Wednesday, 20 December 2017

*Getting Organised for the New Year


I’m all about the festivities over the Christmas period but what I really love is the New Year prep! Resolutions, plans, clearing out, getting organised, I love it. I’ve got so much to get ready over the next 12 months, with a wedding and becoming a home owner on the horizon, it’s about time I got myself and my space organised!

I’ve been loving this 2018 planner from Lulu Guinness, not only is is just downright pretty to look at it but it’s really making getting ready for 2018, dare I say it? Too easy! With each week on a page and a full notes page for each week, plans, budgets, meal planning and more is all exactly where I need it to be. There’s a sturdy pocket separating each month, ideal for keeping receipts, wage slips, appointment cards or mementos from the month past too which I absolutely love! I never throw my planners away so being able to double this one up as a little memory keeping project/diary means there’s one less thing I have to buy in the New Year!




There’s an abundance of extra notes pages in the back, perfect for tracking any monthly/yearly goals too, so I’m thinking of doing some bullet-journal-esq set ups back there and putting them to good use! Oh, and if the monthly pockets were’t enough for you, theres an extra one in the back too!

So, now I have my planner, lets have a look at the plans I’m making to get ready for 2018!

Birthday/event prep

I am the worst in the world when it comes to birthdays. I am terrible with dates and am constantly forgetting until a day or so before, then having to frantically rush out and buy something or do a cheeky Prime order (thank the Amazon gods for gift wrap options!). So, this year, as all the birthdays have come around, I’ve been putting them into a document on my laptop - these I am going to transfer into my planner on both the month at a glance and the individual day it falls on! This should mean I’ve given myself a bit more notice to pick up a prezzy! And of course, presents need wrapping, so I’ll be keeping the LuLu Guinness gift wrap book close to hand!






Meal Planning

I’ve become really obsessed with meal planning this year, more so towards the end of the year. It’s really helping me stay on top of my monthly food budget and actually start using up everything we have before it goes to waste. So, I’m going to kick it up a notch in the New Year and start planning some breakfasts and lunches too. Usually I just wing these but I think I will save myself both time and money my planning a few in advance!

Challenge accepted

One thing I really want to do in the New Year is set myself monthly challenges. From fitness to finance, I want a challenge each month and I want a way to track it. Having it all in the one planner means it’ll be easy to see my progress (or, undoubtedly, lack there of). If you’ve got any challenges in mind let me know in the comments! Plus, I can put those bullet-journal-esq pages to good use!

Budgetting

Life is pretty expensive, but when you throw in a marriage, house buying, and not wanting to live like a hermit, it gets even more so! I’ve never been one for budget apps and find my finances much easier to understand when I put pen to paper. I’m not going to set a budget for the year, I’m thinking of doing it on a monthly basis as some are going to have more outgoings than others thanks to birthdays/pre-planned events etc. I tried a few money saving challenges this past year and they really helped boost my savings, I think visually shading those boxes in when the total went up each month really spurred me on too!




Things to do, places to go and people to see

I feel like its all too easy sometimes to fall behind on planning events and trips with friends and family. Usually when I’m asked, I’m all for it, but I never feel like I’m the one doing the asking. So, I’m going to keep an eye out for upcoming film releases and local events, jot them down and try to be the plan maker for a change. The LuLu Guinness planner actually has a section at the back for jotting down upcoming shows and exhibits so this is perfect!

When do you start making plans for the year to come?

Until next time, 




Monday, 18 December 2017

*#CorduroyComeback



Back when I was in my early teens, I had a pair of purple corduroy pants. Not a deep purple, not a dark purple, a super bright lilac that I absolutely loved. And of course, I had to have multiple purple toned tops to wear with them too, I mean I was clearly just too stylish for my own good. (Thankfully, there doesn’t seem to be any photographic evidence of my slammin’ style - no mum and dad don’t go looking for them if you’re reading this!)

That was almost *cough* 20 years ago *cough* and corduroy is coming back around this winter! Just check out Chums corduroy collection and see for yourself! Lucky for us, corduroy is much more fashionable these days and though I might not be, my taste has somewhat improved over time. We all know how it ia with fashion, everything comes back eventually, and damn do I wish I had kept those pants for this very moment!

Corduroy has been around since 200 AD! There’s a pub quiz fact for you! And, the word ‘corduroy’ originates from the French ‘corde du roi’ meaning, cloth of the king. Technically speaking, that literally makes corduroy fancy pants! (OK, I’m easily amused but you know you laughed!)

Corduroy is such a durable material, it's no wonder that so many pieces from it's golden years of the 60's and 70's are still around today, and in good knick too! With capsule wardrobes becoming more and more popular, people want long lasting quality pieces that will see them through year after year. 
Autumn/Winter 2017 sees corduroy back on the catwalks, an inescapable trend that is holding strong. From skirts to jackets, dungarees to waistcoats and of course, pants. Autumnal tones of burgundy, chestnut and burnt orange are key pieces this winter, not only on trend but bloody warm layers too! This sweet brown corduroy jacket from Pull & Bear with is faux shearling lining looks so comfy and cosy (£59.99).



I am in love with this deep burgundy corduroy skirt (£35) from Oasis. It’s got festive written all over it and would be too cute with a sweet blouse, tights and some Chelsea boots.



If you prefer your corduroy to make a more subtle statement, these corduroy ankle boots from Zara (£69.99) are perfect. The colour, the cord, it’s like the 70’s have popped back to say hello and fancy going for a few drinks. Granted, I don’t think they’d be so great on the wettest of days, but if you’ve got an indoor event or a crispy dry winter day they’d be perfect!

Have you got any corduroy pieces in your wardrobe?

Until next time, 




This post was in collaboration with Chums. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information see my disclaimer policy here

Header image: Luke Pamer

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Sephora Mask & Play set

sephora mask and play review


As soon as I found out there was a Sephora within walking distance of Disneyland Paris, I instantly got online and started to make my shopping list - and of course, the top of the list was Sephora’s own face masks. After filling my basket with two of everything, I came across this cute little Christmas Mask & Play set for €24.95!

sephora mask and play review


Dubbed the Mask Magazine, this set unfolds to reveal 7 Sephora masks, and a selection of games and skin care tips. I’ll be honest, the packaging annoys the hell out of me, it’s excessive and pointless but that’s coming from a 30 year old woman and I feel like this is targeted at a much younger audience. What did intrigue me was the contents and the value. Individually, the masks retail for €25.65 so there’s a tiny saving there, which we all love at this time of year. The masks included are;

  • Coconut hair sleeping mask
  • Algae face mask
  • Green tea eye mask
  • Charcoal nose strip
  • Rose lip mask
  • Aloe Vera hand mask
  • Lavender foot mask

Top to toe pampering all in one package. I swapped out my individual choices for this as it felt a little more restrained and gave me everything I was looking for. A complete masking experience, this is ideal if you’ve never tried the Sephora masks before or are looking to experiment with some multi-masking at a relatively good price. 

sephora mask and play review


I picked up a whole bunch of the Sephora face, lip and eye masks last year when I was in Florida and I loved them, they all left my skin feeling really soft and were ideal for using in the bath (pamper Queen over here ladies and gents!). There are no variations on these packs though so if coconut isn’t your thing, you might be better off picking up seperate masks as the savings on this set are pretty small. 

sephora mask and play review


If you’re going to find yourself lucky enough to be near a Sephora sometime soon, this little mask set would make a great stocking filler or a gift to you, from you, to find under the tree this Christmas - and the annoyingly excessive packaging at least makes it easy to wrap!

Have you tried any Sephora face masks?

Until next time, 





Monday, 11 December 2017

*Entertaining unexpected guests this Christmas



Ah, Christmas, filled with mice pies, board games, stupid jokes and family and friends popping in unexpecedtly on an almost daily basis. What do you do when guest turn up unannounced at Christmas? Or maybe you knew they were coming (lucky you) but you didn’t expect them to bring an overnight bag. What do you do? Pull up those Christmas stockings, get the kettle on and get ready to be given all the answers when it comes the having to entertain unexpected guests this Christmas!

Out and about


Keep your guests entertained by letting them entertain themselves this Christmas! Take them out to a local Christmas market or your nearest shopping centre. It’s not unusual for me to bundle guests out the door and over to visit Liverpool One, they can grab a hot chocolate and pose by the Christmas tree. Maybe snag a table for lunch and let someone else take care of the washing up. This works a treat, especially with guests from out of town who haven’t seen your local decorations or still have treats on the Starbucks festive menu to try! Have a look online at what’s happening in your area and make a note just incase you need to entertain your visitors.

Quick clean!

You’ve had your 5 minute warning, they’re parking the car and you’ve got no time at all to get your place sorted! Don’t loose your Christmas cool, start by arm wiping every surface, knocking dust, rubbish and knick knacks into a bag which you can then hide in the room you’re going to dump their coats in (nobody else ever goes in this room). Get the scented candles lit. Throw the pillows at the wall to fluff them up and air out your frustrations at last minute visitors. Put the kettle on and grab the rubbish out the kitchen bin, be popping it in your wheelie bin with a smile on your face as their mitten clad hands wave frantically from the front gate. Nailed it. 

Double up!

Pick up extra holiday snacks this festive season, perfect to whip out with a brew when the neighbours drop by with your christmas card. Mince pies, Pringles, nuts etc. I always keep a tub of chocolates under the coffee table and some Mr Kipling Christmas special editions in the cupboard. Hey, if they don’t eat them all then more for you once they’ve left!

Movie marathon

Struggling to make any more small talk? Or you can’t shut your visitors up for 5 seconds? Wack on a Christmas movie! There is no such thing as a bad Christmas classic. From Miracle on 34th Street to National Lampoons Christmas Vacation or The Polar Express, make sure everyone has a drink in hand and a mince pie within arms reach and rejoice in 90 minutes of bliss. 

The Emergency Gift

We’ve all been in that situation, when someone passes you a beautifully wrapped gift that you weren’t expecting at all. You look under your tree, no tag has their name on, and although we don’t give to receive, they’re smiles are starting to turn upside down as their outstretched hands are still coming up bare. 

“Let me just go grab yours” you say with a smile. Run up stairs and fly around the spare room looking for anything and everything you could pop in an ‘it was always here’ gift bag.

Put your festive fretting to one side and set up an emergency gift box in said spare room. Fancy biscuits, bottles of gin, posh note books, a pretty scarf and, of course, socks. The emergency gift essentials will have every random gift giver covered and going home smiling. And what you don’t gift, is a gift to yourself!


If all else fails you could always avoid the unplanned guests by turning off the tree lights and hiding behind a wall until they go away….but that’s not exactly in the festive spirit of things is it?

How do you prepare for unexpected guests over the holiday season?

Until next time,


visit liverpool one christmas


This post is in collaboration with Liverpool One. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. See my disclaimer policy here.
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Monday, 4 December 2017

Currently Watching #10

netflix shows to watch


Before I head into pure festive feel good tv shows and films, I thought it was about time I shared what’s been happening on my box recently! A few new shows, a few new seasons of old favourites, let’s grab the remote and dive right in!

Punisher

It can’t be denied, Netflix know how to do their shows and they do them so well you will loose 4 hours on a Sunday morning unable to stop watching. Punisher was jaw dropping, heart breaking and breathe taking. The action was on point, violent, squeamishly gory and everything you expect Punisher to be. The casting is perfect and the last few episodes are just, oh blimey, OH MY, just go see for yourself! If you were a fan of the original film you won’t be disappointed!

Mad Men

This is one of those shows that everyone has been telling me to watch for years and finally I’ve sat down, popped it on and I am hooked! There’s just something about that era in history, the male/female dynamics, the attitudes, the dresses, it just totally sucks me in. I’ve never known a show that has me really disliking nearly all the characters - especially the main guy, Don Draper. URGH!! 

Outlander 

Season 3 is well and truly underway and this show just keeps me coming back for more. Just when I didn’t really think they could go anyway else with are time-parted lovers, they really really do and the adventures, the romance, the drama, is all sails to the wind and full steam ahead! I really want to give the books a try but I’m worried I’ll come across spoilers! 

The Good Place

I thought this would just be feel good fun background tv but I’ve actually gotten really into it, it’s funny, endearing, plot twisting, just a totally unexpected interesting watch! 

Star Trek Discovery

I’ve been struggling with this one since episode 1! I’m actually really enjoying it but I just can’t see it as a prequel to the Star Trek we already know and love. I’ve watched a lot of the original seasons and this just looks and feels too modern for me. But, if I think of it as something completely separate and on it’s own, it works for me. It looks great, the story is semi-compelling and it’s an easy watch.

Stranger Things

I think it’s safe to say we blitzed through the second season in record time and bloody hell was it a good one! I love how the kids have grown, the music choices, the storyline, Hopper! I recently started rewatching season one with my Dad and it was even better the second time around! I don’t know how anyone could not love this show!

But now the tree is up, the festive playlist is on the go and it’s all about Christmas films, christmas specials and vlogmas YouTube binging all month long!

What will you be watching this holiday season?

Until next time, 





Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Reading Round Up #6

reading list ideas


The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K - Sarah Knight
I remember seeing this doing the round somewhere between this year and last, though mostly as a blogging photo prop! I've got to say, I didn't get a whole lot from it, except that even the word fuck can lose all meaning when used twice in every sentence. I get what Sarah is saying, you can't go around giving a toss about anything and everything just to please other people, and you can be selfish without being an arse but none of it was new to me giving some of my recent reads. If you find you are a people pleaser and will not so happily spend your weekends at baby showers, fun run sidelines or in other it makes them happy but not me situations then it's worth a read - and if not, it really does make a lovely photo prop!

Hygge - Charlotte Abrahams
Maybe it's the time of year, all dark nights and crunchy leaves, but I have been looking at Hygge more and more lately. Charlottes book starts off with a look at Hygge in design, it's influences on furniture and light fixtures, something that wasn't my cup of tea to begin with. Afterwards though she gets much more in the Hygge lifestyle, talking family time, meal time, Hygge in the workplace and her own journey through two divorces and several of life's curve balls. At times, it was actually a heart warming read, about how she has introduced Hygge into her home and her life, how that's impacted on her and her children, sharing tales of Hygge successes and failures. If you've not picked up a book about Hygge yet, this one is a great place to start!

The Marble Collector - Cecelia Ahern
Just when I think I've read every Ahern book out there, I see this on the shelf in my local library. How  I missed it is anyones guess! I can't get enough of Aherns books and this one was brilliant, and a great improvement on the last I read by her, Lyrebird. Flitting between the past of her father and the present of Sabrina, as well as her fathers current situation in a residential home, this is a beautiful tale of what is lost, be it objects or memories, might not always be found, but that doesn't mean we can't create new ones along the way. 

The Time Machine - H G Wells
I feel like I've been picking up a few classics when it comes to my sci-fi choices this year, and H G Wells' The Time Machine has really got to be one of the top sci-fi classics. Turns out that this book was the first to talk about and use time travelling in fiction. Aged as it is, it took some getting used to the language and the superfluous style but once I got past the first few chapters, I was hooked. The Time Traveller goes eight hundred thousand years into the future, and even Marty and The Doc couldn't predict this future. Lush green lands, the frolicking and simple Eloi, the dark and dangerous Morlocks, I wasn't gripped but I was intrigued. This book wasn't just a work of sci-fi, it was Wells' take on how society would eventually end up if the Victorians kept this distance between the haves and have nots. For me, it was a circle journey, going to the future was almost a step back in time, all our advances, our creations and creativity lost, evolution reversed. It was such an interesting look, after all, how many times does the distant future not revolve around flying cars and space travel? 

The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena
A recommended read by both Antonia and Hollie, this book was friggin brilliant. I'm not going to lie, it took a predictable turn or two which I found disappointing, until, it took some very unpredictable turns. When a couple go to a dinner party next door and leave their new baby home alone in the crib, what could possible go wrong? I had to laugh, I mean as if your baby going missing wasn't bad enough, what this couple then go through together and separately I couldn't have guessed in a million years. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Lapena doesn't throw a curve ball, she drops a wrecking ball on top of you. I love a good crime novel that focuses on the crime and the people effected over the investigators and this book does that so, so well. A gripping page turner, I found myself getting up early on a Sunday because I couldn't stop thinking about the last chapter I had read before bed the night before - that's how good this book is!

What pages have you been turning recently?

Until next time, 





Monday, 27 November 2017

A Merry Very Christmas - #VeryParty 2017


christmas gifts on very


Are you ready to get festive around here? Because I am! I friggin love this time of year and Christmas really can’t start soon enough for me! I was recently invited along by the lovely people at Very to check out their Christmas showcase, from sequins to skincare, they’re ready to get you ready for the festive season!


christmas gifts on very


When it comes to Very and Christmas, it’s all in the details this party season, and most of those details revolve around sequins. Dresses, jump suits, tops and bottoms, you will sparkle like the Christmas star this party season. I’m not one for the all out sequinned party wear, I can’t pull off that disco ball look to save my life, but I do love me some detail. 


christmas gifts on very


I fell in love with this beautifully soft grey jumper from Very’s petitie line, embellished with various pearls along the collar and sleeves, it’s got such a classic feel about it and packs a pretty, yet subtle, punch. 


christmas gifts on very


Taking the detailing up a notch, embroidery is still topping the trends this winter and just look at the detailing, I mean really, how intricate are those flowers? I struggle with statement necklace but with all that detailing going on, who needs accessories? Let your clothes do all the talking! 


christmas gifts on very


New to me, and an exciting brand to get acquainted with, Skin Doctors were on hand to give us a run down of their beautiful brand. Skin Doctors offer clinical strength products as an alternative to surgery and invasive procedures. Their newest offering are these Vitamin A and C ampules which I got up close and personal with on the day! I love ampules are they dispense out the perfect amount in a clean and controlled manner, minimising any bacteria and nasties being transferred to your skin. 


christmas gifts on very


I’m super excited to try their Beelift cream, a paraben free mixture of bee venom and manuka honey, this claims to reduce and delay the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin and ageing overall. Hey, I’m in my 30’s now and these things are going to happen sooner rather than later! I want to be prepared!


christmas gifts on very


When it comes to delicate, dainty and sparkles, my inner magpie was drawn to Lola Rose. Yet another new brand to me and one I instantly fell in love with. Famed for their statement gemstone pieces, they have brought out a divine collection of elegant and understated bracelets. I have pathetic, child sized wrists so when it comes to bangles and bracelets, they are never my jewellery of choice. Lola Rose bracelets come on adjustable chains meaning they are the perfect fit for each and every wrist. I had a little go at styling my own stack, and just, oh, you don’t need me to tell you how friggin gorgeous these look, right? 




Well, I know what I’m going to be looking for under the Christmas tree thanks to Very this year, how about you? It looks like it’s going to be a Very Merry Christmas this year!

What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?

Until next time, 






Monday, 20 November 2017

Argan+ Moroccan Rose Night Time Facial Oil

argan moroccan rose facial oil review


Price: £12.99
Pros: Smells amazing, easily absorbed, great for winter beaten skin
Cons: Greasy residue
Would I buy again? Yes.
Score 3.5/5

I have no idea how the Argan+ Oil Moroccan Rose night time facial oil came into my posession, I want to say it was in an event goodie bag? Maybe? Most likely? But to say I’m glad to have found it rolling around the back of my skincare drawer is an understatement. I’ve really gotten into facial oils this year, some more successful than others. I used to avoid oils like the plague, convinced it would make my oily prone skin worse - oh, what little did I really know! Facial oils have totally changed my skin care routine over the last 12 months and I wouldn’t be without one in my routine now!

The Moroccan Rose facial oil smells like turkish delight which I am far from complaining about - it makes me crave a piece or 3 every time I apply! Made with 100% natural oils, the rose oil is perfect for balancing your skin, and super soothing and nourishing. Since the cold has finally snapped, my skin usually starts to appear lifeless, dull and extremely dry! I’ve been using the facial oil as part of my evening routine  for about 2 months now and have defiantly seen an improvement. 


argan moroccan rose facial oil review


One thing to note, I forgot to pack the facial oil when I went to Disneyland Paris earlier this month and having not used it for 4 nights, the state of my skin was ridiculous. Dry, dull, breakouts everywhere. Granted I hadn’t had the best diet for a few days, but I haven’t had my skin go from zero to oh holy hell in such a short amount of time since I left my teenager years behind. 

The oil is easily absorbed but it does leave a greasy residue behind, however this does eventually get absorbed so if you can, apply it around an hour or so before bed. I hate the feeling of going to bed with product still drying in on my face, I feel like it just gets wasted, rubbed all over the pillow and bedding. 

For the price, I think this is a fantastic facial oil and I would totally re-purchase it. After just over 2 months I’ve not even hit the halfway point on the bottle. My skin feels really soft and supple and after those pesky Paris breakouts, they seemed to reduce in redness and size after two nights of getting back to using it! 

Does a facial oil feature in your skin care routine?

Until next time, 



Friday, 17 November 2017

Clarins - Multi Active Eye Cream

clarins multi active eye cream review



Price: £35
Pros: Applicator, light consistency, easily absorbed.
Cons: Price.
Would I buy again? No.
Score: 3/5

I’d tried so many sample sized tubes of the Clarins Multi Active Eye Cream that it seemed a great investment to go ahead and buy the full sized, 15ml tube with the snazzy applicator attached. At £35 a pop, it’s not exactly budget friendly, but having loved the samples so much, I was happy to hand over my cash. 


clarins multi active eye cream review


The applicator was a major selling point to me after experiencing the eye cream being applied with it during a facial at the Clarins beauty bar. The instant cooling effect is so soothing around the eye area, especially first thing in the morning when you’re still waking up. The applicator not only ensures a smooth, comfortable application, but it helps to reduce puffiness and decongenstion around the eyes. The eye cream itself is very light weight and pearlescent. It has a very wet texture which I don’t mind, as it absorbs so quickly and easily into the skin. 

The pearlescent cream does have a brightening effect which can make tired peepers look much more alert and lively, something that at this time of year, is much appreciated! My eyes always seem to look so grey and tired during the winter months!


clarins multi active eye cream review


I’ve been using this twice a day for about 3 months now and can honestly say, I have seen zero changes around my eye area. I’m lucky as I seem to have somehow, unknowingly, slowed down the ageing process, so my eyes are relatively line free right now. (Watch me wake up as one giant wrinkle tomorrow!). So does it improve fine lines and wrinkles? I have no idea. As delicate as the skin around our eyes is, I always feel like slightly thicker, more heavy duty eye creams have more bang for their buck. 


clarins multi active eye cream review


Because the buck, is the problem. I don’t mind splurging on my skincare if it works. I’m not saying this doesn’t, it really is a lovely eye cream, but it feels no different to my £2.99 Simple eye cream I’ve used for years. The applicator is my favourite part, but I wouldn’t pay £35 for that alone.

Not one of the worst, but not one of the best!

What is your go-to eye cream?

Until next time,