Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2014 Bucket List

I've been seeing bucket lists do the rounds a little bit as you'd naturally expect at this time of year and have always wanted to do one myself but somehow have never got round to it.
14 is my lucky number so I've always had a feeling 2014 would be a good year for me? *fingers crossed* ...I guess we'll soon see.
So anyways cutting to the point here's some things id like to do/achieve over the next 12 months:

1) Move to a house - DONE...we moved in January 17th! :)
2) Improve my weight loss & fitness determination
3) Enjoy every moment of our 2 week holiday to Thailand - we had the TIME OF OUR LIVES! Best holiday ever!!!
4) Make effort to see more of my girlfriends
5) Become better with money
6) Make time for more date nights with my boyfriend
7) Get a King Charles spaniel puppy - PUURCHASED...he is the cutest thing i have ever seen! You can read an update on our little Marley Moo here
8) To get a fringe cut in again & give it a better try
9) Lose 50lb by the end of 2014
10) Be more patient with my family, in particular my mum
11) To use up the products I have before buying new ones to try
12) Travel to Las Vegas - GOING I'm flying out with work on October 31st...cue the Halloween partyyyy!!
13) Take time to appreciate the good things in my life
14) Laugh a little every day
15) To cook from scratch more often
16) Get into a blogging routine with more regular posts
17) Buy a Yankee candle for every room in the house
18) To expand my measly collection of MAC lipsticks - umm...world duty free? Would have been rude not to
19) To keep on top of the housework 
20) To make sure my boyfriend, friends and family know how important they are to me each and every day. Life is too short and you don't get a second chance. No regrets!!

Have you ever written a bucket list? What are your hopes & ambitions for 2014?
I'd love to hear about them, if you've written any similar posts be sure to link me

Yankee Christmas Candles

Pretty generally to be honest i am totally and utterly obcessed with all things Yankee Candle - especially at this time of year when all the devine Christmas scents start popping up.
When i was little we were lucky enough to holiday in America a lot of the time so i can only think the addiction began then. I remember loving sniffing my way round the Yankee Candle & Bath & Bodyworks stores everytime we went to the mall.

This year the following New Christmas scents have been released:

I am absolutely besotted with Merry Marshmallow and Snowflake Cookie and cannot wait to snap these up in the sales *fingers crossed*.
Merry Marshmallow is a deliciously mixture of marshmellows and vanilla and really does smell just like you are sitting around the campfire melting marshmellows.
Snowflake cookie is a lush combination of freshly baked cookies and icing sugar - yum!

Yankee Candle also have Christmas scents from previous years - Cranberry Ice, Christmas Cookie, Christmas Eve, Red Apple Wreath, Sparkling Cinnamon and Sugared Apple.

In my opinion Yankee are simply the best candles around, they really do provide a scent for everybody, smell absolutely devine and burn for hours and hours. Plus the glass jars look classy and would fit in with any decor you may have.

All these fantastic scents can be found at yankeecandle.co.uk, in Clinton Cards stores and in many department stores.
They can be found in all shapes and sizes starting at just £1.25 for tarts.

Do you have any Yankee Candles? What are your favourite scents?
I'd love to hear from you

Friday, 20 December 2013

Seventeen Brow's That Brow Kit

For a while now ive been trying everything in my power to get my hands on one of the illusive MUA Brow Kits which are simply sold out absolutely everywhere! Soo i was thrilled to see that if you spend £8 on Seventeen makeup in Boots at the moment you get their brow kit (worth £6) for absolutely nothing! Got to love a freebie!
I've been wanting to try out Seventeen's Stay Time foundation (review to follow shortly) for a while now so I was already looking to buy that so I simply bumped up my spend with a nice clear top coat nail polish for £2.99 as I seem to have run out of all of my top coats at the moment and keep forgetting to pick one up.
I was thrilled to see this little kit included everything i wanted in the MUA one...and more!

The packaging is so sleek and shiny I was intstantly drawn in like the magpie I am. It doesn't take much trust me!
To be honest i think this brow kit contains absolutely everything you could need to transform your brows completely. There does seems to only be one shade available which isnt ideal but i am pretty fair and its absolutely fine on me so if you were after a darker brow you could definitely build the colour.

The brow kit contains: a wax, powder, highlighter, mini pencil and mini brush.
They also include a handy hints & tips card to assist any nervous brow artists. I think this is a great idea and it's definitely something i would have appreciated the first time i filled my brows in.

I know the kit doesn't come with mini tweezers like some brow kits do but lets face it, that's probably the one thing you already own if you're particular about your eyebrows and it's always better to have slanted tweezers, which the ones included in little kits very rarely are.

I really do love this kit and have been using it daily since I bought it.
Which brow kits do you recommend?

Tesco Diets Weeks 2 & 3 (and probably 4)

So this little update is proving pretty pointless as i have been very bad this week and gone totally off track! ...and it was only week 2! (what is wrong with me).
I've been really busy catching up with friends before Christmas and have had my mum's, nan's and boyfriend's birthdays where we've eaten out so its been abit tricky to stick with the diet.

Weight: Luckily i haven't put anything on and my weight has stayed the same as last week.
This week = 0lbs
Total = -3lbs
Food: Some of the meal options that I have managed to stick to this week were things like Greek Yoghurt with fruit and toast for breakfast. Prawn sandwiches and chicken & avocado wraps for lunch and jacket potato or salads for dinner. Tesco diets also include a pretty yummy curry option most weeks from the looks of my plan so far. This week I had a chicken Bhuna which isnt something id normally pick but it was delicious.
Exercise: This week I haven't exercised as much as I should, although I did spend hours walking around London yesterday and did a couple of laps of Winter Wonderland so im sure that must count. My fitness plan had me down for 3 cardio sessions again, cross-trainer, running and walking - all on separate days. The days in between were made up of toning exercises again but I have to admit I haven't stuck to those at all this week *bad bad slap on the wrist*
Obviously with Christmas in just 5 days!!! actually can't believe how quickly its come round, I'm not going to be sticking to plan this week. I really am going to try and and get back on track from the 27th of December. We don't have any massive plans for New Year as my boyfriend will be working until around 10pm :( so a boozy night isnt on the cards. Why wait until 1st Jan to start again, there's no time like the present eh?
Are you on a weight loss mission at the moment? I'd love to hear how you plan to deal with the Christmas period?

Sunday, 15 December 2013

This or That Tag

I've seen this little tag floating around for a while now and couldn't help but get involved. I'm naturally a very indecisive person so this tag has really made me think... haha
Blush or Bronzer?  Bronzer
Lip gloss or Lipstick? Lipstick
Eyeliner or Mascara? Mascara
Foundation or Concealer? Foundation
Neutral or colour eyeshadow? Neutral
Pressed or loose eye shadows? Pressed
Brushes or Sponges? Brushes
Essie or China Glaze? Essie
Long or short? Long
Acrylic or natural? ooh tough one i have natural at the moment but think i prefer the look of acrylics
Brights or Darks? Brights
Perfume of Body Splash? Perfume
Lotion or Body Butter? Body Butter
Body Wash or Soap? Body Wash
Lush or other company? Other company
Jeans or Sweat Pants? Sweat pants
Long sleeves or short? Long
Dresses or skirts? Dresses
Stripes or Plaid? Plaid
Sandals or Flip Flops? Sandals
Scarves or Hats? Hats
Studs or Dangly Earrings? Dangly
Necklaces or Bracelets? Bracelets
Heels or Flats? Heels
Cowboy boots or Riding boots? Riding boots
Jacket or hoody? Hoody
Abercrombie or Hollister? Abercrombie
Curly or Straight? Curly
Bun or Ponytail? Bun
Bobby Pins or Butterfly clips? Bobby Pins
Hair Spray or Gel? Hairspray
Long or short? Long
Side sweep bangs or full bangs? Full
Up or down? Down
Rain or Shine? Shine
Summer or Winter? Summer
Fall or Spring? Spring
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
I tag you all to give This or That a go, would love to read your answers

Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas Bargains #3

Here's my week 3 edition of cheap Christmas bargains for you all.....

1) Soap & Glory "The Yule Monty" set £27 RRP £60 online or in-store
Contains: Hand Food hand cream 125ml, Sugar Crush body wash 500ml, The Righteous Butter body butter 300ml, Peaches & Clean cleanser 200ml, Heel Genius foot cream 125ml, Butter Yourself body lotion 500ml, The Scrub of Your Life body buffer 200ml, Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss 10ml and Thick and Fast Super Volume Mascara 10ml.
All of these products come in a gorgeous limited edition Jonathan Saunders bag as well. If you bought all these bits separately it would set you back over £70 so this really is such a great deal. For a sneak peak at a couple of the products you can read my review on Hand Food & Heel Genius here.
Die hard fans literally wait for this set every year so it sells out so so quickly.
Deal started today & will run until stocks run out so get in quick!!

2) £75 Kindle Fire RRP £99 with voucher
This fab deal lets you get £24 off a refurbished Kindle Fire. Don't let the word refurbished put you off if you've been looking to get an e-reader or tablet. It still comes in original box with the same 1 year warranty as brand new ones do.
You've got until Weds 18th to get the voucher and then have to use by 23:59 on Saturday 21st December.

3) £10 Pierre Darcys Champagne at Asda
As if we needed an excuse to stock up on cheap bubbly? This little beaut is reduced to £10 from £24 until January 3rd and best of all its a walk in offer, no fiddling about with little vouchers or waiting for delivery. Max. 6 bottles per person (boo!)
Champagne definitely only seems to get reduced at Christmas or around Valentines so its definitely worth bulk buying if you're a lover of the finer things.
Available online and in-store

4) 25% off everything at Thortons online with code LMCS
If you've still got a couple of Christmas presents to buy, maybe secret santa? Or that awkward somebody that you just don't know what to get? Well chocolate is the answer. Everybody loves chocolate, you really can't go wrong. Especially when Thorntons have this show-stopping discount :)
Can be used until Sunday 15th December

That's about it for today boys and girls, hope you've all enjoyed and found these dealshelpful.

Will you be using any of these codes? I'd love to hear what you bought if you do?
Drop me a comment below or tweet me @SparkleBugxx

MUA Eyeshadow Trio in Smoke Screen

Morning dolls,
Sorry my posts have been a little "few & far between" recently, we're having such chaos trying to find a house to move to which you can read all about here if you missed it!
This morning i've got a little eyeshadow review for you, the MUA Eyeshadow Trio in Smoke Screen. As the name suggests this is a cute little set of three eyeshadows that can be used to create the perfect smokey eye.
Image: Superdrug
I really like eyeshadow trios as you get the option of using any of the three shades on their own or blending them together to create the ultimate smokey look. I think they are perfect for people who aren't confident mixing shades together and trying out new looks because the lovely people at MUA have already selected three shades that look fab together for you! No thought necessary! Most eyeshadow trio sets also include a little applicator which is always handy to have. I found in the past that these are usually very poor quality and easily fall apart - Collection 2000 i'm looking at you! But this one really doesn't seem to be too bad and as i said its always useful to have in the compact if you don't have a brush with you and don't want to get your fingers messy (especially with these dark colours).

This set contains a white with a slight pearl tint to it, a medium grey with sparkles running through it and a dark charcoal gray again with sparkles (perfect for this time of year!). I'm really impressed with the pigmentation of all three shades, all swatches were only one swipe of my eyeshadow brush and definitely pick up a decent amount of product and colour. I think to be honest though i was a little disappointed with the similarity between the two grey shades. They really are very similar and personally i definitely would have preferred a lighter more silver/grey shade.

MUA have 7 variations of eyeshadow trios and they retail at £2.50 which i think is a total bargain for 3 reasonably good quality eyeshadows. The other shades available are Innocence, Chocolate Box, Eden, Blue Babe, Passion & Pink Sorbet and you can find them online at the MUA website here. Some are even half price at £1.25 at the moment! I really want to try chocolate box and pink sorbet
Have you tried any of the MUA eyeshadow trio sets?
I'd love to hear from you as always, leave a comment below or you can tweet me @SparkleBugxx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Does house hunting need to be so stressful?

I'm so sorry for being so rubbish on the posting front at the moment, we are trying desperately to find a new house to move into in the next couple of week and its got me thinking about just how stressful the whole situation is!!
To cut a long story short we currently live in a gorgeous 1-bed new build flat but want somewhere bigger with our own garden so we will hopefully be able to have pets & start our own family in the future. Our years contract is up in January and we were under the impression that we would be staying on a month-by-month basis after that and had planned to moved after our holiday to Thailand in April. But (...always got to be a but!) our landlord surprised us last week by saying we have to sign for another year if we want to stay, which we're not keen to do, so we've found ourselves unexpectedly searching for somewhere to live 2 weeks before Christmas and struggling to come up with the deposit for a new place. Stress stress stress!!!

I'm a super worrier at the best of times but this is just practically pushing me over the edge! We have until Christmas eve to give our landlord our notice and find somewhere we like but of course sods law there is just nowhere. Not gonna lie i'm panicking just a little bit now :(

Everything about house-hunting just seems so stressful! First finding places that you like to begin with? Then we found the perfect house but it was already under offer by the time we got in touch with the agents? Now there's so-so houses but the kitchens too small? Or there's no white goods = more money? Or there's a horrible garden? Or they won't let us have pets?
I just can't decide if i'm the fussiest person ever or if we should be willing to compromise on some of our "must-haves".

Have any my readers got any experience house hunting on a time limit?
I'd love to hear any thoughts or advice from anyone?

Friday, 6 December 2013

Tesco Diets Week 1

So i'm officially 1 week into my specially customised Tesco Diets plan and thought i'd give you a little update.
Weight: My weigh in day has somehow turned out to be a Thursday so i jumped on the scales last night and was thrilled to see i've lost 3lbs!! I'm aiming for a healthy gradual weight loss of 2lbs a week so im really really pleased with myself for losing 3lbs in the first week...especially as if im honest I havent stuck to the plan 100%, maybe 98% but i've had a pretty stressful week and have treated myself to some naughty things to cheer myself up.
Food: I've really enjoyed this weeks meal plan and havent been starving hungry like i expected to be. Breakfast has been something similar to what i'd already eat anyway like eggs on toast with a glass of orange juice and some fruit or weetabix with toast, honey and a glass of milk. Tasty and so easy to grab on the go meaning i dont have to get up extra early to cook anything, which is something i always struggle with. Lunches have been things like low calorie soup with bread and fruit, chicken salad sandwich with fruit and popcorn or beans on toast. Dinner has been really yummy options like breaded cod & reduced fat chips, tuna pasta, chicken sausages beans & mash & veggie curry with rice and onion bhajis.
I was expecting to have to change my food choices all together but i've really noticed the plan isnt that different to how i ate to begin with. Just without so many treats and lots more fruit and veg. I've really noticed improvement in my skin from drinking lots of water and eating lots of fruit - which ive always loved anyway.
Exercise: I also signed up for the fitness section of the Tesco diet plan as its only £1 a week so i thought i'd give it a go. I must say i've really enjoyed my workouts this week. My plan has set me to do cardio 3 days a week, weights 3 days a week and 1 rest day (which is definitely fine with me and well-looked forward to tomorrow). I've had to do 15mins on the cross trainer twice and 15 mins on the bike as my cardio which i was worried wouldnt be enough to actually do anything so i tried to do a little on interval running on the treadmill as well, but to be honest it obviously has worked because ive lost weight. On weight days i've been doing all sorts of different exercises, mixing it up each day, squats, lunges, ab work, arm exercises with dumbbells & ive definitely felt it the next day. I've really enjoyed having my plan already worked out for me, i just need to turn on the ipad and go rather than standing around the gym trying to figure out what to do next like i normally would.
Anyway im off to the gym now for my 3rd cardio session of the week (that should have been yesterday! *slapped wrist*)
Have you had any success with diet plans? I'd love to hear any tips?

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas Bargains #2

It's that time of the week again, Christmas bargain day....here are my top picks from this week to help save you a bit of cash on pressies:
1) 15% off UGGS, Converse & Havaianas at RubberSole online with code XMAS49
Wish i'd known about this code earlier because i was set on getting some converse for my brother for Christmas but in the end decided they were too expensive and decided on something else. There is a minimum spend of £85 to get the discount but i could have easily treated myself to some UGGS while i was there :)
Until Sun 8th December
2) 15% off ASOS with Vouchercodes.co.uk
This code will get you 15% off pretty much everything at ASOS, apart from sale products and some particularly high end brands.
Until 23:59 Sat 7th December

3) Body Shop 50% of 4 products, 40% off 3 products & 30% off 2 products with code CYBER online
Another great deal from The Body Shop this week with massive savings to be had if you're after a few products. In fact its probably worth popping a few extras in your basket even if you dont need them just to get the 50% savings.
This code expires today (Weds 4th December)
4) Buy a £25 Christmas Tree & get a £20 voucher to spend on anything at IKEA
If any of you aren't quite as eager with your Christmas decorations as I am then this is a fantastic deal. It hasnt actually started yet but will running from Friday. All you have to do is pick up a £25 Christmas tree instore at IKEA - and lets face it that's an amazing price for a real tree anyway - and you get a free £20 voucher to spend on anything you like instore.
This offer is running from 6-22 December (real trees not available at IKEA Croydon or Bristol)
5) 20% off all toys at Kiddicare.com with this code
Great offer if you are looking to buy some pricier toys for your kids this Christmas. The code isn't available until tomorrow (Weds 4th December) at 10am and it will display for 24hrs only so make sure you're quick.
24hrs only from Weds 4th December 10am
Will you be snapping up any of these deals?

I'm A Beauty Blogger Get Me Out of Here Tag

With the I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here final coming up, i couldnt help myself but finally get involved in this little tag which the lovely ladies at Next Route Style came up with. Really really great idea girls!
There's not really any point denying it, i am a complete reality-tv-a-holic. There we are i said it!! You name it i watch it...The Only Way is Essex, Made In Chelsea, Big Brother, Geordie Shore, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Valleys, X Factor....i love them all! I'm A Celebrity is definitely one of my favourites and i think its great seeing celebritys squirm in an uncomfortable environment and situations that we'd never normally see them in. This year ive been watching every day and have wanted Joey to win right from the start. Bless him, got to love him!
You can only take ONE product into the jungle (aka your luxury item). What would you choose and why?
I think this would have to be my Fake Bake or Laurens Way fake tan. My ginger skin would not like the Australian weather very much and i wouldnt want to look pale & interesting for too long.
What would be your main pre jungle worry?
Definitely 10000% the spiders. Or the thought of any creepy crawlies going up my nose or in my ears! Vom!
You only have five minutes to get ready before going into the jungle, what would be your quick beauty routine?
Well im sure this wouldnt happen because i would make sure i had all the time in the wooorld to sort myself out, but if it had to be a quick fix I think I'd go for a tinted moisturiser base because foundation would be bound to melt in the heat, a quick bronze, mascara and a statement lippy - maybe in a coral shade? ...Oh and a generous spritz of Coco Mademoiselle perfume, my fav.
Last year we saw Helen Flanagan wearing her hair in a top bun. What would be your signature hairstyle?
Im a big fan of messy buns and tend to just pile my hair on top of my head at the beach or when i sleep so id probably go for that. Or easy plaits, especially along my hair line.
For moral support, which female celebrity would you like to be in the jungle with you?
At the minute im a little bit obcessed with Michelle Keegan so im gonna go with her. She just seems so lovely & down to earth.
Everyone's given a role in the camp. What lifestyle skill would you bring to the jungle?
I'd probably keep everyone laughing and entertained. I dont even mean to but i tend to do silly things that everyone else find hilarious!!
What one thing about being a beauty blogger somestimes makes you want to scream 'Get Me Out of Here'?
Definitely always being broke because i just can't resist buying new products! haha
Challenge - This is a once in a life time opportunity. You're up for a trial to face your fears or try something new, what would you chose to do and why?
I'd definitely want to try the sky dive out of the planes. Its something i would love to do but know i would be so so scared when it came to it so would definitely need some encouragement and feeling that id be letting the team down if i backed out would spur me on!
I tag you all to give this a try, let me know if you do - I'd love to ready your answers
Who do you want to win I'm A Celebrity this year?

Monday, 2 December 2013

Some December Instagram fun

I love taking photos and am known within my group of friends for it. You name a past event or memory & guaranteed I will have photographic evidence of it. I just think photos are the best way to remember things forever and it's so nice looking back over old photos and reminiscing.
Courtesy of the gorgeous Hayley at Sparkles & Stretchmarks and Megan at Maybe It's Megan Leigh I came across these two December photo challenges on Instagram yesterday...

I've tried to take part in a couple of monthly photo challenges before but always seem to get distracted, somehow miss a day and never complete one. Sooo this month is going to be the month! Get involved in the festive photo fun...

Have you taken part in any photo challenges before? Do you have any tips for sticking with it?

Friday, 29 November 2013

Tesco Diets...The Beginning

Those of you that regularly read my blog will know i am always on a mission to lose weight and over the years have tried every diet going. Ive come to the conclusion that i just dont have very good will power, am easily led a-stray (did somebody say Chinese takeaway?) and if i dont see results impossibly quickly i think its not working and give up! Silly i know!
My boyfriend and i have booked to go to Thailand in April, which is sneaking up on me much quicker than i expected, and i would definitely like to feel a little bit better about myself in a bikini (or swimsuit as it is at the moment) before then.
This week i have rejoined Tesco Diets which as you may have guessed is run by the well known supermarket chain. It is an online programme which provides personlised healthy diet plans, immediate expert support, community forums and the added option of a fitness plan all for a small monthly fee. While it is similar to many other diet plans available out there i really like Tesco because they have over 15 eating plan options such as gluten free, vegetarian, high fibre, low carb, low fat, light choices etc.. so they really do tailor everything especially for each individuals requirements. You select foods you do and don't like and what you are hoping to achieve and Tesco will recommend the plan best suited to your needs.
My absolute favourite feature of the Tesco Diet programme is that not only do they provide you with a shopping list so you know what to buy to enable you to follow the healthy eating plan, but you can also choose to be redirected straight to the Tesco groceries online food shopping page and the items are automatically added to your basket ready for home delivery - this may seem simple but it save so much time on other diet plans when you have to go through and write all this out & pick it out yourself.

I've got my food shopping being delivered tonight all ready to start the plan bright and early tomorrow. I've got 19 weeks until my holiday so im hoping with a steady 2lbs a week weight loss i can lose 2 & a half stone by then! Fingers crossed!!
Hopefully this will become a weekly series and i can keep you all updated on my process. And obviously please tell me off if i fall off the wagon too much

Have you tried any Tesco or any other diet plans?
Any tips would be really welcome? :)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Christmas Bargains #1

Around Christmas time a lot of our favourite beauty & fashion brands come out with fabulous savings and discounts so I thought it would be a good idea to combine some of my favourites into a weekly post for any of you that aren't aware. Lots of these would make perfect Christmas gifts for your loved ones, or even a cheeky early Christmas pressie for yourself ;)
1) Sanctuary Pamper Tin - £19 (RRP £40) in Boots stores & online
I know the Sanctuary brand is always a winner with the women in my family. This pamper tin is full of a great selection of products, perfect if you fancy a little more luxury than your standard drugstore brand giftsets.
Contains: Body Wash (250ml), Body Lotion (250ml), Spa skin body polisher, Radiance exfoliater o(100ml), Fresh faced purifying wash (140ml), Spa facial headband, Pumice foot scrub (50ml), Moisture rich foot butter (50ml) and Spa pedicure foot file
Until Thurs 28th Nov (tomorrow)
2) 10% off all Beauty & Fragrance online at Debenhems (including Benefit gift sets)
I for one absolutely adore the Benefit gift sets! I think they are such good value for money even full price and give you the chance to try out mini versions of so many products before you commit to paying full price for anything. So whenever they are discounted anywhere I really try to snap them up.
A few of the sets on offer at the moment are: Cabana Glamour, Whole lotta lovin', Sugarlicious, The Bronze of Champions, Smokin' Eyes, Tropicoral, How to Look the Best at Everything.
Ranging from £9.33-£40.05
Obviously plenty of other brands are available also
Until Sun 1st Dec
3) The Body Shop's Pamper Collection £30 (RRP £60) online with promotion code SANTA

For £30 you really can't go wrong with all these great Body Shop products. A couple of body butters on their own would normal add up to that pretty easily. The contents of this little gem are worth £87! Contains: Coconut body butter (200ml), Coconut body scrub (200ml), Vitamin E moisture cream (50ml), Almond hand cream (100ml), Eye definer black (1.25g), Shea eau de toilette (30ml), Ceramic oil burner, Lavender home fragrance oil (10ml), Peppermint foot lotion (250ml), Bag for life       Until 09:59 tomorrow morning so snap this up quick!

4) Very rare 20% off Selfridges in-store (with voucher or online with promotion code SELF2013

Selfridges hardly ever have deals so if you've been holding back & waiting to make a big purchase definitely take advance of this. I'm thinking of treating myself to a Michael Kors Rose Gold watch that I've had my eye on forever and would be saving over £50!!
Deal runs Thurs 28th Nov to Sun 1 Dec 

5) House of Fraser Toy Clearance online and in-store

Online at House of Fraser you can find toys with up to 75% off at the moment.
There's a huge selection ranging from 89p to £107.99
There doesn't seem to be an end date for this deal so I'm assuming it will be as long as stocks last.

 So there's my top 5 picks for this week. Have you come across any Christmas bargains?


Monday, 25 November 2013

Weekend wandering - Cars, Christmas shopping and Babies

This weekend was a pretty busy one! Saturday morning we had to get up early (something im never happy to do!) & pick my car up from the garage. She's been very poorly over the last week and had to have an expensive oxygen sensor replaced so i was happy to have the naughty little car back!! You don't realise how convenient it is to just jump in the car & head to the shops or how much you rely on it until something happens.

As we were already up & about early on a Saturday, which is a rare thing, we thought we'd make the most of it and get a full days Christmas shopping in at Bluewater. The shopping centre is around 30-40 minutes from us in the car and we go there a lot! I just think Bluewater has every shop you could think of (apart from Primark so if we need a cheap run we tend to go a little further to Lakeside or Westfield Stratford City). The Christmas lights have been put up since we last came and the whole centre just  looks so pretty & Christmassy - i love it!
images: Heart FM & flickriver.com
We only really needed to buy a couple more presents because this year i've been super organised and we're pretty much done but i still love looking round at all the gift sets and Christmas products that all the shops bring out. I picked up a couple of the special Christmas edition Lush products for my auntie - Golden Wonder bath bomb and Snowman bubble bar which both look amazing and i can't wait to see what she makes of them. I think im definitely going to have to go back & stock up on some of the Christmas products for myself!! The picture really doesnt do Golden Wonder justice, it is so so glittery and didnt come off my fingers for ages after i popped it in the bag.

Then it was a couple of not so interesting "Grandad presents" from Marks & Spencer and they had an added 20% off this weekend which was a nice surprise. And then on to maybe my favourite shop at Bluewater, and relatively new I think because I have definitely only noticed it the last few times ive been, The Yankee Candle shop!! There's no other way to put it, i am simply & uttery obcessed with Yankee Candles. They smell absolutely incredible, there are so many amazing flavours to choose from (especially at Christmas time), look so stylish in their glass jars and they burn foreveeeer.
If any of you haven't ever purchased a Yankee Candle you really really really need at least one in your life. At the moment they are selling so many delightful Christmas treats and gift sets, some really discounted and more reasonably priced than normal. Christmas flavours include: Merry Marshmellow, Sugared Apple, Christmas Memories, Christmas Eve, Christmas Cookie, Sparkling Cinnamon and many more, you can check them out here. Grant managed to get a large Sparkling Cinnamon jar for his mum for Christmas for just £15.99 - total bargain!

On Sunday i drove up to Essex for a friends baby shower. I've only been to a couple of these as i think they're a relatively new thing over here, much bigger in America. I do think baby showers are a really nice idea though, why should we have to have a reason to get together with friends and share your friend's excitement that their little bundle of joy will be arriving soon? I know some people think they are cheeky and all about the presents but to be honest if you are close enough with the expectant mum to be invited to the shower then you probably would have brought the new baby a little gift anyway wouldnt you? The new mummy-to-be probably won't have time to catch up with all their friends at once for a while so baby showers are great for this. Plus all the game & finger food. What's not to love really?

Top: Some of the brill games at the shower, my friends sister did such a fab job arranging the whole thing
Bottom: The fantastic nappy cake me & my friend Sophie gave as a gift. I think these make fantastic, unusal presents for new mummies and have bought numerous times from The Nappy Cake Shop. Really can't recommend them enough!

What did you get up to this weekend?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Glossybox - November

My Glossybox came in the post last week and i simply havent had time to sit down and give all the products a go until now. Crazy huh? I was pleased to receive my box around the same time that everyone else seems to again (last month was a first for this!). Before that i seemed to be getting my boxes weeks after everyone else so the surprise was always spoiled - maybe being a 'W' in the alphabet? Who knows? But not ideal anyhow.
Last month Glossy Box used a Dark Romance theme that nobody really understood because the products we received definitely didnt seem to relate to that theme. The theme this month was Christmas Wishlist which i think is pretty appropriate, most girls would be happy with this months products in their stocking.
Elegant Touch - Rapid Dry for Nails
Size: Full size 125ml
Product: Just how i have managed to get through life so far without purchasing this product i have no idea. It is total genius!! It is one of those items that i always see advertised, mentally tell myself i must have it and then forget all about it by the next time i go to the shops. A quick spray of Rapid Dry onto wet nail polish is supposed to leave you dry and ready to go in just 60 seconds and it does just that! I imagine if you apply polish particularly thick or a couple of coats it may not be so effective but as long as you are light with the polish application this product is a total god send. I am forever smudging my freshly painted nails because i am too impatient to wait for the polish to fully dry. I definitely also noticed my nail bed and cuticle were softer after using this a couple of times - this is down to the Vitamin E included in the formula.
Price: £3.00
Would i buy it? 100x yes yes yes. This will be one of my staple products for years to come.
Yves Rocher France - Hand Cream in Cocoa & Pistachio Nut
Size: Full size 75ml
Product: Being a lover of all things Cocoa buttery i already knew i would love this hand cream. It smells absolutely devine and already has a very comfy home on my desk at work. I love that the cream soaks into the skin really quickly, unlike some other hand creams that leave your hand feeling clammy & greasy for a while afterwards. I've definitely noticed a difference in the softness of my hands as well since using this, just what the doctor ordered now this freezing weather has set in.
Price: £1.95
Would i buy it? Definitely, i cant believe how cheap this beaut is! Im going to make sure i stock up and recommend this to everyone i know
Emite Makeip - Micronized eyeshadow in Nect
Size: Full size 1.48g
Product: I was over the moon to receive another Emite product after trying and loving their eyelash curlers a couple of months ago. I was sent the eyeshadow in the shade Nect which is a lovely shimmery pale cream colour, which i find perfect for those inner-eye corners and highlighting. I really appreciated receiving a product in a wearable shade that i will get a lot of use out of for a change. And all Emite eye products are paraben, oil, nickel & perfume free which is always good for sensitive skin like mine.
Price: £16.80
Would i buy it? I'm not sure i could ever justify spending £16.80 on an individual eyeshadow (MAC shadows are enough of an expense) but i do really like the shade, pigmentation and brand. If it was cheaper i definitely would buy, unfortunately at the moment no.
Vichy - Idealia Life Serum
Size: Three 3ml samples
Product: So far i have only tried one of the samples but this has definitely left my face much softer this morning. My skin around my nose & forehead has been getting a little dry in this weather and this serum has helped a lot. More so than just moisturiser has been.
Price: Full size 30ml is £29.50 so my three samples total £8.85
Would i buy it? Probably not for the full size price but a smaller/cheaper size would be good?
B - Quick One Coat Professional Long Lasting Nail Polish in Persica 189

Size: Full size 8ml
 Product: I actually quite like the shade of nail polish i received this month. Its a pale orange/coral and while i do have lots of coral shades already i definitely dont have one quite this subtle and pale so its an unusual but welcome find. As for long lasting i got my standard 5ish days before any chipping. Im impressed with this but i dont think its noticeably longer than most other polishes with a top coat. I think it hugely depends on whether ive been doing any washing up as well! hehe
Price: £4.99

Would i buy it? Affordable and it does what it says on the tin...Yes


All in all i was thrilled with my Glossy Box this month. It was nice to have a box of nearly three times the value of what you pay for a change and 4 out of 5 full size products was such a treat.
I can't wait to see what they pull out of the bag for their Christmas box this year!!

What did you think of the November Glossy Box?
Will you be subscribing?

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Style Crush - Blake Lively

For my style crush this month I have come back to one of my favourites....Blake Lively!
For those of you that don't know Blake is an American actress and model best known for playing Serena van der Woodsen in the popular series Gossip Girl. The show finished last year and since then Blake has been busy making movies, becoming the new face of Loreal (as of last month) and marrying Ryan Reynolds (lucky lucky girl!)
I think Blake first came to my fashion radar due to the amazing Gossip Girl wardrobe department, but since then she has definitely proven herself in the style stakes. I think she always looks absolutely effortlessly stunning. It seems that any old outfit she throws together looks totally incredible, something im sure we'd all love to be able to! ...and don't get me started on her hair - total total hair envy!
Here are some of my favourite Blake looks over the years:

all images: google
What do you think of Blake's style?

Friday, 15 November 2013

Some wise words for the weekend....

Just thought i would share with you my favourite wall canvas:
As you grow up, you will
have your heart broken
more than once and it's
harder every time. You'll
break hearts too, so
remember how it felt
when yours was broken.
You'll fight with your
best friend. You'll cry
because time is passing
too fast, and you'll
eventually lose someone
you love. So take too
many pictures. Laugh too
much and love like
you've never been hurt.
Because every sixty
seconds you spend upset
is a minute of hapiness
you'll never get back.
This is from the Primitive by Kathy range and you can find it for sale on eBay here
What are your favourite quotes?
Hope you all have a fab weekend!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Laurens Way Self Tanning Lotion in Darker Than Dark

I just realised that despite always mentioning what a fake tan hoarder i am, im actually yet to post on what seems to be my favourite subject! Crazy right?
Being a natural redhead with pale skin a tan has always always been something i wish i could get naturally (especially when my boyfriend pretty much goes black everytime we go on holiday *jealous doesn't even cover it!*)....but im very slowly and begrudgingly coming to the decision that this isn't ever going to be happen for me so i have been a fake tan superfan for as long as i can remember now. For this reason i am always looking for new fake tans to try & test, always looking for a smoother application, better smell, richer tan etc..
For those of you that have some how avoided the TOWIE phenomenon Lauren's Way is the beauty company created by one of the original stars of reality tv series The Only Way is Essex, Lauren Goodger. Although as far as im aware Lauren's Way only started out selling fake tan, you can now purchase dream rollers, hair extensions, big buns and false eyelashes, while fake tan is now stocked in salons nationwide. Lauren also offers an "Essex Angels" service where her team of trusted beauticians come out and get you ready for your big night out - very useful if you happen to be in the Essex area. You can find out more about Lauren's Way on the website here
Lauren's Way self tan comes in the following variations:
Medium (mousse & lotion), Dark (lotion), Glam Tan (spray), Darker Than Dark (mousse & lotion) Instant Wash Off lotion & Gradual Tan lotion. Being the tan obcessive that i am, i of course opted for Darker Than Dark. I always go for Dark tone fake tans as it is so anything that claims to be able to make me even dark than that is definitely something i was interested in. I always pick lotion over mousse (although it used to be the other way round) because i think i get more use from a bottle of lotion, might be entirely in my head! haha and i find lotion much easier to work with and rub in streak free. Again since i first started using fake tans they have come on a long way and don't really tend to streak anymore no matter how slap dash you are when you slap it on, but still better to be safe than sorry eh?

On swatching Darker Than Dark does seem very very dark but don't let this put you off. I always find fake tan appears much darker on the mitt/gloves than on the skin for some reason and once you rub it in it will be much less intimidating I promise. This tanning lotion is a rich mahogany colour which on application is so smooth and creamy. With other tans in the past I've found that you have to work the product in really quickly before it dries and is stuck wherever you put it but Darker Than Dark is really easy to work with and I didn't feel the need to hurry when rubbing it in at all. Saying that it did apply evenly without a lot of effort due to the creamy moisturising texture which is always a good thing.
My absolute favourite thing about this product has to be the smell. It is a simply amazing and exotic citrus/orangey scent which makes a very welcome change from any tanning product I have ever used in the past. My boyfriend usually hates me getting into bed with the smell of fake tan on me & in the sheets but even he admitted this fragrance was pretty scrummy. Even when tans are designed to be scented and escape the well known 'biscuit' smell I always find that once they begin to develop and have been left on for a few hours the usual smell starts creeping back in. Darker than Dark really didn't do this! On application it smelt of oranges, lying in bed it smelt of oranges and when I woke up 9hrs later to shower it off it still smelt of oranges. I was really impressed and refreshingly surprised - big big attraction to Lauren's Way in my opinion!

To be completely honest this only aspect of this tan i am slightly disappointed with is the result. When you first apply the product you are left with this rich, strong, mahogany tan and after leaving it to develop overnight (which i always do) and rinsing it off the colour fades pretty dramatically. Don't get me wrong you are still left with an awsome golden tan but the name suggests this would be particularly Dark and i don't think it's any darker than a normal medium/dark tan would be. Maybe i was expecting too much?
I am still very happy with the results and will definitely be using Lauren's Way products again and recommending them to my friends and family, if for nothing other than the fantastic smell. I just don't think Darker Than Dark is an accurate description of the finished look. Although I can easily apply the tan a couple of times to get my desired look i guess i was hoping for a super dark finish with one easy application.
Darker Than Dark lotion blended effortlessly, left me with no streaks or patches at all and left my skin feeling incredibly soft and moisturised which again is rare with any tanning product - definitely going to be adding this product to my drawer of go to tanning lotions.

Have you tried any of Lauren's Way products?
Will you be trying Darker Than Dark tanning lotion?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Barry M and MUA Haul

While most of these are Christmas presents for various friends and family i couldn't help myself sharing my recent purchases. I was very over excited to have so many treats in my basket at once...
All Barry M from top to bottom, left to right: Gelly Hi Shine in Lychee, Gelly Hi-Shine in Dragon Fruit, Gelly Hi-Shine in Lilac, Sequin Nail Paint in shade 3, Textured Nail Paint in Ridley Road, Matte Nail Paint in Black Espresso, Nail effects in Silver Foil, Gelly Hi-Shine in Orange, Christmas Limited Edition Nail Paint

Top: MUA Undress Mee Too Eye Palette
Bottom: MUA Pro Palette Undressed

MUA Professional Mosaic Blusher in English Rose
I am totally in love with all of these products and actually debating whether to give them as presents now or just keep them for myself! Especially the MUA eyeshadow palettes, i think at £4 these are amazing value.
This entire haul only cost me around £28 as everything in the beauty section of Superdrug is on 3 for 2 at the moment. Get down there quick and start/finish your Christmas shopping, or even just treat yourself!
Do you have any of these products?
Which are your favourites?

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Christmas Tag

Tonight on twitter I came across the lovely Becky's blog Lipgloss and Lashes and this super cute tag...The Christmas Tag!! As you'll all know from my last post I am so so excited and looking forward to Christmas this year so I couldn't resist.

1) What is your favourite Christmas drink?
Well I only discovered them last year but this definitely has to be Cafe Nero's Amaretto Latte! Words cannot describe how amazing these taste. Yum!

2) What is your favourite Christmas  smell?
All of them! Cinnamon and all things Christmassy are my favourite ever scents. We constantly have cinnamon burning away at home so it does smell a little sickly & like Christmas all year round *hangs head in shame*. Last week I picked up a Yankee candle air freshened for the car and that is 'Christmas Cookie' flavour and absolutely devine.

3) Do you have any Christmas traditions?
Not really. None I can think of anyway. Just spending Christmas & Boxing Day with family & we always save presents until the afternoon and open one by one in a circle. It takes forever and makes presents seem never ending and you get to really see someone's face light up when they open your gift. My nan also without fail buys me a pack of tan tights (in the wrong size and I don't wear tan tights), a packet of cotton buds and an impulse deodorant every single year. Bless her heart!

4) What's the one thing you really want to get from Santa this Christmas?
My boyfriend has had a pretty hard time the last couple of years and due to some personal issues he really dreads Christmas now. Just to see him happy and enjoying himself would be a great present. Plus it's our first Christmas in our new home so him not having to work Christmas Day (he works for the NHA) and being able to spend it with me would be great!
Materialistically I've got my eye on a pretty camera, the Nikon L810 in red to be precise. Hehe. We're off to Thailand in April so is love to be able to take some quality photos to remember our trip forever.

5) Have you ever built a gingerbread house?
I definitely never have!...but being a natural ginger person (redhead) I do have a soft spot for ginger things so maybe I should give it a go?

6) Who is your favourite person to buy presents for?
hmmm..this is a tough one because I really do love buying presents for everybody. Probably my boyfriend because I always have lots of ideas and know exactly what he will love or all my best friends children just because buying for kids is so much fun and all the little toys & clothes are so cute! I could shop for babies forever! Really can't wait to have our own family Christmas'

7) What is your favourite Christmas song?
It maybe a little unusual but it's got to be Stay Another Day by East 17. I have no idea why it's considered a Christmas song but it definitely is isn't it? More traditionally probably Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade

8) There wasn't a no 8 question so I'm going to add my own...When do you put up your Christmas tree & what colour decorations do you have this year?
Despite my best persuasive skills my boyfriends isn't going to let me put our tree up until 1st December *boooo* and I'm very excited because it's our first Christmas living together so we get to go out & pick everything together. We're going to have a 6ft green tree - artificial - with red & silver decorations.

9) What's the weirdest gift you've ever received?
Ooooh interesting one, umm nothing too strange that I can think of. My brother bought me a canvas picture of elephants once. I actually love it, it's now up in our hallway & elephants are my favourite animal but he had no idea of that so it was just a bit random..but in a good way.

10) Do you like to dress up for Christmas or stay in your PJs?
If it was left to me I would 100% stay in my PJs as I really do live in them. They are the comfiest things and normally first to go on when I get in from work each day BUT my mother would definitely not approve and I think Christmas is a nice occasion to get dresses up so I usually wear a nice dress or something like that

I've really enjoyed doing this post and I tag you all to get in the Christmas spirit and give it a go!! Let me know if you do so I can come & check out your answers