading! :)

What's you favourite DIY idea?

Monday, 14 December 2015

Blogmas Day 13: H&M x Balmain Look Book Part 3...

I find it difficult to wear trousers (or pants) as part of any smart or party outfits. Partially because I am very petite and trousers tend to make me look even smaller and partially because I struggle to fit them into a smart look. However this outfit is one that includes trousers styled to integrate nicely into the overall smart and quite sparkly (thanks to the top and H&M x Balmain Clutch and Ring) outfit...

The trousers are somewhere between trouser and legging and the fact that they're quite hugging makes legs look slimmer and longer (similar here or here). The black trousers are perfect as you can style them with almost any colour. This specific top from Topshop was chosen because of the large quantity of silver embroidery which went nicely with the clutch. The blazer from H&M (similar here) I wore on top was also black to compliment the trousers. It also had grey cuffs which could be seen as subtly matching the silver theme.

It's quite easy to make an outfit smart by using a fancy top such as this and adding a few good accessories! This Clutch is a real conversation piece. The detail is incredible and it definitely adds an elegant and luxurious element to any outfit! The Signet Ring although Chunky is equally elegant due to the classic look and the reflecting facets. For earrings I picked something more than studs, but not too large as there was already some bold pieces in the outfit! Finally the shoes. If the trousers didn't make my legs look longer, these beauties from Asos definitely did thanks to the extra 4 inches of height they add. Although they are not the most comfy shoes to wear, the fact that they contain flecks of green and pink ensured they stood out from the predominantly silver and black look.

I hope these H&M x Balmain Look Books have given an insight into my party outfit taste and also perhaps given some inspiration!

Thanks for Reading! :)

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Blogmas Day 13: The Winter Tag

No explanation needed, here's the Winter Tag...

Top 2 Winter Beauty Essentials
Moisturiser and a plum lip!
Top 2 Winter Fashion Essentials
Patterned tights and boots. I tend to wear skirts or dresses with patterned tights or short boots. I could be dressed like that all year-long and not get bored!
What shoes do you tend to wear the most in the winter?
Boots! From ankle boots to Uggs to Lace up boots
Favorite Winter Accessory
Touch screen gloves, my hands are forever cold!
Favorite Winter Nail Polish
A dark black and silver sparkly shade from Jack Wills called Dark Star.
Hot Cocoa or Apple Cider?
Hot Cocoa (Hot Chocolate)!
Favorite Winter Candle?
I don't burn candles very often, but it'd probably be cinnamon
Snowboarding or Skiing?
Neither, sleighing all the way ;)
Have you ever gone Ice Skating? Are you any good or do you FAIL miserably?
Yes,a few times including a winter wonderland or two! But the goal is to skate at the Rockerfeller Centre (in New York)!
Does it snow where you live?
Yes, occasionally
Have you ever made a snowman?
Yup, I'm an expert maker of mini snowmen!
What holiday do you celebrate?
All of them! Why waste a perfectly good opportunity to get together and have fun?!
Favorite Christmas/Holiday song?
Either Christmas Lights by Coldplay or Frank Sinatra's Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
Favorite Christmas/Holiday movie?
What is your favorite winter treat? (candy cane, gingerbread, etc…)
Stained Glass Window Biscuits! I've done a blog post on the recipe for them which you can read here!
If you were to ask Santa for one thing and you were guaranteed to get it, what would it be? (even if you don’t celebrate Christmas)
The miracle of world peace and the end of world hunger/human trafficking inequality etc. basically a transformation into utopia! But failing that, millions of frequent flyer miles and a travel companion would be pretty nice!
Do you have anything fun planned for this winter?
Yes! Lot's of get-togethers, nights out, sleepovers and an exciting New Years!

I tag justanordinarygirl96 and anyone else reading this!
If you have already done the tag or decide to do it, let me know in the comments :)

Thanks for Reading! :)

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Blogmas Day 12: 5 Under £5 - One for the Book Worm...

With there being so many genres of books and people having such unique and individual tastes I found it impossible to choose a single book that I thought would make a good Christmas present. I did however manage to narrow it down to 4...

This book is a well written study into introverts and extroverts. The book begins by explaining that we all fit into categories such as calm extroverts, anxious extroverts, calm introverts and anxious introverts and that in today's world extroverted qualities seem to be thought of as more desirable and valuable. However Caine goes on to use herself as an example of how introverts are equally valuable and how many great contributors to science, literature, technology etc. (the list is endless!) were introverts.
This book would be perfect not only for someone interested in introverts and extrovert, but those fascinated by sociology, psychology or just stimulating books!

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven...
(Amazon Kindle Version)
I read this book in January of this year and despite having read copious amounts of books since, this book has stuck in my mind. The reason being the intriguing main characters. Niven has created a character so mysterious and exciting (Finch) that frankly I'm heart broken that he doesn't really exist! I really couldn't put this book down, partially due to the excellent and unique style of writing and partially due to the themes. The themes include mental health and suicide. The Guardian puts my thoughts on these perfectly; "The book could make readers realise they have a related issue and it's great that support is offered.". For me personally it gave me an insight into what someone with such mental issues is experiencing and really helps one to empathise. Another underrated aspect of this book is Finch's obvious wanderlust. As a self-proclaimed lover of travel, it was delightful to see the characters exploring the hidden treasures their home town!
I don't think there's anyone I wouldn't consider buying this book for as it really is a book that anyone can enjoy!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern...
(Amazon Kindle Version)
I'm not a great fan of love stories but I wouldn't exactly class this book as just a love story. Although the book is supposed to centre around two characters who do end up falling in love, it doesn't focus solely on them. In fact Morgenstern delves quite deeply into most of the characters who are as equally fascinating as the main two. It's as if she creates separate stories for each character, which she strategically places into the main story. I things I adore most about the book are the style in which it is written so as to keep you in the dark enough to keep you reading continuously till the last page, the characters you can't help but fall for and not to mention the description of the circus itself! I became increasingly melancholy reading about the circus as I will never have the extraordinary pleasure of experience it. I'll just have to settle for donning a red scarf and imagining myself into the book!
Perfect for anyone with half a heart and a penchant for great story telling.

100 Days Happier by Domonique Bertolucci...
Urban Outfitters
Truly a book for anyone and everyone. It's a truth universally acknowledged that most of us are on a quest for happiness. And although happiness is subjective this book gives you a daily pearl of wisdom as to how you can get by in your day to day life in a happier manner. The book begins with one of my favourite quotes from Aristotle... "Happiness depends upon ourselves". Although factors beyond our control can alter our happiness I largely believe this to be true and even when dealt a bad hand your outlook can ultimately lead you back to happiness. Thus the quotes and notes in the book will help you alter your outlook and behaviour in order to be a happier individual!
Although anyone could read this book and enjoy it I think a more mature audience would benefit from this book as you have to be willing to reflect on past experiences and have the determination and resolve to follow the suggestions for the book to have any actual effect!

What's the best book you've received or given as a present?

Thanks for Reading! :)

Check back tomorrow at 6pm for the final H&M x Balmain Look Book! (previous ones here; Look Book 1, Look Book 2)

Friday, 11 December 2015

Blogmas Day 11: Christmas Market fun!

Recently I've seen a fair few Christmas Market posts on Instagram (you can follow me here) and the stalls, the food and the decorations fostered a longing to experience one too. So I did and took some photos of my own in an attempt to capture the atmosphere...

We arrived at around 5 o' clock so it was already quite dark, but not the menacing type as the lights draping the area emitted a calming blue aura. The stalls really stood out to me as they looked less like stalls and more like miniature Victorian houses, complete with windows and tiled roof's dusted in snow and covered in lights. They were inviting and even homely as were the owners!
Feeling compelled to take a closer look, we went to the best stall of all; the one laden with sweets and treats...

We ambled round the bijou market taking it in; an ice skating rink, a merry go round, a helter skelter, stalls and towering above it all a giant Christmas tree! The Town Hall made the perfect backdrop to all of this and it was decorated to match the festivities of Old Market Square where this took place...

The atmosphere was such that we were more than content not doing much else than admiring the place. There was not all that much to do at the market itself  but the atmosphere of excitement and the cosy arrangement of things is what made it great.

I'll certainly be trying to visit more Christmas Markets in future in the hope that they'll be half as pleasant to explore as this was!

Thanks for Reading! :)

P.s a huuuuuuge thank you to my local guide (if you're reading this!) I wouldn't have found my way to the "suicide squad" without you :P