Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Do YOU have a secret blog?

keeping your blog a secret

It baffles me when people say they keep their blog a secret from friends and family. I get it, I get they might want the privacy, or they might be blogging about something they would rather not share with loved ones, but more often than not, when I ask bloggers why they keep their blog a secret, they say their embarrassed

Embarrassed that friends and family won’t understand what it is they’re doing, that they will be laughed at, mocked, have the piss well and truly took out of them because they blog. And this really saddens me. 

This is something I have talked about countless times before with one of my blogging besties, Corinne of SkinnedCarTree. You see, her blog is awesome, and she keeps it a secret from pretty much everyone she knows offline! Shes actually wrote about why she keeps her blog a secret, so go check it out. 

I don’t keep my blog a secret. I never have. And here’s why;

I love talking about my blog. From discussing post ideas to recent events I’ve attended, further thoughts on a product I have reviewed or directing friends to my foodie reviews when they’re looking for a new place to try out. It’s all just an extension of our everyday conversation

I’ve been lucky in that most of the people I know have been extremely supportive of my blog. Sure, some have questioned it, laughed at me for ‘being all teen angst emotional’ online (FYI those where my LiveJournal days and that content has long disappeared into the black hole of the internet!). More often than not, the people who do question it just want to know why.

What’s the point?
How much money do I make?
What could I possibly have to say that other people would want to read about?
Am I Bridget Jones?

For me, blogging isn’t a business, it’s a hobby. It’s a fulfilling pastime and a creative outlet. How is that any different to someone who likes to draw or paint? When someone tells me their hobby is golfing or model plane building, how is blogging any different? It’s time spent doing something I enjoy.

I love it when a friend comes to me and says, ‘I read about such and such a thing on your blog, do you think I should buy it/ try it/ go there?’. I love it when colleagues tell me they’ve been recommending my blog to their friends and I love how my parents practically hand out my URL to everyone they meet because even though they might not fully understand what it is I’m doing, they’re proud of me. 

Being open about blogging does have it’s cons, I won’t lie. There are times I might want to talk about something and won’t because I know whose eyes are reading these words. There are times when my mum has phoned me up, questioning something she has read on my blog, and when good things happen, I have to be sure to tell the people in my offline life first before they find out about it through the blog. In my experience, keeping a secret blogging life is much harder than just telling people about it in the first place!

But when I’m struggling for ideas, unsure about how a post sounds or in need of photo taking assistance - I have people I can call on and count on. My Mr is full of ideas, so much so I think he should probably take over the blog, and my Mum is always on about going places with me so I can blog about it. My brother loves to get involved in posts, especially those that involve food, and my friends, the bloggers and the none bloggers give me so much positive feedback on what I’m doing in my little corner of the internet that it makes me smile.

For my birthday this year a close friend gifted me something. As I tore off the wrapping she stopped me and said, ‘I’ve been reading your blog and you’ve been doing so many food related posts, I thought these might come in handy’. When I tore away the wrapping she had given me a cook book stand and my own recipe book to start filling in. We then spent the rest of the evening discussing blogging and I even convinced her to write a little guest post for me - and she had never blogged before. 

Blogging has become a huge part of my life and if I had to keep quiet about that, well, I don’t think I would last very long. I’ve done the anonymous thing, I’ve had secret blogs in the past and having to shut down a computer or hide a laptop every time someone walks in the room is tiresome. Being asked, ‘what are you doing?’ or ‘what are you writing?’ and having to lie just becomes more awkward to keep up with. Blogging is becoming more and more mainstream these days, more people know about it, are trying their hand at it, and it’s not some dodgy little thing to be caught doing online.

Blogging is something to be proud of. 

Is your blog a secret or do you tell the strangers at the bus stop all about your Google page ranking?

Until next time,

Monday, 28 December 2015

2016 Goals

new year goals to be happy

Have you started working on your 2016 goals and resolutions yet? I’ve been umming and ahhing about this for the last few weeks and honestly, I just don’t know where to start. It’s not that I don’t want to make any changes in the New Year, I mean it wouldn’t be a New Year without a few goals in mind, would it? I just don’t know what changes I want to make.

Things are good right now. Really good. And I want those good vibes to continue right into the New Year. I guess that’s a goal in itself right there.

Improve my fitness

I don’t want to lose weight. I want to get fitter. I want to be stronger. I want to get into a good routine with my exercise and start taking on a few challenges to continue to push myself. When I work out - I feel good. I sleep better. I am happier

Read more

Having not had to commute to work for almost two years now I don’t read half as much as I used to and my ‘to read’ list is getting longer every time I pass by Waterstones. So I really want to read more. Let’s throw the number 52 out there and see what happens. 

Challenge myself

I had this idea back in 2014, and in 2015, I managed to set and complete about three challenges. The idea is to set myself one challenge every month. From daily blogging to going without meat or alcohol, money saving or working out more. One challenge - one month. I want to do more than three in 2016!


I love charity runs. Not only are you left sore full of good feelings at the finish line, but it’s a great way to encourage yourself to keep fit and push yourself with each new race. I only ran one charity race in 2015 so I’d love to sign up for a few more in 2016 - maybe even work my way up to a half marathon by the end of the year?

Take more ME time

From a midweek pamper session to going offline for a day. I feel like I’ve been doing nothing but running around, working, running around some more, rinse and repeat. I need to make a point of just stopping from time to time, even if it means saying no to social plans or hiding my phone in a  drawer for an hour. 

Blogging Goals

I wouldn’t be a blogger if I didn’t have some goals in mind. This year has been amazing for blogging. I have met some incredible people, become friends with bloggers I have admired from afar for so long and really started to find a schedule and a way of blogging that suits me. The only downside is that I have felt more and more pressure as the year has gone on. Pressure to have bigger numbers, better content, shinier pictures. Pressure to be working with big brands, to be making actual money, the pressure to post when the last thing I want to do is sit down and type. 

My blogging goal for 2016 - no more pressure.

No more looking at the numbers
No more questioning my content
No more forcing myself to blog, or punishing myself if I don’t post. 

No more pressure.

Blogging started out as a really fun hobby, an escape from the day job and place I could call my own online and I don’t want to lose that. I just want to have fun with it. 

Well there you go, that’s it. 2015 you have been marvellous, 2016, you’re on your way in and you’re already looking pretty damn good. 

What are you most looking forward to in 2016? 

Until next time,

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

New Years Goals - 12 months on

goals 12 months on

Back at the beginning of the year, I set myself a few goals for 2015. Goals, because I really struggle at sticking to resolutions. I've seen a few people go back to those original New Years posts and talk about how they did on their goals for the year. Well, I know I haven't done too well with the odd monthly goals I've set myself but the goals for the year as a whole? I'm scared to look but out of curiosity (and the fact I needed a blog post for today), let's see how I did shall we? *holds breath*

30-day challenges - set one every month and complete at least 5

I've done this on and off all year. January saw me tackle and complete the No Buy January challenge which was a resounding success (and one I'm looking at doing again in 2016) and the DWFitness 40-day fitness challenge in February went well too. April, I almost completed the A to Z Challenge. But that's where my enthusiasm for challenges started to dry up a little. I did take on NaNoWriMo in November and have been attempting Corinne's Fitmas challenge this past month, so I definitely attempted 5 challenges this year, but I'd say only 3 could be considered complete! 

Blogging every day - do this at least 3 times

I'm never going to be an everyday blogger. I've done the odd weeks or so here and there throughout the year where I've blogged a fair few days in a row, but there wasn't a single month where I hit every day. Will I try this again in 2016? Probably, but I can't see myself ever becoming a daily blogger unless I can give up either half of my day job hours or sleep!

Blog a minimum of 3 times a week

I'd say this has been more of a success this year than in years past. Hurrah! I find creating 3 quality (if you can call it that!) posts a week works well for me. It's something I can usually keep up with regardless of my shifts and socializing. To be honest, generating the content isn't the problem, it's the pictures! I struggle taking them with my iPhone and our home doesn't have the best natural lighting! I do think I've found my schedule though so I'm happy about that!

Re-design the blog layout

I'm halfway there with this one, but I'm still not totally happy with how the blog looks. I want it to look like me, not like all the other blogs out there where everything is so clean and white - yes, I love that look, but everyone is doing it and sometimes I get confused and forget whose blog I'm on! Where's the fun in having the same widgets and sidebar design as everyone else?

Create a new blog logo

Yes! How pretty is my Liverpool skyline? After some really awful drawings from me and hours of WhatsApp chats with my very talented graphic designing friend, she came up with the logo I was picturing in my head. I'm playing around with it some more now, but the general idea will stay the same after all, Liverpool is my Wonderland.

Have business cards made

Check! I actually felt like a real blogger when I was asked for a business card and had more than a scrap of paper to hand over! I love them. The logo looks amazing on the front, the gloss looks sophisticated and it makes the whole blogging experience feel like a little more than a hobby sometimes. 

Take part in and complete NaNoWriMo

Saving the worst for last. I went into this year's NaNoWriMo full of gusto and enthusiasm, ready to slave away at the keyboard for 30 days straight on something other than a product review. What I didn't count on was life throwing any and all curve balls at the keyboard to stop me getting close. I failed. Big time. But that's ok. I learnt a lesson from my failure and that's what matters.

Bloody hell, did I really do that well this year? I'm not just writing surprised here, I really am surprised! 

How well did you do on your goals this year?

Until next time,

Monday, 21 December 2015

The 13 WORST thoughts you have whilst Christmas shopping

thoughts you have christmas shopping

Whether you bought all your Christmas presents in September or you’re planning a mad dash around the shops on Christmas Eve, we’ve all had a thought or two when it comes to Christmas shopping. From pram wars to price matching and almost always coming out of the shop without the one thing we actually went in for, here're a few other thoughts you might have had whilst out and about Christmas Shopping!

The moment you buy the first Christmas gift - Yes! Go me! Look at me! I’m going to be so organised this year. Fast forward a week before Christmas - Where the hell has that damn present gone?! *runs out to buy overpriced replacement* A week after Christmas…you find the missing present. 

This is the coolest present ever - you get home and decide it’s so cool that you will actually gift it to yourself this year and buy the original recipient a cheaper, less cool alternative. 

To me - from me - justifying every unnecessary new purchase over Christmas as a Christmas present to yourself because hey, you always buy the coolest gifts anyway! And if you can’t spoil yourself at Christmas, when can you?

What are all these people doing here?  - It’s 8.55am on a Sunday morning, you’ve had the brilliant idea to come out early and beat the rush…but every other shopper has had the same idea. You instantly regret tweeting out about you’re awesome idea in the first place. 

Frugal festivities -  You’re convinced you can get something cheaper elsewhere, so you spend hours searching around the high street, online or holding out hope for a flash sale. For the sake of a few extra quid you’ve just lost hours of your own time

Yay Christmas music, Oh Mariah all I want for Christmas is you… - The first few times around. But I’ve been listening to this since the middle of November - when will it end?! 

Not so Secret Santa - You’ve either got someone you really don’t like, someone who's impossible to buy for or for the love of Christmas is you get one more candle this year tinsel will fly.

Monetary gifts - Yes! Giving someone money in a card means you don’t have to go battling the crowds or even make a decision on what M&S socks to get them this year but how much money do you put in their card? What if you give them too much and make them feel bad, too little and you look like Scrooge? Socks suddenly seem like a better idea!

Pyjamas - pyjamas for everyone! Thank you, Primark!

One for you..one for me - With so many 3 for 2 offers, that means at least 1 of every 3 gifts are for me…right? See thought 3 for further clarification!

Baby, it’s cold outside - all wrapped up and ready to go outside and nail this Christmas shopping -  3 shops later, laden with bags…it’s like a sweat shop under my coat, the layers, all the layers! Why?! WHY?!

Christmas time - December 1st? Oh, I’ve got ages, ages, to sort out all the Christmas presents. December 24th - holy holly wreath when did this happen? It’s Christmas?! How did it sneak up on me like this?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year  - but I swear if one more pram crashes into my ankles I will be throwing down the wrapping paper and getting ready to elf someone!

What thoughts have crossed your mind whilst you’ve been Christmas shopping this year? Any of these sound familiar?

Until next time, 

Friday, 18 December 2015

Why Snowflake Jewellery Is The SECRET Ingredient This Christmas

christmas snowflake jewellery

“Snow is falling, all around us, children playing, having fun”

Nothing says Christmas more than a white Christmas, a fresh blanket of snow just waiting for you to go frolicking in. Snowflakes are so delicate, dainty and magical, so why not bring a little of that magic to your Christmas wardrobe. I’m not talking printed dresses or funky Christmas jumpers (though we all love them!), I’m talking serious Christmas sparkle, in the shape of snowflake jewellery.

I’m all about the little details. I’ve been looking for Christmas jewellery for a couple of years now, something shiny, dainty and magical that won’t break the bank or look too over the top, something a little more grown up than flashing dangling snowman earrings (though I have those too!). After being introduced to JewelleryBox.co.uk earlier this year, I was over the Christmas tree to finally found what I’ve been searching for.

The winter snowflake necklace is the perfect way to bring a little Christmas sparkle to any outfit, day or night, just that hint of Christmas sparkle to finish off even your most casual office outfit. Coming in at under £10 it also makes for a glitzy stocking stuffer that won’t break the bank.  

christmas snowflake jewellery

The bright, sterling silver necklace comes in a variety of chain lengths and to compliment it, there’s also tiny little matching sterling silver studs that are beyond adorable. I’ve been getting so many compliments when I’ve worn the pieces together and separate - the earrings are perfect for finishing off a fun Christmas jumper. 

I can see this set being my go-to for the rest of the festive season and, if kept polished and stored right, it will certainly be making an appearance in Christmases to come. 

christmas snowflake jewellery

What kind of Christmas jewellery do you prefer? Dainty and delicate or loud and proud? 

Monday, 14 December 2015

5 Insane (But True) Things About Bloggers Homes

inside a bloggers home

Could you be giving off signs every time friends come over to visit that you are intact a blogger? Do you suspect your buddy of leading a separate double blogging life online that they haven’t told you about? Trying to stop your mum from finding out your blogs Instagram name? Here’s a few tell tale signs that you have crossed the threshold and stepped into a home that only a blogger could live in.

White, white, everywhere.

It’s not that they’re boring, minimalist or uninterested in home interior, it’s just everything looks better on a white background and nothing screams editorial pictures like bright and crispy lighting which only an all white room can give. Every light bulb in the house is white and you need sunglasses to go the toilet it’s so blinding in there - but if you ever saw the pictures, you’d understand!

Wallpaper collecting and tile hoarding.

There’s a random roll of wood effect flooring wallpaper hiding behind the couch - and there’s no room in the house decorated with it. There're more wallpaper samples than you can shake a paste brush at, most of which are perfectly square and there will be hell to pay if you fold a crease down the middle of one. 

Then they're the tiles. From the bathroom to slate, patio and marble effect, random tiles stored in the cupboard, more than likely wrapped in a piece of burlap and covered in white tack residue (those bottles don’t face forward on their own you know!). And no, your friend hasn’t taken up a tilers course when she says she’s busy on the weekend, she's cramming in as many daylight picture taking hours as she can.

Tape marks on the floor.

You know that moment when you set your tripod up just right, the lighting hits you perfectly, you haven’t cut your own head out of the shot and your backdrop is both simple and interesting without drawing too much attention away from your latest OOTD. Fear of being mere millimetres off next time could cost you likes and followers - so you tape mark the floor. It’s just a little slither of tape…nobody will ever notice…right? 

There’s never a hot meal.

Even if you order a takeaway, the food is placed just so on the coffee table, with odd knickknacks and candles in the spaces. Photos of spoons in sauces and a hand reaching for the salt are taken without question and if there're any excess sauce splatters around the edge of the plate, you can be sure they’ll be wiped off before pictures from at least 3 different angles are taken. You’ll find the microwave is always available if you ever want to eat a hot meal in this house!

The ‘Clean Zone’.

One random corner of a room will be so clean, not a cushion out of place, a throw perfectly folded hotel style across the back, a living brightly coloured plant and the latest empowerment book casually strewn but artistically placed at the foot of the chair. There’s probably a brew and a pink macaroon for good measure too.

The rest of the room looks like several two-year-olds have had too much sugar and gone wild from floor to ceiling. Nail polish stains, burnt out candles, last nights take away, light boxes, PR samples, and the blood, sweat and tear stains that went into creating that clean zone and taking the 100 pictures of it just to show how you’ve spent a relaxing Sunday, chilling in your book nook - not. The cat keeps trying to clad the throw and the macaroon might be bright but it’s gone stale and the brew is cold. 

Sound like any-bloggy you know?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

This or that? Christmas Edition

christmas this or that quiz

I feel like it’s been ages since I sat down and did a tag post! Inspired by the lovable nut that is Dee, I decided to jump right into a Christmas: This or That? 

Have to sing Jingle Bells loudly every time you walk into a room or wear a Santa Suit to work/school every day for a week? Santa suit all the way! Though I reckon I would opt for the (not so slutty) Mrs Claus suit as I practically live in dresses! Who doesn’t love that red dress, some thick black tights and really comfy black boots? I do have a question, though, do I get to wear the hat too? That would be the icing on my Christmas cake!

Not celebrate Christmas this year or not celebrate your birthday this year? I would much rather celebrate Christmas every year, there’s just so much going on! So many things to do, food to eat, people to spend time with. birthdays are great and all but Christmas is just way more fun - and it lasts longer than any birthday I’ve ever had!

Have Frosty the Snowman for a friend or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? I loved the film Jack Frost so I reckon if Frosty the snowman was as awesome as Jack Frost he’d make a great buddy. I mean who wouldn’t want to knock back a gin or two with your own personal ice-man and have you seen how fast he can sled? Wahoo!

Have Mistletoe hanging in your bedroom doorway, or have a large decorated Christmas Tree in your bedroom doorway? I’m a soppy romantic so I’d have to opt for the mistletoe! I’ve never actually hung any before! I love a big Christmas tree but having to battle through pine needles and baubles every morning, bleary eyed and still half asleep would not put me in the festive spirit!

Write a Five Paragraph Essay about the meaning of Christmas or solve a page of Christmas themed maths problems? I don’t do numbers. I can’t even do phone numbers, so ask me to write an essay any day! Christmas means something different to everyone so I reckon I could waffle on long enough to fill five paragraphs and more!

Have a job wrapping presents at the mall or have a job taking photographs of children sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall? Wrapping presents! I actually really love doing the present wrapping! When I lived with my parents the whole family took turns turning up at my bedroom door with sackfuls of presents for me to wrap for them - I’m surprised I never ended up wrapping their gifts to me! 

See The Nut Cracker or Dance in the Nut Cracker? Let’s be honest, put me on that stage in tights and tutu and I will fall flat on myspace and flash my arse to every poor soul in the audience. I wouldn’t want to make a mockery of such a beautiful ballet! I’ve seen in once when I was very young and would love to get the chance to go and see it again! I remember it being so magical, it was the first ballet I had ever seen and all I wanted to be for years after that was a ballerina! 

Be given £100 for Christmas to spend on yourself or be given £1000 before Christmas to buy presents for other people? Easy, take the £1000 to spend on others. I love buying presents for other people! There is nothing more satisfying that finding the perfect, most unexpected gift for someone and seeing their reaction when you give it to them. I love finding different and unique things every year and spoiling the ones I love with little treats and luxuries!

Have a nose that glows red like Rudolf’s or have pointy ears like an elf? It’d have to be the ears, c’mon! How cute would that look? My ears are tiny so I think little elven points on them would look adorable! Besides, a red nose would just make it look like I have a permanent cold and I’ve managed to avoid one so far this winter! Win!

Be one of Santa’s Elves or be one of Santa’s Reindeer? If I was an elf I could make a snow angle for two hours, go ice skating, eat a whole roll of tollhouse cookie dough as fast as I could and then snuggle. Sounds like the life to me!

Would you have picked this or that?

Until next time,

Monday, 7 December 2015

*Surviving the Christmas Party Season

christmas party survival tips

December means Christmas, and Christmas means parties. Party, party par-tay! I love the hubbub of the festive season, from family, get together to the works Christmas do and everything in between, the Christmas party season is none stop - and I love it! Ok, love might be too strong a word, it’s amazing and fun and what the holiday season is all about, but bless my poor toes, it’s tiring, stressful and downright frustrating sometimes! When George at Asda got in touch looking for some foolproof Christmas Party survival tips I paired my thinking cap with my dancing shoes and got down to business!

There's so much to look forward to, here’s a few Christmas Party Survival Tips to get you through this Christmas season!

Plan, plan, PLAN

Use pen and paper, use your phones calendar, write it up your arm for all I care (though have fun accessorising with a 2 pm wax appointment). But get it all written down. The thing about Christmas is anyone and everyone comes out of the woodwork, drinks  almost every week after work and you can’t be the only one in the office to forget about Christmas Jumper day (18th November - write it down now!). So as soon as you make a commitment or here of an event you’ll be attending note it down and keep it on you at all times over December - that way you won’t forget, can check if you need to pick anything up whilst you’re out and about and there’s no chance of double booking Christmas catch ups!

christmas party survival tips

Don’t forget ME time.

It’s all too easy to try to spend time with every man and his dog this Christmas and forget to spend time with yourself. Give yourself at least one evening a week to just stop. To stay in, order a cheeky takeaway or polish off a selection box. Indulge in a Christmas bath bomb and pop on a festive film - or the most none festive film you can find to give yourself a break from the Elves and jingling bells. Don’t let yourself get run down or you’ll be too busy chasing after a runny nose to enjoy the rest of the season!

Go advanced or go home.

Don’t be running around like Rudolph on Christmas Eve trying to do all your Christmas shopping! I know this works for some people, but I just can’t do it. The thought of getting to Christmas eve morning and not having everything bought, wrapped and tagged under the tree sends icicles down my spine. So if you haven’t, start now! Make a list of who you need to buy for and what you’d like to get this year. There’s sales, flash sales, offers and cash back to be had already so make the most of it and don’t leave it till the last minute. It also gives you time to ask them if there’s anything, in particular, they’d love to find under the tree this year (and if they’re a blogger, their gift guides will be up by now too!).

christmas party survival tips

Have yourself a cosy little Christmas…

For me, it’s comfort over fashion. So if that means I wear a cute printed dress with an adjustable waist (£14) on Christmas day to make room for all the turkey, and opt for flats over sky scraping heels so I’m not spending the holidays curled up with a twisted ankle, so be it. No matter the occasion, from Christmas parties to family get-togethers, make sure you’re comfortable. Do you think Santa would spend all night in that suit if it was too snug for all the mince pies? Hell no! Wrap up warm when you go Christmas shopping and layer up for the after work Christmas bar crawl! For me, it's all about spending as much time as possible in cute and cosy fluffy winter pjs, like these super fluffy, so tweet (£15) Robin ones! They're like being wrapped in a warm Christmas hug and go great with fluffy socks and bottomless hot chocolate!

christmas party survival tips

Moderate indulgence…

It’s Christmas after all, so let your hair down, have a mince pie or three, treat yourself to a few glasses of bubbly and we all love a good fry up on Christmas morning. Let yourself enjoy all the delights and treats the holidays bring but do so in moderation. I know, I know, I’m asking the impossible, I’m guilty of using the ‘go on, it’s Christmas’ excuse as I settle into a box of Quality Street for breakfast half way through January. So, in order to feel less guilty about my festive foodie choices I make sure to drink water between drinks on festive nights out, exercise as I would any normal month, and pile on the fruits and veggies at the Christmas buffet table alongside those pigs in blankets. Little efforts make all the difference in combating the dreaded New Years bulge. Roomy Christmas jumpers (from £14) are also ideal for concealing those extra yule logs and selection box chocs

Above all else, Keep calm, it’s only Christmas!

How do you plan on surviving the Christmas party season? Check out the #GeorgePartyTips for more great seasonal survival ideas, tips and tricks!

Until next time,

All clothes kindly provided by George, all thoughts and opinions are 110% my own :) For more information, see my disclaimer here.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Christmas - Gift guide for him 2015

I love doing gift shopping for men. I find that most (my Mr not included!) are very easy to buy for. I don't know why but I much prefer buying men's Christmas gifts to women's so I had a ton of fun putting together this little gift guide for you all! If you're looking for something special to pop in his stocking this year I've got you covered!

(from left to right)

Personalised whiskey tumbler £15 I bought Mr one of these for his birthday this year and he hasn't stopped using it. It's his go-to glass and he loves it. The personalised etching is spot on and the glass is really great quality. You can choose any name, message, year and even have their age put on it - great for any special birthdays you might have this time of year. Pair it with some whiskey rocks or his favourite bottle.

Steam Controller £39.99 I asked the Mr what he thought would be top of a man's Christmas list this year and he instantly said this, the Steam Controller. If your guy is into gaming and plays most of them through his Steam account then this controller is sure to be a winner. It's cheaper than most console controllers and other PC controllers of a similar calibre and is ready to play hundreds of games from the Steam store. If you do give him this, you might not see him for the rest of the holidays!

Lounge pants £25 Practical gifts for men are always a winner, and what man wouldn't love some luxury lounge pants? I love the men's loungewear from Next (I pretty much love all of the Next men's wear), they're so comfortable (so I'm told!) and soft. This two pack is amazing value, you could pick up some lounge tops to go with them too.

iMusic Pillow £10 If your guy likes to fall asleep listening to music, podcasts or audio books then this pillow is a godsend! Not only will it let them drift off to sleep to their favourite tune, but you won't have to listen to any of it! The speakers are embedded deep in the plush pillow so only the head on the pillow can hear it.

Plectrum Punch £13.49 I bought my brother a guitar a few years ago, if he actually bothered to play it I would be buying him one of these plectrum punches to go with it! It can turn anything into a sturdy plectrum, a great way to re-use old bank cards or id cards without having to fork over the cash for fancy plectrums.

Portable Charger £15 I bought one of these back in September and it hasn't left my bag since. Technically, not a gender specific gift but I needed another for my list! This Anker charger can full charge my iPhone 5s six times before it runs out of juice! It can charge up to two devices at a time, as long as you have a cable with a USB connection it will pretty much charge anything and everything! Perfect for the gadget man in your life...or someone who spends a little too much time on Reddit or YouTube on their phone whilst out and about!

Dressing Gown / House Coat £45 Again, something practical but so plush, I don't know a man who wouldn't want to wrap themselves up in this housecoat after stepping out of the shower during the winter! This, paired with the lounge pants will make for some cosy cuddles this Christmas!

Up to snow good t-shirt £15 From Christmas jumpers to novelty socks, I love fun and festive clothing for men! This t-shirt is great, it's Christmassy enough without being too cheesy for the semi-serious man in your life. With a long winter ahead he's sure to get his wear out of this, a laugh on casual Friday and it's a pretty good price too!

Daniel Wellington Sheffield Watch £159 I love the simplistic stylish designs of the DW watches. No fuss, no look at me bling bling for attention. Just a simple, well-crafted design that really is timeless. It will go perfect for both formal and informal wear and you could always have it engraved too!

Dancing Groot Pop Vinyl £10.99 I've been seeing these Pop Vinyl figures everywhere this year and I don't know a guy who hasn't got at least one! Ok, maybe I picked the dancing Groot because, well, look at him! How cute! But any Avengers fan will love him, I'm sure!

What will you be putting under the tree for the men in your life this Christmas?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Christmas - Gifts for her 2015

Happy December!

Let's face it, gift guides not only give you fantastic ideas that you might not have thought of, but it's also a great way of letting friends and family who might read your blog what you'd love to find under the tree this year. I know my Mr has been known to buy a thing or two from my gifts guides in years past, so here's a little taster of what would look bloomin' marvellous under the Christmas tree this year!

(from left to right)

Aromatherapy Associates The Star £10 I love taking long soaks in the bath and nothing screams luxury more than a fancy bath oil. Leaving skin silky smooth and oh so fragrant, these little star gifts from Aromatherapy Associates are the perfect treat for the little lady in your life who loves a little me time in the tub.

Tarte 7 Piece High-Performance Set £43.80 I don't use the word covet very often but I will make the exception here. I have been coveting Tarte make-up for I don't know how long and not being able to find it on the high street bothers me. I was going to wait until my next trip to America to try and finally pick some up but when I saw this amazing set on QVC...well, I might have to pop this under the tree to me, from me! Not only are you getting 7 of their most coveted all-stars, but brushes and a case too at such a brilliant price! It's an entire look in one bag for a little more than my last foundation purchase!

Fitbit  I'm pretty sure this popped up in my gift guide last year and I still really do love these little things. My brother has one now and having seen it up close, I can see how and why it works so well. I'm not looking to loose weight but a gentle reminder to keep me on track, even just ensuring I hit my 10k steps a day that doesn't kill my phone battery would be ideal. I'm also really interested in the sleep monitoring function!

Sony a5000 £249 After hours of googling, product reviews and chatting to other bloggers and camera enthusiasts, I have decided it is about time to invest in a new camera and this entry level compact DLSR with interchangeable lenses ticks all the right boxes. It has an 180degree flip screen, basic keys but some pretty in-depth features and functions, wireless transfer and wifi capabilities. I'm fed up of taking all my pictures on my iPhone and would love to get a little more into photography!

Tiddly Penguins Caramel £5.50 If it's a guide by me you know there's going to be some treats in there! I love Hotel Chocolate and their Christmas treats are almost too adorable to eat - almost. Milk chocolate, caramel centres, all encased in a cute little Penguin, delightful!

The Bomb Cosmetics Rockin Robin Gift Pack £12.99 The Bomb Cosmetics is something that keeps popping up on my radar this year and from the reviews I've seen they're coming close to rivalling Lush for cute and fun bath bombs but at a much more pocket-friendly price tag! Oh, and who doesn't love a gift that comes pre-wrapped?
Aromatherapy Associates Bath Jewels Collection £58 If the first thing on the list didn't give it away, maybe this will. I love my baths. I have tried a few Aromatherapy Associate bath oils over the past year and loved every single one of them. This set might seem a little costly but it does work out great value for money and will last for quite a while, even for a bath enthusiast like me. 

Clothbound Classics £15 The Mr surprised me with the clothbound Alice in Wonderland last year and it is one of my most treasured books. I've read it a few times over the past year and would love for him to make gifting me one of these a tradition (hint hint). 

The Taming of the Queen - Philippa Gregory £15 I've been a huge Philippa Gregory fan for as long as I can remember. She has such a magical way with words that really does bring history to life. Her books are filled with intrigue, love, lust, drama and bloodshed, and what she can't research she makes up to the point where you could very well believe it actually happened. I haven't read this one yet and am eager to do so!

Pocket Diary £8 I need to get myself organised next year, I've already got so many things going on that some serious planning needs putting in place! So let's start small. Pocket diaries are perfect for keeping in your bag to make plans on the go. I know most people use their phone and I do too but I much prefer writing things down on paper. This is especially ideal when you're asked about overtime and covering shifts on the spot!

What would you love to find under the tree this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,