Wednesday, 31 December 2014

December Favourites

As you can see, I've picked up quite a few favourites this month. This post is going to be longer than my November Favourites one but that's because I have a lot more to talk about, including music, television shows and movies. 

Anyway, I'm going to start with fashion favourites because I really want to talk about how much I love my tartan scarf. I mention tartan quite a lot, in my opinion it's one of the best trends for winter. I got this particular scarf for Christmas from my mum and dad but I'm told it's from F&F if anyone else loves it. It's so soft and warm, it's easy to style as well so I can wear it pretty much everyday because my style is quite simple. I also love the size of it because there are so many ways I can wrap up in it, I can even use it as a shawl if I want to. My other fashion favourite is my Primark hat, it's a very subtle light pink wool material and their is a small sparkly bow on the front of it. It's not too thick so my head doesn't get too warm but it's not so thin so it keeps everything just right. 

My hair favourites are the Fudge Urban Iced Raspberry and Vanilla Hairspray and The Bleach London Split Fix Serum. I've used the Fudge Urban Hairspray for quite a while now but it's been particularly helpful so far this Winter. Since I've been wearing my hair in an updo whenever it's rained or the wind has been to heavy, I've found that this product has helped tame my flyaways and keep my hair off my face. The Split Fix Serum has been helpful in a similar way because my hair is naturally quite frizzy, it's difficult to find serums that tame the frizz without making my hair look greasy or oily. Both of the products are available at Boots or online, Superdrug doesn't sell Bleach London products so it's easier to buy them both at Boots if you are buying on the high street.

My nail favourites are the teal sort of coloured nail polish from a High Brow nail set and the Disco Ball top coat from Rimmel London. The teal one is pictured to the right, it goes on really well and it dries relatively quickly. I love the colour of it for when I don't want a dainty feminine colour and I just want something quite plain. I think that the nail varnish looks less greyish than it does on the photo, it must be something to do with the lighting. As for the Disco Ball top coat, I utterly adored it. I used it on my nails when I posted about Subtle Glittery Nails, it's fantastic to wear during the Christmas and New Year period. You could even use these two nail varnishes together to create a simple yet glamorous nail look.

As for skincare, I've been using the L'Oreal Paris SkinPerfection Micellar Water and Correcting Day Cream. I've love using both products and I said as much in the Winter Skincare post I did during Blogmas. I'm also going to mention the Hemp Hand Protector from The Body Shop that HaveYouSeen sent me as a Christmas present, it's absolutely amazing. It makes your hands feel so soft and smooth but it does feel a tad bit greasy for a while after it's been used. The post that contained the Hemp Hand Protector can be found here.

The perfume I have been using is You & I by One Direction, it smells more mature than their last one that smelled very sweet and similar to the Justin Bieber perfume. It's a nice change because I was using the Next Diamond perfume before hand and it was too sweet for me. What is everyone else using?

My two makeup favourites this month are the Wake Me Up Foundation and the Rimmel London Exaggerate Eye Liner (Last months review on it can be found here), they have both been my staple makeup items so far this Winter. The foundation is excellent coverage and actually fits my skin tone which is a rare thing because I'm so pale. The eyeliner has helped make my eyes look larger than they are which is what I look for in terms of eye makeup because I have rather small eyes. 

My food favourites are the Scottish All-Butter Shortbread pictured at the beginning of the post and the Nandos Peri Peri Salt, not together of course. I've always loved shortbread so when I was bought a tin of it I nearly scoffed half of the tin in the first few days. I bought the Peri Peri Salt as seasoning to keep in my bag for when I eat out of the home and my food needs a little kick, I love this particular seasoning because it's not too spicy and it adds the right amount of flavour to any dish.

These are my December Favourites, what are yours? 

31st Day Of Blogmas: New Years Resolutions

When I first sat down to write this post I literally just stared at the screen with a confused look on my face, I hadn't really thought of any New Years resolutions. After some thinking I found a few and I thought they were worth sharing so her we go...

The first resolution I'm going to talk about is the fact that I want to improve my writing style and learn more about blogging techniques, I'm fairly new to blogging so it's something I want to do over time. Eventually I'll write a post about what I've picked up along the way but for now it's all about enjoying what I'm doing and hopefully getting people to enjoy what I'm writing. 

Another resolution I hope to keep up with is to save money so I can travel more, I've always wanted to travel (check out my travel bucket list if you get a chance) but the main issue with that is money so for once I'd like to be able to keep some aside so I have a travel fund. I might even use a labelled jar and just put a certain amount in their every month so my savings are a little more structured. 

My third and final resolution for the year would be to be less cautious and take more risks, I don't tend to stray away from my comfort zone so I think it would be quite beneficial to be more proactive when I'm given opportunities.

I've just realised that this is my last Blogmas post of the project, I just wanted to say thank you for reading this, I know it's been a relatively short post but there's really not much more to say on the matter. I'll type up a Blogmas review tomorrow and let you all know how I would rate sticking by the whole project. Anyway, I'd love to read everyone else's New Years resolutions so if you have a second just leave your link in the comments and I'll let you know what I think. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

30th Day Of Blogmas: Best Friend Appreciation (The Best Friend Tag) Ft. KatherineJazz

Since it's nearly 2015 and I haven't posted enough about the pain in the arse I call a best friend, I've gotten together with Kate to do this collaboration post. She'll be posting her version of the tag around the same time so be sure to check that out. 

Also, take a look at that rather fetching photo of her... It's so old I can't even remember when it was taken, she doesn't let me take photos of her very often so it's a rare one of few!

When and how did we first meet?
We met at the end of September in 2007 when I transferred over to Spennymoor School, the PE teacher made her keep an eye on me but I ditched her. We ended up hanging out anyway because we had mutual friends, I think we were both a bit wary about each other at first. 

What is your best friend's biggest fear?
Spiders. She hates them with a passion, she has a pure fear of them and she literally just freezes, screams and cries if she sees one. 

What's your best friend’s favorite TV show?
Doctor Who is Kate's favourite TV show, more specifically when David Tennant was the doctor. She does love others but Doctor Who is right at the top of her list. Some of her other favourites are Sherlock and American Horror Stories which is a good thing because they are mine too!

What favorite memory do you two share?
There are quite a few things I could say in answer to this question, I'm going to go for the time we were sat in the back of the car talking about our favourite music. I didn't know the name of my favourite song at the time so she looked for her favourite song, we played it and then realised we were both talking about the same song.

Which is your best friend’s favorite season and why?
Kate loves Winter! It involves her birthday, Christmas, snow and loads of presents so of course she loves it, she's even thinking of getting a snowflake tattoo sometime in the New Year. I tend to call her Mrs Claus because she starts celebrating Christmas in August and her bedroom looks like Santa's Grotto. 

What is your best friend’s dream job?
She would love to own a bookstore in Whitby, I always wanted to own a tea room there so we've discussed merging the two one day. It's sort of a joint dream job so I can imagine that her answer for this will be relatively similar. 

Can you describe your best friend in one word?
Awesome.

Thanks for reading, I'll be posting my New Years resolutions tomorrow if anyone's interested. 

Monday, 29 December 2014

29th Day Of Blogmas: The Project In Review

Since this is my first year doing the project I don't have anything to compare it to but it's certainly been a motivation to post. I'm sure anyone else who blogs will understand when I say that some days it's just difficult to find a topic and write so I've really benefited from using a scheduled range of post ideas. I've enjoyed the variation of my Blogmas posts so I'm just going to mention my personal favourite posts that I've typed up throughout the project.

The first post I'm going to mention is the 4th Day Of Blogmas: Decoration Wishlist. I loved writing this post, something I actually really find fascinating is home decor and interior design. I hope to write similar posts throughout 2015 and if I end up redecorating my bedroom or whatever I'll probably do a blogging series on it. The brands I featured in the post were John Lewis, Next and Ikea. All three have fantastic home decor products so I had to curb myself a bit when I was typing it up. 

The next post in my Blogmas review is the 8th Day Of Blogmas: Photo Diary (My Trip To London). I love London anyway so when I got a chance to write about my trip I jumped at it and eagerly uploaded my photos. I did write it when I was hungry, which I pointed out at the time, so the post did sort of focus on food but it's one of my Blogmas highlights anyway. On my trip I met some fantastic people,  ate a lot, got lost and broke a ticket machine but it was one of the best experiences I've had this year. I think I'm going to save up next year and take a trip to either London, Paris or Rome but I'll have to ask someone to go with me first!

Another post that I particularly enjoyed writing was the 11th Day Of Blogmas: Winter Essentials because I found it similar to writing a favourites post and I love those. It included home, beauty, food and lifestyle items that I love and overuse over the Winter time. I personally like reading posts like my Winter Essentials piece or even watching them on Youtube so I wrote it with that in mind. This is yet another style of post that I plan on duplicating throughout 2015 so be on the look out for those! Typing this post up is giving me all sorts of ideas for after Blogmas... If I can wait that long anyway. 

I spend a lot of my free time checking out other blogs for ideas and general blogging tips so I'm going to have to say that my next favourite post was the 19th Day Of Blogmas: Favourite Blogmas Posts (Via Other Bloggers). I had no images on that post but I didn't really want to save anyone elses without permission, I don't tend to plan posts down to the letter so it was all a bit last minute in that respect. Beauty, food, shopping and DIY posts all made their way into that piece in my Blogmas project because that's what I search for when I want to read new posts from other bloggers. 

The last post I'm going to mention is the 28th Day Of Blogmas: Makeup Tutorial because it's not something I've done before. I plan on doing more beauty posts and developing my techniques so I can offer more help and advice on the matter. My best friend Kate, whose blog you can find linked here, should be doing a collaboration post with me at some point about pampering and beauty so that should be fun. Her blog is amazing so you should check it out when you get a chance, she is another one of those really honest and down to earth bloggers that are really talented and not interested in being famous online or whatever. Anyway, back to my blog, I enjoyed the Makeup Tutorial post so expect more of those when I get bored or buy new products. 

Thanks for reading this post, I have a few more days of Blogmas but it's been really fun so far so I'll probably do it all again next year. 

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Subtle Glittery Nails

I'm better at doing other peoples nails than I am at my own, mine are quite short because I tend to snap them or catch them on something when they get to a certain length and that's WITH a strengthening coat.

Anyway, whilst I was messing about with makeup earlier I decided to do my nails as well because I don't get much of a chance to do them any other day. I had a chance to mess about with some of my newer additions to my makeup bag, I'd love to hear some feedback and get tips if anyone has time: http://aymielouise.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/28th-day-of-blogmas-makeup-tutorial.html

Back to my tutorial!

So for my base coat I just used the one from my Active Cosmetics Nail Bar Set, I'm glad I remembered to because last time I did my nails I stained them red. 

I left that to dry and then painted two coats of Sally Hansens Complete Salon Manicure nail varnish in 822 Take The Leap. It looks like a purple sort of shade when it's in the bottle but once it's painted on and dried it's more like a slightly opaque shimmery pink. 

As pictured, I applied a coat of the Rimmel London Glitter Bomb nail varnish and decided to leave it like that because I didn't think it needed an extra coat for the subtle look I was going for. Once that dried I used the same clear coat that I used a base for the top coat.

Thanks for reading, has anyone else discovered any good subtle nail looks? I'm always on the hunt for more so I can wear them at work or whatever. 

28th Day Of Blogmas: Makeup Tutorial


Hey guys! For todays Blogmas post I'm doing something a little different to what I usually do, I'm going to go through how to achieve this look. Basically, I got bored this afternoon and decided to mess on with my makeup.

I started off my using my concealer, I know that everyone always says that it's better to use it after foundation but I have a few difficult to hide spots at the moment so I've layered it. I rubbed in my Rimmel London Wake Me Up Concealer and then dotted my Wake Me Up Foundation around my face, for a change I used a makeup brush rather than my fingers and I was rather happy with the result, I then reapplied my concealer and rubbed that in.

I then got out my Little Mix All About The Eyes Palette, I bought it because I love the shimmery golden tones that are in it and I wanted to experiment with that sort of eye shadow. I used the lightest one as a base and then used the fourth in the middle of my eyelids and the fifth at either side to create a blended effect. I found that it didn't work too well and the eye shadow was barely visible it still looked nice because of the shimmer in it. I didn't try the black shade so I'll have to experiment further sometime in the next few weeks.

Anyway, I then used my Rimmel London Exaggerate Eye Liner which I reviewed last month, you can find it here. I need more practice with it but I don't think I did too badly. At some point I'm going to buy a white eye liner pencil to open up my eyes because mine are quite small but that's going to be after New Year. I only applied a small line and flick so the look wasn't too bold but I'm pleased with how it turned out, I used liquid eyeliner but I'm sure gel liner is just as easy to use. That's yet another thing on my beauty shopping list! To complete my eye makeup I just used my Supersize Collection Mascara.

The last step was my lips and I literally just slathered on my Plum Gorgeous lipstick from Avon. It's quite a bright colour so it's not exactly appropriate for work but it's great for nights out or meeting with friends. I might wear this to go see McBusted next year unless something else takes my fancy.

Does anyone know of any decent red lipsticks for people with really pale skin? I'm struggling to find one that suits me. 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

27th Day Of Blogmas: What I Got

Hello everyone! Hopefully everyone's had a fantastic Christmas, there are not many posts left in my Blogmas project so things should be getting back to normal here on my blog quite soon. Todays Blogmas post is, as promised, a list of what I got this Christmas. 
  • Crosley Turntable and vinyls; Queens Greatest Hits, Queen A Day At The Races, Elvis' 40 Greatest, The Eddie Cochran Singles Album, Meatloaf Bad Attitude, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds,The Beach Boys Greatest Hits, Blondie Eat To The Beat, T'Pau Bridge Of Spies, Ricky Nelson (Hello Mary Lou/Travellin' Man), Keep-A-Knocking/Tutti Frutti, La Bamba/Donna, Heeby-Jeebies/Long Tall Sally, Beach Boys Trashmen. I also went out and bought Rock Anthems, Diana Ross and The Supremes Stop! In The Name Of Love, ABBA Greatest Hits, ABBA The Album, Spandau Ballet Gold and The Magic Of Boney M. 
  • Sherlock Complete Series 1-3. I already had series 1 & 2 but I wanted to have all three seasons so I could just watch any of them I wanted whenever I wanted.
  • McBusted (Self titled album). I'm listening to it as I type up this post, I love their new album and I can't wait to see them at The Metro Radio Arena for the second time next year.
  • A Marvel Avengers Duvet Set; My brother got a plain black one, my sister got a 1D one and I got this one. It's not exactly a mature choice but it's what I would have chosen for myself, I love it.
  • I'm In Hot Chocolate Heaven Giftset; mug, hot chocolate mix and hot water bottle. I mentioned my love for hot water bottles in my Winter Warm-Ups post last month so you can imagine how happy I am to have a slightly smaller one to keep in my bag for work or whenever. 
  • Next Travel Mug and Vanilla Syrup. I love coffee and I've needed a travel mug for my voluntary position at the CDFHS so I asked my brother for one and he bought me one.
  • 2 Pairs of pyjamas, one pair is fluffy and Christmassy and the other pair is thin and really comfortable to lounge about in.
  • Lynx Attract Giftset For Her; Deodorant, shower gel and scrubber. It's a very practical present and I needed new deodorant and shower gel so I was really pleased with this gift.
  • One Direction You & I Perfume. I had their other perfume from last Christmas and I loved how sweet it was, the new one is slightly more mature so it's nice to have a choice between the two when I want to wear one of their perfumes.
  • A Topshop Leather Jacket; Slim fit and no thick inner layer which is perfect for me because I find that wearing jackets that are too layered get too warm and can be hard to style. 
  • I got a lot of socks, I have a pack of Batman ones, some Captain America socks and some plain pink and grey ones. You can never have too many socks!
  • Nail stuff; Nail varnish, manicure set, nail files, nail glitter and a new top coat to aid in my nail decor obsession. Click here to see my tips for nail design.
  • A Jewelry Box; My gran not so subtly asked me if I had one and I didn't so she bought me one and a pair of earrings to go in. 
That's what I got, what did everyone else get? 

Friday, 26 December 2014

26th Day Of Blogmas: Boxing Day

So it's the day after Christmas and now it's all over the next big thing is New Year, I'm not planning on anything big this year so I don't really think I'll be doing many lifestyle posts over the next few day. I'll have a makeup tutorial, a December favourites post, a playlist and possibly a few tag posts out and published rather than the general "here's what I did..." posts that tend to be out there around this time of the year. Speaking of that kind of post, this Blogmas piece is just a little diary styled entry just to let everyone know what I've been up to. 

Rather than sleeping in as I planned, I ended up having to wake up early to go to the Boxing Day sales, As you can see, I awoke in a VERY age appropriate new duvet cover. I got my Avengers duvet cover from my mum and dad after a few hints whilst my sister was writing her list. What I find most amusing is that my 16 year old brother got a plain black one and I got a Marvel one... 

Anyway, I went to Middlesbrough and took a look at what was on offer. I ended up just buying some new foundation and concealer because I was running low on those items, I also got some nail varnish and some hair serum. I'll be including these in a one of my many posts over the next few days because I feel like I have to make up for my lack of content over Christmas. That means a few product reviews that I might just merge into one post and call my Boxing Day Haul... Unless I love the products in which case they will end up in my December Favourites.

I was only out until about 1pm so it didn't take up my whole day, I spent the rest of my time listening to my records, talking to friends about what they got for Christmas and then watched The Avengers: Assemble before settling in my room to blog.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

25th Day Of Blogmas: Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone! I hope everyone's had a great Christmas, mine has been more than I could have wished for. Can I also just say that my mum totally slayed it in terms of Christmas lunch? I think that's what I look forward to most on Christmas day. I'm not saying that seeing family and getting presents isn't fantastic but I love waking up to the smell of turkey on Christmas morning. 

I'll do a post about what I got when I get a chance sometime in the next few days. In the meantime, what did everyone else get? I personally love watching my little sister open her presents, children are so blunt and give their honest opinion so every reaction is raw, truthful and lovely to watch. Besides, it's amusing to see what my gran got her because she always gets her something noisy and a bit weird. 

I know I'm going to be posting about what I got later in the week but I might as well mention my Crosley turntable because my day has alternated between my family and Queen. The sound from a turntable is so much better and enjoyable than listening to music from a stereo, a laptop or whatever. I also have Hello Mary Lou by Ricky Nelson and some other favourites of mine so as you can imagine, I've had lots of fun listening to those. I plan on building quite a collection so that's something I'll probably post a bit about in 2015. 

Just to round off my Christmas Day post, here's an ill timed selfie taken by my dad and the rest of us... Minus Sam. He refused to be a part of it because my dad usually looks like he's trapped in a box when he takes selfies. 

Anyway, Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015! :)


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

24th Day Of Blogmas: A Quick Christmas Message

Since it's Christmas Eve I haven't had any time to prepare a post for today and it's only by chance that I remembered about my Blogmas project, I'm sure that those of you who are reading this understand the Christmas Eve rush.

Anyway, I just want to say Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015 to everyone who reads my blog. I only started blogging last month so I really want everyone who has supported me to know how much I've appreciated it and that I plan to continue blogging for as long as my schedule allows me to.


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

23rd Day Of Blogmas: My Beauty Wishlist

Since I enjoyed writing My Fashion Wishlist (Monochrome) so much yesterday I decided to write another wishlist for todays Blogmas post only this time it's going to be beauty based rather than fashion based.

The first item on my beauty wishlist is the Magnitone Lucid – Limited Edition by Pixie Lott. I've been meaning to try a product from Magnitone anyway because I struggle with keeping my complexion clear. I would particularly like this version because it comes in two different models for those in need of a deep clean and those who have sensitive skin. I would prefer the deep clean version because, like I said, I struggle to keep my complexion clear and this product has a 7 day promise. Also, it's been designed by Pixie Lott and she seems to be honest in her reviews and opinions so it just gives Magnitone an extra stamp of approval. Something I only just found out about the product is that you can use your regular cleanser with it and still get fab results so that's yet another credit to Magnitone. I've really wanted to try this product since it came out so I can imagine that if I don't get it for Christmas I will most likely go out and buy it anyway. 

The BeautyCrush recently mentioned the Exfoliating Cream from Huygens in France again so I've been meaning to see if they ship to the UK, apparently they do. Delivery is free in the EU and from outside of there it's €80. This product seems like a real pick-me-up product and the ingredients are natural and organic so there are no harmful chemicals or oils that could bring you out in a rash or cause spots. According to the site, the Exfoliating Cream contains the anti-oxidant green tea which I love because it always makes me feel so refreshed whether I'm drinking it in tea or I'm using a product containing it. The Matcha Green Tea powder that I recently tested just about proved that so I think that I'll probably give it a go. 

The Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer from Smashbox is a new product that I'd really like to try because I haven't found a primer that works for me yet. I've heard loads of great reviews about Smashbox in the past and I nearly bought one from ASOS not so long ago. Another thing I like the sound of about this product is the fact that it's oil free because I have combination skin so oil-based product are a no-no for me. I also love that it's supposed to minimize the appearance of pores because that's yet another one of my skin issues that I'd love to be able to conceal.

This next item is something that I want for me and my little sister to muck on with together. Recently I have been meaning to try out some of the more bold makeup trends so the Power Generator Makeup Set would be perfect for that because #Flashmob uses really bold and bright colours in their sets. As you can probably tell from the image to the right, there's quite a selection so it would be a great addition to my makeup collection for when I want to experiment with brighter colours. The set includes a mixture of things including lipstick, lipgloss, eye shadow, glitter decor and nail varnish so there's quite a variety in there. I tend to go quite neutral so it would be nice to test out what works and what doesn't. It kind of reminds me of something I got for Christmas when I was quite a bit younger but don't let that put you off because bright colours come in and out of fashion frequently. This particular set was designed for children but I find that it's rare that cosmetics for adults come in such vibrant colours, big brands like MAC and Rimmel focus more on Reds and neutral shades, despite having a wide variety of products. Trying out this set could be a fun afternoon experimenting with different techniques along with my eight year old sister who would love to test some of these out.

These are some of the products that I'd love to try, do you have any recommendations? 

Monday, 22 December 2014

My Fashion Wishlist (Monochrome)

Hello! Since I've just been clearing out my wardrobe I'm in the mind-frame to make a wishlist to bulk up my wardrobe again. All of my summer stuff is packed away and ready for next year but I noticed that what I actually have for winter is a bit on the sparse side so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to blog for the fashion section because I haven't done many posts about that for while. Blame Blogmas.

The first item on my wishlist is the Black and White Printed Jumper by Sinequanone, I found it on the Sylvie Quentin site, I've seen a few items that I love on there so it's worth a quick visit if you are in need of a wardrobe re-vamp. I particularly love this jumper because it's black and white and I tend to keep my wardrobe quite simple. The bold patterns make up for the fact that the colours aren't vibrant and bright so it's great to wear on a general sort of day. I also adore the fact that it's a very fine sort of furry material, I have always liked jumpers of that texture.

Another item that I found on the Sylvie Quentin site is the Open Cardigan by Axara. Yet again, this is a black and white piece so it can go with just about anything. The zig-zag pattern is great because a lot of my clothes are block colours so it would be really flattering to wear with a plain coloured t-shirt, cami, top or whatever. I can imagine this cardigan being really easy to style and I could stretch the usage to 3/4 seasons. The site says that it's perfect for chilly days and I can't help but agree. I for one hate having to wear too many layers so this is a great piece when it comes to just throwing something on quickly as I leave the door.

River Island are hit and miss for me but this Black Longline Jersey Kimono is amazing and I'd love to buy or receive one of these. I loved the kimono trend over the summertime so I love that piece allows the trend to be carried over into winter. The site describes the piece by saying that 'this longline kimono is the perfect style to throw on for instant, effortless layering. Featuring a flowing fit, unfastened design and two front pockets'. As I've said plenty of other times, I love effortless style because I'm really prone to over-sleeping when I have important things to get to. This piece can be worn for work, for parties or just to lounge around with friends so it's really versatile. 

Also on the River Island site is this Dark Grey Striped Blanket Cape. I absolutely adore the shape of this piece. It's flattering and hides any lumps and bumps that you might want covering. I would really like to get this item or at least a similar one sometime in the new year. I'm a bit of a tassel fiend, I have a fair amount of tasseled scarves blocking up my wardrobe and that's even after my big clear-out earlier. 

These are just a few items that I've recently seen that I would love, are there any items you would add? 

22nd Day Of Blogmas: A Gift From HaveYouSeen

For todays Blogmas post I have decided to write a thank you note to HaveYouSeen because they sent my a Christmas present for being part of their bloggers initiative. I joined up about 2/3 weeks ago, not long after I started blogging and I plan on working with them quite a bit over the next year. 
It's always nice to get mail but I forgot that I was getting something in the post from them so it was a lovely little surprise. Unfortunately I wanted to unwrap it as soon as I got it because I'm really impatient. Anyway, so in the parcel I received from the company I got some HaveYouSeen branded items; two balloons, a notepad, a pen and a canvas bag. I was also gifted a Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector set, I'm really glad that it was included because I've been wanting some hand lotion as my hands have been rather dry. 

Included in the parcel was the most adorable fox card from WHSmith. Whilst I did love that a fox was the main focus on the front of the card, I really appreciated the fact that the inscription on the card was hand-written by the person I have been corresponding with via email. 

So thank you Britt and the rest of the HaveYouSeen team!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

21st Day Of Blogmas: Winter Skincare (L'Oreal Paris SkinPerfection)

Hey guys! I thought I had a Christmas Playlist scheduled but it turns out that I did it earlier in the month instead so today is just going to be a post about my winter skincare. If anyone wants to read my Christmas Playlist, the link is here but I will say that I would now add Band Aid 30 and Ben Haenows winners single from The X Factor, even though it's now a Christmas song because it's in the Christmas charts. 

On to my winter skincare, I received a L'Oreal Paris SkinPerfection gift set and since I opened it before hand and I needed a new product to try I decided to give it a go. The gift set included Micellar Water and Correcting Day Moisturiser and whilst these products are apparently for people in their twenties, it's never too late for prevention and I'm only a year away from being twenty. 

Anyway, I've only just started using them and I can already see and feel a difference in my skin. The Micellar Water cleanses and tones whilst the Correcting Day Moisturiser softened, smoothed and tightened my skin. It's exactly what I've been looking for in a skincare product, I will just say that it leaves my skin looking slightly oily when I don't add makeup afterwards on a morning. I won't complain about that though because at least my skin isn't dry which I have more than oily skin because it's not as easy to fix.

I use the Micellar Water once on a morning and once on a night as it takes away any makeup that I've been wearing and revitalizes my skin. The Correcting Day Cream is a product I only use on a morning because I try to keep my face as natural as possible before I go to sleep. 

I haven't been using either of these products for very long so I can't say what it's like in the long run but I can say that I recommend both of them based on my current opinion.

What have you guys been using on your skin this winter? 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

20th Day Of Blogmas: What's On My Tree?

As far as trees go, mine isn't the most exciting that you're going to see, it's slightly more coordinated, or at least it was until my sister got her hands on it. As far as I can remember, my mum has always opted for a duel colour scheme, either silver and red or gold and red. This year we have silver and red but some of the crackers are gold which is really annoying me because I prefer to keep silver and gold away from each other. 

The crackers we have are quite assorted, we bought three different boxes because we like to pull crackers on New Years Day as well. It's sort of a family tradition to have a New Years lunch and pull crackers just like Christmas, it's just something we've always done. We have plain silver ones, red and gold ones, red and white ones and plain red ones. I'm sure that well over thirty Christmas crackers are currently occupying our tree. 

Other than the silver and red baubles and tinsel, we have a little stuffed penguin perched on one of the branches, I'm not sure why but it's there and I like it. I have no doubt that other soft toys will make their way onto the tree but for now he's on his own. Poor little guy.

Next up is a little bell from my sisters school when they had a Polar Express movie night, it's adorable and I happen to really like it on our tree. We keep taking it off and ringing it so it's not always on the tree but it's there most of the time so I thought it was worth mentioning.

Thanks for reading my post about my tree decorations, what do you have on yours? 

Friday, 19 December 2014

19th Day Of Blogmas: Favourite Blogmas Posts (Via Other Bloggers)

Hi again! Todays post is scheduled as a Blogmas favourites post so I've taken the time to list a just a few of my personal favourites from the first nineteen days. I will be doing a post featuring favourites from my own Blogmas project at some point this month but right now I'm just listing my favourites from other blogs.

On the 5th day of Blogmas, TayloredBeauty posted Why Benefit Are Christmas Headliners which was really useful for me personally because the products were included with why the blogger liked them. I like to hear about what other bloggers are using because most tend to give an honest opinion and I enjoy trying new products.

For the 10th day of Blogmas, Guiliana Marie posted a What I Ate Wednesday post which wasn't too long so it was light reading when I only had five minutes to spare and the images included made me really hungry. I'm quite nosy so I like to see what other people are up to, I guess that's partially why how I got into blogging, I love getting an insight into other peoples lives and I love sharing my own too.

On the 15th day of Blogmas, Fashion Floor Fillers posted their first piece for the project about Last Minute Christmas Shopping. I loved this post because it was both full of great content and it was aesthetically pleasing. It also set me more at ease about my own Christmas shopping because their are tips and ideas included in the post with links.

I utterly adore Lots Of Love, Shannon's Homemade Place Card Holders post, it's well written and informal so it's not a chore to finish. The images are appropriate and look fantastic, I just wish I had a hot glue gun so I could follow the DIY instructions as accurately as possible. 

These are just four of my favourite posts so far by other bloggers this Blogmas, what are yours?

Thursday, 18 December 2014

18th Day Of Blogmas: Favourite Christmas Rhyme

Hello and thank you for checking out my 18th Blogmas post! It's been tough keeping up with it but all in all I've enjoyed it up to now, I'm sure that I'll review the Big Blogmas Project 2014 once I've finished in the New Year but for now that's all I can say about my opinion on the whole thing. 

This is only going to be a short post because it's just a quick mention of my favourite Christmas rhyme. I love poetry anyway, in particular Robert Frosts works and I believe he does actually have a Christmas poem but for the festive period I prefer something more traditional; Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

It's a classic and I have vivid memories of my mum reciting it to me as a child and I know that my little sister is told the same one. Seriously, she can recite the whole poem and my sister is well on her way to being able to do the same. 

If you want to have a quick read of the whole poem, this site includes some background information, an audio version and the poem itself. 

What's your favourite? 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Organic Matcha Smoothie (Matcha Green Tea Review + Recipe)

I recently applied to review Organic Green Tea Matcha from Kiss Me Organics via Blogging Assignments, they got back to me on the same day and I was given the link to order the product. I did test this for free but my review is 100% accurate. Anyway, I made a green tea fruit smoothie on the day that I recieved the product and I'm still making one-a-day. So far it has done what it has said it would do, I have felt much more energised throughout the day, my skin has started to clear up and I feel much more focused.

For this recipe you will need:
The recipe is simple and providing you have a blender, anyone can do it. I will admit, however, that the smoothie itself isn't particularly attractive and by looking at it I can guarantee that you won't want to drink it. Appearances are deceiving though because I actually really enjoy drinking them so if you are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle it's something I definitely recommend.

Right, lets get started. 

First I chopped up the banana into medium sized slices so they could be blended with easy before moving on to the apple, coring it and chopping it into small slices. 

I added the fruit to the blender before pouring in the orange juice, I used about 500ml because I like to have a decent amount of smoothie before I go to work.

Next I added two teaspoons of the Matcha powder and half a teaspoon of the mixed spices to give it a festive kick. 

Then I just blended it and poured half of it into a glass before finishing it and drinking the other half of the smoothie.

It's as simple as that.

As I previously said, it's great if you lead a healthy lifestyle and whilst it didn't say it was a detox product, I found that it was almost like a cleanser. It has so far left me feeling refreshed and much more awake than I was before I started using the product. 



17th Day Of Blogmas: Wrapping (For Next Year Or My Readers Benefit)

In the past I have wrestled with ribbons, used bows bigger than the gifts themselves and curled string with scissors. This year I've been lazy and I've just simply wrapped them in silver paper and written in biro the name of the intended recipient. 

Next year I definitely plan on buying plain brown wrapping paper and using metallic paint and stamps to create a more personal DIY look, then again, I also plan on sorting out the presents with plenty of time to spare so we'll see how that goes. I will either buy the stamps or make my own using sponges or potatoes, I imagine that it's going to be trial and error. 

Another thing I could probably do is wrap them like hampers because I tend to buy lots of smaller presents, wrap them and then place them in gift bags. I will need wooden baskets to create a neat and professional look, I've done them before in previous years so I know they are quick and simple to do. Clear plastic wrap, twisty metal ties and ribbons will be needed as well as sugar paper to neaten up the look and make the hamper look more festive. 

An easy quick-fix is just to buy decorated boxes from craft, card or DIY shops, add some sugar paper to the inside, close up the box, wrap ribbon around it and place a bow where the knot of the ribbon is. I have also done this myself in previous years and I added jewelled stickers to the lids rather than using tags and they looked great. 

How do you guys wrap your presents? Any DIY ideas? 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

16th Day Of Blogmas: Favourite Bloggers

Blogmas is a large blogging project so it only seems right that I should use at least one of the days as a sort of celebration of my favourite bloggers. As you can guess, today's post is going to work as a list of blogs that I love to visit when I get a chance.

Anyway, I'm going to start with Writers Block And Broken Lenses because AJ has helped me through my first month of blogging and her blog is an interesting read. It's a lifestyle blog based in London, she usually posts about what she's been up to but the odd post about nails or products appears. It's well worth taking a look AJ's blog if you're nosy like me and like to see what other people are getting up to.

Another blog I like to read is Idle Lane by Danielle Peazer, it's relatively new but it's been running longer than my own and it's on a much larger scale. It's a beauty and fashion blog that posts frequently and features reviews, OOTD posts and posts about general events that Danielle has attended. I love the theme that she has used, it's so simple yet classic. I haven't included a picture of it so you'll have to check it out for yourself.

Next I'm going to mention Zoe London, she runs a lifestyle blog but she also posts about beauty and fashion so it's quite a mix in terms of content. I discovered her in Instagram and then checked out her blog because I was envious of her hair, I've kept up with her posts ever since. I recently did a tag that her and Lily Melrose created which was actually really fun to write, check out my attempt here.

The last blogger I'm going to mention in this post is Sammi Maria who is also known as Beautycrush, her blog is a beauty and fashion one but she posts a lot about travel and lifestyle as well. I particularly like her posts and videos about her monthly favourites, I love trying new products so her reviews of each product she's been loving is really interesting to me. I also love how she always seems to go off into a tangent about something else before going back to the original plot of the video because it just makes her seem more genuine.

So these are my favourite bloggers, who are yours? 

Monday, 15 December 2014

15th Day Of Christmas: Favourite Christmas Films

Hello everyone! It's less than two weeks until Christmas and I'm sure that you are all counting down the days until you are free from work or school so that means one thing; here come the Christmas films! (I'm starting to think that I overuse exclamation marks, sorry about that) These are just a few of my favourites, I love watching a few good Christmas movies in the lead up to the main event. 

  • Love Actually is one of my favourite films anyway, not just at Christmas time, despite the fact that it's set around the festive period. It's just a feel-good film that makes you, or rather me, laugh, cry and connect with the characters in a way that just really sets the festive mood. 
  • The Santa Claus films are fantastic and I love to watch them with my eight year old sister because they have humor for me and Christmas magic for her. I think, think being the key word, that I had the first one one or two on video. I'm not particularly sure about the second but I have a vague memory of waiting for the film to rewind on the video player.
  • Home Alone 1+2 because who doesn't love watching a kid get the better or two hardened criminals?When Marv stands on the nail in the first film it makes me cringe so much, it's probably the worst feeling I could think of. I only mention the first two because the other films in the series are absolutely terrible and really disappointed me. 
  • Gremlins is a great film to watch, I used to watch it a lot when I was younger so it's nice to see it again at Christmas time. The actual gremlins aren't amazing and I've seen standard toys that look more realistic but the storyline is enjoyable so that kind of makes up for it. Either way I love the Gremlins films but I don't know how much you should value my opinion considering the fact that I love watching The Labyrinth with David Bowie. 
Those are some of my favourites, what are yours?

Sunday, 14 December 2014

14th Day Of Blogmas: My Weekend Round-Up

As stated in the title of this post, I'm basically going to round-up my weekend and mention the highlights from over the past few days. 

My weekend technically starts on Friday because I'm not at work on that day so I'll just start from there; I basically just had yet another lazy day over at my grans, it's a common occurrence and we usually just end up watching really bad sci-fi films and making some weird sort of noodle concoction. It was frosty and freezing and I had to walk from where I live to the town she lives in but luckily enough my next door neighbor took pity on me and gave me a lift. 

On Saturday I harassed my friend Leanne with the first two Hobbit films and then dragged her to see the most recent one with Michael and two of his friends. FYI, it was amazing and I cried a lot *SPOILERS* when Kili and Fili died. It was definitely the best of the three Hobbit films, I really want to see it again. Martin Freeman is amazing at his portrayal of Bilbo and I think everyone else is just as good if not better in the roles of the other characters. It's well worth a watch if you were planning on seeing it or you have wanted to check out the film series. Anyway, after the film we met with Becky and had dinner at McDonalds whilst we exchanged Christmas gifts, it was great to catch up with everyone so really it was just an excuse to meet up. 

Sunday, the day I'm writing this post, was set aside to go for a family meal which, for the Bartons, is usually a noisy, messy and worky event. It lived up to the general pattern even though we were seated next to an Anniversary party which was louder than our table and sort of made the noise an all time high. 

So this is my 14th Blogmas post, it's more of a diary entry but that's pretty much what a blog is, isn't it? 

What has everyone else been up to? 


Saturday, 13 December 2014

13th Day Of Blogmas: 5 Things I love About Christmas


Since I haven't prepared anything for today's Blogmas post I'm just going to tell you my five favourite things about Christmas. Like I said, it hasn't been prepared so it's not going to be a masterpiece but I just thought it would be a nice little Blogmas filler. 

  • Spending time with my family on a day like Christmas is really well appreciated because we only really see each other an hour or two a day so it's nice to just hang out with my mum, dad, brother and sister. 
  • Christmas Lunch! It's something I look forward to every year, I think I even rank it above presents. My mum always cooks the turkey overnight so I can smell it when I wake up and the house just smells of it all day.

  • I love both giving and receiving presents on Christmas day because a) Who doesn't like getting presents? and b) It's lovely to see the reaction on peoples faces as they open theirs.  
  • Cheesy Christmas music is an absolute must, it lifts everyone's spirits and for just one day there's no obnoxious pop or aggressive rap/rock music blaring from our house. My particular favourite is Driving Home For Christmas by Chris Rea but I also enjoy a bit of BublĂ© and I'm open to listen to anything Christmas themed on the day.
  • Christmas jumpers because they are so warm, comfy and seasonal so they just really work on Christmas day. I love them anyway but I like to dress for my mood and something cheery and warm like a Christmas jumper is ideal.
What are your Christmas favourites?

Friday, 12 December 2014

12th Day Of Blogmas: Christmas Jumper Day

So today was International Christmas Jumper Day and if it wasn't obvious enough already, I'm really excited about Christmas so I had no choice but to write this post for my 12th Blogmas post. Yet again, this isn't going to be a long one. I'm typing this up before I wrap some Christmas presents that I'm giving to friends tomorrow because I'm obviously not organised enough to do it weeks in advance like some people I know.

Those of you that have visited my blog more than once will be used to my awkward mirror selfies, here's another. This photo was from last week but I wore the jumper today so I might as well just use this image. Anyway, This is a Frozen Olaf jumper with "Do you wanna build a snowman?" knitted into the design, I'm fairly sure it's from either Catterick or Durham market place but I'm not 100% sure because it was a gift from my mum. 

My sister Jessica has a nearly identical jumper, the only difference being that hers is red. It's actually a really good colour for her, it's not one that I wear all that often. She begged me to wear the matching one with her this morning before I took her to school.

On an unrelated note, Jess has raised over £200 by chopping her hair into that adorable crop for the Little Princess Trust and we're still counting so thank you to everyone who's donated so far! Read my post about her hair donation here.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

11th Day Of Blogmas: Winter Essentials

I saw the first snow of winter today, here in the North East, it didn't last long but now I'm really in the Christmas spirit. Anyway, the snow is more than enough to motivate me to write this post on winter essentials.

The first item on my winter essentials list is Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa, I don't know about anyone else but I'm really prone to chapped lips at this time of the year. I like to slather some of this on to remedy this but even if I wasn't prone to chapped lips I would still probably buy it because it smells divine! Of course you can get Vaseline Lip Therapy Queen Bee, Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy, Vaseline Lip And Aloe Vera Therapy or even the original Vaseline Lip Therapy but this one is my favourite. Besides, this handy little tin can fit into your handbag, purse or into the side of your car.

Winter is a time in the year that I forget about colour protect shampoos and look for more restorative and weather protected products. The Aussie Winter Miracle collection is an adaptation or the Beach Mate range and is perfect for weather worn tresses so it's well worth a try. The image I've used to the right is from KIRSTYLEIGH's blog because I couldn't find a decent picture and I'm typing this up in the office. Anyway, you should check her blog out because it's enjoyable to read. Back to the product, I advise buying all three items in the range because the Shampoo and Conditioner are great for everyday use and the Deep Treatment is very much like a hair mask in the way that it restores your hair and leaves it feeling silky smooth. 

As mentioned in my Winter Warm-Ups post, I love to have a hand warmer kept in my bag for when I'm in the office because it's hit and miss with the room temperature so one day I could be practically sweating and the next I could be shivering. The image to the right was included in the original post, I bought the hand warmer from The Factory Shop. As I said in the aforementioned post, the only issue is that you have to heat it up in boiling water for ten minutes before you can use it so it's not exactly convenient for when you're in a rush but it's just a really useful item to have anyway.

Tea is an essential of mine at all times of the year but it's particularly appreciated in the winter months. I've mentioned before how about how I'm a tea snob so it probably comes as no surprise that I'm listing Yorkshire Tea as my favourite brand yet again. I don't really stray from that brand when it comes to traditional tea but I do love to drink Chai and other spiced teas. This image has been so overused on my blog and I only took it last week, it's featuring Yorkshire Tea and some sort of spice cake but I just wanted to follow the pattern of the post and include a picture for each essential.

Next up is the Christmas Eve Yankee Candle, it costs about £17 but it lasts a really long time so it is worth the extra money spent on the candle. This particular candle is really festive which you can probably tell by its name but the smell really sets a warm and cosy atmosphere. The site describes the scent as Traditional Christmas scents of a warm hearth, sugared plums, and candied fruits which is spot on because those are the scents that really put me in a festive mood. 

Anyway, these are just a few of my personal winter essentials. I hope you enjoyed them, please leave your blog links in the comments because I'm looking for more blogs to connect with. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

10th Day Of Blogmas: Stocking Fillers And Gift Ideas For Men

So it's that time of the year again and many of us are struggling to buy for the men in our lives, I know it's something I always struggle with so todays Blogmas post will hopefully help you out. You can find my stocking fillers for women here.

The first few stocking fillers are from Next, I think they're quite cool so I guess it just depends on the person. I found this bag of Zombie Blood shower gel for just £5 on the site and probably in store, I think it's a great gift for those of you who need to buy for fans of The Walking Dead. I'm not sure about the quality of the actual shower gel but the packaging is reason enough to buy it for someone.

The second item from Next is this Inflatable Gaming Chair and whilst it doesn't strictly fit in a stocking I'm sure any guy would love to receive one of these. The black and red colour scheme makes it easy to fit in with the rest of a room and it's inflatable which basically means that you can deflate it and store it elsewhere. This gift is priced at £80 so this is something you could get for your dad or brother(s) if you're looking to splash out a bit. 

Okay, so the next two items will be from JD Sports but I'm sure you could buy them elsewhere like the official brand sites. Item number one from JD Sports is the McKenzie Stakker Bobble Hat because obviously it's getting colder and colder so it's one of those useful gifts that you don't exactly appreciate until it starts to get frosty and cold. The hat comes in either navy or grey marl so there's not much choice but at least there's an option for men who don't like blue.

Next up is the Nike Heritage Gymsack  because it's another useful gift that can be used for the gym, for school/college or whatever else. It comes in either blue/white or dark ash/white so yet again, there is at least one other colour option. The site says that This gym sack from Nike features a large bold print logo on the front, adjustable drawstring straps and multiple inside pouches, plus a zip through pocket on the back so it is obviously versatile and in my opinion it could make a fantastic addition to someones stocking.

Other than that a good shower gel/after shave/deodorant gift set is always an easy pick. I find that it's just something that builds up the present pile and it isn't exactly a useless gift unless the person you buy it for hates the brand.