An American Wishlist

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So exactly 3 months today, I’ll be at Manchester airport waiting to board a plane to go to sunny Florida for my first holiday with a boy (EEK!)

As excited as I am for the theme parks and burgers, I’m a bit more excited for the days we go shopping. I plan on stocking up on as much skin care and makeup that my luggage allowance will permit (we’re going to pay a bit extra for an extra case between us so there’s no need to hold back!)

But as much as I want to stock us on as many Mac lipsticks as possible, I want to takw full advantage of being in the US and buy things that are not available in the UK. So I need your help and inspiration! What do I need to add on this list?! Be it skin care, makeup, anything!!

2014… Come On Down!

2013 was a good year for me.

I started the year working in Paris and made the difficult decision to move back home, which turned out to be completely for the best. I landed on my feet with a job at the Head Office of the company I work for and I got back in touch with an old work friend who has turned out to be the best thing to happen to me this year! I’ve also had my fair share of difficult times, but all in all I’ve been a very lucky girl and I’ve had amazing people by my side to help me through and the good times definitely outweigh the bad.

I’m hoping for more in 2014 and so far it’s looking good. I’ve been promoted and start my new job on Friday and this will hopefully mean that I’ll have a lot more time to blog. So this leads me to my resolutions I’m not normally one for resolutions, if you don’t do it in one year why would you suddenly change and start to do it just because there’s a new one. But I have only given myself a few changes this year:

1. Blog more

I really enjoy blogging but never seem to have enough time to make it a regular thing. So I’m hoping that as I should have afternoons free from now on (I’ll be having 5.30 am starts every day with my new job) I should get a couple of posts a week in 

2. Lose weight

I’m going to do a separate post about this and plan on going forward with a weekly update post with how I get on. Sorry if this isn’t something you’d be interested in but I’m hoping that this will give me the motivation to eat healthy and do exercise. If that doesn’t work I also have a pair of denim shorts that I’m hoping to fit into by April.

 3. Stop needlessly spending money

I am awful at spending money. I see a product I want and I convince myself I need it. But no more! I’m only going to let myself buy something new if I’ve used up one of the many products I have covering my desk.

So heres to an amazing 2014 for us all! Wishing you all lots of love and luck for this year.

Dove Refresh+Care Dry Shampoo

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For me, I only really want one thing from a dry shampoo and that’s to help me avoid having to wash my hair as often as the grease would like me to. When it comes to washing my hair, most of the time I just can’t be bothered. Lazy I know, but it just always seems like such a chore. And with a full fringe, that attitude is not something I can get away with (not that I could get away with it with any other kind of fringe, but its so much more obvious when my hair is crying is be washed).

Back in my school days I used to rub talc in my hair, then I finally discovered Baptiste and never felt the need to try another brand. They do exactly what you want it to do and smell quite nice while they’re at it, especially the Tropical one. Then came along what felt like hundreds of beauty posts about the new Style+Care range from Dove. A dry shampoo that translucent you say? I couldn’t get to Boots quick enough. The thought of spraying my hair and not having the fight of rubbing it in to get rid of the white powder residue that seems to come hand in hand with any dry shampoo seemed too good to be true.

Now, first of all, I need to say that I have fallen in love with this product and I will get to the reasons why next. But, translucent it is not. Please imagine waking up at 4 am in the morning on your last day after travelling around France the whole week with 4 am starts on everyday. I can’t be bothered to wash my hair at the best of times, so my poor scalp had no chance of seeing water and shampoo this week so this dry shampoo had become my best friend. Every day I just gave my fringe a quick spray and that was that, fine until the next morning. But by the end of the week, my hair was looking a bit grubby so I decided to give it an all over spray using quite a bit more than I usually had. Cut to 11 am when I look into the mirror for the first time since I’d got ready that morning to find I had what can only be described at white roots. All over my head. Why no one had decided to tell me, I don’t know but what I found the worst thing about it was that the product I thought was the saviour to my hair care laziness had let me down.

But, a few trial and errors later, it turns out that if you’re only using a bit of the product then you’re fine. But if you’re trying to rid an entire greasy head then you will have to put a bit of elbow work into your prep time.

I do love this product though. Its a lot lighter than other dry shampoos I’ve used and my hair doesn’t feel as talcy/powdery after using it.  I’ve also been using it to add a bit of texture into my freshly washed hair (yes, I do sometimes bother), especially when I want to curl it. I’ve found that doing this helps styles stay in shape a lot longer.

I’d definitely recommend giving it a go, but just don’t expect a see through magical mist to fix your greasy head. Maybe one day.

What I got for Christmas

Well that’s it, it’s over for another and this Christmas I was so lucky and got spoiled rotten! I thought I’d share with you a few snaps of what I was treated to.

First up we have my beauty products.

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I now have enough Soap & Glory to last me a life time. I’n not sure about you, but I was a bit disappointed that the majority of gift bags this year from Soap & Glory didn’t have full sizes of the Clean On Me shower gel. I’m a massive fan of the traditional Soap & Glory scent, but most of the products this year are more fruity, not that I’m complaining!

I also got Mac lipstick in Cyber. I’d caught this shade on a photo of my boyfriend’s friend, and begged him for weeks and weeks to find out what shade it was. He refused to tell me and the little gem bought me it as a surprise Christmas gift.

And I can’t wait to try the Origin’s face masks I got from my Mum and Dad. I’ve read so many good things about them so can’t wait to give them a try, especially the Overnight Mask.

I’d been lusting after the Real Techniques brushes as my brush collection is very, very basic and I was treated to the starter packs from my boyfriends parents. And I finally got hold of the Naked 3 pallet!! I’d sent my mum out for it the day it was released and had begged her to let me have it as soon as she got it, but she made me wait! And finally I have it! I haven’t actually used it yet but I’ve had a quick swatch of the shades and they are truly gorgeous.

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I also got a gorgeous pair of sheepskin slippers off my aunty from a brand I’d never heard of: Snowpaw. They are so comfortable and cute. I’m debating whether to put them away to save for my holiday to Florida in April along with the many pyjamas I received.

My boyfriend’s parents also bought me a scented candle set from Lily Flame which smell amazing.

And how gorgeous is my book! Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books and I’d spotted this leather bound copy in Waterstone’s a few months ago and fell in love. My boyfriend surprised me with this and the King Charles Spaniel Calendar (He says that’s the closest I’m getting to having a real one).

So there’s my presents! I plan on blogging a lot more in the new year so have a perfect head start on products I can review!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and I wish you all the best for 2014!

xoxo

Tis the Season…

I’m not sure about you but one of my most favourite things about Christmas is wrapping presents. When I was younger, it was tradition that on Christmas Eve I’d get a bath, get in my new PJ’s and sit wrapping presents with my Mum whilst watching a Christmas Film. Now that I’m older, as much as I love wrapping presents, I prefer to go get drunk with my mates on Christmas Eve. This just makes it better though, because it means I can pick my own wrapping paper for my own presents. And I love picking wrapping paper. Last year it was all about M&S for me but this year, even though in the end M&S has won the battle of the gift wraps, I have been tempted by, and ended up picking bits up in, both Next and Paperchase. Before I show you my gift wrapping, here are a few of my favourites: 

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3m Kraft Hand Drawn Roll Wrapping Paper, £3.50 Paperchase

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3m Scand Knit Stag Roll, £3.50, Paperchase

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Gold Robin & Holly, 4m, £3.50 Marks & Spencer

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Marcel Wanders Red and White, 4m, £4.50 Marks & Spencers

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City Christmas, 4m, £3.50 Marks & Spencers

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Pink Wrap, 2 x 3m with tags, £4.50 Next

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Winter Scene, 6m, £3.50 Next

I love the look of brown paper with red accessories, so that’s what I’ve gone for this year, with a more colourful option for the bambinos of the family. All my paper and ribbon was from M&S, my gift tags from Next, and my gift bags from Paperchase. I’ve spent a small fortune on it all really, especially considering it’ll all be ripped off in a few seconds. But it’s once a year and I absolutely love it! 

 

Here’s my gifts from this year: Image

I hope you all have as great a time wrapping your presents as I do wrapping mine! Merry Christmas everyone! 

Yankee Candle: Fireside Treats

Scented Candles have very recently become a great obsession of mine. In the past, I’ve dabbled in the likes of Ikea candles and Glade, but always lusted after Yankee candles. Surprisingly for me, I always thought I could never justify paying out for them when you could get very cheap ones in supermarkets, but when the cold, late nights started drawing in, I couldn’t resist the urge to snuggle up in bed, watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family with a candle burning. And, after burning my way through several, I’ve found my firm favourite: Fireside Treats.

Technically, the scent is more suited to the beginning of November, when we all look forward to the fireworks and Bonfires but, despite now owning several of the Christmas Editions of Yankee Candle, I find myself coming back to this every night. The scent is everything you’d imagine when you look at the label, it smells exactly like toasted marshmallows. Much like the Merry Marshmallows released for the festive season, except not as sweet and with a smoky note to it.

The scent throw is amazing, it doesn’t have to be burning for long until the whole room smells amazing. I’m definitely a convert and Yankee Candles are definitely worth the money. The quality is miles better than the cheaper alternatives and they are so long lasting and I plan on reusing the pot to hold my makeup brushes! From now on, I can see my whole house being full of scented candles.

A Body Shop Christmas

The Body Shop isn’t a shop I regularly venture to. I’m much more likely to run to Boots when I’m in need of a moisturizer or shower gel but, every now and again, I do like to treat myself to a few Body Shop items and, with all the gift buying for other people, surely Christmas is the perfect time to treat yourself to a couple of things. I won’t lie, this year I have treated myself to A LOT of things when I’ve been out shopping for gifts for my family and I just so happened to pick up a few things from the Body Shop.

After seeing so many posts about their Christmas products on blogs and browsing through the items on the website, I went into the shop to have a nice sniff of the Ginger Sparkle range. I don’t know why, I hate the smell of gingerbread,and I hated the smell of that range. But I did end up buying this cute Gingerbread Man sponge. I haven’t used it yet as I want to save it for Christmas Eve, but I imagine its going to do exactly what it needs to and lather up my body wash well.

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I also ended up buying the Cranberry Joy Body Butter, which I have been loving using in the countdown to Christmas (which seemed to have started far too early this year). The scent is beautiful. Its Christmassy without using any spiced/cinammon-esque scents (which I unfortunately hate), it’s fruity and it’s fresh.

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As a body butter, it’s just what you’d expect from a Body Shop Body Butter, its moisturizing and leaves my skin feeling lovely all day. The cream itself is quite thick so it’s not at all greasy.

The Body Shop have some gorgeous gift sets this time of year and would be great stocking fillers, so go take a look if you’re struggling for ideas. I know I’m always happy to receive one! It’s such a shame that I really don’t like the scent of the Ginger Sparkle range as the majority of the sets are stunning and so perfect for Christmas!

Future Benefit Goodies

I’ve just spied on British Beauty Bloggers latest post about two new Benefit products that are expected to be released in the UK in January of next year. One of these products have gotten me so so excited for the new year and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s the Agent Zero shine vanishing PRO powder

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How amazing does this look! I’m a massive fan of the Porefessional primer so this would be the perfect addition to my make up bag. The packaging looks so handy and useful and it looks like it’ll be the perfect item to add to your bag during a night out to control that shine that seems to come hand in hand with being in an overcrowded bar.

Roll on 2014!

Christmas Gift Ideas: For Her

Today, I got a bottle of Coca Cola and there was Father Christmas smiling at me from the label. The holidays are well and truly coming and I’m so excited to get my Christmas shopping done.

Last year all my present had been bought and wrapped by the end of November, so all I had to do during December was get carried away in the excitement of the festive season. This year, I’m half done and hoping to get the rest of my presents bought next weekend. Having worked in retail for the last 7 years, this being my first year that I’m not actually working in a shop over Christmas, shopping in the middle of December trying to get last minute bits would be my idea of hell. Too many angry and stressful people running round the place, and who would want to stand in a queue for a million years! But I digress….

I was browsing Next last weekend for a pair of slippers and ended up walking out the proud owner of an item I had promised myself I would never have…. A onesie. A beautiful, snuggly, cute onesie. As soon as I saw it I fell in love and I knew it had to be mine and I am so so glad that I bought it. I posted a photo up of it on Instagram and already 4 different people have now bought it as a gift to give to someone this Christmas, so it’s safe to say that this would definitely be a popular choice!

Its a bit pricey at £38, but it’s definitely worth it. Its really good quality and the material feels amazing. The faux fur hood, complete with bear ears, was what sold it to me and I’ve taken to calling it my bear costume. It also comes with a fur bear tail on the back!

It would be the perfect Christmas gift for any girl!

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The Courtyard

Liverpool is an amazing place. I love the city center, but in the outskirts you can did some amazing places hidden away.

Today, I was taken for a drive through Little Crosby in North Liverpool, a place so quaint and beautiful it’s like being in the English countryside.

To grab a bite to eat, we stopped at a gorgeous little place called the Courtyard. A tea room/cafe/shop in a converted farm house, this place was amazing. Mismatching tea sets and exposes brick walls, I fell in love.

They offer a range of sandwiches and homemade cakes. My boyfriend got a Brie and bacon sandwich, while I opted for a mouthwatering Peach and Raspberry sponge cake.

If you’re ever in Liverpool, go and find this place for the perfect afternoon tea!

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