Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Ciate Christmas Day Nails



This year I have fallen head over heels in love with having glitter on my nails. I don't know why but this is my third different type of glittery nails, I've had pink and blue so far! But for the Big Christmas Day itself I felt that I just had to go for a classic red and what better than my beloved Ciate? I used Dangerous Affair as the base colour and then Enchanted Rose over the top for the glitter! I've previously been using Barry M Glitter Top Coats and had to layer at least 3 or 4 coats to get a good build it but the pictures above are of just one coat! I did build it up a little bit as it slightly started to chip but I was super impressed at how thick the Glitter coat was. I've just bought the Ciate Mini Advent Calendar in the sales again (99% of my Ciate Nail Polishes are minis) as they are my favourite brand of nail polish! 

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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Crazy Clarins Bargain!


 Welcome to my post about the Bargain of the Year 2013! I am very lucky that my wonderful friend Emma is beautician whom works in a salon that stocks and uses Clarins products, when she told me about a gift set of products for £10 I snapped her hand off and got one for myself and one for my sister as her Christmas Present. I was expecting a few little samples if I'm honest so when these turned up on my desk at work I had to double check she had charged me enough. I'm not sure whether or not these are exclusive to her particular salon, I can't find this set on the Clarins website, but I have sat and worked out what each product should have cost me and I hope that you'll be as amazed as I was!
 Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser 75ml - This should have been £20 for the full sized 125ml bottle, so this product alone is worth £12, I'm already £2 up on what I paid for the entire gift set! This is a great gentle cleanser that exfoliates your skin at the same time so it will be great for when I'm in a rush and my skin needs more than just a normal cleanser!
 Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch 4ml - You would pay a slightly eye watering £26 for the full 15ml version of this, making this worth £7 in the size that I have it in. Although I don't have any fine lines or wrinkles just yet it really did smooth out my eye area and make it a lot more of a smoother surface for me to apply my make up over.
 Clarins Tonic bath & Shower Concentrate 100ml - At £18 for 200ml this product on it's own is worth £9 however it's the only product that regrettably I haven't tried yet as I've just not had time for a nice long shower or bath but I shall keep you posted!
 Clarins Beauty Flash Balm 30ml - This product needs no introduction and when I saw this within the gift set I was instantly super excited for when I next needed to apply my make up. I love this as a base/primer and find that nothing else works like it. I've not used it as a mask in a very long time but if I remember correctly it did exactly as it said it would, left my skin tighter, brighter and just altogether better. The 50ml version of this is £29 (totally worth the price) however at just over half (30ml) this one is worth £17.50.
Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream 50ml - £20 for the 100ml version makes this one worth £10, fairly price for a hand cream but it does leave you with instantly smooth and soft hands and doesn't leave me with any greasy residue! My hands always need a lot of TLC and this only heightens in the winter so I'm so grateful for having such a luxury hand cream in my handbag at this time of year!

Overall this set is worth a staggering £47.50 if you had bought all of these products individually for the size that they come in (£113 if you buy all of the full sized products!) So all in all I saved myself a whopping £37.50! (twice over as I bought two of these sets!) so I am currently a very very happy bunny and also hoping that my maths is correct!

What's been your bargain of 2013?

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Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Winter Tag!


Hello! I hope that you've all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a very Happy New Year in the next few days! So I've been tagged to do The Winter Tag by the Lovely Abbie from Kittens in Top Hats, go and check out her blog, she's so lovely and her posts are great! I've not been tagged to do many posts before so it's quite nice to be thought of! It's also perfect timing as my iPhone cable is slowly dying on me so I need to work out another way to transfer my photos to my laptop to do some Christmassy Posts!

The rules of this tag:
Share 12 random facts about yourself. 
Answer the 12 questions.
Tag some other bloggers to take part in the tag too. 
Let the other bloggers know you've tagged them. 

12 facts about me:
My dog is my favourite thing on this planet
I currently live with my Grandparents
My favourite colour is purple
I work for my local KIA dealership
My all-time favourite film is V for Vendetta
I don't own V for Vendetta on DVD
I like all music, from swings to 80s to Drake and Kanye West
I really enjoy dancing even if I'm rubbish at it
I practically live on my phone
I can eat chocolate first thing in the morning
I love the fact that I'm making some wonderful Blogger friends (soppy fact)
I often use make up wipes (bad blogger!)

The questions!

What are your favourite things about winter?
Snuggling up with my Other Half in front of the log burner in new pjs. Or getting wrapped up warm and taking the  dog somewhere nice. Or going for a nice hearty meal in a good pub!

What's your favourite winter outfit?
My brown boots, knee high socks, dark jeans and a nice thick knitted jumper!

What is your favourite winter food?
A nice pie! Rabbit, Game, Steak, Any!

Favourite winter drink?
A good Hot Chocolate!

What is your dream day to spend a winters day?
A lazy morning followed by a nice long walk with the dogs before going out for dinner in one of our favourite eateries and then snuggling up in front of the fire!

How do you like your makeup in the winter?
I often tend not to bother with make up in the winter as the cold mornings make me struggle to get up and moving! But if I do then a fairly thick foundation like Estee Lauder's Double Wear to cover any winter blemishes and I usually make a bit more of an effort with my eye make up and go for a slightly darker smokey eye.

What are you hoping Santa brings you?
Ah no Santa's already been! I got some lovely bits though and I'm still waiting on my Michael Kors Handbag!

What are the first three things that remind you of winter?
The log burner coming on, New PJs and Good Food!

What is your favourite winter song?
"It's the most wonderful time of the year" always brings a tear to my eye!

What is your favourite winter memory?
We had a white Christmas on the first year that Lee and I spent Christmas Together, that was lovely!

What is your favourite winter scent?
People keep asking me this and I really don't know, sorry!

Finish this sentence..If I could have one wish this christmas it would be that..
Lee and I have a good 2014 and managed to save enough for our house!

I Tag:




Good Luck!


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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

How to do a Hand-Tied Bow on your Christmas Presents!

Warning: Photo Heavy Post! Every year there is a secret battle between my sister and I (it's probably just me though) as to whose presents look the best before we all rip them apart. This year I really wanted to make mine look special and take that extra time and care over how I present them so I decided to go for plain brown paper to wrap them in, with one accent present in a snazzier wrap but finishing them all off with a bow. I thought that I was going to have to get some sellotape involved however I rather quickly (if I do say so myself) found a knack on how to do a lovely bow using just my fair hands and I thought that I would share it with you!

You'll have to bare with my explanation of what I'm doing as although I've now found the knack I was pretty useless at explaining it to Lee (until his present was taken off him and redone by myself haha!) so hopefully the photos are fairly self explanatory! 

So to begin I taped together two similar presents together so that they didn't slip whilst I tied my bow!
I then measured out roughly how big I'd want the actual bow to be at left that amount to spare at one end.
 
Next I wrapped the ribbon all the way around before crossing it over in the middle, pulling the two ends in opposite directions so as to pull the bow tight and keep it central before taking my longer piece around the back and bringing it back up round to the front.
I then took my ribbon and measured it to the same length as what I had left to form my bow.
Then I snipped them off so that hopefully my boy was symmetrical.
To ensure that my bow was secure and all tied together I took my ribbon and tucked it vertically underneath the horizontal line of ribbon that I first created. This just helps to tie everything together.
I then double looped my ribbons together to ensure that it was all kept tight and secure whilst I faffed around making the bow pretty.
 I then tied my bow in the traditional way, creating two loops and knotting them together.
 Cutting off any excess ribbon to make sure that my bow was equal!
 Et Voila! The finished present!
After finishing off our entire family's presents I realised that I hadn't left any over for Lee's... But everyone else's looks pretty I hope that you'll agree!

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Monday, 23 December 2013

#TheSkinProject - Serum

I know that I'm slightly late again but I wanted to wait until I was at my laptop to write this post instead of on my phone! If you've not heard of #TheSkinProject yet, go over to Lianne's Blog to find out more!

This week we're talking about serum, something I've only really used for the last 6 months and even then it's not been regular. I'm really struggling to keep my skin care routine in tact at the moment as it's so difficult now that I live between two houses and my stuff is all over the place! But I do try to treat my skin to a serum as least 3 or 4 times a week, it used to only ever be at night but I've recently started doing it in the morning as it surely can't hurt? My skin also desperately needs a little extra something at this time of the year!

Serum's are great stuff, you only ever need a tiny amount but they go really far and are packed full of different vitamins and ingredients that your skin will just love! Generally to be worn under your moisturiser and at first I believed that they were only to be used at night (I'm not sure if this is true but I'm breaking this rule at the moment!).

My personal favourites are my S5 Purity Serum that I cannot find for the life of me at the moment that although pricey (£44 for 30ml), always leaves me waking up with plump, smooth and balanced skin and it's lasting me foreverrrr. I also love my Harmony Multi-vit Smoothie Serum which I am using at the moment, I love it so much that although I have two bottles of it, I'm not giving the spare away! It's slightly cheaper at £22.50 but I don't feel as though it leaves my skin quite as radiant as the S5 Serum however it still does balance my skin out and give it that extra boost!



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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Where do you do your Christmas Shopping?

It's no secret, this time of year can be beyond stressful, who do you have to buy for? What do you buy them? Where can you find that perfect present? A lot of you may turn to the Internet but I personally love to go into a store and physically feel and see something before I purchase it and somewhere that I feel often gets overlooked, are your more classic stores that we may pop in for something specific but we never really take a look around. Take BHS, their ad (featured below) shows just a handful of different and interesting things that you could pick up for a loved one. They have such a wide range of gifts that you might never have thought of before, such as their hampers (perfect for a hard to buy for Dad, Father-In-Law or Grandfather), or the Baylis & Harding Pamper Boxes (Something I have actually bought for my Grandma), or even their Retro Food Brand Memorabilia, I'm always a sucker for buying my sister anything that involves Marmite, she probably doesn’t even particularly like the stuff anymore! Like all other shops and department stores at this time of year, they have plenty of offers and discounts so you can't really go wrong! Where's your go-to for gifts at this time of year?  Are you an internet savvy shopper, comparing the best deals at your fingertips? Or do you like to get swept along with the Christmas Lights and festivities (and the claustrophobic crowds) that comes with doing your Christmas shopping in person?

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Monday, 16 December 2013

#TheSkinProject - Toner

If you're interested in joining in #TheSkinProject then please do go to Lianne's blog and come aboard!

This week it's all about toning, not the horrible weights stuff we have the do at the gym, but of course for your face. Until a few weeks ago I wasn't really certain what the 'toning' step was actually for however I have recently learnt that it rebalances the ph levels of your skin which cleansing can sometimes mess with as well as giving it one more extra deep clean. Personally for me it makes my skin feel refreshed and not feeling as exposed as it often does after cleansing. It seems to firm my skin back up ready for the rest of my Skincare and then make up! Aside from exfoliating, which you can read all about here, toning is my next favourite step in my Skincare routine as, like I said, it leaves my skin feeling fresh and, dare I say it? Toned, ready for the day ahead or to go to bed feeling pampered.



I've tried a few different toners now, Clinique, No7 and now I'm on L'Oreal's Skin Perfection range. Their toner feels really soft and doesn't leave my skin feeling tight and dry like some toners can. It's really kind to my skin and for that reason I prefer it more before bed (it's a bit more of a pampering sensation that a refreshing one) than so much when I'm getting my skin ready in the morning. I'd rather something a little fresher for then, such as my beautiful skin one from No7. It's really good on your purse too as it's often on offer in boots (or I've purchased it from my local tesco before) and it's always under £5 even when it's full price! I think that I would like to experiment with toners a little more so if you have any holy grail ones that you use, please do let me know! 
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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Our totally festive weekend!

Hello!
This is going to be a mainly photo post as I just wanted to share with you our snaps from our totally cosy and festive weekend. It did start off with a shopping trip to Nottingham (combined haul post with Derby coming very soon!) and then with cleaning our old house ready for us to love out but then we had a lovely meal out with the in laws, a cosy night in front of the fire with all three dogs and a day at the Lincoln Christmas Market! I shall now let the photos (hopefully) speak for themselves!
Although they're a year apart in age, Harvey (right) and Archie (left) are biological brothers and whilst they may fight and get on each other's nerves sometimes, it's so cute to see them cuddled up by the fire!


Our little one having a cuddle with daddy and knawing on a bone infront of the log burner! He loves being warm and cosy!

You can NEVER normally get Harvey to sit for a nice photo with you, I think I might get one of these framed for Lee as secretly Harvey will always be his favourite (shhh don't tell Max!)



(As the big wheel started to move I was a little less poised in our photo!)

Okay so some of the photos aren't the best due to the fact that we were moving around and it's so busy you can't really stop to take a good photo! Has anyone else done anything totally festive yet?

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Friday, 13 December 2013

#TheSkinProject - Exfoliator

Aggh I know I'm so so late with this one but I didn't want to let the lovely Lianne down so I'm posting it 5 days late anyway! This week in #TheSkinProject it's the turn of the Exfoliator, probably the product and regime that I have been doing for the longest and the one that I honestly feel the most benefit from straight away.

I'm sure that we all know what exfoliators do, scrub away any dead skin and impurities from your skin leaving you with baby smooth fresh skin underneath. I've always been careful not to exfoliate too much, (I only do it once a week) as it loosens the elasticity in your skin which can age your face extremely quickly if you do it too much. I think is recommended that you exfoliate no more than every other day. But I learnt that when I was in year 9 (so around 14/15) so maybe it's all changed now, I dunno!

I like an Exfoliator to be quite aggressive, my skin is nowhere near as sensitive as it was when I was a child and I like to really feel a product working. The Clarin's Exfoliator is probably my favourite with it's millions of beads (slight exaggeration) in every drop, it really does polish away any dead skin and grime. If I can't feel the beads in it, I won't be convinced that it's going deep enough and whilst it may be doing something good for my skin, I'll never be sold. For me, there is nothing better than standing in my shower scrubbing the hell out of my face, physically rubbing away those impurities... 

At the moment, I'm using L'Oreal's Skin Perfection Radiance Revealing Gentle Exfoliator and I'm loving it, last night I'll admit that after exfoliating in the shower and putting on a tiny bit of balance me's moisturiser, I did nothing for my skin. I took a sleeping tablet and was out for the count as soon as the #bbloggers chat was over, however I woke up this morning to smooth, soft and supple skin that honestly did look rather radiant (even if I do say so myself!) it's not too pricey either, I picked it up for around £4.99 and it's lasting me ages! I must have had this for at least 2 months and you can't even see the usage yet.


I think I can definitely say that exfoliating is my favourite part of my Skincare routine. Some people turn to a face mash when their skin feels a bit Bleurgh but for me I always find that a good deep scrub with a good exfoliator always brightens and clears my skin! 

I promise to try and be on time next week! Sorry!

Want to know more about #theskinproject? Go over to Lianne's blog!
 

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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

My Festive Nails

Hello lovelies,

It seems that I've fallen out of sync and ideas for #TheWinterProject as I'm not really into scents apart from the one I mentioned in the 'Favourite Winter Scent' post, hopefully I'll be back next week but to fill in the gap I thought I'd share with you what I'm wearing on my nails this festive season! 

The colour I have gone for is Rose Quartz Glitter from Barry M, I also has a blue version of this (sorry I can't remember the name) that would work better with darker colours whereas this is more suited to be teamed up with pastels and pinks if you ask me!

This photo really doesn't do the nail varnish justice, it's such a pretty pink glitter with teenie tiny sequins in! 

At the moment it's team up with a baby pink/lilac from Essie's Spring Collection called 'Go Ginza' but it could work over a number of different colours! I originally only put it on my accent nail but as the Essie Nail Polish started to chip (after only two days might I add, grrr!) I decided to go the whole hog and be super sparkly and festive and do it on my whole hand! 

I picked this up for just £2.99 in my local Boots after umming and ahhing over which glittery top coat to get and I can honestly say I'm very happy that I webt for this one! The only thing that I will say is that it takes a good 3/4 coats to build it up, you get some glitter after just one but I wanted a more obvious look and it took a little while!

Please do recommend any other festive top coats as I think I'm in the groove for some more now!

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Monday, 9 December 2013

The Christmas Tag!

Hello! I wanted to do a vaguely Christmassy post for once and have seen this Christmas Tag by  Makeup-Pixi3 so I decided I'd join in! Let me know if you've done it too or have any other tags as I'm struggling to post reviews due to the lack of daylight to take photos!

1.  Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or synthetic?
Honestly, I prefer real trees, but only if Lee is prepared to clear up after it! Our synthetic one shed loads of fake needles last year though!

2.  You're in a coffee shop, it's December, what do you pick?
I've only just got into hot drinks so I'm still a stable Hot Chocolate drinker! Sorry to be boring! The costa coffee cups are amazing though.

3.  Whats your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree?
We always used to change it every year when I lived with my Mum but I think from next year when we're back in our own home I'm going to try and keep it red and gold and traditional. Like Monica's off of Friends!

4.  Giving or receiving?
Receiving. OMG I know I'm so spoilt but actually the stress of giving presents ruins it for me, I take over a weekend to wrap them up to make sure that they're perfect, always spend far too much for fear I haven't spent enough, and my heart pounds so hard whilst they're opening it because I'm so nervous! Ah it's horrible! Then I just worry all day that they're just being polite. Oh gosh I'm getting in a tizz just thinking about it!


5.  To mince pie or not to?
Not to, Ming.


6.  What's your traditional Sunday lunch?
We always used to have salmon for lunch as it was easier for Mum to cook and meant that she could spend more time with us on the day! Now we're starting to rotate between all of our houses as we've moved out on our own! Mine would be the stuffing that my grandad and I make from scratch with Turkey, pigs in blankets, cauliflower cheese, Brussel sprouts, swede, broccoli, parsnips, yorkshires, and of course potatoes! Lee and I are planning on doing a 3 bird roast when it's our turn! *drools*


7.  Christmas day fashion
Now we're older we tend to be a little more dressy if possible, but as we have to travel from the in laws, to my sisters, to his sisters, to the pub then back to the in laws it's going to have to be pretty practical! Hopefully a nice dress, some thick tights and my boots!


8.  What's your favourite Christmas song?
All I want for Christmas is you by Lady Antebellum!


9.  What's your favourite Christmas film?
I'm a total Scrooge and I don't like home alone, it's got to be elf for me!

10.  Open presents before or after lunch?
I'm actually pretty restrained and open them throughout the day! The fact that we're travelling around so much will mean that we can stagger them, but the ones from Lee will be opened first thig I imagine! Actually I got one early already haha!


So there's my first real Christmassy post! Link me up to any of your winter or Christmas tags! 

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Life Update!

Hi Guys, Apologies for my lack of #TheWinterProject posts this week, personally for me there are too many gift guides out there and I don't have time to put my own together! A few weeks ago I promised that I'd update you all on some of the goings on in my life that have contributed to my blog going quite, then back up but less regularly and the same with my twitter. Feel free to start snoring now if you have no interest in my life - haha!

Okay, so you may know that back at the end of July mine and Lee's relationship broke down and unfortunately that resulted in me having to move out of our home together, luckily after a few weeks completely apart and then taking things slowly, we are now better and stronger than ever and I can honestly say that I love him more everyday. At the beginning of September we both made the decision that I would not move back into our home as we had asked our letting agents to put it back up for let and someone new could move in at any time. Instead I spent from Thursday - Monday with Lee and Max at the house and the rest of the time at my Grandparents. It just so happened that it has taken until two weeks ago for our house to be re-let and so now Lee has to move out too. He is going back to live with his parents whilst he saves up for a deposit to buy a house and I'm staying put, only staying together from Friday until Monday morning. We've done it for one weekend so far and it's not going to be easy, but hopefully some of you lovely lot will help me keep sane and I know that he's worth it.

For a number of personal reasons I've really not been myself for pretty much the entire year of 2013. It's been exhausting both physically and mentally and I can honestly say if it weren't for this blog and some of you guys it would have been so much harder so I want to say a whole-hearted "Thank You" to anyone who has tweeted me when I've been down and given me a little encouragement that life's not all bad!

Any of you who have followed me and this blog for a while now will know that my Dog is hugely important to me, I make it no secret that I would not be here today if it weren't for him. Recently he's become very poorly to the point that last Friday the 29th we were told he was just a day away from death if something wasn't solved quickly. Luckily we have a fantastic vet that put him on a drip to get him strong enough to be operated on for the second time in two weeks and saved his life. He went from being limp, lifeless and miserable to the happy chappy we know almost over night. I have never been so terrified in my life before, for the past four weeks I've had no sleep for sitting up watching him, making sure that he's still breating and I keep crying with relief that he's on the mend. Thank you again to everyone for their love and support, I know most will think "He's just a dog" but a lot of people understand!

I'm honestly really looking forward to 2014, I know that most people will say and think this but this has genuinely been one of the worst years of my life and one that I never, ever want to repeat. I really feel as though I am settled in a job that I adore and fingers crossed it wont be too long until my little family are back together under one roof!

So, overall, watch this space for a hopefully happy and healthy 2014 for me and my little family and I hope that I can grow my blog alongside it! What are you thankful for in 2013 and what are you looking forward to next year?

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Sunday, 1 December 2013

#TheSkinProject - Cleasing


Cleansing is something that I've only been doing for about a year now and if I'm honest it's the thing I'm laziest with. It always baffles me how a cream can get get down into your pores and clear out all of the grime but I do know that no matter which cleanser I use, it feels as though it's really cleaned my skin. My personal favourite Is either boots no7 beautiful skin cleanser or the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser. 
I'm sure that the combination of the cleanser itself and using a muslin cloth as hot as I can bear (so not particularly hot) that gets right down into my skin and immediately makes it feel cleaned, polished and refreshed. Although I can be slack with cleansing I always love the feel of my skin once I've done it. Personally I much prefer a cream cleanser as I find it kinder on my skin but I will admit I've never tried a gel and I'm keen to use a balm just to see the difference. One tip I have learnt recently is to definately make sure that you use a toner afterwards as some cleansers can alter the ph of your skin so a toner will balance it back out! 
Can anyone recommend any new cleansers for me to try?
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