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?