Wednesday, 31 December 2014

8 Good Things That Happened To Me In 2014

2014 has been a pretty good year for me, it's been a really busy year with a lot going on but I think I've coped with it well and managed to achieve some pretty good things.

1) I passed my driving test. This is a pretty big thing for me because this was something that made me really anxious and I thought I would never be able to take a driving lesson let alone pass a test. It's a great life skill to have and I'm so glad that I've learnt how to drive and no longer have to worry about it.

2)Getting Luca. He's hard, hard work and looking after a new puppy alongside university, learning to drive, working, running a blog and having a life has been really tough at times. However, he is my little baby and although he literally drives me up the wall he's given me a lot of happiness too.

3) Starting my blog! I did make my blog in late 2013 but I didn't actually set it up, I wrote one post and had no clue what I was doing and gave up. I only properly started it in January 2014 when I set it all up properly and worked hard on it. Now it's such a huge part of my life that I couldn't imagine being without it.

4) Blog events and making new friends. I've made so many new friends this year through my blog and blog events and they're people that I couldn't imagine my life being without now. I've been to some amazing events with brands such as Clinique, Debenhams and Lush and I hope this continues in 2015.

5) Starting my new job. Before I worked in my current part time job at Clarks I used to work at another retail store and that job made me completely miserable. Long story short, I had horrible management and it was long, hard work in a horrible atmosphere and I would dread going to work so I ended up having to give it up to concentrate on uni. I had six months off work but when it came to Summer again I wanted another job so got a job at Clarks, I've got great friends there and I really enjoy working with kids. It's crazy that work can actually be enjoyable after coming from a job I hated. 

6) I became much more confident with make-up. Bold lips, bold eyeshadows or both? not a problem!

7) One important thing I've noticed is that I don't care as much what other people think anymore. As long as I am happy with what I'm doing/wearing/eating then it doesn't matter one iota what anybody else thinks.

8) I've passed all my university exams and coursework with merits (so far) and even got 70% in a presentation of all things.

Obviously 2014 had it's rough moments but I feel like it has been a pretty good year for me, which I would expect given 14 is my favourite number. Here's hoping 2015 is a good one too! I hope you've all had a fabby year and if not that the next one will be better for you! 

Lots of Love,

Monday, 29 December 2014

Growing Your Confidence and Anxiety

Up until two/three years ago I was chronically shy. Not to say that now I am the most confident person ever but I now manage (for the most part) to go about my daily life and more without quaking in fear or feigning illness to avoid it.

 When I was younger I always used to hide behind my little sister. She would be like six and I'd be ten and I would make her ask for things in shops or if I was buying something she would have to take it to the till for me because I just had no confidence. If I ever had to do a talk in front of the class in school I'd get worked up and ill for weeks before and I'd often beg teachers not to make me do it- sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn't. If me and my family ate out in a restaurant I made my mum order my meal because I was just too anxious to do it- why? It all sounds so silly typing it out but for anyone who suffers from anxiety or chronic shyness then you'll totally be able to relate to this.

I was what I would call painfully shy, it must have been actually painful for people to watch. I just couldn't do anything, I wouldn't answer the phone, couldn't speak to people I didn't know, would never answer the door and I couldn't even answer the phone to people I knew. When I got to high school in the first few years I wouldn't spend any time with friends outside of school. I was so anxious that outside of school we'd have nothing to talk about or they'd see how boring I was and not like me anymore. So while all my friends went out and socialised I sat in my room and read books or played Sims, sad but true. I didn't know at this point I had anxiety, I just thought I was awkward and I hated myself for it but I couldn't find the confidence to change. School always made me really anxious, it was so unpredictable because I could be asked to read out loud, or asked to run an errand for a teacher or have to do talks so I would pretend to be ill as often as I could. I would snuggle down in my bed and read book after book so happy to not have to be at school and later on in school I developed anxiety around lunch time. I'm still not entirely sure why but I would get so anxious that I had to go home for lunch even though by the time I got home I only had like twenty minutes in the house. Then when my mum worked full time I couldn't go home anymore because it was too far to walk so I would walk to my grans which meant I had to run there, have 15 minutes in the house and run back. That for me was still better than having to sit in a crowded dining hall because it made me feel safe and less anxious. It wasn't until my last year at school when my gran couldn't have me visiting at lunch anymore due to circumstances that I was forced to go for lunch with my friends at school and actually started to enjoy what I'd once dreaded.

There's no exact solution for 'curing' anxiety and it is so much harder when people don't know you have it. That's the problem with mental illness and it is a mental illness, is that people can't see that you're not well so they treat you like everything is fine. So if anyone joked about me being shy or told me I was being ridiculous it hurt because it wasn't something I could actually help and that actually makes you hate yourself more. I genuinely am a sensitive person too so sometimes if people are joking about me -it's not funny and it does actually hurt?? The worst part is when people don't accept that and continue to act in a way that they know upsets you just because they believe it's silly to get upset over it. I've had people say horrible things such as call me bipolar, say I have no friends, call me names, laugh at me but do they really know that there is a war raging inside my head? With anxiety other people can't see your pain but you sure as hell can feel it. If people just stopped to think well why is this person tired, moody and upset.. maybe there's something more than just being 'grumpy' or 'awkward'. These were things said to me by people really close to me which hurt me deeply and is still something that makes me really sad. Something that really does help battle anxiety though is to do what you hate, do something that makes your heart race and your palms sweat because it works.

When I left school and had a massive holiday before I was to start university my mum and dad told me to get a job. I didn't want to because this was something that involved so many things that would make me anxious and panicky so they sent off applications for me. A week later I got an interview for a job at Tkmaxx which filled me with dread but I forced myself to go because I knew I couldn't avoid it forever, I practiced and rehearsed potential interview questions over and over and I went and it was fine - I survived and it wasn't too painful. I ended up being offered the job an hour after my interview so a positive came out of something that I had been scared to do. When I started the job it involved me answering phones from internal calls and also external calls (among other things) which as I mentioned before was something I could not handle. However, as it was my job I literally had to do it and I also had to make tannoys across the store. After having to do this for weeks and weeks I soon started to find that I didn't get that feeling in my stomach anymore and my hands didn't sweat every time the phone rang. This then transferred into me being able to answer my own personal call and my house phone and now I don't even think twice about picking up my phone and making a call. I do still like to plan out what I'm going to say (if it's not to someone i'm close to) but it's a massive improvement from where I came from.

That was when I really realised that if you push yourself out of your comfort zone, they soon become things actually in your comfort zone so by pushing yourself you expand your area of comfort and less things become fearful. I started accepting invites to go out with my friends and instead of anything going wrong I would have a good time and again this would boost my confidence. I would have family members laugh at me for having no friends, yes family but I did have friends I was just too terrified to see them outside of what was familiar to me. I guess you could say I was anxious about change too and still am. I stopped hiding behind other people and forced myself to do things that made me anxious e.g. ordering food, returning items, speaking to strangers. Years on and I now do so many things that only a couple of years ago would have had me crying the night before even simple things like meeting a friend.

Another big thing for me is faking it until you make it. I know it's a cliche but it's so true just think about it nobody knows you're shy unless you let them know. Nobody can tell by looking at you what your personality is like especially strangers that you'll only meet once. Just act confident until you naturally feel confident.

I forced myself to go on a plane last year on a family holiday to Italy because I knew I couldn't let this conquer me anymore. I had flown once to Paris a few years previous but it was still something that scared me and made me really anxious. The fear of flying led to me turning down to holidays to France and a holiday to New York with my friends which I would have loved had I had the courage to face the flight. I went on the plane and although I panicked and my anxiety was at a peak, I landed in Italy alive and safe having had no problems with my flight. Flying is never something that I will enjoy but I now would never turn down a holiday or allow it to be a factor preventing me from doing something I would otherwise enjoy!

At university now presentations are something I often come across and have to do. Do not get me wrong this is something that I still get very, very anxious about and is something completely out of my comfort zone but I do them. My last presentation was a 9 minute one and I genuinely sat down and thought I can't do this it's too difficult, what if I go red, what if I mess up, what if I stutter over words or fall over and this contributed to 60% of my overall module mark. Then I thought that could happen but I could also revise it really well, get a really good mark and feel really good about myself. I've not come through two and a half years of intense hard work to walk away with nothing over a presentation potentially going wrong. I did my presentation and you know what I got 70% in it which is a merit and my module leader said in her feedback that I'm 'really good at presentations' which are words I never thought I would hear. Now looking back I feel so silly that I nearly walked away from a law degree that I'd more than halfway achieved over something that could have potentially happened but didn't.

I'm not trying to say hey I'm so great, I beat anxiety because I haven't and I still have internal battles most days however you can help yourself to make anxiety more manageable. Think of it as an opponent and that everytime you don't do something because your anxious, it wins and you lose out. You really do lose out because you never know what will come from you doing things that scare you - you might meet 'the one', you might get your dream job opportunity, you might meet your best friend or you might just feel totally amazing that you have conquered a fear!

I'll let you into a secret- for many years I wanted to start a blog, since I discovered Zoella on youtube about four and a half years ago but I didn't because of anxiety. I was worried people would find it, judge me and think I was weird or that nobody would like me and want to read it so I didn't do it. I only started a year ago because of my friend and her mums persuasion and I absolutely love it and wish I had done it earlier. My blog has led to so many amazing opportunities for me that if I'd continued to hide away from I'd never have had and I've made so many amazing friends through it too.

Anxiety is a pain in the ass but it doesn't mean you can't thrash it down, throw water on the fire and make it a smaller pain in the ass. From doing those things that make you anxious and scared you will begin to build confidence, I promise you. I would loveee to hear your thoughts on this down below and let me know your experiences with anxiety. I'm so sorry if this post was too rambly and not your cup of tea but it was a spur of the moment post where I just poured out my thoughts and feelings but hopefully it will help someone out there.

Lots of Love,

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas || Blogmas Day 25

Merry Christmas Blogbees!!!

 I just wanted to schedule this little message to you all to wish you a very merry Christmas! I would love to be able to say it to every single one of you and give you all a big hug but unfortunately this is the best I can do!

I hope you've all been well and truly spoilt with presents and love from all your nearest and dearest. For Christmas I'm going down to my aunties house where all my family is gathering for Christmas dinner, what are you doing this year? 

I'm so , so happy I have completed Blogmas and it definitely is a massive acheivement for me. I had several challenges from university exams to becoming ill for the last few days of Blogmas so I'm really proud that I managed to stick to my schedule and get a post up every day! I've enjoyed daily blogging so much, I'd love to do it full time but sadly I don't have the time to dedicate every day to my blog but I'm definitely going to try and blog more next year. 

I hope you've enjoyed my blog posts throughout December as much as I have enjoyed preparing them and writing them.

Lots of Love and Hugs and Kisses,

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

December Favourites || Blogmas Day 24

 Can you believe that blogmas is nearly over?? Its going to be so strange not sitting down and writing a post every single day! At the end of the year/start of the new year I'm going to be doing a 2014 favourites (best products of 2014) so to seperate that from my December favourites I'm doing this a little earlier than usual so I hope you don't mind.

 My favourite eyeshadows this month have been from my Make-Up Revolution Flawless palette which has gorgeous rich earthy tones in it. I've been loving the burgandy shades and the gold shades because they just look really beautiful at this time of year or with a red lip.

 I've also been loving my Make-Up Revolution concealer palette because it is so handy having a range of concealer shades in one palette. My favourite one is the bottom far left because it's really yellow toned so works well to counteract any under eye bags.

Christmas jumpers seem to have come out of nowhere and have taken over fashion when it comes to December. I have been loving being able to wear my cute Topshop gingerbread man jumper again. We've had the 12 days of Christmas jumpers at my work and I always get lots of compliments on it from customers and friends. Sadly Topshop aren't selling it again this year so I don't think you'll be able to get your hands on it, sorry!

Obviously with it being Christmas jumper season I just had to get Luca one. The only reason I was allowed to get him one was for his puppy Christmas party which was adorable by the way. I've had it on him way more than just that though, he's had it on almost everyday and he actually really likes it. When I put his harness on he wriggles around but with his jumper he happily lets me put it on him and it seems to have some sort of calming effect. I think it has a snuggling effect like the Thundershirt does for nervous dogs. It has a little Christmas hood which is a tiny bit snug for his massive quiff but still cute.

 It will be no surprise to anyone that dark lips are in my favourites. This month it's been Make-Up Revolution shades in 100% vamp and Blackheart. I promise I am not at all sponsored by Make-Up Revolution or sent their products I just genuinely love this brand. They are slightly messy to apply but if you take the time and effort applying boy do they look good!!! I am still slightly nervous when wearing these out but I've been much more confident with it throughout December and gone with it. The other lipstick that I've had on this month is Russian Red by Mac because it's so perfect and Christmassy.

My shower time favourites in December are Bob the Polar Bear from The Body Shop which has been renamed as Bear for the foreseeable until I think of a better name because Bob is not a name for a polar bear right?! I love this so much, not only is it super cute but it lathers up shower gel nicely and it also gently exfoliates your skin at the same time. I even like using this on my face because it's such a gentle exfoliant. I pair this with Lush So White shower gel which smells like freshly squeezed apples to get lovely soft skin. As I'm sure you all know by now So White is one of if not my most favourite Lush product so I really want them to make both the ballistic and the shower gel permanent instead of just at Christmas time.

My favourite Winter perfume this month has been Lady Gaga's Fame. I am not a Lady Gaga fan but I do love the smell of her perfume. The bottle isn't the most travel friendly and looks more like some kind of weapon but the scent and overall look of the actual fragrance itself is pretty special.

I had never tried Urban Decay eyeliners before this month even though I had heard they were incredible so I'm not sure why. This one is one of the double ended Naked 3 ones, one side is 'Darkside' and the other side is 'Blackheart'. If you own the Naked 3 palette then these eyeliners match the eyeshadows they share their name with perfectly, Blackheart is a black with red flecks through it which looks super pretty under your eyes and Darkside is a browny taupe shade which is perfect as an everyday eyeliner. When you wear these eyeliners with their matching shadows they look even more impressive but they're really versatile.

My Christmas time nail polish favourite is OPI's Which is Witch shade, it's such a pretty silver glitter and the glitter is quite chunky so you don't need loads of coats to build it up. I really like that the glitter chunks and strands are all different shapes and sizes so it gives a very nice finish. I've had this on this month as a top coat, an accent nail and on all nails too. It also looks really pretty when worn just on the tips of nails.

What have been your favourite products this month?

Lots of Love,

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Easy Oreo CheeseCake || Blogmas Day 23

I really enjoy baking but I have quite a busy lifestyle and it's something that I don't really have time to do. So I found this Oreo Cheesecake recipe online after being inspired by a post I read on here which I annoyingly cannot and could not find so had to use a different recipe (note to self - save any posts you would like to refer back to in future).

This is a quick and easy way to make a delicious dessert and it doesn't involve any sort of cooking you just need to whap it in the fridge for an hour or two. This was my first attempt at making this and there is a few things I would change to make it perfect as I ran out of ingredients (hence the two different types of cheeses) so heres my take on an easy Oreo cheesecake.

 ♥ 3 packets of Oreos
 ♥ 500g Philadelphia or other soft cheese.
   ♥ 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
 ♥ 50g butter
 ♥ 250 ml of double cream
 ♥ 60g icing sugar

 ♥ Firstly crush a whole 154g packet of oreos into a bowl. You can use a strong blender for this but I just used the end of a rolling pin and it worked perfectly well
 ♥ Melt your butter into a pan 
 ♥ Mix the butter and oreo crumbs together to form the cheesecake base and press it into a springform pan. Then pop this into the fridge to set while you make the filling
 ♥ Whisk your double cream until it starts to look like whipped cream and form peaks
 ♥Whisk in your Philadelphia until mixture is soft and creamy
 ♥ Fold in icing sugar
 ♥Add in vanilla extract
 ♥ Crush second packet of Oreos and add into mixture
 ♥ Paste into pan on top of base and leave in fridge to set for at least 2 hours. The longer you leave it the better it will work

This tastes absolutely incredible and is such a great, quick and easy dessert to try. You can adapt quantities for how you like it for instance I used a full pack of oreos for my filling because I wanted it to be very Oreo-y and chocolatey but if you want less that's fine. I also mashed my biscuits quite finely whereas they'd also be nice chunkier too. I didn't crumble the final pack of oreos on top for decoration because I ran out but it's something I'd definitely do next time. I'd smooth off the top nicer too just to give a nicer finish. I used two different cheeses in mine because my Philadelphia wasn't enough so had to use a Tesco one too but it still tasted yummy.

What's your favourite thing to bake?

Lots of Love,


Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Nail Polishes || Blogmas Day 22

 I love getting my nails done but after having both gels and acrylics done I've always found my nails dry, brittle and extremely weak for a long time afterwards. I didn't want to have the expense of having to continually get gel/acrylics on to hide the brittleness so I made the decision to not get them done again - for a while anyway. Therefore that means even for special occasions where previously I'd have got my nails done I just do them myself despite being absolutely awful at painting my nails.

However ramble over I have picked out my favourite polishes that I own that I think would look perfect for the Christmas season. You don't necessarily have to have these exact shades but if you just have similar shades in your collection then hopefully it will give you some inspiation.

This polish I have a love/hate relationship because I absolutely love the colour and it is perfect for Christmas time. However, Tanya Burr's polishes just don't get on with my nails they chip within a few days so if I'm wearing this for Christmas I would definitely be painting my nails on Christmas eve to make sure they were still nice. It's a gorgeous purple colour with a slight shimmer through it, if anyone knows of any better dupes for this colour then please let me know.

Another one is a bit of a random one, I got it in a nail polish set last year and it's this black shade with loads of shimmer through it. I love it on my nails because I think it looks like a starry sky albeit a really, really starry sky and I especially love this for New Year. I think it's a Champneys one which I've never really heard of before but I'm sure you can find it online somewhere.

I love a red nail polish at Christmas almost as much as I love a red lip. I just think theres something so classy about red nails and a red lip. I have quite a few red polishes but my number one favourite is OPI Big Apple Red which is basically like Russian Red by MAC in nail polish form.

If you're not big on reds a nice take on the colour is a raspberry pink shade. My favourite is Barry M's gelly polish in Pomegranate which doesn't look exactly like gel nails but it's glossier than the average nail polish. Barry M raspberry is also a really nice shade for this time of year.

Glitter, glitter, glitter. As a general rule I avoid glitter polishes on my finger nails because it's a horror to get off as anyone who has ever had glitter polish on will tell you. However, this is the time of year where I make an exception because it's so seasonal and pretty. I usually go for a gold or a silver at least on my ring finger or if I'm feeling adventurous then I'll do all fingers glittery. My favourite silver is Which is Witch by OPI from the Wizard of Oz collection and my fave gold glitter is Barry M's yellow topaz glitter.

 Another take on the glittery look is a metallic nail polish which I like to think of as the easier to remove version of glitter polish. My favourite two are the Crabtree & Evelyn ones, I have a silver one and a gold one and I think both look really pretty on their own or layered over the top of a block colour polish.

 As always I wear Orly glosser top coat over all these polishes to make them extra glossy and shiny which helps me not miss my gel nails (as much). What are your favourite nail looks/polishes for this time of year?

Lots of Love,

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Traditions Tag || Blogmas Day 21

1. When does Christmas start for you?
It's not Christmas until December, I get excited for it mid November but I won't start anything Christmassy before December because I feel that just ruins Christmas otherwise. 

2. What is one Christmas movie you have to watch?
Polar Express is one that I literally have to watch at Christmas but I always watch Elf too.

3. Do you bake or buy a Christmas cake?
I personally don't do either. Usually a member of my family bakes one but all my family gets together at Christmas so we usually have quite a few deserts to chose from.

4. When do you put up your Christmas tree?
If I had my way it would go up on the first but my mum and dad quite like the 12 days before Christmas rule but the past few years they've come round to my way of thinking and put it up on the first Saturday in December. 

5. Do you have a real or fake Christmas tree?
A fake one. When I have my own house I will definitely have a real tree!!! My mum isn't keen on them because of the pines shedding and she also likes to 'manipulate the branches' so her decorations can look just right hahaha.

6. When do you start playing Christmas music?
The first of December is when Michael Bubles Christmas album gets cracked out whilst I open my advent calender and dance around excitedly.

7. Do you use the same Christmas decorations every year or buy new ones?
We use a bit of both, all our decorations have a story behind them which is quite nice. We have picked ones up from different holidays over the year and for a while me and my sister used to pick a new decoration each year. Now we're both older though usually my mum and dad pick one. So we have many old ones with stories but every year a few new ones join the collection.

8. How do you spend Christmas Eve? 
Usually I like to spend it in my pj's watching Christmas films in front of the tv either with my sister or a friend or Gary. Quite often I'll go out for food or a few drinks with a friend to swap presents.

9. Advent calendar or no advent calendar?
Advent Calender!! I actually have two this year because I love them so much. I have a Frozen chocolate one which is definitely designed for young children with it's 'remember not to tell anyone what presents you've got them' and 'draw a Christmas picture' doors but hey hoe. I also have a Alison Gardiner picture one which is quite sweet.

10. Do you leave a snack out for Santa and his reindeer?
When me and my sister were younger we always used to leave out a carrot, a glass of milk and a mince pie which my dad would eat and leave the crumbs of so we thought Santa had been. I remember so vividly desperately trying to get to sleep on Christmas Eve because my parents had said that Santa wouldn't come if I didn't sleep. One Christmas I *heard* Santa's sleigh land on the roof and I was so over the moon that this had happened and boasted about this to all my family on Christmas day. To make it worse a dog had pooed at the end of our path and I was convinced it was reindeer poo.. I was very embarassed about this many years later when I found out the truth. I actually cried when I was told Santa didn't exist :( it was a very sad day! 

11. How does Santa get into your house?
He uses his magic key because I don't have a fireplace!

12. Mince pies, yay or nay?
Yuck, I'm a fussy eater at the best of times so not keen on those.

13. Snowballs, egg nog or mulled wine?
None, all are yucky.

14. What scents remind you of Christmas?
Cinnamon, Christmas tree scent and Yankee Candle Home Sweet Home.

15. How do you spend Christmas day?
We wake up, open all our presents, have a cooked breakfast, spend an hour with our presents, spend another few hours getting ready, go to my auntie and uncles house, see family, have a massive Christmas dinner. Then in the evening we have drinks, play games, chat and chill before doing it all again on Boxing Day with my dads family.

I tag anyone who wants to do this tag and please let me know in the comments how you spend Christmas and what your Christmas traditions are! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! 

Lots of Love,

Saturday, 20 December 2014

My Favourite Christmas Tree Decorations || Blogmas Day 20

 Christmas trees are quite personal aren't they? One of my favourite things to do at Christmas is to look at other peoples trees from the ones with pretty decorative baubles to the ones with lots of memories on it. My tree is definitely one of those that has lots of random decorations on it but they all have a story behind them about where and when we got them. It would take me a long time to tell you about all the different decorations on my tree so I've just picked my favourite ones to show you.

 This one was one I got years ago when I was obsessed with dancing. I did ballet myself and loved Darcey Bussell and I also had an obsession with Strictly Come Dancing at the time I got this. I called it Lilia after Lilia Kopylova who was my favourite dancer from the show, I don't think shes even on the show anymore it's that old! I loved it so much that I actually hung it up in the car when the tree wasn't up and it sits on my cupboard door the rest of the year now. The glitter on her tutu is starting to wear off now but shes still really pretty and I love seeing her on our tree each year.

 This ribbon is one my gran bought us this year because she knows we usually have a lot of red on our tree. It's from a garden centre near where we live I think. I like it because it's quite big and looks really pretty on the tree.

The little gift parcel is from Jenners which is a department store in Edinburgh, I'm not sure if anywhere else has a Jenners? My mum and dad got it about twenty five years ago for their first tree together and I think it's a really nice decoration.

Every year when we were younger me and my sister were allowed to go to Dobbies and pick a new Christmas decoration for the tree because Dobbies always had the best selection. This little soldier was one I picked because he reminded me of London and I love London.

 We have a little carousel and a lot of the horses have broken off it now but it's still a sentimental one because it's one that I remember being on the tree for the whole of my childhood. It used to play a little tune too and the carousel ride was my favourite at Winter Wonderland so my grandad bought it for the tree.

I quite like this little robin that sits on the tree. My dad picked this one because he loves robins but I think it looks really nice how it can sit on the branch rather than dangle as an ornament.

Probably the most funny one is this one that we got in Disneyland Paris about 9/10 years ago. It says on it 'Mon Premier Noel' which those of you who speak French will recognise as my first Christmas. This was before I studied French at school and my parents don't know much French but it was nobody's first Christmas... my parents actually thought it said Merry Christmas hahaha! It was only a year or two later when I started learning French at high school that we found out it didn't in fact mean that at all..However, it still has a place on the tree for the lols and because I love Disney and Minnie Mouse.

Another horse related one is this hobby stick horse one because I was love horses and always had an obsession with them. I picked this on one of the yearly visits to Dobbies.

Obviously this year we have a little addition to the family so my mum and dad bought this little ornament to hang on our tree with Luca's name on it. They didn't have one with Erics name which I think is strange because surely Eric is more common than Luca given these are meant for children not pets!

One of my most favourite ones is this post box, it's so pretty. I apparently picked this one when I was nine and I still like it now. I don't know why but it's so quaint and pretty.

What is more Christmassy than a mug of hot chocolate? (or tea/coffee if that's your thing). My mum and dad bought this one from one of their favourite local cafe where we live because we all like to go there for drinks in the Winter and it just looks lovely and festive on the tree.

I quite like the idea of this one, my dad got this recently from Tkmaxx because he thought it looked cute. I think this would be a really nice one for anyone with young children too because we don't have a fireplace in our house so obviously Santa has to have his own key to get in and out, duh.

This one is another golden oldie and is my mums favourite decoration on the tree. We often would go on holiday to the Lake District for a week in October and we went a really long walk in the countryside one year and there was a shop at the end of it where we picked up this one.

I hope you enjoyed having a little look at what's on my tree. What is your tree like and what's your favourite decoration?

Lots of Love,

Friday, 19 December 2014

Origins Clear Improvement Face Mask || Blogmas Day 19

I love a good facemask so when I saw Boots had an offer on Origins facemasks, 3 for £23 I had to buy it. One of the masks in the set was this one which is one I've heard rave reviews on by so many bloggers and youtubers. It has charcoal in it which draws all the nasty stuff out of your pores which helps prevent you getting spots and to clear your skin up. I don't struggle massively with oily skin or getting spots, I've actually been very lucky and not had much spots at all other than the odd few hormonal ones. However when they do crop up I like to get rid of them and this is what I like to use to keep them at bay.

This does really make you look like the black moon emoji so it's not the most subtle or glamorous of facemasks but I really like it especially for seeing exactly where you've missed a bit. To use the mask it is recommended that you use a warm towel over your skin first to open up your pores and make the most out of the mask. I always have done this before and it seems to do the trick. Once the mask is on you can feel your skin tightening, almost like it's being dried out so I'm not sure how this mask would be for really dry skin. When you wash it off though your skin doesn't feel remotely dry, it just feels really supple and clean. This mask has become a firm favourite in my routine (I use it weekly) and has definitely helped stop those odd hormonal spots from cropping up!

 I think this would be a great facemask to try if you do struggle with spots or oily skin or even if you just want to keep those spots away!

Lots of Love,

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Very Honest Girl Online Audible Review || Blogmas Day 18

 So probably the most controversial book out there at the moment/ever is Zoe Sugg's Girl Online. Firstly I'd like to set a disclaimer that I do really like Zoe as a person, I've watched her videos for years and years from when she only had about 500 subscribers and I really enjoy them. However, I was very dubious when I heard Zoe was writing a book because it all seemed to come from nowhere and happen very, very fast.

The big controversial thing that has come out is that Zoe had a ghost writer behind her book. Again, I have mixed feelings about this. I can understand that she would need help considering she is not an author but she does write a blog so I feel she would have been capable of writing a novel had she been given longer to do it in. Also I feel that the fact that she had a ghost writer should have been stated by her personally rather than having the awkwardness of the press spilling the beans before she did. However I'm not overly surprised because I did have suspicions that she would have had help considering it's something completely new to her.

I got a free book download with Audible so I thought why not download this one and see what it's all about and I really wanted it to surprise me because like I said previously I do really like Zoe. Firstly the book is narrated by Hannah Tointon and I feel it would have been so much better had it been narrated by Zoe herself. With her being such a big youtuber we're so used to hearing her voice so hearing someone else tell the story just didn't sit right with me but I know it's what most authors do but that being said Zoe isn't an author...

The storyline is about a girl called Penny who suffers from anxiety and cyber bullying so turns to an anonymous blog online where she can share all her thoughts and feelings. In the story Penny flies to New York to help her mum out with a wedding she's planning and she meets Noah who she falls in love with. This story had so much potential to turn out amazingly because it had different elements that I feel are important to be shared and normalised such as anxiety, cyber bullying and the turmoil of being a teenager. It even contained the well known issue of getting into a relationship and dealing with the jealousy of your friends and low confidence with friends that put you down instead of making you feel happy. However, it just didn't work for me.

The book is definitely aimed at a fairly young audience, I would say that if you're over the age of 14 then you'd probably struggle to read this without cringing. I think the target audience for this book has been age 10-14 possibly 15 at a push. The use of words like 'awesome', 'epic' and 'yolo' are just not really words I'd expect to see in a book especially now that it's come out that it has been written by an author. I actually wouldn't have been surprised if the book had been written by Zoe herself because it just came across like an 12 year old had wrote it. There were good parts of the book too such as the blog posts, I really enjoyed that bit and feel if they'd kept it in blog post format it might not have been such a flop.

The most annoying bit for me however was the fake, overly done American accents that are in the audible version. Obviously this wouldn't be a problem if you're reading the book in paperback form but I found the audible version cringy, awkward and just plain irritating to listen too.

It makes me sad to say this but I honestly had to force myself to listen to it so that I could write a full review on it. I find it pretty disheartening that Zoe can put her name to a really poorly written book and get it in the shops when so many authors work for years on good pieces that never make it to the shop. I find myself asking do Penguin really think this is a good read? Probably not! but I'm pretty sure they see the £££££ signs that they can make if they publish a big name like Zoe's.

However, this book did start to perk up a little, about twenty chapters in I did want to listen and to find out what happened but it still did have quite a few cringe moments and I still don't think it was very well written. I definitely wouldn't call it a page turner. I think Zoe must have had some level of contribution towards the book as there were many bits that sounded like she had written it:- 'cinnamon candle', 'fairy lights', 'everytime you say something online think will this make someone happy', 'chamomile tea' and many other very Zoe like things. My personal thoughts are that she has sat down and said to someone what issues she wants to be in the book, where it should be set and little bits and pieces to go through it unless of course the author tried to sound like Zoe. I guess we will never know the full truth!

I still love Zoe and her videos and that will never change but I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless you're extremely bored or very young!

Have you read it? What did you think of it all and the ghost writer situation?

Lots of Love,

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Make-Up Revolution Haul || Blogmas Day 17

More Make-Up Revolution products, are you convinced yet of how amazing this brand is? I once again have bought more things when I'm meant to be saving my money and I also have an ever increasing list of things I want to buy from Make-Up Revolution. I like to justify it by the fact that their products are just so affordable and great so it's a win win really.

How gorgeous is this?! It's another of their 32 shade eye shadow palettes, after I was so impressed with their Eyes Like Angels palette I knew I had to buy the Flawless palette too. This has so many gorgeous shades in it, I'm really excited to use the reds, coppers and golden brown shades. I think this would be a great palette for anybody starting out with eye shadows because it has so many neutral, pigmented eye shadows and for only £8.

I am the worst person for managing to stay up really late when I'm having to get up really early and as a result always have really bad under eye bags. I also have a problem of losing concealers even though I have like 50 of them and my other issue is that I wear fake tan sometimes but not all the time. I do have one concealer for when I'm tanned but every time you fake tan you're never going to always be the exact same shade so it's good to have a palette with different ones to choose from. I went for the shade light because it does have a few shades on the far right that will do when I'm tanned. I did consider the medium palette but some of the shades in there are so dark I'd never be able to use them.

The last thing I bought was four dark lipsticks because I've been going crazy for dark lips lately. It isn't as bad as it sounds because three of them came in a set and the other one was only a pound. The extra one that I bought happens to be the only one of the four that I'm not keen on!

Rebel With Cause 
Make Me Tonight
100% vamp

What's your favourite Make-Up Revolution product?

Lots of Love,