Sunday, 14 December 2014

Face of the day - Christmas shopping

Today I had to use one of my days off to finish some Christmas shopping so I thought this was the perfect excuse to put together a little Christmas look.

As I was just popping into town I didn't want to go too overboard with products and really wanted to keep things pretty simple. Therefore, for the main part of this look, I went for a bright red lipstick.

I feel a bright red lipstick is perfect for the Christmas season as it's so festive... I also feel there's something about such a statement lip that builds confidence.

This may just be me, but going for a bright or bold colour always makes me feel like I'm dressed up and really boosts my confidence levels.


Pose...

Like I said, I really didn't want to go over board with the products today, so below you can see what I used to create my simple, yet festive look.

Apparently this involved a lot of Rimmel products!

On my skin I used the Rimmel Matte BB Cream in shade light. I had never jumped on the BB cream hype, but when I was sent this as a sample I was pleasantly surprised. I find the product sits on  my skin beautifully and saves the hassle of having to add a tonne of concealer after to cover up any dark circles or spots. Plus I'd heard this product, being matte, wasn't the best for anyone with dry skin. Now as a lifetime sufferer of dry skin - especially in the winter - I  was sceptical at first, however I actually found this to be very moisturising and not at all drying.. Yay! 

After applying the BB cream I used my trusty Sleek contouring and Blush Palette. This has been an everyday product of mine for a few months now and I love it. Plus I always find that after applying foundation I tend to look a little washed out/generally unwell - which is not a good look! This palette helps add some definition and a little colour to  my face again. 

The next step was to add some some definition to those eyelashes of mine. For this I used another one of my current staple items; the Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara in shade 003/extreme black. I really feel this lengthens my lashes, but without making them clump together or feel weighed down. Plus it always makes me look that bit more awake early in the morning when - of course - I'm actually struggling to keep my eyes open at all! 

When it came to my brows, I really felt like being pretty lazy today. So I decided to take the easier option of pencilling them in to add some definition and shape (does anyone else feel a little naked without doing their eyebrows now, or is that just me?!). For days like today, I turn to the Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in the shade 002/Hazel which does the job perfectly. 

Finally, the main product in this look.. the lipstick. This is from Rimmel's Lasting Finish collection and is in the shade 170/Alarm. This is one of my favourite shades as it's so bright and has great staying power. Plus it's very moisturising and doesn't fade in a patchy way like some other lipsticks do (which is great as I hate after an hour or so of wearing a product, ending up looking like I've just eaten a ice-lolly). 

With the exception of the BB cream, I bought each of these products from Superdrug and they're each something I'll reinvesting in when the time comes.


If anyone has any other products they use for a festive look, I'd love to know! Always on the look out for a new product to try

xxx

Friday, 12 December 2014

Birmingham Christmas Market

Each year the Frankfurt Christmas Market comes to Birmingham. During this time the usual grey city is transformed with lights, log cabins and decorations. The market is something I've looked forward to each year since moving to the city as it well and truly means Christmas is on it's way.




The shops, which are set in adorable log cabins, are full of pretty much everything you could want from a Christmas market. They sell lots of items ranging from Christmas decorations, to jewellery to adorable wooden children's toys. 

Even if you're not looking to buy any specific items, who could resist all the amazing foods/drinks on offer?! 
Think traditional German hot-dogs, a huge variety of chocolate/fudge/sweets (I'm dying to try the chocolate covered strawberries/marshmallows) accompanied with a hot chocolate, mulled wine or warm cider. 

As you can see I couldn't resist going for something sweet and chose a chocolate crepe whilst Ollie opted for a tradition of the German market - a huge pint of beer where you get to keep the glass and a burger (which had been demolished by the time the photo was taken)... If you can't treat yourself at Christmas, when can you?!

Visiting the German market has become a tradition each year during December which I love as it makes me feel so festive and is the perfect excuse to wrap up and treat myself. 

If anyone has any traditions that get you in the Christmas spirit I'd love to hear!

xxx


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Next Christmas Wishlist

For as long as I can remember, the Next catalogue had a proud place on the coffee table in my house and since my early teens looking through has always been a favourite pass time of mine. 

Flicking through the pages and choosing out different items of clothing, shoes and accessories I liked the most and then seeing what my Mum thought... Even though I've now moved out, and getting my Mum's opinions is something that I unfortunately can't do as often any more, but I still love to have a look at the different items that Next have to offer. 

With Christmas fast approaching, it seems like a perfect time to put together a little wishlist of some of my favourite items that Next currently have to offer. 



1. Next Stand Mixer - £99 [x]
2. Pink Glitter Clutch - £22 [x]
3. White Photo Frame - £25 [x]
4. Moose Print Cushion - £8 [x]
5. Pink Check Scarf - £40 [x]
6. Cut Out Boots - £38 [x]
7. Striped Jumper - £30 [x]
8. Lace Playsuit - £55 [x]
9. Nude T-Bar Shoes - £35 [x]
10. Polka Dot Cat Make-up Bag - £4 [x]



I love each of these items (of course I couldn't leave something cat themed out) and would feel very happy to discover any under my tree on Christmas morning *hint hint*...

xxx

Thursday, 27 November 2014

5 Photos that make me happy -Tag

I'm sure by now you've seen this latest craze floating around Facebook and even on a few blogs.. If you haven't the idea is you post five - or however many you can whittle it down too - photos that make you happy each time you see them.

I thought this was such a lovely idea and was genuinely happy when a friend of mine tagged me to join in. But I didn't want to limit this to Facebook and thought this would make a cute blog post.

I'll be honest and say there was no way I could limit my photo selection to just five, so in the end I settled for ten - I know, I know.. just a few over. But oh well, I wanted to include everyone close to me.

Here are my five (ish) photos that make me happy:


 Christmas & Fizz the cat                                      Family                      
Lovely uni girls                                                 baby sister
Best friends from school                                   Throwing the caps
21st Birthday celebrations x                        Two favourites from uni
      Reunited at graduation                      Feeling merry after a few to many


I tag everyone who wants to join in with this! 

xxx

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Cute stocking fillers

One of my favourite parts of Christmas is buying gifts for my family and friends. I just love that feeling of excitement when you know you've picked up the perfect present for someone you love.

Another part of Christmas I love is stockings. It's a tradition in my house that we each have a stocking - yes I am 22 and not ashamed of this! - and we sit on Christmas morning and open these first.

Personally I think small presents are the most fun as they're usually either silly/funny or simply adorable.

So as a combination of two of my festive favourites, I've decided to put together a list of cute girlie stocking fillers to give someone inspiration for that perfect little gift for a mum, girlfriend or sister Etc. or as a cheeky little gift to yourself - Hey, you worked hard.. You deserve it!



1. Monty and Mable mug, £5 - John Lewis [x]
2. "Pretty as a Picture" mini make-up bag/purse, £3.88 - New Look [x]
3. Owl Hand warmers, £10 - Boots [x]
4. "The Sweet Polar Bear" gift set containing mini strawberry body butter & lip butter, £7 - The Body Shop [x]
5. "A Little Positivity" bracelet, £12.50 - Joma Jewellery (These come in a range of styles) [x]
6. Ted Baker "Sweet on You" Nail Duo, £8.50 - Boots [x]
7. "The Melting Snowman" Bath melt, £2.25 - Lush [x]
8. Wheat Cat, £9.99 - New Look [x]
9. Light Pink Bow Earrings, £3.00 - River Island [x]

I think each of these items would make an adorable gift for someone this Christmas and if you fancy treating yourself or a loved one to something, then click on the little "x" which will take you to the website I found it on! 

xxx


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

New Job - Outfit of the day

After having a beautiful week off, Monday was the day for me to stop being lazy and start my new job. 

Since graduating this year, I've struggled to find a job that appeals to me... when I was younger, I just assumed I would stumble into my dream job - which changed daily from a princess to a ballerina (despite the fact I've never once had ballet lessons nor am I royal - but  a girl can dream right?!).  

I just didn't (and still don't) really know what I want to do. This resulted in me ending up in a job that I just didn't enjoy. The hours were incredibly long and I didn't enjoy what I was expected to do on a day to day basis. So after 4 months I finally gave in and handed in my notice. 

Some of you may have read a post I wrote back in the summer showing what I wore as a summery interview outfit  (which you can read here) and then a follow up post showing what I wore for my first day (click here if you fancy having a read). 

So following on from my previous posts, I thought it was only fitting to write an Outfit of the day for the first day in my new job. 

So... here's what I went for. 


Can you tell I still feel slightly awkward posing for
these photos? - Haha
Top - Primark
Skirt - H&M
Boots - Boohoo
Coat - New Look

This is one of my favourite skirts. It's a perfect autumn/winter skirt and I love to pair it with a loose fitting black top. 

The collarless boyfriend coats seem to be in style a lot this year but I think this is definitely an item that will be a staple in my wardrobe for a while as I absolutely love it. I've been wearing constantly since I bought it a few weeks ago (you may have seen this make an appearance in my New Look wish list [x]).

My final favourite item from this outfit is the riding boots. These were an absolute bargain at only £20 from Boohoo. Admittedly they're not real leather, however they've lasted perfectly considering they've been my go to shoes when the weather is wet and windy out for the past 2 winters. 

I think this outfit is the perfect mixture of smart, comfortable and cosy for a wintery commute and then a day in the office. As much as I'd love to be in the summery clothes I wore in both my previous OOTD posts, there's something about winter clothes that makes me happy... 

What are your favourite winter staples?

xxx

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Garnier "The Marvellous Transformer" review

After coming to the end of my current shampoo and conditioner, I decided that instead of going back to the same old usual products, I'd give something new a try .... I know, I know.. I am wild! 

After walking up and down the isle at my local supermarket for a good twenty minuets, I finally decided on the Garnier Ultimate Blends "The marvellous Transformer" shampoo and conditioner. 




According to the bottles both contain argan and camellia oils and after reading rave reviews on argan oil for years and it's something I've always wanted to try but never really got round to... so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Garnier claim that these products will both nourish and add glowing shine to dry, dull hair. Now this was a claim that really stood out to me as I find that my hair - especially the ends - can get pretty dry at times. I'm not sure if this is due to using hair dye to lighten my hair or just how my hair naturally goes at times *sigh*. 

After trying both the shampoo and the conditioner out for the first time last night, I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. After using both products and leaving my hair to dry naturally - blow drying always seems like such an effort *lazy girl problems* -   my hair was left feeling soft and very manageable. Bonus - I also noticed how shiny the ends looked whilst out and about in the evening (admittedly it could of been due to the lights outside, but I'd like to believe it was nice and shiny). 

These are currently on offer for around the £2 mark in Tesco, so are very affordable and definitely worth it if, like me, you're a sufferer of dry or damaged hair. 

I'm very excited to try out the other products in the range - if anyone has any recommendations, let me know! 

xxx



 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Cat Themed Accessories

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a  self-confessed crazy cat lady. After looking for bits and pieces for my flat (and myself) online I stumbled across some adorable cat themed accessories and couldn't resist writing a post about a few of my favourites!







1. Crazy cat lady mug [x]
2. Cat Notebook [x]
3. Cat tea light holder [x]
4. Orange cat cushion  [x]
5. "Because Cats" phone case [x]
6. "You're the cats whiskers" mason jar [x]
7. Wall art - "A true friend leaves paw prints on your heart" [x]
8. Crazy cat lady make-up bag [x]
9. Tartan cat door stop [x]

I love these accessories... especially the notebook for jotting down new blog post ideas, and the  mug for hot chocolates.

If anyone knows of any cute cat themed accessories, let me know - hopefully I'm not the only crazy cat lady around!

xxx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

My Top 5 Autumn/Winter Nail Varnishes

One of the things I love most about Autumn and Winter are the deeper/darker colours. Don't get me wrong, I love the bright/pastel colours that come with the summer months - but there's something exciting about all the deep and dark shades that come out to play as the weather turns chillier.

I'm one of those girls who is never without a coat of nail varnish on - I actually feel slightly naked without some colour on my fingertips - (hopefully I'm not the only one who feels this way haha!)

So as I sat repainting my nails the other night I decided it was only fitting to write a post about my favourite autumnal nail varnishes. However I've narrowed it down to just five, otherwise I'll be writing all night.








1.

The first polish my list is this gorgeous burgundy colour from the No7 "Stay perfect" range. The shade is called "Temptress" and I think it's such a beautiful colour which is perfect for the chillier months.

Another thing I love about this product is the brush. It's wider then most nail varnish brushes, and I find this really helps with the application as it helps cover the nail much quicker (surely I'm not the only one who struggles with getting nail varnish on my skin?).

I bought this in a set of 4 nail varnishes which was included in the Boots Christmas 3 for 2 offer. This meant I technically got these for free - bargain - but after a little research on the Boots website, individual nail varnishes from the No7 range tend to retail between £4 - £6, which I find pretty reasonable for something so long lasting.

Unfortunately the Boots website (click here to have a look) doesn't have a huge range of colours. However I'm sure there's many more in store - especially as we approach Christmas.


2.

My second autumn/winter nail varnish comes from the American brand "Sinful Colors".

This is in the shade "Sugar Sugar" and is a beautiful shade of red with just the right amount of shimmer.

If you're not a fan of over the top glittery nail varnishes - or perhaps you're not allowed to wear them to work/school -  then this is definitely a shade for you. Instead of larger glitter pieces the polish has tiny bits of, what I can only describe as shimmer, mixed within the formula. This creates a gorgeous effect when reflecting in the light.

This is a perfect shade for upcoming Christmas holidays. Whether it's to a Christmas party or simply to feel a little more festive!

The Sinful Colors range start at the £1.99 mark which is an absolute bargain for such a lovely product. To check out there other colours in the range, or to find where to buy them check out the Sinful Colous UK webiste by clicking here.


3.

No.3 on the list comes from a favourite brand of mine when it comes to Nail Varnishes. You probably guessed it - good old Barry M!

The product definitely been a go to for me recently is there Matte polish in the shade Espresso, I even wore to my Graduation (which you can read about here) and I think it tied my outfit together perfectly.

As I said, this is a Matte polish (so it doesn't give a shine) and there's just something about the black polish combined with the matte finish that I'm loving. What better brand is there to go to for something a little different for your nails than Barry M?

Obviously if Matte isn't for you, or you just want to mix it up a bit, then adding a top coat will add the shine that comes with usual nail varnishes. There's also a whole range of other shades if you fancied something a little brighter.

This varnish retails at around £3.99 and you can view the range on the Barry M website here.

4.

This varnish is technically a top coat, but I couldn't resist adding it to my list as it's one of my favourite polishes for this time of year.

The Gold Glitter Top Coat, also from the No7 range, is perfect for either adding a little bit extra to your nails, or simply using on it's own for a subtle sparkle.
One of my favourite ways of using this is to add it to one nail on each hand for a statement effect.

This is perfect for adding a little bit of sparkle to otherwise dark nails, and I think it makes my nails that bit more festive (who doesn't love glitter at Christmas?!).

5.

Now I know I said at the start of this post that I love dark colours but in my opinion, you just can't go wrong with a nude nail varnish.

As much as a I adore all different colours for nail varnish, I also love how sophisticated and clean nude can look.
This colour is perfect for toning down a bright outfit or for adding just a little something to your nails without it being too much.

This particular polish is by a brand called "Kiss Me Quick" which I believe is owned by Boots (apologies if that's not 100% correct).

This varnish was a gift so I'm not too sure on the prices, but I'm pretty sure they retail for around the £2 mark - which is more than reasonable!



I hope you liked this post! I'm looking to write more product reviews, especially now the winter months are well and truly here!

If anyone has any nail varnish suggestions, please let me know!

xxx

Thursday, 6 November 2014

This is Halloween

I know we're all over the Halloween excitement and now looking towards Christmas, but I loved Halloween this year and really wanted to write a post about it.

I'd say this is the first year I've put some proper effort into my costume for a while as whilst I was at university my effort was pretty poor - think cat / a small amount of fake blood & calling myself a zombie.

I decided this year to try out the half skull, half normal make-up I'd seen floating around the Pinterest world (obviously setting my sites high, as anyone who looks on Pinterest does). Although if I'm honest, I was actually pretty pleased with how it turned out! Especially for someone with no experience with anything outside of the usual day to day make-up.

Spooky...
For my outfit, I bought a skeleton leotard from eBay for around £6 (bargain) and teamed it with some black disco pants, which you can see below.

Yes, me & Ollie accidentally coordinated 

I love Halloween as it's the one time of year - a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girl can say anything about it (Haha joking, couldnt resist the "Mean Girls" quote there) - you get really go out with all types of make-up and clothing you wouldn't usually wear! 

Plus it's the perfect excuse to eat lots of naughty treats and watch spooky films! 

Did anyone have any fun costumes?


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Versatile Blogger Award

A few days back I received a comment on one of my posts from the lovely Indi Stilling over at Random Indi (Check out her blog by clicking here) saying that she had nominated me for "The Versatile Blogger Award". Thank-you very much Indi! 


Source

I'd never heard of this award before but - much like the Liebster award, which I'm sure most people have heard of now - it seems to create the chance for bloggers to interact with each other and for smaller blogs to get some of the recognition they deserve. 
 
Now, enough of my rambling, it's time to get back to the point of this post, the award itself. 

The Rules: 
1. Show the award of your blog 
2. Thank the person who nominated you 
3. Share 7 facts about yourself 
4. Nominate 15 blogs 
(I personally think this is quite a lot so don't feel you have to  nominate this many haha!)
5. Link your nominees in the post & let them know

So here we go..
Facts about me:

1. I have 6 piercings including my nose, belly button at least 2 in each ear 
2. My favourite series of books are The Hunger Games (Borderline obsessed over here!)
3. I'm a quarter Irish as my Gramp was from Ireland
4. I moved away for university when I was 19 and, besides visits for holidays, have lived away ever since
5. One of my biggest fears is flying (it's just so high up & I hate that I can't get off the plane if I want!)
6. Although I'm 22 part of me would LOVE for something like Pokemon to be real- or Harry Potter.
7. I currently live in the city but part of me massively misses living in the countryside


The blogs I nominate are: 

1. Nathan - My Transexual Story
2. Lucie - Lipstick and Lashes
3. Viktoria - The Calm Way
4. Bryony - Indecisive Bry
5. Rosa - Meeky
6. Ally - Pinspired
7. Holly - Emfire
8. Anne - Anne and Spencer
9. Lola - Eccentric Erudite 
10. Trish - Reserved for Ruby 
11. Lauren - Totally Typically
12. Becky - Where Our Time Went 
13. Francesca - My Confessions of Being A Shopaholic
14. Georgina - Skipping In Daisies 
15. Karis - Karis Atkinson 

I enjoy little posts like this, as it gives me an excuse to write about things that I probably wouldn't usually and interact with other bloggers in the blogging world! 

If you do this post let me know! I'd love to read your facts!

Thanks again to Indi for nominating me. 

xxx


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Bullying, it gets better.

I want to write a post about something a little different today  - don't worry I already have some ideas for more recommendations and beauty posts *breaths a sigh of relief*- However this is something I feel is important for anyone going through a tough time at the moment. For someone feeling like they just don't fit in or are subject to bullying.

When people hear the word "Bullying" it's pretty normal to think of a teenager in school play-ground. A group of boys pushing a smaller boy over, or that mean group of girls that would sit and gossip about the other girls (Every school has these girls, and if you're still at school - don't worry, you're not the only one who doesn't like them!). However bullying is something that can happen to anyone, at any age and cause them to feel alone and isolated.

I'll hold my hands up and say that throughout a period of my school life I was bullied. So much so that I ended up moving classes to try and get away from it. I hated school for a while and couldn't understand why I was being picked on. As far as I could see, I was a normal teenage girl.

However looking back I can tell the only reason I was picked on was because the girls that did it felt they could get away with it. Simple as that. I was quiet and, along with other poor teenagers that would sit quietly when either being pushed about or having some nasty words sent their way, I was intimidated and didn't stick up for myself.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint - There were times when I sat with the wrong group of girls (thinking they were friendly but they definitely were not) and I ended up saying some mean things about other people. Things I instantly regretted.... And I'm sure everyone's guilty of being mean at some point - but a nice person will see that this is wrong.

I can see I'm getting a little sidetracked here (it may have been around 6 or 7 years since this time but it's still a subject that makes my blood boil a little) but my main point is - no matter how old you are, whether you're in school, college or work bullying is not okay and you don't have to put up with it.


So what if you're "different"? 
Who gets to define what "normal" is?
Normal sounds boring anyway!


You like that song that just "isn't cool"? Who cares, listen to it anyway! 
You're a girl who prefers to hang around with boys (or vice versa)? Great, good for you!
You fancy boys, or girls, or both, or no-one? That's 100% okay! 


Whether it's a matter that's as small as wearing your hair in a different way then what is seen as cool, or a situation that is truly life changing - you shouldn't ever have to worry about dealing with bullies who try to make you feel uncomfortable, upset or ashamed.

I know it's hard at the time when someone is being nasty or mean, but try to hold your head up high and ignore those people. They are not your friends and their opinions do not matter.

As someone who was bullied - admittedly nowhere near as horrendously as some people experience (just those nasty school girls *ugh*) - I can promise you it get's better.

Those people in your class at school or office at work aren't going to be around forever - there are people out there who care about you, and who will be true friends. If you haven't found them yet, I promise they will come.



Source


I want to finish my post/slight rant haha, with the recommendation of a blog that I stumbled across the other day. It's a new blog so there aren't to many posts yet, but I believe the few that are written give a powerful insight into someone who has/is going through the stages of dealing with bullies and finding themselves.

The blog is called "My Transsexual Story" - you can visit it by clicking here - and I really think it's something that can help comfort someone who going through a rough time at the moment.

I hope this post helps even one person... You're 100% not alone and you do not deserve to be treated in anyway that isn't positive!

(Without even meaning too I've basically written an essay here! Why couldn't I write my university assignments this quickly?!)

If anyone has any words of advice for someone who may be going through a rough time, feel free to write it below - you may just make someone's day.

xxx

Monday, 20 October 2014

Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick Review

I recently treated myself to some new lipsticks and decided to for Rimmel's Kate Moss lipstick range and decided to write a little review based on the elements that I think make a good lip product; colour, texture, staying power packaging and price...


Who can resist new lipstick?!
Colour
These have a lovely pigmentation. On the left is Shade 08 and on the right is Shade 30. Number 08 is a lovely natural nude shade with a slight pinky tone which is perfect for when you want a little something on your lips, but nothing too bold  with a slight pinky tone to it and Number 30 is a deep purple/red shade which fits perfectly with the autumn/winter trends. 

Texture & Staying power
One of my pet make-up peeves is dry lipstick that fades quickly and leaves that weird patchy look on my lips (I hope it's not just me that experiences this...?) So when I used these lipsticks I was pleasantly surprised.

Not only do these have lovely colours, the texture of the Kate Moss Lipstick's is creamy, moisturising and has great staying power. 

Admittedly I did have to reapply the products a few times, but that's to be expected when drinking/eating *or maybe the odd kiss - cheeky*. 

Packaging: 
The packaging on this product creates a much higher end feel compared to some drug store/high street lipsticks and I feel the red "Kate" on the lid adds a small touch of glamour which separates the range from other Rimmel products. 

Price:
The lipsticks are priced at £5.49 each at Superdrug which I think is very reasonable.

Based on each of these factors, I would definitely recommend this product and will be purchasing some of the different shades on offer soon.

If anyone has any lipstick recommendations, let me know!

xxx

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Make over x2



So a couple of weeks ago (it could be less but my memory isn't the best) I decided to give my beloved Small & Blonde another makeover.

Some of you may remember me giving my little blog a make over before - if not you can read about it here - but this time I decided to take it a little further.

After spending the evening looking around at other blogs and their designs - and noting slightly green eyed just how gorgeous they all looked - I decided that I wanted to find a template created by someone to use for myself.

I am by no means any good with designs or anything computer related - trying to edit the simplest of HTML code sends my brain into a fuzz - so using a design created by someone else seemed the best way forward. However, as this would be the first time I've used a pre-made design, I didn't want to spend too much money.

After shopping around for a few hours, I stumbled across some designs on Etsy. Compared to  most layouts that I came across, which were around the £30 mark, this was an absolute bargain at £6!

If you like my design, it's from the Etsy shop Sweet Electric Design, which you can find by clicking here . There's around six designs available, all of which have a simple layout and are lovely. It took me ages to finally settle on the one I have now (the pink swayed it!).

I'd love to hear some feedback on the new layout of my blog, or if anyone has any hints or tips for finding lovely blog designs please let me know!

xxx

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Top Ten Tag!

So I stumbled across a comment from the lovely TashEmily on my Autumn Winter New Look wishlist (which you can read by clicking here.. teehee cheeky). Within this comment was the mention of the fact that I'd been nominated to do the "Top Ten Tag".

I love being nominated to do different "tags" as it provides an excuse to write something a little different plus it allows me to interact with people from different blogs - which is always fun! 


So.. here we go! 

Rules: Copy and paste everything written in Bold - and state which is your favourite of the make-up items below. 

This Tag was created by Jessica Vannan at Pretty Chit Chat (Click here to view her blog.. It's amazing) 
I was tagged by TashEmily, the creator of A World Full of Wonders - if you havent already, check out her blog by clicking here. It's adorable! 
Finally, I would like to nominate Holly over at Empfire- again, you can visit her gorgeous blog by clicking here (after reading this first though of course haha)

Now most of the products I'm going to mention are the ones I'm currently using and therefore are my current favourites -  What I would consider to be my favourite product does change dependant on things such as weather, the occsasion and just generally how I'm feeling.. But anyway, enough of my rambling and back to the Tag!  

1. Foundation: 
I am currently loving the Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation. I have this in the shade 40 (light ivory) and find it provides a lovely coverage that is easily build-able. I also find a small amount of this product goes a relatively long way, which is perfect if you're trying to save some pennies!

Source


2. Powder: 
Now if I'm perfectly honest the power I use to set my foundation is not in anyway a pricey one. If you read my Face of the day, Lazy Sunday Make-up post (which you can read here if you like.. teehee oops) you'll know I use the MUA pressed powder. This powder is an absolute bargain at only £1 and does a pretty good job at keeping your make-up in place.

I'll admit, it isn't as great as some of the higher end powder, but for £1 you can't really ask for more! So this is definitely a current favourite.

Source


3. Concealer: 
My favourite concealer of the moment is definitely the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer (shock I know, this product is all over the Blogging and YouTube world). Now I wouldn't say I usually jump on product bandwagons, but when my previous concealer ran out *sobs quietly* I decided to finally give this product a try... It's safe to say I was not disappointed!

Rimmel's Wake Me Up concealer has made it's way into this list as I find it offers a perfect amount of cover up for any blemishes or dark circles - I've been able to test this out a fair bit this month as my skin has been preeeetty awful, so thanks skin!.


It's also perfect for those days where you either don't want, or can't be bothered with a full face of make-up.  

Source


4. Blusher: 5. Bronzer: 6. Highlighter
I've decided to combine numbers 4, 5 & 6 together as the Blusher, Bronzer and Highlighter I love comes as a palette, and I think it would be pretty boring to read about the same thing three times!

My current favourite Blush, Bronzer and Highlighter currently come from the Sleek Face Form kit. I adore this palette and it is definitely a staple within my make-up collection.

The bronzer offers a beautifully pigmented shade for contouring that isn't too dark and can be easily blended. In addition to this, Sleek's highlighter compliments the bronzer perfectly when highlighting  areas of the face such as the bridge of your nose or upper cheeks.

Finally, I find the blusher in this palette offers just the right amount of colour to my cheeks. It adds a light pinky colour - which I add to the apples of my cheeks - whilst avoiding looking either strangley sunburnt or just plain sweaty - eew.


Source

7. Mascara:
My current favourite mascara is one by the Boots brand No7. Since working everyday I don't want to use anything to heavy duty on my eyelashes - would probably look a tad unprofessional - so I've been using this as it offers a lovely natural look whilst still defining my eyelashes.

Source


8: Eye Shadow: 

Hmmm I've been thinking and thinking about this, and whilst there are eye shadows that I love, I'm not really wearing any at the moment so I don't think it would be fair to include something as a "favourite" that I'm not actually using much!

I am looking to invest in some of the eyes shadow sticks soon, so I may write a review!

9: Brows: 
I've recently started having my eye-brows tinted now at a salon when I have them waxed/threaded (Ouch) so I'm not sure if I can count this as a "favourite"... Although I have loved having tinted eyebrows. It was a slight shock at first - as I have blonde hair and the dye came up VERY dark, but over the course a few days it's began to fade, thank-god! I've found it a lot easier to maintain my eye-brows since having them tinted as they're pretty much always in shape.. All I do in the mornings now is comb them into shape!

I do need to invest in some setting gel though, as having darker eyebrows now means it's alot more noticeable when certain hairs go AWOL!

However, when the eyebrow dye has faded or when I decide to just have them waxed only - I use Rimmel's Professional Eyebrow Pencil in shade 002 - Hazel to add a little more shape and definition to my eyebrows.

Source


10: Lip Product: 
My current favourite lip product comes from Rimmel's Kate Moss lipstick range. I brought one of these lipsticks recently in the shade 08 for my graduation ceremony.

This shade is a lovely dark Nude which is perfect for when you don't want a bright colour on your lips, but still want a little something. I also think this lipstick will be perfect for the upcoming Autumn/Winter months when paired with some brighter coloured clothing or bolder eye-makeup!

Source


I hope you've enjoyed this little insight into my make-up collection!
If anyone has any recommendations for any products let me know, I'm always looking for an excuse to buy new make-up!

xxx

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Autumn/Winter wishlist - New Look

As the darker nights and chillier days have began, I can't help but start looking at the Autumn-winter clothes and accessories that have come out in the shops.

Since my online shopping baskets have started to grow quite a lot *oops* I decided put together some wishlist blog posts.

To start is New Look.

Source

If you like any of these items, each is linked below.

Blanket wrap cardigan - £19.99
Reindeer Jumper - £22.99
Faux Fur Head Warmer - £7.99
Skinny Acid Wash Jeans - £22.99
Chelsea Boots - £24.99
Coat - £49.99 (A little on the pricey side but I think this is worth for an item that you can keep)
Navy Check Skort - £17,99
Faux Fur Collar - £9.99
Monochrome Trousers - £14.99


New Look has some lovely items available at the moment which I think will be perfect for Autumn and Winter.

xxx



Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Hello October




First  off... where has this year gone?! I'm sure the last time I checked my calendar it was the beginning of Summer and now all of a sudden we're being thrown full force into Autumn! Before we know it (forgive me because I'm going to mention the C word already...) Christmas will be here!
I'll admit that I love summer.. the lighter evenings, heat and general happiness that it seems to bring. But  this year I am so ready for the colder months.

Since summer started to vanish throughout September, it seemed that we were stuck with the awkward in-between weather. The weather where it's chilly in the morning - so you put on a jacket - but a few hours later it's crazy warm again and then you're stuck with the dilemma of what to do with the jacket.. Or it seems sunny out, so you happily leave the house in a lovely summery dress only for it to be deceivingly chilly out (yes this did happen to me recently, and I'm still slightly bitter about it, can you tell? Haha).

I like to know where I stand with the weather so I'm so excited for it too get chillier and today was the first day that when leaving work, even in my leather jacket, I felt a chill as I walked... and I was happy about it! Despite it being damp and grey outside from the rain (and the fact I'd just finished a loooong day in the office) I was so happy to feel the first chilly breeze of Autumn. 
As I walked home, I started thinking about my winter boots, coats and accessories.. (along with which shops I could look in to find them... oops) and felt so excited!

PLUS with it being October that means Halloween is only a few weeks away (Yay for an excuse to whip out the fake blood!)... firework night will follow and then (sorry I'm going to say it again) it's Christmas.. the BEST time of the year!

So despite being a a girl who loves the summer (cant help but think of Olaf there singing away about summer.. oh Frozen) and the fact that I'm sure come January I'll be longing for the warmer times ahead- I am very happy to see the start of some chilly months! 

Source



If anyone has any Autumy posts.. let me know, I'd love to read them and feel nice and cosy! 

xxx


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Class of 2014 - Graduation


On Monday, after many many months of waiting, the day of my Graduation finally arrived!

For anyone who doesn't know, I finished studying at university after three amazing years in June and was awarded a 2:1 Bachelor or Arts Degree with Honours in Events Management from The University of Birmingham. This technically means I can put letters after my name now .. Samantha Brooks B.A (Hons) - but despite the temptation, I don't do this haha! 

Most of my friends had their graduation ceremonies a few months ago, so it felt like such a long wait having ours towards the end of September... However despite the wait, it's safe to say it was well worth it. 

The day was filled with celebrations with family and friends and was honest amazing.. To document this I  really wanted to write a post, so in a few months or years I have something to look back on. 

Cheeky photo of myself to start...  

And here are a few of my favourite photos from the day... 


My lovely house-mates / some of my best friends
 Family

Me and Ollie x
The classic cap through with one of my closets
course-mates

Walking across the stage - I saw my family and was meant
to wave, however I was so nervous and concentrating
on walking so much that I ended up clapping and
pulling this strange face haha...



Another one of my dearest best friends
(I love how happy the lady in the background looks)

Another classic cap throwing moment

Ahhh we look so happy! 

Just shaking hands with the dean.. Don't mind me

Cute cute cute 



These are just a few of my favourite photos... I had to limit myself otherwise I'd be posting photos all night! 

For anyone who's interested here's a better photo of the outfit I chose (without the gown and cap)...

Dress: Forever 21
Shoes: New Look
Nail Varnish: Barry M, Matte Nail Paint in shade Espresso


Although pretty scary at times (I've never been as nervous as I was walking across that stage, especially in heels!)... Graduation was honestly the BEST day ever! It was so lovely to see all my family, friends and friend's families so happy and proud of each other. 

After working so hard for three years this was the perfect way to finish and celebrate the time we spent at university. Well done Class of 2014. 

If anyone has written a post about graduation - let me know, I'd love to read it :) 

xxx



Saturday, 20 September 2014

Family Gifts.

Wow... It feels like I haven't written a blog post in aaaaages! Well, in the blogging world 10 days is a long time, especially when some people write posts daily! 

I've been super busy with work this week as I was coming to the end of my probation period (which for those who don't know is basically a time where your employer tests to see if you're going to be good at the job and usually lasts for a couple of months) and I had to do a presentation in front of some of the bosses *eek* which was terrifying! So that was really taking up a lot of my time over the last week or so, but it was all worth it as I was informed after the presentation that they'd like to offer me a full time position within the company... *cheers happily*.

Anyway - less about my boring work life and back to the fun stuff.. Presents!



After my pay cheque came in last month I decided to treat my family to a few little gifts as they've always supported throughout university - so now I have a few pennies to my name, it seemed the perfect opportunity to say a little thank-you.


First things first.. My step-dad's gifts:




Now these are technically late Birthday presents as I couldn't get back for my step-dad's birthday a few weeks back. He's a big football fan, loves dark Chocolate and the odd beer after a long week at work so I made sure I incorporated each of these things into his presents. If you're interested in Football or know someone who is, I purchased the "The Football Pocket Bible" from eBay for around £4. This is a bargain considering it retails for around the £10 mark on Asos.

The beer came from Tesco for about £2, however you can also find it on the Hobgoblin website here (only if you're over 18 of course).... and finally the chocolate came from Poundland.. Now I was a little sceptical as cheap chocolate isn't nice tasting chocolate, however I purchased the milk chocolate version of this for myself *naughty* and it actually tasted really nice!

 Mum's gift:


Source
As my family live around an hours journey away from me, I speak with my mum regularly on the phone. Around a week ago she told me about a skirt she'd recently purchased from Marks and Spencers in red, however she'd also liked the yellow version. I had a look on the website whilst we were on the phone and described it to see if it was the same - as she said it was, without her knowing I ordered to my local store ready to surprise her with when she visits Monday.

This is a lovely high-waisted skirt which, as you can see from the photo, would be lovely with (or without) tights throughout the autumn and winter months. If this colour isn't for you, that's fine as the skirt comes in six colours including red, black and pink. This retails for £25 and as it's from Marks and Spencer's will undoubtedly be great quality.

If you want to have a look at the other colours or buy it for yourself click here to visit the M&S website.



A gift for my sister:

Source




Now my sister isn't the easiest person to shop for... However she is a huge fan of VW Camper vans, so when I saw this I couldn't resist buying it for her (Hopefully she isn't reading this post...). I

This blanket was a bargain at only £5 from ebay and is so soft and has lovely bright camper van pictures all over. It's also available with different prints ranging from leopard to flowers to a lovely pink tartan print (I promise it looks nicer than it sounds).

If you'd like to purchase this for yourself you can click here to be taken to an eBay site that currently has them in stock. I'm very tempted to buy a few of the designs ready for the chilly winter nights!


Last but not least.. My lovely Nan:



I'll admit that I struggled to think of something for my nan - I didn't want to get her the usual bath bits and bobs which (even though are lovely) is something my nan receives a lot and doesn't always use up.

This is a Baylis & Harding candle in the scent Peony, white tea and jasmine. I purchased this from Tesco for £6, which I think is pretty reasonable for a scented candle of this size. I've had a look on both the Tesco and Baylis & Harding website but unfortunately can't seem to find this anywhere. However if you want to see any other products from Baylis & Harding click here to go to their website, the hand wash is lovely - or I'm sure your local Tesco will stock this.

I decided to get my Nan this scented candle that would make her flat nice on cosy through the winter months - who doesn't love a good candle?!

I haven't been able to see my family in a few months (especially my nan *cries inside a little*) so I can't wait to give these gifts to them on Monday when they come to visit for my Graduation *eeeeek*. I'm planning to write a post about my Graduation ceremony and the day - so please all wish me luck that I don't trip in front of everyone whilst walking on stage! Haha.

xxx






Face of the day - Christmas shopping

Today I had to use one of my days off to finish some Christmas shopping so I thought this was the perfect excuse to put together a little Christmas look.

As I was just popping into town I didn't want to go too overboard with products and really wanted to keep things pretty simple. Therefore, for the main part of this look, I went for a bright red lipstick.

I feel a bright red lipstick is perfect for the Christmas season as it's so festive... I also feel there's something about such a statement lip that builds confidence.

This may just be me, but going for a bright or bold colour always makes me feel like I'm dressed up and really boosts my confidence levels.


Pose...

Like I said, I really didn't want to go over board with the products today, so below you can see what I used to create my simple, yet festive look.

Apparently this involved a lot of Rimmel products!

On my skin I used the Rimmel Matte BB Cream in shade light. I had never jumped on the BB cream hype, but when I was sent this as a sample I was pleasantly surprised. I find the product sits on  my skin beautifully and saves the hassle of having to add a tonne of concealer after to cover up any dark circles or spots. Plus I'd heard this product, being matte, wasn't the best for anyone with dry skin. Now as a lifetime sufferer of dry skin - especially in the winter - I  was sceptical at first, however I actually found this to be very moisturising and not at all drying.. Yay! 

After applying the BB cream I used my trusty Sleek contouring and Blush Palette. This has been an everyday product of mine for a few months now and I love it. Plus I always find that after applying foundation I tend to look a little washed out/generally unwell - which is not a good look! This palette helps add some definition and a little colour to  my face again. 

The next step was to add some some definition to those eyelashes of mine. For this I used another one of my current staple items; the Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara in shade 003/extreme black. I really feel this lengthens my lashes, but without making them clump together or feel weighed down. Plus it always makes me look that bit more awake early in the morning when - of course - I'm actually struggling to keep my eyes open at all! 

When it came to my brows, I really felt like being pretty lazy today. So I decided to take the easier option of pencilling them in to add some definition and shape (does anyone else feel a little naked without doing their eyebrows now, or is that just me?!). For days like today, I turn to the Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in the shade 002/Hazel which does the job perfectly. 

Finally, the main product in this look.. the lipstick. This is from Rimmel's Lasting Finish collection and is in the shade 170/Alarm. This is one of my favourite shades as it's so bright and has great staying power. Plus it's very moisturising and doesn't fade in a patchy way like some other lipsticks do (which is great as I hate after an hour or so of wearing a product, ending up looking like I've just eaten a ice-lolly). 

With the exception of the BB cream, I bought each of these products from Superdrug and they're each something I'll reinvesting in when the time comes.


If anyone has any other products they use for a festive look, I'd love to know! Always on the look out for a new product to try

xxx

Birmingham Christmas Market

Each year the Frankfurt Christmas Market comes to Birmingham. During this time the usual grey city is transformed with lights, log cabins and decorations. The market is something I've looked forward to each year since moving to the city as it well and truly means Christmas is on it's way.




The shops, which are set in adorable log cabins, are full of pretty much everything you could want from a Christmas market. They sell lots of items ranging from Christmas decorations, to jewellery to adorable wooden children's toys. 

Even if you're not looking to buy any specific items, who could resist all the amazing foods/drinks on offer?! 
Think traditional German hot-dogs, a huge variety of chocolate/fudge/sweets (I'm dying to try the chocolate covered strawberries/marshmallows) accompanied with a hot chocolate, mulled wine or warm cider. 

As you can see I couldn't resist going for something sweet and chose a chocolate crepe whilst Ollie opted for a tradition of the German market - a huge pint of beer where you get to keep the glass and a burger (which had been demolished by the time the photo was taken)... If you can't treat yourself at Christmas, when can you?!

Visiting the German market has become a tradition each year during December which I love as it makes me feel so festive and is the perfect excuse to wrap up and treat myself. 

If anyone has any traditions that get you in the Christmas spirit I'd love to hear!

xxx


Next Christmas Wishlist

For as long as I can remember, the Next catalogue had a proud place on the coffee table in my house and since my early teens looking through has always been a favourite pass time of mine. 

Flicking through the pages and choosing out different items of clothing, shoes and accessories I liked the most and then seeing what my Mum thought... Even though I've now moved out, and getting my Mum's opinions is something that I unfortunately can't do as often any more, but I still love to have a look at the different items that Next have to offer. 

With Christmas fast approaching, it seems like a perfect time to put together a little wishlist of some of my favourite items that Next currently have to offer. 



1. Next Stand Mixer - £99 [x]
2. Pink Glitter Clutch - £22 [x]
3. White Photo Frame - £25 [x]
4. Moose Print Cushion - £8 [x]
5. Pink Check Scarf - £40 [x]
6. Cut Out Boots - £38 [x]
7. Striped Jumper - £30 [x]
8. Lace Playsuit - £55 [x]
9. Nude T-Bar Shoes - £35 [x]
10. Polka Dot Cat Make-up Bag - £4 [x]



I love each of these items (of course I couldn't leave something cat themed out) and would feel very happy to discover any under my tree on Christmas morning *hint hint*...

xxx

5 Photos that make me happy -Tag

I'm sure by now you've seen this latest craze floating around Facebook and even on a few blogs.. If you haven't the idea is you post five - or however many you can whittle it down too - photos that make you happy each time you see them.

I thought this was such a lovely idea and was genuinely happy when a friend of mine tagged me to join in. But I didn't want to limit this to Facebook and thought this would make a cute blog post.

I'll be honest and say there was no way I could limit my photo selection to just five, so in the end I settled for ten - I know, I know.. just a few over. But oh well, I wanted to include everyone close to me.

Here are my five (ish) photos that make me happy:


 Christmas & Fizz the cat                                      Family                      
Lovely uni girls                                                 baby sister
Best friends from school                                   Throwing the caps
21st Birthday celebrations x                        Two favourites from uni
      Reunited at graduation                      Feeling merry after a few to many


I tag everyone who wants to join in with this! 

xxx

Cute stocking fillers

One of my favourite parts of Christmas is buying gifts for my family and friends. I just love that feeling of excitement when you know you've picked up the perfect present for someone you love.

Another part of Christmas I love is stockings. It's a tradition in my house that we each have a stocking - yes I am 22 and not ashamed of this! - and we sit on Christmas morning and open these first.

Personally I think small presents are the most fun as they're usually either silly/funny or simply adorable.

So as a combination of two of my festive favourites, I've decided to put together a list of cute girlie stocking fillers to give someone inspiration for that perfect little gift for a mum, girlfriend or sister Etc. or as a cheeky little gift to yourself - Hey, you worked hard.. You deserve it!



1. Monty and Mable mug, £5 - John Lewis [x]
2. "Pretty as a Picture" mini make-up bag/purse, £3.88 - New Look [x]
3. Owl Hand warmers, £10 - Boots [x]
4. "The Sweet Polar Bear" gift set containing mini strawberry body butter & lip butter, £7 - The Body Shop [x]
5. "A Little Positivity" bracelet, £12.50 - Joma Jewellery (These come in a range of styles) [x]
6. Ted Baker "Sweet on You" Nail Duo, £8.50 - Boots [x]
7. "The Melting Snowman" Bath melt, £2.25 - Lush [x]
8. Wheat Cat, £9.99 - New Look [x]
9. Light Pink Bow Earrings, £3.00 - River Island [x]

I think each of these items would make an adorable gift for someone this Christmas and if you fancy treating yourself or a loved one to something, then click on the little "x" which will take you to the website I found it on! 

xxx


New Job - Outfit of the day

After having a beautiful week off, Monday was the day for me to stop being lazy and start my new job. 

Since graduating this year, I've struggled to find a job that appeals to me... when I was younger, I just assumed I would stumble into my dream job - which changed daily from a princess to a ballerina (despite the fact I've never once had ballet lessons nor am I royal - but  a girl can dream right?!).  

I just didn't (and still don't) really know what I want to do. This resulted in me ending up in a job that I just didn't enjoy. The hours were incredibly long and I didn't enjoy what I was expected to do on a day to day basis. So after 4 months I finally gave in and handed in my notice. 

Some of you may have read a post I wrote back in the summer showing what I wore as a summery interview outfit  (which you can read here) and then a follow up post showing what I wore for my first day (click here if you fancy having a read). 

So following on from my previous posts, I thought it was only fitting to write an Outfit of the day for the first day in my new job. 

So... here's what I went for. 


Can you tell I still feel slightly awkward posing for
these photos? - Haha
Top - Primark
Skirt - H&M
Boots - Boohoo
Coat - New Look

This is one of my favourite skirts. It's a perfect autumn/winter skirt and I love to pair it with a loose fitting black top. 

The collarless boyfriend coats seem to be in style a lot this year but I think this is definitely an item that will be a staple in my wardrobe for a while as I absolutely love it. I've been wearing constantly since I bought it a few weeks ago (you may have seen this make an appearance in my New Look wish list [x]).

My final favourite item from this outfit is the riding boots. These were an absolute bargain at only £20 from Boohoo. Admittedly they're not real leather, however they've lasted perfectly considering they've been my go to shoes when the weather is wet and windy out for the past 2 winters. 

I think this outfit is the perfect mixture of smart, comfortable and cosy for a wintery commute and then a day in the office. As much as I'd love to be in the summery clothes I wore in both my previous OOTD posts, there's something about winter clothes that makes me happy... 

What are your favourite winter staples?

xxx

Garnier "The Marvellous Transformer" review

After coming to the end of my current shampoo and conditioner, I decided that instead of going back to the same old usual products, I'd give something new a try .... I know, I know.. I am wild! 

After walking up and down the isle at my local supermarket for a good twenty minuets, I finally decided on the Garnier Ultimate Blends "The marvellous Transformer" shampoo and conditioner. 




According to the bottles both contain argan and camellia oils and after reading rave reviews on argan oil for years and it's something I've always wanted to try but never really got round to... so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Garnier claim that these products will both nourish and add glowing shine to dry, dull hair. Now this was a claim that really stood out to me as I find that my hair - especially the ends - can get pretty dry at times. I'm not sure if this is due to using hair dye to lighten my hair or just how my hair naturally goes at times *sigh*. 

After trying both the shampoo and the conditioner out for the first time last night, I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. After using both products and leaving my hair to dry naturally - blow drying always seems like such an effort *lazy girl problems* -   my hair was left feeling soft and very manageable. Bonus - I also noticed how shiny the ends looked whilst out and about in the evening (admittedly it could of been due to the lights outside, but I'd like to believe it was nice and shiny). 

These are currently on offer for around the £2 mark in Tesco, so are very affordable and definitely worth it if, like me, you're a sufferer of dry or damaged hair. 

I'm very excited to try out the other products in the range - if anyone has any recommendations, let me know! 

xxx



 

Cat Themed Accessories

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a  self-confessed crazy cat lady. After looking for bits and pieces for my flat (and myself) online I stumbled across some adorable cat themed accessories and couldn't resist writing a post about a few of my favourites!







1. Crazy cat lady mug [x]
2. Cat Notebook [x]
3. Cat tea light holder [x]
4. Orange cat cushion  [x]
5. "Because Cats" phone case [x]
6. "You're the cats whiskers" mason jar [x]
7. Wall art - "A true friend leaves paw prints on your heart" [x]
8. Crazy cat lady make-up bag [x]
9. Tartan cat door stop [x]

I love these accessories... especially the notebook for jotting down new blog post ideas, and the  mug for hot chocolates.

If anyone knows of any cute cat themed accessories, let me know - hopefully I'm not the only crazy cat lady around!

xxx

My Top 5 Autumn/Winter Nail Varnishes

One of the things I love most about Autumn and Winter are the deeper/darker colours. Don't get me wrong, I love the bright/pastel colours that come with the summer months - but there's something exciting about all the deep and dark shades that come out to play as the weather turns chillier.

I'm one of those girls who is never without a coat of nail varnish on - I actually feel slightly naked without some colour on my fingertips - (hopefully I'm not the only one who feels this way haha!)

So as I sat repainting my nails the other night I decided it was only fitting to write a post about my favourite autumnal nail varnishes. However I've narrowed it down to just five, otherwise I'll be writing all night.








1.

The first polish my list is this gorgeous burgundy colour from the No7 "Stay perfect" range. The shade is called "Temptress" and I think it's such a beautiful colour which is perfect for the chillier months.

Another thing I love about this product is the brush. It's wider then most nail varnish brushes, and I find this really helps with the application as it helps cover the nail much quicker (surely I'm not the only one who struggles with getting nail varnish on my skin?).

I bought this in a set of 4 nail varnishes which was included in the Boots Christmas 3 for 2 offer. This meant I technically got these for free - bargain - but after a little research on the Boots website, individual nail varnishes from the No7 range tend to retail between £4 - £6, which I find pretty reasonable for something so long lasting.

Unfortunately the Boots website (click here to have a look) doesn't have a huge range of colours. However I'm sure there's many more in store - especially as we approach Christmas.


2.

My second autumn/winter nail varnish comes from the American brand "Sinful Colors".

This is in the shade "Sugar Sugar" and is a beautiful shade of red with just the right amount of shimmer.

If you're not a fan of over the top glittery nail varnishes - or perhaps you're not allowed to wear them to work/school -  then this is definitely a shade for you. Instead of larger glitter pieces the polish has tiny bits of, what I can only describe as shimmer, mixed within the formula. This creates a gorgeous effect when reflecting in the light.

This is a perfect shade for upcoming Christmas holidays. Whether it's to a Christmas party or simply to feel a little more festive!

The Sinful Colors range start at the £1.99 mark which is an absolute bargain for such a lovely product. To check out there other colours in the range, or to find where to buy them check out the Sinful Colous UK webiste by clicking here.


3.

No.3 on the list comes from a favourite brand of mine when it comes to Nail Varnishes. You probably guessed it - good old Barry M!

The product definitely been a go to for me recently is there Matte polish in the shade Espresso, I even wore to my Graduation (which you can read about here) and I think it tied my outfit together perfectly.

As I said, this is a Matte polish (so it doesn't give a shine) and there's just something about the black polish combined with the matte finish that I'm loving. What better brand is there to go to for something a little different for your nails than Barry M?

Obviously if Matte isn't for you, or you just want to mix it up a bit, then adding a top coat will add the shine that comes with usual nail varnishes. There's also a whole range of other shades if you fancied something a little brighter.

This varnish retails at around £3.99 and you can view the range on the Barry M website here.

4.

This varnish is technically a top coat, but I couldn't resist adding it to my list as it's one of my favourite polishes for this time of year.

The Gold Glitter Top Coat, also from the No7 range, is perfect for either adding a little bit extra to your nails, or simply using on it's own for a subtle sparkle.
One of my favourite ways of using this is to add it to one nail on each hand for a statement effect.

This is perfect for adding a little bit of sparkle to otherwise dark nails, and I think it makes my nails that bit more festive (who doesn't love glitter at Christmas?!).

5.

Now I know I said at the start of this post that I love dark colours but in my opinion, you just can't go wrong with a nude nail varnish.

As much as a I adore all different colours for nail varnish, I also love how sophisticated and clean nude can look.
This colour is perfect for toning down a bright outfit or for adding just a little something to your nails without it being too much.

This particular polish is by a brand called "Kiss Me Quick" which I believe is owned by Boots (apologies if that's not 100% correct).

This varnish was a gift so I'm not too sure on the prices, but I'm pretty sure they retail for around the £2 mark - which is more than reasonable!



I hope you liked this post! I'm looking to write more product reviews, especially now the winter months are well and truly here!

If anyone has any nail varnish suggestions, please let me know!

xxx

This is Halloween

I know we're all over the Halloween excitement and now looking towards Christmas, but I loved Halloween this year and really wanted to write a post about it.

I'd say this is the first year I've put some proper effort into my costume for a while as whilst I was at university my effort was pretty poor - think cat / a small amount of fake blood & calling myself a zombie.

I decided this year to try out the half skull, half normal make-up I'd seen floating around the Pinterest world (obviously setting my sites high, as anyone who looks on Pinterest does). Although if I'm honest, I was actually pretty pleased with how it turned out! Especially for someone with no experience with anything outside of the usual day to day make-up.

Spooky...
For my outfit, I bought a skeleton leotard from eBay for around £6 (bargain) and teamed it with some black disco pants, which you can see below.

Yes, me & Ollie accidentally coordinated 

I love Halloween as it's the one time of year - a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girl can say anything about it (Haha joking, couldnt resist the "Mean Girls" quote there) - you get really go out with all types of make-up and clothing you wouldn't usually wear! 

Plus it's the perfect excuse to eat lots of naughty treats and watch spooky films! 

Did anyone have any fun costumes?


The Versatile Blogger Award

A few days back I received a comment on one of my posts from the lovely Indi Stilling over at Random Indi (Check out her blog by clicking here) saying that she had nominated me for "The Versatile Blogger Award". Thank-you very much Indi! 


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I'd never heard of this award before but - much like the Liebster award, which I'm sure most people have heard of now - it seems to create the chance for bloggers to interact with each other and for smaller blogs to get some of the recognition they deserve. 
 
Now, enough of my rambling, it's time to get back to the point of this post, the award itself. 

The Rules: 
1. Show the award of your blog 
2. Thank the person who nominated you 
3. Share 7 facts about yourself 
4. Nominate 15 blogs 
(I personally think this is quite a lot so don't feel you have to  nominate this many haha!)
5. Link your nominees in the post & let them know

So here we go..
Facts about me:

1. I have 6 piercings including my nose, belly button at least 2 in each ear 
2. My favourite series of books are The Hunger Games (Borderline obsessed over here!)
3. I'm a quarter Irish as my Gramp was from Ireland
4. I moved away for university when I was 19 and, besides visits for holidays, have lived away ever since
5. One of my biggest fears is flying (it's just so high up & I hate that I can't get off the plane if I want!)
6. Although I'm 22 part of me would LOVE for something like Pokemon to be real- or Harry Potter.
7. I currently live in the city but part of me massively misses living in the countryside


The blogs I nominate are: 

1. Nathan - My Transexual Story
2. Lucie - Lipstick and Lashes
3. Viktoria - The Calm Way
4. Bryony - Indecisive Bry
5. Rosa - Meeky
6. Ally - Pinspired
7. Holly - Emfire
8. Anne - Anne and Spencer
9. Lola - Eccentric Erudite 
10. Trish - Reserved for Ruby 
11. Lauren - Totally Typically
12. Becky - Where Our Time Went 
13. Francesca - My Confessions of Being A Shopaholic
14. Georgina - Skipping In Daisies 
15. Karis - Karis Atkinson 

I enjoy little posts like this, as it gives me an excuse to write about things that I probably wouldn't usually and interact with other bloggers in the blogging world! 

If you do this post let me know! I'd love to read your facts!

Thanks again to Indi for nominating me. 

xxx


Bullying, it gets better.

I want to write a post about something a little different today  - don't worry I already have some ideas for more recommendations and beauty posts *breaths a sigh of relief*- However this is something I feel is important for anyone going through a tough time at the moment. For someone feeling like they just don't fit in or are subject to bullying.

When people hear the word "Bullying" it's pretty normal to think of a teenager in school play-ground. A group of boys pushing a smaller boy over, or that mean group of girls that would sit and gossip about the other girls (Every school has these girls, and if you're still at school - don't worry, you're not the only one who doesn't like them!). However bullying is something that can happen to anyone, at any age and cause them to feel alone and isolated.

I'll hold my hands up and say that throughout a period of my school life I was bullied. So much so that I ended up moving classes to try and get away from it. I hated school for a while and couldn't understand why I was being picked on. As far as I could see, I was a normal teenage girl.

However looking back I can tell the only reason I was picked on was because the girls that did it felt they could get away with it. Simple as that. I was quiet and, along with other poor teenagers that would sit quietly when either being pushed about or having some nasty words sent their way, I was intimidated and didn't stick up for myself.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint - There were times when I sat with the wrong group of girls (thinking they were friendly but they definitely were not) and I ended up saying some mean things about other people. Things I instantly regretted.... And I'm sure everyone's guilty of being mean at some point - but a nice person will see that this is wrong.

I can see I'm getting a little sidetracked here (it may have been around 6 or 7 years since this time but it's still a subject that makes my blood boil a little) but my main point is - no matter how old you are, whether you're in school, college or work bullying is not okay and you don't have to put up with it.


So what if you're "different"? 
Who gets to define what "normal" is?
Normal sounds boring anyway!


You like that song that just "isn't cool"? Who cares, listen to it anyway! 
You're a girl who prefers to hang around with boys (or vice versa)? Great, good for you!
You fancy boys, or girls, or both, or no-one? That's 100% okay! 


Whether it's a matter that's as small as wearing your hair in a different way then what is seen as cool, or a situation that is truly life changing - you shouldn't ever have to worry about dealing with bullies who try to make you feel uncomfortable, upset or ashamed.

I know it's hard at the time when someone is being nasty or mean, but try to hold your head up high and ignore those people. They are not your friends and their opinions do not matter.

As someone who was bullied - admittedly nowhere near as horrendously as some people experience (just those nasty school girls *ugh*) - I can promise you it get's better.

Those people in your class at school or office at work aren't going to be around forever - there are people out there who care about you, and who will be true friends. If you haven't found them yet, I promise they will come.



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I want to finish my post/slight rant haha, with the recommendation of a blog that I stumbled across the other day. It's a new blog so there aren't to many posts yet, but I believe the few that are written give a powerful insight into someone who has/is going through the stages of dealing with bullies and finding themselves.

The blog is called "My Transsexual Story" - you can visit it by clicking here - and I really think it's something that can help comfort someone who going through a rough time at the moment.

I hope this post helps even one person... You're 100% not alone and you do not deserve to be treated in anyway that isn't positive!

(Without even meaning too I've basically written an essay here! Why couldn't I write my university assignments this quickly?!)

If anyone has any words of advice for someone who may be going through a rough time, feel free to write it below - you may just make someone's day.

xxx

Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick Review

I recently treated myself to some new lipsticks and decided to for Rimmel's Kate Moss lipstick range and decided to write a little review based on the elements that I think make a good lip product; colour, texture, staying power packaging and price...


Who can resist new lipstick?!
Colour
These have a lovely pigmentation. On the left is Shade 08 and on the right is Shade 30. Number 08 is a lovely natural nude shade with a slight pinky tone which is perfect for when you want a little something on your lips, but nothing too bold  with a slight pinky tone to it and Number 30 is a deep purple/red shade which fits perfectly with the autumn/winter trends. 

Texture & Staying power
One of my pet make-up peeves is dry lipstick that fades quickly and leaves that weird patchy look on my lips (I hope it's not just me that experiences this...?) So when I used these lipsticks I was pleasantly surprised.

Not only do these have lovely colours, the texture of the Kate Moss Lipstick's is creamy, moisturising and has great staying power. 

Admittedly I did have to reapply the products a few times, but that's to be expected when drinking/eating *or maybe the odd kiss - cheeky*. 

Packaging: 
The packaging on this product creates a much higher end feel compared to some drug store/high street lipsticks and I feel the red "Kate" on the lid adds a small touch of glamour which separates the range from other Rimmel products. 

Price:
The lipsticks are priced at £5.49 each at Superdrug which I think is very reasonable.

Based on each of these factors, I would definitely recommend this product and will be purchasing some of the different shades on offer soon.

If anyone has any lipstick recommendations, let me know!

xxx

Make over x2



So a couple of weeks ago (it could be less but my memory isn't the best) I decided to give my beloved Small & Blonde another makeover.

Some of you may remember me giving my little blog a make over before - if not you can read about it here - but this time I decided to take it a little further.

After spending the evening looking around at other blogs and their designs - and noting slightly green eyed just how gorgeous they all looked - I decided that I wanted to find a template created by someone to use for myself.

I am by no means any good with designs or anything computer related - trying to edit the simplest of HTML code sends my brain into a fuzz - so using a design created by someone else seemed the best way forward. However, as this would be the first time I've used a pre-made design, I didn't want to spend too much money.

After shopping around for a few hours, I stumbled across some designs on Etsy. Compared to  most layouts that I came across, which were around the £30 mark, this was an absolute bargain at £6!

If you like my design, it's from the Etsy shop Sweet Electric Design, which you can find by clicking here . There's around six designs available, all of which have a simple layout and are lovely. It took me ages to finally settle on the one I have now (the pink swayed it!).

I'd love to hear some feedback on the new layout of my blog, or if anyone has any hints or tips for finding lovely blog designs please let me know!

xxx

Top Ten Tag!

So I stumbled across a comment from the lovely TashEmily on my Autumn Winter New Look wishlist (which you can read by clicking here.. teehee cheeky). Within this comment was the mention of the fact that I'd been nominated to do the "Top Ten Tag".

I love being nominated to do different "tags" as it provides an excuse to write something a little different plus it allows me to interact with people from different blogs - which is always fun! 


So.. here we go! 

Rules: Copy and paste everything written in Bold - and state which is your favourite of the make-up items below. 

This Tag was created by Jessica Vannan at Pretty Chit Chat (Click here to view her blog.. It's amazing) 
I was tagged by TashEmily, the creator of A World Full of Wonders - if you havent already, check out her blog by clicking here. It's adorable! 
Finally, I would like to nominate Holly over at Empfire- again, you can visit her gorgeous blog by clicking here (after reading this first though of course haha)

Now most of the products I'm going to mention are the ones I'm currently using and therefore are my current favourites -  What I would consider to be my favourite product does change dependant on things such as weather, the occsasion and just generally how I'm feeling.. But anyway, enough of my rambling and back to the Tag!  

1. Foundation: 
I am currently loving the Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation. I have this in the shade 40 (light ivory) and find it provides a lovely coverage that is easily build-able. I also find a small amount of this product goes a relatively long way, which is perfect if you're trying to save some pennies!

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2. Powder: 
Now if I'm perfectly honest the power I use to set my foundation is not in anyway a pricey one. If you read my Face of the day, Lazy Sunday Make-up post (which you can read here if you like.. teehee oops) you'll know I use the MUA pressed powder. This powder is an absolute bargain at only £1 and does a pretty good job at keeping your make-up in place.

I'll admit, it isn't as great as some of the higher end powder, but for £1 you can't really ask for more! So this is definitely a current favourite.

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3. Concealer: 
My favourite concealer of the moment is definitely the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer (shock I know, this product is all over the Blogging and YouTube world). Now I wouldn't say I usually jump on product bandwagons, but when my previous concealer ran out *sobs quietly* I decided to finally give this product a try... It's safe to say I was not disappointed!

Rimmel's Wake Me Up concealer has made it's way into this list as I find it offers a perfect amount of cover up for any blemishes or dark circles - I've been able to test this out a fair bit this month as my skin has been preeeetty awful, so thanks skin!.


It's also perfect for those days where you either don't want, or can't be bothered with a full face of make-up.  

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4. Blusher: 5. Bronzer: 6. Highlighter
I've decided to combine numbers 4, 5 & 6 together as the Blusher, Bronzer and Highlighter I love comes as a palette, and I think it would be pretty boring to read about the same thing three times!

My current favourite Blush, Bronzer and Highlighter currently come from the Sleek Face Form kit. I adore this palette and it is definitely a staple within my make-up collection.

The bronzer offers a beautifully pigmented shade for contouring that isn't too dark and can be easily blended. In addition to this, Sleek's highlighter compliments the bronzer perfectly when highlighting  areas of the face such as the bridge of your nose or upper cheeks.

Finally, I find the blusher in this palette offers just the right amount of colour to my cheeks. It adds a light pinky colour - which I add to the apples of my cheeks - whilst avoiding looking either strangley sunburnt or just plain sweaty - eew.


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7. Mascara:
My current favourite mascara is one by the Boots brand No7. Since working everyday I don't want to use anything to heavy duty on my eyelashes - would probably look a tad unprofessional - so I've been using this as it offers a lovely natural look whilst still defining my eyelashes.

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8: Eye Shadow: 

Hmmm I've been thinking and thinking about this, and whilst there are eye shadows that I love, I'm not really wearing any at the moment so I don't think it would be fair to include something as a "favourite" that I'm not actually using much!

I am looking to invest in some of the eyes shadow sticks soon, so I may write a review!

9: Brows: 
I've recently started having my eye-brows tinted now at a salon when I have them waxed/threaded (Ouch) so I'm not sure if I can count this as a "favourite"... Although I have loved having tinted eyebrows. It was a slight shock at first - as I have blonde hair and the dye came up VERY dark, but over the course a few days it's began to fade, thank-god! I've found it a lot easier to maintain my eye-brows since having them tinted as they're pretty much always in shape.. All I do in the mornings now is comb them into shape!

I do need to invest in some setting gel though, as having darker eyebrows now means it's alot more noticeable when certain hairs go AWOL!

However, when the eyebrow dye has faded or when I decide to just have them waxed only - I use Rimmel's Professional Eyebrow Pencil in shade 002 - Hazel to add a little more shape and definition to my eyebrows.

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10: Lip Product: 
My current favourite lip product comes from Rimmel's Kate Moss lipstick range. I brought one of these lipsticks recently in the shade 08 for my graduation ceremony.

This shade is a lovely dark Nude which is perfect for when you don't want a bright colour on your lips, but still want a little something. I also think this lipstick will be perfect for the upcoming Autumn/Winter months when paired with some brighter coloured clothing or bolder eye-makeup!

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I hope you've enjoyed this little insight into my make-up collection!
If anyone has any recommendations for any products let me know, I'm always looking for an excuse to buy new make-up!

xxx

Autumn/Winter wishlist - New Look

As the darker nights and chillier days have began, I can't help but start looking at the Autumn-winter clothes and accessories that have come out in the shops.

Since my online shopping baskets have started to grow quite a lot *oops* I decided put together some wishlist blog posts.

To start is New Look.

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If you like any of these items, each is linked below.

Blanket wrap cardigan - £19.99
Reindeer Jumper - £22.99
Faux Fur Head Warmer - £7.99
Skinny Acid Wash Jeans - £22.99
Chelsea Boots - £24.99
Coat - £49.99 (A little on the pricey side but I think this is worth for an item that you can keep)
Navy Check Skort - £17,99
Faux Fur Collar - £9.99
Monochrome Trousers - £14.99


New Look has some lovely items available at the moment which I think will be perfect for Autumn and Winter.

xxx



Hello October




First  off... where has this year gone?! I'm sure the last time I checked my calendar it was the beginning of Summer and now all of a sudden we're being thrown full force into Autumn! Before we know it (forgive me because I'm going to mention the C word already...) Christmas will be here!
I'll admit that I love summer.. the lighter evenings, heat and general happiness that it seems to bring. But  this year I am so ready for the colder months.

Since summer started to vanish throughout September, it seemed that we were stuck with the awkward in-between weather. The weather where it's chilly in the morning - so you put on a jacket - but a few hours later it's crazy warm again and then you're stuck with the dilemma of what to do with the jacket.. Or it seems sunny out, so you happily leave the house in a lovely summery dress only for it to be deceivingly chilly out (yes this did happen to me recently, and I'm still slightly bitter about it, can you tell? Haha).

I like to know where I stand with the weather so I'm so excited for it too get chillier and today was the first day that when leaving work, even in my leather jacket, I felt a chill as I walked... and I was happy about it! Despite it being damp and grey outside from the rain (and the fact I'd just finished a loooong day in the office) I was so happy to feel the first chilly breeze of Autumn. 
As I walked home, I started thinking about my winter boots, coats and accessories.. (along with which shops I could look in to find them... oops) and felt so excited!

PLUS with it being October that means Halloween is only a few weeks away (Yay for an excuse to whip out the fake blood!)... firework night will follow and then (sorry I'm going to say it again) it's Christmas.. the BEST time of the year!

So despite being a a girl who loves the summer (cant help but think of Olaf there singing away about summer.. oh Frozen) and the fact that I'm sure come January I'll be longing for the warmer times ahead- I am very happy to see the start of some chilly months! 

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If anyone has any Autumy posts.. let me know, I'd love to read them and feel nice and cosy! 

xxx


Class of 2014 - Graduation


On Monday, after many many months of waiting, the day of my Graduation finally arrived!

For anyone who doesn't know, I finished studying at university after three amazing years in June and was awarded a 2:1 Bachelor or Arts Degree with Honours in Events Management from The University of Birmingham. This technically means I can put letters after my name now .. Samantha Brooks B.A (Hons) - but despite the temptation, I don't do this haha! 

Most of my friends had their graduation ceremonies a few months ago, so it felt like such a long wait having ours towards the end of September... However despite the wait, it's safe to say it was well worth it. 

The day was filled with celebrations with family and friends and was honest amazing.. To document this I  really wanted to write a post, so in a few months or years I have something to look back on. 

Cheeky photo of myself to start...  

And here are a few of my favourite photos from the day... 


My lovely house-mates / some of my best friends
 Family

Me and Ollie x
The classic cap through with one of my closets
course-mates

Walking across the stage - I saw my family and was meant
to wave, however I was so nervous and concentrating
on walking so much that I ended up clapping and
pulling this strange face haha...



Another one of my dearest best friends
(I love how happy the lady in the background looks)

Another classic cap throwing moment

Ahhh we look so happy! 

Just shaking hands with the dean.. Don't mind me

Cute cute cute 



These are just a few of my favourite photos... I had to limit myself otherwise I'd be posting photos all night! 

For anyone who's interested here's a better photo of the outfit I chose (without the gown and cap)...

Dress: Forever 21
Shoes: New Look
Nail Varnish: Barry M, Matte Nail Paint in shade Espresso


Although pretty scary at times (I've never been as nervous as I was walking across that stage, especially in heels!)... Graduation was honestly the BEST day ever! It was so lovely to see all my family, friends and friend's families so happy and proud of each other. 

After working so hard for three years this was the perfect way to finish and celebrate the time we spent at university. Well done Class of 2014. 

If anyone has written a post about graduation - let me know, I'd love to read it :) 

xxx



Family Gifts.

Wow... It feels like I haven't written a blog post in aaaaages! Well, in the blogging world 10 days is a long time, especially when some people write posts daily! 

I've been super busy with work this week as I was coming to the end of my probation period (which for those who don't know is basically a time where your employer tests to see if you're going to be good at the job and usually lasts for a couple of months) and I had to do a presentation in front of some of the bosses *eek* which was terrifying! So that was really taking up a lot of my time over the last week or so, but it was all worth it as I was informed after the presentation that they'd like to offer me a full time position within the company... *cheers happily*.

Anyway - less about my boring work life and back to the fun stuff.. Presents!



After my pay cheque came in last month I decided to treat my family to a few little gifts as they've always supported throughout university - so now I have a few pennies to my name, it seemed the perfect opportunity to say a little thank-you.


First things first.. My step-dad's gifts:




Now these are technically late Birthday presents as I couldn't get back for my step-dad's birthday a few weeks back. He's a big football fan, loves dark Chocolate and the odd beer after a long week at work so I made sure I incorporated each of these things into his presents. If you're interested in Football or know someone who is, I purchased the "The Football Pocket Bible" from eBay for around £4. This is a bargain considering it retails for around the £10 mark on Asos.

The beer came from Tesco for about £2, however you can also find it on the Hobgoblin website here (only if you're over 18 of course).... and finally the chocolate came from Poundland.. Now I was a little sceptical as cheap chocolate isn't nice tasting chocolate, however I purchased the milk chocolate version of this for myself *naughty* and it actually tasted really nice!

 Mum's gift:


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As my family live around an hours journey away from me, I speak with my mum regularly on the phone. Around a week ago she told me about a skirt she'd recently purchased from Marks and Spencers in red, however she'd also liked the yellow version. I had a look on the website whilst we were on the phone and described it to see if it was the same - as she said it was, without her knowing I ordered to my local store ready to surprise her with when she visits Monday.

This is a lovely high-waisted skirt which, as you can see from the photo, would be lovely with (or without) tights throughout the autumn and winter months. If this colour isn't for you, that's fine as the skirt comes in six colours including red, black and pink. This retails for £25 and as it's from Marks and Spencer's will undoubtedly be great quality.

If you want to have a look at the other colours or buy it for yourself click here to visit the M&S website.



A gift for my sister:

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Now my sister isn't the easiest person to shop for... However she is a huge fan of VW Camper vans, so when I saw this I couldn't resist buying it for her (Hopefully she isn't reading this post...). I

This blanket was a bargain at only £5 from ebay and is so soft and has lovely bright camper van pictures all over. It's also available with different prints ranging from leopard to flowers to a lovely pink tartan print (I promise it looks nicer than it sounds).

If you'd like to purchase this for yourself you can click here to be taken to an eBay site that currently has them in stock. I'm very tempted to buy a few of the designs ready for the chilly winter nights!


Last but not least.. My lovely Nan:



I'll admit that I struggled to think of something for my nan - I didn't want to get her the usual bath bits and bobs which (even though are lovely) is something my nan receives a lot and doesn't always use up.

This is a Baylis & Harding candle in the scent Peony, white tea and jasmine. I purchased this from Tesco for £6, which I think is pretty reasonable for a scented candle of this size. I've had a look on both the Tesco and Baylis & Harding website but unfortunately can't seem to find this anywhere. However if you want to see any other products from Baylis & Harding click here to go to their website, the hand wash is lovely - or I'm sure your local Tesco will stock this.

I decided to get my Nan this scented candle that would make her flat nice on cosy through the winter months - who doesn't love a good candle?!

I haven't been able to see my family in a few months (especially my nan *cries inside a little*) so I can't wait to give these gifts to them on Monday when they come to visit for my Graduation *eeeeek*. I'm planning to write a post about my Graduation ceremony and the day - so please all wish me luck that I don't trip in front of everyone whilst walking on stage! Haha.

xxx