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Monday, 23 December 2013

Blogmas Day 13: It's Christmas Eve!!


This is it! The big day is just a few hours of sleep away! 

I hope you are nearly all ready for Christmas as there isn't much time left to go! 

I'm most looking forward to a bit of a lie-in as well as some great home cooked food with my parents. I have just gotten back from visiting my boyfriend where we exchanged gifts as well as went to see The Hobbit. I really liked the film as I enjoy seeing all the different sets and this film did not disappoint! I would highly recommend it! It was great to have a few days with the other half before Christmas.

I hope you all have a great time tomorrow and don't forget that lots of sales will start tomorrow as well as Boxing Day. A few places that have started already are Paperchase, New Look as well as Currys. 

I know I will be looking at some of the online sales to find some bargains! 

Merry Christmas and stay safe in this horrible British weather! 

                                                                         B

Blogmas Day 12: Have you got everything?


So the big day is just around the corner! But the big question is whether you have everything?

Don't worry I'm going to cover the main areas that you hopefully have sorted, if not get your skates on and down to the shops.

To start with, the presents, of course Christmas is better when you give presents and see the smiles on people faces. So have you got all the main people in your life? Best friends, other halves, parents and siblings? If you have well done give yourself a pat on the back. If not DO NOT FREAK OUT!! It will be ok! You have a number of ways to fix this.

1. You could buy them a gift voucher, either for a shop they like or for somewhere online where you can email/ print the voucher out (perfect for last minute gifts)

2. You could order something online to their house as a gift and just apologise to them and let them know something is coming extra special for them

3. You could run out and try and buy them something which you think they will like and wrap it quickly!

Obviously these three depend on how soon you are going to see these people. Parents and siblings I would either go with a quick present or a voucher as you are likely to see them on the Big Day. If like best friends you might not see them for a week or so you could order something online or even wait until all the big sales have begun on the high street.

Once you've got all your presents have you wrapped them all? Make sure you put labels on them so you don't forget which one is for which person, see my post on Wrapping like Eminem.



Next up have you worked out what you are going to wear on the big day? To be honest I am going to be wearing leggings and a top as we won't have any visitors to the house. But for those of you who are more likely to see the outside world on the big day maybe you should start thinking now. Plus your hair and makeup! If you are stuck for some easy to do Chistmas hair styles why not check out  my post on Christmas Party Hair.




Finally have you got everything sorted for you Christmas dinner? If your not the one doing the main cooking why not lending them a hand by getting them a drink, offering to help lay the table or helping in the kitchen if you are brave enough! If you are cooking have you got all the main things ready? Shopping over the last few days in the lead up to Christmas can be very busy and hectic (believe me I work in retail!). If you are cooking for a large number of people why not use frozen veg? It has all the goodness frozen into it and it is all prepped ready for you to pop in the oven or steamer!

I hope you all have a great Christmas which is as stress free as possible! Enjoy your family and friends and be merry!



 B






Sunday, 22 December 2013

Blogmas Day 11: Christmas Traditions


We all have them don't we? Those Christmas traditions that we like to do every year (or do because its become tradition?!) well today I'm going to tell you some of the little quirky traditions my family and I do.

To start with since meeting my other half at University I have always travelled to share a mini-pre-christmas with him. So this weekend (and I mean a few days before Christmas) I am going to his to have our Christmas. I am super excited as these are the only Christmas presents I let myself open before the big day! This weekend we are also going to see the new Hobbit film which I am excited about, I am actually reading the book but am still on the bit which is included in the first film.

Secondly, this probably isn't that uncommon but I always wake up early on Christmas day. When I was younger I was even told to go back to bed as 'Santa' hadn't been yet (really my parents wanted a few hours more kip before I made them play with me FYI I'm an only child). But in more recent years as I have learned to love sleep I have still woken up early but have often dozed back off or snuggled on the couch to watch early morning TV.


As a standard we have our Christmas dinner around lunchtime so really it is more of a Christmas lunch. This leads to the next tradition which in my family involves food again! But this time in snack form in the evening of Christmas day after we have had loads at lunch we don't always want another meal but we get some biscuits and cheese and have a small snack, always my favourite because we do it in front of the TV!

As I'm working Boxing day this year this will be left to the evening as well but that is what tends to happen anyway so I'm thankfully not missing out! But the snacks we had on Christmas day evening we tend to have some more of on Boxing day evening as well. Snuggled in front of the fire possibly with some chestnuts roasting (yeah we're that cool that we roast chestnuts on an open fire!).


Do you and your family have any Christmas traditions that are a bit different from the norm?
 Sorry there hasn't been any photos in this one as none of it has actually happened yet! 

B

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Blogmas Day 10: Christmas Party Hair



As the party season is well and truly upon us I thought I would share a few easy hair styles that you could rock to a party or even on the big day itself!

Of course the hair style for longer locks at the moment is the side plait famously modelled by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games this year. I love to play with a side plait as well by adding in smaller plaits which adds something different to it. For my hair especially I like to start the plait on the opposite side of the head to which it will end, that way I reduce how many little ends decide to stick out at the back (which becomes very annoying).


The next style I like to have in my repertoire is a high pony. Not a pulled-back-so-tight-you-have-a-free-face-lift-pony but a high but loose pony. I do this by putting my head upside down and making a pony, then pulling a few strands loose either side of my head. This would be great from an office to party look.


Finally a classic hairstyle the probably most women can pull of as long as it is done to suit their hairstyle. Long hair can pull off the mermaid/beach waves while shorter should length looks will look great with bigger curls in a bob. But I'm sure you don't need me to show you what that looks like! Any curling tong will work wonders and a neat tip is to hold the curl in the palm of your hand while it cools off of the tong before putting hairspray on it. You could even pin it in its curl shape while you do the rest of your hair and give your whole head a final spray with extra hold hairspray! 

Have you got any easy but amazing hairstyles that you love to use?

B



Friday, 20 December 2013

Blogmas Day 9: Wrapping like Eminem



Rapping AND wrapping can both be difficult around this time of year (who can drop a beat about Christmas and still sound cool!) but at least one of them can be solved with a few tips and pictures (I'll tell you now it won't be the first one!).

I have always had problems wrapping presents. I'm sure this makes you worry now as to how I could even help then! But fear not, between my mother giving me lots of tips as well as lots of trial and error on a range of different shape presents!

I have put together a few pictures to show you how to get the basic wrapping of presents complete ready for the big day!

First of all make sure you have taken any price tags or labels off that you don't want them to see. Do it now!! No serious do it! It is the worse thing to wrap and present to have to re-wrap it because you had to open it to take the price off!



Next make sure you have the right tools! Sellotape, wrapping paper, scissors maybe even some ribbon for wrapping around. I got this ever so festive wrapping paper at Poundland and it is extra wide as well!



Right here comes the actually start of wrapping. Don't be scared now, just unroll a bit of the paper and lay the present on top. Roll the present and paper over and over until the edge of the paper touches the paper again. This means that it will cover all of the present, make sure you have got enough at either end as well. The best way to do this is to lift one half up, if it covers at least half of the side of the present you are good to go! Mark or make a small snip of the paper to mark how far to cut (I always cut a little bit extra to ensure there is enough for some overlap).



Next fold the paper along your cut/mark. Line up the edge of the bit to be cut off with the rest of the roll and this will ensure that you have a straight line. Flatten the fold and then cut along it.

Place the present in the middle of the paper and pull two of the sides up to over lap slightly and stick it down with some sticky tape.

The top is overlaying the fold from the bottom before being stuck down


Then come the ends, for most presents you will be able to do this trick. Fold the two vertical sides in until they touch the present, then bring the top horizontal side down to cover the present, finally bring the bottom horizontal side up tucking all of the other sides underneath it. Now stick it down quick with the tape before it all becomes undone!

Can you see how the final fold hides all the other folds and edges?


TIPS:
For bottles I tend to rap them as a tube using the same measuring techniques before closing in the bottom. Then the top should be gathered together at the top to cover any remaining present.

It is handy if you have your sticky tape in a holder, especially if you have a lot of presents to wrap.

Make sure you label which presents are which with name tags so that you don't forget and get them muddled up. You don't want your girlfriend to get your mums present do you?

Hope this has helped those of you out there who are always a paper and sticky tape mess on Christmas eve!

Have you got any tips that you have picked up for wrapping presents at this busy time of year?

B

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Blogmas Day 7 & 8: iTunes 12 days of Christmas



Ok I'm super sorry I didn't get around to blogging yesterday but let me explain my rather hectic day! First off I managed to make it to the gym before heading into work for six hours. Then once I'd made it through the traffic and home I had to quickly change and get back out to Brownies and Guides where I volunteer as a leader, it was Christmas party week for both units and so it meant setting up more things than usual.

Anyway this blogmas post is going to merge day 7 and 8 together!

This is all about the free stuff this Christmas! With everyone paying out so much on presents and food and travel and so much more it's nice to get a little back from time to time! So Apple have developed their annual app to give you just that!

The app is called 12 days and is free to download, of course you have to have some sort of apple product such as an iPhone or iPod to use it.



Once it is downloaded you have to wait a little while for the presents to come rolling in! The app starts its massive giveaway on Boxing day (26th December) and you will only have one day to download whatever it is that is being given away. In past years I have downloaded games, songs, videos and other apps! It's great for finding that app you never knew existed but helps you do something or even keep the kids busy in the time between Christmas and going back to school!

However Apple are being super good this year and are giving away a present before the start date, something to wet your appetite ready for the rest! This year the early present is an EP by Lorde with the single 'No Better' and a video for the song 'Royals'. Of course I have downloaded it as I have been loving 'Royals' of recent weeks so was quite excited about this!

The app gives you a count down of how many days are left until you can get your first present! I would recommend downloading everything (if you have the space) so that at least you have it for free before deciding if you want to delete it later.



As another little note for you during this festive period the last postage date for Amazon to qualify for Free Super Saver is TODAY!! (19th December!) and if you don't mind paying for Standard Delivery the last postage date is Friday 20th December. If you get super stuck you can always buy a gift certificate and have it emailed or print it out!



For Tesco Direct don't forget that you can Click and Collect from most larger stores, the last date for this is ordering by 3pm on Sunday 22nd December and collecting from 4pm Monday 24th December. Unfortunately you have missed Standard Delivery but you can still pay for Express Delivery for £5.95 and the last order by 3pm on 22nd December and get next day delivery (some Ts & Cs apply to certain products).



My only problem this week is deciding whether or not I want to face going into town to pick up a few last items and face the crowds or not?! 

Have you got everything sorted or are you a last minute dash around the shops kind of person?

B



Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Blogmas Day 6: Christmas Party Dresses



This is the season where a lot of people will be getting ready to go to Christmas parties whether they be work or family it's always nice to dress up.

So for anybody finding that they don't have anything to wear (even with a wardrobe bursting at the seams) I have put together a few dresses from the high street meaning you don't need to worry about waiting for the postman to come!

Perfect for family gatherings or work dos, from Peacocks

Very on trend and can be dressed up or down depending on the time of day, from New Look


For those looking for a bit more sparkle at their party! From Dorothy Perkins

For those looking for a more daring dress (and are also on the taller side), from H&M

I hope these few dresses give you a good overview of the sort of thing on the high street for you to grab ready for your Christmas party.

B

Monday, 16 December 2013

Blogmas Day 5: Graduation


Today has been a bit of a hectic and amazing day. 

I finally got to graduate my Masters degree in Clinical and Abnormal Psychology!! 

It was a great day as there were lots of my course mates there as well as a couple of friends I've known since my first year. As well as my parents, so kinda a special day! 


I wore a dress from New Look and some boots from Barretts. 

We even got to do the classic mortar board toss-in-the-air photo/video! 


I then headed home for my Senior Section (part of the GirlGuiding movement) Christmas meal. This was lovely and I got to have a good laugh with friends over food and drink. 

Sorry for such a small post today but I'm sure you'll understand. 

                            B

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Blogmas Day 4: Last minute gifts


Welcome to day 4 of Blogmas!

Is it just me or does there always seem to be that one person that you forget about during your Christmas shopping or someone unexpectedly gives you a gift?

Well here I am to the rescue with some cheap but lovely presents ready for those last minute buys!

First up is this lovely wash bag from Sainsbury's (which also means you can pick it up while you food shop). Now with 50% off making it only £5 which is a bargain especially if you need something for secret santa or as a stocking filler. The bag comes with shower gel, body lotion and a mirror all inside the golden bag.



Something for the man in your life is this Nivea For Men Protect and Soothe Wash bag. This handy little bag contains shower gel, deodorant, face wash and post shave balm. Its just the right size for him to throw in his gym kit or take with him to work. With it being only £10 at boots right now it means you don't have to break the bank either.


For the best friend there is always this cute Dirty Works Vanity Bag which looks similar to Soap and Glory but is a fraction of the price. At only £8 at Sainsbury's it is perfect for a friend, the bag includes body scrub, cream butter, hand cream and a body polisher. The bag is also super cute so she could reuse it again and again. 



For that food lover in the family there is always the Luxury Belgian Chocolate Selection from Boots. Any body would love to find this under their tree waiting for them on Christmas day, a range of chocolates with different fillings will keep them happy all day long. 

Hope you are all on your way to being merry and bright and looking forward to the big day! 

B

















Saturday, 14 December 2013

Blogmas Day 3: e.l.f haul






With the party season soon upon us I thought now would be a great time to show you my most recent e.l.f haul. They have recently opened a very cute little shop in Cardiff in one of the arcades so I just had to visit when I was over there last! 

Here is the overall picture, as you can see I went a little mad! 



One of the first items I picked up was the e.l.f eyeliner and shadow stick in basic and brown. The brown end is a narrow wind up pencil while the basic end is a more golden colour and much larger like a crayon allowing you to colour in your lid. I have been wearing this almost everyday since I got it! It's so easy to put on and I have been using the eyeshadow end as more of a highlighter in the inner corners of my eyes.

This will be great for the party season as the brown will really make blue eyes stand out while the more golden colour eyeshadow is a great addition to any outfit and makeup combo! 



I also grabbed one of these jumbo eyeshadow sticks in Forest Nymph, I did worry slightly that it was going to be a little too green for me but it is actually perfect for doing a smokey eye! It is quite a big nib so coverage is easy and this colour is quite dark but there is a slight sparkle in it as well. I find this blends really easily as well meaning I can blend it into the crease. 


I also got some more lip products ready for the winter and the cold weather! I picked up the Lip Balm with SPF 15 in Rose. Although it is winter it is always important to have some SPF on to protect against those harmful rays! This balm is tinted with a red, but it is not so much that you look like you are wearing lipstick. It is also very compact so can fit into any clutch bag easily! 



Talking of lip products I also picked up this Lip Exfoliator. It was a bit of a strange feeling the first few times I used it! It smells really nice as well! You are meant to put it on and then wipe off with a damp cloth but I put it on before bed and gave my lips a bit of a scrub then woke with lovely soft lips!


I also got one of their HD Blush based on lots of reviews I had seen. I picked it up in superstar and couldn't wait to try it. Every review I read said that you only had to use a small amount,  they were right! I squeezed out a full pump and only used a fraction of it! This will last a long time but it also blends nicely and give a more powder look when completely blended. 


I also found the Daily Moisturising stick and thought I would give it a go. I mean it was small enough that I could pop it in a bag or an overnight kit. When I tried it out it was like putting a glue stick all over my face (not that it was sticky!) but it uses the same technique!


Finally I picked up two nail varnishes ready for the Christmas period! I got dark purple which had sparkles and glitter in which defiantly drew me to it! This is a lovely colour and the sparkle is subtle enough that it could be worn throughout the winter period. The second one was a gold glitter with slightly larger pieces of glitter in. I love this one as a all over nail colour or a tip colour. This will be great for Christmas party nails (which I will be doing as Day 3 of Blogmas! )


Some of the best Christmas Party looks can be made with these items including the classic smokey eye with the basic and brown eyeliner as well as putting a little sparkle and highlight. You can maintain the perfect winter glow as well with the HD Blush to go along with the lovely Christmassy nails. Even just a lick of mascara and a deep berry lip will look great at any christmas!

B



Friday, 13 December 2013

Blogmas Day 2: Festive Nails


Day 2 of Blogmas! Yay!

Well I hope you are all in the festive spirit now and have at least started your christmas shopping (if not look out for Day 4 when I'll be showing you some cute last minute gifts). 

Today is getting your nails read for the festive season! I don't often get to wear nail varnish due to my job however when I get a few days off I like to get decorative! 

This year I haven't gone for any pictures on my nails as I have my graduation coming up and want festive but not too over the top! 

So I did a base of clear to protect my nails from the main colour. 

Then I did two layers of Kate Spade for Nails Inc in Big Apple Red.


I then used my e.l.f nails in Gold Star to do the tips on all my fingers apart from my ring fingers where I covered the whole nail. 
Sorry about the mess, these were done late at night in bed! 

I like this style of nail art as its simple but gives it that festive sparkle and colour! 

What are the best festive nails you have done this year?

B

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Blogmas: Day 1 putting up the trimmings


I'm so sorry I haven't blogged for a while, with a job in retail it all gets a bit hectic at this time of year and the amount of overtime I have been doing has resulted in me being too tired to blog or do anything exciting!

But it is the 12th December and I am about to start my first ever Blogmas! I hope you enjoy it and I will try to keep up with it!

So my family and I put up our Christmas tree yesterday when I had the day off work. It usually ends in just my mum ad me doing it, which is what happened again this year! Any odd traditions that your family have? 

But today I put up my new and rather smaller tree in my room. Last year I was bought a little silver tree for Christmas by one of my best friends. She got it from paper chase (Similar Christmas tree and Baubles). 

So I figured today would be a great day to put it up. I set it on my little cabinet in my room and put the little glass baubles she had bought me as well. 


The bulbles were so cute and there were 25 in the box, so I could have done it as an advent tree as well. Although I never keep up with my chocolate advent calendar so I doubt that would work! 


I even added so fairy lights around the bottom to brighten things up at night, battery powered ones that I bought cheap last year from Tesco. 


I know lots of people have got their trees up already but if you haven't and are looking for some lovely decorations for around the house here are a few I've found.

This super cute Bird Wreath and Gold resin bird are both from Sainsbury's Christmas decoration range and would both look lovely in any home.

The lovely Heart Bunting that could be left up after Christmas even is from Next as well as the Christmas tea light holder.




And finally I think one of the best places to go for Christmas decorations is Ikea where you can buy big packs with lots of different decorations for the tree.  Online I found these packs of 50 different baubles as well as a huge 36 piece hanging decoration set. With lots of different colours and sets there will most likely be something for everyone



I hope you have enjoyed day one of Blogmas and come back for tomorrows Blogmas all about festive nails! 

B