Monday, 30 November 2015

Sometimes we fail...

what to do when you fail

Do you ever feel sometimes like you just fail at everything you set out to do? I have a theory that I am cursed. I have no idea what sea-witch I have screwed over but I’ve been cursed none the less. Whenever I set myself a goal, it seems like life decides to throw every possible curve ball it can my way to stop me from reaching said goal.

Take November for instance. The month that was my most epic NaNoWriMo fail of my life. I didn’t just miss the 50,000-word goal by a hairline, nope. The gap between my word count and the 50k was so big you’d need to hop on a plane to get to the other end. I watched as all those ‘I won NaNo 2015’ badges and tweets started to come out, so I booted up the document in hope, it would spur me on, maybe there would be some finger tapping typing miracle. 

If you haven’t realised by now, there was no miracle.

And I’m ok with it.

Ok, so I’m not totally ok with it, I’m miffed at myself but one thing it has taught me, is that I really need to sort something out somewhere. I realise now that my time management outside of work isn’t great. That I procrastinate more than is considered healthy and I spend a lot of time doing things that aren’t really enriching my life in any way. I spend too much time perusing social media, and I put writing blog posts above throwing a load of washing in.

Priorities. Sometimes you can’t see the order they need to be in until you totally fail at something because they’re so out of wack. I see it now, I see that I might have a few of them the wrong way around.

Someone told me the other week, ‘the blog will die before you do’. And it took me a while to figure out how maliciously they meant this - they didn’t. What they were trying to tell me was, what’s important to be remembered for? A kick ass moisturiser review with editorial Esq pictures, or this god forsaken book I keep telling myself I will sit down and write?

Chances are the book will be pants, but some pairs of pants are more memorable than others. 

This isn’t me taking a step down from blogging, maybe not even a step back. But it is me saying that there are a few things more important than the blog and it’s only in failing NaNoWriMo 2015 that I’ve come to realise this. I love my blog, I love this little space I have and the opportunities it has brought me, and more importantly the people I have met thanks to blogging. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I failed. I learnt a lesson. Next time, let’s assume things will be different.

What lessons has failure taught you?

Until next time,

Friday, 27 November 2015

The Ultimate Christmas Fair - Liverpool

the ultimate christmas fair liverpool

This weekend sees the Exhibition Centre Liverpool play host to the Ultimate Christmas Fair. If you’re looking to get your festive on and find some amazing and unique Christmas gifts for even the hardest to shop for, it’s all under one tinsel sparkling roof. From foodie delights to spa skincare, fabulous fashion, jewellery, pet accessories and more candles than you can shake a wick at and more!

I was lucky enough to go down last night for their opening day and Fashion & Fizz late night shopping event. The centre was open until 9 pm, with make-up master classes from MelVic Makeup, Christmas fashion collections from Mark Melia, hair tips and tricks with Vidal Sassoon and more, ensuring you have all the tips, tricks and accessories to get you through the coming party season. Hannah and I popped down after work and got ready to get our fill of the festive fun!

With close to 200 stalls throughout the exhibition centre, it’s hard to know where to start! From artisans to handcrafted Christmas decorations, interiors inspirations and more it was all a little overwhelming! The evening was actually pretty quiet which was great for us - no rushing or pushing, we could take our time and have a really good chin wag with the brands - I learnt so much about olive oils, trendy pet poop bags, and didn’t have to fight over a single food or beverage sample -  and believe me we certainly had our fill of those - Christmas shopping is hard work even before you buy anything!
the ultimate christmas fair liverpool

A few brands that really stood out to me and I think you should all stop by and check out this weekend included; The Olive Shop, I had a lovely chat with John (who will be hosting some talks over the weekend too!) about the olive oils, where they came from, what they were made from etc, be sure to try the balsamic and honey, it was delicious! ILA Organic Skincare really caught my eye too with their rose and geranium body butter. Everything they have starts with an essential oil base and it’s all about relaxing you and bringing you right back to a calming zen point, then reinvigorating your senses with luxury lotions. Pana Chocolate had, what was hands down, the best Turkish delight chocolate that I have ever had the pleasure of putting into my mouth. Seriously. Raw, organic, vegan, homemade, soy free, dairy free and no added sugar, and delicious! 

The Old Irish Creamery had some weird and wonderful flavours on offer - our favourites had to be the curry cheese, the chilli cheese and the garlic cheese - don’t knock em’ till you’ve tried em’! The even had a chocolate cheese that I couldn’t stop munching on! Curious Tea have quite possible answers all my tea loving prayers by showcasing not only delightful teas but by offering a very affordable tea subscription service too! (Pssst! get 25% off your first order with the code FESTIVAL25 too!). Scaramouche + Fandango not only have the best name (say that three times fast!) but they offer a fantastic male grooming line that seriously had me swooning, I have a feeling the Mr might find a few of their face scrubs and moisturisers under the tree this year!

the ultimate christmas fair liverpool

The Bubbly Bauble is the most ingenious and unusual idea for a gift I have ever seen and I love it. The idea being you keep a champagne cork from a special occasion in the hand blow glass bauble and use it as a sideboard or Christmas tree decoration. They look so pretty and are perfect memory-making gifts! Punjaban introduced me to some delicious curries that I had to bring home and cook for myself. Full of flavour but with none of the thigh expanding fats from regular jar curry. I had a one on one Gin tasting session with Warner Edwards Distillery - the highlight of my evening if I’m honest!  I was talking through their extensive brewing process and shown their handcrafted elixir. I got a cheeky taster of four of their gin's and couldn’t leave without taking at least one bottle home with me!

We managed to catch one of the Mark Melia Christmas fashion shows too and oh me oh my did we squeal over some of the very pretty dresses! I  picked out at a few that I think would be perfect for the coming party season! 

the ultimate christmas fair liverpool

There were several street food carts set up, cocktail and coffee stands too, as well as a Laurent-Perrier Champagne bar! Perfect for this mid-shopping breaks! The only disappointment to the whole evening was vendors started to shut up shop before 8 pm - and with an hour of shopping still to do I was disappointed that I couldn’t go back and pick up some things I’d eyed earlier on! It had been a long day for the vendors and it was a quiet evening so it’s understandable - but I had my eye on so many goodies! 

The Ultimate Christmas Fair will run 26th - 29th November, tickets are still available and on sale here. So grab your purse, done your favourite Christmas jumpers and get ready to pick up some amazing gifts for friends and family this year! Throughout the days, there will be several workshops, including Christmas wreath making, gift wrapping masterclasses, festive menu ideas with Alan Murchison, tea workshops, and more! You could certainly fill a weekend with nothing but Christmassy goodness that’s for sure!

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Bee Good Honey & Propolis 2 in 1 Cream Cleanser

beegood honey and propolis cream cleanser review

I used to run a mile from cream anything when it came to skin care, convinced that it would only make the oily skin gods angry and cause the pores to erupt with more and more oil as punishment, a never ending flow, of sebum. The threat is real folks, but thankfully, the oily skin gods don’t actually mind cream cleansers all that much, especially when they come in honeylicious Bee form. 

The honey & propolis 2 in 1 cream cleanser from Bee Good is an absolute dream - and it smells like pink lemonade, just to top off how amazing it is. Suitable for all skin types, their paraben, synthetics, mineral oil, silicone, SLS and SLES free formula delivers a rich, creamy cleanser that melts away dirt, grime, pollution and make up without drying out your skin - meaning oilier skin won’t get oiler when using this. All I’m left with is silky-smooth, clean, soft skin. I’ve noticed my skin isn’t as oily during the day (but blotting and powder still required) and redness appears reduced. It does have some antibacterial properties so it’s also a gentle way to help treat and clear up breakouts.

beegood hone and propolis cream cleanser review

Applying a 20p sized splodge to dry skin, massage gently all over the face and neck in light circular motions. The only downside to this cleanser and this is more about personal preference than the cleanser itself, is that I don’t like using cleanser on dry skin. I feel like I’m pulling at my skin all too much, especially around the eyes. I tend to remove my make-up first with my Body Shop Camomile make-up remover, then cleanse. That way I don’t have to work it in so much, especially around the eyes! Remove with a hot cloth in gentle circular motions, then give your face a quick splash with cold water to close the pores. My skin feels so smooth and has an instant, healthy-looking boost, even if I'm feeling super tired. I’ve been using this twice a day and my skin really does look healthier. I’ve got to say, I actually think I prefer this to my Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser - and I never thought I’d say that!

I’m new to the Bee Good skincare line, this being the first product I have thoroughly tried and tested but everything I have read about the brand, and experienced in this little tube, has me looking all the more into Bee Good. I know Hayley raves about them, and let’s face it, that girl knows her shiz. I had a peek on their website and ended up making a wish list of goodies I would love to try including their raspberry and white chocolate lip balm, and the honey and wild mint cleansing water. 

Everything is natural and made by British bees, what’s not to love? I shouldn’t, but I think I might have to put an order in soon. After all, I’ve got to give myself a gift or two this Christmas!

Have you tried anything from Bee Good? What would you recommend?

Until next time,

Monday, 23 November 2015

Christmas Baking - White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

white chocolate and cranberry christmas cookies

Christmas baking! I have been itching to get into the kitchen and bake up some Christmassy treats to gorge share this Christmas. This weekend I whipped up a batch of these delicious white chocolate and cranberry cookies that are the perfect bring-a-long to any and all festive gatherings you might be going to over the next couple of weeks. Also a perfect accompaniment for binge watching Christmas movies for an entire Sunday - tried and tested my friends!

I originally found this recipe over on The Domestic Rebel - warning, do not visit this blog on an empty stomach! All the cravings after just one click!

Christmas is all about indulging and these cookies are just that, but don't forget, there are only 80 calories in an egg and you can swap the white chocolate for dark (which is one of my favourite combinations) or switch in some heart-healthy nuts! 

Ingredients for White Chocolate and Cranberry Christmas Cookies

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup demerera sugar
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • edible glitter (optional)

How to make White Chocolate and Cranberry Christmas Cookies

white chocolate and cranberry christmas cookies

Mix together the butter, demerera and white sugars until creamy. Add vanilla extract and an egg. Once fully incorporated, add your plain flour 1/2 cup at a time, baking powder, corn flour and  cinnamon until you have a soft cookie dough. Finally, add the cranberries, chocolate chips and edible glitter. Mix this in gently with a silicone spatula or using your hands!

Pop the dough in the fridge for 1 hour. This makes a HUGE difference to the overall outcome, taste and texture of the cookies - so do it! Overnight would be better but hey, we want to bake em and eat em sooner rather than later don’t we?

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line your baking tray with greaseproof paper. With slightly wet hands, roll balls of cookie dough into golfball size and place on the greaseproof paper about 2” apart. Flatten slightly with your fingers by gently pressing down on the dough balls. Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning half way through. When they look golden, bring them out and let them set on the baking trays for 10-20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Give them at least an hour before you pop them in a cookie jar…if there’s any left to store away that is (they do taste great when they’re still warm and gooey!)

white chocolate and cranberry christmas cookies

There you have it, Christmas in your mouth!

Until next time,

Friday, 20 November 2015

Guest Post: Working a Ski season abroad

working a ski season abroad

My gorgeous friend Sarah has encouraged me to pluck up the courage to write my first guest blog post so here goes. A little bit about me… I am 26, from Liverpool and have the itchiest feet (not literally!) We really do live in a beautiful world and having spent most of my younger years dreaming about exploring it, I decided to finally do something about it. This has lead to me being able to work and visit some of the most stunning places on the planet. My first post will be about my first winter season in the French Alps and last-minute me, itchy me, I have decided to do it all again this year!

Here are my top tips to help prepare for the season ahead and also the essentials to bring with you!


Can’t ski or snowboard? Don’t Worry! 
I had never skied or snowboarded before prior to my Season in Samoens, France, so during my  Skype interviews to my prospective employer, I showed off my personality, determination and willingness to learn the sport along with showing my commitment to the job. Prior to going out there for the season, I took a couple of lessons in Chill Factor in Manchester and luckily, I found some great Groupon deals! If you are on a budget this is an ideal, pocket friendly way to build your confidence and ski bunny skills!

Job Roles

A great website to research jobs for a winter season abroad is Season Workers. This website is fantastic, offering profiles of companies with current vacancies, locations and reviews. I have experience in the Front of House hospitality industry, my past jobs including working in; restaurants, bars and hotels. This experience isn't always necessary for the roles available. I wasn’t a master in the kitchen but companies give you great training and now I’d like to think I am quite the Mary Berry! The key things employers are looking for are;

Personality and professionalism: Whatever role you choose, you will be the face of the company you work for so they want people who will make a difference to their customers holiday whilst representing them in the right way.

Show enthusiasm to learn: From cooking French dishes for 20 people to attempting your first red run on the slopes; it really is all about putting yourself out there and enjoying it!

Be a team player: It’s highly likely you will be working as part of a team and if you are thinking about doing a season, remember, a majority of your team will be new too! It's great to have the  support of your team behind you because the role really can be a wild one! 360 If you support your team, they will support you right back!


Three of the most popular destinations for Brits to do a Winter Season are France, Italy and Switzerland. It is highly likely that you will fly into Geneva Airport and your new home will just be a few hours away! You have to remember that along with the job and the sports, you will be living in your new destination for around four months and it is essential that you have the right amenities for you to enjoy your adventure. In the 2014/2015 season, I stayed in a stunning village called Samoens with a fantastic Ski Pass to Le Grand Massif. I loved my time here, however, the perks of doing a season is the Apres Ski and due to the traditional nature of Samoens, it did lack the buzz of other resorts such as Morzine and Chamonix so research and understand exactly what you want to get out of your season!

Packing for your new winter adventure

Ski and Snowboard wear: Warm and waterproof gear are ESSENTIAL! I love my fashion and hate to admit it but I do love looking good on the slopes because for two reasons, everyone takes photos and I am partial for a pose on the slopes and also the all important Apres Ski - some of the best DJs and bands are at the bars and clubs so why not make the effort? This year I have to thank the amazing TK Maxx because I have luckily bagged myself the most stunning Roxy Jacket and Salopettes.

Accessories: This included the standard gloves, scarves, hats however remember, safety is so important because if you do hurt yourself on the mountains, that is your season over! Do indulge in a good helmet, goggles and even wrist pads. I suffer from migraines due to bright lights and nothing is worse than the sun beaming on the snow so I invested in Scott goggles that had a lens to minimise these effects, and they are fantastic!

Home necessities:

For anyone who has ever travelled, especially for a long amount of time, you realise how much you miss certain elements from home! I would recommend:

Teabags: Nowhere will ever beat a good cup of English brew!
Chocolate: Of course France has its fair share of yummy chocolate, BUT they don’t have Dairy Milk and until you move away, you don’t realise how good Dairy Milk are!
Dressing gown and slippers: Strange choice, but you are working abroad and after a long day in work and on the mountain, to have the luxury of a fluffy gown and slippers is heaven.

Then there are the season essentials:

Plug adapter: You don’t want to get all the way there and not be able to charge your electronics!
Films and box sets - staff accommodation usually has little to no WIFI so for nights you and your friends stay in, have some great entertainment on standby.
Deep Heat - even after months on the slopes, you can’t predict a fall and deep heat really is the saviour to help through the pain!
Pharmacy bits and bobs -  In France, you can’t buy paracetamol and vitamins as freely as you can in the UK so stock up and save your time. Plus, it is a lot cheaper at home than abroad.
European Health card - It’s free and means less paperwork if you have to go for any treatments!

I hope my advice can help guide anyone who is doing a winter season or thinking over the option. After the tragic events that have happened in Paris and around the world recently, life really is too short so believe in yourself and make your dreams a reality!

A big thank you for Sarah for this opportunity and hopefully speak to you all soon!


A huge thank you to my darling Jessie for putting this post together for me! I'm too much of a home-bird to go on the adventures she does, but I was so so happy she agreed to share some of her travelling experiences here in Wonderland! I'm trying to convince her to put a few more posts together too (maybe even start her own blog?) so please show her some love! You can follow her crazy adventures over on Instagram and Twitter - so go follow! 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

#Lplblogevent - Liverpool Blog Event November 2015

My second Liverpool Blogger event organised by the lovely Jenny of Secret Beauty Box! The event was held in the little known but surprisingly amazing venue Fruit and Fibres Canteen - more on this amazing space later. 

So many local bloggers came down to the event and it was great to see some familiar faces and new ones - I love how more and more bloggers are starting to get out there and come to events, it’s always great to meet new faces. There were brand representatives there too, Stella & Dot, My Showcase, Noctua, Taking Shape, Motives Cosmetics and Lush Spa Liverpool.

After a few hellos between bloggers, so frantic furniture rearranging and table setting we got down to business. Jenny gave us a quick introduction and a rundown of how the day was going to go - personally I love this style of event. The brands have ample time to chat to us all as a group and you know exactly what to expect - great for first-time attendees too! 

First up, My Showcase. This is an Avon-Esq brand that I’m already familiar with. The idea is you can host a My Showcase party (Think Ann Summers but beauty and skincare) which includes some fabulous, not on the high street brands. Everything is sourced and the majority of their products are certified organic and chosen for very specific reasons. If you host a party you also receive a very generous discount on your own purchases too. 

Next up, Stella & Dot showcased some of this season's must have party pieces - me being the human magpie that I am was instantly drawn to pretty much everything they had. What really surprised me was how so many of their pieces are actually reversible - yup, you read me right! They also had a beautiful glitzy chain that could be worn 80 different ways, which worked out about £4 per way. 

Taking Shape, an Australian based plus sized clothing company has been around in the UK for about 2 years now, with flagship stores in Manchester and Liverpool. They specialise in giving you a clothing experience, and word hard to not only find you the perfect wardrobe but to give you the confidence to wear what you love and work the high street like a catwalk runway. Two bloggers modelled some of their clothing and both looked absolutely stunning - I especially loved Danielle’s long line orange shirt!

My MUA buddy Hannah stepped up next to talk us through her top three Motives products for the coming party season; their eyebrow kit, skin perfecting primer and the highly coveted by me eye base primer. Her stand looked amazing if I do say so myself (seen as though I put most of it together haha) and, with a few insider tips from me, she also brought along some seriously scrumptious cupcakes - yes it's a blogger stereotype but who doesn’t love cupcakes?

Lush, how I love thee. I was so excited to find out they were coming along to the event! The dynamic duo that was Megan and Jonathan came along to let us know all about their chosen charity - and the charity we would be supporting on the day, The Choir with No Name. A choir group that’s open to anyone, that predominantly encourages the homeless to come along once a week for a sing song get together amongst friends. They came back to us later on for a wonderful full facial demonstration on a fellow blogger - they have an amazing new mask out that is bright blue, I want it just for the colour (that’s a normal reason to want something, isn’t it?)

Last, but certainly not least was Noctua, a beautifully handcrafted raw rough cut natural crystal jewellery company based in the UK. Their pieces are gorgeous. Everything was so mystical and beautiful, it all caught my eye. Noctua actually lead the workshop later in the afternoon where we all made our own bracelets! I’ve never tried jewellery making before and this was so relaxing and therapeutic! I would love to try it again! 

Fruit & Fibres canteen is an amazing new space in the Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool that is looking to be used any way you can imagine. From a meeting space to function hall, crafting, talks, it’s even been used for a photo shoot - oh and did I mention it serves fresh hot scouse all day, bubble tea and Button Bakehouse cakes? It’s a right little gem and a super versatile space! They put on an amazing buffet for us too, with loads of little vol-au-vants filled with all kinds of tasty treats, and mini Yorkshire puddings with mash and sausage in. There was also freshly made sandwiches, houmous, dips, prawn cocktails and very posh cocktail sausages! Everything tasted great and I couldn’t fill my plate up fast enough! 

Jenny put together a brilliant event with lots of laughs and chatter. The jewellery making workshop was by far the highlight for me, as well as meeting some lovely fellow bloggers. Hannah and I also managed to sell an entire book of raffle tickets too! My number even came up and I was lucky enough to bag the Motives eye-base which I have been coveting for a while now! 

Of course, no event write-up would be complete without a peek into the goodie bags! I’m most excited about my Lush goodies, the Derma V10 blogger box and the Bee Kind cleanser! So many new things to try!

On the day, close to £200 was raised for the Choir with No Name - well-done bloggers!! 

Until next time, 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Christmas Bucket List

christmas bucket list

Christmas is just around the corner and I haven’t bought any presents, tinsel or wrapping paper yet but, I do have a box of mince pies in the cupboard!

I love this time of year and now that bonfire night is well and truly behind us and all the shops are putting up their decorations, I think it’s about time I got a little extra Christmassy around here! I love Christmas blog posts, they always give me lots of gift giving and Christmas baking inspiration so of course, I’ll be throwing my candy cane covered bauble-icious posts into the mix! 

I love a good list, there’s something so satisfying about checking something off, but usually it revolves around paying bills and sorting out my freezer (yay, adulting…not). So I thought I’d put together something a little more festive and fun, my Christmas Bucket List! These are just a few things I really want to do this year, some are timeless traditions, others are some new Christmassy things I want to try! So get your Christmas pj's on and grab a hot chocolate, we’re about to get festive!

  • Go ice skating - I’ve been about a million years ago and I was awful at it and terrified the entire time. I can’t imagine now being any different but c’mon it’s so cliche it just has to be done!
  • Build a gingerbread house. I’ve eaten a fair few during Christmases past, but I’ve never actually made my own! 
  • Create a Christmas Movie bucket list and watch them all!
  • Go watch a Panto - it’s behind you!
  • Have a Christmas jumper day out - usually involving food, pubs, more food and more pubs. 
  • Go to the Christmas Markets - I have plans to visit the Liverpool and Manchester markets, but would love to get a third one in!
  • Christmas baking - needs no explanation!
  • Buy some Christmas jewellery - I’m coveting some dainty silver snowflake earrings and matching necklace from 
  • Buy a Christmas Yankee - I had Christmas Eve last year, what will it be this year?
  • Make paperchains
  • Go window shopping all wrapped up with a hot chocolate in between my mittens!
  • See a Christmas Carol concert - I can’t remember the last time I went to one! I love carols at Christmas, just don’t ask me to sing you any!
  • Make peppermint bark - I’ve had the store-bought version from America and loved it but can’t seem to find anything similar in the UK, so maybe I should just make my own?
  • Write Christmas cards this year - apart from family, I failed on the Christmas card front last year! I will be sending out as many as possible this year to make up for it!
  • Decorate my parents tree - I love putting up the decorations with my family so I’ll be taking a day off work to head back home and help them with their decorations! I can’t wait!
  • Eat Mum’s Christmas Cake - Oh it’s going to be a good one this year! She’s used an old traditional recipe and about a bottle of brandy!
  • Try mulled wine - I had a sip once and it was just way too strong, but I’m all for trying a different one and seeing how it goes down! Tis the season!
  • Get new pyjamas for Christmas Eve…
  • and maybe some Christmas bedding too! 
  • Watch a Christmas film with my dad. This is something we have always done for as long as I can remember and not living at home, this is one Christmas tradition I miss! Somehow, I will get us to sit down and watch a festive film together this year!
  • Order a handmade ornament for my tree - I got one last year and am thinking this could be a new tradition for us!

What’s on your Christmas bucket list this year? 

Until next time,

Monday, 9 November 2015

Christmas at the Metquarter - Liverpool

christmas shopping metquarter liverpool

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…tell me you sang that! I’m a bit of a nutcracker when it comes to all things Christmas. I love this time of year, especially the build up. From switching on the festive lights to shop window displays, Christmas shopping, markets, just drinking in all the festivities with a hot chocolate held in mittened hands. When the Metquarter invited me down to get my festive on at their Christmas press launch ho ho ho’w could I say no?

Liverpool's Metquarter is the one-stop luxury shop where you are sure to find the perfect gift for either a loved one or a little self-indulgent festive treat this season. Home to some of my favourite brands, including Made, Illamasqua, Paper Chase and Urban Calm (an amazing inner city spa) I got to take a sneak peek at their Christmas lines, top gifts and of course, oh so pretty Christmas decorations. 

After being greeted on the door with a cheeky prosecco and a Christmas album blasting out our favorite Christmas tunes, I was given a personally guided tour around each stores stall, showcasing all things Christmas, I was like an excitable Elf in Santa’s workshop! 

Here're a few things that stood out to me that would make perfect gifts for loved ones or Christmas treats to me, from me;

Christmas Food Hamper from Carluccious. Carluccious is an amazing Italian cafe - deli that sell some amazing Christmas food hampers for the foodie in your life. They also had a very tempting looking advent calendar - their Italian chocolates are so rich and delicious! 

christmas shopping metquarter liverpool carluccios

Paperchase have got a gorgeous Peacock line out for the festive season, everything just looks so luxurious and that duck egg blue colour - wow. I was in love. Their hand stitched journals are some of my favourites at such an affordable price. Things like the twin peacock photo frames, mug, bath petals and notebooks would make lovely secret Santa gifts or last minute gifts to keep on hand for those surprise guests over Christmas!

christmas shopping metquarter liverpool paper chase

For those of you who love to keep it local like I do, Made-Here offers an array of products made by local artists. I personally fell in love with this laser cut flat disc Christmas tree decoration of the Liverpool waterfront. You’ll be sure to find that on my tree this year. They also sell some really great humorous handmade cards, perfect if you’re looking for something a little less Hallmark. 

christmas shopping metquarter liverpool made-here

Another pop-up coming to the Metquarter for Christmas is Rex. Similar to Made-Here, they offer all kinds of fascinating and slightly more unusual items designed by local artists and small businesses. Just look at that egg cup. Has breakfast ever looked more decadent? I also really like the wash bags - perfect for a beauty loving skincare junkie friend - you could even pop a few of their favourite products in the pouches!

christmas shopping metquarter liverpool rex

christmas shopping metquarter liverpool rex

One thing that did catch my eye was this stunning number from Phase Eight. Phase Eight isn’t somewhere I would ever think of looking for a party season dress, I always thought they catered to a much older audience than myself but wow, was I surprised. They have some stunning pieces in that are sure to wow everyone at the Christmas party. I was particularly enamoured by the glitzy clutch bag, just look at that sparkle! (I’m a magpie on the inside)

christmas shopping metquarter liverpool phase eight

With prosecco, macaroons and canap├ęs on offer to fill our bellies, Urban Calm also offered us neck and shoulder massages and an autumnal manicure. The Urban Calm girls were amazing. We talking all things blogging and skincare as I had my nails done and sipped prosecco, it was such a lovely way to end the event! I was also given a lovely little gift bag on the way out with a few goodies in to get me in the Christmas mood from Harvey Nichols Food Market, Illamasqua, Links of London, Vidal Sassoon and Phase Eight!

christmas shopping metquarter liverpool jewellery

If you’re looking for a little sparkle under your Christmas tree (or on it!) or something to give you the wow factor over this holiday season then head down to Liverpool's Metquarter - I promise you, you won’t be disappointed! I’ve already got a list as long as my arm of gifts I want to put under the tree this year! And when the stress of Christmas get’s too much? Urban Calm offer some amazing, affordable treatments, most of which you can just drop in for, no appointment necessary - perfect when you’ve been doing some last minute Christmas shopping!

What’s on your Christmas wish list this year?

Until next time,

Sunday, 8 November 2015

NaNoWriMo - Week 1

Nanowrimo challenge guide help

Week 1

They say week one is the toughest - and boy oh boy has it been. I'll be honest with you, I haven't been able to give NaNoWriMo the attention it's deserved this week. Oh don't worry, I have my excuses to hand and they're exactly what I thought they would be. Work and life. 

An excuse might be handy to have but it isn't going to write a novel. 

I've been pulling a lot of extra hours in work this past week, so much so that the little free time I have had has been dedicated to eating and sleeping. And that's about it. Starting early means I have zero time before work to write, and coming home late leaves me with very little enthusiasm to sit in front of a computer screen. 

Life, that little thing I've been trying to have in-between working and sleeping has been getting in the way too. Writing is a solitary thing and trying to balance it with mingling with real live humans is difficult. I was hoping to hammer out a few thousand words over this weekend, but I haven't sat down until now! I attended a bloggers event that went on longer than expected, caught up with one of my closest friends straight after it, then spent nearly all of today hanging out and catching up with my brother - then trying to get next weeks blog posts together. 

Sacrifices have to be made. But I'm not going to become a hermit just yet though I can see this changing if my word count really doesn't start to drastically improve!

I also really dislike about 90% of what I've written so far. My plan is to write myself into a better plot somehow. Eeek. 

So, in short, so far not so good.

NaNoWriMo Action Plan for week 2

  1. Write my way into a new plot
  2. Do a couple of creative writing exercises outside of NaNoWriMo to stretch those creative writing muscles.
  3. Make a point of opening the document at least once a day - even if I do nothing but headbutt the keyboard it will still boost my word count! 
Current word count: 2,512/50,000

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

November Goals // Life Lately

november goals

Hello, November you wintery beauty you. OK, so it’s not quite winter yet but I can assure you the denier of my tights has gone up and I’ve had to switch out my Spring/Fall scarves for something knitted. The heating is on and the jumpers are out people - winter is coming (and that will never get old!)

October was a pretty great month. No, it was a spectacular month. I went to the Bloggers Blog Awards in Leeds with the award winning Jemma, I met Dee and fangirled over Corinne and Hayley. Amy then threw herself in front of me and I’ve never been happier. I turned 28…it’s ok, it’s an even number, I’m ok with this. I attempted some kooky semblance of an OOTD post, I made cracker thins in my own oven and scouse on top, and I started writing a novel (though I’m for you all to forget that…like now!)

November means October is well and truly over. I set myself a few goals last month…so let’s see how I got on, shall we?

Blogging was pretty much a win for October. Not only did I post three times every week but I saw a huge boost in traffic and numbers and in those pretty PR emails. I failed to guest post on any blogs or have guest posters here in Wonderland but let’s be honest, I didn’t exactly try on either front. Life got in the way and I just about made my own 3 posts a week quota! 

I failed to update my Facebook page even once. I know. How hard can it be? But it didn’t happen. Do you ever feel like you’re jinxing yourself by setting a goal? I should probably update it now but…no, let’s keep blogging instead. 

As for the gym, well, see for yourself. I actually thought I had done pretty well last month, but I only clocked five visits to the gym. I want to say it’s a technical glitch and I couldn’t swipe in properly, but it’s all tech savvy and fingerprint entry so yup, that’s me, five visits. But five times off the couch is better than zero times. I am consoling myself with this fact and a glass of wine. 

gym schedule

November goals

If you caught my NaNoWriMo post this past weekend you will know that I am attempting the literary roller coaster that is…NaNoWriMo…National Novel Writing Month. In short, 50,000 words in 30 days. Yeah. I’m already loosing my mind, my plot, and wondering why I started it in the first place but I’ve started so I will finish - that is my ultimate goal this month. To cross that 50k finish line somehow, undoubtedly covered in blood, sweat, tears and gin, it is the goal this month. I don’t care what drivel I have to put down, as long as it’s 50,000 words of editable tripe. Let’s face it, it’s better to have something to edit than nothing at all!

I’m setting one goal, so like it or lump it. It’s a big ass goal. 

Do you have any goals for the coming month?

Until next time,